Welcome! August 23, 2006

Developing People ... Inspiring Success
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Volume 3, Issue 7   Aug 2006   ISSN 1556-3820

"Leadership is about doing difficult things."
-- George Watson, co-founder and leader, T3 Group
   Note From Regina

It's that time of year when the days are getting shorter and there is a hint of fall in the air. Now is a great time to take a step back and reflect on your leadership skills before the big fall ramp-up begins. My article, Five Key Leadership Lessons I Learned from Serving on Non-Profit Boards, is sure to give you some food for thought. I'd also be interested to know your tolerance for poor performers, so be sure to take this month's short poll.

Interested in developing key business relationships? Then be sure to visit my Blog and read my article on Cultivating Relationships that Matter.

Don't forget to visit my website, www.redladder.com, where you will find more information about our consulting, executive coaching, and speaking services, as well as other resources, articles, and tools to help you be more successful.

Yours in success,

Regina Barr

   Feature Article

Five Key Leadership Lessons I Learned from Serving on Non-Profit Boards

Like many of you, I serve on several non-profit boards in various capacities including chair. And, like many of you, I have had great experiences and frustrating experiences. Here are some of the key leadership lessons I have learned along the way that are critical for success. These lessons can serve you well in both a non-profit and for-profit environment.

1. Have a vision. This should be clear and well articulated so that everyone understands where the organization is going. People want to be part of something important if not big. Your job is to show them how their work is going to make a difference and then inspire them to want to do whatever it takes to deliver that vision.

2. Plan the work, work the plan. Develop a strategic plan with deliverables, deadlines and key responsibilities. Then, your job is to motivate and coach team members to success. You should also expect to be called upon to secure resources, remove roadblocks and hold people accountable. Sound obvious? Maybe, but you'd be surprised at how many boards I've served on where there wasn't a plan in place. Poor board performance and lack of results were the outcome. Remember, most boards and teams want to be part of a group that makes things happen.

3. Get the right people on board. Create job descriptions, identify key competencies, and benchmark positions to ensure that you put the right team in place. There are a number of assessment tools that can help you do this cost effectively and efficiently. And, don't be pennywise and pound foolish. If you lack critical skills in-house, then be willing to outsource to obtain those skills. I've never worked with an organization where budget wasn't a key consideration; however, completing a simple cost benefit analysis can go a long way in helping to make the business case for obtaining critical skills, particularly if they are required to achieve key outcomes.

4. Fire poor performers. That's right. You're not doing anyone a favor by allowing someone that doesn't fulfill the minimum requirements of their position to continue in a particular role whether they are volunteers or paid employees. At best, it damages your credibility as a leader. At worst, it damages the performance of the entire team. It will be much harder for you to overcome a lack of credibility or worse, the resentment of your team, than it will be for you to muster up the courage to fire someone from your team. Of course you will want to follow your organizations policy for handling this type of situation.

5. Make course corrections along the way. Leaders make decisions based on the information currently at hand. As new information becomes available, you've got to be willing to use that information to implement changes along the way, and if necessary, to cancel projects and initiatives that no longer make sense altogether. Ignoring reality, unwillingness or inability to make key decisions, and inability to manage change, will only serve to undermine your effectiveness and the performance of those you are leading.

If you are currently leading or plan to lead a corporate or non-profit team, heed these lessons and you will find yourself and your team on the fast track for success.

Copyright 2006 Regina Barr, Red Ladder, Inc.

Regina Barr is a management consultant and speaker. Her consulting firm, Red Ladder, Inc., specializes in helping organizations and their leaders develop their full potential through strategic project management, executive coaching and training. Regina also helps companies develop strategies to attract, develop and retain women leaders. For more information visit www.RedLadder.com or http://www.redladder.blogs.com/.

   Pass it on ...

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About Red Ladder

Red Ladder, Inc., provides people development services for individuals and organizations with a goal of developing people and inspiring success. Regina Barr, CEO of Red Ladder, holds a BBA, an MBA and an MA in human development. With over seventeen years in the financial services industry, she has a broad range of leadership experience in product, sales, and marketing. In addition, Regina has a special passion for helping companies attract, develop and retain women leaders.

in this issue ...

Today's poll ...
As a leader, I tolerate poor performers on my team...

Take this simple poll and view others' feedback regarding this topic.

What's New ...

Red Ladder is pleased to offer two new programs:

1. Dynamic Communications(TM): Increasing Communication Through Understanding Behaviors. This Program is available as a 2, 4 or 6 hour seminar or workshop.

2. Dynamic Communications(TM): Someday it "Should" Get Easier and Other Communication Myths is available as a 30-60 minute keynote program or lunch & learn.

Speaking Schedule ...

Interested in hearing Regina speak? Here are some of Regina's upcoming programs:

September 19, 2006, Financial Women International Conference, Women at the Top Panel, Las Vegas, NV

October 14, 2006, Women's Economic Power Day, Show me the Money: Negotiating for More of What You Deserve, Minneapolis, MN

November 14, 2006, FWI Twin Cities Metro Group, Professionalism and the Bottom Line, Minneapolis, MN

November 18, 2006, Banking and Finance Leading CEO & CIO Summit, Challenges Facing Women Banking Leaders, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

December 6, 2006, NAFE's Professional Women in Corporate America Network, A Spirit of Abundance, Putting a Holiday Twist on Networking, New York, NY

April 4, 2007, FWI Iowa District, Positive Risk: How Smart Women Use Passion to Break Through Their Fears, Ames, IA

for information on how to register or if you are interested in having Regina speak to your organization.

Resources ...

Leadership by Rudolph W. Giuliani. With the fifth anniversary of 9/11 approaching, I thought it would be a great time to re-visit the leadership lessons learned from this national tragedy. In LEADERSHIP, Giuliani demonstrates through vivid, practical examples how he used an aggressive, hands-on management style to deal with everything from petty crime to terrorism.

What Our Clients are Saying ...

"Regina Barr has distinguished herself as an invaluable, innovative and highly regarded leader. She brings a devotion and fresh eye that conveys confidence and energy to all who work with her."

--Sandy Morris, President, The Woman's Club of Minneapolis

Copyright 2006 Regina Barr, Red Ladder, Inc. All rights reserved.
www.redladder.com | info@redladder.com | 651-453-1007 | Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076