Keep it simple……

I was flicking through the TV channels one evening recently and came across a rerun of a programme titled ‘Wonders of the Universe.’ Professor Brian Cox reveals how the fundamental scientific principles and laws explain not only the story of the universe but also answer one of mankind’s greatest questions – “Where did we come from?” Now that sounded an understated claim and a bit of light viewing before bed! Unfortunately, I quickly became engrossed and before I knew an hour had flown by as he revealed the wonder of the universe. It was clear that Brian’s purpose was not to complicate the underlying principles which are undoubtedly complex but to pass on his understanding in a concise and simple way. What Brian did was take that complex subject and made it simple so that even I could understand it. Brian’s use of everyday language allows his audience to understand. We weren’t bemused by technical jargon. His communication style is clear, straight forward and to the point. No doubt when talking to fellow scientists he uses complicated scientific concepts that would be unintelligible to a layperson, like me. Brian’s key to success is his skill of using language appropriate to his audience. He is a great communicator, he passes on his understanding so that in turn his audience can understand. Surely, in business that must be the holy grail. To clearly communicate our message simply to our target audience. Never to over complicate. However, the next day I realised that in business the direct opposite is so often true. I so often see and hear people doing the reverse as they...

How to get the right people doing the right things right.

If you could ‘sack’ everyone within your team or company today (without fear of tribunal, notice or termination payments or indeed without any other repercussion) who would you re-employ tomorrow? Now that may bring a wry smile to your face or a serious frown but read the question again and then go through your whole team one at a time. The decision to re-employ has to be without qualification. No get out of jail cards like:- ‘I wouldn’t want to employ her again but she brings in 75% of the sales!’ ‘I definitely wouldn’t want to employ him but he’s family!’ The answers from this question may be uncomfortable but the awareness will be worth the discomfort. As a business grows it becomes necessary to create a more formal structure and appoint managers to take on some of the responsibility of running the business. Who better than the loyal and trusted employees who have helped the business owner in the early stages of growth to take on more responsibility. Over the years I have seen so many companies being run by these ‘home grown managers’. Home grown managers are the life blood in the early stages of a growing business. They hold the culture, knowledge and understanding of the business. However, when the business is ready to scale it can start to outgrow the ‘home grown managers’. Feeling more and more out of their depth these managers resist change to maintain the status quo and protect their position. From a business owner’s point of view, the temptation can be to blame the old guard and to look to introduce...

How to develop your homegrown managers.

As a business grows it becomes necessary to create a more formal structure and appoint managers to take on some of the responsibility of running the business. Who better than the loyal and trusted employees who have helped the business owner in the early stages of growth to take on more responsibility. Often the business started by the owner is a continuation of their former employment. The experience and skills they needed to start the business were acquired through training and mentoring perhaps even an apprenticeship. Interesting, there is the assumption that with this experience comes a natural insight in how to manage. Somehow the necessary skills will be picked up along the way by just doing the job. Can you imagine the scenario of say an electrician or structural engineer picking up their skills on the job. It just wouldn’t happen. The consequences could be catastrophic! Over the years I have seen so many companies being run by these ‘homegrown managers’. Homegrown managers are the life blood in the early stages of a growing business. They hold the culture, knowledge and understanding of the business. They have their fingers in many pies and by sheer hard work and tenacity they ‘manage’ to get by. However, the business will eventually become restricted and unable to scale up the business will not achieve it’s potential. The business starts to outgrow the ‘homegrown managers’. Feeling more and more out of their depth they resist change to maintain the status quo and protect their position. Often the temptation is to blame the old guard and to look to introduce ‘professional’ managers from...

The Best of the Year

Well as we roll to the end of another year and are bombarded with the ‘Best of the Year’  I thought I would add the Five Best Levels Blogs of the Year to the list. 1.   Here’s how to set the rules of a team meeting. 2.   5 differences between amateurs and professionals in business. 3.   The day I was thrown out of the office! 4.    The hardest part of the business growth challenge. 5.    Family members prove to be the tough issues.   The list is the most viewed of my blogs. I hope you enjoy re-reading or perhaps reading these blogs for the first time. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! ——– I hope you enjoyed this post and found it thought provoking. Don’t forget to send me your feedback at ray@thelevelsblog.com! Using The Levels Framework, I help business owners achieve long-term sustainable growth using strategies I used successfully for many years. Now it’s your opportunity to discover The Levels! Click here to get your paperback copy of: ‘Can Your Business Step Up to the Growth Challenge?’ and kick start your business growth today!...

Don’t lose sight of what you want to achieve.

As we speed to the end of another year it is so easy to dive for cover during the festive break. Time for a well earned rest; time to recharge your batteries; time to eat, drink and be merry. Don’t forget to take time to pat yourselves on the back for all the hard work and success over the last year! You deserve it! Enjoy the moment but before you get back into that harness reaffirm what you want to achieve. It’s a great time to refocus and re-clarify. Book some time now in your diary before the end of the year to; STOP! REFLECT REVIEW and then UNDERSTAND So here are five questions that you might want to mull over. What size is your business now compared to where you want it to be? Have you reached a comfort zone where everything is ticking over nicely? Do you feel you are missing opportunities and if so what is stopping you taking advantage of them? As the owner, what kind of hours are you putting in and are you happy to continue this? How willing are you to change your way of thinking and doing to achieve your End in Mind? Move forward by taking your understandings from this year, into next year to make sure you get real value from 2015. — I hope you enjoyed this post and found it thought provoking. Don’t forget to send me your feedback at ray@thelevelsblog.com! Using The Levels Framework, I help business owners achieve long-term sustainable growth using strategies I used successfully for many years. Now it’s your opportunity to discover The Levels! Click...