Sunday, May 28, 2017

How To Be Humble


From John Blakey's book, The Trusted Executive, here are these four tips from Jim Collins for how to be a humble leader:
  1. Demonstrate a compelling modesty, shunning public adulation and never be boastful.
  2. Act with quiet, calm determination and motivate others through inspired standards, not inspiring charisma.
  3. Channel ambition into the company, not the self, and set up successors for even more greatness in the next generation.
  4. Look in the mirror, not out of the window, when apportioning responsibility for poor performance.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Your Customers Don't Want To Hear These Four Words


Author Harvey MacKay wrote the following spot-on advice in his column in the Kansas City Business Journal a few years ago. He wisely points out that all employees at every level should never use these four words in front of a client/customer for both obvious and perhaps not so obvious reasons:
  • Can't -- As in, "We can't do that."  "We can't meet that deadline."  Unless you honestly cannot produce and then be honest and help them find another vendor.
  • Busy -- As in, "I'll call you when I'm not so busy."  "I'm really busy right now." The word "busy" gives your customer the impression they are a low priority.
  • Safe -- As in, "Let's play it safe."  Customers typically want to engage in calculated risks versus playing it safe.
  • Fear -- As in, "I fear that we may be moving too fast." That tells your customer you haven't done your homework. MacKay writes, "Common sense, thorough research and sound advice should allay your fears to a reasonable level."
Take a moment. Are you absolutely sure every employee in sales, production, operations, marketing, etc., is not using these words, even inadvertently, in front of your customers?

Thanks for the important reminder, Harvey MacKay!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

John C. Maxwell Leadership Quotes


The real gems in John C. Maxwell's book, Everyone Communicates Few Connect, are the abundant leadership and communication quotes, such as these:
  • To add value to others, one must first value others.
  • People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude.
  • All good communicators get to the point before their listeners start asking, "What's the point?"
  • The first time you say something, it's heard. The second time, it's recognized, and the third time it's learned.
  • In the end, people are persuaded not by what we say, but by what they understand.
  • People pay attention when something that is said connects with something they greatly desire.
Maxwell also says that:
Management is about persuading people to do things they do not want to do, while leadership is about inspiring people to do things they never thought they could.
The book covers five principles and five practices to help readers so they can connect one-on-one, in a group, or with an audience.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ten Reasons To Use Storytelling In The Workplace


From Paul Smith's book, Lead With A Story, here are the 10 reasons for embracing storytelling as a business tool:
  1. Storytelling is simple
  2. Storytelling is timeless
  3. Stories are demographic-proof
  4. Stories are contagious
  5. Stories are easier to remember
  6. Stories inspire
  7. Stories appeal to all types of learners
  8. Stories fit better where most of the learning happens in the workplace
  9. Stories put the listener in a mental learning mode
  10. Telling stories shows respect for the audience
Smith goes on to say that:
  • you don't need a degree in English to tell a story
  • stories can spread like wildfire
  • lessons from a story are remembered more accurately, and for far longer, than learning derived from facts
  • stories spark curiosity and interest rather than the urge to evaluate or criticize
  • stories get your message across, without arrogantly telling listeners what to think or do

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Managing Millennials


The second edition of Managing the Millennials is an important read. Because, in 2015, Millennials comprised 35 percent of the workforce--nearly 54 million workers. And, by 2020, one in three adults will be a Millennial, and then by 2025, three of four workers will be from the Millennial generation.

Further, according to the book's co-author Chip Espinoza, more than 60 percent of employers say that they are experiencing tension between employees from different generations--more than 70 percent of older employees are dismissive of younger workers' abilities. And, 50 percent of younger employees are dismissive of the abilities of their older coworkers.

In this latest updated edition of the original 2009 book, the authors include new research and new real-world examples to assist you in:
  • Making the most informed decisions on getting the most from twenty-something employees.
  • Executing solutions to the most common obstacles to younger workers engaging and learning from the people who manage them.
  • Enhancing your skills as a job coach with practical tips and hands-on tools for coaching Millennials, 
You'll also learn about the nine points of tension that result from clashing value systems in a cross-generational management context and nine competencies required to mitigate each counterproductive disconnect.

Recently, Espionza kindly answered the following questions for me:

Chip Espinoza, PhD

QuestionThinking about the reaction to your first edition six years ago, what reaction from readers pleased you most? And, what reaction/feedback surprised you most?

