You started the year with great plans and expectations, but sometime during the month of March, the work seemed to end. It was if your customers went into hiding and your telephone stopped ringing. If you are a retail business or retail store, you had to shut down. You had to layoff much of the staff you had hired and trained over a period of months and years. You found yourself disheartened and in a state of crisis.… Read the rest
I believe at the core of leadership is whether the leader is trusted by others. Would you be motivated to believe and follow a manager who you did not trust? How would the staff work to accomplish the plans and goals put forward by that leader or manager? Whether you are the owner of a business, the leader of a nonprofit, or a government official, leadership starts with Trust.
This is true not only in leadership, but in all business transaction. I was once involved in the sale of a business to a venture capital organization. Although there was substantial due diligence and extensive legal scrutiny before the finalization of the contract, one of the principles made a memorable statement.… Read the rest
This is that time of year when we reflect on the events of the previous year and begin to plan for the current year. Think back over the last year and think what you learned from your failures and successes. We hope to be lifetime learners and understand that much of our education comes from our practical experience. Therefore, let’s build our future with what we learned for the past.
There is ongoing discourse in all sectors (public, private, healthcare and non-profit) regarding the need for retaining talented employees. And there is consistent agreement that doing so can be more difficult and challenging than hiring them. The retention of good employees is a human resources strategy that contributes in many ways to the overall performance of an organization. Effective employee retention results in lower turnover and associated costs, increased customer and employee satisfaction, increased productivity, improved product quality, and greater financial success.… Read the rest
Susan is the owner of a profitable and growing service business. She has worked hard to grow the business, spent many hours away from family and friends. She has done most of the business management herself, dedicating only minor clerical tasks to others. Her strengths are in sales and marketing, but she is frustrated by being constantly pulled away to supervise the work crews and address customer complaints. The conclusion is that she must begin to delegate some of the supervisory responsibilities to someone else.… Read the rest
In his book Traction, Gino Wickman discussed the development of effective and meaningful meetings. He reports that surveys, where people were asked to rate the effectiveness of meetings on a scale of 1 to 10, the responses were in the 4 to 5 range. Over the last year, I have been involved in a monthly leadership meeting with a client and have observed that attendance had become a struggle. In talking to several of the participants, I discovered that they saw little purpose in the meeting and often found something more important to occupy their time. Let’s share some of the ideas that Mr. Wickman suggests in structuring a Level 10 Meeting (TM).… Read the rest
When a business owner or manager is asked to describe their greatest challenge, the response is, too often, an obvious symptom. My competitors’ undercut my prices. I need to find a better location, but this is all I can afford. I can’t find good employees who will provide good customer service. These are the stated obvious issues, but they will not help us get past the obvious and lead to developing a plan for business success.… Read the rest
So often we hear from the owner of a business or the manager of an organization lament about the performance of employees or associates. They speak of it as though they were having an out-of- body experience in which they were completely separated from the activities of the group. When I hear these types of comments, I am reminded of an old Greek phase, translated to the fish rots from the head down.
Leadership wisdom from Simon Sinek To be authentic is to be imperfect.
Authenticity is about imperfection. And authenticity is a very human quality. To be authentic is to be at peace with your imperfections.
Great leaders are not the strongest; they are the ones who are honest about their weaknesses. Great leaders are not the smartest; they are the ones who admit how much they don’t know. Great leaders can’t do everything; they are the ones who look to others to help them. Great leaders don’t see themselves as great; they see themselves as human.
Great leaders don’t try to be perfect, they try to be themselves … and that’s what makes them great.
We were recently asked by an Agent in Charge of a real estate office to make a presentation to a number of new realtors. He explained to me that although they had extensive sales and legal training, they had little understanding of how to build a successful business. Real Estate Agents are, in fact, independent contractors and although the agency provides much support, success is the result of their own plans and efforts. The agent explained to me that many had never been in business for themselves before and find this a new experience. In fact, 80 percent don’t make it to the second year.
I first explained to the group that I was not an expert on real estate sales, but would share with them my observations on how small businesses had grown to be successful.… Read the rest
As you drive down any street over the last several months, almost every business has a Help Wanted sign outside. It’s the sign of the times. With the current low unemployment rate and the health business environment, businesses have a problem servicing their existing customers and growing new business. It is a different world from a few years ago and may require new ways of staffing.… Read the rest
It is widely understood that listening is an important skill in a wide range of activities. To be a great leader or manager, you must be a good listener. To be a good salesperson, you must learn to listen to the needs of your customer or client. To be a good teacher, you must listen to the feedback from your class. To be a good parent, you must listen to the questions from your children. Listening is especially important in being a good spouse.… Read the rest
Fortune magazine, in their September 15, 2017 issue, published an article by Dov Seidman entitled “Four Pillars of Moral Leadership.” It is based on the guiding precept that while the rules of engagement in business seem to be ever-changing, there are basic rules of moral leadership that stand the test of time. The following is based on the shortened version which is posted here.… Read the rest
Recently we attended a conference in Reading PA at Resource Associates, during which Tammy Kohl made a presentation on Listening. I would like to share with you some of the ideas and thoughts. It was a great subject and helpful to us all.
First consider on a scale of 0 to 100% what your level of efficiency is. 60% of the time we spend in communications is listening. Studies have shown that the average person listening skills are only 25 % efficient.… Read the rest
Recently I had a meeting with a colleague and he said something that really hit home.
This person is driven and early in his career he made sacrifices with his family to get ahead. He achieved great financial success and rapidly rose up the career ladder. However, the financial gain was offset by the costs to his personal life: divorce, disconnected with his children, and even his own health. He told me now that he is older, and wiser, he wouldn’t have given up so much personally to gain what he did financially.… Read the rest
Many companies, who cannot employee full time salesman to cover a market segment or demographic region, utilize sales agents. Webster defines a sales agent as: one who is authorized or appointed by a manufacturer to sell or distribute his products within a given territory but who is self-employed, may or may not take title to the goods, and does not act as an agent for a principal. These agents can be a very valuable part of the sales effort but are often drastically underutilized. Let’s consider some of the misconceptions about agents and how to optimize their value in your sales effort.
The first question is Do you really need a salesperson at all? In today’s, internet connected world, a sales person is only of value if there is no need for interactive person-to-person communication. … Read the rest
Trying to succeed at anything without first having a clear vision of what it is you want to accomplish will only lead to you going around in circles and eventually giving up in frustration.
To develop your vision, you must look inside yourself. Vision comes from within, from the spirit or subconscious, whatever you choose to call it. Everyone has a vision that is uniquely their own, and you are no different. The hard part comes in understanding your personal vision and how it applies to your personal motivation plan.… Read the rest
When the almighty created each of us he threw away the mold. No two us have the same personalities, think in the same way, or are motivated by the same things. This is one of the great wonders of the world, but it provides us as leaders with some difficult challenges. Why do people react differently to what we say? Who is best suited to handle a role in our group? How do I best motivate an individual? Let’s consider a better way to answer these questions.
Physiologists tell us that there are four general dimensions of behavioral styles; decisiveness, interactive, stabilizing and cautiousness. Part of what makes each person an individual is their unique combination of these four dimensions of behavior.… Read the rest