We have a strong line up of speakers and over 200 Austin and San Antonio business leaders will be in attendance at the Austin Convention Center on April 10th. We have 4 speakers leading off with Alan Beaulieu in the morning. Alan is ITR’s President and as Vistage’s Economist will present is slide deck of trailing and leading indicators for your “around the corner” view of what the next couple of years will mean to Austin, Central Texas, Texas and the United States of America.

Here’s the link Austin Executive Summit for complete speaker bio’s, agenda and registration by April 3rd. When given a chance, place “stillman” in the promo code to secure a no cost registration or email me below if you have questions of we need to talk.

Looking forward to being with you.

Ed Stillman (m) 512.422.6232

Posted by: edstillman | December 29, 2013

Do you have a “fast start” plan for Q1 2014?

As a small to mid-size company or a division of a mega corporation, does it make sense for January to become the month for accountability by re-establishing targets, objectives and goals for every employee in your company starting with yourself?

It’s a new year, and with expenses, Obamacare, employees wanting raises, promotions, 401 contributions, open employee reqs, rent, new equipment and fuel costs on the rise how do you cope? Consider the first day back as a way to welcome in the new year. Have  each of your direct reports on down to the newest employee write down their top 3 measurable tasks or objectives for January. Imagine having everyone in your organization on the same page, with the same thought process creating a team-building culture that if you stay with it, will be sustainable throughout the year and hard for your competition to beat.

Quick hits for a fresh start

What are the company benefits of a “fast start” initiative for 2014? Increase sales, redefine key objectives, personnel effectiveness and efficiency increases, increase profitability by reducing redundancy, overtime and turnover. Use those yellow sticky squares and have everyone in their own handwriting create and PRINT their own and fill a wall or walls in the break room with everyone’s thoughts. You could have bold BIG POST ITs with each key department i.e.; Accounting, Manufacturing Operations, Production, Sales, Transportation, etc. and place employee smaller post-its under each in a funky special, individual way to create excitement, or a little friendly department competition.

Your management or leadership team could see what the do’ers are doing and where effort is being spent and directed. In the months to come, Personal Improvement Plans or PIPs can easily come from this “Fast Start” initiative. What a fun way to start the year and use this team building exercise to establish a year-long accountability & productivity theme.

The use of measurable key performance indicators in chart and graph format on the employee bulletin board, break room wall or sales department creates a transparent and internal culture that we are all in this together. Your Core Values should be visible through out your office provided you are walking the walk.

My last thought as we bring in the new year is the importance of one-to-one monthly accountability sessions with your direct reports. It’s one of the most important times you will have with those that own operations, sales, marketing, HR, production, manufacturing and business development. Create a one-page form or template that your direct reports fill out and bring 2 copies into the 1-2-1:

  • A report out of what has happened in the past 30 days – score carding department and people performance
  • What is expected to happen in the next 30 days – the good, the bad and the ugly – discussion and step needed to be taken
  • Do you accept surprises?
  • What’s working and what isn’t and what is needed to be on or over plan
  • conversation around the next 90 days, a rolling “look around the corner”
  • Personnel review – right people right seat discussion – who’s a 2 or 3 out of 5 and is your direct report having a CA (corrective action) discussion which is an exit strategy or a PIP (personal improvement plan) discussion because this employee has attitude, talent and skills you need
  • Personal discussion – is your direct report having fun, what does he or she do well and what do each of you see that needs attention or fixing
  • A 1-2-1 is your authentic praise time as well as your time to coach, council and create conviction
  • 1-2-1 are also a good time for you to ask, what can I do more of or less of to be a better leader and role model

As an owner, president or CEO, your sustainable revenue and profitability comes from leveraging those that work for you. Are you maximizing your ability to create the greatest leverage possible?

Have a joyful New Year and let’s hit the ground running on January 6, 2014.

Posted by: edstillman | December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Safe travels whereever you are headed and I am looking forward to a very meaningful & prosperous 2014. We have another strong series of speakers in 2014 and the Spring Economic Summit with Brian Beaulieu as our keynote is April 10th so save the date for you will not want to miss it.

Click on my Speaker Series Page to view our 2014 Speaker lineup.

My 2 CEO groups have two dozen members with several hundred years of successful leadership experience assisting each other in those strategic and time sensitive BIG decisions.

In December, Randy Miller and I started Vistage’s 3rd  Austin Trusted Advisor Group for local service providers who will help Randy and myself keep the business and personal pain away from our 3 dozen and growing CEO members.

Looking forward to getting to know, like and trust you in 2014.

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