A big thank you — to YOU!


I want to thank everyone who helped make the launch of MOVE such a huge success!
I also wanted to stop for a moment to fully appreciate this truly extraordinary experience for which I am enormously grateful, by sharing this short photo/video diary.

In Italian I would say, “Sono grata” which is what Italians say to express a joy of your whole self and a deep gratitude that comes from the heart.

MOVE Launch in New York City

I had the incredible opportunity, thanks to my publisher Wiley, and Barnes and Noble in NYC, to have MOVE featured in the storefront of Barnes & Noble facing 5th avenue for 2 weeks!

Speaking of things for which I am grateful, my long time friend and mentor Al Fasola not only flew in to join the party, but directed a photo shoot on 5th avenue, with the talented Julia Blaukopf.

Patty and Al (click to enlarge)
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Barnes & Noble NYC, 5th Ave and 46th Street!

It was a bit surreal frankly, to be featured in a store front on 5th avenue in NY!

I’m really excited about what I got to share in MOVE to help business leaders create bigger success and feel more sane along the way. I talked about this in a live Facebook Broadcast right out on the street. Thank you for all who tuned in and stopped by…and the crowd that spontaneously formed!

And a shout out to my big sister Kerry, who served as the camera man. Nice work!

VIDEO: Watch this video shot live from the very cold store front of B&N

MOVE at 5th ave and 46th street! (click to enlarge)
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Inside the store…

The Barnes & Noble staff were fantastic giving MOVE great featured in-store positioning throughout the store.
There are a few signed copies left at the 46th street location!

Having a laugh with Al while signing books (click to enlarge)
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MOVE Launch Party NYC!

Then came the NY Launch Party at Estancia 460 in Tribeca. Many thanks to Katie, and the staff. It is a truly wonderful venue with incredible food and wine.

There were people there from literally every decade of my life, including my 4th grade grammar school teacher and grammar school music teacher, and my friend Wendy who I have known since I was 4 years old! There were friends from high school and college, work friends and colleagues, and members of Azzarello Group who I had the chance to meet in person for the first time!

NY MOVE Launch Party (click to enlarge)
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More NY MOVE Launch Party (click to enlarge)
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Launch Party in CA

The launch continued in California at Kingfish in San Mateo.

David Spark of Spark Media Solutions and a long time friend created this fun video: “What’s the best advice you ever got from Patty Azzarello”? There are some great bits of wisdome in here! Thank you everyone for playing along, and for the kind words.

VIDEO: Check out these bits of wisdom from leaders already getting benefits from MOVE

Video by: David Spark, Spark Media Solutions

Long time friends and colleagues came out to help celebrate and again, I had a chance to meet members of Azzarello Group in person for the first time and get to learn about their experiences and breakthroughs that came applying my work. That’s why I do this! It was really wonderful to meet everybody.

New and old friends helped to celebrate (click to enlarge)
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Clients, members and friends came out in force! (click to enlarge)
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Eat, drink and be Merry! … (click to enlarge)
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#DecisiveLeadersMOVE

It would seem that we have created a MOVE-ment. People from all over the world are posting selfies with the #DecisiveLeadersMOVE hash tag. Again, I am very grateful. And you can still join the MOVE-ment! I’d love to see you photos with MOVE!

MOVE Selfies… #DecisiveLeadersMOVE in New York!! (click to enlarge)
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MOVE Selfies… #DecisiveLeadersMOVE worldwide! (click to enlarge)
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THANK YOU!!

So again, a deep heartfelt thank you to everyone for the huge outpouring of support for MOVE.
We hit 100 reviews on Amazon in the first month. The people at Wiley, and the people at Amazon were amazed.

–Sono grata.

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What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my Facebook page Patty Azzarello Practical Business Advice for Humans.


About Patty
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Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook

Sometimes, the key to productivity is to stop thinking about it!


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Feeling Discouraged, Stuck, Lazy?

Do you ever have one of those days when every single thing on your task list feels impossible or just too annoying… and you can’t seem to get yourself engaged on anything?

As leaders we will always have hard things to deal with that will make some days feel miserable: Impossible demands, nasty politics, aggressive competitors, arrogant bosses, low performers, schedule pressures, resource cuts, multiple stakeholders, difficult people…the list goes on and on.

Add to that too much travel, sleep deprivation, long commutes, and seasonal allergies!

People often ask me how I am so productive all the time.

The first point is that I am not productive all the time!

But I do have some things I do to make progress, when I’m not in the mood to do the work.

1. Move something forward, anything

If the important things on your task list are just too unappealing to consider at this moment…Pick something small. Pick something easy. And move it forward.

The feeling of moving something forward — anything– no matter how small, can break the curse.

This pattern of achieving something will settle in, and you’ll be ready to tackle something bigger.

2. Stop dreading it…

The other technique I use when I really need to do something I am dreading, is to stop thinking about it and just start doing it.

Once I get going, it’s never as bad as I thought it would be.

Grab a template, save it under an appropriate file name. Write something — anything. Write it badly. Find the first piece of information…Just start.

I find that thinking about it too much before you start doesn’t help you start!

For me the key to productivity is sometimes to simply stop worrying and to start doing.

3. Drop the guilt

This was probably the hardest one to master, but finally, I realized that as humans we simply can’t be highly productive every day.

Some days, even when you can get yourself to start, it doesn’t go well. Your brain has other plans that day.

On those days when it is just not going to happen I’ve learned to accept it, and more importantly, to not be wracked with guilt.

So on a day when being productive is off the table, the two remaining choices are:

1. Don’t be productive and be OK…Appreciate the day for other reasons
2. Don’t be productive and be miserable…let the guilt entirely ruin the day

This one was not easy, but I’m getting better at it.

This is why one of my favorite quotes is from Mary Anne Radmacher: “Courage does not always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying I will try again tomorrow.”

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my Facebook page Patty Azzarello Practical Business Advice for Humans.


About Patty
patty blog image crop

Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook

The opposite of Asshole is not “Weak Person”


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My secret weapon for achieving success

I am preparing to deliver a TED talk at the TEDx Navasink Conference on May 20 in Asbury Park, NJ!
…and it got me thinking about the ideas of Power and Weakness in business.

(By the way, if you want to attend, you can register here.)

My secret weapon…

I’m going to be talking about my secret weapon for achieving unlikely corporate success… having grown up in a small farm town in rural NJ, and (as a woman) ultimately becoming a Silicon Valley CEO. This as you might imagine, was not a direct, well marked path!

At the core of my secret weapon was the willingness to show up at work as my true self, instead of being tempted to put on a facade of a more business like, more impressive, more important-seeming, executive persona. See also Stop trying to be impressive.

I’ll tell stories about how being willing to put my real self out there and to have real, unstructured conversations with others (while it sometimes felt risky or scary) created surprising and remarkable outcomes.

What about the bullies?

When I tell people what I am going to be talking about, some say to me, “You can’t tell people that!!! Corporations are competitive and nasty. You need to be competitive and nasty too if you want to survive.”

The non-asshole route

I used to think so too. But took a different route.

I was very lucky early in my career to have two mentors and role models (both men), who were both very successful and powerful business people, but who were also kind and authentic people who treated everyone with respect no matter what their position.

Their example gave me the confidence to pursue the authentic, respectful route. And it worked for me.

But as I prepared for this talk, it struck me that many people are afraid to show a kind, authentic persona because they fear that they will appear weak at work.

Many people believe that their true self is just not big enough or strong enough somehow, so they feel pressured to put on a more harsh, business-like, persona.

The Narcissists

It can be confusing to watch the narcissist bullies, appearing to be so strong and getting ahead. At times, I too was afraid that I could not compete with them.

But I also realized that that was not a path for me.

I didn’t attempt to be like them, mostly because I did not have the skills to do it!

It takes a certain kind of talent to create and manage a false, impressive, alter-ego, work persona. You need to be a really good actor. And to really commit to the part!

And I didn’t have the stomach to treat others as inferior simply because they were below me in the organization.

So I just decided to be myself with confidence and treat others with respect. And to have real, open, unstructured conversations with them, whether they were employees, peers, stakeholders, or bosses.

Authentic IS powerful

Eventually I realized that being your authentic self is actually the best way to come across as most powerful and credible — because authenticity will always be more powerful than good acting.

I talk to so many leaders who confess to me, “I worry that I’m not am enough of an asshole. I’m not sure I am tough enough on people”. Really, people ask me this.

While you certainly can be a narcissistic, egomaniac, asshole and get ahead in business — it’s not a requirement!

The opposite of asshole is not “weak person”. The opposite of asshole is strong, genuine and respectful.

