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Recipe for Success in 2012
My Left Hand
"Who Said This" contest
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I send 15-20 tweets a week with links to useful articles and research; here are a few of my latest, including links:

A step in the right direction - Economists Set Rules on Ethics If you want to know why, see "Inside Job"

Christine Fruechte, CEO of ad agency Colle+McVoy, on creativity and core values -

See For Profit College Grads = Higher Debt -, then read The Company We Keep -

4 good tests here for any would-be leaders / communicators - The GOP' Not-So-Great Commnicators -

New Year resolution idea here, in the event "our problems stem from the inability to be in a quiet room alone," - Pascal

Watch this:
, then read Random Acts of Kindness at

How would you spend your year if it really is the last one?
via StarTrib

Penn State football - as much about secrecy as it was tradition, integrity  

A Strtegic Approach to Corporate Sustainability: For more ideas about integrity and strategy:

'Agree with these ideas for developing top teams; 'more good stuff from McKinsey:

'Great ideas from McKinsey to jump-start creativity; excellent tools for strategic thinking:

"It's all Your Fault:" Playing the Blame Game -
Good reminder of need to take personal responsibility

What we can learn from Shackelton's arctic adventure - Leadership Lessons From the Shackelton Expedition:

Excellent and exhaustive research from Burson Marsteller: purpose, communication of purpose and performance -

Not a bad idea - Outsourcing Resolutions

12 executives' business forecast for 2012:
via Fast Company Let's see how their predictions for 2011 turned out!

On why 46% of Amercans distrust business: Chutzpah in the C-Suite

The value of intuition and hazards of knowing too much: All Hail the Hunch - and Damn the Details
via WSJ

Still managing for the short term? Read this: Amazon And Jeff Bezos Talk Long Term And Mean It:

Cognitive distortions - helpful cautions in general: Job interview? Avoid these 6 psychological "leaks:"

On love, peace, justice and
integrity - The Jewish Covenant of Love

"We can't see the picture when we're inside the frame." What would we see if we step outside the frame?

Leadership tips in these anxious times: "Today's Anxious Self" -

And - if you're still into the ritual: Annual Reviews, and How to Prepare for Them:

'Time to throw in the towel on "performance reviews?" Work Reviews Lose Steam via Korn Ferry

Why we might not be as smart as we think we are, and a book recommendation - Thinking Fast and Slow by Kahneman

Troubling but helpful observations abou the prevalence of lying - Navigating a New Era of

According to 2011 Edelman Trust Barometer, U.S. = only country where trust in all major institutions

For organization development and training professionals - Integrity and the Role of HRD / Training Magazine -

If you missed it, below is a copy of my last blog, Recipe for Success in 2012. Since some may not have seen December's article, My Left Hand, its introduction follows; you can access the entire article by clicking the link at the end.  Be sure to enter the "Who Said This?" contest at the bottom of this newsletter to win an autographed copy of Navigating Integrity - Transforming Business As Usual Into Business At Its Best.
Recipe for Success in 2012
Grandmere recipe 3 smallWe pulled out a time-honored family recipe over the holidays, and that got me thinking about what a recipe for success in 2012 might be.  I tried to follow the criteria for most good recipes: they should be relatively simple and clear, employ what is ideally at our disposal, allow for some flexibility or minor errors, and yield the desired outcomes.  Here's what I came up with:


Start with the end in mind.  What are the outcomes that we want?  Where do we see ourselves ideally in 2013?  What's new; what's different?  Why is that important - how will the outcomes advance our longer-range vision and goals?

Take inventory.  What resources do we already have on hand that we can employ - friends, contacts, materials, assets . . .?  Which will we need to acquire?  This step is like a basic navigational principle: before we can get to where we want to go, we need to first know where we are - and it's critical to be accurate.  If we take on a complicated recipe from a renowned chef, and it's in a foreign language, the chances of failure are high.  Stretch goals are great, but we need to be realistic.  Before we set out we need to see things for what they are, not what we wish they were.


Follow a plan, but be flexible.  Think through which steps, in what order, will give us the best chances of success.  For example, just like I know that the chocolate chips get added last when making chocolate chip cookies, it's better to research a prospect before making a 2012 resolution 3 marketing call.  If I'm out of chocolate chips, maybe I can use chocolate shavings or peanut butter chips; if I haven't done the research yet, maybe I can reschedule.


Ask for help.  I tried a recipe once that called for white sauce, and had no idea what that was.  Instead of wasting a lot of butter and flour or scratching the project, I asked my wife Carley for help.  If an associate knows some part of what I need to deliver better than I do, I would rather pay for the help than jeopardize project quality.


Monitor progress and ask for feedback.  Even a good cook is smart to get others' opinions about whether to add any spices or serve something again.  Likewise, we are not always the best judge of our work or efforts; take advantage of others' ideas or suggestions of ways to approach things differently.


Stir in equal amounts of courage and discipline.  Almost anything that's new or hard requires courage.  We need courage to follow our own path, try something new or untested or make investments when rewards are uncertain.  Discipline essentially means replacing old habits or routines with new ones, and sticking to them; without it we are likely to be among the 80% or so who drop their new year resolutions by the end of January.  As Aristotle said: "We are what we repeatedly do.  Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."


Hang in there, and be good to yourself.  Challenging goals (or recipes) can be discouraging; sometimes we're tempted to just chuck it all and eat out.  Keep at it, and "keep your eye on the prize."  If we keep doing our best, something positive will develop; if nothing else we will learn something.  Stay focused, but remember "all work and no play . . ."  Put on some music, have a glass of wine, visit with company (or the equivalent at work) and keep things in perspective.  Even if all seems lost, it's not.

Success from plans 3 


The secret of success is constancy to purpose.

Benjamin Disraeli



When you get right down to the root meaning of the word "succeed", you find that it simply means to follow through.                        F. W. Nichol 

My Left Hand
(Intro to Dec 13 blog)

This article is brought to you by my left hand (I'm right-handed) - courtesy of a torn rotator cuff and surgery a few weeks ago. I am a firm believer that almost any hardship, unfamiliar situation or adventure offers lessons for life and leadership, and a few weeks with my right arm in a sling is no exception. Here are some lessons so far:
Just because pain is masked doesn't mean that damage isn't being done.  Cortisone made me feel better, but an MRI revealed a rotator cuff tear, which never heals and only gets worse without surgery. A cortisone shot helped me engage in some magical thinking about how maybe the problem was going away; it was only after a second cortisone injection began wearing off and some coaching from the doc that I committed to surgery and actually solving the real problem. That got me to thinking about denial of underlying problems and their real causes in organizations; "shots in the arm" like motivational speeches or training here and there might feel good initially, but unpleasant

Win A Free Book! Navigating Integrity front cover
Enter the "WHO SAID THIS?" contest on our blog to win a free autographed copy of Navigating Integriity - Transforming Business As Usual Into Business At Its Best

"In this new book, Al Watts does a masterful job articulating how to live with integrity in our organization, on your team and in your life. A highly practical guide for leveraging the power of integrity."
(Kevin Cashman, Senior Partner Korn Ferrry
                                         Look inside here.


Contact inTEgro to explore how we can be of service for strategic planning, senior team and board development or facilitating critical meetings. Click "Services" on our home page to learn more, including inTEgro's array of professional organization, team and leader surveys.

All the best,


Al Watts
inTEgro, Inc.
ph: (612) 827-2363