Graduation “season” is well underway. So for the new graduate, let me offer the following:
As you begin your life’s journey, you will come across more things that you will not like before you find that one thing that “clicks.” That search is a good thing because you are learning a lot as you go.
You’re at a great time in your life and it’s time to “get in the game.” Here are several points to keep in mind: Continue reading →
It’s amazing how everyone agrees that the quality of your team will determine the quality of your business. Yet many still approach the hiring and selection of employees as a burden or something you “have to do.” Well, you have to do it! And you had better be doing it right if you want to avoid mistakes, lost money and productivity, and cause your customers to go elsewhere. Listen in as Chris goes over these 3 critical points – but only if you want to create a great team that delivers great results.
Of all the skills the best leaders possess, the most important one – in my opinion – is the ability to listen effectively.
When you listen effectively, you learn the right information. The right information is everything you, as the leader, need to properly assess a situation and in turn, make the right decision to get the right things done. Plus, listening effectively sends the message that “you care.”
Listening is a difficult skill to learn and master because it requires you to use your very best effort and focus to:
Sort through the clutter and emotion that often is associated with some conversations.
Ignore the distractions that are a part of all our days.
Eliminate all the unnecessary and unsolicited opinions of those involved.
Get the right facts.
There is an old expression “There are two sides to every story and then there’s the truth.” That sums up the challenges associated with being able to listen effectively. Continue reading →
The phrase, “We have met the enemy and he is us,” found it’s origin during the War of 1812 in which Commodore Perry reported, “We have met the enemy and they are ours,” to William Henry Harrison after the Battle of Lake Erie.
Cartoonist Walt Kelly, modified Commodore Perry’s quote to, “We have met the enemy and he is us,” in a cartoon he created in 1970 celebrating the first Earth Day in 1970. The message being that man – from his treatment of the earth – is the planet’s enemy.
In business, many spend a great deal of time focusing on, and even obsessing over, what their competition – their perceived “enemy” – may be doing to steal customers and market share. They fear that the competition will enter their space, and provide service and products equal to or better than what they are providing. This fear consumes them and their every waking moment. Yet, there is very little, if anything, one can do to influence or control what the competition will or will not do. Continue reading →
There is a tale out there of a young and inexperienced seeker of knowledge who one day climbed to the top of the mountain to question and learn from the wisest and most revered man in the village.
The young man asked – “Where does wisdom come from?” The old man replied – “Good judgement” Then he asked – “Where does good judgement come from?” The old man stared intently at him and said – “Experience” Not satisfied, the young man asked – “Where does experience come from?” With a smile on his face the old man responded – “Bad judgement”
I’m sure that many of you have heard this story or one very similar to it. But what can we take from it? If it is wisdom and the best experience you seek, try starting with these 5 points:
You can’t always be right; accept it, but learn to keep your mind open to the possibilities that are out there.
9999% of the mistakes you make won’t kill you or anyone else. Never fear making a mistake because they offer excellent learning opportunities. What you learn from them will enhance your life. When you make a mistake, make a glorious recovery. And, try not to make the same mistake twice.
Learn to take smart risks – the road to success has “risk stops” along the way. Evaluate them and decide the right action. Don’t let the fear of risks derail you. As the story goes, the only way a turtle can move forward is to stick his neck out – be the turtle when appropriate.
Stop focusing on the tasks; don’t let a sheet on a yellow pad with lines drawn through “make work” tasks define you. Focus on the right ones and look to create value, not activity.
Trying to be perfect is not only impossible but boring and a waste of valuable time and energy. Strive to give 100% of your best effort 100% of the time.
How often do you find yourself in a situation where the person you’re speaking to is just not getting what you’re trying to say? Good communication is about getting all the moving parts working together – without friction. Here’s how to get rid of the friction and communicate better.
Throughout my corporate career, I was always in a leadership position with my team depending on me to do the right thing to help them learn and grow to perform at their best level. Why? Well, simple really, because the single most important factor that will determine the success of your company is the quality of the team you assemble, develop and use. Or, in other words, lead.
Leaders succeed by getting the right results on a timely basis. You achieve those results from the work performed by your team – not you alone. If you accept that, then how you help your team find, develop and properly use their full capabilities to bring out their individual and collective greatness is a leader’s most important task.
As such, a leader can only be as good as the performance of their team. And, the team will only be as good as the limitations the leader places on their own performance. In other words, your team will mimic – repeat – your best work habits and your worst work habits.
So, the question to ask yourself is, “Are you setting the best leadership and example you can for your team?” Continue reading →
There is a simple yet critical business fact you must understand when discussing the importance of systems in your business. The fact is this: Systems run your business and your team works your systems. Systems, when developed, implemented and utilized properly create consistency in your business—and customers love consistency. Why? Because consistency builds trust, trust builds relationships and relationships build businesses. In today’s podcast, Chris will walk you through these important concepts.
In today’s challenging business environment, everyone struggles with how to get more done, work harder and longer hours, multi-tasking (multi-dumb!), working faster along with a full range of tricks and shortcuts. Yet despite everyone’s best intentions, the struggle continues every day at desks all around the world.
So, the solution may just be something simpler but challenging for those so set in their ways that they are unwilling to fully embrace the degree of personal change required. Here are the 4 steps – habits – you should consider adopting: Continue reading →