vision

Mar 5, 2019

I Did Personality Tests on Some Vision Stories. Here’s What Happened

Anyone who regularly reads my column knows that I’m a big proponent of top leaders’ developing engaging and compelling vision stories about where they intend to lead their organizations in the future.

As compared with the more traditional vision statement, which tends to be blasé and uninspiring, a vision story, which provides rich and vibrant detail about how the organization operates and what it feels like to be a part, serves to inform and stimulate commitment to change on the part of staff members who take the time to read and understand it.

As a person who has worked with countless leadership teams in developing and crafting their vision stories, I often wonder just how the resulting vision is being perceived by those we intend to inform and motivate. I often wonder what the persona is of the organization we’re describing through our vivid visions.

To scratch that itch, I just put a recent client’s vision story to the test.

My firm’s proprietary automated personality test, one we use in our top management coaching, leadership development, and executive search work, was used as a means to analyze the vision story content. Centered on examining the “Big Five” personality traits (i.e., extroversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and neuroticism), our tool applies linguistic analytics and personality theory to infer the attributes offered in its findings and analysis.

Interestingly, among all of the detailed analysis and data analytics provided, this personality summary was produced:

You are imaginative and motivated.

You are assertive. You have a tendency to take the lead in most situations, and you are seen as a natural leader. You are energetic. You revel in a fast-paced, environment. And you are trusting of others. You expect people to deliver their best effort.

You are driven to overcome obstacles.

You are notably unconcerned with tradition. And you are more interested in charting your own course than following what others have done.

You opt for activities that serve a greater purpose.

This analysis means that if this client’s future company were a person, that person would have, among others, these characteristics: imagination, natural leadership, drive, high trust, and an interest in serving a greater purpose — the very same characteristics that you would want your organization to possess in pursuit of growth and profitability.

Of course, there’s some good news and some bad news that comes from this analysis. The good news is, together with my client, we’ve constructed a vision story that conveys exactly the tone and sentiment that we were aiming to establish. The bad news is there’s a ton of work needed to move the firm, or any organization for that matter, from its current state to the achievement of its vision.

However, this kind of analysis — characterizing how your business is being presented and perceived by others — provides insights and perspective that you might never gather if you don’t venture to discover the persona of your organization.

To close, I will state that I intend to continue to do work in applying linguistics analytics and personality theory in the strategic planning and vision space. I think that combining the two disciplines has groundbreaking potential, and I am convinced that it will lead to meaningful outcomes for any business interested in disrupting its industry and capturing market share.

Note: Contents of this piece was published by inc.com on: Feb 12, 2019

Fav website today: trikejournal.com

 

Jan 2, 2018

Cleveland CycleWerks – The Little Company That Might?

This motorcycle manufacturer may just give the “big boys” a run for their money by building dependable bikes for the cost of what some riders pay to just add some extra chrome and loud tailpipes to their motorcycles.

In the words of Cleveland CycleWerks’ co-founder, Scott Colosimo, “we build the bikes, you live the dream.”

As a rider myself, I can safely say that Cleveland CycleWerks (CCW) manufactures some very cool looking bikes and sells them at a reasonable, entry-level price point. So, if you are looking to “live the dream,” a CCW bike may be the place to start your search.

The CCW value proposition starts with good design. Every rider that I know wants a bike that looks good to their eye and makes them feel proud to ride it. It’s no wonder that CCW bikes boast eye-catching designs. After all, Colosimo is a Cleveland Institute of Art graduate who refined his design chops at companies like Johnson Controls and Dirt Devil before joining forces with CCW co-founder Jarrod Streng to form Cleveland CycleWerks.

But, design is only half the value prop equation. Price is the other half. What’s different about CCW bikes when compared to other larger manufacturers is their price. You can get into a CCW bike for under $5000, delivered. This wouldn’t cover even a third of the cost of doing a custom build from a base Harley bike, for example.

In fact, if you’re a regular reader of my column then you know that I wrote a piece on Harley last month that suggested that it needed a brand overhaul because HD’s future rests with the next generation of motorcycle riders, who don’t have the money to ride their father’s motorcycle. CCW offers an alternative that may be quite attractive to a new rider who wants a nice looking bike that they can handle (lighter weight, smaller engine) at a reasonable price.

