Tag Archives: improve results

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

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 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

Purpose Chris Ruisi

What’s Your Purpose?

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows that it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning, a lion wakes up. It knows that it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or the gazelle – when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” – Author Unknown

So, to be clear, the story is not just about running. It’s about something far more important. The story underscores the importance of having a clear and specific “purpose” that you will focus on at the beginning of every day. Both the lion and gazelle start each day with a clear and specific purpose. Do you? Do you know what you need to do each day that will move you and your organization closer to your goals? Or, do you start each day dealing with whatever comes first whether it’s important or not? Are you prone to activity just to convince yourself that you are busy or is your activity directed towards the achievement of your purpose? Be honest with yourself.

When you lack a clear and specific purpose, you leave yourself open to any one of the following scenarios: Continue reading

Chris Ruisi - Goal Setting Tips

The Importance of Goal Setting

Goal setting is as important in your personal life as it is in business. The most common denominator in all the self-help literature and books is the importance of goal setting.

Despite their obvious value, our experience with goals has shown that some are good at setting goals, sticking to them and achieving great results, while others can’t keep a New Year’s resolution to stop smoking for two days in a row.

Here is the key point to keep in mind: winners have specific goals. Without specific goals, there is no way you can determine the most important tasks. There is nothing more powerful to your workday than knowing your purpose and executing it in an effective manner. Your life will take on a real meaning once you begin to adopt a goals mentality and focus. Continue reading

Mental Toughness Chris Ruisi

Resolutions Are Useless – Build Mental Toughness First

Some view resolutions as statements of intention. However, to be meaningful, resolutions require action.

Success in business (or for that matter anything else) requires action in the form of hard, focused, disciplined and committed work. There are no shortcuts to success.

We can all agree that to be successful requires the proper use of certain knowledge and skills. However, without the proper mental foundation there is no way you can use that knowledge and skill effectively. I refer to this foundation as your “mental toughness”. Developing this mental toughness is a choice. Here are 3 key steps that will get you going in the right direction: Continue reading

Procrastination or Getting Things Done

We all make the choice to suffer from procrastination. Procrastination is born from one, or a combination of, the following:

  • Trying to be a perfectionist.
  • A lack of self-discipline.
  • The inability to fight off distractions.
  • A lack of specific goals and fear.

How many times do you start the day knowing what you want to do, but eventually come up with a reason why you just can’t get started and so you put it off? Whatever your reason might be, the fact is, you are procrastinating.

Left unchecked, procrastination can be a career and/or business killer. Here are 3 useful tips to help you overcome procrastination: Continue reading

It’s Like Deja Vu All Over Again

Well, I thought it would be appropriate to kick off 2016 with one of Yogi Berra’s famous quotes because for some of you it sure seems like you’ve been here before.

Yup, it’s that time of year when you “announce” your plans to make 2016 better than 2015. You probably went through the same exercise last year around this same time. Did it work? Did you accomplish all of your goals in 2015? Or did your 2015 results look very similar to what took place in 2014? Are you going to make the same old promises or resolutions to yourself without making the hard and needed changes to who you are and who you need to be? If not, don’t be surprised 12 months from now if your future looks a lot like your past.

You can waste time and be mad at yourself about lost opportunities. None of that matters. What really matters is the answer to this question: “So, what are you going to do now?”

Here are 5 suggestions to guide you:

  1. What are you going to do in 2016 to avoid doing more of the same things that just don’t work? Learn from your past mistakes don’t repeat them.
  2. What are you going to do in 2016 to stop playing the blame game and coming up with excuses that point to something or someone else (other than you)? 2016 should be the year that you start to look inward to solve some of the challenges that you will face.
  3. What are you going to do in 2016 to implement a practical self-development plan for yourself to help you grow and perform at a higher level? What new skills do you want to learn and use consistently and effectively? When you get better, everything around you gets better.
  4. What will you do in 2016 to raise your personal level of tenacity and passion for your career or business? You may have a vision, but a vision without tenacity and passion is like trying to start a fire with wet wood: it flickers for a bit and then goes out!
  5. What will you do in 2016 to eliminate the distractions that prevent you from working on the right things at the right time? Or do you like spending all of your time solving problems for everyone else?


Get Past the Emotion to Get to the Solution

At any point in time, we find ourselves having to deal with a variety of problems. Some are big; others are small. Some we create and others land in our lap as a result someone else’s actions (or lack of actions). Some are valid while others are just unnecessary distractions. Regardless of how it is described, in almost all of the problems we encounter, we are paid to solve them.

To effectively solve a problem, you have to have a clear understanding of its cause and impact. However, many of you spend way too much time and energy focusing on just the problem – its cause and its impact – and not enough time and emotion on taking action to get to the solution. In essence, many find themselves “obsessing” about the problem leading to detrimental results for the individual and their organization. It’s almost like digging a hole and pulling the dirt back in on top of you. Your frustration, stress and negative emotions grow unchecked. As this occurs, you basically eliminate any chance you might have to get past the clutter to find a way forward to a solution.

So, what’s the lesson? Problems need to be solved. And the solution starts with some type of action. In fact, in most cases, any initial action will do. Maybe it’s small and directed at one aspect of the problem. Nevertheless it’s action that will help you take your mind off of the negative emotions or frustration building within in you.

Look for something to act on that would be a simple clear “win” or positive step forward. If you follow this simple process, your confidence will grow, your focus will become clearer and you’ll be motivated to take the necessary additional actions until the problem is solved.

Bottom-line: when it comes to eliminating the negative effects of emotions associated with confronting and solving problems, replace the negative focus with an orientation towards action – one small step at a time.