Tag Archives: results

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best effort

Giving Your Best Effort More Often

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What happens when you give your best effort? Does something change, does a spark ignite, or does your confidence grow?

Your first day on the job and you may not even be sure where the rest room is located. After a few weeks, which quickly turn to months, you start to find a rhythm and you get more comfortable.

Finding your rhythm as an individual, a team, or an organization is often the game changer.

Improving Confidence

Confidence is built through two primary channels, self-efficacy and self-esteem. Each small successive win and your confidence grows. Make a mistake and learn to improve for the next time.

The very first time we do anything is probably not going to be our best. When we try it again, and again, things start to improve. More results pour in, more discovery, and adjustments.

It is the fluidity of the process that helps us tweak things by drawing ever closer to building it better and better.

The first time we cook a steak is hard. The twenty-fifth time and things seem easier.

It is the same for giving a presentation to the board of directors, developing a process for closing the sale, or making a cold call. Practice seems to make it easier. Success also seems come easier.

Confidence improves.

Best Effort More Often

This is exactly why we have to give our best effort more often.

Doing so creates more demand. More demand means you’re having more opportunities and more opportunities to practice and hone your craft will make success look easy.

There really aren’t any shortcuts. The overnight success often occurs across five, ten, or twenty-five years.

On-lookers believe it was luck, fate, or personal connections. They can always help, but they aren’t as compelling as the story you write on your own.

Best effort matters. It matters more.

-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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measuring performance

Measuring Performance In Your Workplace

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Do you know where you stand? Often when we need to accomplish something the best way is through regular measurement. Are you measuring performance in your workplace? If yes, how?

There is an old saying, “What gets measured gets done.”

Motivation or Goals?

Sometimes the biggest reason for an apparent lack of motivation or energy from the team is because of vague goals or measurements.

Write a blog post for our Company webpage this week.

Write a 300-word blog post for our Company webpage, and please send it to me for review by the end of the day on Thursday.

There is a difference. Is this delegation? Sure, it could be considered delegation but it also includes metrics.

When we create attention to a detail or attach a specific timeline that is observable it helps improve focus. Improved focus creates results. If our focus is on nothing, we’ll likely get nothing.

The performance of nearly anything and everything can be measured. Even some of the soft stuff.

Measuring Performance

In manufacturing or service firms we may measure defect rates. This could include quality failures, merchandise returns, or even social media chatter.

Customer dissatisfaction can be very costly to any business. Metrics for measurement are critical. What do customers say? What percentage of customers will refer you?

Time is a popular measurement, so is the capital investment required per employee.

Certainly, there are common financial measurements such as sales revenue, gross profit, and balance sheet data.

Goals and values are closely connected to workplace performance. What you draw attention to will often receive the most effort.

Never underestimate what employees will deliver when the focus switches from drama and excuses to measurement and metrics.

-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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decide soon

Decide Soon, Waiting Wastes Time

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Are decisions really connected to productivity? They are, which is exactly why you should decide soon.

Certainly not all choices are the same. Some choices become better with a slower decision. We access more information, the picture gets clearer, the decision improves. What about your daily productivity?

Are You Productive?

An email response in haste may result in a bad decision. Emotions are often higher, the message riskier, the results sometimes misunderstood. On the positive side, you didn’t procrastinate, you did it immediately. Time saved or time wasted?

You can only put off the wait staff so long. They may advise, “I’ll give you a few minutes.” Yet, you still know you must decide quickly. They can’t wait too long and your friends and family are ready to order.

In the meeting you hesitate to speak. You have an idea, a point to make, or some additional information. Is the timing right, will the people understand, will you get blacklisted for making such a ridiculous suggestion?

Decide Soon

The truth often is that we waste time by waiting. Yes, not every decision should be made in haste, but the outcomes are not altered on many of your choices. Time is wasted and productivity is decreased.

What if you receive one hundred emails a day? How many do you glance at, open, close, and come back to later? How much time is spent in thought, consideration, and a careful response? Your conscientiousness is important and valuable, yet there is relevance to the speed.

One of my favorite time wasters? Deciding that responding too soon implies that you are not busy.

Decide soon, your decisions probably won’t change much, but your productivity does.

-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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Changing Habits

Changing Habits By Making Room

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We are all creatures of habit. Our daily routine, the work week, the weekend, what we do is based on habits. Changing habits is likely important for success but what will you give up?

Habits Produce Results

What we do this week won’t completely shape what we achieve across the next six months.

One small landscaping project tackled at our home on the weekend may improve things, but there will still be maintenance across time to keep it up.

Our daily work habits across the next twenty-six weeks will shape half of the year. What happens across the next three years will be based on the habits of each week of those years.

We do something every day. In fact, we may do many things each day. We occupy twenty-four hours. Eating, sleeping, working, and living life.

When it is time for a change, we must make room. Something goes and something takes its place. We may sacrifice some free time, some TV time, or some phone surfing time. Room must be made.

Ultimately, the question becomes, “What will you give up?”

Changing Habits

Changing habits means you’re going to have to make room. The choice is more important than you may think.

If you give up sleeping, eventually you’ll burn out. Eating or skipping meals, same thing. You recognize that somethings you can’t give up because that supplies the opportunity to achieve other goals.

Everything is a tradeoff.

Setting up your garage with home fitness equipment sometimes seems like a reasonable approach. Only, now you don’t have a place for your car. Worse, if you give up your workout routine the space is completely wasted. You gave up both, everything for nothing.

Making room for new habits is important. Something must change. Give up something.

Just be sure the something doesn’t cost you everything.

-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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win list

3 Reasons Why Creating a Win List is Valuable

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Do you create lists? A to-do list, a grocery list, or maybe a list of bills to pay. Do you talk about all the things that go wrong? Maybe what you really need is a win list.

Our energy is precious. No amount of caffeine, 5-hour Energy, or Red Bull is going to significantly change the energy requirements you need to perform at your best every day.

Energy Zapping

Negativity is energy zapping. We talk about the failed shipment. We express anger about the sudden shift in priorities for the project. Sometimes we even complain about a co-worker or the boss. Energy zapping!

Why do we engage in counterproductive behavior? Perhaps there are times when it just seems like talking about it makes us feel better.

Yes, talking through some of our challenges may help shed some light on something new or even change our mind to something more positive. Unfortunately, we usually don’t stop there. Consciously or subconsciously, we relive the difficulty and negativity repeatedly.

We drag it around, carry it around, and spread the negativity. We have a list of all the things that make us angry and at any opportunity we’re prepared to dump it on someone else.

Win List

What if we created a different list? Imagine instead, a win list. An opportunity to relive and tell someone else about something positive.

There are many reasons that this is valuable but here are several good ones:

  1. Focus. The win list creates a positive focus. When we think about it, talk about it, or even write it on a whiteboard it creates positive energy.
  2. Sharing. When we share our wins, it helps shift others away from negativity. It helps ignite the whole team with more positivity.
  3. Results. Changing our mindset is often required to change the results. A win list accomplishes both.

Your list can be something small and simple. It could be something big.

Do you want to know how to write a great win list?

Do you want another good reason?

What you think is what you become.

-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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results driven performance

Results Driven Performance and How To Get It

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Talk to a few people about change and you’ll certainly find a few people who express opposition to doing something new or different. Does this same mindset contribute to your performance? Do you have results driven performance?

It seems ironic that so many businesses want to test their product before the full release. It is true for software, fast food franchises, and anything prototype. The idea may be to ease in, get some feedback, fine tune, and release the best.

People Challenges

The challenge for us as people is that we often get stuck on doing things that are in our comfort zone. Doing the things we understand, the things that we believe work, and the things that someone recommended a long time ago.

We often don’t really stop to think about the output. We don’t put it out there for feedback, or we quickly discount feedback that is not consistent with what we like to do consistently.

For the onlookers, they have advice, they may suggest the popular phrase, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”1 We’ve all heard it and can often see the relevancy.

Yet many people continue day-in and day-out to do the same thing over and over. They go to a job for years and expect things will change. People eat wrong, exercise wrong, and approach both work life and personal life, stuck.

They exist day-by-day with the same logic, and yet don’t understand why the problems continue.

Results Driven Performance

The answer for real results exists in the ability to analyze outcomes and make strategic changes that will create different results. To be clear, different approaches, mindsets, and tactic driven strategies, always analyzing the results and adapting.

Many people believe that they are on this path, but the truth is they seldom make big changes. They may get a different job, they may move or relocate, they may read a book or ask for advice. Do they change?

Results driven performance seems to work for many new product launches. Get it out there, get feedback, assess effectiveness, change, adapt, and sell.

-DEG

Reference

  1. Albert Einstein is often credited for this, or a similar statement, yet many scholars are not so sure. The investigation of the origin of this statement continues. 

 

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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What drives effort

What Drives Effort At Work? What’s Your Purpose?

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Motivation is an interesting topic. People are motivated in many different ways. What drives effort at your workplace?

Many people quickly grow tired of the daily grind. Alarm clocks, a quick shower, a large (extra large) coffee, or maybe some will throw back an energy drink and then it is off for the morning commute.

Once on the job, what provides the motivation for what happens next?

Motivation at Work

Certainly, many would hope that fun is a factor. Believe it or not some people really do enjoy their work. Even for those work-equals-fun people, sometimes things can grow a little stale. Overall though, when things are fun people are engaged, their energy level is high, and the work feels satisfying.

Many others are on a mission. There may be something they’ve procrastinated about, something that is late, urgent, and needed to be finished yesterday. They get stuff done, because a customer (boss, co-worker, external customer) needs it.

Some are thinking more about strategy. They will consider how to navigate the system, what the future needs are, or they will put in the extra effort to finish a project or product that has been in the blueprint phase for some time. They’re engaged because their future depends on it.

Somewhere lurking in much of this effort is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of what will happen if the work isn’t timely, of high quality, and tasteful. What if the deadline is missed, the outbound truck arrives early and leaves the same. What if sales aren’t closed, the wrong stuff is advertised, and the webpage lacks hits?

Fear creates a lot of energy. It is almost like a rocket, extremely powerful but it doesn’t last long, the fuel is gone. Purposely (or not) motivating through fear is largely not a good idea.

What Drives Effort

What if effort was driven by purpose? Purpose is the reason that we work hard to do what we do. The amateur athlete has a purpose, and in the short run, it isn’t about money. The entrepreneur has a purpose and it is typically connected with their passion.

When we are focused on a purpose, everything becomes more important. When you accomplish what is important it is satisfying and sometimes fun. It may take grit, it may be connected to the daily grind, but the result is what matters the most. Doing it is a labor of love, or interest.

The rocking chair rocks, the stationary bike spins, and the rowing machine rows, but none of them go anywhere. The desired result is something different. Perhaps to relax and unwind, or for fitness, weight loss, and more strength.

We can be motivated by many things, but if what we do isn’t important, it really doesn’t matter that much. Knowing the purpose may be the biggest factor for what drives effort at work.

– 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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How to Stick With Your Plan

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Have you ever asked yourself, “How will I stick with my plan?” Often the plan is not too complex, the timeline is reasonable, and the level of personal or professional growth is attainable. So what limits your success? Why do so many still come up short?

business people group in a meeting at office

Coming Up Short

Much of my business is focused on helping individual people or entire organizations reach for more. I work with clients to do coaching programs, training and development, and even create some incredible strategic plans, but not all of them will accomplish their goals.

Often the hardest thing for us to do as people is to stay focused and committed to the plan. That doesn’t mean that the plan cannot change, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t fluid, and it doesn’t mean that it won’t be hard, but a lack of commit to the plan is almost always the beginning of a looming failure to achieve the goal.

Blame

Many will find situations or circumstances to blame, they might cite a lack of motivation, discipline, or even blame it on a lack of time. The truth is that while all of those things might be a factor, they aren’t the real reason.

The real reason is that you or the employee teams responsible for the goals and outcomes didn’t follow through.

You fell back to old habits, made excuses to abort activities or tasks because they felt awkward, cumbersome, or simply not within your comfort zone. Time is often blamed, there isn’t enough or the old way was faster.

If you’re going to make changes you are going to have to stick with your plan.

Becoming Sticky

How do you make that happen? Here are a few tips:

  1. Be realistic. Make sure that your goals are worthy of stretching and reaching, but they must also be realistic. Losing 10 pounds in two days probably isn’t realistic and neither is increasing sales or production efficiencies by triple digit percentages within a very narrow window of time. Stretch is good, unrealistic is not.
  2. Check results. You must always be measuring to your goal. Smaller goals that are progressive are often much better than larger goals that feel overwhelming and cause people to stall or stop. Provide visual aids as reminders, put it on your calendar if that makes sense, and frequently measure your distance to a milestone or the goal.
  3. Stay focused. Don’t stray from your plan or the activities associated with it. It will be easy to tell yourself that something else is more important, or that the timing isn’t right, or you’re just not in the right mood. If you are so compelled to talk yourself out of the actions that support your plan, revisit the plan, make an adjustment if necessary, and stick with the new plan.

Nearly all people and organizations will face hurdles, obstacles, and other scenarios that may result in shortcomings or failures, but that doesn’t mean that it’s time to stop, quit, or send the plan to the recycle bin.

Keep your plan fluid and flexible, but make sure you don’t lose sight of the bigger picture.

Even the goal can change, but it must still be something that pulls you towards it and draws you in.

Will you stick with your plan?

The answer is easy—only if you want to.

– 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 four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Are You Driving For More Results?

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After all, results are what matters, right? Are you driving or are you just riding along?

get more results

Many people believe that they are creating their own path, making their own way, and working hard to accomplish their goals. However, often these same people are more interested in just riding along. They ride as a passenger, as a tourist or sightseer. They take in the views while someone else has the controls.

When someone shouts, “shotgun” it means they are claiming the front seat. They aren’t driving though. They are still just riding along. They are somewhat captive. They don’t really make the choices or even pick the destination.

When the driver gets them to the destination on time and without incident the passenger probably doesn’t really care whether they drove or not, in fact, being the passenger might be a whole lot easier.

If the driver doesn’t reach the destination, arrives late, or has a fender bender along the way the passenger has someone else to blame. They can just say, “Hey, I wasn’t driving.”

When you are driving though, it is a different story. You are responsible for your fate, there isn’t anyone someone else to blame and no one else can take the credit. You’re in control and responsible.

So are you driving or are you a passenger?

Here are a few metaphorical tips to help you drive for more results.

  • Know your destination. Driving without reason or purpose might take you someplace but it also might leave you stuck. Pick a target or a destination and understand your reason and purpose for going there.
  • Choose your path. A roadmap will help. Be sure that you pick the best route. The fastest or the slowest might not be as important as ensuring you arrive.
  • Use milestones. Mark your path with milestones or checkpoints. Have a plan, a timeline, and measure to it. If you don’t check-in along the way you might find you’ve arrived at the wrong time.
  • Budget for detours. No matter what you might encounter, smooth roads, roadblocks or detours. They might change your course but that doesn’t mean that they’ll change your destination.
  • It’s not over until you arrive. You might have to stop to rest, regroup, or refocus but your trip isn’t over until you arrive. Accept no excuse for not reaching your destination. If you’re driving there isn’t anyone else to blame.

Many people forget their career is finite until it’s too late. If you’re serious about achieving new breakthroughs and getting better results you owe it to yourself to drive.

Otherwise, you’re just along for the ride.

– 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 four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Do You Bring Solutions to the Meeting?

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It’s the first Wednesday of the month and Andy who is an outnumbered millennial team member finds himself sitting in a monthly managers meeting. He is nervous and his anxiety levels are through the roof. His baby boomer boss Robert is about to call on him for his monthly report and Robert has little tolerance for anything short of stellar results.

Visionary employee thinking of development

This meeting has gradually become more uncomfortable for Andy, any time that he hasn’t achieved a goal or completed something to Robert’s satisfaction Robert leaves him feeling like he might be only one step away from the good bye door.

Andy is frustrated. He works hard, puts in extra time, but doesn’t always meet the high expectations of Robert. When Andy asks for advice on how to do it better or to learn more, Robert typically delivers a non-supportive and chilly response leaving him with the impression that he shouldn’t have asked.

Andy is smart and quick on his feet and that is why his peers label him a fast tracker, but still when he is called upon to perform at manager meetings there is little tolerance for shortcomings. For Andy, the environment sometimes feels like a swimming pool, sink or swim.

The Story

This story and many others like it come to me from time-to-time. Sometimes it is through a training event, a consulting engagement, or coaching session. In other cases it might represent a friend of a friend, emailing or telephoning me with a question. The point is, this is fairly common, but what should Andy do?

The Real Problem

In his mind Andy knows he could make the argument that Robert should be more patient, perhaps be more understanding, and that he should provide Andy with some possible solutions or tips for improvement. Most people might agree with Andy’s argument, but that agreement doesn’t necessarily mean it is the most tactful solution.

Breaking this situation down it would seem that Robert expects Andy to find potential solutions, jump any hurdles and through any hoops to achieve the result. Andy needs to deliver.

Look For Alternatives

Andy might feel a little intimated, after all he is one of the youngest members of the team. Not only does he want to do a good job but he also wants to be respectful. It might feel a little uncomfortable to choose a more assertive approach.

If you consider that fear might be a factor, causing Andy to hesitate, stall, or procrastinate, I should remind you that personal or professional growth sometimes requires you to step out of your comfort zone.

Andy should seek to find some possible alternatives that will lead to more successful outcomes, but he’ll also have to risk speaking up to bring them forward.

His delivery should be presented with appropriate poise and confidence but yet be humble enough to achieve the acceptance, guidance, or permission from Robert that he has been missing.

Outcomes

Employees at all levels often bring problems to a meeting, after all that might be one of the reasons for the meeting.

So what do most meetings need?

Most meetings need solutions.

Bring some.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at DennisEGilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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