Tag Archives: FISH Philosophy

How to make Excellence achievable

I have been a student of Management for 30 years. Management is as much of an art as it is a science and understanding that you practice management rather than it being a degree on the wall shows that you continually evolve in this position. To be a successful Manager you must have an understanding of how to achieve Excellence. Excellence is a combination of several factors depending on what industry you manage in.  Today I am going to discuss the number one thing to do to achieve Excellence in what YOU do.

Excellence is an Attitude

You do not achieve Excellence by completing a checklist, you do not achieve Excellence by doing what the boss said, and lastly, you do not achieve Excellence through watching an inspiration video (although there are some very good ones).

Excellence is a lifestyle

Excellence needs to be how you address everything in your life.  Excellence means never saying “whatever”.  It is setting the highest standards to hold yourself to and having the discipline to hold yourself accountable.  I don’t care what you are doing, you can be excellent at it.  Washing the dishes, cleaning the bathroom at home, creating reports, or providing customer service, all can have levels of Excellence attached to them.

You will not achieve Excellence if you think it only applies to a “work” atmosphere.  Excellence can’t be turned on and off.  It’s just in you.

Lets define a few terms;

Excellence – The quality of being outstanding or extremely good (Webster).   Achieving or distinguishing a superior quality in an action or outcome (Simons)

Attitude – A settled way of thinking typically reflected in a persons behavior (Webster).  An approach or outlook demonstrated through actions, communications, or outcomes (Simons)

Pride – A feeling or deep pleasure derived from ones own achievements (Webster).  Personally Responsible In Delivering Excellence (taken from my Corporate Training days)

I am certain I have been “picked on” by those around me for having an Excellence mindset.  I have extremely high standards for myself.  I hold myself to higher standards than I have ever held an employee too.  Why, because it is important to me to do things right (whatever right is).  I look at whatever I do as a product I am producing, and I don’t take it lightly.  Some think I am too hard on myself.  No, I am not.  I just don’t say “whatever”.

Excellence is also about precision.  You need to know exactly what needs to happen in order for it to happen.  Once again, this will carry over to other aspects of your life.  In addition to Management, I am also a classically trained Chef and a life long Drummer.  Precision follows me in both of those.  Playing drums is as much about where you hit the drum or cymbal, and at what angle and with how much force as it is about the rhythms or change ups.  If you match the rhythm but you aren’t precise with your stick, you are a hacker.  If you do it right, you are a drummer.  Doing it exactly the same way every time is Excellence, and much harder than you might think.  The same goes for cooking.  Many people can flip an egg but having the timing to have an entire meal or banquet “go out” together, where no food has had to sit (which degrades quality) and everything is cooked or prepared perfectly can be like conducting a symphony.  Variations will always be noticed by someone in your audience so it is important to be consistent EVERY time.  You need to be very precise with your planning and execution.  You need to know ahead of time how it needs to happen.   Both are great examples because when you haven’t achieved Excellence, you know right away!

Does Excellence allow for mistakes?

Absolutely!  I am far from the best there is at so many things.  Some people confuse my quest for Excellence as thinking that I think I don’t make mistakes.  I certainly do make mistakes, but because of my attitude, I likely work harder to not repeat mistakes than others that don’t have this mindset.  Mistakes are a very important part of learning and you can’t learn from them if you don’t recognize them.  I must confess I get mad if I repeat my own mistakes though.

If you haven’t read the short but EXCELLENT book about the FISH Philosophy, I highly recommend it.  It applies to everyone and will help you realize what attitudes you are choosing.

This is why Excellence is achievable, because it is an attitude, and as you may read in FISH or my other blogs about FISH.

“Choose your Attitude”

Carpe diem!

 

5 Keys to Increasing your Revenue in 2016

Year end, by now most of us have been planning for next year.  Budgets, Capital expense planning, and personal goals to name a few.  The reason why most people do these exercises  are plain and simple.  Business efficiencies, Personal development, Marketing plans are ultimately for the same effect; increasing our ability to generate revenue (personal or business).  So let’s just cut to the chase, here are 5 areas’ that will help you increase your revenue.  Many have found success with these and I hope you will too.  Carpe diem!

1)         Hire your replacement – Once you have a person that can do what you do, you can focus on other important areas.  This is the best way to free your time and allow you to look more holistically at the situation.  It also gives you time to develop new revenue streams and develop those around you.  You are not really replacing yourself; you’re giving yourself a promotion!

2)         Focus on building relationships – All relationships, both inside and outside of work.  I mean everybody at work, not just direct subordinates or supervisors, build with vendors, other departments, service providers, the person who hands you your coffee, or whoever you regularly encounter. Building relationships will increase engagement and purpose which will result in improved good will, reputation and loyalty.  All of which are linked to revenue stimulation.

3)         Terminate your worst employee – Do it!  We all have a couple that we hold on to for obscure reasons.  Perhaps any one issue by this person isn’t a terminable offense, but they have several that ultimately weight down the business or effect moral.  Chronic blunders, questionable attendance, lack of focus, poor chemistry all add up and weigh on the businesses ability to generate revenue.  If you “fire” your worst employee (correctly), your staff and profits will appreciate it.  Remember Human Capital should add to the business not weigh it down.

4)         Be “Present” at everything you do – This is right out of “FISH”.  Essentially give everything you can to the activity you are performing.  Don’t “phone” it in, make it count.  Committee Meetings, Dinner with family, Chamber events are what you make of them and your actions are noticed by others attending.  Make what ever preparation is needed for the event a priority and make sure you get the most out of it, or don’t do it at all.  Just showing up and not contributing is noticed and not appreciated by those that give.  Decide what is worth doing, and if it is not worth doing, DON’T DO IT. Preparedness, ambition and contribution tend to lead to opportunity.

If you haven’t read The Fish Philosophy by Stephen Lundin, Harry Paul & John Christensen I strongly recommend it.  Short read, easy concepts, easy application.

5)         Learn to say NO – The number one attended development seminar in 2015 was Time Management according to the AMA, CCL & SBA.  Attendees are millennials and seasoned Executives, and everyone in between.  Developing and personally managing priorities often come down to one important word.  Knowing when to apply it and how to correctly apply it can be an art, but it all starts with you having clear priorities.  As Dr Covey says in “First Things First”; “The main thing, is to keep the Main Thing, the MAIN THING” Overly simplified or brilliant?  You have to say no to keep on track.  Focus and efficiency often leads to increased revenue.

6) Bonus tip!

Do more Charity work – Church, Nursing homes, Food Pantry, or ________ donate resources, funds or time when possible to events or organizations near and dear to your heart or those that align with your industry.  Others often notice (and are impressed) and you’ll get a boost emotionally.  That emotional boost alone may help your business and your revenue.  But in doing this for the right reasons and you may be surprised what opportunities come as a result.

Carpe diem!