Take Your Business Back!

I often hear from managers that employees have more power than their bosses. Studies have shown that the majority of workers in North America do not want to move into a management role. The current trend toward servant leadership and participative management has created a lot of very good results, but in many cases it has also created chaos, poor morale and reduced performance.

In the nineteen-fifties and prior, we witnessed command and control management styles in most businesses and Government service sectors. That method of leadership allowed manipulation, oppression and in some cases, outright cruelty to employees in the workplace.

Workers were threatened and intimidated in the name of better performance standards. Although command and control worked in its own way, it led to dissension, distrust of management and employee rebellion. Ultimately, it gave greater power to unions and paved the way for the servant leadership style that most leaders either espouse or give lip-service to in the twenty-first century.

The trend toward what I call, soft-servant-leadership is beginning to erode the ability of North American business to perform effectively. It is at least partially responsible for the lack of discipline that led to the recent American banking industry collapse and it is usually the root of cause of poor performance in any industry or public sector. When there are no apparent consequences, chaos is allowed to rule. The elimination command and control as been replaced by some new phenomena:

IN THE TWENTY FIRST CENTURY MANY ORGANIZATIONS OPERATE UNDER ONE OR MORE OF THESE CONDITIONS:

  • request followed by refusal
  • guidance followed by defiance
  • rules broken without consequence
  • leadership scorned or disregarded
  • poor performance rewarded or nurtured
  • bad attitudes ignored or avoided
  • management afraid of employees
  • insolence, tardiness, absenteeism, and laziness tolerated

(If you don’t see your favourite one on the list, please feel free to add it.)

Now is the time to take your business back! Now is the time to start a LEADERSHIP REVOLUTION and build organizations that will be able to withstand the onslaught of the financial recession and economic hardship that will continue well into the twenty-first century.

We cannot continue to be productive if we do not begin to hold our employees accountable for the work they do. I am not suggesting that we go back to the command and control management style of the fifties… I am suggesting that we temper servant leadership with effective accountability.

Leadership should not be about settling for less!

Leadership should be a combination of our currently understood principles of servant leadership tempered or fused with firmness, accountability and a respect for hierarchy.

We often compare the running of a business with coaching a team or commanding an army.

When we make those comparisons however, we seem to forget that on a basketball team, if a player is insolent, disobedient or plays badly, he is benched or sent to the showers. The coach takes control and makes hard decisions for the betterment of his team. In the case of the military, if a soldier is insolent, disobedient or AWOL he is disciplined, court-marshalled, or jailed. In both cases, the performance of the entire team is placed in the paramount position and individual team members understand that they must do exactly as their leader instructs them or suffer the consequences. They know that their leader is in control and that his or her decisions are the best for the team.

You will probably never hear any suggestion that a tough but successful basketball coach is cruel or unfair, just as there is seldom any thought that a field commander is doing anything but the right thing when he brings a coward, a deserter or a mutineer up on charges. Hierarchy has worked amongst groups of human beings in mutual endeavours for eons and it will work in the twenty first century.

Please do not misunderstand me. I know that basketball teams and armies have different dynamics than industry, business or the public sector. With that in mind, we must accept that modern leaders cannot lead through intimidation, threats, unfair discipline, anger, rudeness or punishment.

If modern leaders want to be successful, they must retain control and generate maximum performance through strength and firmness while holding their employees accountable for their work. There must be measures in place that will allow leaders to exercise their control over their employees for the betterment and integrity of the team. Employees must understand that if they are not able to follow the fair and simple rules of their positions or are not able to show ordinary respect through things like consistently showing up on time, they will be held accountable and may be disciplined or terminated.

Leaders need not set up an adversarial relationship with employee groups. If they simply outline fair and reasonable expectations to their people and gain their agreement, they will be able act responsibly in the future with little fear of criticism or discord. When employees understand the rules and those rules are monitored fairly and consistently, everyone benefits and everyone wins!

Communication and courage are the keys!

Let’s start a LEADERSHIP REVOLUTION! Let’s stop being afraid of our employees! Let’s stop settling for less! Let’s take our businesses back!

All the Best!

Wayne Kehl

Is the Economy the Only Thing Holding Your Business Back?

Dale Carnegie once said, “The only way to get someone to do something you want them to, is for them to want to do it too.” For you as a business owner, manager or leader of any capacity, this still rings true. So in these economic times, how do you get an employee, customer or someone part of your professional life to do something you both want them to do?

Many employers are feeling the pinch in these times. Not as many customers equals not enough sales equals not enough revenue (for those of you wondering, yes, I obviously aced 4th grade math).

But is the so-called recession the only thing causing your business not to thrive the way you dreamed it to? Unless you’re in the John McCain bumper sticker business, I’m going to say NO! As the great motivator George Bernard Shaw once wrote, “The reasonable person adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable person persists in trying to adapt the world to themself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable person.” So my question to you is, are you still trying to work with reasonable, pre-recession business-building techniques or are you taking a step back to see how you can adapt to our ever-changing world?

Sounds like a catchy line you’d hear at an Anthony Robbins seminar right? Maybe. However, it’s really not complicated. The tendency is to over think just about everything when all we really have to evaluate is one thing; relationships. No, this is not a Hallmark lead-in. Stay with me on this.

Think about it. What is your business made of besides a building, a desk, some computers, a parking lot and the product/service you provide? Alright fine, I’ll give you the answer to everything. PEOPLE! Who MAKES your product? People. Who SELLS your product? People. And who BUYS your product? And BINGO was his name! So if you want to grow your business, grow your people! Always remember, people move products. Products don’t move people.

Now, how do we build up people (customers, employees, etc) in a way that they will do, perform, buy anything you’d like them to? Here’s a hint: Babies cry for it, and men die for it.
Stay tuned for more in the next article…

Home Based Business – Top 3 Tips to Get You and Your Business Back in the Drivers Seat

Is your home Internet business thriving? Are you putting your energies in the right places or are you finding that you are just not achieving the outcome you had hoped for? So many people are re-active and become scattered and unproductive, feeling like they are not moving forward. These three helpful tips will help put you back on track and in the drivers seat.

1. Time Management

I want to talk about and discuss the importance of time management. What is time management anyway? Think about this for a moment. There is no such thing as time management, everyone has the same time. You can’t control time but you can control and manage yourself in time. Whether you have 2, 4 or 6 hours in a day to work your business you need a solid plan and schedule and you need to focus until tasks are achieved, in other words to stay on target. There is nothing more valuable than time.

2. Multi-tasking

Forget multi-tasking, that’s a myth. You don’t need to do everything all at once. The key when you are first starting out is to choose one or two things at a time and do them until you master them. Only then should you move on. If you do too many things at once you will become less productive and frustrated with yourself and your business. You need to slow down, take one step at a time and it will all fall into place. Remember the story of the Hare and the Tortoise – who won that race?

3. Being Overwhelmed

Being overwhelmed believe it or not is actually not a bad thing. Of course the alternative to overwhelm is underwhelm and this coincides with being underpaid. As a true Internet business owner you need to be able to learn how to deal with and process the overwhelming amount of information. This is where having a solid plan and schedule are essential, you need to put some time aside to read, do courses and learn new skills. This is without distractions from family, social media, phone calls, e-mails etc.

Don’t forget to take some much needed time for yourself to energize your mind and body so you have the energy to stay focused. You need the right balance so that you can enjoy and have fun in your life and your business.