Tuesday, January 10, 2017

How Much Time Do You Waste Answering Employees Questions?

How much time do you waste answering employee questions?
Think about it - 20%, 50% - whatever it is, I suggest it is a waste of your time (and theirs).

It is easy to do, the lazy way, the way we have been taught to be good managers - open door policy--- if you have a question come on in!!!!! 

In essence, answering questions is counterproductive to building a great business and a great team. If you want the right people, doing the right things, right, you must stop answering questions and start coaching!

In short, you still can have an open door policy and should encourage people to come to you when they are unsure of what to do. But stop mindlessly answering their questions.

Today - they come in mindlessly, ask their question you give them the answer and they go do it. They learned nothing, they think you want them to come ask, they leave with no accountability for what they are about to do - you told them to do it.

Tomorrow - ask them if you were not here what would they do or what would they intend to do?

Now they have to think about what to do before they come to you. You ask them what they intend to do, they tell you, 90% of the time you say great and they go do it. The difference? They learn because they have to think about the right answer, they will come back less and less as you reinforce their decisions as being good ones, and they leave taking ownership of the results because it was their idea.

It is a little more time taken up front, but over time you will have a great team of people doing the right things , right - without you having to answer questions all day. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Guerilla Recruiting

"We don't go looking for a new customer just when we lose one. So why do we only recruit when we need to hire someone?"
- Jack Daly
This is a fact - A Players are not out of work looking at the want ads and online recruiting platforms for a new job. Regardless if it is a blue collar or white collar position you need to fill, the chances of them knocking on your door from an ad is "Slim to none" and  "Slim just left town"!
So what are we to do? You have to be recruiting all the time and you have to treat recruiting just like marketing. We don't go looking for a new customer just when we lose one - so why do we start recruiting just when we need one?
We need to start Guerrilla Recruiting and be doing it all the time! Use your marketing hat to attract them to your culture and to your company. Know what the pains are in their current jobs and provide the solution - "tired of ...... in your present job? Come take a look at us, we believe ......(fit into our culture)".
Guerrilla recruiting is about taking a more creative and proactive approach to talent acquisition, outside the traditional methods of job fairs, ads and form emails. The successful use of guerrilla recruiting campaigns to attract candidates shows out-of-the-box thinking goes a long way in getting noticed.
BigCommerce (Austin, Texas, USA): "Donut Settle for Less"
The Strategy
Austin, Texas, is one of the most competitive technology hubs in the United States. To help improve the probability of acquiring quality talent, three employees from BigCommerce, an e-commerce software provider, camped out in downtown Austin one Wednesday morning (in true guerrilla form) and handed out free donuts to employees entering the offices of several larger tech companies. Their objective was to draw these employees away from their existing positions and encourage them to apply at BigCommerce, using the tagline, "Donut Settle for Less."
The Results
Traffic to the company website jumped by 72 percent week-over-week, and job applications increased by 90 percent. During the three-day campaign, recruiters spoke to more than 350 possible new employees.
Take this idea and run with it! Who are you looking for?  Where do they congregate - convenience stores, parts houses, coffee shops, fast food places, association meetings, networking events etc.
What are Guerrilla Recruiting Tactics?

Rogue recruiting is a guerrilla recruiting tactic that takes no prisoners. Companies or head hunters employ creative practices that are often unorthodox to find talent in strange spaces. Sometimes the internet happens to be the most effective use of a rogue recruiter's time like dating websites, chat rooms, and forums in addition to tradition social media.  While I am a proponent of social media and online recruiting to find top talent, the market is getting crowded.  So for many of us, it's back to basics using old school guerrilla recruiting tactics to find talent and fill specialty roles IRL (in real life) instead of relying solely on the internet.

Top Job Headhunters Go to the CandidatesWith rogue recruiting, I go where the candidates are. That means head hunting sales executives by phone, kitchen designers in top show rooms, or engineers at local professionals meetings and associations.  I infiltrate the front lines, start casual conversations, build trust, and go in for the kill. Sometimes rogue recruiting is easy, but often guerrilla recruiting takes real work. Here are some ideas to get you started and on your way to finding talent in creative, unusual, and unconventional locations.

Become a Guerrilla Employment Recruiter

Go Beyond Online Recruiting and Put Yourselves in the Shoes of the Candidate.
Go where your talent is - external as well as internal to re-recruit.  Look for businesses, meeting locations, and places where your target candidate frequents. This means calling in favors and asking the right questions.  With a little research I learned that real estate sales professionals, often frequented a local coffee shop.  A few lattes later I had new friends and a handful of leads.

Go Shopping and be a Sales Recruiter.
Working in retail it was often easy for me to go where the candidates are.  My managers and I went guerrilla doing what I called "shopping for associates."  We'd visit the locations of our competition walking the aisles looking for employees who demonstrated great customer service and specialty skills. If the competition didn't value their employees, then so be it.  Sometimes that meant bringing in detailed kitchen design plans or sharing a couple business cards with friendly employees. Being removed from the building was a best case scenario.  With the office grapevine in full effect, it was the best possible form of advertising.

Recruitment Referrals are King (or Queen).
With rogue recruiting, it pays to be creative with your recruiting tactics.  Some of the most effective recruiting strategies involved a simple email sent to 300 professionals and the offer of an iPod.  Any hires made as a result of referrals from friends of colleagues would be entered in their chance to win an Apple iPod.  For a couple hundred dollars I often had 15 hires which was very cost effective especially for mass hire situations.

In the end, use guerrilla recruiting tactics as a valuable addition to your recruiting tools and the top job headhunters will have noting on you! Go rogue and get those people to work!

Other methods to do proactive recruiting.

Monster Resume Search - not the ad side but a separate service that offers the ability to search resumes from now and years ago. Search for resumes regardless how old they are and call or email people. The best people are working for someone else and they may be unhappy where they are. Talk about the areas in their current job that they don't like, their pains, the sell them on your company, your culture, etc.

If you are looking for service people print up some flyers and when you see a parked van put them on the windshield. Have all your employees when they are out about do the same thing.

Tap into friends or associates and "their employees." This will be friends or associates or customers not in your line of business and whose employees are not the target of the job opening.  Put out what you are looking for (A Players only) and provide a bounty to them to bring forward names of relatives, friends, etc. that would fit the bill. Let your friends do the same in your operation. Network, get people thinking about people they know that will fit the bill - A players only.

Ask your customers who are the best sales /service people "calling on you" and contact them.

Just like marketing - get everyone in the company looking for A Players for now and in the future that you can put on your Virtual Bench. Take the stress and pain out of recruiting by doing it all the time and building a bench so that when you need someone you have a bench to draw from.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Do you know?

"Knowing is not enough --- If you keep DOING the same things the same way you will keep getting the same results. You don't have to change yourself to be successful you simply have to be your best more of the time which means working on the right things more of the time."

- Various Successful People

Successful business owner's know that "thinking" is the 2nd most valuable thing they can bring to the business, the first is taking action on that thinking.

They know they need to be proactive some part of each day and not reactive all day. 

Successful business owners know that they need to work on "the right things" more of the time.

They know their team needs a Plan and Goals and Actions to achieve those goals.

They know that "follow up and execution" vs. starting and stopping are keys to success.

They know they need a rhythm in the business to ensure communications and execution.

They know they need a team that is competent, committed to getting better and engaged with the success of the team and the company. (They know they need A Players in every position.)

They know that like a great sports Coach they cannot play the Game - they need to focus on making the players the best they can be if they are going to win.

They know that knowing is not enough, they must do!

Start your 2017 with an hour of thinking - complete the Forward Focused Reflection document (Click here for instructions and here for template).

What are you proud of accomplishing in 2016? What was incomplete, what aspirations do you have for 2017 and what do you want to be different in 2017. It is a great exercise to jump start your planning and thinking about this upcoming year. Put it on paper.  

Now how do you make those ideas come true? You have to do things differently.  
If you want to learn and then take action on building a great, profitable business in 2017 you might consider my Online Coaching Program. It has the proven knowledge, best practices, the tools and the Actions to take your business to the next level. Next Class Starts January 23rd, 2017. Register now and I will be in touch in January.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Self Limiting Beliefs

"A man is what he believes."
- Anton Chekov
Self-limiting beliefs are powerful detriments to success. Beliefs are held by most people as being truths or facts and they are not. These things we have
learned over time and have been hammered into our subconscious mind must be challenged and questioned before we can really find the courage and commitment to reach our true level of success.
Case in point: 
Roger Bannister was the first person to break the "4 minute mile". No one thought it could be done, the human body was not made to do it. Yet when he finally did it, within only 6 months, 45 others runners quickly followed. They believed it was possible and did what before they believed was impossible.

Myths, Self-limiting beliefs common among business owners:
  1. I don't need goals, vision or core values to lead a company.
  2. I can't find or afford good people.
  3. I need to be a better manager of people.
  4. I need to have an open door, answer questions and put out fires.
  5. Labor is my biggest expense.
  6. I only need to recruit when I need someone.
  7. I just need to get my name out there.
  8. Marketing is an expense.
  9. I'm too busy to work on the business.
  10. I don't have the time to follow-up and ensure we execute.
And many more.......

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Success Is All About Thinking

"Riches begin in the form of thought. The amount is limited only by the person in whose mind the thought is put into motion." 
Napolean Hill Think and Grow Rich
Self-made millionaire Steve Siebold spent 26 years interviewing some of the wealthiest people in the world before boiling down his findings in the book, "How Rich People Think."

He found that there are countless ways the rich view the world differently - they have different beliefs, philosophies and strategies.

Perhaps the most striking difference is that rich people believe money is earned through thinking, while the average person believes money is earned through time and labor.

From Steve Siebold: 

"Most people believe the only way to earn more money is to work more hours," Siebold writes. "Meanwhile, the rich know that creative thinking is the highest paid skill in the world."

High earners believe money flows from ideas and finding solutions to universal problems, he says: "The bigger the solution, the bigger the paycheck. ... Making money may not be easy, but it is simple."

At the end of the day, "the secret has always been the same: thinking, and then putting that thinking into ACTION", Siebold emphasizes.

It's not just bank account balances that separate the rich from the middle class. The wealthiest, most successful people tend to think differently.

"Getting rich begins with the way you think and what you believe about making money," writes self-made millionaire Steve Siebold in "How Rich People Think," which he wrote after studying millionaires for over 25 years.

After hundreds of interviews, Siebold discovered that "it wasn't the lack of desire that held the masses back from getting wealthy, but the
lack of belief in their own ability to make it happen."

Here are six mental tricks that rich people use to get ahead. Read more....

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I'll Try

"Do, or do not. There is no try."
- Yoda, Star Wars

I wince when I catch myself or hear someone else I'm working with say, "I'll try".

It helps me when I remember that "try" is a weak word, a word that victims use.   It almost guarantees that the action will not get done.  

When I hear myself saying, "I'll try to finish that proposal by tomorrow," it helps to stop and take a deep breath and ask myself whether I really am committed to finishing that proposal by tomorrow. If I am, I'll change my wording (brain coding) to "will do it" by tomorrow.

My mind tells my brain what to do.

What we forget is that our brain is simply a body part, like our hand or arm or foot. All of which are designed to serve ME. The brain all the more! The brain is designed to be the ultimate instrument of service to the mind. 

And yet, when I use the word try, it's because my mind has sent a weak, victim-like command to my brain. I am in my weakest mode, my trying mode.  I simply shift gears, change the wording and commit the brain to the task with an "I will do it".

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Engaging Your People - 2 Second Lean

Engaging Your People - 2 Second Lean

Remember it is all about The Right People, Doing the Right Things, Right. The Right People are 'A' Players. 'A' Players have 3 main characteristics - Competent, Committed to always getting better, and Engaged with the team, the company and your core values. Lastly, the most effective way to increase the profits in any company is to increase the productivity of the people. 'A' Players are 3X more productive than average people.

The best, by far, program I have found to engage employees, increase productivity and do things right is a program called 2 Second LEAN. It is not your father's LEAN. This is a fun, engaging culture whereby you empower employees to see waste, fix what bugs them (don't have to ask,) and then share their fix with the team to inspire others.

It is not just for manufacturing companies, it is for all companies - from law firms to retail to service businesses.


The benefits are tremendous and include real efficiency and productivity that impacts your bottom line, creates an engaged team (people really like to come to work and enjoy what they do), and real waste is cut from your operation increasing profits and improving your cash flow.
Results of a Second LEAN Culture
    1. Operational excellence
    2. Low turnover
    3. Customer retention
    4. Consistent reduction in cost
    5. Consistent increase in quality
    6. Continuous innovation
    7. Pursue your Core Values
    8. A fun place to work
Before you do anything watch these 3 Videos (21 minutes total):

The president of LANTECH provides some insights about leadership and LEAN - 4 key points (7 minute video): 


Owner of Wildwood Cabinetry -LEAN Journey/Company transformation (8 minute video):

Wildwood Employees - LEAN is about people - What LEAN means to these two (6 minute video):