Our reader poll today asks: How effectively do the leaders in your organization manage change? Extremely: We’re change management experts. 8% Very well: We do a solid job of managing change. 31% Marginally: We do OK but could do much better. 36% Not well: We struggle with managing change.14% Poorly: We have no idea how to manage change. 10% Change requires focused effort. Most people focus on the change itself versus thinking through how they’ll manage the change and get people through it. Just because you implement a new system, launch the new product, or move to the new office, that doesn’t mean the change is done. If you’re not carefully planning for how to help your people deal with the change, you run the risk of attrition, project failure, and lower performance across the board. 60% of you report you’re marginal, at best, at managing change. The next time a major change effort comes along, invest the time in planning for that change and dedicating resources to getting your people through it. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!
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Transform your business by completely rethinking how it works. Analyzing your business model, revenue, and costs can lead you to innovative solutions. When you go to generate new ideas to run things better, you need to think critically about the way your business runs. I like to look at three things: a business model blowup, a revenue blowup, and a cost blowup. On the business model blowup, fundamentally rethink how you go to market. And rethink what your market actually is. You’re going to challenge the entire business model for the way you deliver products and services. On the revenue blowup side, how do you dramatically expand the products, your pricing, the geography, and the reach of your business? And on the cost blowup, how do you fundamentally eliminate drag from the business to become more efficient? Business Model Blowup: Skybus Airlines
Preserving authenticity is fundamental for generating a sale. Ask these simple discovery questions in your next client meeting. Today’s post is by Jeff Kirchick, Vice President of Enterprise Sales at Next Caller, and author of Authentic Selling: How to Use the Principles of Sales in Everyday Life (CLICK HERE to get your copy). In traditional sales programs, you are typically taught to ask certain questions. The problem with being taught to ask certain questions is that you are fundamentally changing your behavior when you ask them. Generally speaking, you are probably changing your behavior out of self-interest – to generate a sale – rather than asking in the interest of the customer. And the thing about sales is that you should always be focusing on the needs of the customer. Why? Because sales is not about you. Sales is about them. So what questions would you normally ask someone when you are trying to figure out what is best for them? In my new book, Authentic Selling: How to Use the Principles of Sales in Everyday Life, I discuss the importance of authenticity relative to the usual tips and tricks you might learn in a formal sales training program. The rationale for this is two-fold: first, people just register authenticity easily. and authenticity is the key to building trust, which is fundamental for generating any sale; second – and perhaps more importantly –
Our reader poll today asks: How much of a perfectionist are you when it comes to deliverables for clients, customers or senior executives? Extreme: Everything has to be absolutely perfect. 28% Very much so: A small error here or there is OK but no more than that. 55% Kind of: Perfect is the enemy of done. I’d rather get things done than perfect. 14% Not much: As long as the work is good enough, I’ll deliver it. 2% Not at all: I tend not to focus on perfectionism. It’s annoying and slows me down. 1% Quality matters. A strong majority of you (83%) are perfectionists or close to it when it comes to client, customer, or senior executive deliverables. Deservedly so. While it may only be a presentation, a business case, or a memo in many cases, the quality of that work is often taken as an indicator of the quality of the thinking and the quality of what the final deliverable will be. Invest the time in review. Get multiple eyes on your work. Be open to criticism and feedback (you asked for it!). For those who have a “perfect is the enemy of done” mindset, that approach does have its place. Your challenge is to recognize when it‘s appropriate and when it’s not. Taking that approach with everything you do can have undesirable consequences. Those of you in the extreme 3% minority who don’t sweat the details, I invite you to recognize the approach is quite the outlier. If you’re wondering why your ideas don’t advance and your recommendations aren’t approved, I’d suggest you start looking at the quality of your deliverables as the root cause. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you […]
Part 2 of 2: Use the SMART acronym to set better goals. Learn how to make your future goals achievable, relevant, and time-bound. When you go to set goals, I suggest you try to set smart goals. Smart is an acronym. It stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. These are the key characteristics of a good goal. Now there are multiple versions of smart out there, but they all get to the same thing: creating clear and actionable goals that matter. This week, we’re talking about the last three SMART characteristics: achievable, relevant, and time-bound. If you missed the first two characteristics—specific and measurable—check out last week’s post here. Achievable Another characteristic of a good goal is that the goal is achievable. If a goal is too extreme, people won’t even try. You may have heard of the term “big, hairy, audacious goals.” That sounds great—let’s set a huge goal for the team and they’ll try really hard to achieve it. The thing is, those types of goals can be very demotivating. The team looks at it and they say, “We don’t even have a chance. We’re guaranteed to fail. So you know what, forget it. I’m not even going to try.” And if a goal is too easy, people won’t care about it or see it as meaningful. “Oh, 1% improvement? No problem, I can do that in my sleep.” And then what happens?
Customers don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Learn how to improve your sales pitch by taking the time to understand your customers. Today’s post is by Joe Paranteau, author of Billion Dollar Sales Secrets (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Even if you are the best sales person with an airtight pitch, you might fumble your sale if you don’t make space to listen to what your customer has to say to you. Steamrolling ahead without listening to your customer will cause you to miss key cues about what’s important to them, their hesitations, and their goals. Without this information, you’ll never achieve value alignment. Listening well is your single biggest asset when it comes to selling. People fundamentally want to be understood, but many salespeople get so caught up pitching their latest whiz-bang widget that they don’t stop to investigate whether their customers even want or need it in the first place. This is why, as a seller, one of the most important skills you need to develop is empathetic listening. I learned early in my career that people don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. To be an empathic listener is to understand someone intellectually and also emotionally.
