Simplify: Dig your well before you’re thirsty.

dig your well before thirstySimplify

How would you benefit by knowing, with absolute clarity, who your ideal customers and/or employees are, where they are, how you can reach them and what you need to say to them that sets you apart from your competitors.

Think about this: What would it feel like to have all of these things?
• Less unanticipated problems which will mean less headaches and less stress
• Consistently improving results which will mean consistently improving income and cash flow
• Relationships of trust with every employee, vendor, customer and client.
• Customized Simple Solutions that work for you. Every business and owner is unique.
• Personal 1-on-1 mentoring where you can rely on someone with Competence and Character to help you to ask the right questions, come up with the right solutions, to help you anticipate problems before they happen.

What would your life be like a year from now if you were achieving one of the following:
1. The same results you are now getting but with less time, effort and/or money invested on your part.
Or
2. Better results with the same amount of time, effort and/or money invested on your part.
Or
3. Better results with less time, effort and/or money invested on your part
Or…
4. You might choose to spend more in time, effort and/or money and absolutely DOMINATE your competition.

 The best way to accomplish this is to simplify your business – the principle of simplicity or 80/20.

That is not a simple thing to do nor is it easy and almost impossible to do on your own.

If it were easy, everyone would do it and it’s almost impossible to do from the inside. By that I mean it is very difficult to recognize, diagnose and prescribe solutions for yourself.

Simplification always looks obvious after it’s done…but never before.

It’s almost impossible to re-invent from the inside out, because a fish in water can’t see the water for what it is.

Most (ailing) organizations are not suffering because they cannot resolve their problems but because they cannot see their problems.” – John Gardner

Here are 3 Essential Questions you need answers to when creating a Simple Solution:

  1. Since every business, it’s culture and owner is UNIQUE  you need to ask: How do we treat every problem, person or situation as UNIQUE? Solutions, whether created from scratch or swiped from a “Best Practice” approach, have to be made to Fit the Culture and Structure of each individual organization. Solutions need to be tailored to the uniqueness of the problem, people and situation.
  2. To create the desired solution, what forward-thinking, 3rd alternative and purposeful Information do we need in order to create a future living solution?
  3. How can we think Structurally about the Solution?  In other words, how can we make sure that the solution we come up with fits into the current structure of the business – uses the same language, fits the culture, people, systems, worldview, etc…

The attitude that leads to breakthroughs in your business is: You want to become an expert in the solution rather than the in the problem.

A good business coach or consultant will help you to dig your well before you’re thirsty.    

Contact us right now before the fear of disrupting the status quo sets in.

Let us be what your competitors can’t afford on their own – your virtual marketing department.

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Narrow Vs Broad Way

Narrow Vs Broad WayHave you noticed that it’s always the road less traveled, the Narrow Path (Matthew 7:14) that leads to life?

Everyone chooses a path in life – one is the well-traveled road of the mob which always leads to the ho-hum of mediocrity (and even meanness & tyranny) and the other leads to some form of greatness and meaning.

The path to greatness is a sequential growth from the Inside out.

The narrow way is where you find your true identity, your own “voice” of uniqueness and in doing so you inspire others to find their own “voice”.

Those who take the narrow path to greatness and meaning rise above the mob mentality and CHOOSE to become their own creative force in their lives.

Our power to discover our own Voice lies in the potential of the gifts God gave all of us at birth.  Our birth-Gifts.

We are all born in the image of God our Creator with the aspiration To Live, To Love, To Learn, and To Leave a Legacy

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. ~ Robert Frost.

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Let me tell you what motivates me to help you build a BIZ to sell

Build itWhether exiting or selling your business is even on your mind is not really the question. Plainly, every owner eventually transitions their business. The significant question is: Have you created a business that is attractive and valuable enough that someone else even wants to buy it much less pay you big bucks for it?

Business value doesn’t come from just selling more or increasing revenue, it comes from being able to find, hire and keep the right employees who make decisions as good or better than you would make, it’s about knowing who your ideal target customers are so you can create a marketing strategy and messaging that resonates, stands above the “noise” of the marketplace and gets heard and understood because it is clear, easy to understand, memorable and repeatable.  It’s about having systems that allow your business to run on auto-pilot whether you are there or not. And it’s about Cash-Is-King – having positive cash flow.

Here are some sobering thoughts: [source: Exit Planning Institute]

One: 70-80% of all small businesses are not saleable for the terms and/or timeline the owner wants because it won’t pass the due diligence test. One of those tests is whether the business is dependent upon a single person or a small group of people – lack of systematization. No sophisticated buyer is going to even want to purchase a business like that.

Two: 80 to 90% of an owner’s financial wealth is locked-up in their businesses.

Three: 63% of the business owners indicated they needed the income from the business to support their lifestyle.

Four: 56% of the business owners indicated they needed to harvest the value of their business to support their lifestyle post-transition.

Let me tell you what motivates me to help you build a BIZ to sell.             

I’ve owned and operated a small business for over 35 years and I’ve sold two multi-million-dollar businesses that were sold on timelines and terms I didn’t want.

In 2003 I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and treated at Mayo for 5 years.

During these 5 years, I learned that my cancer was likely caused by my exposure to petrochemicals – a product extremely prevalent in my auto dealership.

I had two young teenage children at the time and I had to make a choice, keep my dealership and risk a reoccurrence of my cancer or sell and live to see my kids graduate and maybe even marry.

I sold it in 2008.  Not the peak economic time to sell.

Then three years ago, my brother got terminal cancer. Before he died, he asked for my help selling his office equipment business.  His dream was to sell for $5.5 million when he decided to sell at retirement.

The problem: He thought he had plenty of time to build his business to thrive without him, after all, he was still in his 50’s.

We ended up selling for a far cry from his desired amount.

Those two lessons motivated me to work with small business owners to build their business to thrive as well without them as with them.

Small to medium-sized businesses are the heart and soul of America.

When I sold my new car/truck dealership, I employed 82 people.

Like you, I never missed a payroll.

And like you, we provided access to great health care for them and their spouse and kids.

Our employees purchased homes, autos, recreational vehicles, groceries, took vacations, and their kids got to go to better schools all because we sold products and services that people wanted and needed.

When businesses like yours succeed (and eventually successfully transition to a new owner) the world becomes a much better place. Not just because of the money, we put back into circulation, but when we run a principle-centered BIZ, we affect the community as a whole.

Together, it’s businesses like yours that build the middle class.

It’s because of what you do, children get to go home tonight to a warm meal and sleep in a warm bed.  And tomorrow they get to wake up and go to a good school.

We don’t want to help you grow your business just because of you alone. We know what you do with your money. We know the legacy you are leaving matters to a whole community by creating jobs that matter and communities of co-workers that are truly meaningful.

Here’s to the success of your marketing and selling messaging, the systems that help your business run on auto-pilot and the empowered workforce that all allows you to focus on the real success of your business and the legacy you leave.

God Bless you and all you do.

If the owner IS the business, it’s worth nothing.
If the owner runs the business, it may be worth something.
If the business is totally independent of the owner and he or she can take 4-week vacations whenever they want, THEN it is worth money
.

P.S. After the execution of our program, you may not want to sell because it will be running so smoothly on virtual auto-pilot generating more cash then you thought possible.

P.S.S. Even if you’re not planning on selling, building your company to Sell It is building a company that is built to own.

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Build Your BIZ to Sell It

Guiding_Principles_safe_image
Even if you’re not planning on selling, building your company to Sell It is building a company that is built to own.

Build your business from the inside out to run independently of you AND in the process, make it valuable enough that someone would be willing to pay you big bucks for it and allow you to sell on a timeline & terms of YOUR choosing. We do this by helping you to identify, focus on and execute the very few Critically important goals that will give you 5, 10, 20 or even 100X’s ROI.

Business owners are SWAMPED, caught in the Whirlwind of the Urgent of their day-to-day activities; always putting out fires, taking on more responsibilities but not having the time, systems, people, or cash flow to handle them. They are so overwhelmed that they no longer have the confidence to know what to say “Yes” to and what to say “No” to. All because they have no True North Compass to guide them.

You are not only risking your business but your emotional well-being, physical health, family, marriage, personal savings, and possibly even your retirement – but you don’t have to. Our “Build Your BIZ from the Inside Out” product will give you back control of your time, your business and ultimately, your life.

You will no longer be confused about what to focus on and fix next, what to say ‘Yes’ to and what to say ‘No’ to. You will learn to identify and execute on the One Thing, that if you do it, everything else is either easier or unnecessary. 

