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A Rising US Economy – More Good Signs

Its exciting and encouraging to hear more news of the US economy rising and becoming healthy… even quicker than expected.  We all love this great news, so we’re sharing today’s:

From the BBC-  August 26, 2009

BBC: “US durable goods orders and new home sales both soared last month, the latest positive indications of the state of the world’s largest economy.

Orders for goods expected to last more than three years increased 4.9% in July, beating analyst expectations of a 3% gain, said the Commerce Department.

Durable goods orders were lifted by the popularity of the government’s “cash for clunkers” car scrappage scheme.

This helped US car orders rise 0.9%, recovering from June and May falls.

At the same time, the annual rate of sales of new US homes rose 9.6% last month, also ahead of market targets.

This was the biggest rise in sales of new houses since September last year.

Boeing boost

The increase in durable goods orders was led by the commercial aviation sector, which pushed total transportation equipment orders up 18%.

Boeing factory in Washington state
Increased aircraft orders led the rise

July’s 107% increase in demand for civilian aircraft was thanks primarily to Boeing, which saw its largest increase in monthly orders since August last year.

The 0.9% increase in car orders compared with June’s 0.2% fall, and the sharp 8.4% decline in May.

July’s rise in auto orders was lifted by the success of the “cash for clunkers” or Car Allowance Rebate Scheme, whereby owners of old cars were given up to $4,500 when they traded in their vehicle for a new model.

The US Transportation Department said on Wednesday that the scheme, which ran from 1 July to 25 August, created 700,000 new car sales.

It added that the total amount of rebates paid out was $2.88bn (£1.8bn).

The White House in turn estimates that the scheme will create or save 42,000 US jobs in the second half of 2009, and boost economic growth between July and September by 0.3% to 0.4%.

Upbeat figures

Durable goods orders excluding transportation items rose 0.8%, which was the third rise in the past four months, and followed a revised 1.3% fall in June.

Sales of new US homes rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 433,000 in July, up from 395,000 in June, said the Commerce Department.

Although this was a 9.6% rise from the month before, sales were still 13% lower than July 2008.

The latest upbeat official figures come a day after the closely-watched Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose by more than expected this month, while a separate study said the rate of decline in US house prices slowed in July.”


August 26, 2009 at 3:22 pm Leave a comment

How can we be of value to YOU?

20040807-This is an open question to anyone reading this: how can this blog be of most value, most use to you?  What type of writing, posts or articles would you most like to read or would be interested in reading? Or, in what ways can we use this blog to be of help to you personally or professionally?  We would love your ideas, thoughts–what you most need to help you in your life.  Our goal is to make this a resource that is truly valuable/helpful/engaging for you, in whatever way that may look.

please leave any comments below, or email to:

Thank you so much!

August 5, 2009 at 2:33 pm 11 comments

Behaviors Rule the Day

Strong leaders do the right things in other people’s eyes.
Over time their actions reveal their beliefs.
Over time their integrity and continuity garner trust.
Over time they attract and engage game changers.
Over time they learn, grow and lead at higher levels.
Levels of leadership growth include: Technical, Team, Organization and then higher level causes [typically without limit].
Where are you in this continuum of leadership? (Technical Expert, Team Lead, Organization Leader, Cause [Global] Leader)

July 27, 2009 at 8:15 am Leave a comment

Context – An Empowering Enabler

contextDisempowered people work in a vacuum.  They do what they are told and are limited to taking safe, prescribed actions and making secure, pre-approved decisions.  They have no need for understanding the context within which they take action.  Some roles require this type of standardization and control.  They are roles that eventually will be automated or disappear as systems and infrastructure mature to where the roles are no longer necessary.

For more mature roles that require independent action, problem-solvingand decision-making a more empoweringand enabling model for performance and accountability is necessary.  Leaders need to provide context for these individuals so they can act without seeking approval every time a decision is required, and so that they can take action that best serves achieving the future state desired by the organization.

One powerful technique for helping these individuals perform within the parameters and in support of the direction the organization has chosen is to share the vision for the future that executive leadership has defined for the organization.  

At the same time, a solid understanding of the current state in which the organization finds itself is important to understand such that the gap between the the present and the future is grasped and owned by those who must make independent decisions regarding how to move from where we are today to the future vision we have for the company.  The key component of engaging others is necessary at this point as well as empowering and enabling.

