PD Strategies Blog

PD Strategies Blog

Performance and Development Strategies Blog is the informational place to get timely and purposeful articles on the issues that concern you most.

WHY IS MORE POWERFUL THAN WHAT OR HOW

WHY IS MORE POWERFUL THAN WHAT OR HOW
Why do you really want to do this? That is one of the most powerful questions you can ask someone. Motivation to do something comes from within and it begins with a WHY. I was recently working with one of my Westchester County NY coaching clients on his business development. He was struggling with his growth and was having trouble getting his team on board. He was having a hard time accomplishing the objectives that we have worked on together in his plan. These were the goals that he had established in previous sessions. After failing to complete some of the tasks we had outlined from our previous meetings over several weeks, I asked him these questions, “Why did you set these goals and if was important why have you not begun to execute on what you set out to do?” He responded that that was a very good question. He...
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DISADVANTAGES OF BEING A MICRO MANAGER

DISADVANTAGES OF BEING A MICRO MANAGER
Some people feel that being a control freak or a micro manager is necessary when managing a project team where accuracy or compliance is required. I disagree. There is a much better way to get desired results and hold people accountable. Yes, you must have accuracy and compliance but you could stifle your company growth, have high turnover, and end up working way too many hours when you decide to micro manage. Let’s consider some actual examples. I have worked with a person owns a business that includes insurance and real estate. He has a dozen employees involved in the process of sales and contracts. Each person has a job title but not a job description. Things change quickly as does the mood of the owner. To make matters worse people are asked to do a task but then later the owner comes by and says, “stop doing that, I want...
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HAVING A GPS FOR YOUR CAREER

HAVING A GPS FOR YOUR CAREER
Today we use GPS devices everywhere. We have them in our car and on our phone. We use them to order a car on Uber or we use them to find a restaurant nearby. We have become more productive and less stressed because we have used this very simple tool to help us navigate. What is so remarkable about this instrument? First of all, it lets you know where you are now. Then you can decide where you want to go. The GPS then gives you step by step directions. How similar is this to your personal GPS; the one for your career, your business, and your personal life? Are you using a GPS for these critical areas of your life? Here is the place where we talk about goals. You have heard this over and over, “You need to set goals and you need to write them down.” But what...
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LEADING A HIGH PERFORMING WORK TEAM

LEADING A HIGH PERFORMING WORK TEAM
Building a high performing team is more about motivation and inspiration than it is about attaching blame. In order to have a high performing team you need to look in the mirror and ask, “Am I a person who inspires and encourages others?”   In other words what type of leader are you. If you are not sure why not ask the people around you to give you some guidance. And if you have employees make sure you ask them.   Ask them what they feel is your biggest leadership challenge and what you can do to improve it. Asking others for their opinions conveys respect, shows that you value their feedback and increases your credibility as a leader. Of course that’s assuming that you are open to the feedback and will actually commit to making changes. It’s easy for people to not feel comfortable giving you the total “honest” truth at first,...
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MOTIVATION IS NEEDED FOR GOAL ACHIEVEMENT

MOTIVATION IS NEEDED FOR GOAL ACHIEVEMENT
I believe that motivation is the primary force behind goal achievement. Motivation comes from within and that means that you cannot motivate another person. You can, however, help create a spark to ignite their inner fire. That inner fire will drive motivation. What about you? Do you have something burning inside you? Frankly, if you do not have the WHY the HOW will not matter. Motivation and goal achievement are interrelated. Knowing what motivates you is a key to achievement and knowing how to find motivation in others is a key to leadership. Dwight Eisenhower said that leadership is getting others to do what you want because THEY want to do it. Reach down and find that motivation and bring it to the surface. What is your passion? If you are not sure why not start by doing a dream inventory. List every dream you have. How many did you list?...
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GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES NEED TO BE ADDRESSED IN THE WORKPLACE

GENERATIONAL DIFFERENCES NEED TO BE ADDRESSED IN THE WORKPLACE
Can you really get employees from different generations work together? Yes you can bridge the workplace generation gap.  As I work with client organizations I constantly hear voices of frustration. It could involve a catering manager who says “The kids today don’t want to work. I can’t get any good help.” It might be a manager of a team of professionals complaining about the unwillingness of the younger members to work endless hours. Or it can be frustration from an employee who feels he or she can’t compete with the new workers and the new technology. Really, this is nothing new. In fact it goes back to ancient Greece when Aristotle said, “The young people would always rather do noble deeds than useful ones: Their lives are regulated more by moral feeling than by reasoning.” Baby Boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. They were associated with many of the social...
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WHAT IS YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE?

