How Can You LEAD Even When You’re Not in a “LEADERSHIP” Role??

What makes a leader in the corporate world? It isn’t holding an executive level role or supervising other employees. It isn’t something you can learn overnight or even with 20 years of work experience. A leader, in the most basic sense, is someone who can guide or inspire others. Many leaders are born with innate leadership skills but some learn how to lead from great role models.

In fact, leaders can be all around us from the bottom to the top of the corporate ladder. We all have the opportunity to express a number of leadership qualities, even if we don’t necessarily see it. Wherever you are in the working world, you may exhibit leadership in your everyday work.

Show Initiative. If an opportunity presents itself, take it! Stepping forward and showing you are proactive can be a great way to lead in your organization. Don’t be afraid to offer suggestions and show your boss you can lead, rather than relying on others to do it for you.

Take risks. No one can be a leader without taking some risks. Sometimes they pan out and sometimes you have to pick yourself up and dust yourself off, but the risk is where you can show your leadership abilities and rise up. You may even want to consider taking the risk to get involved in something even if it doesn’t fall within your immediate responsibilities (just make sure you aren’t overstepping your boundaries or stepping on any toes).

Listen. Pay attention to what people are talking about. No really, listen. People want to be heard and if you can give this to them, even for a few moments, they will respect you more for it. Plus, listening to others may lead to all new ideas and opportunities for an organization. Often times, leaders follow their own views or experience by default, when sometimes it is staff recommendations that switch on the light bulbs and spark up improvements in organizations.

Be fair. In any position you hold, you can show the strength of your personal character and corporate moral values in how you act with others. Good leaders respect each and every individual and understand the contributions they make to the overall functioning of an organization. You can exemplify fairness by making sure your peers are treated fairly in your presence and in return, treating others with dignity and respect.

Be a problem solver, not a problem identifier. While identifying a problem is an important first step (especially if no one else has the courage to speak up), it is less valuable to management than someone who is thinking of creative ways to solve the problem. A problem solver is an instant leader because doing so immediately shows positive results for company time, money, morale, etc. Be a leader by taking charge of problems, figuring out what it takes to get a job done, using your resources and resolving these issues.

Prioritize. A good way to lead is simply putting first things first. You can’t be a leader of others if you don’t understand what is most important to the company, your own boss and yourself. Setting your priorities is an important part to achieving successful results!

Stay positive. People want to work with and for people who are enthusiastic, confident and who are enjoyable to be around. You can lead simply by being positive because it in turn motivates those around you! Others may look to you as this kind of leader because your demeanor makes the days go by a little easier, makes the hard times seem like they’re not so tough and just makes the overall office a more enjoyable place to be.

In conclusion, it can be said that good leadership doesn’t necessarily happen overnight but everyone can certainly do their part to exhibit positive examples of leadership in their everyday work. However you choose to exhibit leadership in your career, never forget that being a good leader comes down to a few basic things: it’s about getting things done, inspiring and encouraging others and always being an positive example for those around you. (Brazen Careerist)

Harvey Mackay's Column - The ABCs of networking

The ABCs of networking

By Harvey Mackay

If I had to name the single characteristic shared by all the truly successful people I've met over a lifetime, I'd say it is the ability to create and nurture a network of contacts. I could lose all my money and all my factories, but leave me my contacts and I'll be back as strong as ever in three to five years. Networking is that important.

