The past two weeks on the Leadership Development blogs delivered a middling of mediocrity and only a few top posts. Whether due to the economic turmoil or to some post-Halloween hangover, some of the strongest leadership writers have been quiet. (Luckily, we had a few posts, as did Dr. Earl R. Smith II.)
The AskTheManager.com editors chose the following posts to represent the best of the Leadership Development blogs for the two weeks ending November 23, 2008:
Diminishing Return If you’re like me, a type A, then the idea of one more call or sentence is a lure. But the reality is we reach diminishing return well before we think. This is not only an issue for type A people. It really flows through our culture (in …
Top 100 Best Books for Managers, Leaders & Humans Marshall Goldsmith, Mark Reiter (leadership development, executive coaching, leadership). 8, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies Jim Collins, Jerry I. Porras (business, management, leadership development, leadership) …
Governing in a Crisis Risk management committees should also assess the corporation’s leadership development programs. A crisis demands strong leadership on the scene and in the boardroom. The CEO must provide direction for the company to find its way out of …
5 ways to develop leaders This leadership industry of selling goods and services shows there’s tons of interest in leadership development amidst organizations of all kinds: government, business, corporations, non-profits, ministries, churches, et al. …
Leadership Development and the Future of Business What is the Future of Business and why is Leadership Development important? Well, since I am not a psychic nor of divine providence, I, like you, can only guess. However, there are some clear writings on the multitude of walls around …
Thoughts on Leadership from Madeleine Albright Found this yesterday on the Wall Street Journal Online. Ms. Albright gives some interesting thoughts on leadership and women’s issues. I noticed her embrace of community (reference her reflections on her time at the UN) as well.
Assess and Fine Tune Your Leadership Skills Remember that we are talking about a leadership development process that extends for many years – leadership development is a preparation for the future by developing the skills and abilities of the present. My leadership coaching helps …
Goldman “Leaders” Choose Poverty over Incarceration Goldman Leaders Forgo 2008 Bonuses In a recent email from one of our readers, we were asked to weigh in on the Goldman Sachs Group’s leadership decision to request no bonuses for the current calendar year. What are your thoughts on the …
Leadership Development Coaching Smith specializes in turnaround management, strategic planning, leadership development and executive coaching. He also works as an executive and/or life coach in the areas of personal growth and spirituality. He is the author of Amazing …
How Small Business Owners Benefit from Coaching Smith specializes in turnaround management, strategic planning, leadership development and executive coaching. He also works as an executive and/or life coach in the areas of personal growth and spirituality. He is the author of Amazing …
The Two Paths to Great Leadership Two roads. Had a great conversation with Marc yesterday. We spoke a lot about future plans with our two companies, but it was his brief statement below that made me pause:. “You have two paths you can go on in this environment. …
Young Managers Can Learn from Old Sayings Old Sayings are Often Gold Sayings Yes, that hackneyed phrase was as hard to type as it is to read, but I used it to illustrate a point: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure; you do reap what you sow; and actions do speak …
Mastering the Art of Leadership Through leadership development. Why? Because good leaders are made and the process itself is a continuous process of improvement. Here are seven ways to begin developing your leadership right away. Develop your hard skills through …
How to find a leadership coach They impart special skills through techniques and seminars and deal with issues like personal growth, leadership styles, leadership development and much more. Here emphasis is more on making the management team members more effective …
Digg this, Yahoo Buzz is the new Digg. Digg, at www.digg.com was the social bookmarking site to end all social bookmarking sites. Not del.ci.ous, not propeller, and not stumbleupon could even come close to the diggity world of Digg.com.
Everything was running smoothly at Digg until Yahoo, which might have the worst top management since Jill Barad ran Mattel, decided that digging wasn’t as cool as buzzing. Now, Yahoo Buzz is the new Digg, and Digg is feeling a lot like Lycos when Google burst onto the scene.
Why will Yahoo Buzz supplant Digg as the newest and coolest social bookmarking site on the Web? It’s simple, really.
Simplicity is the word and simple is Yahoo Buzz. While digging an article can be complicated and full of extra steps, buzzing on Yahoo is a breeze. Truly 90% of the time we tried to Digg something we were inadvertently logged out of Digg.com and we are required to reenter everything and anything to let the world know what we Digg.
With Yahoo Buzz, we never see the bugs and issues common to Digg. Plus, we are in and out in a couple of steps. We truly Digg Yahoo’s Buzz. Sorry, diggers, but we like what makes sense. We are all about efficiencies and Digg just doesn’t have what Yahoo Buzz delivers.
To see if we’re telling the truth, try Digging and Buzzing this article by clicking on the icons below. We know you’ll agree that Digg is Dead and Yahoo Buzz is the best.
True leadership is about what works – Yahoo Buzz works every time and Digg does not. Nice job, Yahoo.
