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Wednesday, 30 November 2011 19:01

6 tips for more effective leadership

As a leadership coach, Randy Goruk sees how many managers aren’t as effective as they could be. But he, on the other hand, never personally experienced that, so he saw an opportunity to identify areas where managers could improve to increase their overall effectiveness. He did it through writing “Sparks: A Business Fable.”

Smart Business spoke with him about the six principles in his book that leaders can embrace to be more effective.

He says, “If you can develop these competencies to a point of mastering them, then I believe you will have success in fully engaging your team and success in having your team deliver results for you and your organization.”

Have unwavering character. If you’re able to demonstrate unwavering character, you earn trust and respect from your organization. Be consistent in your words, your actions, your behaviors. If you’re sincere, authentic, truthful, fair and you can be respectful of others — not be hypocritical and give credit where credit is due — those are ways to demonstrate unwavering character.

Sometimes you watch the news, you see there are business leaders that slip a great deal. They have good character, but they didn’t have unwavering character because there were cases where they wavered, and they lost respect.

Genuinely care. If you can demonstrate to your people how much you care about their performance and professional growth and their advancement in their careers and that you can help them achieve their goals, they’ll do anything for you. They will care about you, and if they care about you, they’ll deliver results for you, and that’s what you’re accountable to.

Have stellar communication skills. When you have communication breakdowns in your organization, you end up with an organization that isn’t engaged. (Employees) feel like there’s a piece missing, so why should they care, and they feel like they’re not in the loop, so they don’t know how to contribute to the organization’s success.

There are so many ways in which a leader can improve their communication. It’s everything from the art of asking great questions, creating focal points, learning how to leverage technology and being good at presentations to one that I think of as a personal favorite of mine — the genuineness of writing personal, handwritten notes of appreciation and congratulations to those on your team that have done a great job for you.

Be a great thinker. People say, ‘No, you have to be visionary, but to be visionary, you have to be a great thinker.’ There are too many leaders busy doing things and not spending enough time thinking. Thinking requires work. You need to concentrate on your calendar and set time aside for yourself and just sit there and think about your future and think about the lessons you’ve learned in the past and what is it you need to do in your organization. Things they’re spending time on today need to be what happen three to six, nine months out — not what’s happening this week.

Be mentally tough. When you’re in a leadership position, you’re challenged with all kinds of different situations that can be stressful. You have to remain mentally strong to do the right thing for your business. There’s a balancing act in there between doing the right thing for your business and doing the right thing for your people. It’s stressful. They need to appreciate and recognize the importance of their own personal work-life balance. It can be extremely challenging to balance your family and work, but you have to be respectful of that and find a way to make that happen. You also have to pay attention to the work-life balance of those that work underneath you because if things aren’t good at home, they’re not going to be good at work.

Embrace accountability. We see many places today where business leaders are reckless in their decisions, their behaviors and their actions. If they’re not held accountable, why would anyone else working with them think they should be accountable? A leader has to embrace accountability or others won’t embrace accountability. Leaders also have to learn how to hold others accountable for their results, their behaviors, their performance, because a leader needs to deliver results. Although you can delegate responsibility, you can’t delegate accountability, and you are accountable for the results, so holding others accountable for their behaviors and performance is crucial to your success and your credibility.

How to reach: www.SparksTheBook.com

Published in Atlanta

Until the credit and financial crisis struck, Ted Bernstein was primarily focused on the successful niche that his insurance company served in the market.

“We were guilty of not looking at the macro picture of our industry and where change was going to affect us,” says Bernstein, the president and director of Life Insurance Concepts Inc.

As the supply of capital began to shrink and many people stopped spending money on life insurance premiums, demand for the company’s niche ebbed. What do you do when the product that you are selling no longer fits with what your customers need?

You start from scratch.

Through a process of “creative destruction,” Bernstein discovered the opportunity to transition the company online to reengineer its product and service offerings for future growth.

Smart Business spoke with Bernstein about how business leaders can use creative destruction to help them innovate.

What is creative destruction?

A typical example of creative destruction is the PC, because it essentially destroyed the main frame and gave way to an entire new business model that improved upon what was killed off. It is the idea of product progress, and it is a staple theory in support of capitalism, constantly serving the economy in positive ways. From an individual company’s perspective, it represents the idea of looking at established product lines and service offerings with the goal of improving the status quo. I think it is essential for growth in normal business times and essential during a sustained crisis such as the great recession we are now experiencing.

What made this process so difficult and challenging?

It’s easy to destroy for some and for some it’s easy to be creative. Being creatively destructive is a real challenge. In a period like we’re coming out of right now, it may be why some companies just flat out couldn’t make it — they could not recover or evolve through the destructive period — and why so many incredible companies grow up out of these destructive times.

One aspect of creating differentiation around us was that the product certainly had to be better. The other was you had to have a reason that you are going to buy from us, because maybe you’ve been buying from people who have been serving you well until we’ve come along. So we felt that we had to offer value to you that maybe you weren’t getting from others.

It’s really been a two-pronged thing that we had to differentiate ourselves with the product and then our ability to engage them to make them feel that they should use us.

How does destruction lead to innovation?

I don’t think you can go through creative destruction without getting as wide angle of a view as you can of your industry, which is not easy to do when you are an insider and you know your way around. You think you pretty much know how your industry works, and it’s pretty difficult to put yourself back in that position to almost be looking at it as if you know nothing. We did that. I would say everybody should force that view and that type of lens on themselves. They will see their industry and their business in a way they may not have looked at since they came into their business however many years ago.

I reconnected with the leaders from all aspects of our industry. I began having conversations with executives of insurance companies. I began having conversations with the professional associations, the organizations that monitor trends in our industry. We ran focus groups here at the consumer level and also focused on technology to see how technology was changing our industry. I kept pulling back the lens further and further and further so we could get as much of a macro, big-picture view as possible.

How can a successful company use this process to spark new ideas?

If every couple of years management puts itself through some type of crisis management exercise and you just imagine the worst — imagine your biggest supplier cut you off for no reason, or you could no longer acquire bank financing or whatever was most important to you, like capital was to us. If you could imagine that it was lost and lost quickly, how would you react? I think that’s an incredible exercise not just for the CEO or owner — it’s the team. You might find out who in your organization is better in your organization than you ever realized. Or you might find out some things about your organization that you maybe don’t want to find out but it’s important to find out.

How to reach: Life Insurance Concepts Inc., (561) 988-8984 or www.lifeinsuranceconcepts.com

Published in Florida

A significant amount of John Treace’s career has been focused on returning failing businesses to profitability by retooling their sales and marketing areas. So time and again, he’s come into a company where the sales organization was the needlepoint for other problems.

“Of course, the sales operation of a company really is the heart and soul of the company,” says Treace, who is the founder and CEO of JR Treace & Associates LLC. “The performance of everyone else in the business is weighed and justified on the performance of the sales team. … It all shows up in sales.”

Smart Business spoke with Treace about his book, “Nuts & Bolts of Sales Management: How to Build a High-Velocity Sales Organization,” in which he explains how business leaders can create a high-powered sales organization, starting with the company culture.

Why is culture the first section of the book?

Every company that I’ve ever been in that was failing or stumbling was failing because of top management up at the CEO level and at the VP levels. They fail because they don’t have a culture of success. To create the culture you have to identify your core values.

Core values should be written. They are like the 10 commandments. They are simple. They are action statements. As an example, one of the core values that we used in our business is ‘Don’t run out of cash no matter what.’ It sounds simple, but every company that I’ve ever gone into in my business career had run out of cash.

How can you effectively communicate core values to your team?

When you are presenting them, you have to make an emotional connection with each core value. As an example, the core value ‘Don’t run out of cash no matter what’ — when you tell that to a group of people, it really doesn’t sink in because they can’t imagine their company ever going bankrupt. However, if you ask a question to the audience and you say, ‘Have you ever known somebody who didn’t get a paycheck?’ — You’ll see hands pop up all through the audience. You talk to those people and say, ‘See, those people were working for a company that didn’t have this as a core value.’ Then they can make the emotional connection.

So you create your core values. You publish them. You create the emotional connection with your employees. And from that, you can write your mission statements.

Can you explain the relationship between morale and execution in managing your sales team?

In every failed company I’ve been to, the morale was just terrible, with sniping from the corporate officers at the sales team. One company I went into, and I interviewed the CEO and the CFO to begin with, I asked them what they thought the problem was, and they answered, ‘Well, we have a terrible sales force.’

I’ve never seen a terrible sales force in my entire life. I’ve seen sales forces of low morale and sales forces that were not effectively deployed, but I’ve never seen a terrible sales force. In that situation, with the CEO passing down word throughout the company that the sales force wasn’t very good, it totally demoralized the sales force.

