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.

DO YOU NEED TO DO A BUSINESS REBOOT?

Getting-Started
It is time to reopen your business. Well maybe it is not that easy because what you left off with is not there anymore. It looks like it is going to take some extra effort. That makes sense because it is a simple law of physics. It takes more energy to start up than it does once you are moving along. First you must get back the momentum. But doing that reboot must first be done. Why not just do it? Well for one thing many do not want to do until they have thoroughly analyzed each step. That is called the paralysis of analysis. A coach colleague of mine has coined this habit “Getting ready to go to work”. I cannot start until I get my brochures, business cards, website, 2 number 2 pencils—you get the idea! I have heard that 80% of people who say they want to run...
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REDO YOUR PLAN BUT KEEP YOUR CORE VALUES

Core-Values-Culture
Due to these turbulent times you should be readjusting your business plan. Most business plans begin with a statement of vision, mission, and values. Mission and vision can change as is the case now. However, core values should never change. Values are more important than anything else when selecting team members. You may now need different skills; you may be changing job duties; you may have new protocols; but your values should be cast in stone! If you know your core values and stand behind them, you can change goals and set new direction with confidence. Your values will help you with your WHY. Moreover, your why is much more important than your how. How many businesses can say why they are in business or articulate their basic business foundation? You might be surprised at how few really can. Your core values are of greater importance than vision. These are the...
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ENTREPRENEURSHIP – FAILURE AND SETBACKS ARE TEMPORARY

Entrepreneur
Many great entrepreneurs have something in common. At one point they failed in business but then they later became smashing successes.   Some of these entrepreneurs include Henry Ford, Walt Disney, Mary Kay, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson. The difference between these entrepreneurs and other business failures is that these individuals learned from their failures and used those lessons to build successful enterprises. Education is a short cut to experience. Our present crisis reminds us of the risks of entrepreneurship. But an entrepreneur understands the risks. Failures occur and unexpected events do happen. How the entrepreneur reacts to these setbacks will determine future outcomes. Several years ago, three of my colleagues and I shared some lessons learned from the front. You can avoid some of the mistakes which will lead to failure by taking note. Q.When you develop a business plan why do you put it aside and forget it. A. Many...
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FOCUS ON WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE AND WHY

On-Top
The greater the reward the higher probability that the goal will be achieved.   We call this desire or passion motivation and it comes from within. Motivation comes from within and that means that you cannot motivate another person. You can, however, help create a spark to ignite their inner fire. That inner fire will drive motivation. That inner fire or passion is your WHY. If you do not have the WHY then the HOW will not matter. Knowing what motivates you is a key to achievement and knowing how to find motivation in others is a key to leadership. Dwight Eisenhower said that leadership is getting others to do what you want because THEY want to do it. Reach down and find that motivation and bring it to the surface. What is your passion? If you are not sure why not start by doing a dream inventory. List every dream you...
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TIME TO GET BACK TO BUSINESS BASICS

Entrepreneur
If you have been reading or following successful business owners, they will tell you to never stop marketing. Have you slowed down your marketing because of the current crisis? Maybe you have had so much business recently that you just took care of business but stopped feeding your pipeline. If you are still feeding your pipeline do not stop. If you have not, then it is time to get back to basics. Networking is a great way to build your business. But just like your other business processes, you need to have a networking process. You should have goals and measured outcomes. And here are a few examples of goal categories:      Identify suspects (those who might become prospects with further qualification)     Develop strategic alliances (sell things that compliment your product or service)     Develop referral sources     Develop and maintain relationships      Interactively prospect     Impact sales results You can achieve greater results in...
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TIME TO REALIGN

Aligned-Team
Are you getting ready to reopen your business? What will be your new realities? Things have changed in the business world where we operate. If you lead the business, you have ideas and plans about what to do next. What about your employees? They certainly have opinions and have been exposed to so much information. You are your team certainly want to get back to work. But while you all want to hit the ground running are you are understanding what to do next. In other words, are you and your team on the same page? If you really want to improve your organization you will want to learn the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you cannot handle the truth you won’t have an opportunity to make things better. With all the changes you will want to have an organizational assessment of your business. There are highly effective assessment...
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PEOPLE FIRST SALES SECOND

Loyalty
Many business advisors and sales consultants talk about how they want to be a trusted advisor to their client. Becoming a trusted advisor is a process that is built on credibility, trust and respect. Now more than ever we must put being a trusted advisor first. Dan Pink has written a particularly good book on the topic titled, “To Sell is Human”. In my opinion this goes to the heart of being a trusted advisor. Those who remember sales from years ago remember ABC which means Always Be Closing. This is a tactic that no longer works in today’s information rich environment. Using gimmicks to get sales in the past occurred because the buyer did not know what the seller knew. A person coming into a used car sales showroom never knew if the car was a “cream puff” or a “lemon.” Today we buy things from the Internet. In fact,...
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CULTURE CHANGE NOW

Consultant-with-Business-Owners
Depending upon the organization needs a culture change might be needed. People are updating their strategic plans in light of current turbulent conditions. It has been said that culture eats strategy for lunch. What does that mean? It means that everything comes from the culture of the organization. If you don’t have the culture that you want, you will have no choice but to change it. Attitudes drive culture. I love what Zig Ziglar said, “Your attitude determines your altitude.” The fact is that people do not put enough emphasis on how attitude affects performance. If you are the leader of the organization your attitude affects the culture of your organization and, ultimately, its performance. An organization that has a positive vision and values, and that has leadership that lives and promotes those values is creating a positive culture. But if there is a negative attitude at the top the culture...
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SETTING GOALS TO UP YOUR PRODUCTIVITY

SMART-Goal
With these turbulent times people are looking to restart and quickly become productive. To get a clear start I suggest first clearing obstacles. These could include things you are doing which are no longer necessary. Removing the obstacles will clear the way for achievement of new goals. Review your activities to see if they are really productive. Instead of planning what you will do, let’s concentrate on things you should not be doing. Einstein said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Maybe now is the time to make some changes. If any of you have ever done an assessment with a coach or you have had a developmental assessment for you job you probably saw a section on the worksheet that is titled “I will stop doing…” Attitudes, behaviors, and activities can account for our success or failure. We should be measuring...
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GO THE EXTRA MILE – CUSTOMERS WILL REMEMBER

Generations-in-the-workplace
People may not remember exactly what you did, or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Maya Angelou Those are wise words. People do not buy what you sell. They buy you. If they truly buy us they are a loyal customer. Nothing is more important to a business than a loyal customer. You can be making a lot of sales and have a good income, but you will not have that for long if you don’t have loyal customers. What is the best way to have a steady stream of loyal customers?   Under promise and over deliver. Customers generally have a level of expectation when they engage our services. It is important that we manage those expectations by being truthful about our procedures, deadlines, and outcomes. Failure to meet expectations of our customers will result in a lost customer. Doing exactly what we say...
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CRISIS BRINGS OPPORTUNITY TO RE BALANCE YOUR PRIORITIES

Procrastination-and-Time-Management
Sometimes it takes a crisis to present an opportunity for change. We may have been working hard and doing things that had limited value. Now we are in a situation to decide what needs to be done and what should be eliminated. How do you rebalance and move forward? Two things stand out for me. Be guided by your values and have a purpose then stay on course. You might say that this is your personal GPS. The comparison to using a GPS is an easy one. 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, it lets you know where you are now....
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A CASE FOR CHANGE NOW

Change-Management
Challenges as we have seen in current days should make a strong case for change. Normally, many people resist change because they are in a comfort zone. However, challenging events such as the Coronavirus are forcing us to make changes. I was speaking to a business owner today who understands her numbers and where the business stands. She has strategic plans ready to be implemented based on a number of things that might happen in the upcoming months. Then I have also spoken to a business owner who says it is too early to think about contingent plans because people are in the midst of traumatic times. Some say she is in denial or still processing. Why do people resist change? Why to people want to wait and see when the threat in front of them demands action? Understanding the reasons people resist change can help overcome the obstacles to change...
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VITUAL TEAMS ARE BECOMING A REALITY

Virtual-Team-Leader
It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. If that is true, then the Corona Virus may have accelerated the creation of virtual teams. Virtual teams have been growing for a while now. In fact, a 2017 survey by The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) showed that 60% of companies embraced virtual work. In 2019, the number had jumped to 69%. Now that so many are being forced to work virtually what will the 2020 SHRM survey show? Employees have shown that they prefer telecommuting but is it productive? It can be but only if the virtual team is well led. I believe that a well led virtual team will be more productive will be less susceptible to interruptions such as illness breaks in childcare service. Moreover, it is seen as a best practice for great workplaces. Also, we are growing as a gig economy using virtual work....
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TAKE YOUR LEADERS’ SKILLS TO THE NEXT LEVEL

Leadership-Plan
I hope that you are not setting up your leaders for failure. You could be doing that if you are basing future leadership roles on their current experience. Unfortunately, this seems to happen most often by default. The most common mistake is taking an individual performer and promoting that person to supervisor without any training at all. The newly promoted supervisor still sees the jobs of the people he or she is supervising through his or her own individual performer lens. What is need is an understanding of motivation, leadership and interpersonal skills in addition to knowledge of the job. But it does not stop there. All leadership roles are not the same at all levels. Managing other managers is different from managing individual performers. According to Lawrence Peter, author of the Peter Principle, companies make a flawed assumption that because a person is good at one job, he will continue...
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PEOPLE WITH A SENSE OF OWNERSHIP GET IT DONE

Create-A-Vision
The best way to get people to do want you want done is helping them see what is in it for them. One way to do this is to give people the pride of ownership in their work. When that happens, they own and take pride in results and they feel accountability for getting it right and they take responsibility when it is not right. If you are frustrated with the results of your team, here are two questions that you need to ask yourself. First, have you provided them with the tools to succeed? Second, have you clearly communicated the objectives and desired results?   You may have given plenty of detailed directions without explaining reasons and objectives but that does not ensure success. The first thing you need to do is let go and empower your team. Instead of giving assignments with specific instructions try something different. Here are two...
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THAT IS NOT WHAT I SAID

Message-from-Leader
One sentence with the same words can have many different meanings. Zig Ziglar showed how the sentence “I did not say he beat his wife” could have eight different meanings. Each time you change the voice inflection on a word you change the meaning. Clearing sending a message is not simple. You must consider the words and the way the words are delivered. Recently I met executives of a Westchester County New York company. The employees felt that there were a lot of changes but also believed 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. As a manager do you know with...
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GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

Transform-Fear-into-Action
Lack of courage is one of the root causes of many time management issues. In fact, time management is usually not a time management problem but a behavior problem. Procrastination is something that we all must confront and deal with from time to time. It's only natural to procrastinate at times, but the way you deal with your procrastination patterns will determine what effects procrastination has on your life. Why is it that so many people start out with good intentions to achieve a goal but never achieve that goal? When you procrastinate you simply fail to act on the very things you know will bring you the rewards that you desire. You know you want the rewards and know you must act, but you hold off, make excuses and, in short, procrastinate. Procrastination can be caused by a fear—a fear of failure or the fear of stepping outside your comfort...
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LEVERAGE YOUR OWN LEADERSHIP STRENGTHS

Level-5-Leadership
There is a distinction between management and leadership. Management is a matter of job title that is given by your organization or by yourself if you are the owner of the company. On the other hand, leadership is recognition by those whom you lead. Expressed in different terms a manager has the authority and a leader has the power. Of course, you can be both and have both. The leader’s power is earned through empathy for the team, clear direction, trust, and other factors. Most people believe that no one is a born leader. There is a belief by most that leadership is developed and there is no 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 forces inspires and demands that each person does his or her very best. A military leader does not...
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IS IT YOUR GROUNDHOG DAY?

Ground-Hog-Day
When I think of Groundhog Day, I can’t help but think about the movie with Bill Murray. You might remember the movie. Bill Murray played a weatherman who continually woke up to Ground Hog day every morning. It was so funny it was ridiculous. Or was it? How many business owners play the same Groundhog Day even though the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Or maybe the owner makes minor changes and hopes that it will be enough. Like Murray they are not seeing the need to change. If business owners do not see the need for change, they won’t do it. They don’t see the need because they are not looking. Here are four reasons why people resist change.  The first reason is FEAR. Fear is internal-- it’s in our head. It could be fear of failure or fear of a disruption...
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ARE YOUR TWEAKING OR TRANSFORMING YOUR BUSINESS?

Decisions
Why would you continue doing the same thing year after year? Over time things change, don’t they? I am sure that you have heard it said that what got you to where you are with not get you to where you want to go next. I am working with my Westchester County NY business owners on developing their future business plans. I urge every business owner to have a Strategic Business Plan. A strategic plan will consider the business today, look into the future, and then plan to create the business’ future. To remain successful a business must have that plan now and in the future. Here are some of the things I discuss when helping my clients with a strategic plan: Make sure you know what business you are in. This is not about what products or services that you provide. How is the customer served? What need is being...
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