Posts Tagged ‘marla’

YOUR TRAIN HAS LEFT THE STATION…BUT IS EVERYONE ON BOARD?

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

Ever try to go on a family vacation with a teenager or two who were “forced” to come along and

not buying the idea that “this will be a great adventure you don’t want to miss?”  How well did that work for you?

Empty Train Station

You’ll get the same results in your organization if you don’t engage and enroll others in your vision.  It’s not enough to hand them the annual organizational goals and say, “Let me know how you plan to achieve your accountability tasks.” They have to understand the direction you’re heading and the values you’ll be basing your decisions on.

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve been talking about the importance of vision and values and how to know if your vision is strong and the right one for you.  Today, we’ll discuss the next important questions:

  • Do those around you share your passion and vision?
  • Are your organization’s values relevant to your employees?
  • How do those values and vision translate to your customers?

“Great leaders cannot delegate two things:  believing in the vision and inspiring others to share the vision.”  Business Evolves, Leadership Endures authors continue, “Most great leaders share three traits, drive and commitment, vision and the ability to communicate.”

Once you’re clear about your own Vision Statement and Values Statement, it’s crucial to align your Passion and Values with those around you, whether it’s your life partner or your business partners, and employees.  How can you ask those around you to support your vision if you don’t know how it aligns with theirs?

You don’t have to have the same vision and values, but they need to compliment and support each other.  For example, your vision may be to build a company that you can sell and retire.  Your employee’s value may be college education for her children.  Both values can be supported by a profitable, well- managed business venture.

An alignment and inclusion of the vision and values of the organization with those of the staff lead to empowerment, buy in, and initiative. Vision is essential to define explicitly an organization’s long-term ambitions.  Meanwhile, planning connects the vision to the company’s core purpose, goals, strategies, and tactics.  As a result, everyone should know where the business is headed, what needs to be accomplished, and how things will be done.

When I work with organizational teams to draft a joint Passion and Values statement, I hear such comments as “Wow, it’s good to know that we’re all on the same page”, “This will really eliminate the chaos”, and “I really feel like I’m an important part of my organization.”

Although we are just beginning to see evidence of this in Colorado, futurists are saying we are nearing a time of shortage of trained, skilled workers.  In their book Impending Crisis, Too Many Jobs, Too Few People, authors Roger Herman, Thomas Olivo and Joyce Gioia tell us that the top two strategies for attracting and retaining good employees are: Creating and instilling core values for the organization and taking advantage of vision and planning.

If now is the time for you to enroll those around you in supporting you and your dreams, I suggest:

1.    Identify who should be included in a joint visioning/values session.  Who will be key in supporting your vision and who will be directly impacted by it?  It might be your entire organization, your management team, your board of directors, your life partner, or if you’re a sole proprietor, your family.

2.    Invite them to meet with you for an uninterrupted 1-2 hour session and ask some key, open ended questions such as: What is the highest vision for our company?  What purpose do we serve?  What are some of the values that are most important to us?

3.    Now, ask them, “How do your dreams and values fit into what we’re doing as an organization?”  “What gives your work here meaning and purpose?”

4.    Ask everyone to share their answers and record them on a flip chart.

5.    Look for themes, similarities, and ideas to move forward.

6.    Draft a joint Visions and Values statement.

Join us next week as we take a deeper look at staying true to your vision.

Blessings and Peace,

Marla

P.S. If you feel good about your vision and would like to start manifesting that vision check out our upcoming 5 week Tele-Seminar Series: The 4 Pillars of Spiritual Entrepreneurship beginning in early February.

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Marla Riegel is the founder of The Inspired Business Center based in Lakewood Colorado. The Inspired Business Center collaborates with Entrepreneurs and Executives to transform their companies through a balance of practical spirituality, value-centered leadership and consistent profitability. Our team of experts guides clients on a path starting with an articulated, shared stakeholder vision to the results of fulfilling their organization’s purpose, satisfying customers, increasing profit margins and enhancing owner equity. Our approach combines purposeful people, best business practices, and proven systems.

You are welcome to more fully explore “Where Spirituality, Leadership and Profitability Meet” by visiting: http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com

Photo Credit:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mmmchoco/62800377/in/faves-53047939@N06/

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The Solstice of Your Business Year

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Star of David at SunriseDecember 21st is the day of the winter solstice the shortest day of sunshine for the Northern Hemisphere.  It’s natural then, for each of us to turn within and shine our inner light more brightly.  A time for stillness and reflection.  Eckhart Tolle, author of The New Earth says “To be still is to be conscious without thought.  You are never more essentially, more deeply yourself than when you are still.”

In that personal stillness we can think back on the year.  It’s been a time of significant change for most of us, a time of what I call values-based choices.

In some instances they’ve been tough decisions based on lower revenues…having to let go of employees who have contributed their time and talents to us, or  being “let go” by some of our customers who were also feeling the crunch.

What have you learned from all this?  What did you discover about what’s truly important to you?  What do you know you want to do differently moving forward?

What did you release that actually lightened your mental or physical load and freed your soul?

