9.17.2015

Get Your Team in Gear

One of the most important jobs of a leader is working hard to get the best performance out of your team. This seems easier for some people than others, but it is always a moving target.  Performance can always improve in big and/or small ways. Our task as leaders is to communicate expectations, help individuals understand where they are today in relation to these goals and then invest time and resources coaching, training, educating and motivating each team member to shrink the gap between the two.

How do we help our team bring their best performance every day? Much of it depends on the type of work, the struggles faced every day, the reward for success, etc.  No matter where your team is headed, the following parts must be in the engine or there is little to zero chance even your best team members will be able to sustain over the long-haul.

Get Your Team in Gear:

1. Help each team member understand how to measure his/her output. Not being able to measure performance is one of the major signs of a horrible job.

2. Communicate your expectations of every input he/she brings to the table:  attitude, work ethic, skills, talents, experience, relationship building, problem solving, creativity, optimism, etc. It is very difficult to know if I'm giving my best when I don't know what "best" means to my boss, supervisor, manager, leader, investors, etc.

3. Meet with each team member on a regular basis (monthly, four times a year, etc.) to discuss goals and performance.  Discuss successes, struggles, sources of struggles, observations, their observations and suggestions for improvement. Call these "employee evaluations" if you'd like. Just don't call them rare.

4. Be ready to have a difficult conversation if you find performance doesn't equal expectations. It is surprising how much productivity is lost just because a boss doesn't want to struggle through having a tough conversation with someone.

5. When you notice accomplishment, communicate it based on how that person prefers.  If you know they enjoy public recognition, do it in a group setting.  If you know they are more private, do it on a one-on-one basis. Recognition for good work is one of the common signs of a great job.

6. Invest resources in helping them grow, professionally and personally. Same here.

7. From time to time, check to make sure each team member feels like they are being able to use their strengths at work.  Even when compensation is high and work is enjoyable to most, when someone is doing work he/she believes doesn't fit their personality or core skill set, this can be a major source of demotivation. We as leaders can't expect someone to give his/her best when his/her best work is not even being asked to be brought to the table.

8. Create experiences where your team can create memories together.  It is amazing how performance improves when there is a strong sense of community, friendship and shared investment.

These ideas were shared as part two of a three-part series of business development seminars I presented for the BBB Serving Central Oklahoma on September 16, 2015.  Learn more about the series and value the BBB can bring to your business here. Let me know if I can bring these messages to your next conference, retreat and/or training.  rhett (at) yournextspeaker.com

9.10.2015

My iPhone App List

Here is how I stay connected and productive via my iPhone 6 and Mini iPad. Search for any of these in your app store to learn more. Comment on applications not on this list or on this list you find valuable. The apps in blue are my top, absolutely mission-critical apps.

Business Tools
  • Evernote - Next level note taking, sharing, organizing and collaborating.
  • Dropbox - File sharing.
  • LogMeIn - Access to home/work computer from your mobile devices.
  • PayPal - Give and receive money.
  • Square Register - Receive payments on mobile device with a card swiper.

Home Tools
  • LifeChurch.tv Bible - Read the word.
  • Battery Doctor - Essential tools that help improve your devices' battery life.
  • Chrome - Google's browser to access all bookmarks, reading lists, and browsing history from any device and/or computer where you use Chrome and are logged into your Google account.
  • Bing - Good back-up browser.
  • Amazon - Shop for anything.  The Prime membership is worth it to save money on shipping.
  • MyAT&T - Monitor your phone bill and data usage.
  • Discover - Monitor your credit card bill. 
  • Harmony Control - Requires hardware in your home, but great "all-in-one" TV remote control.
  • Grocery IQ - Essential app for adding items to your grocery store list and sharing with anyone else that is also adding to the list and/or going to the store. Updates instantly.
  • WiFiTransfer - Powerful little tool that allows you to easily move large files from your device to your computer when both devices are on the same wi-fi network. I use it to quickly offload videos from my iPhone to my laptop.
  • SpeedTest - Great little tool to check the speed of your cell network and wifi network.
  • Diptic - Create images that have more than one of your images in them.

