Resource Library: The The Strategies To Manage Better

No business can go beyond the limitations of its management. That said, in this section we have included a large number of practical management strategies that will assist you to be a better and more effective manager.

Leadership Laws For You To Apply

What Ever Happened To Personal Accountability And Responsibility?

Get Excited About You! And Maybe I’ll Get Excited About You!

Marketing Yourself Is A Must

Are You In A Rut? Try Zero-Based Thinking

Great Questions To Find Out What’s Really Going On

The Importance Of The Pause When Communicating

What Is Success?

Discipline Is At The Centre Of Success

The Self Analysis Mirror Exercise

The $20 Billion Dollar Casualty Of The Boxing Day Tsunami

How To Handle Difficult Issues About Personal Hygiene

Add More Confidence To Your Talk

The Perfect Management Yardstick

Testing Your Message Skills

Listening But Not Hearing

Maintaining A Positive Attitude

Is It Worth Having Staff Meetings?

Avoid "That’s Not The Way We Do It"

Leadership Laws For You To Apply

Here are 21 distilled, no-nonsense laws for today’s leaders who are to be judged on the results they obtain. Have a good read and work out which of them apply to you because the better you are as a leader, the more willing will be your troops to follow and fight. More importantly, think about what you need do to become an even better leader because nobody was born a leader, so somewhere along the way they acquired the skills and then applied them.

   1. Leadership is an opportunity.
   2. Leaders delegate.
   3. Leadership requires results.
   4. Leaders must help their people to grow.
   5. Leaders must work on themselves.
   6. Leaders must lead by example.
   7. Leaders can be fired.
   8. Leaders are held to a higher standard than their workers.
   9. Leaders are servants.
  10. Leadership is an acquired skill that you can develop.
  11. Leadership abilities are revealed in crisis.
  12. Leaders hold their people accountable for their actions.
  13. Leadership must be earned.
  14. Leaders lean on their strengths and outsource their weaknesses to work.
  15. Leaders give people what they earn.
  16. Leaders strive to make their organization great.
  17. Leaders are humble.
  18. Leaders constantly raise the bar.
  19. Leaders discriminate by results.
  20. Leaders aren’t complacent.
  21. Leaders stretch their people.

Now, let me flesh out those 21 leadership principles by giving you the Rudi Giuliani (Ex-Mayor of New York at time of September 11, 2001) take on the matter. His 15 principles are discussed in his book Giuliani Leadership...but, here are the seven that we like, in summary form, so that you can cross-reference his thoughts with those already given.

First things first

Giuliani is a great believer in clarifying the priorities. Not only that, he is fanatical in making sure that all of his staff are involved in the communication process. Every week he has a meeting with his entire team. Do we do this? If no, should we look at commencing such meetings so as to aid in communication?
Prepare relentlessly

Giuliani has seen many examples where the curse of assumption has resulted in massive mistakes. Not only must the manager prepare relentlessly but s/he must encourage all staff to adopt this attitude as well. As a business, how well do we prepare?

Everyone’s accountable, all of the time

Giuliani’s record in reducing crime in New York is breathtaking and he did it by pushing responsibility and control down the line. All precincts had key performance indicators and they were measured against them. (See our lead article for this month!

Surround yourself with great people

One of the points Giuliani constantly measured in his inner circle was the strengths and weaknesses of each team member. Perhaps as managers we don’t and haven’t reviewed ourselves in this regard and right now might be an appropriate time to do so. Just what are your strengths and weaknesses? What do you need to improve as a manager in going forward?

Reflect, then decide

According to Giuliani procrastination is one of the most debilitating habits of managers. Not only does it choke the effectiveness of the manager, it also impacts heavily on staff morale. (I’d go further and say that procrastination is the best friend of failure!)

Giuliani is a great one for loyalty and he constantly advocated that once a decision is made, everyone must unite behind it.

Under-promise and over-deliver

Again, standard stuff – but something that most managers do not do.

Develop and communicate strong beliefs

Giuliani was fanatical about communication – that something that all managers need to pay more attention to. We need to be more inclusive.

Source: Positive Business Newsletter


What Ever Happened To Personal Accountability And Responsibility?

A couple of weeks ago, I tripped over some uneven concrete at the boat marina and badly sprained my ankle. I quickly hasten to add that it was 7am – and I was on my way to the boat, not from it - when my very ungraceful fall occurred.

At the time I remember thinking "I’ll sue them for this". Subsequently, more than a few people, having heard my story have said exactly the same thing.

It seems that the only thing people know how to do anymore is point the finger elsewhere, blaming something or someone else for their problems, their actions, their feelings, their sprained ankles.

So, let me say right up front, I am prepared to admit that I was the "goose" for falling over. I should have been watching what I was doing. I accept personal responsibility. I’ve got to be personally accountable for my actions.

And, surely as a society we have got to start exercising more personal responsibility and accountability; otherwise we are all going to drown in futile litigation.

Personal accountability begins with us...personally...that’s why it’s called personal accountability.

Personal accountability is about each of us holding ourselves accountable for our own thinking, actions and the results, good or bad, which they produce.

Now, I’m prepared to bet the farm that, every day, you come across people who shirk their personal accountabilities and when they do, they add to the workload of others. And, here’s the sad reality...they will continue to do so until someone makes them aware of their accountability and gets them to shoulder their responsibilities. This is true at home and at work.

At work, you know you’ve got a personal accountability "abdicator" on your hands when you hear comments like: "it’s not my fault", "It’s not my job", or "It’s not my problem".

Just so that you can get a better handle on these "abdicators", you should know that they are usually negative, they hate change, they don’t like choices and they tend to ask a lot of "why" questions. As in:

"why don’t they communicate better?",
"why won’t they train me?",
"why do we have to go through all this change?"
"why don’t others work harder?"

And my favourite;
"Why is this happening to me?"

Frankly, this is all "victim thinking", and there’s too much of it in the world today. Questions with a "Why me?" tone to them say, "I’m a victim of the environment and the people around me." By implication, they’re also saying that someone or something else is responsible for the problem or situation.

Are you getting a mental picture of anyone?

If yes, understand that nothing is likely to change on their side of things until you give them a dose of reality. Maybe you can use this article as a discussion point.

The issues are simple:

(1) Ask them to describe their perceived areas of responsibilities. If they’re not sure, go over it with them until they are absolutely full bottle on it.

(2) Explain to them the impact on others when they fail to accept their responsibilities.

(3) Ask them for a written summary of what they intend to do differently as a result of this discussion.

(4) Finally, ask them to describe in as much detail how you will know that things have changed in going forward?

Next point: If change does not occur as a result of this discussion...don’t get too traumatized. You’ve got to understand that managers don’t change people. They can coach, counsel, teach, and guide, but no one changes another person. Change only comes from the inside, as a result of decisions make by the individual. Put another way...only I can change me.

Wouldn’t life be that much more enjoyable and productive, if everyone accepted their personal responsibilities and was totally accountable for their thoughts, words and deeds.

I’d also suggest that this isn’t a bad ideal for your business.

Final point: When you’re talking to someone who you believe is a personal accountability "abdicator", remind them of the Benny Hill’s famous quote:

Just because nobody complains doesn’t mean all parachutes are perfect.

Source: Positive Business Newsletter


Get Excited About You! And Maybe I’ll Get Excited About You!

Big Kev...(you know the "I’m excited" guy) ...might not have been the smartest business person in the world, but he certainly knew how to promote himself and in public he never appeared other than...well, excited! And his "excitedness" and passion were contagious. It drew a legion of customers to him.

In stark contrast, a lot of business owners of established companies get into negative ruts and almost adopt a victim mentality. I can hear it in their voices when I speak to them. You know the type. They wander around saying "why does it happen to me?" As a consequence, they literally drive people away from them...which prompts them to again say ""why does it happen to me?".

Let me level the boom right now on these negative "gibberers".

For the marketplace to get excited about you and your business, YOU have to be excited about you and your business, and its products, services, staff and customers.

If you’re not excited...don’t go to work and poison the well...try and work out how to get that zip back again.

Source: Positive Business Newsletter


Marketing Yourself Is A Must

What does Dick Smith, John Singleton, Gerry Harvey and John Symon (Aussie Home Loans) have in common?

Hint: The answer has nothing to do with the shape of their bodies because they range from skinny and tall to short and tubby!

No, the answer is that they are all marketing themselves and personal marketing is necessary for your success. Want proof?

A recent survey of 80 entrepreneurs who had appeared in recent editions of business magazines came up with these conclusions:

100% felt their personal marketing efforts were crucial to their success and over 70 percent of them follow a specific personal marketing plan. Those plans have several elements in common:

Focusing on specific strengths. Successful people know what they’re good at and what makes them unique – and they’re always ready and willing to talk about it. They’ll literally trample the strawberries to get in front of a microphone. And invite them to a function? Heck, they’ll turn up to the opening of a refrigerator door! As many as 80 percent of those surveyed regularly practice doing a 30-second "commercial" about themselves. Networking. Fully 90 percent feel their network of professional allies is the foundation of their success, so they "feed" them information. Communicating. Almost all (over 90 percent) use the Internet as part of their communication strategy. All give speeches and hold public relations events. Improving. Over 66 percent have plans to upgrade their personal marketing skills in the coming year.

What are you doing to promote your personal profile?

Source: Positive Business Newsletter


Are You In A Rut? Try Zero-Based Thinking

Without doubt, our habits control almost everything we do and occasionally our habit patterns put us into a deep, boring rut that is difficult to get out of.

When this happens, try zero-based thinking. It’s not a new concept, but it’s a proven concept and it commences when you ask this question: "is there anything in my life that, knowing what I know now, I would not get into today, if I had to do it over again."

So, here are a couple of thoughts that might get you thinking about how to break out of that rut.

Knowing what I know now, if I had to do it over again;

Are there any policies, procedures or systems I would not implement today?
Are there any investments of time or money I would avoid?
Are there any people I would avoid?
Are there people whom I would deliberately spend more time with?

So, if you’re in a rut here’s what to do:

Get a clean sheet of paper, find a quiet space and answer the following question in as much details as you can:

Why am I in a rut and what am I presently finding boring in my life?

Then, proceed to answer the questions as above.

Of course, that piece of paper will amount to nothing unless you genuinely do something about the situation.

Finally, an oldie but a goodie: what is a coffin? It’s a rut with the sides kicked out!

Source: Positive Business Newsletter


Great Questions To Find Out What’s Really Going On

Without doubt, information is power and the way to get vital up-to-date information is to ask the right question. This applies to whether we’re talking about things happening within your business or your industry with your region or social club whatever.

Here is a kit bag of great questions or expressions to dig out better information:

Can you explain?
How did that happen?
Tell me more
I’d like to hear more about that
That’s interesting, please tell me more
Give me an example

Source: Communication Briefings, USA as reported in Positive Business Newsletter


The Importance Of The Pause When Communicating

Active listening just has to be one of the very best tools for any salesperson; come to think of it, of any communicator.

One of the best tools in the "kit bag" of the effective communicator is the pause.

By pausing before speaking, you’ll:

Avoid interrupting
Show the other party that you are giving careful consideration to what they have said
Gain greater clarity
Formulate a more effective response.

Try it today and see how you go.

Source: The Manager’s Edge, USA as reported in Positive Business Newsletter


What Is Success?

Success is one of those elusive terms to which we can all relate, but few can actually define.

Take a moment now to define exactly what success means to you and you can do so by arriving at the answers to the questions that follow. By the way, this may be a good exercise to conduct with your partner in business or in life.

What is your personal definition of success?
How will you know when you are successful?
How will success look and feel?
Are you sure that you’ll recognise it?
How close are you now to the achievement of success?
What specific things do you have left to achieve in order to be successful?
What new things must you do in order to be successful?
What three actions can you take, starting now, in order move further down the path towards achieving your personal definition of success?

Okay, once you’ve arrive at your exact definition of success, take time to recognise and praise yourself for the accomplishments you’ve already achieved.

Source: The Zig Ziglar E-Newsletter as reported in Positive Business Newsletter


Discipline Is At The Centre Of Success

Why is it that the smart successful businesses involve their staff, communicate with them and regularly review progress, whereas the less successful ones do not?

Melbourne subscriber Roger Claxton believes that the difference between the two usually comes down to just one word – discipline. Some five years ago he was that busy doing everything for everybody that he didn’t have time for the "fuzzy staff stuff" as he called it then.

His epiphany came in year 2000 when he realized that he was completely out of control and undisciplined. He resolved to do just one thing, get back to discipline as he was taught when he was a national serviceman in the sixties.

Suddenly it all came together – discipline gave him order – order gave him time.

Discipline has enabled Roger to delegate, and in handing the reins over to his staff he has seen a major improvement in overall motivation.

And it all started when he decided to become a more disciplined individual.

Oh yes, he also shed twenty kilos, does Latin-American dancing (badly) and also finds time for golf (which he admits he also does badly).

Messages for you:

Do you need to be more disciplined in your life?    Yes     No 
If yes, who is responsible?    You      Someone else 

I Am Undisciplined In These Areas This Is What I Need To Do To Create More Order & Certainty

If you are prepared to accept the responsibility for introducing more order into your life, why not write yourself a one page letter consisting of two halves.

I Am Undisciplined In These Areas    This Is What I Need To Do To Create More Order & Certainty

Source: Positive Business Newsletter


The Self Analysis Mirror Exercise

All business people should perform the mirror exercise regularly.

Go get a mirror and look at yourself as you ask yourself these tough questions:

Am I in the right industry?
Am I in the right business?
>Am I in the right job?

If you answer in the negative – wholly or partially – the next part of the exercise is crucial.

Why are you not entirely comfortable with what you will do over this year?
And what are you prepared to do about it and when?

At the very least, see if you can identify someone with whom you can discuss the issue.

Key point: If you cannot answer the initial three questions with a resounding and passionate YES! YES! YES! You won’t make a full contribution because your energy and intent will not be freely given.

Source: Positive Business Newsletter


The $20 Billion Dollar Casualty Of The Boxing Day Tsunami

Without doubt, the 2004 boxing day tsunami has been the greatest tragedy of our time and right now, literally millions of people are engaged - and will be engaged for the next ten years - in making good what nature destroyed in one day.

Apart from the incredible loss of life, the major casualty was the absolute destruction of literally millions of systems that regulated the way the people of the Indian ocean lived. The legal systems, the electricity systems, sewerage systems, medical systems to name but a few. Billions of dollars will be spent re-establishing them.

You see, the difference between order (as existed before the tsunami) and chaos (as we witnessed after the tsunami) can be boiled down to one word – systems. Put another way, the way we do things. Funny word that – systems.

Do you know what it stands for?

Save Your Self Time Energy & Money

Yep, that’s what systems do and in business it’s no different.

Systems save you time, energy and money as you do tasks quicker and better, thus freeing up more time to create new business opportunities or to simply relax and enjoy the things you really like. After all, the business is just one part of our lives, right?

Systems have a very powerful part to play in the profitable operation of your business and they reward you twice over.

The more systematized the business, the more effective and profitable it is for this year and next and next. Plus, and don’t overlook the value here, the greater the value you will receive when you wish to sell it.

That’s because an intending purchaser of a business will pay more for a systematized business than for a chaotic, out of control, seat-of-the-pants type business.

That begs the obvious question. doesn’t it?

Just how systematized is your business?

What would happen if you and your key people walked out never to return?

Would chaos reign or would someone be able to pick up the threads of how to operate the business because the systems are documented?

Systems for what? - I’m hearing you mumble.

Systems for all of the major processes and functions that occur in your business.

Is selling a function? Yes and a darn important one at where are the documented systems as to how you sell, and sell well, at your place of business?

Is producing a product a process? Yes...and there are probably a thousand ways to do it and only one or two correct ways. Your documented systems would detail at least one of the correct ways.

Are there commonly accepted ways that you tend to your staff, suppliers, customers and finance matters? Yes...and over the years, you’ve worked out what works and what doesn’t. But, is all this experience documented? Because if it isn’t, the person taking over your business is going to have to enlist at the University of Hard Knocks to learn what you already know...but haven’t documented.

Sure, it’s going to cost time, energy and money to document your systems in the first place...but once established, stand back and let the benefits of order, streamlining and uniformity take over.

But, let’s get down and dirty on the subject of systems. They don’t necessarily need to be stored in an elaborate folder all cross referenced.

You can begin to get your systems together right now and all you need are a digital camera and/or a DVD recorder.

The camera can be used to record before, during and after photos of a particular process in operation. Then you can add these photos to a manual with a bit of wordage describing what is happening, when and why.

Equally, the DVD or video can be used to capture a person describing what they do in performing a process or job function. Forget about movie star quality...just get them to start talking ... "Today I’m going to describe how I do ".

Include in the video all of the necessary steps (when, how and why) as well as the pit-falls and tell tale signs of trouble.

Now, that’s not difficult is it?

That said, when are you going to start to reap the benefits of systematization?

Source: Positive Business Newsletter


How To Handle Difficult Issues About Personal Hygiene

I thought long and hard about whether to include this article in the newsletter but then, the circumstances I’m about to relate are everyday issues which we struggle to handle properly.

Situation: a staff member has bad-breath or body odour so bad that the rest of the staff are almost dry retching when they have close contact. Unfortunately everyone knows about this problem, except for the offending staff member. What do you do and how do you say it?

Here’s a neat way of referring to the subject in as un-embarrassing a way as possible: ", may I share some career advice with you on a personal matter?"

Then, matter-of-factly describe the situation and move to solutions.

Source: Positive Business Newsletter


Add More Confidence To Your Talk

Let’s eliminate those double-negative cliques - "no problems" or "no worries" this year and substitute positive talk such as "that’s our pleasure" or "we appreciate you business."

Oh yes...substitute know for think as in "I know (not think) this will solve your problem."

What’s the difference? The word "think" implies doubt. The word "know" implies knowledge and belief.

If you are a person who constantly says "I think", you may have a legion of doubting Thomas’ out there. Be more assertive and confident.

Source: Positive Business Newsletter


The Perfect Management Yardstick

If you want a yardstick by which you can measure your prowess as a manager of people, here it is.

It’s when all of your staff can make the following 7 comments:

"My goals are clear"
"I have been well-trained"
"I have the information I need."
"My boss has confidence in me."
"My boss is there when I need help."
"I am making a direct and positive contribution."
"We are all learning and growing."

Perhaps you might like to do a litmus test and see where your staff members are right now. Give each of them a copy of this article and ask them which statements are they not able to make yet, and what, in their opinion, is required to change the situation.

Source: The Secret: What Great Leaders Know – And Do by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller as reported in Positive Business Newsletter


Testing Your Message Skills

How do you communicate and receive messages? Misunderstandings and miscommunications can have a disastrous effect, which with just a little care could have been prevented. Take this test to see how your message sending and message receiving skills stack up.

1. After I write down a phone message, I always double check accuracy by repeating the caller’s address and phone number.
True   False 

2. In delivering a voice-mail message I always speak clearly and slowly, particularly when leaving my name and phone number.
True   False 

3. When a customer describes a problem, I repeat the customer’s main points to make sure I understand what the customer has said.
True   False 

4. I always make sure that all the emails I send include a clear statement at the beginning explaining what the message is about.
True   False 

5. If others use technical terms, jargon or buzzwords that apply to my field, I have no trouble understanding them.
True   False 

6. I use my word-processing program to check my documents for spelling errors, as well as an up-to-date dictionary.
True   False 

7. When I take a phone message for someone, I always ask callers to spell their names, even if I think I know how to spell them.
True   False 

8. Before I call others, I make sure my posture and facial expressions will communicate confidence and enthusiasm.
True   False 

You should have answered "true" to all these statements. If you’ve answered "False" to any of the questions, you need to work on honing your message skills.

Source: Positive Business Newsletter


Listening But Not Hearing

If you really want to hear what a person is saying, make sure you don’t fall into one of these traps:

Mind reading
As you’re thinking, "What is this person really thinking or feeling?" you’ll hear very little or nothing of what the person is saying.

As you go through your mental tryouts of "Here’s what I’ll say next", you’ll tune out the speaker.

Selective hearing
If you hear only what you want to hear you won’t get the full story.

Drifting off during face-to-face conversation will leaving you without a clue about what’s been said.

If you refer everything you hear to your experience, you probably didn’t really hear what was said.

When you beginning comparing while the person is speaking, you’re likely to become sidetracked in assessing the message.

Changing the subject too quickly tells others you’re not interested in anything they have to say.

- Adapted from "The Writing Lab" as reported in Positive Business Newsletter


Maintaining A Positive Attitude

When things are beginning to get on top of you, here are five things that will help you remain positive throughout the day.

1. Stop what you are doing. Take a deep breath and count to 10.

2. Make a list, either mentally or on paper, of all the things you are grateful for in your life.

3. Stand up and stretch or take a walk.

4. Do something that promotes positive feelings, such as calling a friend, looking at photo of your partner and your children - anything that shifts the emotion you are caught up in.

5. Begin anew. If you start feeling sorry for yourself, you’ll end up back in the same place again - and very quickly!

- Adapted from "It’s your move: Dealing yourself the best cards in Life and Work" by Cyndi Maxey and Jill Bremer as reported in Positive Business Newsletter


Is It Worth Having Staff Meetings?

It’s said that groups of people are often smarter than the smartest people in them – but this is only true if the following four conditions are met:

There is diversity of opinion
The members are independent thinkers
They are free to disagree
There is no one individual who tramples the others.

So if you’re a dominant, aggressive boss – don’t bother having staff meetings – they’ll only tell you what they think will please you.

Source: Positive Business Newsletter


Avoid "That’s Not The Way We Do It"

Okay...I’ll come clean and say that from time to time I’ve been guilty of trampling motivation by telling staff "that’s not the way we do it here". Could this be you also, dear reader?

Well, I had my come-uppance a few months ago when Greg, my son and now manager, responded on one occasion "can you give me three good reasons why we shouldn’t try a new approach?"

That’s a great question and one that I suggest you consider before you snap "that’s not how we do it here".

Yep, times are a changin’.

Source: Positive Business Newsletter

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