Tim Kinane

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Thursday, September 28th, 2017

How Successful is Your Team?

“The only meaningful measure of a leader is whether the team succeeds or fails.”

 

Each month I share a favorite book review from Readitfor.me.

There is never enough time to read all the latest books – this tool is a great way to learn and to stay on top of the latest topics and new ideas.

If you are like my clients, you work hard learning how to grow your company or organization. You invest the time and money to improve your team for better results and increased value.

How successful is your team? Are you leading your team to success?

Read on.

 

Extreme OwnershipExtreme Ownership

by Jocko Willink Leif Babin

Readitfor.me   Review:

“So, there I was.…”

According to the authors of Extreme Ownership, this is how every story told by a Navy SEAL starts off.

“So there I was, pinned down by heavy fire, with only two rounds left in my rifle”. You know, the type of stories that probably would have turned out differently if you or I were the protagonist.

So here I am, trying to boil down some of the best leadership advice I’ve read in a long time into something you can read over your morning coffee. (Luckily, this is about as difficult as things get over here).

As Jocko Willink and Leif Babin tell us, “The only meaningful measure of a leader is whether the team succeeds or fails.” So get ready to take a good hard look at yourself as a leader, and prepare to start thinking differently about how you control your destiny.

 

Principle #1: Extreme Ownership

This section starts off with a story about a mission that almost blows up in their face – literally. Due to miscommunication between the Navy SEALs unit and a Marines unit there was a “blue-on-blue”.Which means that the Marines and Navy SEALs had mistakenly been firing on each other. One Navy SEAL took some shrapnel in the face, but miraculously nobody had been seriously injured or killed.

Situations like this aren’t taken lightly, and Willink thought that his career as a team leader could be coming to an abrupt end as a result. His boss and an investigating officer came in from another camp to dig in and find out what had happened.

Many things had gone wrong, and it would have been easy to point fingers at the people who had made the mistakes that day to try and escape the heat. But that’s not Willink did. He stood up in front of the group, including his commanding officer, and said:

“There is only one person to blame for this: me. I am the commander. I am responsible for the entire operation…And I will tell you this right now: I will make sure that nothing like this ever happens to us again.”

No matter what situation you find yourself in, you alone are responsible for the success or failure of your team. Period. If you do fail, you must accept full responsibility and then develop a plan to win.

As a leader, you not only take ownership of your role, you are responsible for anything that impacts your mission – including your people. If a person under your command is not performing up to par, you must train and mentor them. If they continue to underperform, then you must be loyal to the mission above all else and find somebody who can get the job done.

Principle #2: There are no bad teams, only bad leaders

If you’ve ever watched a video of Navy SEALs going through Hell Week (if you haven’t, hop over to Youtube and search for “Navy SEALs Hell Week”), you’ve seen them inside black inflatable rafts paddling through the ocean.Each class of SEAL recruits are split into teams that compete with one another over the course of the week. Each team is given a leader, who is in charge of getting the best out of his men in gruelling circumstances.

One year, Babin recounts, one of the teams was winning each race (Boat II) and another team was consistently coming in last (Boat VI). So one of the instructors decided to run a little leadership experiment. The leaders of the two teams would switch boats to see if the lacklustre performance of Boat VI could be explained by a lack of leadership.

The leader of Boat VI was understandably excited, because he had been dealt a hand of lousy recruits and simply couldn’t win with such a weak team. The leader of Boat II wasn’t happy, but quietly went to work figuring out how to get them to perform at a higher level than they were used to.

Right on cue, Boat VI was spurred on by their new leader and started to win every race, with Boat II having to settle battling for second place.

This highlights one of the most important leadership principles you will ever learn – that leadership is the greatest factor in any team’s performance.

Principle #3: You have to believe if you want to win

The SEAL team the authors fought with was called Task Unit Bruiser, which was the same unit that Chris Kyle – author of American Sniper – belonged to. They had a fearsome reputation as being the most lethal fighting unit in the Iraq War, and possibly ever.So when they were told that in order to run any mission they had to bring along Iraqi soldiers with them, they weren’t too happy. As Willink describes it, heading out into Ramadi (where they were fighting) was dangerous enough.

