Systems, while not the answer to everything, can certainly be one of those things that brings a great sense of control to your business.The trick is creating them in such a way that:1. They work,2. People use them,3. You can keep them updated and relevant.And doing those three is not always easy.For us and many … Read moreUsing Trello to Create Checklists You’ll Actually Use
On September 30, Jamie was interviewed by Eric Dye of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network about dealing with growing pains and managing the internal and external challenges that come with growing a successful business. With tips from our business coaching toolbox Jamie painlessly describes what specific characteristics and skillsets are needed for an entrepreneur to have successful business growth. Give it a listen:
TIP: Invest in you. Your business is a reflection of you. If you want to grow your business and stay one step a head, then you need to grow you. And to find the place to start, look to where your stress is. Stress is usually created by uncertainty, i.e. not knowing how to handle a certain problem. That might be the place you need to learn some more or become more capable in same way. Listen to Jamie’s interview with Curtin FM for the skinny on the productiviy apps that can help you manage your time and harness business growth
A culture of accountability has many advantages. Among them are:
an increase in team performance (obviously)
high morale (because people are growing and getting shit done)
lower stress for you the leader (because you’re dealing with things proactively) ; and
business results (when a team is thriving and executing, result have to happen – it can’t be any other way)
If that sounds attractive (and it should), then the question to ask yourself is “how effective am I at building a culture of accountability?” You’ll be among good company if your answer is lower than you’d like it. It’s a common trap—so let’s not stay there. Let’s take it up a notch (or 10). And here’s how you can do it. First, the truth
You can’t hold someone accountable.
Sure, you could use all to go to tactics we see some parents using – yelling, guilt and shame (I don’t recommend any of those – in your business or with your kids) but would you rather that YOU have to change someone’s behaviour or would you rather THEY do it? Your true goal as a leader is to help people grow their sense of internal accountability. Your role is to help them either want to get it done or to develop the skills to get it done.
If a person has clarity on the need, the drive to do it and the skills and the resources to do it, they will act. The part of leadership that encompasses accountability is being able to identify and shift where a person has a block. It is usually one of those three elements that are lacking.
With that principle understood, let’s look at the tactics. Step 1 – The Relationship
For communication to be effective, a relationship needs to be healthy. We listen most closely and openly to those we respect and those whom we feel respect and care for us. Knowing this truth, it is critical that your relationships with your team have a healthy foundation of mutual respect and care. So your first step in helping someone develop their accountability is to check with your own internal view of that person. Second, check in with your view of yourself – self-respect is critical.
Where respect and care are lacking, communication will have an edge, and the intent behind the act will flavour the communication in an unhelpful way, whether you mean to or not. Step 2 – Clear expectations
To be accountable for something, you first need to know what you are to be accountable for. It sounds obvious, but over and over again we’ve seen lack of clarity between the leader’s expectations and that of the team. Put things in writing. Test your communication by having the person repeat back to you the communication they have received.
When it comes to clarity of roles in the business, we are big believers in position contracts that outline 3-7 key outcomes a person is accountable for. These are defined by criteria for success, so everyone is crystal clear on what the expectations are.
(Fill out the form below to download a free sample)
Step 3 – Framework for the conversations
We use a FeedForward system that is a document allowing two parties to have a candid and objective discussion.
(Fill out the form below to download)
The intent behind the discussion is how to help a person move forward vs. pointing out where they are doing badly. The conversation is driven by the team member, not the leader. The leader acts more as a facilitator to help the person discover opportunities for themselves in the three areas we previously identified (clarity on expectations, motivation, skills & resources).
When these conversations happen proactively (before there is a problem), the feeling behind the interaction is way different than when it is too late.
Now, if you have a situation that is already too late—no problem. Still get started immediately, but you’ll need to take complete responsibility for your lack of action to date. Before you can express your dissatisfaction with their performance or behaviour, you may need to own up to not being clear about expectations or giving more guidance before now. Always point the finger at yourself before pointing it at others.
There is a very good chance that if you feel there is a problem, the other person knows it too, or they are just plain unhappy at work. Either way, there is a good reason to get the issues on the table and sort it out. You both stand to benefit.
Ideally, you don’t want to let it get to that stage. Be the leader you know you are. Be assertive and give your team the gift of accountability. With a strong sense of internal accountability, everyone’s lives become better, and that will make your business better.
When your people grow, so does your business— sometimes exponentially.
Good luck and I’d love to hear about your experiences.
