Strong and Stable: Do Your Words Match Your Actions?

strong and stable

Before and during the snap general election the Conservative Prime Minister (and others) emphasised the mantra “strong and stable”. However opponents soon argued that the person saying this was also someone who was a passionate Remain campaigner before coming into government but during her time in power has said “Brexit means Brexit.”

This article is not intended to talk about the rights and wrongs of government or debate the current political situation. However the nature of what occurred during that election and some of the debates that have sparked from it do raise wider issues that businesses and other organisations would do well to learn from.

What are your brand values?

Essentially if you run a business this is something you need to decide. Some companies have clear ethical policies such as Ben and Jerry’s in terms of their social engagement, while some companies illustrate it through donations to specific political parties.

However sometimes the brand value can be as simple as whether you want to be faster, better or less expensive than your competitors. Deciding that (while at the same time having a reasonable degree of flexibility) can make it easier to focus your marketing and target an appropriate demographic.

Be wary of what you promise

As customers become more aware and social media becomes more prevalent it is more difficult for companies to cover up mistakes or to mislead them. For example if you market a product as “natural” but it contains a lot of chemicals with very few organic ingredients then you run the risk of being labelled a hypocrite.

On the other hand how you interact on social media and deal with complaints can be a way of proving your brand values as well- if you deal with a complaint promptly and in the right way this will reflected well on you.

Over-sharing

Of course there are two sides to every story and being too honest can get you in trouble as well- there was the infamous moment when Gerald Ratner described his own jewellery line as “crap”, almost instantly finishing off his brand.

Social media is a particularly dangerous aspect for this- don’t think that writing “all opinions are my own” in your bio allows you to get away with anything! If you have a company profile what you write will be associated with your business so you need to be responsible for what you say and how you say it.

Show don’t tell

It is easy in an advertising campaign to tell people what you believe. However demonstrating it is often a lot more effective- supporting local community projects, positively interacting with customers and so forth will give people a much clearer indication.

It has to be emphasised that nobody will expect you to be perfect or get it right all the time- but if you can deal with problems and show people how you intend to follow your brand values then in the long term you will have the strength and stability that customers and clients will want to be a part of.


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Gary Pike MD  Right International
 
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9 Ways to Show you Care

caring
Caring is one of the greatest success strategies of all. When you care people are drawn to you and want to work with you. When you care you stand out in world where many don’t seem to care. But caring must be more than just a feeling to have an impact. It must be demonstrated through your actions. In this spirit here are 9 ways to show you care. 

1. Be present. We have so many responsibilities and distractions that it’s tempting to listen to customers, friends, kids, etc. with only one ear (or half an ear!). You know how it goes: you make the appropriate noises during a client call (“Mmmhmmm… I understand… No, that won’t be a problem…) while simultaneously typing an email to someone else. That’s why giving someone your full attention is so meaningful. Being fully present says, “I really care about you and what you need from me. You are my top priority right now.”

2. Make it simple and clear. People are busier than ever and the more you can make their lives easier the more it shows you care about them and their time. Whether you are making technology easy to use, or simplifying the check in process at a hospital or making it easier to rent a car, simplifying says you care and creates raving fans.

3. Call customers by name. When interacting with a customer, ask his/her name – then remember it and use it. Referring to someone by name demonstrates that you see them as an individual with unique needs and preferences, as opposed to “just a number” or a source of income.

4. Listen more than you talk. When dealing with others many of us have a tendency to give sales pitches, explain company policies or give canned advice. Instead you should ask questions and listen to what they have to say. This lets them know you care about them and their thoughts. It also helps you better understand their concerns so you can help them. I’ve certainly been working on this as a parent. It’s not easy but it makes a difference.

5. Become a coach. More than ever customers wanted to be guided through the process when making a significant purchase. By coaching and guiding customers through the process you will earn their trust and let them know you care about them and their purchase. In a world where many things can be purchased on-line, the biggest differentiator is often a person who cares.

6. Respond quickly and touch base often. It’s simple: Return calls and emails promptly. Whenever possible, try not to leave any unanswered emails or voicemails overnight. And be proactive with updates, too. Don’t force a client to get in touch with you in order to learn the status of an order, for instance. Send daily or weekly updates – whatever is appropriate. We at the Jon Gordon Companies fail at this sometimes but it’s something I am always preaching to my team about and we always own it and improve because of it.

7. Don’t make it all about business. If you don’t treat people like a number they won’t treat you like a number. Make an effort to learn about return clients on a personal level as well as a professional one, and follow up on what you discover. If you know that an individual recently had an important event – a wedding, birthday, or even a big presentation – ask how it went. People are surprised and pleased when you remember what’s going on with them – precisely because the assumption today is that most people don’t care about what’s going on outside their own bubbles.

8. Focus on the details. A Starbucks executive was asked why they were so successful. He said that they do a hundred things 10 percent better than their competition. When you care everyone matters and everything matters. By focusing on the details such as clean bathrooms in a restaurant or clean sheets and extra towels at a hotel, it lets your customers know that you care.

9. Always go the extra mile. Constantly look for ways to make the service you provide just a little bit better. Even one percent more time, energy, or focus can make a big difference. Even something small like walking a customer to the door after checking them out or spending extra time with a student if you are a teacher or calling a patient after they visit your health clinic means a lot. For example, Oceanside Cleaners near my home replaces missing buttons on my dress shirts at no extra charge. It’s the little things that mean a lot.

Reproduced with kind permission from Jon Gordon author of ‘The Energy Bus’

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Gary Pike MD  Right International 
 
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Change Begins with Choice

 

Change_Brings_A_Choice

If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.

Any day we wish, we can discipline ourselves to make important changes in our lives.
Any day we wish, we can open the book that will open our mind to new knowledge.
Any day we wish, we can start a new activity.
Any day we wish, we can start the process of life change.
We can do it immediately, or next week, or next month, or next year.

We can also do nothing. We can pretend rather than perform. And if the idea of having to change ourselves makes us uncomfortable, we can remain as we are. We can choose rest over labour, entertainment over education, delusion over truth and doubt over confidence. The choices are ours to make. But while we curse the effect, we continue to nourish the cause.

As Shakespeare uniquely observed, “The fault is not in the stars, but in ourselves.” We created our current circumstances by our past choices. We have both the ability and the responsibility to make better choices beginning today. Those who are in search of the good life do not need more answers or more time to think things over to reach better conclusions.

They need the truth They need the whole truth. And they need nothing but the truth. We cannot allow our errors in judgment, repeated every day, to lead us down the wrong path. We must keep coming back to those basics that make the biggest difference in how our life works out. And then we must make the very choices that will bring life, happiness and joy into our daily lives.

And if I may be so bold to offer my last piece of advice for someone seeking and needing to make changes in their life: If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree. You have the ability to totally transform every area in your life—and it all begins with your very own power of choice.

Reproduced with kind permission from Jim Rohn

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Gary Pike MD  Right International

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The Power of Daily Practices

daily practice

Success, world-class health, internal fulfillment and sustained happiness don’t just happen. These elements of your best life are created. All too often we look at a human being playing their best game on the playing field of life and assume they got lucky or were born into their lofty condition. What we don’t see is all the devotion and discipline that went into crafting the extraordinary results we see.

What I’m suggesting is that personal and professional greatness takes work. I’m not someone who would ever tell you that you could get to your dreams without having to make some sacrifices and pay the price in terms of dedication and self-control. The best amongst us make it all look so easy. I call it The Swan Effect- elite performers make personal excellence look effortless and seem to make things happen as gracefully as a swan moves along the water. But like the swan, what you don’t get to see is all the hard-work taking place below the surface.

The best way to create spectacular results in the most important areas of your life is through daily practice. In my life, I have a series of practices that set me up for a great day. Yes, sometimes life sends you unexpected challenges that knock you off track-that’s just life happening. But with a series of practices to keep you at your best, you’ll stay in a positive state much more often.

Practices that will lock you into your best state could include: a morning journaling session where you record your feelings, thoughts, and the blessings you are grateful for. Or you may start your day with a strong workout and an elite performer’s meal. I often listen to music for 15 minutes, as it not only energizes me, it just makes life better. I also use success statements or affirmations to get my mind focused.

Success and joy and inner peace don’t just show upYou need to create them. Find your series of practices, perform them with consistency. And then go out into this beautiful world of ours and shine.

Reproduced with kind permission from Jon Gordon. Author of ‘The Energy Bus’

 


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Please check out our website www.rightinternational.com if you have a vacancy that needs filling or need advice on your own career development.
 
Gary Pike MD  Right International
 
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The Biggest Challenge You’ll Face as a Leader

challenges ahead

Once you’ve set a goal for yourself as a leader—whether it’s to create your own enterprise, energize your organization or lead your small team—the challenge is finding good people to help you accomplish that goal. Gathering a successful team of people is not only helpful, it’s necessary.

To guide you in this daunting task of picking the right people, here’s a four-part check-list.

