Using Adventure Based Team Building For IMPROVING Results

Adventure Based Team Building Remains HIGHLY Effective in Creating LONG Lasting Change
an aerial view of a rowing crew in action.

Adventure activities for team building remain highly effective.  Part of what I love about using adventure based or experiential activities is that they get staff out of their typical environment.  Suddenly we are talking about group dynamics in a novel environment. The playing field is level.  Experiential adventure basedteambuilding activities for teams helps to identify the group dynamics quickly for the facilitator.  The communication styles of participants quickly emerge.  The natural leaders step forward.  The over bearing employee stands out.  The quiet and shy individual that has great ideas that are rarely heard appears.

As the group moves through different activities, they start to recognize the strengths and challenges that exist within the group.  Most are related to communication and the interaction dynamics between people.  The insights that are gained are valuable, but the big challenge for all team building is taking the lessons learned back to the workplace.

How does real change take place?  Learning is inspiring and exciting immediately following the team building event.  As time goes on old behavior re-emerges and the lessons learned are forgotten or put on the shelf.  It takes a committed leader to keep the team focused on their new commitment to different team dynamics.

 

This comes back to the team building event itself.  If the facilitator does not help team members to truly identify new behaviors and outline them in a concrete and usable way they will quickly fade away.  Creating a plan for sustained growth and development with ongoing follow up with an outside facilitator really ensures team change.  Change takes time to happen and long lasting change has ups and downs.  The outside facilitator helps the team to recognize when they are slipping back into old paradigms and old patterns of behavior.

Holding people accountable to change is important and it is not always effective within the team, although the team plays a major role in making change.

Adventure based team building is a tool for effective skill development.

It is most effective with ongoing follow up with the original facilitator to ensure that new behaviors and strategies are implemented long term.  Team building as a one shot event has benefits but they are short term and do not endure over time.

Benefits of Empowering Employees

Group of diverse business colleagues enjoying successEmpowering employees can have multiple positive benefits to the workplace.  Employees can take the lead on projects and tasks and free up the manager or leader to do other things.  The leader often has the responsibility of growing the company. When they tie themselves up in the day to day operations they remove themselves from this important task.  Growing the company, getting out and acquiring new projects, new clients and visioning greater success are all part of being the CEO or leader.  Employees can take on the day to day operations of organizations.

Empowering employees is good for morale.

When managers have to control every aspect of an employee’s work it is demoralizing to the employee.  When staff make suggestions or put forth ideas and they are never accepted or considered, or have to be the idea of the manger or leader, then employees stop making suggestions.  Staff do not work for pay alone.  Work conditions play a major role in staff satisfaction and performance.  When staff are in a situation where they have little control, are not acknowledged for their work or ideas then their performance suffers.  The results for the team or the company are negative.  Turn-over increases and the costs to organization are impacted.

Empowering means giving up some control, but does not mean that the organization runs wild. Staff have great ideas.  It is gold.  They see ways to improve operations, get things done faster, easier for less cost.  The misconception of the micro manager is that only they care about the company.  When true leaders share their vision and passion for the company, employees can embrace that vision and passion as well. When that leader then empowers the employees to do great work, results can soar.

As the leader or CEO you can set up communication systems that empower employees and at the same time keep you informed and in the loop.  But you do need to follow through and let employees make decisions and not take back all control when you are informed of staff decisions.

Empowering instead of micro managing will result in better organizational results and free you, the leader up to further grow the organization.

Should You Throw In the Towel?

Should I throw in the towel

When is it the time to close your business?

When Is It TIME To Throw IN The Towel?

Operating a business is not an easy task.

I have always relied on 3 principles or values:

  • commitment

  • perseverance

  • risk.

It takes all of these to make it in business.

If you are considering going into business, if you don’t have these traits or characteristics you should throw in the towel before you start because these are essential.

Once you are in business, you have to keep going back to these.

 A long time ago I learned about commitment when I was rock climbing.

YOU have to make a commitment.

YOU have to make a commitment.

I was high off the ground.

