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Business Resilience Tip: You Can’t Be Resilient When You’re Dead!

Now that I have your attention, the recent active assailant event (June 28th, 2018) in Annapolis, Maryland, should serve as a stern reminder that bad things happen and, very often, they can be prevented or their impact lessened.

In 2013, the former editor of the Annapolis “The Capital” newspaper, Thomas Marquardt, told the newspaper’s attorneys “This guy is going to come in and shoot us”. He had talked to the company attorneys about filing a restraining order. It’s not clear from the news reports whether the attorneys or Marquardt eventually decided against it. Whoever it was, time has proven the decision wrong.

You need to trust your “gut feeling” about the threat posed by an individual whether that person is an employee, former employee, or a spouse or relative of an employee. Your HR policies should include a “zero tolerance” for workplace violence and provide the means for employees to report any behavior that makes them feel uncomfortable. If someone sees or hears something, they need to feel safe in saying something without fear of retribution.

What about threats from the outside, such as an angry customer? You, as a leader, need to take these threats seriously and take all necessary precautions, including legal action, to provide for the safety of your employees. Invite your local police or sheriff’s department in to conduct active assailant training. They will be glad to do it for two reasons:

1. They want to reduce the number of these incidents as much as anyone

2. The police don’t like going into an environment blind. This will provide them the opportunity to get to know the layout of your business so, should something ever happen, they know what to expect in terms of office layout. They will also have recommendations for you to improve the safety of your work environment.

A resilient business proactively looks for events that can disrupt the business and then acts to prevent them from happening or reducing the impact should they happen. In the case of active assailants, it’s safer to assume that they will carry out their threats. Inform local law enforcement of the threat. Use whatever legal means are necessary to prevent that person from making good on their threats. You do not want to be in the position of saying “If only I had acted”.

Best Practices Entrepreneurship Investing Management Marketing Negotiations Sales Skills Women In Business

What Power Source Is Being Used to Scare You?

“The only time you should be afraid of power is when you give it to someone you don’t trust.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

“They don’t care that I’ve lost my job. All they want is their money!” Those were the heavy words of a tear-faced man recounting his unenviable position to someone from whom he was seeking a loan.

Are you being scared by someone? Do you recognize their source of power as positional or situational? The way you confront someone should be based on their power source and how they’re using it.

Those possessing positional power, as an example your boss, will only be able to maintain that power while you’re in their domain. The boss may use as a scare tactic the threat of termination if you don’t achieve his goals, which will threaten your well-being and sense of security.

With situational power, the holder only has sway as long as the situation that gave him his power exists. Once the situation has abated so too does his power. Thus, an automobile mechanic only has power over you until your vehicle is repaired. It’s during that tenure that he has the opportunity to scare you. That might be in the form of telling you something dire has occurred with your vehicle that will require ‘x’ amount of money to repair. The more dependent you are on him repairing the vehicle, the more power you give him to scare you in the interim.

While positional power can possess some of the same characteristics as situational power, situational power will tend not to last as long as positional power.

Positional Power

When efforts are made to scare you through positional power, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That means, don’t be an easy target. Position yourself as someone that’s savvy and someone that will extract a toll if someone picks on you.

Situational Power

We’ve all been caught in a moment of despair. The way you present yourself at that moment will be the factor that signals how others should deal with you. Thus, with the mechanic, it would not behoove you to discuss the important meeting you have in a few days for which you’ll need your vehicle. If you give him such insights, you’re only placing yourself in a more vulnerable position.

Keep in mind that sometimes people will use scare tactics to manipulate you. Their degree of success will lie in how you present yourself and how you rebuff their efforts. The better prepared you are to recognize their source of power, the better you’ll be prepared to combat their power source … and everything will be right with the world.

What does this have to do with negotiations? 

Negotiations are all about power. It’s the perception of power that determines how one acts in a negotiation. Therefore, negotiators use different techniques to shape the perception of their power depending on the circumstances (e.g. scarcity/abundance, loss/gain, fear/safety, etc.)

If you become adept at identifying power sources, how it’s used, and how long it might last, you can position yourself to thwart it at your chosen point in a negotiation. You will be the one in the power position, using the trapdoor of hidden knowledge to scare others.

Remember, you’re always negotiating! 

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

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Best Practices Body Language Culture Health and Wellness

Ever Been Bullied? It Could Be Your Fault!

