Executive Briefings: How to Double the S&P 500

The C-Suite is a vast audience of leaders who all have a little extra insight into their industry and the current business world. Thomas White sits down with these leaders to give them the opportunity to share that insight and give a glimpse to their personal stories as a business leader.

 

Thomas White is a co-founder and CEO of C-Suite Network, home of the world’s most powerful network of C-Suite leaders. Prior to C-Suite Network, White started 10 companies in the fields of technology, publishing, market research and corporate consulting. He also holds four patents and is co-author of a book on business process technology, executive producer of a syndicated radio program, and professional speaker.

 

Mr. White had the opportunity to interview Adam Johnson, Founder and Author of Bullseye Brief, an investment newsletter which presents thematic and actionable ideas for business leaders.

 

To hear more about their discussion, read more from this interview HERE.

 

 

Shipping Industry Dynamics – How Businesses React

January 26, 2017 10:36 ET

John Haber Discusses Cutting Costs, Innovations and Supply Chain Management

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – Jan 26, 2017)Executive Perspectives Live, a primetime digital television show on C-Suite TV, today announced a feature with John Haber, Founder and CEO, Spend Management Experts.

Haber sat down with host Jeffrey Hayzlett to talk about the dynamics of the shipping industry and how businesses are reacting to the challenges of increasing costs, consumer expectations, and the new “disruptors” to the transportation industry. The shipping industry has seen a transformation in recent years through technology, with the emergence of alternative shipping options such as drop box locations, crowdsourcing and drones.

“When we think of the shipping industry, we think of freighters and cargo planes, but not how its intricacies affect every day consumers. John relates how shipping and logistics affect everyone who has ever ordered a package online,” Hayzlett said. “As many of these tech companies look to transform themselves into logistics companies, having the ‘insider track’ will help our audience understand the industry and the changes taking place.”

“We’re in an incredibly fast paced and dynamic industry that requires being plugged in to real time information,” said Haber. “It was a pleasure sitting down with Jeffrey and discussing the shipping landscape and sharing our insight with the other C-Suite members in the audience.”

All episodes of Executive Perspectives Live are hosted by Jeffrey Hayzlett and can be seen on demand via C-Suite TV. To watch this episode: http://bit.ly/2k7CtQ1.

To learn more about Spend Management experts, please contact solutions@spendmgmt.com.

 


About C-Suite TV:
C-Suite TV is a web-based digital on-demand business channel featuring interviews and shows with business executives, thought leaders, authors and celebrities providing news and information for business leaders. C-Suite TV is your go-to resource to find out the inside track on trends and discussions taking place in businesses today. This online channel is home to such shows as C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett, Executive Perspectives Live and Best Seller TV, and more. C-Suite TV is part of C-Suite Network, the world’s most powerful network of C-Suite leaders. Connect with C-Suite TV on Twitter and Facebook.

About Jeffrey Hayzlett:
Jeffrey Hayzlett is the primetime television host of C-Suite with Jeffrey Hayzlett and Executive Perspectives Live on C-Suite TV and is the host of the award-winning All Business with Jeffrey Hayzlett on the CBS on-demand podcast network, Play.It. Hayzlett is a global business celebrity, Hall of Fame speaker, best-selling author, and Chairman of C-Suite Network, home of the world’s most trusted network of C-Suite leaders. Connect with Hayzlett on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ or www.hayzlett.com

Leveraging Social Media: Creating A Personal Brand

By Lea Woodford

Leveraging social media to create an effective personal brand.

Social Media Branding is one of the most effective and cost efficient ways to convey your message to the masses. Social Media Branding is available to everyone, unlike traditional marketing and PR services. You can now build your personal brand online without breaking the bank. You get to decide what you want to be known for and you get to control how people perceive you.

 

Here are some tips about building your personal brand with social media branding:

 

  • Brand consistently both on and offline. Be authentic and be the person you are representing online. Good news spreads fast but bad news spreads faster so walk your talk and always be authentic.
  • Have a strategy before embarking on social media branding and know what your goals are and what your end result should be.
  • Go beyond corporate branding. Social Media can be especially beneficial for realtors, financial planners, insurance agents and anyone else who is being overshadowed by their parent company or franchise’s corporate branding.
  • Social Media Kharma is powerful and can really help you build your personal brand. Endorse and praise others on social media by sharing their content and promoting their posts. This goes a long way in building your online relationships and endears people to want to support you in return. Kharma works both ways so avoid being negative on social media.
  • Connect with social media influencers in your industry and build genuine relationships with them. Your influencers are valuable people to know. They will connect you with other valuable people.
  • Remember that people are looking at your online connections. Being associated with your industry experts will enhance your personal brand.
  • Find your voice! Become a great resource and original content provider so that your ideas are noticed and shared. Sharing your original content ideas online not only enhances your search engine optimization but it also positions you as an industry expert.
  • Remember social media is social and meant to be just that so don’t turn off your followers with constant pitching and selling. A good rule of thumb is 80% social and 20% marketing.
  • Stay connected! Don’t build a following and then ignore them. Your personal brand needs to connect and engage with them on a regular basis.
  • Your attitude determines your altitude so keep your posts positive. Do not allow yourself to be drawn in to negative posts. Remember you have an audience that is engaged and is watching you so play nice!
  • Flexibility is important because social media changes frequently. As soon as you think you have everything down, Facebook will change their algorithms or another new social media platform is introduced
  • Educate yourself on the various social media platforms and how to use them. Start small and master those before adding too many to the mix. Consistency is the key to all successful social media branding and marketing campaigns.

 

Social media branding has evened the playing fields for everyone. You too can have a strong personal brand. Invest the resources necessary to developing and crafting your personal brand and message.

People always prefer to do business with those they know and trust so your social media branding is the perfect tool to connect with people and earn their trust.

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lea Woodford is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of the SmartFem Media Group, a full service digital marketing and advertising company.  When it comes to speaking, Lea is a breath of fresh air, focusing on leadership, innovation and change to drive business. Her inspirational stories and humor will engage audiences to start thinking bigger. Lea speaks from experience as she shares her stories on making her online magazine into a full service digital marketing and advertising company. She encourages her audience to think bigger and bolder about their own business. Lea motivates her audience in the same manner she motivates her team, “find your voice.” Lea shares her ups and downs as well as her successes and failures – to give your audience a fresh perspective on marketing, leadership, innovation and customer service. An online marketing, and social media expert, Lea shares the latest trends to help companies move to the next level in the ever changing digital space. Lea is an expert and a top speaker. She walks her talk. She will impart valuable information in a fun and entertaining way and will leave your audience wanting more.

The Challenge with Motivation

by Best Selling Author, Steve Rizzo

 

One of the biggest challenges that people in business and in life face today is keeping themselves motivated to be at their best. I believe the challenge lies not just in knowing how to get motivated, but how to stay motivated and optimistic to be at their best for more than just a few days.

 

MOTIVATION AT WORK

Most companies put a great deal of time and energy in hiring people who they believe are qualified to fill a particular position. But there is no guarantee that even a highly qualified person will always be motivated to be at their best. It simply means they have what it takes to get the job done.

 

Some companies spend a lot of time and money to make sure their people are equipped with the right tools and resources to get the job done.  Some employers give incentives in the way of promotions, raises and bonuses in hopes that their employees will excel in their chosen field of expertise.  While others go through great lengths to educate their employees by having them attend seminars and training courses with the expectation that they will walk away with confidence and a desire to be the best they can be.

 

All of the above are important criteria for success.  But, do they truly motivate?  If so (and most important) how long does the motivation last?  It’s easy to stay motivated for a few days or when everything is going as planned. But can they stay motivated in the long haul, especially when times are tough and the pressure is on?  This brings me to my next point.

 

MOTIVATION IN LIFE

Whether they realize it or not, both employers’ employees and people of all walks of life bring their situations, experiences and personal relationships and problems from home to the workplace.  Yet there has always been a pre-conceived notion that people are supposed to have the capacity to separate their personal lives from their professional lives.

 

What this really implies is that if you are having problems in your personal life, regardless of the severity, you should have the mental and emotional fortitude to put those problems aside while you are at work. Yea right!  This is an expectation that is easier said than done. Let me explain.

 

Both your personal and professional life are parts of you that make up the whole of you.  No matter where you go, or what you are doing, the other part of you will always be tagging along assuring you that’s everything’s alright, or, reminding you that something is not right in your world.

 

ASSESSMENT OF PERSONAL & PROFESSIONAL

Let’s say you’re going through a divorce, or you’re having financial difficulties. Maybe there’s an illness in the family.  Perhaps you are experiencing the death of a loved one. This is life and stuff happens.  It’s very difficult, if not impossible, not to take these types of problems and concerns with you to the workplace.  And unless you have the strategies that can help you to embrace life’s unfortunate circumstances they will have some kind of effect on how you do your job. The point I’m making here is that it’s hard to be at your very best at work if your personal life is under intense stress. Our personal problems and the moods, attitudes and feelings that follow have to be weighed in as factors as to how motivated we are at work.

