Tag Archives: Management

The GlosBiz® story: learning the lesson of keeping things simple!

Can you believe the GlosBiz® initiative started 7 years ago with a simple, rather random tweet?

It was the first time the #GlosBiz hashtag had been used, and the rest, as they say, is history (well, sort of, anyway).

From that ‘standing start’, it has grown into Gloucestershire’s largest business network, with its networking breakfasts and business lunches consistently rated “the best business events in the county”.

But, I am often asked what has made it so popular, so successful, so well-known?

So, here are just three ‘principles’ that I always try to apply in business, and especially to the GlosBiz® initiative.

 

1) Customers want what they want – so give it to them!

For me, this goes back to Stan Davis’ great book “Future Perfect”, which I first read around 25 years ago. Since then, I have firmly believed that main ‘rule’ of worthwhile customer service is simple – give them exactly what they want!

When it comes to business networking, by far the most valuable thing I have learned is to give people the chance to build relationships, to be themselves, and to get to genuinely know others.

They do not want to be told what to do, where to sit, when to swap business cards, and so on, for the simple reason that they are perfectly capable of doing those things for themselves!

2) Treat everyone you meet equally (no matter how hard it is, sometimes)!

As I am sure you can understand, I meet many, many business people, and one key element of the GlosBiz® success story is that no matter who they are, what they do, or what size their company, I always try to treat them all the same.

Needless to say, when I’m wearing my ‘GlosBiz® hat’, I don’t always get it ‘right’ – but I am only human!

It can also be quite a challenge to do this consistently…and I’m sure you know what I mean?

3) Stubbornly resist temptation!

However hard you try, there will always be things that get you attention and tempt you to alter the ‘winning formula’ you have worked so hard to build.

Don’t do it!

No doubt, you have heard the adages, “think twice, act once”, and , ”if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?

Always, always, always stick to what you know works best, keep it as simple as possible, and remind yourself to think clearly at all times.

GlosBiz® is a registered trademark.

 

To find out more about how I work with business executives, leaders and owners to maximise their potential and success, and the benefits of professional executive coaching and mentoring, particularly in developing leadership, strategy and growing a successful business, please contact me:

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

© Adrian Malpass 2017. All rights reserved.

Business is business, but cash is King!

‘Money’, as the old saying goes, ‘is a dirty word!’ 

There’s an old saying in business which, in my time at a very large German corporate I used to visit some or our joint ventures and hear Lord X (to keep him anonymous) bellow often (and usually whilst banging the boardroom table), “Business is business, but cash is King!”.

It’s one of the most valuable pieces of ‘advice’ I have ever had the good fortune to receive.

One of the most valuable ways you can focus your efforts to build your business success is to ensure you have healthy cashflow.

In other words, make sure you get paid the right amount on time, by the right people, at the right price, and that you do the same.

Very often I find myself working with companies, of all sizes, to strengthen their cashflow. In many cases the bulk of it is easy to put right: just get your customers to pay up on time.

However, a great many cashflow issues are created because we have a habit of being a bit ‘too British’. What I mean is that many business owners and leaders tend to avoid talking about money….and end up paying the consequences.

If someone owes you money on a certain date, then they should be paying you on that date. Fact!

Obviously, the intricacies of building a strong cashflow go far beyond just getting people to pay on time, but this probably has the single biggest impact.

So, here are some tips for developing and strengthening your cashflow – easy to do, and great for your business:

  1. Know your customer! Obvious isn’t it? Be clear who you’re trading with, what type of organisation they are, what assets they have, and, for peace of mind, take out a credit check too (#BizTip: if you have business banking services at your bank, these checks can often be obtained free or at nominal cost). More detail and knowledge is better than less.
  2. Minimise your risk. Seek up front part-payment if necessary, ensure your terms and conditions make it clear you own the goods, or may withdraw/turn off the services in the event of late or non payment. If necessary, seek a written guarantee from the directors/owners.
  3. Make sure you have fit-for-purpose terms and conditions, covering payment, at what point full ownership is transferred, guarantees and liability. If you need to update your terms, many local law firms can do this at a sensible cost, or speak business support groups for guidance.
  4. Keep up to date! Even before payment is due, make it clear to your customer when payment is due and that you know it’s due. If you are being paid late, you are effectively funding their business (which is what banks are for). You’re running a business, not a bank, so remind and chase that payment. It’s your money, after all!
  5. If you do need to enforce your terms, or take legal action, be decisive and clear about your aims and objectives in doing this. Consider reasonable offers if necessary. Remember you’re running a business so paying legal fees, and using up valuable time and effort in chasing late payment is taking you away from the customers who you know and trust.

