Productive Leaders

Ph.D., CSP, CDR, US Navy Ret.,
CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame

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Collaborate for Greater Success and Profitability! Here is How and Why.

Business professionals are asking me, “What can I do to accelerate my business right now?”

If you are looking to find opportunities during this time of forced acceleration and change, I recommend these five suggestions:

1. Practice cooperative competition. This has always been a good idea, but some people resist the idea of actively working with your competition. Being able to honestly share ideas with people in your position and across your industry means understanding that the economic pie is unlimited. It can accelerate growth.  We can all become better by sharing best practices, mistakes, and relevant information and education.  But it also requires a high degree of trust, with a set of understood or facilitated “rules” to make sure that trust is maintained.  This is why participation in peer groups, masterminds, and CEO groups has increased over the past year.  Smart people recognize that the right information at the right time is critical to moving forward.

2. Be a joiner. Join the association that educates you and your team and supports your industry. When I was a Human Resources Director, I joined the Society for Human Resource Managers (SHRM).  When I was a Chief of Police, I joined the International Association of Chiefs of Police.  When I wanted to become a better and more professional speaker, I joined the National Speakers Association.

I love associations.  They bring together people with common interests to provide relevant education, valuable connections, and collegial networking. The information is invaluable, and the friendship are forever.  As with most aspects of life, the more you put into the association, the more you get out of it. When you join an association, get involved.  Volunteer, share knowledge, and be active in helping others move forward.

3. Look for actionable facts. It is easy to lose focus chasing squirrels and quick fixes. Read and learn every day about current initiatives.  Search for facts and truth to allow you to get a clear picture of what needs to happen next.  Don’t waste time rehashing what you already know, such as:

COVID-19 is bad.  (We know.)
People don’t like change. (We know.)
We have to think outside the box. (We know that, too.)

4. Refine your vision and craft achievable and motivational goals. Your people need to know where they are going. They want to know where the organization is going.  Is the business sustainable?  Are we making a profit?

They need your calm presence, the benefit of your industry experience, and most importantly, your leadership through times of volatility.  How leaders react during tough times is why leadership matters.  When times are easy, anyone can lead.  During times of crisis, challenge, and change are when leadership becomes critically important throughout the organization.  While leaders at the top set the vision, it is everyone throughout the organization who achieves that vision.

5. Be part of the solution. Real leaders quickly move beyond thinking myopically about themselves, their jobs, and their personal situation. They start planning on how they are innovating, responding, and serving their current and future customer base.

They ask questions like:
Who are the people we can best serve now and in the future?
What products and services can we pivot to become even more valuable?
When can we make changes happen?
Where do we need to be changing now to fill needs in the market?
How does our strategy and our leadership need to change?

Bonus:  Communicate, communicate, and communicate some more.  Just like telling the people who are important to you that you love them you have to tell your people what is happening with their work situation.  Don’t let uncertainty fester and ferment and cause unneeded problems.  Now is when people need your reassurance, your plan to move forward, and your perspective as soon as you can articulate it.  They need to know that you are heading in the right direction, and that they can get behind you.  And they need to know how they can continue to support you, the entire leadership team, and your customers.

Ready for more?
If you are looking for a group to keep you inspired and accountable:

If you would like to schedule a strategy session with Mary, please schedule here: BookMe.Name/MaryKelly

1 Comment

  1. Neve Campbell

    seriously, this post was damn awesome, one thing that strikes me that most is your style of writing. I could understand the concept behind this very well just by reading at once. thanks for sharing this wonderful article.


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