Tag Archive: career

Women in Manufacturing & the Showing Up

June 18th, 2018

Last week, I attended the inaugural Inland Empire Women in Manufacturing event.  It was fun seeing old colleagues from throughout the years, as well as meeting new ones.  I especially enjoyed the key note speaker, Mrs. Anna Kan Chao who spoke about taking over her family company, Golden Island Jerky Company, because no one else wanted the job.  She never gave up and it went from barely getting by and bootstrapping the company (going without a paycheck with round-the-clock work) to successfully selling to one of the largest food companies in the world.  It didn’t stop there; when they wanted to close the Inland Empire California facility, she convinced them of the value, and instead they invested multi-millions in a facility upgrade.

She boiled her key to success as “show up”.

One tip to implement this week: Show Up
“Show up”.  It can be that easy!  Throughout my career, I’ve overcome some seemingly insurmountable obstacles simply by continuing to “show up”.  Have you thought about the value of showing up?

Think a bit further about this key to success.  When you are really tired and don’t feel like it, do you “show up”?  When you have employees in conflict and know it will be a rough day, do you “show up”?  When customers are calling (whether to yell at you over an issue or to explore further partnership opportunities), will you “show up”?  How about when Board members want to understand your strategy, are you willing to “pick up the phone” to talk?

It is easy to show up when celebrations surround you.  The key is whether you are willing to show up when you have to deal with unpleasant facts upfront or you have to deliver bad news or you have to “take one for the team”.  As my mentor used to say, “As a leader, you share successes and hoard the blame“. Great advice but to follow it, you must “show up”.


Who Should You Follow?

December 7th, 2017

Strong leadership will guide you to choose wisely
Several situations have arisen recently that leads us to plead “choose wisely”.  Examples abound on both sides of this topic.  Strong leaders attract top talent.  Weak and command and control leaders keep the weak and those close to retirement (in name only).  That is one of the things we love about being consultants – we have a wide view, across many organizations with vastly different personalities; thus, strong leadership is as obvious as a purple cow (to use a Seth Godin reference).

Pay attention to your employees
To your employees, leadership effectiveness is as obvious as a purple cow, even if it doesn’t stand out to anyone else.  Pay attention to how your employees react to their leaders.  Are they energized or beaten down?  One good question is as follows – if the phone rings at 5:05pm, would they pick it up, thinking it might be a customer with a question?  Or will they ignore it and instead put their efforts into a CYA type activity?  

Who will you go to for top notch service ?
In today’s Amazon-impacted marketplace, customers appreciate suppliers and advisers who will go the extra mile to provide that above and beyond service.  Just put yourself in their shoes.  Who would you rather go to for products and service – whether or not the ‘boss’ is there to make sure you receive top notch service?  Someone you know will help you regardless of what it does for their career or someone who is out for their self-interest?  

Remember, people work for and buy from people – not companies.


Carmel and Strategic Thinking

March 6th, 2017

Earlier this week, I went to Carmel, California for a strategy session. While there, I went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and saw the California beauty after a winter season of a lot of rain (see the picture below for one of the fabulous views).

strategic thinking

Do you take time out of your busy schedule to think about the future? It helps to get away (even if you just leave the office for the day) to empty your mind for strategic thinking. Have you been able to do that lately?

One tip to implement this week:

If you are a leader, schedule time for your executive team to get away and put time into strategic thinking. These days, you’ll be fortunate to think of strategy a year out as the world is changing at an increasing rate. However, because we are so overloaded only a daily basis, it also is more important than ever to take time to think about your business so that you are leading the business instead of the business leading you. It is hard to take leaps forward if you don’t take time to think about them. And, if you aren’t growing, you are declining.

If you are an employee, you can take time out at lunch to sit in a park or get away for a weekend to think. I bet you have far more control than you realize. Bring ideas to your manager, sketch out plans and run them by peers. You never know what you could accomplish. And, you are ALWAYS in charge of your career. What else would you like to learn? What experiences would you like to have? Pursue them.

Looking for more ideas to keep your supply chain connected? Access more tips and resources on my blog. And keep connected by subscribing to my newsletter and email feed of “I’ve Been Thinking…”