Monday, September 24, 2012

A Sense of Urgency Can Mean the Difference...

One of my clients recently asked us to help him analyze why his team keeps falling just short of their goals.  The analysis resulted in an interesting story and one we see time after time.  His team had everthing they needed to be successful:  great products, customers with needs, good tools and internal resources, as well as a well defined plan.  Yet, something was missing, the sales folks just seemed to be going through the motions.  They seemed to be missing "energy" and excitement. 

It did not take long to realize, what was really lacking was a sense of urgency.  Within The company did not recognize the results of sales effort until the following year so there was no immediate reinforcement or incentive.  Everyone understood the components of their annual plan, but there was no real sense of urgency to get out there and push hard today and every day!

The VP of Sales initiated a 90 day sales plan for each quarter, with defined milestones, stretch goals, and some short term rewards.  These rewards included things like: extra vacation days, dinner for two, etc.  He also added in some weekly teleconferences for success sharing and problems solving.  Additionally, he communicated with excitement the progress the team was making each week.  It was amazing to see, before long nearly every sales person was making, and in many cases, exceeding their 90 day goals.  Plus everyone was having fun.  There was a new energy within the sales force that began to extend into the support functions as well.

The moral of the story is that demonstrating a sense of urgency can make the difference between achieiving your goals or falling short.  There needs to be a reason for that sense of urgency and there needs to be ongoing communications to reinforce it.  You must find what will work for you and for your team.  Sometimes just increased communications and follow up can do the trick.  Other times, there needs to be a tangible reward.  Regardless, when you get to the end of a year, instilling sense of urgency can be the critical success factor.  What are you doing to create that sense of urgency today? 

Monday, January 31, 2011

Do you need a coach?

Do You Need A Coach????

As soon I mention to someone that I am an Business Coach, I always get asked the same question:  “So, do you think I need a coach?”
 Executive or business coaching has been demonstrated to be an excellent investment and an exceptional developmental opportunity when it is executed well.  First you need to determine whether you would benefit from working with a coach. 
Ask yourself:
     » Are you concerned because you are not getting things done in a quality and/or timely manner?                         
    » Are you kept awake at night worrying about everything you need to get done?           
    » Do you feel you are off-track on the road to achieving your personal vision or life goals?
    » Are you dissatisfied with how your career is progressing?
    » Are you overly stressed?
    » Do you need to learn more, build some skills, or gain new insight to achieve your goals?
    » Do you need to be earning more money?

If you answered no to the above questions, then you probably don’t need coaching. Are there such people? Absolutely! If you’re one of those fortunate people, you can stop reading right now.  If you answered yes to several of the above questions, then a coach may be just the developmental tool you need.

Identifying that you need a coach, does not necessary mean that coaching is for you.  You must also be coachable, or at least willing to be coached. This means you are willing to acknowledge that you don’t know everything, and that you are willing to implement new, even uncomfortable ideas.  You must also be willing to hold yourself accountable- accountable to change behaviors, accountable to assess your progress, accountable to take action.  And, finally, you must be willing to devote the time and effort to establish and execute on a focused action plan.

If you decide that a coach would be beneficial then the next step is to find the one that is right for you.  The relationship between the coach and the person being coached often defines whether the outcome will be successful. 

In selecting a coach be sure to consider the following:
   1.Does the coach have the in-depth experience and the specific credentials required? Do the experience, training, degrees and positions held match the areas of your goals?
   2.Does the coach have credentials that ensure they can actually help you?  Are they a member of the International Coach Federation or another reputable organization?
   3.Has the coach worked, taught, lectured, observed, managed, run seminars, authored, or had experience in the areas of your focus?
   4.Does the coach have specific techniques and methods that fit with your style and personality? Is the chemistry right?
   5.How will the coach teach you new ways to do things, help you take action, make changes and accelerate your goal attainment?

Coaching is a continuous and building process. You and your coach will go over the same or similar ground several times as you establish the foundation for progress.  You will establish a plan for action and you will execute in a focused manner to achieve the goals.  It may sound simple, but often the execution requires a dedicated effort to learn new skills, make difficult change, take challenging action.

At the very first meeting when you discuss your interests with a potential coach, you should begin to experience the onset of the process. If you feel you are being seen in fresh and perceptive ways, if you feel appreciated rather than threatened, if you are given feedback which smacks of honesty and options for proceeding which seem workable, and if you feel you will be working with someone who will be committed to your success, you have probably found a good coach with whom to work. At that point the time is right and you should get ready to “go to work”!

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