Navigator Newsletter | How to Avoid a Leadership Shipwreck

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PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM THE CAPTAIN OF THE SHIP

It has been a busy and fast moving past couple of months. A serious car accident involving my wife, the holidays and an eight-day sailing adventure have put me way behind on my Navigator duties. I hope each of you enjoyed your holidays and a good start to the new year.

I had a great time on my sailing trip down to the Florida Keys and back. We had beautiful weather, but it was a tad too cold for my liking. Shortly after I returned from my nautical adventure the tragedy of the Costa Concordia captured national attention. It reminded me of an article I wrote many years ago about the Titanic. I have included it in this months Navigator and on my blog. Some of the mistakes that occurred on the Titanic seem strangely familiar. It all comes down to one factor leadership.

Dont miss the complimentary webseminar on How to Engage and Retain Your Top Talent. See below for more details.

Charting your course!

Greg
Captain of the Ship and Lead Navigator
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The Sinking of the Titanic Provides Lessons for Leaders

We have struck iceberg sinking fast come to our assistance. On a cold evening in 1912 that message came blistering across the airwaves. Before they tapped the last bit of Morse code, those words became the epitaph over the lives of the 1,200 people lost on the Titanic. The ship was doomed as it slowly sank into its watery grave. Why did the largest, most advanced ship of its time sink?

Those of us who study history or remember the movie may know why. It wasnt the iceberg that caused the disaster. It is clear in my mind the real cause was failed leadership.

Leadership is Responsible — Leadership is responsible for everything the organization does or fails to do. Leadership is more than a wooden figurehead. A leader is not a position, job title, or in this case, the captain of the ship. Leadership is not about power, ego or pride. Leadership is ever-present, touching, motivating, talking, checking and removing barriers, training, preparing, breathing and moving about.

The Titanics ill-fated voyage was Captain E.J. Smiths retirement trip. He was headed for the easy life. All he had to do was get to New York. God only knows why he ignored the facts, why he disregarded seven iceberg warnings from his crew and other ships.

The Titanic still rests on the bottom of the ocean, but we can resurrect the truth and apply a few lessons learned to help us become better leaders.

The Biggest Is Not the Best — Todays businesses must change course quickly. It took over 30 seconds before the Titanic turned away from the iceberg, but by then it was too late. The larger an organization becomes, the greater its inflexibility. The more difficult and cumbersome it is to steer, to direct and to change course. Large businesses soon grow into huge bureaucracies where rules, regulations, policies, procedures and I need permission to make a decision become the norm.

Rank Has Its Privileges? — Ranking is good for command and control, but not good for change and innovation. Ranking people limits their potential. Today, businesses rank and classify people sometimes unintentionally. Whether it is reserved parking spaces for the privileged or being categorized as blue collar, white collar, temporary, part-time, those with cubicles or those with offices, the results are the same. Clear the lines between the classes and make everyone feel they are rowing in the same direction, for the same purpose. In a disaster, everyone is equal.

The Truth Changes — The Titanic was unsinkable, so they thought. The ship designers were so confident in their ship they only had enough lifeboats for half the passengers. The thinking that made us successful yesterday will cause us to fail tomorrow. Our unlearning curve must be greater than our learning curve if we are going to succeed.

Technology Makes a Poor Substitute for Authentic Leadership — When technology fails, leadership must prevail. Years before the Titanics voyage Captain Smith said, I cannot imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that. Many businesses today have placed the wrong people in charge. They are not leaders, but managers. So when disaster strikes, who is going to step up and lead? Or will your technology cause you to shipwreck and pull you under?

Leadership is About Training and Development — As the stern of the Titanic lifted out of the water, the crew and passengers struggled with the lifeboats. There had been no drills, no rehearsals, and the crew stood unfamiliar with their responsibilities. The boats were improperly loaded and only one went back to try to recover survivors. A good leader helps people improve their skills so they can become more productive.

What Lies Below Is More Destructive than What Is On Top — The greatest dangers lie unseen below the surface. That night in 1912 the water was smooth like glass and deceptively dangerous. The iceberg lurked below. Like steel fangs, it tore at the rivets along 300 feet of the Titanics hull. Those below, the crew and steerage, felt and saw the damage first. Like a gasping breath, the steam billowed above as chaos reigned below. Then and now, those who know whats wrong with your ship are those below decks. Those people on the frontline usually have the best ideas and solutions to your problems. Consider asking them for their ideas and suggestions before catastrophe strikes.

Leadership Looks Beyond the Horizon — A good Captain is constantly on the lookout for shifting trends, submerged rocks, storms and icebergs. Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton identified and met a need while other retailers did not. Apple saw the need for the iPod while others were still happy with CD players. The vision of the Sony Walkman existed in Akio Moritas mind well before it entered the mind of the competition. Get the picture? Be on the lookout, scanning the horizon for the next wave of change instead of waiting for it to hit you in the face. ########################################

GREGS UPCOMING CLASSES AND EVENTS

Webseminar: How to Engage and Retain Your Top Talent

People who are not engaged or motivated by their jobs create a major concern for their employers. Research shows as the economy rebounds, organizations will see their most promising talent abandon ship in high numbers. The key to success for any organization is the ability to attract and retain skilled and talented people. Those that fail to make employee retention a priority now risk losing their top talented people to the competition. This seminar shows you how to design an effective employee strategy that provides a comprehensive road map for not only attracting and keeping talented employees, but for motivating and engaging them to achieve a higher level of performance.

Thursday, February 23
3:00-4:00 p.m. EDT
No Charge/Complimentary
Limited to the first 100 people!

Register now!
https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/239421882

Employee Engagement Strategies for Breakthrough Performance
22nd Annual SHRM-Atlanta HR Conference
March 14, 2012
http://bit.ly/shrmatl12

DISC Certification Group Coaching Training Program
(Webseminar)

Individual personality styles and preferences have a direct impact on our interpersonal relationships at home and at the workplace. People differ from each other in fundamental ways including their values, behaviors, talents, temperaments, wants and beliefs. Our DISC training programs and assessments help hire the right people, reduce conflict, improve communication and unleash team performance.

Upcoming dates:

February 6, 9, 14
March 5,7,12
2:00-3:30 ET

http://ow.ly/6Ogw4

Limited to five people per class
Cost: $895

For more information:
http://www.chartcourse.com/disctraining.html
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BEST PRACTICES

Trip to Headquarters Company
Denon Electronics offers an all-expense paid trip to their headquarters in Japan, for one employee and their family. They have lunch with CEOs, tour the factories, and have a guided tour of the city. Employees nominate the winner of this coveted award.

Staff Speaks Newsletter
The Lutheran Social Services of Mid-America have a large organization, which spans three states. They started a Staff Speaks article in their monthly newsletter. They choose an employee from each of their four affiliates, and provide name, length of time employed at their organization, title, and a brief description of job duties. Then they ask them a ‘fun’ question such as, ‘If you could be anyone/do anything else professionally, who/what would it be?’ They take their picture, and include it with their info. This allows their staff to get to know others throughout the organization who they may not meet or have opportunity for interaction.

Spot Program
Abbott Laboratories has implemented the ‘spot’ program. Anyone can give a ‘spot’ award. The award comes with a designated gift certificate (usually $25) to a variety of stores. At the end of each quarter, the names of the award winners are collected and placed in a drawing. The winner is pulled out, and they get an extra vacation day. ########################################

TOOLS AND PRODUCTS

Employee Selection and Development

Have you ever made a bad hiring decision? Did the person you hired turn into someone different than how he presented himself during the interview? A properly designed interviewing and hiring process could have prevented the mistake and saved you time, frustration and money. We provide a comprehensive portfolio of hiring and development solutions including 360, team, customer service, executive talent and management development reports and assessments.

More information
http://www.chartcourse.com/Assessment_Center.html

Customer Service Training Video Library

Train your entire workforce in the art of exceptional customer service. The Service First Video Library is a powerful video-based training system making it easy to train any number of employees – with no limits and with immediate results. The program includes 12 videos, slides, facilitator guide and handouts. The videos are appropriate for any industry.

$1495
Includes free shipping globally

http://www.chartcourse.com/servicevideo.htm

401 Proven Ways To Retain Your Best Employees

This book is packed with loads of practical advice, tips, case studies, suggestions and examples that not only retain, but also engage and make your people as productive as possible. Unique from other books on the market today, it provides tried and true practices that will quickly transform your place of business. The book is divided into eight sections, each focusing on a key element of employee retention.

http://www.chartcourse.com/401-provenways.html

Icebreakers and Teambulding Exercises – BEST SELLER

How many meetings have you attended that are just the same old thing — boring gatherings you can’t wait to leave! Here is an opportunity to make your next meeting, class or team building event something dynamic and interesting.

Click here
http://www.chartcourse.com/icebreakers-book.html

Management E-Learning Courses

We offer the award-winning Leadership Series curriculum in a convenient, interactive online format. Vital E-Learning provides supervisors, team leaders and managers with the best skills-based training from any computer, enabling leaders to work at their own pace as time allows. With these courses, organizations can provide their employees with valuable training in leadership skills, sales proficiency, productivity, customer service and talent management.

Sign up to take a free demo course:
http://www.chartcourse.com/supervisory_training.html
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Daily Cartoon

For those of you needing a little laugh, we invite you to visit the Daily Cartoon page on our website. The cartoons are provided by Ted Goff and Scott Adams.

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FORWARD TO YOUR FRIENDS

If you find our information interesting, please send it to your friends. The Navigator Newsletter is received by over 35,000 subscribers in 60 countries.

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Copyright 2012, CYC International Inc.

Published by Greg Smith
Chart Your Course International Inc.
Phone: 770-860-9464/800-821-2487
Address: 2814 Hwy 212, Conyers, GA. 30094

http://www.Chartcourse.com

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