Management

"The Language of Excellence" by Tom Collins

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Looking for that perfect gift for the business leader or young professional in your life. Give them a signed copy of the book successful business leaders are talking about–The Language of Excellence.

From now through December 25th get free shipping plus a 20% discount by going to www.tomcollinsauthor.com. Or click on BUY NOW and enter the code GIFT at checkout.

Here is what business leaders are saying:

“Over the past fifty years, I’ve devoured dozens of leadership and management books. In fact, I’ve also taught hundreds of leadership and management workshops to Fortune 500 corporate executives. In my judgement, The Language of Excellence by Tom Collins is among the best five books I have ever read on this subject.”—Gary Slaughter, Management Expert and Author. 

“Tom Collins' The Language of Excellence just may be the only guide book to personal and business excellence you will ever need to read. A must-read for achievers.” C. Robert Hicks, New York Times bestselling author of The Widow of the South and A Separate Country.  

“Collins defines the essential ingredients of business with masterful simplicity and clarity. I wish I had read this 30 or 40 years ago.” —Edward Rosenberg, Designer/CEO Spectore Corporation

“Not only is Collins an accomplished businessman, but he is also a two-time stage IV cancer survivor who has clearly demonstrated great determination and the ability to overcome difficulties and carry on successfully. His book teaches you how to equip your team to deal with almost anything business or life will throw at them.” —Doug Ulman, President / CEO at Pelotonia and former President/CEO the LIVESTRONG Foundation

Select Amazon Reviews:

  • “This book is filled with common sense that is so lacking in corporate business practice today. Principles transcend business and apply to life across the board.”

  • "Section V, People: The Foundation for Excellence" is worth the price of the book.”·      

  • “I have read countless leadership books and they all either say the same thing or are difficult to implement. Tom Collins book is excellent and an easy read but what really stands out is the advice to quickly inculcate the tools for achieving excellence in your leadership teams. A must read for start-up organizations and young entrepreneurs.”

  • “I could see this book as being a part of a company’s on-boarding process and employed regularly. Anyone in management can find value in employing this book. Buy it - distribute it - read it - use it.”·      

  • “I’m re-ordering more copies today for all the young managers in my life. This book should become a well-worn tool in any organization serious about achieving excellence and fostering the right corporate culture.”

  • “I've found these principles incredibly useful in both my personal and professional journeys.”

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Signed copies of my books including The Language of Excellence are available only on www.tomcollinsauthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.

Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Succeeding for the Long Haul

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The young Nashville based management team of Lonely Planet has been studying my book, The Language of Excellence. The picture was taken on September 5, 2018 when I met with them to discuss the book and answer questions. At the point in the discussion pictured, I was explaining that anyone can be accidentally successful. You can have your Andy Warhol 15 minutes of fame. But you cannot accidentally succeed for the long haul. Long term success is not achieved by accident. Tom Peters and Nancy Austin in their book A Passion for Excellence say it this way:

“…there are only two ways to create and sustain superior performance over the long haul. First, take exceptional care of your customers (for chicken, jet engines, education, health care, or baseball, etc.) via superior service and superior quality. Second, constantly innovate. That’s it.” “There are no alternatives…”

It seems simple:
      Customer Care
      And Constant Innovation
Yet for most companies it appears too difficult. History is littered with the bones of short lived enterprises.

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The Lonely Planet team studied The Language of Excellence to learn management and leadership concepts required for long term success. Including concepts like the model for Excellence: 

I told the team that it was not enough for them to study the book. “To lead you must become a teacher. When all members of an organization understand the implications of important management and leadership concepts, magic happens within that enterprise.”

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To read what business leaders are saying about The Language of Excellence go to http://www.tomcollinsauthor.com/reviews-the-language-of-excellence. For more about The Language of Excellence at a discounted price for bulk purchases go to http://www.tomcollinsauthor.com/language-of-excellence/. For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.

Published by I-65 North, Inc.

TWO CERTAINTIES

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Perhaps the most important model in my book, The Language of Excellence,  is the one for TWO CERTAINTIES. The term “death and taxes” in the flip chart image is often quoted as the two certainties in life voiced by Benjamin Franklin. The graphic pairs Franklin's common sense terms with the words “change” and “judged” because change and judged are better descriptions of the two certainties as faced by businesses. For deliberate long-term success, an enterprise must have an understanding and acceptance of the two certainties— (1) we either purposely change to improve, or natural forces erode and change us for the worse, and (2) what we are is determined through the judgment of others.

I wrote the The Language of Excellence as a teaching aid. I discovered by accident that when all members of an organization understand the implications of important management and leadership concepts, magic happens within that enterprise. It is as if someone pulls back the curtain and turns up the lights. Suspicions disappear, replaced by unity.

To learn about the behavior of change, to gain an understanding of the rule of the fewest, to be able to put a name to observed phenomena such as the life cycle and suboptimization tears down the iron curtain between “management” and “employees.” A team arises—a competent team, one that shares a core set of beliefs and a common sense of direction—eager to help write their own playbook.

I want to clarify that I claim no origination credit for the concepts in The Language of Excellence. They are a compilation of ideas collected, distilled, reshaped, blogged, and even tweeted during fifty years of on-the-job training and a lifetime of reading and listening to the great minds of business—people like Peter Drucker, W. Edwards Deming, Nancy Austin and Tom Peters. The use of graphics and trigger words that bring those visual images to mind was inspired by usability improvements contributed by icons in graphical user interfaces (GUIs), by the power of Tom Peters’s model of excellence, and by the effectiveness of Model-Netics, the graphic image-laden management training courses of American General during my brief tenure with the company.

The concepts inside The Language of Excellence, like the Two Certainties apply to life as well as business. The book is one of the best gifts one could give to a young professional. It can be invaluable to the entrepreneur starting a new business or to a seasoned executive frustrated by the difficulty of steering an unresponsive corporate ship.

The Language of Excellence teaches the skills for long-term purposeful success. The concept of the Two Certainties conveys that for that long-term success, you must learn to deal with and manage change, and you must accept that you and your accomplishments are what others perceive them to be. 

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For more about The Language of Excellence at a discounted price for bulk purchases go to http://www.tomcollinsauthor.com/language-of-excellence/. For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and  Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Best Five Leadership and Management Books

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A friend and former associate at Juris, Inc. just let me know that he had ordered a copy of The Language of Excellence.

Like most successful business people, he has a library of books on management and leadership. Many have a list of their favorites. One of the smartest people that I have every met is Gary Slaughter, AKA the man who saved the world. He has a “best five” list and it includes The Language of Excellence.

Here is what Slaughter has to say about the book:

“Over the past fifty years, I’ve devoured dozens of leadership and management books. In fact, I’ve also taught hundreds of leadership and management workshops to Fortune 500 corporate executives.
In my judgement, The Language of Excellence by Tom Collins is among the best five books I have ever read on this subject.The other four include these classics:

The Motivation to Work by Fredrick Herzberg
The Practice of Management by Peter Drucker
On Becoming a Leader by Warren Bennis
The Transformational Leader by Noel Tichy

Moreover, The Language of Excellence replaced One Minute Manager on by ‘best five’ list. OMM, written in 1982 by Ken Blanchard and Spenser Johnson has sold over 13 million copies and been translated into 37 different languages, Despite OMM’s popularity, The Language of Excellence is far more informative and easy to apply.”

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and eBook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. Audio versions of The Claret Murders and Diversion are available from iTunes, Audibles and Amazon. eBook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBook’s Store and Smashwords.com. 
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

2nd & Church review of The Language of Excellence

The current issue of the literary magazine, 2nd & Church, includes a review of my book The Language of Excellence by talented author and distinguished business leader Gary Slaughter.

2nd & Church is a literary journal by, for, and about writers and readers throughout the United States. The publication’s goal is to be inclusive of many different types of writers and writing. To have a review in 2nd & Church and to have Gary Slaughter as the reviewer is a tremendous honor. What does Slaughter have to say about my book on leadership and management?



“In my judgment, The Language of Excellence by Tom Collins is among the best five books I have ever read on this subject. “ 
“Tom Collins’ The Language of Excellence just may be the only guide book to personal and business excellence you will ever need to read. Borrowing from a lifetime of achievement, Collins lays out clear guidelines that can help you find your own success while enabling you to offer others the same excellence that has marked both his life and career. A must-read for achievers.” 
To subscribe to the 2nd & Church or view the publication online go to http://secondandchurch.typepad.com.

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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBooks Store and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Tom Peters on 21st Century Management

Tom Peters was one of the strongest influences on my life as an entrepreneur and executive and that influence is visible on the pages of my book, The Language of Excellence, dealing with leadership and management.  Recently, Peters was interviewed for the McKinsey & Company’s Quarterly.   You can read the entire interview by going to the McKinsey web site.

Talking about 21st-century management during the interview Peters says:

“My real bottom-line hypothesis is that nobody has a sweet clue what they’re doing. Therefore you better be trying stuff at an insanely rapid pace. You want to be screwing around with nearly everything. Relentless experimentation was probably important in the 1970s—now it’s do or die.”
His observation about experimentation is right out of the Model for Excellence—survival for long haul requires constant innovation.  You cannot continue to create and deliver the same product or service the same way and survive in the long haul. Experimentation and innovation are vintage Peters, and I might add the idea expressed also consistent with the teachings of Peters’s predecessor Peter Drucker.

Also straight from the Model for Excellence is Peters’s explanation to the interviewer of what business executives are in. It has nothing to do with products or services:
“If you’re a leader, your whole reason for living is to help human beings develop—to really develop people and make work a place that’s energetic and exciting and a growth opportunity, whether you’re running a Housekeeping Department or Google. I mean, this is not rocket science.
It’s not even a shadow of rocket science. You’re in the people-development business. If you take a leadership job, you do people. Period. It’s what you do. It’s what you’re paid to do. People, period. Should you have a great strategy? Yes, you should. How do you get a great strategy? By finding the world’s greatest strategist, not by being the world’s greatest strategist. You do people. Not my fault. You chose it. And if you don’t get off on it, do the world a favor and get the hell out before dawn, preferably without a gilded parachute. But if you want the gilded parachute, it’s worth it to get rid of you.”
While I gave the Model for Excellence its name, the model is drawn from ideas expressed in Peters’s  A Passion for Excellence. The model is explained in third chapter of The Language of Excellence. It was also discussed in an earlier blog post under the title The Pursuit of Excellence is the Only Sound Strategy.
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For signed copies of books by Tom Collins, go to the TomCollinsAuthor.com. Unsigned print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online bookstores. For an audio edition of The Claret Murders go to http://amzn.com/B00IV5ZJEI. Ebook editions are also available through Apple iTunes’ iBookstore and Smashwords.com.
Published by I-65 North, Inc.

Pros Play Hurt

Do not confuse “management” as something that applies only to those in a supervisory or executive role. In the modern world, we are all “managers.” Even stay-at-home Moms or Dads have management challenges and depend on the cooperation of family members to achieve objectives. Professionals within a company that have no direct line still must influence clients and coworkers to accomplish their responsibilities. Management Candy represents the knowledge you need to succeed in your leadership and management role, but knowledge is never enough. To be on the “A” Team, you have to have the right stuff. You have to play like a pro—and they show up and play their best even when hurt!
  1. Keep Your Foot on the Gas: Don’t let up on the gas (effort) just because you are almost to the top of the hill (challenge).
  2. Persevere: Never throw in the towel.
  3. Standing 8: When knocked down, take the time to refocus. 
  4. Play Offense: Act, don’t react. 
  5. Presentation Counts: A cake is one thing; a cake with icing is altogether another. 
  6. Finish, Don’t Quit: Achievers bring things to a conclusion.
  7. Listen to be Heard: Great conversationalists ask and let others talk. 
  8. Dress for Success: Clothes may not make the man, but they make an impression. 
  9. It Is All About Giving: Relationships are built by helping others. 
  10. Two-Word Phrases to Use: “Thank you.” “You’re welcome.” “I’m sorry.” 
  11. Put People in the Bank: Save them; they pay a great return.
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Eyes Forward


