Monday, May 25, 2009

8 Simple Steps to Management Success

I found this great list of eight steps to ensure your success as a manager. I think it is a common sense foundation to all success in leading others. I hope it helps you. Unfortunately, I can't for the life of me find a citation for the original author....

Recognize this as a huge commitment. It requires time, energy, effort and consistency. It’s going to change your role at work and your relationships. It’s going to be a hard transition. You have to make sure, before you start, that you are really sure.

First, stop talking about everything under the sun with your people and start talking about the work. Start by asking questions. You will start to learn who is doing what where why when and how. Second, start finding other ways to gather information about who is doing what where why when and how.

Make a list of every person you need to manage. Remember that every person is different and you’ll need to customize your approach to managing each person.

Remember that the centerpiece of managing people more closely is maintaining an ongoing conversation---or coaching dialogue---with every person about the work that person is doing. Just like everything else, your schedule of management conversations is going to be a moving target. But just like everything else, you have to start somewhere.

You need a system to monitor, measure, and document each person’s performance on an ongoing basis. Over time you’ll refine a system that works for you. The most important thing with a tracking system is that you actually use it.

Before you sit down with the people you manage, you should think about the other key people you need to prepare. Your boss would be a good place to start. Then other key managers and colleagues. Next consider a team meeting.

Now there is nothing left to do but start managing people more closely. This is what it’s all about. This is where you start the ongoing conversation---or coaching dialogue---with every person about the work that person is doing.

People change. Circumstances change. You’ll have to keep adjusting your approach every step of the way.

Try taking these actions and watch your results - it really does work!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Poetry on Leadership

which are you...?

Tearing Down Or Building Up?

I watched them tearing a building down,
A gang of men in a busy town;
With a heave-ho and a lusty yell
They swung a beam, and the building fell.

I asked the foreman, "Are these men skilled,
And the men you’d hire if you had to build?"
He gave a laugh and said, "No, indeed,
Just common labor is all I need;
I can easily wreck in a day or two
What builders have taken a year to do."

And I thought to myself as I went my way,
Which of these roles have I tried to play?
Am I a builder who works with care,
Measuring life by the rule and square?

Am I shaping my deeds to a well-made plan,
Patiently doing the best I can?
Or am I a wrecker who walks the town,
Content with the labor of tearing down?

Roe Parham Fulkerson (1870-1949)

Monday, April 06, 2009

We Want More Conflict!

An article in the latest issue of Profit Magazine reports on a new Canadian survey where 57% of respondents report that they have seen conflict lead to better solutions to challenges. 40% also report conflict can lead to higher team performance, 77% say it helps with a better understanding of others and 31% says it increases motivation.

So what does this mean to organizations? Should we be encouraging conflict? Definitely not! But we should accept conflict as a natural part of the process of people working together and instead of focusing on eliminating it, focus on training and coaching employees on how to deal with it effectively.

At Advance Corporate Training, we have more than 15 different customizable courses to help people in your organization cope effectively with conflict. Call us at 604-521-5473 to find out more.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Where is the LOVE?

Do you often feel as though teams drift apart like so many other relationships?

Why do teams transition from successful, productive and inspirational to dismal, lethargic and mediocre?

Like all relationships, Teams need motivation to continue positive behaviour. Positive behaviour is a direct result of the morale of your team; if your team’s morale is strong and the members on your team believe in the foundation, the relationships will be healthy, strong and extra ordinary.

All relationships are like bank accounts. If we invest in our accounts we grow our wealth, if our account becomes bombarded with withdrawals while no deposits are being made, we lose our assets. The same principle applies for team relationships.
In order for Managers, Supervisors and Leaders to expect positive results and productivity, Leaders must invest in the morale of their teams. By consistently motivating and boosting your team’s morale, you will be able to ask more of your team when the road is long and rocky. This fundamental exchange and investment is the key to building team loyalty and retention.

How can I invest??? There are no cookie cutter methods to stimulating morale, as all teams have unique dynamics. There are many different techniques and styles when building morale and the key is to observe and analyse who your team is and what they stand for.
Many Leaders spin their wheels when motivating because they are not correctly identifying the needs of their teams. In order to see immediate results and solutions, analysis of your team’s needs is the first step towards building the team of your dreams.

Below you will see a chart that indicates the four common areas of motivation: Profit, Internal, Influence and Recognition. If Leaders analyse and study their workforce using this tool, it will help focus your areas of team investment.

When motivated by Profit, this chart suggests that you strive for success with money, possessions, acquisitions, wealth, income and growth placing value on stability, security and luxury.

If your workforce is motivated by Profit, this will prove to be a team driven partnership. In order to receive profit, it must be earned.
The Profiteer will understand this concept thoroughly and will be keen to participate in its growth if shown the potential. Failing to showcase opportunity for monetary growth may demonstrate a lack of potential or stimulation resulting in a bored team member.

The Internal motivator suggests that you are motivated by internal factors such as morals, duty, intellect, creativity, philanthropy and honour placing value on giving, social responsibility and growth for all.

If your workforce is fuelled by Internal motivation, placing keen emphasis on the big picture and interdependency will be key. When the Internal is aware of their surroundings and their effect, impact and role on that situation, they become aware that their productivity creates success. Without highlighting their role and importance, they will not understand the overall goal. This clearly leads to the potential for confusion and feelings of lack of importance on the task.

Influence is a motivator that primarily focuses on power, control, competition, independence and order; value is placed on autonomy and creativity to exert their infinite potential. Freedom and the elimination of micro management will jumpstart this team to work to their fullest potential. If those motivated by Influence are confined and constricted they will not work to their potential becoming easily demoralised.

Another quadrant describes people who are motivated by Recognition. All people enjoy being appreciated, however if your staff’s key motivator is Recognition focused, their leaders will need to focus on being extremely present with their workforce.

Those motivated by Recognition value respect, admiration, regard, esteem, notoriety and celebrity. Finding ways to showcase the staff that are charged by recognition will boost their esteem and motivate them to perform to a higher level.
This behaviour will drive their hopes of receiving more recognition. If these people fail to be recognised, they can deflate easily and become lethargic and tired frequently resulting in turnover.

When we understand what motivates people, we can customize our incentives, activities and applications to specifically meet our workforce’s needs. The result is increased productivity, profitability, energy, results and loyalty. By using this tool you will be able to identify the LOVE!

For assistance in finding your LOVE, please contact Advance Corporate Training Ltd. at 604.521.5473 or for more information on upcoming Leadership, Motivation, Management and Retention Programs.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Are YOU conscious?

We are so busy with the many responsibilities and requirements of life that often we get sucked into the mundane place we call every day.

So how do we break the mould?
How do we get conscious?

Think back to school.... do you remember the kid that never had to study, never had to take notes, could coast through school and always get a perfect score on their projects, presentations or tests?
If we all could be so lucky, we would be Unconsciously Competent. Unconsciously Competents are lucky in many ways, however when it comes to challenges, the Unconsciously Competent will often not know how to react, feel angry or simply give up.

When we are Unconscious, we can’t be aware of what is around us, whether positive or negative. If we are unconscious we are unable to assess ourselves and make progressive steps towards positive change.
Think about your morning.

Have you ever encountered the driver that cuts you off in traffic and then yells at you?
If you are nodding your head while you read this, you have met the The Unconsciously Incompetent. The Unconciously Incompetent is the person who simply isn’t doing the tasks correctly, but they think they are doing really well. When we can’t look at ourselves objectively and assess situations we are unable to make progressive steps towards positive change.

Progress can be made with both the Unconciously Competents and the Incompetents if they are willing and open to change.

The only obstacle is when we see the solution and we CHOOSE not to address it.
When people are told a solution and they choose not to accept that solution, they are then Consciously Incompetent. The challenge here is that being Consciously Incompetent is not a skill impairment, but an attitude impairment.
Imagine the teenager that is told to put away their dirty socks but then they choose to throw them on the floor in front of you. They have made a conscious and knowing choice to directly go against you.

If you are ready to break the mould and step out of the everyday, awareness of one’s self is the key; in order to develop positive skills for success we all must GET ...

When you become concious, you are aware that you are doing something correctly, or incorrectly thus allowing you to quickly and proactively make appropriate changes. This personal examination is called needs analysis; with daily needs analysis you will be moving towards the best life possible full of success, excitement and authenticity.

If you desire to regain your CONSCIOUSNESS, Advance Corporate Training Ltd. is here to assist you on your journey. We offer many courses that will guide you towards growing in a Consciously Competent manner that will lead you to happiness, prosperity and relieve feelings of stress.

