Author Archives: Bandofbosses

 

 

Over the years of hiring for different positions locally and internationally,  I have had my fair share of accomplishments and failures to learn how much the right hires can make a company unique and special while the wrong hires can erode everything you have built to accomplish. When I think about chicken, the first thing that pops to mind is Chick-Fil-A and that is because of the amazing people that work there.  They always have a ready smile, a great attitude and for some reason they seem to be the only fast food place in town that remembers to put your condiments in the bag every time you go. That is not by accident, sure, they train well, but I believe they hire for that and in doing so they have distanced themselves from every other chicken place or burger joint in the planet. Now let’s look at KFC, the original famous chicken place.  Personally I think their chicken tastes better than Chick-Fil-A but I will drive past three KFC’s to get to one Chick-Fil-A. I am sure you know the answer why- their employees look like they hate working there, they ask for your order at least 3 times and when it comes it is usually still wrong. They don’t have a product problem, they have a hiring problem and that is why Chick-Fil-A is wiping the floor with them.

 

You can take any industry in the world and find the same set of issues over and over again. Whether it’s a small business or a Fortune 500 company, hiring can make or break an organization.  Company A has great service while company B has average to bad service and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out which one is winning. So what does it take to make a great hire? Here are three steps to getting things started right.

Hiring for cultural fit ensures organization success

  • Identify your culture – Who are you and what do you represent? A team culture has to be decisively defined from the inception of a business. If you had  a hard time figuring it out, you most likely are already in the thick of figuring it out the hard way. But it is not too late. Take your top two to three high performing employees and break down what they do that makes them indispensable.  Try to be as specific as possible. An example would be: “Yesterday Paul had a client he was about to lose to a competitor but he thought outside of the box and bundled Product X which has been sitting in inventory thus creating more value and now the customer has changed his mind and decided to work with us.”  I know this seems simplistic, but flesh out day to day examples of core values that make an employee stand out- whether it is innovation, integrity, adaptability, accountability, self improvement, teamwork, integrity- find it and define it. Conversely, pick your average employees and figure out what makes them mediocre. An example would be,  “The team did not meet a project deadline this month, and instead of owning up her own failure and finding areas of improvement, Debbie jumped at the opportunity to blame another team member and management for lack of process or resources. She does this often and is hardly open to criticism. “ But Debbie shows up everyday! But she does not demonstrate accountability, and her blame game is starting to be contagious. Stop right there! Realize that average employees are worse than bad employees, because they have enough good qualities to make it hard to let them go but they keep you and your team from having another high performer. The sooner you’ve established what you do and do not like through specific examples, it becomes apparent what type of company and culture you are trying to build. Once you have a well defined company culture, you need to refine your recruiting and hiring process to support these core values.

 

 

  • Finding the right candidates – If finding a good candidate was as easy as just writing a post on Monster and the floodgates would open, there would be no need for professional recruiters and talent acquisition specialists. Finding the right person starts with going to the right places. LinkedIn and Indeed.com are great places to post jobs for people actively seeking work but you do not want to miss out on passive candidates. Go beyond traditional recruiting and use sites like Exalead.com. Be proficient at using Boolean search terms to narrow down your list of possible candidates. There are books and tutorials as much as there are college courses that cover Boolean search so I won’t go over that. The key thing is to target the right places to conduct your search. Your search strategy should have a well defined skill set along with job titles to make sure you do not miss out on a future rock star that just happens to be in a different field at the moment. (And if they happen to be in the same field, beware that non-compete). Once you have your passive candidate short list, reach out and grab that coffee. A friendly discussion about career paths can go a long way. Other creative ways to find good candidates is to  maximize social media networking, incentivize referrals or be active in community events. The best employees I have ever hired I found through networking or referrals. Some of them were not even actively looking. One that comes to mind is someone I met at church. I remember thinking “this kid is driven and has a great attitude”. Someone from my hiring team was eyeing another candidate who had a double major from the most expensive college in town and who had a stronger background in our industry. Fortunately, cultivating fresh talent won the argument that day and long story short, my “kid” was instrumental to some of the best years we’ve had in revenue growth and customer satisfaction, and validated my philosophy that I can train skills all day long but I can not train character or force a fit.

