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Champion Leadership Blog

“Your Championship Company” Small Business Podcast

Happy New Year!

As we are firmly into the second week of 2017 I trust you are moving forward with a fresh start towards exciting initiatives and goals, as am I.

One of my goals is for 2017 is to ramp up the two aspects of my business that have been foundations in recent years.

One is on the leadership communication side, and the other is the concept of creating the championship caliber small business.

Those two initiatives go hand-in-hand as high-level leadership communication skills are vital to creating championship performance in any endeavor.

The challenge is that with all the stresses and hats small business owners wear, it’s the leadership communication that gets short shrift.

Towards that end I’ve decided to start a monthly podcast interview to help small business leaders run their YCC_Podcastbusinesses more effectively and to raise the bar on how they communicate with themselves and their
employees.

It all starts next week, and it’s totally free.

I do need you to let me know that you’re interested in something like this and to go join here.

It’s going to start out next week with my first interview featuring Kaihan Krippendorff.

You may not have heard of Kaihan.

I hadn’t heard of Kaihan two months ago when we were both speaking at an IT conference in Las Vegas.

Kaihan wrote a book called, “OutThink.” – It’s all about “out-thinking” the competition.

With small businesses constantly feeling the strain of commoditization, this topic is a great way to start the series, and the new year.

So, to join the Championship Small Business Podcast go to this webpage and you’ll be forever invited to the monthly interviews.

Additionally, we’ll be starting Championship Small Business Facebook Discussion Group, which you will also be invited to join once it’s ready to go.

To sign up, go here: www.YourChampionshipCompany.com/Pages/JoinPodcast

‘til next time, remember, Communicate With Power!

skip-weisman-professional speaker-small business championship coach


Leadership Communication At Its Best – The Championship Communicators’ Power Triad

The best leaders are the best communicators.

There is one pattern of communication that the best leaders consistently demonstrate.

I call it the Championship Communicators’ Power Triad of Prompt, Direct, & Respectful.

This pattern allows leaders to let their team members, their constituents, and their competitors know where they stand on every issue of importance and where they stand in relation to everyone else.

It’s not easy to apply in all situations and only those that master this model will be seen as “championship caliber communicators.”

Typically, most mortal human beings are more comfortable with two of these three components, and are less comfortable and consistent with a third. Which pair and which outlier is different for each leader.

This mini self-assessment will allow you to get a sense for your comfort level in this triad and look for ways to round out your Communication Power skills and habits by developing the component that may be your Achilles’ Heel.

Let’s review the four possible tendencies so you can do the self-assessment.

#1 Prompt/Respectful:commpowertriad

This communication style is too soft. It typically has a leader “beating around the bush” with non-specific language fearful of hurting someone’s feelings. In this style the communicator tosses out vague generalities hoping the subject “gets the point,” which they rarely do and the level of performance and behavior continue with little or no change.

This style lacks directness.

#2 Direct/Respectful:

This communication style comes too long after an incident or way past the time when a conversation on the topic should have taken place. Often the subject of the conversation feels they have been blindsided and surprised by something they wished they’d been told a long time ago. With this style the conversation takes place weeks or months down the road with the situation or issue long out of the subject’s mind.

This occurs because the leader’s personality and communication style lends itself to procrastination as they take an inordinate amount of time to find the right words and the right time to have the conversation. Additionally, they often wait until multiple similar incidents occur to build up a pattern of behavior in which to point to. This approach often embarrasses the subject and devalues the relationship.

This style lacks promptness.

#3 Prompt/Direct:

This communication style is too harsh with inappropriate tone and body language. This may be include a raised voice or even yelling. The communicator also addresses issues in this manner often in inappropriate environments like in public with other individuals around. Sometimes this occurs in meetings in front of the individual’s peers or others they need the respect of that devalues their important relationships.  This communication style is has its foundation in low levels of emotional intelligence and often occurs from an emotional reaction to situations that do not support relationships important to the overall environment.

This style lacks respect.


