Taking your business to new heights: Seven unique insights from Gettysburg to make the 2nd half of 2021 your best ever.

I use history, entrepreneurship, and perspective to help people grow their businesses. The combination is vital. When there’s too much nerding-out on the history, you get lost in trivia. All business with no context, on the other hand, creates spurious ideas. Without perspective, you are likely to overreact. Blending the three is an art.

If you don’t apply the experiences of others to your situation, you will miss analogous opportunities and repeat similar mistakes.

Join me on June 30th at 10:30 am U.S. Central for an interactive, hour-long Zoom session (which will be recorded and forwarded to everyone who registers), plus I’ll stick around for 30 minutes afterward to answer your questions. Among my topics:

  • Action steps to put the right leaders on the scene and empower them to make decisions.
  • How to help your subordinates achieve “leader-on-horseback” inspiration so that people have clear examples to follow.
  • How to avoid common pitfalls when facing leader turnover.
  • Ways to set up your new subordinates for success and keep them winning.
  • Action steps that create clarity, buy-in, and accountability.
  • Ways to let in fresh ideas and avoid smelling your own gunpowder.
  • How to plan for success instead of simply hoping for success and planning for failure.

The fee for these is outcomes is $297. The first twenty to register by June 15th get 50% off. Use coupon code Members50 at checkout

Register here or use this address: https://strategic-leaders-academy.teachable.com/p/taking-your-business-to-new-heights-gettysburg

The business boom is well underway, and the rising tide is lifting a lot of boats. Breakthrough success will come to those who advance from a secure base, defend their value, and innovate boldly.

PLUS: Did you know that Abraham Lincoln enjoyed champagne and probably had a sip or two of the bubbly after the Union victory at Gettysburg? Wine expert Nicole Kauss is going to give you exactly what you need to know to choose the right champagne to put a smile on your face and wow your guests.

The first twenty to register by June 15th get 50% off. Use coupon code Members50 at checkout. Register here or use this address: https://strategic-leaders-academy.teachable.com/p/taking-your-business-to-new-heights-gettysburg

Accelerating Success

FOCUSED is for leaders and entrepreneurs who want to create and sustain great teams that drive the business to new heights. Apply here.

TAP. The Trusted Adviser Program is my most intensive 1-on-1 program. Within 90 days you’ll gain habits that create breakthrough success. Get the details here.

Build your StrategyThis program is perfect for small business and nonprofit leaders who want to create a winning game plan without breaking the bank.

Scholarships.
If you want to apply for or sponsor someone for a scholarship, please email me at [email protected].

A cyberattack on an east coast pipeline put a major crunch on gasoline availability. Thousands of Americans lined up at pump stations wanting to get every drop of fuel possible. Some even put gas in plastic bags. 

The hoarding reminded me of the toilet paper pirates at the start of the pandemic.

The gas shortage is only for three days, and yet panic-buying sent prices soaring and people waiting on a pump for hours. Some probably burned more gas in sitting the queue than they originally needed to fill the tank. 

What perspective can you gain from this head-shaking episode?

1. Busy people get more done but also make more mistakes

You opt for the easy button to move forward. Instinctive decision-making works a lot of the time, but it’s also the impulse that leads to toilet paper hoarding and burning time waiting on the pump when you could be doing something more productive.

Normally, a quick discussion with a trusted advisor gives you the perspective you need to make a better decision and move forward with confidence.

2. Overwhelm means that you’ve got more to do than you can process

The feeling can be paralytic or lead people to tick off inconsequential tasks while neglecting the vital ones. In this situation, take 1 minute to write down your top 3 priorities and an action step to move each one forward. Then, get going.

A 5-minute call with someone you trust helps you get these priorities and actions right, which will save you hours of rework and anxiety.

3. Opportunities abound when you keep your head while everyone else is losing theirs

When you’re too close to the action, you cannot see the whole stage. Gaining perspective is the art of identifying the important details and seeing the bigger picture so that you can seize opportunities others miss.

Who helps you gain perspective?

P.S. VALUE-ADDING Leadership(TM) is a master program for leaders and entrepreneurs who want to inspire people to contribute their best and drive the business to new heights. The next program begins the week of May 24. More here.

“The clarity, buy-in, and accountability we’ve gained from this program,” said Ray Omar, Capital Brands CEO, “has put us on track to reduce costs by over $1m and increase revenues by over $2m.”

I gave a presentation to the Milwaukee Rotary Club this week on Afghanistan. As many of you know, I spent four combat tours there: three in uniform and one as a civilian. 

Members of the club told me that they’d like to hear about some personal experiences, ways to understand the withdrawal decision, and what’s likely to happen next. I synthesized all that into three main points that apply beyond Afghanistan.

1. You don’t create new wins with old thinking. It seems safer to do what you’ve been doing, even if it’s not working, but there are opportunity costs, too. According to Nobel Prize recipient Daniel Kahneman, people tend to be risk-averse. hey fear losses more than they prize gains. They prefer to smell their own fumes rather than be hit with a blast of fresh air. Whose pumping in the fresh air for you?

2. To grow, you need vulnerability and security. Security without vulnerability leaves you buttoned up and unable to grow. You cannot grow unless you are willing to take off your mental and emotional body armor, and gain exposure to new ideas. Vulnerability without security means you are likely to become someone else’s dinner. Who are your trusted advisers?

3. You gain ground by building bridges, not by digging trenches.  Americans are tossing bombs at each other over politics, identity, and other matters. You can’t move forward while you are digging in. I found in Afghanistan that the only way to make progress was to get out of the trenches and build bridges with people who didn’t agree with me (some of whom were trying to kill me).  Who’s helping you build relationships that broaden your reach and impact?

You can view the presentation at the Rotary Club’s YouTube channel here.

P.S. VALUE-ADDING Leadership(TM) is a master program for leaders and entrepreneurs who want to inspire people to contribute their best and drive the business to new heights. The next program begins the week of May 24. More here.

Accelerating Success

FOCUSED is for leaders and entrepreneurs who want to create and sustain great teams that drive the business to new heights. Apply here.

SENIOR LEADER MENTORING. I have only 1 space available. Get the details here.

Build your StrategyThis program is perfect for small business and nonprofit leaders who want to create a winning game-plan without breaking the bank.

VALUE-ADDING Leadership (self-directed version) is perfect for young leaders people who want to lead as their best selves and inspire people to contribute their best. Check it out herehttps://strategic-leaders-academy.teachable.com/p/leading-well/

Scholarships

If you want to apply for or sponsor someone for a scholarship, contact me at [email protected]

Jeff Marquez posted this article on Trust on LinkedIn.

While looking at the spaghetti of wires under the dash of my friend Aaron’s car, I remember asking myself, what the heck was I thinking? What was Aaron thinking allowing me to touch his classic car? Well, I am installing the fourth and most difficult wiring harness now. I know why he allowed me to touch his classic car–trust.

I think back to our previous work situations where we both would shake our heads at what we faced—often like spaghetti wires. We would discuss the mission or task, what right looked like, discuss with the Team to get their input, decide, and execute. Our expectations of each other matched our behaviors and that feeling cut across our Team.

Trust cuts across all levels of people from CEOs, senior executives, Mid-Leaders to early-career professionals, and everyone in between including personal relationships. Whether you are a CEO wanting to cultivate trust with your Mid-Leaders or a Mid-Leader wanting to strengthen your Team, here are a few ways to make trust bonding for your Team.

1. Inspire trust by being open, transparent, and clear about challenges. Most people want the Team and others to do well. But they can’t help if they don’t know so share challenges, and wins too! And remember, the best ideas do not always come from the top. 

2. Lead by example with candor, honesty, and vulnerability. Be the person you want your Team to be. As you share, they will share. As you innovate, let them surprise with their views and talents. 

3. Make your expectations clear and make trust part of your Team’s everyday conversations. My friend and trust expert, John O’Grady, describes having high trust relationships that start with “you have my trust, and it can only be eroded or lost” rather than a “trust must be earned” mentality. Talk with employees about how their demonstrated behavior aligns with your expectations. And when you think there may be a trust issue arising, approach it from a position of authentic curiosity instead of being accusatory. Find the underlying reasons for the issue and collaboratively address them. Maintain trust behaviors and a trusted environment before it becomes broken. Be proactive.

Trust creates a sense of psychological safety and can be an incredible inoculant when bad things happen to good people and good organizations. Think about your past year but more importantly, think about the year before you. Trust can make you feel in the most positive and profound ways. It fosters confidence, commitment, and teamwork. Who does not want that? Start trust bonding now.