The Greenlight Highlight: How a Corporate Productivity Professional Builds Authentic Relationships for Business Success

Charlene DeCesare
Salem, New Hampshire
Greenlight Member Since: August 2010
Nominated by Greenlight member (George Newman)

Elevator Pitch: I am responsible for building membership for the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp). Our focus is on the unique people practices of high performance organizations. I have a passion for helping people and companies achieve their highest potential and feel intensely grateful to be doing what I love.

What experience in your past was the moment you recognized how important relationships are to your success?

When I was at Gartner, I had a strong sense that there was untapped potential with myself and my colleagues all calling into the same clients, selling slightly different events and services. So, I created a strategic partner model that focused on assigned accounts, building relationships, and horizontal selling through referral. People bought more from me because I took the time to truly understand their business and map solutions at a much higher level. Ultimately they took my recommendations and spent more money because they liked and trusted me personally. I grew a small set of accounts by 46% in the first year and eventually helped manage a global team. Within just a few years, we grew $2M to $38M across a very small set of accounts and I know that exponential growth continued after I left. The (not so) secret sauce is in building relationships and becoming a trusted advisor. Continue reading

Relationship Roundup

This week in the Roundup we’re amplifying the possibilities for earning greater connection, generosity, and intimacy in your relationships. Learn about the mutual benefits of mentoring, get new relationship action planning tips, see how to be generous with your old iPhone, and more!

The benefits of mentoring: Being generous with your time and knowledge is one of the best ways to expand yourself. This Harvard Business Review blog breaks down the mutual benefits of mentoring. Read it here: http://bit.ly/OczMaX.

The social media pitch: Building relationships in the brand new world of social media is terrain currently being charted. Learn the latest ways to make a good impression online in this New York Times article. Read it here: http://nyti.ms/QCaGhX.

Get better with social connection: Compensation is never a bad thing, but it’s rarely the key motivator that connects people to their organization. A more intimate approach is outlined in this Harvard Business Review blog that can have more positive impact on your organization. Read it here: http://bit.ly/RtJ7fo.

A daily dose of relationship building: Author and marketing inspiration Seth Godin provides a nice laundry list of items that can be used to accelerate your relationship action plans and your business goals. Read it here: http://bit.ly/UoORWI.

Eco-Generosity: I couldn’t resist sharing CBS Money Watch’s article listing several ways to be generous with your old iPhone as you upgrade to iPhone 5. Consider the opportunities to increase the intimacy with someone in your network by sharing functionality and facetime with you on the go. Read their suggestions here: http://cbsn.ws/Up2hlp.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Program & Community Director.

Relationship Roundup

In the Relationship Roundup this week, building blocks to fix your communication, using social media to your visual advantage, improving your time management, and increasing relationship intimacy.

Communication fix: Business relationships can be tricky to manage and require special finesse. Learn how to maneuver a touchy communication challenge in this CBS MoneyWatch article. Read it here: http://cbsn.ws/Rt1Wxk.

Being visually engaging: Many of us are still figuring out the role that visual platforms can play in our social media mix. Expert Ekaterina Walker shares how the new visual landscape can add depth to your online relationship building. Read her Fast Company article here: http://bit.ly/Rn77eb.

Executive timing: We can never learn enough best practices for getting time on our side. Read a CEO trainer’s findings about how the most effective CEO’s manage their workload. Read the Inc. Magazine article here: http://bit.ly/QTytYP.

Long slow dinner without interruptions: I love this company’s creativity and mission to bring attention back to the dining table. Read about their social rehab kit here: http://bit.ly/NYYvPL.

Developing powerful partnerships: Building alliances provides the support we’ll need to reach our ultimate goals. Read one bloggers view on the process for aligning the relationships most important to his leadership goals. Read it here: http://bit.ly/NCpFG9.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.

Remote Employees Are More Engaged? Really?

Employees who work remotely are actually more engaged with their teams than their “in-office” counterparts, according to a recent Harvard Business Review study. Surprised?

Our own Keith Ferrazzi has published advice on how dispersed teams can be more productive than co-located teams in Harvard Business Review, and yet my initial reaction was disbelief. How can individuals be more engaged with people they never see than with people down the hall? But author Scott Edinger proposes several possible reasons:

  1. Proximity breeds complacency.  Even co-located teams communicate primarily through email. It’s so easy to walk 100 feet to communicate personally that people take it for granted.
  2. Absence makes people try harder to connect. People make more of an effort to connect when they you don’t ordinarily interact with people.
  3. Leaders of virtual teams make better use of tools. When your primary form of connecting with people is virtual, you master many different modes of communication.
  4. Leaders of far-flung teams maximize the time their teams spend together. When remote people do finally get face-time with people they don’t see often, leaders do everything to maximize the precious time spent together.

Do you agree with Edinger’s suppositions? Have you noticed more engagement with remote teammates?

Ritu Walia is an FG Analyst.

Relationship Roundup

This week in the Roundup, words of advice on managing your relationship reputation.

Getting to know yourself – Trustworthy feedback can help us fill our gaps and get closer to those goals on our list. Motivational psychologist and author Heidi Grant Halvorson, Ph.D. shares some insights on the value of outside opinions about you. Read the Harvard Business Review blog here: http://bit.ly/OjXLQn.

Playing with politics – As we near November’s election date, conversations about hot button issues could put a strain on your relationships. Read this USA Today Money article for advice on how to manage those conversations carefully: http://bit.ly/M1uiO6.

Leadership lessons – Foursquare CEO Dennis Crowley shares some out of the box thinking on building relationships among employees that nurtures corporate culture. Read the SmartBrief on Leadership blog here: http://nyti.ms/Plye8e.

Relationship turnarounds – Turning critics into fans is a master relationship skill. Learn how to navigate critical waters in this video from Rogers Communications’. View it here: http://bit.ly/OzTskc.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.

Relationship Roundup

This week in the Roundup, how to manage your time on social media, create habits that stick, put a contact in relationship time-out, and tips on communication and accountability.

Get time on your side – The addition of social media to your plate of responsibilities can be daunting personally and professionally. Managing your time in this area not only means more time on your hands, but a better presence for your brand. Learn some tips in this Hubspot blog: http://bit.ly/Qtud8F.

Creating sticky habits – We all struggle with making new habits routine. To assist, try the tips suggested in this Entrepreneur magazine blog. Read it here: http://bit.ly/Qankqs.

Relationship time-out – Inevitably someone in your network may abuse their social privileges to the point where you will want to put them in the time-out corner. Now there’s an app for that. Read about the Twitter Doghouse in this Mashable blog: http://on.mash.to/QWZICG.

True leaders communicate – Leading the tribe requires excellent communication skills. Read this SmartBrief Blog on Leadership for the communication traits of good leaders: http://bit.ly/NSxYA6.

The accountability factor – All talk and no commitment leads individuals and organizations nowhere. Learn some ways to bring accountability to the forefront of your organization’s value set. Read the Harvard Business Review blog here: http://bit.ly/N8ZvuZ.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.

Presidential Email Strategies

There’s no avoiding the fact that it’s an election year. You get bombarded just flipping through the channels, stopping by a newsstand, or even checking your email and favorite sites. In every way possible, election year is upon us.

Personally, I get emails from candidates straight into my inbox. It’s one way of keeping up with important national events and getting news from the campaign trail. It’s interesting to see how many myGreenlight values play into the communication strategies of the presidential candidates. Continue reading

Relationship Roundup

In the Roundup this week, more strategies and skills to facilitate great leadership and better relationships in your network.

Superhero teamwork – Good team work requires respecting each individual team member’s unique “super powers”. Read the fine art of managing super teams in this article from Thought Leaders, LLC here: http://bit.ly/L5lYeN.

Leadership is not a popularity contest – Popularity and strong leadership have some similar outcomes, but being popular is not a requirement for effective leadership. Leadership trainer, Kevin Eikenberry evaluates popularity can affect your leadership goals. Read his blog here: http://bit.ly/NyrLuJ. Continue reading

Fifty Shades of Success

Do you recognize this quote?

“Business is all about people, Miss Steele, and I’m very good at judging people. I know how they tick, what makes them flourish, what doesn’t, what inspires them, and how to incentivize them…I have a natural gut instinct that can spot and nurture a good solid idea and good people. The bottom line is it’s always down to good people…having the right people on your team and directing their energies accordingly. I think it was Harvey Firestone who said ‘the growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.’”

If you do, you’ve succumbed (as I did) to the national furor around the risqué book Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. You’re caught!

I’ve only read to page 70, but unfortunately it’s already clear that the character who says those words, sexual improprieties aside, fails at what we consider one of the most fundamental rules of good relationships: Intimacy.

In other words, this is definitely not an endorsement! But the humor in finding a “myGreenlight” sounding quote in such an unlikely source made it worth passing on.

Ritu Walia is MyGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.

Relationship Roundup

This week in the Roundup, I’m sending you into the weekend with news on collaboration, best uses for Google +, meetings that you’ll never forget, tips for finding balance and insight on the shift of power. Enjoy!

Get a collaborative boost. Collaboration is the new king of business. Author, Tammy Erickson shares why it’s key to the future of your businesses’ productivity in this HBR blog. Read it here http://bit.ly/JPF6to.

Intimacy building with Google+. Guy Kawasaki shares how social media engagement with Google + is less about getting to know new people and more about increasing the intimacy in the close circles you’ve already formed. Learn more here http://bit.ly/JKpZk1.

Memorable meetings. Part of your personal brand boils down to creativity. Long slow dinners in exotic locations for instance. Amy Levin-Epstein shares some truly creative meeting locations that will be perceived as nothing less than impressive. Read her CBS MoneyWatch blog here http://cbsn.ws/JIURDe.

Finding balance. Learning to juggle is one of the keys to being successful. In this HBR article by time coach Elizabeth Grace Saunders, learn the patterns of successful people. Read it here http://bit.ly/Koe62P.

Power shifts. The world is changing and age old concepts are changing with it. In this HBR blog, author of The New How Nolifer Merchant shares her take on the power shifts in play right now. Read it here http://bit.ly/IE6PyX.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.