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.

ARE YOU DOING WHAT IT TAKES TO BE AN ENTREPRENEUR?

Entrepreneur
Why do you want to be an entrepreneur? Do you like the freedom of being your own boss? Do you know that being your own boss requires risks? Risk is good and you should understand “No Risk, No Gain.” Yes, you are a risk taker if you are an entrepreneur. It is true that many startups do not survive. That, you say, is the risk that is assumed. But there is bare risk and then there is managed risk. Using the investment community as an example you can be a great risk taker, do day trading including option buying and ride a roller coaster. Or you can make a managed long-term diversified investment plan. Both choices involve risk, but the second choice of diversifying manages that risk and results in a successful outcome. A successful entrepreneur manages risk. Michael Gerber, in his book “The E Myth Revisited”, discusses what I would...
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TAKE DELEGATION TO THE NEXT LEVEL

StrugglingManager
If you feel that nothing important should be delegated, you will never be able to take your organization to the next level. Being a control freak or a micro manager is not necessary even in projects where accuracy or compliance is required. There is a much better way to get desired results and hold people accountable. You can maintain accuracy and compliance without stifling your team. If you do micromanage you could stifle your company growth, have high turnover, and end up working way too many hours. Let’s consider an actual example. 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 something...
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A HIGH PERFORMING TEAM HAS DIVERSE STRENGTHS

A HIGH PERFORMING TEAM HAS DIVERSE STRENGTHS
It has been said that a team with diverse talents will be a high performing team. That is true most of the time as long as the team has a good leader. It is important for leaders to choose diverse talented teams. Moreover, it is important encourage and leverage individual member’s unique strengths. Help your team use their strengths to push their performance to new levels. Avoid that tendency with which we have been engrained. That is wasting time and effort correcting weaknesses. You know how this happens. When your child comes home from school with his or her report card and it shows, for example, an A in math, B’s in history and science, and a C in English, what is your response? That’s right. Most people will talk to their child about raising the grade in English. But what if your child might have a real talent in math?...
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CREATE A CULTURE OF ACCOUNTABILITY

CREATE A CULTURE OF ACCOUNTABILITY
Good leaders are able to have fully accountable teams by creating a culture of accountability. The best way to accomplish is to create the culture where teams feel motivated to achieve goals. Dwight Eisenhower said, “Leadership is getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.”   Many times, we fear having a discussion about results and performance because we feel we will not change behavior and we might create alienation. However, we will have continued failure if we do nothing and refuse to hold people accountable for results. How does a manager hold members of the staff responsible for performance? What about an employee who needs help but fears asking for help? The results can be devastating when we fail to have accountability discussions. We need to talk things out about goals and measured results. This would involve: Agreeing on a task or a...
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MAKE A TEAM OF DIFFERING ABILITIES A HIGH PERFORMING TEAM

MAKE A TEAM OF DIFFERING ABILITIES A HIGH PERFORMING TEAM
Most of us understand that diversity of backgrounds and thought processes will most likely result in better results. With that understanding we might think that it follows that a diverse team is a high performing team. But this is not always the case. A high performing diverse team is led by a good leader. Without a good leader a diverse team could be dysfunctional. According to a Harvard professor, William George effective leaders are authentic leaders. Authentic leaders are self-aware, practice their values and principles, seek criticism and “stay grounded.” Above all, they empower others to become leaders themselves. Strong leaders have courage to challenge the status quo and point out failures in the organization. They develop and coach others and build positive collaborative relationships. Teams that are high performing are collaborative. To illustrate the importance of team collaboration let’s consider a flock of geese. A flock of geese has a...
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DO YOU HAVE A BUSINESS OR A HOBBY?

DO YOU HAVE A BUSINESS OR A HOBBY?
Can you go on a vacation and unplug totally without worrying about what will happen in your business? If your business cannot properly function when you are not there, then you don’t have a business but rather, you have a hobby. This is not a bad thing because this may be your business goal. There is nothing wrong with being solo so don’t worry if that is what you want. However, if you want to take your business to the next level you need to have systems in place that are easily followed by others. Does your business survive due to external dynamics and timing but will become stagnant when you are not there? In this case you might feel like you are a hamster on a wheel. There is a lack of entrepreneurial leadership. As an example, in the restaurant industry there are numerous great cooks and chefs that feel...
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EMPLOYEES ARE THE KEY TO CUSTOMER LOYALTY

