Powerhouse Team

During an episode of “The Property Brothers at Home”, the twins were discussing a project they were working on.  Each had ideas they wanted to include in the project – almost polar opposites.  During the show they were bantering back and forth and a new (and better) idea surfaced that they both liked.  Interestingly enough, they commented about how they frequently bring different perspectives forward and through their discussions land on an even better solution than they would have arrived at individually.

This is a very simplistic example of how two (or more) minds coming together usually come up with better solutions brain ideas pd 11575587_sthan would occur individually.

Is a group always better?

When a team within an organization come together, they too can mastermind to enhance the decisions and solutions.  Unfortunately this doesn’t always happen.  In most work situations, people attending a meeting have different levels of authority.  If the meeting is not structured to encourage the sharing of ideas and perspectives regardless of position (rank), then employees will most likely refrain from speaking up when they hMeeting Teamave a different perspective or idea than their boss.

Another phenomenon that happens in many groups occurs where complacency reigns.  Group Think occurs when everyone on the team begins to think alike.  The status quo is embraced and innovation and varied perspectives are fail to be embraced and encouraged.

Challenge the Status Quo

As a leader of a business, division or committee, creating and sustaining an effective group is important if you want to have a positive impact.  To help prevent group think in your team, always be willing to challenge what seems obvious.  When you challenge teams, they will be more creative and innovative and new and more successful solutions can result.

My recommendation is to always ask Why.  Not just once, but many times throughout the process.  This one simple word can invoke a wide variety of thoughts, ideas, and new solutions.

Case Study

I was working with a client, who I’ll name Joe.  He had a team of managers who worked well together but results from the management team were not helping them keep pace with competitors.  When we looked at past decisions and outcomes, a pattern became apparent.  Most of the decisions were introduced by one manager, and after a short discussion, minor adjustments, that solution was implemented.  It was quick, easy and painless.  What they learned is that it wasn’t the right approach.

Our solution was to create a structure which would guide the decision making process so that they would compete more effectively and grow their business.  This decision making process included brainstorming, risk assessment, resource evaluation, and a beta test before final launch.  Through the beta test they can ask what is working, what is not and most importantly why!  The answers fueled their future discussions and decisions and led to more innovation and better profits.

Working Alone or Looking for More Diverse Perspectives?

Small and medium business leaders often have a small leadership team.  Their ability to ask for feedback, gather different perspectives or garner support (cause it can be lonely at the top) is limited.

Arrow up ID-10022718So… a mastermind (peer-mentoring) group can be the solution!  Why!  You become part of a unique group of motivated, goal oriented, successful business leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs who, like you, are focused on being a good leader, better business person and make better decisions that ignite results, engage employees, grow business and helps them professionally and personally.

A Mastermind Group offers all participants unprecedented opportunities to lead change, grow business and become a stronger leader and a confident person.   Learn more about our Achieve More! Mastermind   Sign up today to reserve your spot!  The Group is limited to 10 participants.


Happiness Matters

There is much written about the impact of an organization’s culture and employee contentment on productivity and quality.  Entrepreneurs are more successful when they are passionate about what they do.  The long hard hours don’t feel like work when you love what you do.

“Over 40 percent of the companies listed in the top 100 of Fortune magazine’s “America’s Best Companies to Work For” also appear on the Fortune 500.”

As many of my regular followers know, I am an avid Vancouver Canucks fan.  Last year, the team was struggling and it was clear the players were not enjoying the game they love.  The Coach also didn’t seem happy and his frustration erupted at one point in the season, and he was suspended.  Wind the clock forward to today where TV commentators are talking about the changes they are seeing in the Canucks.  They are performing, scoring, and playing more like a team.  Commentators cite the change in coach and the fact that the guys love coming to work as fundamental factors for this change.

What is the atmosphere like in your business?  

Are your employees happy and engaged?  

Do they like coming to work?  

Executive Leadership Coaching has been identified as an effective method for organizations to enhance employee engagement and improve productivity.  The rollover effect is improved customer satisfaction.  Each of these outcomes are good for your bottom line.

Coaching is utilized by organizations to enhance leadership, performance and to develop employee skill.  I have hyena reality| freedigitalphotos.networked with many business owners and managers for this exact purpose.  In each situation, the goals of the organization and those of the individual manager have been explored and directs our time together.

Coaching offers a non-judgmental supportive environment for each manager to grow and stretch.  When we confront challenges, short-comings and strengths, we are also able to focus on solutions and next steps.  This vulnerable point of coaching offers the most growth potential and is essential for shifts to occur. I am always so impressed with the shifts that occur as we work together.   Coaching really does bring out the best in you and builds on your skills and interests and self confidence grows in a positive way.

Contact me to discuss how Ignite Leadership can help you and your organization improve leadership, employee engagement and your organizational culture.

When an Opporunity Appears – Will You be Ready?

As an avid hockey fan, I often find great examples from sporting events that can apply to the business world.  The most recent was the decision by the Montreal Canadiens to play their 3rd string goalie in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final  rather than the more experienced back-up.  Tokarski was recently called up from the AHL and is now in his debut post season game.  Tokarski is obviously lacking some NHL experience with only 10 NHL games under his belt, but he has lots of experience and wins in big games throughout his career.

How does this relate to business?

In the above example, franchise goalie Carey Price was injured  in Game 1 and was unable to play for the remainder of this series.  The injury was unexpected and created an opportunity for his teammates.

This is no different to business situations where a potential client may unexpectedly have a need for your product/services.  Would you be able to step up and “play big”?

Image:  Stuart Miles | www.freedigitalphotos.net

Image: Stuart Miles | www.freedigitalphotos.net

In business, similar opportunities present themselves.  It is up to you to be prepared.  This may mean having to set up systems, learn new skills before you need them, hire staff in advance of getting that next job — all so you can act quickly to capitalize on the opportunity.

It also means you have to be nimble.  One of the situations that was presented to me was a project to evaluate a specific team and construct action plans to reach best practices.

In this instance I needed someone with specific experience to bring more value to the project.  I quickly explored my contact lists, identified possible connections and found the ideal person.  My client signed off on their addition to the team and the assessment began.   Soon this project morphed into new opportunities which kept my team working for 2 years.

Don’t let opportunities pass you buy because you aren’t ready. Think bigger and get prepared today for what could be possible tomorrow.  Who could you call upon to do different tasks?   Have you created processes which allow you to easily delegate and train others to step in and get up to speed effectively?   Are your systems scalable in a way that they will continue to work  as you grow?

Just a few things to thing about to be prepared for the unknown, which can move you from small to a recognized leader.

Are you looking to review your strategy, operations and your ability to leverage?   I can help you and your team.  Book an exploration session today so we can explore how to ensure you don’t miss out on your next opportunity.

Systems Make Your Business Work Better

Over the past two months I have had the privilege to attend some great workshops and seminars.  I love learning new things and finding new ways of accomplishing results faster.  Each time I attend an event I walk away with at least one great tip I can share with my clients.

I know I have written about systems before, but I couldn’t resist sharing some new insights on why I stand behind the strong belief that systems make your business work better.

What do I mean by systems?  

A system is the process you take to complete a task to obtain the right result, consistently and efficiently.   A good system identifies the steps you take, the resources (time, money, equipment, skill) you need and the outcome desired.Tea break time at work

As a business owner or manager, it is important to clearly establish the systems that are needed so that the actions taken by yourself or your team are consistently moving your business toward its strategic and operational goals.  In addition the steps you take must reflect the needs of your customers,  fit your team’s skill, and effectively utilize your team’s skill, the time available and the company’s money or other resources.

Three steps to creating good systems.

1.  Record as you go

One of the easiest and fastest ways to create a system is to record the steps you take as you complete different tasks.  These procedures will allow you to repeat the same steps time after time.  They will also allow you to delegate these tasks to others and speed up training.

If trying to write it all down is too time consuming, consider taping yourself as you go through the steps and having an assistant type it up for you.   I have also asked employees to assist me in recording the steps for their own job.  Who better to ensure its right than the person who does that task every day!

2.  Can technology save time, money or improve  outcomes?

 One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is leaving manual systems in place too long, or failing to consider technological options that are on the market today.    Cost of purchasing, training and a lack of knowledge of how software will really make a difference are the most common reasons but they could be costing you and your business profits!

One company I worked with had a very old, yet (in their mind) functional computer.  Three times in the  prior six months it experienced down time.  These breakdowns caused a loss of data (which had to be reentered by staff), slowed response time to customers (staff didn’t have access to the information they needed nor did they have access to the database which allowed them to process customer payments.  On top of the down time, a computer specialist to retrieve lost data and troubleshoot the problems.  All of this was inconvenient, not good for productivity, customer service or for cash flow!  In my estimation Time Wasted _ clock in bin 9491623_sthey lost almost twice as much as the cost of a new computer.

Identifying new technology options that will integrate with existing systems is vital, unless the data can be easily transitioned.  In small businesses, accounting software and integrated customer management/e-commerce systems are two priorities you should consider to save time, improve customer support and improve profits.  The monthly outlay can be quickly recouped.

3.  Review Regularly

 Embracing continuous quality improvement is an imperative when you want to be a leader.  Every good system must integrate a review process on a regular basis.  A review allows you to determine if the process that is in place is still working, whether it is meeting the needs of the business and is efficient and productively aligns with your strategic and operational goals.

As part of the review process, obtain feedback from your coach, mentor, partner, employees or other sources to understand what options exist which would improve profitability, save time and other resources or achieve better outcomes.  External input is invaluable, as is basic observation!

Are you struggling with your business?  Are systems non-existent or ineffective?  I’d love to connect with you to delve deeper and explore options and how I could help you!

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Book Your complimentary Exploration Session today!

A lesson learned

Last evening I attended the book launch event for the  Financially Empowered Woman by  Tracy Theemes.  Not only was the event a cozy welcoming environment, it also offered good networking opportunities and some great insights into the time and effort necessary in becoming a published author.

Tracy offered some great insights in her usual forthright and humorous fashion.  I thought I would share my interpretation of her comments.

1.  When a good idea bubbles to the surface, you don’t always act on it right away!

How many times have you had a good idea only to push it aside because you don’t think you have the confidence, time, energy or resources to accomplish it.  Many good ideas have to percolate and will keep resurfacing until you make a firm decision.   Is it a “go” or “no-go”?

Don’t wait. The time will never be just right.

Napoleon Hill

2.  Your idea will always take more work than you think… but that’s ok.

I know… this can be a big draw-back from making the decision to move forward on your idea.  It’s human nature to want to get the biggest reward for the least amount of energy.   Push that idea aside and just start taking small steps and set aside time to focus on your idea.  Before you know it you’ll realize good progress until it’s done!

Decide what you want .. believe you can have it, believe you deserve it, believe it’s possible for you.


3.  You can’t do it alone!

I hear this statement over and over… and I remind my clients of this  fact too.   Your capacity to achieve greatness is greater than you can accomplish alone.  Every great leader or successful business leader share one common trait… they leveraged their network to help them reach their goals.   For some it may be family or close friends.  For others it may be colleagues at work, a boss, a sponsor, mentor or customer.  A Coach or a mastermind group are other resources available to you to gain the support, accountability, encouragement, and brain power of others.

“Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish,

but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.”

Napoleon Hill

As a business leader, are you motivated to take your career or business to the next level?  Do you want to expand your network, improve your personal and professional self-confidence and expand your knowledge and leverage the skills and ideas of others to broaden your  understanding of key business issues, trends and explore opportunities?

If this sounds like you, I recommend that you consider joining a mastermind group.   

I don’t know anybody who has become supersuccessful who has not employed the principle of masterminding.
Jack Canfield  Author Chick Soup for the Soul

I have participated in one or more mastermind groups for over 20 years.  Each group shared some key attributes which have enabled them endure changes and the ups and downs that naturally occur with groups.   I cannot count the number of times my mastermind partners were the nudge, power, support or cushion as I grew, recreated and regrew my business over that time period.  I truly believe that every business person needs to find and get involved with a mastermind team.

“You CAN NOT achieve your major definite purpose in life with out using the power of the MasterMind.”

Napoleon Hill

I am so committed to this concept I decided it was time to create an option for others who are motivated to be better, offer more, and achieve more to themselves, others and their community.   There are lots of different options available to you… so why consider mine?

->  I have build and participated in a lot of masterminds.   You can benefit from what I bring to the table as your facilitator.

-> Groups will be created to compliment the skills and needs of each participant so we maximize the benefit from the ‘many minds’ effect.  My goal is for you to learn and receive as much as you give.

-> You are joining a group where expectations are shared up-front, and everyone joins with a similar commitment to the first 6 months.

-> It doesn’t matter where you live or work… you can join my virtual boardroom via telephone, computer or skype from the comfort of your office or home.    Mastermind groups offer personal and professional development with a twist!

Take action today to reserve your spot for sessions starting September 2013.

Set up a complimentary session with me so we can place you in the appropriate group before spaces fill up!

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