 

 

  • Interview to win –  One of the common mistakes most interviewers make is asking the same set of questions to different candidates. While this is useful for an initial screening, at the very least  I always use a strengths based test to have an initial read on a candidate’s mental aptitude and personality dimensions. This allows me to have a customized list of questions to conduct behavioral interviews, allowing me to probe and have a stronger understanding of a candidate’s potential and areas for improvement. I go back to step one and look at my list of core values. For example, if flexibility or adaptability is one of them, I would use questions to prompt for this, such as “Describe a time when you were expected to complete a project with a tight deadline and with little to no direction.” I can then observe if the candidate shows indecisiveness or has the ability to act on his or her own. A good HR department will have an exhaustive list of well formulated interview questions with interpretive guides to use depending on the candidate’s profile.  Use them! Above all else, listen. Many interviewers go into an interview and end up spending the entire time talking. A good candidate always turns the table and gets me and the panel talking and I have to remind myself to make sure to listen more than I talk.

 

 

These are simple steps without the geek speak and there is much more to employee retention than recruiting and hiring. It  is important to study the trends, best practices and ethics in the field of Human Resources and to use technology to make the process easier, but at the end of the day, finding the best talent boils down to knowing and understanding people and starts with who you allow in. And when you find them, repeat Step 1. Religiously. Identify your high performers versus average performers. Evaluate both for these core values and not just performance. It is easy to get caught up in a reclamation project but keeping an average employee can lead to a toxic work environment, or you may be holding them back from being a high performer somewhere else. Define and protect your team culture and do not compromise on finding employees that fit your vision and your company culture.

 

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd is the director of sales and talent acquisition at a sportswear business based in Oviedo, FL and one of the founders of iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on consistent and sustainable support for foster homes, homeless assistance and natural disaster survivors.

Have you ever heard someone say “yes, Fundraising time!”? If you have you would be one of the few because typically nobody wants anything to do with fundraising. It makes us uncomfortable and many times isn’t worth the hassle when all is said and done. So let’s talk about 4 that are worth it and 3 that probably are not.

Worth it:

  • Car Wash –  yes a good ol’ fashion car wash on a hot day can be a great way to make money if you have access to a good spot and a couple of outgoing teammates willing to flag down cars passing by. It’s also good because the “safety in numbers” feel you get by not being the only one there trying to ask for money

  • ESPN The Magazine –  ESPN has a great fundraising program that allows the kids to sell subscriptions to their magazines online and the best part is that the team keeps $30 out of the $40 per subscription .  Most players can find at least 1 or 2 family members or friends willing to get a one year magazine subscription for charity and if you have 10 players that’s an easy $300-$450 in your team’s pocket to pay for expenses like uniforms or lodging etc.

sublimated basketball uniforms

  • Parent Jerseys – This one is the biggest no brainer of the bunch. Nearly all parents and many grandparents would love the chance to sport their kids jersey in the stands to let their boy/girl know how proud they are of them. Allen Sportswear is one company that always offers to make parent jerseys at a discount so leagues can sell them for fundraising. You can get a mock up of the parent jersey and email it out to the parents so they can see it and get excited or your league can have one made and display it during registration so the parents can reserve one on the spot.   Either way works great and it’s an easy way for the league to earn thousands in fundraising before the season even starts.

  • Donut Deliveries – Who doesn’t like Donuts? Getting neighbors and family to buy a dozen donuts for $15 and then getting Krispy Kreme donuts in the morning is easy and a sure fire winner. Just put a post on Facebook and another app like NextDoor and post that you’re delivering Donuts for $15 a dozen and before you know it you will be up $500-$1000! It’s amazing what a few determined moms can do in one day… On a side not I’d like to thank the amazing volunteers at iprevail and foster friends of Oviedo for  stealing their idea. 

 

Not worth it:

  • Cookies – Telling a kid to go out and get cookie orders “yuck”.. Nobody is excited for that, the kids feel terrible and the parents end up having to buy all the cookies because nobody else wants them. Then the parents get bitter at your league for forcing them to buy expensive, crappy tasting cookies and start thinking about putting their kids in a different league next year. No thanks.

  • Coupon Books – Another item nobody wants to buy, $10 to save 10% at some sandwich joint nobody goes to is hardly appealing.  Every time my kids bring me a stack of those things I feel depressed knowing I’d have to pay for them all and I’d never use those stupid things once. I actually did take my kid out of a football league for making me buy 5 of them. I was so angry I signed him up for a different league the next year.  So if you’re looking to lose a bunch of players just force them to sell useless coupon cards! Yeah!

  • Sponsorship runs –  I’m gonna run 20 laps at who cares field so please give me money for every lap.  It’s takes people all of 1 second to know they are being duped and get annoyed. Then the kid pleads “please help me, I have to earn $50 by next week”. You look into those sweet eyes and vow to knock the daylights out of whatever adult has put you in this incredibly awkward situation. If it’s your kid you also vow to never sign them up for that league again for as long as you live. Great, you just lost more athletes, congratulations!

 

The need for fundraisers is prevalent and real but how you go about it can make or break your team/league. So be smart, don’t put the kids and parents in awkward situations; instead do a fundraising activity that will bring your athletes, coaches and families closer together for a stronger foundation.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and one of the founders of iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on consistent and sustainable support for foster homes, homeless assistance and natural disaster survivors.

Everyone is looking for a competitive advantage these days. Most towns have multiple leagues so directors are competing for the best athletes against another league just a few miles down the road and the uniforms your league wears go a long way in ensuring you end up on top. However, not everyone can afford big brands like Nike for their uniforms and with the easy access to internet, there has been a lot of cheaper sources for your organization’s uniform and equipment needs, and if you’re lucky you will find one at par or even better than big brand quality. Should you rely on luck? Picking the right uniform and the right company to provide them should be a huge priority for any league.

I will start a 7 part series to go over the most common shortcuts and pitfalls of uniform buying.

PART 1: “INTEGRATED PANTS”

Obviously there are a lot of uniform questions we can go over but I’d like to focus on integrated pants today. It seems all the rage lately has been for custom integrated youth pants. Leagues want the bottoms to match the crazy tops and for good reason, it looks really cool.

Are custom Integrated pants a good idea for your league?

 

Offshore companies like Pakistan, Philippines and Mexico have recently started making cheaper sublimated integrated pants and it’s caught on like wildfire but is it a good idea?  Before you jump headfirst into integrated pants and custom top for $59.99 you have to ask yourself why it’s so ridiculously cheap.  The danger zone in all these uniforms is that the integrated pants are not equipped with approved pads so if one on your boys gets a compound fracture in a game and they open them up what they will find is a double layer of cheap foam in the sewn pocket. I made a decision a few years back not to sell anything like this but instead sew the pockets in the hip and butt so you don’t need a girdle.  What this allows the league to do is put approved padding in the thighs, knees, buttocks and hips and avoid a potential massive lawsuit.

(Extra ribbing on the thighs and very stiff for maximum protection)

(These are approved pads for youth football)

 

(vs unapproved overseas foam pads)

 

( It’s clear to see that these are just two piece of foam glued together with a little plastic to hold the shape)

 (Ridiculously bad quality and dangerous)

( These are actual pads pulled from overseas integrated pants.  They are cheap, flimsy and glued together to make them appear like the approved pads…. This is a lawsuit waiting to happen)

Is it worth it?  I guess that’s the million dollar question. Since these overseas companies have no oversight or regulations they have cut corners to a very dangerous level. Blocks of cheap foam is not an approved pad and it’s only a matter of time before something bad happens. Custom integrated pants really became popular just a few years ago so most people, leagues and officials have yet to realize how dangerous these foam pads are for the kids. So I guess the answer is if potentially ruining a kids career before it starts or even losing your home to save a few dollars on these cheap pants is worth it to you then go for it. With all the added safety rules that the football industry is coming up with to protect our kids, I would think that it should be a huge priority for leagues to ensure they are wearing the proper safety equipment.

 

If you are a parent of one of the players I would demand to have the league open up a pair of game pants and inspect the padding yourself. It’s dangerous and could potentially ruin your kid’s life.  It’s time to put a stop to this new dangerous trend and protect the kids from potentially lifelong injuries..

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and one of the founders of iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on consistent and sustainable support for foster homes, homeless assistance and natural disaster survivors.

 

Lets face it, it’s easy to get discouraged. There will always be ups and downs in your business and sometimes the easiest thing to do is quit. I’ve been there many times in my life and the temptation to give up when times get hard never goes away. Sometimes the issues are your fault and sometimes unforeseen circumstances can really mess with you. Recently I came down with Bell’s Palsy, it can be quite debilitating for many reasons. Half my face is paralyzed so I look funny, my right eye won’t close so it’s always dry and always hurts and since half my mouth won’t move, I slur my words and sound drunk.  But since I’m a small business owner I can’t just tuck away in bed and hide, I still have to show up, talk to people and deal  with my severe limitations.  On top of that sales hasn’t been where I need it, I have a young kid who’s acting like a young teenager and driving everyone nuts, and everyone and their grandma seems to need something from me. In a nutshell this is a perfectly acceptable time to call it quits, I doubt anyone would blame me or see me as a failure.  Just take off for a month and come back and see where it all lands.  This is where the 3 F’s in my life keep me going and it’s why I haven’t given up a 100x over the past 15 years of business ownership.Faith Family Friends

 

They are (Faith, Family and Friendship) which I’ll go over in more detail:

 

Faith: Why is faith so important? Many people claim to have no faith and they seem fine so why do I need it? In a nutshell Faith gives me hope for a better tomorrow, one scripture in the bible that keeps me going is I Corinthians 10:13  No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

 

Many times I feel like like I’m at the point of not being able to endure any more but the funny thing about pain and trials is that the next time they come I find I can endure more than the last. What used to flip me out and put me in a deep depression before is nothing more than a mild inconvenience now. In short the testing of my faith has developed my endurance to handle more and for that I’m incredibly thankful for the trials I have been given. Sounds kinda weird just writing it but I know it’s true in my heart as I’m writing it now.

 

Family: Socrates once wrote “By all means marry, if you get a good wife, you’ll be happy, if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher” … This quote is really funny because of how true it is. The same goes about getting a good husband, but the point being is that your spouse is your backbone, the one you can rely on and the one who will stand by you forever. It’s easy to lash out at them when things go bad but avoid that temptation at all cost. Sometimes I’m scared to be vulnerable with my wife because I don’t want her to worry too much but in the end I have to open up or I can end up driving a wedge between her and I that will not only ruin our marriage but possibly the business as well. Never ever turn on your support no matter how tempted, they will get you through the darkest times if you treat them with love and respect even when everything seems to be going wrong. If you are not married then you need a sounding board you can trust whether that’s your mom, dad, sister or brother. But the same rules apply, be open to input and never turn on them even if you don’t’ like what they are saying.

 

Friendship: Sometimes we develop friendships that are as close as family but be careful that you don’t overstay your welcome. Having friendships is a great thing but relying too much on them may make you a burden and drive them away. It’s important to have the right friendships in your life that are reciprocal. If you have what feels like one way friendships, it’s important as a business owner to let them go, they will suck the life out of you when you are at your lowest and drive you to do something stupid.  The friendships you need as a business owner need to be mutually beneficial. While this may sound calculated, think about how you are not doing anyone a favor by tolerating superficial friendships.  Mature friendships have a fairly good amount of healthy give and take so when you do need them they will be there for you, and the other way around. There is no room for a fair weather friend in a business owner’s life.  Our life is too demanding for that so I have personally moved on from half the people I called friends a few years ago.  It was really hard at first but the dividends it paid in my life where well worth it. It may be painful but doing the right thing often is.

I’m writing all this in the middle of so many trials which has really given me time to reflect on how lucky I am to have my beautiful wife Tina, my amazing kids and the rest of my family by my side.  I also have amazing employees who are loyal and hard working along with a great group of friends.  I know without all of them I would have given up a long time ago.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and one of the founders of iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on consistent and sustainable support for foster homes, homeless assistance and natural disaster survivors. 

 

 

 

 

 

hands teamwork

 

Studies have shown that a company’s atmosphere is what makes the difference between being profitable and unprofitable. Companies that have an atmosphere of encouragement tend to be highly profitable while companies that have interoffice friction or simply don’t promote encouragement typically are barely making it or actually losing money. Since most people would prefer to have a wildly profitable company over a struggling one I listed six great ways to encourage in the office.

 

1. Greet each other – yes this is a profound one but simply walking in the office each day, smiling and making sure everyone is greeted in your office lifts the spirits and encourages those who are recipients.

 

2. Use praise in abundance – when someone makes a great sale go out of your way to make a big deal out of it. When a coworker gets something done on time make sure they know how much you appreciate it. If an employee is having a hard day take the time to sit down and listen. This is not rocket science it’s simply letting people know you care.



3. Talk about victories in weekly meetings – it’s easy to get caught up in numbers, bills, problems and issues during a weekly meeting. So instead of bringing up the issues and problems right away start the meeting by quickly talking about a victory they’ve had in the past week. This will allow them to reflect on how awesome that victory felt and it also allows everyone to share in the victory.

 

4. Send out testimonials for all to read – The only thing better than a testimonial is a testimonial shared. Sometimes employees forget why they are doing what they do, then they read an amazing testimonial and all of a sudden they remember why they love their job so much. Good moral creates great encouragement.

 

5. Keep an open door – People need to know you’re accessible and that you won’t judge them. So keep an open door that allows people to tell you what’s happening and even if you don’t like what you hear make sure you thank them. If employees feel you are unapproachable they will start to talk behind your back and in no time at all you will be dealing with a toxic atmosphere.

 

6. Say “THANK YOU” – yes this seems so simple but companies such as chick-fil-A have literally built their business around using those two words… Get used to saying thank you over and over again to both coworkers and clients and watch how they react, then watch how your business grows!

 

There are plenty of ways to encourage but if you can just remember this one scripture the rest will follow: Ephesians 4:29

29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

why-uniforms-matter-1

 

 

When it comes to sports teams nearly every league or coach is faced with the dilemma of looking great or sticking to a set budget. Sometimes you can do both but usually one or the other has to give a little (or a lot) depending on budget. Usually the person in charge will choose to skimp out on uniforms because as long as everyone looks the same what’s the difference anyway right? Wrong.

Multiple studies have shown that what uniform you wear and how you look impacts your mental state and can even impact the game.  Here are a few examples of why

 

Your Uniforms Impact The Other Team – When a team shows up looking good it has a psychological impact on the team they are playing. The other team assumes you must be good based off of your looks and will come out playing less confident. On the other hand, when your opponent sees you wearing something that looks like it was bought at Walmart and screen printed they automatically assume your team is a bunch of scrubs and they come out swinging, fully expecting to win and that gives them the psychological edge.why-uniforms-matter-2

 

Your Uniforms Impact Your Own Players – Research has shown that when a player is dressed in what they feel is a superior uniform they not only have more confidence but actually believe they can lift more and run faster. How does this translate to wins?  Belief is a power tool for a coach and will give the players the confidence they need to pull off close games in the end. The players are more likely to be aggressive and less likely to get down if you start losing. All these variables factor into more wins by your confident players.

 

Your Uniforms Impact Future Teams – Getting the best players each year is a challenge for any coach. Not only do your uniforms impact your recruiting but it also impacts your retention rate. Players look around and see what everyone else is wearing, if they are always on the team that looks like garbage they will soon find a team that doesn’t. Unfortunately for that team, the player will usually find their new team by playing against them and taking a mental note of how great and confident that teams looks on the field. So you will end up losing your best player to a rival which really sucks.

why-uniforms-matter-3

Uniforms are only one factor in a successful team but they are a much bigger factor than most people believe. “Dress like it, play like it” is more than a tagline, it’s a way of life and a key to your future success.




 

 

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

 

depressedI look around every day and see people who are talented, intelligent and fully capable of making an impact around them but in reality how many people actually make an impact? If you think about everyone you know, how many can you honestly say is making a difference right now? I would venture to say the number is quite low, and even among the people making an impact it’s quite limited. That’s why when somebody actually does make a huge impact it can be quite astonishing. At the same time, have you ever met anyone that’s made a huge impact that doesn’t have a great story? A great story is essential to a life of impact and purpose and the only way to get a great story to go through great suffering. Here are three keys to making an impact through joyful suffering:

 

Embrace The Suffering – When I was young I read James 1:1-4 2Dear brothers and sisters,a when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

           To be honest I didn’t understand this scripture very well because I never learned      how to embrace the pain and be ok with it. How can anyone be alright with suffering and actually find joy in? When I learned to let it hurt, really hurt down deep without trying to talk myself out of it, distract myself or even tell myself it would be ok I learned a valuable lesson. You can only grow and move forward by letting the pain in, change you, mold you and allow you to move on from it.

