Archive for Management and Leadership’ Category

4

Feb
2010
Comments Off on Taking the Long View | Extraordinary Business:

Taking the Long View | Extraordinary Business:

Charles Du Bois, Literary Critic said, “The important thing is this: to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for what we could become.”

Right now, your business might be struggling; bills are late, vendors are charging more for less product, customers are starting to spend, but not to the level you need them to.  You are getting more deals, but they aren’t as profitable as they once were.  The challenge this week: make payroll., or your employees are going to start to look for something else.

Then someone sends you an email that starts with, “Happy Thursday!”

Hmmmm…where could this mental catastrophe go?  Well, you could become completely immersed in the problems of the day and of the moment, keeping your head to the grindstone, firing employees, cutting back on marketing and slashing costs everywhere.  The problem is that you could liken this to readying a book, and basing the whole book on the chapter you are on.

What if, instead, you took the long view?  What if, instead of putting all of your energy into the problems (attitudes) of the moment, you started looking down the road toward the destination?  What if when you address the problems of right now, you addressed them with respect to where you want to go.

Here’s an example: if you were traveling down the highway toward a specific destination, and the highway ahead is blocked, do you sit there in traffic and wait it out, or do you try to find another way around?  If you blow a tire, or have engine trouble, do you stay stuck on the side of the road, or do you make arrangements to have the car repaired?  Did you have the foresight to have resources to rent another vehicle so that you could continue on your destination?

Panicking or operating from survival mode is not sustainable.  It is not a place where you can operate from for an extended period of time.  Sure – there will be major fires, there will be problems, but there are always solutions.  There are always other perspectives.  There will always be a way to get around the traffic or fix the car.  What you must do, is you must keep the long view in mind.

Extraordinary Leaders run Extraordinary Businesses.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Extraordinary,Leadership,Vision,Long view,attitudes,problems,destination
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26

Jan
2010
Comments Off on Extraordinary Business: Do the Right Thing

Extraordinary Business: Do the Right Thing

As I was sitting at a traffic light, this morning, someone got out of their car, ran up to mine and secured the gas cap and door on my truck.  Later, I saw someone pull off the road and into the grass to help someone change a tire.  Acts of kindness do not go unnoticed.  As a matter of fact, while people might tell a lot of people about the thing you messed up, they are likely to remember the kind act for a very long time.

As a business leader, your business probably has a lot of opportunities to do the right thing.  That could look like serving the community, developing a mentoring or leadership program, connecting with other local businesses for networking and mastermind groups, etc.  Doing the right thing means that you aren’t doing these things for your benefit, but rather, doing them because they are the right thing to do.

Isn’t it easy to act the way everyone else does, operate your business the way everyone else does and to slip a few things through, so to speak, the way every other business does?  I guarantee you that whatever gains you make as a result will be only temporary.  Keep in mind: money is only a tool.  We work to live, we should be focused on living to work.  Extraordinary leaders have balance in their lives.  They don’t just sit in the parking lot of their lives, watching it happen from afar.  They take the leadership role and make things happen.  Extraordinary leaders run extraordinary businesses.

Be an Extraordinary Leader.  Do the Right Thing.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Ethics,Attitdue,Business decisions,Business Path,Extraordinary Business,Extraordinary Leadership,Sales,Sales Strategies
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15

Jan
2010
Comments Off on Accountability | Extraordinary Leadership

Accountability | Extraordinary Leadership

One of the things that drives people to do the right thing is a sense of accountability.  Now that might be accountability to a friend, family member, to God, a spouse, a mentor or even themselves.  Accountability is what gets people up in the morning to do things like go to school, go to work, do household chores or start a business.  Accountability is a good thing.

As a business leader, accountability is something that you can leverage to achieve the goals that you have set for the business.  By leveraging those you will be accountable to, you will increase the likelihood of getting things done.

Running your business often means you don’t have time to skim through thousands of articles around the web.  That’s understandable.  As a business leader, however, information is invaluable so that you can make good decisions and drive your company to be all that it can be.  We’ve captured some of these articles for your viewing pleasure.  Please credit the authors independently.

