Reflections of 2012 That Will Lead You Into 2013

Today's Desk of Gman, which is the last in 2012, is about reflection and perspective on what delights you about your profession and/or your business practices.Spend a few minutes thinking back over your professional career. Close your eyes (after you are done reading this) and go over the research, marketing, selling, engagements, client conversations, employee to employee conversations, analyses, interviews, publicity events presenting findings and recommendations and being called back to provide additional products, services or mentoring. What were the one or two most satisfying and rewarding events or moments you have experienced?

Was it when a team received applause at a board meeting for your work they performed under your direction? Was it winning an engagement or a sale you had been pursuing for some time? Was it reaching a unique conclusion or insight after a long period of analysis? Was it the times you spent with a valued colleague working on a difficult problem? What about being able to speak to audiences about your work or about your profession in general? Or is it the flexibility of lifestyle business and/or sales management can afford you?

Is there a pattern? What were you doing when you experienced your favorite moment? If you think about a few of your favorite moments, is there a pattern? Are they all related to selling your services or wining an engagement, or are they mostly about doing the work? Are the winning moments all of one type? If so, how will you make 2013 a year when you get to experience more of those delightful moments? Why shouldn't you focus your efforts on living a professional life full of joy?

Conversely, what were some of the worst moments of your professional career? Is there a pattern? Can you restructure your business practice to eliminate or at least mitigate them?  
2013 is exactly 2 days away.  I sincerely hope that my weekly messages of hope, leadership, management, sales and dealing most effectively with people in general has been a good inspiration to your business and personal lives alike.  I get my ideas from many of you who send me comments that reflect your perspective.  I get great pleasure from those of you who ask me great questions about business acumen, growth, sales and treat of and by people.  And I certainly hope that pleasure rings loud and clear each week as this “People Newsletter” goes out.
 I would like to wish you a tremendous 2013!  If we can ever be of assistance to you, please contact me via Email, U.S. Mail or call and we will respond immediately!
George F. Mancuso, CPC, CEO
Client Growth Consultants, Inc.
Grinnell, IA 50112


Do You Believe In Mentoring?

Mentoring can range from a friendly discussion over coffee, to a few well chosen words at the water cooler, to a quiet hand written note for a myriad of reasons.  As a “manager” of a business or a team you should have at least an informal mentoring program in place with the full intentions of making it more formal as the program gains strength.
In days past, mentors were seen as the more senior and wiser members of the team.  It was assumed that their mentoring skills came from years of hands on experience.  And in the majority of the time, this concept probably held true to course.
But in today’s world, mentoring has become more accountable.  Mentors and those being mentored typically reach an agreement on issues, structure and intended end results.  It is my humble opinion that in the current business mindset, mentoring is less about seniority and power and more about teaching, sharing, supporting and developing.
I’ve been asked about the difference between a mentor and a coach and I have difficulty defining the difference as the roles are not clear cut defined.  Because there is ambiguity in most management activities, the difference can be elusive, thus I personally don’t have a logical answer.  However I will say that they both have value and they both can work splendidly.
So what is a mentor?  Perhaps a teacher; a trusted friend; is nurturing by nature; one who can give advice without being judgmental; a guide or role model;  one who cares about development of a persona not just a job;   one who help another become more capable.
Many formal programs have adopted a “buddy” program in which all new hires are assigned a more experienced employee.  The buddy is there to provide guidance and support and to be a good listener and this is especially important during the first few months.  For a new employee, becoming acquainted with policies and procedures and the cultural of the organization can get to be a bit overwhelming.
The bottom line is that it is still “all about people.”  People helping people;   People caring about others and offering help and guidance without having an ulterior motive. 
Make a dedicated effort to make this a tremendous week of giving for yourself and all with whom you come in contact.  All lives within that scope will be enriched. 
George F. Mancuso, CPC, CEO
Client Growth Consultants, Inc.


Does Your CEO Foster Innovation Within Your Organization?

