Category Archives: Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

Help-Chris Ruisi

They Still Need Our Help

It’s been about three or so weeks since the state of Texas was impacted by hurricane Harvey and about two weeks since hurricane Irma followed its path of destruction across the length of the entire state of Florida.

None of us will ever forget the “live” images of destruction brought on by both storms. The storms are now gone and the states and the many first responders and utility workers are starting to make progress in restoring power and the other daily services to all of the residents.

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Fire Yourself-Chris Ruisi

Fire Yourself!

That’s right, fire yourself! This act will probably be the most important thing you can do for your business and your career. Make sure you do an in-depth exit interview so that you understand completely the reasons for this harsh but necessary action.

Oh! Don’t forget to throw yourself a “going away” party and buy yourself a gift (not too expensive). You will want to take this occasion to tell the boss (you) exactly what you think about them…and what you would do if you were in-charge! And, when you’ve done all of these things, figure out what you need to do and who you have to be to re-hire yourself.

Here’s where you need to tell the boss (that would still be you) what needs to be done. First, what areas or skills does the boss need to enhance or even develop to be able to lead more effectively? Is it leadership, delegation, better communications, etc? Next thing is what should the boss (still you) stop doing or do differently going forward? Continue reading

4 Leadership Traits Chris Ruisi

4 Key Leadership Traits to Drive Business Growth

As the CEO or leader, your primary responsibility is to drive your organization to business growth. It requires not only getting things done, but more importantly, getting the right things done.

To achieve the results required means that your leadership skills will be tested. Here are four concepts to keep in mind as you lead your organization and drive them to achieve business growth. Continue reading

Chris Ruisi

Racing in the Rain

The other day in a conversation with a colleague, one of my favorite books – The Art of Racing in the Rain – a 2008 novel by Garth Stein came up in our discussion. The novel became a New York Times best seller, remaining on the list for more than 156 weeks. What makes it different is that it is told from a dog’s (named Enzo) point of view.

I read the book about four or so years ago, having selected it from the shelves at Barnes & Noble strictly by its cover. It had a face of a golden retriever on it, so it immediately caught my attention. What I didn’t know, at that time, was that after I read it I would’ve learned several important success and life’s lessons.

Through Denny (the dog’s owner who is also a race car driver seeking success on the track and in life), Enzo gains tremendous insight into the human condition. He sees that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast.

Here are the main takeaways for me from the book: Continue reading

Chris Ruisi Leadership

They Fired the Avon Lady!

Back on August 4th, the Wall Street Journal ran article about how the Board of Avon Products Inc., pushed out their CEO – they fired her – as a result of her 5 years of disappointing results.

If you’re the CEO or leader of your company (regardless of its size), you are ultimately responsible for what goes on. Why? Because, as the leader, you are paid to deliver (get) results – period! In essence, you’re the CRO; that is, the Chief Results Officer.

So now you’re thinking that you’re not a public company and not subject to a Board or shareholders. Make no mistake, whether you are a publically or privately held company, your customers have a say in how well you’re doing with respect to the quality of your results.

If your results don’t meet your customer’s expectations, they have a very simple way of telling you: They go elsewhere! And, when they leave you, they tell others about your performance. At some point this customer exodus will threaten the very existence of your business. Your customers not only expect, but demand, that you continually get better and consistently deliver results that are valuable to them! Continue reading

Verbal Muscle - Chris Ruisi

Exercising Your Verbal Muscle

Recently, I was having a conversation with my youngest son about a meeting he attended and he described one of the individuals in the meeting as having “verbal muscle.”

I was intrigued by his use of the term “verbal muscle” and I asked him to explain what he meant by it.

He said to me, “Dad, a person with verbal muscle is an individual who is not bashful about stating their position and intention as to what they want to accomplish, staying focused on achieving it, without being argumentative, abusive or obnoxious.”

He went on to say that an individual with “verbal muscle” isn’t afraid to speak their mind, in a respectful way, to get something (usually the right thing) done regardless of those who might disagree. Further, he explained that an individual with verbal muscle is usually someone who doesn’t look for confrontation, yet doesn’t shy away from it either if that’s what’s needed to get clarification or resolution of an issue.

So, I thought more about this and concluded that verbal muscle is an important skill for anyone wishing to achieve success. It would be an especially important skill for someone in a leadership position to acquire when you consider the importance of communication skills in achieving the right results through your team. Continue reading

Peter Drucker Chris Ruisi

It’s All About The People

Peter Drucker is universally known as the “father of management theory.” After his death in 2005, Businessweek magazine called his work “a blueprint for every thinking leader.”

Over the last 6 months, I have spent a significant amount of time re-acquainting myself with his work. I had first read many of his works while I was growing in my career at USLIFE.

From this recent review, I learned or re-learned many things. However, two of his statements were very interesting to me. They were:

“Executives spend more time on managing people and making people decisions than on anything else – and they should. No other decisions are so long lasting in their consequences and so difficult to unmake.”

“Of all the decisions an executive makes, none are as important as the decisions about people because they determine the performance capacity of the organization. Therefore, one should better make sure that these decisions are made well.”

So how important are these two concepts? Consider the following: Continue reading

Bad Team Chris Ruisi

Loose Lips Sink Ships

About a week ago I made a call to a financial planner whom I know who works here in Middletown, New Jersey. Several years ago, I had a brief coaching assignment with him.

The reason for my call was to refer an individual to him, who I thought, would be a good potential client for his business.

As expected, his assistant answered the phone. I introduced myself and asked if I could speak with the gentleman. She put me on hold and after 10 or15 seconds, came back and said, “I’m sorry he’s in a meeting right now. Can I take a message and have him call you back?” I responded that it would be very nice, and gave her my name and the best contact number for him to use.

Then, as expected, she asked, “May I tell him what this call is about?” I responded that I would prefer to discuss it with him when he called me back. She did not like my response, her tone changed and she became a bit frustrated with me because I wouldn’t comply with her request.

Now, in all fairness to the lady, she probably thought that I was one of those annoying telephone solicitation calls that we all get. Continue reading

Leadership Chris Ruisi

Leadership: 10 Essential Criteria for Each of Us

Over the course of the last 12 to 18 months we have witnessed an intensified and very comprehensive display of what leadership is not by our elected officials at all levels across all party lines.

Now, I’m not taking sides or interested in a political discussion. Like you, I’m a citizen waiting for the people we elected to, well…do their job for all of us.

However, as a result of this political display of drama, anger and missteps, I thought I would turn it into a simple learning opportunity on what I believe (and have coached clients on) are the criteria we should set for not only our elected officials, but more importantly, for each of us who are leaders within our businesses. Continue reading

Problem Solving Chris Ruisi

Geez! Another Problem to Solve!

The best leaders know that problem solving comes with the territory. In fact, whenever they solve a problem, they earn the right to solve a more difficult one in the future.

Working our way to solve a problem can be like traveling through a maze – with wrong turns and dead ends. However, when the problem is solved we grow (as a leader), from: what we learned from the experience, new skills we developed, and existing skills we enhanced.

All leaders want to be known as being able to solve problems efficiently and effectively. Earning that reputation is directly related to the process you follow from problem identification right through to its correct solution. Continue reading