Which of these four is your default style?

Would your peers, direct reports, and close family members agree?

Can you claim style #4, the championship communicator’s style?

After taking this simple self-assessment, what do you need to work on?

If you’re not yet familiar with The 7 Deadliest Communication Sins from which this Championship Communication Power Triad model came from, the white paper report will give you some great insights as to how you can begin to improve your communication to help.

Go here to download for free the report on The 7 Deadliest Communication Sins at www.WorkplaceCommunicationExpert.com

‘til next time, remember, Communicate With Power!

skip-weisman-professional speaker-small business championship coach


The Critical Communication Pattern That Kills Company Performance & Profits

There is a consistent communication pattern small business cultures fall into that cost companies money, limit revenue opportunities and ultimately kill cash flow and profits.

Aspects of this communication pattern are recognized at various times by various people yet few small business leaders have a system for addressing it in a way that has a positive impact on company performance and company personnel.

Three contexts of communication make up this pattern, which is an epidemic in the small business environment.

The pattern looks like this:

  • A failure to set specific, measurable performance expectations for employees’ roles, responsibilities and results to be achieved,
  • Causes supervisors, managers and company leaders to put off, procrastinate and/or avoid all together
  • Engaging in direct and candid conversations with employees regarding their individual performance.

This cycle is difficult to break and so I’ve dubbed it The Poor Performance Perpetuation Spiral.The Poor Performance Perpetuation Spiral - How Small Business Communication Kills Performance & Profits

It perpetuates a culture of poor, or underperforming, employee performance creating low trust throughout the organization.

It is virtually impossible to provide employees with effective direct, candid feedback regarding their performance if expectations and standards for that performance have not be clearly articulated on the front end of the relationship, and then consistently measured and monitored.

Typically, at first, when it comes time for supervisors to provide performance feedback (which is too often, too far and too in-between), the employee becomes defensive, pushes back on the claims, pleads ignorance or blames others.

This creates a very negative interaction that neither the supervisor, or employee, is interested in re-engaging in anytime soon, leading to the avoidance strategies most do engage in.

This scenario is why sports is the perfect metaphor for managing performance in small business.

There are three strategies athletic teams apply when managing performance small business leaders should emulate.

These three strategies will not just improve performance, but they will also improve the trust in the workplace culture necessary to drive enhanced teamwork that will deliver greater performance results.

On sports teams:

  • Coaches set clear performance expectations for each player on the team based on the needs of the team and the role they are expected to fill.
  • Every day performance is tracked and measured with a scorecard, game performance summary (called a box score). The player, the coaching staff and all teammates know immediately who is performing effectively and who isn’t.
  • When clear performance expectations are set early in the relationship, and each team member can trust that everyone’s performance is tracked consistently, and performance and behavior standards are applied consistently across all personnel, performance feedback conversations with individual team members are mutually appreciated and much more effective.

Therefore, everyone is on the same page as to where they stand with regard to their individual contributions and in relation to the performance of other team members.

These three performance management strategies make managing performance easier and more effective.

Implementing these three workplace communication strategies will resolve significant problems with three of The 7 Deadliest Workplace Communication Sins that are causing most of the problems in virtually every workplace today.

There are other contexts these communication mistakes impact and influence, which you will learn about in the detailed report on The 7 Deadliest Workplace Communication Sins. You can download a free copy of that report at:

www.YourChampionshipCompany.com/pages/7sinsslatreport.

When small business leaders step up to have conversations with employees early in the relationship that include specific, measurable performance expectations around desired results to be achieved for their role, and have a system for tracking that performance that is measurable and consistent, it is easy to have frequent fact-based conversations around performance.

This system will significantly reduce the communication procrastination around engaging in the candid, direct performance conversations and it will create a high-trust, high-morale work environment that will drive greater results for your company.

Is your small business engaging in this type of championship caliber performance management system?

If not, get started by downloading a free copy of The 7 Deadliest Workplace Communication Sins at www.YourChampionshipCompany.com/pages/7sinsslatreport.

