Business Mindfulness

After completing another hectic day at work, putting out fires, answering a myriad e-mails, and dealing with accumulated issues and problems, most of us just want to crash out, do nothing strenuous, or pacify ourselves with the latest Netflix episode. Nevertheless, tomorrow will bring new challenges at work with their inherent stresses. This creates a vicious cycle that drains energy and contributes to early burnout. Most of us just accept this as the nature of the beast. Work is fundamentally stress-filled and there is very little that we can do about it.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Eastern belief systems have shown us the way to a more tranquil mindset, which can be applied to the business environment. Stress is a condition that we inflict on ourselves. Operating from a calmer mindset, problems and issues that arise during the course of the day can be handled with more equanimity. This approach usually transforms itself into better solutions, because we take the time to carefully weigh the cons and pros without rushing into decisions. By slowing down the brain we permit it to arrive at more well thought-out solutions.

The beauty of this type of approach is that anyone can gain this calmness of thought and action with some practice:

Calmness before and after the storm – Most of us operate a hectic schedule and find that time is very constricted. Setting aside ten to fifteen minutes of meditation time before and after work seems like an impossible sacrifice. But time is often dissipated on unproductive thoughts and activity that leads to waste. A calm mind is a more focused and less disturbed one, able to concentrate and prioritize better. Meditating for 10-15 minutes before the storm – in the early morning – takes some time but its net effect is time saved..

Review your day in a more relaxed state – After the afternoon meditation, let your mind quietly review the day’s activity, interactions with other employees, customers, and any unsolved problems and issues. Solutions will come with unexpected ease, so that you can be more prepared to tackle accumulated problems the next day. Dedicating 10-15 minutes after work will suffice and should create a more efficient flow of ideas. Just sitting down in a quiet space and slowing down your breathing may be all that is needed. You can accomplish this without anyone being aware that you are meditating. There are many free tutorials available on the internet. You can choose one that best suits your lifestyle and schedule. A helpful book on this subject written by a business person can be found on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/197320438X

Eliminate the small stuff – Our minds are often entrapped in petty thoughts that take on a disproportionate amount of time. Many of these deal with ego and status infringements by others. We spend time overacting to perceived slights and negative remarks by work colleagues, family members, Facebook friends, and others. The old cliché of not sweating the small stuff can be more easily managed by a calm mindset. Name and breathe out these petty concerns during meditation.

Prioritize the big stuff – The same process can be used to prioritize the really important tasks that have to be undertaken the next day. A calm state will facilitate the choices that you have to make, and add an intuitive spark to the thought process. By being prepared for tomorrow you break the stress cycle, and begin operating in a more relaxed and productive state. Unexpected and disruptive events will always shake things up, but now there is recourse to a better approach.

Stop the brain traffic before bedtime – In order to start the next day on the right foot, we need a good night’s sleep. But the neurons and synapses of the brain keep transmitting all sorts of information and causes us to unnecessarily dwell on it. The solution may be to open up a book and read ourselves to sleep. If this works, then this becomes a form of meditation. If not, try a short form of meditation while lying down in bed, where you concentrate on your breathing or on a single sound (mantra). Try using a prolonged sound that resonates in the brain and removes all other thoughts (like sorrr.., or ommm..).

The one-minute meditation – Author Ken Blanchard wrote and influential book on management two decades ago called the “One-minute Manager”. It continues to be popular to this day because it simplifies the process of management into its essentials: the one-minute goal, one-minute praise and one-minute reprimand, etc. To this it would be very useful to add the one-minute meditation. Utilize this to prepare for any important meeting or event, to relieve stress and clear the mind of distractions. Either take a series of deep, prolonged breaths, or repeat a mantra sound internally for the one-minute duration.

The Value Of Women In Business

When we think that gender inequality has been defeated in the advanced economies of the world, recent statistics clearly show that there is still far to go. On the average, women earn 83% of what a man gets for the same job description. This ratio has progressively gone up in the last two decades but there is no reason that the gap should still be so significantly high. The last vestiges of gender discrimination is partly to blame, but it is also a question of self-confidence, value assessment, and an objective approach to salary negotiation.

These personal traits hold true not only for female employees but also for business owners who tend to undervalue their products and services, and price them below the average market levels. This mindset, that in order to compete for a job or in the business world, women have to somehow be more accommodating has held back their progress towards full equality. There are well established strategies and techniques for getting the best possible outcome that apply to both men and women. For the latter, it is a matter of building up a higher confidence quotient. Not allowing others to determine their value is one of the main paths to pay equivalence and pricing maximization. It is also a practical means of boosting self confidence.

Perform a self assessment – Many women and men make the mistake of waiting for that annual performance evaluation to determine their value and scale of pay. It is essential to use the same employee evaluation format to perform your own self evaluation long before the scheduled review, and be totally prepared with statistics, specific references to contributions, and research on comparative earnings both inside and outside the company. The internet is very helpful in providing wage and salary data across different geographic regions.

Create your own job performance criteria – If the company’s job description are too generic and do not incorporate measurable job performance requirements, then define this yourself ,and show how you have directly contributed to the major business drivers such as revenue growth, productivity, cost reduction.

Use a scoring method to define value – On a level of 1-10 score yourself on the following key job related factors: Education degree or certificates; advanced courses completed; years of experience; knowledge of work; level of independence in job performance; judgment; creativity; team cooperation; leadership; overall performance; outstanding contribution during the year. Add the score and use it as a negotiating strategy. Be ready to respond to any negative feedback.

Learn how to blow your own horn – Female employees and business women sometimes feel that talking about yourself in a positive and confident manner can appear abrasive and clawing. This can indeed be so, if done with arrogance, and too much bravura. However, when this is performed diplomatically, at an appropriate moment, and supported by statistics, it can be very persuasive. Keeping the tone and body language at an even keel adds impact.

Avoid language that diminishes you in any way – When this is done it downgrades personal value in the eyes of others. Stay away from expressions that contain words such as small, little, insignificant, poor, low etc.. If you have done well in a business venture, don’t bashfully refer to it as my small business, or that you have played a small part in the company’s success.

Price your products and services objectively – There should be very little emotional content in pricing. The focus should be on achieving a profit that is commensurate to the industry in which you are competing. The pricing formula must be based on the data for direct and overhead costs, and gross profit found in the historical financial accounting records. Being competitive is not solely a matter of price, excellent customer service often compensates for a higher price, and women are particularly good at using empathy to that end.

How To Be A Consistent Winner In Business

There are individuals who are more consistently successful in business than others. This does not mean that their record of success is totally unblemished. It does mean that they eventually win because they are able to bounce back from adversity, learn from their mistakes, and ultimately succeed in achieving their goals and objectives.

These may vary from one individual to another. Not everyone measures success on strictly monetary metrics. Becoming a billionaire is not on everyone’s radar. For some, it is a matter of achieving consistent growth in revenues and profits so that they can gain financial freedom. Others encompass the welfare and happiness of their employees in their calculus of success.

No matter what the underlying reasons are, in business there is no escaping the fact that winning relies on building a viable and secure platform, which can withstand the vagaries of time, creative destruction, hyper competition and globalization. Just surviving in this environment is difficult, thriving requires a winner’s mindset. It is worthwhile to pin down the factors that contribute to winning:

Boost your knowledge – Recognize early on what it is that you know about the business and what intelligence you lack to succeed. It requires an honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses and how they may affect the company’s performance. Certain weaknesses can be compensated for by hiring somebody who possesses the missing skills and knowledge. However, people that are hired do not necessarily become permanent cogs in the organization, and may choose to move their services elsewhere. Winners are fully cognizant of their missing links, and make the commitment to reinforce them by registering to online courses, subscribing to continuing education, or seeking experienced mentors. They understand that you cannot fully rely on others to fill the gaps.

Take the long term outlook– To win in anything you start of by building a solid foundation that will endure over the long term. While setting objectives in a five and even ten year time frame, you cannot get there without shoring up the company’s short term needs. It is only through a strong organizational structure, intrepid marketing, optimal productivity, and solid financial controls that the business can succeed over a much longer time horizon. This requires other talented players in the organization to work in close proximity and cooperate in setting goals and objectives.

Leverage through delegation – In any organized endeavor you win or lose as a team. This is as true in sports as it is in a business environment. You require total synchronization, cooperation, and commitment of all players. The coaches can’t succeed on their own, they need to delegate and distribute responsibilities to each member of the team. The key word here is delegation, and successful managers know that they cannot move forward without delegating responsibilities and authority to fulfill the different functions in the organization. They possess the necessary confidence to let go of the “B” list of responsibilities and allocate them to others without fear of losing control. They are also aware of the “A” list consists of and focus most of their energy there.

Turn failures into opportunities – Nobody goes through life without some failures in their personal or business life. The business environment is a risky one, particularly in the initial years. Forty percent of companies fail in the first five years. This can undermine confidence, destroy personal and business connections, and make it difficult to fashion a comeback. But to win, you must possess the drive to get up from the mat and find a way to overcome adversity. A good start in the case of initial business failure is to learn from the mistakes and forge a new, more sustainable plan for the future. In order to win you may have to start by losing.

Get others on board – A winning profile always includes great communication skills that promotes morale and group cohesion. This is evidenced by motivating, coaching, mentoring others to up their game in the performance of their duties. It is an indispensable trait that is either inborn or needs to be developed. The adept communicator of today does it well not only through verbalization but is also highly capable of using the internal and external communication media to their advantage. Effective company e-mails are important, but just as necessary is the ability to use social media to capture and influence a wider audience.

Manage time well – No commodity is more precious than time, yet it is often wasted on dealing with upside down priorities. The winners realize that their time must be focused on the items that are in synch with their stated responsibilities and are intrinsically tied to the achievement of revenue and profit goals. Time is managed through tight scheduling of priorities that include not only company obligations but also personal commitments. One can easily undermine the other. They are constantly aware of what the “A” items are on their schedule and deal with these first.

 

Improve Your Entrepreneurial Skills

Entrepreneurs have certain unique qualities of vision, creativity, and risk taking that are well suited to starting a business venture, but often have no patience with the seemingly monotonous, day-to-day grind of operating a business. The passion and enthusiasm in starting something new dissipates with time, and is replaced with a whole range of concerns that involve seemingly boring financial controls, organizational structures, sales and marketing strategies, and employee problems and issues. This requires a major adjustment, which is not always in line with the entrepreneur’s temperament and desire for ever new challenges.

While they can hire others to fill in the gaps in their experience and knowledge, they should not become totally dependent. The peripatetic movement from one venture to another, without ensuring the survivability of each, quickly stretches financial resources. Turning into an effective manager can be just as exciting as starting a new business. Contributing to the strategies that affect growth in the company’s market share, revenues, and profits can be personally stimulating.

There are certain key behavior patterns that an entrepreneur must master right from the start, which will serve them well in any new undertaking. Some are based on common sense, others require a deeper knowledge of good business practices, which can be acquired online (MOOCs) or in formal educational centers. It is all about constantly improving their business related game, so that every new venture will be built on a stronger foundation. It is useful to play by some well established principles.

Business is not poker You certainly don’t want to go all in on a venture as you would in Texas Holdem. This is particularly dangerous when the gambled stakes do not only belong to you but are shared with other family members or friends. No business is completely safe and certain, as the low survivability rate of small business attests to. The impulse to put everything on the line is never a good approach. Use your entrepreneurial skills to raise money from third parties, so that both successes and failures will be shared. Conveying passion and enthusiasm for a business is usually an intrinsic part of the entrepreneur’s makeup and can be put to good use in raising seed money or expansion funding.

Protect your intellectual property (IP) Many businesses are started with breakthrough technology developed by the founder. The cost of seeking patent protection, and trademarks may be high for a start-up. But then procrastination sets in until it is too late. Unprotected IP is quickly lapped up in today’s global inter- connectivity, and internet hacking. Being first in the market place certainly helps but without protection the competition will quickly copy and adjust their own products to keep you from realizing the fruits of your innovations. Include IP protection as a prime item in the initial financing.

Raise your game Just as in  sports, you tend to raise your game by playing with superior players. They have mastered certain techniques and strategies that you can observe and copy. To find these advanced players, it is beneficial to join business clubs and associations where you can meet celebrity business people. Search for them in the community, or participate in presentations by guest business speakers. This is a proven source of inspiration and new knowledge that can then be applied in your own business. The internet is another repository of useful business articles and blogs presented by experienced and battle-tested writers.

Keep track of your successes Repeating what has proven to be successful in one business context is often transferable to another. It is good practice to review and record in detail why, and how success occurred in a given situation. Breaking this down into a step-by-step process is like building an algorithm, which can then be applied somewhere else. It may be necessary to tweak the formula slightly but it provides a useful head start.

Check in with your customers Never shut yourself off from having some direct contact with your customers. Leaving it exclusively to the sales and marketing people may leave you out of the loop on customer issues and problems. This is one area of the business where barriers to communication should be removed, and where the entrepreneur must always stay informed. Nobody in the organization has the same keen interest in the success of the business, which starts with customer satisfaction.

Question all fixed costs Many of the greatest companies were started in basements and garages by intrepid individuals with ground breaking ideas. But when these ideas take on wings and become marketed, the initial low fixed costs can quickly escalate and eat up profits. Every overhead item must be carefully scrutinized and justified through a cost/benefit evaluation process. This holds true for all businesses. It is particularly important for any new business venture because of its financial fragility. Salaries are one of the biggest cost items.

Performance Based Termination

“You’re Fired” Done Right

Performance Based Termination | How to Fire an Employee for Poor Performance

Unlike the dramatic firing seen on “The Apprentice” most managers find it one of the most difficult tasks that they have to perform. Many do everything to avoid it, or keep procrastinating until it causes severe damage to their company.

There is a wrong and right way to go about this difficult managerial responsibility.

The right way involves objectivity that connects the decision to a due process, which is transparent and egalitarian. This serves to eliminate any personal biases that can be attributed to an emotional cause, and renders the decision unjust to other employees.

It may cause them to fear that the ax may fall on them next without just cause. Team spirit and motivation is affected by impromptu acts that are often based on anger.

Fortunately, precautions can be taken to avoid unfairness in the termination process. Every manager must come to terms with the fact that it is sometimes necessary to remove the rotten apples, so that they don’t affect the rest.

This can be done in a way that causes no guilt and attests to fair treatment of all employees. The best way is to avoid some of the underlying causes that require termination:

 

Performance Based Termination

Path To Visionary Leadership

 

Use a performance based termination – This is achieved by a process that is based on progressive discipline (see this article entitled “Right Kind of Discipline – Progressive Discipline For Employees”. In summary, discipline is meted out systematically and progresses from verbal warnings to more stricter actions.

This should be seen as correcting unproductive behavior that affects the company and coworkers. All verbal warnings should always be recorded in the employees records for future reference and control over repetitive acts.

Good record keeping of poor behavior is the key to the application of the right kind of discipline.

Define performance expectations – The best way to accomplish this is to make them an intrinsic part of job descriptions and duties lists. Functional responsibilities and duties are laid out in writing and serve as the basis for regular employee evaluations and feedback.

These formal evaluations are the cornerstone for employee feedback and opportunity for corrections.

This is not a task to be neglected as too often happens in many small companies. They see the benefits at first but then drop the assessments claiming lack of time or other excuses. Neglect often leads to pressures building up and exploding in angry outbursts, and unnecessary firing.

Provide regular coaching –  None productive behavior can often be attributed to lack of consistent coaching on the part of supervisors. It is the obligation of managers to get the best they can from each employee by helping them to enhance their knowledge and skills in performing their jobs.

When not coached properly frustration sets in and unproductive behavior patterns deteriorate further.

In the long term, it is highly beneficial for supervisors to take the time to coach because it ultimately provides them with peace of mind and increases their own productivity. Every supervisor should allocate time for coaching and make it part of their schedule.

Through the coaching and fostering process the need and associated costs of termination are avoided. After all, there are no guarantees that the replacement for a fired employee will be better if there is no culture of coaching in the company.

 

How to Fire an Employee for Poor Performance
Small Business Scheduling System

 

Set up a corrective action plan – Once the employee is cited for unproductive behavior this must be followed by a plan on how this behavior can be corrected over time. This cannot be left solely to the supervisor’s discretion.

It is essential to get the employee on board, and have them take possession of the remedial process.

Participation in the corrective plan and a commitment  to making it happen by the employee is a prerequisite to success. Any verbal agreements should be recorded and signed by the employee.

A follow up meeting should be scheduled in a specific time frame to evaluate progress.

Check the legality –  Termination should never be a shock to an employee when progressive discipline is properly applied. It should also not be a surprise for others in the organization who have witnessed the care and consideration provided before the final step is taken.

But before the decision is taken to terminate, it is good to review the matter with legal counsel to ensure that all government labor laws are applied, and that the severance package meets the norms.

When the act of termination is preceded by accurate documentation over time most labor arbitrators will side with the employer. Accusations of discriminatory action can be avoided by carefully maintained records.

Don’t mince words –  Disguising the word termination with softer terms, such as lay off, leaves the employee with a false sense of hope. This can lead to delays in searching and finding new employment.

It can also cause  employee disgruntlement, which may lead to falsehoods of unfairness being aired out on social media.

Be Considerate –  Try and avoid the Friday PM firing, and give the employee a chance to leave with some dignity. Offering access to counseling to help them find a position in another company is now commonly practiced.

It is appreciated by those who are forced to leave and those that are left behind. Empathy is not expensive, and reflects well on the company.

How to start a sales call

Setting Up The Sales Visit

How To Start A Sales Call | The Successful Sales Call Blueprint

Using the phone to get through the receptionists and assistants to the decision maker to set up a sales visit, or even to direct them to your website can be a daunting task. These gatekeepers are instructed to limit access to busy managers that shun unsolicited inquiries.

There is no formula that guarantees success on every such call, but it helps to develop scripted messaging guidelines that overcome the standard resistances. Use the following script template to improve sales penetration by phone:

Good (Morning/Afternoon) my name is (your name) and I’m from (your Company name). Ask for the contact person who should be the Buyer, or if you don’t have a name say: I’d like to speak to the person who purchases “X,Y” products/services , or advertising if it is for a website.

If the receptionist is hesitant or asks what this is in regard to, say:

We supply X,Y products or services to major customers. I’m sure if you tell 
(contact name) that I’m on the phone he’d/she’d be interested in talking to me.

Or

> We have the most comprehensive products/services or website and we’d like to do business with your company. I’m sure if you tell  
(contact name) that I’m on the phone he’d/she’d be interested in talking to me.

If they absolutely will not let you through get the name and title of the contact person – verify the address, e-mail, name of the company, and say that you will send out some of your literature by post or e-mail attachment.
Then enter this information in the prospects database for this territory. Send out an e-mail, a letter, or brochure and indicate when it has been sent. After sending it call again after two weeks – ask for the contact by name and say that you are following up on a package or e-mail that you sent to their attention.

When you get the contact say that you are verifying that they received your package or e-mail, and then continue with the script.

When you get the contact person on the line:

Good (Morning/Afternoon) my name is (your name) and I’m from ______. We’re low cost, high quality suppliers of X,Y products/services. We pride ourselves in being an American (or other country) based supplier capable of competing against offshore companies.

Or

> We’ve been recently chosen as the most comprehensive website in our industry. We reach a broad demographic range, and are currently offering our products/services to selected customers at low introductory pricing.

I’m calling you because we have been very successful with some of your competitors (if they ask who, say that you wish to maintain client confidentiality but perhaps the Sales Manager could give them some names) in reducing their costs and turn around time on products/services. Our guaranteed on-time delivery means that you can tie up less of your money in inventory and have greater peace of mind.

Or

> We strongly believe that your advertising message would be a good fit with our targeted website audience.

Or

> Do you use X,Y products and services? We know we can be competitive and provide exceptional quality, service, and value – how does that sound to you?

Or

> Have you advertised on related sites? We feel that our site is unique

If there is interest, state – What I’d like to do is have our Sales Rep or Manager stop by to see you while they are in the area. Arrange the times and dates – do not ask what day is good – always direct the conversation.

Or > We invite you to browse through our website. We are certain that you will see why all the attention we are getting is merited. Our Sales Manager will call you back in three days to see what you thought and
discuss possible participation.

If they refuse to pick a day or view the website ask why.

NOT ENOUGH TIME – We’ll schedule the appointment for your convenience and I’ll make a note for the Sales Manager to take no more than 15 minutes of your time – surely you have 15 minutes to see the benefits that working with our Company will bring to your organization.

 

Sales Meeting Opening Speech | How To Start A Sales Call Over The Phone

How to start a sales call

Marketing Strategy For Small Business

 

NOT INTERESTED – HAPPY WITH EXISTING VENDOR, OR, ALREADY ADVERTISING ON OTHER SITES – Well it can’t hurt to have a good backup – particularly one who has a very experienced customer service department, who can deliver products/services quickly, and/or that carries a large inventory.

You won’t have to scramble at the last minute with us – why don’t you take 15 minutes to see our representative so that you can fully discuss how we can improve on fulfilling your needs at every level.

Or

> I understand that you are already advertising on other websites,but a visit to our site will convince you that you will be getting exposure on a unique site with a powerful search engine ranking that people will associate with your own products and services.

If you can’t get an appointment or get them to view the website, verify their name, company name, address, and say that you’ll post or e-mail them a promotional package for their review. Then give the information to the Sales Manager.

Follow up after an appropriate time interval and add a few new wrinkles to the scripted message, from information you may have gleaned on the last call.

If they pick a day for the appointment say is morning or afternoon better for you? When they give you a choice say I have an opening for (say a time) how would that be? Once you have a firm appointment say I’ll call you on (the last business day before the appointment) and verify . Thank them.

Give all information to the Sales Manager including the customers assumed attitude and any personal information you may have picked up.

 

 

Business Management Skills Blog |

Visionary Leadership Examples

Path To Visionary Leadership – Setting Meaningful Goals

Visionary Leadership Examples | Visionary Leadership Style

Welcome back to our part two (2) in this two part article series on the Path to Visionary Leadership – today we will conclude with the part two (2) . You can go back here to read our part one (1) on Visionary Leadership And Strategic Management.

Expanding  paradigms and setting meaningful goals

Many people live in their own limited mental cages and are often caught in the prison of their negative habits and attitudes.  They have either locked themselves in or have allowed their friends, families, or associates to do it for them.
The barriers of fear, embarrassment, tradition, social pressure, bad habits, playing it safe, keeps them in this cage.

The tragedy of this type of cage is that it is portable. You take it wherever you go.

You can change jobs, relocate, or get promoted, and still be trapped in your own cage. You are locked in, until you examine each of the barriers one by one and remove them.

A good place to start is to make a list of skills and abilities that you would like to have as an individual and business manager, or goals that you would like to accomplish, but which are now outside your beliefs. In making the list examine if you have allowed negative thoughts to limit your vision.  Define the paradigms that hold you back from accomplishing the things that you listed.

Look at the company that you manage and force yourself to expand its success horizons. Envision what you and others in your company need to do to achieve unprecedented success  and become a market leader.

Visionary leaders break the paradigm barriers and overreach in their objectives and goals. They forcefully motivate others to see their vision and follow through on what it takes to get there.

 

Visionary Leadership Examples
Small Business Scheduling System

 

There are three steps that you can take to analyze the mental barriers that prevent you  you from shedding old paradigms. This process, when regularly repeated, will assist you to free yourself of the  limitations that old paradigms impose and become a visionary leader.

Reflect on past successes

List several historical successes that you have achieved in your business and as an individual. Realize that at first they may have seemed beyond your comfort zone, but now cause you to feel better about yourself when you think about them. Then, list the inner  strengths that you developed as a result of these successes.
In your visionary thinking, build on these strengths and make other people in the organization see them.

Use creative possibility thinking

When you focus on possibility you place the accent on positive outcomes. Paradigm shifts are based on reaching for possibilities beyond what is seen as the current norm. Look for answers in new sources of information. The Internet is rich in expanding your horizons.
See what the industry leaders are doing and where they are going. Establish relationships and networks beyond the walls of your company that can stimulate progressive ideas.

Turn your obstacles into opportunities. The visionary leaders  differ only in how they think and act. The ordinary manager sees barriers, not opportunities, while the visionary one  sees opportunities in the obstacles. This by no means excludes the practice of good fundamental principles in business management, but it adds that necessary dimension that will help you to achieve the extraordinary.

Associate with visionary leaders

Associating with successful leaders in business is a good way to influence your own range of possibilities. Let them inspire you to reach beyond the security blanket that have kept you back from achieving new levels of performance.

It will stimulate you to organically gravitate to their level. By associating with winners, you give yourself a better chance to become a winner yourself. Follow the individuals that are moving beyond the established norms and making things happen in their industry.

Find a way to befriend them, either from your present circle of business acquaintances, or by joining clubs and associations that cater to them.

 

Visionary Leadership Style

Personality Types In Business

Summary

Whatever your current mental paradigms or belief systems are, recognize that they control your actions, feelings, behavior, and abilities. If your company is going to reach new levels of success, you, as the visionary leader, must firmly start to believe that it is possible.

Remove the negative attitudes that restrict your company from achieving more visionary goals and objectives. Help your key managers to break out of their own mental cages by showing them the way through your own transformational thinking and follow up actions.

Step over that invisible line that holds you and them back.

Visionary Leadership And Strategic Management

Path To Visionary Leadership

 

Path To Visionary Leadership | Visionary Leadership And Strategic Management

PATH TO VISIONARY LEADERSHIP

Hello and welcome to the first in our two (2) part article series on the PATH TO VISIONARY LEADERSHIP. Without any further ado lets get started.

The questions that managers often ask themselves is: “What does it take to make the leap from being an efficient manger to one that can formulate a long term vision for the company”?

They may possess good people handling skills such as coaching and mentoring, have solid credentials for planning, controlling and implementing strategic plans, yet they realize that something is missing.

Vision is much more than just having good management skills and an MBA education. Managers without vision can successfully run an organization,  but they will find it difficult to take the company to the next level, or  have their company achieve market leadership in their industry.

Recognized visionaries, such as Steve Jobs, have an inbuilt, psychological facility for going where no one else has  gone. They are able to do that because they dare step over the imaginary line that stops others from making that quantum leap into a new direction.

 

Path To Visionary Leadership | Visionary Leadership And Strategic Management

Business Management Tools for Entrepreneurs

 

Most managers never take the courageous step over that line, which crosses over the mental barriers of historical precedents, tradition, established ideas, and perceived market limitations.

In order to break that limiting mind set, fear and failure thinking must be replaced by success thinking

 

How to Fire an Employee for Poor Performance

As a designated leader of an organization you must arrive at the realization that you can drive it further, expand products and services, and target exciting new markets. You must see that there must be a more successful way to operate the business.

It is then that you take the step and become more conscious of things that prevent you from being more successful.

Stepping bravely across those mental barriers is the path to visionary leadership. By unblocking those mental constraints that focus on fear of failure you can become more confident in your ability, more self-assured, and more successful.

There are certain fundamental principles that apply in making the transition to a more visionary leader. One of the key factors is making a paradigm shift.

This is a process of casting old beliefs behind and using your inherent creative process to break new ground. Not everyone will become as successful as Steve Jobs, but making a paradigm shift is within everyone’s capability.

Shedding the old paradigms

 You know that you are physically different today than you were a year ago. You have only to look at a photograph or old video to recognize those  changes.

But even more important are the changes in your behavior and thinking process.  Some self reflection will allow you to rapidly assess that you currently think and act somewhat differently today than in the past.

The question to ask is whether that thinking has breached the old paradigms and allowed you to achieve greater success individually and for your company. Thoughts,attitudes, and actions should change with the paradigm shift.

Every time a new discovery is made, paradigms change. What we view as possibilities also changes because of the new discovery. Understanding the power of our mental paradigms can be a life-changing, dynamic concept that opens up new vistas of personal and organizational success.

Running the hundred meter dash under ten seconds was at one time thought to be impossible, but Carl Lewis proved that paradigm wrong.Within a few months of that new record others were able to break the ten second barrier with ease.  The result was that a new level of performance became accepted as possible.

Business Consultancy Services

This concept impacts all areas of our life. When our belief system changes, our attitudes also change.
Paradigms not only influences our thinking, they actually control it. All of us view the world through strong beliefs and perceptions.
These perceptions explain to us just how our own individual worlds should function. Copernicus, Newton, Einstein, Edison broke away from the established thinking of their day that pervaded the field of science. Gates, Jobs, Musk did the same in business.You may never reach the stature of the these exceptional innovators, but shedding the old paradigms will at least broaden your horizons.

When basic assumptions were finally challenged by visionary individuals, others followed suit in expanding their present frame of reference.

History repeats this principle of paradigms over and over. It explains our successes as well as our failures. We limit or expand ourselves according to the way we think. Believe that you can and you will; believe you can’t and you won’t.

Your mental paradigm  powerfully controls your actions, feelings, behavior, and abilities. Your performance will not exceed the limits you unconsciously place on yourself.

 

Path To Visionary Leadership | Visionary Leadership And Strategic Management

Visionary Leadership And Strategic Management

Effective Communication Strategies

 

Putting pressure on yourself to go beyond your set mental paradigm causes stress, discomfort and disorientation. But those are good stresses to have. The old adage to think outside the box is inevitably controlled by your existing beliefs.

There is a positive aspect of our mental paradigms, though. Paradigms are useful to us. They help us to establish balance and stability in our lives.

They contribute to our feelings of comfort and security. When these paradigms are challenged we sometimes  become disoriented.

When our paradigms are threatened, or when we receive information that conflicts with our well-established beliefs, we usually react in these three ways:
 

  1. We completely shut out the information if it conflicts with our established paradigm.
  1. We aggressively attempt to attack its credibility.
  1. If somehow the evident truth of the new information forces a paradigm shift then we go through some discomfort, stress, and dissonance.

This feeling of discomfort opens the door to visionary leadership. Fear of the unknown or of reaching beyond our mental paradigms can at first be paralyzing.

However, we must push through our natural discomfort zone and look outside our current beliefs to expand the possibilities. It is then that we visualize and think creatively.

Join us next in part two (2) of this two (2) part article series as we discuss more on the PATH TO VISIONARY LEADERSHIP    (Coming Soon )

Business Personality Types Test

Business Personality Types Test | Personality Types In Business

BUSINESS PERSONALITY STYLES

In a business environment it is very helpful if you can define the personality traits of the persons in the organizational hierarchy. This leads to a better knowledge of the persons’ strengths and weaknesses, and an awareness of how you can better place yourself in a position where you can gain recognition and promotion.
There are four types of basic personalities, and they each have their specific characteristics. Sometimes an individual can possess traits that may fall into more than one single category.

Nevertheless, you will be able to gauge this through observation, and then using the analysis table provided you can arrive at your own conclusions.

You can also perform a self analysis in this way.

You don’t have to be a trained psychologist to recognize and categorize the basic personalities and their behavioral patterns. The following breakdown will be helpful:

Personality Type 1: The Socializer

This is a person who tends to empathize with others, and is usually seen as being very people oriented. He/she is sometimes overly friendly and considered as outgoing or extrovert. In his decision making concerning company issues dealing with staff there is strong tendency to make popular decisions that will please them.

 

Business Personality Types Test | Personality Types In Business

Personality Types In Business

The Five Key Factors In Communications

 

This may not always be in the best interest of the company. Their conversations and discussions tend to have a strong focus on people. Sometimes the observations about employees may become quite personal. They often have a need to possess personal information about their employees that includes their home and social life.
This can be seen as prying into affairs that are not of direct concern to them from a company perspective. Their style of dealing with people is usually enthusiastic and animated.

There may also be a strong tendency to dress stylishly. You can also expect a touch and feel tendency that often results in friendly back slaps and hugs.

As an employee of an individual with this personality it is good practice to reciprocate the empathy and develop a more easy going and friendly relationship, without overstepping the physical and social boundaries.
By making yourself likeable and enthusiastically ready to please, you will draw attention and recognition. Be somewhat receptive, but draw the line on private matters that go too far.
This type needs both internal and external recognition and is more task than results oriented so play up to those needs. Give them a hug or pat on the back when they achieve some worthwhile goal.

Personality Type 2: The Dominator

This is a type who commands, gives orders, and does not easily accept input from others. They usually go about their work, and get mixed up in the work of others in a restless and impatient manner.
They want results and see explanations for not getting them as mere excuses, not worthy of rational consideration. Decision making is usually quick but sometimes not very well thought out.

Goals and objectives are something that they constantly focus on, and sometimes tend to put undue pressure on their subordinates to achieve them. The environment they foster is one that is quick paced, which can inflict much stress on their co-workers.

Their attire is usually formal or distinct from others to make them stand out in some way.
This is a difficult personality to deal with because they are not readily approachable and don’t like being challenged by their subordinates.

The approach with this type should never be confrontational. Like The Socializer, they like recognition but they are almost exclusively results oriented. To gain their confidence concentrate on consistently meeting goals and objectives on time and on budget, and ascertaining that this is recognized.

When making suggestions try and make it seem that the idea originated from them.

If the pressure is too high at times find a way to relieve this by establishing calmness within yourself. Remove yourself briefly from the source of heat.

These types may have some traits that correspond to the three other categories, use the assessment table below to understand and use this to your advantage.

Personality Type 3: The Accomodator

This is another type that tends to be tasks oriented, but more prone to personal and corporate security instead of recognition. This is a personality that will not take too many risks, and will move to a safe position in his dealings within and outside the company.

There is a greater accent on the process and not just on results. They believe that if the process is well developed the results will follow. They will seek to break down how things function.
This is a steady going personality that will not show extremes of emotions but choose a balanced approach.

There is a certain amount of reserve and reticence when dealing with others. Don’t expect quick decisions here.

They are usually slow and meticulous about making the proper choice. Conformity to acceptable norms from a social and personal perspective can be observed by their personal dress code and objects which surround them.

If you want to get ahead as an employee with the Accomodator than try and mirror their need for process, and become useful in helping them break down the steps, through flow charts and similar tools.

When proposing ideas be patient and wait longer than you may think necessary to get back to them for a decision. You may be asked to provide more information and analysis before they makes up their mind.

If you tend to be extrovert, rein this in when dealing on any issues and take a cool and collected path. Restrain yourself in what you wear by staying away from overly showy or too colorful dress choices.

Personality Type 4: The Controller

Statistics, data, facts are the focus with these types. No decision is made without an in- depth analysis of the available data. This is usually a cool and somewhat distant personality who uses others only as needed. Gaining spontaneous access to them is difficult unless you have some key data to present on an urgent basis.

They often can be heard discussing order and organizational structures. Hierarchy within the organization, and clear paths of communication and responsibilities are important to them. In meetings with employees and outsiders they are controlled and thoughtful.

They will be conservative in their personal, social and political attitudes.

Thoroughly check out any data that you present to them so that you can gain their trust on one of their most important traits. Never formally meet them without doing your homework and getting your facts straight. Barging in on them when they are busy is a definite no.


TABLE OF PERSONALITY STYLES

Person’s Name:__________________________________________________

Quickly select the description that best fits the above named person.
Please select only one description for each trait.