For more information on how to regain your consciousness, contact Advance Corporate Training Ltd. at or 604.521.5473.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Practical Motivation for People in Teams

Set challenging targets, but make sure they are realistic and achievable. Try to involve people in determining their own objectives. People need to feel in control.

Brief the team regularly on progress and what is happening in the organisation.
Use on-going success as a motivator.

Get people involved in planning work and innovating: use ideas from individuals and the team.

Increase individuals' responsibility by delegating more. Allocate work in such a way that everyone has a chance to take on more responsibility and gain more expertise.

If possible allow people maximum scope to vary the methods, sequence and pace of their work.

Ensure that the relationship between effort and reward is clearly defined.

Provide opportunities to coaching, training and development.

Catch people doing something right and say so!


Monday, December 08, 2008

Top 10 Resolutions for Workplace Success

The end of the year is a good time to reflect on your progress over the past year and plan how you want to develop. Do you want increased success in 2009 or the chance to enjoy the success you've achieved more? These top 10 New Year's resolutions are designed to help you strike a better work-life balance, so you can achieve a truly satisfying success in the New Year.

1) Learn how to delegate and do more of it. There are so many things to do it's easy to delude ourselves that we need to do all of them. Then we wonder why we're so tired and frazzled and have no time to do anything else! Determine your personal return on investment and decide to let someone else do some of the tasks for a change. Delegation is the key to a healthy work-life balance.

2) Promote yourself regularly and consistently.
Too often the task of promoting yourself and your skills slips to the bottom of the to-do list in the press of urgent tasks. If you want to get a raise, earn a promotion or just get noticed, you have to make self promotion a priority.

3) Make planning a weekly event.
Planning is vital if you want a healthy, growing professional life. Planning lets you take stock of what worked and what didn't work, and helps you set new directions or adjust old goals. So why do it just once a year or once a quarter? Set aside time each week to review, adjust, and look forward - or even better, make planning a part of each day. Not only will this help you avoid costly mistakes and stay on track, but you'll feel more focused and relaxed.

4) Learn something new.
What you choose to learn may be directly related to your job or completely unrelated. Learning something new will add to your skills and add a new dimension of interest to your life - another important part of achieving a healthy work-life balance. Depending on how you choose to learn, you may meet new and interesting people, who may become customers, colleagues, or friends. How will you find the time to learn something new? By delegating, remember?

5) Join a new volunteer organization or networking group.
There's nothing like talking to other people for sparking new ideas, refining old ones, and making contacts. Whether it's a group specifically designed for networking or an organization dedicated to a particular type of business, in person or over the 'Net, making the effort to be a part of a group will revitalize you.

6) Give something back to your community.
There are all kinds of worthy organizations that make a difference in your community. Make a New Year's resolution to find a cause that matters to you, and give what you can. Make this the year that you serve on a committee, be a mentor, volunteer, or make regular donations to the groups in your community that try to make the place you live a better place.

7) Put time for you on your calendar.
It is important to take the time to recharge and refresh yourself; a healthy work-life balance demands time out. All work and no play is a recipe for mental and physical disaster. So if you have trouble freeing up time to do the things you enjoy, write time regularly into your schedule to "meet with yourself" and stick to that commitment. If you won't invest in yourself, who will?

8) Set realistic goals.
Goal setting is a valuable habit - if the goals lead to success rather than distress. Make a New Year's resolution that the goals you set will be goals that are achievable, rather than unrealistic pipe dreams that are so far out of reach they only lead to frustration.

9) Don't make do; get a new one.
Is there a piece of equipment in your office that's interfering with your success or something that you lack that's making your working life harder? Whether it's an old fax machine that's a pain to use, or the need for a new employee to lighten your work load, make a New Year's resolution to stop putting off getting what you need. The irritation of making do just isn't worth it.

10) Drop what's not working for you and move on.
If a technique or a product or a business relationship isn't working for you, stop using it. Don't invest a lot of energy into trying to make the unworkable workable. Move on. Something better will turn up.

Achieving a healthy work-life balance is like maintaining a good relationship; you have to keep working on it. But if you apply these New Year's resolutions throughout the year, your success is guaranteed!

Adpated from an article from