Friday, November 30, 2012

Research Shows That Staying Focused Is A Key To Happiness

Trying to understand what makes us happy is a very interesting field of modern research. In the TedX video below, Matt Killingsworth explains the link between mind-wandering and happiness that his research has uncovered.

Using a mobile app he was able to generate 650,000 sets of data responses from people reporting on their level of happiness.

His findings indicated a direct relationship between a wandering-mind and its negative impact upon happiness. He also discovered that our minds wander a lot, so this relationship is difficult to prevent.

The reason is that when people let their minds wander, they tend to think more about negative things than positive or neutral things. As an example, people might start thinking about an argument they had the previous day with their spouse and then start to stress about that conversation, therefore making themself unhappy.

It seems that Matt's research highlights the importance of staying in the moment and being focused on whatever we are doing (which statistically keeps you happier than if you let your mind wander) and/or to be far more mindful about our mind-wandering. In other words, consciously choose to let your mind wander about pleasant things.

The video goes for just over 10 minutes and is worth a viewing.


3 ways to close your talent gaps

I digested with great interest the 15th global PWC CEO survey.  You can download it here.

The headline on page 8 says “Talent shortages biting.”  The opening line on this page is “Talent gaps and mismatches not just an issue for the future, they are hurting businesses now.” Yep!

The final paragraph on page 8 says
“The real question is why talent gaps remain such a challenge, despite being an evident strategic priority.  This is not a new issue. Our CEO surveys throughout the past decade have consistently highlighted the availability of skill as a significant strategic threat across all sectors.”

Why do talent gaps remain a challenge indeed?

I have 3 primary answers.


My first two answers invoke the wisdom of Albert Einstein.
1) "We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them."

Leader after leader that I meet are thinking how business was in the 20th century and in some cases the 19th and even the 18th century! How it was is no longer.

Many leaders I meet think social media will go away. It won’t.
And crucially despite overwhelming evidence of what works and what doesn’t, a lot of people I meet still don’t get that if you put people first you do better in your business.

There is a lot of stupidity and idiocy across the board in the world today.

I love the following defintions.

Someone said that the definition of stupidity is
“Expecting a different result by continuing to do the same old thing”

Someone said that the definition of idiocy is
“Doing something different and still getting the same result”

What changes could you make today to be less stupid and less idiotic particularly when it comes to how you see people, help them identlfy their talents/gifts and how well you are helping people to enhance their gifts in their best interests, yours, and that of all your stakeholders?

The internet has changed business forever.  What changes could you make today to be less stupid and less idiotic in how you and your people use the internet and the tool that is social media?

What must you begin doing today that means thinking differently than in the past?

2) "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." (Sign hanging in Einstein's office at Princeton)

The headline on Page 12 of the PWC survey says “Operating in the dark?” and then says “So how can companies become more strategic about talent? One place to start is by getting better data.

CEOs consistently say they don’t have enough information to improve
decision making in areas such as cost of employee turnover, staff productivity, or employees views and needs.”

Only 16% of CEOs according to the PWC survey believe that the data they get is sufficiently comprehensive.

What data do you have?  What data do you need to get?

More importantly what insights do you need to act on to stop the bleeding of money and other resources when it comes to leading people?

What do you measure?

And is your focus on lead measure
s not lag measures as outlined in my blog here?

3) Lack of role clarity

There is a lack of role clarity everywhere in business at two levels, employees and leaders.

I meet employees all day every day who don’t really know where they fit.  They are not clear on their personal piece of your organisation’s strategy execution plan.

Most strategies fail to get executed because employees, the chief executors of strategy, havenʼt yet bought into the strategy or as is more often the case, they donʼt yet understand or own their unique piece of the execution map.

My Enhancing Their Gifts System™ changes this big time.  If you don’t yet know about the system please see overview and links at the end of this post.

I liken strategy to a compass and execution to a map. Ensuring employees co-create with you and own their unique piece of your execution map is a key part of your role as a leader. Imagine a giant quilt woven together, each piece different, yet integral to the whole. All of your employees need their piece. 

Integral to each employee’s piece is how much they’re bringing their unique gifts to their work on a consistent basis. 

Your primary role as a leader therefore is talent maximisation.  There are thirteen key aspects.  Take your pulse here and see how well you are.

