Tag Archives: growth

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new sheriff

New Sheriff, What Happens When You Get One?

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There is a new sheriff in town and now what will you do? Of course, this is a metaphorical expression. What happens when you get a new boss or what happens when your client hires a new buyer?

People adapt. We’re a species who has survived because of adaptation. We adapt to change, to the situation, or sometimes to survive.

Start a new job, and you’ll likely adapt. Get a new boss, and you’ll likely adapt. When your long-term customer retires or moves on, you’ll have to adapt.

Is it really that simple?

Small Business Scale

Many small businesses fail when they attempt to scale. The very small company might accel in a very small marketplace but when they try to expand, the world seems to collapse around them.

The same is true for your workplace culture, the lingo, buzzwords, and ways of doing things. It might work really well within the small environment, but expansion or new company ownership might be devastating

When you’ve adapted to what the boss wants, how she likes the information, or how he expects the behavior, you’ve survived. You know the routine and can perform it with or without a drum roll.

Does it scale?

The small restaurant with seating for a few struggles when they increase the seating to 50, or 100 people. Same food, but something has changed.

Not everything scales by keeping the product or service exactly the same.

It is true for your performance on the job and its true for the small business enterprise.

New Sheriff

Have you encountered a new sheriff?

The trick is not always doing the exact same thing in the exact same style or with exactly the same product.

If your boss changes you may need to do something different. If the company you’ve done business with for years gets a new buyer, you may need to do something different.

Whether you’re trying to scale or navigate something new, something different might be exactly what you need.

The assumption of, it worked here, now make it scale, isn’t always the answer.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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professional growth develops

Professional Growth Develops From Needing More

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Is that how professional growth develops? Are you seeking more growth but have felt stumped about how to make it happen?

A salesperson sells. They may also be known as an account representative, sales consultant, or even an entrepreneur. Names and titles don’t really matter but getting someone to agree to make a purchase does.

It is also true for personal or professional growth.

Does the organization you are working for have a need for more? Are you willing to give them more? Can you sell yourself and really get them interested?

Problems and Needs

It may start by understanding the problem. Whenever there is a need, there is a problem to be solved.

When we feel hungry, we may say that we need food. Then we seek a food vendor.

It is true for many things, yet there is often an emotional decision involved in the process.

If we say that we need a new car, it doesn’t really tell us about the problem. Is it that you need transportation or are you looking for luxury, fuel economy, hauling or towing capacity, or something really sporty?

If there is a feeling of need, there is the opportunity for a sale.

Professional Growth Develops

When it comes to your professional growth you may feel like there is a lot of competition. Many people are jockeying for the same position or promotion. However, a competition problem may not always be the case, in some cases, potential hiring managers just aren’t sure that there is a need, or they aren’t exactly sure how the pieces fit.

Jockeying for position in the case of competition is a very different stature from helping the organization recognize the additional value you can provide.

It shifts from, “I’m better because,” to “here are things we can do if.”

Your professional growth may not depend on beating out the competition, it may depend on you being compelling enough to spark the idea of need.

More education and more experience are often helpful. At the same time, they may not be what is blocking you from advancement.

When the hiring manager or CEO develops a need, they’ll seek to fill it. That is exactly where you need to be.

Be the solution. Sell it.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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offer something

Offer Something, When You Believe It’s Good Enough

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Only when you believe it’s good enough. Are you ready to offer something? Do you have the skills, have you completed the homework, and is your audience ready?

It’s true for the emerging leader and it’s true for the entrepreneur. Is there truth in it for your audience?

In the workplace your audience might be your boss or peers, it could even be your direct reports. Are they buying what you’re selling?

A shove to the face that you are doing good work doesn’t typically go over so well.

In fact, it may be counter-productive to your success. Saying that you’re doing good work in the hope of gaining buy-in might work, but it is much more powerful when they see it for themselves.

Customers are skeptical. They’ve been sold a wrongful bill of goods before and they’ve often vowed to not get taken advantage of again. If you’re proving yourself, more will likely join in. If you’ve overextended your reach and your attempts to tap into a bigger market fall flat, they may not see the value, yet.

Maslow insisted on the importance of self-actualization in his hierarchy of needs model. What is true for the individual may not be realized by your audience, your tribe, or your co-workers, yet.

Offer Something

It starts with the offer. The offer to help, to guide, or to illustrate.

It should be generous, kind, and delivered with empathy.

Is your market ready? Have you proven yourself? Do you have testimonials, cheerleaders, and sponsors?

When you believe what you offer is good enough, the selling part has just begun. Authenticity will matter, it can make or break the deal.

Feedback will also be important because without it you’re standing still. You’re either stopped or stalled. Almost nothing is the same tomorrow as it will be today.

Some things get a little better with time. Only to decline once beyond the peak. Fresh fruit is a great metaphorical example. Perhaps an analogy of your expertise.

When you offer something, not everyone is always ready, including you.

When you are willing to be persistent with your offer, accept honest feedback, and commit to the continued pursuit of delivery you’ll find your audience and your market.

What isn’t working today just hasn’t developed enough.

Yet.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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learning commitment

Learning Commitment Changes Your Job

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Commitment means commitment. It isn’t about a half-hearted approach. Having a learning commitment is often visible, and it’s always a game-changer.

Many small businesses start from a hobby, an interest, and lots of initiative. Some of those small businesses will grow very large, some not as much.

There are two reasons for the differences between small and large. The first is that the owner may not want to grow it big, and the second reason is that something gets lost in the commitment.

Although on a smaller scale, workplace employees have similar outcomes. Employees that are really committed to the mission often rise above the rest. Those approaching their work half-heartedly, not so much.

Many employees suggest that they are committed. Is that suggestion visible?

Learning Commitment

Spotting commitment really isn’t that difficult.

Committed employees study.

They study the actions and behaviors of role models. They also encourage and desire training, they study written materials, watch videos, read books, attend conferences, and are always committed to learning.

Change is an obstacle or a blessing. A hurdle to jump or an opportunity to capture.

Someone who is coasting backs away from obstacles and hurdles. The energy commitment is lacking, the drive towards creating more success doesn’t really matter.

If they’re on the clock, the clock continues to click and they are satisfied with that.

They are content and complacent.

Having a learning commitment is a game-changer. Each successive learning experience is a win. It’s a win for the organization and it’s a win for the employee.

You can always identify who’s committed.

They’re uncomfortable with coasting.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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serving everyone

Serving Everyone May Take Away Value

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Does your business pride itself on serving everyone? Does the quest for more numbers flatten your value, or grow it?

Most businesses or organizations have a specific market. A segment, a group, a commonality that allows them to provide value to a piece of the pie, but not the whole pie.

Yet, it is often commonplace that people work really hard to accommodate the needs of everyone.

This has a price. The price is often that in the attempt to serve everyone they aren’t really great at serving anyone.

One user on the network, is just another user. Another product on display in Amazon’s website, just another potential source of revenue.

This may be true at the hospital, just another patient. It’s often true at the Pizza shop, the grocery store, and with your electric service provider.

Many of these service offerings don’t really make a big investment in you. They make and investment in the numbers. Yes, you may be one of them, but that’s it, just a number.

Serving Everyone

Some of the best service providers are building it with you which is not exactly the same as building it for you. Building it for you often scales to building for the number. It is the effect of the enterprise and the economies of scale.

Emerging software companies often start by building it with you. They are interested in your needs, the features you love, and the bugs that you discover.

The successful program starts to shift as the economy of the enterprise grows. They start building it for you. It is the attraction of the product, the marketing hype, and for the end-user, it’s a quest to remain part of the group.

Once they fought for you, now they fight to use you as a number in their game.

It is a similar concept for getting something for free. Sign up for the free webinar, the chance to win, or the no-cost obligation. If you aren’t paying you are not the customer, you are part of the marketing team. The goal is more numbers.

High value comes from those who are building it with you. The stakes are different and so are the outcomes.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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leveling up

Leveling Up Is What You Really Want

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Do you see lazy effort among your colleagues? Have businesses you once favored declined in quality or offerings? Leveling up may be what most people are looking for, yet it is often different from what is received.

I love the pizza shop around the corner but every pizza they make seems really different. Some are great, others not so much.

Do you like our logo? We paid the best graphic design firm in the city big bucks yet it feels like something a four-year-old might whip up.

We went to the most prominent kitchen remodeler in the area. Look at our countertops, they aren’t even level.

Does the customer service you experience ever shift to the lowest possible delivery? Does it feel like you’re receiving the quality of work that is just barely enough to get by without a complaint?

It happens to the restaurant, the car repair shop, and even the local hardware store. Some remain in business for decades or more, and others seem more like a flash in the pan.

There is a fine balance between constructive feedback and critical criticism. The recipient always gets to decide what to ignore and what to change. When you are convinced that the feedback you receive doesn’t matter, it may be time to reassess the direction you are heading.

Leveling Up

The moment an employee or the entire business decides things are absolutely perfect and that they shouldn’t change a thing is likely the same moment that things start to decline.

When corrective actions, different tastes, quality, quantity, and colorful options stop. The business hasn’t only stalled, it’s now in decline.

It is relevant for your job or career.

It is relevant for your favorite restaurant across town.

Even at the barbershop, the fitness center, and the book store. The business of leveling up is the difference-maker.

Coasting means you’re moving, but for how long?

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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customers leave

When Customers Leave and Nobody Asks Why

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What happens when customers leave? Does anyone notice, or only when it is far too late?

People sometimes call it growing pains. The pain an organization experiences as they’ve shifted from a very small operation to a much larger one.

It happens to restaurants. The fantastic mom and pop add on to their existing operation or buys an additional location to set up shop.

The concept is, more is better. More room, more customers, and more financial reward.

Often these measures crash and burn.

