Many leaders come about the role and title by accident. Due to good technical skills, a great work ethic, seniority, or the unexpected exit of a former leader, a new leader is promoted. Without warning, and often without support or development, the new leader goes from “one of us” to “one of them.” This type of unplanned instant promotion is the root of many management and leadership problems resulting in workplace drama in the form of low morale, poor team coordination, and lowered engagement.

If you fall into this category of leaders who have been promoted without support, training and development, here are three steps you can take to start developing yourself so you can become the leader you want to be.

Step 1: Define your leadership.

Step 2: Make friends with reality.

Step 3: Build a plan to close the gap.

Step 1: Define your leadership (read more…)

If coaching is to succeed, it must be simple and specific. That’s why I am a big believer in flash cards. Maybe this goes back to my childhood when my patient mother used them to help me learn phonetics, words and arithmetic.

You can even make a master flash card for dealing with complex problems by doing the following:

  • Square the circle. Focus on the core problem and its root causes, not peripheral ones that may be clouding the picture.
  • Determine action steps. Be specific about what you can do as well as what you cannot do.
  • Move forward. Take action when called for.

Flash cards can serve as your prompt to think through a problem, as well as to take action in a deliberate manner.


John Baldoni is chair of leadership development at N2Growth, is an internationally recognized leadership educator and executive coach. In 2014, Trust Across America named him to its list of top 100 most trustworthy business experts. (read more…)

Five years ago, for quality-of-life and cultural reasons, I returned with my wife and our three daughters to my native Israel while still continuing to lead ZoomInfo — a company I had founded, with headquarters in Waltham, Mass.

If the decision sounds risky, that’s because, as much as I would love to say otherwise, at the time, it felt like it was. No matter how much executive leadership and I prepared, I understood relocating 5,500 miles and seven time zones away from the team would introduce both expected and unexpected challenges. Not to mention, as an added twist, I adopted the Israeli workweek of Sunday to Thursday.

Nevertheless, after spending more than two decades as a serial entrepreneur, I’ve learned a few lessons, including that the term “agility” isn’t restricted to product development or roadmaps. And, in the end, not only did ZoomInfo earn Inc. 5000 recognition and achieve record year-over-year growth in both revenue and profitability in 2015, but on a personal level, the move forced me to re-examine and fine-tune my leadership style. (read more…)

There’s something extraordinary about TED. This nonprofit foundation has touched millions around the world with inspirational talks, spreading ideas that invite listeners to see the world in a new or different way. Chances are, you’ve been deeply affected by at least one TED talk. Try to imagine what it’s like to actually participate in a TEDx event.

I was recently honored to serve on the Speaker Selection Committee and be a speaker coach for a TEDx event in Raleigh, NC. This experience gave rise to some lessons and tips worth spreading.

TED-inspired tips to enhance your next presentation

1. Have an idea worth spreading

Whenever you step up to speak, take the time to develop a compelling core message — the one simple phrase or sentence that captures the essence of your presentation. My TEDx experience renewed my admiration for the brilliance and elegance of a simply stated core message. The most important thing you can do as a speaker is to develop your point of view, your idea worth spreading. (read more…)

This post is sponsored by Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT).

As shopper demands change, retailers and developers are working to create locations that offer unique experiences that appeal to consumers. To position itself for the future, PREIT has been evolving its portfolio of properties under the leadership of CEO Joe Coradino.

Here we talk to him about his recent changes to the company and where and how he plans to position it for growth.

Question: Since becoming CEO, you’ve done a lot to reposition the company’s portfolio. Can you tell us how that is helping in the current market?

Joe Coradino: Our portfolio transformation is the result of our focus on several key initiatives that we announced when I became CEO in 2012. The disposition program was particularly noteworthy. We have sold 13 lower-performing malls and other noncore properties. With the sale proceeds, we’ve been able to reinvest capital in stronger assets and have paid down debt, which has ultimately strengthened our position in the market and made our portfolio more compelling to retailers and investors. (read more…)