Building and Trades Business Coaching News

Catch up on industry best practice with our regular updates

Keep the Building Industry Going
posted on 02 April 2020 12:58 PM

Builders and trades can operate safely during the COVID-19 era by following the HIA Industry Guidelines on your building sites.We can stay open and we can self regulate if we all adopt and voluntarily enforce the guidelines, make space onsite and ensure our suppliers do the same.Lets actively show government that our industry does not need further regulation and we can be one of the key employers to keep our economy open for business during this time.Your reality during this time is defined by your source of information and what you focus on. Make sure your focus is on the bright future of this nation and our industry and your place in it.

Marketing In The Building Game
posted on 14 March 2020 02:46 PM

So here's the wrap so far:Builders in NSW get 12 CBP Points for the two day event.Day 1 is four sessions: Financial; Legal; Relational & Marketing.Day 2 is a structured business planning session you complete in a group setting.I will be delivering the fourth session on Day 2 which focuses on Marketing. So many other things fall into place more easily in business if your marketing processes are well planned and systemised and we'll explore what's working and debunk the myths.What you'll come away with is 100% clarity on what you need to focus on to see your marketing efforts yield a result in 2020. The money and time that is wasted in marketing is eye watering and yet the results are usually average at best. I'll show you with certainty what works because there will be clients in the room that it's already working for who can confirm my approach. The conference venue is easy to get to from most locations in Australia as it's walking distance from the Sydney domestic airport terminal and you won't need to leave the venue for the whole event. So you'll not only learn best practice accounting, legal and marketing principles for building trades business but you'll also learn the latest in product innovations and applications for the leading suppliers in the industry. Best of all you'll hear it all in a room full of business owners that care about where their business is going and you can catch the momentum..So if you're tired of chasing your tail in the building game and want to start a journey with lasting and profitable results either with or without a franchise solution come and join us this year for a two day event that will change your approach to your building business for ever.BOOK YOUR TICKETS HERE Two day conference attendance includes lunch and snacks both days and a dinner option first day. Extra charges apply for accommodation if required. One Day (Lunch Included) - $80.00 One Day (Lunch + Dinner Included) - $210.00 Two Days (2 x Lunch + Dinner on first day Included) - $280.00 FREE Attendance for current Franchisees and Coaching Clients. (Please follow the booking link below and select the free option).Register for event 

Chartered Accountants Australia
posted on 11 March 2020 09:13 AM

Builders can now be confident in the business coaching and accounting advice we deliver thanks to our provisional membership with Chartered Accountants Australia.Financial Clarity is the basis for all good business decision making and we are committed to delivering this to all our clients. By working closely with not only the accounting professional bodies but also the Housing Industry Association we can deliver the specialist advice that many of our clients have been missing in their business journey.

Builders & Trades Business Conference 2nd & 3rd April - Terry Greedy
posted on 25 February 2020 11:55 AM

We are really excited to welcome builders and trades business owners from Western Australia this year. Western Australia has been under represented at our events previously but this year we are expecting a strong showing from the sand-gropers. Frustratingly the Western Australian market has been flat for longer than other states and business owners in the building industry have needed to be better than average to survive.It's really no surprise though that the building industry is cyclical because it has always been that way and always will be. The only difference is how business owners position themselves to thrive in both the ups and downs of the market. We have clients that will be sharing their experiences on how to ensure you can sail through the downside of the market and profit from the upside. This information sharing session will be the focus of our second day together where you'll hear the day to day real life experiences of other business owners just like you.I asked Terry Greedy from Griffith what he thinks of the conference event as Terry has attended every year for the last five years and is arguably our most 'experienced' builder in the room. The audio isn't great but the content is GOLD so I invite you to click on the video link below to have a listen.Finally a reminder to our existing clients to register for FREE below to secure your place. We have an excellent lineup of building material suppliers who generously help sponsor the program and this includes James Hardie, PGH Bricks, Dulux and Bluescope. So you'll not only learn best practice accounting, legal and marketing principles for builders but you'll also learn the latest in product innovations and applications for the leading suppliers in the industry. Best of all you'll hear it all in a room full of business owners that care about where their business is going and you can catch the momentum..You won't be asked to sign up for anything or pushed for a commitment to join our group so please don't be nervous about coming along for the first time. For builders needing CPD points, attendance at this event achieves the 12 points per annum requirement.Register for event  

HIA Gold Coast Industry Outlook Breakfast
posted on 14 February 2020 10:15 AM

 We are so pleased to have Glenn confirmed as the guest speaker for the Housing Industry Association Industry Outlook Breakfast on Friday 23 October at the Southport Sharks Function Centre on the Gold Coast (7am - 9.30am).This continues Glenn’s long association with the HIA as firstly a member, and then committee member (volunteer) and now event speaker. The Housing Industry Association (HIA) is the official voice of Australia's residential building industry and supports members in managing and growing their business.https://hia.com.au/Membership    The response from attendees to these events previously has been excellent as we discuss all things relevant to builders and building trades business owners like financial clarity, accounting best practice and the Home Building Compensation Fund, marketing for builders, goal setting and the best legal protections available to protect small business owners that operate building related businesses.  

Renovations to New Homes
posted on 15 January 2020 01:33 PM

From Business Goals to RealityNathan and his wife Stacey had their own building business and were making it happen. Slowly but surely they had built up a reputation in a small regional community as the go to builder for renovations and additions. Nathan was detailed and particular and his clients appreciated the value for money and service. The only problem was the financial rewards were not matching the efforts.Nathan knew there had to be a better way but was not sure what to do to change things in the business when he attended a Housing Industry Association Builders Business Coaching event presented by Glenn Leet from Inspired Trades Business Coaching. He listened for the day and realised things needed to change and change fast.New home building had seemed out of Nathans reach until he learnt that anything can be achieved through the power of goal setting and consistent action in the direction of that goal and now, one year after first setting his mind to that task Nathan is about to commence construction on his first new home for a client. Nathan said,' Business coaching has been super helpful but what I didn't expect was all the addons that come with the coaching. I didn't realise I would have access to specialist builders software. I didn't realise how much we would save from the builders buying group. I didn't realise all the marketing and systems support and training and resources we would get'.With Nathans determined and disciplined approach to business and the support of Glenn and the team from Inspired Trades Business Coaching Nathan is setting himself up for a very successful 2020 and the financial rewards of the coming decade will be worth the challenges of the business restructure and new skills he's needed to master.

Don't Market My Business ... I've Got to Much Work
posted on 27 November 2019 06:59 PM

The Jacobs family were always known as good tradesmen. Work hard, do the right thing, look after people and the work looks after itself. But Ray knew there was more to be had.Ray wanted to double his turnover and profit every year. Fairly simple business goal and one he was on track to achieve after his first three years in business. But Ray was getting outside his comfort zone with the business. He wasn't trained with a business degree and didn't feel like going to university. That's when he met Glenn Leet at a Housing Industry Association business workshop event for builders. Glenn showed him how business improvement for builders is a teachable skill and that by simply getting 1% better each week and using proven and systemised strategies Ray could achieve his business goals year on year.Ray said,'Getting a building industry specialist business coach like Glenn has been amazing for my business. We have regular video calls one on one and I can call him for help any time I need it. I've even benefited from the buying group as well'.Rays eye watering margins are a testament to his overflowing pipeline of work and his commitment to continual improvement. His no smoking on the job site policy has also raised the eyebrows of many of the tradesmen in town but Ray knows its the small things that his clients value and that's why they keep queuing up to do business with Jacobs Building.

Whats Your Why?
posted on 22 November 2019 02:42 PM

Business consultants tell us we must be very clear on the WHY ... but what does that even mean and why does it matter?For Wayne the WHY has been critical in giving him the stamina to reach for business success. Wayne said, 'The reason I decided to step into a systemised business model and get fair-dinkum about being a builder was that I was sick of crawling around roofs and under old buildings. I was working as a pre-purchase building inspector and was just over it. So I had a very compelling 'WHY' to systemise my business'.Like every builder Wayne has had a bumpy road to travel. Learning new skills, adopting new habits and leveraging different resources is challenging and draining. Wayne had heaps of times he just felt like quitting and going back to what he knew best but the WHY always propelled him forward.Now in his second year with the iGyro software system Wayne is starting to see the results of his commitment to the process. Wayne said,' We're now seeing two very solid enquiries every week and we're starting to build a pipeline of work with a profitable and sustainable systemised business'Every builder needs to be clear on the WHY because when you know the WHY you can go the distance through any challenge and reap the reward that successful business ownership can deliver.

The Kids Thanked Dad for Changing
posted on 10 November 2019 03:15 PM

When Ralph started business coaching he never new what lasting and impactful results it would have on his wife and children. Ralph knew something needed to change or he needed to get out of the building game but what to change and how?Ralph took his wife Lynelle to a HIA Business Coaching workshop in Armidale NSW presented by Glenn Leet from Inspired Trades Business Coaching. They listened for the day and decided that even if they couldn't afford business coaching they couldn't afford not to!What Ralph didn't expect was the impact business coaching would have on his family. Ralph shares in the video below how his three kids wrote a card to him thanking him for changing and Lynelle shares what it's done to restore harmony to their home.Ralph said,' I've probably wasted the last thirty years of my life trying to figure out my building business without much success. After business coaching for six months Glenn invited me to take on an Integrity New Homes franchise and since then I haven't looked back. I might have been a slow starter in this game of business but I'm going to be a strong finisher and that all comes down to a choice I made to start changing myself. I assure you if I can do it, anyone can do it with the right help and advice'.The results for Ralph have not only been psychological. Ralph shares, 'I've made more money in the first six months of this year, than the whole 12 months of last year and I expect that profit growth to continue year on year'.  

Perth HIA Builders Breakfast
posted on 03 September 2019 12:00 AM

I have been on the professional speaking circuit now for more than twelve months and I always enjoy visiting the builders and building trades in Western Australia.Today I had the pleasure of being the key note speaker at the annual Housing Industry Association Building Breakfast event at Frasers Restaurant in Kings Park Perth WA.  As is usually the case the delegates in the room were fascinated to hear what is making the difference between successful trades and building businesses and those that struggle or fail. I shared the top three including clarity of purpose, an actionable strategy and a mind that’s closed to negativity.Sadly negative mindset is holding back so many businesses that would otherwise thrive if they could get just those three essentials in place and supported or reinforced by regular business coaching.Tomorrow I continue with a full day workshop in Perth hosted by the HIA and on Thursday I do the same presentation in Bunbury where I hope to reconnect with some current and past clients.

Rapid Estimating for Builders
posted on 08 August 2019 12:00 AM

Pricing work as new home builder in Australia can be difficult and time consuming as suppliers and subcontractors are constantly moving their prices (usually upwards) and keeping track of it all is challenging. Builders and their estimators usually have one of two options: prepare a detailed bill of quantities that calculates costs line by line; or throw a square meter rate at it.Neither of these options for quoting are sensible. Most clients assume you are doing a detailed bill of quantities (although most are not prepared to pay for the quote) but most builders are throwing square meter rates at the quotes because they don’t have the time or the systems to do it any other way.As a residential builder I faced the same problem. I didn’t have the time to quote everything in detail but I knew a square meter rate was dangerous and problematic so what I did over the course of fifteen years with the help of a software coder was write iGyro. This dedicated builders’ job management software includes a systemised way to produce accurate and fast quotes for all types of new homes without needing to spend days on the task. We have calculated that the average time to produce accurate quotes from the system is twenty minutes (faster on some designs).’Not only are the quotes fast for the builder to prepare but they are also formatted easily for the client to understand. I personally have proven that a properly trained user of this quoting tool for builders can achieve margins within a two-percentage accuracy range which is exactly the same margin of error as any other estimating process.This quoting software is the only boutique solution in the Australian market now that you can be trained and mentored in the use off by a builder and industry specialist, Glenn Leet. Glenn will personally train his coaching clients on the use of iGyro and the quotation module until mastery is achieved by the user.If you are tired of staying up late and working weekends to get quotes on unique and custom homes to clients find a system that is fast, accurate and proven in the Australian building industry and you’ll be onto an invaluable building business solution.

Avoiding Burnout in Building Trades Business
posted on 16 July 2019 12:00 AM

A fog of burnout surrounds you: You’re perpetually exhausted, annoyed, and feeling unsatisfied and unappreciated. Everything in you wants to quit your business. But is that the best choice? Various models help to explain and predict burnout, which is now an official medical diagnosis, according to the World Health Organization. One, called the Areas of Worklife model (drawn from research by Christina Maslach and Michael P. Leiter of the University of California at Berkeley and Acadia University, respectively) identifies six areas where you could experience imbalances that lead to burnout. As a business coach, I’ve seen that some individuals can make positive shifts in one or more of these areas and then happily stay in their current business.Here are the six areas that can lead to burnout.1. Workload. When you have a workload that matches your capacity, you can effectively get your work done, and have opportunities for rest and recovery. When you chronically feel overloaded, these opportunities to restore balance don’t exist.To address the stress of your workload, assess how well you’re doing in these key areas: planning your workload, prioritizing your work, delegating tasks, saying no, and letting go of perfectionism. If you haven’t been doing one or more of these things, try to make progress in these time management skill areas and then see how you feel. For many individuals, especially those who have a bent toward people pleasing, some proactive effort on reducing their workload can significantly reduce feelings of burnout and provide space to rest.2. Perceived lack of control. Feeling like you lack autonomy, access to resources, and a say in decisions that impact your business life can take a toll on your well-being. If you find yourself feeling out of control, step back and ask yourself, “What exactly is causing me to feel this way?” Then ask yourself what you can do to shift this situation. Once you’ve considered these areas, you can then see what you can do to influence your environment versus what won’t change no matter what you say or do.3. Reward. If the extrinsic and intrinsic rewards for your job don’t match the amount of effort and time you put in to them, then you’re likely to feel like the investment is not worth the payoff.In these instances, you want to look within and determine exactly what you would need to feel properly rewarded. For example, perhaps you need to increase your prices. Or perhaps you need to take advantage of the rewards you’ve already accrued, such as taking the ability to work your own hours or take leave when you choose. Experiment to see which rewards would make what you’re doing worth it to you and whether there is the opportunity to receive more of those rewards within your current building trades business.4. Community. Who do you work with or around? How supportive and trusting are those relationships? In many cases you can’t change your colleagues and clients, but you can improve the dynamic. It could be as simple as taking the time to ask others how their day is going — and really listening. Or sending an email to someone to let them know you appreciated their work. Or choosing to communicate something difficult in a respectful, nonjudgmental way. Burnout can be contagious, so to elevate your individual engagement, you must shift the morale of the group. 5. Fairness. Think about whether you believe that you receive fair and equitable outcomes for your efforts. For example, do you get acknowledged for your contributions or do other individuals get praised and your work goes unnoticed? 6. Values mismatch. If you highly value something that your business partner does not, your motivation to work hard and persevere can significantly drop. Ideals and motivations tend to be deeply ingrained in individuals and organizations. When you’re assessing this element of burnout, you need to think carefully about how important it is to you to match your values with those of your team.Burnout isn’t simply about being tired. It’s a multifaceted issue that requires a well thought through solution. Before you quit, really think through what exactly is contributing to your burnout and attempt to make changes. Adapted HBR July 2019 Saunders

Networking Events for Building Trades Business Owners
posted on 04 June 2019 12:00 AM

Most building industry professionals recognize the importance of networking for their business. While attending conferences or scheduling meetups are great ways to connect with others, an often overlooked (or avoided) approach is organizing a larger event yourself.Hosting your own events enables you to build relationships more strategically than a conference typically allows, because you’re controlling the guest list, and as the convener, you get “credit” for the connections your guests make with one another. Many of my clients who are looking to scale their business have trailed this approach and find it much easier than initially expected: you don’t need a special skill set, and the logistics don’t have to be overwhelming.If you’re interested in organizing your own networking gathering, here are five strategies you can use to curate your attendees and bring a fascinating mix of people together.Think strategically about educating your audience. People will attend your event if it focuses on solving a problem they already have (or will have in the future). For example, if you want to build credibility as a building renovator convene events that educate attendees on the best practice renovation techniques in your chosen niche.Decide if your event will have a theme. One way to guarantee attendees have something to talk about is to convene guests who may not know each other, but have something in common.  Using the previous example, you might focus on all the architects and building designers at one event, and a second event focused on retail customers. Consider recruiting a co-host. But what if you feel like you don’t know enough people to invite? Think about non-competing businesses that have the same customer as you and are also interested in growing their business and reinforcing their credibility in the market. This will also have the effect of increasing the credibility and appeal to the audience of the event as it won’t be as easily perceived as a marketing stunt. This enables us to take pressure off at the event (there are two people who can make sure the conversation is moving smoothly), as well as cross-pollinate our social networks and meet new people.Leverage existing contacts to build your guest list. Once you’ve hosted someone at a successful seminar, they become an ambassador of sorts. They understand what the events are like, so they have a sense of who else would make a good attendee and be eager to attend. You can leverage this dynamic to fill subsequent events with interesting guests. Follow up with your guests afterward, asking if they have friends they think would enjoy attending in the future, and if they would introduce you. Networking is essential for business success, yet only a small percentage of building trade businesses actually make the effort to host event — often because they don’t know where to start with assembling a guest list. By following the strategies above, you can bring together remarkable people and deepen professional relationships that will prove critical in the years to come.Adapted HBR Jan 2019 Clark

Are you a Trades Business Owner in the Building Industry?  If...
posted on 27 May 2019 12:00 AM

