Our reader poll today asks: How is your organization handling price increases and rising costs? We’re accepting those increases — everything costs more these days and we understand 22.56% We accept most increases but push back on unreasonable ones 55.64% We push back on most increases but accept a few small ones 9.02% We push back hard on all increases and accept very few 12.78% Prices are going up, but people understand (within reason). An inflationary environment is tough on everyone but generally respondents agree that they’re willing to take on reasonable price increases from suppliers. 79% of you said you’re accepting reasonable price increases. For those who are increasing prices, be sure your increases are reasonable and justifiable. If it’s been a long time since you’ve increased prices, be sure to point that out in your discussions. Be wary of getting too aggressive though – it could undermine the goodwill you’ve built with your customer. And don’t forget, when your profits increase due to price increases, be a good leader and pass along some of that benefit to your employees. They see you raising prices. They see profits increasing. Most of them won’t ask for a raise but they will leave your organization if they feel like they’re not being valued. – 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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Create better strategic plans by avoiding these five common mistakes. Strategic planning takes a lot of time and energy. It is a high-resource type of exercise. Unfortunately, many times that process can be a worthless pain, and the worst thing that can happen with a strategic plan is everybody puts in all this effort, and then it gets archived, put on a shelf, and never looked at again. Here are some warning signs that you can look for to determine if your strategic planning process is flawed. First, initiative proliferation. Do you have to use multiple pages just to add up all the different initiatives you’re thinking about pursuing? The second risk is thinking too small. All the initiatives that are on your list are really small, incremental improvements to your business. They don’t really advance you to your strategic goals. A third is thinking too big. All the initiatives are huge, everything has to line up perfectly, and it’s a really large bet that you’re taking with the organization. A fourth risk is what I call starving the kids. Many organizations have a large, profitable business unit, and then they have a lot of smaller ideas that are going to be more rapid growth. The risk is you invest all your resources in the big known business and you starve those smaller businesses. The problem is you’re starving your future in doing so. Finally, I call this fifth risk the random initiative generator. You look at all your initiatives, and they all seem really great, but when you try to figure out where they’re taking you, there’s no clear direction. An example I’ve seen was when I worked in a strategic planning group. When I first arrived in the group, I said, “Let me see our strategic plan.” I was […]
Our reader poll today asks: How much value do you place on your own time? An extreme amount: It’s the only commodity I can never get back 20.33% A significant amount: I get pretty upset when people waste my time 40.42% A moderate amount: Time is important, but I don’t obsess over it 29.79% A minor amount: I have more important things to worry about 3.23% A negligible amount: I focus more on outcomes than my time 6.23% Know your worth. While 60% of you place a premium on your time, the other 40% value it less. This perspective can lead you to take on work you shouldn’t be doing. If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, this means doing work that doesn’t properly compensate you for the value of your time. If you’re working in corporate, it might lead you to take on jobs that don’t value your skills appropriately. This mindset can also show up in you not pushing back on your employer taking advantage of your willingness to do additional work (evenings, weekends, days off, etc.) because you don’t value your time highly enough. Here are two quick ways to assess the value of your time. First, take your total annual compensation (base, bonus, benefits, etc.), divide by 250 days then divide by 8 hours. Now triple that number. That’s your hourly rate to account for vacation, time off, etc. Ask yourself if the work you’re doing is worth the rate you should make. If not, consider turning it down. The other method is to assess opportunity cost. Ask yourself: if I say “yes” to this work, what do I have to say “no” to? That might be time with family/friends, vacation, exercise, or hobbies. Is it worth giving up those things you like to do in […]
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Learn about the three principles of strategic planning and how they can focus your efforts. What is a strategic plan, and why is it important? A strategic plan defines what your organization stands for. It defines the market where you compete and how you compete in that market. It’s the definition of the goals you’re going to pursue and, more importantly, the initiatives you’re going to pursue to achieve those goals. It’s also going to help you allocate your very limited resources to pursue those initiatives and reach those goals. Why is a strategic plan so important? First, it provides focus for your efforts and your limited investments. It gives your team something to rally around and be excited about. And lastly, it helps you identify the risks and opportunities you’re going to face in the market, and then plan for those risks or exploit those opportunities. There are three principles of strategic planning that you should follow. First, set a clear direction and stay in your lane, versus meandering and pursuing strategies that change every year. Second, say no to distractions. It’s very easy to get caught up in the “Wow, that looks like a cool initiative, let’s pursue that.” The third is making sure you diversify your bets. You have limited pools of money and people and time. Make sure you don’t put all your eggs in one basket and instead pursue initiatives that are spread across different time horizons, different markets, and different products. If you follow these three principles of strategic planning, you’re going to have a clear direction that you’re able to follow over time and achieve your goals. Want to learn more about strategic planning? How about taking an entire course on it? Go directly to the course and start learning how plan strategically. The entire course is available at LinkedIn Learning. Enjoy! Did you enjoy this […]
https://i0.wp.com/www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/20220608-Sticky-Note-Board.jpg?fit=1920%2C1300&ssl=113001920Trevor Joneshttps://www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/logo.pngTrevor Jones2022-06-08 06:00:272022-06-08 03:13:08Understanding the Principles of Strategic Planning
Today’s guest post is written by Brian Ahearn. Brian’s one of the most knowledgeable guys I know on the subject of influencing people (which is why he’s been a guest here before). Brian’s blog, Influence PEOPLE, is followed by people in more than 180 countries. You can learn more about Brian at the end of this post. Enjoy! My wife Jane is an excellent golfer, a poster child for hard work and practice. Many years ago she said, “I’m tired of people saying I have potential. I want good scores!” She started taking lessons, practiced consistently at the driving range and saw her scores drop from 105-110 to the low 80s and occasionally a score in the high 70s! She exemplifies a truism in life – you don’t get good at something by merely learning about it. At some point you have to “do the stuff.” Over the last few years I’ve conducted many sales workshops where people practice different skill sets. One such workshop was on active listening skills. Good listening skills are just as important for leaders as they are for salespeople. Excellent leaders recognize the more information they have the better the solutions they can come up with. One important way leaders get their information is by actively listening. I’ll share five pointers to help you become listening “STARS.” Listening is an active skill so you need to do several things if you want to excel. Listening skills are not things you can’t do. For example, I often tell workshop attendees I can’t dunk a basketball. Never could and it’s not likely at 48 years old, standing just 5’9 tall, that I ever will. Jumping high enough to dunk a basketball is a skill I don’t have and can’t acquire no matter how hard I work. If […]
https://i0.wp.com/www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/20220606-Listen-Sign.jpg?fit=1920%2C1280&ssl=112801920Trevor Joneshttps://www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/logo.pngTrevor Jones2022-06-06 08:00:322022-06-06 00:32:47How You Can Become a Listening STAR
Our reader poll today asks: What’s your view on meeting with people purely with a purpose of getting to know them and building a relationship? It’s extremely important and worthwhile 60.83% It’s important but only with select people 22.43% It’s of secondary importance to getting stuff done 9.79% It’s not important and is a “nice to have” if you have free time 4.38% It’s a waste of time 2.57% Meeting for meeting’s sake. While it might be counterintuitive to meet with someone without a clear business “purpose” for the conversation, that’s exactly why you should do it. The vast majority of respondents agree that meeting with someone for the sole purpose of building a relationship has tremendous value. If you’re a non-believer, give it a try. Identify a few colleagues, suppliers, customers, or business partners you don’t know very well. Find time to meet with them on a semi-regular basis with no other purpose than to get to know one another better. Freeing yourself from a specific “purpose” or business agenda might yield surprising opportunities. At the very least, you’ll build relationships that can make your work more meaningful and pleasant. – 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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Changing your approach in the middle of a negotiation is a great way to surprise the other party and drive value for your organization. During a negotiation, you can change your approach. You don’t have to maintain your initial approach or your initial position. You can change it at any time. Your opponent won’t maintain their approach or their position, so throughout the deal, determine your counteroffers and your approach. Think about how these might change and how those changes might benefit your position. For example, you can become more or less aggressive. You can become cooperative. You might change your anchor. In the initial negotiation, you said the price was here, but you know what? The price just went up or the price went down. You can add negotiating points along the way. Just because you didn’t ask for something right out of the gate, doesn’t mean you can’t add it later on. Beware of getting locked into a single negotiating approach. Your opponent can and will use that against you. We were involved in a very contentious negotiation at one point. In the beginning, we were very collaborative, but our opponent was very combative. We knew the main points we wanted. They were price and deal structure. We also knew that time was our friend and their enemy. Throughout the negotiations, we continued making concessions and we stayed collaborative the entire time as long as price and structure were acceptable to us. But time passed and the other party changed structure. They got very aggressive at one point. But the thing they missed was that so much time had passed. Our position was going to change because time was now on our side. We turned around and got very aggressive in that negotiation. We pushed very hard for additional concessions related to the structure and pricing of the […]
https://i0.wp.com/www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/20220601-Handshake.jpg?fit=1920%2C1282&ssl=112821920Trevor Joneshttps://www.thoughtleadersllc.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/logo.pngTrevor Jones2022-06-01 06:00:362022-06-01 00:31:41Changing Your Approach in a Negotiation
Our reader poll today asks: How “situationally aware” is your team of the perceptions others have of them? Very: They are very attuned to how others perceive them 12.56% Somewhat: They’re aware of obvious perceptions others have 46.05% Not very: They only pick up on the strongest perceptions 30.23% Not at all: They’re clueless about how others perceive them 11.16% Do you know what they think? 40%+ of you report your team isn’t very aware of the perceptions others have of them. This can be a problem. Whether that opinion is good or bad, your team is missing opportunities. If the perception is unfavorable, your team can be taking action to improve their performance to change that perception or they can do a better job of communicating the work they do to make sure people know the value they deliver. If the perception is positive, your team members might not be aware that people appreciate their work. This can lead to morale being lower than it should or attrition being higher because they don’t feel appreciated. In either situation, you, as the leader, can go gather these external opinions, interpret them, share them with your team, and help them change their performance or their perception. – 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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