Espinoza: I was most pleased that people commented that it was a solution-based approach to managing the next generation and not just a conversation about Millennials. They also appreciated the theoretical framework that was laid out for the discussion. Perhaps the greatest compliment is that people said they immediately applied the competencies in their management approach and experienced instant results. I was surprised that parents of Millennials would write me and thank me for helping them better understand their Millennial children.

QuestionIt seems that a lot has been written about Millennials in the workplace. Is this unusual? Or do you believe, with each generation a lot was written about that generation's fit in the workplace?

Espinoza: You can see the concept of a generation in ancient literature but the study of generations (or age cohorts) is traced to German sociologist Karl Mannheim who put forth generation as a sociological construct in the late 1920's.

The conversation about emerging age cohorts is the result of what Norman Ryder referred to as demographic metabolism, “Society persists despite the mortality of its individual members, through processes of demographic metabolism and particularly the annual infusion of birth cohorts. These may pose a threat to stability but they also provide the opportunity for societal transformation.”

So no, the conversation about successive generations is not unusual. What is unusual is that you have what was the largest generation (Baby Boomers) giving way to the new largest generation ever—the Millennials. Group norm theory suggests the largest group gets to set the agenda, make the rules, and sanction those who do not comply. Baby Boomers have set the workplace agenda for three decades. GenX was not a big enough generation to challenge the Baby Boomers’ ways (perhaps with the exception of casual Friday and telecommuting). The sheer size of the Millennial generation has accentuated tension over workplace values, behaviors, and expectations. In addition, GenX has waited for Baby Boomers to retire and are now witnessing their younger work siblings promoted to equal or greater positions with less experience. As a result, I do believe more has been written (the good, the bad, and the ugly) about the Millennial age cohort.

QuestionGenerally speaking, do you believe Millennials appreciate all that is being written about their fit in the workplace? 

Espinoza: In fairness to Millennials, it is important to note that it has been argued that a generation does not see its uniqueness until after age thirty. It would be a rarity to see a Builder, Baby Boomer, or GenX’er who resented being labeled as a member of a generation. A cohort’s mature identity is achieved through a newly found freedom of self-definition.

Early on in my research Millennials appeared to be amused with all of the attention. As a result of being the largest age cohort ever and growing up in affirming environments, Millennials are used to attention. Prior to work life, it is mostly positive attention.

Recently, there has been growing Millennial fatigue with all that is being written about them. You can see it in Millennial blogs, article comment sections, and pushing back at work.

I experience Millennials to be quite self-aware. They understand some of the attention (positive and negative) they receive is warranted. Perhaps not due to their own values and behaviors, but those of their peers. Whether Millennials want to be written about or not is irrelevant. They are the biggest generation and they are always going to be written about and marketed to. Much of what is written is hyperbole. My advice to Millennials is to not be reactionary.


QuestionHaving studied Millennials for so long, what do you believe is the single most understood thing about this generation?

Espinoza: They have high expectations—of the schools they attend, the organizations they work for, the nonprofits they volunteer in, the merchants where they shop, the candidates for whom they vote, and the speed at which their careers move. They believe they can make a difference and I do too!

Espinoza, PhD, is an academic director of Organizational Psychology and Nonprofit Leadership at Concordia University Irvine. Economic Times recently named him a top 15 thought leader on the future of work. Mick Ukleja, PhD is the book's co-author.

Monday, May 22, 2017

How To Be A Collaborative Leader


Edward M. Marshall's book, Transforming The Way We Work -- The Power Of The Collaborative Workplace, remains relevant today, more than a decade after Marshall wrote it.

Particularly useful is the book's section that teaches readers how to be a collaborative leader.

Marshall says that there are seven different, important roles and responsibilities of collaborative leaders when leading teams, and those leaders should select the appropriate style to meet the team's needs.

The seven roles are:
  1. The leader as sponsor -- You provide strategic direction, boundaries and coaching for the team. You also monitor progress and ensure integrity in the team's operating processes.
  2. The leader as facilitator -- You ensure that meetings, team dynamics, and interpersonal relationships function effectively. You also ensure internal coordination of activities among team members.
  3. The leader as coach -- You provide support and guidance and you serve as a sounding board.
  4. The leader as change agent/catalyst -- You hold team members accountable, make the unpopular decisions, energize the group to action and enable breakthroughs where possible.
  5. The leader as healer -- You play the role of the mediator and serve as the catalyst to bring people together.
  6. The leader as member -- You serve as part of the team, taking full responsibility for the success of the team and actively participate in the team's activities.
  7. The leader as manager/administrator -- You serve in a traditional role of tackling the daily administrative responsibilities, processes, and systems essential to managing the boundaries within the larger organization or key stakeholders.
Within any collaborate workplace, leaders will find themselves fulfilling all seven of these roles at different times, and sometimes fulfilling a combination of the seven styles at the same time, while working with work groups and teams.

Four years after Marshall wrote, Transforming The Way We Work, he penned, Building Trust At the Speed Of Change. Marshall won an award for excellence in organization development from the American Society for Training and Development.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

How To Play Bigger


"The most exciting companies create. They give us new ways of living, thinking, or doing business, many times solving a problem we didn't know we had -- or a problem we didn't pay attention to because we never thought there was another way," explain the four authors of the dynamic book, Play Bigger.

They add that, "the most exciting companies sell us different. They introduce the world to a new category of product or service." And, they become category kings. Examples of category kings are Amazon, Salesforce, Uber and IKEA.

Play Bigger is all about the strategy that builds category kings. And, to be a category king you need to be good at category design:
  • Category design is the discipline of creating and developing a new market category, and conditioning the market so it will demand your solution and crown your company as its king.
  • Category design is the opposite of "build it and they will come."
Key traits of category design, explain the authors, are:
  • A strategy that starts with your CEO and his/her leadership team identifying the right category to create.
  • A combination of both product and ecosystem design. A product that provides the solution to an urgent and giant problem. And an environment around that product that wins loyalty and gratitude for that product and your company.
  • Being sure your category design is part of your company culture.
  • Creating a powerful and provocative story that causes customers or users to make a choice. A story that evokes something different from what came before, not just better.
  • A combination of marketing, public relations, and advertising all focused on conditioning the market to desire and need whatever you're giving it.
  • Ensuring all of the above components work together, in lockstep, feeding off each other.
"Category design is a process. One thing leads to another and it builds on itself," explain the authors.

Play Bigger provides you the playbook you need to learn how to become a category king. It's essential for entrepreneurs wanting to change the landscape. And, a must-read for CEO's who want to reimagine their businesses.

As you read the playbook, you'll learn:
  • Why it takes courage to build a category.
  • What makes category king companies enduring and attractive to investors.
  • How category kings have changed the way Venture Capitalists invest in new companies.
And, you'll learn the answers to these questions:
  • In what way does Apple work like the 165-year-old glass company, Corning?
  • Why was Elvis not just the King, but a category king?

The authors of the book are: Al RamadanDave PetersonChristopher Lochhead and Kevin Maney.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

How To Create A People-first Culture

If you want to create a heart culture and a people-first culture at your workplace, read the book, Advisory Leadership, by Greg Friedman. 


Although the book is authored by an award-winning financial advisor and primarily written for professionals in the financial services industry, this book is a must read for any leader who wants to create a nurturing heart culture that hinges on the human-centric values the next generation of employees hold in high regard.


And, what exactly is heart culture? Friedman says, "At its core, heart culture symbolizes how a company values more than just an employee's output. It's not about the work, but rather, the people who do the work."

He further explains that leaders can no longer afford to ignore the shift toward a people-first culture and its direct influence on a healthy, effective work environment.

Friedman teaches that there are seven steps, based on human virtues we all strive to achieve, that are key to unlocking the power of a people-first culture:
  1. Patience. Slowing down the hiring process to help you better choose the right candidate for any role, every time.
  2. Honesty and Integrity. Leading by example and encouraging open and honest communication.
  3. Compassion. Acknowledging people for their individual contributions and getting to know them beyond their roles.
  4. Respect. Empowering employees to make decisions and guiding them in their personal goals for professional achievement.
  5. Persistence and Consistency. Aligning your management team with your company's goals and reiterating your values through various communication channels.
  6. Encouragement. Promoting and rewarding team collaboration instead of competition.
  7. Courage. Looking inward before taking those crucial first steps toward change.

Greg Friedman, Ms, CFP

You'll also learn from the book the most common culture killers, which are:
  • Focusing too much on a hierarchical organization.
  • Complacency.
  • Not guiding the troops.
  • Holding on to toxic employees.
I really like this book, because it:
  • Provides "real-world" and practical everyday steps you can take.
  • Gives you specific techniques and tactics.
  • Capsulizes "Tips to Remember" for you at the end of each chapter.
  • Is incredibly easy to read and absorb.
Friedman is founder and president of Junxure, a practice improvement firm, and Private Ocean, a West Coast wealth management firm.

