Jim Clemmer's Leader Letter

SEPTEMBER 2009, Issue 78
Introductory Book Offer: Two Autographed Books for the Price of One!
Growing @ the Speed of Change Starts with Personal Growth
Today Everyone Must Be a Leader
Which Framing Level - Wallowing, Following, or Leading?
Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmm...on Choosing Our Perspective
Harnessing the Phenomenal Power of Self-Hypnosis with Affirmations
Blackberry Version of "The Leader Letter" Now Available
Looking for Resources and Success Stories on Knowledge Transfer
Two Hours in the Dentist Chair Was a Welcome Break!
Get It Hot Off My Computer as They are Posted
iTunes Audios
Most Popular August Improvement Points
Feedback and Follow-Up

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SEPTEMBER 2009, Issue 78

Growing Speed of Changes

Introducing baby number seven! We're proud to announce the latest addition to The CLEMMER Group's growing family of books - Growing @ the Speed of Change: Your Inspir-actional How-To Guide For Leading Yourself and Others through Constant Change.

"Salesy" Disclaimer (especially to new subscribers) - We try hard to focus The Leader Letter on bringing you high value inspiration, ideas, experiences, insights, tips, and techniques that are worth much more than you're paying for it! This month we're launching a significant new book. I am very excited about its potential to be a major help to the very sort of people who follow my work and subscribe to this newsletter. So this issue we're debuting the book with an introductory offer and giving you snippets of content to show you what it's all about. Next month we'll tone down the marketing messages and get back to our regular format.

I conceived and started developing Growing @ the Speed of Change a little over nine months ago with the working title of "Thriving in Turbulent Times." That title reflected my goal to provide both inspiration and practical techniques for staying "above the line" and moving forward during times of change and adversity at work and at home. I am extremely pleased with how the book turned out. Parents should never have favorites, but this is my best book yet. I've never before blended both inspiring why-to with concrete how-to approaches. That's why we're calling this book "inspir-actional."

Growing @ the Speed of Change extends, and more deeply, applies many of the principles I first pulled together in Growing the Distance: Timeless Principles for Personal, Career, and Family Success. This new title reflects the growing themes and metaphors found throughout the book. The title also reflects one of the biggest organizational issues of our time - successfully mastering change. That starts with changing personal perceptions and giving everyone the tools to act like a leader.

We've posted the Introduction ("Growing Forward") at http://www.jimclemmer.com/introduction. Read it for more about the background and focus of Growing @ the Speed of Change. You can also peruse the book's outline or Table of Contents at http://www.jimclemmer.com/contents.

This issue of The Leader Letter features other material from our newest addition. I hope it grows on you! But most of all, I hope it becomes your inspir-actional how-to guide for leading yourself and others through constant change.

Introductory Book Offer: Two Autographed Books for the Price of One!

As a subscriber to The Leader Letter you're the first to get details on Growing @ the Speed of Change.  You're also first in line to receive an autographed copy.  And if that's not enough, we're also sending along a second free copy for you to pass along to a colleague, friend, or family member. At the risk of sounding like a huckster, this is a limited time offer. Both my autographing arm and our marketing budget won't last long!

Go to http://www.jimclemmer.com/Growing for details and order information.

Growing @ the Speed of Change Starts with Personal Growth

Are you overwhelmed by continuous changes in leadership, direction, and priorities? Are you stressed out by constant reorganizing and restructuring? Are customers, other departments, or your boss demanding more of you than you know how to give? Are the pressures of life squeezing the joy from your day? 

You're not alone. You may even be suffering from change fatigue. It's not possible to predict where all this change is taking us. But one thing is certain - the pace of change is going to keep accelerating.  To thrive in turbulent times, we must learn to change perceptions and behaviors in order to change results.

We all make subtle choices that determine whether we wallow, follow, or lead. Change isn't going to stop. Either we ride the wave of change, or drown fighting the undercurrents.

I've tried to make Growing @ the Speed of Change both timely and timeless, providing concrete how-to solutions that combine inspiration with action plans - "inspir-action!"  My goal is to provide an entertaining, practical guide with powerful tools for personal growth and development so individuals and teams can deal with, and thrive in, a world of accelerating change.

