Are You Blocking Your Own Leadership?

Most of us don’t like to admit we may be the problem in any situation. In leadership it’s even more difficult to look in the mirror and say, “I see the problem.” Reality is, even if you’re only 5% of the problem, you must fix the 5% first. Your credibility as a leader will be heavily damaged if you don’t acknowledge your mistakes. Your team, colleagues and clients will respect you more and your successes will increase. Don’t be afraid to communicate your errors and definitely tell how you’ve fixed the problem.

My SIMPLER SYSTEM features 7 Steps, with the first one being SELF. Join me on May 28th to learn more about you, and how to make more money and have more time for yourself.

You’ll Find Our Company Is Different

Looking west to mountains in the spring
Photo by Garth Roberts

It’s a phrase I hear in almost every company I work, “you’ll find our company is different”. I hate to burst your balloon, your company isn’t different. Your work may be different but the operation of all companies relies on one common denominator, people. The success or failure of your operation is directly related to the effectiveness of your people and how you, as a leader, treat them.

Common denominators for all companies are:

  • if you’ve hired correctly, your people are motivated
  • employees want to do a good job
  • everyone wants to know what’s happening in the company
  • people need to know what impact their jobs have on the company’s success
  • employees want to be recognized for jobs well done, and held accountable for ineffective performance

In turn, employees get turned off when:

  • lack of shared plans leave them wondering what’s going on
  • there is limited or no communication from the top down or from the bottom up
  • there was no follow-up on projects
  • no one is held accountable

These realities about employees are universal. It doesn’t matter if you are making widgets, building bridges, mining for gold, selling goods, or working in the service industry. Pay attention to the needs of your people and your business truly will be different; it will be profitable, leading-edge, and a great place to work.

Garth Roberts

Do Your Teeth Really Need to be Whiter?

While I recognize we all want a winning smile, I suggest the teeth whitening craze has gotten to be a bit much. I’ve always watched people’s mouths, maybe I’m practicing my lip reading skills for when my hearing fades totally, so I’m aware of the value of great teeth. However, I’m now getting mesmerized by blinding white teeth, so mesmerized that I get distracted from the conversation.

As I was just spammed with a $129 special, it occurred to me that many people I know, who had great smiles, are being conned into paying for a procedure they truly don’t need. Why do we fall for such vanity hooks?

In supervisory and management roles I’ve noted we also fall for vanity hooks. You’re doing a great job, can you take on this additional task? You’ve always been there to support your people, how about adding this item to your portfolio? Pat me on the back and add another log on my fire of responsibilities.

As a leader you recognize when you must say, “No”. Leaders certainly fill their plate but they don’t take extra serving just to demonstrate how brilliant or talented they are. They know when to say, enough. Now connecting whitening your teeth to leadership may seem like a stretch, but is it? It all comes back to recognizing we truly need to be who we are, honestly.

Are you getting sucked in as a supervisor or manager and taking responsibility for more than you should, or are you a leader?

Garth Roberts

Do You Lead Like You Parent?

The rice crispy square was almost as big as he was – almost. His Mom gave it to him while she waited for the specialty drink she ordered.  A rice crispy square with a hot chocolate and a mound of whipped cream. Now there’s a true breakfast of champions for a two-year-old.  

“Well, young man, let’s have a look at that mouth.”

Can’t you just picture the look of horror on a dentist’s face as a three or four-year-old’s cavity ridden molars come into view?

However, let’s be fair, the sugar bar and hot chocolate had a purpose. Silence while Mom sat and texted, pecking away with one finger. She’s obviously new at texting, untrained in both social media and parenting through healthy eating.

Over the years I’ve met a few supervisors and managers who lead like this Mom parents. “

“Give ‘em what they want and they won’t bother me!”

Leading, like parenting, involves making hard choices, providing positive role modeling, and taking the “high-road” for the greater good of your people and your company.

How Is Your Customer Service?

15 managers and supervisors spent yesterday analyzing the customer service at their company. It was a good day because all of them were committed to improving their customer service. Their company has been around for almost 100 years and is family owned. None of the participants are members of the family and they are still dedicated to serving their customers and helping the company grow. This company, Burnco, ( should be commended for doing what so many other companies don’t – continuously investing in their people.

But continuous investment is evident as our conversations about customer service showed improvement, not starting from scratch, is what will work for Burnco. It’s refreshing to see a company that is building on yesterday to make today and tomorrow greater. Too many times I work with companies that discard the past to reinvent today and looked longingly to tomorrow. How is your customer service? Are you reinventing or reinvesting?

A good friend of mine, Jeff Mowatt, is a customer service specialist. His trademark is Influence with Ease and I had the pleasure of recommending Jeff’s program to help Burnco in their continuing growth in customer service. You can check out Jeff’s tips at

Garth Roberts

Is Reading Affecting Your Writing?

I’m halfway through a business writing seminar and I’m seeing participants who are having problems writing because they’re not reading correctly. One particular e-mail exercise seems to cause grief for participants. The facts are laid out and include a couple of suggestions. Individuals and groups get confused with the information. They seem to get confused for two reasons.

  1. They don’t take the time to clarify the information that’s in front of them. They’re given time and several suggestions about pre-writing and brainstorming. Still they miss obvious points they could include in their e-mail.
  2. They don’t think from the reader’s point of view. Writing is only effective if you think from the reader’s point of view. That’s who you want to take action.

Out of six groups who wrote an e-mail, only two included all the information available to them. The others got sidetracked by logistics as it related to them as writers, rather than focusing on the action they want the reader to take.

All of us have probably had individuals reply and ask for clarification when we written to them. Drop a comment as to how you deal with such a situation.

Garth Roberts