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You’ll only succeed in continually improving your results if you’re focused upon continually developing those who work for you – and you’ll not be able to help them to develop unless your own self-development is almost obsessional…

Here’s a selection of articles for leaders on all aspects of self-development.

A KEY ELEMENT IN BUILDING PRODUCTIVE RELATIONSHIPS

A KEY ELEMENT IN BUILDING PRODUCTIVE RELATIONSHIPS

How do you build effective productive relationships with your people?  Here’s one critical element that is all too often ignored. Shelly Gable, an assistant Professor of Psychology at University studies “motivation and emotion in close relationships” – and what closer relationship should there be than between a leader and a team member they wish to engage and motivate to great productivity and results? Four ways of responding to good news Gable’s research shows that supporting people in good times, especially when they have good news to share, is just as important as being there for them in tougher times when the news is not so good. She explains that in responding to good news you have just four possible options – and which option you choose as a default when your people bring you good news has an enormous effect on your relationship with them. Let’s say one of your team comes to you and tells you “Hey we won the SAP account!”. Here are the four classes of potential responses: 1. Active Constructive An Active Constructive response is a genuinely enthusiastic response, e.g.: “Congratulations – that is the best news I’ve heard all day. What are the next steps? Did they tell you why you won the business? Will this help you win IBM too?” Genuine Active Constructive responses are typically accompanied by a lot of encouraging nonverbal behavior too – smiling. touching, laughing, making eye contact, being enthusiastic etc.  2. Passive Constructive Responding passively constructively is delivering a neutral and generally disinterested response: “That’s good news, well done” Passive Constructive responses are typically devoid of any enthusiasm... read more
Proposal Review – Is Your Outline Ready?

Proposal Review – Is Your Outline Ready?

When you feel finished your proposal outline it is a good idea to do an interim proposal review to see if the outline is ready to go. Do this BEFORE you start writing any business proposals. Is Your Outline Detailed Enough? When you have your proposal outline to the stage shown in the module on expanding your outline , you need to consider whether you are ready to write the main body of your proposal, or whether any of the lowest-level points in your outline need to be broken down further. For the simple case study we’re working with here there is no requirement to go to a lower level of detail, as the points noted in the outline can be readily described with just four or five simple sentences. When doing this initial proposal review and considering whether or not you should develop your outline further, consider whether each point in the outline represents a single idea which can be described in a few sentences. If so, then you have enough detail. If not – if any of your points require explanation of multiple ideas – then consider breaking those points down into finer sub-points. Continue this exercise until your outline is at a stage where each point is a single, easily described idea. Does Your Outline Flow Smoothly? When you have developed your outline to this level of detail, then consider the order in which each of your points is being presented. When you think down through the outline, can you perceive a logical development of the message that you wish to convey? Will the order in... read more
MAKE SUCCESS A DAILY HABIT

MAKE SUCCESS A DAILY HABIT

Look at the most successful people around you and you’ll find that they all share one thing in common – daily focus upon what really matters.  They are focused, each and every day, on the success they crave. The Haney-Sirbasku system introduced in the first post in this series helps you make that daily focus a natural part of your day. In the first post of this series you saw how the Haney-Sirbasku system is designed to keep everything necessary for your ongoing success right in front of your eyes, every day – ensuring that you always have visibility of your accomplishments, current goals, medium-term goals, long terms goals and dreams.  And also ensuring that you always have to hand a compelling set of affirmations that continually focus your mind upon your ability to reach these goals. In the second post you saw that operating the system really couldn’t be easier; you simply read through each of the sections of your system from front to back – completely realigning your sights on the goals that will make you successful.  All of this for as little as a 10-15 minute daily investment. This final post in the series makes a few suggestions on the timing of your daily reviews and on ensuring that your goals stay fresh and relevant. You can see your progress One of the great strengths of this simple system is that, as you work through your system over time, your goals will progress from ‘Dreams’ to ‘Long-term’, from ‘Long-term’ to “Medium-term’, from ‘Medium-term’ to ‘Current‘ – and from there to completion.   As they move from section to section... read more
SELLING IN TOUGH TIMES – II

SELLING IN TOUGH TIMES – II

The New Decision Making Process In the first post in this three-part mini-series, ‘How good is your sales forecast?’, we looked at the vital first step of cleaning up your sales forecast. Now that you know which opportunities merit your fullest attention you need to determine precisely what’s going on in those accounts – what stands in the way of a decision in your favor. In good times the power to make purchase decisions is spread far and wide within organizations, with many departments and individuals having independent spending authority. When things become as cautious as they have recently the level at which purchase decisions are made moves up a peg or two (or three). Before you can do anything with your best opportunities you need to understand the game you’re now in – who else is now playing, and what new rules apply. STEP 2: LOOK AT THE NEW PURCHASE PROCESS IN EACH TARGET ACCOUNT Your first port of call must be your current “champion(s)” or “buyer(s)” – those people who previously had the ability to say “yes!” Not all of your current buyers will be straight enough as to inform you outright they no have the power to accept your proposal. There’s a simple “litmus test” that will tell you whether things have changed or not. If you suddenly find that you can’t get a direct answer as to when your proposal will be accepted or rejected, or when a final decision will be made, then this unpredictability is likely coming from the fact that your buyer is no longer in control. And, if the decision is now... read more

OPPOSITE OF A LEADER? A PESSIMIST!

Positivity is an essential constituent of inspring, engaging leadership. After a post entitled ‘A magic number for leaders’ a few weeks ago I got a lot of emails asking for more information about ‘The Losada Line’ and its usefulness to leaders wishing to develop a leadership approach that would engage their people more effectively. Here’s a 6-minute video extract from a recent talk where I spoke on the essential role of positivity in leadership. Have you ever met anyone a successful charismatic leader who had a negative outlook?   No! And you never will. Positivity and optimism are characteristics that are absolute essentials for sustained charisma – and optimistic leaders make a point of creating positive environments where people thrive. No one is attracted by someone who makes them feel less good about themselves or their situation – we don’t need anyone’s help to feel bad, we can achieve that all on our own if we want to! Inspiring and charismatic leaders impact others with the power of their positivity – that’s engaging leadership. Positivity Is Decisive Positivity is obviously a good feeling – just looking at the face of an optimistic person tells you that straight away.  Optimists glow with the positive effects of their disposition. They have endless energy, enthusiasm and belief in themselves and others. Get talking about the future with an optimist and they’ll paint you a rich picture of a much better time and place – somewhere you’d really like to be, and somewhere that you’d likely be willing to invest a little extra energy (and engagement) in reaching. We all want to be inspired in... read more

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