Jim Clemmer's Leader Letter E-Newsletter

Practical Leadership: Inspiring Action, Achieving Results

Permission to Reprint: You may reprint any items from The Leader Letter in your own printed publication or e-newsletter as long as you include this paragraph:

"Reprinted with permission from The Leader Letter, Jim Clemmer's free e-newsletter. For over twenty-five years Jim Clemmer's practical leadership approaches have been inspiring action and achieving results. His 2,000+ presentations and workshops/retreats, five bestselling books, columns, and newsletters are helping hundreds of thousands of managers worldwide because they are inspiring, instructive, and refreshingly fun. And best of all, they work! His web site is www.clemmer.net."

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Blog On to Our Site!

Every month I get dozens of e-mails on everything from articles and books to presentations and retreats. And for the most part, I think I'm pretty good at responding. But in a world where the "Speed of Change" is increasing every day, there are better ways to receive, respond and share these exchanges within our community.

So I've started a blog (web log) on Practical Leadership to create discussions, promote feedback and solicit your comments. This is a big change because instead of me talking at you, I'm opening a dialogue with you – just like my workshops and presentations!

I'll frequently post my thoughts on "Leadership" – sprinkled with real life experiences from my travels.

You can find it at www.jimclemmer.blogspot.com.

The great thing about a blog is that through the beauty of RSS you simply click on either of the following images in Firefox or the new Internet Explorer (version 7) to add my blog to your feeds.

You can then track updates without adding another site to your daily "must visit" list.

I'm very excited about this. I hope you find it useful and I hope you participate in the conversations!

A Few Blog Highlights

Here are some of the topic areas I started blogging in March. Click on any one of the titles to go to that topic.

Navigating Change and Adversity

A few of my thoughts on how on we respond to life's storm – whether as Navigators, Survivors, or Victims – as the core determinant of our success and happiness in all elements of our lives. I outline a popular model I use around this concept and provide a video clip of me presenting this model to a large audience.

Dealing with Adversity

"Embrace Change" is a useless platitude mouthed by someone who never really thought about its full implications or is a masochist. Many changes are impossible to embrace. When faced with painful changes involving loss (loved ones, health, job, relationships, etc.) the sooner we move beyond the Shock, Anger, and Resentment stages of the SARAA formula to Acceptance and Action the happier and more effective we'll be.

Keeping Problems in Perspective

The joke – and stain – was on me as I delivered a Leading @ the Speed of Change workshop. This messy and amusing event turned out to be an accidentally profound illustration of an even bigger point.

Increasing Your Influence

Have you ever been able to clearly predict that a situation was going to go wrong in your team or organization? Like most of us you probably said (hopefully just to yourself) "I told you so?" Here's an exercise from my Growing the Distance: Personal Implementation Guide to help you reflect on a situation you want to influence and assess how you're doing on the twelve key factors in our Influence Index.

Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmmm...on Influencing Others

"Executives fall into one of five categories of decision-making styles: Charismatics are intrigued by new ideas, but experience has taught them to make decisions based on balanced information, not just on emotions. Thinkers are risk-averse and need as much data as possible before coming to decisions. Skeptics are suspicious of data that don't fit their world view and thus make decisions based on their gut feelings. Followers make decisions based on how other trusted executives, or they themselves, have made similar decisions in the past. And controllers focus on the facts and analytics of decisions because of their own fears and uncertainties.

But most business presentations aren't designed to acknowledge these different styles — to their detriment."
- Gary A. Williams and Robert B. Miller, "Change the Way You Persuade" Harvard Business Review

"Many people attempt to influence others without having done their homework. They don't understand the issues well enough to articulate their position. Many people feel that they will be able to influence based on their charm and good looks. Unfortunately, this rarely works. What works is intelligently explaining the issues and providing rationale for others to follow your position."
Jack H. Zenger & Joseph Folkman, The Extraordinary Leader: Turning Good Managers Into Great Leaders

"We often refuse to accept an idea merely because the tone of voice in which it has been expressed is unsympathetic to us."
- Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher

"Before you criticize people, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away. And you have their shoes."
- Author Unknown

"Persuasion is a process, not an event. Rarely, if ever, is it possible to arrive at a shared solution on the first try. More often than not, persuasion involves listening to people, testing a position, developing a new position that reflects input from the group, more testing, incorporating compromises, and then trying again. If this sounds like a slow and difficult process, that's because it is. But the results are worth the effort."
- Jay Conger, "The Necessary Art of Persuasion"

Complete Our Survey for a Chance to Win an Advance Copy of My Forthcoming Book

I published my first issue of The Leader Letter in April 2003. I said in that inaugural issue that it was going to be a try-monthly – we'd try to get it out each month. I am happy to say we didn't miss a single issue in the last four years!

