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When to Terminate
October 20th, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

One of the hardest things to do in any business is to terminate an employee.  It’s even harder if the employee is a family member.  Here are some thoughts on termination.
Let someone go if:

  • You are miserable.  When the value an employee brings is over-weighed by the frustration and anguish they cause – and you feel – it’s time to part ways.
  • The person is disgruntled.  Unhappy people make others unhappy.  It’s a cancer that spreads within your business or department.  You will be better off if they’re gone, and so will they.
  • You’ve done everything you can to save them.  People deserve a fair shot at succeeding, but if you have given them every opportunity to do well and they just haven’t responded, termination is the answer.
  • They haven’t performed according to the specific criteria you have identified for them.  It then becomes fairly easy because they effectively end their own employment by failing your well-documented expectations.

Terminating employees is hard, both emotionally and tactically.  But it must be done periodically to enhance the likelihood of your team’s overall success.



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Top of Mind: October 19, 2017
October 20th, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

Play to Win

We’ve all seen it.  A football team is ahead by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter only to lose the game.  A basketball team is up by 10 points with three minutes to go but loses.  A golfer is ahead by four strokes going into the final round of a tournament and loses to a player who finishes strong.

 
We see it in sports all the time because the team or individual in front gets too conservative and loses.  It doesn’t make sense to abandon the one thing that got you a lead for a strategy that tries to keep you from losing.

 
It’s the same way in business.  We fight hard to become successful and then we become complacent, thinking that what got us to where we are will keep us there.  Trying to maintain the status quo – and playing it safe – will cause us to fall behind.  Every business needs to constantly innovate and experiment with new ideas and strategies.  Not every new concept will work, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

 
So instead of playing “not to lose,” we need to “play to win.”  Winning involves continuous learning, constant experimentation, and relentless innovation.  It isn’t enough to be good.  We need to strive to be great.  It’s the only way to stay ahead in the game, and win!

 
Here are a few Business & Life Tips to think about….

 
Business Tips:

  • Good leaders maintain a sense of urgency with controlled energy. They never get too high or too low. They operate like a thermostat.
  • Organizations, boards, and businesses struggle without new blood adding new ideas to the conversation and the strategy.
  • You can’t get hung up on what your competitors are doing. Be aware, for sure, but don’t let it get in the way of what you must do.

 

Life Tips:

  • If you know you’re biased, take yourself out of the decision. If you don’t know you’re biased, well, that’s a different problem.
  • Wisdom comes from living life skillfully. Experience matters and self-reflection assures introspection.
  • Behaviors – even immediate, automatic reactions – can learn to be controlled and modified if we recognize the choices we can make.


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Top of Mind: October 5, 2017
October 5th, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

Food for Thought

  • If you want to be liked, you have to be likable.
  • If you want to be loved, you have to love others.
  • If you want to be respected, you have to respect others.
  • If you want to be noticed, you have to be out there and noticeable.
  • If you want a raise, do more than is expected.
  • If you want a promotion, prepare yourself for the job you want.
  • If you want to build loyalty, be loyal.
  • If you want people to believe in you, care about them.
  • If you want to have more meaningful relationships, be nicer.
  • If you want to show integrity, don’t put others down.

If you don’t believe any of this, well, that’s a problem.

 

Here are a few Business & Life Tips to think about…

Business Tips:

  • Build a good name. Keep it clean. Don’t worry about making money yet. Do good work. Your name will become your currency.
  • To get more time in your work day, analyze everything you do. Eliminate time-wasters, delete unwanted emails, and reduce interruptions.
  • Keep your day job. The routine is good for you, even if a little boring. Boredom forces you to take risks. Risks take you to new places.

 

Life Tips:

  • Insecurity is a debilitating condition. Why choose to be around people who have to put others down in order to prop themselves up.
  • Materialism is getting things for yourself. Generosity is giving things to others. There is no better time to give than now.
  • You only get one chance to make a first impression, so make it good. First impressions have lasting value, good or bad.


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Play to Win
October 2nd, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

We’ve all seen it.  A football team is ahead by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter only to lose the game.  A basketball team is up by 10 points with three minutes to go but loses.  A golfer is ahead by four strokes going into the final round of a tournament and loses to a player who finishes strong.

We see it in sports all the time because the team or individual in front gets too conservative and loses.  It doesn’t make sense to abandon the one thing that got you a lead for a strategy that tries to keep you from losing.

