You may be trying to operate your own business, but it just doesn’t seem to be working. You know something’s wrong, but you don’t know what. What I’ve written in this post expands on the post in pt I of this series, and will help you discern if you’re out of position. Meaning you’re in the wrong role for what naturally fits you. (Now I’m all for temporarily doing this to gain great perspective, and acquire new skills. However, stay in the wrong roll too long, and it’s called STRESS!) Don’t lose hope though, I run into entrepreneurs all the time who struggle with this very issue, and yet gained the necessary assistance and are now highly successful. One way, is to create a culture of accountability, and then to plug into it. There are ways you can make a position that doesn’t fit you, still work! But first you have to recognize the cold hard facts, be brutally honest with yourself. Then you can create an action plan that works, and fits you. So, if you’re ready to discern your situation, let me ask you if any of the below scenarios and/or feelings sound like you?
You have employees to supervise, but you loathe, no you despise confrontation and avoid it at all cost!
You prefer instead, to allow things to work out on their own.
How’s that working for you? Things won’t work out on their own-they usually escalate and get worse.
In fact, you know you’ve got someone out of position, when a company-wide policy is made for everyone, instead of correcting to the one person abusing the system.
You’d rather fix things, and work around the facility, than deal with people, avoiding them until absolutely necessary.
You don’t have a natural sense of what to do to motivate, lead, and redirect those in your charge. Worse yet, you’ve never been given any formal training on how to be a successful leader – manager. If this is the case, please HEAR ME. This was not your fault! Let me say that again, “You are not to blame for being in this position!” However, that said, you have no excuse to not take the responsibility to obtain the tools and skills necessary to successfully influence and lead, even if you only have two employees! In fact, every personality style can be an effective, successful leader, by using their personality style appropriately, along with maximizing their strengths, while delegating or eliminating their weaknesses! In fact, what some would consider natural leaders, can be the very worst leaders, leading like a bull in a china shop! I liken this to a strong willed horse that’s never been broken. They’ve never learned to bring their strengths “Under Control” to best utilize them. Luckily, we live in a day and age where resources on this topic are in abundance! GREAT materials, books, DVD’s, mp3′s, and podcasts on the subject are prolific, especially at our public library. In fact, go to my LinkedIn profile and you can see my reading list filled with some of the best in leadership.
Stay tuned. In part III of this leadership series, you’ll find how and when it’s time to move on, or step down from the frustration of trying to be something you have never enjoyed, and have never felt successful doing! You will also discover how to best adapt your style to be the best leader/manager you can be, and how and why a Business Development Coach or Executive Coach can be your best resource to assist you and your organization in establishing successful leaders and managers of every behavioral style.
Recently, as a Business Coach, I’ve been conducting client strategy and new client discovery sessions to assess the effectiveness of their business marketing strategies. We are then creating a relevant action plan that is applicable and exciting for 2012. Of course, this is an on-going process that isn’t static, but living, therefore requiring continuous assessing, tweaking, learning, planning, and readjusting. Here are some of the questions you should be working through as you determine how 2011 went for you. Then take the time to determine how you want 2012 to unfold regarding your marketing plan. Start here:
What was your customer acquisition goal for 2011?______
What percentage of customers did you retain?______
What percentage of customers did you lose?______
How many total customers do you have?______
How many of them were thrilled with your services? ______
How many new customers were acquired in 2012? ________
What percentage of new growth is this? ________
Where did they come from, what percentage came from which marketing strategy:
Personal contact? ________
Networking Event? ________
Because of a referral? ________
Where did the majority of these new orders come from?
Within your city? ________
Another state? ________
What percentage of returning customers re-ordered? ________
How often did you drop by, call, follow-up to receive
these returning orders?________
How many” touches” did it require for the order? ________
What form of touch worked best? Percentage from:
Personal contact? ________
Social Media? ________
What percentage of customers come from your
target market? ________
What other industries land in your top 20% revenue? ________
How many new customers make up your top 20% ________
of your revenue?
How many returning customers make up your top 20%
of your revenue? ________
What other industries land in your top 20% revenue? ________
What strategies do you employ to follow-up with new and existing customers?
Do this kind of assessment, and I guarantee you’ll be astounded at what you discover. With a few of my clients doing this process in January, they already not only discovered that 80% of their revenue in 2011 came from only 20% of their clientele, it was amazing to see that statistically they’re absolutely typical! The value of this information is that now they know where 80% of their time should be spent moving forward. If you add to this mix, a few new strategies, continuous training, and a bit more evaluation, you’ll find yourself developing a system to stay ahead of the roller coaster so many find themselves on when marketing ineffectively.
