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For anyone interested in Change Management, I am speaking at the upcoming @ILA2020Global on November 6th. Leading At The Edge is virtual this year, so join me online from anywhere in the world! #ILA2020GLOBAL https://bit.ly/Register_ILA2020

Hope to see you there!

My husband and I lead missions trips to Haiti. As I was observing (and serving) in the poorest country in the western hemisphere,  I began to think about how there are some leadership lessons inherent in the environment in Haiti that most of us could stand to think about more often. You may think to yourself, “what can I learn from a country that has 90% unemployment and a 70% illiteracy rate?” These statistics are correct… and there are some important reminders (lessons) that impact how we interact with people as leaders and how far people are willing to go to serve you.

Here are just a few of the things that come to mind:

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Hello everyone! I have been suspiciously absent over the past several months, specifically because I am focusing on my PhD, while juggling my “regular” work.  I am really excited to tell you I have been focusing on some new (and very exciting) projects:

  1. Creating Version 2 of my book Virtual Success, with three completely new chapters
  2. Preparing to speak virtually on Changing Change Management at the International Leadership Association global conference the beginning of November
  3. Developing a new course focused on cultural integration to help global/virtual teams work better together to achieve improved business results

In that vein, I would like to ask your opinion, as a global leader. If you are interested in contributing to the development of sustainable, effective ways to help your diverse teams succeed, please fill out the below survey. It will take about 3 minutes of your time and really help me to laser focus in on how to best adapt and improve remote team performance:

 

All responses are coded for anonymity and will be used only to facilitate the development of a new, innovative training program designed for global and/or virtual teams.

In return, I will be happy to share these initial results and keep you updated on my progress!

Thanks, Sheri

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Screen Shot 2018-01-31 at 4.37.49 PMFor Every Action, There Is A Reaction: People, Process, Policy…

Sir Isaac Newton, my fellow alumni at University of Cambridge (admittedly, a few years ahead of me!)…

If only he knew the extent of application to his theories  – business operations in this instance. More about Newton’s Third Law shortly…

As we look forward, it is helpful to also look back and gain perspective. Today’s business operations are even more complex than two years ago… yet they are typically more aligned and proactive than they were five years ago. We are making progress, but there are still critical challenges to address.  Organizations are still not working at maximum capacity… experience tells me we can do better.

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For better or worse… we are all extensions of the networks we have built – or the lack thereof. Those who are devoted to the intensive cultivation of the vine will prosper and grow, while those who do not, well, you can guess the outcome…

Ask any successful person which single skill has helped them to accelerate their career – an overwhelming majority will respond with one simple word… Networking.

We all know what makes the corporate world continue to expand and grow. It’s a giant social vine, with people dependent upon one another for success. Whether we like it (or care to acknowledge it) or not – we rely upon one another. We are very rarely solely responsible for our own achievements without the support and help of others.

That in mind, the single greatest skill you can develop is dynamic interdependence, which equates to NETWORKING. This is the most powerful marketing tactic you can employ to accelerate and sustain your own success! Few things will help you grow faster than a creating a strong network.

Dynamic Interdependence is about meeting people, developing contacts and exchanging information. It is about bearing fruit… and pruning, as necessary.

When cultivating vines, pruning is used to selectively remove unsuitable or extraneous shoots in your network, retaining the strong branches that are likely to bear fruit. This serves three functions:

1) to cultivate only high potential relationships for the current season of your career

2) to produce high potential contacts from which sustainable fruit can be selected for coming seasons and

3) to remove those shoots that will not grow into a valuable part of your network. You are a product of those you surround yourself with – It’s critical that you are prepared to nurture those high potential shoots, while at the same time willing to cut off those shoots you observe bearing no fruit – or worse, consistently producing bad fruit!

On the positive side, meeting and networking with the right people can lead to untold opportunities. Developing a network of dynamic interdependence translates into shared experiences, best-practices, and knowledge, culminating with shared professional development for everyone within the network! The reality is that you will not bear fruit yourself unless you remain tightly connected to the vine. The vine, your network, is the source and sustenance of your professional life – each and every shoot of your network relies on the vine in a dynamically interdependent way to survive and bear fruit.

