Grolistic

High Tech – High Touch

Bob Schultek
Author of 
The Gauntlet

When I see three or four folks sitting around a table, each interacting more with a phone than with one another, I wonder why they have chosen to meet.  Why is being together not valued more highly?  Where’s the conversation, the laughter, the stories?  What’s the nature of their relationship? If there were no phones to distract them, how would they react?

Experts have confirmed that our increasing dependence on technology creates a corresponding rise in our need for the human touch. We rely on our phones and other technology to help us be productive in today’s society, but our human nature demands a level of personal intimacy and development in order to endure. Our relationships fulfill this basic human need, preserving a healthy balance as the use of technology expands.

Think about a crisis situation, like the recent hurricanes. How would it feel to have your home damaged, and to be without water, power or cell service for days?

Circumstances like these compel a greater awareness that relationships are the foundation of society; they provide the human touch necessary for people to survive when technology is not available. Neighbor helps neighbor, and people share resources; folks talk to […]

By |November 15th, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

How Does a Trust Relationship Begin?

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

For trust to begin growing, the right intent must be readily apparent. Sharing a valuable insight, without expecting to get anything in return, is a natural first step. When no insistent ulterior motive is involved, the kindness of the offer is appreciated. Making the offer implies sacrifice – it took an investment of time and resource to discover the valued information that is now shared, with no repayment expected in return. The wrong intent is sensed when the offer is a one-time only proposition, done a bit regretfully; the offer doesn’t feel generous.

Offering discounts or giving products or services away for free is not true generosity; this doesn’t demonstrate caring. Because you’re an unknown entity, these offers are compromised by their lack of linkage to a thoughtful discovery effort intended to identify a real need. Earning trust takes time, and it is true generosity that enables others to see you as being genuine in your interest.

True generosity reveals human vulnerability, demonstrated by openly caring and sharing. Even if a generous offer does not immediately lead to a new trust relationship, the vulnerability embedded in the offer invites a response and enables the building of trust.

It’s generosity that is the genesis of trust.
How often do you […]

By |November 7th, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

3 Steps to a High Performing Culture

Culture is the glue that binds an organization together, and it’s the hardest thing for competitors to copy. Your story, your purpose and your values are what make your business distinctive. When culture is carved into a unique identity, with an uncommon brand promise and a clear set of behavioral expectations, your people learn how their contributions help the organization succeed. Culture is what enables your people to evolve as your most sustainable competitive advantage.

Yet some companies continue to think that the aim of strengthening culture is to make their people feel good about where they work. In reality, as high-performing companies know, stronger cultural alignment helps employees, and thus the business, perform better.  With improving results as the primary goal, try these 3 steps to reinforce the impact of your culture:

Establish a common understanding of your culture and metrics to monitor it. Revisit your story and purpose with the entire organization. Then, assign several senior executives to conduct small-group discussions with informal leaders in the organization about which of your values or cultural traits need attention. How do they describe a specific company value in practice? What does it look like to demonstrate a winning attitude, or integrity, or collaboration? Document the described common behaviors and communicate them.

Focus on the few values that matter most. High performing teams share values like results orientation (how do we […]

By |October 31st, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

Pursuing Mastery

Bob Schultek
Author of 
The Gauntlet

Pursuing mastery in the workplace can take several forms. It can refer to an extraordinary competence, related to technical excellence or subject matter expertise. Under this perception, masters are those who have the highest level, a “state-of-the-art,” understanding and technique in a given discipline. There is a compulsory set of specific skills to be learned and applied.

But for leaders, encouraging their personnel to pursue the mastery of a function or process can help each individual in a team discover how he or she makes a difference. This insight provides the inspiration necessary for people to invest discretionary effort in delivering productive change and improved results. The pursuit of mastery releases a person’s creativity and ingenuity, boosting curiosity, initiative and imagination. It asks, “why not” instead of “why,” pushing the boundaries of established knowledge and practice.

In a highly competitive, dynamic market, encouraging the pursuit of mastery should be sustained as a factor of culture. Exceptional leaders understand that everyone has the potential for mastery, an awareness that can bond an organization together. Matthew May says it well: “It is not enough that we become the best at something, we must become the best for something.”
How are you encouraging the pursuit of mastery
in your organization?

How […]

By |October 24th, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

The 3 “Cs” of Exceptional Service

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

Recently, my awareness was raised about the great diversity of customer service experiences we encounter every day. During a recent hotel stay, my perception of exceptional service was redefined. Every staff person I met at this facility – at the door, at the front desk, in the restaurant, in the hallways and in a meeting room support role – shared a common purpose of sustaining their guests’ comfort and satisfaction. They were well trained and ever vigilant, consistently demonstrating these three behaviors.

They were caring.
Heads were up and eyes were focused outward, towards their guests. No cell phones were visible. They were conscientious, empathetic and humble, consistently demonstrating a strong sense of duty, shared accountability and reliability. Greetings were warm and genuine, almost as if we knew each other. A common phrase was: “How else can I assist you or make you more comfortable?” When working near the lobby, I was frequently offered coffee, tea, water or other beverage. The level of care and respect they exhibited to all guests, and towards each other, made it evident that each staff member wanted to make a difference for their visitors.
They were curious.
Curiosity is often described as a person’s hunger for […]

By |October 17th, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

Discovery Questions That Provoke Awareness

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

When we need help to resolve a problem, none of us wants to be sold; but we do appreciate the opportunity to explore what we value and why, without the high pressure tactics.A customer may have a good handle on his or her specific challenge or goal to be achieved, but often there is less clarity about why achievement is important. Resolving the problem may address a visible, troubling short term pain point, but could the solution be configured to also contribute to the achievement of a longer term objective, one that produces sustainable strategic value?

Asking provocative questions elevates the customer’s awareness of this option. They challenge the customer to think more broadly and to see things differently. They can help the customer align divergent interests, clarify goals, understand inherent biases, and identify mistaken perceptions.

Provocative questions are designed to challenge the customer to think in ways they hadn’t previously considered. “Have you considered . . . ? Can I ask why you . . . ? Where you aware that . . . ? Have you seen . . . ?  What was the motive behind . . . ?” Answers to these questions provide insights for the customer, illuminating how priorities influenced […]

By |October 11th, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

Leadership Happens in the Moments

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

Every day, there are moments when you can choose to lead. Leadership is more about these moments than it is about accomplishing grand initiatives.  Making a difference is all about these moments.

One member of your team might be stuck and need your guidance or suggestions to open another path.

When a choice between two possible options is required, rather than immediately making the decision, you ask your team to consider if one alternative emerges as the better choice when the quantifiable benefits of the alternatives, and timing of those benefits, are evaluated on the basis of which option strengthens the company’s competitive advantage and better fulfills its Purpose.

An associate may reveal an ongoing conflict with a peer, offering you an opportunity to recommend a means of resolution that aligns with your company’s core values.

When speaking to a group about the future of your business, you paint a vision that is grounded in your organization’s culture of recognizing your people as your competitive advantage, challenging the status quo, and encouraging every associate to invest discretionary effort.

Each day, you seek opportunities to thank someone for a job well done.

There are moments like these in every day when you can choose to lead, and […]

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

Performance Makes the Difference

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

There are leaders who believe that discussing performance with an employee, using a structured process, is a waste of time for the organization and for the employee. If the process is conducted inappropriately, then they may be right. Some businesses have ceased performance discussions entirely.On the other hand, when leaders believe that their people make the difference, then they appreciate their responsibility to invest in their human resources, initiated through individual discussions about performance and development.

It’s the actions of employees that execute strategies and achieve goals. And if you value the role that culture plays in the success of your organization, then knowing how they act to deliver results is vital information.

Performance discussions offer a valued opportunity for a leader and subordinate to share uninterrupted access to one another, investing precious time to discuss issues that otherwise might not be addressed. The impact of this intense, focused interaction on both parties should not be underestimated. When facilitated well by the leader, the subordinate is recognized for contributions and motivated to strengthen professional competencies that may lead to greater responsibility. For the leader, these discussions provide a chance to clarify expectations and to demonstrate a sustained commitment to the development of people which often inspires them […]

By |September 27th, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

Maximum Output & Human Capital

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

Our capitalistic economy promotes efficient business operation as a means to maximize profit. Operating efficiently means that systems which drive the business processes are performing optimally, with functioning elements synchronized to consistently deliver quality work on time and within established cost standards. All components of the system, including the human assets, perform best under these circumstances, and can sustain targeted output with minimal stress.But since competition drives capitalism, there are times when output must be maximized, disturbing optimal performance, increasing system stress, and degrading components. Under traditional capitalism, the mindset is that parts failing under maximum output can be replaced.

But this notion fails with respect to investments in human capital.  Treating people like they are disposable spawns lasting negative consequences for any business that inhibits a return to optimal performance…poor quality, burnout, loss of purpose, higher personnel turnover.

In an age where substitute materials can be are easily acquired, where access to information is readily available, and where technological advantage cannot long be maintained, people are an organization’s most sustainable competitive advantage. People make the difference for customers and for the business. Allowing the degradation of high performing personnel in times of maximum output compromises the ability of people to make […]

By |September 20th, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments

Intimacy and Satisfaction

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

When you last faced a purchase decision, what helped you feel more comfortable with your choice?  What gave you confidence that your judgement was appropriate and correct?

You had worked through the analysis and were satisfied with it…but in retrospect, there was something more that convinced you that your decision was the right one. This level of satisfaction is most often due to a productive experience with your salesperson.

At first, your basic needs were explored…the ones you were prepared to share. But then, the salesperson asked about your business, what you do, why doing it is important to you, and how you try to make a difference for your customers. He or she listened attentively, never distracted, eyes always on yours.

The salesperson then likely shared a bit of his or her story, including why being with you was important; you sensed authenticity in what you heard, with accountability for your satisfaction being mentioned. Next came some additional questions, asked with sincerity and empathy; these inquiries probed beyond your stated needs to discover why the needs you mentioned are valuable to you, how meeting them helps you strengthen your business or provide more value for your customers. There was no pressure to respond; on the other hand, this was […]

By |September 13th, 2017|Grolistic, Grolistic, Grolistic...No-Excuses Growth Blog|0 Comments