Most people cannot listen until they have been heard. As a consequence, wise leaders who want to affect thinking and behavior learn to first listen to those they aim to impact.
Holding back from jumping-in when a key point comes to mind in the middle of a fast-paced conversation can be a challenge but it is also essential in order to avoid being written-off as one who does not listen or understand, especially if the leader is new to the organization.
The following steps help a leader stay in-tune and attuned and dramatically improve their odds of success:
When someone talks, give undivided attention and do not interrupt. While s/he is talking you may think you know what they are going to say and what you want to say next rushes to mind. In that instant you experience an irrepressible urge to interrupt and jump-in. Following the urge causes many bright, successful senior executives to often unintentionally and repeatedly use the power of their position to hijack conversations. The pattern wears on those in the organization and soon the leader is written-off as one who never listens and who does not get, or care about, those they lead. Continue reading →
Countless other day-to-day matters that will eventually impact long term organization performance and growth demand similar attention. Many leaders struggle to reach a good, a better, or even a best solution to each. Continue reading →
Core Leaders who all describe the problem their organization solves for whom in the same way are apt to provide more consistent guidance and direction and so increase the odds of better performance across the board.
To get clear or to test for clarity, invite each Core Leader to:
No one leader, and not even any two, has the breadth of competence and depth of capacity to do anything of much significance alone. Successful organizations often have a core leadership team of three to seven top executives who are aligned to accomplish specific goals as a cohesive unit.
The odds of success go way up when the top team has at least three players with different but complementary strengths that are all important to the business and who have:
Established relationships; i.e., they know and understand each other well and
Core Leadership Group
truly enjoy spending time together.
Extraordinary desire, drive, capacity, and competence to accomplish their goals. Continue reading →
Developing a systematic approach to cultivating demand for its products and services is a key step in the evolution of every successful organization. Many early-stage leaders long for a silver-bullet solution; that is, they look to hire someone with a lot of contacts and an extroverted personality to hit the market and drum up demand. Such efforts usually fail.
Leaders cannot count on building a scalable demand creation system by hiring one super-salesman after another. There are simply not enough to go around. A better strategy is to figure out for themselves how to create demand for their offerings and then hire and train others to follow their lead.
What follows is a sure-fire method for figuring out how to systematically turn prospects into customers that every executive, client manager, product manager, and sales professional can and should add to their tool set. It takes a lot of work to prepare properly and to execute well in a teaching-mindset, instead of a selling one, but those who are up to the task will be well-rewarded.
Step-1: Describe what you think your prospect is trying to accomplish.
Use all the data about a top prospect you can get your hands on to describe what problem they seek to solve that your organization can help with. Continue reading →
One of the toughest things for a senior executive to do is break in to an existing system of operation. At first there is an exhilarating air of difference. Everything is new and there is so much to figure out and to absorb. The opportunity to have a major impact induces what seems to be an endless rush of euphoric excitement. All too soon the feelings devolve into isolation and loneliness along with the realization that no matter what good things happen, everyone watching will wonder why there was not more. Continue reading →