Watching the Store

It is true for many operations in many sectors, from manufacturing to banking, and from a landscaping contractor to the automobile repair shop.

When the business is small, those in charge notice everything that is happening. From the first customer to the one most recently served. If something goes wrong, responsible persons can fix it.

As the business grows, people are added, levels get deeper, and the resources are present but are likely underutilized.

There is a shift in focus.

When Customers Leave

The priorities shift. They shift from the job of satisfying the customer, to the job of satisfying the boss.

There are meetings to attend, policies to make, and metrics to measure.

Proving what is happening, or not, becomes a backroom deal. The front-line is happening, but only the front-line is aware of what is truly working and what is coming up short.

What is likely worse is that the quest for information often rewards good news over the bad. Bad news isn’t appreciated and the tough feedback is rejected. Messengers are punished and good news bearers receive more appreciation.

The metric of new customers, orders taken, and revenue gained is only part of the picture.

Become the customer and measure the experience.

Lose sight of your customers and they’ll lose sight of you.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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personal growth

Personal Growth Is Your Ticket To Workplace Success

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Many people talk about personal growth. Likely, more than eighty percent of those discussing it stick with it long enough to make a significant change.

A lack of luck is often to blame. Yet, most people experience luck often. In reality, how you manage luck, good or bad, will make the biggest difference long-term.

Considering short-run management versus long-run change, are you able to balance both?

Plenty of short-run decisions have an impact on long-run change.

A bowl of ice cream on Saturday evening may feel good while satisfying the short-run. A bowl of ice cream every evening may have some impact on long-run weight management.

When you break it all down, nearly everything you do and the associated outcomes are predictors of what happens long-term.

Personal Growth

Most executives don’t start at the top.

A great car mechanic wasn’t born that way.

The fittest athlete didn’t get fit by laying on the couch all day, every day.

Your level of personal growth seldom just happens. It is a collection across time. A collection of little or nothing never gets very big. Yet a little bit collected often starts to add up.

A picture of a tree in the park, the one in the courtyard at your workplace, or outside your kitchen window. One taken now and one taken five years ago. Things have changed, yet you barely noticed.

Every tiny piece. Every bit of information. Successes, learning opportunities, and even every calorie burnt versus calorie consumed.

One nugget at a time, adding up across days, weeks, months, and years. That is the path to achieving more.

Many people like to focus on salary or money.

Your success isn’t always about what you get paid along the way. What you get paid for it may be stark in comparison to what you become for it.

Bit by bit, drop by drop, season after season, adding a little more across time is the surest way to achieve more.

Growth isn’t an accident.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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story change

How Will Your Story Change? Should It?

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Sometimes, but not always, change is about choice. Decisions you make or actions you take have a way of changing things or keeping you stuck. Will your story change?

Whether it is the end of a year, a decade, or just the end of a current path that you are on, your story is your creation.

Future Connected to Choice

The recognition of choice is often hard to comprehend. As people we often tend to blame people, circumstances, or even the economy. While there may be some truth in all of those, we still have direct involvement through our choice.

When we dig a little deeper, we even make choices about our happiness, sadness, and the energy spent (or wasted) on either.

The stories that we repetitively tell ourselves will condition the choices we make next.

I could never do that job.

The client screwed me on the deal.

Jane got the promotion because she kisses up to the boss.

The story that you allow to play out for your future is connected to the decisions you will make because of your mindset.

Story Change

Do you want your story to change?

Thinking about a potential change and making a change are completely different things. Many people think about shoving a donut in their mouth because of the high caloric content, yet, it doesn’t stop them.

If your story is going to change it is going to be because of your choices, actions, and behaviors.

Knowing isn’t doing. Doing is doing.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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energized action

Energized Action and Learning Something New

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It isn’t always about what we know. Often it is more about what we do with what we know. Do you have energized action?

We hear about it before the meeting, the workshop, or the conference breakout session.

I’m not attending because I already know that stuff.

That’s about as basic as it comes, I’m going to a different session.

These meetings are so boring, we always talk about the same stuff.

There is a difference between knowing and action. How you react to opportunities will often depend on how you look at them.

Open to Opportunity

Many people stop listening, often before they even start listening.

There are the stereotypes, biases, and the “set ways” that often keep people from learning more.

Our mindset and how we approach opportunities with differences depends on what happens next. What happens next is your action.

A coffee shop owner may have different business experience from the clock shop owner. One business author writes about finance, the other about marketing. The YouTuber gets a million hits from the skateboard event, another from an artistic display of human generosity.

Energized Action

When we block out new or different information, we set limits. We shelter and close the frame on our design. Having a frame can help us digest new or large volumes of information but never adjusting the frame will limit future outcomes.

Energized action comes from the willingness to adjust the frame. It comes from exploration, risk, and a propensity to see opportunity in differences.

You may feel like you already know it all. You may feel that you’ve mastered the craft. Yet, you may be surprised how things look through a different lens.

You want your next opportunity? You want energized action?

Give opportunity a chance.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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