Monday Mornings with Madison

Courageous Leadership: The #1 Skill for Times of Great Change and Turmoil – Part 1

Word Count: 1,589
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

Courage is the skill that separates and elevates great leaders from a pack of good managers.  And when it comes to leadership in fields such as education, health care, government and especially the military, courage is considered important, but it is seldom at the top of the list of essential skills and is actually thought of more as a personality attribute or quality than a skill.   However, in the world of industry and commerce, few even think of courage as a top business skill.  In fact, most lists of top 10 leadership skills never list courage at all.  In fact, Forbes Coaches Council’s list of top skills cited the following essential business leadership skills: Continue reading

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Staying Positive When Bad Things Happen – Part 2

Word Count: 1,497
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

Using a Setback as a Springboard to Success

It is probably safe to say that basically no one wants to get fired from a job.  No vendor delights in having a client end a business relationship, and no client enjoys having a service provider say “I don’t want to work with you anymore’.  No attorney wants to lose a case, and no doctor wants to lose a patient.  But those things happen, and they happen even to the most capable professionals.  At best, these situations feel like a slap in the face.  At worst, it is seen as a personal failure or a professional catastrophe.  But, perhaps, it shouldn’t.  Ending a working relationship or losing a client is something that happens to most people at one point or another in their lives, and often it is not a reflection of that person’s value, worth, skills or abilities.  In fact, at times it says more about the person or company doing the ‘ending’ than it does about the person being rejected. Continue reading

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Staying Positive When Bad Things Happen – Part 1

Word Count: 1,411
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

In tough times, people say to “stay positive”.  But, that may feel impossible, especially when things are really going wrong.  In the face of serious adversity, it is hard to imagine how or when things will get better.  But, that’s when it is most important to press on with the belief that something good – something totally unexpected – is just around the corner.  There are countless examples of people who faced major job losses, harsh criticism and painful setbacks, and still went on to do great things.  Their perseverance, tenacity and positive outlook propelled them from setback to success.  Sometimes it made it possible to find opportunities that might not have otherwise been possible.   In fact, it almost seems like a person must endure a painful but necessary experience to activate their highest and best skills, talents and abilities. Continue reading

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The Value of Plan B

Word Count: 1,440
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

If Plan A is Awesome, Why Have a Plan B?

Plan B, also known as “The Backup Plan”, is often frowned upon by the business world.  At best, it is seen as a “worst case scenario” Plan; a product generated by uncertainty and fear about the path forward that only the Apprehensive-Aarons of the world will create.  At worst, it’s perceived as a lack of total commitment to and belief in Plan A.  In other words, Plan B is seen as the approach taken by the Debbie-Doubters who feel lukewarm or halfhearted about the business’ vision.   Either way, it is seen as the course of action to take when failure looms… the lifeboat to use when the ship is sinking.  However, it doesn’t need to be. Continue reading

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The Power of Podcasting, Part 4

Word Count: 2,044
Estimated Read Time: 8 min.

Promoting a Podcast Properly

Many companies are deciding to dip a toe in the uber-popular ocean of podcasting.  Perhaps your organization has too.  The groundwork has been done.  Clearly, a lot of work has already gone into getting the podcast off the ground.  It might have taken weeks or months to get to this point.  The desire to publish the first show immediately after recording/editing it will be overwhelming.  Don’t.  That would be a rookie mistake. Continue reading

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The Power of Podcasting, Part 3

Word Count: 1,603
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Podcast

Your company has decided to join the podcasting bandwagon.  Some might be excited about it and think it will be an easy endeavor.  Others might find the idea daunting and a little scary.  After all, so much can go wrong when dealing with mass media and technology.  Well, it is not a marketing strategy that should be entered into lightly, but for companies that are motivated and committed, it is definitely doable.  While getting started does take time and effort, it can be well worth it if the podcast is well-received and aligns with the company’s goals.  After all, podcasting is a great way to reach the masses cost effectively, and allows the hosts to delve into rich, complex and sophisticated topics in a way that articles, tweets and social media posts don’t.  So rather than dreading it, it should be considered a golden opportunity to take customer engagement to a whole other level and reach the masses in a personal way that no other marketing effort can deliver.