Start Your Year Getting Out of Your Food Comfort Zone!
Being a smart young entrepreneur or seasoned business owner means you develop the whole person. This includes taking not good, but great care of yourself so your mind is clear and your energy level high to strategize and create the business of your dreams. And besides, it’s just plain time to mix it up and throw in some fun, so here’s my coaching tip for the month – eat GRANOLA! Here’s a yummy recipe.
MIX THE DRY TOGETHER:
3 C. Rolled Oats 1 C. Organic Fair Trade Powdered Chocolate (great antioxidants
1 C. Millet 1 C. Dry Roasted or Regular Peanuts
1/2 C. Sunflower Seeds 1/4 C. Soy Powder
1/2 C. Sesame Seeds 1 C. Chocolate Chips (add to mixture after cooked & barely warm )
MIX TOGETHER WET INGREDIENTS:
1 C. Hot Water
1 C. Cold Pressed Oil (pour in oil before honey and it slides right out of the cup!)
1 C. Honey
Jar of Peanut Butter of your choice
Combine both mixtures, and if you’ve doubled the batch, as I always do, cook it in a Turkey Roasting pan 1/2 hr. at 350 degrees. Stir, then turn oven down to 275 degrees, stirring thoroughly every 15 minutes. If you like it chunky, don’t stir too much at the end, just enough so it doesn’t burn. Usually done after an hour. When the mixture is warm, almost cool add the chocolate or carob chips so they melt just a little bit. The least you cook this granola the more nutritional value you get. The chocolate is Sweet Earth Organic Fair Trade we buy online. Place in large Tupperware containers. Enjoy!
Do You Set Your Employees Up For Success?
“What if you had a job that tapped into your passion, a job in which your leaders became your servants – where they existed to personally or systematically helped you do your job? What if structures or systems were supportive, helpful, and were geared toward enabling, identifying, and releasing your potential? What if you were continually recognized and rewarded, and most importantly, felt the intrinsic satisfaction of contributing significantly to a cause you felt worthy of such heartfelt commitment?”
I don’t believe I could describe a “Stage Two Leader” better. If you’re a new leader, seasoned leader, manager, of entrepreneur wanting to grow your leadership influence, take this paragraph to heart! The challenge is, do you know of any leaders/business owners that see their position like this? If you do, please let me know, I’d love to write about them!
Whether you’re the CEO of a large corporation, a solo-entrepreneur, a new leader, or a mid-level manager hoping to receive the next promotion, if you answer ‘YES” to three or more of the questions below, then you may be a candidate for the 2010 “Ramp It Up” Executive Coaching program beginning in January.
- Are you ready to take an honest, brutal look at where you are now in order to discover what’s keeping you from where you want to go?
- Do you find you’ve plateaued, hit a wall, or are just plain stuck in a rut?
- Would you like to finally tap into your brilliant self, to do your specific genius work?
- Are you ready to make clear, motivational goals that will challenge you to grow?
- Would you like to create work/life balance?
- Are you willing to be coached? And,
- Are you teachable, or willing to try?
- If you can feel it, feel you’re not really performing at your optimal best, but you really finally want to. Then:
A fortune 500 firm commissioned a study using MetrixGlobal, LLC, and determined that executive coaching produced an astounding 529% return on investment. 75% of the respondents expressed coaching had significant or very significant impact on at least one of their business areas.
This program is only for those who are ready to be serious enough to take action; to make extraordinary goals; and to use their untapped character skills, and underdeveloped talents. What if, what if this would help you break through the barriers that have been holding you back?
Why hire a coach? Well, why do the best of the best in the athletic world hire a coach? They’re already at the top of their game, especially if they’re going to the Olympics. It’s because they know a coach sees things from a different vantage point. They realize that they may be doing things they themselves can’t see, that would harm them, and keep them from winning. They hire a coach to stretch themselves beyond what they thought was possible. And finally, to receive the encouragement to keep up the hard work, and help them to toe the line and keep their eye on the payoff. So let me ask you, “Why wouldn’t you want the same thing for your career?”
“Until we focus and define what is most important to us, we live our lives in a haze of other-directed urgencies. Coaching is designed to help you stay focused – to practice ‘planned abandonment’ of opportunities that would merely serve as distractions.”
