When Standing Out Is No Longer Enough

*click above to watch*

5 Factors of Iconic Performance

 

What if standing out in a crowded field is no longer enough?

How do you rise above the noise and become distinct?

What does it take to become truly iconic?

 

Scott McKain is the founder of the Distinction Institute and one of the most iconic professional speakers in the world. He has written numerous books including the 7 Tenets of Taxi Terry and Create Distinction. His latest book, ICONIC: How Organizations and Leaders Attain, Sustain and Regain the Highest Level of Distinction, may be his best ever.

 

In this video interview, we discuss:

  • What an iconic organization looks like
  • Steps that leaders take to deliberately make their organizations iconic
  • What is distinctive and iconic performance

5 factors of iconic performance:

  1. Play offense
  2. Get promise and performance right
  3. Stop selling
  4. Go negative huge surprise to most
  5. Reciprocal respect

 

Some great quotes from ICONIC:

 

“Problems in differentiation are usually not about your why, it’s that you need to deliver a better how.” -Scott McKain

 

“Never forget the high price champions pay to become the distinctive best.” -Scott McKain

How to be a Remarkable Long-Distance Leader

remote leadership

Managing a Remote Team

 

More and more of us are working remotely some or all of the time. Leaders are now challenged with managing teams spread across time zones. Taking on this topic of remote leadership is Kevin Eikenberry and Wayne Turmel in their book The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership.

Kevin Eikenberry is the founder of Kevin Eikenberry Group, the author of several books, and a leadership speaker. Wayne Turmel is the cofounder of the Remote Leadership Institute and also has authored numerous books.

I recently spoke with Kevin about the unique challenges of managing a remote team.

 

“Think about leadership first, location second.” –Kevin Eikenberry

 

Your latest book is The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership and your website on leadership is superbly done. Let’s start with your definition of leadership.

Thanks for the feedback! I love this question, Skip, and while there are a hundred great definitions, here is one to consider: Leadership is the actions taken to help and encourage others consistently in the direction of a desired future outcome.  It is a verb (action), not a noun (a position).  And, nothing gets better without leaders.

 

“Use technology as a tool, not as a barrier or an excuse.” –Kevin Eikenberry

 

What unique challenges do long-distance leaders have?

The obvious one is that you can’t interact with some of your people face-to-face, and you likely won’t communicate with them as often.  So that means that every interaction is important – and you should work to communicate beyond email (turn on those webcams) as much as possible.

One less obvious is that it isn’t just you and the remote team member who have to adjust.  If you are like most teams where you have a hybrid – some work together and others are remote – you have to help the whole group learn how to collaborate and communicate most effectively in this new world of work.

 

“Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.” -Booker T. Washington

 

Pitfalls of Long-Distance Leaders

10 Principles of Truly Great Leaders

great leaders

Truly Great Leaders

 

If you want to take your leadership to new levels, I highly recommend you start with Kevin Kruse’s new book, Great Leaders Have No Rules. Packed with practical and contrarian advice, you’ll find yourself adopting new practices immediately. If you want to become a more effective leader, put down your device, close the door, and open the pages of this book to begin your leadership journey.

Kevin Kruse is a bestselling author and a serial entrepreneur. His articles appear in numerous websites including Forbes. Don’t miss his LEADx Leadership Show (in fact, Kevin interviewed me for the show here.)

I recently spoke with Kevin about his new book which is already one of my favorite leadership books.

 

“Leadership is a superpower.” -Kevin Kruse

 

Leadership is a Super Power

Your new book pulled me in immediately from the first pages. In the introduction, you say, “Leadership is a super power,” and “Almost everything we’ve been taught about leadership is wrong.” Wow. Tell us more about your current perspective.

I think too often, we think of leadership as a something fancy or complicated or abstract, which is why most people don’t think about it very often at all. But when you boil it down to it’s simplest definition, leadership is influence. And when you realize that, you realize how powerful successful leadership can be.

