Year: 2017

Too Many Meeting …

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Clipped from: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/304610?utm_source=feedly&utm_medium=webfeeds

Early stage companies have many demands on an employee’s time. From getting the product built to marketing for new customers to getting the capital lined up, it is a never ending battle to fit in all that work in a limited amount of time.

But, what I often see is productivity gets squeezed by early stage entrepreneurs scheduling way too many meetings, which gets in the way of employees having enough time to do their actual jobs. And, when productivity slows, the company’s bottom line suffers and employees start looking for the door in frustration. Let me explain further.

Related: 10 Books Every Leader Should Read to Be Successful

Why so many meetings get scheduled.

There are many reasons to schedule a meeting. Some are recurring meetings between bosses and their direct-reporting employees, for weekly check ins and collaborative needs of the team. Some are one off meetings for non-recurring items, like annual strategic planning, putting out a client fire or team building events. But, most get set because entrepreneurs are inexperienced and don’t know any better. That is largely related to their not trusting the team to do their jobs or their needing to control every single decision that is made. It is this last category that is the killer.

Related: 50 Rules for Being a Great Leader

The negative effect on employees.

Employees get frustrated when a couple things happen around meetings. First, they think it is a waste of time, and they are not even sure why they are needed in the room (so don’t invite everyone to every single meeting, only invite the ones that actually need to be there).

Second, they get frustrated they are sitting in a meeting, and not sitting at their desk getting their actual work done in a more timely fashion (so maximize their time at their desks, not yours). Or, third, they get offended that they are not trusted to do their job, by a boss that feels they need to keep tight oversight on all of the decisions (so empower your people to make decisions without you).

All of this is a recipe for a disaster, often having employees looking for the exit, where the resulting employee turnover can be crippling to a young company needing to race full steam ahead, as quickly as possible.

Related: Inspirational Quotes From 100 Famous Business Leaders (Infographic)

Case study

I was once getting started as an interim executive at a new client and was given a team of people to manage. On my first day I was handed a calendar of all the weekly meetings that I need to participate in with my team. I looked at the long list and realized that about 40 percent of my time was in meetings, many of which that I deemed as unnecessary, a legacy process from a prior manager. I didn’t have two days a week to lose in getting my job done.

So, I pulled the team together and asked what each of the meetings were trying to accomplish, and we agreed we didn’t need as many, merging many of the meetings into one. And, I asked each of the employees to look at their own personal schedules, and to cut out any unnecessary meetings. One of those persons said they were being included in meetings that were eating up a whopping 80 percent of his time each week. I asked how he got any work done at all? He said he didn’t!!

He said, it was mandatory he be in those meetings, and he didn’t have a choice. To which I replied he need to cut his meeting time down to a cap of 20 percent of time, shedding 75 percent of his meetings. He turned white as a ghost saying that was impossible. Where I dug in and said it was not only possible, but required by the end of the week. After a bunch of rethinking his time, he prioritized only the most important meetings, cut his meeting load down to the target, and actually started getting his own work done, reversing years of complaints that he was the bottleneck to others in their getting their work done.

Related: 22 Qualities That Make a Great Leader

How many meetings should be scheduled?

To me, I try to cap my recurring weekly meetings at 20 percent of my time. One one-on-one meeting with each of my direct reports, one meeting with the person managing me and one meeting with my peers to collaborate on needs between departments. That leaves plenty of other time for the one-off meetings that come up during the normal course of business, again which should be capped within this 20 percent framework. This keeps me efficiently working on the most important work that needs to get done, and keeps my team efficiently working on their most important work. And, when people start checking projects off their to-do list, they feel a sense of accomplishment, the business moves forward and a healthy vibe is maintained in the office.

Related: 15 Ways to Lead With Effective Communication

Flat organizations thrive best.

So, my appeal to all you entrepreneurs, don’t suffocate the life out of your companies with too many meetings. Hire smart people, trust them to do their jobs, and get the heck out of their way, so they can do the jobs they were hired to do. You don’t have to micro manage every single decision. Empower your team to make their own decisions in a flat organizational structure. Even if they make mistakes, that is fine, they will learn from them. But, the team will be moving twice as fast at getting things done, than if they were burdened with a bunch of meetings. Speed matters with startups.

Challenge yourself and every employee in your company to cap their recurring weekly meetings at 20 percent of their time. That is one day a week, or eight hours in a normal working day. That is up to 16 thirty-minute meetings they can schedule, plenty of slots to working with.

Yes, I said thirty minutes, efficient meetings don’t need to be longer than that. So, that means come to the meetings organized with a set expectation on how they are going to be run each week. And, if there is nothing new to update on this week, there is nothing wrong with cancelling meetings. Give your team the flexibility to only do meetings then they feel are absolutely needed.

As you can probably tell, I am not a fan of scheduling too many meetings. It often leads to combatting issues like analysis paralysis, management by committee, micromanagement, disgruntled employees and an overall loss of business productivity. So, instead, take more of a hands-off role in managing your team, kick your business into the next gear and start getting all those unnecessary meetings off of everyone’s calendars. You will be shocked how much more work actually starts to get done!

 

Lead by Example

Schedule a discovery call to see how a fully customized workshop would benefit your organization. https://freebusy.io/glenn.daniels@touchstonepublishers.com

Clipped from: https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_60.htm

There’s the boss who tells everyone to stay late, and then leaves promptly at 5:00pm to go golfing.

There’s the supervisor who criticizes everyone for spending time on the Internet, but is discovered buying groceries online in the middle of the afternoon.

And the CFO who recommends layoffs to stop “unnecessary spending,” but then buys herself brand-new luxury office furniture.

Do you know any of these people?

There’s hardly anything worse for company morale than leaders who practice the “Do as I say, not as I do” philosophy. When this happens, you can almost see the loss of enthusiasm and goodwill among the staff. It’s like watching the air go out of a balloon – and cynicism and disappointment usually take its place.

No matter what the situation is, double standards – witnessing people say one thing, and then doing another – always feel like betrayals. They can be very destructive. If this ever happened to you, you can probably remember that sense of disappointment and letdown.

If you’re in a leadership position, then you know that you have a responsibility to your team. They look to you for guidance and strength; that’s part of what being a leader is. And a big part of your responsibility is to lead them with your own actions.

So, why is it so important to lead by example; and what happens when you don’t?

Why It Matters

There’s an old saying about the difference between a manager and a leader: “Managers do things right. Leaders do the right things.” (It’s best to be both a manager and a leader – they’re just different processes.)

As a leader, part of your job is to inspire the people around you to push themselves – and, in turn, the company – to greatness. To do this, you must show them the way by doing it yourself.

Stop and think about the inspiring people who have changed the world with their examples. Consider what Mahatma Gandhi accomplished through his actions: He spent most of his adult life living what he preached to others. He was committed to nonviolent resistance to protest injustice, and people followed in his footsteps. He led them, and India, to independence – because his life proved, by example, that it could be done.

 

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Although Gandhi’s situation is very different from yours, the principle is the same. When you lead by example, you create a picture of what’s possible. People can look at you and say, “Well, if he can do it, I can do it.” When you lead by example, you make it easy for others to follow you.

Look at legendary businessman, Jack Welch of General Electric. Welch knew that to push GE to new heights, he had to turn everything upside down. So that’s just what he did.

He developed the whole idea of a “boundaryless organization.” This means that everyone is free to brainstorm and think of ideas – instead of waiting for someone “higher up” in the bureaucracy to think of them first. He wanted his team turned loose, and he promised to listen to ideas from anyone in the company. And he did. Everyone from the lowest line workers to senior managers got his attention – if they had something to say or a new idea that might make the company better. It wasn’t just talk, and it didn’t take his team long to figure that out.

Welch stayed true to his passions and what he knew was right. As a result, GE became an incredibly successful company under his management. His team was always willing to follow his lead, because the people within it knew that he always kept his word.

What does this mean for you? If you give yourself to your team and show them the way, then, most likely, they’ll follow you anywhere.

When You Don’t Lead by Example

We’ve seen just how powerful it can be to lead by example. But what happens when you don’t follow this rule? How does your team feel when you tell them to do one thing, and then you do the exact opposite?

As we said earlier, if this ever happened to you, then it shouldn’t be hard to remember how angry and disappointed you were.

When leaders don’t “practice what they preach,” it can be almost impossible for a team to work together successfully. How can anyone trust a leader who talks about one thing, but does another?

Consider what might have happened if Gandhi had, even one time, been in a physical fight with his opposition. His important message of nonviolent protest would probably have been much harder to believe after that. His followers would have looked at him with suspicion and distrust. The chances of them getting into physical arguments or committing acts of violence probably would have increased dramatically.

Do you think that Alexander the Great’s soldiers would have fought so hard for him if he had sat on top of a hill, safe from the battle? Probably not. He would have been just another average general in our history books, instead of the example of a successful leader that we know today.

