Are you encouraging the wrong habits?

“What you tolerate, you encourage”

I have no clue where this originated, but when Ken Proctor, Coach and my Vistage Chair, first said it to me I thought I hit the wisdom lottery. How true is that quote? What you tolerate, you encourage. 

Think about what that means. Your child misses curfew for the first time, you say “traffic must have been heavy” or “he must have lost track of time.” What your child heard was “curfew doesn’t really matter, I’ll come home whenever I want.” What you tolerate, you encourage.

You overhear an interaction between your teammate “Billy” and a customer. Billy is snippy, rude and unprofessional during the exchange. You dismiss it as “Billy is having a bad day, we’ll see how he does next time.” What Billy heard is “its okay to be rude to our customers, no matter what our guiding principals say.”

“Jane” does not follow the proper approval process on a big deal she is closing. Once the deal makes it to the your office, it is apparent that the deal would have never been approved the way it is written, and you realize its because you didn’t see the full proposal before the deal was signed. This leaves you on the hook for things you cant deliver. You let it slide because you closed a deal and you’ll “make it work.” What Jane heard was “don’t worry about our proven process for work, you just do you, and we will pick up the pieces next time.”

What you tolerate, you encourage. 

If you want to run a smooth, easily managed business you must keep three things in mind always.

  1. Right People
  2. Right Strategy
  3. Accountability

The term “right people” just means you are surrounding yourself with people who share your Core Values. Core Values ensure your team follow very similar guiding principals. This way you know how your team will interact situations. This does not mean the same background, or personality. It does, however, mean the team will share same values.

The right strategy just outlines what the job is and how the job is done. In EOS®, we talk about Roles and Responsibilities and Core Processes™. These are the defined way your process flow works ensuring that each time a customer interacts with you will be the same, no matter who is doing it.

A strong sense of accountability is tougher to do, because you cant do it at all. Accountability lies within ourselves. Only you can hold yourself accountable. A manager cant hold you accountable. A leader cant hold you accountable. It is part of your work ethic, or part of a desire to be your best. As a Leader or Manager, you can provide all aspects required for personal accountability: Systems and tools, Inspiration, goals and direction, guidance and time.  And lets not forget, boundaries (See Right People and Right Strategy). With boundaries in place you have a measurement tool, allowing you to see things out of place immediately. This is where feedback comes in. Providing immediate feedback for the good and the “not so good”, will help your team know you wont tolerate anything outside of what your business needs.

With these things, you can ensure you aren’t tolerating anything “below your bar.” You will have your business running they way you expect it to, and they way your customers or clients do too. 

Lets encourage alignment, accountability and achievement with in your organization!

If you are struggling with any of this, lets talk. We can help you eliminate the chaos and create amazing clarity for you and your business. Go to www.heightenedleaders.com to schedule a call.

Written by Megan Alarid, Leadership Team Coach and Certified EOS Implementer™.

Thank you!

Today, I am filled with gratitude.

Let’s face it, the last few months have been hard on so many of us.  I have been working with clients, friends, and really anyone who needed it. I have been wearing their troubles on my shoulders, and it was pretty heavy at times. I was doing the only thing I truly knew how to do – Help First. As a Coach, I get to help business owners and leaders with some of the toughest battles. It is challenging and it is rewarding all at the same time. But like all of us, the fatigue had started to settle in.

Then last week happened. 

It started out with a phone call with a client who is thriving in this climate. They didn’t think they would be but they are. Together we faced the brutal facts and they kept fighting. Now they are thriving. 

Then, an amazing session where we dove in on a Team Health Issue and came out even better than before. The session ended with the best “Thank You” I could have ever asked for. 

The next day a random text message from someone I just had a chat with a week ago: “I couldn’t have done that without your guidance. Thank you so much!” That made my day. Knowing I made a tiny impact in her world. 

That same day I heard that a random connection I made with two amazing, purpose-driven people could end of being a jump start to an organization that can change the world. (Yes, there were tears at this point.)

Then Friday, a Holiday, I took a call with a women who set out on a mission a few years back. I had helped her with some of the organization for her business. She told me that with that help her business has grown, her goals were achieved, and her new team is thriving.

Today, I am filled with gratitude.

The smallest thought, connection or question can truly change the world. If not for you, it will for someone. I am so lucky that I get to help so many people every day. You don’t realize the impact when its happening. But when you look back on the week and see how many people are doing great things and are doing them well, it is humbling.

Thank you all for allowing me to come along on your journey. Thank you for allowing me to be your guide. And thank you for doing such great things for this world!

Start your week off in the right mindset. Go help others. Ask the question, give the advice, make the connection. You never know what can come of it.

Do I need an Operating System for my business?

I am often asked “do I need an operating system for my business?” And that question is typically followed by some statement that sounds like “we got here, didn’t we?” See the thing is, you already have a system in place. Your system. And its getting you the exact results you have right now. If your system got you here, will it get you there? There being your future – the vision you set for your business.

As horrible as this sounds – most business owners answer NO to that question. Their system will not help them achieve what they truly set out to achieve. The current system is filled with problems, errors and unsatisfied people and customers.

The worst part: They are managed by their system. The business is running them, not the other way around.

I know an operating system can change that. I know a true business-based operating system can reverse problems, help strengthen the organization and help you acheive your vision. I believe every business needs a true operating system. As an Implementer of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS(R)) or Traction, and a Leadership Team Coach, I see the valuable results every single day. Teams come together, goals are reached, and results are exactly where they want to be.

Don’t know if you need an Operating System – Ask yourself these questions:

Is your team aligned?

Are they working for a common goal or are they in it for themselves? Ensuring teams are aligned, healthy and getting stuff done is at the core of an Operating System. Without true alignment, you wont get where you intend to go. You’ll just stand still or, worse, go in reverse.

Is your team accountable?

Do they do what they say they will do? An age old question, but a very good indicator of the need for a Operating System and a Coach. With tools in place and an outsiders perspective, accountability can increase and goal will be achieved.

Speaking of Achievement – Are you setting the right goals and hitting them?

Stagnant growth and constantly moving the goal can be a real downer for your team. Setting the right goals, at the right time, and then building a great plan to achieve them is the best motivator for any team, large or small. 

Are your people happy?

High turnover, office gossip, and results that are lower than desired are signs your team is not happy. As a Leadership Team Coach, I use the tools to help increase the health of your team. Focus on getting the right people doing they right things at the right time can make a huge difference in the business – and, more importantly, in the teams. 

When properly implemented, an operating system like EOS can make a huge, positive difference in any business, large or small, in any economic climate.

If you want to learn how your business can eliminate chaos and create clarity, schedule your call with me now. www.heightenedleaders.com  

Why Can’t We Get Our Rocks Done?

By Megan Alarid

Rocks are how you build the future of your business. Rocks, as Stephen Covey defines them, are the big, important Priorities in life and in your business. EOS® goes a little further and defines them as the 90 Day Goals for your business that allow you, if you focus on them, to achieve your long-term business goals. Any way you slice it, they are very important for the future of your business. 

So, why is it that we struggle so often with Rock completion? Why is it that you and your teams can’t seem to get those really important things across the finish line?  

Working with my teams over the last few years, I’ve seen a few trends that block teams from really focusing and achieving their business goals.  In no particular order, here are a few:

  1. Inability To Predict Your Business.

This occurs when you have elevated contributors into positions they don’t truly get, want or have the capacity (GWC®) to lead, manage or execute. An example of this is the high performing sales team member who is promoted to Manager. They were really good at executing the sales process but leading and managing a team wasn’t something they truly aspired to do. Being able to predict your business and your team’s execution is one of the most important things to Rock setting and planning. Knowing what it takes to WIN is required to be able to achieve your Vision.

2. Afraid To Say, “I Can’t” or “I Need Help.”

Pat Lencioni talks a LOT about vulnerability-based trust and how, when it lives in your teams, it can actually help with goal achievement and project execution. Being able to ask for help and being open to help are two attributes that are required to move a project along. You aren’t ever expected to have all the answers. But, as a leader and a member of a team, you are expected to put your ego aside and do what it takes to complete your objectives.  That includes seeking help.

3. Rocks Are Too Complex.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. I have no clue who said that originally, but it is true. We over complicate everything. I once had a team leader who had 85 milestones in a 90 Day Rock. That is too much and WAY too complicated. Keep your Rock planning simple. Remember what DONE looks like and build a simple plan to get you there. Stop worrying about looking smart and just be smart. You’ll do great work.

4. Lack of Focus.

We set out on Day 1 with a clear plan for success over the next 90 Days. We all agree that it is a good plan. But then, business happens. We get back into the business and people bring ideas to you that you believe need to be executed right now. You immediately jump in and add them to the list. And now you have diminished your focus. You only have one FOCUS. Use it wisely. If great ideas come up during the 90 Days. Put them on your Issues List. Park them there until you complete what you said you would. Stop interrupting progress to be busy.

5. Always Helping Others With No Time For Yourself.

While this is an incredibly admirable trait and, in most cases, a good thing. When it comes to achieving what you set out to do for you, your team, or your business, stopping to help others do theirs really pulls at your completion ability. Go back to the Safety Review on an airplane – Put your mask on first, then help others!

6. You Are Not Accountable.

That stung a little bit, right? The truth is, you really can’t be held accountable by anyone but yourself. You can be led and managed, but no one can really hold you accountable. That is all on you. Are you okay with not doing what you say? Are you okay with agreeing to complete something for the greater good and then not doing it? Your team and your business are counting on you. Hold yourself to a higher standard of excellence and do what you say you are doing to do.

To me, Rocks are the single best way to achieve your Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal. (thank you Jim Collins). If you want to be bigger, better and faster – set great Rocks. Work for 90 days to achieve them. Celebrate your success and then set another round. Every 90 Days you are closer to your Goal!

If you need help understanding and setting Rocks, or just want to remove some of the chaos from your business, schedule your call with Megan! We can help you go from chaos to clarity! http://www.heightenedleaders.com

Meet Dysfunction:

The most ignored, yet most prevalent problem in business today.

By Megan Alarid

According to Merriam-Webster Dysfunction means to be impaired or have abnormal functioning. It is also defined it as an abnormal or unhealthy interpersonal behavior or interaction within a group. Both are undesirable circumstances within your business and in your teams, wouldn’t you say?  

So, What does Dysfunction look like?

To most Dysfunction looks like poor revenue, profit problems, high turnover, and customer dissatisfaction. That is why it is typical for most “solutions” be about fixing profit and revenue, usually by adding way more cost. Rarely does the solution ever really solve the issue. Solving the symptom can make the real cause much worse.

If you really want to dive in and get to the root of dysfunction, you need to look deeper and address the “elephant in the room”. The definition of dysfunction says, “unhealthy interpersonal behavior.” Meaning, you may not have a healthy team. “Unhealthy” looks like this:

  1. Gossip, Politicking, and Backchannel Conversations
  2. Finger Pointing and Little to No Accountability
  3. The Telephone Game “Sally said that Bert said that Martina said….”
  4.  Zero Goal/Metric Achievement
  5. High Turnover and High Expense

A healthy team is open and honest and willing to be a bit vulnerable. They are completely okay with making mistakes and learning from it. They are ready and willing to grow and spend a lot of time outside of their comfort zone. A healthy team can bring issues to the table and are ready to dig deep to solve them. They are completely okay with having the wrong answer and are willing to support the right one. They act as a team in pursuit of a Championship pennant – willing to work together, own their responsibilities and do what it takes to WIN.  Dysfunction does not have a place in a healthy team.

Do you have a bit of Dysfunction in your teams? If you want help identifying it and help removing it, let’s talk! I am happy to help you go from that chaos to complete clarity!

Go to http://www.heightenedleaders.com to schedule your call and learn what Healthy can look like in your business.

Know Your Business…

How can I tell if my team is effective at home?

Are we going to be okay financially?

These are two of the most popular questions right now. How do you find the answer? Your Scorecard.

Your team’s Scorecard is a vision of your company’s future. The results you are reviewing now are a direct indicator to how your business will perform in the weeks, months and years to come. It is a view into productivity of your teams and a snapshot of your industry.  When you use the Scorecard correctly you can identify challenges and ways to improve. You can also find a comfort level in what is being done now to ensure your future.

Your Scorecard is a simple spreadsheet of made up of key measurables (leading indicators), goals and accountability. It is not something complex or hard to follow (or hard to populate). It should be a simple document.

To build the best Scorecard, you need to know three things:

  1. Your Client
  2. Your Process
  3. How to WIN

Know Your Client

Having a good, clear picture of your Ideal Client can help you build an amazing Scorecard. I don’t mean their just their Job Title but the full picture of your ideal client. Who are they? How do they think? Where do they spend their time? What do they value? Knowing this can help you adjust your business to meet them where they are.

Know Your Process

You must know how you get clients, how you service those clients, how you process the invoices and how you keep them happy. That is your full process and knowing it can help you create a detailed Scorecard with accurate measurables to achieve whatever it is you want.  (It would be amazing if it was documented too. Just saying.)

Know How To WIN

Knowing how to WIN is simple. You just need to know what it takes to achieve your BIG goals. Once you know your client and your process, you can put that into a WINNING EQUATION and tie metrics to it. Like, your Conversion Rate from Leads to Proposals to Client/Customer. Or, maybe, how many contacts your Client likes to have during the process of delivery. Once you understand your WINNING EQUATION you can create goals for each measurable that, when achieved, will take you to that BIG goal.

What do I do now?

Now, more than ever, you must know your client, your process and how to WIN. What worked before might need a shift, or two, due to the current environment. The effort might have to kick up a bit, but you will know exactly what it takes. When you know, you can help your team by motivation and celebration.

What do I mean? Our top performers are motivated by WINNING. Hitting goals and excelling at their talent – That is winning for them. If you can be crystal clear about those goals, or success numbers, they will know what they need to do to help the organization WIN, which helps them WIN, no matter the environment. Whether you are dealing with a slow down or a ramp up, a scorecard will help guide the way.

If you need help creating or recreating your Scorecard, give me a call. I am happy to help you go through it.

Want to go from chaos to clarity?

Go to www.heightenedleaders.com and Schedule Your Call.

Keep Leading!

It is not the towers coming down that I remember from 9/11. It isn’t the long lines, the ferries or the walk… it’s the heroes that I remember. I say this every 9/11 in my annual Facebook post. The mad dash to help others, the thoughts and actions to make the seemingly impossible happen. It wasn’t just the first responders that I consider heroes. And they are, hands down, 100% hero. It was also the people who stepped up to lead others through a time of crisis. The Business Owners, the Community Leaders, the strangers… the Leaders.

Yesterday I sat in on one of Patrick Lencioni’s webinars where he was talking about “The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team”. He started out by saying “The next three weeks are critical for us as leaders. We will be defined by how we are over the next three weeks.” He is right. It is not COVID-19 that will define us. It will be our Leadership through these trying times that will define us. It will be how we lead our teams and our businesses. That is the story that will be told by your teams for ages.

But, how do we handle the stress of running a business, making tough decisions, still serving our clients, being a great family member and lead a team through this? It is a lot. I completely get it. The best trick to live through it is to talk about it. Be vulnerable with your team and your family and share how you are feeling.