In short, your business will now be working for you instead of you working for it.

A good ROT to remember:

If the owner IS the business, it’s worth nothing.
If the owner runs the business, it may be worth something.
If the business is totally independent of the owner and he or she can take 4-week vacations whenever they want, THEN it is worth money.

Here are some sobering thoughts: [source: Exit Planning Institute].  70-80% of all small businesses are not saleable for the terms and/or timeline the owner wants because it won’t pass the due diligence test.

To pass this test, focus all of your energy, time and resources in 6 Key Areas:

Connect Mission & Guiding Principles:  Most companies have mission statements that no one understands, is confusing and not at all memorable. Because of this, your marketing messaging gets caught up in the noise of the marketplace.

Your systems, your meetings and most critically, your employees are confused about your company’s purpose and this then spills into everything else.  And, if your employees are confused, imagine how your customers must feel.

Fix this confusion and suddenly your marketing is clear, your meetings are more effective, employees are aligned & unified and everyone is in the same boat, rowing in the same direction executing at the highest levels of excellence.

Create Consistent Positive Cash Flow: Positive cash flow gives you the financial cushion – and confidence – to implement changes AND make your BIZ more attractive to future potential buyers because they won’t have to commit funds to working capital.

80/20 Selling & Marketing – through targeting the right audience, isolating your unique offering and helping you clarify your messaging so it is clear, easy to understand and make people want to follow you – your marketing and selling message will stand out amongst the noise of the marketplace and attract the highest quality customers – the 20% that will generate 80% of your results.

Systematization of Key Functions – Identify & isolate your core functions that have the highest impact on your BIZ

Build Your Team: Recruit & Retain Super Star Employees & Managers – the 20% that generates 80%.

  • Build a website recruiting page that recruits the right people 24/7
  • Rewrite job descriptions & job ads

Execute – You will no longer be confused about what to focus on and fix next, what to say ‘Yes’ to and what to say ‘No’ to.  You will learn to identify and execute the One Thing, that if you do it, everything else is either easier or unnecessary.

Most people do too much. Their lives are cluttered with unnecessary stuff and a confusing, burdensome array of choices. They waste themselves responding to the urgent while ignoring the important. They’re busy, but not all that effective. They’re burning calories they don’t need to.

In contrast, highly effective people think differently and are focused and calm. They concentrate on only the most important, and on the one thing that really matters.

So, instead of throwing more effort at whatever situation or problem you face, consider first, what you can discontinue.

The key to getting more with less is more about stopping than starting, it’s about knowing what to quit doing, what to say no to.

Create white space in your schedule, in your mind and in your life as a whole. It’s about emptying your days of those things that don’t justify your time and effort because the return on investment is so poor.

Imagine taking some of this new white space you’ve created by uncluttering your life and investing it in those things that really matter and count the most, work best, and bring the greatest rewards getting you 5,10, 15, 20 or even 100 times improvements.

5 Principles of Execution:

  1. Connect & Communicate Mission & Guiding Principles Execution begins with clear, concise, easy to understand communication. When the message is clear, stakeholders will listen which is the first step to commitment and engagement. When we confuse ‘em, we lose ‘em.
  2. Put First Things First – Focus on the Critically Important First Things – the 5% that generates 95%. Eliminate everything else – create white space.
  3. Act on Lead Measure Activities. Define and Act on the Leveraged action that will enable you to achieve your Critical Goal
  • Predictive:  measures something leading to the goal
  • Influenceable:  something that can be changed
  1. Create a compelling way to measure and track – you cannot manage what you do not measure & track
  2. Create a rhythm of accountability – weekly 20-minute accountability meeting
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Do You Mind If I Show You Why Your Strategy Is Wrong?

Unless you have used the 80/20 Principle to create your strategy I am fairly confident that strategy is badly flawed.

For sure you most certainly have an incomplete and inaccurate view of where you make and lose the most money.

It is almost certain that you are wasting far too much time, effort and resources on the wrong people, products, and/or services and not enough on the right people, products and/or services.

You are focusing on the broad part of the pyramid instead of the narrow one.

To create a highly effective business strategy, you need to take a close look at the different pieces of your business that generate your profits and cash flow.

Unless you are a very small business, you make at least 80% of your profits and cash flow from 20% of your customers, 20% of your employees and 20% of your products and/or services.

The real trick is to identify which 20%.

Where are you making the most money and where are you losing the most?

In order to clearly identify which parts of your business are making very high returns, which are just getting by and which are complete catastrophes, an 80/20 Analysis has to be performed of your people and profit-centers for each of these different categories:

  • by product/service or product/service group
  • by customer or customer group
  • by employee or employee group
  • and possibly by any other category of your business that appears to be relevant that you have pertinent data for; things like competitive market segment, department, geographic area, etc.

80/20 Analysis is a task for a “smart” human. It can’t be outsourced simply to a computer.

Numbers always tell a story, but because every business is unique, the story is many times different for each business.

Just knowing the 20% that generates 80% of your results by product/services, customers and employees, gives you a tremendous advantage over your competitors because we now know what, who and where to focus all of our marketing and selling time, energies and resources.

The real low-hanging strength of 80/20 is showing you where you are losing money.

We tend to think that our business is doing the best it can and that the competitiveness of the market has reached its equilibrium and now we need to win market share by sheer force.

Nothing could be further from the truth or more destructive in thought.

By changing our thinking to 80/20 we begin to transform the way we do business at every entry-point, every segment, category and every level.

We begin to eliminate waste. Our inventory costs go down, which improves cash flow.

We need fewer employees because the employee we now have generate more and better results with far less management on our part and you can afford to reward them better thus creating a culture where people actually look at their jobs as a career.

We watch our customer loyalty increase, the frequency of purchases increases and because we are catering to the 20%, when they do purchase, the ticket sale is much higher thus the profit and cash flow increases.

80/20 is Your Guide to Developing Your Business into an Innovative Animal.

The 80/20 Principle is of enormous value in identifying the next big innovative leaps forward for your business.

80/20 is all about simplifying your life.  Getting more and better results with less – less time, less effort, less customers, less inventory, etc. etc.

The 80/20 Principle suggests you turn your business upside down and concentrate all of your time, effort and resources on multiplying the small but Wildly Important Parts [WIP’s] to your strategy.

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The Exponential Effect of Combining 8020 Online and Offline Marketing

 

Adding 8020 online marketing and selling to your brick & mortar business has to simply be a part of any marketing and sales process.

Regardless of the business, making sales and providing real service are two of the most vital measurements of any 8020 business.

Yet, the vast majority of small business owners don’t adequately use their online presence (website, social media, Email marketing) to complement and enhance their offline marketing and sales process.

Implementing 8020 online business strategies and tactics is fun, highly leveraged and can be outrageously profitable.

In fact, adding 8020 online sales and marketing strategies, systems and tactics to your brick and mortar business is probably the easiest way to increase your cash flow fast without the aid of a mask and a gun.

Best of all, it is moral, ethical and the easiest way to ensure you never break the laws of God or man.

8020 online marketing helps and serves your prospects and customers while adding extra profits and cash to your bank account while at the same time bringing stability to your business.

Too many small business owners make the mistake of thinking they can make a fortune in their brick and mortar business selling products and services without integrating solid 8020 online marketing methods.

When you combine various elements of 8020 online and offline marketing and sales into your prospecting, sales, and follow-up process the potential to increase your profits and cash flow grows exponentially.

And that can be multiplied by increasing the amount of money each customer spends every time they purchase and increases the likelihood of them referring like-minded new prospects.

There are 3 main ways to increase sales and profits in any business:

  1. Acquire more new customers to buy from you.
  2. Increase the amount of money your customers spend each time they buy from you.
  3. Get your customers to buy from you more often.

Most businesses, small and large, spend the majority of their time, effort and money focused on number 1:  getting more customers.

But by implementing 8020 sales and marketing there is far more money to be made with far less time, effort and expense by focusing on numbers 2 & 3: increasing the amount of money your customers spend and getting them to buy more often.

Also, which I’ll share with you at a later time, when you really take time to build trusting relationships with the 20% that generate 80% of your sales, profits and cash flow, through education and exceptional service, you build a steady stream of high quality 8020 referrals.

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8020 for the next $1,000,000

Implement the 8020 principle to expand and grow your business.

The things I have discovered in talking to small business owners is that to get to that first $1,000,000 takes passion, drive, and talent on the part of the owner who almost literally has carried the business on his or her back to that first million-dollar stage.

