PLOCers Make The Best Managers and Leaders

I can still see Ron Knowles standing up on his desk, plocking like a chicken and flapping his arms as if they were wings. Ron Knowles, professor extraordinaire, mentor and colleague, always tried to come up with interesting and unconventional ways to make learning fun. PLOCers make the best managers and leaders; he would tell me. If they can’t PLOC Smitty, they will have a difficult time trying manage and lead others. If you want to be a more effective manager or leader, take a page out of Ron’s book and learn to PLOC. Trust me – you’ll be glad you did and the people you work with will be better for it.

Planning: – Managing and leading others is a planned event. What gets planned and executed gets done. A great plan always starts with the end in mind. It would be best if you had a clear understanding of what it is you want to accomplish. Once you decide your goal, put a plan together to get there, outlining each step you need to take.

Leading: – Great managers and leaders lead by example. Be the kind of leader that you would follow. Honesty, integrity, empathy, open-mindedness and trustworthiness should mean more than fancy platitudes. Having the ability to manage and lead others is a learned behaviour. Decide what new skills you need to learn and take the time to learn them.

Organizing: – Great managers and leaders excel at managing their time and their teams time. In a standard 40 hour work week, you have 200 hours to accomplish what must be completed that week. It’s crucial to prioritize what needs to be done and when. Remember, you can’t do it by yourself so delegate, delegate and delegate some more.

Controlling: – There are several ways you can control without mirco-managing the outcomes. You control the purse strings. You control promotions. You control who gets to do what. You control the perks. You control who gets hired and who gets fired. Forcing others to do what needs to be done by bullying or intimidating them no longer works. The key is to find out what they want and help them get theirs, and you’ll get yours. Use the carrot, not the stick.

PLOCers make the best managers and leaders. Are you ready to PLOC?

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\;// or contact him directly at:

Why Delegation Fails and What You Can Do About It.

Some managers and business leaders still believe that they must be involved in all things to control things. The truth of the matter is – it’s bigger than you are. You can’t be in all places at the same time. You physically can’t be looking over everyone’s shoulder all of the time. The key to managing and leading in today’s world is about inclusion, not exclusion – the more you give up control, the more you’ll have control.

Worth Remembering … “In the digital age, you need to make knowledge workers out of every employee possible.” – Bill Gates

Delegation fails when we fail to give up some of our control. Delegation fails when we fail to allow others to decide on a course of action. Delegation fails when we hold them accountable for the results but we failed to give them the tools they’ll need to accomplish the task. When you fail to delegate, you are robbing others of their opportunity to grow. What is it about sharing some of your responsibilities with others that scares you?

Worth Remembering … “You establish some objectives for them, provide some incentive, and try not to direct the detailed way in which they do their work.” – David Packard

Think of all the tasks that you do and list them on a piece of paper. Look over your list and circle the ones that only you can do. (Promotions, salary reviews, disciplinary actions, etc.) – If you are honest with yourself, there must be some items on your list that you didn’t circle. Those are the tasks that you can delegate. Think about who on your team is capable of completing those tasks.

Eight Easy Steps to Effective Delegation

1 – Decide what you want to delegate.

2 – Decide who is capable and, most importantly, who is willing to take on more responsibility.

3 – Create a teachable moment. Teach them how to perform the task.

4 – Ask questions, so you know they understand what needs to be done.

5 – Monitor their performance. People do what you inspect not what you expect.

6 – Keep the lines of communication open. You need to make yourself available to answer any questions or concerns they have.

7 – Hold them accountable for the results but be sure you have given them all the tools they need to complete the task.

8 – Praise performance. Recognize what has been accomplished and be quick to praise for a job well done.

Delegation fails when you fail to allow others to grow. What are you going to do about it?

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:

Why Collaboration Fails and What To Do About It

According to Wikipedia collaboration is the process of two or more people or organizations working together to complete a task or achieve a goal. It’s aim is to increase the success of the team by finding creative ways to solve problems and eliminate potential road blocks. A good idea becomes a better idea when we allow everyone on the team to be involved in the decision making process. Collaboration fails when we fail to allow others to have input. Collaboration fails because we throw people together , call them a team, and expect them to perform like one.

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

Like all good teams, it starts at the selection process. Some people already posses the interpersonal skills to be effective team players. When hiring team members, in addition to their technical skills required to fill the position, ensure that you hire people who like working with people. Soft-skills, the ability to communicate and interact more effectively with others, are more important then technical ability.

A recipe for building collaborative teams

  • There are a number of ways to accomplish the same thing. It doesn’t have to be just your way. Solicit everyone’s input and decide on the best plan of action regardless of who came up with the idea.
  • Resist the urge to micro-manage. Let everyone of the team know what needs to be done and then get out of their way and let them do it.
  • Let them know how their part contributes to the success of the whole. If the team wins – everyone wins. If one person on the team fails – the team fails.
  • Hold everyone accountable for the results. I mean everyone – including you.
  • Keep lines of communication open. Let everyone know how things are going – good or bad.
  • Be fair and consistent. Rules are for everyone – including you and your super stars.
  • Consider rotating positions so everyone on the team knows how to do everyone’s job. Cross-training can increase productivity, reduce boredom and eliminate turn over.

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

Be sure to monitor individual performance so that “social loafers” won’t go about un-detected. Tune into the unofficial grapevine so you know what’s really going on. Be aware of group think and make sure everyone on the team has an opportunity to express their opinion. Together everyone does achieve more. Teams create a synergy that results in a level of performance far greater then it’s individual parts.

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:

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: