Thursday, August 31, 2006

Business Week "Competiton Issue"

What Makes A Winner

Great issue that should be stimulating to achievers. It so thrilling to read about excellence.

The Poll section , a survey of 2,509 Americans in middle management and above, was interesting in a number of areas, but the fact that 45% of young (ages 25-34) workers "think it's a good idea to fire the bottom tenth of the performers each year" was especially interesting to me.

I could find no explanation of why they believe that it's a good idea, but my guess is that they "get it." Educate, motivate, and appreciate your employees, but for the good of the organization (and the people that put up with their lack of performance) accept their resignation when the challenges of improving themselves prove to beyond their abilities.

As Jim Collins points out, not everyone qualifies to ride the bus.

Which part of your company has the most competitive employees? The results here were expected, but also further evidence of why "performance management" is so difficult for many businesses to do well, if at all.

Sales 38%
Operations 21%

Executive suite 15%
Marketing 9%
Human resources 3%
Accounting 3%
Legal 3%
Finance 3%
Strategy 2%
Research 2%

Customer service was not mentioned because??? No department? I'll cover that another day.

15% thought the Executive suite had the most competitive employees. A better question would have been, "Excluding sales....?" So, let's say 10% of votes that went to Sales would have been for corporate, that is still only 25% who believe top leaders are highly competitive people. In other words, few of them have the stuff found in books like "In Search of Excellence," "Built to Last," and "Good to Great."

I believe it. Super achiever arrive in corporate and immediately begin going through the motions, but not having the courage to lead. THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO. They are still competitive, but it's hard to compete when you don't know how to win.

They are in a pickle. They had all the answers, but now they need new ones and they don't have a communication system that leads them to new strategies, solutions, and systems. They don't know how to ask for help and then listen, learn, and lead.

Performance leadership and management is driven by communication, cooperation, and competition and the will to win. If you are not in it to win it, if you lose your passion because tou are out of answers, you don't have a chance of creating something special.

So they don't. They create people and programs to blame poor performance on. Or they buy more software, take more surveys, do more team building games and exercises...

A communiaction system that allows the maintenance staff to take a crack at improving the status quo. Thank you JC Penney for teaching me the value of getting EVERYONE into The Game.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

New Title ? Performance Management Expert ?

There is a great seminar in Reno coming up in October with some big names in HR. I hope it's a full house. I hope I can get a copy of the attendee list.

Why is the HR department responsible for performance management? How do they interact with frontline team leaders? How do they make their jobs easier, more productive? How do they help them motivate, educate, and appreciate? How do they keep out of the way and allow someone to do their job?

The article in the previous post says it. Frontline team team leaders and managers don't have SYSTEM that motivates exceptional performance. Well, I do. It's easy, enjoyable, engaging, exciting, and energizing.

I am getting more excited every day! A week ago I set up google alerts for "performance management," "performance leadership," and "management performance leadership" fully expecting I would get a few articles a day similar to what my "engaged employees," "employee engagement," and "management training" alerts generate.

Wow! Was I mistaken. There are a lot of people going in the wrong direction in the performance leadership and management arenas. It's not a matter of better software, HR, consultants, theories, five things to remember, ten tips to keep in mind, etc.

It's frontline team leadership with a system that people respect and buy into because it is the right thing to do. The right, ethical, sensible, and intelligent thing to do. It's not for everyone (no jerks, crooks, or politicians) thank goodness, but for quality leaders and managers it is an awesome way to create, energize, and retain a team of achievers focused on excellence.

My plan was to finish my book before beginning my seminars and marketing my video. But now that I know what I am selling-a Performance Management System-I think I'll get on with the video and start marketing it.

Just imagine. Entire teams of people who enjoy working together and love helping each other achieve (improve). Team pride, spirit, and synergy.

I Just Love "Performance Management"

As an emotional, excitable Type A Aries, my heart just flutters when I read articles like this.

I had no idea that the "corporate world" was struggling with how to get people excited about doing their jobs well. I spent months wondering if anyone would care about "The Excitement Program" my Team Leadership Game that rapidly creates extraordinary business teams.

According to this article I'm a Genius. Cool....

You Could Be A Genius...If Only You Had A Good System

Performance management is one of those many management issues (leadership is another) that becomes more puzzling the more you look at it. At first sight it seems evident that teams and individuals should be managed to produce good performance. But that doesn't make it effective or easy. A recent report by the Work Foundation notes that despite intensive attention from academics and practitioners over the last two decades, for many organisations performance management remains a vexed subject with a 'grail-type quality' always out of reach. more...

It is not difficult to see where the "vexed subject" challenges people. Most businesses are so overburdened with a Human Relations department justifying its existence, continual upgrading of software that most often tells them what they already know, and a never-ending focus on more and more layers of management who are also often justifying their existence.

You want to learn how to motivate performance? Get the largest group of frontline team leaders you can squeeze into a room, tell them you want to lead your industry, tell hem you want to do it the right way, and you want to know how they will do it. Tell them you don't expect to get all the answers in this meeting, but you want to know what they think being the leader would mean to the company and how do you start the process.

Then invest in a copy of "The Enthusiastic Employee" for all of them. Send it to them three days later without any explanation (or warning) and see who brings it up.

You want to do The Performance Management Game? It takes a system, which takes getting their attention.

You get what you emphasize. Talk abou excellence ALL THE TIME and you'll get the ball rolling.

The biggest Big Hairy Audacious Goal of them all is to concentrate on becoming the very best. It elimates acceptance of OK, fine, good, etc. as a response to individual and organizational performance.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

"The Closer" is Team Leadership Extraordinaire

More on this later, but TNT's "The Closer" is a must see for anyone who wants to learn how to create an excellence-driven mindset in their troops. Myra had it down. Be real, be focused, be successful, be yourself.

If I had a team, I'd be talking about it daily. I'd have people saying, "Here he comes, good grief will this ever end?" (It ends when they "get it.")

I think it's the best management show I've ever seen. She just keeps them moving with a purpose that focuses on doing it right and getting it done today. We're in an urgent business and we're going to be urgent!

It is also a great show.

I don't like talking about myself, but...

I am the only one here. If I am going to change the way people lead and manage teams, it is time to start selling my beliefs, concepts, and systems for creating, energizing, and retaining entire teams of memorable sales and customer service achievers. Top quality employees entrusted with a daily mission to inspire customers to remember, return, and recommend.

I will soon be telling "The Dave Sovde Story" so you can learn to trust me.

For now, I want you to know I an a Golden Rule guy. I was blessed with the opportunity to work with JC Penney after I graduated from college. I was planning to become a lawyer. Primarily because I wanted people to know I had grown up and entered the game. (I was no longer a flake.)

I got my degree in January and Willamete law school began in September, so I contacted an employment agency for a job in the business world for a few months. I think his name was Jim Collins and he said, "The Penney company has the best management training program in America." I was still in a learning mode after a year of straight A's. So it was perfect.

Th first words i heard as a new recruit were, "we are a Golden Rule company. All decisions are based on the Golden Rule."

And I like to have fun. That means no "hu-hu's", a lot of truth, and constant smiles. Have you ever noticed that people who are learning how to improve themselves always seem to be having fun? Have you ever been a part of a group of people improving themselves together?

I like to be wrong. I love to be proven wrong. That means there is better way than i was doing it

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

OneByOne Team Achievement "System"

I have a number of people ask me, in the past few weeks, what exactly is my business.

This is the front page of my website. It covers the benefits of my team achievement program which separates businesses from the competition with a system that is easily adapted to any team leadership style.

Michael E. Gerber, in
The E-Myth Revisited, speaks at length about the value of a system. He is definitely on point when he says, "And just as in the hotel we've visited, it is the system, not only the people, that will differentiate your business from everyone else's. Imagine trying to produce such a consistent result without a system! Imagine each manager in each of your future stores doing his or her own thing."

Managers doing their own thing is the way that most sales and customer service organizations are led and managed. They don't have a system, so they just accept the status quo of continual management and frontline personnel.

Frontline Sales or Customer Service Team Leaders: Optimize Your Revenues and Your Reputations

OneByOne Team Achievement is guaranteed to transform a sales or customer service staff into a unique, uncommon, and unconventional team with "Best of the Best" motivation, mindsets, methods, and mission that will:

Set High Standards and Goals For Individuals, Teams, and Businesses
Develop or Attract, Energize, and Retain Entire TEAMS of Memorable Achievers
Guarantee Exceptional Attitudes, Work Habits, Sales, Service, and Team Skills
Create the Contagious Energy of Team Pride, Spirit, Synergy and Chemistry
Optimize First-visit Results, Repeats, Referrals, Revenues and Reputations
Minimize Turnover Expense: Personnel Advertising, Training and Learning Curves
Eliminate Personnel Mediocrity, Excuses, Indecision, Laziness, Favoritism, Cronyism
Prevent Cliques, Apathy, Indifference, Controversy, Blame, Dissension, Boredom

Frontline team leaders make the difference. Is there a better return on investment than learning how to create, energize, lead, and retain an entire TEAM of sincere, friendly, and memorable frontline sales or customer service personnel?

Friday, August 04, 2006

In Sales and Service, Excellence is Uncommon

Tom Peters has discussed some interesting topics this week. Is "Passion" Optional was especially interesting.

To become the best of the best requires a strong desire to be extraordinary. In sales and service, that desire must come from the frontline team leader. However, it is rare because it is easier to just go through the motions and not bother with analyzing or altering the current leadership model, management system, and team achievement expectations.

Excellence is uncommon in sales and service because, in most cases, it is just blind luck when someone learns how to attract, or develop, energize, and excite a staff of frontline personnel. Companies don't teach motivation, mindset, and mission skills to frontline managers. So how does a person have a passion to be a great team leader without a system that personnel buy into without a purpose, a plan, and a system that accomplishes the purpose?

They don't.

A person is passionate about achieving great goals only after they know how to achieve them.

Like everything in life, most of us are doing the best we can with what we know at the time. Almost anyone-arrogant jerks have difficulty-can be a extraordinary leader when they know how to set high standards that everyone buys into. And then provides the daily education, motivation, and appreciation that inspires them to get involved, improve, and achieve beyond all previous expectations.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

PML - Performance Management Leadership

Well, I guess the message is finally getting out there. The good news is that this article puts a name on much of what OneByOne Team Achievement does. But the bad news (kinda bad) is that the discussion in this article is considered new news. Not all that bad because I now know the market is going to be really excited when I start marketing.

I have a hard time understanding that common sense about motivating people to give it their best, is not very common at all. When I read the the six dimensions listed below, my immediate reaction was "well, duh!"

Then I re-read the article again and realized, for the first time, that there are a lot of people that just don't know how to get people excited about excellence, or probably much of anything else. They don't know how to create a mission, or cause, to become the best of the best.

When I talk about performance management leadership, I describe it as the blocking and tackling of leadership," he says. "It's all about leadership that helps organizations to execute. It's the basic things that help leaders to be successful." The six dimensions of PML, and their definitions, are:

Support and coaching: The extent to which a leader instructs, directs and promotes employee effectiveness. This dimension includes such factors as providing employees with adequate resources, serving as a role model and providing guidance.

Communication: An "essential core competency for a successful leader," this dimension includes approachability and the ability to offer positive feedback.

Providing consequences: The extent to which a leader acknowledges employee performance through recognition and rewards.

Feedback: A measure of the quantity, quality and timeliness of performance information a leader passes onto his employees.

Process of goal setting: A measure of how well a leader establishes developmental and performance goals linked to the organization's goals.

Establishing/monitoring performance expectations: The extent to which a manager keeps track of how well an employee is meeting the aforementioned goals.

"PML is about executing on a daily basis -- where the rubber meets the road," Kinicki says. "That's what I'm talking about."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Make the Manager the Team Leader

Reaching and Changing Frontline Employees
Larkin, T.J., & Larkin, S. (1996). Harvard Business Review.

It is argued that senior managers - and most communication consultants - have refused to hear what frontline workers have been trying to tell them: When you need to communicate a major change, stop communicating values, communicate face-to-face, and spend most of your time, money and effort on frontline supervisors. Despite research showing that frontline employees prefer to receive information from their supervisor - the person to whom they are closest - companies continue to depend on charismatic executives to inspire the troops. This does not work because frontline supervisors are the real opinion leaders in any company. Communication between frontline supervisors and employees counts the most toward changed behavior where it matters the most - at the front line

The above statement is from a great article that I recommend potential achievers, who sincerely want to be leaders, purchase if they don't already understand employees want to be lead by their immediate supervisor, not the Ivory Tower of Corporate Guessing that more often seems to be justifying their position (and paycheck) than striving to create and maintain a happy motivated workforce.

ninety percent of leadership and management is common sense. The problem of course, is that common sense not common. Nor is it taught to leaders and managers because people have this aversion to starting with the basics of human behavior and then ending with the teachings of the Golden Rule.

It's just people you are trying to energize. Treat them right and they will treat you right.

Buy a copy of
The Enthusiastic Employee: How Companies Profit by Giving Workers What They Want and learn the basics of how to communicate with employees and inspire them to improve themselves, their team, and their company.

Poor Leadership = Mystery Shoppers

"Customer service is something that's integral at Eddie Bauer. ... The customers expect it from us," says Lisa Erickson, a spokeswoman at the Seattle-based clothier.

To that end, mystery shoppers hired by an outside vendor visit every one of Eddie Bauer's 380 stores three times each month, she says.

"It is a data point that the store leadership team can use to see how consistent the customer experience is," Erickson says. Feedback is received almost immediately and shared among managers, though no salespeople's names are attached to the reports, she says.

Mystery Shoppers are a great concept for poorly lead and managed companies.

This is a great article on the value to employers and the fun of being a hired spy.

They need these spies-probably more to scare staff into good service habits than for information on service skills-because they have yet to learn how to develop and retain great frontline managers. They have yet to understand the value of a great frontline manager who can get a team focused on sales and service excellence.

A great team focused on winning the Sales Game or the Customer Service game has their own way of making certain customers are highly satisfied. And it doesn't need the corporate office, spies, or surveys.