The sales force wants predictability. They want to be able to answer these three questions of corporate management: Do you care about me? Can I trust you? Are you committed to excellence? I actually learned these in a talk with Lou Holtz, the football coach.

So when the corporate officers do things that don’t allow the sales team to answer yes to one of those questions, then it’s going to hurt the morale.

How to reach: JR Treace & Associates LLC, (904) 314-1442 or www.treaceconsulting.com

Published in Florida

Harlan Steinbaum decided it was time to share some of his lessons learned from a lifetime of leading big businesses. “Tough Calls from the Corner Office” is an attempt to share some of his experiences as a CEO. But it also contains advice from other CEOs that Steinbaum has spoken with, resulting in a comprehensive look at executive leadership.

“These are stories told by CEOs that they really experienced,” says Steinbaum, who once served as chairman at Express Scripts and chairman and CEO at Medicare-Glaser Corp. “These are stories about hard-won victories. These people are not bragging about their experiences. A lot of them went through crisis and many challenging times.”

What is the No. 1 thing you want readers to take from your book?

They’ll get many things. They’ll learn in my opinion what it takes to become a successful CEO. I found that these CEOs had a number of traits in common: Strong leadership, ethical behavior, they were strong planners and they knew themselves. They knew their strengths and weaknesses and they were able to manage risk. These CEOs would never stop learning. They would go to the mountain and they would want to know what was on the other side. They took responsibility for their actions.

What does a CEO need to do to be an effective leader?

A CEO needs to be somebody who can lead others in the sense that they have to show strong leadership. They have to be able to set a direction and set a tone. They have to make the tough decisions. Some people can be a good No. 2 guy, but when it comes to making that very tough call, there is something innate in the CEOs that I talked to that allows them to do it.

It allows them to carry the burden on their shoulders and still be able to move forward and analyze the situation and weigh the risks involved and then make that tough call or tough decision. It allows them to mitigate the negatives of a decision. When you’re managing, any management is managing risk. Any time you manage a business, it’s trying to make the best decisions you can after you weigh all the factors that come into play.

What other ways can your book help a CEO be a better leader?

The reader can read something and say, ‘Boy, that’s something that happened to me and here’s how he handled it.’ The stories of these people are fascinating. You see how people had similar circumstances, but approached the decision making completely differently. Like when people were changing the culture of a company.

You can look at how different CEOs approached changing the culture with different strategies. Each one worked for them, but they were different.

What is a section of the book you are really proud of?

At the end of my book, there is a section called “Advice and Wisdom.” These CEOs talk about the advice and wisdom they would give to the reader. It’s one of the most inspiring lists in all of business. I’ve read any number of business books in my career and I’ve never seen a list of advice and wisdom like this from 39 CEOs who really in an unabridged way, give people the benefit of their knowledge.

How to reach: Harlan Steinbaum, www.harlansteinbaum.com

Published in St. Louis

Rob Prinzo had been involved in implementing technology projects for 15 years. In 2008, he started to look back and ask why projects failed and why some were successful. He started writing out his methodology for quality assurance checks.

“As I went through that process, I created the methodology to make sure a project is on track,” he says.

But as he wrote it up, it also became apparent that it wasn’t a very interesting read.

“It was very technical, so I rewrote the methodology into the story to take some mystery out of it and give something easier to read,” he says.

The result was his book: “No Wishing Required: The Business Case for Project Assurance.”

Smart Business spoke with Prinzo, founder and CEO of The Prinzo Group, about his book.

What is one of the major principles you hit on in your book?

The principle behind it is really to identify the real issue that you’re facing. If you look at the reason why projects fail — they fail early in the life cycle or not having top management commitment — they lead to buying the wrong software or buying services that don’t fit your needs.

Take the time to do things upfront in terms of requirements, analysis and planning and validate that with other organizations in your industry research before you plunge into a project. That way you make sure you’re heading off on the right track. Assess how you’re doing against that baseline. As the project goes on, more gaps can occur if someone isn’t monitoring.

How often do you suggest people monitor those projects?

I’ve identified six places across the project life cycle where it makes sense to do an assessment. Each is after you’ve gathered and before you’ve made a formal decision to validate.

[It takes] as long as it takes to make sure you’ve thought everything through. If you have a significant project that may be a 12-month initiative, you may see people spending one to two months planning and the next 10 on implementing, 8 to 12 weeks of strategy and then verifying if your timeframe allows for that. But definitely more time needs to be spent up front. The more you do up front, the less correction you have to do later. It’s better to pay up front.

So the bigger issue is people are rushing those projects?

They may not have thought they rushed into it — a lot of times people look for a technical solution. We need to go out and procure a system, but really what an organization may need is to improve its processes around how it manages its customers. A lot of time people go out and look for a point technology solution instead of looking at everything that’s needed in that process. It may be functionality — they go looking to buy a solution to a problem but they didn’t really look at all their requirements across the board.

What can executives do to be better at project management?

Executives have to be engaged in the project on a periodic basis beyond someone reporting status. They need to be asking questions about the project status today but also what’s coming up in the days ahead. Everything is on track. That’s great, but you need to be looking beyond those indicators to see what’s coming.

It’s being able to hold your people accountable. You don’t want that person in the details, but they also shouldn’t assume that everything is being taken care of. Ask the questions that give them a comfort level that everything is on track.

What I’ve tried to do is write a very simple-to-read, educational book that everyone can have a takeaway from. From the feedback I’ve gotten, that’s the direction I’ve achieved.

How to reach: The Prinzo Group, (770) 777-8316 or www.prinzogroup.com

Published in Atlanta

Linda Henman has helped a lot of CEOs over the past 30 years. But in 2006 when she was asked to help another one, this time at a $1.5 billion publicly traded company in St. Louis, she felt like something was missing in her tutelage.

“I remember wishing I had a book I could hand him that explained all about being a CEO that no one had taught him,” says Henman, an executive coach and author. “What does a brand new CEO have to know that no one has taught that person in any other job?”

Henman took the most important of those missing pieces and put them into “Landing in the Executive Chair: How to Excel in the Hot Seat.”

What is the biggest thing a CEO needs to know?

When you’re the CEO, the people who report to you have to be excellent. They can’t be above average or pretty good. They have to be excellent and exceptional. If they’re not, nothing else is going to work.

What is your advice on making sure you have excellent people?

Look at the aptitude of the person. The ways I encourage people to evaluate aptitude are first of all, ask whether or not this person can make unfamiliar decisions. Then ask yourself if this person can learn quickly. And third, ask yourself does this person understand how to make sense of the numbers?

What has surprised you most in working with CEOs?

So many people are running companies who lack strong analytical ability. So often it doesn’t show up until the person gets promoted to the C-suite. But then it does show up and people don’t understand what to do with it. They just understand the person is not executing. They don’t understand why.

How do you get through that?

You just cannot expect every day to be a good day. That’s unrealistic. When you have thousands of people counting on you and there are so many locations and so many products and services that you offer, something is going to go wrong somewhere every day. You just have to learn to put that in perspective and roll with the punches. You have to realize you have to have good people to handle those kinds of things so you can keep constantly focused on the big picture.

How helpful is your book for CEOs who aren’t new to the job?

Two of the most important chapters for experienced CEOs will be the strategy chapter and the succession planning chapter. I tell people I help leaders tie talent and strategy together. That’s the key. If you get those two things right, the rest of it seems to take care of itself. But the experienced CEO often will not realize the role he or she should play in planning succession and tying that to what you want to do for the long range or the next three to five years. The two of them have to go together, talent and strategy.

Is it because they can’t look past today?

That’s a big part of it. The other part of it is that they are so busy running the business, they forget one of their primary responsibilities is to build the bench. So they just don’t take the time to do it. I’ve never heard a direct report to anybody say, ‘I get more feedback than I want.’ Those words have never been spoken. But continuously I hear, ‘I wish my boss would let me know what he or she is thinking. I just don’t know.’

How to reach: Henman Performance Group, (636) 537-3774 or www.henmanperformancegroup.com

Published in St. Louis

When most leaders think about ways to build wealth, the idea of insurance often doesn’t register with them.

It’s for that reason that Howard Slater joined forces with other financial planners and wrote “Plan of Action, Strategies to Help You Build and Preserve Wealth.” Slater is the founding partner for Cedar Brook Financial Partners LLC in Cleveland, and the fifth chapter of the book is his and addresses insurance.

“One of the keys to my practice is helping people understand the importance of insurances,” he says. “It’s a dirty word in the financial planning world — people either believe in it or they don’t, it’s a religion-like thing. The reality of it is, insurance is an asset, and it needs to be used properly.”

For example, unlike many of your other traditional forms of investments, if you make a huge mistake with your insurance, it could be detrimental to your portfolio because you often don’t get a second chance, which is why it’s so important to focus on upfront.