Read and contemplate or flip through and browse. I've worked hard to provide easy to digest chapters, sidebars, and tips so you can come back again and again for practical inspiration and direction that will help you lead yourself and others through life's constant changes.

Today Everyone Must Be a Leader

The key theme throughout Growing @ the Speed of Change is "leadership is an action, not a position." When developed across an organization, leader behavior reverses the draining forces of change fatigue, de-motivation, and slipping morale. Growing @ the Speed of Change is written, and priced, for broad distribution to frontline, as well as supervisory, and management staff who need to accept change and adapt to the challenges and opportunities it brings.

Now more than ever we need leaders at all levels and in all roles. Growing @ the Speed of Change is a change tool for building organization-wide leadership behaviors and fostering a new appreciation for the opportunities of constant change. This is to:

  • Help staff at all levels deal with change, uncertainty, and turbulence
  • Provide practical approaches to improve morale, increase engagement, and boost energy
  • Foster personal growth and development within an "infotaining" and highly accessible book - written for people who often don't read this type of material
  • Increase shared leadership throughout your entire organization
  • Reinforce organizational values and culture with key messages and approaches that encourage positivity, team work and a "can-do" spirit
  • Strengthen buy-in and personal commitment to organizational change and improvement efforts
  • Supplement learning and development programs with an inspir-actional resource providing practical tips and techniques to capitalize on constant change.

When everyone in your organization accepts, expects, and acknowledges constant change, you'll see immediate benefits. If you are considering purchasing Growing @ the Speed of Change for your team or organization, visit http://www.growingatthespeedofchange.com/ to get more information, read reviews, and find out about special quantity pricing for broad distribution.

Which Framing Level - Wallowing, Following, or Leading?

We don't get to choose much of what happens to us in this life. And life certainly isn't fair. We do get to choose what we do about what happens to us. These are critical choices to our happiness, health, and success.

The WFL model is the central model of Growing @ the Speed of Change.
















Resists change

Watches change

Leads change




Makes excuses

Goes along

Gets results

Impossibility thinking

Probability thinking

Possibility thinking

Complaining about what happened

Watching it happen

Making it happen

Losing perspective

Looking for perspective

Shaping perspective

Whining and complaining

Watching and waiting

Promoting and supporting

Life is mostly sin and evil

Life is mostly tolerable

Life is mostly goodness and love

Energy vampire

Energy giver/taker

Energy source

We move between all columns - sometimes all in one day. Which column best describes where you spend most of your time? Who says so besides you? What would your family, friends, or co-workers say?

You can read all of this core chapter at www.jimclemmer.com/preview.

Thoughts That Make You Go Hmmmm...on Choosing Our Perspective

"In the final analysis it becomes clear that the sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision and not the result of camp influences alone. Fundamentally, therefore, any man can, even under such circumstances, decide what shall become of him - mentally and spiritually. He may retain his human dignity even in a concentration camp."
- Viktor Emil Frankl (1905 - 1997), Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor, Man's Search for Meaning

"Consider these statements: 'I have not done it' or, 'I don't think they should do it' or, 'I don't believe I could do it' or, 'I don't want to do it.' Each of these statements contains an element of personal responsibility that does not use what others have done as an excuse. Contrast those statements with: 'They shouldn't even try to participate in decisions' or, 'Nobody around here could ever do that' or, 'They would never let us get involved.' These statements assign responsibility for actions to some higher authority..."
- Geoffrey M. Bellman, Getting Things Done When You Are Not in Charge

"People with an external locus of control see the world as controlling them; they are subject to the forces of other people, chance, or of 'fate.' Obviously, both conditions exist at the same time; I determine if I will brush my teeth this morning or not, but I also recognize that there is precious little I can do about the Chinese government's one-child policy or the weather. But the proportion of things which individuals put in each category can vary quite dramatically, and this factor has been shown to be related to a number of different aspects of health and stress."
- Daniel Moerman, Meaning, Medicine and the 'Placebo Effect'

"God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference. Amen." - Author Unknown

Harnessing the Phenomenal Power of Self-Hypnosis with Affirmations

Growing @ the Speed of Change is filled with many ways we can live, lead, and grow above the line. Here's a short section introducing the how-to chapter entitled "Rewire Your Brain with Affirmations, Reframing, and Gratitude."

Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius once observed, "Our life is what our thoughts make it." If our thoughts are constantly below the line, we'll not only live in Pity City, we'll start to run the place. What we repeatedly think or tell ourselves become powerful instructions that reach deep into our subconscious. In essence, we hypnotize ourselves. No, we may not jump on stage and do the chicken dance when we hear a trigger word, but we will perform ridiculous acts of mindlessness thanks to self-conditioning.

An affirmation is a statement, belief, or thought that we repeat over and over again. It becomes a powerful mantra that changes our brain patterns, sets our explanatory filters, and programs our subconscious. Affirmations direct our behaviors and habits. They also power our magnetic energy fields to attract the corresponding people, events or circumstances to us. When the positive or negative outcome occurs, we can say, "I knew it! That's exactly what I expected to happen."

Negative Affirmation

Positive Affirmation

  • I am so stupid.
  • I am getting better.
  • I never do this right.
  • I am mastering this skill.
  • I am trying to lose weight.
  • I am healthy and fit.
  • Life's a bitch and then you die.
  • I am grateful for what I have.
  • I am always tired or sick.
  • I radiate energy and health.

How have you used the incredibly powerful and self-hypnotic force of affirmations to build your optimism, change habits, or other avenues of personal growth? Please post your comments, reflections, and experiences at http://www.jimclemmer.com/blog/?p=846.

Blackberry Version of The Leader Letter Now Available

Shortly after the August Leader Letter was sent, I received a note from a reader recommending that I create "Blackberry Edition."

As you know, I'm on the road quite a bit with workshop, retreat and keynote Clients and I'm constantly using my Blackberry to read e-mails. So this month we are launching a Smart Phone Edition of The Leader Letter. So whether you are using a Blackberry, iPhone or some other portable device, you can now get a stripped down version that's easy to browse on-the-go.

To register for the new Smart Phone Edition, click here and enter your e-mail.

You'll continue to receive the regular subscription. But you'll now have something you can take with you, wherever you go!

Looking for Resources and Success Stories on Knowledge Transfer

Last month Tom Egan, Human Resource Services, Service Alberta sent me this e-mail:

"Do you have articles on Knowledge Transfer in the public (preferably) or private sector? I am finding out there is a lot on knowledge management but not quite as much for knowledge transfer.  What works and what does not. I am looking for things that work well, in particular, developing trust when first starting out.  Perhaps some success stories."

I do have a series of articles on Innovation and Organizational Learning at http://www.jimclemmer.com/innovation-and-organizational-learning.php. As you scroll through them, you'll see Innovation Needs a Culture of Trust and Openness.

These didn't quite meet his needs. So please help Tom out. Please post your suggested articles, books, web resources, or success stories at http://www.jimclemmer.com/blog/?p=849 for Tom - and other readers.

Two Hours in The Dentist Chair Was a Welcome Break!

I love working with concepts, the big picture, strategy, and ideas. I've also come to really enjoy conceiving, researching, and writing books. The minutia of proofing, editing, checking, and rechecking isn't my thing. I have great admiration - and lots of thanks - for professional proof readers like Carol Ring. Last month she put her incredible eye for detail to the page proofs for Growing @ the Speed of Change. And she found a few dozen little inconsistencies, typos (my big picture eye fills in what I wanted to say so I don't see many errors), and minor changes from manuscript to page layouts. That required me going back through and checking everything she found.

Then came the Endnotes...(I am hearing the thumping, dramatic, music from Jaws here). A bit of background; my favorite kind of book to read and to write combines lots of strong research with an engaging and conversational writing style. Other than Moose on the Table: A Novel Approach to Communications @ Work (my only work of "edutaining" fiction), that's been the approach of my six previous books. Growing @ the Speed of Changehas over 150 footnotes. Especially since this book is aimed at frontline staff and supervisors, I know that 95% of its readers won't look up even one Endnote. And that's just fine with me. But I do want those core readers to be assured that I am not just spouting fluffy theories and pie-in-the-sky concepts. And since my books are used in high schools, colleges, universities, and cited in other books and articles, I want all my sources to be easily found.

