This blog is all about my latest insights into growth, strategy, and execution.
Not being a “sales guru” I was initially hesitant to write a review of Selling Boldly, by Alex Goldfayn. In the end, I came to realize that the book is wise about sales and so many other things that I really needed to do a book review.
Here’s the short version.
Pick up the book. Download the forms, and do what Alex says. Just do it. That is if you want to improve your results.
Here’s the longer version.
Alex brings so much common sense to selling that you can’t ignore this book. You’ll sell more effectively. You’ll build your confidence, and you’ll get referrals. You will be able to get more business from existing customers. How?
By picking up the phone and calling them.
- Fewer people today are using the phone. You’ll stand out from your competitors. Digital communication is great for confirming things and sending information. It’s not ideal for building relationships.
- Most people hesitate calling their customers because they are afraid of bothering them, or they think the customers don’t want to hear from them. They may even think they will make them mad. Alex says this is nonsense. Head-trash you talk yourself into.
- Your customers, with whom you are succeeding, are friendly. His word for them is “friendlies.” They want to hear from you and want to tell others about you and most likely would do more business with you if they knew how. So call them. Just do it.
- Alex applies the science of positive psychology to sales. The researched and tested findings, of Martin Seligman, PhD, the father of modern positive psychology.
There’s more to “Selling Boldly” than just this. More for another blog.
The daily huddle is an event that we talk about when following the Four Decisions Model™. It’s something we should all be doing.
My normal advice for the daily stand-up huddle is for everyone to briefly report the “main thing” that they need to accomplish that day, no matter what happens.
After sharing their main things, then share any intel or information that’s useful to others that has came up since yesterday’s huddle. Follow that step with bringing up any “stucks” that one is dealing with. Pretty simple right?
I’m re-thinking that advice.
The positive psychology research that I’ve been reading recently says something that stuck out to me. It points out what confident people do at the beginning of each day. They decide how they will successfully negotiate the day. This is done by mentally drawing a picture for themselves about what success looks like for everything on their plate that day, large and small items, easy and difficult items. When they do that, they perform better that day. Each success of the day brings confidence to the next task of the day and continues building confidence through the day.
Let’s win your daily huddle by making it more meaningful and positive.
The intent of the daily huddle becomes how the team “will win the day.” It’s not just reporting on what’s going to happen or what has got to get done. A winning daily huddle has that along with the team telling each other what succeeding looks like that day.
Why not bring this to the daily huddle? Seems to me we should make “winning the day” the theme of the huddle each day. Have each person report in on the main thing they need to get done that day. Then they tell their team what winning (or success) looks like in getting it done. It builds confidence for the individual and the team. It also engages the team to help with stucks when winning appears to be really difficult.
What do you think of introducing this to your daily huddles?
At the Gravitas Impact Coaches Summit I attended recently, I found myself listening to Dave Ramsey. The thing is, he got a bit off track in his presentation and started musing about why many leaders have a hard time with the idea of servant leadership.
We all know it is the better way. Research backs it up.
He put it this way: The word “servant,” to so many people and to many leaders as well, means “subservience” to others. Doing the will of others. Waiting on others. Being a slave to others.
Servant leadership is leading them with their best interests at heart. It’s a very different meaning than how many people take it.
He suggested calling it “service leadership” or “serving leadership.” These two descriptions might be better names for the best way to lead.
Good point Dave Ramsey. I agree. I like “serving leadership” best.
Does this change how you look at servant leadership and enable you to become a better leader?
The author of The Great Game of Business, Jack Stack, wrote a nice recommendation for the new edition of Rock & Sand: A Practical Insight to Business Growth.
Here’s what he had to say about the Premium Edition of Rock & Sand:
“Rock &Sand is a powerful and practical mini-book for entrepreneurs. If you want to unleash growth in your organization, this book shares a simple, practical process and set of tools to get it done. Michael Synk brings his coaching and teaching skills, along with a community of highly capable and experienced coaches from Gravitas Impact, to provide a growth roadmap that can apply not only to businesses but also non-profit organizations. The Rock & Sand framework matches up nicely as a complement to The Great Game of Business© framework and toolsets, as evidenced by the inclusion of our “Critical Number” principles in our Open Book Management philosophy that is the foundation of The Great Game of Business©.”
