Business Communication with Baron Hanson

  Tom Peters said, If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade.”
There is an abundance of information on how to run or launch a successful business, but when it comes to turning around a business, the thinking elevates to an entirely new level.  Yesterday, I had the privilege of interviewing Baron Hanson, the lead consultant for Red Baron Consulting on the mindset and communication skills necessary for implementing successful business turnarounds – they have 220 successful turnarounds under their belt.flag

 Many of us are all too familiar with businesses that have fallen on hard times in this uncertain economy, and find ourselves cheering for the innovators and entrepreneurs who are determined to finish strong.  Like many, I have become fascinated with the skill set of the elusive turnaround artist – whether innovation breakdowns, operational inefficiencies, or talent shortage, chances are, they are the bearer of the wake up call.
Baron shares his formula for meaningful first meetings with potential clients, and what he describes as the four C’s of turnaround management: Cost, Customer, Competition, and Consensus.  When I asked if most CEO’s are cognizant that they need help, he responded with genuine insight on what keeps the C-suite and employees up at night.  I think that you will find this interview full of useful and rich content, please listen and enjoy!

Guess which Presidential candidate is known for successful turnarounds…


Finding ‘Flow’ In Social Media

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, defines flow as “…being fully immersed in what he or she is doing by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of activity,” in other words, optimal experience, engagement and skill.  I have observed that the most effective communicators in social media are those that have a ‘flow’ mindset – Brian Solis, says it well, “continuity, cadence, and a voice that readers can connect with.”  There is a fair amount of creativity that is being shared and responded to with genuine curiosity, but what I find the most fascinating, however, are the individuals that have found their unique voice in all the noise.

Fresh bamboo leaves over waterFinding the appropriate communities where one can leverage involvement and focus requires consistency, planning and intent. It’s time to start taking note of the business relationships that stem from online conversations.For relationships to flow, you need to invest some time in relevant conversations. For instance, yesterday, four ladies that I interact with on a weekly basis, finally scheduled some Skype time, #cafefab (stay tuned) – beyond amazing is that all of us commented immediately on how our voices represented our online personas: extrovert, grace, calm, and insightful. The warmth and generosity of spirit, as one of our gals described, was our fifth guest; because we had invested time and skill in cultivating an optimal experience.  Mihaly was right – the energy and flow was meaningful.

So the question is can you engage in social media without causing disruption in your life? Yes.  When I engage with new clients, I ask three questions before creating an action plan:

  1. Do you have a voice?  People want to hear your voice.
  2. Have you identified your strategic goals for engaging online?
  3. Are you ready to meet some serious thought leaders? Think intention.

The technical skills will come; but, to achieve a flow that will benefit you personally requires focus and strategy. In my BlogTalkRadio show this morning, I interviewed, communication expert, Jill Royston, on how she discovered the meaning of flow in a very unexpected adventure while in London.  Please listen to Jill’s amazing story as she encourages all of us to challenge our boundaries, be intentional and to open up to flow…

* For those who are wondering who extrovert, gracious, calm, and insightful, might be – girlfriends never tell, but if you follow us online, you’ll know who we are!


How To Be An Influencer

           The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority, Kenneth Blanchard

In my second interview with executive coach and communication expert, Jill Royston, we explore influence from the perspective of leadership communication.  Jill points out that formulating what you want to achieve when first engaging, is a basic communication skill that acknowledges intention – ‘it’s unlikely, that if you cannot formulate, you’ll be able to influence.”  She agreed with Gunter Wessels, a healthcare executive,  that getting a commitment for continued dialogue,  is a result of prep work.abstract art - hand painted

Jill shared three key points on how to become an influencer:

  1. ‘Influence’ is something that you can develop- and that it is a leadership skill.
  2. Test your views with the other persons, do not keep repeating the same point – make sure that you know where the other person is in the conversation.
  3. At the end of a conversation, evaluate to see if value was created or if the intended outcome happened.

Trust and authenticity is a topic that is often discussed online and one way that Jill suggests to look at trust is, as a pattern over time – a track record!    Thank you for tuning in!

The best laid plans of mice and men go oft astray – Jill and I lived this today! Jill lost her phone and found it seconds after we went on air – and I did not go on air until 5 seconds before and lost my notes! We love Friday morning interviews! Next…