Category Archives: Leadership

What we can learn from talent shows

As most of us aren’t in the entertainment industry selecting staff isn’t quite like the razzle dazzle of TV talent shows. But it’s X factor that sets people apart. Simon Cowell and Rachel Hunter know this, and I believe everyone needs some staff who have that something special.

We’re always going to need a range of staff, and for many jobs the X factor may not be so vital, but when it’s there seize it with both hands. Brining onboard someone a little less conventional, a little more outgoing, a lot more into people can really add to the EQ of your team, company and its reputation.

I’ve had the pleasure of working with some great people, and many didn’t have that X factor but those that did raised the bar for everyone.

Two examples stand out for me. One was a young woman who had a support role. Rocky (Rochelle) was her name, and she was hungry for work, to learn and to live. Her personality was pervasive and her ‘no problem’ attitude was a winner for everyone. She had the X factor plus.

The other example is a forecourt attendant who has motorists wanting to stop to fill up even when the tank isn’t half empty. Tony, was at a smaller Z service station, before the company moved him to one of the larger more high profile sites. They recognised the value he could bring to their brand that no marketing budget could match. Tony’s attitude and positivity welcomed customers time and time again no matter what.

Both of these individuals raised the collective at the organisations they worked for. Don’t get me wrong, they had a great team around them and no star makes a team. But these two are examples of how adding people with the right personality can leverage all the good work that’s done across the rest of the team.

So how to you find these people? When recruiting ask for people with the X factor, look out for them and approach them, ask others in the team for recommendations, keep looking. Also be a little more open minded with the CVs. It’s often easy to recruit someone who can do the job. Recruiting someone who has that something extra can take a bit more effort but it’s so worth it.

Go 2 Market principle: every organisation needs a Rocky or a Tony! Yes, everyone. Simon and Rachel have to find them, and so should you. Make sure you’re open to adding that special someone that will enhance your organisation’s overall performance.

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Increase your productivity to rival Santa’s

Recently I contacted two joiners. One seems to run his business very efficiently using, among other things, a website, mobile and email. Then I contacted a joiner who has a mobile but no email or even computer. Apparently his wife runs the back office and she “deals with all this”. His very detailed quote was hand written, posted and any client changes had to be mailed or faxed back.

A friend of mine is running a business where he needs to quote based on a building’s exterior. He provides quotes for business or residential, and pretty much across New Zealand. Customers don’t expect to have to wait too long for a quote either.

For him to go to each site and provide a measure and quote would take a lot of time and be very costly. So for years he has been using Google Maps. Within a few minutes he can see the height, shape, accessibility, and estimate the area of the building. Sure beats going to the site which would take him away from spending time working on the business.

That’s not to say my friend isn’t out and about. He very much is and while doing so he’s running his business from the cloud. He runs his office and field staff from anywhere in the country. It’s a brilliant way to run a business.

Undoubtedly each business is different and no solution is going to be the same for everyone. The thing is knowing what you’re best at and also the best options to run your business. Then you can consider the solutions available including getting your back office or an external party to do the work.  Alternatively be more involved yourself. You might want to consider asking someone like Oxwich Consulting to advise you.

Maybe, you too have come across people at either end of the technology spectrum. Just because they don’t make full use of technology doesn’t mean they are inept. It might just mean no one has yet produced a product that’s right for them.

Get Classie has just released new software that is designed to help manage dance schools. Sure beats doing it with paper and pencil!

So think about how you can use technology to improve your productivity to rival the man in the North Pole.

Go 2 Market principle: technology adds value to your business. It may not be you that uses it but life can sure be a lot sweeter with utilising what’s available.

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15 easy ways to get out of a rut

It’s easy for the days to start to blend into one another. Before we know it, the week’s gone, then the month and then the year!

Part of the challenge to overcoming this feeling of being on a conveyer belt is to have a vision, goals along the way, and celebrations that recognise achievements. Alongside this, and to aid achievement, I’d suggest starting to take a different perspective.

We can all benefit from looking at things a different way. Get your left brain engaged. Here are some suggestions to enable that to happen:

  • Take up a new sport/hobby e.g. bridge, cooking, bike riding, walking, Toastmasters
  • Go to work a different way or get off the bus/train before your normal stop
  • Have lunch with other people in the organisation
  • Invite some senior university students to have lunch with you and some of your team
  • Have a picnic lunch at the park and play a few games while there
  • Mix up your team by age, gender, ethnicity
  • Buy a magazine you’ve never read before
  • Go to an event you’ve never been to before
  • Invite a senior manager from a non-competing company to come and talk to your staff about something they’ve achieved
  • Organise a fancy dress day for staff
  • Have a walking meeting
  • Sit people in a different place
  • Buy some clothing that is a bit ‘out there’
  • Sit with customer services for half day a week
  • Change your routine when you come into work in the morning.

There’s dozens of ways to break the shackles of the normality of the day. Starting first thing in the morning, all the way through to how you might sleep at night. My 15 ideas could be expanded ten fold. Have a go!

Go 2 Market principle: be inspired by taking a different perspective. You’ll find that it not only inspires you but others too.

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