This is where you will learn how to take your business to the NEXT LEVEL, whatever that looks like for you. We teach you how to systemise your business,  how to market your business, how to achieve the next thing for your business and we show you how to do it. We get what we tolerate, so if you tolerate mediocrity in your own leadership you will see it reflected in your team.  If you put the right Trades Business owner with the right coach,  anything is possible.  Book yourself in to the next workshop in your area, and encourage your mates who are Trades Business owners to do the same. If you don’t see a workshop  in your area, contact us - Glenn is available to attend  events as your motivational, thought invoking guest speaker. Conditions apply. Here’s the link to our BRISBANE WORKSHOP - 13th June ARMIDALE WORKSHOP -  28th June COFFS HARBOUR WORKSHOP - 11th July SYDNEY (Schofields) WORKSHOP - 18th July If for any reason,  you are unable to make it to a workshop but you are keen to move ahead in your business, Coaching may be just the right fit for you. You can book a free strategy session with Glenn here

How to Motivate Employees (and Yourself)
posted on 21 May 2019 12:00 AM

Motivation — the willingness to get the job done by starting rather than procrastinating, persisting in the face of distractions, and investing enough mental effort to succeed.There are four motivation traps, they are: 1) I don’t care about what we are trying to achieve 2) lack of self-belief, 3) volatile emotions, and 4) blaming something or someone else. Here are the ways to release an employee (or yourself) from its clutches. Trap 1, I don’t care about what we are trying to achieve. Find out what the employee cares about and connect it to the task. Too often, managers think about what motivates themselves and assume the same is true of their employees. Sometimes it may be necessary to ask an employee to, essentially, hold their nose while carrying out an undesirable task — making clear to them the future benefit its completion will yield or the problems it will prevent.When an employee doesn’t value a task at the outset and the values mismatch may not be apparent, a manager’s best bet is to try to appeal to multiple values. One or more of them may resonate with the employee. Trap 2, Lack of Self-Belief. Build the employee’s sense of confidence and competence. This can be done in several ways. One is to point out times in the past when they’ve surmounted similar challenges. Perhaps share examples of others just like them who overcame the same challenges in a way the employee can do, too. Trap 3, Volatile Emotions. Begin in a setting where you cannot be overheard. Tell them you want to understand why they are upset and engage in active listening. Do not agree or disagree. Be nonjudgmental by asking what the employee believes is causing them to be upset. Then, briefly summarize what they said back to them and ask if you have understood. If they say “no,” apologize and tell them you are listening carefully and to “please try again.”  When people feel they have been understood, their negative emotions soften a bit. It may be useful to tell them that you want to consider what they told you and schedule a time the next day to discuss. This often helps the person get more control over their emotions. Trap 4, Blaming Something or Someone Else Help the employee think clearly about the cause of their struggles with a task. Helping the employee identify exactly why the task seems insurmountable can help them move past such avoidance. If they identify a cause that’s out of their control (blaming other people, for example, or a flaw in themselves that can’t be fixed), suggest other causes that are under their control, such as the need to adopt a new strategy or to apply a greater level of planning.With each of these four motivation traps, the trick is to think more comprehensively about what stops employees from initiating, persisting, and putting in mental effort and then coach, coach, coach. Adapted HBR March 2019 Clark & Saxberg

Can I be Happy and Own a Building Trades Business?
posted on 13 May 2019 12:00 AM

What do you need to be happy? Of course, we know it’s not stuff that makes us happy.  Instead, real and lasting happiness comes from something different entirely; something elegantly simple and entirely attainable.  So, what’s the answer for lasting happiness?  PROGRESS.If you aren’t growing, you are dying.  It turns out that happiness that is true and lasting is quite simply this: progress. If you are growing and giving, you will be happy.  If you are moving forward in your life, if you are progressing personally, professionally, emotionally, spiritually — you will be happy.  It is only in stagnation that we wilt.Remember the adage “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  We all know it’s true, so the real question is what have you been meaning to do that you’re afraid to tackle?  What journey are you longing to take but can’t seem to get started?  Is it the journey to improve your building trades business, or upskill your leadership?  If you set a goal, and move towards it, step by step, it is in that movement, that progress, that you will find true happiness.What can you do to start along the path to progress and move toward happiness tomorrow? Find a business coach the specialises in building trades and book your first appointment. Once you start down that path, you’re certain to find the joy you desire and deserve.Adapted Tony Robbins May 2019

Genuine recommendations from men who have engaged Inspired Trades Business Coaching and seeing huge...
posted on 02 May 2019 12:00 AM

Genuine recommendations from men who have engaged Inspired Trades Business Coaching and seeing huge benefits to their businesses.

Profit Strategies for Your Building Trades Business
posted on 27 April 2019 12:00 AM

Here are five of the most important profit strategy considerations I’ve encountered in a long career using strategy and advising building and trades companies about it:Strategy is not about the long-termThinking about strategy as some kind of long-term commitment can blind you to the fact that strategy is not about the long term or the short term, but about the fundamentals of how the business works: the sources of value creation, the drivers of the cost to deliver it, and the basis of competition.  To get a grip on strategy, we do not need to lengthen the time horizon of our thinking, but its depth. Far from being about things we are going to do in the future, strategy is about what we are going to do now in order to shape the future to our advantage.Become an InfluencerYour clients will pay you in direct proportion to the amount of confidence they have in you. How can you give them confidence in you and thereby increase your pay grade? The key is to demonstrate your skills and industry knowledge in every available way at every available time in every available forum. Sound challenging? Your results are a lagging indicator of your habits so if you’re not happy with your results you know what you need to do … become an industry influencer. Competitive advantage is essentialThe truth is that you need to rely on multiple advantages rather than just the one. What do you have that allows you to compete at an unfair advantage? Is it location, is it skills, is it unique processes, is it cost advantages? Find what these things are than focus your business on maximising your unfair competitive advantage in the market. Being agile won’t compensate for strategyAgile trade businesses – especially start-ups – are always turning on a dime and they certainly don’t seem to be following any kind of plan.  Easy enough, then, to assume that what you see an agile firm doing – acting at high speed, maintaining a high tempo, being highly responsive – is all there is.Agility is not a strategy.  It is a capability, a very valuable one which has immediate operational benefits, but that cannot permanently affect a firm’s competitive position unless there is a strategist taking the right decisions about where to direct that capability.  And the seeming absence of a plan doesn’t mean that successful start-ups don’t have strategies.  A strategy is not a plan, it is a framework for decision-making, a set of guiding principles which can be applied as the situation evolves.  And most start-ups fail because being able to turn on a dime doesn’t mean that you’ll turn in the right direction.  Successful start-ups actually do a lot of hard thinking about fundamentals, questioning and testing basic assumptions with a rigour that older businesses would do well to emulate.   Start-ups have to, because their resources are extremely scarce.  If they don’t have a coherent strategy, they will make poor resource allocation decisions, and for them that will not mean a fall in earnings, but death.You need a digital strategyDigital technology is a way of collecting, storing and using information, and information is everywhere. In its early stages, it enabled us to do what we did already but better.  Then it enabled us to do it a lot better.  Then it enabled us to do things we had never done before.  Building trade businesses without a digital strategy will never maximise their profit potential.In our uncertain world, fundamentals are changing so we need to think about them, whether they are valid in the short- or long-term.  Think how you can deploy the capabilities you have and build new ones you need to defend your competitive position. Add them in layers to create barriers. Be clear about what will make a difference so that you can make rapid resource allocation decisions. Think deep to act fast. Strategy is still what it has always been: the art of taking action under the pressure of the most difficult conditions.Adapted HBR April 2019 Bungay

Let Inspired Trades Business Coaching help you with your profit...
posted on 26 April 2019 12:00 AM

Let Inspired Trades Business Coaching help you with your profit margins,  so that you can work less and earn more. Click on the link, to gain your spot at a strategy analysis session with Glenn

Profit Strategies for Your Trades Business
posted on 24 April 2019 12:00 AM

Here are five of the most important profit strategy considerations I’ve encountered in a long career using strategy and advising building and trades companies about it:Strategy is not about the long-termThinking about strategy as some kind of long-term commitment can blind you to the fact that strategy is not about the long term or the short term, but about the fundamentals of how the business works: the sources of value creation, the drivers of the cost to deliver it, and the basis of competition.  To get a grip on strategy, we do not need to lengthen the time horizon of our thinking, but its depth. Far from being about things we are going to do in the future, strategy is about what we are going to do now in order to shape the future to our advantage.Become an InfluencerYour clients will pay you in direct proportion to the amount of confidence they have in you. How can you give them confidence in you and thereby increase your pay grade? The key is to demonstrate your skills and industry knowledge in every available way at every available time in every available forum. Sound challenging? Your results are a lagging indicator of your habits so if you’re not happy with your results you know what you need to do … become an industry influencer. Competitive advantage is essentialThe truth is that you need to rely on multiple advantages rather than just the one. What do you have that allows you to compete at an unfair advantage? Is it location, is it skills, is it unique processes, is it cost advantages? Find what these things are than focus your business on maximising your unfair competitive advantage in the market. Being agile won’t compensate for strategyAgile trade businesses – especially start-ups – are always turning on a dime and they certainly don’t seem to be following any kind of plan.  Easy enough, then, to assume that what you see an agile firm doing – acting at high speed, maintaining a high tempo, being highly responsive – is all there is.Agility is not a strategy.  It is a capability, a very valuable one which has immediate operational benefits, but that cannot permanently affect a firm’s competitive position unless there is a strategist taking the right decisions about where to direct that capability.  And the seeming absence of a plan doesn’t mean that successful start-ups don’t have strategies.  A strategy is not a plan, it is a framework for decision-making, a set of guiding principles which can be applied as the situation evolves.  And most start-ups fail because being able to turn on a dime doesn’t mean that you’ll turn in the right direction.  Successful start-ups actually do a lot of hard thinking about fundamentals, questioning and testing basic assumptions with a rigour that older businesses would do well to emulate.   Start-ups have to, because their resources are extremely scarce.  If they don’t have a coherent strategy, they will make poor resource allocation decisions, and for them that will not mean a fall in earnings, but death.You need a digital strategyDigital technology is a way of collecting, storing and using information, and information is everywhere. In its early stages, it enabled us to do what we did already but better.  Then it enabled us to do it a lot better.  Then it enabled us to do things we had never done before.  Building trade businesses without a digital strategy will never maximise their profit potential.In our uncertain world, fundamentals are changing so we need to think about them, whether they are valid in the short- or long-term.  Think how you can deploy the capabilities you have and build new ones you need to defend your competitive position. Add them in layers to create barriers. Be clear about what will make a difference so that you can make rapid resource allocation decisions. Think deep to act fast. Strategy is still what it has always been: the art of taking action under the pressure of the most difficult conditions.Adapted HBR April 2019 Bungay

The sales/quoting process with any trade seems to have tyre kickers, people that waste your precious...
posted on 19 April 2019 12:00 AM

The sales/quoting process with any trade seems to have tyre kickers, people that waste your precious time and have no intention to buy or use your services… if this is something that causes pain in your business, get in touch with us at the link below ➡️https://bookme.name/inspiremenow/strategic-business-analysis .. .Book Glenn Leet: Building Industry Professional

One of our Coaching Clients 👍🏼 Thanks Matt!
posted on 14 April 2019 12:00 AM

One of our Coaching Clients 👍🏼 Thanks Matt!

Your Business needs to be a Sale-able item so that one day when...
posted on 09 April 2019 12:00 AM

Your Business needs to be a Sale-able item so that one day when it suits you, You can retire or move on from what you are…

Leaving Your Building Trade Business Stress at Work
posted on 07 April 2019 12:00 AM

Is your work and business life sapping the joy out of your home and family?You’re not alone. Stress is a part of most jobs. Here are five ways to operate your business successfully without adding stress to the lives of the very people who most want to support you.Communicate — carefully. When you’re not fully present at home because you’re distracted by work, your family might interpret your lack of attention to mean that you don’t value them or that they did something wrong. Instead, be transparent about what’s going on. But don’t over communicate to the point of worrying young minds with problems that might overly concern them. Keep it brief and assure them you have it under control. Transition - intentionally. Come up with ways to intentionally make the transition from work mode to home mode. You might look at a family photo before you leave work as a way to redirect your focus to your family.Download - elsewhere. Your family provides you with support and is sensitive to your stressors and moods. Although it’s helpful to communicate with them about what’s on your mind, be sure not to unload all your pent-up emotions on them. Find a trusted friend, colleague, or coach — or maybe someone from your personal board of directors — who can support you during times of high stress. Set a day aside – every week. Let your family know when you’ll be home and fully present and agree on a day. On this day, you need to switch off the phone, stay away from the computer and plan special events and fun.Count your blessings. Research shows that gratitude has many benefits, including reduced stress. Before you get home, review your workday to identify one thing — no matter how small — for which you’re grateful. By using these strategies you will loosen the grip stress has on you and preserve your family life from work stress.Adapted HBR March 2019 Nawaz

Don’t waste any more time trying to make ends meet. Engage a...
posted on 28 March 2019 12:00 AM

Don’t waste any more time trying to make ends meet. Engage a business coach who will help you increase your profitability and take your business to the next level. For more information head over to https://inspiremenow.com.au/trades-business-coachingand book a free online strategy session with Glenn, to see if you believe your business could profit from some Strategic Business Coaching.

How do you achieve goals if you don’t even know how to set...
posted on 27 March 2019 12:00 AM

How do you achieve goals if you don’t even know how to set them?  How do you stay accountable to those goals so that your business reaches the next level? Both great questions, am I right?  Inspired Trades Business Coaching is helping Trades Business owners set and achieve goals.  If you are stuck in a rut and can’t get off that hamster wheel… profits are low, time is limited and you just can’t seem to get ahead,  well,  we have good news for you!  There is hope.  We show you how.  Our systems are tried and proven and they workGo to    https://inspiremenow.com.au/trades-business-coachingand book yourself an online, free, no obligation strategy session with Glenn to find out how he can help you and your business. 

How to Help Employees Thrive & Grow
posted on 24 March 2019 12:00 AM

As employers we surround ourselves with staff that have different skills to us, but our responsibility as leaders is to provide a workplace environment where they can expand and grow those skills. This has the benefit of our people enjoying their work and has a net benefit to the business as a whole.  It always translates into increased profitability for the business and business owners.  But there are some very specific do’s and don’ts around providing that environment for workplace improvement, and the feedback that you give can either create great outcomes for the employee or just really stall them in terms of their improvement.  So this is how you help your people thrive: Firstly, it’s all in the language, so essentially critical feedback is entirely unproductive. Critical feedback is perceived as a threat, and it actually impairs learning rather than enables it.  So when you try to help an employee in areas to improve you need to think about different language. Instead of saying,  “Can I give you some feedback”, which straight away comes across as a negative, you are looking for a different way to frame language like that, so you might say “look here’s the way I see that”, so straight away you’re reframing the way you give the feedback so that it doesn’t come across as a critical. Instead of saying, ‘here’s what you did wrong’, you could say, ‘these are the three things that really worked for me when I did that task or when I tried to get that outcome’.Instead of saying ‘’here’s what you should do’, you could say ‘here’s what I would do’, so the language is framing an environment for openness in receiving information, rather than closing their mind.Instead of saying ‘here’s what you need to improve’, say ‘here’s what worked best for me and here’s why’.Or if their communication is not great you could say…’it was at this point that you started to lose me’, ‘So, you can see that the message you are communicating is the same but the angle you are coming from is completely changed and opens the employee up to learning.We are often told that you need to get someone out of their comfort zone to learn or to be challenged and grow, but the research actually suggests the exact opposite, you have got to try and grow people from inside their comfort zone. If you take people outside their comfort zone, their brain stops paying attention to anything other than surviving the experience, for example; of potentially being belittled or told or what they did wrong and there’s no learning going on whatsoever.So the best outcomes for employee growth and improvement and learning are creating an environment where the employee feels comfortable, and then adding to their knowledge base whilst in a place of comfort, then you will find that they are very open. When they are open, their minds are creative, insightful and productive and that’s where feedback is the most effective in terms of moving employees forward in their knowledge and understanding of the learning they need to achieve the best outcomes.Adapted HBR March 2019 Buckingham & Goodall

How do you go from where you are to where you want to be in your...
posted on 27 February 2019 12:00 AM

How do you go from where you are to where you want to be in your business? What’s your NEXT LEVEL?  Inspired Trades Business Coaching can help give you systems and strategies to do just that.  Book a no obligation free online strategy session today to find out how a business coach can help you move your business forward https://bookme.name/inspiremenow/strategic-business-analysis

Consistency, with the right formula for your business, is key to...
posted on 27 February 2019 12:00 AM

Consistency, with the right formula for your business, is key to success.  A great Coach will identify your needs, where you are at,  where you want to go in your business, and step by step, will help you to set and achieve one goal after another! CLICK HERE to  Book an online, obligation free Strategy Session with Inspired Trades Business Coaching today.  We will guarantee, coaching can take you to whatever your NEXT LEVEL is, in your business. Or head to this link below:https://bookme.name/inspiremenow/strategic-business-analysisInspired Trades Business Coaching will help you increase your profits so much that the cost of coaching will be the best thing you ever spent on your business growth. 

Does your Building or Trades Business need a kick in the...
posted on 27 February 2019 12:00 AM

Does your Building or Trades Business need a kick in the pants… Do you need someone to make you accountable for the HOW and WHY in your business? Contact Inspired Trades Business Coaching today for a FREE no obligation ½ hour online call to see how we can help your business to be better… even 1% better everyday is better than stagnation. https://bookme.name/inspiremenow/strategic-business-analysis

Recovering from a Business Mistake
posted on 15 February 2019 12:00 AM

We all make mistakes in business - the fewer the better but life and business have this as a common denominator. The question is not if you’re going to make a mistake, the question is how you recover from one when you do. Here are some strategies to help:Firstly, identify what steps can be taken to remedy the mistake both immediately and then medium and longer term.  A bad decision is no reason to become indecisive, but rather an opportunity to learn from the mistake and grow stronger from it. When you have identified what can remedied, share both the mistake and what can be remedied with your team, so they are empowered and not afraid to make mistakes themselves from time to time.Armed with the best remedies you can muster, reach out and apologise to anyone affected by your mistake. This may include your staff, your colleagues and your customers but this process will be the best thing you can do to restore any relationships damaged by the error.Whatever the mistake, you can become a better business owner with this knowledge. Don’t ever become despondent or distracted. Learn from it and you can get better at anything but you will not get better if 1) you don’t want to and 2) you aren’t willing to feel the discomfort of doing things differently.If you’re tired of learning from your mistakes and would prefer to learn from training and education, find a business mentor or coach and come under their instruction to point you in the right direction. Ideally find someone from the building industry with heaps of experience under their belt and then ask them to teach you and hold you accountable to the outcomes.