WHAT IS YOUR LEADERSHIP STYLE?
The most common question a new manager is asked by direct reports is, “What is your leadership style?” And of course the answer is always, “I am participative.” Or, “I have an open door.” Rarely does anyone define what they mean by that. For that reason and others the failure rate of managers is higher than for individual performers. Today I had the opportunity to be part of a group invited to listen to Ken Blanchard discussing building trust, creating positive work cultures, customer loyalty, leadership and organizational change. Ken reinforces some of the values and beliefs that been proven to create positive corporate cultures. You have it wrong if you consider yourself a leader because you have been placed in charge. On the other hand a person with no direct reports can be a very effective leader. The reason that is so is that you need to learn how to...
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LEADERSHIP IS TELLING PEOPLE WHAT TO DO BUT NOT HOW TO DO IT

LEADERSHIP IS TELLING PEOPLE WHAT TO DO BUT NOT HOW TO DO IT
Leaders of high performing teams say what needs happen then rely on the team to get it done. "Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity." -- Gen. George S. Patton   "Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it."                -- President Dwight D. Eisenhower On this Independence Day it might be appropriate to recall leadership quotes from some of our past military leaders. It is not surprising that many great civilian leaders that we have known have received their leadership lessons in the US military. The leadership in the US Armed forces inspires and demands that each person does his or her very best. Now that doesn’t mean that everyone has to have a management style like Patton. Those were his traits. People with totally...
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YOU CAN CREATE YOUR HIGH PERFORMING TEAM

YOU CAN CREATE YOUR HIGH PERFORMING TEAM
A high performing team is always created by an effective leader. Conversely, if an organization is full of performance issues you need only to look at leadership to diagnose the cause of the problem.   An organization is only as good as its people and as leader your first duty is to select the best people. After you have hired the best people your challenge as a leader is to keep them engaged and producing results. Engaged employees will lead to loyal customers and loyal customers will lead to a sustainable business. In our business climate it is not enough to be good, you must exceed customers’ expectations. This takes a coordinated effort of individuals that work together toward a common goal. You may have heard it said that there is no “I” in team. This is true and it means that individuals who are qualified and intelligent but do not work...
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BALANCED SCORECARD LEADS TO MORE SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS OUTCOMES

BALANCED SCORECARD LEADS TO MORE SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS OUTCOMES
You need a balanced approach to management in order to obtain great business results. Why? You need it because your organization will have multiple goal categories, goals and action steps. The flawless execution of these action steps will result in a loyal customer base. The end result will be more sales and profits. But how do you keep it all on track? The Balanced Scorecard, in my opinion, is the best way to stay focused on all of the organization’s goals and keep your staff on track too. Very simply a balanced scorecard is an ideal form of performance measurement. The business leaders identify a small number of financial and non-financial measures and attach goals to them. When the results are reviewed it is possible to determine whether current performance 'meets expectations. By alerting managers to areas where performance deviates from expectations, they can be encouraged to focus their attention on...
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LEADERS MOTIVATE OTHERS TO GET RESULTS

LEADERS MOTIVATE OTHERS TO GET RESULTS
There is a difference between being a great performer and leading a team of great performers. In fact, a great leader does not have to be the best performer or even a performer at all. That is hard to understand if you are a newly appointed manager who had mastered the individual roles of your department. Because of you great work you have been promoted to manager. But the qualities that made you a star performer are not the same qualities that will make you an effective leader. Here are leadership philosophies from two well-known management consultants. “Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to high sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.” —Peter Drucker “The key to successful leadership today is influence, not authority.” —Kenneth Blanchard You can learn the skills of a leader just like you learned...
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LEAD OTHERS BY FIRST LEADING YOURSELF

LEAD OTHERS BY FIRST LEADING YOURSELF
In order to lead others you must first be able to lead yourself. Have you ever looked in the mirror and asked, “Am I a person who inspires and encourages others?”   If the answer to that question is no then you may not have the power to lead. You see there is a difference between power and authority. If you are a manager or you own your own business you have the authority by virtue of your role. However, your power is granted by those on your team or those you supervise. You may have noticed in your workplace that people without titles have been sought out by others for advice and approval. They have been granted power by others by virtue of their leadership skills not their job title. When working with leadership teams here in Westchester County NY I ask the question, "How much power do you have?" If...
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SIX POINTS FOR MANAGING YOUR VIRTUAL TEAM

SIX POINTS FOR MANAGING YOUR VIRTUAL TEAM
Technology has changed the way we work. Today there are more teams that work virtually than ever before. People work from home and a working team can be spread out geographically. A team could consist of employees with a manager leader or it could be a group of associates who are independent contractors. It could even be all volunteers in a volunteer organization. Regardless of the composition of the team, the things needed to create traditional high performing teams also apply to virtual teams. It needs to have a visionary and motivating leader combined with engaged and dedicated team members. These team members need to have a strong motivation for achievement of their goals. Moreover, the team’s goal AND the members’ individual goals must be aligned. Just because people don’t meet together in a physical location does not mean that there can’t be a culture of accountability. Every team and every...
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BRIDGING THE GENERATION GAP

BRIDGING THE GENERATION GAP
Today everyone is talking about adapting to the Millennials. This ignores the fact the we have three different generations in the workplace. Understanding all three generations is the only way leverage the talents of your workforce. The understanding of the differences of the three generations will also help you understand your customer base and what motivates them. As I work with my Westchester County NY organizations I constantly hear voices of frustration. A frustrated manager says “The kids today don’t want to work. I can’t get any good help.” Or it might be a manager of a team of professionals complaining about the unwillingness of the younger members to work endless hours. Or it can be frustration from a baby boomer who feels he or she can’t compete with the new workers and the new technology. And here is yet another quote. “Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners,...
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POSITIVE RESULTS ARE THE RESULT OF POSITIVE LEADERSHIP

POSITIVE RESULTS ARE THE RESULT OF POSITIVE LEADERSHIP
Show me an organization that functions very well and I can show you a positive engaged leader. Last month I worked with a Westchester County NY organization that was having difficulty with its people. I asked some employees what they thought was the problem. They replied, “We need positive leadership. We need leadership with people skills.” What does your organization need? Does it need more sales or more profits? Does it need updated marketing that get results? Does your organizational structure need to change to get business to the next level? Regardless of how you answer these questions one fact is abundantly clear. It is your people who achieve the results. That is true for any size organization and it is also true if you are a sole practitioner.   Let’s start with you and your personal leadership. Ask yourself these questions: •          Am I the best I can be? •          Am...
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THE HARDEST PART IS GETTING STARTED

THE HARDEST PART IS GETTING STARTED
The reason that many great ideas never become reality is lack of commitment to get started. It is a law of physics. It takes more energy to start a car or turn on a light than to continue operating them. This is also true with starting a project or starting a business. It takes more effort to get started. For that reason people over analyize and tell themselves the don’t want do it until it is perfect. A coach colleague of mine has coined this habit “Getting ready to go to work”. I cannot start until I get my brochures, business cards, website, 2 number 2 pencils—you get the idea! I have heard that 80% of people who say they want to run a business of their own don’t follow through. Why? One possible answer is the rewards aren’t sufficient enough to motivate them into action. Another probable answer is procrastination...
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DO YOU THINK LEADERS ARE BORN OR MADE?

DO YOU THINK LEADERS ARE BORN OR MADE?
Have you ever heard someone describe a leader that they admire as a “born leader”?   But really, what is a born leader? Are leaders born?   If I were to ask you to tell me what qualities you think of when you think of a great leader each of you would probably answer with totally different qualities and attributes. I have just read some blogs remembering events on the anniversary of 9/11. Did born leaders appear at just the right time? Were Mayor Giuliani and President Bush leaders who appeared at just the right time? Or were they shaped and created by circumstances long before 9/11 and had the resolve do what needed to be done? Let’s take two military leaders from World War II. George Patton and Dwight Eisenhower were both considered to be great leaders. Their attributes and their personalities, however, were very different. Patton was in the face of...
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IF YOU ARE A MANAGER ARE YOU ALSO A LEADER?

IF YOU ARE A MANAGER ARE YOU ALSO A LEADER?
There is a distinction between management and leadership. Management is a matter of job title that is given by your organization or by yourself if you are the owner of the company. On the other hand leadership is recognition by those whom you lead. Expressed in different terms a manager has the authority and a leader has the power. The leader’s power is earned through empathy for the team, clear direction, trust, and other factors. People are not born leaders. Leadership is developed and there is not one set of leadership traits. In fact there are examples of two very effective leaders with highly contradictory traits. The leadership in the US Armed forces inspires and demands that each person does his or her very best. A military leader does not have to possess the traits and style of George S. Patton to be an effective commander. People with totally different traits...
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MAKE SURE PEOPLE ARE LEARNING WHAT YOU ARE TEACHING

MAKE SURE PEOPLE ARE LEARNING WHAT YOU ARE TEACHING
Optimizing performance is a buzz word that is heard in almost any organization. As a leader you need to work at peak performance and get peak performance from members of your team. It is no secret that more organizations are doing more with less. In some cases companies have cut the training and development budgets. Those that have done so have not seen the relationship between the training and development and results. But is it the training or is it the way it is being delivered. I contend that it is the way it is being delivered. One of the problems I have noticed in many organizations is their lack of clear objective for outcomes from the training they are providing. I recently had a credit union call me. They had found me online and saw that I was doing leadership development sessions. They asked if I could do the same...
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LEADERSHIP IS TELLING PEOPLE WHAT TO DO BUT NOT HOW TO DO IT

LEADERSHIP IS TELLING PEOPLE WHAT TO DO BUT NOT HOW TO DO IT
"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."  -- Gen. George S. Patton "Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way."                 -- Gen. George S. Patton On this Memorial Day weekend we pay tribute to our fallen brave men and women in the armed forces.  It is also fitting to honor the great leadership lessons of our past military leaders.   It is not surprising to me that many great civilian leaders that I have known have received their leadership lessons in the US military.  The leadership in the US Armed forces inspires and demands that each person does his or her very best.  Now that doesn’t mean that everyone has to have a management style like Patten.  Those were his traits.  People with totally different traits such as Colon Powell or Norman Schwarzkopf were equally effective...
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