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Startup 101: Finding the right business partner

Startup 101: Finding the right business partner | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
A relationship with the right business partner can be just as meaningful -- if not more so -- than a dating partner.
Kimberly Togman's insight:

Right on point!  The two points that resonated most with me here are 1. Find a cofounder who is willing and able to put in the same level of effort as you are; and 2. don't let the excitement blind you to red flags.

 

I've seen founders thrown and disillusioned when they are putting their hearts and souls into a business while their cofounder is more stopping by to do some work.  Of course you must take into account people's economic realities: if she needs to keep her day job until you've got some level of funding, figure out if a full partnership is really viable.  It may not be.  And it may take a few months until it is. Go in with eyes wide open. Answer the questions raised below.

 

And the red flags...just like in dating.  If something bugs you now (or is a niggling doubt), it will only grow.  People are never better behaved than they are at the beginning of a relationship.  N E V E R.  Play the field a little.  Have discussions with the successful co founders you know to see how they make it work. 

 

As with all big decisions, best to dip your toe in before you dive.

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Brené Brown: If you're not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I'm not interested in your feedback!

Brené Brown: If you're not in the arena also getting your ass kicked, I'm not interested in your feedback! | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
One of the most underrated parts of the creative process is remaining vulnerable says New York Times bestselling author Brenè Brown in this moving 99U talk.
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Kimberly Togman's curator insight, September 24, 2014 4:48 PM

 I'm a big fan of Brené Brown. I loved both of her TED talks on vulnerability and shame. This keynote for the May 2013 99u conference (focused on making great ideas happen--derived from Edison's 99% perspiration quote) is about dealing with critics.The talk is centered around Roosevelt's 1910 "Man in the Arena" speech:

 It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.   

As always, Ms. Brown delivers her message with humor and conviction.  She talks about the three critics we all meet: shame, scarcity and comparison and advises us to believe like she does, "If you're not in the arena, also getting your ass kicked, I'm not interested in your feedback."

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Growth for the Rest of Us

Growth for the Rest of Us | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
How have some companies found growth despite the odds? BCG research offers lessons from “uphill growers.”
Kimberly Togman's insight:

BCG talks about uphill growth -- mature business that found ways to grow sustainably-- and suggests that it is important to consider key components of the organizations starting point to help define where growth will come from.  The key components are competitive premium (higher gross profit margin) and competitive stability (relatively stable market shares, high entry barriers, etc).

The successful growth companies shared the following characteristics, they:
1. Earn the right to grow
2. Know their competitive advantage
3. Expand their field of vision
4. Integrate vision, choices and action.

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What Makes Malcolm Gladwell Fascinating

What Makes Malcolm Gladwell Fascinating | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
I used to dread going to parties. I stood around struggling with small talk, waiting for an opening to debate about big ideas. That changed 13 years ago, the day I read The Tipping Point.Suddenly,
Kimberly Togman's insight:

Adam Grant giving some Malcolm Gladwell love and exploring what makes him a terrific storyteller.  "A theorist is considered great, not because his theories are true, but because they are interesting.”


He maps Gladwell to Sociologist Murray Davis's "Index of the Interesting" along the following five points:

1. Bad is good, good is bad

2. What looks like an individual phenomenon is really a collective phenomenon

3. What seems to succeed fails, and what seems to fail succeeds 

4. What Appears To Be Local is Global

5. What Looks Like Disorder is Actually Order


I believe it is more than that.  What makes Gladwell so eminently readable to me is his voice.  He makes complext ideas sound simple.

He's a bit wry.  He draws in material from all over.   And often he lets me see me in his stories.


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Who's afraid of the big, bad work phone?

Who's afraid of the big, bad work phone? | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
Bosses have a message for younger employees: Get off email and pick up the phone. Some are bringing in consultants to help staff start to use the telephone more for work.
Kimberly Togman's insight:

JUST PICK UP THE PHONE!!!    Across the great generational divide managers wish their younger employees would use the phone.

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How to Avoid Virtual Miscommunication

How to Avoid Virtual Miscommunication | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
Long-distance collaboration requires a special set of skills and sensitivity.
Kimberly Togman's insight:
Keith Ferrazzi, the networking guru gives some same advice for working across geographic boundaries. I've been thinking about this a lot lately as I'm collaborating with west coast colleagues (I'm in Philadelphia) on developing a leadership development program on leading across boundaries. Just like Ferrazzi suggests, awareness is at the core. Awareness of your interpretations, biases and your shared purpose for working together. And awareness that it takes longer to build a trusting relationship from afar. And remember that nothing beats face to face contact. Whenever opportunity presents itself (project kickoffs, meeting major milestones, multi day working sessions) hop in the car, train or plane to have the opportunity to work together in person. The effort of travel will payoff in the strengthening of the relationships with your virtual colleagues.
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Can You Overdo People Skills?

Can You Overdo People Skills? | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
Lessons from one revered American president who might have been too soft.
Kimberly Togman's insight:

Yup, an overused strength can become a liability--even people skills.  Learn from Lincoln.

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Kimberly Togman's curator insight, June 12, 2013 1:34 PM

Yup, an overused strength can be problematic.  Even good people skills.  Learn from Lincoln.

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The 7 Best And Worst Criticisms From A Boss (And Why They Matter So Much)

The 7 Best And Worst Criticisms From A Boss (And Why They Matter So Much) | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
It's what you say... and how you say it By way of introduction, I have collaborated periodically in the Forbes Contributor community with Jack Zenger, CEO and my co-founder at Zenger Folkman (see Does Sheryl Sandberg’s Likeability Penalty Really...
Kimberly Togman's insight:

Folkman gives us some examples of bad feedback (both negative and poorly delivered).  What say you to his list?

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3 Ways Great Leaders Make Every Day Count

3 Ways Great Leaders Make Every Day Count | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
Leading in crisis is one thing; Leading day-to-day is quite another. Here's how to beat the daily grind and shine when it's business as usual.
Kimberly Togman's insight:

This short one from Inc. has three suggestions:

 

1. Develop a morning routine

2. Heighten the first 90 seconds of every interaction

3. Balance hard and soft landscape in your schedule

 

Your reaction may be yeah, I've hear all that before.  My question is: yeah, but do you do 'em?

 

 

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How to Make a Change that Lasts

How to Make a Change that Lasts | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
Create rituals that become habits.
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Kimberly Togman's curator insight, April 10, 2013 10:18 AM

The above photo is one I use in talks about goal setting.  The article is on the HBR Blog Network today by one of the good guys, Tony Schwartz.

 

Schwartz addresses that routines and rituals, specifically energy rituals - "highly specific behaviors or regimes that you do at the same time every day" help counter the effects of ego depletion.  Ego depletion is "the idea that self-control and other mental processes that require focused conscious effort rely on energy that can be used up." (see http://www.psychwiki.com/wiki/Ego_Depletion for more information and descriptions of two experiments that illustrate the effects).

 

I also like Jonathan Haidt's description from the "Happiness Hypotheses" (also discussed in Chip and Dan Heath's "Switch" http://heathbrothers.com/books/switch/).  He compares the mind to an elephant and rider.  The elephant part of the mind is the one that runs on natural instinct and desire, and unoconstrained lumbers along the easiest path.  The rider has the job of directing the elephant to go where he wants.  Yet the elephant is far larger than the rider so as the rider expends effort he gets tired.  

 

Yup, change is hard.  Fascinating stuff.

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The #1 Reason Leadership Development Fails - Forbes

The #1 Reason Leadership Development Fails - Forbes | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it

Over the years, I’ve observed just about every type of leadership development program on the planet. And the sad thing is, most of them don’t even come close to accomplishing what they were designed to do – build better leaders.

Kimberly Togman's insight:
Key thought: "don't train your leaders, coach them." I disagree that all training is bad , some tools can effectively (and most cost efficiently) be delivered in a classroom setting. After the classroom it is critical to help people practice, get feedback and continue their learning. Don't misunderstand, I'm all for developing through coaching. I AM an executive coach. I just don't believe it is black and white. I believe if it were, we'd all be further along in developing our current and future leaders.
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Kimberly Togman's curator insight, March 20, 2013 7:40 AM

Key thought: "don't train your leaders, coach them." I disagree that all training is bad , some tools can effectively (and most cost efficiently) be delivered in a classroom setting. After the classroom it is critical to help people practice, get feedback and continue their learning. Don't misunderstand, I'm all for developing through coaching. I AM an executive coach. I just don't believe it is black and white. I believe if it were, we'd all be further along in developing our current and future leaders.

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Luring More MBAs to the Social Sector | Floosted by Harvard Business Review

Luring More MBAs to the Social Sector | Floosted by Harvard Business Review | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
"Compared to my other offers, this position captured my heart and imagination in a completely different way." That was the answer from a recent Harvard Business School MBA graduate when asked why he decided to participate in the School's...
Kimberly Togman's insight:

And one interesting point here is that more than half of HBS students who take a one-year fellowship in non-profit or public sector organizations do not have backgrounds in those sectors.

 

Makes you think what they are offering, no?  

 

HBR reports that they:

- Provide initial exposure to draw students in

- Create robust experiences

- Invest in leadership development

 

Sounds like stuff that all organization should do... 

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Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant on Why Women Stay Quiet at Work

Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant on Why Women Stay Quiet at Work | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
If a man talks in a meeting, he gets heard. A woman just gets interrupted.
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Kimberly Togman's curator insight, February 23, 2015 3:40 PM

Disappointing that this is still true.  I remember back in one of my first group projects in business school (in...errrr...1992), I was shocked when during a meeting a guy cut in, talked over me and repeated exactly the point I had made.  And no one seemed to notice.

 

Women emerging leaders I work with often want to work on their presence and on reacting to and counteracting this behavior in their male colleagues.  They also talk to me about how to appear and sound more powerful and how they need to 'take up more room' in group meetings. The read Amy Cuddy and view her TED talks.   

 

I agree with Grant and Sandberg that we need more women leaders.  We also need to constantly support and push our existing women leaders to stand up for themselves while also looking for more opportunities for them to shine. 

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What it takes to be a great leader

What it takes to be a great leader | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
There are many leadership programs available today, from 1-day workshops to corporate training programs. But chances are, these won't really help. In this clear, candid talk, Roselinde Torres describes 25 years observing truly great leaders at work, and shares the three simple but crucial questions would-be company chiefs need to ask to thrive in the future.
Kimberly Togman's insight:

BCG's Rosalinde Torres cites a disturbing statistic: 58% of 4,000 companies studied reported significant talent deficits in critical leadership roles.   What we are currently doing in leadership development isn't working. 


Leadership in the 21st century depends on the answers to the following:

- Where are you looking to anticipate the next change to your business model or your life? 

- What is the diversity measure of your personal and professional stakeholder network? 

- Are you courageous enough to abandon a practice that has made you successful in the past?

 

Our leadership development strategies must find ways to help leaders  face confidently towards the uncertainties of the future with the abilities to operate in an increasingly complicated world.  

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Kimberly Togman's curator insight, March 6, 2014 3:44 PM
BCG's Rosalinde Torres cites a disturbing statistic: 58% of 4,000 companies studied reported significant talent deficits in critical leadership roles.   What we are currently doing in leadership development isn't working. 

 

Leadership in the 21st century depends on the answers to the following:

- Where are you looking to anticipate the next change to your business model or your life? 

- What is the diversity measure of your personal and professional stakeholder network? 

- Are you courageous enough to abandon a practice that has made you successful in the past?

 

Our leadership development strategies must find ways to help leaders  face confidently towards the uncertainties of the future with the abilities to operate in an increasingly complicated world.  

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The benefits—and limits—of decision models | McKinsey & Company

The benefits—and limits—of decision models | McKinsey & Company | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
Big data and models help overcome biases that cloud judgment, but many executive decisions also require bold action inspired by self-confidence. Here’s how to take charge in a clear-headed way. A McKinsey Quarterly article.
Kimberly Togman's insight:
This McKinsey Quarterly article landed in my inbox today. It argues for the need to use a combination of leadership talent, execution and inspiration as well as predictive models and data to make excellent decisions. “Players don’t predict performance; they have to achieve it. For that purpose, impartial and dispassionate analysis is insufficient. Positive thinking matters, too.” We certainly need big data -- to analyze it, understand it, and make use of it. At the same time, we need big human thinking, inspiration, perspiration and teamwork to make sense and use of it all.
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Virtual Communications — Wharton@Work September 2013

Virtual Communications — Wharton@Work September 2013 | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
Virtual Communications
Kimberly Togman's insight:

Collaborating effectively with a team you don't always see is often challenging.    This article from Wharton discusses some low tech steps to improving communication in virtual meetings.  

 

Sometimes the best solution is to slow down, back away from the keyboard, ask and listen!

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Three Differences Between Managers and Leaders

Three Differences Between Managers and Leaders | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
Stop thinking about your tasks and start talking about your vision.
Kimberly Togman's insight:
Interesting thoughts. Counting value versus creating value...not sure I completely agree. Curious about others' thoughts on this one!!
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Those Grammar Gaffes Will Get You

Those Grammar Gaffes Will Get You | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
It pays to nitpick.
Kimberly Togman's insight:

I'm definitely a badge carrying member of the grammar police...and I make mistakes sometimes.  This snippet as part of an HBR blog series has some useful tidbits. Please, please, please learn the rules of "I" versus "me" -- getting this right really means something!!

