Enhancing Your Executive Edge


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How to Develop the Skills to Lead and Succeed

It’s time for another book review!  Last week I was on vacation and I had the time to read three books, one of them written by Kim Zoller/Kerry Preston was on Enhancing Your Executive Edge. Published by McGraw Hill, it is a terrific read for all executives and any manager.

In defining Executive Edge the authors quickly hook you in the Introduction, they set the stage showing their methodology by providing the reader an experience in self development and growth by providing an Online Assessment to first determine your current “Edge”.  I would suggest you take this assessment after reading this blog. www.whatismyexecutiveedge.com  The reader will immediately begin to understand their current environment.

As you read through the Introduction Kim/Kerry describe their plan of breaking the book into five major buckets with 18 distinct chapters:

  1. Self-management and social awareness
  2. Personal branding
  3. Communication and presence
  4. Business protocol-the details of Executive Edge
  5. Motivation, perseverance, and excellence

Throughout the book they make you work through various scenarios and check lists to assess your current status and your desired outcomes. In addition throughout the book they offer strategies to help the executive handle various situations, for example:

  • Strategies for Not Being and Looking Arrogant
  • Strategies for Working with Arrogant People
  • Strategies for Not Posturing and Avoiding Extreme On-Upmanship
  • Strategies for Working with Others who are Posturing

The chapter on “Knowing How to Read People” is outstanding!  Their check lists and 10 tips are critical in enhancing your ability to manage people, this chapter alone can assist any person in becoming a more effective leader.

One of the aspects that I always stress with my clients is to build “business Eco-System Partners”, or a network of people that can help you grow your business as well as your personal level of professionalism. In Chapter 6 the authors hit this topic head on and they show you how to Strategically Build Relationships and Influence.  As in every chapter they provide useful tips and at the end of each chapter they summarize their key points. The following chapter then moves on to showing the reader how increase your effectiveness by learning to Network and Business Socializing by helping you build a BLT.  This focus on creating “believability, likeability, and trust” in your business environment and in any situation. The authors walk you through their checklist in preparing for an event, how to work the event and how to appropriately follow up after the event. If your salespeople network this chapter would make a great sales training meeting, if you managers work events, this chapter is worth a discussion at your managers meeting.

Standing out is part of the concept of having an Executive Edge.  Kerry/Kim focus on Personal Branding extensively and how to build it; the entire section provides a great level of insight into how individuals can create a real presence.   Their helpful tips will provide you an action plan to increase your ability to increase your position; starting with “Appearance, Behavior to determining your Value.

This book is a great read for the first time manager and it would make a terrific book for an organizations management team to read and discuss. HINT: add this book to each managers Executive Development Plan.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ken Thoreson
Acumen Management Group Ltd. "operationalizes" sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 13 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout North America.


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