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Posted On Wednesday, 27 January 2021 00:00 Written by

Between fact-checkers and Yelpers, the Information Age is laden with a visual archive of how customers and clients perceive products, services, or even your organizational culture. Navigating how to keep your customers happy is already an insurmountable task some days, and now we must factor in their very public display of their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with you.

In years past, you might have been able to overcome a bad review of your customer service department by simply reassuring your client that they were correct, or that you would remedy the situation in the future. That is certainly no longer the case, as every customer has their own digital megaphone in their front pocket or purse, just waiting in the wings to weaponize it at will.

I’m here to tell you that this is not a good or bad thing; it merely exists. Technological changes and access to information are only going to accelerate, especially given the emergence of 5G connectivity. That means customers will be satisfied or dissatisfied with what you have to offer as an organization much quicker than in years gone by.

1. Equity in Customer Relationships

Because of this, we must not just focus on customer satisfaction and the quality of our products and services alone; we must shift our focus to our customer relationships. No matter what kind of customer our organization has, your relationship with them and understanding their intricate needs have become integral to your success.

Every industry has a variety of options when it comes to products and services. So many companies focus both their attention and finances on how to stand out in the way of their products and services, boasting that they care about their customers almost as if they’re merely checking that box off the list.

However, customers aren’t naive! They know when you really mean it, and to many, their allegiance with a brand, product, or service hinges solely on their relationship either with the staff at said company, or the company culture.

The brick-and-mortar example many can likely relate to in recent years is the younger generations attending their favorite coffee shop, whether it be Starbucks or a local small bistro. I’ve heard more often than not that individuals personally connect with the staff and culture at their favorite coffee shop, where their preference of coffee might very well follow their connection to the business.

2. Customer Relationships Rooted in Culture

In the coffee shop example, culture is what several customers identify with. Whether culture is corporate culture or the individual personalities of the staff, the relationship between a company and a customer is directly rooted in culture. Consider the image your organization portrays to the general public and, also, the significance of your products and services in the world.

Recently, I discussed the importance of understanding how customers perceive you and how you and your team perceive yourselves. This directly correlates to the relationship you have with both your regular customers and potential new ones. Do you give off an image of innovation, progression, and forward thinking, or are you archaic, outdated, and protecting and defending your status quo?

Most customers want a bit of both. They come to you because your relationship with them has never faltered and you understand “their usual”; however, they want to be dazzled and for their evolving needs to be met, even when they don’t know exactly what those needs are. As an Anticipatory Organization, you must understand those evolving needs even when your customer does not. This is a corporate culture a customer gravitates towards, whether you’re a technology firm designing an app or a coffee shop.

Your significance is another integral part of your culture being what a customer relationship is rooted in. A focus on success is usually a focus only on the bottom line, no matter who makes us that money. Longevity in business comes from a focus on significance over success, where your impact in the world or your industry and being a positive disruptor is what strengthens your relationships, both new and old.

3. Trust Holds It All Together

In a world filled with uncertainty, you have to ask yourself what you are certain about. The number one thing I’m certain about is that the future is all about relationships.

If you want a positive future, then you need to have positive relationships with your customers. And if you want positive relationships, you have to focus on the glue that holds a positive relationship together: trust.

Previously, I mentioned that customers prefer you to both stay the same and evolve and innovate. The part of them that prefers you to maintain the status quo actually translates to their trust in your products and services, not for you to resist change. When they have a positive relationship with you, it means they trust you and, likewise, trust where your company is heading.

Anytime you disregard their trust when you innovate, you run the risk of turning that relationship into a negative one, which, in the Information Age, not only means you lose them as a customer, word of that broken trust will spread like wildfire on all social media platforms, causing you to lose new customers before you’ve ever had a chance to build a relationship with them.

4. Always Consider the Customer

So how do you win this constant battle between maintaining a customer’s trust and innovating? 

Before you implement any new product, service, or change in policy or procedure, ask yourself, “How will this impact our relationships with old and new customers?” If it proves to damage your existing customer relationships, then don’t do it in that way. Find a way to implement change that does not tarnish your customer’s trust, which would thus damage the relationship.

My Anticipatory Organization Model brings focus to Hard Trends, which are future certainties that will happen and the problems those disruptions may cause. Every customer you have a relationship with has a problem that needs solving. Be the one that solves it to further their trust in your company, product, or service and maintain your quality relationship with them.