You know stories grow as you tell them, and at one point in this story I was hundreds of feet off the ground, but really probably about 30 feet off the ground.

High enough!! I was stuck.

I could feel the next place for my foot but it was just out of reach. I could see the hand hold but I couldn’t reach it. Precariously perched on the side of the mountain I searched for alternatives. My belayer (the person holding my rope/my life) was patient with me. After I had exhausted all of the possibilities and didn’t find an alternative, he said, “you have to commit to the move, you just have to go for it. “ He meant I had to let go of the safety of my perch and reach out, risk and make a commitment to making it to the next hold. I took a deep breath and did it. I made the move and I learned a lesson.

In my business I have used that lesson over and over.

There are many metaphors there:

  • taking a risk,
  • staying focused and on my path, and commitment.
  • commit to the move
  • commitment is 100% — you CANNOT be wishy-washy

When I have questioned my business I go back to the rocks of Joshua Tree National Monument and remember that it takes total commitment to be successful in business and that I have to “commit to the move”.

Next is perseverance.

should i throw in the towel?

Reaching the summit takes perseverance.

I learned this lesson biking across the country from Maine to Oregon.

Now that in itself takes some perseverance, but the real lesson came in Wyoming in the Big Horn Mountains.

We had to cross the Rocky Mountains somewhere and the Big Horns looked like the best option. The climb was 30+ miles long. For me, that means I am biking between 3 and 6 miles per hour for a very long time. There I learned that no matter how slow I was going I had to keep pushing that pedal to make it to the top of the mountain. There are times when in business it feels like a BIG mountain climb. Some days the mountain is not as steep and the climb isn’t as long and some days it is a very long climb. But I also know that it is perseverance that keeps me moving my business forward. One of the tools that I use is an accomplishment list or journal. There are days when you are climbing that mountain or putting out fires that you just can’t see what you have accomplished. An accomplishment journal helps because when you start listing all of the things that you did do, and it is amazing. It can energize you and keep you moving.

Risk is a willingness to make bold moves....

Risk is a willingness to make bold moves….

Finally is risk. Business is risk.

You are stepping out of the comfort zone of a JOB and into being an entrepreneur.

Not everyone can take that risk and live with that risk.

Sometimes the risk lasts for a long time before the payoff comes.

You have to know yourself and what you can tolerate and what your life can tolerate.

When you are in business you are in the driver’s seat and you are making the decisions about what is acceptable.

It is vital that you are looking at your entire business.

You need to have your finger on the pulse of your organization in several areas:

 Vision –

  • You need to have a clear and compelling vision that helps to energize you and draw you into the future.
  • Be clear on what you are creating so that you don’t get distracted or pulled off track.

 Strategy –

  • Create strategies to accomplish the vision.
  • Keep your strategies in front of you and know where you are with each strategy.
  • So many strategic plans get put aside and never referenced after they are created.

 Money –

  • You need to know your numbers.
  • This is one area that I was never good at.
  • My business did not start taking off until I put my finger on the pulse of money.
  • You need to know what is coming in and going out.
  • Know the numbers.
  • Know what it takes to make you profitable;
  • Know where you are now and how far away you are from that profitability.

 Staff –

  • Know what is going on with your staff if you have them.
  • Know their vision and their passion.
  • And stay in touch with what is happening on the floor.
  • There is incredible information there.

So, What Do You Do When the Pulse is LOW?  This is perhaps the hardest question you will ever answer.

YOU have to make the decision and you need to rely on several factors.

First, listen to your own wisdom.

Many times we know what we need to do and we ignore the inner voice that is telling us.

We get further down the road and in hindsight it is clear and then we can even acknowledge that we know.

Listening to yourself and your feeling and gut is important.

But you also have to be a wise business owner. That means that you have to take a look at the facts in front of you. You’ve been paying attention to your business. You know its current state and you know its growth.

