When you became a business owner what exactly about owning your own business inspired you? Was it because you had a passion for creating a business that would operate without your day to day involvement? Could it be you wanted to have your own business so you could be your own boss? Maybe you felt you had a special or unique product and you could serve customers in such a way that no other person could?
Today think about your business. Are you now basically an employee of yourself? If you were to take 1 months’ vacation does your business have the systems and processes in place to keep revenue coming in the door without you being there?
If you answered “no” to the above statement that means you might be spending too much time working in your business rather than on your business. Working in your business means you might feel as if you are barely making it day by day. You are likely feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to get done what you know needs to get done. You want more work so you can make more money, yet that really means more hours for you. There is clearly no way to make more hours in a day. How do you get out of this vicious cycle?
If you haven’t started your business you will want to do some major planning up front so you can actively be working on your business from the beginning and learn how to best build your business so you haven’t just created a JOB where you work more hours and make less money. You can do this with using an entrepreneurial coach, reading books or doing research about how to best create your business so it is a group of process that can run without you.
For those of you who are already working in your business it is time to make time- no matter what- to begin working on your business. YOU WILL WANT TO DO THIS SO YOU CAN ACTUALLY LIVE LIFE. Since you are already in the fray of things and would like to save time you might be best served in hiring a entrepreneurial coach or consultant who can help you get on track quickly and effectively. If you are a “do it yourselfer” then read the book “E-Myth Mastery: the Seven Essential Disciplines for Building a World Class Company.”
You can also join a master mind group where you meet with other entrepreneurs and discuss how you can begin to best systemize your business so that it can begin to function in certain processes with only you monitoring it weekly and eventually monthly and maybe even quarterly. What small step could you do to effectively communicate a process to someone else who works with you so you can do a little less work? How can you measure what they do to ensure they are doing what you need them to do without having to micromanage them? THIS IS LEARNING TO WORK ON YOUR BUSINESS.
There is another great book called the “The 4-Hour Workweek.” The ultimate goal is for you to learn how to delegate as much as you can to others. It is important in the process of delegation to others they have a clear understanding of what is expected. Also in the process of delegation it needs to be documented so anyone can take it over. You can do this process by outsourcing or by transferring some of the processes to your internal people. When you do begin organizing the delegation process, ensure you are delegating to those people who have the best talents for what you need. If they don’t have the best talents for doing what you need done, you might need to consider organizing it differently.
When you begin to learn to work ON your business at least 30 min. per week you will be amazed at how much free time you will be able to create by doing this. You will also find you can and will create more revenue with less costs by learning to stream line processes. Robinson Equation can help you begin working on your business today and help you begin to set yourself free to live your life.
A very important part of leadership is learning how to give feedback to your employees. There are tons of books out there about how to give feedback. Some people talk about how important it is to only give positive feedback. Today I want to share with you 3 types of feedback for employees and how all are important. I also want to share with you a key first step.
Let’s look at the different types of feedback. The first type of feedback would be no feedback. You are probably thinking, “WHAT?” Depending on how you are using this type of feedback this can be detrimental to your employee’s productivity or helpful to their productivity. If you are never providing feedback and never letting your employees know how much you care about them as people they will eventually give up trying. They give up, as they have no idea about how to do a good job, because they don’t know what is expected. If you are not providing feedback to them that they are doing well or where they need to improve they may end up trying at all. At the same time, withholding your feedback can be very helpful in allowing the person learn to problem solve for themselves. Rather than giving actual feedback, at times it might be wise to know how to withhold feedback and instead ask the employee wise questions so they can solve for themselves. By listening and asking them questions, they know you care, even though you might not be telling them what you think. Instead, you are helping to support them in their own learning and self-empowerment.
A 2nd type of feedback is negative feedback. Many gurus will tell you today that negative feedback is bad or wrong. Truth be told, negative feedback increases productivity more than no feedback at all. Negative feedback for certain people can be very inspiring. Bill Bartmann became a billionaire because he was inspired by the negative feedback he received from his sister-in-law. That negative feedback created a drive so deep inside him he pushed pasted his limiting beliefs of himself to become a billionaire. Negative feedback can be very useful in creating drive in individuals. The way to use it most powerfully as a leader is to know when to provide negative feedback. If you have someone whose ego is out of control, negative feedback used correctly will help bring that person into their heart to be more effective with the work they are creating. If someone is in a state of ‘self-wrongness” then it could create a perpetuating situation of low self-esteem you might not want the employee to have. When employees are either high or low emotionally, they are not doing their best work. When you can help an employee learn how to work from their heart you will have a productive employee who you can rely on their results and productivity.
The 3rd type of feedback is positive feedback. Positive feedback can be detrimental to your employee if you only give them positive feedback. If you are withholding how you really feel and you are not making them aware of how to become really successful you are actually hurting them. Learning to give them honest feedback on how to grow more than obsessively giving positive feedback would be much better. Two detrimental things can occur with positive feedback. First, positive feedback can put a person on defensive and they will have to defend how they are not worthy of your praise. Because the feedback is coming externally, and they haven’t owned what they have done well for themselves, they will then defend why they shouldn’t deserve the positive feedback. This will cause them to get stuck and not produce as much, because secretly they will feel the need to prove you wrong. Clearly this is due to something inside of them where they haven’t entirely learned how to love themselves for exactly who they are. 2nd drawback that can back fire with positive feedback is if a person is on a “high ego swing” and it just inflates their ego more. The situation that can occur with this is that they become so puffed up they are just attracting humbling circumstances to help bring them back to their heart. You will suddenly be in a situation where they inadvertently will create a huge mess that will need to get resolved. Be aware of feeding positive feedback only when it is needed and not over doing it to create humbling circumstances for the employee and the situation.
You might be thinking…”SO…HOW DO I GIVE FEEDBACK THEN? I have found the very best way to provide feedback is to first hear from the employee. I love asking them what they feel worked about a situation and what didn’t work about a situation. I love having them tell me what they did that worked that they want to do again. I also love to hear what didn’t work and how they will do it next time so it will likely work.
The reasons why I have the employee tell me this first is for me to use my great skills of listening. I want to understand their perspective as it helps me know if they are begin too hard on themselves or not hard enough on themselves. If I can tell this is likely a self-esteem issue, I help them learn how to own what they did well. If this is a situation of too much ego and they are full of themselves I help them to see that too.
The key is, the person really giving the feedback is themselves. I have learned how to ask them the questions to best analyze themselves. I had an employee come to me a few weeks ago about a coaching session she had had with a client. The very first thing she said when she sat down was that the client wouldn’t shut up and listen to her. The client sessions are recorded, and I was well aware of the conversation she had had with the client and I was clear about what had worked well and what hadn’t worked well with her session. I have to admit I was a little shocked by her response. I immediately knew she was in a high ego state. I instantly asked her some questions to bring her off her pedestal. She fought with me a little. She went back and re-listened to her session though after our feedback session. I made certain in our session she was clear on what I thought she did well. I however do not want any of my coaching to think clients need to shut up and listen. It is about the coach knowing how to ask questions of the clients to help them solve their own problems, not to just be told what to do by the coach.
Had I of only used positive feedback in this situation I wouldn’t have been able to help my employee to grow. She will now be that much better of a coach because I knew when to challenge her beliefs.
I had situation where I had another coach come to me after she had listened to one of her sessions. She was in tears as she had felt that she had done so terrible. I asked her to tell me how this perceived terrible session had actually helped the member. I also ask how the session, even as it was, it had been perfect in its own way. She looked at me in shock. I told her, the coaching session with the client is over similar to spilt milk. Rather than getting upset up about, what had she learned from it to make her future sessions with clients better? It happened that way so both could learn from the experience. I helped her to see what she had done well, and how to better handle this type of situation again in a future call. That is what life is about. You never do the entire thing bad and there is always a way to do it better. BOTH SIDES ALWAYS EXIST. They key is to keep what is working and tweak what didn’t work. The only thing that doesn’t work is when you don’t get the results you desired from the energy you expended. It also is a waste to not learn from any and all experiences.
