Shearin Group Training Services

Shearin Group Training Services Inc. is a company based in Avignon, France. As well-respected Leadership Development and Personality Assessment firm, we have earned the reputation of providing excellent training programs through the quality of our programs and the expertise, track-record and professionalism of our mentors and writers.

The Shearin Group - Engaging the mobile work force

Our primarily mobile health care team does 11,000 visits every day to care for people and allow them to remain in their homes. With 6.4-million visits annually, we have an almost unheard of opportunity to collect data, test and prototype, and improve quality. But from a business standpoint, there are some real challenges for leaders of mobile staff when it comes to communication. It can be difficult to share your vision, build strong bonds and encourage engagement.


Despite my occasional longing to be able to see everyone all at once, there are untold advantages to a mobile work force. I believe that harnessing the strengths of these independent problem solvers may just be the secret of innovation.


Let me share with you some of the strategies we’ve implemented. I hope they get you inspired and energized.


Love the one you’re with


Are you spending time hoping your mobile workers will magically check the company intranet more frequently? Or come to the head office more regularly to connect? News flash – they won’t. The key we’ve found is to work with the inherent strengths these dynamos bring to your team. Think independence. Agility. Adaptability. Empowerment. Develop ways to tap into their natural talents. We recently implemented SoapBox – to gather and share ideas in a virtual way. It builds on our pre-existing virtual community and taps into the insights of staff who see clients every day. We’ve allowed the community to grow organically, and although it has been an investment, we believe we will see better results based on this strategy.


Video killed the radio star


It’s obvious that technology can bring people together to socialize in ways we never thought possible. But sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that if we load up our mobile workers with tech gear, everything will be beautiful. There are so many components to technology and the mobile worker: Will they use it? How long will it be relevant? How much does it weigh when you are dragging it around?


But perhaps more importantly is the idea that we cannot ever lose sight of the fact that technology is an enabler and not the outcome. True innovative technology can transform human interaction for the better.


We are the world


To truly connect and galvanize your work force, you need an anthem – a mission – a bandwagon everyone can jump on and feel great about. Exceptional leadership takes people on a journey to a better place.


Finally, we recently held a company event where we brought everyone together. We offered employees three different ways to participate: in person at movie theatres across the country, via live webcast, and we made it available immediately afterward so anyone who missed it could watch it later.

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips - Finding Balance: The Four Questions You Need to Ask Yourself

Like the proverbial saying, putting all your eggs in one basket, many of us focus on just one thing -- usually our career -- and ignore the other aspects of our lives. Even in my own life I have found that it's easy to just delve into my work or training, maintaining a very single-minded focus that can be an advantage for what I'm doing at the present moment but at a disadvantage to the rest of my life.


You do want to be "in the zone" and focus your attention on what you're currently doing. But problems occur when you only focus and do one thing all the time. That creates an imbalance that affects all areas of your life. Those areas, which I believe are essential to a balanced life are career, relationships, health, spiritual, financial and well-being. You want all these areas to be in harmony with each other, and your core beliefs, so you live a life that's authentic to you.


A quick exercise to bring these areas in sync: Ask yourself these four questions across all six key areas of your life. You'll discover which areas are unbalanced so you can bring them -- and yourself -- back into balance.


What are your goals? For each area, write down what you really want. Putting your goals in writing is the first step in success. Be as specific as possible, do you want to learn a new skill to be eligible for a promotion or do you want a new job by the New Year? Putting your goals in writing focuses your intention on achieving your goal, and holds you accountable. I did this with a group of children and their parents in my leadership class over the course of a year, and the results were amazing -- from better grades to improved diets, everyone reached (or were well on the way to reaching) their goals.


Where are you? Notice which areas are currently out of alignment. Maybe your career is on track, but your relationship with your spouse could use some nurturing. Brainstorm ways you can better align future actions to meet your goals. Starting a new ritual with your spouse, such as a weekly date night or meeting for lunch one day during the workweek, may be all it takes to reconnect. Even catching up throughout your workday with texts can bring you closer. You can never communicate enough.


What can you do now? I'm sure you've heard the Lao-tzu quote, "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." By taking even the smallest of steps you will be one step closer to reaching your goal. Start where you are, and take action. If you feel disconnected from your faith, perhaps you can devote a few minutes each morning to read inspirational stories, meditate, or pray. If you want to better manage your finances, schedule some time on your calendar this week to create a budget. What about your sense of well being? Is there something you can do right now, in this moment, that will make you a happier person? Calling a childhood friend, writing a thank-you note, petting your dog.


What can you do later? Not every goal is a short-term one, and not every step you take is going to yield immediate results. Think about it, making healthy changes such as quitting smoking or losing weight, are not going to be one-and-done tips or tricks. They may be long journeys with setbacks and you'll need different strategies to continue moving forward.


One thing to remember: there will be times when one area needs more attention than another, but you can't neglect one completely. They work as a whole to keep you balanced, happy, and living an authentic life.

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: One Simple Concept That Will Infuse Your Leadership With Success

Search “Leadership” online, and you’ll find a million articles offering advice on how to be a better leader.  Eleven simple steps, nine strategies, five leadership tips – we’re inundated with so-called education and training about how to lead well.  The question remains, if the road to great leadership is so easy and accessible, why are there still so many ineffective, demotivating leaders who crush the potential of their employees and organizations?


Eight years ago, I met “courage in leadership” expert Bill Treasurer, at an author retreat of Berrett-Koehler, the publisher of my first book Breakdown, Breakthrough, and was immediately impressed.  I watched him quietly lead, and build a collaborative and open space for discussion, feedback, and dialogue among a diverse group of authors and publishing professionals.  I liked him instantly and felt this man truly walked the talk.  So I was excited to learn he has a new leadership book out called Leaders Open Doors out this week.


Bill is Founder and Chief Encouragement Officer of Giant Leap Consulting, and the author of Courage Goes to Work.  In his books, he shares his pioneering work in the new organizational development practice of courage-building.  Bill insights have been featured in over 100 top publications, and he draws on his experience as a former member of the U.S. High Diving Team, during which time he executed over 1,500 high dives from heights that scaled to over 100 feet, requiring intense levels of courage every day to succeed as a top athlete.


I caught up with Bill to ask him about his courage-focused brand of leadership, and what he teaches leaders to help them inspire, motivate and lead individuals and organizations forward.


Kathy Caprino:  Bill, we read so much about what makes a great leader today. What do you think is missing in all this advice we’re inundated with?


Bill Treasurer: Despite the volume of leadership advice, and maybe because of it, leadership is the most over analyzed, thoroughly dissected, and utterly confused topic in business. Too many leadership writers, myself included, have spent too much time complexifying the idea of leadership, and not enough time offering down-to-earth ideas that everyday leaders can use every day. We’ve become the Legion of Leadership Complexifiers (LLC). We’ve nuanced the topic so much, and inflated the standards for what it means to be a leader so high, that hardly anyone can be deemed a leader anymore.