Friday, May 19, 2017

The 12 Golden Rules Of Effective Communication


Here are the 12 golden rules of effective communication from Paul Falcone, as highlighted in his book, 2600 Phrases for Setting Effective Performance Goals.

Always remember to:
  1. Recognize achievements and accomplishments often.
  2. Celebrate success.
  3. Deliver bad news quickly, constructively, and in a spirit of professional development.
  4. Praise in public, censure in private.
  5. Assume responsibility for problems when things go wrong, and provide immediate praise and recognition to others when things go right.
  6. Create a work environment based on inclusiveness, welcoming others' suggestions and points of view.
  7. Listen actively, making sure that your people feel heard and understood and have a voice in terms of offering positive suggestions in the office or on the shop floor.
  8. Share information openly (to the extent possible) so that staff members understand the Why behind your reasoning and can ask appropriate questions as they continue along in their own path of career development and learning.
  9. Remember that thankfulness and appreciation are the two most important values you can share with our employees and teach them to live by: make them the core foundation of your culture.
  10. Put others' needs ahead of your own and expect them to respond in kind (a.k.a. "selfless leadership," otherwise known as "servant leadership").
  11. When dealing with others' shortcomings, always err on the side of compassion.
  12. Solicit ongoing feedback and suggestions form your team in terms of how you could do things differently, thereby stimulating creativity and innovation.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

13 Energizing Verbs To Use More Often


From the book, Anticipate, the Art of Leading by Looking Ahead, by Rob-Jan De Jong, here are 13 energizing verbs the author recommends we use more often:
  1. Discover (instead of See)
  2. Explore (instead of Discuss)
  3. Radiate (instead of Display)
  4. Uncover (instead of Show)
  5. Transform (instead of Change)
  6. Engage (instead of Involve)
  7. Mobilize (instead of Gather)
  8. Stretch (instead of Develop)
  9. Boost (instead of Increase)
  10. Propel (instead of Move)
  11. Deliver (instead of Give)
  12. Grasp (instead of Understand)
  13. Connect (instead of Join)
Great advice, indeed!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Power Of Positive Leadership


"Pessimists don't change the world. Critics write words but they don't write the future," says author Jon Gordon. "Naysayers talk about problems but they don't solve them. Throughout history we see that it's the optimists, the believers, the dreamers, the doers, and the positive leaders who change the world," he adds.

You'll learn how and why positive leaders transform teams and organizations in Gordon's new book, The Power of Positive Leadership.

Gordon firmly believes that positive leaders:
  • Drive positive cultures
  • Create and share a positive vision
  • Lead with optimism, positivity, and belief
  • Confront, transform, and remove negativity
  • Create united and connected teams
  • Build great relationships and teams
  • Pursue excellence
  • Lead with purpose
  • Have grit
For those reasons, he's dedicated a chapter for each of those leadership attributes in the book.

Gordon also professes that "The number one predictor and factor of success is not talent, title, wealth, or appearance. It is grit!," says Gordon.

And, he adds that:
  • "Being positive doesn't just make you better; it makes everyone around you better."
  • "Being positive won't guarantee you'll succeed but being negative will guarantee you won't."
Jon Gordon

Finally, I truly value these insights and advice from Gordon:
  • People follow the leader first and their vision second. What you say is important, but who you are is even more important. Leading is more than sharing a vision. It's more than talking and thinking. It's also about investing in relationships, bringing out the best in others, coaching, encouraging, serving, caring, and being someone that your team can trust.
  • The two questions that the people you lead are asking are, "Can I trust you? and "Do you care about me?
Thank you to the book's publisher for sending me an advance copy of the book.

Monday, May 15, 2017

How To Be Fitter Faster


I was fit early in my life. Then, not fit for many years. And now, back fit again. When I returned to fitness, I also became passionate about the importance of leaders creating an environment for health and wellness in the workplace.

The first step to doing that, however, is to become fit yourself. If you need help with that, there's a terrific new book, published this month, that will help you achieve your fitness goals. It's called, Fitter Faster; authored by health journalist and runner Robert J. Davis and personal trainer Brad Kolowich, Jr.

If you are already fit, this book is also good for you. That's because the authors answer the most asked questions by even experienced athletes and fitness buffs.

Overall, within the book's four parts, you'll learn:
  • How to motivate yourself to exercise
  • What you need to know about aerobic exercise, strength training and stretching
  • What to eat and how to prevent pain
  • The workouts to help you get fit fast




Robert J. Davis

Today, author Davis answered the following questions for me:

Question: Why do so many people find it so difficult to exercise? What are some of the biggest barriers?

Davis: For most people, the biggest barrier is too little time. The official fitness recommendations are at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week for aerobic exercise plus two or three days a week for strength training plus two or three days for stretching exercises — all of which require more time than most of us have. In Fitter Faster, we help readers overcome this barrier with exercise routines that take as little as 15 minutes a day and have benefits that are equal to, or even greater than, those from much longer workouts.

Another barrier is that many of us don’t like to exercise. But there are a number of ways to make it more enjoyable, which we discuss in the book. For starters, there’s no need to force yourself to run on a treadmill (or run at all), for example, if that’s not your thing. Instead, choose activities you enjoy, whether hiking, dancing, tennis, yoga, or something else. Exercising outdoors whenever possible can increase enjoyment. Ditto for using fitness apps that turn exercise into a game, or listening to music while you work out. And exercising with a buddy or joining a fitness group or class can make the experience more fun.

A third barrier is boredom— getting sick of doing the same exercises. Mixing things up with a different routine every day, which we do in Fitter Faster, can greatly reduce the drudgery. Plus you get greater benefits when you vary the types of exercise (e.g aerobic, strength, plyometric or jumping exercises) as we do.

Finally, there's intimidation. Not knowing what exercises to do or how to do them can keep people from exercising. In Fitter Faster, we have easy-to-follow routines for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels, with descriptions and photos for each exercise. In addition, some people find gyms intimidating. Our workouts can be done at home or outdoors and require little or no equipment.

Question: What are some additional benefits of exercise that people might find surprising?

Davis: Among the many benefits are these five:
  1.  Sleep more soundly. Studies show that regular exercise is comparable to sleep medication in improving the ability to fall asleep, as well as sleep duration and quality.
  2. Catch fewer colds. Regular exercisers are less likely to catch colds than non-exercisers. And when they do get sick, they tend to have fewer and less severe symptoms.
  3. Avoid back pain. Research shows that all types of exercise (whether aerobic, strength, or flexibility) are more effective at preventing back pain than common measures such as back belts or shoe insoles. Exercise also reduces the number of missed work days due to the condition.
  4. Preserve your eyesight. People who are physically active have a lower risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss.
  5. Protect your hearing. Those who work out regularly have a lower risk of hearing loss.  Research has also linked higher fitness levels with better hearing. (Just be sure not to blast music too loudly on your iPod when you work out, which can have the opposite effect.)

Question: Would you offer an example of how the Fitter Faster plan can be adapted to different personal preferences, as well as for people of different fitness levels?

Davis: Our plan includes high-intensity interval training, or HIIT, in which you go hard, then easy, hard, then easy, and so on (rather than exercising at the same moderate intensity for, say, 30 minutes). The interval lengths vary depending on your fitness level. For example, if you’re a beginner, you might walk as quickly as you can for 15 seconds and then walk at a moderate pace for 45 seconds.  And then repeat the cycle. If, however, you’re an advanced exerciser, you might sprint for 60 seconds and then jog at a moderate pace for 30 seconds. If you don’t like to walk or jog, you can do a number of different activities such as rowing, stair climbing, or riding a stationary bike, with the interval lengths and intensities varying according to your fitness level.

Question: What are some of the best ways a leader in a business can create a culture of health and wellness within his/her workplace?

Davis: In Fitter Faster, we talk about the power of rewards, especially financial ones.  Research shows that offering workers money as a reward makes them more likely to exercise and stick with it. The incentive appears to be especially effective if the funds are put into an account and then taken away if the person fails to achieve his or her goal. This is based on a principle known as loss aversion: As much as we love receiving money, we hate losing it even more. The money can be put up by the company or the employee (or a combination). In one study, workers at a large company who made fitness commitments backed by their own funds went to the gym 50 percent more often than those who didn’t have this incentive.

Brad Kolowich, Jr.

Thank you to the book's publisher for sending me an advance copy of the book.


