Category Archives: Team Building

Best team building practices

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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

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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.

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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

 

 

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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.

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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

business concept, accuracy

 

 

Every study done over the past 30 years has shown goals are one of the biggest keys to success and wealth, yet so few people actually write them down.

In the book “What They Don’t Teach You in the Harvard Business School”, Mark McCormack tells a study conducted on students in the 1979 Harvard MBA program where graduate students were asked the question: “Have you set clear, written goals for your future and made plans to accomplish them?”  The result, only 3% had written goals and plans, 13% had goals but they weren’t in writing and 84% had no goals at all. Ten years later, the same group was interviewed again and the results were shocking.

The 13% of the class who had goals, but did not write them down were earning twice the amount of the 84% who had no goals. The 3% who had written goals were earning, on average, ten times as much as the other 97% of the class combined!

Many times people don’t write down goals because they just don’t see the importance of them, but now that we know how important goals are I’ll give a simple example of what a goal sheet should look like:

 

2015 PERSONAL/BUSINESS GOALS

Before you start, know the golden rule of goal setting!

SPECIFIC

MEASUREABLE

ATTAINABLE

REALISTIC

TIME BOUND

Goals Concept 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BUSINESS GOALS - Whether you are the owner of a company, a manager or an up and coming rep it’s important to have things you want to achieve each year. Below is an example of a manager or owner writing out a business goal

- What I want to Achieve

1. x% growth in revenue over last year

- How am I going to Achieve it?

1. Raise up a new sales manager

2. Hire x additional entry level sales reps

3. Raise up x number of reps to senior level

4. Generate x% Leads by running a Referral campaign

5. Bring Back x% of lost clients via a new Win-Back Campaign

- What I want to Start

1.  I need to inspire my people during weekly meetings with great training on self improvement and specific skill sets.

- What I want to Stop

1. Being negative when we don’t hit out goals (ie Get rid of specific words that are morale busters)

- What I want to Keep Doing

1. Raising up new leaders

2. Showing up to the office ahead of everyone else

 

PERSONAL GOALS - Work hard, play hard. It’s important to set attainable personal goals for the year as well

 

- What I want to Achieve

1. Get my pilot’s license

- How am I going to Achieve it?

1. Save up $x for it

2. Pick out a great school and take up x classes

3. Start reading flight manuals by x date so I can get through course quicker

4. Set a realistic training schedule

- What I want to Start

1. Reading and discussing at least one marriage and one parenting book a year

- What I want to Stop

1. Yelling and making threats

- What I want to Keep Doing

1. Encouraging my kids to the best they can be by utilizing a great point system for them and me

 

There are many ways to create written goals. In business we usually start by identifying where are are at, our key issues, key priorities, and then setting quantifiable goals, which we then flesh out by brainstorming strategies then tactics. As a small business owner, I encourage my team members to keep it simple! Remember, complexity is the enemy of execution. Write it down in a way you understand. Grab a notepad, or start writing in your note taking app. Just remember, no matter how simple you want to keep it, make sure your goals are measurable and not vague and open ended.

The keys to success are simple to do but many times hard to follow, so keep your eyes on the road ahead and not on your rear view mirror. It’s easy  to get distracted and defeated by past failures but with written goals you will keep your eyes and mind on the future and not on the past.

Goals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Over the last half decade,  I have seen more people lose hope for the life they dreamed of than I’d ever seen in all my life. The economy has not been great but at the root of the issue is not what has happened, it’s our perspective and attitude about what has happened. In a study conducted by Gallup over 142 countries, research has shown that only 13% of all employees are actively engaged at work. America has the highest rating at 29%, but this still means 71% are disengaged at work, and 24% are actively disengaged.

Go to many college classrooms and half the class will be asleep, texting, or not paying attention at all; Then follow those same kids to the bars that night and the place will be blowing up with excitement and fun. Go to many work places and you will see a bunch of people clock watching and just doing their time, but follow them home for the weekend and you will see the same lethargic person jumping up and down screaming or cheering their favorite Football team as if their life depended on it.

What makes the same person average at one thing, but amazing at the other? It is because they are fully engaged. Before we get into what that means, let’s start with what makes us fully engaged. PASSION. Passion is what drives us to marry the person of our dreams. Passion is gets us out of bed when we are young and train every day when we are playing sports.  Passion is what makes us great, yet so few people have it when they get older.

What passions do we have that are due for purging and which ones need to be rekindled?

NEGATIVE PASSIONS:

Negative passions are not necessarily bad things to do, they are just not productive and don’t really do much to further your life. 

  • We are passionate about our sports teams –  There is nothing wrong with loving a football, baseball or basketball team. But when your entire week gets affected by the outcome of a game there is a problem. There is a commercial that came out recently with NFL player following fans around and yelling at them while they are shopping, at work and at home. I think it’s great because it puts in perspective how dumb it is to yell at your TV and get all distraught about a game that means absolutely nothing in your life. Whether they win or lose your life is still the same, so why freak out?  Instead, spend a little time on Sunday reading or learning a new skill, I guarantee that will do more for your life then yelling at your favorite team.
  • We are passionate about our TV shows – The fanaticism we have for our favorite shows is alarming. There is nothing wrong with liking a show but if the highlight of the week is your favorite show, your priorities are in serious need of re-order. I’m blown away by all these ladies nowadays that fantasize about being hunted down and eaten by a vampire, only to have him fall in love with them because they have special blood? Seriously? The premise of that fantasy is too stupid to even comprehend, and yet millions of girls are dreaming about it  and directing their passion to the shows and books that push that fiction.
  • We are passionate about ourselves – If I hear one more person say “I’m just learning how to love myself” I’m going to puke. What I’d like to say to them is “ You are great at loving you, just look at your FB page and check out all your selfies”. Americans have been raised to please themselves at all costs, whether its over eating, promiscuity, drinking problems or even selfie addictions. The thing I love about FB is that you can see exactly what kind of person they are in about 30 seconds of looking at their page. Unfortunately, American culture has turned most people into passionate self lovers, but instead of being passionate about your self love, be passionate about helping others. Focusing on family, friends and charities are just a few ways to get out of yourself and make a positive difference.

POSITIVE PASSIONS:

There are three basic passions that we know to be passionate about, but easily overlook in the busyness of our daily lives.

  • Passion for your familyWhen you’re young, many teenagers dream of getting away from their dysfunctional family and unfortunately there is usually good reason. Marriage is a lot of work and when two different people never learn to love their family over themselves what you usually get is disaster. This is a common problem in today’s family and the only way to fix it is to have two parents make the choice to stay passionate about each other and their kids. Take note I said choice, unlike what Hollywood wants you to believe, you don’t always wake up with passion every day of your life as a spouse or parent. But we  are not animals, we are human, so we have the ability to control how we feel and how passionate we are about anything we want. This passion is the key to true happiness, if you are passionate about being a good husband or wife, father or mother, you will find happiness daily.
  • Passion for your faith - Many people choose to have no faith and without sounding condescending which I am sure I will anyway, I want to say I sincerely feel sad for them. To live a life without believing in something, someone greater than yourself is a life without meaning. Without meaning,  your life will be like a ship in the sea that’s lost its engines, being tossed around and going with whatever tide comes your way. You can always tell a person that has weak or no beliefs because they end up getting passionate about whatever new philosophy or ideal comes along, then the next time you see them is something new and on and on it goes. What you believe in will be your compass. Where is your faith or lack of it taking you?
  • Passion for your career - This one goes back to my football comment above. What has more impact on your life, your career or your favorite sports team? Again, I love sports but in the end my career is quite a bit more important so why wouldn’t I put more passion in it? When you go to work, whether you work for someone else or for yourself, you must make a daily decision to be passionate about what you’re doing. The bible says if you are great at what you do you will work in front of kings. I think the point of this scripture is if you want to be esteemed, be excellent at whatever you do, especially the little things.

