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Are you looking at your company culture through rose colored glasses?

February 27, 2020

ISSN# 1545-2646

Are you looking at your company culture through rose colored glasses?

You may have heard the expression of looking at the world through rose colored glasses and wondered what it might mean.  It challenges the viewer of how they are looking at what is going on around them and making conscious choices as to the acceptance or decline of the realities of that situation.  The perception of the view tends to jade the vision as always being overly positive and finding some rational to justify what might be off or out of alignment as still being good and acceptable.

With that in mind, how are you looking at the culture within your organization?  Are you seeing it for what it really is or crafting a vision of what you want to see? Maybe you don’t stop and look at your culture and simply accept it for what it is.  The challenge I bring forth today is that we can’t view culture as being good or bad.  It is what it is.  What we need to ask ourselves is – does the culture in the company contribute or detract from making our business better each and every day going forward? Or is the culture such that it is draining the energy out of the people and slowing progress to higher levels of results?

This week take a look at those elements of the environment in your business that when not viewed through rose colored glasses give you a true picture of an engaging workplace or a distractive workplace. As a leader one of your primary responsibilities or should I say obligations is to set the tone for the culture for your organization and then live by those standards each and every day. Your team looks to leadership to determine what is or is not acceptable in the company culture. If you show up late for meetings then it must be acceptable.  You can’t have two standards – one for you and one for them.  If you do they will eventually get frustrated and leave for a different culture to thrive in.

It is not just about being on time, leaving early etc.  It is about all of the various aspects which positively or negatively influence the day to day culture of your organization.  The “Golden Rule” of treating others like you want to be treated is more about having consistent standards.  Yes, it would be desirable that people are treated with respect and positive interactions.  The reality is that I sometimes witness two different standards for your leaders interact with staff.  Some are given a pass on things not completed on time and others are reprimanded right in front of other staff members.  I’m not thinking that is a good double standard to have in place to nurture and develop staff.

Take a good look at yourself and your actions and determine if they are contributing to your business culture whether in a positive way or negative way.  Then decide if you are even going to do something about them to change them or just settle for more of the same.

Not feeling objective enough about evaluating your culture? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida to get an unbias input about your culture.

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 2020

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The GAP between intent and action

February 20, 2020

ISSN# 1545-2646

The GAP between intent and action

Let’s start with me saying that I have had lots of great intents over the years but like many of us did not take action to turn intent into something. Does that mean I failed?  Maybe or maybe not. I can state one thing for sure. Any intent with out action is just wishful thinking. I also know that wishful thinking does not turn into something unless you are in the world of make believe.

One of the things that I hear from our cleints is that we hold them accountable.  For some this is a welcomed framework.  For others it is the pain in their side that someone is looking over their shoulder and letting them know they said they were going to do something and did not get it done. This concept of being accountable to take action on an intent to do something is one of the reasons businesses and leadership stagnate.

Part of this challenge is that good intent followed by a lack of action creates lots of undertone in the culture. The organization hears of a direction or objective and gets excited that something is going to take place. Unfortunately the end result is more of the status quo. After a while the team gets numb of the items shared because at the end of the day they already know that nothing is going to change or take place regarding it. This creates the undertone of various individuals commenting on this, that or the other thing not moving forward. People like and want and even need to be part of something that is exciting, getting better, has great future possibilities.  As much as people don’t prefer change, they also don’t like to be told something is improving only to not realize any benefits because no action was taken to move it forward.

A contributing factor to the absence of action is that we generally don’t know how to prioritize what to take action on.  We see, hear or experience something and declare that we will do this or that to rectify the situation. Moments after that proclamation, something else drops in our laps and that now becomes the focal point of our time and energy. We already committed to one thing and now we commit to yet another situation. This cycle repeats and basically blurs our priorities.

Another contributing factor is fear of failure. We intellectually know we should be doing something. We are not skilled in that specific area so the actions needed to take of it are outside of out present comfort zone.  The results is a the break in confidence. We pause, reflect and then pause some more.  This procrastination builds a resistance muscle in us to begin to avoid things we are not 100% confident in doing. We begin to seek perfection at such a high level that we basically stop taking action.

We all like the comfort of knowing how and when and what to do.  We enjoy the routine of all things in their place. We also know that in order to grow personally and professionally we must step outside of the boundaries which contributed to helping us be successful. These same talents that got each of us to this point will not move us forward into future success.  Life is full of various risk taking adventures.  We must be open to taking the leap to jump over the gap between the items we intend to do something about and the actual action we take to make things happen.

Need someone to hold you accountable to yourself? Engage a Promise Guide at JKL Associates by calling  (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.

