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Business Lessons from This Week’s Championship Football Games

skip weisman championship ring representing championship small businessesAs a business leader there are many lessons to be learned from the failure of the Green Bay Packers to win their League Championship Game this past Sunday.

Football, and most sports, are perfect metaphors for business success and Sunday’s meltdown by the Packers offer a couple of lessons regarding the necessary combination of strategy, tactics and execution that create champions in athletics and in business:

#1) Strategy Never fails in the design:
The Packers seemed to have an adequate strategy to beat the Seahawks, anytime a team has a significant lead late in a game; it is obvious the initial strategy was correct.

#2) Tactics – Never fail until executed:
The tactics identified to be part of the “game plan” to move the strategy forward all seem great on paper, but until executed in the field of play against real competition, you’ll never know.

#3) Execution – Ultimately determines success:
At least 90% of the time execution determines success on the athletic field. The investment in scouting the opposition to know tendencies provides more than enough information to create a strategy with a tactical game plan to ensure success. The difference between winning and losing is in how each team executes at critical junctures in the game.

As you look to build your “championship” company or project team in 2015 here are three questions you should be asking:

  • Have you and your company/team leaders invested enough time to create a “championship strategy” you’re confident will get you where you want it to be? Hint: Winging it is not a strategy!
  • Have you and your company designed the tactical game plan that will allow you to move consistently towards your objectives. Do those tactics include consistent performance management processes to track progress and make course corrections?
  • Are you confident in your team members ability to effective execute the tactics on the “field of play” that are necessary to successfully fulfill the strategy?

Strategy, Tactics and Execution, all three components must come together at the right times to create a championship performance in business and in sports.

The Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots got all three right last Sunday, the Green Bay Packers and the Indianapolis Colts didn’t.

Who will get all three right on Super Bowl Sunday?

Stay tuned!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


New Year, New Mindset of Abundance Will Make the Difference!

Happy New Year!

Over the holidays, like you, I was engaged in a number of interesting conversations.

My wife, Anne, brought up a topic I never thought I’d hear out of her mouth.

It came to her while listening to one of the podcasts she’s been listening to as she walks to work these days.

The topic was the concept of “abundance vs. scarcity.”

We agreed that having an abundant mindset was the singular most important frame of reference one could have for life.

The opposite, scarcity mindset, came with a lot of stress, cynicism and skepticism.

What is the difference between a mindset of abundance and a mindset of scarcity?

There are some key differences.

People with an abundance mindset see:
•    Unlimited resources instead of scarce resources
•    Opportunities instead of threats
•    Collaboration instead of competition
•    Applicable similarities instead of irreconcilable differences
•    Possibilities for growth instead of fear of loss
•    The sum being of greater value than individual parts
•    Opportunity to build on others’ success instead of a zero-sum game
•    An internal locus of control vs. external controlling factors
•    Internal responsibility instead of external blame

When I was younger if someone I knew received an award or a bonus or secured a new client, I would resent it, and them.

The sad thing was I felt this way whether the individual was working with me in my company or on my team, or if they were a friend in an unrelated field or career.

How crazy is that?

I felt as if their success reflected negatively on me.

In reality, it was the level of results I was producing that determined the impression others had of me.

The only thing preventing me from getting similar accolades, awards, bonuses or a new client was my skills and ability.

I needed to take responsibility for that.

What about you?

What is your relationship with an abundance and scarcity mindset?

Make 2015 the year you shift to a 100% abundance mindset and it will be a great year!

All the best to you, your family and your company in 2015!

’til next time, make it a great week!

Best Regards,
skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


The Power of “Acceptance” to Drive Positive, Proactive Movement to Address Workplace Change

It’s been 13 years since the world change on this date.

Most everyone old enough to experience the 9/11 tragedy remembers exactly where they were when they heard the news.

That day caused us to improvise and change the way we function in western culture in many ways, some more significantly than others. Initially the impact on our day-to-day lives.

Since then we settled back in to a more consistent way of life, got a little complacent and 2013’s Boston Marathon bombing reminded us it’s still vital we keep vigilant in fighting for our culture.

The way we do that is understanding the three ways to address the need for change in our lives, and in my work, in the workplace, around these 3 approaches:

  1. Ignorance
  2. Resistance
  3. Acceptance

It should be self-evident that “acceptance” is the only healthy and effective choice. Just in case let me explain why I believe that to be the truth.

Just like our response to 9/11, the only healthy response to accept that the world changed that day and how we live our lives will never be the same.

Acceptance allows us to develop strategies and adjust to the “new normal” (a phrase, I detest, by the way).

One of the most powerful books I’ve ever read, when I was just 26 years old, was “The Road Less Traveled” by Dr. Scott M. Peck.

The book’s first lines are epic and set a certain expectation for life.

It speaks to the power of “acceptance.”

The first line in “The Road Less Traveled” is:

“Life is difficult.”

Dr. Peck goes on to explain that once this fact of life is “accepted,” life no longer is difficult because we are no longer ignorant of the fact and we are no longer resistant to the reality.

Likewise, a rapid, constant changing and evolving workplace is reality in the 21st century, accepting that reality is the only healthy option, just like accepting the concept that “life is difficult.”

Acceptance allows us to create strategies for moving forward proactively to thrive in the reality we are facing in any situation.

Remember, as much as we try to influence and control the experiences of our lives, businesses and relationships with others, there is only so much we can do.

Acceptance allows us to move forward with less stress, more focus and greater energy because it allows us to see what’s in front of us.

One caveat: There is one very important situation where “acceptance” is not acceptable. More on that next time.

To create a more powerful mindset in this regard, check this webpage www.CommunicationPowerForLeaders.com/insiders/

‘til next time Communicate With Power!

 

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

 

 

 

P.S.- To triple your ability to communicate to influence with and without authority get on board withi Communication Poer for Leaders Launch Insiders program with www.CommunicationPowerForLeaders.com/insiders today!


First Step to “Adapt & Overcome” Change in the Workplace

As the summer comes to an end in the northeast U.S. I’ve been busy creating some new seminars, workshops and keynotes for fall speaking programs.

So, I apologize for not keeping up with the blog series from two weeks ago that has received tremendous comments and feedback from a lot of readers.

One reader submitted a question to my last article from my “adapt and overcome” white water rafting story (read the original here).

He wrote, “I have learned from a few good Marines that the culture of the Corp is “Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome.” This culture is conspicuously absent from just about everywhere. I believe your readers would appreciate is how “Improvise” works in communication.”

Improvise IS how you adapt and overcome. You cannot adapt and overcome without improvising.

How “improvise” works in communication starts with “self-communication,” our “internal dialogue.”

What are we telling ourselves about the possible need to improvise in the workplace?

There are 3 possible mindsets towards improvisation in the workplace:

  1. Ignorance
  2. Resistance
  3. Acceptance

Let’s take a look at each:

  1. Ignorance: we ignore the reality of change and hold on the hope that everything will always be as it is and was so we can continue to act as we always have.
  2. Resistance: we know its necessary but because it is uncomfortable and we are fearful of what we may have to do, we fight it, trying to fit our present approach into a new reality.
  3. Acceptance: we expect things to be in a constant state of change and that we will need to be flexible and go with the flow, looking for ways we can adapt our approach to fit the present reality.

Only one of those three is healthy and effective, “acceptance.” More on how “acceptance” is the only healthy and effective choice next time.

’til next time Communicate With Power!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

 

 

P.S.- To triple your ability to communicate with impact over the next year, get 52 Power Words sent to you, one per week for a year at  www.52PowerWords.com to subscribe today!


The “Communication Power for Leaders” Fall 2014 Speaking Tour Released

The Fall, 2o14 Communication Power for Leaders Speaking Tour kicked off last Thursday in Greenville, S.C. and continues through December 9th in Washington, DC.
The speaking tour includes 8 cities, 7 states and 2 countries:

August 21: Greenville, S.C.
PMI (Project Management Institute) Palmetto Chapter
Keynote Topic:
The 7 Deadliest Communication Sins of Project Managers

September 12: Omaha, Nebraska
SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) Nebraska State Council
Keynote Topic:
The 7 Deadliest Communication Sins of Project Managers

September 24: Rochester, NY
Rochester Business Alliance
Workshop Topic:
The 7 Deadliest Sins of Leadership & Workplace Communication

September 24: Rochester, NY
Rochester Business Alliance
Workshop Topic:
How Small Business Leaders Can Transform Employee Drama & Defensiveness into Employee Initiative & Ownership

October 20: Atlantic City, NJ
SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) New Jersey State Council
Breakout SessionTopic: 
How Small Business Leaders Can Transform Employee Drama & Defensiveness into Employee Initiative & Ownership

October 24: Chicago, IL
PMI (Project Management Institute) Chicagoland Chapter
Breakout Session Topic:
The 7 Deadliest Communication Sins of Project Managers

November 5: Pittsburgh, PA
PMI (Project Management Institute) Pittsburgh Chapter
Keynote Topic:
How Project Managers Can be Heard & Seen as a Valued Partner by Every Stakeholder on Every Project

November 25: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
PMI (Project Management Institute) Southern Alberta Chapter
Keynote Topic:
How Project Managers Can be Heard & Seen as a Valued Partner by Every Stakeholder on Every Project

December 9: Washington, DC
PMI (Project Management Institute) Washington, DC Chapter
Breakout Session Topic:
The 7 Deadliest Communication Sins of Project Managers

The Winter/Spring 2015 Communication Power for Leaders Speaking Tour is booking dates now.

To discuss 2015 availability, topics and fees, use this link to schedule a brief exploratory phone call to see if one of Skip’s topics is a fit for your organization or company event in 2015.

Best Regards,

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous cities and event on the Winter/Spring 2014 Communication Power for Leaders Speaking Tour included:

January 8: Long Island, N.Y.
PMI (Project Management Institute) Long Island Chapter
Keynote Topic:
The 7 Deadliest Communication Sins of Project Managers

January 23: Raleigh, N.C.
PMI (Project Management Institute) North Carolina Chapter
Keynote Topic:
The 7 Deadliest Communication Sins of Project Managers

March 11: Buffalo, N.Y.
PMI (Project Management Institute) Buffalo Chapter
Keynote Topic:
The 4 Project Conversations

March 13: Rochester, NY
Rochester Business Alliance
Workshop Topic: 
How Small Business Leaders Can Transform Employee Drama & Defensiveness into Employee Initiative & Ownership

April 8: Dayton, Ohio
PMI (Project Management Institute) Dayton Chapter
Keynote Topic:
The 4 Project Conversations

April 9: Dayton, Ohio
PMI (Project Management Institute) Dayton Chapter
Keynote Topic:
Communication Power for Leaders: How to Communicate Up, Down & All Around

April 10: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
PMI (Project Management Institute) Northern Saskatchewan Chapter
Keynote Topic:
Communication Power for Leaders: How to Communicate Up, Down & All Around

April 17: DesMoines, IA
PMI (Project Management Institute) Central Iowa Chapter
Keynote Topic:
The 4 Project Conversations

April 18: DesMoines, IA
PMI (Project Management Institute) Central Iowa Chapter
Keynote Topic:
Communication Power for Leaders: How to Communicate Up, Down & All Around

April 30: Buffalo, N.Y.
PMI (Project Management Institute) Buffalo Chapter
Keynote Topic:
Communication Power for Leaders: How to Communicate Up, Down & All Around

July 8: Bloomington, IL
PMI (Project Management Institute) Central Iowa Chapter
Keynote Topic: 
The 7 Deadliest Communication Sins of Project Managers

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For Workplace Communication “As Soon As Possible” Is Never Soon Enough

Voice mail is one of the best workplace communication technological advances of the late 20th century. I love it.

It can be great for effective workplace communication, mostly, though, it isn’t.

Mostly, its potential is wasted.

Few people use it effectively.

How many times a week do you leave a message for someone whose welcome message proclaims,

“Your message is important to me so please leave a message and I’ll return your call as soon as possible” ?

Then, wait for more than 24-48 hours for that return call?

How many times a day do you here from someone “I’ll get to that ‘as soon as possible”?

Last Friday I wrote about the weakness of the word “try.”

“As soon as possible” is a four word “try” statement.

“As soon as possible” is a worthless, meaningless statement.

Is it part of your vernacular? Is it part of your standard, habitual reply?

It, too, is loser language! It is try’s ugly sibling.

We accept it from far too many people and we are the worse off for it.

We allow ourselves to offer it as a solution to the requests of other’s, again giving ourselves an out if we can’t get to it.

It’s loser language.

How you communicate in the workplace determines your ability to be seen as an effective employee, an effective project manager and possibly even be seen as someone with leadership potential in your organization.

If you want to build trust with others so they believe you to be a person of high character your workplace communication style and habits make a difference.

Begin using more definitive language.

Instead of “as soon as possible,” use language  like this:

“I promise get back to you by end of business this coming Friday!”

“I’m not sure when I can get back to you on this, I have some other priorities, is end of business Friday soon enough?”

“You’ll have it by noon!”

Or, for your outgoing voice mail, use what I use: “I promise to reply to your message by phone, email or text within 3 hours.”

Then, you follow through on that promise and do it!

My challenge to you is to change your outgoing workplace voice mail message from “as soon as possible” to something more definitiive.

If 3 hours is too scary for you, use 4 hours, use 24 hours, use 4 weeks. It doesn’t matter the time frame.

What matters is the definitiveness and the commitment to respond.

Everyone gets a reply from me within 3 hours. Everyone!

It’s one of the things I pride myself in and differentiates me in a competitive market place.

Your language should be a positive workplace differentiator for you.

Is it?

Leave a comment below about your experience with “as soon as possible” and keep the discussion going to improve workplace communication.

’til next time, make it a great week and Communicate With Power!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

 


In Workplace Communication “Try” Always Comes With a Cost

An email today put me over the edge.

It was an email forwarded to me from a client about an employee whose performance has been challenging of late.

The email read, “Sorry, but I will not be coming in today. I’ll try to check my email later in the day, if you need me.”

The more I hear that word, the more I cringe.

There may be no other word in the English language that commits the communication sin of a “Lack of Specificity,” greater than “try.”

In the movie “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back,” the character “Yoda” says to Luke Skywalker:

“Try not. Do…or do not. There is no try.”

Peak performance guru Anthony Robbins calls people in his live workshop audiences “losers” when he hears them use the word “try” in his interventions from the stage.

How much do you use the word “try?”

Note that “try” gives you an out.

Try” gives you wiggle room.

Try” is the complete opposite of “communication power.”

Start substituting words and phrases like…

“I’ll do it.”

“You’ll get it.”

“I can do that.”

“Count on me.”

“I’ll make it happen.”

That’s power language!

It allows people around you to know they can count on you.

It will build trust and respect.

It will cause you to have to step up to a higher standard.

It should cause you to follow through more consistently because of the commitment you’ve made (to yourself and others!)

This is communication power for leaders!

Feel free to leave a comment below, I’d love your take and experience with “try.”

’til next time, Communicate With Power!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


Experiencing the F.U.S. of Personal Growth

As a child I was extremely shy and have always seen myself as an introvert.

It’s surprising, to me anyway, that over time I’ve turned into a solo-practitioner business owner whose business is speaking to audiences from 15 to 1500 these days.

Looking back at my youth I experienced tremendous self-doubt, even in areas where I excelled.

In school I rarely volunteered to speak up in class and would cringe when the teacher would look in my direction.

In sports, despite having success playing youth baseball my mom had to drag me to sign up each year when it was time to move up to the next level. This perpetuated until I reached the age of 13 when I stepped up to the big field on my own.

Back then my L.I.D. (Limiting Internal Dialogue) limited by success, I believe. But, we’ll never really know to what extent, I guess.

What I do know is that my L.I.D. created a certain mindset that led to my early struggles.

That mindset I call F.U.S. (Fear, Uncertainty & Self-Doubt).

I was reminded of this concept last week while facilitating a session for clients in my Communication Power for Leaders teleclass series.

Discussing the concept with clients in this online training has amazed me how much F.U.S. is out there and how much impacts adults in the workplace.

No matter hard you try you will never eliminate your L.I.D. or your F.U.S.

The best we can do is manage it.

We manage it by mastering three “self-communication” strategies:
• reframing situational meanings
• applying “Transformational Vocabulary,” and
• creating empowering “Primary Focus Questions”

Even when we do master those strategies we should embrace having to use them and embrace struggling at times with our L.I.D. and F.U.S.

Why?

Because if you’re not struggling with you L.I.D. and F.U.S. it means your not pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone.

’til next time, Communicate with Power!

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


Stop Having the “Wrong Conversations” in Your Workplace Communication

I was 28 years old when I had one of the most important “wrong conversations” in my life.

Of course, there have been thousands of “wrong conversations” in my life, just like you’ve had thousands.

A new owner had purchased the professional baseball team I was serving as general manager for in mid-season.

One night, early in his ownership, we were in the midst of a rain delay. It was the sixth inning, our team was losing 4-2.

Standing with my new boss watching the rain fill the canvas tarp covering the playing surface he said to me…

“You know, next year, we can’t have any of these!”

“You mean, losing,” I said referring to the scoreboard.

“No, rainouts,” he countered.

I shook my head and walked away without a rebuttal to his ludicrous comment.

He was my new boss and I didn’t want to confront the issue no matter how wrong he was.

I began planning my resignation at the end of the season. I knew I couldn’t work for someone who was going to expect me to play God.

This month is the one-year anniversary since I created the concept around The 4 Workplace Conversations.

Of the four, the worst and most damaging is “the wrong conversation with the right person.”

The “right person” obviously is the person with whom you need to speak with to get what you want or need.

When we’re in front of them (the right person) we usually know it because we’ve invested a lot of time and energy to get the appointment.

These conversations come in two primary contexts:

  • The hijacked conversation.
  • The avoided conversation.

It’s not hard to recognize these conversations. They occur all around us.

We’re involved in these every day and we enable these conversations to perpetuate.

We need to learn how to turn these around and begin having “the right conversation with the right person.”

We need to take control of hijacked conversations if we want to be seen as credible in our organizations and with our clients.

We need to step up to discuss what many organizational leaders feel are the undiscussable conversations.

I’d love to hear from you about your experience with “the wrong conversations with the right person.”

Please, leave a comment here below and join my discussion, thanks!

Best Regards,

skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results


Small Business Leadership Lesson: Delegation Rule #1

Over the past 30 days, I had three employees from separate client companies come to me.

They were complaining.

Each had taken on greater responsibility at the request of their boss, the owner of their small business.

Each was a high quality employee, quite capable of doing more for their bosses – my clients.

Each of these superstar employees felt stuck.

Why did they come to me?

Because despite being charged with fulfilling enhanced roles with greater responsibilities, they were not given the authority to enact what they felt really needed doing.

They came to me because they were not able to get things moving in the direction they wanted and they began to doubt themselves.

They wanted validation and also my help.

I could only validate that they were doing the right things.

Although I could help enhance their approach and make it better, I told them that together we would both become frustrated because the

application and implementation of agreed upon approaches would stall without the necessary authority.

Think about this…

If I’ve encountered three of these scenarios in just the last 30-days, how many more small businesses are facing this challenge?

Small business owners do this for all the right reasons.

Small business owners crave the ability to delegate to their employees to alleviate some of the pressure for the entire business operation.

Small business owners delegate, but they don’t let go.

They give greater responsibility while still holding onto the ultimate authority necessary to make things work.

If you, the small business owner, has attempted to provide employees with greater responsibility and are frustrated because you haven’t yet seen anyone actually step up to the higher levels of performance you crave, it’s most likely not happening for these 3 reasons:

  1. you have not given the full authority necessary to make it happen;
  2. you are not fulfilling your role as company leader in ways necessary to make it happen;
  3. you chose the wrong person

In my experience it’s usually #1 or #2, or most likely both #1 & #2.

If this story resonates, instead continuing to lose trust in your employees apply for one of my 5 complimentary Revolutionary Leadership strategy sessions at this link:
www.RevolutionaryLeadershipCoaching.com/freestrategysession

Together we can explore what’s really going on.

To learn more about the Revolutionary Leadership Strategy Sessions go here…

www.RevolutionaryLeadershipCoaching.com/freestrategysession

’til next time, make it a great week!skip weisman, transforming leadership and workplace communication to deliver champion level results

 


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