EMPLOYEES ARE THE KEY TO CUSTOMER LOYALTY
You may believe that you have a powerful customer value proposition but if your employees are not on board it will never be fulfilled. If they are not on board then, perhaps, you are not leading them. When I consult with business owners in Westchester County New York often I hear comments about getting the staff to do the right things. Sometimes an owner is willing to place all the blame on the staff being lazy, unmotivated, or the like. Fortunately, most will ask how they can improve their ability to get the team behind them. You can change things by being laser focused on the goals and leading by example. Your laser focus empowers your employees who in turn create loyal customers by their actions. Being Laser Focused - You may be the owner but that does not mean you are seen as the leader. As owner you can influence...
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ALL SIZZLE AND NO STEAK

ALL SIZZLE AND NO STEAK
Is your leadership all sizzle and no steak? Are you talking the talk but not walking the walk? Your style and your methods, and intent may be great, but the real beef is in the final RESULTS. Therefore, why not start off by defining the desired outcome and the desired results and go from there. This common sense leadership style is called the Result-Based Model of Leadership. Here is how you can create the desired results with your team. Make the organizational vision clear and inspiring. Now set objectives (your mission) that supports your vision for your organization. Next, break those objectives down into “goal categories” such as “sales”, “marketing”, “operations”, “people development”, or “customer loyalty.” Now, align your people and your processes so that virtually everything that happens in your organization works purposefully toward achieving the results outlined in your vision. I have found, in working with my Westchester County...
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LEADERSHIP IS INSPIRING RATHER THAN CONTROLLING

LEADERSHIP IS INSPIRING RATHER THAN CONTROLLING
Do you ever wonder what make people want to follow a leader into danger? Consider some of the comments of two American military leaders. "Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." -- Gen. George S. Patton "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it."                -- President Dwight D. Eisenhower The leadership in the US Armed forces inspires and demands that each person does his or her very best. To be sure the circumstances are much different in the Army than they are in an organization. However, good Leadership is knowing the difference of situations as how that motivates people. A great leader does understand what motivates people. If you wish to lead your own team you should understand that as well. A good leader knows...
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YOU ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR EMPLOYEES

YOU ARE ONLY AS GOOD AS YOUR EMPLOYEES
The employees of your business are important to your success. And today more than ever their connection with their job and your business is directly related to your success. In past times, leaders would give directions and expect them to be followed. Leadership today requires collaboration. Instead of saying what you want done you will say, “here is what we can accomplish together to achieve our goals.” Unfortunately, I am sometimes contacted by business owners that can’t understand why there are so many bad employees and they want me to fix them. I was asked by a family business what I felt needed to be done to “make their people work.” They did not ask me what they could do differently. For starters, family members disagreed on the operation of the business. Because of this, some key employees chose to align with one family member over the other. The managers in...
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DO YOU HAVE GROUNDHOG DAY AT YOUR BUSINESS?

DO YOU HAVE GROUNDHOG DAY AT YOUR BUSINESS?
I remember seeing the movie Ground Hog Day and thinking how hilarious it was to wake up every day and repeat the previous day over. We would not want that life but how many of us have Ground Hog Day at our business? How many of us get up in the morning when the alarm rings, go to the office, go through emails, catch up on uncompleted work, start the day’s work, take phone calls, try to meet the day’s deadlines, go home, tell everyone what a busy day we had, go to bed, get up in the morning when the alarm rings……   Like Bill Murray in the movie, have you come to the realization that you are doomed to do the same thing every day? Break the cycle! As I have mentioned before, when this lack of purpose happens, you are working IN your business rather than ON your business....
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HOW ARE YOU MANAGING TO LEAD?

HOW ARE YOU MANAGING TO LEAD?
Management and Leadership are two important roles and it is best if they work together. As manager you are guiding and controlling and as leader you are visioning, modeling, and motivating. In the earlier times of business, the role of a manager was not that complex. The manager oversaw what employees did. People performed or were fired. This traditional boss is no longer effective and no longer welcome. Management today is more complex. As manager you are responsible for the performance of your team, your business, or your company. The buck stops with you. However, that does not mean that you do everything yourself. It also does not mean that you offload your responsibility to your employees. It means that you get results by working with your people. You do this by properly delegating with confidence. You must be confident because you can only delegate tasks and authority. You don’t delegate...
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WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF YOUR FAMILY BUSINESS?

WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF YOUR FAMILY BUSINESS?
Many small businesses are family owned businesses. Suppose you started your business years ago and you have built a profitable business for you and your family. Your children are now working in the business. What will happen when you exit? Many parents do not have a plan in place for when they exit the business. There are number of steps that should be taken to prepare. These include legal, financial, and preparing the next generation to take over if they want to work in the business. In the first two areas you should work with an attorney and financial planner who understands tax laws. This is particularly important if you have other children who will not be working in the business. Now whether you seek succession of your business to your children or whether you seek to exit through sale you need to develop a strategic business plan . Your plan...
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ACHIEVE ENTRPRENUERIAL LEADERSHIP IN 2019

ACHIEVE ENTRPRENUERIAL LEADERSHIP IN 2019
What would you like to happen in your business in 2019? You would like to be a success story but the possibility exists that you may be a statistic. One of the biggest challenges is not starting as a solo entrepreneur but growing the business and adding people. 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 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. This is because there is a lack of entrepreneurial leadership....
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YOUR POWER COMES FROM THOSE YOU LEAD

YOUR POWER COMES FROM THOSE YOU LEAD
You may have the management role with the authority but there is a difference between power and authority. By virtue of your position you have the authority. But really, if people don’t respect you or your opinion you really have no power to influence or inspire them. Have you noticed certain people who are sought out or considered “go to” people. They may have no title but people seem to value their opinions and respect them. These are individuals who have been granted power by others by virtue of their ability to inspire and gain respect. Would you like to know how you rank in this area? Ask your colleagues or employees to give you some “360 feedback.” Ask them what they feel is your biggest leadership challenge and what you can do to improve it. That alone should increase their level of respect because you are showing you value their...
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WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY FOR NEXT YEAR AND BEYOND?

WHAT IS YOUR STRATEGY FOR NEXT YEAR AND BEYOND?
Where do you see your business going in the next year? If you are a business owner in Westchester County NY you should be giving this serious consideration. Creating an appropriate strategy will be most successful if you look at your business today, look into the future, then make a plan to create your future. Here are some of the things I discuss when helping my clients with a strategic plan: 1.         Make sure you know what business you are in. Whether you are in real estate, construction and contracting, graphic design, or consulting you must define what you provide to the customer. For example, Kodak should have realized that it was not in the film business but in the image and impression sharing business. In real estate are you selling houses or assisting buyers in improving their lives? 2.         Get in front of change.   The best way to...
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LEADERSHIP BY RESULTS

LEADERSHIP BY RESULTS
People debate what makes a good leader. Some feel that there are traits that make good leaders. But when I speak with my Westchester County NY business leaders about traits that make a good leader no one can agree. The only trait that is agreed upon is having empathy. Well then, what do have successful leaders have if they don’t have similar traits? All successful leaders have the ability to set goals and achieve results. This really what is meant by “management by objectives.”     Start with a clear strategic vision—a strategic plan that inspires. Then create goals that support that vision. Next, what are the desired results from your team members? Define them. Align your people and your processes and make sure that everyone understands the goals and the plan. All of your operations should be linked to your plan. Then virtually everything that happens should work toward achieving that...
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THIS IS THE WAY WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE IT – WHY?

THIS IS THE WAY WE HAVE ALWAYS DONE IT – WHY?
How many times have you heard the statement, “That is the way we have always done it.” We tend to look at the past when we create the future. If you don’t believe that then think about how you create your annual budget. Do you use the same items and just mess around with the numbers? What happens if this is disrupted. Yes, there are disrupters out there in every industry—people and companies doing something revolutionary to create a need. You may not see it coming. Have you ever thought, “if I disrupt my industry what would it look like?” You can’t wait for someone else to disrupt—you should be the disrupter. That takes more than predicting the future—that takes MAKING the future! These are some of the things you should you should be doing proactively: 1.         Make sure you know what business you are in. Whether you are in...
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PEOPLE WHO TAKE OWNERSHIP GET RESULTS

PEOPLE WHO TAKE OWNERSHIP GET RESULTS
If you want your employees to take initiative they must have skin in the game. You can do that by letting them take ownership and pride in their work and their decisions. Rather than giving them very detailed instruction tell them what needs to be done and make them accountable for the results. This is the best way to get things done. 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 you given plenty of detailed directions without explaining reasons and objectives. 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 different approaches to giving an employee an assignment....
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CREATE A CULTURE OF LEADING BY EXAMPLE

CREATE A CULTURE OF LEADING BY EXAMPLE
What is your leadership and management style? Have you ever thought about it or has anyone asked you? It is true that different environments require a different style. Leadership and management is much more complex than mastering an individual job. For that reason and others as well, the failure rate of managers is higher than for individual performers. I had the opportunity a while ago to be part of a group invited to listen to Ken Blanchard discussing building trust, creating positive work cultures, customer loyalty, leadership and organizational change. Ken reinforces some of the values and beliefs that been proven to create positive corporate cultures. You have it wrong if you consider yourself a leader because you have been placed in charge. On the other hand, a person with no direct reports can be a very effective leader. The reason that is so is that you need to learn how...
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