Posts Tagged ‘leadership’

Jack Welch Inspiration and Motivation

January 26, 2017 1 comment

jackwelchinspireWho is Jack Welch?
For 2 decades, during his time as CEO of General Electric (GE), he took it from a old, slow moving company of $14 billion to a $500 billion company that was willing to take risks. I read his book, Jack: Straight from the Gut.  If you work at a big company, it is worth reading.


I don’t agree with all of what Jack Welch says but here are 13 quotes that I agree with (and a quick thought about each):

  1. “An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.”
    Don’t get stagnant.  Always be learning, be agile and change to stay competitive.
  2. “Control your own destiny or someone else will.”
    Don’t get complacent.  Keep changing and stay ahead of your competition.
  3. “Change before you have to.”
    Competitors are always coming after you, so change to stay ahead.
  4. “Be candid with everyone.”
    Be genuine.  Great leaders are genuine.  (My post on Genuine Leaders)
  5. “Culture drives great results.”
    Make sure you hire by culture and instill the right culture in your employees.
  6. “One of the jobs of a manager is to instill confidence, pump confidence into your people.  And when you’ve got somebody who’s raring to go and you can smell it and feel it, give’em that shot.”
    Develop your team and keep them motivated.
  7. “Only two words matter for leaders today: truth and trust.”
    Very important.  Employees need to trust their leaders.
  8. “Big companies can’t change quickly.  Every big company’s gotta be a small company in their head.  You want the muscle of a big company, and the soul of a small company.”
    Act big but think small and be agile.
  9. “You want people to think every day about speed.”
    Install a culture of speed so the organization keeps changing.
  10. “When they trust you, you will get truth. And if you get truth, you get speed.  If you get speed, you’re going to act.  That’s how it works.”
    If employees trust leadership then they will act faster which is necessary against the competition.
  11. “You backroom is somebody else’s front room.  Backrooms by definition will never be able to attract your best.”
    Convert your backroom into someone else’s front room and insist on getting their best. (My post on Outsourcing)
  12. “Finding great people happens in all kinds of ways, and I’ve always believed everyone you meet is another interview.”
    Always be looking and connecting with individuals.  You never know where you might find a future great employee.
  13. “There has to be structure and logic so that every employee knows the rules of the game.”
    Let your employees know the priorities, the culture, and how they should perform.

Hope you enjoyed these inspirational and motivational quotes by Jack Welch.  Which one caught your attention?  Let me know.

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The Secret Sauce to Leadership is Be Genuine

January 16, 2017 Leave a comment


One day I was told that the key to leadership is for a leader to be genuine.  I totally agree and thus the reason for this blog post.  A great boss or manager needs to be genuine to be a great leader.  They care about their employees and the organization they work for.  They focus on their employees and listen to them.  People gravitate toward genuine leaders because they can trust them.  Genuine leaders walk their talk every day.

People tend to stay at an organization if they work for a genuine manager. It has been proven that employees don’t leave companies due to money but rather due to people, specifically a bad manager, a bad leader. It is beneficial to the organization that they hire managers who are genuine.  And the organization should focus on educating managers to be genuine and getting rid of bad managers quickly before losing good employees.

So what does genuine mean?  The dictionary definition of genuine is: 1) actual, real, or true :  not false or fake <genuine gold> and 2) sincere and honest <She showed genuine interest.>.

Jack Welch, former General Electric, CEO, stated, “Only two word matters for leaders today; truth and trust.” I agree with this quote but my quote would be “Only words that matters for leaders today are be genuine.”

Some key points about Genuine Leaders (GLs):

  • They are Human.  GLs understand that it is OK to be uncomfortable dealing with tough decisions and people.  They need to show vulnerability to their direct reports.  GLs believe in the golden rule.  Treat others as you want to be treated.  GLs treat others with respect because they believe that they are no better than anyone else.  GLs focus on people and not on themselves. GLs are good at reading people and adjusting to make others feel comfortable.  They know that praise goes a long, long way.
  • They are Communicators.  GLs are good listeners. They focus on what is being said to them instead of preparing their response.  By listening and asking questions shows that they care about the individual and respect them. Employees want to be heard and listened to.  GLs respond back to their employees, quickly and efficiently.   They explain why tasks are necessary and communicate the organization’s priorities.
  • They are Honest. GLs don’t lie to their direct reports.  They might not be able to tell them everything, especially if the organization is a public company but definitely do not lie to them.  Being open with your employees makes them feel valued.  GLs follow thru and live up to their commitments.  GLs keep their promises.  They don’t make excuses.  If in budget for an employee to attend a conference and then the budget is cut where they can’t go, a GL explains the situation and offer alternatives.  They review status reports, expense reports and time off requests quickly and provide concise feedback when necessary.  Employee reviews are important and delivered on time.  GLs share information and knowledge generously.  GLs don’t cover up their mistakes or the mistakes of the organization.  They need to be as transparent as possible.
  • They care about the Development of their direct reports.  GLs are easy to turn to for advice and help.  They create opportunities for their direct reports.  They discuss and make sure that employee growth occurs (personal and professional).  GLs care about training for their direct reports.  They want their direct reports to be successful.  GLs discuss with their direct reports what training is necessary and makes sure it happens.  GLs take the time to instill company values and good work habits in their direct reports.  GLs give feed back in a calm manner, and makes sure that it is actionable.

A few relevant quotes:

“Great leaders know how to work the room and make every single person feel as if he or she is being spoken to directly.” – Travis Bradberry

“Great leaders don’t blame the tools they are given.  They work to sharpen them.” – Simon Sinek

A few other thoughts about GLs:

  1. Are confident in themselves and their ability
  2. Do not covet recognition and often give credit away
  3. Do not brag about their accomplishments
  4. Want what is right and not what is best for them
  5. Support their team by giving them the tools and knowledge they need
  6. Are not corporate yes men and do not copy the latest fads

How do you feel when the following happens:

  • You send a thoughtful email on an important subject to your boss and you get no reply, even though you see emails from your boss to others on less important topics
  • You submit a status report on time and it takes 2 weeks for your boss to review it
  • You submit a vacation request and it takes over 2 weeks for your boss to approve it
  • Your boss runs away from making tough decisions or avoids conflicts with employees
  • A project you are involved in changes and there is no discussion by your boss on why it changed
  • Your boss checks their phone constantly during meetings when they should be focusing on the discussion of those in the meeting
  • You are given a task with an unrealistic deadline, you work long hours to get it done and then the task is never discussed again by your boss
  • Your boss lies to you about the status of a project, an employment hire or a budget item
  • Your boss cancels a 1on1 meeting with you at the last moment due to lesser priorities or their poor planning
  • Your boss takes all the credit for something that was done by someone else or the team
  • Your boss says that training is a top priority but an educational training that you were going to attend is cut from the budget with no discussion
  • Your boss delegates a task to you without asking what else is on your plate
  • Your boss gives a task to you without giving you all the information you need to begin the task
  • Your boss assigns you a task without telling you the reason for the task and its priority

Do any of the above make you feel like a valued employee, that your boss is doing their job or that they are being genuine.  When the above happened to me (which they all did) I knew that my boss was not a genuine leader and it was time for me to leave the organization or move to another department.

I dedicate this post to my friend, Adam Shiell, who told me one day at work, “the secret sauce to leadership is be genuine.”  So true.  If you are a manager, I hope you strive to be a great genuine leader.  I will try to be the best leader I can be by following my words in this post.

I want to learn from you. What do you think is the secret sauce to leadership?  Share your leadership thoughts in the comments section.  Also send me your examples of when your manager has not been genuine with you.

