Archives for posts with tag: success

bankrupt

I firmly believe that one key differentiator between successful versus struggling businesses is the ability to effectively execute their plans.

Sounds logical enough, right?  Nonetheless, I am dumbfounded by how a business team can typically plan and prioritize the most critical action items necessary for success, and yet when it comes to implementing & executing the required important activities, there often seems to be some excuse as to why they weren’t able to effectively follow-through and complete those actions!

As noted in a previous blog on Execution Excellence, the ability to do what you say you are going to do tends to separate great visionary leaders from the “wannabes”.

Winston Churchill stated that He who fails to plan is planning to fail”.

Margaret Thatcher advised us to “Plan your work for today and every day, then work your plan”. 

My philosophy is a bit more assertive…“Not executing your business plan may lead to an unplanned “execution” of your business”.

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Close Doors Coehlo

Personality assessments indicate that I am a driven and targeted individual, the type of person who tends to be more “task” oriented than “people” focused.

Folks like me tend to maintain a detailed task list…some form of grass catcher document that is potentially used to control our personal and professional life.  However, a challenge arises when our overachiever mindset creates a manuscript that neither Superman nor  Tony Robbins could get accomplished!

The essential component in making this tool an effective resource is to thoroughly review, and consequently prioritize, the activities that we are focused on accomplishing.  The process I’ve used for decades is the A,B,C,1,2,3 ranking method promoted by the likes of Day Timer and Steven Covey.

This philosophy prescribes that we must focus on the most urgent, important actions that will deliver the maximum benefit to ourselves, our business, our world.

The key is to discern between what’s truly important versus the trivial, and then have the self-discipline to concentrate one’s energy on those activities that will get you somewhere.

 

 

As a leader, I’ve observed that a key differentiator which separates superstar performers from average employees is their desire for continuous self-development.

By definition, lifelong learning is the ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge for either personal or professional reasons.

My personal self-improvement pursuit includes:

  • voracious reading of business books and magazines
  • consistently applying automobile university (listening to books on CD while driving)
  • attending live seminars
  • utilizing the amazing and unlimited content of the internet
  • challenging myself physically with new and diverse sporting activities

Consider being a “role model of possibility!”  Becoming all that you can be by striving to always keep growing can set an example that will change other people’s lives.

As Marshall Goldsmith eloquently stated, “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”.

 

lifelong learning

 

 

Platinum rule

During a recent long distance drive, I was getting a dose of automobile university, the learning while listening process touted by the late, great Zig Ziglar.

The audio book was Michael Port’s Beyond Booked Solid which focuses on helping consultants get “more clients than they can handle”.

Throughout my business career, much notoriety has been given to the Golden Rule principle of treating customers how you would like to be treated.

However, I believe there is a stronger customer perspective which was reinforced in the book, that of the Platinum Rule, shown above.

Life and business is about relationships, and I genuinely believe that success comes by understanding what is important to those people who you come in contact with, and in turn, giving them what they want (i.e. treat them the way they would like to be treated).

By the way, this is equally important to all stakeholders that you interact with!

One of my favorite quotes comes from leadership guru John Maxwell who made the profound observation that “The longest distance between two points is a shortcut!”

My business experience has provided me with countless examples where employees or organizations attempted to get results as quickly and easily as possible, often leading to disastrous outcomes.

The only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary!

When thinking in terms of employee performance, leaders should closely monitor not only the results but also how they are being achieved. Taking shortcuts tends to leave a trail that includes less than optimal consequences.

In business and life, anything worth doing is worth doing right.  The quality of one’s work is often in direct correlation to the amount of “heavy lifting” that has occurred in route to the finished product.

jordan shortcuts

Experienced leaders understand that there are enough positive people in the world that there is no need to waste valuable time and energy managing the toxic ones.

Not everyone is a “celebrity” performer.  However, if they bring the proper energy, commitment, do the best they are capable of doing (at acceptable production levels, of course), and are trainable, then they can be a great asset to your talent pool.

On the other hand, “superstars” will never be a good fit if they are manipulative, combative or otherwise a negative force.  Leadership is often hesitant to eliminate these types of employees and their viral attitudes for fear that the business operation might suffer.

News flash: if these workers exist, your organization is already suffering!  The negativity is infectious to peer employees, and can quickly spread to others, especially if these folks are in high-profile positions.

If “unhealthy” talent exists in your operation today, here are your options:

  • help them understand their adverse impact and develop a plan to quickly correct it;
  • help them find another career where they can make someone else miserable!
  • ignore the situation and watch your results and retention suffer.

demotivation

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

OrganizingIn the 1800’s, theorist Henri Fayol, a director of a French mining company, was credited with breaking management down into four primary functions:
Planning, Organizing, Directing and Controlling.

Planning: encompasses the concept of Vision…looking at current state, seeing the future, and then doing the applicable forecasting, goal setting and determination of actions to be taken.

Organizing: deals with designing the appropriate structure, and consequent use of resources to accomplish the aforementioned actions and goals.

Directing: ensures a focus on the correct activities, while leading and motivating the team towards the desired results.

Controlling: observes that the necessary actions are being carried out according to the predetermined plan.

In order to not overcomplicate the management process, this simple checklist serves as a useful tool for any leader to “look in the mirror” and conduct a self-inspection as to whether they are executing on all four of the fundamental functions.

In an earlier “Boltz”, I referenced a monthly performance review process for Managers called the “PDR” (Performance Development Review).

A key component in this process is to seek a genuine understanding of who the players on your team really are.

This is facilitated by having a command of these three knowledge points:
1. What does your employee want to achieve?
2. What do they do well?
3. What can YOU, as their leader, do to help them reach their goals?

Take a moment to reflect on your direct reports and ask yourself if you can answer these three questions about every one of them? If not, you now have an opportunity to vastly improve your relationships, and ultimately, your mutual performance!

The most successful leaders make the time to truly know their people and serve as resource for goals to be achieved.

EEs

Years ago, I implemented a simple, two-page monthly performance review process for the Managers in the organization…called the Performance Development Review, or “PDR”.

To my surprise, the execution of this program met with resistance, primarily due to the belief that “we couldn’t spend the time” completing this task, especially on a monthly basis.

In such a scenario, a question any legitimate leader might ask themselves is: “what do I truly expect my operating results to be if I won’t even commit a couple of hours a month to the performance review and development of my direct reports?”

Unfortunately, many leaders tend to be “so busy” that they often don’t ensure that quality time is spent with their people…coaching and reviewing performance, clear expectations and opportunities for improvement (by both the employee and the supervisor).

Are you willing to dedicate a few hours a month to develop an asset as valuable as your team?

blindfold ees