Practicing Teamwork

We’re trying to build more teams, but finding that it takes a lot of time to get everyone we want involved and working together. Some people want to work on their own, some take charge and don’t inform their teammates, some hang back waiting for teammates to figure things out or do the heavy lifting. The quiet ones are often the best team candidates but they get overruled or ignored by the more vocal ones.

Thoughts of the Day: Set up goals so everyone is clear about what’s to be accomplished. Teach your people to work together productively. Give the team tools to track and analyze data, and access to other performance enhancing tools. Make sure team meets regularly to exchange information.

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Teaching People to Lead

We have a supervisor who doesn’t come forward with solutions. He doesn’t talk in meetings. He just listens and comes to my partner or me for solutions. He’s way too dependent on us, and we’re tired of giving him all the answers. What can we do to get him to initiate more on his own?

Thoughts of the Day: A take-charge attitude can be learned. Make sure your supervisor knows what’s expected. Encourage your people to be innovative and independent. Talk through solutions to improve the chances of things going right. If you’ve made a hiring mistake, own up and fix it.

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Trial and Error, or a Plan?

Dealing with a lot of trial and error with a bunch of marketing efforts, some that work and some that don’t pan out so well. I’m sure there’s probably a better way to go about it. Got any suggestions?

Thoughts of the Day: A marketing plan can give you a structured approach to marketing that can significantly increase your chances for success. Figure out how to come across with core message and identity. Define where you are, and where you want to get to. Describe the unique items. Then dig deeper into the how’s and why’s of interacting with prospects and converting them to customers.

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Personal Issues on Business Time

We have been struggling with personal issues at work. For me, it’s a family illness. For one of my key employees it’s a relationship that’s not going so well. Another employee is facing financial difficulties. And a third has her head in the clouds, planning a wedding. It all seems to be ganging up on us. As the owner, I know I’m responsible for keeping things at work on track. I’m looking for advice on the right approach. I know this is how life goes sometimes, but I’m worried about the toll it might take on the business. Where do I draw the line?

Thoughts of the Day: Life intrudes, often at the most inconvenient times. Realistically assess what each employee needs in the way of relief or support. Be careful about setting precedents you can live with. Invite people to participate in groups. Know when you have to step in and do something.

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Why It’s Important to Stay on Plan

Find it hard for me to trust the numbers and use them in calculations going forward. Things seem to change dramatically from when we lay out a plan to the end of the year. We line up for good things to happen, then things dip as the year unfolds.

Thoughts of the Day: Working backwards from a plan is one way to get where you want to go. Make sure your plan makes sense. Have a variety of solutions to implement to get things back on track. Monitor progress in small increments.

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