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5 Principles for Effective Leadership Development

Strategy Definition Button Showing Planning Organization And Leadership

Leadership Development is strategic planning for the individual.

Unfortunately many Leaders do not have a strategic learning plan so they don’t get a good return on their investment.

The good news is that today’s leaders have access to more workshops, seminars, WebExes, Books, Guru’s and Coaches than any other generation of Leaders. The challenge is knowing when, where and with whom they should invest thier time and money.

The answer to those questions is different for each indiviual because every Leader is unique as are the Companies they work for and the problems they face.  It is a journey and the Leader has to think strategically.

Here are some tips to help you have a successful journey.

1. Know your strengths and your weaknesses.
Develop and leverage strengths. Limit the impacts of your weaknesses.

2. Work with a coach or group who you can trust and have confidence in.
If you are truly engaged in learning it is going to get personal.

3. Know that you are smart, talented and bring unique value to your role.
Also accept the fact that you have some bad data, limiting attitudes, and non-productive behaviors and habits. 

4. Get focused on the one or two most important skills/strengths  that you need to develop.
It takes time, patience and practice to master new skills.

5. Create a written strategic development plan that is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time bound.
Yes this is the SMART model which many people don’t like because they create unrealistic goals.

We provide both  individual and team coaching services. If you would like to talk more about developing yourself or leaders thoughout your organization please contact me at 847-687-1552 or Bob@pfccgroup.com.

Good luck on your Leadership Journey!

The Essence of Leadership

I have been fascinated with Leadership since I was a teenager. I have studied it, read about it, gone to countless workshops on it,  discussed it, created models for it, helped develop it in others and done my best to model it.

Lots of great work and research have been done on the subject and there is no shortage of theories or ideas about leadership (Just ask Amazon for a listing of Leadership books). However, I like it when authentic leaders share their insights and beliefs.

 

This morning I found some authentic wisdom in a New York Times article.  Here is an excerpt from that article.

Dior’s Chief Executive Describes His Leadership Style

Sidney Toledano, the 63-year-old, long-serving chief executive of Christian Dior Couture, says the most important management trait cannot be learned at business school.

“For me,” Mr. Toledano says, “a leader is someone who is, at the end of the day, making decisions. Schools, even the best ones, can teach you to apply lessons, and sometimes they give you a mathematical formula to make decisions, but it never works, because each decision is different and changes according to the situation. The only way to learn is by listening to someone else make decisions, seeing them balance rationality and intuition. Then, one day, you decide to go your own way.”

Similarly, when things go wrong, “first, I gather everyone together and identify the problem, and say, ‘This is how we will overcome it.’ ”

(You can read the full article at http://nyti.ms/1zjENTd).

Here are my take away from the article.

1. Leaders need to seek input to gain perspective. 

2. Leaders  need to make decisions to model accountability.

3. Leaders need to share their reasoning to build trust and teach others.

Doing all three of these things involves risk and can make them vulnerable.

4.  Therefore Leadership requires wisdom, confidence and courage!

Please share your thoughts on the blog.

Thank you!

PS : How are you doing with your Leadership journey? We are here to help you and your team achieve your goals and objectives. Contact Bob@PFCCgroup.com.

 

3 Crucial Elements for Jumping Sales Numbers

boosting your sales

Marketers from every niche have common ground when it comes to bills. Yeah, every month there’s a new stack of bills demanding to be paid. Will there be enough profit to slide right through bill paying time without a flinch? Or do you find yourself fretting about whether you’ll even break even? You don’t have to be victimized by envelopes and 8×10 sheets of paper. Implement these 3 techniques to boost your sales.

1. Find More Customers

The first thing that comes to mind when we think of making more money is getting more customers through our doors. In fact, the majority of advertising focuses on doing just that. There are several things you can do to entice more customers to buy from you.

