DISC: Better teams > Better results

Picture your business as a school bus, a really important school bus, and you have taken great care to be sure that the people who sit in the seats on your bus are the right people for the seat. Your Vice-President, CFO, maybe even your HR director and Sales & Marketing directors all have a seat at the front of your bus. Seats further back are filled with managers, supervisors, and others in your business. In normal day-to-day operations, you can comfortably drive your bus down the road you’reIs this your bus? following and avoid the bumps, potholes, and deer in the road.

But what happens if you face a detour? You may find out that the bus you are driving looks like the one on the right. Your detour could be:

  • a fantastic project or contract, the likes of which you’ve been working on for quite a while now;
  • an unexpected loss of business, and you need to make internal adjustments FAST.

You are now lost and you need to get back on the right track ASAP. 
Start by identifying your process issues.

  • Where are your problem areas?
  • Where do you need to allocate personnel in order to manage the problems you’ve uncovered?
  • What are you missing?

Your key to revealing your way through the detour: your people! Those very same people sitting on your bus understand your business from their unique perspective and talents. This knowledge is invaluable to you, and it’s what’s really been moving your bus down the road. But how do you harness this and put it to use?

DISC is your key to revealing the talents of  your people. In order to switch your bus to an updated model, my clients use DISC because it shows you the talents ofMove up to a new bus! the people who work for you. You may use a very different configuration of people for specific topics. Having your DISC results readily available in a spreadsheet format like you get with KITE DISCtest24/7 gives you the ability to quickly assemble the people to remodel your bus.

Detour done and back on the road to success. You may choose to continue along the detour, or you may choose to return to your original route. My points are that:

  • your choice needs to be informed,
  • your people hold the key to your being informed, and
  • one of the tools you use to become informed is DISC.

As you’re driving your bus down the road today, why not stop for a minute and visit with me to see how I can help you? I’ve been using DISC with businesses just like yours for many years. Happy trails!

Business Coaching: Your Emotions and Decisions

Once upon a time, I received an email. When I read it, I thought it said my sky was falling. Then I stopped and asked myself a series of questions to take my emotions out of the issue. It turned out that my sky was not falling, that the person sending me the email was under stress and had expressed their stress (with a situation that did not involve me) in their choice of words in the email they sent me.

If this has ever happend to you, either in an email, a conversation, or a business meeting, I suggest that your first step is to acknowledge your emotional response internally.
Whoa! Why has this statement upset me? What emotion am I feeling AND WHY?
You already know that your internal physical response to stress is not beneficial to your longterm health and happiness. You owe it to yourself, your career, and your long term goals to take these few seconds to monitor and understand why statements upset you. The more you understand about your behavior, the stronger you become.

Managing Change: 3-ring Binders are History!

I have a shelf of 3-ring binders full of printed information. I need them…just in case. The contents are my resource materials I use in my executive coaching practice. It’s pretty important stuff, and I probably should scan the contents to pdf so I can access the information anywhere.

So if I do scan the contents to pdf, why do I need the 3-ring binders? In a word, I don’t. And that’s the way resources and information are flowing these days: Away from the 3-ring binders and into the cloud.

Which brings me to the theme for this blog post: managing change. The world we live in is constantly changing. It’s difficult to keep up. Now that I’ve said it out loud (figuratively speaking), you can agree. Now you know that you are not the only one who feels like the world is constantly changing.

Why do the constant changes cause such turmoil in our lives? Because we don’t have the knowledge we need to adjust to the change. Or perhaps we think we don’t because we react emotionally at first. At the core of the change, what is required of us?

Learning is at the core of change. When you get right down to it, you need to learn something different than what you already know. That’s where the stress comes in.

  • When are you going to find the time?
  • How can you afford to pay for it?
  • What are you going to do about family demands?
  • If you learn this new thing, how will you change as a person?

Your cumulative life experiences provide you with a springboard for managing change. Emotion aside, you know more than you realize or accept, especially in times when you are feeling stressed by situations that appear to be out of your control. Step back, get your emotions under control, and devote some time to understanding what you can do to respond.

And above all, don’t stop learning.

Business Growth: Make the Domino Effect Work for You

As kids, we used to set up our grandmother’s dominoes in what we thought were intricate designs and then set off the chain reaction and enjoy watching those dominoes all fall down.

A couple of thoughts come to mind as I think about this:
♦ There is no one set pattern that must be followed in order to get the dominoes to fall down. The business world is much the same. We all bring our unique talents and experiences to our business tactics. The very fact that we are different from our competitors is a huge advantage to us as individuals and to the people who choose to work with us.
♦ If we don’t get the curve quite right and the domino string stops falling, we remedy the situation by resetting the dominoes so they continue to move in the direction we want the string to flow. How do we flow this concept to our business? Metrics. Measurements. Analysis. And ultimately adjustments to our business tactics so business growth occurs.

This is true: Your dominoes are falling in the exact direction you’ve set them up to fall. If you’ve hit a point where the dominoes stop falling or you don’t like the direction your dominoes are heading, make the adjustments you need to get the dominoes headed in the right direction.

