Leadership

You’ve Got the Appointment… Now what?!

Last article we talked about what to do once you have their business card. Shooting them an email or a phone call, sending them a hand written note, and connecting with them on social media. Now if you did that correctly and made a real connection with a great first impression, you should have landed […]

Last article we talked about what to do once you have their business card. Shooting them an email or a phone call, sending them a hand written note, and connecting with them on social media. Now if you did that correctly and made a real connection with a great first impression, you should have landed your self a meeting, a coffee date, etc. Here are three things you can do to make this time matter.

1 DON’T SELL

Yes, you read that correctly.  You’re not going to sell you, your company, or products.  You want to build lots of trust and value with this person.  Now if they are a hot prospect and express interest in what you offer, then by all means sell. But, use this time to learn more about this person on a personal and professional. I like to create friendships and help people as much as I can.  As a result of this usually means business for you in the long run.

2 Ask LOTS of questions

If you meet at their office, request a tour to learn about them and their company.  People are proud of their jobs and usually, love to show it off.  As a side note, I love going to different businesses to learn and see what they do.  Especially if it’s manufacturing and distributing, I find that whole process fascinating. When you ask, dig deeper into questions and listen.  You will usually get more information and find out their real needs and wants. Which in the long run will help you see how you can serve them. Not just think of how you can help but also how you can connect them with people who can assist them too.

3 Send them business

Spending all that time with them, you should now know who they serve, who serves them, and who their competition is. Now that you know who their best type of client is, send them business!  We’re connected to so many people I’m sure you can send them a few referrals or some business who can buy what they sell.  Just something as simple as a an email connecting the two. The email should explain what each person does and why they would benefit from knowing each other.

That’s it, seems simple, doesn’t it.  That’s because it is.  Why don’t more people do this you ask? I think it’s because they are playing the short game and want the instant gratification instead of playing the long game.  Trying to build trust and value before going in for the sale. Remember it pays off to be more interested than interesting!

Find me on all social media platforms @DennyCorby and please come say “hello” at the next Network Magazine event.

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The Laws of Leadership

Leadership And Success Every significant human accomplishment has been the result of one common ingredient: strong leadership. The value of leadership cannot be overstated, and it is as vitally important today as it has ever been in our nations, large corporations, small businesses, families, churches, and volunteer organizations. Strong Leadership is the key to success. […]

Leadership And Success

Every significant human accomplishment has been the result of one common ingredient: strong leadership. The value of leadership cannot be overstated, and it is as vitally important today as it has ever been in our nations, large corporations, small businesses, families, churches, and volunteer organizations. Strong Leadership is the key to success.
Many people believe that there is a “leadership gene” that some possess from birth, but the truth is that everybody has the potential to be a highly effective leader. Leadership is governed by a set of laws that everyone can learn and apply.

Why Is Leadership Important?

John Maxwell, the world’s #1 leadership authority, says that your level of effectiveness, and therefore your success, is determined by your leadership ability. If you have low leadership ability, you will experience little success. If your leadership ability is strong, you will enjoy greater success. It is The Law of the Lid.

One of my friends loves McDonald’s hamburgers. McDonald’s started in 1937 as a single restaurant owned by brothers Dick and Maurice McDonald. They became very successful when they discovered that streamlining their menu and implementing tight processes in the kitchen resulted in a quality product produced quickly and consistently. The fast-food industry was born.

However, the McDonalds failed miserably at franchising the restaurant. They had hit their Leadership Lid. It took Ray Kroc, a blender salesman, to successfully franchise the operation. Kroc’s Leadership Lid was much higher, and therefore he enjoyed much greater success.

What Is Leadership?

Margaret Thatcher said, “Being in power is like being a lady.  If you have to tell people you are, you’re not!”

Some believe that a person’s position in the corner office or the top position on the organizational chart makes them a leader. That is not true.

A person who has a position of leadership in an organization usually has leverage, and their team members must do what that person says if they want to keep their jobs. It is command and control, and that leverage is only in effect during business hours.

True leadership is influence, not leverage, and influence is enabled by adding value to people. True leaders have influence all of the time, including nights, holidays, and weekends. People follow true leaders because they want to, not because they have to. Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want.”

Increase Your Leadership Skills

Leadership is a learnable skill that evolves over time. You can’t read one book or attend one training program and become a great leader overnight.  It takes time, commitment, and continual investment into your leadership skills. If you make that investment, your leadership skills, and your success will increase.

Everything worth doing takes a process. Anyone that has learned to read, write, or play a musical instrument knows this.

When we see a world-class musician or athlete performing, we think, “They are so talented!” We tend to minimize the years of training and dedication that went into the short performance that we see on the world stage.

A woman sat in the audience and watched a master pianist play a concert. Afterwards, she spoke with the performer and said, “I’d give anything to play like you do.”

The pianist looked at her and said, “No you wouldn’t, or you already would have. You’d give anything except eight hours of practice every day for 20 years – anything but that!  If you gave what I have given, then you would play pretty much as well as I do. Maybe a little less, maybe a little better, but pretty much the same.”

A process takes time. Begin developing and enhancing your leadership skills now. Don’t wait for the next opportunity to present itself – by then it will be too late!

Start now and be ready. Success occurs when preparation meets opportunity.

Here are some good ways to get started:

  • Read and apply “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” by John C. Maxwell
  • Join a Mastermind Group that focuses on Leadership
  • Hire a Leadership Coach.
  • Increase your success by investing in your leadership skills today. Your future self will thank you.

Michael Barrovecchio is President of CAPO Leadership Consulting and a Certified John Maxwell Team Coach, Trainer, and Speaker. He equips organizations with the Maxwell Method of Leadership, enabling business leaders and teams to perform at increased levels of effectiveness and influence. He can be reached at 732-713-1900 or Michael@CAPOLeadershipConsulting.com.

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What Direction Are You Taking Your Business?

For nearly two decades, I have had the privilege of working with corporations and small businesses on their legal needs, as well as experiencing my own entrepreneurial ventures.  As I journeyed down the path of capitalistic dreams and helped others pursue theirs, I saw many succeed, and many fail.  I often wondered what the difference […]

For nearly two decades, I have had the privilege of working with corporations and small businesses on their legal needs, as well as experiencing my own entrepreneurial ventures.  As I journeyed down the path of capitalistic dreams and helped others pursue theirs, I saw many succeed, and many fail.  I often wondered what the difference between the two extremes was?  It seemed like a very fine line.  On paper, everything was set up perfectly – the business plan, the work ethic, marketing, reserve capital, etc. Yet, over time, some businesses profit, while other failed drastically.
Many of us know that success at any organization starts with leadership.  But many business leaders fail to recognize that their very own projection of energy through the manifestation of their own thoughts could be the determining factor of becoming a millionaire or facing financial ruins.
In my new book to be released this Spring, “ Decide. Believe Change.”, I explore the concept of the two driving energy factors in this world – positive and negative. We as individuals have no choice but to gravitate to one of these forces.  We do, however, have a choice as to which.  Whether we decide to focus on negative or positive energy, it all stems from our focus on a belief we have, which leads to our decisions.
It’s certainly not easy having your own business and being a business leader.  To say all one has to do is focus on your goal, is an understatement and comical at best.  Yes, there is truth to this fact.  But how many times is it impossible to focus on your business goals when you have a minimal cash flow to pay your bills, employees who are not doing their job and giving you attitude, the customer who enjoys writing bad reviews online, or the Taxman knocking at your door?
While a business leader may start out with the positive outlook and energy to succeed, the daily grind and issues that try to prevent any individual from succeeding, sadly often drop an anchor in our progressive thought process.  This, in turn, leads to a focus on fear and doubt.  “What if I can’t make payroll this week?”, “If I fire a certain employee, a good number of customers are going to be mad.  Plus, will I find a replacement?”, or “I won’t be able to pay our primary vendor, so how can I continue ordering from them?”
The issues that lead to fear and doubt, certainly cannot be ignored, but as business leaders, we can not allow them to be our focus.  If we do, we will be projecting a manifestation of a world (our business) that will have these negative energies drawn to it.  This will ultimately lead to a downfall.  There will not be a drive to success in our corporate culture, but a lingering fear of what tomorrow brings.  If we can, however, register these negative factors in our minds as simply obstacles that will be addressed, and focus on the energy and positive excitement one had when their business venture was in its inception, we will find success one day closer and not further.  The negative obstacles will be conquered and not overcome us.
Negative factors will always be present.  That’s what balances out this world.  But remember, your thought process has a choice – either follow the negative that tries to take hold of you and your future to lead to self-destruction or foster the positive energies and the focus on successes of this world that you deserve.  Let the negatives simply be obstacles you will get around in order to meet your goal(s), and remain focused on the big picture of success that energized you on day one. So, you need to ask yourself – what direction are you leading your business?

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The Theory of 5

How Finding Mentors Will Improve Your Prosperity None of us live alone. We share this world with each other and, as a result, have an impact on each person we interact with, and they with us. We are a reflection of those around us. Look at your spouse, co-workers, relatives or friends you have had […]

How Finding Mentors Will Improve Your Prosperity

None of us live alone. We share this world with each other and, as a result, have an impact on each person we interact with, and they with us.

We are a reflection of those around us. Look at your spouse, co-workers, relatives or friends you have had since childhood. In most cases, your income, happiness, relationships, health, political views, and prosperity will be the average of these five people. Like a parent worried about the “bad influences” in their child’s group of friends, those around us will have an impact — either positive or negative — on our income, attitude, goals, and future.

This is a topic I’ve focused on for the past 30 years. In that time, I’ve developed what I call “The Theory of 5,” and this theory has shaped how I think and with whom I spend my time.
The Theory of 5 is based on the idea of finding mentors for different areas of your life, listening to their advice and asking them to guide and challenge you to walk the best path to your best self. Often, all it takes to gain the insight and attention of a mentor is just to ask for it. People are flattered to find someone admires them enough to ask for their counsel, and many times will agree to become a mentor to someone willing to learn and grow.

There are five areas I believe it’s particularly important to focus on and find mentors to guide us:

1 Business and Finance — No matter what job you have or field you work in, finding a mentor who can give you advice in your career and in handling money is vital. Unless they were born into money or a family business, almost everyone starts from the bottom. Those who have worked themselves into positions you admire faced similar challenges and obstacles you’ll face. Get their advice, listen to their stories and let them help you chart a course to the future you want for yourself.

2 Marriage — Most of us will marry a partner in our lifetime, but based on the 50 percent divorce rate in the United States, being an exceptional husband or wife doesn’t come easy for most. Find that exceptional couple who you’d like to emulate and ask them how they’ve made their relationship work through life’s challenges. It sometimes takes effort to stay together; learn how to put that energy to its best use.

3 Parenting — Raising a child is one of the hardest but most rewarding jobs a person can have in their life. Find a parent you admire, someone you see doing a great job with their children. Tell them why you admire his or her accomplishments and ask them to share with you some of the lessons they’ve learned, mistakes they’ve made and how they’ve become the parent you admire.

4 Spirituality/Religion — Our spirituality is the lens through which we view the lessons the world wants to teach us and helps us make sense of them. Find a mentor who can walk with you through life’s inevitable ups and downs and provide counsel from their point of view. Their guidance can provide a valuable counterpoint to those with a strictly secular point of view.

5 Health and Fitness — No matter what kind of success you have in life, it means next to nothing without your health. Our bodies need care, maintenance, and good fuel to carry us through our days. Find a mentor who can not only model what a healthy, active lifestyle looks and feels like, but one who will also hold you accountable for your own habits and keep you focused on maintaining and improving your fitness.

One of the great joys in this life is that we don’t have to go it alone. No matter what area you’re focused on at any given moment, sharing, talking and getting advice will help you meet and overcome each challenge you face. It’s a much tougher, lonelier road when you go it alone — and that loneliness is completely unnecessary. Choose your five mentors wisely, surround yourself with high achievers and join their ranks.

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Innovation Will Not Grow in a Toxic Environment

Smart business owners today are always looking for new ways to attract top people to join their organizations. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to have a creative, vibrant and empowering workplace environment and it all starts with attracting the best people to fit into that culture. As the workforce tightens and […]

Smart business owners today are always looking for new ways to attract top people to join their organizations. One of the best ways to accomplish this is to have a creative, vibrant and empowering workplace environment and it all starts with attracting the best people to fit into that culture. As the workforce tightens and competition for exceptional workers intensifies, finding those candidates can prove challenging.

Margo Trott Mukkulainen, a nationally recognized freelance writer, creative marketing consultant and editor of myHR Partner’s myHR Blog agrees, “Every new addition to your team creates a new dynamic that will impact your workforce. The right person can move your company forward in new ways. They can and should have a positive influence in a way that grows your business, or at the very least maintain your success.”

In my career, I have experienced both. I’ve worked in environments where a healthy life/work balance was encouraged by the leadership, the work was creative and meaningful, and the employees were invited to share their ideas openly. I have also worked in toxic environments, and they will sap your energy, drain your soul and make it difficult just to get through the day.

“I have seen time and time again how one or two bad hiring decisions can derail an entire workplace. I have also seen how a good hire can go bad quickly if the workplace was a toxic one. The best workplaces are innovative enough to evolve to meet the needs of the customers, the company, and the employees. Part of that “secret sauce” is knowing how critical the right hire is for every position—and knowing how to keep them happy within the organization.” Mukkulainen added.

Having even one toxic person poisoning the culture inside your company can prove costly. “The average cost-per-hire is $4,129, while the average time it takes to fill a given position is 42 days, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2016 Human Capital Benchmarking Report. And the cost of making a bad hire can have on your company can be several tens of thousands of dollars.” Mukkulainen cautioned.

So, what does this all mean? Well, owners need to be open to set the conditions that create a culture where people openly share their ideas, are not afraid to take risks, respect each other’s contributions, and have autonomy to solve customer issues without involving management. If you’re lucky enough to work in that type of environment, you are more productive, will have lower stress levels and you will look forward to going to work every day.

Consider this, have you ever found yourself getting anxious on a Sunday evening because you have work the next day? That’s a dead giveaway that you should seek other employment.

“The best workplaces I have seen are innovative enough to evolve to meet the needs of the customers, the company, and the employees. Hiring someone who does not fit into your company culture can set up a climate of stress and distraction for everyone.” Mukkulainen warned.

“People are more interested than ever in company cultures and employer brands, even when they are not job hunting, which is why developing these is crucial to building a strong workforce. Hiring someone who does not fit into your company culture can set up a climate of stress and distraction for everyone. And your talent will flee if there’s too much negative drama.” Mukkulainen stressed. The best companies know this and work hard at retaining and evolving their workplace cultures. Don’t ever underestimate the power a good hire can have on your success. Give it the attention it deserves.

Margo has written extensively about many of these issues on myHR Blog, and you can find it here at… http://myhrpartnerinc.com/category/myhr-blog/

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Can Creativity Drive Revenue?

Whether it’s an idea for a new product or an innovative way to solve a business challenge, companies today should embrace creativity if they want to stay relevant in the marketplace. We are rapidly entering an era of creative intensification, and corporations that are unwilling to foster a creative environment will find it difficult to […]

Whether it’s an idea for a new product or an innovative way to solve a business challenge, companies today should embrace creativity if they want to stay relevant in the marketplace.

We are rapidly entering an era of creative intensification, and corporations that are unwilling to foster a creative environment will find it difficult to compete with those that do. So how does it work? How do you bring more creativity into a place of business? Can it be used to drive revenue?

Absolutely.

For starters, it’s about being willing to foster an environment where employees feel comfortable and are encouraged to share their thoughts openly. Leaders within the business must be prepared to listen to everyone’s ideas because the best leaders understand that innovation can come from anyone, regardless of their position in the company.

That’s what trips most people up. When leaders feel like all the ideas must come from them, they miss a tremendous opportunity to gain insight from the people who are in the best position to help the company grow — the employees.

For example, a two-year, in-house creativity course at General Electric resulted in a 60% increase in patentable concepts, while creativity-training participants at Pittsburgh Plate Glass showed a 300% increase in viable ideas compared with those who didn’t take the course. Those are significant increases and worthy of attention.

Linda Naiman, founder of Creativity at Work, said, “For innovation to truly flourish, organizations must create an environment that fosters creativity; bringing together multi-talented groups of people who work in close collaboration together — exchanging knowledge, ideas, and shaping the direction of the company’s future.”

But you must be willing to go all in. For creativity to truly deliver an ROI, everyone in the company must be on board. Check your ego at the door and embrace a culture where everyone can feel safe to voice their opinions. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a room and witnessed someone get destroyed because they had summoned the courage to speak up, only to be told by management, “Well, we’ve tried that already, and it didn’t work!”

That employee took a risk to offer a thought, only to be made to feel like their contribution was silly and unworthy of consideration. Creativity will not flourish in that type of toxic environment.

Too often, today’s risk-averse business conditions don’t support creative thought and ideation the way they should. Most are great at tracking production costs, profitability, taxes and payroll. Essential items that go into running a successful business. But, creativity doesn’t receive the same status and gets brushed aside.

Consider the recent survey on creativity by Adobe who surveyed business people in the US, the UK, Germany, France, and Japan. 80% of respondents felt that unlocking creativity is critical to economic growth. 75% said they are constantly under pressure to be more creative at work. Therein lies the challenge. Creativity isn’t something that can be mandated. You can’t order employees to be more creative, then criticize them if positive results don’t immediately show up on your spreadsheets. Businesses that tap into the power of creativity stand a much better chance of developing new products, unlocking new markets and discovering new revenue streams. Focus on creating an environment for employees to grow and develop creatively, and support their efforts by allowing them to take risks.

Don’t stigmatize mistakes. Be willing to entertain different opinions. Have the courage to try new approaches. Embrace ambiguity. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Be open to hearing the things you need to hear as opposed to what you want to hear. Do these things consistently, and you’ll see an impact.

Creativity is real, and it’s here to stay. Those companies who are brave enough to accept that fact can capitalize on creativity’s undeniable power and use it as a force for change and growth.

The good news is the future only comes one day at a time. The bad news is if you’re unwilling to bring creativity into your business, you won’t have much of a future to worry about.

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Your Daily Growth Appointments

Personal growth is an absolute requirement for Leaders. We cannot stand still. We must continually pursue personal growth in order to increase our capacity to lead. Growth does not happen automatically. Time and experience do not necessarily equate to growth. If we want to grow, we must be very intentional about the pursuit. It has […]

Personal growth is an absolute requirement for Leaders. We cannot stand still. We must continually pursue personal growth in order to increase our capacity to lead.

Growth does not happen automatically. Time and experience do not necessarily equate to growth. If we want to grow, we must be very intentional about the pursuit.

It has been said that you cannot predict the future, but to some extent you can control your future by controlling what you do today and every day. You must be purposeful and you must be consistent.

Growth compounds with consistency. Even small steps forward, if done on a consistent basis, will add up to large growth over time. The key is your daily routine. What are you doing to grow every day?

I have found that Daily Growth Appointments provide me with an excellent framework for consistent growth. Even though I am not perfect in my execution, this daily routine has paid big dividends. Some days and weeks are better than others in terms of visible progress. The important thing is to engage the process every single day because, while it may not look like progress is being made, growth is occurring beneath the surface.

My Daily Growth Appointments

Work Out 5:00-6:00 am

During this time, I weight train or do a cardio workout. It is a great way to start the day and clear the mind.

Pray/Reflect/Plan/Write  6:00-6:30 am

During this time, I do the following with respect to my top goals and priorities, which will change over time as goals are achieved.

  • Express gratitude
  • Seek wisdom
  • Ask myself
    • “What is going well?”
    • “What is not going well?”
    • “What activities should I do more frequently?”
    • “What activities should I do less frequently or eliminate?”
    • “What should I do differently?”
    • “What else should I be doing?”
  • Write down what I have learned.

    Possibility Thinking 6:30-6:45 am

Possibility Thinking is the process of allowing your mind to work on a large goal and arrive at the possibilities related to accomplishing that goal.

As an example, if you have a goal to double your income this year, spend fifteen minutes each day thinking into all the possible ways of doubling your income. Sit quietly with a pad of paper and a pen and as you think, write down every idea that comes into your mind. Don’t pass judgment, just write. Do this every day for 90 days. If you miss a day, start over at day one.

At the end of the 90 days, review what you have written. You will be equipped with a greater awareness of how to accomplish this large goal. Use this new awareness and the ideas that you have written to develop a plan. Input the items of this plan into your Pray/Reflect/Plan/Write process.

Read and Learn Something New 6:45–7:15 am

During this time, I read with the mission of learning something new. It may be a new book on a personal growth or Leadership topic, or I may reread all or part of books that I have read previously, knowing that this time I will see new things.

Evening Pray/Reflect/Plan/Write 9:45–10:00 pm

It is helpful to pray, reflect, plan, and write in the evening while the events of the day are still fresh in my mind. This time consists of the same elements as the morning reflection time but is usually shorter. This helps me to wind down and sets me up to have a productive Pray/Reflect/Plan/Write appointment the following morning.

I encourage you to create your own Daily Growth Appointments. You can use the plan that I have outlined here and modify it to fit your needs, or you can create something completely different. The important thing is to define your Daily Growth Appointments, get them into your calendar, and keep them every day.

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So you’ve got their business card… Now what?

Hopefully, you’ve made a great connection with them and gave a lot of value in the interaction. When networking you should be giving 51% more value. Always try to add more value to help that person in this relationship.  No, that doesn’t mean selling them all of your products.  Ask a lot of questions and […]

Hopefully, you’ve made a great connection with them and gave a lot of value in the interaction. When networking you should be giving 51% more value. Always try to add more value to help that person in this relationship.  No, that doesn’t mean selling them all of your products.  Ask a lot of questions and try to find out what they need help with and help them.

Maybe they told you they just bought a new house and the roof needs replaced.  Make special note of that because it will be very important in a moment.

You left a networking event, and you have a handful of business cards from the new people you met.  Here is what you should and should NOT do with them.

1 The next day, email them or shoot them a call.  Here is where you will provide value because you are going to help them out. If they need a new roof, you are going to send them the names of some of your friends in the roofing business.  Maybe they mentioned they needed to find a gift for their husband’s birthday coming up, so you send them some awesome gift ideas.  This is where you will create tremendous value.

*DO NOT automatically add them to an automated email list or send them an automated email.  They will most likely take it personally (and not in a good way), and you will end up destroying all the value you just worked so hard to create.  You must ask before adding them.

Also, if you do recommend another company’s services, please make sure they are very professional and won’t make you look bad. Once again that will kill the value you just worked to build.

 2 Send them a handwritten note.  This is something that is extremely overlooked and is still an excellent way to build your personal and professional network.  It doesn’t have to be long or anything about yourself, just a nice quick note saying it was great to meet you and look forward to connecting more.  You can even throw in a call to action saying, call me and we can do lunch soon!

Trust me this goes a long way and shows the other person you care enough to take the time to write them a note.

 3 Get social.  Find the people you connected with not just on LinkedIn but across all social media.  Let’s be honest; business is no longer just done on LinkedIn but across all social platforms. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat. By becoming friends with people on social media, you can start building the relationships more AND finding out more about them and how you can continue to create value for them.  As most of us do, we talk about our businesses success and have other people talk about our business successes on social media.  This is a great opportunity for them to see others talking about your successes, which in turn is a great way for that person to see how you can help them without you saying, “look how great me, my products, and my services are!”

What we are doing here is a ninja approach to selling.  You are working to create so much value to other people, allowing them to see that you actually care about them, and want to help them.

They will see your accomplishments and other boastings about the value you create, which in return will get them to finally contact you and say, how can we work together.  OR even if they can’t use your services but since you created so much value for them, they may refer you to other people who you may be able to help.

Remember people do business with people they know, like, and trust. So ask yourself when making a call, sending an email, or going to a meeting…How can I add so much value to this relationship and will this help build my know, like, and trust factor?

I’d like to leave you with this-
There isn’t a lack of business, money, or opportunity in this world there is only a lack of people going after it!

Find me on all social media platforms @DennyCorby and please come say “hello” at the next Network Magazine event.

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Networking, Finding Prospects, Creating Friends, and Building Relationships

I find myself networking or going to business events a couple of times a week.  Some professionals do it often and others not at all.  What is the right answer?  I guess it depends on what you are trying to accomplish with the task of attending.  Time has become such a commodity these days, and […]

I find myself networking or going to business events a couple of times a week.  Some professionals do it often and others not at all.  What is the right answer?  I guess it depends on what you are trying to accomplish with the task of attending.  Time has become such a commodity these days, and we never seem to have enough of it.  We are carting our kids off to sports and extra activities, working all day and keeping up with friends it’s a miracle anyone has time to check the social media sites or keep up with anything.  I’m always honored if I’m hosting an event for an organization or at home for a family function that people attend.  They could do a thousand other things and spend their time elsewhere, but they didn’t.  That is an honor.

One of the reasons I network is because I like going out to events be it daytime or evening and meet people.  You meet all sorts of people.  I’m curious about them, their story and find people to be quite interesting really.  It works as a way for me to prospect, casually meet them, determine if I’m a good fit to see if there’s a need I can fill with my services.  Of course, it works the other way too – my sisters will often ask if I know of a good HVAC person, accountant, or caterer or any service.  I like having a list of people that I have become friends with, built relationships with and whom I trust to refer to them.  Building this type of referral network can be added value to your clients and if you need services yourself.

There is a wrong way to do networking.  I’ve seen it – Hi, my name is Bob, I do this and this, here’s my card and they are off to speed date to the next person.  Never once asking me what I do, who I am or if there’s any interest in creating a relationship.  Not sure I will remember who Bob is or what he does just that he was rude in his introduction.  I believe having an interest in what people do and who they are will have a lasting impact on future connections with them.  The ability to create the “what can I do for you” attitude has been one that I’ve adapted and has worked quite well in building trust and friendship with business contacts as well as clients.  After networking, you will remember certain things about the people you have met.  You are likely to have a stack of business cards you’ve collected from the event.  A good way to continue the connection is to write an email, call or a short note to say you were happy to meet them and hope to connect with them soon.  It keeps you at the top of their mind for future referrals.

I have built a good business by networking so I will keep at it but I’ve also spent time in groups that didn’t amount to any business.  Remember your time is valuable.  It’s good to keep track of which events seem to be a good fit for your business.  You don’t want to end up wasting time at an event that has fifty other people in the room that do exactly what you do and are after the same business.  A good rule is to try an event or group a few times and see if anything comes from the relationships you’ve built.  I keep track of where my business comes from to see if my time is being spent where it should be.  If you are just starting to build your business, this is a great way to add to your book for newsletters or events.  It’s always good to ask people if they could be added to your mailing list or in the least have an ‘unsubscribe’ button.  Don’t just assume people are interested.

Years of networking has been fruitful both in finding prospects for my services and creating longtime friendships.  If you’re thinking of jumping in, don’t think, just start.  Attend a Chamber event or connect with a colleague to tag along and just do it.  Take a shot,  meet people, be interested in who they are, how they got where they are, learn what their story is and then find out what you can do for them.

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Are you running your meetings or are your meetings running you?

What is it about meetings that make you crazy? Most of us hate meetings because they’re boring or frustrating (or both), they don’t accomplish much, there are distractions, they’re sporadic, they’re never focused, filled with unnecessary people and so on. On average, business leaders rate the effectiveness of their team meetings as a 4 out […]

What is it about meetings that make you crazy? Most of us hate meetings because they’re boring or frustrating (or both), they don’t accomplish much, there are distractions, they’re sporadic, they’re never focused, filled with unnecessary people and so on. On average, business leaders rate the effectiveness of their team meetings as a 4 out of 10. So how do you fix this problem?

As a Professional EOS® Implementer, I would suggest implementing a productive weekly meeting that is held on the same day of each week, at the same time each week, use and follow the same agenda each week, and it must start and end on time. Having the meeting at the same time every week helps with individual accountability because people know when they leave the meeting that they have seven days to accomplish the tasks they’ve been assigned and that they’re going to be asked about it at the next meeting. This automatically builds traction into your operations.

The Level10 Meeting™

This weekly meeting is known as a Level10 Meeting, introduced in the book Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, by Gino Wickman. It provides an opportunity to ensure that everything is on track for the week, which in turn ensures that everything stays on track for the quarter. It is designed to help your teams create a consistent rhythm that keeps the company focused, organized, on task, and encourages you to manage and handle conflicts and resolutions. We call it Level10 because one of the things we ask new clients to do is rate the effectiveness of their meetings on a scale from 1-10, with ten being the best. The average meeting is usually rated a four, but after teams start using the Level 10 Agenda, the ratings skyrocket.

The Five Points of the Weekly L10 Meeting

A productive meeting pulse should meet the following five criteria:
1.Same day 2. Same time 3. Same agenda 4. Start on time 5. End on time
With a normal meeting, there is typically a dynamic I am going to share with you, which is illustrated in the following procrastination model.

If your normal, here is what typically happens with activity — coming out of meeting A there’s stuff to be done and typically just before the next meeting everyone rushing to get everything done.

It’s called procrastination, and it just makes us normal.  To the degree, we can increase that meeting interval, we create that spike in activity more often, increasing the meeting pulse moving us towards utopia. You come out of the shoot running, so there’s no time to procrastinate. That’s what the meeting pulse will do for you; it’ll become the heartbeat of your organization.

If every meeting follows the same agenda, is held on the same day and time each week, and has a solid start and end time, your Level 10 Meetings will accomplish its goals and take your business to the next level. The key to successful and productive weekly meetings is to keep them consistent and to always start and end on time.

“Early, is on time, and on time is late.”
— Vince Lombardi

Starting a weekly meeting late almost always results in less time to solve your issues, which is the most important part of the meeting. Teams should aim to spend around 50% of these meetings solving issues.

To ensure that you are staying on track and maintaining a pulse on the business, be patient with the weekly meeting process and over time, you’ll see a notable rise in the health of your team and improved communication throughout business.

To Recap:

In order to fix the problem of low productivity and effectiveness in your company’s team meetings – implement the Weekly Level10 Meeting and get a pulse on your business. Pick the ideal day and time for your team and get your first Level 10 meeting on the schedule.

Next Steps:

To learn more about The Weekly Level10 Meeting Agenda contact Nathan Roman, Professional EOS Implementer at nroman@nextstepistraction.com
To obtain by mail your free hardcover copy of the book Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, by Gino Wickman; reach out to nroman@nextstepistraction.com

Follow me on Facebook @nextstepistraction or connect via LinkedIn @ www.linkedin.com/in/nathanroman/

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