Generation Gap or Market Gap?

We are the most marketed to generations ever and it’s starting to have an impact on how managers manage to achieve peak performance.

Those hitting the workplace for the last few years are known as ‘Generation Y” or “Millennials” (sometimes categorised as born after 1988) have had a totally different experience of life. Since they were children they have been segmented, targeted and become sophisticated consumers of everything from toys, computers and clothes to education and now their workplace.

For some companies at this time of year they are in the midst of competing for the best Gen Y graduates, others are trying to figure out how to sell to them and in the future most will be working out how to compete with them! Either way, understanding them better has got to give some advantages.

If you are fortunate enough to manage them, you might be confused for why I say fortunuate… {grin}

Research has shown that this is the most high maintenance workforce ever, yet the one that will bring the highest return on investment if you handle them right.

This is where my ‘Business IS Personal’ philosophy comes in. Interestingly enough, Gen Y, despite many complaints about being late, turning in poor quality work and being ‘too big for their boots’ actually respond very well to a firm management style. Firm that is, not authoritarian. Gen Y don’t respect seniority the way that their elders were taught to but they do respect those who know how to do their jobs and who are genuine with them.

They want to know that you care about their success and the best way to do that is to give them work bit by bit and spend time with them to bring them up to speed quickly.

Turn their work and the corresponding rewards into bite-sized transactions and understand and teach them that you are buying from them, not the other way around. Then watch them rack up the points to peak performance as they seek to gain the rewards they want.

Find this interesting? You might like the ‘5 Key Trends to Peak Performance’ video available free from www.UnaDoyle.com.

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Delegation for Peak Performance

Today I had yet another example of how important it can be to delegate in order to work to your strengths and achieve peak performance. I had a telephone meeting with my VA (virtual assistant) because I have been waaaaaaay too busy this week. Right now I have many more things to do then I think I will as time goes on because I am running a seminar in June, more work to do on keynotes and talks, radio show guest booking and preparation, marketing, networking, preparing to launch new coaching group and I still haven’t completely unpacked my office… Eeek!

I love it, one phone call and now I have delegated more work to her because we worked out a new system of doing a regular activity. The best part is that I have kept the one part of this activity that really works to my strengths and she’s doing the rest. To top that, she came up with a great idea, which I then built upon by connecting it with other aspects of my business and I think it will really work well. I’m working to my strengths, she’s working to hers and the whole offering is improved, excellent!

Stopping what I was doing and making that call to see how she could help me was vital in order for this to happen. Sometimes we need to stop, take a nice deep breath and ask ourselves if what we are doing is really going to help us get where we want to go.

The thing is that I’ve known I’ve been doing too much for a couple of weeks now and it was beginning to affect other areas of my life. I came across a wonderful quote from John C Maxwell in his book Leadership Gold this week. He cited Brian Dyson, former vice chairman and COO of Coca-Cola who said:

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls – family, health, friends and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”

For me, this was the right quote at the right time and it really had an impact on me. It’s taking time to build the right team and connect with the best people to collaborate with. Maybe it might take a year or two to get it fully in place and that’s OK because it will be worth it. I just trust that any glass balls I may drop in the meantime will fall to a lovely nice, thick carpet and recover well…

How’s your ball juggling going?

The Flow to Peak Performance

I just love it when a plan comes together!

It’s a great affirmation of being in your flow when things just fall into your lap just at the time that you need them… Have you ever had that experience?

As I’ve become more clear on who I’m serving in my business I decided to put together a peak performance coaching group for two reasons. First let me explain more about the problem I’m seeking to solve and how I can help…

A key issue for many business owners and managers is how to get the most from their most valuable resource, their people. Many companies waffle on about how people are their greatest asset yet in practice they don’t always act like it. Why is this? I believe that a large part of the issue is that owners and managers forget that “Business IS Personal”. As a result their own baggage can get in the way, they don’t allow for their employees’ baggage getting in the way and they don’t manage in a way that overcomes that.

There are some very simple things that people can do to improve their own and others’ performance. Some of those require a change of mindset, others are simply, do a) then do b) and then do c). It ‘s a very simple formula – improve performance and profits increase.

While I can share this knowledge in my keynote talks, much of the time small and medium companies (SMEs) don’t get access to these events and can’t afford to get me or other keynote speakers for their own company events.

To help these companies to access this knowledge AND be supported in applying it, I’m putting together a coaching group that will comprise teleseminars (to share knowledge), live coaching and Q&A calls (to help apply the knowledge) and perhaps even some live face-to-face events as well. There will probably be two or even three levels of membership so that business owners and managers can access the level they require at an affordable level.

I’ve been studying some of the best such programmes in the world so that I can do this in the way that will give the most value to my clients. At the same time I did a talk a couple of weeks ago where it was half-keynote and half-on the spot coaching/Q&A. While attendees loved the keynote, they liked the second half even better and to be honest, so did I! I was considering the interactivity that is possible in face-to-face events that is much harder to conduct on a teleseminar. I’ve run lots of teleseminars in the past and many people don’t want to speak up because they don’t want to talk over somebody else, it’s challenging for the teleseminar leader because they’re trying to figure out who said what, often there can be bad background noise when it comes to the Q&A sections because you have to unmute the lines in order to take questions.

Then, lands in my inbox the solution. It’s called MaestroConference (see here for more info or a free trial) and not only does it solve the above it does more besides! It allows you to know who wants to ask a question and you can just unmute them. Because you know their name you can say, “John, what’s your question please?” which overcomes the nervousness some have about speaking out. In addition, you only unmute the person that’s asking the question which overcomes the background noise problem.

