Archive for January, 2009

Handling Tough Communication Teleseminar

January 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Don’t let a fear of confrontation negatively affect your career.

Join LeadStar for a Tough Talks teleseminar Tuesday, Feb. 10 at 1pm EST to learn how to overcome communication challenges with confidence, consistency and clarity.

During the 60 minute call and 30 minute Q&A session you will:

  • Realize why direct communication is crucial to your success
  • Increase awareness of your communication style
  • Learn best practices to effectively handle the most common difficult workplace communication
  • Discover how to manage your emotions to ensure productive conversations

Learn more and sign up today — it’s only $49.95 USD / line.


Become a Mentor

January 20, 2009 Leave a comment
It’s National Mentoring Month – learn more at, or:

Thank Your Mentor Day – January 22, 2009 marks the fifth annual “Thank Your Mentor Day™,” which many mentoring programs selected as a day of volunteer recognition.

Become a Big Brother or Big Sister – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana develops mentors committed to helping boys and girls grow into the next generation of caring, confident and competent adults.
When: Thursday, January 22, 5:30-7pm
Where: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana, 2960 N. Meridian St.
RSVP: To Molly by Jan. 21 at

Element of Effective Practice – latest in quality mentoring research, policies and practices.

The Art of Mentoring ( webcast) – A mentor takes on many roles, including teacher, counselor, leader and manager. Carew International CEO Jeff Seeley discusses how to mentor someone effectively.

Your Mentoring Opportunity of a Lifetime

January 16, 2009 Leave a comment

What most of us don’t realize when we get dressed for work every morning is that the office is a unique learning environment. There are always people around to learn from, experiences to gain insight and understanding from, and opportunity to learn from mistakes.

Another thing you may not think about is how much you can learn by watching public figures… sort of like long-distance mentoring. For example, look at Barack Obama (new US President) and Carol Bartz (new CEO of Yahoo):

  • both are entering their respective positions at a time of crisis;
  • both have multiple and diverse constituencies;
  • both are the focus of extremely high, often conflicting, sometimes impossible expectations; and
  • both are subject to substantial outside influences, circumstances and pressure.

These four points are what every leader faces — from the board room, to mom & pop shops, to the everyday Joe Parent. That’s why you are now faced with the opportunity of a lifetime. Take a look around… around the office, your home, your community… think of the 4 points above, and then watch the actions of Obama and Bartz over the coming year. Learn from their actions around these 4 points, and watch your leadership approach evolve.

Sources: Leadership Turn by Miki Saxon; Mentoring & Coaching in the Workplace at; Carol Bartz: No Time to Change Others on

Developing Global Leadership Abilities

January 14, 2009 Leave a comment

Did you know that that 70% of global business ventures worldwide fail due to mismanagement of cultural differences? While our company quickly grows and continues to expand into various countries and cultures, its vital that global leadership is developed throughout the organization.

Eileen Wibbeke, creator of the GeoLeadership Model, states that in addition to extraordinary business leadership skills, a leader now needs cultural intelligence.

Wibbeke explains, “Learning how to interact in other cultures takes effort beyond just learning another culture’s language. For the American business leader operating in another culture, interaction requires a deeper cultural understanding about how things are done.” Read more.


January 9, 2009 1 comment

People commonly tell me, “We need leadership training.” After digging deeper into what they call “leadership training”, I find what they’re typically looking for is management skill development.

The terms “leadership” and “management” are quite often used interchangeably, but there is a profound difference and both are important to your job today.

I’ve made my distinction between the two simple:

While management may be what you do, leadership is the way you think.

Of course, to be a good manager one must have many leadership traits. Good leaders are good managers and vice versa. Leadership and management are very much intertwined, so discounting characteristics of one is discounting the importance of the other.

However, they’re more than just intertwined. The combination facilitates your ability to get the resources you need, have the support you need, get the skills you need, build the relationships you need… to get your job done.

Getting an organization “to the next level” or competing in an ever-changing world requires mighty management and enriching leadership… but the true power to make a difference lies with the people that have both: Leadagers.

Let’s all be Leadagers.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on management vs. leadership vs. both.

(I attribute the term “leadager” to Miki Saxon of Leadership Turn, 2008)

Writing Tip: Use a Forecasting Subject Line

January 7, 2009 1 comment

By: Stu Tanquist

When you want your emails to get things done, begin with a forecasting subject line. This simple step will turn your readers from passive to active. It often determines whether your email gets read or not.

Forecast the Bottom Line of Your Email in the Subject Line
Forecasting subject lines tell the reader what you’re going to tell them. In other words, they forecast the business application of your email; they tell readers how your email affects them.

Effective subject lines offer more than a general topic description. Assume for a moment you work in human resources. Which of the following is more likely to pique your interest, a topic subject line or a forecasting subject line?

  1. “Benefits Plan”
  2. “Recommendation for Enhancing Our Benefits Plan”

The Power of Forecasting Subject Lines
People are naturally curious. Consider the previous example. By disclosing the business application of the email, readers will wonder, “What is the recommendation? How could the benefit plan be enhanced?” These questions grab the reader’s

Examples of Forecasting Subject Lines
Use the following subject line openers to enhance reader interest:

  • Review of…
  • Request for…
  • Proper Handling of…
  • Recommended Use of…
  • Instructions for…
  • Comments about…

To further increase productivity, follow these four guidelines for writing forecasting subject lines:

  • Should repeat key words from paragraph 1
  • Should be written last – after a rough draft is completed
  • Should not be a sentence or a question
  • Strive for no more than 50 characters

A Small Step that Offers Big Results
Forecasting subject lines are a simple yet powerful tool for Writing to Get Things Done. By stating the business application of your message in the subject line, you will entice your readers to learn more and take action. Consistently follow this simple tip and watch your productivity grow.

Stu Tanquist served on the board of the third largest ASTD chapter for four years and authored two best selling Info-Lines. He teaches employees how to meet important deadlines and keep projects on target by writing emails that get things done. Stu can be reached at or 612-799-1686.