Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Three Magical Phrases to Create Harmonious Relationships

Here are three magical phrases that, when used frequently and sincerely, will create more harmonious relationships at work and at home.

Every boss, every spouse, every associate and friend longs to have someone who is willing to help out. They want someone who will step up to the plate and say “I would be happy to do it” when there is work to be done.

When you see a problem, resolve it. When you see something needs to be done, do it. If the dishes need to be washed or clothes need to be picked up, take care of it. Don’t wait to be asked or told to do so.

One thing I’ve found to be helpful when I see something that needs to be done at home or at work is to ask myself, “If I don’t do it, who will? And, if not now, when?” If I answer the first question by stating someone else’s name instead of my own (like my wife’s), I then ask myself, “Why should he or she have to do it instead of me?” What I've found is there usually isn’t a very good answer to the second question other than, “They shouldn’t have to. I can do it myself.”

People shouldn’t have to ask for your help. You should be happy to do it. Good employees and good spouses notice what needs to be done and they do it.

Sometimes, however, as you go about doing things you will make mistakes. When that happens you need to say, “I’m sorry”. Say it sincerely. Say it quickly. Most people respect others who readily admit when they are wrong.

But what people really appreciate is when someone says to them, “You’re right”. People want and need their opinions and ideas to be recognized, valued and appreciated. Few things satisfy the soul more than to hear we’re right. And nothing ends an argument faster than telling the other person they are right.

The best things you can do to create harmony at work and at home are to pitch in, admit when you’re wrong and let other’s be right. Using these three phrases regularly will produce magical results.

TLC is Secret to Creating Loyal Customers

Don’t you just hate it when you receive terrible service and the service person doesn’t even recognize how horrible they are? Have you ever wanted to just slap them awake from their service stupor? Where are people’s brains these days? Don’t they know we’re their customers? We’re the ones who pay their paychecks. Why don’t they wake up and treat us better?

The other day I took my truck in for service at the local GMC dealer. They said they could fix my truck in two hours, so I decided to wait in their customer courtesy lounge and catch up on my reading of auto magazines.

After almost three hours I checked to see if my truck was done. When I asked the service manager if my truck was ready, he shrugged his shoulders and said he didn’t know because his computer was down. There was no way for him to look it up.

I asked if there was some other way he could find out whether or not my truck was done without his computer.

“I guess I could talk to the mechanic who fixed it,” he reluctantly suggested. He then waited to see whether I really expected him to do so — which, of course, I did. I could tell he was upset that I was making him go to the extra effort of picking up the phone to call the mechanic.

After the call he told me my truck was done (had been for over an hour), but he couldn’t give it to me because his computer was down. He couldn’t figure out the charges without his computer.

I asked him what he’d do if the computer never came back up. How would I get my truck? He said he didn’t know.

Man, I hate having to think for people!!!!

“How could you figure out the costs without a computer?” I asked.

"I guess the mechanic could tell me how much the labor costs are,” he said. “But I still wouldn’t know how much the parts cost.” Hello! If you had a brain, what else could you do to find out the cost of the parts?

“Don’t you have a book where you could look up the costs of the parts?,” I suggested.

“No. I don’t have a book like that. The Parts Department might, but I don’t.” he responded. Then he sat there. Obviously it never crossed his mind to call the parts department to ask them for the price of the parts.

“Do you think you could call the parts department and get the price on the parts?,” I offered. Duh! I never thought of that!!!

Fifteen minutes later (after I showed him how to compute the sales tax without his computer) I had my truck back and was on my way home.

It’s amazing how quickly a customer can move from a feeling of satisfaction to one of irritation merely by the service provider responding poorly to a minor service problem. I wasn’t at all upset with having to wait an additional hour for my truck — that is until the service manager’s stupidity kicked in.

A lack of responsiveness like this causes customers to become more irritated than necessary. My situation could have been easily resolved if the employee had just responded with some basic TLC.

The common interpretation of TLC, of course, is the Tender Loving Care customers need when they interact with your company. Employees can do a great deal toward creating customer loyalty by taking care of your customers in a tender and loving way .

But, to provide truly exceptional service, employees must exhibit an even greater level of TLC. They need to Think Like Customers. They must see things from the customer’s perspective. They need to see what customers see, hear what customers hear, and feel what customers feel. They need to understand and empathize with the customers’ experience and be in tune to the customers’ needs, expectations and desires. Exceptional service providers anticipate their customers’ needs. They service their customers before being asked. They check in, check up and follow-through. They make sure their customers are happy. They fix problems before they happen. They do it right the first time.

Exceptional service providers know most customers won’t give them a second chance. If they don’t resolve customer problems quickly and effectively their customers probably won’t come back — They’ll Leave Complaining (negative TLC),

Companies who provide truly exceptional service realize it takes Teamwork, Leadership and Commitment to fully satisfy the customer. Most service processes within a company cross over functional lines. To fully satisfy the customer the manufacturing and marketing departments need to work closely together to make sure products will be delivered on time. The sales staff and collections department need to harmonize their goals so their department-specific performance goals are not at odds with what’s in the best interest of the customer and company. Front-line service providers and support functions must cooperate to streamline internal processes to better serve the customers.

This type of coordination and process improvement takes strong leadership from the executive and management levels of the company. It entails having a clear service vision and a company culture that supports that vision. It also requires strict performance management procedures, where employees are held accountable to specified service and production standards. And it necessitates employees who are empowered to resolve customer problems at the lowest levels.

Finally, exceptional service occurs when every employee is committed to treating customers as they would want to be treated. Companies who live the Golden Rule and treat their customers with all of the TLC elements will reap the rewards of having Totally Loyal Customers.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Clear Vision Necessary to Achieve Strategic and Tactical Results

I often get calls at Innovative Management Group from companies wanting us to help them develop a vision statement for their organization. I usually respond by asking them what they mean by a vision statement.

Many companies spend a lot of man-hours and meeting time formulating a well-written vision or mission statement. They often struggle as they pointlessly and nauseatingly word-smith to ensure they have just the right inspiring statement. Then they invariably create poster-sized graphics of their vision and place the posters prominently on walls throughout the company. Or, even better, they make laminated wallet-size copies of the vision so employees can put in the back pocket and sit on the company’s strategic focus.

I’m fond of saying that “a vision on the wall is no vision at all.” Likewise, “a vision where you sit is all you'll ever get.”

If managers and employees really have a vision for a company, it won’t be on the wall or in their pocket. It will be ingrained in their heads, in their hearts, and in their guts (or, if you prefer, their intuitive senses).

A real vision is something people can understand intellectually. They can easily grasp its context and potential. They can see the future for what it is or can be, thus allowing them to place within their own hearts the desire to achieve it. Once in the heart, the vision becomes a part of who they are or who they want to be.

With the vision firmly rooted within their minds and hearts, they may not know yet how to achieve it, but their gut senses it is the right thing to do.

As an avid hiker, I know the best way to determine one's current position and the path to the desired destination is to set your coordinates through a technique called triangulation. A person is less inclined to go off course when he has three distinct reference points to guide his actions.

The tactics to achieve your company’s vision will become clear and meaningful when the people within your company share a common vision in their heads, hearts, and guts. These three intrinsic reference points provide the directional bearings that guide the actions of every manager and employee.

A company vision, therefore, is not a mere statement. It is a crystal clear view of the future that people can easily image in their heads. It is a desired end point to which one can whole-heartedly dedicate oneself. It is a conceptual end goal that feels right intuitively. And, because of these three affirmations, it is a view of the future that every person within the company can easily commit to achieving.

If you would like help developing a company vision the truly moves people, call us at 702-258-8334 or email

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Internal Beliefs Impact One's Delegation Decisions

Perhaps one of the most difficult managerial responsibilities is delegating tasks to subordinates, particularly tasks that are of high importance or entail great risk to the manager.

Delegation requires a manager’s trust, confidence and belief in the abilities of an employee to carry out a task to its successful completion. A manager must believe the person delegated to is fully capable of performing the task (competence) and that the task will actually be done (predictability). Managers often don’t delegate a task to someone else because they lack the confidence the task will be done as well as they could do it themselves.

