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What does love and Valentine’s Day have to do with business? In a nutshell, everything!

  • Customers and employees who feel loved are more loyal to your company.
  • Employees who love their bosses and their jobs perform better.
  • Customers and employees who feel loved share their experiences with others.

What if this is true: “It’s all about love!”?

Simply put: Love aspires. Love inspires. Love grows.

Let’s look at two extraordinary companies, both of which were launched in 1971—more than 45 years ago—operating with love as an essential core value.

Have you ever enjoyed a burger and a beer at a Hard Rock Café? Did you know that the company was founded by two hippies who chose love, peace, and rock-‘n-roll as their mantra? Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton were two shaggy-haired Americans who just wanted to find a good American burger while living in London. They built their first café on London’s Hyde Park corner as the first “classless” restaurant in the class-laden English society.

Today there are more than 175 Hard Rock locations, which include restaurants, hotels, casinos, and live music venues in 55 countries. Emblazoned on the wall of every property is, “Love All, Serve All.” It is the life—and business—success principle that Tigrett borrowed from his guru in India.

The Seminole Tribe acquired the Hard Rock companies in 2007, continuing to keep its love-based culture alive. Their mottos are still visible: “Love All, Serve All,” “Take Time to Be Kind,” “All Is One,” and “Save the Planet.” And how’s this for a core value: “Deliver kick-ass service.”

Southwest Airlines is another company that fearlessly embraces love (“LUV”) as a fundamental principle.

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Facilitating MeetingsWhen asked to facilitate a group meeting, equip yourself with the right tools to energize the participants and accomplish the objectives.

Last week I had the honor and pleasure to facilitate an afternoon SCORE workshop for a group of small business owners titled, A Strategic Planning Process that Energizes Your Business. Being directly after lunch, I knew the session needed to crackle with energy or else nap time would soon be upon us.

Here are some of my favorite group facilitation tools and tips for captivating the attention of participants and accomplishing meeting objectives:

  1. Clear Meeting Objectives– Prior to the facilitation, get together with key leaders and stakeholders to define the objectives of the upcoming meeting. These objectives are your ultimate targets, or goals, to accomplish.
  2. Written Agenda– Seems obvious, doesn’t it? You’d be surprised at how many meetings I have attended at which people don’t know why they are there. A written agenda, at the very least, provides a good framework to channel discussions. Sending it out to the participants before the meeting is a bonus.
  3. Declarations of Understanding– I begin every facilitated meeting by asking the participants, “What are your desires and expectations for this meeting and of me.” I capture their ideas on a flipchart. Then I share with the participants what I desire and expect of them, listing everything on another flipchart. Next, I hang both flipcharts on a wall so we can all refer to them throughout the meeting, if necessary, in order to keep things on track. My favorite desires and expectations of participants are:

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High-Performance TeamThis post is a preview for a workshop that I will be delivering to a group of small business owners and leaders next week. It’s a little longer than most of my articles so sit back, take a little breather and enjoy.

At 9:45 a.m. next Tuesday, March 15, I will be facilitating a workshop at the free 2016 SCORE Small Business Symposium in Scottsdale, Arizona, along with 17 other dynamic, talented speakers. My workshop will be focused on, “Hiring and Training a High-Performance Team”.

Developing high-performing teams is vital to the success of any business. As business owners we all can benefit from valuable, practical tools and tips designed to attract and build a team of “Eagles” whose performance and decision-making align with the highest and best interest of our organization. How well do you…

Attract and select the right and perfect people for your team by…

1)  assuring resonance and passion with your “Big Why”?

2)  infusing your organization’s culture with lofty behavioral values?

3)  assessing team member fit and training needs?

Build a synergistic team that strives to deliver exemplary service by…

4)  understanding the natural, dynamic Cycle of Teams?

5)  creating a culture of O.W.N.E.R.S.H.I.P. and self-accountability?

6)  strengthening team member relationships and communication?

7)  formulating Individual Development Plans that encourage continuous improvement?

Here are some of my thoughts for each objective listed above.

(Click here to read my entire LinkedIn article)