CALL US AT 1.866.756.2620

Tag Archive: Culture

Paul Faletti

Three Ways to Build an Innovative Culture

paul

Our offices are abuzz with excitement about the upcoming convention this April. We’re finalizing travel plans. (If you still need help, just contact our Travel Solutions office and they’ll take care of you. Tell them that Paul sent you.) Our experts are putting the last touches on their product demos and workshops. And the Marketing team is rounding the corner to the finish line.

In other words, things are busy.

Even with the rush to get everything done, preparing for the event has given me a few precious moments to reflect about NCM Associates and how our tradition of innovation has created a dynamic, versatile company. It’s a model, I think, that any business can follow … and creativity can mean the difference between success and failure.

When you stop creating, you stop growing.

The digital era is defined by innovation. The internet offers us unusual opportunities to disrupt traditional business models and communicate directly to consumers. This is great for companies like Airbnb, but I think it’s more challenging for an established, mature industry like automotive to find its way—especially when so many of the new models are dedicated to dismantling the old ways.

Trust me, we get it. NCM Associates is nearly 70 years old, and our primary service, the automotive 20 Group, was invented shortly after World War II in 1947. That’s a very mature product. So, let me share the secret to our success.

Innovation isn’t a thing; it’s a culture.

You can’t just demand that people innovate. Instead, you have to build a business—and, yes, a dealership—culture that encourages people to do more than the everyday. You also have to show employees that new and unusual ideas aren’t just tolerated, but welcomed.

Here are three of the ways we make this culture happen.

1) Let’s do this: Get everyone invested. NCM Associates is a 100 percent employee-owned Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). Each and every individual in our company has a personal investment in our organization’s growth and performance. They feel the impact, every year, when our business is valuated. This approach means that we all work together to propel the company forward.

Now, not every company is an ESOP. (But I encourage you to learn more about them). However, I challenge you to think of ways you can encourage your employees to feel a strong and deep-rooted commitment to your business. Consider events that encourage camaraderie and collaboration. And, if all else fails, performance-based bonuses are a tried-and-true motivation method.

At NCM, we like to focus on teamwork as a motivator. Each of our associates has this little sign on their desks:

letsdothis

“Let’s do this” is important to me. I’d like to take credit for the statement, but I didn’t invent it. (Sadly, I also can’t recall where I first read about it, so if you know the source, please comment below!) Another writer, Matt Frye, has a great explanation of what it means.

To me, “Let’s do this” is a good reminder that successful businesses are the result of every person working together as a team to achieve a particular goal. The more creatively we can accomplish this, the better.

2) Share your knowledge. The cornerstone of NCM’s business is information and experience. We require that all our moderators, consultants and instructors come from a solid background with many years spent at the dealership. And we have the best minds aggregating member information to create the best benchmark data in the industry.

Even though we keep lots of things private, the true value in knowledge comes when you share it. Our experts travel throughout North America to present their knowledge at conferences and workshops, and many of them write thoughtful articles for this blog.

We’ve recently launched our NCM Fundamentals whitepaper series, which includes insights our clients have used to successfully address many problems commonly encountered in the dealership. More books are in production, because we believe it’s important to give everyone an opportunity to improve their business and create an accountability culture. If you’d like one, sign up for one of our product demos or mini-workshops we’re hosting at the NADA Conference. Every attendee will receive a complimentary printed copy.

Capture

Now, few dealerships have the resources to write whitepapers. But there are lots of ways you can share information. Encourage team members to discuss new ideas during daily roundups. Support training for your employees, and offer a monthly book club that encourages them to better their personal and professional lives. (And, please, supply the books!) Consider writing an article for one of many industry publications and, if you have a team member you plan to groom for management, encourage them to write about and share their successes with others.

And, speaking of knowledge sharing, no community has done a better job of collaborating than 3D-printers. That’s why we’re so excited to announce that NCM has partnered with Ultimaker, a 3D printer developer and manufacturer, to offer a complimentary 3D-printed business card holder or moveable car for visitors!

Stop by booth #3013C to pick one out and see the 3D printers work. Here’s a sneak peek of what you’ll see:

3) Take risks. Have you heard about NCM axcessa®?  I remember the day I signed the papers establishing a partnership between NCM and ReverseRisk, the developers.

There was no question that the product was remarkable, but I certainly didn’t know how the market would react to this innovation. While NCM axcessa offered an entirely new level of transparency and accountability for dealers, it would require a significant change in dealership culture to be the most effective. Would people be willing to do that?

A few years later, here we are! NCM axcessa has exceeded all our expectations, and we’re proud of giving our clients such a useful software solution for managing their operational and financial needs. In 2016, NCM will be launching the NCM LiveAudit® dealership payables monitoring platform that allows you to dive deep into your payables activities to watch for unexpected expenditures and fraud, as well as manage recurring contracts. You can test it out at our booth at NADA, too.

How can you take risks as a dealer? Remember my suggestion to encourage idea sharing during meetings. Invest in one of them. Try a new marketing strategy. Offer a new promotion. Whatever the idea, make a small investment in testing it and see what happens. The results may surprise you, and your willingness to try something new—even if it fails—may drive the next big thing in your business.

Ready to innovate? Come see our creativity at Booth #3013C this April in Las Vegas. We hope to see you there.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2016/03/three-ways-to-build-and-innovative-culture/

Dave Anderson

Building a High Performance Culture (Part 22)

This article is part of a multi-part series titled “Building a High Performance Culture” by Up To Speed Guest Expert, Dave Anderson, of LearnToLead®.

books

Words That Work: Hunger

In this post on building a high performance culture I’m adding the word “hunger” to the “words that work” category. Hungry cultures are those that regularly change, risk, and stretch—even while things are going well and all the seas appear calm.

I’ll dig deeper into hunger below; but first, quickly review the strong and weak cultural words below so you can conceptualize the ideal culture to move your organization towards, as well as what you must weed out of your culture in order to maximize your organization’s potential.

Words that work and must be woven into culture

Earn: to acquire through merit.

Deserve: to be worthy of; to qualify for.

Consistent: constantly adhering to the same principles.

Hope: grounds for believing something in the future will happen.

Catalyst: a person or thing that makes something happen.

Responsible: to be the primary cause of something.

Tough-minded: strong willed, vigorous, not easily swayed.

Loyal: faithfulness to one’s duties or obligations.

Passion: a strong feeling or enthusiasm about something, or about doing something.

Discipline: an activity, regimen, or exercise that develops or improves a habit or skill.

Commit: to pledge oneself to something.

Prune: to remove what is undesirable.

Wise: having or showing good judgement.

Diligent: giving constant effort to accomplish something.

Words that hurt and must be weeded out of culture

Fault: responsibility for failure.

Blame: to assign responsibility for failure.

Excuse: a plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.

Mediocre: average, ordinary, not outstanding.

Wish: to want something that cannot, or probably will not happen.

Entitle: a claim to something you feel you are owed.

Sloth: reluctance to work or exert effort; laziness.

Complacent: calmly content, smugly self-satisfied.

Maintain: to cause (something) to exist or continue without changing.

Apathy: a lack of enthusiasm, interest or concern.

Interest: to be curious about (as opposed to being committed).

Foolish: lacking good sense or judgment.

Micromanage: to control with excessive attention to minor details.

Hunger is defined as an intense desire, a compelling craving. 

Note that the definition isn’t limited to merely a “desire or a craving;” intense and compelling are the keys. If something is intense and compelling it moves you, which brings up the key point to this post: you can’t have a hungry culture without hungry people at all levels moving it forward. The challenge is that while you can motivate people—stoke embers that already exist—you cannot make someone hungry by putting the embers of desire within them. Thus, your team members must bring hunger to the table; they must give you something to work with. Hungry people normally have the following traits that make them easier to identify during an interview, or to evaluate the people already within your culture:

  1. Hungry people have compelling reasons—their “why”—that drives them to excel. Their why may include a range of motivations from buying a nicer car, moving into a bigger home, sending their kids to a private school, helping a sick parent, making a difference in the lives of others, to supporting orphans. People tend to lose their way when they lose their why, and wind up going through the motions as they miss their potential by a mile.

One purpose of an interview is determine just how specific and compelling a job candidate’s why is. This will give keen insight into how self-motivated you can expect them to be.

  1. Hungry people are rarely stuck in their ways. They change before they have to, enjoy learning and sharing new things, and would rather take a mature risk than defend a safe status quo.
  1. Hungry people want new responsibilities. They want an opportunity to learn and grow and to expand their skills. They also want increased latitude and discretion to make decisions without having to always check with a higher-up.
  1. Hungry people are more prone to seek out feedback. They know they need fast, honest, specific feedback to grow.
  1. Hungry people don’t need as many pep talks. Of course like anyone they appreciate pats on the back, but aren’t dependent on them in order to stay motivated and work hard to reach their goals.

Final note: A culture is in big trouble when the leaders have let complacency nudge out their hunger and begin leading more from the rear, than from the trenches; maintaining, presiding and administering but not having a stretch impact on the team. Frankly, lethargic leaders create lethargic cultures. Hungry leaders build hungry cultures, and more naturally attract those with the like levels of internal motivation necessary to build a great organization.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/10/building-a-high-performance-culture-part-22/

Joe Basil

“We can’t seem to hire the right people.” Sound familiar?

hire

How many times have you heard this from dealers, managers, and business owners? How many times has it been on the 20 Group agenda topic list?

Hearing this statement so often, one would think that it is a priority in every business and car dealership to have a process and system in place to identify, select, and hire “the right people.” So what is it that keeps so many dealers and managers from learning the skill set or even recognizing the fact that they lack the skills?

Let’s start with how most dealers grew up in the car business. The majority of them came up through the sales or front end of the business. The front end is a very people-oriented area of the business. Anyone with experience in that department has probably hired and trained hundreds of people. When you examine training strategies and concentrations in the front of the store you will typically find the overwhelming amount of time and money is spent on sales process, sales desk deal management, F&I process, closing techniques, word tracks and other productivity focused skill sets, often times, without determining if you are training “the right person.”

If you were to ask dealers how much training time and money they invest in teaching those employees with recruiting, selecting and hiring responsibility how to identify and select “the right people,” some wouldn’t know what you were talking about.  Others, who have invested the time and money to develop selection skill sets and processes, would know exactly what you are talking about. For those that don’t understand this approach, they don’t even realize that they may be investing training dollars and time in the wrong people to start with.

Let me give an example. I’m sitting with a dealer who says “I can’t seem to hire the right people.” I ask him to explain his hiring process and who has responsibility for hiring decisions. The first step in the store’s process is an initial interview by one of three front-end managers, then a secondary interview by one of the other two managers and/or the dealer. I ask, “Who has final authority for the hiring decision?” He explains that it goes back to the manager who conducted the initial interview. So I ask the dealer to give me his description of the “right” salesperson. He responds, “They have to be energetic self-starters with good people skills who set goals and achieve them; a good closer, good grosser and they have to be a team player.” Next, I ask permission to ask the three front-end managers the same question. Here’s what I found…

Manager number one described the right salesperson as someone who is organized, punctual, follows procedure, and covers all the details.

Manager number two described the right salesperson as someone who can gross, close deals, sell cars and build a book of business.

Manager number three described the right salesperson as someone who is friendly with customers, always takes care of their needs, never has customer complaints, and has strong customer satisfaction.

So, based on four different descriptions of the right person, it’s no wonder this dealer can’t hire the right people. One manager would hire a “neat nick,” the next manger would hire a “slammer” and the last one would hire a “consumer advocate”—and no one would hire the dealer’s sales person!

Patterns indicate that most people with hiring authority tend to hire people that match their own description of the right person as opposed to hiring a person with skill sets proven to result in developing a “top performer” in their position. So how do you learn to identify “top-performing” skill sets?

