#1 Strategic plan failure

Designing a company’s strategic plan can be fun and exciting. However, after the one- or two-day workshop, it’s time for the real work of implementation. The #1 strategic plan failure starts at the top with the company’s president if he or she isn’t accountable and exercising leadership. During planning sessions it’s important to incorporate how, what, when, and where the team will get started when they return to the office. It’s the president’s job to ensure actions taken are focused on achieving the desired goals and any problems or plan failures are immediately addressed.

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

The importance of careless words

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. This attitude often hurts careers and ruins companies’ reputations. It’s important as a leader that you pay attention to what you are saying and when and with whom you are sharing your thoughts and ideas. Racial, ethnic, or gender slurs can and will get you in trouble with others, as will gossip about employees, clients, and competitors. Remember, many careers are derailed and companies reputations tarnished by the wrong person overhearing your words from the next table, or the next room.

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Don’t be afraid to “push into” a conversation.

Many times we fail to ask the right questions. Even worse, we fail to listen for the true answers. Don’t be afraid to ask good questions before making decisions and probe to ensure you are on the same page with your employees, clients and bosses. Push into the conversation by asking the questions people are afraid to ask for fear that someone will get upset or be non-responsive. A good way to handle potential conflict is to let people know before asking a question that they may not like what you’re about to ask! That approach will usually deflect negativity and open up the conversation.

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Need to Be Revitalized?

Many times because of the monotony of set job responsibilities and resolving the same problems over and over we need to be revitalized. Seek out new opportunities by talking with employees within and outside your work group. What are the three top challenges? What do they believe are the possible solutions? What are the commonalities in your discussions? Then, share with your team and boss while brainstorming potential solutions; see if you can lead the new assignment or project, or be an important contributor.

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Have you waited too long?

Many bosses and managers wait too long before calling a business advisor. Why? It’s hard to admit they need someone else’s help. They falsely believe asking for help diminishes their credibility, and they hope if they wait long enough the issue will simply go away. Instead, the situation often continues to get worse. Eventually, a once simple fix will no longer work! While you may be able to initially outtalk your employees and board’s concerns, it’s simply a matter of time before your job is on the line. Get into action now. Contact a business advisor today. It will be the best call you ever made! That call may save your job. (http://SeibCo.com)

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Working with Elitists

The truth is there are business professionals who falsely believe they are smarter or better than others. They fail to listen to others’ ideas and are unable to work with and through people to get the job done. Their disrespectful attitudes are bad habits, and it’s highly unlikely you can change them. To engage them, stay away from declarative statements and ask “What if …” type questions.  Remember, these folks require ideas to be their own and will rarely share any credit with you—unless, of course, there is a failure!

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Promises are important.

Too often, we don’t pay attention to what we are saying to others, or ourselves. We make promises and don’t keep them. We forget or don’t hear our own words, get too busy or change our minds. When making promises, be conscious to what you are saying and say it in a clear and concise manner. When someone is making a request of you, agree, say no, or counteroffer. Then repeat the agreed-upon promise before fulfilling it. Write it down and take focused action.

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013 

How do you handle an executive meltdown?

Many executives and C-Suites have lost jobs, careers, and well-deserved recognition by not handling setbacks well.

Anytime someone has a major experience he or she was not anticipating (e.g., anticipated a different outcome from a result, promotion, evaluation, or award), it can create a shock—particularly if their EQ, or emotional resilience, is low. Although you may not immediately notice the shock, inevitably there will be a meltdown that cannot be ignored. It will usually occur within the next couple of hours or days. Take time to talk with the person before the major announcement or interaction. This will help prepare them. Limit their interactions with projects, key players, or clients until after the shock has worn off. If a meltdown does occur, have them work on a low-priority issue, or take a couple of days off.

(c)Jeannette L. Seibly, 2013

Stop Trying Harder!

I adopted five-year-old Gracee a couple of months ago from the Dumb Friends League. She had broken her back leg when she was a kitten and her gimp is very noticeable when she walks. However, you wouldn’t know it by watching her zip around chasing her toys. One of her favorite activities is to race down the stairs to fetch a bouncy ball.  It’s a combination of a run and bunny hop!

How many of you are willing to go for it? Regardless of your challenges?

Or, have you fallen into the tiring and endless trap of “trying harder?” One of the biggest challenges for executives and business owners is learning that “trying harder only creates more of the same challenges.” It leaves you, and them, tired and cranky at the beginning and end of each day!

How can you be unstoppable? It’s inspiring when handled in a biz-savvy manner.

Banish the illusion of the “perfect time.” What are your excuses for not pursuing your goals? Write down these time mongers! You won’t find anything new or inspiring! Instead, write down what you really really really want to accomplish.  Rewrite it into a goal. Develop “I can do it and I do it” attitude and proceed forward. Talk with your coach to help you through the inevitable “walls of life.” 

Stay connected. Pick up the phone. Stop relying solely on emails or social media venues to stay in touch. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you talk with others and allow them to contribute their ideas. Sometimes the simplest suggestion can spark the right change required to move ideas forward.

Focus on priorities. It’s very easy to get caught up in the swirl or chaos of too much to do. Pick two key items to get completed during the day based upon priorities, or boss or client mandates. Regardless of whether you like to do them! These accomplishments will create naturally-centered confidence.

Have fun.  Take a couple of minutes at the end of each day to write down today’s achievements and setup tomorrow’s “must do’s.” Now, enjoy quality time without worrying about work. It will be there tomorrow!  Be good to yourself and learn appreciation. Gratitude helps you work smarter and achieve your goals faster!

Learn to Brag! Bragging to others in a biz-savvy manner gives voice to your accomplishments. Why is sharing important? You find out you’re not alone in your challenges. It encourages you, and others, to build on your strengths, achieve your goals and work smarter to enjoy your job and life. (TimeToBrag.com)

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2012

Are You a Moody Leader?

  • Do you thrive on drama?
  • Do people calculate your approachability before talking to you?
  • Do you gossip about your employees or clients?
  • Do others consider you untrustworthy?
  • Do you make decisions based upon your feelings at the moment?

Leaders set examples for the rest of the organization to follow. If you lack consistency in how you communicate, disrespect others in word or deed, or don’t trust others to do their best, employees respond accordingly. If you react (or over-react) before getting the facts, they may be afraid to speak up for fear of retribution. You create more of an issue.

If others are concerned about your effectiveness as a good leader, they will withhold valuable information. In these situations, often your employees’ focus is not on the organization’s goals. They are focused instead on how to work around your moodiness and still keep their jobs.

As a leader, immediate help is required to reaffirm your leadership position and move the enterprise forward. What can you do to resolve this?

Hire a business advisor. Being coachable is critical to anyone’s success, particularly top management. It can be lonely at the top; too often leaders don’t have someone else to talk with and their job can feel like a burden. Talk weekly with a business advisor. Focus on less dramatic ways to handle issues and have the benefit of consistent clarity to guide your organization forward.

Communicate effectively.  #1 concern for any leader! Be prepared to listen more than talk. Learn to ask the right questions. Be open to news you may not like, or new ideas you had not considered. Stop the internal chatterbox ; it inhibits your ability to actually hear what others are saying. When you need to deliver unpopular news or decisions, first think through what you need to say. Write it out. Read it out loud in the mirror. Keep it short, not long-winded.

Stop “should-ing.” Too often we believe people should have known or shouldn’t have said something. We forget the mistakes we’ve made ourselves over the years! A good rule of thumb: When someone does something great, let them know. When they make a mistake, take time to discuss it as soon as possible, one-on-one. When performance concerns are addressed in a consistent and respectful manner, it provides clarity about your expectations. Your employees will usually make the corrections required. If you scream at them, even once, it can damage your long term effectiveness.

©Jeannette L. Seibly, 2012