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  • Bob Burg

“[Burg] has demonstrated that adding value to people's lives is the way to climb the ladder of financial success.”

~ Fran Tarkenton, Hall of Fame Quarterback and Founder/CEO GoSmallBiz.com

Archive for the ‘The Go-Giver’ Category

Build, Encourage, And Recognize Your People!

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

David-Novak-O-Great-OneWhen John David Mann and I talk about “Building Your People” (Key #2 from The Go-Giver Leader) we mean that in a couple of ways: one is to teach, mentor, and coach them to becoming more effective, both in their defined role within the organization as well as in their own ability to lead others.

Second is to make them feel good about themselves: protected, loved, and valued member of the business family. And, a person whose abilities we believe in.

The first part makes intuitive sense to many who look at leadership in the traditional way. The second part, not always so much.

There’s a tendency for one to feel, “Well, that’s all very nice — warm and fuzzy and all — but maybe we should wait until we’re making some serious money before we go that route.” Not to mention, after they’ve already proven themselves to be worthy of our caring.

Of course, there’s a very powerful and counterproductive false premise at work within that last thought process: namely, that building your people is a luxury that can wait until “after they’ve already…” And, that your company will thrive if you wait.

Building your people, before they’ve proven themselves, while they’re doing so, and on an continual basis is vitally important to the success of your organization. We see it time and again in the hugely successful companies. We see the opposite in the less successful companies. And — something I hear from employees constantly — we see this in once great companies that are now struggling.

Did they forget that it’s their people who made them great? Apparently, yes.

I had the opportunity to read a copy of the just-released business parable by David Novak, Former Chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands (Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell).

The book is entitled, O GREAT ONE!: A Little Story About The Awesome Power of Recognition.

David’s list of business and leadership awards — including one of the “100 Best Performing CEOs in the World” by Harvard Business Review is long and well-deserved.

I mention this because a huge part of his leadership success was the ability to build his people in both of the above-mentioned ways. He did this through recognition; one of the most powerful forms of building a human being.

As the protagonist in this book, Jeff, pointed out:

“First we’ve got to fire up our people, who will then help to get our customers excited about doing business with us, and from there the money will follow. Too many business leaders focus on making money first without considering the fact that it’s people who will make it happen.”

A couple of pages later, when responding to one of the skeptical members of his leadership team, he explained:

“What I don’t think you realize, Anna, is that this isn’t fluffy stuff. It’s very much about results, about recognizing and rewarding the kind of real results that make a difference to this company’s bottom line. And it’s about driving future results by sending a clear message about what behaviors lead to results.”

Anna still didn’t quite get it at that point, but eventually she would.

What today’s top leaders hope is that more and more leaders come to fully understand it. Company slogan’s such as, “Our people are our greatest asset”, “we care about our people” and others are just that; slogans. And, meaningless ones at that…until a culture of this type is created, consistently communicated, and endlessly cultivated.

And that will only happen when today’s leaders understand that there is nothing soft about it whatsoever.

Super Leadership…and A Super Bowl

Friday, April 22nd, 2016

Demarcus WareGo-Giver Leaders tend to be less interested in taking the stage than they are in giving the stage. They are less concerned about themselves than they are about their team and the individuals who comprise that team.

Rather than, “look how great I am!” they authentically communicate how fantastic those on their team are!

And, they communicate this, not just to those outside of their organization (though they certainly do that), but to the team-members themselves. Not only in what they say, and not just in what they do, but also in who they are.

I love this quote by current Denver Broncos All-Pro outside linebacker (and future Hall of Famer) DeMarcus Ware, as shared on Twitter by future Hall of Famer and past All-Pro wide receiver (now coffee entrepreneur), Rod Smith:

You don’t inspire your teammates by showing them how amazing you are,
but by showing them how amazing they are!

And, that, to me, says it all!

Of course, lest we think that this attitude is in any way self-sacrificial, we should note that these types of leaders in the corporate environment tend to have happy and productive teams, and very profitable businesses.

And, I heard somewhere that DeMarcus’ team did pretty well this year, as well! 😉

 

Advice for Future Leaders?

Monday, April 11th, 2016

Advice-for-future-leaders-Bob-BurgRecently, for a magazine article on leadership, I was asked for my top three pieces of advice to future leaders:

The first was to understand that Dale Carnegie totally had it right 80 years ago when he wrote in his classic, How to Win Friends and Influence People, that “Ultimately, people do things for their reasons, not our reasons.”

So, if you are casting a vision to which you want others to commit, you must first commit to them; not as cogs on the way to you accomplishing your goals, but to helping them to accomplish their goals. Align your vision with their wants, needs, desires, and values. Create an environment for them to grow. Practice giving leadership.

Secondly, to realize that earning trust will always be your most valuable personal asset. And, you do that by the way you commit to others genuinely and authentically. One way to accomplish this is by keeping your word, building others at every opportunity, standing for what is right, and always acting congruently with those values.

As Simon Sinek says in his fantastic book, Leaders Eat Last, “Trust evolves once we have enough evidence to satisfy our brain that a person or an organization is, indeed, an honest {entity}.”

Last, but certainly not least, it’s embracing the fact that leadership is never about the technology — it’s alway about the people.

