Are you someone who already journals? Maybe you have already discovered the power of journaling? Maybe it is time to share your discovery with others so they too can grow and improve by journaling.
Journal writing seems to come an go over time. Right now there appears to be a resurgence to this understanding process. Some people do it to document their passage of time. Others do it as an expression of their creativity. Yet still others may do it to capture their mind set during unique times so that they can better reflect on how those mind sets effected the outcome. What ever your reason, the process of journaling can add many new and interesting insights to your life and business.
When I engage owners of businesses to assist them in taking themselves and their organization to new better level of results, I encourage them to journal daily. Taking just a few minutes each morning or evening and capture what is going on in their world, their mind, their business. Just to write it down without over thinking it or trying to polish it up. Just the simple act of capturing your thoughts and reviewing them over time can help you discover some profound things about you and or your business.
It sounds and is very simplistic at its core but it is not always easy to do. If you currently are not a person who journals then you are going to need to form a new habit. You will have to find some 5 to 10 minute window to separate yourself from the world and journal. That new time slot is not always available and it is easy in todays world to find a dozen things to put in its place. The other challenge is that just by writing a few things down you won’t see the value right away and in our instant gratification society the magic won’t just suddenly appear after a couple of days. Sometimes it takes weeks to capture enough stuff to be able to extract some themes you might want to explore and understand in more detail. Then comes the challenge of looking at your journals and maybe for the first time seeing things about yourself or your business that you really did not want to look at so you avoided them. Not that it is front and center and you may feel compelled to take some different action.
It is these gems of journaling that we improve ourselves to be better than we were. Making ourselves better will in turn make our businesses better.
This week make a commitment to improve. Start journaling! You can go out and buy a new paper journal or you can simply start jotting stuff down in a digital file. There are also journaling tools you can digitally record your daily items and store them in the cloud. I use all three to capture the events of my world and use these insights to constantly better myself and those who give me the honor and privilege to be part of their lives and businesses.
Want a journaling Promise Guide? That person to share your thoughts with so they can give feedback insights to help you improve? – call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 and we will get you set up.
When it comes to a driving force behind a winning attitude you can almost always attribute it to that deep down reason – that “Purpose” or why someone is willing to go above and beyond in order to accomplish something. Given the right purpose that resonates with some one they can do remarkable things. They can endure longer cycles. They can weather more severe storms. They will perform regardless of the environment around them.
The same holds true for groups and teams. Consider sports for a moment. Think of a team who had the best talent but was unable to win the championship. Think also of the team that when the chips were down they mustered the synergy to collect themselves and win the big game even when they were the less talented of the competitors. The difference was the drive behind them – their purpose.
Purpose is not a result. The win of the game or the achievement of the goal is not the purpose. That may be one of the accomplishments attached to the purpose but the results in and of itself is not the purpose. For example, the purpose for you to lead a business in not profit. Yes you want to make profits but that happens when your core purpose is realized and executed. The profit value is just the measurement of how well your purpose drove you toward the “WHY” you were seeking.
In our world, we tend to gloss over the true driving forces such as Purpose. This may be because it is sometimes hard to articulate. We can’t put it into words because we have very rarely taken the time to step back and capture what our purpose really is. We struggle with this because we don’t want to share some of our most inner feelings with the outside world. It can also be because so many other people tell us that it does not matter. Why waste your time on that – just go out and do something even if it is out of alignment with who you are.
We see this manifest itself in businesses where there is no defined purpose and employees turnover because all they are viewed is through the lens of hands rather than soul. Purpose nurtures the soul which is the food which drives the mind and body. This is the area which can withstand hurricane force challenges and remain standing to fight another battle. When your organization not only takes time to define and embrace your purpose for being, you will be able to attract those individuals who share in your same purpose. Together like the sports team with average talent who wins the big game, your organization will accomplish feats not originally seen as possible.
This week, look around you at your team. Do you really know what each of their purposes are? Would they align with your purpose? Does your business exist for a purpose?
Purpose drives results so now is the time to engage JKL Associates by calling (313) 527-7945 to start to embrace your “Purpose.”
When you go hiking in the forest you see lots of trees. If you were in the lumber business you would see each tree differently. Each one would represent a certain amount of value. The leisurely walk in the woods might change into a business trip of sorts. With each step the lumberman sizes up just how each tree contributes to his business success. He sees how each tree contributes to the whole.
This brings to mind the adage of “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” This typically refers to a person so caught up in the detail that they don’t see the big picture. I might suggest that some leaders get caught up only in the big picture and don’t take the time to see how all the parts fit together to achieve the success desired. When it does not happen then they start looking for a particular reason which caused the failure. This is in the reverse order. If all the pieces work together from the start then the outcome is far more probable to achieve the desired result.
The other adage which comes to mind is “Take time to stop and smell the roses.” This typically refers to the person moving along at such a rapid pace that they may get to the end but never enjoy the journey or experience the progress along the way to an end result.
Mix a good blend of all the various contributing factors of a business strategy and then take action. Thus allowing your tactics in the strategy to play out while you assess their value to the whole strategy. This results in not just greater performance but a more effective and efficient operation.
This week give some consideration as to how you operate your business. Are you stuck counting trees and not seeing the whole strategy which could lead you into the wrong end results. Maybe you are seeing the big picture but don’t concern yourself enough with the details and they come back to bite you in the behind. Finding the right balance between the entire strategy of the whole while understanding and having expectations for the execution of the tactics will lead to great net positive results. Not only in terms of productivity, revenues and profits but will also contribute to an environment of a winning culture.
Need help sorting out the trees and smelling the roses? Time to call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 and engage a “Promise Guide” for your journey.
In the days of the horse and buggy, there was little need for the management of traffic on the roads. The volume of horse drawn vehicles were not many and the speed at which they navigated the pathways were extremely slow by today’s standards.
Today with high speed highways and numerous roads, vehicles and pedestrians, the management of the flow of movement is critical to the safety and well being of everyone.
As we moved from an agricultural society and rural in nature to the industrial age and urban centers, a system of signals evolved to support the more regular flow of people, cars, other transportation and some lingering horses and carriages. By using signals, everyone could understand their individual roles and responsibilities to the movement and flow of the moving parts.
In your business today you have many moving parts as well. It flows best when everyone knows their individual role and how and what it contributes to the complete picture. As changes take place and you need to make adjustments to your business operations, you also need to use good communincation signals to convey the changes which are taking place.
Consider what happens when a new traffic light is put up on your daily commute to work. This change can become a frustrating event. You had a routine of leaving at a certain time and you had every light timed just right so you would arrive at your office just in time to get the first cup of coffee and be at your desk at starting time. Now a pattern has changed. Another traffic light now hinders your existing flow to and from work. You now need to change your habits. Maybe you need to wake earlier to accommodate the new light. Maybe you explore a new route to the office. Maybe you talk to your boss and get them to let you work virtually at home rather than the drive at all. The signal or communication which involved change could result in an improvement or you can simple stay frustrated with the change and simply complain hoping this some how will change things back – IT WON’T.
This week take a look at what signals and communincation you are using when making changes in your business. Are they as easy to understand as Go, Stop or Take Caution? If not then you need to consider a bit more time in what best communication needs to be in your organization so the flow of business can work at high speed.
Want your organization to have warp speed work flow with as few incidents as possible? Call JKL Associates at (313) 527-7945 to consider what signals you are giving to your team.
This coming Monday the nation celebrates the memory of those who sacrificed all for the sake of the beliefs the United States were built upon.
International conflict is not the desire of our nations leaders. All of us would agree that universal peace would be the desired norm. Unfortunately confrontation, war, and other types of discomfort arise and it is during these times of stress that we rise to the occasion to stand behind our beliefs which are captured in our constitution.
So as you plant your garden, mow your lawn, barbeque your dinner, or simply join with friends and family around the campfire, take a moment to recognize the beauty of what we have here in our United States.
I Pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all
The phrase of “I wish I had a penny for every time some one….” is directly applicable to the guessing game leaders get themselves into when they believe they have such perfect instincts about candidates they fail to use a process to sort out the best from the not so good talent.
I’m the person wishing I had the penny every time the leader makes a comment about this or that employee or hire which is either disappointing or they quit. In the extremely competitive talent market we are in, each and every hire needs to be well placed into your company. You can’t just hire and hope they work out. You can’t make the excuse that a pair of hands is better than no hands etc.
The talent hiring decisions are critical to your business culture. If you take the additions to your team too lightly and bring in the wrong mix of people you poison your existing team and they leave which puts you back into hire mode. Every time you do this you take pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars – many of them, and simply toss them into the air. Losing their value in the process. This cycle repeats and repeats and repeats. Your “Brand” begins to get a reputation in the marketplace for always hiring which leads people to believe something is wrong on the inside so they skip over your opportunity to the next. Your reputation for attracting talent is no less important than your reputation for attracting customers. In most cases you can’t attract quality customers unless you have quality employees.
This week take a look at what is your process for the intake of potential new candidates for employment. Do you have a system? What is the system looking to identify in candidates? What roles are you hiring for and what expectations do you have for those roles? At what stage of the process do you use various tools and/or techniques to gain a fuller understanding of candidates’ capabilities? The list of understanding your process model can go further into details, but if you first don’t have a system you need to get one in place. If you have one then are you actually following it each and every time? If not, why?
Confused about the best ways to put a candidate intake process into place in your organization so it produces better results? Give JKL Associates a call today and let’s get that process started.
This weekend is Mother’s Day around the country. Some might label this as a “Hallmark” holiday, and they might be right. Mother’s Day does get its fair share of promotion to generate retail sales and gets Mom out of the kitchen, so restaurants see an uptick in business that day.
From my perspective Mothers are part of the foundation of strong businesses. Dads have their contribution as well, but we celebrate them in June.
So how did your Mother contribute to your success? Maybe you have not given this much consideration. In a society when it is all about “me” this might get lost. Here are a few things to consider as you look back on how having your Mother in your developmental years gave you some of your skills to be a leader in business.
Your Mom gave you some initial training on dealing with conflict management when you and your siblings started fights of meaningless trivial things. You likely never have these issues in your business.
Your Mom gave you a good scolding when you underperformed at your chores or something else you felt was not important. That never happens in your business.
Your Mom was the first person to pick you back up when you crashed on your bike or fell out of a tree so you could learn that falling was part of life and you just need to get up and get on with life. Bruises, scraps and even broken bones will heal. Moping around feeling bad for yourself accomplishes nothing. She likely said something like get out there and play and stop feeling sorry for yourself. How did those lessons help you move up in business?
This weekend as you remember “Good Ole Mom” just recall that some of those early lessons which you discounted at the time set the stage for who you are and your success in business. Take a few minutes and thank your Mom for being as good of a leader model as she was so you can now be the best leader you can be.
Wondering if your leaders on your team are leveraging all those lessons from their childhood? Give JKL Associates a call and let’s discuss how you can find out.
You may typically get financial reports on the performance of your business at the end of each month, quarter and annually. They let you know the overall total picture. When the bottom line is black it is better than it being red. We would all like more in the positive column.
The bigger question is – have you taken the time to look at individual profit centers or product lines to see how the sales to profit align? Have you looked at the revenues to costs by individual client performance?
Too often, leaders look at the global picture and continue business as usual. Unfortunately, if you want the overall bottom line to grow, sometimes you need to eliminate those product lines or customers who are placing a drain on your profitability.
Take for example a customer who in theory is in the middle of your customer base spending a typical annual amount that you view as a “Good” account. They are not in your top 20% generating 80% of your revenues but the account contributes dollars. From purely a sales and revenue side they are a good account.
If you look deeper into the details of the account and what they are buying from you, it might come to light that they are buying mostly your lost leader products with lower margin and cost you more dollars to produce, deliver and take the time navigating the customer satisfaction value. This same customer might just be the one that is always complaining to their sales rep about pricing and delivery time etc. and the net value to your organization is far less than it should be. This same account which you thought was good is taking time and resources away form better performing accounts which generate a higher value to your business.
This view of customers is equally applicable to the products and services you offer. The proper mix of higher margin products and services along with the proper alignment of best value customers can add dollars directly to the bottom line and potentially free up resources to grow the business even more.
This week start to look at the various products and customer accounts to see how they actually perform vs. how you think they contribute.
Wondering how to go about this analysis? Give JKL Associates a call at 313-527-7945 and let’s have a meaningful conversation.
Yesterday was Administrative Professionals day. I hope you recognized those key people in your organization who day in and day out are there keeping the boat afloat.
Every organization has a few people that exist under the radar but contribute to the health, wealth and continued success of the organization. They show up every day regardless of the road blocks put in front of them. They diligently complete their tasks and openly accept additional tasks even when not directly part of their role.
Some people might ask why these people get a special day of recognition. To me the answer is pretty straight forward. They deserve it!
In various other parts of your organization people get recognized for various things they bring to the business. A sales rep might get accolades for closing a sale. Someone might ring a sales bell while others pop the top on some reward beverages. Line workers might celebrate 1000 days of safety with no injuries. An installation team might celebrate the completion of a new job on time and under budget. In many parts of the organization there are brief celebrations on specific projects, tasks and events. No where do we pause and thank those who do the administration so all of us can do our jobs better.
Early on in my career I was privileged and honored to have a few outstanding administrative professionals who worked with me and made me look better than maybe I actually was at the time. During that time in my career, I was far more focused on deliverables and results than on directly recognizing those people closest to me who kept pointing me in the best direction to me most effective. It was not that I ignored them but in my less wise days I reconciled their work as doing their job as opposed to contributing to my growth.
Old, and maybe wiser, I can now look back and more dramatically understand the key and critical value these administrative professionals had on my personal growth and on the success the business unit I lead had for the organization. Without these fine people, I can say without any doubt we would not have achieved the results we did had they not been part of the team.
So, if you have not already gone out of your way to stop and acknowledge these key people in your organization then do so today. Don’t wait till tomorrow or next week. None of us can predict the future and people need to know they are appreciated. By the way, we don’t need to wait for this annual acknowledgment day. Everyone in your organization needs to be recognized for the value every day.
Don’t have a culture where valuing others is standard operating procedure? Maybe it is time to bring “Promise Culture” to your company. Give JKL Associates a call to start a conversation.
As business leaders we ride the roller coaster of ups and downs. When all is going in a positive direction, the workplace atmosphere is electric and exciting. When the valley of change comes, the environment takes a distinct new direction and it is in no way better. It is during these times of unsettlement that your leadership skills are challenged to the fullest. Not so much because of a specific change but that you must now navigate both the change in the business and in the environment of the business.
When change happens, leaders are expected to have answers. It is not always a fair expectation because as leaders we do not always have all the data to effectively come to a conclusion about a change. Never the less as leaders we must proceed forward. It is part of that “Title” meaning to lead forward and have others follow, not because they must follow, but because they desire to be in alignment with the leader.
This is where quality leaders do not change their expectations of great things to come.
History is a great teacher of understanding this principle. People like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lead a civil rights effort during a time when unrest on this topic was pervasive across the nation. His “I have a Dream” speech is referenced in many books, documentaries, movies and from stages across this land. His leadership and expectation of great things to come changed a nation. No, it did not completely resolve the past issues, but it opened up more conversation which even today we recognize as meaningful, valuable and critical to future generations.
In your organization today there are areas which need this level of constructive open conversation to enable it to move forward and closer to achieving your business purpose. Guided by the core values and their associated principles, you can navigate to a better outcome without reducing the expectation of great things to come.
This week look around your organization with a critical eye. Look deep into those areas you may have been avoiding so you did not wake up the sleeping giant. Just because the issue is quiet right now does not mean it has gone away. No quite to the contrary, it is just waiting for some other change to happen and during the time when you are down it will come forward to complicate your issues. By seeking out greatness in all areas of your business you will constructively resolve hidden issues and demonstrate to your team your leadership skills and genuine interest in them as members of your organization.
Needing a guide to help you navigate through your organization to find greatness? Give JKL Associates a call today.