It’s the same way in business.  We fight hard to become successful and then we become complacent, thinking that what got us to where we are will keep us there.  Trying to maintain the status quo – and playing it safe – will cause us to fall behind.  Every business needs to constantly innovate and experiment with new ideas and strategies.  Not every new concept will work, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

So instead of playing “not to lose,” we need to “play to win.”  Winning involves continuous learning, constant experimentation, and relentless innovation.  It isn’t enough to be good.  We need to strive to be great.  It’s the only way to stay ahead in the game, and win!



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Food for Thought
September 22nd, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

  • If you want to be liked, you have to be likable.
  • If you want to be loved, you have to love others.
  • If you want to be respected, you have to respect others.
  • If you want to be noticed, you have to be out there and noticeable.
  • If you want a raise, do more than is expected.
  • If you want a promotion, prepare yourself for the job you want.
  • If you want to build loyalty, be loyal.
  • If you want people to believe in you, care about them.
  • If you want to have more meaningful relationships, be nicer.
  • If you want to show integrity, don’t put others down.

If you don’t believe any of this, well, that’s a problem.



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Top of Mind: September 21, 2017
September 21st, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

Motivation

Motivating staff is one of the most vital elements of good leadership. Here are some keys to doing it right:

  • People are more highly motivated through positive daily interactions than the occasional “home run” you might hit.
  • It isn’t always money that does the trick. Public recognition, sincere compliments, praise for work well done, and regular thank yous go a long way to keeping people happy.
  • People play off a leader’s own attitude and motivation. So be “up” throughout each day.
  • Creating a fun environment does more to motivate staff than almost any other aspect of a business.
  • Encourage people with small wins.       They lead to bigger wins.
  • Reward people when they least expect it. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of it.
  • Create structure around clearly defined goals. People want to do a good job. Help them out by setting realistic expectations and holding them accountable for the role they play.
  • “Team” wins build moral. Be creative in how each person contributes to the “whole.”
  • Keep people informed about what’s going on in the business. People in the dark can get uneasy about what is ahead for them.
  • Acknowledge people and give them your undivided attention.
  • Show your gratitude on a consistent basis. Your staff will then go to great lengths to help you.
  • People are your most valuable asset, but your best people are multiple times more valuable. Take care of them.

 

Business Tips:

  • It isn’t enough to simply expect your staff to do their job and not thank them for doing it well. We all need positive reinforcement.
  • Employees who threaten an owner with ultimatums, lest they leave, must be reminded that they are free to leave any time.
  • Want to be successful in your business life? Then practice the 3As: have the right Attitude, ensure your Abilities, and be Adaptable.

  

Life Tips:

  • When you help others to grow, you help yourself to grow. Others’ success translates to your success. It isn’t about you alone.
  • Extraordinary people are ordinary — but commit to doing things in an extraordinary way — doing what others simply can’t or won’t do.
  • Unless you’re an Olympic-level athlete, the goal is not to be the best. The goal is to be better each day at whatever you do.


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Top of Mind: September 7, 2017
September 10th, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

Here Comes Generation Z

An interesting phenomenon is occurring that will most certainly create more diversity in the workforce. Generation Z graduates are about to enter the workforce, so for Baby Boomers and Gen Xers who are still trying to understand the Millennial Generation, prepare yourself for the next wave of newcomers.

Generation Zers were born between 1995 and 2012. They are the newest employees and consumers to enter the mainstream. With Baby Boomers living longer and working longer, soon there will four different generations in the workforce, each with their own specific views about work, life balance, success, and what it takes to run a business effectively.

Whereas Millennials are all about flexibility, their own self-worth, and entitlement that often gets in the way of reality, Generation Zers are independent, competitive, and highly motivated not to miss out on anything. Every generation is a product of the times in which they grow up, and the circumstances that construct their own unique mindset about life and work and the future.

So with four distinct generations with perspectives that differ significantly, we are all in store for some interesting times, and some interesting challenges going forward. The key to success will be our ability to understand and cope with such divergent views and to learn to get along despite our differences.

 

 

Business Tips:

  • If you have an employee (or a boss, for that matter) who seems rigidly opposed to your idea, look for ways to enlarge his or her view.
  • For a team to display synergy in everything from athletics to business, there isn’t an absence of tension, but a harmonizing of it.
  • Look for trends. Catch waves early. Project where things will be, not where they currently are. Think future before it happens.