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Finding (and keeping) great employees is consistently listed as a top concern of business owners. In fact, a recent study indicates anywhere between 10-25% of new employees jump ship within their first six months on the job. That’s a frustrating and expensive prospect on both sides of the coin, and one which could be greatly … Read moreThe Onboarding Failures That Are Costing You Big
Effective Marketing of your business can be an extremely simple endeavour if you allow it to be. You already have all you need to get out there and make it happen. The best way to approach your business marketing is to think about the problems your potential ideal customers face and provide educational content around … Read moreSimple and Effective Marketing
It’s important to know what your goal is and how you’re going to execute it, but sometimes one of the missing ingredients is having the emotional leverage or clarity around why you’re going for something and the drive to see it through. This clarity of emotion is a business strength you don’t want to ignore.
In the pursuit of any goal, there’s ups and downs, but it’s when things are challenging and going against you, that you need those emotional reserves. In this video I’m not going to walk you through the actual planning process—there’s a cracker of a guide HERE that teaches you how to do that—but rather, we’re going to go through some east steps to tap into those emotional reserves when you need them. What you’ll need to complete this exercise is a blank piece of paper, divided into three columns and enter your information as follows:
Write your goal in the middle column. The only guideline here is to make sure you are picking S.M.A.R.T. goals. That is, goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented with a Timeframe. SMART goals are critical in the planning process, particularly so you can gain a better picture of what success for that goal looks like in reality.
In the left-hand column, write all the “WHY” reasons which relate to the goal. Behind every goal is a feeling, an emotion – and the emotional result that you want to achieve through that goal. Don’t skip this step or shake this task as a feel-good, fluff piece that doesn’t have any basis—nothing could be further from the truth. What you want to distill here are all the emotional reasons you want to achieve the goal. For example – if the goal is financial and you want to pay down your mortgage faster, list the emotional benefits you will gain by doing so (more disposable income to travel, more time with family, helping your children financially—whatever it is that fuels your fire). It is the feelings you will get from achieving that goal that will sustain you in the low times.
Finally, in the right-hand column is the “HOW.” Don’t worry about getting this column ‘right.’ The ‘how’ column is all about brainstorming. This is the place to list every possible way you can think of to achieve that goal (and you may need an extra page to do this—that’s ok!). Once you have an exhaustive list, you can go back, prioritize and figure out and ask yourself, “Which ones make sense?”, “Which ones do I have the resources/time/ability to do.” Etc…
From there, we advocate that you develop a structure to execute the plan and to help solidify your tasks and timelines. To do this, feel free to access our free 90-Day Planning guide which has all the tools and resources to help you develop and track your plan.
That’s it! The absolute importance of planning with purpose and emotion can’t be understated. The clearer you get on your goals, the more emotional leverage you have behind you to help you achieve those goals you’ve been dreaming of. Dream big!
Time to Watch: 5:56 well-spent minutesDo you have a current profit model? Have you ever wondered about which changes in your business will make the biggest impact on your bottom line? Is so, you’re not alone – and this is the right place to be to find out the answer. This video tells you, with real-world examples, how to determine the level of profit you’ll be able to realize through different changes to sales and growth patterns. If you’re interested in some related training, see our video “How to Create a Profit First Budget” for a step-by-step guide that goes into a bit more detail. Look, I get numbers are not the most exciting part about business ownership, but they are one of the most important.
If money is where you’re really struggling as a business owner, we have the tools to help. Now go out there and get amongst it! Cheers,
P.S. Don’t forget to stay in the loop with our latest rapid training videos on SalesUp!TV
Whether you call yourself a Boss, Leader, or Owner, there’s a very fine line between setting the pace and driving the pace. Knowing the difference is critical to the health of your team. It’s easy to fall into the trap of “Boss think” on this one, and it can be detrimental to the health and productivity of your team. Here’s how to effectively set the pace as a leader, no matter what stage your business is at. What we’re talking about here is your effect on the team in terms of your behaviour around implementation and execution. It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you aren’t held to account in the same way that your people are, but to echo a sometimes-overused phrase, you really do need to lead by example to get the results you want. You can’t create separate standards for yourself and your team, because the difference will be stark, and the result will be the creation of an “us vs. them” culture which does nothing to promote, ingenuity, motivation or retention—all cornerstones of a successful business. If you’re looking to be a team and work as a team, then you need to actively participate as one of the team, regardless of how you view yourself in the culture of the business.
What are your biggest challenge jumping into the trenches? Let us know in the comments below.
And if you watch this and think: “If there’s no ‘I’ in team, why am I doing all the work?” This read is for you.
For all you ‘A type’ business owners out there, how many of you (like me, many times) find yourselves always charging from goal to goal in the pursuit of evermore? You know where this is leading right? The power of taking some time out to ask critical questions and reflect on what ‘has been’ is … Read more8 Critical Questions to Ask Your Business-Self Before 2018
When making important decisions, we are often told, it’s critical to have a positive mindset. And it’s common for optimists everywhere to shut out the negativity of those around us in favour of the rose-coloured outlook. However, there is incredible power in harnessing that negative vibe from others and using it an alternative outlook that … Read moreWhy Negativity Makes You a Better Decision Maker
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