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In this business management article, we'll show you what we've learned when you give first. The rule of reciprocity states that when give to a person, that person will want to give you something with equal or higher value. Think of all the managers in your own career. Which ones made you most productive: the ones you respected, or the dictatorial ones? It wasn't the fake ones that wanted good scores on their yearly reviews. It was those who genuinely cared for you as a person, and wanted to help you grow. It was those who focused on your interests first, beyond theirs. Remember Mom's Lesson We sometimes get so wrapped up in trying to get something out of nothing that we forgot the basic rule our mothers taught: "Give and you'll receive." Give people praise, and they'll reward you more with great work. Give people your time, and they'll make sure to do their best in everything they do for you. Human psychology supports the rule that when you genuinely give, you will receive more in abundance. You'll also become a better person. It's a secret only great managers know.
Posted on February 18

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Developing a solid business management skill takes rejecting everything you know about subject. Great managers choose to focus on developing strengths, instead of fixing weaknesses. They focus on improving superstars, instead of fixing weaker players. Great managers believe they can motivate a person better by highlighting the positives, rather than scolding the negatives. Above all, great managers reject conventional wisdom to focus on results.

It Takes a Different Kind of Thinking

To understand good management, it takes the courage to reject everything you ever learned about the subject. In this guide, we'll show you what works. These articles will help improve your business management skill needed to run your small business.
Posted on February 18

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What if Michael Jordan was led by a business management style that had dictated his every move during every possession? Experts probably wouldn't consider him as the greatest NBA athlete in history. The key to Jordan's success was that Coach Phil Jackson gave him a set boundary: to win. Jackson encouraged Mike to do whatever he could do to accomplish that feat. In other words, the coach gave him a desire outcome, and stepped out of the way. Now, don't get us wrong. Jackson probably gave him tips and hints along the way to achieve the goal. But he never dictated to Mike what he had to do. Give Freedom Within a Framework All of your employees will have different ways of doing things. Let them use their strengths to get to a goal you desire. When you hand-hold them too much, you'll limit their abilities to do the work effectively. People love freedom. Millions committed their lives to for it. It's part of human nature. Give people freedom within a desired boundary that fits your company's business model, and you'll see great results.
Posted on February 18

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What if you used a business management technique that let your employees have authority to dismiss their managers? What would happen? In great companies, those who are managed have the authority to get rid of their leaders if they're not doing a solid job at guiding them. This makes sure the leaders are up to speed, trying to find ways to support their crew more effectively. Power Into the Right People In our experiences, when a company enforces an upside-down pyramid -- where those who have traditionally been atop are now at the bottom, good things happen. It creates a system where only those who can serve their people fully and effectively will be kept; those who can't will be driven away quickly. This ensures your employees are happy with their environment, which makes them more productive. The United States is built upon an upside-down pyramid. Citizens have the most power, and decide who they want to lead them. The leaders know they must serve the interests of citizens first, or they'll lose their jobs. It's been a great system for over two centuries, and has made it a world power.
Posted on February 18

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A vital business management tip we've learned from our mentors is to know that there's nothing worse than working for a company where your opinions don't matter. It's equally frustrating to work with a manager that doesn't seem to reach out to you. Make Opinions Matter Employees will have questions, concerns, or suggestions to improve the company. Don't take these for granted. These will usually be feedback that's more important than customer comments. Use it wisely, and make sure your employees know that their opinions truly matter. Get Responses Consistently In a company we consulted, we helped them pose weekly questions to understand employee sentiment. One of the questions (i.e. "How can we improve?") ensures they got direct and effective responses to help them modify their company's processes to fit employee needs. Employees will take more pride in improving your company if you treat them as partners. We promise you that you'll see an overnight improvement if you consider them as equals.
Posted on February 18

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Why does discipline for employees hurt your company? Try doing it to chaotic kindergarteners. Sooner or later, they'll act up. It's the same way with most employees. The trick then is to hire self-disciplined people, and then keep them there. Remember, you can't change a person's character that's been developed over decades. You can only cultivate it. How then do you discover self-disciplined people? Self-disciplined people won't need to be managed. If at any point you need to manage them, it's time to act. When you give them freedom to fulfill their objectives, and they underwhelm you, that should raise a red flag. Disciplined people on the other hand, when given clear and desirable objectives, will go out of their way to fulfill their responsibilities. Fill your company with as many self-disciplined team members, and you'll build a solid company headed for greatness.
Posted on February 18

