Leverage is the tool struggling managers get clumsy with at best and are unaware of at worst. Simply put, they are awkward when it comes to using leverage to influence the outcomes they seek. Archimedes said he could lift with the world with a long enough lever. I believe it! Power, as a leader, comes from using leverage in the workplace. Wisdom is present when you can utilize that power while others lack awareness of its presence. Let that thought soak in a moment.
Business is struggling to overcome obscurity in a vast ocean of competition for attention. In a virtual world, getting noticed can be challenging. Not to be cliché, but the struggle is real. As I help businesses recover and rethink reality, people seem to react to the environment instead of leveraging opportunity. Too many companies are simply waiting or hoping for the market they serve to determine their future. This strategy is a colossal mistake at worst and a missed opportunity at best. You can control your future, and you can use the winds (no matter the direction) to your advantage.
Face it; we have all taken top performers for granted at times. It does not mean you are inconsiderate; it means you are human. However, the post-pandemic corporate migration I have predicted is now upon us. Work-from-home (WFH), flexible work arrangements, and virtual solutions are shifting the market for top talent. A qualified CPA can efficiently work for a firm in Wyoming while living on her boat in Florida. For many jobs, location is no longer the barrier as in the past. A recent survey revealed that 25% of employees are considering an employment change. Yes, that includes your best people.
Build relationships with your customers, and they will buy from you. Whether you agree or not, this is a common misconception in professional sales. While relationships can be essential to build trust and rapport, more is required to sustain sales success. Poorly trained sales teams rely on this surface methodology. Well-trained sales teams challenge customers to think differently. The "great recession" of 2008 was a proving opportunity for sales teams around the world. It is simpler to sell during economic highs because everyone is buying. What happens when people stop buying, and sales teams must create value in people who are not looking to purchase? How does a sales professional interrupt a prospect to make a sale?
I have been pondering the question about genius thinking. Are some people considered to be geniuses, or do people attain genius-level thinking? In other words, is genius thinking a genetic gift, or is genius a level of thinking we can achieve? If it is something to attain, how do we sustain that level of thinking? Let us dig into these questions and get our minds dirty.
Mary is always late for work, so she must not care about her job. Chet takes too many breaks. He is lazy. Your son still has not cleaned his room after you told him to do so twice. He is ignoring you. Do any of these sound familiar? If so, you are normal.
Do you feel handcuffed to your desk by a toxic employee; imprisoned by an invisible bond? Have corporate human resource policies made terminations so tricky and cumbersome that they are not worth your time and effort? You are not alone in your misery. Whether the cuffs are literal or metaphorical, far too many leaders feel impotent when managing a business team today. Fear of litigation and increasing corporate bureaucracy are making the lives of contemporary managers challenging. One manager stated terminations are on hold due to the pandemic and subsequent WFH (work from home) necessity. That's right. Covid is now the excuse for avoiding necessary terminations.
Determining how your employees view your business is essential. It is necessary if you are in a highly-competitive market for talent. Do they see the company serving a particular mission? Or, do they know the business as a collective group of mercenaries for hire. Consider these questions carefully. If you operate a broader mission such as clean food or smarter babies, you develop a different bond with your team. If you only seek profitability or business success, you are a mercenary.
Organizations and customers are rarely on the same page regarding value (utility) and cost. There are often vastly different perceptions on both sides of any purchase. Sellers tend to equate the size of the customer's wallet with their own. Buyers, on the other hand, buy for reasons other than price more often than sellers realize. For example, buyers often opt for convenience over price. Finally, the difference (delta) in price between two competing options is highly subjective in any non-commodity market.
In his recent book, Simon Sinek refers to the infinite games of life. We often characterize facets of life as finite, meaning they have an end. There is no ending to fitness or intelligence. Likewise, there is no ending in the game of business. You do not wake up one day and realize the game is over. You have won the game of business. The game persists. You may achieve business milestones such as number one in your market or a million dollars in revenue. The game does not end; the game continues.
Times are changing so fast. Business is changing even more quickly. The pandemic accelerated the digitization of industry six years in a matter of six months. That is correct. What would have happened over the next six years is here now. How does anyone keep pace with this change and adapt quickly?
Many businesses talk about culture, or they aspire to create or achieve a particular culture. What does this mean anyway? Don't all organizations already have a culture? It may not be the culture they desire, but something is already present as an individual personality. There is no such thing as an absent company culture.