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.

WHY NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS OFTEN DO NOT WORK

WHY NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS OFTEN DO NOT WORK
Some people make New Year’s Resolutions and some simply don’t believe in them. I believe in goal achievement which is why I think that New Year’s Resolutions don’t work. Many are made in a ritual manner somewhat like turning the calendar or they are made hastily at a party. Small wonder that the gyms are filled in January but empty by April. A goal is tied to a driving dream that you have that is specific and measurable and has a timetable. It does not just pop into your head at 11:59 on December 31 st . What are your burning desires for next year? Are you writing them down? What worked well and what didn’t work well in the past year? What do you want to achieve in 2017? Examples: Two additional new customers per month? Ten percent higher average per customer sale? Customer service ratings of 8, 9, or...
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HOW TO AVOID RUNNING OUT OF TIME

HOW TO AVOID RUNNING OUT OF TIME
When an opportunity is presented do you think or say I don’t have time or I am too busy? If that is the case time may be managing you rather than the other way around. My Westchester County NY business owners tell me that one of their biggest challenges is having enough time. We all have 24 hours a day. No one has more time. It may appear that way because of the way they make time work for them. Unfortunately, many of us feel overwhelmed and that causes them to see their life spinning out of control.   Having a system in place will not alone solve the problem because time management is really not a time management issue. No, you first need to know your purpose. So here are some tips on surviving being overwhelmed. 1. Know Your Purpose and Focus like a Laser. Know your vision, your goals, and...
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WHEN WILL YOU START WORKING ON YOUR BUSINESS?

WHEN WILL YOU START WORKING ON YOUR BUSINESS?
Are you spending so much time working IN your business that you never get around to working ON your business? Michael Gerber discusses this 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...
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POOR COMMUNICATION IS A DEAL KILLER

POOR COMMUNICATION IS A DEAL KILLER
Think about the last time you lost a deal. Chances are it had something to do with lack of communication. Lack of real communication is one of the biggest causes of dysfunctional relationships in our business and personal lives. We communicate to get an expected response from someone else. But sometimes, in fact often, we do not get the response we expect.   One powerful reason for this failure is that we talk more than we listen. We are so concerned with making our own points and having someone understand us that we do not take the time to understand the other person. How often do we try to insert our own opinions to try to persuade others? Communication requires a sender of the message and a receiver—that is to say that communication is a two-way process. That means we must listen to hear and understand the other person. We need to...
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NO ONE CAN MOTIVATE YOU

NO ONE CAN MOTIVATE YOU
You cannot motivate someone to achieve. The only thing you can do is create a spark that will build the fire of motivation from within. That inner fire will drive motivation. What about you? Do you have something burning inside you? Frankly, if you do not have the WHY the HOW will not matter. We can also refer to that WHY as your PASSION. Motivation and goal achievement are interrelated. 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 have. I would suggest stretching the list...
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CREATING YOUR BUSINESS PLAN AND GOALS FOR 2017

CREATING YOUR BUSINESS PLAN AND GOALS FOR 2017
Now is the time of year to do a business and personal assessment to determine whether or not things are on track. When was the last time you thought about your goals? Are you on track to achieving those goals? Who should be working on their goals and plan for 2017? 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 be lifetime goals, 10...
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TURN YOUR DREAMS INTO REALITY WITH GOALS

TURN YOUR DREAMS INTO REALITY WITH GOALS
If you have a dream it will not be realized unless you take action. Before you take action you need a blueprint. These blueprints are called your goals. Let’s start the process imagining your dreams. Do an inventory of your dreams and put them on paper. Visual and verbalize them. This will build the motivation to achieve your goal. 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 is it that we spend more time planning a two-week vacation than planning our life’s work? Our life work would...
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NO RISK NO GAIN

NO RISK NO GAIN
We have the choice and with choice comes risk. The risk of loss also gives us the opportunity for gain. Some people call this stepping out of your comfort zone. When you step out of your comfort zone you begin to see real progress. I was recently coaching a Westchester County NY business executive . She wants to advance in her career. She has been working hard but playing it safe and wondering when she is going to get her “turn.” She said she was waiting for the right time. What is the right time? Another way to describe the right time is what I would call “Getting ready to go to work”. For example, “I still don’t have my resume, my presentation, or my 2 sharpened number 2 pencils”—you get the idea! Many times people want to do great things but they never follow through. Why? One possible answer is...
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WHY DO WE RESIST CHANGE?

