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Best Practices Growth Management Personal Development

Summer Strategies to Focus Attention on Business Growth

Does your business slowdown in the summer? If so, summer strategies can create ways to pay attention to your team and your business during slower months. The summer is a wonderful time to take business outside, to meet clients outside when possible. This is a great way to mix up otherwise mundane workdays and create an exciting change of pace for everyone.

The first thing I would suggest is to take advantage of the weather. If there are opportunities to meet your clients outdoors, make the most of it. If you have a patio or a facility for team members to take their lunch outside, make the most of it.

Next, consider using this time to review where you’re at in the business. The six-month mark is a great time to review your business plan, to review your marketing plan and do a quick health check of the team you have in place. The results you’re getting, the productivity you’re enjoying, the sales you’re making, this is a really good time to dedicate time to actually do a review at the six-month mark.

Another idea would include doing a summer clean. For me and my team, this is a really good time for us to update policies, procedures, operations manuals, logistics, it’s a great time to just take a breath and have a look at how do we want to complete the next six months.

Also consider, this is a brilliant time of year to focus on your personal development. There might be conferences you can attend, put on by your industry, where you can develop your skills or maybe send some of your team. It’s a really great time to catch up on your summer reading. Hint, hint, if you haven’t read Attention Pays, great summer reading. There are so many books I recommend. You can find additional details on my blog.

But it’s also a brilliant time to invest in your team. Is there an activity you can all do together? Is there something fun you could plan, maybe you leave early on a Friday and you do something together. Maybe there’s a volunteering opportunity for a charity that you want to support.

The summer is a great time to review where you’re at as a six-month strategy. It’s a great time to do a summer clean and focus on your personal development and do something for the team. What would you add? I’d love to hear your ideas.

Culture Growth Leadership Personal Development

5 Do’s and Don’ts of a Leader-Facilitator

The purpose of any leadership development program must be to improve outcomes.  Two ideal outcomes are employee engagement and customer experience.  If these two outcomes improve we can predict profitability will improve.  Costs are higher to attract and train new employees and/or new customers.  Keeping those we already have is less costly.

What is a leader-facilitator?

“The quality of the interactions between parts is more important than the quality of the parts.”

Facilitators are leaders but not all leaders are facilitators.  A leader-facilitator understands and utilizes the most useful theory of improvement and makes learning easier for teams.  A leader-facilitator priority is to create a safe (trusting) learning context.  This trusting context allows team members to manage the quality of interactions.  Quality interactions enables teams to make efficient, effective, and high-quality decisions.  Leader-facilitators rely on trust and influence instead of authority or control.  Creating a safe and trusting learning environment attracts employees who attract customers and keeps everyone loyal.

“What makes companies profitable? Based on their research – and my own experience – the core driver of long-term profitability is customer retention. While new sales are critical for growth, it requires far fewer resources to put mechanisms in place to retain current business than hunt down new customers.” (James L. HeskettThomas O. JonesGary W. LovemanW. Earl Sasser, 1997)

Organizations with effective leader-facilitators provide the best chance to achieve trust and self-organization. This new environment requires certain skills and behaviors. Here are five do’s and five 5 don’ts.

5 Don’ts and Do’s

Don’t motivate, do create a motivating environment

Stop trying to motivate people because it can often seem as manipulation and/or control. People want freedom to act.  Do clarify the mission (the purpose of the team).  Do clarify and communicate the vision (what you want to see).  Do clarify the strategy (how you want to get there).  Do clarify the values (how you want everyone to behave).  Then, turn people loose and watch them excel.

Don’t control, do promote trust

Don’t control behavior with ineffective performance management policies.  Do create an environment that naturally appreciates integrity, respect, and accomplishment of shared goals.

Don’t blame, do ask system questions.

Don’t blame individuals when mistakes are made.  Do ask system questions to use the mistakes to learn what works and what doesn’t.

Don’t micro-manage, do create autonomy

Don’t tell people what to do.  Do use coaching questions to help them decide for themselves new options for achieving goals.  Do provide system improvement tools to help them uncover those options on their own.

Don’t take credit, do give appreciation

Don’t take credit for improvements.  Do give credit to others.  Show appreciation for their efforts.  If you create the trusting and motivating environment, they have done it anyway.  It’s not you.  They could not have done it without you and you could not have done it without them.  It is a complex system of numerous interactions.  Say thank you!

Leader-facilitators are experts in creating a trusting and learning culture enabling everyone to contribute to improving employee engagement and customer experience. Leader-facilitators help teams make faster and higher quality decisions by deploying a set of useful do’s and don’ts.

Check out the interview on C-Suite Best Seller TV to learn more about how to stop leadership malpractice and replace the typical performance review: https://www.c-suitetv.com/video/best-seller-tv-wally-hauck-stop-the-leadership-malpractice/

Wally Hauck, PhD has a cure for the “deadly disease” known as the typical performance appraisal.  Wally holds a doctorate in organizational leadership from Warren National University, a Master of Business Administration in finance from Iona College, and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania.   Wally is a Certified Speaking Professional or CSP.  Wally has a passion for helping leaders let go of the old and embrace new thinking to improve leadership skills, employee engagement, and performance.

James L. Heskett, Thomas O. Jones, Gary W. Loveman, W. Earl Sasser, J. A. (1997). The Service Profit Chain. New York, NY: The Free Press a Division of Simon and Schuster, Inc.

For more, read on: https://c-suitenetwork.com/advisors/advisor/wally-hauck/

Best Practices Entrepreneurship Health and Wellness Human Resources Management Marketing Negotiations Sales Skills Women In Business

What Emotional Currency Do You Accept?

“Emotional currency is the exchange we engage in when seeking self-satisfaction.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert

“I was just promoted and received the title of ‘Junior Assistant’ in the PR department. I don’t care if others in the department with my skill set are making $13k more than me. I’m a ‘Junior Assistant’!”

Those were the words of a very jubilant individual that was more satisfied with a title than money. His fulfillment came from the emotional currency he’d received that made him feel complete.

What emotional currency do you accept when seeking to placate your needs and wants? The more you’re aware of how and when emotional currency moves you, the greater the chance you’ll have to control the degree of your acceptance of it.

Emotional currency can come in many forms. It can be in the form of a raise; you have more money and thus, you feel better about yourself due to your new financial status. It can stem from acceptance of you by a group or others; you feel wanted. It’s also born from the elevation of your mental wellbeing as the result of how you see yourself. It can also be a manipulator used against you.

So, why should you be aware of the emotional currency you accept and when you accept it? The answer lies in what you’ll do to obtain it based on the circumstances you’re in. A moment ago, I stated that emotional currency can be a tool of manipulation. That means, when you’re emotionally depressed, you’re more likely to leap at the opportunity to enhance your emotional state of mind; a high state of emotional satisfaction is something that everyone seeks. All of us should know our limits so that we don’t merge into a limitless desire to obtain what we need. Plus, the more attuned you are to your emotional needs, the better you’ll be at making decisions that are beneficial to your long-term wellbeing.

You’ve more than likely heard the statement, ‘get a grip’. That means you should control your desires. Once you raise your awareness about the emotional currency you deal in, and the sources from which it’s refilled, you’ll be more mindful of determining the sources you’ll allow to replenish your needs … and everything will be right with the world.

What does this have to do with negotiations? 

In a negotiation, value is perceptional. That perception is based on where you are in the moment of the negotiation. If someone attempts to assuage your feelings by telling you how great a negotiator you are, depending on your emotional state of mind, that compliment may be all it takes to take you for all you have.

Be keenly alert when someone begins to heap praise upon you during a negotiation, especially if it seems to appear out of nowhere. More than likely it’s a ploy to enhance your emotional currency. The real thought may belie the exact opposite of the compliment that’s used to mollify you. To keep from being ‘played like a chump’, accept compliments given to you, but don’t let them deter you from your goals of achieving what you want. Be steadfast in your quest and see what becomes of the compliments. Therein will lie the uncovering of their real intent.

Remember, you’re always negotiating! 

After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here http://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/

#Emotion #Currency #Business #SmallBusiness #Negotiation #NegotiatingWithABully #Power #Perception #emotionalcontrol #relationships #liars #HowToNegotiateBetter #CSuite #TheMasterNegotiator #ControlEmotions

Leadership Marketing Personal Development

How Do You Find Market Fit For Your Product?

I’ve worked with several high-tech startups in the marketing space–some of whom have had more success than others. The ones who have succeeded the most have an obsessive focus on market fit–that elusive quality that makes clients want your product. I’ve learned a way of doing this that applies to startups and to large, established companies alike.

There are many ways to find market fit, but I find too few startups focused on fit. Instead, they take the “Field of Dreams” approach–“If you build it, they will come.” These companies tend to be founder-led rather than market-led. They pursue a dream, and the smart ones succeed in selling that dream to the market. Maybe it takes a pivot or two. Some run out of money before they run out of pivots.

I’ll admit that a lot of folks don’t think there is any alternative.

I have long counseled another approach that is almost diametrically opposite the Field of Dreams approach. I somewhat cheekily refer to it as the “Dream of Fields” approach–“If you come, we will build it.” I have been doing this for many years, and it fits squarely into the Lean Startup methodology that is all the rage now. But even Lean Startups usually start with an idea–with an expected solution to a presumed problem.

I am suggesting something different. Most companies start with an expertise in solving several problems. They, in fact, can make a living providing consulting solutions for those problems, not because that is the business that they want to be in, but because they can make money solving problems and start to find the products within the consulting. There is a danger of going too far in this direction and just providing one-off consulting for all customers, but a little discipline can help with that.

By taking this approach, you force your software to at least solve the problem of the first few customers, and you likely learn a lot about generalizing the solution along the way. You also learn a lot from customers who don’t buy your product, because maybe you have something missing that would speak to an even larger set of customers.

To me, this can be a simpler path to market fit because you start out at least fitting one or two clients. The pivots might still be required, but they are less dramatic and less forced. They feel more like responses to newly-discovered opportunities than retreats from previous failures.

And it’s even easier for large companies to do this than small ones, because their trusted relationships help them find the right early customers more easily.

See if it works better for you.

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