News and Events

Craving Dialogue

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

Without dialogue, there can be no conflict resolution, no shared commitment, no progress.The word dialogue implies a two-way conversation as opposed to monologue. But this is misleading because dialogue is actually a contraction from the Greek words for “through” and “words” which suggests a focus on discovering meaning.The ancient Greeks learned that people reasoning together, rather than as individuals, are more likely to uncover the truth about an issue. By questioning each other, carefully analyzing ideas, identifying inconsistencies, and searching for shared perspectives, without attacking or insulting each other, people gradually gained deeper understanding and insight.What passes for communication today is often crosstalk that renders no genuine meaning or resolution. Speaking at or past each other is the norm, and most times, no one is listening.During these days of rapid change and growing uncertainty, making progress, achieving results, in business or in community, demands dialogue. Without it, we can’t overcome differences, build meaning and purpose, or establish shared goals. Dialogue is the necessary ingredient for productive collaboration within our organizations and communities. Doing it well requires listening with empathy, searching for common ground, exploring new ideas and perspectives, and exposing unexamined assumptions.

The basic […]

Valuing Observation

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

These days, we spend much of our time focused on screens. 

Such an existence can diminish our offscreen awareness of the people and the activity around us. Having become increasingly dependent on technology, and inhibited by masks and distancing, our connecting and observational skills erode. What we observe informs what we think, and influences how we act; a weakened observation capacity hinders our ability to learn, to restore and to grow.Observation is the most direct method for collecting information, and it is the best means for studying human behavior. It’s not just seeing, but carefully watching and trying to thoroughly understand what’s being seen to gain insight about it. Data collected via observation is accurate and reliable. Observation helps us more efficiently interpret related verbal response. Information is more trustworthy when it is gathered via eyes versus ears alone. Leaders rely on observation to launch value creation: observing leads to assessing, and then to acting. They use it to discover what customers, and associates, truly value, and to strengthen relationships. And, they rely on it to motivate employee and team performance.Perhaps this holiday season will enable a reduction in screen time, and provide an opportunity to strengthen observation skills and refresh relationships.

Wishing you […]

By |December 16th, 2020|Grolistic, News and Events|0 Comments

Cultivating Shared Accountability

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

High performing teams embrace shared accountability. Having committed that the ownership of their decisions is shared by the team rather than by their leader alone, they rely on one another to achieve results. The leaders of these teams cultivate this environment of shared responsibility by:

Ensuring that all team members operate under common standards of performance, fostering appreciation and satisfaction;Encouraging team members to challenge the status quo, to experiment, and to leverage their initiative and experience, driving improvements or innovations;Elevating respect for team commitments to meeting deadlines and delivering on expectations;Educating the team on setting priorities and adapting them when changing circumstances demand;Establishing the means for team members to challenge and support one another when individual performance slips;Embracing dialogue within the team, and cross-functionally, to overcome obstacles, to accelerate activity, and to make a difference for customers, associates and the business.

These leaders understand their responsibility to accelerate progress towards their organization’s goals, while operating in accordance with company values. They promote a sense of shared ownership in the future of the business. They recognize their team’s longing to do work that matters, to make a difference, which earns them respect and the appreciation of their leader and company. […]

By |July 15th, 2020|Grolistic, News and Events|0 Comments

Why Strategies Succeed

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

“Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night, with no lights, while looking out the back window. The best way to predict the future is to create it.” ~Peter Drucker 

Most companies rely on strategic planning to help create their future. 

Seeking the best strategy to achieve their goals, one that leverages their strengths and competitive advantage, they compile market information, gather intelligence on their competitors and clarify customer needs. They identify products or services that would best satisfy these needs, and decide how to position and brand them in the market. To better predict the future, they use a variety of planning tools, from SWOT analyses and scenario planning to Balanced Scorecard and Blue Ocean strategy. 

But despite all of this effort, the outcome of strategic planning often resembles New Year’s resolutions – exciting ideas, poor implementation. Companies often focus too heavily on defining the right strategy rather than on implementing it. As a result, 90% of strategies are never executed. 

Strategy is not the plan, but the series of calculated actions required to execute the plan, to move the company towards its desired outcome. Strategy is execution. Strategic planning establishes the direction of the business, but it’s the execution […]

Relationships Deliver Results

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

“You cannot continuously improve interdependent systems and processes until you progressively perfect interdependent, interpersonal relationships.” ~Stephen Covey 

A leader’s ability to improve results depends on the strength of her or his relationships. Organizations are living entities and relationships are their lifeblood. 

Building strong relationships is not about the amount of interaction but rather the quality of it. Leaders earn their right to lead through these interactions. A leader’s commitment, credibility and authenticity are constantly assessed. Are promises kept? Are contributions appreciated? Are openness and integrity standard behaviors? Is there a willingness to do more than expected, to lead from the front, engaging with their team to make things better, risking as much or more than them? 

Strong relationships enable improvement breakthroughs. These don’t happen until the people impacted by a change are actively engaged with their leaders in designing and implementing it. And that participation won’t be forthcoming unless they choose to follow their leader, believing that doing so will make a difference for them and the company. 

