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Showing that you care

  You know the saying: "They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care". If you're a manager, you should take heed of this. A
Don Dea's insight:

Many managers get so caught up in the day to day work of keeping themselves and others on task and working toward achieving the bottom line that they forget about the people who are making it all happen. A leader creates, sustains and repairs relationships. They care about the people who are getting the work done. What have you done lately to show your leadership? How are you demonstrating to your employees that you care about them? - See more at: http://www.aspire-cs.com/showing-that-you-care#sthash.2hoPB4i0.dpuf

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digitalNow
Exploring leadership, management, innovation, and technology issues and trends; impacting associations & non-profit organizations in the digital age.
Curated by Don Dea
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How prevalent is scope creep in your organization?

– Not at all. We manage scope very tightly and effectively: 4.27%
– A little. We occasionally face scope creep but it’s not too bad: 20.22%
– Moderate. We get scope right about half the time: 28.54%
– A lot. More often than not we increase scope: 32.51%
– Rampant. Scope has little meaning or rigor for us: 14.16%
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Why there's No Right Way to Do Things Like Strategy

As afraid as I am of putting an imperfect program on the open market for ridicule, I’m more afraid of waiting for everything to be perfect and never getting anywhere. John Maxwell has a great book called Failing Forward where he explains how to actually turn our mistakes into stepping stones for success. Great advice for any of us perfectionist leaders. Plan. Do. Review. Repeat.

They say the enemy of good is great. Sometimes good enough really is good enough to get you started. Do you have a project or a program that you’ve been putting off getting out there because it’s not “ready” yet? Drop me a comment by email or Twitter, I’d love to hear more about where you’re getting stuck.
Don Dea's insight:

In project planning conversations with my colleagues I’m always the one to ask “do we have enough data to support that course of action” to which they always reply “you’re over thinking this. Let’s try it and adjust from there.” After a few deep breaths I try to remind myself that until we run our idea in Beta mode, we’ll never get the feedback we need to make improvements on our concept.

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How You Can Improve Your Health and Lead a Balanced Life

It has meant not being lazy and going through the drive thru.  It means buying different food at the grocery.  Or looking at the labels on the food packaging and realizing how much crap is in there.  Heck, I’ve so altered my mindset around diet I actually thought to myself the other day “Geez.  I’m really pigging out today bigtime.  This is my fourth yogurt this evening.”  I’m not kidding.  That thought honestly went through my mind.  Who is this guy?
Don Dea's insight:

It has meant popping a couple of pills a day.  Three of those pills are blood thinners or beta blockers to make sure my stents take.  I should be off those soon.  The other is a statin.  It helps with cholesterol.  A lot.

It has meant building some down time into my calendar.  It has meant getting to bed on time – which is still 1130 for me and still up at 530 but I actually sleep well now likely because I’m tired from working out.  See how that works?

It has meant looking at the stressors in my life and making a deliberate decision to not let them send me over the edge.  It has meant remaining calm and putting things in perspective and focusing on the positive rather than the negative.

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As a leader, how much of a project’s success can you influence?

As a leader, how much of a project’s success can you influence? This poll explores that question and shares an analysis of our readers' replies.
Don Dea's insight:


– I can affect every aspect of a project, and I’m a big factor in its success or failure: 17.28%

– I can affect many aspects of a project’s success, but some are out of my control: 62.3%

– I can affect some aspects of a project’s success, but many are out of my control: 16.58%

– I can’t affect most aspects of a project’s success or failure: 3.84%

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5 Rules for Becoming an Intellectual Maverick

