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Is your EGO holding your company back?

October 31, 2019

ISSN# 1545-2646

Is your EGO holding your company back?

So you own the business. You are the grand marshal of the parade. It is your way or the highway. All these phrases might run through your head or through the thoughts of your team or even customers.  But as the song says – “That don’t impress me much.” We could all learn from the noise in our heads and the murmur around us to improve our businesses.  The big question is – does our own EGO get in the way of progress?

It is not 100% but over the past 40+ years of business interaction there has definitely been a larger number than necessary of business situations involving business leaders where their ego got in the way of progress.  It got in the way of making what should have been a simple decision but took it in a completely different direction just because the individuals EGO got in the way.

The data, the input, the collective understanding was all pointing in a constructive direction but the EGO of the owner just was not going to let their organization drive the decision making process.  Well if you are offended by this I’m guessing you are either directly relating to the story because you are either the owner or one of the team members who were part of the extra work that ensued after the EGO decision was invoked.

I do need to be fair about this and give some understanding to the owners of businesses out there.  You are the person who put the greatest amount at risk whether time, money, reputation or what ever capital or emotional energy necessary to get the business off the ground.  For that investment risk and reward you are given certain privilege’s or maybe rights to provide direction on your company’s decisions. To launch the company it takes a fairly solid EGO and maybe a bit of ignorance to the fact that it might not work.  When it does work it validates your EGO thus moving it to the top of mind status moving forward. The challenge is that what got you to where you are at maybe won’t take you much further.  The best business owners surround themselves with top talent to complement the objectives – the purpose of the business and then let them run with the program.

As the owner you establish the desired end point and the rules or expectations of engagement to run a profitable business.  You then take the time to inspect what you expect.  As needed you tweak and refine the systems and people to have a well oiled machine.  When you let your EGO take charge the wheels of progress actually slow down rather than speed up.  People get distracted by the EGO and work slowly comes to a halt.  By coaching your team along and allowing their talents to blossom then you get the most not only for them but from them.

This week take a look at how you interact with your team.  Are you leading and coaching or telling and yelling.  Just because you might own the place does not give you special release on how you behave.  In fact it places a larger burden on you to act accordingly to your Purpose, Core Values and Principles which are your success guidance system.  When you go off course on those the whole ship begins to take on water and it will only be a matter of time before people start jumping ship to your competition.

Need someone to help you navigate your guidance system and keep your EGO in proper perspective? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.  Patient enough to listen to your story – strong enough to tell it back to you straight.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Offices – MI at (313) 527-7945 FL at (407) 984-7246
Our Purpose – To build Relationships rooted in “Purpose” so authentic contributions deliver “Promises”
A life where a “Promise” means something!
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 2019

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Are you player, coach, team owner or spectator?

October 24, 2019

ISSN# 1545-2646

Are you player, coach, team owner or spectator?

We are in the midst of “American” football season while in other parts of the world football or as we call it here – soccer is also being played. So we have two different sports, referred to as football but depending on where in the world you are seated in the stadium you are looking at different games.

When seated in the stadium you are more than likely a spectator but just maybe this article found its way to your email inbox and you are the owner of a football team – regardless of which type of football. Never the less, this week’s three minute insight might very well apply to you and your business.

Each of us fall into one or more of the roles of sport – player, coach, team owner or spectator. We have similar characteristics as leaders in the business world.  Each of the sports roles come with different demands and expectations.

As a spectator we just show up and watch.  Maybe we engage in some cheering for our team along with some beverages, food and social interaction with our friends.  Our total expectation is that our team wins, the food and beverages are acceptable, the conversation is light and not too thought provoking and that the event was entertaining enough to do it again in the future should we choose to do so.

If we elevate ourselves to a position of being a player then our participation expectations go up.  We train and then train some more.  We interact with our team mates and focus on plays which when executed deliver on offense with a score or on defense by holding the opponent scoreless.

Moving to the role of coach we now take back additional demands to not just designing plays for exaction but to ensure the training and team members are all on the same page for getting it right with precision each and every time. We carry back the responsibly for developing talent and putting the best alignment of talent to work each and every time they execute.

Going even further to Team Owner, then we are carrying back the greatest level of risk and reward.  We are the primary funding source for getting it right.  Getting the best talent whether players or coaches together with a common focus and committed energy to be successful.

Our best and worst friend is the spectator for they pay the freight for a team.  Whether it be through season tickets of multiple trips to the concession stand at games, the spectator is the customer.  The players and coaches are staff and you, the business leader, hold the bag of accountability for ultimate team success.

This week take a look at the make up of your organization.  It is a mix of all of these roles.  You have leaders who fill the roles as coaches or should be looking at their role as such.  You have players who are vital to the daily operations of the deliverable, your customers purchase from your business. You have spectators – your clients and customers whose expectations are set by the best in the marketplace, and you hold down the accountability for all of them playing nice in the sandbox of business.

Oh yes, we also have the officials/referees which are third party to the game.  They are there to help let the field of competition be fair and follow the rules of engagement.  Their involvement should be minimal and hopefully you may not even be aware they are present.  The reality is that too frequently they are drawn into the events of the game by infractions which are outside the framework. Sports are designed to focus on best talent contributing to success and not the twisting of rules and regulations to get ahead.  Officials also exist in business.  They are your Trusted Advisors Council – Business Strategist, CPA, Legal etc.  Your group of people which assist in keeping your team focused on what is most important to elevate your success.

Interested in getting a key Trusted Guide for your business? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.  More than just consulting – Clean, clear unfiltered feedback to assist in profitable growth for your business asset.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Offices – MI at (313) 527-7945 FL at (407) 984-7246
Our Purpose – To build Relationships rooted in “Purpose” so authentic contributions deliver “Promises”
A life where a “Promise” means something!
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 2019

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More than Great Chicken

October 17, 2019

ISSN# 1545-2646

More than Great Chicken

In the interest of giving both sides of customer service – the good and the not so good equal representation, this week I share a real experience of an organization who really GETS IT!  Last week we looked at when outsourcing can impact brand/image of your business in the marketplace.  This week let’s look at getting it right starting with the core purpose of the business.

If you have ever visited a Chick-Fil-A fast food restaurant then you might already appreciate the nature of this organization. They not only get the business they are in but more importantly is their customers get what business they are in and it drives their decision making and direction of the company results.  I framed them in the fast food restaurant business because from a SIC code definition that is the category they are forced into.  They are far more than fast food.  If you want to know more then visit one in the near future or go to their website and look around at what makes them tick.

My purpose for drawing attention to them is not to bolster my stock portfolio.  I don’t own stock in their business so we are completely upfront about these insights.  I do own stock in the way they come to market and invest in their team of people and keeping their customers and the experience they walk away with top of mind.  In a segment of the business marketplace that has such giants as McDonalds, Burger King, KFC etc. Chick-Fil-A has a formula that is not just working it is expanding.

Customers site such things as the environment – physical and energy is what keeps them coming back.  Yes the food is of high quality, but it is the people in the locations that upgrade the customers experience. For example, I was visiting another city for work and stopped into one of their restaurants for a brief bite to eat.  It was a diner rush hour with the drive thru line full and many patrons in line for ordering and dining at the location.  Within a few seconds I was welcomed, greeted and order being taken by the large staff of order takers.  Their interaction was genuine and full of desire to make my order let alone my evening complete. Once my order was taken, I was given a deliver cone where my meal would be delivered directly to my table once ready.  Moments later my meal arrived with the smile of my server beaming and expressing non-verbally their desire to serve my meal.  They were very proud of the meal, the delivery and how I was doing.  Shortly thereafter, another well trained staff asked how everything was tasting and asked about a refill for my beverage.

How else was I to feel about all this attention.  I began to look around and I was not unique to this level of customer experience.  Everyone form seniors to young families were all getting this energy.  The energy was not fictitious.  It was real and yes you could cut it with a knife it was that thick.  Not over pretentious just down home and real.  Doing what I do for a living I knew that this level of service only comes when the leadership invests in hiring right and training right.

This week, ask yourself about your business and what it is doing right when hiring and then training each person to deliver on your organization’s customer experience promise.

It starts with a “Promise” and the intent to be authentic to your “Promise.”

Interested in moving to a “Promise Culture” at your organization? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.  Where a “Promise” means something.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Offices – MI at (313) 527-7945 FL at (407) 984-7246
Our Purpose – To build Relationships rooted in “Purpose” so authentic contributions deliver “Promises”
A life where a “Promise” means something!
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 2019

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Outsourcing – Good Idea Sometimes?

October 10, 2019

ISSN# 1545-2646

Outsourcing – Good Idea Sometimes?

Read any recent book or magazine article and you will find the author promoting the concept of holding your business to its core strengths and outsourcing the things that are not directly related to that focus.  I too agree with the concept of outsourcing functions in your business for some strategic and tactical reasons. But outsourcing is not a resolution of all your business needs.

Let’s explore through a sample situation.  Names and identities will remain undefined so put what ever organization name or department you would like to fill in the blanks with for this exercise.  Maybe you might choose to plug in your own business to the example.

I recently had to resolve a vehicle violation for a transponder (the device which records toll entry and exit points on such highways throughout the states) that did not pick up a toll point. It appeared that the vehicle used the toll road with out paying the fees thus resulting in a citation/fine for its use.  The normal toll is about $1.00 and the citation fine was for $26.00.   Nice profit margin on that piece of business.  Back to the example – the toll authority is in the business of providing quality road travel experiences by collecting fees for road usage. Those revenues are in turn used for maintenace and improvements to the toll road system.  Let’s for the sake of discussion agree that is their core business focus. – Quality road and collection of offsetting fees.

This road authority outsources the paving and resurfacing of the actual roads as that is not their core expertise. They are not engineers nor have the investment in large renovation equipment.  They do have maintenace level support fleet etc.  The road authority also outsources some portions of their customer support.  The initial traveler support for acquiring transponders, having money available for tolls and other vehicle related connections are handled directly by the road/toll authority directly. The part they outsourced is the citation/violation collection and resolution portion of their customer support. They apparently do not see this as part of their core customer support program.

In my attempt to resolve the issue with the toll authority, I was directed to a department specific to handling this matter.  My original expectations were high in that I would be speaking with the folks who will dig into this and understand it was a transponder issue and remove the citation fines.  To save you time and boring details, it took over 4+ hours of calls and on hold waiting for supervision support to make progress. I had to contact three different toll authorities and get them talking.  Oddly enough, two of them who were the direct customer support teams for two of the authorities talked and all agreed to the resolution.  I was to pay the cost of the toll $1.00 and the citation should be removed.  Now enter the outsourced service from one of the toll authorities.  After I provided the requested document and I verified with their service rep what was needed, I only received a letter in return indicating it did not meet with their requirements. I called and basically they said they can’t do anything unless I send them the document which meets their specific criterion.

At this point I called the direct customer support service entities and they all agreed it should be a nonissue.  The third party was so rigid in their actions with me that they would not even move the situation to a supervisor nor reach out to the authority who employs them to handle these citation situations.  This is when I engaged supervision again at one of the toll authorities and explained the nature of the experience.  They were very understanding and apologized for the way the mater was handled.

This week take a look at the outsourcing your business is using or considering using.  It might very well be a valuable choice to have a third party do a non-core competency of your organization.  If you go in that direction, you need to make sure you have in place the necessary process for taking care of your customer. At the end of the day, the customer is yours to take care of.  It is your brand reputation at stake.  The third party simply turns off their phones and closes up shop if no one uses their service.  If they put your reputation at risk then is that a good use of outsourcing?

JKL Associates understands both the brand and image implication and systems efficiency aspects of outsourcing so give us a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.  It is time you moved to a higher level of strategy execution.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Offices – MI at (313) 527-7945 FL at (407) 984-7246
Our Purpose – To build Relationships rooted in “Purpose” so authentic contributions deliver “Promises”
A life where a “Promise” means something!
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 2019

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Accountability

October 3, 2019

ISSN# 1545-2646

Accountability

By definition – Accountability is the act of being accountable. Which by extension, being accountable is the person or organization being held to standards of expectations which are required or expected to guide actions, behaviors, decision, the steps taken to execute for the attainment of a given deliverable or outcome.

Sounds fairly straight forward for both the business and personal transaction we experience each and every day.  But is it that simple?

For some accountability is a way of conducting each and everything they do.  They seek out the defined expectations and then conduct themselves to those standards. Their desire is to complete the results in a proper way without issue or concern. For others their tendency is to avoid learning or understanding the expectations and then go about their business from their own perspective.  If the outcome is different than what was expected then they simply ask for forgiveness and plan to do better in the future.

Depending on the situation, both can be a benefit and both can cause challenges.  For example, the person who seeks out the details and does not move forward with getting to productive action may delay the timeframe of delivery.  They become a captive of being overly directed by doing it right the first time and never getting to the state of moving forward in a timely fashion into action. On the other hand, the person who simply jumps into action without regard for the details of the deliverable can take the project at hand into a direction which will not deliver the results needed and potentially have cost over runs.

Thus it is imperative on leadership to define well articulated and understood expectations of process and procedure for taking actions, behaving and executing decisions especially when done on behalf of the business which employs them. I’m not necessarily indicating you need long and lengthy standard operating procedures for each and every element of your business.  Some businesses do need this level of detail while others may be as successful with a more “Cliff Notes” version of the procedures to operate the business.

More importantly is that you have an overall framework for your business which everyone can embrace, understand and use as the guidance system for each and every action, behavior and decision they make on behalf of the organization.  This framework consists of a “Purpose” statement or why the entity exists or it can be as narrow by each department etc.  Core values are next – what are the 3 to 6 key elements which each and every person MUST know and have tangible understanding.  In alignment with the Core Values are the supporting principles or statements which govern the how, what, when, where, why, how come etc. of each action taken by employees when in the workplace setting.  For example, at JKL Associates one of our Core Values is Accountability. – our principle is that we will hold ourselves to the highest standards while delivering our goods and services to our clients.  This permeates each and every action we have with every relationship we have – our clients, our vendors etc.

By having an overarching framework for the business, the individual processes and procedures which are executed each day are guided by the framework.  This reduces the level of step by step details and allows for each individual’s talents to be worked into the success of the business as long as they align to the overall framework of Purpose, Core Values and Principle statements.

This week take a look at the results and outcomes of your business.  Are they aligned with customer/client satisfaction?  Are you dealing with lots of variance because of an absence of guidance from processes or procedures?  Do you have a framework by which each and every action, behavior and decision is guided to best possible results consistently?

If you are challenged with any of those answers, then give a call to JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.  We are ready to assist in your success.

Questions or comments – email us at partners@jklassociates.com or call our Offices – MI at (313) 527-7945 FL at (407) 984-7246
Our Purpose – To build Relationships rooted in “Purpose” so authentic contributions deliver “Promises”
A life where a “Promise” means something!
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 2019

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