Susan Battley

Author Archives

  • Leader Imperative #2. Customers: The Promise and the Love

    Customer small_39572418_OK“Mastering the New Normal” – A Continuing Series

    “There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”
    – Sam Walton, Founder of Wal-Mart

    A key challenge for leaders in mastering the New Normal involves executing brilliantly in a customer-centric world.

    “Customers” exist as consumers, clients, sponsors and shareholders. Whether you provide products, services or intellectual property, you have customers whose satisfaction and loyalty are mission critical.

    Here’s the New Normal reality: A focus on customer satisfaction is a doomed strategy.

  • Leader Imperative #1. Culture: Your Enduring Competitive Advantage

    NumberOne small_18681809_OK“Your business plan is what you are, but Culture is who you are.”
    – Gary Kelly, Chairman and CEO, Southwest Airlines

    Every organization has a culture, sometimes referred to as its personality or organizational DNA. An organization’s culture grows out of the values, behaviors and norms that its top management encourages, rewards or – in some cases – simply allows to exist.

    Key Point. Research has long shown that organizational culture has a significant impact on bottom-line performance.

    For instance, a comparative study of high versus low-performance corporate cultures by John Kotter and James Hesket in 1992 found revenue growth of 682 percent versus 166 percent, stock price increases of 901 percent versus 74 percent, and job growth of 282 percent versus 36 percent.

    Do I have your attention now?

  • LEAD NOW-Sept 2013

    Mastering the New Normal: Five Leader Imperatives

    “Good counselors lack no clients.” – William Shakespeare

    Good counselors can stay relevant for 400 years too, if your name is William Shakespeare. I’m inspired here to quote the Bard’s wisdom in introducing my five key leader sustainability areas for mastering the New Normal. They are culture, customers, talent, reputation and risk management.

  • Vacation Approved! – Five Vacation Action Tips

    “Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer.” – Leonardo da Vinci

    Vacations allow you to refresh and reflect. Otherwise, you’re simply not bringing your best self to work.

    When it comes to vacations, one size definitely does not fit all. Some relish tranquility and pampering; others enjoy intense sightseeing and physical activity; and still others prefer a combination.

    Here are five tips for getting the most from your vacation:

  • LEAD NOW -June 2013

    Perils of the Productive Narcissist, Part 2 – Why Your Star Performer May Be a “Black Hole”

    To recap, my definition of a Productive Narcissist (PN) is someone who, on the one hand, possesses exceptional abilities – such as creativity, intellectual firepower or rainmaking prowess – and, on the other, pronounced narcissistic personality traits. PNs are notable for their sense of entitlement, excessive ego, self-absorption and constant need for attention and recognition.

  • Perils of the Productive Narcissist, Part 1 – Why That Superstar May Be A “Black Hole”

    If you’ve been in the workplace for any period of time, you’ve probably encountered someone who fits the description of a Productive Narcissist. In fact, you might have even hired the person yourself, unaware that certain personality traits would turn your star performer into a costly management “black hole.”

  • Your Wake-Up Call Is . . Sleep

    “Finish each day before you begin the next, and interpose
    a solid wall of sleep between the two.”
    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

    The benefits of a good night’s sleep have been extolled by scientists and philosophers throughout the ages.

    Yet it is estimated that one in three workers does not get enough sleep to perform optimally on-the-job.

  • What’s Your “Presidents IQ”? Leader Quiz

    PreZDay small_16822090_OKThis month, highlighted by Presidents Day, naturally makes me think of presidents. Test your “Presidents IQ” with this 12- question leader quiz. The correct answers are provided below.