And so it is with your team. If you say one thing and do another, they likely won’t follow you enthusiastically. Why should they? Everything you tell them after that may meet with suspicion and doubt. They may not trust that you’re doing the right thing, or that you know what you’re talking about. They may no longer believe in you.

Good leaders push their people forward with excitement, inspiration, trust, and vision. If you lead a team that doesn’t trust you, productivity will drop. Enthusiasm may disappear. The vision you’re trying so hard to make happen may lose its appeal, all because your team doesn’t trust you anymore.

Key Points

Good leadership takes strength of character and a firm commitment to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason. This means doing what you say, when you say it. If your team can’t trust you, you’ll probably never lead them to greatness.

Leading – and living – by example isn’t as hard as it might sound. It’s really the easiest path. If your team knows that you’ll also do whatever you expect from them, they’ll likely work hard to help you achieve your goal.

Mahatma Gandhi and Alexander the Great helped change the world because they lived by example – and, as a result, they accomplished great things.

Apply This to Your Life

  • If you ask a co-worker to do something, make sure you’d be willing to do it yourself.
  • If you implement new rules for the office, then follow those rules just as closely as you expect everyone else to follow them. For example, if the new rule is “no personal calls at work,” then don’t talk to your spouse at work. You’ll be seen as dishonest, and your staff may become angry and start disobeying you.
  • Look closely at your own behavior. If you criticize people for interrupting, but you constantly do it yourself, you need to fix this. Yes, you want people to pay attention to one another and listen to all viewpoints, so demonstrate this yourself.
  • If, in the spirit of goodwill, you make a rule for everyone to leave the office at 5:00 p.m., then you need to do it too. If you stay late to get more work done, your team may feel guilty and start staying late too, which can destroy the whole purpose of the rule. The same is true for something like a lunch break – if you want your team to take a full hour to rest and relax, then you need to do it too.

Copyright © 2009-2016 By Bruna Marinuzzi. All Rights Reserved. This article is an excerpt from Bruna Martinuzzi’s book: “The Leader as a Mensch – Become the Kind of Person Others Want to Follow.” Bruna is an educator, author and speaker specializing in emotional intelligence, leadership, Myers-Briggs and Presentaion Skills Training. Visit her website at www.clarionenterprises.com

Top 7 Benefits Of Waking Up Early – Health Ambition

Clipped from: https://www.healthambition.com/benefits-of-waking-up-early/

“Top 7 Benefits Of Waking Up Early – Health Ambition.” Health Ambition. N. p., 2013. Web. 5 Dec. 2017.

Could there possibly be any benefits of waking up early? Apparently so. I have been converted to an early riser by choice. My work day starts pretty early so waking early by compulsion has long been a part of my life. But lately, I’ve taken to waking up early even when I don’t need to. I know my mum’s going to have trouble believing this.

I’ll be honest, I still don’t “enjoy” mornings – I mean, waking up is hard to do. But the truth is, the benefits of waking up early have turned me into a believer. If you’re not convinced, here are my top reasons why waking up early is good for you.

  1. Waking Up Early Correlates With Better Grades

If you’re studying, you should know that research conducted by Texas University found that students who consistently woke up early each day actually scored better test scores and overall grade points, in comparison to those who slept in all the time.

Of course, this is not simply a result of waking up early but when you wake up early you’re more likely to take part in a fixed routine, and most importantly – eat a good breakfast.

  1. Waking Up Early Helps You To Sustain a Healthier Diet

This brings me to the next benefit. Often late snoozers tend to skip breakfast because they try to get in every last wink of sleep and skip breakfast. Skipping breakfast is a bad idea because your body needs those nutrients in the morning for energy and focus.

Your body has been on a “fast” all night (6 to 8 hours) and you need to “break the fast” with some healthy food. When you decide to skip your A.M. meal, your body goes into starvation mode so the next time you actually eat something, you are more likely to overeat and crave unhealthy foods.

Eating breakfast is also a foundation for building healthy eating habits and makes you less likely to eat junk the rest of the day.

Check what are the health benefits of drinking warm salt water in the morning

  1. Waking Up Early Enhances Your Productivity

Some of the most successful people in the world are early risers. It’s simple, if you wake up early, you get more done.

In 2010, Christoph Randler, a biologist from Harvard found that early risers are more proactive. When presented with statements such as “I spend time identifying long-range goals for myself”, an early riser is more likely to agree.

How does waking up early help productivity?

  • There are less distractions in the early hours of the day so you can achieve more with minimal interruptions.
  • After a good night’s sleep, your brain is charged and ready to work hard. You are at your efficient best and will get things done quicker and better.
  • Early risers are also better at making decisions, planning and setting goals.
  • Waking up early may find you grumpy in the beginning but once you get used to it, you will have more energy to take on the day.
  1. Waking Up Early Gives You a Better Mental Health

Often one of the least spoken about (yet most important) benefits of waking up early is the impact it can have on your mental health. The first hour of your day and how you spend it often sets the tone for the rest of your day and your life.

By waking up earlier, you start to reduce the stress in your life by eliminating the need to rush in the mornings. Believe me when I say this will add an incredible amount of positivity to your life and you will start to notice a change in your attitude.

Studies have shown “morning people” are often more positive, more optimistic and more likely to experience satisfaction in their lives. While several night owls are known for their creativity, they can also pay the price by becoming more likely to succumb to depression and other psychological problems.

  1. Waking Up Early Gives You More Time To Exercise

Waking up early has been known to reduce the chances of missed workouts. Of course there is nothing wrong with exercising after work. However, by exercising first thing in the morning, you are not going to let a tiring work day or social plans after work get in the way of your workout.

So if you’re trying to commit to a regular exercise routine – make morning time your exercise time. Also, if you’re really struggling to wake up and snap out of the sleepiness in the morning, exercise is a good way to fix it. By exercising, you are energizing your body and getting it ready to take on the day.

Exercise and waking up early are a great way to combat lethargy.

  1. Waking Up Early Improves Your Quality of Sleep

Early risers often have very well established sleep routines. This means going to bed early, and most likely at the same time every day. This makes it easier to establish a habit of waking up earlier, and at the same time every morning. To wake up earlier, you must of course go to bed earlier.

According to many sleep experts, it’s important to establish a proper sleep routine to improve the quality of your sleep as this helps to set your body’s “internal clock” to establish a routine – making it easier for you to sleep and wake naturally.

So while you may think sleeping in on the weekends to catch up on your sleep is helping you, you’re actually doing more harm to your body in the long run.

  1. Waking Up Early Helps You Enjoying Quiet Time

There is a lot of power in “quiet time” and early risers often talk about enjoying the quiet time of earlier starts. By waking up early than the rest of the family, you probably have more quiet time to yourself at home. But this quiet time isn’t limited to home alone.

If you commute to work, early starts will see you avoiding the peak hour congestion and enjoying a quiet(er), more peaceful commute to work. Also, speaking from personal experience, I have found that I really enjoy starting work earlier than my other colleagues.

I relish the first couple of hours of my day as it’s distraction-free and it’s a great time to make important decisions as I am the most focused.

Here’s an interesting video as to why waking up early is good.

Read also: The Venus Factor Review

And To Sum It All Up…

You know the old saying “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”. It’s true. All of these benefits of waking up early fuse together into one great benefit – the benefit is possibly living a longer, healthier life – free of hypertension, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and most any other deadly ailments that you can think of.

Why? Because a healthy diet that contains the nutrients we need being received in the morning until the time we go to sleep help keep us in shape and slim. Exercise helps with exercising your heart and burning fat calories.

A constant barrage of mental stress on the body has often been attributed to a possible cause for cancer. And if not cancer there is depression, anxiety, ADD, and plenty of other problems you just want to keep away from your body by relieving your stress levels. High blood pressure is actually a result of stress as well!

Once your body starts feeling better, your mind will follow suit. Your mind starts to feel better and react differently to various things such as academics and work-related problem-solving issues. You end up feeling like a better, healthier person.

Conclusion

So, waking up early may be hard but with baby steps, even if it’s just waking up 15 minutes earlier to start with – you can start improving your quality of life.

Do you wake up early or would you rather sleep in? I’d love to hear more about your sleeping habits!

Improve Your Conversations with Customers.

Clipped from: http://www.sellingpower.com/content/newsletter/dailyboost.php?i=3425/jargon

If you want to improve your conversations with customers, lose the jargon. The next time someone asks you what you do (or what your company does), watch to see how many insider industry terms you drop. Corporate-speak is generally more confusing than helpful to someone who’s asked you a straightforward question. Plus, jargon limits your reach to folks who already understand those phrases and terms. What about the people who could use your solution or service but don’t know it yet?

Being a Leader

Schedule a discovery call to see how a fully customized workshop would benefit your organization. https://freebusy.io/glenn.daniels@touchstonepublishers.com