Your team needs to know you are human, with feelings. Why? Because they are having feelings. They are stressed, even anxious, with this “normal”. They also have the burden of being a great team member, family member, community member and even, in some cases, teacher. They are dealing with a lot. And through it all they are looking to you to ensure its okay to feel the way they do. You can eliminate some of their worry just by talking to them.

Please do not abdicate your position as Leader during this time. Be there for your team. Be real with them. Share your stress, be open and honest. And “Check In” with them: How are they handling it all? What is it like with the kids at home? Whats it like with your spouse home? How are you WINNING the day? Just ask questions, listen and care. Then encourage them to do the same with their team.

Organizational Health is based on Trust. We can dive more into Lencioni’s teaching on the 5 Dysfunctions at another time, but I believe his teaching to be 100% true. Trust is the foundation of everything. And in a team it is most important. Build trust, do not break it. Be vulnerable, be truthful and care. No matter your personality, lead.

It starts with you.

I know someone is reading this and saying “yeah, I did that when it started.” Do it again. How many “things” have we gone through in the last 4 weeks. The ‘newness’ has worn off and its real now. Check in again.

Not sure of questions to ask, how to engage, or what to share? Call me, I am happy to walk you through it.

Don’t think that is enough to get your team successfully out on the other side? Call me, I’ll get you a tool or two to use that can help.

Don’t stand still… keep leading!

~Megan

Want to learn how you can go from Chaos to Clarity?

Go to http://www.heightenedleaders.com and schedule your call!

Do You Suffer From Reverse Delegation?

Symptoms of Reverse Delegation:

  1. Your team has left for the day and the parking lot is empty at 5:00, but your day hasn’t even begun.
  2. Your teams aren’t thriving, and you have high turnover.
  3. You are, or have, the solution to every problem.
  4. You’ve said, “I’ll be late tonight” more times than you’ve said, “that was a great dinner!”

What is Reverse Delegation?

Reverse Delegation is when you, as a manager or leader, delegated a task or a job to one of your team members, and it magically ends up back on your desk to complete. This could be a job task, a project, or even a communication that must get out. As managers, we fall into this trap very easily but find it incredibly difficult to grow out of it. 

The trap is set because of the weight we carry as leaders and managers: customer satisfaction, on-time delivery, time crunches. Reverse delegation fits so well in that environment because (and tell me if you’ve heard these before) “It’s just easier if I do it” or “it will be quicker if I do it.” This trap now expands to the teams we lead. When a challenge hits, the simple answer is “my manager can handle it.” But that isn’t the right answer. 

As a manager and a leader of an organization it is our responsibility to train and lead our teams for their success, that will ultimately benefit ours and our customers.

Why is it do hard to Delegate?

As a Certified EOS Implementer, I teach my clients Delegate and Elevate™. This is a tool that helps them to live and work within their Unique Ability™, a term coined from Strategic Coach, and to encourage their team members to do that same. As we do that we thrive and so does our team. However, the challenge is letting go of that vine. There is fear that if we don’t do the task, it will be wrong. There is also a lack of capacity where we just can’t find the time to train appropriately to help our teams to learn our way of doing things.

I believe Reverse Delegation is rooted in a lack of trust. Trust that we’ve hired the right people to do the right jobs. Trust that, if given the right tools and training they can do the task as good, if not better, than you. Trust that those around you are sharing the vision and want it to be successful. If you can gain that trust, delegation will be much easier, and you can elevate yourself into a place that will have your business thriving and you’ll make it home for dinner!

Next Steps: If you would like to learn more about EOS® and how it can help you gain that trust in your team, reach out to Megan Alarid at Heightened Leaders. megan@heightenedleaders.com or www.heightenedleaders.com

*Reverse Delegation is not a medical syndrome – just a waste of time that hold you back from succeeding!