Raising the Bar: The Role of ‘Social Information’ in Charitable Giving

Suppose you work at an organization — like a public radio station or library — that offers a free service of value to society, such as quality radio programming or the ability to borrow books at no cost. And suppose you decide to launch a fund-raising drive to help cover your organization’s operating expenses. How would you structure that drive? Are there steps you could take — besides offering gifts or other incentives — to increase the amount of money that individual donors commit? => http://bit.ly/ghHujH

From Pivotal Magazine – Why your Employees are Losing Motivation

Business literature is packed with advice about worker motivation—but sometimes managers are the problem, not the inspiration. Here are seven practices to fire up the troops. From Harvard Management Update

=> http://bit.ly/gfWyUr

Leadership – It’s All About Style

Someone Once Asked Me…How would you define your management and leadership style? Silly, grasshopper!

In seriousness, I responded that I have a blended style most influenced by Stephen Covey (initially with the Franklin Planner Class taken many moons ago), and over the last few years David Allen with his Getting Things Done methodology. I am absolutely goal and results oriented, but I would classify that as my management style.

Leadership is completely different. Leadership is about people, and helping others to be more successful than if they had never met you. My leadership style is dynamic, and almost chameleon like, meaning, I attempt to change to be the most effective for the given situation. People, and thus situations, are unique, and require a custom leadership style. However, with that said, you must have consistency, and even though the style may be different, or the path to get where you are going may be different, the end result should be the same. To obtain consistency, you rely upon your principles, and values to guide the way – they are your rock, your foundation. Staying true to your values and principles is how you build credibility and it is how you ‘lead by example’, or never get in a situation where you ‘ask someone to do what you would not do yourself’.

I also fully believe that people inherently want to the right thing, and most importantly, they want to do a good job and be successful. Of course, there are some that fall out of that, but fortunately, they are easy to pick out, and the solution is to send them on their merry way. However, there are good people, who are not successful. Why? They either do not have the tools to be successful, or they are in the wrong career/position. Through careful conversations, one must determine the root cause. Possibly the right answer is to help them see that they are in the wrong position, and help them get in the right position, which may be inside your company, or even outside. Even if the person does need to leave the company, eventually, they will be better off both from a career and personal perspective. If the person is in the right position, then the issue could be situational, communication, or tools. The key is to identify the barriers of success, and then put a plan in place to resolve. More often than not, the root cause is communication – did the person know the goal, what is preventing the goal from being achieved. Identifying the problems is the key to success.

TWS (TW Smith) is one of the key authors on the website, Random Central, a site dedicated to random thoughts and ideas to make life more enjoyable. Please visit our web site for tips and tricks on life’s challenges.


How to lead

If you’ve ever been left in the dust when a co-worker’s leadership skills earned a nice, fat promotion, then an impressive new leadership course called “How to Lead” can turn the tables.

“How to Lead” is offered by Mind Tools and it is the best system for transforming yourself into an effective, well-balanced, respected and successful leader.

This course is unique because it lets you learn, at your own pace, what you need to do to become an exceptional leader in your industry. This includes an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.

The course includes a workbook, “How to Lead: Discover the Leader Within You”, along with five self-assessment worksheets and seven email-based e-classes. The workbook format is a 185-page downloadable Adobe PDF, which takes 5 minutes to download on a 56K modem.

The workbook is divided into the following eight modules:

* The Meaning of Leadership – teaches essential concepts that form the foundation of effective business leadership

* Get to Know Yourself – includes five insightful self-tests that assist you in knowing yourself so that you can become a balanced and successful leader;

* Get the Right Stuff – shows you how to counter weaknesses, build self-confidence, project a dynamic attitude and leverage your own leadership strengths

* Creating Winning Ideas – step-by-step instructions on how to road-map your clear and compelling vision of how the future should be, such that other people will enthusiastically adopt your vision

* The Power to Rouse – learn how inspire people with your vision, as well as how to motivate them to give their very best

* Getting Things Done – some excellent tips and tricks on how to implement your vision

* Develop Your Team – shows you how to develop your people into highly-motivated and exceptionally effective team players

* Get the Extra Edge – walks you though the transition from good leader to being a great one by demystifying risk taking, networking and cross-cultural leadership

Since the workbook includes a module on self-assessment to determine your strengths and weaknesses, the course also includes five self-assessment sheets in MS Excel format.

If you’ve ever taken a pen-and-paper test as part of a business course, you know how tedious it can be to score such a test. You’re constantly flipping back and forth to check correct answers, marking things right or wrong, and then there’s the math you must do.

Fortunately, the authors of this course foresaw this, and created the self-assessment score sheets in MS Excel format. They download from the workbook in MS Excel format. Each sheet takes just under a minute on a 56K modem.

MS Excel automatically scores them and gives you the results. Students without MS Excel can complete the assessments on paper.

The seven email classes are broken up into one course per week for seven weeks. The classes function as guides for the workbook, and they provide coaching and motivation. You will find them quite thought-provoking.

Busy professionals will find the email courses a valuable source of reinforcement and a handy took with which to transform new ideas into good habits that will make a real, sustained difference in life.

For the money, this course is an exceptional value. In-person leadership courses run into the thousands of dollars, whereas this one costs only $47.

The best part is that you can try this course out at no risk, since it is offered with a “no questions asked” three-month, 100% money-back guarantee.

In summary, this course offers a complete leadership course in a user-friendly format at an excellent price. If you want to lead, “How to Lead” is a must-have.

“How to Lead: Discover the Leader Within You” is published by MindTools.com. Click [LINK]here[/LINK] to find out more.