4 Tips to Spring Clean Your Business

Spring Cleaning. Remove the Clutter

Spring Clean Up

The first quarter is in the book. All you can impact now is the next three quarters. It’s spring cleaning time. Time to rejuvenate your plans for the rest of the year….while you still have time. Here are 4 ways to clear the clutter that could impede your results.

I don’t know about you but every spring my mother would throw open the windows, start whacking pillows and cushions, and tossing out clothes, magazines and “stuff” that hadn’t been used since the last spring cleaning. It was time to get rid of what wasn’t working or not being used and make room for the new. My dad would get to work repairing doors and drawers and painting or re-wall papering. It was rejuvenation time.

“Your room isn’t going to clean itself!”

That’s what my mother would say. It comes from that secret book of motherly sayings. Just like, “If Tommy jumped off a ledge, would you too?” ( this was the standard answer to “Well Tommy’s doing it!”) or “When I was your age……” (this one was a perennial favorite, although Dad’s seemed to use it more often.. Come to think of it, I probably used it too)
btw, I was talking to a colleague in the UK who said his mother use to say the same things . I guess it’s international….it’s the Mother gene.

Learn From Your Mother….It’s Clean Up Time

It’s time to take hard look at what is working, what isn’t and what is needed. There is still time to make adjustments and maybe even major overhauls to avoid problems and take advantage of opportunities.

This means taking a hard look, maybe even a contrarian view, of the plan. Nothing is sacred, not even that pet project of yours…. or your boss’.

The 4 Things You Will Wished You Had Done Now

  1. Results(Objectives): How does the score card look? What is up, down, on target? Remember facts are just facts. Whether up or down the important question is:
    What has caused it (whether good or bad)?
    What is your plan to continue the trend or to make it better?
    Is it time to modify or even abandon an objective based on what you know now?
    The bottom line: Take a decisive action now.

  2. Strategies/Action Plans: Based on the results for the first quarter, does the strategy need to change? In light of the cold hard facts, observations and feedback, what is the situation:
    Were the agreed actions taken by the responsible people?
    Did the actions drive the expected results?
    Were there unexpected impacts both internally and externally?
    What needs to happen this next quarter to achieve the desired results and who own the responsibility to do what, when? What is the feedback loop?
    Bottom line: Be very clear about who owns what, what needs to be done by when and most importantly…..what success looks like.
  3. People: Have you met with each of your direct reports to evaluate their performance to date?
    Where are they performing well and where are they not?
    Do they need help or direction in specific areas?
    Are they in the right job?
    Are they leading at their level?
    This is not simply about what they do, but also about how they do it. As a leader what do they need to improve in their skills and style to be more effective? This is for their benefit as well as the organization’s. This is also a time to take a hard look at leaders who are not performing and take action to fix the problem so by next quarter this issue no longer exists. That may be helping the leader improve or help them find employment elsewhere. Do not shirk this task now. It will come back to bite you
    Bottom line: Make sure you have the right people in the right roles focused on the right things and heading in the right direction.
  4. You: What have you done to enhance your leadership skills? In this busy environment are you falling into some bad leadership habits? What do you need to do to lead more effectively?
    Spend your time at the right level and on the right things.
    Are you communicating the critical information in a timely fashion to the right people around you, below you and above you?
    Are you leading at your level or just reacting?
    Bottom line: Don’t get so focused on the business issues that you ignore what you need to do for you. Having too much to do is no excuse for either autocratic, micro or lax leadership. Make it a priority to take charge of your own life and career.
  5. I hated Spring cleaning! It meant making tough decisions! I had to go through my closet and drawers and toss out everything that was tattered or no longer being used or was broken. Some of my favorite shirts had holes in them.
    It took me forever to finish the job. I would find stuff that I forgot I had…an old toy, a great comic book, that lucky puck I thought I had lost. It was tough to part with stuff from the past…. and sometimes I didn’t… and I’d hear about it!
    Of course, back in the day the consequences weren’t as critical….in business it can affect the life of the business, the employees and you.

Are You A Victim Or A Survivor? It’s Your Choice.

Victim or Survivor? It's Your Choice.

Are You a Victim Or a Survivor?

On Sunday I ran my first marathon at the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon in Virginia Beach, Virginia. I had started training six months previously and had reached a 20 mile run. Then I ran into problems (no pun intended) and several times I seriously considered abandoning this marathon:
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5 Biases That Can Derail Your Plans

These Biases can derail your plansHave you ever found yourself near work and realize that it is Saturday and out of habit you were mindlessly headed there? Or have you “been on a roll” when everything just seems to be going right say, in Vegas or with your favorite team or winning all those deals? Or your significant other or a friend starts telling about an problem they have and you immediately “know” the solution since that “same thing” happened to you?

In each of these situations you are making biased decisions. [Read more...]

Mike Tyson on Planning

Have You got a Backup Plan?

What's your Plan B?

Despite his outrageous and controversial behavior, Mike Tyson wisely observed “everyone has a plan B until they get hit.”
He should know. Of 50 professional fights he won 44 with knock outs. Tyson was the first heavyweight boxer to hold the WBA, WBC and IBF titles simultaneously.

Having a plan is important. However, having a process for what you will do when things go awry is crucial. [Read more...]

10 Reasons You Could Use an Executive Coach

10 Reasons You Could Use a Coach

10 Reasons You Could Use a Coach

If they’re taking bets on which “you” will show up in a meeting: Dr Jekyll or Mr Hyde…you could use a coach.

With a combination of tongue-in-cheek and a dose of reality, here are 9 more reasons an executive coach could help you become a truly great and fulfilled leader. As you read them, they may cause you to reflect on your own actions, maybe some bad habits you have fallen into… or picked up, or some things you used to do, and need to start doing again. At a minimum, you will probably recognize some of these traits in leaders around you.
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Stop Procrastinating. Start Doing. Take 5 Minutes Now.

Stop Procratinating. Start Doing. Now.

Take 5 Minutes to Start Getting what you Want.

No matter what happens this year what is the one thing that you will absolutely make sure you accomplish? The one thing that will make you better, healthier, safer or more fulfilled. We all have something that we want for ourselves. [Read more...]

2 Reasons You Need a “Brand You”

Differentiate Your self

Brand You

Tiger Woods, Mel Gibson, Bernie Madoff. What comes to mind when you read their names? What about Muhammad Ali, Lady Gaga or Donald Trump? Or Arnold Palmer, Tom Hanks, Jack Welch?

Which one would you invite to dinner; be your business partner; be a role model for your kids; rely on as a friend?

It is easy to pick out a couple of each trio’s brand attributes. [Read more...]

6 Steps for Creating “Brand YOU”

Brand You

Brand You

The single most important thing you can do for yourself for the coming year could be creating “Brand YOU”.

What your brand will do for you

  • Your unique qualities will be recognized by the people who count in your world. Internal, external, professional and personal.
  • You will act authentically in every thing you do. As a leader you will stay true to what you value most.
  • You will always act in a consistent manner. In critical situations you will respond naturally and positively. You will not be at a loss for words. People will know what to expect from you.
  • You will create your legacy.

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Cris Carter re leadership on Mike & Mike In the Morning

Don't assume your best leaders don't need your help.

It's your duty to professionally develop your best leaders.

This morning, Cris Carter (ESPN Analyst and ex NFL player- Eagles, Vikings, Dolphins) gave some observations on the Mike and Mike In The Morning show (ESPN) regarding Michael Vick. He said that Vick is much better and more mature as a quarterback now with the Philadelphia Eagles than when he played with the Atlanta Falcons.

Carter made the point that when Vick played for the Falcons the coaching staff basically left him alone to use the same quarterback skills that he had used when he excelled in college football. [Read more...]

It’s Your Brand. It’s Your Future!

Differentiate yourself from the crowd

Your Brand differentiates you.

“Work hard and you shall be rewarded” is not necessarily the formula for future career success these days. Too often we take for granted that others see our output and recognize our leadership brilliance…. or at least see our dedication, our hard work, the unique value we bring to the organization.

Years ago a colleague asked me to play golf with some clients. [Read more...]