Building Businesses and People to be the best they can be!

Posts tagged ‘Goals’

Passion!!!

Passion is the result that comes when you believe more in yourself, what you do, who you are and the Team you have than the odds you may face!  

Passion is about a laser like focus on the task at hand that draws on the raw emotion you have down deep in your soul to succeed when others see possible failure. It’s about finding what drives you to be the best Leader you can possibly be. When what you do is in alignment with who you are, you get energy from doing it. When you get energy from what you do that powers you on, it catches to your Team and it’s like water flowing along its natural riverbed. It actually gains energy from the path it’s taking and continues to grow in volume and speed.

The questions every Leader has to ask themselves are these:

  • “What is my Passion?”
  •  “Am I Passionate about what I am doing?”
  • “Can my Team see that I am passionate about them, my job and our goals?”

If your answer to any of these are, “No”, the task at hand is to ask yourself, “Why”. Once you get to the answer of, “Why”, (which can take a while to find out), then move forward to find the solution to ignite your passion. Remember, Passion is not anger, it is focus combined with belief and joy transferred into action!  If you take one thing away from this blog today, may it be this: BE passionate in this life and DO what you are passionate about. Find it, Live it and Love it!!!

Until next time, be PASSIONATE in all you do!!!!!!

Rod

 

7 Things Every Leader Needs to Know

No matter how you look at it, a Leader has to be able to help his/her Team see the big picture and not focus on their perception or perceptions of the times we live in. Allow me to share with you 7 things every Leader needs to know about what makes good Leaders into GREAT Leaders:

1. Great Leaders turn threats into opportunities- It is the Leader that leverages talent, time and resources to take the negative and turn it into the positive and not just sit and let things happen the way they come.

2. Great Leaders take advantage of and profit from changing dynamics in the market- These Leaders look at:

  • Who is our target market?
  • What do people want NOW that we have to offer?
  • When do people use our product?
  • Where are we currently focusing our Leadership energy? Will it bring us profits and teach our people to be better?
  • Why do people want/need our products? Are we marketing to that?

3. Great Leaders take negatives and make them into positives-

  • These Leaders AGGRESSIVELY look for and teach their Team to look for the silver lining in the cloud!
  • Everyday these Leaders ask themselves, “What positive steps can I take today to increase my Team and my business?”

4. Great Leaders evaluate and separate from that which is marginal or ineffective

  • People
  • Products
  • Methods

5. Great Leaders build resilience to thrive in tough times

 

  • They actively expect the unexpected and they become proactive in preparing their Team to meet objections as well as sell solutions
  • These Leaders examine their business models and strategies and do what it takes to survive while still taking care of their Team as best as possible

6. Great Leaders aggressively market and promote their unique advantages to every Guest

7. Great Leaders find the lessons hidden deep within challenging times

  • They are constantly open to a changes in their thinking, aka, paradigm shifts
  • When faced with today’s challenges, they realize that yesterday’s thinking and strategies will not work and they waste no time in looking for new solutions

There you have it! Seven things that will keep today’s Leaders leading into tomorrow!

Until next time, keep striving to be a GREAT Leader!!

Rod

You Can Read Along

In today’s blog I find myself writing to myself, but you can read along with me and see if you find something to help you as you travel along your journey.

What has become of all I dreamed of doing? I have  achieved some of the dreams I had when I was younger, but not nearly all.  Now, is it worth it to continue dreaming and think that others will come true??

Indeed! I must dream on! Without dreams, passions, or desires, my life will be dim in color, less exciting, and less interesting. Although life would rather push me down and try to discourage me, I must dream on!

Even though we all have unfulfilled dreams, desires and goals within us, should we allow those unfulfilled dreams to stop us from continuing to dream ? No!

Some dare to dream and make those dreams happen. We call them, Leaders.  Others leave those dreams behind, choosing instead to ignore what could be within their reach – and they often become frustrated or give up, thinking “If only…” or “What if…” Worse yet, they spend life constantly looking at what is not “fair” that is happening to them. Leaders recognize that things will not always go their way, in fact, they seldom do; but Leaders dream on!

There’s a wonderful little book called “Jonathan Livingston Seagull,” an allegorical story about a seagull who dares to dream of a better life – and then does everything he can to make it happen. The author, Richard Bach, says, “You are never given a dream without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it however.” Leaders recognize this and learn to work smarter, not necessarily harder. They empower their Team and enable greatness to rise out of great synergy. Thus they forge ahead to their dreams. and the organization’s dreams.

How could my life and my Leadership be better today, if I would believe and adopt the above statement ? If I were prepared today to take action and make my dreams a reality, what would that give me? What would it give to those around me?

Ponder this with me and until next time, DREAM ON and DON’T GIVE UP!

Rod

It’s in the Roots!!

For every hundred men hacking away at the branches of a diseased tree, only one will stoop to inspect the roots. – Chinese proverb

How true this proverb is for Leaders trying to assess performance issues on their Team! If you are going to  try to figure out what’s causing the performance issue, you have to get to the root of the problem. However, due to the fact that employee performance affects the bottom line of the organization, often the quick fix is what is sought after. We look at training courses or  we try to determine if a move to a new position would do the trick. Maybe, just maybe there is a different possibility.

The thing we have to remember about the above options are they focus on the ability of the person performing the task. Performance, though, is a function of both ability and motivation.

Performance = Ability x Motivation

  • Ability is the person’s aptitude, as well as the training and resources
  • Motivation is the product of desire and commitment

Someone with 100% motivation and 75% ability can often achieve above-average performance, of course the opposite is true. One of the best ways to increase motivation is make sure, that as a Leader, you give your Team Members timely, honest and accurate Performance Appraisals. It is important that the Team Member is clear on their goals, objectives and resources in these appraisals.  In addition, this is why recruitment and job matching are critical parts of performance management.

If you would like even more tips on Performance Appraisals and Workplace Culture, contact Ascend Business Strategies and make your Leadership stronger!

Until next time, make sure you examine the roots!

Rod

Okay, Now What?

One of the really fulfilling things about Coaching is being able to tell a person that they are doing some good things and then watch their face light up with a smile! I enjoy being able to see how this type of coaching can put a spark into a Team Members step and motivate them to even greater victories. A positive, praise oriented coaching exchange is an easy conversation to have, but what happens when there has to be some not so positive feedback given?

When negative feedback, or opportunity feedback is necessary, the best time to give it is now before the problem gets any worse. Early attention to developing problems lets you harness the moment and turn it into a constructive process. Opportunity feedback not only stops unacceptable behavior, but also places the Team Member on the track to better performance.

As with positive feedback, don’t always wait for a formal performance review. Spot coaching is a highly valuable tool in todays fast paced world. Take one or two minutes after you observe a sale, or an issue, to meet with the Team Member and discuss what went right and what opportunities for growth you may have observed. It is highly important during this coaching exchange to get the Team Member to mentally review the time you observed them and ask them how they thought it went and get their ideas for improvement as well as your own.

Now the question arises about how to deliver the tougher messages that we call opportunity feedback. Listed below is a framework to mentally go through when having to approach someone in an opportunity feedback situation:

1. State the issue at hand. Remember not to pile many issues into this meeting. One issue, two at most will be all a Team Member can or should have to handle at once. If you have more than one or two issues to cover than you have allowed them to go too long unaddressed. Filter, prioritize and then deliver over the course a few different settings.

2. Recognize the Team Member’s efforts. No one does everything wrong. Keeping that in mind, give specific detailed praise for a behavior that the employee is doing well and let them know how much that means to you as their Leader. People need to know they are noticed for other things than when they do something wrong.

3. Detail the behavior that is needing changed. You will need to be very specific and use examples to illustrate your concern.

4. Detail the effect of the behavior. It is important to show how the behavior not only affects the Team Member but also how it affects the Organization.

5. Review what is expected. During this phase it would be a good idea to ask the Team Member if they know the Organization’s expectation concerning this behavior. Have them tell you what it is and correct the explanation if necessary.

6. Ask for a brief explanation of why the standard was not followed. Do not use this portion to point blame or try to degrade the Team Member. Remember to keep your emotions out of the entire process and address strictly the behavior, not the attributes of the person. The person is not the issue, the behavior is.

7. Ask the Team Member to suggest solutions. The Team Member will buy into a plan much quicker if they had a part in developing it. Granted, you may have to guide them to an acceptable conclusion but let them have much input into the corrective action plan.

Any of the above steps are great stand alone coaching tips, and when used together will provide a smooth journey through a once rocky road of giving opportunity feedback.

Until next time, look for opportunities and help guide your people to victory!!

Rod


Questions, Questions and more Questions

Leadership naturally requires you to be a curious individual and the more curious you are, the more successful you and your Team will be!! During Coaching interactions with your Team, ask many questions to help your Team Member arrive at the root issues of performance and production limitations. Too often as a Leader we are tempted to talk more than listen when dealing with Team Members. Time is too valuable to expend by droning on with your own assumptions and theories about possible issues and problems the Team Member might be facing or having.

Listed below are questions that any Leader can use to dig deeper into the  success well during any Coaching interaction:

* “What one thing could I do to make you more effective in your role?”

* What roadblocks are holding you back? (or preventing your projects from moving ahead?)

* What’s the most important issue you are dealing with in your life right now?

* What does the competition do better than us?

* What do we do better than our competition?

* If you were the President of this Company, what’s the first thing you would change and why?

* What do we/you do better than anyone else?

* Looking at your personal productivity, what two things do we need to work on to improve your productivity?

* What are the two key behaviors you need to keep doing to remain successful?

* What one thing can we do to make our weekly meeting more effective?

* What are your top three goals for this/next month?

* What one thing can you do today that will have the greatest impact on you reaching your goals?

* If I could do just one thing for you as a result of this discussion, what would it be?

 

If you incorporate a few of these questions into your coaching interactions and then follow the path they lead you on, you will be well on your way to moving your Team and yourself to victory!!

Until next time, keep asking questions!

Rod

 

Work Culture

Culture is around you at work all of the time. Culture shapes your work enjoyment, your work relationships, your work processes and your overall satisfaction with your job. Culture is something that you as a Leader must be constantly aware of, and improving upon. Culture begins with you!

In many ways, culture is like personality. In a person, the personality is made up of the values, beliefs, underlying assumptions, interests, experiences, upbringing, and habits that create a person’s behavior. Culture is made up of the values, beliefs, underlying assumptions, attitudes, and behaviors shared by a group of people while being stirred and mixed daily by the tone set by the Leader.

Professors Ken Thompson (DePaul University) and Fred Luthans (University of Nebraska) highlight the following seven characteristics of culture.

  • Culture = Behavior. Culture is a word used to describe the behaviors that represent the general operating norms in your environment. Culture is not usually defined as good or bad, although aspects of your culture likely support your progress and success and other aspects impede your progress.A norm of accountability will help make your organization successful. A norm of spectacular customer service will sell your products and engage your employees. Tolerating poor performance or exhibiting a lack of discipline to maintain established processes and systems will impede your success.
  • Culture is Learned. People learn to perform certain behaviors through either the rewards or negative consequences that follow their behavior. When a behavior is rewarded, it is repeated and the association eventually becomes part of the culture. A simple thank you from an executive for work performed in a particular manner, molds the culture.
  • Culture is Learned Through Interaction. Employees learn culture by interacting with other employees. Most behaviors and rewards in organizations involve other employees. An applicant experiences a sense of your culture, and his or her fit within your culture, during the interview process. An initial opinion of your culture can be formed as early as the time the applicant inquires about employment.
  • Sub-cultures Form Through Rewards.. Employees have many different wants and needs. Sometimes employees value rewards that are not associated with the behaviors desired by managers for the overall company. This is often how subcultures are formed, as people get social rewards from coworkers or have their most important needs met in their departments or project teams.
  • People Shape the Culture. Personalities and experiences of employees create the culture of an organization. For example, if most of the people in an organization are very outgoing, the culture is likely to be open and sociable. If many artifacts depicting the company’s history and values are in evidence throughout the company, people value their history and culture. If doors are open, and few closed door meetings are held, the culture is unguarded. If negativity about supervision and the company is widespread and complained about by employees, a culture of negativity, that is difficult to overcome, will take hold.
  • Culture is Negotiated. One person cannot create a culture alone. Employees must try to change the direction, the work environment, the way work is performed, or the manner in which decisions are made within the general norms of the workplace. Culture change is a process of give and take by all members of an organization. Formalizing strategic direction, systems development, and establishing measurements must be owned by the group responsible for them. Otherwise, employees will not own them.
  • Culture is Difficult to Change. Culture change requires people to change their behaviors. It is often difficult for people to unlearn their old way of doing things, and to start performing the new behaviors consistently. Persistence, discipline, employee involvement, kindness and understanding, organization development work, and training can assist you to change a culture.
It is highly important for the Leader to be aware of the above contributing factors in Culture development. A Leader, through just a few encouraging acts or words can move a Culture quickly in a positive, uplifting direction. Conversely, a few unkind, destructive words can crash a Culture just as fast if not faster than the uplift from the encouraging Leader. Be cautious of the Culture you emit from your Leadership style. Remember, Leadership is about relationships and relationships build Culture!
Until next time, build an awesome Culture where you are!!
Rod