Leadership Articles

Not only has Bob spoken and trained many individuals and organizations, he has also written extensively on
the subject he is most passionate about; Leadership & Marketing. Below are FREE articles available for you to download.

Correcting a Contaminated
Corporate Culture

  • Communications between departments are negative.
  • Not everyone is on the same page.
  • Independent attitudes versusteam attitudes.
  • People are reservedduring meetings,fearful of sharing what they truly think.
  • Everyone wants to prove they are right.
  • Animosity among managers.
  • Cliques in the office.
  • Lack of respect between departments.
  • Everyone pushingagainst one another instead of pullingfor one another.

Sound familiar?

The negative examples listed above are what I am presented with most when working on culture development. And I am confident some of these statements hit home for many reading this article.

So, how does this happen?

If an organization or corporation has any of these negativities, it always goes back to the leadership team or should I say “lack” of a leadership team. All successes within an organization are based upon the quality of leadership and the skills of relationship building.

That is why I always begin my culture-development training with a strong leadership training series. I have found if leaders understand how they are to influence others—and why it is important to influence people in the correct way—it softens them to learn a new skillset encompassed around relationships.

Serving on a board with Mr. Bill Marriott Jr. provided me the opportunity to visit with him oneonone. In my four decades of traveling—whether in Moscow, Budapest, the United States, or places in between—I have yet to find poor quality within Marriott hotels. The staff is above average and the culture positive. So, I asked Mr. Marriott the secret of his successful hotels.

His quick response was, “It is the result of my General Managers. Gradepoints and former employment mean very little, but if a person has great relationship skills—which are listening, response, and communications—he or she will prevail at Marriott.” Success or failure of any business is certainly based upon leadership.

I mention this story to better explain why I am successful with the companies I turn around. For I only accept companies where the CEO has completely bought into the training that he or she is the key to success in forming a positive culture. The head determines how the body functions.

Saying this,allow me to reveal four factors that normally surface in negative cultures:

  • Poor communications.
  • Little accountability.
  • No long-term vision.
  • Lack of personal values.

Each of these factors require a minimum of an hour-long teaching session.However, these, along with other stumbling blocks, create a non-dynamic culture and if a culture is not dynamic the company is either surviving, or worse, dying.

But, here’s the good news! Remember thenegative statements that began this article? Theyarereal examples of a current company I helped turn around. This company is now vibrant and alive and has become a major threat in its industry. When your culture is positively ignited, your people become vibrant,and your vision becomes reality!

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Essentials for a Dynamic Organization

Creating a dynamic organization that sustains growth requires several factors. No organizationis guaranteed perpetual success; if you simplyGoogle the top ten companies in the U.S.twenty-five years ago, you will find most are gone. Unless steps are taken, it is easy to lose the passion and momentum to sustain.

When speaking to Chambers of Commerce around the country, I will at times start by asking the question, “What are the items necessary to begin and build a successful company?” The usual answers are “marketing plan,” “business plan,” “inventory,” “furniture,fixtures, equipment,” “available cash,” and many more. It always amazes me to never hear, “Creating a strong corporate culture.”

The Harvard Business Review had an article a few years back discussing the value of a strong culture. They began by saying that the majority of business owners and CEOs agree that culture is imperative to success, however, few understand how to get their arms around what is required. Many believe by opening up a room with no walls between the employees,that action will create more creativity. They feel by having groups within the company going to lunch together is the key or perhaps after work meetings at the bar or bowling. I am not saying any of those ideas are wrong, for the most part,they are needed. However, corporate culture is the “spirit of those in your company.” That spirit must be fed and nourished, or erosion will occur within.

I had a ranch in Oklahoma for many years. There was a large oak tree by a running creek and over time I noticed the tree was getting closer and closer to the edge of the creek. Erosion is sometimes difficult to see, for it is slow, silent, and subtle. The same is truein many corporations that are not feeding the culture or “spirit” of its people.

So, what are some of the essentials needed to begin and feed a strong corporate culture?

  1. Passionate Leadership. Nothing can substitute the passion of a leader, not “hype” but continued hope and vision for where the organization is going. A leader that comes to work each day alive,empowering and equipping his or her team.
  2. Loyalty and Unity. Without loyalty, there can never be unity.And without unity, strong execution of plans never happen. You don’t demand loyalty; you create a culture where those working within that environment are loyal to your ideas and vision. A culture where unity is the norm instead of the exception.
  3. Values. There must be a defined set of values that drive the culture to greatness. I recently acquired a company and immediately developed values that every employee from the C-Suite to the Janitor has memorized.

    They are:

    • Authentic
    • Compassionate
    • Humble
    • Vibrant
    • Disruptive

    Every new hire is passed through this set of values;he or she must accept these values to be a part of our culture. These values are consistently taught throughout the company and shared at each meeting. When you have a set of values that everyone agrees upon, the spirit of the company grows dramatically.

  4. Vision. The leader of the organization must have a strong vision of what he or she sees for the direction of the company. I have said many times that your vision must be so large that it scares you! That vision must be shared along with the values at each meeting within your organization. Everyone must know the vision of the company and continually have an update on its progress. The spirit of the culture requires that people feel involved in the direction of the organization.
  5. Edification and Recognition. What drives the culture is continued recognition; building up those working within the organization whoare contributing to the vision. Everyone needs recognition, they need to hear and know their efforts are being noticed. Having a positive attitude within the organization is the key to producing the greatest spirit within the culture.

By focusing on the above five principles, you will soon discover you are building a culture that will survive the years and you will find yourself in the rare few who create an organization that grows in perpetuity.

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You Can’t Defeat What You
Can’t Define

A man walks into a tattoo parlor in San Francisco to get a tattoo. He is not sure what he wants, so he looks behind the counter and seeshundreds of tattoo designs on the wall. He can’t help but notice one that reads, “BORN TO LOSE.” He asks the foreign gentleman behind the counter, “Who would put that saying on his body?” The gentleman replied, “In mind before on body!”

Many people struggle with marriage troubles, financial difficulties, drug and alcohol abuse, or work hardships. Some have struggled for years, trying to discover the magic key that will unlock the door of success. They just can’t seem to get a consistent series of “wins”to move forward,and they can’t determine why that might be.

For years I have said that your life must follow your vision—which is true—but what creates vision? It is your thoughts. Vision and success beginwith a thought—a neuron that firesa pathway in the brain for either success or failure, dependent on the type ofthought. More often than not, we establish a neurological pathway that is negative and find our lives simply following that pathway.

Up until the mid-1950s, it was believed that once a child hit puberty,his or her mind was fully developed. This has proven to be false.Neuroplasticity allowsyour brain to rewire itself, thus changing the trajectory of your life. It has been said that men speak 20,000 words per day while women speak 30,000. But the interesting finding is, every person will speak an average of 70,000 words to themselves each day. Every thought fires a neuron.If we repeat that thought over and over, we set up a neurological pathway that is embedded in our mind. In essence, we create a path that can be productive or unproductive based upon how many times we repeat and think that thought.

Many of you reading this article have created negative pathways related to your marriage, finances, or business that hold you hostage to positive growth. The more you travel on the same pathway, the easierand quicker it becomes to travel that same unproductive route. We hold ourselves hostage by our thoughts and our words by saying, “This marriage will never work,” “He/she just isn’t the person I married,” and“I do not see this marriage working out.”With finances, we might find ourselves repeating, “I will always be broke,” “I will never make enough money to live out my dreams,”and “The harder I work, the less I make.” In business, we may say, “My business will never come together,” “It is impossible for me to get ahead,”and “I am just not cut out to be an entrepreneur.” If you cannot control what you think, you will never be able to control what you do.

Bottom line, you need to pay attention to what you have been saying, and what you are saying, and most importantly, what you are thinking. You must DEFINE what is holding you back. What thought, what statement, what words, and DEFEAT them by establishing a new pathway with positive thoughts and words to counter the negative. “My marriage is amazing,”“My marriage gets better each day,” and “I am so fortunate to be married to my spouse.” “My finances are getting better,” “I’ll make enough money to live out my dreams,” and “My income for the next twelve months will be amazing.” “My business is growing,” “I am gaining more customers than I can handle,” and “This next twelve months will be the best revenue I have generated.”

My friends, many years ago people thought positive thinking was just hype! But science now says your life will follow your thinking; youthankfully have the ability to rewire and renew your mind.

We set deep neurological pathways in our mind by the thoughts we have and the words we speak. Homework:

  • Define your most active, negative thoughts.
  • Defeat them by replacing new, positive thoughts and words.
  • Write down these new thoughts and words on paper to begin creating a new pathway.
  • REPEAT! REPEAT! REPEAT! these affirmations OVER, AND OVER,AND OVERUNTIL YOU BELIEVE THEM!

Enjoy your new life!

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When Storms Come

Over the past week I have witnessed more people lose more possessions than I’ve ever seen my entire life.

Living in Houston, it was astounding to watch the rain fall and fall. Fifty-two inches in a very short period of time. Over 9 trillion gallons of water!This would be like filling the Great Salt Lake in Salt Lake City twice or loading
the Empire State Building 33,906 times. It is equivalent to nine days of the Mississippi River flowing into and continually flooding Houston or 128 feet of water resting on New Orleans. So much devastation; home after home under water.And it may take another week or two before water is out of many of the homes.

