Every day, we are fed with the challenge of addressing and solving problems. In many of those cases, you generally need to get information to guide you in developing the right solution. I have found – and coached many clients – that having a series of questions generally works best in not only helping get to the solution but in also helping to separate the emotion and frustration from the facts. Below are some of my “best” questions. The list is not all-inclusive. Rather, it’s provided to help you get started and to develop a list of your own “best” questions. Lieutenant Columbo would be proud of your work! Continue reading
We judge our leaders by the quality of the results they achieve. These results are achieved by the quality of the decisions they make. The quality of their decisions is directly related to the quality of the information they have available to them. Sometimes, they must make their decisions based on either incomplete or imperfect information. In these situations, they rely on their “gut” which is related to what they learned from their past experiences. Regardless, they need to have an effective way to get the information they need.
Here’s my point: the best leaders know how to ask the best questions to help them gather the right information they need to make the best decisions.
The important question for you is this: What questions are you asking – on a regular and consistent basis – to get the right information you need, when you need it to achieve the level of success you want?
To achieve success, you must be able to learn the right things from the past, build a plan and implement it in the present. To learn these “right things,” you must have the right questions to ask. It’s just that simple. Continue reading
Becoming a better leader isn’t easy. The fact is, not everyone can or will become a great leader. However, everyone can become a better leader than they are today – if they make the choice to do so. Becoming a better leader requires hard work and focus, but it is far from impossible.
The one common trait shared by those who desire to become a better leader is a commitment to continuous and ongoing learning. They want to be better and they work at it every day! They just don’t talk about it; they act on it every day. They put personal growth and development at the top of their daily and strategic agenda. Becoming a “better leader” is an ongoing effort.
The next area “better leaders” focus on is how to add to their knowledge base by learning new skills that will help them deliver even better results. How do they accomplish this? Consider some of these points: Continue reading
I have several clients who are each trying to hire the “right” person for key positions within their companies. Today’s tight labor market makes this important task that much more challenging.
I’m always amazed how everyone agrees that the quality of your team will determine the quality of your business. Yet many still approach the hiring and selection of employees as a burden or something you “have to do.” Or, even worse they just want to get it behind them and hire the first person they “think” is the right one.
Well, here’s a fact: Selecting – not just hiring – the right person is something you must do! And you had better be doing it right if you want to avoid mistakes, lost money and productivity and causing your customers to go elsewhere.
Let me share with you the advice that I give each of my clients which works.
To start with, here are 3 sure-fire ways to make certain that you can hire the wrong employees. Here’s the point (just in case you need to hear it): Do the opposite! Continue reading
Most leaders “say” they want feedback, yet leaders today struggle with how to provide it in an effective and constructive way. But for our purposes today, Chris’ podcast will focus on how you as a leader can ask for it and accept it. Why is this important? Simple really: because the true mark of a courageous leader isn’t measured by how many tough situations are handled, but in how they create openness in their company that encourages the giving and accepting feedback at all levels.
To be successful as a leader, there will be times when you will be faced with making tough or difficult decisions.
Some often delay making tough critical decisions because they fear criticism, making people angry or that they will be disliked because of their action. They’re right! There will always be someone who will be unhappy or angry. But that doesn’t change the fact that the decision needs to be made.
Yet, despite this, some will jump through hoops to avoid taking timely and complete action. I (you) see this struggle all of the time. This approach can be a fatal error for a business leader in situations where success sometimes hangs in the balance based on their ability to make tough decisions on not-so-perfect information.
When you have a tough decision to make, first be clear about the outcome you want to achieve and then second, take deliberate and focused action. Get tough decisions behind you so you can focus on moving forward. It takes bold action to achieve bold results. Nothing ever gets better by ignoring it.
Here are six proven steps that will help you “be the leader” needed to make tough, important and usually unpopular decisions: Continue reading
We all want to feel confident in ourselves. Self-confidence is one the keys to our ability to accomplish more and grow personally and professionally. Many talk about wanting to increase self-confidence but few are prepared to willingly do what is required to actually become more self-confident. Chris explains how personal willingness involves taking ACTION. In other words, to be more confident means you’re willing to act to first satisfy yourself (and no one else) that you did your very best.
All the successful people I have met have one very important thing in common. They have goals and they use those goals to drive their actions and behaviors. Now all of you are thinking, well I have goals. My response to most you would be – no you don’t. You have desires, wishes, hopes and intentions. You lump those together to create a fair amount of clutter bouncing around in the 7 inches between your ears. If you had clear, specific and realistic goals and worked at them intelligently, consistently and relentlessly, you would be more successful.
I read an article recently while flying to somewhere from somewhere else which explained why most of our goals go unachieved. There were four main reasons – procrastination and lack of action; lack of confidence and belief; lack of clarity or focus or a clear vision; and finally, fear. Do any of these reasons strike a personal note with you? If so then you need to stop what you’re doing, right now and get started on a new path.
Developing and maintaining an ongoing sense of urgency should be the norm for any company wanting to take a competitive lead in their marketplace. In this episode, Chris explains how to build and sustain a healthy sense of urgency in your organization.
Some people, when they hear the phrase “a sense of urgency” immediately think that a crisis is brewing and the pace needs to be stepped up to get back to normal or what we commonly call the “status quo”. However, in today’s business climate and the ever-changing priorities that come with it, can any company really afford to “get back to status quo” for any extended period of time? I don’t think so.
It’s Memorial Day! As a result of the current three day weekend arrangement and activities associated with it, we can become easily distracted from the day’s original meaning and the traditions aligned with it. One such tradition, conceived by poet Morina Michael, was to wear red poppies on Memorial Day “in honor of those who died while serving the nation during war”.
We cherish too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led.
It seems to signal to the skies
That the blood of heroes never dies.
– Morina Michael
Memorial Day is that one day (but there should be more) when we stop and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in our nation’s service – to protect and preserve the freedoms we enjoy.
Happy Memorial Day!