Evaluate: Current Status, Growth History and Growth Potential

  • What is the current status of the organization?
  • Are you still investing money in it?
  • Has it been 3 years?
  • 5 years?
  • Can you afford to continue investing?
  • Does that fit into your life plan?
  • Or is it self-supporting?
  • What is the growth history?
  • Has the business been growing?
  • Adding new clients?
  • New customers?
  • Is that growth consistent?
  • Does the product or service remain in demand?
  • Have you evaluated the potential growth of the product/service?
  • Do you know your market?

If your business is struggling have you exhausted all of your marketing strategies to bring in new customers or repeat customers?

 As the business owner considering throwing in the towel you must not leave any stone unturned.

If there is a marketing strategy that you haven’t tried because you are personally uncomfortable with it, now is the time to get comfortable. For instance, if you are not tech savvy and don’t like being on the Internet – you have to have an internet presence. You cannot be in business and not have an internet presence. You must have a social media presence.

Are there things that you can be outsourcing that will free you up to do the sales side or development side of the business? As the owner or CEO your role is to build the business and develop the business. This may mean networking, connecting, landing new clients, new investors, new products or services. You know what business building looks like in for your business. What are your business development strategies? Do you have the time to carry them out? If not, what can you delegate in order to do that?

If you are spending your valuable time doing non-essential tasks then you need to re-order what you do so that you can do the essential and fundamental task of business building or business development.

Make a list each day of the essential money focused tasks and do them first.

Delegate or outsource the other tasks.

Many business owners have discovered the magic of outsourcing. Suddenly, you have the time to make more money. You have handed off jobs, you are paying money to have someone else do them and you are making MORE money!

Should I Throw In The Towel

How sweet is that? What can you hand off? Now is the time to figure that out.

But, wait, you still have the towel in your hand and you are still unsure whether you should hold it or throw it.

So far you have taken a look at your business owner characteristics of commitment, perseverance and risk taking; you have evaluated the current state of the organization and the future growth potential; you have looked at all of your marketing and sales strategies to be sure that you are doing EVERYTHING you can to bring in more clients and more business; and finally you have taken a look at yourself to determine what other things you can do to grow the business and what you can outsource or delegate to free you up to do that. After taking a look at all of this and listening to your inner wise voice, it should be pretty clear what to do. You know what to do. Hard decision. Hardest ever, but solely yours to make.

Whatever you decide to do it is important to do it with style, with grace and with the utmost professionalism.

  • Do not burn bridges.
  • Do not do anything to harm your reputation or that of your staff, your vendors, your board or others.

If you throw in the towel, make sure it is clean, that it shines brightly and provides everyone involved the most potential for future success possible.

 

Dealing with Difficult People Workshop

Small Business Week 2013: Strategic Planning 101

small business weekSmall Business Week Events

We are kicking off Small Business Week with a few events!

Strategic Planning 101

Monday, June 17 at 10 AM — Strategic Planning 101

I will be hosting a Google Hangout event.  Strategic Planning is a foundation of business success.

Learn a simple system for planning

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Learn Transformational Leadership Skills with Equine Leadership Training

Sometimes at work you’re struck by someone who seems to have ‘it’. The kind of person who’s full of passion and has a way of infecting everyone around them with their enthusiasm.

If we’re totally honest, this is the image we’d all like to present at work, but many people feel that this kind of ‘charisma’ is innate and can’t be learned. However, that’s simply not the case!

There’s no denying that the recent economic crash has been disastrous on a global scale, but there have been some positive effects too. The scandal surrounding the leaders of the world’s most powerful institutions that in part led to financial disaster have caused a noticeable shift in the way today’s top brass are choosing to lead.

Transformational Leadership Training Post-Recession

Transformational leadership was first devised by renowned leadership expert James MacGregor Burns in the late 1970’s. Over the decades Burns’ method gradually developed a reputation as one of the most forward thinking and holistic approaches to leadership training available. In simple terms, a transformational leader is able to positively change those that follow them and instil workforces with drive, ambition and the desire to succeed.

Transformational Leadership Training

But how do they do this? According to Bernard M. Bass, a researcher who expanded on Burns’ original concept, there are four main components to successful transformational leadership, all of which fall perfectly into the remit of Equine Leadership Training – a process which provides delegates with the opportunity to work one to one with horses to develop their leadership skills. Take a look below to learn more about Bass’ four components of transformational leadership and how they apply to equine training:

1. Intellectual Stimulation

A transformational leader challenges norms and encourages their followers to be creative and find new opportunities for learning and new ways to do things.