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Robert Cialdini explains the six ways to influence people - EXTENDED - Barking Up The Wrong Tree

Robert Cialdini explains the six ways to influence people - EXTENDED - Barking Up The Wrong Tree | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
Dr. Robert Cialdini is the authority on the study of influence. Here he explains how the six principles of influence can help you be more persuasive.
Kimberly Togman's insight:

This is a terrific and brief overview of Cialdini's 6 classic principals of influence:

 

1. Reciprocity

2. Consistency (reminds me of Emerson's "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds"

3. Social Proof

4. Liking

5. Authority (as in being know as one)

6. Scarcity

 

Seems so simple and yet so few people do it well...

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Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg: ‘No one can have it all’ - McKinsey Quarterly - Organization - Talent

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg: ‘No one can have it all’ - McKinsey Quarterly - Organization - Talent | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
Coming to terms with that reality is invaluable for women trying to find fulfillment as both great leaders and great parents. A McKinsey Quarterly Organization article.
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Kimberly Togman's curator insight, April 16, 2013 12:35 PM

Here's more of the Sandberg media blitz.  This one from McKinsey shares additional insights from Sandberg's book.  I love that this is starting conversations across virtually every group of people I know.  True, my groups tend to be highly educated professionals so I'm not suggesting her message is reaching farther afield than the fairly privileged.

 

Most people agree with many of her points.  And most also agree that something about how her message is conveyed bugs them.  Is this just a confirmation of what Ms. Sandberg says about how we are uncomfortable with women at the top?  Or is there more to it?  I'd love to hear others' views.  

 

My most recent conversation focused equally on Sandberg's message and on her possible agenda.  Something just doesn't ring true about her as altruist trying to forward women.  Yes, her points are valid, and really important, as we look at the future of women both in the workforce and leadership positions. I think she misses the opporunity to address the choices that women may make to not pursue leadership, many for reasons outside of the potential future demands of motherhood.    As I discussed in my last post on this topic, I also believe her not discussing the roles of serendipity and the powerful people who mentored her is a bit disingenuous.  

 

And I can't help but wonder what she is planning to run for and when.

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Givers vs. Takers: The Surprising Truth about Who Gets Ahead - Knowledge@Wharton

Givers vs. Takers: The Surprising Truth about Who Gets Ahead - Knowledge@Wharton | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
Givers vs. Takers: The Surprising Truth about Who Gets Ahead by Knowledge@Wharton, the online business journal of the Wharton School.
Kimberly Togman's insight:

Another vote for the good guys...In this interview discussing his book "Give and Take,"Grant says that givers are overrepresented at the top of most success metrics.  It seems that taking customers' interests first, building trust and good will builds good reputations that lead to extraordinary social capital that is critical to success.

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Five routes to more innovative problem solving - McKinsey Quarterly - Strategy - Strategic Thinking

Five routes to more innovative problem solving - McKinsey Quarterly - Strategy - Strategic Thinking | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
Tricky problems must be shaped before they can be solved. To start that process, and stimulate novel thinking, leaders should look through multiple lenses. A McKinsey Quarterly Strategy article.
Kimberly Togman's insight:

After a complete dry spell of good reads on decision making, here comes another good one.  This McKinsey article discusses using flexible options for generating novel solutions, or "flexons."   They identify 5 key flexons that come from the social and natural sciences: Networks, Evolutionary, Decision-agent, System-dynamics, and Information flexons. 

 

Good stuff.  As with so much of the decision research, this approach underscores the importance of following a process that is flexible yet thorough, helps us navigate through the minefield of (bad) instincts and get ourselves out of our own often unrecognized emotionally attachment space.

 

 

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How Poor Leaders Become Good Leaders

How Poor Leaders Become Good Leaders | Emerging leaders | Scoop.it
They need to practice common managerial virtues far more often than they're doing.
Kimberly Togman's insight:

Zenger and Folkman offer up 9 key improvement behaviors they uncovered in the 360-feedback of 71 leaders.  No surprise that better communication, wisdom sharing, encouragement, championing and an ability to motivate others are called out.  

 

For many of the clients I work with improving self awareness and emotional intelligence (the ability to perceive, understand and manage emotions in oneself and others) are also critical.

 

What else would you add to the list?

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Kimberly Togman's curator insight, March 21, 2013 10:40 AM

Zenger and Folkman offer up 9 key improvement behaviors they uncovered in the 360-feedback of 71 leaders.  No surprise that better communication, wisdom sharing, encouragement, championing and an ability to motivate others are called out.  

 

For many of the clients I work with improving self awareness and emotional intelligence (the ability to perceive, understand and manage emotions in oneself and others) are also critical.

 

What else would you add to the list?