The Nice Boss’s Guide to Creating a Maximum Productivity Team...

Oct 1, 2014 by

        Just how do you get a group of disparate people with widely varying backgrounds, skills and interests to happily and confidently do their part and pull together toward common goals?  Here’s a simple process that I’ve devised for small companies — start by creating some “gates” for your organization. There are 4 easy steps to begin: I call it * In * Stay * Out * Up *  IN – What does it take for a person to get hired in to your organization? Take a hard look at your hiring practices. When someone approaches hiring with the idea, “we need to hire fast, we just need some warm bodies,” they’re most certainly in for some nasty surprises. [See my post: Crazy Doesn’t Show Up in Interviews] Decide what kinds...

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Effective Interviewing Techniques: Choosing a Manager You will Trust...

Aug 1, 2014 by

A client of mine hired me after his company had been embezzled against by his bookkeeper/office manager. Troublesome in many ways, his business had become “a mess”.  He couldn’t have been more surprised by her stealing money and trade secrets – but it turns out that he really didn’t know her well at all. He  had been in such a hurry to hire someone fast. Like many small business owners, he soon found out that the costs of an employee not working out are very high in terms of lost productivity, time, and money ill-spent. This owner would have saved his company $110,000 if he had taken these steps while interviewing candidates: Bond First – After giving a short spiel about your company and hearing their official, professional pitch about themselves, suggest that you’d...

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You Focused on Getting More Sales and It Worked! Now What?...

Feb 1, 2014 by

  If it were easy to build and grow a business, then anyone could do it and be successful. All sorts of problems can crop up, however: Challenges that are unique to what you envision for your particular company at this moment in time, and how to succeed with the assemblage of individuals that you currently have working for you. I know a founder who is at $6M and he wants to get to $8M. Last year he focused on getting more sales and it worked. Yikes! He added people, but realized that they just couldn’t seem to execute and the deadlines were looming. What were his particular problems at that time? It was out of control; the team was not working well together; he was exhausted and felt burned out.  Because things needed...

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Strategy Checklist to Put Your Company Back on Track...

Jan 1, 2014 by

When I saw the sign at the top of a waterfall in Yosemite National Park that states, “If you go over the waterfall, you will die,” I focused on just a couple things – don’t trip, slip, or fall. Since business strategy is as much about what to NOT DO and as it is about what is best TO DO, I created this quick-focus checklist for you: Four Things You Absolutely Must Do Right or Your Business Will Fail. The risks are real. 1. The Right People … As your people go, so goes your company. “Crazy” doesn’t show up in interviews. Spend quality time with candidates before bringing on board; have a hiring PROCESS with due diligence Have a 90 day probation period for everyone. It takes a couple months to find out who a...

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Crazy Doesn’t Show Up in Interviews...

Dec 1, 2013 by

“Crazy” doesn’t always show up in interviews. This glib statement is a result of an incident in which I found myself hearing about an employee who, instead of spending his time doing good work for the company, spent time writing numerous preposterous emails to our various departments. With no authorization he posed as a customer in a variety of situations and our very lean staff wasted valuable time as they tried to solve the mystery. Why did he do that, you ask? Indeed. How did he even get hired? Propensity for aberrant behavior may not always become apparent during the short time that we spend interviewing candidates. That’s why due diligence when you’re hiring is critical. Listen to your instincts and perform background checks. Spend quality time with your potential new hires, focusing on...

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Not Everyone is as Smart as You...

Nov 1, 2013 by

My father told me this when I was a young teenager and was completely frustrated with how stupidly other people were behaving in a particular situation. He drew a bell curve in the air, pointed to the right end area and said, “Not everyone is as smart as you. See how many people there are who are not likely to understand what you mean all the time. Go back in there and figure it out”. This was a piece of wisdom without which I would have certainly lived out a life of constant frustration. That day I learned it is my job to communicate to people in the way that they will understand; not their job to understand; it is my job to achieve their...

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Your Actions Count and Your Actions Repeat...

Oct 1, 2013 by

I heard about an executive who, because of a decision to add new employees to the team faster, took action and made a decree: He told his new young managers to hire only people they connected with” and within months, he had a totally tattooed workforce*. This silly story reminded me of years ago when my older brother came home for a holiday visit after securing his first job, I asked him about work. He told me that his learning curve was still very high, but he already knew that work is two things: Your actions count and your actions repeat. He told me of a small decision with action he made that went on unimpeded and became a pervasive part of a system throughout the entire global company. It repeated across time, in...

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