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Hugh Ballou on May 16th, 2016

It all starts with why. – Simon Sinek*

 Leaders Start with Why
Simon Sinek speaks, writes, and consults on this topic and makes a compelling case for knowing why we want to do something – especially when it comes to leading an organization. Defining the why is an individual choice, not a group decision. It’s the leader’s duty to create and define the vision, and then to define the why. It’s the why that’s compelling, not necessarily the what – and especially not the how.

For many years as a leadership coach and trainer, I did not understand this principle. It was not until I had a paradigm shift that I attracted people to me who needed my skills. They needed to know why they needed me.

As I wrote about in a previous post, Bob Circosta, the “Billion Dollar Man,” defines the WSGAT ™ to tell people why they need to purchase a product. It’s the What’s So Good About That line that’s clarifying. He says sales is about telling people why they need something. Then they’ll buy it.

In his book and TED talks, Sinek uses Apple as an example of beginning with why. They make the user experience easy – that’s why you need to buy their products.

I work with many start-up entrepreneurs who have great ideas for products or services. Any one of these ideas has the potential to change the world as we know it. There are many, many people who look at things that aren’t and say, “Why not…” and create a solution. Out of every 100 of those people I meet, only three, on average, will actually do something about it. Out of those three, only one will survive in the business world and be successful.

Many start-ups need funding. Many do not receive the funding to begin design or production of a product. Some who get money to start production don’t get enough funding to market the product successfully and create a sustainable cash flow to support the business long-term.

The problem? So many of them focus on the what – what the product or service does. Or the how – how the product or service does whatever it does. Until people understand why it matters or why they need it, they really can’t connect with the project to purchase it or to invest in the company.

We all need external support to validate, refine, or challenge our thinking. We know why, but we can’t create a compelling message so others understand the why. We know it, so we assume that others know it because it’s quite obvious. Well, it’s obvious to us, but we’ve been living with the idea we birthed and it’s a part of our thinking and feeling. We forget that others need information and time to come up to speed with the concept.

So, in my personal journey, I have changed my language to talk about the why of leadership and why people need me. I’m constructing a new website for my company, SynerVision International, Inc. The URL is http://synervision.us. I invite anyone to check it out and provide me with feedback. Is my why clear?

Once we think we have arrived at a decision or a plan, we get stuck. We really never arrive like it’s a destination. We do, however, get on track and begin a journey like a train on railroad tracks. The railroad tracks keep up focused and in line with our plan. Having a coach and a mastermind team helps us to stay on track.

Define the why. Make a plan to achieve the why. Evaluate the plan regularly. Revise the plan as needed. Commit to the revision and get back on track.

Successful leaders do what others are not willing to do. Is that you?

 

* Purchase this book on Amazon: Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action (affiliate link)

Hugh Ballou
The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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(c) 2013 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

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Over-functioning is irresponsible responsibility. – Murray Bowen

OverfunctionWe, as leaders, influence everyone in our presence. The orchestra conductor influences how the instrumentalists play: just playing the notes, or playing with passion. The conductor does not tell the orchestra how to play their instruments or play those instruments for them.

Many leaders struggle with underfunctioning staff, boards, volunteers, etc., and are not aware that they have potentially caused that problem with their overfunctioning presence.

In the recent post, “The Drawbacks Of An Overfunctioning Leader,Geri Scazzero made these points about how overfunctioning causes problems:

1. Overfunctioning Disguises Itself As Caring

2. Overfunctioning Perpetuates Immaturity

3. Overfunctioning Prevents Me From Focusing On My Own Life Direction

4. Overfunctioning Erodes My Spiritual Life

5. Overfunctioning Destroys Community

Read the post HERE.

The unintentional role that leaders play in problems is elusive.

