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Seven Steps for Stellar Success

Wednesday, April 17, 2013
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Be yourself.  Everyone else is already taken.

 – Oscar Wilde

Do you associate managing with more-is-less, never-enough, and it’s-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it? Did a surge of queasiness just overtake you?

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Take heart!  And a Pepto-Bismol while you’re at it.  All is not lost.  With my modern approach to management, you can shine, even thrive, while delivering performance appraisals, running quarterly meetings, and charming clients.

My new and improved version of managing others means being true to yourself, capitalizing on your strengths, and tossing aside ‘rules’ that don’t match your natural personality style. Authentic Management offers unique, effective techniques for both managers and trainers.

Here are a few tidbits to whet your palate.

  1. Be true to you.  You are better qualified to be you than anyone else.  Harness your natural strengths.  Don’t fight your own (mostly) loveable disposition.  Transform your presumed liabilities into assets. Stamp out advice that demands you behave in ways that drain you.  Inauthentic behavior backfires always, causing you to blow out faster than a sixteen-wheeler on hot summer asphalt. 
  2. Make a solid first impression.  Cognitive scientists say it can take up to 200 times the amount of information to undo a first impression as it takes to make one.  Who has that kind of spare time?  Not you!  Show up with the best version of you, every time. 
  3. Be selective.  Prioritize your energy; manage your time.  Just say no. I hereby release you from the obligation of straggling to every business opportunity crossing your path. Let go of what you should do; free yourself up to what appeals.  You will shine in the process.
  4. Listen.  Ever sense your remarks shoot off a cliff and crash to the ground?  Who needs that kind of pressure?  Rather than yakking about your own opinions and accomplishments, focus on those around you.  Ask thoughtful questions.  Impress via a sincere interest in others rather than promoting your fine self.
  5. Single task. Multitasking is so 90s.  In reality, we only do one thing at a time.  Direct your attention on a single task.   Even more importantly, decide the person in front of you is the right person for you to focus on at that moment.  You’ll thank me later.  So will your direct reports. 
  6. Prove yourself. Show, don’t tell.  Rather than boring others with a canned advert of how marvelous you are, demonstrate live-time your fabulous self.  Be positive, helpful, gracious and upbeat.  Learn names.  Maintain eye contact.  Greet others with a warm smile and leap at every chance to be helpful.  You are not ‘too important’ for anything you ask of others.
  7. Disentangle.  As Goethe wisely reminded us, ‘Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least.’  Disentangle yourself from gossip, petty concerns, and negative energy.  Remember what matters most and pick your battles.  Let go.

Be a manager on your own terms.   You can succeed beyond your wildest expectations…while having a bang-up time along the way.
Ms. Zack will be facilitating an exclusive, customized ASTD seminar for managers and trainers of managers June 20-21, 2013.  Attendees will receive autographed copies of both her books – spaces are limited!

About the Author
Devora Zack is author of the internationally released, award-winning Networking for People Who Hate Networking (Berrett-Koehler/ASTD Press 2010) and Managing for People Who Hate Managing (Berrett-Koehler/ASTD Press 2012).  She is CEO of Only Connect Consulting, Inc., providing leadership programs to over 100 clients.    Ms. Zack has keynoted for Smithsonian, National Institute of Health, John Deere, U.S. Department of Energy, CapGemini, Urban Land Institute, National Association for Women Business Owners, Treasury Executive Institute, and Mensa International. She serves as visiting faculty for Cornell University’s business school, teaching leadership and networking to MBA students across the world. She recently toured Queensland by invitation of the Australian Institute of Management. Networking for People Who Hate Networking has been translated into 10 languages including Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, French, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, French Canadian, and German.
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