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Building High-Performance Teams That Will Last

By Attitude, Blogpost, challenges, excellence, Food for thought, Leadership, management

For the past few articles, I have been talking about building and managing high-performance teams. By definition, a high-performance team is a team that is highly focused on their goals and achieves superior results. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to know that having such a team is greatly beneficial to your business. With the right hiring and interview process, you would be able to pick out potential talented individuals that would make up your high-performance team.

Building a high-performance team is a challenge in itself. The same thing goes in managing one. They both take a lot of time and effort. In business, time is a valuable commodity. You have to make each time investment worth it. This is especially true when it comes to building or developing THE team for your company. By putting so much time and effort in this process, you as a leader should also make sure that the team will last. Think of it as one of your long term goals. The longer the team stays intact, the more milestones your company would be able to achieve.

Self Evaluation

Self evaluation is one of the characteristics of a good leader. You need to be aware of your leadership style. Ask yourself constantly if your leadership technique is effective. Are your techniques accepted by the team? Always bear in mind that a high-performance team is composed of individuals who have strong personalities and tend to do things their way. Modify or adjust your approach if need be but assure the team that the goals are still the same and you have accountability.

Give Feedback

It is your job as a leader to provide constant feedback. Do not wait for signs of trouble to show up before providing feedback. Do it regularly to make sure that everything is on track. It can be done informally if you want to be more relaxed. It really depends on the team you are leading. Each team is different and there is no cookie-cutter way of providing feedback. But one thing is for sure – constant feedback means continuous improvement.

Celebrate

This is very important for me. Celebrate success. The corporate and business world is tough. In this fast paced world, we sometimes forget to step back and reflect on what we have achieved and the journey we took to achieve them. Live the moment and remember what you and the team did to reach your goals. You’ll gain valuable knowledge and at the same time you get a breather from all that hard work.

Negative Team Culture To Watch Out For

By Blogpost, challenges, Food for thought, Goals, inspirations, Leadership, management, opportunities

A winning team culture can easily give your company that extra advantage over the competition. The team or corporate culture is one of the foundations of a strong business. This can greatly contribute on how fast you can achieve your goals or better yet, be a factor in your company’s longevity.

Take a look at today’s most successful and long running companies and examine their respective corporate cultures. You can probably see how similar their corporate team culture is to their brand image and the quality of their products. The corporate culture in one way or another reflects what the company’s image is.

A winning team culture is achievable by any organisation but does not come easy. A team culture is developed over time. It takes time, discipline and good leadership. A leader’s job is to encourage positive values and prevent negative ones. There are negative values that need to be stamped out before they can become deeply ingrained in your team.

Poor Communication

This is the easiest one to detect and is easily one of the most toxic. Poor communication goes against the very concept of a team. Communication between team members is essential if they are expected to work with each other to achieve their common goals. Poor communication stifles creativity and hinders great ideas from being implemented. This can also turn off high-performing members – causing them to quit and look for another company to work for. Give the team members the freedom to speak their minds. Encourage open communication but do not force. Just like any value you want to instill in the team culture, it takes time.

Micromanaging

Managing your team is indeed your job as the leader but do not overdo it. You hired these people because you are confident that they can do their jobs. This is what the hiring and the interview process is for. The fact that they are already employed means that you have already decided that they are the right people for the job at hand. Micromanaging can put your staff under unnecessary pressure and can stress yourself out. Whether it’s you or a person of managing position in your company, avoid micromanaging. Trust the team. Guide them but give them enough freedom to do what they do best.

Too Profit Focused

Ensuring that your company makes a profit is important but should not be the be-all and end-all. This can lead to aiming for short term results and focusing more on the bottom line. A profit focused culture can lead to poor employee engagement. Just like having a culture of poor communication, this can lead to individuals, possible high-performing individuals, leaving for another company. Strike for a good balance between profit and employee engagement. Remember, without employees, you cannot run a business.

Changing Your Team Culture for the Better

By challenges, Blogpost, Food for thought, habits, Leadership, management, opportunities, purpose

No company is perfect. Not even yours. There is always something to improve on. And that is a good thing. Those flaws keep you on your toes and if you have the right mindset for it and you love a good challenge every now and then, you can consider it as the fun part of running a business.