Challenges to Overcome

While CCW is on its way in doing great things, it does have its fair share of challenges to overcome in order to guarantee its long-term success. These include issues related to domestic brand recognition, distribution, service delivery and access to capital.

For instance, branding is an issue for the company in the United States. While CCW sells its products worldwide, and has distribution in 23 countries, it is highly recognized in India and Thailand, where its bikes have grown in popularity due to their hip designs and decent price points. But, they’ve got little brand recognition domestically. There’s a need for CCW to create a buzz in the US marketplace to spur the growth that’s needed for the company to flourish.

Finding a CCW dealer in the US is another challenge. It’s tough to sell a bike in the States, if you can’t find a place to see it and give it a ride. While the firm has plans to improve the situation, it needs to put those plans in action in order to drive the sales in the US.

With the lack of domestic distribution capabilities comes a service challenge, too. It’s likely that an improvement in distribution will improve service delivery, as sales and service are often driven under the same roof. But, again, building a network of qualified independent garages with quick access to parts can go a long way in keeping CCW’s value proposition front and center in the minds of bike buyers in the US.

Like every other small business doing business on a global scale (Besides the US, CCW manufactures its parts in Korea, China, Taiwan and South Africa), access to the capital needed to support its growth initiatives is a challenge. But, of course, that problem can be overcome with exceptional business planning and a product that can sell.

To close, Cleveland CycleWerks is a modern, global small business born in the USA and it has a product that is worth considering, especially within that all important Millennial market segment. If they catch on with the Gen Y / Gen Z rider, they’ll have the hook needed to keep those customers for many years to come. From the outside looking in, I believe that CCW just may have what it takes to give the “big boys” a run for their money.

NOTE: Originally published by Inc. on December 13, 2017.

NOTE: My Favorite Website Lately: TrikeJournal.com

Dec 9, 2017

McDonald’s Black Friday Marketing: Epic Fail or Nifty Strategy?

The chain apparently neglects to include promo content in Black Friday tweet. Was it a marketing blunder or ingenious tactic? You decide.

Last Friday, McDonald’s tweeted from its @McDonaldsCorp account:

Black Friday **** Need copy and link****”

Interestingly, it seemingly failed to include any promo content in the tweet, leaving readers to wonder was this an epic fail in the marketing department or a deliberate action intended to drum up interest and buzz for the brand. I suppose, the mystery of it all could even inspire some to stop by a McDonald’s store to find out what the promo (if it existed) was all about.

A quick look at the twitter account over the weekend showed that the tweet was still up and that it was garnering quite a bit of attention with over 1.4K in comments and over 66K “likes,” which represents an exceptional response compared to McDonald’s other recent tweets that tend to garner responses in the hundreds, at best.

Deliberate or Opportunistic?

I don’t really want to get to the bottom of it. My guess is that it was a mistake made by some inattentive intern or recent college grad working deep in bowels of the social media unit of McDonald’s marketing department. And, when the error was detected (via the thousands of comments received right after the text hit the street), McDonald’s chose to keep it up because of the interest that it was generating – apparently applying the old adage: “Any publicity is good publicity.”

But, what does it matter? It worked. The tweet generated interest. People were reacting to McDonald’s. Whether the comments were positive or negative (and there were both), there was a buzz. So, regardless if the tweet was deliberate or a mistake that was handled in an opportunistic way, there are a few lessons to glean from McDonald’s Black Friday Marketing approach.

A Few Takeaways For All of Us

What can we take away from all of this? Here are a few thoughts:

  1. Look to make lemonade out of lemons – let’s assume that my hunch is correct and McDonald’s made a mistake with this tweet, they didn’t panic. Instead, they rode the wave and made the best of it. As a consequence, guys like me are still writing about it today.
  2. Overreaction to an apparent mistake can be a mistake – had the Company deleted the tweet or, even worse, issued an apology and extended an offer as a means of compensating those confused and frustrated by the tweet (I am intentionally being melodramatic here), it would have probably ended the buzz right on the spot, and we wouldn’t be debating the mystery of it all days later.
  3. Taking calculated risks can pay dividends – let’s assume, I’m off beam with my guess and McDonald’s had deliberately tweeted a tweet with no promo content, it would mean that they were willing to take a risk (e.g., losing some customers because of an erroneous tweet) in the hope of generating some additional interest in the brand. The risk paid off, the tweet is still getting attention.
  4. Vulnerability can be used as a tool – if McDonald’s did tweet with intent, they showed that being a bit vulnerable (i.e., big companies can make a Twitter mistake) can be used as a tool to engender attention. So, showing some vulnerability is OK for your brand.
  5. Match your response to your brand – McDonald’s brand messaging connotes fun and a low-key dining experience. It’s response to this tweet mystery (there’s been no response from the Company at the time that this article was written) is low-key and the lack of a response just makes the whole thing more fun. I guess we can say, McDonald’s is just being McDonald’s, which is a good thing.

To close, McDonald’s is a solid company and a great brand. Whether their tweets are always spot on or recycled gibberish, doesn’t really matter. They still deliver a consistent experience at an unfailing value every time you visit one of their stores. Having an online presence in the fast food industry are table stakes. You best have one. If you can make the shopping / ordering experience even easier through the use of online tools and apps, even better. Accordingly, at the end of the day, a tweet (even one that harvests a lot of attention) isn’t going to make or break the company – it’s just good marketing. Drop me a line, if you’d like some help with your marketing strategies.

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NOTE: This article originally appeared in Inc. on November 27, 2017.

NOTE: My Favorite Website Lately: TrikeJournal.com

Nov 21, 2017

Time for a Brand Overhaul at Harley-Davidson

With sales slumping at Harley-Davidson, this iconic American brand needs to recast itself and redefine what it will become in the years ahead

Harley-Davidson announced its third quarter results last month and the news wasn’t great. Harley’s worldwide sales was down nearly 7%, while American retail sales slumped by over 8%. This all translated into about a 40% drop in profits as compared to the year-ago quarter. Prompting its CEO to comment in its earnings press release:

“The continued weakness in the U.S. motorcycle industry only heightens our resolve and the intensity we are bringing to the quest to build the next generation of Harley-Davidson riders…As the motorcycle industry leader – with dealer strength and rider passion and loyalty like no other – we believe we are uniquely positioned to build ridership and strengthen the sport of motorcycling.”

Clearly, HD’s future rests with that “next generation of Harley-Davidson riders.” The company will not continue to dominate by simply to rely on its current aging customer demographic (of those 45 years and older) to bolster revenue. Many of those people have bought their last Harley.

So, what can Harley do to invigorate brand appeal among Millennials — who are choosing to put their motorcycling dollars into purchasing new Ducati’s, vintage Honda’s (because they are inexpensive and reliable) and other value-laden offerings from the big four Japanese manufacturers?

Here are just a few ideas:

  1. Stop putting heritage before innovation: Millennials don’t care about buying their grandfather’s bike. In fact, they would prefer to set their own trend with completely new designs and styles. Re-imagine what a motorcycle should look like. Think video games and futuristic action movies for inspiration.
  2. Offer safer, first-time rider designs: The lightest offering in the Harley fleet is a 500CC bike that weighs-in at about 500 pounds – that can be a bit intimidating for a first-time rider. Develop some lightweight bikes with smaller frames and engines that a Millennial can learn on and they just may give the brand a try. Like all other HOG enthusiasts, if you catch them while they’re young, they’ll remain loyal as they grow into more competent and confident riders that, in time, buy bigger bikes.
  3. Add more bang-for-the-buck: Yes, you can get into a base-level, stripped down, no bells or whistles Harley for under $10,000. But, that same $10,000 can goes a whole bunch further with any of the Japanese brands – leaving some room in the budget for a comfort seat upgrade or a new leather jacket.
  4. Earn their attention: There’s little a Millennial can’t do with a cell phone and two, good thumbs. Go where they are by establishing a stronger social media presence. BMW, for example, commissioned 60 Instagrammers to tout the brand by posting their BMW motorcycling adventures as a means to establish appeal to the next generation of rider.
  5. Hype the experience: The prospective Millennial buyer is all about collecting varied and stimulating experiences – that’s why they study abroad, seek temporary employment to travel and surf the Internet to learn more about the great big world and what is has to explore. Help Millennials to understand the rich experiential element that riding has to offer and they may be convinced to give it a try.

To close, Harley-Davidson has overcome adversity in the past. As a rider, I believe that they will overcome adversity again. But, it will take some deep reflection and a willingness to change with the times. If your company needs a brand overhaul, reach out! I bet I can help.

NOTE: This article originally was published by Inc. Magazine on 6 NOV 17

NOTE: My Favorite Website Lately: TrikeJournal.com

Aug 20, 2017

How to Become a Leader’s Leader

Here’s a leadership self-assessment worth taking to discover where you sit as a leader

The 20 questions that comprise this diagnostic are organized across 4 unique dimensions – Personality, Proficiencies, People and Presence. I call it the “4Ps Leadership Snapshot.” The assessment is quite easy to administer. While this survey can be leveraged in a variety of ways, including within a “360-evaluation” format, by reporting-line manager to subordinates, or simply used as an interview script by a hiring manager / hiring committee, it’s worth taking on your own to identify your leadership strengths as well as to recognize some areas for improvement.

The scale that you use is up to you. High, Medium and Low works just fine. But, you can spruce it up to any way you like using a numbered and / or a weighted scale as you see fit. Regardless, take it and it will give you a snapshot of where you are as a leader and will provide a perspective on where you can work to do better.

The 4Ps Leadership Assessment Snapshot:

Personality – How you’re wired.

1. Inquisitiveness: Is curious and interested in new ways of “thinking” and “doing”

2. Resolve: Has a willingness to push against status quo and maintains convictions to drive needed change

3. Emotional Intellect: Makes time to know and truly care about other people and their concerns and aspirations

4. Vitality: Is energetic and passionate about business and its evolution

5. Initiative: Is sincerely interested in producing new content that shapes new ways of thinking and doing

Proficiencies – What you do well.

6. C-Suite Impact: Possesses advanced consulting & advisory skills that have influenced action at the senior client executive level

7. Market Expertise: Is knowledgeable and is current on industry trends, disruptions, needs and can translate that understanding into big ideas that create value

8. Value Proposition Positioning: Has the ability to demonstrate how to solve client challenges within a senior leadership setting.

9. Communication: Is an outstanding communicator, skilled at messaging in both verbal and written form.

10. Teaching: Can demystify complex concepts for improving client executive understanding of them

People – How you get the best out of others.

11. Relationship-Building: Is exceptional at developing new relationships based on trust and confidence

12. Team-Building: Actively develops the capabilities of their team by leveraging the strengths and aptitudes of its individual members

13. Community-Building: Fosters an environment for sharing and developing ideas among their teams that can be used to extend market reach and industry influence

14. Coaching and Feedback: Is committed to providing advice and feedback to team members that enables improvement in individual performance

15. Diplomacy: Able to achieve desired outcomes through negotiation and tact

Presence – Your ability to generate respect and project confidence.

16. Executive Authority: Has exhibited Board and C Suite executive presence and is comfortable leading at that level of an organization

17. Results Influencing: Demonstrated ability of translating big ideas into differentiated product and service offerings

18. Market Presence: Highly credible and influential within the industry

19. Business Building: Track record of driving new net business into their organizations

20. Talent Development: Has the ability to attract, develop, retain and leverage superstar talent.

To close, my firm’s use of this diagnostic indicates that there is a high correlation between the archetype leadership attributes brought forward in the 4P Leadership Snapshot and success as a leader. While self-assessments can be skewed (some people tend to grade themselves uncompromisingly, while others are more apt to be soft graders when it comes to evaluating one’s own performance), this tool should still be able to help you to see what you do well and where you need some work. As always, if you’d like to some assistance in bringing this type of diagnostic to your organization, please reach out. And I’ll work with you on How to Become a Leader’s Leader

NOTE: This piece was originally published by Inc. on June 19, 2017.

