Can you name the three great examples of fathers in current culture?
You can‚Äôt say Bill Cosby or the guy on ‚ÄúFather Knows Best‚ÄĚ!
Go ahead; we‚Äôre waiting‚Ä¶.
Can‚Äôt seem to find just three?
Where have all the good dads gone?
Good fathers are an endangered species!
What is it with us guys?
Where did all the Great Dads go?
What‚Äôs up with the dads?
Dads are in trouble.
Everything assaults us-
Society, work, appetites, pressures, time management, and busyness.
We have no training, no schools, no workshops, few seminars, and no classes on how to be effective fathers. Moreover, as you‚Äôve learned from the exercise above, we have very few examples from which to learn.
Men are great project managers in the workplace and at home, but most of us fail miserably when it comes to relationship building. Men tend to be great planners, movers, shakers, project managers, or people managers, but we are often poor at building in-depth relationships with those we love.
Men can be great builders; we have built amazing:
But when it comes to building relationships and running a family, men often fail miserably.
We can run a business and government, and even a society, but we are often poor at running a family.
Our family‚ÄĒwife, children, pets‚ÄĒoften get the leftovers of our mind, body, emotions, and spirit at the end of the day.
¬†Why is that? Let me explain‚Ä¶
Here are a few of the reasons, the issues, problems, and challenges that men face and that undermine their desire to create and build relationships of quality with their families:
√ľ¬† No goals, objectives, or written plan to make family a priority
√ľ¬† Poor time management skills, being too busy, not making time for priorities
√ľ¬† Poor skill sets with fathering
√ľ¬† Poor fathering examples
√ľ¬† Buying, owning, and maintaining too many possessions and ‚Äústuff‚ÄĚ
And 1000 other distractions, including low priority activities such as:
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Illicit activities
When ‚Äúreal men‚ÄĚ get stuck, we never ask for directions!
How can we possibly admit weakness, vulnerability, or something as simple as being lost?
This all makes for a very sad situation.
Men are not picking and living their priorities.
So how do we guys have quality family relationships?
How do we spend quality, as well as quantity, time with those we love?
And how do we forge meaningful ties with our children- emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically- when our families often get our leftovers?
How do we do this, when we often return home from the workplace and the life outside the family truly drained and unable or unwilling to continue to give and pour out of our already-sapped resources? Many dads are truly lost, not even seeking a way back to being on track.
What is your Plan for being a Good Dad?
This is the two-dollar question, the dilemma, which we will address as we discover the
Seven Secrets of Effective Fathers.
Consider the Key Questions
Here are the key questions to ask yourself as a father as you develop your personal Fathering Plan:
1.¬†¬†¬† Who are you?
2.¬†¬†¬† What do you want?
3.¬†¬†¬† Why are you here?
4.¬†¬†¬† What isn‚Äôt working that you would like to see start working?
5.¬†¬†¬† What would you like to see stop happening?
The 7 Secrets of Effective Fathers will help you to discover some of your answers.
We will uncover some ideas, tools, tips, and techniques to help you become more:
You can become an awesome father, but you have¬†to answer the above questions and then be resolute in taking action to move forward toward incremental progress as a father.
You can do it, but you‚Äôve got to first dream it, plan it, and then do it.
If not you, who?
If not now, when?
Unconditional love is love that is absolute, unreserved, and complete.
¬†It‚Äôs love that is limitless, without strings, and not dependent upon the response of the recipient.
Unconditional love is really about your kids knowing, without a shadow of a doubt, that they‚Äôre loved and accepted.
It‚Äôs saying, meaning, and living ‚ÄúI am truly on your side no matter what. I am for you. I am unconditionally on your side, always‚ÄĚ.
Three action points to express unconditional love are:
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Appropriate Touch
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Positive eye contact
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Focused attention
Let‚Äôs look at these love actions in more detail‚Ä¶
Appropriate touch is the most obvious way to show affection.
It is defined by any type of appropriate, natural, physical contact, not just hugs and kisses.
Appropriate touch should be:
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Not showy or overdone
It goes with eye contact and can be many things including:
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† A pat on the back
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† A gentle poke
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Tousle of the hair
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Rub on the shoulder
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† A light touch on the arm back neck or shoulder, again, all in an appropriate manner.
Kids who experience consistent, appropriate touch are more likely to:
1.¬†¬†¬† Have good self-esteem
2.¬†¬†¬† Be well-liked by others
3.¬†¬†¬† Have an easy time communicating
Young boys especially need it, as do girls growing up into their teens.
The father-daughter connection is vital, because if we fathers are not touching our daughters properly,¬†there are plenty of volunteers to touch them inappropriately‚Ä¶
We dads need to be huggers and to get physical with our kids.
If you are a self proclaimed non-physical ‚Äúnon-hugger‚ÄĚ, change!
Learn to be appropriately physical and learn the ability to show attention and affection
through physical touch.
¬†If you don‚Äôt pay attention to them, someone else will‚Ä¶probably not someone you would want.
It‚Äôs vital that we are intentional about showing our unconditional love through focused attention, positive eye contact, and appropriate touch. These three things can revolutionize and transform our relationships not only with our children, but with all those in our lives.
Eye contact means: “Looking directly into the eyes of another person.”
In our culture, it‚Äôs hard to have a conversation with someone who cannot hold eye contact.
It is a main source of emotional nurturing and is a continuous life-giving habit to our kids, if we will use it.
Eye contact is a close cousin to appropriate touch.¬† The two used together are a powerful means to connect with your children.
The results and benefits are:
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† We tend to like people who look at us while we communicate
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Eye contact adds meaning to conversation, as the eyes are the “windows to the soul”
Never use eye contact or the lack thereof to make strong points, or when angry, irritated, annoyed, or frustrated, any of which are all part of being a parent.
The point is this-exclusive use of eye contact in anger is destructive, as is withholding eye contact.
Withholding eye contact is cruel and more damaging than corporal punishment and if you play that game, you and your children will lose.
If you, as a grown man, withhold eye contact as a form of punishment to anyone in your life, you may want to take a look at why and consider a change.
We do need to learn to confront in love, while maintaining positive eye contact.¬† When we need to have courageous conversations with our kids, we need to use eye contact as a life-giving source of affirmation, not as a means to tear down, belittle, withhold love, or demean.
We can and should use positive, affirming eye contact with all those around us on a regular, intentional, and habitual basis.
Focused attention is giving a person your full, undivided attention.
It is the most demanding of the three actions as it takes time, energy, and giving up other activities in order for us to give our focused attention to the people we love.
According to a 1996 Gallup Poll, the average father spends less than sixty minutes a day in some contact with his kids. What‚Äôs up with that?