1. Check their background or history.
This might be the most obvious step, but it’s vitally important. Seek out available information regarding the individual’s qualifications to do the job.

2. Check their interest level.
Once you’ve learned their qualifications, gauge the potential employee’s genuine interest. Sometimes people can fake their interest, but if you’ve been a leader for a while, you’ll be a capable judge of whether somebody is merely pretending.

Arrange face-to-face conversation and try to gauge his or her sincerity to the best of your ability. You won’t hit the bull’s-eye every time, but you can get pretty good at spotting genuine interest. The most interested prospects are often good ones.

3. Check their responses.
A response tells you a lot about someone’s integrity, character and skills. Listen for responses like these: “You want me to get there that early?” “You want me to stay that late?” “The break is only 10 minutes?” “I’ll have to work two evenings a week and Saturdays?”

You can’t ignore these clues. They indicate his or her character and often reveal how hard he or she will work. Our attitudes reflect our inner selves—so even if we can fool others for a while, our true selves eventually emerge.

4. Check results.

How else can we effectively judge an individual’s performance? The final judge must be results—and there are two types of results to look for.

The first type is work activity, and it’s simple to follow up on. Within a sales organization, you can request a new salesman make 10 calls his first week. If he starts telling a story or makes excuses for poor results when you follow up on his progress, it’s a definite sign. If his lack of activity continues, you’ll soon realize that he may not be capable of being a member of your team.

The second area you need to monitor is productivity. The ultimate test of a quality team is measurable progress in a reasonable amount of time. Be up front with your team as to what you expect them to produce. Don’t let the surprises come later.

When you’re following this four-part check-list, your instincts play a major role, and they will improve each time you go through the process.

Remember, building a successful team will be one of your most challenging tasks as a leader. The good news is that it will reap you multiple rewards for a long time to come.

Reproduced with kind permission from Jim Rohn

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Please check out our website www.rightinternational.com if you have a vacancy that needs filling or need advice on your own career development.
 
Gary Pike MD  Right International 
 
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9 Steps to get things done

 1. Consequences – Never use threats. They’ll turn people against you. But making people aware of the negative consequences of not getting results (for everyone involved) can have a big impact. This one is also big for self motivation. If you don’t get your act together, will you ever get what you want? 

motivation 
2. Pleasure – This is the old carrot on a stick technique. Providing pleasurable rewards creates eager and productive people.
 
3. Performance incentives – Appeal to people’s selfish nature. Give them the opportunity to earn more for themselves by earning more for you.
 
4. Detailed instructions – If you want a specific result, give specific instructions. People work better when they know exactly what’s expected.
 
5. Short and long term goals – Use both short and long term goals to guide the action process and create an overall philosophy.
 
6. Kindness – Get people on your side and they’ll want to help you. Piss them off and they’ll do everything they can to screw you over.
 
7. Deadlines – Many people are most productive right before a big deadline. They also have a hard time focusing until that deadline is looming overhead. Use this to your advantage by setting up a series of mini-deadlines building up to an end result.
 
8. Team Spirit – Create an environment of camaraderie. People work more effectively when they feel like part of team — they don’t want to let others down.
 
9. Recognize achievement – Make a point to recognize achievements one-on-one and also in group settings. People like to see that their work isn’t being ignored.


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Gary Pike MD  Right International
 
Tel: 01932 837798  Email me Click Here

 


 

Four Steps to Improve Employee Productivity

productivity

Employees are at their desks for an average of about five hours every day, and companies are paying for that time. But often the results of an employee’s work vs. time spent don’t exactly match up. A model employee that seems perfectly productive can turn out to be one of the worst offenders.

I recently came across a survey conducted by Deloitte, which indicates that companies are beginning to realize this and are starting to allocate resources for performance management, which focuses on the performance of employees and ensuring their output aligns with the company’s goals. Within the report, analysts explain that last year, only 8 percent of their survey respondents believed their performance management process drove business value. “This year, the importance of performance management rose significantly, with 75 percent of respondents rating it an ‘important’ or ‘very important’ issue, up from 68 percent last year.”

Here are some suggestions

1. Relax on Internet restrictions.
Too often, employers overly restrict the use of the Internet. This may be out of fear that company-owned computers might be misused. However, with the amount of resources available online, the truth is that most tasks can be completed more efficiently if employees are allowed to roam freely online in ways not anticipated by the employer.

A perfect example is the growing use of social media, which often times has a legitimate business purpose. Marketing on social media is becoming increasingly important to help businesses and employees grow, and social media can be useful in keeping up to date with competitors’ latest moves.

Yet, there are many employers today who simply do not allow employees to use social platforms at work. It’s not always about Facebook; people can have zero productivity without even opening it. On the other hand, some employees can be super-productive social networking gurus.

2. Consistently measure overall employee activity and productivity.
In a way, measuring productivity to increase ROI is similar to sales and marketing data. In order to increase number of leads, you have to start counting those leads. If you want to increase sales, understanding the source of current sales is imperative. Breaking an entire process of working with customers in to steps, measuring every step and experimenting with improvements can lead to an increase in ROI.

The same can be said about employee-performance management. To improve the structure in general, you have to see the entire picture — it’s even better if you can have a recorded history to compare. That way, managers can ask, “how are we doing in this April in comparison to April 2014 when we worked from different office?” Or “How many productive hours per day does the financial team have now, compared to last month when we had less on the payroll?”

In other words, in order to improve productivity stats, the reporting numbers must come first to get a clear idea what needs to be improved.

Recording usage of websites and applications can help companies keep track of productivity levels, as long as it’s handled the right way. I’ve typically found that when employers are open about monitoring desktops, it creates a transparent, accountable environment. Managers shouldn’t go into it with a “Gotcha!” attitude but rather with the mindset to identify overall trends and find ways to improve productivity.

3. Set goals and use results to help employees grow.
When establishing a measurement system, managers should understand what their company’s current state is and then set up rules and expectations. For example, if someone is spending seven hours on email and office applications, and one hour on personal sites per day, he or she could be considered acceptably productive. Or not. It really depends on the management, which is why these guidelines need to be set within each department or the company as a whole.

Managers should have regular check-ins about goals and progress, just like any other critical KPI. For example, goals could include a 10 percent increase in sales, a 10 percent satisfaction in support and 5 percent less time spent on entertainment websites. There should also be a plan in place for counseling employees who may be falling behind due to unproductivity. An employee’s unproductive hours may result from spending too much time on non-work related sites or too many distractions in the workplace, whether in a traditional or home office. By identifying the areas where an employee is struggling, employers can work to help the individual reach their full potential and grow as a professional rather than letting them go (and paying the cost of turnover).

Furthermore, with certain services, employees are able to keep track of their own individual performance and hold themselves accountable for fixing any problems. When they are able to visualize where wasted time comes from, it becomes much easier to focus on eliminating those distractions. It can also create a gamification effect of sorts – “how productive was I today, and did I beat yesterday’s measurement?”

4. Account for brain breaks.
Although understanding and monitoring employee productivity is critical to the overall health of a company, it is important for managers to acknowledge that everyone is human, and we all need a break from time to time. Short breaks (and vacations) have been proven to help the brain function better. As such, it is perfectly reasonable to allow employees some latitude in conducting personal business while on a work computer.

 From an article i Entrepreneur magazine by Herb Axilrod

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Please check out our website www.rightinternational.com if you have a vacancy that needs filling or need advice on your own career development.
 
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How to Turn Your Ideas into Action

ideaSet up a new discipline when the idea strikes you—when it is hot and the emotion is strong.

Being genuinely disciplined requires that you develop the ability to take action. You don’t need to be too hasty, but you also don’t want to lose much time. The time to act is when the idea strikes us—when it is hot and the emotion is strong, before the feeling passes and the idea dims. If you don’t, you’ll fall prey to the law of diminishing intent. A month from now, the passion will be cold—a year from now, it won’t be found.

So take action.

Set up discipline when the excitement is high and your idea is clear and powerful. You’ve got to take action, otherwise the wisdom is wasted. The enthusiasm will soon pass, unless you apply it to a disciplined activity. Discipline enables you to capture the emotion and wisdom and translate that into action.

The greatest value of discipline is self-worth, also known as self-esteem. Because once we sense a lack of discipline within ourselves, it starts to erode our psyche.

One of the greatest temptations is to ease up just a little bit. Instead of doing your best, you allow yourself to do just a little less than your best. Sure enough, you’ve started, in the slightest way, to decrease your sense of self-worth.

There is a problem with even a little bit of neglect. Neglect starts as an infection. If you don’t take care of it, it becomes a disease—and one neglect will lead to another. Once this has happened, how can you regain your self-respect?

Act now. 

 Reproduced with kind permission from Jim Rohn

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Gary Pike MD  Right International
 
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TIME WELL SPENT

I spend my time (and have done for the past 22 years) helping companies like yours to find the very best and highly talented candidates. By doing this, we remove some of the headaches you might be having in filling those important roles you need to build your company in this very competitive world.

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Regards
Gary Pike
Managing Director
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