Imagine one day having another Navy SEAL literally watch your back as you complete your mission, to having somebody you don’t know with inferior training and questionable loyalty take their place.

Willink knew that if he didn’t understand and believe in the mission, his team wouldn’t tow the line either. And that might cost them their lives.

As it turns out, the reason higher ups had mandated that the Iraqi forces join the fight with the SEALs was that if they didn’t get Iraqis “on-the-job” training, they might not ever be able to complete the securing of Iraq. Without that, they might never go home.

So once Willink understood and bought into the “why” behind the mission, he was able to communicate the message with clarity and with confidence to his team. Once they understood why they were being asked to take on more risk and danger during their missions, they were able to move on and get to work.

The same goes for you in your role. If there’s anything that your are working on that you don’t completely believe in, you need to get that resolved – quickly.

As the authors note:

In order to convince and inspire others to follow and accomplish a mission, a leader must be a true believer in the mission.

Principle #4: Check your ego

Because of the need to sometimes blend in with the local population in the Middle East, Navy SEALs are known for growing beards and generally not keeping up a “disciplined appearance.” Unfortunately, they are sometimes also known for being arrogant.The authors tell the story of one Navy SEAL unit being shipped in to work out of a base that was owned and operated by the Army.

They rolled into town wearing baseball caps, cutoff shirts and egos that Donald Trump would approve of. This didn’t mix well with the extremely disciplined routine the Army soldiers were required to follow. The colonel in charge of the base mandated this discipline because they were in the most dangerous part of Iraq, and any slip up in protocol, no matter how small, could cost them their lives.

Not only were these SEALs condescending to the Army soldiers, they weren’t interested in learning what the Army had learned running missions in Ramadi.

Ultimately, the SEAL group was asked to leave the base even though they were very capable and could have greatly helped their cause.

While belief in yourself and your team is crucial, having an outsized ego will only get in your way. It can cloud your judgment and get in the way of taking on constructive criticism.

As the authors point out, the most difficult ego to deal with is usually your own.

Principle #5: Cover and Move.

In the business world, when you hear the word “Teamwork” you might automatically picture some cheesy motivational poster with a group of people all rowing in the same direction. It’s very easy to dismiss the idea of teamwork as a bunch of you-know-what.But in combat, you literally rely on the other people you work with to keep you alive.

When they find themselves taking enemy fire and need to get from one place to another, SEALs operate a tactic called “Cover and Move”. Basically it means teamwork. One section of a team lays down fire on the enemy while another section moves forward and takes some ground. Then the reverse happens so the team who was laying down the fire can get caught up.

As a leader, it is your responsibility to ensure that when your team encounters trouble that their first instinct is to work together to find a way out rather than pointing fingers.

How can you tell if your teams are working together closely or if they are just giving it lip-service? Pay attention to the off-hand comments that they make. If your sales team calls your production team the “order prevention department”, for instance, that might be your cue to dig a little deeper to get things back on track.

There are enough enemies outside of your walls to deal with, right?

Principle #6: Keep things simple

If you are going to accomplish your mission, your people need to understand the plan. Even more important, when things go wrong, your team needs to understand how to fix it. This is almost impossible if your team doesn’t understand the mission, or the strategy you are using to accomplish it.Keeping things as simple as possible is the only way your team is going to be able to understand and execute. Why? Because your plan is almost always more complicated than you think it is. And no matter how well your plan is prepared, things almost always go wrong and decisions need to be made on the fly. If your team doesn’t understand the plan, it crumbles under it’s own weight at the first sign of trouble.

A great example of this in the business world is the commission structure you create for your sales people. If your team doesn’t completely understand how the work they do impacts their bonus level, you will never get the type of behaviour you are trying to encourage.

If your plan requires your sales people to pull out a calculator on every deal to understand what they are going to get paid on an order, it’s too complicated.

Principle #7: Leaders need to prioritize and execute.

