23 Jun

Are you delivering on your promises?

“When the gap between what you say and what you do gets big enough, people stop listening”. Sobering words from Seth Godin.

As a business owner or manager you may have a set of company values somewhere in your working environment. Perhaps they are mounted in a frame on the wall for all to see, or perhaps they are hidden away in a filing cabinet, only to be whipped out and dusted off  at the next yearly strategy session. Irrespective of where your values are, if you don’t practise them everyday, they are meaningless.

Values can be seen as your companies culture building blocks or foundation. Everything that makes up your companies culture is built on your values, or lack of them.

When everything is going according to plan, we are all very quick to stand on our soap boxes and preach on how things need to be done or handled. However, when push comes to shove if what you instinctively say and do are not aligned to the reality of the situation, you will over time lose your team and your customers.

To get a true and realistic understanding of what happens in your organisation when the paw-paw hits the fan, try and recall the three most challenging situations your organisation and team have had to face in the last few years. How did you and your team response to these situations? What was your behaviour like when you are feeling the heat?

Does your initial reaction and behaviour within those situations align themselves to the framed values you have mounted on the wall or are you completely off?

If you are able to answer with honesty that your response was spot on, then you are on the right track. However, if you were off, what do you believe is the action plan within your business to get yourselves back on track? What changes need to be made in your business to close the gap between what you say and what you do and to increase employee and customer retention?

Need some assistance? Contact me. nicole@tikumu.co.nz for professional business coaching.

15 Jun

Something to consider when promoting your team members

For most employees, a promotion would be seen as a fantastic achievement and opportunity.

However for some, the thought of been promoted is equivalent to their worst nightmare coming true. And often it’s not the extra work responsibilities, the potential longer hours or having to report to a different manager that freaks these people out. It’s the fact that with promotion comes the real possibility of having to manage someone or a team.

As a business manager or owner, do you take these thoughts into consideration? That this newly promoted person may need to manage another person or a team? On average there tends to be more of a focus on the measurable more tangible outcomes and targets of the job, the key performance areas, as opposed to the fact that this newly promoted  employee may be the next office ogre.  How often is the question asked, “Does this person (soon to be promoted) know how to manage people?” Actually, I should rather say “successfully” manage people.

It’s not about giving instructions, chairing a meeting or ticking off an annual performance appraisal, its about that new promotee being able to manage another person or team in such a way that they perform to their optimum with a smile on the faces.

People can be brilliant at their jobs, they can tick all the boxes, but it doesn’t mean they are ready to be promoted and run a team of people or even manage one person. Before they make the move it is vitally important to assess their management skills and then provide them with the correct mentoring, training and coaching in order to pursue their new position successfully. Set them up for success, not failure.

10 Jun

Begin with the end in mind

Begin with the end in mind – One of my favourite habits from Steven Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

At the beginning of any goal-setting process it is suggested to start with what you envisage the end result to look like. Begin your process with the end result in mind. Put your dreamer’s hat on and think about the following… Where are you? What are you doing? How do you feel in that space?  What is your life like, your routines, your focuses and what is important to you? From creating this detailed picture you will be able to start identifying what you want and what you don’t want. Having boundaries in place from the beginning, you are able to start drafting your action plans.

This all seems quite simple and not too difficult to follow. Then life happens! We get side-tracked by irrelevant, unimportant issues which can hijack our attention and our time. We become overwhelmed with all this stuff that we feel obliged to do, and we lose sight of what we want. So how can we stay on track?

The following points may assist you with staying on course.

1) Make it part of your weekly routine to check your goals. By constantly reflecting on your goals it will allow for them to become part of your front-of-mind awareness and everyday focus.

Don’t fail yourself and your goals by only spending time in the beginning on creating them and their action plans. Don’t shelve your goals and plans to only review them in 6 months time. If you only do 6-monthly and yearly goal or strategic reviews on your business you will find yourself in reactive mode, as opposed to proactive mode.

2) When you are completing your weekly goal review, remind yourself why you wanted to achieve that goal in the first place. This reminder helps to re-motivate and remind you of your vision.

3) Do your monthly/weekly action plans need to be broken down into smaller more manageable actions? Are you just not getting to everything that is on your to-do list? Remember there is a fine line between procrastination and overworking yourself. Work out how many actions and activities you can productively manage over a week or month and make that your benchmark.

4) It’s okay to rework your plans. Remember that nothing is set in stone and by adapting and reworking your plans you keep your vision alive. Being stuck on how your goals must be achieved and refusing to change your action plans will only cause frustration.

Its the end goal that’s important, not the plans on how to get there. If in doubt, always go back to the end.

02 Jun

Do you practise Grudgeology?

There are many positive traits, skills and abilities any good leader will have or want to acquire over their lifetime. One distinguishing quality that definitely stands out for me and that I believe separates a true leader from a “wanna be” is something I learnt from my seventh grade history teacher.
Miss Sandrock was a peach of a women, but everyone of us knew to never cross the line with her. I was never quite sure why, but it was either out of respect for her or the fear of been turned to stone by one of her stern looks.
The difference was was that she never held a grudge. So if you were called out for any transgression whilst under her watch, you knew that once she had had her say it was water under the bridge and life as you knew it went on. You even received your jelly tot quote from her at the end of the lesson.
 How refreshing it was to know that your teacher would not hold onto your mistake and at another completely unrelated occasion embarrass you by bringing it up to remind you of your erroneous ways. How liberating it was to know that you would not be judged or tainted by your error of judgement.
 As a business owner or manager do you believe that you are able to let things go and to not hold a grudge against your team members mistakes? Can you deal with a team member’s transgression and move on or do you store your teams faults and hit the replay button the minute you want the upper hand with them?
You might think its a good idea to have history on someone’s performance and behaviour. It is, but there is a time and place for this type of information. It’s important to understand that everyone is human and people make mistakes. Performance records are good to keep on file for those serious incidents when someone is continuously under performing or damaging your business and for the benefit of the business needs to be exited. However random mistakes should never be thrown into people’s faces or used as leverage against them. This type of management style will only damage your team morale and trust.
 Acknowledge it, deal with it, let it go and move on.