Posts Tagged ‘forward thinking leaders’

Sales Leadership, Bag Phone or Smart Phone?

Funny thing about sales leadership is some past sales leaders sometimes fail to continue to be forward thinking as new ideas or technologies evolve.

sales-leadershipNow younger sales professionals may not remember the first mobile phones that were literally in a bag.  These bag phones started the trend of being connected 24/7.

Over time technology reduced the size of the mobile phone and increased its power.  Today we have all those smart phones and other smart devices that allow those in sales leadership to reach out and touch someone instantaneously.

Many of the early adopters of bag phones saw the value in them.  They found them to be beneficial to achieving the goal to increase sales. Yet some of these same forward thinking leaders decided to hold onto their bag phones because they were familiar with them, they did not have to learn a new device and it worked for them.

They believed in “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Yesterday’s old bag phones is an analogy respective to  those in sales leadership who do not want change.  They want to hold onto their authority, their knowledge and their comfortableness.

Those who adopt new technology, new marketing channels, new ways of thinking are more willing to accept change and challenge the status quo. They accept the possibility their authority may be challenged, their knowledge will change and they will be uncomfortable during this process.

Of course to change for the sake of change is not good.  Yet to hold onto the past without looking to the future is equally not good.

Sales leadership in the 21st century must face its greatest challenge – change.  This is quite difficult given how fast change is happening and why additional resources must be hired or contracted to effectively deal with all of these changes in sales, in business and in people. Now is not the time to hold onto that old bag phone.

Share on Facebook

How the Cost Question Reveals a Leadership Mindset of Scarcity

How many times have you heard this question within the first few minutes of talking to a new sales lead?

mindset-of-scarcity

“How much will this cost?”

What this question has revealed beyond your own internal negative reactions is a leadership mindset of scarcity.

Decision makers who are forward thinking leaders do not bring cost up within the first few moments. No, these individuals recognize to solve their problems, to have sustainable growth requires an investment of time, energy, money and emotions.

“How much will it cost?” reflects short term. scarcity thinking. Sure these decision makers may be having success. However that business success will not be sustainable with a mindset of scarcity.

When I hear this question I realize the person is probably not forward thinking.  This becomes especially difficult when the individual is a referred sales lead.

My most recent corporate executive coaching client first asked about my coaching process. Then we scheduled a phone call to better understand the client’s objectives and to learn if my executive coaching approach would work.  Finally at the end of the phone call, he requested I share the “investment” for this solution as he was just one of the two decision makers.

The mindset of scarcity is quite prevalent within many SMBs.  During a mastermind session with some other SMB owners, one of the members revealed the scarcity mindset of one of his clients. The client promoted a “super” worker to “super” visor without any investment in this individual.  As is usually the case, the newly promoted worker failed because he lacked the necessary people skills in his new role.  Then the SMB owner demoted him back to “super” worker.  There was no effort to develop this person because the SMB’s mindset of scarcity could not even recognize the real problem.

Research shows this scarcity mindset of “How much will it cost?” is probably part of the reason many millennials are leaving their jobs by the end of the year.  The lack of leadership development is probably because of cost.

When I receive this question of “How much will it cost?” early in any sales conversation, my response is “It all depends.”  I then continue with “At this time I do not have enough facts to answer that questions.  What I do know from what little that has been shared, is there appears to be some barriers to your business growth.  If this is true, then would it not make sense for us to talk further to determine the full impact of those barriers on the future of your business?”  This response usually returns to the conversation scheduling another appointment.

Understanding the financial impact of any buying decision is essential.  However, when “how much will it cost” comes almost right out of the sales conversation gate, this question reveals far more than someone being concerned about the financial impact.

* * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leadership in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

 

Share on Facebook

So You Believe You Are a Forward Thinking Leader, Really?

Many in leadership roles believe or would like to believe they are forward thinking.  However reality paints a far different picture.

forward-thinking

Credit www.gratisography.com

Yesterday’s blog I shared a story about a sales lead who probably believes he is forward thinking and yet his actions were just the opposite.

