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Moving to a New Blogging Platform

Posted at 9:00 AM on Friday, December 04, 2009

This was the home of my blog from March 2004- November 2009.  Here you will find over 870 posts about leadership, training, learning and more.  I wrote here to help you become more effective and successful in all parts of your life.

My business (and yours) looks different than it did in 2004 - and the world of blogging and blog tools is certainly different as well.

For all of those reasons, I am now blogging in a new location, using new tools.  While the name of the blog has changed (it is now Leadership & Learning with Kevin Eikenberry), my goals haven't changed - I write to help you tap into and move closer to your remarkable potential.

However you found this page, whether you were referred, found it from a search engine or you bookmarked us long ago. I hope you will follow over to the new blog to continue to learn, grow and be a part of our expanding community of leaders and learners.
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Making a Move

Posted at 4:34 AM on Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I've recently revised my blogging process somewhat. Over the last several years I have written over 370 posts that relate to leadership in some way that have shown up here. All of those posts are archived here and aren't going anywhere.

All new writing about leadership though will be housed on a new blog - the Unleashing Your Leadership Potential blog.

I have done this to coordinate, compile, combine and all of my leadership writing (formerly here and the blog for my book Remarkable Leadership).

I will still write on other topics on the Remarkable Learning blog, but to follow my thoughts on leadership thinking, please join me, comment and sign up for my RSS feed on the Unleashing Your Leadership Potential blog.

Thanks - I look forward to seeing you there.
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What is Your Leadership Message?

Posted at 3:09 AM on Saturday, November 15, 2008

For years I've asked people, "What's the good word today?"  My intention always was to get people thinking about something positive and if they were thinking something positive to share it with me so I could benefit too!

Unfortunately far too often people can't come up with a good word - or in many cases a word at all.

As I said, I've asked this question for years, until it has almost become a conditioned response or a habit.  Because of that, I haven't thought much about it for a long time. 

Until recently, when I started thinking about how the U.S. President's team tries to manage communications with daily briefs and messaging.  It is no accident that the information shared by multiple media outlets is largely the same when it comes to creating the national conversation - at least some of that comes from the White House and is done deliberately. (This reflection is likely because of my preparation for the Leadership Lessons from Presidential Politics teleseminars I did recently).

I don't want you (or me) to get mired in the details of White House messaging, or start "yes, butting" because our work isn't the same as the President's and we don't have a huge communications team, yada yada yada.  Rather than focusing on the differences, let's explore the principle we can apply. . .

As leaders, we need to consciously create the conversation in our organization.  Ask yourself this question:


Are people talking about and thinking about the most important things, the things that will help us reach our objectives?

If not, why not?  As a leader it is your opportunity to create the conversation that will best move your organization forward.  Here's an even more pressing question.


Do you know what you want people to be talking and thinking about?
If you can't answer this question, the first one is impossible to answer.

Whether you are thinking about supervisor leadership, corporate leadership, or executive leadership; whether you are leading 2 or 2,222, your answers to these questions are critical. 

If you want to engage in an effective leadership activity today, do this exercise.

1.  Determine the most pressing and important issue, challenge or goal you and your organization is facing.

2.  Make that your "word (or message) of the day" (hopefully it is a good one).

3.  Find ways to communicate and share that message multiple times a day. 

This is not just a great leadership communication tool - it is strategic leadership at its finest!  

Taking those three steps will help you create the conversation - and focus - that you want in your organization.  It will also ensure that you always have a good word to share - and those words will be strategic and help you move the organization forward toward your goals.

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The Power of Choice

Posted at 2:39 AM on Friday, November 14, 2008

I've been thinking about choice a lot lately - for myself and the implications it has for us as leader. Here is a case in point - what I sent to our Powerquotes subscribers earlier this week -


"You can always do what you want to do. This is true with
every act. You may say that you had to do something,
or that you were forced to, but actually, whatever you do,
you do by choice. Only you have the power to choose for
yourself." 


 -- W.Clement Stone

Questions to Ponder

What choices am I making?

Do I recognize them as in my control?

Action Steps

Recognize your power to choose.

Use this power wisely.

.....

Recognizing that we are making choices and valuing those choices is something that effective leaders must do - it is a leadership activity of champions. 

Having the right focus on choice allows you exercise your leadership influence more effectively, will help you create a more empowered and engaged workplace and brings accountability and responsibility into focus more clearly.

But all of this starts with you. 

You must recognize that you are responsible for your choices; you must focus on what is inside of your control.  When you do these things consistently you will  create better results for yourself (in all parts of your life) and for your organization.  You will also be modeling this behavior for those you lead.

Choosing the recognize the power of choice isn't just a great concept for you personally, it makes you a more effective leader.

Improving your skills in this way doesn't require an organizational leadership development process.  It doesn't require a formal leadership development program of any kind.  What it requires is you stepping up and making choices based on what is in your control.

Recognize the power you have over the choices in your life and the outcomes those choices create.  Use them wisely.

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Do You Have Amnesia?

Posted at 4:56 PM on Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ryan, the good looking middle-aged executive that everyone loves is in a tragic car accident, and when awakens from a brief coma, the worst has occurred.  He has amnesia!  He can't remember any one or anything at all.  Suddenly he is beginning life new, with no clue about the people he knows or the strategies that have made him who he is . . .

Ryan is a make-believe person, and the story is ripped from soap opera television (any show, most weeks I'm told).  In the past when people would tell me of television story lines like this, I always thought, "I don't know anyone who as ever really had amnesia."

That isn't how I feel anymore.

Now I realize, that we all suffer from amnesia, and it affects our performance and results everyday. Yes, we remember the names of the important people in our lives and the way to work and our address, but we forget all sorts of important things all the time. 

The things we forget are tools and techniques that affect our leadership skills.  We walk through our day not doing things we know work; in effect operating as if we have amnesia related to the activities that lead to effective leadership.


There are many ways we can cure this unnoticed amnesia, but like any affliction, we can't cure it until it has been diagnosed.  We can diagnose it with a 360 assessment.  A 360 assessment can provide clues and pointers to show us and remind us of our blind spots.  I have never coached someone on a 360 assessment where there wasn't at least one thing that the person felt they "knew was important" but just wasn't doing - a classic case of leadership amnesia!

Once diagnosed, the cure can come from executive coaching, or any coaching and mentoring process, as well as personal reflection and and being on an ongoing learning path.

Ryan's amnesia was catastrophic, our much less evident.  And yet when we diagnose and understand our personal case, we can begin the long and beneficial road to recovery.

Pick one technique, tool or idea that you know works but haven't done lately (for whatever reason).  Notice the results you get.

And smile knowing that you are on the road to recovery from leadership amnesia.

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