Your pruning process will ultimately help you to bear more fruit. If there is no fruit on your vine, if there are no genuine connection points, you are in danger of falling off the vine. If you isolate yourself, you isolate your likelihood to succeed at the same time. Building a reliable network will increase your connectivity, your knowledge, your visibility, and most of all…your chance of success. Networking is about self-confidence, self-advocacy, and perhaps, self-discovery.

The old saying, “it isn’t what you know, but who you know” rings true. Statistics show that a staggering 70% of jobs are obtained through networking… Some believe that in this unstable economic climate, this statistic is considerably higher.  I see it over and over again: Many senior level individuals go far, but eventually find themselves at a loss because they just haven’t built the network they need to take them from being a respected professional… to recognized expert… to a formal leader … to a member of a Corporate or Not For Profit Board of Directors.

They have hit the proverbial “Bedrock” – their roots have stopped growing, their vine has stopped expanding… Why? Primarily because they failed to build a sustainable network – both inside of and outside of the organization!

Don’t be fooled – THE VINE IS CRITICAL TO YOUR SUCCESS!

Building a Network of Dynamic Interdependence provides the most productive, most proficient and most enduring tactic to build professional relationships. To succeed you need to continually connect with new people, cultivate emerging relationships and leverage your network.

Final Advice:

There are many “vines” out there…

  1. You will get out of your network only what you put into it. If you attend events and meetings on a passive level, at best your network will become a novel social forum. You risk losing the fundamental reasons why you should seek to extend your vine in the first place.
  2. Dynamic Interdependence is not about belonging to a formal group — it’s critical to network both within your work environment and outside of it (for obvious reasons).
  3. Finally, do not just hunker down and do good work and wait for the world to stop and notice (as most people do) – it just won’t happen!

The truth is, you make your own choices. As a successful businessperson, will you choose to make your way alone or seek Dynamic Interdependence?

How Will You Focus  On Extending Your Vine?

Please engage the discussion and let us know how networking has helped you to exceed your potential. Feel free to contact me at sherilmackey@gmail.com or by commenting below. Check back soon for the next post on Leadership Across Boundaries & Borders.

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A separate, but inter-related key to success from last weeks post lies with YOU – the leader as a resource.  In today’s complex global business environment, the leader is the driving force and the magnet that draws people in – someone who has the ability to lead, connect, and (most importantly)  to ignite a fire within the global workforce that will result in invaluable contributions that will drive personal development and organizational success to levels never anticipated or previously dreamed of.  You are a key resource to the organization, and as such, you need to understand that how you allow yourself to be leveraged as a resource directly correlates with the success of your global teams and organization. 

How people perceive you – your words and actions – will define you across the globe. How you relate to people, from all cultures and functions, will determine to a large extent, your ability to succeed. Do people from across the wider organization see you as an inspiration?  Someone to follow, someone to believe in, someone to trust? Are you a partner? Does your global team perceive that they are a critical component to your vision and direction? Our research tells us over and over again, that people follow those they trust and those they are inspired by.

In today’s ever-changing business environment, you need to become even more than a known entity and an inspiration. You must become the social architect, constitution writer, and entrepreneur of meaning – in both thought and action. To secure global success as a leader, you must be willing to create an environment where every employee, from every culture and geography, has the opportunity to collaborate, innovate, and excel. Do this and you will have, not only global business success, but the undying loyalty of your workforce (a true rarity in today’s work environment).

Many centuries ago, Lau-Tzu said, “The wicked leader is he who the people despise. The good leader is he who the people revere. The great leader is he who the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.’ People embrace what they feel a part of –  YOU are a global resource for inspiration and inclusionary practices. YOU have the ability to do great things through your global organization, if YOU are actually maximizing ALL your resources…including yourself.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at SheriLMackey@gmail.com.  Check back next week for a new post on global leadership!