Working one to one with a horse requires thinking outside the box because a horse won’t respond in the same way as a human. Delegates need to quickly pick up new skills and devise creative ways to get the horse on side.

2. Individualised Consideration

Transformational leaders should be ready to offer encouragement and support to others whenever necessary. It’s essential that communication lines are kept open and that leaders are able to see things from others’ points of view.

For a horse to want to work with someone, they need to feel safe and secure, so delegates must find ways to communicate their support through their actions, rather than words. In addition, the more empathy delegates develop with their horses, the more successful a relationship they’ll engender.

3. Inspirational Motivation

The ability to fill others with passion and clearly articulate your vision to followers is an essential skill for the transformational leader.

When working with a horse they’ll sense your enthusiasm or lack thereof without you saying a word. Learning how to project positivity will create a more fruitful working relationship and help develop delegates’ ability to encourage teamwork.

4. Idealised Influence

The greatest leaders become role models for those who follow them through a combination of respect and trust.

When working with horses, if respect and trust are not present then you simply won’t be successful. Spending time learning how to engender trust and respect from a horse allows leaders to transfer their abilities when dealing with a workforce.

So if you’d like to develop the essential skills needed to become a truly transformational leader then choose equine training and let horse sense guide you to a more successful leadership style.

Passive Income -- Melaleuca? How does it fit?

You know I love Passive Income and Residual Income, but you might wonder HOW does Melaleuca fit into my business plan.  Let me tell you!

Q: I hear you are a marketing executive with Melaleuca, what is it and why did you decide to be part of it?

Donna: There are many incredible reasons why we chose Melaleuca.  First, their mission — to enhance the lives of those they touch — it is so similar to the mission of Compass Rose Consulting, it just felt like the right fit.  The products is the second reason.  The green or eco sense cleaning products are incredible.  When I was shopping yesterday I noticed that there are whole sections of the store that I don’t even shop in.  I love that we are washing our clothes and cleaning the house, the dishes and us with products that contain NO harsh chemicals and are not dangerous for kids, animals or the environment.  And third, I love that when we shop we are helping to build income for other families not some corporate exec.

Q: When you say that the products are eco sense, what does that mean?

Donna: Well eco sense means that 1. they are concentrated and take less packaging and lower shipping weight, easier to move from place to place.  As a result — there is less plastic going into dumps, less toxic chemicals into the water and earth and I save money because of the concentrated formula.

Q: What do you mean about helping other families?

Donna;  Because Melaleuca is an online buying club — similar to BJ’s Wholesale or Costco, but different because it is based 100% on customer referrals, the program rewards customers for their referrals and helps customers to build wealth.

Q:  I saw that Melaleuca has a Financial Freedom program — what is that?

Donna:  Mealeuca is itself a debt free company.  They have a goal of helping their customers and marketing executives become debt free.  They have resources and planning tools for families to create their debt free plan and pay off all of their debts including their mortgage.  I think it is an incredible program.  We are participating in it and plan to be, not hope to be, debt free — 100% in the next 5 years.

Q: How does Melaleuca fit into your overall business plan?

Donna: Great question, because I have been thinking about that.  As a business coach, I have worked with hundreds of business owners on creating better results in their business.  It is a fun job!  One of the strategies that I have used in my business successfully is incorporating different streams of revenue.  I wanted a stream of income that created long term residual income.  When I looked at Melaleuca I saw a company that had a consumable product and a monthly reorder rate of over 95%.  I saw a company that because of their structure creates growing residual income when customers introduce new customers.  AND , I liked the product, so it is easy to recommend it.

Q: How do you see it fitting into other businesses?

Donna:  As a strategy coach, I see it as an incredible strategy.  For some businesses, I would recommend that they incorporate the cleaning products into their company.  They purchase one of the display banners and have it placed prominently in the front of the store or building to let their customers know that they use non toxic cleaning products to keep the customer healthier.  Then set up a system that makes it easy for people to become a member.

