Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Goals, Leadership, Management, motivation, Relationships

Gold clients…

Business development is relentless and often it can be hard to think of a new approach.  Most of your new business will come from existing clients so we need to focus on which ones have the most potential to grow your business, and also be enjoyable to work with.

The first step is to create three categories:-

  1. Existing clients
  2. Prospective clients (warm leads not yet converted)
  3. Wish

We can then divide the existing clients into a further three areas:-

  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Bronze

Really analyse your clients and decide which ones are Gold.  You may need to take some time to think about the criteria for being Gold.  We often make the mistake of focusing our time on clients who pay a high premium fee, however they demand double the time. Other clients pay a constant fee which gives you guaranteed income and need very little time.

Therefore ask some questions to create the Gold criteria:-

  • What is the current fee structure?
  • How much time do you spend on the Client account?
  • Do you enjoy working with them?
  • How much resource is required to service that account?
  • How long have they been a Client?
  • Have they given you more work?
  • Have they recommended you to other Clients?

Make the exercise visual by having your Gold clients on display in your office.

“What you focus on becomes reality”. 

Prospective Clients will need to be touched regularly as now to get to a point of sale you will need at least eight touch points if not more.  Keep a tracker and make sure it is on display to all the team.

Wish seems a bit far reaching, however again the genius of audacity you just never know.  It is a great exercise to focus on who your dream client would be as it helps with the categorisation of the Gold existing clients.

Please do get in touch if you would like nuggets to facilitate a management meeting bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

Posted in Bite size learning, Decision Making, Goals, Leadership

Quick review of your business…

There are many detailed business review techniques however if you want to build a quick picture and show the current landscape, here is a quick tool.

Create some cards with the following headings:-

  • Core activities
  • Business efficiency
  • Financial position
  • Clients
  • Competitors

Instructions for completing cards:-

Core activities

Your core services (please use a separate card for each activity eg. sales, products, etc…).  Explain briefly during the last six months what has happened in this service area.

Business efficiency

The mechanics and processes behind your business. See suggested list below, however  add anything that is relevant to the workings and effectiveness of your business.  Please use separate cards for each new area.

  • Premises/facilities/IT
  • Team & skills
  • Procedures eg. gas safety…

Financial position

Assesing revenue streams (separate card for the different areas)

Clients

Over the last six months, which Clients have you been working with.

Competitors

Are there any highs or lows that you would like to record in regard to competitor activity.  A new service or way of doing business that has a positive or negative effect on your business.

Once you have completed your cards in all the areas, you can then sort them into the following headings:-

  • High
  • No change
  • Low

To make the exercise into a team activity you can post the cards into buckets with the headings above and then review them as a group.

Please do get in touch for nuggets to facilitate a review of your business bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness

Out of the Maze…

The follow up to “Who moved my cheese…?” has arrived, and what perfect timing for me personally and for the world in general.

For those of you who have not read the bestseller “Who moved my cheese…?’ the theme is that cheese is a metaphor for what you want to have in life and the maze is where you look for what you want.  The book emphasises the need to adapt to change and move with the cheese.

The new book asks the question what if you don’t know where to begin.

The central character is locked by the fact change has happened and the belief that things will never be the same.  However he meets the character “Hope” who says “Maybe they can turn out better than they were…”

We have beliefs that we get locked into and they can hold you prisoner in a mindset.  A belief is a thought that you trust is true, which can be either hold you down or lift you up.  Therefore you can change your mind if you choose a new belief.   You must not become the belief, you are the person who chooses your beliefs.

This links very closely to the work of Carol Dweck who talks about giving our children a growth mindset and not a fixed mindset.

An example:- if you have a belief that you are bad at public speaking  you will never put yourself in a position to speak.

If you change the belief that you are good at speaking in small groups, therefore you will be just as good public speaking.

The book “Out of the maze…” goes even further by saying – there are no limits to what you can believe.   You can simply change your mind by having new beliefs.

Sometime we have to believe before we can see the result so that we get into the right frame of mind.

An example:- believe you can sell your business before you have put it on the market and then you will do all that is necessary to get it ready to sell

On the journey to get out of the maze the character had to lose old baggage which is a metaphor for old thinking and beliefs.   We often on the journey have to seek out the very things we have always avoided.  Explore what has until now always seemed impossible.

The reflections at the end of the book, put it very succinctly “The Maze I need to get out of? is my own thinking”

Please do get in touch for a 90 minute workshop bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Leadership, motivation, Relationships

When leading others…

Treat people as individuals, adopting an appropriate communication style to genuinely connect with each member of your team, this will increase engagement and consistently draws out the best in people.

These interpersonal skills can be refined starting with awareness and understanding of what drives behaviour, and an acceptance and appreciation of others, leading onto greater relationship effectiveness. 

Awareness

Good leadership starts with self-awareness. Being aware of what drives our own behaviour, as well as identifying your strengths and recognising your weaknesses. 

Understanding

Teams can be a complex mix of people. For a leader to understand a team, they need to understand the elements that make the team – the people. They also need to understand the connections between the elements – the relationships between the people on the team.

Acceptance & Appreciation

Awareness of a person’s motive can make it easier to accept and appreciate why others behave the way they do. An approach that will increase a leader’s ability to enable people to perform at their best, develop a greater range of effective strengths whilst staying authentically connected to what drives them as individuals. 

Effectiveness

Understand, the purpose and objectives of the team and the results they desire. Then they will build trust, encourage challenge and debate and gain commitment and accountability for the achievement of those results.

By understanding what really drives the team, where their strengths lie and how these elements steer both their behaviour and the way they interact with others, a unifying leadership style naturally develops.

 

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Goals, Leadership, motivation

Turn your event into a World Cup event…

Last Friday The Furniture Union hosted an event to present Natalie Miller the Co-Captain of Nets (indoor netball team) with her sponsorship cheque.  This August Natalie will compete in the Nets World Cup.

The team at the Furniture Union could have easily just laid on some drinks and stopped there.  However they wanted to replicate Natalie’s values and turn it into a World Cup event.

The values they followed:-

Determination

The Furniture Union were determined to launch their new website on the same night and their new brochure.  Anyone involved in website/brochure design will know the pitfalls and hurdles you have to overcome.  One of the team was still finalising the right images in the earlier hours of the day before.  The dedication to get it all right, paid off as the brochure and website present the products and services beautifully and take the business to a new level.  https://thefurnitureunion.com 

Team player

Each member of the team had a different role on the night.  Some organised the look of the Showroom (which was stunning) others created display boards.  Everyone was involved and felt connected to the goal.

Passion 

In order to sell a product or service you have to believe in it and be proud of it.  The team now connect with pride and passion due to their hard work of putting together a consistent message and approach of what they are selling.

Leaders

Natalie’s words embody what all the team aspired to be on that night.

“Be the best person you can be at anytime”

Ben who initiated the sponsorship, spoke about what it means to the team and how the values will be shared between The Furniture Union and Natalie.

Resilience

After an event there is often a low after working so hard to pull off something so fabulous.  The team now need to be resilient and remember it is not always a World Cup you need to be constantly in training for the next big event.  This can be relentless and you need to be resilient to keep something in reserve and recall all the skills you used on that amazing night.

Please do get in touch for a workshop on living your values bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

 

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Goals, Leadership, motivation

Shared values…

Natalie Miller the Co-Captain of England Indoor Netball (England Nets) has a great story that demonstrates determination, resilience and commitment.

With many athletes their dreams get blighted by injury or lack of funding.  They don’t just have to think like a sports person about their training they need to think commercially about what is viable.  If they are lucky they find a sponsor, which immediately takes away the financial anxiety.

However what does the sponsor learn from such a unique relationship, and how do they work with the athlete.

The Furniture Union is sponsoring Natalie Miller on her journey to the World Cup August 2019.  In order for the relationship to work the two must have shared values:-

  • Determination
  • Resilience
  • Committment

Natalie’s story easily demonstrates all three.  In 2015 she was selected for the Ladies team for the Indoor World Cup in New Zealand.  The process for this World Cup was difficult one as she had to self-fund her journey.   The team exceeded expectation and finished the tournament as gold medal winners and Natalie is now a World Champion.

Fast forward to 2018, preparation for 2019 World Cup started.   Sadly her world got turned upside down on 7th January 2018. Whilst playing national league netball game for Sussex Thunder she fully ruptured her right achilles tendon. A journey to A&E and a broken heart later, she was  told that her recovery time for this injury would be at least a year.

On March 1st 2018 Natalie had an operation to reconstruct the tendon, rehab started immediately and she was determined to be travelling once again to the World Cup.

The journey has not be an easy one, it has taken countless hours of determination and going the extra mile. On her last tour the challenge not only was the hours of training but the time and energy spent to try and find sponsorship.

The Furniture Union equally demonstrate the three core values that Natalie has needed.  With over 25 years in the design industry, The Furniture Union has a first class reputation for providing their clients with creative and practical solutions across the whole spectrum of residential property.  Their services range from one-off furnishings to complete full interior service, making them a one stop shop for all requirements.

Their projects can be challenging and they need at all times to be confident in their design choices.  They are always determined to provide the best design solution, and they often have to be resilient with the many challenges of the buildings they are working with.  The Furniture Union show amazing commitment and loyalty working with clients for over 20 years.

Natalie and The Furniture Union are now both connected as they both work to the same values.

This is the beginning of a joint story and as a coach to one of the Leaders at The Furniture Union I look forward to hearing the challenges and shared learning of the partnership.

 

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Goals, Leadership, Learning

Duck herding & Leadership

I was really lucky to facilitate a team build which used “duck herding” as the light hearted fun activity to kick off the day.

The parallels for leadership were great and really good scene setting for the day that lay ahead.

The sheep dog was totally focused on the ducks and incredibly obedient.  The ducks were “runner ducks” as the name suggests their basic instinct is to move, predominately to where they think is safe.  They are not afraid of the dog as there is a comfortable distance.  Too near and they would be worried and too far they would be able to head for water.  The ducks have no leader, they are one group.

When the herding begins it is a balancing act of space and movement. The Dog called Tip never got distracted once, however if the shepherd asked him to “lie down” the ducks could go off, but using the “lie down” command gave the ducks a chance to relax.

Tip was a Collie very common in sheep dogs as they are very bright and need constant mental stimulation. It takes two years to train a sheepdog.

After the shepherd had demonstrated the task it was the turn of the team (minus the dog).  As Leaders they had to herd the ducks in groups of three, just as people.  The trick was to learn from the dog in creating space and gently move them forward.  There was a lot of laughs and one rogue duck who just did not want to join in.  He was cajoled back into the group, but incurred lots of delay.

What can we learn from a Leadership perspective?:-

  • Our you as a Leader totally focused do you know where you want your team to go and end up
  • Do your team have an instinct to keep moving eg. being innovative
  • Do you provide a safe place for your team somewhere they can relax and be off-duty
  • What is a comfortable distance between a Leader and their team.  Do you give the right level of autonomy
  • What are the distractions to you as a Leader, how can you ensure that you stay on track with your team and their journey
  • As a Leader are you constantly mentally stimulated
  • There is often a rogue duck in any organisation, someone who wants to go their own way, as a Leader they cannot be ignored
  • There is no time limit on when you reach great leadership, you may have to work with several teams

Please do get in touch for a workshop on Leadership bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk and for organising your own duck herding event contact http://www.dogandduckshow.co.uk