Become a better leader and understand when to give positive feedback and negative feedback to create productivity. Don’t get caught up in the illusion that one type of feedback is better than another. Remember, if you chose to go with no feedback and allow them to figure it out, at least show them you care by helping to ask them the questions so they can actually figure it out for themselves.
If you want to learn more about how to know when to give the best type of feedback, Robinson Equation, Inc. can help you begin today!
One of the keys of being a leader is to help lead people past their own limiting beliefs. You as the leader set the precedence of the success, or lack of success with this. What might this look like for you in your work place setting?
A few years ago I was leading a team of people. They would come to me with excuse after excuse of why they couldn’t do something. I kept asking them how they could do it despite these perceived challenges that were getting in their way. These individuals would become angry with me for a time. I am certain I received a few choice names over how they felt the experience was during these occasions. Eventually they learned how to ask the all-important question: “How can I accomplish this despite what the circumstances might be?”
I learned by being willing to be the “bad guy” and holding them accountable they had much better success and outcomes. The ones I had too understood of in my previous leadership experiences paid the price of remaining stuck in their limiting beliefs at the detriment of themselves and the company.
Here is a poem that describes this very well.
If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost certain you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost
For out of the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will-
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.
Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man WHO THINKS HE CAN.
Your leadership with your team, your business etc. is dependent on not allowing them to make excuses as to why they are unable to accomplish something. Yes, it is fine to acknowledge challenges. The problem that happens is that the challenges can become the person’s story of their life. You have surely met those individuals in your life, who act as if someone needs to come take care of their lives and rescue them. They act as if they are completely incapable. They have a long list of reasons and excuses as to why they haven’t created the life of their dreams. These people are oblivious to the fact the only person who can rescue them, is them. It can only begin when they begin to change the way they think.
At the end of the day, the only thing holding anyone back is only their own mind. Everyone and everything has struggles and obstacles. It is who you choose to be when those struggles and obstacles occur that dictates your life. Are you the individual who succumbs stating everyone is against you? Are you the opposite and embrace the challenge and realize the obstacles and perceived struggles are merely helping you to learn how to do it even better.
Leadership is helping people see beyond themselves what is possible. It is helping them to see they can be successful despite the challenges that come along. In order to lead this way, you will also have to believe it is possible too. You will have to believe these individuals are capable and do have what it takes to figure it out and make it possible. By believing this you can hold that glimpse of certainty needed for the employee to begin to know and believe they can do it despite the challenges.
You have moved into a leadership role because you figured out how to make it possible for you. As a leader you will lead by example. As a leader you teach what you have learned. Take your organization to the next level by holding your teams accountable for the results. Lead the vision by asking the all-important question: “How can we; or, How can I.” When you ask wise questions you get wise solutions. Hold your team, yourself, and your company accountable by learning how to succeed despite the challenges. You will be amazed at what can be accomplished when you do this.
When you step into believe you can you will be amazed at all of the help and support there is to get you over the wall of the previously perceived obstacles. It first has to begin internally- the belief that it is possible. When you step into action on that belief, the help then comes. Help never comes to those who demand to have everything be easy for them and see desperation. Help comes to those who believe in themselves and begin to take steps of action in that belief.
Have you ever had a bad boss, or bad teacher, or bad parent? Have you had someone in your life that no matter what you did, it was the wrong thing or they didn’t give you credit for the work you had done? What traits about a boss made you fearful or caused you in your perception to hate your job. What benefits did you gain from having this bad superior in your life?
Often times the first thing a person will say in response to that questions is that they learned how not to be. Let’s consider the benefits of that boss being exactly who they are. Some people make up a lot of things about what success looks like, and what traits a person has have to be to be successful. Believe it or not, your boss has been able to be successful being exactly the way they are- bad traits included. What does that mean for you? That means you too can be successful exactly as you are- the good and the bad things about you. People always want to fix the perceived bad things about them, when in reality they are just a part of the wonderful package that makes you. So, you have nothing to hide. You too are successful with both your good and your bad traits and you can continue to grow your success. Have you considered it could be your good traits that are holding you back?
Has having a bad boss gotten you to wake up and to consider how you really would like your life to be? Had you until that point been in a state of complacency about your life, and then finally when this bad boss came into your life it caused you to consider the price you were really willing to pay. Many a perceived bad boss has encouraged people to leave a work situation they didn’t like to move towards doing more of what they really wanted to do in the first place. If it hadn’t been for the bad boss they would have stayed wasting their life away in doing a job they really didn’t like, yet it wasn’t uncomfortable enough to take the step of doing something new. Thank goodness for the bad boss in that situation.
What about a bad boss who won’t promote you. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try to perform and make the grade, it just never seems to be enough. You finally get to the point where you realize that maybe you had been subordinating your values for the company values. You get so frustrated and angry that you begin to wake up and remember what really is important to you. You do your job to the fullest, and then you begin to plan. You begin taking the little steps and putting together what is really important to you in your life. You wake up and you realize what your values are for you. You appreciate the feedback the bad boss gives you and then you consider it. Then you observe and see how your bad boss does for themselves with the feedback they have been giving you? Do they listen to themselves? You instead, see this and begin to listen to yourself and begin putting your dreams in place and prepare to take action. Thank goodness the bad boss didn’t promote you, as you would have been wrapped up in spending a lot of energy doing something you don’t even love, just because you wanted to make more money or have more power.
What about having a bad boss that is an avoider who never directly confronts and issue or helps bring matters to a resolution? They want you to work everything out with your peers, yet they completely refuse to step in or take leadership in a situation. The bad boss continues to reprimand you for not doing more to work with you peers? You in frustration are thinking- “Why don’t you do your job and make it happen yourself!?” Avoidance is a great trait to learn and your bad boss has mastered it. How has it benefited you to have learned from a bad boss who chooses avoidance rather than supporting you? It is a testimony they have faith you can do it? It is also a testimony that maybe you are making things a little bit too important that really aren’t that important? After all, if your boss doesn’t care why should you? It might be a glaring example of where your attention and focus need to be put elsewhere rather than on the perceived issues you think are important. Your boss is demonstrating how to prioritize your focus and keep in focus and take action on only the important objectives and let the little things go. Also, it can give insight to where you might be avoiding in your life areas that are important and in instead wasting silly energy on things in your work place that really aren’t important.
Consider the benefits of your bad boss. Consider the benefits until you have at least 20-30 benefits. Before you know it, you will be thinking just how lucky you are to have a bad boss to help you realize exactly what you have needed to know about yourself.
Each and every organization it is made up of many different types of people. Each person has their own unique way in which they learn. What exactly do we mean by that?
For instance, a couple of weeks ago I received an email from a friend about some business research he had done for me. My friend loves to write long drawn out emails (you can begin to tell my values by that statement). When he writes his emails he buries the important information within the email. I am the type of person who values my time and I could care less how he came to the conclusion. I want the conclusion first, stated factually without any fluff, or at least highlighted to find easily. Then add the reasons why you came to this decision separate, and after, so if I want to have a clearer understanding how you came to that conclusion I will read into it further.
There is this other gal I work with that if you give her the conclusion upfront before massaging the message she will get turned off and offended. She loves to read the whole synopsis of how the person came to the decision. Then she loves to take a long time to think about how that person came to a decision.
When you take that into consideration, between the three of us you have some very distinctive styles of how we want to receive information and how we use information.
One who loves to write and learns by writing out lots of information as he is making his decision. You see, my friend it unable to put the point up front, because he is formulating his opinion as he is writing out the email. He would have to go back and put the point at the top of the message after he has completely written out his email.
My gal friend loves to read or hear information and think about it, and think, and think. She often withholds her thoughts because she thinks too long and hard before sharing her opinion. She learns by thinking and misses out on opportunities to share. She misses opportunities to share as she is too concerned she might make a mistake in sharing before completely thinking prior to speaking. She prefers to learn by observing, listening and reading. She limits her growth by not stepping out and making mistakes for being too cautious to do so.