How can you change the direction your dominoes are falling? Change your beliefs. One of my clients told me that she suddenly realized all the opportunities surrounding her when she started working with me. Her business is now stronger and better positioned to grow because she is seeing and taking advantage of those opportunities that were standing in front of her all the time. In effect, her dominoes had stopped falling and she reset and restarted them in the direction she wants them to go. Her business tactics support the flow of her dominoes.

Your business tactics likewise direct the flow of your string of dominoes. If your domino effect is not headed where you want it to go, the reason is your beliefs. Do an inventory of your beliefs and admit which ones are stopping the flow of your dominoes. Then change those that are stopping you and adopt new ones in order to make the domino effect work for you.

 

Business Growth: Ready or not, here comes 2013

I don’t know where November went, or October or September or the rest of 2012 for that matter, but 2012 is close to being in the history books.

We’ve seen upheaval, tumult and turmoil on a local, national, and global level. While we might think there’s more happening now than ever, that may not be accurate. We now find ourselves inundated with what is referred to as “news” 24/7/365 whether we want it or not. The words chosen by the reporters and their editors may have more to do with building viewer numbers or selling newspapers with success measured by shares and retweets rather than with the truth or the accuracy of the reporting. Chances are a lot of what’s being reported will not help you grow your business nor will it harm your business. It will just distract you.

So what can we do to manage all the noise and take control of our situation? At the core of everything we do every day, our attitude has the most to do with how we view our success. If you’re tired of the status quo, start with these steps today.

First, figure out what really affects or impacts you and your business. There’s a lot of junk being reported. Does it really mean anything to you? Probably not. And if not, why should you pay any attention to it?

Second, what do you need to know at this point in order to make 2013 turn out the way you want it to? I’m talking about business intelligence or data or education or whatever it is that you need to know. Where can you get this? When will you begin?

Third, what do your customers need that you can provide in 2013? If you don’t know, why don’t you ask them? Things wear out. Situations change. Your customers have friends and relatives who need your product or service.

Once you figure out your responses to these questions, then you can begin to move forward and grow your business towards a profitable 2013. You will probably find that these are not the only questions that will be important to you. What I’m suggesting is that you plant your feet firmly on the ground, take a look around you at what people need and you can provide, and then you get busy working with direction and purpose so that a year from now in December 2013, you can look back and truthfully say out loud that you’ve had a darn good year.

The Barr Associates Groups: How will it work?

Value through group synergy

You’ve joined one of The Barr Associates’ groups. Congratulations on taking a positive step towards your future! Now you want to have some idea of how the group sessions will work and what you can expect. Good questions! And I’m glad you’re asking. Your time is valuable, your investment in your group is important to you, and it’s important to me that you receive high value for your investment in The Barr Associates’ group you’ve joined. At the end of the day, odds are you selected a group in order to grow your business. As an adult learner, professional development through groups offers you new avenues  to explore your options and get a grip on the best steps for business growth.

You can have confidence in the materials you will be using. As an affiliate of Resource Associates Corporation, any of the materials I use in any of my groups or individual sessions are constantly used by thousands of people around the US and continuously updated to be current and relevant to the current business real world.

There are two sources for information and reinforcement for you in your group. The first is through the listening or reading that you will do outside of our group meetings and the written exercises you will complete in between sessions. The second is through the synergy you will find in the group meetings. These two sources combine to give you optimal results for the growth of your business you desire. Whenever you are considering a learning environment, you owe it to yourself to be sure you have quality written steps to follow along with the synergy of people to serve as neutral sounding boards.

Can you make the changes you desire without assistance? No. If you could, you would have done so by now.

Can you make the changes you want? Absolutely. As humans, we are versatile learners with the capacity to change and grow as individuals.

Whatever your reason for joining The Barr Associates group, welcome!

Steps to Grow Your Business

It doesn’t matter what business you are in or how long you’ve been in business. You are under pressure to perform and to be profitable. What used to work doesn’t work any more because the world has changed, your business has grown, and you have changed.

The good news is that there are steps you can follow to gain an understanding of what your business needs to do in order for you to regain control and move it forward. Here are 3 steps you can take to grow your business.

1. Define and measure your success. I often work with business people who started a business based on passion and a good idea who have either accomplished what they set out to do or become over involved in the business. The rule of thumb is that you should spend 80% of your time working ON the business and 20% of your time working IN the business. If you’re stuck on a treadmill like a hamster in a cage, take a look at how you are spending your time. Is this what you wanted when you started your business? What’s next for you?

2. Identify and prioritize your next steps. One of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If you need to change something to take your business to the next level, you’ve got to know what it is you need to change and the steps you need to take. No one else can do this for you. It’s your business. You should, however, have help to make these steps happen in the right order. Your helpers can range from your team of advisers to your employees. No matterh the size your your business, you have stakeholders who want to see you succeed.

3. Plan to move your business to the next level. What do you need? Who do you need on your team? In what order or sequence to your steps need to happen? These are fundamental questions you need to address in order to wrap your arms around your unique situation. There are more questions than these. You must understand that if you fail to plan or believe you don’t need to plan, your situation may not change for the positive like you want it to.

It’s up to you to move your business forward, and if you need assistance to get your thoughts together, that’s where I can be of assistance. If you are waiting for your business to “turn around,” you are going to miss the turn around and continue to be behind. I want you to be at the head of the pack. I invite you to check into the groups I’m offering and take positive steps to grow your business.