Two years ago, after a conversation with a very wise person, I resigned my membership in the LLC. I had a conversation with my five-year-old son, Ian. He had been selected as the “leader for the day” at his pre-school. I gave him a big high five and said, “What did you get to do as class leader, little buddy?” His reply? “I got to open doors for people.”


Those seven words helped me cut through the clutter and get back to what’s most essential about leading others: creating opportunities for growth and development. I wrote Leaders Open Doors to help lighten the leadership load by getting back to the most essential aspects of leading others.


Caprino: What’s the biggest failing that unsuccessful leaders suffer from?


Treasurer: At first blush it’s easy to think that the biggest failing is oversized egos. But I think it’s what’s under those oversized egos that’s the real problem. FEAR. So many leaders carry (and convey) a great deal of fear, which contorts behavior. Fear can drive a leader to be ill-at-ease, hyper-controlling, and overbearing. At a certain saturation point, those fears get transmitted to the people being led, and everybody becomes anxious and frazzled. Over the long-term, it kills performance, morale, and ultimately the leader’s career.


Here’s a phrase I wish leaders would stop using: “What keeps me awake at night is…” Why do leaders continuously need to remind people what gives them anxiety and insomnia? Employees don’t want to know why a leader can’t sleep at night. They want to know what gets the leader up in the morning. Leaders should stop showcasing fears and start highlighting opportunity. Who would you rather be led by — someone who is squirrely in his or her own skin, or someone who is so confident in their role that they sleep soundly at night?


Caprino: Your new book talks about leaders opening doors.  Why is this so important, and why is it left out of standard, non-effective advice for developing leaders?


Treasurer: Einstein said, “All that is valuable in human society depends on the opportunity accorded the individual for development.” In other words, the one of the smartest people who ever lived is saying, “Hey, you know what moves society forward? When everybody has a chance to grow and develop.”


Einstein isn’t alone. Peter Drucker, the father of management consulting, was clear, “The focus of the organization must be on opportunities rather than on problems.” Yet a lot of advice for leaders focuses on sharpening their problem-solving skills.


Leaders Open Doors gets leadership back to the essential idea that, first and foremost, leaders have to be creators of opportunity. Leaders need to be continuously focused on identifying and creating opportunities for people and organizations to grow and develop. Leadership, in this sense, isn’t about the leader…it’s about those being led. Open-door leaders intensely focus on bettering the lives, conditions, and skills of others. By focusing on the individual, the collective (i.e., the organization) is strengthened. Companies grow when people grow.


Caprino: For new and emerging leaders (and veterans), what are the top 5 ways leaders can open doors, and why are these important strategies


Treasurer: Here are my top 5 recommendations:


Use opportunity to motivate, develop, and engage people.

Even small opportunities can make a big difference. Involve employees when you’re grappling with a big or risky decision. Invite an employee to join you when you’re presenting to your boss. Let an employee lead a meeting in your absence. Open doors for your employees to engage, present, create, innovate, and even fail.


Start by meeting with each person you lead and ask them about their career aspirations. What, for example, are they hoping to get out of the experience of working for the company? What skills are they hoping to strengthen or deepen? What contributions do they hope to make beyond the ones they’re already making? In other words, have a conversation with each of them about them, not just what you’re wanting them to do for the organization. Once you know what each person you’re leading wants and need, you’ll be in a better position to identify opportunities within the organization that can help them get what they desire while also furthering the goals of the organization.


Coach people to value and embrace discomfort.

Virginia “Ginni” Rometty, the CEO of IBM, put it best: “Growth and comfort do not coexist.” The opportunities you provide people should give them sweaty palms. Nudge people into their discomfort zones, but not so far out that they choke with fear. Ask them what aspects of their jobs are getting boring. Then, set stretch goals. Have them take on tasks outside of their current skillset.


Promote courage by creating safety.

If you want people to take on challenges or do uncomfortable things, you need to create a climate where people who make mistakes–or even fail–aren’t fired. Sara Blakely, the billionaire founder of SPANX, said, “When someone makes a mistake at SPANX – especially when those mistakes key us on to a new insight – I am never disappointed. In fact, I go up to them and give them a high five.” Imagine what that attitude does to promote a positive environment where people feel free to be innovative and take risks.


Say, for example, you’ve shifted the role of one of your direct reports. Ways to create safety might include giving them lead time to learn the new role, scheduling one-on-one time coaching time with them, providing “air cover” from those who may get impatient with the direct’s learning curve, and having tolerance for early mistakes.


Broaden people’s view.

People can get narrow and habitual in their thinking. Open-door leaders help shift people’s perspective and help them think more broadly. Sometimes even small shifts can make a big difference. One CEO I work with was frustrated that he wasn’t getting enough leadership from the managers of the company’s business groups. They spent too much time being operational and tactical, and not enough time being strategic and innovative. In other words, they were managing, not leading. So the CEO changed their titles from Business Group Managers (BGMs) to Business Group Leaders (BGLs). The expectation shift was clear, and their behavior changed because of it.


Open up.

Too many leaders get all wrapped up in their “role” (and ego) as leaders. But employees want to know that their leader is real and not just performing a function.  People need to see the person behind the role.  They want to know that you remember where you came from, that you’re in touch with your roots, and that you can relate to their lives. Show them some of your authentic non-work identity and interests. Let them know what you care about beyond the goals and objectives of the department or organization.


* * * * **

Strategies like these are important because they are not complex or hard to understand. Leadership is hard, but it doesn’t have to be complex. Your life as a leader, and the lives of those you impact, will be far more rewarding, successful and productive if you bring your behavior back to the essential approaches above.

Simply lead by keeping leadership simple. Above all, be an opportunity-creator.


The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: Try 4 Tips From Leadership Coaches

The old top-down, command-and-control style of leadership seldom works in today's organizations, where the goal is often to promote cooperation in the midst of rapid change.

To succeed as a leader you must know how to communicate a vision, build a network of relationships, and foster group learning and decision-making. This is true whether you're the big boss or are just learning how to guide a team.

Leadership coaching has become a key tool for facilitating change in individuals, teams and systems. And in places where the traditional hierarchical model of management no longer works, leaders who know how to act like coaches are building cultures that allow collaboration and innovation to thrive.

Working with a coach is one way to broaden your leadership skills and deepen your understanding of modern workplace dynamics. But even if that's not an option, these strategies from the field of coaching can help you grow:

1. Know yourself. Research shows that self-awareness is a vital characteristic of successful leaders. The more you understand about your own internal dialogue, the better you are at engaging with other people. And the more you notice about the impact of your behavior on others, the better are your choices for next steps. Coaches use open-ended questions to help clients notice their inner voices and daily decisions. Another way to promote self-exploration is to keep a journal or regularly engage in some other form of expressive writing. Write answers to questions like, "what would I do here if I knew I couldn't fail?"