  • Storms are going to come.It matters not how well you plan, it matters not your background, income, or spiritual belief. Storms are going to come.
  • Storms will redefine how you view life and shift your focus onto what really matters.People were not grabbing their fifty-five-inch TVs as they dashed out of their homes. They were clutching their children, and pets, and a few private items, as they fearfully and boldly walked in waist-deep water.
  • Storms can create unity and love where distance and division once lived.This storm broke down Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, black and white, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican, even religious denominational differences. There was story after story of people crossing over whatever division they had to save and help others. Yes, unity and love step forward in a storm.
  • Storms will test your faith.So many people ask, “Why did God do this?” or “How could God do this to me?”I do not know all the answers, but I have witnessed God work miracle after miracle as a result of this event. Next door neighbors who rarely spoke to each other working to save each other. First responders running toward the threat as others ran from it. I have seen God’s power in provision as people and churches worked together to help so many.In a storm you will either turn your back on God, or in our case, turn to Him.

My friends, I am very confident that many reading this are living through a storm at this very moment. No, not a hurricane, but a personal challenge that has blown in to disrupt and destroy your life. A challenging marriage, finances, drugs and alcohol, or poor relationships in your family.Storms do come! But take heart. Find the time to discover the miracle, ask yourself how this storm is redefining you, and most important, step out in faith knowing it will soon pass and you will come out a healthier and stronger person.

Yes! Storms Come.

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Essentials for a Dynamic Organization

Creating a dynamic organization that sustains growth requires several factors. No organization is guaranteed perpetual success; if you simply Google the top ten companies in the U.S.twenty-five years ago, you will find
most are gone. Unless steps are taken, it is easy to lose the passion and momentum to sustain.

When speaking to Chambers of Commerce around the country, I will at times start by asking the question, “What are the items necessary to begin and build a successful company?” The usual answers are “marketing plan,” “business plan,” “inventory,” “furniture,fixtures, equipment,” “available cash,” and many more. It always amazes me to never hear, “Creating a strong corporate culture.”

The Harvard Business Review had an article a few years back discussing the value of a strong culture. They began by saying that the majority of business owners and CEOs agree that culture is imperative to success, however, few understand how to get their arms around what is required. Many believe by opening up a room with no walls between the employees,that action will create more creativity. They feel by having groups within the company going to lunch together is the key or perhaps after work meetings at the bar or bowling. I am not saying any of those ideas are wrong, for the most part,they are needed. However, corporate culture is the “spirit of those in your company.” That spirit must be fed and nourished, or erosion will occur within.

I had a ranch in Oklahoma for many years. There was a large oak tree by a running creek and over time I noticed the tree was getting closer and closer to the edge of the creek. Erosion is sometimes difficult to see, for it is slow, silent, and subtle. The same is true in many corporations that are not feeding the culture or “spirit” of its people.

So, what are some of the essentials needed to begin and feed a strong corporate culture?

  • Passionate Leadership. Nothing can substitute the passion of a leader, not “hype” but continued hope and vision for where the organization is going. A leader that comes to work each day alive,empowering and equipping his or her team.
  • Loyalty and Unity. Without loyalty, there can never be unity.And without unity, strong execution of plans never happen. You don’t demand loyalty; you create a culture where those working within that environment are loyal to your ideas and vision. A culture where unity is the norm instead of the exception.
  • There must be a defined set of values that drive the culture to greatness. I recently acquired a company and immediately developed values that every employee from the C-Suite to the Janitor has memorized. They are:
    • Authentic
    • Compassionate
    • Humble
    • Vibrant
    • Disruptive

    Every new hire is passed through this set of values;he or she must accept these values to be a part of our culture. These values are consistently taught throughout the company and shared at each meeting. When you have a set of values that everyone agrees upon, the spirit of the company grows dramatically.

  • The leader of the organization must have a strong vision of what he or she sees for the direction of the company. I have said many times that your vision must be so large that it scares you! That vision must be shared along with the values at each meeting within your organization. Everyone must know the vision of the company and continually have an update on its progress. The spirit of the culture requires that people feel involved in the direction of the organization.
  • Edification and Recognition. What drives the culture is continued recognition; building up those working within the organization whoare contributing to the vision. Everyone needs recognition, they need to hear and know their efforts are being noticed. Having a positive attitude within the organization is the key to producing the greatest spirit within the culture.

By focusing on the above five principles, you will soon discover you are building a culture that will survive the years and you will find yourself in the rare few who create an organization that grows in perpetuity.

Click to Read More

Click to Hide