Why Different Talks Require Precise Scripts Versus General Talking Points

Talking points and full scripts each have advantages and disadvantages. Choose between them based on how precise your words need to be and your own confidence in the subject. Leverage talking points when you’re confident and can be flexible. Use a full script when your confidence is low and precision matters.
Charlie Shimanski’s first major gathering as head of the Red Cross’s Disaster Response organization and US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s presentation to the UN on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction provide opposite examples.
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How The New Perspective On The Purpose Of A Corporation Impacts You

This past week, 181 Business Roundtable CEOs signed a new statement on the purpose of a corporation. The most important change is to take into account all stakeholders including customers, employees, suppliers, communities, and shareholders. This changes the way any corporation adopting this thinks about everything they are doing.
A lot of corporations have been following the Friedman Doctrine in which Milton Friedman suggested that “the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits.” Doing that then allows the business’s shareholders to decide which social initiatives they choose to pursue with their shares of the profits.
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Why You Should Help Your Best People Get Better Roles Working For Someone Else

When experienced leaders look back on their careers, almost inevitably their number one regret is not moving fast enough on people. For most that means not getting poor performers out of bad roles fast enough. For the most effective leaders, that also means not getting star performers into roles that are better for them fast enough.
This is counter-intuitive. Why would you ever want to get rid of your best performers? Because that’s what’s best for them when they outgrow the role.
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How To Avoid Following Your Strategy Off A Cliff

As I said in my earlier article on What It Takes To Accelerate Through A Strategic Inflection Point, there are four primary areas of focus: design, produce, deliver, or service. Pick one as your main strategic focus, with other activities and your culture flowing into or from that. Said it. Meant it. Still believe it. But if that is all you do, you’re heading for a cliff. Every organization has to get all four of these done as well as marketing and selling. It’s a question of balanced focus, not complete exclusion.
You know the difference between generalists and specialists. Right? Generalists know less and less about more and more until eventually they know nothing about everything. Specialists know more and more about less and less until eventually they know everything about nothing. Both go off the cliff into uselessness.
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The Case For Choosing The Likely Over The Possible

The #1 job of a CEO is vision and values – purpose. That’s the inspiring part of inspiring and enabling. But you don’t have to get there in one fell swoop. Choosing the grandest, boldest, riskiest big steps is more dramatic, but less certain than enabling your team to take a series of smaller steps, each with a higher likelihood of success.Witness the way Tiger Woods played the last hole of the 2019 Masters. His winning that tournament seemed almost impossible when he hit bottom after his personal and health issues. As someone put it later, “It wasn’t so much that he won, but that he won after not winning for so long.” If Tiger had needed seemingly impossible shots on the last hole, he would have gone for them. But he didn’t. All he needed was to take five shots on a par four.
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How A Wedge Approach To Positioning Helps Clarify Choices

Positioning is a wedge – a tool designed to separate things. Those driving sharp distinction lead with their point of difference. Consultative sellers seek first to understand prospects’ needs and then narrow their message to focus on the most important of those needs. The most effective of all combine a sharply distinctive positioning with a consultative selling approach.Those combiners run around the world trying to fit puzzle pieces together. They are confident enough in their sharply distinctive point of difference to begin conversations seeking to understand others’ needs to see if their pieces fit. If their offering is the best fit, the best tool for the task, they move forward. Otherwise they suggest other people’s tools.
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Why Trying To Make A Good First Impression Is The Worst Thing You Can Do When Starting A New Job

The trouble with trying to make a good first impression when starting a new job is that you don’t understand the context. This means people may not receive your communication in the way you mean it.
Define the verb to “dust.”
That’s not as easy as you think. It has different and occasionally opposite meanings. If I dust the table, I’m removing particles of dirt. If I dust the strawberries with sugar, I’m adding sugar. If I dust a batter in baseball, I’m pushing them back. And if someone dusts you in a race, they defeat you badly, leaving you in their dust.None of you are likely to start a new job by telling people that you’re a big believer in dust. But you may do something similar without even meaning to.
Here’s why this matters.
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Lessons From Federer v Djokovic: Not All Points Are Created Equal

If you missed the Wimbledon men’s tennis final this weekend, Roger Federer won 36 games to Djokovic’s 32 games. Three of Djokovic’s 32 game wins were tie-breakers to win the match 5 sets to 3. While it could have gone either way, it didn’t. Djokovic won the points and games that mattered most. That’s the lesson: marshal your resources to win where, what, and when it matters most.
The where to play question is both strategic, tactical and personal.
Where to play strategically
Strategy is the art of the general, arranging forces before the battle. So where to play strategically is about which battles to fight in the first place.
Professional tennis players and golfers and the like, do not compete in every tournament. They carefully map their seasons so they give themselves the best chance to win the tournaments that matter most.
This is one of the fundamentals of business strategy – choosing where not to play.
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Onboarding Into An Interim Role? Focus On Needs And Remits

The eight essential steps of executive onboarding apply whether you’re joining a new company, getting promoted from within, or moving into an interim role. But the specifics are different for different interim roles depending upon the organizational need (steady state vs. point of inflection) and your remit (holding the fort, developmental, or probationary.) And know that in an interim role, you may not make it through all of the eight steps. Get started in the right way anyway to set your successor up for success.

RemitNeed

Steady State

Point of Inflection

Holding the fort for someone else

Minimize disruption

Sacrificial change agent

Developmental

Maximize learning

Get help

Potentially permanent

Prove yourself

Set someone else up to fail

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How To Build Mutual Respect, Trust And Support Between CEOs And Boards

Deloitte’s Chief Executive Program published a paper yesterday on “Seven steps to a more strategic board.” Its insights are well worth reading. They did, however, bury the lead. The seven steps add up to the importance of CEOs taking a leadership role in managing boards and building relationships rooted in “mutual respect, trust and support.” That’s the lead.
Deloitte’s Seven Steps:

CEOs, it’s really up to you – Take an active role in board management.
Be fearlessly transparent – Be open and humble.
Take advantage of tension – Grow through debate.
Facilitate the board experience, not just the board meeting – Build relationships over time.
Curate information, and then curate it again – Give enough, but not too much information.
To chair or not to chair? Think about it very carefully – Choose your level of influence.
Say your piece on board composition – Build the right board over time.

Relationships rooted in “mutual respect, trust, and support” don’t happen by mistake. They are built together, deliberately, and over time.
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