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Tips for Effective Communication

Tips for Effective Communication

One of the reasons for going into succession planning is to communicate and present future expectations. Each of us has a very different physical and emotional map of the world. We experience the physical world through our senses – what we see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. These physical discoveries outline the territory. The emotional world of values and beliefs provides the filter system that help create a map for getting through life on a daily basis

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How To Define Your Vision - First Comes Confusion, Then Comes Clarity

How To Define Your Vision - First Comes Confusion, Then Comes Clarity

Last week, we began talking with a client who is just beginning the succession planning process.  His comments were telling:  “We have been talking about this for years; and until now, we’ve managed to avoid dealing with some of these questions.  We did not like pushing ourselves so far out of our comfort zones.  It was uncomfortable; it was disorienting; it was confusing.  Last week, it all began to come together; and now, we wonder why we waited so long.”

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Successors - 7 Tips for Taking Over the Reins

Successors - 7 Tips for Taking Over the Reins

Every organization goes through some form of transition.  At computer giant HP, the hook has been used twice within the past ten years on leaders who seemed ready but somehow managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of their personal victories.  How can you avoid having something like that happen in your own organization?

The answer comes from what might first seem to be an unlikely source.  In 2006, the World Health Organization began using surgical checklists to better manage the risks associated with surgical procedures.  Looking outside their own medical fields, the WHO team borrowed some of the best practices used in the aviation industry.

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How to Make Sure You Are Effectively Communicating Your Expectations

How to Make Sure You Are Effectively Communicating Your Expectations

Are you puzzled when others do not meet your expectations? Earlier this week, some clients were talking about how difficult it is to get some people to meet their performance expectations. Several years ago, I was having a similar conversation with one of my coaches and mentors. After moaning out loud about the poor performance of my group, I muttered out loud “You would think they would know better by now.” He looked at me and asked “Have you actually told them what you want, or have you just hinted at it?”

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How to Use Your Imagination to Improve Business Performance

How to Use Your Imagination to Improve Business Performance

“I've really got to use my imagination - To think of good reasons - To keep on keepin' on”        .....Gladys Knight and the Pips

Have you ever heard this song?  It’s an early version of an almost worn out contemporary expression – think outside the box.  Generally, when we have performance/behavior issues within the business (or the family), we tend to follow a relatively safe process:

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Move Beyond Your Limits - The Imaginary Power of "What If"

Move Beyond Your Limits - The Imaginary Power of "What If"

Last Saturday, four of us took in “Letters to Juliet”.  It turned out to be much better than I had expected; and a few of the lines reminded me how powerful two simple words can become when they are placed right next to each other.  As the title suggests, those words are “what” and “if”.

For the moment, clear your mind (and your heart) of everything except those two words.  Use them to begin a string of sentences.  The sentences can range from the ridiculous to the sublime.  Here’s what I mean:

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Incentivizing Performance: It Takes More Than Money to Bring Lasting Change

Incentivizing Performance: It Takes More Than Money to Bring Lasting Change

The common practice in motivating adults in the work force is to create opportunities for them to increase their compensation.  We have followed that practice for untold centuries; and still, some of us are shaking our heads and wondering why “money just doesn’t seem to matter to them.”

Well, money does matter.  And, for some of us, it matters a lot!  Our work suggests that people who are confident risk takers; fast, fluent communicators; results focused; and seek change and innovation are more likely to be positively influenced by variable compensation and incentive systems.  

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Why Do You Have to Market Business Succession to the Family?

Why Do You Have to Market Business Succession to the Family?

How much cash does your business invest in marketing?  No, not marketing to your customer base.  I mean how much do you spend on marketing to your employees and to your family. If your answer is anywhere from “Where did you buy that tobacco?”  to “Nothing.”, then you need not be surprised if your employees and your family members are somewhat less than engaged in your succession dream.

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Can You Be Too Optimistic for Your Own Good?

Can You Be Too Optimistic for Your Own Good?

What do you think?  Can you be so optimistic that you are completely out of touch with reality?  Can you believe so strongly in your own dreams and ambitions for yourself, your family, and your business that you just do not “get it”?

Just a few days ago, I discovered that one of Frank Sinatra’s trademark songs from a few decades ago is now a ringtone for cell phones.  Written by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen, “High Hopes” is all about the need to believe you can overcome great odds against success. 

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How to Inspire Your Family With Your Succession Planning Goals

How to Inspire Your Family With Your Succession Planning Goals

A classmate named “Howie” had a signature response to almost every exhortation that was meant to move him from one course of actions to another.  No matter how gifted the speaker or the written communication, Howie could be counted on to raise a simple question:  “And I should care because . . . ?”

