Trust is the foundation for success

Whether it’s a manager having trust in a staff member, employees having trust in their leader or leaders having trust in their decisions

Trust is the foundation for successAs a child, I had a tremendous fear of falling. I would climb a tree and couldn’t trust that the branch wouldn’t break. I climbed cranes, cliffs and buildings, and was always afraid that my footing would slip and I would fall. Perhaps that fear was grounded in the fact that I had already fallen…

Reward yourself – it will help your performance

Unfortunately, organizations regularly set goals for their employees and rarely celebrate when they are achieved

Reward yourself – it will help your performanceHow often do you celebrate your successes? When was the last time you took the time to reflect on an achievement or treated yourself because you accomplished something that didn’t seem possible before? If you’re like most people, you’re so caught up in the daily routine that you probably don’t stop and celebrate. We work…

Fake it until you make it: How your self-image impacts your performance

You have to believe in yourself

Fake it until you make it: How your self-image impacts your performanceBelieve it or not, your performance is limited. However, the limitations on what you can with your life, your job or your sport are primarily defined by you and not by outside factors. Take for example Roger Bannister, who ran the first sub-four-minute mile in 1954. He had been told – as had all athletes…

Why exercise should be a key component of business success

Numerous studies have shown that regular daily exercise can reduce stress, improve mental health and increase immunity

Why exercise should be a key component of business successMy brother Rob – a 50-something entrepreneur living in Ireland – annoyed me the other day when he told me he’s on track to be the same weight and almost as strong as he was when he was in his 20s. Rob and I have had ongoing competitions since the day Rob was born, which…

How to support Indigenous entrepreneurs on the road to success

Business leaders should help build up capacity through mentorship and coaching, then start looking to spend at Indigenous suppliers

How to support Indigenous entrepreneurs on the road to successJeff and William approached me in the fall of 2019 about helping with their ecotourism business. They started the business in 2014 and wanted help growing it and getting more clients. They felt if they could share their traditions and culture with the world, they could provide meaningful jobs for the youth of their community.…

How frustrated managers can confront the pandemic’s entitlement culture

The cry for help from managers in the public sector is growing. As the lockdowns continue, accountability is slipping

How frustrated managers can confront the pandemic’s entitlement cultureJan was on the verge of tears as we discussed the challenges with her team. “It doesn’t matter how many times I ask Sylvia to get the work done, she always has an excuse for why she can’t deliver,” she said. “On top of that, she doesn’t want to come into the office and wants…

Does praying for customers and staff make a difference?

While it’s difficult to determine whether prayer works for our customers and staff, research shows that praying is good for our health

Does praying for customers and staff make a difference?Sometimes I catch myself thinking about my clients or staff and saying a quick prayer for them. It’s a habit I’ve fallen into over the past 35 years of managing people and running businesses. I wonder if it makes a difference. The reason I can’t say definitively whether prayer works is that I haven’t seen…

Three key elements to succeed in sales

Treat others the way you would like to be treated, know why you’re selling and put together a good plan that you’re willing and able to follow

Three key elements to succeed in salesLike many entrepreneurs and sales professionals, I’ve been selling since I was a teenager. Over the years, I’ve hawked worms, newspapers, pins, chocolate bars and books door to door, knives and lamps on street corners, vitamins and herbs in retail and online, and, eventually, advertising, as well as coaching services and training to companies. I…

Three things you can do to accomplish more in less time

Life’s too short to occupy most of it with frustration and busyness. Tackle the stress by prioritizing, delegating and meditating

Three things you can do to accomplish more in less timeMany of us feel crunched for time. We have a variety of activities and tasks that seem to need our attention on a regular basis. Whether it’s getting kids to school, managing family activities, preparing meals, as well as getting our jobs done, sitting in on video meetings, or dealing with an ever-growing stream of…

What to do when your board members go rogue

Some board members think their position gives them extra power and privileges

What to do when your board members go rogueJenny was in tears. As the executive director of her organization, she was at her wit’s end and said she was ready to quit. She confided in me that one of the directors was going directly to one of her staff members, telling him he would be fired unless he complied with the director’s request,…

How to increase your personal business performance

Performing at our best all the time can seem like a challenge unless we move the goal posts and focus on learning, fun and clarity

How to increase your personal business performanceThere were only three days left before I had to have the program ready for my team. I had been putting off working on the project until it seemed like the last minute. I could feel the pressure building internally and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to deliver. Working to deliver…

Screwed up? It’s okay to be honest

Our mistakes in judgment help us learn and hopefully grow

Screwed up? It’s okay to be honestWhen I was a brash and self-assured 21-year-old, I announced at a family dinner with my aunt and cousin that I would be a millionaire by the time I was 30. I had found investors and had just started a business. I thought I was invincible, living in the big city, and figured I could…

Feel out of control? Try naming your year

Being rooted and attentive to a guiding motto, principal or goal can keep us from being distracted

Feel out of control? Try naming your yearIt was icy and the pickup truck on the road in front of me started sliding out of control as it rounded a corner on our way back from the ski hill the other day. While others in the car with me were shouting distracting instructions, in my head I could hear my father’s voice…

Hammer home business success with the right tools

Without the right tools, people and plans, your business will suffer. You’re going to have to work harder and that will affect your bottom line

Hammer home business success with the right toolsIt was almost the final straw. I was laying on the ground after falling off the roof of the house and the carpenter, John, was standing over me yelling. He was mad because his sawhorses had been broken in half because of my stupidity, while I was just wondering if I had broken anything in…

Business opportunities might be right in your front yard

When looking for opportunities to fill needs and create value, start by looking close to home

Business opportunities might be right in your front yardThere was a lot of excited yelling at our house on Saturday morning when I cut down the tree in front of the house. My morning started when my wife asked me six times in a row if I was getting a Christmas tree. I had told her all week that I was going to…

In desperate times, business owners must shift strategies

Leaders who make quick, smart decisions in times of difficulty and follow through are significantly more successful than owners who waffle

In desperate times, business owners must shift strategiesIt was an especially nice Irish day, which means it wasn’t raining. Emily, Isabel and Aisling had just been dropped off by their uncle at a train station in the middle of the country. The girls proceeded to the ticket counter, where they realized they were 10 euros short of what they needed to get…

Why business owners need to get serious about sales

No one just buys stuff. You need a concrete sales model based on what the product does, what its advantages are and the values it brings to the marketplace

Why business owners need to get serious about salesMy first sales experience was in high school, selling chocolate bars door to door as a fundraiser for a school club. Not much interested in the club but interested in the prizes for top sellers, I hit the pavement. Each day after school, I knocked on doors and sold chocolates to starving mothers and their…

Seven things business owners fear

To be successful, you need to determine what causes your fear and figure out whether that fear is holding you back or pushing you forward

Seven things business owners fearThe day I got married was the scariest day of my life. I walked up to the altar shaking like a leaf. At 31, I would have thought I was too old to be afraid of getting married. But I was afraid. Each month, I talk to a business owner who expresses their fears to…

Has your business been blindfolded?

Has your business been blindfolded?It was all fun and games, with a class of kids having an outdoor adventure while playing a game of trust when the accident happened. The game involved one child leading the other, who was blindfolded, around the campground, letting the blindfolded one try to figure out what they were encountering while avoiding danger. Unfortunately,…

Pricing mistakes every business makes

Setting a pricing policy and regularly reviewing those prices and strategies allows you to price for profit and success

Pricing mistakes every business makesHave you ever bought something and thought that there’s something not right about the price? Maybe it seemed too cheap or you felt you were getting ripped off. Pricing is tricky and a stressor for many business people. Are we too high and scaring away customers? Our competitors are priced lower than us, should we…

How to create customer service that works

It’s all about making a connection with your customers and building a relationship by giving them what they need in that moment

How to create customer service that worksI recently gave a customer service session to the employees of a store called Great White Toys. Having seen in the news that Toys ‘R’ Us has filed for bankruptcy protection and that many other retailers are also in trouble as a result of online competition, I was surprised to hear from store owner Cameron…

Are leaders born or raised?

Being born with talent, riches or a good name doesn’t make you a great leader. Leadership skills can be learned if you open your mind

Are leaders born or raised?Think about the best leader you’ve ever worked for or been associated with. If you considered the qualities that make that person so fantastic as a leader, what would you say those qualities are? It might be a coach or a team member. It might be your first boss or your current boss. It could…

Why a monthly report card is essential for business

Look at your income statement and your balance sheet closely every month. Consider the questions those figures raise and then seek out the necessary answers

Why a monthly report card is essential for businessI enjoy reading my kids’ report cards and making them sweat like I did when my mom and dad went through my report card. The truth is, their report cards are, for the most part, better than mine. The comments from the teachers are certainly much nicer. But why tell my kids that? If you’re…

Five ways you might be discouraging your staff

Motivated employees are the lifeblood of every great business. Understanding what you can do to motivate your workers is essential

Five ways you might be discouraging your staffIt’s true that people don’t quit a job, they quit a boss. A great boss can change the dynamics of an organization and inspire people to create a culture where work doesn’t feel like a chore. Motivated staff are key to having an operation that’s well functioning and takes care of customers in a way…

Happiness rooted in relationships, not possessions

The cost of isolation and fear caused by our response to the pandemic might be much higher and even more deadly than the illness

Happiness rooted in relationships, not possessionsI feel old. For the second time in a month, I’ve pulled a muscle in my back. It’s left me sore, stiff and walking like an old man. Yet I’m truly blessed that my life has been filled with good health – with the exception of injuries and concussions derived from my life of activity,…
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