Are You Productive?

AreYouProductiveI remember once when one of my direct reports told me “This has been one of my most productive weeks.” He told me about all the projects he’d worked on. He was doing a lot of good work.

I’ve always worked on teams full of talented people who work hard to be productive. Good teams focused on being productive, not just busy. But, the definition of productive often is misconstrued.

(Warning – football analogy)
A “productive” football may chalk up amazing stats – tons of rushing and passing yards, passes completed, yards per carry, 1st downs and more… and yet, all of those stats don’t mean a thing if they lose the game.

Great teams focus on results!

In football, there’s only one stat that matters – the final score. That’s it. Did you win or did you lose?

To win, everyone on the team needs to focus on how their role contributes to overall success. Their focus should always be helping the team win.

The first question to ask is:

“ARE WE WINNING OR ARE WE LOSING?

If you don’t know – that’s where you start:

  • Determine if you’re winning or losing
    • And by how much
  • Document what it will take to start willing –or- increase your lead
  • Develop strategies accordingly
  • Ensure everyone on the team understand how what they do contributes to overall success
  • Then go and do it!

Strategies, projects, marketing plans, and sales materials should all be driving results that contribute to the overall success of the team.

Do the work that drives results. Have the courage to turn down work or projects that don’t contribute to success.

Why focus on being productive, when you can focus on being GREAT!

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5 Steps to Starting Your Marketing Plan

Started your 2017 Marketing Plan?

Did you even have a 2016 Marketing Plan? Did you follow it?

I’ve worked for start-up companies, mid-size businesses, and large companies with hundreds of employees. It is shocking how different each company approaches building a marketing plan. There’s always a lot of discussion around how and where to get started for developing a new plan.

Here are 5 steps to get started:

  1. Review what happened in 2016 (1 hr. 30 minutes)
    1. What worked?
    2. What didn’t work?
  2. Segment your 2016 Marketing Plan into two buckets (30 minutes)
    1. What should I keep? (do again)
    2. What needs to be scrapped?
  3. Determine “What else” (2 hrs.)
    1. What should be added for 2017?
  4. Let it sit for 48 hours
    1. Let it simmer – more ideas will come to mind
  5. Evaluate the new plan and answer the following questions: (1 hr.)
    1. If we accomplish this what will be the outcome or result?
    2. If we don’t accomplish this what will be the consequence?

Very simple, very basic – but it’s a structure that will give some direction. The goal is to come up with a general outline for your 2017 Marketing Plan.

This outline can be shared with other departments and the management team. Remember, you’re showing them the picture of the forest, don’t try to paint every tree yet at this point.

After you get initial buy-in, further develop the specific strategies, initiatives, and campaigns.

This may seem overly simplistic, but for many businesses getting started doesn’t need ot be more complicated than this.

The Sales and Marketing Gap

pablo-3Why is there a large gap, a seemingly unfillable chasm, between sales and marketing?

Does it stem from different goals (or the perception thereof)?

  • Marketing’s view on Sales’ objective: They just want to earn a commission, and could care less about anything else.
  • Sales’ view on Marketing’s objective: They just want to make things look good, and could care less if it drives sales.

Bridging the gap means having the same objectives – real and perceived.

It starts with larger corporate objectives that individual team goals align with.

Sales and Marketing must explicitly understand how their goals help the overall company, and how they support the goals of other teams.

Sounds simple, right?

Way too often, in companies large and small, this isn’t happening.

Now is the time to develop your 2017 goals.

Corporate strategies must first be developed by executive management. Then team goals can be created to support the larger strategy.

Throughout the year, transparency via regular reporting will give improved visibility into how all teams’ goals support one another – thus bridging the gap.

 

3 Apps to Keep You Motivated

Motivation appsSix months ago I decided it was time. Time to get serious. Time to stop making excuses and start making real change. Time to get in shape! Yeah, that’s what everyone says in January, right!? Most people want better health, more energy and to feel a sense of accomplishment. Well, I’m happy to say I’ve stuck with it for six months now. I’ve lost 25 pounds, built muscle and increased my overall stamina.

My focus has primarily been strength training with some cardio. And, for most of the time I’ve done a pretty good job eating a healthy diet.

It hasn’t been easy, but there are a few key factors that have contributed to successfully keeping me motivated.

Having a workout buddy has been crucial. Rain or shine he picks me up at 6:15 am to head to the gym. Thursdays he’s quite chipper as those are dedicated “Shoulders day” for us. For the record, I hate shoulders day. #Ihateshouldersday

Technology has been my other secret weapon to staying consistent with both daily workouts and healthy eating. While there are countless apps available I’ve found three apps especially beneficial for staying motivated. All three apps have a free versions and are available for Android and iOS.

Make My Plate#3 Make My Plate

This beta app provides detailed meal planning, recipes, and shopping lists. Simply input the daily calories you’re targeting – including macros, and the app creates three meals, plus two snacks daily. Even if you don’t follow it religiously the app gives plenty of meal ideas, so you don’t get stuck eating plain chicken and broccoli every day.

