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

Entrepreneurship – Look Before You Leap 23

Have you alentrepreneurship[1].jpgways dreamed of being the one that makes all the decisions – the one that calls all the shots? Are you tired of working for someone else? Before you take the plunge and jump into the deep end of the pool have you done the market research – put a business plan together – and really thought it through? Have you thought about the impact it will have on your family and your personal life?

Before you quit your job and strike out on your own you might be interested in my answers to a series of questions I was asked by a former business student of mine. I hope my answers provide you with some valuable insight into what it takes to be successful.

What made you decide to get into business for yourself? Timing – it really boiled down to timing. I knew I wanted to make a career change. I was beginning to feel stuck and unfulfilled. For me – it’s never been about how much money I made. Now don’t get me wrong – money is important – but if it’s your only reason for getting into business for yourself – then you’re going to be disappointed – especially in your first few years. Make sure you have enough money saved up to pay your bills, put food on the table and keep a roof over your head for at least a year.

What are some of the challenges you faced in starting your own small business? I faced – and continue to face some of the same challenges everyone entrepreneur faces. Self-employed persons don’t have the luxury of a steady pay-cheque coming in. That puts a great deal of strain on your personal and family life. Everyone must give up something to get something. You need to decide what you and your family are willing to give up so that you can live your dream. Everybody needs to be on board. You need to be committed to doing whatever you need to do to be successful. If you and or your family aren’t willing to pay that price – then it’s best you stay where you are.

Any lessons learned that you can pass on to anyone wanting to start their own business? You need to be really passionate about what you are doing. You need to be prepared to work 80 hours a week for very little money. Have a budget and stick to it. Don’t spend money you haven’t generated yet. Find your niche Become an expert in something not a generalist in everything. What do you know or what product are you selling that someone else will pay you money to learn or have?

Food for thought: The two major reasons businesses fail are (1) Lack of management skills – and (2) Lack of financing. Most businesses fail within the first three years of start-up. (When I say most I mean over 90% fail) We have a tendency to overestimate revenue so divide your sales projections by half and run it by those numbers. You need to live and die by the numbers. Make business decisions – keep your emotions out of it. Always think worst-case scenario. That will help keep you grounded.

If I haven’t talked you out of getting into business for yourself after reading this article – then maybe – just maybe you have what it takes. Maybe you’ll make it to year five. I’ve been self-employed since 1998 and I’m still having fun. I wish you all the best.

Copyright (c) 2019. Brian Smith. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you visit: https://briansmithpld.com

If They Could See Me Now

Choices 2Who Knew? Who knew that a high school drop out would become an award-winning entrepreneur, college professor, published author and a successful motivational speaker.   Certainly, not me – and likely not most of my friends and family. I was never a very good student. I was the class clown, always going for the laugh. I went to school to play sports, and when they took that away from me because my grades weren’t good enough – I quit – and got a job working retail. It was the sixties, life was easy. I was ok with hanging out in the slow lane, in no particular rush to get anywhere in a hurry. If you asked me back then what I wanted to do with my life I would have told you I wanted to be a musician or truck driver. I still think being a truck driver would be pretty cool.
#WorthRemembering … Your past doesn’t have to dictate your future if you change the here and now
If you aren’t happy with where you are – doing what you are doing – you have the power within you to change it. I truly believe that. For the most part, I am just like you. I don’t have super powers – I don’t have a magic wand to wave. I’m not any smarter than most. The only difference that might set me apart from you, is my desire to succeed at whatever the cost. I’m prepared to do whatever I need to do – to accomplish the goal. I believe that if it is worth doing – it is worth doing to excess. I think I inherited that gene from my Dad. He never did anything half-way.  He never let the lack of a formal education get in the way of achieving what he set out to do.
#WorthRemembering … Think it, Act it, Become it. When you change the habit you’ll change the result
What things are you doing right now that are getting in the way of you doing what you’d rather be doing? What do you need to start doing to get to where you want to be? What are you willing to give up to accomplish what you want to accomplish? If what you’re doing isn’t working for you – then you need to make changes. Wishing and hoping won’t make it so. As Pete Drucker would say “Miracles are great, but they are so hard to come by.” Change is never easy.  Stepping outside your comfort zone is taking a leap of faith. Most people would rather back into the future. Most people aren’t comfortable flying without a net. If you are happy where you are – stay there. If not – it’s time for you to get busy. I guarantee you – you’ll amaze yourself.
Copyright (c) 2017. Brian Smith-PLD. Not to be reproduced with permission.