How much time do you spend? Honestly?
We need to be able to give up the ‚Äútyranny of the urgent‚ÄĚ and live in what Stephen Covey calls ‚Äúquadrant number #4‚ÄĚ, where we intentionally do things that are the most productive.
This should include giving our children our focused attention as fathers.
The benefit is your child feels completely loved and valued.
They feel they‚Äôre the most important person in the world.
Kids do their best with focused attention as part of their lives.
It shows in their behavior, performance, attitude, and motivation.
Focused attention must be a daily occurrence and we as dads need to make times to make that happen daily.
This requires being intentional. It might well require things like putting down the newspaper you were reading, in order to look at the bug your daughter caught.¬† It might mean staying up late, when you‚Äôd rather be in bed, to listen to your teen son pour out his frustrations of the day. It might mean giving up an evening out so you can read bedtime stories to your kids. It is a sacrifice of time and energies that pays big dividends.
Focused attention becomes paramount in priority‚Ä¶
It comes before everything else you do with or two your child, including
It is the key to unlocking the door to being a great dad.
It should always be natural, comfortable, appropriate, and unhurried.
It will result in a child who‚Ä¶
1.¬†¬†¬† Is comfortable with themselves and others
2.¬†¬†¬† Is well-liked
3.¬†¬†¬† Has a full ‚Äúemotional tank‚ÄĚ
4.¬†¬†¬† Has good self-esteem
5.¬†¬†¬† Is easier to communicate with
Are you giving your child emotional support through focused attention today?
Appropriate touch, positive eye contact, focused attention.
These are the languages of love when it comes to raising well-adjusted, healthy kids.
We fathers need to make these a daily occurrence. Did you know that, according to a recent poll, the average duration of contact between fathers and children is under two minutes daily? If we only spend two minutes a day with our children, how can we possibly convey our love through our actions?
We need to leverage these languages of love- to begin to not only speak them, but to be fluent in all three.¬†¬† Which language does your child respond to best? Are you speaking that language to your children today?
If not, why not?
If not now, when?
If not you, who?
Secret #2-Respect Your Children
Respect is defined as ‚ÄúTo care, esteem, regard, venerate, honor, or to revere.‚ÄĚ
Respect is at the core of how all individuals would like to be treated and spoken to.
As fathers, we show it in our conversation, tone, actions, and kindness to our children.
We need not talk down to them as a smaller person who is weaker, vulnerable, or less valuable.
Our children need to know they are accepted and acceptable, just as they are.
They must know they are respected and honored by how they are treated in our:
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Our non-verbal behaviors/signals
Here‚Äôs the test‚Ä¶ would you speak to or treat a peer in the same manner you do your kids?
1.¬†¬†¬† Talk down to them?
2.¬†¬†¬† Berate them?
3.¬†¬†¬† Raise your voice or yell at them?
4.¬†¬†¬† Display disgust in your tone or body language?
5.¬†¬†¬† Show inappropriate anger and frustration and annoyance?
So if you would not treat another adult in this like manner, why would you address your kids, whom you love as much or more, with such disrespect and dishonor?
It seems that many parents think its okay to not treat their kids with love and respect and to address them in an inappropriate and dishonoring fashion.
That‚Äôs not to say that when correcting or having courageous conversations with our kids, we can‚Äôt show frustration, appropriate anger, or annoyance at their immaturity or misbehavior. Rather, it‚Äôs doing so in a manner that still protects the child‚Äôs dignity. It‚Äôs The Golden Rule—treat others as you would be treated.
Does your child really feel accepted and acceptable?
Respected and honored?
How would your kids respond differently to you if you consistently addressed them with appropriate respect and honor?
Begin to show respect in your conversation, actions, tone, and body language, and you will see a transformation, both in yourself and your children!
If not you, who?
If not now, when?
Some fathers spend more time with their kids in one day than some do in one week, or even one month!!
What‚Äôs the difference?
Time spent with your child shows your love by action.
We need both quality and quantity time with our kids.
We need to include them in our world, and include ourselves in their world.
Here are some examples of what I do with my kids. These are areas where we‚Äôve found common ground to play together:
2.¬†¬†¬† Trampoline jumping
5.¬†¬†¬† Playing Legos and Matchbox cars
6.¬†¬†¬† Playing board games
7.¬†¬†¬† Doing crafts
You get the picture find common ground and leverage the time with your kids.
You must be intentional and methodical and sequential if you are to be successful in this endeavor of spending quality time with your kids. This means:
1.¬†¬†¬† Date your kids‚Ä¶Go to Starbucks, the bakery or bagel store, McDonald‚Äôs, ice cream parlor, or whatever.
2.¬†¬†¬† Put them in your day timer or in Outlook.
3.¬†¬†¬† Schedule them as you would your most precious appointment‚Ä¶ because that‚Äôs what they are.
Have daily and weekly scheduled routines together, including:
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Meal times‚Ä¶ the best place to teach your kids your values, heritage, and spiritual foundation.
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Bedtimes‚Ä¶ a key point in showing love, closing the day gently, and praying together.
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Weekly rituals‚Ä¶ Friday night pizza, movie night, the family night etc
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Running errands‚Ä¶ always bring a kid with you on car rides. Again, leverage the time.
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Chores and projects‚Ä¶ build relationships and teach a good work ethic, all in one package!
Let‚Äôs address the ‚ÄúI don‚Äôt have time‚ÄĚ excuse.
Everyone has time, no exceptions.
We give time to what we value the most‚Ä¶.
Create time today that you would normally spend on TV, the Internet, sports, hobbies, boating, hunting golfing, or just being lazy.
Begin to incrementally give it to your children!
Just hang out with your family and kids because you want to and get to.
Not because you HAVE TO‚Ä¶
It is a clear and solid choice of attitude and motivation.
We GET to hang out with our kids.¬† We are blessed and privileged!
How could you be more intentional and incremental in dating your kids?
Dream it, plan it, write it, and do it!
If not you, who?
If not now, when?
As a father, it‚Äôs critical that you know and understand your kids. Your effective fathering depends on seeing your child as an individual, separate from you, with strengths, weaknesses, preferences, ideas, and goals that are all his or her own. When you clearly grasp who your child is as an individual, you can then work to encourage him to utilize his strengths to achieve his goals. You can support her in her interests. You can enjoy your child as a unique person.
Study your children to see in what areas they excel. Are they particularly good at negotiation? At sports or other physical endeavors? Do they communicate especially well through the spoken or written word? Are they deeply compassionate, caring, and careful of the feelings of others?
