Archives for category: Success

sales-activity

During my experience of either managing multi-million dollar sales organizations or coaching and training businesses on how to improve their selling operations, there is one belief that I am convinced of:

“Activity Breeds Results.”

Whether it’s executing face-to-face visits, making outbound phone calls (i.e.“dialing for dollars” ), prospecting for new customers, proactively maintaining existing client relationships, or massive quote generation with timely follow-up, the “sales” people who create the most activity are the one’s who tend to be the superior producers.

An obvious performance management necessity for any selling organization is the establishment of quotas or targets, coupled with a reporting measurement mechanism that can “scoreboard” the results for all of the players on your sales team…on a daily basis.

Most businesses will have some form of a CRM (Customer relationship management) system to facilitate this tracking & reporting for their business.

Now here’s the key to actually optimizing this “activity notion”…

“Managed Activity Improves Results.”

Mix in a component of consistent daily performance management, including praising for successes while coaching on those down days, will tend to multiply those results!

In order to accelerate your organization’s selling momentum, promote massive activity and manage it accordingly.

While reading the June 2014 edition of Men’s Health magazine, I came across an article by CNN New Day anchor Chris Cuomo, son of former New York governor Mario Cuomo.

My followers know that I typically focus on leadership in business, and as I read the insights from Chris in “What My Pop Taught Me”, it dawned on me that the “life lessons” that Chris had learned from his father had an amazing correlation to ideals that can easily be applied toward great leadership.

Here’s a recap of those 5 ideals, and their key foundations.

  • It’s okay to ask for help.
    • Find someone with knowledge and help that you can benefit from.
  • Work hard at everything.
    • Hard work is a requirement, not an extra.
  • Listen to that voice inside.
    • Follow your gut, even if it means being unpopular.
  • Don’t wallow in self-pity.
    • Trouble will come, you will have failures. You can’t control that, but what you can control is how you handle it!
  • Always show compassion.
    • Dedicate your energies to something bigger than yourself.

Cuomo

readers

Despite being the last President not to have a college degree, Harry Truman was an extremely educated person, much the result of being a lifelong, avid reader.

For many years, I chose not to read.  However, I encountered caring leaders along my career path who challenged me to keep growing and learning, often through books they would suggest.

After learning that lesson, I’ve frequently “paid that strategy forward” with several of my peers and friends, and have seen many transformations from non-reader to learning addict!

As in my case, if you find that you are too lazy or too easily distracted to read, you can always listen to audio books in your car and painlessly attend, what the late Zig Ziglar called, “automobile university” while driving.

Ironically, my own personal development in the early 1990’s started with listening to Tony Robbins’ Personal Power tapes.  It’s ironic that Mr. Robbins credited much of his early success to becoming a voracious reader, getting his hands on as much written knowledge and experience as possible.

By the way, it’s never too late to start on your self-improvement and self-development.  Dr. Seuss reminded us of this profound truth in a very simple way:

“The more that you read

The more things you will know.

The more that you learn

The more places you will go.”

With all this in mind, what’s keeping you from expanding your mental horizons???

By the way, if you need some ideas on where to begin your reading efforts, I’d recommend checking out Tom Butler-Bowdon’s “50 Success Classics” to get ideas about how to start this journey!

 

 

By definition, enable means to give someone the authority or means to do something.

Environments that are trapped in either show-stopping bureaucracy or micro-management create conditions that stand in the way of personal and organizational growth.

Conversely, operations that thrive on delegation and empowerment of employees create the opportunity for optimum and efficient productivity to occur.

An essential success component is to ensure that your colleagues have the direction, information and resources to complete their assignments once delegation has occurred.

Realize that delegation does require appropriate inspection, follow-up and validation that your people have everything they require to successfully  achieve objectives.

Great leaders truly understand their employee’s strengths and desires, and strategically assign work that aligns accordingly. They provide only the necessary guidance, advice and support in route to facilitating an outcome where all stakeholders celebrate victory.

enhance 2

When facing challenges and adversity, my experience shows three common leadership responses:

  1. Face and accept the situation head on and proactively figure out how to correct or improve it.
  2. Accept it as fate and hope that it will somehow get better or resolve itself.
  3. Find fault with other people or circumstances and enter into the “blame game.”

I suppose you could classify these three reactions as aggressive, passive or victim!

Genuine Leadership includes the qualities of honesty, candor and accountability.  To act any other way beyond #1 above is NOT Leadership!

As the old saying goes, you can be part of the problem or part of the solution.

Facing situations for what they are, diligently thinking and managing through the crisis, while making unemotional fact-based decisions is the most constructive strategy for moving forward.

Carnegie fools

As each year ends, my wife and I go through an exercise wherein we review our journals from the prior year, reflect on what we have, and in some cases have not, accomplished.

The end goal is to establish what our “top-ten highlight reel” might look like for the year gone by…we are typically amazed by all that has been achieved.

A post-exercise routine of comparing our respective “top-tens” is not only fun, but also provides a barometer for how well our values and beliefs are aligned, i.e. what’s truly important to each of us. It further reinforces the many blessings we have in our lives and the people and events that are shaping our destiny.

Further, this practice helps to create positive feelings and an inner-state that tends to energize a constructive planning effort for what we would like to realize during the upcoming year.

If nothing else, take time to reflect on your core values and guiding principles; and reignite your internal flame by establishing some meaningful, challenging and achievable goals to shoot for entering this new year.

New Year

 

Mark Twain stated that “the two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.”

In discussing people’s “careers” with them, there is a consistent pattern of dissatisfaction with their work.  Whether it’s the “job” itself, the compensation, the boss, the lack of meaning, or whatever else, they are merely dragging themselves to a world they dislike for the sake of “collecting a paycheck.”

If you think in terms of committing  between twenty to forty years of your life “earning a living”, why not spend that time doing something you have a love or desire for???

There are countless stories about people who were fed up and took a chance to pursue their passions, chased that dream…and became very successful in the process.

Take a moment to reflect on your situation, and ask yourself if this is really what you want to do with your life?  Happiness is waiting out there…

career vs job

The band Astral Projection released their song “Searching for the UFOs” in 1999.

In the business world, especially during any rapid growth periods, my recommendation is for leadership to be searching for the BFOs, aka the Blinding Flash of the Obvious!

Let’s start with the big assumption that an organization has a clearly defined mission, vision, goals and consequently a strategic plan in place to accomplish all of the aforementioned.

It’s amazing to me how often leadership continues to go in search of new and better ways of operating, well before ever giving their original strategy and tactics a chance to work.

The BFOs represent something that should have been very evident all along yet the team was moving so fast, and without recalibration, that solutions to issues and/or opportunities, that were staring them right in the face, were not realized.

Reflection and paying attention can convert what was a confusing challenge into a remedy that has now become terribly obvious!

And by the way, an obvious place to seek guidance in this area is through solicitation of both employees and customers alike.

Capt Obvious

 

 

I’ve frequently observed a misunderstanding amongst leaders in differentiating between what actions are strategic versus tactical.

Although the distinction is seemingly simple, this confusion warrants clarification.

An organization, or individual for that matter, is striving to accomplish a mission comprised of various goals.  The process for accomplishing this is referred to as strategic planning…the creation of a written project plan that determines where we are right now, where we want to go, and how we will get there?

Strategic planning integrates multiple resources in order to establish the roadmap for how to successfully achieve the desired outcome(s).

Strategy development is the higher-level thought process that includes planning, creating operational changes and defining pertinent goals required to realize the objective.

Tactics, on the other hand, are the multiple, specific actions necessary to achieve each of those respective identified goals.

The graphic below provides a clarifying visualization on this topic.

strategy

 

Thank You

The “Boltz from Bernie: Leadership Strikes” blog was derived out of a process I started over 15 years ago: recognizing and thanking my peers or employees for outstanding performance by surprising them with handwritten notes or cards which acknowledged a superior effort.

Those writings were headlined as a “Boltz from Bernie” (accompanied with a lightning bolt graphic flashing through the sky!)

This handwritten feedback was very specific, citing exactly what the person did, and why it was special and impactful to our team, as well as the overall organization.

Especially in this day and age of electronic this and texted that, the receipt of a genuine, sincere “Thank You,” done in writing, on unique letterhead or cards, is impactful!

And if hand-delivered with a heartfelt, verbal appreciation of what the team member has accomplished, all the better.

Writer’s Note: I remain humbled by how often I’ve seen these documents proudly displayed in cubicles, offices and even homes years after they were issued to my valued employees.