RobertSchultek

About Bob Schultek

Bob has more than 30 years of service as a senior sales and business development executive, CEO and business owner. His expertise includes customer-partnered business development, strategic planning, sales management, customer service, operational alignment, lean process analysis and improvement, quality assurance, and performance management. He has worked in the energy, medical device, bioscience & pharmaceutical, discrete and process manufacturing, packaging and distribution, communications and information technology, and business-to-business service industries.

Hostages of Time

 Another New Year’s celebration has passed. It’s a moment each year when time stands still, providing us with a precious instant when we can reflect, and hope.

It’s also a moment that makes us acutely aware just how much of our lives is controlled by the monitoring of time. In fact, I’d suggest that we are so conscious of time’s drumbeat, so busy trying to make each minute of every day productive, that we’ve become hostages of time. The movie Groundhog Day comes to mind!

These moments, when time seems to stop, are so rare that we should not waste them by hurrying back to our routines. Cherish these seconds by recalling what is most valuable to you, what makes your life uncommon. Ensure that when your time ends, you will have no regrets.

For at that moment, you will not regret that you didn’t close one more deal or finish one more task – but you will be sorry about time not spent with family and friends and associates. Throughout all of human history, despite the unrelenting passage of time, it is our relationships that make our lives meaningful, providing the highest return on our invested time.

How can you spend more […]

By |January 3rd, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

Business or Busyness

Every leader grapples with time management. Whatever your plan for the day, it’s soon altered by circumstances. And when the opportunity arrives to regain control, there’s a choice to be made – business or busyness.

Checking email, opening mail, etc. are the first things many of us do when we get time. But countless hours are wasted on uncomplicated activities that demand your time and compromise your productivity. It’s easier to move from one simple task to the next rather than following up with key customers, reviewing your key performance indicators, or finishing that plan.

These tips may help you quickly shift back to productive activity:

Who holds you accountable? Asking this question often helps reset priorities. If you’re not investing sufficient time to build your business and execute strategies, then who will? If you are a business owner, then consider hiring a mentor or trusted advisor who can accelerate your progress and hold you accountable.

How is your plan progressing? Make your plan status readily visible so it is one of the first things you see when you return to your desk. Having a multi-year plan is vital, but the power of planning lies in the details, the integrated actions that enable strategies […]

By |December 20th, 2016|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

Bargaining for Change

For leaders, change is a perpetual companion, sometimes arising from circumstances and sometimes by plan. When driven by strategy, change always involves a bargain.

If the bargain you’re offering is not generating an adequate reaction, then there are 2 remedies.

Your bargain involves an “if-then” proposition.
“If you follow this methodology, then you’ll accelerate that production line.”
“If you take these steps, then your profitability will be more sustainable.”
“If you operate like this, then your sales will grow faster.”
When you’re not generating sufficient response to your “if-then” proposal, consider these two scenarios:

There’s not enough “if.” Perhaps the target audience doesn’t want what you’re proposing as much as you need them to want it. Perhaps they don’t care enough, and just don’t want to tackle the change you’re promoting.

There’s not enough “then.” The more likely scenario is that they need the ‘if,’ but don’t believe you can deliver the “then.” Just because you claim you’re going to deliver, doesn’t mean you have the credibility to compel their engagement in making the change.

When the response to your proposal is less than required, consider adding more ‘if’ but definitely add more ‘then.’
How well is your change initiative progressing?
What’s limiting its progress?
 
 

 

By |December 14th, 2016|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

The 3 Key Moments of Enduring Customer Relationships

It’s no secret that enduring customer relationships are grounded in what the customer believes about your organization – how they feel about your commitment to their success.

There are 3 decisive moments that validate the value and endurance of your customer relationships.

Doing more than expected during these 3 key moments strengthens the customer’s trust in and reliance on your company, profoundly influencing why they continue to choose you.

Your “First Contact” Moment:

Customers care only about the financial and competitive advantages you can produce for them.  The more strategic and long-term these benefits are, the higher is your probability of building an enduring relationship rather than one based on being better, cheaper or faster than the competition. Prior to your first meeting, and during your dialogue with a prospect, invest time and energy to learn about their story, their issues, their goals and why they’re important. Prospects become customers once they confirm that you care about their success, can meet their needs, and could exceed their expectations.

Your “Promises Kept” Moment:

Customers don’t buy products or services – they buy your promise to produce strategic value for them. Deliver what you promised, and ensure that the customer recognizes this.  Deliver more than […]

By |December 6th, 2016|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

3 Leadership Factors That Drive Growth

An effective leader realizes that sustaining growth, or reigniting it, depends on the depth to which his or her people are committed. Successful, dedicated teams are bonded by more than their aspiration to achieve a shared goal.

These 3 leadership factors result from the awareness that your people are your most sustainable competitive advantage for driving growth.

Purpose: Commitment cannot be compelled; it must be inspired. People must choose to invest discretionary effort above and beyond their workload, and that choice comes from their belief in the meaningfulness of their work. People who seek to commit, want to make a difference. They want to know how their efforts contribute to the success and value of the business. Leaders who articulate a Purpose that describes why the organization exists and how it makes a difference for its customers tap into this motivation. The resulting commitment empowers imagination and vision, enables the overcoming of obstacles, and provides the fuel that elevates performance and achieves goals.

