Sunday, February 14, 2010

Being Prepared for the Unexpected

This post I dedicate to my favorite sales guru, Debbie Mrazek, who shares some tips on what to do when the unexpected happens. Though she tells the tale from a sales angle, the same is true for anything in life.

Day in and day out, things happen that we don't expect - both bad, but then good for us. Are you prepared for when the unexpected happens? What do you do. Debbie thinks you may

* Scream, grit your teeth, be a grump
* Proclaim that the world is out to get you
* Kick the cat... (you better not! :))
* Embrace it, look for the good - make lemonade
* Consider it a lesson
* Create something new

Hopefully you are on the positive side of the coin (I always tell people I look to take the high road in all situations). So here are Debbie's three tips to make sure you are prepared for the unexpected:

1. Be not afraid - keep positive
2. Be creative - stay in action - try something different
3. Be open to the good or even the GREAT possibility that can
come from it

What about you - what do you do to embrace the unexpected? Anything happen to you recently you want to share?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Your 2010 Core Values?

Either as a leader or individual, we all make choices that impact our lives, our families, our businesses. We typically make decisions based on core values we live and breathe every day. Do you consciously know what your core values are that drive your decision making process?

In 2010, think about setting core values for you and/or your teams. Here are some examples of values you can embrace this year:

  • Collaboration
  • Integrity
  • Quality
  • Speed
  • Innovation
  • Excellence
  • Accountability
  • Inspiration
  • Empowerment
  • Alignment
  • Teamwork
  • Ballance
  • Respect
  • Openness
  • Integrity
  • Unity
  • Agility
  • Commitment
  • Confidence
  • Enthusiasm
  • Responsible

So what are you making your top three values in 2010?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Consider Changing Up Your Leadership Style in 2010

Welcome to 2010! (a few weeks late for me - hey I'm still enjoying my 3 honeymoons)

As I settle into the new year now and start to "pick up house" (both literally and figuratively) I begin to catch up on all the great emails, Tweets, Facebook status reports and more. I have been so out of the loop of what has been shaking (I overlook one of my great friends in Dallas has changed her status from "dating" to "engaged" on Facebook - I guess my newly wed husband can keep a secret) I find a wonderful interview of the CEO of my day job, SunGard Data Systems.

Even if you don't change anything about your leadership style, you need to read this article.

In summary, this is what I love about what Cris divuldges in his interview with the NY Times

1. Leadership is about Collaboration not Top Down Management
You can't do everything yourself, and you dictating what to do will turn your team away looking for a new job. Today you have to foster collaboration within your team, no matter how small or big. Cris knew he needed an infrastructure in place to facilitate collaborate (especially since SunGard is a global company with thousands of employees), so he selected a tool called Yammer to facilitate internal collaboration (think of it as Twitter/Facebook for the enterprise).

2. You can teach Skills, you can't teach Values nor Intellectual Curiosity
I was intrigued by what Cris looks for in interviews - it's not skills but values and intellectual curiosty. While we all have a resume long of skills and achievement, we probably don't list why we choose to do what we do, nor what we love to learn about or try. To help with values at SunGard, for example, Cris and each business unit CEO communicates the values we live by to help each employee make choices. It helps to have corporate values employees make decisions against.

3. The skills he looks for isn't Programming nor Business Planning, it's Sales, Writing and Time Management
So while many of us list all the certifications we have - PMP, J2EE, CPA, etc. - in the end, it's not the hard skills Cris looks for, it's the soft side - sales, writing and time management. I completely agree on time management, it peeves me when someone doesn't get something back to me when they say they will or I hear a member of our team not deliver on time and comes up with a number of excuses why. Time management is very important and I learned early, especially in the role I am in today, that you can't do everything everyone expects of you immediately, so you have to learn how you work to set and communicate appropriate expectations on when you can, or cannot, deliver. Hence, time management and communication (writing) are key (and more so writing today since everything we do is over email or Facebook).

So are you a leader tired of doing everything on behalf of your team? Missing dinners with the family? The team not making the right choices nor have the right skills? Should you update your resume to highlight your core values or what you are intellectually curious about?

In 2010, consider putting in an infrastructure to foster collaboration, develop and measure core values to live by and work with your team on sales, writing and time management skills.

What else can we as leaders do in 2010 to continue to deliver great things to our clients?