One aspect of the company that you can improve is the team culture. As I have mentioned in one of my previous articles, Building a Winning Team Culture, team culture is the sum of the beliefs, values and attitudes shared by the team members. Since a team is composed of different individuals with different personalities and attitudes, there is a tendency that bad habits will form overtime. It can start with one or two members and would then rub off onto their teammates thus becoming part of the team culture. If left unchecked, it can negatively affect the team and in turn your company. As the business owner, the challenge is to look out for these bad habits and change them. It is not easy to change a deeply ingrained habit in the team but it is never too late to change it.

Choosing What to Add or Change

Changing or adding a value in the existing team culture is a long process. It can take months or years depending on how deeply ingrained the value is. Since it can take a lot of time and effort, let’s make sure that those resources are not wasted. Carefully consider which value is worth adding or changing. Think how big of an impact it can make in the team. Ask yourself if adding or changing a value can come into conflict with some of the existing values in the team culture. Careful consideration and forward thinking are essential when making this decision.

Keep on Repeating

If you want a value to sink in to the team, you need to keep on repeating it. A team meeting is not the only way to remind the team, you can use different mediums to get the point across. You can use e-mail to talk about it or tell stories that are related to that value or habit. You can even build a company event around it. Be creative and fun when going about it. You may sound like a broken record, but you will achieve the results that you are aiming for.

Lead by Example

You are the leader and the team culture is not something that is posted on the wall or a fancy presentation. It’s your team’s core values and attitudes on how you face challenges. If you want the team to adopt a new value or remove an existing one, then you as the team leader should lead by example. Show them how you live by those values and how to apply them.

Challenges to New Team Members

By Attitude, Blogpost, challenges, Entrepreneurship, excellence, Food for thought, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, stress, Success

You have now successfully hired new team members to your organisation. The team is ready to take the journey with you to achieve your business goals. Everyone is onboard and have a clear understanding of your company’s mission and vision. Morale is high and everyone is pumped up. Everything looks perfect and good to go.

But is it really? Even with a tried and tested onboarding process, new staff members can experience problems in the first few weeks of working in your company. As time goes on, it is very unlikely that they will speak up about the challenges and issues that they are facing. This can lead to further problems that might affect their productivity and the business as a whole. As a leader and business owner, you can watch out of for these things and hopefully resolve them as soon as possible.

Adjustment to Relocation

Some of your new hires might have relocated from another city or even from another country to work for your company. They might have brought their families with them. This can cause issues especially if they are unfamiliar with the new location. Despite this being a personal issue, it might negatively affect their work. They might even start to rethink if they made the right decision.

One way of handling this is simply through communication. Your HR can schedule a meeting with the employee and come up with suggestions to resolve the issue or at least lessen the burden of the problem. They can also have them talk to another employee who had gone through the same issue so they can get advice and share their experiences.

Managerial Issues

It can be common for new employees to not be able to form a good relationship with their managers. This can be due to conflicting ideas, or the managerial style not fitting the employee’s style.

Once signs of this problem come up, it is best to have your HR or your onboarding department to get in touch with the employee. It’s important to get to the root of the problem and smooth things out. They could advise the employee and manager to stay in touch regularly so they can get a feel for each other’s way of doing things. It all comes down to understanding and working as a team.

Expectations and Results

Sometimes, new employees tend to take on too much too quickly. This is done to hopefully impress their supervisors or co-workers without knowing that this can lead to unnecessary overload and eventually burning out.

Regularly remind everyone in your organisation to take on reasonable expectations. Trying to achieve impossible expectations can be stressful and is counterproductive in the long run.

Keep Focused: Ways To Shy Away From Distractions

By Attitude, Blogpost, challenges, Food for thought, Goals, habits, mindset

Having focus to achieve what you want is not as easy as it sounds, not with all the distractions that we are facing in our daily lives. Having said that, how do we keep the main thing – the main thing? We are already in the second quarter of the year – do you have a concrete plan on how to spend the next 90 days? Here are some questions I need you to ask yourself and let’s see how these can help us achieve our goals this quarter and on the next.

  • How do you limit distractions?
  • How do you keep the noise out?
  • How do you keep focus?
  • How do you keep the main thing, the main thing?

Typically, this coming quarter we got so many distractions. If you choose to give in to these distractions, we need to consider some things. We’ve got a lot of holidays coming up that the team members can take, clients can take. So,

  • How do you keep focus?
  • How do you ensure that stuff still gets done?
  • How do you ensure that you stay on track?
  • How do you minimize the noise?

How do you keep focused?

There are a couple of things that we do with our clients to help them keep their focus on different tasks or things that they need to do:

  • Phones off unless you’re making phone calls;
  • Emails off unless you’re on email time; and
  • One of the most important things is – who you need to be here right now?

We have over 555 different characteristics. We need to tune in to that person that we need to be for that specific task, for that specific focus on that we need to be focused in.

If it’s making calls, fantastic! Who does that need to be? Who do you need to drop on more of that?

If it’s putting to your proposal, fantastic! Who do you need to be more of that?

So, it’s tapping into that “beingness of you,” it’s all inside of you to ensure you maintain that focus, maintain those characteristics in order to achieve that result.

What happens so often is that people bounce. They bounce from emails to phone calls, to team – like a lucky pinball machine. And what happens when we bounce? Our energy goes up and down. We get overwhelmed so much easily and quicker, and we get frustrated because we feel that we’re not going forward.

Who do you need to be right now?

Now, let’s focus on how do you need to be? This is where an ideal week comes in a place, but more importantly with the ideal week is – who do you need to be in those chunks of time?

That’s the goal thing! That’s the missing link so often I see with people when they’re creating an ideal week, is who do you need to be in that time frame? Not that task associated but who do you need to be in order to do that task on that focused time.

So, there we go! Let’s keep the main thing – the main thing.

Let’s keep the focus.

Let’s keep the drive.

Let’s minimize the distraction.

Let’s achieve some great results today.

3 Steps to Successfully Integrate New Team Members

By challenges, Entrepreneurship, Food for thought, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, Success

For the past few weeks, we have been talking about growing our business and how to efficiently do it. We have discussed looking into outsourcing as one of the ways to achieve our business goals as well as the pros and cons associated with outsourcing, as well as managing our teams and the different aspects of leadership. Leading and managing a team not only involves setting the path to your business goals, you also need to know how to integrate a new hire to your organization or company.

A new hire’s first few weeks are the most crucial. This is the time period where you are setting clear expectations and is the perfect opportunity to build their personal investment to your company or business. While it is tempting to skip the onboarding process, doing so might cause your new employee to leave, not have the right direction or mindset for the job. You need a solid plan to be able to easily integrate new hires to your organization.

Come Up with an Employee Handbook

Creating a simple employee handbook can be of great help to new hires as well as existing employees. When making an employee handbook, be as straight-forward as possible, use simple language and avoid legal jargon that might confuse your employees. You can start with a simple overview of the company and its policies. This will give your new team members a clear idea on the type of business you are running, how you want it to be run and the goals you want to achieve. It can also help them understand your company culture and make it easier for them to get along with the rest of the team.

Provide Feedback

Providing feedback to new hires can help them gauge their work and allow them to make the necessary adjustments to align with your company’s vision and goals. It is a good idea that for the first few weeks, to schedule a weekly one on one with your new hires. This will make them feel engaged and connected with the company. Taking the time to provide feedback can increase your new hires’ success and in turn they would be able to provide valuable contributions to your business’ growth.

Set Simple Goals

Set up a few simple goals in the first few weeks to help your new hires ease into their roles within the company. Make sure to point them to resources that they can use and to who in the team they can ask for assistance. Achieving simple goals in the first few weeks will give them that boost of confidence to encourage them to do even better in their jobs. It is a win/win situation for you and your new team members.

Five Reasons Why Outsourcing Fails

By Blogpost, challenges, Entrepreneurship, Food for thought, Goals, Human resources, Leadership, management, outsourcing, stress, Success

Why Business Owners Fail When Outsourcing Tasks

Your goals are set. You are now ready to grow your business. You have decided to take the outsourcing path to help you reach your business goals. Once you have outsourced those specific tasks, it should be smooth sailing from there, right? But outsourcing is not a miracle solution. Some businesses still fail, despite outsourcing. Here are 5 common reasons why outsourcing fails.

Hi, I’m James Short. As you already know by now, I always encourage entrepreneurs to outsource if they want to have that edge over their competitors. But over the years, I found out that some businesses still do not experience significant growth even after outsourcing. What went wrong and what could have been done? With that said, I’m going to share with you five (5) reasons why business owners fail when it comes to outsourcing those tasks.

They Don’t Have a Clear and Effective Plan

Just like anything in business, we need to have a plan that outlines what your needs and requirements are. This is no different when it comes to outsourcing. Plan out which tasks need to be prioritized. Be specific and detailed in what exactly do you want to accomplish with the given task.