 

Learn From The Suffering After letting the pain do its work without getting in it’s way by running to alcohol, smoking or talking your way out of it, it’s time to start reflecting on the issue. Ask yourself:

What am I supposed to learn from this?

How should I change?

What is God trying to tell me?

When you can answer these questions you will have learned a valuable lesson. It’s important not to skip this step because those who fail to learn from their past are doomed to repeat it.

 

Let The Suffering Change you Many times this can be the hardest part because it takes true humility to let your suffering permanently change who you are. It’s an acknowledgment that the way you were was not good enough and even the way you are changing will most likely still not be good enough. When you are humble enough to accept these changes you will grow like never before. This growth is what will enable you to make an impact on others, to change lives and to become the person you were meant to be. We are constantly being refined in the fire of life, those who allow their suffering to mold and change them will come out a masterpiece while those who fight the fire will eventually be consumed by it.

 

After going through all three of these steps, which can take days or weeks it’s easy to be joyful, enthusiastic and ready to conquer the world. But it’s the man or woman that can be joyful and thankful for the trials while it’s happening that will truly have an impact in this world.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

 

 

Byron-Scott1

Lets face it, when it comes to leadership we have all failed. In fact, without failure it is impossible to become a good leader. Failure is the greatest teacher and if you are humble that teacher will make you a good leader one day.  This leads me to Byron Scott, the now ex-coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. I have watched this team since I was a kid and I’ve never seen anything like the train wreck the past two years has brought to the Lakers team. The dysfunction on and off the floor was something you wouldn’t even believe in a movie, whether it was Russell taking secret videos of his teammates, or the team getting blown out by 40 it was hard not to watch this incredible train wreck. Coach Scott was responsible for this wreck just as much as Captain Edward John Smith was responsible for sinking the Titanic. The team was not very good and the players were too green but what this team suffered from the most was lack of leadership. There are three key areas he failed in that any leader can learn from.

D Angelo Russell

Lack of Humility – This may go against conventional wisdom because most of our great athletes tend to not have a shred of humility. As Kobe Bryant once said, “There may not be an I in team but there is in win”. This may work as a player but as a leader the biggest trait you must have is the humility to see your faults and change. Coach Scott liked to call others who disagreed with him stupid, he publicly chastised his players and blamed every loss on his team. It’s no wonder he had issues communicating with his players. Because he thought he was better than everyone else nobody stepped up to help him.  The players growth was stifled and he never developed a young leader to take over the reigns. In short, Scott coached with the same arrogance he played with. When I think of another athlete that never learned humility and has failed in the sport he loves so much Michael Jordan comes to mind. He has to be one of the the worst executives of all time and there is no reason for him to have that distinction other than his belief that he is better than everybody else.

 

No system – Coach Scott failed to set up a system within the organization that everyone would follow, a brand bible so to speak. When running an organization, whether sports or corporation, the first thing you must do is set in stone your core principles, what you’re trying to accomplish and how you’re going to get there. The past three years the Lakers have had no direction in what kind of free agent to pick or what kind of player to draft. Because they have no system, they don’t know how the pieces are supposed to fit together. People talk about how LaMarcus Aldridge walked away from his first choice Lakers because of analytic’s, but that really had nothing to do with it. When he showed up to he was blown away that the Lakers had no idea what they were looking for, how they were going to to play and how they planned on getting there. They tried to distract him by bringing in advertising firms and letting Kobe tell stories about his glory days.  Not only was this stupid but it let him know this organization was a hot mess and led to him practically running out the door. Every great coach has a system and a way of doing things in which he’s able to plug the right kind of player into, the Spurs are the best example of this in the NBA but other great examples are Coach K at Duke and Jim Boeheim at Syracuse.  All these coaches do an amazing job of not just signing good players, but good players that fit their system. A corporation is no different, look at the most successful companies and now think about their employees. Everyone knows what an Apple worker looks and talks like at their Genius Bar. You can walk into any Chick-Fil-A in America and you know you’re going to get a serving, respectful worker willing to go the extra mile for you. These companies hire the people that fit their DNA and that’s why they are great.

seahawks

No Love – Okay, I’m not saying he should be in love with his players or team, but I am saying he needs to show the love. Other than Kobe he rarely, if ever lifted his players up. When they did good he would point out the one bad thing they did. When they did bad, he would belittle them and many times bench them for extended periods of time.  Nothing was good enough for him and nobody was deserving. Take in contrast a coach like Pete Carroll, who has one of the toughest and hardest playing teams in the NFL.  He is practically a cheerleader on the sidelines, gives the credit for every victory to his players and gushes about all the positives of this players every time he’s in front of the camera. He may be on the extreme end of things but he is a great example of the power of loving up on your players and team. It’s important to lift your people up personally and publicly. They will work harder for you and you will see them in a better light as well, sounds like a win win to me.

 

Coach Scott will probably never coach again but he can still be successful in his life if he takes the lessons he learned and applies them to his life going forward. We can all learn from this, see our failures for what they are and learn to be better people, leaders and difference makers in this world.

 

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan

Out Of The Ashes – Resurrecting a Struggling Business

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There are many factors that can lead to a business struggling to survive. Change in consumer attitude toward your industry or product or change in the overall economy either up or down are a few macro reasons and can spell the death of your business, but the majority of time a business fails is because it’s lost it’s first love.

 

Remember when you first started your business. you didn’t know if you would make it but you wanted your business to stand for something.  You were passionate and felt like your business did it better than anyone else. Then you got big and things changed, new people came in that do not understand your vision or love for what you do and it became more about compensation and health plans than it did about being the best in the business.

 

Before you know it life’s worries have made you forget why you got into business in the first place and that’s when things go downhill. Sometimes it’s drastic and unrecoverable but other times it’s more subtle and slowly degrades your business, product and pride in what you do at your business over time. Your baby has become a millstone around your neck with little to no options of getting out. In short, you have forgotten what got you there in the first place and you’ve lost your first love.

 

Is there hope for you and your business?  There is if you do these 3 things..

 

1. Get back to the philosophy of why you started your business in the first place and train your employees on it as well. If it’s sports uniforms, spend meeting after meeting drilling into the heads of your group  that you are here to deliver the best uniforms and the best service the customers have ever seen. Make sure they know it’s not just about making money but more importantly, it’s about making the customers ordering experience amazing while giving the athletes a uniform that will make them confident every time they hit the hardwood or the field. Your employees should be proud of what they do and sell and have the right reasons for working there. If someone does not get on board with your vision, let them go. No matter how good they are at their job you can’t have a cancer destroying your vision.

 

2. Do the things you did at first. What was your niche, what made your company unique? whatever it was get back to doing it. Maybe you own a bakery and when you started you stressed that anything your customer wanted, you could make it. This made you prosper but as you got bigger you realized the profit margins were better with simple or cookie cutter products that didn’t require as much customization so you went in that direction. That’s great, but you have to remember what made your clients loyal in the first place and make sure you still offer whatever it was that got your business off the ground in the first place. Before you know it your customer retention while be skyrocketing once again.

 

3. Start over with your personnel. I eluded to this in point one, but it’s important enough to mention all on it’s own. Everyone has to be sold out on your vision and where you’re going. Hiring good people is a constant need so you should always have an employment ad out with one or two people in waiting in case a current employee leaves or loses the vision of your company. Get rid of all clock watchers and unmotivated employees. An unmotivated employee is a like a virus in your company that can spread from one person to another and undermine everything you’re trying to accomplish.  When you do have a good employee lift them up, pay them what they are worth and keep them in the loop so they stay a good employee. If you’re struggling with paying people more, just think how much it will cost you to lose one of your best employees and train someone new. I’m sure you will find it’s better to just pay them a little more money to keep them happy.

 

Your business can be great again and will be great again if your remember your first love and do the things that made you great in the first place. Don’t let the thought of quitting enter you mind and have faith in what makes you unique. Before you know it you will be back on your feet and loving what you do all over again.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw. Todd owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non-profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan