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Decision-Making Warning Flag 1b – Weak Analogies

StrategyDriven Decision Making Article | Decision-Making Warning Flag 1b - Weak Analogies“The fallacy of Weak analogy is committed when a conclusion is based on an insufficient, poor, or inadequate analogy. The analogy offered as evidence is faulty because it is irrelevant; the claimed similarity is superficial or unrelated to the issue at stake in the argument. Or the analogy may be relevant to some extent yet overlooks or ignores significant dissimilarities between the analogs.”

Paul Leclerc
Community College of Rhode Island

Citizens have been asked to cast their vote for a referendum requiring those seeking to purchase a hammer to undergo a registration process similar to that for firearms. Supporters argue that because hammers, like guns, have metal parts and can be used to kill people that these tools should be legally controlled as guns are. These proponents are using a Weak Analogy to advance their position.

Weak analogies are used to support business decisions every day. As with all logic errors, decision-makers fall prey to the appearance of reasonableness, especially when the position supported justifies their desired course of action. Although difficult, recognizing and eliminating the use of Weak Analogies in decision-making is absolutely necessary.


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Additional Information

Additional insight to the warning signs, causes, and results of logic errors can be found in the StrategyDriven website feature: Decision-Making Warning Flag 1 – Logic Fallacies Introduction.

3 Most Common Leadership Mistakes and How to Avoid Them in 2019

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | 3 Most Common Leadership Mistakes and How to Avoid Them in 2019 | business leadershipIt is no news that being a leader requires quite a lot of perseverance and personal strength. For some people becoming a leader has been a meticulous decision and a result of many years of hard work, whereas some others might have got a leadership position without ever striving for it. The luck of the draw!

In both cases, the expectations are high and the stress is unavoidable. Not only should a leader outperform themselves and make sure all the objectives are met but they should also ensure their entire team feels happy and satisfied with work. Not an easy task to do!

Regardless of how many years of professional experience and personal training leaders possess, all of them tend to commit certain mistakes because they are all human beings. But what distinguishes a good leader from the rest is their ability to be able to recognize their mistakes and find solutions to avoid them when they get a second bite at the cherry.

For those leaders looking to improve their leadership qualities, we have compiled a list of 3 most common leadership mistakes and ways to avoid them in 2019.

Let’s take a closer look at each mistake.

#1. Not communicating the vision and the goals

Having a vision and setting clear goals is one thing, being able to communicate those to your employees is a completely different thing. Many leaders think that if they have a clear vision, that is more than enough for employees to succeed. While there is some truth to that, constantly communicating the vision and the goals is more than essential to guarantee a successful team work.

Leaders should remember that their employees have different personality types and they do not necessarily function in the same way. In order to ensure that the whole team is on the same page, leaders should remind them about the significance of the vision and how it translates into everyday tasks for each employee.

Sharing the vision, sticking to it and showing how every employee can contribute to that vision every day is key to creating a successful working environment based on common goals.

Top Tip: constant communication of the vision can be executed through monthly email reminders, oral reminders during meetings or via audiovisual support materials like TV screens around the office. Make sure every employee knows the vision and knows how to contribute to it.

#2. Poor delegating of tasks

Poor delegating of tasks is equally harmful as not delegating at all. Recent research has shown that leaders who skillfully delegate tasks achieve three-year growth rates that are 112% higher than those who don’t delegate at all or who do so poorly.

Delegating tasks will not only let a leader concentrate on more important tasks of strategic value to the company but will also empower employees because by doing even the smallest task employees feel like a valued member of a team, especially when those tasks correspond to their strengths.

Here is how to delegate tasks successfully:

  • Identify the tasks to delegate
  • Choose who to delegate the tasks to, based on their strengths
  • Be clear about the tasks to implement
  • Monitor progress and give continuous feedback for improvement
  • Be able to redelegate when something goes wrong
  • Show constant appreciation

It has been proven that employees who have a chance to use their strengths and character traits are on average 74% more engaged at work. Moreover, the mere fact of knowing each other’s strengths makes the team 12% more effective.

Top Tip: delegating tasks based on strength finder results will help leaders achieve maximum efficiency. Sharing each other’s strengths can be of huge help to team members who work together as well as for leaders who manage those teams.

