Sustaining Success
January 2010
Envision, Evolve, Achieve

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You have been chosen to receive our monthly newsletter... Free! If this is your first issue, then welcome! I appreciate the opportunity to share best practices in leadership, management, personal and professional growth, recruiting, retention, and other areas critical to your success.
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Laurie Mrva
Achieve Success LLC 
Six Keys to Unleashing Awesome Leadership

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For many years we have been studying leadership, and it is the topic of development courses, books, workshops, keynote speeches, blogs, and so forth.  Are leaders born or made?  Who are our best examples of leadership?  Is good leadership different today than twenty years ago? Who was a better leader: Lincoln or Patton?

We read the Harvard Business Review, participate in social media on the topic, belong to Mastermind Groups, and participate in forums to the point where the term "leadership" has almost become weak from overuse. I recently received a complimentary copy of "The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus".  Come on, people, how far is this going to go?  How much longer will we exploit the topic of leadership while we change nothing in the places that really matter (Our governments, businesses, communities, and families)?

The fact remains that the more we study leadership, the fewer examples of great leadership we see.  Are we simply more aware because bad leadership has been exposed recently, or are our leadership skills getting worse?  Possibly both.

So, let's take this down to the simple truths about great leaders we have studied throughout history:

1. A Leader acknowledges something bigger than her and defers to it.

2. A Leader is a master communicator of the message, and knows he cannot lead where he will not go.  All personal agendas are set aside for the good of the order. The cause is the leader's passion.

3. A leader is willing to serve by example: to suffer, persevere, build character, and maintain hope. The culture of the organization is a reflection of the character of the leader. She takes responsibility for it.

4. A leader is committed to ongoing self-development, learning, and improvement. The leader is a student.

5. A leader surrounds himself with skilled advisors, and others who will hold him accountable. He is a person who can be trusted to do what's right, taking into consideration his advisor's expertise.

6. A leader is willing to love and care for every person on her team, as a shepherdess tends her flock; and is never slow to let a non-performer (or enemy of the cause) go. She expects the best from everyone.

Two Major Cautions about leadership:

- Leaders are human so they are not perfect, and they need to remember that. (So do their followers, who should not put them on a pedestal, lest they will be disappointed.) We all fall short now and then.

- Leaders become more vulnerable to corruption as their power increases. 

The higher the position, the more accountability they need. This is the opposite of what they are often willing to do, unfortunately. 

A word about executive coaching:

The higher your position, the more you need an executive coach.  Ideally, executive coaches should not to be hired to "fix" a problem (although that frequently is the case).  Coaches are to be hired when the leader is well, whole and competent. To keep a brilliant leader fully engaged in her work, and keep her balance while producing record results, hire an executive coach to be on board.  A leader without an executive performance coach alongside is asking for reduced performance and eventually burn-out or a fall.  Don't wait until there is a problem before you hire a coach.

Copyright protected Julia Marrocco All rights reserved. Adapted by Sorrell Associates with permission.

Managing People in 2010

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With the beginning of a new decade comes the optimistic view of a brighter future for our businesses, family, and self. Focus on creating an environment that fosters a positive attitude and watch your employees become more productive.

So how can you create that environment? Follow these 3 easy steps:

1.  Focus on catching people doing things "right" instead of only saying something when they make a mistake. When you see someone helping a coworker or going the extra mile for a customer give them praise.

2.  Start a "Wins" board. Create a poster board with all the employees names on it, with columns & dates. When someone does a positive thing, mark it on the board. Keep this board visible for all employees to see.

3.  Eventually annualize the "Wins." If an employee comes up with an idea that reduces costs, put a value to it and annualize the savings. Then write it on the board, put it in your company newsletter, and send them a "Thank You" card or note.

At first it may seem hard to find someone doing things right, mostly because we are not focused on that type of behavior. However, after a couple of days, you will start to see those positive actions more frequently and the attitudes of everyone become more positive.

IMPORTANT: Do not start a "Wins" board and not keep it up to date. It is demoralizing for your staff.           

Copyright protected worldwide. Gary Sorrell - Sorrell Associates, LLC


"The Old Year has gone.  Let the dead past bury its own dead.  The New Year has taken possession of the clock of time.  All hail the duties and possibilities of the coming twelve months!" 

~Edward Payson Powell


"Opportunities? They are all around us... There is power lying latent everywhere waiting for the observant eye to discover it."

~Orison Swett Marden


"A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go but ought to be."

~ Rosalynn Carter

About Us
Laurie helps organizations and professionals make positive changes to achieve their goals.  Achieve Success offers customized solutions to your business challenges including strategic planning, leadership development and employee assessment tools to assist with hiring, promoting and developing key skills to enhance success.   

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In This Issue
Six Keys to Unleashing Awesome Leadership
Managing People in 2010
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What About Small Businesses?
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How important are small businesses to the U.S. economy?

Small firms: Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms. Employ just over half of all private sector employees. Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll. Have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years. Create more than half of the nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP). Hire 40 percent of high tech workers (such as scientists, engineers, and computer programmers). Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises. Made up 97.3 percent of all identified exporters and produced 30.2 percent of the known export value in FY 2007. Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms; these patents are twice as likely as large firm patents to be among the one percent most cited.

What is small firms' share of employment?

Small businesses employ just over half of U.S. workers. Of 119.9 million non-farm private sector workers in 2006, small firms with fewer than 500 workers employed 60.2 million and large firms employed 59.7 million. Firms with fewer than 20 employees employed 21.6 million. While small firms create a majority of the net new jobs, their share of employment remains steady since some firms grow into large firms as they create new jobs. Small firms' share of part-time workers (21 percent) is similar to large firms' share (18 percent).

What share of net new jobs do small businesses create?

Firms with fewer than 500 employees accounted for 64 percent (or 14.5 million) of the 22.5 million net new jobs (gains minus losses) between 1993 and the third quarter of 2008. Continuing firms accounted for 68 percent of net new jobs, and the other 32 percent reflect net new jobs from firm births minus those lost in firm closures (1993 to 2007).


There are no limits to our opportunities. Most of us see only a small portion of what is possible. We create opportunities by seeing the possibilities, and having the persistence to act upon them. We must always remember... Opportunities are always here, we must look for them.

Problems are only opportunities in work clothes.

~ Henry J. Kaiser