The Leading with Purpose Blog

GROW YOUR BUSINESS, EMPOWER YOUR TEAM, & LEAD TO YOUR FULL POTENTIAL - ONE EMPOWERING POST AT A TIME!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Using the System of PiTM to Stimulate Organizational Change


Our guest writer today is Greg Conder, owner of Conder Business Solutions, an innovative business consulting firm.  Mr. Conder is the creator of the System of PiTM (Profitable ideas).

The System of Pi is a process for utilizing your team’s creativity to generate, vet and implement new and profitable ideas.  Organizational change can be stimulated by harnessing the thoughts, perspectives and skills of your employees in a unique and systematic way.

Your team will have ownership of these ideas which is a motivating factor in an idea’s success.  The System of Pi has been used to solve problems and to generate fresh new ideas in areas such as new products, new services and new internal processes like on-boarding, workplace cultures and communication.

The steps of the System of Pi are:

You Decide that Change is Needed
The need is typically evidenced by such factors as a decline in organizational effectiveness, a decline in profits, low levels of employee morale, high turnover rates, competitor actions and other such metrics.

Current State and SWOT Analysis
We will work with you and your leadership team to gain a deep understanding of your organization and its current condition.  Determining the area of your business that needs fresh new ideas is a critical outcome of this step.  We will also determine the composition of your idea generating team.  The team is usually comprised of 4 to 12 people.  Diversification is key for the team composition.

Develop Unique Idea Generating Activities and Information
We will research to find inspirational information and blend it into unique activities to be used by the team.  This will enhance the creative environment.

Team Idea Generation Session
We will work with you and your team to generate new and unique ideas.  This session is much more than traditional brainstorming because of the unique information and activities used.  We will have an initial prioritization of the ideas for focus in the vetting step.

Vetting
Working with you and your team, the selected ideas are vetted for feasibility.  The ideas that were not selected are always there for possible later use.  Areas typically explored in the vetting step include economics, regulations, market acceptance, employee acceptance, possible unintended consequences, risk and reward.

Implementation
Once through the vetting step, we will work with you and your team to implement the idea(s) so that the benefits may be realized.


System of Pi is a Trademark of Conder Business Solutions, LLC

Monday, July 17, 2017

Leveraging Team Members' Strengths at Work


Phrases like “You can be anything you want to be,” and “You can accomplish anything you set your mind to,” get thrown around a lot. I heard them a lot myself growing up from friends, family, and teachers. Don’t get me wrong, their intentions were good. I’m all for empowering people and encouraging them to pursue their dreams, but we all have our limitations. Just because a young man or woman practices basketball fundamentals day-in and day-out for hours and hours, doesn’t mean he or she will become as talented as Michael Jordan or Kevin Durant. There has to be a natural set of talents and skillsets in place to help someone reach that kind of potential. And it’s no different in your workplace. Your employees and managers must focus on their unique strengths, and the specific value-adding activities each can bring to your team, if you expect your business to reach its full potential.

The challenge is we focus entirely too much on improving weaknesses. I was in the corporate sector for many years in various positions, including upper-level management, and nearly every time performance reviews were given, weaknesses and opportunities for improvement tended to dominate the conversation. Unfortunately, it was engrained in the corporate cultures. And like so many others, I bought into it. Little did I know at the time, as a young manager, that when you focus on your employees’ strengths, the chance for them to be actively disengaged in the workplace decreases significantly. So, with this in mind, consider the potential one small shift in the way you lead and develop your people could improve and impact your bottom-line.