Here are ways that the Transformational Leader creates balance and prevents overfunctioning:

  1. Define what to delegate: Trying to do it all is the first trap for leaders. We know how it’s supposed to work, therefore, we attempt to model by doing it rather that teaching others how to do whatever “it” is. Define your major skills and your gaps and find the most competent person to fill the gap. Define the end result clearly and then create a process to coach that person into higher functioning.
  2. Learn to delegate: It’s easy to say, “delegate more,” however, learning how delegation works is a challenge for many leaders. Define the end result, allow the other person to define the steps with your approval, and create touch points on a regular basis to make corrections and to mentor – this is not micromanaging!
  3. Do not micromanage: Micromanagement is a form of overfunctioning. Don’t do it.
  4. Work on self: Learn to manage anxiety and learn to listen, observe, and ask good questions. Leaders who don’t know how to manage self fall into the habit of overfunctioning by over talking, over managing, and exerting too much pressure where it’s not warranted.

Autocratic leadership is a form of overfunctioning. Please give me your comments below.

 

Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

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(c) 2015 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

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Hugh Ballou on April 14th, 2016

The More the Leader Controls the Group, the Less Effective the Results Become

My friend and colleague, Larry Dill, hired me to develop a world-class music program in Huntsville, Alabama. When he called to invite me to consider the position, I asked him, “Where’s Huntsville?” I was in Atlanta, Georgia, at the time and had very little self-awareness of smaller places.

I went to check out the position and, after much consideration, accepted the job. I did so mostly because of Larry. He showed up as a visionary and passionate leader. He showed up to empower the skilled members of the team he put in place. He showed up to model the results he wanted to see.

I can remember sitting in the conference room on numerous occasions, planning programs six months ahead. During many of these sessions, seemingly insurmountable challenges arose. Larry would ask the team a question, presenting how to solve the problem. He would then sit quietly as the team discussed, debated, and defined ideas to answer his question. At the right moment, Larry would simply and calmly interject his comment: “I’ve heard enough. This what we will do.”

He listened, observed, and processed the information coming forth in the meeting. He had a highly competent team. He did not control the process or the conflation of ideas. He, however, remained very much in charge. He demonstrated a high competence as a leader.

The value in planning ahead is that teams can be more creative and effective. Work is more energized and focused. There is less confusion and less destructive conflict.

The paradox in leadership is that by doing less, Larry got more accomplished and helped the team be more productive and creative.

If you are working too hard, maybe you are doing too much. The first trait of Transformational Leadership is to define what to let go of. If you have too much to do, think about this polarity. Do the opposite.

Hmmm…that’s counterintuitive and goes against the work ethic that many leaders have been taught. Well, if it’s not working, then change it.

Define what is not working. Write it down. Define why it’s not working. Define all the potential solutions. Look for solutions that are similar and can be combined for strength. Develop an action plan based on what you discover in this process. The final solution might not be what you had initially expected.

Remember to think about systems. Transformational Leadership is a system – a thinking system, and not a feeling system.

How will you approach your team next in problem solving?

 

Hugh Ballou
The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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(c) 2012 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

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Hugh Ballou on April 12th, 2016

No More Boring, Unproductive Meetings!

An agenda is the killer of productivity in meetings. Focus on specific outcomes expressed as deliverables instead. Drive for excellence on outcomes in all activities, and you will create the DNA for excellence for your organization and yourself. – Hugh Ballou, The Transformational Leadership Strategist

Yes, you read this correctly. Organizations hire me to run meetings, team planning sessions, board retreats, etc. Never once in over 22 years have I used an agenda for a meeting! I promise.

This is not just semantics. It is a paradigm shift. Think about meetings you have attended in the past. Think of a boring, unproductive meeting that you experienced. Maybe that particular session was not planned thoroughly. Maybe that particular session was planned with unclear outcomes. This is the nature of the problem: AGENDA = activity, and DELIVERABLES = results. Reframe your thinking and focus on outcomes, not on activity.

This is one paradigm shift that makes leaders more effective. Create and maintain a culture of excellence in the organization you lead. Focus on outcomes and excellence in every activity and every process. Transformational Leaders constantly build leadership skills in their inventory of leadership tools. Conflict management and conflict resolution become less of an issue when clarity of purpose takes away some potential for conflict.

