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.

PROCRASTINATION AND TIME MANGEMENT

PROCRASTINATION AND TIME MANGEMENT
Sometimes when we feel that we have trouble with time management our real problem is a behavior called procrastination. Time management is usually not a time management problem but a behavior problem. Procrastination is something that we all have to 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 take action on the very things you know will bring you the rewards that you desire. You know you want the rewards and know you must take action but you hold off, make excuses and, in short, procrastinate. Procrastination can be caused by a fear—a fear of failure or the...
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TOP LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE – BEING A CONTROL FREAK

TOP LEADERSHIP CHALLENGE – BEING A CONTROL FREAK
One of the biggest challenges for a person becoming a great leader is the tendency to be a control freak. Some of the symptoms of this challenge are a business that is stumbling, a frustrated owner, or employees who are not on the same page. This does not start out as a problem. In fact, it starts out as strength. Let’s consider this scenario. A person has talent in home repairs. He does great work and he has loyal customers. He begins to get busy to the point that he cannot do all the work himself so he hires others. Bear in mind that he has developed a quality brand based on his individual work. In this scenario it is only natural that he wants to protect his brand so he very closely supervises the work of his helpers and employees to the point that he could almost do the work...
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STOP SELLING AND START BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

STOP SELLING AND START BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS
STOP SELLING AND START BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS Sometimes we can all use a friendly reminder that sales today is more about developing relationships rather than closing sales. Here are 7 ideas that will open up your current sales thinking and help you become more effective in your selling activities: 1. Don’t use a sales pitch but instead start a conversation. When you call someone, avoid making a mini-presentation about yourself, your company, and what you have to offer. Start with an opening conversational phrase that focuses on a specific problem that your product or service solves 2. Your central goal is always to discover whether you and your potential client are a good fit. Let go of trying to “close the sale” or “get the appointment.” If you simply focus your conversation on problems that you can help potential clients solve, and if you don’t jump the gun by trying to move...
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IS EVERYONE IN YOUR BUSINESS ON THE SAME PAGE?

IS EVERYONE IN YOUR BUSINESS ON THE SAME PAGE?
Many times when people are asked about a business issue with which they are struggling they will point to lack of follow through by members of their staff. Simply put everyone is not on the same page. Most if not all business failures have this problem in common. If you are having growth problems in your organization it might be traceable to this cause. Here is a quick checkup. Ask everyone on your team, “What are the top three goals of our organization”? If you receive exactly the same 3 answers from ALL of your staff, Congratulations! However, if you receive more than 3 answers, this may indicate the following symptoms: Poor CommunicationLoss of CustomersStaff Turnover or unengaged employeesIncreased costs in your businessTurf wars between employeesLack of teamwork How do you fix this problem? May I suggest that you start by look at the way you as a leader run your...
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THE POWER OF SPACED REPETITION

THE POWER OF SPACED REPETITION
What do you think about when you hear, “I’m Loving It.” Or what do you think when you hear, “Just do it.” You probably said McDonalds and Nike. Why are you able to recall this so quickly? Over a period of time you have heard commercials on TV and radio that continually mention the taglines of McDonalds and Nike. You did not intend to learn this tagline but the advertiser’s use of spaced repetition planted it in your mind. How did you learn your multiplication tables when you were young? Or how did you memorize that poem when you were in grade school? That was also spaced repetition. Spaced repetition is the most effective and powerful way we learn. So how are you incorporating spaced repetition into your learning process, and what about your process with other staff or junior associates? Are you responsible for teaching some other staff how to...
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IS SOCIAL MEDIA A SHINY NEW OBJECT?

IS SOCIAL MEDIA A SHINY NEW OBJECT?
People approach social media as if it is something cool like a shiny new object. In fact when discussing social media the word “cool” is used repeatedly. Is social media a fun cool object or is it a business tool. I think that the answer to that question is both. People use social media for fun and entertainment but since this blog is about business performance I would like to talk about using social media to get business results. Today businesses and professionals use social media that same way they used to use the Yellow Pages, the newspaper, magazines, and flyers. How did business decide where to put their marketing dollars? To begin with, they analyzed their market. Here are three very simple questions. Who does your business help? How does your business help? Where does your business help? These are basic marketing questions. You may have heard a business coach...
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CREATE A SUCCESSFUL TEAM TO CREATE A SUCCESSFUL COMPANY

CREATE A SUCCESSFUL TEAM TO CREATE A SUCCESSFUL COMPANY
Creating a successful team requires skillful leadership. Let’s assume that we all agree that an organization is only as good as its people. It is important to select the best people. After you have hired the best people your challenge as a leader is to keep them engaged and producing results. Engaged employees will lead to loyal customers and loyal customers will lead to a sustainable business. In our business climate it is not enough to be good, you must exceed customers’ expectations. That is not going to happen if you have a lot of highly qualified but individual performers. You need cohesive and effective teams to make it happen, not people in individual silos. Everyone has different talents and it is important to leverage those talents. The power of your team is only as effective as your weakest link. Creating a winning team begins with creating a culture that allows...
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GETTING TOP PERFORMANCE FROM YOUR TEAM

GETTING TOP PERFORMANCE FROM YOUR TEAM
Getting top performance from your 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...
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HOW CAN I KEEP MY BEST EMPLOYEES FROM LEAVING?

