Nov 01 2011

BIZ ALPHABET SERIES…”L”

Welcome to the world’s first SMALL BIZ Alphabet Series of blog posts!

 “L”…LEADERSHIP

 

So much has been written on this subject, here and elsewhere (and no where as meaningfully, in my opinion , as Rudy Giuliani’s book, LEADERSHIP), yet it cannot be ignored here as the “L” topic. Without it, there is no business –yours or anyone’s. With it, even when it’s as pathetic as that which we see (and don’t see) from the White House, there’s always at least a remote chance of success hovering above the clouds of follower discontent.

The problem we face as entrepreneurs and small business owners and managers is that –unlike some careers in science, accounting, programming, and assembly line manufacturing– small business startup and development success is determined as much by effective leadership as by the central ideas, products, and services represented.

And leadership doesn’t spill out of a cereal box, a webinar, an MBA program, Fortune magazine, or a fortune cookie. Leadership comes from inside you. It is, more than anything, an attitude. It is responsiveness. It is a show of good faith and respect for others. It is having exceptional communication and motivational skills.

But–above all elseit is having a personal foundation cornerstoned by authenticity, integrity, and trust. The closest thing to spontaneous rise-to-the-occasion leadership comes from the military when opportunities to plan and prepare may not always exist. It is otherwise a role most of us grow into of necessity and develop accidentally.

I’ve worked with and written about leaders being most effective when they pull instead of push, when they solicit input instead of quash it, when they reward failures for the effort and inspire others to top performance rather than berate others for failures and constantly prod to produce productivity.

Truly effective leaders are truly transparent in both words and deeds.

                                        

Having a “take charge” attitude is a great asset for leadership when it’s exercised quietly, but having a take charge behavior –acting out internal convictions often results in a non-productive fearsome or obnoxious reputation that diminishes responsiveness and commitment by others. Instead, challenge others to take risks.

It’s a thin line, leadership. And walking the walk counts for substance and achievement. Talking the talk is for shallow minds and empty suits. Your business counts for something important to you. Working at continuous improvement of your leadership skills will move that “something Important” closer to reality.

And you have that new opportunity to be the best leader you can be for your business every hour of every day. Look for ways to measure how you’re coming across to others. Practice what you preach. Ask for feedback, Encourage innovative thinking (taking creative ideas all the way to implementation). Reward with praise.

Be sincere. Be honest. Be an example, Be the leadership you seek to inspire. Watch your business grow.

# # #

FREE blog subscription: Posts RSS Feed

Hal@Businessworks.US

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Many thanks for your visit and God Bless You.

 Make today a GREAT day for someone!

No responses yet

Aug 21 2011

LEADERSHIP=RESPONSIVENESS

No good examples from

                    

the White House, but

                 

  small business excels.

 

 

 My last post here, A Sense of Urgency,” raised hackles among some visitors I heard from who all seemed to express the notion that “Standing Still” and former idealist President Woodrow Wilson’s failed “Watchful Waiting” policy toward Mexico should be dictating business and politics today. 

Don’t take it personally, but that’s sick thinking.

                                                                        

Doing nothing, as the White House appears to relish, has never been –nor ever will be– a policy or guideline for small business success. Standing still and watchful waiting may deck the halls of Congress and the Oval Office, but they represent the anthisis of what needs to happen to grow business and military strength.

Small business and military strength must be grown to preserve and protect the freedoms we enjoy in America, and to revive and revitalize our still sinking economy.

                                  

The government and big business continue to prove every passing day that not only do they have no answers to this incipient 2nd Great Depression (“The Obama Depression”), but –rubbing salt into the wound– they give nothing but lip service token talk to proclamations of supporting small business. Truth? They HATE small business! 

Small business hangs on in spite of the formidable clout corporations and the government have in tow — PRECISELY because small business owners, operators, and managers are responsive to market needs. There’s no time wasted studing market share and shifts, or testing stuff to death. A sense of urgency is ever-present.

As small business owners, we must –first let Mr. Romney know that it’s not just “Corporations” that “are people.” Small businesses are (to a FAR greater degree) “people” too! (And, BTW, DNC Chairperson Debbie Schultz in protesting even the “Corporations=People” equation simply demonstrates that her ideology is dumber than dirt.

Of course “businesses are people.”

ALL businesses.

Next, we need to teach responsiveness by

example within our business enterprises.

                                                                       

Acting responsively and responsibly with every interaction –customers, other employees, suppliers, even what may appear to be disintersested inquiries– means instilling and reinforcing awareness that EVERY person’s needs and wants are the most important in the world, with never an exception. 

Translation:

Cultivate respect and an action attitude.

                                                            

Sales professionals know this instinctively and typically make a practice of attacking problems before they become disasters. Stop looking to Washington for guidance. Take a page from sales pros.

The US Government 

is presently leaderless.

                                      

Consider the total lack of urgency and response to The Gulf Oil Leak; Mid-West Floods; Moammar Gadhafi; Japan’s Tsunami and Nuclear Disaster; Illegal Immigrants Pouring Across US Borders EVERY night; The Debt Crisis; and 20 more calamities. 

Your business would fold if you practiced such laxadasical “take another vacation” attitudes.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 # # #

  FREE blog subscription: Posts RSS Feed

  Hal@Businessworks.US   302.933.0116

  Open Minds Open Doors 

   Thanks for your visit and God Bless You.

  Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

No responses yet

Dec 28 2010

Carpe Momento!

Seize the moment!

 

Trying to “Carpe Diem” (grab hold of an entire day) in these relentless times, can breed toxic troubles in your relationships and send chills up the spine of your bankbook. But “moment at a time” works.

                                                                                                  

The days are history when we all thought we could bite off more than we could chew and get away with it. Carpe Diem–from its humble creation by lyric poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus (known primarily as “Horace”) between 65BC and 8BC–has quietly and dormantly stood the test of time, even up to 22 years ago! 1989? What happened then?

Robin Williams’ inspiring performance as a 1959 boys prep school teacher in the classic movie, Dead Poets Society, reinvigorated and redefined the seize the day expression for an entire generation. Most of you who are reading this right this minute were at least around at the time of that screen debut. But guess what?

The breakneck speed of technology has so revolutionized our world so rapidly that even THAT is now ancient history.

Life is moving so fast.

Almost all business is a reflection of the needs and wants of the societies and communities that house each of them.

Business owners and managers are scrambling just to keep pace . . . even as they continue to struggle with the still plummeting economy and job market. 

                                                                                                            

There’s a steadily emerging new emphasis on immediacy and responsiveness. FOR INDIVIDUALS, this means getting out of and away from that unproductive, hope-based, dreamlike existence so many have chosen to pursue and, instead, start taking action!

Return messages. What are the most productive roles to play with needy friends? Without meddling or trying to commandeer the day, provide here-and-now support where you can.

As with 3-D Leadership, lead by example. Teach yourself to respond instead of react! Pace yourself to match your capabilities, but don’t underestimate what you’re capable of, especially when you don’t need to block out a full day to get ‘er done! Oh, and trust yourself more, will you?!

Don’t just live FOR the moment.

Live IN it!

                                                                   

This translates to having a more pointed sense of urgency. FOR BUSINESS, having a present-moment mindset can’t help but impact the bottom line positively. Let all dealings with employees, customers, investors, referrers, vendors and suppliers, professional services ring with a Do It Now! attitude . . . from finance to operations to marketing.

Responsiveness

is the new transparency

because responsiveness is

    married to responsibility!  

                                                                         

Yes, we all need to be more on top of our lives and our businesses in 2011 than we were in 2010. With a full third of our existences (2,920 hours a year) consumed by needed sleep –or wishing we could– we’re left with 5,840 hours of awake time. This of course hasn’t changed much since the beginning of time, but the rate at which we consume those 5,840 hours has slammed our sensibilities.

Well, the way I see it is that seizing any single day out of 365 is not really within the realm of possibility anymore (unless it means rocking on the nursing home porch), but I sure as hell can seize one minute at a time! And my reward is that it keeps me in touch with the fun and reality of the personal and business lives I lead without leaving much room for upsets, stress, and disappointment. 

How do YOU see it?

 

# # # 

302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]

Make THIS moment a GREAT moment for someone!

3 responses so far

Nov 17 2010

Twitter-Minded Resumes

 Know someone looking for work?

                                                        

Send this post along as a 

                                         

reminder of HOW to look.

 

As editor of a 100-page JOB HUNTER Action Guide for outplacement counseling, and a former professor of career development, I have three critical observations to share with today’s desperate job search market:

                                                     

1. Learn what you have to about yourself, and about how to manage your stress (take some deep breaths) effectively enough to not allow others (anyone, really) to pick up on your desperation feelings.

No one wants to refer or hire a person who’s busy scraping and scrambling to stay alive.

So even if scraping and scrambling is in fact what you’re doing, pack it away when you start each day. Keep your mind on positive thoughts even when you’re staring negativity in the face.

Surround yourself with positive people and positive experiences every chance you get. This includes the TV shows you watch, the music you listen to, the emails you send and FWD, the room(s) you live in, and the things you read.

 

2) If you’re not on Twitter, figure it out. Do it. It will force you to be concise, think on your feet, and be responsive. It will provide job connections and opportunities you won’t find in your local newspaper or even in key industry publications. If you keep your Twitter account (which is free) and activity focused on getting a job and on being social without over-indulging in chit-chat, there IS payback.

When you go back and forth on Twitter, and gain confidence that somebody out there loves your comments (called Tweets), you will simultaneously be training yourself to think and communicate in resume terms.  Your resume will get tighter and more impressive as it gets Twitter-streamlined.

Twitter’s 140 character per Tweet limitation is like boot camp for your job hunter brain.

Your interviewing process will likewise benefit by the 140-character discipline habit because you will start getting to the point of what you are trying to express quicker, and more simply. Bosses want responsive, uncomplicated job candidates. Long-windedness and fat vocabularies are great if you’re looking to be a politician or librarian, but send out the wrong signals otherwise.

 

3) No matter what your background or skill set, and no matter what the job you seek is all about, you must recognize that you and you alone are –in the end– the one who has to land the job. No resume writer or career coach or counselor can do that for you. That means one thing: You must learn and practice everything you possibly can about marketing because you are marketing yourself!

Your resume needs to accomplish one task only. And more than one page (unless you’re seeking a professional position requiring a CV) won’t cut it!

It must get your foot in the door. It must land you an interview.

More than one page says you don’t know how to be concise and you don’t know how to prioritize, and you don’t know what’s important. Most interviewers throw these out without a glance.

You need –like a professional marketing program– to play out EVERY contact, THANK every contact, and focus on AIDAS: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action, Satisfaction . . .