Success is a mindset. Think about what you want to achieve and make it happen.

Start now!

Conducting Power Packed MeetingsBonus: Get my free article and video on Conducting Power-Packed Meetings HERE

 

Hugh Ballou
The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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(c) 2012 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.



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The Friday Five…The Best Of…The Best Blogs of the Week

April 1, 2016

 

The Friday Five

I’m constantly discovering something that advances my leadership knowledge and competency. This series presents the best ideas and resources that I have discovered during the week. The list of the 5 best will vary randomly, featuring my top posts, the top posts from others, leadership books and resources, and top concepts.

I don’t benefit from promoting any of these posts unless noted. Sometimes, I don’t even know the writer. However, I do read and personally grow my knowledge by reading posts that challenge my thinking and get me to think outside my old paradigm. It’s not important that you agree with any of these writers. It’s only important that you think. I hope you will find some new sources of inspiration with these posts. Here’s the next group of 5 in the series:

Memorable Blogs of the Week

 

Michelle Martin

When to Make Exceptions to Your Own Personnel Policies

Michelle MartinAt long last in your search for top talent, you’ve found the right person with the right resume and right vision for the right price. The only thing is that she’s eight-and-a-half months pregnant and won’t be eligible for your company’s paid maternity leave policy by the time she starts. What do you do?

A lawyer will be the first to tell you that enforceable employment policies are crucial in any business. But what your attorney probably won’t mention is that the rigid enforcement of these policies—like vacation time, sick days, non-compete agreements, bereavement policies, maternity leave, and rest of the gamut—can choke the life out of a company’s culture.

POLICY VS. PEOPLE

“If your policies are more important than your people, they’ll certainly notice.”

After my company mined our best resources for a new director of catalog services, we were left with an outstanding candidate who we probably couldn’t keep because of our own rules…

Read the post…

 

Joshua Spodek

Resilience: What The New York Times, New Yorker and Most of Academia Got Wrong

Joshua SpodekIf you want to be resilient, not just know about resilience, research and the media won’t help you.

You’re covered in mud, exhausted, bruised, and have a long way to go. Disaster or glory?

Any leader or entrepreneur knows it’s how you look at it. The active among us find ways to motivate ourselves and our teams.

Resilience is a hot topic. It’s valuable to know to handle challenges and recover from adversity. Those who can will succeed and attract people others can’t. You might expect the latest research and top media to help you.

But maybe not. When people depend on you–customers, employees, investors, partners–you learn to solve problems. Academia doesn’t have that motivation and it ends up researching forever. Nor does the media and it ends up writing thought-provoking stuff.

You want to be resilient, not just know about resilience.

Read the post…

 

Dustin McKissen 

How I Went From Living in My Car to Owning My Own Company

Dustin McKissenWhat I learned about success and overcoming adversity from living in my car.

When I was 18 years old, I moved into a Honda Civic. I didn’t get along with my parents, didn’t have money for an apartment, and was not attending college. I read a lot about the student debt crisis many young people face today, and while that is real, with potentially dire consequences, I faced a crisis of a whole other kind:

Where to shower before I went to find a job.

I had no money, no food, and had to sleep parked behind the gym that provided me a place to bathe.

I addressed the hunger by occasionally resorting to theft. Some nights I would go into the grocery store, suck in my stomach, and tuck a package of shrimp into my pants.

Why shrimp?

It was pre-cooked, and I hate cold hot dogs.

I ultimately realized that this was no way to live. Humans are not meant to live in Honda Civics, or survive on stolen shellfish.

Read the post…

 

Ted Bauer 

Poor priority management = lack of organizational trust

Ted BauerThere’s some new research from MIT’s Sloan School of Management about senior managers within organizations and their understanding of priorities, and it’s not exactly pretty. (Here’s a summary of some of the work from Fast Company.) The participants included 11,000 senior managers at 400+ companies, and there were two major tiers of results:

  • Senior managers trust their own teams, but distrust other senior managers
  • Only about 33 percent of senior managers can correctly identify corporate (CEO-spoken) priorities

None of this is that surprising, but let’s dive a little deeper.

Senior managers and team trust vs. trust of other managers

This is pretty basic, I’d argue. Most of life is about ‘in-group’ vs. ‘out-group.’ I’ve met managers in my life who have terrible teams — I mean teams that never hit targets,…

Read the post…

 

Lolly Daskal 

Listening: The Forgotten Business Tool for Amazing Success

Lolly DaskalIf you want to succeed, you must be able to hear what people are saying.

Listening is one of the most important skills you can have when it comes to business and leadership.

We listen to learn.

We listen to stay informed.

We listen to understand.

We listen to gain information.

We listen to acquire knowledge.

We listen to obtain wisdom.

Given all the listening we do, you would think we would be much better at it.

In fact most of us are lousy listeners. Research suggests that we remember only 25 to 50 percent of what we hear…

Read the post… 

 

Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

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(c) 2016 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

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Hugh Ballou on March 29th, 2016

Every human has four endowments – self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change. – Stephen Covey

Leadership Blind Spots

ProblemsIn one of my previous posts, “Leaders Cause Problems,” I pointed out how leaders set up situations that cause problems – mostly without awareness of what they are doing or how they are setting up that problem. Often, those leaders blame others for the problem and respond in ways that compound the situation. Self-awareness is an important leadership trait. Leadership awareness is not an arrival point; it’s an ongoing journey. The more aware we become, the more we understand there’s more to learn. Leaders need not have all the answers. More importantly, leaders must have good questions and learn to listen to the response of others to those inquiries. Growing leadership skills goes hand-in-hand with growing awareness of one’s own competencies and an awareness of group emotional process. Observing systems and group interactions provides perspective for effective interaction, which is key to effective leadership skills and a culture of high-functioning leaders. Here are some of my systems for sorting out my own issues and staying aware of my skills and gaps:

Self-Awareness

First, how do you evaluate your skills, personal interactions, and functioning as the leader of the organization?

  1. List Your Top Skills – Leadership is skill based. Nobody is born a leader. Some people adapt easier than others and some have more potential than others. Build an inventory of the top skills you possess. Rate each one from 1-10, with 10 being the highest.
  2. List the Skills Worthy of Improvement – Choose from the list in #1 those skills with a number above 6. Those skills below 6 should be delegated. Don’t waste time working on skills that need too much development. Fill those gaps with people rating high in those competencies.
  3. Define Your Gaps – These are things you are not good at or should not be doing. These are the top duties to delegate. Letting go of things you should not be doing lets you focus on the things that only you can do.
  4. Define New Competencies to Explore – You might have more abilities than you realize – until you consider the challenge of developing a new skill. Make a list of some new things to consider. Caution: If you have lots of ability, don’t try to do everything. Letting go of low priorities gives more value to the high priorities.

Personal Skills Upgrades

How do you access your skills as a leader?

  1. Think About It – Not every leader thinks. Specifically, many leaders do not set aside time for thinking. Schedule a time on your daily calendar for thinking time. Develop a strategy for thinking – define a topic, identify a problem, reflect on your evaluation, review your schedule, etc. Or, just push out every thought in your mind and reflect on whatever enters your mind. Define the time slot and set a timer. Take notes when finished. Moving immediately into action without thinking about methods or processes can be a way to set up problems.
  2. Ask Others – There are ways to get perspective from team members that don’t compromise the leader. Ask open-ended questions such as, “How did you feel when I ….” or “How did you interpret my comments in the last team meeting?” You should also have a group of colleagues in a formal or informal peer group who will provide you with straight answers to your questions. Think about the questions because the choice of words will directly impact the response you get. Be sure to listen, and don’t argue or defend.
  3. Create a Feedback Group – This is different from #2 when you ask individuals. This is asking questions in a group setting of advisers, peers, colleagues, or other trusted leaders. Develop consistent questions to ask at various intervals – get feedback over time on some of the same issues or challenges. A mastermind group is a good example of group support.
  4. Constantly Read Leadership Material – Check out trusted sources and compare yourself to those ideas. Stay away from what’s trendy or radical. Don’t read a book one day and then attempt to try everything in that book the next day. Learn the principles behind the tools, systems, or strategies, and then adapt those principles to your leadership style and personality. Nobody respects a copy-cat leader. Be authentic.

Being Authentic

When you don’t know the answer to a specific problem, what do you do?

  1. Bluff and pretend that you have the answer – Pretending that you are always right, or have the right answer, is a fast way to lose the respect of your team. Pretending that you don’t have weaknesses tempts others to want to prove you to be wrong. A bluff covers up the problem and isolates you, preventing receiving answers from a person who might have some wisdom to share. Bluffing is bad.
  2. Call a friend – No, this isn’t a TV show, but you can take time out to call someone with specialized knowledge – or several with expertise that you need. Leadership is about identifying your gaps and allowing others to fill those gaps.
  3. Ignore the problem, hoping that it will go away – This is the #1 strategy that causes small problems to grow into nuclear proportions. Address any problem when you first see it. The longer you wait, the more it will cost – in money, time and relationships.
  4. Gather your executive team and conduct a problem-solving activity – This is the best way to gain perspective and to define potential solutions. Be direct in addressing the issue in specific terms without blaming or criticizing individuals. Let the group respond and own the actions that come from this session.

Tools

Here’s a short leadership assessment to help you think about your situation. Let me know if you want to talk about your results. Leadership Assessment: http://bit.ly/1s0mITV

More for developing your skills and systems for creating a sustainable, profitable enterprise at http://thedefinitiveleader.com

Hugh Ballou
The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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(c) 2014 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.
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Hugh Ballou on March 21st, 2016

You must have control of the authorship of your own destiny. The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand.  

– Irene C. Kassorla

One of the most common problems I encounter, when working with leaders to build results and create effective teams, is described in the statement, “My people just don’t do what I need them to do.” I suggest that this problem comes from the leader, not from the team. Leadership is defining the desired outcomes, and then making those outcomes become reality. Leadership is a skill and a system.

When a leader defines the vision and then sets specific goals to achieve that vision, it’s important to leave a place for team members to create their strategies for their work. It is limiting for team members when a leader not only defines the outcomes, but also defines all the steps to get there.

You have a worthy vision and have created powerful goals that will drive processes toward achieving that vision. Create systems where team members can create the steps to success – the action plan. Once each team member can contribute a process step, they move from being interested in the vision to owning the vision.

When developing the action plan, encourage the team to define the standards of excellence – the critical success factors. Define what success looks like and how it will be measured.

If you create a sloppy procedure for this process, then you are creating a less-than-excellent organization. Inspire excellence. Define the goal, move forward by creating a process to define all the steps to achieve that goal, put the steps into a sequence, and then let the team members divide up the responsibility for managing those process steps. Be focused in your process. Allow each member to contribute. Assign responsibilities and deadlines. Shift the accountability from you, the leader, to the team, in a culture of peer-to-peer accountability.

The biggest killer of excellence is the boring, unproductive meeting! Rehearse excellence by creating effective systems. Effective meetings empower and encourage high functioning in team performance. The finest musical ensembles rehearse for every performance. Change the misquoted phrase, “Practice makes perfect,” to the correct quote, “Perfect practice makes perfect performance.” Rehearse for success. Build the DNA of high performance into every system in the organization you lead.

TIP: Plan the outcomes at the planning meeting. Plan the process to get to the outcomes. Define the process and outcomes at the beginning of the meeting. Keep the group on task. Excellence in planning leads to excellent results.

 

Conducting Power Packed MeetingsGet Hugh’s report, 

“Conducting Power-Packed Meetings”

HERE

NO MORE BORING MEETINGS!


Hugh Ballou
The Transformational Leadership Strategist

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(c) 2014 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

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Hugh Ballou on March 4th, 2016

The Friday Five…The Best Of…Things NOT to Do!

March 4, 2016

 

The Friday Five

I’m constantly discovering something that advances my leadership knowledge and competency. This series presents the best ideas and resources that I have discovered during the week. The list of the 5 best will vary randomly, featuring my top posts, the top posts from others, leadership books and resources, and top concepts.

I don’t benefit from promoting any of these posts unless noted. Sometimes, I don’t even know the writer. However, I do read and personally grow my knowledge by reading posts that challenge my thinking and get me to think outside my old paradigm. It’s not important that you agree with any of these writers. It’s only important that you think. I hope you will find some new sources of inspiration with these posts. Here’s the next group of 5 in the series:

The Top Ways Leaders Limit Success

…and Income!

 

Here are the top leadership traps that block leaders from attracting the desired income that is well deserved. I meet lots of leaders who are social entrepreneurs with great products or services and don’t know how to generate income from those great ideas.

Here are the top 5 barriers that leaders have that block income generation from their products and services:

  1. Arrogance: Lack of sufficient self-awareness blinds leaders to the gaps in their skills to lead the enterprise, and to find and lead a high-performance team. We attract what we are rather than what we need. Not being self-aware leads to making decisions without the skills to discern whether it’s the right decision. Remedy: Do whatever it takes to become transparent and be able to listen to others to understand how to leverage the skills and wisdom of the team.
  2. Ignorance: Pretending to know it all and not knowing differently. Not knowing what we don’t know is the biggest leadership barrier. We as leaders actually set up problems and are not fully aware of the consequences of our decisions. Not knowing and not caring is a key for bad leadership. Remedy: Hire a leadership coach who is experienced in the area of expertise for you; however, don’t hire a person from within the industry. For example, a nonprofit executive director should not hire a former executive director, a pastor should not hire a former pastor, etc.  Get expertise that’s knowledgeable about your field, but is from outside the field.
  3. Insecurity: Not feeling worthy limits meaningful conversations that create the remedies for #1 & #2 above. Insecure leaders don’t ask for input from team members. Insecure leaders make the decisions and don’t value corrective feedback. Insecure leaders actually have a negative script playing inside themselves attracting negative results. If you think that you will succeed or that you will fail, you are correct. Remedy: Find a support system to reveal and address the source of insecurity. Having a Bowen Systems coach is a way to understand our family history and to understand why we have these tendencies. Knowing is the first step to overcoming.
  4. Impatience: We pray for patience and we want it NOW! We want success more than we want to do the work to achieve the objectives we have defined. Patience comes with experience and with careful planning. Remedy: Spending enough time in planning a strategic framework for the enterprise will also inform you of the needed time for each step. Appoint an accountability partner to assist in staying on track and holding responsible expectations.
  5. Laziness: As I said above, it takes work to be successful. There are no short cuts to success…none! Doing the necessary work separates the successful from the well-intentioned. Nobody else will make you successful. It’s the work that creates the knowledge, and skills that attract the results. Remedy: Having a coach and accountability partner, along with a mastermind group, are ways to participate in a support system that will help. Being transparent, as pointed out above, is also a key factor.

What is your take on the top 5 limits to your success? Please comment below.

Get my free report:
Self-Sufficiency: Creating a Sustainable, Profitable Business

Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

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(c) 2016 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

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Hugh Ballou on March 1st, 2016

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”  ― Benjamin Franklin

Strategic Planning

Planning is a key part of every success. I meet startup leaders almost every day who are implementing tactics in the absence of an overall strategy. I continue to see leaders compromise their success and the success of the organizations they lead. I have identified 5 pillars for success. Without these 5 pillars, we greatly compromise our results and even set up our organizations for failure. Even leaving out one of these pillars will compromise your success by at least 50%.

Hugh Ballou’s Pillars for Success:

  1. Strategy: Leadership without a strategic framework for the organization will compromise the results, overwork the leadership and teams, and waste time and money. A strategy is a Solution Map defining where the organization wants to be and how to get there. The planners must be the doers…no exceptions. The top-level team, the board and the staff are key to implementation. The integration of strategy and performance happens with the planning.
  2. Leadership: Leadership, communications, and financial results are all grounded in effective relationships. Creating a culture of high performance starts with the first person (the leader) and is developed with intentionality with each addition to the board, the staff, the committees, the advisors, and the community advocates. Here are my 4 principles of leadership:
    • Foundations: Know the Score – Having a written plan and being able to articulate that plan to stakeholders is essential. A part of the plan is the sequence of actions within phases. Another key part of the plan is a list of competencies for implementation. The first competency to work on is that of the leader.
    • Relationships: Hire the Best – Using the list of competencies in the plan, build the teams. Here are my 4 steps on in-boarding new players, whether staff, volunteer, board member, advisor, or consultant:
      1. Competency – Check for skills and validate those skills. Check references.
      2. Role and Responsibility – Define the role and responsibility for the new team member. Be sure you are both clear on the scope and sequence of the work required. Write it down.
      3. Culture Fit – Check the core values and guiding principles in the Solution Map for a culture fit. A culture mismatch will be an unsolvable problem, without buy-in from both parties.
      4. Performance Expectations – Define the expected results for the position and create a document for accountability. By the way, expectations go both ways.
    • Systems: Rehearse for Success – Create and constantly improve systems of engagement. We paralyze good people by putting them into bad systems where they can’t fully function, therefore setting up a problem causing the new person to fail. One really bad system is the boring, unproductive meeting. Get my tips here – An Agenda: The Enemy of Productivity in Meetings!
    • Balance: Value the Rests – Balance is the element that makes the other three work. We must care for self, and balance work and personal life. We must balance multiple priorities. We must balance our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual self. Balance means getting perspective and caring for self to remain at the top of the game. Be in the mode of constant improvement.
  3. Finances: Create an operational budget in which each line item connects to a milestone in the strategy. Also, create a startup budget from concept to launch. The missing element is the cash flow projection. A big part of success is having a financial person on the team to approve and interpret the financial documents.
    • Startup Budget: If you are in the concept stage of development, then create a “Now” budget from the present to launch. It’s basically what you will need to build your plan, your skills, your team, and your budget to raise operational capital.
    • Operational Budget: This is defined in your strategic plan, or Solution Map as I call it. Every item should tie into a milestone on the plan.
    • Cash Flow Projection: We sometimes create cash flow analysis to see where our money went (brake lights) and don’t create forecasts of how long current funds will last (headlights).
  4. Team: Teams are essential to the work of any organization. In tax-exempt organizations, moving from volunteer thinking to a cadre of community servant leaders will impact the results of the organization. Build the culture principles and the skills to lead the teams before inviting the first team member to join, and then create a culture of high performance in which the team is an active part of the assimilation process.
  5. Coaching: The best leaders, like the top sports figures, always have a coach. The leader’s job is to define and lead the work. Over 90% of the skills and systems are hidden from visionary leaders, especially startup leaders and early-stage organization leaders. Always having an experienced coach is the essential step for accountability, sequence, skills, discernment, clarity, and referrals. Even if we are coaches, consultants, business or nonprofit strategists, we can’t do for ourselves what we can do for others.

The effective Transformational Leader begins with self transformation.

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Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

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(c) 2016 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.

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Hugh Ballou on February 26th, 2016

The Friday Five…The Best Of…The Best Blogs of the Week

February 26, 2016

 

The Friday Five

I’m constantly discovering something that advances my leadership knowledge and competency. This series presents the best ideas and resources that I have discovered during the week. The list of the 5 best will vary randomly, featuring my top posts, the top posts from others, leadership books and resources, and top concepts.