To expand and grow to the next level of $2,000,000 and beyond now requires the help of others and focusing on the right people and activities. The 20% that generates 80%.

It requires collaboration and the implementation of what Proverbs 15:22 identifies as “the counsel and advice of others.”

There’s a very relevant axiom that says, what you have to do in this world can seldom, if ever, get done without collaboration.

Once the lone ranger entrepreneur has reached this magic $1,ooo,ooo mark, they are typically performing an “ungodly” number of $10, or even the $100 tasks versus the $1,000 to $10,000 tasks of an 80/20 business owner.

To break out of this $1,000,000 earning stage, you will have to spend more time in the nexus of your talent and passion. That is the 20% of the activities and people that produce 4x’s, 16x’s and even 100x’s more results.

According to a study done by Infusionsoft, there are 5 stages to small business. I’m going to address two of them, stages 3 and 4.

Stage 3 is where you have grown your business from around $300,000 to the $1,000,000 level.

The hurdles you needed to overcome to get to that first million are marketing and customer service.

In other words, generating customers, and providing excellent service so as to create customer loyalty.

Doubling your business to the next million or stage 4, now requires not only focusing on the marketing and service issues but two additional hurdles – Finding, hiring, & keeping the right employees and creating the right systems and processes to keep it all running smoothly.

The first critical area is to find, hire and keep only the “right” employees.

These are the ones who generate 4, 16, and in some cases even 100x’s more and better results than your average employees and generally they have higher integrity, are more reliable, have a positive attitude, fit well into your culture and typically require little to no micro-managing on your part.

Your second area is to have a “bucket” that is overflowing with leads and opportunities made up of the “right” customers – the 20% that generate 80% or more of your revenue, profits and cash flow.

Let’s say you have 1,000 customers generating an annual average revenue stream of $1,000 each.  The 80/20 Principle states that 200 of those customers are generating in the area of $800,000 and the other 800 customers generate the other $200,000 and to make matters worse, you are likely actually losing money on a small percentage of those 800.

We all instinctively understand that not all customers are equal, but only a rare few business owners have really put a pencil to it and determined who those customers are and what their true Lifetime Value is.

These 200 customers deserve and require a different level of service and communication than the other 800.

This is not to suggest you lower your level of service to the 800 but rather start paying more attention to the 20% that are generating 80%.

When you do that effectively, that 200 can easily double, through referrals, organic word-of-mouth and replication by proactively targeting others who are like them.

Now instead of having 200 customers generating $800,000, you have somewhere in the area of 400 generating $1.5 million or more.

When understood properly, 80/20 is as much about disqualifying as it is about qualifying.

The 80/20 Principle states that you have customers, products, and services that need to be “fired” because the ROI is negative.

 Thirdly, the ultimate objective is to grow your business to the next stage in less time and effort then it took you to get to your first $1,000,000 and accomplish it while maintaining or better yet, increasing your gross and net profit margins and making sure your cash flow remains consistent and positive.

Finally, for those who are just beginning to think about an Exit Strategy, how much more valuable would your business be and how much easier would it be to find the ideal buyer, when you are getting better results with less time effort and money invested?

There is no better Exit Strategy than to implement 80/20 strategies and tactics in these four areas of your business.

Once implemented you may decide you really don’t want to sell after all because you are now getting better results with less time and effort invested.

Who do you know needs help to implement the 8020  Principle into their business?

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Be The Best Employer In Town: Hire Eagles

Be The Best Employer In Town:   To find, hire and keep only the best there is a five step process to follow. [similar to the pattern we follow to help you find, get and keep only the best customers]

  1. Be the kind of person/business top performers want to be associated with.
  2. Know your Market– Know who your target audience is. What do the best people look like?
  3. Create your Message– What is your unique story? What makes you appealing to the best people?
  4. Choose your Media– Where do these top performers hang out? Where is the best place to reach them?
  5. Keep them.

First: Be the kind of person that others want to follow and associate with.

  • Be likable
  • Be trustworthy
  • Be competent

SecondWho is your target audience? What do your best people look like right now? Where do they come from? Where do they get their information from? What is their worldview? – our decision-making, and theirs, is influenced by the way we think. What are their goals and values and how can we contribute? What are some objections to working with you? Why would someone choose NOT to work for you? [Note: this is not an exhaustive list]

Third: Once you have a good picture or profile of what your best people look like, then create the message. What makes you unique? What are the benefits, for this target audience, of working with you? What do they want to hear that is true of you?