So let’s look at what it takes develop and prepare to produce a podcast. Continue reading

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The Power of Podcasting, Part 2

Word Count: 1,584
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

A Plethora of Podcasting Benefits

The Penchant for Podcasting

Podcasts are everywhere.  People love them!  But why?  Let’s start by defining exactly what a podcast is.  According to Podcast Insights, “a podcast is an episodic series of spoken-word digital audio files that a listener / subscriber can download to a personal device for easy listening. Streaming applications and podcasting services provide a convenient, integrated way to manage a personal consumption queue across many podcast sources and playback devices.”  So it’s like a radio program that can be listened to anytime, anywhere, and is specifically about a topic of interest. Continue reading

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The Power of Podcasting, Part 1

Word Count: 1,490
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

To Podcast or Not to Podcast

The Popularity of Podcasts

Podcasts are now everywhere.  Thanks to the ubiquitous cell phone as well as music and radio streaming services, people have easy access to a wide range of podcasts to listen to whenever they have time to “listen” but not necessarily “look/see” such as riding a bike, working out, folding laundry, washing the car, riding a train, driving to work or taking the dog for a walk.  “What podcasts are you listening to?” is replacing “What are you reading?” as the most common and telling get-to-know you question.  If you haven’t listened to a podcast yet, you are the exception, not the rule.  A recent survey found that 82.4% of Americans listen to podcasts more than seven hours a week, and 59% of respondents spent more time listening to podcasts than on social media.  Even more interesting for businesses, 55.6% of respondents said they purchased an item after hearing it advertised on a podcast.  So people are tuning in to podcasts and really listening, and here’s why.  Apple showed over 800,000 podcasts being published in December 2019 and Podcast Insights reported 850,000 active podcasts offering more than 30 million podcast episodes in January 2020.  Considering there were just 500,000 active podcasts in February 2018, this is pretty dramatic growth.  However, Google says there are over 2,000,000 podcasts today.  That’s a lot of content.  Topics span just about every genre, diving into every topic imaginable.  Every topic.  Business.  Finance.  Leadership.  Politics.  Music.  Food.  Art.  Movies.  Games.  Sports.  Religion. Parenting.  Design.  You name it. Continue reading

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Business Strategies to Thrive in a Post-Covid World

Word Count: 1,539
Estimated Read Time: 6 min.

There is no doubt that the pandemic of 2020 is having an impact on most people and businesses.  For many, it is having a profound emotional, social, and financial impact.  And for some, it is shattering lives, destroying dreams and crushing companies.  It is tragic.  But there is also no doubt that this too shall pass, and soon – perhaps not soon enough — there will be treatments and an inoculation that will make Covid a thing of the past. Continue reading

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When Personal and Professional Collide: How to Set Solid Boundaries between Home and Work Life – Part 2

Word Count: 1,259
Estimated Read Time: 5 min.

Part 2

Coworkers, managers and vendors are getting an inside peek into the understandably less-than-perfect personal lives of their colleagues.  What they see and hear is often far from crisp, clean and cultured.  Pets interrupt Zoom calls.  Lawn mowers buzz in the background of important work calls.  Amazon vendors ring the doorbell five minutes into the weekly sales update with the boss.  Children barge into the “home office” demanding lunch at 11:21 am.  Like life, it is untidy.  For the masses telecommuting for the first time in their lives, home life keeps spilling into work time… and invariably at the most inopportune moments.  What is a pro to do?  It can seem practically impossible to keep the lines of separation between work and home.  But the employer who laid off 50 workers and is keeping a specific employee on the payroll, expects competence and class. Continue reading

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