Sir Clive Woodward, World Cup winning England rugby coach, used the acronym T-CUP: Think Clearly Under Pressure.

When the pressure on you, and your cashflow issues grow because of late payment, think clearly about how you will resolve it, and take action.

 

To find out more about improving your focus, your cashflow, as well as the benefits of professional coaching and mentoring, particularly in developing leadership, strategy and growing a business, please contact me:

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

© Adrian Malpass 2017. All rights reserved.

There’s always a reason not to, isn’t there? Really? I mean, REALLY?

Over the last 17 years, I have delivered a wide range of professional coaching, mentoring and consultancy services to the leadership and management of over 250 different businesses across the UK and Europe. From long-established multi-national corporates, to brand new single person start-ups, and many variations in between.

I have lost count of how many times some clients, and prospective clients alike, have said they’re “too busy”, or that they “need to sort a few things out first”, or “I’ll get back to you”, “School holidays/Christmas/etc is coming up”, etc, etc, as reasons for not doing important tasks.

You have come across something similar, I expect? Perhaps it even rings a few bells with you too?

But what is the main cause of this? What makes so many people feel they’re “too busy”, and so on?

The irony is that this is exactly one of the areas I work on with clients to improve their leadership, and grow their businesses.

So, how come there’s always a reason not to?

Easy!

It’s because their focus is not where it provides the most benefit, either for the individual or their business or, most often, both!

Now, focus is often a tricky thing to get right – there are so many things to do, so many changing priorities, and, dare I say, too many easy reasons to put more important tasks off!

So, how can focus be improved?

I’m a keen believer in trying to develop and deliver simple solutions to issues like this, simply because simple ‘works’. Complicated (usually) doesn’t!

So, when it comes to improving your focus, try these simple steps:

  1. Do or Delegate: whatever you come across, either do something with it yourself, or delegate it to someone else. Do not put it off until later!
  2. If it isn’t indispensable, it’s useless: this is one of the best time management tips I have ever been given. If you really can’t do without it, keep it. If you can do without it (no matter in how small a way), you don’t need it. Be firm in making your decision.
  3. Prioritise. Prioritise. Prioritise. Make a weekly and daily list of what you need to to do, prioritise it (click here for a simple way to prioritise any list), and do it in order of highest priority first!

To find out more about improving your focus, and other benefits of professional coaching and mentoring, particularly in developing leadership, strategy and growing a business, please contact me:

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

© Adrian Malpass 2017. All rights reserved.

The EASY way to prioritise ANY list

In my experience, one of the things people in the business world find most challenging is how to prioritise.

Theoretically, it should be easy. In reality, it often ends up in confusion, unnecessary complication, and, worst of all, delays in getting things done.

So how can you prioritise you ‘to-do’ list easily?

Here’s a simple method:

  1. make a list of your ‘to-dos’
  2. number the list, in numerical order, top to bottom
  3. decide on one prioritising question. e.g.: which needs doing first?
  4. compare all of the items on the list with all of the others, see below
  5. best of all, it takes justa  couple of minutes!

How to compare every item on the list with each other

Let’s say there are 5 items on the list.

Start with item 1, and compare it with item 2, asking (e.g.) ‘which needs doing first, 1 or 2?’. Put a tick against whichever item ‘wins’.

Do the same again, comparing 1 with 3. Then 1 with 4. Then 1 with 5. Each time, put one tick against which item ‘wins’.

You have now compared item 1 with each of the others.

Now move to item 2, and compare it with item 3 (you do not not need to compare it with item 1 as you have already done so above), and add the relevant tick. then compare 2 with 4, then with 5.

Now move to item 3, and compare it with item 4 (you do not not need to compare it with items 1 or 2  as you have already done so above), and add the relevant tick. then compare 3 with 5.

Then compare 4 with 5.

List Prioritised!

You now have a list of 5 items, and the number of ticks against each quickly and easily shows you the priority – the more ticks, the higher the priority.

It’s then easy to rearrange the list in order of priority.

TIP: you may end up with one or more items on your list with no ticks at all. So, these are obviously of a lower priority when compared with the other items on your list. However, it may also be a sign that they might not have any priority for you at all (double-chek by adding them to a list of different items, or by using a different prioritising question).

To find out more about how professional coaching, mentoring and consulting can improve your productivity, thinking, and decision-making, please contact me:

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

© Adrian Malpass 2017. All rights reserved.

The essential 21st century leadership tool: emotional intelligence (part 1)

This is the first article (of 3) looking at the contribution emotional intelligence (‘Ei’) makes to leadership.

No doubt, you will have heard the term ’emotional intelligence’?

What do you think it means? Here are some common responses:

  • does what it says on the tin?
  • trendy psycho-babble that will disappear as soon as the next trend comes along?
  • new neuroscience that is yet to be proven?
  • or something else?

Firstly, let’s look at a very common misunderstanding about Ei: that is it ‘new’.

Of course, humans have always had ’emotional intelligence’, but did you know that the roots of our current understanding of it and when it  was specifically identified date back to the work of Thorndike circa 1920?

That’s right! Our knowledge of emotional intelligence is almost 100 years old! Certainly not new!

The term ’emotional intelligence’ was certainly being regularly used in American academia in the 1960s, and it reached the world of popular science in the early 1980s. Since then, research and our understanding has continued apace, not least as shown by the plethora of books on the subject (not all of them good, I hasten to add!).

So, it’s probably been around longer than you thought, and our understanding of Ei has now reached the point where we can accurately measure it, we understand how to change it, and we know how to develop it in making those changes.

The really ‘good’ news is that Ei is something you can continuously develop.

But what is Ei?

Whilst it has many measurable component parts, here’s a summarised description:

“Emotional intelligence is the awareness and understanding of the relationship between our attitudes (thoughts), or feelings, and our behaviour, how they influence each other, and the impact they have on our relationships with ourselves and with others.”

To think of Ei in graphical form, see the image at the top of this post – trying to keep the three elements (thoughts, feelings, behaviour) balanced is where we should aim to be.

But, how does Ei apply to leadership in simple terms?

As this is the first article in this series, I’m going to briefly look at the ‘cornerstone’ of Ei: attitudes. Attitudes are the core ‘building blocks’ from which our Ei is ‘built’, supported and developed.

For a leader to be successful, from an emotionally intelligent standpoint, they need to have their attitudes in balance.

By this, I mean how well they understand and develop the regard they have for themselves (how they truly and accurately accept themselves ‘warts and all’), and how they keep it in balance with how ell they understand and develop the regard they have for others (how they truly and accurately accept others ‘warts and all’ without judging them or ‘colouring’ they opinions of them).

As you can see, this is an essential part of leadership as any leader needs to be able to understand themselves and in doing so develop an understanding of the other people they work with and are being asked to lead.

For more information, please try this further reading – my earlier blog  articles:

“So, just what is emotional intelligence? (part 1)”

“So, just what is emotional intelligence? (part 2)”

“Emotional intelligence Trump style: how much Ei does The Donald have?”

(based on the Ei Model developed by JCA Global Limited, and the book “Emotional Intelligence @Work” by Jolyon Maddocks)

To find out more about measuring and profiling Emotional Intelligence, particularly in developing leaders and managers, and in assessing your teams and recruitment needs, please contact me:

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

© Adrian Malpass 2017. All rights reserved.

 

Emotional Intelligence Trump style: how much Ei does The Donald have?

Now, there’s a question!

