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.

June 19, 2007

The High Point of Leadership

Filed under: Leadership, Success, Difference Makers, Leadership Lessons — Sanborn & Associates @ 9:41 pm

Nido Qubein & Mark Sanborn with HPU MascotIn this month’s Leadership Lessons ezine, Mark interviews Roger C, Director of WOW! for High Point University. You’ll want to read how innovative leadership has led this once sleepy institution to a new level of national prominence and a position us as one of the most prestigious universities in their region.

We welcome your comments on this transformation and any stories you can share that relate how outstanding leadership and innovation can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.

The picture features HPU President Nido Qubein, Mark Sanborn and “Prowler”, the High Point University mascot.

May 21, 2007

Living in a Glass House

Filed under: Observations, Leadership Lessons — Mark Sanborn @ 11:05 am

Jimmy Carter dissed the President’s foreign policy and international relations. He said they were the worst in presidential history.

I’ve seen more than a few polls where Carter was ranked as one of the worst presidents in U.S. history, so to have such harsh words for Bush seems a bit disingenious to me.

We all live in different kinds of glass houses, and it is easy to forget.

April 13, 2007

Avoiding a Fall from Leadership

Filed under: Leadership Lessons — Sanborn & Associates @ 11:34 am

In this month’s Leadership Lessons ezine, Mark’s topic is Avoiding a Fall from Leadership

News of a fallen leader elicits shock from followers. The higher the profile of the person whose reputation is tarnished, the bigger the shock. But for any leader, the news of another leader’s fall should elicit something more than and different from simply shock. While smugness is sometimes the emotional response, it is not what anyone should feel. A more rational reaction is “there but for the grace of God goes me…” The case of a fallen leader should be a reminder or wake-up call to keep our own houses in order…

We invite you to read the rest of Mark’s article in our Newsletter Archive at MarkSanborn.com. We’d like to hear your comments as well so please use the Comments link right below to provide us your reaction or thoughts on this issue. Thanks.

February 11, 2007

Sweeping Statements

Filed under: Uncategorized, Leadership Lessons, Speaking and Communication — Mark Sanborn @ 10:12 am

I recently heard a well-known author and speaker who told an audience of several hundred, “All wars are caused by poverty.” She then tried to substantiate the statement by saying “all the military leaders I’ve spoken with have told me that.”

I don’t know what military leaders she has spoken with, but if that’s what they said, they show a huge deficiency in historical perspective. World War 1 and World War 2 were not wars of oppressed poor people rising up to take on the affluent. What is happening in the Middle East now is a war of worldviews and today’s terrorists are among the best-financed in history.

Poverty is indeed a factor in many areas of the world where there is unrest, but to say that all wars are caused by poverty is an inaccurate and irresponsible statement.

Here’s the point: sweeping statements like the above are credibility killers. Otherwise worthwhile ideas are suddenly suspect when a speaker uses that approach. There is a difference between stating an opinion and stating something as fact. The broader the statement, the more likely it is inaccurate, at least in part.

Good communicators are careful not to allow an impassioned opinion to discredit their point of view by making dangerous generalizations not supported by fact.

January 8, 2007

Tried and Failed?

Filed under: Observations, Leadership, Difference Makers, Leadership Lessons — Mark Sanborn @ 8:30 pm

A friend of mine is trying to create change at a Fortune 100 company. He’s using the principles from my book “You Don’t Need a Title to be a Leader.” (www.youdontneedatitle.com

When he recently introduced the concepts, he was expecting severe resistance but most of the feedback was surprisingly mild. The one comment that stuck in his craw was “Many have tried this in the past and failed.” His response: the person saying that didn’t know how much he hated to fail, and this time he was leading the effort.

Had many really tried…and failed? Probably not. I’ve observed that when someone says “Many have tried it and it didn’t work” what they really mean is “Somebody tried something kind of like this and it didn’t completely work.” Pessimists paint with a broad paint brush. The fact is that if somebody–anybody–tried the proven principles of leadership and executed well, they wouldn’t have completely failed. They might not have achieved all they were hoping to accomplish, but they made progress. The very attempt is a checkmark on the positive side of the scorecard.

Of course if they tried and implemented poorly, they might have truly failed (but I’d still want to give the person credit for at least attempting something different).

So what should my friend have told the cynic? If it were me, I’d have said, “Great. We’re going to try again and either succeed or fail less. But we’re going to keep trying until we succeed.”

Significant accomplishments are rarely achieved on the first or second effort. Most are the result of repeated and persistent effort. And the person who says “We tried it and it didn’t work” is often trying to make an unacceptable excuse for not trying again…and giving up.

January 4, 2007

Please Comment on “Rewarding Relationships” - Leadership Lessons for January 2007

Filed under: Leadership Lessons, Relationships — Mark Sanborn @ 7:45 pm

This month’s Leadership Lessons is titled “Rewarding Relationships:Observations and Applications” and provides, I hope, much needed insight into the power of relationships in our business and our life. If you haven’t already, please read the article (use the above link) and leave me your comments on both it and your own insight into managing relationships successfully in work, life or both…



December 15, 2006

Leader, Score Thyself

Filed under: Leadership, Leadership Lessons — Mark Sanborn @ 9:27 am

Here’s a quick test: on a scale of 1 to 100, how do you score your leadership proficiency? Think about it and write down your assessment before you read on.
Development Dimensions International has done some interesting research on leaders. For instance, the most respected trait of leaders by leaders is the ability to bring in the numbers. But the most respected trait of leaders by HR professionals is the ability to motivate and mobilize a team. In my view, both leaders and HR professionals and using different words to say basically the same thing. After all, you can’t bring in the numbers without creating an effective team.

One of the most perplexing findings: 25% of leaders would give up their position to pursue other personal or career goals. I’m curious why they don’t. One of the most difficult positions a leader can find him- or herself in is trying to lead without the passion to do so. Not only does the leader struggle, but so do those on the leader’s team. I think one reason some leaders keep leading despite lost passion is the perceived dishonor of opting out of leadershp (which is why I also believe organizations should have an opt out programs so leaders can step down and contribute elsewhere without shame or demotion).

One third of internally sources leaders fail, usually because of poor people skills. I would think poor people skills would be a pitfall for externally sourced leaders as well.

So how did you score your leadership proficiency? According to the DDI research, leaders typically score themselves between 61% and 73%.  Regardless of your score, you and I both know there is always room for improvement. So a good question to ask yourself periodically is this: are you a better leader today than you were a year ago?

December 13, 2006

The Key to Successful Meetings

Filed under: Professional Development, Leadership Lessons — Mark Sanborn @ 10:44 am

How many times have you initiated or attended a meeting that, in retrospect, seemed a waste of time?

Here’s an antidote to the wasted meeting: before you meet, clarify a successful outcome. What action will be taken? What agreement will be reached? What decision will be made?

If you can’t clarify what needs to happen at the end of meeting to achieve success, most likely you aren’t ready to convene it, or attend it.

Be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to meeting attendance and participation. If the biggest benefit to attendance if “information,” a summary of that same information could be provided in a brief document and eliminate the need for you to attend.

And if you’re the one responsible for the meeting, you’ll feel far more satisfied if you go into it knowing in advance specifically what needs to be accomplished.

December 7, 2006

Rewiring the Brain

Filed under: Observations, Influence, Success, Leadership Lessons — Mark Sanborn @ 4:21 pm

Maybe you’ve seen the recent research that found that playing violent video games not only desensitized the young players to violence but actually created changes in the brain. This “rewiring”, as you’d expect, was for the worse, not the better.

At the same time we’re told that violent images and lyrics don’t have an adverse affect on viewers or listeners. But the “positive” images of advertising and jingles must affect consumers or corporations wouldn’t invest billions of dollars in creating them. Interesting paradox, don’t you think?

The mind is an important thing to influence, not just a terrible thing to waste. Personally, I think we’ve become so familiar with negative images, influences and the like that we rarely notice them at a conscious level, but at a negative level, potentially much harm is being done.

Might it be prudent to pay attention to the images and activites that affect us? Our kids? It might make us look terribly prudish and out of step with culture, but since when is following the herd an act of leadership?

Remember what Horace said a couple thousand years ago: Rule your mind or it will rule you.

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