Category Archives: Leadership

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.

 

Why Hire a Coach Chris Ruisi

Why Use a Coach?

Coaching is about growing and moving forward through changes in behavior. Many people can offer advice, however very few can coach, and even fewer can move you forward. Almost daily I witness so-called coaches who paid to be certified, but have little if any practical real-time experience. They like to call themselves a coach, but have no clue as to how serious their role will be. And what the implications could be to the individual who believes their canned message and engages them.

A coach must earn the right to be your trusted guide, with whom you can share your hopes and aspirations in confidence that he/she will meet your needs by:

  1. Holding you accountable.
  2. Guiding you to develop and refine your ideas.
  3. Being a resource by sharing a wealth of business growth strategies.
  4. Providing you with the contacts you need.
  5. Giving you a perspective from the outside, looking in.

Business today is a race for growth and efficiency. It’s a race with few rules. Why try to forge your own path through the thick undergrowth of trial and error, traditional thinking, and lack of information and exhaust yourself far short of the finish line? Invest in yourself with a coach…but, the right coach. I hope my video will help you make this important decision.

 

Delegation Chris Ruisi

The Art of Delegation

Wikipedia tells us that “delegation” is the assignment of authority and responsibility to another person to carry out specific activities. The person who delegated the work, however, remains accountable for the outcome of that work. Delegation is supposed to empower a subordinate to learn and to make decisions. It is a shift of decision-making authority from one organizational level to a lower one. Continue reading

Conclusions Chris Ruisi

5 Simple Steps to Avoid Jumping to Conclusions…And Getting It Wrong

Many of us often find ourselves jumping to conclusions about an issue with the result being we got it wrong in terms of either our understanding of the issue or the action we took, or both.

We “get it wrong” because we usually don’t take the time or follow a process to fully understand what the problem is or the best way to address it. We all, at times, are required to “think on our feet,” but that doesn’t mean we shoot from the hip or guess. Following a mental process, if done correctly, does not have to slow down how you arrive at the right action to take. When we don’t follow a process, we usually miss some key aspect of the situation which eventually results in “so-so” fixes and not solutions.

While not perfect (and they don’t have to be perfect), here are 5 simple steps to help you avoid jumping to conclusions:

  1. Start with asking what took place, when it occurred, why and how it happened—this is the foundation for your future actions.
  2. Define the outcome you want to achieve and by when—i.e., based upon what you learned from the what, when, why and how exercise what would the best solution look like.
  3. Identify the first 3 steps you will take (including the resources you will need) to get you moving towards the desired outcome. These 3 steps must include what will be done, by who and by when.
  4. Evaluate your progress after the first 3 steps have been completed and make whatever adjustments are necessary, then take the next 3 steps. Repeat this “evaluation” step as often as necessary until your desired outcome has been achieved.
  5. Throughout your process, avoid overthinking. Keep the outcome in front of you. When we overthink our actions, we slow our progress, second guess our abilities and make the situation more complicated that it needs to be.

 

Simplicity vs Complexity: How Leaders Avoid Overwhelm

A leadership lesson on managing overwhelm: Chris provides advice to leaders who are struggling with complex problems. Learn Chris’ method for separating complexity when faced with so many moving parts. Leadership means following a process to problem-solving to achieve resolution.