How to Have a Profitable Building Trades Business and Still Have a Life
posted on 09 February 2019 12:00 AM

I often talk to business owners in the trades who think that the key to a successful and profitable business is to work yourself to the bone and never take a break. Sometimes they wear the pain like a badge of honour and celebrate the fact they haven’t had a holiday for years.This is both a terrible mistake and false. The best business owners (and all of our longstanding clients) understand that there is a direct link between successful and profitable building trades business ownership and disciplined time off. The best leaders are very good at working hard when its time for work, and forgetting about work to connect with friends and family and themselves so they can rejuvenate their mind.To start this discipline the first step is to aim for 24 consecutive hours break per week. The same time every week is ideal, and a time that allows connection with your family is better still. If business owners adopt this one simple discipline and commit to it firmly, massive mental clarity follows.With mental clarity you can assess your business properly and realise that the steps to sustainable profit are really summarised as follows:1. Financial and time management clarity.2. Identifying a Profitable Niche.3. Marketing to that niche using educational marketing techniques.4. Systemising every aspect of your sales, administration and delivery.5. Employing a great team.6. Having a mentor or business coach to keep you on track.

Client talks about his Sales System
posted on 05 February 2019 12:00 AM

Do we have the golden touch? Not really, we apply proven strategies that work to businesses and the results speak for themselves. To watch the video and learn how Ben Rees systemised his sales process ~ click HERE To stay in touch connect with us at www.inspiremenow.com.au

To Improve Your Team, First Fix Yourself
posted on 31 January 2019 12:00 AM

Business owners often tell us that their team is “dysfunctional” (their word, not ours) and ask us to help identify and fix the issue. When we dig deeper and ask them to describe what they are observing in detail, we typically hear that certain team members are problematic and need to change their behaviour. We also hear vague statements about “them” (everyone else) not knowing how to operate effectively. As experienced business coaches, we know that these are not accurate or helpful assessments of the situation.Teams are complex systems of individuals with different preferences, skills, experiences, perspectives, and habits. The odds of improving that complex system in a meaningful and sustainable way are higher if every team member — including the leader — learns to master these three foundational capabilities: internal self-awareness, external self-awareness, and personal accountability.Internal self-awareness Internal self-awareness involves understanding your feelings, beliefs, and values — your inner narrative. When we don’t understand ourselves, we are more likely to succumb to the fundamental attribution error of believing that the behaviors of others are the result of negative intent or character (“he was late because he does not care”) and believing that our own behaviours are caused by circumstance (“I was late because of traffic”). Teammates with low internal self-awareness typically see their beliefs and values as “the truth,” as opposed to what is true for them based on their feelings and past experiences. They can fail to recognize that others may have equally valid perspectives.The good news is that internal self-awareness can be learned. To start, you — as a leader of the team or a teammate — can pause, reflect, and consider your responses to these questions when you find yourself in challenging or emotionally-charged scenarios.·  What emotions am I experiencing?·   What am I assuming about another person or the situation?·   What are the facts vs. my interpretations?·   What are my core values, and how might they be impacting my reactions?If you take the time to consider your responses and resist the impulse to rush to an answer, you can learn a great deal about yourself. As William Deresiewicz, author of Solitude and Leadership, said in an address at West Point, “[The] first thought is never [the] best thought.”External self-awareness External self-awareness involves understanding how our words and actions impact others. Most of the business owners we work with have no idea how their behaviours are impacting their colleagues. As a result, it’s difficult for them to recognize and leverage the strengths that make them a productive teammate, as well as identify and correct behaviours that negatively impact the team. Without this knowledge, they can’t improve.One way to start building external self-awareness is to observe others’ reactions during discussions. Did someone raise their voice? Stop talking? Gesture? Sit back from the table? Smile?  You can collect some valuable information this way. You should also be mindful of the fact that you will reach some inaccurate conclusions. In these situations, remember that you are interpreting why colleagues react the way they do, and those interpretations will be influenced by your personal beliefs and experiences. Paying attention to your internal self-awareness and considering how you reached your initial conclusions will help.A more direct approach is to ask teammates for specific, straightforward feedback:· What am I doing in team meetings that is helpful?·  What am I doing that is not helpful?·  If you could change one part of how I interact with the team, what would it be?This may feel risky and uncomfortable, but it’s the only way you can get accurate data about the impact of your words and actions.In terms of timing, you should carefully assess whether it is additive to the discussion at hand to ask for feedback in the moment, or whether it is better to ask later. For example, in a one-on-one conversation with a trusted colleague, it’s probably OK to pause and ask. However, in a big team meeting, pausing the conversation to get personal feedback can be disruptive to what your team is trying to accomplish.Personal accountabilityWhen we think of accountability, we typically think of holding others accountable. But the most effective leaders and teammates are more focused on holding themselves accountable.Like self-awareness, this sounds easy, though it rarely is. When confronted with a challenge or discomfort, many of us have established unhealthy patterns: blaming or criticizing others, defending ourselves, feigning confusion, or avoiding the issue altogether.If a team is not working well together, it’s highly likely that every team member is contributing to the difficulty in some way, and each of them could be taking personal accountability to make the team more effective.To be a personally accountable leader or teammate, you need to take these steps:1.Recognize when there is a problem. Sometimes this is the hardest part because we’d rather look away or talk about how busy we are instead. Resist the urge to do so.2.Accept that you are part of the problem. You are absolutely contributing to the situation.3.Take personal responsibility for solving the problem.4.Stick with it until the problem is completely solved.A small shift in mindset will directly impact behaviors and can have a significant positive impact on an entire team.Taking actionIn most teams, a typical response to frustration is “my teammate is annoying.” But when an effective leader or teammate becomes frustrated, she will put the above tips into practice instead:· Explore her reactions by considering her emotions, beliefs and values, and asking herself what in her is causing this reaction (internal self-awareness).· Consider the impact she may be having on others by observation or inquiry (external self-awareness).· Assess how she is contributing to the situation and make a conscious choice about how to react to improve the team’s outcomes (personal accountability).Most teams we work with learn to operate more effectively by building and strengthening these three capabilities over time. Changing how we process information and respond requires not just learning these new skills, but also demonstrating them long enough to form new habits. Effective teammates believe that, sometimes, you have to go slow to go fast. They invest the time and energy needed to build these foundational skills, so they can be better at tackling the difficult business opportunities and challenges that they face.Adapted HBR Jennifer Porter January 2019

Creating Time for Your Team to do Valuable Work
posted on 22 January 2019 12:00 AM

Business managers have a huge effect on how employees spend their time. One comment in a meeting or quick email can drastically sway a schedule, and even ruin a weekend. But when leaders are deliberate and thoughtful with their choices, they can create opportunities and time for their teams to do valuable work. To master the art of making intentional choices, leaders should focus on three things: the work environment they create, the expectations they have, and the examples they set through their choices and actions. Environment1. Treat new tools as debt. Before you add a new product, process, or platform to your company, ask yourself if it’s worth it. There will always be new technologies and processes you can adopt — an app promising better communication, a service promising smarter collaboration. But these products don’t always deliver. And when you’re overeager about trying shiny new things, it can hurt your team more than it helps them. People may become bogged down incorporating a new tool into their workflow, or scattered while attempting to learn a new process. Of course these things can be useful if the timing is right and the strategy is solid, but they also come at a cost.2. Block as a team. Blocking your calendar is a simple and defensible way to make time for the work that matters. You can supercharge this tactic by agreeing to block your calendar as a team. When everyone in a group or department has the same “do not schedule” blocks on their calendar, it’s much easier to spend that time focused on work.3. Make your workplace a place for work. Ironically, most offices are not great for getting work done, and open floor plans deserve most of the blame. Moving walls may not be realistic, but you can change the default behaviour of your team by instituting Library Rules. Jason Fried, co-founder and president of 37signals and co-author of Rework, has a brilliant suggestion: Swap one default (you can talk to anyone anytime) with a different default, one that everybody already knows (act like you’re in a library).4. Keep it small. Large teams have more overhead than small ones. Complicated projects have more unknowns than simple ones. Long timelines encourage people to take on unnecessary work. This probably seems obvious, but my experience is that most leaders make things bigger than they need to be. Keep teams, projects, and timelines as small as possible.Expectations5. Reward the right behaviors. The 21st Century workplace is full of rewards for long hours and fast responses: compliments, promotions, and cultural badges of honor. If you want to get better, more valuable work from your team, think about which behaviors you reward — even if those rewards are small and unconscious. 6. Have a contact contract. We have so many ways to keep in touch at work — writing emails, sending chats, scheduling meetings, hopping on calls. Which form of communication is the most appropriate, and when? You can help your team decide by having an open discussion about everyone’s preferences and then making guidelines that work for the majority. Think about timeliness, thoughtfulness, interruption, and synchronicity. The decisions you come to don’t have to be a literal contract, but they should create an understanding about when and how to communicate.7. Don’t ask for updates. Nothing triggers anxiety like an email from the boss late in the day: “Hey, can you send me a quick update on Project Alpha?” This kind of message appears urgent — even if it’s not — and it will likely take time for your employee to respond. They may have to run numbers or ask collaborators for updates. A better way to keep tabs on projects is to ask your team for summaries. Explain to them that summaries come at the end of a project, or mark a milestone, and include: the results, the lessons learned, and what needs to happen next. 8. Be mindful of what you say, because everyone’s listening. When leaders make careless comments or suggestions, they can unintentionally change the workflow of their teams. It takes great restraint as the leader not to keep lobbing ideas at everyone else. Every such idea is a pebble that’s going to cause ripples when it hits the surface. Throw enough pebbles in the pond and the overall picture becomes as clear as mud. Leaders need to recognize the weight their words carry, and practice speaking with thoughtful intention.9. Don’t expect consensus. Getting everyone to agree before moving forward with a decision can waste time if consensus is not realistic. In fact, a little conflict often inspires learning and innovation, especially on diverse, thoughtful teams. The key, then, is to collect input from everyone, consider your options, and then make a decision based on what you think is best given the information you have. Be transparent with your team about how you made the decision — what you considered, and why — and set time aside to answer questions. People should walk away with a clear understanding of your choice and how it affects their work. This will save you time later on.Examples10. Turn off the phone.  Your decisions about how you spend your time sets the example for your employees. As a leader, you might want them to know you’re available when they need you — but if being logged in and responsive at all times becomes your default, it might become theirs too. Projecting this kind of presence sends the message that it’s okay for people to interrupt you whenever you’re needed, or worse, that the company values the appearance of availability over the time and focus needed to do great work. The solution is to create boundaries. Be straightforward about your time, when you need to focus, and when you are free. A good option is to create “office hours” — periods when anyone can drop in or schedule time with you . These meetings will allow you to give people your undivided attention when you’re available to do so.11. Be thoughtful, not reactive. When leading new initiatives, take the time to thoughtfully write your ideas down and consider them. Try not to “think out loud” in meetings. Even if you are brainstorming with others, avoid making a decision on the spot. Give yourself the mental space you need to feel confident that the decision you make is the best path forward. This will save time down the road, and help your team avoid unnecessary road blocks or last minute changes. Ask: How can I make this — product, service, or company — better right now? What are the first steps?12. Take real breaks. Leave work early. Take a weekend getaway. Go on a long holiday. And when you do, tell your team you’ll be out of the office and offline. Delegate people to make decisions while you’re out, or defer those decisions until you come back. Real breaks can make you a better leader, a happier person, and set the standard that people need, and deserve, time off.If you’ve ever wished for better work, greater job satisfaction, or less stress for your team, you have the power to make those changes by rethinking the decisions you make about time. New behaviours have a funny way of becoming habits. What sounds crazy and new right now will seem normal and inevitable in a couple of years. Take these ideas as experiments you can run with, and start testing them tomorrow.Adapted HBR Jan 2019 Zeratsky

How to Keep Your Best Employees
posted on 16 January 2019 12:00 AM

Many people believe that being a good manager only requires common sense, and that it is therefore easy to be done. If this were true, good managers would be commonplace and as a result, employee engagement and retention would be high. However, only 13% of workers worldwide are engaged at work. As these statistics suggest, either most managers lack common sense, or good management is, in fact, quite challenging in practice.When managers subscribe to the “common sense” view of management, they see little value in exerting effort when it comes to leading their teams. In turn, they become lazy managers. There are at least two symptoms associated with lazy management: 1) a tendency for managers to blame low performance and turnover on employees, rather than on oneself or on the organization, and 2) a tendency for managers to look for quick fixes to complex retention problems.Psychologists have long recognized that people often overestimate the role of personality and underestimate the power of the situation in shaping human behaviour. When managers become lazy, they tend to make this fundamental attribution error more frequently and on a larger scale, believing that employees act the way they do because of who they are. By blaming employees for performance problems or retention issues, lazy managers free themselves from doing the hard work of considering how their own management style affects employee satisfaction, performance, and turnover.Also, because lazy managers believe that good management is simple, when things go wrong, they are drawn to simple solutions that are easy to find. For example, when employee retention becomes a problem, lazy managers may be quick to suggest pay raises or bonuses as the antidote — a costly solution that may fail to address the underlying issue(s). The latest management fads may also be more appealing to lazy managers. Indeed, the sheer volume and availability of solutions to employee engagement and retention problems through blogs, books, podcasts, and other sources is greater than ever, and the reality is that much of it targets lazy managers seeking quick fixes.First, when employees are disengaged, rather than asking what is wrong with them, managers should instead start by considering the possibility that management is doing something wrong. After opening their minds to this possibility, managers can determine whether this is the case by collecting data. For instance, quick, frequent “pulse surveys” may be useful for keeping tabs on how employees feel about their own jobs and the job that management is doing; likewise, self-development tools, such as the Reflected Best Self exercise, a tool that helps people understand and leverage their individual talents, may provide leaders with feedback that can help them use their strengths more effectively. In short, managers need to take the uncomfortable and intentional step of gathering evidence from others to inform what they can be doing to re-engage their employees. The good news is that by simply signalling to employees that a manager is willing to work hard and make meaningful changes, some employees will feel more supported and inclined to stay.Second, managers who are willing to make the effort will find that there are ongoing advances in the practice and study of management which offer an ever-expanding set of tools for diagnosing and addressing employee retention challenges. Not every tool fit a given manager’s style and the organization’s circumstances. Therefore, good managers must not only continually learn, but also must have the discipline to verify whether the advice they do receive, even when based on strong evidence and best practices, will apply to their team. For example, before providing employees with customer feedback in order to stoke their prosocial motivation — that is, their interest in helping customers for altruistic, unselfish reasons — a trial run with a subset of employees can provide evidence regarding whether it will improve employee attitudes and performance, and if so, by how much. Fortunately, there are resources available to managers who want to learn more about “people analytics” and how to use it to improve their organizations.Finally, when retention issues crop up, leaders should consider whether lazy management is contributing to the problem. If managers are just going through the motions when it comes to employee engagement and retention, it could indicate that they lack the necessary time, resources, and motivation to do more. Since effortful management requires energy in the short-term, but does not pay off until down the road, some managers forgo their responsibilities to their people because they are too focused on meeting short-term objectives. To discourage lazy management, then, managers must be given the support, incentives, and direction needed to motivate them to dedicate time and energy toward more actively managing their teams. Management is not easy, and it takes a lot more than common sense to develop and retain a highly motivated workforce these days. By abandoning the “just common sense” mentality associated with lazy management, managers can learn how their actions influence employees, stop looking for easy fixes, and exert the thought and effort that is uncommon in too many workplaces.Adapted HBR Jan 2019 Bolino & Klotz

How to Talk to Customers
posted on 09 January 2019 12:00 AM

The key to any successful relationship is effective communication. In the business world, this means trying to understand what consumers and clients are saying, and responding to them in ways that persuade.It is now clear, that some of the time-honored truths of customer service interactions fail to hold up to scientific scrutiny. You can, for example, saying “sorry” to a customer too many times. Even if you’re a member of the company’s team, it is often better to say “I” than “we.” And not every piece of communication needs to be perfect; sometimes, a few mistakes produces a better result than flawlessness.Here is the latest on the fast-growing, insightful, and sometimes surprising new world of business language research.Be Human…The body of research analyzing language use between employees and customers, suggests a personal touch is indeed crucial.Speak as an individual, not part of a team. For instance, saying “How can I help you?” outperforms “How can we help you?”. For one company, an analysis of over a thousand email interactions with customers found that switching to first person singular pronouns could lead to a potential sales increase of over 7%.Share the same words. People who mimic the language of the person they’re interacting with are trusted and liked more, whether this mimicry entails how they talk (pronouns like “I” or “we,” articles like “it” or “a”) or what they talk about (nouns like “car,” verbs like “drive,” adjectives like “fast”). For example, in response to a customer inquiry such as “Will my shipment arrive soon?” an agent would be better off saying “Yes, your shipment will arrive tomorrow,” rather than “Yes, it’s being delivered tomorrow.” First, relate. Expressing empathy and caring through “relational” words is critical, at least in the first (opening) part of service interactions. Relational words are verbs and adverbs that demonstrate concern (e.g., please, thank you, sorry) as well as signal agreement (e.g., yes, uh huh, okay). While this may not seem surprising, what may be for some is that front-line employees shouldn’t necessarily offer a caring, empathetic touch over the entirety of the interaction.… And Then Take ChargeMore sophisticated analysis of the language of customer interactions suggests that once they’ve shown they’re listening, front-line employees should quickly shift gears towards language that signals a more assertive, “take charge” attitude.Move from relating to solving. After an initial period in which the employee demonstrates their empathy for the customer’s needs, hearing employees say “sorry” and other “relating” words had little effect on customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is higher when front-line employees dynamically shift from deferent words (e.g., afraid, mistake, pity) to more dominant language (e.g., must, confirm, action).Be specific. Customers see employees as more helpful when they use more concrete language. For example, for a builder or tradesman, “expansion joint” is more effective than “crack”.Don’t beat around the bush. Subtle variations in the words used to endorse a product or action can have substantial effects. For example, people are more persuasive when they use words that explicitly endorse the product to the customer (“I suggest trying this one” or “I recommend this paint”) rather than language that implicitly does so by sharing the speaker’s personal attitude (“I like this one” or “I love this paint”) towards a product or service. This is because explicit endorsements signal both confidence and expertise on the part of the recommender, a perception that could be particularly important in personal selling contexts.As more and more consumer-firm conversation moves online or to other text-based media, the importance of utilizing language properly is greater than ever. Adapted HBR Oct 2018 Moore, McFerran & Packard

When You Break Under Pressure, So Does Your Team
posted on 09 January 2019 12:00 AM

As a leader, much of what you do is relatively forgettable. I don’t mean to insult, but your routine actions on routine days are experienced by your team as, well, routine.But for non-routine days — the days when you are under the gun, feeling the heat, or pushed to your limits — how you respond under the pressure makes an indelible impression on the people around you. Research shows that your temperament in these crucial moments has a tremendous impact on your team’s performance.When the hammer comes down, are you calm, collected, candid, curious, direct, and willing to listen? That would be ideal, wouldn’t it? Or would your team describe you as upset, angry, closed-minded, rejecting, or even devious?When under pressure:· 53% of leaders are more closed-minded and controlling than  open and curious.· 45% are more upset and emotional than calm and in control.· 45% ignore or reject rather than listen or seek to understand.· 43% are angrier and more heated than cool and collected.· 37% avoid or sidestep rather than be direct and unambiguous.·  30% are more devious and deceitful than candid and honest. And while you can be great 95 percent of time, the non-routine behaviour leaves a lasting impression. The five percent of moments when stakes are high, and the heat is on —reveals the truth about who you really are.The research found that when leaders buckle under pressure, it doesn’t just hurt their influence, it also hurts their teams. Respondents said that when their leader clams up or blows up under pressure, their team members have lower morale; are more likely to miss deadlines, budgets, and quality standards; and act in ways that drive customers away.When leaders fail to practice effective dialogue under stress, their team members are more likely to consider leaving their job than teams managed by someone who can stay in dialogue when stressed. Team members are also more likely to shut down and stop participating, less likely to go above and beyond in their responsibilities, more likely to be frustrated and angry, and more likely to complain.Let’s walk through an example to see how a few simple skills can help a leader be at their best even when the pressure is on. ·                     Determine what you really want. Focus on a positive destination like “Showing my best self” or “Making sure the team understands my appreciation for the sacrifice I’m going to ask them to make,” for example.·                     Challenge your story. The best leaders challenge their stories. So you could ask, “Why might a rational, reasonable, and decent person make the mistake that she made?” and “What role did I have in allowing her mistake to go unnoticed and uncorrected?” These questions move us from angry judge to curious problem solver, and make us far more effective as leaders.·                     Start with facts. When we’re angry, we lead with our emotions, instead of with the facts. Skilled leaders tamp down the temptation to level accusations, and gather the facts. Specifically, focus on what you expected: the commitments, standards, policies, or targets that were missed. Then, add what you observed: the specific actions with dates, times, places, and circumstances as necessary. Don’t add your conclusions, opinions, or judgments. Because facts are neutral and verifiable, they become the common ground for problem solving.·                     Create safety. When you’re under pressure with your job or reputation on the line, how do you light a fire under your team without showing them your anger? Can you get your team to put in the overtime you’ll need from them without threatening them? The short answer is yes. The study showed that teams work harder and more effectively if a boss doesn’t lose their temper with them. So you don’t have to threaten. Share your positive intent by saying something like, “This is not about blaming, it’s about fixing. I want us to focus on how we can solve our immediate problem. Then we can circle back to find ways to prevent it from happening again.” By framing your intent, you get your team focused on what they need to do, and not on how they are being mistreated. When the heat turns up at work, most of us aren’t at our best. If you’ve lost your temper in the past, be easy on yourself. You may do it again. But don’t be discouraged – or complacent. Ask yourself, “When it matters most, who am I?” While it isn’t easy to step up to your best self under pressure, it is incredibly important. These are defining moments for you and for your team.Adapted HBR Dec 2018 Maxfield & Hale

The Key to Business Growth: Surround Yourself with People Who Will Push You
posted on 09 December 2018 12:00 AM

When thinking about how to develop our business, most of us tend to focus on projects, courses, and certifications. We overlook one very key piece of the learning puzzle:  proactively surrounding ourselves with people who will push us to succeed in unexpected ways and, in so doing, build genuinely rich, purposeful lives of growth, excellence, and impact.We typically spend at least two decades in our formal education and, in developed countries, hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, few of us engage in a deliberate, determined search for those wise individuals who, through their inspiration and advice, can literally make us new.How can you find this group? The following guidelines should help:Think about the people who inspire you.  These can be teachers of certain disciplines; inventors; entrepreneurs; business, social, or public leaders.  I have always been moved and inspired by specific people, not just abstract professions.  I “met” them originally in many cases by reading their work or about them, but also via social media and at conferences.Don’t be afraid to chase.  Conferences are a great place to get inspired, approach, and start a relationship with some of the people you’ve identified.  Other cases may require a much more determined investment. But think how little time commitment it is compared to what we invest in our education, or to the opportunity cost and frustration of a poor career choice or wrong job decision.Aim for a mix of people inside and outside your industry.  External contacts can potentially have the benefit of greater independence, a broader perspective with radically new horizons, as well as potential connections across both worlds which will benefit everyone.Be candid about the reason for your interest.  Most truly great people live their lives with genuine passion and want to expand their missions.  Most times, they will be delighted to both inspire you and help you see how to close the gap between dream and reality.Ask them specifically about how to get started.  Some invaluable advice about what I had to do: You need three Cs:  capability, which you have; connectivity, which at least initially you can do through the global network of social media; and credibility, which you don’t have yet.  Have crucial conversations in the right settings.  Meeting face-to-face with no distractions will help you reach a level of intimacy which simply can’t achieve remotely.  Don’t hesitate to ask the truly big questions. What shall I do with my life?  What really motivates me?  What am I doing that I really don’t like to do?  While pondering these questions, in addition to checking my capability, connectivity and credibility, I also engage my friends in conversation about three other Cs:  contemplation (Am I in touch with my inner compass?), compassion (Do I show it for myself and others?), and companions (Who else might inspire me to new growth?)Proactively seeking out and cultivating those who will help us become better versions of ourselves is, by a wide margin, the key for living a truly happy and meaningful life. Adapted HBR Sept 2018 Fernandez-Araoz———————————————————————————————To learn more about Inspired Trades and the work we do, please don’t hesitate to go to our website and download our FREE ebook “10 Steps to a Million Dollar Trades Business” www.inspiremenow.com.au

How to Keep Motivated When You’re Just Not Feeling It
posted on 04 December 2018 12:00 AM

Motivating yourself is hard. But effective self-motivation is one of the main things that distinguishes high-achievers from everyone else. So how can you keep pushing onward, even when you don’t feel like it?To a certain extent, motivation is personal. What gets you going might not do anything for me. And some individuals do seem to have more stick-to-itiveness than others. However, after 20 years of research into human motivation, the following strategies have been identified that seem to work for most people.Design Goals, Not ChoresAmple research has documented the importance of goal setting. Studies have shown, for example, that when salespeople have targets, they close more deals, and that when individuals make daily exercise commitments, they’re more likely to increase their fitness levels. Abstract ambitions—such as “doing your best”—are usually much less effective than something concrete, such as bringing in 10 new customers a month or walking 10,000 steps a day. As a first general rule, then, any objectives you set for yourself or agree to should be specific.Find Effective RewardsSome tasks or even stretches of a career are entirely onerous—in which case it can be helpful to create external motivators for yourself over the short- to-medium term. You might promise yourself a holiday for finishing a project or buy yourself a gift for quitting smoking. A common trap is to choose incentives that undermine the goal you’ve reached. If a dieter’s prize for losing weight is to eat pizza and cake, he’s likely to undo some of his hard work and re-establish bad habits. If the reward for excelling at work one week is to allow yourself to slack off the next, you could diminish the positive impression you’ve made. Research on what psychologists call balancing shows that goal achievement sometimes licenses people to give in to temptation—which sets them back.Sustain ProgressWhen people are working toward a goal, they typically have a burst of motivation early and then slump in the middle, where they are most likely to stall out. Fortunately, research has uncovered several ways to fight this pattern. I refer to the first as “short middles.” If you break your goal into smaller subgoals—say, weekly instead of quarterly targets—there’s less time to succumb to that pesky slump.A second strategy is to change the way you think about the progress you’ve achieved. When we’ve already made headway, the goal seems within reach, and we tend to increase our effort. Another mental trick involves focusing on what you’ve already done up to the midpoint of a task and then turning your attention to what you have left to do. Research has found that this shift in perspective can increase motivation. Harness the Influence of OthersHumans are social creatures. We constantly look around to see what others are doing, and their actions influence our own. Even sitting next to a high-performing employee can increase your output. Listening to what your role models say about their goals can help you find extra inspiration and raise your own sights.Interestingly, giving advice rather than asking for it may be an even more effective way to overcome motivational deficits, because it boosts confidence and thereby spurs action. A recent study found that people struggling to achieve a goal like finding a job assumed that they needed tips from experts to succeed. In fact, they were better served by offering their wisdom to other job seekers, because when they did so, they laid out concrete plans they could follow themselves, which have been shown to increase drive and achievement.A final way to harness positive social influence is to recognize that the people who will best motivate you to accomplish certain tasks are not necessarily those who do the tasks well. Instead, they’re people who share a big-picture goal with you: close friends and family or mentors. Thinking of those people and our desire to succeed on their behalf can help provide the powerful intrinsic incentives we need to reach our goals. CONCLUSIONIn positive psychology, flow is defined as a mental state in which someone is fully immersed, with energized focus and enjoyment, in an activity. Alas, that feeling can be fleeting or elusive in everyday life. Self-motivation is one of the hardest skills to learn, but it’s critical to your success.Adapted HBR Dec 2018 Fishbach———————————————————————————————To learn more about Inspired Trades and the work we do, please don’t hesitate to go to our website and download our FREE ebook “10 Steps to a Million Dollar Trades Business” www.inspiremenow.com.au

How to Stop Being Chronically Busy and Stressed
posted on 28 November 2018 12:00 AM

You’ve left an important task undone for weeks. It’s hanging over you, causing daily anxiety. And yet instead of actually doing it, you do a hundred other tasks instead.These self-sabotaging patterns maintain a cycle of always having too much to do (or at least feeling like that’s the case). If you’re chronically tapped out of the immense amount of mental energy required for planning, decision making, and coping, it’s easy to get lured into these traps.  Let’s unpack the problems in more detail and discuss solutions.1. You keep ploughing away without stepping back and prioritizing.When we’re busy and stressed, we often default to working on whatever has the most imminent deadline, even if it’s not particularly important. Stress causes our focus to narrow to the point where we’re just keeping going, like a hamster on a wheel. We go through the motions of getting things done, without actually stepping back and considering what’s most important to work on. You might find yourself spending several hours on a task that wasn’t that important to begin with, even though you have a mountain of other things to be doing.The solution is to step back and work on tasks that are important but not urgent. Use the “pay yourself first” principle to do items that are on your priority list first, before you jump to responding to other people’s needs. You might not be able to follow this principle every day, but aim to follow it for several days of the week.2. You completely overlook easy solutions for getting things done.When we’re stressed, we don’t think of easy solutions that are staring us in the face. Again, this happens because we’re in tunnel vision mode, doing what we usually do and not thinking flexibly. Especially if you’re a perfectionist, when you’re overloaded it’s likely that you’ll find yourself overcomplicating solutions to problems. To get out of the trap of overlooking easy solutions, take a step back and question your assumptions. If you tend to think in extremes, is there an option between the two extremes you could consider? On a broader level, breaks in which you allow your mind to wander are the main solution to the problem of tunnel vision. Even short breaks can allow you to break out of too narrow thinking. Sometimes, a bathroom break can be enough. Try anything that allows you to get up out of your seat and walk around. This can be a reason not to outsource some errands. They give an opportunity to allow your mind to wander while you’re physically on the move, an ideal background for producing insights and epiphanies.3. You “kick the can down the road” instead of creating better systems for solving recurring problems.When our mental energy is tapped out, we’ll tend to keep doing something ourselves that we could delegate or outsource, because we don’t have the upfront cognitive oomph we need to engage a helper and set up a system. Remedies for recurring problems are often simple if you can step back enough to get perspective. Always forgetting to charge your phone? Keep an extra power cord at the office. Always correcting the same mistakes? Ask your team to come up with a checklist so they can catch their own errors. Travel for work a lot? Create a “master packing list” so that trying to decide what to bring doesn’t require so much mental effort. Carve out time to create and tweak these kinds of systems. You might take a personal day from work to get started, and then spend an hour once a week on it to keep up; author Gretchen Rubin calls this her once-a-week “power hour.” When you start improving your systems, it creates a virtuous cycle in which you have more energy and confidence available for doing this further. By gradually accumulating winning strategies over time, you can significantly erode your problem, bit by bit.4. You use avoid or escape methods for coping with anxiety.People who are overloaded will have a strong impulse to avoid or escape anxiety. Avoidance could be putting off an important discussion with your team. Escape could be rushing into an important decision, because you want to escape needing to think about it further. This can lead to a pattern of excessively delaying some decisions and making others impulsively. Avoidance and escape can also take other forms — an extra glass of wine (or three) after work, binge-watching TV, or mindlessly scrolling through Facebook. It might even be ticking less-important things off your to-do list to avoid the urgent task that’s making you anxious.If you want to deal constructively with situations that trigger anxiety for you, you’ll need to engineer some flexibility and space into your life so that you can work through your emotions and thoughts when your anxiety is set off. With practice, you’ll start to notice when you’re just doing something to avoid doing something else.If you can relate to the patterns described, you’re not alone.  These issues aren’t personal flaws in your character or deficits in your self-control. They’re patterns that are very relatable to many people. You may be highly conscientious and self-disciplined by nature but still struggle with these habits. If you’re in this category you’re probably particularly frustrated by your patterns and self-critical. Be compassionate with yourself and aim to chip away at your patterns rather than expecting to give your habits a complete makeover or eradicate all self-sabotaging behaviours from your life.Adapted HBR Sept 2018 Boyes———————————————————————————————To learn more about Inspired Trades and the work we do, please don’t hesitate to go to our website and download our FREE ebook “10 Steps to a Million Dollar Trades Business” www.inspiremenow.com.au

If You Want to Get Better at Something, Ask Yourself These Two Questions.
posted on 17 November 2018 12:00 AM

I have two questions for you.One: Do you want to do better?Two: Are you willing to feel the discomfort of putting in more effort and trying new things that will feel weird and different and won’t work right away?I believe — and my experience coaching leaders in different circumstances proves — that anyone can get better at anything. But in order to get better — and in order to be coached productively — you need to honestly answer “yes” to both those questions.Maybe you want to be a more inspiring leader. Or connect more with others. Maybe you want to be more productive or more influential. Maybe you want to be a better communicator, a more impactful presenter, or a better listener. Maybe you want to lead more effectively, take more risks, or become a stronger manager.Whatever it is, you can become better at it. But here’s the thing I know just as clearly as I know you can get better at anything: you will not get better if 1) you don’t want to and 2) you aren’t willing to feel the discomfort of doing things differently.One senior leader I worked with became defensive when people gave him feedback or criticized his decisions. He wanted to get better, he told me, and he was willing to feel the discomfort. So I gave him very specific instructions: Meet with each member of your team and acknowledge that you have struggled with accepting feedback and tell them that you are committed to getting better. Then ask for feedback — especially ways you can be a better leader — and take notes. Don’t say anything other than “Thank you.”“It took every restraint muscle in my body not to get into a conversation about their comments,” he told me afterwards. “Especially because I felt they misunderstood me at times. It was beyond uncomfortable. And I messed up a few times and had to apologize. But I did it — and they haven’t stopped talking about what a welcome change it’s been.”Learning anything new is, by its nature, uncomfortable. You will need to act in ways that are unfamiliar. Take risks that are new. Try things that, in many cases, will be initially frustrating because they won’t work the first time. You are guaranteed to feel awkward. You will make mistakes. You may be embarrassed or even feel shame, especially if you are used to succeeding a lot —and all my clients are used to succeeding a lot.If you remain committed through all of that, you’ll get better.I now ask those two questions before committing to coach any senior leader. It’s a prerequisite to growth.Adapted HBR Nov 2018 Bregman————————————To learn more about Inspired Trades and the work we do, please don’t hesitate to go to our website and download our FREE ebook “10 Steps to a Million Dollar Trades Business” www.inspiremenow.com.au

To Change Your Business, Shift Your Perspective
posted on 09 November 2018 12:00 AM

Human beings crave coherence. We long to be true to ourselves and to act in a way that’s consistent with what we believe and value. We want to live and work authentically. This quest for coherence is hardwired; psychologists often refer to human beings as “meaning-making machines.” Our brains create coherence by knitting together our internal experience and what we observe in our environment, through an automatic process of narration that explains why we and others do what we do. As we repeat the resulting stories to ourselves (often unconsciously), they become scripts and routines that guide our actions. And instead of recognizing our stories for the constructions they are, we may mistakenly interpret them as immutable truths, as “the way things are.”We’ve encountered countless stories among our coaching clients that shape the way they think and lead, such as, “Everything is always a battle around here.” For better or for worse, our stories shape what we notice and how we interpret it. They inform our decision making and behaviour. If, for instance, you see your workplace as a battlefield, you expect hostility. You’re primed to attack and defend. You may assume that casualties are inevitable. You may misinterpret people’s intentions and overlook opportunities to collaborate. There may come a time when you need to shift your guiding story to one that enables you to pursue new goals or do things differently.The first step to authoring liberating stories is to identify and examine the stories you tell yourself and others. This helps you understand what you stand for and why you act and react the way you do. Identify a personal or collective challenge you’re facing. What is the basic story you tell yourself about this issue? Our stories are rarely created in isolation; they involve our relationships with others. Therefore, working with the interpersonal aspects of our stories is an essential step toward authoring stories that support our desired development. If you find that one of your guiding stories limits you, the next step is to consider what you’d like to change and how your story would need to shift to help you achieve the transition. Do you want to adopt a healthier lifestyle, find a new sense of purpose at work, and build stronger relationships with family members? Making this change requires choosing which elements of your story to bring forward and which to let go of. Once we realize that our behaviour stems from stories we construct and repeat until they seem fixed in stone, we become more capable of authoring liberating stories. Reconstituting our stories so that they help us move in the direction we want to go is a process of choice and intentional sense-making. Any leader can begin to develop this powerful skill by learning to recognize the stories you live by — individually and collectively as a team or organization — examining their effects, and refining them to emphasize empowering elements. The rewards of doing so include an increased sense of humanity, coherence, and liberation.Adapted HBR Aug 2018 Valcour & McNulty—————To learn more about Inspired Trades and the work we do, please don’t hesitate to go to our website and download our FREE ebook “10 Steps to a Million Dollar Trades Business” www.inspiremenow.com.au

The 6 Leadership Skills Every Building Trade Business Owner Should Know
posted on 30 October 2018 12:00 AM

The 6 Leadership Skills Every Building Trade Business Owner Should KnowResearch has pointed to six leadership skills that are particularly important. These are not mysterious and certainly aren’t new. However, the leaders we talked with emphasized that these fundamental skills really matter. Aspiring leaders should focus on practicing these essential basics:·        Shape a vision that is exciting and challenging for your team (or division/unit/organization).·        Translate that vision into a clear strategy about what actions to take, and what not to do.·        Recruit, develop, and reward a team of great people to carry out the strategy.·        Focus on measurable results.·        Foster innovation and learning to sustain your team (or organization) and grow new leaders.·        Lead yourself — know yourself, improve yourself, and manage the appropriate balance in your own life.No matter where you are in your business, you can find opportunities to practice these six skills. You’ll have varying degrees of success, which is normal. But by reflecting on your successes and failures at every step, and getting feedback from colleagues and mentors, you’ll keep making positive adjustments and find more opportunities to learn. Eventually, as you progress, you’ll reach a level of capability in these areas such that you’ll start seeing results: you’ll successfully make things happen through the people who work for you on your team. As you succeed, these results will begin to build upon one another. You’ll have become a leader, capable of rallying an organization of people around a meaningful collective goal and delivering the results to reach it.Adapted HBR Oct 2018 Ashkenas & Manville

How to Earn a Reputation as a Fair Boss
posted on 22 October 2018 12:00 AM

At some point in your career, you likely encountered a boss you believed was unfair. You probably thought to yourself, “When I’m a boss, I’m never going to be like that!” Sadly, there is no objective measure of fairness. Instead, each time you attempt to level the playing field on one dimension, you throw it off balance on another. You can start with the most standard measure of fairness, which focuses on the outcomes of your decisions. Did your decision-making process lead to a fair distribution for everyone involved? You can apply this test to common decisions such as how you allocate workload, offer development opportunities, and dole out rewards and recognition. You can be sure that your team is scrutinizing the outcomes of these high-profile decisions. If one person is disadvantaged by your decision making (e.g., assigned a less desirable shift or given a more difficult assignment) multiple times, it’s likely that they will perceive your decision-making as unfair.Unfortunately, there’s more to it. In addition to the fairness of the outcome, your team will be judging the fairness of your process. Was your decision-making process inherently fair, regardless of the outcome? How you arrive at your decision will carry as much weight in how you are perceived as the decision you ultimately end up making.The challenge is that when you try to optimize one version of fairness, you can inadvertently taint the other. As a simple example, imagine assigning workload based on a flip of a coin. Because a coin-flip is random, it can be considered a fair process. Now imagine that you flip the coin ten times and seven of those times it comes up heads. Now the person who chose heads gets 70% of the workload — an unfair outcome. The takeaway is that you need to be mindful about both your decision-making process and the resulting outcomes. One interesting side note: research has suggested that the relative importance of the fairness of the outcome versus the fairness of the process depends on which an employee hears about first. The research looked at a hypothetical hiring process in which some applicants were evaluated with a fair process and some with an unfair process. Some of the participants were told about the process that was used to make the selection decision before hearing whether or not they got the job, whereas others were told about the process after.For those who heard about the process before the outcome, the fairness of the process (rather than whether they got the job or not) predicted their overall satisfaction. For example, people who heard about the process of evaluation, but found out that they were ultimately not hired, were OK with that outcome because they believed the process leading to that decision had been fair.  For those who learned about the outcome first, the fairness of the outcome was more important. For example, when people first heard that they were not hired, without any explanation of the process used to arrive at that decision, they immediately assumed that the decision was unfair. The study provides an important lesson: when you’re using a fair process that might lead to an unfair allocation, be sure to provide details about the process before your team learns of the decision.Even once you invest considerable effort in deciding fairly, that’s no guarantee that it will be perceived that way by your team. Don’t make the mistake of assuming your decisions will speak for themselves. If you are focusing on an equitable process for choosing who gets promoted, where you will weigh certain competencies or styles more positively than others, make your intentions known to your team. If you’re emphasizing an equal sharing of the bonus pool to reinforce the importance of every member of the team, be upfront about it.You are the boss and you have the discretion to make those calls. Regardless of how you choose to make the difficult calls, it’s critical that you communicate what you’re thinking. Transparency increases trust in the process and has value for your employees above and beyond the specifics of the decision-making process.In the end, we all learn that life isn’t fair. As a boss, you’ll learn this much sooner than others. You’ll face difficult decisions where no resolution seems ideal and where the outcome will be perceived as fair by some and unfair by others. Don’t be too hard on yourself. As long as you have thought carefully about what the business needs and made your assessment of the best answer as objectively as possible, you have done your job. You will always have an opportunity to restore balance with the next decision.Adapted HBR Oct 2018 Davey

When To Quit
posted on 05 October 2018 12:00 AM

Perseverance has received lots of support in recent years from a variety of schools of business. One is from psychologists studying grit. They have found the capacity to stick to a task — particular when faced with difficulties – is a crucial factor in explaining the success of everyone.Then there’s the idea that persevering in the face of adversity can prompt learning and improvements of skills. Carol Dweck’s work on growth mindsets has found that those who treat challenges and limitations as an opportunity to develop and learn tend to perform better in the long term. They persist when they face challenges, and the reward is a deeper and wider skill set.How Good Are You at Quitting?For each question give yourself a score from 1 (almost never true) to 5 (almost always true).If I had to stop pursuing an important goal in my life…1. It’s easy for me to reduce my effort toward the goal. 2. I find it easy to stop trying to achieve the goal.  3. I am not committed to the goal for a long time; I can let it go.  4. It’s easy for me to stop thinking about the goal and let it go. 5. I think about other new goals to pursue. 6. I seek other meaningful goals. 7. I convince myself that I have other meaningful goals to pursue. 8. I tell myself that I have a number of other new goals to draw on. 9. I start working on other new goals. 10. I put effort toward other meaningful goals.Once you’ve completed the test, add up your score of questions 1-4. This will give you a sense of how good you are at disengaging from an existing goal. The average score is about 10. If you scored 13 or more, then you are very good at disengaging from old goals. If you scored 7 or less, then you are very bad at disengaging from old goals.Now add up your scores for questions 5-10. That will give you a sense of how good you are at setting new goals. The average is 21-22. If you scored 26 or more, the you are very good at setting new goals. If you scored 17 or less, then you are very bad at setting new goals.Source: Carsten Worsch ET AL., 2013A final benefit of perseverance is that we don’t know when our luck will turn. A recent study of the careers of nearly 29,000 artists, filmmakers, and scientists found that most of them had a hot streak in their career when their work received wide acclaim. These hot streaks happened at a random time in their career, however. They weren’t related to age, experience, or even being more productive. They just happened. This suggests that if you’re thinking about quitting, you should remember a hot streak could be just around the corner.Other research challenges these findings, however. One recent meta-analysis of studies of over 66,000 people found that there was actually a weak link between grit and performance. And a recent study of over 5,600 students taking scholastic aptitude tests found that there was no link between growth mindsets and scores on the test. People with a growth mindset were not more likely to improve if they took the test again, nor were they more likely to even try to take the test again. And the research on the artists’ hot streaks? It turns out most people had only one; second acts were comparatively rare, particularly for filmmakers. So if you’ve already enjoyed a streak of success, the odds are against you enjoying another one.In fact, there’s a large body of work showing that perseverance may have a harmful downside. Not giving up can mean people persist even when they have nothing to gain. In one study, people working on an online platform were given a very boring task. The researchers found those who said they were very persistent continued to do the task despite the fact it was boring and there was little to be gained in terms of monetary reward. So while it might be valuable to persist with worthwhile and rewarding tasks, people who don’t quit often continue with worthless tasks that are both uninteresting and unrewarding, ultimately wasting their time and talents.Remaining fixated on long cherished goals can also mean people ignore better alternatives. Being unwilling to let go can lead to people being perpetually dissatisfied — even when they end up getting what they thought they wanted. This was nicely illustrated in a study of graduating college students searching for a job. The researchers found students who had a tendency to “maximize” their options and were fixated on achieving the best possible job possible did end up getting 20% more in terms of salary. However, they were generally more dissatisfied with the job they got and they found the process of getting the job more painful.An unwillingness to quit can be more than just unrewarding. In some situations, it can become downright dangerous. This happens when people’s persistence leads then to continue with, or even double-down on, losing courses of action. One study found that people who were particularly gritty were less likely to give up when they were failing. These same people were more likely to be willing to suffer monetary losses just so they could continue doing a task. Another study of would-be inventors found that over half would continue with their invention even after receiving reliable advice that it was fatally flawed, sinking more money into the project in the process. The lesson: people who tend to be tenacious are also those who get trapped into losing courses of action.Being unable to let go of cherished but unachievable goals can also be bad for your mental and physical health. People who struggle to disengage with impossible goals tend to feel more stress, show more symptoms of depression, be plagued by intrusive thoughts, and find it difficult to sleep. They have higher rates of eczema, headaches, and digestion issues. Being fixated on unachievable goals is also related to high levels of cortisol (which over time is linked with things like weight gain, high blood pressure, negative mood and sleeping problems) and higher levels of C-reactive protean (which is linked with inflammation in the body).So when you ask yourself whether to stick with a task or goal, or to let it go, weigh the potential to continue learning and developing incrementally against the costs, dangers, and myopia which can come with stubborn perseverance.Adapted HBR Oct 2018 Spicer

Stop Cancelling & Rescheduling Things.
posted on 24 September 2018 12:00 AM

A friend recently returned to his parked car to find it had been sideswiped. Now, every time he calls the insurance company, he hears a message saying: “Can’t take your call right now. Leave a message. All calls will be returned by the end of the day.”So far, he’s called over a dozen times; his calls have been returned only twice.Why would an insurance company have a voicemail message assuring callers that “all calls will be returned by the end of the day” and then return only 20% of the calls it committed to returning? Probably for the same reasons most of us promise “to write back to your email on Monday” but don’t, or promise “to send out that memo by Friday” but don’t.Why do any of us say we will do things and then fail to do them?We overcommit ourselves. We don’t like to disappoint people, so we tell them what we think they want to hear. We feel pressure in the moment and don’t stop to consider how much pressure we’ll feel later. We don’t think through how much time things will actually take — and we don’t leave enough slack time in our days to handle the (inevitable) emergencies and delays.When you fail to fulfil commitments that you freely make, trust is not the result.Never has cancelling, for example, been easier and less painful for us than it is in the age of the text message. We can cancel without ever having to speak with, much less meet, someone. We can cancel five minutes ahead and without explanation. Just tack on an emoticon to our message, and we can convince ourselves that it’s almost the same as if we’d met our obligation.But the thought process still isn’t pain-free. We feel guilty about it. We waffle over what to do — and the indecision is draining. Finally, we cancel, and we undermine our confidence in ourselves. It reinforces our conviction that we can’t do it all — that we can’t control our schedule, or even our effort.There are consequences for our personal lives, and there are certainly consequences in the workplace. Keeping commitments is a sign of maturity. Employees who don’t finish assignments, for instance, or finish them late or poorly, or are themselves routinely late, miss meetings, and cancel appointments, are an imposition on other team members and a liability to their employers.Because these bad habits are nearly ubiquitous, they inevitably hitch a ride with some of us as we climb the ladder into leadership roles, where the workplace dysfunction they generate is magnified. It’s difficult to hold your subordinates accountable when you don’t hold yourself accountable. It’s hard to trust others when we know we can’t be counted on. How do we inspire commitment in those we lead when it’s obvious to them that commitment is a negotiable principle for us? It’s impossible to be a good leader if we don’t govern ourselves.If you really mean no when you say yes, then say no in the first place. We are all in the same boat — we have finite time and a seemingly infinite number of worthwhile things to do with it. Commit yourself to not agreeing to do things unless you’re going to follow through. Ask for time to think things over if you’re unsure. Don’t overschedule yourself. If you’re truly overextended, you may require a transition period to weed some things out; after that, once you say yes to something, stick to the yes. If the commitment seemed like a good idea at the time, it still is — even if the value is found not in the activity itself but in being trustworthy and following through.Adapted HBR Sept 2018 Whitney Johnsom

Freedom to Do the Work that Matters Most
posted on 17 September 2018 12:00 AM

Since at least the time of Frederick Taylor, the father of “scientific management,” control has been central to corporate organization. It feels like what a manager should be doing: Setting targets, monitoring adherence to procedures, directing, shaping the future of the business. Control feels essential—especially if you are the boss.Except it turns out that far from being vital, top-down control carries serious costs, many of which have been hiding in plain sight. What is more, there is an alternative. And not a pie-in-the-sky fantasy conjured up on a whiteboard, but a real, working alternative. It has been practiced to varying degrees in companies around the world for decades. This alternative has never had a name because—fittingly, as you’ll see—it hasn’t really had a guru. Its principles have been passed from business leader to business leader like samizdat. But more recently it has started to come into the open. We call it corporate liberation.The idea can be stated simply enough: A liberated company allows employees complete freedom and responsibility to take actions that they—not their managers—decide are best for their company’s vision. That doesn’t mean that these firms are unmanaged. On the contrary, the specific actions that we observed in close to one hundred liberated companies prove the opposite.For example, every morning, a liberated company’s manager would ask whether there is anything preventing their team from doing their best. That may not sound unusual, but here’s the first twist: When their team shares a problem or an opportunity with them, they will not offer a solution. Instead, they ask them to find their own—after ensuring that there isn’t something she’s doing that would get in the way.Human beings have certain universal psychological needs: The need to be treated as intrinsically equal, the need for personal growth, and to exercise self-direction. Each of these needs is frequently and systematically denied by traditional command-and-control managerial hierarchies. Perhaps the most important benefit of liberating an organization—because it leads in turn to all the other benefits—is the creation of an environment that feeds these universal needs, rather than stifling them. - Glenn LeetThus one of the most striking findings about liberated companies is the extremely high level of engagement and intrinsic motivation among employees. The collateral benefit of this high engagement is that the liberated organization outperforms the traditional one. The reason for it is not in some top-management talk about serving the “whole person.” It’s simply that feeding psychological needs lead to higher engagement and—as a consequence—to higher team productivity and initiative and increased corporate performance.If you manage a business or plan to do so, here are practical steps to build a freedom-based workplace in your own company right now.Steps for building a freedom-based teamLose your ego. Your employees won’t believe you trust their intelligence if you are always the one with the “best solution.”Share the company’s vision. This isn’t specific to building a liberated workplace. Yet, given the discretion allowed in freedom-based companies, a shared vision is fundamental since it provides a common criterion for the teams to make their decisions. Qualified people don’t need to be told how to do their jobs, but especially when you set them free, they need to know why they’re doing what they’re doing—so they can do it better.Create the respect tide—the climate in which most manager-leaders show through their actions that they respect and trust employees.  It requires the manager-leaders to remove the obstacles preventing teams from doing their best.Ask your team what’s in their way. If any organizational practice or structural element is mistrusting their intelligence, limiting their growth, or hampering their self-direction. If yes, ask them to redesign it. Be prepared to see the majority of control practices and structures—both in the hierarchical and in the support functions—gradually replaced. The respect tide will stimulate teams’ willingness to set their own work schedules or to make their own hires, and these demands affect organizational processes.Become the guardian of the liberated team. When teams assume more responsibilities and make more decisions on their own, fewer remain for all levels of managers. Managers who accept this will be busy serving their teams while abstaining from using their formal authority.Your employees will be willing to come to work every day to do their best, your manager-leaders will spend their days revealing employee potential, and you will enjoy dinner every night with your family knowing that your business is succeeding.Adapted HBR Sept 2018 Carney & Getz

To Cope with Stress, Try Learning Something NewStressed. Anxious. Exhausted. Drained. This is how...
posted on 07 September 2018 12:00 AM

To Cope with Stress, Try Learning Something NewStressed. Anxious. Exhausted. Drained. This is how many business owners feel at work due to stressors like longer work hours, more-frequent hassles, the need to do more with fewer resources, and so on. Such work stress has been shown to induce anxiety and anger, unethical behavior, poor decision making, and chronic exhaustion and burnout — all of which impair personal and organizational performance.There are typically two ways people try to deal with this stress. One is to simply “buckle down and power through” — to focus on getting the stressful work done. The other common tactic is to retreat — to temporarily disconnect from work and get away from the stressful environment.Unfortunately, both “grinding through” and “getting away” have potential pitfalls. Research has long established that we humans have limits in handling heavy workloads, which restrict our ability to always grind through. Continuing to exert effort while stressed and fatigued will simply tax us and lead to depletion and impaired performance. And while a reprieve from work can provide temporary relief, it does not address the underlying problems that cause stress in the first place. When we return from a break, we are not only faced with the same issues, but we may also experience additional guilt and anxiety.So what else can we do to temper the ill effects of stress? Research suggests a third option: focusing on learning. This can mean picking up a new skill, gathering new information, or seeking out intellectual challenges.Evidence of Learning as a Tool to Ease StressIn two complementary studies, in the face of stress, people experienced fewer negative emotions (e.g., anxiety, distress) and engaged in less unethical behavior (e.g., taking company property, being mean to coworkers) on days when they engaged in more learning activities at work compared to other days. In contrast, relaxing activities did not buffer the detrimental consequences of stress. Relaxation thus did not appear to be as useful a stress buffer as learning was.Strategically Using Learning at WorkWhat specifically can you do to increase learning when faced with stress at work?First, start internally. Practice re-reframing stressful work challenges in your mind. When stress emerges, change the message you tell yourself from “this is a stressful work assignment/situation” to “this is a challenging but rewarding opportunity to learn.” Reframing stressful tasks as learning possibilities shifts your mindset and better prepares you to approach the task with an orientation toward growth and longer-term gains.Second, work and learn with others. Instead of wrestling with a stressful challenge solely in your own head, try to get input from others. Getting out and discussing a stressor with your peers and colleagues might reveal hidden insights, either from their experience or from the questions and perspectives they raise.Embracing learning can be a more active way to buffer yourself from negative effects of stress at work. - Glenn Leet Third, craft learning activities as a new form of “work break.” Alongside purely relaxing breaks — either short ones like meditating or longer ones like taking days off — consider recasting learning itself as a break from your routine tasks at work. Viewing learning as “more work” will make it less attractive in an already stressful situation, but approaching it as a form of respite can make it more appealing and more likely to create positive, enjoyable experiences.At the same time, there is no need to wait for stress to arise before seeking learning opportunities. Even without pressing problems, engaging in learning as a central feature of your work life will help you build personal resources and equip you to be resilient and prepared in navigating future stress at work.Adapted HBR Sept 2018 Zhang, Myers & Mayer

Don’t complain - do this instead
posted on 03 September 2018 12:00 AM

Got issues with your staff or Boss? We have a solution for you. “If I added up all the time I’d spent listening to people complain about each other last week: 3 hours and 45 minutes. And that was just the time they spent complaining to me.” - Glenn LeetThis is, unfortunately, not unusual. The legendary executive coach Marshall Goldsmith, interviewed more than 200 of his clients and what he discovered matched previous research he read but found hard to believe: “a majority of employees spend 10 or more hours per month complaining — or listening to others complain — about their bosses or upper management. Even more amazing, almost a third spend 20 hours or more per month doing so.”And that doesn’t even include the complaining they do about their peers and employees. Which would be hard to believe if not for the fact that, if you pay attention to what you experience during your day, you’d find it’s pretty accurate.Imagine the productivity gain of reducing all those complaining hours.Why do we complain about other people?Because it feels (really) good, requires minimal risk, and it’s easy.Here’s what happens: Someone annoys us. We’re dissatisfied with how they’re behaving. Maybe we’re angry, frustrated, or threatened. Those feelings build up as energy in our bodies, literally creating physical discomfort (that’s why we call them feelings — because we actually, physically, feel them).When we complain about someone else, the uncomfortable feelings begin to dissipate because complaining releases the pent-up energy. That’s why we say things like “I’m venting” or “I’m blowing off steam” (But, as we’ll see in a moment, that dissipation doesn’t just release the energy, it spreads it, which actually makes it grow).Additionally, when we complain to people who seem to agree with us — and we almost always complain to people who seem to agree with us — we solicit comfort, camaraderie, connection, support, and justification, which counteracts the bad feelings with some fresh, new good ones.Complaining changes the balance of negative/positive energy and, for a brief moment at least, we feel better. It’s actually a pretty reliable process. Addictive even.Which is the problem (beyond even the wasted time): Like just about all addictions, we’re feeding the spin of a destructive, never-ending cycle. The release of pressure — the good feeling — is ephemeral. In fact, the more we complain, the more likely the frustration, over time, will increase.Here’s why: when we release the pent-up energy by complaining, we’re releasing it sideways. We almost never complain directly to the person who is catalyzing our complaints, we complain to our friends and families. We’re not having direct conversations to solve a problem, we’re seeking allies. We’re not identifying actions that could help, we’re, almost literally, blowing off steam.Why is complaining about such a bad move?Complaining creates a number of dysfunctional side effects (again, beyond the time wasted): It creates factions, prevents or delays — because it replaces — productive engagement, reinforces and strengthens dissatisfaction, riles up others, breaks trust, and, potentially, makes the complainer appear negative. We become cancer we’re complaining about; the negative influence that seeps into the culture.Worse, our complaining amplifies the destructiveness and annoyance of the initial frustration about which we’re complaining.Think about it: someone yells in a meeting. Then you go to the next meeting (where no one is yelling) and you complain about the person who just yelled. Now other people, who weren’t at the initial meeting, feel the impact of the yelling and get upset about it too. Encouraged by their support, your brief, momentary release transforms into righteous indignation and, becoming even more incensed, you experience the initial uncomfortable feelings all over again.In other words, while the energy dissipates, it expands. The amount of time you spend thinking about it extends for hours, sometimes days and weeks. And you’ve multiplied the people who are also thinking and talking about it.Meanwhile, our complaining improves, precisely, nothing.In fact, that might be the biggest problem: Complaining is a violent move to inaction. It replaces the need to act. If instead of complaining, we allowed ourselves to feel the energy without needing to dissipate it immediately — which requires what I call emotional courage — then we could put that energy to good use. We could channel it so it doesn’t leak out sideways.In other words, let the uncomfortable feeling you have — the one that would otherwise lead you to complain — lead you to take a productive action.What’s a better move when we feel like complaining?Go ahead and complain. Just do it directly — and thoughtfully — to the person who is the cause of your complaints.“Talk to the person who yelled in the meeting. If that person doesn’t listen, talk to their boss. If you don’t like that idea, then, when it actually happens, say “Hold on. Let’s respect each other in this conversation.” If you missed the opportunity in the moment, then meet with them afterwards and say, “Please let’s respect each other in our conversations.” - Glenn Leet That, of course, also takes emotional courage. It’s a scary, more risky thing to do. But it’s why it’s worth developing your emotional courage — because, while scary, it’s far more likely to be highly productive. It holds the potential for changing the thing that’s the problem in the first place. And rather than become the negative influence, you become the leader.If you want to brave this route, let your urge to complain be the trigger that drives you to take action in the moment (or, if you missed the moment, then shortly after):Notice the adrenaline spike or the can-you-believe-that-just-happened feeling (e.g., someone yelling in a meeting).Breathe and feel your feelings about the situation so that they don’t overwhelm you or shut you down. Notice that you can stay grounded even in difficult situations (e.g., feel, without reacting).Understand the part about what’s actually happening that is complain-worthy (e.g., it’s not okay to yell and disrespect others in a meeting).Decide what you can do to draw a boundary, ask someone to shift their behavior, or otherwise improve the situation (e.g., “Please let’s respect each other in our conversations.”)Follow through on your idea (e.g., actually say: “Please let’s respect each other in our conversations.”)It’s not nearly as easy as complaining. But it will be far more productive and valuable.It won’t always work like that, but you may be surprised how often it will.Thanks for Reading, we hope you got something positive from this. If you want to know more about Inspired Trades Coaching Visit us here www.inspiremenow.com.auBest Regards, Glenn Leet, Inspired Trades Adapted HBR Bregman Aug 2018

Optimising Profit, Workflow & Cashflow - Canberra 12th Sept.
posted on 03 September 2018 12:00 AM

Are you a Trades business owner and living in Canberra or the surrounding area? Join us for a One Day Workshop Style Presentation for Trades Business. It’s our passion to help Australian trade business owners take things to the NEXT LEVEL. ——–Held at the HIA Training Rooms - 28 Collie Street, FYSHWICK ACTCome and learn the no-nonsense ways that Australia’s best trade businesses are optimising their profit, workflow and cash-flow by adopting simple, structured and proven business strategies.If you’re a trade business owner that say’s any of the following, you need to be at the workshop: ‘I’m ready to get serious about my business success’ ‘It feels like I’m on a treadmill and I don’t know how to get off’ ‘I need some business advice from someone who talks my language’.——-WHAT YOU WILL GET:1. Easy to understand strategies you can implement in your business 2. Real life industry examples that you can learn from 3. Straightforward advice from someone who has done it.COST: $39.00 Register Here ~ https://bookme.name/inspiremenow/optimising-profit-workflow-cashflow-canberra-workshop  LIMITED TO 15 ATTENDEES ONLY!  Get your tickets now to avoid disappointment. https://bookme.name/inspiremenow/optimising-profit-workflow-cashflow-canberra-workshop ——–WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING:https://www.productreview.com.au/p/inspired-trades-building-coaching.htmlAbout Glenn Leet:  https://inspiremenow.com.au/about-glenn-leet 

inspiredbusinesscoaching: The Next Time You Want to Complain about your Staff (or Boss), Do This...
posted on 27 August 2018 12:00 AM

inspiredbusinesscoaching: The Next Time You Want to Complain about your Staff (or Boss), Do This Instead If I added up all the time I’d spent listening to people complain about each other last week: 3 hours and 45 minutes. And that was just the time they spent complaining to me. This is, unfortunately, not unusual. The legendary executive coach Marshall Goldsmith, interviewed more than 200 of his clients and what he discovered matched previous research he read, but found hard to believe: “a majority of employees spend 10 or more hours per month complaining — or listening to others complain — about their bosses or upper management. Even more amazing, almost a third spend 20 hours or more per month doing so.” And that doesn’t even include the complaining they do about their peers and employees. Which would be hard to believe if not for the fact that, if you pay attention to what you experience during your day, you’d find it’s pretty accurate. Imagine the productivity gain of reducing all those complaining hours. Why do we complain about other people? Because it feels (really) good, requires minimal risk, and it’s easy. Here’s what happens: Someone annoys us. We’re dissatisfied with how they’re behaving. Maybe we’re angry, frustrated, or threatened. Those feelings build up as energy in our bodies, literally creating physical discomfort (that’s why we call them feelings — because we actually, physically, feel them). When we complain about someone else, the uncomfortable feelings begin to dissipate because complaining releases the pent up energy. That’s why we say things like “I’m venting” or “I’m blowing off steam” (But, as we’ll see in a moment, that dissipation doesn’t just release the energy, it spreads it, which actually makes it grow). Additionally, when we complain to people who seem to agree with us — and we almost always complain to people who seem to agree with us — we solicit comfort, camaraderie, connection, support, and justification, which counteracts the bad feelings with some fresh, new good ones. Complaining changes the balance of negative/positive energy and, for a brief moment at least, we feel better. It’s actually a pretty reliable process. Addictive even. Which is the problem (beyond even the wasted time): Like just about all addictions, we’re feeding the spin of a destructive, never-ending cycle. The release of pressure — the good feeling — is ephemeral. In fact, the more we complain, the more likely the frustration, over time, will increase. Here’s why: when we release the pent up energy by complaining, we’re releasing it sideways. We almost never complain directly to the person who is catalyzing our complaints, we complain to our friends and families. We’re not having direct conversations to solve a problem, we’re seeking allies. We’re not identifying actions that could help, we’re, almost literally, blowing off steam. Why is complaining such a bad move? Complaining creates a number of dysfunctional side effects (again, beyond the time wasted): It creates factions, prevents or delays — because it replaces — productive engagement, reinforces and strengthens dissatisfaction, riles up others, breaks trust, and, potentially, makes the complainer appear negative. We become the cancer we’re complaining about; the negative influence that seeps into the culture. Worse, our complaining amplifies the destructiveness and annoyance of the initial frustration about which we’re complaining. Think about it: someone yells in a meeting. Then you go to the next meeting (where no one is yelling) and you complain about the person who just yelled. Now other people, who weren’t at the initial meeting, feel the impact of the yelling and get upset about it too. Encouraged by their support, your brief, momentary release transforms into righteous indignation and, becoming even more incensed, you experience the initial uncomfortable feelings all over again. In other words, while the energy dissipates, it expands. The amount of time you spend thinking about it extends for hours, sometimes days and weeks. And you’ve multiplied the people who are also thinking and talking about it. Meanwhile, our complaining improves, precisely, nothing. In fact, that might be the biggest problem: Complaining is a violent move to inaction. It replaces the need to act. If instead of complaining, we allowed ourselves to feel the energy without needing to dissipate it immediately — which requires what I call emotional courage — then we could put that energy to good use. We could channel it so it doesn’t leak out sideways. In other words, let the uncomfortable feeling you have — the one that would otherwise lead you to complain — lead you to take a productive action. What’s a better move when we feel like complaining? Go ahead and complain. Just do it directly — and thoughtfully — to the person who is the cause of your complaints. Talk to the person who yelled in the meeting. If that person doesn’t listen, talk to their boss. If you don’t like that idea, then, when it actually happens, say “Hold on. Let’s respect each other in this conversation.” If you missed the opportunity in the moment, then meet with them afterwards and say, “Please let’s respect each other in our conversations.” That, of course, also takes emotional courage. It’s a scary, more risky thing to do. But it’s why it’s worth developing your emotional courage — because, while scary, it’s far more likely to be highly productive. It holds the potential for changing the thing that’s the problem in the first place. And rather than become the negative influence, you become the leader. If you want to brave this route, let your urge to complain be the trigger that drives you to take action in the moment (or, if you missed the moment, then shortly after): Notice the adrenaline spike or the can-you-believe-that-just-happened feeling (e.g., someone yelling in a meeting). Breathe and feel your feelings about the situation so that they don’t overwhelm you or shut you down. Notice that you can stay grounded even in difficult situations (e.g., feel, without reacting). Understand the part about what’s actually happening that is complain-worthy (e.g., it’s not okay to yell and disrespect others in a meeting). Decide what you can do to draw a boundary, ask someone to shift their behavior, or otherwise improve the situation (e.g., “Please let’s respect each other in our conversations.”) Follow through on your idea (e.g., actually say: “Please let’s respect each other in our conversations.”) It’s not nearly as easy as complaining. But it will be far more productive and valuable. It won’t always work like that, but you may be surprised how often it will. Adapted HBR Bregman Aug 2018

The Next Time You Want to Complain about your Staff (or Boss), Do This Instead
posted on 18 August 2018 12:00 AM

If I added up all the time I’d spent listening to people complain about each other last week: 3 hours and 45 minutes. And that was just the time they spent complaining to me.This is, unfortunately, not unusual. The legendary executive coach Marshall Goldsmith, interviewed more than 200 of his clients and what he discovered matched previous research he read, but found hard to believe: “a majority of employees spend 10 or more hours per month complaining — or listening to others complain — about their bosses or upper management. Even more amazing, almost a third spend 20 hours or more per month doing so.”And that doesn’t even include the complaining they do about their peers and employees. Which would be hard to believe if not for the fact that, if you pay attention to what you experience during your day, you’d find it’s pretty accurate.Imagine the productivity gain of reducing all those complaining hours. Why do we complain about other people? Because it feels (really) good, requires minimal risk, and it’s easy.Here’s what happens: Someone annoys us. We’re dissatisfied with how they’re behaving. Maybe we’re angry, frustrated, or threatened. Those feelings build up as energy in our bodies, literally creating physical discomfort (that’s why we call them feelings — because we actually, physically, feel them).When we complain about someone else, the uncomfortable feelings begin to dissipate because complaining releases the pent up energy. That’s why we say things like “I’m venting” or “I’m blowing off steam” (But, as we’ll see in a moment, that dissipation doesn’t just release the energy, it spreads it, which actually makes it grow).Additionally, when we complain to people who seem to agree with us — and we almost always complain to people who seem to agree with us — we solicit comfort, camaraderie, connection, support, and justification, which counteracts the bad feelings with some fresh, new good ones.Complaining changes the balance of negative/positive energy and, for a brief moment at least, we feel better. It’s actually a pretty reliable process. Addictive even.Which is the problem (beyond even the wasted time): Like just about all addictions, we’re feeding the spin of a destructive, never-ending cycle. The release of pressure — the good feeling — is ephemeral. In fact, the more we complain, the more likely the frustration, over time, will increase.Here’s why: when we release the pent up energy by complaining, we’re releasing it sideways. We almost never complain directly to the person who is catalyzing our complaints, we complain to our friends and families. We’re not having direct conversations to solve a problem, we’re seeking allies. We’re not identifying actions that could help, we’re, almost literally, blowing off steam. Why is complaining such a bad move? Complaining creates a number of dysfunctional side effects (again, beyond the time wasted): It creates factions, prevents or delays — because it replaces — productive engagement, reinforces and strengthens dissatisfaction, riles up others, breaks trust, and, potentially, makes the complainer appear negative. We become the cancer we’re complaining about; the negative influence that seeps into the culture.Worse, our complaining amplifies the destructiveness and annoyance of the initial frustration about which we’re complaining.Think about it: someone yells in a meeting. Then you go to the next meeting (where no one is yelling) and you complain about the person who just yelled. Now other people, who weren’t at the initial meeting, feel the impact of the yelling and get upset about it too. Encouraged by their support, your brief, momentary release transforms into righteous indignation and, becoming even more incensed, you experience the initial uncomfortable feelings all over again.In other words, while the energy dissipates, it expands. The amount of time you spend thinking about it extends for hours, sometimes days and weeks. And you’ve multiplied the people who are also thinking and talking about it.Meanwhile, our complaining improves, precisely, nothing.In fact, that might be the biggest problem: Complaining is a violent move to inaction. It replaces the need to act. If instead of complaining, we allowed ourselves to feel the energy without needing to dissipate it immediately — which requires what I call emotional courage — then we could put that energy to good use. We could channel it so it doesn’t leak out sideways.In other words, let the uncomfortable feeling you have — the one that would otherwise lead you to complain — lead you to take a productive action. What’s a better move when we feel like complaining? Go ahead and complain. Just do it directly — and thoughtfully — to the person who is the cause of your complaints.Talk to the person who yelled in the meeting. If that person doesn’t listen, talk to their boss. If you don’t like that idea, then, when it actually happens, say “Hold on. Let’s respect each other in this conversation.” If you missed the opportunity in the moment, then meet with them afterwards and say, “Please let’s respect each other in our conversations.”That, of course, also takes emotional courage. It’s a scary, more risky thing to do. But it’s why it’s worth developing your emotional courage — because, while scary, it’s far more likely to be highly productive. It holds the potential for changing the thing that’s the problem in the first place. And rather than become the negative influence, you become the leader.If you want to brave this route, let your urge to complain be the trigger that drives you to take action in the moment (or, if you missed the moment, then shortly after):Notice the adrenaline spike or the can-you-believe-that-just-happened feeling (e.g., someone yelling in a meeting). Breathe and feel your feelings about the situation so that they don’t overwhelm you or shut you down. Notice that you can stay grounded even in difficult situations (e.g., feel, without reacting). Understand the part about what’s actually happening that is complain-worthy (e.g., it’s not okay to yell and disrespect others in a meeting). Decide what you can do to draw a boundary, ask someone to shift their behavior, or otherwise improve the situation (e.g., “Please let’s respect each other in our conversations.”) Follow through on your idea (e.g., actually say: “Please let’s respect each other in our conversations.”) It’s not nearly as easy as complaining. But it will be far more productive and valuable.It won’t always work like that, but you may be surprised how often it will.Adapted HBR Bregman Aug 2018

Super-Productive People – How Do They Do It?
posted on 14 August 2018 12:00 AM

Super-Productive People….How They Do It? Super-productive people are in every industry.  Seven consistent habits and skills have been identified that the most productive people regularly practice.Here’s how… 1. Set stretch goals. A big project encourages you to pick up your pace and eliminate all distractions. There is some great magic that occurs when people become riveted by the thought of achieving a stretch goal. 2. Show consistency. We all know people who are 100% reliable. If they say, “It will be done,” it will get done. The most productive people not see their productivity ebb and flow over time; they don’t procrastinate only to pull all-nighters later on. Instead, they figure out how to consistently deliver results, week after week and month after month. 3. Have knowledge and technical expertise. Few things kill productivity faster than a lack of knowledge or expertise. When you know what you’re doing, you don’t have to sacrifice quality for speed. You can get things done both quickly and well. You don’t need to spend time searching online for a good tutorial, or asking a colleague for advice. The most productive people don’t hesitate to ask for help when they needed it…but they don’t need it that often. They also intentionally acquired new skills and worked to expand their expertise. That helped them be skilful, exacting, and quick in their execution.4. Drive for results. Most people are willing to accept responsibility for accomplishing goals and to work at a reasonable pace to achieve expected results. But there are a few people who have a great desire to accomplish results sooner and quicker. They are overjoyed to be able to check something off their to-do list. They’re competitive — and they compete not only with their colleagues but also with themselves. They like to set new records for performance and then beat their own best. 5. Anticipate and solve problems. The most productive people are great problem-solvers. They come up with innovative solutions and accomplish work more efficiently. They also tend to anticipate roadblocks and begin working on solutions in advance, and so avoid some of the problems that other people run into. Social psychologists call this mental contrasting — thinking about what you want to achieve and what might get in the way of your achieving it — and have found that it helps people achieve their goals.6. Take initiative. For many people, the hardest part of getting a job done is starting. The most productive people start quickly, and they never wait to be told to begin. They ask for forgiveness, not permission. And indeed, their bias for action can get them into trouble sometimes — they might start executing a project before all parties have bought in, say. But their results tend to speak for themselves.7. Be collaborative. So far it might sound like we’re describing a person who is a brilliant individual worker but can’t work well with others. The most productive people are highly collaborative and work well with others. They don’t have to spend a lot of time soothing ruffled feathers, because they don’t ruffle many feathers in the first place.If you want to be more productive yourself, take a look at this list and ask if there’s something you can improve. The most productive people might seem to get it all done through magic — or cutting corners — but as it turns out, extreme productivity is just a set of skills. Skills that more of us can acquire and use.Connect with us to learn more www.inspiremenow.com.au Adapted HBR Zenger & Folkman April 2018

Meet Glenn
posted on 31 July 2018 12:00 AM

Glenn is one of Australia’s most experienced building and development professionals with 25 years of business expertise and experience.Glenn is passionate about empowering others to succeed! Glenn honed his skills as director of Australia’s fastest growing residential housing company. The building and development journey has taken Glenn to many places, facing and overcoming many challenges.These days he is equally comfortable on a building site with a nail bag as he is in a boardroom wearing a suit, or on a development site with a laser level.Government and Industry also recognise Glenn’s skills by appointing him as Advisor to the Reserve Bank of Australia and HIA Board Member.Glenn is now working with the tradies, property developers and large project owners he knows best as a coach and consultant.Want to know Glenn’s “10 Steps to a Million Dollar Trades Business?” Go to www.inspiremenow.com.au to download the FREE guide.#inspiremenow #inspiredtrades #champion #winner #successcoach #businesstips #staymotivated #motivatedmindset #hustlemode #setgoals #dreambig

Employing a Friend
posted on 31 July 2018 12:00 AM

  If you’re thinking about hiring a friend here’s how to do it. Don’t start a conversation about hiring if saying no isn’t an option. Ask yourself, “If I open the question about hiring this person, can I imagine myself saying, ‘I’m not giving you the job’?” If you can’t, you’re doomed at the outset. If you wouldn’t say no — because of your own insecurity or your doubts about the emotional maturity of your friend — if no was the right answer, don’t even consider becoming this person’s boss. Otherwise, you will rationalize or cower yourself into a yes that you’ll probably regret. If you can’t turn your friend down for the job, you’ll never be able to manage them once they’re on your team. If your friend has already opened the question, shut it down honestly. Say, “I don’t think I’m strong enough to do what it takes to be both your boss and your friend.” You may have to deal with some resentment, but if they do resent you, then they’d be the kind of person who would despise you when things cratered. Give yourself an off-ramp. If you decide to entertain the possibility, set proper emotional expectations by explaining that no is the likeliest result. If the other person’s hopes begin to gallop at the prospect of being hired, you’ve lost already. Don’t conspire in their choice to set their expectations high. Say something like, “I can see some advantages to working together. And yet I think there are more reasons it won’t work than reasons it will. I’d like to explore the possibility with you, but I want to be clear I think it might not be a good idea.” Rehearse the boundaries. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that being a good friend is a good predictor of being a good employee. Someone who is congenial as a friend can show up as lazy, petty, resentful, dishonest, or even political as a colleague. Let’s face it, you occasionally show up in some of those ways as well. Before you explore the candidate’s qualifications, give yourselves a chance to mutually consider how you’ll deal with some difficult situations. For example, ask your friend how they will feel when: You override a decision they made. You give them a negative performance review. You disagree with them publicly. They disagree with you publicly. You press them to achieve an uncomfortable goal or deadline. You give a plum assignment they wanted to someone else. You deny them a raise. Rehearsing these scenarios helps the two of you think through some of the challenges you might face in your new relationship. This helps both parties set the psychological boundaries you’ll need if you’re to be a boss rather than a buddy. If you can’t imagine yourself holding these boundaries, then don’t proceed. In fact, doing so would mean, in essence, agreeing you will subordinate your duty to your company to the interests of your friend. You’ve sold out before you even begin. Hiring friends is risky. But if approached correctly, you can avoid threatening the relationship and possibly even enrich and strengthen it. Adapted HBR July 2018 Grenny

Are you Ready to Work Smarter?
posted on 31 July 2018 12:00 AM

Who’s ready to work smarter?We’ve all heard the quote to “work smarter not harder”There are so many incredible, available tools, technologies, and strategies to find better ways to do your work. Working harder often means sitting down and getting that work done, with that passion and perseverance to find out how to work smarter, however, we’ve already done that hard work for you. Glenn’s ready to chat with you on our new website about how to work Smarter, not harder. Just go to www.inspiremenow.com.au and start chatting on our Drift Bot.Hit us up with your questions, it would be a pleasure to chat#inspiremenow #inspiredtrades

How to Make Time for the Work That Matters
posted on 31 July 2018 12:00 AM

What if we could have more hours in the day? It’s one thing everyone wants, and yet it’s impossible to attain. But what if you could free up significant time—maybe as much as 20% of your workday—to focus on the responsibilities that really matter?The answer is simple: Eliminate or delegate unimportant tasks and replace them with value-added ones. Research indicates that we spend a great deal of time—an average of 41%—on discretionary activities that offer little personal satisfaction and could be handled competently by others. So why do we keep doing them? Because ridding oneself of work is easier said than done. We instinctively cling to tasks that make us feel busy and thus important, while we missing focusing on the top 20% of tasks that will optimise profit, workflow & cash flow.]There is a way forward. We can make themselves more productive by thinking consciously about how we spend our time; deciding which tasks matter most, and dropping or creatively outsourcing the rest. By simply asking ourselves to rethink and shift the balance of work, we can free up nearly a fifth of our time—an average of one full day a week—and focus on more worthwhile tasks with the hours saved.Why It’s So Hard ~ There are many reasons why this happens. Most of us feel entangled in a web of commitments from which it can be painful to extricate ourselves. Also, those less important items on our to-do lists are not entirely without benefit. Making progress on any task—even an inessential one—increases our feelings of engagement and satisfaction, research has shown. Identify low-value tasks ~ Look at all your daily activities and decide which ones are (a) not that important to you and (b) relatively easy to drop, delegate, or outsource. Research suggests that at least one-quarter of typical work falls into both categories, so you should aim to find up to 10 hours of time per week. Decide whether to drop, delegate, or redesign. Sort the low-value tasks into three categories: quick kills (things you can stop doing now with no negative effects), off-load opportunities (tasks that can be delegated with minimal effort), and long-term redesign (work that needs to be restructured or overhauled).Allocate freed-up time ~ The goal, of course, is to be not just efficient but effective. So the next step is to determine how to best make use of the time you’ve saved. Write down two or three things you should be doing but aren’t, and then get stuck in. You should also be able to go home a bit earlier to enjoy time with your family.

Don’t Have One To-Do List — Have Three
posted on 23 July 2018 12:00 AM

A to-do list can help you stay organized and focused, in fact they are foundational to achieving optimal profit, workflow and cash flow in your trade business. But it can also become overwhelming when it gets too long and you’re not sure what to tackle next. Try keeping three lists — and a calendar. To start off, think about all of the tasks assigned to you. Which of them truly have to get done (chances are, some don’t)? And which are truly urgent? On the first to-do list, write down your projects that are important but aren’t time-sensitive. On the second, write the things that are important and need to get done today. The third list is a not-to-do list, to remind you which things aren’t worth your time and which can be done by someone else. Then use the calendar to block out time for each important task according to its deadline. Once you get control of your priorities, you’ll feel liberated to focus on what really matters to your business. Adapted from HBR June 2018 Rimm

How to Focus on What’s Important, Not Just What’s Urgent
posted on 23 July 2018 12:00 AM

Do you get to the end of the day and feel that you’ve met your most pressing deadlines but haven’t accomplished anything that’s fundamentally important? If you’re like most people, important priorities slip to the back of your mind while you work on low-importance, time-specific tasks. Here is a list of practical strategies and tips to move you in the right direction. Schedule Important Tasks Research shows that scheduling when and where you’ll do something makes it dramatically more likely that the task will get done. Isolate the Most Impactful Elements of Important Tasks If you habitually set goals so lofty you end up putting them off, try this: When you consider a goal, also consider a half-size version which feels doable. Anticipate and Manage Feelings of Anxiety Many important tasks involve tolerating thinking about things that could go wrong, which is anxiety-provoking. Examples: managing difficult staff, succession planning for your business, actually reading your insurance policies, or creating that crisis management plan. Acknowledging and labeling the specific emotions that make an experience emotionally challenging is a basic but effective step for reducing those emotions. Spend Less Time on Unimportant Tasks Unimportant tasks have a nasty tendency of taking up more time than they should. Having strategies for making quicker decisions can help too. When you’ve got a pressing decision to make, it can be better to make a quick decision than a perfect one that takes more time. Adapted HBR July 2018 Boyes

To Improve Your Business, Control What You Pay Attention To
posted on 23 July 2018 12:00 AM

Your attention determines the experiences you have, and the experiences you have determines the life you live. Or said another way: you must control your attention to improve your business. To be consistently productive we must strengthen our skill in attention management. Attention management is the practice of controlling distractions, being present in the moment, and maximizing focus, so that you can unleash your genius. It’s about being intentional instead of reactive. It is the ability to recognize when your attention is being stolen (or has the potential to be stolen) and to instead keep it focused on the activities you choose. Rather than allowing distractions to derail you, you choose where you direct your attention at any given moment, based on an understanding of your priorities and goals. Better attention management leads to improved productivity, but it’s about much more than checking things off a to-do list. The ultimate result is the ability to create a life of choice, around things that are important to you. It’s more than just exercising focus. It’s about taking back control over your time and your priorities. Adapted HBR Mar 2018 Thomas

How to Manage an Employee Who’s Having a Personal Crisis
posted on 23 July 2018 12:00 AM

How can you support staff to take care of themselves emotionally while also making sure they are doing their work (or as much of it as they are able to)? Make yourself availableOften a manager’s first challenge is simply recognizing the warning signs that an employee is going through a difficult time. Invest time in building good relationships with employees so you’ll be able to detect any problems early on. If you maintain an atmosphere of compassion in the workplace, people are more likely to proactively come to you when they’re going through a tough period. Don’t pry As a leader, you need to be able to show empathy and care, but you also must avoid becoming an employee’s personal confidante. “You want to build a caring relationship with employees, not a friendly relationship,”. Many managers make the mistake of confusing being liked with being trusted or respected. A good manager “has the ability to read and understand other people’s needs and concerns,”  while still keeping everyone focused on the major task at hand: accomplishing work. Listen first, suggest secondAsk what both of you can do together to address the issue of performance during the difficult period. “Try to use the word ‘we,’” as in “How can we support you?” The employee may have an idea for a temporary arrangement — some time off, handing off a project to a colleague, or a more flexible schedule for a few weeks — that is amenable to you. Check in regularly to make sure they’re doing ok  Whether you’ve settled on a solution yet or not, check in with your employee occasionally (keeping their privacy in mind). Not only will your employee appreciate that you care, you’ll get a better sense of how they are coping. Consider workloadWhatever arrangements you make, be crystal clear about your expectations during this time period. Be realistic about what they can accomplish and set goals they can meet. For this to be useful it’s got to be specific and it has be grounded in reality. Be transparent and consistentBe conscious of the fact that other employees will take note of how you treat the struggling colleague and will likely expect similar consideration if they too run into difficult times in the future. Principles to Remember Do: Set a tone of compassion in the workplace. It will not only give your employees confidence to approach you with struggles, but also give you the ability to spot warnings signs. Be creative with solutions. A flexible schedule may allow a person to maintain their output without much disruption. Check in from time to time, both to reassure the employee and to make sure that further adjustments or accommodations aren’t needed. Don’t: Act more like a therapist than a manager. Your heart may be in the right place, but don’t get involved in your employee’s personal problems. Make promises you can’t keep. Treat similar situations among employees differently. Employees will note — and resent — the inconsistency. Adapted HBR July 2018 O’Hara

Better Habits ... Courtesy of Your Phone
posted on 23 July 2018 12:00 AM

A habit is just a behavior that becomes a pattern: something we’re so used to doing that it becomes baked into our subconscious. That’s what makes bad habits so dangerous (we can’t stop doing them!) and good habits so powerful (we don’t have to decide to keep doing them — at a certain point, they become automatic). As Charles Duhigg points out in The Power of Habit, a habit “loop” is made up of three pieces: the cue or trigger (whatever prompts you to engage in your habit), the routine (the habit itself), and the reward (the payoff that rewards and reinforces your habit). Your tech tools can help you with each of these components. Trigger Tech is most useful with the first part of this loop — creating a dependable trigger that prompts you to follow your routine. Routine More and more people use apps to guide or structure their habit routines, particularly when it comes to reading and exercise. Reward The same logging apps that can serve as triggers may also serve as a reward. There are a lot of habit-logging apps that can work for this purpose, but if you’re using them as your reward as well as your trigger, take the time to test out a few until you find one that is pleasurable to use. You need to get a rush from logging your latest routine if you want this to reinforce your reward loop. Breaking Bad Habits  The reality is that technology is now central to many of our habit routines. The whole reason we spend so much time fretting about our phones is because technology makes it so easy to develop new, undesirable habits. But the same qualities that make tech a hazard zone for the development of bad habits also make it a very promising ally for the development of the habits we want. Adapted HBR March 2018 Samuel

Great Leaders Are Confident, Connected, Committed, and Courageous
posted on 23 July 2018 12:00 AM

No matter your age, your role, your position, your title, your trade, or your status, to get your most important work done, you have to have hard conversations, create accountability, and inspire action. In order to do that, you need to show up powerfully and magnetically in a way that attracts people to trust you, follow you, and commit to putting 100% of their effort into a larger purpose, something bigger than all of you. You need to care about others and connect with them in such a way that they feel your care. You need to speak persuasively — in a way that’s clear, direct, and honest and that reflects your care — while listening with openness, compassion, and love. Even when being challenged. And, of course, you need to follow through quickly and effectively. To lead effectively — really, to live effectively — you must be confident in yourself, connected to others, committed to purpose, and emotionally courageous. Most of us are great at only one of the four. Maybe two. But to be a powerful presence — to inspire action — you need to excel at all four simultaneously. If you’re confident in yourself but disconnected from others, everything will be about you and you’ll alienate the people around you. If you’re connected to others but lack confidence in yourself, you will betray your own needs and perspectives in order to please everyone else. If you’re not committed to a purpose, something bigger than yourself and others, you’ll flounder, losing the respect of those around you as you act aimlessly, failing to make an impact on what matters most. And if you fail to act powerfully, decisively, and boldly — with emotional courage — your ideas will remain idle thoughts and your goals will remain unfulfilled fantasies. Adapted HBR July 2018 Bregman

Leading When You’re Feeling Afraid
posted on 27 June 2018 12:00 AM

So here’s the question: How can you inspire your team to achieve the impossible when you yourself are feeling afraid and uncertain about how — and whether — you can achieve it? Often trades business owners think they have a staff problem or a sales problem. But that isn’t quite right. What they really have is a leadership problem. You need to inspire people to loosen up, try new things, experiment. You need to get people thinking out of the box at the precise moment that they are huddling together in a small corner of it. How do you get out of this conundrum? Build Emotional Courage Your first step is to build your emotional courage — your ability to act thoughtfully, strategically, and powerfully while feeling afraid. Why not just overcome your fear? That’s what most people try to do (and what many coaches try to help people do), but it’s a huge mistake. You can feel scared without acting scared. It isn’t ignoring fear — you still felt scared — but it doesn’t control you. Focus on the Process When we’re scared or intimidated or pursuing something so big that we don’t even really know where to begin, we need to focus on the process that will get to the outcome. A good process will guide you along the path to get you where you want to go, and you can follow a good process no matter what you’re feeling. Communicate Clearly Once you bolster your emotional courage and target your focus, you need to direct the attention of your team. Vision. People need to have a clear sense of where they are headed. You should articulate the vision so that it’s succinct, simple, palpable, and clear. Empathy. People need to know that you are not out of touch and that you can feel what they are feeling. You do not need to drag this part out — it should be short but connected and heartfelt. This is where you can also own your part in the challenge. Direction. People need to see the path that they can believe will get them to the ultimate objective, the vision. Like the vision, your direction should be succinct, simple, palpable, and clear. Proof. People need a reason to believe they can walk the path, so you should offer proof for your direction and optimism. You should be specific, be personal, and reflect the work that the team is already doing. This will build your team’s confidence. Adapated from HBR June 2018 Bregman

Security of Payment
posted on 27 June 2018 12:00 AM

Queenslanders who work in the building and construction industry make an invaluable contribution to their communities and the economic prosperity of the state. They deserve to be paid for the work they do. The new Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017, passed by the Queensland Parliament on 26 October 2017, will help give them the confidence that this will happen. These new reforms, including Project Bank Accounts, are not just important for subcontractors and their families, they are important for Queensland’s economy and productivity. During extensive consultation the building industry it was discovered that in some cases, trades were not getting paid for their work, putting livelihoods and lives at risk. The Queensland government have responed to stakeholder concerns with a set of reforms that will help assure payment, make it easier for subcontractors to navigate the claims process, and strengthen the powers of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) so the action it takes will be meaningful and effective.

How to Write a Great Business Plan
posted on 27 June 2018 12:00 AM

Most business plans are to big on the numbers and far too small on the information that really matters. William Sahlman suggests that a great business plan is one that focuses on a series of questions. These questions relate to the four factors critical to the success of every new venture: 1.the people, 2. the opportunity, 3. the context, 4. and the possibilities for both risk and reward. The questions about people revolve around three issues: What do they know? Whom do they know? and How well are they known? As for opportunity, the plan should focus on two questions: Is the market ready for the trades product or service large or rapidly growing (or preferably both)? and Is the market structurally attractive? Then, in addition to demonstrating an understanding of the context in which their venture will operate, trades business owners should make clear how they will respond when that context inevitably changes. Finally, the plan should look unflinchingly at the risks the new venture faces, giving would-be backers a realistic idea of what magnitude of reward they can expect and when they can expect it. A great business plan is not easy to compose, Sahlman acknowledges, largely because most entrepreneurs are wild-eyed optimists. But one that asks the right questions is a powerful tool. A better business, not to mention a better shot at success, awaits entrepreneurs who use it. HBR Aug 1997 Sahlman

Change your thinking and you change your life...
posted on 27 June 2018 12:00 AM

Change your thinking and you change your life . . . #inspiredtradesbusinesscoaching #inspiredcoaching #tradies #tradieslife #coachingfortradesmen #businesscoachaustralia #australiantradies #carpenter #plumbers #electrician #sparky #betterbusiness

Now, a common complaint that I hear from business owners is “I...
posted on 23 June 2018 12:00 AM

Now, a common complaint that I hear from business owners is “I can’t find good people.” Here’s the truth: you get the team you deserve. Your team is a direct reflection of your leadership. Sometimes I hear people say, “Well he’s   just lucky. He’s got the right people, he’s got a good team.” It doesn’t work that way. The best leaders attract the best people.  Remember, neither your business nor the team you develop will ever outperform your leadership  #leadership #inspiredtradesbusinesscoaching #bisinesscoaching #inspiremenow #tradies #trades #tradesbusinesscoaching #tradesbusiness #betterbusinessskills #profit #moreincome #engageacoach #coaching #australianbusinesscoach

‘ Learners inherit the earth ‘ Eric Hoffer How are you going...
posted on 20 June 2018 12:00 AM

‘ Learners inherit the earth ‘ Eric Hoffer How are you going to take your business to optimum performance ? Profit / workflow/ cashflow In the January 2009 issue of Harvard Business Review we find an article regarding businesses finding value by hiring a Coach. Someone who ‘gets’ you. A person who has walked the walk! The article also asks what kind of person would get the most out of engaging a coach.. the answer ‘persons who get the most out of coaching have a fierce desire to learn and grow’ It may cost you money but the rewards will be a hundred fold . . . #inspiredtradesbusinesscoaching #tradeskills #tradesbusinesscoaching #businesscoaching #livebetterlivelonger #betterbusiness #lightbulbmoments #beabetterboss #australianbusinesscoach #tradieslife #tradescoaching #learnmoreaboutbusiness #systems #accountability #mentor #businessbuilding #earnmoremoney #teamwork

Be Accountable for Performance! Does your favourite sporting...
posted on 19 June 2018 12:00 AM

Be Accountable for Performance! Does your favourite sporting team have a coach? Of course they do! The reason is accountability. Once a coach and the team agree what it is they’re trying to achieve, the coach points everyone in the right direction and then holds everyone accountable for the outcomes. Trade business is no different. If you want the best outcomes possible for your business, find a coach that: 1. Knows your industry 2. Has business experience and qualifications. 3. You feel like you can form a connection with. 4. Offers a program that fits your business. Once found, agree with your coach on what the desired outcomes are and then let them resource and guide you. Most importantly let them hold you accountable to the agreement and watch your business achieve profit and lifestyle outcomes you never dreamed possible. . . . #tradesbusinesscoaching #coachingfortradies #inspiredtradesbusinesscoaching #tradesbusiness #tradesbusinesscoaching #australiantradesman #tradieslife #livebetterlivelonger #coachingenergy #betterbusiness #lightbulbmoments

One of the Mid North Coasts best plumbing businesses now working...
posted on 15 June 2018 12:00 AM

One of the Mid North Coasts best plumbing businesses now working with us. Thanks for the great feedback: “The meeting was very productive and thought provoking”

Early morning flight for our Inspired Trades Business Coaching...
posted on 07 June 2018 12:00 AM

Early morning flight for our Inspired Trades Business Coaching team . . . #trades #tradesbusiness #tradesbusinesscoaching #coachingfortradies #australiantradesman #tradies #welovetradies #aussiestradies #ohs #tradieslife #betterbusiness #lifestyle #teachingyoubetterbusiness #creatingbusinesssystems

Start The Task You’ve Been Avoiding
posted on 06 June 2018 12:00 AM

Are you someone that knows what the next step for your business is after each coaching session but getting started on the next step is always a challenge? Perhaps you never get to that important but hard thing, accomplishing all sorts of smaller tasks but avoiding this one. Or perhaps you’re simply sluggish getting to it, wasting valuable time in the process. The most productive people I know move right through these moments, wasting little time and getting to their most important work and conversations quickly, without hesitation. Our minds and bodies have an incredible capacity to adapt to just about anything. The hard part is rarely being in the new normal, it’s adjusting to the new normal. The hard part is the transition.Start with willpower: willpower in a moment is much more reliable than willpower over long stretches of time. Commit to repetition:pre-decide that you’re to do it, taking out the uncertainty and deliberation, and therefore the hesitation.Benefit from adaptability: the mental and physical challenge can so diminish that the transition is no longer experienced as pain. What was, previously, extreme discomfort, will become refreshing.[Adapted from HBR May 30 2018 by Peter Bregman]

Where would we be without our Tradies!? The world needs skills...
posted on 30 May 2018 12:00 AM

Where would we be without our Tradies!? The world needs skills in trade jobs. The biggest forecast shortages in skills are in trades. #tradies #tradiesofinstagram #tradielife #lifeskills #australiantradesmen #weneedmorequalitytradies

Stop Making Conflict Personal
posted on 18 May 2018 03:08 PM

Conflict in the building industry is sadly somewhat inevitable. Clients will sometimes view things differently to those of us in the industry. So rather than pretend that conflict isn't coming lets develop strategies to deal with it when it does.Disagreements are an inevitable, normal, and healthy part of relating to other people. There is no such thing as a conflict-free work environment. You might dream of working in a peaceful utopia, but it wouldn’t be good for your company, your work, or you. In fact, disagreements — when managed well — have lots of positive outcomes. Here are a couple:Opportunities to learn and grow. As uncomfortable as it may feel when someone challenges your ideas, it’s an opportunity to learn.Higher job satisfaction. When you’re not afraid to constructively disagree about issues at work, you’re likely to be happier at work.The good news is that it’s entirely possible to get more comfortable with conflict. Here are some ways to start.Let go of needing to be liked. Respect the other person’s point of view, and expect them to respect yours. If you model that you’re comfortable and that respect is more important than likability, you’ll take a lot of tension out of situations and feel less dread for conflict.Focus on the big picture. Disagreements are hard when you think of them as personal jabs, but remember you are the industry expert and the success of the job often relies on your opinion being heard.  How will it help the the project you’re working on? Wanting to be liked is about you; wanting what’s best for the build is far less selfish.Don’t equate disagreement with unkindness. When I talk with people who are afraid of conflict, and I ask why they are hesitant to disagree, I most often hear, “I don’t want to hurt her feelings” or “I don’t want to be a jerk.” Yes, there are some people who genuinely don’t want to be disagreed, but most people are open to hearing a different perspective if you share it thoughtfully and respectfully. Remember, the best way to respond to a difficult client or conflict situation is to be respectful, and shower them with kindness.[adapted from HBR Why We Should Be disagreeing More At Work by Amy Gallo Jan 2018]

Client Side Project Management
posted on 16 May 2018 11:43 AM

Every building project needs an actively involved client and builder to be a success. Projects that are left simply to the builder, no matter how good the builder, will never achieve the same results as an actively engaged client can achieve.Client side project management can deliver the same results for clients that do not have either the time or skills to engage in their building project.Because Glenn and Angela  have  worked on both sides of the fence in this process they bring unique insight into the decision making. Builders need clear instructions and sustainable prices. Clients need fair pricing and quality construction outcomes.Glenn knows how to navigate a fair outcome for both whilst delivering client sided representation in the best interests of their project.Angela has designed and managed the building of dozens of Award and Multi Award Winning homes throughout her 15 years actively involved in the building industry. She has worked with trades and builders to provide the best outcome for clients. Her eye for detail when it comes to the finished product is second to none.Glenn will get the job done. Angela will make sure it looks good.  Perfect winning combination to ensure that YOU, the client, has the home of your dreams at the end of the process.

Builders and Trades Work Life Balance
posted on 13 May 2018 03:32 PM

Builders and trades often complain about work life balance and the all consuming task that a trade based business becomes. Research suggests that the impediments to greater work-life balance and satisfaction lie not only in the workplace but also within individuals themselves through learned dispositions. A gap often exists between conscious ambitions related to career and parenting and unconscious attitudes and expectations. If we want to reach our full potential, we have to be aware of how who we are has been shaped by our earliest experiences [HBR Ioana Lupu October 30, 2017]. A business coach can help you understand how this gap is affecting your business and lifestyle choices and realign your attitudes to allow ensure your work is both profitable, enjoyable and sustainable.  

Systems & Staffing Empowerment for Building & Trade Businesses
posted on 10 May 2018 01:01 PM

Builders know they need to give their staff the opportunity to make smart decisions and function within their role effectively without being directed constantly. It’s been said so often that it’s a cliché. But here’s the problem: We have trouble resolving the tension between employee empowerment and operational discipline. This challenge is so difficult that it ties companies up in knots. That may be because we cling to the notion that freedom and control are zero-sum, often oscillating between the extremes. However, after working within heaps of building and trade businesses I’ve learned that guidelines are not the death of freedom if they’re well designed and well implemented. They actually support and nurture it by giving people a clear, positive, galvanizing sense of where the organization is trying to go.Builders who have made this basic but counter intuitive discovery have essentially cultivated freedom within a framework, embedding the company’s purpose, priorities, and principles into a functional system. Once they’ve laid out the framework, they commit substantial resources to helping employees understand it and thrive within it.[paraphrased HBR May 2018 Structure That's Not Stifling by Ranjay Gulati]

An easy way to change a space within a day
posted on 09 May 2018 04:55 PM

https://www.dulux.com.au/colour/colour-trends/2018Check out the latest Colour Trends from Dulux Australia.  Beautiful palates made easy.   

Texture and your home
posted on 09 May 2018 04:51 PM

Have you ever thought about the spaces in your home.... what is actually IN them?  If you take a look around,  there are MANY different colours and textures that make the space feel the way it does.  Texture is defined by the feel,  appearance or consistency of the surface.  If you were speaking specifically about fabrics or floor coverings you could say the character or appearance of a textile fabric is determined by the arrangement and thickness of its threads.  In the design world,  we LOVE texture!  It is what makes a space feel like a home,  it creates atmosphere and feelings.  Choosing a floor mat that has texture is an example of adding instant texture to a room that might otherwise be very clinical. My next blog is going to go into floor mats more.  Make sure you sign up to keep up to date. :) I look forward to bringing LOTS of ideas, inspiration and COLOUR into your world.  Ange X  

Trades Coaching
posted on 06 May 2018 12:30 PM

Building & Trade business go through many cycles. Startup is an exciting time with many worries.Periods of growth bring new and unique challenges. Downturns are difficult to manage.But where does a builder turn for advice? Competitors won't help, staff are busy, accountants are running late with tax compliance work!Glenn can help with these many business cycles and provide coaching and strategic direction and advise that will be invaluable for the direction and success of your business.Glenn gets alongside his clients and provides insight into their business and the industry that comes from decades of hands on experience.As a coach Glenn will help you:1. Create an amazing Brand for your business that is saleable.2. Structure your Staffing so that your business is profitable. 3. Implement Marketing strategies that are low cost and effective.4. Manage Legal Disputes and recover bad debts.5. Develop Systems and Processes that allow you to be free of the daily grind.6. Approach your Purchasing decisions like a major builder.7. Review your Contracts and documents to improve your negotiation position with clients & subcontractors.8. Advise on techniques for business Growth, Decline and Crisis Management.9. Understand your Financial Reports and make them useful for decision making.10. Be Accountable for the performance targets that are agreed.Call Glenn on 0428 536021 now for a chat about what we can do to help.

2018 Conference Highlights
posted on 16 April 2018 03:13 PM

Inspired Building & Development Consulting was pleased to partner with Integrity Franchising at their 2018 National Conference.A comprehensive program was well received by all the Integrity New Homes franchisees who attended the conference in Sydney.Representative from the gold sponsors, Dulux and James Hardie, both provided entertaining and information packed presentations.James Hardie also provided a prize of a $200.00 Red Balloon gift voucher to a lucky conference attendee as part of the company’s presentation. The silver sponsors BlueScope Steel, CSR and PGH, are all companies which have had a long association with Integrity New Homes over many years.In addition to supplier presentations, conference sessions were held around maximising web site visitations, “emarketing”, and improvements to the iGyro building business management system as well as a range of legal case studies. Attendees were given the opportunity to interact in sessions and ask questions from the floor.Bronze sponsorship was provided by B&D Garage Doors and Openers and Beaumont Tiles.The conference achieved a record with all franchisees able to attend.For more information about the Integrity New Homes franchise system please call Richard Bremner on ph: 0418 254 502 or contact us.