Does Your CEO Foster Innovation Within Your Organization?

Much has been written about creativity in individuals and formal processes to foster innovation in companies.

Convert problems to ideas: The stimulus for new ideas comes from being forced to focus on solving a problem. In almost every case, there are better ways to solve, or avoid, a problem. See problems as needing a new approach, not just something to power through using common wisdom.
1. Create an innovation system: Creativity exists in all organizations and in all individuals, but it is rarely channeled and deliberate. Make innovation intentional. Set up a time and set of steps to think about the nature of problems, the inputs and processes commonly used to solve them and the satisfaction of the outcomes. Where are alternatives possible?
2.  Make your sense of pain or urgency drive innovation: New ideas may be spontaneous but translating them into actionable processes or products requires emotional attachment. You have to see excitement or promise in new ideas to move them from thought to action.
3.  Hang out with other creative people and/or people who have the same problems you face: The same thinking yields the same results. Innovation is most fertile when several disciplines come together. Make it a point to get to know other business professionals who work in other industries or disciplines and ask how they would solve a common problem.
4.  Define what is most important:  Examples include recruiting, retention, short and/or long term revenue growth, new products or services.
5.  Recognize how the organization going to facilitate an Innovation Program:  Formal classes, outside speakers, a Management Acclimatization® session, collaboration of employees in a team concept are a few suggestions.
Make innovation a deliberate part of your business strategy. Considering that professional services has about a three year life (at least that was conventional wisdom a few years ago), you need to replace or refresh a third of your services every year. Write down a few problems you'd like to solve or services you'd like to introduce. Introduce yourself to a steady stream of new prospects to discuss these ideas and help them innovate as well.

Month one of 2013 is about to begin.  Are you prepared to do your part to grow yourself, grow your company and help your peers grow as well?  As always, here is my wish that you have a tremendous week.  If you feel Client Growth Consultants can help, please call or write and we will respond immediately!  Your comments and/or suggestions are always welcome.

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



What is the Role of Human Resources When Employees Quit Their Bosses?

What is the Role of Human Resources When Employees Quit Their Bosses?

  If you are an HR Professional, what path should you take?
  If you are an Executive or Owner running a company, what path should you take?

I firmly believe that over 10 years ago I personally coined the phrase, “Employees Quit Their Bosses Not Their Company” and now it is a well used but vastly ignored fact of business life.
Human Resources:  You have performed several exit interviews and the bottom line continually goes back to unhappiness with the terminating employees’ supervisor.  And the reasons for unhappiness can and usually are varied from lack of communication, disrespect in public, different rules for different folks, lack of consistency, no opportunity to grow, no interest in a suggestion(s), deaf ear on safety issues and the list goes on.
These stats must be presented not only to executive management by HR so that all members of the management team can quickly identify problem areas and react accordingly.  High turnover percentages in any given department or supervisor, the estimated cost of replacement which is typically 50 to 75% of base salary, fixing a broken system or supervisor are all critical pieces of information need to stop a negative affect on the morale of the organization not to mention the bottom line on the P&L.. 
Executives/Owners:  If you are not getting this information you are missing a huge piece of the puzzle needed to be affective in your management posture.  It matters not that you are a small, medium or large organization.  Employee Retention IS a Management Issue NOT a Human Resource Department issue.  I’m not suggesting that HR shouldn’t be considered an intricate partner but the marching orders typically come from the top.
And please remember three additional thoughts that I have echoed for years:

A.       BAD companies condone bad managers and GOOD companies fix bad managers!

B.      It is bad enough when an employee quits and leaves but it is worse when an employee quits and stays!

C.      94% of the time the system is broken NOT the employees.
Employee Retention is purely a people issue and most broken systems can be repaired.  Don’t be too proud to ask for help.  Call or write and I will respond immediately!  Management Acclimatization® is typically a four hour onsite event that will bring teams together.

George F. Mancuso

George F. Mancuso, CPC, CEO



Do I Have To Earn Your Trust or Earn Your Distrust?

When I interview prospective clients for the recruiting and consulting side of business, it’s important that I understand the culture and learn what I’m dealing with.   So I ALWAYS ask this dynamite question:  Just think of the knowledge I garner from the possible answers. And ask yourself, what would employees say about me if I was asked this question?

“At this company which statement is more correct?”

A.    I have to earn your trust?  OR

B.    I have to earn your distrust?

Most narcissistic people I have met want all the glory.  Their writings and verbal discussions are so filled with the words, “I and ME” that it becomes nauseating.  But let somebody on the team make a mistake and it suddenly becomes all about “that” person and what is worse, the narcissistic wants everybody to know that the mistake wasn’t his/her fault.

Let’s examine what the some of the ramifications of answers to either A or B.

A:  Tells me that this person doesn’t trust anybody;  That he/she is going to always be watching over my shoulder ready to pounce on the first mistake;  That he/she probably has a personality that wreaks of “I’m always right;” That he/she has no problem speaking or acting in a condescending manner just make him/herself appear as the only authority; And probably a guy or gal that will ride you hard and put you away wet time after time and without any compassion for the consequences.  PERSONALLY, THIS IS NOT MY FAVORITE KIND OF PERSON>

B:  Tells me that this person is confident and mostly defined in their role; That he/she sees the value in me; That they trust me to do achieve what my talents, abilities and promises allow me; That they understand there will be bumps in the road but that we will probably all learn and move forward;  That he/she will probably be a good mentor and help guide to excellence for both myself and the company.  PERSONALLY, I GRAVITATE TOWARDS THESE TYPES OF PROFESSIONALS.

Within any given industry today, there so may people in the “A” category that cost their companies thousands if not millions of dollars.  Micro-Managing and Micro-Managers are NOT good for business.  If you company experiences this and you can’t find a fix, you can review a short 4 hour process we perform on site call Management Acclimatization® and I’d be happy to discuss this at any time.

Be a great citizen this week and make it wonderful for not only you but everybody around you.  Call or write if I can help.


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


Has Your Title Clouded Your Progress?

“Okay George I took your advice and invited my key executives and department heads to an offsite dinner meeting.  They were told to bring two sentences that described me on an unsigned piece of paper so I didn’t know who wrote what.  I assured everybody there would be no indignation or retaliation just a learning experience for me to be a better owner.  And much to my shock, I was defined as a micro-manager and narcissistic.”

“Once I got my composure, we talked and there is no doubt I have been a micro-manager and yes I certainly give off the appearance that it IS all about me.  So now George my old friend of great wisdom, “HOW DO I FIX ME?”  (Sammy M. CEO, Heavy Equipment Manufacturing, Missouri)

First and foremost, you must want to change for the good of YOU.  Management and ownership of any company comes with tremendous responsibilities.  You must demonstrate knowledge, judgment and technique on the business side.  And you must be filled with logic, compassion and understanding on the personal side.  But most of all you must demonstrate CONFIDENCE IN YOUR TEAM!  If there is no confidence then there is no team or worse there is no manager.

Your personal experiences may give you a false sense of security or confidence in the quest to manage your organization affectively.  Most all companies are filled with live, breathing, human beings who have brains and are willing to use them.  USE THE RESOURCES that you have within your organization because they have talent and abilities and because you have confidence in them.

The next concept you must grasp is a little word called, “TRUST.”  This is one of the most difficult processes to master for a micro manager.  Learn to delegate and have an understanding  that other people are in most cases, NEVER going to do it just like you do.  Be willing to deal with it and become a mentor/teacher so those employees improve and continue to make your life easy.

You must learn to hold your tongue.  Get the people who attended the dinner to give you a secret signal when they hear you get on one of your “hey look at me moods.”  Think of the words you say and ask yourself, “How would I react if my boss just said that to me?”  You CAN teach old dog new tricks and you must start retraining yourself to give the accolades to the team and take the heat when heat comes on behalf of the team.

