Tag Archive: managers

Strategy Isn’t Long Term!

September 6th, 2019

As I meet with countless CEOs and P&L leaders at clients, via connections, at speeches, etc., I pay attention to what is top of mind. Strategy is always top of mind for the most successful business leaders! After all, if a CEO makes in the millions (the top 10 paid CEOs from 2018 made between $66 million and >$500 million), he/she is being paid for more than just executing the plan. Certainly, strategy is integral to the future success of the organization.

Yet, I see a lot of confusion about strategy. It isn’t complex. Strategy is figuring out the ‘what’. Whereas, tactics is the ‘how’. Strategy isn’t necessarily long-term. Who says ‘what’ should be long-term? In fact, some of the most successful CEOs are now focusing on rapid and agile strategy. Isn’t that what we need to succeed in today’s Amazon-impacted, rapidly changing business environment?

Focusing on the ‘what’ focuses on the outcomes and goals. In essence, where should your business end up? As Peter Drucker would say, strategy is “doing the right things”; whereas tactics is “doing things right”. Take a step back and think about his profound thinking. It is easy to spend all your time “doing things right”, isn’t it? It certainly is for me, and I am an expert in strategy!

What do you think Jeff Bezos is thinking? How to execute the best logistics plan or how to control the logistics landscape, just like a chess game? Of course, strategists need managers who are good at both strategy and tactics to make any strategy come true. And it is also true that strategies rarely fail in composition. Yet, more often than not, they fail in execution. Thus, it seems we must have both! We better know which is which and not be thinking strategy and tactics are long-term vs. short-term, or we will go the way of Sears and Toys R’ Us. (Quite sad as I still remember going to Toys R’ Us as a child around Christmas to explore all the possibilities. It was truly an experience!)

Have you thought about your strategy lately? If not, you better get on it before the next Amazon passes you by. And, let’s not get cocky, Sears used to be the Amazon in my lifetime. You never know who the next Amazon will be. If you are interested in a strategic assessment, contact us.

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Recognition & 2017’s LMA Advocate Award Winner

June 19th, 2017

On the 10 year anniversary of my business, I recognized 10 people for 10 years as LMA Advocates – people who have gone over and beyond, resulting in LMA Consulting’s growth and success. I truly appreciate their support, expertise, ideas and feedback. I would not be here today without them – and certainly not leading a growing and leading edge consulting practice that partners with manufacturers and supply chain organizations to create BOLD customer promises and profits. Who doesn’t want to find the win-win-win of customer growth/loyalty, profits and accelerated cash flow?!

Ever since my 10-year bash, I’ve recognized one person each year on the anniversary of LMA Consulting. Thus, on my 12-year anniversary, I’m thrilled to announce Parizad Sethna, VP of Member Services for APICS-IE and Supply Chain Manager at Nestle.

Recognition

Parizad and I collaborate on the APICS-IE Board of Directors, and she has been instrumental in our communications, executive panel and networking symposiums and raising the bar in terms of the value we provide members. She also stands out from the crowd with her creativity, innovation and determination in taking on new areas of responsibility that might be considered outside of her core area of expertise, which I have found particularly valuable with both APICS and LMA Consulting.

One tip to implement this week:

There isn’t a bad time to take stock of whether you are recognizing people enough! Start with those that report to you. Who stands out from the crowd? Make sure your feedback and recognition is specific. Although I went big with a nice award, a simple thank you can go a long way. Of course, you can do both. Don’t recognize too many people as it might deter from the significance. However, you could add another category. For example, I am thinking about adding a category for a high performance manufacturer or distributor. You’ll likely see this coming soon….

Don’t stop with your direct reports! I think an often overlooked opportunity is to recognize your peers and managers. There are many ways to recognize them by putting in a good word, by sending an email, writing them a recommendation on LinkedIn, taking them to lunch etc. Start your juices thinking about recognition.

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…”

 



Do You Really Support Empowerment?

March 28th, 2017
empowerment

To be an effective leader oftentimes means empowering employees to make changes and decisions to help customers even if those decisions don’t align with yours.

