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 →
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.
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 →