Wait, before you start sending hate mail, please hear me out.  As someone who was bullied for years, I learned to cope with the humiliation and despair, but always felt there was something “wrong” with me.  When other people wanted to make me feel better they would almost always say the same thing, “Oh honey, there is nothing wrong with you, those kids are just mean…it’s not your fault…they are jealous of you.”  I was a sweet and loving kid that would never do anything to hurt someone.  So, it was easy to understand that it wasn’t my fault, but it was much harder for me to believe there wasn’t something wrong with me.  Oh, and jealous?  Jealous of what??  Jealous of feeling less?  Jealous of feeling ugly and rejected?  Jealous of being laughed at by bystanders that watched and did nothing?  Jealous of being scared out of my wits to go on the playground every day?  That statement “they’re just jealous of you” was just a straight up lie!  Don’t ever say that to someone being bullied!

If you have ever been bullied, you understand what I am talking about right now.  You didn’t want to hear another rousing encouragement attempt, no matter how sweet it is that they tried.  You wanted to know what was wrong with you that would make people treat you that way!  Well, I am here to tell you that there was, and maybe IS, something wrong with you that is causing all the bullying, but it may not be what you think.

Look at your life and ask yourself if the same type of people keep showing up.  I am going to share some traits and see if this describes those people that seem to latch on to you.

  • Has no patience with “stupid” people and at times tries to make you feel stupid
  • May complain about a clumsy waitress and be rude when not waited upon properly
  • Always finds a way to bring the conversation back to themselves
  • Has a constant need to be admired and respected, almost demanding of it
  • They don’t seem to have any kind of empathy toward “weaker” people
  • Always must be right and has a very difficult time believing they are wrong
  • Must always be the center of attention and can be quite charming

Think through your life and imagine the people that bullied you.  Did they have any of these traits?  Can you identify anyone in your life that you are currently dealing with that meets more than a few of these traits?

Now I want to ask you about your own personal traits.  Do you have any of the following traits?

  • Get overwhelmed when there are a lot of people around you
  • If there is someone angry in the room, you feel like any minute it will be turned toward you
  • When talking with someone new, you feel like they are going to “figure you out?”, so you keep a wall up and feel awkward
  • When you are around sad people, you can feel yourself getting depressed yourself
  • It is difficult for you to watch someone doing something embarrassing and you can feel panicked for them

Now, I know that I can’t fix everyone’s issues with this article, but what I hope to do is send you on a journey of understanding.  I believe that if you can put all the pieces together, life could begin to make more sense to you.  Even if you have never been bullied before, what I am about to share could change your life!

Every single one of us, broken down to our smallest particle, is made of energy.  We learned it in science class as an elementary student.  Protons, neutrons, electrons, you remember those elements, don’t you?  You and I are made of these elements.  It has been proven scientifically that even our thoughts have energy.  It can be physically measured!  Now I am going to share a term that you may or may not have heard of that has gotten a lot of attention over the last ten years.  It is called The Law of Attraction and it was brought into the light by a cheesy movie called “The Secret”.  It was mainly focused on getting rich and learning to get everything you ever dreamed of by simply thinking of it and feeling strongly about it as you thought about it.  That is the simple message, but most people think it’s a bunch of bull and would never stick with it long enough to see anything come to pass as the movie would suggest.  If it was true that we could just think it and it will happen, then everyone would win the lottery, be driving Lamborghinis, and be on the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous!  Right?  Well, even though there are a lot of holes in the movie, the Law of Attraction has merit and is worth looking deeper into to gain understanding of the world around us.

So, back to bullying and how it could be your fault.  The traits we identified earlier are the traits of people on opposite ends of the energy spectrum.  The first guy, who always must be respected and admired and seems to have no empathy toward others, is considered a “narcissist” or someone with narcissistic tendencies.  The second guy, who is uncomfortable around lots of people or becomes panicked when someone else is being embarrassed or harassed is called an “Empath” or “highly sensitive”.  People can fall anywhere on the energy scale, but the two described above are the extremes on both ends.  If you are a Sci-Fi nerd like me, it can be looked at as “the dark side” or “the force”.  Those that are on the dark side can appear to be good, but the energy they draw from is extremely negative and self-serving.  Those who have the force has potential for great power for good in the world and have an almost magical sense of feeling the energies around them.  Unfortunately, like in Star Wars, people who once were driven by the force can turn to the dark side when they are overwhelmed by the negative energy.  They can become cynical, negative, and hateful, even though they hold the power to be extremely positive and lift up the people around them.  Once the force is understood and these empaths begin to control it, they can become the light in the room instead of feeling awkward.  They can instantly feel the pain the people around them are feeling and pull them out of the darkness!

