Tag Archives: opportunities

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best results

Best Results, When You’re Doing Your Best

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How are things turning out? Are you getting the best results? What questions are you asking yourself? What are your answers?

When things go right, it often feels like things can’t go wrong. So much so, that people often take for granted the opportunities that are welcoming them along for the ride. Has this ever been you?

Sometimes the opposite is true. One wrong turn seems to lead to another. The only opportunity that you start to wish for is that there will not be more bad news. Could this be you? Have you experienced this in the past?

At the moment, if the chips seem down, it is often hard to see what things will look like on the other side of the crisis. The haste to improve, correct, and redirect the flow is often overwhelming.

Have you searched for more optimism? Is there a path to shifting from doom to bloom?

What will you focus on to get better results?

Best Results

There are two possible paths to shift to better results. The best news is, you can take them both at the same time.

The first possible path is to put the obstacle into perspective. People often lose their perspective when the chips seem down. The half-inch tall obstacles get blown out of proportion and they appear hundreds of feet tall. Step back and look at how big, or how tall, in the bigger picture of life, how tall is this obstacle?

Worry won’t shrink it. Keeping it all in perspective might.

Remember that disappointments are a natural part of life. The risk that doesn’t always blossom, and opportunities that seemed like they would likely appear, but then didn’t. It’s normal.

The second possible path is to start analyzing your wins. You can do this with a win-list. It’s simple really, you stop counting the things going wrong and you shift your focus to your wins. Any win and every win, no matter how small.

Most people are pleasantly surprised when they start focusing on wins instead of drowning in the drama.

Everyone wants the best results.

Doing your best matters. What you focus on always creates your perspective.

You’re taller than your obstacles, and you’ll win.

-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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better things

Better Things Are Still The Backbone Of Service

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Are you doing better things? Better things for the customer or better for the staff? Is it a balancing act?

Better service always sells.

When the customer is in doubt, they’ll remember how they were treated the last time or perhaps, how they were treated by a competitor.

When it is time to recommend a brand or answer a question asked, customers will remember what they felt about the service or how well the product worked when put to the test.

Where is your focus?

Better Things

When you want increase the compensation of the team, is there a direct effect on the customer?

Must there be a price increase? Is that how the budget is adjusted?

Should there be a new territory for sales, a new market segment, or repeat customers joyfully recommending your products or services? Should it be all of these?

Perhaps.

Yet, what is the focus?

Some companies place their number one priority on making things better for the customer. Other companies place their priorities on making things better for themselves.

Who wins this game?

Certainly, it probably requires some of both, but one of those will also likely take care of the other. Except, the reverse isn’t also true.

A focus on the customer will result in more opportunities, customers, and sales. As a result, you can take better care of the company.

A focus on the company first will probably result in short-changing the customer and ultimately making the selling and satisfaction process more difficult.

Better things happen with better service.

-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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learning opportunities

Learning Opportunities Really Change The Outcomes

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Is attending the seminar a punishment or an opportunity? Education at all levels makes a difference. Do you see learning opportunities or do you see time wasters?

It’s sort of comical how several people can observe the same subject matter and see completely different things.

Values, beliefs, and trendy positions lead some people to appear to believe in something that they may know little or nothing about.

In the workplace, groups form, subgroups form, and there are workplace politics. Politics about who belongs and who doesn’t. Politics about who works, contributes and puts in their time, and of course, who doesn’t.

Many organizations are on a quest to enhance their culture. They want to build stronger more intact teams. They want to improve their communication efforts and get everyone on the same page.

How will they do it?

Learning Opportunities

The best organizations seek to learn more. If time matters, and it always does, the faster you can improve efficiencies, effectiveness, and productivity the better.

The best people in the best organizations make an investment in learning.

A seminar or workshop is not a punishment. It is an opportunity.

If you can learn something new, refresh on something you’ve heard before, or turn a habit slipped into a reinvigorated quest to get better, you’ve gained.

I’ve observed people who fight and argue to stay out of the workshop. At the same time, I’ve observed people who fight and argue that they want in the workshop.

The perspective is different.

Workplace cultures are different.

Learning is something you become part of, you’re pulled, not pushed.

Changing the outcomes means you’re changing the approach. A new twist, a fluid approach, or something different. It’s more than doing the same thing differently, it is doing different things.

Different things change outcomes.

It’s a learning opportunity.

-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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leaders show up

Leaders Show Up, Even When No One is Watching

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Talent and the admiration for performance may show up when you need it, or when you least expect it. Performance, conduct, and ethics always matter. True leaders show up every time.

When there is a graduation ceremony, someone will likely show up to talk about leadership. We’ve witnessed leadership in the Die-Hard movies, The Hunt for Red October, and A Few Good Men.

Leadership can be scripted in the board meeting, at the awards banquet, and for the corporate retreat. Yet, those aren’t the only places it is visible.

When the organization needs innovation, it should be present. During a massive disruption, it should be there. During an unexpected emergency, a pop-up meeting, or when someone least expects it, it should be there.

Yes, it should come when no one is watching.

Leaders Show Up

The kid who watches the fireman, the farmer, or the Navy SEAL, may experience something unexpected. It’s also true for those watching the backhoe operator, the auto mechanic, or the carpenter. And, someone quietly admiring a teacher, a doctor, or an astronaut. In all of these cases, leadership is happening, or it’s not.

Everyone working, every day, making an impact or a difference may not always realize who is watching. They may just be doing what they feel is their every day job.

Their defining moments are happening and are being experienced by someone else.

Perhaps unknowingly the work that you’ll do today will matter a whole lot more than just achieving results for your business or organization.

Leadership happens during all moments, not just the moments that it is scripted for.

We can skip the graduation ceremony, ignore signs of leadership in the movies, or resist the change happening right before our eyes.

Yet, leadership is still happening. It’s happening in the moment. It’s changing lives, and we don’t even know it.

Today you’ll deliver on some moments.

What will they look like?

-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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clear focus

Clear Focus, Do You Have It or Need It?

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People often suggest the importance of focus. Yet, in many cases our efforts are more scattered. Do you have a clear focus?

Focus may be more than just concentration. It may be more than suggesting that the prize is right around the corner, more than when the number of pieces expected is realized, and greater than the goal that was suggested last week.

Your vision may be about focus, yet, people often find themselves wondering if their focus is appropriate.

Scattered Approaches

We can do many things in a scattered approach. Commonly, people believe that when they attack many things, they’ll get more done and success will be theirs. In contrary, they often come to realize that while pursing many things, they’ve failed to do anything.

We see it in marketing and advertising. We have an entire world of opportunity through social media. It seems the approach sometimes is to just spread the word. We have world-of-mouth, instead of just the old, word-of-mouth.

The thought is more people seeing our offerings will make more people connect. Yet, this is only true if it is of value or interest to them.

We see it in our workplace. People striving to get ahead. They want to make a difference for their career, increase their opportunities, and find greater success. Their plan? Try to do lots and lots of things, something will help me get discovered. The scattered result is that nothing sticks.

Clear Focus

Seth Godin, offers an interesting question, “Which is closer, the sun or Buffalo, NY?”

No matter where you live, Buffalo, NY is closer. It is a fact, a guarantee. Yet everyone living outside of Buffalo cannot see it. A quick glance to an unclouded sky during daylight hours and you’ll be able to spot the sun.

Offering ice to the Eskimo, milk to a dairy farmer, or steel toed work boots to a ballet dancer may not get you the results you are hoping for. Just because you can see them doesn’t mean it’s a good venture.

Focus will yield more than scattered chances.

It’s true for whatever you’re selling.

-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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finding possibilities

Finding Possibilities Is Easier Than You Think

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What are the possibilities in front of you? Are there some, or are there none? Finding possibilities is often connected with where or how you look.

People often get stuck because of the limits that they place on the possibilities.

I’m not attending the evening networking event. No one is ever there to really connect with anyway.

We should do a video tutorial for our new product, but I’m not sure anyone will watch it.

I should send a resume to that new business in the industrial park, yet, I doubt they’ll consider me because of my lack of experience.

The amount of risk you are willing to take or the effort that you are willing to endure will show fewer or more possibilities.

The truth often is that people avoid things that they believe will cause too much effort or grief. The desire to make a change or do different things is limited by what the individual (or group) views as the return on investment.

Finding Possibilities

If you start a new exercise program, then you also must realize that you should change some of your eating habits too. The biggest reality is that none of this change will happen quickly. As a result, many never start.

People often don’t want to be on the hook. They don’t want the added responsibility on the job. They don’t want to workout three or four times per week. And diet, well, some chips and a soda often seem easier and more attractive than celery sticks.

For your career or business, the possibilities are likely endless. Except when you decide that being on the hook for the commitment is going to cost you.

Finding new possibilities depends on the price you are willing to pay.

-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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build personal brand

5 Tips To Help You Build Personal Brand

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Do you care about your career? Have you ever wondered what leads some people to have many opportunities while others stay stuck? Certainly, there may be many reasons. Have you considered how you’ll build personal brand?

It comes up often. Frustrated, hardworking people, trying to navigate their current job, advance within the organization they work, or find a new employer. Don’t underestimate your personal brand.

Build Personal Brand

Here are just five tips of many to help build personal brand:

  1. Be Responsive. Perhaps nothing shows more courtesy and respect than being responsive. This may be peers, direct reports, customers, vendors, and even your friends. Too busy doesn’t build relationships, it weakens them.
  2. Give First. Many people are subconsciously (or consciously) asking themselves, “What are you going to do for me?” This should never be the question. The better approach is, “How can I help someone else?” Engage to give, not to take.
  3. Social Networks. While there certainly are pros, cons, and danger zones, being at least moderately active on social networks is a good idea. Many people believe they don’t need to build a quality LinkedIn profile, until they do, and then it is too late.
  4. Network. Yes, you can network through social networks, but that often is not as powerful as face-to-face. The best may be at the intersection of both. If you meet face-to-face, follow-up by connecting online. If you met online, when possible, build your relationship face-to-face.
  5. Follow-up. This is simple, if you make promises, keep them. If you say you’ll call back, call. When you tell someone you’ll email them tomorrow, do it. If you have a great thought after making contact, send a short email or make a quick call.

Why Brand Matters

These five tips are critical if you are serious about building your brand. Your reputation is on the line.

Who gets picked for opportunities?

People who are visible with a great personal brand!

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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career moments

Career Moments, Building it Inch-by-Inch

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Careers often feel like they are a title, a spot, a position, or a place in time. They are more often the sum of many moments. What are your career moments and how much do they matter?

Inches Matter

I watched my favorite football team lose their game. They were down by one point. A field goal for three points or a touchdown for six? Field position with only five seconds remaining in the game called for a field goal attempt.

It was missed by inches. The game lost.

It is similar for the photo finish at the race track, or the basketball that goes through a hoop (or not) just slightly larger than the ball. We see it on the golf course, the ball ever so close to tumbling into that tiny hole.

Do inches matter?

Career Advancement

It often feels like your career is getting the big job, the larger salary, or special perks. It is the perceived feeling of being invited to the next level of meetings, having a role to supplement the conversation, and working with a bigger departmental budget.

All those things matter. They do make a difference. Are they really the defining moments for your career? Unlikely.

A career is the sum of many defining moments, moments added up across time.

Career Moments

Your career, just like the game, seldom goes into overtime where you have more chances for another moment. The time is fixed. Your career is finite.

The race won’t go for another lap. The hoops aren’t going to get bigger or closer. The golf ball once tapped, is on its own trajectory.

Getting the new job, the promotion, or landing in a new career may be a moment, but it is just that, a moment. One of thousands and thousands of other moments which inch-by-inch are either making a difference, or missing the opportunity.

All those moments add up to become your brand, your reputation, the view of your career.

Inch-by-inch.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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finding solutions

Finding Solutions To Problems We Shouldn’t Have

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One problem for many managers is that they believe they shouldn’t have any. Finding solutions to problems comes with the territory. How would you rate your ability to find solutions?

Most workplace problems, the ones that are still a problem, exist because they aren’t easily solved. If they were, they would be solved by now.

We’ve all probably heard that when you learn from mistakes, and in the future do it differently you’ve found some value in the misfortune. It is a good argument and good advice.

Once Upon a Time

When we learned to ride a bike, we made some mistakes. We learned to balance, pedal, and lean into the turns.

Taking the math exam probably unveiled some problems. Things like accuracy, trying to solve the problems the quickest. Hurrying because you don’t want to be last. Sometimes even our own handwriting caused errors.

We had to learn to slow down, budget our time appropriately, and reflect on our own work.

Later in life we started to learn more about navigating situations that involved people. We learned about sharing, caring, and listening more to understand instead of just respond.

Most of what we’ve done has included problem solving. Hits and misses, mistakes made, and changes put in place, then we try again.

Life can wear us down. In grade school we probably proclaimed “not fair.” Then an adult adjusted for fairness. Was that fair, or just another twist to the dilemma?

Finding Solutions

Finding solutions isn’t always easy.

As a workplace leader, regardless of title, position, or organizational position, we may accept that finding solutions is part of our job.

The solution may be learning a new way to balance, pedaling different to save energy, and leaning just right into the curves.

Solutions may involve accuracy, patience, and organizational skills.

We may have to navigate differently. Listen more, learn something new, and change habits.

If someone suggested it would be easy, they were wrong.

That is the great thing about leading. You find a way, or you invent one.

Problems are just invitation to get started. They are opportunities in disguise.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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customer service responsibility

Is It Your Customer Service Responsibility?

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Some businesses and organizations believe that their only responsibility is to offer the product or service. The thinking may be that when you build it they will come. Is there something more? What is your customer service responsibility?

You can make a plan. You can give it timelines and milestones. Perhaps you will chart it, graph it, and measure its effectiveness. You can tell everyone on the team the proper behaviors, update them on policy and procedure, and question them on their understanding. Will that make it happen?

The easy (and safe) answer is that it might. Many organizational leaders still struggle to understand though why the ball gets dropped.

Choices and Actions

Everything thing we do every day is about choice. Employees will come to work by choice. They’ll choose their mind-set, behaviors, and actions. There will also be ground breakers, rebels, and rule testers. We know that the trick is to have the right people, but is there something else missing?

What may be missing is the right culture. It is all about the culture. Tradition, the atmosphere, and the organizational climate guide every rule, decision, action, behavior, reaction, and opportunity.

The first question to ask isn’t how well the people are trained, it is probably better to be asking about their readiness. Is the entire organization ready to be responsible for the customer experience? Not just the front line, not just sales, or the department we fondly call customer service, everyone.

Customer Service Responsibility

What makes a difference for the customer experience is when the right people are on the job, the training has taken place, and the culture of the organization is ready.

Ready for what you may ask, ready to take responsibility. You can plan for a large possibility of customer interactions. Building the product is important, establishing the workflow matters, and every touch point represents a chance to set the standard.

Regardless of the business sector, it all matters. The decision to act, to be a part of the customer experience, to engage, connect, to share, and especially to lead is the opportunity.

It is all there, ready to be taken. Many people will follow the model. The model exists within the culture. Cultures don’t build models, models build culture.

Become the (role) model, it is an opportunity, but more than that it may be your customer service responsibility.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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