It’s Not All Doom and Gloom

I’m an optimist because there isn’t a good enough reason to be anything else. Pheonix will rise from the ashes, despite what you may be hearing or reading. In the end, what we regret the most are the chances we never took. It’s not all doom and gloom. Dark clouds can have a silver lining. Where there is chaos, there is opportunity. Where there is a gap – there is room for someone to fill it. Timing is everything, and there has never been a better time than now. But don’t wait too long. The window of opportunity will close.

Worth Remembering … “Excuses will always be there for you – but opportunity won’t.” – Unknown

The landscape is littered with going out of business signs. Small, independently-owned businesses have been the hardest hit. Main street has been boarded up. Restaurants that have been in the family for generations are gone. Your local hardware store is closed. Hair salons, clothing and shoe stores have all but disappeared. A sad testament to the turbulent times we find ourselves in. But in spite of it all, the timing to get into business for yourself couldn’t be better. It’s not all doom and gloom. Find the silver lining in those dark clouds. Look for that window of opportunity. But don’t wait too long. The window of opportunity will close.

Worth Remembering … “The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity.” Ann Rand

The great resignation, a wave of workers leaving their jobs, has left employers scrambling to fill positions from entry-level to senior management. According to a recent survey conducted by Robert Half, a leading recruitment agency, 33% of employed Generation Z and Millennial Professionals polled reported they plan to pursue a new job in the coming year. That’s not a bad thing. The timing to get promoted and take on a leadership role in your organization or change careers couldn’t be better. It’s not all doom and gloom. Will those dark clouds have a sliver lining for you? If you wait too long your window of opportunity will close. – Act now.

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization, visit https://briansmithpld.com

To Get Buy-in – You Need to Buy In

Daniel Goleman, in his groundbreaking book – “Working With Emotional Intelligence” said it best: “A new yardstick is judging us: not just how smart we are, or by our training and expertise, but also by how well we handle ourselves and each other”. Productivity is still the name of the game, and that will never change. Your job as a manager or business leader has always been to minimize the input and maximize the output. Right-sizing has put added pressure on management to hold the line on the expense side of the ledger while still growing the profit side. To accomplish both – managers and leaders must change from being task-focused to being people-focused.

Worth Remembering … “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing – expecting a different result.” – Einstein

You need to decide whether the management style that got you here will be the same style that will get you to where you need to be to stay in business? I’m betting that it won’t because there’s been a dramatic shift in people’s attitudes. Their wants and needs have changed. For the newest generation, Generation Z, whose leading edge is just entering the workforce, life outside of work is just as important, if not more important, to life at work. Today’s managers and business leaders need to change how they lead to keep step with those changes. It’s no longer managing as usual.

Worth Remembering … “One of the most important things about being a good manager is to rule with a heart. You have to know the business, but you also have to know what’s at the heart of business and that’s people.” – Oprah

Technical skills are essential, but you can get those out of a book. What is needed to be successful managing and leading others today is someone who understands people. Managing and leading others is about them – not about you. They need someone who possesses exceptional soft skills, the ability to communicate and interact more effectively with others. Someone who spends time getting to know them for more than just the job that they do. How do they like to be managed? How do they want to receive information? Are they visual learners or do they learn by reading a set of instructions? If you can’t or you’re not willing to change your management style to be more in tune with how they like to be managed, you will have difficulty convincing them to buy in. Different folks = different strokes. To get them to buy-in – you need to buy in.

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. Find out more about Brian and what he can do for you or your organization by visiting his website. – https://briansmithpld.com

Wishing and Hoping Won’t Make It So But Setting SMART Targets Will

Wishing and hoping won’t make it so but setting smart targets will. As Covey would say – “Miracles are great, but they are so hard to come by. You never know when one will come along.” To accomplish what you want to achieve, no matter how big or small, it’s a planned event. You can’t wish and hope to lose weight, get that promotion or start your small business, but you can put a plan together to achieve your goal and end up where you want to be.

Worth Remembering … “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” – Yogi Berra

Don’t generalize. Set a SMART target.

S – Specific: You must name it to claim it. What steps will you have to take to achieve your goal? What objectives need to be accomplished to reach your target?

M – Measurable: If you don’t measure it, how do you know you are headed in the right direction? Your plan should include trackable benchmarks. What gets measured gets done.

A – Attainable: You must believe it’s doable, or you won’t be motivated enough to put in the effort to accomplish your goal. Have you been honest with yourself? Do you believe the goal you’ve set for yourself is achievable?

R – Relevant: Why is this goal important to you? What are the tangible benefits you’ll receive if you reach your goal? Knowing what it will do for you will help you keep your eye on the prize.

T – Time Based: How much time have you given yourself to accomplish your goal? Having a deadline helps to keep you moving forward. Having a deadline creates a sense of urgency and gets you up and off the couch.

Worth Remembering … “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” – Scottish Proverb

That proverb suggests that if wishing could make things happen, then we’d all have everything we wanted. Wishing and hoping won’t make it so but setting a SMART target will. A goal is a dream with a deadline. If you genuinely believe that you have all the tools you’ll need to accomplish your goals – then the only thing getting in your way is you. Put your plan together and work your plan.

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find out more about Brian and what he can do for you or your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com

Creating High-Performance Work Teams

Creating high-performance work teams is more than just throwing people together and expecting them to perform as a cohesive unit. Work teams can create a synergy that results in a level of performance far greater than any one person, but to accomplish that, you need a game plan. Together, everyone achieves more if you can get everyone on the same page, committed to accomplishing the same goal. The most popular team-building model taught in business school is a four-stage model first introduced by Phycologist Bruce Tuckman in 1965. Tuckman believed that these stages are necessary for a team to grow, overcome challenges, solve problems, and deliver results.

Worth Remembering … “Teams are now the primary force of organizations. They are worth cultivating at their core. Their core is the mind of each team member.” – Nancy Kline

Forming: Forming is the getting acquainted stage in which team members meet each other, form initial impressions, and try to get a sense of what it will be like to work together and be part of a team. You can help this process by planning social get-togethers outside of the workplace or having a company-organized meet and greet so team members can begin to build those all-important relationships.

Storming: Conflicts and disagreements are inevitable as team members start to work together. Different personalities and work styles will clash. That’s why soft skills, the ability to communicate and interact more effectively with others, is critical to team success. Hire people who like to be around people and who want to be part of a team.

Norming: Norms shape team behaviour by establishing and imposing group standards. This is when the real work begins. Never allow standards to slide. First, team members need to know what is expected of them. Next, they need to understand what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour. Finally, they must be willing to do what ever it takes to be a good team player. Then, you need to step up and call out those who are not meeting those norms.

Performing: This is the final stage of creating a high-performance team. People do what you inspect, not what you expect. You need to get out of your office and manage the team by walking around. You must monitor their performance to ensure team goals are met.

Worth Remembering ... “It is not the individual but the team that is the instrument of sustained and enduring success in management.” – Anthony Jay.

The next time you’re charged with creating a high-performance team, try Tuckman’s four-stage model. If that doesn’t work, you can always use Tuckman’s fifth stage – adjourning. Adjourning was added to his model in 1977. I think it’s for project teams that have accomplished their objective, then disbanded. I’m not looking to break the team up if the team concept is working.

Copyright (c) 2021. Brian Smith – Power Link Dynamics. Not to be reproduced without permission. To find our more about Brian and what he can do for you and your organization visit: https://briansmithpld.com