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Posts Tagged ‘Professional Services’

Leadership Qualities in “Trusted Advisers”

February 23, 2010 3 comments

Robert Fulghum wrote a popular book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. The book is full of common sense rules to apply to life in order to make life better.

Sometimes in my professional interactions, I think that all I ever needed to know I learned in boot camp. As a young Marine recruit, many things were drilled into me, including leadership training. Much of that training revolved around learning, developing and acting on 14 leadership traits and 11 leadership principles.  Nearly 30 years later, I can look back at successful relationships with clients, vendors and coworkers and know with absolute certainty that many of those traits and principles applied in each situation.

As business professionals, we often like to hold ourselves out as “trusted advisers.” Ian Brodie, in his Get Clients Blog, calls it the holy grail of professional services. Building on trust puts us into position to establish a long term working relationship. That can be accomplished by applying a few of the leadership traits, which are:

  • Enthusiasm, especially important during stressful and busy times, is being cheerful and optimistic, which puts the client at ease.
  • Bearing is conducting ourselves in a professional and competent manner.
  • Tact is dealing with people in a firm and courteous manner.
  • Unselfishness is making the other party okay.  This is being considerate of their needs at all times.
  • Integrity is being honest and ethical in all of your dealings.
  • Knowledge is being technically proficient in order to deliver quality service.
  • Dependability is getting the work done and delivered when promised.
  • Loyalty is a devotion shown to your others.  The payoff is usually the return of loyalty from others.

Develop and apply these traits in all business relationships and you will find success as a true trusted adviser.

Corps Values and Business Ethics

February 23, 2010 6 comments

Sixty five years ago today, one of the transcendent moments in American history occurred – the raising of the American flag over Mount Surabachi.”  Every Marine who has served this country since that day has the image of the second flag raising, immortalized by Joe Rosenthal’s photograph, seared into his or her memory. It is the most famous photo of World War II and that depiction was used to create the largest bronze statue ever made, the Marine Corps War Memorial, better known as the “Iwo Jima Memorial.”

When I was in Boot Camp, there was very little time wasted during the entire eleven weeks of training. Even when we were waiting for the next training session, we were either doing more physical training, cleaning our weapons, or studying our essential subjects. In the U.S. Marine Corps, the history of the corps is an essential subject. No Boot graduates as a Marine without knowing the history of this famous battle. I, along with every Marine before me and every Marine since me are connected by defining moments as this. Through those connections, Admiral Nimitz is speaking to us the words “uncommon valor was a common virtue.”

It’s no accident that valor and virtue are mentioned together. Marines are drilled from the beginning in code of conduct, leadership traits, leadership principles and values. These bind us together and create our character.

Given the recent moral and ethical collapses in business, which had a “Shock and Awe” effect on our financial markets and economy, I think more business leaders and politicians could use the same character building. Enron, AIG, Merrill Lynch, and others are examples of what happens when morals and values are sacrificed for financial gain. Even after the bailout, excessive bonus payouts prove that some people still do not get it.

This country has never been perfect and never will be. That is an impossible outcome. It is a great country though and has the potential to be even better.  This blog is dedicated to discussing the Corps Values that can make a difference in our business culture and effect positive change in our lives.

I look forward to this journey and hope my readers get as much out of this as I have.  Semper Fi!