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Leadership Is Not a Solitary Task

Most real change is community-driven and community-focused.
Don Dea's insight:

Finally, the most inspiring leadership is that done for community. There are certainly moments when we do things purely for ourselves, and that’s not all bad. A distance runner racing to win a marathon is no less admirable if she is racing only to test her own boundaries and achieve an individual victory. But few will follow a leader who is focused solely on his own goals, and many of the most inspiring leadership victories are those done in service of a community.

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Don Cloud's curator insight, February 10, 2014 8:37 PM

When it comes to leadership, it's never about the leader ... but rather, how the leader brings the organization together and mobilizes it towards a greater purpose.  Great leaders are defined by the great organizations they build and the accomplishments of those organizations.

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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Stop Apologizing for Wanting Work/Life Balance

Stop Apologizing for Wanting Work/Life Balance | digitalNow | Scoop.it
What if we treated our career like a client project? The story of one artist's quest to design the life that was right for her.
Don Dea's insight:

My fear was that I’d inadvertently trick myself into working these crazy stretches, forgetting about the payoff.

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3 Hidden Features of Google Analytics

3 Hidden Features of Google Analytics | digitalNow | Scoop.it
3 amazing Google Analytics features your small business should be using!
Don Dea's insight:
  1. The Term Cloud

Google Analytics has introduced a new tool called the Term Cloud, and it can dramatically reduce the amount of time you spend on keyword analysis. While it’s worth looking into the finer points of data once in awhile, Term Clouds can let you quickly view the results of paid and organic keywords in either a percentage or table format.

  1. In-Page Analytics

If you love visuals, then you’ll love the In-Page Analytics feature of Google Analytics, which many users tend to overlook. This tool is essential if you’re interested in finding out whether your website layout is helping you reach your goal, whether it’s to drive sales or raise awareness of your company. You can use In-Page Analytics to determine how people are navigating your site. The feature shows the percentage of clicks that certain areas of your website are receiving.

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Digital Marketers Must Own the Customer Lifecycle

Digital Marketers Must Own the Customer Lifecycle | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Marketers have traditionally been focused on the front-end of the customer relationship -- things like brand awareness and lead generation. But in today’s digital world, marketers can't simply hand over that relationship to the sales department.
Don Dea's insight:

But today, marketers are the tip of the spear when it comes to nearly every customer interaction. That's because interactions happen digitally, and marketers are the owners of the digital relationship. Marketers can't simply hand over the digital relationship; they must guide the customer throughout the entire lifecycle.

Of course, this is uncharted waters for marketers.

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The 4 Golden Rules of SEO for 2015

Don Dea's insight:

1. The Importance of Long-form Content

Google has consistently told marketers attempting to rank more highly on its search engine that content quality is much more of an important factor than how much content is posted or how fast. Long-form content usually provides more value for readers, which means Google is more likely to rank it higher in search results.

2. Mobile Continues to Grow

The rate of use of mobile devices has grown tremendously over the past few years. It’s now estimated that 9 out of every 10 American adults has a cellphone, and nearly 6 out of every 10 has a smartphone. This trend is not lost on Google and other search engines. They know that more and more people are now browsing to websites on mobile devices, which means they need to have an experience that can be loaded clearly on these devices. This year, mobile optimization will be one of the SEO rules that is more important than ever.

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Customers Want to Talk to You, So Why Aren't You Listening?

Customers Want to Talk to You, So Why Aren't You Listening? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:

Some "90% of customers are increasingly frustrated with the level of service they experience, especially as it relates to long hold times," according to an Ifbyphone infographic.

Even worse, those frustrated customers are rushing to competitors for comfort: "89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience," Ifbyphone claims.

So, what do those callers expect?

"Live assistance has the highest satisfaction rate, with 69% of customers saying that their questions are fully addressed over the phone," states Ifbyphone.



Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2015/27123/customers-want-to-talk-to-you-so-why-arent-you-listening-infographic#ixzz3SpVm4u62

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Hire the Best Executive Coach for Free

Here are five steps to get the best 24/7 free executive coaching on earth. Access your Wise Self.
Don Dea's insight:

Five Steps to Access Your Wise Self

1) Feel the impact of a great decision.  Take a few deep breaths. Think about a situation where you made a really good decision. This is a decision you’re proud of.  Bring that memory to mind. Savor and sense the feelings and positive outcomes from that decision.  As my clients return to this memory there is a feeling of strength, peace, confidence, and relaxation they connect to.

2) Find your Wise Self in the body.  Our Wise Self resides in our bodies. For some they call it their intuition. Others make up a fun name for it. For some it is in their guts, for others it is in their hearts, and others just find it in a certain relaxed posture. It doesn’t matter where it is. The idea is to have a touchstone that is always accessible 24/7. Touch that place. Feel the experience of being in that space. What does this feel like? We are accessing our intuition here, so just trust it.

3) Bring a challenging situation to mind.  What is a current challenge you’re faced with? What has you stuck? Get clear about the questions you have in this situation.  One of my favorite Einstein quotes is “You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created”. If your problem comes from the saboteur perspective you’re in, you’ll need to step out of that perspective to solve the problem.

4) Access your Wise Self.  Close your eyes and connect with the place in your body or posture where you found your Wise Self. Return to the feeling of confidence and peaceful knowing.  Ask your Wise Self the questions you have and note the answers. When we access our Wise Self, the answers sometimes come in words, sometimes in pictures, and sometimes a feeling or sense of knowing.  Doubting that your Wise Self actually exists? Einstein, notably one of the greatest scientists in history, also said “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”  The answers from our Wise Self are simple, supportive, sometimes just common sense.  Take some time to journal what you’ve learned and make a commitment to yourself to take the first step in that direction.

5) Practice, Practice, Practice –  Access to our wiser self is like a muscle. The more we use the muscle the stronger it becomes. Think about it as a limitless, free, 24/7 all-you-can eat buffet (except it’s calorie free and gives you no indigestion).

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Making It to the Top: Nine Attributes That Differentiate CEOs

Making It to the Top: Nine Attributes That Differentiate CEOs | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:

The nine attributes differentiating CEOs fall into three categories:

  • Forward Thinking—the ability to plan for the future
  • Intrepid—the ability to perform effectively in complex and difficult environments
  • Team Building—the ability to achieve success through others
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Artificial Intelligence May Save Us From New Breed of Cyber Threats

Artificial Intelligence May Save Us From New Breed of Cyber Threats | digitalNow | Scoop.it
The only way to defeat a new set of undetectable tools that the Equation Group is using is though massive computer behavioral analysis, writes Rob Enderle. If we don’t go on the offensive, cyber threats could evolve into just what Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Steven Hawking are worried about -- hostile AI with the power to destroy computers or turn them against us.
Don Dea's insight:

Right now, we are clearly in a cyber-arms race, and what is most frightening is that far more development is going into offensive than defensive tools. If that doesn’t change, we are likely going to have some future problems that make what we’ve seen so far seem like a walk in the park. Put a final way: While I’m not quite ready to replace Hawkins, Gates, and Musk’s view with Erick Horvitz’s far friendlier outcome, I do think if we don’t start working hard to ensure Horvitz’s vision, then the world we don’t want becomes unavoidable. Something to noodle on this weekend.

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B2B Content on Social Media: Top Networks and Tactics

B2B Content on Social Media: Top Networks and Tactics | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Content - Some 38% of B2B technology buyers say they have not seen any content from vendors on social networks in the past six months that influenced a business purchase, according to ...
Don Dea's insight:

Just over one-third (34%) of respondents say they have seen vendor content on Facebook in the past six months that assisted with a purchase, making it the most influential social network with B2B tech buyers.

LinkedIn is the second-most influential network (32% have seen useful content), followed by Google+ (28%), YouTube (27%), and Twitter (20%).



Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/charts/2015/27121/b2b-content-on-social-media-top-networks-and-tactics#ixzz3SpWkbDAE

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To Lead with Emotional Intelligence, Pick a Daily Practice

Don Dea's insight:

Who we are as leaders is the sum total of our leadership habits. Habits are nothing other than actions that over time due to repetition become unconscious and ingrained in us.  If we want to be more calm, centered, and wise leaders of ourselves, our workplaces and our family, it requires a different habit. Habits are formed through practice.

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5 Content Metrics Every Marketer Needs to Analyze

To understand how well your content marketing strategy is performing from an objective perspective, you need to analyze these five metrics.
Don Dea's insight:

To understand how well your content marketing strategy is performing from an objective perspective, you need to analyze these five metrics:

  1. Social: The number of social shares your content receives gives you an idea of how valuable it is to your audience. If they share it with their networks, then they found something truly useful that advances the conversation.
  2. Traffic: An effective content strategy helps boost traffic over time. Tracking unique visitors per day, week, and month for each post gives marketers a baseline for success and month-over-month growth.
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How to Get Leaders to Buy in to Continuous Improvement

How to Get Leaders to Buy in to Continuous Improvement | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Understanding what motivates executives will help improvement leaders steer them toward doing what is right for the company.
Don Dea's insight:

“No, you don’t understand,” he said. “I need to know what the exercise is and you need to tell me how to solve any problems you present.”