 

Life Tips:

  • Self-confidence produces contentment. If you trust yourself, try to create in you the kind of person you can be happy with for life.
  • If you want to attract people to your way of thinking, say and do what you believe. In other words, be authentic.
  • Failure is success if we learn from it. Failure often means you are pushing the envelope to do something great. Don’t play it safe.


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Motivation
September 7th, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

Motivating staff is one of the most vital elements of good leadership.  Here are some keys to doing it right:

  • People are more highly motivated through positive daily interactions than the occasional “home run” you might hit.
  • It isn’t always money that does the trick.  Public recognition, sincere compliments, praise for work well done, and regular thank yous go a long way to keeping people happy.
  • People play off a leader’s own attitude and motivation.  So be “up” throughout each day.
  • Creating a fun environment does more to motivate staff than almost any other aspect of a business.
  • Encourage people with small wins.  They lead to bigger wins.
  • Reward people when they least expect it.  You’ll get a lot more mileage out of it.
  • Create structure around clearly defined goals.  People want to do a good job.  Help them out by setting realistic expectations and holding them accountable for the role they play.
  • “Team” wins build moral.  Be creative in how each person contributes to the “whole.”
  • Keep people informed about what’s going on in the business.  People in the dark can get uneasy about what is ahead for them.
  • Acknowledge people and give them your undivided attention.
  • Show your gratitude on a consistent basis.  Your staff will then go to great lengths to help you.
  • People are your most valuable asset, but your best people are multiple times more valuable.  Take care of them.

 



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Top of Mind: August 24, 2017
August 24th, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

That Special Business Experience

I recently had dinner with some friends in a nice Italian restaurant I frequent in a city I visit on occasion. The owner always greets us at the door and even remembers us when we come in. He takes great pride in his menu, his décor, and his service to patrons. You can tell he loves what he does and delights in the nice comments he receives about the delicious food he serves.

It reminded me of how special it is to be greeted by an owner of an establishment and to be given that extra special touch that makes coming back so rewarding. Today we read about how people are enamored with the experience they get in almost any type of business. I suppose this is true, and people are certainly focused on how businesses differentiate their operations and activities from others with which they compete. But I sometimes wonder if it hasn’t always been like this to some degree.

I’ve always enjoyed receiving personal attention from the owner or manager of an enterprise. I’ve always appreciated someone remembering me when I patronize an establishment. And I’ve always enjoyed that special feeling of a unique experience when I receive it. I just haven’t always been as conscious of it as I am today.

It’s the little things that make the difference in every business. Take some time today to think about what makes your business special to people. Maybe that will be the difference between running a business and loving what you do.

 

Business Tips:

  • People who lead well inspire us to follow. Such leaders share why they believe what they believe, and people follow because of it.
  • To coach associates effectively, vary your leadership style to what is needed for different people to best follow your advice.
  • The balance between business life and home life is more blurred than ever before. When hiring, be balanced with your questions.

 

Life Tips:

  • The ability to create meaning in your work and in your life, no matter how mundane things can be, is a key to being happy.
  • Instead of retirement, try semi-retirement. Never stop the 4Cs of life: creating, changing, contributing, and caring.
  • Learn to measure your success in life by what you give away. This kind of success produces a life of significance.


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Here Comes Generation Z
August 18th, 2017
by Bill Boyajian

An interesting phenomenon is occurring that will most certainly create more diversity in the workforce.  Generation Z graduates are about to enter the workforce, so for Baby Boomers and Gen Xers who are still trying to understand the Millennial Generation, prepare yourself for the next wave of newcomers.

Generation Zers were born between 1995 and 2012.  They are the newest employees and consumers to enter the mainstream.  With Baby Boomers living longer and working longer, soon there will four different generations in the workforce, each with their own specific views about work, life balance, success, and what it takes to run a business effectively.

Whereas Millennials are all about flexibility, their own self-worth, and entitlement that often gets in the way of reality, Generation Zers are independent, competitive, and highly motivated not to miss out on anything.  Every generation is a product of the times in which they grow up, and the circumstances that construct their own unique mindset about life and work and the future.

So with four distinct generations with perspectives that differ significantly, we are all in store for some interesting times, and some interesting challenges going forward.  The key to success will be our ability to understand and cope with such divergent views and to learn to get along despite our differences.



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"Bill Boyajian is a leader people follow, with a proven track record of success. He will provide solutions to your biggest challenges and deliver terrific results."

–Howard Herzog
International Jewelers Block Insurance

"A sought after role model, Bill reminds us that how we lead our business has everything to do with how we live a fulfilling life."

– Pam Levine,
Levine Design Group