The Leadership Difference

“Your most precious possession is not your financial assets.  Your most precious possession is the people you have working there, and what they carry around in their heads, and their ability to work together,”

Robert Reich (b.1946), economist and politician


How much of your time as a leader is spent refereeing relationships at work. You know what we’re talking about. There’s the person always stirring the chili and working office politics, the prima Dona who demands special care, the eager beaver who’s into everybody’s business but his own and of course the lawsuit waiting to happen that you want to fire but are afraid to. If you could find a way to not only end the negative interaction of your staff but actually get them to open up and cooperate with each other and sincerely care about their work mates, how much more productive would the organization be? Training in improving employment relationships may just be the answer.

1. The role of a relationships trainer

While there are certain common characteristics in every relationship the dynamics between two people much less an entire staff will vary greatly. The role of the trainer is to first observe the relationships, understand them and then facilitate transformation into a more cooperative and inclusive culture. This process is a top down operation and the success depends on leadership’s ability to understand their personal relationships.

2. Understand yourself first

Believe it or not but how you relate to colleagues at work is based largely on what you learned as a kid growing up. The relationships you learned from your family regarding authority, territory, cooperation, reward and punishment are the foundation for the relationships you have as an adult. So at the heart of it, managers tend to have the same relationship with their employees as a parent does with his or her children and this can stifle creativity and encourage resentment of authority (you). Understanding and identifying these relationship traits in yourself is the first step in creating a more productive working environment for all.

3. Knock down the silos

Effective training in employment relations will encourage employees to become less territorial and more cooperative. The “job” will become the success of the organization rather than accomplishing the tasks of their individual “silos” where currently they resent any intrusion even if the intrusion improves the task.

4. Encourage collaborative effort

The old saying two heads are better than one is often correct. However if both those heads are vying for recognition and reward any benefit that they might have had working together disappears. Encouraging and rewarding collaborative effort is an important part of developing a more productive work force.

 5. Encourage creativity

Allow your employees to challenge the status quo. Encourage people to look at processes and challenges with new eyes and develop new creative solutions. Don’t confine them to solving issues only in their immediate area of responsibility, allow them to tackle the issues raised in other functions as a result of interacting with their work product.

6. Strive to be one person

Most of us believe we have two lives, a work life and a home life. As a result, we often take on different personalities and relationship standards based on where we are. A manager/leader can be a loving, caring spouse and parent at home but feels he or she has to take a different relationship stance at work. Think about it for a minute. As a spouse you’re a partner and as a parent you’re a leader. Why would you change your style simply because you are at work? Try to be the one person that you really are.

 7. The end game – increase the bottom line

Don’t confuse all the items in this list as just exercises in feeling good about yourself and your employees. The whole purpose of improving relationships at work is to improve the overall productivity which in turn drives profits to the bottom line. If implemented correctly, you will inject a new enthusiasm, a new energy and a new willingness to succeed on the part of your staff. Less time will be spent “dealing” with relationships and more time will be spent accomplishing a common goal.

Employee relations can make or break an organization depending on how management perceives them. Training in understanding relationships in the workplace can have an amazingly positive effect on both profitability and sustainability.


For the Love of Staff

Offering employee benefits provides many paybacks to your business. Number one is staff retention. An attractive employee benefit package will help recruit good employees and retain them as well. In addition, staff retention helps reduced turnover.

8 Uncommon Employee Benefits

Employee benefits will have different levels of value depending on staff age, sex, and other factors. Talk to your staff to determine which benefits are most rewarding.


1. Direct Deposit: Provide your staff with the option of having their checks directly deposited into their bank account at any bank or credit union that is a member of the Automated Clearing House (ACH). Direct deposit will save time and clear the funds faster.

2. Wellness Program: With the rising costs of health care, both employers and employees can take responsibility for the health system by participating in a wellness plan. Any form of fitness programs, smoking cessation, and stress reduction can improve employee absenteeism and overall productivity.

3. Company Discounts: An overlooked employee benefit to staff is the chance to buy company products or services at discount. Even if it’s only one major item or an employee purchase day, your staff will appreciate this benefit.

4. Parking Privileges: Depending on employee commuting needs, parking privileges can cover payment of a monthly city transit pass or paying an amount of pre-tax payroll dollars for vehicle parking.

5. Business Cards & Title: Business cards with an employees name and title will offer an emotional appeal to staff. It may seem trivial, but your staff will enjoy the level of professionalism and pride that comes from having a business card.

6. Computer Loan Interest Free: Many employees will value the ability to buy a computer interest-free. Determine a limit of the dollar value of the computer on the plan. Set up an automatic payroll deduction. Make sure a formal agreement is signed in case the employee leaves the company.