The alphabet is a great place to start as you build your network -- organize your contacts from A to Z. I've written two other ABC columns -- the ABCs of selling and the ABCs of teamwork. Now it's time for the ABCs of networking:
A is for antennae, which should be up every waking moment. Never pass up an opportunity to meet new people.
B is for birthdays. It's always advantageous to know the birthdays of your contacts. You wouldn't believe how much business our sales reps write up when they call on their customers' birthdays.
C is for contact management system. Have your data organized so that you can cross reference entries and find the information you need quickly.
D is for Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty, my networking book.
E is for exchange and expand. When two people exchange dollar bills, each still has only one dollar. But when two people exchange networks, they each have access to two networks.
F is for Facebook and all other social media. These sites open unlimited possibilities for networking. Use them wisely.
G is for gatekeeper. There usually is a trusted assistant trained to block or grant your access. Don't waste their time, and make sure you acknowledge their significant role in reaching the boss.
H is for hearing. Make note of news you hear affecting someone in your network so you can reference it at the appropriate time.
I is for information. You can't (and shouldn't) talk about business all the time. Learn everything you can about your contacts' families, pets, hobbies and interests. Humanize your approach.
J is for job security, which you will always have if you develop a good network.
K is for keeping in touch. If your network is going to work, you have to stay plugged in and keep the wires humming.
L is for lessons. The first real networking school I signed up for after I graduated from college was Toastmasters. Dale Carnegie schools are designed to achieve similar goals.
M is for mentors. In the best of all possible worlds, your role models can become your mentors, helping you, advising you, guiding you, even lending you their network as you build your own.
N is for a network of contacts. A network can enrich your life.
O is for outgoing. Be the first to introduce yourself, lend a hand, or send congratulations for a job well done.
P is for people. You have to love people to be a good networker.
Q is for quality. A large network is worthless unless the people in it can be counted on to answer in an emergency at 2 a.m.
R is for Reciprocity. You give; you get. You no give; you no get. If you only do business with people you know and like, you won't be in business very long.
S is for six degrees of separation, the thought that there is a chain of no more than six people that link every person. Someone you know knows someone who knows someone you want to know.
T is for telephone. Landline, cell, internet -- this is a critical tool for staying in touch with your network.
U is for urgency. Don't be slow to answer the call, even if you never expect to have your effort repaid.
V is for visibility. You've got to get involved in organizations and groups to get connected, but don't confuse visibility with credibility. You have to give in order to get.
W is not only for whom you know, but also for who knows you?
X is for the extra mile. Your network contacts will go the extra mile for you, and you must be willing to do the same for them.
Y is for yearly check-in. Find a way, even if it's just a holiday card, to stay in touch.
Z is for zip code -- do you have plenty represented in your network?

Mackay's Moral: You don't have to know everything as long as you know the people who do.

The Five W's of Marketing--By Steve McKee

When developing a marketing program, it's not enough to know who, what, when, where, and why. You need to keep them in order, says Steve McKee

You've heard of the Five W's: who, what, when, where, and why. They're the elements of information needed to get the full story, whether it's a journalist uncovering a scandal, a detective investigating a crime, or a customer service representative trying to resolve a complaint. There's even an old PR formula that uses the Five W's as a template for how to write a news release.

Most of the time it doesn't matter in what order the information is gathered, as long as all five W's are ultimately addressed. The customer service rep's story may begin with who was offended, while the journalist may follow a lead based on what happened. The detective may start with where a crime was committed while details of who and what (not to mention when and why) are still sketchy.

The Five W's are helpful in marketing planning as well. But unlike in other professions, the development of an effective marketing program requires that they be answered in a specific order: why, who, what, where, and when. The reasons may not be obvious, but by following this pathway you can avoid a great deal of confusion, trial and error, and blind alleys, preserving your company's precious time and resources.

Many marketers instinctively begin with questions about what and where, as in "what" their advertising should say or "where" it should appear. That's what gets them into trouble. They may have some success putting their plans together by relying on intuition and experience, but both can be misleading in a rapidly changing marketing world. These days it's easy for anyone to become confused by (or fall prey to) the latest and greatest trends and tactics.
First, Why Marketing?

Smart companies begin by asking "why"—why are we expending our limited resources in marketing? Why do we believe they're better invested here than in other aspects of our business? These questions, properly considered, force company leaders to clearly define their business and marketing objectives and confront their (often unrealized) assumptions before they get too far down the road.

In some cases they may have unrealistic expectations of their marketing efforts. In others, they may be looking to advertising to solve a non-advertising problem. In still others they may be reflexively reacting to a competitor's moves, or to any one of a number of other marketplace or internal dynamics (see "Who's to Blame When Growth Stalls?"). Beginning with the "why" can be challenging, but starting here is critical to ensuring that your subsequent efforts are on target.

