Want To Solve The People Puzzle? Give "Power To The People!"
In our last ABA Insider, we began giving you tips for recession-proofing your company by solving the people puzzle. Our first tip on using your team as the most effective tool you have in your arsenal for outwitting the competition, was to find new ways to increase their level of engagement at their job. We pointed out three key attitudes they need to adopt for this to happen.
Our second tip is to find more and more ways to empower everyone on the team. The key to having a strong team that multiplies your personal effectiveness is to find ways to equip and empower them. Only when they are prepared with the tools they need to take on additional responsibility, can they successfully do so. But, once they are prepared, they also must feel the confidence and belief in them by their immediate supervisor. This is demonstrated by having already determined what additional tasks you want to delegate to them and meeting with them to "set up" that process. Remember, you will have to take your "hands off" while keeping your "eyes on." As a manager, you need to think, and have your management team think of how your actions are (or are not) empowering those below you to share the heavy load of tasks and responsibility you carry.
The ABA Insider is published by American Business Advisors, Inc. to provide business and personal improvement information and ideas. All material is presented to provide general and broad information only. The information found in this publication does not constitute business, tax, financial, or legal advice and should not be acted upon without seeking the counsel of professional advisor.
via Blogger [People Puzzle II] Why You Need to Empower Your Team Now
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via Blogger Making Your 2016 Successful: Help Us Help You
I learned about an idea that could not only save you and your business enormous sums of money but also minimize your frustrations this week. Interested?
Having worked with sales organizations for years, I used to subscribe to the unflattering notion that salespeople are “coin-operated”— motivated primarily by pay. I had been taught that the way to incentivize more sales is to pay salespeople for a piece of the action, especially through structured bonuses with accelerators, stock options and trips.
While recovering from minor knee surgery, I read Daniel Pink’s Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. I realized, through my reading, that like most of us, I like having a casual relationship with Truth: I’ll take her out when she’s arm candy, but I wouldn’t bring her home to Mom! Well, this weekend, Pink not only dropped off Truth and me at Mom’s doorstep, but he rang the doorbell, ran off, and he left me to explain this shocking newcomer, dressed in her best Lady Gaga plumage!!
The truths from Pink led me to reflect on why the unconventional approaches to sales compensation for two sample mid-tier businesses “makes sense”/works for them. Both seemed to ignore the “Truth” of what motivates salespeople. One company took its sales team off commission and paid above-market wages —unheard of in that industry. Another chose to pay its staff above market-rate commissions.
So if these business owners were to use pay incentives to elicit heuristic (discovery-based) behaviors involving creative problem solving, that incentive would quickly extinguish creativity. Pink calls this the [Tom] Sawyer Effect: Rewards turn play into work (p.226). “Pay for performance” would end up killing the very global skill set they’re trying to deliver to their customers! Aren’t these business owners foolishly increasing their overhead and reducing the upside for their business?
Benefits of motivational forces beyond money
Here’s why they are not. (See my earlier blog on the topic) These business owners took the issue of money off the table for their salespeople. The sales force no longer worries about paying the mortgage or putting food on the table. Instead, they are rewarded for exercising their creativity and passion to develop long-term relationships with customers: the outcome the owners care about.
Both owners sought heuristic behaviors from their sales staff by charging them with delighting their customers. For example, how does one measure and reward a salesperson for “doing the right thing?” What actions does the salesperson take to keep the customer buying again and again? A heuristic task requires personal judgment, creativity, and initiative but no clear algorithmic, formulaic path of action.
Next week I will share ways to encourage heuristic behaviors by cultivating autonomy, mastery and purpose.
Would you like to take Truth out for a spin? See if you look at the world from a heuristic (Type I) or algorithmic (Type X) orientation. Take Daniel Pink’s free survey. Afterwards, comment here on your orientation results!
via Blogger A Liminal Truth: Money Doesn’t Matter
Over the last two weeks, we’ve looked at real consequences of the government’s fiscal rigor mortis. We’ve also explored Modern Monetary Theory’s argument that the result of deficit spending is a public good—reduced unemployment and increased GDP growth.
