What Are Some of The Obstacles For A Manager?

What are some of the main obstacles to a path of success for a manager?

My definition of a manager is anyone who manages anything or anybody.  This might include a team, a process, a department or even an entire company.

Now with that concept in mind, I can tell you that all managers experience various encumbrances on a daily basis.  And there are probably no single egregious obstructions that would be attributed to a failure, but rather a combination of several.

However from years of business consulting experience, one of the most prevalent errors that I see is a lack of courage to stand by long term goals, plans and visions that managers have identified as a must do in their careers.  When the business economy experiences severe pain, it brings with it an allurement to short cut the process for a quick fix.  And many of us fall prey to the short term attraction without consideration of the long term consequences.

Standing by your plan takes immense courage and determination.  With the presumption on my part that your strategy, goals and visions are sound in concept, they must include the option and plan to deviate slightly without losing sight of the overall and primary goal.  It is okay to make small and logical adjustments, but it’s not okay to just abandon the plan.  In retrospect, those who just abandon the process of management and continually start over and over will find their original and subsequent plan(s) were terribly flawed to begin with.

Courage of conviction means confidence in you as a manager.  Confidence in you means rewarding results.

George F. Mancuso
Client Growth Consultants.com


Are We Really Going To Be In Hard Times in 2011?

Q:  Are we really in hard times?

A:  Today it appears that we have been delivered harder times than we have experienced in the past.  And as with anything else in life, uncertainty exacerbates the situation at hand.  However it is times like this that makes me want to remind my friends and colleagues of that which we already know, mainly because these thoughts are so simple and fundamental;

1.     Things are never as bad as they or the media makes them seem. 

a.    The economists that we listen to (and remain reassuringly consistent regardless of the news) tell us that the markets will begin to improve in February and that the stocks don't fall unless people buy. And people buy because they are convinced that stock prices will increase.
b.    The media has always been the messenger of perceived doom and gloom from those who call themselves “experts” in these matters.  Only if we allow ourselves to be lead into this black hole do their predictions come true.
c.    We Americans are a resilient bunch and have demonstrated time and time again that we know how to overcome adversity and bring our lives back to normal.  And I subscribe to you today that now [IS] one of those times.

2.    What you do in difficult times will result in greater rewards than what you do during the good times. 

a.    Difficult times make or break businesses, careers - and families. Make your own success by not getting distracted by the times and focusing on what is important, what you have to do. You'll benefit from being clear headed and conveying stability in these times, and it will benefit those around you as well.
b.    From within your own circles of friends and/or influence demonstrate your leadership. 

3.    The best times quite often follow the worst times. 

a.    There can't be good times without bad times. Almost 3,000 years ago Solomon recognized that there is "a time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away."
b.    And although these are hard and uncertain times, we need not mourn.
c.    We need not stick our heads in the sand.
d.    We must as individuals and as a group be the “good times” leaders of the world.

A friend of mine told me recently, don’t be a lightning rod, but be the lighting that ignites the rod!  I still firmly believe that in these economic times, we must be the leaders we claim to be during the good times.  When the so called recovery comes, you will be so far ahead of your competition, it won’t even be funny.  Put your “A” game face on, get into the trenches and make your markets, take no prisoners and grow yourself and your business!  If you need help, hire a great business consultant.

As always, I wish you a tremendous week, filled with good spirits, good business, family and great health.


George F. Mancuso
Client Growth Consultants
Grinnell, IA


This Holiday, Pay Yourself!


The holidays can be fun, but they can also add stress to our already crazy existence as business professionals.  If you close your eyes and review 2010 – would you make any changes?  Would your W-2 be higher?  Would you take better care of yourself?

Here is a chance to wave the magic wand…….Picture 2011 as a White Board which is very exciting and full of opportunities!  You can create anything you want for yourself next year.  Now ask yourself this question…..Do you know EXACTLY what you want?  Most people don’t get what they want out of life because they’re too busy worrying about everyone else to take time to determine what THEY want out of life.

During this extremely busy Holiday Season, find a quiet place for yourself for at least one hour.  Close your eyes and envision yourself one year from now, and you are celebrating your BEST YEAR EVER!

Now open your eyes and write down who was at this celebration, what you achieved and  what you have to do (starting now) to make it happen.  Make certain some of these goals are “personal goals.”

Think about this…..
What you do for a living is admirable!
What you do for a living is challenging!
What you do for a living changes the lives of other people on a daily basis!  How incredible is that?

Put yourself on your Holiday Shopping List.  Reward yourself each month of 2008 when you achieve your monthly goals.  Your clients, your peers, your friends, your employees need YOU, to take care of YOURSELF in 2011, so that you can take care of them.  Just call this "Business Management" at in it's finest hour.

Don’t be afraid to pay yourself!  It will be well worth the investment.


George Mancuso


Employee Retention Begins Before You Hire Them

I’ll bet most of you are thinking to yourselves, “…What did he just say?”  It is important to recognize that the most critical step in retaining employees comes before the hire itself!
Good leaders commonly state that they surround themselves with the best people.  In turn, high-performing business cultures are fueled by employees who deliver productivity, innovation and profitability.  But first, an organization needs to view and understand its job candidates as individuals, rather than as simple resumes.

A recent survey claims that ONLY 20% of companies are taking proactive measures to ensure that their best people stay put.  The alternative is high turnover which costs an estimated 1.5 times the salary of each employee who has to be replaced.  As an example, if a manager was making $70,000 plus an additional $25,000 in benefits (which is industry standard) it would cost approximately $142,500 to replace!  This is staggering!
Resumes represent a static list of skills and job duties, but cannot speak to how well the person performs unsupervised or on a tight deadline.  Reference checks can also be tricky for various reasons.
To begin with I highly recommend that you stay away from questions that encourage “smooth-talking” (i.e. “where do you see yourself in 5 years) instead of a candid self-critical evaluation questioning.  Ask questions regarding the prospect’s essential nature, and the preferences and attitudes that make him/her an individual.   

These types of questions predict job performance and satisfaction.  The more job performance-relevant information employers have, the greater the likelihood of building, and retaining, and engaged, productive worker.
Employers need to be clear about their needs and expectations for any given position up front – before the hiring process begins.  Put a variety of measurements together to create a good hire.  We offer to our clients a professional online assessment to maximize person-job fit so that the individual hired is CAPABLE of doing AND is WILLING to do the best job possible.  And I do recommend utilizing a professional assessment ONLY as an additional tool in the hiring process.
I could easily spend hours writing pages on the subject of employee retention.  It continues to be the number one topic of questions from you the readers of our weekly newsletter.  Hopefully this small tidbit of information will be of assistance to you.  If not, call or write and I will respond immediately!

George F. Mancuso
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Steps for Grooming Successful Mentors

QUESTION: As a business consultant I get asked many times, "What are the steps for grooming successful mentors?

First off, I’d like to acknowledge that managers need to play a role in driving employee engagement and performance.  I would not recommend that you replace manager-employee coaching or try to make up for bad managers with a mentoring program.
Clarify your objectives.  An effective mentoring program supplements coaching from managers, and it should be positioned as a way to make the business, not just individual employees, more successful.  From there you can add a more specific goal, such as helping new employees get up to speed quickly.

Define your mentor selection criteria.  Mentors need to be more than willing. They need to have a coaching attitude and ability.  Describe these characteristics in writing—and other traits, such as particular business knowledge or specific skills.

Equip your mentors.  Provide tools and training to help mentors fulfill their role.  This process goes beyond basic coaching skills to include an emphasis on:
•        Individualized partnerships. “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you” may serve people well most of the time, but it can actually get in the way of successful mentoring.  Effective mentors understand their individual mentees needs and work with everyone differently. What works great for one person can derail another.
•        Career coaching. Although employees may look to their mentors for career “navigation” advice, our research indicates that few are clear on what’s important to them.  Mentors need to help people get behind the core values that create job satisfaction for them. What do they like to do and why? What would enrich their work each day?  Only then can mentors help employees create a plan for professional development, career progression or job enrichment.
Reinforce mentoring.  To reap the benefits that mentors provide, you need to make mentoring a way of life.  Senior leaders must be role models and discuss with employees the impact that mentoring has on business and personal success.

Leaders experience success as mentors through practice.  The more they mentor, the more successful their mentoring becomes.  A virtuous cycle will then take hold: They believe in mentoring, they’ve seen how it works, and they’re motivated to build their own competence.

And don’t forget to build in accountability, metrics and recognition systems. Without these, mentoring can fall by the wayside as a “nice to do that we don’t have time to do,” instead of remaining a core strategy for building an engaged workforce and thriving business.  Of course if you need help in setting up a mentoring program and/or would like to send your managers to a 2 day seminar that teaches mentoring, leadership and building relationships to improve your company culture, please call or write and I will respond immediately!

As always, please accept my wishes for a tremendous week.   If I can be of assistance to you or your organization when it comes to revenue growth, retention or recruiting, please call or write and I will respond immediately!

George F. Mancuso, CPC

A Highly Specialized Business Consultancy
In The Growth of Revenues And People


Asking The Right Questions Is Critical

QUESTION:  Whether you are in sales, marketing, customer service, consulting or management role, the power of learning to ask open and closed ended questions properly is paramount to your success.
RESPONSE:  Open-ended questions are those designed to solicit additional information from the person being questioned.  This type of question is broader in scope and prompts the receiver to use more than one or two word responses.  They are designed to avoid leading, controlling or manipulating the responder. 
Open-ended questioning provides an opportunity for a wide-range of responses and gives the person answering the question an opportunity share opinions, perspectives and details in an unstructured manner.  Although they can be more time consuming to utilize, open-ended questions are often perceived by the receiver as less limiting and/or intimidating. 
Closed-ended questions on the other hand are those which can be answered in a finite manner, often by using either a “yes” or a “no.  ”These questions are typically restrictive by nature. Close-ended questions can be useful in validating or confirming a fact or event.  And this is an extremely efficient and timely way to get an answer.The intrinsic downsides of close-ended questions include;  
  • the risk of receiving an incomplete response
  • they can limit the responders ability to respond thoroughly
  • they can be leading
  • they can result in misleading assumptions or conclusions
Two examples might be: 
  • Open-ended:  “What do you see as most beneficial to you from the information I have just provided you?”
  • Close-ended:“Does that sound pretty good?”  
 And at all costs ladies and gentlemen I strongly encourage you to stop using the phrase, “what do you think.”  In my humble opinion, this is the most over utilized meaningless question in the English language, unless you really don’t want a true and complete answer.  When people ask me that, I now have a stock answer, “I think I need to think about this.”  This then allows me to end the conversation or interview. 
Get your respondents interested in you, your service/product and get them involved in the conversation so how to respond in kind.  Answers to your questions give you information.  Information gives you knowledge.  Knowledge gives you the power to perform or respond in a professional manner.  Believe me when I tell you this works when dealing with customers, peers, direct reports, management or prospective clients or your family.
 In all of my seminars I always ask the attendees; “What is a sales person’s most powerful tool?”  Answer is his/her mouth.  Then I ask, “What is a sales person’s greatest liability?  ”Answer is his/her mouth.  Learn to ask questions properly, then zip your lips shut and patiently give the professional courtesy to the responder to respond accordingly and without interruptions.  More than one sales person has “blown a sale” because they don’t know when to shut their mouth and listen.
As always, please accept my wishes for a tremendous week.   If I can be of assistance to you or your organization when it comes to revenue growth, retention or recruiting, please call or write and I will respond immediately!
George F. Mancuso, CPC

A Highly Specialized Business Consultancy  
In The Growth of Revenues And People


Don't Use Poor Judgment in Your Hiring Decisions

Question: It is my opinion that the "bait and switch" tactics used by employers and their hired employment agencies is consistently used to screen the undesirable "minority" and/or “disabled” candidates from the better "match" non-minority, non-disabled candidates.  Yet, in the face of the various adversities that prevents highly qualified candidates from becoming gainfully employed, what can a candidate do without playing the race, age or disability card?  (Harold R., HR Director, Omaha, NE)

Response:  To begin with I am NOT an expert on racism.  I am however a 67 year business professional with a disability (I walk with a cane) and have experienced discrimination from both of these arenas.  Even though I am consider an “expert” in employee retention and other people issues, I was told recently that although I am filled with energy, the President of a particular company was reluctant to hire me to facilitate a management strategy seminar for his people because he wanted somebody that “looked whole.”

Considering I fly airplanes, walk, talk, dress, swim, manage a business, have an exercise regime, play catch with my grandson, facilitate a dozen seminars a year, am happily married and have spent a lifetime learning my trade, I was a bit irritated to say the least.  So irritated in fact that I canceled the recruiting contract I had with them, even though it was lucrative and they “claimed” I was one of the few recruiters that every really performed for them.

My advice to you is the same as it is to all of my potential candidates.  In order for me to present you as the “most place-able candidate” or better said……in order for YOU to prepare yourself to become the most place-able candidate it all comes down to the following; SKILLS, STABILITY, EXPERIENCE AND ATTITUDE.
  • All companies ask me for the “skill set” first.  If you don’t match the qualifications, why would you try to force a square peg into a round hole?  All it does is offer frustration and a set up for a failure.
  • Job hopping is a no-no.  I recently read an article that says the Generation X & Y employees will change jobs 26 times in their career path.  This is an atrocious goal in life. I hear from hiring managers, “why doesn’t he/she stay any longer than 2 years at any given job?”  And I rhetorically respond, “Good question, why don’t they?”
  • You must learn your trade and then relearn your trade every day.  Our world moves fast and change is a common word in most growing business environments.  If you don’t have the skill sets required by an employer it probably won’t be a match, no matter how hard you try. What did you do in the last 12 months to improve yourself?  Remember that YOUR resume is only a job description of who you were.  You must be prepared to demonstrate to a prospective hiring manager what you plan to be and how your presence can impact their company in a positive way!
  • There are no longer any “give-me’s” in this world.  Having an attitude that the new employer or current employer “owes you” is a destination to nowhere.  It all begins with you the employee.  Why fall into an impossible stereotype?  Why not demonstrate your qualifications by example?  My grandmother used to tell me, “deeds not words!”
When I speak with employers about employees they have terminated I hear, “they just acted like they didn’t want to be here; or he/she stood around with his/her hands in their pockets waiting for ME to do it; or He/she never contributed to the conversation, never offer good solutions to problems; or when the five o’clock buzzer rang, they were out the door like a shot.”

All these actions demonstrate why an employer wouldn’t want to keep an employee.  And if you fit into these categories, change or the results will be the same in the future for you.

Now from the management or hiring side of these issues I suggest the following;
  1. Start looking at candidates from what assets and value that they bring to the organization.
  2. Look at candidates with this thought, “if he/she has only five years left to work, how can I empower them to allow me to tap into their knowledge to grow the people in this department or company?”
  3. Become known as a company that is a champion of PEOPLE. This will probably include soul searching and making decisions that you have probably not made in your “job hiring” past.
  4. The results will be that you will have a work place that people will WANT to work and the word will spread and it will positively affect your sales and bottom line.
  5. If one of your friends or parent was noticeably older than you or walked with a disability or had a different color of skin, would you tell him/her not to come to your house because you didn’t want the neighbors to know that you associate with “those types” of HUMAN BEINGS?  I think not, so why do it in your business life?
  6. QUALIFIED candidates will reward you, the company and their co-workers once given the opportunity to shine.
Go forth and make this a tremendous week for you and everyone around you!  If I can be of any assistance to you or your organization with regards to Revenue Growth, Retention or Recruitment please call or write and I will respond immediately!

George F. Mancuso, CPC
Client Growth Consultants

Employee Retention Is a Management Issue, Not a Human Resource Issue

Question:  Employee Retention continues to be a management and not a human resource issue!  Below is a true story that was related to me by one of my clients in Overland Park, KS.  This is shared with you with their permission.

Response:  My “client” has a high end greenhouse operation. They hired a young lady “employee” on a part time at minimum wage.  The employee had lost her job, was a single mom, homeowner and been in the community for several years.  She took the job out of desperation to feed her family. The client loved her work ethics, on time always there reporting, and first to offer to help.  The employee was on a hunt for a full time job and met with the client owners, explaining her dilemma.  The employee explained that she really loved working there.  She enjoyed the co-workers, good working environment and was very comfortable but just couldn’t make ends meet.
So the client said, let us think about it and we’ll give you an answer tomorrow. 

Tomorrow came and they offered her full time work, and a whopping .25 per hour raise.  TWO WHOLE DOLLARS PER DAY! 3 days later the employee gave a two week notice as she had interviewed and was offered an administrative position for $3.50 more per hour.  The client responded by saying they would match it if she would stay, but the die had been cast and she turned them down.  One well trained good worker gone, and it didn’t have to be.

In discussing this with the client they revealed to me that they pay a temp agency almost $13.00 per hour for untrained help for a day or two of “warm body” work.  I asked if they didn’t see the error in their judgment.  Their turnover rate is very high, they don’t keep but a very few employees as core employees.  The cost of training and retraining far outweighs the value of paying people a fair wage for a fair days work.

I asked, “…if you were willing to match the offer, why didn’t you just make it in the first place?”  Answer, “…because we thought she’d stay and we’d save the money.”

This scenario plays itself out all over the United States in the workforce.  From a financial standpoint this position is truly illogical.  From a moral standpoint, it’s deplorable.  And from a morale and retention standpoint, it’s the kiss of death.  Retention continues to be a management issue.

I hope this week is a great one.  Call or write if I can assist you with Employee Retention, Recruitment or Revenue Growth issues.


George F. Mancuso, CPC
Client Growth Consultants


What You Need to KNOW, Because the Best Solution Doesn't Always Win

QUESTION: I recently had this conversation and sales event with a professional sales/management young lady that I have mentored for many years. Because it has an unusual happy ending, I’d like to share it with you.
“George, I lost an account that I had been working on for weeks and I feel so beat up and demoralized that it’s almost difficult to put into words.
I pursued this account with tremendous diligence using most of the techniques that you have taught me over the years. I understood their problems, got close to them so communication seemed to be right on target and I believed that our solutions were the best solutions for them. What really hurts is that they made their decision on issues that just weren’t that important.Not only am I upset because I lost but I’m upset because they lost too.”
RESPONSE: My young friend learned valuable lessons that included:
  • The best solution doesn’t always win
  • The one with the highest sense of service doesn’t always win either
  • Solutions and services are only prerequisites for success
  • It is possible to sell competitively without selling negatively
  • And the one who wins isn’t necessarily the best person with the best product but possibly just the best competitor
So here are the future considerations and how we turned this event around;
  1. KNOW YOUR COMPETITOR: You need to know everything there is to know about the competition.
  2. KNOW THE OPPOSING SALES PERSON OR TEAM: There is a strong difference between sales people, their approaches, their presentations and their closing methods. Know who you are dealing with.
  3. PICK THE ISSUES THAT GIVE YOU THE COMPETITIVE EDGE: If you can control the issues you can control the sale.
  4. SELL TO THE INDIVIDUALS NOT TO THE COMPANY AS A GROUP: Remember that groups are not homogeneous. They are composed of individuals who will have different reasons for voting the way they do.I know you are going to scream at me, “THIS IS NOT FAIR” but life isn’t fair. When it comes time to vote, personal issues typically outweigh corporate ones.
  5. FINALLY, CONSIDER YOURSELF THE QUARTERBACK: An outstanding quarterback gets ready for the game, knows where he might get overrun or intercepted, and understands the opposing team and their players and DIRECTS THE GAME PLAN.
I was fortunate that this young lady’s company is very progressive, determined and strives for excellence. They hired me to perform a “post mortem” on the alleged lost sale. I met with the players of her company, learned about and understood the presentation and its intended results for the prospect. I called the President of the prospective company, explained who I was, why I was calling and asked for an appointment in the immediate future which was granted. When I left they were so impressed that the selling company had gone to such lengths to secure them as a customer, they invited BOTH competitors back for a second presentation. And yes you guess it; “our” team got the final contract signed at the day of presentation. A 1.5 million dollar loss one week turned into a $1.5M gain the next week. Aren’t happy endings great? As always, please accept my wishes for a tremendous week. If I can be of assistance to you or your organization when it comes to revenue growth, retention or recruiting, please call or write and I will respond immediately! Regards,
George F. Mancuso, CPC President Client Growth Consultants, Inc.

6 Points Every Leader, Manager, Director or Team Player Should Know

QUESTION:  I get asked many questions about leadership and team players. So with that in mind, here are six points every leader, manager, director or team player should know.


  1. Leaders are defined as someone you or I would want to follow. Appointed managers and many times owners can be people that we have to follow.  With that said, owners and managers can and should be leaders.  Titles are earned and not granted.
  2. Being a role model is critical for the success of your team.  Employees will watch and listen for the direction they “think” you want them to go.
  3. Excellent communication is critical.  Unless your team is filled with prophets that can read your mind, you MUST communicate.  Secrecy and massive amounts of behind door meetings breed contempt and distrust of leaders.

  4. Distrust of your team members is an ingredient that will destroy your organization. Those of you who have been long time readers of mine should remember me writing on several occasions about me asking the following questions of business owners and/or managers before I accept an engagement:
    “Based on your management style and the environmental culture of this organization, which statement is most true?”
    a.    I have to earn your trust?
    b.    I have to earn your distrust?

    It doesn’t take a Rhodes scholar to ascertain why I ask that question.  Those of you who distrust everything and everybody….."your bad" and your loss.
  5. Don’t try to fit a round peg into a square hole.  Have respect for your team members.  Just because YOU think a team member would be a good fit into a particular role or job, doesn’t necessarily mean the team member who must perform in that role would agree with you.  If a team member isn’t openly willing to accept a new role or spot on the team, then it probably is not going to work.Instead it becomes a path of destruction and a destination of failure.
  6. And finally, work has got to be enjoyable, it’s got to be fun.  I’ve said it many times, but here it is again - Work is a place that employees should want to go.  This needs to be the last “job” or career they will ever look for or consider.  A place where those at the top respect their employees, their employees’ families, family time and activities and where praise of good work and success flow as freely as sunshine from the sky.
As always, please accept my wishes for a tremendous week.   If I can be of assistance to you or your organization when it comes to revenue growth, retention or recruiting, please call or write and I will respond immediately!

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

Recruiting the Best

QUESTION:  I am constantly asked about employee retention and recruiting the “best” people, thus, the subject for this week’s newsletter.  I certainly hope you enjoy this, find it interesting & educational and share this newsletter with your management staff by clicking on the “SHARE” button below.

Projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecast a shortage of 10,300,000 workers by the end of 2010!  And this shortage is simply raw numbers; it doesn’t fully address the growing skills gap.  The numbers also don’t take into account the changing attitudes in the workforce.
Because so few corporate leaders are fully cognizant of their predicament, executives who DO prepare for the new operating environment will lead their organizations to a bright future in 2011; those who ignore the threat, risk dangerous vulnerability.  With these thoughts in mind, I have six suggestions for owners and managers with regards to employee retention and staffing.

    The old expression that “you get what you pay for” is never truer when it comes to employees.  To get above average talent, service and productivity, you must consider pay grades that are above the average for competitors in your marketplace.  It is ludicrous to think you can get a world-class staff by paying below average wages.

    When I ask members of a management team why they have heavy turnover, the answers are usually the same: no recognition, no promotional opportunities, no training, work not appreciated, lousy benefits, too much stress, overwork and of course the most popular, a better opportunity for more money.  What amazes me is all of these excuses are fixable by management, but they go into a non-response mode with a complacent, “oh well.”
    But in reality the number one reason IS LOUSY MANAGEMENT OR SUPERVISION!  If the basic supervisor-employee relationship is not good, employees leave with dispatch.  What is really sad is that this problem IS fixable.
    Executives and owners often confide in me, “George, it isn’t easy”.  Just because so and so is a lousy manager, he/she means no harm, OR He/she has been with me for so many years and is a good person, OR my all time favorite, he/she is my wife’s brother/sister.
    Loyalty is one thing but if you have a supervisor or manager that continually drives away good talented people, you have ONLY two choices:  Fix him/her by getting them into a training and/or self development program or GET THAT PERSON OUT OF MANAGEMENT!
    Have you ever thought of someone in your organization that you would gladly fill out an employment application for them for ANOTHER company and then offer to drive them to the interview?  Whenever I am asked, “what is the fastest way to turn around low morale” my first and immediate response is to get rid of the “turkeys” in the organization.  Your company should be staffed with EAGLES not turkeys.

    Leadership, whether strong or weak, ultimately determines the overall retention rate of your company.  Retaining GREAT employees is far too important to completely delegate to mid-level managers or human resource managers.  Retention must be front and center within every strategic initiative, expansion plan or turnaround situation that you face.  Remember, leaders are not necessarily good managers and managers are not necessarily good leaders.  It doesn’t have to be that way, but most times it is.

    If you do not have internal staff with a learning and training curriculum, spend the money and hire an outside, highly qualified (one who has been there and done that) consultant to help you design a plan, train all trainable employees and get over your high employee turnover.  It will be the best money you ever spent.  Third party influence many times works much better than hearing from a peer or upper management person.
Employees WANT to learn, they WANT to grow and will reward you when given the opportunity to do.  Lack of retention cost corporations millions of dollars on a DAILY BASIS!You don’t have to fall into that category.

As always, please accept my wishes for a tremendous week.   If I can be of assistance to you or your organization when it comes to revenue growth, retention or recruiting, please call or write and I will respond immediately!


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

Budget vs. Hiring vs. Growth

Question:  We are a small service organization with less than 15 employees.  I want to grow revenue and improve our company's standing in our marketplace, but budgetary constraints prohibit me from hiring a whole bunch of new talent and engaging in a massive marketing campaign.  Any suggestions for us that won’t give us a negative look to our prospects?   (Roger E., Business Owner, Columbus, OH)

RESPONSE:  To begin with, if you look all around the business world, the realization that you are not the only company in this “club” will become apparent rather quickly.  Your question is an excellent one, as who amongst us wouldn’t like to improve cash flow, have happy employees and be known for greatness.  Here is my take on a path you might consider;

  • Revue your current corporate culture; you can do this by speaking with ALL of your employees either one on one or as a group.  Ask them if this is a good, great, or just okay place to work.  Ask what you as a business owner could do better to make the culture of your business one that employees WANT to work within the organization.  Trust me on this, your employees know the answers and if you approach this with an open mind, listen intently, design a path they approve, your culture will become the best of the best.
  • Ask each of your employees what they could personally do to help you improve growth; this might mean taking on additional tasks or doubling up on their role within the company.  But if they agree to take on more, set a time line that once you or they reach a certain plateau, you will be in a position to hire additional professionals to carry the load onward.  If it is their idea, it means that they take ownership of the success or failure of the new method or process.  But that doesn’t mean that they don’t need YOUR support and the support of ALL of the other team members.
  • Recruit top level professionals; this doesn’t mean individuals that have been power students and possess several degrees in multiple disciplines.  It means individuals who have made a difference, are unique in their approach, are driven to achieve and will fit within your cultural environment.  If your success is hiring employees that stay for lengthy tenures hasn’t been the best, I suggest you hire a professional recruiter to assist you.  Believe me, they are worth the money.
  • Share with your employees your expectations; No business man or woman goes into a project without reviewing the return on his/her investment.
  • Share with your employees what needs to be accomplished and then to help insure success, give them a little reward for making it happen. Entrepreneurs, who don’t share profits, typically don’t remain entrepreneurs for long.  Once the greed factor sets in, recovery through credibility wanes at break neck speed and employees don’t forget.
As always, please accept my wishes for a tremendous week.  Hopefully your goals for 2010 are on track and will come to a successful conclusion as we only have 2 months and a week left in this year.  If I can be of assistance to you or your organization, please call or write, I will respond immediately!


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


When You Achieve Success, Act Like You've Been There Before

October 17, 2010

Question: Vince Lombardi the renowned former football coach of the Green Bay Packers once said, “When you get into the end zone and score a touchdown, act like you’ve been there before.” What do you think he really meant by that statement?
(Steve W., Entrepreneur, Madison, WI)

Response: As our economy continues with its recovery, this is the perfect time to get your “publicity” in gear. Just like Vince Lombardi coached his receivers, you need to; “act like you’ve been here before!” Lombardi’s philosophy was that the other team(s) would view his receivers capable of scoring a touchdown every time they handled the ball. In essence, the perceptions is to be that we are winners all of the time.

Coach Lombardi also said, “Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence!” When you have self confidence, you have a feeling of exhilaration that is usually hard to beat. This feeling can easily get you through unknown paths, uncomfortable situations and provide you with a self determination that almost makes you unstoppable in your quest for success.

Knowledge, familiarity and comfort can be a solid element of trust in the eye of the beholder. We don’t have to be really famous to get attention. Although in the absence of a full blown media campaign, we do need to identify at least one thing that allows us to be “slightly famous.”

How do we translate this, without a complex marketing plan, into a presence in our target industry? How can we use personal or self marketing to differentiate ourselves from others? How do we actually create brand loyalty and not just awareness?

Perception is reality and the more self confidence you “show” the more likely success will be yours. The old adage that people like to do business with successful people is as true today as it was years ago.

Look the part, back it with wisdom, caring, desire and determination and you’ll off to a great start. Carry yourself well with a good posture, heads up, eye contact and a spring in your step. In other words become a silent or subliminal personal billboard about YOU and the balance of your requirements will begin to fall into place. Every single day you step into the business world, look like a success, act like a success and everybody around you will believe that YOU HAVE BEEN HERE BEFORE!

As always, please accept my wishes for a tremendous week. If I can assist you or your organization, please call or write and I will respond immediately! Your comments, concerns and/or questions are always confidentially welcome here.

George F. Mancuso


Be Genuine or Don't Bother

Q: I am a firm believer in saying what I'll do and doing what I say. However, I do want to provide whatever support for my employees and clients when possible. What are some ways to give that impression without being unpleasant about it?
A: You are right to be cautious. Clients are smart (they hired you, didn't they?) and keenly perceptive (they got their job, didn't they?) and employees are intelligent, intuitive and have probably already dialed into your persona, so be genuine or don't bother.
Here are a few combined thoughts for clients and employees alike:
• Purposely "beat" a promised deadline (e.g., something expected next week is given to them tomorrow).
• Periodically send over helpful information and notes about things you feel will benefit them.
• Send an informal note recommending articles of particular interest to them or their business with no other "strings" attached.
• Prepare a summary report of an event you just attended and send it to them without telling them in advance that you are going to do it.
• Provide friendly, unexpected reminders/acknowledgments of key dates, events, anniversaries, birthdays, etc. Do not even consider these unless you have already talked about the event and share its significance.
The ultimate goal, is for employees and customers should always to get them to think "Wow, that was way more than I ever expected and I appreciate that." What you don't want them to think is "That's odd. I wonder why he or she did that." It has to be natural and something that occurs to you as a person, not in your role as a manager, sales person or business owner. Non-business items can many times be more appreciated than business items.
As always, please accept my wishes for a great and personally rewarding week. If I can be of assistance to you and/or your organization, please call or write and I will respond immediately!
George F. Mancuso


What Can You Learn From Sherlock Holmes?

Sherlock HolmesQ: What can Sales and Management Professionals learn from the legendary Sherlock Holmes?

A: Business professionals might want to learn how to play detective! We are often asked to solve a problem, figure out what caused a failure (or success), etc. Think of yourself as that famous London-based fictional sleuth of the late 19th/early 20th centuries who was created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The next time you face a quandary, think "What would Sherlock Holmes do?" 

He would:
1. Keep an open mind.
3. Investigate all possibilities thoroughly.
4. Look carefully at the details.
5. Look for connections, relationships, consistencies and inconsistencies.
6. Ask lots of questions.
7. Wear a disguise (OK-you might want to scratch that one!).
8. Be relentless in your pursuit of the solution.

The next time you are given a challenging question, remember to ask yourself the question, "What would Sherlock do?"

P.S. Did you know that Holmes never actually uttered that famous line "Elementary, my dear Watson" in any of Conan Doyle's four novels or 56 short stories featuring the character? Holmes does say "Elementary" in the book The Adventure of the Crooked Man, but the famous line does not appear in its entirety in any of Conan Doyle's stories. The full phrase seems to have originated in either a subsequent film or theater play (the actual source has been long debated) based on Conan Doyle's original work.

I hope your week in another outstanding one especially because we’ve just entered the 4th Quarter of 2010. Just 3 months left to accomplish all of your 2010 goals. If I can be of any assistance to you or your organization, please call or write and I will respond immediately!

George F. Mancuso, CPC


What is the Secret of Recruiting More Women into our Organization?

Q: What is the Secret to Recruiting Women For Jobs Traditionally Occupied by Men? We are attempting to recruit more women for jobs as outside sales representatives with our firm. This is a position that has been predominantly occupied at our company by men. In the interest of diversity, we are eager to interest more women in these roles. Thus far, job boards and women-focused job sites have been little help. How else can we publicize these positions and reasonably assure ourselves that we will be able to recruit good candidates? (Margaret H., President; Dallas, TX)
A: Many employers recognize the advantages of forming a gender-balanced workforce. A diverse group of employees, composed of both women and men, can create a more effective, productive and cohesive organization and deliver a wide range of capabilities at multiple service levels. Recruiting women for nontraditional positions may pose challenges but can be accomplished with some creative ideas.
The first step is to analyze the position, along with your recruitment process. Review the job description and job postings. Make sure the functions and responsibilities are neutral and geared to attract to both women and men. Then, partner with the hiring department to develop clear goals to recruit more women. Make workforce diversity a corporate priority and market any prominent roles played by women in the organization.
Involve women in every step of recruitment. During the interview process, give potential women candidates the opportunity to meet women in the organization who can share their views and experiences.
Blend traditional and new recruitment methods. Continue to advertise on gender-specific job boards and to search posted resumes, and use online career centers to attract candidates from your targeted audience. Invite current women employees to accompany human resources to trade expos that attract large numbers of women. Market "women-encouraged" messaging at various events; and showcasing women in a variety of roles at all levels of the organization. You can also launch a creative "ambassador" or employee referral program, encouraging staff to recommend women candidates for your sales jobs.
Use company newsletters, press releases and your corporate Web site to profile the extraordinary work of women at your firm, including promotions and other success stories. Partner with educational institutions, trade associations, women-focused organizations and bloggers to identify potential women candidates.
Streamline recruitment by moving the application process online. Resumes of people that match the job criteria can be quickly identified through algorithms that help you select the most qualified candidates.
Implementing these strategies will help your company fill the roles traditionally dominated by men and cultivate a more diverse and representative workforce. Women are out there and eager to work, especially for organizations that support and reward their efforts.
Please accept my wish for your week to be an outstanding one. If I can help your organization or you personally, please write or call and I will respond immediately.
George F. Mancuso


Does your intrepidity (fearlessness) shine through every day?

Q: Does your intrepidity shine through?

Cover of "The Magnificent Seven (Special ...A: One of my all time favorite movies was the Hollywood Epic, The Magnificent Seven staring Yul Brenner and a fabulous cast in a great western. It was true (in this movie) that the Magnificent Seven were very willing and able to fight tirelessly for a cause. But in this case, their intentions were to create an ideal situation without bloodshed. A situation that included giving the villagers the inner and morale strength to stand up for themselves and send the bad guys a message that this village just might not be a push over to their nefarious ways.
When it comes to sales or managing a business, if your inner person is “right” then your confidence, knowledge and fearless level will shine through in the way you carry yourself and approach any given situation and/or competition. Your confidence level, when shinning through, puts people around you on notice that you are a force to be dealt with.
The solution meets the problem when you offer a “demo” whether with props or verbalization. I firmly believe when I personally am in this mode, it is a test of my ability. And failing tests in not an option for me nor should it be for you.
When you sell a service, your prospect has to visualize the service and its impact or positive results on him/her. And if a picture or even a mental image is worth a thousand words, then a live demonstration is probably worth 10,000 words because our brains act a hundred times faster on what we see than the image our imagination portrays.
My message today is that your confidence level can act as the perceived problem solver for increased productivity, providing happiness, minimizing negativity and improving lives to name just a few areas. Make the problem areas come alive, then create a sense of urgency by not only identifying the problem(s) but the effect the problem has on the other person or company.
For an example, an ordinary sales person is so interested in “the pitch” that he/she isn’t aware that the buyer has gotten accustomed to living in a pan of water that’s steadily getting warmer and warmer. A consummate sales professional has a “fire raging through his/her hair” and infects the prospect with that urgency of solving his/her problem.
Don’t try to convince the prospect with rhetorical nonsense, self centered rationale, features and benefits. Paint a picture of how hot that water is going to get and what the ultimate outcome will be if they don’t react if something isn’t done.

So here is my self evaluating question to you; “Does your intrepidity (fearlessness) shine through every day?”

As always I wish you an absolute tremendous week all good and no evil. Your questions and/or comments are always welcome here. And of course, if I can ever be of assistance to you and/or your organization, please call or write and I will respond immediately.

George F. Mancuso, CPC


How Can I Be Different From Every Other Sales Professional?

Q: My Company is fairly large and well regarded and I am an experienced sales professional. What can I do to differentiate myself from thousands of other sales professionals who do similar work?
(Sandra J., VP of Sales, Athens, GA)
A: Every professional faces the same issues of differentiation, regardless of firm size, discipline, products or services. Certainly your personal reputation from prior work and, often in a large firm, the reputation of your sales partners can make a big difference.

However, people shop on rationality and buy on emotion. In the minds of a buyer of professional services, particularly the more senior they are, there is a greater likelihood of identifying with you if you come across as a peer. This means exhibiting leadership characteristics. And it’s a proven fact that professionals who are also innovators grow more rapidly than those who have a tendency to “go with the flow.”

One of the best ways leaders relate is by having relational stories to tell. Stories, more than dry recitations of capabilities that are virtually indistinguishable from others, help you emotionally connect. Great leaders can tell three stories:

1. About themselves (what you stand for, where you came from)
2. About the organization they represent (you are promoting your firm as well as yourself)
3. About how they have made/can make people feel they are part of something bigger than themselves (this can be about past clients, community organizations or missions that you and your audience have in common)

Your stories won't get you in the door - only your capabilities, experience and value will. Create the stories that define you and your commitment to professional service and you are much more likely to connect. And connecting to somebody new is truly the key. Tell [your] story and make it happen from there.

As always, please accept my wishes for a tremendous week.

George F. Mancuso, CPC
Client Growth Consultants