There is no magic, just discipline of self.  If you don’t want to improve, I can say with some certainly you will never achieve measurable improvement.  If you are having problems getting your arms around this problem perhaps a Management Acclimatization® event in your conference room is in order.

Remember that your thoughts of today are programming your tomorrow.  If you woke up this morning and said to you, “this is going to be a terrible day” it probably will be.  So why not wake up each day and tell yourself, “I’m going to be a better person today” and you will be.  Again I say to you, YOUR THOUGHTS OF TODAY ARE PROGRAMMING YOUR TOMORROW!  Use that thought process wisely and you will reap the rewards.

Have a tremendous week.


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


How Do We Retain Employees Without Busting The Budget?


Money is a convenient and overused excuse for turnover. It is rare that money alone causes the typical employee to leave. Most employees would willingly take a little less money than they could make somewhere else if they find other things they value more in their work environment—challenge, developmental opportunities, friendships with peers and supervisors, flexibility, appreciation and other real benefits.

Even in cases where employees are happy with the job, knowing that they are paid significantly below market can cause hard feelings and lead to turnover. Money is a natural and fundamental concern. As such, it often deserves serious, albeit painful, consideration and action by even the most cash-strapped organization.

Before you spend a penny on additional salary, benefits or other programs, it is important to find out specifically what is broken in your relationship with employees. If you don’t do this, you risk fixing the wrong things and wasting precious money, time, effort and good will. Here are a few data-gathering techniques that have worked well for me over the years:

Exit Interviews:
Identify what leads your employees to read want ads or accept a call from a recruiter in the first place.

There are a number of good questions you can use to get the information you need. One of my favorites is “Tell me about the three things you’d change tomorrow if you owned the company.” Another is “What things, if changed, would have prevented you from considering another job?”

An active and patient listener will glean a lot of good information from these questions.

Focus Groups and Surveys;
There are a number of decent employee-opinion survey products commercially available. Learning to do a focus group is easily within the grasp of most HR professionals.

Even so, I prefer using objective, experienced third parties to do this kind of work. Employees often feel that outsiders will keep their input more confidential and are less likely to have their feelings hurt by the results of focus groups than will company personnel. Focus groups and surveys done by outside personnel tend to get more forthright answers than those done by in-house personnel.

Retention Interviews;
Identify the employees you really, really need to keep. Sit down with them and discuss the company, their personal satisfaction, ideas to make their job even better than it is, and related topics.

Showing your interest is often rewarded with additional commitment and longevity.

One word of caution for all of these techniques: Don’t use them if you aren’t willing to listen to what people think. More important, if you are not willing to consider making changes, you are well advised not to ask. The “sugar high” of raised expectations quickly diminishes into all-time lows of employee morale if people think you aren’t listening.

You will find that the answers to turnover are not as elusive as you may think. They are, in reality, fairly basic. The suggestions you harvest from employees will help you design the practical solutions you need and can afford.


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


Why You Must Build Management Capability - Continued

This is part 2 of 2 of the article I posted on October 14, 2012

Actions to take
    Doing the bare minimum of training and development—just enough to keep your organization within the law, and to keep from being sued—can easily lead to behaviors that damage companies’ reputations. Once damaged, a reputation takes significant time and money to restore. Some companies never really recover. Before find yourself in a position of losing top talent or dealing with a weakened organizational reputation, you can invest in processes to improve the management capability in your organization.

    Human resource leaders are in an ideal position to influence all the elements needed to change the role of managers and to help their organizations build management capability. Many elements are needed, of course, but the first is the sponsorship of the most senior leaders to ensure buy-in and demonstrable support for the process. The rest of the elements involve your organization’s beliefs, values and culture. All of these are levers for change and are necessary to reinforce norms and expectations.

    Building management capability goes beyond training. It includes transforming the organization’s culture so that it values the role that management plays in attracting and retaining top talent and setting forth clear expectations for the manager’s role. As this model indicates, all organizations have an underlying set of beliefs about the importance of the manager. Organizations that have strong management capabilities believe that managers are critical for their ability to attract, retain and motivate employees. Strong beliefs influence the values of an organization, and consequently, culture.

    Each of the levers of change in the model represents an area that organizations must consider if they want to build strong management capability. Just focusing on one lever of change will not bring about lasting change in management capability; the current culture will overwhelm small changes. By focusing on numerous change levers, organizations can modify the culture and create long-term change. Briefly, the levers represent the following considerations:

·         Leadership: An organization’s leadership must both believe in the value of the role that managers play and must lead by example.

·         Communication: The leadership team must consistently communicate the importance of the role of the manager to the organization and its ability to achieve high performance, attract talent and retain it.

·         Competencies: Management competencies must be assessed and developed. Entry into a management role must be predicated on an appropriate, although not necessarily perfect, set of skills.

·         Measurement and rewards: Any effective strategy must be integrated into the scorecard. It must be measured and rewarded.

·         Structure and symbols: The role of a manager must be structured so that the manager can spend sufficient time with direct reports. The term "manager" must mean something in terms of role expectations.

    By focusing on these levers of change, the organization will develop new norms and expectations for behavior. The organizational beliefs regarding the management role will actually conform to what the levers of change are encouraging: a belief that managers’ roles do make a difference.

Leadership first: showing the way
    Levers for change begin with leadership. Leadership sets the tone and shows the way. How your leaders think will cast the mold for the rest of the organization.

    It must be clear to others that your organization’s leaders believe that management capability is an asset worth time and resources. Where leaders demonstrate this through their own behaviors, the organizations will have corresponding success. Having leaders publicly recognize individuals for outstanding team management (as opposed to personally exceeding business goals) will set the tone for the importance the organization places on the role of the manager in delivering results.

    When leaders spend time with their direct reports, setting clear goals and expectations, providing feedback and actively working to build bench strength in the organization, they are setting expectations for how others will act. Take Jack Welch during his GE days. He spent a great deal of his personal time both developing his own successor (I’ve preached for years that you should always be training your replacement) and developing leadership capability throughout the organization by participating the GE’s management development programs. As a consequence, GE is constantly cited as having one of the best leadership development programs in the world. This happened because the senior leadership believed in the value of its leaders and made investments to insure they could deliver their maximum capability.

    Also, leaders are the ones who primarily create an organization’s fundamental beliefs, values and culture. Where leaders go astray, organizations often follow. Creating a powerful culture takes time. But leaders can play a powerful role in establishing the outward signs of culture and behaviors that they both embody and endorse.

Communication: keeping everyone on the same page
    Organizations tend to undervalue communication. But communication plays a powerful role as the vehicle through which leaders demonstrate and publicly recognize the desired behaviors in the organization. How leaders talk about managers sets a clear message for what is expected in the organization. Strong communication systems can help organizations build strong cultures and enhance performance.

Competencies: The essential building blocks
    Identifying the critical competencies that make managers successful in your organization is the first step in creating the new manager role. New managers who are hired and current employees who are promoted into management roles must be selected because they have the capability to deliver on key functions of this role. These competencies include such skills as setting goals that fit the business strategy, providing coaching and feedback to others and helping employees understand how they fit into the big picture.

    Often promotions are given because someone is a good individual contributor. Good technical skills are a far cry from good management skills. We need alternative career structures if the only way to move up in the organization is to become a manager. Not all great individual contributors make great managers. By having management competencies defined within an organization we can also coach and develop individuals on how to improve in these specific areas.

