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How to Perform a Business Comeback

business-comeback

We love watching comebacks.

Whether it’s movies or sports or real life stories of people overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds, we love seeing “the comeback.”

So how do you perform a business comeback?

What do you do if your business is struggling?

What do you do if you’re facing personal financial struggle?

How do you respond if you’re losing customers, accounts, profits, or marketshare?

There may be many potential answers to those questions depending on your business model or industry, but there is one answer that is nearly universal for all businesses.

In fact, in many ways it’s the epicenter of all business.

You can even argue that it’s how business began.

It’s simple.

Powerful.

And energizing to any and every business.

It is…to sell.

To generate sales.

Sales is the genesis of any business.

And it is also therefore the key to performing any individual or business turnaround.

You sell.

You sell, sell, sell.

You sell your way out of trouble.

You sell your way out of any hole.

You sell your way out of any self doubt.

Increased sales cures 95% of all business problems.

The beauty about sales is that anyone can sell.

And it doesn’t matter who you were yesterday or what you’ve done in the past.

Today you can start to sell.

You can start a turnaround by focusing on sales.

You can even start a business from scratch if you know how to sell.

Nothing happens until there is a sale.

And if you can learn how to sell…

If you can learn to love to sell…

And if you can serve people while you sell…

Then you can sell your way out of any hole.

You can sell your way through any precarious situation.

You can sell your way past any seemingly insurmountable challenge.

Increasing sales can change your personal situation and it can be the comeback of any great business.

So if you need a business comeback, then get excited, get focused and go out and sell something today.

Values Driven Leadership with Dina Dwyer – Episode 186 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Values

Behind the fancy job titles, the awards, the TV appearances, and the $1 billion-dollar-business that her company’s service brands do each year, Dina Dwyer-Owens equates her success to having a living by a proven Code of Values. Her first book Live RICH: How to build success in your company and your life with a proven Code of Values has connected with thousands of readers by offering a simple message that in a world of constant change, values can be ever-present. Now in Values, Inc., named one of the Top Ten Business Books from 2015 by Forbes, Dina aims to help inspire more hope for the future by taking the spotlight and shining it on those doing the things she loves to cheer about: living and leading with integrity.

Show Highlights:

 

  • Live R.I.C.H: Respect, Integrity, Customer Focus and Have fun in the process. @DinaDwyerOwens
  • People create the systems and then we coach those systems. @DinaDwyerOwens
  • We teach our principle and system to people. Franchising is our vehicle. @DinaDwyerOwens
  • Focus on re-earning your position every day in every way. @DinaDwyerOwens
  • Continuously strive to maximize customer loyalty. @DinaDwyerOwens
  • We always think about systems. If something isn’t working, there isn’t a system or something is broken.  @DinaDwyerOwens
  • Anytime there is a meeting of 3+ people, in the beginning we are reading our values. @DinaDwyerOwens
  • Values driven leadership is not for the faint of heart. @DinaDwyerOwens
  • Enforcing vision requires constant vigilance. @DinaDwyerOwens
  • The rewards of operating by values are too great to ignore. @DinaDwyerOwens
  • @rory_vaden shares steps to creating a company creed or set of values.

 

Download your free copy of the Create Your Culture workbook by visiting: dinadwyerowens.com

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

5 Steps to Create Transformational Team Unity

Unity

A team is a group of people held together by a unifying set of beliefs.  

But what those beliefs are, unfortunately all too often are unspoken.

Typically, people gather with people who they are like or who believe what they believe.

Yet there is some nearly mystical power that comes about as the inspiring byproduct of when a team takes the time the codify their beliefs.

At Southwestern Consulting, we’ve walked many of our clients through this and we call this “The Creed Conversation”.

We first discovered the power of this activity by realizing the need to apply an age-old part of Southwestern’s culture around positive self-talk to our Southwestern Consulting team as a whole. We realized we had not yet taken the time to write out our shared philosophies at Southwestern Consulting. It ended up being one of the most transformational pivot points in the history of our own company.

It’s so simple to do, that virtually any team at anytime can have a “Creed Conversation.” Many companies have a formal “mission statement” or “values” but this process takes it a step further by empowering collaboration and most importantly assimilating it into the regular course of our workflow.

All you need is an audio recorder, someone who can type, a group of some of your key leaders and a facilitator. Then follow a few steps:

1.Set the Stage – Explain to everyone that despite being a team for x amount of time, it dawned on you that you have never created, as a team, a list of the principles that you all believe in. While you may have a company mission statement or something, it’s not nearly as powerful as something created by the team of people who do the work every day. Tell them the goal is simply to document a list of shared philosophies of the team. It can also be a good idea to play for the Simon Sinek’s famous Ted talk “Start With Why.” 

2.Ask the Questions – Start the audio recording (so you have it for future reference) and then simply ask the group (best if done in person with less than 20 people) a series of open-ended questions just to get them thinking in the right direction. Write down EVERYthing everyone says in the random order that it comes out. If possible it’s best to do it on a word document on an overhead projector so everyone can see it start to take shape and come alive. Here’s some sample questions you can ask: 

  • What do we know to be true about the way we do business?
  • Why do we work so hard at this business?
  • What philosophies do we have that are un-compromisable?
  • How do we want to treat our clients and each other?
  • How do we want to be remembered as a team?
  • What do we want to be known for?
  • What do we want people to think when they think of us?
  • What are we most proud of in the way we do business?

You can ask any question in this vein and you can’t really go wrong. The only way you can mess this up is by taking too much control of the conversation and providing all the answers yourself. This is for the team to come up with, and you are a team member so you can contribute, but let them speak and create it.

3.Organize and Edit – Once all has been captured now it’s time to assimilate and edit. It helps to have someone with some decent writing skills here to guide this step. What the writer will want to do is first copy and paste similar statements or philosophies together into paragraphs without altering any of the statements as they were initially said. You’ll notice that many themes probably kept getting repeated during the exercise and that’s a good thing but here’s where we’re going to manage that.

After that, the writer is going to have the challenging role of reducing many of the paragraphs down to one sentence each based on the recurring themes so there is 1 sentence per theme. The key here though is to try and preserve the actual semantics used by the people in the group as much as possible. Try to grab key phrases, repeatable mantras, or colorful language from the group but without being too repetitious.

 Then the last and hardest part will be to edit and massage all of these ideas into simple, concise, powerful, active sentences. Don’t say “we strive to do the best we can for our customers whenever possible.” Instead say, “we always do the right thing.”

Once you have all of the statements complete, next you will want to write an opening paragraph that pulls in some of the corporate vision, values, and mission statement. And then write a short closing paragraph that is a unifying and rallying call to action to live out and execute all of the philosophies that were just listed. Oh…and all of this at most has to fit onto one page.

4.Represent for Approval – Now that it’s all been synthesized by the writer/editor, the next step is to send it back out to the team for final suggestions and feedback. At this stage it’s a good idea to even send it out to the team at large (who wasn’t included in the initial meeting).

Invite the team to discuss this in their smaller teams and within their departments to get reactions from people all throughout the organization. Give everyone an opportunity to suggest additions or changes.

It’s a chance to get everyone’s feedback and input. Work on the edits until everyone agrees and you can formally vote on it and ratify it as a part of your continuing corporate culture. (It should be a living document that can be edited later as necessary with unanimous vote.)

5. Put it in Use – The key to making a creed work is making sure it doesn’t just end up in a drawer somewhere with other corporate jargon that never gets looked at. It needs to come alive and be referred to early and often. Here are some of the best ways to get it in use:

  • Read it out loud at the start of every meeting (there are many fun ways you can vary this up.)
  • Refer to it whenever you have a difficult decision to make.
  • Make it be the first thing you show to recruits and new hires and explain that it is the predominant criteria for being hired or getting promoted.
  • Cite elements of it whenever you roll out a new change for the company.
  • Ask people to cite it whenever they see something that is a real-life illustration of a principle that is documented in the creed.
  • Ask people to cite it whenever they see something in the company that needs to be improved or challenged.
  • Include elements of the Creed on walls, trophies, certificates, and anywhere else it makes sense.
  • Consider creating awards in your company for people who exemplify specific lines of the Creed.i)“Initiate” new people by inviting them to read it out loud (or part of it) their first day on the job.
  • Make it a part of your personal affirmations that you read every morning.

A Creed can be a synthesizing and rallying time for your entire team.

There is something tremendously powerful about having a documented, agreed upon, and declared set of values that govern the behaviors of members.

It can turn losers into winners.

It can turn doubters into believers.

It can turn pacifists into activists

If you create a Creed, you will create a culture. 

How to Beat being Busy: Life Story with Steve Frody and Karla Lewis – Episode 171 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

busy

Steve Frody, along with wife Shelley, launched officially City2Shore Real Estate in February of 2011. Their passion is helping homeowners keep their homes and prevent foreclosures as well as helping sellers navigate selling their homes successfully. After joining Southwestern Consulting’s Coaching Program, Steve and Shelley have doubled their income, free’d up time for other important things and beat being busy.