5 Rules for Becoming an Intellectual Maverick | digitalNow | Scoop.it
No matter how well our lives may be going, many of us seem to be at our wit’s end when it comes to attaining that next level of success, but there is a solution to this challenge, says world-travel...
Don Dea's insight:
  • Think with sophistication. This is your capacity to become more strategic in your approach to life. This simply means that you need to become more process-oriented, rather than goal-oriented. Intelligence is knowing what’s required of you. Sophisticated thinking is the process of making successful decisions over a lifetime.
  • Exceed probability amplitudes. Achieving success in any arena of your life is framed within your ability to eliminate innate weaknesses and biases. History tells us that not all greats have off-the-chart IQs, nor are they born with limitless freedom. In fact, it’s the triumph over less-than-favorable circumstances and a determination to achieve that often builds the character necessary for success. Great individuals set out to achieve outstanding results, and make their decisions within intellectual criteria. All the greats have engaged a higher impulse, a higher bandwidth, and an inherent strength.
  • Smile with radiance. Life is beauty in every direction, but we are often unable to see it if we are too consumed with our lives. The simple truth is that you can touch more of the beauty of life only by touching your own beauty. If you look through the lens of love, gratitude and contribution, then you will be able to see and touch more of the infinite beauty that makes life on Earth a heaven. Learn to smile like sunshine every day and brighten up your world.
  • Get lucky. “I would love to tell you that your destiny is written in the stars, but it is actually written within the confines of your interpretation of life,” Pencilliah says. “Luck has more to do with self-engagement than any random twist of fate. Be bold and champion your life to exceed the probability amplitude of any statistic of luck.”
    We are all endowed with the ability to achieve success in any facet of our lives; success is framed within the definition of the analytical tools and emotional disciplines necessary to champion your life forward, he says.
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What Would You Choose: Money or More Flexibility?

What Would You Choose: Money or More Flexibility? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
A recent Meetville.com survey found that most people would prefer more flexibility and free time over money.
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5 Questions That Will Help You Be a Better Leader

5 Questions That Will Help You Be a Better Leader | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Consider these questions to uncover some assumptions that might be interfering with your ability to act on your good intentions to be a better leader.
Don Dea's insight:

Do you think you’re an effective leader? Feedback is one good way to find out, especially through “360 feedback.”

But there’s another, equally powerful way. Take a serious look at your beliefs – your “assumed truths” about yourself, others and how the world works.

Your beliefs dictate your behavior. And unexamined beliefs are like icebergs. Unseen below the surface, they can undermine your good intentions without your awareness.

Instead of believing everything you think, think about what you really believe.

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Bold prediction: Digital passes TV in 2016

Bold prediction: Digital passes TV in 2016 | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:

Spending on digital advertising is going to overtake television, and it’s going to happen sooner than expected.

In 2016, online will pass TV for the first time, and the gap between them will get bigger and bigger until, in 2019, the web will account for 36 percent of all ad spending and TV will account for only 30 percent.

That’s according to a new report from Forrester Research, which projects an annual 12 percent growth rate for digital, sparked by mobile, a greater understanding of the medium by advertisers, and an increasing amount of time spent online.

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Word of mouth is worth $6 trillion in spending

Word of mouth is a valuable piece of the advertising puzzle.

A recent study by (admittedly biased) Word of Mouth Marketing Association found that online and offline word-of-mouth recommendations account for 13 percent of consumer sales, which works out to a total of $6 trillion in spending annually.

For higher-priced categories word of mouth is an even larger factor, accounting for nearly 20 percent of sales.

While social media no doubt plays a role, traditional face-to-face word of mouth produces about two-thirds of WOM’s measured business impact, compared to just one-third for online WOM.

The study also estimates word of mouth amplifies the effect of paid media by 15 percent on average, and that its impact happens closer to the time of purchase than traditional media, usually within two weeks.
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Cultivating Practical Optimism: A Key to Getting the Best from Your Brain

Cultivating Practical Optimism: A Key to Getting the Best from Your Brain | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Increase the likelihood of successful results in your students by cultivating an attitude about life that relies on taking realistic, positive action.
Don Dea's insight:

Many teachers realize that as students become more optimistic, they are motivated to progress through learning difficulties and to attain higher levels of achievement. More optimistic students also have greater resistance to depression and the negative effects of stress. Over the years, we have taught many educators a toolbox of implementation strategies to increase practical optimism and other keys to learning in the classroom.

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How To Be A Subtle Ninja

How To Be A Subtle Ninja | digitalNow | Scoop.it
There's a subtle difference between: Reacting and responding. Blaming and holding someone accountable. Delegating and passing the buck. Failure and learning from our mistakes. Subtlety is the quali...
Don Dea's insight:

Subtlety is the quality of being understated, delicate, or nuanced. These are words not often associated with leadership – but when it comes to leading people, subtlety can make all the difference. 

