Catch Sean McDonald In Action [Speaking Video]

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What It Means To Truly L.E.A.D. (Part 2)

leaders-become-greatnot-because-of-their-powerbut-because-of-their-ability-to-empower-others-leadership-quote

Last week, I provided a list of things that a person should be doing in order to truly L.E.A.D. Here is Part 2 using the same acronym (L.E.A.D.)

Listen. True leaders are always listening. They know how important it is to keep an open ear to the members of their teams. Furthermore, they know HOW to listen properly – they realize that most times, it’s wiser to not actually say too much. Great leaders know how to read body language and also read between the lines by analyzing both verbal and non-verbal communication. In order to be a great leader, you have to become an expert at listening.

Encourage and Empower. True leaders know how to encourage and empower their team members. They are keenly aware that their team members have ambitions, goals, dreams, and aspirations of their own. They are not threatened by these things. Rather, they find ways to relate to and support them. You must learn to encourage your teams to get better if you want to be an effective leader.  Team members should also be empowered to make decisions on their own.  Leaders must work to cultivate trust and confidence between themselves and their direct reports.  Leaders must empower their teams to get the job done.

Aspire. True leaders must also have goals and ambitions of their own. They must aspire to become great. It is important for leaders to understand and accept that they don’t already know everything. There is always room to improve. There is always a reason to learn more. Personal and professional aspirations are the hallmarks of great leaders.

Delegate. True leaders delegate. They know they can’t possibly do everything themselves without burning out. They don’t sweat the small stuff to the point that they lose focus on the big picture. They identify the best-performing team members and learn to rely on their performers with the highest potential to assist them with their duties. If you’re not delegating, you’re not really leading.

What are some other things that true leaders do? Comment below to get the conversation started.

 

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What It Means To Truly L.E.A.D.

Servant Leadership

“He who serves his fellows, is of all his fellows, greatest.” – Dr. E. Urner Goodman

True leadership is hard to find. There I said it. But it’s true. Too many “leaders” think it’s about their title or stature. Too many “leaders” believe that managing tasks is the only thing that needs to be done. Too many “leaders” spend way too much time putting out fires themselves instead of delegating. Too many “leaders” think they are too busy.

There are a few things that one must do in order to truly L.E.A.D. Ironically enough, the word LEAD is a great acronym for those things. So let’s go through L.E.A.D.

Learn. True leaders are always learning. They read voraciously. They attend workshops and conferences. They participate in webinars and roundtables. The most effective leaders in the history of the world were all students of knowledge. If you want to truly lead, you must become a student again. You must understand that you don’t already know everything and there is always room for improvement. You must seek to understand rather than be understood. You must learn.

Educate. True leaders know that one of their most important jobs is to educate the people who work for them. And it must go beyond telling people about product features. True leaders know that training and professional development opportunities motivate people to work harder, be more productive and work smarter. As Sir Richard Branson says, “Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” You must understand, acknowledge, and respect the power of education and instruction.

Adapt. True leaders know that they must adapt to ever-changing circumstances. The market environment is fluid – it ebbs and flows. So too does the work environment. True leaders know that plans will need to be modified from time to time and that they should be prepared to give a little leeway once in a while. True leaders know that making excuses to avoid getting out of their comfort zones is a sure road to nowhere. You must adapt to the circumstances around you.

Decide. True leaders decide. Yes or no. Leaders are expected to make decisions and then stand by those decisions. True leaders don’t kick the can down the road. They don’t make excuses for indecision. They don’t blame others if a decision ends up being the wrong one. True leaders gather all of the facts, hear opinions, perform due diligence, and then they make a decision. You must become a decision-driven leader.

Obviously this just scratches the surface. What are some other things that true leaders do? Comment below to get the conversation started.

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Ways To Improve Service

Great Service

Service is one of the cornerstones of an organization’s success. If your service levels stink, you’re not going to grow. Here are 3 ways to improve your company’s service levels:

Constantly and consistently demonstrate VALUE. (Yes, this section is repeated from last week’s post because it is so vital!) Remember, it’s all about answering the W.I.I.F.M. question. What’s In It For Me? If you can’t answer that question, you’re sunk. In order to “onboard” or build relationships, a lot of companies incorporate cross-selling into their business models. That’s great but only if your employees are properly trained and your value proposition (your W.I.I.F.M. answer) is strong. You must constantly and consistently show people the VALUE in what you’re talking to them about. How will it change their lives for the better? What might happen should they decide not to act? Answer those questions and you’re on your way to demonstrating VALUE.

