Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey's Ideas @ Work!
 Volume 4: January 2009

Ships at anchor seem peaceful...
They were not designed to just sit...
They were designed to sail forth from a safe harbor, to tackle unforgiving seas and uncertain winds in search of other ports...
Point to Ponder - We, too, were designed to risk and sail forth...

"The brave may not live forever - but the cautious do not live at all!"          
Sir Richard Branson
  • When was the last time you took a calculated risk?
  • When was the last time you pushed yourself outside of your comfort zone?
  • When was the last time you set some seemingly outrageous goals and dared to tell the world about them?
As I mentioned in our Christmas note, "This is a great time to push ahead when your competition is running for safety," but it takes courage to risk and to push yourself into the winner's zone.
Just digging into an interesting book by Sam Geist. "Execute... or Be Executed." My friend Kim recommended it. Author, Geist asks, "Why is Wal-Mart so dominant? Why is Southwest Airlines so popular? Why is McDonald's doing so well?"         
His answer, "They execute! The winners always out-execute the laggards."
They, like the companies Jim Collins interviewed for Good to Great, 'executed their strategies' which helped them evolve into exceptional companies.
So, here we are at the launch of another New Year.
A new year with a blank canvas that can be painted or created in any image you envision. A year in which you can chart a new course, make corrections on a current one, and sail confidently to greater successes and adventures. 

  • What are you going to risk this year?
  • What are you committed to doing that will astound those around you should you succeed?
  • Have you started it yet?
All the best for 2009. Thanks again for your support over the past year.

Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey
Ideas AT Work! - Strategies for Success
My friend Kara Oh just sent me this link to an inspirational video clip called, Are you going to finish strong? I know many of you had a challenging 2008 and are gearing up for 2009. Each of us have challenges, each of us can choose to overcome them or adapt to them and move on. Close the chapter on [2008], leverage your lessons, remember your celebrations and successes and move on. 2009 can be your best year yet, if you choose to create it.

Archives of past issues are available on our website.

I love working with leaders. I believe effective leadership starts individually and flows out into leading your team. I love it when I see a leader draw deep from their passion and challenge their teams to stretch and to grow. I love it even more when I see their teams respond and surpass even their greatest hopes.
Here is an article from a fellow leadership expert and CAPS friend, Jim Clemmer I felt would be of value to you as you reflect, refocus, and set your personal leadership goals and strategies for 2009.
Stop Managing and Start Leading
Jim Clemmer

Ask any group of managers if they view themselves as an elite within their organization and you can be sure they will deny it. You'll hear comments such as: "I have an open-door policy" and "I take pride in always being accessible and approachable."

And in most cases, these managers will really believe what they are saying. What they don't realize, however, are the many invisible barriers -- the "glass doors" -- they put in place.

Leaders remove these barriers and that is part of what separates them from managers.

Management perks and privileges -- such as parking spaces or special offices -- create separations. Similarly, employees find it hard to get any sense of collaboration when their bosses hold exclusive meetings or conferences, hang out in management cliques, use condescending or dehumanizing language, or withhold financial statements or other "confidential" information.

Leaders put a real effort into listening to and learning from people throughout their organization. Listening is the clearest way we can show respect and build trust.

By contrast, managers don't listen to "their people" -- usually because they're too busy telling them what they need.

Managers spend major amounts of time in their offices or in meetings with other managers and specialists. They often control and command by e-mail because they see it as a more efficient use of their time. Occasionally, they might do an organizational survey or hold a meeting or special event for "their people."

Strong leaders, on the other hand, have their own kind of "closed-door" policy. They're not trying to keep people out, it's just that most of the time you'll find their office doors closed and the lights off -- because leaders are so rarely satisfied with staying behind a desk.

Leaders know that an office is a dangerous place from which to manage an organization. Leaders also recognize that few of their front line people are going to be assertive enough to break through the invisible management barriers to come into their office and raise an issue or even send an e-mail.

Studies show that in many organizations, a majority of front line people are afraid to speak up. That's why leaders spend huge amounts of time with people throughout their organizations. They're busy listening at breakfasts, lunches, barbecues, and town hall meetings. They're conducting surveys, participating in cafeteria conversations, working together with people on the front-lines, and attending celebration events.

It's when times are toughest that true leadership becomes obvious. This is when much-repeated claims such as "our people are our most important assets" are proven true or shown to be just hollow rhetoric.

How managers handle economic downturns and sudden cost-reduction pressures, for example, speaks volumes about their leadership. If an organization has strong leaders who truly care about people and want to build long-term trust, layoffs are always a last, desperate step.

Leading successfully in tough times calls for openness, a willingness to outline the difficult situations clearly, as well as an ability to express your own pain.

Leaders use all the methods at their disposal - including surveys, meetings, e-mail exchanges, focus groups and phone hot lines -- to brainstorm, get input, and set priorities.

Then, they communicate, communicate, and communicate some more. Leaders know it is almost impossible to tell people too much about what's going on and why.

True leaders understand that there's no shortcut to reaching their organization's preferred future. It takes clear vision, a steady hand, and the discipline to avoid quick-fix solutions, however tempting they may be.

There are no leadership formulas. But managers keep searching for them anyway. So they buy the books, hire the consultants, and set up the training programs -- whatever happens to offer the latest steps, secrets, or systems that will transform mundane Clark Kent managers into Superman leaders. Most of it is just a waste of time and money.

After three decades of experience with hundreds of management teams, I have found that many of the "latest" management theories amount to little more than a rehash of what has gone before.

That's why I find myself in vigorous agreement with MIT's Sloan School of Management professor Edgar Schein, when he says: "We go through cycles. Every few years we rediscover formal planning, then we rediscover the importance of people, and then in another few years we discover cost control. When you look over the last 40 or 50 years, there is nothing much that is genuinely new. It is a recycling and elaboration of something that has been proposed as far back as Plato."

The fact is that meaningful change happens only by applying timeless leadership principles. The results probably won't be instantaneous, but they will last.

Leadership is an inside job. We change "them" by first changing "me." A growing mountain of research, such as that on emotional intelligence, shows that leadership begins "in here" and moves "out there". That calls for changing our lifestyle. It means developing new habits.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Get feedback on how your leadership is perceived by those you are leading. Find out what they think you should keep doing, stop doing, and start doing.

  • Set aside a regular time for reflection and renewal to stay focused and review the progress of your personal improvement.

  • Train, train, train. Take lots of development programs for the skills you need.

  • Teach those skills to others. Teaching takes us to a much deeper level of understanding and mastery.

  • Participate in personal growth retreats or workshops that help you focus on the inner dimension of leadership.

  • Complete self-assessment tests that help you understand your leadership style and how you relate with other styles -- especially those most opposite to your own.

  • Monitor your job happiness. What turns you on? What turns you off? What are your greatest strengths? How much of your job plays to your strengths? Are you in the right job?

  • Find a mentor who can give you the benefit of his or her experience.

  • Hire a coach to assess your team's effectiveness and review your leadership. Work with him or her to address key issues and make personal and/or team improvements.
Copyright 2009 The CLEMMER Group. Included with the kind permission of the author. Jim Clemmer's practical materials inspire and re-invigorate teams around the world. Jim is an active member of CAPS and a recognized leader in this field. Visit Jim Clemmer's web site for more articles like this one.   
Last Minute News
  • January will see us hopping for sure. Numerous writing projects are already underway including year three for our Secret Selling Tips online series.
  • CAPS Edmonton on Jan. 10th and CAPS Calgary on Jan. 17th.
  • Creating and shooting a series of new video tips in the studio on the 15th.
  • Working on preparations to launch Secret Leadership Tips series in Feb.
  • Flying to Mumbai, India via Chicago and Frankfurt, Germany on the 19th.
  • Speaking on Jan. 23rd in Mumbai and accepting my Excellence in Innovation award later that evening.
  • Flying to Paris on the 25th to meet Irene and spending her birthday there before flying home with a short stopover in Chicago on the 31st.

Thanks for reading

Bob 'Idea Man' Hooey would be pleased to be a part of your success team and to work with you to help make your conference, meeting, or training event a success. For more information about customized keynotes, professional and personal leadership training and coaching, or seminars/retreats, please visit or call our Creative Office at:  (780) 736-0009 for availability.

Ask about a customized conference, coaching or training package to suit your specific career, company, or organizational needs.

Ask about our innovative leadership, career and business success, and/or sales leaders' motivational training programs.


If you are new to our Ideas At Work! family, welcome aboard.  We publish this monthly e-zine to share ideas and keep in touch with our friends, readers and audience members who wanted to remain in contact and share in the lessons we acquire along the way.

You are receiving this E-zine because someone (we hope you) subscribed. At any time, simply follow the To unsubscribe or change subscriber options visit: link at the end of this email. Please pass this issue along to anyone you think will gain some benefit from reading it. If you want to continue getting this on a monthly basis, simply do nothing. 

If you have gotten this copy as a forward from one of your friends and want a copy of your own, simply follow this link and give us your email address. Our service - aweber - automatically does the rest. You will need to confirm your subscription though a link from aweber to activate your subscription.

Follow link for Privacy, Copyright and Policies

January 2009

What's New!
Bob is working on a new book to help companies and sales professionals succeed 'even' in tough times.
Bob is working on a new fund raising project to raise funds for the CAPS Foundation. Look for it in April of this year.
Bob is off to Mumbai, India on Jan. 19th where he will be speaking and honored with an Excellence in Innovation award on Jan. 23rd.

About Bob

Bob is a professional speaker, author, leadership, sales, and business success expert

Bob is a long time leader and professional charter member of Canadian Association of Professional Speakers, a member of NSA-Arizona, as well as the International Federation for Professional Speakers.
He is proud to be an active professional member of these amazing groups of people dedicated to polishing their craft and to better serving their clients and audiences.
Bob is the co-founder and a past president of CAPS Vancouver, an honorary founding member of CAPS Sask., an honorary member of CAPS Halifax, as well as being an active member of CAPS Edmonton. He served as CAPS National Director (2000-2002).
He would be happy to discuss how he can work with you to equip and motivate your leaders, their teams, sales teams, or volunteers to grow and to succeed.
Call him today at  1-780-736-0009 to explore leveraging his innovative Ideas At Work with your organization.
Or, email him at

Ideas At Work!
10 Creativity Corner
Egremont, Alberta T0A 0Z0, CANADA