The Mark David Blog

"Takeaways"

Character vs. Popularity

November 16, 2017

By Mark David

Good leadership involves responsibility to your entire team. This means some people will get angry at certain decisions. It’s inevitable – if you’re honorable. – Colin Powell

If your number one goal is to ensure that everyone likes and approves of you, you will inevitably compromise your integrity and, therefore, your credibility as a leader.

Let’s face it, not every decision you make as a leader will be popular, but that’s as it should be. Down deep, every member of your team wants a leader who will make the hard decisions, based on what’s best for the entire group rather than what’s best for themselves or certain individuals. The leader’s role can be a lonely and unpopular one at times. But even the most disgruntled team will respect the leader who has the courage and character to stand firm and make the tough decisions.

It’s good to reflect on the time- honored business axiom: “Character is what you are; reputation is what others think you are. Reputation comes from others, but character is in you.”

 

Excerpt from The New Coaching Illustrated


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Devote Time to Your High Performers

November 2, 2017

By Mark David

When people act heroically, treat them as heroes. ~ Jeff Goforth

Tough time constraints on today’s managers make it virtually impossible to devote an equal amount of time to every team member. In an effort to increase overall performance, most managers tend to devote more time to improving their underachievers—but I always advise spending more time leveraging your high-performers. Here’s why: (more…)





Working Together Works

October 19, 2017

By Mark David

Ask your team. They know the answers ~ Chuck Carlson

Many leaders mistakenly believe that everyone expects them to have all the answers—but that’s not logical. You may know a lot, but you can’t know everything. The days of the Lone Ranger are over. In today’s complex business environment, you need the ideas, zest, energy, enthusiasm and collaboration of every member of your team. And they need yours. (more…)





Teach Your Team to Fish

October 5, 2017

By Mark David

We can do more than lead, we can teach. ~ John Meyers

Virtually all great coaches see themselves as teachers. Teaching is not just a skill, it’s an honor. It’s the art of imparting your knowledge and experience to someone else— and isn’t that the heart of good leadership?

Instead of just telling people what to do, a good coach takes the time to patiently show them how to do it. (more…)





Align Company Vision with Employee Dreams

September 21, 2017

By Mark David

People shouldn’t have to choose between a successful career and a happy home life. ~ Harry Gray

Most of us love to be a part of something bigger than ourselves. That’s one of the reasons people go to work for a company.

If you work at Microsoft, for example, you feel motivated by knowing that the mundane tasks in your morning in-box contribute directly to worldwide advancements in information technology. If you work for Acme Plumbing you are energized by being part of one of the top repair outfits in your community. (more…)





The Magic of “One-on-One” Leadership

September 7, 2017

By Mark David

You can’t lead a team of people by sitting behind a desk, writing memos. ~ Mark David

I call it “One-on-One Leadership,” but it goes by many names. I’ve heard it called “Management by Walking Around.” Or, alternately, “Face-to- Face” Management. Or sometimes even EB2, which actually stands for “Eyeball-to-Eyeball” Management. Whatever you want to call it, you need some in your coaching philosophy—and here’s why: (more…)





Treat all Setbacks as Temporary

August 24, 2017

By Mark David

“Difficulties are meant to rouse, not discourage.” ~ William Ellery Channing

Ultimately, your success as a leader will be largely determined by how well you maintain your balance in the face of short-term difficulties and disappointments.

Leaders do not give up easily or remain discouraged. Their long- range goals help insulate them from the frustration and disappointment of short-term setbacks. Tenacity and resilience are high values with the best leaders. They may give out, now and then, but they never give up. (more…)





Question Tradition

August 10, 2017

By Mark David

“Sacred cows make great steaks. ~ Unknown

One of the biggest threats to fresh ideas and innovation is the phrase, “We’ve always done it this way.” Did you know that people wore shoes for hundreds of years before someone finally took a fresh look and invented left shoes and right shoes? (more…)





Tune In

July 27, 2017

By Mark David

“Learn to listen to what people don’t say.” ~ Germain Glidden

Winning coaches have developed long antennae. They try to stay tuned to the sometimes subtle signals that are coming from each member of their team. All verbal, non-verbal, and written communication—even omissions and silence—can cue a leader to potential issues that may need personal attention. (more…)





An SOS for Stress

July 13, 2017

By Mark David

“Don’t lose your head, it’s the best part of your body.” ~ Jimmy Snyder

It happens to the best of us. Tom Hanks used to throw up before performing. Cher had to be physically pushed out on the stage for her first concerts. Warren Buffet was too nervous to stand up and speak at his first stockholders’ meetings. (more…)





Actions Versus Words

June 22, 2017

By Mark David

“What you do speaks so loudly that I can no longer hear what you say.” ~ Proverb

Here’s a useful little rule of thumb: To determine reality, simply compare a person’s words (what they “say” they do) with their actions (what they “actually” do).

To be an effective coach, you must constantly uncover and deal with reality—but words alone can be deceiving. That’s why you must compare your team members’ actions to their words. (more…)





Focus on Your Top 20% Responsibilities First

June 8, 2017

By Mark David

“It’s important to do things right, but it’s even more important to do the right things.” — Peter Drucker

Time is one of the leader’s most precious resources, but distractions and activity traps are all around us. In today’s fast-paced world, we must continuously come back to the basic leadership question: Am I allocating enough time to the right things—my Top 20% responsibilities—today and every day? They include:

  1. Strategic Thinking
  2. Sustaining a Proactive Culture
  3. Communication
  4. Growing and Developing Team Members
  5. Prospecting for Future Opportunities and Employees
(more…)





Build “Partnerships” with Your Team

May 25, 2017

By Mark David

Part-ner-ship: noun. A strong relationship between two or more people, usually involving close cooperation, mutual expectations, and shared responsibilities.

Successful coaches focus on building solid, steady, long-term relationships with their team members. These relationships resemble partnerships because they ideally involve 1) close cooperation, 2) mutual expectations, and 3) shared responsibilities. (more…)





Be Proactive

May 11, 2017

By Mark David

“Planning is bringing the future into the present, so you can do something about it now.” ~ Alan Lakein

Make proactive thinking a natural and consistent part of your makeup as a leader. With proactive thinking you don’t have to settle for life the way it comes to you; you can design your life to come to you the way you want it. (more…)





Print

Celebrating Our 30th Anniversary

February 9, 2017

By Mark David

A heartfelt thank you to our clients and friends for sharing the journey with us.

“Give the world the best that you have and the best will come back to you.” That beautiful quote from Madeline Bridges captures the original spirit and intent that launched the Mark David Corporation thirty years ago this month. And believe me, those words are just as relevant today as they were in the very beginning. (more…)





I will either find a way or make one - problem solving concept on a vintage slate blackboard

Confront Problems Head On

December 15, 2016

By Mark David

Good leaders have the attitude, “I will never dodge or avoid a problem.” They embrace the idea that a big part of leadership is anticipating, confronting and proactively solving problems with their people. In fact, if your team ever stops bringing difficult problems to you, it’s a good sign they have either lost confidence that you can help, or concluded you no longer care. (more…)





The word "TRUST" written in vintage wooden letterpress type

Truth and Trust Go Hand in Hand

December 1, 2016

By Mark David

Here are four mental reminders that will contribute to your success as a leader and coach:

  • To be a great coach, you must have the trust of your team.
  • Trust cannot be demanded, it can only be earned.
  • Trust is not earned overnight, it is earned over time.
  • Truth and trust go hand-in-hand. (more…)





Bravo Concept

Praise Progress

November 21, 2016

By Mark David

Sincere praise is a powerful (but often overlooked) coaching and leadership tool. It’s powerful because it is not only needed but also appreciated by every person at every level throughout the entire organization. Simply put, everyone appreciates being appreciated. Here are a few insights about praise and recognition that are sometimes overlooked: (more…)





What is next question in vintage letterpress wood type stained by color inks

Think Big

November 10, 2016

By Mark David

Nothing energizes a team or organization faster or better than a big idea. If your company or department lacks enthusiasm—if your team members are bored—it’s time for a bold move.
 (more…)





The phrase Own It in magazine letters on a cork notice board

HA! (Hold Accountable)

October 27, 2016

By Mark David

Some favorite expressions of small children: “It’s not my fault. I couldn’t help it. They made me do it. I didn’t mean to. I forgot.”

Some favorite expressions of small adults: “It’s not my job. No one told me. I can’t do everything. Don’t blame me. It couldn’t be helped.”

HA! is one of my favorite little acronyms. (more…)





Studio shot of child holding a sign with Portuguese word Por Que - Why

Focus on the “Why”

October 13, 2016

By Mark David

Most people manage the “what” and the “how,” but the best leaders manage the “why.” By helping their people understand and embrace the “why,” leaders are better able to inspire enthusiasm, trust and loyalty. Here’s how it works: (more…)





high-expectations-image1

High Expectations are Everything

September 29 2016

By Mark David

There’s a big difference between wanting, believing, hoping and expecting. As a coach, you may “want” something to happen. You may “believe” it can happen. You may “hope” it will happen. But if you and your team don’t fully “expect” it to happen, it probably won’t. (more…)





Rumors placard with bokeh background

Communicate Openly

September 15 2016

By Mark David

Years ago the IBM Company asked 500 executives from several different industries to write down their personal definition of “communication.” The definitions were different in several ways, but they were similar in one: Most people agreed that communication had something to do with being “two-way.” (more…)





Fearless written on desert road

Drive Out Fear

September 1 2016

By Mark David

What is the role of the leader?

Is the leader supposed to strike fear into the hearts of his or her followers? Is the leader supposed to make sure that everyone is toeing the company line or conforming to the code of conduct? The truth is, tyrants make terrible leaders; and fear is a very ineffective long-term motivator. (more…)





Develop a Shared Vision

Develop a Shared Vision With Your Team

August 18, 2016

by Mark David

Your willingness to create a Vision for your team is a statement of your belief in their potential. It also infuses your workplace with purpose, meaning, cohesion and spirit.

Winning coaches start each “season” with a Vision in mind. Think of a Vision as a mental snapshot of the future—a preferred reality or an exciting “stretch goal” that your team can get excited about. (more…)





Put Your Values INto ACtion Image

Put Your Values Into Action

February 2, 2016

by Mark David

Good companies list their Core Values, while great companies live them.

Lots of companies these days post their Core Values on a poster or plaque in their entryway. Since I’m on the road a lot, I get to see quite a few of these lists, and I am always impressed by the care and thought that obviously went into them. (more…)





Vision MIssion Values IMage

Knowing the Difference Between a Company’s Vision, Mission and Values

January 5, 2016

by Mark David

Here’s the “what, why and how” of great company culture.

The guiding stars for any great enterprise are its Vision, Mission and Core Values. Here’s how I distinguish between them: (more…)





True North

Follow Your “True North”

November 19, 2015

by Mark David

Make Your Vision, Mission and Values Your Guiding Stars

Our time on earth is limited. We can choose to do anything, but none of us gets to do everything. That’s why I encourage my clients to be very clear and specific about their values and priorities. The clearer you are about what really matters to you, the easier it becomes for you to focus your precious time on what’s most important in every day, week, month or year. (more…)





Winds of Change  

Managing the Winds of Change.

October 27, 2015

by Mark David

Lesson learned from a child’s science project.

An article in the Huffington Post lists 25 time-honored 4th Grade science projects that are still popular with today’s students. Looking back, you probably remember the top three from your own grade school days:  (more…)





  Keyboard with key for good choice  

When You’re Calling the Shots.

August 24, 2015

by Mark David

How leaders make stress-free decisions.

Somewhere along the line, someone probably advised you never to make snap decisions. When faced with a difficult choice, we are cautioned to “give it some thought,” or to “mull it over,” or to “sleep on it.”

That may be good advice, but it’s not very practical. In a perfect world, you would have all the time you need to make every decision. In today’s world, however, many decisions must be made quickly, based only on the best information currently available. (more…)





We CARE graphic 2

Caring is a Huge Competitive Advantage

July 8, 2015

by Mark David

When you care, people notice. If I had to pick one essential characteristic that consistently distinguishes great leaders, managers and companies from the rest of the pack, it would be this: It all boils down to those who really care, and those who really don’t. (more…)





Don't Worry sign with clouds and sky background

Good Reasons to Stop Worrying

June 16, 2015

by Mark David

I am an old man and have known many troubles, most of which never happened. — Mark Twain

Over the years I have coached many good friends and clients to make one simple change that immediately improved the quality of their lives and their work—and you can make the same change right here and now: (more…)





Start With the Vision

March 5, 2015

by Mark David

I’ve noticed lately that a few business writers have implied that “Visioning” might be a waste of time. One went so far as to compare a Corporate Vision Statement to a “cute slogan—like a bumper sticker.” (more…)





man with the blindfold walking

How to Beat the Jitters (S.O.S.)

March 5, 2015

by Mark David

Tom Hanks used to throw up before performing a scene. Cher had to be physically pushed out on the stage to perform her first concerts. Young Warren Buffet was too shy and nervous to stand up and speak at his first stockholder meetings. (more…)





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Celebrating 30 years