One simple answer may be right in front of you. Make a list of your best salespeople, not your top salesperson, your best salespeople. Now jointly, along with those people with hiring authority, describe the personality traits, tendencies, habits, preferences, skill sets and accomplishments of your “best” salespeople. Assuming you have top-performing salespeople, you should begin to see a pattern. For a point of reference you could perform the same exercise on your “worst” salespeople.

From my experience the most effective approach to implementing a recruiting, selecting and hiring process is to hire a professional trainer or consultant. Going back to my earlier point about determining if you are training the right person, you may first want to have your management team evaluated to confirm that you are training the right people to start with.

Should you have any hesitation about investing in a process to improve your selection skills, let me conclude with the following question:

Between the date you hired them and the date you fired them, what did you discover about them that you didn’t know when you interviewed them? And how much did it cost you? This should be a no-brainer!


Want to learn more about hiring? Attend the NCM Institute’s new course: Finding Top Talent. Click here for details. 

fttalent

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/02/we-cant-seem-to-hire-the-right-people/

Dave Anderson

Building a High Performance Culture (Part 17)

This article is part of a multi-part series titled “Building a High Performance Culture” by Up To Speed Guest Expert, Dave Anderson, of LearnToLead®.

Young businessman adjusting his tie

Words that Work: Committed

Words that Hurt: Interested

In this seventeenth post on building a high performance culture, I want to put in each the “words that work” and the “words that hurt” column a word that separates the good from great in any conceivable endeavor; one who is committed versus one who is merely interested.

I’ll expand on committed vs. interested in a moment, but to bring you up-to-speed on this culture series, please review the following points and words from past posts:

  • Culture is never done. Thus, the “words that work” concepts must be consistently woven into your culture to strengthen it.
  • The “words that hurt,” and their ensuing mindsets, must be just as diligently weeded out of your culture.
  • These two categories are designed to build an evolving portrait of what a high performance culture looks like so you can evaluate your own culture and continuously strive towards the ideal.

Words that work:

Earn: to acquire through merit.

Deserve: to be worthy of; to qualify for.

Consistent: constantly adhering to the same principles.

Hope: grounds for believing something in the future will happen.

Catalyst: a person or thing that makes something happen.

Responsible: to be the primary cause of something.

Tough-minded: strong willed, vigorous, not easily swayed.

Loyal: faithfulness to one’s duties or obligations.

Passion: a strong feeling or enthusiasm about something, or about doing something.

Discipline: an activity, regimen, or exercise that develops or improves a habit or skill.

Words that hurt:

Fault: responsibility for failure.

Blame: to assign responsibility for failure.

Excuse: a plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.

Mediocre: average, ordinary, not outstanding.

Wish: to want something that cannot, or probably will not happen.

Entitle: a claim to something you feel you are owed.

Sloth: reluctance to work or exert effort; laziness.

Complacent: calmly content, smugly self-satisfied.

Maintain: to cause (something) to exist or continue without changing.

Apathy: a lack of enthusiasm, interest, or concern.

I’ve had leaders attend my workshops whose first reaction to my asking if they’re interested in, or committed to, becoming a great leader and building a great organization is: “What’s the difference?” Frankly, the difference is staggering. Take a look:

  • Interested: to be curious about.
  • Committed: to have pledged oneself to something.

Consider how weak, unconvincing, and uninspiring being interested sounds when compared to commitment:

  1. I’m curious about what it would be like to become a great leader.
  2. I’m curious about what it would be like to build a higher performing culture.
  3. I’m curious how it would feel to have our best year ever.

On the other hand, “pledging oneself to something” indicates you are willing to pay a price; and understanding that it’s not likely to be a one-time, lump sum payment; it will be an installment plan. But you’re willing to keep plodding on for the long haul because you understand that the prize of excellence, the payoff for operating at your fullest potential and achieving what you never dreamed possible, is worth the price.

Eventually, every parent, spouse, team member, business leader, coach, teacher, pastor, everyone, must decide which column they’re in: interested or committed. All must embrace the reality that high performing cultures are shaped by, strengthened by, and protected by, those who are committed to consistently excellent performance.

By the way, the column you choose doesn’t have to be announced. You never have to tell others, “I’m committed”, because when it’s true, they can tell by watching you. They see the price you pay, the disciplines you develop, the tough decisions you make, the sacrifices you endure and, ultimately, how your talk about becoming great and your daily walk align.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/02/building-a-high-performance-culture-part-17/

Dave Anderson

Building a High Performance Culture (Part 16)

This article is part of a multi-part series titled “Building a High Performance Culture” by Up To Speed Guest Expert, Dave Anderson, of LearnToLead®.

Pen

Words that Work: Discipline

In this sixteenth post on building a high performance culture, I want to put in the “words that work” column a word that fuels the consistency that separates good performers and organizations from great ones: discipline.

I’ll expand on discipline momentarily, but to improve your perspective on this culture series, please review the following “words that work” from past posts.

  • These concepts must be consistently woven into your culture to strengthen it.
  • The “words that hurt” and their ensuing mindsets, must be just as diligently weeded out of your culture.
  • These two categories are designed to build an evolving portrait of what a high performance culture looks like so you can evaluate your own, and strive towards the ideal.

Words that work:

Earn: to acquire through merit.

Deserve: to be worthy of; to qualify for.

Consistent: constantly adhering to the same principles.

Hope: grounds for believing something in the future will happen.

Catalyst: a person or thing that makes something happen.

Responsible: to be the primary cause of something.

Tough-minded: strong willed, vigorous, not easily swayed.

Loyal: faithfulness to one’s duties or obligations.

Passion: a strong feeling or enthusiasm about something, or about doing something. 

Words that hurt:

Fault: responsibility for failure.

Blame: to assign responsibility for failure.

Excuse: a plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.

Mediocre: average, ordinary, not outstanding.

Wish: to want something that cannot, or probably will not happen.

Entitle: a claim to something you feel you are owed.

Sloth: reluctance to work or exert effort; laziness.

Complacent: calmly content, smugly self-satisfied.

Maintain: to cause (something) to exist or continue without changing.

Apathy: a lack of enthusiasm, interest or concern.

Discipline is defined as: an activity, regimen or exercise that develops or improves a habit or skill.

To help grasp the importance of disciplined people working within a disciplined culture, consider the following points on discipline:

  1. Discipline serves as fuel for consistency. It powers the development of healthy habits and routines instrumental for reducing the wide up and down swings of business performance.
  2. A narrower focus on who and what matters most stimulates discipline. The marriage of narrowed focus and more discipline makes decision making easier; it helps you know what to say “yes” or “no” to so you can stay on track and do more of what matters most.
  3. Discipline without direction is drudgery. Discipline simply for the sake of discipline does not inspire. But when discipline is developed because it leads you towards a compelling purpose it can help make you unstoppable.
  4. Discipline isn’t about doing a lot of things every day; it’s about executing the handful of daily activities most necessary to move towards your goals.
  5. Disciplined people have more, not fewer, options as they progress through business and life. Discipline isn’t a jailer, it is a liberator.
  6. Disciplined people, pulled forward by a compelling purpose, consistently do what is right day-in and day-out; not just when it’s easy, cheap, popular or convenient.
  7. Discipline isn’t “punishment,” it’s a morale builder. You always feel better about yourself when you do what is right, what you’ve committed to do; whether it’s saying “no” to the cheesecake when dieting, or making the ten calls you said you’d make before leaving for home.

As a final thought on discipline, I’d like to suggest that the alternative to discipline is disaster. Evidence of this principle abounds in the lives of businesses and individuals who waste time and resources chasing silver bullets, quick fixes, and implementing successions of failed flavors of the month, while their disciplined counterparts steadily plod along to new performance levels.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2015/01/building-a-high-performance-culture-part-16/

Dave Anderson

Building a High Performance Culture (Part 15)

Complacent

This article is part of a multi-part series titled “Building a High Performance Culture” by Up To Speed Guest Expert, Dave Anderson, of LearnToLead®.

Words that Hurt: Apathy

In this fifteenth post on building a high performance culture, I want to put in the “words that hurt” column a word that creates barren cultures, performances and customer experiences: apathy.

More about apathy in a moment, but to bring yourself up to date with this series, please review the following words that work from past posts. These must consistently be woven into your culture to strengthen it. The words that hurt, and their ensuing mindsets, must be just as diligently weeded out of a culture. These two categories are designed to build an evolving portrait of what a high performance culture looks like so you can evaluate your own, and strive towards the ideal.

Words that work:

Earn: to acquire through merit.

Deserve: to be worthy of; to qualify for.

Consistent: constantly adhering to the same principles.

Hope: grounds for believing something in the future will happen.

Catalyst: a person or thing that makes something happen.

Responsible: to be the primary cause of something.

Tough-minded: strong willed, vigorous, not easily swayed.

Loyal: faithfulness to one’s duties or obligations.

Passion: a strong feeling or enthusiasm about something, or about doing something. 

Words that hurt:

Fault: responsibility for failure.

Blame: to assign responsibility for failure.

Excuse: a plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.

Mediocre: average, ordinary, not outstanding.

Wish: to want something that cannot, or probably will not happen.

Entitle: a claim to something you feel you are owed.

Sloth: reluctance to work or exert effort; laziness.

Complacent: calmly content, smugly self-satisfied.

Maintain: to cause (something) to exist or continue without changing.

Apathy is defined as: a lack of enthusiasm, interest or concern.

Apathetic followers are often the result of numerous leadership failures:

  1. The leaders fail to create a vision that inspires followers to higher performance.
  2. The leaders fail to create and live a mission that unites followers behind a common cause.
  3. The leaders pledge allegiance to the status quo, learning to live with what is average rather than improve or remove it.
  4. The leaders spend so much time with “stuff,” they have no time to build relationships with followers.
  5. The leaders spend so much time with “stuff,” they have no time to motivate, impact, train, coach or mentor followers.
  6. The leaders fail to engage followers by holding them accountable for their actions and results.
  7. The leaders fail to remove dead weight, lowering the morale of all who must work with the incompetent, corrupt, or inadequate.
  8. The leaders fail to live core values, or lead by example, disconnecting from followers and breaking trust in the process.
  9. The leaders stop learning, and so have nothing new to bring to the table to challenge or inspire followers, or to help them grow.
  10. The leaders routinely start and quit new programs, creating a credibility crisis as followers become drained by the latest management “flavor” (failure) of the month.
  11. The leaders fail to respect and take care of customers, fanning the flames of cultural apathy far and wide.

The list could go on, but this is a good start.

It is also entirely possible that the leader is doing everything right and still has an apathetic follower simply because he hired and is keeping the wrong person; but that in itself is another blatant leadership failure. As you can see, cultural and corporate apathy starts and stops with the leaders and their many potential failures. The good news is that leaders can also fix cultural apathy by caring enough to put their coffee down, get off their backsides, and do their jobs with consistent excellence.

internet

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2014/12/building-a-high-performance-culture-part-15/

Dave Anderson

Building a High Performance Culture (Part Nine)

Chess

This article is part of a multi-part series titled “Building a High Performance Culture” by Up To Speed Guest Expert, Dave Anderson, of LearnToLead®.

Words that Work: Tough-Minded

In this ninth post on building a high performance culture, I want to discuss a word that works: tough-minded. Consistently holding others accountable is impossible without tough-minded leaders, welcoming entitlement and mediocrity into your culture as a result.

For a quick review of this series, peruse the following words that work in a culture, and words that hurt a culture, from the past eight blog posts. This will help you grasp the concepts, values and mindsets necessary for great performance; and help you identify and weed out those that are harmful.

Words that work:

Earn: to acquire through merit.

Deserve: to be worthy of; to qualify for.

Consistent: constantly adhering to the same principles.

Hope: grounds for believing something in the future will happen.

Catalyst: a person or thing that makes something happen.

Responsible: to be the primary cause of something.

Words that hurt:

Fault: responsibility for failure.

To use in a sentence: It’s not my fault I had a bad month. In other words, I’m a victim.

Blame: to assign responsibility for failure.

Excuse: a plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.

Mediocre: average, ordinary, not outstanding.

Wish: to want something that cannot, or probably will not happen.

Entitle: a claim to something you feel you are owed.

The word tough-minded is defined as, “strong willed, vigorous, not easily swayed.” This definition embodies the makeup at the bedrock of high-accountability leaders. Notice that it doesn’t say anything about being rude, abusive, getting personal, being a bully, shouting or using profanity. No, you can be tough-minded in a calm, measured, respectful voice and get your point across far more effectively. In a sense, being tough-minded means you have decided to stand for something:

  • You hold everyone accountable for living the core values; even the high performer who is prone to be selfish or take shortcuts.
  • You apply consequences when necessary for missed performance objectives.
  • You hire slowly and strategically, even when you have pressing shortages. You don’t flinch, lower the bar, and bring someone on board that will inflict continual damage to the culture and team morale.
  • You terminate the non-performer, even when there’s no one readily available to replace him or her because you understand that it’s better to be strategically short-staffed than foolishly filled up.
  • You routinely make decisions that are right; not easy, cheap, popular or convenient.
  • You raise others to reach your expected performance bar; you don’t reduce the bar to accommodate someone else’s comfort zone.

Followers may not always like or appreciate a tough-minded leader, but they are certainly more apt to respect him or her. And in time, as the tough-minded leader positively impacts those on the team, like will evolve from respect.


Dave Anderson discusses leadership, training and NCM OnDemand:

To learn more about NCM OnDemand, click here or call 877.803.3627.

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2014/08/building-a-high-performance-culture-part-nine/

Dave Anderson

Building a High Performance Culture (Part Seven)

This article is part of a multi-part series titled “Building a High Performance Culture” by Up To Speed Guest Expert, Dave Anderson, of LearnToLead®.

Snip20140430_14

In this seventh post on building a high performance culture I want to discuss a word that works, responsible. Taking responsibility must start at the top of an organization, with leaders willing to renounce blame, look in the mirror and take responsibility for their results.

For a quick review of this series, I’ve presented the following words that work, and words that hurt, in the past six blog posts to help you weave into your culture the right concepts, values and mindsets and help you identify and weed out those that are harmful.

Words that work:

Earn: to acquire through merit.

Deserve: to be worthy of; to qualify for.

Consistent: constantly adhering to the same principles.

Hope: grounds for believing something in the future will happen.

Catalyst: a person or thing that makes something happen.

Words that hurt:

Fault: responsibility for failure.

To use in a sentence: “It’s not my fault I had a bad month.” In other words, “I’m a victim.”

Blame: to assign responsibility for failure.

Excuse: a plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.

Mediocre: average, ordinary, not outstanding.

Wish: to want something that cannot, or probably will not happen.

 

Words that Work: Responsible

Responsible is defined as: to be the primary cause of something. Perhaps Rudy Giuliani said it best with a sign in his office during his years as mayor of New York City:

“I don’t deserve the credit for all that goes right during my term, nor do I deserve the blame for all that goes wrong. But I am still responsible for the results of my office.”

Taking responsibility means focusing more on what you can control, than whining about conditions you cannot affect. Leaders who take responsibility teach their people to do likewise, just as leaders who make excuses give their people a permission slip to become victims and rationalize away their lack of greater success.

In a world where blame is pervasive; starting at the very top of our government and permeating all aspects of society, taking responsibility is a sure way to stand out, earn respect, build self-esteem and become a leader others trust enough to follow anywhere.

ondemand

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2014/05/building-a-high-performance-culture-part-seven/

Dave Anderson

Building a High Performance Culture (Part Five)

This is the fourth article in a multi-part series titled “Building a High Performance Culture” by Up To Speed Guest Expert, Dave Anderson, of LearnToLead®.

Words that Work: Hope, Words that Hurt: Wish

dictionaryIn this fifth post on building a high performance culture, I’ll present two additional words to continue building a portrait of both a highly performing, and average-or-below culture. I’ll include one that falls into the Words that Work column of cultural makeup and one that is a Word that Hurts. For a quick review, I’ve presented the following Words that Work and Words that Hurt in the four past blog posts to help you weave in the right concepts, values and mindsets and to help you identify and weed out those that are harmful:

Words that work:

Earn: to acquire through merit.

Deserve: to be worthy of; to qualify for.

Consistent: constantly adhering to the same principles.

Words that hurt:

Fault: responsibility for failure.

To use in a sentence: It’s not my fault I had a bad month. In other words, I’m a victim.

Blame: to assign responsibility for failure.

Excuse: a plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.

Mediocre: average, ordinary, not outstanding.

The new word going into the “works” column is hope; the corresponding word hurting organizational cultures is wish. There’s a significant difference between hoping a person, product or strategy works out and wishing it so. Understanding this difference can save you untold time, energy and financial resources.

Hope: grounds for believing something in the future will happen.

Wish: to want something that cannot, or probably will not happen.

The key difference between these two words—and leadership styles—is “grounds for believing.” Hoping someone or something will work out is based on observable, measurable progress in reasonable time. Without seeing upward movement or improvement you’re not hoping something works out, you’re simply a wishful thinker.

The leaders of high performance cultures don’t base their futures on wishes or good intentions. They practice what Jack Welch famously suggested: “Effective leaders look reality dead in the eye and act upon it with as much speed as they possibly can.” In other words, you must have 20/20 vision when it comes to facing reality concerning poorly performing people, strategies, products, and more. At the end of the day you must ask yourself concerning these aspects: “What grounds for believing do I have that tomorrow is going to be any different than today?” If the answer is “None.” you must protect your culture, brand, credibility, team morale and momentum by moving on.

ondemand

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2014/02/building-a-high-performance-culture-part-five/

Dave Anderson

Building a High Performance Culture (Part Three)

This is the third article in a multi-part series entitled “Building a High Performance Culture” by Up To Speed Guest Expert, Dave Anderson, of LearnToLead®.

Teamwork

Words that Work: Consistent

In this third post on building a high performance culture, I’ll return to words that work: the mindsets, values, attitudes and behaviors you must embed in a great culture. Thus far I’ve presented the following:

Words that work:

Earn: to acquire through merit.

Deserve: to be worthy of; to qualify for.

Words that hurt:

Fault: Responsibility for failure.

To use in a sentence: “It’s not my fault I had a bad month.” In other words, “I’m a victim.”

Blame: To assign responsibility for failure.

Excuse: A plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.

When appearing on MSNBC’s Your Business show I was asked if I believed the number one reason organizations didn’t reach their fullest potential was because they failed to change. I replied that while failing to change was a common reason, my experience had shown that the top reason organizations fell short of their potential was their chronic inconsistency. They would, in fact, change but then not stick with it; and then try another initiative, change again, but fail to follow through. This brings us to our third cultural word that works:

Consistent: Constantly adhering to the same principles.

Consistent organizations are filled with people who are brilliant in the basics of their job day-in and day-out; the days they feel like it and even when they don’t; even when it’s not easy, cheap, popular or convenient. In fact, if you study good performers and organizations and compare them to great ones, you’ll find that both groups do many of the same things; the great ones simply do them more consistently. Because of this they do them with greater excellence, strengthen their culture and pull away from the pack.

Frankly, even a sluggard can manage to do the right things occasionally, on the good days, when he or she feels like it. But leaders in a high performance culture identify daily, weekly and monthly disciplines that must be executed consistently and without excuse; and they hold people accountable for doing so. These leaders understand that no organization can become great by doing what matters most every once-in-a-while.

leadingyourteam

Permanent link to this article: http://blog.ncm20.com/2013/09/building-a-high-performance-culture-part-three/