Roy's Blog: March 2019

March 29, 2019

This is what unique leader training looks like — guest post

In their book Management: A System of Contingency Analysis of Managerial Functions, Harold Koontz and Cyril O’Donnell state that leadership is “influencing people so that they will strive willingly towards the achievement of group goals.”

And indeed, in an organization, the group will only achieve 60% of its potential on its own, while with a leader it will gain 40% more. Being a leader requires more than talent and this is where a good training program can help to acquire this skill.

While there are those who believe that true leaders are born, there are some skills like coaching and communication that everyone can learn to be successful.
However, through unique leader training an individual can also learn how to motivate people and offer inspiring mentoring.

So, if you want to make your leader training the best possible, consider the following practices.

Set your goals

Every organization values certain skills in a leader which it considers beneficial for its success. In order to create successful leader training, you need to define these skills and then prepare a program to teach them to your leaders.

Ask yourself what kind of leader would make a difference in your company and how you can help build this leadership.
For example, if you require leaders who speak a couple of foreign languages, then organizing classes as a mandatory portion of the leader training would be the right course of action. This way you will also teach your leaders that there is nothing shameful in not knowing something as long as there is a will to learn. 

Teach that every opinion matters

Every leader has to deal with myriad opinions every day which can sometimes be overwhelming and, if not dealt with correctly, can cause disruption in leadership.

However, this is not a matter of accepting every suggestion as viable, but learning how to listen and decline it respectively. That way, you will create a positive and supportive environment that will promote new ideas and welcome the creative process. After all, a good leader is a good listener.

Inspire team building activities

Team building is more than employees just casually hanging out.

It is actually an excellent opportunity to allow your leaders to gain the trust of their staff by inviting them to participate in all sorts of activities. For example, give each leader a team and a task that they need to fulfill like catching the flag or solving a puzzle.
Even an escape room would be a good experience and teach them how to use the resources and skills they have at hand. Evaluate the way they deal with stressful situations, suggestions from their team and management of finding a solution. That way you will be able to provide them with feedback and create individual training modifications to improve their tactics and skills. 

Participate in official leadership programs

While internal leader training is something that you will invest time and resources in, also consider going to professionals for leadership development.

Professionals like The Impossible Institute help leaders develop skills that will increase their capabilities to influence people and lead the team successfully. Using a learning environment outside the organization will broaden the perspective of new leaders and give them tools to overcome unpredictable situations. 

Try Equus coaching

Equus coaching is an experimental technique which uses horses to teach future leaders how to build their executive authority. This single-day training is based on gaining feedback from animals while learning how to lead a horse in a pen.

This is the demonstration of collaborative and distributive leadership which differs from the usual command approach.
It will teach leaders how to gain respect from others without negative behavior like threats and fear. Horses are intuitive animals which can sense when you approach them with fear or when your words don’t match your feelings. But if everything is in order, the horse will see you as a leader and allow you to stir them wherever you want because they trust you. 

Finally

Every leader training needs to teach general and unique values at the same time. What kind of leadership you need depend on your organization and goals.

However, only by applying a unique approach to your leader training will you get the leaders you need to run your organization successfully.

Leila Dorari is an entrepreneur, self-development ambassador and an avid dog lover. She believes all people are born equal but only those dedicated and brave enough to work on themselves reach their full potential.

Leila Dorari

  • Posted 3.29.19 at 04:17 am by Roy Osing
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March 25, 2019

What to do when you’re stuck

“I’m in a rut and I just can’t seem to get out of it”.
How many times have you heard someone say it? How many times have YOU said it?

I’m not a psychologist, and there are many who prescribe solutions to this problem.

I’m a business guy, writer and grandparent who, like all of you, has fallen victim to “the rut” from time, and have had to figure out how to escape. I hope what worked for me
will be useful to you.

In my experience, it’s not unusual to get stuck. Your work can sometimes fall into a mechanical routine and your personal life can fall victim to lacklustre days of same-old same-old.

And the rut isn’t so bad; it’s comfortable settling in to a routine. When you’re stuck, you’re not particularly challenged because repetition dictates your activities ; it’s low risk and you just float along.

But after a while, the comfortable turns into the frustrating and annoying; what was once a peaceful place to be suddenly becomes somewhere you anxiously want to exit.

When you find yourself trapped by momentum you no longer find gratifying, it’s time for a self-intervention.

These steps helped me manage my rut experience(s) and achieve productive outcomes.