Improve your talent maximisation, think 21st century solutions to your challenges, and measure what really matters and there will no longer be a talent gaps at your place.  The results will astound you.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

Enhancing Their Gifts System Overview

The Enhancing Their Gifts System is a proven methodology for obtaining full engagement by employees that enhances people performance and workplace satisfaction.  It is about people, performance, results.  In that order.

Please view the FAQs here.

From October 1st 2012 it became possible to not just implement the system with my help in person it can now be implemented through a do it yourself program with support from an accredited mentor online and/or in person.

The best way to see if the Enhancing Their Gifts System is for you is to register for a complimentary demonstration clinic here or get in touch with an accredited mentor or myself and arrange a private clinic.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian




Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The power of peer groups

Do you have a 100 year plan for your business? My friend Bob Bradley has one "It is the norm not the exception for a business leader to be in a leadership development peer group." You can read all about Bob's plan here.

I have had the honour of speaking to Bob's groups twice and many other CEO/MD peer groups. It is very clear to me that the people who invest in these kind of groups are better performers than those who don't.

Are you a member of such a group?

If your answer is no you are doing yourself, your people and your business a great disservice.

The other thing I like about Bob's 100 year plan is that it is about legacy.
What kind of legacy will you leave?

And what kind of legacy are you leaving right know?


Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian
I work with business owners/leaders of medium sized business and leaders of divisions in multi-national companies to lift employee performance by enhancing their gifts.


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Be Grateful - A Strategy For Creating Success

Thanksgiving has just concluded and while it is not something we formally celebrate in Australia, my twin brother and his family live in the USA so I have become more and more familiar with the concept over time.

If you are concerned about having a career that is unfulfilled or that the skills that you have will never be fully leveraged for success (amongst a whole list of concerns and worries about your future), then according to research from the University of California by Dr Robert Emmons, practicing being grateful for what you already have can both increase your happiness and increase your success.

Yes, that is correct. Being thankful for what you have increases your happiness and increases your success, which means that you increase your capacity to have more of what you want in your life.
Too often we focus only on what we want. This can increase our dissatisfaction with our present that reduces our happiness in the present.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama says that too many people spend too much of their time wanting what they don't have which causes unimaginable suffering. Think about it. You buy a new car. For a short period of time you are feeling satisfied and grateful for your new car. Then you see someone else with the same model car as yourself, but it has some extra options that you don't have on your car. "I wish I had those options." you think to yourself. Suddenly your new car isn't quite as good as your thought. So you start to suffer again.

Suffering obviously reduces happiness.

In this context is wanting what you don't have bad for you? I don't believe so. After all I facilitate the OTM Plan for Personal Success® Program which is all about identifying what you want and what you are going to do to create that future. But the program isn't just about that.

It is also about recognising what you currently have in your life for which you are grateful and identifying what you need to do to keep what you are grateful for present in your life.
As an example I am now in my 17th year of marriage with my beautiful wife Michelle. I really do love her more than the day we married. I am extremely grateful to have her as my life partner and the mother of our five children. I practice making sure that I never forgot that I am grateful for who she is and what she does. I do this because I want Michelle to be in my life both now and in the future.
Many people forget this fact. There are many elements of our lives that have contributed to our current success that will also need to be present in our future if we want to continue our success and happiness.

This means that you must plan to take conscious actions to keep the very things that make you happy now continually present in your life.

One way to do that is to create a Grateful List. Simply create a list of the things for which you are truly grateful, place that list where you can see it everyday and then look at it every day. Once every 90 days update your list.

This simple, yet effective strategy can raise your consciousness of what makes you happy in the present, while also contributing to your future success and happiness.

Friday, November 23, 2012

How great is your influence as a leader?

This excellent article The Shift From Chief Executive To Chief Influencer By Julie Moreland provides great insights into real leadership.

How great an influencer are you?

I define leadership as the art of inspiring people to bring everything remarkable that they are to everything they do.

I also stress to anyone who will listen that leadership falters and usually badly without management.  I define management as the practice of making it simple for people to bring everything remarkable that they are to everything they do.

How great an inspirer are you?
and how simple are you making it for your people to bring everything remarkable that they are to everything they do?


Long gone are the days of command and control. 

Today your key role as a leader is to identify, enhance and deploy the unique talents/gifts of your employees in their best interests, the interests of all your stakeholders including the planet, and your business.  To fulfill this key role you must be inspiring, a prerequiste to positive and productive influence.

How inspiring are you?

The more inspiring you are the more you can step away from old style ineffective leadership and make the move from performance management to talent leadership and the profound difference such a move makes to your people and your business results.

The talent maximisation pulse check here is one way for you see how inspiring and influential you really are.  Take the pulse check.  You just might be staggered by what it reveals to you.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian
I work with business owners/leaders of medium sized business and leaders of divisions in multi-national companies to lift employee performance by enhancing their gifts.



Thursday, November 22, 2012

Social Media Leadership: The Story Every CEO Should Read (and Tell)

According to the "2012 Fortune 500 Social CEO Index", just 19 of the CEOs of the world's top 500 companies use Twitter - and that' being generous and including those who have somebody else tweet on their behalf. That number is low, but it's hardly surprising. After all, most social media marketers tell businesses to use Twitter at a very detailed, tactical level - listening to customers, engaging in conversations, solving customer problems, running competitions to gain followers, and so on. It's not that some of these aren't important for a CEO to know about, but they aren't what a CEO should be doing on a daily basis.

Some people have criticized CEOs who don't use social media, using the argument that they aren't using the communication tools their customers and employees use. But that doesn't make sense. After all, they probably don't drive the same cars, live in the same sort of houses, or have the same circle of friends as their customers - and that alone doesn't preclude them from doing their job. And just because they don't answer phones in the call center - like their employees - doesn't mean they are out of touch, either.

That said, most leaders - whether they are CEOs, business owners, entrepreneurs, or influential intrapreneurs - could gain a lot from using social media. But only if they use it properly.

The secret is social media leadership.

If you're a CEO, think of social media as another means for spreading your message - just as if you were the guest speaker at a networking event. This is not about spreading your marketing message by pushing your products and services - just as you wouldn't turn a speaking engagement into a product pitch. Rather, it's about sharing your insights, knowledge, ideas, wisdom and inspiration with those who care to listen.

If your job is to focus on strategy (and if you're a CEO, it is), then use social media platforms for talking strategy.

You do need to communicate your strategic message to various stakeholders - including customers, clients, shareholders, employees, the community, media, investors and regulators. Social media platforms give you another communication channel.

Can you do that in 140 characters or fewer? Sure, although Twitter is not your only social media outlet. But even if you do have Twitter alone, you should be able to articulate key components of your strategic message in 140-character tweets (If you can't, you'll probably struggle to get your message across elsewhere as well).

But that's not the only way to make a point. For example, think about one of your key strategic initiatives and messages for the next 90 days, and look for examples of where that message appears in the world. For example:

  • An online news story related to it (tweet about it)
  • A TED.com video about this message (embed it on Facebook)
  • An example of an employee who has implemented this strategy in their day-to-day work (post their photo online)
  • A customer testimonial proving that your company is on the right path (post it to your blog)
  • A presentation from an industry conference (tweet about it)
  • A personal anecdote from a recent business trip (blog about it)

These are all examples you can share online that demonstrate at a tactical level what you're thinking about at a strategic level. By sharing them in social media, you're not only making them more real for your stakeholders, you're also being a person that people truly want to follow.

And that's social media leadership.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"Action, Brevity and Conviction" keys to all forms of communication

In his Change This manifesto Matt Eventoff states what leaders can learn from masterful orators of the past - "Action, Brevity and Conviction."

Read Matt’s manifesto here and take it to your heart and then change what’s normal about all your communication. You will become a greater leader. And you will inspire the people you work with to become greater leaders too.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian
I work with business owners/leaders of medium sized business and leaders of divisions in multi-national companies to lift employee performance by enhancing their gifts.






Monday, November 19, 2012

The Secret Colours of Marketing & Communicating Your Message - Part 1

Choosing the right colours to accurately convey your message or create the right perception in your marketing materials is as much an art as it is a science. Colours impact the emotions and actions of your target audience so it is important to make the right colour choices to maximise these impacts.

Here are a few things for you to consider, so that the colours you choose support your marketing message, and don’t disadvantage you or even work against you.

Why should consider colour in respect of marketing?
Colour is part of our inner take on the world. It's an instinctive thing, it’s fundamentally linked to our nature and intrinsic to the person we project. Every one of us has an emotional response to the different colours of the spectrum; more often than not this response is an unconscious one. It is this unconscious emotional response that matters in creating successful marketing campaigns, and colour is a key piece in the marketing puzzle.

Logos and websites - colour plays an important initial role with regard to the initial reaction.
There has been much scientific research into colours, and science offers us ways of thinking about colours in marketing to elicit a desired, or undesired, response. Take a colour wheel as an example. A colour wheel contains both warm and cool colours, each provoking a different emotional response. A warm toned colour will elicit an active response whilst a cool tone colour will elicit a calming response.

So before you start ask yourself what type of response do you want your message to elicit? The warm colours we find in nature, such as reds and yellows indicate action. Why? Think of the sun and fire. When you see fire or feel the heat of the flames, you will either be drawn in by it or you will take it as a clear indication to remove yourself from a dangerous situation. Irrespective of which camp you are in, unconsciously the message is that you should "act now!".

Cool colour tones however are different. They don't elicit action but instead they invoke serenity or calm, and stability. Think of things like our earth and a clear or slight cloud dusted sky. The message therefore with cool tone colours is "steady as she goes there" and "all good, we're stable". If you're objective is to calm the viewer, or to impart to the viewer an inner sense of timelessness, blues and the cooler colour tones are best.

Then of course there are the many different variations; the combinations of the primary colours (red, yellow, and blue) and these are very complex when talking about unconscious  or subconscious responses to colours in our marketing. Take the example in some prisons, and this is quite interesting, where pink is used to evoke a more human response from otherwise aggressive inmates.

In the next part of this series i will go into more detailed analysis of colours and their use in marketing. I trust you have found this helpful thus far.

Be sure to return soon to read the remaining two parts to this series.

I trust this was valuable.

Original Article Source: http://www.paullange.com.au/blue-ocean-strategy/secret-colours-marketing-communicating-message-part-1/

About Paul J. Lange:
Paul J. Lange is a business mentor and business performance coach who helps small to medium enterprise and entrepreneurs to apply big business, enterprise disciplines and solutions to gain a competitive advantage and increase profits. 

Paul's 'Business DIET'© system has helped countless entrepreneurs and business owners around the world to launch start-ups, expand existing operations, and greatly improve bottom lines.

Paul is also one of Australia’s most connected management consultants, and leading business strategists, with a passion for helping corporate leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners who are committed to achieving outstanding results.

Paul’s support will help you to develop strategic direction, implement it, execute and make more money. He will have you starting to work on your business, instead of in your business, right from day one; and if you have already started down this path, he will help you to complete the transition to business owner from business manager.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sustainable, sociable (Social) Business – What’s Not to Like?


Sustainable, sociable (Social) Business – What’s Not to Like?

By Connie Comber, Managing Director, Re-Imagine Business.


Does it matter whether we like ourselves when we go about doing business? [Not ‘Like’ in the Facebook sense, I hasten to add; like, in the appreciate and respect ourselves, sense.] 

It used not to matter whether we like ourselves in business. In fact – whimsically - the more ‘unlikeable’ we were, the more likely we were to get ‘promoted’. Being ‘tough guys’ and ruthless was ‘sharp business’. Turns out – that’s proven to be pretty unsustainable business. 

But adopting sustainable practices in business [broadly defined from ethical to ecological considerations] is often questioned - and criticised - as an impost on businesses.

We hear: Is it a cost – or a value-add? Does it make money, or take money? If it takes money – does it return it, if so, when and to what degree, etc?

This is the classic picture of a business-culture in transition. These are the same anxieties that came up when businesses were required to act on their responsibilities in OH&S, or developers were ‘imposted’ with contributions to community services. In the end, have these proven to be imposts or business improvements?

Those answers lie in the perceptions and values of the businesses (owners/managers) themselves. They lie in the value system of our surrounding society. On reflection, do we really want to go back to hazardous work practices that lack care? Would we go back to the days when developers were not expected to take some responsibility for the impact of their projects on the surrounding community?

