Leadership, it is a hot topic these days.  If you look inside businesses most organizations are looking for good leaders.

In my recent interview with author Scott Edinger we discuss his new book entitled “The Hidden Leader’.  Scott has been working with leaders for years developing the best and the brightest.  In his his new book we discuss the characteristics that he finds in all good leaders, and frequently these hidden leaders are overlooked by the management of the organization.

There are probably many people you can think of that are hidden leaders within your organization.  Most of these hidden leaders have amazing interpersonal skills,  strong values, high levels of integrity, focus on results and the customer.  They have already developed the traits and characteristics of a leader, and have not officially been given the title.  If you want to learn more about discovering and developing the greatness within your organization I recommend listening to my interview with Scott Edinger the author of “The Hidden Leader“.

If you would like to view Scott’s website just click here, or you can connect with him via Twitter by clicking the link.  I hope you enjoy this great interview with Scott Edinger.

The new book Holacracy-The New Management System for a Rapidly Changing World is a book that will get anyone in business thinking about how to organize their company.  As a matter of fact, many major companies have embraced Brian Robertson’s Holacracy System including the forward thinking organization Zappos.

In my interview with Brian we take an in-depth look into how to design an organization with this new management model.  Holacracy is a combination of individual accountability, team transparency, and flexible, face-paced tactical meetings to help in creating greater levels of efficiency, adaptability and productive operations.  Holacracy also develops absolute habits of making commitments about when you will deliver a particular project or action.  For instance in tactical meetings you capture next action, but do not attach deadlines or commitment to them.  You might be asking why?  Committing to deadlines has downsides and obscures a more dynamic, reality-based approach.  Brian states that by accepting the next action item in your role, is by definition making the commitment to continuously track the action, and to consciously do the action as soon as it becomes the most important item among your possible actions.

I encourage you to listen, take notes and learn from Brian Robertson a man on a mission to transform how organization run, and how the cultures are transformed.  He has a fascinating approach and one that is worth your investigation of time to understand.  If you want more information about Holacracy you can click here to be directed to his book site, or click here to be directed to Holacracy.org.

Every year for the last six years I have been attending the Natural Products West Expo in Anaheim, CA.  This event is a blast, loaded with new food products that are designed to be healthy and nutritious.  My intention in going to this event as a press person is to find up and coming organizations and authors that have a great products and cause for being in business.

This year I felt that I hit the jackpot.  I happen to come across the KIND Healthy Snacks.  I know that almost anyone reading this blog entry has heard of KIND, but do you know the story behind the organization?  I know that I didn’t, and recently had the honor of interviewing Daniel Lubetzky the founder about his new book ” Do the KIND Thing“.

Daniel has a fascinating personal story, but more importantly he has developed an organization, that is passionate about their purpose and committed to making this planet a better place to live.  Daniel is not only socially responsible entrepreneur, but really a KIND person fostering acts of KINDNESS.

While building a large organization like KIND Healthy Snacks is not an easy feat, Daniel has done it with persistence and the ten (10) tenants which make up the foundation of the company.  In my interview we discuss everything from this influence his father had on him who as a survivor from the concentration camps and the Holocaust, to his failures in business which gave him the grit and determination to keep going in times of adversity.

empathetic, understanding and compassionate toward others–a quality that is becoming harder and harder to find.  “Do the KIND Thing” is more than a book about business, it is a book designed to get the reader to understand what it takes to mold your into one of service, and in so doing reap the rewards and share in the profits–all kinds of profits.

If you would like to learn more about Daniel Lubetzky the author of “Do the KIND Thing” please click here to be directed to their website.  Or you can click here to be directed to the organization’s Facebook page.  I hope you enjoy this great interview with author Daniel Lubetzky.

I recently interviewed author Ron Friedman PhD the author of a new book entitled “The Best Place to Work, The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace”.  As many of you might be aware the levels of engagement in the US workforce is abysmal with levels of disengagement at about 71%.  So just why do we have such an amazingly high rate of disengagement from employees?

The answer to this question and many more can be found in Ron” new book ” The Best Place to Work“.  Ron spent years studying the best places to work, he interviewed people and heard stories. He researched motivation, creativity, management, behavioral economics, neuroscience and combined this into his new book.  In my interview with Ron he provides insights into what is required to create the “Best Place to Work.”  It is not an easy formula for their are so many factors that affect how people perform and engage at work.  Autonomy, Purpose, Meaning, Fun, Play are just a few of the many elements of the workplace formula that Ron and I discuss in our interview.

I know that you will find my interview with author Ron Friedman to be enlightening and give you new perspective on what companies are doing and can do to develop environments in the workplace that foster  more productivity, creativity and innovation.

I hope you enjoy my interview with Ron and please check out his book website for the book by clicking here, you can also follow him on Twitter, and learn about his consulting organization called Ignite 80 by clicking the link.

 

You might be familiar with all the buzz around something called the “Business Model Canvas”.  There are currently three books in the series which started with “Business Model Generation” then “Business Model You” now a new book ” Value Proposition Design“.  So why the interest from the business communities in this interesting way of developing a business model.  Simply put, it is engaging, inclusive ,compelling and it works.

Authors Alex Osterwalder, Yves Pingeur, Greg Bernarda and Alan Smith are the dynamic team behind the business model canvas.  I recently had the pleasure of having a dialogue with Alex Smith the brains behind the book designs, which I might add are a big reason for the success of the books.

During our dialogue we discuss the key elements in creating a great value for customers, we also get into the steps necessary to create the value proposition canvas: Customer Profile, Value Map and Fit all  extremely important considerations in the developing a any new product design.  Alan and his colleagues refer to gain creators, and pain relievers as one of the most important elements in developing great designs.

While this all might sound simple it is daunting to create a new product, test it and know that you are creating something that is really needed and wanted by your customers.  Developing something in a vacuum is crazy,  where your perception of what will relieve your customers pains is exactly that a perception and not the reality of the situation.  Developing then testing your product is so important, I speak from experience I have developed a few products and testing is so important so you can gain feedback.

Alan and his team have recently released a cloud based software system allowing teams to collaborate on developing a business model canvases, it is called Strategyzer.  In my humble opinion I have never seen software as simple as Strategyzer, providing results in minutes.  If you work with a team and you are in the process of developing a new product or service I would highly recommend checking out this amazing new cloud based software.

I encourage you to listen closely to Alan Smith as he guides the listener to a better understanding of Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition Design.  If you want to just click on the links provided below that will take you to the related websites associated with Value Proposition Design.

Value Proposition Design

Strategyzer

I am certain that the talk around the water cooler doesn’t default to leadership in this country, but I am certain that it is a topic of discussion more than we think.  It seems like everywhere we turn we see leaders falling from grace due to improprieties in their judgement and or just not doing an adequate job.  What is happening?  Is there a lack of competent leaders with great skills and strong emotional intelligence.

In my recent interview with author Jeffrey Krames we discuss his new book entitled ” Lead with Humility-12 Leadership Lessons from Pope Francis”.   What is it about the new Pope that is attracting lost Catholics back to the church, and his acceptance by the congregation at one of the highest in history.  According to Jeffrey Krames Pope Francis possess amazing leadership skills such as  1) Leading with Humility, he states that authentic humility empowers leaders like no other leadership quality.  How this translates for business leaders is never use you position of leadership for selfish reasons, and make yourself accessible to your employees.   2) Smell Like Your Flock: which means to immerse yourself deeply into whatever group you lead to aspire to lead, in a meaningful way.

I know you are going to thoroughly enjoy my interview with author Jeffrey Krames, you will also learn more about the traits and qualities that Pope Francis possess that make him one of the greatest leaders in modern history of the Catholic Church.

To learn more about Jeffrey Krames and his other books please click here to learn more, you can also learn more about the book by clicking here to be directed to the Facebook landing page.

I think that many American’s ask the question on a regular basis, especially with our congress “Where are the leaders”?  Yes, leadership is a skill and talent that is learned, and just because you have a law degree or any other degree in higher education doesn’t qualify you to be a skilled leader.  I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Eric Kaufmann the author of a new book entitled ” Leadership As A Hero’s Journey“.

In our interview together we discussed how “Joseph Campbell’s” famous “Hero’s Journey” is an important element of all brave and committed leaders. Eric states that leadership as a Hero’s Journey unfolds on three levels 1) results 2) wisdom and 3) spirituality.  He also states that there are four virtues associated with leadership and they are 1) Focus: What am I creating? Focus sets direction and clarity for the journey. 2) Courage: What am I avoiding? Courage enables full engagement that is otherwise blocked by anxiety and fear.  3) Grit: What am I sustaining?  Grit drives action forward in the face of fatigue and disheartenment.

I know you are going to enjoy this wonderful interview with author and consultant Eric Kaufmann about his new book.  If you want to learn more about Eric please click here to be directed to his website.    

This podcast is the second in my series with author Ari Weinzweig the author of “Building A Great Business”.

In my previous interview with Ari we spoke about ” Managing Ourselves” where we discuss everything from visioning to the 12 Tips of More Effective Self-Management.

In this interview Ari weI focus on the 12 Natural Laws of Building A Great Business. One thing that Ari knows for certain is that a strong inspiring and strategically vision leads the way to greatness—especially if you write it down. Ari teaches a great technique for writing your vision. He calls it the “hot pen’ technique. Pick up your pen and just keep writing 15, 20, 30 minutes whatever it takes to articulate your vision in word pictures that you can see and believe your vision manifesting.

He also has a tip that you need to “give your customers a really compelling reason to buy from you”. Now while this seems obvious— when was the last time you had a bad meal at a restaurant and failed to tell anyone, but you said to your spouse we will never recommend or go back to that establishment. It happens all the time, and because the restaurant not only served a subpar meal, but your service was most likely lacking you had no reason to do business with them again. The combination is a disaster in the food service business.

I encourage you to listen to and learn from one of the wisest men in the food service business speak with me about 12 Natural Laws that when applied to both your personal and business life they can transform an organization and the people that work within the organizations.

If you want to learn more about Ari and his trilogy of books please click here, or if you want to learn about his training company Zing Train please click here to get information about the various training programs.

Enjoy this great interview with a wonderfully engaging author, businessman and civic leader Ari Weinzweig.

 

 

Michael HollaufI have recently been doing podcasts with organization and authors that have productivity tools that I believe are excellent personal growth and mastery applications.  I was introduced to Michael Hollauf the founder of MindMeister through Gerald Aquila the founder of FireTask, and we speak in this podcast  about an amazing cloud based application for mind mapping that he developed with his team called MindMeister.  This application is  so popular that within less than 6 years his user base has grown to over 1.6 million users.

If you are not familiar with mind mapping, it was made popular by British psychologist Tony Buzan.  What is important to remember about mind mapping is that it allows our non-linear brains that normally  think randomly to be able to capture the wonderful ideas, thoughts and inspirations on paper or the computer in a visual map.

Mind Mapping and the use of computer technology over the last 10 years had really excelled, and the cloud based application that Michael and his team has developed is a wonderful example of a collaborative cloud based application that makes the job of capturing ideas and thoughts with a team of people a snap.

A mind map starts usually with one central word or idea, then branches out from this initial concept. The branches then turn into sub-branches and you continue to develop the mind map as your thoughts flow and are recorded onto the mind map. It is like a cognitive map of sorts.  I have links to some of the samples that MindMeister clients have shared just to give you an idea of what is possible using the MindMeister cloud based application. Just click here for a few examples.

The practical tools that would not be available using paper vs a cloud based system are that you can link notes, hypertext links to website, video, graphics, pictures almost anything that will help you in developing your brainstorming session and making it more comprehensive in nature.   The best part about MindMeister is the ability to share your ideas with others on a team and publish your map for their feedback.

If you are in business or a student, then utilizing a cloud based mind mapping software is a wonderfully practical tool.  I highly recommend the MindMeister cloud based system.  If you want more information or would like to watch a few training videos about how to use the system please click here.  You can also download a 30 day free trial by clicking here.

I hope you enjoy this great interview with the founder of MindMeister Michael Hollauf.