‘til next time, remember, Communicate With Power!

skip-weisman-professional speaker-small business championship coach


38% Growth in 1-Year for this Small Business & What Did It

Last week I facilitated a final 2016 review and a 2017 goal setting session.

It was a small business, 7 total employees, including the two partners.

With our work together they increased their revenue 38% over 2015. That’s phenomenal growth for just one year.

They achieved their goal of becoming a “million dollar company” in 2016.

clientgoalwall

Clients’ goal wall, where all employees 2016 goals were posted since January, 2016 and were reviewed, discussed and tracked all year, leading to 38% growth in topline revenue over 2015.

After my day with them I assessed what made them most successful.

There were three components.

It’s the same three components that sports teams use to be successful and it’s the same three components you need to use to succeed in any endeavor.

Three things:

  • Strategystrategytacticsexecution
  • Tactics
  • Execution

Which of the three are you best at?

In sports, all teams have basically the same over-arching strategy, which is to win the championship.

Teams have similar but different tactics for getting there based on their team makeup and talent.

At the major league level of sports a lot of the talent is very close. The difference that makes the difference in winning the championship always comes down to execution.

It’s not rocket science, as they say.

And, most small businesses are tactics driven.

This is just getting things done.

Without a strategy, those tactics really have no meaning, no direction and no substance.

This is just “going through the motions.” Keeping the business afloat.

It’s the “strategy” that gives the company meaning.

The “where are we going and why” component.

Some small businesses invest time in that component, most don’t.

And, that makes the tactics much less relevant.

In assessing what made my client so successful in 2016, it was the third component.

They had the strategy and the tactics in place in previous years but they did not execute.

It’s the consistent execution of the strategy and tactics that makes the difference.

In sports and in small business success the different that makes the difference is the “execution.”

How was your execution in 2016 and how can you commit to making it even better in 2017?

It could lead to 38% growth?

‘til next time, remember, Communicate With Power!

skip-weisman-professional speaker-small business championship coach


3 Stories Small Business Leaders Must Be Telling

In the history of human communication storytelling may be the most powerful form of all.

Until man was able to draw on cave walls and developed the ability to pass on communication via tablets or paper, storytelling is how cultures survived.

Because of its power to engage audiences, oral storytelling is making a comeback.

It is becoming a big part of organizational development and employee motivation.

In a conversation with a prospective client last week, a small business with 25 employees, the CEO was discussing his company’s history and it’s origins.

It was a fascinating story about how his father’s curiosity led him to discover the products his manufacturing company still makes today.

That story has become company lore.

It’s a legacy all employees are proud to carry forward.

On my drive home I continued to be fascinated by the story and it’s more than 50-year history.

Then, something dawned on me.

The reason I was asked to sit down with this small business CEO was not because of this historical origin story.

It was because two other stories were not being told.

I realized there are three stories company CEOs must consistently tell to create a championship caliber culture with motivated, engaged employees:

  • The Origin Story
  • The Vision Story
  • The Contribution Story0515PMINAC_Conference2420
  • The Origin Story speaks to the legacy everyone is carrying forward together and provides context and purpose for motivation.
  • The Vision Story builds on the origin and provides aspirational inspiration that will perpetuate the company’s legacy into the future. Without this story everyone is looking in the rearview mirror talking about “the good old days” and failing to adapt to a changing environment.
  • The Contribution Story has two parts. Part 1 is telling the story of how the company is making a difference in the world. How is it contributing to make the world a better place? Part 2 is telling the story of the individual employees’ contribution. Each employee’s contribution story shows how he or she contributes within their role to the company’s contribution story.It gives the employee perspective and context. It allows them to see a direct line of sight between what they do and how it helps the company fulfill its contribution story.

What do you think?

How important are these three stories to creating a championship caliber company culture?

Leave a comment below to continue the conversation.

‘til next time, remember, Communicate With Power!

skip-weisman-professional speaker-small business championship coach


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