That is when it dawned on me that most company leaders won’t support something they don’t understand, and they probably will not ask for help since it would make them look weak in front of their peers.

The same key learning applies to lean and Six Sigma initiatives. If an improvement team reports their ‘wins’ to a group of company leaders who are not familiar with the tools, terms and methodologies, they probably will get a tepid response and then feel that the executives are not supporting their efforts.

Lack of understanding is just one of many hurdles that must be overcome in order for an improvement initiative to be supported by upper management.

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Why Google wants to replace Gmail

Why Google wants to replace Gmail | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Gmail represents a dying class of products that, like Google Reader, puts control in the hands of users, not signal-harvesting algorithms.
Don Dea's insight:

The reason is that Google is in the algorithm business, using user-activity "signals" to customize and personalize the online experience and the ads that are served up as a result of those signals.

Google exists to mediate the unmediated. That's what it does.

That's what the company's search tool does: It mediates our relationship with the Internet.

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Software-Driven Businesses Need New App Strategies

Software-Driven Businesses Need New App Strategies | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Transforming into a software-driven business is not easy, as many companies are trying to compete with applications that are better suited to the last century.
Don Dea's insight:

The pace of technological change is fundamentally disrupting the way we live and work, pushing companies to rethink and reinvent the way they do business through software. In every industry, companies use software to establish new competitive frontiers, expand into new markets, create seamless customer experiences and generate new sources of revenue. - See more at: http://www.baselinemag.com/enterprise-apps/software-driven-businesses-need-new-app-strategies.html#sthash.XW7U3lqA.dpuf

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Why Having an MBA or Advanced Degree Does Not Matter

People get hung up on having an advanced degree like an MBA. The thing is, your performance is much more important than a piece of paper on the wall.
Don Dea's insight:

 learned a lot from that experience. The most important lesson for me was that it doesn’t matter what pieces of paper are on a person’s wall. The letters following their name mean they attended classes and seminars somewhere. And sure, that took a lot of effort to earn those pieces of paper and letters. The really important thing is WHAT HAVE THEY DONE WITH WHAT THEY’VE LEARNED?

If the answer to the above question is “not much” then I don’t want them on my team nor do I want to be a member of theirs. Business isn’t about letters and papers and prestige – it’s about IMPACT.

Me? I’m hiring for impact. I could care less if they have a degree or certification as long as they can get the job done and do so in an ethical and distinctive manner. If they can do that, that’s all that matters. They might be called “Doctor” but I’m more interested in if it’s Dr. Doolittle or Dr. Einstein. Having the letters without the substance is the business equivalent of being Milli Vanilli.

Look past the letters and see the person. See their capabilities for what they are before you judge them for what is or isn’t hanging on their wall. Correspondingly, if you’re out there hanging your hat on the letters after your name, ask yourself how those letters have helped you contribute to the improvement of your organization. Once you can articulate “I have XYZ degree and by using it I delivered A, B, and C improvements” you’ll be in a much better position to land that job you’re interested in.

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3 Reasons No One Listens to Anything You Say

There are three major reasons people don't listen to you at work. You're a hypochondriac, you ramble, and you're self-centered. Fix these behaviors to improve
Don Dea's insight:

Have you ever had the feeling that you were moving your mouth but no one could hear the sounds coming out of it? They go about their day as if you’re not there. There’s a reason this is happening: they’re really not listening to you.

There. I said it. People are tuning you out.

What are the warning signs of this dynamic? When you speak with people, they nod politely but are looking for the exits while they do. They check their Blackberry and have “urgent” calls come in every time you’re talking to them. Your emails never get replied to. Most importantly, the things you want to get done never seem to generate traction.

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The Dangers of Not Getting Enough Sleep

The Dangers of Not Getting Enough Sleep | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Do you know the dangers of not getting enough sleep? It seriously impacts your performance. Take our sleep poll and share how you get a good night's rest.
Don Dea's insight:
Dangers of Sleep Deprivation

Here are a few of the dangers of not getting enough sleep:

  1. Increased chance of injury
  2. Decreased performance
  3. Impaired brain and heart function
  4. Likelihood of gaining weight
  5. Impaired memory
  6. Shorter life!
  7. Decreased immunity
  8. Increased stress
  9. Increased anxiety
  10. Lowered productivity
  11. Troubled relationships
  12. Mood swings
  13. Diminished response time
  14. Increased chance of blurting something out at a meeting that you regret or mumbling incoherently to yourself (no, really, I have no experience with this)
  15. Difficulty focusing or listening
  16. Decreased effectiveness
  17. Increased chance of getting sick

That’s quite a list. And you could easily add more in the comments.