Fourth: Once you know these things, Where do they hang out? Where do they go to get their information? You can now determine the best media to use to reach them.

To market and sell your business as the place they want to be employed, the very first thing you must do is get clear on who your ideal employee is, where they are hanging out, what their challenges are, etc…Every marketing piece must know what your ideal employees and potential employees “hot buttons” are-what’s important and/or relevant to them. Once you find who your target audience truly is then you can know what those hot buttons are.

Never forget the following marketing principle:                                        You are better off running a weak ad to the right audience than you are running a strong ad to the wrong audience.

Fifth: Keep them.

  • Be more like a coach than a manager.
  • Provide them with opportunities to be rewarded appropriately.
  • Lead by principles not rules. Every rule has an exception, principles do not.
  • Be an effective communicator.

Cultivate and model these 9 Habits of Emotional Bank Account deposits as taught by Stephen Covey to build strong meaningful relationships and set the example of the way you want your staff to treat others:

  1. Seek 1st to Understand…listen with the intent to understand rather than simply to respond.
  2. Keep your Promises.
  3. Act with Kindness & Courtesy.
  4. Clarify Expectations (make sure everyone fully understands including yourself). Almost all conflicts are a result of “violated expectations.”
  5. Be Loyal to the Absent (never talk badly about anyone behind their back)
  6. Apologize when Wrong (it takes a Big person to admit when wrong)
  7. Accept Responsibility (don’t blame anyone else)
  8. Be Open to Feedback (be willing to listen to criticism; Correction does not mean rejection)
  9. Take time between the Stimulus and the Response so that you can Exercise your Freedom to Choose Responsibly.

Good results come from good people.  To gain more influence, identify the similarities within your target audience and work from there.

If you want to be able to attract, hire and keep Eagles, the best people, then be the best employer in town and ALWAYS BE RECRUITING – 365 days a year!

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Hire Eagles: 5 Steps to Find, Hire and Keep Only the Best People – the 20% that Generates 80% of Your Results

Hire Only Eagles – 5 Steps to Find, Hire and Keep Only the Best People – the 20% that Generates 80% of Your Results Part One:

In his book “A Little Bit At A Time”, Russell Wright showed that this concept was introduced as early as 1911 by an author named Frederick Taylor who wrote a book titled “The Principles of Scientific Management” where he state four principles.

Here they are paraphrased a bit:

  • Get and Keep the Right People
  • Make clear what needs to be done.
  • Make appropriate training, resources and support available.
  • Remove the obstacles from their path and let them do what needs to be done.

In his book “Good to Great”, autghor Jim Collins found a similar thing with all Great companies:

1st: It starts with having the right leader/leadership skills.

2nd: They then got the “right” people on the “bus” and just as importantly, they got the wrong ones off.

3rd: They had the ability to be honest about current reality.

4th: They kept it simple by adhering to the 80/20 Principle.

5th: They created a culture of discipline.

6th: They understood the concepts of the Principle of Compounding. A little bit at at time, all the time, has the greatest chance of success.

Then in the 1950’s W. Edward Demings and J.M. Juran, American consultants, were invited to Japan to help them rebuild their economy.

It must be noted that American industrialists dismissed their ideas. I’m sure Deming and Juran would have preferred to stay home and help American industry take it to the next level.

This is the Acres of Diamonds syndrome or as Jesus stated “But I tell you the truth, no prophet is accepted in his own hometown” – Luke 4:24

For whatever reason, we tend to look outside our own backyard for answers.

I’m telling you, you have everything you need to get everything you want already available to you.

To find, hire and keep only the best there is a five step process to follow. [similar to the pattern we follow to help you find, get and keep only the best customers]

  1. Be the best employer in town.  Be the kind of person/business top performers want to be associated with. 
  2. Know your Market– Know who your target audience is. What do the best people look like?
  3. Create your Message– What is your unique story? What makes you appealing to the best people?
  4. Choose your Media– Where do these top performers hang out? Where is the best place to reach them?
  5. Keep them.

In Part Two I will go into more detail as a precursor to my upcoming book of the same title.