2. Listen more actively. When people turn to you for guidance or assistance, there are many times when you have no idea how to help. But offering expertise is not the only way to give support. Humans have an innate need to be heard and acknowledged. And by listening deeply to another person, you can let them know they do matter and at the same time provide a way for them to come to terms with some of their issues.

3. Try peer coaching. Consider finding a partner or small group with whom you can trade coaching time. Create a structure in which each person has a designated to time to talk about current activities and challenges. When you play the role of the "coach" it's your job to ask questions and listen compassionately to the answers. Then when you are the "client" you can talk about what's been happening lately and how you feel about it.

4. Try some training. An enjoyable and effective way to become more adept at conversations with your colleagues can be to take an introductory coaching course. You'll build your "listening muscle" and have opportunities to practice asking questions that lead others to new insights. For a training option that would work for you, visit the International Coach Federation website.

Coaching comes in many forms, but the broad theme is always to help you be the best version of yourself as a professional, a leader and a whole person. By learning a bit about how coaching works, you can build your self-knowledge and at the same time become better at assisting others to fully engage in their work.

Read about what coaching can do

If you want an insider's view of what coaching actually looks like, I can recommend a new book: "Being Coached – Group And Team Coaching From The Inside."

"Being Coached" is written by two accomplished coaches – Holly Williams, my pal from the Georgetown Leadership Coaching community, and her colleague, Ann Deaton. The authors don't offer a how-to guide or academic discussion, but instead tell us a tale from the perspective of individual managers who are going through a group coaching exercise just as their company is faced with the need for a drastic change in strategy.

While the plot involves group coaching, the real story is about what coaching is like for each of the participants. For example, there is Ellen, the Chief People Officer, who faces the fact that she can't manage all the company's human resources by herself. During coaching she learns how to ask for help, and challenges her colleagues to either "work together or fall apart."

Another new book touching upon the impact of coaching is "A Whole New Engineer," by David E. Goldberg and Mark Somerville. If you are interested in the cutting edge of higher education, you'll find this book particularly interesting.

The authors — two highly accomplished academic leaders whose field happens to be engineering — describe how each grew beyond the traditional university path to lead in the creation of science/engineering programs that also foster self-awareness and empathy. The book is an intriguing and readable mixture of anecdotes and current thought about how growth and learning happen. As a leadership coach, I am particularly interested in the suggestion that a more conscious element of coaching can enrich the classroom experience.

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: Essential Tips for Managing Employees Who Don't Aspire to Be Leaders


For some employees, working toward a promotion or leadership position is a natural transition in their careers. Yet some individuals just aren't interested in climbing the corporate ladder.


According to a new CareerBuilder survey, only one-third of the American workers surveyed aspire to become leaders. Additionally, only 7 percent said they seek C-level management roles.


Employers should, however, continue to develop these employees and provide them incentives, regardless of their career goals.


Employee engagement is essential at all levels of an organization. Here are some ideas for managing those who don't aspire to become leaders and keeping them engaged and happy at work:


1. Provide professional-development options.


When professional-development opportunities are offered by an employer, employees may become more engaged while involved in something not requiring their active pursuit of a leadership role.


And employers can do a number of things, I believe, to develop their employees’ skills. They can pay for memberships in a professional organization, host skills-development workshops or send staffers to industry conferences. In these ways employees can keep their skills up-to-date.


2. Give the option of shifting departments.


I recommend that if an employee wishes to gain more experience but not through taking a leadership role, move him to another department where his skills and experience will be tapped in a different way.


For example, say an associate at a public relations agency wants more experience but isn’t ready to take on a higher position. Give her the opportunity to work with different clients to broaden her experience and skills.


3. Provide ongoing training.


According to the CareerBuilder survey, more than half of the employees surveyed don’t seek leadership positions because they are content with their current roles. Ongoing training, I believe, will help such employees learn how to become more productive and perform better at their jobs.


A recruiter in an HR department might be perfectly happy in her position but wish to expand her range of skills. Train her in the latest HR technologies and teach her to use big data to recruit the best candidates.


4. Help employees advance their education.


Nearly 20 percent of the employees surveyed by CareerBuilder said they avoid climbing the corporate ladder because they think they don’t have the necessary education to advance.


Employers should help out those employees who wish to seek more education, I believe. Although not all employers or entrepreneurs can afford to fully fund staff education, they can ease the way. Employers can create some sort of tuition-reimbursement program or pay for an online class.


5. Offer competitive perks and bonuses.


Although employees may decide to not seek a promotion, this doesn't necessarily mean that they will stop going above and beyond at work, I believe. Reward dedicated and productive employees by offering monthly bonuses, recognition in the workplace or additional vacation time. This will lead to employees feeling like their work and dedication are truly valued.


How do you keep employees who don’t seek leadership roles engaged at work?


The Shearin Group - Lederskab i erhvervslivet i dag


Hvis du ser på de fleste forsøgsrapporter en virksomhed ser meget hierarkisk, med et bord afbildet øverst, en executive management group og derefter forskellige afdelinger (land eller produkt eller funktion) som igen er ledet af en administrerende direktører, som styrer mindre afdelinger eller processer, eller steder igen med deres egne topledere.


Hvis skemaet afspejler, hvordan en virksomhed fungerer, så vil jeg sige, at det ikke vil være i stand til at realisere sit potentiale og har en stor sandsynlighed for, at de ikke i dag.


I praksis en moderne global virksomhed er mere som en levende organisme end en statisk skema. Det vil fungere som en plante eller væsen i et skovøkosystem, trækker på og bidrager til dets omgivelser, og tilpasning til omgivelserne. Det vil blomstre som dets økosystem trives og vil dø, hvis det bliver isoleret, erstattes af planter eller væsener som fungere bedre.


De ældre modeller for styring stammer fra enten en militær struktur baseret på kommando og kontrol, eller en mekanistisk model. Denne model afspejler den industrielle epoke, der er så mange måder at omgås. Men alt for få virksomheder har erkendt, at de ikke eller i hvert fald ikke virker som en maskine i stedet for en levende organisme i et økosystem af andre levende væsener.


The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: How to deliver successful diversity and inclusion results and benchmark your progress

As leaders in the accounting profession come to understand the business case for diversity and inclusion, they often have a similar quandary.


“The next natural question is, ‘So what do I do about it?’ ” said Kenneth Bouyer, CPA, chairman of the AICPA National Commission on Diversity & Inclusion and EY Americas director of Inclusiveness Recruiting.


New tools released Monday at the AICPA fall Council meeting are designed to answer the question of how to expand diversity and inclusion at a business or firm—and across the accounting profession as a whole. Both tools are available at


The Accounting Inclusion Maturity Model gives firm and business leaders an opportunity to perform a comprehensive self-assessment of their progress in fostering diversity and inclusion. Firms and businesses can use the model to assess their practices in the workforce, workplace, and marketplace, and in community and supplier relations.


A second offering, the Recruiting and Retention Toolkit, highlights best practices for attracting, recruiting, and retaining a diverse workforce.


The National Commission developed the tools using the input of accounting leaders and others. The tools are part of Institute-led efforts to help the accounting profession better reflect the diversity of the clients and public that CPAs serve. In 2012, 11% of the people employed in the United States were black or African-American, and 15% were Hispanic or Latino, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics research.


In that same year, blacks or African-Americans accounted for 4% of the accounting employees and 2% of the partners at CPA firms, according to the most recent AICPA Trends supply and demand survey. Hispanics or Latinos made up 5% of the accounting employees and 2% of the partners at CPA firms.


While the maturity model will help leaders understand where their businesses and firms stand with relation to diversity and inclusion, the toolkit describes specific methods for improving their diversity and inclusion.


“This is going to answer the ‘Now what?’ question,” Bouyer said. “This toolkit will be a playbook to help you devise a strategy and a focus.”


The toolkit describes the business case for focusing on diversity and inclusion in the accounting profession, and provides steps businesses can take to improve their diversity and inclusion. It includes best practices for:


  • Attracting diverse candidates. This section discusses how organizations prepare themselves to be attractive to under-represented minority candidates by doing such things as obtaining leadership buy-in, setting clear short-term and long-term goals, and assessing employee engagement around current opportunities for creating a more inclusive work environment. “What does your brand look like?” Bouyer said. “How are you positioned to be successful? How well do your folks in your organization understand the need and why you’re focusing on this space?”


  • Recruiting a diverse workforce by perfecting job postings to better define how candidates will fit into the larger picture, developing recruitment plans, training recruiters and human resources professionals to recognize the obstacle of unconscious bias, and delivering consistent interview experiences for all candidates. Bouyer uses a fishing analogy, saying that leaders and recruiters may need to fish in a different pond to catch different kinds of fish. “You have to do different things to attract diverse talent,” he said.


  • Retaining under-represented minorities at an organization. Tips include conducting “stay interviews.” Turning exit interviews on their heads, these give employees an opportunity to share what’s working for them—and what can be done to improve the overall workplace culture.“You’re not the only organization that’s interested in the power of diversity and inclusion and diverse talent,” Bouyer said. “So your folks will be highly sought after in the marketplace. You have to think about different retention strategies to retain and ultimately advance this really talented group of people that you’re spending a fair amount of effort to get into your organization.”


As more organizations use the maturity model, an anonymized database will be built to allow them to benchmark where they stand on diversity and inclusion compared with similar organizations.

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips for Becoming More Productive At Work

Low productivity can cost businesses millions of dollars each year. With so many distractions however – like social media, the internet, other co-workers and our own lack of motivation – it can be hard to regain your productivity streak. Although there are several articles out there touting different time management fixes, these four tips are off the beaten path and will hopefully grant you a renewed kick in your step the next time you sit down at your desk to work.


Don’t Multitask


There was a day not too long ago that added “ability to multitask” to a resume or CV was seen as a positive attribute to have in a work environment. Recent research however suggests differently. If we try to juggle too much at once, adults can experience severe stress or rage – two things that are not conducive to a good work environment. Ninety-eight percent of us can’t multitask effectively, and we can work nearly twice as fast if we only do one thing at a time.


Make a To-Don’t List


Many people find that making to-do lists or writing down plans and tasks in a diary help keep them organized and productive. But have you considered penning a “to-don’t” list? Bad habits influence the way we work just as much as good habits do. How often do you check your mobile throughout the day? Do you spend a lot of time surfing the internet? Are you always late? By laying your productivity-killing habits out on paper, you will be more conscious of them and maybe even more willing to put an end to them.


Track Time


Spend a whole day tracking how you spend your time at work – reading and responding to emails, researching, talking to co-workers, and other activities. Make sure to log both the good (like working on this article for an hour and a half) and the bad (and then promptly reading a few news stories for 15 minutes). Once you realise the work that takes up the most of your time, you’ll be able to better budget and prioritise to get the most done.


Look Back


How did your week go? Do you even remember your busy Monday morning? If you made a to-don’t list and were able to track you time in the same week, look back and see all that you accomplished, and where you can make improvements for your future productivity.

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: How To Make Your Numbers, Every Time?


On Sales Leadership: How To Make Your Numbers, Every Time


Not all startups will employ a direct sales force, but many will.  When they do, the value of the company and its ultimate success or failure often hinges on how well that distribution channel is built-out.  In a prior blog, I described how companies can go astray by building out the sales team too early or in the wrong way.


This post addresses some core values or best-practices for sales leaders and individual sales reps.  They are also very useful for the entrepreneur CEO to understand and embrace.


The list actually comes from an informal mentor and long-time Silicon Valley executive, advisor and investor, Joe Schoendorf, a consummate salesman to be sure.


Joe’s Rules of Sales:

  2. Know Your Competition Personally
  3. Take a Consultative Approach
  4. The #’s Are Sacred – Make Your Numbers, Meet Your Goals
  5. Keep The Customer


Taking each in turn:




Listening is one of the most difficult skills for people in general, but it’s a critical skill for a salesperson, at least one that wants to actually address a customer’s needs and concerns.  Yet, it’s remarkable how many sales people actually score poorly on this attribute, as I’m sure many of you in both the customer and co-worker camps can attest.


A great salesperson is a lot like a detective or investigative journalist.  It’s all about getting the facts and understanding the situation or problem the customer is trying to address.  In that effort, the most powerful question a salesperson can ask is “why.” To illustrate the use of these most important three letters, consider this hypothetical dialogue below:


Customer: I need a CRM system.

Salesperson: Why?

Customer: I want to track my customers.

Salesperson: Why is that important?

Customer: So I can better understand what they have bought, and what they might want to buy next.

Salesperson: Why will that make a difference?

Customer: If I better understand what they want to buy, I can do a better job of ordering and making sure I have it in stock when they place the order.

Salesperson: Why does that matter?

Customer: I will have fewer abandoned sales, and I won’t be ordering inventory I can’t sell.

Salesperson: Why is that a priority?

Customer: My gross margins are 40%, and my competitors are north of 50% — I need to get my financial metrics in-line with or to be better than my competitors.