 

Likewise, if you are experiencing tough times at work it’s difficult not to take those concerns home with you and there is a good chance that it will have some kind of negative impact on your personal life. There are other outside factors that stifles motivation that needs to be taken into consideration as well.  I call them environmental and social stressors. And they affect everyone in one way or another.

PATIENCE & LETTING GO

I think we can all agree that we’re living in a world that’s moving incredibly fast.  Today we have so many hi-tech advantages at our disposal to make our lives so much easier; yet we are more stressed out than ever before.  Remember the saying, “patience is a virtue?”  Well that saying has pretty much lost its meaning.

 

It seems like we have created a mind-set at work and at home where everyone wants what they want when they want it.  And if they don’t get it when they want it, or the way they want it, they feel ripped off.  There are people that hold on to their bad moods and negative attitudes all day simply because they were stuck in traffic or had to wait too long in line at Starbucks for their Triple shot, Skinny, Mocha, Carmel, Blah Blah Blah whatever you call it Latte!   Yea, that’s what they need. More caffeine!  Give me a break!  Better yet; give yourself a break and let it go!

 

On top of our professional and personal problems and everyday pressures, (most of which we put on ourselves) the newspapers and evening newscasts tell us that our economy is falling apart, corporations are being forced to downsize and massive technological advances are causing people to re-evaluate, adjust and change their lives.  Cell phones, Blackberries, IPhones and tablet devices, e-mails, text messages and even micro-communication applications like Twitter are clogging our minds with an overwhelming amount of information, leaving us with little or no time to relax, unwind and focus our attention on the big picture.

 

To compound this, political unrest, crime, disease, prejudice, and violence are running rampant as they’ve done for centuries past. Hold on a second. I need to take a break here.  I’m getting depressed.  I’ll be right back.

 

Okay, I’m back now.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, I remember.  The divorce rate is at an all-time high; despite an unwilling public, war seems to be the number one strategy for dealing with conflict between nations and at any moment we could be the target of a terrorist attack.

 

OK – HOW TO GET MOTIVATED?

It’s obvious I’m having fun here, but seriously, all of the above are circumstances that can make us feel off-balance and stifle motivation in business and in life and cripple even the very best from moving forward with optimism. It’s really no wonder why so many of us have to be medicated in some way or another in order to cope with the madness our civilizations have created at work and in our lives.

 

The real concern here is that most aren’t even aware of what’s happening to them. They have no idea why they’re always stressed out, exhausted and show little enthusiasm. Even If they were aware that something was wrong, few would know what to do to turn it around.

 

It just makes sense that in order in to create an unstoppable attitude to succeed and achieve our professional and personal goals-we must find ways to reduce the tension, and deal with the fast pace that we are subjected to every day.  We need strategies that will enable us to bounce back to not only get the job done but also to feel good and enjoy ourselves during the process, no matter how challenging it may seem.  Well guess what?  That’s what my new book MOTIVATE THIS!  Is about!

 

Not only do I show people in business and in life how to stay motivated and maintain an Unstoppable Attitude to succeed, but how to feel good and enjoy themselves during the process.  This book offers Common Sense Success Strategies that are guaranteed to keep people motivated every day regardless of their circumstances.  This isn’t Brain Surgery. It’s more like Brain Adjustment. Buy the book to see how it works. Oh!  One more thing! Enjoy the process!

 


About the Author

Steve Rizzo is the Attitude Adjuster.  You can’t attend one of his keynote speeches seminars or read his books and leave with the same attitude.  He’s a personal development expert, comedian, motivational speaker, and Best Selling Author. His popular PBS special brought him into millions of homes. It’s no surprise that he’s been inducted into the Speakers Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed upon on fewer than 200 speakers worldwide since 1977.

Perhaps one of Steve’s greatest achievements was the stellar degree of success he achieved as a comedian, being chosen as a SHOWTIME COMEDY ALL-STAR.

What was next for this funny guy in the prime of his career?  For Steve, it was to trade the standing ovations as a stand-up comedian for maximum fulfillment and, well, more standing ovations as a hall of fame speaker.

Disrupting the Market: Two Opposing Sales Strategies & Who Wins?

by Lee Bartlett

 

The benefits and shortfalls of two strategic approaches to entering an immature market.

 

Strategic Approach #1

 

Company A identifies the opportunity, has an existing product suite and successful track record of releasing similar products. They assemble their best team and build a competing product. The support of potential customers has been gained, the price point has been set, and pre-orders have been booked.

