(A special excerpt from The Go-To Person’s Guide to Success)
In 1961, “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying” opened on Broadway. During its run of 1,471 performances, the show won 7 Tony Awards and a New York Drama Critic’s Circle Award. The play (and subsequent movie) was great, despite the fact that nobody can succeed in business “without really trying.” Success in business (or anything else, for that matter) requires work – hard, focused, disciplined, and committed work. There are no shortcuts to success.
Success requires the proper use of certain knowledge and skills. Without the proper mental foundation, there’s no way your knowledge and skills will be used effectively. I refer to this foundation as “mental toughness.” Why? Because any level of success must be built upon it. Developing mental toughness is a choice.
Here are three key steps to get you going in the right direction: Continue reading
Jack Welch, the famous CEO of General Electric, once said, “Good business leaders create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own and live the vision and relentlessly drive it to completion through effective execution.” If you thought those were just “words”, when Welch retired in September 2000 and GE had a $402 billion market value.
Today GE – after going through several Welch relationships – has a market value of around $100 billion. They are a mere shadow of the Welch era.
Learning point #1: Regardless of the size or scope of your business, do you have a clear vision and are you “seriously” passionate and committed to making it a reality? Continue reading
The best leaders adapt and apply what they learn rather than copy what others do thinking the same will work for them.
The best leaders consistently work on the most important tasks first – not the most tasks that they can squeeze into every hour or every 30 minutes of every day.
The best leaders don’t use “busywork” to feed their insecurity. In fact, insecure individuals make the worst leaders.
The best leaders recognize that there are teams that want a leader who knows where they are taking the organization.
The best leaders don’t try to manage the results. Rather they manage the people who are responsible for producing and achieving the results. Continue reading
Effective leadership is not about managing your way through a maze of to-do tasks that do nothing but add to the misconception that you’re actually doing something important. In most cases, you’re not. You’re just getting good at busy work.
There are many of you who start out having good “intentions” about being an effective leader, but your actions result in you falling woefully short. These shortfalls turn into real barriers to your ability to lead effectively and achieve any meaningful level of success. The source of these barriers and their solution can be found in the same place: within you.
Many of you are unwilling to take ownership of these barriers. In fact, many are even unwilling to admit that these barriers exist. Continue reading
I received some great feedback and comments from many of you regarding my last week wake-up call regarding the importance of saying “no” when appropriate.
During the week I had some subsequent conversations with clients about it and thought that it would be helpful to expand further on at least two areas where saying no is of critical importance to you, the development and the success of your company.
First, when you are working on something important to you and give in with a “yes” to the question “Do you have a minute?” you are basically giving up any control over your own destiny. Being a good leader doesn’t mean you are constantly available to everyone. It’s impossible to function effectively that way.
As we embark upon the beginning of 2019 many are going through the annual resolution setting ritual. Goals are being set and promises made of which many will eventually be broken.
I’d like to suggest a different approach for you to achieve success and growth in 2019. It’s simple really but will require your very best commitment and self-discipline to follow it effectively. Simply stated, learn how to say “No” when: Continue reading
My wife Paula and I, and our family want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and the happiest and healthiest New Year. This is that special time of year when we take stock of all of the good and important things in our lives and celebrate them with family and friends.
It’s also a time to remember those who meant so much to us who are still in our hearts and minds, but no longer at our holiday table.
Finally, it’s also that time when we look to the future. Forget making meaningless “resolutions.” Rather, start small – find just one thing you will do on a daily basis that will improve the quality of your life or someone else’s and just work on that. If you can do just that, you will build momentum into the year and far exceed any so-called “resolution” you would have normally given up on by February 1st!
I am blessed with the family I have and the life that God has given me the opportunity to choose to live. My wish for you is for you to choose to live that life that allows you to feel as good and as grateful as I feel.
There will be no Monday Morning Wake Up Call on Dec. 24th or 31st. I want you to spend every available minute celebrating and enjoying your life with those who are most important to you. Your business will be there waiting for you on January 2nd 2019!
Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Recently a client, who is in the service industry, asked me what is value and how does he make sure that he is creating it properly for his clients?
In a broad sense, value is demonstrated by doing correctly, consistently and efficiently more than what you’re supposed to do.
As it relates to the relationship you build with your customers, you should consider the following: Continue reading
Just before he died, renowned playwright George Bernard Shaw was asked to name a famous deceased man whom he missed the most. Shaw replied, “The man I miss the most is the man I could have been.” This was an interesting response from Shaw in his final days.
There is never a good time to question lost opportunities and go through the “would have, should have or could have” analysis. But imagine having to realize what you did not accomplish when you don’t have enough time left to change the outcome! Talk about a “worst case” scenario! So why wait until it is too late? You have the choice to take action now to begin to create the destiny you want.
First, create a description of the future you; how you want others to describe you and how you will create value for others and your company in your future role. Be specific – you want clarity. The clearer you are, the more likely it is that you will achieve your desired outcome.
Secondly, have confidence in your ability to be successful in creating the “you of tomorrow.” Have no doubt or fear. Start acting like that person right now – today. Will you make a mistake here and there? Of course, you always try to “learn from the experience.” Never let anyone talk you out of your dreams or try to hold you back. Remember the Met’s battle cry: “You’ve gotta believe!” Continue reading
Almost daily, we read that with our improving economy and full employment, there are more open jobs than there are people to fill them. Hence, the retention of your best performers becomes a key management concern and objective for 2019 and beyond.
One of the best ways I know to retain your talent is to continue to develop them, so they grow – and achieve personal satisfaction – as your company grows.
Now, some of you may be saying, “Well, we train our employees.” Stop thinking about training your team and make the mental shift to those activities that will “develop” them. To me, when people talk about training, they are often describing an event or meeting. On the other hand, when you focus on development, you are taking a more permanent and longer perspective to help “develop” and use the right behaviors versus a one-time event or class.
There needs to be three key components when you want to effectively develop your team to produce at a higher level on a more consistent basis.
This visual of a 3-legged stool will help you in understanding how these concepts work.
Here’s further information to help you understand the three components necessary to make your development activities successful:
- In line with what I stated above, the good performer employee must be given the opportunity to learn or acquire the new skill or knowledge.
- Next, they must be given the opportunity to apply the new skill or knowledge to their current role. Get them using the new skill as soon as possible. Discuss how you will want them to apply it even before they acquire it to help them focus on the goal you have set for them.
- Finally, they must be given the opportunity to receive feedback – constructive and meaningful feedback – from you on how they are doing in applying that new skill or knowledge. Providing your team member with the right feedback will help them learn their new skill faster and give them more self-confidence.
I cannot think of a legitimate reason why you wouldn’t follow this approach. Unless of course, you prefer mediocrity and disengaged employees.