TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS = TAKING CARE OF PEOPLE

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The most important asset of your business is the PEOPLE.

I know it’s cliché, but the reality is that most of the business world still doesn’t get it!

Here’s what’s interesting about this subject: 90% of small business owners, executives, and managers would say that they agree with the above statements. However, if we look closely at our organizations, little, if ANY, time or money is invested directly into our PEOPLE. Yes, we probably have some picnics or some holiday parties, maybe even beer Friday’s or taco Tuesday’s, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Those things can be TEAM-building but they are not PEOPLE-building.

So what IS people-building? I’m so glad you asked! People-building is a process by which an organization takes an active, constant, and authentic stake in developing each individual toward their own success. This is personal development, not group development.

Here’s the thing; great teams are made up of great players. Coaches only orchestrate and develop the talents of individuals who are already GREAT! As business owners and managers, we need to understand that if we don’t invest in the INDIVIDUALS to make them strong, happy, fulfilled, and engaged, the PLAYERS on our team are underequipped.

Let’s look at an orchestra. Let’s say an orchestra conductor takes a group of musicians with strong natural talent and tries to conduct them BEFORE they fully develop the individual skills associated with their talent. Not only would that conductor produce poor musical results, but they would be in for quite a bit of drama as they attempt to bring together two very different processes: one being the process of building a great musician; the other being the process of orchestrating those musicians into glorious symphony.

So here’s the bottom line: Every individual has a unique offering to the world around them; a “talent”, if you will. Organizations who recognize this fact, and help the individuals on their team learn about themselves and develop in their unique strengths, WILL build great teams. They’re effectively developing the raw “talent” of each individual, finding the best fit for that individual on the team, and continuing to nurture that relationship over time.

Don’t have any idea what I’m talking about? No worries. Start by reading this short article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ekaterinawalter/2013/08/27/four-essentials-of-strength-based-leadership/

And remember, Vision Consulting Group is people-centric. We are always ready to help you learn about, develop, and engage your team! http://www.yourfutureaccelerated.com 

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HIRING IS AN ART AND A SCIENCE! 3 TIPS TO HELP YOU GET THE PEOPLE YOU NEED.

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Better Hiring Saves TIME & MONEY!

At some point or another, every business owner or manager has made a bad hiring decision. Though hiring can be a very complex process, there are some very simple, tried and true techniques which can SIGNIFICANTLY improve the odds of making a truly good hire. 

Here are three basic tips that should be part of any hiring manager or owner's hiring plan:

1.) Prove basic things early.

Since you know that you want to hire someone who is willing to follow basic instructions, consider including unusual requests EARLY in your application process. For example, your advertisement could conclude with something like this: "For consideration, send your resume, including salary history, along with your favorite food, to ..."

Applicants who fail to follow those simple instructions (or supply an explanation for why they did not) are immediately disqualified. As a small business owner or manager, do you really have time to follow that person around and see if they follow through on every assignment? Of course not. So find out early!

2.) Search for clues on how the applicant's THINK, not just what they KNOW.

Consider using simple, open-ended questions in the interview process. Try something like this: "Tell me about your most recent position. What did you love about your job? What did you hate about it? What kinds of things would you have done differently if you had been the boss?" The answers to questions like these will yield very valuable insights into an applicant’s philosophy and their perspective on a variety of work-related issues. ALL KINDS of flags, good AND bad will fly if you pay close attention to these answers. (Hint: Always try to use strong adjectives like "love" and "hate". These words evoke strong feelings and that's part of the value in the exercise.)

3.) Have a balanced hiring system. 

Understand that skills and expertise represent only one side of an individual's overall work balance and value. The other side of the scale is attitudes (IE, the way they APPLY their expertise and skills in a given environment or the way they DO their work). This less tangible side of the scale is often overlooked. That's why in a recent study of more than 20,000 new hires "attitudinal" misfit was responsible for 89% of hires that didn't work out. Again, the skills and expertise are rarely the problem...attitude is. (There are easy to use, proven tools available to help you identify attitude fit or misfit.) - Dan Schawbel, Forbes, Hire For Attitude

"I don't have time to worry about a "hiring plan". I need to hire help--NOW!"   

We've certainly heard that, and we've even said it ourselves! It's tricky; as Main Street business owners and managers, we typically don't hire until there's a clear need. This is wise. The tricky part is making certain that we don't jump at an applicant out of our own need, ignoring the flags that might be warning us of hazards ahead. Unfortunately, bad hires because of time pressure are all too common. Sometimes we just have to "slow down to speed up". The answer: Have a good solid hiring plan and work the plan!

Regardless of what shape your plan is in, put these three tips into practice! They WORK. Meanwhile, if you don't have all of the tools you need, drop us a line or give us a call; we can fill in the gaps and have you nailing your hiring goals in no time. Remember, our initial consultations are always FREE but bad hires are NEVER free. They cost you time AND they cost you money!

See what people are saying about Vision Consulting Group HERE!

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Fear of Failure - why none of the old platitudes apply to me (…or you for that matter)!

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If only the fear of failure could be overcome by the old cliché’s!

I don't know if you've ever attended a meeting held by a mainstream addiction coping program or not. I've attended in support of a few close friends of mine over the years and I always find the introductions segment right at the beginning of these sessions to be the most powerful part. Typically, each attendee begins by giving their name and then identifying with the addiction which is the focus of their involvement in the program. So, it goes something like this "Hi, I'm Bill, and I'm an alcoholic and an addict." To which the group responds "Hi Bill!" Many times, Bill will then say a few words about his journey which may include things he's loved and lost, feelings he's dealt with or is working through, and oft times a word or two about things happening right now. And so it goes at group sessions around the world. People facing down big hairy addiction monsters, together, openly.

So, why am I talking about addictions in my business blog? Well, I'm so glad you asked! Here goes: In my best "12 Step Program" intro voice - "Hi, my name is David. I'm an entrepreneur and I fear failure." That's right, you heard me. I fear failure. No platitudes like "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself!” - Franklin D. Roosevelt or "Fear is just feedback and feedback is the breakfast of champions.” - Ken Blanchard, Simon T. Bailey. Nope, not getting off that easy. You wanna know why? Because fear is an addiction.

That's right folks; I'm asserting that we are addicted to our fears. To be abundantly clear, our fears give us crutches, comfy reasons for our mediocrity, and ultimately, excuses for inaction. You've likely heard that fear paralyzes. Well, this is HOW fear paralyzes. It makes us comfortable where we are and builds a seemingly impenetrable wall between us and our goals.

Many times I attempt to deal with my fears by applying the old “just do it” approach. The thing is, sometimes this works for forcing action but it rarely works for actually systemically repairing the underlying problem. The underlying problem is that the fear of failure is a warm blanket on a cold day, even if we don’t typically see it that way. It’s a friend, not a foe. It helps us explain away things; to ourselves. What may help us deal with the problem at a systemic level is understanding that our fears are like an addiction and that we must “cope” in a way more consistent with coping with addiction. Most all of the effective programs dealing with addition have two powerful components in common: 1.) They incorporate BOTH group and individual accountability and support. 2.) They maintain a constant reminder that the addiction is ever-present whether in “remission” or not. This “ever-presence” tends to foster a vigilance which allows the individual to see the addiction as a separate entity to both respect and divert using the support resources available beyond their own will.

As entrepreneurs and business owners, we need to understand that despite the feeling that we’re an “island”, success is not likely to be complete in that framework. We need to add other people into the equation to allow us to expand our ability to engage fear of failure and WIN. Not sure where or how to get the accountability? Vision Consulting Group can help! Want Proof? CLICK HERE!

 

 

 

 

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