Most months I've enjoyed writing The Leader Letter. There have been some very busy times when meeting a deadline was not real high on my fun list. The style, approach, content, length, and regular features of this monthly e-newsletter have evolved over time. Reader feedback by e-mail and through discussions at many workshops and speaking engagements have been helpful.

On this, our fourth anniversary, we've reached a crossroad. Last month I started a blog that will cross-connect with The Leader Letter. We have completely revamped our web site and our new Marketing Director, Aidan Crawford, is now busy revamping that revamp (visit regularly to see what we're up to). We've added dozens of video clips to the site. We've done a few podcasts and are looking at more along with videocasts.

And I am busy writing a completely different style of book that we'll be publishing later this year. This one has the working title (often not the final title) of Moose-on-the-Table: A Fable of Courageous Conversations in the Workplace. This book is my first work of fiction. It's a fable built around Pete Leonard, a struggling manager in an organization with a big moose problem (if you're not familiar with my use of this metaphor and approach, go to the October 2004 issue). I am having a blast writing it. I can't wait to get it into readers' hands for feedback on this new direction in my writing.

So we really need your help to shape the future of The Leader Letter. Please take five minutes to complete a short survey on how you've used The Leader Letter and what you'd like to see in it. Go to http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.asp?u=955363529869.

Everyone who completes a survey with their name and e-mail address will be entered in a draw to win one of twenty-five signed pre-publication copies of Moose-on-the-Table hot off the presses! So take the survey today and...Happy Hunting!

Special Leading @ the Speed of Change Presentation in Toronto

If you're in the Toronto area, going to be there in mid-May, or want a good excuse to visit, you may be interested in a presentation I'm doing for the Toronto Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS). It all starts with my most popular keynote presentation, Leading @ the Speed of Change.

This keynote relates to how strong leaders navigate toward high performing teams and organizations by balancing the discipline of systems, processes, and technical skills using seven Timeless Leadership Principles.

After a short break, I will continue with a forty-five - sixty minute overview of how my career has evolved within the industry and how we currently run The CLEMMER Group. This section is designed for current or aspiring professional speakers, trainers, and facilitators, but I'll be sure to add enough flavor to appeal to all those curious enough to stick around.

May 14 from 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Travelodge Hotel, 925 Dixon Rd. (near airport)
Eatonville Room

Google map

I will have copies of my books and other leadership resources available at steep discounts. For more details and to register, go to the Toronto CAPS website at http://www.canadianspeakers.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=232.

Favorite March Improvement Points

Improvement Points is a free service providing a key thought or quotation from one of my articles, provided three times per week, directly to your e-mail inbox. Each complimentary Improvement Point links directly into the full article on our web site that spawned it. If you'd like to read more about that day's Improvement Point, you can choose to click through to the short article for a quick five-minute read. This is your opportunity for a short pause that refreshes, is an inspirational vitamin, or a quick performance boost. You can circulate especially relevant or timely articles or Improvement Points to your team, Clients, or colleagues for further discussion or action.

Here are the top three most viewed articles in March:

"The root cause of poor or just mediocre customer service has to do with will. Most managers don't focus on their customers and internal/external partners because they're too busy managing. They've become Technomanagers focused first on technology and management systems."
- from Jim Clemmer's article, "A Customer Culture is Built on a Service Ethic"
Read the full article now!

"An effective leader is a "people person." Effective leaders connect, stay in contact with, and are highly visible to everyone on their team and in their organization. Leaders have developed the skills of supercharging logic, data, and analysis with emotion, pride, and the will to win."
- from Jim Clemmer's article, "Manage Things, Lead People"
Read the full article now!

"As the years slide by, a growing number of people don't really live, they merely exist — trapped in their lives of quiet desperation. Just getting by is as dangerous as resting in the snow on a frigid winter night; our passion and spirit dozes off and dies in our sleep."
- from Jim Clemmer's article, "Apathy and Cynicism Zap Our Spirit"
Read the full article now!

One-Day Leading @ the Speed of Change Workshop in Winnipeg

Leadership is clearly THE key to success. That's why it's such a popular topic. But despite all the talk about leadership and change, many "change fatigued" people are still struggling with just how to strengthen their personal effectiveness and leadership. Many supervisors, managers, and executives are confused by the multitude of leadership grids, charts, formulas, jargon, fads, charismatic stories, and buzzwords. Frontline staff often end up with a sense of "there they go again on another tangent." Or "they are doing it to us again."

The Manitoba Quality Network/QNET is bringing me to Winnipeg on April 11, 2007 for a rare one-day workshop. Please join me for a fast-paced, highly interactive and very inspirational and practical learning session with my most popular topic area: Leading @ the Speed of Change: How to Align People, Processes, and Personal Effectiveness for Continuous Success. Check out the session or download a PDF workshop brochure here.

This session is especially powerful when groups from the same organization participate in the workshop together.

As we'll discuss, there are no instant answers, quick and easy steps, or guaranteed approaches. What's more important than what's new in the leadership field, is applying what works. That's why I am constantly distilling my decades of research, thirty years of experience, and collection of best practices into easily understood, highly energizing, and practical applications. This Leading @ the Speed of Change workshop continues to be very popular because it inspires action and provides 'how to' steps that – when used as directed – can dramatically boost results.

Intensive Two-Day Leading @ the Speed of Change Public Workshop

For over twenty-five years I've made it my mission to help managers and management teams apply proven leadership principles and best practices in order to catapult them towards peak personal and professional performance.

I've taken that experience, along with the research from writing my five best-selling leadership and organization effectiveness books, and boiled everything down to a two-day intense workshop called Leading @ the Speed of Change.

Each day is packed with practical guidelines, powerful systems, and personal growth strategies for leaders on the grow. By the time we are finished participants have intimate knowledge of the tips, tools, and techniques of aligning people, processes, and personal effectiveness for continuous success.

While most of my work is internal to organizations, I'm holding a special two-day session in Kitchener (my hometown and centre of my universe) at the end of May – open to the public. This is the only public session in my schedule for this year, so I'd encourage everyone to join me in my hometown for an event that will inspire you and your colleagues to action, with practical 'how to' steps that dramatically boost personal, team, and organization results.

Register now!

Check out the session or download a PDF workshop brochure at http://www.clemmer.net/events/lsc.aspx. There are special discounts for bringing colleagues along so you can learn and apply these principles together.

Feedback and Follow-Up

"I am hungry for your brand of teaching on management and leadership. I will purchase a couple of your books for my colleagues and friends, so that they may benefit like me. What I particularly find valuable about your books and articles are the examples you use and quote from leading companies in the world. I work for the Vodafone group of companies in Africa and your web site has been invaluable to me in terms of realizing that we share practices with some of these Fortune 500 companies; this has definitely given my job more meaning and purpose."


Mike Kariuki, Nairobi, Kenya

I am always delighted to hear from readers of The Leader Letter with feedback, reflections, suggestions, or differing points of view. Nobody is ever identified in The Leader Letter without their permission.

I am also happy to explore customized, in-house adaptations of any of my material for your team or organization. Drop me an e-mail at Jim.Clemmer@Clemmer.net.

Keep learning, laughing, loving, and leading – living life just for the L of it!!


Please post or forward this newsletter to colleagues, Clients, or associates you think might be interestedor on a 'need-to-grow' basis. If you received this newsletter from someone else, and would like to subscribe, click here: www.clemmer.net/newsletter/leader_signup.aspx

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Phone: (519) 748-1044 ~ Fax: (519) 748-5813
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Copyright 2007 Jim Clemmer and The CLEMMER Group