When you find yourself in a situation where you are taking fire from all sides and everything seems to be falling apart around you, what do you do?Relax, look around, and make a call.

No matter what is going on around you, your job as a leader is to keep moving forward by making the best possible decision, given the circumstances.

The authors give us a step-by-step plan for getting things done when chaos erupts. First, decide what the highest priority problem is. You can only solve one thing at a time, so start with the most important.

Second, in clear and simple terms, tell your team what you’ll be focussing on.

Third, create a solution to the problem, seeking input both up and down the chain.

Finally, direct the execution of that solution, making sure all of your team’s efforts are focussed there until the plan is executed.

Rinse, wash, repeat.

Principle #8: Decentralized Command

In order for your team to execute your plan, teams must be broken down into small and manageable sizes, making sure to decentralize command so that front-line employees are empowered to make decisions.As human beings, we are not equipped to manage more than ten people at any one time, especially when problems come up and decisions need to be made quickly.

There are a few things that need to be in place in order for this to work.

First, senior leaders must communicate constantly and consistently with their front-line to ensure that the have the right information to make the right decisions. Your team must be crystal clear about the mission and strategy at all times.

Second, the front-line team must believe that senior leaders will have their back if they make decisions that are consistent with the mission and the strategy, even when they go wrong. It only takes one situation where a front-line employee doesn’t feel supported to grind decision making to a halt.

Lastly, like we’ve discussed before, the mission and the strategy must be simple so that you avoid the game of “broken telephone” that could easily occur with complex instructions.

Conclusion:

The best leaders practice Extreme Ownership

 

Leadership always comes back to the first principle – you need to practice extreme ownership of whatever happens under your watch. There are many things you need to get right in order to be a great leader, but it all begins and ends with accepting 100% of the responsibility for the results that you and your team produce.

Are you ready to practice Extreme Ownership in your business and life?

Tim Kinane
Call 772-210-4499  or email to set up a time to talk about tools and strategies to lead to better results.
Please share this summary with a friend/colleague. If you want know more, you can read the full summary of this book here today (you’ll need to create a free account first):  https://readitfor.me/timothy-kinane
Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Why Community Service

Congratulation to Dr. Jack Mitchell who has received two new awards from his involvement in the community. One of the awards is Volunteer of the Year Award from an organization that focuses on providing safe space and assistance primarily to women and children involved in domestic violence. The second new award is from the local Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Jack received the prestigious President’s Award for “dedication, hard-work and commitment”.

There are great reasons and benefits to volunteering:

  • Good for your health
  • Learn new skills
  • Gain professional experience
  • Make a difference/improve lives
  • Get to know your community
  • Challenge yourself
  • Connect with others

Strengthen your Team by Connecting your WHY with volunteering in your community.

 

Tracy Levy, SafeSpace director of Development; Dr. Jack Mitchell, St. Lucie Volunteer of the Year; Janet Farnan-Dyer, SafeSpace Resource & Volunteer Coordinator

Tracy Levy, SafeSpace director of Development; Dr. Jack Mitchell, St. Lucie Volunteer of the Year; Janet Farnan-Dyer, SafeSpace Resource & Volunteer Coordinator

 

We are proud to present our St. Lucie County Volunteer of the Year, Dr. Jack Mitchell. Dr. Jack’s contribution as a Board Member and Advocate in the community creates future financial sustainability to help us save and change lives of victims and their families. Thank you Dr. Jack for your endless dedication to SafeSpace and our mission. We appreciate all that you do!!

 

Why Community Service

A conversation with Dr. Jack Mitchell

Dr. Jack, congratulation on your two new community service awards.

I feel such gratitude, and simply want to give back. I have a strong awareness of how fortunate and how blessed I am in life, an awareness of “why” I am here on earth. Volunteerism simply flows as a result of this gratefulness.

I like the quote by the famous lecturer and writer, Jim Rohm:

“It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go.”

I draw from this: Know your personal “why” ; set your sail accordingly because the winds of life will challenge all of us;   be grateful for your blessings; and be generous with your time, talent and treasure.

The Why is about how you feel – and we are inspired by that which moves us and connects us to other people. Dr. Jack Mitchell shares his why:

As a volunteer, I am impressed with the dedication and love of so many staff employees.  They give of their time and talent so very generously to their organizations and the people they serve.

My Why is to help people grow personally and professionally.
I have been blessed with exceptional education, corporate and entrepreneurial experiences. I am passionate to use all these to help people. It feels great to give back.

Communication starts by understanding yourself and then listening to others.  How have you used your understanding of Team Strength DISC to help you to be a better volunteer?

The Team Strength DISC profiles and chart, are tools that I can use in every aspect of my life: work, volunteering and personal interactions.  I have been involved with this process and system for more than 30 years. Using these tools has helped me to develop the sensitivity to assess and communicate effectively. This was not always the case, years ago, I would make assumptions, mis-read people and miss opportunities.

I still do day, but hopefully nowhere near what I did years ago. What a powerful tool for all of us today. The more you practice, the better you get. Whether in business, in family matters, or in general communication, the Team Strength DISC Profiles are marvelous help to better communication.

Communication is life’s most important skill- better communication make for a better life.

Full sail

 

 

Set your organizations sails by improving the quality of your teams’s communication. Get started now on your Team Strength- call 772-210-4499 or email for more information or to set up and an account.

Monday, September 11th, 2017

7 Situations Where Business Owners Should Consider Bringing in Outside Investors

You believe your business would grow faster, if you had more cash. Or, perhaps you’d buy out that partner who’s not in sync with the direction the company is going in, if you had more cash. Or, perhaps you’d take some cash home to diversify your wealth and sleep better at night, if you had more cash. Whatever your specific need is, perhaps you’d do it—if you had more cash. That’s just the thing though.

 

READ MORE

How do you get more cash to accomplish your business needs, without giving up  …    read more

 

LEARN MORE

Sign up for the complimentary educational webinar on this topic.
Date: Tuesday September 26, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EDT.

Click Here to REGISTER

 

WATCH MORE:

Watch a short video to learn more about this topic. – Click here    Successful Exit – One of Your Greatest Accomplishments.

Call 772-210-4499  or email to find out more about this webinar and exit planning solutions. Ask about our complimentary proprietary tools and checklists. All inquiries are confidential.

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

The Two Problems that Come with Not Having an Exit Plan

CompassMost owners do not lack an exit plan because they don’t care about their exit outcomes, or don’t believe in planning for the future. The lack an exit plan for two reasons. One, they are busy growing their companies. Two, they don’t know that waiting to start exit planning causes problems.

Specifically, there are two problems which immediately (they happen right away), universally (they happen to every owner), and incontrovertibly (it is inescapably true that they occur) impact every business owner who lacks a clear exit plan. The two problems are:

 
First, it is impossible to know if the decisions a business owner makes today will help or hurt success at exit. If I don’t know my destination until later, then I won’t learn until later if turning left, right, or going straight now will take me anywhere desirable—and I might learn too late that it didn’t. What should my leadership team look like? Should we emphasize top line revenue growth or profitability? Should I invest in developing our brand? How scalable do our key systems need to be? How should we reward and motivate key employees? How big should we let our biggest customers get? These are a few examples of the countless questions that owners answer every day. Without an exit plan, owners have no way of knowing what answers will drive exit success. To paraphrase, if I don’t know where I want to go, then I don’t know if I am headed the right way.

 
Second, most of the tools and tactics that fuel exit success take years to fully implement, and/or compound with time. The less time an owner allocates to preparing for exit, likely the fewer the options and the lower the return on investment. Building a company that can grow without the owner, pulling money out of the company prior to exit, creating employee incentive plans tied to growth, preparing financial reports consistent with buyer expectations, creating alignment among co-owners—these are a few of countless examples of tools and tactics that the sooner they are implemented, the greater the potential return. To paraphrase, less time to prepare produces less results.

 
Once a business owner understands these two problems, and sees how they are impacting his or her situation, then developing the exit plan becomes a strategic imperative.

 

The Two Problems that Come with Not Having an Exit Plan

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

How to Reach Financial Freedom When You Sell, and How to Stay There

Time after time, client after client, research study after research study, the answer remains the same — business owners’ number one goal at exit is to achieve their financial win, whatever amount that might be. In our experience, the most common financial goal is to reach financial freedom, which we define as getting to the point where working is a personal choice, not a necessity. Money cannot buy happiness, but business owners who have successfully reached financial freedom seem to smile on a regular basis.

READ MORE

The same can be said of businesses too. Take two companies from the same industry …  read more

LEARN MORE

Sign up for the complimentary educational webinar on this topic.
Date: Tuesday August 22, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EDT.

Click Here to REGISTER

WATCH MORE:

For more on this topic- Click here to watch videos on this and related topics.

Call 772-210-4499  or email to find out more about this webinar and exit planning solutions. Ask about our complimentary proprietary tools and checklists. All inquiries are confidential.

 

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Steps That Will (Nearly) Always Maximize Value at Business Sale

Take two Mercedes-Benz sedans of the same make and model, offer them both for sale, and once sold one will achieve a higher price than the other. There are many reasons this occurs: one car may be newer, have lower mileage, include more amenities, be more collectible, or has a better service record. This phenomenon, of course, is not unique to Mercedes-Benz automobiles. The same reality happens with cars of every brand. Some conditions will universally (at least nearly so) make one car more valuable at sale than a peer of the exact make and model.

 

READ MORE

The same can be said of businesses too. Take two companies from the same industry …  read more

 

LEARN MORE

Sign up for the complimentary educational webinar on this topic.
Date: Tuesday July 25, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EDT.

Click Here to REGISTER

 

WATCH MORE:

For more on this topic- Click here to watch videos on this and related topics.

 

Call 772-210-4499  or email to find out more about this webinar and exit planning solutions. Ask about our complimentary proprietary tools and checklists. All inquiries are confidential.

 

Friday, June 30th, 2017

Now, Discover Your Strengths

“A great organization must not only accommodate the fact that each employee is different, it must capitalist on this difference”. So decrees Markus Buckingham co-author of “First, Break all the Rules”.

Book Review:

Now, Discover Your Strengths

by Marcus Buckingham & Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D.

 

Together with his co-author Donald O Clifton, he claims that rather than focus on addressing the weaknesses of our teams, we need to exploit their talents and turn them into strengths that we can exploit. Here’s their reasons behind this conviction.

Lesson #1: The Structure of Strength

Only 20% of employees working in large organizations feel their strengths are being utilized every day. Even more concerning is that, the longer they stay with a company the more entrenched this feeling becomes. This goes back to what Buckingham stated in his earlier book. Organizations are built on two false premises:

We can all become competent in anything, and our growth potential is our biggest weakness.

Strengths = Talent + knowledge + skill
 
Although it’s possible to develop strength without full knowledge or skill,its never possible to fully possess a strength without talent.

Lesson #2: Knowledge in Two Parts

There are two kinds of knowledge:

Factual knowledge – data, statistics, facts, truths.

The second type of knowledge is experiential. It’s knowing – as a child – not to touch a hot stove after having burned fingers. It’s knowing that a good relationship with a VP’s secretary can increase access.
To discover our strengths we need to acquire both types of knowledge, complementing each with the other. Skills bring structure to experiential knowledge. Eventually, having exploited the experience and its benefits, we are likely to formalize this into a repeatable series of steps and actions – a skill.

Skills enable us to avoid trial and error and to embed the best actions into our normal behaviour. If you learn a skill it will help you get a little better… but it will never turn into a strength without the third ingredient: talent.

Lesson #3: Signposts to Strengths

As we’ve identified, talent is a key component of strength. So to find our strengths we must first find our talents. Buckingham suggests we should monitor our spontaneity. How we react to the situations and challenges around us reveals the source of what we do “naturally” and how we handle things.

