If you’re in a leadership role, it’s your responsibility to find that “common ground” when you are communicating with a team member. A “one-size-fits-all” approach to communication does not work, especially when you’re delegating work to be done and attempting to set specific expectations.
Far too often, non-performing leaders give minimal instructions (that only they understand) and quickly move on. They do no training. They then get frustrated when the work doesn’t get done properly and then launch a personal attack on their team member. They are also extremely good at writing vicious e-mails condemning an individual—who may in fact be deficient. Non-performing leader are basically insecure in their own abilities and compensate for their insecurity by attacking others.
Non-performing leaders tend to do things “to people” as opposed to working “with people.” Continue reading →
As I look at the most successful clients I have worked with, the one common link between them is their ability to make timely and quick decisions even in the face of incomplete or imperfect information. They know that decisions result in action which can lead to the growth of their business. Hence, the quicker they make the decision and act on it, the faster they will be able to put their business on a growth path.
Given how quickly the competitive landscape changes, taking too long to make needed decisions can be a business killer. Some will justify their reason to decide and act slowly as their need to “get it right.” In fact, they are really showing their aversion to risk and their need to want to be perfect. Trying to be perfect is also a business killer.
When running a business, nothing is ever perfect. You collect and evaluate the information you have, come up with a plan, decide and then take action. If you make the wrong decision, you make another one to make it right. It’s that simple. There is no need to study all of the sides of a circle!
A while ago, I wrote about “quiet confidence.” In that Wake-Up Call, I stated that quiet confidence means that you consistently believe in yourself – 100% – to the point where you know that success is the only outcome. Individuals who possess quiet confidence know exactly what they have to do to achieve their goals. They don’t talk about what they’re going to do, they let their actions (and results) speak for them. Individuals who practice quiet confidence possess a healthy dose of self-confidence.
Self-confidence is an important element of success. When you have it, you’re bold and are willing to take smart risks. You’re willing to question the “status quo” and try new approaches if that’s what it takes to be successful. You compete with yourself to be better from one day to the next.
If you’re a leader, you have the responsibility to instill self-confidence in each of the members of your team if you want them to perform at an effective level. Some leaders don’t see instilling self-confidence in their team as a necessary part of their role. That’s too bad because individuals who have doubts about their abilities do not perform at 100%. This could drag down the performance (and results) of the entire team.
Some of the ways a leader can pump up their team’s self-confidence are: Continue reading →
Over the span of my business career – and more recently in my role as an executive/business coach – I’ve witnessed what business owners have done to hurt their businesses and themselves. In some cases, they’ve even managed to run the business down to such a level that there was no way to recover.
Here are 3 ways to “kill” your business. Hopefully from this advice you’ll do the opposite. Yet, I know out there, there are some of you who unfortunately need to experience the pain before you realize that it is too late. Continue reading →
Occasionally in business, we experience mistakes or missteps, breakdowns in communications or service breakdowns that result in “surprises” and serious business challenges (i.e., problems that need to be solved).
Similarly, in our personal lives we experience events or illnesses for ourselves or family members which result in a family crisis.
In many cases, whether in business or in our personal lives, when something unexpected and usually bad occurs, our first reaction is to ask “why.” When we ask “why,” there usually isn’t a very clear-cut answer or explanation. Asking “why” doesn’t offer solutions. It leads to guilt, blame, anger or frustration. When we experience these feelings, they eat at us and consume us emotionally, and eventually, physically. Asking “why” even leads to excuses being made, which really don’t help relieve the pain you may be feeling.
Over the course of a typical day, week or month, we always have things to get done along with things that can best be described as distractions. You know: The stuff that gets in the way and pulls us away from the right tasks.
Unfortunately more times than not, we get pulled into solving others’ problems or we get seduced by what I call the “shiny object syndrome” or “SOS.” A shiny object always looks great, but when you get closer, you realize that it isn’t as good as you first thought.
There will always be distractions and shiny objects. Our challenge is to fight them off and condition ourselves not to be tempted by them in the future.
There is never enough time in a day to do everything you want to do. More days than not, many of you leave work frustrated over your lack of progress. You end the day wondering, “Where did all the time go?” Unfortunately, to make matters worse, many of you take that frustrated burden home with you. Continue reading →
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 →
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.
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 →