In many cases the tough choices have created gaps that need to be filled back in. Maybe there are positions or functions you learned you could live without and other posts that are critical to rehire so you to meet the customer orders that are beginning to increase.

What relationships with family, friends, business associates, or volunteer causes did you put on hold because you were “too busy” that now need to be re-established and re-connected?

What commitments to yourself and others did you sweep under the rug till you had more time?  Is that still something you need or want to fulfill or can some of those items be handled by someone else or not done at all?  Decide and Act.  If you plan to honor a commitment first quarter, get it in your calendar.   If you can’t get it done, let the other party know you can’t do it, and, if possible, help them find another resource.  One way or the other, get those commitments off your mental list of “oughts” and “shoulds” and free up your energy and focus.

Joel Goldsmith wrote “Within us is a deep well of contentment, a vast, all-embracing silence into which we relax and through which all good appears to us.”

The important thing is to be complete and clear as you move into the Holiday Celebrations with family and friends so you can be fully mentally and emotionally “present”.   It’s the greatest gift you can give them!

Blessings and Peace,   Marla

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Marla Riegel is the founder of The Inspired Business Center based in Lakewood Colorado. The Inspired Business Center collaborates with Entrepreneurs and Executives to transform their companies through a balance of practical spirituality, value-centered leadership and consistent profitability. Our team of experts guides clients on a path starting with an articulated, shared stakeholder vision to the results of fulfilling their organization’s purpose, satisfying customers, increasing profit margins and enhancing owner equity. Our approach combines purposeful people, best business practices, and proven systems.

You are welcome to more fully explore “Where Spirituality, Leadership and Profitability Meet” by visiting: http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vega_33/2601240910/in/faves-53047939@N06/

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Corporate Giving as a Spiritual Transaction

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Today is Colorado Gives Day, a first of it’s kind online fundraiser to benefit over 500 of the state’s charities. The cooperation, coordination and strong intention behind this event reflect a spiritual purpose for doing good in the world that transcends individual and business needs and wants.

Tom Zender in his new book God Goes to Work calls this a Spiritual Transaction.  He  defines it, in part, as an interchange between each of us and all those things beyond ourselves.  He adds, “A Spiritual Transaction maximizes the potential of every business deal and is the foundation of the kind of company that can compete in the new economy.  These transactions foster a positive atmosphere that allows it’s members to work harder, faster and with increased innovation.”

In this groundbreaking book, Zender also discusses the role of corporations as good citizens and makes the case that there is a common ground forged between organizations that look not only at the internal environment, but also at the communities in which they operate. He contends that corporate citizenship is good for both the bottom line and for the soul of the organization.

Another report released today in The Herman Trend Alert says 30 percent of executives want their philanthropy to make a local impact. According to the study conducted by Weber Shandwick, the primary reason they invest in charitable and socially responsible activities is to impact what they view as critical issues in their communities. A second reason is to see their organization’s values in action.  Other factors included building customer loyalty  and customer/employee retention.

So, in this season of giving, remember the role of your company in making a difference outside the boardroom.  Zender says that Spiritual Transactions “start with the realization that you can become a bigger part of the world and that the world can never get bigger without you.”

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Marla Riegel is the founder of The Inspired Business Center based in Lakewood Colorado. The Inspired Business Center collaborates with Entrepreneurs and Executives to transform their companies through a balance of practical spirituality, value-centered leadership and consistent profitability. Our team of experts guides clients on a path starting with an articulated, shared stakeholder vision to the results of fulfilling their organization’s purpose, satisfying customers, increasing profit margins and enhancing owner equity. Our approach combines purposeful people, best business practices, and proven systems. You are welcome to more fully explore “Where Spirituality, Leadership and Profitability Meet” by visiting: http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com

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Pillar #1 Belief and Character

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

A Character of Belief

A Character of Belief

Last week we shared an overview of the 4 Pillars of Spiritual Entrepreneurship. As we explore each of the 4 pillars during the coming month it may help you to visualize each pillar as having a base which sits upon a foundation and a pinnacle upon which the roof of the structure rests.

Today we will explore the base of the first pillar: Belief and Character two distinct yet complimentary principles. Beliefs are the base building blocks of your life; they form the basis of your outlook and serve in establishing your internal map of reality. Although you might adjust your operations because of current events or other factors beyond your control your beliefs will always serve to shape your character.

How many times have you heard that the success of a restaurant relies on three aspects; location, location, location? This is a common belief system within the restaurant industry and beyond. However I have worked with restaurant owners that have done quite well in spite of what many would consider a poor location. If you ask them about this belief they will tell you it has nothing to do with their success. These successful restaurant owners chose not to believe that their location could adversely impact their business.

In today’s business climate you may hear many things from the media; we are in a recession, we are in a recovery, or we are looking at a double dip recession. Who should you believe? Regardless of which scenario you choose you will begin to, align your business and your operations with the belief you feel is most likely to come true, or is already a reality. The deeper truth is that we contribute our business’ experience of recovery, recession, success or failure based upon the beliefs we opt in to.