Strong leader-team relationships can transform an improvement initiative from a list of tasks into a creative exercise, bringing the company’s purpose to life and moving it towards its vision and aspirations. This sense of creation releases […]

By |May 21st, 2020|Grolistic, News and Events|0 Comments

Leading with Attitude

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

A leader’s attitude is always on display; but during a crisis, people pay closer attention. 

While no one can control the virus attacking us, every employee is watching to discover how their leader is reacting to the challenge. Effective leaders focus on what they can control, and that includes their attitude. It’s a choice they make every day. Acting with a positive mindset provides a model for their personnel, a direction to follow. 

Life does not arbitrarily impose itself on us. Rather, we choose which of life’s many offerings to accept. We can’t change how things are, but we can change how we will approach today. Rather than being negative or disoriented by our current challenge, leaders look for opportunities to energize and inspire their teams. They know that a positive attitude is more contagious than the virus. 

Leaders appreciate that their attitude reflects their expectations, and it’s those expectations that generate energy for their people. They recognize that their thoughts, words, actions and results are influenced by their attitude. 

These leaders are mindful that their thoughts become their words…that their words become their actions…that their actions reveal their character…and that their character validates their effectiveness as a leader. 

What attitude will you express today?

How can you leverage a positive attitude to […]

Discovery Defeats Commoditization

Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

The market cultivates commoditization – easy access to information, simplistic assessments meant to hastily define you, and alternatives that prioritize price over value. All is done with minimal dialogue, to hasten the transaction, saving time and money for the supplier, and perhaps for you too. If your objective is to be perceived as a commodity supplier, then this process is effective for you. 

But if your strategy is to be distinctive, then you must find an efficient means to discover what a customer values, and then propose solutions that will deliver the required benefits. 

A discovery process reveals how your knowledge and expertise, delivered through your product or service, creates value for the customer. It uncovers a customer’s unstated needs, along with their stated ones, and resolves why these are important. Asking the right questions, in the right order, clarifies the customer’s current circumstances, their aspirations in addition to needs, and the barriers to be overcome so goals can be achieved. The resulting dialogue heightens the customer’s sense that prompt action is necessary, while providing insight into their decision-making process. 

Discovery motivates the customer to do most of the talking, providing you with an opportunity to demonstrate empathy, competency and a commitment to […]

The Dialogue of Change

No one can be compelled to change, so no change initiative can succeed without dialogue between the advocates and those impacted by the change. 

Bob Schultek Author of The Gauntlet

Beginning this discussion before the initiative is launched provides the opportunity for people to exchange conflicting opinions, explore possibilities and discuss obstacles as a precursor for committing to support the change.

For the advocates, the launch dialogue is an exercise in persuasion, intended to start an open, productive conversation with those impacted, aimed at convincing them that the change is worthy of their support.

Those affected by the change need an opportunity to express their concerns before they will allow themselves to consider proposed benefits.

The most successful change dialogues begin in response to an empathetic message from the advocates that expresses a sincere interest to uncover the worries of the affected parties. Asking those impacted how they interpret the change initiative, and listening to their responses, provides clues that enable the two sides to find common ground.

How do you encourage productive dialogue with those impacted by a planned change?

What methods have been most effective in earning support for your change initiatives?

Bob Schultek Releases New Book

Bob Schultek’s new book The Gauntlet is now available on Amazon.

The Gauntlet tells the tale of a business in crisis, and how the leader, his team and his family experience a transformational journey as they confront the challenge of business survival. Told through the eyes of the senior leader, the story describes his concurrent, integrated struggles to change the course of his business while preserving his family’s well-being. The trials encountered by the company and people described in the story, and the lessons they learn during their ordeal, are authentic, based on actual events and shared by numerous small and mid-sized organizations.

By |March 21st, 2017|Grolistic, News and Events|0 Comments

WIRE-Net Seminar Series: Are Your “Peddlers” Killing Your Business?

WIRE-Net Seminars, presented by U.S. Bank, are affordable, convenient, and timely—keeping you up to date with the latest trends. You can learn from industry professionals with first-hand knowledge of current best practices and trends in areas that matter most to manufacturers.
Register Here!
Are Your “Peddlers” Killing Your Business?
Customers have many options available to fill their needs. It’s easier to treat every possible supplier like a commodity. When your sales people respond to inquiries by telling them how you are better, faster, or cheaper than the competition, you confirm their perception of you as a peddler – you lose the opportunity to be distinctive.

Defeat commoditization . . . separate from competitors . . . accelerate growth.

Understanding how to be partner and not peddler is the focus of this workshop.

Partnering is more profitable than peddling

Avoid the three common excuses that position you as another commodity
Strengthen your distinctive offering
Produce strategic value for customers

Make your prospecting more productive

Use a focused process to discover new prospects
Improve sales productivity
Identify new value-generating opportunities

This is a working session – not a presentation – and it will energize you!

Presented by Bob Schultek, Grolistic, and Bob Sullivan, InfoGrow.
Bob Schultek and Bob Sullivan each have 30 plus years of proven business […]

By |May 5th, 2015|Grolistic, News and Events|0 Comments