Malcolm Gladwell & Underdogs

July 4, 2009 by  
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Malcolm Gladwell wrote a wonderful piece in the New Yorker about how underdogs can outperform experienced players.

Full article here

Jobseekers – 7 Steps for Letting Go & Moving On

July 4, 2009 by  
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Jobseekers – 7 Steps for Letting Go and Moving On

Another in my series of articles for How can jobseekers move beyond the impact of losing their job and get into job search quickly?  Read the article HERE

An interview with Alan Weiss

July 4, 2009 by  
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Friday, July 10th, Alan Weiss shares his wisdom about consulting in our first 2009 summer teleconference.

All registrants are eligible to enter the “Ask Alan” contest.  In this contest two consultants who pose the most intriguing questions will each receive one of Alan’s books.

For details, go to the registration page

Even if you can’t attend live, register and receive the download after the call.


Sylva Leduc, MEd, MPEC
Programs Chair, IMC AZ
Sage Leadership Strategies

Even longer lines at the airport?

May 25, 2009 by  
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Well, the TSA is at it again with new and “improved” restrictions.

Phase 1 of the Secure Flight Program took effect on May 15th and it requires the name on your airline boarding pass matches your government issued ID.

Not a big deal. Right?

If your driver’s license shows your middle initial, then your initial should be on the ticket, too. If you fly internationally, then the names on your boarding pass have to match your passport. Which means you’ll need to spell out your middle name when you book your flight.

The TSA says it won’t deny boarding, but we’ll see.

Phase 2 begins in August when we have to include our date of birth and gender when making reservations.

Flying between US & Canada? Remember your passport!

Don’t forget that after June 1, all travel between the US and Canada requires a passport.  Until recently, driving across the border was okay with only a driver’s license.

Recently, a friend told me she had to cancel a trip.  She’d flown to Seattle to visit friends and they decided to make a quick trip to Vancouver.  She couldn’t go, though, because she did not bring her passport along.

As a Canadian living in the US, I’ve gotten used to carrying my passport with me whenever I fly anywhere.  But this will be a new habit for my husband.

Happy traveling,
Sylva Kathleen Leduc
(aka Sylva K. Leduc, Sylva Leduc, Syl Leduc)

20 (Bad) Habits of Highly Ineffective Leaders

May 21, 2009 by  
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Many years ago, Stephen Covey wrote about the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  That book is a classic.  Another book which has become a classic is Marshall Goldsmith’s, What Got You Here Won’t Get You There.

Goldsmith identified the 20 (plus one) most common pitfalls of leaders.  The following are quoted from chapter four:

  1. Winning too much:
    The need to win at all costs and in every situation.
  2. Adding too much value:
    The overwhelming desire to add our own two cents to every discussion.
  3. Passing judgment:
    The need to rate others an impose our standards on them.
  4. Making destructive comments:
    The needless sarcasms and cutting remarks that we think make us sound sharp and witty.
  5. Starting with “No”, “But” or “However”:
    The overuse of theses negative qualifiers which secretly say to everyone, “I’m right. You’re wrong.”
  6. Telling the world how smart we are:
    The need to show people we’re smarter that they think we are.
  7. Speaking when angry:
    Using emotional volativity as a management tool.
  8. Negativity:
    The need to share our negative thoughts even when we aren’t asked.
  9. Withholding information:
    The refusal to share information in order to maintain an advantage over others.
  10. Failing to give proper recognition:
    The inability to praise and reward
  11. Claiming credit we don’t deserve:
    The most annoying way to overestimate our contribution to any success.
  12. Making excuses:
    The need to reposition our annoying behavior as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it.
  13. Clinging to the past:
    The need to deflect blame away from ourselves and onto events and people from our past: a subset of blaming everyone else.
  14. Playing favorites:
    Failing to see that we are treating someone unfairly.
  15. Refusing to express regret:
    The inability to take responsibility for our actions, admit we’re wrong, or recognize how our actions affect others.
  16. Not listening:
    The most passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues.
  17. Failing to express gratitude:
    The most basic form of bad manners.
  18. Punishing the messenger:
    The misguided need to attack the innocent who are usually only trying to help us.
  19. Passing the buck:
    The need to blame everyone but ourselves.
  20. An excessive need to be “me”:
    Exalting our faults as virtues simply because they’re who we are.
  21. Goal obsession:
    When we get so wrapped up in the goal that we lose sight of the mission.

Of course, recognizing one’s own bad habits is a starting point.  The next vital step is to wean ourselves off the habits and replace them with more effective leadership behaviors.

I highly recommend this book.

Sylva Leduc

aka The Leadership Strategist

Warm Bones

May 17, 2009 by  
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This week I am working in New York.  It’s been such a long time since I’ve flown to work at a client site that I’d forgotten about the stress associated with travel.

When I landed at JFK it was cold and rainy, which was a rude shift after the warmth of Arizona.  I hadn’t realized how quickly I have adapted to the heat of Arizona.  I arrived at our new home in Scottsdale, AZ only a week before I flew back east.

Each morning I’d awakened early to the sun filling the room and I was eager to get to work.  In less than a week I’d gone walking several times even though the temperature was approaching 100 degrees.  I joked with my husband that after living in Seattle for nearly ten years my bones are finally warm.

I’ve always known I am a warm-weather, sun lover and have the freckles to prove it.  I just hadn’t realized the impact that the environment had on my disposition. I get much more done each day.

Leadership Lesson: Environments make a difference in productivity. Does the environment in your organization contribute to high levels of productivity?

Do you have a social networking strategy?

May 15, 2009 by  
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Last week, Dave Cooke, aka the Sales Cooke, filled our brains with even more information about Social Media.  In his presentation, though, Dave talked about developing a strategy instead of jumping in blindly.

I’m glad he that was the focus of his presentation because I’ve been telling people to do the same thing.  Blogging, LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook, Ryze, Ning, Xing, YouTube or Twitter or anything else is only as good as your plan.

Dave sent his PPTs, which will be forwarded to those who attended the meeting.  He also asked me to share the following recommendations for anyone grappling with what to do next:

  1. Define what your business.  What do you provide your clients, the
    value your clients get and the real problems or issues that you solve for your
  2. Determine what people would be looking for if they would be looking
    for the solutions that you are providing.  Is it better hires,
    teamwork, increased revenues, etc.
  3. Defining what businesses are looking for and what your business
    solves is your marketing opportunity.  Develop a plan or a vision for
    how you would promote this combination.
  4. Determine how you would like to best communicate your message –
    written, audio, video, etc.
  5. Start capturing your thoughts and ideas in the selected medium from
    above as it relates to your expertise and share them.
  6. Use to promote your postings.
  7. Use a social networking site (Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo) to
    increase your contacts.
  8. Link Twitter, Social Networking and your chosen medium together and
    get busy.

If anyone has questions, please contact Dave via

Sylva Leduc, follow me on Twitter @windowsyl

Roadmap to Success

May 10, 2009 by  
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After waiting in anticipation for several months, my new book has been published and my copies arrived.  Actually, it’s more than “my” book as Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey and other executive coaches/consultants all contributed to Roadmap to Success.

View the book Roadmap to Success HERE

I am speaking at several events in Phoenix and Scottsdale this year and will be giving away copies.  If you can’t wait till then, give me a call at 480-515-5511 and I’ll mail one to you.

We are also creating an online program, The 5 Steps for Developing Your Leadership Roadmap and it will be free with the purchase of a book.  To get on the waiting list, just complete the form on the right (by the light bulb) you will be automatically notified when it is available.

What if you didn't think you would fail?

April 18, 2009 by  
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Susan Boyle

Who hasn’t heard of her?  Susan is the new singing phenomenon from Britain’s Got Talent.  In less than one week she has endeared herself to more than 20 Million people as we watched her world premiere on the YouTube stage.susan-boyle1

Susan didn’t think she would fail. In fact, she said she was going to rock the audience and did a cheeky little dance before Simon Cowell and the whole audience.

What would happen if you had the courage to go after your dreams?

What if we didn’t care that people might laugh at us or mock us because we didn’t fit into a stereotype of what we “should do” or “should look like.”

Well, we might end up like Susan Boyle.  We’d set a goal, never give up hope, look for the right time and when that opportunity showed up we’d seize it.  And sing our hearts out, of course.

To watch Susan’s original performance on YouTube with 26M+ views, Go Here.

Here is a 1999 recording of Cry Me A River in which there were only 1000 CDs created for a charity event.  And another recording which predates the charity concert is Killing Me Softly With His Song.

Congratulations to Susan.  I hope the media circus isn’t too hard on her because she doesn’t fit the stereotype of beauty.  And I also hope she is able to maintain her image without undergoing too much of a Hollywood makeover.

What do you think, does Susan need a makeover?

What would you do if you were laid off?

April 15, 2009 by  
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This week in the Phoenix Business Journal there was a poll asking, “What would you do if you were laid off from your current job?”  Over the past few days I watched how the numbers changed.  Initially most people who completed the poll indicated they would start their own business.  Gradually the numbers shifted.

Does this mean people with an entrepreneurial spirit respond quicker?  Or that the people who will stay in their own industry are more measured in their responses, but greater in number?  At the time of this posting (April 15th), the numbers were:

Look for job in same industry.
Look for job in different industry.
Start my own business.
Go back to school.
Retire. I have enough to live on.

I’m going to keep tracking and see what changes,

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