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7 Biblical Characteristics of Principle-Centered Leaders

The Law of the Farm is the guiding principle of Principle Centered Leaders

Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  2 Corinthians 9:6

  1. They are Constantly Learning. “Principle centered people are constantly educated by their experiences. They read, they seek training, they take classes, they listen to others. They are curious, always asking questions. They continually expand their competence, their ability to do things. They discover that the more they know, the more they don’t know; Most of this learning and growth is self-initiated.” ~Stephen Covey

They live by the Rule-of-Success: Constant Improvement. Be Better today than yesterday. They work at improving at least one dimension of their life every day. Far too many people reach a certain point in their lives where they stop learning and thus stop improving. There are many people who have 20 or 30 years in a certain profession but in terms of expertise really only have one years experience 20 or 30 times. In other words they stopped learning and improving at their profession after the 1st years experience and for the next 20 –30 years just kept repeating that same experience over and over again.

“Intelligent people are always open to new ideas. In fact they look for them. – Proverbs 18:15 NLT

“Formal education will get you a job; self-education will make you rich.” ~ Jim Rohn

  1. They have a Servitude Heart.Every day they look at their life as a “mission” – what can I do to improve the lives of those around me. They understand that in order to get what they want in life, they have to help others get what they want.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility, consider others better than yourself. Each of you should look after not only your own interests but also the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 2:3-5 NIV

  1. They Radiate Positive Energy. They are generally cheerful, pleasant, and happy with their lives; their attitudes are optimistic, positive and upbeat. They look to create rather than tear-down. Their spirit is enthusiastic, hopeful and believing. Their general attitude is “there is a solution to every problem.”

“Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. – Philippians 4:8b NLT

  1. They Believe in Others. “Principle-Centered people don’t overreact to negative behaviors, criticism or human weaknesses.”

Because Principle-centered leaders are also Biblical-centered they understand that every human was created with unique talents. Just as every part of the body has its own unique function, so does the greater body of God’s creation – humans; who each have their own unique skills and talents and when we work Interdependently together we can accomplish SO MUCH more than we can independently or divided.

“God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well.” –Romans 12:6a NLT

  1. They Lead Balanced Lives. “They read voraciously and keep up with current affairs and events. They are active intellectually, having many interests. They read, watch and learn. And have a healthy sense of humor.”

They are self-aware, authentic and self-honest; they have a clear understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. What motivates them and demotivates them so that they can better control their environment and thus results.

They recognize that there are ABSOLUTES and condemn the bad and champion the good.

They know how to make decisions and just as importantly, they know how to live with the decisions they have made.

They are not extremists and do not back themselves into a corner by making everything – all or nothing.

They have no need to manipulate through either intimidation or self-pitying martyrdom.

“There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under heaven:  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to harvest; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to turn away; a time to search and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to throw away; a time to tear and a time to mend; a time to be quiet and a time to speak up; a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace.” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NIV

  1. They are Intrinsically Motivated.Because they are intrinsically motivated their security comes from within instead of from without. Their true security comes from their initiative, resourcefulness, creativity and natural intelligence (from God their Creator).

They take no man as an IDOL – no one is “Bigger-than-Life” thus they resist become any person’s disciple. One of their fixed Principles is Flexibility. They truly lead an abundant life.

Servants, respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye to obeying the real master – Christ. Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind  that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God. Good work will get you good pay from the master, regardless of whether you are a slave or free. Ephesians 6: 5-8 NLT

  1. They are Synergistic. Because they understand the Natural Laws of God (Principles) they are “change catalysts”; they improve almost every situation they encounter. They are “Diligent” – they work hard AND smart.

They have traversed the “Maturity Continuum” from the lowest level of : Dependency (lowest level of infant, children, adolescent stage)– to – Independency – to – Interdependcy (the Highest level of the truly MATURE) to be able to skip compromise and arrive right at a Synergistic Solution that is stronger and better.

Read All of Ephesians 4 to give you a real sense of Interdependcy but Ephesians 4:4 alone sums it up. “We are all parts of one body, we have the same Spirit, and we have all been called to the same glorious future.” TLB

The Law of the Farm is their guiding principle.

Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  2 Corinthians 9:6

Two great experts on this are Stephen Covey in Principle Centered Leadership and John MacArthur, “The Book on Leadership”.

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