Measuring, rewarding and reinforcing
    It’s a cliché, but it’s true: That which gets measured and rewarded gets done. If you don’t include management competencies and results for such areas as reduction in turnover or developing staff to improve organizational bench strength in performance appraisal systems, managers will not focus on these issues. Organizations that reward their managers for being good managers will stand the greatest chance of building strong management capability over time. Rewards do not need to take the form of money. In fact, simple public recognition of strong management skills sends a message to the rest of the organization: Managers are important to us.

Organization structure: the key symbol
    When organizations design jobs so that managers must spend 90 percent of their time doing non-management work, we send a very clear message about how we view the management aspects of a manager’s role: They are not important. We need to redesign organizational structures to support managers so they can truly manage the talent within the organization.

    By involving your leaders, crafting key messages, developing managers and examining the current messages managers receive about their role in managing others, HR leaders can change how managers are viewed, and how they view themselves.

    The process of building better managers is not fast or cheap. But the rewards can be substantial and well worth the effort.


George F. Mancuso
George F. Mancuso, CPC 


Why You Must Build Management Capability

Why You Must Build Management Capability

(part 1 of 2)

In 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, Millennial 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.  Many valid surveys’ 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 co se 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.

Employees don’t leave companies; they leave their managers (I’ve said this time and time again)
    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—in 1999,. in 2000 and in 2003—examined the factors that predicted whether employees would stay with or leave their current organizations. 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.

What actions to take?  Watch your Sunday (October 21, 2012) email for some of the answers


George F. Mancuso
George F. Mancuso, CPC


Talent Asset vs. Tenure Asset - A Lesson In Employee Retention

Talent Asset vs. Tenure Asset – A Lesson in Employee Retention

“…the only thing worse than an employee who quits is an employee who quits and stays!”

Talent and Tenure are not necessarily two assets that go hand in glove.  Tenure many times is associated with loyalty and Talent many times is associated with achievement, maybe even over achievement.

Which would you rather have in your organization?  A long time employee who is an under achiever or a less tenured employee who always goes the extra mile to exceed goals and expectations?  Under achievers wear different looks, and they include complacency, lack of performance, pot stirrer, a thorn to everybody around him/her.

When it comes to retention, please allow me to make this bold statement that I hope you will digest as it pertains to yourself and/or your organization;


Valuing achievement, dedication and contribution over just valuing tenure is the message I’m trying to instill in you today.  And please understand that I’m not against Tenure Asset employees as long as their contributory factors remain as high as those of Talent Asset employees.


    a.)   Tenure Can Overpower Talent:  As an example, when a company promotes based on tenure instead of merit/performance/achievement etc., the company loses its ability to influence the intrinsic talent within.  Morale is affected, performance is affected and certainly turnover is affected.

    b.)   Tenure Impedes Change and Destroys Innovation:  The concept that “we’ve always done it this way takes over”. Complacency breeds complacency.  Doing it the same old way just because we are comfortable in doing it the same old way is part and parcel the crux of this Flawed Business Philosophy!

    c.)    Tenure Breed Destruction and Complacency:  When I view an employee who has been on the payroll for a very long time and mostly in the same role or capacity, I find that underneath the exterior is an employee who does mediocre work.  Even though their exterior “look” is that of an innovator, change maker, goal achiever, the underlying fact remains that most are just marking time.

So let’s cut to the chase…an employer needs to maintain a defined path or even prejudice towards performance.  Reward talent, initiative, innovation, loyalty, attitude, creatively, work ethic, contribution and leadership ability.  DO NOT reward Mediocrity, Complacency, Lip Service, Lack of Drive or Determination.

As an Employee Retention Specialist, I can help your company get onto the right track.  Employee Retention is all about people and people is what I do best!  Tenure Assets can be rejuvenated and Talent Assets can be directed to achieve even great levels of expectations.

So if you don’t plan to act upon this newsletters message, then kindly ask yourself, what is the real cost to my bottom line?


George F. Mancuso, CPC, CEO
Employee Retention Specialist
Client Growth Consultants
Grinnell, IA


What Prevents Highly Qualified Candidates From Becoming Gainfully Employed?

Many candidates have complained to me over the years about “bait and switch” tactics to screen them out of an active candidacy because of a disability, minority or seasoned candidate status.
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

A.            All companies ask me for the “skill set” first.  If you don’t match the qualifications, why would I try to force a square peg into a round hole?  All it does is offer frustration and a set up for a failure.
B.            Job hopping is a no-no.  A couple of years ago I 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?”

C.            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!
D.            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 we empower them to allow us 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 does it in happen in business?

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!


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


Tell Me Again Why You Hide Behind Your Voice Mail?

Do you hunker down behind your Voice Mail?

A while back I was visiting the President of a company who is a long time client of mine.  His secretary interrupted us announcing a phone call. 

CLIENT:  “Put it in Voice Mail,” was his response.  “Damn Sales People!  I just hate those kinds of calls.  Sales People are always calling here wanting me to buy something.”
ME:  “Was that one of your vendors’ sales staff calling you, “I asked? 
CLIENT:  “Hell no!  I don’t even know what he sells or what he wants. They just keep calling here.  Damn Sales People!”
ME:   “What if every time one of your sales staff made a call into a prospect, they received the same treatment I asked?  How much business do you think you’d have?”
CLIENT:  “Yeah but other businesses [NEED] the services we offer!” 
ME:  “But how did they find out about you if they didn’t give one of your sales staff a few minutes to LISTEN?”
CLIENT:  “YOU damn Sales People are all alike, he said with a half hearted laugh.”
Sadly ladies and gentlemen, this scenario is a daily occurrence throughout the business world.  And for a guy (me) who makes or takes at least 40 phone calls a day, I can truly understand the frustration. 
HOWEVER, with that said, my question is, how do you know you don’t need what the sales person is selling? 
How do you know it’s not an opportunity to get involved in the newest gadget? 
How do you know this person isn’t representing a client who NEEDS your services?
If you believe in the Golden Rule, then this whole message applies to you.  The next time a business sales call comes in, take two minutes to listen to the spiel.  Ascertain quickly if you might have a need and set a more convenient time to talk.  Please don’t tell me how busy and important you are, because that’s a lame excuse.  How about the person who trying to make an honest living through a legitimate business?  Is his or her time not important as well?  We need to respect each other and give credence where credence is due.
I had a salesman contact me last week and his opening line was, “I have services that will double your business!”  I stopped him and asked, “Before we go on, tell me what you know about my business.”  He stumbled and fell because he really didn’t know anything about my business and the conversation was over rather quickly.  But I have a plan in place that I do take the calls and  I give them 2 to 3 minutes to make an impact and if I have an interest, either allow them to continue or set a better time for them to call me back.
The other great  rule is, return all your calls before you go home.  If someone thought you were important enough to leave you a message, respond and deal with it today.  It will save you many more dollars because your staff won’t have to handle additional incoming calls over and over again from the same people you could have put to bed several calls ago.  Stop hiding behind your voice mail America.  Let’s talk to each other, trade fairly with each other and grow ourselves, our companies and our great country!  As American business people, we are in control.  Demonstrate it!

Please enjoy a prosperous week.
George F. Mancuso, CPC, CEO
Client Growth Consultants, Inc.
Grinnell, Iowa



Of Course YOU want to be Liked.....HOWEVER....

Of Course You Want to Be Liked; HOWEVER……..
Wanting to be liked and one of the guys or gals is natural, especially for a manager or leader.  But as a leader, your team should like, respect and follow you for all the right reasons.
If they like you because you are fair, honest, consistent, communicate, empathetic, positive attitude, care about them and their families and are an appreciative motivator, then I’d say those are many of the right reasons.  But if they like you because you provide them with free stuff, (i.e. food drinks and/or tickets) then I ask, “….what have you gained?”  There is little doubt you will be setting yourself up for failure somewhere through the process.
This is especially true when you are transitioning from team member to manager or manager to leader.  Change can be challenging and if not dealt with properly by understanding the make up of the team, their goals, aspirations and difficulties, you will not be able to fit into a model that is filled with success.  And why go through your daily work life fighting internal battles.  There are enough external obstacles to overcome to go around.
If I have said it once I’ve said it a hundred times…..”It is all about the people.”  Treat people right and the rewards will abound.
Have a tremendous 3rd week of September.  If I can do anything at all to assist you, your team or your company, just call or write and I will respond immediately.


