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Friday’s Big Eight # 7: Decisions

Rich Drinon Leadership Communication

SDS presentation-creationYour ability to continuously solve problems and make decisions better insures that you, the team and organization are less likely to get behind the curve when it comes to changes taking place in today’s world.  Keeping the pace is essential to remaining viable, profitable and relevant.  Your ability to decide accurately and quickly and to take decisive action can be a big asset.  Or course, so is the ability to be flexible and change your mind as needed.

Here are three primary ways to approach decision making:

Subjective– Working with known information.  Usually revolves around asking yourself or the team questions that identify the problem, causes and possible solutions.  I credit the Dale Carnegie Course and Dale Carnegie’s book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living with helping me become a better decision maker beginning in my early 20s.  Still relevant.

Objective – Needing more and better intelligence.  There…

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Friday’s Big Eight # 6: Change

Rich Drinon Leadership Communication

SDS presentation-creationThe ability to navigate change has become one of the most important areas of competence over the past few decades due to shifts in our technology driven global society.  The leader needs to predict, plan for and promote change in a manner that brings about next steps and a new normal.

Predicting change is becoming a more exact science due to the massive amount of information available to analyst and decision makers.  Big Data, carefully scrutinized, can give those with the ability to decipher and put it to immediate use an incredible edge in today’s marketplace or battleground – or at the polls.  Read The Naked Future: What Happens in a World that Anticipates Your Every Move? by Patrick Tucker –  if you haven’t already.

With accurate, faster and more powerful ways to predict changes, patterns and opportunities, those in competitive situations must learn to plan for changemore quickly…

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Friday’s Big Eight # 5: Results

Rich Drinon Leadership Communication

SDS presentation-creationLast Friday I wrote, “In the workplace you’ve heard it said, “It’s all about relationships.”  And, to a large degree, this is true.  It’s hard to accomplish your objectives without the help of others.”  You’ve also heard it said, “It’s all about results.”   And this is ALSO true.  As a leader you were hired or promoted into your position with the expectation you would deliver results.

It’s important for you to set goals, establish priorities, schedule time and manage your work space on a personal basis.  And, perhaps more importantly, it’s vital for you to achieve results THROUGH others by learning to convey expectations, delegate work and give performance feedback while planning for improvement with your entire team and individual members.

The tension between those who are geared towards achieving results versus those who are more relationship-oriented is a historic point of friction in the workplace.   It’s important to understand…

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Friday’s Big Eight # 4: Relationships

Rich Drinon Leadership Communication

SDS presentation-creationThe story of an oyster cultivating a pearl is a great analogy for persons developing relationships.  With the oyster, an intruding or irritating grain of sand is covered by layers of a mineral substance called mother of pearl until a beautiful gem is produced.  Between humans, that grain of sand is usually a speck of commonality that begins the process of rapport and discovery until, over time, relationships of varying degrees are produced.  Some are distant, some closer.  Some are acquaintances.  Some friends.  Some lovers.  Some never launch – but a few become beautiful gems.

In the workplace you’ve heard it said, “It’s all about relationships.”  And, to a large degree, this is true.  It’s hard to accomplish your objectives without the help of others.  Relationships with customers, vendors, examiners, collaborators and employees are all critical to your success.  Well known polls on employee engagement continue indicating that the…

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Friday’s Big Eight # 3: Competence

Rich Drinon Leadership Communication

SDS presentation-creationToday’s follower wants competence in a leader.  During my work life (more than 40 years) competence has become an increasingly important issue for leaders.  Things that were popular when I was entering the workforce, such as charisma, have become less so.

When speaking of competence I’m talking about both perceived and real capabilities.  Perceived competence, for example, is how well you present yourself to groups so they read things into you such as intelligence, confidence and ability.  If you’re running for president, and people perceive you as competent, you might get the votes and the job.  But it doesn’t necessarily mean you can DO the job!   Real competence, however, may be visible to others or not.  If you’re a quiet, behind the scenes achiever, instigator, motivator or peace maker, others may not readily recognize your talents due to the low key nature of your style.   One would hope, that over…

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Friday’s Big Eight # 2: Credibility

Rich Drinon Leadership Communication

SDS presentation-creation

Although communication is the leader’s greatest ally, credibility is his or her greatest asset.  Like any asset, credibility has value that can be invested and redeemed – and must be protected at all costs.  When thinking of credibility, consider the root word of credit – or having credit with others.  When you need something from someone else – either an individual or a group of people – credit is a great thing to have!  Having credit usually stems from things you’ve done for others in the spirit of mutuality or a “give and take” relationship.  Credibility is also tied to words we use regularly to rate others, including ethical behavior, character, reputation… and trust.

Trust is the leadership bridge between my first two Big Eight points of communication and credibility.  For example, you can be a great communicator but if someone doesn’t trust you they are…

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Friday’s Big Eight # 1: Communication Skills

Communication…still!

Rich Drinon Leadership Communication

SDS presentation-creationI’ve asked this question hundreds of times, “If you can’t communicate, how can you lead?”  This is also the name of my flagship coaching program, which focuses on leadership communication skills for managing relationships, results, change and decisions.   While credibility is certainly a leader’s greatest asset, communication skill is his or her greatest ally.   More specifically, and in line with the theory of leadership I embrace, it is your verbal skill that sets you apart from others and allows you to pass on knowledge, information and wisdom to your followers and those you mentor.

So much of what you do as a leader is carried out through verbal ability – directing, inspiring, supporting, informing, correcting,  you name it.  In these high tech times, of course, it’s also important that you be able to express yourself effectively through virtual means of email, texting, blogging etc.

If you communicate well…

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