Category Archives: Team Performance

The One Week Business Reboot Plan

Business landscapes can change in a heartbeat.  Momentum shifts. Your business plan is worthless if you  cannot implement it!

Is it time to execute your “reboot plan”?

In this quick, hard-hitting episode, I share a valuable lesson passed along to me from a colleague who used this very idea to fuel his business for over two decades.

To field test it, I gave this a shot for one week…with such amazing results, I am doing it again….FROM NOW ON!

In under 15 minutes, learn two specific tactics you can implement right away to (re)boot your business and move the needle forward RIGHT NOW toward that big, ol’ audacious goal you set for this year/quarter/month/week….

This might just be the most profitable episode of the year….and it’s only February!

Leave your thoughts below.  Test it out and let us know how it worked and what you learned about your business!

How To Build The Life You Really Want and The Steps Toward Success You Must Take Today! (Ep 24)

Building on the momentum of recent weeks, in Episode 24, host Scott Cooksey shares how 2016 is off and running with intention and purpose.

Sharing how he practices what he suggests on the show, Cooksey reveals his “ONE BIG GOAL” for this year, shares what he is doing differently to achieve it, and why making time for your family and loved ones is important NOW….while you are building the life and business you really want!

One important fact to remember is that “nobody is responsible for your success but you” and further more, it is not anyone else’s responsibility to make sure YOU get what YOU want.

The only question that remains is: What will you DO about it?

The simple questions and steps you need to take are all included in this podcast episode. Just remember that you don’t have to be perfect right away, but you MUST move the needle in the right direction.

Share YOUR “Big Goal” for 2016 in the show notes at www.IdeaCharger.com/Episode24 and if you haven’t listened to Episodes 21-23, and you’re at the point of wanting to (re)gain control of your own life and business, this would be a great time to give these lessons a listen.

Join us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/successchargerpodcast

Follow us online and learn about how Scott Cooksey and the Idea Charger team can work with you or your team to generate real results in your business today at www.IdeaCharger.com

How to Fix Customer Service in One Step – A United Airlines Disaster Story

Welcome to 2016!  Following a little downtime with family over the Christmas and New Year’s break, I didn’t originally plan to release an episode this week, but alas….I was completely inspired by the blatant lack of great customer service from a major airline during my travels.

Let me be clear.

I have had some WONDERFUL customer service experiences from a number of travel and related service industries.  Everything from the unexpected free rental car in Little Rock from National Car Rental (I’m just glad they didn’t call the police because the SUV I was driving was technically “missing”) to the presidential suite upgrade at the Marriott in south Texas (the only perk of checking in after midnight followed by an early departure later that morning) to the exceptional on-board service from Judy McClure (of then Continental Express airline).

Here is my ORIGINAL POST about Judy.
Here is the FOLLOW UP…three years later (Yep….Judy did it AGAIN!)

This holiday, however, even in the midst of multiple social media posts (one including my preschool daughter asleep on the floor next to her tablet…exhausted from the delay – and THAT was JUST TO DROP OUR BAGS BEFORE SECURITY!) despite the remarkably executed actions of a few (and I stress FEW) employees,  United Airlines simply flat-lined on customer service overall making it easy to bid farewell to 2015.

You are not responsible for HOW your customers wind up at your doorstep or WHAT HAPPENED to them before you arrived, but YOUR RESPONSE WILL DETERMINE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT.  There is only one word you need to master: EMPATHY.

[This podcast includes a live recording FROM THE AIRPORT with all the details of a horrible experience….at this posting I am STILL WAITING for United Airlines to take me up on the offer to meet with them at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport. [I made the offer to United via the “what else do you want us to know about your experience on December 28th, 2015” question of their annoying post-flight survey – I even provided my cell phone number, email address and offered to drive 22 miles to the airport to meet with them to explain….Hey, at this point, I’ll even offer them ONE FREE TRAINING SESSION if they’d invite me to meet with a group of their supervisors and/or airport reps.]

Have a travel nightmare (or awesome customer service save) story of your own?  Share it below in the comment section!

Ep 20 – Why You Should Never Set Goals

Stop Setting Goals

If you have been in business for very long, then you most certainly have experienced the typical “next year, our goal is to do more!” Or, “this year, our goal will be $X million dollars in sales!” [A number seemingly pulled out of thin air, or worse…a number simply a percentage greater than last year’s total.]  This is precisely the reason you should never set goals.  Let me explain.

“More” is not a strategy!

There is no creativity in goal setting today.  Too often, what often gets construed as strategic planning, is not much more than wishful thinking.  In short, people are lazy.

insanity- Taking the same action over-and-over again, each time expecting a different result.

Unhappy with the fact that the company’s sales results were essentially flat for a number of years, a company president shared with me once that “he wanted more”.  Isn’t that exactly what conventional wisdom says a company president should say? In fact, it is exactly what that same company president had said in each of the previous five or six years…each time with the same result- roughly the same amount of sales as the year(s) before.  Are you surprised?

Activity Alleviates Anxiety

Filled with desire to achieve a new result, do you ever feel paralyzed & uncertain what to do?  Research indicates that learning occurs in four stages (Read:  Unconscious Competence- A Lesson From Sesame Street). To first learn a new skill, or achieve a new result, one must first take a new action to discover that you likely don’t know what you don’t know- and you need awareness to turn that newly discovered knowledge into action from which you can learn.  Once you took that first step, did the outcome bring you closer to or farther from your desired result?  Adjust. Try again.  It certainly beats the analysis paralysis which prevents so many people from experiencing a change in the outcome of their efforts.  Do something, even if it is wrong!

Where SHOULD You Focus?

target-2To achieve big results, you must have a vision.  To have a vision, you must allow yourself to detach from your past failures and engage with an image of what your new success looks or feels like.  Go ahead.  Get a vivid picture of success.  What would be different if you achieved success? How would it look? Feel? Smell?  What would people notice most about you?

Now, before you get overwhelmed with the natural feelings of “but I don’t know how to get there”, simply bask in that vision for a few minutes. Hey, take an hour!

Welcome back! Feels good, doesn’t it? Now, write down a list of new actions (short term) that would lead you closer to that vision becoming your reality.  Want a new job? Apply for a new one every day for a month. Want to lose those extra pounds you gained over the holidays…four years ago?  Decide to go for  a walk for 30 minutes every day.

Recent, widely-quoted research seems to suggest that mastery of a skill occurs once you have exercised that skill for 10,000 hours.  Becoming an “expert” is a  lofty goal. [For those counting at home that is spending 12 hours a day, every day, for 27 months; or by spending 30 minutes a day for nearly 55 years-if you have that kind of time.]  No matter your level of commitment each day, proficiency in any skill only comes from experience.  There are no shortcuts!

Focus on building new behaviors.  Experiment with new behaviors and identify the correlation with your vision. As you take more and more deliberate action in the correct direction, that vision will begin to come into focus.  Celebrate the small victories.  Track your progress toward the greater desired result.  Just don’t gauge how well you are doing with a pass/fail mentality.  Focus on moving yourself in the right direction.  The big, satisfying goal will just seem to “happen”.

ACTION:  Share a big goal publicly with others as a motivator to keep yourself accountable.  Take a minute and describe your big vision below.  Even if nobody reaches out to you to check your progress, YOU will remember it was posted here and the discomfort of complacency will encourage you to take action each day.

Ep 19 – How To Beat Your Goals Every Time

 

Set goals.  Make resolutions.  Change.  Do something different.  Each of these concepts have a common thread.  They are all about altering behavior and establishing expecations.  Remember, I don’t think goal setting works (well, sort of…).

Perspective

Recently, the following quote was shared with me, and it sparked a conversation which got me thinking.

@LeadershipBEST: The best way to see Faith is to shut the eye of Reason ~ Benjamin Franklin

conversationWhen I read this, I immediately honed in on the aspect of the words “Faith” and “Reason” were both capitalized. My perception of the quote was that having faith (from a spiritual perspective) was exclusive of being able to apply reason when explaining the “un-explainable” or something one does not fully “understand”.  Dianne Reilly(@LeadershipBEST) and I had a pleasant exchange regarding the quote, and I learned her perspective of the quote was less about the religious aspect of faith and more about “acceptance” of topics that affected us in life in a more general sense. By being open-minded to her thoughts, I began to think about how the quote was truly relevant to us both, even while the implied meaning of the exact same grouping of words (the quote) appeared to mean something very different to each of us.  (Thanks again, Dianne, for the great back-and-forth!)

Clarity

A few years ago, I was working on a customer-retention project for a client who was incorporating a newly purchased product line into his existing business structure as a new division.  The client and I agreed to a list of expectations, assigned various performance incentives to our contract, and set a course of action with a lofty goal of 95% customer retention.

After A Day Of TrainingThe challenge we encountered, however, became a flash point upon discovery that I had relied on the implied quality of data, regarding the list of existing customers.  Almost immediately, it became evident that there was a fair amount of missing data (phone numbers, addresses, and other customer specifics) which made it impossible to contact the customer (a metric we were relying on to trigger the performance bonuses).  In my mind, to gauge the success rate to which we’d agreed, the base number used in the calculation should be adjusted to remove 1) a small group of specific customers the owner asked I NOT contact- as he wanted to reach out them himself, and 2) customers with completely missing data that neither a postcard, email, nor phone call were possible for contacting.  Seems reasonable, right?  Well, the client disagreed with my assessment.  While we had agreed on the percentage, we were not explicit in discussing how to handle the poor data set in thecalculation of that percentage.  Though we both sought success, a dispute over the calculation of success ultimately led to the early termination of the project, when the client refused to pay out the incentive for the achieved 95% goal, based on his view on how the ratio should have been calculated.

Expectation

The term “goal” is often used as a substitute for “expectation” or “desired outcome”.  If you think about it, desired outcome is really somewhat subjective.  Have you ever heard of a boss, team leader, or company owner who was upset when a “goal” was exceeded by 50%?  How about when a boss consistently demands “more”, but shouts disappointment when the sales team turns in a result $1 greater than last year.  They thought they hit the goal.  Often times the boss had something else in mind.   From the other side, what about the media reaction to a sports team who quite handily whips their opponent on the field?  The superior team wanted to win (the goal) but often find themselves blasted by critics for being unsportsmanlike.  Confused?  You should be. Expectations, however, should be clear. By both sides.  Every time.

How to Beat Your Goals Every Time

There are two simple ways to beat your goals every time:

Sandbag –

Set your goals too low.  Know what you are capable of (or worse, what you already know you will achieve) and set the bar right there.  Doing this creates an artificial feeling of accomplishment that likely fills a short term desire of feeling successful, yet rarely delivers the long-term satisfaction and success truly successful people seek.

Focus on Changing Behavior-

To continually and successfully blow away your goals (and I’m talking about those big time expectations you have), the key is to focus on changing your behavior.  Here’s what I mean:

Instead of setting an artificial goal:

  • “I will beat last years number.”, or
  • “I will lose 35 pounds this year”, or
  •  ”Sell 20% more than last year”

Focus on activity-based goals, instead:

  • I will log my food intake daily, focusing on making healthy replacements in my diet.
  • Each week, I will meet face-to-face with two new contacts.
  • Attend one professional association meeting a month.  Already attend one regularly?  Commit to attending a second meeting each month, even if it rotates among several organizations.  Just get out there. (And stuff some business cards in your pocket, because you’re going to be looking for new people to meet up with in those one-on-one, face-to-face meetings!)
  • Commit to show up for work (even if you work from a home office or a local coffee shop) 15-minutes earlier each day.
  • Strive to work out (walk, bike, run, weight train, SOMETHING) 30 minutes a day, at least 4 days/week.

You get the idea, right?  By focusing on what you can DO (what you can control), you will achieve lofty goals beyond your wildest imagination (what you can influence by taking appropriate action).

So, let’s start a discussion below about one or more of the new activity-based goals you will be focusing on, starting right now!  Go ahead, post your ONE BIG GOAL!

[Article originally posted by Scott Cooksey at CookseyConnects.com]

Episode 12-Craig Price-Negativity

Craig Price, leadership and negativity speaker, podcaster & Comic-Con panel facilitator trekked over to the IdeaCharger Studios in The Woodlands, TX to talk negativity and why it matters to people who succeed.

QUOTE:  “I want to plow right through any obstacles because I am already prepared for them.” – Craig Price

STORY: Craig’s unique perspective on the world turns many popular views on success around and looks at them from, well, a different angle. One worth a second look!  We cover topics from “unicorn farts” (A technical term….and a first for this podcast) to breaking down how Craig can get past his introverted nature to better maintain lasting profitable relationships with his clients.

CHALLENGE:  Embrace negativity by separating it from the oft-confused concept of fatalistic thinking.