Many developers, nowadays, pride themselves on their engagement with the surrounding community and their literal, and visionary, contributions. Most businesses would keep their OH&S standards in place if you took away the legislative requirements – now. They like themselves as a safe and caring employer.
So how do we value the qualities involved in becoming sustainable businesses? Because, ‘liking ourselves’ has a value; both intrinsically, and as a culture-base to the operations of a business.

It's well documented, businesses that have positive, proactive cultures have better customer service responses and are likely to be more innovative and responsive in a changing environment. They are more likely to thrive.

A dog-eat-dog, competitive-at-every-turn business is looking to win ‘against’ others and is eroding the suppliers’ and customers’ value-relationship to their company. That used to be common.

Things are changing. Customers, (the community) now, want to see businesses ‘caring’. They don’t have a clearly articulated definition of that caring – but, businesses having a conscience, and a socially responsible basis to their decisions in business - ‘matters’, now. Increasingly, this is a fundamental component of any definition of sustainable business.

New methods of doing business sustainably are being posed by luminaries such as Harvard Business School’s Michael Porter and Mark Kramer. They espouse creating shared value as a next-step in sound, enduring commercial practice. In their article in HBR [http://ow.ly/fmy64] ‘Creating Shared Value’, they point out that “no company is self contained” ... so, they affirm that the ties between societal and economic needs are inherently interconnected. Shared value, they believe, is about breaking through “a narrow conception of capitalism [which] has prevented business from harnessing its full potential to meet society’s broader challenges.

“The opportunities have been there all along”, Porter says “but have been overlooked ... society’s needs are large and growing, while customers, employees, and a new generation of young people are asking business to step up.”

Porter and Kramer see the new business methods stemming from, for example, “reconceiving products and markets, redefining productivity in the value chain, and enabling local cluster development”. These methods require behaviour qualities like collaboration, cooperation and mutuality.

These reframed behaviours create a very different kind of ‘competitive advantage’ from past teachings. As they, also, point out “there is nothing soft about the concept of shared value”, it does not depart from economic value creation.

So, while we’re formulating new ways of doing business – let’s not forget the value of ‘liking ourselves’ and liking the way we do business.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve seen some people – otherwise perfectly reasonable, decent people [mostly], do some terrible things in business: ‘rip others off’; even determinedly ‘push another business over’ out of an aggressive need to ‘win’, (or a desperate need to stay in business); treat suppliers [or lessees] poorly to ‘get the best out of them’. It’s pretty ugly stuff.

We used to call it ‘clever business’ - until we called it the GFC.

Now we know there are downsides to ‘clever business’, and, now, we’re waking up to how we felt doing business that way. Fairly ugly.

Here’s the upside we usually forget to talk about when it comes to implementing sustainability in business; we like ourselves better – naturally.

That is, it’s ‘built into our DNA’ to feel better when we do good.

Scientific studies [examples below] have shown the link between acting with generosity - and achieving greater feelings of well-being, better physical health, and an increased tendency for further generosity. Similar results have been found for kindness, happiness and social connectedness. Some studies showed remarkably improved life expectancies as a result of increased socially-positive behaviours.

There are measurable hormone changes in response to acting generously, or kindly, which enhance well-being. These changes are self-fulfilling; they induce further actions of generosity, kindness and connectedness. This author believes that is a fundamental anchor in the success of shared value methods in business; why they are proving highly effective commercial strategies. We like to like ourselves and we like to like the way we do business.

So the notion that the business world is a ‘natural jungle’ and aggressive, dominating behaviour is our ‘natural instincts’ - is rapidly being debunked. The appearance of winning against others – may have shown immediate rewards but we know, now, those gains had long-term erosive qualities that have caused huge destabilisations across most economies. We thought it was ‘OK’ to ‘not care’ – that it ‘wasn’t our problem’ – until it is.

As Porter and Kramer demonstrate so capably, the time to say ‘it is our problem’ has come – and, more to the point - we can respond to it positively and in mutually-connected ways that “has the power to unleash the next wave of global growth”. 

While we’re doing that – we get to swap feeling stressed, dog-eat-dogged, one-upped/one-downed, and kind of ‘going through the motions while you leave your heart and soul at home’-ed - for feeling generous, kind, socially connected, and healthy!  