To effective delegate a task to another person, a manager must consciously understand the unconscious elements that play into every delegation. Before the manager can “let go” of an assignment, she must have certain “beliefs” about the person to whom she is delegating.

The first element is a Competence Belief. A manager must believe the person is capable of performing the task as directed at the level expected. This includes the assurance that the individual has the skills, knowledge and ability to achieve the expected result.

Having the skills to do a task and having a willingness to do it are two different things. Consequently, the manager must also have a Disposition Belief that the employee is not only capable of performing the task, but disposed to perform as expected. The employee must be eager and willing to take on the responsibilities. If the employee is in any way hesitant or reluctant, the manager will be less inclined to believe the task will be completed properly.

Hence, the manager also needs a Fulfillment Belief that the individual will carry out the action fully. To fulfill a responsibility, an employee must have the ability, disposition, time, and resources to complete the task as expected.

This Persistence Belief gives the manager the added sense that the employee will stick to the task and do whatever is necessary to get it done in a timely manner.

Three additional beliefs that determine the effectiveness of delegation are ones the employee must harbor in order to accept the delegated responsibility. Managers must consider these additional beliefs when delegating to an employee.

First, the employee must have a Self-Confidence Belief in his own abilities to perform the task as expected. He must confidently know, or believe, he can perform the task competently.

Second, there must be a Benefit Belief regarding the delegated task. The employee must perceive there is a personal benefit from his actions. Some type of benefit must be dependent upon the satisfactory completion of the task and have significant enough appeal to the employee to generate his commitment to the task.

Finally, the employee must perceive, consciously or unconsciously, a No-Harm Belief. He must feel the task is within his scope of responsibility and that no harm will come to him, his boss, or his company if, for some reason, he makes mistakes in the successful completion of the task. Risk aversion is one of the primary reasons why employees fail to take on greater responsibility. Managers who can tolerate failure on the road to success have a greater propensity to delegate more.

True delegation might be better understood by using the term reliance in place of delegation. To delegate effectively a manager must be able to rely on another individual to perform the task as expected. A manager can only delegate to an employee when she feels he is reliable enough to do it right.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Too Many Managers in Executive Positions

This past week I spent the better part of a day in a one-on-one coaching session with the president of a large gaming company. He was lamenting about how difficult it is to get the members of his executive staff to live up to his expectations. He wondered whether his expectations were too high. I told him his expectations were appropriate and not the problem.

The problem, I explained, is that in a lot of companies “there are too many managers in executive positions.” There are too many people who have been promoted to the executive level who still think and act like managers instead of executives. Many managers at the executive level continue to maintain an operational or functional focus, failing to gain the strategic, business-wide view expected of an executive. They persist in managing their individual business unit or department as they did as a manager (only from a higher position), not grasping that executives are expected to manage the business as a whole. They retain a provincial view of success, falsely assuming they should be rewarded when they do well, rather than when the company does well. Though they are on the executive staff, they continue to think and act territorially.

Over the last 35 years I’ve worked with a lot of executives. I’ve also worked with a lot of people at the executive level who I felt were not functioning as executives. From my experience I believe there are some distinct qualities and characteristics that easily separate the two.

First, and perhaps foremost, executives understand and take ownership for the business as a whole. They comprehend the workings and ramifications of the entire enterprise, not just their portion of it. They are concerned about the cross-functional elements of the business and are mentally, and sometimes physically, involved in decisions and actions throughout the company. An executive’s interests exceed the bounds of his or her title of CFO, CIO or CMO. Real executives realize they are responsible for all aspects of the business, whether an issue falls within their business unit or not.

When working with executive groups for the first time, I often ask the group to point to the person around the executive table who is responsible for marketing, technology, human resources, etc. This tells me right away whether I have a room full of executives or managers. Managers point to the person in the room who has the title or functional responsibility for the area. Executives point to themselves after each question. They take ownership for every aspect of the business regardless of their departmental responsibilities.

