Improve Project Planning and Execution to Succeed More Often

Following is a methodology which was applied at GE to get things done on time and on budget; when someone was betting their career path, not a ham sandwich. It was shared by one of my colleagues who worked there for years as an executive.

If you want to increase your level of clarity, use this process. The result is everybody knowing EXACTLY what needs to happen and when.

First, define ‘what does “done” look like’? What results and outcomes (vs pure activity) are you looking to achieve?

Then answer:  

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Tools of Professional Management

 

“…at some stage ‘entrepreneurship’ is not sufficient and the nature of the organization must change, together with the people who run it.” Eric Flamholtz

How well do you simultaneously cope with the endless day to day problems in your business AND keep an eye on it’s future direction?. If you need to be better here, all you need are the right tools; the Tools of Professional Management.

Following are the tools we recommend every organization use regardless of size. My challenge to you is to review them and ask “How well is this being put to use in my organization?” If you are not satisfied with the answer, commit to doing something about it!

Strategic Planning- This process is a critical resource for managing growth and development. It defines the company’s future direction and provides a focus for everyone’s efforts. At the very least planning should include goals, objectives, and action steps to achieve goals. Strategic planning helps employees start to understand the direction the company is taking and their role in its development.   Continue reading

What Not to Say-The Importance of Human Relation Skills

Excellent technical skills are a must for any business.  Outstanding verbal skills are also, as they influence customer service, sales, team effectiveness, efficiency, and turnover.  If you say the wrong thing, or say something the wrong way, you risk losing customers and prospect opportunities.  You jeopardize effective communication with everybody.

It doesn’t matter what type of business you are in, you are also in the business of interacting with people.  This requires developing and managing both new and ongoing relationships.  You must have a good understanding of persuasion and influence.  In other words, you need to know how to get the outcomes you really want by using the power of your words.

There is a very thin line in any dialogue between being tactful and persuasive and not being understood or being confrontational.  Which do you think leads to positive outcomes?

I have listed a few things to be aware of saying or not saying.  I have also explained the “why” for you.

With a few small changes you will find yourself getting much better results!   Continue reading

Time Management Problems? They Are Not What You Think!

I can’t even count how many people have told me they have time management problems. But time management problems are not really time management problems.  They are GOAL CLARIFICATION problems.  When you are clear on your goals, you know how you should be spending your time.

 

Michael Gerber (author of The E Myth) talks about the difference between thinking of time with a small “t” as opposed to Time with a capital “T”.

 

“Time” is simply another word for your life” he says.  You can spend your Time any way that you like.

 

Many people haven’t thought through how they really want to spend their though. In other words, they have no clearly defined written personal or professional goals. Continue reading

Is it Work or are you Productive?

Do you remember the physics definition of “Work”?  Basically, it’s moving ‘X’ pounds ‘Y’ distance.

 

This definition alone won’t create change.  Neither will the next definition but they are important to know and understand.

 

Managerial Talent can be defined as the behavior exhibited by a manager which increases the amount of productive, results-oriented, and profitable behavior on the part of others in the organization on a daily basis.

 

This definition assumes that the productive behavior is known.  Let’s tie these together…

If you pushed on one of the walls of your office for a whole work day and it didn’t move, did you work?  Of course not!  Energy expended doesn’t matter.  The question is: what did I accomplish?

 

If I was responsible for delivering newspapers and I drove around all day but didn’t deliver a single one, was I productive?  I was busy!  But not productive, right?  The productive behavior is the delivery of the newspapers.

 

A key takeaway is never confuse motion with progress and activity with results.  Continue reading

Presenting is Not Just Presenting

Now is your chance…Don’t blow it!

The sales process has been building up until now for this opportunity to gain a new client!  Here is a concept which will increase your chances of getting the sale more often.

Presenting is not just presenting!  So what is it?

This is about keeping the probable purchaser engaged, talking, asking, and answering questions.

Continue questioning around confirming and clarifying your probable purchasers needs and wants and you will continue to build rapport and credibility.  You will also be helping your client buy from you.

 

Questioning here will help your probable purchasers create urgency and value for themselves by focusing on the personal impact of their wants and needs and what they stand to gain or lose. By doing this, you will be far more likely to get a positive decision. Continue reading

It’s Not Always About Price

When professional sellers tell me they have lost sales to price, it’s like hearing nails raking down a chalkboard. Especially if it has happened over and over.

Some people only buy on price.  That’s reality.  It is possible  to minimize the number of people just buying on price though.  Here is what to do…

Price is a part of every buying decision.  It can be less of a factor though, if the goals of the first three steps of the selling process are met:   Continue reading

“The More You Get out of this Book, the More You’ll Get out of Life!”

These are the very first words I found when opening Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.  I have never seen a book promise that much less be able to deliver.   Yet it managed to deliver on that promise.

This book is filled with easy to apply principles of human relations which, from experience,  will improve your communication skills, increase your ability to persuade others,  give you  more harmonious interactions, help you get what you want,  and overall will change your life.  Applying these principles will certainly give you an edge if you are in customer service, sales, management, or leadership.

If you have never read this book, you should do so immediately.  If you have read it before and it’s been a while, read it again.  I’m on my 15th time (give or take…I actually lost count!)  I look at it as an owner’s manual on human relations and life in general.

You can start to see how you can gain an edge just by looking at the section headers of the book:

  1. Fundamental Techniques in Handling People
  2. Six Ways to Make People Like You
  3. How to Win People to Your Way of Thinking
  4. Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment

If you don’t want to improve in these areas, you need an immediate injection of empathy in your thyroid.

Carnegie sums up the lesson of each chapter “In a Nutshell.”  To whet your whistle, I’ve listed the lessons below.  Continue reading

You’re Fired!

You most likely remember Donald Trump’s famous line from The Apprentice: “You’re Fired!”

 

Although those words are something nobody ever wants to hear, it can be a positive experience.

 

“Litwak, You’re wacked!” you might be saying.  I’ll show you how to make it positive.  It just takes some thought.

 

Start by firing yourself.  That’s right.  YOU’RE FIRED!

 

Now you have to hire your replacement.  The question that makes this work is: Continue reading

What Raving Fans Are Saying

Here are some comments from my seminar today-”The # 1 Most Effective Method of Increasing Cash Flow- Turn More Prospects Into Clients”

“Informative, interactive, and to the point.”

“I absolutely enjoyed your program!  New today- the principle of ‘Gaining Commitment.’  That phrase alone will change the way I approach clients and team members!”

“Great refresher.  Well presented, reminding me again what I need to be consistently doing.”

“Great as always!  Strong content I can put into practice.” 

‘”These concepts are EXACTLY what needs to be brought to my organization!”

“Howard has such a clear and precise way of presenting and providing valuable, but not overwhelming content.  I am ready to implement the key pieces of knowledge I’ve learned today!”

“Excellent.  Precise.  I enjoyed your choice of words and how well you interacted with the audience.”

‘”There were many AH HA! moments.  This was a great and necessary refresher.”

“The presentation was awesome!  I love the ‘gaining commitment’ from the beginning concept.  This is a new way of looking at things I will definitely use!”

 

Watch for video of today’s workshop coming soon!  Here is a list of other workshop topics I can customize for your organization’s needs.