Hiring the right person is only the beggining. You have to give them the right tools and train them to your standards.

Getting the New Guy Started

By | Hiring, Leadership, Leverage, Operations | No Comments

Hiring the right person is only the beggining. You have to give them the right tools and train them to your standards.When I first started managing and supervising others, I thought it was about giving the person the tools, telling them what I needed done and letting them loose to carry it out.

You’re probably chuckling to yourself because you thought the same thing in the beginning.

You and I have both realized that there’s a lot more to it than expecting them to “just do their job.” There has to be accountability and frequent check-ins to make sure the project is on time, on task, and exceeds the quality your customer expects.

Every employee needs to be provided the tools to succeed and the accountability that motivates them forward. Great training does both.

I’ll bet you teach them how, let them do it a few times and then walk away. How many times have you done that and then come back to a disaster after they found an “easier way?” You didn’t hold them accountable and instill that they did it your way.

So let’s put together a training program that gives them the tools and accountability they need to be succesful.

Here is how:

  1. Using your interview question, create a list of core skills that the worker must have to be successful.
  2. Now map out how quickly you want them to show expertise in these skills. Using time frames like 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 6 months and a year work pretty well.
  3. For each skill, create a measurement that the person must meet to show their expertise. Usually this includes quality and timeliness parameters.

Just making the checklist won’t work. You have to use it for every new hire – regardless of their credentials or experience. When the journeyman with 25 years of experience rolls his eyes at it, you continue to press him to sign off the expertise. It communicates very clearly that you have areas you will not compromise on. It also tells the old-timers that it does not matter how it was done someplace else – it’s done your way and to your standards. If they want to improve the process, then they need to first do it your way. They can propose their way after they have signed off on yours.

I use this competency punch-list in the interviews. Revisit it occasionally with the guys who have been with you for a while. You would be surprised at how quality and timeliness improve by using training this way.
is a business coach and consultant that works with business owners and managers to create momentum in their business with strategies and tactics that they can implement today. These strategies are based on the five building blocks of business: Marketing, Leadership, Operations, Finance and Systems.

Choosing an employee requires a strategy and more than just finding someone to fog a mirror. I can provide the business coaching you need to make that happen.


By | Accountability, Hiring, Leadership, life style, Operations | No Comments

Choosing an employee requires a strategy and more than just finding someone to fog a mirror. I can provide the business coaching you need to make that happen.There just aren’t as many skilled and experienced employees in the market as there once were!

When the economy tanked in 2008 – especially for the housing and building industries – many skilled workers went back to school or found a job in a different industry. Those that did stay in the game are now demanding more cash and can be hired away at the drop of a hat for a little more an hour.

Hiring young workers and training them seems more frustrating than losing your quality employees.  The basic skills taught a few decades ago are not being taught so readily to the new generation. How to drive a straight nail even seems foreign to many workers entering the market.

This has created a huge gap in many industries. Not enough experience to hold the quality end up, higher labor costs, and little new talent coming through the door.

Time for a “Hiring Strategy.”

It feels like more work than it’s worth, but if you can create an incredible strategy for finding, hiring and training excellent people you will save yourself weeks and months of lost productivity and revenue.

Actually, a hiring strategy is not very different than a marketing strategy. It boils down to several questions you need to be asking that you probably are not:

What are the key, measured results that I want from every worker?

  • Besides experience, what are the key values my ideal worker will bring to the table?
  • What can we teach and – more importantly – what can we not teach?
  • What can we do to make the hiring process more detailed instead of just hiring the guy that can fog a mirror?

Hiring for experience is good, but hiring a team member who has a great work ethic, a desire to learn and a drive to succeed will be a better employee every time. Some of the best people I have ever hired had zero experience. Why? Because they had a drive to succeed. Granted, certain positions require specific qualifications. I won’t hire a doctor without a degree or license to practice but a great attitude. However, once the minimum qualifications for a position are met, the rest can be taught.

A mistake I often see in hiring is not doing your due diligence in the process. Put your people through the ringer. Do multiple interviews, perform a “working interview” by requiring them  to “ride along” for a day. I even suggest that you know their spouse or someone important in their life. You don’t want the employee who has a crazy person at home draining the energy they should put into their work.  And of course, check references, review backgrounds, and have drug tests performed.

Ultimately, you have to have a process for hiring. Just like your sales process, framing a door, booking a patient, or wiring a house. There are certain principles to use and can be adjusted for the job you need done. But when you start short-cutting the process, you start short-cutting your results.
is a business coach and consultant that works with business owners and managers to create momentum in their business with strategies and tactics that they can implement today. These strategies are based on the five building blocks of business: Marketing, Leadership, Operations, Finance and Systems.

Succesful Entrepreneur from small beginnings

The Richard Branson Success Model

By | Follow-through, Hiring, Leverage, Motivation | No Comments

Succesful Entrepreneur from small beginnings

Recently, global sentiment towards entrepreneurs and businessmen/women has become jealous and antagonistic. This antagonism towards business owners is not as strong towards the struggling business owner, but more towards those individuals who build successful businesses.

One target of this growing sentiment is Sir Richard Branson.

While he lives on his own island, hangs out with supermodels and actors, and gives billions to charities, he wasn’t born into such wealth and fame.

You probably wouldn’t have guessed that he would become the 4th richest citizen of the United Kingdom when he started his first business at 16 – a newsletter called “The Student.” About four years later, he started mail-order album sales in two years opened a record store.

Since starting the simple newsletter at 16, Richard Branson has created an international empire with successful businesses in music, airlines, mobile phones, banking, alternative fuels, space tourism, and hundreds of other investments.

So what is it about Richard Branson that separates him from every other person who starts a business?

Find a Need and Fill It – “There is no point in starting your own business unless you do it out of a sense of frustration.” His newsletter hit a segment of the market that no one was providing. His success in music was selling records (first by mail-order and then in his own chain of stores) was being able to sell records at a deeply discounted price and still bring a profit. He signed talented bands that no one else wanted to take a chance on.

Start Small – “A business can be started with very little money.” Sir Richard’s business seed-money came from the proceeds from an unclaimed necklace that his mother found.  His record stores had very little “upper management” as he gave low-level employees responsibility and created a culture of competition for success.

Dream Big – “My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them … from the perspective of wanting to live life to the full, I felt that I had to attempt it.” Who would think that a 21yr old could start a record label? Or an airline that would compete with some of the biggest airlines in the world? How about starting a space tourism company?

Leverage Yourself – “Find somebody else to run your business on a day-to-day basis.” Mr. Branson runs his entire empire from his personal island in the Caribbean. He has been recruiting others to run the business from the very beginning.

Be prepared – “Protect against the worst eventualities. Make sure you know what they are.” What is the absolute worst-case scenario? Do you have the resources to survive it?




Don’t Abdicate

By | Accountability, Hiring, Leadership, Leverage, Operations, Systems | No Comments

Ever delegate something only to discover it never gets done? How long did it take to discover that the task was not completed? Was it because the person failed or because you did not create a way to follow-up and make sure it was done?

As a leader you have a tendency to delegate it and forget it, without responsibility or follow-up. Michael Gerber in his book The E-Myth, calls this abdication. It’s a roll of the dice if it gets completed.

Delegate, Don't abdicate wither it wont get done, or it wont get done right.Some of the first things you’ll want to delegate as a leader are the things you don’t like to do or that you don’t do well. Because you don’t like the task or don’t know how to complete it ourselves, you hope that the task gets completed without your involvement.

This is why a system of follow-up and accountability becomes essential to leading your team. You’ve heard “you can’t manage what you don’t measure” – if you are not measuring the progress of your delegated tasks, you are sure to be blind-sided by the fact that it was never completed.

If you are ready to start delegating and having the task done right and on time? Get on the call here.

Getting It Done

By | Hiring, Leadership, Leverage, life style, Operations, Stress Management, Systems | No Comments

If you were to watch my 10-year-old son eat, you would think we only fed him a few times a week. He often acts like he is starving to death. He will sometimes shove so much food in his mouth, he can’t completely close it. He is in such a hurry to eat he makes a mess of his clothes and the table, chokes, and actually takes longer to eat.

As entrepreneurs, we tend to do the same thing with our to-do lists and the commitments that we make to customers, suppliers, our families and to ourselves. We take on so much, we end up making a huge mess, burn ourselves out and take longer to get the list done.

However, much of this “over-stuffed to-do list” is born out of necessity. In order to stay competitive and fulfill expectations, we commit to early mornings, late nights, skipped meals and then neglect our personal well-being and relationships.

Eventually we have to get it done, and getting it done requires time. I see many of my clients suffer from the over-commitment dilemma. There is one solution, however, that is the most over-looked: Delegation.

