Employee Retention Starts with Excellent Leadership

There’s a saying that says, “Employees don’t leave companies, they leave managers.” The best bosses know that investing in great people and keeping them in the company keeps morale up and profits high. Employee retention requires some forethought before the hiring process even begins, but a little extra work in the beginning pays major dividends later.

Great Management is the Key

Gallup CEO Jim Clifton, in his statement about the “State of the American Workplace” employee engagement study, said, “The single biggest decision you make in your job—bigger than all the rest—is who you name manager. When you name the wrong person manager, nothing fixes that bad decision. Not compensation, not benefits—nothing.”

While true that creating a comfortable working environment, with great benefits and competitive pay, is important, nothing is more important than management talent. Are you concerned that you might be dealing with a company plagued by poor leadership? Take a look around the office. Do you see any of the following?

  • In-fighting amongst departments
  • High employee turnover rates
  • Lack of participation or creative thought during meetings
  • A manager who does not involve themselves in everyday comings and goings of the company
  • Complaints of micromanagement
  • Demands for respect and productivity, instead of encouraging it

If you do, there’s definitely something wrong. The good news, though, is that excellent leadership skills aren’t necessarily something that you’re born with. They can be learned, improved upon, and used for positive change in your office building– Change that encourages employee retention.

Gaining Leadership Skills

Two of the most powerful tools in leadership development are executive coaching and executive roundtables. Both offer a safe space to discuss the challenges you face as a manager, and how you can confront those issues and turn them into opportunities.

Catalyst Group ECR’s Executive Roundtables are perfect for those who are seeking small peer groups to discuss the hot topics on every executive’s plate, including challenges with employees, developing key performance indicators, and strategic planning.

If you’re seeking something even more catered to your personal needs, our coaching and mentorship programs are one-on-one meetings specifically designed for your journey as a manager.  No matter where you are as a business leader, we provide the structure and skills necessary for greatness. We meet you where you are and help you get where you want to be.

Contact us Today

Contact us now for a consultation, or find out more about our custom-tailored coaching programs.

Want to Move Up? Start By Developing Strategic Planning Skills

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As you move up in your career, the cognitive abilities that you need to possess increase. Everything from your ability to handle conflict to your creativity will have to evolve along with the responsibilities you’re asked to take on. Strategic planning is one of the most invaluable skills that you can develop. It allows you to think about what the future might hold, then create strategies to tackle those challenges and opportunities with finesse and foresight.

You can start to develop these skills yourself by focusing on these three growth techniques:

1. Set Aside Time to Think and Create

Companies like Google and 3M set aside time every week, about 20% of working hours, to allow employees to work on any project that they would like to. It does not have to be work related, just productive and passion-driven. From that time, products like GMail and sticky notes were developed.

What does that mean for someone developing strategic planning skills? It’s a great way to flex your “muscle” a little, without the pressure of performing a particular task set to a particular deadline. Give leaders in your business the time to work creatively and watch them bloom. Give yourself the same privilege. Once everyone is comfortable with their projects and passions, invite people to share and collaborate. This encourages creative thinking and can lead to even more productivity.

2. Observe and Empathize

If you really want to develop strategic planning skills, it pays dividends to spend time observing your employees and “walking in their shoes.” Too often, business leaders spend their time delegating tasks and dealing with paperwork. While those are important functions of a business, take the time to see the ins-and-outs of everyday life at your company.

While doing so, ask yourself and others questions like, “What’s not working around here?” and “Could this process be made easier?” Even if nothing changes today, it’s can change in your 2-, 5-, or 10-year plans. Being aware of issues before they really become issues and dedicating yourself to improving upon them is a critical piece of strategic planning.

3. Create a Culture of Learning

Encourage yourself and others to constantly seek new information. It doesn’t even have to be specific to your field! Read travel journals, explore forums or websites about topics you’re interested in, or spend some time on YouTube learning a new skill. While this may seem like it’s not work-related, a huge portion of learning something new, like a hobby or skill, requires problem solving and perseverance.

Those soft skills can translate to hard results once you implement them into work-related projects. Think about grade school and learning reading comprehension skills. While it may have seemed that those were isolated skills at the time, we use inferencing, foreshadowing, and our understanding of figurative language everyday to understand the world around us. The same can be said for learning other skills, like creative thinking. While your ability to whittle or paint might never come in handy in a boardroom, your ability to remain patient in the face of frustration will.

The best way to develop strategic planning skills is to work with a coach who has the expertise and experience to help you grow. Catalyst Group ECR works with individuals to help them realize their potential and experience growth in their focus areas. Through one-on-one meetings, we work with the business owner to build a sense of community and rapport that provides a foundation for growth. We would love to hear from you, and help you start your journey towards developing strategic planning skills.

Contact us Today

Contact us now for a consultation, or find out more about our custom-tailored coaching programs.
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Small Business Leadership Training: The Key to Success

Leading a small business requires much more than having your name on the paperwork as the owner. It’s an active role that requires furthering yourself through research, networking, and small business leadership training.

Having a successful business means being a leader who is capable of delegating, negotiating, and making the tough decisions when necessary. Working with a business coach is an effective way to get you on the fast-track to greatness. You coach can help you improve in 3 key areas:

Vision

“In order to carry a positive action, we must develop a positive vision,” –The Dalai Lama

Some entrepreneurs struggle to be leaders because they know they want to run a business but haven’t fleshed out a purpose yet. It’s just not enough to want to make money. You have to have an intrinsic motivation for striving in your business. Without one, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed and lacking direction, which can make it impossible to get back on track following a hurdle or setback.

Planning

Small business leadership training is valuable before you’ve even fully fleshed out your business plan. Working with a business coach gives you access to invaluable experience from an honest advisor who’s been where you have before. In fact, most business advising firms are small businesses themselves! Working with a coach as your crafting your business plan ensures that you’re more prepared to handle the responsibility of being a leader.

Accountability

Perhaps the most valuable asset that a business coach brings to the table is the willingness to hold you accountable to your goals. The dreams that you shared when you were creating your vision should be as relevant the third year you’re open as they were the day before opening. Small business leadership training with a professional can help you remain accountable and striving towards your vision, even when you feel like there are more important situations to deal with.

Contact us Today

Contact us now for a consultation, or find out more about our custom-tailored coaching programs.

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5 Reasons to Join a CEO Networking Group

It’s lonely at the top. Taking on the role as the leader of an organization can be an isolating task. People look at you to make the tough decisions, some of which may affect their future.

That’s why it’s important to work with peers who can help you weather the storms. Spending time with CEO networking groups gives you an outlet in which to discuss the struggles and triumphs that you encounter in your role, as well as skills you can use to make the best of your career.

Here’s a few reasons you should consider joining one of these groups:

1. It’s a Safe Space

Admitting that you’ve made a mistake is almost impossible when you’re facing the people who are affected by those mistakes, even if talking out the problem would help solve it. Working with CEO networking groups gives you the opportunity to share your mishaps in a safe space, where you don’t have to be smartest or most creative person in the room.

2. They Provide A Culture of Motivation and Accountability

Working with other people is a powerful motivator. When groups of peers rally together to accomplish a task, there’s little that can stop them from powering through. Being accountable to others is a great motivational tool that allows you the chance to measure your success.

3. You Gain Future Outlooks

One of the greatest assets of working with others in the same field as yourself is that they will experience some situations before you. These situations can be positive or negative, but you can trust that you’ve got a team of peers behind you that can lend knowledge, advice, and a helping hand when you’ve come upon these problems and opportunities yourself.

4. You Learn from Other’s Mistakes

Sometimes when you’re in the middle of a tough time, it can feel like you’re the only person who’s gone through that experience. Working with CEO networking groups gives you the opportunity to hear about the mistakes of others and learn from them before you encounter the same problem. Use other’s tough times to help avoid your own.

5. You Get To Network with the Right People

The importance of networking can’t be stressed enough. It gives you access to a human database of knowledge, resources, and know-how that only comes from a career full of business experiences. When you work with CEO networking groups, you’re combining countless man-hours of business experience into one room. Ask questions, create relationships, and work together to achieve everyone’s goals.

Contact Us Today!

Catalyst Group ECR specializes in matching you with one of these groups, bringing together peers into a space free of judgement. Once everyone is laser-focused on the goals, the focus shifts to the hot topics on every business owner’s plate. Learn more about this program by contacting Lori Moen!

