Earlier this morning, I was listening to John Lee Dumas’s podcast, Entrepreneurs on Fire. Do you know this one?
JLD offers up a new podcast EVERY SINGLE DAY where he interviews entrepreneurs around the world. And he’s been doing this for years!
The episode I listened to this morning featured Jeffrey Madoff. According to the podcast bio on Jeffrey, his “careers span fashion design, film production, teaching, author, and playwright. His book, Creative Careers, was an Amazon bestseller.”
This is a great conversation to listen to if you are in the business of attracting customers, retaining customers, and/or bringing ideas and innovation to market. What follows are some questions I heard on the podcast that I am asking myself as well as asking you as we grow our businesses.
When it comes to ideas that we are working with…
Are our customers (and potential customers) in love with your idea?
How can we innovate and bring ideas to the market that will make an impact? Here are some things that came up in this podcast:
Be sure your ideas are serving the interests of your customer/potential customer. Are you trying to sell your service/product from the perspective of your customer? Are you speaking their language during the promotion of your innovative idea?
Understand the customer’s needs/wants. Here is a point that Jeffrey made: how are we making ourselves necessary to our customers? You may sell them on an initial, gateway idea that gets them in your door. But how are you retaining this customer? How are you adding value beyond this initial offering? How are you making your company necessary so the customer is not tempted to look elsewhere for similar services?
Constantly build relationship bridges to your customer. Following up and following through with your customers will build loyalty. We all know that people buy from people they know and like. Building relationships goes far beyond the sale. This is the place where you truly understand what your customer wants and needs and then delivering on that. This is the place where your ideas can be tweaked to better serve your customers. This is the place where you can build a cadence of partnership, trust, and relevancy.
Take 24 minutes and listen to this podcast. You can find John’s podcast everywhere. You can also find it here: Jeffrey Madoff interview by John Lee Dumas.
Many of you read articles, blog posts, books or listen to a TED talk and you are inspired. You learn something new. You actually make changes in your professional/personal life as a result. Does it all end there…with you?
My tip for today is take this one step further. Why else would benefit from knowing or getting exposed to this information?
Of course learning and developing as a leader is critically important. Take it one more step and share what you have learned with someone else. Email them a link to that blog post. Send them a podcast link. Take a photo of a powerful paragraph and email that to them. Share what you’ve learned over coffee or lunch.
Some folks will be receptive to this. Others will not. You’ll learn who is open to this. Focus on adding value. This sharing – it is about them, not about you. You could help someone launch something incredible in their life!
My 13 year old son had an assignment in a class this week. I was checking his homework online to be sure it was getting done. I came across this submission:
My favorite leader is my dad. He had the courage to influence others by creating a business where he helps everyday citizens become confident with what they do. The business is a non-profit and meets once every month. He brings in some of Fort Wayne’s top leaders and lets them help others.
He is fearless in meeting new people. A few months ago he went to Canada to speak at a university in front of hundreds of people. He has integrity, because he loves doing his job but, he also has the integrity to help others learn and grow as leaders.
He is amazing at communicating. He gets the message out to people, that no matter where they work, no matter if they don’t have a job, they can still be great leaders in their community. When they meet they talk about how to lead others to become leaders. He and my uncle came up with the idea at a coffee shop downtown. They were having a get together, and they said they wanted to have the community grow in leaders. They have been extremely successful and are still working hard to get new leaders in the community.
He has been very supportive of people when they feel they aren’t doing a good enough job at work. He ran the student counsel at Haverhill Elementary, and talked to us about how we can be leaders at school. He would also be glad to come in and talk to our class about leadership sometime. (I gave you his card)
This came at the right time for me. There are times when you can wonder if you make a difference. I was in that spot this week. Then I read this assignment. My son’s words reached not only my head but my heart.
I am grateful for my son, and I am humbled that he sees this in me. I am grateful for my great team at work. I am grateful for my brother and the work we are privileged to do together. I am grateful for a community of leaders here in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Do you have a shy or withdrawn team member? Watch this quick video to find some ideas of how to draw them out. Find a hidden gem today!
I have invested a couple of wonderful days here in Denver at the NACCAP annual conference on the campus of Colorado Christian University. I have met admission leaders from all over North America. I’ve listened to their stories. I’ve helped brainstorm on obstacles they face. I’ve learned so much about their work, their passion, and their dedication to helping students earn a college/university education.
I spoke at 2 seminars yesterday. My topics were: “Adding Value” and “Understanding Your Influence through Self-Development”. My sessions were full, and the participants shared great feedback with me immediately afterwards and then at mealtimes (I intentionally sat with different groups of leaders at each meal).
I am humbled by the written feedback I received. Here’s just a sampling:
“very inspiring and passionate speaker who really cares about developing leaders…” Kelly M.
“he is an excellent, amazing, and engaging speaker.” Angie N.
“incredible, authentic, inspiring, applicable…thank you!” Rachel G.
“this was an unexpected topic at the conference…I’m glad I attended…great, helpful, and out-of-the-box information!” Anonymous
“So practical!” Tim S.
These leaders were hungry to learn and to grow. They are making significant impacts on the lives of future leaders. I am grateful to have been a small part of this conference and to have met such quality people.
I recently read some interesting/sobering facts:
So if this is true, how are you becoming better at coaching your team? They desire effective coaching from you. They really want to be “very satisfied” with their jobs. They do!
Someone once said the following:
” Coaching is helping our team members to think. To help them become conscious of what they are unconscious. Our default is to give advice. We must teach people to think.”
To coach effectively, you also need to prepare to be an effective coach.
Where are you on this continuum?
Becoming an effective coach starts with YOU, the coach. How can you develop yourself?
Becoming a better coach means you applying your EXPERIENCE in order to demonstrate EXPERTISE. I know a lot of experienced coaches/managers. I know far fewer leaders who demonstrate expertise in coaching people. Note: expertise does not equal perfection. No one on earth is perfect, so rid yourself of that goal. But any of us – all of us – can become better and become experts.
As a coach, you want to move your team from the ranks of the experienced to those who embody expertise. Think about this: what would your results be if your team was populated with experts vs those with merely with experience? How would this impact your customers? Your colleagues? Your bottom line?
John Maxwell has said that “the growth and development of people is the highest calling of a leader.”
I encourage you to answer this calling. Become better. Influence your team to become better. Improve your coaching sessions (or maybe start having them?).
In an upcoming post, I’ll be sharing some great questions you can begin using in coaching sessions that will enable your team to really think. They will help you have more meaningful conversations.
Thank you for visiting Go, Leader, Grow!
“So how is adding value accomplished? John C. Maxwell has developed three guidelines that help him add value to his team:
1. We add value to others when we… truly value others. Good leaders go out of their way to never subtract value from their people. They are intentional about adding merit and make it part of their core values.
2. We add value to others when we… make ourselves more valuable to others. The premise of adding value to the lives of your team members is based on the fact that you have usefulness to add. Are you able to teach a skill? Are you able to make a career changing introduction? Are you able to open the door to a better opportunity?
3. We add value to others when we… know and relate to what others value. As a leader how do you know what your team values? You listen. Many leaders are too quick to take charge. A good leader takes the opportunity to listen to what every person believes is important, and then leads.”