Some Tips For ‘Testing’ Your Strategic Plan

Strategic planning


The strategic planning process is a critical resource for managing the growth and development of your business. 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.

Here are the elements of an effective plan. And some tips for testing whether you have got each element right:


Do you have an emotional attachment to your vision? It should represent what you really want. Or is it primarily a collection of nice words for others to read? Does it inspire and energize you to get up every day and work at your business?
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Death Wish Coffee- Planning Can Lead to REAL Business Results

Strategic Thinking Helps Death Wish Coffee Continue to SucceedDeath Wish Coffee is a global coffee brand that bills itself as “the world’s strongest coffee” but knew early on they didn’t have the world’s strongest processes.

Death Wish started in 2012 in Round Lake, New York.  They employed six people at the beginning of 2015. Death Wish was an emerging new global brand with amazing products.  They were growing significantly despite some common internal business challenges. The CEO was beginning to notice some growing challenges with his staff, communication, and efficiency.  He recognized that the company was outgrowing his management style.  That it was in need of a more professional management style, among other things. The solution, he thought, was to bring in a full-time manager.

That wasn’t the answer. He realized that by hiring a business coach there were more effective options.




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Independence Day and Lessons in Achievement Entrepreneurs Today Can Use

achievementOur country widely celebrates the achievement of it’s independence.   On examination of the events leading to our revolution, it’s not hard to find significant lessons for entrepreneurs.  Applying these lessons to your business can lead to achievement on the same scale of our founding fathers!

This article  is a great refresher of the events which led to the founding of the United States.  It highlights the success principles mastered and implemented by our founding fathers.

On July 4th, 1776  Thomas Jefferson stood before the newly formed assembly.  He fearlessly read the most momentous decision ever placed on paper:

“When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with one another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of natures God entitle them…”

Analyze the events which led to the Declaration of Independence.  You will see there are principles that must be used by every individual and organization to really succeed.  They are listed below. In these principles is the power which gave this nation it’s freedom. Note also (with great personal benefit) that these principles and the power are available to everyone. And yet I find many people don’t take full advantage of them.  How many do you faithfully practice?

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How to Motivate Your Workforce


Motivation is: the art of engaging with members of your team in such a way that they give their very best performance.

Therefore, the answer to the question of ‘What do people really want from their jobs?” is the root of motivating your workforce.

Psychologist Fredrick Herzberg addresses this in his article “One more time: How do you motivate employees.”   His conclusions form the basis of sound, practical, motivational theory.  To be sure,  just about anyone can implement this theory.  As long as they are paying attention.

In fact, his research showed that certain characteristics of a job are constantly associated with job satisfaction while different factors are related to job dissatisfaction.  These are: Continue reading

The Science of Success and Being a High Achiever

Science of Success

The Science Behind Success and Achievement

Success, the accomplishment of one’s goals, is an absolute science.  It’s not luck, chance, or hard work. (Although they help…)


A branch of knowledge or study dealing with a body of facts or truths systematically arranged and showing the operation of general laws

There are mathematical and physical sciences. Achievement of success is a science as well.

There are exact principles of thought and action that high achievers universally exhibit.  You can make a conscious choice to act on these principles right now and by the laws of science, you will accomplish more.  Simple.  But not always easy.

Here they are, why they work, and how to apply them: Continue reading

Great News Regarding Your Business Growth!

Are you expecting growth, experiencing growth, or do you just want growth?  (Note: Growth isn’t always getting bigger. Growth can be getting better.)

If the answer is YES! to any of the above, there is some great news for you.

I know a NY State organization which funds growth for small and medium sized businesses.   Pretty cool.


Their purpose is to:

-Help businesses become and stay successful

-Help businesses grow by investing in the workforce

-Move individuals up the corporate ladder by learning new skills which could lead to overall business expansion


There are core competencies associated with every role in your business.  Training on them usually results in a more efficient and well-run company leading to higher customer satisfaction, and revenue growth.  Training supports their purpose.  And so they consider working with businesses which want to train and develop their people.

Do you want to invest in your people by:

-Preparing the next level of leaders?

-Creating a management staff ready to better manage and grow the business?

-Increasing effective communication?

-Providing skills to sellers to ensure successful attainment of sales goals?

Don’t overlook the process side of your business. It’s good strategy to help your company obtain a better understanding of current operations and identify areas of improvement. Streamlining of processes is proven to lead to reduced waste, increased efficiencies, reduced duplications, and to position the business for growth. Continue reading

Use This 4th Quarter to Gain Momentum for 2017

Here is a truth: If you go through the same motions you’ve went through all year, and you are not satisfied with your results, it’s almost a certainty you will begin next year behind in performance very quickly.

Here is another truth: You should use the 4th quarter to establish  momentum for a fast start for 2017 and to prove to yourself that you can achieve at a higher level.

As it relates to your goals, you have either:

  1. Exceeded them
  2. Met them
  3. Fallen behind

If you don’t have any goals, well shame on you.  That’s impacting you more than you know.

Regardless of the position you and your organization find yourself in now, you CAN both finish this year strong and gain momentum towards coming out of the 2017 gate fast.

However, you will need to do a few things differently.  The things you need to be doing in the 4th quarter are exactly that same things you should have been doing all year.

Here they are: Continue reading

Time Management Problems? They’re Not What You Think!

time management

I can’t even count how many executives, managers, professional sellers, and entrepreneurs over the years have told me they have time management problems.  Time management problems are not even time management problems.  They are GOALS CLARIFICATION problems.  Because when you are clear on your goals, you know how you should be spending your time.   Period.

If you, my reader, self-identify with time management problems, you probably don’t have goals.  How close am I?

Forget about “Oh, I have goals in my head…”  If they aren’t written down, you don’t really have goals.  Period.  You’re just pretending you do.

If you think you have time management problems, here is what you need to do:

1. Decide on what your goals are.  Business goals.  Personal goals.  Short term.  Long term.  Write them down.  Notably, this will be one of the most important things you ever do in your life, by the way…

2. Prioritize your goals by thinking through and deciding on what’s most important to you right now.

3. Apply “first actionable step” and “next actionable step” thinking to each goal until you can answer the question “If I do all these things, will I achieve my goal? This will become your plan.

4. Always be working on action steps related to one of the goals which are a top priority.  If you are taking goal oriented action, you are productive.  With this n mind, don’t worry if you only accomplish 2 things or 3 or even 1 thing during the day.  If it’s the most important thing, that’s all that matters.  Achievement of your goals is all that matters.  Or should be all that matters.

If only it was this easy…

In my years of working with executives, managers, and professional sellers I’ve found that self identified time management problems are usually impacted by a person’s competencies in long term planning, project and goal focus, and concrete organizing.  Low scores in these areas impact goal setting, prioritization, planning, and staying on task.  Hence, the self identified time management issues which aren’t time management issues.

What it takes is understanding these things before you can do anything about it.

Take a talents profile which measures these things.  For your profile: Click here.

See if that’s the problem for you or not.  The goal is, or should be, to be completely clear on what you’re not good at.  Then you can eliminate those things and to find out your strengths so you can multiply them.


What Makes a Company Truly Great

Business Growth

Following is a guide to increasing your chances of delivering business growth and exceptional performance well into the future. This information is relevant to business regardless of size or revenue.  This blog is adapted from an article in the Harvard Business Review.

Two Deloitte consultants conducted a study of twenty five thousand companies to come to a conclusion of what makes a company truly great.  They selected 340 that had done well enough for long enough to qualify as truly exceptional.   It is a study similar to that of Collins in his work “Good to Great.”  Although the Deloitte results showed that:

The many and diverse choices that made certain companies great were consistent with just 3 seemingly elementary rules.”

The rules are:

#1:  Better before cheaper

#2: Revenue before cost

#3: There are no other rules

According to this study, these rules are not how a company takes specific actions.  Nor can this be considered strategy.  Rather they are “fundamental concepts on which companies have built greatness over many years.”

Mergers and acquisitions, customer focus, innovation, and risk taking were associated with all levels of performance equally from the good to the great.  The rules came into focus when the emphasis was shifted from what these companies did to how they thought.   An interesting concept…

The rules provide what is believed to be credible answers to every business leader’s basic questions about superior performance.

Let’s take a little deeper look at each. Continue reading