Great Read Excerpt-Managing with a Conscience
Managing with a Conscience (2nd edition) by Frank K. Sonnenberg
Winner, Best Small Business Book of the Year
Managing with a Conscience is MORE than an award winning book for small business, it is a timeless reference point for all organizations, enterprises and business who want seek to improve performance through integrity, trust and commitment.
How can we manage and lead forward in a bold new world of unremitting change, challenges and opportunities? People make profits, people are the engine of creativity, productivity and promise. Frank Sonnenberg has given us MUST read roadmap for management and leadership in a brave new age of changes, challenges and opportunities.
Are You Working at Cross-purposes?
If you randomly selected 50 employees and asked them basic questions about the heart of your organization, would their answers be similar? For example, ask them: What is our organization’s mission? What are our core values? What factors are most important to our future success? What are our core competencies? How does someone get ahead in our organization? How do we differentiate ourselves from the competition? What are our key initiatives this year? How will our industry change over the next few years? How will we respond to this change? What’s the impact of this phenomenon? Unless your employees give similar answers to these most basic questions, waste, redundancies, inefficiencies, confusion, and anxiety are likely; the result—employees working at cross-purposes.
Be careful about promises made. As Kristin Anderson says in Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service, “You can’t promise your customers sunny weather, but you can promise to hold an umbrella over them when it rains.” Problems arise when promises can’t be met. There are no degrees of promises; every promise is equally important because the person who is disappointed by your failure to keep a promise is likely to think: “If they can’t be counted on for small things, I sure won’t trust them on large ones.”
Are You a Good Listener?
Everyone in the organization, from the top to the bottom, should strive to communicate more effectively. According to research, we spend 7 out of every 10 minutes that we are awake communicating, and that communication time is devoted 9 percent to writing, 16 percent to reading, 30 percent to speaking, and 45 percent to listening. When report cards are given out for how well we listen, however, very few of us would receive passing grades. Barriers to listening include assuming a subject is uninteresting and tuning out, focusing on how something is said rather than on what is being said, reacting too quickly before the message is completed, picking up on emotional words and not hearing the rest of the message, listening only for facts rather than trying to absorb ideas, allowing yourself to be distracted, and avoiding listening to subjects that you don’t understand. Everyone must learn to overcome these barriers.
Leadership: Creating a vision
Leaders must create a shared vision that shapes the way employees feel about their organization. They must accept responsibility for making “the company,” “our company”–– a place where people work together instead of “doing their own thing.” The vision may be precise or vague; it may highlight a specific goal or a dream of a better future. It is critical to present a clear and concise view of the organization that is compelling, realistic, believable, and attractive. Furthermore, it must promise a better future than prevailing conditions in visible and important ways.
Frank Sonnenberg, a marketing strategist, has written four books and published over 300 articles. This was adapted from Frank’s new book, Managing with a Conscience: How to Improve Performance Through Integrity, Trust, and Commitment (2nd edition). Trust Across America named Sonnenberg one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders of 2011 and 2012 • In 2011, Social Media Marketing Magazine (SMM) selected Sonnenberg as one of the top marketing authors in the world on Twitter. © 2012 Frank Sonnenberg. All rights reserved.
What do I know about Managing with a Conscience and Effective Leadership? Actually quite a bit First woman CEO of a steel company in Canada, I also helped to set up the first mentorship program for business women in the country. My career in business and as an executive coach and communication/leadership advisor has been predicated by the values that are implicit in Mr. Sonnenberg’s must read book and in sustainable success. Sharing a short interview that I hope will inspire others to Manage with a Consience! http://bit.ly/JTvbYm
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