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Consultants and Best Practices Suck!

Beware Best Practices and the Consultants who bring them!

I just read a blogger who tried to impress his readers by putting down best practices and jumping on the Consultants Suck bandwagon. He took a shot at the value of “best practices” by saying mimicking is best left to monkeys. Then he threw the Consultants who help implement them under the bus too! He pretty much called them snake oil salesmen.

He’s dead wrong and here is why!

If you have to discover, test, implement and reinvent every process and improvement you need to make, you will never be able to focus on your unique genius and create your own best practices (BP’s).  There are lots of BP’s that changed the world and are worthy of mimicking:

- Edward Deming’s 14 points of management are still true, widely used, frequently restated and positioned as new, and  still a relevant tool for evaluating how you and your organization operate.
- Jim Collins Good to Great which is a collection of BP’s based on a tremendous amount of skillful research is probably one of the most influential business book ever written. It has helped thousand of companies improve and grow.

The value of a Good Best Practices Consultant is that they have done the heavy lifting required to understand what is needed to quickly teach, train,  implement and sustain the new best practice in your organization. As a result you get traction and a quicker return on your investment. In addition they bring resources that allow you to your team to stay focused on delivering your unique and valuable contributions and expertise.

Best Practices and the good Consultant’s that help implement them are a very valuable tool that can help you keep up and leap frog past your competitors! 



The Secret to Leadership Development

As I continue to study Leadership and look for both the core leadership competencies and the key differentiators that separate great leaders from good leaders and bad leaders, I have become keenly aware that there isn’t one magical formula. Every Leaders journey is unique.

There are at least three factors that govern and impact our ability to develop our leadership skills!

1. DNA – DNA creates many different and unique blueprints and since leaders are people they each have their own unique blueprint and that includes their leadership style. Although different and unique I believe there is more than enough potential for each individual to successfully lead regardless of their preferences for introvert, extrovert, analytical or emotional, writing or speaking, etc.

2. Environment – As we know our environment definitely influences how we interpret the world, and what knowledge, skills, abilities and attitudes we develop to survive and then succeed. Although a lot of this programing takes place subconsciously when we are young it can be nurtured, influenced and redirected.

3. Free Will – This is an incredible gift. We can select and or build a leadership model that values where we have been, what we have already developed and where we want to go. It requires honest self assessment and awareness, a vision for what you want to be, and a commitment to continuously learn and grow.

The Leadership journey is personal and yet it requires us to seek wisdom and feedback from others!

Are you making progress on your Leadership journey? Would you like to have a partner who understands the process and helps you create the Leader you want to be? As my guide told me yesterday “I’m not the sage on the stage I’m the guide by your side”. If you would like a guide call me at 847-687-1552 or reach out to me by email at Bob@PFCCgroup.com.

Thanks for reading!



Networking is not about you!

I have a completely new mindset when I think about networking!

Recently I attended a “Coffee and Contacts” meeting. It is a gathering of local business people that features a guest speaker or some other similar learning opportunity. At this particular meeting the topic was Networking (yuk) and the format was a panel discussion. The panel members were all very qualified and one in particular was a new friend who had been very kind to me and helping me get comfortable in my new role as a new business owner.

The questions from the audience were thoughtful and the panelists gave good advice.  I sat there taking notes and role playing in my head how I would put all these ideas into play.  I was feeling good about the event but my inner voice was doing some serious negative talking and I could feel my networking anxiety growing. It was then that my panelist friend stopped me right in my tracks when he said with wisdom, compassion and firmness:

“Folks its not about you! It never was about you! It never will be about you! 

I’ve heard and read this before but this time it hit me hard. Probably because he didn’t just say it, he has been demonstrating it to me for almost a year.  It also resonated with some really deep beliefs I have about people.

I believe:

1. Everyone is born with a tremendous amount of potential.

2. That from this potential special, unique, talents, skills and abilities can emerge.

3. That we are responsible for discovering, developing, and sharing our gifts.

4. That we are also responsible for helping others find , develop and share theirs.

5. That the world wants and needs us to develop and share our gifts.

Networking is really about helping others. Successful networkers seek to enrich others rather than themselves.  Its not about you! 


Demand, Support and Recognize Good Behavior from Employees

Your People will make or break your business!

For me the fundamental business building block is the people! If your people aren’t adding value, they are an anchor. If they aren’t growing, they are risking becoming obsolete. If they are self-centered they are failing to meet the needs of internal and external customers.

Good behaviors need to be defined, encouraged and defended. People don’t want to cause problems at work but as humans we are flawed! We need help to overcome our flaws address our short comings. It requires a  continuous effort to be good!

Does your culture help employees be good? Do your employees know what good looks like? Do they know what you expect of them? Do you recognize and reward good behavior? Do you provide feedback and address bad behavior?

I believe it is the responsibility of Leaders to insure the culture promotes good behavior. When people behave, work for the common good, and strive to do and be their best great things can happen!

If you would like to discuss developing your Company’s culture please call me at 847-687-1552.


Great Leaders Hire Great People

Ever make a bad hire? Most leaders have. If you are like me you don’t want to relive the experience!

Hiring new people is time consuming and difficult. Many Leaders dread it but  leaders at all levels need to recognize and own the hiring process. It is a powerful opportunity to strengthen their team and improve performance results!

Spending time up front to get real clear about what you want and need from this position is critical. Ask yourself questions like:

1. “How does this role support the strategy?”

2. “What knowledge, skills and abilities must this person have to be successful?”

3. “What knowledge, skill, or experience gaps do we have on our team that this person could help fill?”

4. “What values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors are required to effectively fit into to our culture?”

When you get the OPPORTUNITY to hire. Get it RIGHT!

Contact us if you would like help evaluating candidates or setting up your hiring process.

Inspired by Randy Conley’s article  The One Responsibility a Leader Can’t Delegate.