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


What Can You Do About Your Problems?

What Can You Do About Your Problems?
Allow me to offer to you a short discussion for thought:  I would like to invite every single person reading this weekly newsletter to assemble at a large field, at least the size of a couple of football fields.

Then I would like every single person to throw onto the field all their problems.  After everybody has put their problems onto this huge field you will have the option to take any of the problems scattering on the field, home with you no matter to which contributor they originally belonged. 
I am willing to bet that most people would end up picking up their own problems and retreat realizing that they didn’t have it so bad after all.

So much of life is about attitude and how you handle what life delivers to you.  Life is good if you stay positive, deal professionally/effectively with the people around you and address the issues at hand.
So it goes it in business as well.  Why not assemble all the department heads in one large room and ask them to share (throw into the ring) their most pressing problems from within the work environment.  Trust me when I tell you that when I’ve facilitated this type of exercise with mid level to “C” level personnel, the results have always amazed me.  The instant change and long term affect is almost mind boggling. 

Why not try it?  What have you got to lose?  More importantly, what have you got to gain?  I’d love to hear the results of your exercise.

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


Change and Survival

I have been reading your newsletters with interest and my employees are pushing me to “make change.”  But we are a 15 year old manufacturing company and we gross about 8 ½ million, year in and year out and we are profitable.  Why would I want to consider making changes?   L.M.., a CEO in Kansas City, MO

First off if your revenues have been the same year in and year out, your growth is not only flat but most analysis would agree that you are going backwards by not going forward!  Allow me to share a true story with you about the Golden Eagle and maybe this will help make some sense of “why change.”

 The Eagle has the longest life span of its species.  It can live up to 70 Years

But to reach this age, the eagle must make several very hard decisions.

In its 40’s its long and flexible talons can no longer grab prey which serves as food.

It’s long and sharp beak becomes bent and difficult to use.

Its’ old-aged and heavy wings, due to their thick feathers, become stuck to its’ chest and make it difficult to fly.

Then, the eagle is left with only two options:  DIE or go through a painful process of CHANGE which lasts 150 DAYS!

The process requires that the eagle fly to a mountain top and sit on its nest.

 There the eagle knocks its beak against a rock until it plucks it out.

After plucking out its beak, the eagle will wait for a new beak to grow back and then it will pluck out its talons.

When its new talons grow back, the eagle starts plucking its old-aged feathers.

And after FIVE PAINFUL AND UNCERTAIN MONTHS, the eagle takes its’ famous flight of REBIRTH and lives for 30 MORE YEARS!

Why is changed needed you ask?

Many times, in order to survive we have to start a change process.

We sometimes need to get rid of old memories, habits and other past traditions.

Only freed from past burdens, can we take advantage of the present!

Rebirthing or reinventing yourself and your organization has never arrived at a more critical time.

The Eagle is a wise, powerful and magnificent bird of prey.  Truly an imposing force to be dealt with in the wild.

Perhaps a lesson from the Eagle is a great lesson to be learned about change in 2008!  What option would you choose?

 I get many Emails every week when one of our readers truly identifies with the message.  You are welcome to utilize our newsletter as a tool.  Forward it with a personal message and say you thought they might enjoy this newsletter as well and that signing up is easy.  All they have to do is go to our Home page and on the left side put in their first name and Email address.  If you’d like me to address an issue or question, please Email me at George@ClientGrowthConsultants.com .


George F. Mancuso
Client Growth Consultants, Inc.