As a salesperson, how much better able is the one who asked “why” five times going to be in addressing the customer’s ultimate objective and win the business, than the one that said, “Oh, you need a CRM system?  Let me tell you why mine is so great.”


2. Know Your Competition Personally


Few sales people have the luxury of selling a truly unique or monopoly product.  All too often, there are competitors with decent to even better features, who have good reference customers, and who command a decent share of the market.  Knowing your competitor personally makes you far better able to anticipate their moves, know how they are going to attack you, and how you can best thwart them.


A favorite sport of great salespeople (and great marketers) is to lay landmines or traps for competitors.  In essence, you set a customer’s expectation and desire for a product feature, supplier quality, or other attribute that is unique to your product, and, most importantly, that the competitor lacks.  When the competitor walks in the door, the customer wants to see or hear about things that the competitor doesn’t have or is notably weak at.


3. Take a Consultative Approach


A more systematic approach to the “listen” attribute, being consultative means being authentically focused on understanding and solving a real customer need, not simply jamming your product in where it may or may not actually solve the real problem.  It also means being logical and quantitative to the greatest extent possible about the ROI of the product.


At my last company we implemented two different tactics to enhance the success of our sales team’s consultative sales approach.  First, we hired MBA’s in our existing product development operation in India, to build quantitative and qualitative profiles on every major prospect.  They would peruse prospect’s 10-Ks and 10-Qs (annual and quarterly SEC filings for public companies), analyst conference calls, press releases, articles written about the business, its financial performance and health, etc.  They would then look for specific product-related challenges and metrics, and build models tying those challenges back to the prospect’s financials, and finally deliver that analysis to the sales rep who owned that account.


Then, once actively engaged with the prospect, we would perform an in-depth benchmarking and ROI analysis of their product operations to understand the prospect’s key business objectives and financial metrics. This allowed us to demonstrate quantitatively how our products could move the needle on their key business metrics.


4. The #’s Are Sacred


Make your numbers, meet your goals.  Salespeople are hired for one reason – to drive revenue.  If they fail, the company fails (a fact product folks can sometimes lose sight of).  Salespeople must always be disciplined and goal-oriented, relentlessly moving current sales opportunities forward to the next step or stage, while also consistently prospecting for new business to keep the pipeline full.  Salespeople must also be thoughtful about both their opportunities and their pipeline, ensuring that they are asking all the hard questions (no happy ears!), looking under the rocks before the customer (or a competitor) does, and employing limited company resources wisely.


Great salespeople also need to be transparent.  An overly optimistic forecast (intentionally or not) means resources may get added that aren’t needed, decisions may be made that aren’t based on reality, and of course, revenue numbers are missed – a painful occurrence that the entire company feels.  On the flipside, an overly pessimistic forecast is also harmful.  The resources required to support the additional unforecasted business may not have been hired, unnecessarily stressing the professional services and support teams, perhaps even the product teams.


Be honest and accurate in the forecast, and then work like hell to deliver them.  It’s your sacred commitment to the company as a star salesperson.


5. Keep The Customer


It is far easier, cheaper and faster to sell to an existing customer, than a new one (here’s a good infographic on the costs).  It takes significant marketing and sales efforts, company resources, and time to win a new customer. Selling to an existing customer has a lower barrier to entry (you don’t need permission to call on an existing relationship).  You should also have far greater insight into an existing customer’s needs and future plans, giving you the opportunity to help them plan your offerings into their information technology roadmaps, which can provide a significant, long term advantage.  And most importantly, an existing happy customer is a brand advocate that will create leverage and network effects for future sales to new customers.  In short, you worked hard to gain the customer’s initial business and trust – don’t lose it – it’s far too valuable.


As an entrepreneur/CEO, you will never go wrong embracing these values, as well as instilling them in your sales leadership and sales teams!


The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips on How To Find A Great Mentor

How To Find A Great Mentor -- First, Don't Ever Ask A Stranger


Today I heard from a lovely new connection on LinkedIn LNKD +2.63%, who responded to a recent post I shared about Why Your Job  Search Has Stalled Out.  He asked a question I hear frequently from professionals who know that mentorship is important to their careers, but don’t know how to achieve it.


He asked:


“In my pursuit of THE job (not just any job), I have so far addressed all your recommendations but mentorship. This is the stage where I have stalled out. I have found many professionals that have shared my dreams and are now big successes in the industry, but find myself hesitant in approaching them and asking for help. These hesitations may be due to me not wanting to come across as needy, but I think they mostly stem from lacking the trigger words that would inspire acceptance of such a request. I really need help in this area and humbly ask for your help in the follow-through of this job hunting step.”


I’d love to tackle this question, because so many people I speak to are struggling in their approach to finding mentors, and are ending up disappointed, angry or confused.



Below are the top 4 tips I can share about finding fabulous mentors, and making the most of the help you receive:


1. There are no “trigger” words that will help you get mentoring from a stranger. Don’t bother.


First, it’s critical to know that, to find great mentors, you don’t want to reach out to strangers. That’s not how you’ll find them.


Sheryl Sandberg, in her book Lean In, likens asking strangers to be mentors to the behavior of the main character in the favorite children’s book Are You My Mother? The book is about a baby bird that emerges from its shell in an empty nest, and goes in search of its mother.  The little bird asks everything it sees (a kitten, hen, dog, cow, steam shovel), “Are you my mother?”  The answer is always the same. “No!”  This is just like a professional asking a stranger, “Will you be my mentor?”


Sandberg says:


“If someone has to ask the question, the answer is probably no. When someone finds the right mentor, it is obvious.  The question becomes a statement. Chasing or forcing that connection rarely works.”


Instead, find great mentors through the inspiring people you’re already interacting and working with now. They need to be people to whom you have already demonstrated your potential – who know how you think, act, communicate and contribute. And they have to like, trust and believe in you already (why else would they help you?).  They also need to believe with absolutely certainty that you’ll put to great use all their input and feedback.


Strangers (especially people in the media and the public eye who’ve become “huge” successes, as the individual above mentions) will virtually always have to say “no” to mentoring requests from strangers.  Why? Because their time is already spoken for, and they’re drowning in similar requests.  Secondly, they don’t have a relationship with you, and therefore can’t know how you operate or if it’s a great investment of their time to help you.


2. What can you do to get on the radar of strangers whom you admire?


Don’t ask for mentorship, but follow their work, and be helpful and supportive.  Give, and give more.  Tweet out their posts, comment in a positive way on their blogs, share their updates, start a discussion on LinkedIn drawing on their post, refer new clients or business to them, and the list goes on.  In short, offer your unique voice, perspectives, experiences and resources to further the action and conversation that these influencers have sparked.  Understand that you are able to be of service to them, and go out and do it.


3. Be someone who is enjoyable to mentor.


The third piece of attracting empowering mentoring is in how you operate in your career and your life.  Are you somebody you yourself would like to mentor? Are you open, flexible, resilient, respectful? Are you eager to learn, and committed to modifying how you’re interacting in the world so you can have even more success, reward and happiness?


 - Be great at what you do – while this sounds obvious, it is the most important thing you can do to get noticed.


- Ask for more responsibility – be sure to have specific ideas for how you can contribute in deeper, more expansive ways. Be creative/think outside the box.


- Don’t be a wallflower – participate in all meetings even “optional” ones. Volunteer to represent your team on important department or enterprise-level initiatives. Prepare ahead of time so that you can meaningfully advance the discussion.


- Promote the success of others – your generosity and openness are critical to your success, and will be remembered.


- Build your support network – reach out to groups within your company and outside your line of business. Learn what they do and how you can help them succeed.


4. Put yourself in a potential mentor’s shoes.


Finally, whenever you’re in a quandary about how to get help from someone, put yourself in their shoes.  If the tables were turned, what would you want to see from this individual asking for help?  If you were inundated with requests for help every day, what type of person would YOU choose to assist, and why? Go out and become that person that others would love to support and nurture.



The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: Five Tips to Sharpen your Leadership Focus

The role of company chief executive brings with it all sorts of challenges, from dealing with the nitty gritty of making decisions daily to formulating strategies to take your company forward.


That’s why it’s important to stay focused on the vital things which keep the wheels turning and the whole enterprise on track.


Here are five things a CEO should stay focused on:


1. Real relationships

Real relationships with staff, with partners, with customers and with consumers all start with your everyday interactions.


As both a leader and a manager it is important to establish real relationships and engage your staff, starting with everyday interactions. How well do you know your staff, their families, what really motivates and inspires them?


I try to connect with members of the team each and every day and maintain an openness and transparency which enables real relationships.


After all, you are really a caretaker in terms of your leadership of people, teams and businesses and you want to ensure you grow and develop the team while you are leading them and that your relationships with those team members transcends your current role.


Every CEO has at some stage in their career reported to a manager and in my experience those managers/CEOs that have inspired and motivated me the most are those I have had a real connection with. Not “tick the box” type stuff but the real type – relationships which last and are based on mutual honest and respect.


Interestingly, all of my business mentors today are previous managers and all exhibit great integrity, openness and honesty – these are all based on foundations of real relationships.


Fifty per cent of employees have admitted they would leave their current job if they had the opportunity to being better recognized elsewhere.


2. Daily deep data

I start every day with an extra hot coffee and a review of the previous day’s figures. This is so important to understand how the week, the month, the quarter and the year is really looking. Anecdotal evidence is simply not sufficient in business today, and without being able to grasp the data you have little else.


I also expect my team to start the day with data (coffee optional), and find that a shared sense of where we are leads to a far more productive team and business and a more fulfilling work experience.


The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) analysis of the July 2012-June 2013 financial year indicated poor strategic management as the highest cause of business failure, with 42.2% of failed businesses nominating this as the key reason for closing their doors.


3. Absolute accountability

You must focus on the most important things and ensure your team has total accountability. While this is a common mantra, it is one which is often easier said than done. Too often the focus is on less important pieces of the business and we get too involved in areas where your team are more than capable (and it is their role) to make a decision or take an action.


Accountability will enable the team to learn how to fail (fast) and develop their skills along the way. While there are times where you may need to lend your expertise, try where possible to enable explicit accountability as it will help achieve a more scalable and successful business, and your team will be far more motivated, passionate and productive.


Understanding what needs to be achieved to reach a goal is important but ensuring that adequate accountability is in place is paramount. Too often I have seen ambiguous team goals that don’t stack up to business success and have led to underperformance.


As Stephen Covey noted, “accountability breeds response-ability” and I believe that accountability really breeds ability. You must own it.


4. Eat your own dog food

Love your product. You must know your product and use it – always!


I can always tell when I have a coffee from a barista who doesn’t drink coffee it just doesn’t seem to taste as good. I am using our products we provide every day, and businesses where the team use and love the products each and every day have a deeper level of understanding and a more productive output.


My pet hate is the team member who does not know our product in detail – there is absolutely no excuse in my experience for this being the case. If you feel good about your product, your consumers and customers will as well – which is great for business. You’ll also be your harshest critic and ensure you continue to move in a direction from mediocrity to perfection.


I had a recent example where we were working through a mobile solution and it just wasn’t panning out – loads of bugs and issues. The team found out that they were using a different advice to the majority of our users which was quickly fixed!


5. Enjoy yourself

Life is not a dress rehearsal. You must enjoy yourself and get the most out of work and business as you spend the majority of your daylight hours at work. I have been fortunate in that I have enjoyed almost every job I have had. When I haven’t, I have made a conscious decision to proactively move on to find something that I enjoy.


Enjoyment in the role will also increase your team’s motivation and, ultimately, the success of the business. I am yet to meet a successful leader who doesn’t enjoy what they do.


At the same time, you need to maintain a work-life balance – this work-life balance obviously differs by person – but at the end of the day family and extra-curricular activities keep your life in balance. These are things to be encouraged and promoted in the workplace rather than things to be guilty about.


Statistics show that happy employees stay twice as long in their roles as those who are dissatisfied.





The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips to become an Influencial Thought Leader

Here are five steps to take to help you build a strong thought-leadership campaign:


1. Clarify your purpose.


The most successful thought leaders have a purpose and a clear definition of what they want to accomplish. They also understand the time and dedication it can take to become influential. Before embarking on a thought-leadership program, consider your goals and what you want to achieve.


2. Identify your voice.


Thought leaders have a strong, identifiable and distinct voice that sets them apart from others. Their voice is their brand and their audience knows exactly what they stand for and what to expect from them. Most important, they don’t stray from their brand identity and instead look for opportunities to make it even stronger.


3. Write.


One of the defining characters of thought leaders is their ability to effectively communicate their expertise and knowledge to their audience. A great way to get your thoughts and experience noticed is by writing contributed articles, op-eds and blog posts.


This allows you to be a part of the conversation, establish your voice, demonstrate your expertise and contribute to an ongoing dialogue. Writing gives you the opportunity to not only demonstrate your abilities but also earn credibility with your audience and other thought leaders in your industry.


4. Build an active online presence.


Great thought leaders have mastered the art of sharing and putting their message and brand out there. A good way to offer advice and tips is to actively share them on social-media platforms. A great thought leader understands how instrumental social media is in developing their voice. He or she looks for opportunities and groups to join and uses different platforms to talk about his or her expertise and becomes a part of relevant conversations.


