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STOP ROLLING THE DICE! 2013 Resolution: Focus on what NOT to do…

yes_no_maybe_red_dice_small

It’s hip to focus on getting things done; check marking and scratching things off the proverbial “To Do” list.  Often times, the biggest challenge is deciding which task to tackle first.  Even more often, we find ourselves either accomplishing nothing or only a little bit of everything.  As the saying goes, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results; so why not try something different this year.  If you have trouble deciding what to do, try focusing on what not to do.  This list of 10 things not to do can help you get closer to successfully attaining your goals.

DO NOT get caught up in resolution overload-
Don’t try to change all of your unhealthy habits at the same time. Try to replace one unhealthy habit with a healthy one before moving onto the next. Set small, measurable and attainable goals that will yield feedback and results within a few weeks. Break goals down into daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly milestones.  Don’t expect them to take the full year to materialize.

DO NOT be owned by possessions-
Go through a “de-cluttering”. You may find that so much of your previous brain activity was run by stress, commitments and money that was put into vehicles, vices, up- grades and space to keep stuff working or just maintained.  Once you look critically at what you truly need, no longer will you need to tolerate all of these additional vacuums for your thoughts and moods.

DO NOT check e-mail constantly-
E-mails can certainly be an important and valuable tool, but the sad fact is people let their inbox rule their day. Set time aside daily where you respond to e-mails, typically later in the day. Earlier in the day you will want to do things that will move your business and daily goals forward. When you are answering e-mails, you’re in the reactive mode – you’re responding to other people’s needs.  Typically, when you respond to an e-mail it only needs to be a few short sentences. If you realize it will take longer, usually a quick phone call will handle it better than an e-mail. Most e-mails can wait 48 to 72 hours for a response. Do not e-mail first thing in the morning or last thing at night.  The former scrambles your priorities and plans for the day, and the latter just gives you insomnia. E-mail can wait until 10am; after you’ve completed at least one of your critical to-do items.

DO NOT promise to multi-task-
The truth is, there is great power in Single Tasking. If you multi-task, you tend to switch gears between what you should be doing and what you shouldn’t – the important vs. the useless tasks. Every time you shift gears to work on something else, you are not giving your priorities your full attention. It is very important to absorb yourself in one thing at a time; give it your fullest attention and complete it before moving on.

DO NOT carry your cell phone 24/7-
Take a break from daily digital leashes at least one day per week. Turn them off or, better still, leave them in the garage or in the car. Choose one day a week to leave your cell phone turned off and consider leaving it at home if you go out for dinner.

DO NOT let work become your life-
Work cannot fill the void of non-work relationships and activities. Your co-workers shouldn’t be your only friends. Schedule life and defend it just as you would an important business meeting. Never tell yourself, “I’ll just get it done this weekend”.  Parkinson’s Law states, “work expands to fill the time available for its completion” – if you give yourself a week to complete a two hour task,  (psychologically speaking) the task will increase in complexity and become more daunting so as to fill the entire week.  It may not fill the extra time with more work, but just stress and tension about having to get it done. By assigning the right amount of time to a task, we preserve time; which in turn will reduce the complexity of tasks to their natural state.

DO NOT work more to fix overwhelm-
If you don’t prioritize, everything seems urgent and important. If you define the single most important task for each day, almost nothing seems urgent or important. The answer to overwhelm is not spinning more plates — or doing more — it’s prioritizing and defining the few things that can really fundamentally change your business and life.

DO NOT allow yourself to work while hungry-
You will be less efficient; you will bring a negative energy to the things you do; you will become agitated and ineffective.  The key is to eat small meals with a balance of protein, healthy fats and high fiber every two to three hours.  These meals should sustain you until the next meal. This kind of eating strategy will help you feel good, give you energy and will keep you focused.