You are not going to get where you want to go looking in the rearview mirror.  Excellent managers keep their Eyes Forward.  They want to know how they are doing, not how they did.  The traditional tool for gaining that knowledge has been MBWA, Management by Wandering Around.  Wandering Around meant you were in touch with your business as of that real point in time.  You were experiencing, up close and in person, the Event Horizon.

Event Horizon is a boundary in space/time beyond which events cannot be observed.  It is real time.  It is how things are right then!  Except for personal experiences from MBWA, every other piece of information available to that traditional manager was looking backward.  The manager in the late 1900s suffered from information overload, but all of it was out of date.  For centuries management was been at a disadvantage because their information systems only told them about events occurring well in the past.  It was all about events that had already occurred.  By the time it got to the manager, it was too late to take any action that would change or improve outcomes of events and transactions reported upon.

 
Times have changed.  Management by Wandering Around has taken on an entirely new meaning.  Now we can “wander around” through technology and social media.  Excellence companies are hungry consumers of technology that will put them closer to the Event Horizon.  They use social media, blogs, websites, and cloud-based tools to have real time contact with customers.  They track, in real time, customer Internet reviews and comments about the company's products and services as well as the products and services of competitors.  Using technology and wireless communication facilities, excellence companies can and do operate at, and sometimes just over the edge of, the Event Horizon.  Technology, including trend analysis, forecasting, real time tracking systems, and social media monitoring, can show us what will occur if we fail to take action now to alter the future.  Information guides an organization to its targeted goals provided that information is timely, relevant, accurate, comprehensive, and navigable.  And today’s Executive Support Systems (ESS) do just that.  They gather, analyze, and summarize the key internal and external information.  They provide the modern executive with aircraft cockpit-like command and control—with instruments showing the status of all key metrics necessary to “keep the plane in the air” and accomplishing its mission.  Excellent companies keep their Eyes Forward and never go second class when it comes to technology that puts them at the Event Horizon.
 
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Mysteries by Tom Collins include Mark Rollins’ New Career, Mark Rollins and the Rainmaker, Mark Rollins and the Puppeteer and the newest, The Claret Murders.   For signed copies go to http://store.markrollinsadventures.com. Print and ebook editions are available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other online bookstores. The ebook edition for the iPad is available through Apple iTunes' iBookstore.
 

Management Cycle

Management Cycle


Management is about achieving objectives—be it at the enterprise, department, or individual level.  It applies to life as well as business.  It is a process—planning, organizing, acting, and controlling.  It is a continuous cycle of processing input, taking action, collecting feedback, and repeating the process.  “Nothing happens until something happens.”  When the action significantly effects the organization, its people, it processes and its customers, it requires the specialized steps of Change Management.  But management is more encompassing and requires more tools and skills than just Change Management.  Management is not the same as supervision.  Supervision may be involved in an individual's managerial role but, again, management is more encompassing.

While many modern day jobs do not involve overseeing the performance of subordinates, they do involve a high degree of individual authority and accountability pushing those jobs into the category of management.  These are jobs where the individual must “manage” relationships with customers and with internally accessible resources and specialty areas to accomplish their assigned objectives.  In order to do their job competently they must plan, organize, act, and control continuously processing input, taking action, collecting feedback, and repeating the process.  Thus management concepts apply to these jobs as much as they do to those responsible for organizational groups, units, departments, divisions, companies, or broad based enterprises.

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An iheritance at risk and the discovery of an extraordinary cache of old wines during Nashivlle's history-maiking flood leads to foul play and death in this mark Rollins mystery adventure--avaiable from Amazon.com and e-book editions are available for the Kindle, the Nook and by going to the itunes store for the IPad.