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The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader

This presentation adapted from the book of the same title by John C. Maxwell (1999)
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What are the 21 indispensable qualities of a Leader?

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21 Traits of a Leader
Character Charisma Commitment Courage Initiative Passion Communication Competence Discernment Generosity Focus Listening

Positive Attitude Problem Solving Relationships Responsibility Security Self-Discipline


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Independent Information Professional AKA

Information Brokers Consultants Independent Analyst Independent Researchers Freelancers Fee-Based Information Providers Independent Information Professionals (IIP)
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What does an Independent Information Professional Do?

Provide information & knowledge services to: organizations (all sizes and types) with existing staff independent of existing staff contract short term or long term
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1: Character

More than talk Talent is Gift, Character is a Choice Lasting Success with People Leaders cannot rise above the limitations of their character

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Personal Assessments

Take assessments Look for character flaws Identify the patterns Repair your character Rebuild your character

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Where can you demonstrate your character?

Library Associations Private Companies Public Companies Health Agencies Attorneys Government Agencies Educational Institutions
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2: Charisma

Love Life Put a 10 on Every Persons Head Give People Hope Share Yourself

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Build Rapport

Focus on others Make a good 1st impression When meeting new people, learn their name and focus on their interest Be positive and treat them like a 10.

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3: Commitment

When it comes to commitments, there are really only four types of people

Cop-outs (people with no goals, dont commit) Holdouts (people who dont know if theyll reach their goals Dropouts (people who quit when the going gets touch) All-outs (people who set goals, commit to learn and pay the price to reach them)
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Getting Started
Create a Plan that includes: Research Self-Assessment Select a Niche Develop a Business Plan Join Professional Associations

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4: Communication

The leader must be able to share knowledge and ideas to transmit a sense of urgency and enthusiasm to others.

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Effective Communicator

Simplify Your Message See the Person (be audience oriented) Be Credible

Believe what you say Show conviction

Be a catalyst for action (Give people something to feel, remember, and do)
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Communicating with Clients

Advertising [Cards, Brochures, Website] Articles & Books Word-of-Mouth Customer and Colleague Referrals Association of Independent Information Professionals (AIIP) Public Speaking, Radio Interviews Social Networking
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5: Competence

Competence goes beyond words. Its the leaders ability to say it, plan it, and do it in such a way that others know that you know how--- and know that they want to follow you.

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Show up every day Keep Improving Follow Through with Excellence Accomplish More than Expected Inspire Others

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Basic Requirements

You need:

Experience to develop confidence in your own abilities. Develop expertise in information services Familiarity with information resources Understanding of the information industry Network for referrals Business Sense
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Research (Books)
Building and Running a Successful Research Business: A Guide For the Independent Information Professional, by Mary Ellen Bates (Information Today Inc. 2003),

Information Brokering: A How-To-Do-It Manual by Florence M. Mason and Chris Dobson (Neal-Schuman Publishers, 1998) Super Searchers Make It On Their Own by Suzanne Sabroski

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Research Trends and Impact

Articles Internet Examine Websites Personal Interviews

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3 Types of Competent People

Those who can see what needs to happen. Those who can make things happen Those who can make things happen when it really counts.

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Self Assessment

Do you have the Right Stuff ? (temperament and skills) Identify knowledge gaps Find available resources (enhance skills)

graduate library schools community colleges courses database vendors (LexisNexis, Dialog and Factiva) Small Business Development
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Know the Tools of the Trade

Different vocabulary

Primary/Secondary Research Competitive Intelligence Due Diligence Deliverables Not to Exceed Budgets Error & Omissions Insurance Non-compete clause

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6: Courage

Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualitiesbecause it is the quality which guarantees all others

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Be Courageous

Courage begins with an inward battle Courage is making things right, not just smoothing them over Courage in a leader inspires commitment from followers Your life expands in proportion to your courage

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Only one key to success: Marketing

Become Visible Develop Marketing Strategies Develop Marketing Tactics Create Marketing Kit Niche Marketing (Show Uniqueness) Free Advertising Life Long Learning
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Warm Calls Read Sam Richters Book

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7: Discernment

Smart leaders believe only half of what they hear, Discerning leaders know which half to believe
-------- John G. Maxwell

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Maximize Effectiveness

Discover the root issues Enhance your problem solving Evaluate your options for maximum impact Multiply your opportunities

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Put your foot in the water Before diving in.


a business takes time, and an information business is no different.