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Does hiring employees act as the single biggest variable that distinguishes great companies from failures? You would think so, but you'd only be partially correct. Great businesses focus on hiring the "right" people that fit with their values, culture, and purpose. A great worker elsewhere may not transfer well into your environment. Conversely, someone who's failed miserably at her last job may be the perfect fit at your company. What must I look for when hiring employees? Forget the PhD from Harvard. Building a great business requires more than attracting a resume filled with academic pedigrees. It requires that you base people more on their character than on their knowledge. The latter can be learned; the former takes a lifetime to develop. How do I hire employees? As a basis, look for people who share your company's values. If you're a company that values customer service, hiring employees with a discouraging personality will raise a red flag. Once you're sure they fit with your values, use these three checkpoints that business guru Jim Collins says you must do -- and that we highly support: Did the person produce results at the company? (Y) Did that person take credit for it? (N) Did the results improve after their tenure? (Y) The right person must fit those four requirements. Make sure you do your homework about each person you bring onboard. Research their background, and get information through references. If you're uncertain about any of the four checkpoints, don't hire. Your ability to do this will pay off in the long run. Remember, the key to building a great business is to make good and consistent decisions. When to do it? Recruit before any decisions are made, organizational structures are prepared, and any ideas to be marketed. As Collins's six-year study illustrates, it's important that you get the right people on the bus first -- then figure out where to drive it. If you get further along the road, and need to switch directions, your people will be able to adapt because they rode the bus because of who else was on it -- not where it was going. If on the other hand, your people got on the bus because of your ideas, they'll leave if those ideas fail. It's important that you hire before anything happens. Take it from HP's David Packard: "No company can grow revenues consistently faster than its ability to get enough of the right people to implement that growth and still become a great company." That means, recruit prior to any increase in revenues, or any ideas to be implemented. You company won't sustain itself if your earnings outpaces the number of people at your business. You'll need people to execute each growth phase. And If I Can't Afford It? If hiring employees is impossible right now, get help through mentors or free government small business programs. The SBA provides free counseling in all states. You can also work with them online at http://www.sba.gov. Run your initial ideas by them, and then hone ideas when you get enough clarity on the situation. Don't get just any free help; each mentor or advisor must fit the four checkpoints above. Hiring employees will be your greatest investment. If you do it wrong, you'll receive headaches galore. If you do it right, we guarantee that you'll build a great business.
Posted on February 18

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The key for great managers in how to manage an employee is finding a position that suits the person perfectly. People can be competent at one thing, but managers must know if it's what they do best. More importantly, you can't take their word for what they say they do best. Most of the time, they won't know. It's your job to find out. Imagine Michael Jordan career if you will. Growing, he developed into a decent, little league all-star baseball player. When he retired from basketball the first time, he tried minor league baseball. While his batting average was respectable, baseball wasn't the sport where he shined. When he came back to basketball, Jordan led his team to three NBA championships, received more MVPs, and further cementing the view that he was the greatest basketball player that ever lived. If all your employees are doing what they do best everyday, you'll have a company that outshines your competitors by far. Understanding this concept is vital to build a great company.
Posted on February 18

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Here's a jaw dropper: Paying employees $100 will get the same results as if you'd pay them $1000. It gets to a certain point where money can't motivate people to reach desired results. True, you'll need to cover their basic necessities so they can get a goodnight's rest. Once you get to that point, you'll have to think beyond levels of compensation to get results. The Purpose Behind Paying Employees Understand that the purpose of compensation is not to get people to produce what you want, but to recruit and retain them in the first place. Once you go this far, you must structure a compensation system that rewards those who fit your company's model. For example, let's say you ran a company that dedicated itself to customer service, and are hiring new salespeople. Now let's say you offered 100% commission. It may sound like a good deal because you'll only pay them if they produce. Yet, the compensation system doesn't fit your company's model because it doesn't consider customer service. A More Effective Way to Paying Employees A better compensation system would be to offer a base of 33% to cover their basic necessities, 33% for their sales volume, and the rest to their level of customer service. When you do this, you'll attract people who have great customer service skills. You'd also eject from your company those who don't. Now what if there's a top notch sales person who can bring in the high volume of sales, but has bad customer service skills? You'd be tempted to bring the person onboard. If you do though, you'll dilute your values -- causing your other salespeople to follow suit. If you stick to your values, you'll have more opportunities down the road. Remember, the constant theme: delivering good and consistent decisions will build you a great business. When paying employees, it's vital you base the compensation system around your company's core values.
Posted on February 18

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Rules for your workers will stifle performance in your company. It creates a bureaucratic environment that chokes the imagination and creativity out of your business. People, as explained in Motivating Employees, hate rules. By imposing every petty rule on them, you stifle their ingenuity. Instead of innovation, you get banality. Instead of improvement, you get monotony. Instead of greatness, you get mediocrity. You can change that. Write rulebooks that have minimal content in them. Nordstrom, known for their dedicated customer service, does that. They welcome new employees with their current_entity.official rulebook: it's a single card that reads, "Use your judgment in all situations." That's it. What better rule could there be? But What if Chaos Happens? Yes, you'll need some order, but you could use better approaches than imposing rules on your employees. Instead, give them clear objectives, outcomes, and boundaries. Make sure they don't overstep them. Then grant them total freedom within it. Once you eliminate the traditional use of rules for your workers, you'll see effective results.
Posted on February 18

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