Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Encouraging the Empowered

When leaders empower, they give qualified team members control over their work.
Encourage the "empowered" to find their way, not yours.

Everyone must agree on the vision and goals, but how to get it done is up to the "empowered" and small teams who are closest to the work.

Keep in mind, encouragement isn't telling someone they did a good job when they fell short. That's a lie that affirms indifference and mediocity.
Never affirm lackluster performance due to lack of preparation, low effort, or want of commitment.

Leaders need to be empathetic, yes, because empathy says, "I understand you".
Encouragement says, "I believe in you".
Too much empathy validates lack of effort and causes self-indulgence.
Encouragement says, "You can reach higher."

Bottom Line: Guide the "empowered" by showing a little empathy, and giving lots of encouragement.

*This posting was inspired by Dan Rockwell, Leadership Freak


Monday, December 31, 2018

Coaching the Un-Coachable

I often hear that so many entrepreneurs are not coachable.

 5 tips to enhance your coaching experience with entrepreneurs:

1. Ask "how can I help?", before helping.

2. Ask for permission to coach, before coaching.

3. When they ask you for help, ask them what have they done so far.

4. Be an expert on not being an expert.

5. Most importantly, never say "you should have done it this way." say something like... "what would      it look like if you do it this way?"


Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve 1989

***Worth Repeating***

It was 5:00 pm Christmas Eve 1989, and I was locking the front door of the supermarket where I was Store Manager.

Over the years, I had made it a tradition for me to be the "closer" of the store on Christmas Eve.

Inside the store, my employees were rushing around counting their register tills, sweeping the floor, and generally preparing the store for closing down, so they all could rush home to their families for Christmas.

At approximately 5:30pm, I heard someone tapping on the front door.

“I just got off work and I need to shop for my family", the gentleman on the other side of the glass door shouted.

“Sorry, we are closed.” I answered.

“Please, I really need to shop and you are the only grocery store open.”

In the background several of my employees yelled out to me… “Mr. Gambone, I hope you don’t let him in, we all want to go home.”

I turned to my office manager and said , “Cindy, I feel bad for this guy…will you stick around with me until we get him checked out.”

She looked at me with a frown, “Well, I hope he only needs a few things, OK.”

We let him in…he was very gracious, grabbed a buggy and started to shop.

“I’ll only take a few minutes,” he said.

Then all of a sudden, he turned around and looked at Cindy and me in desperation… “Shit!..I’m sorry for swearing, but I left my wallet in my overalls at work….I can’t believe this!!!”

He abandoned the buggy and started walking towards the front door to leave.

Cindy looked at me and said… “Well, I guess we can leave now.”

“Hold on!” I said… “Sir, you pick up what you need and come back the day after Christmas and pay us.”

Cindy looked at me as if I was crazy. The gentleman was overjoyed and continued to shop.

When he completed his shopping, Cindy and I checked him out and bagged his groceries. He purchased lots of milk, cereal, bread and basic groceries along with some gift-wrap and children’s toys.

We wished him a Merry Christmas as he left and Cindy and I locked up and went home to our families.

.....wait for it...........................................................

...............the gentleman never returned...................

Yes, I took some heat from my Regional Manager when he found out…but that’s okay. I knew in my heart that it was right thing to do at the time.

It is moments like this is my life when I am reminded of the words from my mentor, Lou Z....

“The good you do, will come back to you.”

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may you and your family have a safe and glorious New Year.

Bob Gambone, The Pecan Pie Guy

Friday, December 14, 2018

12 Reasons Why Meetings May Suck!

Team meetings are very productive when leaders take charge.

I'm not just talking about starting and ending the meeting on time, that's a given.

I'm saying that leaders need to be aware of the following 12 reasons why meetings may suck:

1. Bloviators

2. Texting under the table

3. No agenda

4. We covered this last time

5. Irrelevant attendees

6. Pretending to take notes, but really sending emails.

7. Ignored or disregarded remote participants.

8. Rabbit chasing

9. Could we please do something

10. It could have been an email.

11. No call to actions

12. Meeting hijackers

I'm sure you can add to this list. 

Bottom line: eliminate bad meeting behavior.


Wednesday, November 7, 2018

It's Showtime!

Leaders...You are on a stage:

- Your attitude is contagious, realize you impact others.

- Determine how you show up before you show up.

- Don't blow off steam in public.

- Leaders act with others in mind, practice the Platinum Rule, and reserve venting for your counselor or coach.

- Share concerns with optimism.

- Praise loudly, blame softly.

- Remember, your team is not there for you, you are there for them...perform as a Leader.


Sunday, October 7, 2018

Stand Tall, Drop The "Small"

I recently asked a group of business owners to raise their hands if they call themselves a "small business owner".

Of course all 30 of them raised their hands.

 I then asked them if they wanted to grow their business. 
Once again,  all 30 raised their hands. 

Then I said, therein lies the problem... a few of them looked at me and said,  what do you mean the problem?

 And I replied,  if you're going to call yourself a small business owner you're going to...be a "small" business owner.
 I told them all,  it's time to start thinking like a big company...if you want to grow.

 Get out of the fish bowl, I said, and get into the ocean. 
They asked me, what does that mean?

 I answered, okay take a goldfish and put it in a fishbowl. 
Then I asked, how big will that goldfish get?
They all said,  the size of the fishbowl.
Exactly, I quickly stated. 

Put that goldfish in a lake, and how big will it get? 
Frickin' huge! One gentleman shouted.

*** Effective immediately,  start thinking big. Research what big companies have in place that you do not.
Here are at least five you need to implement:
1. KPIs
2. Marketing Plan
3. Vision and Mission Statements
4. A sounding board or trusted advisors.
5. USP or Point of Difference. 

- Stand tall and drop the "small".


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Leadership and Marathons

Last Sunday,  while running the Erie Marathon (26.2 miles), I was reminded of Dan Rockwell's words:
"There is no permanent cure for leadership loneliness, only regular treatments."

That statement got me thinking about how running a marathon and leadership loneliness had a lot in common.

Now I'm not talking about the professional runners who cross the finish line in 2.5 hours. I'm talking about the majority of marathoners who are out on the course for 4, 5, or even 6 hours.
Let me tell you, not only are we out there twice as long as the elite runners, it can often get lonely.

When I run a marathon, I like to chat with others who run at my pace. Over the years I've heard lots of heartwarming stories. From people running for a loved one that has passed, to celebrating their 50 race, to a special young lady who was recently cured of a terrible disease.
Hearing their stories is my regular treatment for loneliness.

As leaders, we need to find our "regular treatments" for leadership loneliness.

Here are 10 best practices from established leaders I've know over the years:
(not in any particular order)
1. Become a member of a mastermind group.
2. Hire an experienced coach as a sounding board.
3. Ask for sincere and candid feedback from your team. "How am I doing?"
4. Meet with leaders outside your company on a regular basis.
5. Attend networking events.
6. Join a networking group.
7. Volunteer for a non profit.
8. Become a mentor.
9. Find a mentor.
10. Run marathons.

....and yes, I'm sure there are plenty more...please share what works for you in a comment below.
 thank you