This week, I’d like to give you a penny—no, a $1Trillion coin(!)—for your thoughts. (more…)
The following article 21st Century Fiscal/Monetary Blacksmithing: Part 3 was originally published on American Business Advisors
via Blogger 21st Century Fiscal/Monetary Blacksmithing: Part 3
As I talk with business owners, the common thread to the discussion is that “grit”—passion and perseverance for long-term goals—is the key to their success. Why do so many of us think working with grit is easier said than done? I’d like to suggest that beauty has something to do with it.
What do I mean by beauty?
In my teens, I aspired to be like Yo-Yo Ma on cello. But I realized around age 19 that while I had great passion and relative skill to perform as a professional cellist--beauty!—I did not possess the necessary grit.
I am forever grateful for the years and hours spent becoming a cellist. That experience taught me much about the technology of mastery. “Technology” is literally the story of an art or technique. I learned one needs both grit and beauty to master the cello, tennis, or any anything worth doing.
Want to see grit in action?
Watch this video of Joshua Bell, one of the premier violinists of his generation, playing like a common street musician in the DC Metro:
Joshua Bell is a virtuoso violinist who commands thousands of dollars per MINUTE in Carnegie Hall performances. He plays an 18th-century Gibson Stradivarius worth tens of millions. When interviewed about his Metro experience, he reported, sheepishly, that he was at times even embarrassed at the indifference of hundreds who passed him by during his 43-minute performance. But oh, how beauty echoed through the Metro that day!
Click HERE for another way to describe the union of grit and beauty in a fabulous PBS special, “The Two Gentlemen from Cremona.”
Bell relates a story about what happens to him on the days he doesn’t want to practice. As he’s contemplating not practicing, he looks at his Gibson Stradivarius. He is drawn to the beauty of his Strad, sitting in her case, and cannot keep himself from lifting her gently from the case, raising her to his chin and…beginning to play. The hours of practice are the grit behind mastery. But both the beauty of the instrument itself and his inner commitment to continue toward that illusive asymptotic level of mastery keep him moving forward.
[caption id="attachment_203" align="alignright" width="172"] Jon Hokama is the Principal and Founder of Jon Hokama and Associates, LLC.[/caption]
Here’s a practical application of putting grit and beauty to work. Ask yourself these simple questions and take action now:
What keeps you up at night? How do you know if it’s 1, 2 or 3 above?
Share with us the beauty that keeps you going!
Liminal Dimensions: Grit and Beauty was first published on American Business Advisors Small Business Consulting Firm
via Blogger Liminal Dimensions: Grit and Beauty
Is the above title a familiar expression?
At the May Colorado FPA chapter meeting, Courtney Pullen shared wisdom gleaned from interviewing scores of ultra high net worth families around the U.S. These are families who successfully navigate past the all-too-common phenomena: the siren call to shipwreck on the rocks of “shirtsleeve to shirtsleeve in three generations.”
They are families who “bet on the jockey.” Whether or not you or your clients are in this category, the principles still apply. (more…)
via Blogger Betting on the Jockey
If anxiety is the #1 mental health issue faced by 18% of the adult population AND we’re moving into the most stressful season of the year—then it shouldn’t surprise you that 1 out of 5 of your clients/stakeholders/employees is anxious!
Your brain is like Velcro for negative experiences and like Teflon for positive ones—even though most of your experiences are probably neutral or positive….
At this month’s Financial Planning Association meeting, Susan Zimmerman, financial planner and Marriage and Family Therapist, shared insights richly applicable to financial planners and business owners alike! Most invaluable is her astute understanding of key frameworks--and even specific language--to keep conversations progressing productively.
What to say:
Zimmerman suggested that if you want to ACE your client interactions, consider using the Ask, Confirm, Encourage framework to move an exploratory conversation forward. True listening happens when we (more…)
via Blogger ACE Your Client Relationships
In my prior post, we explored how important it is to have clarity about our own Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) as a basis for coming to a we with a potential partner. While Jeanette Nyden applies this framework to create an environment to formulate contracts between large firms, this post applies that framework to building a sense of we in business advisory groups, such as 3to5 Clubs.
For example, each member in a 3to5 Club has a clearly defined BATNA called a Business Maturity Date™ (BMD). Closely held private companies can be designed to reflect the values, priorities, and dreams of the business owner(s). Members of 3to5 Clubs each set individual BMDs for a specific day and time; it is at this moment the business owners achieve personal goals of income and time off to celebrate and invest their time/money in some transcendent significance of his or her choosing. As I described in my prior post, such self-awareness and intentionality is foundational to entering a partnership with others. (more…)
via Blogger Getting Closer to WE in a Business Advisory Group
How the right purpose can make the difference in your business
The Case for a Powerful Purpose in Your Business
It is no surprise to us that the SBA has included “the owner’s reason for starting the business” as one of the four factors that contribute to a business staying open. Business owners and leaders have debated for years over whether “matters of the heart” belong in business — The tangible vs. the intangible — The soft side vs. the reality — The spiritual vs. the secular.
Whatever your belief is, one cannot deny the power of purpose in business. Even the SBA recognizes it as one of the major factors in a business sustaining itself. Let’s examine why, and how some businesses integrate a powerful purpose into their Mission Statement. “Great companies are the ones with both their heads and their hearts in the game. And only purpose can get you there,” says Douglas Conant, who led the transformation of Campbell Soup Co. “As we evolved that mission, we started thinking deeply about purpose, and we realized we could do better than being simply competitive; we could, in fact, become the world’s most extraordinary food company by nourishing peoples lives everywhere, every day.”
A strong, unified mission seems to always be at the heart of the best companies. If you’re looking for more passion from yourself and/or your team, injecting a little more “purpose” into what you do may be the missing piece.
What is Purpose?
We believe an effective Mission Statement must have three components: Your Vision, your Goal (or mission), and your Purpose. Some businesses confuse a purpose with the Mission Statement. The purpose is not your dream, what you do, or what you are going to do. It is WHY you are going to do it! It is what impassions people to grow and build their dream businesses — “becoming the world’s most extraordinary food company by nourishing people’s lives everywhere, every day.”
Dr. William Damon at Stanford has defined purpose this way “Purpose is the intention to accomplish something of positive consequence to the world beyond the self.” Purpose gets you focused on serving others and that unlocks the potential of you and your business team members. More than two thousand years ago, the poet Horace wrote that “The man who is tenacious of purpose in a rightful cause is not shaken from his firm resolve by the frenzy of his fellow citizens clamoring for what is wrong, or by the tyrant’s threatening countenance.” The Templeton organization, who gives out purpose awards, states “Purpose in human beings, in other words, is not measured merely by strength of the will, but also by nobility of the goal.”
Making Money vs. Serving Mankind
Is making money enough of a purpose? We believe money is a reward for effectively serving people and does not work as a durable purpose. Our experience clearly indicates that people whose business purpose is only to make money generally do not do well in the long run. In fact, we can only recall one of our clients who, after working with them for over one year did not sustain their business. Their purpose in their mission statement was “To make money.” All efforts to focus them on developing a purpose centered on serving people in some way were to no avail. “We are not interested in those things, the only reason we are in business is to make money” was their response. They were unable to sustain the business and sold it to a competitor for pennies on the dollar.
Consider how the following service driven purposes have created world leaders:
“We realized we could do better than being simply competitive; we could, in fact, become the world’s most extraordinary food company by nourishing people’s lives everywhere, every day.”
Be a Purpose-Driven Business
In his book The Power of Purpose, Peter Temes states, “The Power of Purpose is a map for finding the confidence and power, the opportunities and occasions, and most important-the techniques and strategies for centering your relationships and work on helping others…the clearest path to your own success and happiness lies in helping others get where they want to go.”
Nikos Mourkogiannis, in his book Purpose: The Staring Point of Great Companies, contends that “when the ‘why’ is answered, the alignment it creates make everything else easier, more powerful, more sustainable.” So we encourage you to take the time to answer the “why” and empower your business by writing a noble purpose. Then observe what happens.
“People succeed in a free enterprise system only to the extent that they make other people better off.” Free Enterprise
Examples of Mission Statements of Small and Mid-Sized Companies
The Strategic Edge is published by American Business Advisors, Inc. to provide business and personal improvement information and ideas. All material is presented to provide general and broad information only. The information found in this publication does not constitute business, tax, financial, or legal advice and should not be acted upon without seeking the counsel of professional advisor.
via Blogger The Case for a Powerful Purpose in Your Business
Last week, three events reminded me that every one of us will eventually cross one particular terrible and terrifying liminal dimension, or threshold. This week I hope to help you deal with death in a way that brings clarity and greater moment-by-moment living in what you do every day.
Last Thursday, my wife Susie and I attended the funeral of the mother of our daughter’s high school classmate. She was even a bit younger than we are. It’s always unnerving to attend a funeral of someone your junior.
As we sat in that church, I felt an eerie sense of being disembodied, taking in the emotions of the hundreds in that building, looking at the woman’s widower and two sons, wondering what’s next for them. Upon leaving the service, Susie and I stood in the parking lot awaiting friends. We asked each other, “What do you think people would say at our funeral?”
That night, while we were sleeping, the most horrific tragedy since the 1999 Columbine shootings erupted across town at the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises. So far, 12 have been murdered and 58 wounded in that one-man shooting spree.
We spent much of the next morning checking in with friends and family across town. As I left home that Friday for an early appointment, I felt a second shock wave of horror and empathy set in.
At that morning meeting, I attended a talk that began typically. The speaker opened with a PowerPoint presentation, accompanied by emotive background music. He began his talk by saying that we are shaped by our past. On the surface, a platitude. So far, so safe.
But what he did next mesmerized me for the next 40 minutes. He told the story of a life shaped by multiple instances of imminent death at age 18 as well as the seven-year aftershocks he lived through.
That experience with death shaped who he is today. Because he had connected with his own “valley of the shadow of death,” he learned to speak from the heart. He learned how to be his authentic self.
For example, once, during a C-level M&A conversation, he had a spasm of conscience, one that most of us would too easily silence. Instead, true to his sense of honesty and integrity born of those near-death encounters, he chose to speak his truth.
What was his truth? When the CEO asked what he thought, he said, “I don’t think you should do this deal.” One of the irate deal-makers replied, “Why are you saying that? You’re being such a Boy Scout!” He responded, “Actually, I am a scoutmaster and my son is an Eagle Scout. If we break up this company, 100 people would be laid off. Think of what that will do to their families, to this community. Honesty and integrity say we shouldn’t do this. Do you have a problem with that?”
Surprisingly, the CEO agreed with him! That spasm of truthfulness may have tanked a deal, but it led to the CEO’s decision to preserve 100 local jobs and the lives of hundreds of family members.
Your actions speak louder than your words, your social media presence, or your press releases ever will.
How can you (re)connect with who you are?
[caption id="attachment_203" align="alignright" width="172" caption="Jon Hokama is the Principal and Founder of Jon Hokama and Associates, LLC."][/caption]
The weightiness of death and this most recent national tragedy can be a catalyst for authenticity. (For those of you who are part of the Crankset Group/3to5 Club community, this tool can help you clarify the passion that shapes your “hedgehog”):
1. Honesty begins with oneself. Suppose you were to tell yourself every detail about your life—even the ugly things you’ve told no one. You’ve signed a confidentiality agreement with yourself and no one but you will ever see this.
via Blogger Facing Your Ultimate Liminal Dimension