Tag Archives: improving effectiveness

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

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

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

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

Focus Get Things Done Chris Ruisi

Stay Focused…and Get Things Done!

There are always more things that you can possibly do. The biggest challenge we all have is that there’s never enough time to get done everything that we want to do. Staying focused on our priorities, which allows you to get things done, is one of the toughest challenges we all have.

Many mistakenly believe that they can “multi-task” their way through anything. I often describe multi-tasking as multi dumb! Some think it’s a highly developed skill that all should possess The fact is, it stifles any chance of staying focused, and only adds to your stress and lack of meaningful productivity.

Many also think that making a list of “to do’s” (the longer the better) makes them effective planners. They proudly display their filled yellow pad like a shield that they think will protect them. Again, another fallacy because they don’t question whether some of the things on their list should be there at all! To me, the most important thing about planning and making a list is to decide what not to do.

Stop doing things that don’t make any sense. Focus on those things that have the highest reward/payoff. Continue reading

Intent Action Chris Ruisi

Intentions or Actions

Intentions are those things you “plan” to do. Depending upon how strong your belief in the intention is, it may be distorting your reality making you believe that you are acting on it. Just knowing what you intend to do it seldom results in action taken or a particular outcome.

All of us either have or can acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to be very good at what we do. However, the best intentions will not make that happen by itself. Only the decision to act on those intentions can bring about the desired change.

So how do you go about translating your best intentions into the right actions to achieve the desired result? Sometimes in our effort to create the best intentions we continue to ask more questions and require more information than is necessary which leads to procrastination. Consider the following: 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…