There’s value in that, I would argue – what’s not to like?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

25 ways to move from performance management to performance leadership and make a real difference

25 ways to move from performance management to performance leadership and inspire premier employee performance (order not relevant) 25 ways to move from performance management to performance leadership and inspire premier employee performance (order not relevant)

1. Stop seeing people as they are.  See people as the can be.

2. Find out what’s really important to your people and help them achieve it.

3. Assess performance not people.

4. Stop trying to manage people.  Instead lead people.

5. Help each employee to create their own personal piece of your strategy execution map.

6. When you assess performance support assessment with data.

7. Provide "feedforward" before feedback.

8. Focus on standards instead of goals.

9. Discover a shared-view with your employees about where you’re going, why you’re going there, how you will get there, who will do what and when, how you will live your values.

10. Teach people to be accountable and let them be.

11. Appreciate people when they do well.

12. Never confuse a person with their performance.

13. Name the elephants in your rooms.

14. Role model candid and authentic conversations.

15. Never review performance and salary at the same time.

16. See problems as opportunities to innovate i.e. change what’s normal rather than solve the problem and reinstate the status quo (normal).

17. Keep your promises.

18. Praise in public and in private.

19. Share success stories other people can see and feel themselves in.

20. Be a disruptive influence for good.

21. Be fully present in the now.

22. Only have performance conversations about previously agreed actions. Only change actions with agreement.

23. Focus on processes not outcomes.

24. Do your life’s work and inspire your employees to do theirs.  Taking the pulse check here may help you and your people.  As soon as you complete the pulse check and press send you will be able to download the PDF version of my Changing What's Normal book. Sparkenation 6 in my book 'Discovering Your Life's Work' will help you a great deal because it contains lots for you to think about concerning the 16 statements of the pulse check.

25. Be remarkable at identifying and deploying the gifts/talents of your people. Take the Talent Maximisation Pulse Check here.  You just might be staggered by what completing this pulse check will reveal to you.  As a thank you for completing the pulse check, as soon as you press send you will be able to download my appendix ebook to the leaders guide in my Enhancing Their Gifts System™ - 45 really useful tools, tips and techniques for recruiting, engaging and retaining great people, a resource people worldwide have used to help them maximise the gifts/talents of their people.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian
I work with business owners/leaders of medium sized business and leaders of divisions in multi-national companies to lift employee performance by enhancing their gifts.




Why some people succeed while others just have great potential for success

Take any task you are doing and you will find loads of people who can tell you how to do it better. That group can generally be broken down to friends and family who care for you, colleagues, partners and associates who want you to succeed, and the other group that both stands alone and crosses the previous two, namely those who are in the same space as you and deep down consider themselves at least your equal if not better.

Now reverse the roles, when was the last time you saw someone in your business space doing something and you thought ‘there is no way they can succeed doing it that way!’ or ‘if they took my advice and did it the way I would do it they would be far more successful!’?

The differences should be clear for two people in the same commercial space.

Those who do something will always achieve more than those who stand on the sidelines and think about how they could do it better.

Those who do something and enlist the (commercial) support of others to help them do it better will always be more successful than those who help them do it better.

Those who believe they can do it better can achieve more if they are prepared to do it!

Doing something is always better than doing nothing or as Carl Taylor, founder of the Business Builders Academy puts it “option one is better than option none”. For me Carl Taylor is one of Australia’s leading and most inspiring young entrepreneurs.

A few final thoughts, if you think that you can do better, when you look closer you may find that you are indeed the other persons equal in all ways professionally, however clearly the other person who is doing something has some different personality traits to you. Is there something that you can learn from them? How would having a collaborative attitude to what you know help advance your cause?

Reach out, talk, and find the place where you can both benefit. That place is out there. Collaboration is the key, and from experience something tells me that the person who is doing something will be very open to collaborating.

About Paul J. Lange:
Paul J. Lange is a business mentor and business performance coach who helps small to medium enterprise and entrepreneurs to apply big business, enterprise disciplines and solutions to gain a competitive advantage and increase profits. 

Paul's 'Business DIET'© system has helped countless entrepreneurs and business owners around the world to launch start-ups, expand existing operations, and greatly improve bottom lines.

Paul is also one of Australia’s most connected management consultants, and leading business strategists, with a passion for helping corporate leaders, entrepreneurs and business owners who are committed to achieving outstanding results.