Not only this, you can have breakout sessions where you put the group into smaller groups of 2, 3 or however many you want so that they can discuss what has been shared, help each other apply it and perhaps come up with more questions that can then be shared with the group. A win-win situation for all, I love it! (By the way, what a great piece of marketing to solve this need.)

The other thing I want to bring into this coaching group is accountability and I was thinking about a system where maybe members could email my assistant with their key issues and what they’re looking to achieve, progress reports, etc. Then in my research and studies I came across the answer. It’s a system that is web-based and allows members of a group to continually do all of this, other members can comment on progress and I can tailor the questions they answer to each particular group. I can also go into each members entries and add my own comments to help them along.

I didn’t go out and look for these things, they just landed in my lap and I believe that is when you know that you’re on the right path.

I believe there are two types of obstacles, one type is to help you learn lessons and grow and the other is to help you see that you’re on the right path. I’ve had a lot of both in the last couple of years! They’ve been extremely helpful to me for growth and guidance and I am very thankful and grateful for them, though I didn’t always feel it at the time…

Are you in your flow? Are you encountering obstacles and if so, which type are they? Are the right things being attracted to you with little or no effort? Spend a few minutes pondering your own situation and I’m sure it will help you move forward.

The Vagina Monologues vs Your Team Monologues

Last night I saw The Vagina Monologues in Burnley courtesy of my boyfriend who spotted it was playing in his home town. For those of you that haven’t seen the play, Eve Ensler wrote the first draft of the monologues in 1996 (there have been several revisions since) following interviews she conducted with 200 women about their views on sex, relationships, and violence against women. It was very funny and also very moving in places (and yes, he really enjoyed it too). What has that got to do with peak performance you may be thinking?

Much of the play was about what is unsaid by women about their vaginas and it got me thinking about what is often unsaid by employees about their workplaces and bosses. One monologue was about a 72 year old woman who had never had any sexual relationships because of an embarrassing incident that happened the first time she kissed.

I wonder how many people are missing out on what they would love to do because of some embarrassing incident or fear of embarrassment?

In my years of deep one-to-one coaching work that I was constantly amazed at how people would want one thing and yet do another.

Who do you manage or work alongside that you reckon has much more potential then they work to? In some ways human beings are so complex, yet so simple at the same time…

What if they have lots of ideas about how to improve productivity or customer satisfaction that they don’t speak up about?

What if they know they are in the wrong job but are too afraid to do anything about it?

What if they don’t really know why they’re doing what they’re doing and so it has no meaning for them?

Do yourself and your business a favour, get to know the people you work with personally, your employees, your peers, even your suppliers. I don’t mean become their shrink or counsellor. Simply get to know who they are as a person, have a cuppa or lunch together. Share a bit of yourself, be human. Compliment them. Genuinely. On something they have done or a character trait that you appreciate in them that makes your job easier.

That 72 year old never had shared her experience before and in fact, it sounded like she never really connected the fact that she had a bad experience and then avoided relationships. Sometimes all it takes is for somebody to ask a question. I wonder what would have happened if she had been asked those questions when she was in her 30s or 40s?

Why not do it and see what happens (and comment below with your results).

Opportunity Knocks

Today’s radio show is with Jonathan Yates an author and entrepreneur who started his business in his back room with little money. (See http://tinyurl.com/cwsest for show details)

What I like about Jon is that when he sees an opportunity, he seizes it. From my initial conversations with him I would hazard a guess that from a Wealth Dynamics point of view he is a Creator/Star (he speaks also) as he would fall into what most people think of as a ‘typical’ entrepreneur.

What about those of you though that don’t fall into that camp? How many opportunities could you be letting slip through your fingers? 

This question is particularly poignant for me right now in restructuring and growing my business. In the past I’ve let opportunities go for several reasons, mainly either because:

a) I didn’t follow through because of my past emotional blocks and/or

b) I didn’t have the support team and the systems in place to make sure that I did

Of course now I can see that not all the opportunities would have been right for me and my mix of strengths. My strengths (I’m a Wealth Dynamics Star) are helping people to maximise their potential and to achieve peak performance through their career or business. My way of doing is this is by keynote speaking, seminars and group coaching and my radio show. I did the one-to-one route and whilst very gratifying, there’s just something in working with a group or larger audience that just gives what I do an extra kick!

I’m in that place now where I’m implementing business changes yet not completely there yet. Watch this space and if you’re interested in getting involved, get in touch…

New Business Starting Over…

Here I am sitting at the kitchen table in my new home. I moved last week but still haven’t quite finished unpacking the office enough to be able to sit at my desk. Tomorrow, I’ll get there definitely and start work on my new business.

You see this time when packing and unpacking I’ve been restructuring, re-organising and decluttering as I go. It’s one of those times where it is taking me significantly longer than if I just threw stuff where it fit. This time though I have to do it this way. I’ve actually been in business for several years and during that time I’ve learnt a lot of lessons, one of which is that I can’t succeed to the level I wish on my own. I’m working on building a team around me where we are all working to our strengths (thank you Wealth Dynamics!) and achieving peak performance.

Now it’s time to have a blank slate for my business – what I consider my new business – and this move is the perfect time to make that blank slate work in my office too. Doing things differently in how I file, organise things and work with others is doing the little actions that build up to the bigger results over time.

When you look to change your patterns to get the results you want how deep do you go? Do you think about it and perhaps talk about it? Do you make a big action and then go back to your old ways? Or do you get to the heart of the matter and work on all levels, big and small to make real change?