Principles: The people on committed teams know what to expect from each other because they have developed a set of core values that define how they will act in pursuit of their Purpose and goals. And they […]

By |November 29th, 2016|Grolistic, Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

5 Questions – How Leadership Drives Growth

Over a five-year period, the financial performance of organizations whose senior leaders were highly engaged with their personnel was significantly stronger than those companies who followed a different model. Net income growth was almost 18 times higher, and stock price was nearly 3 times higher.

While their high level of engagement isn’t the only reason for this exceptional performance, it is clear that leadership behaviors focused on key engagement practices consistently deliver better results.

Here are 5 questions about engaged leadership behaviors:

People choose to follow leaders they judge to be credible. Credibility is grounded in authenticity. Authentic leaders act in accordance with their values. Are your actions aligned with your and your organization’s core values? Are you leading by example? Do you walk the talk?

You can’t command commitment; you have to inspire it. Your people are your most sustainable competitive advantage. How are you stimulating the great energy and talents of your people to invest discretionary effort towards making a difference and achieving goals?

Organizations with sustained profitability create a culture of experimentation that challenges the status quo. They look outward to identify new growth opportunities, remain alert for innovative ideas, and pursue continuous improvement. What forum do you […]

By |November 15th, 2016|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

The Two Driving Visions of Change

For some, considering a new idea or approach, a change from the current method, represents an opportunity to improve the existing. For others, it represents a threat – what if things go wrong?

Conflicting perspectives, driven by people in an organization, with different experiences, who see the world differently. They are the opposing sides of a proposed change, the two driving visions of change.

The supporters of change seek to challenge the current line and accelerate progress. Change offers the chance to improve, to learn, to grow. They insist on investing in the better tool or technology that helps them move faster, even if it costs more than what was previously purchased. In their minds, moving faster protects them from competitive threats and enables growth. They are future-focused and all about pursuing opportunity. They drive by looking forward through the windshield.

The detractors on the other side seek to defend the status quo. They want to avoid the possible failure, disappointment, wasted effort and negative attention that could occur by pursuing change. There’s no need to spend more money for a better tool when what they’ve been using works well; instead, they prefer to change suppliers to get their current tool for […]

By |November 2nd, 2016|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

Crafting Price Satisfaction

When the selling/problem solving process is done well, both buyer and seller can be satisfied with the final price.

To earn your price, and leave the customer feeling satisfied with that decision, preparation is the key. Use these 3 methods to maximize preparation:

Start early. Ensuring that both parties will be satisfied when the deal is done begins with your decision to do more than resolve a customer’s current pain. Early in the discovery process, position your proposed solution as an investment in the customer’s future success, rather than as just a necessary cost paid to address today’s problem. Learn about the customer’s business.  Why is removing the pain important?  What defines success for the customer? What barriers must be overcome to achieve their goals? How does your solution produce quantifiable benefits that address these questions and move them towards the future?

Help them make money. Convert your promised quantifiable benefits into money. Decisions are evaluated and made using the language of money; it’s the language of management. How is an investment in your solution going to produce a strategic financial advantage for them? Before proposing a solution that reduces a customer’s cost, look first to a means of increasing […]

By |October 25th, 2016|Grolistic, Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

Breaking Things Makes You Stronger

Leaders are hired to break things. To generate, and sustain, improved results, they push past the status quo, making a purposeful choice for productive change.

And because our economy is so dynamic, breaking things must become perpetual. Managing the risk associated with continuous adaptation, and using energy to defeat fear, is a key characteristic of leadership in this era.

A more robust and sustainable business is derived from these benefits of change:

Deciding to change reaffirms control. The fear of losing control constrains change initiatives. Sometimes a crisis is necessary to overcome that fear.  Every day we’re reminded that few things remain the same over time, so deciding from the start to embrace change reaffirms control. Choosing to adapt encourages movement, towards all that is possible because of that decision. That movement may even avoid a pending crisis.

Choosing to change increases versatility. Resisting change only elevates the stress felt each time we’re confronted with the need to adapt. So much energy is invested in resistance that we’re blinded to opportunities that can only occur through evolution. Choosing change increases versatility, a valuable asset in times of perpetual motion, enabling a commitment to the pursuit of new prospects.

Embracing change expands knowledge. If nothing ever […]

By |October 18th, 2016|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

3 Factors That Persuade Customers To Choose You

In this age of limited time and unlimited access to information, customers want more than better, faster and cheaper. They specify 3 factors that persuade them to choose you.

 Customers seek to learn if you are more interested in helping them make money or in taking their money. They choose you once they sense your commitment to their success, and evaluate your motivation using these 3 criteria:

Sharing valuable insight about market trends. Customers understand that their exposure to new concepts or challenges evolving in their market may be limited, and they recognize that they can be overwhelmed with readily accessible, but unfocused, information from the web. They value the expertise of a salesperson that knows their business, shares trends, novel ideas and other market insights, and helps them prioritize possible solutions on the basis of strategic value produced for them.

Proposing multiple potential solutions. Customers appreciate the opportunity to explore two or three alternative recommendations rather than just one. Collaborating with you to evaluate the pros and cons of each potential solution encourages a more transparent discussion about the options, reducing the customer’s decision risk and enabling an assessment of your commitment to their success.

Remaining engaged. Customers expect […]

By |October 11th, 2016|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments