Networking has long been recognized as one of the most powerful tools for business people… all professionals, really. It is the lifeblood of professional success. The relationships you cultivate help you to enable sustainable, profitable business… and your own professional development. Networking is one of the most influential business tools you have at your disposal. When you know how to network effectively, you develop a powerful circle of influence – one that will translate into the growth of your business… and your career. Continue Reading…
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Innovation. Integration. Motivation.
Three simple words… however, implementation is extremely complex and rarely executed.
In today’s challenging environment, leadership has never been more complex. As leaders, we are the Commanders of our troops and have a responsibility to ensure we are consistently pushing forward to ensure victory. While the obvious route is to cut costs, limit availability of resources, manage cash efficiently and hold down the fort until reinforcements arrive – this is merely defensive maneuvering. It is absolutely essential that we, as leaders, recognize that we cannot win the war of sustainable competitive advantage without going on the offensive to courageously engage people as a competitive weapon to ensure we are victorious. Continue Reading…
Welcome back to Leadership Across Boundaries & Borders! I have taken a bit of a hiatus to focus on my business and my family, but I am excited to be back and to reconnect with all of you.
From experience, I can be reasonably sure, most of you would tell me that you are efficiently managing your resources – cutting costs, increasing productivity, etc. – all necessary and honorable duties respectable leaders are expected to perform. However, for the next several weeks I will be discussing resource maximization of a specific type – Human Resources… People Potential – and your ability to leverage your resources across the organization and across the globe for both corporate and interpersonal success.
Many of us like to believe that, with a good plan, we can direct an action, change a process, standardize the business, etc. The problem is if that is all you are focused on, your likely percentage of success is very low. The reality of any business situation is that you need people to DO something in order for your plan/action/change/etc. to succeed. How, in a globally dispersed environment, you inspire employees to bring their talents, initiative, imagination, and passion to work every day is the very delineation between success and failure. It may seem like a lofty concept, but it is absolutely essential to your long-term success – first and foremost, never forget PEOPLE are absolutely essential to your success.
As those of you who read my posts frequently know, I travel internationally a lot and I truly love experiencing other cultures and different ways of life! This past spring I had the opportunity to return to Turkey for pleasure instead of business… Here is what I was thinking about:
I returned to a city with an ever-evolving modern character that is still, at its core, bound by tradition. As I was observing the frenzy of activity going on around me in the only city in the world that resides on two continents, I began to think (once again) about how there are unique leadership lessons in every environment. It is easy to overlook the reminders that abound and think to yourself, “what can I learn from a country that has been riddled with unrest, struggles with human rights issues and is in a constant state of flux?” Yes, these things are true… but it does not negate the fact that Turkey is a beautiful country with beautiful people and there are some important reminders (lessons) that impact how we interact with people as leaders and how our views, as leaders, affect those around us. I have found that often, a change in scenery offers a valuable change in perspective. Here are just a few of the things that came to my mind as I experienced, once again, one of the most amazing cities in the world:
- Business and personal relationships do not have to be mutually exclusive…
Living and visiting countries all over the world on a regular basis throughout most of my life, I remain very aware of how unique one location is from another. However, it also reminds me that despite the differences, there are some core foundations that we should all observe and deploy. In the western culture, we tend to believe that work and life are separate. However in Istanbul, where East meets West, business and personal relationships are heavily intertwined. The diversity and complexity of individuals is shaped not only by their culture, but through relationships that are consistently valued and continually evolve throughout a lifetime. As I attend client meetings that are focused solely on getting know one another better, I am always reminded how the Turkish people, in general, only do business with people they know, like and respect. In Turkey, business will only materialize if effective personal relationships are built. This is not only important in the moment, but throughout a lifetime. Later, as I made a visit to the world famous Spice Bazaar, I was reminded once again how relationships can thread through our lives – both as people and leaders – as I stopped to chat with a shopkeeper and was invited in… not just for a sale, but to build a relationship. We chatted for twenty minutes, shared some delicious apple tea (a hospitality must in Turkey), and exchanged contact information. On my next visit will I stop in and purchase from Iskandar? Of course, but I will also recommend this particular shopkeeper to anyone I know visiting Istanbul! As leaders, it seems to me that we could be infinitely more effective if we slowed down (both in our personal and professional lives), borrowed a page from the Turkish playbook, and took the time to get to know our colleagues on a more personal level – facilitating an extensive and priceless network of not only colleagues, but friends, that will benefit us for a lifetime.
Welcome to The Amazing Race Series!
As those who have been reading this blog for awhile know, my passion is global business and I love to travel and interact with different people from different places. Everywhere I go (and I have lived, worked or traveled to over 60 countries), I truly enjoy observing distinct cultures and taking away lessons learned from every place and every culture I interact with. In fact, a good deal of my life’s work is based on this very concept.
I look forward to taking you on my Amazing Race, where I will share with you what I have learned from various cities and countries from around the world – I hope you can use this information to travel well on your journey through global business.
First, we will visit Japan – Bon Voyage!
I have frequently done business in Japan throughout my career. It is interesting how the country and the culture have changed over time, but beneath its surface lies an extremely productive and effective society.
To the outsider – or gaijin, as we are known to the locals – Japanese business customs appear to be so deeply entrenched in culture and tradition that they couldn’t possibly be applicable to the rest of the world. But don’t be too quick to write off the value that Japanese business practices offer the rest of the world…
GLABB: I have been (slowly) working my through an attempt to help you understand how I see the world through my acronym GLABB. Last week we discussed working across boundaries and the implications of doing so. But there was more… so I am continuing this week with an expansion of what it means to me to work across boundaries and some suggestions to help you do so successfully.
Working across boundaries means many things to many people… It can mean: Continue Reading…