 

The price point is slightly under the highest competitor price to represent the premium value of the company brand, yet cheaper, as a compelling negotiation tool in a competitive pitch, when all other things are equal. The profit margins are healthy, and due diligence has shown there is ample time to reap the rewards before more players enter the market and push down the price.

 

A Senior Vice President of Sales is appointed. They are a big hitter with a long job title and corporate legacy, and this is the final piece in driving a market-leading product. With all of their corporate rules, processes, and jargon, they have experience managing hundreds of salespeople and have every angle covered. Everything is so beautifully predictable, and the only thing standing in the way of success is execution. It is a proven path to market that has stood the test of time. The product launches, sales are made, and Company A dominates through excellence. Perfect right?

 

Wrong.

 

Strategic Approach #2

 

Company B has identified the same opportunity. Their values are of equal merit – to do a great job and positively impact their clients – only, they approach it differently. The person driving this process is a maverick, whose only remit is to win. They are not governed by the same set of rigid rules as the corporate leader. This person also has an irrefutable legacy of delivery. They conclude that the existing suppliers are making outrageous profit margins, and it’s only a matter of time until someone takes advantage of this. It may as well be them.

 

They utilize their experience to set up a smaller, nimbler team with a sustainable lower cost base. The service is equally excellent, but more focused on a deliberate market segment to gain case studies. These deals are leveraged to move into the wider arena, as strategic partnership channels are formed and utilized to strengthen the offering. This maverick continues to leverage his contacts and senior level experience to build relationships with the bigger companies, subsequently, cutting everyone a compelling deal.

 

The price point is 50% less than the highest competitor, and the market dives into turmoil. Existing players align to discredit the new entrant, but it’s too late. They have gained the trust of credible clients and can prove it. Company A watches their customers change allegiance, because they can’t justify paying double for the same service.

 

Company B and their leader used a disruptive pricing tactic to smash their way into the market and rebuild it in their favor. They have taken a short-term view and ruined it for everyone. So, why would they do it? There are many reasons to exploit this tactic.

 

Most commonly, I see disruptive tactics when a large company wants to diversify or balance their product portfolio. They might choose to use this method to enter new geographical locations, demonstrate to investors their ability to invest in high growth areas, or maximize their multiple prior to sale.

 

Which approach is better?

 

Neither is more effective than the other. Each is equally legitimate and capable of defeating the other. Both were built on sound business practices, and the predictability of process is a weakness that can be exploited the same way as a strategy that relies on high-risk antics. There must be balance and, as the barriers to technological innovation disappear, the modern day VP Sales faces a greater set of challenges. They must be more adaptable and better prepared for every eventuality, as part of their immediate and ongoing strategy.

 

What could company A have done to negate this risk?

 

Pressure on price is an inevitable consequence of competition entering the market. Company B accelerated this process and caught their adversary off guard, with the speed in which they did so. The short-term strategy of Company A should have neutralised this disruption from the outset by focusing on their most powerful attribute – selling their new offering as part of their entire product suite.

 

All of this is high level, and pricing policy is just one example of a potentially disruptive tactic. It has allowed me to demonstrate the point I want to make: Is there a gap in your strategy that a disruptive tactic could expose? Is there a disruptive tactic you are missing to gain market share?

 

Please comment, share, connect…

 

Happy Selling!

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lee Bartlett has enjoyed a highly successful sales career working for a variety of tier 1 institutions. He has held roles in large US, UK and European-based corporations, and sold extensively across most countries in these regions, as well as in Asia. With extensive experience selling to the financial sector and C-Level executives, He has built multi-national sales teams, been co-founder and CEO of a tech start-up and has recently authored his first publication “The No.1 Best Seller”. He shares his personal sales methodology and experiences in his book and blog, both of which discuss the mindset, strategies and processes of top salespeople. They can be found at LeeBartlettBestSeller.com

Building a Great Email List – Tips from Top Marketers

Email is the dominant marketing channel for both business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketers. But successful marketing via email depends on having an email list full of good-quality addresses. This new guide by Adestra will review winning strategies used by both business-to-business and business-to-consumer colleagues. Having both perspectives in a single document is important, because we believe strongly that each side of the aisle can learn from the other.

B2C marketing historically has been more about quantity – getting more names on the list and sending messages to the widest range of people.

B2B is more about qualifying leads. We want to wash out those who aren’t really interested in our products and services, and focus on the ones who do.

B2B marketers often struggle with something B2C marketers have mastered: adding a human voice to their emails and understand what makes email appealing and valued in the inbox. Conversely, B2C marketers can learn from their B2B colleagues about better marketing through lead generation and qualification and using automation to keep customers moving along on their brand journeys.

