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Author Archives: Joe Denner

A Critical Soft Skill for High Performing Teams

Some leaders really struggle when it comes to using “soft skills”. Unlike strategy, vision and execution, soft skills tend to focus on relationships, which is a more difficult realm. Many leaders would rather concentrate on producing results.


Photo Courtesy of Danielle Trista Photography


Strong leaders, however, recognize that without solid relationships with their team members the results won’t be nearly what they could. This concept was captured well by George Barna in his book, Master Leaders. The book quotes Sam Chand, president emeritus of Beulah Heights University, as saying, “I have discovered some defining things, and one of them is how little I can do by myself and how much more I can do through others.”

What are the results of showing compassion to our team? What are some simple ways to show we care?

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The Cornerstone of Effective Leadership

When asked in an interview what I considered to be the bottom line of effective leadership, my response was that it is building relationships of genuine trust with those who are following us. From experience I have learned that people from whom I’ve won trust will follow me, even if they are not sure where we are going.


 Photo Courtesy of Danielle Trista Photography


Last week I referred to Gallup’s book called, Strengths Based Leadership. In their extensive research to determine why people follow, they discovered four main reasons, the first of which is trust. In Kouzes and Posner’s book, The Leadership Challenge, their research established that the trait most people are looking for in a leader that they would willingly follow is honesty – i.e. a person they can trust. My experience and the research agree. Trust is the cornerstone for effective leadership, which means the opportunity for significant influence.

How does a person establish and maintain trust? Although a hard question to answer definitively, here are five key points:

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Four Ways to Create Loyal Followers

In their groundbreaking book, Strengths Based Leadership, the Gallup organization has presented a fresh look at leadership and what is at its core. In conducting over 10,000 interviews they set out to answer the question, “Why do people follow?”


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Although I highly recommend reading the book, I want to take some time to summarize their findings. In the weeks ahead we will dive deeper into these details and learn how we can increase the significance of our influence with those around us.

According to Gallup, the four things that people want and need most from their leaders are:

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Four Reasons That Reading is Good for Business and Life

Years ago, I was working with my personal coach on putting together a reading plan. I love to read and learn new things and I am constantly struggling to find more time to read. So, I decided I needed a plan to become more intentional. Hey, that sounds like what I try to get my clients to do. Imagine that.


Photo Courtesy of Danielle Trista Photography

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Functioning in the “Zone”

Years ago I spoke at a Ronald McDonald House Charities conference and received many positive comments. While I certainly enjoyed getting such positive feedback, I have to say that as I reflected back on the whole experience I enjoyed something else much more – actually giving the presentation.


Photo Courtesy of Danielle Trista Photography

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