As Geoff Colvin discussed in his terrific book, Humans Are Underrated, the more advanced technology gets and the more that machines can do that humans cannot, the more important elements such as empathy, team-building, collaboration, and interpersonal relationships (you know, those “human things”) will become.

On this same basic topic, my awesome Go-Giver Series coauthor, John David Mann, shared a passage from Rachel’s Diary: http://bit.ly/1MpghdB

Those are our thoughts.

Now, what are YOUR big three (or two, or even just one)? What advice would you give to future leaders in order to help ease their path?

Feel free to share. Looking forward to an enlightening discussion.

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Have you checked out John David Mann’s and my newest book, The Go-Giver Leader Yet? To read an excerpt, a sample chapter, or to purchase it right now, click here.

And, for some entertaining, value-based, business-building wisdom, listen in on the newest episodes of The Go-Giver Podcast.

The Go-Giver Leader

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

Hi, my name is Calvin Burg. I’m Bob’s cat.

My daddy is too excited about his book being released today (coauthored with my amazing Uncle John) to write this himself so I thought I’d do it for him.

I bet you’re wondering how I’m writing this; you know, without thumbs and all?

Calvin BurgWell, we cats have our ways. And, please don’t confuse me with Liberty the Cat. She was here and gone long before I came on the scene. She also wasn’t as nice as I am as you can see from this post she once wrote when daddy was away speaking.

Anyhoo, about this new book, it’s called The Go-Giver Leader. I’ve never seen the old man doing so much stuff like talking it up on the phone, writing emails, doing interviews on that Skype thing he has, blog posts, and other things. It’s crazy. I think I even once heard him use the word, “meshuga” though I think that kinda’ means the same thing as crazy.

If you want to know more about it, you can read an excerpt or even an entire sample chapter by clicking here.

Or, you can go right to Amazon.com which I’m pretty sure is where Pops goes to buy my cat food. Which, reminds me — I have a feeling that the more people who buy his book, the better the chances are I can keep eating that really expensive cat food. Okay, don’t tell Dad I said that. He’d be mad because he likes people to buy stuff from him only because they feel it will be — how does he say it? — oh, that’s right, “more in value to them than what they are paying for it”…or something like that. Meow!

So, click here, take a look, buy the book if you’d like, and tell all your human friends about it. I think they’ll like it. Okay…and they’ll find it to be of value, too.

Yours in meowness,

Calvin

Strong Cultures Welcome Dissent

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

In Adam Grant’s fantastic (like, “beyond-words fantastic”) new book, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move The World, Chapter 7 includes the story of Ray Dalio, billionaire founder of the venerable investment firm, Bridgewater Associates.

Ray DalioI was excited to see that. In one of my books I quoted Mr. Dalio, as much a philosopher as a successful business person, as saying, “I believe that the biggest problem that humanity faces is an ego sensitivity to finding out whether one is right or wrong, and identifying what one’s strengths and weakness are.”

Love that saying because ego, a main driver of our emotions, can cause significant damage when it controls its human host.

And, it so often does. No, it’s not just about hurt feelings and bad business decisions. Out of control egos have resulted in catastrophies such as wars, evil dictators, and masses of people unnecessarily struggling for survival; events taking place even today.

On the other hand, when controlled and properly directed the results can be, well, a company like his.

Dr. Grant describes Bridgwater as “a highly cohesive, close-knit community, to the point that its staff frequently call it a family, and it’s common for employees to stay for decades.”

They also promote dissent. Respectful dissent, of course. But, dissent. Groupthink is discouraged in every way. If someone is off course with their actions, people are expected to communicate that to the person directly…including calling out Ray Dalio himself!

The author shared an email that Mr. Dalio received that at practically any other company would most likely have resulted in a firing. He welcomed it. The sender of the email was correct. And the founder, the company, and its investors benefitted.

Of course, there is much more to the art of positive dissent than just this (and, a lot more to Mr. Dalio’s leadership philosophy, outlined in over 200 principles he personally wrote — a highly-recommended read!). Dr. Grant’s thorough research and entertaining way of presenting the information leaves the reader with an understanding that when done correctly, dissent leads to constant innovation and growth based on superb original ideas.

What made this even more enlightening, though, was the comparison the author made with another company; one that had been amongst the most respected and highly-profitable (and innovative) companies in the world…before groupthink and discouraging dissent became it’s cultural nature. (Prepare to shake your head in disgust when reading that part.)

So, is Ray Dalio’s methodology, including putting his ego aside and — not just allowing, but — insisting on honest feedback just feel-goody fluff? Or, does it have an outcome on their bottom line? In other words, does it translate into business success?

Well, in what is a very volatile industry, the company’s two major funds have performed amazingly well, and consistently for over 30 years.

As Dr. Grant writes, “They’ve been recognized for making more money for clients than any hedge fund in the history of the industry. In 2010, {their} returns exceeded the combined profits of Google, eBay, Yahoo, and Amazon.

Yes, I’d say it’s a positive thing. And, very original.

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To order Dr. Adam Grant’s book, Originals: How Non-Conformists Move The World, click here.

John David Mann’s and my new book, The Go-Giver Leader will be released on March 29th. Click here to read an excerpt or sample chapter, or click here to pre-order. If you enjoyed The Go-Giver I think you’re really going to like this one. For bulk orders for your company or organization click here.