Building an active online presence requires a social-media strategy that allows optimal brand exposure and opportunities to actively connect with different audiences. Therefore, provide relevant and interesting content, actively engage with users, ask questions and offer feedback and insight on Twitter and Facebook. Establish your credibility, offer your expertise and make yourself reachable by participating in discussions on Reddit, Quora and LinkedIn.


Be strategic about your social-media profiles and always look for opportunities to build your brand and spread your message.


5. Be a mentor.


Great thought leaders have strong ideas that live on through the people they have influenced and helped out. These informal teachers understand the importance of becoming a mentor and shaping the next generation of leaders in their field. They want to share their experiences, lessons and knowledge so that others will continue in their footsteps.

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: Three tips for leaving your customers ‘breathless’

Satisfying your customers isn’t good enough in today’s competitive markets. Meeting their needs falls short of earning their loyalty. You need to dazzle them; leave them “breathless” whenever they touch your organization.

Here are three steps leaders can take:

1. Hire human-being lovers – people who have an innate desire to serve their fellow human beings. People who get absolute joy from serving and do whatever it takes to see someone’s eyes light up.

Customers can’t be delighted if an employee would rather be taking inventory.

You can’t train people to “love humans.” You can train them to “grin” with a smile in their voice, but that’s the extent of it.

To select the right candidate, the recruitment interview should always start with the question “Do you love humans?” If you get goosebumps from the answer, hire the person. If not, show them the door.

2. Trash dumb rules – policies and procedures that infuriate customers and drive them kicking and screaming to other organizations.

Rules have a legitimate management control purpose but if they drive business away because customers are unwilling to play by them, what’s the point?

Have fun with the idea. I struck a number of “dumb rules committees” to seek out and destroy senselessness; I made it matter by holding my leadership team accountable for implementing the changes.

Rules that serve the customer requires their engagement. Ask them for their input in rule design; they will be impressed that you are open to asking for their help.

Empower your front line to bend rules in special circumstances when they don’t make sense to a particular customer and their loyalty is in jeopardy. Not every policy will be acceptable to every customer, so allowing some flexibility is required.

Don’t worry, your employees won’t give away the farm. Provide them with the skills to balance the needs of both the company and the customer.

3. Turn “oops” into “wow.” Sure you do your best to avoid making mistakes, but they will happen. That’s life in any organization.

The good news is that if your service recovery is remarkable when you disappoint one of your customers they are more loyal than if the mistake never happened. So how to recover?

Fix the mistake fast and then blow the customer away by surprising them with something they don’t expect.

Surprise is magic. People expect the screw-up to be remedied but they don’t expect the extra personal attention you give them to atone for the mistake.

Speed is critical. A recovery succeeds only if it is delivered within 24 hours of the oops. After that, save your energy for the next one coming your way.

Leaving people breathless is not rocket science; it’s about delivering basic human needs. We want to feel special, treated as individuals and delighted by surprise.

Stand-out leaders understand this and create organizations to deliver.

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: Successful Leadership Transitions

Successful leadership transitions: traps to avoid, tips for success


It’s never easy to step into a leadership role from outside an organization.


Michael Watkins, an authority on leadership transitions, has concluded through his research that 40 percent of executive leaders hired from the outside fail within 18 months. He estimates the cost to the company of a failed leader at 14 times the leader’s annual salary. Watkins’ findings are especially applicable to transitions in non-family leadership roles within a family business. 


Think of the statistics on keeping family businesses in the family for successive generations: Only 33 percent make it from generation one to generation two, and just 11 percent make it to the third generation. In an article on its website, (“Transitioning from Family Leadership to Non-Family CEO: Best Practices for Maintaining a Family Enterprise”), Family Business Consulting Group observes, “As a family business moves down the generations, the likelihood that it will need to turn to a non-family leader increases.” Most family businesses ultimately will have to hire outside leaders. 


Before looking at three tips for a successful leadership transition, it’s important to recognize two common pitfalls in the process. Few would disagree that the first six months are critical to the success of a new leader. So why do we put people in a position in which their chances for success are slim? 


1. We don’t recognize the need for diligence.


The trap is to view the success of the previous leader as an indicator that the job is easy because all it needs is maintenance for a while: “Dad has run this organization well for 25 years. The team is solid, and we’re a market leader. This job should be a snap.” 


The reality is quite different, as Family Business Consulting Group observes (“Preparing Owners for a Non-Family CEO,” “Ownership groups looking at a non-family CEO for the first time often find they must change the informal ways in which they function and become more structured. For instance, if Dad was the previous CEO, it cannot be expected that the new CEO, who no longer shares the family’s last name, will be given the same degree of trust and respect initially upon the transition.”


2. CEO equals business leader plus family therapist.


Whether it’s due to reputation or how much we’re paying them, it’s easy to expect new leaders to have it all figured out right out of the gate. Making the job too big is a trap. As Watkins’ research shows, it’s not easy to step into a leadership role, especially in family businesses with the added expectation of having to navigate — and often repair — complex family dynamics. While the ability to steer through such complexities is essential, making it the new leader’s job to rewrite the rules is a recipe for disaster. 


Families need to own the work of creating a situation where someone from the outside can come in and be successful, not ask a new leader to fix the family. How can a family-owned business maximize the odds of success for its newly hired leader?


Here are three tips for making a transition successful:


1. Make the culture rules clear. 


Business culture can be a difficult thing to define. In a closely held business, culture is often broad-brushed with generalizations like “family-focused” or “people matter.” Leader Onboarding Inc. ( has developed an assessment, New Leader Culture Snapshot, designed to help new leaders understand performance culture from multiple perspectives.


The survey asks two open-ended questions: What is the most important thing for this new leader to learn about the culture/performance climate in their operation? What are some potential early wins for this new leader?


In family businesses, communications and decisions are often informally executed. A Monday-morning breakfast to discuss the week’s priorities can help to formalize the process. Getting feedback from the team and the family around the important aspects of the culture and performance climate is a good start in making the rules clear to the new leader.


2. Help the new leader to find company wins and family wins. 


Trust is what successful leaders have and unsuccessful leaders lack. A new non-family leader in a family business faces additional obstacles in this regard. In any leadership transition, it’s critical that a new leader build trust from the beginning and avoid situations that can foster mistrust. One of the biggest mistakes I see is having a new leader fire someone in the first three to six months. 


Company wins can range from devoting more resources to professional development of staff to continuing traditional employee gatherings or recognition programs. Family wins can range from the new leader making a point to have informal lunches with key family leaders to learning about the history of and relationships with key suppliers before making decisions about whom to bring into a new project. Trust is built through wins that matter to key stakeholders. In a family business, those stakeholders include both employees and family members.