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Essential Elements of an Effective CEO-Board Relationship

Essential Elements of an Effective CEO-Board Relationship | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:
Relationship Responsibilities of the CEO
  • Informally builds relationships with board members: The CEO proactively works to communicate and build relationships with the chairman and directors via regular, informal interactions outside of board meetings. The CEO uses these interactions not only to share information and gather input but also to develop strong “professional chemistry” with each member of the board.
  • Communicates openly, proactively and transparently: The CEO maintains a strict “no surprises” policy with the board. The CEO is fully and effortlessly transparent on the implications and risks of strategic decisions.
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Delightful Decluttering

My storeroom was packed to the gills. My office closet was worse. It was time to clear some of my stuff out. Today's venture started with gathering and testing my old photo studio lights so my daughter-in-law can have an easier time taking pictures of products for her cool
Don Dea's insight:

What clutter gets in the way of your clear thinking, clear creating, clear service, and clear contribution? Some clutter is literal – old files and books and boxes of stuff. Some clutter isfigurative – but it disturbs our efforts just the same.

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Are you one of the top 1% of leaders?

The top 1% of anything is pretty impressive. To be ranked in that rarefied air means one has invested and IS investing time, energy, and passion into that avenue.
Don Dea's insight:

First, invest the time. Pay attention to more than just results. Connect with people at all levels in your organization every day. Learn their names and their passions. Learn what gets in their way of cooperative teamwork and top performance. Act to reduce those frustrations.

Second, get the data. Don’t just monitor performance metrics – monitor data that indicates how happy employees are working in your organization. You have some reliable data, like turnover, exit interviews, service levels, and more. You may need to measure other satisfaction metrics, like the degree of trust, frequency of proactive problem solving, etc.

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What I Do and Why

I'm a rational thinker. There are times it helps me serve others well. And, there are times when it becomes a hurdle to helping others truly understand what I do! When I'm not able to clearly and simply describe what I do, that's not a good thing.
Don Dea's insight:

My strongest contribution to others is my ability to enable that internalization.

This description of my value proposition feels good and feels right to me. I know I’ll continue to wordsmith it – but the core of it feels right.

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Workplace sanity is within reach

The top five factors that drove manufacturing employee unhappiness include:
An unsupportive manager
Lack of tools and resources to complete the job
Little opportunity for professional growth
Poor internal processes and systems
Dissatisfaction with colleagues
Don Dea's insight:

Eliminating these factors requires leaders to:

  • Be a servant leader. Servant leaders embrace their responsibility to help employees do their jobs well in a calm, consistent, civil environment. Servant leaders don’t seek credit — they seek to enable others’ best work, every day.
  • Engage employees daily to learn what’s working and what’s not. Spend time “wandering around,” connecting with players at all levels of the organization. Learn their ideas about improving performance and service. Act on what you learn to refine systems and expectations.
  • Measure employee satisfaction and happiness frequently. Leaders can’t manage what they don’t measure. Conduct an employee engagement survey annually. Share the insights from that survey within four weeks. Celebrate where the team or company is doing well and note where opportunities for improvement are. Act to close gaps promptly.
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Are Professional Certifications Valuable?

Are Professional Certifications Valuable? | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Don Dea's insight:

The following are potential drivers for implementing certifications:

Attracting talent: Many firms use the promise of attaining a coveted distinction as a hiring tool, and most professionals will jump at the opportunity to obtain a new certification.

Keeping your talent: Certifications can retain talent by helping employees to develop and gain the recognition they desire.

Obtaining the “must have” competencies for your business: To stay competitive and relevant, learning leaders must ensure that their teams have the right skills. Certifications allow employees to demonstrate that they have reached a certain skill level. They also let employees maintain status or gain credibility.

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You Don’t Need a Position or a Title to be a Great Leader

You Don’t Need a Position or a Title to be a Great Leader | digitalNow | Scoop.it
You don't need a formal position or a title to be a leader. Find out what it takes to be a "hidden leader".
Don Dea's insight:

I’ve learned that leaders come in all shapes and sizes. There is no bright-line test or rule for what makes exceptional leadership. No universal standard or unambiguous objective factors. But the common thread in that tapestry of leadership is that leaders believe that what they do matters. They make a difference. And that has nothing to do with titles, positions, or authority.

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Questions to Ask Before Defining Marketing Strategy

Questions to Ask Before Defining Marketing Strategy | digitalNow | Scoop.it
Before you can define your marketing strategy for the year, it is important to ask yourself these questions.
Don Dea's insight:

First, what are your sales goals? At the end of the year, you’ll need to have something to determine that your marketing efforts were effective.

Do you want to increase sales by 10 percent? Would you like to sell more of a certain product or service? At the end of the year, what numbers will tell you that you’ve had a successful year?

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