Monthly Archives: February 2014

Have a positive attitude and personal pride in all you do!

I love Jeffrey’s insights. The link below is to an article he posted a few weeks ago, it’s a great read. He makes two very salient points I would like to discuss.

Often times we drive ourselves crazy focusing on things that we can’t control, while at the same time ignoring behaviors completely within our control.

Jeffery points out two of those things in his article: having a positive attitude and personal pride. As you read the article, think about yourself. Do you focus on the uncontrollable, or do you focus on bringing a positive attitude to everything you do with personal pride?


Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of The Little Red Book of Selling. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service at He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to © 2009 All Rights Reserved – Don’t even think about reproducing this document without written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer • 704/333-1112

The Unexpected Profit Engine

Great points made by Michael Fertik.

But should it really be unexpected? As he points out, stand-out organizations recognized, understand and utilize the power of customer service throughout the organization. They harness it’s power and convert/translate it into bottom line results.

Check out his article:
The Unexpected Profit Engine

What People Look for in Great Leaders

In Marilyn Hewson’s article, she Quote’s a Gallup poll which showed the four main attributes people look for in a leader are: stability, trust, compassion and hope.

While we could spend hours discussing each of these, Marilyn does a wonderful job delivering the point.

I do want to add my two cents on hope or what she also refers to as “…a vision that motivates.” Often times business leaders think they are “running the company”. How many times have you heard “I don’t have time for ‘that’, I have a business to run”?

We sometimes forget that our job is to “lead” not “run”.

Check this out Marilyn’s article below, quick but insightful read.

What People Look for in Great Leaders

Conference Calls Are Terrible. Here’s How to Make Them Better.

How many conference calls have you been on that haven’t had a specific agenda?

Check this out:
Conference Calls Are Terrible. Here’s How to Make Them Better.

Direct Link To The Article

Talent Management – Basics

There is a lot of buzz these days around Talent Management (TM), and rightfully so. Whether companies admit it; employees are their most important and valuable assets.

Ask any shopkeeper if it is important to have employees that are engaged, customer focused, service oriented and trustworthy. Undoubtedly you’ll get a resounding YES!

Even in mega corporations understand this…for example FedEx’s Company Culture is People-Service-Profit. They know, for a fact, the important role that each and every employee plays in the success or failure of their business.

“Take care of our people; they in turn, will deliver the impeccable service demanded by our customers, who will reward us with the profitability necessary to secure our future.” – From FedEx Company Culture Webpage

What is so surprising to me, is that as every business grows from a small “mom & pop” shop – to a larger and larger organization, they sometimes loose sight of those simple facts in the transition – and unfortunately in some cases never recover – Enter – Talent Management.

I believe that Talent Management doesn’t have to be overcomplicated. It really is one of those business ideas that people forget they already know about. As a matter of fact, I want to take a moment to try and help remind business leaders of what they may have forgotten about Talent Management using a very basic example – high school gym class, the Dodge Ball Game.

1)   When you were in gym class and two team captains were picking teams – what happened? Did they pick the worst players first or the best players?

  • It’s the same in business – The first step in any sound Talent Management Strategy is making sure you have the right people in place. So you need to make sure you are hiring the right people and retaining the right people.

2)   Before the game started, typically the teacher / coach would go over the rules of the game? And/or if there was a very competitive captain, they might sketch out a game plan. Something like – “ok, Vinnie, you’re going to stand here, Jack you’re going stand there, when the whistle blows, you both throw the ball at Bill at the same time, he’s their best player and we need to take him out first. Jane you wait half a second and then throw your ball too, just in case Vinnie and Jack miss.”

  • Once we have the right people in place, you need to make sure they know what to do. They need to know what your plan is…they need to know What to Expect and What is Expected (of them).

3)   I can remember a time I was on a great team. Once the game started, there was this incredible flurry of activity. People were shouting and yelling from all directions. But the interesting part was, I distinctly remember tuning everyone else out and being able to focus on my teammates. We communicated with each other and worked together as a team to get the other team out. We coached each other, gave each other direction – we were giving each other feedback.

  • To effectively manage talent you have to give constant feedback. You need to consistently give employees both praise and criticism, where appropriate. Help them understand if they are meeting the expectations you set.

4)   The other thing I remember was that after the first game, when we were all catching our breath, the gym teacher came out to the people that weren’t necessarily the best players and tried to help them. He would try to show them how to throw or the best place to stand and position their bodies. In essence, he was trying to develop those that had skill gaps.

  • In every business there is going to be a need to address skill gaps within your employee population, even with your top performers. The key is to recognize this and address it consistently and with purpose. Talent Development is an integral part of any robust Talent Management Strategy.

5)   Back at the gym – if we were doing well, it would be tough to get someone to “sub-out”(let some else come in into the game while another sat out). Why? Because there was no need to…we had the right players. But I always remember that at some point there would be a need to replace a player that was just not cutting it. We needed to address under-performers.

  • I heard someone once say that you have to try to change people’s attitude and aptitude through coaching and development. And if that doesn’t work, you have to Change People.

6)   Finally, at the end of class you would get a grade. The teacher was grading your performance. Sound familiar?

  • Performance Reviews are another great tool to help people see the cumulative effect of their efforts on the goals and expectations you set with them. It’s also a great time to set the expectations going forward.

Of course these concepts are very high level and need significant time and effort to enact. But I would argue not as much as we think. Most of us already know and understand the basic components of a successful Talent Management Strategy… It’s just a matter of remembering to use them.

Developing Effective Training

How to Develop Effective Training Content

Unless you’re teaching others how to use software, there’s a good chance you’ll need a customized training solution. That’s because with something like software, each keystroke has a predetermined result and therefore users need only understand which keys to push and when. Although time-consuming, developing training content of this nature is fairly straightforward.

But the same can’t be said about teaching your employees how to run your business the way you want it run. If it was your job to develop effective training content, would you know how to do it? Would you know what not to do? Don’t worry. Most people who don’t develop training content for a living wouldn’t know these answers, either.

Before you start spending money developing training content, there are a few training content “pre-development” questions that should be answered first such as:

  • Who is your target audience?
    • You might at first think this question is better suited to developing marketing materials not training materials, but think again. As with marketing materials, the message your training materials deliver has to resonate with your market which in this case is your trainees. Otherwise it will fall on deaf ears. So now you need to answer these questions:
  • Who will be using the training materials being developed?
    • For example, will the materials be developed for a particular department or for a particular branch?
  • How many people will be trained during each training session?
  • What is the skill level of and what motivates the group to be trained?

With a clear definition of your target “trainee” it’s time to answer another important question:

  • What are your training goals?
    • For example, is training required to help meet certain sales quotas? Is training required so that your employees are in compliance with certain regulations? Do you hope that those who complete your training emerge with a new or improved set of skills?

Once you have a firm understanding of who you need to train and why he or she needs to be trained, you’ll be better prepared to move on to the next area of consideration, the planning stage.

During this stage you want to get a better idea of when (or how often) such training will take place and where it will take place. Knowing these answers is going to help determine the most effective method of material delivery.

And now, the big question you need to address is:

How can I get my audience from where it is now to where I need it to be within my defined timeframe?

At this stage you’ll need to start thinking about a realistic training budget. You need to know how much you can afford to spend on developing as well as implementing a training program. This answer will significantly impact the development stage.

When it comes to delivering your training content, you have many options. You can develop a “hands-on” training course that can be used in an interactive classroom-type setting. You can develop an entire training course on video or that can be delivered electronically, both of which allow trainees to learn at an individualized pace. You can develop slide shows, hand-outs, webinars, group or individual activities, and more.

If you plan on developing effective training content you really do need to take all of these issues into consideration. But the process doesn’t stop there. You’ve also got to implement the training program and then evaluate it. Here is where you’ll answer what is probably the most important question.

Was the developed training program effective at meeting the goals and objectives outlined previously?

Hopefully the answer is YES!