DO NOT focus on “lack”-
You are who you are and you have what you have, RIGHT NOW!  Hold on to this strongly and focus on it.  Remember that like begets like and so lack begets lack.  The energy you spend on what you don’t have can more effectively be spent on finding ways of getting what you want.  It is important to find POSITIVE thoughts/things/actions that inspire and help you move forward.

… and last but not least…

DO NOT stop making fun of yourself-
People who take themselves too seriously miss out on a whole lot of fun.

The preliminary step of prioritizing tasks is much easier once we remove the constant static and distractions that keep us from succeeding.  The important and attainable goals will reveal themselves by this process of eliminating your clutter-generating habits.  Once you have clarity on the tasks at hand, you can start setting goals that are not only SMART, but SMARTER…

Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timeframe, Evaluate, Reward

Question?  What resolutions have you made either personally or in your business life and

 how did you keep them or did you fall into the resolution trap?

Ironstone’s Vision is to forge and guide the personal and professional lives of entrepreneurs and business professionals alike to realize their full potential. Coaching and consulting allows us the opportunity to form an environment where success happens and goals are reached.

Read more about our coaching and consulting program here >>

 Start your transformation with Ironstone as your Partner for Performance

Contact Ironstone with your questions & let’s get started! 

Have a question or comment for Ironstone? Contact us!>>

 

• Email us at info@ironstonehq.com
• Call our office at 800-917-8020
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Unleash Your Team

Unleashing your team from the chains of a micromanaged and controlling culture will create positive growth, a winning team and take your leadership skills to a new level!

Leaders are sometimes afraid to let go of the leash and open a new world of possibility to their firm. When team members are afraid to share and contribute ideas, grow and learn in their current environment and expand their horizons, they become bored, unchallenged and will most likely leave your firm for something better.  It is the harsh truth; you must care about your team to create employee engagement, satisfaction and retention.

In our blog, Implementing Team Development Programs Often Overlooked”, we outlined a process to implement a team development program. By following each step, you eliminate the need for micromanaging your team.  Trust me, your team does not want to be micromanaged!  The four components that Ironstone focuses on to implement a team development program are:

  • Preparation
  • Incentives
  • Benefits
  • Technology

Read more about each component in our blog : https://aeschlapia.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/implementing-team-development-programs-often-overlooked/.   Once you have put these components into your human capital mission, you will find that employees are capable of managing their individual positions within the firm.  Support your team members and empower them to be as great as they can be.

How Do You Begin To Unleash Your Team?

Perhaps the first place to begin is to take inventory on your leadership skills.  A team that performs well depends on your leadership abilities, training and development you provide and being a coach your team members can trust.

Being a coach to your team is highly motivational and almost guaranteed to improve performance.  As a leader, your role is to help your team understand their positions.  It is their job to take ownership of assigned job descriptions and design a process to carry it out effectively.  Willingness to support your team’s development sets an example and will contribute to the culture and performance of your firm and team members.

 Tip: Ask team members how you can help them develop their own solution.

As humans, most of us thrive in a continued growth and development society which consists of ongoing training and learning. A team development program will contribute to the natural desires of dedicated employees. Team development will:

 

  • Help team members adjust to changing job requirements
  • Create a pool of qualified team members for possible new roles within your firm
  • Develop a more effective, efficient and productive workforce
  • Produce team members capable of taking on new significant challenges and reach firm goals

Understanding Needs of Your Team 

 Identifying the needs of your team is crucial in implementing a successful team development program.  Some training will need to be universal and apply to most, if not all, of your team members.  However, each team member is unique and owns a specific skill and passion set.  Goals and objectives of team members will be parallel when they relate to overall firm goals but will be dissimilar in relation to their individual job duties and responsibilities. Talk to your team to find out what training they want and need.  Work with them to develop a personal plan that will help them get the training they need in an economic and efficient manner.     Start by holding one-on-one meetings to discuss:

  • Job Descriptions
  • Training and developmental needs
  • Current performance levels
  • Areas for improvement
  • Action steps to fill any gaps

How Well Do You Develop Your People?

