Managing for Results – The Art of Managing & Leading in the 21st Century

What kind of training are you providing your managers and potential leaders? Mark September 11 & 12th down on your calendar and have them attend this high-intensity, very interactive 2-day skills development workshop. You won’t be sorry you did. The traditional role of the manager has changed. New leadership skills are required for the workplace of today and the next decade. Make a commitment. Don’t put their career or your organization at risk – have them learn how to manage the 21st Century way.

Managing for Results – The Art of Managing & Leading in the 21st Century.

Why Your Next Board Member Should Be A Woman? | Share on LinkedIn

Move over gents there’s a new leader in town. According to research conducted by – The Centre for Women’s Business – 10.1 Million firms are owned by women – employing more than 13 Million people. The total number of sales generated by firms owned by women topped 1.1 Trillion dollars back in 2008. (These are American numbers but women are outpacing men in starting small businesses here in Canada as well)

Mary Matalin, former Counselor to President George W. Bush and V.P. Cheney may have said it best – “Women around the World are rewriting history at a ferocious pace with or without man’s permission”.  After all it could be said that men aren’t doing such a great job managing things lately.

Great article well worth the read. Enjoy 🙂 Stay Focused

Why Your Next Board Member Should Be A Woman? | Share on LinkedIn.

Do You Lack Self-Confidence? Then Fake it Until You Make It

Worth Remembering …

“The better people think they are , the better they will be. A positive self-image creates success.”    – Liisa Joronen

What is your biggest obstacle to more self-confidence? I think it’s your internal dialogue – the way you talk to yourself. If you think negative thoughts – then negative thoughts will happen. (It’s the law of attraction)

Here’s a story that will help explain what negative thinking can do. I know most of the golfers out there can identify with this. (Certainly the ones I play with) Have you ever walked on to a tee-box – ready to hit your first drive down the centre of the fairway – but you couldn’t stop thinking about the water hazard lurking just out of the corner of your eye to your right? You kept saying to yourself, “Whatever you do – DON’T hit it into the water”. And what did you end up doing? That’s right – you hit it into the water anyways. (That’s the law of attraction)

World class athletes, just like world class actors visualize a gold medal – Oscar winning performance. They set themselves up for a positive experience by visualizing in their minds eye what their performance will look like. And then they go out and replay that winning performance in real time.

If you have recently been promoted to a management position – but lack the self-confidence that only experience on the job can bring – take a page out of the actors handbook and try visualizing how a good manager looks and acts and then play that video in real time. (Fake it – until you make it) The more you do it – the more it will become you.

Here are five helpful tips on how to give your self-confidence a boost:

  • Look for a role model or mentor. What is it about their style that you like? What do they do that makes them appear confident? How do they act? Act like they act –  you will eventually act the same way. 
  • Focus on your achievements rather then your failures. Focus on what you’ve done well and what you are going to do better the next time you have the same opportunity. We can all improve. We’ve all done things that in hindsight we would have done differently. 
  • Focus on your good qualities. I can’t grow a full beard to save my life – but I can grow a great mustache. I’m a compassionate person and will give anyone a break. I believe in second chances. (Up to a point – but don’t try to take advantage of my good nature. I can be assertive when the situation warrants it) 
  • Dress for the job you want not the one you have. Clothes have a way of framing  our thoughts. If you feel good about the way you look – you’ll feel better about yourself and project a more confident image. Their perception is the new reality. 
  • Expect the unexpected. Remember – nothing ever goes completely as planned. You need to learn to go with the flow and adapt. Have confidence in your own ability to deal with whatever gets thrown your way. You need to be able to solve problems by thinking on your feet – making the best decision that you can – with the information that you have at the moment – and move on. 

Worth Remembering ”’

“Lack of confidence is not the result of difficulty. The difficulty comes from the lack of confidence.”  – Seneca 

On Time and On Budget – Managing Team Time

One of your many duties as a manager is to step back once in a while and take a look at the big picture so you can get a sense of where you, your department or organization needs to be in 9, 12 or 18 months. You need to be able to position yourself to take advantage of any new trends or opportunities that are just starting to appear on the horizon.

