Why You Need an Oddball on Your Team

What does an outsider do for performance? Make it better. Bring an outsider into your next team meeting or group project. The person doesn’t have to hang around long — he doesn’t even have to be knowledgeable about your industry or the task at hand. The key is to find someone who possesses a different perspective or set of talents from that of your group. This diversity creates greater team synergy, which leads to creativity ...

What Woodshop Taught Me About Life

I am certainly no craftsman. But, I do know the cardinal rule of staining wood (thanks to high school woodshop) – go with the grain. A beautiful piece of wood can be ruined if the stain is forcefully applied against the natural flow of the wood. A simple 90 degree adjustment is the difference between success and failure: a showpiece of artistry or a scrapped piece of wood. Unfortunately, many individuals feel they must go against ...

Why You Need to Tell the Truth About a Doomed Project

I once came across a “Crap” ink stamp online and had to laugh. Truthfully, it would be a really good thing to have around. A lot of wasted time, energy, resources and money could be saved if people were willing to call a doomed project what it is…crap. It takes courage to halt a project in the middle, and even more so near the end. But part of being productive is recognizing when an effort ...

The Secret to How I Predict Performance

Have you ever wondered why the individual with the great résumé fell apart after she was hired? Why two employees get along well outside of the office, but always conflict inside the office? Or how someone consistently excelled in one position, yet failed after a promotion into another? Unfortunately, these scenarios are common to most organizations and aggressively thwart productivity, efficiency, and morale. But perhaps most troubling is that these situations also leave us scratching ...

The Solution to Your People Problems

Which is better? A hammer or a pick-up truck? It depends if you want to haul wood or drive nails. You can haul wood with a hammer. You can drive nails with a pick up. But, why would you?? A lot of poor performing teams already have the right tools…but those tools are misused and energy is put in the wrong places. Faced with a tough economy, or simply the day-to-day craziness, many business owners ...

How to Create Company Values that Inspire

Company values? Check. Wait. Not so fast. It’s become a modern day requirement for companies to have stated values…and for good reason. Well conceived value statements perpetuate a culture that is cohesive, inspired, and attractive to outside talent. Simply having a list of idyllic words framed in the company lobby, however, doesn’t fulfill the requirement. To keep you from the pitfalls of well-intended company values gone bad, follow these important do’s and dont’s: DON’T choose ...

Are You Giving Others What They Need?

One Saturday afternoon I was washing dishes in our kitchen. Our lawn mower stopped working a few days prior, and my husband was in the garage diligently tinkering with the machine. A brief side note… My husband, in terms of instinctual talents, is referred to as an “insistent implementor.” That means he actually likes when something breaks around the house, because he naturally engages in hands-on, fix-it type tasks. Then there is me. If I ...

Building an Effective Sales Support Team

Some years ago I attended a seminar by Jeffrey Gitomer (a bestselling business author). It was packed full of valuable information and advice, as evidenced by my 8 pages of notes. But one thing Gitomer said stuck out to me in particular. The title of the seminar was “Got Sales Attitude?” and he was speaking mostly on his book “Little Gold Book of ‘Yes!’ Attitude.” Thus, most of the room was not-surprisingly comprised of salespersons. Toward the end of ...

How to Avoid Hiring Mistakes

I am sure that you’ve heard the phrase “cost of a bad hire” before. You may have even used it yourself. But have you ever taken the time to actually quantify that cost? Be careful…the true number may scare you. Here are a few statistics about just how large a financial blow a failed hire can cause: In a study of 444 North American companies, 42% reported the cost of a bad hire to be ...

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