Friday, May 12, 2017

How To Be A Strong Career Mentor And Coach

Author Paul Falcone offers the following great advice for how to become a stronger career mentor and coach by helping your subordinates grow and develop in their own careers.
  • Encourage others to engage in random acts of kindness.
  • Find creative ways of surprising your customers.
  • Focus on making bad relationships good and good relationships better.
  • Look for new ways of reinventing the workflow in light of your company's changing needs.
  • Think relationship first, transaction second.
  • Realize that people can tell more about you by the depth of your questions than by the quality of your statements.
  • Separate the people from the problem.
  • Always provide two solutions for each question you ask or suggestion you raise.
  • Employ right-brain imagination, artistry, and intuition plus left-brain logic and planning.
And, one of my favorite pieces of advice from Falcone:
  • Convert "yes...but:" to "yes...and" statements to acknowledge the speaker's point of view and to share additional insights.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Leading Through Langauge


Communication expert Bart Egnal reveals why jargon is so prevalent in the workplace, and why it usually undermines those who use it, in his book, Leading Through Language.

Step by step, Egnal demonstrates how effective leaders reject fuzzy terminology in favor of the language of leadership. And, by language of leadership, he means using language that clearly and powerfully brings ideas to life for the audience.

The book has two parts. The first part examines why jargon exists and discusses its implications for leaders.The second part teaches how to use language that conveys ideas with energy, clarity, and conviction.

Egnal also explains that before you think about language you need to adopt a leader's mindset using these six principles:
  1. Begin with vision. You must define the vision as a possibility that others can embrace or aspire to fulfill.Yet, it must be concrete enough that people can grasp it as something clear and achievable.
  2. Define your own conviction. When you speak from a place of conviction, your language becomes personal, authentic, and powerful.
  3. Move from information to inspiration. The number one reason speakers fair to inspire their audiences is that they focus on information rather than ideas. Leadership is not based on transferring information; it is based on transforming people.
  4. Be courageous. You must be ready to deliver ideas that challenge your listeners to adopt new approaches.
  5. Make it an everyday process. When you think about leading in every interaction, you will not reserve the language of leadership for "command performance."
  6. Be audience-centric. You must engage your audience by showing them what's in it for them.
Finally, Egnal shares this good advice from Anna Tudela, Vice President at Goldcorp:
  • Eliminate "minimizing" modifiers that so many of us use without realizing it. These modifiers undermine your ability to project confidence.
So, avoid these modifiers:
  • Just
  • Sort of
  • A bit
  • Perhaps
  • Probably
  • I think
  • I'd guess
  • We might
  • It could
Egnal is President and Chief Executive Offer of The Humphrey Group, a global firm focused on building leadership communication skills.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

How To Establish The Need For Change


Stacking the Deck: How to Lead Breakthrough Change Against Any Odds, is as relevant today as it was when published two years ago. That's because the pace of change in business is just as fast as it was two years ago.

Unfortunately, even when business leaders know they need to make changes at their company, many struggle with how to start making that change. And, how to create a sense of urgency around that need.

Author David S. Pottruck offers these 14 action items for establishing the need to change and a sense of urgency. Ask these questions and take these steps:
  1. What is your company's mission statement? Do employees believe the company is committed to this mission?
  2. What is your perspective on the problem you need to solve or the opportunity you need to capture?
  3. What evidence do you have of this problem or opportunity?
  4. How is this problem or opportunity connected to the company's purpose and mission?
  5. Define your stakeholders (customers, employees, leadership, shareholders, vendors).
  6. What are your key stakeholders' perspectives on the current state of the business? 
  7. What customer or employee stories have you heard that articulate these perspectives?
  8. Why does the company need to make this change?
  9. Why is it important to make this change now rather than later? What exactly would be the impact of a delay in moving forward?
  10. Are your competitors making similar changes? What are they? 
  11. What are the potential repercussions--both positive and negative--if you do not make this change?
  12. Prepare a concise statement with your inner circle and test its resonance with them. Does it inspire action? If not, how can you improve the statement?
  13. Discuss this statement with your inner circle and test its resonance with them. Does it inspire action? If not, how can you improve the statement?
  14. Begin thinking about sharing the statement with a much broader audience and gauging what their reactions may be.

In the book, you'll learn how to take the next steps to make the needed change, including:
  • Assembling and unifying your leadership team
  • Developing and communicating a clear and compelling vision of the future
  • Planning ahead for known and unknown barriers
  • Creating a workable plan
  • Partitioning the project and building momentum with early wins
  • Defining metrics, developing analytics, and communicating results