The more I think about leadership, the more I realize that good, effectively leadership IS hard. It’s not an easy job. It is by no means a job for the weak.

Leadership is hard job that you absolutely can succeed at as a strong, good person.

A good leader will make tough decisions
A good leader will have the difficult conversations
A good leader will resolve conflicts
A good leader will make scary resource tradeoffs
A good leader will face obstacles and overcome them
A good leader will help others get through the difficult and boring parts
A good leader will be accountable for their choices and behaviors

These are not the traits of a weak person.

Even stronger

Good leaders are strong people, probably even stronger than the assholes.

Just because you are not acting like a bully, doesn’t mean you are not strong. Remember the bullies are the ones who are not strong — that’s why they are bullies.

If you want to be a good person, you can still be a strong and effective business leader.
Don’t let the existing examples of asshole behavior we can all see make you feel like you need to be that way too.

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my Facebook page Patty Azzarello Practical Business Advice for Humans.


About Patty
patty blog image crop

Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook

Metrics that Drive Action & Results



This month’s Professional Development webinar was on the topic of Metrics that Drive Action & Results.

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Get the webinar

If you missed it you can download the recording.

Members of my professional development program can download this webinar for free.

This is a very useful webinar to download if you are managing any type of project or program and:

  • You need to see more urgency
  • Your are not sure if your strategy is good enough
  • If there is a gap between what you are measuring and the results you are seeing
  • You need measures that will motivate the right behaviors in your team
  • Want practical tools for managing project timelines more decisively
  • Need to keep your team motivated and focused on the right things

Here is what we talked about:

How to test your strategy

In this webinar I covered the most common mistake that organization make with regard to strategy.

If your strategy is not concrete enough to be measurable, you will never be able to create good metrics and ensure execution.

I talked about how to test your strategy for concreteness, and make sure that you refine it to be measurable in a practical way that drives action.

The right metrics are critical to forward progress

Organizations often measure things that are easy to measure instead of measuring things that will get them the outcome that they want.

For example “number of bugs fixed” is a measure of a detail that is easy to measure, where “% of happy customers who are willing to repurchase or recommend,” while harder to measure is a much more valuable measure.

In the webinar, we talked about the difference between measuring details, or steps in the process and measuring the actual outcome you need.

While outcomes are harder to measure, putting the effort in gives you the right result. You are measuring what you want to see.

We talked about how to change bad (detail measures) into good (control point) measures.

Timelines and Urgency

Many leaders lament that they do not see enough urgency in their organizations.

If you want to see more urgency, schedule it!

In this webinar I share how to structure timeline as both an operational and communication tool to create the urgency and progress that you need to see.

Working backwards from the outcome

Whenever there is a new long term initiative, it suffers from the fact that it will take a long time to do.

Humans are not great at staying focused for the long term. New initiatives often die shortly after the exciting kickoff, when the hard work needs to be done.

Also when your organization thinks you have a year to get something done, the thing does not feel urgent in the first weeks and months.

The problem with this way of thinking is that when people think they have year to do something, they don’t start. They work on more urgent stuff in the moment.

Each week, each month, people feel like they have plenty of time to get to the long term thing.

The problem with this way of working is that you end up at the 10 month point with 12 months of work still to do.

In the webinar I showed how working backwards from the endpoint will result in a much more concrete action plan that will create urgency and keep people focused on executing the longer term, strategic projects, even when short term pressures arise.

The webinar:

I put together this webinar to give leaders ideas and specific techniques for creating metrics and timelines that drive action — Metrics that create the necessary behaviors to implement long term initiatives, instead of letting them die after the exciting kickoff.

The webinar covered how to drive momentum, urgency and progress.

From this webinar you will learn:

  • The difference between good measures and bad measures
  • Outcome oriented thinking and metrics
  • The important difference between details and control points
  • How to keep your team focused and motivated for a long time

This webinar is loaded with valuable resources

This webinar will give you many ideas for how to keep your team motivated and on track, reduce execution risk, and ensure forward progress.

And it includes important worksheets and templates for how to define and track control points and how to communicate timelines in a clear and motivating way.

Members: Download this webinar for free.

Non Members: You can purchase this individual webinar or podcast (links below).

More, useful webinars for motivating your team:

As a member, just around this topic of metrics, execution and team performance you can get these other related webinars:

So if you are not yet a member, you might as well join and get them all for free!