Managers are agents of change – who make the kinds of changes needed to adapt to changing conditions. You need to be able to manage your time and your teams time so you have the time to do all those things that you are going to be held accountable for. (That’s why you need to learn how to delegate effectively). You need to learn how to give up control to get control.

This is my second posting in a series of blogs designed to give you some valuable insight into how to manage your time and your teams time more effectively. We all have just 168 hours in the course of a week. No more – or no less. You need to learn how to be both effective and efficient to excel managing in the 21st Century. (The productivity equation will never change. You need to minimize the input and maximize the output)

Last week I wrote about Setting Goals and Establishing Priorities (The Key to Time Management is Life Management) – This weeks blog posting is all about Planning and Scheduling – the next two categories on my list of seven that seem to take up most of a manager’s time.

Worth Remembering …

“I love deadlines. I especially like the whooshing sound they make as they go flying by.” – Douglas Adams

Planning: You’ve no doubt heard it a thousand times – “Fail to plan – plan to fail”. But it’s absolutely true. Committing to a goal and then writing a plan to accomplish that goal demonstrates to yourself and others that you are serious about achieving that goal. Dreams are goals with deadlines. Goals and planning go hand in hand. Without a good plan – goals are almost impossible to achieve. (Wishing and hoping won’t make it so. Achieving your goals is a planned event) The goal is the end result  – the plan is the little steps you’re going to take to get there. (If you are travelling from Ottawa to Florida and end up in Quebec City. You know you have the wrong plan)

  • Flexibility is the key to successful planning. Allow time for unexpected things like interruptions, equipment breakdowns and crises. How ever long you think it’s going to take you – times that number by two.
  • If you need something completed by Friday and you know it’s going to take at least two days to complete it – then you better be having someone start it on Tuesday afternoon or first thing Wednesday morning.
  • Make sure your time line and time estimates are do-able. You can be efficient and not effective and vise-versa. Efficient because you got it done but not effective because you took too long to do it – or you had to do it again because it wasn’t done right the first time.
  • You should be arriving at work having already gone over your plan, set your daily priorities and be ready to take on the day.

Scheduling: So far you have decided on a goal – created a written plan listing all the steps that need be done to achieve that goal – and now you’re ready to schedule a start and completed by time for each step of your plan. Think baby steps. I do this – then I do that – and eventually I will have accomplished all I set out to do. (Anyone can eat an elephant – one bite at a time)

To be on time and on budget requires a schedule. You can’t leave anything to chance. Some managers schedule too much – but most managers don’t schedule enough. You need to schedule enough staff on the retail floor to take advantage of selling opportunities – especially at peak times. No sense having staff there when the customers aren’t. You need to schedule a production run to fill customer orders. Scheduling is critical to the overall success of any department or organization. If you don’t like to do the scheduling – delegate it – but review it – and insure everyone follows it.

  • Planning is deciding “What” to do. Scheduling is deciding “When” to do it.
  • When ever you commit anything to writing (Goals and Plans) make sure you also write down how long you think it’s going to take you or someone else to do it – and when you need it done by. Due dates or due times create a sense of urgency. It motivates us to get in gear. (That’s Scheduling 101)
  • When ever you complete a task and before you start a new one ask yourself – “What is the best use of my time right now?” You may find that you have a spare moment between meetings or before you need to return a clients phone call. Look at your To-Do List and pick an item that can be done in the amount of “Free” time you have between tasks (I use this one a lot. You may be surprised when you find out how much you can accomplish in 5, 10 or 20 minutes)
  • Identify your “Prime Time”. The time of the day when you are at your very best. When you seem to be firing on all cylinders. We all have a “Prime Time” but not everyone’s is at the same time. My prime time is between 4:30 and 10:00 am. Once I hit 3:00 pm – I know I’m done for the day. I may check my emails after 3:00 pm but if they require an answer that is going to take some thought – I won’t tackle it until the next morning. I know from experience that I’ll end up redoing it anyways so I might as well save the time. Schedule those tasks that are going to take all of your energy – when you have to be at your most creative self – or when you need to make a critical decision – in your “Prime Time”.  (Next week – Interruptions and Meetings)