The Friday Five, Blogs That Matter – February 21, 2014

Blogs of Note for the Week Ending February 21, 2014

5 blogs that matterEvery day I learn something that advances my leadership knowledge and competency. Here are quotes from 5 blogs that got my attention this week. I don’t benefit from reposting any of these posts. Sometimes, I don’t even know the writer. However, I do read and personally grow my knowledge by reading posts that challenge my thinking and get me to think outside my old paradigm. It’s not important that you agree with any of these writers. It’s only important that you think. I hope you will find some new sources of inspiration with these posts. Here’s the next group of 5 in the series:





Mike Figliuolo

How well do you nurture your network?

Mike FigliuoloOur reader poll today asks: How well do you cultivate and maintain the relationships in your professional network?

– I respond to check-ins from others but don’t reach out much on my own: 46%
– I regularly reach out to people to check in and see what they’re up to: 44%
– I reach out only when I’m looking for a job: 6%
– I reach out when I can connect two of my connections: 4%

One of the greatest assets you have is your network. In a world where job change is more frequent, business partnerships are more distributed and communication tools are ubiquitous, there’s no excuse not to actively manage your network.

Read the post…



Dan Forbes

Failure is the Secret to Success

Dan ForbesI have made a lot of mistakes in my life and I’ve failed a number of times. The truth is I learned more from failure than I ever did from success. Failure is one of life’s greatest teachers.

You may already have discovered this truth.  Yet, the fear of failure is one of the biggest obstacles with which people struggle.

You’ve probably heard this quote before by Marrianne Williamson, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.”

It’s a lovely quote, but frankly I feel that she is wrong. Fear of failure is much more prevalent than fear of success.

Read the post…



Alessandro Di Fiore

The Art of Crafting a 15-Word Strategy Statement

Alessandro Di FioreIn the January issue of HBR, Roger Martin sets out some rules for avoiding common mistakes in strategy making. As he writes in “The Big Lie of Strategic Planning”, the first rule is “keep the strategy statement simple.” Rather than a long, often vague document, the company’s strategy should summarize the chosen target customers and the value proposition in one page.

I couldn’t agree more. In my consulting work, I take this idea even further by asking my clients to summarize their strategy in less than 15 words. This statement must identify the target customer, the value proposition, and how the latter fits two requirements:

  • Focus: What you want to offer to the target customer and what you don’t;
  • Difference: Why your value proposition is divergent from competitive alternatives.

Sounds simple. But it’s more difficult than it seems…

Read the post…



Burke Allen

Is Your Company’s Culture What You Say It Is? Six Actions To Take Now

Burke AllenCulture is the shared beliefs and unwritten ground rules that determine the behavior of your organization and its people. It is not written in manuals or in the “About” section of your website.

Corporate culture can be the crystal ball that gives you a glimpse of your company’s future.

Therefore, it is critical to define , nurture, and protect your company’s culture.

1. Craft the required culture

Here at NovoLogic we are cultivating a culture of innovation, giving and service.

Read the post…



Julie Winkle Giulioni

For the Love of Learning

Julie Winkle GiulioniRemember when you were a child and couldn’t wait to go to school? The excitement and pride associated with learning something new? The enthusiasm to practice a new skill over and over again… enlisting those around you to watch and critique your efforts?

For too many adults, that joy has been replaced with disinterest, anxiety, skepticism, and resistance.

The natural drive toward the pursuit of new knowledge and abilities has been crowded out of the workplace by a variety of factors, with two topping the list.

  • Competition for scarce moments in the day: Learning takes time. Practicing takes time. Reflecting on how to apply new skills and knowledge takes time. And for too many in the workforce, time is the scarcest of resources. Competing demands and overflowing priorities can crowd out learning… and any love for it.
  • Performance pressure: Everything feels ‘high-stakes’ in business today. Leaders are under a microscope and in the spotlight at the same time. Missteps and mistakes are noticed, communicated, and magnified as a result of ever-expanding communication vehicles. This sort of pressure can reduce one’s appetite for learning… and any love for it.

Read the post…



Hugh Ballou
The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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