Choosing the Right Outsourcing Partner

Just like with any partnerships, we need to do the due diligence to ensure you’re partnering with the right type of outsourcing partner. Do your research before partnering up with an outsourcing firm or a freelancer. Ask other business owners for feedback on what their business relationship is like with the firm or individual. That way, you can get a good idea if the firm or individual is the right one for your plans and goals.

Too Much Too Soon

Giving your outsourcing team too much too soon and thinking that it’s just going to magically all get done. Outsourcing tasks is a learning process for both you and the outsourcing team. The team needs a bit of time to figure out the most efficient way to do their appointed tasks. Give them that time and you will reap the benefits.

Set and Forget

So many times, I hear business owners just set their outsourcing team on their way but without any follow-up and without any directions, no difference to a team onshore. You’ve got to manage them similarly. Set up regular meetings with the team to check up on progress as well as to get feedback.

Lack of Communication

This is where business owners fall down when it comes to outsourcing. Ensure that you are constantly in touch with your team. There is absolutely no reason not to do this since today’s communication is so much easier and accessible.

So those are the five (5) main reasons why outsourcing fails when it comes to those business owners wanting to outsource.

I’m James Short, looking forward to speaking to you soon.

Advantages of Outsourcing Your Business

By outsourcing, Entrepreneurship, Food for thought, Human resources, management, opportunities

In my previous posts I often stress the importance of finding your genius. Finding what it is, that lights the fire in you and makes you want to go through your day. We all have that. We all have a task that we look forward to doing.

You may like talking to your clients, and building a relationship but you may not like preparing the paperwork, or working on email follow ups. Whatever it is that enables you to maintain your flow, keep doing it. Stick to your genius – and outsource the rest.

 

Benefits of Outsourcing

I have been outsourcing for several years and let me tell you, the benefits of outsourcing are massive. I discussed some of these in the Power of Outsourcing. Let me add a few more details:

  1. You can delegate tasks and focus on what lights you up. There are tasks that I do not enjoy doing, but are necessary for the business to run smoothly. Outsourcing allows me to delegate these tasks and concentrate on doing what I do best. It gives me time to connect with clients, to talk, and listen. It gives me time to be present.
  2. You save on costs. In any business, the goal is to bring down operating costs and increase revenue. When you outsource, you do not need to pay for utilities. You do not have to rent an office. You are able to save on costs when these are taken off the expense list.
  3. You have less concerns to attend to. You do not have to worry about equipment breaking down. If there’s a problem with the computers, the power or the internet, they’ll be the one to sort it out. All of these get taken off your plate when you outsource. Have you ever used a self-cleaning oven? It cleans itself and all you have to worry about is what you’re cooking. It’s the same way when you outsource. You concentrate on the actual tasks, all the rest are taken care of.
  4. You have more time for other things. Our lives are so much more than work, work, and work. Spend time with your family. Pursue that hobby. Have fun with friends. Go out on vacation. You have to have time for other things, and outsourcing allows you to do that.
  5. You have a wider pool of candidates to choose from. Outsourcing allows you to hire globally. Because of the difference in our currency rate, you can hire candidates with the same skills for a lot less than if you are hiring in-house locally. I’m not saying that you go and hire the cheapest one you can find. It is important to make sure that the team you hire have the necessary skills in order to do the job well. Find a team that you know will have your back, and take care of the business like it’s their own.

So what do you think? Is it time to outsource? If you want to learn how to outsource your business, comment outsource below or get in touch and I will give you the link to our webinar. Let us help you really grow your business.

The Power of Collaboration

By Blogpost, Attitude, Food for thought, Goals

So often in business, we find ourselves in such a lonely place. Where you know, out in the grind, out and doing what we’re doing and we feel isolated sometimes. We’re too focused, too busy with our tasks and solving our own problems.

There’s this saying that is really inspiring in a way – “There is not one thing, there is not one problem within your business that you cannot solve with the people in the room.” So true. Two heads or more is so much better than one.

And you know, those in the real estate space, it’s like you go! Go! Go! And sometimes we put our head up and we go, “Wow! am I going the right direction?”

No matter how well we have our direction mapped out for us, no matter how carefully we plan our week, month or year, sometimes we encounter setbacks and detours that we don’t anticipate.

So, what we can do is share some of the challenges, and also have our fellow team members gather around the table to actually give us advice. Allow them to give us strategies and to give us support.

Facilitating a workshop is also a great idea. Businesses collaborating together to help one another, through workshop where different ideas and different strategies are shared.

So, I think the more we can collaborate, the more we can share, the more we can grow. It is by working together, by sharing ideas that we can improve on our current strategies. We get a fresh perspective. A new way to tackle the problem. A different set of eyes to see areas for improvement.

Each one of us bring different experiences, different strengths into the table. I might have a good idea for the business – you might also have a good idea for the business. Imagine what will happen if we combine our ideas and work through the challenges together. We are going to be unstoppable!

Entrepreneurship does not have to be a long and lonely journey. Very often, we find ourselves travelling the same road – with some already far ahead while others lag behind. We just have to be willing to work together, to listen, encourage, and lend a hand when necessary.

Ask yourselves today, “Who am I collaborating with? Who am I working with to strategize my challenges?”

And when you realize the importance of collaboration, I guarantee that business will improve and achieve a bigger success.

 

Breathe, Visualize and Move

By Blogpost, Attitude, Food for thought, habits, mindset

Was there ever a time that you felt overwhelmed by so many things that are going on around you? Tasks that you need to finish, work that are piling up by the minute? How did you cope?

I want to share with you today the importance of B.V.M.: B for Breathe, V for Visualize, and M for Move. It’s a cool exercise that we do with a lot of our clients.

This is also an opportunity to really give you a tool that’s going to help you to get through the next couple of weeks at least.

So often, we have so many plates that are spinning around and around at the same time. What I notice is that people go from one plate, starts spinning, and go to another plate – and start spinning, and so on and so forth.

And what it does, it actually results to headache. People get overwhelmed with too much going on at the same time. People get frustrated.

So B.V.M actually allows you to transition those plate spinning. Transition those different tasks, activities or deliverable that you need to be working on throughout that day.

And this process really gets you centered, and it allows you to get clear on who you need to become and what you need to step into.

Breathe

Obviously breathing is a huge component. We all breathe, but how deep and how often do we actually really breathe? So, what happens is that when emotion is high – when you got so many stuff happening, your emotion’s through the roof – logic is usually low.

What happens is that, when we become quite emotive, we start to breathe from the neck part up. And we start to take short breaths, and we start to get more emotional.

And so, by breathing – it has to be some nice deep belly breaths. It enables you to decrease that high stake emotional component and start to get into more of a logistical kind of way of thinking.

Then, it starts to ground you. It starts to decrease that frustration and decrease that feeling of being overwhelmed. And when we do just a couple of, say 3 nice deep breaths, it starts to center us and it starts to ground us on where we are at right now.

If you are feeling overwhelmed then you can try this step right now. Clear your mind and take three deep belly breaths. How did that make you feel? It’s not time to move to the next step –

Visualize

Second component is Visualize. V for Visualize. Visualizing then moving into that next task. Moving into who I need to become or what am I about to do. You, seeing that task. You, visualizing that task in your mind.

Because what happens is that, when we play up our video screens in our internal mind – it starts to shift our behavior. It starts to shift our physiology. It starts to shift that internal reaction, those reactive models inside of us.

When it starts to shift our responses, then our physiology changes. Our behavior changes. Then our activity changes. Therefore, our results also change. So, V is to Visualize what’s coming up in your mind.

Visualizing the task is you preparing your mind and body to do the task. It may be a task that you do not particularly enjoy. It could be something tedious. Instead of putting it off, visualize yourself doing the task. Get a clear picture in your mind of yourself doing it.

Move

The last component is M for Move. And what I love to do, and I love to suggest to clients is, when we’re going through this B.V.M – we’re energetic beings. So, the more you move, energy creates energy. When people go out and don’t have enough energy on time – it’s like, nope, wrong.

Movement helps you do more, it creates more energy. And so, you know, if it’s a lap around the block – if it’s a lap around the office, if it’s a lap around your chair – by shifting your energy, by utilizing that movement, it starts to release those endorphins. Release those hormones that you can start to then find the energy to do the activity that you need to move in to.

So B.V.M: Breathe, Visualize and Move – this really helps you to transition from task to task. Really helps you transition from going to one conversation, then to a different conversation. And starts to help you get through the day and get through the activities, and obviously help you to achieve the goals that you want to achieve.