One of my favorite features is the Restaurants sections. Make My Plate gives you suggestions and nutritional information for forty national fast food, fast casual and full-service restaurants. A perfect resource for when you’re on-the-go.

 #2 BodySpacebodyspace1-675x449.png

This app is an extension of the BodyBuilding.com website with articles, exercise tips and a supplement store. The app allowed me to pick a workout routine based on my fitness goals. It gives me a daily plan with detailed exercises including videos to ensure you use proper form while lifting to guarantee maximum results. From novice to pro that app has all the workout routines and advice you need.

#1 My Fitness Palmy_fitness_pal_logo

Now owned by Under Armour, this is my #1 app for keeping a daily food log of everything I eat. Helps me ensure I’m getting a high amount of protein, while keeping fats down and managing carbs effectively. I enter my weight on a weekly basis to visually see my progress. Yes, I even enter the cheat day calories so I know how much I’ve got to work off the next morning.

Motivational blog articles and recipes can also be found in the app. And of course, a link to buy Under Armour gear.

MyFitnessPal syncs with my FitBit to track my steps and approximate calories burned, adjusting my daily calorie intake from food. It’s pretty slick! I don’t track my workouts here, but the functionality exists.

Here’s the next six months of success!

DJ

 

How are you using technology to keep you motivated?

Living without Regrets

No one wants to live a life full of regrets. I certainly don’t. To that end each year I create a yearly Bucketlist. Despite my best efforts I have three major regrets that come to mind.

  1. Not taking a typing class in high school
  2. Not volunteering for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City
  3. Not taking my mom on a cruise

Not taking a typing class in high school ID-100253306

In high school I took several elective classes generally based on what sounded fun. Practical life skills weren’t top-of-mind in this class selection. I’ve long since forgotten all I learned in astrology, ballroom dance and the like, mostly because I never used that information again. A typing class would have proved useful almost every day of my life since.

So, Now What?
I tell my kids they will take typing in high school and maybe I’ll take an online course myself. I could have written this post 65% faster if my typing skills were improved.

Not volunteering for the 2002 Winter Olympic GamesID-10078316

In 2002, Salt Lake City, Utah welcomed the world as it hosted the Winter Olympic Games. The actual events were held in various venues in the Greater Salt Lake area. Many Olympic venues 30 minutes or less from my home at that time.

Olympic games require large volunteer support. As the games drew near multiple requests were made for volunteers. I highly enjoy sports, competition, and interacting with people from different countries and cultures. Multiple times I considered volunteering, each time I talked myself out of it. There was always a reason (excuse) why I shouldn’t.

My wife and I were able to attend an Olympic hockey event and had a great time cheering on the different countries. However, I missed out on an amazing opportunity to serve the Olympic community while interacting with athletes and fans from across the globe.

All these years later in the winter I see people wearing the Official 2002 Salt Lake Olympic Games coats they received as a volunteer – a brutal reminder that I didn’t.

So, Now What?

When a “Once in a Lifetime” opportunity comes… I’ll grab it and hang on tight!

Not taking my mom on a cruiseID-100348000 (1)

Just a few short years ago my mother told me she’d always dreamed of going on a cruise with her kids. It was the #1 thing on her Bucketlist. We talked about it, but never set a date; never make a real plan to make it happen.

Six months later she got extremely sick requiring a liver transplant. For two years after the transplant she had varying degrees of health, but never got back to her normal self. Never again was she healthy enough to travel.

In March 2016 she passed away due to liver complications. She told me just weeks before passing how sad she was that she’d never had that experience with her children. I regret not taking her on that trip.

So, Now What?

One of my Lifetime Bucketlist items is to go on a cruise my wife and children. We’ve decided not to delay. In a few weeks my wife and I will take our children on their first cruise.

While we can’t change the past, we can change the future… starting by what we do in the present.

– Doug

 

Photo creds: Photo by Suwit Ritjaroon, Photo by Salvatore Vuono, KEKO64

It’s Not Business, It’s Just Personal

Ever noticed when a major business win is achieved everyone touts the people and relationships that made it happen. Contrarily, when tough decisions with damaging consequences are made these same people quickly hide behind the proverbial skirt of “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” This phrase is most often said to someone who will be personally affected by the recent decision.

ID-10034799“We’ve decided to buy from another company”

“You weren’t selected for the promotion”

“We won’t be accepting your offer”

“You’re being let go”

“We chosen another candidate for the position”

“Your request was denied”

Businesses aren’t the products or services they sell. Businesses are an intertwined web of employees, vendors and customers. It is the people that make business… well business.

Yes, hard business decisions are constantly being made. The decisions themselves are made by individuals whose personal experiences, opinions and biases go into each and every choice. People’s lives are affected by these so-called business decisions and the ripple effects are far reaching – never downplay that fact.

Celebrate the human element that comprises today’s business environment and stop saying “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” After all, it’s always personal and never just business.

 

 

Photo by Photostock