Remember The Mayonaise Jar And The Two Beers

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with an unanimous 'yes'.

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

'Now, 'said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else---the small stuff.

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

'Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents.
Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.'

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented.

The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.

The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend


Happy Thanksgiving To All

Grateful you are a part of a wonderful profession!

Be Grateful you have the power to change lives around you!

Be Grateful that the 2014 economic signs are leaning towards
a more prosperous year!

Be Grateful that you have grown yourself this year!

Be Grateful that you have identified what is really important in your life this year!

Be Grateful for your clients!

Be Grateful for your co-workers, their families and their support!

Be Grateful for this great country of ours!

And we are personally very Grateful for all of you our weekly readers, our friends,

our business associates, and our loving family!

In this season of Gratefulness, we at Client Growth Resources
would like to give special thanks

for your continued partnership and wish you, your family and employees
a safe and Happy Thanksgiving.

George, Denise, Mark and Sarah

 Client Growth Consultants, Inc. Grinnell, Iowa




Are You Building Management Capability???

http://www.workforce.com/images/drp/drp_i.gifIn the past, organizations have clung to the belief that as long as they had competitive products and services, they could enhance their performance by hiring strong leadership and top talent. While this focus has worked in some cases, in today’s highly competitive labor market—and yes, it is going to get much worse—organizations competing for top talent may be missing the essential managerial skills and processes needed to succeed over the long term.
    Today’s Generation X employees have much higher expectations of what managers should do to support them compared with the prior generation. Furthermore, the new entrants into the workforce, known variously as Generation Y, Millennials or Generation Next, have still greater needs for immediate feedback and development. These young workers are accustomed to praise, reinforcement and time to develop their interests and skills. How can organizations capture and retain this new talent, as well as slightly older up-and-coming leaders?

    Research suggests that most organizations neglect the role of managers, undervalue it and therefore suffer from a lack of strong management capability. A 2006 survey indicates that employees who plan to stay with their current companies are twice as likely as employees who say they might or might not stay to report that their managers recognize their talents and encourage them to use those talents to the fullest extent.

    I would say that the trend that is emerging is not pretty. Today’s managers are also individual contributors and they spend more of their time doing their "real" jobs—technical aspects of their positions—than they actually spend managing their employees. This behavior poses a problem because today’s employees want more from their managers and workplaces, not less. And they are willing to walk out of your workplace if they don’t get it.

    While employees are hungry for praise and eager to get help expanding their capabilities, there is, unfortunately, a corresponding capability gap among managers to give them what they need. This deficit exists for many reasons, including:

Years of downsizing means companies expect more from fewer employees. There simply is not enough time for managers to devote to mentorship and employee development.

·         Insufficient skills. Managers don’t know how to provide feedback and develop people.

·         A dearth of rewards. Managers are rewarded based upon individual contributions and achievements, not their management skills.

·         The mistaken belief that "one size fits all." The same rewards approach won’t motivate everyone.

·         Organizations do not place a high enough value on the role of the manager.
George F. Mancuso, CPC, CEO
Client Growth Consultants, Inc.


Employees Don’t Leave Companies; They Leave Their Managers

NOTE:  I've made this headline statement hundreds of times over the last ten years.

Employees want managers who will provide goals and direction, feedback and coaching—and who recognize and reward them for good performance. Yet research indicates that managers are not delivering on these expectations. One possible reason is that managers’ roles are not designed to focus on managing people. Most managers spend 90 percent of their time on technical and administrative tasks and only 10 percent of their time on activities related to managing and developing the people who report to them.

    There is a wealth of research indicating that management behavior is a key factor in retention. This is nothing new. Recent research has consistently shown that dissatisfaction with one’s manager is a top reason for leaving the organization.

    More recently, three different research studies and examined the factors that predicted whether employees would stay with or leave their current organizations. These studies go back as far as 1999 and are exactly the same today in 2013.  Some of the most commonly found items predicting intention to leave were:

·         Insufficient feedback and coaching.

·         Insufficient learning and development opportunities.

·         Insufficient reward and recognition for their work.

·         Insufficient sense that their organization values them.

    Management is responsible for delivering on each of these job factors. No one else can affect how an employee feels as dramatically and tangibly as an employee’s immediate manager. The most effective managers are those who know their employees’ strengths and development needs so well that they know which assignments to give based on balancing both organizational needs and those of the employees.

    Coaching and feedback make up one area that is receiving the most attention in organizations today. Employee survey results in company after company are showing that employees want and expect feedback. Research conducted with Gen Xers tells us that this age group not only expects feedback from their managers, but demands it. The Millennial Generation is even more voracious in its need for coaching and input.

    Finally, people want to know that they are appreciated when they do a good job or put in extra effort. Good managers praise employees in ways that raise self-esteem and commitment to the organization. Poor managers just expect it all, and, as a consequence, praise nothing. What they really get is turnover, and lots of it. And then they get less productivity out of the people who do stay.

George F. Mancuso, CPC, CEO
Client Growth Consultants, Inc.


We Need Some Urgency In Our Managers

ONE READER ASKS:  I have noticed a big difference among our managers. It is not so much the varied technical skills or level of confidence but different senses of how quickly to move on a project or issue. Do you have any comments on this subject?

This sense of urgency you mention does make a difference in how effective you can be as a manager or sales professional. Certainly, a manager who presses ahead and gets the job done quickly will be viewed favorably by his/her constituents, other managers and the client. The sooner a solution is presented and implemented, the sooner a company can improve its effectiveness in the area in which demands the most attention. A manager who is a true leader bringing a sense of urgency will move faster through diagnosis, solution and implementation and encourage the staff to do the same.

However, remember that speed is not everything. Don't move so fast into a solution that the team is left behind. Many of us have solved the problem (or at least so we thought) on the first day and were anxious to implement the solution. But, unless a team wants and commits to a “buy-in” of a turnkey solution instead of mere advice on how they can address the issue, you do more harm than good by rushing.

Once you have the lay of the land in an engagement, discuss with your team and/or client what functions, processes and people are likely to be the "rate limiting step" of your implementation process. It might be information management, or staff scheduling, or approvals. Agree with your team(s) which ones are worth waiting for and which ones hinder rapid results. With this mutual understanding, and recognizing that some elements of your operation may not be able to move as fast as everyone wants, you can press ahead as fast as you have explicitly agreed with your team.
Changes in a client's market or overall economic conditions do present a challenge for management and sales teams. However, if you are in a position to see how your client or market is changing, it is also a great opportunity to increase the value you can provide.

Almost every change in an organization means a change on the organization chart. Positions are added or removed. Reporting relationship are typically altered. Overall structure may be leveled or new layers added. Each of these changes presents an opportunity to provide some services to smooth the transition. Ostensibly, these changes were thought out and intentional.  However, sometimes they are made with some, but not enough, forethought.

Once you feel you have a solid grasp of the emerging situation, develop some recommendations of how your plan(s) might help the transition. Thinking at the highest level will help you better understand your needs and the needs of your team and clients and will likely let them see you in a more strategic light.
Have a safe and prosperous week.  Your comments and suggestions are always welcome.


 George F. Mancuso
George F. Mancuso, CPC