Wednesday, December 3, 2008

As a business leader you have probably responded to the current economic climate by making serious "cuts" within your organization. Maybe you have...
  • Cut back on the year end party
  • Trimmed the budget
  • Tightened controls on spending
  • Negotiated new terms with vendors
  • Redoubled your efforts in sales
  • Shored up client relationships
  • Reduced staff
Is it enough? Are you running at optimal effectiveness? Is there any more "juice" that can be squeezed?

Even in the trying economic times, most businesses only make superficial changes. What are superficial changes? See the list above. Though these need to be done, all they do is reduce the way we do things, they don’t really change the way we do things!

Every organization and individual is perfectly designed to get the results they are getting. The results you are getting are exactly what you are designed to get. This makes sense if we apply it to equipment. A copy machine will only make copies. You don’t expect it to make bread - it isn’t designed for that. A computer isn’t expected to make coffee. You get the picture.

The good news is we are not machines!! Both business and people are very adaptable and changeable. People can learn new skills and change their behavior, attitude and results! A business can do the same - moving from one business model to the next.

Yet, as capable of change as we are, the axiom – “Every organization and individual is perfectly designed to get the results they are getting” - still rings true. Why? Why do we resist change? Simple put - we are creatures of habit. Or, as David Byrd would say, we get stuck in our comfort zone where nothing ever changes.

How do we drive new results? How do we change our design? How can we break out of our comfort zone? Let me suggest a few of questions that may help you.
  1. Why are you in business? Fundamentally, why does your business exist? This question will help you identify your true meaning for being in business. From this answer you can create vision and focus.
  2. Are the daily activities of your business in line with why you are in business? Your answer will help you become more effective in your work.
  3. Do you have a process to tap into your team’s true potential? Most companies are underutilizing (not necessarily under working) their existing team. Your team has the answers needed to change your design. Do you have a process to draw it out of them?
These answers will lay the foundation for creating the change needed to give you new results, especially in today’s economic climate.

If you would like to enhance your focus, align your daily activities with your business and tap into your hidden potential so you can THRIVE in today's market, give me a call – 614-823-8150 or register for an
LMI WEBinar and discover how we can help you thrive in business today -- guaranteed!

Michael D. Diercks, Regional President, Leadership Management Institute
614)823-8150 - -

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Change is in the air!

David Byrd, in his book The Tripping Point in Leadership, defines apathy as “A natural, human instinct, common to us all, that consistently encourages us to seek a comfort zone in which nothing ever changes.”

The current economic climate requires us to address this problem every day.

This crisis is causing businesses to make significant changes and we must all go through the various stages of change. Right now you might be experiencing the Panic/Anger stage. This is where everyone thinks the world is coming to an end and all businesses will go bankrupt. When we go through this stage, we become paralyzed, not knowing what to do or how to respond to the change. This stage is very intense and can be very frightening. The good news is that it is usually over relatively quickly. I believe we are only a few short days away from moving on to the next stage.

The next stage is Acceptance/Understanding. This is where we accept the change and begin to understand the implications. We become more comfortable with the change and everything it means. Fear and panic subsides. Things are certainly not a bed of roses, but neither is the world coming to an end. We get back to work and stop focusing on the problem and start looking for solutions.

This stage (according to the book Strategic Selling) creates 4 different responses – Overconfidence, Even Keel, Growth, and Trouble – in the marketplace.

The current economic crisis moves us from Overconfidence and Even Keel responses to the Growth and Trouble responses quickly. Now is the time to start focusing on the Growth response. In the past, you might have been too busy or not ready or, possibly, not seen a need to do things differently. Now, more than ever, you need to find some answers to help you improve the performance of your people, change effectively and improve the results of your organization.

You have a choice to make -

  • Do you believe you have all the answers (Overconfident)?
  • Do you think things will return "back to the way they used to be" (Even Keel)?
  • Do you recognize the need to change because change is happening in the market (Growth)?
  • Do you feel like you are serious trouble because you don't see a way to recover (Trouble)?

If you have selected the first two options, best of success to you. If you are feeling more like the third or fourth option, I would love to hear from you.

The difference between good and great organizations is their willingness to face the brutal facts and make the necessary changes to succeed. Are you a good or great organization?

“The greatest enemy to ‘excellence’ and ‘greatness’ is ‘fine’ and ‘good’!”

Monday, November 3, 2008

It's an Ideal Market!
Everyone is talking about the downturn in the economy, the impact of the new president, various bailout programs, the loss of jobs, etc.

I would ask that you just simply reconsider the times we live in. This is a great time to step up and move forward in the market place. If we take a moment to learn from our history, we can quickly learn that the US market is very resilient and robust.

During downturns, many businesses not only survived but thrived.They capitalized on the situation rather than ran from it. They looked forward instead of putting their head in the sand and said "I wish, I wish, I wish this would all go away".

How did they do it? There were common traits they all displayed:
  1. They acted out of courage instead of fear. They took positive steps instead of waiting to see.
  2. They had vision. They saw beyond the crevice and up the rising mountain. They didn't allow their judgment to be clouded with all the naysayers and doomsayers.
  3. They had focus. Their mission was clear and they didn't deviate from the mission. Their actions were laser focused. Instead of getting pulled off course, they reaffirmed their path and leaned into it with more determination.
  4. They had a plan and stuck to it. Instead of getting pulled off course, they doubled their efforts and stayed the course.
So now we must answer these questions.
  • Do others see me acting out of fear or courage?
  • Have I embraced a crystal clear vision of the future and is my team rallying around it?
  • What is the focus of my organization and have we reaffirmed it today?
  • Do we have a plan and have we doubled our efforts?
The choice is ours - grow or decline! If we refuse to choose, the market will! It's up to you.

Friday, September 5, 2008

"Building Leaders for the 21st Century!"
Have you ever tried to play golf with a putter, badminton racquet and a basketball? Or maybe tried to build something with just a hammer, wheel and string? You might have fun and even create something unique, yet the probability of winning the game or building something that will last is slim to none.

Yet today too many leaders attempt to develop themselves and their team with a fragmented, piecemeal, hit and miss approach to development.

They attend a leadership conference, a workshop and maybe read the latest business leadership book. Maybe they send their team to hear a motivational speaker or take an online class on delegation. They focus on one area, or one attribute, or one facet of leadership believing that is all they need. Leadership is much more complex than that.

The Total Leader™ Concept is based on two vital principles:

  • The first principle is that for organizations to succeed in the 21st century, they must develop leaders throughout the total organization
  • The second principle is that for leadership development to be effective, it must utilize a complete, integrated, total leadership development process
The Total Leader™ Concept creates a framework for someone to develop into a total leader in their business and life.
There are four pieces to the puzzle of the Total Leader™. Half the pieces develops the organizational leader and the other half develops the personal leader. Each half develops both the head and heart.

The head of leadership requires the continual development of Performance, Productivity and Priorities of the individual and the organization.

The heart of leadership focuses on the development of Purpose, Passion and Power.

When combined together, this puzzle of the Total Leader™ becomes a powerful, thorough, comprehensive leadership development model. It literally transforms you into Total Leader!

It is time to stop stepping up to the first tee of an important golf tournament and trying to win with a putter, badminton racquet and basketball. The time has come for a new paradigm. A new process for developing the Total Leader.

The upcoming LMI Catalyst Club (September 24) begins your journey to developing into the Total Leader™. Contact us today to start your journey!

To learn more about the Total Leader™ Concept, visit our website – Total Leader.
Michael D. Diercks
Regional President, Leadership Management Institute

Building Total Leaders for the 21st
(614)823-8150 - -