We call this understanding of the current state, future state and gap – CONTEXT – because it provides high level awareness that clarifies direction, and paves the way with key strategies and behaviors required to move in a straight line toward the future in an accelerated manner.  In essence, it builds a road from the current state to the future state, puts curbs on the road to keep people on the straight path, and equips them with maps, mile markers, gas, vehicles and behaviors – the resources necessary to assure the future destination is reached in a sustianable and accelerated manner, with as little resistance as possible.

Frequently, in our behavioral interviews of employees we find that people may not know the future state clearly and are operating to specific goal achievement only.  They tend to operate with blinders on and march to the beat of only one drum.

In some cases, we find employees who seem to have a grasp of the future vision and are moving very rapidly toward it and outpacing the capability of the organization to support this movement.  They seem to have no concept of the current state and are building unsustainable solutions for the future.

Lastly, we often find people who are off target completely and operating to historic precedence or taking independent actions that are in the wrong direction from the future vision, or tangential to it.  They are slowing everybody down with their misapplication of resources.

All of these people are working hard and in some cases are working harder than they ever have in the past.  Unfortunately, they are not really contributing to achieving the future state in a sustainable and accelerated way.

They need to understand the higher level context of where they are, where they are going and the key strategies and behaviors that are supported and resourced by the organization to help them get there

As a leader of leaders at all levels, context is one of the critical components when it comes to empowering and enabling others.   Keep it in mind as you lead others to a new future for your organization.

What other aspects of context would you like to share?


July 18, 2009 at 10:28 pm Leave a comment

Where have we been, where are we now, and where do we want to be??

Where have we been, where are we now, and where do we want to be??

Where have we been, what have we learned and how can we leverage it for the present and future?

  • Unless we learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat it, is a misquote of someone famous. I see organizations and leaders reliving their past failures regularly. It reminds me of Groundhogs Day.
  • Without awareness and intentional decisions to change, leaders are caught in a swirl of repeating mistakes.
  • Personal awareness is a competency that can be taught.
  • Intentionality of behavior is a competency that can be taught.
Where are we now requires a 360-degree look at the current state of leadership, the business, the economy, etc. as perceived by self and others.
  • It encompasses a behavioral audit to determine why people are behaving as they are. The more unconscious our behaviors the more things that happen to us and we don’t know why. The same is true of organizations.
  • Determine what is happening in all aspects of your personal and organizational context – rational, irrational, emotional, intellectual, habitual, social, cognitive, intuitive, reflexive before really believing what your personal filters are telling you.
  • Get the full picture so you can deal with reality.

Where do we want to be requires research, listening, asking questions and constantly learning.

  • Learning is the key to leadership – listening to your inner thoughts, hunches, intuition; others ideas, fears, interests, aspirations; the external worlds news, stories, research papers, periodicals, etc.
  • Staying in touch with where the world, your industry, your country, your family, consumers, buyers, the environment, energy, education and politicians are headed.
  • Synthesizing all this into a perception for where it is all headed and, as a consequence, where I (as a leader) and we (as an organization) want to be.
  • How do we position ourselves to remain a viable ongoing concern?
  • How do we assure relevance for clients?
  • How do we compete effectively in an ever changing world where the relevance of our product/service may become eclipsed overnight?
  • How do we crystallize this into a cogent, comprehensive, understandable future vision?
  • How do we communicate and engage others to align and give of themselves in the achievement of this vision?
  • How do we accelerate our move and/or evolution in the direction of this future vision?
  • How do we sustain the gain once we have made a shift or changed significantly?
How do we assure this one time success is retained, embedded and reused again and again as more and faster change is required of us and our organization to remain ongoing, viable entities?

Of course, we have a way to do this that works for our clients when it comes to change, leadership, competing, relevance, energy, engagement, learning, sustainability, etc.

What are you doing in this regard?


July 16, 2009 at 10:31 pm 1 comment

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    To get a more confident You in the new year — or a more confident company, community, family, or team — first know what gets in the way. The best resolutions will go nowhere without the confidence to stick with them. Confidence is an expectation of a positive outcome. It is not a personality trait; it is an assessment of a situation that sparks motivation. I […]
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    It is now official. Girls like cars. And car companies know how to be driven by women. The appointment of Mary Barra as CEO-to-be of General Motors is a signal to car-lovers everywhere that the company is serious about its products and vehicle innovation. An engineer with a diemaker father who worked in a Pontiac plant, Barra is a 33-year company veteran. In […]