CALL TO ACTION:

  1. Make it a practice to ask the tough questions like “what would happen if…” rather than just nodding in agreement as quickly.
  2. Listen to Scott Cooksey as he is interviewed about Connection on REALITY CHECK with CRAIG PRICE podcast HERE or check out the show notes and stream HERE  (Episode 182)

BOOK: Half a Glass: The Realist’s Guide by Craig Price

FOLLOW CRAIG: @realitycheckpod on Twitter; www.realitycheckpodcast.com

_______________________________________________________________________

As always, if you enjoy this episode, please share it with a friend!

For questions, comments, guest interview suggestions, general inquiries, or just to get something off of your chest, we’re always standing by at podcast@ideacharger.com or you can visit us anytime at www.ideacharger.com to learn more about having Scott Cooksey work with you or your organization to create lasting, profitable client relationships NOW!

Follow the show: Twitter @IdeaCharger ; www.SuccessChargerPodcast.com; Facebookwww.Facebook.com/SuccessChargerPodcast

Follow Cooksey: @CookseyConnects
Read more at http://successcharger.libsyn.com/#ZrrwIwe2ky0f8ef1.99

ANNOUNCEMENT: Podcast is NOW LIVE!

height_250_width_250_SUCCESSCHARGER_ARTWORKAS OF AUGUST 13, 2015, THE PODCAST IS NOW LIVE!

SUBSCRIBE TODAY:

ITUNES LOGO

 

 

 

Just a quick update to let you know that while I haven’t posted any new articles in a while, the IdeaCharger has been generating some new content, and you are going to love it!

Podcasting Microphone Coming in August 2015, I am excited to announce the launch of “Success Charger Podcast with Scott Cooksey”. As soon as we have the particulars worked out, I’ll be posting the details, but here’s a quick look at what you can expect:

  • Stories behind the tips shared inside “CONNECT: 77 Idea Chargers to Generate High Voltage Results TODAY!”  Don’t have a copy, order one HERE
  • Interviews offering deeper insights behind the stories and concepts YOU NEED TO KNOW
  • Concepts  to re-energize your business and generate deeper, profitable relationships with your clients and customer RIGHT NOW
  • Much, much more!

Production is already underway for our first episodes, so get ready to be energized with SUCCESS CHARGER: The Podcast!

How to Generate A Connection With Any Audience

Just about the time the candidate is tired of giving the speech, the audience is starting to accept the message.

George_Caleb_Bingham_-_Stump_SpeakingStop for a minute and think about how many times you have “told them what you needed them to understand”, yet your audience  still doesn’t seem to  get it.

Recently, I listened to a presentation suggesting if a parent repeats a question seemingly ignored by their child, to repeat oneself is disrespectful to the child.  There was more to his point than I’ll get into here, but it got me thinking:

Why is it disrespectful to repeat a question to your child when they seemingly ignore you, yet it is expected that to get a marketing or campaign message to stick- multiple impressions must occur before it sinks in with a potential buyer?

Over the years, my experience working with leaders from organizations of all designs, sizes and locations around the globe, I have found the one skill to ensure success is development of one’s ability to connect with others.

As human beings, we tend to see the world through layers of filters- each shaded by the unique experiences in our lives:

  • Environment in which we were raised,
  • Influence of teachers/coaches/authority figures in our life;
  • Color of our skin;
  • Primary language(s) spoken at home;
  • Previous managers, both good  & bad, and
  • Many other factors singularly experienced by us.

It is the combined effect of each of those filters which directly impacts our own ability to connect with others in a meaningful and productive way.  Simply speaking to people the way WE want to be spoken to misses a very important element of connection…what matters most…TO THEM!

Earlier today, I caught part of an interview with former U.S. presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.  In an effort to continue sharing his message while also keeping himself from getting bored with the repeated message he wanted his supporters to understand, he used flash cards.  Each card contains one point he wants audiences to retain.  Before each speech, he would literally shuffle the deck, forcing him to make transitions from one point to the next, each time in a different, unique, authentic style which made the remarks sound more “real” and genuine– a technique I found fascinating.

In conversations with my own daughter (a VERY talkative and curious pre-schooler), I have now deliberately stopped repeating myself when I think she isn’t listening, instead choosing to  re-phrase, re-frame, and re-direct our conversations toward her making a decision (or deciding for Dad to make the decision for her.)  I’m not sure what long-term effect it may have on our relationship, but I do know the way we communicate is already beginning to change for the better.

plug inEach week, I work with leaders to help them identify and consider how they might communicate more effectively to drive action & results while simultaneously building trust and (re)igniting the flame of performance and engagement among teams.  There is science behind the “how”, and great leaders utilize that science to get real, measurable results much faster than lesser successful counterparts.

When your direction “doesn’t land” with your intended audience, are you simply saying it again…but louder?

This week, pay attention to HOW you are communicating with your target audiences (both inside and outside your organization). Does it seem authentic?  It is effective and impactful? Or does it feel like a lot of work without much response?

Need some help getting back on track?  Post a question below in the comment section or share a success story demonstrating how you deliberately communicate with others to drive real success!

Actually, It IS You

The “It’s Not You It’s Me” Routine

Opposites Attract…Right?

In the fourth grade, one of my buddies carried with him to school one day a pocket full of small, tube-shaped magnets. I remember rolling them one-by-one across the desk and then **SNAP!** how they would violently spin and connect, lining up what I later learned was a positive to the negative end of the magnets.  In the most primitive way, I learned that day to accept how “opposites attract”.

As you rewind your own career, you can certainly remember a former co-worker or (even worse) a boss or client with whom you could not stand to be near…even for a few minutes.  Their perspective on everything dangerously askew from any socially accepted norm; communication ability nothing short of atrocious; and ability to listen to others horribly impossible.  It made you wonder how someone so opposite of every fiber of your being could have possibly wound up in the same…exact…place…as you.  That person, remarkably became the “exception that proved the rule” about attraction.

The Gift of Awareness

Think about someone you know quite well.  Consider a time when they suddenly “flipped” resulting in an unexpected outburst, or significant change in behavior leaving you wondering “what just happened?” Perhaps people have reacted to you that way in some occasion.

The power you gain, however, by understanding your own personality is a powerful gift.  Knowing why a particular exhibited itself in a particular situation goes a long way in improving how we interact with others.  More importantly, it allows you to make deliberate choices to more quickly and effectively connect with others.  All you have to do is take a few simple measurements!

How To Measure Your Brain

Modern medicine technology is incredible.  Most notably, I recall watching live video of the inside chambers of my daughter’s tiny little heart…MONTHS before her birth! [Seriously, I even teared up a little!]

It never ceased to amaze me how the technician and the doctors meticulously measured EVERYTHING from the length of her still forming bones to the size of her head, which of course, houses her brain.  (She was projected to have a “large cranium”, so we already knew she was a genius BEFORE she was born –don’t ALL parents know?)  [SIDE NOTE: Not certain how precise cranial development correlates to smarts, I immediately began hyperventilating as I considered what the cost of a university education will be in 18 years….What if they are wrong and she doesn’t win that merit-based scholarship?  I hope she has her mother’s athletic ability!]  But we digress…

While science administers  batteries of tests each year to determine peoples intelligence, aptitude for particular skills, physical abilities, mental toughness, and much more, the workplace often relies on personality assessments for clues on how we interact with each other.

Certainly, there is much that could be said about the merits of one particular assessment over another.  Some offer “overly simplistic results” while others offer a more “in-depth, multi- dimensional” look by adding context to the results. [I have experienced the latter as considerably more useful when working with teams interested in truly increasing effectiveness and generating real results in less time.] Whichever type you use, however, there is invariably value in first understanding YOURSELF and then looking around to compare with the people you spend time with on a regular basis.

As you get to know more about your own strengths (+) and weaknesses (-) along with how they impact you in a variety of situations, you will begin to understand more about the benefits of connecting with (attracting) or staying away from (repelling) those around you, based on THEIR tendencies and personality styles.

The Secret Sauce for Building Results-Generating Teams

Learning to leverage your gifts and those of the people around you (at work, home, your place of worship, etc…) creates more opportunity for you to produce more sustainable, measurable, forward-looking results in all areas of your life.  Wouldn’t THAT be nice.

Now…where did I leave those magnets?


Scott Cooksey works with organizations around the globe to (re)ignite leaders & teams so they can generate sustainable results and build lasting, profitable relationships with their clients. To learn more about how he can work with you or your organization, visit www.IdeaCharger.com.