3. Support, support, support.


Every transition will include mistakes and complex situations that a new leader will need help to navigate to a positive outcome. A mentor is an ally during transition who provides a second perspective and an established reputation to help the new leader to remove barriers and avoid fatal mistakes. Remember that family businesses are beset with informal communication channels and family-centered traditions that can be difficult for an outsider to see. Assigning a mentor to provide a safe place to talk through some of these gray areas and help the new leader make good choices is critical.


Leadership transitions are inherently challenging, and the dynamics of a family business make them especially demanding. There are many steps that organizations can take to increase the likelihood of success. The first steps are to recognize the need to be proactive and deliberate with the transition, and to create realistic expectations for the new role. 


For more Leadership Tips from The Shearin Group, visit this site.

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips for Communicating your Employees

Tips for communicating better with your employees


Are you satisfied with the level of communication from your agency leaders?


My organization, the Partnership for Public Service, and Deloitte, recently analyzed the government-wide responses to three employee survey questions to see how federal leaders were doing regarding their communication with workers. The results were not very encouraging.


Overall, the analysis found that only about half of federal workers government-wide are satisfied with the level of communication they receive from senior leaders, and the percentage of positive responses has been declining since 2009.


Only 45 percent of federal employees, for example, responded positively when asked in a 2013 survey question whether they are satisfied with the information they receive form management regarding what is going on in the organization. In addition, just 48 percent of federal employees reported being satisfied with the extent to which managers promote communication among work units. Managers were more successful when it came to communicating the goals and priorities of the organization, with 58 percent registering a positive view.


The bottom line is that federal leaders can and should do better, and in the process they’ll help improve employee satisfaction with their jobs and workplaces. To create a more engaged and motivated workforce, agency leaders need to establish an effective communications strategy that includes keeping employees apprised of important developments, providing clarity on goals and priorities, and establishing a means to receive and respond to feedback.


As a general rule, the Partnership’s analysis found that agencies receiving high marks from employees on leadership communication tend to be proactive, making a concerted effort to keep workers informed.


Here are some approaches that could help federal leaders communicate better with employees:


Make communication a consistent priority. Establishing effective leadership communication requires a long-term focus, not just short-lived initiatives. There are multiple venues where employees can receive information from senior leaders, ranging from quarterly call-ins to in-person and virtual town hall meetings. NASA, for example, hosts a virtual executive summit that allows Administrator Charlie Bolden to connect with employees in diverse geographic locations using online tools. NASA’s managers also actively seek employee feedback through focus groups and surveys, customizing questions based on their immediate relevance to the agency.


Communicate through multiple platforms. In order to effectively communicate with all staff, agency leaders should use multiple platforms. From more conventional means of leadership communication, such as one-on-one discussions and emails, to more innovative communication methods, such as video conferencing and social media, leaders should leverage a range of platforms to communicate with employees.


Maintain open lines between leaders and employees. Effective communication is only possible when those in top positions maintain open, direct lines with employees. Agencies can foster such communication by hosting office hours where employees meet directly with leaders, and by organizing webinars that allow leaders to overcome geographical hurdles and engage employees located outside agency headquarters.


Implement employee suggestions. Soliciting employees’ opinions is an initial step toward improving agency communication. Simply collecting these ideas, though, does little to improve satisfaction if employees believe agency leadership does not use their feedback. When leaders implement ideas generated by agency staff, employees receive a clear message that their voice is both heard and valued. The Department of Transportation (DOT) launched an online community, IdeaHub, where agency employees can submit and collaborate on ideas to drive innovation and change. Once these ideas are refined, they are communicated online to everyone at the agency and to the individual who originally submitted the idea. By doing so, DOT’s leadership demonstrates that communication with employees is taken seriously.


Read Also: Shearin Group Training Services News


The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: A Good Host Makes The Best Leader

People could be divided roughly into two groups: guests and hosts.


Many people strive for authority positions because they think it means they’ll in effect be the guest of honor at an endless series of banquets.


But if you’re a leader, you’re not the guest of honor at the party. You’re the host. And there’s a certain mindset that a good host has.


You’ve willingly taken on the role of providing everyone else with the best possible experience. As the host, you realize you won’t make everyone happy. You don’t have the budget or time for that, and you know that you can’t do much about the fact that many people were just born to complain. But you do what you set out to do, with both maturity and passion.


A good host has a certain energy, which every leader should aspire to summon as they begin their day. The good host exudes a warm, inviting spirit that signals, “This is a good and safe place to be. You’re in the right place. We’ve got it under control”


An accomplished host is outward-focused, more likely to compliment you on your outfit than to worry about what you think of his outfit. He takes spilled drinks and faux pas moments in stride. Ultimately, he takes ownership of the evening, but he does so in a way that doesn’t consume or drain him.


The good host exercises authority and power in the ideal way. Here’s why that’s so important for aspiring leaders to keep in mind.


“Nearly all men can stand adversity,” Abraham Lincoln said, “but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”


It’s no secret that we’re all drawn to power. Even if we’re too shy or timid to reach for it directly, we still like to get close to someone who does.


So it was inevitable that leadership training would become a multi-billion-dollar entity spanning industry, education and media. The worst experts offer quick formulas guaranteed to increase your power, while the good ones offer wise lessons about what power is to be used for.


A big problem with much of the leadership-training industry is that it plays off people’s vanity. It suggests a couple of things:


1. In any room, the leader is the most important person.

2 And if you embrace these five or seven or 12 patented tips for leading, you’ll be a hero, everyone will love you, and they’ll only neglect you long enough to build your statue or to swat pigeons from it.


There’s some reality to the first point. The alpha type enjoys enviable rights and prerogatives among many species, including our closest relatives, chimpanzees (who are genetically 98% identical to us).


It turns out the true alpha dog doesn’t just lounge around and enjoy the perks of the title. It has special, difficult obligations to protect the tribe. It faces constant threats of being overtaken by pretenders to the job. And once the alpha type loses such a battle, there’s no such thing as an easy retirement or pension. You’re ostracized.


It’s a lot like being the host of the party, but you’ll be kicked out of your house if the party stinks or if the guests woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Now that’s pressure.


But the true host loses herself or himself in the moment, in the zen of the event itself, with little sense of self. If they take the microphone, it’s to honor someone else, not just to bloviate with some new jokes they heard. The best hosts make them somewhat invisible, so that the party itself is what the guests remember, and their own wonderful interactions there.


I’ve been very influenced by Lao Tzu, the legendary (and perhaps mythical) father of Taoism. To paraphrase one idea, he said that the best leader is the one whom the people barely notice: When his or her work is done, the people say, “This was an amazing thing that we did by ourselves!”


A host facilitates that same sort of experience. The guests don’t leave feeling a sense of debt, they leave feeling richer for having contributed something of value to the evening.


That’s often the opposite of what most management and leadership gurus are trying to tell us, as they sell myths about power and prestige. But the party doesn’t get started unless and until we bring the right approach.

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