If you can influence yourself to put down the potato chips and get on the treadmill, you will change your life. That’s self-leadership. If you can influence the quality and intimacy of your relationship with your spouse, you can literally save a marriage through leadership. And of course when it comes to the more traditional leadership at work, well, my horrible leadership caused my first two companies to go out of business. But successful leadership was one of the primary factors in other companies I’ve owned winning awards for both fast growth and being a great place to work.

 

“Great leaders understand the true value of time. You can never get a minute back once it’s wasted.” -Kevin Kruse

 

Lead With No Rules

What Coffee, Hats, and Brooms Teach About Servant Leadership

 

Click above to watch the video interview with Howard Behar

“Leadership is about being of service to others, not being served by others. Be a mentor, not a boss.” -Howard Behar

 

The Importance of Servant Leadership

 

I have had the privilege of giving keynotes on servant leadership all over the world. I’m passionate about this leadership style, and I am always reading and learning all I can about it.

That’s why I am thrilled to talk with Howard Behar. Howard is the former President of Starbuck’s North America and the founding President of Starbucks International. When he joined, Starbucks had 28 stores and he helped grow it to over 15,000 stores on five continents. He was also on the Board of Directors for twelve years.

What I love about Howard is this: he could have stopped and enjoyed the fruits of his labor. But he instead mentors and teaches on servant leadership. He wrote two books:

 

It’s Not About the Coffee

 

And

 

The Magic Cup.

 

“The person who sweeps the floor should choose the broom.” -Howard Behar

 

Did you know that servant leadership played a major role in the growth of Starbucks? Did you know that its culture is based on the concepts?

 

“Do it because it’s right, not because it’s right for your resume.” -Howard Behar

 

We talked about a range of subjects:

How Leaders Achieve Radical Outcomes

outcomes

 

Do you want to create radical outcomes?

 

Juliana Stancampiano, author of RADICAL OUTCOMES: How to Create Extraordinary Teams, is an entrepreneur and the CEO of Oxygen. For more than fifteen years, she has worked with Fortune 500 companies, both in them and for them. Her firm’s clients include Microsoft, DXC, Delta Dental (of WA), Starbucks, F5 Networks, Avaya, and Western Digital, among others. Her in-depth experience, along with the research that Oxygen conducts and the articles she has published, has helped to shape the perspective that Oxygen embraces.

After reading her new book, I reached out to Juliana to learn more about her work.

 

“You cannot defend your design without knowing what you’re designing for.” -I.M. Pei

 

Set the Vision

What’s the role of the leader in the team to produce radical outcomes?

The leader sets the vision and acts as the guard rails. The leader remains outcome-focused yet allows flexibility to achieve the outcome.  It’s not commanding and controlling your team.  It’s knowing their strengths and ensuring roles and abilities are aligned.

 

“Teams must understand and focus on outcomes, not on tasks.” -Juliana Stancampiano

 

Face Team Obstacles

What are the obstacles many teams face in becoming an effective ensemble?

Lack of role clarity. Clearly defined roles and responsibilities avoid internal disagreements.  Teams must understand and focus on outcomes, not on tasks.

Structure and process that prevent ensembles working effectively. We’ve seen performance management that rates people in comparison to their peers, not based on outcomes. When people are rated on a curve, they constantly compete with each other to improve their own rating.  This prevents meaningful ensemble work.

Lack of visibility of work product. Teams must share, even before the “thing” is completed. Early sharing allows teams to iterate together and stay focused. Lack of sharing produces work that often doesn’t meet the stated outcome. It also causes unnecessary re-work.

Various modes of communication.  Effective teams must communicate differently – fast communication, phone communication, chat communication – depending on topic and need.  They embrace different modalities, at different times and with different people.

 

“Lack of sharing produces work that often doesn’t meet the stated outcome.” -Juliana Stancampiano

 

How do team members become collaborative and not competitive?