 

Business Personality Types

The Five Key Factors In Communications

The Five Key Factors In Communications

Factors of Effective Communication | The Five Key Factors In Communications

Welcome back to the final part in our two (2) part article series on  Effective Communication Strategies – today we will continue with part two (2) . You can go back to part one (1) here.

The five key factors in communications:

1. Presenting – When we make a presentation we employ words, ideas and inner thoughts. In choosing the words we use it is important to know the composition of the audience. We need to use words and express ideas in a way that will be comprehensible to that particular individual or group. A presentation to a bank manager or sophisticated client will demand different words and phrasing then if you are speaking to a worker in the production department. You do not make yourself important by speaking over the level of comprehensibility of the audience. It will not lead to the objective of creating understanding.

Factor That Affect Effective Communication | Factors Affecting Communication Skills

Factors of Effective Communication

 Effective Communication Strategies

When expressing ideas and inner thoughts it is essential to make them open ended, leaving room for questioning or imposition of other ideas. It makes the audience feel that they are included in the communication process. This invites feedback from the listener, and offers a smoother path to agreement. Expressing your inner thoughts on the subject matter acts to personalize the presentation more and link the listener closer to you. They will feel that you are letting them in on something that is really important to you. In general, by staying away from a strictly factual presentation and taking it to a more subjective level will significantly raise the impact of the presentation.

2. Listening – As a presenter you must pay attention to the signs that indicate whether your listener(s) are engaged, and placing themselves in the right frame of mind to comprehend the message. A key gauge of this link with the listener is steady eye-contact. This tell-tale, outward sign is a ready indicator of attention. If you are not getting this, then you must find a way to prod the listener. You can simply ask,”Please look at me when I speak”. You can also encourage the expression of the two other key factors in effective communications: questioning and paraphrasing.

3. Questioning – Promoting questioning by the listener at an appropriate (none disruptive) time is a great way of winning over your listener. There are four types of questions and it is important to recognize the differences in each. Questions may be seeking further clarity, probing, expansionary or challenging.

In the first case the listener has not understood the message and is simply asking for more clarification; the probing question prompts a deeper explanation of the facts or ideas; in the expansionary question the listener logically stretches a specific part of the presentation to include items that the presenter may have omitted; challenging questions may force the speaker to evaluate the facts and correct some statements after listening to a different viewpoint from the listener.
It is not that important what type of questioning is used. All are indicative of attention and linkage. By recognizing the different possibilities, the presenter is placed in a better position to provide answers and not be caught up in some kind of ego enhancing game. The presenter should be well prepared to answer any type of question and welcome this as a sign of effective communication.

 

Factor That Affect Effective Communication | Factors Affecting Communication Skills

The Five Key Factors In Communications

Small Business Management System

 

4. Paraphrasing – Another effective way to determine that the message is getting through is to ask the listener to paraphrase the ideas, thoughts and concepts of the presenter.

Paraphrasing is a process of rewording and giving meaning to what was stated in another form. The listener is essentially asked to repeat in his/her own words what was heard.

This is a good way to check in on the listener to make sure that he is following the conversation properly, and has grasped its meaning. It is a particularly useful technique when the presentation is long or complex

5. Reaching Agreement – The purpose of most communications in a company setting is to improve behavior that leads to better productivity on a personal, technical, or organizational level.

Even if it a simple pat on the back for a job well done, we are reinforcing good behavior and promoting its recurrence. All communications have to lead to agreement that a thorough understanding of the message has been reached, and that there is a commitment for improvement.

The presenter has to directly ask for this agreement and get a positive response. Checking in through questioning and paraphrasing should facilitate this last step.

It is worthwhile to have a check list that serves as a guide for effective communications. Going through the items and carefully thinking about the items on the list provides an excellent reference for all future communications and helps the management team to make constant improvements in their attitude and techniques.

Please refer to the sample checklist below.

 

Communication Checklist

Subject matter of communication:______________________________________________________

Presenter: ______________________ Verifier:___________________

I. Presentation:
1. Was the purpose clarified and agreed upon? Yes ( ) No ( )
2. Was the proper climate set? Yes ( ) No ( )
3. Was the presentation well organized? Yes ( ) No ( )
4. Did the presentation get past the surface and include some expansionary thoughts and feelings? Yes ( ) No ( )

II. Questioning:
1. Did questions secure helpful answers? Yes ( ) No ( )
2. Were there creative responses to the questions? Yes ( ) No ( )
3. Were there expansionary or challenging questions? Yes ( ) No ( )

III. Discussion:
Give some examples of:
Logical Thinking: ____________________________________________
Creative Thinking: ___________________________________________
Visionary Thinking: ___________________________________________
Positive Thinking: ____________________________________________

IV. Paraphrasing (Listener Repeats what was said in own words):
1. Was paraphrasing used effectively? Yes ( ) No ( )
2. Explain some of the ways paraphrasing was used.
______________________________________________
____________________________________________________

This checklist can also be used as a self check without third party verification. Used is this way, it serves as a self improvement vehicle. Avoid all personal bias, prejudice or discrimination to obtain an objective feedback.

 

 

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