Our reader poll today asks: How resilient of a leader do you believe you are? Extremely resilient: I can handle any challenge and bounce back easily. 10% Very resilient: I can handle a lot and bounce back reasonably well. 74% Somewhat resilient: I can handle most challenges but sometimes struggle to bounce back. 12% Not very resilient: I struggle with challenges and bounce back slowly. 1% Not at all resilient: I feel like I’m at a breaking point all the time. 3% Bouncing back quickly. The vast majority of respondents feel pretty good about their ability to bounce back from adversity. Just be careful during extended periods of uncertainty and adversity. Each setback is harder and harder to bounce back from. If you’re not pacing yourself and taking care of yourself day to day, you’ll find your resilience eroding. Wrap your mind around being in something for the long haul. Adopt small daily behaviors to keep your mind, body, and spirit fit. Things like meditation, exercise, mindfulness, and calendar management all become more and more crucial the longer a crisis wears on. For those who struggle with bouncing back, definitely look into these new behaviors and adopt them immediately. You need to start building your strength and ability to bounce back. That requires daily practice and discipline to build those muscles. Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!
Part 1 of 2: Use the SMART acronym to set better goals. Learn how to make your future goals specific and measurable. When you go to set goals, I suggest you try to set smart goals. Smart is an acronym. It stands for specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. These are the key characteristics of a good goal. Now there are multiple versions of smart out there, but they all get to the same thing: creating clear and actionable goals that matter. This week, let’s focus on the first two smart characteristics: specific and measurable. Specific The first characteristic of a good goal that you should focus on is that the goal is specific. Make the goal
The way a potential hire interacts with your staff can be just as important as their resume. Keep your team chemistry strong with these hiring tips. Today’s post is by Joel Patterson, founder of The Vested Group and the ForbesBooks author of The Big Commitment: Solving The Mysteries Of Your ERP Implementation (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Many factors go into a company’s decision to hire someone: the candidate’s experience, talent, skills, and ability to communicate, for starters. But while a sparkling resume and impressive job interview are still important considerations, a job prospect’s ability to fit the company’s culture has never been more critical in the hiring process. Companies head into a new year full of uncertainty and are coming off a year of so much change and disruption. These challenges test the strength of a work culture, and as companies seek stability, adaptability, and growth, finding the right culture fit is the most crucial factor in choosing a new hire. An aligned team will work far better together, be more productive individually, and feel more satisfied in their roles overall. And with more people working remotely, keeping your culture strong and your workflow cohesive is imperative. Adding new people should only serve to enhance it. Here are five tips on how to hire for culture fit:
Our reader poll today asks: How much have you grown as a leader in the last 12 months? Somewhat. I’ve grown in a few specific areas: 50% A lot! My leadership skills have improved dramatically: 22% Not much. I’ve grown in very few areas: 15% Not at all. I’m about the same as I was a year ago: 14% A decent amount of growth. 72% of you report at least some up to a lot of growth over the past 12 months. For those who feel you didn’t grow, ask yourself why. Was it because you didn’t have a development plan? Weren’t provided growth opportunities? Didn’t take advantage of opportunities presented to you? Simply not interested in growth? If we stagnate, we fall behind because everyone around us continues to grow. For the coming 12 months I encourage you to identify your skill gaps and build a development plan. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – it can simply be a list of “here are 2-3 ways I want to grow and the activities I’ll pursue to make that happen.” Enlist your manager’s aid in creating those opportunities. Seek out mentors who can guide you to the best ways to get these opportunities. With a deliberate and focused plan, you’ll be amazed at how much you can grow in a short period of time! Do you agree with these poll results? Let us know in the comments below! – Mike Figliuolo at thoughtLEADERS, LLC Did you enjoy this post? If so, I highly encourage you to take about 30 seconds to become a regular subscriber to this blog. It’s free, fun, practical, and only a few emails a week (I promise!). SIGN UP HERE to get the thoughtLEADERS blog conveniently delivered right to your inbox!
Your negotiation style should change depending on the situation. Learn four negotiation styles and when to use them. You should be deliberate in choosing a specific style of negotiating. The way I encourage people to look at choosing a style is first, understand the importance of your relationship with the other party. The relationship can have low importance (somebody you’re just meeting for the first time and you won’t have an ongoing relationship with), or high importance (a strategic, long-term relationship). The second thing you should consider is the importance of the outcome of that specific negotiation, from low importance (there’s not a lot of value on the table), to high importance (there is a lot of money for your organization or it’s a high-risk outcome). And what you end up with is a two-by-two matrix with four different negotiating strategies:
Don’t underestimate the commitment it takes to become an entrepreneur. Ask yourself these questions before you dive into a new business endeavor. Today’s post is by Tim Mercer, founder of IBOXG, and the ForbesBooks author of Bootstrapped Millionaire: Defying the Odds of Business (CLICK HERE to get your copy). As COVID-19 causes layoffs and extends uncertainty about employment in 2021, many people are considering new options, reinventing themselves, or trying to decide whether working for themselves is more desirable than finding another 9-to-5 job that might not last. Entrepreneurship brings a lot of freedom, responsibility, and risks, and before people commit to taking that big step there are several important questions they should ask themselves. Entrepreneurship is a career that offers a kind of freedom and personal satisfaction you simply cannot get from traditional 9-to-5 employment. You will never know if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur unless you take the leap of faith and experience it yourself. It’s a big decision, though, involving many factors and inherent risks. There is a lot to navigate and endure en route to reaching your dream destination of professional and financial freedom, and many don’t make it because they simply weren’t cut out for the challenge to begin with. People who are considering entrepreneurship should first ask themselves these five questions: