Monday, April 30, 2007

Sound Advice: Is Innovation Everything?

In case you missed it, Harvard Business Review announced the 2006 McKinsey Award winners and our keynote speaker at last year's WPO conference in Chicago -- Gary Hamel -- is a winner! Read more here and then visit John Hagel's blog for a commentary on Gary's contribution.

Gary's article in HBR, "The Why, What, and How of Management Innovation," is a available for purchase online.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Event of Interest: WPO 10th Anniversary Conference

More testimonials from our conference in Scottsdale, AZ April 19-21, 2007:
I have to second it. The speakers and workshops were outstanding. My head is still reeling and I am once again reviewing all of my notes. They also did a great job with the food and logistics.
All the speakers were so terrific that I can't really say one was better than another! I'm really glad I did take notes!! And, the sequence of the speakers was terrific ... all the way to the end for banging the drums!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Event of Interest: WPO 10th Anniversary Conference

The first testimonial from a Chicago member regarding last week's conference in Scottsdale, AZ:
Hi all,

I am still reeling from all of the wonderful information the conference offered. It has been such a great decision to join WPO and the conference was well worth the trip. I met so many outstanding ladies – especially those from our three (3) chapters in Chicago!

Some of the things I was most impressed about were:

1. As a former speech teacher, I was so impressed with the common thread of the sessions. In every session I was in, the speaker mentioned another previous speaker’s words whether agreeing or disagreeing and added many good thoughts in as well. Out of all the conferences I have been to, I thought this was a special added bonus that spoke to our group and the enthusiasm the speaker’s clearly felt as well.

2. The quality of the speakers. I have been to conferences where I am reading a book because the sessions are so boring. This was definitely not the case.

3. How warmly I was welcomed and how warmly my mother, who is also my associate, was welcomed. In the opening session we were asked to stand with other mother/daughter teams and I thought that was just great. My mother, all teary-eyed, told me how much that meant to her!

Anyway, thanks to all who met me and I look forward to next year’s conference in Boston!


Kim Kleeman
Shakespeare Squared
More to follow. Stay tuned.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Event of Interest: WPO 10th Anniversary Conference

This week we take off to attend our WPO annual conference in sunny Scottsdale, Arizona (April 19-21) to celebrate ten phenomenal years of learning, growth and success. We hope to see you there!

Read more about the conference here and learn what our founder, Dr. Marsha Firestone, has to say about this special point in time.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

News of Interest: President of WPO Receives Signature Award

Marsha Firestone, Ph.D., president and founder of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), has received the 2007 Social Entrepreneur Award by the National Association of Women Business Owners New York City Chapter. The Social Entrepreneur Award recognizes the innovation, resourcefulness and the successful impact made by women in the nonprofit sector who use business methods to find practical solutions to social problems or needs related to their nonprofit organization. Firestone was honored for her dedication and support of the small business community.

Read more here.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Sound Advice: What Your Direct Reports Expect of You

Larry Bossidy, one of my personal favorite leaders (and author of a book I devoured, Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done), penned a great article in the current Harvard Business Review entitled, What Your Leader Expects of You. You can download the electronic PDF file for U.S. $6.00 here.

The essence of the article is that success of an executive team depends heavily on the relationships the boss has with his or her direct reports. Yet the leadership literature has had little to say about what is expected in those relationships -- on either side.

Larry Bossidy, formerly the chairman and CEO of Honeywell, and before that of AlliedSignal, shares what he calls "the CEO compact," detailing the behaviors a leader should look for in subordinates and what they should be able to expect in return. A CEO's best people, he says, know these eight points:

1. When a situation calls for them to get involved.
2. They generate ideas -- remembering that some of the best ones may sound crazy at first.
3. They are willing to collaborate, putting the long-term good of the company above short-term goals of their divisions.
4. They step up to lead initiatives, even if the outcome is uncertain.
5. They develop leaders among their people, especially through direct involvement in performance appraisals.
6. They stay current on world events and anticipate how those events may affect the company and its competition.
7. They drive their own growth by exposing themselves to new people and ideas and by accepting demanding assignments.
8. And they sustain these behaviors in bad times as well as good.

On the other side of the compact, the boss should:

a. Provide clarity of direction; set goals and objectives;
b. Give frequent, specific, and immediate feedback;
c. Be decisive and timely;
d. Demonstrate honesty and candor; and ...
e. Offer an equitable compensation plan.

Executives who aren't lucky enough to have such a boss can create a compact with their own subordinates, Bossidy says, and demonstrate by example. The result will be to improve team and company performance and accelerate individual growth.

Are you a leader? Are you grooming your direct reports for leadership?