Blind Spots ~ Solving Hidden Business Problems (Excerpts – Part One)
Why is it that some leaders are successful, while others struggle? In this guide in narrative form, Russell Baxter, a fictional character and outgoing CEO, shares his secrets of success with incoming CEO Amir Ahmed. Baxter demonstrates that great leaders need to be aware of their vulnerabilities or blind spots and take action to make necessary changes.Filled with practical advice, Blind Spots shows the value on drawing on experts to develop valuable skills that can take your business to the next level. For the month of September our blog will highlight short excerpts from our book Blind Spots ~ Solving Hidden Business Problems.
Blind Spot One: Networking Without Connecting
WHAT NETWORKING ISNT
Networking isnt selling a product, or selling yourself. Its not an excuse to get your name out there to as many folks as possible. Its not an excuse to be sleazy. Its not an attempt to take advantage of others, or to have others take advantage of you.
WHAT NETWORKING SHOULD BE
Networking is the act of making genuine connections and fostering the connections you choose for the long-term. It starts by finding out your own values and purpose,and then finding other people with similar onespeople who believe what you believe.
WHAT STEPS TO TAKE
Start by realizing who you are. What is the core of your mission? What goals are you trying to achieve in your organization and career? When we talk about goals, we dont mean goals like making a sale or becoming VP. We mean more substantial goals that contribute towards a vision of the world, and how it could be better.
Thought leader Simon Sinek says, People dont buy what you do. They buy why you do it. Share your purpose first instead of your product. This will get you more meaningful responses, and will help differentiate you from the crowd. My name is Russell Baxter and I sell toasters, wont find you the same meaningful connections as my name is Russell Baxter. I believe that industry can work together with the environment, and we do so by empowering people to make smart decisions about their kitchen appliances. People who believe what you believe will be fascinated by what you do.
Blind Spot Two: Leading Without a Personal Brand
WHAT PERSONAL BRANDING IS, AND WHY ITS IMPORTANT
A personal brand is, essentially, your reputation as determined by the experience you create for the people around you. Your brand affects how people approach you, think about you, and even how they match you up for work.We all have a brand. Its the sum of our actionsbig and small. From how you do your job, to how you dress, it all paints a picture that other people will use to create their idea of you, and the story they share. Its easy to forget that our brand exists. And its even easier to forget that we can directly influence our personal brand. By being conscious of our brand, and by acting with intent, we can be strategic about building the brand we want.
If youve ever been passed over for a promotion, or if youve ever felt disrespected, its a good time to check in on your personal brand, seek feedback from others, and discover what you are doing to contribute to that, and work to align your brand to become an authentic reflection of you.
Blind Spot Three: Neglecting to Develop Your Direct Managers
ENGAGEMENT IS CRUCIAL IN THE WORKPLACE
Engagement is much more than just something nice to strive for; its a vital element for a healthy workplace. Engagement is also a major factor in the success of a business. Studies have shown that the more engaged an employee is, the more profitable the company becomes.
Employees who are engaged will work harder, respond better to change, and will persevere through challenges better than disengaged employees.
DIRECT MANAGERS ARE INSTRUMENTAL IN ENGAGEMENT
Direct managers are on the front lines of engagement. The relationship between a direct manager and his or her team can make an immense difference in retaining top talent: its very rare that an employee will decide leave or stay with a company because of the CEO; instead, employees usually leave or stay based on their relationship with a direct manager.
Direct managers are in the crucial position of managing the most important part of a company: the talent. Thats why companies should invest time and effort into developing their direct managers.