WHY DO WE RESIST CHANGE?
As individuals we are creatures of habit. These habits create a rut and that rut becomes the path of least resistance. Organizations and businesses are no different than people. A business gets stuck too. But by continuing to go with the flow we will decline. We have to face it … we live in a changing world. EVERYTHING changes and it’s time to acknowledge the cold, hard truth. That is, much as we’d like to, we cannot control everything that happens to us in life. We can, however, change the way we react to what happens. One of the key reasons change might come hard has a lot to do with one of the tools your brain uses regularly. This tool helps you get through your days with the speed and accuracy you need without getting bogged down with minutia. This tool is called habit. Think about this for a minute....
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COLLABORATION STARTS WITH AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP

COLLABORATION STARTS WITH AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP
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 common goal – fly south for the winter. They can get where they’re going much easier by using the strength of the group – they fly in a V formation in order to add 70% greater flying range. They stay in formation – if a goose falls out of formation, it immediately feels the drag and quickly returns to the formation. They take...
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CAN YOU HANDLE THE TRUTH?

CAN YOU HANDLE THE TRUTH?
You want the truth? “You can’t handle the truth!” This well-known line was uttered by Jack Nicholson in the move, A Few Good Men. This line hits a little too close to home for some organizations. While some organizations ask themselves what they can do to help their organizations align there are others that this it is always the wrong people and that they (the organizational leadership) know what is right. Would you get defensive if an outside consultant asked you questions to get to the root cause of your problems? It is easier for companies with retention problems, for example, to focus on compensation issues. But, according to Gallup around 30% of employees are engaged at work. That means that 70% are not engaged in their jobs at your company. Recently Gallup released a new survey on employee engagement. When I read the commentary I could see that engagement is...
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CHANGE YOUR CULTURE TO ONE OF ACCOUNTABILITY

CHANGE YOUR CULTURE TO ONE OF ACCOUNTABILITY
The best way to create an accountability culture is to help people to accept accountability. The best way to accomplish this is by motivating them to be accountable. Dwight Eisenhower said, “Leadership is getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.”   Understanding what motivates a person, whether it be rewards, recognition, promotion, or feeling that something is accomplished will result in developing that accountability attitude. However, you will have continued failure if you 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. The book, “Crucial Confrontations”, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzer really talks about this topic. How do we handle missed...
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DOES YOUR LEADERSHIP NAVIGATE OR CREATE ROADBLOCKS?

DOES YOUR LEADERSHIP NAVIGATE OR CREATE ROADBLOCKS?
Does your leadership lack inspiration, innovation, and the ability to adapt to change? As a leader your role is to navigate your organization or your team through the uncertainties. Sometimes the good and necessary management skills such as planning, directing and controlling create roadblocks because they are missing the inspirational leadership. The reason that a group of employees is not achieving desired outcomes is usually traced back to the leadership. That’s right. If all of the students fail the exam, then the fault lies with the teaching. Like students you and your staff may not be on the same page. You may be a great manager but you may fail as a leader. We can influence the process through which people recognize our leadership by creating an environment where people will join “the team” because they see the purpose. They understand the vision and the “big picture” as well as the...
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ENGAGEMENT AND RETENTION OF STAFF IS A VALUE PROPOSITION

ENGAGEMENT AND RETENTION OF STAFF IS A VALUE PROPOSITION
Your company needs a value proposition to make itself relevant in the market place. How about your employees? Are you relevant to them? What is your Employee Value Proposition? This employee value proposition would be tied to your strategic plan and include your vision, your values, and, your mission. The values should include such things as social responsibility, ethical conduct, and reputation. Strong employee engagement produces successful business outcomes including a loyal customer base. And this leads to increasing sales and profits. The reverse is also true. Employees who are not engaged have no passion for their work, are frequently absent, make mistakes, and cost the organization its customers. Understanding what engages employees involves connecting with them. The Employee Value Proposition EVP matters. Although people work for money there are other factors and these other factors matter to the new workforce. A study done in 2013 by PwC and others reported...
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TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR BUSINESS AND YOUR LIFE