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Open Educational Resources (OER)

Open Educational Resources (OER) | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Explore this educator's guide to open educational resources (OER) for information about online repositories, curriculum-sharing websites, sources for lesson plans and activities, and open alternatives to textbooks.
Don Dea's insight:
Sharing Resources

The nonprofit Creative Commons offers free, easy-to-use copyright licenses that allow you to specify which rights to your works you want to reserve and which rights you'd like to waive. Read more at "About Creative Commons" and "About the Licenses." If you are a state or school leader, you might want to check out "Open Educational Resources and Collaborative Content Development: A Practical Guide for State and School Leaders," a downloadable report from the International Association for K-12 Online Learning.

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10 print magazines you didn’t know existed

10 print magazines you didn’t know existed | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Apparently there are niche magazines for just about every profession, interest and hobby known to man.
Don Dea's insight:

You've heard of EsquireMarie Claire and Vogue, magazines with thousands of readers and subscribers.

But you may not know that there are smaller publications out there that are also sustaining themselves.

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When the Biggest Problem is the People

When the Biggest Problem is the People | digitalNow | Scoop.it
A day in a dysfunctional office can feature more drama than a soap opera: coworker conflict, gum-flapping gossips, turf wars that are entrenched in the culture and demanding divas of either gender,...
Don Dea's insight:

Do you:

  • Consider job candidates’ attitudes and fit with your organization’s culture? It’s easier to train an employee to develop the necessary skills than to change someone’s attitude.
  • Involve yourself in employee battles when you should—and only when you need to? If you keep solving problems, employees will keep bringing them to you.
  • Act as a coach, instead of a referee? When you show employees how to get along, everyone will have more time to focus on the work.
  • Apply consistent standards for behavior across the board, no matter how much a “star” employee contributes to sales or other areas? Drama kings and queens can cost you more than they are worth, with the distractions, resentment and turnover they cause.
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Can Digital ‘Badges’ and ‘Nanodegrees’ Protect Job Seekers From a First-Round Knockout?

Can Digital ‘Badges’ and ‘Nanodegrees’ Protect Job Seekers From a First-Round Knockout? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Or will impatient recruiters and résumé-reading robots threaten the value of alternative credentials?
Don Dea's insight:

Critics have argued that a college degree does not say much about a candidate’s abilities apart from the ability to get into, and graduate from, a particular college. Employers themselves complain that a college degree doesn’t predict whether a graduate will make a good employee. Purveyors of alternative credentials have rushed to fill the gap, designing "badges"and "nanodegrees" that are more specific about what skills applicants actually possess.

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How much of your team's work is a waste of time?

How much of your team's work is a waste of time? This poll explores that question and shares an analysis of our readers' replies.
Don Dea's insight:


– Less than 5%: 15.5%
– 6% to 15%: 33.04%
– 16% to 25%: 31.14%
– 26% or more: 20.32%

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Why You Should Build a Culture of Purpose

Cultures of purpose don’t fall from the sky; they don’t spring from happy accidents or baffling evolutions. Whether they are borne of a rich history or what you happen to see in your rear-view mirror, such cultures are ultimately built, over time and with concrete building blocks. And sustainability provides the most reliable blueprint for assembling these building blocks into a culture of purpose.

Here are some questions to explore as you look to build your own culture of purpose:

– What is the purpose of my organization? Is it both clear and aligned with my own sense of purpose?

– Am I working in a culture of purpose? If not, what would make it one?

– How did the best ideas in my organization develop? Are there mechanisms that reward risk taking and failure?

– What criteria do I use to generate ideas? To assess the ideas of others?
Don Dea's insight:

There is a symbiosis between top talent and cultures of purpose: more than ever, the smartest and most creative and passionate minds are drawn to places that reflect their values.

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Do businesses take alternative credentials seriously yet?

Do businesses take alternative credentials seriously yet? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Advocates of nanodegrees and other alternative credentials in higher ed are having a tough time gaining traction with resume sorters at big companies.
Don Dea's insight:
  • Hiring managers spend an average of six seconds sizing up a resume, and it’s not clear if human resources “robot” resume sorters are noticing the alternative credentials of prospective employees, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports.
  • Alternative credentials may work best for job candidates in a small pool of candidates — in part because faking a claimed skill on a resume is a lot easier, and easier to doubt, than a badge from an institution.
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The Importance of Continuously Learning from Others

You must continuously and actively learn from others if you want your career to flourish. James Rosseau covers some of the keys to listening and learning.
Don Dea's insight:

Value of people: Each and every person I come in contact with, whether I choose to engage with them or not, have a vault of experiences and knowledge. It is up to me to connect and have a knowledge exchange or not.

