Nine Invisible Qualities That Make a Few Leaders Exceptional


By: Jeff Haden
Ghostwriter, Speaker, Inc. Magazine Columnist

Good leaders look good on paper. Great leaders look great in person; their actions show their value.

Yet some leaders go even farther. And they’re even more successful not because of what you see them do… but because of what you don’t see them do.

Where the best leaders are concerned, what you see is far from all you get:

1. They forgive… and they forget.

When an employee makes a mistake — especially a major mistake — it’s easy to forever judge that employee by that one mistake. (I know. I’ve done it.)

But one mistake, or one weakness, is just one part of a whole person. A rare few people are able to step back, set aside that mistake, and continue to see the whole employee. They are also able to forget that mistake, because they know that viewing any employee through the lens of one incident may forever impact how they treat that employee.

And they know the employee will be able to tell.

To forgive may be divine, but to forget can be even more divine.

2. They transform company goals into each employee’s personal goal.

Good leaders inspire their employees to achieve company goals.

Truly great leaders make their employees feel that what they do will benefit them as much as it does the company. After all, whom will you work harder for: a company, or yourself?

Whether they get professional development, an opportunity to grow, a chance to shine, a chance to flex their favorite business muscles, employees who feel a sense of personal purpose almost always outperform employees who feel a sense of company purpose.

And they have a lot more fun doing it.

Truly outstanding leaders know their employees well enough to tap the personal, not just the professional.

3. They look past the action to find the emotion and motivation.

Sometimes employees make mistakes. Sometimes they simply do the wrong thing. Sometimes they take over projects or roles without approval or justification. Sometimes they jockey for position, play political games, or ignore company objectives in pursuit of personal goals.

When that happens, it’s easy to assume that employee doesn’t listen or doesn’t care. But almost always there’s a deeper reason: he feel stifled, he may feel he has no control, he may feel marginalized or frustrated — or maybe he is just trying to find a sense of meaning in his work that pay rates and titles can never provide.

Effective bosses deal with actions. Great bosses search for the underlying issues that, when overcome, lead to much bigger changes for the better.

4. They support without seeking credit.

A customer is upset. A vendor feels shortchanged. A coworker is frustrated. Whatever the issue, good bosses support their employees. They know that to do otherwise undermines the employee’s credibility and possibly authority.

Afterword, most bosses will say to the employee, “Listen, I took up for you, but…”

Great leaders don’t say anything. They feel supporting their employees — even if that shines a negative spotlight on themselves — is the right thing to do and is therefore unremarkable.

Even though we all know it isn’t.

5. They make fewer public decisions.

When a decision needs to be made, most of the time the best person to make that decision isn’t the boss. Most of the time the best person is the employee closest to the issue.

Decisiveness is a quality of a good leader. Great leaders are sometimes decisive in a different way: they decide they aren’t the right person to make the decision and then decide who is the right person.

They do that not because they want to avoid making those decisions… but because they know they shouldn’t make those decisions.

6. They don’t see control as a reward.

Many people desperately want to be in charge so they can finally call the shots. A truly great leader doesn’t care about control and as a result isn’t seen to exercise control.

Even though she does – just in the best possible way.

7. They allow employees to learn their own lessons.

It’s easy for a leader to debrief an employee and turn a teachable moment into a lesson learned. It’s a lot harder to let employees learn their own lessons, even though the lessons we learn on our own are the lessons we remember forever.

Great leaders don’t scold or dictate; they work together with an employee to figure out what happened and what to do to correct the mistake. They help find a better way, not a disciplinary way.

Why? Great employees don’t need to be scolded or reprimanded. They know what they did wrong.

Sometimes staying silent is the best way to ensure they remember.

8. They let employees have the ideas.

Years ago I worked in manufacturing and my boss sent me to help move the production control offices. It was basically manual labor, but for two days it put me in a position to watch and hear and learn a lot about how the plant’s production flow was controlled.

I found it fascinating and later I asked my boss if I could be trained to fill in as a production clerk. Those two days sparked a lifelong interest in productivity and process improvement.

Years later he admitted he sent me to help move their furniture. “I knew you’d go in there with your eyes wide open,” he said, “and once you got a little taste I knew you’d love it.”

Great leaders see the potential in their employees and find ways to let them have the ideas… even though the outcome may have been what they intended all along.

9. They always go home feeling they could have done better.

Leadership is like a smorgasbord of insecurity. Leaders worry about employees and customers and results. You name it – they worry about it.

That’s why great leaders go home every day feeling they could have done things a little better or smarter. They wish they had treated employees with a little more sensitivity or empathy.

Most importantly, they always go home feeling they could have done more to fulfill the trust their employees place in them.

And that’s why, although you can’t see it, when they walk in the door every day… truly great leaders make a silent commitment to do their jobs even better than they did yesterday.

And then they do.

Source: http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/article/20140212130137-20017018-nine-invisible-qualities-that-make-a-few-leaders-exceptional?trk=nus-cha-roll-art-title

Dale Hansen Unplugged: Celebrating our differences

Ten Radical Shifts in Thinking all Leaders Face


Leaders fail when they don’t think like leaders.

Leaders who think like individual contributors demoralize their team and devalue their leadership.

Lousy leaders think like individual contributors.

10 radical shifts in thinking:

  1. From “I” to “we.” Leadership begins with we.
  2. From controlling people to aligning passions. Raise your hand if you enjoy being controlled. I didn’t think so. Successful leaders align the passions of their teammates with organizational mission.
  3. From complexity to simplicity. The courage to cut away at complexity until simplicity emerges is a rare gift. Most just muddle through. Some leaders enjoy the feeling of importance that complexity creates. But, any fool can make something complex.  Leaders simplify.
  4. From who is right to what is right. In one sense leadership isn’t personal at all. The issue is the issue. It doesn’t matter who comes up with solutions. The person who screwed up last week, may be this week’s genius.
  5. From talking “at” to talking “with.” Engagement requires “with.” The more you talk “at” the more you lose “with.”
  6. From right and wrong to better and best. Complex issues have more than one answer. Usually, there is no “right” solution.
  7. From symptoms to causes. The reason you’re always putting out fires is you haven’t addressed the root issue.
  8. From feeling confused to pursuing clarity. Most people don’t have the discipline or endurance to bear the frustration of pursuing clarity. They just want to get something done.
  9. From how can I step in to how can I step out. Fixers struggle to make room for others. Stepping in means you’re in the way.
  10. From receiving praise to giving it.

Bonus: From telling to coaching.

What shifts in thinking do leaders make?

What shifts in thinking are most challenging for leaders?

keynotes and workshops

10 Strategies for Business New Year Planning

January 2, 2014 • David Newman •

If you want to make the next 12 months more successful, more profitable, and more productive than the last 12 months, these 10 strategies are for you.

10 Strategies for Business New Year Planning

By the way, this list isn’t just for a new calendar year – you can revisit this list at any time and create a real turning point in your business if you’re willing to reboot, reinvigorate, and reimagine your business success. Here are strategies for business New Year planning.

1. List the 3 most important objectives for your business over the next year. These should be critical “big picture” accomplishments that will lead to profits and future achievement.

2. For each objective listed above, identify your responsibility in achieving the objective. WHAT will you do? HOW will you do it? WHEN will you do it?

3. Be crystal clear in separating strategies (how and why items) from tactics (what and when items) and use “Verb-noun-date” format to create specific action steps and put them on your calendar.

4. Don’t think of the year as a whole. Break it down to monthly metrics and put quarterly goal-planning reviews on your calendar so you can adjust the dials on your plan, measure results, and take a strategic look at your marketing, sales, and business development activities every 90 days while keeping a close eye on results (profits, clients, projects, revenue) every 30 days.

5. Don’t go it alone. Remember, lone wolves starve to death. Think of partners, advocates, allies, referral sources, and joint venture partners who can help you leapfrog over obstacles and who are a great supplement and complement to your own products and services. Contact them and build (or grow) your relationship with them so you can collaborate more closely – starting right now.

6. Write down a list of professional development goals for the next 12 months. What do you want to learn, do, or become as a business owner? Go to conferences? Gain additional certifications or professional designations? Speak more? Get more articles published? Be specific and put these activities on your calendar so you make sure they happen.