Passion in the right places will lead you to happiness, fulfillment and prosperity while passion in the wrong places will only take away from what matters most. Rethink what you are passionate about and see how fast you can change your direction.

 

 

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

Prayer in the workplace

The name of Jesus has become taboo in the workplace because of an increasingly fearful and political climate. Many employees can be fired for so much as inviting someone to church and it’s safe to say the anti-Christ movement in the business community has won the war in resounding fashion. Unless you own or are a part of a faith based organization, your options can be very limited. For the purposes of this article I will assume you own or have a prominent position in your company. Here I will talk about a few ways in which you can run your business as a Christian without hiding your faith or offending others.

1. The first thing I would recommend doing is to pray at your meetings.

This can really be scary for many people but it’s important that people know you are accountable to a higher power and that you rely on Him. The bible says: Luke 9:26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.

I have to admit this is a tough scripture to follow. It’s easy on Sundays to praise God with like minded people, but it’s a whole another story to sit in front of a bunch of guys and girls who don’t necessarily share your opinions and may even look down at you for praying and still pray. If you want a business that has honesty, integrity and character it starts at the top (Christ, not you).  You don’t want to just show up one morning and start praying unless you’re okay with a lot of weird looks and shock. Each employee needs to be taken aside privately and told what you will be doing from now on. Personally, I tell every new employee that “I’m a Christian so I like to pray over my business once a week; you don’t have to join along if you don’t want to but I want you to know what to expect.” If they are uncomfortable they can choose before ever working here to pursue other options but at least they won’t be blindsided at their first meeting. Below are a couple do’s and don’ts of praying:

 DO:
1. Lift up your employees individually for the good they are doing
2. Ask God to bless your employees
3. Admit your dependence on Christ in front of them (humility is a good thing)
4. Keep it short and to the point
 
 DON’T:
1. Insult others in your prayer
2. Put down other religions
3. Correct someone or the group during the prayer
4. Ridicule
5. Have a marathon prayer
 

2.  Next, it’s important to put up your company core values based on biblical principles. Gal 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Foster an atmosphere of honesty, integrity and respect; which is essential for any successful business but even more so the business owned by a Christian. At times it’s good to bring the core values up at meetings and ask people if they are sticking to them. Say what you mean and mean what you say!  

3. Last but certainly not least is your own example. I Timothy 4:16 Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you. Once you tell people you’re a Christian and pray in meetings, they will look at everything you do. You will no longer be afforded the same leniency that other owners and bosses are given; you will now be held accountable for all your actions and if you fall you will most certainly be called a hypocrite. This is what makes professing your faith at work so scary. We all fall short and God knows I’ve made my share of mistakes and said things I wish I could take back, but in the end you will be judged on the whole of your work more then anything else.

You may be wondering if all this is worth it and rightly so. I can tell you from my experiences that if done right it’s more than worth it. I don’t use God to promise people riches because I don’t believe he’s some kind of magical fairy that grants us wishes. The benefits that I do get from running a business like this is the ability to walk into the doors each day and find satisfaction in the work I do. Also, each time I pray I hope it plants a mustard seed of faith in the people around me and maybe one day it could change their life. My business is my ministry, it’s the road I have chosen to travel and I think it’s fitting to end this with the famous poem of Robert frost.

 

THE ROAD NOT TAKEN

BY ROBERT FROST

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
 
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
 
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
 
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

 

 

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

There are hundreds of sure fire ways to ruin your business, but there are a few things that the typical well meaning but ignorant small business owner unknowingly commit. In offices with a few employees, often times owners and employees alike start creating a family atmosphere, which is great but can also be a double edged sword because well, as we all know, families are normally dysfunctional.

Listed below are 11 great ways to wreck your business!