Posted On Wednesday, 27 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 26 January 2021 00:00 Written by

The swivel chair of 2020 continues even in 2021.

Whether we call it The Pivot, the Bounce, or the “fight your way out of a corner”, we have all had to adjust, rearrange, and adapt to what now is.

The Christmas and New Years break came to a welcome end as the children returned to school to give Mommy and Daddy a first day of quiet in some time…only to immediately be sent home as the whole school became quarantined;

The meetings set to fly to, as Speaker in-person, in March have now been pushed to September and eventually will become virtual;

The families who thought things were fine are suddenly now faced with health challenges, as the world stops around them and fight for their lives.

Time to adapt!

2020 got the ball rolling – 2021 will see how gritty we really are.  

The Promise is in full effect!  

What is your Promise to show up every day, rain, snow or drought?

You thought things would “go back to normal” with a new 2021?

Back to the office, back to eating out with friends, back to the way it used to be?

It may, in some ways, but there has never been a more essential time to live your promise in business, to hang in there, to deliver as only you can –

to continue creating systems that eventually lessen your daily work;

to trust your co-workers will come through, and you for them;

to engage with customers, clients and members in a personal way, albeit Zoom, text, or phone call.

This is LIFE people!

This is our situation.

I hear so many lamenting ‘yesterday’ and how they await for it all to return as it was.

It is the equivalent of the mediocre mountaineer, pack full of gear and provisions, who sighs, “Ahhh, loved getting to the top of that peak.  Those were the days.  Not sure I’ll ever get up another one.” 

MOVE!  GO!!!  2021 is here and this is your year!

What are you waiting for?

Write that book.  Start that podcast.  Type that contract.  Hire that employee.

Update your web site.  Start your YouTube channel.  Write a positive review.

Reach out to your enemy and become friends.

Stay up until the work is done.

Call your Mother back.

Get enough rest.

Do the Facebook LIVE you’re terrified to do.

Teach your kid the ICM Process to help them discover their gifts.

And then teach your co-workers, too (by telling them they are awesome)!

There is no time like 2021.  

People are shouting from the rooftops that the world is coming to an end.  And if it is, what are you waiting for?

This week we celebrate a man, THE MAN, Martin Luther King, Jr., who stood for something and changed the world!

This week we await a great change in power in the U.S.

This week may very well be the beginning, or the end, of many things – we don’t know!

Over that which we have power, control, or a say, I say DO SOMETHING GOOD!

So, what are you going to do about what you can do?

Keep The Promise you’ve always meant to keep.  But do it NOW!

And when you say, “I don’t know how”, or “It’s not like it used to be”…

Then Keep The Promise and Adapt!



Posted On Tuesday, 26 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 26 January 2021 00:00 Written by

Business is booming and a large number of first time buyers are entering or coming back to the market. It’s a great time to make that commitment to buy that first house, but in many cases, the buyers don’t get the full story or know ALL of their options. See if any of these sound familiar:

• You are going to need a seller’s contribution to get into a house.
• You can only borrow a certain amount of money.
• You only qualify for this type of program.

People are told these things but are never actually given all of their options or a plan to improve their opportunities! We all know it’s almost impossible to get a seller’s contribution in most markets across the country. So why set that client and the referral partner up for frustration and failure? Was it ever suggested that that client and likely co-borrower entertain taking a part time job to generate additional funds? Two people working a job that even paid $10 an hour could easily generate an extra thousand or two a month. Instead of being frustrated, empower them to solve the problem. It may take a few months or longer to get the cash needed to not needing help from the seller, but isn’t that better than not making any progress at all?

Sometimes credit scores or DTI steps in and becomes a challenge. Instead of just giving the borrowers a smaller loan at a higher rate, what if we used the extra money earned to pay down or pay off debt? That $300 a month car loan with two years left to go can be paid down or off so that $300 can easily become about $70K in additional borrowing power!

What if we are stuck with a limited down payment and need FHA or USDA in order to buy? A couple of thousand dollars a month can quickly grow down payments to 5% or 10% or more! Lower rates, lower or zero MI costs, all possible IF the clients knew they had options!

Think about it. Look back at your preapprovals that are three or more months old and ask yourself; would these people be in a better position to buy if they were banking an additional thousand or two in the bank every month and had a real plan on how to use that money to get their house and under significantly better conditions?

Questions or comments: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted On Monday, 25 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 25 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 25 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 24 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 24 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 24 January 2021 00:00 Written by

 StefanSwanepoelStefan Swanepoel is an articulate, captivating, energetic speaker who has delivered over 1,100 talks, with over 700 as the keynote speaker. He is a fact-packed storyteller with a razor-sharp intellect and the proven ability to translate complex issues into easy to understand messages.

It is easy to understand why Stefan has for over four decades served as a successful business executive in roles including President and/or CEO of a real estate brokerage, a global real estate franchisor, a national REALTOR® association, a MLS organization, and a technology startup. For the last 19 years he has served as a trusted confidential adviser to CEOs and other senior leaders in the real estate industry.

Stefan received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Pretoria and holds a Master of Commerce from the University of Johannesburg. He is also an acclaimed author of 33 books and reports. His books have appeared on more than 18 best seller lists including the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Huffington Post, Amazon and CEO Read.

Posted On Friday, 22 January 2021 00:00 Written by

After further review… It’s an American tradition that’s part of our folklore. After mom or grandma planned, prepared, cooked and served the big family dinner on Sunday afternoon, and while the dishes were being cleared, she would say, “Keep your forks!” To all those crowded around the table that meant, yum, somethin’s good a-comin’! Some might visualize it as pie a la mode, or chocolate cake, but whatever lay ahead, it was gonna be good!

After our horrendous 2020 year, with massive COVID-19 illnesses and deaths and with our normal lifestyle uprooted, can we look forward to an improved 2021? Perhaps the Cleveland Browns and maybe the Buffalo Bills are willing to keep their forks close at hand. Both had their forks ready to go in 2020 and did very well. Both made the NFL playoffs where they hadn’t been for a long time. Their fans could see it coming during this convoluted 2020 season what with the virus raising its ugly head from time-to-time and teams not knowing who would be healthy to play on any given Sunday.

Then, too, some teams who were projected to be playing in Super Bowl LV next month didn’t even make the playoffs. Are their fans already writing-them-off for the 2021 season or just hoping for a successful NFL draft in April?

I can’t help thinking of Herm Edwards’ attitude when his New York Jets in 2002 went 1-3 in October. Edwards was facing a questioning room full of frustrated reporters (is there any other kind?) who were challenging their coach if he was going to write this season off.  Coach Edwards fumed as he responded, “You play to win the game.”

“Hello? You play to win the game! That’s the great thing about sports, you play to win! I don’t care if you don’t have any wins, you play to win! If you’re telling me it doesn’t matter, get out, ’cause it does matter!” His response was emphatic. It’s a central belief of his, through his playing and coaching career, and in his personal life as well. Edwards, after tenures at New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs, has just finished two successful seasons as head coach at Arizona State University, where his Sun Devils were able to only play four games, winning two. This year ASU is pre-season ranked in the top 25 of the NCAA with their Sun Devil forks in hand.

Will you keep your fork handy for an improved 2021?


Source: Tunney Side of Sports

Posted On Friday, 22 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Friday, 22 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 21 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 21 January 2021 00:00 Written by

A bit about Judge Janice Holder: 

Janice HolderJanice Holder began her legal career in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Herbert P. Sorg, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.  At the conclusion of her clerkship in 1977, she entered into private practice in Pittsburgh. She served as the solicitor for the Borough of McDonald, Pennsylvania, her hometown, for one year before moving to Memphis, Tennessee, where she practiced law for ten years.

Janice was elected judge of the Circuit Court of Shelby County, Tennessee, in 1990. In 1993, she was appointed the coordinating judge of the silicone gel breast implant cases in West Tennessee by the Tennessee Supreme Court. She served as a member of the National Conference of Chief Justices Mass Tort Litigation Committee and the Silicone Gel Breast Implant Subcommittee and was appointed the subcommittee’s chair in 1996.  She also served on the Tennessee Supreme Court as a special justice during its November 1994 session.

While serving as a Circuit Court judge, Judge Holder was awarded the Sam A. Myar Award for Outstanding Service to the Legal Profession and to the Community and the Chancellor Charles A. Rond Award as Outstanding Jurist by the Memphis Bar Association. She also received the Judge of the Year Award from the Divorce and Family Law Section of the Memphis Bar Association.