For the purposes of this article, and to keep it reasonably short, I will just look at three high-level ‘balance’ scales:

  • Scale 1: the ‘Attitudes’ scale, which looks at the balance between one’s self regard (the degree with which you accept and value yourself “warts and all”), and one’s regard for others (the degree with which you accept and value others as people (“warts and all”), distinct from liking or approving of what they may do)
  • Scale 2: the ‘Feelings’ scale, which looks at the balance between one’s self awareness (the degree with which you are in touch with your physiology, feelings and intuitions), and one’s awareness of others (the degree with which you are in touch with the feelings of others), and
  • Scale 3: the ‘Behaviour’ scale, which looks at the balance between one’s self management (how you manage your thoughts and feelings with your own behaviour in your relationship with yourself), and one’s relationship management (how you manage your thoughts and feelings with your own behaviour in your relationships with others)

Obviously, any interpretation of Mr Trump’s Ei can only be based on what we learn from the diversity of media outputs. So, taking these scales in order, here is my interpretation with regard to The Donald…

Scale 1: the balance between self regard and regard for others

High self regard

Relatively lower regard for others (in some cases significantly so)

Overall then, he puts himself first, ahead of others, thinks more highly of himself than he does of some others (at least).

This may manifest itself in potentially forceful/dominant behaviour, or a desire to be so, with some issues around delivering genuine equality.

However, this could also indicate someone who likes to be (or at least be seen to be) the ‘leader’.

Scale 2: the balance between self awareness and awareness for others

I suspect that he would score highly on both self awareness and awareness of others, but this is less easy to identify as it seems masked by a desire to appear ‘strong’ and ‘forceful’, or even, dare I say, ‘presidential’?

Scale 3: the balance between self management and relationship management

Certainly, Mr Trump shows signs of high emotional resilience, how much he believes he is in charge of and takes responsibility for his life, how well he connects with people (how could he build such a vast business empire if he didn’t?), and how focused he is on achieving his goals.

I am far from convinced, however, that he demonstrates particularly high levels of flexibility towards changing situations (rather, he becomes more forceful in order to take him closer to his aims), or that he is particularly authentic at times

In terms of how he manages his relationships with others, from an Ei perspective, it seems he may deal with conflicts in a rather ‘robust’ manner (see scale 1 above), that he’s used to being interdependent when working with others…to a point, that the way he expresses and controls his emotions is rather good (and rather appropriate given the pugilistic nature of this year’s election campaign).

But does he have a balanced outlook, based on a balance between realistic optimism and pessimism? Perhaps, but it seems he is used to (or has at least learned the behaviour for) getting his own way, and therefore he may have high levels of optimism – perhaps a believer in ‘you make your own luck’?

It also seems that he trusts others…again, to a point, taking on the responsibility for the final and most valuable decisions himself.

 

To find out more about measuring and profiling Emotional Intelligence, particularly in developing leaders and managers, and in assessing your teams and recruitment needs, please contact me:

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

© Adrian Malpass 2016. All rights reserved.

How did that happen? A winning strategy from Mr Trump!

trump-clinton-600x400-141116-1

So, on the day before the US election Donald Trump was given a “1%” chance of winning.

The rest, as the oft-used phrase goes, is history.

But how did he do it? How did he pull off one of the greatest surprises in US election history? What were the key parts of his strategy that turned the odds so unexpectedly (and seemingly so suddenly) in his favour?

Actually, as with so many unexpected successes, it revolved around something we should all do more of when it comes to developing a successful strategy: research!

In Mr Trump’s case, his team’s research clearly determined three key opportunities for success:

  • the profiles of those who were most likely to vote for him in the battlefield states
  • the profiles of those (in the same regions) who would vote for him if he appealed directly to them, and
  • the issues that these groups valued the most (and therefore would be most likely to vote in support of)

Now, whether you agree with Mr Trump or not, and thanks to the way the Electoral College system works, it proved a winning strategy.

Once this data was collected, his campaign focused on delivering clear, simple and easily understood messages over, and over, and over again. They poured their resources into the things they knew (or, at least, could be reasonably sure of) would deliver the outcomes they sought.

The result?

Well, we all now know what happened next.

But what does this tell us about building a successful business strategy?

Three key things:

  • keep it clear and simple (remember the equation: simple + clear = effective) so that everyone understands it (and so can easily ‘buy in’ to it)
  • focus on a clear and defined end result that you’re aiming for (of course, making sure it is realistic), and
  • every step between where you are now and where you want to get to will require clear decisions to be made, so make sure you make them whenever they are needed

And, above all, make sure you do relevant research beforehand!

To find out more about how to build a successful strategy for your business, please contact me:

t: 01242-672440

e: click here

© Adrian Malpass 2016. All rights reserved.