Hopefully we aren’t telling you anything you don’t already know. Yet how many of your employees know this simply truth? Do they choose to opt into limiting beliefs without your awareness? Are your manager, suppliers and collaborators subtly, not intentionally, sabotaging your business when they buy into the limiting beliefs.

All these beliefs lead to the development of our character. Simply stated your character is what distinguishes you from others. The question quickly becomes “Do you wish to be known as someone that follows the crowd or someone that blazes their own path”? I often teach that a visionary is one that makes their own way in the world without looking back to see if anyone is following them. How often have you heard people describe someone as a visionary? Your character is the out-picturing, the manifestation of your beliefs. Character serves to shape how others perceive you and whether they will follow you in business, honor your opinions, or even purchase your products or services.

Character serves as the pinnacle of this pillar as it is the higher expression of your foundational beliefs or worldview.  It is your character that supports the ceiling of whatever structure you own, operate or manage.

Building a solid and strong business requires not only the 4 pillars of spiritual entrepreneurship but a bedrock foundation as well. This foundation is your form of spiritually, religious or personal faith tradition.  Regardless of what label you place upon this aspect of your life the truth remains that you have been building your foundation from a very young age. The joy in this is that you can add to, strengthen and support your foundation through various means. At the Inspired Business Center we do not push any one faith tradition, but rather suggest you strengthen your own involvement with whatever form of spirituality suits you. We know a solid spiritual practice will strengthen your business as well. The beliefs taught and modeled in your place of worship can be an amazing example of how your beliefs create your reality and thus your character and support your business in turn.

Next week we shall continue our exploration of the 4 pillars by looking at how the pillar of Vision and Adaptability support the creating on your rock solid business and how you can engage others in the creation of the business you truly desire.

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Robert Brzezinski is a member of The Inspired Business Center based in Lakewood Colorado. The Inspired Business Center collaborates with Entrepreneurs and Executives to transform their companies through a balance of practical spirituality, value-centered leadership and consistent profitability. Our team of experts guides clients on a path starting with an articulated, shared stakeholder vision to the results of fulfilling their organization’s purpose, satisfying customers, increasing profit margins and enhancing owner equity. Our approach combines purposeful people, best business practices, and proven systems.

You are welcome to more fully explore “Where Spirituality, Leadership and Profitability Meet” by visiting: http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com

Photo Credit:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/francescogola/4930619804/sizes/o/in/photostream/

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THE SUSTAINABILITY OF THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

by: Rev. Marla Riegel

Sustainability is defined as the capacity to endure. Entrepreneurs, executives and their employees have endured a lot in the past 18 months. What has sustained you during the cut backs, downturns and layoffs? What will keep you going during the long recovery process ahead?

Certainly it’s something internal, a higher vision of meaning and purpose derived from making a difference through your organization’s products and services. Take time now to review and re-awaken the company vision and values statements. What do you really stand for? It’s common to worry about how you are treating your customers, but how well are you treating yourself? Are you being honest about how much you or any one person can accomplish? Have you focused your priorities on what really matters when it’s all said and done? What is really driving you and when will you run out of gas?

Victor Frankl, Holocaust Survivor, wrote: ”Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

The reason many resilient bosses and employees are still standing, I believe, is their drive to make a difference, to find meaning and good in a situation. But I sense a danger. Many companies have cut back too far and have put the burden on the loyal staff that remains. I recently saw a company posting that read “It’s important to balance safety concerns with operational needs… employees cannot work more than 24 consecutive hours, 70 hours in 7 consecutive days or more than 11 consecutive days. “ Doesn’t that paint a picture of what’s going on in many organizations today?

It’s not just your employees who are pushing beyond limit, but also you business owners and managers who have had to reduce the staff that supported you.

The question is how do you get back to a sustainable balance? It’s one thing to conserve resources; it’s another to allow your human resources to implode!

A recent LOHAS blog post on consumer behaviors and economic sustainability explained that new dimensions of ROI are now include emotional and social values as well as investment, functionality and cost.

Another report by Rundtland emphasized that sustainability is a three legged stool of people, planet and profit. My concern is with the leg of the stool called “people”. The stool will not stand if the “people” leg is broken.

As a business owner, professional or employee, you can begin to look at your current work practices as “sustainable” or “unsustainable”. Wikopedia was right on and I quote: “For humans, sustainability is the potential for long-term maintenance of being”

ACTION ITEMS:

1. Step back for perspective. Where have you cut too far in staff, in capital improvements, in vendor support? What is it truly costing? (As you begin to ramp up sales, there needs to be a balance of people to deliver and produce the product.)

2. What would it take to return to meaning and purpose in your organization?

3. How can you begin to reclaim personal balance?

Alan Cohen wrote, “We get in trouble not for what we don’t know, but for what we know and don’t pay attention to.”

Register Now for our upcoming Tele-seminar Five Ways to Prosper in the New Economy, Tuesday, July 28 @ 2 p.m. Mountain. The Session is Free, but you must register. To learn more and sign up click here: http://www.theinspiredbusiness.com/5-ways

Photo Credit: www.flickr.com/photos/supersonicphotos/4521300451/

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