Laurie Beth Jones
AGAIN, IF YOU ANSWERED “YES” TO THREE OR MORE OF THE ABOVE QUESTIONS, DON’T WAIT. TAKE ACTION TODAY! Make 2010 your best year ever. For more information, and to register for this course, e-mail Sue at: email@example.com today. The first ten people to register will receive the popular report: Five Levels To Be In the Leadership Influence Zone.
I use Don Shula’s 24 hr rule. Coach Shula, of the Miami Dolphins, understands how detrimental it is to revel in a win or wallow in a loss too long. He keeps his team focused on the “big picture” by training and coaching them to take just 24 hours to be excited, with ecstasy, over a win, or bemoan and grieve over a loss. Once the 24 hours is up, they get right back on the horse of vision and focus on the next game. Shula’s favorite saying: “Success is not forever, and failure isn’t fatal!” He instills in his team the belief that with hard work, it doesn’t matter if things aren’t going well, don’t give up, get down, be overwhelmed, loose control, but remember and believe that ultimately things will turn out well. He’s a man of faith, and understands that what you think on, what you believe, will happen! This correct thinking keeps them grounded, bringing them back to their plumb line of values and beliefs, to be positive.
Who hasn’t experienced discouragement, deep disappointment, outright failure, in their life. For a leader, it can come at you weekly, if not daily – and be deadly? If you’re an entrepreneur, or risen to the top of a company, it’s part of an undisclosed job description. Right along with conflict. That said, how you pull out will either make you, or break you. I spent years doing it the wrong way myself. Well, the 24 hr. rule works, I’m telling you! Of course ,I’m not talking about life threatening situations, or death, (although it still helps there) but training your mind and emotions to stop, do an about face, get on track, and put a demand on thinking on the future, and those things that are healthy. If you do, it will be transformational!! Sure, go ahead, take that 24 hrs. to scream your head off, cry, pour out your heart, or be overjoyed, but when that 24th hour hits, BE DONE – get back in control of your mind. Try it, I challenge you, you’ll be amazed. Now if you just can’t, I’d suggest you work on gaining the other skills of emotional intelligence, get coaching, or counseling! We’ve all needed a little extra help in life from time to time. The best to you.
Well, my 24 hours is up, and I’m doing, thinking and feeling just great!! Sue “The Accidental Leader“
I’ve invited a few esteemed colleagues to reveal their journey of leadership confidence with you, and today I have the privilege of introducing you to the story of Randy Ford, of Catalina Automotive , who has gone from holding management positions in the field of engineering, with an MBA, into living his passion for cars. He has recreated his life into being a successful entrepreneur, utilizing this love of cars, in an amazingly short period of time. Below is Randy’s story.
“We put a hummingbird feeder outside our living room window. It sits there silently every day and most of the time without apparent purpose. Then a ‘hummer shows up and it’s almost impossible not to smile. It’s a perfect yet fleeting match of needs and resources. And just as quickly the moment is gone. The feeder was the important first step. A green-winged hummingbird depends on it and that gave us the confidence to put out a second. Now several tiny families are being cared for and we are aware of the continuing responsibility to keep them filled.
Starting a business requires the same kind of willingness to hang out our own special type of hummingbird feeder while knowing there are no guarantees. Our passion drives us to assemble the team and the resources and the first customer shows up. Then the next…and the next. That’s when our confidence is boosted and we smile inside. Starting a retail auto repair business from scratch, after years away from the industry was my hummingbird feeder. My passion was the belief that trying to exceed customer expectations through honesty, fair prices, and quality work would set us apart. Commitment and passion are the foundation and confidence comes when customers and employees respond positively to the passion they see in you.
Our operation has grown steadily to over $1 million in sales and yet uncertainty still lurks at every one of the decisions each day requires. We are tweaking constantly to stay focused on what the customers need. A few bad decisions helped me painfully discover the importance of a small support group. They help me maintain perspective and help me keep thinking strategically about how to build the company. The strategy helps determine what tactical steps are needed to support the strategy. That way I’ll have a better idea of when to put out the next feeder.”
As you read Randy’s story, how can you see that it applies to you? What were the stages of his confidence development? What is it you see from his story that you are lacking in your circumstances? I want to challenge you to implement some of these time tested strategies as you continue to embark on your own story! Happy leading!