So what does this have to do with bullying?  I believe that most children that are being bullied are those meant to bring good to the world.  They have a special gift that God gave them that is not only extremely special, but can be used to bring about amazing change to the world around them!  When told “it isn’t your fault”, they know intuitively that this response is not exactly true.  While they can reason that they haven’t done anything to bring it on, they know that something is wrong with them and it is happening because of them.  It took me years to put the pieces together and understand the power I have and the reasons why I was bullied as a child and felt so uncomfortable around people.  I didn’t understand that I was special or had any kind of power.  I somehow had the ability to allow the bullying to “pass through me” and still love the person doing the bullying, but it still played havoc on my mind.  I still didn’t understand why!  There were times growing up that I was confident and felt the power, but as soon as I felt like something good was happening, it would be squashed by someone attacking me and throwing negativity on me.  I felt many times like a wounded dog about to be torn apart by the pack.  So, I learned to become numb and allow people to treat me badly, but cope with it.  My power for doing good was kept within the walls of my identity as a person not allowed to become happy.

If you have ever been bullied, then you are probably identifying with me right now.  That is a good thing, because I am here to tell you that you have something very special that needs to be understood and cultivated.  You have an ability to do great good and the reason all of this has been happening to you is because you draw people from the opposite end of the spectrum into your life.  These narcissists lack empathy and it is true that opposites attract in this case.  They love to attach themselves to you in some way to literally draw the energy out of you!  They want to make you feel less, so they can feel superior!

Can you see it?  I don’t know where you are in your life right now, but I am imagining that the people reading this article will range from those who were never bullied that are angry at my title to those that were intrigued or maybe even excited that somebody finally said it.  You may have already been pulled over to the dark side and feel like you have already completely lost your mind.  To this person I want to say that it is not too late to stop being controlled by the negativity that bombarded you and continues to be drawn into your life.  The great thing about the Law of Attraction is that you can choose to end the negativity and start moving in the other direction.  You can learn to remove those thought patterns that keep drawing more junk into your life and start seeing a brighter future.  It won’t happen overnight as the movie might suggest, but if you build one block at a time and realize how special you are, then it can happen over time.  For some, it may happen very quickly and you will learn to walk freely in your newly found power!

If this article is resonating with you, then I would encourage you to study The Law of Attraction and the personalities on the energy spectrum.  Specifically study the “Empath” and the “Narcissist” and allow God to direct you back into what He intended for you.  Although you may not know what it is yet, I can tell you without question that you have a great purpose to change the world around you in a positive way.  Like Luke Skywalker, you will bring balance to the force and maybe even free a Darth Vader or two!

Best Practices Growth Management Personal Development

THINK-BEHAVE-LEARN-IMPROVE: A Change Management Solution

A leader’s ability to manage change will have a direct impact on employee engagement.  Employee engagement is paramount for organizations that value customer experience.  Employee engagement improves individual performance, organizational performance, and loyalty of employees and customers.  Engaged employees are 20-28% more productive, are healthier (physically and psychologically), and are 87% less likely to leave.  Engaged employees save management time and generate 84% higher operating margins. Engaged employees = Engaged Customers and Engaged customers increase revenue (75%) and profit (76%). (Buckingham, 1999)

How does this relate to change management? 76% of engaged employees have a favorable view of their organization’s change management efforts while only 33% of disengaged employees share the same opinion.  With the constant frequency and pace of change today leader’s must improve their skills of managing change or risk damaging employee loyalty and productivity. (Inc., 2009)

Are your managers the traditional kind or and they facilitators of self-management and change?   The current management model we have all been taught is about managers “driving” results and evaluating performance.  This model is not fast enough to keep up with the frequency and pace of change occurring in the global economy.  There is a need for instant adaptability and traditional managers, as smart as they may be, cannot respond or plan fast enough.  The need to adapt to change is one of the dynamics creating a need for organizations to prepare for self-organizing teams and employees who can self-manage.

Some managers recognize the need to change now they are working hard to personally transform their thinking and their methods, but they need help. They need to THINK differently, BEHAVE differently, LEARN and then IMPROVE.  Some organizations will be able to delay the transformation and others will need to change now or will suffer increased costs in turnover and low employee engagement.  Those organizations who are unaware of the need and/or who ignore it may end up going the way of the Dodo bird at some point.

Think-Behave-Learn-Improve is a change-management model that optimizes trust, cooperation, engagement, while accelerating the implementation of a desired change.


THINK represents how a leader must think about people, problems, and change to optimize the desired outcomes.  The idea that an organization can be self-organizing and self-managing is the hallmark of the THINK portion of the model.  This replaces the less effective manager-dependent, command and control model we have all been taught.


BEHAVE represents a set of behavior which leaders must follow if they are truly committed to maintaining trust and cooperation while encouraging employees to embrace the change.  Which behaviors will encourage the embrace of change and which discourages it?  This is an important question to answer and often leaders are unaware of how their behavior is impacting the embrace of change.  Are your managers consistently behaving with integrity and respect?  Are your managers helping employees to experiment to continuously improve customer experience (both internal and external)?


LEARN represents how an organization can accumulate knowledge and how that knowledge can accelerate the embrace of the change.  A lack of knowledge will almost certainly slow the employees’ embrace of change. By thinking in terms of self-organizing systems, behaving with integrity and respect, and by continuously experimenting to better serve customers, an organization will learn faster than the average.  Faster learning creates a strategic advantage.


IMPROVE means the results of the change make a positive difference.  Unless the leaders embrace the most effective leadership THINKING theory, BEHAVE consistent with integrity and respect, LEARN from their behaviors, they will not be able to improve at a rate which will create a strategic advantage.

THINK-BEHAVE-LEARN-IMPROVE is an essential set of tools and methods which will enable leaders to adapt to change and be proactive with change as well.  These tools are paramount with the frequency and pace of change in today’s economy.  Is your organization embracing a change model that delivers knowledge faster than your competitors?

Buckingham, M. (1999). First Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently. Gallup Press.

Inc., R. M. (2009). Ready, Get Set,…Change: The Impact of Change on Workforce. Philadelphia PA: Right Management Inc.

Check out the interview on C-Suite Best Seller TV to learn more about how to stop leadership malpractice and replace the typical performance review: https://www.c-suitetv.com/video/best-seller-tv-wally-hauck-stop-the-leadership-malpractice/

Wally Hauck, PhD has a cure for the “deadly disease” known as the typical performance appraisal.  Wally holds a doctorate in organizational leadership from Warren National University, a Master of Business Administration in finance from Iona College, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania.   Wally is a Certified Speaking Professional or CSP.  Wally has a passion for helping leaders let go of the old and embrace new thinking to improve leadership skills, employee engagement, and performance.

For more, read on: https://c-suitenetwork.com/advisors/advisor/wally-hauck/

Growth Leadership Personal Development

Using the Golden Rule to be a Better Leader

In a recent C-Suite Success Radio interview, my guest Don Barden and I were discussing Servant Leadership. In that discussion the golden rule came up and Don told me that we have translated it incorrectly all these years. What he told me is a real game changer for becoming a better leader.

When we are young we learn that the golden rule says to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Don explained that the correct translation, and the one that you must use if you are to be a servant leader is to do unto others as they would want you to do unto them.

That means you treat them how they want to be treated, not how you want to be treated. I thought that was brilliant, especially in the context of work because it lines up with one of my strong beliefs that people do best and are the most engaged when given the opportunity to do the work that means the most to them, and when empowered to do it in the way that they want to do it.

For example, I love public speaking and cherish the opportunities, which means if I did unto others as I want done onto me I would offer a speaking opportunity to someone else under the original understanding of the golden rule. But if they hate public speaking I am not actually giving them something they want, I am giving them something I want. I have to know what is important to them so I can give them what they want.

I have a friend who loves spreadsheets and would be less motivated if I asked her to do something creative like write an article, which is what I would want someone to ask me to do. If she asked me to do the spreadsheet work because that is what she likes I would be miserable pretty fast.

This translates into how we treat our friends, family, and, in the context of business, our co-workers and employees. True servant leadership – or in all actuality, true leadership – means finding out what the people on your team like the most, what role suits them best, and do everything you can to provide that to them. It’s not always possible for everyone to love every minute and every aspect of their job, but the more you can honor them, the more you can serve their needs, the better the results and engagement will be.

Your assignment, if you choose to take it, is to learn one new thing about each member of your team or your family that will allow you to serve them better. Start giving to them in the way they want rather than based on what you would want them to give to you.

If you do this from a place of true curiosity you will see amazing results very quickly. I would love to hear about your experiment, and you can connect with me on LinkedIn or email me at sharon@c-suiteresults.com.

Growth Management Personal Development

To Be an Influential Leader – Use Your Inside Voice

We’ve all heard of leaders who yell, coerce, and even threaten to fire employees. (Cough, cough. Steve Jobs.) I was working with a group of leaders in the banking industry recently, and we had a great conversation about this old-school school style of leadership where the leader wields power over his subordinates and demands obedience.  The fact is that with the command and control style of leadership, at best you’ll get compliance, but you will never get commitment.

There is another method of gaining commitment that is much more subtle – and waay more effective. It’s called influence.

I loved summertime when my kiddos were little. That was when the shoes came off, the bathing suits came out, and the whole neighborhood was playing in my backyard. On the rare occasion when the gang came inside, (usually because of a summer thunderstorm), it sounded like a mob scene. The sound was so deafening, I thought the windows would shatter. Invariably, I had to remind them all to use their inside voices.

To influence, use your inside voice. It’s more gentle, it’s less in your face, and more subtle. Now I may be showing my age, but do you remember the old E.F. Hutton commercials? The tagline was “When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen.” Influence is about causing someone to want to lean in, to learn more, to listen closer.

Executive leaders today complain about the millennial generation and their perceived lack of respect or loyalty. Well, I’m not going to open that can of worms today, (you can read my views on this subject in previous blog posts here). But I will submit to you that the millennials are not alone in that most people will jump ship at the first opportunity if the work culture is, well, craptacular.

We are human, and it really all boils down to the fact that everything except breathing is a choice. Your team member has a choice of whether or how she will show up for work each day. I know, you’re saying, but Jen, if my team member doesn’t show up for work, she’s out of a job. True dat! But it’s still her choice.

And keep in mind what I affectionately call the KLT Factor – the Know, Like, and Trust Factor. People do business with people they know, like, and trust. People buy from people they know, like, and trust. And people follow leaders they know, like, and trust. You can’t force someone to buy from you or to follow you any more than you can force someone to love you.

So if you want to HAVE influence, you have to first BE the kind of person that others choose to follow. You have to be the kind of person that people want to be around and even emulate. Now, while using your inside voice, try these tips to help you

Be the influential leader those around you know, like, and trust:

1. Give them a present. In case you haven’t noticed, we live in a noisy, bizzy world, and your presence could be the best gift you can give to your team. Wherever you are, be there. Put. The. Phone. Down.

2. Be interested. Dale Carnegie got it right when he said “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” Here’s a news flash: It’s not about you!

3. Ask great questions. And by great questions, I mean open-ended questions that can’t be answered with a yes, no, or a one-word response. A good place to start is by asking questions that elicit a team member’s thoughts, ideas, and suggestions about their work.

4. Use the Mirror Technique. Notice the other person’s communication style and mirror it back to him. I liken this to speaking his “language.” It’s a much more effective way for communicating to connect.

5. Know thyself. The fact is, before you can lead others, you must be able to lead yourself. That’s why, whether I’m working with individual contributors/team members or C-suite executives, we start off with a battery of self-assessments so that we can identify each individual’s strengths, weaknesses, style, and behavioral preferences. The data collected from the assessments helps us to build on strengths and know in what areas the leader needs some help.

6. Project self-confidence. Notice I didn’t say always be self-confident. Insecurity and fear are contagious, and so is confidence. Sure, sometimes you won’t feel completely self-assured, but it is important that your team sees you as calm, confident, and in control. When you experience turbulence on a flight, if the flight attendant is freaking out, passengers will likely follow suit. Same thing applies in your leadership role. Team members are watching you and will mirror your attitude.

7. Practice authenticity and sincerity. People can spot a phony baloney a mile away. Faking interest in someone else just so you can get something you want borders on manipulation, and that is definitely NOT what we’re talking about here.

If you want to amplify your influence as an executive leader, try these techniques with your team. I’d love to hear about your results.

To receive solutions to your people problems in your inbox every month, and to receive our report: “7 of Your Biggest People Problems…Solved,” click here.

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Jennifer Ledet, CSP, is a leadership consultant and professional speaker (with a hint of Cajun flavor) who equips leaders from the boardroom to the mailroom to improve employee engagement, teamwork, and communication.  In her customized programs, leadership retreats, keynote presentations, and breakout sessions, she cuts through the BS and talks through the tough stuff to solve your people problems

Photo by Anca Brinzan on Reshot

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