NOTE: My Favorite Website Lately: TrikeJournal.com

Jul 7, 2017

A Conversation About Its Good To Be King

Listen-in on a wonderful conversation that I had with Kevin Eikenberry about my latest book, Its Good To Be King and what it means to be a remarkable leader.

The Remarkable Leadership Podcast is a weekly podcast with Kevin Eikenberry, speaking to leadership experts and leaders in a wide range of industries around the world. Kevin hand-picks guests to help the audience see the world differently, lead more confidently and make a bigger difference for those they lead. Topics include leadership, teamwork, organizational culture, facilitating change, organizational learning, and human potential.

James M. Kerr is global chair of the consulting practices at N2Growth, a leadership advisory firm. For nearly 30 years, he has helped his clients re-imagine the way work is organized and performed. His latest book, It’s Good To Be King, is his fifth business title. Kerr is an expert in leadership, strategy, organizational design and cultural transformation.

He specializes in strategic planning, corporate transformation and organizational redesign. For over 25 years, Jim has forged a different type of consulting practice – one that does its engagements “with” its clients, instead of “to” them.

Whether helping larger organizations, like The Home Depot re-imagine its store operations, or advising smaller firms, like Blum Shapiro open up new markets, Jim has a reputation of making a difference.

@James_M_Kerr

NOTE: My Favorite Website Lately: TrikeJournal.com
Feb 2, 2017

Forge A Business Ecosystem

The days of the self-sufficient and self-sustaining business are long gone. Business owners must recognize the need to join forces with other businesses in order to flourish.

Here is simple assumption for you to get your head around: Businesses will always seek to establish new types of partner relationships that clearly define mutual gain for the parties involved. Fairly straight-forward, right?

Of course it is! And, it’s because of this hypothesis that businesses of all sorts and sizes are forging new commercial arrangements with one another. As a result, immense networks of interdependent parties have emerged. In turn, each one of these forms unique ecosystems from which all of the member businesses benefit.

With the continual advancement of technology making inter-business bonding easier, you can be sure that the evolution of these New Economy Ecosystems will continue. That said, as a business owner you’ll need to see how and where you can fit. Here’s why:

Rationale for Ecosystem-Building

The game has changed. The days of the self-sufficient and self-sustaining businesses are long gone. The global marketplace requires businesses to establish highly integrated and cooperative relationships with one another. It rewards speed and flexibility.

Consequently, new inter-company relationships continue to be established in order to help firms respond to changes in their respective markets.

Businesses cannot afford to be an exception. Ecosystems seek to forge new types of relationships with their members that provide economies of scale and greater reach than can be achieved by any single entity on its own. Indeed, joining and contributing to larger ecosystems is essential to survival – especially for smaller businesses.

However, there are several implications that must be considered, including:

1. New strategies will need to be created that can leverage the opportunities that ecosystem participation offers.

2. Similarly, innovation will be a key driver for flourishing within one’s ecosystem. Thus, new ways of thinking and doing will need to be considered and implemented as opportunities to introduce new products and services emerge faster than ever before.

3. As a result, speed counts! Therefore, steps will need to be continually taken within every business to become more agile in order to keep up with the demands of ecosystem partners and their customers.

4. Businesses will have to work with a larger industry community, including competitors, in order to establish new kinds of business arrangements that work within the ecosystem. Exposure of one’s competitive strategies and protection of associated trade secrets will continue to be huge considerations when seeking advantages from ecosystem membership.

5. Existing contracts and agreements may need to be embellished and new rules created, in order to better support the re-definition of attendant business relationships.

6. Lower-level business managers must be on the “look-out” and be prepared to explore new ways of defining their firm’s relationships with the providers that they work with – continuing to be keenly aware of new opportunities to leverage existing partner relationships in novel ways to drive advantage.

