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Home Archive for category "Management Tools"

Don’t produce a budget. Map out a Profit Plan. (Part II)

We have been talking about an annual planning process.  It began two postings ago when we talked about laying out three to five strategic initiatives aimed at moving the company forward.  Then with our last posting, we began a 2-part discussion on what some call a “budget,” but what we prefer to call a “profit

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“Has anyone ever said, ‘I wish I could go to more meetings today’?”

Everybody complains about meetings . . . they’re too long, boring, and don’t accomplish anything. Or as humorist Dave Barry puts it, “If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be ‘meetings.’ “ Unfortunately, too many

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When was the last time you fired someone too soon?

Most managers will tell you that the toughest part of their job is firing someone.  It’s an inevitable part of the job, but that doesn’t make it any easier.  Of course, we’re not talking about firing someone due to unethical behavior, unlawful acts, or willful acts of disobedience.  Those situations are relatively easy to handle

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Solve Problems with Ignorance, Not Experience

“When you’re a little bit dumb and naïve, things get done that no one believed could be done.” We don’t know who said that, but it’s true. Consider the new, fresh-faced young salesman who marches into an account we wrote off long ago as a waste of time. We all laugh at his innocence and

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Using DISC for fun and profit . . . and did I mention it’s FREE?!

Would you be interested in a behavioral assessment tool that can help you: Strengthen your communication skills? Build your leadership abilities as well as your coaching and mentoring skills? Reduce personal and organizational conflict, stress, and turnover? Make better hiring decisions? Learn to appreciate behavioral strengths, challenges and differences in yourself and in others? Increase

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Five Things To Do Before December 31

Two years ago, I wrote a piece about things that ought to be done to close out the current year cleanly, and get a strong start in the new year.  Since this is the time of year to do those sorts of things, I thought it would be appropriate to post a similar piece.  So

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“Negotiations are built on agreement, not disagreement.”

We tend to associate “negotiating” with lawyers, politicians, and purchasing agents.  But the fact is, we all negotiate.  We negotiate compensation packages for new employees, we negotiate price and terms with our customers, we negotiate bedtimes with our kids, and household budgets with our spouses.  So we all negotiate all sorts of stuff . .

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“Whoever said, ‘If it ain’t broke . . . ‘ “

It’s easy to get a little lax about taking care of your car.  That is, you get in, it starts right up, and then you’re zipping down the road.  No worries, right?  But then, warning lights start appearing on the dashboard or the brakes start to squeak, and you realize you haven’t had it serviced

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“Everyone has a number.”

While monthly financial statements are essential to effectively managing your business, they are historical documents.  They tell you what’s already happened when it’s too late to do anything about it.  So in addition to monthly financial statements, you also need measurements that are predictive in nature to serve as early warning signs that something may

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It’s all in the execution.

James “Murph” Murphy is a former F-15 fighter pilot who left the Air Force after 12 years to enter the business world.  In his book, “Flawless Execution,” he talks about the rigors of being a fighter pilot, about the exhaustive work pilots do as they prepare to fly a “mission,” and about the concentration and

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