Executives are independent thinkers. This doesn’t mean they care less about what others think or that they operate as an island. What I mean is executives can think on their own; they don’t need someone to think for them. Unfortunately, some managers at the executive level still wait for someone “in authority” above them to tell them what to do. Even though they are on the executive staff, they look to the CEO to give them their marching orders. They have not risen above the order-taking and order-filling ranks from which they came. Not realizing they have been promoted to “General,” they wait for another General to tell them which hill to take. They remain followers when they should be leaders.

Executives make executive decisions
. They step up to the plate and step forward toward the goal. They know which hill to take because they can see the field of battle. Almost every real executive I know has a clear and unequivocal vision of where she or he wants to take their company, division, or department. They know what they want to accomplish and are determined to achieve it.

When John F. Kennedy was the chief executive of the United States, he mapped out a clear vision for the future. Said he about one area of his stewardship: “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.” That declaration was made on May 25, 1961, almost nine months before John Glenn’s first flight into space. JFK saw space as “the new ocean” on which “the United States must sail and be in a position second to none.” That’s vision!

Executives think strategically and persist in an unremitting quest to position their company to achieve continued success in competitive markets. Executives know what is happening inside and outside of their business. They know their products, their customers, their competitors, and their industry. They focus on quality and service excellence. They know how to operate the enterprise efficiently and effectively. They know how to lead and motivate their employees to achieve optimal performance.

Executives are always about the business. They think about it all of the time. They are driven. They know what matters most and they never take their eyes off of the goal. They know the bottom-line and stay focused on it. They don’t shy away from the financial elements of the business. In fact, they relish tracking and influencing the numbers. They are numbers-driven and declare it openly. Almost every real executive I know has in one way or another made the statement: “Let’s not kid ourselves. We are here to make money.”

Executives know what business is all about. They are not confused. They know the measurement of success in business is the financial viability of the company. They know they must increase revenue and reduce costs and never lose track of the bottom line. Everything else is an appendage. Customer service, product quality, employee morale and the quality of worklife are means to a profitable end.

When Roger Smith announced his retirement as president of General Motors, a reporter asked him to explain how he was able to survive 15 years at the helm of the automotive giant. Without hesitation Smith immediately exclaimed: “I didn’t survive 15 years at General Motors; I survived 60 quarters.”

I’m not suggesting executives should have a short-term focus. What I am saying is that true executives know exactly why they are in business. They never for a minute lose sight of the fundamental metric of the business. Because they understand this, real executives are ever vigilant in fulfilling their fiduciary duties. They accept full and ultimate responsibility for everything that happens within the enterprise. They know they must be awake at the helm and have a heightened sense of diligence in running the ship.

On January 17, 1950, the battleship USS Missouri was proceeding out of Hampton Roads on a training mission. The Commanding Officer, Captain Brown, was asleep in his cabin when the ship ran aground near Thimble Shoals Light. Although the first officer was on the bridge at the time of the accident, the captain was relieved of duty within two hours of the incident. He was later court martialled and forced to retire.

I’m not implying that an executive should be fired for every incident or failure in the organization. What I’m saying is real executives know they are ultimately responsible. They don’t try to dodge the bullet or blame others. They don’t make excuses. They seek resolution when problems arise. Unlike many managers, executives provide answers where others ask questions. They don’t just sit around in executive meetings or stand on the sidelines. They are the doers — the go-to, get-it-done individuals.

Finally, all real executives have an insatiable desire to learn. They want to know everything. They seek information and insight regarding their customers, their market, their business, and their team. They study books, magazines and newspapers to keep abreast of what is going on in their industry. They know their competitors and monitor their actions. They frequently visit competitive companies to scope out their adversaries. They do everything possible to keep one step ahead. They’re never satisfied with the status quo. They’re always searching for the next generation product or idea. They are always looking for ways to improve their business, themselves and their employees.

Unlike managers, executives know they must drive the business, not just come along for the ride. Executives lead their enterprise.

Innovative Management Group provides executive coaching to C-level leaders. For more information contact me at 702-258-8334 or email

Friday, September 11, 2009

Four Ways to Show You Care About Your Customers

There are four simple things you can do to build strong relationships with your customers

Simple words and actions go a long way to improving relationships with your customers.

You can demonstrate your concern and appreciation for your customers through four kind responses that send a message of caring friendliness. When used regularly, these four things show how much you value your customers.


One of the best ways to send a message to your customers that they are important to you is to simply acknowledge them. Notice people when they enter your business. Be aware of those who are around you. Make eye contact and smile. As soon as you have an opportunity to speak, acknowledge the person and greet them in a friendly manner.

Several years ago I read a survey where people were asked to identify the one thing that would cause them to take their business elsewhere. The results were surprising. Only 20% of the respondents said they would take their business elsewhere if they were treated “rudely.” But 86% of those surveyed said they would stop doing business with a company if they were treated “indifferently” — as if their patronage was not important.

Another way to acknowledge the customer is to respond appropriately to their comments and inquiries. Acknowledge what people say. Never ignore a customer’s comment. If they say it, they want you to hear it. Find a way to acknowledge every comment from a customer.

Some comments call for a quick response, such as when a person mentions a new home, a grandchild, or an upcoming vacation. You can quickly acknowledge the comment with a response such as:

• Great!
• That’s terrific.
• Congratulations.
• That’s great news.
• How exciting.
• You must be thrilled.
• You deserve a vacation.

All customer concerns or complaints should immediately be acknowledged. Respond with an appropriate apology. Be sure to include in your response the reason for the concern or complaint and tell the person what you will do to help. Here are some examples of what you could say:

• I’m sorry you couldn’t get into your room. Let me make you a new key.
• I apologize for the delay. How can I assist you?
• I’m sorry we’re out of Clam Chowder. The Corn Chowder is equally good.
• I’m sorry you had to return your laptop. I can transfer your old hard drive to your new laptop if you’d like.


You can show appreciation to the customer during almost any interaction. At a minimum you should include a statement of appreciation at the end of a transaction. For example you might say:

• Thanks for calling. I enjoyed talking to you.
• Thanks for staying with us. Come see us again soon.
• Thanks for being so patient and understanding.
• I appreciate your willingness to work with me on this.
• It’s been wonderful seeing you again.
• You’re my favorite customer.


Affirmations are positive statements you make that compliment others. Compliments are easy to make. Be sure you are sincere and really mean it. Don’t invent compliments, but look for the good in others. Find things to praise, such as:

• Wow! I love your car!
• Excellent choice, sir.
• You look cheerful this morning, Madam.
• What a nice looking family.
• Your kids are so well behaved.
• That was an amazing accomplishment.


Whenever a customer has a need or concern, he or she wants assurance that you will take personal responsibility to resolve the problem. After acknowledging the customer’s concern and expressing appreciation that the issue was brought to your attention, make a confidence building statement that assures the customer you will handle the situation.

• I’ll take care of that for you personally, sir.
• I will make sure it is in your room when you arrive.
• My name is Maria. I will call you back in a few minutes with an answer.
• I’ll do it myself to make sure it gets done properly.
• I’ll check into it immediately and contact you as soon as I find out what is going on.
• Let me take it and get it fixed for you. It will be done when you get back.

These four kind responses go along way toward the development of lasting relationships with you customers. Practice using them with your customers (and your family). Both they and you will be glad you did.

Innovative Management Group offers one, two and four-hour customer service training programs that hone your employees' customer service skills and get them to truly focus on satisfying your customers. For more information call 702-258-8334 or email

Saturday, September 5, 2009

You Cannot Lead From Behind

My wife likes me to go grocery shopping with her. Since I travel so much as a consultant any time we can spend together is quality time.

I really enjoy going to the store with my wife. She lets me push the cart. It gives me that false sense that I’m in charge. But I know who the real boss is. She’s the one who has the list. She knows what we need to buy. She knows where we are going in the store.

For some reason, however, my wife insists on following me behind the cart. I keep telling her she cannot lead from behind. I cannot follow her if she is not out in front. Every time she tries to lead from behind I have to stop, turn around, and ask her where to go next. This stop and go shopping is very inefficient. And that can really irritate someone like me who is an efficiency expert.

Just as my wife cannot lead from behind at the grocery store, so too managers cannot lead from behind their desk. It is impossible to lead from the back office or behind the wizard’s curtain. Leaders cannot lead from behind. Leaders must be out in front of their people. Leaders must be ahead of those they intend to lead. Leaders must show their followers the way by stepping out in front and leading by example.

True leaders know where they are going. They can see the path ahead because they are out front on point. They know the hurdles and barriers that must be surmounted. They also know where others must go to achieve the desired objective.

Leading is not the same as managing. Much has been written about the differences between managing and leading. There are different competencies for a leader than for a manager. But one major difference that separates leaders from managers is where their activities take place.

Managers can manage from their office. They can plan, organize, direct, delegate, control, communicate, and make decisions from behind a desk. Managers can do administrative tasks and even manage the performance of their employees from behind a closed door. It’s entirely possible to manage a business without ever leaving the office. But it’s not possible to lead people, or a business, from behind a desk.

Leadership requires being on the front-line. True leaders want to be out on the shop floor among the workers. They want to talk to customers and employees. Real leaders place high value on face-to-face, personal contact with the people that matter most -- customers and employees.

Leaders don’t rely on reports or formal communication channels alone to get information. They leave their office as often as possible so they can see and hear things for themselves. They learn a lot by mingling with the “troops.” They position themselves out in the trenches where they can better sense how the battle is progressing.

Real leaders understand the motivational value of visible management. They pitch in, help out, and carry their own load when needed. They know employees respect leaders who work on the front-line rather than work in an ivory tower. That's how you can tell who the real leaders are in an organization. They are the ones who are out front leading the way.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Two "Ethics" Determine the Success of Your Business

Two common characteristics can be found in every successful organization


Thousands of companies spend millions of dollars trying to implement profit-enhancing, culture-changing programs designed to improve quality, customer service or teamwork.

Unfortunately, in most cases these huge capital outlays produce few results and very little actual improvement to the company’s bottom-line. There are, however, some companies who achieve significant benefit from their organizational change effort.

For many years I was a nationally recognized speaker on the, then popular, topic of Total Quality Management (TQM). There were many management gurus who espoused the benefits of implementing TQM practices and many companies were heavily involved in the TQM process. Surprisingly, I had a contrary view of TQM and often spoke at TQM conferences immediately after the keynote speaker sharing my divergent view of TQM.

During my speeches I would ask people in the audience to stand if their company was involved in a major productivity, quality, service, or team improvement initiative. I then asked the people standing how many employees in their company were devoted full time to the improvement process in their organization. I also asked how long their improvement effort had been going on. I made a flipchart of the answers to show the number of man-years that had been utilized in their improvement efforts thus far. I would have liked to have asked how much money had been spent on the improvement effort, but I didn’t think the people in my audience would know the answer.

Finally, I asked those who had been standing to remain standing if their improvement effort had achieved significant results in productivity, quality, service, or team work.

You may be able to guess the results. I did this exercise in hundreds of presentations and invariably 80% of the people sat down. Eighty-percent of the people in companies represented in the room felt their company had not achieved significant results from their organizational improvement effort, despite the number of people dedicated to the effort and the amount spent to make a difference.

Although this statistic is sad, focusing on the 80% is less important than discovering why the other 20% of companies succeeded in their improvement effort.

From these informal surveys I began to investigate what made the 20% successful versus the 80% of companies who waste their money on improvement initiatives. What I discovered was not rocket science. In those organizations where significant gains were made two common elements seem to be the determining factors in their success. I believe these same two elements can be found in every successful company. I call these two elements the Ethics of Success.

The first success element I discovered is productive companies have a high Ethic of Communication. Successful companies realize just how important communication is to getting productive results. In fact, they don’t just communicate, they over communicate. They leave nothing to chance. They ensure every employee knows what is going on in the organization and knows exactly what is expected of them. They assure cross-functional communication and coordination occurs throughout the organization. They use a variety of methods and modalities to ensure nobody is missed or left in the dark when it comes to knowing what is going on.