Join Now
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Let me be your mentor

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Members of the Azzarello Group program for Professional Development basically get me as their mentor.

Every month you get new insights and tools in the form of these webinars, as well as the chance to call into a monthly members-only coaching hour where you can get direct personal coaching from me.

People tell me that membership gives them a totally new way of thinking about their career, getting promotions, solving difficult problems with bosses, peers, employees, and other annoying people, communicating better, being more influential, becoming a stronger leader, and enjoying their work more. I love to hear this, and I love to help!

If you join now, you’ll not only get this webinar, but all the other webinars in the Member Library.

AND you’ll get the opportunity to participate in monthly Coaching Hour conference calls with me.
Check out what we talk about.

AND as a member you’ll get to download your copy of the Career Year of action Guide (a $30 value) for free.

Membership to Azzarello Group is a great resource (and a steal at $179 for a whole year) to help you advance your career.

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Join Now
Join Now

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Purchase just this webinar ($19.99)
Purchase just this podcast ($9.99)

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my Facebook page Patty Azzarello Practical Business Advice for Humans.


About Patty
patty blog image crop

Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook

The Key to Influence: Make your Voice Bigger


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Influence and Difficult People

The topic of how to influence difficult people, comes up in my work all the time. (At all levels.)

One of the most useful tools in the influence tool kit is to make your voice bigger.

What I mean by this is to never get into a situation where it’s your opinion vs. someone else’s opinion.

If you are only arguing with your own voice, your own idea, your own opinion, you are missing a source of power that can change the game entirely.

When you are in the situation where you know you are right and what you are recommending is really important, it can be very frustrating when no one is supporting you.

“Why should we listen to YOU?”

Many years ago, early in my career when I had a job as a product manager, I stumbled into a disagreement with the product development team.

One day I went to the group of product developers who were all sitting a room finishing a meeting and said,

“Do you have a minute to discuss the next product release? I wanted to let you know that we need to make a change to the user interface to say [a different thing], so that customers will not be confused anymore.”

In the grand scheme of things, this was a very small change in terms of scope, effort, and reason for controversy.

However, instead of the expected answer of, “OK”, I was confronted with,

“And who are you, that you think you can tell us what to put into the product?”

Sadly, my answer of “I’m the product manager,” held no weight with them.

They replied instead, “What makes you think you are smarter than we are?”

So my reply was this:

I do not think I am smarter than you are. I certainly hope I am not smarter than you are! Because we’re all counting on you to be brilliant.

But in my role as a product manager, it’s my job to talk to customers. In the past 6 weeks, I’ve talked to 75 customers and 71 of them pretty much insisted that we make this change to the UI, because it was causing so much confusion in their organizations.

What makes you think you are smarter than 71 paying customers?

They made the change.

What if the difficult person is your boss?

Sometimes the person blocking you is your boss. This can be really frustrating.

I have had a saying for a long time:

Never blame your failure on the fact that your boss is stupid

If your boss is blocking you, and your boss is wrong, don’t let your career get damaged by a their bad decision. But also remember that you don’t win against your boss.

If the disagreement is between just you and your boss, and you know in your heart that your career will suffer more if you agree with your boss than if you hold your ground, you need to find a way forward.

But going forward without the support of your boss and hoping they will come to appreciate what you did when it is finished, is a very risky strategy.

By employing the voices of others, you can create much more support for your idea and garner enough influence to help your boss to see the way forward.

Making your voice bigger

Never just use your own voice in an argument.

Find others to strengthen it.

It might be customers. It might be peers of the person. It might be others in the organization. It might be the assistant to the executive or the spouse!

I will tell you that I have employed all of these people at one time or another in my career to help make my voice bigger.

It’s not about being right personally. It’s about getting the right result.

And very often it requires a chorus of people to be saying something to create influence with a difficult person.

What do you think?

Join the conversation about this on my Facebook page Patty Azzarello Practical Business Advice for Humans.


About Patty
patty blog image crop

Patty Azzarello is an executive, best-selling author, speaker and CEO/Business Advisor. She became the youngest general manager at HP at the age of 33, ran a billion dollar software business at 35 and became a CEO for the first time at 38 (all without turning into a self-centered, miserable jerk)

You can find Patty at www.AzzarelloGroup.com, follow her on twitter or facebook