Successful businesses are so common today in most industries that it’s easy for them to become complacent just because you’re “making money” or doing better than last year. Because of their ubiquity, successful companies have come to bore me. They’re certainly the rule rather than the exception, and most are so content with how they’re doing they spend a lot more time talking about becoming great or getting to the next level than they do taking the action necessary to make it…Continue
One of the best things about leadership principles is their wide applicability. You can find beneficial leadership life-lessons in sports, business, politics and throughout history. These maxims can be adapted to your personal life, home, church or enterprise. In my new Become a Category of One in-house workshop, I use Vince Lombardi’s success with the Green Bay Packers as a case study in how not to just become the best in your business category, but to create a different…Continue
A common mistake leaders make when hiring is bringing someone on board because they like him or her. While liking a potential team member is certainly a plus, it is not an accurate indicator of character, competence or team chemistry. In fact, most of us have seen employees who were once likeable become far less so as we discovered weaknesses through performance we should have uncovered during the interview process. Hiring experts have long estimated that the number one cause of hiring…Continue
In 1965, Pete Townshend of the British rock group, The Who, wrote the blockbuster hit My Generation. The song was later named the 11th greatest song by Rolling Stone of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Townshend reportedly wrote the song on a train and is said to have been inspired by the Queen Mother, who is alleged to have had Townshend’s 1935 Packard hearse towed off a street because she was offended by the sight of it during her daily drive through the…Continue
As one year winds down and another begins soon it’s helpful to fine-tune your leadership skills to prepare for the challenges and opportunities ahead. After all, your personal levels of focus, hunger, and sense of urgency will set the pace for your team. Perhaps nothing goes as far to either elevate or degrade your leadership credibility than does your responses to the various situations, problems, and “little” people issues you encounter each day. Following are fourteen everyday realities…Continue
While managing sales people I would occasionally hear a complaint from team members that sounded like this:
We’re going to train on the steps to the sale again? This is getting redundant!
While helping to run a six-dealership group, I would occasionally hear a complaint from members of the management team that expressed the following:
Our training this month is on how to hire and interview…again? This is getting redundant.
A decades-old belief system in business is that the deeper one goes in debt with lifestyle enhancements, toys—stuff, the more driven he or she will be to make money. This mentality can start at the top of a dealership and cascade through the ranks. In fact, I know many managers who quietly enjoy seeing their salespeople overextend themselves financially so they have to work extra shifts and days to maintain their lifestyle. While it may be true that living with high overhead can stir up…Continue
Many people believe that forgiveness is solely a religious topic or should be relegated to the subject of sermons. After all, what benefit can a discussion of forgiveness have in the real-world, white-knuckle business arena? To appreciate the scope of possibilities, we are wise to consider what it costs us to have resentment, bitterness, selfishness, envy, factions, grudges, turf wars, gossip, and even hatred exist within the walls of our organization because we, or others, will not forgive,…Continue
Added by Dave Anderson on July 23, 2012 at 4:13pm — No Comments
A classic scene from the 1978 movie Animal House was created when Faber College Dean Vernon Wormer disgustedly addressed the failing grades of delinquent Delta Tau Chi Fraternity members as follows:
Dean Wormer: Here are your grade point averages. Mr. Kroger: two C’s, two D’s and an F. That’s a 1.2. Congratulations, Kroger. You’re at the top of the Delta pledge class. Mr.…Continue
Self-esteem is defined by the dictionary as: a realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself; self-respect. Engendering the “realistic” aspect of self-esteem into an individual has been the component conveniently ignored by teachers, therapists, and misguided parents over the past many decades as they’ve attempted to build self-worth into kids with everything from undeserved praise, to unearned weekly allowances, to participation trophies for various activities. This…Continue
One hour into my two-day Up Your Business 2.0 Super Leadership Workshop I present several key differences between managers and leaders. In this section, I help attendees overcome the common tendency to over-manage and under-lead. I suggest that leaders who are too management-focused tend to spend more time with paperwork than with people-work. As a result, they invest most of their energies pencil-whipping numbers in an attempt to wring out every ounce of production possible. However,…Continue
An entire chapter in my book, Up Your Business, addressed the dangers of entitlement within organizations and offered remedies for weeding it out. In If You Don’t Make Waves You’ll Drown I presented ten strategies to combat the negative impact political correctness has on high performance business cultures. After watching trending cultural currents in recent months I am presenting additional strategies to explain how to survive and prosper despite the encroachment of a force as…Continue
For decades, I've written extensively about discipline, accountability, focusing on what you can control, and taking personal responsibility rather than blaming. These are principles I have personally embraced and applied in my life to prevail through tough times.
In the early 80's I worked in my parents’ restaurant business that failed. It was in the midst of 20+% interest rates, 10% inflation, and unemployment as high as today. I held three jobs to make ends meet,…Continue
In a previous blog post, I presented three of six common temptations of successful organizations outlined in my book, Up Your Business. I asserted that since prosperity can drain urgency, dealerships doing well should be aware of the tendency to let up in key disciplines that made them successful in the first place. They were:
In 2003, my book, Up Your Business: Seven Steps to Fix, Build or Stretch Your Organization was published. Fortunately, the book did well and my publisher wanted me to write a revised, expanded version, which they published in 2007. The book does not promote fads, but timeless principles, and thus it continues to sell well today. As evidence that principles can transcend borders and cultures, Up Your Business has been translated into several languages including Russian and…Continue
While good leaders and good companies are common, few become great. Jim Collins addressed this phenomenon in his book, Good to Great, where he declared that the enemy of great is good. Collins contended that the reason so few leaders or businesses attain greatness is because they become good and then stop doing many of the things that brought them success in the first place. They stop learning, changing, risking, deciding, and stretching.
I agree with Collins’…Continue
To fully appreciate why I’d write an article about “diminishing people,” it’s helpful to understand that the dictionary defines “diminish” as:
The given definitions raise the stakes considerably when one considers the effect that his or her associations with others—the wrong others—may have on their personal time, morale, and results.…Continue
A clear sign of leadership maturity is the willingness to take responsibility. One aspect of this virtue is refusing to make excuses for personal failures or for those of others. I readily admit that listening while others blame is one of my pet peeves. Little rubs me rawer than when someone attempts to defend failed actions or inferior results by compromising, sanitizing, or trivializing the truth. Occasionally, I must endure the whininess in person at one of my workshops, as a leader goes…Continue
One of the most common mistakes that prevents a manager from reaching his or her potential is to over-manage and under-lead. Many of the managers I’ve met over the years don’t even realize that there is a difference between management and leadership, or that developing a balance of both skill sets is essential if they want to grow their team and maximize results. While I can’t explain as well in a few hundred words what takes me two hours to cover in my workshop, I’ll do my best in this…Continue