There is a cartoon that I share with attendees at our Quarterly Planning Sessions. The cartoon accurately and humorously depicts our plan versus reality – the things that happen on a daily basis that disrupt our plan.
If you are like me, each day starts with a plan and great intentions. It usually isn’t too long, though, before we are confronted by a situation or request to do something that wasn’t part of our plan for the day. Now what? The cartoon depicts this as a person riding a bicycle to get to their destination. The top half of the page shows this happening along a smooth road with no obstacles or challenges along the way. The bottom half of the page shows the same beginning and the same destination, however the road in between is full of obstacles and deterrents to reaching the destination. To me, the most interesting part of this cartoon is that each obstacle (boulders, chasms, flat tire, etc.) is overcome, at least in part, with the help of others (removing the boulders, providing a boat to cross water, helping to change a flat tire). Are you struggling to get to your destination with your business because you don’t want to ask for help? Is help available to you but you don’t even see it because you’re not looking for it?
It is a sign of strength to be able to ask for help when it is needed – especially when you “get stuck” along the way toward your goals and dreams.
Every business has a culture that is all their own. That culture can be good or bad, positive or negative, effective or ineffective. Culture is defined as, “…the ideas, skills, customs, skills, arts, etc. of a group that are transferred, communicated, or passed along”. In essence, culture is what is shared by the team. Culture is not tangible. Rather, it is a sense of and for what the group is out to achieve and then following shared strategies to reach a common goal. If your team is aligned with the vision and mission of the owner, it is highly likely that together they will act in unison in daily activities toward a common outcome or outcomes (increased revenue, controlled expenses, attentive customer service, increased productivity and efficiency).
Changing or creating culture in a business can be quite complex and daunting. Where does one begin? Start simply by communicating with team members:
The vision and mission of the business
A clear plan with goals, strategies, and action steps
Expectations of individuals and their role in achieving the shared goals
Changes in attitudes necessary for a cohesive team
The culture created by implementing these steps will be positive, productive, and (not surprisingly) more upbeat.
The popular children’s story of Chicken Little is full of lessons. As the story goes, an acorn fell on Chicken Little’s head causing him to think that the sky was falling. He then went about needlessly warning others about the sky falling causing panic among his friends. In dealing with a client who has had issues with drama in the workplace, this story came to mind and how much it speaks to this common workplace issue.
Workplace drama is the result of jumping to conclusions before knowing the facts
Workplace drama is the result of spreading false or inaccurate information
Workplace drama takes away the focus of others. It’s a huge time-waster.
Workplace drama leads to more chaos, disruption, and even catastrophe..
In the story, as the group got larger, so did the intensity that was further fueled by Turkey Lurkey saying, “I always knew the sky would fall someday.” Again, no factual basis for this belief.
How then is workplace drama curtailed? It starts with good leadership. An effective leader immediately addresses the drama with facts, unlike a less-effective leader who facilitates the drama by choosing sides or ignores it thus allowing it to run rampant.
So, ask yourself and your team if you are a facilitator of or a solution to workplace drama.
You as a business owner have planted a seed. That seed is your business. You took careful steps to make sure it got off to the right start. Much thought and planning went into determining a name, filing as a business entity, deciding on a location within your budget, and a variety of other decisions needed to successfully launch your business. Hopefully your efforts did not stop there by simply watching and waiting for the seed (your business) to grow.
That seed needs tended to. It needs watered, protected from insects, weeds, and harsh elements, and looked after as it starts to bud and grow. Without this attention, the seed faces an uphill battle for survival. The same can be said for your business.
What are you doing to nurture and grow your business?
What is your “net worth”? A few may know their financial net worth, but how many of us know our net worth as a person/
Our Pastor spoke of our net worth in her sermon on Sunday and it caused me to consider my “net worth” as a person.
Working with business owners as I do, I find it very interesting that most business owners do not know their net worth – financially. While I understand that some humbly do not place a high priority on their own net worth, many others simply do not want to know what their net worth is – fearing that they will not like what they see. You see, to determine one’s net worth financially, an honest assessment must be made of assets versus liabilities. The more assets we have and the fewer liabilities, the higher our net worth. Too often we are afraid that we will see that the liabilities outweigh the assets so we do not even attempt to find out for sure.. Well…the same applies to considering our “net worth” as individuals.
If you are at all like me, we are afraid to honestly assess our personal worth because we may not like the results. Whatever high opinion we have of ourselves may be diminished or, even worse, the low opinion we have of ourselves may be confirmed and supported! Therefore, we choose to not know – rationalizing that it really makes no difference what my net worth is anyway – personal or financial.
Interestingly I have found that, once most business owners honestly assess their financial position, most are surprised by the positive results. Things are not usually as bad as they feared they were. And, by conducting this honest assessment, they are better able to determine areas for improvement along with areas of success for motivation to continue.
I encourage you to take the time to make an honest assessment of your worth as a person. As in determining one’s financial net worth, you may be surprised by the results.
Wishing you peace, success, and happiness in your life.