Leverage Technology. We live in a “right now” world. There’s no way around it. Your company must endeavor to leverage technology in order to improve service. Research shows that organizations that offer the latest in technology outperform those who might be stuck in the past. Your organization needs to make sure that it is up to date with the CONSUMER’S expectations of what constitutes great technology. Make it easy by using the right technology.

Tailored Interactions. Make your interactions as personal as possible (without being pushy.) Strive to gather, analyze, and use available data to learn as much as you can about your target audience. Then, create focused and tailored experiences for them. Remember that not every product or service is appropriate for everyone. Remember that your cross-selling or up-selling efforts should revolve around BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS as opposed to selling products.

 

What are your thoughts on this article? Share them below and let’s get a conversation started.

 

ATTENTION: We’re in the midst of strategic planning season. If your organization is looking for a FACILITATOR, perhaps we could schedule a time to chat about Your Full Potential’s services. You have nothing to lose – a conversation costs nothing!

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3 Ways To Build Relationships With Consumers (ONBOARDING)

Accountability 2

Organizations need 3 things to survive: new business, repeat business, and referral business. In today’s post, we’re going to discuss repeat business. How do you get consumers to come back to you after that first purchase? The secret lies in what is necessary to build relationships with people. Here are 3 ways to build long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationships with the people who do business with you:

WOW them. Let’s face facts – if you don’t do an awesome job the first time, they’re not coming back for a second round. So you must endeavor to WOW them from the start. Yes, under-promise and over-deliver. Yes, take the transaction a step further. Yes, do more than you’re asked. Then you’ll start to reap the rewards.

Make it ridiculously easy to do business with you. If you make people jump through the proverbial hoops to do something that can be streamlined or simplified, you’re going to lose business. Consumers can’t be bothered anymore with completing a clipboard full of forms. You must simplify AND automate. This is especially true for my readers in the financial services industry. The world is going mobile. It’s no longer the future. It’s the here and now. You must make it very easy for people to find information on your website and then to ACT on that information in a seamless manner. All of the various pages on my company’s website have a “call to action” that encourages visitors to contact me. What’s your “call to action?”

Constantly and consistently demonstrate VALUE. Remember, it’s all about answering the W.I.I.F.M. question. What’s In It For Me? If you can’t answer that question, you’re sunk. In order to “onboard” or build relationships, a lot of companies incorporate cross-selling into their business models. That’s great but only if your employees are properly trained and your value proposition (your W.I.I.F.M. answer) is strong. You must constantly and consistently show people the VALUE in what you’re talking to them about. How will it change their lives for the better? What might happen should they decide not to act? Answer those questions and you’re on your way to demonstrating VALUE.

 

What are your thoughts on this article? Share them below and let’s get a conversation started.

 

ATTENTION: We’re in the midst of strategic planning season. If your organization is looking for a FACILITATOR, perhaps we could schedule a time to chat about Your Full Potential’s services. You have nothing to lose – a conversation costs nothing!

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4 Reasons Why Great Employees Leave

Employees Leave

Organizations should always expect turnover – that’s business. The problem is that some organizations do some things so badly that the turnover involves their best and brightest employees. Here are 5 reasons why the best employees leave organizations:

They’re constantly being told “no.” Let’s face it. There are only so many times that a person can be rejected before they start to question whether or not they’re in the right place. “No” is part of business. No one is disputing that. But instead of a snap-reaction of “no,” perhaps companies can find ways to arrive at a compromise or even a “yes” from time to time.

They were lied to during the interview process. “Yes, we want to hire a change agent,” “We want you to shake things up and make them better,” “You’ll have a lot of latitude in your decision-making authority.” How many of us have heard these things only to find out once we started on the job that none of it was actually true? I’ve been through this personally and it just sucks. Great employees will not work for organizations that lie to them.

Poor Leadership. This is a big one. Great employees want to work for great leaders. They will seek out and follow great leaders. They will also shun poor leaders. If your leadership isn’t absurdly great, your best and brightest will simply leave. Count on it.

They’re not motivated or challenged enough. Great employees hate to do work that is boring or that doesn’t encourage and motivate them. Great employees want to be challenged and want to be pushed to the limits of their productivity. They want to be involved in team projects and innovation. They want to be “in the know.” They want to know that their work is important.

What are your thoughts on this article? Share them below and let’s get a conversation started.

 

ATTENTION: We’re in the midst of strategic planning season. If your organization is looking for a FACILITATOR, perhaps we could schedule a time to chat about Your Full Potential’s services. You have nothing to lose – a conversation costs nothing!

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4 Steps To Creating A Robust Company Culture

company-culture

An organization’s culture is an extension of its Value Proposition.  If the Value Proposition is the answer to the question, “why should anyone do business with you, ever?” then culture is the methodology that is used to come up with that answer.

You should be aiming to create a culture of fun, innovation, creativity, and inclusion.  More organizations are realizing the importance of a strong culture.  There is plenty of evidence of that.  Indeed, some of the most successful companies on the planet enjoy that level of success precisely because of the cultures they’ve created.  I think of Southwest Airlines, Zappos, and yes, even Facebook.

There are a few steps to take when creating and implementing specific culture.  These include:

Senior Buy-In – these efforts must be supported from the top-down.  If that support doesn’t exist, it’s a moot point.

Employee Buy-In – the employees must be motivated to include themselves in the culture.  If there are employees that can’t or won’t get “on the bus,” they either need to be better trained or separated from the organization.  Just a few bad apples can spoil the whole effort.

Customer Attraction – those people whom the organizations serve must be excited by the culture.  It should encourage them to do even more business and to refer others to do business.  People enjoy flying Southwest Airlines.  It’s (for the most part) a pleasant experience.  The culture there plays a large part in that attraction.  It’s a big reason why Southwest is the largest domestic carrier.  I fly other airlines all the time as well.  But I couldn’t tell you what the culture is at United or American Airlines.  Southwest makes it a point to TELL ITS CUSTOMERS all about their culture – at every possible turn.  That’s why it’s so successful!

There are 4 key tasks associated with implementing culture:

Training – employees need to learn HOW to do it YOUR way. (Think of the intense training Disney has for its employees.)

Encouragement – the employees need to be continually encouraged to play an active role and they should be rewarded in some way.

Measurement – efforts should be analyzed and measured on a continuous basis.

Revise – if changes are necessary, they should be made and implemented.

Obviously, this just scratches the surface.

What are your thoughts on culture? Share them below and let’s get a conversation started.

 

Are you looking for a FACILITATOR for your upcoming STRATEGIC PLANNING session? Check out our Strategic Planning page to learn more about our services and process.

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The Irrefutable Law of Innovation

Accountability 2

Back from my “road trip” odyssey/hiatus!! I’ve been “on the road” for much of the last month or so but I’m back in the saddle now and happy to bring you the latest blog post from Your Full Potential!

Let’s talk about innovation. We hear a lot about it. You may be innovators yourselves. Or you may work for an innovative organization. There is one irrefutable law of innovation that if enacted, will take you and your organizations to the very heights of innovation. It sounds simple enough but in reality, it takes a lot of hard work and dedication.

Here we go….

Make innovation part of your brand promise. Your brand is the essence of who you are and why you exist. If you really want to be known as innovative, you must make innovation part of your brand. Ask yourself if your organization is truly innovative or if you’re just giving lip service.

Do you encourage creativity or do you stifle it?

Are you hiring people with creative juices flowing through their veins?

Do you make it a point to REWARD people for innovative ideas – even if they’re not actually implemented?

Are you letting your target market know about all of the new things you’re doing? Do you even know who your target market is? (HINT: If you don’t, you’re not even close to being ready to innovate.)

Do you say “no” more than you say “yes” or “let’s give it a try”?

Do you engage in serious strategic planning? Do you create workable action plans with associated goals, timelines, measurement procedures, and accountability standards? What part does innovation play in your overall strategy?

Do you have a separate budget for innovation?

These questions are just a few of the many that you’ll need to answer if you want to be truly innovative. Don’t just say your organization is innovative. Mean what you say and be able to prove it.

Otherwise, you’re simply blowing hot air. And the world has enough of that already.

 

IT’s FINALLY HERE!!!!

 I am excited and honored to announce that my new book, What’s In It For Me? has been published!! It would mean so much to me if you, my loyal readers, would purchase a copy. It’s available in both paperback and Kindle editions and can be bought on Amazon.

Help me “break” Amazon by purchasing your copy today!!

 

Thank you all for your continued support! It means the world to me!

WIIFM Book Cover

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