The 80/20 of business success stems directly from leadership. The best leaders can make even the worst-performing teams excel and, unfortunately, the weakest leaders can drag down even the best of teams. A few questions to ponder include:

1. Does your culture encourage empowerment? Regardless of what you say, do people believe they will be rewarded for empowering employees?

2. Do your managers jump to answer questions or give their employees a chance to shine?

3. Do you communicate empowerment but would get upset if your employee made an empowered decision that created a month-end shipping crisis?

4. Do your employees understand the guidelines within which they can make an empowered decision?

5. Are you willing to live with and vocally support an empowered decision that doesn’t align with how you would have handled the situation?

 

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Leadership – Making You Feel Important

January 25th, 2017
leadership

As a leader, knowing how to treat people so that they feel important and a part of your company’s success builds a reliable team that will go the extra mile to deliver results.

Of course we talk about leadership more than anything else as it is #1 to business success. Thus, we are always looking for strategies and tips for success. One of our clients clearly prioritizes us — it is clear we are one of her top priorities. How often do you feel that way?

We happened to work with her in more than one company, and it was clear that her team appreciated her leadership style. People quite opposite in personality (who probably wouldn’t agree upon much) seemed to enjoy working with her. Of course, no one is perfect (including her) but she had this particular quality down pat — she knew how to treat people. Do you?

 

So, what are you doing to make your employees, peers, managers, trusted advisors and the like feel important? First, regardless of the fact that it is certainly a nicer way to live your daily work life, it will deliver results. Will you go the extra mile for someone who is rather grumpy and doesn’t seem to appreciate what you do or for someone that makes you feel important?  

Some of the strategies I’ve seen that achieve this goal include the following:

  • Ask for their opinion.
  • Show up to scheduled meetings (sounds really silly but is a BIG deal).
  • Don’t say you have an open door policy and then keep looking at the clock when they show up at 4:50pm.
  • Find out what is important to the person and tailor projects to his/her interest.
  • Appreciate him/her when everything isn’t going perfectly.
  • Take the time to review goals and performance at least quarterly (no matter what crisis is going on).
  • Promote them and their projects to the rest of the organization.
  • Ask how you can help.

Which of these will you start using tomorrow? There is NO reason to wait to make people feel important — after all, people are our #1 asset.

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It Takes All Types of Managers for Success

October 26th, 2015

supply chainMy Dad’s funeral was this weekend, and it went as well as a funeral can go. We tried to make it a celebration of life. He certainly was a family man, and it was easy to remember all his good qualities. He drove me to skating at 4 a.m. many days when I was young even though I’m sure he was tired from a long week without ever complaining and even made a game out of catching green lights on the drive to the ice rink.

I also learned from some of his co-workers from his electrical engineering manager job prior to retirement (9 years ago) that he was amazing in that he was able to effectively perform his position without ever raising his voice or ever getting upset. I’ve found that all different types of managers can be effective – some are gregarious, some are creative, some are motivating, some demonstrate through action and the list goes on. I think it boils down to the following: is your heart in the right place, are you trustworthy and are you competent? If so, you’ll be respected.

One tip to implement this week:

I find that excellent managers defer to those who are gregarious or authoritative. Why are you doing that? Take a step back and think about what type of manager you are and what type you’d like to be. One is not better or worse than the other. Instead, think about your strengths and leverage them. If you build on strengths, you’ll be a better manager than if you try to follow some sort of “model” for good managers. Also, think about your manager. What is his/her strength or talent? Can you point that out to them?

If you are an employee, think about the leaders you interact with every day. Which do you know you can count on? Which would you go to for advice? Encouragement? You might find that you are under-appreciating someone. Take notice and say thank you. It could go a long way!

Several of my colleagues, clients and friends went over and beyond to lend support during this difficult time since my Dad’s stroke and passing. It certainly helps – what you might be able to do that takes 1 minute could make someone’s day or provide just the encouragement to take a leap forward.

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…”