Start Growing You and Your Company Again!

Q. Have you stopped spending? Do you still go to restaurants, put gas in your car, attend social events, seek new opportunities, contribute to your charities, attend church, and/or participate in school activities with your kids? Have you stopped living? Of course not! We are all continuing with our lives even though it’s not exactly business as usual.

A. I was visiting with two of my very good friends this week and we were discussing the state of the economy and the deplorable media blitz that truly portrays doom and gloom everywhere. For months I have been complaining about the how the media is setting the pace of our economy. And for months I have been warning that companies will start using this to “clean house.” Sort of a monkey see monkey do mentality. And true to form, this exactly what is happening.

Wesley Knapp is the Executive Director of Development for Hannibal, Missouri. I’ve known Wes for over 18 years and when he was hired as Executive Director (one year ago) he made a vow that he wouldn’t succumb to the negative media hype. He encouraged the locals to buy up the downtown buildings, refurbish them so he could recruit new businesses. He encouraged the leaders within the industrial and manufacturing communities to step up to the plate and lead and not follow.

Today, just one year later, Hannibal has a new look, new businesses, extremely low unemployment, virtually no talk of layoffs and a positive mindset of its citizens. Currently under construction is an 8-plex movie theater which will be THE SECOND DIGITAL MOVIE THEATER in the country and the citizens of Hannibal will be the recipients. The City of Hannibal has taken current assets, the ambiance of their history and showcased it with a result to be envied by all. Great job Wesley and my hat is off to all of your forward thinking citizens.

Ken Bender is the President of Promax Consulting in Wichita, KS and I’ve known Ken for about 15 years. Promax is a sales and marketing consultancy to the aerospace industry. Ken has states that aerospace has taken a serious hit with layoffs, union problems, cancellation of orders, cost of materials etc. But he stated emphatically that customers that are bullish, on point and leading their industries instead of taking a wait and see attitude are still placing orders for planes and other aerospace orders.

For last five months, my business consultancy (Gman) is currently engaged with a national manufacturer and I have the privilege of currently being their acting CEO. My colleagues have applauded the fact that the model we have chosen is to be proactive, be the leader that they are and making or growing the market long before their competitors will pull their heads out of the doom and gloom cloud.

It is true that currently our economy is very strained and that is demonstrated by the flood of resumes the recruiting side of Gman is receiving. The phone is ringing from the consultancy side as well, with questions of “what do we do” and “how do we get ahead of this curve” and “how can we continue to grow?” These are all good indicators that business professionals don’t want to accept a downturn or a failure.

Please understand that I am not suggesting that you ignore world around you, as that would be ludicrous. What I am suggesting is that you demonstrate your intestinal fortitude and become a tower of positive strength. Share that positive attitude and infect others with optimism, determination and hope.

There is only one way to attack this problem and that is to attack this problem by being bullish on your company and most importantly your people! If you are an owner, an executive or manager of an organization and/or a person of influence then I certainly am encouraging you to step out from under the black cloud and lead your people. Get rid of the negativity! Refuse to play in the negative sandbox!

This is not the time for micro-managing but a time for reaching out to your strongest assets, your people. Ask for ideas and solutions. Do away with the “I know it all attitude” and swallow your pride and use your MOST valuable resource….YOUR PEOPLE! Have confidence in and trust the people that have brought you this far, to take you and your company beyond. Trust and Confidence are the key words here.

For the rest of us, we must encourage the leaders of our companies by bringing to them solutions. It’s not going to be the easiest task you have ever undertaken, but it is achievable if you do your part every day. Become tenacious, fight for career, your paycheck and the future opportunities that will take you to the achievement of your goals.

On behalf of my entire staff at Gman Business Resources I want to say we care about you. If we can help you in any way, please call or write and we will respond immediately. Your comments and suggestions are always appreciated and welcomed.

George F. Mancuso, CPC


Gman Business Resources, Inc.

Grinnell, IA

Are you on the same page with your clients?

There are times when I leave a meeting with my client or my prospective client and we are just not on the same page. Sure, we agree on what activities, sales or services have taken place and/or what remains to be done, but it seems like I don't know what is going on inside their heads. George please share any thoughts you may have on this subject.

You are perceptive to recognize that this is an important issue. If you are going to be steps ahead of your client, or at least not behind, you need to understand their mindset, their concerns, and their emotions. It is easier, of course, to just consider your relationship with a client as transactional: they ask you to provide a service and you provide it based on your experience and skills. But that's not the basis of a trusted advisor relationship.

Decisions are highly influenced by emotion;

1. Do you know to what extent your client or his or her staff is bound by emotion, even for "technical" decisions?
2. What factors exist that could affect those emotions?
3. How do they feel about you, trust your professional judgment, or consider you trustworthy as a person?
4. How does the way they use or are aware of the emotional component of operating and decision making affect how you could, or should, present them with information or a request for a decision?

Before any encounter with a prospect or a client, ask yourself;

A. What do I want them to think and feel as a result of this upcoming discussion or event?
B. Am I trying to get them to change the way they think or feel about a certain issue, person or event?
C. Do I want them to think or feel differently about me?
D. Is where their head is right now conducive to my short or longer term objectives and is this the right time to inform them of a specific fact or recommend a specific course of action?
E. Have I correctly understood where they are now and will my approach leave them in the desired thinking and feeling frame of mind?

Although some business professionals may approach every conversation like this intuitively, get into the habit of internally asking these questions before each conversation, meeting, or presentation. This technique applies equally to encounters with a group of people, such as when you are presenting your findings to a management team. Don't get stuck just presenting "just the facts" and forget that you are trying to influence your audience, something tightly bound up with their emotions.

As always please accept my wish for tremendous week and if we can ever assist you or your organization, please call or write and we will respond immediately!

George Mancuso, CPC
Gman Business Resources, Inc.
Grinnell, IA