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5 Categories of Leadership Objectives for Goal Setting

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We’ve discussed quite often the necessity of setting clear goals for yourself and for your business. Without goals, it can feel like you’re constantly reacting to situations as they occur, without a clear path for where you’re going next. That’s why major publications, like Entrepreneur, commonly puts out articles about the importance of setting goals and doing so the right way.  Catalyst Group ECR can not only help you set those goals, but also with narrowing down exactly what your leadership objectives should be. There are hundreds of different skills that business leaders could work on, but we’ve narrowed it down to 10 that we feel can be implemented quickly and easily.

1. KNOWLEDGE

Grow your personal database of knowledge and resources about your sector. Read the most recent information on data and trends using Google Scholar to find academic articles. Pick up the latest business “self-help” book to figure out what others are doing and finding success with.

2. PRODUCTIVITY

Work with your team to find the most common causes of workplace distraction and discuss solutions for eliminating those distractions. Unproductive workers cost the company valuable time, money, and resources, but sometimes the problem is in the system, not in the worker. If mandatory weekly meetings conflict with ongoing deadlines, that’s something that management needs to know about and improve upon.

3. COMMUNICATION

Work with a coach to find better ways to speak to your team and your clients, both verbally and in writing. The art of using words to communicate ideas comes down to more than what you say- it’s about how you say it. You may be completely unaware of the messages that you’re giving with your tone and body language, and becoming aware can have a major, positive impact on the way that you express yourself.

4. COACHING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

You’re not the only person who could benefit from the expertise of advisors and coaches, like Lori Moen of Catalyst Group ECR. Work with your team to figure out what skills they are interested in growing and set up coaching appointments to help them do that. Allow ownership of the coaching process, without interfering too much with choosing those skills. You’ll find that your team grows in confidence when they feel that they are in charge of their professional development.

5. VALUES AND CULTURE

Sometimes, though it can be difficult to admit, our team’s level of motivation comes from the culture of the business. Taking the time to nail down the values, principles, and culture of your company can help everyone remain accountable. Remember, though, that you are just as responsible for maintaining that culture as everyone else. If one of your values is that everyone treats the other with respect, you must also be willing to follow that rule.

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3 Signs That It’s Time to Hire a Business Coach

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Being honest with yourself isn’t always easy, but it can be the best way to grow in both your personal and professional life. Because the nature of running a business requires you to constantly adjust for different hurdles from one day to the next, there may come a time when you ask yourself, “What’s my next move?” A business coach can help you decide where you should be headed and exactly how to get there. The first step, though, is deciding if it’s the right time to hire.

1. Fires or Forward?

If you find yourself spending more time putting out fires than taking steps forward, it’s probably time to get some help. When CEOs and business leaders are having a difficult time knowing where their business is headed, they can start to make risky decisions that have little to no reward and hoping that something sticks. Without the help of a coach, you may find yourself in a position where you’re asking yourself if you’re still happy in your position, which can only add to the overwhelmedness that you’re experiencing. A business coach can help you figure out what your priorities are and get your business back on track.

2. Reaching Goals?

You set goals that you never reach. We’ve all made a to-do list that sat unchecked for days, weeks, or even months at a time. While this is usually fine if we’re talking about household chores or DIY projects, it simply won’t do in the business world. Unmet goals can accumulate and create a sense of foreboding every day that you step into your office. A business coach can help you set attainable goals and keep you accountable for reaching them.

3. Developing Skills

While it’s likely that you’re already a leader, especially if you’ve been at the helm of a successful company for a long period of time, leadership isn’t the only skill necessary to being a successful businessperson. You should look into developing both hard and soft skills with your business coach. Hard skills, such as learning how to operate new and relevant technology, can help you stay ahead of the game when it comes to handling client needs, while soft skills, like negotiation, are great for making new interpersonal connections. Both are important, and both can be learned through training with a business coach.

 

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The Leadership Coaching Process is Your Path to Greatness

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Deciding to work with a leadership coach is a big step for those who are still struggling to understand why their careers or personal lives are not going the way that they had planned. Often, it is easier to blame others than to accept the fact that growth comes from a place inside of each of us that must sometimes be coaxed awake with the help of the leadership coaching process.

Define Goals

It starts with defining a set of goals that you’d like to set for yourself. These often take the form of the client seeking out and getting involved in leadership opportunities. Your leadership coach will work with you to figure out where your strengths and weaknesses lie, then to use that insight to find more situations for you to stretch your leadership muscles.

Set of Steps

Once you’ve defined your goals, you’ll create a set of steps that you can take to accomplish those goals. Here’s an example: If your goal was to speak up more often during an upcoming board meeting, your action steps might be:

  1. Thoroughly research the topic at hand
  2. Write down three things you’d like to say
  3. Practice using an assertive, professional tone to get your point across

Take Action

Next, you’ll find yourself in the situation that your action steps were preparing you for. Whether you meet or fail to meet your goal, it’s valuable data to bring back to your leadership coach. Once you meet again, you’ll discuss what happened and why it happened that way. This allows you to adjust your goals, come up with new and unique approaches to accomplishing them, and to continue working towards your stretch goals. With a leadership coach on your side, you’ll see growth soon after starting a program, especially if you’re willing to put in the time and the effort into participating in the program with an open mind.

Once you’ve begun, you won’t believe how different you’ll start to view yourself and the situations you find yourself in. Soon, you’ll be able to tackle any obstacle that life throws at you, with the help of qualified coaches like Lori Moen of Catalyst Group ECR. Start the leadership coaching process now and you’ll discover the leader that’s been inside of you all along.

The Future Trends in Leadership Development Best Practices

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While leadership development isn’t a new field, it’s certainly made major strides in the last few years. With that comes a need for leadership development best practices to shift. Just as a teacher needs professional development courses to stay up-to-date on effective pedagogy, your leadership coach should be willing to grow with their field.

Those who seek out leadership coaching in the future will notice that there’s a special importance placed on knowing and understanding great leadership outside of the individual company. While it’s vital to understand exactly how the intricacies of your company are put into place, you can’t grow without seeking out practices that may be more effective than the ones you currently employ. Leadership development best practices will require more networking, collaboration, and training than ever before.

You’ll also see leadership coaches encouraging you to take increasingly uncomfortable leadership roles. Discomfort isn’t always a bad thing, though. If your heart and your mind aren’t struggling, it’s unlikely that true learning is taking place. For example, if you’ve always focused on organized delegation of tasks in order to reach a particular goal, your leadership coach may ask that you step out of the box and take on one of those delegated tasks yourself. While it can seem impossible to change your leadership style, this situation allows you to understand the diplomacy and creativity required of your team in a whole new light.

Finally, you’ll see that using past success as a predictor of future success is certainly no longer the standard. Leadership coaches of the future will understand that anyone willing to put their heart and soul into growing as a leader can accomplish that goal, so long as they are willing to step out of the box that they have created for themselves. No longer will it be acceptable to function in the idea of what your company “has always been.” Instead, you’ll need to focus more on what your company could possibly be, with the right leadership at the helm.

Catalyst Group ECR has already stepped into the future of leadership development best practices, which means that those coached by Lori Moen are already ahead of the curve. Want to bring your business up to date? Call today to set up a consultation and start becoming the leader that you could be.

Peer Advisory Groups: Unlocking Your Full Potential

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While working one-on-one with a specialist in leadership development, there’s nothing quite as valuable as finding peer advisory groups that you have real chemistry with. While not all groups look the same or have the same goals, your leadership coach can help you get connected with one that fits your needs. Here’s how this setting can be conducive to your growth:

They’ll Hold You Accountable

Once you have put your trust into your peer advisory group, you’ll find that you want to attend. These groups aren’t all business. They can inspire you to grow outside of the workplace, in your personal life, your relationships, and even your health. What you get back from your group depends on how much you put in. If you’re looking for people who want what’s best for you and aren’t afraid to hold you accountable for your own success, then you need to join a peer advisory group.

They Give Expert Feedback

Peer is a keyword. The people in your group are likely in the same business that you are, dealing with the same problems. A major part of your interactions with your peers will be sharing your business situation and asking others for their feedback on how things could be handled in the future. You’ll walk away feeling empowered by real solutions for your real problems.

It’s a Facilitated Conversation

Think back to the college course that resonated with you most. It likely had a format in which the students did most of the talking while the professor moderated the conversation. Peer advisory groups pull from the pedagogical theory that states that the person doing the talking is doing the learning. While having a facilitator is necessary to keep the conversation on track and the logistics, such as meals and speakers, maintained, your group is guiding the conversation. Its goals are your goals.

Catalyst Group ECR wants to help you find a peer advisory group that will help you unlock your full potential. Fill out our contact form to hear back from Lori, or give us a call. We’re ready to get you started on your journey to leadership excellence.