Tag Archives: Leadership Development

The Octopus Solution Lectures at Suffolk University Business School

Attention:  Our blog may be down for an hour or two today while we migrate our blog over to our website.  Thank you.

Last night Professor Jorge Riveras hosted The Octopus Solution for his International Business class at Suffolk University, Sawyer School of Management.  We were honored to join the class of 30 MBA students who were in the process of learning about corporate structures, organization and business productivity.

We had the pleasure of speaking about the work we do relating to Performance Management and Leadership with our clients and the results we have achieved.  It was great for them to see how the lessons they were learning about regarding organization structure and performance  are applied in the real business world and what benefits they provide.

We started the class  by discussing many of the issues the students see with the companies they are presently working for and most, if not all, were performance management issues.  We talked about the impacts of poor organization structures and architecture and how that can lead to poor communications, break-downs in teamwork and disorganization.

The class asked many fantastic questions about the results we generate with performance management and were very engaged in the classroom discussion.  We would like to thank Professor Riveras for having our company as a guest speaker and to the class for being great participants.

Thank you Suffolk University!


Find Your YMCA MoJo

The MoJo of your YMCA is the energy it admits on a daily basis.  The energy level of your staff and environment can make or break a YMCA.  Y employees will tell you that “if you know one YMCA, then you know only that one YMCA!”

All YMCA’s are different and each have their own personality and character.  Each have their own MoJo!  The MoJo is that little special energy that gives a YMCA that positive spirit that connects with staff and members.

Your YMCA Mojo starts with your employees.  If your YMCA has a personality it is because of leadership and staff character, energy and passion.  YMCA employees are special because most have a higher purpose given the type of organization they work for.  When employees are YMCA Mission driven it shows in their performance and action.

At the front desk-Welcome Center, do you have high spirit employees that are service driven with the ability to get things done?  Does your fitness staff know how to provide the personal attention and touch for members?  Is your CEO and upper management actively engaged in setting the tone and leading by example?

The only way to generate a higher level of MoJo at your YMCA is to lead by example.  Raise your bar for what you bring to your office, job, organization and live a higher purpose.

Email us for information on our Leadership Training:  info@theoctopussolution.com

Leaders and Managers Need to DO Less!

Don’t show up to your office and tell them that you are not working anymore and still expect to get paid after reading our title!  In today’s business world our managers are more hands on than ever.  They are not managing and leading others to maximize production.

Here is our list on how to maximize staff production through Delegation and Inspection:

  • Trust your team – You must have the trust in your teams capabilities and that they will fulfill assignments and tasks
  • Strengths and weaknesses analysis – knowing who works for you and what they are great at will allow you to manage to their strengths and never to their weaknesses
  • Issue orders, assignments or to-dos to your team and let them run with it.  Do not control them…remember trust
  • Inspect your staff along the way to make sure they are on schedule, not in need of help, and moving forward
  • When things go right and your team is successful, it is because of your team!  When things go wrong and projects blow up, it is your fault as the manager or leader.
  • Becoming a better leader or manager starts with you, not your team.  If you do not have your act together you can not expect your team to.
  • Did you give your team your Best?  Can you leave the office everyday answering Yes to this question?

Here is an example:  We spent some time with a client who runs a small office of 6 employees.  The owner had a big vision to grow into multiple locations by using his existing business model as an example for operations.  He had the success, processes and systems in place to grow, but their was one thing limiting his ability to break through into a second location.  That one thing was Him!  He wanted to stay in place as an operational part of the company.  He is the president and needed to lead the business and not get bogged down in an employee position.  He was not ready to trust his team and trust the systems he built.  So we coached him out of the barriers in his head, dragged him away from the office and put inspection systems in place to manage his staff from a distance.  He has now positioned himself to spend more time with his family and prepare for opening multiple locations.  All because of proper delegation and inspection.

Businesses are in need of “Our Best”.  Leadership in business needs to be more black and white with high standards.

Welcome back to work from the long weekend!

Can you “Visualize”???

It is hard to get to where you want if you can not Visualize the ideal scene and end state.  Have you ever thought it out?

As part of your strategic plan you should Visualize the desired end state.  This is not a one sentence vision statement, but a full Visualization of how everything is when you achieve your ideal scene.  What does your office look like?  Where has your business scaled; regionally, nationally, internationally?  How many employees?  Revenues?  Lifestyle?  Influence? Etc!

Get the picture?  If you do not write down your Visualization of your business then it will be that much more difficult to get to where you are want.  So over the next week take part in our small exercise:

Take 20-30 minutes each day for one week to relax and think about an image of your business down the road.  5, 10, 20+ years down the road, what do things look like?  Write them out on paper in great detail.  Think about colors, looks, size, scale, etc.

This will help growth and allow you to work backwards once you have a clear picture painted.  This is part of our Ascent Strategy Planning Tool.

Stay Tuned for our news announcements next week about our Performance Based Management Work-Shops and Leadership Weekend.

What is the difference between Leadership and Management?

In our Blog we talk a lot about performance based management and how efficiency and effectiveness can be improved with solid management.  We also talk about leadership and how to influence others to lead them to achieve the goals of the business.  But we have not talked about what the difference is between leadership and management.

Leadership is the process of influencing people by providing purpose, direction, and motivation while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization.

Management in all business areas and organizational activities are the acts of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives. Management comprises planning, organizing, leading, or directing, and controlling an organization (a group of one or more people or entities) or effort for the purpose of accomplishing a goal.

As we can see in the definition, leading is a component of management.  There are different forms of leadership and John C. Maxwell is correct in saying that “there is more than one single quality that makes a great leader!”

Can you be a great leader and poor manager or vice-versa?  You can!  Being the manager of a business is much different than being the leader of that business.  Management has more to do with running systems and orchestrating people in a way that produces results.  Good managers are usually well organized and have their systems in place for working with staff.

A great leader may be terrible at managing people but knows his weaknesses and fills those gaps with others strengths.  Leaders can have a personality that is like a magnet or they may not be very well liked!  What they have in common is that their Context and Purpose are higher than anyone else and are stead-fast with holding those in good times and in bad.  Managers also have subordinates and leaders have followers and there is a significant difference between those two traits.

There are many, many books written about both management and leadership and both do have characteristics in common.  Who would you want leading your favorite sports team (Boston Celtics…small plug), …a Great Manager or Great Leader?

And Why?

What is Leadership Missing?

Leadership is slipping in this country.  Standards are not held, accountability is absent and many leaders are too influenced by the masses.  Businesses need leadership and in the absence of leadership people with look to anyone that steps up to take control of a situation.  This means that if you are not leading your business, someone else is and it may not be a qualified person, AND it you will not receive the results your want if someone else is running the show.

What is the most important part of being a successful leader?  The answer is your Context.  Context is the attitude and environment you create in your company.  It is your role as a leader to hold the higher context in your business through good times and bad.  The larger your context, the larger your business will scale and grow consistently.

What is your Context with your business?

Leaders Get Results

“When you are commanding, leading [Soldiers] under conditions where physical
exhaustion and privations must be ignored; where the lives of [Soldiers] may be
sacrificed, then, the efficiency of your leadership will depend only to a minor degree on your tactical or technical ability. It will primarily be determined by your character, your reputation, not so much for courage—which will be accepted as a matter of course—but by the previous reputation you have established for fairness, for that high-minded patriotic purpose, that quality of unswerving determination to carry through any military task assigned you.”
-General of the Army George C. Marshall

Leadership builds effective organizations.  Effectiveness is most directly related to the core leader
competency of getting results.  From the definition of leadership, achieving is focused on accomplishing
the mission.  Mission accomplishment is a goal that must co-exist with an extended perspective towards
maintaining and building up the organization’s capability for the future.  Achieving begins in the short-term
by setting objectives.  In the long-term, achieving based on clear vision requires getting results in pursuit of
those objectives.  Getting results is focused on structuring what needs to be done so results are consistently
produced.  This competency focuses on the organization of how to achieve those results.

Getting results embraces all actions to get the job done on time and to standard:

  • Providing direction, guidance, and clear priorities involves guiding teams in what needs to be done and how.
  • Developing and executing plans for mission and task accomplishment involves anticipating how to carry out what needs to be done, managing the resources used to get it done, and conducting the necessary actions.
  • Accomplishing missions consistently and ethically involves using monitoring to identify strengths and correct weaknesses in organizational, group, and individual performance.

Post from the US Army Leadership Manual