Smart idea for those who want to start a business

Having coaches help keep businesses from failing and costing people money that many can not afford to lose.

Brandon Miller started his business in organizational strength development and in an interview, he gives some insights as to how he succeeds.

Brandon says when he started his business his biggest questions were around growth and defining what the business had to offer to the market. He recommends the books Learn Startup, Leaders Eat Last, Destination Unstoppable, and Profit First as great starting points for anyone considering starting their own business. 
Brandon met his business partner in a “mastermind group”. This group helped them establish a group of trusted advisors from the start. Annually, Brandon and his partner sit down with an advisory board to review the business. They also sought out people who were ahead of them in their field to get their advice “Version 1 is better than version none”, is a saying that Brandon and his partner go by. They decided to get out into the market before they had fully formed offerings so they could let the market teach them what they wanted and needed. Brandon says not to overthink what you will offer before you get going. 

As a SCORE Mentor one of the major concerns I see when I counsel people who want to start a business is how they are going to succeed in the market. What Brandon and his partner did, was to get out into the market and learn from similarly situated companies already in the market and learn from them.

One of my current clients here in Maryland is getting market reality advice from a successful startup in Georgia. The Georgia company owner who is in the same industry is telling my client some of the realities of succeeding in the marketplace. My client has seen companies in the industry who are failing and understands the reasons why they are failing and is putting those learnings into the business plan to use going forward.


People Respond to good leadership

People respond to good leadership- Period! We witness it in all aspects of our lives. Beyond leadership in business, parents are leaders in their home to one child who leads a sports team and another who is leader of the debate team. Most groups of people look to one person as to lead them to success. A leader in the truest sense highly ethical, honest and well respected.

In our society, and on teams, we observe both leaders and followers. Are we born as one or the other? Absolutely Not! Can we hone our leadership skills? Absolutely!

The leaders we most admire demonstrate the following:

a) They think BIG! The sky is the limit when it comes to capacity for growth and improvement.

b) They keep their eyes on clear and firmly set goals.

c) They get people on board with what they want to achieve by clearly defining success. For example: “Our goal is to sell “x” number of widgets this quarter” or “Winning this games puts us one step closer to winning the state title! Let’s do this!”

d) They have followers who willingly comply with direction toward achieving the goal.

e) They immediately establish the next goal or raise the bar when current goals are met.

Bottom line…People will follow your lead willingly if you are honest, ethical, treat them with respect and clearly communicate why a goal is important. Of course, rewarding someone when a job is well done is always appreciated, as is a good leader who acts on employees who hinder the team’s success.

These are great ways to take your leadership skills to the next level. Not only can you increase the respect of others, you may even become an inspiration to others by advancing your leadership skills. How great is that!

The problem with working hard

It’s not the amount of time you spend that matters. It’s how you use it. The best chess players don’t necessarily spend the most hours practicing. According to a 2005 study, the best of the best spend the most amount of time engaged in serious study, writes The New York Times’s Tim Herrera. The same applies to the non-chess players among us. A 2012 study demonstrated the importance of “structured reflection” in leadership development. “Meaning: Spend more conscious hours and effort in genuine introspection and self-examination, and fewer hours … ahem, goofing around on Twitter,” Herrera wrote. • Do you think you ‘work smart’?

The No. 1 Employee Benefit That No One’s Talking About

People leave managers, not companies.

You’ve heard it before.

One in two employees have left a job to get away from a manager and improve their overall life at some point in their career, according to Gallup’s State of the American Manager report.

Bad managers are abundant, and they leave an impression — that’s what makes movies like Office Space so funny. Almost everyone can relate to the sense of dread about coming to work when a manager makes an otherwise good job feel like a dead end.

But the effects of bad management reach farther than just engagement — they can actually undermine your company’s efforts to help employees improve their health.

From the State of the American Manager report,

“Having a bad manager is often a one-two punch: Employees feel miserable while at work, and that misery follows them home, compounding their stress and putting their well-being in peril.”

Your company likely makes a significant investment in benefits programs aimed at employee retention and lowered healthcare costs.

According to Mercer’s National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, the average health benefit cost per employee has increased by over 16% in just the last five years.

Companies spend hundreds of millions of dollars in this area, but the actions of a poor manager negate the positive effects of your company’s benefits programs.

When employee health suffers, your company suffers.

Unhappy, unhealthy employees affect:

  • Absenteeism
  • Performance
  • Customer ratings
  • Quality
  • Profit

Your company would never promote smoking or other bad practices that are scientifically linked to health problems — you’d be undermining all of your efforts to improve employee health and well-being.

It’s time to think of management the same way — a bad manager is damaging to your employees’ health and, as a result, to your company’s bottom line.

The good news is, this finding works both ways. According to the State of the American Manager report,

“Managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores.”

Just as a bad manager can ruin a good job, a great manager can make a good job even better.

So if people leave good jobs because of bad managers, why don’t they seek out jobs that offer great managers?

Probably because they don’t know where the great managers work.

Most companies don’t currently think about great managers as a benefit or publicize that benefit to prospective employees.

It’s a huge missed opportunity.

To attract the best employee talent, every company should publicize great managers as part of their employee value proposition (EVP).

And to keep the star people you’ve worked so hard to find and hire, you need to deliver on the promise of great management.

You should select for specific managerial talents when hiring managers and offer training and development for managers throughout their careers.

Effective people management could be the most difficult aspect of sustaining a thriving enterprise.

Companies need to devote more attention to promoting and developing good managers, and then start letting the world know they have these good managers.

Here’s Gallup’s advice for building a healthy and thriving organization, starting with your managers.

1. Understand the characteristics of a great manager.

Gallup’s research reveals that about one in 10 people possess high talent to manage.

That 10%, when put in managerial roles, has a strong natural ability to:

  • Put the right people in the right roles
  • Create a culture of clear accountability
  • Engage employees with a compelling vision
  • Motivate every employee individually
  • Coach and develop their people by focusing on their strengths
  • Make decisions based on productivity, not politics
  • Build trust and dialogue with their people about both work and life outside of work

According to the State of the American Manager report,

“18% of those currently in management roles demonstrate a high level of talent for managing others, while another 20% show a basic talent for it. Combined, they contribute about 48% higher profit to their companies than average managers do.”

2. Select and promote managers for the right reasons.

The two things that usually earn a promotion to management have nothing to do with great management ability: tenure and mastery of a previous, non-managerial role.

Top Two Reasons People Become Managers

Effective people management requires a talent set of its own, and someone who shined in a previous role may not transition seamlessly to a managerial role.

From the State of the American Manager report:

“Gallup finds that companies fail to choose the [managerial] candidate with the right talent for the job 82% of the time.”

Hiring great managers takes a rigorous, validated process.

Management is a talent just like any other job skill, and it requires a significant amount of soft skills such as relationship-building that often go overlooked.

While development can be effective, the most effective method for getting great managers is rigor and accountability when finding, hiring and promoting people with natural management abilities.

These great managers can come from inside your organization or outside, and they may often be hiding in plain sight in another role.

Gallup has studied, tested and defined the best method for selecting people with natural managerial talents. Use our tools to place the right people in management roles and see major improvements all across your business — most significantly, in employee health.

3. Talk about great managers as your company’s No. 1 benefit.

There are many more poor managers than great managers, so this benefit is rare and differentiates your organization from the rest.

Now that you know the breadth of influence managers have on your company — and how to find and hire talented ones — it’s time to sing their praises.

Publicize your great managers on hiring websites as a major part of your EVP, and make sure prospective employees know the benefit a truly talented manager can bring to their work and life.

Remember — half of all people searching for a new job left a job because of a bad manager.

All other things being equal, when an individual is considering two companies in their job search, they’ll choose the company with better managers.

The effect of a great manager is the gift that keeps on giving.

Happy, healthy employees mean a better culture and a more productive, profitable company. They love their jobs and spread the word — setting you up to hire and keep more top talent.

Learn more about how Gallup can help your organization attract, hire and retain great managers:

Jane Smith contributed to the writing of this article.