7. Write down a list of personal goals for the next 12 months. What do you want to accomplish for yourself and how would you like to grow personally? Spend more time with your partner? Stay connected with your kids as they grow up and/or pursue their college or post-college adventures? Dig deeper into a special hobby or sport? Drop 10 pounds? Run a 5K? More golf? More vacation time? Where? When? With whom? Map it out to make it happen!

8. Don’t get distracted. Shiny object syndrome has a powerful pull on most entrepreneurs and business owners. Stay focused on the big picture goals you set in Step 1 above – and then relentlessly ask yourself for every new idea, initiative or project, “Does this support one of my three goals? If so, how?” And don’t let yourself off the hook as easily as you might have done in the past. If it’s a no, it’s a no. Metaphorically speaking, stop opening up hot dog stands in the parking lot and redouble your efforts to make your gourmet restaurant thrive!

9. Live out of your calendar, not your inbox. Plan your day – what MUST get done and WHEN? Chunk your day down into blocks and assign specific tasks to those blocks – Phone calls, emails, client tasks, whatever it is YOU want to do that will move you closer to your GOALS. Keep that calendar under your nose. All day. Make it your default screen. Hide, minimize or (gasp) close your email until “check email” pops up on your calendar.

10. Breathe. Relax. You got this. Any time you’re creating an inflection point in your business, it can be scary. You’re letting go of the old – letting go of what no longer works or what no longer serves you well. And you’re embracing the new – the untried, the uncomfortable, perhaps even what seems risky. But the biggest risks of all are stagnation, arrogance, or complacency. Remember – a bend in the road is never fatal… unless you fail to turn.

- See more at: http://blog.vistage.com/business-strategy-and-management/10-strategies-business-new-year-planning/#sthash.aCJiES8a.dpuf

Source: http://blog.vistage.com/business-strategy-and-management/10-strategies-business-new-year-planning/

Top 3 Reasons Real Estate Deals Fall Apart For A Buyer

Top 3 Reasons Real Estate Deals Fall Apart For A Buyer

By Monte Mahr, Zillow Blog contributor

Real estate transactions can be quite cumbersome – they are riddled with legal content and require a lot of documentation –  so you can imagine that there are plenty of areas where something could go wrong. It is estimated that nearly one-third of all real estate contracts never make it to the closing table. That means after a buyer and seller have already agreed upon the terms of the sale, (which is difficult in its own right), something happens to sour the deal. What causes these deals to crumble? Here are five reasons your deal may fall apart as a home buyer.

Securing a home mortgage has become a lot tougher in the wake of 2008′s recession and housing crisis. Lenders have tightened their restrictions considerably and as a result, more buyers are losing real estate deals because of their inability to secure financing. As a home buyer it helps to get preapproved for a loan, but a preapproval is not a guarantee that you will be able to get the loan you need. Once the actual loan application process is underway it takes very little, like a slight change in income or a minimal increase in interest rates, to tip the scales and put an end to a deal. Once a lender starts digging into your financial portfolio, (and they will dig deep), they may discover tiny details that prevent you from qualifying for the proper loan.

Home appraisers use historical data to help determine the value of a home, and when real estate values are on the rise it can be tough to find comps that support the sales price, even if both buyer and seller have agreed upon the dollar amount. In essence, the “paper trail” hasn’t caught up to the market trend, which leads to low appraised values. As a buyer, that may sound like good news at first because a lower appraised value means you might get a better deal on the house. After all, who would pay more than appraised value? Unfortunately, sellers are not required to lower their price to meet the low appraisal. If a seller is unwilling to lower their price and a buyer is unwilling to pay above appraised value, the deal will fall apart.

Buyers’ Remorse
A growing number of real estate transactions are deteriorating because of buyers’ remorse. For most people, their home is their single largest asset which signifies the level of commitment needed to make the purchase. If a person is not completely comfortable with their decision to buy a home, they may back out of a deal citing  inspection results. Things that used to get overlooked have turned into deal-breakers. Another trend that can spark buyers’ remorse is the arrival of poor economic new; when buyers hear about a shaky economy they can get jitters and are less likely to make it to the closing table.