7. Community Hours: Offer your employees a limit of regular pay hours in community service time. If a staff member wants to be involved in a volunteer event, have the company pick up the tab. You will win the hearts of the staff and community.

8. Education Plan: There is no doubt today’s work force requires lifelong learning to keep pace with the changing demands of employment. Your small company may not be able to pay the tuition costs of an MBA program but some community college course reimbursement is affordable.

In developing your employee benefits program, compare your benefit package to competitors and solicit staff feedback. The best benefits are the ones desired by the workforce and are competitive in the marketplace.


Embrace 2014

 Well 2013 is over ….its time to embrace 2014.  We wanted to share with you SIX points  to reflect and review as the New Year begins by one of the worlds greatest motivators Tony Robbins 


#1 Know Your Purpose

In your day-to-day sales world, you MUST have a sense of meaning. Walking into the office, grabbing a coffee, checking your email, and taking your day “on the fly” is just not gonna get it done. When you’re at the office every day you have got to know what you’re going to get done that day. Knowing your purpose will make the biggest impact you can imagine.

# 2 Give positive meaning to everything

The sales rep’s life is all about risks. The more you take the more you win (and lose). It’s how you respond to the losses that makes you special. Keeping a positive attitude, regardless of the issue, will keep your head in the game and ready for the next opportunity.

#3 Realize that everything you do has a consequence

A sales rep’s interactions with customers can either be positive or negative. There’s no neutral in sales. Every action you take matters. It’s not just about being on your best behavior, it’s about knowing your strengths and lining them up to reach your desired outcome.

#4 Know that everyone is unique, different, and amazing

Sales is a competitive world where people put themselves on the line every day. They often get shot down. Looking at the world through the lens that everyone has meaning will positively affect every facet of your performance. Don’t get deflated when buyers and competitors don’t behave like you want.

#5 Be driven by your desire for adventure

What drives you? Your past? Your competitors? Or even your fears? Or are you focused on your successes – on solving the next client problem and taking the next step for your company? It’s important to know what moves us and makes us do what we do.

#6 Expect the unexpected

What are you going to do when something unexpected happens in sales? By the way, something crazy always happens in sales. Why do you think we’re always the storytelling life of the party? When any situation arises, it’s important to respond with the right action that helps you solve a customer problem and take the next step.

Tony has coached presidents, celebrities and olympic athletes to perform at their top of their game. Putting the secrets above into action will improve your performance too. The mark of a great leader is one who is highly coachable. So let these ideas guide you to higher commissions, happier clients, and ultimate satisfaction.

Power Up – Your Team!

 Power Up – Your Team! Business owners and managers especially today are sometimes frustrated when it comes to evaluating sales results – one might say selling is tough, tough on the ego, tough on the energy level, tough to see consistent results.


It’s critical to identify what excites your “Sales Talent” maybe its cash, paid time off, peer recognition or just the love of the sale. I know there is one unifying quality to all successful sales stars “they want to win”

Today more than ever we need to find ways not only to design effective incentives but also effective leadership to support and motivate sales team to perform consistently.  Leaders need to respond effectively not just by offering incentive to anyone who can hit their goal for the week, or by bellowing from the centre of the sales floor, “Come on team…you can do it!  To consistently and authentically keep your team motivated leaders need to “get front and centre” to what truly can make or break the difference in seeing consistent results. Continue reading ‘Power Up – Your Team!’

Psychological Profiles of the Dream Team: The Giver


I wanted to share an article that is helpful for those seeking top sales talent. Software Advice collaborated with a workforce psychologist to profile personalities of the top performers in their company. I wanted to share their profile of The Champ that outlines what they learned about the ultimate sales performer: their motivations, skills and challenges. This is one of the profiles in the Psychological Profiles of the Dream Team series that can help you identify the personalities of your own top performers so that you can make sure they are in the role best suited for their personality and hire more of them.


The Champ is the quintessential high-performing salesperson. Are you a Champ? Read the full profile here. Need help finding top sales talent? We can help you find a sales pro.

When you run a business, you tend to learn a lot about people.

 Different things make different people tick—and if you’ve got a really great staff, it’s probably made up of a lot of different kinds of people. Over time, I’ve learned to identify some of the distinct psychological profiles of members of my staff, and have picked up on their key characteristics, what drives them and what challenges they face.

I thought I’d share these insights in a series of posts so that you, too, can not only understand your employees better, but can build your own workplace “Dream Team” lineup: a staff of well-balanced personalities, placed in the roles they’re best suited for. In this post, I’ll talk about the psychological profile of the “Giver.”