Paul’s support will help you to develop strategic direction, implement it, execute and make more money. He will have you starting to work on your business, instead of in your business, right from day one; and if you have already started down this path, he will help you to complete the transition to business owner from business manager.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rather than trying to manage your poor performers out, how about leading them in?

I have had many people contact me following my recent article Performance management is an oxymoron too!  There have also been several discussions in LinkedIn groups about the article.  I have felt despair at times because when a lot of people talk about performance management what they often mean is managing someone out of their workplace because of poor performance and so performance management’s bad name is heightened.

Rather than trying to manage your poor performers out, how about leading them in?

There are many tell tale signs of under performing workplaces.  Here are my top 10:

#1. Leaders avoiding and/or putting off difficult conversations about performance.
#2. Leaders confusing problems with people.
#3. Leaders confusing problems with personalities.
#4. Leaders have poor communication and presentation skills.
#5. Lack of a shared view between leaders and employees about where the organisation is going, why it’s going there, how it will get there, who will do what and when, and how we will behave regardless of the situation.
#6. Employees don’t know the organisations strategy for moving forward and particularly they don’t know and own their piece of the execution map.
#7. Leaders failing to truly appreciate people when they do well and employees failing to appreciate other employees when they do well.
#8. Poor accountability.
#9. Blaming and shaming rather than being accountable.
#10. A focus on business goals and how they will be achieved rather than a focus that maintains harmony between personal and business goals.

Seth Godin offers some great insights into overcoming these short comings in a recent blog Bad performance, good performance and the other two kinds
Seth talks about personal performance.

All change is personal first. Relationship change is second.  Organisational change is a distant third.

Start with the personal.  Humanize your relationships with your employees.  They are people first, employees second.  Get to know your people, their hopes and dreams, their fears and failings.  See your people as they can be, not as they are. 

Have conversations with your people about how they can turn their personal hopes and dreams into reality.  Document with them how they will do this.  Keep this to a page and just focus on the next 90 days yet with the long term firmly in mind.  On the other side of the page help your people to outline how they will bring their unique talents to their work on a consistent basis.  Use this document as the basis for daily appreciation and accountability conversations.

The writer Leon Gettler, who for me makes the Management Today magazine in Australia, said in a recent article “The toughest job for managers is having difficult conversations.”  If you don’t know how to have such conversations get to learning how and fast.

My promise to you is that the more you treat people as the one-of-a-kind human being that each of us is, the tough conversations get simpler and paradoxically there is less of a need for them because people become accountable for their own intentions, feelings, thoughts and actions.

Documenting performance possibility and having daily appreciation and accountability conversations (the tough ones) are key components of a performance leadership system.  Operative word leadership.  System is the management bit.  Rule of thumb leadership is about people, management is about systems.

I actually prefer the word talent to the word performance in this context.  Talent or the lack of using our talent/s well is what leads to performance, good and bad.

A powerful talent leadership and management system means we

*recruit people aligned with our values
*identify and cultivate people's gifts/talents
*induct and engage people to bring their best to their work consistently

Such a system also means:
*leaders are having informal and formal and candid conversations daily about performance that inspires and leads to personal accountability
*employees are having the same kind of conversations with each other and other stakeholders
*wisdom is retained when people move on
*how achievements are celebrated is known, agreed, and lived
*succession planning works in practice
*overall the special gifts/talents of individuals are being enhanced

How does your system stack up?

Having such a system is integral to leading people in and soon means a far less need to manage people out.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

PS My Enhancing Their Gifts System™can help you move quickly from performance management to talent leadership and management.

In just 30 days time the very special offer for implementing and embedding the system via a web based learning program and with the help of an accredited mentor expires.  It is an offer I will never be making again.

I will hold the offer for anyone who participates in a demonstration clinic.  The next clinics are on this Thursday the 15th.  Details here. There will be more clinics before the December 12th offer cut off day.  You can also make arrangements for a private clinic simply by contacting an accredited mentor or myself.

Friday, November 9, 2012

biases in decision making

This short video looks at (in a hopefully entertaining way) one of the biases we have in our thinking - and how we can do something to overcome this bias.

find the gold bar

When problems are bigger than the people trying to solve them

I watched a show on ABC television last night about American politics.  I am sorry I didn't catch the name of one of the people interviewed.  A non politician, this person said something like
"it was easier for Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, they were men bigger than the problems.  Today the problems are bigger than the men."

I find this very insightful. American politics like many other nations is virtually gridlocked and therefore little of great value gets done.  If this continues it won't matter of course who is the new President when you read this because nothing of value will get done and America will slip further. 

The world in many ways is gridlocked and we need inclusive leaders willing and able to collaborate in order to solve the big problems affecting us all.

How about your business?  Are you trying to solve big problems and not being inclusive and collaborative?

I witness a lot of go it alone leaders.  These folk try to do it their way and ignore people who would do things differently.  True leadership is about finding a way forward together.

Think about all the problems you face in your business.  See them as opportunities for innovation.  If you solve the problems will this mean a return to normal, a reinstating of the status quo and therefore mean you are just back to where you were?  Or will you solve your problems in such ways that will take your business to performance levels never achieved before?  To do this, to truly innovate, you need to be inclusive, collaborative and inspiring so that everyone puts their shoulders to all the wheels.   

True leaders inspire people to bring everything remarkable that they are to everything they do and then they get out of the way.

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

I work with business owners/leaders of medium sized business and leaders of divisions in multi-national companies to lift employee performance by enhancing their gifts.




Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Success Of Your Membership Site Depends On Trust

Paid membership sites can be very profitable, but it's not easy to succeed with them. Many business owners have big plans for their membership site, but are soon disappointed and frustrated with the lack of subscribers and engagement among members. That's because they don't understand the key component of a successful membership site: trust.

This is what usually happens...

Let's say you're already an established expert, with clients who pay for your expertise. You might have even created information products to share your expertise in other ways - for example, in books, blog posts, audio programs and videos.

So you get excited about the idea of creating your own paid membership site, where you provide some of your expertise and resources to subscribers (members). They don't get access to everything you do, but they get a substantial amount of it, for a low monthly fee.

This is easy to create, especially with tools like Ning, a low-cost service that handles all the technical stuff for you.

So you create it, start promoting it, and wait.
And wait...
And wait...

You might give away some free trial subscriptions to your top clients, your close colleagues and some friends. And you might get the occasional subscription from somebody you don't know.

But overall the result is pretty disappointing. You're not getting anywhere near the amount of members you expected, and even people who said they would be interested in your membership site don't sign up when they're asked to make a commitment.

And you don't understand why they are not joining. After all, you know you're offering incredible value. You couldn't offer any more unless you were giving it away!

But you didn't understand the missing piece...

Creating a membership site needs more than providing your expertise, creating information products and site hosting. All of those things are important, but they aren't enough.

This is the missing piece of the puzzle: Trust.

That might sound odd, and probably isn't what you expected. But it's true - most paid membership sites fail because of a lack of trust. For example:

  • Members don't know they can trust you to deliver great value every month.
  • Members don't trust themselves to get value from their membership.
  • If prospective members don't know you, they don't know whether to choose you or somebody else.
  • You worry about somebody joining the site, downloading everything immediately and then cancelling their membership.
  • You worry about people taking advantage of the increased access to you (wasting your time with too many phone calls and e-mails).
  • You worry about members giving out the password to their friends.

These are all issues of trust, which you need to overcome if you want to build a successful membership site. Don't get me wrong - these are genuine concerns, not just figments of your imagination. But they can all get in the way of your success.

Here's how to solve all these trust issues...

You don't need to spend months in therapy tackling your trust issues! Instead, there's one simple way to address all of these issues: Work with people you already trust (and who already trust you).

In other words, don't base your membership site strategy on having to attract lots of strangers. Plan your membership site based on the majority of your members being people who know, like and trust you already.

For example, they might be:

  • Your top clients and their team members
  • Past customers who want on-going support
  • Clients who are already paying for other services (so you can sell them a subscription as well)

This is a boring strategy!

Let's be clear: This is not a sexy strategy. It's more fun to post on Twitter, build a Facebook page, set up an affiliate program, and so on. But that's not an easy path to success. If you do get the occasional person who stumbles over your site and signs up as a member, that's a bonus. But make sure you're willing to proceed even if you get none of those people.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

You're Special

Be the difference you want to see in the world.
Ian

I work with business owners/leaders of medium sized business and leaders of divisions in multi-national companies to lift employee performance by enhancing their gifts.