Communication Skills Can Make or Break Your Career

sharpen your verbal edge bookI am reading the book, Sharpen Your Verbal Edge, written by my friend and First Fridays regular, Elizabeth MacDonald.  Unless you live and work in a cave…alone…not ever communicating with anyone, you MUST buy this book.  It will truly help you become a better communicator!

Elizabeth really got my attention when she wrote the following:

“How important are communication skills?  According to training development specialist Shirley Fine Lee, when people are terminated, 80% of the time, it is because of their lack of leadership or people skills.

Here’s where it gets interesting:  80% of people are hired because of their competence…when people come on board with subpar communication skills, those inadequacies eventually surface and unforeseen challenges arise.”

If you are a manager or leader at your organization, you are expected to:

  • Give presentations
  • Coach/Counsel employees for improved performance results
  • Engage with the community through networking and business building
  • Write professionally

If you find communication challenging, then I recommend you purchase this book.  It WILL help you.  And I know that Elizabeth would welcome the opportunity to directly coach you.  She can help you hone your communication skills that will cause others to take notice – in the best possible way!  My company has brought her in to speak to our entire staff – she is engaging, funny, practical, energetic, and effective.

If you would like more information, please visit Elizabeth’s website at The Verbal Edge.

The Verbal Edge

Leverage Photography – Building Families

vimeo.com/278804642

One of our brothers, Judd Johnson, started something pretty incredible years ago. He calls it a Leverage Photography. What is that, you ask?

Leverage Photography is a for-hire sports photographer with 100% of funds raised go to support adoptions. For more information contact Judd at LeveragePhotography@gmail.com

There is a new school sporting season coming up. Contact Judd today to schedule your time so that he can capture incredible photos of your kids in their sporting events. #allforadoptions

Leaders make a difference and give back. Our brother does this while helping to build families.

Be sure to watch the video. These are all images that Judd has captured over the years. They are truly amazing photographs.

Lunch with a Leader – Jason Hilty by Jere Johnson

Life and work are a journey.  Many times this journey takes different turns and detours along the way.  My lunch with Jason Hilty, CFO of Allied Payment Network, we discussed our leadership journeys.  Jason has a strong desire to be a servant leader for his company and make those around him better.  He has a wealth of knowledge in his field of work, but when we discussed leadership, specifically, servant leadership, his eyes really lit up.

Jason HiltyJason’s journey has given him the opportunity over the past 20 years to grow his leadership skills in different settings in Berne, IN and Fort Wayne.  He strives to be a lifelong learner and looks for more chances to connect with others with the same passion.  We are fortunate that Jason has engage with us at First Fridays and we look forward to building a lasting relationship with him and his company.

You can connect with Jason Hilty at Jason.hilty@appliedpayments.com and connect with him via LinkedIn.

Allied Payment Network

Lunch with a Leader – Luke McConnell by Jere Johnson

Last Monday I had the opportunity to meet with an emerging leader from our area, Luke McConnell.  Luke is a Brand Engagement Ambassador at Aptera, Inc.   Luke and I shared many things in common with our passion for competition through sports, Christian Higher Education, and the desire to connect with others in leadership from the Fort Wayne area.

As a recent graduate of Huntington University, Luke has traveled world-wide for theLuke McConnell institution and this has given him a global perspective for his new adventure at Aptera.  As he shared about his work with Aptera, I enjoyed hearing about the culture they are creating and desire to serve their clients in a greater way.

Luke has a great heart for others and, like so many in Fort Wayne, he is passionate about building great, connected relationships to add value to his leadership journey.  Please connect with Luke via LinkedIn or at lmcconnell@apterainc.com

aptera

 

What to do on July 6 by Jim Johnson

As you know, First Fridays is taking a break this summer.  We’ll be back at it on Friday, September 7 (2018-2019 Schedule).

So what will you do on Friday, July 6 (the first Friday of July)?  Here’s some ideas to keep the networking momentum moving forward:

  1. Look through the business cards you’ve collected at First Fridays or any other networking event.  Pick one and contact that person.  Invite them to coffee/breakfast/or lunch.  Get to know a local leader.  Let them get to know you.
  2. Find a new book to begin reading.
  3. Find a new leadership blog to start following and interacting with.
  4. Start to follow a key organization here in NE Indiana.  I would recommend the NE Indiana Regional Partnership and/or the NIIC as great places to start.
  5. Go on a “field trip”
    • Pick a local company/person from your collected business cards.
    • Ask that person if you make a brief visit at their location.
    • Meet new leaders there.
    • Discover what leadership looks like there.
    • Discover what their ideal customer looks like (then in the near future, give them some referrals/connections).
    • Appreciate the value they bring to their customers, staff members, and our community.

Intentionally create value in your community.  As you expand your relationship reach in NE Indiana, you will discover great organizations doing great things with great people.  You and our community will be better for your efforts to connect with our businesses.

summer break

Leadership Gold Workshop and a Special Deal

Ray Abbott, a First Fridays regular, is conducting a workshop entitled “Leadership Gold” based upon the John Maxwell book with the same name.

Ray has a special code our First Fridays community can use to get a 50% discount! Here is the link to the workshop registration:

Leadership Gold Workshop Registration

Use the code FirstFridays to get 50% off! Thank you, Ray!

Lunch with a Leader – Zach Lear by Jim Johnson

I had the privilege of having lunch with a new friend today – Zach Lear.  He and his wife, Erin, own and run LONGevity Fitness on Fort Wayne’s southwest side.  What sets this fitness company apart from others?  Here’s what they say:

We commit to using our knowledge, experience and expertise to help individuals and communities learn how to become healthy and fit for a lifetime                 through education, motivation and inspiration.

zach learZach shared his career journey.  I was inspired by Zach’s desire to grow, learn, and the patience he exhibited during the different stages in his life.

Zach ran into a older HR professional a while ago who has now connected with him to help move his business to the next level.  Through this casual networking experience, this “old pro” (my words, not Zach’s) is sharing his knowledge to help another business grow and flourish – with no what’s-in-it-for-me. I love that!

Zach asked a lot about First Fridays and plans to visit us in September.  I learned that Zach is a reader and is invested in his own personal growth and development.  He asks great questions and is curious to know how others think and process.

If you’re looking for a personal fitness experience with dedicated partners, check out LONGevity Fitness.  No matter your age (Zach said that a couple of his clients are in their 90s!) or fitness level, LONGevity can help you become fit for life.

Longevity