The success of any company is directly related to the quality of their team. As such, it stands to reason that you should be investing time and money in the training of your team to deliver the product and service – and experience – that you desire and, more importantly, that your customer desires.
Now, when I talk about training I’m also including that the team member is “proficient” in the task for which they were given the training. Far too many of you consider just showing a person how to perform a task is all the training they need. Without measuring their proficiency, you’re just wasting time and money. And, in my opinion, proficiency includes that they know not only the “what, when and how” but why they do it, who they do it for and where it all fits into the total picture of your business. Continue reading →
One of the keys to having a productive team is to create a work culture that possesses a clear vision; one built on strong values and demonstrates that you, the leader, genuinely care. Let’s talk about the “caring” part. To show your team that you care for them demands that you focus on “what makes them tick” as people, both individually and collectively. After all, they are people who are on your team.
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 →
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.”
The other day, while I was conducting a leadership workshop for entrepreneurs, one of the attendees asked the best way to give constructive feedback—especially when negative performance issues are being addressed.
In responding to the question, I counseled the person that first they needed to be clear on their purpose for giving the feedback. What the consequences were to them, their company and the employee if the issues were not addressed; and what specific actions they wanted to address and/or correct.
With that information shared as a backdrop, I suggested that the person take these specific actions when they met with their employee/team member: Continue reading →
If your company is like most others, your team members talk to each other – about work (mostly complaining about it, or your customers or even you), their families, weekend activities – but mostly the usual “stuff” people talk about. These types of conversations will always exist and no matter how repetitive they may be, they will never go away, nor should they.
The type of talking I want to discuss today is very different and may even be taking place in your organization, but I’ll bet not to the extent it should if you want to truly tap into the power of your team. Continue reading →
Effective leaders know that building and sustaining a “no excuse” culture can be done – not overnight – but as a result of the combination of several distinct (yet related) tactics. These tactics include:
A clear and precise vision.
Real training, not the cheap imitation kind; communicate through words and actions that employee development is a key component of how you run your business/organization.
Provide consistent and comprehensive knowledge of job roles; teach people why what they do is important, where it fits in and then acknowledge it when they do it right.
Install real performance expectations and accountability standards.
Encourage positive feedback at all levels.
Seems unrealistic? Well, here’s something that is real: lost time and money. Stop for a minute and think about what mistakes and excuses (to cover up the mistakes or explain them away) are costing (lost sales, revenues and cash) your organization in terms of “do overs”, fixes, as well as the time it takes to navigate through the sea of excuses to get to the facts (aka truth).
And, while you are managing this, what’s the cost to your brand and reputation as your customers grow unhappy because they are the real victims of the excuses?
Still think that creating a “no excuse culture” is not doable and does not have real measurable value? Don’t even try to answer; it will only be an excuse.
We all know someone who, regardless of the challenge, always seems to land on their feet or benefits from “lucky breaks”. The question I have often asked myself is whether or not it really was luck? Or, was the outcome really the result of the actions the person took to give them the edge? In other words, did they create their own luck?
Let’s take a closer look at what others do to give themselves the edge.
They acknowledge the reality for what it is not what they wished it would be. John Wooden, the legendary UCLA basketball coach said, “Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out.” Don’t complain about what you don’t have; do the best you can with what you do have.
They “own” their reality and identify those obstacles that are standing in their way.
They are clear on and “own” their “desired outcome”. They know exactly what they want to achieve. They ask questions to collect relevant information and focus on the key elements to help them build the plan that will make the “desired outcome” a reality.
Based upon the information they have collected and the “desired outcome”, they develop their best way forward; i.e. their solution or action plan.
They take action, implement their plan and pursue the solution. They monitor results along the way, making adjustments as needed. Clear focus and persistence are their best friends throughout this process.
As you can see, there is no winging it! You want to create your own luck? Follow these 5 steps.