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Conversation with a best selling author, Mr. Richard Lindenmuth

Clarity from Chaos Podcast

Release Date: 04/15/2016

A Conversation with Leadership Coach, Ms. Denise Green show art A Conversation with Leadership Coach, Ms. Denise Green

Clarity from Chaos Podcast

4 Achievable Steps for Turning Burnout into Brilliance By Denise R. Green   Stress is eroding the lives of too many of today's professionals. A landmark study by the Mayo Clinic identified the traits associated with workplace stress and burnout, including emotional exhaustion, bitter cynicism, a plummeting sense of accomplishment and "a tendency to view people as objects rather than as human beings." Whether you suffer from all these symptoms or just one or two, know that life doesn't have to be this way. We're all born with a spark, and then life piles on. But it's possible to...

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“We think it as competent and as necessary for a state to provide precautionary measures against the moral pestilence of paupers, vagabonds, and possibly convicts as it is to guard against the physical pestilence which may arise from unsound and infections articles.” -New York v. Miln, Chief Justice Philip P. Barbour 1837 Throughout our history, the United States have always adapted our immigration policies to suit the times and the will of the citizenry. Progressives have worked aggressively for decades to systematically rewrite history in support of their destructive ideologies. They...

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WASHINGTON (AP) — More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation. It's an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president. At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars...

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"Donald J. Trump has shaken up his presidential campaign for the second time in two months, hiring a top executive from the conservative website Breitbart News and promoting a senior adviser in an effort to right his faltering campaign.  Stephen Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News LLC, will become the Republican campaign’s chief executive, and Kellyanne Conway, a senior adviser and pollster for Mr. Trump and his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, will become the campaign manager.  Paul Manafort, the campaign chairman, will retain his title. But the staffing...

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CBS NEWS August 11, 2016, 7:01 AM CENTCOM accused of manipulating intel on ISIS Last Updated Aug 11, 2016 7:20 AM EDT According to a hard-hitting government task force report released Thursday, intelligence generated by the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) was manipulated to paint a rosier picture of the U.S. effort to combat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The report finds that, beginning in mid-2014, final intelligence reports issued by CENTCOM contradicted the initial internal assessments made by its own analysts, reports CBS News correspondent Jim Axelrod. "The facts on the ground didn't match...

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"The first case of locally-acquired Zika virus has arrived in Palm Beach County. Gov. Rick Scott said Monday the infected person recently traveled to Miami-Dade County, ground zero for an outbreak of Zika acquired through domestic mosquitoes. State health officials are attempting to determine where the unidentified person contracted the virus. Before Monday’s announcement, the state said that 20 people in Palm Beach County had been infected while traveling outside the United States to countries — mostly in the Caribbean and Latin America — where the virus is widespread. South Florida has...

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 7 Leadership Tips From an Interim CEO

Taking over a flailing, anxious company is anything but ideal circumstances for a new leader, but Interim CEOs face it all the time. It’s precisely this kind of high-pressure situation that forges strong and empathetic leadership strategies.

I’ve done it for three decades, turning around companies from agriculture (such as Styrotek) to telecommunications giants (such as ITT). As Interim leader, I have to parachute in, quickly gain trust and respect from all levels, determine a course of action, and unite everyone to stay that course — all within a limited timeframe.

It takes leadership strategies far beyond business and managerial chops, though certainly those are necessary. You can’t lead effectively without a connection to the people in the company; emotional intelligence is a must. Think of it as strategic empathy: sincerely focused on the individual, but always with the big picture top of mind.

Here are 7 tips for using strategic empathy as a leader. I learned them as an Interim CEO, but I’ll bet they bear relevance for anyone taking a leading role.

Expect anxiety.

When I walk into a company in crisis, I expect many people will be scared and angry, entirely natural given the conditions. But fear and uncertainty are fertile grounds for doubt and resistance. So act quickly to quell it, or you’ll have an entirely dysfunctional situation on your hands, where you can’t get anything done.

Let them say No.

Of course I don’t want to hear no. I want to hear yes. But as a leader, I have to be able to reach other people on an emotional level, or I’ve lost them. I also have to understand and contain my own emotions. So I hear people out, keeping my own feelings in check. When I inevitably hear no, I don’t try to counter it. I show that I respect what they think; that it’s safe to express their opinions. On a practical level, that free speech will come in handy when I’m looking for answers.

Don’t send a representative.

A perceived vacuum in leadership can have quick and devastating consequences, So make your presence known, and not by proxy. Direct contact is key. I don’t just speak to one level down, then dispatch the VPs to transmit my message to everyone else. That kind of ivory tower detachment won’t create any connection, trust or respect within the company. And unless you can build those, you’ll never get to yes.

Focus on the middle

Experience has taught me to listen to every level but focus my attention on the middle. The VPs are like the company’s elder counsel: their own survival in mind, they may just tell you what they think you want to hear. The bottom are less focused on strategic issues, but you need their confidence, trust, and input — as I found out by spending time on the floor at Styrotek. But it’s the middle managers that translate a CEO’s vision into daily practice. Without them, you can’t effectively implement change.

If you see something broken, fix it.

If you’re not leading with the goal of improving on the status quo, you’re not leading, you’re following the same flawed path. And decisive action inspires confidence. While the Interim CEO at Robinson Nugent, I joined the shipping team one day to find out why orders were frequently misdelivered. After watching one employee struggling with addresses, I took her aside — much to her relief. She had trouble reading, she told me, and added that for months, she’d been begging for a transfer to assembly. First I transferred her there, where her mechanical skills immediately shone and her wages increased. Then I fired the shipping supervisor, who should have known what was going on in his own department.

Everyone has to row the boat.

I’m steering a company back to health, but everyone has to row the boat or we’re all dead in the water. So I create an environment that encourages and rewards participation. At ITT I called a meeting with accounting and financial to discuss how to better support our revenue base. With the VPs and myself on stage before an audience of over 200 employees, I asked, “Is anyone here in sales?” My point was we’reall in sales: without satisfied customers, there are no accounts or revenue. Only one person raised her hand, but that was enough. “Great,” I said to her, “You got the message.” Then I walked into the audience to recognize her, and the whole mood shifted from disinterest to total engagement. Then we could all start getting things done.

Know the 8 out of 10 rule.

Generally, out of ten ideas, eight are unusable, but that’s the only way you get to those two good ones. And just because an individual’s title has nothing to do with the issue at hand doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t have a solution. So welcome all suggestions. While Interim CEO for a company stuck with 50 million dollars of nonmoving inventory, I held a meeting with accounting, marketing and sales, and asked for ideas. First a fellow from accounting suggested we sell the inventory at a big discount. I knew that wouldn’t work (it depended on the same channels that had already failed), but I praised the attempt, which encouraged more ideas. A new MBA suggested selling the inventory to a closeout retail chain. She wasn’t even in sales, but this was brilliant. Put together a team, I said, promising them a percentage. They sold everything.

Often, an interim CEO manages profound change under tremendous pressure. But use a unilateral, top-down leadership strategy, and you’ll lose before you even start. Instead, listen, learn, empathize, and include everyone in your strategy. If everyone is invested in a company’s survival, you’re far more likely to succeed. Remember: everyone’s got to take an oar to move that boat.

Richard Lindenmuth has been an Interim CEO in a number of industries, with business models ranging from high technology and services to heavy- and basic-industries. He has 30+ years general management experience in domestic and international operations, and is noted for his comprehensive execution skills in both high-growth and distressed environments. Lindenmuth is Chairman of the Association of Interim Executives and author of The Outside the Box Executive.