Identify their strengths and point them out to your kids. Kids like to see their strong points noted and appreciated as much as we adults do! Also, pointing out your child‚Äôs strengths to him helps him to further utilize and develop those strengths.
As important as identifying your children‚Äôs strengths is being able and willing to identify their faults and weaknesses and begin to address them.
Having the courage to take a hard look at your child‚Äôs personal failures and weaknesses will enable you to begin to come behind them and support them.
This exercise, when done in love, can open the door for your fatherly coaching, encouragement, and training. Choose your timing; it is easier to hear and acknowledge a fault or weakness if it is pointed out in a setting of support and love. Make sure your kid knows that you‚Äôre bringing the topic up only because you want the best for him, because you want to help him grow and mature, not because you want to belittle or demean him.
Of course, we will see our kids act out their weaknesses when they misbehave. Before you begin to dole out punishment for the misbehavior, though, it makes sense to try to understand the reasons behind the behavior.
For example, kids act out when they‚Äôre hungry, tired, sick, emotionally needy, or even need to poop. The key then becomes your ability to study and analyze the whole picture behind how your child is acting.
Can you see through their eyes and identify with empathy why they‚Äôre acting as they are?
This requires more than operating on a preconceived notion, your own knee-jerk emotional reaction, or a swift observation of the situation.
You must be willing to take the time and use the resources to get to know your kid. What is bothering, challenging, or troubling them? ¬†Is it physical, emotional, spiritual, mental, social, or something else you haven‚Äôt thought of? ¬†A quick and cursory look will not reveal what you must figure out to know your kids in order to support them.
How can we possibly give support, help, or guidance without knowing the root causes of the problems and issues our kids face?
It‚Äôs up to us as fathers to be keen observers of our kids, and to study their strengths and their weaknesses that we may support them. Neglect and apathy is your number one enemy here.
Do you study your kids and know their strengths?
Do you know their weaknesses?
Are you currently resourcing their strengths and training and coaching their weaknesses?
Where your child‚Äôs three main strengths?
What are your child‚Äôs three main weaknesses?
If not you, then who will do this?
If not now, when?
The marriage institution is in trouble according to multiple studies in the U.S., with a 55% failure rate.
What will you do in actionable terms to have a solid marriage?¬† Can you apply yourself and your resources strategically and work toward the end of having a solid, grounded, balanced, and alive marriage with your wife?
A good marriage sets the stage for good fathering. Your kids need security in the world, in their home, and in their lives.
A good marriage provides a sense of peace, order, and love within the home. It provides the foundation for all good fathering practices to take place.
We must model being a good husband for our kids, as they will take our model and become like us as they grow older.
I‚Äôm becoming my dad and I didn‚Äôt plan on it! We learn and catch many things from our own dads.
We must date our wives.¬† We need to make time to communicate, to be together, to talk, to pray, to be alone, and to have fun in order to model a positive husband role to our kids
Communication is the key, and the venue frankly doesn‚Äôt matter.
We like going to Costco on dates! ¬†We pick up the week‚Äôs groceries, and also a slice of pizza and salad to enjoy in the car by the Bay. Think of your own venue and what you like to do best.
Moreover, think of what your wife likes to do best. Does she like to:
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Go on walks?
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Go to Starbucks?
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Sit and talk over a dinner out?
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Go on a car drive or a bike ride?
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Go shopping?
The point is, figure it out and go do it with her!
This weekly dating of your wife will pay off big dividends in a healthy marriage, family and society.
Is your wife on your agenda?
What‚Äôs the condition of your marriage right now?
How‚Äôs your communication with your wife?
If not you, who?
If not now, when?
What‚Äôs the job of a coach?
The job of the coach is to help people accomplish what they want to do, but will not do well or even do at all, without coaching.
¬†The job of a coach is also to see what gifts and abilities others cannot see in those they coach.
A coach is a leader. Coaches get people to do things they never thought of, think they cannot do, or maybe do not want to do.
Your own fathering ‚Äúcoach persona‚ÄĚ drives the action in your Fathering Plan.
¬†Your ‚Äúcoach persona‚ÄĚ may listen to excuses, but will not let excuses stop you from winning at the game of fathering. The decision and responsibility is yours alone.¬† You are accountable.
So what is your ‚Äúnext best‚ÄĚ?¬†¬† How you get there?
Who can and will help you be a better father? Can you find and follow a few good examples and role models of fathers that were no better than you, but maybe just a little more experienced?
Can you then spend time with those mentors, go deep, learn and then emulate what they do to strengthen your commitment as a quality dad?
Can you seek out sources of support through a different strategy?¬† What about:
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Books or tapes, CDs and DVDs
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Introspection, writing, and journaling
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Fathers who‚Äôve been there before, solved it, and have the scars to prove it
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Internet articles, magazines, radio shows, and podcasts
It is all out there for the taking. We simply must be intentional.
This commitment to focus on the right direction and getting wise counsel on fathering leads to better follow-through in learning the dynamics of building relationships with our kids.
The corollary to this principle is that we must jettison people, influences, activities, and friends who detract from our successful Fathering Plan.
They must not be allowed to obscure our mission goals or strategies to be better fathers.
You and I must get rid of poor influences and ‚Äúfriends‚ÄĚ that are cross currents with good fathering. These could be otherwise good, fun, and normal relationships. The issue here is the usurping of time and energies, which should be devoted first to family and specifically toward your children.
Will you seek out resources, including father mentors, with whom you will develop a relationship, from whom you will learn?
Are you accountable to anyone with your Father Plan? Is there anyone with whom you have a trusting relationship who can help keep you on track?
What will you do to get resourced?
If not you, who?
If not now, when?
Leadership means many things to many people. I think it means being proactive, being the first, and:
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Taking the initiative
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Setting the standard
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Managing effectively
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Planning often and well
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Resourcing whenever possible
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Identifying the vision, goals, and priorities
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Setting the example, always
A good leader takes responsibility and says; ‚ÄúThe buck stops here!‚ÄĚ when something is not right.
Leaders show the way and model through active example what they‚Äôre trying to express and accomplish.
They press on and press in, and they run counter to the culture of convenience and quick fixes. They refuse to get sidetracked by the ‚Äúbright and shiny objects‚ÄĚ, the diversions, and side-eddies of our culture.
They strain and strive with intentionality and energy to build relationships and create a legacy, a heritage, and a family.¬† They do much of this by simply taking the initiative, being intentional and planning by writing and accomplishing compelling goals that are relationship-based.
Dad, you are the key, you are the man. Now be one.
You must be intimately in touch with your mission, goals, and objectives as a family man, husband, and father.
This requires discipline, selflessness, living your priorities, and time management.
