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Monday, December 31, 2012

Positive Leadership: How to Build a Great Company from Scratch

Steve Blank, serial entrepreneur, Founder of E.piphany and Stanford consulting associate professor, says team building is an important skill for entrepreneurs. 

Startups are about putting together an orchestra. It's not about playing a single instrument.


Friday, December 28, 2012

Positive Leadership: Dan Rather on Leadership

Dan Rather worked for CBS for 44 years and anchored the CBS Evening News for 24 of those years. At the same time, he appeared on 48 Hours and 60 Minutes II. He currently anchors Dan Rather Reports on AXS TV. Dan Rather has won numerous Emmy Awards for broadcast journalism and the Peabody Award.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Positive Leadership: The Campbell Soup Leadership Model

Campbell's Soup Company CEO, Doug Conant talks about the Campbell Leadership Model.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Positive Leadership: The Benefits of Education in the Humanities

Stanford University political science professor and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice endorses the way education in the fields of humanities and social sciences cultivates people’s writing abilities: 

“Those of us who have been, for instance, in government—where a lot of my students want to end up—know that the well argued, well written two-pager [put] before the secretary of defense or the secretary of state can actually make a difference, let alone one before the president of the United States. It can make a difference in decision making.”


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from Positive Leadership!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Positive Leadership: Charisma

Venture capitalists have a rule of thumb - bet on the leader, not the idea. 

Some people seem naturally high in charisma, but there are ingredients that can be cultivated: A genuine interest in people. Listening to their needs and concerns, and showing that you will help them achieve their goals. Treating people as though each is special and deserves attention. Remembering details about them. 

In today's troubled world, entrepreneurship is sometimes treated as the new religion that will save the economy and build world peace. The analogy to religion is appropriate, because there's always an element of faith in innovation and entrepreneurship. 

Charisma can be a decisive factor.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Positive Leadership: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

“If you hire people just because they can do a job, they’ll work for your money. But if you hire people who believe what you believe, they’ll work for you with blood and sweat and tears.” (Simon Sinek)

Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?"

His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Positive Leadership!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Positive Leadership: Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions -- and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Positive Leadership: When Starting a Company, Get Your Values Right

As a start-up gets off the ground, it has a short-lived opportunity to decide how it wants to do business. With each new hire company culture becomes more entrenched and somewhere after two dozen employees, it tends to cement. 

Establish a set of genuine values before your start-up gets too complex. 

Articulate a coherent philosophy about who you are and how you will work. Also be clear about who you aren’t and what you won’t do. This will make decisions easier and ultimately improve results. Rather than analyzing each new decision afresh, you’ll have a common foundation from which to make them. If you don’t do this deliberately when your organisation is young, the culture will (often rigidly) form itself. Companies that do not appear to have strong core philosophies, or that abandon them, tend to wander. 

Your philosophy is your corporate constitution and one of the most valuable pieces of IP you'll create.

Adapted from “Four Things to Get Right When Starting a Company” by Bruce Gibney and Ken Howery - http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/05/four_things_to_get_right_when.html


Monday, December 17, 2012

Positive Leadership: Tech CEOs Passing 'The Leadership Challenge'

Barry Posner, co-author of The Leadership Challenge, says the new crop of technology CEOs are changing the dynamics of corporate leadership.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Positive Leadership: 'Enjoyment'


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Positive Leadership: 'Engagement'


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Positive Leadership: 'Achievement'


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Positive Leadership: 'Leadership'


Monday, December 10, 2012

Positive Leadership: 'Respect'


Friday, December 07, 2012

Positive Leadership: Change


Thursday, December 06, 2012

Positive Leadership: The Importance of Company Culture and Clear Values

Lessons on the importance of company culture and clear values:

Lesson 1: Hierarchy and respect are not mutually exclusive

You have to make sure you never confuse the hierarchy that you need for managing complexity with the respect that people deserve. Because that’s where a lot of organisations go off track, confusing respect and hierarchy, and thinking that low on hierarchy means low respect; high on the hierarchy means high respect. So hierarchy is a necessary evil of managing complexity, but it in no way has anything to do with respect that is owed an individual.

Lesson 2: Culture is how a company gets things done

For example, most companies in software get things done through people. So their machinery is people, and to put it in technology terms, people are the hardware and values are the operating system. So the culture starts with people with a common operating system around values and then, once you have that, you can build processes around how you actually get things done on top of that. But clarity around the hardware and the operating system is first and foremost, so it’s about people and values.

Lesson 3: A values-driven culture can be a powerful motivator

People generally want to belong to something of greater purpose that’s larger than they are. They’re just waiting for it to come along. And a culture around values is part of that. People say, ‘I want to be on that team, that club, because they believe in something and I actually believe in that, so I want to belong to that.’
Lesson 4: Values can (and must) provide a balance

Think about your values in pairs, and there is a tension or a balance between them. For example; listening and leadership; accountability and generosity; humility and audacity. You’ve got to have the humility to see the world as it is but have the audacity to know why you are trying to make it be different, to imagine the way it could be. 

Lesson 5: Balanced values can give clarity to out-sized goals

This goes back to audacity and humility. You’ve got to be audacious enough to set goals that make you stretch and give you clarity of vision and purpose. But you have to have the humility to know that this work is hard, and that you might not get there. If you start off talking about all the reasons that you’re not going to get there, you’re not going to get there. And so it’s holding that balance of not being reckless, but also having a huge element of fearlessness.

What are important lessons you’ve learned about company culture and values?


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Positive Leadership: The Integrity Dividend

“(Organisations) where employees strongly believed their managers followed through on promises and demonstrated the values they preached were substantially more profitable than those whose managers scored average or lower.” 

Tony Simons, Cornell University, The Integrity Dividend


Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Positive Leadership: Challenge and Opportunity for Women

"The future of business belongs to the feminine archetype. Those that adopt the feminine archetype , male or female, are going to be the ones to create that wealth and enjoy the success of this new world."

John Hagel


Monday, December 03, 2012

Positive Leadership: Building a Personal Brand

If you’re working harder than ever to build your business and still not making money, it may be because you’re trying to be someone you are not. 

Try instead to be — and to brand — yourself.

Premium brands, such as Christian Louboutin with his signature red-lacquered-sole shoes, can charge so much more for their products because of branding and the same is true for people. You want to be a celebrity in your field so that people are asking for you by name. When you’re top of mind in your field, you get more referrals and it’s much easier to bring in business through referrals than through advertising, cold calling or submitting proposals.

How do you brand yourself?

Begin within. You have to start by understanding who you are before you can build a brand. Focus on the PITs — passions, interests and talents — that make you who you are. Take your examination all the way back to childhood and don’t forget to look at your personality, because it doesn’t change. Ask “What’s your red sole?” Thanks to a recent court decision, Christian Louboutin has an enforceable trademark on red-soled shoes. With a few exceptions, he is the only one who can sell red-soled shoes. You need to pinpoint what is unique about you — not something that applies only to a few other people, but something that applies only to you. For most of us, this is only going to be one or two specific things.

Own your name. Buy your space on the Internet — www.YourName.com — and work at making yourself the first full page of results that come up in a Google search of your name by blogging and engaging on a variety of social media networks. You also want to put pictures out there tagged with your name so that you have a full page of image results. Don’t forget to set up Google alerts for your name and its various misspellings, so you always know what people are saying about you.

Create your look. You need a consistent appearance for yourself and look for your brand. Think about colours, logos and fonts — and don’t forget to get a great head shot.

Post valuable content. Write blog posts and use social media to pass along useful content that relates to your brand. Be sure to tag everything with your name, so it all leads back to you.

Start something — something big. When you create something that’s valuable to people, you open the door to making real connections with them.

Speak in public. If you’re unsure or inexperienced, just start practicing. 

Fire clients. The easiest and quickest way for you to create a breakthrough in your lifestyle is to fire those clients (or customers, or products, or product lines, or revenue streams or service offerings) that don’t produce. You can’t serve everyone, and you don’t want to be wasting your time on work that doesn’t pay off.

Raise prices. Yes, you’ll lose clients by raising prices, but you’ll have to work less to make the same amount of money, so you’ll be a winner. There are a variety of ways to raise prices, including bundling your service instead of charging by the hour, charging more for fast or last-minute service, and charging new clients more at the outset when you have the most leverage.

Prepare for haters. When you set out to establish and promote a strong brand, there will be haters, but there will be people who love you more and they’re the ones who count. Surround yourself with people who love and support you and who think you’re great!