HOW CAN I KEEP MY BEST EMPLOYEES FROM LEAVING?
A business owner recently said, “I think I have a great opportunity and I pay well but I still have people leaving my company. How can I stop them from leaving? The answer to this question is important. Get it wrong and you will continue to tread water always trying to catch up. Get it right and you have one very important component for taking your business to the next level. If you manage a team of people, or are charged with human resources in your organization you know how important it is to retain your best people. So why do so many employee leave, or worse, why do they stay and become a drag on the organization? Here is a sobering fact. Employees do not leave companies, they leave supervisors. Many supervisors believe that if only the pay and fringe benefits were better their best employees would stay. I would...
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WOULD YOU BENEFIT FROM HAVING A COACH?

WOULD YOU BENEFIT FROM HAVING A COACH?
Have you wondered whether you would benefit by having a coach? Here is some information on what coaching is and what it is not. Is it right for you? Coaching relationships vary considerably. There are life coaches, sports coaches, health coaches, business coaches, and so forth. Here is some information on the nature of coaching, its benefits, and how it varies from other type of consulting. Sometimes people confuse coaches with traditional consultants. They might ask a coach for advice. However, a coach’s role is not to provide answers or solutions. Instead a coach helps the client develop their own potential. If you have ever been motivated to act or energized by way of conversations you have experienced the effects of coach. Here is an example. If a child asks you how to spell a word you could provide the child with the correct spelling. That would be the consultant approach....
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HOW TO MAKE SOCIAL MEDIA WORK FOR YOUR BUSINESS

HOW TO MAKE SOCIAL MEDIA WORK FOR YOUR BUSINESS
Many business owners know that they should be using social media for their business. However, many are bewildered by all the choices. To make matters worse there are many different social media experts telling them what they should do and what they should say without understanding the business. In my opinion this approach is counterintuitive. Social media is simply a new form of advertising and communication that requires a plan and strategy to be effective. To help connect business reality with the new media I recently teamed up with a social media strategist. Here is some of what we discuss. It is important to have a clear message? How do you differentiate yourself from others? What is your unique value proposition? These questions will take some thoughtful analysis. Ask yourself the following questions: What is the best thing you do?Who is you target market?How to people learn about and acquire your...
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HOW DO I TAKE MY BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL?

HOW DO I TAKE MY BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL?
Are you ready to take your business to the next level? Most businesses say yes but do not know what that means. First of all you need to know where your business is now. You have to have a starting point. Then you can see where you want to go. Businesses like people go through growth stages and many drop off along the way.  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. Let’s take an example. There are numerous great cooks and chefs that feel that because they understand how to create a great meal that, therefore, they would be a natural to open a restaurant. They open the business and make sales. However, the owner is usually consumed with running the business and catering to...
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RESOLVE TO KEEP YOUR NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS

RESOLVE TO KEEP YOUR NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS
Have you made any News Year’s Resolutions yet? Many people will be making these resolutions as they toast the New Year on New Year’s Eve. Unfortunately, many of these resolutions fade very quickly because the will or resolve in the resolution is not there. After the fizz from the New Year’s Eve will the commitment remain? In many cases, the answer is no. My favorite example is at my Gym. Next week I will need to get there early to account for the increased number of people who have just signed up. But like every year, by the end of February there will be plenty of room. Why do people fail to keep New Year’s resolutions?  Perhaps they really did not want to do what they had resolved to do. The first step toward making that resolution is to really know what you want to do in the first place. Do...
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ELIMINATE BAD HABITS THAT ARE OBSTACLES TO YOUR SUCCESS

ELIMINATE BAD HABITS THAT ARE OBSTACLES TO YOUR SUCCESS
Habits and Behaviors are the biggest obstacles to success in business. In my career in the corporate world as well as in my own business I have seen great time and effort on skills and knowledge training. Unfortunately most employee terminations and business failures occur because of habits and behaviors. I think it was Einstein who said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. If any of you have ever done an assessment with a coach or you have had a developmental assessment for your job you probably saw a section on the worksheet that is titled “I will stop doing…” If you are doing things that are harmful to your business why do you keep doing them? In most cases we are in a comfort zone and we don’t want to change because making any change will be uncomfortable. However, when we...
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WHAT IS THE KEY TO GREAT LEADERSHIP?