Why a Law Firm Should Have a Blog

October 28, 2016 Leave a comment


This post explains the benefits for a law firm of having a well maintained, dynamic blog.   But maintaining a blog is not easy. Do not have a blog if you are not committed to it. A blog is a useful communication tool and has many benefits.

Requirements for Successful Blog

But first, let’s discuss what you need for a successful blog?  Here are some thoughts:

  • brainstorming and discussions on topics
  • consistent and interesting content from various writers including lawyers and thought leaders in your firm
  • calendar of what content to post and when
  • budget as you will need to hire outside writers or consultants to assist with the blog
  • defined blog order and structure
  • someone devoted to blog management, monitoring, measurement and maintenance
  • editor to review content before final posting
  • buy-in from top of firm down

Make sure you have a plan in place before executing on a blog.  Blog posts have categories which are a way to classify and group blog posts.  Posts can be long or short, including just  a few hundred words in length.

Benefits of a Blog

All organizations are different and thus all blogs are different.  Some are more fun and light while others are more educational and legal.  But here are my thoughts on the benefits of a blog for a law firm:

  1. Prove Your Expertise – The Internet is often the first place people go to in order to learn about anything.  Show what you know. Be a trusted adviser in your legal specialty in your geographical area with blog posts that are helpful and insightful. To position yourself as an expert, keep pace with legal news and issues.   Blogs are a sample of an organization’s thinking and professional work.
  2. Enhances Your Community by Staying in Contact with Clients – A blog can be a key part of your community.  Your existing clients and those that care about your firm will be reading the posts since the posts will provide information about your firm and the services you offer.  Share photos, videos and interesting information about your firm.  The words you use in your blog make your clients feel comfortable to do additional business with your firm. Also, perspective employees can be attracted to your firm.
  3. Provides Content for Promotional Campaigns – Prospective clients will seek out information to better inform their selection of a law firm.  And a blog is an excellent place for this.   A blog keeps your firm top of mind with clients who want to hear from you on a regular basis. Make sure that you mention blog posts in an email newsletters. Publish useful content so there will be a reason for a client to stay a client.   Make sure you do Twitter updates that link to your blog posts and that you share the blog posts on LinkedIn.
  4. Provides Content for Other Marketing Pieces – Blog posts are great to combine to form eBooks which can be used in LinkedIn Sponsored Updates and Call to Actions on Landing Pages.   You can also these pieces for webinars.
  5. Improves Website Traffic and Findability – If your blog is part of your website, new blog posts draws more traffic to the site.  Curious blog visitors will check out other pages on your firm’s website. A blog can have a positive impact on search engine ranking results. Blogs posts are full of keywords.
  6. Attracts Influencers – A blog gives you the ability to attract influencers who can spread the work about your legal services to their network.  Included in this influencer group are lawyers in other law firms (who could recommend others to your firm) or potential clients.
  7. Quick Delivery of Information – A blog answers your client’s concerns and questions in a timely manner in the comment area. A blog provides an opportunity to interact with your target audience, and exchange thoughts, believes, and ideas.  A blog is more dynamic than a website. Frequent great new content shows responsiveness, dedication, commitment and expertise. A dynamic blog raises credibility.   A blog is a great place to highlight firm news in an easy to understand wording. Share information beyond a press release. A blog can easily and quickly communicate with an audience (usually much easier than a website) and allows sharing of information about your firm.
  8. Strengthens Your Brand – A blog provides an opportunity to how your firm will be perceived  by others. Consistent branding leads to client loyalty.  Make sure your blog look is consistent with your other marketing activities (website, newsletter, etc.).

Your firm is unique and provides a valuable service.  A blog gets your message out there.  It is a great way for people to know your firm, its service offerings and its expertise.  A blog will assist in controlling the message to your audience.  Be consistent and have a regular conversation with readers.  Many firms have acquired firms through their blog.  If you don’t have a blog, please consider starting one.

Share me your thought on benefits of a blog for law firms.