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8: Focus

Focus 70% on your Strengths 25% on New Things 5% on Areas of Weakness

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Work on yourself Shift to strength Staff your weaknesses Work at your priorities Create a competitive edge

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Cardinal Virtues

Being Organized Self-Motivated Resilient Determined Dependable Trusted Perseverance

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9: Generosity

Be grateful for whatever you have Put people first Dont allow the desire for possessions to control you Regard Money as a resources Develop the habit of giving

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You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. ---John Bunyan

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Find Opportunities to Give

Volunteer to Speak for nonprofit organizations Volunteer to help a nonprofit set up their library Create a network of resources Give away tips for finding resources Become a mentor
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10: Initiative

Know what you want Push yourself to act Take more risk

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Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly --- Senator Robert Kennedy

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Develop a Business Plan

You will need to: secure financing buy equipment select a name corporate structure identify potential clients develop a marketing plan create 30, 60, 90 day plans
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11: Listening

Change your focus and listen Hear your customers concerns, complaints, and suggestions Learn from your competitors Listen to a mentor

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Tune into your Clients

For ways to improve a project or process Identify clear lines of accountability Willingness to take advice Need for value added services Internal financial issues Ethical and honest behavior Industry referrals opportunities
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12: Passion

Passion is the 1st step to acheivement Passion increases your willpower Passion changes you Passion makes the Impossible possible

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Let Passion Drive Your Niche

Specialization technology research technique industry type of service type of product

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Niche Development

Online Searching Bibliographic Instruction ILL/Doc Delivery Strategic Planning Public Speaking Telephone Reference Space Planning

Competitive Intelligence Training Rapid Doc Delivery Facilitation Expert Witness Testimony Primary Research

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You Can NOT Do Everything


makes marketing your services easier make it possible for you to maintain your expertise helps you stay highly competitive in this information-intense environment

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13: Positive Attitude

Your Attitude is a Choice Your Attitude determines your actions Your people are a mirror to your Attitude

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Attitude, Aptitude, Altitude

Select work that you enjoy doing Hire people with positive attitudes Create a fun work environment Apply your talents to worthwhile causes Allow yourself to be creative

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Client Attitudes about IIP work

Independent Information Professionals that transform information from: Descriptive Prescriptive Reactive Proactive Data Collection Insight Detailed Summary Power Pages

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14: Problem Solving

Anticipate problems Accept the truth See the big picture Handle one thing at a time Dont give up on a major goal when you are in the valley

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Find Solutions

identifying & handling information challenges comprehensive due diligence expert research competitive services global market customizing deliverables complex and/or rush request accuracy and rapid turnaround
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Use outside resources to find solutions

Small Business Administration SCORE Community Colleges Executive Coaches Chamber of Commerce Business Associations Small Business Development Centers
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Strategic Imperatives
Must be very organized self-motivated able to handle isolation, tolerance for uncertainty and disappointment able to balance multiple task able to keep good records capable of handling rejection capable of keeping yourself physically fit
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15: Relationships

Work towards understanding people Have a leaders heart love people Extend a leaders hand help people

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Relationship Building

Keep Lines of Communication Open Dont rely on technology to create relationships The Best Surprise is No Surprise at all Provide Clarity in your Work Develop a Networking Plan Help people connect to one another
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16: Responsibility

Get the job done Go the extra mile Be driven by excellence Produce regardless of the situation

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The buck stops here!

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Develop a contingency plan Develop a disaster plan Backup Computer Develop a network of subcontractors Identify alternatives

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17: Security

You must feel secure to make others feel secure Give more to people than you take Dont limit your best people Dont limit your organization

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Past Work Experience Helps Minimize Insecurity

Solo Librarian Reference Librarian Technical Service Librarian Library Director Academic Librarian Corporate Librarian Information Specialist Part-time Consultant

ID Client Needs Primary & Secondary Research Negotiating & Estimating Project Management Proposal Writing Business Management

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18: Self-Discipline

Develop and follow your priorities Make a disciplined lifestyle your goal Challenge your excuses Remove rewards until the job is done

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Set a Priority to Build a Professional Network

Resource People Subcontractors Temporary Employees Freelancers Other Specialist Experts In the Field Client List
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Contact-to-Contract Process

Initial Client Identification Contact with Client Face-to-Face Meeting Submit Proposal Contract Negotiation Deliverables Final Reports Presentations
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19: Servanthood

Put others ahead of your agenda Possess the confidence to serve Initiate service to others Dont be position conscious Serve out of love

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Opportunities to Serve

Association of Independent Information Professionals Affiliate Relationships, Marketing, Negotiating, Technology, Meeting Planning Special Libraries Association Committee Work, Network Development, Presentation, Mentorship

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20: Teachability

Keep growing Overcome your success Swear off shortcuts Trade in your pride Never pay twice for the same mistake

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Lifelong Learning

Business Operations & Management Marketing & Public Relations Networking & Teambuilding Primary & Secondary Research Skills Financial Resources Management Estimating & Contract Negotiation Training and Facilitation
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21: Vision

Vision starts within (see what could be) Vision draws on your history Vision meets others needs Vision helps you gather resources

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Strategic advantages

determine your own future destiny decide projects/special interest to pursue decide how your time is spent develop your budget and expenditures flexible scheduling mobile technology virtual services new innovative information challenges
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Dare to March to a Different Drummer!

In a time of change, Independent Information Professional/Consultant work appeals to those with an independent spirit - people who have always been able to handle the rewards and the rejection, but who prefer to do so on their own time.

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Dont Quit Your Day Job until youve mastered at least half of the 21 Traits of a Leader!

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The content of this presentation was adapted from John C. Maxwells Book The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader: Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow

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Contact Rosalind Lett MLS, AHIP Information-2-Knowledge, LLC 678-580-2956
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