Category Archives: Team Building

4 Great Questions Every Leader Needs to Ask

We judge our leaders by the quality of the results they achieve. These results are achieved by the quality of the decisions they make. The quality of their decisions is directly related to the quality of the information they have available to them. Sometimes, they must make their decisions based on either incomplete or imperfect information. In these situations, they rely on their “gut” which is related to what they learned from their past experiences. Regardless, they need to have an effective way to get the information they need.

Here’s my point: the best leaders know how to ask the best questions to help them gather the right information they need to make the best decisions.

The important question for you is this: What questions are you asking – on a regular and consistent basis – to get the right information you need, when you need it to achieve the level of success you want?

To achieve success, you must be able to learn the right things from the past, build a plan and implement it in the present. To learn these “right things,” you must have the right questions to ask. It’s just that simple. Continue reading

Some People - Chris Ruisi Leadership articles

It’s All About the Selection (Of People)

I have several clients who are each trying to hire the “right” person for key positions within their companies. Today’s tight labor market makes this important task that much more challenging.

I’m always amazed 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.” Or, even worse they just want to get it behind them and hire the first person they “think” is the right one.

Well, here’s a fact: Selecting – not just hiring – the right person is something you must do! And you had better be doing it right if you want to avoid mistakes, lost money and productivity and causing your customers to go elsewhere.

Let me share with you the advice that I give each of my clients which works.

To start with, here are 3 sure-fire ways to make certain that you can hire the wrong employees. Here’s the point (just in case you need to hear it): Do the opposite! Continue reading

Success Habits: Developing Teams

One thing that’s common to most business owners is that they have a team. It’s one of the most important aspects of a successful business. How do you develop a team that’s prepared to align your business for success? Chris shares his tips on setting the proper expectations, a useful tool in the training, development and education of your team.

Chris Ruisi Team

It’s Your Team!

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

Culture Chris Ruisi Team Productivity

Culture: The Key to Your Team’s Productivity

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.

Try these 5 simple actions for starters: Continue reading

Peter Drucker Chris Ruisi

It’s All About The People

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.”

So how important are these two concepts? Consider the following: Continue reading

Bad Team Chris Ruisi

Loose Lips Sink Ships

About a week ago I made a call to a financial planner whom I know who works here in Middletown, New Jersey. Several years ago, I had a brief coaching assignment with him.

The reason for my call was to refer an individual to him, who I thought, would be a good potential client for his business.

As expected, his assistant answered the phone. I introduced myself and asked if I could speak with the gentleman. She put me on hold and after 10 or15 seconds, came back and said, “I’m sorry he’s in a meeting right now. Can I take a message and have him call you back?” I responded that it would be very nice, and gave her my name and the best contact number for him to use.

Then, as expected, she asked, “May I tell him what this call is about?” I responded that I would prefer to discuss it with him when he called me back. She did not like my response, her tone changed and she became a bit frustrated with me because I wouldn’t comply with her request.

Now, in all fairness to the lady, she probably thought that I was one of those annoying telephone solicitation calls that we all get. Continue reading

Job Descriptions Chris Ruisi

Dump Your Job Descriptions

It’s time to forget about the traditional type of job descriptions we use in business today.

In my opinion, the typical job description is a very static document that is used only once in either employment or in training of a team member. In most cases, it is shown to the individual once and then forgotten about until something goes wrong, and we waive it at them stating, “You didn’t do your job.” Very few of you (if any) come to work each day and decide to update your job descriptions. So deal with it—in its current format it’s useless!

What I suggest to my clients is that when they are ready to define a job, they do it in two steps.

First, create a statement of the “essence” of the role in which you define specifically:

  • Why the job exists;
  • What you expect in terms of a result or outcome from it;
  • How that outcome “contributes” to your company’s performance and growth; and,
  • How the company and its customers benefit from having this position.

From the answers to these questions, we make the document more relevant to the job at hand by identifying what the company is trying to accomplish in both the short- and long-term.

Plus, it shows the employee very clearly where and how they can contribute, and where they can make a difference. When this occurs, you increase the chances of the employee becoming engaged and focusing on doing the right things at the right time on a consistent basis.

After you’ve created this “essence” statement, you’re in a better position to create a list of both the strategic and tactical job duties for the position that support this opening statement. You would identify the top 8 to 10 key tasks that you want the person in the role to perform. Not only does this help the individual understand the scope of their responsibilities and accountabilities.

In addition to the above, if you define a position in the way in which I am suggesting, you have a better chance of developing a meaningful training plan for that individual which would include specific measurable items that can be tracked.

What’s the next step? Write your own “essence” statement. You might be surprised to learn what you are supposed to be doing.

 

What Questions Chris Ruisi

What?

“What” is a very simple word, yet when used correctly can be a leader’s most effective and powerful tool. Why? Because it helps the leader get information they need to make the best decisions possible for their business, their team and their customers.

Effective leadership means knowing how to ask the right question at the right time in the right way to determine the status of your organization and to make sure your team is on the right track to accomplish its stated goals. Far too many “wanna be” leaders ask questions after the fact and generally – when things go wrong – in a confrontational way.

Here are some simple questions, using “what” that you can employ to help you effectively lead your team and help them grow and perform better. Continue reading

Delegation Chris Ruisi

The Art of Delegation

Wikipedia tells us that “delegation” is the assignment of authority and responsibility to another person to carry out specific activities. The person who delegated the work, however, remains accountable for the outcome of that work. Delegation is supposed to empower a subordinate to learn and to make decisions. It is a shift of decision-making authority from one organizational level to a lower one. Continue reading