#3. Failing to adjust to changes

In today’s ever-changing world the ability to adjust to changes is crucial to successful leadership: continuous tech developments, new customer relationship management practices, employee motivation roller-coasters, and much more.

One of the main differences between a leader and a manager is the aptitude to embrace change. Real leaders know that change leads to new ways of growth and accomplishment. While there is no perfect formula for managing change, the secret of succeeding is realizing that change is inevitable and that growth happens when things change.

Top Tip: learn to be flexible as a leader: listen to your employees, constantly follow the trends and keep an open eye on market developments. Remember to surround yourself with people who can complement you in areas where your strengths are not enough to help you with your weaknesses.

There is no special school for leadership that teaches how to be a true leader. It takes a lot of everyday practice and a great deal of flexibility to be able to adjust to people, places and different developments.

“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”
John Maxwell


About the Author

StrategyDriven Expert Contributor | Anatoli ChernyaevAnatoli Chernyaev is a content marketing manager born in Armenia and currently residing in France. He writes about various topics such as self-awareness, positive thinking, personal development, and career advice.

How to Motivate Your Sales Team: 7 Tested and Proven Strategies

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | How to Motivate Your Sales Team: 7 Tested and Proven StrategiesSales is the core of the business and the team behind it drives the company’s growth and success. They are responsible for the 2 most important things in a business: customers and revenue.

Every business owner or executive should acknowledge the critical role of the sales team in the organization. They should be always motivated, developed, and inspired for them to consistently perform.

Here are proven strategies to make your sales team successful:

1. Establish trust

Trust is a fundamental core value of every organization. The business can’t run effectively without it. Teams can’t work together without trusting each other. That’s why it’s important for a leader to establish full trust across the organization.

Offering full trust to your sales team goes two ways:

  • You will need to win their trust completely
  • You will need to give them your trust 100%

Establishing full trust with your sales team starts with setting the correct and honest expectations. You need to be clear about the following:

  • What’s their objective/purpose in the business?
  • What do you expect them to deliver and in what time schedule?
  • What are their targets?
  • How will you measure their success?
  • How are you going to reward them?

The second step is to let them do their job as salespeople. Lastly, you’ll have to deliver your part of the bargain, which is to consistently work with them to achieve their targets, review their performance and give them their due rewards.

2. Give them visibility to the strategy

Part of what drives the sales team to deliver their optimum performance is to give them visibility of the company’s strategy. It is important that they know where the company is heading and what’s their part in it.

Moreover, enable your sales team to be equipped as they help steer the company’s strategy. You will need to provide them access to metrics, statistics, analytics and every piece of data about the company. This information will help them forecast their output in a timely manner aligned with the company strategy.

3. Establish SMART goals

SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic and
  • Time-bound

This is a basic methodology for goal setting. It is critical to establish smart goals with your sales team in order for them to know what are you expecting from them.

Work with your sales team to agree on a defined daily, weekly, monthly and/or annual sales objectives. The key is to have a limited number of objectives or goals that are aligned with the company strategy. Then, enable with them tools that will help them track their goals against their performance.

4. Put in place an effective reward system

Sales teams are driven by rewards. They perform more when they know what they’re getting in return. That said, it is highly critical to put an effective reward system to keep your sales team inspired. For example, come up with an enticing commission agreement and/or sales incentives.

Some of the key elements of an effective reward system are the following:

  • A specific result or quota that will let them earn the rewards
  • A clear process of how the reward will be earned
  • Timeline of when they can earn and/or when the reward will be given
  • Ability for the individual to choose the type of reward they want to receive

Enabling your sales team to choose the type of reward they want will keep them excited. Start by sending out a survey to every individual so you’ll know what their expected reward is.

StrategyDriven Marketing and Sales Article | How to Motivate Your Sales Team: 7 Tested and Proven Strategies5. Make your sales team fall in love with the company

This is rather difficult but once successfully pulled off, you’ll have the best succession plan in the company. Moving your sales team away from the employee mindset and offering them the idea of being ‘company owners’ is critical.

Get them involved in building the company’s mission, vision and core values. Steer them away from being stimulated by their paycheck and let them become passionate about their contribution to the company. This may or may not work with all the individuals in your sales team but at least you’ll know who among them is truly involved.

6. Allow them to be flexible and proactive

Your sales team doesn’t become sales rock stars overnight. That said, allow them to be flexible enough in achieving their targets. It will require you to provide consistent guidance and follow through with their output.

On top of that, encourage your sales team to be proactive in all areas. Let them explore new angles and come up with out-of-the-box ideas. Moreover, encourage them to freely present these ideas and implement them.

7. Provide them with opportunities and growth

It is critical to provide your sales team with enough opportunities for growth. This will keep them stimulated knowing the fact that they know where they’re going if they become successful in the company. Keep in mind that a salesperson wouldn’t want to be a salesperson forever.

Putting a clear development and growth plan for the sales individuals is one of the required duties of a leader. There should be a clear and defined path for a salesperson to go to the next level in the organizational structure.

Conclusion

Motivating your sales team is a top priority. It requires diligent thought process and involvement with the team. Moreover, upgrading their performance will require time, consistency and commitment. These effective and tested strategies can help you build a successful sales team that’s always inspired and motivated. These should be an integral part of the core priorities of the company.

Enhance Leadership Qualities Of Managers At Work

StrategyDriven Management and Leadership Article | Leadership QualitiesAt the managerial position, leadership qualities are extremely essential because managers are in charge of building and leading a good team. Managing a team and making them work towards a common goal, comes with a lot of challenges and these challenges require good leadership skills to overcome.

While some people are born with great leadership skills, they still need training on how to showcase and execute these skills. So, it becomes very important to have regular training for managers at work, to keep their leadership skills fresh and growing. Workplace is a dynamic space, so it’s important that managers are given regular training to enhance their leadership qualities from time to time.

Here are some activities which can be conducted to enhance leadership qualities at work.

1. Resistance Dealing Workshops

Companies should organise workshops by professionals who can throw light on how to tackle resistance at workplace, whether it’s from clients or team members. Managers should be trained how to keep their calm and handle conversations that might be uncomfortable and resistive in nature.

2. Team Building Activities

There are plenty of team building games and activities that can help managers enhance their leadership skills. Organisations should conduct regular corporate events and activities that will get the entire team together for some fun games and activities, which will not only help build a good team, but also help leaders play their role better.

3. Recognition and Appreciation

How should leaders decide which employee deserves recognition and appreciation? Managers should be trained on how to recognise and reward talent and appreciate their employees for their hard work. Managers should be asked to give recognition and rewards to an employee at regular intervals, so that they can understand their team better and push them to do better, hence playing the role of motivating leaders.

4. Creativity Workshops

This is a great exercise for teams and their leaders. Creativity always makes way for better ideas at work. Everybody needs a push to get their creativity flowing. Conducting workshops, games and activities that would stimulate creativity can help leaders and their teams in enhancing their creativity and increasing their work productivity.

5. Sharing Tips

The best way to get new tips on effective leadership is to hear it straight from other leaders. Conduct a forum where leaders of different teams get together and share their leadership experiences. They can share instances of tough leadership challenges and decisions. This would give insight and helpful tips to other managers of the same organisation on how to deal with similar situations.

6. Coaching

There are many coaches who are experts in leadership building. Bringing in a leadership coach for some one-on-one lessons in leadership can give managers some great teachings about leadership. This will also give managers the chance to discuss specific instances of leadership with their coaches and enhance their skills.

7. Dreams Of The Leaders

Leaders spend most of their professional lives making the dreams of their employees come true, forgetting that they have dreams too, buried under the pile of emails. Companies should encourage leaders to dream of their growth too. This would boost their confidence, motivate them to do better and grow. Companies should hold events where they discuss and motivate the leaders of the organisation to dream big and work towards their personal and professional future.

Conclusion

It’s important to motivate team members to work together and work better, similarly it’s important to motivate team leaders to lead better and lead more. Leaders need to grow as well to build better and lead bigger teams. This is extremely important for companies that want their leaders to progress and grow in their company. Investing in leadership skills of managers will ensure better teams which will ultimately lead to better work productivity.

The Big Picture of Business – Each Role Matters. The Value of Support Staff

StrategyDriven Big Picture of Business ArticleEvery person in the company matters to its success. Every job is important, as is filling them with the best people for each job. The art and skill of being great support staff is a cornerstone of business success.