Leveraging strengths in the workplace begins with an organizational commitment to helping your team members increase their self-awareness. I’ve been saying for years this is where superior performance begins in today’s dynamic business environment. The good news is, there are a number of organizational assessments available in the marketplace that will help you do this effectively with your teams. The challenge lies in which one(s) to choose. So, for the remainder of this column, I’d like to give you some insight and things to consider when choosing an assessment product to help you take your B-Team Players and turn them into Game Changes for your business.
  1. Select assessments that measure multiple dimensions of human performance. In other words, Behaviors, Motivators, and Competencies. Analyzing Behaviors will help you identify ways to communicate more effectively, examine job-person fit, and offer suggestions for improved managerial effectiveness and leadership. Motivators will help you identify what motivates an individual intrinsically to do a job. And lastly, Competencies will show you the talents and skills a team member brings to the job that can be leveraged for superior performance.
  2.  If you plan to use assessments for hiring and talent development purposes, make sure the assessments you choose pass legal and regulatory hurdles. Under the doctrine of Disparate Impact, employers may not use employment practices that disproportionately exclude members of a protected category.
  3. Lastly, you get what you pay for. Assessments are not created equal. Make sure your provider’s assessments are backed by research and have high validity. If they aren’t, not only are they likely to be inaccurate, they may also negatively impact you, your team members, and your business.
In conclusion, helping your team members improve their self-awareness through the use of assessments, not only helps them grow personally and professionally, while focusing on what they do best, it will also help your organization reach its full potential. And that’s a “Win-Win!”

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Treat Your Staff Like Your Best Customer!


“How well do you treat your team members?” It’s not a hard question, but more than likely, it’s a question we either don’t ask very often, or are afraid to ask, because we may not like the answer.


I was a successful, former Fortune 50 Retail Executive and Leader for more than a decade in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry. One of the many things I learned from those years of experience is this: customer service happens out in the field, on the front lines of business, in areas where many high-level executives and managers simply don’t spend enough time.


One thing I can promise you is this: your employees will rarely treat your customers any better than you treat them. So, with that in mind, doesn’t it make sense to treat members of your team possibly even better than you treat your very best customer? I think so!

The same courtesies, appreciation, and thankfulness you extend to your loyal customers, should be extend to your employees as well. No one wants to work in an environment where they aren’t appreciated, respected, and treated well.

What can you do to serve a member of your team today?

Sunday, May 7, 2017

What Bad Leadership Habits Are Holding You Back?


As humans we all have bad habits that we engage in routinely. It's too bad we can't be Super Human, but even the Superheroes we admire in our pop culture have their weaknesses too. For the majority of us, it's just a fact of life. However, it doesn't mean that we cannot change at least one bad habit at a time.

As you may know, if you've been following my leadership consulting work, my purpose in life is to empower people. Part of that is helping business owners and leaders reach their full potential. Many of us when we think of bad habits, first consider the habits that affect us the most in our personal lives; however, they affect our workplace cultures too! So, for this post, I want you to consider the bad habits that may be negatively impacting your team and those you influence in your organization. It could be as simple as working with the door closed more often than you should, which over time, will impact how your team sees you with regards to your approachability as a leader.

One of the coaches I work with, Dr. Nathan Baxter, recently gave me some insight into how we can break our bad habits. For starters, what is a bad habit: "A habit is an action or thought that you do without realizing it (subconsciously). A bad habit is something you do that you believe is holding you back from experiencing your full potential," (Baxter 2017). So, as a leader and influencer of others, what bad habits do you routinely engage in that keep you from experiencing your full potential?

Here are some tips to move forward:
  1. Make a list of 3-5 bad habits you believe are holding you back from reaching your full potential as a leader.
  2. Pick the one that you think is holding you back the most.
  3. Really consider the motive behind this habit, and identify the real reason you think it is holding you back.
  4. Replace the habit with something good!
As Dr. Baxter has suggested, the goal is to move your bad habit from the Subconscious to the Conscious level, replace it with something good, and make the good behavior so routine that it too becomes a subconscious activity.

Rinse & Repeat!






Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Americans Hate Their Jobs? Shocking!