The second question is "who"—who is essential to our achieving our goals? To whom should we be directing our message? Whose hearts and minds must we win in order to succeed? The answers to these questions should be derived from the business objectives identified above so that the target audience(s) for your effort are clearly related to them.

For example, a marketing plan meant to generate significant new top-line revenue would likely focus on new customer attraction. An effort that's meant to enhance margins may concentrate on improving your brand's value equation among existing customers. And a plan to enhance your company's price/earnings ratio would focus on prospective investors and industry analysts as its primary target. The better any company defines its "who"—and the more it can know about their lifestyles, behaviors, attitudes, opinions, wants, and needs—the more effectively it can address the remaining three W's.

Branding Issues

Next comes "what," as in what it is you need to offer your target audiences in order to accomplish your objectives. This, of course, encompasses a host of business decisions, from product to pricing, policy to packaging, and everything in between. But it is also where key branding issues are addressed, including positioning, differentiation, and a determination of the personality dimensions that are appropriate for both the brand and the task (see "Building a Better Brand").

To be sure, as market conditions and customer needs change, the "what" of your offering will be a continually evolving proposition. But by having a solid understanding of the "who" and "why" of your efforts, you'll be more likely to get, and keep, the "what" right.

Finally, the last two W's can be addressed as you dive into the specifics of campaign planning. The questions now revolve around where and when the best places and times are to communicate your "what" to your "who" in service of your "why." At this stage you'll be required to make many tactical decisions, but if you've effectively addressed the first three W's you'll have the context and perspective you need to make the final two work as hard as possible on your behalf.

To be sure, as market conditions and customer needs change, the "what" of your offering will be a continually evolving proposition. But by having a solid understanding of the "who" and "why" of your efforts, you'll be more likely to get, and keep, the "what" right.

Finally, the last two W's can be addressed as you dive into the specifics of campaign planning. The questions now revolve around where and when the best places and times are to communicate your "what" to your "who" in service of your "why." At this stage you'll be required to make many tactical decisions, but if you've effectively addressed the first three W's you'll have the context and perspective you need to make the final two work as hard as possible on your behalf.

In some ways the principles of marketing are simple, but their simplicity can be deceptive. Beneath them often lie hidden complexities that you ignore at your peril. The common way of citing the Five W's—who, what, when, where, and why—rolls off the tongue and is a great mnemonic device. But if you want to optimize your marketing efforts, think why, who, what, where, and when. The order makes all the difference.

Steve McKee is president of McKee Wallwork Cleveland and author of When Growth Stalls: How It Happens, Why You're Stuck, and What to Do About It. Find him on Twitter and LinkedIn. of Bloomberg Busniness Week>

10 Reasons Why Your Network is Your Biggest Asset

By Steve Tobak |

10 Reasons Why Your Network is Your Biggest Asset:

What’s a senior executive’s biggest asset? Most would say it’s their network. Not their social network, their real network. Ten thousand Twitter followers or Facebook fans aren’t worth ten solid network relationships to an executive.

Not that social media isn’t one way to make those contacts, but they’re only effective if and when they become real relationships. That means someone you can call, email, or get together with when you need to, and vice versa.

Vistage International is an organization of senior executives and business leaders with over 14,000 members, worldwide. One of the top reasons people sign up? The network.

I’d even go as far as to say that senior-level executives can’t be really successful without a robust network. Sure, they may pull in a decent paycheck, but they won’t rise to the top. If this is news to you and you aspire to be a successful manager or executive, then it’s time to take your head out of the sand and start networking. Here’s what you stand to gain from the effort:

1.Introductions. Whether you’re an entrepreneur in need of venture capital or a marketing VP looking for the best PR firm, you’re more likely to find it through your network than by any other means.

2.Opportunities. Over a 30-year career, most of my major career and business opportunities came from my network. Business associates, friends of friends, casual conversations, business meetings, social events, whatever. But you’ve got to pay attention.

3.Sorting out thorny problems. Anyone who thinks they’ve never met a work problem they can’t resolve has never been a CEO. The problem with problems is that they keep getting escalated until there’s nowhere left to go. The buck has to stop somewhere. And getting a fellow exec to help sort out a monster problem is a big plus.

4.Recruiting. Perhaps the most critical job of any manager is to hire talented people, and the best place to find them is through your network. And not just for direct reports, but also for recommendations on peers, key employees, board members, you name it.

5.Ideas. I don’t know about you, but most of my best ideas come from bouncing them around with like-minded people.

6.Competitive intelligence. It’s a big, hairy global market and smart executives dig for competitive intelligence. Much of that info comes from sales and marketing, but where do you think they get it from? That’s right, their network.

7.Sensitive issues. Top executives often face sensitive issues they can’t discuss with others at the company. Sometimes they just need an outside perspective from another CEO. For example, some of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s friends are Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Mark Hurd (when he was CEO of H-P, as well). Makes sense, doesn’t it?
8.Seeing the big market picture. A huge component of any manager’s success is her ability to anticipate significant market changes. While nobody has a crystal ball, if you get enough anecdotal data from enough sources, you can get a pretty good picture of what’s going on.

9.Moral support. Business is full of tradeoffs. Rarely are critical and complex issues black and white. When top execs wrestle with gray issues, it’s nice to be able to pick up the phone for advice and support.

10.You don’t know what you don’t know. While there are exceptions, know-it-alls don’t typically get ahead. Smart managers know what they don’t know and that means they depend very much on comparing notes with others in their network.
Is your network your biggest asset?

The Corner Office
Steve Tobak

A Recurring Theme for a Sourcer on LinkedIn... Help Me Help You!

I thought in my old job that I was little too "in" to LinkedIn.

It's worse now. I'm on it all day. And what I'm seeing, well... to be honest... it's not pretty. And while we mostly give advice for recruiters and HR pros here on FOT, time for some advice from a sourcer to the job seekers out there. If you're a jobseeker on LinkedIn, if you're even thinking about being a jobseeker on the down low, help me out here.

Linkedin Fill in your profile. I don't need the Great American Novel, but give me a job title, some skillset information, professional certifications, whatever makes you "you" and gives you a step up on your peers. And think carefully about your "industry". I see a lot of people who pick their industry based on their profession. That's not always a good idea. If you have worked in telecomm, select it. Same for Non-profit, Accounting, etc. Research pro's often get tasked with finding professionals with specific experience and will use LinkedIn's search functionality to whittle down candidates, For example, if I need an Accounting Manager with Non-Profit experience, I'm going to look at Accounting Managers working in the Non-Profit industry. And don't forget your resume. LinkedIn will let you upload your resume or use it to complete your profile, but if you're not really looking, yet, keep the scope somewhat narrow. Hit the high points.

Use your profile like a business card. Link it everywhere and make your information available.

References are great, but if I see you have the background I need, I'm not going to stress that. I'm still old school enough that I'll ask for them during the vetting process.

Give me some way to contact you. Sure, I'll use inmails. Quite happily I will. But I can let you know quicker that I've got an awesome opening if you give me a link somewhere in your profile or even embed your email in the traditional imajobseeker[at]abc-company[dot]com. I'm completely cool with the fact that no one wants spam - but at least link to your resume somewhere else or something.

Get rid of your duplicate profiles. Yeah, I know you have 'em. Find a way to dump the old one. Help LinkedIn do some quality control.

Network. There are lots of ways to do this. Some free, some incredibly cheap. But grow your network. You have a better chance of being seen by a recruiter searching the site internally if you do this. Look for open networkers to get yourself started. There are tons of us on there.

Pay It Forward. Get notified about a job but it's not your cup of tea? Send it out to your network. You never know who's looking, and there are so many jobs not being advertised through traditional channels that your network will thank you.

Got a question? Want to connect? Awesome. You can find me at If I don't have a job for you now, I may in the future. And who knows, maybe our mutual networking can help us pay it forward for a jobseeker who needs a job now. Want more advice on using LinkedIn as a jobseeker? Bill Boorman wrote a piece here that has some really valid suggestions.

Editor's Note -- Kelly Dingee is a professional stalker Strategic Recruiting Manager with Staffing Advisors. Prior to joining Staffing Advisors, her experience includes developing and training material for AIRS-A Company of The RightThing, sourcing for Thales Communications, Inc., and Internet recruitment for Acterna (now known as JDSU). Follow her on Twitter and get the lowdown on what's going on each day in sourcing - she's a Twitter machine.


What drives people to work and succeed? There are two main sources of motivation in careers: being yourself (ESSENCE) and seeking the approval of others (EGO). So, it can be your career, it can be “theirs,” or some combination of the two.

A lot of career unhappiness derives from an unsatisfied Ego. And the more a person feels bad about what she has or has not “accomplished,” the more she may neglect being herself.

From the time we hold our breath and show our school report cards to our parents, we sense that approval-seeking is the game. Parents morph into teacher, bosses, customers, and the general public. We want them all to say we’re great!

The biggest problem with Ego fulfillment is that people never get enough. More is always better. Their contracts are only renewed a year at a time. Once they attain a certain level of approval, they feel obligated to maintain it.

“What have you done for me lately?” is a chilling question.

People who are excessively Ego-driven often say things to themselves such as:

“When I _____________, only then will I be happy.”

“I want to ____________ by the time I’m _________ (age).”

“I won’t rest until I ____________.”

Ego is very future-oriented and results-oriented. Essence is very present-oriented. Ego-oriented individuals worry about “how it’s going to turn out.” Essence-oriented professionals accept outcomes and assume that being themselves will work out OK.

Ego is a voracious devourer of career energy. Our culture glamorizes success, celebrity, money, and status, so that people are constantly seeking them. In the process, they may lose the peace of mind and happiness that comes from being themselves.

Essence asks that you live entirely in the present, letting her energy go where it takes her. In Essence, a career choice is not a plan, but answering, “What do I want to be doing right now?” Essence is you turning to your intuition, inner energies and deepest drives.

EGO/ESSENCE – an interesting conundrum…

Best wishes and keep networking alive,

Rod Colón, Career Coach, Professional Speaker & Author

CEO & Director of Career Management

Empowering Today’s Professionals

Running the Business of "ME"


Connect with me on:

ETP Charlotte Networking Group

On Thursday, October 28, 2010 ETP Charlotte Networking Group had the honor of having Mr. Carl E. Reid, as our guest speaker for the evening. Mr. Reid is the Chief Operations Officier of ETP. In adition to being a sought after speaker and published author, Mr. Reid advises small businesses on Internet Business-2-Business opportunities. Combining 40+ years of business experience with 27 years in the Information Technology field, Mr. Reid has a proven track record in identifying emerging technology business opportunities, before they become trends. He has also helped many people successfully advance their careers and start businesses with 15 years as a Business Career Coach.

It was a honor having Mr. Reid attend our meeting and coach the members of our team on the The 7-Step Job Search Methodology. I would like to also extend congratulations to our newest member Edwin Martinez for winning the WIN THE RACE for 21st CENTURY JOBS by Rod Colon.

To get your copy of WIN THE RACE for 21st CENTURY JOBS by Rod Colon
you can order it now from AMAZON

FREE $20 Membership Gift Certificate with Book Purchase

I want to thank all our members for attending. I also would like to thank ETP Network for honoring me as the ETP Charlotte Networking Leader I could not have done it without the ETP Members standing behind me and allowing me to grow as a leader in the group.

I had the awesome opportunity to speak at the ETP Charlotte Networking Group. This career management training education team located in Charlotte, NC is hosted by Empowering Today's Professionals (ETP) faculty leader Amanda Sherman. She is also CEO and founder of Gala Affairs by ATUrBest, which provides event planning services in the Charlotte area. On behalf of the ETP executive committee, I also had the honor of presenting a leadership excellence award to Amanda. This places Mrs. Sherman in the ETP Who's Who Hall of Fame, for outstanding leadership in pioneering the Charlotte Networking Group, ...

The Four Capacities Every Great Leader Needs (and Very Few Have)

BY FC Expert Blogger Tony SchwartzFri

When I was a very young journalist, full of bravado and barely concealed insecurity, Ed Kosner, editor of Newsweek, hired me to do a job I wasn't sure I was capable of doing. Thrown into deep water, I had no choice but to swim. But I also knew he wouldn't let me drown. His confidence buoyed me.

Some years later, I was hired away by Arthur Gelb, the managing editor of The New York Times. This time, I was seduced by Gelb's contagious exuberance about being part of a noble fraternity committed to putting out the world's greatest newspaper.

Over the last dozen years, I've worked with scores of CEOs and senior executives to help them build more engaged, high performance cultures by energizing their employees. Along the way, I've landed on four key capacities that show up, to one degree or another, in the most inspiring leaders I've met.

1. Great leaders recognize strengths in us that we don't always yet fully see in ourselves.

This is precisely what Kosner did with me. He provided belief where I didn't yet have it, and I trusted his judgment more than my own. It's the Pygmalion effect: expectations become self-fulfilling.

Both positive and negative emotions feed on themselves. In the absence of Kosner's confidence, I simply wouldn't have assumed I was ready to write at that level.

Because he seemed so sure I could--he saw better than I did how my ambition and relentlessness would eventually help me prevail--I wasted little energy in corrosive worry and doubt.

Instead, I simply invested myself in getting better, day by day, step by step. Because we can achieve excellent in almost anything we practice with sufficient focus and intention, I did get better, which fed my own confidence and satisfaction, and my willingness to keep pushing myself.

2. Rather than simply trying to get more out of us, great leaders seek to understand and meet our needs, above all a compelling mission beyond our immediate self-interest, or theirs.

Great leaders understand that how they make people feel, day in and day out, has a profound influence on how they perform.

We each have a range of core needs--physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. Great leaders focus on helping their employees meet each of these needs, recognizing that it helps them to perform better and more sustainably.

Arthur Gelb helped my meet not just my emotional need to be valued, but also my spiritual need to be engaged in a mission bigger than my own success. Far too few leaders take the time to figure out what they truly stand for, beyond the bottom line, and why we should feel excited to work for them.

3. Great leaders take the time to clearly define what success looks like, and then empower and trust us to figure out the best way to achieve it.

One of our core needs is for self-expression. One of the most demoralizing and infantilizing experiences at work is to feel micromanaged.

The job of leaders is not to do the work of those they lead, but to serve as Chief Energy Officer -- to free and fuel us to bring the best of ourselves to work every day.

Part of that responsibility is defining, in the clearest possible way, what's expected of us--our concrete deliverables. This is a time-consuming and challenging process, and most leaders I've met do very little of it. When they do it effectively, the next step for leaders is to get out of the way.

That requires trusting that employees will figure out for themselves the best way to get their work done, and that even though they'll take wrong turns and make mistakes, they learn and grow stronger along the way.

4. The best of all leaders--a tiny fraction--have the capacity to embrace their own opposites, most notably vulnerability alongside strength, and confidence balanced by humility.

This capacity is uniquely powerful because all of us struggle, whether we're aware of it or not, with our self worth. We're each vulnerable to believing, at any given moment, that we're not good enough.

Great leaders don't feel the need to be right, or to be perfect, because they've learned to value themselves in spite of shortcomings they freely acknowledge. In turn, they bring this generous spirit to those they lead.

The more leaders make us feel valued, in spite of our imperfections, the less energy we will spend asserting, defending and restoring our value, and the more energy we have available to create value.

All four capacities are grounded in one overarching insight. Great leaders recognize that the best way to get the highest value is to give the highest value.

Reprinted from

Tony Schwartz is President and CEO of The Energy Project, a company that helps individuals and organizations fuel energy, engagement, focus, and productivity by harnessing the science of high performance. Tony's most recent book, The Way We're Working Isn't Working: The Four Forgotten Needs that Energize Great Performance, was published in May 2010 and became an immediate The New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. Follow him on Twitter @TonySchwartz.