Besides writing his own book, Stack is also the founder and serves as Chairman of the Board of SRC Holdings.
“We are the smartest person in the room…” This quote, by fellow Gravitas Coach Ted Sarvata found in the forward of the new “Premium Edition” of Rock & Sand: A Practical Insight to Business Growth, captures the theme of the book.
Collective efforts of your team, in the creation of your strategic plan, produce a better plan.
You end up with a plan that the team will commit to. It will deliver better results than doing it by yourself then handing it down to the team.
The original concept of my Rock & Sand book, was a collaboration between me and my clients.
It captures why owners and entrepreneurs need a strategic plan, what needs to be in one, and what to do about it after its creation. It connects strategy to execution in a simple and compelling manner. The “smartest person in the room” was not me. Results came from all of the clients and me, coming together to create the Rock & Sand Model™.
The new “Premium Edition” adds more collaboration.
This time collaboration between ten of the best and brightest coaches in the Gravitas Community was added. Each of the collaborators was asked to write a chapter illustrating and explaining how a business owner or entrepreneur can create each component of the plan by tapping into their “smartest person in the room,” their leadership team, and/or their middle managers. Following these instructions with your team, you’ll create a stronger strategic plan. Therefore, it helps your “smartest person in the room” to become smarter and stronger at the same time.
This book is about engaging your “smartest person in the room.” Your real “smartest person in the room” is the collection of minds on your team. Together, WE are a smarter, more effective, and aligned team that will unleash the growth of your company.
Are you ready to tap into your team and develop “the smartest person in the room”? Get excited about unleashing the growth and potential of your company.
At a recent session on this book, the presenter gave us the challenge of becoming a “multiplier” by employing “multiplier moves” instead of diminishing ones.
The key insight for me and most of the audience was that no matter how hard we try, we’ll always make a mistake and make a diminisher type of move. To avoid this, make a list of “multiplier moves” and practice them. Have them ready to deploy when someone comes to you asking for you to solve something for them.
“Multiplier moves” are usually questions rather than answers. They’re questions that help people move towards a solution on their own or together with you.
Some of the “multiplier moves” I’ve assembled and you are free to steal are:
Tell me more about that…
Why do you say that?
What am I not seeing?
And what else?
What will be hard about this?
What do you see?
If you had a magic wand…
What’s the real problem…
Is this your best work?
What does great look like to you?
These turn a potentially diminishing situation into a multiplying one. They challenge the person or team to think, to think bigger, to learn, and to dialogue. This leads them to consider more than the obvious data to solve the problem. You get a better solution and a smarter person who is ready to handle bigger things in the future.
Multiply your team.
Have you tried “multiplying” the staff you have?
No, I’m not talking about cloning your staff. That would be a pretty good trick if you could pull it off, though.
I’m talking about the book Multipliers and the ideas and techniques outlined in it.
Multilpliers, by Liz Wiseman will transform the way you lead your team. The author has extensively studied those leaders who get better results than their peers even though they have equally talented and equally sized teams. They “multiply” the output of their teams, and it happens willingly.
The key to Multipliers is first recognizing that your staff is smart enough to figure things out. Then after acknowledging it, change the way you all go about solving problems.
For instance, present the problem to your people.
Instead of trying to provide solutions to their teams and asking for input or approval, they approach their teams with the problem. At this point, they use dialogue and ask about solving it.
This way, the problem (or opportunity) is owned by the team.
Then, they are committed to it.
Leaders then listen and make sure the dialogue is strong and all aspects of the situation are covered, maybe even asking people to dig deeper. They will then lead the team towards the solution but not providing the solution.
When you first start “multiplying” it goes slow.
As you continue doing it, the team gets smarter and smarter. That’s when the “multiplication” takes place and the “multiplier’s” team starts getting “multiplied” outcomes.
Do you think your team is smart enough to figure things out? Do you have to provide all the solutions, therefore diminishing your team?
I hope it’s the first, and you can expand your team without adding anyone.
Get the book if you haven’t already. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about it in the future.
What game should we play to move your ROCK?
This is the new question I’ll be asking my clients when we identify new rocks for the quarter. Or when we peg initiatives for the year or swim lanes for the future.
I learned this question recently while attending a learning session at The Great Game of Business (GGOB). It’s a better question than asking, “What are we going to do to move the rock?”.
That question, “What are we going to do to move the rock?” invites some baggage into the conversation.
It invites the idea that something is wrong, someone didn’t do something, that someone has to do something about it. In doing so, it assigns blame whether you intend to or not.
Why not bypass this line of questioning altogether by alternatively asking, “What’s the game we need to play to move the rock?” This question focuses the participants on what can be done to succeed, without any blame/shaming. The focus is on playing a game and winning. Then the team will figure out how to win the game to move the rock. It’s a great connection between GGOB and ROCK & SAND™.
Remember, a rock is a project, a priority, or an initiative that improves your organization’s ability to push more sand, more profitably and grow. It’s usually something complex and cross functional requiring a number of people to work together as a team to move it.
Teams play games.
The question turns the rock into a game. In GGOB parlance, every rock is a mini-game. Mini-games engage the team in winning.
Isn’t that what you want?
What’s the game you need to play to move your most important rock this quarter?
Do you have entrepreneurial units or business units?
How do you see your employees?
Recently, I witnessed a “Great Game of Business” (GGOB) weekly, all-company huddle at SRC Electrical. It was an enlightening experience seeing an entire plant full of employees who were fully engaged. They were all invested in improving the financial performance of their organization. This ties directly to creating growth.
Later in the day, there was a presentation for the guests. The speaker said something during that time. It has stuck in my mind ever since. It is part of their company culture of ownership.
“We don’t have business units. We have entrepreneurial units.”
Do you think of your organization’s people as having entrepreneurial mindsets?
It was clear that all units of their business have an entrepreneurial spirit to them. They all know how their work impacts the bottom line. Some of their units are profit centers. Some are cost centers. However, all of them understand their contributions. They affect, positively or negatively, the bottom line. They’re all working to contribute to improving the bottom line, even if it’s indirectly.
It’s SRC Electrical’s expectation that their people understand the impact that they have on the success and bottom line of the business. The leadership is actively involved in teaching each and every department and employee HOW they make money for the company. This results in an extremely high level of engagement. They expect them to learn it, and they anticipate that they are smart enough to figure it out and act accordingly.
This is another argument for getting the right people in the right positions.
Shouldn’t all of your business units, whether they are profit centers or cost centers, be entrepreneurial units?
Maybe the opportunity for growth is obvious but you just can’t get moving on it.
Perhaps the growth opportunity isn’t obvious. You just know you are slogging it out harder than ever before for the exact same results or maybe even worse results.
Maybe you are growing like wildfire, and you’re worried about the ability to handle it and keep up with it.
The real question is whether you are ready for growth.
Each of the scenarios described above are all good examples of why you should question your status. Are you ready to tackle the obvious opportunity? What about finding that opportunity that will get you out of your rut? Is your business ready to keep your growth going strong and make it sustainable?
It’s not something a self help book will help you figure out. You have to figure out if you’re ready. You may need to figure out what’s keeping you from figuring it out. It may take figuring out what wheels are going to come off before they actually do fall off and cause havoc.
You need an assessment that can help you figure out all of this. A common sense, simple assessment will give you a starting point for getting ready for growth, regardless of your scenario.
Try this one. It’s the Four Decisions Assessment from my coaching organization Gravitas Impact Premium Coaches. Invest 15 minutes and gain valuable insight. It’s practical, effective, and easy to complete. It includes a free coaching session from me. When I get your report, I’ll arrange a phone call and review what it’s telling you about your readiness for growth.
Get Practical Insights for Growing Your Business
Michael Synk’s latest book is available to ship or download today.