Implement Follow-Ups
Marketing gurus have discovered that follow ups can increase your customer conversion rates by as much as 50%. Now, that’s a whopping improvement! Don’t let potential customers fade away. Keep the doors for future communication open, and watch the drastic growth in your profits.

Encourage Referrals
Every satisfied customer will tell 3 friends or family members about your business – without encouragement. Imagine what would happen if you start rewarding their efforts.

Get Free Publicity
Nearly everyone keeps a sharp eye on the local news. Hey, it’s funner to know what’s going on when you personally recognize the names and faces in print! Find ways to make your business newsworthy and catch the attention of potential customers without even paying advertising fees.

2. Sell More Per Customer
Think about it… how can you get every customer that walks through your doors to spend more money before walking back out the doors? Here are 3 sure-fire, profit increasing tips:

Increase your prices.
Hey, that might not be as bad as you think. Along with the price increase, focus on increasing the perceived value of your product. Yeah, we all expect to pay a little more for high quality stuff. Not everyone is bent on finding the absolute cheapest price in town… they may be more interested in lasting quality.

Add some higher end products or services to your business.
It’s never wise to put all of your eggs in one basket. That’s why wise marketers diversify their products and services. Think of it this way… higher priced products may not make as many sales, but each sale will bring in a much greater profit. You don’t need to make as many sales to come out on the best end of the deal.

Upsell
Offer every customer an additional product that accents his current purchase at the register. Hey, maybe they forgot they’d need batteries to go with the toy they’re getting for their niece’s birthday gift! You can be a hero… a richer hero.

3. Sell More Often
The fact that it’s easier to sell to the people who know and trust you is obvious. Sometimes we get so focused on new customers that we miss the gold mine in our own back yard. Take advantage of the hard work you’ve invested in winning the loyal customers you already have with these ideas:

Create a Special Deal
Show your customers you appreciate them and understand their needs with a special offer catered just for them. You’ll be thanking them, and selling more in the process.

Add New Products
Increase the number of products you already have available – especially products that your customers have asked for. They’ll know that you’re looking out for them, and you’ll take their thanks to the bank.

Communicate
Resell yourself on a regular basis. Don’t forget to let them know about upcoming specials that they’ll appreciate. Most of all… keep selling them on the benefits of the products or services you offer.

Career Planning: It is your career. Use the Me Inc. Process to get results!

Team Coaching Session

assmnt-resultsIn today’s world of work there is a lot of cynicism, distrust and fear. Many people are unemployed or not sure where they stand with their customers, their boss or their Company. They are concerned about their families and their future.  The old contracts and agreements between management and labor are changing and in some cases gone. Bottom line. It is very hard to think straight and take action in this kind of environment and doing nothing will negatively impact your quality of life and health.

Well I don’t have a magic wand and I can’t guarantee success but I can provide some guidance on how you can gain more control over your job search, your career and your life. I want to introduce you to a career management model you can use to take charge of your career.

Starting right now you need to think of yourself as “Me Inc.”.  You are probably thinking, “That’s it…. That’s your big idea?”.  The answer is yes because the Me Inc. mindset will help guide you to success. It will help you ask the right questions, determine what you want to do, set meaningful goals, develop the right skills, talk to the right people. Create your resume, tell your story, and put yourself in a position to get what you want and need.

It is a powerful tool but it takes courage and commitment. You have to take the lead, be honest with yourself and others, and do the work.

I can’t walk you through the whole process here but I can give you a feel for how the process works.

When you think of yourself as Me Inc. you have to think like a business. A business exists to make a profit.  It can only do that if it has customers who are willing to pay  for its products or services a fee that covers the costs of operation (including salaries) and generate money for reinvestment.

Me Inc. thinking leads to the asking of lots of incredibly important questions just like a good business plan:

Why Me Inc.  Mission, vision, objectives, beliefs, customers, stakeholders, and deliverable

Me Inc. Products and Services: What are my skills and abilities? What are the products or services I currently can provide or want to provide in the future? How good am I at delivering these products and services?