Another strategy is to include information in email marketing — we’re green cleaning!  With a link to your site.

For realtors, it is a perfect gap filler between sales.  I would put together a small home cleaning kit with the new brochure that the Melaleuca has created and give that as the realtor gift for new home sales.  I would include a business card and enrollment for for the client.

For holistic practitioners, I would include use the lotions, for massage therapists, the tea tree oil, create a flyer or brochure on the uses etc.

Each business can easily incorporate an effective strategy for building Melaleuca.

Q: How do you incorporate it?

Donna:  I tell business owners about it, and I also share it with friends and family.  Since we love the products it is easy to share it.

Q: What if someone wanted more info from you?

Donna: It’s easy — they can use the meet with me popup here on this site… or they can visit

http://donnaprice.awugreen.com/

Q: What are some of the other things that you like?

Donna:  I love that I can shop online and have things delivered direct to me.  BUT it goes beyond Melaleuca.  I can shop through Melaleuca at over 600 different retail stores and earn cash back because I shopped through my Melaleuca website.  As online shoppers this was HUGE for us.

I also love that they have Dental and Health programs that I can join at a reduced rate.  We don’t have dental insurance, so this program was great for us.  There are other programs like home security, identity theft and more,  that people can access also.

Q: What is your goal with Melaleuca?

Donna:  It is part of our retirement plan — residual income to live on so that we can retire.  But also, income to give us more time freedom.  As you know, time is our most valuable resource.  Our kids are growing fast and I treasure each moment with them.  By creating additional streams of income I enable both of us to be able to be home more.

Q: Thanks for answering so many questions.  I know that people might have more questions so I encourage them to call you…

Donna:  Definitely, thanks for great questions….

Passive Income Through Membership

Using Membership Sites or Membership Programs to Develop Passive Income (Part 2)

Passive Income Strategies

Membership sites are a great way to create a mainly passive form of income. Once you have your membership site up and running, you just need to keep it updated with fresh content. Setting up a membership site

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Book Publishing — YOUR New Business Card

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Spring Running, Fitness and Wellness | healthy leader

team running

team running

Building a Healthy Team Starts with the Leader

Spring is a great time to increase your fitness.  Fitness is one of the keys in building healthy leaders and healthy teams.  A work team’s health partially depends upon the health of each of its members.  With leaders being the role model for their teams it becomes important for leaders to take health, wellness and fitness seriously.  Model how to fit it into your day, set up ways for your team to fit it into their day and encourage/support healthy lifestyles.

Running is one of those great activities that doesn’t require a lot of time or money.  You can run anywhere.  Running can be done on business trips easily as all you need are a pair of running shoes and running clothes. Hotels often have information about local running routes and even maps.  Running can also easily happen during lunch hours or prior to or after work.  A workplace can create a running team that participates in local races.  The team can do some runs together each week.  What would happen to your team’s productivity if you did a Monday morning training run before the Monday morning staff meeting.  When a team runs together they are building a different type of relationship with their running partners.

Workplace Health Should Be A Leadership Priority

A workplace running team can also raise money for a good cause or different causes for each race.  Now, you have an opportunity for some additional publicity, and outreach to vendors, customers and other staff teams.

If there are team members that aren’t (yet) in shape for running you can start a walking program in conjunction with the running program.  Walking has great benefits for health as well.  Encourage people to start where they are.  Running a 5K or walking a 5K doesn’t just happen.  It takes some training and preparation.  It is one step at a time.  Start with walking a block or two.  Increase it a bit each time and that increase will build more quickly than you think.

I started out this spring running two miles and am now up to 4 easily and 5 a bit more challenging.  I would love to be able to run 7 miles!

Consider how to implement a fitness program this spring into your workplace.  What can you do as a leader to promote health and wellness?  When can it fit into your workplace?  Are there things you can do as a leader to model health, fitness and wellness? Are there things you can use as incentives for participation?

Spring brings with it new energy and is a great time to get your program started!