*Mind Tools (www.mindtools.com) offers a great quiz for you to take, allowing you to evaluate your leadership skills and identifying areas for improvement. The quiz identifies five main factors related to developing people. This will give you a clear understanding and foundation to develop a plan for yourself to improve your personal team development skills.  Follow this link to take the quiz!  http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/team-development.htm

(*Mind Tools-www.mindtools.com)

 How did you score?   Let us know!!

In the ever evolving world of change, helping your team adjust to change while remaining successful, sends a clear and concise message that you care.  If you are willing to support your team’s growth and job satisfaction, you will retain good people and an engaged workforce.  Once you have implemented a training and development program into your human capital mission, you will find that employees are capable of managing their position within your firm.  Support your team members and empower them to be as great as they can be.

 “What’s worse than training your workers and losing them? 

Not training them and keeping them.”

– Zig Ziglar, author and motivational speaker

 Learn more about how Ironstone can impact the operational effectiveness of your firm!  Read more at www.ironstonehq.com  Want more information on team development?   Contact us at http://ironstonehq.com/contact/

 

Follow us as we explore each of Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™!

  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Development
  • Operational Effectiveness
  • The Human Element

• Email us at info@ironstonehq.com
• Call our office at 800-917-8020
• Connect with us:


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Performance Management vs Performance Reviews

It is that time of year when most of you are beginning to think about annual performance reviews. For most, it’s a dreaded process that is done only out of obligation or outdated processes in your firm.

In a recent Human Resources Forum poll, 16% of the people that responded have no performance appraisal system at all. Supervisory opinions, provided once a year, are the only appraisal process for 56% of the respondents. Another 16% described their appraisals as based solely on supervisor opinions, but administered more than once a year.*

Take your firm to higher levels of standards and accountability by burying performance reviews and adopting a performance management system. Effective leadership encompasses a continuous learning and development program with diminutive reviews throughout the year. Place focus on the goals of your firm.

Implement a performance management system that will:

  • Boost the success of your firm
  • Encourage personal development and advancement of your team members

Performance management will strengthen the foundation of your firm by:

  • Ensuring goals are consistently met
  • Provide focus on fundamental areas in your firm
  • Clarify job expectations and responsibilities
  • Improve communication
  • Compel employee behaviors that align with your firm’s mission, vision and goals
  • Enhance employee engagement and productivity

Performance management is an essential tool for top performing advisory firms.  It may be one of the more time consuming processes you implement, but will improve overall effectiveness in your firm and provide your firm with vast, positive outcomes.

Getting Started

The process of implementing a performance management system is extremely detailed.  Ironstone provides a series of steps to get you started.

  • Update job descriptions that include the purpose, duties and responsibilities
  • Set performance goals that are measurable
  • Prioritize each job responsibility and goal
  • Define performance standards for each component within the job description
  • Schedule meetings with employees to review performance and provide feedback
  • Document a record of performance
  • Implement a learning and development program readily available for employees
  • Incorporate the opportunity to gather feedback from the employee’s peers and/or clients

Encourage human resource departments, managers and supervisors to be accountable for performance improvement.  All components in your firm are part of a system that create value for your clients; the same holds true with a performance management system in that all components must be functioning to create value for your employees and the firm.

Ironstone can assist you in creating a new plan or evaluate your existing plan and collaborate and strategize with you to ensure a strong process with tactics that are cohesive with your firm goals.

We are curious!!  Does your firm hold annual performance reviews or do you have a performance management process in place?  Tell us about it!

 

Follow us as we explore each of Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™!

  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Development
  • Operational Effectiveness
  • The Human Element

Coming up next, learn about Strategic Planning and Your Firm’s Business Model

  * Step-by-step to a Performance Management System-Human Resources

 

• Email us at info@ironstonehq.com
• Call our office at 800-917-8020
• Connect with us: