When all is said and done, the critical link between strategy and execution is people. Savvy business people understand and embrace this fact. In the following, I will offer a few thoughts on proven practices for connecting with people to build a growth-oriented environment characterized by mutual respect, trust and accountability.
- Build a foundation with honesty and integrity
It may be hard to share difficult news; however, being honest and forthright, especially during tough times, is something the most respected and trustworthy leaders learn how to do. Whether your company hasn’t met its goals and is unable to award bonuses this year, or you must let go of a member of the team, or be it another important matter. Rather than putting off the difficult discussion, people will respect a leader who is able to openly explain the situation, take the tough questions and give them the facts.
- Be accountable and admit mistakes
While being transparent about bad news is difficult, admitting when it’s you who’s made a mistake can be even more difficult. You may be surprised to find that many employees will like you more for it. Admitting mistakes actually makes you more human and, assuming you’re a competent leader, may have you be more likeable to others. Psychologists call this the “Pratfall Effect”. Being able to admit to and take responsibility for your mistakes is a major part of being a good leader.
- Treat employees like people, not numbers
In a competitive, fast paced environment it’s easy to get lost in the numbers. If the success (or survival) of your business is based on meeting certain goals, you might fall into the trap of seeing employees in terms of output achieved. Get to know your folks as individuals.
You don’t have to know all the details of your employees’ personal lives, but strive to get to know folks on an individual basis. It’s understood that this is even more challenging when so many employees are now working remotely. Nevertheless, you must be committed to each employee’s personal development and have a good understanding of what your employees find most interesting about their current work. Furthermore, you must know their longer-term aspirations. It’s a proven fact that when people know you are genuinely concerned about them as individuals, they’ll go the extra mile for you.
- Give due credit to your employees
As the business leader, you will often receive recognition and compliments from others for the results of your team’s efforts. Make sure you express appreciation and acknowledge your team members for their hard work and contributions.
Studies show that that employees who receive recognition from their leaders are significantly more likely to trust them.
- Demand excellence of your team and put yourself on the line for them
To gain trust, managers must be their team’s best advocate. People want to know that the leader will represent their best interests and has their backs. Just as you must have corrective actions and coaching for each individual, it is you that must be fully accountable for your folks’ performance.
- Communicate often and ask for feedback
Provide a forum for open, two-way communications where employees can speak freely and candidly without fear. And while it may feel a bit uncomfortable at times. you must encourage and acknowledge valid, constructive feedback. Finally, you must take action! It is essential that you use this information to implement positive improvements in the business.
This all sounds simple but in reality, consistent execution on the aforementioned items is challenging. Nonetheless, the benefits to your business in terms of employee emotional commitment and engagement are enormous, resulting in ownership and committed execution for increased growth, and happy customers.
For a brief discussion on this and other proven strategies to enhance your business growth, schedule an appointment here for a free 30- minute consultation.
“Most leaders would agree that they’d be better off having an average strategy with superb execution than a superb strategy with poor execution.” Stephen Covey
In today’s challenging environment, enlightened business leaders will focus on thorough planning and flawless execution. Both disciplines are important to a successful business; however, this discussion will focus on execution.
To be clear, a thoughtful plan is a necessity; however, without effective execution, it is practically worthless. I will share a simple framework for helping individuals and teams achieve solid execution and operational excellence. This proven process is simple and straightforward and will serve organizations well, regardless of size or industry.
In previous articles, I have stated what is an indisputable fact: The right culture is fundamental for delivering consistently superior business growth. Specifically, two essential elements of the winning culture are:
- Effective, free-flowing communications
- Abundant collaboration
Truly effective organizational communication is not unilateral but is characterized by an environment that supports mutual respect, trust, integrity, and transparency. There is an open, honest, two-way exchange of vital information between leadership and employees, and among employees as needed. In short, this environment features a prolific communications network and effortless collaboration among Individuals and teams.
Once an environment of communication and collaboration is established, leadership must provide a simple, straightforward framework to drive operational excellence. This approach is comprised of three elements:
- Define What Must Be Done and Assign Individual Work Activity
Accountability – Each person in the business is accountable for carrying out a specific set of responsibilities in a certain way. Expectations must be set and communicated clearly and then confirmed, to ensure there is no room for misunderstanding. To be clear, leadership is ultimately accountable for all aspects of the firm; however, to achieve business goals, they must delegate responsibilities and duties throughout the organization. To make this work an implicit bilateral contract is established between leadership and each employee. First, through coaching, training, and other employee development opportunities, leadership is accountable to prepare individuals to be capable of carrying out specific activities/duties required to meet business expectations. And, in turn, employees must be accountable to leadership for executing these duties and responsibilities.
- Inspect Expectations – Review/Evaluate Employee Performance Against Goals
Visibility – For every critical business function, leaders must have a clear, timely view on actual results produced by each and every employee. It is recommended that leadership develops a rigorous and systematic review process. Based on the situation, this might include personal observation, customer and employee feedback/survey processes, systematic reporting, scheduled operations reviews, random inspection, etc. These views must provide transparent perspectives to leadership on actual employee activities and associated outcomes, and how these align with business expectations and goals.
- Administer Rewards, Training/Coaching, Discipline. Etc.
Consequences – This category includes compensation, incentives, rewards, and recognition. Further, it includes coaching, training, performance management, and disciplinary action. Employee work efforts/activities will result in three outcomes: 1) exceeding, 2) meeting or 3) falling short of expectations. Each outcome warrants a specific consequence that must be administered in a fair, timely, and consistent manner.
In summary, consistent execution and operational excellence are driven by a culture which supports communication and collaboration with visibility, accountability, and consequences. Of course, this is a very high-level view of a business model for operational excellence and solid execution; however, if you are interested in additional details and assistance in creating this scheme in your business, please contact me at 281-817-7391, or email me at email@example.com
Create a Winning Sales Culture
‘Adapt and Change Your Habits to Survive and Grow Your Business’
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives.
It is the one that is most adaptable to change.
~ Charles Darwin
To state the obvious, our world has changed significantly. Not just business, but almost every aspect of our lives. And thus, we are compelled to adapt.
Even before the worldwide pandemic, most leaders weren’t happy with the amount of revenue their respective businesses were generating. They were working longer hours, applying greater effort while spending more for marketing and receiving lower revenue. And now, here we are in the midst of an economic downturn and an impending recession.
What you need to know…
If you’re not happy with your business’s current revenue and profitability, it’s important to remember that those results are directly related to the actions you’ve been taking! If you want different results, then you MUST take different actions, and you MUST execute with discipline.
So, if that’s all that’s required, why don’t business leaders just do that? The answer may shock you. They can’t stop repeating their past patterns of behavior. Their past patterns have become ingrained into their subconscious mind and have established themselves as habits.
Have you ever listened to art experts accurately identify a recently discovered painting as belonging to a specific artist such as Rembrandt? How can they tell who painted that picture? Patterns… that’s how. Even though the painting may look completely different than all the others that artist painted, his or her patterns, sometimes referred to as their “style,” continuously comes through with each and every painting.
Why you need to know this…
The exact same thing happens to business leaders as well. All of us have been mentally conditioned to perform certain daily activities, and to do these in a certain way. These activities and processes have become habits through constant and daily repetition. The problem is that the majority of these habits… more than 80% of them… are ineffective and non-productive. Einstein’s definition for insanity: “Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”. If there was ever a time to do things differently and change your habits, that time is now! In fact, I will go so far as to say that if you want your business to survive, you must adapt. You don’t have an option! However, it is critical that this must be the right kind of adaptation.
We will help you adapt to this new environment with a game plan that includes a proven process and reliable strategies for growing your business profitably.
Email Adam Vital at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (281) 817-7391. We offer a free consultation and guaranteed results. And, once engaged with your business, our fee will be based on your improved performance results.
“Really, coaching is simplicity. It’s getting players to play better than they think that they can.”
Great leaders and coaches have a basic understanding (either learned or intuitive) of psychology and human behavior. They connect with people and build trusting relationships; they understand what each person values. Furthermore, leaders/coaches apply this knowledge so as to inspire individuals to unleash innate abilities and talents that may lie dormant or at best, underutilized…Instinctively, great coaches get to know people in such a way that they understand how to tap into unrealized potential. In most cases, this is capacity or potential that perhaps the person may not even know is within him/her. In short, great coaching is not just about developing the right skill set which without a doubt is extremely important; however, it’s much more encompassing. Great coaching and leadership is about touching the hearts and spirits of employees, laying the groundwork for inspired and significantly enhanced performance and execution. From a psychological standpoint, here is a quote relative to a scientific fact:
“The subconscious mind regards the words and thoughts that get lodged inside it as expressing and describing a real situation, and therefore endeavors to align the words and thoughts with reality. It works diligently to make these words and thoughts a reality in the life of the person saying or thinking them.” -Remez Sasson
From my experience, this is particularly true when the aforementioned words and thoughts are communicated from a trusted authority figure. And, as mentioned earlier, that is not to say that these words and thoughts are somehow “magically” making the impossible now become possible; quite the contrary is true. These “newly found capabilities” already reside within the realm of the individual’s capacity. The trusted authority simply expresses confidence in the person, provides some expert guidance and advice, while making the person aware that this potential is there, waiting to be utilized. (Of course, it’s not quite that simple, because good coaching is a skill that requires significant development and commitment, but I believe you get the point.)
Tapping into the potential of human talent is a key success factor for business. And thus, winning sales cultures are extremely diligent in hiring/appointing the right kinds of people-oriented sales leaders. Moreover, enlightened business leadership makes a firm commitment to invest in the development of managers’ coaching skills, including their ability to build relationships, teach and inspire others to be the best they can be.
Do you want to increase your sales team’s operational effectiveness to drive revenue growth in your business? If so, we can help you with that. For a brief discussion on this and other proven strategies to enhance your business growth, schedule an appointment HERE for a free 30-minute consultation! Or contact us at 281-817-7391, or email me at email@example.com
Create a Winning Sales Culture – Employment Development – Five Elements of a Coaching Session
Each person is unique and will come into the business with a unique set of skills and potential. This argues for a customized development plan (training and coaching) for each employee. Of course, the end objective is to have every salesperson behave in a consistent and predictable way in interfacing with customers; however, it is important that sales leadership recognize individual differences, helping each employee to optimize innate capabilities. This not only means helping them perform at their best in their current roles; it’s much broader. Good coaches will strive to understand and assist the employee in realizing longer-term personal goals and dreams. This means that good coaching and development is filled with a special kind of commitment to support and help a person; it’s about building a trusting relationship with a human being. And thus, good coaching is a critical role for the sales manager for not only business growth, but for employee engagement and loyalty as well.
Like other facets of the sales leadership process, it is most important to establish a rhythm or an expected routine for coaching sessions. The focus of these meetings is to facilitate employee growth and development. For the purpose of ensuring the best use of time and to optimize overall effectiveness, here are a few thoughts on five key elements for a successful coaching session:
- Agenda (sent out before the meeting) is reviewed up-front with verbal acknowledgement and confirmed understanding between the coach and employee as to what is to be accomplished in the meeting (role-play, a review of instructional videos or other materials, etc.)
- Active engagement and participation in the session by both employee and coach
- Honest, objective, non-judgmental feedback and counsel from the coach
- Open, two-way communications between employee and coach
- Confirmation at the end of the meeting as to what was accomplished with respect to the agenda and goals for the next session
Consistent, committed execution on coaching will result in improved business growth and better customer experience.
Coaching is a process and a learned skill. Your managers will need guidance in developing requisite capabilities to be competent coaches. If you need assistance in training and developing your sales managers to be competent coaches, we can help you with that. Contact me at (281) 817 7391 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a free consultation. Here’s my calendar for scheduling an appointment: https://calendly.com/adam-vital