I recently came across a headline that read “Americans Hate Their Jobs.” And at one time, I was one of them. And because of that, every time I give a talk on the importance of purpose in our life and work, I always talk about engagement, or better yet, the lack of engagement in the workplace today.
Did you know that approximately 70% of employees are disengaged in their jobs? Nearly 20% poison the workplace. And this results in $550 billion annually in lost productivity. In other words, employers would be better off paying these people to stay home. The sad thing is most organizations don’t and won’t do anything about it. We love to avoid confrontation, and as a result, we have allowed disengagement to become acceptable in our workplace cultures. And it all boils down to a few things prevalent in many organizations today:
1. Lack of purpose
2. “Leaders” who are really “Managers,” and
3. Employees who are unwilling to ante-up and leave
This is why I admire companies like Zappos. Not only does Zappos know its organizational purpose, which is “Delivering Happiness,” but they are also willing to get rid of high-performing employees who don’t inspire others. Poison the workplace, and you won’t work at Zappos for long. In other words, “Good Riddance! We would rather have an average employee who really desires to be here.”
And here’s another problem: many people are consumed with fear; so much in fact they are willing to be unhappy, make others unhappy, and be miserable in their jobs. It’s better to be miserable and have a steady paycheck than it is to find purpose, meaning and fulfillment in our life and work, do what we love, and serve others.
Obviously, I disagree!
In the United States, we focus entirely too much on economic status. It is so engrained in our culture we are willing to be unhappy for something we think brings happiness. And as a result, the majority of us “go through the motions” on the “hamster wheel of life,” and dread Monday by end of day Friday.
A friend of mine once told me “life isn’t a dress rehearsal.” I didn’t really understand what that meant until I made the decision to walk away from a job I did and hated for nearly 12 years.
One day I finally woke up and realized we only get one shot at this crazy thing we call life, and that I’d rather fail miserably on my own than succeed at something I despised. Not only am I much happier, but I’m sure some people are much happier now that I’m gone.
Harry S. Truman once said “In periods when there is no leadership, society stands still. Real progress occurs when skillful, courageous leaders, seize the opportunity to change things for the better.”
For your sake, and for the sake of others, I hope that you’re one of them! So, make a name for yourself; better yet, make a difference; even better yet, make history.
The world needs you!
Just sayin…
_________________________________________________________________________________

About The Author: 

Nathan R Mitchell MBA CPBA CPMA

Nathan R Mitchell is the Founder of Clutch Consulting, a business and leadership coaching company committed to Growing Businesses & Empowering People. He is a Certified Speaker, Trainer, and Coach with the John Maxwell Team, and a Certified Behaviors & Motivators Analyst.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Stay Within Your Sweet Spot & Maximize Your R.O.I.


What I’m about to share with you is counter-intuitive to what you and I have been taught within our culture. Unfortunately, many people (and many organizations I might add) still buy-in to this principle, and it’s detrimental to the long-term success of their business and/or the likelihood of whether or not they will reach their full potential in life. Here’s what I want to share with you: Stop focusing on your weaknesses! The more time you spend trying to improve upon things you are not good at, the less you stay within your unique talents and skillsets, which are ultimately the things that will give you the greatest return on your investment of time, money, energy and resources. Have you heard of the Pareto Principle? If not, it’s pretty simple to explain. It basically states that the top 20% of your priorities are responsible for 80% of your results. And it’s no different when it comes to staying in your Strength Zone – also known as your Sweet Spot.

I’ve been grateful to have some very good mentors that have come into my life at the right time who assisted me with this endeavor greatly. For example, I was able to discover my strengths (primary drivers) as an individual, and I was also able to discover my unique purpose in life, which is to empower others to grow their businesses and lead to their full potential faster.

With that being said, I choose to focus on only three things. The interesting thing is this: the three things I’ve chosen to focus on are not only what I’m good at – in other words, things within my Strength Zone, but they are things that I enjoy doing immensely.

Here they are:

1)      Create (books, curriculum, articles, podcasts, etc.)

2)      Facilitate (teach, host mastermind groups, lunch-n-learns, etc.)

3)      Coach (executive coaching, group coaching, career coaching, life coaching)

I cannot begin to tell you how focusing on these three things has made an impact on my life. As a result of staying within my Sweet Spot, I’m more fulfilled, I live with more purpose each and every day, I’m able to impact more people, and I’m able to thoroughly enjoy my vocation as a leading authority on business development and leadership.

My challenge to you is simply this: Find the two, three, or four things that you do extraordinarily well and focus on them exclusively. This may not be easy for some of you. It wasn’t necessarily easy for me. For example, you may have a strength with a lot of potential for your career and your life; however, for one reason or another you haven’t been able to tap into it and develop it to the level it needs to be in order to impact your long-term success. Be patient; find a good mentor; commit to a process or processes that will help you find the answers you are looking for.

And if there’s anything I can do to serve you in this endeavor, don’t hesitate to reach out. I’m here to help!
___________________________________________________________________________________

About The Author: 
Nathan R Mitchell MBA CPBA CPMA

Nathan R Mitchell is the Founder of Clutch Consulting, a business and leadership coaching company committed to Growing Businesses & Empowering People. He is a Certified Speaker, Trainer, and Coach with the John Maxwell Team, and a Certified Behaviors & Motivators Analyst.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Professional Development Programs & Why Some Of it Disgusts Me...

I am a big proponent of lifelong learning and professional development. To be honest, it’s how I make my living as a business and leadership development coach. With that in mind, the intent of this article is not to undermine professional development in any way, or its necessity in both personal and organizational development. I’ve personally witnessed the impact it often has on individuals and organizations alike that are both committed to it, and who buy-in to the process. When engaged in properly, professional development can be life changing, and can have huge impacts on a company’s bottom-line.

As someone in the industry, I’ve become jaded with a lot of the programs available that are being actively promoted as personal growth and development. In other words, low-ticket and high-ticket items alike that have little substance to them whatsoever. I don’t care whether someone invests $97, $297, or $4997, value needs to be delivered to those individuals and organizations that have invested in themselves. It’s the right thing to do.

As a lifelong student of business and leadership, I’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars through the years in my business and myself. As my good friend and mentor, Jim Whitt says, “I’ve turned over a lot of rocks.” Some of the things I have found have worked for me, and some of them have not. And I’m okay with that, and you should be too if you make the decision to invest in yourself. There have been times that one piece of advice or wisdom has been worth the total investment I’ve made. And there have also been times when I didn’t see the immediate impact in my life, yet 2-3 years down the road, I was able to see where the things I had learned now benefit me. However, I’ve also eagerly awaited programs to show up on my doorstep, only to find out that it was audio CDs, books, and big binders filled with nothing but filler and fluff. It was garbage. I could use another word here, but I’m choosing not to. The problem here is two-fold: 1) it does a gross injustice to the client, and 2) it gives the personal growth and development industry a bad name. Please note, I’ve personally met a lot of people through the years who are in this space for all of the right reasons. They really want to make an impact with others, and want to make a difference. They aren’t simply in it to make a quick buck on someone else’s preoccupation with their own journey to success and significance.

Quite simply, people who are investing in themselves and their businesses want workable solutions. They want answers to their problems. They want systems and processes they can use and implement to help them get from where they are now to where they want to be. Many of them do not need to be told to “Take Action,” “Write Down Your Goals,” and “Recite Affirmations Daily,” etc. While all of these may be good advice or bits of wisdom, the “3-5 percenters” are looking for something more, and it’s our obligation as business, personal growth, and leadership development professionals to give it to them.

I will finish with this: If we’re really here to empower others and to make an impact, let’s make sure we are delivering a quality product in the process while we are fulfilling our unique purpose in life.
___________________________________________________________________________________

About The Author: 
Nathan R Mitchell MBA CPBA CPMA

Nathan R Mitchell is the Founder of Clutch Consulting, a business and leadership coaching company committed to Growing Businesses & Empowering People. He is a Certified Speaker, Trainer, and Coach with the John Maxwell Team, and a Certified Behaviors & Motivators Analyst.