Inward Blog

Viewing entries tagged with 'leadership'

The Responsibility To Create An Innovative Culture Lies With Employers

We recently came across an impactful study conducted by BMC, which was shared at last month's Davos World Economic Forum: http://bit.ly/2iBDIHc.  The theme for the annual meeting in Davos was Responsive and Responsible Leadership, as "traditional industries are being redefined and new ones are being created from scratch." Advances in machine learning, artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, self-driving vehicles, and new payment technologies are forcing businesses, governments and individuals to examine how people work and the skills required of labor forces to meet the demands and needs of digital industry.

Posted by Allan Steinmetz at 11:00am

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Southwest Airlines Does It Again With “Transfarency”

I am a big fan of Southwest Airlines. Despite the skirmishes that happened between two passengers this week from LA to San Francisco, I am still a big believer of their philosophy and marketing programs.

Posted by Allan Steinmetz at 11:00am

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Recognition Of Our Worth And Value Is A Universal Need

As we look back over our careers, we often have defining moments that shape our view of the world forever. When I was in my late 30’s, I had the incredible opportunity to manage one of the world’s most iconic brands, KitchenAid. Up to this point in my career, other than a short two-year period running a cable television operation in rural Kentucky, my experience had been in the financial field; so you can imagine my surprise and delight when I was presented with this opportunity. At this time, KitchenAid Portable Appliances was a one-product organization, manufacturing and marketing the legendary Stand Mixer. I will never forget when I took the assignment that my marching orders from the President of KitchenAid were twofold: First and foremost, don’t mess this up. Protect the equity of the brand and reputation of the KitchenAid stand mixer. And two, grow the business from a one-product company to a full small appliance competitor.

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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True Leadership Is Tested In Times Of Adversity

Anyone can lead when things are going smoothly. When the economy is good, profits are growing, and employees are happy and engaged; strong management, rather than leadership is the key. What’s the difference? Management is about tasks and leadership is about people. Leadership requires the ability to keep employees engaged and inspired and stay on course for delivering a strategy, despite the unexpected setbacks that may occur.

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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What Behaviors Are Common Among Great Leaders?

Research proves that 80% of effective leadership behavior is driven by interpersonal skills rather than technical competency. For leaders to create a culture of high engagement, people need to be aligned with more than just the goals and objectives... they must embrace a common set of values and beliefs. An effective leader exhibits strong interpersonal skills that engage and inspire others. There are a number of characteristics tied to effective leadership behavior, but as we speak to leaders from all walks of life, including businesses, sports teams, churches, non-profits, etc., 4 common themes surfaced over and over again for those who achieve sustained success over time.

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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Change For The Sake Of Change Is Not The Best Strategy

Whenever a new executive comes into an organization, the natural inclination is to change strategies, brand positioning, or just executional direction. Often this change is made without regard to the level of engagement around the current efforts, or the momentum that may exist in the organization. Now don’t get me wrong! The power to change is the power to grow. John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” But change for change’s sake can be more damaging to your efforts towards creating an engaged and inspired workforce than no change at all. Some leaders change things they shouldn’t change and don’t change those they should. John Luke Jr., Chairman and CEO of global packaging giant, MeadWestvaco, said 'Change simply for the sake of change is an abdication of leadership'.

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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There’s Nothing Wrong With The Past - Unless We Live There

Our view of the world is shaped by the sum of our experiences, relationships, and the values and beliefs we learned from our families and friends. So are we simply victims of our past, or can we reshape the lens through which we see the world? Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, either way you’re right.” I would suggest that this quote represents how effective leaders deal with their past to increase their ability to lead, influence and engage others. 

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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The Difference Between A Dream And A Vision Is A Plan To Get There

Effective decision making is one of the key traits of a strong leader. On one end of the scale, there are leaders who always look for one more piece of data or evidence before making a decision and often end up in analysis paralysis. On the other hand, there are those leaders who make impulsive decisions, with no input from others or facts to support their position. There is never a decision that can be made with 100% guarantee of the desired outcome. Effective leaders find the balance between analysis / input and pulling the trigger.

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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Bad Attitudes Look for Company, Not Correction

You’ve heard it said a number of times from recruiters. I would rather hire someone with a great attitude and willingness to improve their skills than someone with great skills and a bad attitude. In a quest for a highly engaged workforce, a bad attitude can quickly derail a team. Effective leaders need to address bad attitudes head on, rather than let them grow and become the driver for a disengaged team. 

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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Honoring Commitments Requires Knowing When to Say Yes And When to Say No

You’ve heard it said that the path to failure is paved with good intentions. Commitment and enthusiasm certainly inspire others and can create a culture of high engagement. But after listening to words, people look for concrete actions and follow through before truly trusting others and becoming fully engaged in the cause. I realize there are exceptions, but I would like to believe that most people have great intentions and truly mean to follow up with those things they speak about or commit to. But others cannot see intentions…they only see action and behavior.

Posted by Rick DeMarco at 11:00am

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