Content Creating
  • Blogger - Run a blog like this one.
  • RhymeZone - Find definitions, synonyms, and rhymes.
  • Merriam-Webster Dictionary - Definitions and synonyms.

Travel
  • Google Maps - Powerful GPS tool.
  • TripIt - Keep all your travel plans in one place.
  • Orbitz - Find flights, hotels and rental cars.
  • Uber - Get a ride cheaper and nicer than a cab.
  • Yelp - Find restaurants. 
  • American Airlines - Fly the friendly skies.
  • GateGuru - Find shops and services in airports.
  • OpenTable - Make restaurant reservations.
  • AirBnB - Find cheaper, nicer and more conveniently located places to stay.
  • Starbucks - Coffee.  Period. :)
  • FlightAware - Check flight times and current status.
  • SeatGuru - Find the best seats on aircraft equipment your airline flies.
  • Hilton Hhonors - Find a hotel.
  • Hipmunk - Book flights.
  • Waze - A user-updated GPS mapping app. Get updates while driving on police, traffic jams, detours, etc.
  • TravelMath - Find out how much it will cost to drive vs. fly vs. walk. 

Weather
  • Dark Sky - Simple weather app.
  • MyRadar - Simple, but more detailed weather app.

Time
  • Timeless - Time.
  • NiceClock - Time.
  • FaceClock - Time.
  • RYClock - You guessed it, time.

Social
  • Facebook - Faces.
  • Twitter - Tweets. 
  • Pinterest - Everything and anything.
  • Instagram - Pictures.
  • Hootsuite - Powerful place to write one status and send it to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and/or Instagram with the push of one button.  You can also schedule statuses to go out in the future.
  • Facebook Messenger - Faces texting one another.
  • LinkedIn - Professionally dressed faces.
  • GroupMe - Cool group messaging app.
  • Periscope - Like YouTube only it is live and viewable to any of your connected Periscope friends or anyone that happens to click on your video in the app.  Cool app for showing friends, family members, customers, students, etc. what is going on in your world right now.

Running
  • Nike+ Running - Run Forrest.
  • Nike+ Fuel - Track your movement.
  • Nike+ Move - Track your movement.

Apple
  • Podcasts - Discover stories and entertainment.
  • Apple TV Remote - Control your Apple TV.
  • iBooks - Read. 
  • Find iPhone - Find other devices (yours and your family members) that use your Apple account.
  • Keynote - Apple's PowerPoint.
  • iPhoto - Photos.
  • iTunes Festival - Annual concerts.

Entertainment
  • Spotify - Where all great music lives in streaming format.  When you are a member ($12 per month) you can offload the music to your devices.  I have 35 GB of music offloaded.  My most used app.
  • Netflix - Movies, documentaries and TV shows.
  • Flixster - Movie reviews and times.
  • Crackle - Movies, documentaries and TV shows.
  • Kindle - Amazon's book reader.
  • Cox TV Connect - See what is coming on and set your recorder.  For COX cable users only.
  • Kids-In-Mind - See how kid-friendly movies are.  They rank from 1-10 language, violence and sexual content.
  • Shazam - Learn what songs are that you hear around you.
  • YouTube - Videos.
  • IMDB - Movie and TV show reviews and information.
  • USAToday - News.
  • ClearTune - Guitar tuner.
  • Ultimate Guitar Tabs - Sheet music, lyrics and guitar chords.

Sports
  • ESPN - Sports information and video/audio content.
  • ESPN Radio - Sports radio.
  • Dallas Cowboys - America's team.  And mine.  :)
  • Team Stream - Sports information.
  • NFL Mobile - Football.
  • College Football - Younger football.
  • NCAA Sports - College sports information.
  • OrangePower - Oklahoma State University sports information.
  • FOX Sports Go - Sports video and audio from FOX.
  • Yahoo Sports - Sports information.
  • GolfLogix - Golf course GPS tool.  Let's you see how close or far you really are from the green. :)