Q. I’m a sales manager who manages three separate sales offices that are 40 miles apart. What are your thoughts about using a blog to communicate company news and events, and deliver sales training to my teams? Andy in Ohio
Great question, Andy, and great idea. There are literally thousands of companies who use blogging software, like WordPress, to maintain private company blogs. Many of them use these blogs just as you described. (A private blog is like this blog, only search engines are blocked from crawling the pages, and you need a login and password to access the articles and posts.)
The great thing about using a blog to deliver your training and communicate events – instead of using email – is that blogs can become a virtual library of information. Email, of course, is deleted or becomes stale after just a few days. With a blog, your team can go back and reference product information, HR memos or sales training anytime they wish. As a central repository of information, blogs are better than the sales manager’s memory or his desk files – and your company’s blog will still be around if you move up (or out).
Because blogs generally show the most recent entries first, your team can login at anytime and read the most timely company information. RSS feeds (included in nearly every blog theme available) can notify your team whenever something new is posted. This allows them to view the post through a free reader – without having to visit the blog.
Adding Outside Resources To Your Blog
Blogs are great because you can file the various training and information topics under categories that make sense, like Product Training, HR Memos, and Proper Sales Paperwork, to name a few. Additionally, you can easily link to any web resources you need – just like in email.
For example, let’s say your company sells replacement laptop batteries and you want your sales team to be able to describe the different types to customers. You could research this and type a blog post, or you could find the resource online and link to it like this: laptop battery information.
While a free or low cost blog will allow you to monitor who logs in and when, you may struggle with the accountability of who actually grasps the material. Of course, I always tested my sales team by managing through results. Those who performed below expectations often found me riding in their car quizzing them about the latest product release or role playing the next appointment.
I’m aware of some companies who monitor their blog activity by requiring their teams to post comments after each blog entry. At the very least, they’re sure their teams logged in and took the time to read an article or post. Blog comments are also a great way to encourage best practices sharing.
How Do You Start A Company Training Blog?
Although nothing beats face-to-face training, blogs are superior to most Learning Management Systems (LMS) primarily because of their cost. In fact, you can start a private blog tonight for no cost (called a hosted blog), or very low cost (called a self-hosted blog).
For all companies, I recommend starting with a hosted blog (free) and then moving to a self-hosted blog if you’re still using the blog as an LMS in a year. The cost for a self-hosted blog will generally run about $30/month.
Note: you may want to purchase the domain name right away, even though you don’t need it for the hosted blog. At less than $10/year, it makes sense to secure something that is easy for your team to remember, like ExxonTrainingBlog.com. There are numerous domain name registrars who make it very easy to acquire a web address. I’ve used both Network Solutions and GoDaddy, and I seem to prefer GoDaddy, though both are reputable sites with similar cost structures.
Buy A Book On Blogging
I own three blogging books, and all three are on my desk next to my computer. I read all three cover-to-cover before I started the serious blogging, and I refer to at least one of them every week. The three books recommend by TheManager are:
WordPress For Dummies – AskTheManager.com is powered by WordPress, a very intuitive blog software that is easy to learn for anyone who’s mastered basic Internet skills like email and web surfing. You’ll need this book whether you plan to use the hosted WordPress blog or a self-hosted WordPress blog. (And don’t worry, this book explains both hosting options better than I can.)
Blogging For Dummies – While there is a little overlap between this Dummies guide and WordPress For Dummies, you really need both to properly manage a great blog.
ProBlogger – Not really necessary for a private company blog, but it has some great insight into the world of blogging that isn’t covered by the Dummies books.
While most blog software, like WordPress, is intuitive, it’s not Microsoft Word – you can’t just start blogging without reading something about how to use it. Save yourself the headaches later, and learn how to blog before you start blogging.
Share The Blogging Duties
The best way to teach an adult learner is to assign them to teach the material themselves. We learn much better when we know we have to regurgitate it in front of an audience later. Don’t try to tackle all the sales training yourself and assign articles and best practices sharing to your sales team. Of course, don’t stop with your sales team, feel free to bring everyone on board to contribute to the company blog:
Ask the HR team to put links to their important forms on the site
Speak with the CEO and ask him/her to post something about the company vision or the outlook for the industry
Ask the operations team to post information about order processing, shipping or any other issue that the sales team can alleviate by following a few guidelines
Ask the admin manager to post articles about how to properly complete paperwork or what to expect from the admin team during a holiday week
Post customer testimonials and complaints (remember – it’s private so you can air out some dirty laundry)
Find relevant articles and training online, and either copy and paste them in your blog, or link to them
The bottom line on private business blogs is this: they’re simple; they’re cheap and they make a great LMS. Once you start a company training blog you’ll wonder how you ever got along without one.
Still a busy week for the Leadership Development blogs – must not be too many moms and dads getting their kids ready to go back to school – and TheManager was able to piece together the best of the Web for your reading enjoyment.
Here are today’s best Leadership Development and Management Training blog posts and articles (present company excepted, of course):