Strategic Planning has always been a key leadership tool in the development of successful for-profit organizations. Its format and time scope may vary, but it serves as an important function in business success. It has helped many businesses focus their priorities on future growth and profitability.
What about non-profit charitable organizations? Although their objectives are not to generate a profit or provide its stockholders with a dividend, they must look into the future to increase its service to the communities it serves and find the necessary funding to support those services. Their ultimate success may not be defined as business success, but is measured in the effectiveness of their humanitarian service. Stripped of profitability goals and materialistic rewards, these organizations face enormous challenges in focusing their efforts and motivating those involved.… Read the rest
So often we hear from the owner of a business or the manager of an organization lament about the performance of employees or associates. They speak of it as though they were having an out-of- body experience in which they were completely separated from the activities of the group. When I hear these types of comments, I am reminded of an old Greek phase, translated to the fish rots from the head down.
Leadership wisdom from Simon Sinek To be authentic is to be imperfect.
Authenticity is about imperfection. And authenticity is a very human quality. To be authentic is to be at peace with your imperfections.
Great leaders are not the strongest; they are the ones who are honest about their weaknesses. Great leaders are not the smartest; they are the ones who admit how much they don’t know. Great leaders can’t do everything; they are the ones who look to others to help them. Great leaders don’t see themselves as great; they see themselves as human.
Great leaders don’t try to be perfect, they try to be themselves … and that’s what makes them great.
We were recently asked by an Agent in Charge of a real estate office to make a presentation to a number of new realtors. He explained to me that although they had extensive sales and legal training, they had little understanding of how to build a successful business. Real Estate Agents are, in fact, independent contractors and although the agency provides much support, success is the result of their own plans and efforts. The agent explained to me that many had never been in business for themselves before and find this a new experience. In fact, 80 percent don’t make it to the second year.… Read the rest
As you drive down any street over the last several months, almost every business has a Help Wanted sign outside. It’s the sign of the times. With the current low unemployment rate and the health business environment, businesses have a problem servicing their existing customers and growing new business. It is a different world from a few years ago and may require new ways of staffing.… Read the rest
The first job of a nonprofit leader is to bring focus to the organization’s purpose and activities. That focus cannot be on himself of herself but on the cause the nonprofit represents. That purpose and focus is embodied in the development of the organization’s Mission. That mission needs to be one that can become operational. If not, it is not mission; it is just good intentions.… Read the rest
It is widely understood that listening is an important skill in a wide range of activities. To be a great leader or manager, you must be a good listener. To be a good salesperson, you must learn to listen to the needs of your customer or client. To be a good teacher, you must listen to the feedback from your class. To be a good parent, you must listen to the questions from your children. Listening is especially important in being a good spouse.… Read the rest
Nonprofit boards of directors can either be a great asset to an organization or of little value. They are required by law to ensure that the public good is furthered. They can be viewed by the staff as being important to the organization or a nuisance. Let’s consider three areas of concern. Who should be on a board? What should the board and its member do? What should be the on-boarding process for new members?… Read the rest
We often wonder if we can change the way people in our organization behave. It seems like such an impossible task, but much work has been done in understanding some basic concepts which leaders can use to modify the behavior of others and improve productivity. How do you correct the behavior of a staff member who is always late or someone who wants to take up your time complaining about others? How do you develop a more productive group or team? There are some concepts and ideas which can help with these matters.… Read the rest
One of the key ingredients in building a successful business is financial control. As we work with clients, we often find that they are managing their business through their checkbook. If there’s cash in their checking account at the end of the week, they can make their payroll and pay their bills. That’s the extent of their control. Real financial control comes when the manager knows that the operation is profitable and can build it successfully. The first step in increasing this level of financial control is the development of a budget associated with one business plan and reviewed on a regular basis. Let’s consider three areas of budgeting; building the budget, reviewing the budget, and cash versus accrual accounting.… Read the rest
Of course, all organizations need to grow and strengthen their team. For profit business look to increase sales along with adding new products and services. Likewise nonprofits look to strengthen and increase the services they supply to their clients. Nonprofits are often limited in their resources and have to operate in a very efficient manner. A wide range of services are available to help build efficiency but let us consider one possibility.… Read the rest
Over the last few years, we have had the opportunity to work with a wide range of family businesses. As students of formal business education, we have had to learn to adapt to the family business environment because it differs from that which is associated with Corporate America. From that experience,there are a number of ideas which we would like to share:… Read the rest
Fortune magazine, in their September 15, 2017 issue, published an article by Dov Seidman entitled “Four Pillars of Moral Leadership.” It is based on the guiding precept that while the rules of engagement in business seem to be ever-changing, there are basic rules of moral leadership that stand the test of time. The following is based on the shortened version which is posted here.… Read the rest
Recently we attended a conference in Reading PA at Resource Associates, during which Tammy Kohl made a presentation on Listening. I would like to share with you some of the ideas and thoughts. It was a great subject and helpful to us all.
First consider on a scale of 0 to 100% what your level of efficiency is. 60% of the time we spend in communications is listening. Studies have shown that the average person listening skills are only 25 % efficient.… Read the rest
As we begin a new year, our hope is to continue to grow our businesses in both revenue and profitability. One of the most important responsibilities of leaders is to establish goals for their business. As a business grows, it becomes more difficult to align the efforts of increased employees. During the start-up phase of a business, communications tend to be informal and it is easier for the owner to ensure that expectations and plans are clear because there are fewer people. However, adding employees adds complexity, and it becomes critical to formalize goals to ensure that everyone is on the same page.… Read the rest
Recently I had a meeting with a colleague and he said something that really hit home.
This person is driven and early in his career he made sacrifices with his family to get ahead. He achieved great financial success and rapidly rose up the career ladder. However, the financial gain was offset by the costs to his personal life: divorce, disconnected with his children, and even his own health. He told me now that he is older, and wiser, he wouldn’t have given up so much personally to gain what he did financially.… Read the rest
Many companies, who cannot employee full time salesman to cover a market segment or demographic region, utilize sales agents. Webster defines a sales agent as: one who is authorized or appointed by a manufacturer to sell or distribute his products within a given territory but who is self-employed, may or may not take title to the goods, and does not act as an agent for a principal. These agents can be a very valuable part of the sales effort but are often drastically underutilized. Let’s consider some of the misconceptions about agents and how to optimize their value in your sales effort.… Read the rest