From pop culture, think of the great role models that we grew up watching:

Della Street was the loyal secretary to Perry Mason. She knew what everyone was thinking and was the glue to the cases. She was the model for executive assistants and office managers everywhere.

The CEO is made stronger with a good C-suite team. Ed McMahon was TV’s premier second banana. He worked as assistant, announcer, commercial pitchman and sketch narrator to Johnny Carson throughout their 29-year run on NBC-TV’s “Tonight Show.” They had previously worked together on a game show, “Who Do You Trust” on ABC-TV. Bandleaders on the late-night are vital #3 characters on the show, including Doc Severinsen, Skitch Henderson, Paul Shaffer and The Roots band.

The movie star heroes had buddies to help them navigate the adventures. John Wayne and Roy Rogers had Gabby Hayes. Gene Autry had Pat Buttram.

TV show stars had great support casts. Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz had Vivian Vance and William Frawley as Ethel & Fred Mertz. This historic teaming became the formula for most other TV sitcoms. Shows like “The Mary Tyler Moore Show,” “30 Rock,” “The Office” and others had expanded ensemble casts.

Some performers made careers as supporting players. Ann B. Davis was Schultzy on “The Bob Cummings Show” and Alice on “The Brady Bunch.”

Back characters on TV shows included restaurant and bar operators, where the stars went top relax. There were friendly, familiar places such as Cheers bar, Arnold’s Drive-In on “Happy Days,” the Krusty Krab on “SpongeBob Square Pants,” Dale’s Diner on “The Roy Rogers Show” and other homey places. In the business world are those staff people who make us feel more like family. Therefore, our loyalty to the company rises, and we are more productive.

Still other back characters bring cohesion to the enterprise. On “Gilligan’s Island,” those glue-adhesive characters were the Professor Roy Hinkley and Mary Ann Summers. Those vital employees in the business world might include the IT guy, the receptionist, the mailroom manager, the ethics adviser and the secretary to the Board of Directors.

Great executives know the value of crediting support figures for the business success. Lt. Columbo was always quoting his wife as basis for testing hypotheses, though the character was never shown. Newspaper publisher Perry White was always upstaged by his employees, notably Clark Kent/Superman. Al Roker does the weather on “The Today Show,” and he is also the motivating segment host as well. Nobody turns letters like Vanna White, making her essential to the legacy of “Wheel of Fortune.”

And then there were those mentors behind the scene who were responsible for lots of creativity. The Beatles had George Martin as their producer. Steven Spielberg had John Williams as music composer for his films.

A host of people make the CEO look good. Further, they transform the company to greater plateaus. Warmly recognize the contributions of executive assistants, trusted advisers, mentors, support staff, hier apparents, adjuncts, vendors and outside stakeholders.

Here are some characteristics of support personnel and rising stars who will make it as professionals and business leaders:

  • Act as though they will one day be management.
  • Think as a manager, not as a worker.
  • Learn and do the things it will take to assume management responsibility.
  • Be mentored by others.
  • Act as a mentor to still others.
  • Don’t expect status overnight.
  • Measure their output and expect to be measured as a profit center to the company.
  • Learn to pace and be in the chosen career for the long-run.
  • Don’t expect that someone else will be the rescuer or enable you to cut corners in the path toward artificial success.
  • Learn from failures, reframing them as opportunities.
  • Learn to expect, predict, understand and relish success.
  • Behave as a gracious winner.
  • Acquire visionary perception.
  • Study and utilize marketing and business development techniques.
  • Contribute to the bottom line, directly and indirectly.
  • Offer value-added service.
  • Never stop paying dues and see this continuum as “continuous quality improvement.”
  • Study and comprehend the subtleties of life.
  • Never stop learning, growing and doing. In short, never stop!

About the Author

Hank MoorePower Stars to Light the Business Flame, by Hank Moore, encompasses a full-scope business perspective, invaluable for the corporate and small business markets. It is a compendium book, containing quotes and extrapolations into business culture, arranged in 76 business categories.

Hank’s latest book functions as a ‘PDR of business,’ a view of Big Picture strategies, methodologies and recommendations. This is a creative way of re-treading old knowledge to enable executives to master change rather than feel as they’re victims of it.

Power Stars to Light the Business Flame is now out in all three e-book formats: iTunes, Kindle, and Nook.