  • ATTRACT ATTENTION (with your demeanor, not flamboyance)
  • CREATE INTEREST (by HOW you present yourself –format, as well as WHAT you present –content)
  • STIMULATE DESIRE (by demonstrating your own desire for the challenges and opportunities, not the salary and benefits)
  • BRING ABOUT ACTION (by asking for follow-up, a test period)
  • PROMPT SATISFACTION (by providing follow-up; this can be tricky; consider consulting a professional career coach)

~~~~~~~~~~~~

931.854.0474 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals!

 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

No responses yet

Aug 10 2010

Commuting to work . . .

How you chunk up

                                                                                                 

daily commute time  

                                                                                                    

reveals the real you!

                                                                                                                                                                                   

Ever wonder what you can learn about others based on how they spend their work commute time?

As unorthodox an HR assessment tool as it may seem, it’s probably as effective as any other. How a person commutes to work (i.e., by what means and process) indicates, after all, a little something of each of the following career attributes:

  1. time and stress management skills
  2. concentration and organization skills
  3. entrepreneurship
  4. motivation and prioritizing skills
  5. sense of initiative and responsiveness

The first pair of these itemized attributes (time and stress management skills) signals a person’s ability to adhere to a schedule while juggling interferences, interruptions, and delays. It also offers some clue about tolerance levels associated with the daily barrage of pin-pricks and nit-picks (and occasional flair-ups) of fellow-commuters.

Yes, there are still carpool goof-balls who jam an unsuspecting neighbor between them in the backseat and proceed to laugh as they spill coffee on the sandwiched lap at every pothole.

Yes, there’s always a sprawling snoring (and probably drooling) sleeper to awaken and/or climb over who’s commandeering two (or three with luggage) rush hour train (or subway or bus) seats — always, of course, when there are no other seats available.

What’s a poor commuter to do? Standing for an hour of jerks (both kinds) and bounces is not usually a great option for starting the day, especially when the time window was planned for laptop or paperwork. And please don’t start with defensive comments from “business class” express trains or some limo drivers union. We’re talking real life here. 

The second pair of attributes (concentration and organization skills) assumes the first pair can be readily met and dispensed with. It’s almost always easier to concentrate and be organized when you’re on schedule and able to fend off anger, annoyance, and upset!

Then there are also some who thrive at concentrating and being organized in chaos and turmoil. (A terrific qualifier for government job applicants!)

Next is, aaah yes, entrepreneurship! First of all, most of these folks only commute a flight or two of stairs in their bathrobes. Hey, there has to be some trade-off with corporatesville, right? And if any of these types are not officially running a basement or garage or kitchen table operation already, they are planning the moment of great escape, and aren’t reading this anyway.

Motivation and priority issues surface as various commuters face the grueling daily ritual of “Commuter Mental Block.”  Not sure about that? Just stand back and watch how many smiles disembark commuter vehicles balanced atop those suits and skirts as they enter work zones and re-enter home zones.

You’ll get volumes of information to match up with Maslow’s Hierarchy theory of motivation and a truckload of clues about those with strong prioritizing interests.

Responsive individuals with a sense of initiative rarely keep commuting . . . except perhaps a bathrobe-clad flight or two. These are the innovators, the catalysts for change, the emerging entrepreneurs who will gladly move to live on the edge of their venturesome ideas. They are the people who happily leap from the daily traffic battles and 9 to 5 status quo monotony to take their chances with their own self control. For the rest: Don’t give up your day job!    

                                                                                                    

www.TheWriterWorks.com or 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You. God Bless America.

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

One response so far

Jun 07 2010

Unresponsiveness is Bad Business

“Like talkin’ to

                                       

  a brick wall!”

                                                                                                                                 

     Remind you of anyone? No, not your teenager or your grandfather. How about that one unresponsive boss, customer, prospect, investor, referrer, supplier, associate, employee? You know. The one who specializes in unanswered calls, unanswered emails, unanswered questions, unanswered charges, and unansdtxtmsgs. 

     Besides that these inactions ring out unprofessional and unbusinesslike behaviors, they just don’t cut it! They insult, frustrate, and aggravate those on the delivery end of the questions that cry out for answers, and the messages that call for some form of acknowledgement.

     Thank heaven most entrepreneurs maintain a sense of urgency in most of what they do. They may be a little rough around the edges by elementary schoolteacher standards (typically measured with “warm and fuzzy” yardsticks) or too gruff or brusk for many country-clubbers (who expect at all costs to be treated like royalty; “Thank you, dawlink!”), but at least they respect the need to get things done.

     What stands in the way of most entrepreneurial instincts to act (instead of just talk about acting, ala America’s empty suit sea of politicians) is the modus operandi of those who choose to think that no response is the best response, and that avoidance makes things go away. These folks, by the way, absolutely hate when someone doesn’t disappear, and continues to pursue an answer.

     Do those who practice shutting down and standing still for a living think they could possibly be cultivating business or making friends by sitting on their thumbs? Do they harbor some idiotic belief that others will gravitate to their aloofness? Probably, they just don’t care, or they’re just plain ignorant. 

     For the benefit of those who may be thinking about printing out this post and are leaving an unsigned copy conspicuously exposed on some unsuspecting culprit’s desk, or dashboard, or nightstand, you may want to save ink and paper and just use the following bulletpoints:

  • Your lethargic, uncaring, ambivalence is a disruption to life and work . . . and so beneath the integrity of those around you . . . If you don’t plan to respond to someone, say so! If you don’t have or know the answer to something, say so! If you need or want more time to reply to a request or question or message, say so!

  • Here’s why. In case it hasn’t occurred to you, most of the world operates in some kind of time zone, and most people will at least nod their heads when spoken to. The fact that you receive a message in writing or voice recording doesn’t mean that it is any less important to acknowledge than face-to-face deliveries.

  • Oh, and if you are, by some miraculous conception, some type of business executive or representative, you may want to give some thought to the fact that “outsiders” (which cer-tainly includes endless prospective customers, clients, or patients) will instantly identify your business attachment as THE business itself.

  • In other words, to the outside world, you ARE your business. Do you really want potential customers, employees, suppliers, investors, referrers to think your business is unresponsive? Of course they will. Don’t even go there. Instead, step up to the plate and start acting like a human being. It’s called respect.

     Trainers, coaches, consultants and creative types can do wonders for businesses by tweaking one thing or another, but tweaking bricks (even for those from Brick, New Jersey) can be a painful process. Let the bulletpoints do the job for you. If you still seek a tweak, however, you may want to explore more of how to . . .

Get TWEAKED at www.TWWsells.com or call 302.933.0116 or Hal@BusinessWorks.US  
Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! God Bless America, and God Bless Our Troops “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson]  Make today a GREAT Day!

No responses yet




Search

Tag Cloud