Silvia Pencak is innovation expert, peak performance consultant and leadership coach helping your team outperform your competitors. Silvia is passionate about freedom. Freedom to be yourself. She strongly believes that every person on this earth is special and unique. Her mission is to help you discover and embrace your uniqueness, become the best YOU, create and live the life you will truly LOVE.
Organizations we work with here at Powerful Life Consulting (PLC) are scattered around the globe, providing wide array of products and services, yet they face similar challenges – people challenges. In order to build strong organizational structure or company, you MUST focus on people. Focusing on product or processes will only work if you have your entire production fully automated and people don’t need to touch any part of it. But no matter what level of automation you have in your company, chances are that you still hire people to oversee the technology, therefore I suggest that you pay attention to what I am going to share with you today. Let’s look at the core foundation of building a strong business or organization.
1. Make culture matter
Every company is different. Some companies care about team relationships, while others about the customer experience. It’s crucial that everyone who comes to the interview understands your culture and can align with it. Those who are part of your team MUST know, understand and act according to the values and company culture. In spite of all the articles out there discussing the importance of culture, it still amazes me how little emphasis some companies give to creating and communicating their values. Be quick to call people out when they break or bend company values. Whether it’s constantly yelling at co-workers, being disengaged, or lack of cooperation with the rest of the team, hold people accountable and be quick to fire when things go South.
2. Make performance matter
Every company should have measurable standards they regularly check. What are the roles and responsibilities? What is expected from each individual on a team? What are the individual and team goals? What is considered a minimum requirement? What would exceptional performance look like? What is considered unacceptable? Without such standards you will leave it up to each individual to set their own requirements, which might be very different from what you want to see. Don’t leave it to chances for people to know what is expected of them. Communicate it and check it. As Louis V. Gerstner, former CEO & Chairman of IBM famously said, “People don’t do what you expect, but what you inspect.” Be intentional about individual, team and company performance and you will see the improvement. Or let it slide and you will regret it in a long run.
3. Make teams matter
I strongly believe in team work. In spite of me being a capable and driven individual, my best results were created in collaboration and partnership with others, never alone. When teams are healthy, work gets easier, results are multiplied and people are well supported. To build healthy teams, you need to recognize great team players, support team diversity and act quickly when there is drag or leak in values or performance. Teams are fluid. People change. As a leader you must keep your finger on a pulse of your team. Know what challenges they go through, understand when they need additional support or a break. Celebrate their victories. And be willing to take action when a specific team member drags the entire team down. Make teams in your organization matter.
4. Make communication matter
It’s hard to be a part of the team when communication is broken. When people don’t have access to the necessary information or channels to request it, it can be extremely frustrating. Set standards in this area. How quickly should the emails be answered? How quickly should the resources be provided? What is the standard you expect when it comes to customer relations? How are the meetings scheduled and who gets invited? What happens when people don’t show up or don’t provide the information necessary? Communication is fluid. Your focus should be on its continuous improvement. Have standards in place and communicate them well and resolve any challenges as quickly as possible. Small misunderstanding can turn into a major fight when left unresolved.
5. Make relationships matter
People are complicated. They make mistakes, disappoint, underdeliver, frustrate, even betray you. People are unpredictable. But so do you. Nobody is perfect, which makes relationships challenging. Yet, good relationships make things easier. People will go above and beyond for those they have good relationships with. When you make relationships focus point of your leadership, you will win this game. Know your people, get to understand their struggles, life situations, know what they care about and what motivates them. Great leaders don’t treat everybody the same. They treat people according to where they are and what their needs are. They build relationships with individuals and foster relationships on a team. On the other hand, leaders protect those relationships and act quickly when these relationships are threatened or start deteriorating. Cultivate a culture where people are free to be themselves and rewarded for supporting each other.
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When you are considering starting your own business, there are many things you need to put in place. From choosing the right product/services for the right audience, to developing a strong business plan and getting just enough funding to get you through tough beginning stage.
Let’s look at the key components of building a strong foundation for your new venture.
1. Set strong boundaries right from the beginning
I’ve seen way too many business owners to jump ahead into building a business which backfired destroying their marriages, relationships, financials, and more. Keep in mind that you can’t build a strong business overnight. Competition is big, trust takes time to build, plus there is a learning curve to set up your systems and processes, hire team and connect with the right people. Before you jump in, understand the cost, have a solid plan and decide how much you will invest (e.g. time, money, resources) and what will be non-negotiable (e.g. relationships, time, personal wellbeing).
2. Choose the right business
Yes, you can go the trial and error path, jumping from one idea to another until you find something that sticks. And you wouldn’t be the only one to succeed this way. What I mean is not HOW you should find the right business, but what type of business you should choose. Make sure you pick something you enjoy doing, something you are passionate about. As I mentioned a minute ago, building a business is not easy. What’s the point in building a business you will despise couple years down the road or quit along the way?
3. Don’t put all the eggs in one basket
It’s good to focus on one thing until successful, but when you’re looking to build a strong business, looking at sustainability should always be in the back of your mind. Starting your business with one key customer can be great, but don’t stay there for long before looking for others who can propel you to the new heights and bring more sustainability. How can you protect your business from unexpected forces? Build your business in layers, creating multiple sources of income, tightening your security, protecting your assets, improving your customer experience, investing in your people and growing the profitability.
4. Surround yourself with wise advisors
Running a business can be a lonely place. And frustrating at times. Having mentors, advisors and professionals around you who walked the walk, have experience or expertise to help you make wise decisions, can speed up your success and prevent many mistakes. Be willing to listen and learn. You will be glad you did.
5. Learn as you go
Don’t try to figure everything out before you take a leap. I guarantee that you will never know everything, predict everything or understand everything. Sometimes you just have to be willing to take action, make things happen, learn from mistakes and move on. Choose to enjoy the journey and grow your business and yourself.
Our team put together a great resource to help you kick start your business called “Startup Guide” which dives even deeper into tips, tools and ideas to help you get your business off the ground. Get your complimentary access below.
How’s business? Are you flying up high in the clouds or are you hustling to shift things around for you? No matter where you are today, we all face uncertainty and disruption at one point or another.
This is exactly where a lot of businesses in Ontario are these days. With all the changes at the provincial and federal level, many are grasping for air, trying to keep it together and stay afloat. What is it that’s discouraging you? What’s so hard that it makes you wonder how in the word you will get through?
Change. The most feared and despised word in dictionary. It can be unpredictable, unexpected and threatening. But it can also be exciting, progressive and transformational.
Today I want to help you look at change from a different perspective. To help you stop despising it and start leveraging the power of change. And hopefully to transform the way how you succeed in turbulent times. As a leader it’s important that in tough times you focus on the following priorities.
1. Keep in mind the definition of insanity
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. ~ Unknown Click To Tweet
Change forces you to think outside of the box, challenges your existing approaches and helps you improve. When done well, change can significantly improve your results and maximize your success. Sticking to the same old just because “we’ve always done it this way” is not going to move you forward. To create new and improved results, you need to change the input. When significant changes happen in marketplace, industry or economy, what brought you where you are now is not going to take you to the next level.
Pro tip: Stop wasting your time and energy on complaining and start thinking how to best leverage the situation at hand.
Look at change as opportunity to improve things and create new results. Click To Tweet
2. Be a positive example
People do what people see, not what they’re told. (Read more on this topic here) As a leader it is your responsibility to be in charge and lead the way through disruptions. This is why I prefer to use term change leadership instead of change management. You can’t manage change, but you can lead your people through it. Negativity catches on like a fire (and you’ll see a lot of it in the midst of disruption)… but so does positivity. Light shines the brightest in the darkness. When times are tough, that’s exactly when you need to dig deep, stay put and be a “CAN” person.
Pro tip: Invest in your own growth and development to be ready to lead when the times are tough. When things start falling apart, it will be too late to catch up.
Improve your leadership now. When times get tough, you will need all you'd learned to succeed. Click To Tweet
3. Support your team
Change can be challenging. Not just for you, but for your people as well. Find the ways to support your people through tough times. Find and empower trailblazers to help them shake things up and create the momentum. Protect and support those who are resistant to change and utilize their strengths to prevent potential disasters and problems. Every team member has a unique talent they bring to a table. Help them see their role in change initiatives and stop pushing cookie cutter approaches on everyone.
Pro tip: Celebrate team diversity and tap into team synergy. (More on this topic here)
4. Get help
In the midst of crisis we tend to go into survival thinking. Negativity kicks in and creativity seems to avoid us. We can’t see the forest for the trees in front of us. This is a great time to bring in external help. Someone with a different perspective who will challenge our thinking and navigate us in the right direction. A coach, a consultant, thinking partner, mastermind group, someone who is not focused on the trees, but can pin point the path. The faster you do so, the bigger the advantage you’ll have compared to your competitors.
Pro tip: Get help before you need help to move forward fast and get ahead of the game.
If you are in the midst of major disruptions, looking to improve things around, we can help. Contact us today to discuss your best approach to moving forward and maximizing the opportunities in front of you.
None of us wants to experience burnout. But the ugly truth is that most people who do, didn’t have it on their wish list. They didn’t strive to achieve it.
Sadly, burnout is a by-product of our actions or environment. It is a state of chronic stress that you experience at your work, life or because of your personality. To find out whether you are in the midst of burnout, check this article for a list of signs of burnout.
Today I want to take you through the causes of burnout to help you prevent it from occurring in your life or in your workplace. Let’s look at the 3 main causes of burnout.
1. Work-related causes
Work-related causes of burnout relate to your workplace. Most of the time, these are the external triggers that you have little say about like working in a very demanding workplace, under high pressure or unchallenging environment. Having a bad boss or toxic culture One of the top causes is being forced to work against your conative strengths, for example organized person working in chaotic environment or innovative individual working in an environment where everyone else is playing it safe.
2. Lifestyle causes
Lifestyle causes are related to how you manage your time and priorities. Way too many people exhaust their energy, working too much, taking no breaks, or getting too little sleep. Overcommitting to things you have no time or energy for or having no boundaries is a surefire way to burnout.
3. Personality causes
Personality causes are internal. Traits like perfectionism or high achiever can help you climb the ladder higher or faster, but are not really sustainable in a long run. Seeing all the mistakes leads to dissatisfaction, constant rework and negativism. It’s important to set up guards and protections to keep you sane and on target.
To learn more about burnout and discover strategies to prevent it, check Get Your Life Back telesummit where myself and other experts discuss topics related to burnout and peak productivity.
Trends come and go, but blogging continues to provide value to businesses and organizations around the globe even in 2018. Many think that regular updates are for mainstream media, but blogging is so easy to set up and manage that even a one-man-show businesses or organizations on shoe-string-budget can do it well if they choose to. With many organizations still asking about blogging ROI, I decided to summarize the benefits of having a blog. If you are not sure whether blogging is the right strategy for you, keep on reading as I will share with you top 5 reasons why business needs blog.
1. Position your business as a thought leader
One of the biggest obstacles of blogging is the amount of time it takes to write new content and market it. Taking time to share your insights and expertise not only positions you as someone who understands the topic, but also someone who cares about supporting others. You go that extra mile to empower people who follow you, which positions you as a leader and someone worth following. No matter what industry you are in or what topic you focus on, blogging can give you extra added credibility.
Having regularly updated blog means that you have fresh content to share with your audience either on social media or via email. It brings people back to your site as they seek new information, insights, or reviews. With the vast amount of information out there, you must ensure that your content is relevant, applicable, and high quality. The key is to understand that you can have the best offers on your website, but if your audience doesn’t come over, how will they find out about them and buy?
I am not an SEO expert, but I’ve noticed that once I started to blog regularly, my SEO went through a roof. Search engines like Google like fresh content and reward you for work well done. Yes, you will still need to learn and use the SEO strategies to make it work, but increased numbers of visitors will definitely help position you higher in online searches.
This is my favourite benefit. As someone who blogs regularly, I have an honour and privilege to inspire, educate and empower people around the globe to help them become better leaders, improve their business acumen and success rate of their initiatives. No matter where in the world you are, what’s your background, status or situation, as soon as you have Internet connection and understand English, you can enjoy the insights, strategies and tips I share on my website. You can do that too – for your audience. People are looking for trusted resources, proven strategies, and people who care enough to help them improve. Will you step into that gap and fill the void? Pick a topic you know about, decide how often you can bring a fresh piece of content and start writing.
Once you put in work to create content, drive visitors and engagement, don’t forget to build your list too. Social media platforms change, restricting your followers’ access to your updates. But your email subscribers get all your content for as long as they remain subscribers. Email is still the most powerful way to stay in touch with your audience. And having a great blog is a good way to stay in touch.
Before you jump into blogging, please note that blogging takes time. You need time to write and edit your content, do the SEO and marketing. And you also need time to respond to comments and questions.
But when you decide that this is a strategy you want to use in your business or organization, check our NEW! The Ultimate Blog Strategy Guide, designed to help you set up and promote your blog. We’ll even show you how to make money at the back-end. Click below to claim your copy!
To your success,
PS: Our blog comments are closed, but share your thoughts on social media. I respond to all comments there.