Read Top Three Reasons A Real Estate Deal Falls Apart For A Seller

Monte Mohr has sold over 2,500 homes, making him one of Americas top Realtors for the last 25 years. This experience has given him a unique perspective on the Nashville real estate found at http://www.tenneseedreamhomes.com that’s worth paying attention to. He is also a regular contributor of real estate here at Nashville’s NBC affiliate station, WSMV Channel 4. To learn more about Monte Mohr’s experience as a real estate agent, to get free advice about your biggest real estate challenges or to request an interview contact him at Monte@TheMohrGroupTN.com.

5 Characteristics of Great Mentors



Every day as a business owner you make decisions that have an impact on your business.  Sometimes you are not sure what direction to go in or what option to consider.  You could ask your friends and family, but do they really have the wealth of business knowledge that is needed to help guide you to make the right decision?  What you really need is a business mentor!

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin group and arguably one of if not the most admired entrepreneur of our time once said that whenever he is asked what is the missing link between a promising businessperson and a successful one, mentoring comes to mind.

“Giving people advice on how they can best achieve their goals is something that is often overlooked. The spirit of mentoring should be embedded in all businesses and certainly is at Virgin. If you are looking to make your way in business, try to find a mentor. If you are in a position to share the skills you have learned, give something back by becoming a mentor yourself.” Richard Branson

In my personal and professional life, I’ve been privileged to be mentored and to be a mentor to others. Those experiences have allowed me to see the characteristics that make mentoring relationships work. And by “work,” I mean the relationship holds benefits for the mentor and the mentee.

Another entrepreneur who has been on both sides of the equation is Martin Martinez, Founder of APL and Author of the book, Freeconomics – Making Millions Giving it Away, Martin Martinez. After successfully exiting his previous business in 2011, Martin now spends majority of his time investing in new-start ups and mentoring entrepreneurs.

“Many people around the world get the opportunity to start their own business and become their own boss. Few are able to succeed and even fewer are fortunate enough to ultimately sell their business.  A tiny number of those who start a business are privileged enough to turn their idea into the world’s biggest, best or create an industry that never existed before like Andrew Mason did when he launched Groupon, which created the group buying industry worldwide.

In my case, I was lucky enough to turn my idea into a successful company, invented a new industry where none existed and sold it. But going through this journey couldn’t have been done without making small, medium and large mistakes. One way that I avoided failure and optimized my opportunity was by surrounding myself with people that I could draw upon for experience and knowledge, those who mentored me through the ups and downs of business.

Since then, I’ve seen the amazing value that mentors have added to my personal and professional growth and I’ve decided to do the same for others who can draw from my experience to help them achieve their goals.” Martin Explains

There are many qualities needed to be a good mentor. However, there are a few that stand out that I would like to share with you.  Here are the top 5 characteristics I’ve seen in great mentors:

1. Great mentors are credible

Although a mentor isn’t meant to be your personal answer book, you do want a mentor who has achieved success in the area where you need support. Whether that success lies within a specific field of expertise or is based on a shared life experience, a great mentor has credibility to guide you in the best direction.

2. Great mentors openly share what they know

Storytelling has long been the way people have communicated through generations. It is through stories that mentors share their experiences, insights and knowledge. They freely offer their personal stories as a means for their mentees to develop their own.

3. Great mentors ask great questions

Many mentors would agree that open-ended questions are best. Instead of asking, “Did you have a good day?” a mentor will ask, “What was the most exciting about your day today?” Mentors look for more than the surface answers. Instead, they seek meaning, values and purpose in what you say because that’s where the catalyst to a mentee’s success lies.

4. Great mentors offer fresh perspective

Objective feedback is a key benefit of having a mentor. A great mentor offers a new spin on your old ideology because she doesn’t live it everyday like you do. She offers a distant clarity that you’re missing because you’re too close to a situation.

5. Great mentors think ahead

If the mentor is stuck in the past and only knows what worked 15 years ago, then the mentee will be severely limited in what he or she learns and takes away. Certainly some principles are timeless, but every teacher needs to understand the current business environment and changing trends in order to really bring value to the relationship.

What other characteristics have you seen in great mentors? Please share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

Alex Pirouz is an Entrepreneur, Author and Business Mentor who assists companies successfully start, grow and exit their business. Connect with Alex on LinkedIn
Read more at http://under30ceo.com/5-characteristics-great-mentors/#7910IgcXqIFk1MdJ.99

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