Visit Our Store February 1, 2010

In This Issue:
Sell Your Ideas
Empowerment through Delegation
Author Interview: Lewis Green
Situation Room

Sell Your Ideas

You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere. –Lee Iacocca

So you would like to present a new idea or solution to your key stakeholders, or you have been presented with a new set of new parameters and need to persuade others of a different approach. What do you do? How do you begin?

Take Joe, a successful bank vice president. His branch has been so successful that the bank president wants to take 30% of his team and disseminate it across the company, in an effort to bolster performance across branches. Joe thinks this would be the death knell of his success. He has worked tirelessly to develop and bring up his team, and this move would take him back to zero.

You may have found yourself in a similar situation at some point.

Clearly, success in this kind of situation will depend on how well you sell your ideas. Confront these barriers and you will be on your way to successful sale of your ideas:

Relationships 101
How does the stakeholder view your relationship? Relationship status is critical.

You are certainly credible. You have the background and experience to handle the decisions that are being presented to you. Does the decision maker (or decision-making group) in your situation feel the same way?

Communication Mismatch
As the “seller” here, it is up to you to patch over any communication mismatches that take place. In Joe’s case, he is advocating to a different decision-maker than usual, and should take that into account.

Make it easier for the decision makers to change their current path. Maybe Joe could offer to develop a training program for other banks.

Address all of these barriers and you will find that your relationship, credibility, communication style and ability to offer alternatives will soften an otherwise polarized situation.

Here’s how to make your ideas happen!

Empowerment through Delegation

Effective delegation is the best indicator of effective management simply because it is so basic to both personal and organizational growth. –Stephen R. Covey

Are you a Producer? If you are a producer who can delegate effectively, then your accomplishments far exceed your efforts, because those you foster will also be producers for you, exponentially increasing your output.

Most managers may think this obvious; of course you have been delegating tasks for years. However, let’s focus on effective delegation that focuses on results instead of methods. This kind of delegation allows people to choose the method of accomplishing the task you have delegated to them, and makes them responsible for the results.

By developing mutual understanding in the following areas, you will be able to foster stewardship delegation versus task delegation:

Desired Results
Start by creating a mutual understanding of what needs to be accomplished. Be clear, and focus on what needs to be accomplished, versus how it is going to happen.

Identify parameters and possible pitfalls; are there mistakes you have made that you can share? Are there resources that are off limits in this situation? Share these with your subordinate, so he or she doesn’t waste time and energy going down a “failure” path.

Identify the human, technical, financial or organizational resources that are available.

What are the standards of performance? Don’t leave the set-up meeting without conveying a performance expectation.

Fostering trust will bring out the best in your staff. Stewardship Delegation, as it is called by Stephen Covey, in his landmark classic, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, will ultimately result in much more work getting done. It naturally combats Gofer Delegation that requires management of methods as well as results. Follow the Action Steps to get started on fostering stewardship delegation!

Learn the power of delegation to increase your productivity and effectiveness.

Author Interview: Lewis Green

This time our interview is with Lewis Green, author of How to grow a Business by Putting People First.

Lewis, in your book, you really focus on a paradigm shift in the definition of success. Can you tell us a bit about that theme, and why you feel it is critical to business growth?

Revenues and profits remain the key measurements to success; however, the ways we motivate consumers and employees is to care about those people in ways that create great customer experiences built upon a foundation of great products and services. Therefore, my definition of success revolves around “happiness.” Happiness is the driving force behind everything Americans do. It is the key to determining their wants, needs and desires. It is the essence of the American Dream and is as important as the air we breathe

As I argue in How to Grow A Business by Putting People First, this business model will result in business growth, revenues, and profits, as well as create a better world in which to do business, to work, and to live. Of course, for any model to work, you must believe, you must be passionate in that belief, and we must work hard to achieve our business goals and objectives.

How do the main themes of your work pertain to the state of the economy in the last 18 months?

I wonder if we would we be where we are today, if banks and insurance companies had based their business decisions as much on values and creating great experiences as they did on greed? If those executives had in place values designed to benefit everyone touched by their businesses, their revenues and profits would have continued to grow.

Where did your inspiration for your ideas come from?

Some of the inspiration for the principles I offer my clients and apply to my own businesses came from my experiences when I worked at the Starbucks Support Center in Seattle. Starbucks doesn’t define its business offices with the word headquarters. Instead, then-Chairman, President and CEO Howard Schultz insisted that Starbucks partners (employees) name the building in which we worked. Hence the name Support Center. Here is just one example of a business that uses values and the experiences resulting from those values to filter every business decision.

Thanks, for your time, Lewis.

These days, Lewis spends his free time as a news, sports and political junkie; is an avid reader; and a denizen of New York City, Boston and all things metropolitan. First and foremost, he loves to spend time with his family.

Situation Room

A new employee comes into your department after transferring from a different site, and you will be her immediate supervisor.

Although she is extremely diligent and intelligent, she is having trouble connecting with her new staff members. Raising the performance of the department is why she was brought in, but the combination of perceived resentment from the staff combined with her no-nonsense attitude toward improvement has driven a divide between her and those who report to her. She is clearly frustrated.

Even more, she wants to add a complaint to the engineering supervisor’s permanent file. The engineering supervisor has never had a complaint listed in his file during his 18 years of service and a new mandate makes such complaints a serious.

You ask her to sit down. What is your solution to the problem?