Karla Lewis has held many positions over her extensive career mainly focused on sales, service and relationship development. She has a 30+ year sales track record always being a top producer. Karla is an expert in Retail, Service, Non-Profits, Marketing/Media, Event Production and Agriculture. She is most interested in helping people who want to take their lives and careers to the next level and make them MARVELous! Karla is currently working on her first book “Be MARVELous” and enjoys bringing this message to others thru public speaking engagements. Karla has been married to her husband Brad for 25 marvelous years and lives in rural Ohio where they have a grain farm operation. They have 2 grown sons, Ridge and Connor and enjoy traveling, assisting non-profits, spending time with family and just having lots of fun with this great life.

Show Highlights:

  • Be Coachable. Don’t get so wrapped up in money that you forget the people. @SStevefrody
  • You have to understand that you can’t be everything to every person. @KarlaLLewis
  • Work on creating balance and focus on the things that are most important. @KarlaLLewis
  • I had to create a “box” of ideal clients. @SStevefrody
  • I felt the guilt of passing off lower business to other people on your team. @SStevefrody
  • Time management isn’t logical; it’s emotional. @rory_vaden
  • Our servant nature often causes us to be overcommitted. @rory_vaden
  • As ultra-performers and top producers, lack of trust in others can hold us back. @rory_vaden
  • The limiting belief of a leader is that other people won’t be able to do something as well as they can. @rory_vaden
  • Delegating is all about the permission of imperfect. @rory_vaden
  • Your creed is the overarching purpose of your business. @rory_vaden
  • As you clarify your company’s creed you clarify your company’s priorities. @rory_vaden

If you would like to find out more about Sales and Business Coaching request information by Clicking Here!

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

How to Solve Your Competing Priorities Problem

priorities

The first action step for becoming more productive is to write out your vision.

Write out in specific detail what you want your life or business to look like in 5 years.

The clearer you see your vision, the more obvious you will see your priorities.

Priorities are not a matter of right and wrong or good and bad. Priorities are simply a matter of relevant and irrelevant.

The reason people have such a hard time prioritizing is because we live and work in a world with unclear vision.

An unclear vision means there either is no vision or there are too many visions.

If there is no clear vision, then everything is a priority. If there are many visions, then you will bump into having conflicting and competing priorities pulling you in different directions.

Either way, you will have frustration, stress, lack of clarity and feel overwhelmed.

The proper selection of your next most significant priority then is 100% dependent on its context as it relates to the vision.

When you clarify the vision, the sequential set of steps that are needed to make it a reality usually become clear.

But if you don’t have a clear vision, then you may find yourself running in a thousand directions just doing everything that shows up as something you can possibly do.

So if you find yourself struggling to balance competing priorities the answer may not be to just work harder and longer, but to stop, take a breath, and clarify what really matters.

Why People Leave and Employee Loyalty with Scott Love – Episode 164 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

employee loyalty

Scott Love is a credentialed expert on the topic of employee loyalty with over two decades of high-level headhunting experience. With empirical research based on tens of thousands of conversations with professionals, he gives managers the secrets to keeping high performers, and keeping them happy.  As a former Navy leadership trainer and Annapolis graduate, he gives managers ideas on how to increase employee retention, boost morale and performance, and attract high achievers. 

Scott is a published author with his newest book, Why They Follow: How to Lead with Positive Influence, a business writer, a professional keynote speaker, and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Selling Power Magazine, and dozens of business trade journals and newspapers around the globe. 

As a leadership trainer when serving as a naval officer, he trained thousands of officers, senior enlisted and civil service workers on progressive leadership concepts.  Scott currently recruits partner-level attorneys for international law firms.  He is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and lives in Washington, DC. He is a watercolor artist, an amateur stand-up comedian, and is married with two children, one hamster, and one invisible dog.

Show Highlights

  • When people leave it is always for emotional reasons. @scottlove
  • Employees need recognition for what they do. @scottlove
  • The key is for managers to lead in a way that their employee connects meaning to work. @scottlove
  • The way to keep your employees is by connecting global corporate vision to each individual on the team. @scottlove
  • As a manager, my job is to help you do as well as you can here and give you tools so that if and when you leave it is going to improve your career. @scottlove
  • Sometimes the best thing you can do is give people space. @scottlove
  • As long as you have the right people in place they will accomplish the mission. @scottlove
  • People don’t leave companies, people leave people. @rory_vaden
  • There is not a shortage of good candidates, they’re just busy working. @scottlove
  • A lot of times we put too much emphasis on just pay. @rory_vaden
  • Meaning comes from the service we provide to people around us. @rory_vaden
  • Vision is not academic that checks boxes it is emotional statement that creates pictures in the minds of people. @rory_vaden
  • What is a company other than a collection of people? @rory_vaden
  •  If you have the ability to move people emotionally you have the ability to be a great leader. @rory_vaden
  • Great leadership is about moving people emotionally. @rory_vaden

To connect with Scott, get your copy of Why They Follow: How to Lead with Positive Influence and more on employee loyalty visit: scottlove.com

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!