Diverse content: We often want to learn “what to do” or “how to do it,” but equally important are the lessons learned from failure. Here, look at what you learned from the failure. Why is the poor leader we see at our workplace not getting folks to follow?

Adoption of learning methods: Formal education and the praise and recognition that follow are wonderful. However, practical “knowledge or wisdom exchanges,” reading and getting mentored can also pay huge dividends. Ask the leaders you admire lots of questions. What do they read? How do they prepare for and start their day? How do they end their day? What practices do they follow to stay on task?

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The “V Word”

  Vulnerable: Emotionally open to attack, harm, or damage. Merriam-Webster.com.   We were young and old, male and female, leaders and
Don Dea's insight:

Yes, the best leaders are all of those things when times call for it. At the same time, none of those things work or matter if they don’t stand on a strong foundation of healthy relationships. And healthy relationships begin with opening yourself up – in other words, being vulnerable to those primal things you don’t want to feel. - See more at: http://www.aspire-cs.com/the-v-word#sthash.myEyxi39.dpuf

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Does it Matter if They Like You?

Conventional managerial wisdom says, "It doesn't matter if they like you, as long as they respect you." I can also hear the echo of countless bosses and mentors over the years, "You're not here to ...
Don Dea's insight:
How to Foster Professional Likeability

1. Don’t be a jerk, even if you’re competent.

2. Make a point to get to know the human beings you work with.  It’s easier to like someone you know.

3. Listen more, talk less.

4. Create opportunities for your team to connect and learn more about one another.

5. Capitalize on your likeable team members. Have them help bridge and build relationships for those competent players with a more jerky edge.

6. Lower your jerky tolerance threshold. Resist the urge to let your competent players get away with bad behaviors.

- See more at: http://letsgrowleaders.com/learning-development/does-it-matter-if-they-like-you/#sthash.n6bEAuWc.dpuf

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The "Engagement Ring"

The "Engagement Ring" | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Engagement unlocks discretionary effort which leads to innumerable results. Once you get an employee into the engagement ring, it perpetuates itself!
Don Dea's insight:

As leaders, one of the most strategic investments of time and energy may be in taking the actions required to get employees in the engagement ring… because once they get in, they’ll become part of this cycle that can nourish and sustain itself while delivering unbeatable business results.

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Wanna reach Millennials?

five strategic principles for reaching Millennials:

Be native, not deceptive
Be an individual and ready to evolve
Deliver on emotion (know humor rules)
Reserve judgment
Act like the locals
Don Dea's insight:

The second list is six successful content tactics:

  • Set the mood
  • Help them escape
  • Fuel creativity and play
  • Spotlight pop culture
  • Help them succeed
  • Help them discover

“Because of their consumption patterns and willingness to share content regardless of its origins, content marketing is an especially effective way to reach Millennials, but it has to be done right,” 

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Why Millennials are the way they are

Don Dea's insight:

Millennials differ markedly from previous generations in the path to purchase. Instead of the linear trajectory of Boomers and Gen Xers, Millennials take a multi-faceted approach – incorporating online research, offline conversations, comparisons, and browsing – before making a spend.

It represents a very different decision-making process than we’ve seen from other demographics.

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5 Things Managers Should Never Say Aloud

5 Things Managers Should Never Say Aloud | digitalNow | Scoop.it
These are things that may seem like normal office chatter — but over time, can undermine your authority and effectiveness as a leader
Don Dea's insight:
"My Boss Has No Idea What She's Doing"

Just like your employees may occasionally get frustrated with you, there are probably times when you get frustrated with your boss. And since you mainly interact with your direct reports, it becomes easy to commiserate with them about your shared disdain for the higher-ups.

All of a sudden, passing an assignment from your boss to your team becomes, "I don't know why she wants you to do this, but here's what she wants," and announcing a confusing new team policy turns into, "I have no idea why she thinks this is a good idea, but here's the latest rule she dreamt up."

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