 1. Hire a consultant that knows nothing about your business and turn the reigns over.

 2. Hire employees that are okay with lying and cheating.

 3. Take lots of vacations and post pictures on Facebook of your amazing adventures for your employees to see.

 4. Act like you know it all and be unapproachable.. usually reminding them at least once a day how great you are helps too.

 5. Publicly criticize or put your employees down (always a crowd favorite).

 6. Delegate everything to the point you have no real function in your own company.

 7. Talk crap about ex employees that current employees actually liked. 

 8. Hire people that don’t fit in with the people you have and then keep them just long enough to ruin your company chemistry.

 9. Keep your office door closed all day while at work so people know you are more important than they are.

10. Share every confidential and proprietary information with your employees and don’t be a paranoid fool.

 11. Never, under any circumstances, listen to the advice of the people that love you (especially not your wife/husband)

 At the end of the day, your business is your livelihood. You are the owner, the CEO, the HR department,  and PR Department. Govern yourself accordingly.

 

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

Inevitably, no matter what you do, your business will go through change and turnover. Sometimes that change is the direction your company needs to take and sometimes the change is a good employee leaving at a bad time. Change in general is stressful. It can and will produce at least some anxiety and uncertainty but that does not mean that change is necessarily a bad thing, in fact, when handled right, it can be a good thing.  Whenever faced with change here are 3 tips to make it a positive for your company

 

Change just ahead

Change just ahead

1.  Step back and evaluate – Where have you come from and where are you going? Now is the time to analyze your business and look at it objectively. In the case of a good employee leaving the question you should ask is:

  • Should I keep the position they are vacating or eliminate it? Sometimes you may not ever realize it but you will find you kept a position just because you had someone good doing it. On hindsight, that position may be able to be outsourced or become part of another position which is already in place.

  • Should I hire from within or outside? You should always hire from within if at all possible because it builds team morale and rewards loyalty. If nobody is qualified then you have no choice but to go outside for help

  • Can we make the department better? Overall, look at the department and determine if there is any way to make business processes easier, more efficient and more cost effective.

2.  Take action – Don’t be indecisive, once you’ve evaluated the situation, take the necessary steps immediately and let your team know you have a plan.

  • Meet with each team member –  meeting with each team member individually lets them know all is well and gives you a chance to talk about their future with the company as well, ensuring they go away excited and inspired instead of depressed or down.

  • Promote – Now is the best time to promote a team member and or give them new responsibility. You don’t always have to give raises either, sometimes just working out a nice bonus if they do a great job is the best solution. Again, this will boost morale, and morale is always infectious in the office

  • Re-evaluate – It sounds silly to re-evaluate after you’ve made changes but it’s important to look at your body of work and make sure the pieces are all fitting together. If not, it’s better to make a change now then 6 months from now when the damage has been done.

3. Celebrate – Whatever changes you have to make, make sure the team sees it as a positive and not a negative. Celebrate the promotions and future opportunities for the whole department and as long as the employee that’s leaving is leaving on good terms you should also celebrate how much they have helped your business and let them know you appreciate them. The goodwill you create with  the rest of your crew will be immeasurable.

In the end, face every challenge and see every change as an opportunity for growth. As the leader in your organization, you are the man or woman behind the wheel, navigating each twist or turn, no matter how unexpected, to eventually lead your team to your intended destination. You set the standard so when your team sees you as a steady rock in a sea of change they will remain confident and productive.

 

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

If you aim at nothing you will hit it everytime- Zig ZiglarThere is probably nothing that more graphically illustrates the importance of focusing on your goals than being in combat. Yet the same principles apply in any leadership setting. Having been in the US Navy for 19 years, I have had my fair share of military leadership and learned the discipline it takes to stay focused and help others around me do the same. In those years, I have excelled (mostly) and rose pretty fast through the ranks, despite some set backs in the early years, and have landed at the rank of Senior Chief Petty Officer.

There are many factors to successfully leading in the military that also applies to leading your business, your sports team, even your family to success. But there is one lesson that is most commonly overlooked yet most critical to creating a road map to success- and that is to establish and disseminate your Mission, Vision and Guiding Principles. Before you jump into a series of tasks and tactics and find yourself wondering why you are somehow missing the mark, draw that mark!

1. Mission Statement:
Your mission statement should be clear and concise! This statement describes what your organization or department is about. Start by asking yourself these questions: “What are you aiming for?” “What is your overall objective that will guide the actions of your organization?” “What is it that you desire to achieve and how will you achieve it?” As you work on refining your answers, don’t confuse it with short-term strategies or specific goals. When writing a mission statement think broad scale- 10,000 ft view from here! Think about including these 3 key elements:
1. Key Market. Your WHO. Your target audience, primary stakeholders, or customers.
2. Contribution. Your WHAT. What product or service are you providing to those customers?
3. Distinction Your WHY or your USP. More commonly referred to as your Unique Selling Proposition, it answers the question “What makes you unique?” or “Why would a customer choose you over a competitor?”

One example of a good Mission Statement is:“To provide the fast food customer food prepared in the same high-quality manner world-wide that is tasty, reasonably-priced & delivered consistently in a low-key décor and friendly atmosphere.” I stole that one from McDonald’s! Your individual Mission Statement, whether you’re writing it for your overall organization, or just for a smaller department, may or may not include all the elements above. The Mission Statement for the US Navy Chief Petty Officer is: “Provide leadership to the Enlisted Force and advice to Navy leadership to create combat-ready Naval Forces.” You’ll notice no distinction statement, primarily because there’s nobody else that does what we do – no competition!

2. Vision:
Your vision should describe who, or what, you intend to be. Again, use as few words as possible, yet succinct, broad-term, but not too generic. Although the vision statement for the US Navy Chiefs is a little longer than some, it is concise enough and careful consideration was given to use necessary language to drive the point home to its leaders:
“A senior enlisted force that serves first and foremost as Deck-plate Leaders committed to developing Sailors and enforcing standards; remains responsive, aligned and well-connected to both Leadership and Sailors; and conducts itself in a consistently professional, ethical and traditional manner.”

3. Guiding Principles:
Although some organizations may use Values over Guiding Principles, the context is basically the same. There is a little more specific direction here for how you expect those in your organization to act. They are a set of shared beliefs that drive the priorities, behaviors, and perception, thus creating the organizational culture. I’ll share a good example from the Coca-Cola company that helps drive the point:

  • Leadership: The courage to shape a better future
  • Collaboration: Leverage collective genius
  • Integrity: Be real
  • Accountability: If it is to be, it’s up to me
  • Passion: Committed in heart and mind
  • Diversity: As inclusive as our brands
  • Quality: What we do, we do well

Your first challenge of being a BOSS is defining what your Mission, Vision, and Guiding Principles are. What are the things that have driven your success and what can you imitate from previous leaders that you have deemed successful? You can start there, but these should be extracted from deep within your soul – and they also have to align with the larger organizational statements. Whether you are a supervisor on a factory floor that makes widgets, a mid-level manager, or CEO, you need to develop these statements and values. If you can arrive to work on your first day with these statements already in place, you’ll be ahead of the power curve. If you’re already in a leadership position, it’s never too late to do a round-turn and get these on paper. Spend some time on them. And most importantly, you need to CLEARLY communicate these to your subordinates in order to provide consistent direction and expectations. It may not be a bad idea to share your MVS to the person you report to. Again, maintaining that alignment up and down the organizational chain is fundamental to your success. It will also show your BOSS that you have a true leadership prowess, and that’s NEVER a bad thing!

By: Brandon Keener is a Senior Chief Petty Officer at the United States Navy, a leadership position where he manages people, programs and policies. Brandon and his wife have also launched a couple of successful home based businesses based in San Diego, CA.