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 2020

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Tapping into what is the real pulse of your business

February 13, 2020

ISSN# 1545-2646

Tapping into what is the real pulse of your business

One of leaderships most important role demands is staying informed about what is going on in the business and the customers it serves.  Being informed allows for better and more timely decision making. You work from a point of knowledge rather than making guesses or assumptions which may or may not be exactly correct.  I’m not indicating you toss out your gut level instincts but have them enhanced by input from various data points.

One of the data points are your finances.  Sounds pretty straight forward but if your monthly financial statements are not timely – i.e. available to leadership by the 5th-10th of the next month then you might be making financial decisions based on less than accurate information.  Slight trend changes in the numbers might now show up in your instincts as accurate.  You can guess to high or too low.  Both can be dangerous to future success and results.

Another data point is the pulse of your staff. Much like your financials, if you are guessing at what you think your staff is talking about then you are likely not getting correct insights.  You need to allocate time each day, week, month to have short quality interactions directly with your team.  Short 5 to 10 minute conversations to get current input on how they see the business, the customers, the industry and maybe most importantly – how they see you.

Businesses ebb and flow based on leadership.  If leadership is driving forward with deliberate actions guided by a well communicated strategy then it is far easier for everyone to get on board and move in the same direction.  If leadership is not engaged then neither will your employees be engaged.

You also need data points from external sources such as industry insights and most specifically your customers or clients.  When was the last time you picked up the phone or stopped by a client without needing to address a problem or follow up on something prompted by them? I realize you are busy and have lots of things to fill up your schedule. I would suggest that you build a habit of contacting 3 clients each week for the 50+ weeks of the year.  During that time you will touch about 150 clients.  No, it is likely not all of your clients but a reasonable majority of the 20% which contributes 80% of the revenue.  These are not lengthy calls.  Just 3 to 5 minutes to thank them and remind them you care about their business. You can do the same thing with your staff.  It must be done authentically and you will be amazed at the change in attitude and culture internally. Externally you will form a far stronger relationship which will in turn sustain long term customers.

This week take that first step and set up a calendar of internal and external contacts you will begin calling the following week.  Set up the contact list for all 50+ weeks including name and telephone numbers.  Yes, this may take a few minutes but once set up all you need to do is dial the phone. Should you get a voicemail, simply leave a message of your intent for the call and move on to the next business to contact. You may not hear back from them but you planted an important seed in their mind that you took the time to reach out to them.

Want to raise the level of your understanding of what is really going on in your business? Give JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida.

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 2020

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Get your compass pointing in the proper direction

February 6, 2020

ISSN# 1545-2646

Get your compass pointing in the right direction

The visual of a compass lends itself to pointing in a particular direction.  Organizations around the globe use it to heighten awareness of an approach to give guidance to a person or subject matter.  Even our “Promise Culture” logo uses the aspects of a compass to bring forth the concept of finding and taking a given direction on a journey which leads to something or someplace of a high destination or calling.

The interesting thing is that many of us do not even know how to actually use a compass.  We universally understand to a large degree that the intended use is to point us to a given destination.  Beyond that, the actual process for using a compass can be hit or miss depending on your exposure to using one in real life. This is not intended to teach you how to use a compass.  I might suggest a search on the internet or talk to a boy scout or girl scout for some training.

The idea here is that as business leaders we use tools, and reference points to bring clarity to goals and processes but do not always make sure the audience links back our connection to the desired direction we may be asking them to travel. How often in the past few months has their been a discussion about a project or some business demand which everyone thought they were on the same understanding only to find out a short time later that there was a scattering of directions taking place.

Take for example the conversation which takes place when a new hire comes into the workplace.  Their first few moments and initial onboarding effort is critical to how they will ultimately get pointed in the right direction to success in your business. Yet this can sometimes be shortcut for any number of reasons.  One that I have witnessed far too often is the assumption by the organization that because the new hire did a similar role at their prior employer that they must already understand the job at your location.  Not only does the new hire feel alone and possibly abandoned on their first day but when something goes sideways they begin to get frustrated which only leads to more challenges for them and the organization as a whole.

Getting everyone pointing in a common direction and understanding common expectations makes an organization operate at a much greater frequency of performance.  The best way is to communicate on a recurring basis the destination, the direction to take and the expectations along the path. Communincation needs to be in a variety of forms.  You just can’t send an email and think everyone gets it.  You must verify and validate your communications as everyone listens and hears differently.

This week as you continue on your 2020 path, take some time to really look at getting everyone pointing in the same direction.  Communicate your direction and the associated expectations so that each and everyone is participating in the same journey with the same level of understanding and feeling part of the overall plan.

Do you know if your team is all pointing in the same direction?  Do you understand the makeup of your team members? Give JKL Associates a call at (313) 527-7945 in Michigan or (407) 984-7246 in Florida and let’s discuss how we can bring value to pointing you and your team in the best direction.

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 2020

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