“You get ill, and it’s difficult to be underwritten by more insurance,” Slater says. “Insurance planning as part of financial planning is truly a key asset that gets overlooked.”

So what should you do? Slater says you have to write down all of your insurances. What benefits do you have at work? What group benefits do you have? Are they one-time, or do you have the ability to buy more? What do you have individually? What does your spouse have?

“Make a list and make sure you know exactly what the benefits are,” he says. “Then through your own research or analysis or working with somebody, determine where you need to be. What is appropriate given what your situation is -- where you’re at now and your future.”

He says you also need to plan for immediate situations, such as if you were to die tomorrow or become disabled. Look at who’s dependent on you now, and who’s dependent on you in 10 years.

Then he says to do an annual review of your insurances to make sure you’re still covered well and your needs will be met.

By doing these things, you can better ensure your future.

How to reach: Howard Slater, (440) 683-9207 or hslater@cedarbrookfinancial.com

Published in Cleveland

Gregory Hartley left the army in 2000 and initially thought he’d hate business because of a lack of rules. What he found, though, was that a lot of his military training was very applicable to the business world. He figured a lot of leaders may agree, so the Atlanta-area resident co-authored “The Most Dangerous Book You’ll Ever Read” with Maryann Karinch.

The two lay out what they call extreme interpersonal skills and take the tools of military intelligence and relate their value to the business world today.

Smart Business spoke with Hartley about a few of the key principles in the book.

What is one of the key observations you made in your book about how the military and business overlap?

When we think about team-building, there are way too many people running around doing trust falls, and that garbage doesn’t build a team. What I write about is team building like a special-ops officer. In special-ops, you don’t show up and you’re part of the team. If you do that, it means that everyone has the same value without demonstration. They do a good job of rooting out people that don’t fit, but in the process, they have a sense of belonging. When a person shows up, you want to welcome them, but you also want some on-boarding process that makes them one of your people. On the special-ops side, they create a new normal, so instead of simply going through a rite of passage and showing up, now they want you to show what you bring to the table so that when you add that to the sauce, what does it do to the team? How does the team change?

What’s another principle you address?

Try to give a new way at looking at how your people in your organization function and try to make sure you have the right mix. Instead of having all of one kind or all of another, it’s a different way of thinking to say, ‘I don’t want all my guys to be the guys to charge the hill when I tell them.’ Some of them need to be underminers and question your plan and say, ‘Are you stupid?’ otherwise everyone gets killed on the hill, and it was the wrong idea. By blending the right skill sets, you end up with a team that’s versatile and a team that can adapt to situations like our current economy.

Is there anything about spies and covert missions in the book?

I cover networking like a spy. When people think spies, they think the ‘Bourne Supremacy’ and those kinds of things. Spies don’t usually work like that. Spies are usually working their environment and putting other pieces into play, so when a spy is actually working, what they’re doing is managing people as assets. They’ll use people in different positions to help out. Instead of thinking of your network like a flat, Facebook-like network where you have 1,000 friends, and they’re all equal — think of it more like LinkedIn or a chess game — you have people at distance that matter too, so you stop thinking that the only people who matter are people who have clout, who have power, who can do something for you immediately. Spies understand that every person they meet has some value. When you walk past a receptionist and fail to make eye contact and talk to the receptionist, you’ve lost an opportunity. Most often, access to information you need is going to come through people who don’t understand the importance of it. The more access they have to information and the more knowledgeable they are of how valuable it is, the less likely they are to freely give it.

Published in Atlanta

Scott Ginsberg has worn a nametag every day for more than 10 years. He loves when people ask him why. But he’s confident many would prefer a root canal over most types of social interaction.

“How many people did you go out of your way to avoid yesterday?” Ginsberg says. “How many people went out of their way to avoid you yesterday? That’s the core of what this is all about. Approachability is not who you know, it’s whose life is better because they know you.”

It’s with that in mind that Ginsberg has written “-able: 35 Strategies for Increasing the Probability of Success in Business and in Life.”

Smart Business spoke with Ginsberg about how his book can make you a more effective leader.

Why should CEOs read this book?

This book shows people how to get out there more and have a sense of visibility with people. As a result, they connect with you more on a human level. That’s what makes them work their butts off and their hearts out.

For a CEO, anonymity is bankruptcy. If you’re not visible to the people who matter most, customers, employees and people in your organization, you lose. It becomes this maze of struggle for a lot of executives that you see in a lot of employee engagement surveys and 360 evaluations.

They have an open-door policy, but they don’t have an open-heart policy and they don’t have an open-mind policy. Part of doing that is getting out there and physically talking to people.

Who did you write this book for?

That’s the whole point. I write in a way that meets people where they are. I write stuff as if I’m having a conversation. It’s one on one. I write like I talk. I don’t edit, I just write it once and that’s it. It appeals to people because it allows them to plug themselves into the equations and to think about their business and their world and their relationships and think, ‘OK, what is he saying? How does that apply to me?’

It works that way if you can write it in a way that is democratized and hits people in their own space and kind of rewards them from any angle. Everyone can read it and get something good out of it. Everything I write does that and that’s what readers tell me.

What is your ultimate goal for wearing a nametag all the time?

I want to disturb people. I use that not in a negative way. People don’t really understand what disturb means. It comes from the same Latin word as emotion. So to disturb is to invoke emotion. That’s what I hope happens. I hope that somebody reads a tweet that I write and it disturbs them to a point where they actually go do something.

Or they read the book and it disturbs them to the point where they go have a conversation with someone that’s important to them. Or if they come to a presentation, I hope they leave and decide, ‘You know what, I’m going to go do this. I’m going to start my website or get my blog going.’

I think disturbing is a good goal. That’s kind of what I want to do every day. I just want to disturb people. Comfortable people never change. If I can disturb people enough, maybe they’ll get so annoyed with me and they’ll do something just to shut me up.

How to reach: Scott Ginsberg, (314) 256-1800 or www.hellomynameisscott.com

Published in St. Louis

Ravi Kathuria is president of Cohegic Corp., a management consulting and executive coaching firm that he founded in 2002. His objective is to make business leaders think about and implement ways to make their companies more coherent. That objective is what made Kathuria write his book, “The Coherent Company: The Struggle for the Next Level – A Business Parable.” The book follows a fictional senior sales executive, Trent Wertheimer, as he becomes CEO within a business intelligence company, Hintec. Trent quickly digs himself into a hole because he thinks he knows how to lead a company, but doesn’t. With the help of a mentor, Trent learns how to transform the company and himself by implementing the Cohegic method to give Hintec coherence and clarity. “The Coherent Company” is a look at leadership in practice as Trent implements the Cohegic method and tries to turn around the company in his new role as CEO.

What is the message of the book?

This book offers the road map for business transformation. Most business books focus on one aspect such as strategy, execution or work processes. Few business books tie them all together. This book connects mission, vision, philosophies, work processes, strategies, goals, roles and responsibilities, culture, execution and measurement.

What business problems are addressed in the book?

The primary reason that the book was written was because companies lack clarity and coherence. The issue that companies have is that they are not really crystallized in their business spirit. Their mission statements are not well-written and they have not crystallized very clearly their business model. When you look at a majority of mid-level companies, you’ll find that their mission statements and core philosophies are not crystal clear. Because they don’t have clarity around that, it creates a lot of confusion in the organization.

Companies get confused between mission and vision. They are confused about what vision should stand for. Companies have to connect their strategies, goals and visions together so that they drive clarity in the organization.

What makes the book different from other business books about leadership methods?

It’s the fact that the book is presented in the backdrop of a very intense and realistic story. It shows leadership in the real world, leadership in practice as opposed to leadership in theory. Leadership in theory is very easy to talk about. Nobody is challenging you. Leadership in practice is very difficult. Your ego, your self-awareness, your inhibitions, your preferences, your tendencies, your habits, all comes into play. Overcoming all of that is a huge challenge and as a leader you have to really perform at a much higher level and you have to help the organization succeed in spite of yourself.

What would a new leader or entrepreneur take away versus what an experienced leader would take away from the book?

I think a new leader and an entrepreneur must understand that the core of their business is the most important. They must seek to drive very clear thinking in their business model and define why they are creating that business and that company. They have to ask, ‘Do I have clarity about what I am doing and why I am doing it?’ If they don’t have that, success will be a little harder.

Experienced leaders need to understand that clarity cannot exist just in their mind. Clarity has to exist in everyone in the organization and they have to make sure that that clarity is consistent and coherent.

If a leader cannot connect all those strategic aspects, a company cannot perform. The questions that the book raises are not easy questions to answer. Those questions are difficult and take time to answer. If companies can go through and ask themselves these questions, it will make a powerful impact.

HOW TO REACH: Ravi Kathuria, 281-403-0250, or www.cohegic.com

Published in Houston
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