Lesson #4: Snags to Succeeding With Strengths

No matter where you live in the world there is one common thing that gets in the way of success: our weaknesses and the underlying belief that we should focus on their elimination. For many of us, the fear of our weaknesses significantly overshadows our confidence in our strengths. Many of us may put this down to ego control: we don’t want to appear egoistic by “begging” up our strengths. We may also be reluctant to promote our strengths because we think they are not much to write about.

What is your Strength?

When you know your Strength- you get better results.

Tim Kinane
Call 772-210-4499  or email to set up a time to talk about tools and strategies to lead to better results.

 

Please share this summary with a friend/colleague. If you want know more, you can read the full summary of this book here today (you’ll need to create a free account first):  https://readitfor.me/timothy-kinane
Thursday, June 15th, 2017

“Want to Buy Out a Partner? The Good, the Bad & the Ugly”

Maybe your business partner has reached normal retirement age and wants out. Maybe your business partner simply desires to do other things in life. Maybe your partner has a different vision of where to take the company. Maybe your partner spends money differently than you would prefer. Maybe your partner runs the business differently than you prefer. Maybe your partner works less hard than you.
Maybe it is time to buy out a partner. Or, maybe it’s time for you to be bought out…

 

LEARN MORE

Sign up for the complimentary educational webinar on this topic.
Date: Tuesday June 27, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EDT.

Click Here to REGISTER

READ MORE, LEARN MORE, WATCH MORE:

For more on this topic- Click here to read case studies, listen in on the complimentary educational webinars, and watch videos on this topic.

Call 772-210-4499  or email to find out more about this webinar and exit planning solutions. Ask about our complimentary proprietary tools and checklists. All inquiries are confidential.

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

Planning to Pass Your Business to Your Family? Prepare to be Unfair

Like many parents who own a successful family business, you may be thinking of passing the business to your children. You have built a great operation, and you are proud to present this opportunity to your family.
While making the decision to keep the business within the family may be straightforward, getting that done without harming family relationships often proves more difficult. Based on the US Small Business Administration statistics, chances are that your business will not survive the second generation:

  • Only 30% of family owned businesses survive to the second generation
  • Only 12% are still viable into the third generation
  • Only about 3% are still viable into the fourth generation

 

LEARN MORE

Sign up for the complimentary educational webinar on this topic.
Date: Tuesday May 23, 2017
Time: 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm EDT.

Click Here to REGISTER

 

READ MORE, LEARN MORE, WATCH MORE:

For more on this topic- Click here to read case studies, listen in on the complimentary educational webinars, and watch videos on this topic.

 

Call 772-210-4499  or email to find out more about this webinar and exit planning solutions. Ask about our complimentary proprietary tools and checklists. All inquiries are confidential.

Monday, May 1st, 2017

How Do Others Hear You?

Answer: It’s not what you say – it’s what they hear.

Effective communication ensures that others hear what we mean.

 

DISC Word Cloud

What if you could have an enhanced view of your communication interaction with others?  Often times, what we say and what others hear are two very different things.  Managers and business leaders often persist in communication and organizational practices believing everyone recognizes their “obvious” intentions, overlooking costly misinterpretations that stem from different behavioral styles.  Those challenges lead to workplace inefficiencies that that were difficult to resolve— until now!
 

 

 

Team Strength

Our Team Strength Interactive Tool significantly improves a manager’s effectiveness in critical, real time communication with employees.

We Leverage the insights of the DISC profile with a web based tool to conveniently identify and address the specific obstacles to teamwork and better results.

  • Strategize difficult conversations.
  • Coach employees to effectively communicate with each other.
  • Maximize your team dynamics.

Contact us for a complimentary demonstration.

Plan now for Spring and Summer Workshops and Training Programs

Each of our workshops can be customized to the current needs and challenges of your organization. They are engaging, enlightening and fun and will lead to improved cooperation and interaction.
Workshop Portfolio

Want to improve quality of your company’s communication? Get started now on your Team Strength- call 772-210-4499 or email for more information or to set up and an account.