TAKE CONTROL OF YOUR BUSINESS AND YOUR LIFE
Have you been feeling a little overwhelmed? You are not alone. Many Westchester County business owners have told me that they feel overworked and overwhelmed. Many blame the rapid pace of business or the economic fact that business has to do more with less. Technology, while automating things that used to take much more time has also created new pressure. Instant communication on handheld devices gives us the sense of urgency and feeling that we must always be working. Everything seems to go faster, leaving everyone feeling overworked, overloaded, and overwhelmed.   Some people may suggest that this is an issue of time management. The real issue is not time management but understanding your goals and your purpose.   I covered that topic in my last blog . Some of this overlaps but here are some tips on surviving and avoiding being overwhelmed. 1. Know Your Purpose. Know your vision, your goals,...
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TIME MANAGEMENT IS NOT A TIME MANAGEMENT ISSUE

TIME MANAGEMENT IS NOT A TIME MANAGEMENT ISSUE
Time management is more about priorities and knowing what is really important to you. For example, let’s say you just received a sizable inheritance. One or two might go a throw a big party. More than likely most would invest it or pay down debt. What about time. Do you invest your time or do you waste your time? If you don’t know what you want or where you want to go you will most likely waste time. So before we talk about time management decide where you want to go. Where do you want to go? What are your values? What do you believe and what are your priorities? Your answers will determine how you spend your day. There is a difference between spending time and investing time. According to Webster to spend is to use up, exhaust, or consume. In other words, if you spend you have no return....
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DO YOU HAVE THE POWER?

DO YOU HAVE THE POWER?
Have you ever looked in the mirror and asked, “Am I a person who inspires and encourages others?”   If the answer to that question is no, then you may not have the power to lead. You may have the management role with the authority but there is a difference between power and authority . As the owner or manager you have the authority by virtue of your role. However, your power is granted by those on your team or those you supervise. Have you noticed there are always certain people who are sought out or considered “go to” people. They may have no title at all and people seem to value their opinions and respect them. These are individuals who have been granted power by others by virtue of their leadership skills. How much power do you do you have? Why not find out. Ask your colleagues or employees to give...
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DELEGATE WITH CONFIDENCE

DELEGATE WITH CONFIDENCE
George S. Patton said, “Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.” As a business leader you need to be in control of your business BUT you don’t need to be a control freak. Taking that route leads to being overwhelmed. As a sole entrepreneur you, of course, need to control everything but once you decide to grow being a control freak will hold you back. Once you hire employees your job becomes managing results of others rather than doing everything yourself. If you don’t do that effectively you will spend all of your time driving the fire truck and putting out fires. You’ll worry about how to do every detail but you will lose sight of the big picture. Why is this problematic? If you hire a new employee but continue to try to do everything without delegating,...
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IS YOUR MESSAGE BEING UNDERSTOOD?

IS YOUR MESSAGE BEING UNDERSTOOD?
Your words, no matter how eloquent, will probably not by themselves convey your message. Communication is a two-way process and it is more than just words. Effective communication involves feelings, connections, and other nonverbal signals. Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best. “What you do speaks so loudly, I can't hear what you are saying.” Therefore, it is important to understand the meaning others might put on your words. Your gestures, expressions, intonations, and beliefs will communicate much more meaning than the words alone. Communication is a two-way process to exchange ideas. We communicate in order to elicit some type of response. Some examples of a response could be more knowledge, a specific action, or some type of emotion. A good communicator, to be sure of the desired response, is also a good listener. He or she listens for feedback to see that the message is being understand. This also including watching...
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WHEN HIRING DON’T RELY ON EXPERIENCE

WHEN HIRING DON’T RELY ON EXPERIENCE
One of the biggest mistakes a business and hiring manager makes is hiring solely based on experience. I have seen the business owners in Westchester County New York beginning to understand this. In my last blog I spoke about leading indicators . Business owners should watch and base their decisions on these indicators. This brings me to the point of why you should not rely on experience. Experience is in the past. As mentioned in the last blog, “Past experience is no guarantee of future performance.   In Good to Great Jim Collins explains that building a great organization is as simple as “Getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” It may be simple but it’s not easy. You will need to change the way you hire people. Unfortunately, all too often managers tend to make hiring...
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