Me Inc. Marketing Questions: Who needs these services and what is the market like? How many workers are needed? How many workers are trained and ready to do the job?  Where are these jobs located? How can I differentiate myself from the others to improve my chances of success?

Me Inc. Financial Income Questions: What is the going price for the products or services I can provide? What is my earning potential? How can I increase this?

Me Inc. Financial Expense Questions: What are my fixed and variable expenses? What standard of living do I want and what will it take to live that life style?

Me Inc. Life Balance Questions: Work is only part of your life. Who are the other key people in my life? What commitments and responsibilities do I have to them? What do I need as a person to feel successful, whole complete?

These are just some of the questions that Me Inc. thinking raises. Answering them takes time, thoughtfulness and the courage to face challenges head on, and to make decisions.

But here is the key. Using the Me Inc. model puts you in charge.  That doesn’t mean you are guaranteed success, or that you will get everything you want.

But it does mean you will be gathering the data, making the decisions and creating the plan that will help you determine your future.

Getting started on this journey can be tough and many people need a coach to help guide them on the journey. The Coach can guide you through the process and make sure you’ve fully answered the key questions and understand the impacts of your choices.

If you would like to know more about working with a Coach please email me at bob@pfccgroup.com

Learning to be a Good Follower is critical to becoming a Good Leader!

individuals

individualsI believe great leaders also know how to be great followers. Leading is a very difficult job. You take on the responsibility for the people you lead and the for the direction you lead them in.

Since Leaders are responsible for making decisions that impact the whole Organization any decision that doesn’t make sense to us is suspect. Blaming the Leader is easy! We don’t even have to fully understand the situation. I mean after all a bad decision is simply a bad decision right? I’m negatively impacted and unhappy so somebody is to blame. I can even assume that the Leader is unaware, not informed, not well trained, stupid, mean, or even vindictive!

Ok I know you are not that petty. But human nature isn’t always pretty and it is easy for us to jump to conclusions when the Leaders make decisions we don’t like. Good Leaders know this and they know how to communicate effectively, gain the support of their followers and respond to those who are unhappy even though this is not always easy to do.

What about our responsibilities as Good Followers?” I said Good followers! I didn’t say Lemmings (who will follow their Leader over a cliff). So what does it mean to be a Good Follower? Now that is a great question and I promise I will answer it shortly but first I want you to help me nail down what it is to be a Good Leader.

Here is what I need you to do. Take five minutes and make a list of all the values and attributes you want your Leader to have. You can start with trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent (yes I borrowed these from Boy Scouts) but there are more! How about ethical, personable, intelligent, a good listener, decisive, wise, daring, innovative, etc.

If you did the exercise I’ll bet you have a really good list. Now here is the kicker. Do you know anyone who has all these traits and lives up to them all the time? How about you? Can you live up to your list? If you are honest the answer is no to both questions. I have done this exercise with hundreds of people and the lists they create all look remarkably alike.

We know what good looks like and we all believe in the attributes we have placed on the list but no one can live up to our ideals not even us! My goal here is not to change what good looks like or to suggest that Leaders stop striving for excellence, my goal is to help us all recognize the reality of being human and to encourage us to be more empathetic and supportive of the people who step forward and take Leadership roles. We actually can help them be better Leaders by being Good Followers!

Oh I almost forgot. I promised to define for you what it takes to be a Good Follower. Its pretty simple. Actually if you did the exercise you’ve already created the list. It is the same list you created for the Leader! We probably should turn this into some kind of Golden Rule like “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Kind of catchy, huh? OK I didn’t create this rule but some very wise person did and it’s been around for a long time. Can you think of another rule or saying like this one that is filled with good advice and wisdom? If you do please share it! Thanks!

The role of Leader is tough and although some people have natural Leadership ability most Leaders benefit from training and or coaching to help them master the challenges of the role. We can help you develop the Leaders in your organization.

If you are interested in learning more about our Leadership Development services please email me at bob@pfccgroup.com