Throw Out Your Business Plan and Pivot

If this current pandemic has taught us anything at all, it’s that putting together a 3 to 5 year business plan is a total waste of time, energy and money. If this current pandemic has taught us anything at all, it is that our crystal ball is a little murky and it’s impossible to predict the future. Burying your head in the sand and waiting for it to be over is not the answer. What this current pandemic has taught us is that those who learn to pivot have a better chance of having a future.

Worth Remembering … “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Abraham Lincoln

Restaurants expanded their patio to provide outdoor dining and encouraged customers to order online for curbside pickup or have it delivered to their door. They reduced their indoor dining area to create a safer environment for their customers and their staff.

Manufacturing companies retooled to produce and sell personal protective equipment. Distilleries used their expertise in making spirits to make sanitizer. Clothing manufactures switched over to making masks and garments.

Small businesses have had to change their flow patterns to help their customers social distance and they put up plexiglass barriers to protect their staff. Administrative and sales people started working from home and connecting online.

Worth Remembering … “A pivot is a change in strategy without a change in vision.” – Eric Ries

What this current pandemic has taught us is that the future, although not ideal, can be brighter if we learn to look for the possibilities. A basketball player learns to pivot, not to give up on their chance of scoring a basket, but to change direction and give themselves a clearer path to reach their goal. Conditions have changed. Throw out your business plan and pivot.

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

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

Sometimes Good Enough is Good Enough

Sorry if I am the one to burst your bubble but nobody is perfect. Not even you. You do not need to handicap yourself by carrying around that kind of burden. Aim for the bull’s-eye? Absolutely. Strive for perfection? Yes – always – but understand that sometimes you cannot attain the unattainable. Sometimes you are going to fall short and miss the target. Do not beat yourself up over it. You can take pride in the fact that you did your very best. That you gave it your all. And if you truly gave it your all, then you have no more to give. You can only give 100%. Learn to accept that what is is, short comings and all. Eliminate the stressors in your life, chances are you will live longer.

Worth Remembering … “An environment that calls for perfection is not likely to be easy. But aiming for it is always good progress.” – Thomas Watson Jr.

According to most psychologists’ people move in the direction that is opposite to the direction they want to avoid. In other words, perfectionists strive for perfection because they do not feel that they are perfect. Because they somehow feel inferior to other people in certain situations and try to overcome their perceived short comings. In the long run, striving for perfection can destroy your self-confidence. In most cases perfection is highly overrated.

Worth Remembering … “Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” Vince Lombardi

Paralysis by analysis. Over thinking can be a deal breaker. There is no such thing as the perfect plan. You cannot think of everything that could or would go wrong. If you wait for perfect before executing your plan, when early action would have been preferable, you stand the chance of missing your opportunity for success. In most cases perfection is highly over rated. Sometimes good enough is good enough.

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

Clearing Out The Deadwood

Jack Welch knew how to win. During his illustrious career at General Electric, he spearheaded GE’s rise to a multi-billion dollar a year powerhouse. His “Be-the-Best” style of management became the gold standard in business. If you haven’t read his book “Jack Welch – Winning” be sure to add it to your list of must-reads. I promise you won’t be disappointed. His book offers deep insights, original thinking and solutions to problems all managers and business leaders need to come to terms with in today’s ever-changing, ultra-competitive environment.

Worth Remembering …  “Don’t manage – lead” – Jack Welch

What are you doing to clear out your deadwood? For whatever reason, we all have or have had deadwood problems that we’ve ignored. Those are the people in your organization who aren’t pulling their weight. They’re not bad – but they aren’t great performers either. They are just so-so. Jack had a 70-20-10 rule when it came to his employees. Every year, as part of their annual review, managers were asked to identify the 70% of their staff that they wanted to keep – the 20% they were going to promote up and out of their department and the bottom 10% that they were going to let go.

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

Letting the bottom 10% go – the deadwood – is not necessarily a bad thing. You may be doing them a favour. You’ve given them the opportunity to sit back, think about what they would really like to do, and you’ve given them the time to put a plan together to get there. You’ve helped motivate them to make a change or you’ve motivated them to do whatever they need to do to get into that 70% bracket. Either way – your department or organization is better for it. Promoting from within is never a bad thing. If you don’t – you are taking a chance that you won’t lose your top 20% to your competition.  Are you looking to try something different this year? Try Jack’s annual 70, 20, 10 rule and clear out your deadwood.

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 via email – brian@briansmithpld.com