The problem that most entrepreneurs have with delegation is that they wait too long before they begin thinking about it – and when they do, they do not have the right people or systems in place to ensure that the job is done as well or better than the leader herself would have done. The result is that it just seems easier for you to do it yourself – creating the vicious cycle of overwhelm to start again.

Break the cycle:

The first step is to create a list of everything you are currently doing yourself. Next, sort this list into three categories: outsource, hire, and keep.

The question now becomes what can you afford, both emotionally and financially, to remove from your list and forever place them on the “outsource” and “hire” lists?

Ask yourself this question: What will allow you to increase your cash flow the most?

Is it someone to do the technical work that will allow you to do more bids? Is it sales that will allow you to do more of the technical work that can only be done with a license or specialized training? Or is it the office work like bookkeeping, data entry or answering the phone that will allow you to generate more sales?

Get off the overwhelm cycle here:


Positive Employee Turnover Because of Great Leadership

Postive Team Turnover

By | Accountability, Hiring, Leadership, Motivation | No Comments

Positive Employee Turnover Because of Great LeadershipI’ve talked quite a bit over the last few weeks about how bad hires happen and how to avoid them. I’ve also discussed what to do when you have a rotten employee.


However, not all turnover is bad turnover. Here are some positive turnover situations:


  • Self Promotion – What a great moment for a leader when he sees that a team member has learned and grown so much, that they are ready to take on a better position outside your organization!
  • Dream Launch – Similar to the self-promotion above, the team member has been building up to launch their own business and wants to continue the business relationship and not as a competitor.
  • Promotion Within – A team member is ready to take on a leadership role within your organization.
  • Life – Sometimes an employee leaves us because their life changes: a family move, parenthood, marriage, volunteer work, etc.

The challenge is to celebrate with them and don’t rain on their parade because you are inconvenienced by their growth. Unless their departure requires an immediate change, a team member leaving your ranks is glad to help you select and train their replacement.


The hardest part, though, is setting the expectations for the new team member coming in. Most frequently, the new hire will need some time to get ramped up – especially if the person leaving had been there for a few years. Give them the necessary training and a step-by-step expectation to get up to speed.


Happy Hiring!



By | Hiring, Leadership, Leverage, life style, Operations | No Comments

leverage yourself

“Give me a place to stand on, and I will move the Earth.”

Archimedes (287 BC – 212 BC)
Regarding the power of the lever


Programmer ‘outsources’ his own job to China to laze around at work

The mid-40s software developer, named only as ‘Bob’ in the report by Verizon’s Risk Team, paid programmers in China one-fifth of his salary, and spent his work days browsing the internet.


Did you see this article!? I first heard it on the radio this morning and later read the whole thing this afternoon in one of my news-feeds.Here is a quick link to the article if you did not get a chance to read it.


I found it interesting that he was considered one of the best programers in the company. He was probably considered one of the most productive – until they discovered that he spent all day watching cats say “I haz cheezberger??”


It got me thinking about all the things we do that take up our time that prevent us from having the business or lifestyle we want.


All businesses struggle with leveraging regardless of the size. Not only does hiring someone mean an increase in expense, but it also means letting go. When we are passionate about the success of something, we have a hard time letting it go. 


A few questions to ask yourself when you start thinking about leveraging:


  • Is there someone who can do some of my billable work for less?
  • Is there work that I do now that takes me away from creating more revenue?
  • Who do I know that is better than me at this that I can collaborate with – allowing us to do what we each do best and creating even more value?

Cost is always a concern. Some work-arounds for these might include temporary help, subcontractors, or virtual assistants.


One thing is certain: It is nearly impossible to do everything and become successful.


Get some help.




The Silverdale Chamber of Commerce is now taking RSVPs for the Kitsap Business Forum to be held January 22 at 7:30 am in Cavallon Buiding 3rd floor conference room (2011 NW Myhre Rd, Silverdale, WA).


Our first forum is a panel of experts – facilitated by yours truly:


Kelle Kitchel-Cooper (Rockfish Group Marketing )

Dennis Bryan, CPA (Parker, Moores & Cena)

Jeff Reed (State Farm Insurance)

Lisa Jewett (Customer Service Specialist)

Wayne Sargent (Express Personell)

Dan Martin (SCORE)

Diane Russell (Attorney)


Bring your business and local economy questions for the panel to answer and debate!


Eventbrite - Kitsap Business Forums - Panel

or call:

(360) 692-6800