There is another type of learner who loves to learn by speaking. This type of person will hear something or read something and will get it somewhat. They will increase their understanding tremendously more if they can talk about it or teach someone about it to someone. Have you noticed this type of person in your business who seems bright yet you have noticed when they are unable to talk their level of skill has been diminishing. I am this type of person who learns best by talking/teaching others. I once worked for an organization where I was told I needed to keep my mouth shut and not speak. This was terrible for me as I began to flounder as I was being limited in how I learn. Do you have people in your organization that are being limited in their growth because they haven’t found an avenue to speak and learn that way?
There are others who love to learn by listening. They can absorb tons of information significantly better when they can have a subject taught to them. They pick up on points and facts much quicker when they can hear a conversation about it. They will pick up on the information and they will run with it. If you were to ask them to speak on it before they have heard it spoken about, they will freeze and not know what to say or do about it. If they are required to only read about it and take action on it, they will not do it as well as they would if they get to hear about it.
How do the people in your organization learn? When you send emails or information to people do you consider the different forms in which they learn so they can best receive the information? Do you consider how to help them accelerate the most in their position by how they learn? When people are allowed to learn in the way that works best for them, they begin to be much more productive for the company they are working for and will feel more fulfilled with their position.
In addition to that, have you had a discussion within your team to learn how they can communicate with each other for success? Knowing how each of their peers, subordinates or superiors communicates makes it more effective when they communicate in the way those individuals best receives it. Knowing this will increase the success of the organization as well as the communication within the organization.
Begin uncovering you and your teams individual learning styles and become more effective in your business and your businesses ability to innovate.
A few weeks ago I was working for a company providing leadership development training in addition to other training being provided for the team. This was a newly developed team from within the organization that had been grouped together with a new leader to provide an innovative service for their customers that had never been done by this site before.
With teams, especially new teams it is about bringing the new dynamics together and setting the new leader up to be successful with their team.
In my years of working with teams I have learned the importance of creating increased communication and define accountability for teams. Both of these need to exist for the leader, as well as the team working with the leader to be successful. It is best to get individual expectations of everyone out and aired. If this step doesn’t occur members of the team will have resentment that their expectations are not being met, even though they haven’t verbalized what they expect. Instead, certain types of people are offended because they would like to share, and yet they were never asked.
To increase their chances of success I ask teams what they perceive leadership to be. Everyone has unique expectations of leaders and sometimes it varies widely between team members and the leader. Doing this allows for individual to create a great opportunity to where these individuals feel like they have a voiced and shared their opinion.
They began listing off some of the following traits they expected their leader to have:
Willing to Listen
Willing to Receive Feedback
Knows everything there is to Know
Doesn’t Change Their Mind
Respects the Team Members
Gives Clear Direction to the Team
I looked over to the leader while the team was sharing these items of what they thought was important to them in their leader. The leader appeared to be taking it and making mental notes.
There were concerns for me about the expectations of this team in how they were setting themselves up to potentially fail with their leader. In the conversations it was clear they had unrealistic expectations the leader was not going to make mistakes and that the leader should know everything about a brand new service product that was just being released at this site.
When a company starts something new, the leader leads the vision and must tap in on the team for creativity and intelligence in the success of release new innovative services. This team was at this moment putting it all on the responsibility of the leader to not make any mistakes. They were taking the position of sitting back and only doing what was they were lead to do, rather than jumping in and solving with the leader to create collective success.
As I often do in leadership seminars I turned the responsibility back to the team. I asked them, “Where does leadership begin?” They sat there in a state of shock and looked at me as if I hadn’t heard what they had said. I remained silent while they took time to think and allowed the question to sink in for them.
After a few minutes I said to them, “Leadership begins with YOU.”
I let them sit and absorb the meaning of that statement for a minute and then went on further to say, “All of these things you have shared that you want from your leader first must start with you. As you develop and learn and share these traits with your team and your leader, you will have these same traits returned to you. You have to first be the thing you expect your leader to be.”
The light came on for the team members when they realized they were completely expecting the leader to be responsible for everything and instead began to understand it had to start with them. They got it at a very deep level. I looked over to the leader of the team, and I saw a big smile of relief.
We then began to talk more about what it looks like to as a team to move into the delivery of a new service and how changes will often occur. The team began to learn and understand there could be quite a few changes in the way they think about the service, as they learn and gain more understanding in the process.
The team embraced taking personal accountability for their actions as leaders and managing their expectations of their leader to be a ‘real person’ who would also be learning with them. They began to understand to give their leader room for making mistakes as they also knew they would need room to make mistakes and grow.
Part of being successful at releasing a new innovative product or service, mistakes will happen along the way. If you truly are leading an innovative team, they will feel comfortable in making mistakes and growing. If you want your innovative idea to crash and burn, create an environment where people are fearful of making any mistakes.
Janis Robinson with the Robinson Equation, Inc.
Diversity at work can mean different things for different people. We know that most people prefer to hang out with people that are similar to themselves. Think about church, if you attend church you do so at a church that has fundamental beliefs similar to yours. The friends that you spend time with also have a fundamental beliefs and values similar to yours. For instance if you have kids you are more likely to have friends that have children, if you are married you are more likely to have friends that are also married.
Mostly this has to do with your personal values as to what is important to you in your life and what you are focused on. It isn’t necessarily that you dislike your single friends after you get married, rather it more of an situation of your values changing as your personal dynamics change.
What exactly does this have with the work place? The work place is a place where there will be a lot of different people you would normally not hang out with who will have values very different from yours. The people at work often to not have the same values about life that you have and this can cause conflict for you if you only believe your values are what are best for society. When you perceive that their values are wrong and bad or vice versa and they believe the same about you, then we have complicated work relationships and a stressful work environment.
How can a leader help individuals truly understand the diversity of values in the work place providing and environment of collaboration between diverse values.
1st it will take education of the team. It is important to have conversations with the team talking about how different values are imperative to the success and the growth of the organization. It needs to be shared about how if the different views or strategies aren’t used in an organization, how likely the organization will fail.
For instance if you have an organization that only worries about the rights of the people working there, and loses sight on the service and value that is provided the customer- failure abounds. Organizations such as this soon go bankrupt and fail due to focus on only the rights of the people working there. Employees who voice their opinion about remembering to focus on the customer and the services toward the customer are ignored and looked down upon. The employees who say “what is the value to the customer” are often pushed out leaving the company to stick to its pathway of failure by only internal focus instead of customer focus.
At the same time organizations that only focus on serving the customer at the destruction of their employees struggle with constant turnover with significant loss of knowledge know how. These companies fail because the excellent employees they have, the organization is unable to keep as they want them to work like dogs. Companies such as this do not take the wellbeing of their employees into consideration and very soon have problems at merely keeping the basic positions filled.
Become aware that a balance of both viewpoints needs to exist together in the organization and that both are important to the success and longevity of the organization. Share this with the team and help them also understand this important process to business success for the team as well, as the customer.
Second, it would be to begin teaching individuals to consider the other side of values and see what might be the benefits of the other viewpoint. In that moment it would be wise for leaders to consider leading the conversation of the benefits of the opposition’s point of view. Then of the individuals opposing the view consider having them look at the potential drawbacks of their point of view. Diversity training is exactly that, considering how the other persons view is beneficial and how your own idea has drawbacks. A wise leader will remember to prioritize the focus of these types of conversations and be skilled at keeping from being personal rather eye opening.
When organizations both educate about diversity and also practice it in their day to day operations a company is certain to have success. People within the organization begin to feel safe at having others have different values when conversations are open and considerations can be aired about benefits of alternative thinking. Without these processes in place one can be certain of the success of the organization. If these processes are not put into place then you can be certain to predict business failure.
Where is your organization? Is it only thinking – produce -produce at all costs? Maybe your organization is only focused on the team and has lost focus of the customer. Begin today to implement these two strategies and you can ensure movement towards longevity and success of your organization.
Janis Robinson with Robinson Equation.