What do forward thinking behaviors truly look like because we have yet to become mind readers?

Open Minded to New Ideas

Those who think toward the future keep their minds open to new ideas, new ways of thinking.  Here is where the creativity to spur innovation happens. They may say “tell me more” instead of a first response of “no.”

Willing to Leave Their Comfort Zones

Change is happening at warp speed. Leaving what has always been comfortable is even more difficult with the speed of change. Being uncomfortable has become for them the “new normal.”

Invest Time in Reflection and Discernment

Sometimes life demands a quick response.  Other times life demands time for reflection and discernment. Quick decisions without reflection and discernment are not as necessary as some may believe.

Self Directed Learners

No longer is life long learning the necessary path. Today those who are self directed learners truly are ahead of the flow.  These individuals learn what they need to know to get to that next level.  They optimize the many learning opportunities from webinars to paid online classes to seminars to reading books and other publications.

Questioning Mentality instead of Acceptance One

Another characteristic of forward thinking leaders is they continually engage in a questioning mode.  They do not readily accept the status quo.  Many of there questions begin with “What if….?”

Not Afraid of Being Unliked

Human beings are social creatures.  They innately want to be liked by other humans.  Those who are truly forward thinking recognize they may not be liked and they can accept this. This behavior is absolutely essential for those in leadership roles be they parents, managers or high level executives.

Believing There Are Better Results

The driving force behind this type of forward thinking leadership is better results. Leaders believe results can always be better.

If after reading these seven characteristics of forward thinking leadership and you believe you have one if not all of these traits, then write down how your behaviors have demonstrated these traits. This requires reflecting on recent exchanges and asking yourself questions such as “Was I really open to that new idea?” or “Was I willing to be unliked because of my decision?”  By taking this action, you may be surprised that you are not as forward thinking as you think you are.

* * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leadership in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

Share on Facebook

Frankenwords Are The Stone Soup In Workplace Culture

Have you ever heard the term “Frankenwords” respective to workplace culture?  Well, I hadn’t until I read an article in HR Magazine entitled Frankenwords: Jargon is rampaging through your office, terrorizing meaning by Frank Bures. In reading various online dictionaries it appears this term, “Frankenword” started with food that was genetically engineered hence the reference to Frankenstein.

workplace-culture-frankenwordsIn today’s workplace culture, this term has been expanded to include politically correct words that numb us to what is really happening within organizations.  In using Frankenwords, meetings may take twice as long and people are lost when it comes to what is actually being said.

One of the most common examples of Frankenwords is listening to “legal speech” or reading a legal document.

Most of us have probably sat in those meetings or around tables listening to someone going on and on and saying nothing (adding stones to the soup to trick us). He or she probably spoke using “Frankenwords.”

Some of these words may be words from other languages such as “grande” for large.  Then there are the words that skirt around reality because you sound judgmental as in “sanitation engineer” for garbage man. These words are indeed a communication barrier to a highly engaged workplace culture.

When listening to forward thinking leaders, one rarely hears these words or any phrases that confuse and complicate the communication. For some with politically correct delicate ears, these individuals may find those leaders who speak directly and plainly boorish and insensitive.

Within this article within HR Magazine referenced an essay by George Orwell entitled Politics and the English Language. I am currently reading it though I must admit it is not a quick read. The main point of this essay is  our thoughts become foolish and sloppy English reaffirms those foolish thoughts. Orwell presents five examples of poorly written thoughts that reflect five mental vices.

For those in leadership roles who wish to have engaged employees and thus a high performing workplace culture, then consider speaking in plain English without all the extra words to foreign phrases (the stones added to the soup).  Of course, remember to be emotionally intelligent when choosing the words you speak and write.

* * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

Share on Facebook

How to Use Your Business Data Better in 2016 – Part 2

Ignoring business data especially when it provides additional clarity as to your marketing results and more importantly what changes are required is foolhardy.  For solo entrepreneurs to SMB owners, marketing data is critical to further the attraction factor and building relationships.

business-dataIn yesterday’s posting, I shared the top downloads during the first quarter of 2015 from my website analytics. This business data revealed the majority of downloads approximately 90% were articles from my website and the remaining 10% from this blog. Today, I am sharing the top viewed blog postings in January of 2015.

By examining these postings provides further clarification as to what topics generate more interest.  Since I am engaged in education based marketing with a more journalistic approach, I can further niche myself in key areas while not forgetting what readers of this blog enjoy.

  1. The Endless Small Business Steam of Got No Excuses
  2. Are You Facing This Sales Barrier of ‘Everyone is a Coach’?
  3. The Greatest Gift of All to Give
  4. Is Your Action Plan to Increase Sales an Incomplete Puzzle?
  5. The Many ABCs of Marketing
  6. Why Aren’t You Where You Want to Be?
  7. The You Go First Leadership Challenge
  8. How to Unlock Your Real Estate Marketing Message
  9. Are you the Hare or the Tortoise in Your Marketing Approach?
  10. Are You Where You Want to Be?

Business data marketing analysis is extremely important for the solo entrepreneur. By investing 30 minutes each month, data can be transferred to excel spreadsheets. This allows for a quick comparison as to what is creating attraction.

Additional information learned can be the most popular times respective to posting blogs to the days of the week with the highest views.  In January 2015, Monday and Wednesday received the most traffic while the hours of 6 am and 7am secured the most traffic. Sunday was the quietest day for traffic along with 2am in the morning.

As you take your business forward, remember to invest time each month to review your business data beyond the monthly financial profit and loss statement.  Track and record your marketing results along with your sales leads and sales conversions.  All of this business data will support you in your efforts to increase sales.

P.S. Finally reviewing your business data will also reveal to you the impact of the long tail.  You just may be surprised how long your tail really is.

 

new-year

* * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

Share on Facebook

Reflection Your Own Path to Inspiration and Motivation

Do you take time for reflection, to think about what has happened, what is happening or what will happen?

reflectionYes life is so crazy busy, we get caught up in the day to day drama we often fail to reflect about the past or the present.

Appreciate Yesterday

Each day creates a yesterday.  From yesterday we first can appreciate what happened and some of that appreciation turns into knowledge.  As they say we learn from our past mistakes.

Experience the Present

Then today is where we invest so much time and sometimes not wisely.  We engage in the role of gotta get it done and failing to see how we may be ignoring others.

Being able to experience the present is clouded by all the surrounding chaos.  We fail to actively listen, to be present when we are speaking to others.  Our mind is going 100 miles an hour thinking about many things we have no control over.  Sometimes we step on the feelings of other people to literally stepping on them because we are in such a hurry. Reflection even it is for a few moments can return us to experiencing the present.

Visualize Tomorrow

“Someday over the rainbow” as the song goes is visualizing tomorrow.  We can create our destiny even though it may be filled with known and unknown barriers.  However, the greater clarity we have when we visualize tomorrow, the greater likelihood our hopes and dreams will come true.

Of course if we are so caught up in a yesterday we cannot change or a present we are not truly experiencing, then it becomes far more difficult to visualize tomorrow, of where we want to be.

Inspiration and Motivation

From thinking about yesterday, today and then tomorrow, we can fuel ourselves with inspiration. From this inspiration our motivation increases.  We see our own world now filled with abundance instead of scarcity.

Yes reflection is essential to each of us.  Those who appreciate reflection have a personal and professional advantage over those who don’t.  As this New Year starts, consider scheduling just 15 minutes a day to engage in reflection. What this means is just check your phone 15-20 fewer times a day given the average person checks their smart phones 150 times per day.

* * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

Share on Facebook

What Makes for Ethical Leadership?

There have been many leaders who have demonstrated less than ethical leadership.  Yesterday I received an email and it started my brain thinking about what really makes for ethical leadership.

ethical-leadershipDoes the recipe for ethical leadership begin with the leader of any group or organization?  Maybe it starts with each individual within that group or organization?  Possibly it is a combination of both?

If an individual believes he or she is ethical and others believe the leader of the group is not ethical, what does that really mean? By participating in that group are you as an individual contributor supporting unethical leadership?

Being ethical goes far deeper than saying you are ethical.  All of your behaviors must be in alignment with your personal and professional ethics. For some this is called being congruent.

When the leadership of any organization is questioned, then each member must reflect and determine if that criticism is valid or not valid. However if the member believes the leadership of the organization has sometimes crossed the ethical boundary lines, then continuing support of that organization suggests someone who is more self-serving in nature.  What then happens is the “wink and the nod” behavior takes over.

Yes it is difficult to sit on the sidelines and not join the chorus clapping their heads in gleeful joy.  No one wants to be intentionally disliked. However, when does “walking the talk; talking the walk” kick in?

I am reminded of two quotes that directly reflect what it makes for ethical leadership (positive core values).

“You have enemies? Good. That means you‘ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.” Sir Winston Churchill

“Those who stand for nothing fall for anything.” Alexander Hamilton

P.S. I don’t pretend to have the answer. I thought the question required awareness and possible discussion. Please feel free to leave your comments.

* * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

Share on Facebook

Visionary Leaders or Forward Thinking Leaders, The Same or Different?

Some may contend visionary leaders and forward thinking leaders are one in the same. I believe there is a significant difference between these two types of leaders.

forward-thinking-leaders

Credit www.gratisography.com

Visionary leaders see the vanishing point on the horizon.  They have a purpose, a passion and a commitment to get to that vision.  These individuals are strategic and conceptual in their focus.

Forward thinking leaders focus on thinking how to get through the next 6 months, the next year, the next 3 to 5 years.  They are more geared toward execution of the vision than just thinking about the future.

Both types of business leadership are necessary in any organization.  The CEO may be both a visionary leader as well as a forward thinking leader.  He or she may also designate the forward thinking execution to another leader such as a Chief Operating Officer (COO).

In the 21st century, what is keeping many organizations from getting to where they want to be is execution of the business strategy, vision and purpose. There is a lot of excellent strategies, great visions and dedicated purposes, but far less consistent execution.  This is why it is so important to have forward thinking leaders who can bridge the gap between where a business is and where it wants to go.

So much emphasis is placed on visionary leadership and continues to ignore forward thinking leadership.  Then what happens is execution suffers. Poor execution is like a leak that continues to drain resources.

There are many visionaries in the business world and far fewer forward thinkers.  This is evidenced by the number of business failures and the inability of visionary leaders to just “get stuff done.”

Today SMB owners, entrepreneurs and even salespeople may wish to consider how truly forward thinking they really are instead of being overly obsessed about that vanishing point on the horizon.

* * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

Share on Facebook

Enemies Are the Consequences of Living Your Personal Values

personal-valuesHave you ever considered how your enemies are the consequences of living your personal values? Winston Churchill recognized the relationship between enemies and personal values when he spoke these words:

“You have enemies? Good! That means you stood for something, sometime in your life.”

How often are we afraid someone may not like us if we stand up for what we believe?

How different would our communities be if we discarded the politically correct speech and actually said the truth and stood by what we said?

Now some might say “Standing up for what you believe might offend someone; this is not how we can get along.”

Thousands of years ago a very wise man by the name of Socrates developed a three way test:

Is what you say kind?

Is what you say truthful?

Is what you say necessary?

Today I might add a fourth test:

Is what you say courageous?

Courage is required to stand up, to live our personal values. We can be kind in speaking the necessary truth. Yet if we don’t have courage to take action, we will fold into a puddle of mush along with our personal values.

When we accept the fact not everyone will like us, that is a small demonstration of courage.  Human beings are social creatures and have this innate desire to be liked. Purposefully creating enemies is contrary to basic human nature.

The founders of America because of their shared personal values toward liberty created an entire country of enemies. They also created enemies in other colonists as less than 10% of the population was actively involved in what we call the American Revolution.

Today America continues to create enemies beyond failed political initiatives.  The liberty and freedom we have is hated by many because we are a country free for the most part to live our lives how we want to lives our lives. Living our lives returns to our personal core values.

Enemies are a natural consequence, a by product of living our personal core values. If we have no enemies, that may suggest our personal core values have not been tested.

This question then remains:

How much courage do you have to accept the fact by living your personal core values you will create enemies?

* * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

Share on Facebook

Leadership Legacy Is More Than What You Believe It To Be

Leadership legacy seems to be a very popular term especially among noted business and political leaders.  Yet, what does this two word phrase really mean?

leadership-legacyNow some believe their leadership legacy is all of their accomplishments. One high ranking politician in Illinois has built a mausoleum listing all of his accomplishments, a CV carved in granite. As I listened to him explain his litany of his “results,” I never heard him say “friend to all” or even “dedicated public servant.” No what was driving his legacy was three letters “EGO!”

For me, ” leadership is results” (Peter Drucker) through the “consistent demonstration of positive core values” (Leanne Hoagland-Smith).  Legacy is being remembered beyond your results for it is the summation of all of experiences held by others about you as well as your own experiences. Your legacy is often revealed by the stories told about you and how people tell those stories.

Those experiences and stories are based upon your behaviors.  How did you interact with those you in your life? After you pass on, what will others say about you?

We are remembered by how we touch the lives of others.  When our name is mentioned, what are the first words spoken or what does the body language reveal? These are indicators to our real leadership legacy.

If you want a leadership legacy that inspires others, that brings smiles to those who knew you and never knew you, then focus on being a forward thinking leader who gets results through the consistent demonstration of positive core values reflected by your daily behaviors.  You may not be remembered by thousands or millions, but those who do remember you will smile and tell stories about how you helped them and made their lives better just by knowing you.

* * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith is THE People and Process Problem Solver. She supports forward thinking leaders in bridging the gaps between the two problems restricting strategic business growth – people and processes. Leanne can be reached at 219.508.2859 central time USA.  Follow her on Twitter or check out her profile on LinkedIn.

Share on Facebook
RSS Subscribe!
Coaching Tip

People buy results or rather people buy the feelings the results deliver.

What’s Happening?

Internal Results interviews
Leanne Hoagland-Smith
. Some of her answers may surprise you.

Check out this podcast on value creation between David Brock and Leanne Hoagland-Smith

Listen to Leanne Hoagland-Smith at Sales Scenario podcasts

Another list of top sales bloggers

Pre-order this great book How to Get a Meeting with Anyone. You may recognize a familiar name.

Top 100 Most Innovative Sales Bloggers Honored this blog is included in this impressive list.

Best Sales Blogger Award for 2014 Third place awarded to Leanne Hoagland-Smith.

NWI SBDC awarded Small Business Journalist of 2014 to Leanne Hoagland-Smith. Awards.

Expand Your Business Horizons
Sign up to receive monthly newsletter devoted to small businesses and busy sales professionals Beyond the Black
Be the Red Jacket
Seeking an easy and practical book on marketing, selling and sales? Read the reviews at Amazon and then order your hard copy or eBook.
Sustainability Expert
The Institute for Sustainability
Ezine Expert
Blogroll – Leadership, OD
Contact Coach Lee

Leanne Hoagland-Smith
219.759.5601 Main Office CDT
219.508.2859 Mobile CDT

Office located near Chicago, IL

www.processspecialist.com Main Website

Sales Corner

Tracking by The Sales Corner
Blog Rankings
Business Blogs - Blog Rankings
Blog Top Sites
Plazoo
RSS Search
Blog Log