We May Be Undercharging

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Marketing, Strategy
Reading time: 1 min.

Profit pressure may come from burgeoning costs or poor planning. But often it comes from not charging enough. Many of us feel we need to compete on price because that’s what the market demands.

Really, though, it’s because we still have to do the work of focusing on our ideal clients, listening to how they explain their challenges, building our products and services to address those challenges, then demonstrating how we help, why us, and why now.

Let’s serve our clients well and compete on value.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Korona Lacasse 20160331-3543-E2 via photopin (license)

The Essence of Good Strategy

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Strategy, What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 1 min.

Good strategy requires clarity about the present, clarity about the future, and a good dose of ignorance about the past.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: We only have to ask, “What is true now? What do we want to be true and why?”

PPS: We capture the past with the present: everything important from the past is found in our present. We leave the rest alone because focus on the past will keep us rooted there.

 

Today’s photo credit: Ib Aarmo My great grandfather’s chess pieces via photopin (license)

Customer or Customer-Service?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Marketing, Strategy, We=All Who Matter
Reading time: 1 min.

Customer-service oriented leaders go out of their way to ensure that clients have the best possible experience with their companies’ products and services. Laudable.

Customer-oriented leaders go out of their way to understand what the clients need, want, and desire now and in the future. They then design their companies’ products and services to meet those needs, wants, and desires. Freakin’ amazing.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: We excel when we turn the cameras away from ourselves and toward our clients.

 

Today’s photo credit: Matt@PEK Onboard A380 First Class – Lufthansa via photopin (license)

The Siren Songs That Tempt Every Leader

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Do=Natural flow of action, Leading, Strategy
Reading time: 1 min.

Trying to figure it all out and get it all done are the siren songs of leadership. They snare us every time.

We can avoid the rocks of micromanagement and the shoals of overwrought strategy by leading instead of deciding or doing. We have more than enough to do as captain of the ship. Our work is getting clear on desired outcomes, setting up rules of engagement so that everyone can win, believing (really, really) we will succeed, tracking and tacking, and getting out of the way so that others can execute.

Let them do the figuring out and executing.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: One sign that you are headed for the rocks: the sense that it’d just be faster if you did the work instead of them. Steer away! Pure siren song, that.

 

Today’s photo credit Lorenzo Costa – The Yorck Project: 10.000 Meisterwerke der Malerei. DVD-ROM, 2002. ISBN 3936122202. Distributed by DIRECTMEDIA Publishing GmbH., Public Domain, Link

What To Do When You’re In The Quick-Fix Trap

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Strategy, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

We can get trapped thinking we need a quick fix. Maybe we want a long-standing problem (e.g. not enough sales) to go away (e.g. by hiring someone to take over sales). Or perhaps we hope our problems will go away when someone discovers, picks, or rescues us.

But quick fixes rarely work. They miss what’s really going on.

Our desire for a quick fix masks our real needs: a bit of courage and a new habit or two to get us and our companies where we want to go. We don’t need to be rescued; we need the habit of winning while helping others to win. We don’t need someone take over sales; we need to have the whole company adopt a trustworthy sales process.

Quick fix? Think instead of the underlying habits we really need.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit:
Joe Loong
cc

Better Business Decisions

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Strategy
Reading time: 1 min.

We will make much better business decisions when we slow down. We will then be able to take some time, go for win-win, ask a few trusted advisors, and use our logic plus our gut-smarts.

We need not slow down too much.  But we do have to give up on the myth that our value is in coming up with the answers.  Our job is to make sure that decisions are made well and in a timely way

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Brandon Carpenter cc

Just Add And

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Strategy, What=Compelling Focus, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

We believe in trade-offs: we can have either freedom or structure, money or doing what we love, short-term profits or long-term sustainability, good looks or good personality, I win or you win, openness or security, low price or good quality, etc.

These apparent dichotomies create intractable problems and limit our health, wealth, and happiness. Yet they are based on not much at all. Who says we can’t have both?

In fact, we can solve many of our problems with one little, powerful word: and.

Instead of saying, for instance, “We can have profit or ensure everyone is well-paid,” we can ask, “How can we be very profitable and make sure everyone is well paid?” This unleashes our creativity and opens possibilities.

Just add and.

 

In your corner,

Mike

Today’s photo credit: A Fork In The Road via photopin (license)

What to Do When We See People Struggling, Pushing, Fighting, Complaining, Burning Out, or Leaving.

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Hiring, Leading, Strategy, We=All Who Matter, What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 2 min.

Every business must have a rhythm for people getting the right things done well together.

The rhythm includes

  • regular, sane, productive meetings,
  • a way to select, do, track, and course-correct strategic projects,
  • communication and accountability norms,
  • role designs that say what results (not tasks) we expect from each person,
  • hiring people who understand and support the rhythm, and
  • an organizational design (how to split up the work, who reports to whom) that supports the goals.

Our job as leaders of both new and existing organizations includes ensuring that this rhythm always evolves to match the age, stage, and size of our organizations, that people know how it all works, and that they work with the rhythm to succeed well, often, and happily.

It’s time to improve the rhythm whenever we see goals missed and people struggling, pushing hard, fighting, complaining, burning out, or leaving. We can tell we are doing this well when the right things consistently get done well, with ease, and we are hitting our goals.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: We may think that being the leader means being in charge. That is, we set the direction, make decisions, and delegate. Being in charge is an important part of leadership. Stewarding the rhythm is the other important part. If you prefer doing one part, consider hiring someone to take over the other part.

 

Today’s photo credit: Lif… cc

Powerful Leaders vs. Forceful Leaders

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Strategy, We=All Who Matter, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

We tend to confuse power with force.

Force makes things happen or makes people do what we want. Force generates and must constantly counter resistance. Force drains.

Power is clarity about and alignment of our purposes. With power, the right things get done with ease. There is no force in power. Power sustains.

We want to be powerful leaders, not forceful ones.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Graham Cook cc

These Aren’t The Solutions We’re Looking For

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Strategy, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 1 min.

The solution that we crave will remain frustratingly hidden until we raise our buzz. When we raise our buzz, the solution comes into view. It will be so simple that we will wonder why we hadn’t seen it before.

And if we feel bad while considering, formulating, or enacting any solutions, these aren’t the solutions we’re looking for.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Tom Simpson cc