WHAT IS THE KEY TO GREAT LEADERSHIP?
Do you know the key to great leadership? When I do an introductory session on leadership I ask the group of participants to list the characteristics that they believe make a great leader. They are next asked to give some examples of great leaders and leaders that they admire.  You probably would not be surprised to learn that there is a considerable difference in the lists. Some are even opposites of each other. One person may say that a great leader is steady and predictable while another person may say that a leader is unpredictable and thinks outside of the box. One may say tough minded while another may say soft spoken. As a further example to this point I received a number of challenges from readers to my recent blog 7 WAYS TO IDENTIFY A BULLY FROM A LEADER. When people gave examples of great leaders and those they admire...
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QUESTION: SHOULD I USE ASSESSMENT TESTS IN SELECTION AND PLACEMENT OF EMPLOYEES?

QUESTION: SHOULD I USE ASSESSMENT TESTS IN SELECTION AND PLACEMENT OF EMPLOYEES?
Using assessment tests can help you identify the job candidates that are a best fit and would have greater probability of performing well in your company.   I am sure that you would agree that the proper screening and selection of candidates is critical to the success of your company. This success is due to the high performance of the right people in the right jobs. You gather all of the critical information in your interview.  The proper use of assessment tests can validate information that you have gathered from interviewing and reference checking. Many businesses make rushed hiring decisions. Unfortunately many poor choices are made based solely on gut feeling. Many candidates can make a very positive presentation and may throw off the judgment of an inexperienced interviewer. Hiring the wrong person can be very expensive. When you consider the cost of recruiting, interviewing, employee salary and benefits, lost productivity, and...
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7 WAYS TO IDENTIFY A BULLY FROM A LEADER

7 WAYS TO IDENTIFY A BULLY FROM A LEADER
A new book suggests that a very successful CEO, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, used bullying tactics. While that may be in dispute how many bosses take management by objectives to this level? If I had a room of people and I asked the question, "what constitutes an effective leader" I might get as many answers as people in the room. There are many traits that make a successful leader. I believe that effective leaders and managers do get results working with other people. But there is a difference between a boss and leader. Someone can appoint himself boss because he signs the paycheck or a manager is the boss because he was given that title from above. But just because someone is given a title does not guarantee that he can manage effectively. To be truly effective a manager or leader must make appropriate use of their granted authority and earned...
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DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DO IT?

DO YOU REALLY WANT TO DO IT?
Do you know why you are in the business or career you are in? Does it really matter? Many of us recognize the Nike tag line “Just do it!” While I certainly believe that is great advice it is not true universally. I was recently working with a coaching client on his business development. He was struggling with his growth and was having trouble getting his team on board. He was having a hard time accomplishing the objectives that we had worked on together in his plan. These were the goals that he had established in previous sessions. After failing to complete some of the tasks we had outlined from our previous meetings over several weeks, I asked him these questions, “Why did you set these goals and if was important why have you not begun to execute on what you set out to do?” He responded that that was a...
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FOUR STEPS TO GETTING MORE SALES

FOUR STEPS TO GETTING MORE SALES
Many salespeople start the sales process by asking a closing question. For example, did you ever look at a car in a showroom and have the salesperson approach you with the question, “What would it take to have you drive home in this new car today?” An experienced salesperson will tell you that you shouldn’t ask a closing question until you are sure that the answer will be “Yes!” Let’s begin with a typical sales call. You start by building some rapport and trust with your prospect. This might include a warm welcome, some opening questions about them or their business, good eye contact, and other such techniques to establish a productive relationship at the beginning of a sales engagement. Once you have established some trust, follow this four step process which will help uncover their wants and needs so that you can offer the solution. 1.   Start by asking your...
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WHAT'S KEEPING YOU FROM SUCCEEDING?

WHAT'S KEEPING YOU FROM SUCCEEDING?
Sometimes getting started is the hardest thing. You need to take that first step before you can run. A recent conversation that I have had with a person starting a business revealed how true that is. This new business owner joined the local chamber of commerce. About a month later I asked how it was going. She said that she was still not ready to come to events because she was confused about explaining the complexities of her business. Was she unsure or was something else holding her back? It turns out that she is holding back until she gets it perfect. One of my coaches has coined this habit as “Getting ready to go to work”. For example, “I still don’t have my brochures, business cards, website, or my 2 sharpened number 2 pencils”—you get the idea! They say that 80% of people who want to start a business of...
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