We often believe that the power of what we say and/or do has the immediate impact of creating a compelling interest to do, buy, or follow.  When it does not, we generally think that others “just don’t get it.”  That is probably true.  But why do they “not get it”?

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The Difference Between the Best and the Right People and How They Impact Your Business

The Difference Between the Best and the Right People and How They Impact Your Business

Jim Collins probably has many claims to fame.  However, he will probably be remembered most for encouraging business owners to get the right people on the bus.  He also said “in the right seat”; but many either skipped over that part of the book, have forgotten that caution, or have just never heard it.

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Want to Change Behavior? Feed the Right Beliefs

Want to Change Behavior? Feed the Right Beliefs

Roy H. Williams and I have not yet met.  But I think I know him.  When we do meet, I am pretty sure I am going to like him.   Roy, who is known in the business world as the “Wizard of Ads” has been sending me a Monday Morning Memo since April 13, 2003. Last week, the Monday Morning Memo was all about beliefs, which gave me the inspiration for this series of blogs, which will focus on the impact of beliefs on behavior and the impact of behavior on other people

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Is Your Success Left Up to Chance?

Is Your Success Left Up to Chance?

In the movie Lawrence of Arabia, Captain T. E. Lawrence has to shoot someone he had once saved.  One of his Arabian allies slaps him on the back and says “It was written.”  Lawrence promptly responds with “Nothing is written. “  Both men had a strong conviction.  One believed in destiny, the other in choice.

Belief systems powerfully shape your culture, impacting your business strategies:  how products and services are manufactured, designed, marketed, and delivered.  How successfully you implement these strategies will determine business performance.  And, how successfully your business performs may decide whether your enterprise is a golden goose or a dead duck.

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5 Methods of Dealing with Conflict and When They Should be Used

5 Methods of Dealing with Conflict and When They Should be Used

Over the many years of its existence, the human race has developed five primary methods or protocols of dealing with whatever type of cultural, interpersonal, or intrapersonal conflict may occur.  Depending upon the issue, any one of those five can be the best match for the circumstances.

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Effective Leadership - When Accomodation is Confused with Collaboration

Effective Leadership - When Accomodation is Confused with Collaboration

The American fascination with “teams” and “teambuilding” probably causes as much conflict and confusion as does consensus and convergence.  Much of what passes for learned thought in contemporary management literature espouses the need for “team” players who are willing to “take a bullet for the team.”  We want people to collaborate and play for the “win-win” scenario. 

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The Real Truth Behind the Time Management Myth

The Real Truth Behind the Time Management Myth

Several thousand years ago, a Greek named Aesop told a fable about a race between the tortoise and the hare.  The tortoise won because of an ability to stay focused and keep her eyes on the prize.  For me, that’s just another way of saying she could focus her energy on results rather than on staying busy.  In short, she knew how to manage time and proved once and for all that there is a connection between time management, the seven levels of energy, and the three energy styles we use to turn that energy into action.   

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8 Tips for Growing Your Capital Assets: Time, People, and Money

8 Tips for Growing Your Capital Assets: Time, People, and Money

Businesses have three primary resources or forms of Capital:   Human Capital (people relationships); Temporal Capital (time management); and Financial Capital (liquid/illiquid assets).  Each of these is interconnected adds or detracts from the value of a business.

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How to Move Family Dynamics from "Good to Great"

How to Move Family Dynamics from "Good to Great"

Books like Built to Last and Good to Great offer a recipe for successful business performance.  There are now millions of people talking about big hairy audacious goals that can be accomplished by putting the right people in the right seat on the right bus. 

If your primary goal in life is business success, then these books – and others like them – should definitely be on your reading list.  By reading them, you will either confirm your belief in how to manage and lead your business or deny them.

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Stumped By Succession Issues - The Succession Matrix Will Help You Find Your Way Out

Stumped By Succession Issues - The Succession Matrix Will Help You Find Your Way Out

Two weeks ago I received a phone call from a business reporter who writes mostly for and about one specific industry.  The reporter reads the blogs that my partners and I write, which are about succession planning; and he/she wanted to talk with one or more of us for background information on a story being written about succession planning for families in the industry.

After the usual exchange of pleasantries, we got to the article.  The first question was really quite typical:  How much succession planning experience do you have in this industry (i.e., how many industry clients)?  In a way, this is simply a variation on the wicked queen’s “Mirror, mirror on the wall” question from the Snow White fairy tale.

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How to Create Opportunity from Disruption

How to Create Opportunity from Disruption

In 1970, Alvin Toffler introduced the term “information overload” in a book called Future Shock.  Forty years ago, Toffler wrote about the impact of the accelerating rate of technological and societal change.  In a nutshell, he predicted that we humans would be left disconnected and suffering from “shattering stress and disorientation”.   

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