Well...the Endnotes I created were incomplete and filled with typos and inconsistencies that I glossed over in the intensity of my writing last winter. And some were moved around in the page layout process so the numbering was mangled. We also needed to change formats for some Endnotes that a few publications specified when we got permission to use their material. Fortunately, Betty and Cara from our office came through on short notice to help me. The morning of their intense effort I was in the dentist chair in the same building as our office (our dentist is also our landlord). When I came back to the office, they agreed that I'd been having more fun!

All is now fixed (including my tooth). Now I am back to (chewing on) much more fun 'big picture' work!

Get It Hot Off My Computer As They Are Posted

Most of the items in each month's issue of The Leader Letter were first published in my blog the previous month. You can wait to read it all together each month in The Leader Letter or you can read each item as a blog post and have them sent directly to you hot off my computer by signing up at http://www.jimclemmer.com/blog/. Just enter your e-mail address in the upper left corner box under "Sign up for E-mail Blog Notification."

iTunes Audios

Over the years I've released audios for sale through our online store. At first they were available as CDs, then as downloads. But last month we released both Leading in Turbulent Times and Moose on the Table through iTunes.

Here are the links to purchase these two audios. If you already have them, and would like to leave a review, please do so. Send me a note when you do and I'll be sure to send you a complimentary download of my new audio Growing @ the Speed of Change when it's released later this fall!

Click here to view Moose on the Table in iTunes store.

Click here to view Leading in Turbulent Times in the iTunes store.

Most Popular August Improvement Points

Improvement Points is a no-charge service to bring timely and inspirational quotes from my articles to subscribers three times a week. Built around our new topic index, Improvement Points are crafted to help you become a better leader of yourself, your team and your organization. Each Improvement Point links directly to a full article on our web site. If you'd like to read more about the point being made in that day's Improvement Point, you simply click on the "Read the full article now" link below each IP. Many subscribers circulate especially relevant Improvement Points articles to their team, Clients, or colleagues for further discussion or action.

Here are the three most popular Improvement Points we sent out in August:

"One reality we can choose is to transform tough changes into positive results. Another possible reality is to wait for somebody else to take action or tell us how we should feel. Or our reality can be anger, bitterness, and helplessness. To choose our response is to choose our reality."
- from Jim Clemmer's article, "Navigating Change and Adversity"
Read the full article now!

"Change is a fact of life. Now, more than ever, organizations need the bonding glue of a strong culture to hold everything and everyone together."
- from Jim Clemmer's article, "More Change Demands More Leadership"
Read the full article now!

"Choices like whether to raise that food, cigarette, or drink to our lips. Whether to do the job ourselves or take the extra time today to help a team member develop the skills so they can do the job tomorrow. Or choosing to invest a few minutes in planning our day while focusing on the bigger context of vision, values and purpose. Each choice of and by itself is as insignificant and weak as a single strand of thread. But weave enough of these daily choices together and we've got a cable of habit that can lift us up or pull us down."
- from Jim Clemmer's article, "Personal Improvement Planning and Discipline"
Read the full article now!

Feedback and Follow-Up

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!!



10 Pioneer Drive, Suite 105,
Kitchener, ON N2P 2A4
Phone: (519) 748-1044
Fax: (519) 748-5813
E-mail: service@clemmer.net

Please post or forward this newsletter to colleagues, Clients, or associates you think might be interested - or on a 'need-to-grow' basis. If you received this newsletter from someone else, and would like to subscribe, click on the link below: www.jimclemmer.com/newsletter

10 Pioneer Drive, Suite 105, Kitchener  ON  N2P 2A4
Phone: (519) 748-1044 ~ Fax: (519) 748-5813
E-mail: service@clemmer.net

Copyright 2009 Jim Clemmer and The CLEMMER Group