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Guest Post: Shep Hyken

We have a special guest on the blog today. Shep Hyken, Shepard Presentations, LLC, has written a terrific article that we’d like to share with you.

Are You the Owner?

By Shep Hyken

At many of my presentations, I’ll leave time at the end for the audience to brainstorm the ideas and take-aways they plan to implement as a result of what they heard in the speech. At a recent presentation for the Vail Valley Partnership in Vail, CO, Clark Walsh an employee at Old Forge Pizza made a great comment:

“I want to be so good that my customers ask me if I am the owner.”

Why would a customer ask that? Because of Clark’s positive attitude, the excellent service he delivers, the way he treats fellow employees, and more.

At least several things are happening here:

One, Clark respects and admires the owner.

Two, Clark finds the customer’s comment to be a compliment.

And three, the owner of the restaurant has obviously set a good example, one that Clark wants to emulate. By the way, this one is important. An owner must be a good role model, a mentor and leader. I’ve seen plenty of owners/leaders who don’t set good examples with a “do as I say, not as I do” management style.

Regardless of the size of your company, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you do, act like an owner.

Reposted with permission: ©2011 Shep Hyken All Rights Reserved If you want to re-post or republish, please Shep Hyken directly.

Shep Hyken is a professional speaker and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling business author who works with companies who want to develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees. For information on Shep’s speaking programs, books, and learning programs please contact (314) 692-2200. Email: shep@hyken.com – Web: www.hyken.com – Click here for information on The Customer Focus customer service training programs (www.TheCustomerFocus.com).

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on January 6, 2012 in Guest Post and tagged , , , ,


Guest Post: Ron Karr

We have a special guest on the blog today Ron Karr. Ron is the author of the CEO Bestselling Book Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way and is an in-demand speaker and consultant on building high performance sales cultures. For more information, go to https://www.ronkarr.com


Supercharge Your Success in Life the Justin Bieber Way

By Ron Karr

Justin Bieber is by far the biggest teen sensation today and for that matter one of the biggest stars of all. At the ripe old age of 17, you may be wondering how he achieved this phenomenal success. Truth be told, he did it the old fashioned way; a lot of hard work coupled with ingenuity.

In looking at his success over the past 4 years, the three key strategies he used to build his fame are what I have been urging my audiences as a motivational sales speaker to do themselves on a daily basis. And you can use them too to enhance your success in life.

  1. Hard Work

    Justin knew that in order to succeed, he had to win over all of his market segments. That included the fans, radio stations and recording studios. He first started making YouTube videos of his songs and posted them on the internet. Slowly but surely, he developed a following until one day a record produce saw his video and signed him to a contract.
    Justin did not stop there. He then went to hundreds of radio stations to promote his songs and gain their support to play them on the air. He gained their support not just by showing up, but by using the internet to make the radio stations successful. Before each appearance, he would send tweets, write blogs on where he was appearing next. Fans started to show up and before you knew it the radio stations had huge throngs outside their studios waiting for Justin. He made the radio stations successful that were happy to return the favor.

  2. Be Damn Good

    There is an old marketing saying that you are your best marketing brochure. Want to sell more of your stuff and ideas, be good at what you do. Better yet, be great at what you do.

  3. Create a Phenomenal Customer Experience

    | Justin excels at creating phenomenal customer experiences. He is all about being out there with his fans and making sure they are enjoying themselves. On this morning’s Today Show, Justin was promoting his upcoming movie and talked about how he enjoyed going to the top row of the venues he was playing at and giving front row tickets to some of those folks. That act alone has created hundreds if not thousands of lifetime fans who are now promoting his work to all of their friends. He understands the power of the customer experience and how that can propel anyone’s success.

During that same interview, Matt Lauer brought in a female fan from the street to ask Justin a question. The girl was in shock. First thing Justin did was to give her his 3 D glasses and made her feel comfortable. After answering the question, he told the girl to come here and he gave her a hug. In Matt Lauer’s words to Justin, “you just made that girl a hero in the eyes of her friends”. Justin knows that each and every encounter with a customer is an opportunity to either lose or win a customer for life. He excels at winning customers for life.

Justin Bieber may only be 17 years of age, but he has a lot to teach all of us on how to propel both our organizations and ourselves to greater levels of success.

Reposted with permission: ©2011 Ron Karr All Rights Reserved If you want to re-post or republish, please contact Ron Karr.

Ron Karr is acclaimed by business leaders as “America’s Business Transformation Expert.” President of the business consulting firm Karr Associates, Inc., Ron is a captivating speaker and in-demand business consultant. Karr Associates, Inc. specializes in helping organizations and professionals generate remarkable sales and operational results with the The Titan Principle® and helps companies design and implement positioning and sales strategies that accelerate both sales growth and overall profitability.

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on December 9, 2011 in Guest Post and tagged , ,


Guest Post: Gina Schreck

We have a special guest on the blog today. Technology expert Gina Schreck, founder of Synapse. Gina has written a terrific article that we’d like to share with you.


Leaders: Why Your Organization Should Not Be Using Social Media

By Gina Schreck

I am a social media nut… I’ll be the first to admit it.

I share photos on Instagram, post tips on Twitter, answer questions on Facebook, scan every QR Code that I encounter, and I love checking in on Foursquare to try and rip the Mayoral Robe from the curent reigning leader. So when I am heading to dinner, out for a day of shopping or staying in a hotel, I see if they have a social presence before I arrive. Perhaps they have deals being offered (great FREE guacamole at La Sandia in Littleton when you check in on Fourquare) or any tips left by other guests (Try and stay in room 2460 for the best view). If I find a company Facebook page or Twitter account, I will give a shout out that I am excited to be coming and if I have a great stay or great experience there, I am the first to send a tweet out to the world letting everyone know (and usually include a picture that I snapped with the FAB person who gave the great service–maybe it will help with that raise they deserve).

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But nothing chaps my hide more than when I post something on a company Facebook page, Twitter account, or another social site THEY have set up and get no response… nada… not a whisper! I am not looking for freebies or discounts, although I once tweeted about a great iPad docking and speaker system I found at Target and they replied with a $10 online coupon to say thanks for the shout out, BUT I am expecting someone to acknowledge my comment or question. So many organizations create social media accounts because someone said they should, but then they don’t realize that someone will have to manage the platform just like someone has to check voicemail or email if they give that out.

Too many companies think all they have to do is shove content out, like an ad going into the local mailer, and they usually have their accounts set up with an automated system that sends their promotional information to Facebook, Twitter, and any other platform they are using without ever checking to see if anyone commented or posted a question for them. These are the same accounts that will have 1,000 poor saps following them and the organization follows 3 people back (usually the three friends of the intern who set up the accounts). This shows they really aren’t interested in listening to anyone else. They just want others to get the junk they pump.

If your organization is contemplating getting on board and creating a Facebook presence, a Twitter account, or maybe even a Google Plus account, STOP. Before you create that profile and load that beautiful logo of yours, have a meeting with your team to answer these 5 questions first:

  1. Who will manage these accounts throughout the day? (Checking in 2 or 3 times per day AT LEAST, depending upon the type of business you have)
  2. Will we need outside/additional help?
  3. What is the ultimate goal of creating social channels? (Brand recognition? Increased sales channel? Additional customer support options? Customer feedback and interaction?) How will we define success?
  4. Will this be a combination of customer support, marketing, human resources and PR?
  5. How will we handle questions or complaints that come in via social channels?
  6. How will the person or team of people get regular content to post several times per day?

Once you have answered these questions you are ready to begin building your platform. And once you build it, they will come…it will take work…lots of work, but they will come, and when they do, you will be ready!

Reposted with permission: ©2011 Gina Schreck All Rights Reserved If you want to repost or republish, please contact Gina Schreck.


Gina Schreck is the founder of SocialKNX, a social media management firm. We help you build out the strategy, tie it into your overall goals and manage the daily activities for BIG SOCIAL SUCCESS! We’re always home! Find Gina on Twitter @GinaSchreck or on Facebook – GinaSchreck.

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on November 18, 2011 in Guest Post and tagged , ,


Guest Post: David Graham | Empower HR leadership teams to deliver more business value

Guest Post: David Graham | Empower HR leadership teams to deliver more business value

We have a special guest on the blog today. David Graham, founder of Executive Insight, has written a terrific article that we’d like to share with you.


How do you empower HR leadership teams to deliver more business value?

Visit David Graham‘s blog for more great articles.

This article, produced by Deloitte Human Capital discusses the role of the HR COO. If you have any questions, contact Jack Sellschop at jsellschop@deloitte.co.za or Gareth Evans at garevans@deloitte.co.za

How do you empower HR leadership teams to deliver more business value?The emerging role of the HR COO – Empowering HR leadership teams to deliver more business value

Despite the proven benefits of HR transformation, business executives and HR leaders alike continue to voice frustration with HR’s ability to deliver value. With no shortage of talented people doing great work, what is the problem? All signs point to the need to rethink how HR organisations deliver on the promise of supporting the business – with a new role designed to drive performance improvements across the entire HR organisation, namely the HR Chief Operating Officer.

The business wants more – not less – from HR

Business leaders today fully understand the value of people. They can clearly articulate their top people priorities – and are more than willing to invest to get what they need. At the same time, Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) leaders know they have to deliver what the business needs and wants. As a result, when business and HR leaders sit down to work together, they are often focused less on what needs to be done, and more on how.

Predictably, business leaders want better, faster and more compliant HR services at a lower cost and an HR organisation that can turn on a dime to support their ever-changing business strategies and goals. Unfortunately, many HR organisations continue to struggle to meet those demanding requirements.

The challenge of getting to “better, faster, cheaper and more agile” is daunting for any organisation, but it is doubly difficult for HR organisations, where many leadership teams still operate with structures and roles that have been in place for decades.

The traditional model for HR leadership

Today, a typical corporate HR leadership team is led by a CHRO and includes HR VPs for business units, HR VPs for Centres of Expertise (e.g. Compensation and Benefits), a VP for HR Operations, a VP for HR Technology, a head of legal for HR and an HR controller. Some leadership team members have dual reporting relationships, which can include direct lines to the CIO, CFO, CAO or Chief Legal Counsel.

Within this familiar structure, leadership team roles and responsibilities are predictable. For example, HR VPs for business units are naturally focused on business unit HR issues. Centre-of-Expertise leaders concentrate on HR policies and programmes. Leaders for HR Shared Services and Technology manage operations and technology. And so on.

In terms of operating model, HR leadership team members typically have their own budgets and resources and are responsible for developing an annual operating plan to support their priorities and projects. Implementation, however, is often the responsibility of an IT or Shared Services group, which may have its own resources and budget. Members of the leadership team and their organisations provide implementation support as needed, such as communications assistance or loaned resources.

This traditional model works well as far as it goes – but it does not go nearly far enough. For example, when coordination is required across multiple functions and business units (such as merger integration or enterprise-wide rollout of a new HR initiative), the model falls short. In those circumstances, integration is typically handled on an ad hoc basis through an informal network of “go-to people” in the HR organisation. The network steps up and pulls together to handle deals when they happen, with leadership often provided by an experienced team of HR leaders. Success hinges on relationships and special effort rather than reliable processes, lines of authority and structure. As a result, there is often a gap between the expectations of business leaders and what HR is set up to deliver.

What’s not working?

How do you empower HR leadership teams to deliver more business value?Most HR leaders can point to an innovative service they developed to solve a critical business challenge. Their stories have a familiar theme: the work required a lot of cooperation, goodwill and effort by HR people who stepped up to the challenge to get something important done. The examples are hard to replicate because they required huge commitments of time and energy.

Similarly, many HR organisations have gone through successful HR transformation programmes. By design, these programmes come to an end point at which the transformation of current HR services (or the development of new HR services) stops. There is rarely a structure in place to sustain the cycle of continuous performance improvement.

These two scenarios illustrate a fundamental dilemma. On one hand, HR leaders understand that the business understands the value of people and is willing to invest in people more than ever before. Yet on the other hand, their HR organisations are not prepared to take advantage of this opportunity with their current structures, roles and processes. HR leaders understand this dilemma and want a solution to this problem.

Rethinking structure

To help HR organisations seize this business challenge, we propose a simple step in the evolution of HR organisations: a division of responsibility between HR executives who focus primarily on what needs to get done and those who focus on how it gets done. That step requires creating a new, senior HR role – the HR Chief Operating Officer.

The HR COO is the leader who focuses on how HR services are delivered, as well as the design, development and implementation of HR services. The person in this new role will drive efficiency, effectiveness, cost and compliance for all HR services. The table on page three shows the division of responsibility in the HR leadership team when an HR COO is established.

Getting it done

Like any other leadership position, the role of the HR COO should be defined to establish clear lines of responsibility and reporting relationships. However, because solid line reporting relationships will not always exist, the influence element of the HR COO role should also be well defined.


  • Current HR service delivery, as well as driving improvements, to provide efficient, effective and compliant HR services
  • Design, development and implementation of new HR services
  • Development and implementation of business-focused HR metrics
  • Delivering reliable workforce data with corresponding workforce reporting and analytics
  • Development of the overall HR budget and analysis of total HR spend
  • Development of a vendor management plan
  • HR compliance and risk management
  • Project management, including building capabilities for HR to manage projects such as Six Sigma in HR
  • Development and implementation of an HR technology strategy to support the business needs


The HR COO role will generally have a combination of solid-line and dotted-line reporting relationships.


The ability to exert influence is always important in leadership, but it is even more critical in structures with multiple dotted-line reporting relationships. HR COOs and their direct and indirect reports need a solid understanding of how goals are set and how performance will be evaluated. This requires clarity about who influences and shapes day-to-day work, as well as longer-term career needs of these individuals.

How do you empower HR leadership teams to deliver more business value?

Strength through business results

The HR COO is a new and evolving role, but from organisations that have taken early steps in this direction, there are clear indications of common themes that drive effectiveness.

For starters, the HR COO role depends on having a clear and communicated mandate to drive HR service delivery, with responsibility for HR efficiency, effectiveness and compliance. As such, it requires full support of the Executive Committee and the HR leadership team. The HR COO will need to develop working relationships with members of the senior leadership team. One way to gain that support is to establish shared HR leadership team goals that are part of each member’s performance objectives.

Looking ahead

To put it simply, the HR Chief Operating Officer is not a role that someone can be phased into overtime, nor can it be piloted. It requires a depth of conviction from CHROs who know they are not yet delivering the services that the business needs. In the months and years ahead, more and more CHROs will embrace the HR COO model as they strive to crack the code for operational excellence in HR service delivery. Recognising that even the best people cannot excel in a sub-optimal operating model, they will make the call that only leaders can make – to change the operating model of the HR organisation to harness the power of how.

What are your views on the role of the HR COO? We would love to hear from you.

Reposted with permission: ©2011 David Graham All Rights Reserved If you want to re-post or republish, please contact David Graham.


David Graham founded the Executive Insight blog with a primary objective is to share business-related content around strategy, innovation, human capital, technology, risk management, tax and my favourite, digital and social media marketing to decision-makers. He also participates in LinkedIn and Twitter and welcome your feedback, comments and dialogue.

He manages all digital channels for Deloitte Consulting in South Africa. Connects and shares with like-minded and influential people. Married, three children, mountain biking, outdoors, good food, red wine, Lions (local rugby team in SA).

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on October 28, 2011 in Guest Post and tagged , , , ,


Guest Post: Ted Coiné

Please Move My Cheese (…Well, Maybe) by Ted Coiné


We have a special guest on the blog today. Author, speaker, and social media leader Ted Coiné, Catalyst from Ted Coiné, has written a terrific article that we’d like to share with you.


Please Move My Cheese (…Well, Maybe)

By Ted Coiné

Want to suck the motivation out of your people? Move the goalposts on them. Change the rules mid-game enough times and I promise, even the most obstinately-positive of your employees will learn to give up.

Have you read Spencer Johnson’s bestselling classic, Who Moved My Cheese? It’s all about how individuals deal with change. I have to admit that when I read it several years ago, I was nonplussed. I thought at the time, “So what? Who doesn’t like change?” It’s taken me years to figure out what I was missing. Now, finally, I get it.

I was raised to lead. I haven’t always been in leadership positions, and when I have I’ve made an inordinate number of missteps and more than a few downright egregious mistakes to boot. But my internal dialogue, my self-image, has always been that of a leader. Leaders feel in control of their destiny, which I know can at times be self-deception, but that deception is often quite helpful in driving us through obstacles and toward eventual success.

But finally, I get it. I don’t like all change after all! For the most part, I like change that I impose on myself. It spices things up, keeps them interesting, and it’s a great way to stumble your way toward invention and eventual breakthrough success.

But leaders: in order to be good at what you do, you’ve got to put yourself in your people’s shoes. When you choose change for them, you’re in control – so of course, you’re going to enjoy it, or you’ll change it again! But when followers – employees – have change imposed on them it’s an entirely different scenario. The locus of control is outside them. They’re helpless.

Need an example? Here’s one: you tell your staff what is expected of them. “Do this, and you’ll meet expectations. Exceed it by this much, and you’re a star.” Simple and every-day, isn’t it? So here’s how you sucker-punch them in the gut: change the rules mid-game, or (better still) after the game is over! Move the goalposts after they’ve already kicked the ball. “Oh yeah,” you say, “You’ve done great, but so has everyone else, so we’ve made it harder.”

Umm…. Hmm. How should any rational person react?

In this economy, here is one possible answer: many of the stars you’ve hired or developed won’t quit in disgust and rage born of helplessness. They’ll keep coming to work. But they’ll resent your company, and maybe they’ll resent you as their “leader.” They’ll stop trying. They’ll start looking around for better situations outside of your team, or your department, or maybe – if the rest of the company is no better – outside of your company altogether. You’ll find out that you lost them, but only when they’re ready.

And meanwhile, you’ve taken something great – an eager, winning attitude – and you’ve willfully poisoned it.

That is why people loathe and resist change. It isn’t about the change itself. It’s about the helplessness, the change imposed on them by un-empathetic leaders. Obtuse leaders. Leaders who, as I was, don’t get a big part of the equation of change.

Change rocks – when it’s fair. Just don’t move the goalposts after the ball’s been kicked. That is, if you’re serious about building a high-talent, intensely-motivated team.

Reposted with permission: ©2011 Ted Coiné All Rights Reserved If you want to re-post or republish, please contact Ted Coiné.


Ted Coiné is one of the most influential business leaders on Twitter, with a following of over seventy thousand and growing rapidly. He is founder of the #leadbiz community on Twitter, a forum that attracts some of the top minds in business leadership and innovation. He is also an active member of #usguys, a marketing and Social Media community, and part of the leadership committee of #custserv, one of the most highly trafficked weekly chats on the medium.

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Posted by Liz Weber CMC on September 30, 2011 in Guest Post and tagged , , ,