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The “Hail Mary” football play

October 25, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

The “Hail Mary” football play

Football season is well underway.  Some teams are winning and others, well not so much. Some of the games have been blowouts while others have been won on the last play of the game.  Those winning plays with time running out are always the ones which make the news sports highlight reels. What is interesting is that those plays are often the results of something earlier in the game not going according to plan which places a team in a desperate situation at the last minute.

The term “Hail Mary” pass came into popularization some 40 plus years ago in a football game where Roger Staubach threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to win a divisional title.  Most of us maybe don’t even remember the play let alone the game.  What we recall is the use of the phrase for these last minute spectacular attempts at snatching a win at the last minute when defeat is eminently present.

The challenge in business is not to run your business and have to count on the “Hail Mary” play to pull your business back into a winning place in the game of business. The reality is that most of the time these plays fail. The better course of action is better and more upfront planning and execution of all the prior plans so that you and your business does not have to count on the “Hail Mary” to pull you out of a jam.

This week as you review your business progress, ask yourself how many “Hail Mary” activities does your team have to execute on a recurring basis? Can these last minute magical moments be reduced to simply executing differently at an earlier point in the project?

Tired of having to pull off the “Hail Mary” plays in your company? Start right now by executing better by calling JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945. Let us help you put your playbook in order to a successful win.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Office at (313) 527-7945
Become a Fan on Facebook ? www.facebook.com/jklassociates
Link up on LinkedIn ? www.linkedIn.com/in/jklassociates
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 Copyright – JKL Associates 2018

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The Card Game of Business

October 18, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

The Card Game of Business

All of us at some point in time learned a new card game.  Maybe it was “Go Fish” or “Crazy 8’s” or even “Poker.” As we were taught, one of the techniques was to play a dummy hand of the game.  If you are unfamiliar with this term or approach, basically the cards are dealt to the players and all the cards are left face up on the table in front of each participant. Instructions are provided by the teacher and then play commences by showing how each person may play the cards they were dealt. This process continues until the round is completed. Additional instructions are provided so that the next round the participants hold their cards in their hand. Others are unable to see what they have or how they may play the cards.

During the first few rounds of the game, you most likely were remembering rules and how those rules would affect the playing of the cards dealt to you. Your ability to keep not only the rules in mind but how to leverage those rules to achieve the best outcome was occupying lots of brain cells. The more you played the game the more those rules and decisions on which card to play on any given situations improved.

Business has a lot of the same characteristics as learning and playing games. The problem is that we get so caught up in it being “Business” that we take the fun out of the game.  Think about playing a game as a child.  You either liked the game or not.  If you liked it you continued to play it.  If you didn’t then you found something else to do with your time.  As business leaders, there are some of you that have lost the enjoyment of running a business.  The fun has been taken away. All the daily challenges mount up and distract you from being part of the fun of business.

That is not to say that business is always fun.  Even playing cards can be frustrating when you are dealt lousy cards time and time again.  That is part of the randomness of the game of cards and the game of business.  Some days you get great cards and it all seems to fall into place and you win that hand of cards.  The next hand or day the business is dealt nothing that matches up and you are playing from a defensive position to just not lose the hand.

This week, take a look at the cards you are currently working with – Your leadership team, your employees, your customers, your products/services etc.  Maybe go back to the start of learning the game and get all the cards (challenges and benefits) all face up on the table. Look at what best suits your strategy for achieving the next best result for your business.  Once you have your strategy and tactics then go out and play those cards with your team.  The only difference is to make sure you share/communicate your strategies and tactics with your team so everyone is playing the same game.

Need some help to learn how to play the business game again?  Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 for an initial conversation. It won’t cost you anything but a little time to maybe learn a thing or two.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Office at (313) 527-7945
Become a Fan on Facebook ? www.facebook.com/jklassociates
Link up on LinkedIn ? www.linkedIn.com/in/jklassociates
Follow us on Twitter ? www.twitter.com/@jklassociates

 Copyright – JKL Associates 2018

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Your Leadership Drives Your Organizations’ Culture

October 11, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

Your Leadership Drives Your Organizations’ Culture

Ever feel like you are under a microscope?  Everyone is looking at/to you for your input and guidance? As a leader, that is part of the program you signed up for whether consciously or unconsciously. Your every action is looked at and defines what is acceptable and what is not acceptable.  The same is true with your words. What you say is listened to by your staff with special attention. What you say defines what they can say and have the same amount of latitude when they are speaking.  You can’t expect your people to act any differently or speak any differently than what you do on a daily basis.

The old expression of monkey see, monkey do, comes to mind.

The behaviors and language your desire at your business should emanate from you and your leaders. The foundation of these actions and words should be rooted in a solid culture based on core values. When you stray from outwardly expressing your core values – reflecting them in your language and how the words are actually delivered then you are sending mixed messages.  Mixed messages confuse the staff, your customers and the marketplace in general.

In your advertising and marketing you would not send a mixed message to your customer – would you?

Then why is it acceptable to do so within the walls of your business?

This challenge exists in many businesses.  There is a poor belief that a person can act one way (fake it) and then act another way (more genuine) and can flip this switch at any time to get to a given result. I will not dispute that people are great actors.  They can behaviourally shift their delivery and actions to accommodate a given situation. The challenge is what defines acceptable?  This is where your organization’s core values MUST be top of mind – front and center.

If they are top of mind for the leaders then they will act and communicate in such a way that affirms your core values.  If they stray from the company’s values and introduce their own or some different set of values then conflicting messages are again sent.

One way to evaluate where things are at in your business is to consciously observe and catch people in the act of either affirming core values or not. This week as you look around your business, visually observe and listen to your people.  When they are transacting, is the language and delivery in alignment with your core values?  Be very specific in your assessment.  When you see a given transaction, link the behaviors or language back to a specific core value you have for your business.  For example, you see someone going above and beyond their role or duty for a customer.  One of your core values has something about customer experience. Take a moment to personally acknowledge the act to the person and link it back to the company’s values.  This is leadership in action.

The same is also true for drifting away from core values.  Maybe there is a conflict between a couple of employees over a customer situation. Both are trying to take care of the customer (external) but forget that each employee is an internal customer of each other.  Yes, the value of taking care of the external customer is part of their energy, but the means by which they take it up with a fellow employee is out of alignment.

As the leader of the business, you need to be highly aware of these situations. Capture the good ones and reduce the out of alignment ones.

Interested in getting your Core Values aligned? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 for us to start a meaningful discussion.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Office at (313) 527-7945
Become a Fan on Facebook ? www.facebook.com/jklassociates
Link up on LinkedIn ? www.linkedIn.com/in/jklassociates
Follow us on Twitter ? www.twitter.com/@jklassociates

 


 Copyright – JKL Associates 2018

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Paddling Upstream

October 4, 2018

ISSN# 1545-2646

Paddling Upstream

Ever find yourself thinking you are always paddling upstream against the current?

Sometimes this feeling is due to some recurring events which keep resurfacing in your business that you thought you previously addressed.  They somehow or another present themselves again and again and you keep taking steps to stop the issue.  In these situations, you need to really look at the issues and determine if you are fixing the symptoms or the actual underlying problems. Too often the symptoms are addressed but the problem just reoccurs again and again.  I relate this to the taking of a pain pill to stop your aching back only to have the pain recur again and again because the pain is just the symptom and not the actual reason the pain exists.  The pain pill gives you relief but in no way fixes the root cause of the pain.

In some cases, this paddling upstream against the current is planned and a strategy to grow a business. In some circles, they like to refer to these businesses or leaders as “Industry Disruptors.” This group of businesses and leaders set out to paddle upstream and do things against the normal flow in order to gain an advantage in the marketplace.  This group alters what the general public and consumers define as the way it is done.

Early on in the automotive industry, Henry Ford brought in the assembly line.  Changing from teams of people moving to various stations around the factory to work on portions of the building of the vehicle to moving the vehicle past groups of workers to apply their skills to build the vehicles.  This major disruption of prior workflow was a significant contribution to the efficiencies by which vehicles could be built.  This, in turn, allowed the vehicles to be sold a more cost effective price point allowing more citizens to participate in the transportation disruption  – moving to automobiles from carts and buggies pulled by horses. As you can see, sometimes one disruption in the way something is done is in response to another disruption or is fueled by the other disruption.

Paddling upstream in your business is not a casual choice.  It is strategic.  It requires proper planning and understanding of the pros and cons of the choice.  Being a “Disruptor” can bring bad results and threaten your business.

Much like the word “Entrepreneur,” which is used and associated with many small business owners, the word “Disruptor” is reserved for a small select group of people and business where their core values and culture allow for this to be part of their special ingredient to grow their business. In reality, there are very few small business owners that are genuinely Entrepreneurs or Disruptors.  Most business owners are great technicians in their craft and simply want the opportunity to run the business their way not an all new way.

This week as you look at your past results and future plans, consider how paddling upstream can be used for a positive outcome.  If you keep dealing with recurring issues, dig deeper into the root causes and get them fixed.  If you want to be a bit more risk oriented, look at what you and your business might consider to disrupt the norm and make a new way of being successful.

If you plan on either cleaning up the recurring problems or making a new way of conducting business, give us a call –  JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945.  We have experience in working with serial Entrepreneurs.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Office at (313) 527-7945
Become a Fan on Facebook ? www.facebook.com/jklassociates
Link up on LinkedIn ? www.linkedIn.com/in/jklassociates
Follow us on Twitter ? www.twitter.com/@jklassociates

 Copyright – JKL Associates 2018

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