February 12, 2008

You Don’t Need a Title Leadership Training Available Now

Filed under: Non-titled Leaders, Leadership, Success, Leadership Lessons — Sanborn & Associates @ 6:40 pm

You Don't Need a Title Leadership TrainingWe’re excited to offer anybody who leads, or who desires to lead, regardless of title a new DVD training curriculum based on Mark’s best selling, You Don’t Need a Title To Be a Leader: How Anyone, Anywhere Can Make a Positive Difference.

Mark’s impactful new leadership training program begins with the story behind the title of a woman who sought to make a difference, not gain a title and consequently had enormous impact on her company, colleagues (and everybody who’s bought the book!). This concise curriculum will teach you and your teams that anyone can be a leader on the job and in life by embracing the qualities that genuine leaders share:

  • Thinking about what you want to accomplish before beginning a project
  • Caring about and listening to others
  • Focusing on the success of those around you rather than on individual achievements
  • Looking for ways to encourage the contributions of everyone around you
  • Drawing on the power of shared values

You Don’t Need a Title Leadership training takes you beyond simple authority and shows you how to achieve true power with people (leadership) as opposed to merely having power over people (title). The idea of an Army of Lions led by a Lion is a central theme of Mark’s speaking and writing. Imagine that kind of power and purpose in your organization!

The You Don’t Need a Title To Be a Leader DVD Training Curriculum is now available through Mark Sanborn’s Store at Mark’s main web site. By the way, in addition to many fine products for sale at that site, Mark also has a number of downloadable free leadership resources and a wealth of other articles, archived ezines and just great content in general that will help aspiring and experienced leaders alike, lead better.

By the way, if you want to know what kind of impact You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader can have on training up your leaders, read this case study from the VP of Human Development for a $200 million medical equipment and services company.

February 3, 2008

One Remarkable Thing

Filed under: Success, Difference Makers — Mark Sanborn @ 11:10 am

What one thing this week will you do remarkably well?

The important things we do at work and at home should be done well. The unimportant and necessary should be done well enough. Some things merit a remarkable performance.

My next book The Encore Effect: How to Give a Remarkable Performance in Anything You Do will be released in September of this year. The manuscript is already finished.

As my publisher and I debated subtitles, one idea was How to Give a Remarkable Performance in Everything You Do. I was opposed for two reasons: not everything requires a remarkable performance and we aren’t capable of being remarkable at everything we do.

A key to remarkable performance is in knowing both what deserves that extra effort and what things you are passionate about that makes you want to be remarkable at doing them.

If the week ahead holds nothing that either doesn’t deserve a remarkable performance and/or you aren’t particularly motivated to at least attempt at doing remarkably…

…then you better replan your week.

February 1, 2008

The Highest Reward

Filed under: Success — Mark Sanborn @ 12:27 pm

“The highest reward for a person’s toil is not what he gets for it but what he becomes by it.”                                                                                             John Ruskin

January 31, 2008

Gratitude

Filed under: Observations, Success — Mark Sanborn @ 11:26 am

It seems that this time of year I fight the blues a little more often than normal. While I think positive thinking is vitally important, I don’t think it is necessarily the antidote to negativity. I’ve come to believe that gratitude is the best cure.

I don’t know who originally said it, but it is helpful to remember: gratefulness creates a great fullness of heart.

All of our lives are filled with a mix of the good and the bad. The ratio of the mix changes and how it changes is often beyond our control. What doesn’t change is our ability to choose where we direct our focus.

Focusing on the blessings and good things in our life isn’t a form of denial. We still know the challenges exist. Gratitude does, somehow, recharge our batteries and provide new energy with which to face the challenges.

I think one reason shows like Jerry Springer are popular is because in a perverse way it reminds us that our lives aren’t nearly as screwed up as the people on the screen.

A better option than watching bad reality television is simply to practice the age old art of counting your blessings.

January 29, 2008

Experience Autopsy

Filed under: Success, Customer Service Strategy — Mark Sanborn @ 3:57 pm

When I checked into my hotel last night, I asked (as I always do) if my room was relatively quiet. And I used these words “…it isn’t up against or right next to an elevator is it?” The woman behind the front desk said it wasn’t. She then gave me directions to the elevator bank. “Just take two lefts at the top of the escalator.”

Ten minutes later I was on a house phone trying to find the elevator bank. I’ve adventured travel in Borneo so I’m pretty good at finding my way around. Her directions sucked.

When I finally got to my room, I discovered it was indeed up against the elevator shafts. Many people were using these elevators, and every press of the button set into motion a mechanical cacophony that lasted throughout the night.

Also, there was a message light on my phone. The client had an amenity for me, but since it was after 11:00 p.m. I’d need to call the hotel to get it delivered. They didn’t want to interrupt my evening. I called. They said they’d deliver. 90 minutes later (literally) I was on the phone with the delivery people. “We’re pretty busy and your room is a long way away…” No apology. At 1:00 a.m. my basket of goodies arrived.

I called the manager on duty. I related my experience. He asked if there was anything I wanted him to do. I resisted the urge to be a smart aleck. That was the last I heard from anyone in the hotel about the various service delivery failures.

Nobody is too surprised when things go bad, but customers, colleagues, friends and relatives live with the optimism that whoever caused the problem will do a little something to make things right. Even a simple apology is a good place to start.

Next time you are involved with a serious experience failure, do an experience autopsy. It doesn’t take long, and the insights can be most helpful. Here are the questions:

1. What went wrong?

2. What can we do to make things better right now?

3. What have we learned that we can use to do better in the future?

Making mistakes isn’t a criminal offense. Making the same ones over and over nearly is. When someone–anyone–brings a legitimate problem or concern to your attention (and if they’re bringing it up, it is legitimate to them), take action. Ask some simple questions. Prove to the person you value them by responding rationally and helpfully. And learn something that will prevent you from making the same mistake in the future.

January 28, 2008

The Productivity Cafe

Filed under: Professional Development, Success — Mark Sanborn @ 2:30 pm

Susan Sabo has an interesting blog at The Productivity Cafe. She recently wrote a positive review about my book The Fred Factor, but you’ll find lots of good, practical ideas on “efficiency and a better life” at her site.

January 10, 2008

Where Do My Stories Come From?

Filed under: Success, Speaking and Communication — Mark Sanborn @ 11:43 am

Today I spoke for Oce Business Services. They were a great group. One of the audience members asked me where my stories and illustrations come from. Do I get them from reading? From personal experience?

My stories come from my life. When I started speaking, I retold alot of stories I’d read elsewhere. As I learned my craft, I learned about developing my own stories and illustrations from my experiences. If I tell someone else’s story, I’m repeating, not creating. Yes, there are some “old lines” that are humorous I sometimes throw in, but the main stories I use in my work I either experienced or observed first-hand.

His response was insightful: “Wow, you must go around each day thinking about what happens to you as potential speech material.” Sometimes I do. And it makes my family, friends and clients a little nervous.

The reality is I don’t typically have something happen and think “speech material!” If a story is truly remarkable, or I’ve gained an important insight, I do reflect on how I might use it. But that comes later.

Here’s the challenge: it is easier to find stories that illustrate what is wrong than stories that illustrate what is right. Last night I was in a restaurant in Baltimore that was a classic example of bad: bad service and bad food. The problem is that everyone has those kinds of stories. We all need encouragement and examples of how we can be, not just stories of how not to be.

My friend John Maxwell references the Law of the Lens: who you are determines what you see in others. That is an important people skills issue. At a higher level, it is also about the ability to recognize the good in what happens every day, despite the fact that we all experience plenty of bad.

And in telling stories, we either reinforce the positive or the negative.

We don’t get to choose what happens to us. We do get to choose what we learn and what we tell others.

January 8, 2008

Preparing for Disaster

Filed under: Professional Development, Success — Mark Sanborn @ 10:40 am

In Flying magazine, author Peter Garrison wrote about an airplane crash that occurred while the pilot was trying to set a record: “I have come to think that the best way to plan a difficult undertaking like this [record-breaking attempt] is to assume in advance that it has failed and then try to understand the reasons why.”

Here’s the point: whatever you are getting ready for—corporate presentation, sales call, employee review, family outing—picture in your mind what it would look like if it totally failed. Then start mentally going through the wreckage looking for what happened and why. This kind of preparation becomes planning-in-reverse: by anticipating your computer dying in the midst of your sales presentation, you know ahead of time to plan to have a backup on hand—unplug the video projector cable from one computer, plug it into the backup (have it running beneath the podium or to the side) and you hardly skip a beat.

By projecting all the things that might go wrong you can prepare for them ahead of time. Preparation contains the power to avoid disasters and to assure success.

January 1, 2008

Happy New Year

Filed under: Observations, Professional Development, Success — Mark Sanborn @ 11:18 am

Here’s wishing you an extraordinary New Year filled with health, fulfilling relationships and wealth in many and diverse dimensions.

December 26, 2007

Concerns of Character

Filed under: Observations, Moral Leadership, Success — Mark Sanborn @ 12:15 pm

Junior Achievement released a study on December 5 that is troubling. According to the summary, 71% of teenagers say they are prepared to make ethical decisions when they enter the workforce. So far so good. Here’s the troubling part: 38% of those who say they are prepared to make ethical decisions think it is sometimes necessary for success to cheat, plagiarize, lie or even behave violently. (23% of those surveyed think violence towards another person is acceptable on some level.)

The acceptance of unethical behavior and the belief that success makes wrong choices necessary to attain it should give us all serious pause.

Public education is often conflicted about character education (based on what? whose standard? what about cultural difference? are we imposing ‘values’?). The Junior Achievement study strongly suggests that some type of concerted character education, imperfect though it may be, is necessary.

That is no way alleviates parents of their responsibility to both teach and model ethical behavior to their kids.

I appreciate the important and good work Jr. Achievement does and believe they have done us all a service with this study.

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