I don’t benefit from promoting any of these posts unless noted. Sometimes, I don’t even know the writer. However, I do read and personally grow my knowledge by reading posts that challenge my thinking and get me to think outside my old paradigm. It’s not important that you agree with any of these writers. It’s only important that you think. I hope you will find some new sources of inspiration with these posts. Here’s the next group of 5 in the series:

Memorable Blogs of the Week

 

Ashley Casey

Why Your Organization Needs A Learning Culture

Ashley CaseyTo keep abreast of these changes and ensure your business is flexible and adaptable, you need to foster and encourage a learning culture within your organization. Providing your biggest asset -your people- with training, development, and career pathways could also result in a happier, more-productive workplace and save financial resources spent on managing turnover.

But wait, there’s more! At PulseLearning we always remind our clients that a learning culture:

1. Builds sustainable engagement. 

Read the post…

 

Matthew Toren

5 Things Ecommerce Customers Actually Want From Your Store

Matthew TorenWhat should you be focusing on to improve your ecommerce business? You undoubtedly have plenty of ideas of your own, and so do your team members and external stakeholders. Then there’s the seemingly endless advice from industry publications and thought leaders.

It’s enough to make your head spin — you might feel like everywhere you turn, there’s another hot design trend, user experience concept, conversion optimization experiment or ecommerce tech tool that someone is hailing as the biggest business game-changer of all time.

Keep it in perspective. These aren’t the people who are going to directly bring in your ecommerce site’s revenues — your customers are.

Read the post…

 

Erika Anderson

Overwhelmed By Change? These 4 Things Can Make It Easier

Erika AndersonI was talking to a client over the phone yesterday, and she was telling me how exhausted everyone is in her organization.  They’ve been experiencing a tremendous amount of change recently  – they’re in the media business, which is undergoing seismic shifts on a daily basis. They’ve been involved in massive technological and structural transformation for the past few years, and now they’re getting a new leader, as well.

At one point, she said, “Will we ever get to just catch our breath?”

And my answer: “Probably not.”

Change is the new black. That is, change on every level has become the new day-to-day reality of business, and I don’t think we’re going back to the era where organizations initiated some kind of “change process” every few years and then went back to the status quo for awhile.

Read the post…

 

CAMERON MORRISSEY

10 WAYS GREAT LEADERS DEAL WITH PEOPLE THEY DON’T LIKE

CAMERON MORRISSEYFor most of us, it was around some point in Elementary School where we realized for the first time that there were just some people we didn’t like. As time went on and we developed our own sense of self, those numbers slowly expanded. In today’s work world you are going to “bump-heads” with more than a few people. The more people you interact with, the more likely that number is to jump higher. For leaders this can mean suppliers, employees, peers, customers, or their boss.

Your productivity and effectiveness as a leader often requires you to work alongside individuals you don’t particularly care for in the interests of your organizational goals. How you deal with people you don’t care for can tell you a lot about your maturity not just as a person, but as a leader as well. Below are 10 ways that great leaders look past their own dislike of an individual so that the organization can keep moving forward towards its goals.

They accept that they are not going to like everyone – There are as many personalities and competing agendas as there are people in the world. Some of those are going to conflict.

Read the post…

 

Kavitha

5 Top Tips to Improve Your Journalistic Writing

KavitaJournalism has a lot to offer for those who want to use their writing skills. If you are interested in this field, then you need an eye for the detail, understand the impact of the right words in the right place and must have people skills so that you can get both jobs and information. You also need to have a penchant for being as accurate as possible so that your readers are not led astray. Unlike almost any other writing job, journalism calls for a way of writing that reflects the facts because the readers are expecting you to provide just that. The question is how to improve your journalistic writing in keeping with the rules of good conduct. Read on to learn more.

1. Research well

It is of utmost importance for a journalist to write accurately and present facts that can be verified as true by any reader. This will increase your credibility as a journalist and along with that, comes a larger readership and better opportunities….

Read the post…

 

 

Hugh Ballou

The Transformational Leadership Strategist TM

Subscribe to The Transformational Leadership Strategist by Email

(c) 2016 Hugh Ballou. All rights reserved.