PD Strategies Blog

PD Strategies Blog

Performance and Development Strategies Blog is the informational place to get timely and purposeful articles on the issues that concern you most.

THESE ARE SEVEN HABITS OF EFFECTIVE LEADERS

THESE ARE SEVEN HABITS OF EFFECTIVE LEADERS
Although there are different leadership qualities here are seven habits seen in effective leaders. Proper business leadership is crucial to the success of any business of any size. No company can be more successful than the effectiveness of its leaders. If the head of a company lacks positive leadership qualities, he or she will be unsuccessful motivating and leading the staff. This in turn will result in lost customers and business opportunities. Leadership is complex and what works well in one environment may not be a good fit for another. When a leader is focused on results he or she will adapt to the environment. However, just as there are habits of highly successful people there are also habits of highly successful leaders.   Here are seven habits of highly effective leaders. A Leader always does the right thing . That is one of the principles of Dave Thomas who founded Wendy’s.  ...
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YOU ARE THE BOSS BUT DO THEY CONSIDER YOU THEIR LEADER?

YOU ARE THE BOSS BUT DO THEY CONSIDER YOU THEIR LEADER?
Just because a person is a boss and people follow does not mean that person is seen as a leader. A boss has the authority by virtue of the position. However, the leader has the real power which is granted by those led. Perhaps you have noticed people in your company who exercise influence over others although they are not managers. People have given them the power through respect of their opinions and advice. A boss has the authority but a leader has the power. The goal is for a boss and leader to be the same person. The leader’s power is earned through empathy for the team, clear direction, trust, and other factors. People are not born leaders. Leadership is developed and there is not one set of leadership traits. In fact there are examples of two very effective leaders with highly contradictory traits. The leadership in the US Armed...
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WHEN YOU OVER DELIVER YOU CREATE LOYAL CUSTOMERS

WHEN YOU OVER DELIVER YOU CREATE LOYAL CUSTOMERS
People remember when they have been wowed in their experience with your company. What is the difference between average and being wowed? To wow your customer you must exceed their expectations. When you wow your customer by exceeding expectations your customer creates an emotional bond with your company and your services. They become loyal customers. But there is more to this. Sometimes you will disappoint a customer. No one is perfect but how well you react to make it right can create an even bigger emotional bond. Here is the way one of my Westchester County Businesses handled critical customer situation. They are an HVAC provider. There had been a spike in temperatures in our area causing an unusually large number of air conditioning units to fail. The company received a large number of calls and the service team was working overtime. They were honest in telling clients that they could...
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HIRE SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY

HIRE SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY
Hiring quickly can be a costly mistake. Finding the right people takes time but the right people will result in much more success. If you have read Jim Collin’s book “Good to Great” you know about how companies become great companies. Collins surveyed companies and found that their greatness was not due to a special sauce or a great product but rather because of the people in the organization. It all starts with high quality, high performing employees. Collins refers to this as getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats. Many companies find that selecting and hiring of the right employee is a daunting task. Some people just hire anyone who applies or, at best, may ask a few quick questions before making an offer. Before accepting an application or advertising you should have a clear description...
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WHAT IS A LEADING SUCCESS INDICATOR FOR MY COMPANY?

WHAT IS A LEADING SUCCESS INDICATOR FOR MY COMPANY?
A leading indicator for company success is not profit. That may sound counter intuitive. To quote investment company advertisements, “past performance is no guarantee of future results.” A leading indicator would show current business conditions which would lead to continued success. Two very important measurements are employee engagement and customer loyalty. While sales and profits are very important measurements they tell you what has happened. Employee engagement and customer loyalty tells you what will happen. When you have engaged employees they will do their best work which will result in loyal customers. You should measure your employees’ engagement at least once per year. The ultimate employee question is, “How likely are you to recommend our company as a place to work?” When you have highly engaged employees you have promoters of your workplace. When you exceed the customer's expectations and create an emotional bond with your customer they become your promoter....
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DISADVANTAGES OF BEING A MICRO MANAGER

DISADVANTAGES OF BEING A MICRO MANAGER
Some people feel that being a control freak or a micro manager is necessary when managing a project team where accuracy or compliance is required. I disagree. There is a much better way to get desired results and hold people accountable. Yes, you must have accuracy and compliance but you could stifle your company growth, have high turnover, and end up working way too many hours when you decide to micro manage. Let’s consider some actual examples. I have worked with a person owns a business that includes insurance and real estate. He has a dozen employees involved in the process of sales and contracts. Each person has a job title but not a job description. Things change quickly as does the mood of the owner. To make matters worse people are asked to do a task but then later the owner comes by and says, “stop doing that, I want...
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WHAT IS THE REAL MANAGEMENT DILEMMA?

WHAT IS THE REAL MANAGEMENT DILEMMA?
The biggest dilemma for business executives is finding a manager with the correct skills to manage a team. In most cases the skills these executives seek are not the ones that lead to success. They will choose people who have the same skills as the people they manage. Or they will promote a top performer. That will not necessarily work because a manager is paid to do different things than an individual performer. Lawrence Peter wrote The Peter Principle in which he stated that, “in a hierarchy people tend to be promoted to the level of their incompetence.” In most companies employees are rewarded for great performance by being promoted. There are good reasons for promoting from within including, motivation and engagement of the staff. However, companies make a flawed assumption that because the employee did well in the previous job he or she will adapt and perform well in the...
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TIME MANAGEMENT IS ABOUT GOAL ACHIEVEMENT

TIME MANAGEMENT IS ABOUT GOAL ACHIEVEMENT
Time management is not a time management issue at all. What is your biggest challenge? When I ask my business owners in Westchester County New York most of them tell me that time management is one of the top challenges. If we all have 24 hours in a day and a calendar system to use why would this be a top challenge?  Time management is not simply achieved by having an organized system. There are many books that tell you how to organize your time. You can buy a day planner, or use programs such as Outlook, ACT, or another software program but still have no better control of your day. The root cause of the problem is not the lack of systems or processes. The root cause is our own attitudes about time along with our bad habits and our bad behaviors. It is a fact that you only have...
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ARE WE ALL ON THE SAME PAGE?

ARE WE ALL ON THE SAME PAGE?
Are you reading one page of a book but your staff is on a different page? Worse than that, are they even reading the same book? In other words, are you taking a course of action, asking your staff to follow then turning and finding no one there? The best way to see that this does not happen is to make sure that you are a focused leader , that you empower your engaged employees, that they will in turn create loyal customers leading to growth and success. Focused Leader - You may be the owner, the manager, or CEO but that does not mean you are seen as the leader. You appoint yourself CEO but your team will follow you if you are the leader.   As manager you can influence the process through which people recognize your leadership. You do this by creating an environment where people will join your...
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WHY CULTURE IN A COMPANY MATTERS

WHY CULTURE IN A COMPANY MATTERS
The culture of your company matters. In order to have a vibrant culture refers there needs to be shared values, attitudes, standards, and beliefs. This culture is routed in company vision, values, and goals. These are the company’s success drivers. They are most important when hiring a new employee. You make a big mistake when you select people based primarily on experience while ignoring the cultural fit. I work largely with privately held and family held businesses. But in that arena I have worked with many industries ranging from real estate, construction, retail, service and hospitality, nonprofit, and manufacturing. I have made the same observation in all of these industries. Those running the business believe that their industry is different from others, so unique that the primary requirement is experience. Because of that mindset I have seen many bad candidates hired and many qualified candidates screened out. The hiring manager is...
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HAVING A GPS FOR YOUR CAREER

HAVING A GPS FOR YOUR CAREER
Today we use GPS devices everywhere. We have them in our car and on our phone. We use them to order a car on Uber or we use them to find a restaurant nearby. We have become more productive and less stressed because we have used this very simple tool to help us navigate. What is so remarkable about this instrument? First of all, it lets you know where you are now. Then you can decide where you want to go. The GPS then gives you step by step directions. How similar is this to your personal GPS; the one for your career, your business, and your personal life? Are you using a GPS for these critical areas of your life? Here is the place where we talk about goals. You have heard this over and over, “You need to set goals and you need to write them down.” But what...
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WHY ARE THEY SHOOTING THE MESSENGER?

WHY ARE THEY SHOOTING THE MESSENGER?
Sometimes people can become overly defensive when their message is misinterpreted. I recently met with the leaders of one of my Westchester County New York organizations to present results of an employee survey. The employees felt that there were a lot of changes but the staff felt that management was not keeping them informed. Productivity almost always suffers in times of great change because employee stress dramatically increases due to the universal fear of the unknown. Often senior executives genuinely believe they are communicating with employees when it comes to matters that affect them. Unfortunately, they often underestimate the number of matters that includes. Can you say with certainty that you know what is important to employees and what to tell them? The only way to know is to put yourself in their shoes and see thing from their position and mindset. Think to yourself, “If I were hearing this information...
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WHERE’S THE BEEF IN YOUR LEADERSHIP?

WHERE’S THE BEEF IN YOUR LEADERSHIP?
Is your leadership style all fluff and now beef? In other words are you talking the talk but not walking the walk? You may be practicing all the right management and leadership styles but real beef is in the RESULTS. If you start by defining the results needed or the goals you wish to accomplish you can then grow the people and processes to ensure those results! This common sense leadership style is called the Result-Based Model of Leadership . Here is an example of how you can align your entire team to your goals. It begins with setting goals through your organization's strategic plan that is focused on your vision. Here is where you can define the desired results from your team members. It continues by aligning the people and the processes to ensure its realization. The goal is to have all of your operations linked to the plan. Then...
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LEADING A HIGH PERFORMING WORK TEAM

LEADING A HIGH PERFORMING WORK TEAM
Building a high performing team is more about motivation and inspiration than it is about attaching blame. In order to have a high performing team you need to look in the mirror and ask, “Am I a person who inspires and encourages others?”   In other words what type of leader are you. If you are not sure why not ask the people around you to give you some guidance. And if you have employees make sure you ask them.   Ask them what they feel is your biggest leadership challenge and what you can do to improve it. Asking others for their opinions conveys respect, shows that you value their feedback and increases your credibility as a leader. Of course that’s assuming that you are open to the feedback and will actually commit to making changes. It’s easy for people to not feel comfortable giving you the total “honest” truth at first,...
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EMPOWER YOUR STAFF BY LETTING GO

EMPOWER YOUR STAFF BY LETTING GO
Exercising strong control rarely leads to better performance. In fact the opposite is true. Micro managing will actually create poor performance because it stifles development of the team. Without an empowered team you as the manager will end up doing everything yourself. Of course, as sole entrepreneur will need to control everything. But once you decide to add just one new employee your main job is not control but getting others to do what needs to be done. Now being in control will be seen as being a control freak in the eyes of your staff. This behavior also known as micro managing will actually demotivate your team and guarantee that you will do everything yourself because no one does it as well as you do. Or so it seems. Why is this problematic? Let me ask another question. Why did you hire another person to begin with? The answer is...
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BUSINESS AND CAREER SUCCESS IS ALL ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY

BUSINESS AND CAREER SUCCESS IS ALL ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY
One of the most common requests I hear from business managers and particularly restaurant operators is the desire to learn how to properly hold people accountable for results. While you need to have the right people in place the real issue is proper management.   Many times there is a fear to have a discussion about bad behavior or disappointment so managers will hold off and say nothing or worse yet, make general announcements that are meant to address the behavior of one person. How does that help a manager who is responsible for team performance? What about an employee who needs to speak up but fears doing so? The results can be devastating when we fair to have accountability discussions. The book, “Crucial Confrontations”, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzer really talks about this topic. How do we handle missed commitments, failed promises, and bad behavior with...
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DO YOU HAVE A GOAL TO HAVE A BUSINESS THAT DOES NOT RUN YOU?

DO YOU HAVE A GOAL TO HAVE A BUSINESS THAT DOES NOT RUN YOU?
Many businesses are started each year. Many don’t last. Michael Gerber, in his book “The E Myth Revisited”, discusses the reasons. The e-myth or the entrepreneurial myth as described by Gerber incorrectly assumes that the desire of the new business owner or entrepreneur, plus capital, plus a profit goal will result in success. But this has not spelled success for business and the lack of the true understanding of what it takes has caused businesses to fail. Some businesses may survive due to external dynamics and timing but they will become stagnant and the owner will feel like a hamster on a wheel. There is a lack of entrepreneurial leadership. For example, in the restaurant industry there are numerous great cooks and chefs that feel that because they know how to create a great meal that that they should open a restaurant. The restaurant might open and have sales but the...
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A GOAL IS A DREAM WITH A TIMETABLE

A GOAL IS A DREAM WITH A TIMETABLE
A goal is a dream with a timetable. Although some people have dreams many never get past the dream stage. Let’s start the process imagining your dreams. Do an inventory of your dreams and write them down. Can you visualize them and verbalize them? This is the first step in goal achievement. In order to create the motivation to achieve your goal you must have a burning desire to reach it and that would come from a big dream. If you have made goals in the past and have not achieved them one reason may be that you did not have a burning desire and, therefore, not driven to achieve them. New Year’s resolutions fall into this category many times. When you think about your life, your daily journey, how well do you plan and organize it? Your life’s journey is the MOST important trip you will ever take. So why...
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DEVELOPING GREAT LEADERSHIP HABITS

DEVELOPING GREAT LEADERSHIP HABITS
I am not one to suggest that there are certain leadership traits that are required to be a great leader. That being said, I also don’t believe that people have been born with something that makes them a good leader. One trait of a successful leader could be a liability in someone else’s leadership. A great leader is effective and effectiveness means understanding the situation, the team, and the desired results. Rather than being born with certain traits leadership can be developed . However, just as there are habits of highly successful people there are also habits of highly successful leaders.   Here are seven habits of highly effective leaders. A Leader always does the right thing. That is one of the principles of Dave Thomas who founded Wendy’s.   The leader has a high code of ethics. A Leader has a vision. Clearly stated, the leader must have a clear cut idea...
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HAVE YOU REVIEWED YOUR ANNUAL GOALS AND 2016 PLAN?

HAVE YOU REVIEWED YOUR ANNUAL GOALS AND 2016 PLAN?
This is an important time of year for you to take stock both personally and professionally to determine whether or not your life is on track. When was the last time you thought about your life goals? Are you on track to achieving those goals? Who should be working on goals and plan for 2016? The answer is everyone; entrepreneurs and business owners, managers and executives, students and other individuals. Right now I am working with businesses and executives in Westchester County New York on their annual goals review. Setting a goal is not like a New Year's resolution. That is just a wish. Just wishing and hoping for something isn't going to make it happen. Setting a goal is having a target to shoot for and a plan to get there. When planning your goals, choose which categories you would like for your goals. Establish the time frame. They could...
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