In 1996, she was appointed to the Tennessee Supreme Court by Governor Don Sundquist, and in 2008, she became the first woman to serve as Chief Justice of the Court. Justice Holder was a member of the Board of Directors and Second Vice President of the Conference of Chief Justices in 2011. The Tennessee General Assembly honored her in 2008 by the passage of Joint Resolution 1401 in recognition of her achievement. She retired from the Supreme Court in August 2014.

While serving on the Tennessee Supreme Court, she received numerous awards, including the Marion Griffin-Frances Loring Award from the Association for Women Attorneys. She was recognized as a leader of state courts by the Southern Regional Conference of the National Association of Women Judges and as the Jurist of the Year by the Southeastern Region of the American Board of Trial Advocates.

Most recently, she received the William M. Leech Jr. Award for Outstanding Service to the Profession, Legal System and the Community from the Tennessee Bar Association Young Lawyers Division. In 2014, The Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services created the Janice M. Holder Award to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to expanding Access to Justice in Tennessee. Also in 2014, she was the first recipient of the Justice Janice M. Holder Annual Pro Bono PALS Award created by the Public Action Law Society of the University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law. 

Janice is listed as a Tennessee Supreme Court Rule 31 General Civil Mediator in Tennessee and  serves on the American Arbitration Association Roster of Arbitrators. She  is a member of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals, Tennessee Chapter.

Posted On Wednesday, 20 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Wednesday, 20 January 2021 00:00 Written by

In the United States, manufacturing is a huge sector. Its importance to our national and global economy is evident in how many white- and blue-collar jobs are integral in each process. From plastic injection molding to hydraulic valve assembly, manufacturing is likely found in nearly every industry.

With such an all-encompassing sector, it’s no surprise that disruptions run rampant, though even during COVID-19, many manufacturing businesses were deemed essential, keeping their doors open and employees on-site. However, just as many sent their white-collar office workers home to shelter in place and do their job remotely.

This is something the manufacturing industry likely never considered prior to the boom of the Internet and, now, the increase in connectivity with 5G. Yet what these companies must realize is, even now after COVID-19, digital disruption is going to get even more prevalent in manufacturing.

Agility Alone Is Antiquated

We’re all aware that there are timeless leadership principles that have been true since the dawn of time and that will continue to be valid in tomorrow’s business environment. Yet in today’s world of technology-driven transformation, leaders must embrace a new leadership principle if they want their organization to be relevant today and in the future—a focus on anticipation over agility.

Even in the wake of COVID-19, manufacturing leaders have focused on agility—being able to adapt quickly after change has occurred from the outside in. Many of these types of changes are driven by technology, but during 2020, change has been physical and largely unpredictable. COVID-19 influenced many in the manufacturing industry as priorities shifted. Companies like Ford Motor Company shifted to building ventilators and 3M adjusted to produce PPE.

And among these massive changes, many office employees worked from home until further notice. There were astounding, never-before-seen statistics showing evidence that working from home actually increased productivity, as many were able to eliminate distractions and likewise felt more at ease doing their work flexibly.

Though as we moved into the new normal, many manufacturing firms quickly shifted those remote workers back to in-person work, almost running from change with frightening fervor. An outsider can tell that this knee-jerk reaction to thinking they can “end” the need for remote work is a direct reflection of a company’s focus remaining on agility.

Learn to Anticipate Instead of Avoid

Manufacturing companies’ race to bring their entire staff to in-person work seems as though they thought embracing a remote workforce was a temporary solution; a band-aid they had to rip off to get back to the status quo. If they resisted a simple, commonplace change like that, imagine how they will fight back against machine learning or augmented reality (A.R.), a way in which blue-collar workers could operate remotely.

COVID-19 and the global pandemic will end, but many of the transformations that occurred during this largely physical disruption will remain and are indisputably going to continue to evolve as digital disruptions in the industry. With the emergence of 5G connectivity, the low latency of such a digital connection will pave the way for integrating artificial intelligence (A.I.) and the aforementioned augmented reality (A.R.).

There are certain companies already embracing these technologies around the world, allowing for employees ordinarily put out of a job due to these advancements to work alongside them, on-site and remotely, and keep their jobs.

Many firms try their best to avoid digital disruption; however, that agility can only last so long. Leaders and organizations in the manufacturing industry have the chance to learn how to be anticipatory immediately, paying attention to the Hard Trends that are shaping their industry both inside and out, and learning to leverage technological change before it disrupts them.

Be the Positive Disruptor

When you’re anticipatory, you’re creating changes and driving disruption from the inside out rather than being disrupted from the outside in.

Disruption is the disruptive technology that changes our world and keeps many leaders up at night. But it is important to realize that disruptive technology is only disruptive if you didn’t know about it ahead of time. When you’re anticipatory, as many manufacturing firms should transition to, you can not only see and accurately anticipate those disruptive technologies, but you can use them to be the positive disruptor, transforming the industry in productive ways.

Manufacturing firms implementing something like A.R. to allow an employee to operate remotely like never before may increase their morale and, in turn, streamline their job better than ever before. From there, your firm may be able to increase productivity while saving money on physical space.

As the industry evolves, perhaps you will only need one or two individuals on-site to ensure these machines run efficiently, while everyone else works remotely, translating into a smaller space to do more with.

How Do I Become More Anticipatory?

First, you have to make the future more visible by focusing on certainties. If you look closely, you’ll see there are two types of change you routinely deal with: cyclical change that reoccurs time and again, and linear change that happens once and transforms an industry permanently.

Next, identify the Hard Trends—the trends that will happen—and ask yourself, “What are the disruptions on the horizon?” How we do our supply chain, purchasing, logistics, and many more functions in manufacturing is being transformed by technologies like the cloud and virtualization.

Finally, look outside your industry for the solutions you need. Manufacturing firms have a tendency of focusing solely on their isolated worlds. However, by being so immersed in your industry, you may be missing what’s going on outside your industry. Look outside your industry and see where others have been innovating, what changes they’ve made, technologies they’ve developed or adapted, and then modify those to your situation.

There’s no competitive advantage in being just like everyone else. That’s why being anticipatory is so important. What do you see that’s about to happen, and how can you use anticipation to leverage disruption and change to your advantage?



Posted On Wednesday, 20 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 19 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 19 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Tuesday, 19 January 2021 00:00 Written by

January arrives every year and brings with it some credit challenges for those who may have over indulged on their purchasing in December. Record online sales and spending on holiday gifts are nice, but may bring about a few “Sudden Credit Surprises” for your clients. Here are a few examples:

A client with a marginal credit score or already high DTI goes crazy with credit card purchases in December. The possible surprises are:

• Now total DTI exceeds program limits
• Lowers amount they can borrow
• May eliminate them from a loan completely
• Possible MI challenges
• New accounts
• New inquiries
• New credit lines that all require explanation/documentation

People with higher credit scores and no DTI issues are also at risk for being a victim of holiday season for the same reasons, and while not in jeopardy of losing their ability to borrow, the costs maybe higher than once before.

• Those in top tier pricing programs may fall out to a lower tier raising the cost.
• Those who fall out may experience severe price shock if they were locked in at a low rate before Christmas and now have to lock a lower tier credit score loan with today’s higher rates.

What if any or all of these things happen and you don’t find out about it until right before closing on the final credit check? Do you really want to run around trying to get a rescore or documentation cleared a few days before closing?

It’s time for every originator to review every file that is closing from now until the middle of February and have a quick conversation with each borrower to be sure we don’t have any last minute surprises! You may have to make a few calls, you may not have any issues, but what if you find just ONE HIDDEN CREDIT CHALLENGE and are able to correct it in time to avoid a delay or the termination of one of your deals?

Things are challenging enough without any more surprises! Spending a little time with borrowers and even those you have out looking with preapprovals may be in a position to fix some potential challenges because you called!

Questions or comments: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted On Monday, 18 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 18 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Monday, 18 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 17 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Sunday, 17 January 2021 00:00 Written by

The advantage of Zero-Based thinking is that you are starting with a clean slate! There should be few pre-conceived notions with your primary focus on how to best go to market and take great care of your customers based on what’s going on today (and the days, weeks and months forthcoming). 

Three opening action items to participate in are recommended:

1. A new SWOT Analysis – SWOT Analyses (An assessment of current Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) can be very revealing. It is suggested that you have several of your smartest people participating in this exercise. Incidentally, if you do one every year, it should look different every year. This speaks well of the concept of constant fine-tuning of your business strategies and actions rather than doing what you have always done!

2. Have in-depth discussions with your top 5 customers. Identify the agendas of the top 2-3 people running those companies if you can get to them. If you can’t, talk to the most senior officers you can. Find out what is critically important to each of them and how you/your company might be able to positively impact them. Get passionate about providing the best and most targeted products the marketplace wants.

3. Put together “Deliverables Meetings” with 4-5 key people in your company to ascertain what you should add to or delete from your current product line or service offerings. Make sure you do Item #1 and Item #2 before you do Item #3 for best results. These can be some of your most important decisions going forward. When you vary your offerings from your competition, you have purposefully differentiated yourself in what is probably a crowded marketplace.

 With a Zero-based thinking approach you can also consider such important areas  as: employee compensation, capital expenditures, advanced marketing plans, and various areas of expansion and contractions.

It is also a good time to do a “Deep-dive” on research. The knowledge mass of the human race is now said to be doubling approximately every 3 ½ years! What’s changing in your industry? To assume not much is changing is usually a serious miscalculation of your current reality. What are some things that might well be changing?

1. Customer Needs

2. Employee’s priorities

3. Latest technologies in your business

4. Latest technology changes in general

5. Special or new applications of products

6. Financial applications

7. Expanded service requirements

8. New windows of opportunities

9. Closing windows of opportunity

10. Compensation in your industry

These are just some of the elements of change in a typical business. Give in-depth thought to others that would apply to your business and stay on top of current issues. It is better to figure out how to capitalize on changes rather than becoming a victim of them!

I suggest that you make a list of actions to cease and actions to take – with timelines. And ask yourself who should be “in the loop” on the various activities mentioned for best results. Be as creative as you can in tapping the collective intellect of your team members for best results.

Posted On Friday, 15 January 2021 00:00 Written by

After further review… If you have followed the trend of  TunneySide of Sports, you have undoubtedly noticed that “conversations” between opponents is not recommended – as my father would advise, sometimes admonish. The tag-along of those conversations often rolled into “trash talk” which would more than often lead to pushing and shoving and soon a fight would break out.

That is what I saw happen at the end of that Armed Forces Bowl game.

Perhaps that game on December 30, 2020, should be called the Armed Forces Brawl since the game between Tulsa University and Mississippi State University ended in a full-blown brawl! It is reported that trash talk between players of both teams started before the game and continued throughout. The Mississippi State Bulldogs defeated the Tulsa Hurricanes  28-26. I guess the names Bulldogs and Golden Hurricanes (formerly Tornadoes) were appropriate monikers in such a brawl. However, it’s been my experience that this is not the way college football was designed.

As I watched the replay of that brawl, I saw, perhaps, 75 – 100 players throwing punches, kicking and pushing their opponents – after the game was over. These combatants were on the field and sidelines. Among that melee were 8-10 shirtless men who had obviously come onto the field from the stands. Coaches and some officials were attempting to stop the fisticuffs but not being very effective. Having refereed games where this occurred, you just have to let it play itself out. Did it ever occur to players how little damage can be done with helmets on?

Trash talk is not uncommon in all sports. The basis, if there is one, is that trash talk diverts the opponents’ focus from their real purpose – thus causing a distraction. Having played the game of golf for some 20 years, I found that some golfers love trash talking. It may surprise you, but it’s fairly common knowledge among professional golfers that Tiger is a big trash-talker.

Yes, that Tiger – as in Tiger Woods. I watched a recent father-son tournament with Tiger and his son Charlie where it was reported on-air that Tiger is teaching Charlie to trash talk as he does. It’s hard to believe that a father would teach his 6-year-old son to do that. Trash talking will not help you drive the ball further down the fairway or sink a 12-foot putt.

Will you maintain some civility and respect for your opponents?

Posted On Friday, 15 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Thursday, 14 January 2021 00:00 Written by

As an executive or leader in your organization, you’re managing many things: the company’s image, numerous projects, and a talented group of people. 

But you’re also managing many other important things, including disruptions from both inside and outside of your industry, how others perceive your company as you manage or even leverage those disruptions, and several other things you may not even be aware of. For many people, these “other” things are just part of the job, how things have always been done, and the expected stressors of business. 

But do they have to be that way?

Disruptions Are Distractions to Manage

To start, executives and leaders at organizations must become better at managing disruptions. In today’s marketplace, change is coming at us fast, and it is only getting faster every day.

One thing we know for sure is that most disruptions come from the outside in—external factors impact the organization, like we saw in March 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic and global lockdown, which affected many nonessential businesses. This caused people to react, crisis manage, and continually put out fires.

But to be a strategic asset to your company, you can’t simply be a crisis manager; you also have to become an opportunity manager. You accomplish this by becoming an Anticipatory Leader in order to transform your organization into an Anticipatory Organization.

To be an opportunity manager and strategic asset for your organization, distraction is the enemy, and, unfortunately, we have never been more distracted than we have become in this past year, preoccupied with the effects of the global pandemic. Not only is everyone in your organization likely distracted thanks to disruptions, but everyone in your competitors’ organizations is as well.

In a way, this is actually good news, because it means there’s a huge competitive advantage in pulling out of that mess of distraction by way of looking at disruptions much differently than your competitors with an eye of anticipation!

The Switch to Anticipation

Transitioning your and your organization’s mindsets from one of reaction to one of anticipation takes work, but is not as difficult as you may feel.

What an Anticipatory Leader must do is help their staff learn to look at these disruptions and learn to see them beforethey disrupt. I know that might sound a bit like fortune-telling, but trust me when I say it is very plausible!

How we do this is by implementing what I refer to as my Hard Trend Methodology. In this, we look at what I refer to as Hard Trends and Soft Trends. Hard Trends are future certainties that you cannot change, such as the positive reality that this pandemic will end when we have a vaccine. Soft Trends are trends we can influence, such as the “new normal” that came with this pandemic and what that means for each of our organizations.

When you know how to differentiate between Hard Trends and Soft Trends, your organization now knows what disruptions will come with those and how to leverage them for opportunity and advantage. Likewise, this gives you and your organization a chance to innovate in an effort to pre-solve any problems that come with these disruptions beforethey occur.

For example, during the pandemic, nonessential businesses were closed; however, many found innovative ways to continue to operate and serve their customer base in order to stay afloat and become essential in their own way. This allowed their organization to also become a positive disruptor, taking the wheel of disruption and effectively managing it.

Manage Perceptions

Another thing that executives and leaders must consider is others’ perceptions of us, especially as we rebuild our economy after COVID-19 and manage disruptions.

You may be wondering why managing perception is important; shouldn’t you focus on your customers you do have during times of crisis and worry less about how others perceive what you are doing? You can’t please everyone after all, right?

Absolutely not! You should always consider what others’ perceptions are of your organization because perception is often more important than reality, especially today. Given our access to social media and apps like Yelp or customer review features on Google, word travels fast. New normal means new customers for many of us.

In a past blog, I referenced how convenience stores transformed to necessity stores in the wake of people not buying gas as much as we locked down to slow the spread of COVID-19, discovering new customers in those who were unable to find their necessities at the grocery store due to panic buying. This is an example of an Anticipatory Organization managing disruptions, as referenced above; however, they’re also managing others’ perceptions of their operation at the same time.

How do you think the world would react if a convenience store owner shut down during the pandemic and spent more time turning people away, bitter that they were losing money they ordinarily make on gas sales and wallowing about their struggles to a mother trying desperately to find Tylenol for their child’s fever? I doubt that customer would ever return.

We’re always looking for new customers, so always be conscientious of the image you project to the world. A good way to gauge and thus manage your perception is to ask yourself,  “How do I perceive myself?” Do you perceive yourself as trying to keep up or protect and defend the status quo? Or are you trying to integrate the new in order to discover new customers in times of peril?

Manage Perceptions

At the end of the day, being able to manage perceptions and disruptions is just as important as being able to manage people and projects. When you focus on managing what’s important, you’ll open yourself up to a whole new world of possibilities.

How you perceive yourself is going to reflect how others perceive you. Likewise, how well you handle disruption says a lot about your organization to customers both old and new, interlocking perception and disruption management in ways never before witnessed.

COVID-19 disrupted everyone; not a single industry was untouched by this unbelievable pandemic. However, how organizations managed this disruption spoke volumes about how they do business. What kind of perception did you and your organization give your customers?



Posted On Wednesday, 13 January 2021 00:00 Written by
Posted On Wednesday, 13 January 2021 00:00 Written by
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