When choosing people to be accountable to, you must have some level of trust, where they know that they have the authority to push you to keep going with that goal.  At the same time, while you, as a business leader, may need to lean on them without allowing them to be a crutch.

A partner of mine, Andy Greider, will say over and over, “Don’t have bad partners…they’ll pull you down every time.”  This holds true for those you are counting on to hold YOU accountable.  People that are quick to go along with whatever you suggest might make you feel good, but probably aren’t the best for you in your business in terms of driving to reach your BHAGS (Big, Hairy, Audacious, Goals)

Reaching BHAGS takes a great deal of energy, effort, commitment and drive.  As my friend Dr. Ike says, “We cannot become what we need to be if we remain who we are.”

Be extraordinary.  Have someone to hold you accountable.

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].
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Technorati Tags: Accountability,Leadership,Extraordinary,Partners,BHAGS,Goals
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11

Jan
2010
Comments Off on Planning for Chaos

Planning for Chaos

I was working on a proposal this afternoon when the phone rang.  It was my bookkeeper telling me that we needed to set up a meeting with one of our clients.  In the midst of that call, another client called to ask if I’d had time to review her book.  Finally, my wife called to let me know she was getting off work and was headed home.  Being the love of my life, I chit-chatted with her for a little while as she made her way onto the highway.

Each of these tasks took me away from the task that I had at hand for the afternoon: to complete the proposal, review it three times and send it out to the appropriate parties.  With the interruptions I’d had throughout the afternoon, it took me twice as long to complete the proposal, and some of the work I’d hoped to get done didn’t get done when I wanted it to.

Now…what will that look like at the end of the year?  It is kind of like watching a snow plow when it first begins moving snow…at first, it has a little snow on the blade, rolling over and over.  After a while, they are pushing show up six feet in the air, lumbering along, appearing as though they will never complete their task.

Managing time, work and interruptions is a goal that so many people have and fight with throughout the day.  It becomes a game of priorities – what is right in front of them, what are people asking for the most, what looks interesting and what is that thing that is constantly pushing to the back of my desk.

What would be interesting would be learning how to manage chaos.  As in, provide room in your schedule for a certain amount of uncertainty or chaos.  If we looked at time the way we look at manufacturing, we would say that we have a laxed production schedule, which allows for anomalies in the production line.  From another perspective, at times, we don’t leave room in our schedules for other things.

Taking a thought from Project Management, if we determine at the beginning of the week what critical things must be done and by when (the critical path), we  begin to see a clearer picture of what can be done.  So we stop looking at how much gets done, and focus more on what IMPORTANT things get done, and ensure that they get done.

Think about a UPS driver.  Their sole goal is to deliver packages.  That is all they have to do.  However, they run into problems such as traffic, customers who aren’t where they are supposed to be, heavy loads and packages, damaged items, etc.  Regardless of the interruption, once completed, they are clearly focused on their next goal.

Now, taking that a step further, they have four sets of priority deliveries – the early morning priority, the before 12:00 priority, business deliveries (before 5:00) and residential deliveries (before 7:00).  How likely is it that they will drop off a residential delivery before 8:00 am?  What about dropping off a 12:00 delivery after 5:00?  It’s more likely that a residential delivery will be a day late then their missing an 8:00 delivery.

Why is that?  Because they have an understanding of priorities.  They know what has to be delivered to who, when.  They also understand chaos, and build it into their schedule, and update that schedule as things change.  Therefore, putting together that presentation, uninterrupted, would normally take two hours.  However, with the realization that there are going to be unplanned events, maybe setting aside three hours to do the presentation is the best course of action to take.

As an Extraordinary Leader, you’ve got to plan for the unexpected.  At the same time, you’ve got to get things done.  We don’t have options when it comes to expectations.  If our clients expect us to be late, expect our product or service to be sub par, expect our customer service to be inattentive, how can they expect us to be extraordinary?

Aepiphanni Business Consulting: The Business Strategy People is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of small to medium sized business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping leaders create extraordinary businesses.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including Creative and Design Services, Software & IT Services, Professional Services and Healthcare Services.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].
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Technorati Tags: Chaos,Process,time management,leadership development,priorities,schedules,extraordinary business
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