Tuesday, 23 October 2012
Coaching our kids

We all love our kids and want them to be universally successful. How many times have we asked our children what they want to be when they grow up?  We love our kids and we want them to follow their dreams.

Wait a minute. Do we want our kids to follow a dream that leads to no job or just a low paying job? I don’t think so.  I remember a friend of mine in a competitive business twenty years ago thinking it would be good to have veterinarians in his farm stores.  This seemed like a good idea so he started recruiting.  Guess what? He had hundreds of applicants willing to work for minimum wage.  As good parents we need to guide our children into the careers that will be most rewarding personally and financially.

Where are the good jobs today? Read the papers or go on the internet – health care, engineers, scientists, business managers, anything in technology.  You can probably build a better list than I can.

We love our kids so let’s coach them for the greatest overall lifetime success.

Posted on 10/23/2012 1:27 PM by Joe Scarlett
Monday, 15 October 2012
Stay focused for real business focus

If you don’t stay focused in your business strategy and culture, sooner or later your train will run off the track. At Tractor Supply you will find that there have been three CEOs in the last thirty years and you would also find that the basic business strategy and the company culture have been on the same track for three decades. That is focus.

I was reading in the Wall Street Journal the other day about how much money Volvo is losing and how they plan to open factories in China in spite of losing still more market share in their two largest markets – Western Europe and the United States. Is their management crazy?

For probably fifty years Volvo was known a safe car. They promoted safety all the time. Their customers were typically the conservative safety conscious type.  I’ll bet half the college professors in America owned a Volvo at one time or another. The cars were not particularly stylish but their customers’ prime concern was safety. What a fabulous position to have in the market. What a fabulous position to have in the minds of your customers. 

For those of you in leadership roles, do all you can to keep your organization focused.  Clear focus is a winning business strategy.

Posted on 10/15/2012 3:46 PM by Joe Scarlett
Monday, 8 October 2012
Leaders learn to be good public speakers

Public speaking is difficult for all of us and to some it can even be terrifying.  Many people say standing in front of a group delivering a talk is the greatest fear in life.  The way to overcome the fear is simply to do it. I know.  I know.  I used to be scared to death but have overcome the fear by forcing myself into situations where public speaking was required.

Speaking is like any other skill in life – the more you do it the better you will become. Good planning and lots of practice are the keys to becoming a good speaker.  Outline your talk focusing on only a few key points and be sure to get your opening and closing remarks down pat. Practice your talk out loud in front of a mirror.  Record yourself and then listen; then do it again – you will slowly gain confidence. Don’t memorize – just practice.  Video is even better if it is available.

Your audience does not know that you are nervous, or confused, or that you just missed a key point – only you do – so just keep going. Arrive at your speaking venue early and get comfortable with your surroundings.  Dress one level up – you need to look like a pro. You can also get a book on public speaking and take a class.

Effective leaders communicate mission, values, direction, objectives, etc. to the team.  People follow leaders that communicate clearly and frequently.  Your team looks to you for leadership and needs to hear your message in order to deliver the results you want to achieve.  When you speak regularly and clearly they will develop confidence and respect for you.  And, you will gain greater confidence in yourself.

Posted on 10/08/2012 10:14 AM by Joe Scarlett
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