How to Create a Competitive Advantage

The only competitive advantage you have is the level of customer service you provide, and if you aren’t delivering exceptional customer service then you put yourself and your organization at a distinct disadvantage. Chances are you won’t be in business very long. Think of your own experiences. When was the last time you had exceptional customer service? I mean eye-popping, wow service. How did that make you feel? When was the last time you had terrible, so-so service? The kind of service that made you decide never to do business with that company again. 

Worth Remembering … “There are no traffic jams along the extra mile.” – Zig Ziglar 

What is it going to take for you and your organization to be exceptional? The 4-P’s – Price, Product, Promotion and Place are no longer relevant. The internet and social media have created a level playing field. Now no business is too big to fail. We can name a number of companies like Sears who thought they were. Going far beyond the call of duty, exceeding your client’s expectation; that is what exceptional service is all about.

Worth Remembering … “If you want to succeed at any job, make yourself invaluable. Go the extra mile; make them never to be able to imagine doing business with anyone else but you.” – Ross Mathews

Every time you do business with your clients is a test. Make sure everyone on your team is up for the challenge. Every time your clients do business with you, they are comparing you against your competitors. If you are going to be exceptional then you have to be better than your competition. You have to remain one step ahead. Never compete on price, someone is always willing to sell for less. Find out what your clients value the most and deliver on that every time you do business with them. That’s how you create a competitive advantage.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com or contact him directly at – brian@briansmithpld.com

Are You Using Your Personal Time Wisely?

We all have 168 hours in the course of a week. How are you spending your 168? Forget about a balanced life style. There isn’t one. You need to learn to manage your personal time more effectively. Grab a pen and paper and try this little exercise. Take a moment and think about the top 3 things that are most important to you. They can be family, friends, career, etc. Now write those 3 things down on that piece of paper.

Worth Remembering … “Time management is really a misnomer. The challenge we face is not to manage time, but to manage ourselves.” – Stephen Covey

How much time are you spending on the top 3 things that you put on your list? Did you put yourself at the top of that list? We seldom do. You have limited time and energy after you subtract the time you spend at work, sleeping, meals, personal hygiene and other commitments? Make sure you’re spending what time you have left on those 3 things that are most important to you.

Worth Remembering … “It is not enough to be busy. The question is what are you busy about?” – Henry David Thoreau

Time in is not a renewable resource. If you want to avoid the time crunch make sure you are scheduling some of your personal time each week on what you value the most. Time management is life management. How we manage our time is how we manage our life. Most people on their death bed regret not spending enough time on what brought them joy and contentment. Are you using your personal time wisely?

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what you can do for you or your organization visit https://briansmithpld.com

Three Must-Have Leadership Skills

If you do a Google search for the top ten traits of great leaders more than likely you will find having the ability to make quality decisions, able to pass work on to others and being exceptional communicators on that list. Managing and leading others is a learned behavior. For my money, if I had to pick my top three must-have leadership skills they would be communication, decision making and delegation. Of those three, which one do you need to get better at?

Worth Remembering … “Before you become a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” – Jack Welch

Communicator: If the essence of communication is to send the message and have it received the way it was intended, then you must keep in mind that you are not the most important person in the conversation. If you can’t communicate in a style that others will understand, then what ever you say will mean absolutely nothing. You must be able to communicate your vision in such a way that others will want to go there.

Decision Maker: Autocratic vs. Democratic. Inclusion not exclusion is the only way to truly get buy-in. Success is a team effort. If they’re not buying what you are selling you are going to look pretty silly trying to do everything by yourself. If you want to get the buy-in you must allow others to be part of the process. It must be Our plan – not just Your plan.

Delegator: Great leaders give up control to get control. If you are not delegating some of your responsibilities to others on your team then you are robbing them of their opportunity to grow. Great leaders develop more leaders not more followers. Great leaders don’t spend their precious time doing tasks that others are more than capable of doing.

Worth Remembering … “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com or email: brian@briansmithpld.com

Learn to Delegate or You Will Die a Slow Death

You’ve got to give up control to get control. Great leaders understand that they can’t do it alone. Great leaders understand that they need to teach others what they need to know and then get out of their way and let them do it. Great leaders understand that if they don’t delegate some of their responsibilities to others, they are robbing them of their opportunity to grow. Learn to delegate or you will end up with a group of people who can’t do anything on their own.

Worth Remembering … “Never learn to do anything. If you don’t learn, you’ll always find someone else to do it for you.” – Mark Twain

Eight Effective Delegation Steps

1 – Decide what you want to delegate: You need to be very clear on what task you are going to delegate and make sure you give them all the tools they will need to complete it.

2 – Decide who you are going to delegate to: Who is capable, and more importantly, who is willing to take on more responsibility?

3 – Create a teachable moment: Demonstrate the task – have them perform that task while you observe them – and once you think they can perform the task satisfactorily – have them do it one more time for good measure.

4 – Ask questions so you know learning has taken place: You need to ask some good open and closed questions to make sure they know what needs to be done.

5 – Monitor their performance: Make sure you follow up with the person shortly after leaving them on their own for the first time. People do what you inspect not what you expect. Follow up – follow up – follow up.

6 – Keep the lines of communication open: Let them know that you are there to support them in any way you can. If they have questions , concerns or issues that need to be addressed let them know that your door is always open.

7 – Hold the person accountable for the results: Standards, like quality, are not open for debate. Hold them accountable for the results, but give them some latitude on how they do it. Resist the urge to micro-manage.

8 – Be a cheer leader: Praise performance. Be quick to acknowledge what they have accomplished.

Worth Remembering … “If you are having as much fun running a big corporation as you did running a piece of it, then you are probably interfering too much with the people who really make it happen.” – James Burke

Whenever you pick up a piece of paper or go to take on a task, I want you to ask yourself, “Is there anyone else who should be doing this besides me?” If the answer is yes – learn to delegate or you will die a slow death.

Copyright (c) 2020. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization please visit: https://briansmithpld.com or contact him directly – brian@briansmithpld.com