Are you automating your processes?

#blog blog Sep 10, 2021

If your business is going to set you free you need to think about how you can automate the processes in your business. This may sound obvious but in my experience it can easily be put off for too long.    

A good way to work out whether something is worth implementing would be how fast you will get a return on your investment. Make sure you account for your own time at an appropriate hourly rate based on the salary of replacing you.

Lets take software, which is a considered purchase that will automate a process in your business. The cost would include the purchase price of the software, any specialist help to get the system set up correctly, training of staff, possible reduction in productivity short term and on going support costs. 

Work out the potential cost savings by using the hourly rates for everyone that will benefit in the first year and then divide the total cost to implement by the first year’s savings. The number you get is the amount of...

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Avoid the swamp!

#blog blog Sep 03, 2021

If you have a job description for all of your team, do you have one for yourself? If your first reaction is general dogsbody then you definitely need to complete this exercise. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s oh so easy to create a role that’s made up of all the tasks nobody else wants to do and the likelihood of that keeping you motivated is unlikely.

Let’s start with your job title, does it describe your role accurately? If it has Managing in the title is your main responsibility to manage and are you doing it? Did you intend to become a manager?  

We can all do things well that don’t motivate us for a short while but as time goes by it becomes a problem and can easily turn into resentment. You may well be good at something which you spend a lot of your time doing but if it doesn’t motivate you eventually it will catch up with you.  

Being clear about your ideal role will prevent you getting caught in the swamp. This is a...

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What problem are you solving?

#blog blog Aug 28, 2021

Every business that has ever been started was set up to solve a problem so we need to be clear as to what that problem is. The three things we need to consider is What is the problem, how do we want to fix it and why does it matter? 

Let’s take supermarkets which as you know is something I’ve spent a lot of my time working in. Is every supermarket set up to solve the same problem? You could say that they are all there to supply the needs of their customers with a range of goods.

When my father set up our family retail business he had come from many years of doing the same for a national retailer. His experience was supplying a wide range of products at competitive prices to as many people as possible.

After a while he realised that the problem we were trying to solve in a neighbourhood store was different than the one he had been solving before. Where price used to be an important factor in the large supermarkets, what was now more important was convenience.

Back in...

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Who's in charge around here?

If you have followed me for a while you’ll know that the inspiration for the Reluctant Leader Academy was my own experience of not wanting to be in charge.

There is no doubt we need people to step up and take charge, every team needs a manager, If they are motivated to be there and have the right skills all the better.

When we say someone is motivated to be in charge, essentially they enjoy making decisions on behalf of others and like being in a position of influence.

In Motivational Maps language this is the Director motivator and is rewarded by giving responsibility and a title that indicates authority. Other strategies to fulfil this motivation would be to give them a mentor or allow them to deputise before taking a permanent role

Because of their desire to be in charge they could encounter difficulty when is come to managing people if they are not aware of their motivations. This could be from someone who is motivated by freedom and not want to be managed, a creative...

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Lead to Succeed Podcast with Mark Terrell

We kick things off discussing what leadership means to Mark and this is around setting a vision, communicating this vision to your team and being consistent with everyone. As a leader its important to be clear on these things; what are we doing, how are we doing it and why it's important?  Then in combination with a clear vision, it's about supporting your team to achieve goals relating to this but also finding the balance between challenging them too.
We discussed supporting teams and helping them to know when they are making a difference and contributing to the outcomes and goals of the business. Mark shared a very effective way of doing this by recognising people doing things right, having an honest conversation and simply feeding back to them on a job well done, either verbally or with a note.
Lastly, we go on to discuss the change from a push style of leadership to a pull. In the early stages in a business, leaders need to get teams progressing on their tasks, pushing them...

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How to write goals that you are much more likely to achieve

#motivation blog goals Dec 27, 2020

A goal is essentially a desired result or anticipated outcome that a person imagines, plans and commits to achieve, it must have a deadline or time-frame or else it is simply a wish

You can set goals in many areas of life, they can be centred around career, health, relationships or learning. They can be linked, so you may decide to take a leadership course (Learning) to improve your career opportunities.

Be sure to consider how your goals are congruent with each other, for instance, if you commit to take a course that will need to be done in your spare time and you have also want to spend more time with your family, is that actually goes to work?

When setting your goals it’s important to know what’s important to you and where you are heading. This is where a motivational map will help you set goals in line with what’s motivating you.

Once you have set your goals, use you motivational map to link to why that goal is important to you. For instance, if one of your...

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How are you?

When was the last time you asked your team how they are? Are you genuinely interested in the answer? Are you prepared for an honest answer?

The likelihood of getting an open and honest answer will depend on your relationship with each team member, your reaction to the answer you got last time you asked and whether you were listening.

Staff surveys are often used to gather feedback about important issues that indicate how the feelings are across the business.

The trouble with these surveys is we don’t know how important each issue is and so whether it’s an important issue to address.

Motivational Maps not only highlight what’s most important to every one in the business and whether they fit with the business objectives but also how they are feeling they are being fulfilled.

So we gain 2 valuable pieces of information about the people in the business in one go. We can then use the information to focus on what’s most important and which needs addressing first

...

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Can we ever be balanced?

#motivation balance blog Dec 18, 2020

I went to The Glove Factory in Holt for a talk by Simon Tyler a few years ago, Simon talked about the impact we all have on others when we don't even realise it which was very thought provoking. I can recommend his book, The Impact Code, which is full of useful ways to enhance your presence and impact at work.

During his talk he mentioned balance and an experience he had when he stood on 2 scales, with each of his feet on different scales, to see how his weight was distributed. The purpose was to improve posture and subsequently better body balance. His body was compensating for his weight being unbalanced by making adjustments in another part of his body. This got me thinking about whether it's possible to be perfectly balanced and how could it be achieved day to day.

This example was about physical balance but what about how we see the world, can that ever be balanced? We are all influenced by many things, family and friends, what we read and watch, our surrounding, our past and...

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Do you get energy from being noticed and recognised?

When asked why we go to work many will reply "To pay the bills" which is, of course, a basic need that needs to be met. If we assume you have enough money to pay the bills, what will make work more enjoyable for you and what would make you stay with your current employer or seek another opportunity? 

In this post I'm going to explore the need for recognition, or in motivational maps language, the Star motivator. If this is one of your key drivers you are looking to be noticed and held in high esteem. You will want to know you are doing a good job so any positive feedback will be highly motivating. If you are looking to gain some recognition for your business, a Star will be a great person to put in charge of that project and don't forget to give them a great title and lots of praise when the goal is achieved.

If you are managing someone with a high Star motivator you'll need to plan how they can receive the recognition they are looking for. This could be as simple as a regular...

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Not all carrots are orange

#motivation blog rewards Dec 15, 2020

It's not going to come as a big surprise to you that we are all motivated in different ways which is one of the biggest challenges for Leaders when it comes to offering performance incentives. Getting your strategies wrong can lead to losing key people and the added cost of replacing them.

I was feeding back some motivational maps a few weeks ago and the conversation was around their role in the organisation and how they contributed. The message coming down from above was all about the financial success of the business which is important but the message wasn't motivating the team because they weren't motivated by money. However they were motivated by security which a financially successful organisation gave them but unfortunately that message wasn't landing. Just changing the language to include a mention of the stability of the organisation would have had greater impact down the line.

We all tend to offer incentives that appeal to ourselves, I was as guilty as anyone of this...

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