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The Dotted Line: Calling All Change Agents

The October 2014 issue of The Dotted Line features news + resources for leading change. Subscribe to receive future issues of The Dotted Line delivered to your inbox.



Be the Change By Telling the Story

The last Storytelling for Leaders public workshop of 2014 will be held on Monday, November 17 in Washington, D.C. at the Le Méridien Arlington. Get details and register or take your chances trying to win a seat at the training by heading over to Facebook.

If you can’t make it to D.C., bring Storytelling for Leaders to your team, company, or corporate training academy. 2015 dates are already being booked. Find out more.


Resources for Change Agents (Like You)

How to Make Yourself Memorable
from Business Insider

Whenever you meet someone new, you can be sure that they want to know two things about you. No, it’s not where you’re from and what you do for a living. Those superficial questions are actually trying to ascertain what you’re about and what you want.

Your employees also seek the same information from their leaders, especially during times of change. Until you provide answers, they are going to resist change because they doubt your sincerity, ability, and motive. Find a way to connect with everyone you meet by using these four steps for creating your own connection story that will improve your effectiveness as a leader.

The Cure for Micromanaging
from Simply Hired

Leading change is a stress-filled endeavor, so don’t make it worse by breathing down the necks of everyone on your team. Micromanaging won’t make you a better leader (unless being annoying is your goal). This cure for micromanaging results in the need for less direct oversight and fewer rules, while encouraging more engagement. It’s sort of like a magic pill, but it’s not bitter at all.

No One’s Favorite: Flavor of the Month Leadership
from LinkedIn

Humans are hardwired to seek consistency. That’s the reason we hate hypocrites and are justified in demanding some degree of certainty at work. Leaders violate that trust when they roll out a new initative or switch the strategy too often. As a result, employees revolt by refusing to participate, their reason being that “it’s just the next flavor of the month”. Put an end to this complaint by taking a hard look at your organization and identifying which of the five root causes apply to you.


 Executive Coaching
*  One Opening  *

One-on-one coaching works for busy executives who want to learn communications and influence skills that will enhance their effectiveness in the boardroom, behind the podium, or across the desk. You’ll be led through a proven program that’s customize to your specific needs and current workplace challenges.

Just last week a client in Atlanta used these skills to deliver a presentation to a skeptical executive team and he was elated to report that he ultimately won their support for his initiative.

I have opened only one new spot for an executive who is ready to improve his or her communications and leadership skills. Inquire today.


Upcoming Events

Storytelling for Leaders public workshop
in Washington, D.C.on Monday, November, 17.
Reserve your spot.

Make Your Strategy Stick: Storytelling Roles of Management and Communications in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Thursday, November 20. Sponsored by the International Association of Business Communicators. Sign up.

Little Stories that Pave the Way for Big Change podcast interview with Jesse Lahey of Engaging Leader to air in early 2015. Learn more.

Request a speaker on the topics of change communications,
corporate culture, employee engagement, or business strategy.


Connected Strategy Group was founded by Amanda Marko, president and chief connection officer, to help leaders increase their influence through deeper connections that enhance the effectiveness of business strategy, change management, employee engagement, and corporate culture initiatives. Amanda recently became one of only a handful of people globally – and the first in the U.S. – to partner with Australia-based Anecdote to deliver their Storytelling for Leaders program. Storytelling complements her consulting work to help leaders better influence, engage, and inspire others.


Networkers in Disguise

Some people will never, ever help you. Never.

The sooner you realize that the person who seems like they’d be a good resource is only a wearing the mask of a networker, the sooner you can uncover the people who will actually be of assistance.

Rachel Carter / BY CC
Rachel Carter / BY CC

I wrote an article on this phenomenon, yet I recently allowed myself to be fooled. When I needed someone to help me identify and connect with a certain type of person, I turned to the most obvious choice: a close friend with the exact right job title. This friend had never come through for me before, but I hoped this time would be different because I saw this connection as the fastest and most direct route to what I needed.

The past repeated itself and what could have been a quick victory turned out to be a networking dead-end. Instead of letting 24 hours pass as my hope dwindled, I should have used that time to brainstorm a better route to the finding the connections I sought.

Learn from my mistakes and read my recent post from Simply Hired, where I identify the types of people who will never help your job search.

Don’t bother with them. There are plenty of people who will help you.

Once I gave up on my well-placed source, I thought of three other people who had the right connections and would actually land me the introductions. It turns out, the latter is the most important part of the networking equation.

Grow your Influence by Repaying Your Connections

iStock_000032189170_Small-760x450A Connected Networker know that even when you are on the receiving end of a favor, you have the opportunity to grow your influence. That’s because in the world of networking, repayment is the same currency as pre-payment.

My latest post on Simply Hired’s blog explains the steps to take after a job search that will immediately set you up for whatever favor you might need next. Being liberal with your appreciation and maybe even sending a balloon bouquet are only a start.

Repaying your network is a never-ending cycle.

Connected Networking Works

This morning, while searching my email archives for an address, I came across a message from 2011 that illustrates just one of my many personal successes with business networking:

Dear friends.

In many ways, a modern professional is only as good as her network.

During my recent international job hunt, my network surprised and
delighted me with its strength and reach. The kindness you offered —
perhaps solely on the recommendation of a connection two, three or
more times removed — will be repaid many times over.  My
long-standing commitment to assist others with  job search advice,
resume forwards, tips about unpublished openings, etc. was reconfirmed
as a result of your benevolence.

I’ve safely landed in the UK and accomplished my goal of securing a
corporate communications position with a large global company prior to
my arrival .  This week I started at SAP, where I am
[guiding employee and executive]communications
for the EMEA region.

Thank you again for your assistance.  And rest assured that with me in
your network, you will always have somewhere to turn for support!


This note is proof that I believe in the power of business networking. In fact, I landed every job on my career path, and every consulting client as well, by business networking in a way that I call Connected Networking.


You can, too. An article just posted on SimplyHired features an interview about using Connected Networking to aid your career. In it, I share non-obnoxious ways to keep your job search on your network’s radar.

SimplyHired recently made me an expert contributor to their blog on corporate culture, change management, employee engagement, and business networking topics, so expect to see more from me. If you can’t wait for the next post, then download a free copy of  my Fool-Proof Guide to Jumpstarting Your Transformation into a Person of Influence.

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