There’s plenty for both B2B and B2C marketers in our findings. So, let’s get to them!

To download full whitepaper on this, please fill out the following information:

Where’s The Melody?

by Deborah Johnson

 

Wayland Pickard, a music colleague of mine, was famed pianist Roger William’s neighbor. William’s biggest hit was the song “Autumn Leaves,” the only piano instrumental to reach #1 on Billboard’s popular music chart. It sold over two million copies. At Roger’s front door was a large carved wooden Indian. The Indian’s right hand was at his forehead, shading his eyes from the sun, squinting to see some far-off object. When Williams asked what he thought the Indian was looking for, Wayland was at a loss. Roger said, “Where’s the melody?”

 

Even though that incident happened some years ago and Williams died in 2011, that phrase has stayed with me. “Where’s the melody?” applies not only to music, but to speaking, to writing, to leadership and to content in general. With the number of blogs, tweets, pings, videos and training programs, it is a question most leaders, speakers and writers should constantly ask themselves.

 

Regurgitated Melody

It becomes easy, especially after some years, to regurgitate the same material over and over again rather than work and craft a melody or message that is fresh, memorable and sticky. I was told by a client that a pianist played Elton John’s “Your Song” over and over again in the background for one of his events, thinking it didn’t matter much as no one was listening. Apparently it did matter, as that pianist wasn’t hired again.

 

I hear comics inserting every expletive imaginable and expounding on personal body parts to get quick laughs. Those comics using those shortcuts, sacrificing wit and craft, are by example, training a new generation to do the same. Where is the true humor? The story line? The content? As some speakers and authors take shortcuts, I have taken on the personal challenge to not take shortcuts where it really matters in my work. My goal is to help others get unstuck, giving them tools to move forward with realistic goals in life and business. If I have regurgitated content played over and over again, like a song stagnant and lost in background noise, my message will be watered down and weak.

 

How do you unearth significant content or create a memorable melody? There is no sure-fire way or formula. The main foundational ingredient is always hard work and discipline, enhanced with creativity and excellence.

 

Today, to find your niche or focus area, there are more coaches than clients touting their methods. A good coach is extremely valuable, and I encourage that assistance. However, there are basic initial commitments every leader, artist, author, comic or entertainer should make.

Commitment To Quality Melody, Message or Material

One of the most difficult challenges is to cut down content to be pithy and memorable. I have written full stage musicals where I have had to cut pages, songs and full sections to make the story move along quicker on a stage. It’s very difficult and I speak from experience that it takes many midnight hours of crafting. That same principle applies to speeches and books. What’s the heart of the message? Is it memorable? Is it applicable? Commit to quality content.

 

Commitment To Effective Communication

Communicating effectively takes creativity and work. Find ways to communicate that will inspire and keep your audience interested. Some are gifted with the ability to captivate an audience with only their personality, voice tone, style and presence. However, most would do well to use the visual and media tools available to communicate to an audience with ever diminishing attention spans.  Commit to excellent communication.

 

Commitment To Doing What It Takes

“It’s good enough,” is no longer good enough. There is too much competition! What will make you stand out to where you won’t be ignored any longer? Being great doesn’t just depend on great content, but going to the edge of your abilities and developing something that is unique; something that is yours alone. You may get away with being a copy-cat for awhile, but it doesn’t last. Commit to doing what it takes to be great.

 

If you commit to quality content, communication and doing what it takes to be great, you will have an answer for William’s question, “Where’s the melody?” Your content, your communication and your greatness will be your unique melody. The song is now within you, ready to be shared with the world!

 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deborah Johnson helps others get unstuck, ridding bad mental code to reach realistic goals. Deborah is an award-winning entertainer with deft piano and vocal skills and uses those skills, when appropriate, in her speaking presentations. She has performed on many stages around the world as well as served as a first-call pianist for Disney for over twenty years. With a Masters Degree, she has taught every level through graduate school, receiving many awards for her innovative methods and abilities. Up for multiple Grammy Awards, Deborah is a prolific writer of musicals, songs and books. She is able to successfully help others reach their goals with proven principles gleaned from her expansive training and research.

For the Rules They Are A-Changing

By Shriram Natarajan
CTO, Digital Services, Persistent Systems

 

Bob Dylan sang, “The times they are a changing.” The way business works is changing. That is familiar territory for all business leaders. However, this current crop of changes is dramatically different from the ones past. The particular mix of causes, symptoms, effects, and the potential for value it represents are fundamentally novel. The nexus of elements and effects are together called digital and the process to get there is digital transformation. Let’s look at the particular confluence of forcing functions and strategies that will enable companies to thrive in the new normal.