    1. The National Park Service was created by an act signed by:
    A. Ulysses Grant
    B. Theodore Roosevelt
    C. Woodrow Wilson
    D. John F. Kennedy

    2. Which President was a Rhodes scholar:
    A. John F. Kennedy
    B. Jimmy Carter
    C. Woodrow Wilson
    D. Bill Clinton

    3. Which President never held office as a state’s governor?
    A. George H.W. Bush
    B. James Monroe
    C. Calvin Coolidge
    D. William McKinley

    4. Which President extended the boundaries of the United States to the Pacific?
    A. Thomas Jefferson
    B. James Polk
    C. Theodore Roosevelt
    D. Abraham Lincoln

    5. Who was the youngest man to serve as President?
    A. Andrew Jackson
    B. John F. Kennedy
    C. Theodore Roosevelt
    D. James Madison

    6. Which President said: “A president’s hardest task is not to do what is right, but to know what is right.”
    A. Jimmy Carter
    B. George Washington
    C. Lyndon B. Johnson
    D. Richard Nixon

    7. The number of Presidents who received the Nobel Peace Prize is:
    A. One
    B. Two
    C. Three
    D. Four

    8. Who said: “The only things worth learning are the things you learn after you know it all.”
    A. John F. Kennedy
    B. Harry S. Truman
    C. Dwight Eisenhower
    D. Ronald Reagan

    9. Which President achieved the highest electoral vote?
    A. Thomas Jefferson
    B. George W. Bush
    C. Gerald Ford
    D. Ronald Reagan

    10. Which President has issued the most executive orders?
    A. George Washington
    B. Abraham Lincoln
    C. Franklin D. Roosevelt
    D. Barack Obama

    11. Who said: “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you
    want done because he wants to do it.”
    A. Bill Clinton
    B. James Madison
    C. Dwight Eisenhower
    D. Calvin Coolidge

    12. Which President established the Environmental Protection Agency by executive order?
    A. Richard Nixon
    B. Lyndon Johnson
    C. Gerald Ford
    D. Jimmy Carter

    Scroll down for the correct answers.



    1.  A.  Woodrow Wilson signed the act creating the National Park Service in 1916.

    2.  D.  Bill Clinton.

    3.  A. George H.W. Bush never served as a state’s governor.

    4.  B.  James Polk was President during the Mexican War (1846-48) which resulted in the U.S. gaining California.

    5.  C.  Theodore Roosebelt was 42 when he succeeded McKinley, who was assassinated in 1901.

    6.  C.  Lyndon B. Johnson.

    7.  D.  Four:  Theodore Roosevelt, Wilson, Carter, and Obama.

    8.  B.  Truman.

    9.  D.  Reagan in 1984.

    10. C.  Franklin D.Roosevelt issued 3,728 orders between 1933 and 1945.

    11. C.  Eisenhower.

    12.  A.  Nixon in 1970.

    Ten or more correct?  You really know your Presidents!



  • Defined By A Job – New York Times

    Career Couch | By Eilene Zimmerman

    Defined By A Job, Looking to Move On

    Q. You want to move into management or a higher executive position, but you’re so good at your current job that you’re now defined by it. How can you find a way out of this pigeonhole?

    Once you determine where in the company you see yourself moving, create a plan to get there. Start by talking to your manager. Express your gratitude for all you’ve learned and accomplished and emphasize how much you value being a part of the organization, says Susan Battley, chief executive of Battley Performance Consulting in East Setauket, N.Y.

    Be sure to come to the conversation with ideas about how to begin your transition. “Don’t just say you feel your career needs to grow, because then you’ve put all this on your boss,” Ms. Battley says. “Instead, say things like, ‘I’m looking for opportunities to manage a team or have more exposure to customers.’ ”

    (Excerpt from Print Issue February 10, 2013; Page BU15)

    Read full article here:


  • LeadNow- Feb 2013

    Are You A High-Definition Leader? (Video and Quiz)

    To execute brilliantly as a leader, you need to be operating in high-definition (HD) mode. By “high-definition” I mean that your goals, strategy and performance expectations are crystal-clear, vivid and compelling to yourself, your team and all other stakeholders. They also need to be able to stand up to close scrutiny. Therefore, your plans and explanations must crisply convey a high value proposition and an actionable path to success.