When we think about sports, we typically imagine feelings associated with fierce competition: the joy of winning and the agony of defeat. However, organized sports are a great case study to learn basic business principles. Many of these concepts apply to our organizations and they can dramatically contribute to achieving our goals.
Being a leader in any organization means taking complete responsibility for the results, regardless of your team size. Whether you lead a team of 10 or 1,000, you are ultimately responsible for their performance. As President Harry S. Truman famously said, “The buck stops here.”
There are two distinct leadership styles that CEOs and managers use when focused on strong results. The first is a compassionate style that aligns, inspires, and positively develops team members to enable them to achieve shared goals. The second approach is a results-at-all-costs style that micromanages, stresses, and demeans team members. Technically both leadership styles will get results, but the former is a healthier long-term solution. In the book The Speed of Trust, Stephen M.R. Covey summarized, “Leadership is getting results in a way that inspires trust.”
Dean Kamen, the inventor of the Segway and many other legendary products, once said, “You get what you celebrate.”
For many results-oriented leaders and entrepreneurs, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind of the business. The marketing team has campaigns to roll-out and blogs to post. The sales team’s focus is on capturing new clients and attending the next tradeshow. The operations team has an endless list of tasks and assignments to complete. And accounting, well, there’s always another bill to pay and another month to close. When is there time to stop and celebrate? And, is it even necessary in terms of your bottom line?
A critical component of any healthy organization is regular appreciation and recognition of team members. During normal business conditions, it’s easy for leaders to get distracted with the day-to-day operations and forget about this task. The current COVID-19 crisis forced most teams to work from home. These team members are out of sight, which makes it even easier for leaders to get complacent with the critical responsibility of appreciation and recognition.
Communication is a critical component of all businesses, especially during the unpredictable events of COVID-19. Whether it’s your Daily Huddle with team members or external communication with customers and vendors, effective communication is one of the foundations of successful businesses. So, it’s no surprise that there is a constant flood of new apps to improve your organization’s communication.
UPDATE April 7, 2020: The U.S. Department of the Treasury maintains a website with the latest Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loan Application, guidance, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
The CARES Act Stimulus bill was approved by the Senate and House today and is expected to be quickly signed by President Trump. Many of my clients are small businesses (<500 employees) that should consider using this stimulus to help weather these uncertain times. Here’s my first impression of how one portion of the bill – the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – could help a small business.
The Essential Business Meeting for Remote Workers: A Leader’s Guide to Implementing the Daily Huddle
A biological clock inside us establishes a natural rhythm to life. The circadian rhythm repeats every 24 hours and influences our sleep, body temperature, and organ functions. Additionally, we adapt to the changes in our natural environment caused by the cycles of our planet. Humans understand and depend on rhythms.
High-functioning businesses also have a rhythm that aligns and synchronizes team members with their environment. To establish this rhythm, your organization needs a daily meeting to set a cadence similar to our body’s circadian rhythm. This critical meeting is called the Daily Huddle, and hundreds of thousands of organizations around the world conduct the meeting every day.
During these times of uncertainty and daily changes to our work environment, this meeting is even more critical, especially if your team has people working remotely. A traditional office environment has a built-in daily rhythm based on when team members arrive in the morning and leave in the afternoon. The workday rhythm is natural to see, align, and utilize. But when team members work remotely, it’s easy to lose connection with the company pulse.
If you’re like the rest of the business world, overnight, you found your calendar filled with video conference calls. The nature of the COVID-19 crisis has many of us working from home. While the long-term impacts of the coronavirus are unknown, I’m confident that the increased usage of video conference tools will be with us for a long time.
Whether you’re hosting a video conference call or participating in one, these seven tips will help you have efficient and productive online sessions.
People have a love-hate relationship with meetings. On the positive side, we all know it’s essential to meet and share information, identify challenges, and brainstorm solutions. But on the flip side, most team members view meetings as a distraction from being able to get “real” work done.
Where’s the disconnect? We know we need communication, but nobody wants to meet. Maybe it’s because your meetings are ineffective and don’t satisfy the needs of your team. Here are five simple tools to improve any meeting.
Leaders define themselves in difficult times, and we are experiencing difficult times like no other. COVID-19 is a severe threat, and I support public officials who are taking the necessary steps to avoid a catastrophic loss of life. Unfortunately, that means business leaders must manage the impacts of social-distancing – a new concept that is negatively impacting almost all businesses.