 

bob-dylan

 

From Real to Virtual

The most valuable businesses today (Uber, Netflix, Airbnb) often do not own the products they sell or the means of the services rendered. Their value proposition is that they can realize value in an ecosystem much more efficiently than the traditional players in the market. The digital natives are able to capitalize on the data capital amassed by others or created by their platform.

 

We see that over 40% of the S&P 500 companies in 2005 did not make the list in 2015. In the global marketplace, disruptive forces (be they competition, legislation, new technology, behavior shifts) are the most worrisome for established companies. Enabling flexibility and agility throughout the organization is the only recipe for success. Business models need to change on a dime – only software driven businesses can hope to achieve that. Digital immigrants are also able to make it in the new world. Companies like United Airlines and CVS are able to parlay their customer knowledge and assets to truly engaging experiences.

 

From Competition to Disruption

There used to be clear demarcation of what the market place was. Everyone knew who the competition was. There was a clear way to differentiate from the rest. Your mission statement laid out your unique value proposition. You had years for the message to percolate through the company and rally around the efficiencies that your organization created. You also expected that differentiation and competitive advantage to hold for the length of time it took to gain market share. But we live in a time of rapid tectonic shifts. A few short years ago, Facebook was not a threat to carriers. Recently, with WhatsApp they have encroached on the traditional telecom industry.

 

Companies need to embrace the bi-modal approach of driving efficiencies in existing value streams at one level while innovating for the future at the next level. The two speed approach ensures the right amount of focus and investments for each bucket. This is paired with the right level of executive engagement and expectations in each of them. Whereas in mode 1 the goal is reliability and operational success, mode 2 looks at to achieve transformation by time-bound, budget-bound experiments. Either mode would fail without the other. Each mode feeds on the other. Success in this two speed approach would lead you to continuous transformation by design.

 

From Acceptance to High Expectations

Customers have been demanding customers since the dawn of commerce. However due brand loyalty, inertia, cost of switching, or lack of choice, they tended to stick to a particular offering. The new breed of consumers is the savviest, least loyal, most demanding, most geographically widespread, most diverse of all time. They have the widest footprint of technology to derive value at their disposal. And they have the least attention span to boot.

 

Companies need to have omni-channel engagement strategy in place to play in the new market place. You have the tiniest window to go to market, capture the attention, and shape the behaviors of your target market. Being iterative and incremental is the only way to go. This applies equally to customer experience as it does to employee and partner experiences as well.

 

From Protection to Full Exposure

Traditionally access to capital, dominant market share, brand recognition, favorable legislative/regulatory policy all used to be fortress walls to keep out competition. There are many new ways to raise capital and build a core user base with crowd funding platforms. Market dominance is very fickle in many industries: either the business model shifts or a digital disruptor upends the market with a new compelling proposition. Even in today’s legislative climate, newer standards and requirements emerge that can force entire industries to rethink their product, positioning, and pricing.

 

Since the traditional defenses are crumbling, building agility within the enterprise is the way to go. It is said that the best way to predict the future is to invent it yourself. The best way to prevent disruption is to stay innovative. You need to foster an innovation culture. It can take the form of skunk works projects, a unit level agility initiative, or a full blown horizon two program. All of such efforts would be advantaged by a digital platform that is assembled specifically for your business. This unleashes creativity of your teams and can quickly standardize it too.

“The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”  …Alan Kay, Xerox PARC maxim

 

From Speed to Warp Speed

The only constant is change. We all know that. Everyone says that. No one said that the rate of change would be constant. The speed, sheer number of variables, and the multidimensionality that digital represents is different. Humanity is living longer. The number of lifestyle changing waves per lifetime is increasing (see below). The only thing that moves this fast and has the global reach is software. Software and technology has permeated to every layer of your organization. Instead of just using software, adopting its ways can make you a software driven business.

consumer-adoption-rates

Key Pathways to Success

The “why” of embracing digital is plain to see. To recap on some of the elements of “how” to digitally transform:

  • Innovation culture: Enable your teams to adopt innovation as a way of life. Encourage experimentation. Failures are okay as long as they are fast failures and there has been an adequate return on learning.
  • Platform based approach: a flexible, rapid, secure platform is the key to tap the creative elements within the company. The platform provides a framework to show the value quickly and decisively. It also is the means for crystallizing the innovation developed and making it part of business-as-usual.
  • Embrace disruptive forces: companies that adopted the cloud and mobility have successfully surfed the first waves of digital. The ones that are not afraid to try new technology: IOT, Blockchain, Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality, Gesture based computing, 3d printing.
  • Software driven: businesses that choose to be software driven and adopt the Software 4.0 model have the greatest chance of achieving lasting success. At least till the rules change yet again!

 

It is quite easy to be left behind on the digital journey. Even if you are successful today, you cannot afford to sit out the digital wave. There are the wave riders or those that get washed away. It requires agility and readiness heretofore unseen; and it promises returns in orders of magnitude greater than the effort expended. So while Bob sings about times that are changing, you can put your organization into high gear and skip to the next song in your playlist. Katy Perry’s “Roar”.

Keep Stepping to Master the Challenges of Change

by Joy Marsden

Influential change advocate, Joy Marsden, shares her philosophy on the importance of stepping up and stepping out for leaders of today.

 

What behaviors do you need to adopt to grow and achieve success in a fast moving ever changing environment, where the people you lead are facing challenges month after month?

 

Recovering quickly from unexpected change is what separates the expert from the novice. The novice seeks to force new experiences into existing frameworks, confuses luck with personal skill, and relies on routine when a situation changes from simple and stable to complex and challenging.

By contrast, the expert never takes success personally, is always aware of their personal and technical limitations, and uses change as an opportunity to review, improve and innovate.  Whist the novice strives for stability; the expert accepts instability as the only status quo.

Overall, expertise means that we are capable of leading through change with an open mind and resilient attitude.  It means we ‘Keep Stepping!’.  The philosophy behind the Keep Stepping principles don’t just provide a superficial blue print for success but focuses on something more realistic.  When change comes, planned or unplanned, in any area of life, it is going to be difficult.  For the novice, this difficulty means clinging onto routine for comfort.  For the expert, this difficulty means a chance to innovate, to improve. Experts don’t stay still, they Keep Stepping.  So how do you become an expert in personal leadership?

Being the best means engineering the steps that you take in order to become all that you can be.  In order to do this, you’re going to need to ‘Step Up’, ‘Step Out’ and ‘Stand Out’ at different stages of your day, week and year.  It’s a never ending process, but a fulfilling process if you’re prepared to take the steps necessary for success.

As a leader, it’s up to you to make sure that you not only achieve your very best, but that you inspire the people you lead to achieve their very best too. The way you carry yourself, the person that you are, speaks volumes.

Do your employees see you as someone that inspires them? Or are you someone they simply work for that pays the wage at the end of the week.

I’m privileged to use the Keep Stepping program to help leaders and their teams throughout the globe to develop key skills that allow them to be more authentic in the office and at home and to enjoy their daily routines more.

The result, happier workers serving happier customers as they serve them better and see obstacles as opportunities.  This makes for a vibrant working environment where respect, honor and integrity are just a few of the values that start to shine through in the workplace.

 

Here are some steps from the Keep Stepping program for leadership success:

SERVE

The way you see someone affects the way you serve them, and the way you serve someone affects the way they see you.  Serve your employees and your customers in the best possible way.

 

BE NICE

Simple, but not always easy to do, especially when you don’t even like the person you’re dealing with.  Here’s the thing, people respond to the person you are and the way you interact with them way before they respond to what you can do for them.

 

TUNE IN

Make sure you understand what’s really going on. Do you get home from work and completely zone out? You’re in relax mode but not tuned in to the needs of the family?  This is a situation we can often look back and recognize quite quickly in a home situation, but do you notice when you haven’t tuned in at work? Are you missing important conversations, reactions, team dynamics that are essential for getting things done.

 

STRETCH

When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort circle and learnt something new?  Moments like these are essential for our growth and development.  This is often where the best creative ideas are born. The stretch is where great things happen.

 

TOOLKIT

A skilled carpenter gathers tools for his toolbox over time.  Time after time he has to draw on that experience and will use specific tools for specific jobs. How many of these skills do you use? It a wonderful thing when managers learn to draw out all the skills of their employees, when this happens, they will be leading a more fulfilled workforce for sure.

 

Keep Stepping!® is helping employees to do the things that matter most and make a positive difference both in their professional and personal life.

 


About the Author

Joy Marsden is an internationally recognized leadership expert, keynote speaker, and workshop leader, with extensive experience in working with leaders and their teams.

Joy is the author of Keep Stepping! Essential ways to lead yourself and others through challenge and change (Stepping Books, 2015). A leadership ambassador for the Chartered Management Institute, a Fellow of the Institute of Sales and Marketing Management, a Fellow of the Professional Speaking Association and Regional President in Staffordshire.

Why Do Managers Lead with Fear?

By: Peter Stark

 

I am currently working with a manager who told his team, “If this campaign isn’t perfect when we launch, some of you will be looking for a new job.” Yikes. That’s almost as inspiring as telling your team, “Terminations will continue until morale improves.” Although the manager didn’t share his threat with us, several of his employees did.

The Big Question Is…

Why would a manager feel the need to manage with fear? It’s tough to get a manager relying on fear to self-examine and admit this, but in most cases this strategy results from the manager projecting their own lack of confidence and fear. When these managers lack confidence and are fearful of potentially failing, they may not even realize that they are projecting their own fear onto others.

When team members operate in fear and focus solely on survival, they no longer have their primary focus set on executing the mission and making decisions that are in the best interest of the organization. Even worse, great employees seldom stick around a fearsome leader. Employees who produce stellar results earn reputations that put them in high demand by other manager and organization, and they won’t hesitate to leave for an organization with a healthier culture.

 

In addition to his threatening words, this manager exhibited several other characteristics that helped solidify the culture of fear he had created.

Blamed others, but claimed the credit. When things went wrong, this manager was quick to blame his own team members or team members in other departments. When things went well, however, he would immediately point out all the things he had done to make the outcome successful.

Trash talked. This manager had a habit of talking poorly about almost everyone in the organization. This left anyone who ever interacted with him wondering, “What does he say about me behind my back?”

Used threats. When this manager told his team they might be looking for new jobs if their next campaign was not successful, this manager conveyed to team members that they were not qualified for their jobs. By using threats, he also made it clear that mistakes were not acceptable.

Withheld praise. For whatever reason, this manager did not acknowledge the excellent work often done by his team members.

Withheld information. This manager chose to communicate with employees strictly on a “need to know” basis. Very few team members had all the pieces of the puzzle, which made it difficult for them to make decisions. With a lack of honest, direct and timely communication, everyone wants to play it safe for fear of making a bad decision.

Didn’t delegate. Because he didn’t trust his team to get the job done the way he would do it, he spent his time on day-to-day operational tasks instead of working on strategic projects that would have the greatest impact on the team and organization.

Can a manager known for leading with fear change their negative reputation? The good news is that with a significant change in their leadership style, yes, they can. The bad news is that is takes consistent repetition of positive leadership behaviors over a long period of time to earn a more positive reputation.

 

 

7 ACTIONS TO BUILD A POSITIVE REP

The following 7 actions were ones I recommended to help this leader build a positive reputation and take his leadership skills to a higher level.

 

KNOW YOURSELF

Collect feedback to better understand your strengths as a leader and where you have opportunities for development. This will help you craft a leadership style that will maximize the number of people who are highly engaged and love coming to work to help you and your team succeed.

COMMUNICATE A CLEAR VISION AND GOALS

Most people want to work for a manager with a positive vision of their organization’s future. Employees want to know what goals will turn that vision into a reality, and what they are contributing to the realization of the vision.

TAKE ACTION

Goals are all about “I think we can.” When you take action and accomplish your goals, you develop confidence because you feel you are in control and have mastery over your organizational life.

ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY

When things go wrong, great leaders are quick to take responsibility for ensuring that the problem is fixed and doesn’t happen a second time. Great leaders may not say they are personally to blame for the problem, but they are quick to say, “I take full responsibility for ensuring this doesn’t happen again.”

GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE

Almost everyone has a high need to be valued and appreciated for their contributions. Great leaders know that providing people with recognition for their successful contributions is a significant part of building strong relationships with employees.

ENCOURAGE GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT

Hold quarterly meetings with each of your direct reports to review their goals and to determine what they are working on to help them grow and develop. This will most likely mean that you are encouraging your team members to be willing to take a risk. Encouraging risk is also encouraging people to be comfortable with the sometimes-scary possibility of failure. Taking a risk, however, is the polar opposite of paralysis by fear.

DELEGATE

Trusting others and being able to appropriately delegate is the key to your next promotion. Communicate the desired result, and then put the appropriate safeguards in place to follow up and ensure its success.

 

Managers who lead with a strategy of fear may be feared, but they will never be respected. When a manager utilizes fear as their strategy, I can guarantee one thing will happen: team members will eventually band together to undermine their manager. In the military and law enforcement, we call this getting hit by friendly fire. These seven tips, when put into action and consistently practice over long period of time, will help you be the leader who instead earns a strong reputation for building a culture of trust and the ability to produce significant results.

 

 

 

About the Author

Peter B. Stark, CSP, AS, is the President of Peter Barron Stark Companies. He and his team partner with clients to build organizations where employees love to come to work. Peter and his team are experts in employee engagement surveys, leadership and employee development, team building, and executive coaching.