You must leverage the hours of your day and to intentional in everything you do.
Time is the only resource you‚Äôre guaranteed to have.
The key here is to write down what you want‚Ä¶ dream it, plan it, and do it.
The questions are‚Ä¶
1.¬†¬†¬† Who are you?
2.¬†¬†¬† What do you want?
3.¬†¬†¬† Why are you here?
4.¬†¬†¬† What is not working, that you would like to see work?
5.¬†¬†¬† What is happening now, that should like to see vanish?
The answer to these questions will determine your ‚Äú brand‚ÄĚ as a father and as a leader.
What ‚Äúbrand‚ÄĚ are you now?
What‚ÄĚ brand‚ÄĚ do you want to be?
¬†Here are some thoughts on leaving a legacy and heritage:
What will they say when you‚Äôre gone?
A good father transfers the following attributes and character qualities to his children‚Ä¶
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Love for God (as you understand Him) and people
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Ethics/ knowledge
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Wisdom and understanding
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Love and compassion and kindness
¬∑¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Positive¬† attitude and motivation
Great fathering requires us as dads to raise children in the way they would be best served.
They are individuals, not part of a cookie-cutter machine.
Therefore, we need to work with our kids on their level, meeting their needs, resourcing, respecting, and fostering the individuality of each child.
We must study to know them and then resource their gifts, attributes, and skills. No two children are alike.
This all requires patience on our part to work on their level, one or two things at a time.
¬†Slowly, with a patient father‚Äôs heart.
Who is leading your family?
Who is leading your children?
If not you, who?
If not now, when?
As fathers, we have a choice.
It‚Äôs a choice regarding investment- not necessarily of money, stocks, and bonds, but of time and what I call life units. What could be more important than your family?
It‚Äôs your choice; you‚Äôre free to decide how you will invest your life units.
Will it be for experiences?
Or, perhaps you could invest your life units in your family, your kids, in leaving a legacy, a heritage, and a quality-of-life inheritance for your loved ones.
You won‚Äôt be perfect, but you can be intentional, sequential, methodical, and directional in this vital goal. If you are, you have no choice but to succeed!
However, you might need help along the way. ¬†The question is, are you willing to ask?
Some of the resources you might need to be humble enough to ask for will be‚Ä¶
1.¬†¬†¬† Support from your wife
2.¬†¬†¬† Fathers(or other family members) and mentors
3.¬†¬†¬† Support from your kids
4.¬†¬†¬† Educational resources, such as books, CDs, tapes, DVDs, and the Web
5.¬†¬†¬† Goal-setting tools and techniques
6.¬†¬†¬† A Father Plan for accountability with others whom you trust and love
How much do you care?
How important is your family to you?
How invested are you in your kids?
Be honest with yourself and others.
Are you willing to do the work?¬† Pay the price?¬† Take the steps?
It‚Äôs truly up to you to become the architect of your own Father Plan. In this effort, none of us can afford to be self-deceived, haphazard, or halfhearted when it comes to deciding and acting on the Plan.
So ask yourself the following questions again and again‚Ä¶
1.¬†¬†¬† Who am I?
2.¬†¬†¬† What do I want?
3.¬†¬†¬† Why am I here?
4.¬†¬†¬† What‚Äôs not happening now that I would like to see happen?
5.¬†¬†¬† What‚Äôs happening now that I would like to see stop?
What will it be, dad?
When is it gonna be?
¬†Make a decision, do something!
Fathers, you are the architects, and you‚Äôve got to become comfortable enough to lead and to put together your ‚ÄúFather Plan‚ÄĚ.
You‚Äôve got to start somewhere, so how ‚Äėbout this?
Think about the saying: ‚ÄúA goal is a dream with a deadline.‚ÄĚ
1.¬†¬†¬† Dream, plan, write, and share two or three goals that you have as a father
2.¬†¬†¬† Post your goals in a prominent place and review them on a regular basis
3.¬†¬†¬† Be accountable to yourself and someone else to accomplish the goals.
4.¬†¬†¬† When you fail and fall short (which you will; we all do)‚Ä¶ move on, press forward. and start back up where you left off.¬† Have forgiveness and grace on yourself, your kids, your spouse, and others.
The key here is attitude. You don‚Äôt HAVE to do these things. But, you GET to do these things.
Your motivation and attitude is everything so decide now in the seat of your will that this is a priority to you, and you will succeed at it!
When will you get started on your Father Plan?
How will it look when you schedule your kids into your life and keep your appointments with them?
What will it take for you to be the initiator and leader with the plan and in your family?
If not you, who?
If not now, when?
How about you‚Ä¶. and how about right now.
Good Dad Bad Dad‚Ä¶Bio
Scott Hammond is a professional speaker, trainer, writer, and father of 9 kids. He lives in McKinleyville (Humboldt County), California, with his wonderful wife, Joni. Scott can be contacted at scott@BecomeaBetterFather.com or 707-616-7665.
I. What Is A Dynamite Topic?
A. One that people remember
B. Gets you booked
C. Not the same as a hot or trendy topic
II. Hot Topics
A. These are the same as they‚Äôve always been
B. The problem with hot topics
Too much competition
III. Trendy Topics
A. Hot for a short time
I‚Äôm an expert on sales & marketing
A lot of people speak on these topics
B. The danger with trendy topics is that they die out
IV. Why you want a dynamite topic
A. Reduces the competition
Think of how many motivational speakers there are
B. Makes it easier to sell
You don‚Äôt have t time or money to market to everyone
Narrows your audience
Think about marketing a motivational keynote
Maybe you could narrow it down to sales motivation
Next make it selling services
How about selling real estate services
C. Makes you more memorable
There are plenty of people who speak on negotiations
V. The Importance of Passion
A. The importance of passion
Why you need passion
You will spend a lot of time on t subject
Could be hours
Could be hundreds of hours
Could be days
B. Finding your passion
What books interest you?
Where do you automatically go in a bookstore?
What‚Äôs on your bookshelf at home?
What do you read about?
(Write them down)
What television programs do you watch?
What television programs do you watch?
(Write them down)
Is there a topic that people keep asking you for?
That‚Äôs one you should concentrate on
VI. There Are Riches In Niches
A. Why you need a niche
There‚Äôs way too much competition in hot topics
Most of us will never be famous enough to own a hot topic
It‚Äôs best if you can develop your own niche
C. What do you know that no one else knows?
The market wants experts who speak, not speaker who are experts
They want information they can use in their work or lives now
Complaint about ‚Äúall fluff & no stuff‚ÄĚ
You can become an expert at almost anything w/1 hr of study a day
B. Can you provide a unique perspective on an old topic?
7 Habits of Highly Successful People is not new
It is a unique perspective
C. What do you know that no one else knows?
D. What makes you unique?
You need to know if you will be able to own the niche
Do you have credibility in a specific topic?
Degrees, designations, books, articles
What have you learned?
E. What challenges have you overcome that others have not?
Our great speaker W. Mitchell was horribly crippled in a motorcycle accident
Then he was disfigured in a plane crash
His story of survival is awe inspiring
F. What unique perspective do you have on your subject?
Be controversial ‚Äď if you can
(Write down your experiences)
G. A niche is a group of people, not a subject
Who would pay to hear your subject?
VII. Audience Analysis
A. Ask yourself ‚ÄúWhat is the audience for this topic?‚ÄĚ
B. It must be large enough to support you
Some audiences may not be big enough
If so, you are too tightly niched
Doesn‚Äôt have to be t biggest market
I make a great living speaking to home builders on how to sell to diverse cults
I even have a book just for them (show book)
C. Will they pay?
Some audiences will not pay to hear your topic
Will they pay to hear your solution to their problems?
D. What will they pay?
VIII. Developing A Niche
A. What do you know that‚Äôs unique
B. Do you have credibility?
You may have studied a very specific subject very intensely
People w/doctorate degrees are very broad
It‚Äôs harder to become an expert than simply expanding your expertise
You are already an expert in something
Finding what it is can be a challenge
C. Do you have unique perspectives
Rush Limbaugh has unique perspectives
D. What problem needs solving?
What keeps your audiences up at night?
This should be the focus of your topic
IX. Niche Your Niche
A. This is the key to memorability
B. It‚Äôs much easier to own the niche
You can become a celebrity in a small much quicker than large market
C. Makes it much easier to market
X. Other sources of ideas for topics
A. Industry magazines
The articles generally deal with the issues & problems of readers
What topics are hot?
What issues keep coming up over & over?
B. Get on conference mailing lists
These are seminar topics that are hot now
Can you provide a unique perspective?
C. Go to industry trade shows
Talk to people
Look at booths
D. Call trade associations & talk to them
Talk to experts
E. Be controversial if you can
People like contrarian views
XI. Hot Titles
A. Must have a hot title otherwise no one will remember it
3-5 words is best
6. Ask a provocative question
(Determine your highest priority & develop a good title)
7. Answer a tough question
8. Solve a difficult problem
XII. Testing Your Topic
Once you have a topic you must carefully analyze it
After all, this is a business
C. Do audiences ask for more?
Do people ask you to expand on it
Do people ask you to present it in different industries
Do people offer to pay you for it?
XIII. Honing Your Topic
A. Present it in low-risk forums
Animal circuit if a business topic
Moose, Elks, Lions, Rotary Clubs, Chambers of Commerce
Churches & other groups if not a business topic
B. Add New Material
What questions does the audience ask?
Find the answer and add it in
Eventually I had a book
Expand what works
C. Delete the superfluous
Get rid of the fluff
Drop what doesn‚Äôt work
Change it to meet t need of your audience
Your audience will tell you what they want to hear
What questions do they ask?
Find the answers & incorporate it into your program
XIV. Own Your Niche
A. Write articles
Great free marketing tool
I have a publicist who place my articles
B. Write books
Nothing more than an expensive business card
They will usually not throw it away
C. Appear on TV & radio
If your topic is unique enough
You can become a celebrity in a niche
D. Develop products for your niche
People want to take you home
XV. Determining Your Fees
A. Charge more than you think you are worth
Remember, you are unique
B. Never be fully booked
If you are your fee is too low
C. What clients should never say OK
D. Keep raising your fees
Having a unique topic will earn you top $
Courtesy Michael Lee
Nine presentations sins‚ÄĒand how to avoid them‚Ä¶
- Wasting time‚Ä¶ Start on time and finish on time.
- Boring your audience‚Ä¶ Given key points they can digest. Don‚Äôt read your speech. Packaged information with your voice, body language and style to make it interesting.
- Lacking passion‚Ä¶ Believe in your message and let your audience know. How much you believe in it. Passion is captivating, contagious and more convincing than logic.
- Confusing your audience‚Ä¶ Keep their message clear: eliminates. Unnecessary information and conflicting messages. Use words, they understand. Repeat your message three times.
- Insulting your audience‚Ä¶Talk to them, but not down to them. .don‚Äôt make jokes about the audience. Don‚Äôt assume that you know what they think, no or have done.
- Unclear purpose/message‚Ä¶ Ask yourself why you‚Äôre giving the speech. Be able to state your message in one short clear phrase. Then build your presentation around that‚Ä¶ if you can‚Äôt don‚Äôt.
- Information overload‚Ä¶ Give them what they need to know to do. What you want them to do. Don‚Äôt overload them with too much information.
- Stuck in a rut of delivery‚Ä¶Unable to flex to the audience‚Ä¶ be prepared to alter your presentation to reach the audience in a way that is best for them.. It is not about you, you must reach them with your message.
- Using slides that are boring, irrelevant or confusing‚Ä¶. Are only visual aids that reinforce your message? Power will never rescue you from a poor presentation skills. You are your best messenger.
Before the presentation:
1. DO: Practice. Practice. Practice. Practice always makes a perfect presentation.
2. DO: Dress to impress. This shows respect for your audience. Why not? It is always more pleasant to
watch and listen to someone who takes their speaking and presentation seriously.
3. DO: Get to know your audience before the presentation. Meet at least one or two people from the audience before the presentation. Then bring up their names during the presentation to build rapport with the audience.
4. DO: Understand who your audience is ahead of time. Are you talking to a group of bankers or government officials? Any breaking news lately about their organization? What is their pain? What are they looking for? What kind of expectations do they have for you?
5. DO: Check your equipment. Check any microphone, laptop, projectors, etc. Make sure they all work.
6. DO: Empty your pockets. No one wants to hear your keys or anything else making noise while you are presenting.
7. DO: Turn your cell phone off or put it on silent.
8. DO: Take care of your hair. Make sure no hair will drop in your face.
9. DO: Bring your business cards.
10. DON‚ÄôT: Try not to eat right before a presentation. You never know about the food.
11. DON‚ÄôT: Don‚Äôt be late! Arrive at least 15 ‚Äď 30 minutes before you are supposed to present. Give yourself plenty of time to settle in and get your thoughts together.
When you first begin the presentation:
12. DO: Introduce yourself. Don‚Äôt assume anything. Depending on time allowed, give a 30 second to 5 minute introduction of yourself.
13. DO: Ask questions. Asking the audience questions is a great way to make sure they are awake and keeping them feeling involved from the start.
14. DO: Tell a personal story. This is simple and effective way to help your audience to get to know you. Make them your friends.
15. DO: Tell them what you are going to tell them. Give them a quick introduction on the objective of your presentation and what are they going to learn or understand by the end of your presentation.
16. DON‚ÄôT: Don‚Äôt try to make jokes if you are not good at it. This can be very dangerous!
During the presentation:
17. DO: Eye contact. Your firm eye contact will convey your confidence. Act like you own the room. Do not glance around the room too fast. Spend at least three to five seconds on each person. Each person wants to feel that you are only talking to them.
18. DO: Smile. Act like you are having a great time! Better yet, have a great time!
19. DO: Speak up. If don‚Äôt have a microphone, project your voice a bit louder than you might think to make sure the back of the room can hear you. It‚Äôs good to ask the people in the back of the room to make sure they can hear you; it‚Äôs a nice courtesy and also helps them feel included.
20. DON‚ÄôT: Watch your posture. Stand up straight. Don‚Äôt walk around too much or do any non-purposeful movements. Unnecessary movements can distract your audience.
21. DO: Use the right words. Try not to use too many acronyms or terms that few people may understand. Connect with your audience and explain in simple terms where possible.
22. DON‚ÄôT: Be careful with your hands. Again, move your arms and hands purposefully. If you don‚Äôt need to use them, just rest them at your sides. Don‚Äôt put your hands in your pockets.
23. DO: Rhythm. Pace your speech to a steady rhythm. Not too fast or too slow. Make sure everyone can hear you clearly.
24. DO: Show your excitement about the topic. Increase your voice volume and/or slow down your speech when you are presenting important points.
25. DO: Show your emotion when needed. Slow down when you are trying to present an important point.
Ending the presentation:
26. DO: Conclude by repeating your main points you covered during the presentation.
27.DO: Conclude with a quote. Audiences always remember a good quote.
28.DO: Conclude with a story. Audiences always remember a nice story.
29.DO: Conclude with a call to action. Tell your audience what they should do next after your presentation.
30.DO: If you have a question and answer session, before you answer the question, repeat the question asked by your audience to make sure everyone can hear the question. This keeps everyone involved through the end.
31. DO: Thank the audience. Show them your appreciation. Show them you want to be there.
After the presentation:
32. DO: Continue the relationship. Follow up with your audience either through a phone call, e-mail, or regular mail.
33. DO: Plan to spend at least 30 minutes after the conclusion if time allows at the venue. This will enable you to further connect with your audience. You‚Äôll be surprised at the number of people who will want to talk with you after you‚Äôve delivered an effective presentation.
thanks edith yeung
Winning Presentation Skills ..
Put Power, Punch and Pizzazz into Your Presentations
Your ability to speak well is one of the most powerful keys to business and personal success. Research reveals that those with the highest incomes have superior presentation and persuasion skills.
In fact, speaking well and getting your point across in clear and concise manner are stronger factors in achieving high status in business than education, length of experience or career field.
Presentation skills aren’t just for top executives and CEO’s anymore. They’re necessary for any person in business who wants to get their point across confidently, clearly, and without nervousness, whether they’re presenting a new idea … selling a product … or making a presentation before a small group or board of directors.
The two most crucial areas of successful presentations are planning and delivery.
Planning includes understanding the audience, assessing their needs, establishing objectives to meet their needs, researching the topic, designing the presentation and making sure the facilities are adequate for the presentation. To develop a successful plan you need to answer the following questions.
Who are your participants?
Do they share the same background and level of experience?
Have the participants attended presentations similar to yours?
Do they have any knowledge or skills that pertain to the topic of your presentation?
How many participants will attend the presentation?
Did the participants volunteer to attend or were they required to attend?
What is the preferred learning style of the group? i.e. lectures, demonstrations
How much time will you have for the presentation?
What are the goals of the presentation?
How will I open the presentation?
How will I close the presentation?
How will I organize the body?
How will I get their attention?
How will I keep their interest?
What questions will I ask?
What questions will they ask?
What notes, visuals and materials do I need?
90% of the success of a presentation is attributed to planning. If you don’t plan all the tips and strategies you use won’t make a difference.
Delivery includes the presenter’s style and his or her ability in knowing how to use verbal and nonverbal communication, questioning and reinforcement, group interaction, and the appropriate use of humor. Some guidelines to make your presentation a winner include:
1. Be sure to tell your audience why your presentation is relevant to them
2. Keep your presentation within or under the allotted time. Never go over time.
3. Make sure you have enough breaks. Research shows that adult concentration peaks out
at 1 hour and 15 minutes.
4. Do not tell jokes unless you are a great storyteller … and then make certain that your
story will offend absolutely no one in the room!
5. Eliminate all material that is not directly relevant to the central theme of your
6. Your visual aids should be aids and not crutches. Do not overwhelm your audience
7. Maintain eye contact with your audience throughout your presentation.
8. Listen actively to audience questions. Often the questioner is asking more than what
meets the ear.
9. Always rephrase what you think the question to be before you respond to it.
10. Show enthusiasm. People are more convinced by the enthusiasm of your message than
by the message itself.
11. Deliver presentations in your own style. To come across as genuine, sincere and
knowledgeable, you must be yourself.
12. Keep the audiences‚Äô attention. Have a question, anecdote, story, exercise or
discussion point every 3 to 5 minutes.
13. Have an attention getting opener. You can do this by, asking a question, sharing a
personal experience or anecdote, starting with a strong statistic, commenting on a
current event, or by using a visual
14. Use your voice and body language to make your message memorable. Only 7% of the
way your message is perceived is by the words you use. The other 93% is from the
tone of your voice, the rate of your speech and your body language.
15. Relieve anxiety by, organizing and planning, practicing, focusing on the happy
faces in the audience, doing relaxation exercises, arriving early to get to know and
feel comfortable with the audience.
Whether you are speaking to one person or hundreds, the success of your presentation depends on more than what you have to say. How you say it and how you interact with your audience will also determine their response. By following the guidelines above, you’ll be well on your way to planning and delivering a winning presentation.
¬†Arnold Sanow ‚Äď www.arnoldsanow.com
How I Overcame the Fear of Public Speaking
Rapid heart beat, sweaty palms, nausea, frequent bathroom breaks, may sound like some terrible sickness, but to many of us the diagnosis is speakers anxiety or fear of speaking in front of a group.
In fact, according to the book of lists, the #1 fear of most Americans is speaking in front of a group with the fear of death a distant #6.
For most of my life I had this terrible affliction, I was afraid to speak up for the fear of looking like a fool and being rejected by my peers. In fact, at staff meetings, I would never contradict ideas or voice my opinion and when it came to speaking to a big group I would always find an excuse to get out of it.
There were a number of steps that helped my transformation and if adhered to can help you become more confident and master this most important skill.
1. Join Toastmasters International ‚Äď My involvement with Toastmasters was life-changing. Toastmasters is a non-profit organization that helps people master their communication and speaking skills. It‚Äôs easy to set up a group in your organization or join an existing one. Through a combination of exercises and positive feedback by the other participants you will see your speaking skills and confidence reach new levels. Contact their national office at 1-800-9-wespeak.
2. Get Rid of the Beliefs and Behaviors that Cause Fear. Many of our fears about public speaking come about due to unwarranted and unjustified thoughts. Here are some negative affirmations and beliefs to put out of your mind forever.
*Speaking is dangerous to my well being.
*I failed before in a speaking situation. I will probably fail again.
*A survey says that public speaking is the #1 fear, so it must be my #1 fear.
*The audience wants me to fail. The audience is my enemy.
*I don‚Äôt have the physical appearance or natural ability. My talents and looks are
*I may make a mistake. I want to be perfect.
*Jimmy Stewart, Willard Scott and Johnny Carson have feared it. Therefore, I ought
to fear it and avoid it.
As Abraham Lincoln said, ‚ÄúYou are what you think‚ÄĚ. Before each speaking
opportunity, think and write out positive affirmations (i.e. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm a great speaker‚ÄĚ) and
you will eventually believe it and become it.
3. Practice ‚Ä¶ Practice ‚Ä¶ Practice - Learning to become a confident speaker is like learning to swim. You can watch people swim, read about it, listen to people talk about it but if you don‚Äôt get into the water you‚Äôll never learn. Take every opportunity you can to speak!
4. Focus on a Friendly Face ‚Äď Everytime you speak there is always at least one person who is smiling, looking at you or nodding in agreement. Keep your eyes on them until you feel relaxed.
5. Visualize the Audience in Their Underwear – Winston Churchill used this technique to overcome those apprehensive, grim looking people in the audience. It immediately calmed his fears by realizing that everyone is just a person like himself.
6. Plan ‚Äď 90% of a good presentation revolves around good planning. If you want to decrease your anxiety — know your audience, research your topic, prepare a good outline and then follow it.
7. Visualize a Successful Presentation ‚Äď Picture the opening, body and the close. Picture everyone smiling, laughing at your humor, applause at appropriate times and then coming up afterwards telling you about the great job you did.
8. Use your Own Style ‚Äď Be yourself. Many fears can be attributed to a speaker trying to adapt to a style that is not their own.
9. Get to the Meeting Early ‚Äď If possible, I‚Äôm always at my speaking engagements at least three hours before I‚Äôm scheduled to go on. By being early, I can check out and get comfortable with the room, practice my presentation, and get to know some of the participants.
10. Meditate ‚Äď One exercise I use is a relaxation exercise which involves tensing up parts of the body and then relaxing them. For example, I will tense my hands, then relax them. Do this with your hands, feet, head and entire body until you feel totally comfortable.
As Walter Cronkite says, ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs natural to have butterflies, the secret is to get them to fly in formation‚ÄĚ. By following the formation above, your fears will be replaced with confidence.
Your elevator speech is arguably the most important piece of public speaking you’ll ever do.
It’s key, because it’s a short description you could give about your company in the time it takes to ride an elevator. It must be…
- Easily understood
The key here is to craft a clear and memorable speech.
The other key is to have it ready, memorable, memorized, clear, and concise.
It takes some decision-making to decide what to leave in and what to take out of your elevator pitch.¬† The biggest mistake is to take too literally the question ” what do you do?”…. then try to answer that question in too much detail.
Your elevator pitch must be short, brief and should touch very briefly on the products and services you sell and what market you serve, as well as your competitive advantage.¬† This USP, or unique selling point, should describe briefly what one unique thing your company does better than anyone else.
So go home and sit down and craft your elevator pitch.¬† That way you’ll be completely prepared the next time someone asks you…” what do you do?”
When a person asks you, ‚ÄúWhat do you do?‚ÄĚ do you know what to say back? Do you have an Elevator Speech prepared for just such an occasion?
An Elevator Speech is a short, concise speech that you can use to answer just such a question. It is called an Elevator Speech because it is a description of your company that takes the same about of time as riding an elevator. It is arguably the most important speech you should have prepared as there will be many times in your day that you will only have a short amount of time to explain to someone what you do or what your company does.
There are three things to remember when crafting your Elevator Speech: make it brief, make it easily understood and make it memorable.
It takes time and good decision making when crafting your Elevator Speech. One of the biggest pit falls is taking the question, ‚ÄúWhat do you do?‚ÄĚ too literally. This eventually makes you add too much detail, which ultimately makes the speech too long and no longer able to be used on an elevator ride!
Being brief is the best thing you can do. Plus, being brief also makes it easier for you to memorize, making the speech come out smoothly and unrehearsed. Think about leaving a flavor in the person‚Äôs mouth that will make them come back for more. Touch on the products and services that you sell, what market you serve and your competitive advantage, but don‚Äôt give too much away. If you hit a nerve, they‚Äôll come back. End with your Unique Selling Point, or USP, which should describe the one unique thing your company does better than anyone else. And, of course, always have a business card to hand to them just as the elevator doors are opening!
Don‚Äôt let another day go by without having your Elevator Speech ready. Write it, review it and practice it on friends or family. That way, you‚Äôll be ready the next time the person next to you asks, ‚ÄúSo, what do you do?‚ÄĚ
SAY IT RIGHT & WIN MORE OFTEN
The Better Talking Paradigm
In addition to thinking better, another big a part of creating a DONE BUSINESS is to employ a better manner of communicating with the people who can help you get more of what you want.¬† This would include customers and prospects, employees, centers of influence, consultants and coaches, and of course, friends and family members.¬† The Better Talking Paradigm is a series of steps to follow when informing others, enlisting support, or assigning tasks and responsibilities.¬† By working the steps you can expect to enjoy better results because those to whom you speak will more clearly understand what you expect from them.¬† This makes success come more easily.¬†
HERE‚ÄôS WHAT YOU MUST DO:
1.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Make your listener want to hear you.¬† Open a channel then briefly state your point up front.
2.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Ask that judgment be suspended until you‚Äôre through talking.
3.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Send your message.¬† Describe the behavior you want.¬† Present win/win scenarios.¬† Don‚Äôt talk too much.
4.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Confirm both the receipt and understanding of your message.¬† Agree on fulfillment criteria and time lines.
5.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Get a committed response, a promise of action.
6.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Follow up, observe activity and results.
7.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† If necessary, repeat the process more forcefully.
Your communication may necessitate a bit of planning; working on a step-by-step Game Plan of implementation so proper/timely execution can occur and the things you want can get done right the first time so they don‚Äôt have to be done over.¬†
Often the intent of talking is to persuade people.¬† Centuries ago Aristotle posited that for verbal persuasion to be truly effective, three elements must be present: trust, logic, and emotion.¬† You need to make a good first impression by establishing trust, through attitude, body language, voice tone and personal packaging, (how you look).¬† You have to present your case with indisputable logic.¬† And you have to give a tug to the emotions.¬† Then people will want to do what you want and you will win more often.¬†
“If all my possessions were taken from me with one exception, I would choose to keep the power for speech, for by it I would soon regain all the rest.”¬† ‚Äď Daniel Webster
Thanks to Dr. Richard Borough
WHY WE STRUGGLE
Do not be an indentured servant to your business, employees, and customers. Avoid the traps that if allowed to run amuck will conspire to tighten the chains of business bondage and kill your spirit.
1. TUNNEL VISION: Habits determine destiny. A lot of business owners are former technicians now masquerading as owners. They think they‚Äôre owners, but they don‚Äôt act the part. As once-accomplished technicians, they have a hard time letting go of such expertise and familiarity. They remain trapped in a technical tunnel vision comfort zone and mindset. Technical expertise is not enough when it some to managing a growing and thriving business. That takes an involvement in the big picture and in the strategy and in the leadership skills necessary to run a business successfully for the long haul.
2. BUSYNESS: Too many business owners confuse activity with accomplishment. They confuse busyness with results, hard work with working smarter, perspiration with purpose, and efficiency (doing things right) with effectiveness (doing the right things). Instead of working smarter, many hold tight to the delusion that working harder and harder is the solution. They keep trying to shift into higher and higher gears. The more the business grows, the harder they work, the more imprisoned they become. Truth is no matter how much energy you expend, the wrong strategies will inevitably lead to poor results‚ÄĒless freedom and more headaches. It‚Äôs like trying to catch fish in a pond with your bare hands. No matter how many hours you work or how deep you wade, a poor strategy leads to poor results‚ÄĒno fish dinner!
3. DOPEY DOER-SHIP: Instead of leadership, many business owners excel at doer-ship. They micromanage, like to touch and control everything. They trust no one but themselves. They believe no one does it as well as them. They seldom delegate, if at all. They mistake activity for leadership. Instead of thinking and leading like owners, they think and behave like employees. Instead of reflecting and planning, they excel at sweating and doing. They act like they have a job instead of owning a business. To lead effectively, you must trust others. Failing to develop leadership skill can cost you dearly.
4. INADEQUATE OR MISSING SYSTEMS: Most business owners don‚Äôt know how to re-engineer their operation to be more systems-dependent and professionally equipped with plans, policies, and procedures. They don‚Äôt create and document the specific processes outlining repeatable ways to do things right. They don‚Äôt write down the policies and procedures it takes to create a well-organized, smoothly running, easy-to-manage operation. Without defining and documenting the work that needs to be done, you can‚Äôt delegate effectively and in so doing, gradually remove yourself from your technician role. Tragically, you may unknowingly, reactively, and accidentally create an owner-centered and owner-dependent business. Until systems run your business, you‚Äôll
always feel a little out of control and you‚Äôll be trapped, and that‚Äôs never good.
5. ESCALATING COMPLEXITY: All business owners struggle against escalating complexity. Some lose the battle. As growth brings them an increasing number of customers, transactions, and problems they eventually reach a limit, a tipping point. Then the next little straw crushes them. Of course growing pains are unavoidable but if left unchecked they can make predictability nearly impossible. The good news is that with decent leadership and good systems, complexity can be restrained so your growth issues won‚Äôt overwhelm you.
6. MISSING MEASUREMENT AND POOR SCOREKEEPING: It‚Äôs easy to screw up when it comes to keeping score. Many business owners fail to install the most telling and helpful measurement devices. They don‚Äôt check on the status of ‚Äúthe money‚ÄĚ often enough or they don‚Äôt understand the data they get, let alone know what do as a result of either bad news or good news. To end the struggle you have to keep track of helpful indicators. The money for sure, but other things too, like the degree of customer satisfaction, time spent working, and stress levels, especially yours. Master measurement and scorekeeping and you can predict the future more accurately. Then everything can get better, much better. And that‚Äôs a good thing.
7. LOUSY COMMUNICATION: Communication matters. Most business owners are not communication experts, especially in the beginning. High schools and colleges do not offer courses in how to communicate by talking. They should because there‚Äôs not much that matters quite as much, but they don‚Äôt. So it‚Äôs incumbent upon you to figure out how to speak effectively, how to use words to persuade others to do more of what you want, to willing want to follow your lead. You can find effective communication models described in many books and seminars. Read a book or two. Enroll in a seminar. Do it soon. It‚Äôll be time and money well spent.
8. CRAPPY CASH FLOW: Happiness in business is positive cash flow‚ÄĒthe money that comes from strong sales, from collecting what‚Äôs owed, and from controlling costs and payables. Planning your marketing and promotional activities so they produce intended results, adjusting systems to accommodate growth, and anticipating future money needs, this is the pure work of business itself. Do this well and become a cash flow wizard.
Freedom is what you want‚Ä¶lots and lots of freedom‚Ä¶and money‚Ä¶and contentment too. To make that happen simply follow the done business recipe. Embrace the seven commitments, work the thirteen commitments, and resolve the reasons why we struggle. Piece of cake!
Thanks to Dr. Richard Borough
Perception is Reality‚Ä¶
How do Your Customers Really See You?
To keep both our internal (employees) and external customers happy we need to have a thorough understanding of their likes and dislikes. To make sure you are keeping them happy and delivering the best possible service ask yourself, your staff and above all your customers the following questions;
How well do we deliver what we promise?
How often do we do things right the first time?
How often do we do things right on time?
How quickly do we respond to your requests for service?
How accessible are we when you need to contact us?
How helpful and polite are we?
How well do we speak your language?
How hard do you think we work at keeping you a satisfied client?
How much confidence do you have in our products or services?
How well do we understand and try to meet your special needs and requests?
Overall, how would you rate the appearance of our facilities, products and people?
Overall, how would you rate the quality of our service?
Overall, how would you rate the quality of our service compared to our competitors?
How willing would you be to recommend us?
How willing would you be to buy from us again?