Austin Business Owners – How’s 2019 Unfolding?

I ‘m sharing an article from Greg Bustin, Dallas Chair, author and keynote speaker. Are you meeting/exceeding your top line and bottom line financial KPI’s? Has the blame game started?

Here are five essential questions to be asking yourself and your leadership team in the coming weeks as you finish Q2.

1) What issues and opportunities did we not anticipate in last year’s planning session that we must now address? What – if anything – could we have done to anticipate these changes?

2) Do you believe that your colleagues and team members who are charged with implementing these action items have a good understanding of the challenges they’re facing for the remainder of 2019.

3) Do you have confidence that your colleagues and team members have an appropriate plan in place to complete their commitments and address their challenges?

4) How will we address under-performance in the 2nd half of 2019?

5) What must we add, remove, change or improve to achieve the success we say we want?

Jack Welch called it “differentiation,” or “20-70-10.” His critics called it “rank and yank” – firing the bottom 10%.

Differentiation, said Welch, is about “letting the bottom 10% know where they are and then giving them a chance to move on. Who wants to be on the bottom once they know it? This is not a mean-spirited thing. It’s you sitting across the table from me and telling me, ‘Jack, you’re not measuring up. You’re going to have to improve.’ If I don’t, you tell me that it’s best for me…to find someplace else to work.”

Forced ranking – another name for this process – continues to be a controversial model.

By whatever process you call it, there are three constants when it comes to employee performance:

Even top-performing companies that make Fortune magazine’s “Best Places to Work” list will have on their payroll people who are unable or unwilling to do the job they’ve agreed to do. 

How you address under-performance separates exceptional companies from mediocre ones.  

People issues are among the toughest in business. You can mitigate the drama that swirls around discussions of under-performance if you have:

 A. set clear expectations

B. set clear consequences (rewards and penalties) 

C.  provided a clear way of measuring progress

Without this clarity, you will find yourself in a gray zone where assumptions, ambiguity and emotion cloud decision-making. Be crystal clear about what you expect.

Remember that under-performers put at risk the welfare of the rest of your organization. So when under-performers don’t improve, it’s time for them to move. Failure to move an under-performer out of your organization also erodes your team’s trust and respect in you as a leader. Move out under-performers with dignity, and then get the right person with the right behavior and habits in the right seat.

Continued successes,

Published by edstillman

I grew up in Carlsbad, north San Diego County, lost my dad as a teenager, went into the USAF for four years and hired on with 3M in 1969. Received my AA from Santa Barbara City College, BA and Masters from Redlands University and after 33 plus years, I retired from 3M in 2002. As I look back on my life, I have been creating myself and developing my skill sets to be a business coach and a Vistage Chair. I am president of SEOT, a "personal improvement" consulting firm spending most of my time working with Central Texas executives running small to medium size for-profit companies who are focusing on improving their profitability greater than their competition. My area of interest is assisting senior executives in creating a better balance between business commitments and personal relationships. I also facilatate three leadership labs each consisting of a dozen owners, presidents and CEOs. We meet monthly both in a group setting as well as in a 1-to-1 coaching session. Our focus is to sharpen each others' skills in becoming better leaders, making better decisions and taking ourselves and companies to that next level. Who are we? My members are experienced top executives who recognize that they don’t have all the answers and who actively seek the company of successful peers—both to give and receive insights and ideas. My members mine the 200 plus years of chief executive experience that comes together in our monthly meetings and members are eager to offer their own experience and insights in the process. As a group, we spend our time exploring topics members can't discuss anywhere else. My members have many other places where they can engage in idle, "cocktail party" chatter. Our mission is to provide the setting for discussing the "undiscussable." Where or who can you go to for confidential, honest feedback to assist you in minimizing your personal "Worry List"?