Become a Better Leader

Federal Financial Group LLC Reviews

Don’t be an interrupting cow! ;D


Self-Review to Become a Better Leader
Article Review and Synopsis by Susan Escalante

In order to motivate others we must pay attention to more than just increasing our approach, knowledge, and positive behaviors. We must also pay attention to the things that we should stop doing, as well. It is true that people notice and remember the bad more than they notice the good. Amy Jen Su and Maignan Wilkins, writers for Harvard Business Review blogs, suggest that we look at these three:

Judgmental, non-verbal body language. No one, especially your successful colleagues, can tolerate any degree of perceived condescension. Research studies show that up to 90 percent of our impact comes from our non-verbal communication, and tone is a key part of this. Do we make comments to others in a way that sounds condescending? Often, this is not our intention but a reaction.

Interrupting and interrogating. We need to create “conversations that drive innovation” and “create safe environments for employees to bring their ideas forward.” If the boss is cutting people off or making people feel unprepared by over-interrogating partial ideas, it can put a damper on the very creativity and productivity we are trying to encourage.

Being inconsistent in our behavior toward others. A few years ago I worked with a man who would give the same amount of attention and kindness to the less-brilliant as to the brilliant people he encountered at work. Regardless of their rank or position, he would treat everyone equally. This trait was admired by all and we soon began to see (and correct) inconsistencies in ourselves.


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Joe Girard, One of the Top 10 Salespeople Ever!

Joe Girard, One of the Ten Greatest Salespeople of All Time

By Susan Escalante, Director of Public Relations

Federal Financial Group LLC #FederalFinancialGroupLLC

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Joe Girard
Photo credit: Inc.



Back in the late 1980’s I had a chance to hear Joe Girard speak. He said that most people are “ATANA – all talk and no action.” I remember thinking, even way back then when I was much younger, that he was right! So many people in my life then and now talk about all the great things they would like to do. Not many of them do the things they talk about!

The article I found which listed Joe Girard as one of the top 10 salespeople of all time is in Inc. magazine. Here is a link so you can take a peek to see the other nine!

Here is what Inc. says about Mr. Girard:  “This Detroit native made a name for himself as the greatest car salesman of the post-war era. As a young boy, he sold subscriptions to the Detroit Free Press door-to-door and learned that sales operated according to a law of averages all its own. The more doorbells he rang, the more money he made. He carried that philosophy forward when he graduated to selling big-ticket items. During a 15-year period that began in 1963, he sold more than 13,000 Chevrolets at a local dealership—at one point selling 18 cars in a single workday.”

He was a go-getter and I will never forget how much I enjoyed hearing him speak!


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Great article appeared today on LinkedIn about some things that Bill Gates learned from Warren Buffett.  This is directly from Bill Gates himself!

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Bill Gates and Warren Buffett
Photo credit: Bill Gates

Bill Gates:

“I’m looking forward to sharing posts from time to time about things I’ve learned in my career at Microsoft and the Gates Foundation. (I also post frequently on my blog.)

Last month, I went to Omaha for the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting. It’s always a lot of fun, and not just because of the ping-pong matches and the newspaper-throwing contest I have with Warren Buffett. It’s also fun because I get to learn from Warren and gain insight into how he thinks.

Here are three things I’ve learned from Warren over the years:

1. It’s not just about investing.

The first thing people learn from Warren, of course, is how to think about investing. That’s natural, given his amazing track record. Unfortunately, that’s where a lot of people stop, and they miss out on the fact that he has a whole framework for business thinking that is very powerful. For example, he talks about looking for a company’s moat—its competitive advantage—and whether the moat is shrinking or growing. He says a shareholder has to act as if he owns the entire business, looking at the future profit stream and deciding what it’s worth. And you have to be willing to ignore the market rather than follow it, because you want to take advantage of the market’s mistakes—the companies that have been underpriced.

I have to admit, when I first met Warren, the fact that he had this framework was a real surprise to me. I met him at a dinner my mother had put together. On my way there, I thought, “Why would I want to meet this guy who picks stocks?” I thought he just used various market-related things—like volume, or how the price had changed over time—to make his decisions. But when we started talking that day, he didn’t ask me about any of those things. Instead he started asking big questions about the fundamentals of our business. “Why can’t IBM do what Microsoft does? Why has Microsoft been so profitable?” That’s when I realized he thought about business in a much more profound way than I’d given him credit for.

2. Use your platform.

A lot of business leaders write letters to their shareholders, but Warren is justly famous for his. Partly that’s because his natural good humor shines through. Partly it’s because people think it will help them invest better (and they’re right). But it’s also because he’s been willing to speak frankly and criticize things like stock options and financial derivatives. He’s not afraid to take positions, like his stand on raising taxes on the rich, that run counter to his self-interest. Warren inspired me to start writing my own annual letter about the foundation’s work. I still have a ways to go before mine is as good as Warren’s, but it’s been helpful to sit down once a year and explain the results we’re seeing, both good and bad.

3. Know how valuable your time is.

No matter how much money you have, you can’t buy more time. There are only 24 hours in everyone’s day. Warren has a keen sense of this. He doesn’t let his calendar get filled up with useless meetings. On the other hand, he’s very generous with his time for the people he trusts. He gives his close advisers at Berkshire his phone number, and they can just call him up and he’ll answer the phone.

Although Warren makes a point of meeting with dozens of university classes every year, not many people get to ask him for advice on a regular basis. I feel very lucky in that regard: The dialogue has been invaluable to me, and not only at Microsoft. When Melinda and I started our foundation, I turned to him for advice. We talked a lot about the idea that philanthropy could be just as impactful in its own way as software had been. It turns out that Warren’s brilliant way of looking at the world is just as useful in attacking poverty and disease as it is in building a business. He’s one of a kind.”

Photo: Bill Gates