Category Archives: Leadership

Distractions Chris Ruisi

Distractions

Distractions: We all experience them and we all have to deal with them. But did you realize that you are the cause of most – if not all – of them? For example:

  • You’re busy, but not productive – If you don’t have clear and specific goals for your day, week, month or year, distractions will pull you in different directions and waste your time, and in the end you will have nothing to show for your effort.
  • You’re an expert at “fire-fighting” – It’s nothing to be proud of. You may actually be the cause of the flare-ups. A big distraction is solving everyone else’s problems. Make sure everyone on your team knows what they must do, why they do it and how to do it.
  • Nothing gets done, unless you do it – Are you properly training your team to do their jobs as intended? Have you set clear and achievable expectations, and does your team understand them?
  • There is never enough time for you to have time for you – Do you schedule a 1-hour appointment each week with yourself? Put it on your calendar. You need the time to re-group and re-focus on the right things.
  • Your open door is a revolving door of constant visitors who all ask, “Hey do you have a minute?” – If you do, say “No!” Saying “no” when you have to is critical for your sanity and ability to properly lead. Fight for and guard your time. Stop giving it away.

 

Failure to Communicate Chris Ruisi

“What We’ve Got Here is a Failure to Communicate.”

At the risk of dating myself, “What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate,” is a classic line from the 1967 hit movie “Cool Hand Luke” starring Paul Newman and Jackie Gleason. This line has been used over and over to summarize, at any given time, relationships between spouses, employees, friends and most frequently between parents and their children.

Communication is a critical skill in every aspect of our personal and professional lives. How you communicate plays a major role in how well you do—in anything. Poor communication causes frustration, anger, misunderstandings, mistakes, friction and broken relationships. Nothing good comes from poor communication. Good communication, on the other hand, keeps everything moving forward as smooth as possible. When good communication exists, the right things just happen on a consistent basis.

Continue reading

Need for Speed Chris Ruisi

I Feel the Need for Speed

In the classic movie “Top Gun” we all remember the scene where Maverick and Goose, while walking on the tarmac to their plane, offer each other a “Hi-5” and Maverick exclaims, “I feel the need for speed.”

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Bill Ford, Chairman of the Board for Ford, announced the replacement of their current CEO, Mark Fields, a 26-year Ford veteran, with Ford Board member and well-known “fix it” professional Jim Hackett.

Mr. Ford explained that the reason for the change was related to Ford’s sagging stock price, overall value and poor responses to market circumstances.

Mr. Ford said, “As a company we have to move faster; we have to encourage and trust our people to move faster; we need to empower them to move faster; we need speed and we need to take hard actions and make tough decisions faster than we have been doing.”

Regardless of whatever industry you’re in, Mr. Ford’s comments are applicable to you as well. So, ask yourself: Continue reading

Innovate or Stagnate

Innovation vs stagnation: legacy thinking – that is, sticking with the status quo – and how it applies to growing your business. What happens if you never innovate? Listen to what Chris has to say…

Freedom Requires Sacrifice

It’s Memorial Day! As a result of the current three day weekend arrangement and activities associated with it, we can become easily distracted from the day’s original meaning and the traditions aligned with it. One such tradition, conceived by poet Morina Michael, was to wear red poppies on Memorial Day “in honor of those who died while serving the nation during war”.

We cherish too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led.
It seems to signal to the skies
That the blood of heroes never dies.

– Morina Michael

Memorial Day is that one day (but there should be more) when we stop and honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in our nation’s service – to protect and preserve the freedoms we enjoy.

Happy Memorial Day!

Stand Out From Crowd Chris Ruisi

Follow the Crowd Mentality

I’m always amazed when I meet business owners or executives who think that they can simply copy someone else’s successful action and it will automatically be successful for them.

While the concept makes sense, it’s dangerous to assume that it’s a simple “cut and paste” process. Simply copying what another organization does not mean it will be successful for your organization. 

Yes, you should study what others do and “adapt” those tactics that make sense to your business. The keyword is what you do to “adapt” that technique.

When you just “copy and paste” what others do into your business, you quickly lose your identity and what makes you and your business unique to your buyers. In other words, you’re following the crowd and you become more concerned with monitoring average performance versus creating significant differentiators for your business. I learned a long time ago that the definition of average is the best of the worst and the worst of the best. Hardly a place where you should expect to be successful either in the short-term or, for that matter, the long-term as well. Continue reading

Job Descriptions Chris Ruisi

Dump Your Job Descriptions

It’s time to forget about the traditional type of job descriptions we use in business today.

In my opinion, the typical job description is a very static document that is used only once in either employment or in training of a team member. In most cases, it is shown to the individual once and then forgotten about until something goes wrong, and we waive it at them stating, “You didn’t do your job.” Very few of you (if any) come to work each day and decide to update your job descriptions. So deal with it—in its current format it’s useless!

What I suggest to my clients is that when they are ready to define a job, they do it in two steps.

First, create a statement of the “essence” of the role in which you define specifically:

  • Why the job exists;
  • What you expect in terms of a result or outcome from it;
  • How that outcome “contributes” to your company’s performance and growth; and,
  • How the company and its customers benefit from having this position.

From the answers to these questions, we make the document more relevant to the job at hand by identifying what the company is trying to accomplish in both the short- and long-term.

Plus, it shows the employee very clearly where and how they can contribute, and where they can make a difference. When this occurs, you increase the chances of the employee becoming engaged and focusing on doing the right things at the right time on a consistent basis.

After you’ve created this “essence” statement, you’re in a better position to create a list of both the strategic and tactical job duties for the position that support this opening statement. You would identify the top 8 to 10 key tasks that you want the person in the role to perform. Not only does this help the individual understand the scope of their responsibilities and accountabilities.

In addition to the above, if you define a position in the way in which I am suggesting, you have a better chance of developing a meaningful training plan for that individual which would include specific measurable items that can be tracked.

What’s the next step? Write your own “essence” statement. You might be surprised to learn what you are supposed to be doing.

 

Complacency Chris Ruisi

Complacency

Complacency is the single most dangerous threat to a business. It shows itself throughout the culture within the organization. The symptoms become evident when we see actions that support beliefs like “maintaining the status quo” or “it worked fine the last time” or “don’t rock the boat” or “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it” or the most infamous statement of all: “That’s the way we always did it.”

When you let complacency take hold in your organization the following outcomes are likely: Continue reading

What Questions Chris Ruisi

What?

“What” is a very simple word, yet when used correctly can be a leader’s most effective and powerful tool. Why? Because it helps the leader get information they need to make the best decisions possible for their business, their team and their customers.

Effective leadership means knowing how to ask the right question at the right time in the right way to determine the status of your organization and to make sure your team is on the right track to accomplish its stated goals. Far too many “wanna be” leaders ask questions after the fact and generally – when things go wrong – in a confrontational way.

Here are some simple questions, using “what” that you can employ to help you effectively lead your team and help them grow and perform better. Continue reading

The Perfect Meeting Format

How to lead a meeting – the right way! We all have to go to meetings – and while they’re important for communication, they can be a tremendous waste of time. So how do you make it an effective meeting? Here are Chris’ top tips.