7. Front-line staff will need to be trained in contract administration in order to better manage the business relationships that they are responsible for maintaining on behalf of their companies

There is no doubt that, as the new economy continues to evolve, it is imperative for business leaders, regardless of size, to actively seek-out opportunities to participate in broadening their reach and capabilities through participation in business ecosystems. They must recognize the need to join forces in a larger community of players to remain vital and prosperous in the years ahead.

To close, this article only touches the tip of the iceberg regarding business ecosystems. So, please feel free to continue to drive the discussion by offering your ideas and comments below or reach-out directly to me. It’s an important topic that deserves more attention.

NOTE: My Favorite Website Lately: TrikeJournal.com

Sep 6, 2016

Next Practices: How to Get to What Happens Next

Every organization flaunts their Best Practices. But, outstanding Companies define Next Practices – those things that set them apart in the short-term and define the standard of excellence for the long-term.

All of my strategy, culture and organizational design work over the years comes down to one thing – enabling my clients to differentiate themselves from their competitors so to dominate the markets that they serve. Consequently, the topic of industry best practices always comes up. Most leaders want to be sure that their organizations are remaining competitive within their industry. While the desire appears sound in principle, it’s flawed by design.

The fact is the adoption of industry best practices will only let you run with the pack. But, defining and adopting Next Practices will enable the breakthrough thinking needed to disrupt and redefine your markets. My firm has developed a framework for doing this. Let’s take a look at the 5 principles that makes up the framework needed to define your Next Practices.

1. Drop the de-facto culture and develop a Culture By Design: Don’t copy; create. Culture is a strategic imperative that must be created and transformed by design not by default. Be deliberate in creating a work environment that enables and empowers your team to achieve and exceed your firm’s vision.

2. Embrace your difference and focus more on offense than defense: Think opportunity management, not risk management. Think strategic investment, not cost containment. Know what you do better than the rest and use those leverage points to redefine the game.

3. Invigorate velocity by working past implementation concepts and focus on delivery strategies: Implementation is process, delivery is advantage. Establish a business mindset that believes in agility, velocity, and high impact delivery – impeccable product and service delivery has the power to differentiate your firm from all the rest.

4. Don’t just play the game, keep scoring: Move from long implementations to quick wins. Put points on the board and then look to score again. Velocity and momentum matter. Beat your competition on the future by setting the pace of play and exceeding your customer’s expectations.

5. Drive direction-setting and change through omnipresent leadership: Strategic success depends on critical mass commitment not forced compliance. Setting expectations is gamesmanship – aligning them is leadership. Be sure that your leaders understand your direction and are aligned with it. When leaders are aligned, they can be counted on to make the “right” decisions most of the time.

To close, this framework is only the beginning of doing the work that is needed to differentiate your firm from your competitors so you can dominate the markets that you serve. However, understanding and embracing this framework is essential to driving deep the changes that make a difference into your organization. Businesses that strive to do this are the ones that set the standard of excellence for everyone else. I hope that you consider leveraging this model when working to redefine how you do what you do.

NOTE: This piece was originally published by INC. on August 15, 2016.

Mar 4, 2016

On Leadership: 10 Principles That Make Leading Easier

Here are 10 ideas that today’s busy leaders can embrace to enhance their ability to set direction and manage change.

How did you come up with 10 Principles That Make Leading Easier?  I have dedicated my career to working with senior leadership teams and helping them to devise the strategies, organizational designs and operating models needed to better set direction and manage change. From all of this work, regardless of industry, staff size or revenue, these 10 leadership principles have proven to be the common denominators that can separate winning organizations from the “also ran’s” with whom they compete:

  1. The best leaders lead and let others manage: There’s a difference between leadership and management. Leaders look forward and imagine the possibilities that the future may bring in order to set direction. Managers monitor and adjust today’s work, regularly looking backward to ensure that current goals and objectives are being met. The best leaders lead and let their management teams manage the work at hand.
  2. The best leaders inspire: Once the direction is set, the best leaders socialize their visions for tomorrow and work to inspire their colleagues to work with them to achieve it. This is done by both words and action–inspiring confidence and commitment among the people of whom they are entrusted to lead.
  3. The best leaders promote “In it together” as way of life: They understand that us versus them” can be a powerful motivator. The best leaders leverage this by promoting the concept that they and their staff members are “all in it together” in defeating the competition and delighting our customers.
  4. The best leaders never work alone: Instead, camaraderie and trust is purposely forged by working with others on their management team to drive change and deliver outcomes. Stated another way, they’re not above getting their hands dirty to get the job done.
  5. The best leaders build and leverage leaders from within: Regardless of reporting lines,the best leaders are constantly in search of other leaders from within their organizations to develop and cultivate. They want to establish network of that they can collaborate with and engage in active direction-setting.
  6. The best leaders tackle the “tough” stuff: They’re not afraid to address the least pleasant aspects of setting direction and managing change. They inherently understand that there is a possibility that not everyone is prepared to make the journey to wherever they are leading, and consequently, they are willing to address the implications that come with that reality–whatever they may be.
  7. The best leaders take educated risks: Risk-taking is an often overlooked part of leading. But, with it comes immense responsibility. Take the wrong risks and it could mean lost jobs and livelihoods. So, “educated” risk-taking (ones based on experiences and training) becomes an art form among the best leaders among us.
  8. The best leaders enable success: They knock-down roadblocks and empower people to do whatever it takes to deliver results–paving the way for success and accomplishment among the people of whom they lead.
  9. The best leaders shift their cultures from ones of Entitlement to ones of Mutual Accountability: The “buck stops here” for among the best leaders. They are accountable and expect the same among their people. Gone are the days where seniority and title are rewarded. Rather, a commitment to upholding commitments is what the best leaders seek in their team members.
  10. The best leaders reward success, not effort: Working diligently without achievement is worth little when compared to any level of effort that yields demonstrative results. Thus, the best leaders pursue and reward results–paying little attention to effort or aspiration.

To close, it is my hope that you use this checklist, referring to it often over time, as you go about your personal leadership journey. It can serve to ensure you that you’re doing all that you can to be the kind of leader that inspires the best effort in your people, while driving the desired results that consistently keeps your organization in the winner’s circle.

This piece was originally published in inc.com on August 3, 2015.

NOTE: Current Fav Website: TrikeJournal.com

Jan 8, 2016

Hurry! 10 New Inc. Magazine Playbook Video Shorts About Visionary Leadership

Here are 10 New Inc. Magazine Playbook Video Shorts Based on My Column about Visionary Leadership:

How to Avoid Mediocrity and Build a Winning Business
3 Easy Ways to Boost Productivity at Work
3 Secrets Your IT Department Is Hiding From You
3 Things You Need to Know to Manage a Team of Superstars
3 Steps You Can Take Today to Be a Visionary Leader
3 Simple Ways to Make the Most of Your Best Workers
3 Ways to Save Your Business From the ‘Fog of War’
3 Ways to Inspire Your Employees to Greatness
3 Ways Leaders Can Set the Right Tone
3 Ways to Create a Transparent Work Setting

Be sure to reach out to me, if I can help your business with any of these concepts!

James M. Kerr is the Global Chair of the Culture Transformation Practice at N2Growth.  He is a consultant, organizational behaviorist, lecturer and Inc. columnist. He specializes in strategic planning, corporate transformation and organizational redesign. For over 25 years, Jim has forged a different type of consulting practice – one that does its engagements “with” its clients, instead of “to” them.

Whether helping larger organizations, like The Home Depot re-imagine its store operations, or advising smaller firms, like Blum Shapiro open up new markets, Jim has a reputation of making a difference.

A recognized thought leader , Jim continues to provide cutting edge solutions to his clients through a strong dedication to research and study. The Executive Checklist is Jim’s fourth business strategy book. His others include: The IRM Imperative (Wiley and Sons, 1989), Inside RAD (McGraw-Hill, 1991), and The Best Practices Enterprise (J. Ross Publishing, 2006). All are testaments to his commitment to helping leaders improve the ways in which they guide and shape their organizations.

NOTE: Current Fav Website: TrikeJournal.com

Copyright 2019 James M. Kerr       info@executive‑checklist.com       800‑944‑4662