The second common trait among successful companies is they exude a high Ethic of Accountability. They don’t leave quality performance to chance. They make sure things get done. They measure and monitor their work, communicate how well or poorly they are doing, and take corrective action when deficiencies arise. They recognize the accomplishments of their employees and tie compensation and rewards to exemplary performance. They make sure every employee accounts for his or her stewardship. In other words, they actually manage their company and employees.

Everything in management boils down to how well or poorly managers communicate. Planning, organizing, delegating, and controlling all revolve around effective communication. Effective coaching, counseling and disciplining require great skills in communication. All performance management practices require efficacious communication. The extent to which a manager motivates his or her employees is directly proportionate to the extent to which he or she communicates with those employees.

But effective communication alone does not result in high performance. Employees must also be held accountable for their performance. If work is not being measured and monitored, it is not being managed. When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.

Innovative Management Group offers a three-day intensive management training program that focuses on these two essential components of business success. Our Accountability Management Workshop provides managers with effective skills and tools so they can model the Eight Core Competencies of Management. These competencies are what separate real managers from those who are just managers in name only. If a manager is lacking in any of the eight competencies, he or she is not managing as competently as they should.

The eight core competencies of management are:

1) The ability to identify what performance you want from your employees;

2) The ability to clearly communicate your performance expectations to your employees so they know exactly what is expected of them;

3) The ability to hire the kind of employees you want or, if you can’t find the employees you want, to train those employees you have so they can give you what you want;

4) The ability to provide the employees with the information, tools, and resources they need in order to perform to your expectations;

5) The ability to measure and monitor employee performance to assess whether or not they are giving you what you want;

6) The ability to provide employees with helpful feedback so they know exactly how well they are performing;

7) The ability to appropriately reward and recognize employees who give you what you want or to coach, counsel and discipline those who don’t; and

8) The ability to provide career counseling or developmental opportunities to your employees so they can give you more of what you want in the future.

At the core of the Accountability Management Workshop is a powerful explanatory model called the Ladder of Commitment®. This insightful model explains how to get high levels of enthusiasm and commitment from employees by addressing the things that matter most in the workplace.

To perform well employees need information about the goals and direction of the business. They need clarification of their roles, responsibilities, performance expectations and authority level in order to perform to exemplary standards. They also need accurate feedback so they can either continue their productive actions or cease off-purpose performance that is below standard.

During the workshop participants are given other helpful diagnostic and intervention tools to better manage their employees’ performance. IMG’s Six Block Model™ shows managers how to discern the true root cause of performance problems so the managers can focus their energy on correct interventions. The Field of Play™ lays out exact performance expectations, standards and boundaries so there is no confusion on what performance is required.

Finally, almost one-third of the workshop deals with teaching managers how to give effective performance feedback to their employees. Obviously there is no accountability if people are not held accountable. A major part of management accountability is meeting face to face with employees so they can report on their work-related stewardship. Managers who fail to regularly meet with their employees one-on-one to address performance issues are not really managing.

One of the great drawbacks to management training and a primary reason why managers often fail to implement what they learn is the lack of time at work to alter their management practices. Most managers today are working managers. They not only manage, they also have to perform tasks and produce output similar to their employees. Thus, they are required to both work and manage. Unfortunately, given limited time during the work day, most managers tend to focus on getting the work done and neglect the management aspects of their job.

The Accountability Management Workshop is designed so participants not only learn the eight core management competencies, but they actually create their performance management structure and framework during the session. This means less “office time” outside of the training is spent on the administrative tasks that are required to establish the foundation of a comprehensive performance management system. Most of the “work” necessary to manage people is accomplished in the workshop. Managers leave the session fully prepared and ready to manage. They leave holding themselves accountable to perform their role and truly become competent managers.

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If you would like more information about the Accountability Management Workshop or other ways how we can help your company, please contact us at 702-258-8334, e-mail to, or visit us on the web at