Lee Estridge & Associates

 

 

   
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Monthly Insights

Maximizing 4th Quarter Results

Fourth Quarter Insights
Many business owners think of autumn as the last few miles of a year long marathon that they just might win if they push themselves and their staff to the max. An exciting, but stressful sense of urgency to finish the calendar year a "winner" fuels the last burst of creative energy needed to finish the marathon.

Often, business leaders opt to send staff on paid vacations, create Presidents' clubs, and dole out hefty bonuses to those who exceed projected sales, or create new prospects. These are all undoubtedly effective rewards, but as success stories, they lack an important piece of narrative: Why does the staff need big carrots to perform at their best? Why is their motivation lacking in the absence of big rewards? What could the company do to have everyone perform at their best throughout the year so that fourth quarter incentives and rewards become unnecessary?

Root Cause of Success
The first, reactive answers to the "Why" question is obvious: people do what they are motivated to do and rewarded for doing, so they work hard when the possibility of big rewards is promised. So this begs the question, what would it take for the team to be highly motivated to perform at their best all of the time without special end of year incentives? What would it take for people to be motivated by their feelings of pride in what they and the company are accomplishing; their sense of alignment with the company vision, mission and values; and their commitment to themselves to do and be their personal best?

Sustainable and exceptional business success starts with effective leadership and the creation of a winning company culture. Effective leaders not only possess strong analytical skills and the ability to create a winning business strategy, but they also possess the ability to inspire people to always do their best and to make people feel good about always doing what is right for the company. They possess more than a high IQ, they also possess a high EQ.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)
There's a rich body of literature supporting the idea that emotional intelligence is even more important than intellectual intelligence when it comes to leading people. Recognizing, understanding, and managing emotions in our relationships with our team and ourselves is a hallmark of emotional intelligence and an important piece of living a successful life and running a thriving business. Without emotional intelligence, teams often become dysfunctional, promising staff moves on to other opportunities, and the best ideas don't always surface. Simply put, leaders who don't see themselves clearly, won't see how their staff and colleagues experience them-a blind spot most leaders cannot afford to ignore.

Leaders who rely primarily on a combination of technical or industry knowledge and analytical skills will often fail to motivate staff to creatively and energetically do their best. Recognizing the value of emotional intelligence in leadership is a critical piece of creating a high performance team that doesn't need carrots to inspire them to finish the 4th quarter well. It also builds the platform for an even stronger 2009.

The good news is that it's never too late to learn and cultivate emotional intelligence in yourself. Unlike technical expertise or general knowledge, emotional intelligence can be practiced every day throughout the day. Working with a trusted business coach who can help identify and support emotional intelligence is an efficient and organized approach to creating a company culture that is shaped by a self-reflective leader who understands how to best motivate and support staff.

 

Free Phone Consultation

For those of you who haven't worked with me and are interested in learning more about your emotional intelligence and how it can become a conscious piece of your leadership style, I'm offering a free phone consultation during the month of September. I hope you'll take advantage of this opportunity to start creating insights that lead to profound change in yourself and your business!

Welcome to the 4th quarter!

Warm Regards,
Lee