Reflect: how bad is it really?

So you’re caught in a vortex and you can’t see anyway out.
The problem is that your emotions take over and dictate the severity of the entrapment you feel, but emotions aren’t always the best judge of how really bad it is.

It might FEEL like you’re suffocating but in reality you may be catching your breath now and then.

So before you hit your OMG! button, take a time out and do a reality check on your situation. Make sure it’s really a rut you’re in before you start trying to climb out.

Maybe it’s time

The experience you’re having could be a blessing in disguise.
It’s possible that up until now you’ve been unaware that you’ve been stuck. When the current has you, it’s difficult to think of anything but going with it.

So rejoice over the fact that at least you now you realize it’s time to shake off the dust from the past and move on.
Discomfort is an amazing motivator and guide if you listen to it.

Examine what has changed

Something changed that made you dissatisfied with the direction you were on.
Before you can take any remedial action, you must understand the dynamics at play. There’s a reason you now feel you’re in a rut that you don’t like and you need to understand it.

You can’t fix or change it if you don’t know what likely caused it.
Look at any recent life event — family, financial, career, health — because they can dramatically shift your thinking and cause you to rethink how you’ve been living your life.

Talk to friends

Get the views of your closest allies on what’s going on with you. They may have valuable insights on what’s causing your discontent, and they may be able to offer potential solutions.

Third party engagement is quite often extremely effective because we simply are unable to spot what’s wrong in us; we’re embedded in ourselves and often too close to be objective to see our problem.

Do some research

You’re not likely the only person who has been in your situation; the rut you’re in has probably been occupied by someone else at some point.
So do some research and find out what’s out there on your dilemma.

Social media is a good source to explore what others have gone through; Google your situation as well and you will get plenty of information to ponder.

Get enough sleep

You need your sleep to figure out what needs changing; you can’t solve any problem when your body is sleep deprived.

This may seem like a small issue but it’s not. Changing momentum requires intense emotional energy which cannot be produced from a tired body.
Take care of yourself and be able to do the tough work required.

Think!

Getting unstuck requires innovative thinking which means you need to do things that gets your creative juices flowing.

Sitting in your chair won’t create the kind of possibilities you need; perhaps taking early morning walks — in any weather — might.

The point is to find an activity you like and one that stimulates your thought process and start doing it regularly.
See what new thinking you can create to check out of rutsville.

Check your bucket list

Everyone has an inventory of things they would like to do “if only they could”; so now its time to turn some of your dreams into reality.
Use your bucket lists as a source of ideas to get un-stuck, but choose wisely.

Resist the temptation to go for the big idea necessarily right away; perhaps a series of short term changes will produce the behaviour necessary for you to get un-stuck and STAY un-stuck.

Have a plan

Take the time to document the choices you feel you have to escape your rut. “Write” them down because they have more serious intent than idle thoughts about what you COULD do.
If they’re “on paper” they have more permanence.

The discipline of recording your thoughts and potential choices is very productive in terms of clarifying your options and the intent of each.
And quite often new ideas are borne as you go through the diarizing process.

Your plan should include pros and cons of each choice you’re facing so you have a good basis to compare them with one another before you decide on which one to take.

And once you’ve made your decision, develop an implementation plan to monitor your progress — include elements such as WHAT to do and WHEN to have it done.

And define what success looks like when you have done your work; it’s important to know when you’ve arrived at your out-of-rut destination.

Take baby steps

Don’t be too aggressive with your change goals; baby steps are needed. You didn’t get into your rut overnight and you can’t expect to get out of it overnight.

I always had success by “chunking” any change process into small discrete steps. I would achieve one; pat myself on the back then achieve another until complete change was made.

You might be stuck or you might not be. But if you are, these steps hopefully will start you with the tools necessary to get out until the next time.

Cheers,
Roy

Check out my BE DiFFERENT or be dead Book Series

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  • Posted 3.25.19 at 05:21 am by Roy Osing
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March 18, 2019

How can small & independent retailers survive? — infographic

We have seen a huge upheaval in retail in the last decade or so. The advent of the Internet means that consumers are the winner with so much choice from literally all over the world to spend their disposable income.

People don’t need to leave their homes to buy any product they desire so obviously this presents a huge challenge to all retailers, no matter their size.

Price too has become a battleground because Internet-only retailers don’t have the extra costs associated with having a physical store, store staff and other related overheads.

They can be leaner models and some then choose to pass those savings onto their customers. Offline and brick and mortar retailers are fighting back but we’ve seen many retailers fail as they simply cannot battle against the lower cost position of the online retail world.

So what about the independent or smaller retailer who doesn’t have the backing of a board, that doesn’t have systems in place to become leaner but do feel their brick and mortar offering has lots to give to consumers in terms of experience and choice?
Do they have a future or are they doomed to fail in the rising challenge of their online only counterparts?

The answer is no, they shouldn’t fail but they definitely need to be really strategic in fighting back. They need to understand those tools and skills available to them to grow and increase their retail business and make their store stand out to customers.

The guys from Storetraffic put this infographic below together that outlines everything you need to know about this niche.

The struggles, the opportunities, they’re all explained in this graphic to hopefully arm these smaller / independent retailers with the tools and knowledge they need to progress and grow.

Check out the full infographic below…

  • Posted 3.18.19 at 04:26 am by Roy Osing
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March 15, 2019

How to boost productivity in your team — guest post

Is your team’s productivity lagging? Today, it seems like there’s always a new distraction rearing its ugly head. With so many things nagging on your team’s energy, it’s easy to feel like you’re in need of a productivity boost.

Luckily, there are several unique ways you can recharge your employee’s batteries to get more done. In this day and age, businesses are more competitive than ever.
If you’re not producing more, faster, it’s impossible to get ahead. At the same time, you don’t want to risk overworking your employees and leading to employee burnout.

Boost your team productivity with these tips below.

Willas1
Image via Pexels

Start with Team Building Exercise

Is your team really working together? Thanks to technology, teams today are sometimes disconnected. While it might seem silly, team building exercises are highly effective when done correctly.
These games and activities aren’t just for high school students, they’re for all types of teams that need to learn to work together at a higher level.

As an organization, team building is one of the most important things you can invest in for your workers. While team building gets a bad rap, it’s necessary for boosting the bottom line by increasing employee engagement. Before you focus on productivity, build your team.

Use Collaboration Tools

How many of your workers’ tasks actually are collaborative? When people have to go through unnecessary, extra steps to keep everyone up-to-date on progress, this slows everyone down.
Unfortunately, too many teams today haven’t jumped on the bandwagon with the latest collaborative tools.

From time management apps like Trello to time trackers like Clockspot, it’s time to join the 21st century of time management.
These tools are built around collaboration. That means less time will be spent checking in on progress and more time can be spent actually getting work done.

Create a Positive Environment

Nobody wants to work in a place that isn’t positive. If your work environment isn’t optimized for productivity, you might notice your employees’ paces slowing down. The physical environment of the office actually has a big impact on how your employees feel each day.

For example, light-filled, natural spaces that have both private and public collaborative settings are ideal for increasing productivity. When offices are too open, they’re full of distractions.
If they’re too closed off, they reduce the feeling of togetherness. It’s best to strike a balance, when possible, to create a positive environment that works for all team members. 

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Image via Pexels

Allow Teams to Work

Poor management often gets in the way of productivity. While it might seem like leaders need to take a hands-on approach, realize that sometimes too much involvement is a bad thing.
Nobody wants to be micro-managed by the boss, so know when it’s time to stand back.

Allowing your team to take responsibility for their own projects will go a long way towards making your workers stronger. Not only will they be more likely to work at a higher level, but they’ll learn valuable skills that will push them further.

Reward Productivity

Rewards work. Top employees want to be rewarded for their hard work. Recognition shows that you care about employee’s success, and you see their productivity.
When accomplishments aren’t rewarded, employees begin to lose their own value. They feel like just another number in the company, not an actual human being.

Bring humanity into your workspace by showing appreciation for those who get things done. Try to keep these congratulations in the open and avoid virtual congratulations. Nothing can replace that face-to-face interaction of getting a job-well-done notice from your leaders.

Work Smarter Not Harder

In this day and age, it’s time to get serious about productivity. If your team is in need of a real boost, these tips above should do the trick. There are no magic tricks to producing a stronger team. It all starts with a strong foundation of collaboration and positivity.

From there, it’s up to you to keep the momentum going. Continue to allow teams some autonomy over their own decisions and reward top performers. Your employee productivity will take off in no time.

Smith Willas is a freelance writer, blogger, and digital media journalist. He has a management degree in Supply Chain & Operations Management and Marketing and boasts a wide-ranging background in digital media.

Smith Willas

  • Posted 3.15.19 at 03:49 am by Roy Osing
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