This series took a fair bit of work. Our Managing Editor, Holly Regan, did a lot of the research and heavy lifting to get these published, while Austin-area psychiatrist Dr. James Maynard contributed his clinical expertise to helping us better understand our team. A big thank-you to both of them. Continue reading ‘Psychological Profiles of the Dream Team: The Giver’

Sales Performance: is your Team Measuring Up ?

 Sales Performance: Is Your Team Measuring Up? 

An effective sales team is fundamental for success in business. Building one requires investment  first to find and hire sales talent that is the best fit for the company’s market, products and culture, and then to provide those individuals with the knowledge, collaborative capabilities and access to expertise and tools they need to excel.  In this article we are going to review three key areas that effect performance:



Effective Sales Methodology and Process
Sales Talent Acquisition and Retention
Sales Tools & Adoption


Effective Sales Methodology and process

There is good news and there is bad news. The good news is that a sales methodology can dramatically increase the sales effectiveness of your entire sales organization, significantly increasing your sales revenue. The bad news is that not all sales methodology solutions are implemented well. Although you may have a sales process defined the challenge how effective is it? Continue reading ‘Sales Performance: is your Team Measuring Up ?’

Sales Success …Critical behaviours neccessary


Critical Behaviours Necessary To Land A Top Sales Role

Evidence suggests your personality and behaviour play a critical role in determining your ability to perform at the top.  To persuade, convince, or direct others is in its truest sense SELLING…I would also say that everyone has the innate ability to sell. To become a SALES STAR however is much more than that.

Let’s look at some behaviours and qualities that determine high performance;

1)     Modesty – successful sales people are not pushy or egotistical top sales people have a high degree of modesty and humidity.

2)     Conscientiousness – top Sales people have a high level of conscientious behaviour, a strong sense of duty and responsibility and reliability. Taking their sales positions very seriously and accountable for results.

3)     Achievement  Centred –Top performers are fixated on achieving goals and continual measure performance Continue reading ‘Sales Success …Critical behaviours neccessary’

How do you know the candidate has the “Right Stuff” ?

How do you know the candidates has the “right stuff”?

 •Attitude         •Motivation              •Emotional Intelligence     •Coach-ability                •Technical Competence

A Study (reported in Fortune and Forbes) found that 26% of new hires fail because they can’t accept feedback, 23% because they’re unable to understand and manage emotions, 17% because they lack the necessary motivation to excel, 15% because they do not have the temperament for the job, and only 11% because they lack the necessary technical skills.

So contrary to popular belief, technical skills are not the primary reason why new hires fail; instead poor interpersonal skills dominate the list.  A study conducted by the Author of “Hiring for Attitude” noted that 46% of new hires fail the first 18 months and 89% of new hires fail because of attitude! Continue reading ‘How do you know the candidate has the “Right Stuff” ?’

Your Full Potential – 12 Powerful Questions


Questions to reflect on Weekly…

1. What did I learn last week? - Sharpen Your Skills..  No matter how effective you are in sales, you should learn something new every week (if not every day). No matter how  talented you are’
2. What was my greatest accomplishment over the past week? - Reflecting on your accomplishments is a great way to identify what is working well along with a  powerful way to raise your self-confidence.

3. What’s the #1 thing I need to accomplish this week? - Focusing on your number one priority before the week starts helps you stay on track with your objective all week long.
4. What can I do right now to make the week less stressful? - Identify your priorities and don’t get side tracked! Set reminders in your calendar. …Organize Yourself. Continue reading ‘Your Full Potential – 12 Powerful Questions’

The Heart of the Matter…

Brian Tracy; is Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations. He is the top-selling author of more than 45 books that have been translated into dozens of languages. Brian has been one of my mentors for the past 20 years and those of you who enjoy being inspired and motivated will enjoy Brain Tracy’s Book “FULL ENGAGEMENT”. The following article is taken from a brief summary from his latest book.

Welcome to the new world of business!

We have gone through a watershed in business activities and operations since 2008 and things will never be the same again. What you are dealing with today is the “new normal.” The good old days are gone forever.

Because of shrinking markets, increased competition, demanding customers and a never-ending shortage of highly qualified, productive people, you will have to do more with less, and get better results from limited resources, more than ever before.

As a manager at any level, you are essentially the operator of your own personal business unit. You have revenues and expenses, inputs and outputs, production and – loss statement reflects your ability to combine people and resources to get results especially financial results that are in excess, and, ideally, greatly in excess, of their total costs. Continue reading ‘The Heart of the Matter…’