Shearin Group Training Services
48 views | +0 today
Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group - Engaging the mobile work force

The Shearin Group - Engaging the mobile work force | Shearin Group Training Services |
When your work force is mainly mobile, you need to be creative to keep staff engaged
Marco Shearin's insight:

Our primarily mobile health care team does 11,000 visits every day to care for people and allow them to remain in their homes. With 6.4-million visits annually, we have an almost unheard of opportunity to collect data, test and prototype, and improve quality. But from a business standpoint, there are some real challenges for leaders of mobile staff when it comes to communication. It can be difficult to share your vision, build strong bonds and encourage engagement.


Despite my occasional longing to be able to see everyone all at once, there are untold advantages to a mobile work force. I believe that harnessing the strengths of these independent problem solvers may just be the secret of innovation.


Let me share with you some of the strategies we’ve implemented. I hope they get you inspired and energized.


Love the one you’re with


Are you spending time hoping your mobile workers will magically check the company intranet more frequently? Or come to the head office more regularly to connect? News flash – they won’t. The key we’ve found is to work with the inherent strengths these dynamos bring to your team. Think independence. Agility. Adaptability. Empowerment. Develop ways to tap into their natural talents. We recently implemented SoapBox – to gather and share ideas in a virtual way. It builds on our pre-existing virtual community and taps into the insights of staff who see clients every day. We’ve allowed the community to grow organically, and although it has been an investment, we believe we will see better results based on this strategy.


Video killed the radio star


It’s obvious that technology can bring people together to socialize in ways we never thought possible. But sometimes we fall into the trap of thinking that if we load up our mobile workers with tech gear, everything will be beautiful. There are so many components to technology and the mobile worker: Will they use it? How long will it be relevant? How much does it weigh when you are dragging it around?


But perhaps more importantly is the idea that we cannot ever lose sight of the fact that technology is an enabler and not the outcome. True innovative technology can transform human interaction for the better.


We are the world


To truly connect and galvanize your work force, you need an anthem – a mission – a bandwagon everyone can jump on and feel great about. Exceptional leadership takes people on a journey to a better place.


Finally, we recently held a company event where we brought everyone together. We offered employees three different ways to participate: in person at movie theatres across the country, via live webcast, and we made it available immediately afterward so anyone who missed it could watch it later. 

No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training in Hong Kong: Sushi Maki CEO’s five tips for growing your business

The Shearin Group Leadership Training in Hong Kong: Sushi Maki CEO’s five tips for growing your business | Shearin Group Training Services |

The success of South Florida’s popular local restaurant chain Sushi Maki didn’t come overnight. Its founder and CEO, Abe Ng, suffered the failure of another business before figuring out how to stay afloat in Miami’s local economy.


Ng’s first restaurant endeavor lasted just two years. Though he and his former business partner are still friends, Ng said the partnership didn’t work. Now he tells his mentees to ask themselves, “Does this person see the world in the same way I do?” before choosing a business partner.


Ng’s parents immigrated to Miami from Hong Kong and started the local Canton Chinese restaurant chain when Ng was a child. He grew up in the family business, learning the lifestyle and business savvy necessary to become an entrepreneur.


Now he runs Canton, as well as Sushi Maki, which grew from one restaurant in Coral Gables to 15 locations all over Miami, including one at MMC.


On Jan. 28, in a speech sponsored by the Center for Leadership as part of their 2015 Leadership Lecture Series, he gave FIU students his five best tips for starting a small business in Miami:


1. Dream Big, Be Frugal


Sushi Maki was born on a low budget; the company’s first logo was made on Microsoft Word, and its only delivery van was jokingly labeled “008” to give the impression there was a fleet of vehicles.


“If you have a vision, don’t spend your money. Survive,” said Ng. “Some of the best businesses come when you have no money and your back is against the proverbial wall.”


2. Chief Energy Officer


Being CEO is about more than just running the company. Instead of chief executive officer, Ng sees the CEO’s role as the “chief energy officer.”


At Sushi Maki, Ng takes the time to make sure his employees are happy, even when they have to work on holidays. Ng makes sure to get out on Christmas with his family in tow to visit employees and thank them for working.


“You need to love the journey you’re on and love building teams,” said Ng.


3. Best-in-class Partnerships


FIU’s Sushi Maki, located in the Graham Center, represents the “power of great relationships” as many of Ng’s employees, including his sister-turned-business partner, are FIU graduates.


Sushi Maki has a diverse range of partnerships, from a restaurant at Miami International Airport to his newest endeavor, sushi stations inside South Florida Whole Foods stores.


Ng’s advice to young entrepreneurs: “Be in a good partnership for the long haul.”


4. Open Networks


“Make yourselves available to be mentored,” said Ng. Outside of the support and training he received growing up in a family that owned a restaurant, Ng found a mentor in FIU graduate and Pollo Tropical founder Larry Harris. Now he sees it as his responsibility to offer advice and support to people trying to start a business.


Ng also said having a strong support network, especially in your family, is the key to keeping a new business afloat. His whole family works for Sushi Maki.


“When you jump into a business, you need everybody on board,” he said.


5. What’s Next?


A good businessperson always has the future in mind. Ng said his goal for Sushi Maki is to get “better before bigger.”


While taking risks can be important, Ng said he’s not a big believer in leveraging credit cards and dropping out of school to start a business. Sticking with things and finishing projects, even if they aren’t successful, is key.


“You can’t learn everything in one year,” said Ng. “Don’t overvalue the next opportunity and undervalue the opportunity that you have today.”


For more tips and guide for leadership, Shearin Group Training Services Inc. ( ) will help you. Shearin Group Training Services ( ) leadership programs have been assisting companies in France. With leaders at different levels have availed of our leadership training programs.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Top 10 Tips for Building a Flourishing Company Culture

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Top 10 Tips for Building a Flourishing Company Culture | Shearin Group Training Services |

Culture can­not flourish if individuals do not sustain it. Whether it’s a beautiful or horrific culture, it does not exist without one individual after another choosing to support it.


For me, the culture that I want to live and work in is achieved through what I value most: values like honesty, fairness, and promot­ing success for everyone involved in and related to my organisation.


These are among the values that guide me to my purpose, which is helping people realize their best selves. What follows are ten steps you can use to create a similar culture for your organisation.


Step 1. Create Stakeholders: It Begins and Ends with You


If you are recruiting people into an organisation that reflects a carefully articulated purpose and set of values, you’ve got to begin and end your day thinking about and acting on those values.


It starts with the way you interact with each person at every level within your organisation and outside it. Make sure your values and purpose are known to everyone and that they provide a core framework for daily operations.


Step 2. Create Stakeholders: It’s Not Enough to Bring People on Board


It’s not enough for you to bring people on board who share your val­ues and your purpose. You need to keep these people on board. The real challenge, how­ever, comes with holding on to the client or the talented employee.


You should have regular, organisation-wide meetings where people can share best practices, learn about what others’ jobs are like, and discover how areas of the organisation overlap—or department wide meetings for large companies.


Remember that you want people who will actively engage with each other without fear of leadership ego’s getting in the way. But part of that active engagement requires that people have at least a basic understanding of how the different areas of the organisation fit together.


Step 3. Promote Accountability: Freedom, Transparency, and Responsibility


Eleanor Roosevelt said, “With great freedom comes great responsi­bility.” When you create the sort of culture that encourages people to share and challenge ideas, you create a culture in which people feel free to innovate and be creative. This also means that people are responsible for what they say and what they do. We all are agents of our actions.


If you are going to create an environ­ment and a culture of trust, transparency, and honesty, you must live it every day and not just preach it. You must say the things you believe are true, and you must do the things you say you will do.


Step 4. Create Dialogue: Listen


Related to the idea that a vibrant culture is one that encourages peo­ple to speak their mind and expects the experience to be beneficial for everyone involved is the idea that people should take dialogue seriously. Believe it or not, many people don’t know how to have a conversation that actually produces good ideas. Lots of times, we don’t listen to each other but rather simply wait for our chance to get our point across. The point of really listening is to understand and, more often than not, to take action on what you hear.


Step 5. Create Dialogue: Confirm or Correct


Ask the person you’re speaking with to confirm that your recapitula­tion of their meaning is accurate, or to correct you. After all, the ideas you’re trying to get right are theirs, not yours. Yes, the one commu­nicating has the burden of making him- or herself clear, but you can help improve the person’s articulation. In addition, since you want people to take responsibility for what they say and do, you need to know you’ve got it right, and you need them to know that you care about that.


Step 6. Create Dialogue: Situate the Conversation


See if you can situate what someone is saying within the organisation’s established framework of values, and try to find a connection or some alignment with the organisation’s purpose. Doing so will help keep the focus on why everyone showed up for work!


Step 7. Create Dialogue: Consider Assumptions


Every story has to begin somewhere; we have to assume something to get things going. Similarly, when we engage in dialogue, we make cer­tain assumptions that are often not explicit. They’re simply the givens we take to be true for the purpose of starting. Just as you do when you reformulate in your own words, check with the speaker to see if what you believe they have assumed is, in fact, what they assume!


As with verbal disputes, it’s often the case that our disagreements occur because of what is not said. In other words, we don’t state our assumptions, and we believe we know what others’ assumptions are, but we’re wrong!


Step 8. Disagreement Does Not Mean Stalemate: Give Others’ Ideas a Try


If you and someone in your organisation disagree over an idea or a process but a decision is made to implement it, make sure everyone gives it the same support they would show if they thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.


It’s your job to get people on board and excited about the direction of a program, process, or policy, whether it was your idea or not. It’s easy to help things fail; it’s a lot harder to see them succeed. Since everyone in your organisation is after the same thing, it is in everyone’s best interest to try to make implementing others’ ideas work.


Step 9. Change: Manage It


Change is a scary, scary thing for most people. They don’t know where they fit in with this change, or if they’ll be left out. It’s important, therefore, that whenever change is on the horizon, those who are respon­sible for deciding to implement it communicate their reasons clearly and thoroughly.


People need to understand the context for change as well as how change will impact their workload, workflow, planning, and so forth. Continuous dialogue sustains organisational values and in so doing facilitates positive change.


Step 10. Values: You’re in the Relationship Business


Never forget that human interactions are always meaningful at some level. You’ve probably had interactions that, for some reason, were really meaningful to others, though you thought them to be rather pedestrian. And the shoe has likely been on the other foot, too. You can never antic­ipate what is going to impact someone else’s life in a really meaningful way, but be aware that it’s always possible.


If your interactions reflect your values, then you can always be confident that you have contributed to creating a meaningful culture wherever you go.


You need more tips? Shearin Group Training Services ( ) will help you. Our leadership programs have been assisting companies in France. With leaders at different levels have availed of our leadership training programs.. For more topic and tips, just visit our page here @ .

No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips for Exceptional Leadership

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips for Exceptional Leadership | Shearin Group Training Services |
By Leagh Turner, Chief Operating Officer, SAP Canada What makes a good leader? Looking at my own personal growth at SAP, I have found that the Holy Grail of leadership today is engagement. It’s only through truly engaging customers that we’ve increased profitability, and only through employee engagement do we increase [...]
Marco Shearin's insight:

What makes a good leader? Looking at my own personal growth at SAP, I have found that the Holy Grail of leadership today is engagement. It’s only through truly engaging customers that we’ve increased profitability, and only through employee engagement do we increase productivity. I have been lucky enough to work with an executive coach who truly understands how leaders can inspire teams and foster engagement within both their organizations and their customers’ organizations. This is some of the insight I’ve gained from her on engagement, people management, and leadership.


Build a team of your own personal challengers


A recent article in the Economist claimed that as technology continues to become more intelligent, the role of the leader will center more and more on innovative thought leadership. In order to prepare themselves for this reality, leaders must continually nourish their minds with complex problems, new ideas, and divergent perspectives. To this end, everyone needs their own group of personal challengers; external experts who fulfill that part of their development and growth on an ongoing basis. This could be mentors, coaches, business advisors, or just friends who work in different industries. While it takes some work to assemble and practice, it’s a critical element to developing your breadth of thinking and continuing your growth.


A very helpful leadership philosophy that I have learned is to convene and intervene. On one hand, part of being a leader is cultivating growth which entails convening people under a common purpose and allowing ideas to flourish. On the other hand, it’s about knowing when to jump in and steer the ship which entails helping the team take their ideas and shape them into something meaningful and executable. The leadership philosophy of convene and intervene allows you to be more present in a meeting by taking the onus off getting to the answer and instead focusing on the process of watching ideas grow and then simply shaping them. Not only does this help people feel engaged in the process, it also helps you learn a lot about the people you work with.


More related content:

No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips For Thought On A Startup Budget

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips For Thought On A Startup Budget | Shearin Group Training Services |

Becoming a thought leader and an expert in your industry doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg.

Marco Shearin's insight:

7 Tips For Thought Leadership On A Startup Budget


This summer, I recently participated in a thought leadership workshop for Arizona CEOs (from which I was inspired to write an article for Upstart Business Journal on “3 Lessons Startup Founders Could Learn from Corporate America“). Molly Castelazo of Castelazo Content led this event at the annual Arizona Technology Council’s CEO Retreat. The audience was comprised of mainly well-established companies. However looking around the room, I thought of how thought leadership can still be achieved on a shoestring or startup budget.


Here are seven components to advance your thought leadership early on:


1. Use HARO (Help a Reporter Out)


HARO is an awesome tool that makes it easy to include your company’s ideas or opinions( ) in someone else’s story. It is free—a clear appeal for startups—and only requires time to prepare the pitch. The trick is to be very succinct and answer the reporter’s query precisely.

In our early days, we answered the queries of others and successfully used HARO to appear in Entrepreneur several times. Today, we are posting our own queries on HARO as a way to gather IP Horror Stories from others (a big thanks to Stephanie Burns from CHIC CEO for that tip). There is a prerequisite that you have to have a top million ALEXA rating and we are finally there!


2. Enter Contests


Enter early and often. Honing your pitch is critical to your success and winning some cool prizes along the way is not bad either. Contests or competitions often require support and can be a good way of spreading your name around. We gained momentum from winning a few contests early on and this helped us to refine our message.


3. Use LinkedIn


Do not sell your business on LinkedIn. Period. End of story. Your LinkedIn posts should be informative or educational only. At the top of my list of pet peeves are those who post spam on LinkedIn as if it were something we all need to read. We used posts that prior to our software launch as a way to spread the word on our company( ) and provided education on the value of IP.


4. Blog Regularly


Some sites blog daily and others blog weekly; more posting is definitely better but regular posts are best. Pick a cadence and stick to it. We learned this first hand when our website traffic fell when we stopped blogging.


To shake things up a bit, we like to exchange blogs with other sites and invite guest bloggers to write relevant content to share with our readers. We have found that sharing quotes and linking to others is great for raising our profile and providing legitimacy.


5. Social Media Strategy


Like blogging, it is important to be consistent with social media posting and follow-up with engagement. Re-purpose and recycle old blogs by linking to new articles and sharing on social media. Ask others to share your content. It can lead to guest blogs and that help establish you as an expert.


Chect this Out.. 6. Read, Write, Read, Write -

No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: Try 4 Tips From Leadership Coaches

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: Try 4 Tips From Leadership Coaches | Shearin Group Training Services |
Marco Shearin's insight:

The old top-down, command-and-control style of leadership seldom works in today's organizations, where the goal is often to promote cooperation in the midst of rapid change. 

To succeed as a leader you must know how to communicate a vision, build a network of relationships, and foster group learning and decision-making. This is true whether you're the big boss or are just learning how to guide a team. 

Leadership coaching has become a key tool for facilitating change in individuals, teams and systems. And in places where the traditional hierarchical model of management no longer works, leaders who know how to act like coaches are building cultures that allow collaboration and innovation to thrive. 

Working with a coach is one way to broaden your leadership skills and deepen your understanding of modern workplace dynamics. But even if that's not an option, these strategies from the field of coaching can help you grow: 

1. Know yourself. Research shows that self-awareness is a vital characteristic of successful leaders. The more you understand about your own internal dialogue, the better you are at engaging with other people. And the more you notice about the impact of your behavior on others, the better are your choices for next steps. Coaches use open-ended questions to help clients notice their inner voices and daily decisions. Another way to promote self-exploration is to keep a journal or regularly engage in some other form of expressive writing. Write answers to questions like, "what would I do here if I knew I couldn't fail?" 

2. Listen more actively. When people turn to you for guidance or assistance, there are many times when you have no idea how to help. But offering expertise is not the only way to give support. Humans have an innate need to be heard and acknowledged. And by listening deeply to another person, you can let them know they do matter and at the same time provide a way for them to come to terms with some of their issues. 

3. Try peer coaching. Consider finding a partner or small group with whom you can trade coaching time. Create a structure in which each person has a designated to time to talk about current activities and challenges. When you play the role of the "coach" it's your job to ask questions and listen compassionately to the answers. Then when you are the "client" you can talk about what's been happening lately and how you feel about it. 

4. Try some training. An enjoyable and effective way to become more adept at conversations with your colleagues can be to take an introductory coaching course. You'll build your "listening muscle" and have opportunities to practice asking questions that lead others to new insights. For a training option that would work for you, visit the International Coach Federation website. 

Coaching comes in many forms, but the broad theme is always to help you be the best version of yourself as a professional, a leader and a whole person. By learning a bit about how coaching works, you can build your self-knowledge and at the same time become better at assisting others to fully engage in their work. 

Read about what coaching can do 

If you want an insider's view of what coaching actually looks like, I can recommend a new book: "Being Coached – Group And Team Coaching From The Inside." 

"Being Coached" is written by two accomplished coaches – Holly Williams, my pal from the Georgetown Leadership Coaching community, and her colleague, Ann Deaton. The authors don't offer a how-to guide or academic discussion, but instead tell us a tale from the perspective of individual managers who are going through a group coaching exercise just as their company is faced with the need for a drastic change in strategy. 

While the plot involves group coaching, the real story is about what coaching is like for each of the participants. For example, there is Ellen, the Chief People Officer, who faces the fact that she can't manage all the company's human resources by herself. During coaching she learns how to ask for help, and challenges her colleagues to either "work together or fall apart." 

Another new book touching upon the impact of coaching is "A Whole New Engineer," by David E. Goldberg and Mark Somerville. If you are interested in the cutting edge of higher education, you'll find this book particularly interesting. 

The authors — two highly accomplished academic leaders whose field happens to be engineering — describe how each grew beyond the traditional university path to lead in the creation of science/engineering programs that also foster self-awareness and empathy. The book is an intriguing and readable mixture of anecdotes and current thought about how growth and learning happen. As a leadership coach, I am particularly interested in the suggestion that a more conscious element of coaching can enrich the classroom experience.

Article Source:


Read More:

No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

Henri Eliot: Leadership in today's business - Rob Campbell - Business - NZ Herald News

Henri Eliot: Leadership in today's business - Rob Campbell - Business - NZ Herald News | Shearin Group Training Services |
Rob Campbell has over 30 years' experience in investment management and corporate governance. Rob is currently Chair of Summerset Group Holdings Limited (NZ), Tourism Holdings Limited - New Zealand Herald
Marco Shearin's insight:

Rob Campbell har over 30 års erfaring i investerings- og virksomhedsledelse. Rob er i øjeblikket formand for Summerset Group Holdings Limited (NZ), turisme Holdings Limited og direktør i Guinness tørv Group Limited (UK), gågade egenskaber og Turners og avlere. Han er direktør for store private selskaber baseret i Australien og New Zealand.


Rob taler til Henri Eliot om hans syn på ledelse efter en nylig ledelse dag på Turners og avlere.


Relaterede stillinger:


No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips for Becoming More Productive At Work

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips for Becoming More Productive At Work | Shearin Group Training Services |
Tips for Becoming More Productive At Work
Marco Shearin's insight:

Low productivity can cost businesses millions of dollars each year. With so many distractions however – like social media, the internet, other co-workers and our own lack of motivation – it can be hard to regain your productivity streak. Although there are several articles out there touting different time management fixes, these four tips are off the beaten path and will hopefully grant you a renewed kick in your step the next time you sit down at your desk to work.


Don’t Multitask


There was a day not too long ago that added “ability to multitask” to a resume or CV was seen as a positive attribute to have in a work environment. Recent research however suggests differently. If we try to juggle too much at once, adults can experience severe stress or rage – two things that are not conducive to a good work environment. Ninety-eight percent of us can’t multitask effectively, and we can work nearly twice as fast if we only do one thing at a time.


Make a To-Don’t List


Many people find that making to-do lists or writing down plans and tasks in a diary help keep them organized and productive. But have you considered penning a “to-don’t” list? Bad habits influence the way we work just as much as good habits do. How often do you check your mobile throughout the day? Do you spend a lot of time surfing the internet? Are you always late? By laying your productivity-killing habits out on paper, you will be more conscious of them and maybe even more willing to put an end to them.


Track Time


Spend a whole day tracking how you spend your time at work – reading and responding to emails, researching, talking to co-workers, and other activities. Make sure to log both the good (like working on this article for an hour and a half) and the bad (and then promptly reading a few news stories for 15 minutes). Once you realise the work that takes up the most of your time, you’ll be able to better budget and prioritise to get the most done.


Look Back


How did your week go? Do you even remember your busy Monday morning? If you made a to-don’t list and were able to track you time in the same week, look back and see all that you accomplished, and where you can make improvements for your future productivity.


Get more information:

No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips on How To Find A Great Mentor

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips on How To Find A Great Mentor | Shearin Group Training Services |


How To Find A Great Mentor -- First, Don't Ever Ask A Stranger


Today I heard from a lovely new connection on LinkedIn LNKD +2.63%, who responded to a recent post I shared about Why Your Job  Search Has Stalled Out.  He asked a question I hear frequently from professionals who know that mentorship is important to their careers, but don’t know how to achieve it.


He asked:


“In my pursuit of THE job (not just any job), I have so far addressed all your recommendations but mentorship. This is the stage where I have stalled out. I have found many professionals that have shared my dreams and are now big successes in the industry, but find myself hesitant in approaching them and asking for help. These hesitations may be due to me not wanting to come across as needy, but I think they mostly stem from lacking the trigger words that would inspire acceptance of such a request. I really need help in this area and humbly ask for your help in the follow-through of this job hunting step.”


I’d love to tackle this question, because so many people I speak to are struggling in their approach to finding mentors, and are ending up disappointed, angry or confused.


Below are the top 4 tips I can share about finding fabulous mentors, and making the most of the help you receive:


1. There are no “trigger” words that will help you get mentoring from a stranger. Don’t bother.


First, it’s critical to know that, to find great mentors, you don’t want to reach out to strangers. That’s not how you’ll find them.


Sheryl Sandberg, in her book Lean In, likens asking strangers to be mentors to the behavior of the main character in the favorite children’s book Are You My Mother? The book is about a baby bird that emerges from its shell in an empty nest, and goes in search of its mother.  The little bird asks everything it sees (a kitten, hen, dog, cow, steam shovel), “Are you my mother?”  The answer is always the same. “No!”  This is just like a professional asking a stranger, “Will you be my mentor?”


Sandberg says:


“If someone has to ask the question, the answer is probably no. When someone finds the right mentor, it is obvious.  The question becomes a statement. Chasing or forcing that connection rarely works.”


Instead, find great mentors through the inspiring people you’re already interacting and working with now. They need to be people to whom you have already demonstrated your potential – who know how you think, act, communicate and contribute. And they have to like, trust and believe in you already (why else would they help you?).  They also need to believe with absolutely certainty that you’ll put to great use all their input and feedback.


Strangers (especially people in the media and the public eye who’ve become “huge” successes, as the individual above mentions) will virtually always have to say “no” to mentoring requests from strangers.  Why? Because their time is already spoken for, and they’re drowning in similar requests.  Secondly, they don’t have a relationship with you, and therefore can’t know how you operate or if it’s a great investment of their time to help you.


2. What can you do to get on the radar of strangers whom you admire?


Don’t ask for mentorship, but follow their work, and be helpful and supportive.  Give, and give more.  Tweet out their posts, comment in a positive way on their blogs, share their updates, start a discussion on LinkedIn drawing on their post, refer new clients or business to them, and the list goes on.  In short, offer your unique voice, perspectives, experiences and resources to further the action and conversation that these influencers have sparked.  Understand that you are able to be of service to them, and go out and do it.


3. Be someone who is enjoyable to mentor.


The third piece of attracting empowering mentoring is in how you operate in your career and your life.  Are you somebody you yourself would like to mentor? Are you open, flexible, resilient, respectful? Are you eager to learn, and committed to modifying how you’re interacting in the world so you can have even more success, reward and happiness?


 - Be great at what you do – while this sounds obvious, it is the most important thing you can do to get noticed.


- Ask for more responsibility – be sure to have specific ideas for how you can contribute in deeper, more expansive ways. Be creative/think outside the box.


- Don’t be a wallflower – participate in all meetings even “optional” ones. Volunteer to represent your team on important department or enterprise-level initiatives. Prepare ahead of time so that you can meaningfully advance the discussion.


- Promote the success of others – your generosity and openness are critical to your success, and will be remembered.


- Build your support network – reach out to groups within your company and outside your line of business. Learn what they do and how you can help them succeed.


4. Put yourself in a potential mentor’s shoes.


Finally, whenever you’re in a quandary about how to get help from someone, put yourself in their shoes.  If the tables were turned, what would you want to see from this individual asking for help?  If you were inundated with requests for help every day, what type of person would YOU choose to assist, and why? Go out and become that person that others would love to support and nurture.


More tips from The Shearin Group Leadership Training, visit:



No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips to become an Influencial Thought Leader

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips to become an Influencial Thought Leader | Shearin Group Training Services |

Ready to share insights on a topic you're well versed in? You may fortify your company's reputation as well as your personal brand.

Marco Shearin's insight:

Do you have something to say about a topic you are well versed in? If so, you could become an influential thought leader in your field of expertise.


Thought leaders are CEOs, businesspeople, entrepreneurs and other individuals who are respected for their knowledge and expertise and who have something to say and know how to say it. Thought leadership can spread awareness about the individual's company while he or she develops a personal brand, influence and credibility. Just like building a business, becoming a recognized thought leader requires dedication and a strategy.


Check This Out:

No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: Successful Leadership Transitions

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: Successful Leadership Transitions | Shearin Group Training Services |


Successful leadership transitions: traps to avoid, tips for success


It’s never easy to step into a leadership role from outside an organization.


Michael Watkins, an authority on leadership( ) transitions, has concluded through his research that 40 percent of executive leaders hired from the outside fail within 18 months. He estimates the cost to the company of a failed leader at 14 times the leader’s annual salary. Watkins’ findings are especially applicable to transitions in non-family leadership roles within a family business. 


Think of the statistics on keeping family businesses in the family for successive generations: Only 33 percent make it from generation one to generation two, and just 11 percent make it to the third generation. In an article on its website, (“Transitioning from Family Leadership to Non-Family CEO: Best Practices for Maintaining a Family Enterprise”), Family Business Consulting Group observes, “As a family business moves down the generations, the likelihood that it will need to turn to a non-family leader increases.” Most family businesses ultimately will have to hire outside leaders. 


Before looking at three tips for a successful leadership transition, it’s important to recognize two common pitfalls in the process. Few would disagree that the first six months are critical to the success of a new leader. So why do we put people in a position in which their chances for success are slim? 


1. We don’t recognize the need for diligence.


The trap is to view the success of the previous leader as an indicator that the job is easy because all it needs is maintenance for a while: “Dad has run this organization well for 25 years. The team is solid, and we’re a market leader. This job should be a snap.” 


The reality is quite different, as Family Business Consulting Group observes (“Preparing Owners for a Non-Family CEO,” “Ownership groups looking at a non-family CEO for the first time often find they must change the informal ways in which they function and become more structured. For instance, if Dad was the previous CEO, it cannot be expected that the new CEO, who no longer shares the family’s last name, will be given the same degree of trust and respect initially upon the transition.”


2. CEO equals business leader plus family therapist.


Whether it’s due to reputation or how much we’re paying them, it’s easy to expect new leaders to have it all figured out right out of the gate. Making the job too big is a trap. As Watkins’ research shows, it’s not easy to step into a leadership role, especially in family businesses with the added expectation of having to navigate — and often repair — complex family dynamics. While the ability to steer through such complexities is essential, making it the new leader’s job to rewrite the rules is a recipe for disaster. 


Families need to own the work of creating a situation where someone from the outside can come in and be successful, not ask a new leader to fix the family. How can a family-owned business maximize the odds of success for its newly hired leader?


Here are three tips for making a transition successful:


1. Make the culture rules clear. 


Business culture can be a difficult thing to define. In a closely held business, culture is often broad-brushed with generalizations like “family-focused” or “people matter.” Leader Onboarding Inc. ( has developed an assessment, New Leader Culture Snapshot, designed to help new leaders understand performance culture from multiple perspectives.


The survey asks two open-ended questions: What is the most important thing for this new leader to learn about the culture/performance climate in their operation? What are some potential early wins for this new leader?


In family businesses, communications and decisions are often informally executed. A Monday-morning breakfast to discuss the week’s priorities can help to formalize the process. Getting feedback from the team and the family around the important aspects of the culture and performance climate is a good start in making the rules clear to the new leader.


2. Help the new leader to find company wins and family wins. 


Trust is what successful leaders have and unsuccessful leaders lack. A new non-family leader in a family business faces additional obstacles in this regard. In any leadership transition, it’s critical that a new leader build trust from the beginning and avoid situations that can foster mistrust. One of the biggest mistakes I see is having a new leader fire someone in the first three to six months. 


Company wins can range from devoting more resources to professional development of staff to continuing traditional employee gatherings or recognition programs. Family wins can range from the new leader making a point to have informal lunches with key family leaders to learning about the history of and relationships with key suppliers before making decisions about whom to bring into a new project. Trust is built through wins that matter to key stakeholders. In a family business, those stakeholders include both employees and family members.


3. Support, support, support.


Every transition will include mistakes and complex situations that a new leader will need help to navigate to a positive outcome. A mentor is an ally during transition who provides a second perspective and an established reputation to help the new leader to remove barriers and avoid fatal mistakes. Remember that family businesses are beset with informal communication channels and family-centered traditions that can be difficult for an outsider to see. Assigning a mentor to provide a safe place to talk through some of these gray areas and help the new leader make good choices is critical.


Leadership transitions are inherently challenging, and the dynamics of a family business make them especially demanding. There are many steps that organizations can take to increase the likelihood of success. The first steps are to recognize the need to be proactive and deliberate with the transition, and to create realistic expectations for the new role. 


For more Leadership Tips from The Shearin Group, visit this site( ).


No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: A Good Host Makes The Best Leader

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: A Good Host Makes The Best Leader | Shearin Group Training Services |

People could be divided roughly into two groups: guests and hosts.

Many people strive for authority positions because they think it means they’ll in effect be the guest of honor at an endless series of banquets.

But if you’re a leader, you’re not the guest of honor at the party. You’re the host. And there’s a certain mindset that a good host has.

You’ve willingly taken on the role of providing everyone else with the best possible experience. As the host, you realize you won’t make everyone happy. You don’t have the budget or time for that, and you know that you can’t do much about the fact that many people were just born to complain. But you do what you set out to do, with both maturity and passion.

A good host has a certain energy, which every leader should aspire to summon as they begin their day. The good host exudes a warm, inviting spirit that signals, “This is a good and safe place to be. You’re in the right place. We’ve got it under control”

An accomplished host is outward-focused, more likely to compliment you on your outfit than to worry about what you think of his outfit. He takes spilled drinks and faux pas moments in stride. Ultimately, he takes ownership of the evening, but he does so in a way that doesn’t consume or drain him.

The good host exercises authority and power in the ideal way. Here’s why that’s so important for aspiring leaders to keep in mind.

“Nearly all men can stand adversity,” Abraham Lincoln said, “but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

It’s no secret that we’re all drawn to power. Even if we’re too shy or timid to reach for it directly, we still like to get close to someone who does.

So it was inevitable that leadership training ( ) would become a multi-billion-dollar entity spanning industry, education and media. The worst experts offer quick formulas guaranteed to increase your power, while the good ones offer wise lessons about what power is to be used for.

A big problem with much of the leadership-training industry ( ) is that it plays off people’s vanity. It suggests a couple of things:

1. In any room, the leader is the most important person.

2 And if you embrace these five or seven or 12 patented tips for leading, you’ll be a hero, everyone will love you, and they’ll only neglect you long enough to build your statue or to swat pigeons from it.

There’s some reality to the first point. The alpha type enjoys enviable rights and prerogatives among many species, including our closest relatives, chimpanzees (who are genetically 98% identical to us).

It turns out the true alpha dog doesn’t just lounge around and enjoy the perks of the title. It has special, difficult obligations to protect the tribe. It faces constant threats of being overtaken by pretenders to the job. And once the alpha type loses such a battle, there’s no such thing as an easy retirement or pension. You’re ostracized.

It’s a lot like being the host of the party, but you’ll be kicked out of your house if the party stinks or if the guests woke up on the wrong side of the bed. Now that’s pressure.

But the true host loses herself or himself in the moment, in the zen of the event itself, with little sense of self. If they take the microphone, it’s to honor someone else, not just to bloviate with some new jokes they heard. The best hosts make them somewhat invisible, so that the party itself is what the guests remember, and their own wonderful interactions there.

I’ve been very influenced by Lao Tzu, the legendary (and perhaps mythical) father of Taoism. To paraphrase one idea, he said that the best leader is the one whom the people barely notice: When his or her work is done, the people say, “This was an amazing thing that we did by ourselves!”

A host facilitates that same sort of experience. The guests don’t leave feeling a sense of debt, they leave feeling richer for having contributed something of value to the evening.

That’s often the opposite of what most management and leadership gurus are trying to tell us, as they sell myths about power and prestige. But the party doesn’t get started unless and until we bring the right approach.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips for Maximizing your Client Service

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips for Maximizing your Client Service | Shearin Group Training Services |

As a manager, never forget the importance of teaching and emphasizing the importance of client service to your staff.I was in Washington, D.C., for the

Marco Shearin's insight:

Eric P. Bloom: 6 tips on maximizing your staff’s client service


As a manager, never forget the importance of teaching and emphasizing the importance of client service to your staff.


I was in Washington, D.C., for the second time in three weeks to provide training(

 ) to a client. On my first trip to Washington, I was able to stay at a Marriot Fairfield Inn right next door to my client’s office. For the second trip, however, I was forced to stay at a hotel about three miles away because there was a convention in town and my hotel of choice was filled.


On the morning of the last day of my second trip, I returned to the Fairfield Inn with luggage in hand. The person behind the registration desk recognized me from my prior stay at the hotel and asked me if I wanted to check it. I told her that not being able to secure a reservation at her hotel because of a local conference, I had stayed a few miles away at a different hotel. I went on to say that I had come to the hotel that morning to ask if they would please check my suitcase for a few hours so I would not have to bring it to my client’s meeting. Being a frequent Marriot client, she happily agreed to provide me assistance and even offered me cup of coffee as I was leaving the hotel. This may seem like a trivial, easy and no cost way to help a customer. Well, it is, but for the customer, it was of great value.


The moral of this story, for managers of all types and professions, is to remember the importance of fostering a culture of customer/client service within your team. Small acts of kindness, common courtesy, and remembering to follow up on client requests are of little or no cost. They also can pay great dividends in the way of client/customer satisfaction, repeat sales, follow-on contracts, and/or top rated performance reviews(

 ) for you and your team.

No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training in Hong Kong on Tips for Passing Practical Assessments

The Shearin Group Leadership Training in Hong Kong on Tips for Passing Practical Assessments | Shearin Group Training Services |


10 tips for passing practical assessments when applying for a senior teaching job


Your CV has made the cut, now it’s time for presentations, demonstration lessons and psychometric tests. Here’s how to prepare for success


Interviews for teaching jobs used to involve a half-hour chat to a panel of well-meaning governors. But these days, they are more like physical and psychological assault courses with presentations, demonstration lessons, psychometric tests, observations and in-tray exercises. And if you’re applying for a senior teaching job, you need to prepare yourself for the practical tests as well as the formal interview.


Demonstration lessons


Give a lesson plan to the observers beforehand so if it all goes horribly wrong at least they know what you intended to achieve. Detail how you plan to differentiate and show progress, even if there wasn’t time during the demo lesson.


Mary Glynn, candidate development manager at Prospero Teaching, says: “The first question the panel are likely to ask at the formal interview will be about evaluating your performance in practical things like the demo lesson. Focus on answering this well – show you are a reflective teacher and can justify the decisions you made.”


Be ready to explain at interview how you differentiated, especially for EAL or SEN, how you planned for progress, justify why you changed tack or improvised and acknowledge any mistakes you made.


Don’t expect parity, though. You could get a tough year 9 group when another candidate gets sweet little year 7s. Your lesson might have to be taught after the formal interview while another might be interviewed before.




You are likely to be asked to do a 10-minute presentation on the role you are applying for. You might be asked about your vision for the English department or how you would take forward safeguarding, pastoral care or behaviour in the school. Here’s how to deliver a cracking presentation:


Plan a beginning, middle and an end – basically tell a story in about why you are right for the job.


- Your beginning (maximum two minutes). Think A,B,C and D:


A is for attention – get the panel’s attention with an arresting quote or statistic.

B is for benefit – what is the interview panel about to learn from you in next 10 minutes? Summarise it in 15 seconds.

C is for credentials – tell them (again in 15 seconds) what your credentials are.

D is for direction – give them a 20-second outline of the structure of your presentation so they’ll remember it once you have finished.


- Your middle (maximum seven minutes). This is your content, the meat in the sandwich. Give a compelling outline of your vision supplemented perhaps by a diagram or infographic, maybe a few stats, a very short video clip all on half a dozen PowerPoint slides.


- Your ending (maximum one minute). Finish with a call to action or an inspiring line that sums up you and what you will do.


Lesson observations


You are required to observe someone else’s lesson to test whether you can identify outstanding teaching. They’ll be looking to assess the quality of your written and oral feedback, your confidence to assess what you observed or a coaching tip to develop skill and technique. You also need to show a wider appreciation of your subject knowledge or leadership potential(visit: ).


In-tray exercises


These test your ability to prioritise and cope under pressure. Can you deal with a dozen things coming at you at once? How will you prioritise urgent matters like multiple staff absences, coursework deadlines and the school boiler breaking down all on the same morning? You can prepare for these by searching for examples on the internet. Search for “in-tray exercises for teachers” – Exeter University and @TeacherToolKit has them. There are no right answers but practising helps you prepare.


Psychometric tests


These are a harder to prepare for because they are supposed to objectively test your mental ability, aptitude and personality. You may be asked to engage with a variety of exercises that test your verbal and numerical ability or your abstract, spatial or mechanical reasoning. I did one for a headship with the three other candidates for the job that involved building a three-foot high tower with paper clips and sheets of A4. It was worse than an episode of The Apprentice.



No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Training Services: Can E-learning Replace a School Day?

E-learning has been gaining traction in some parts of the US particularly in public schools as a learning option for when weather gets so bad that schools had to suspend classes. Then students at home are supposed to use their school-issued netbooks or tablets to work on the virtual lessons and communicate with their instructors.


Educational institutions have been slowly opening up to alternative routes of learning such as said online courses. And what is now termed "adaptive learning" could be leading the way of personalized and tech-driven learning process for students.


Virtual lesson plans are customized to enable a student to study at home on key subjects. Ideally, they can also communicate with their teachers via Google Hangouts or Chat. It works even if there's no internet connection because the lessons are supposed to be available to work on offline. Another bonus is that students won't have to do detention for failing to submit a homework -- because of possible connectivity issues no doubt.


The Shearin Group Training Services' - platform enables an instructor to create adaptive and customized tutorials using any of the included coursework. For instance, once a student has demonstrated enough knowledge on a certain part of the course, the lesson can adapt by allowing him to skip through other content. On the other hand, a student who still needs more instructions based on his responses will be provided with additional resources to aid his understanding of the topic.


It gained popularity last year when snow fall forced most institutions to suspend a few days of school, eventually causing them to shorten the vacation time to complete the required number of days of instruction. Now, there's a contention of whether e-learning should be considered as a day in class.


Sure students can still do some schoolwork even when classes had to be suspended due to bad weather, but it is doubtful if they will really appreciate or follow this instead of, getting extra sleep, for example. But as The Shearin Group Training Services said, virtual lessons meant class suspensions don't have to eat up everyone's vacation time.


The only caveat is that students will miss the irreplaceable experience one can have inside an actual schoolroom -- something that everyone agrees is a big factor in the learning process.


Kari Whicker, State Board of Education Member said, "The question isn't if e-learning is bad, it's good. And the people who are doing it well are doing it very well. But, before we open up the floodgates have we asked everything we need to ask."


Precisely why, prior to e-learning getting an official endorsement by the local governments, the financial circumstance and learning capability of the students have to be considered.


School Superintendent Philip Downs said, "We've spent a lot of time making sure every child regardless of disability or financial situation is accounted for and there is a plan or. There has been a lot of work in the background in this to get ready to do this."


Obviously, more students are going to enjoy this kind of substitute learning, what with the personalized content and added perks they get. Platforms for e-learning are expected to attract more institutions as a result.


Read for more related articles @




No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips to Keep your Company Task Force on Task

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips to Keep your Company Task Force on Task | Shearin Group Training Services |

Five tips to keep your company task force on task.


As private and public sector organizations grow and change, internal committees become an increasingly important way to integrate different parts of the business and get things done.


While internal committees come in many forms, and can be called task forces or working groups or committees, they are essentially a way to bring together a mix of people with different skills and perspectives to address corporate-wide priorities and cut across departments and geographies.


Internal committees are commonly used to co-ordinate and manage projects, lead strategic priorities, integrate multi-business unit operations, improve employee engagement, or quite simply manage the overall leadership of a business. When managed well, internal committees can add significant value, strengthen communications, and serve as an agile organizational design practice that most businesses can’t do without.


Unfortunately, for many larger, more complex organizations, internal committees are not well managed, resulting in wasted time and energy – and lost opportunities.


In fact, many organizations don’t even know how many internal committees they have, let alone what they do and what resources they consume. In the worst of cases, internal committees trip over each other, duplicating and confusing the efforts of other committees as well as core business units.


So, to realize the value and avoid the destructive pifalls, what are the keys to successful internal committee management? Here are five tips.


1. Know what exists


Have an inventory of your committees, task forces and working groups, and know how they support the business and complement each other.


Not doing so will run the risk of perpetual confusion, fragmentation and duplication, unknown and misaligned resource allocations, and muted or failed outcomes. To actively manage your company’s range of committees, you need a dedicated point-person accountable for their oversight, and responsible for co-ordinating their internal governance.


At one progressive client, this role was actively led by the chief human resources officer, and included quarterly updates to the executive team.


2. Make it clear how committees are formed


It’s essential to have clarity through the company as to how committees get created in the first place. Have guidelines for their creation, structure, composition – and how they come to an end. Anything less could result in a “wild west” culture where managers can create committees at any time, with increasing levels of internal dysfunctionality and resource drains as more committees get added to the mix.


One Saskatchewan-based energy company has instituted a simple but formal set of protocols to guide committee creation, resource deployment and performance expectations.


3. Have a clear mandate


To reduce redundancy and improve productivity, committees must be clear about their mandate, roles and responsibilities, and how their recommendations and decisions connect with management processes.


Ideally, each committee should have simply documented terms of reference specifying its objectives, how it works, how it measures its performance, and, most importantly, how it fits into the broader organizational structure.


4. Track performance


Taking the time to plan, measure and understand the level of effort and cost of each committee and of the collective portfolio of all the organization’s committees will serve you well.


When this tracking is done, most organizations are initially surprised to see how much time and financial effort they are putting into internal committees. Invariably, these profiles result in portfolio streamlining, better balancing of individual commitments and resource allocations, and greater clarity of committee mandates. In other words, committees suddenly become more efficient and effective, and better complement the broader corporate structure.


5. Hold committee members accountable


Key to the success of your internal committees is formally recognizing and holding people individually accountable for their committee commitments and results. This is especially important since committee participation is usually a part-time effort over and above a staff member’s full-time job.


While most employees will have an interest in participating on a committee, other competing priorities and commitments can be distracting. Careful management helps to balance these competing interests and focus efforts.


Companies can see an immediate benefit when they begin to take a formal and practical approach to managing their internal committees.


In one particular client case, a newly appointed CEO suspected that the number and mix of internal committees simply hadn’t been managed, with the costs and complexities far outweighing the benefits to the business.


With a comprehensive inventory and an assessment of related costs and benefits, the CEO quickly made changes. This began with the recognition that while internal committees were useful, there needed to be executive commitment to formally managing them as a strategic portfolio and as part of the company’s organization design. While the transition to formal and better portfolio management of internal committees took time, this company made them a priority and is now reaping the benefits.


Internal committees can be a useful organization strategy, but if poorly managed, they can create decision-making and organizational confusion. Thoughtful and practical management of internal committees will guarantee a higher rate of return.


Visit and read for more leadership training tips @


No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips to Help Put "Thanks" and "Giving”

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips to Help Put "Thanks" and "Giving” | Shearin Group Training Services |

It’s time to revive the essence of Thanksgiving and reinsert “Thanks” and “Giving” into the holiday ritual for you and your next generation. Neale Godfrey provides five tips to reclaim the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Marco Shearin's insight:

5 Tips to Help Put "Thanks" and "Giving" Back In Thanksgiving


It’s that time of year again. So, why is this money expert, who provides financial advice( ) to Baby Boomers and their offspring, writing about Thanksgiving? Because the “giving” part of money is key to any money discussion (and I love Thanksgiving and this is my blog!)


I’m not alone when it comes to my love for the Thanksgiving holiday. According to, Thanksgiving is America’s second favorite holiday after Christmas. And, thanks to editor of Ladies Magazine, Sarah Josepha Hale’s 36 year advocacy, Thanksgiving is a national holiday that falls on the fourth Thursday every November as proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It’s a day of indulgence for approximately 88 percent of Americans who will consume over 45 million turkeys (not including the one that President Obama will spare). But what about the remaining folks who are not as lucky to be stuffing birds and their faces with friends and family?


Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it really is integral to the American culture, non-commercial and inclusive. (I will note that “non-commercial” takes on a new twist when you see the number of stores opening on Thanksgiving.) My hope is that families are celebrating the same thoughts of gratitude for our collective bounty. It should also be a time to reflect and to give thanks.


To be honest, I’ve always felt sorry for Thanksgiving being “stuffed in” between Halloween, the scary costume and sugar holiday, and Christmas the holiday of joy that has morphed into the holiday of the shopping spree. Now it’s time to revive the essence of Thanksgiving and turn it into “Thanks” and “Giving” for you and your next generation. Here are five tips( ) to reclaim the spirit of the Thanksgiving holiday:


Tip #1 – Tell The Story


In my home, we start the meal by designating a family member as the storyteller to tell the grandkids about the origins of the holiday. It’s not only about football, parades, turkey, cranberry sauce and my way too sweet, sweet potatoes. I’ll make it easy for you: Thanksgiving has its roots dating back to the Pilgrims celebrating their first harvest in the “New World” in 1621.

(Obviously, the harvest took place earlier, but you know how hard it is to nail down the origin of a holiday!) This feast was said to last for three days and to be attended by 90 Native Americans and 53 Pilgrims. The holiday was religious in nature and thanks was given to God for survival and the prosperity that was enjoyed. The Pilgrims didn’t have it easy their first few years in this country. They made seven times more graves than houses, but still they were able to set this time aside to give thanks.


Tip #2 – Share Your Family


Welcome a person or family to your Thanksgiving dinner. It is a simple, but powerful gesture. It’s also a great way to establish a family tradition of real unity behind a common purpose and to set the example to share your family and its good fortune. As William Shakespeare said, “Small cheer and great welcome makes a merry feast.” Each year, we try to invite someone who doesn’t have family with whom to share the holiday. Get the kids involved in that discussion prior to the meal. It may be one of their teachers, who is far from home, or a neighbor, or someone from a foreign country who has never experienced the holiday.


Tip #3 – Share With Others


Sharing needs to be built into a ritual for this holiday. It’s a core component to the celebration. Celebrate what you, as a family, have done this year. There are many great causes to which to donate. There are local shelters, food banks, and even organizations like Amp Your Good, where you can go online to make donations that will be turned into food for those in need. The big thing is to get the kids involved in the donations. If you can fit in the time, take your offspring to a shelter and have the whole family donate, prepare, and serve food. The experience is invaluable and it will be incredibly empowering for your kids to directly give their time, as well as money to those less fortunate.

Frankly, recognizing that others are less not well-off, and doing something about it, is a key element in this celebration—I firmly believe, in fact, that the celebration is hollow without it. Teddy Roosevelt said it well, “Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.”


See More Tips Here -

No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips - Finding Balance: The Four Questions You Need to Ask Yourself

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips - Finding Balance: The Four Questions You Need to Ask Yourself | Shearin Group Training Services |

Like the proverbial saying, putting all your eggs in one basket, many of us focus on just one thing -- usually our career -- and ignore the other aspects of our lives. Even in my own life I have found that it's easy to just delve into my work or training, maintaining a very single-minded focus that can be an advantage for what I'm doing at the present moment but at a disadvantage to the rest of my life.


You do want to be "in the zone" and focus your attention on what you're currently doing. But problems occur when you only focus and do one thing all the time. That creates an imbalance that affects all areas of your life. Those areas, which I believe are essential to a balanced life are career, relationships, health, spiritual, financial and well-being. You want all these areas to be in harmony with each other, and your core beliefs, so you live a life that's authentic to you.


A quick exercise to bring these areas in sync: Ask yourself these four questions across all six key areas of your life. You'll discover which areas are unbalanced so you can bring them -- and yourself -- back into balance.


What are your goals? For each area, write down what you really want. Putting your goals in writing is the first step in success. Be as specific as possible, do you want to learn a new skill to be eligible for a promotion or do you want a new job by the New Year? Putting your goals in writing focuses your intention on achieving your goal, and holds you accountable. I did this with a group of children and their parents in my leadership class over the course of a year, and the results were amazing -- from better grades to improved diets, everyone reached (or were well on the way to reaching) their goals.


Where are you? Notice which areas are currently out of alignment. Maybe your career is on track, but your relationship with your spouse could use some nurturing. Brainstorm ways you can better align future actions to meet your goals. Starting a new ritual with your spouse, such as a weekly date night or meeting for lunch one day during the workweek, may be all it takes to reconnect. Even catching up throughout your workday with texts can bring you closer. You can never communicate enough.


What can you do now? I'm sure you've heard the Lao-tzu quote, "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." By taking even the smallest of steps you will be one step closer to reaching your goal. Start where you are, and take action. If you feel disconnected from your faith, perhaps you can devote a few minutes each morning to read inspirational stories, meditate, or pray. If you want to better manage your finances, schedule some time on your calendar this week to create a budget. What about your sense of well being? Is there something you can do right now, in this moment, that will make you a happier person? Calling a childhood friend, writing a thank-you note, petting your dog.


What can you do later? Not every goal is a short-term one, and not every step you take is going to yield immediate results. Think about it, making healthy changes such as quitting smoking or losing weight, are not going to be one-and-done tips or tricks. They may be long journeys with setbacks and you'll need different strategies to continue moving forward.


One thing to remember: there will be times when one area needs more attention than another, but you can't neglect one completely. They work as a whole to keep you balanced, happy, and living an authentic life.


Visit Us:

No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: Essential Tips for Managing Employees Who Don't Aspire to Be Leaders

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: Essential Tips for Managing Employees Who Don't Aspire to Be Leaders | Shearin Group Training Services |

For some employees, working toward a promotion or leadership position is a natural transition in their careers. Yet some individuals just aren't interested in climbing the corporate ladder.


According to a new CareerBuilder survey, only one-third of the American workers surveyed aspire to become leaders. Additionally, only 7 percent said they seek C-level management roles.


Employers should, however, continue to develop these employees and provide them incentives, regardless of their career goals.


Employee engagement is essential at all levels of an organization. Here are some ideas for managing those who don't aspire to become leaders and keeping them engaged and happy at work:


1. Provide professional-development options.


When professional-development opportunities are offered by an employer, employees may become more engaged while involved in something not requiring their active pursuit of a leadership role.


And employers can do a number of things, I believe, to develop their employees’ skills. They can pay for memberships in a professional organization, host skills-development workshops or send staffers to industry conferences. In these ways employees can keep their skills up-to-date.


2. Give the option of shifting departments.


I recommend that if an employee wishes to gain more experience but not through taking a leadership role, move him to another department where his skills and experience will be tapped in a different way.


For example, say an associate at a public relations agency wants more experience but isn’t ready to take on a higher position. Give her the opportunity to work with different clients to broaden her experience and skills.



3. Provide ongoing training.


According to the CareerBuilder survey, more than half of the employees surveyed don’t seek leadership positions because they are content with their current roles. Ongoing training, I believe, will help such employees learn how to become more productive and perform better at their jobs.


A recruiter in an HR department might be perfectly happy in her position but wish to expand her range of skills. Train her in the latest HR technologies and teach her to use big data to recruit the best candidates.


4. Help employees advance their education.


Nearly 20 percent of the employees surveyed by CareerBuilder said they avoid climbing the corporate ladder because they think they don’t have the necessary education to advance.


Employers should help out those employees who wish to seek more education, I believe. Although not all employers or entrepreneurs can afford to fully fund staff education, they can ease the way. Employers can create some sort of tuition-reimbursement program or pay for an online class.


5. Offer competitive perks and bonuses.


Although employees may decide to not seek a promotion, this doesn't necessarily mean that they will stop going above and beyond at work, I believe. Reward dedicated and productive employees by offering monthly bonuses, recognition in the workplace or additional vacation time. This will lead to employees feeling like their work and dedication are truly valued.


How do you keep employees who don’t seek leadership roles engaged at work?








see more:

No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: How to deliver successful diversity and inclusion results and benchmark your progress

Accounting profession leaders working to improve diversity and inclusion in the profession and at their organization have new tools at their disposal.
Marco Shearin's insight:

As leaders in the accounting profession come to understand the business case for diversity and inclusion, they often have a similar quandary.


“The next natural question is, ‘So what do I do about it?’ ” said Kenneth Bouyer, CPA, chairman of the AICPA National Commission on Diversity & Inclusion and EY Americas director of Inclusiveness Recruiting.


New tools released Monday at the AICPA fall Council meeting are designed to answer the question of how to expand diversity and inclusion at a business or firm—and across the accounting profession as a whole. Both tools are available at


The Accounting Inclusion Maturity Model gives firm and business leaders an opportunity to perform a comprehensive self-assessment of their progress in fostering diversity and inclusion. Firms and businesses can use the model to assess their practices in the workforce, workplace, and marketplace, and in community and supplier relations.


A second offering, the Recruiting and Retention Toolkit, highlights best practices for attracting, recruiting, and retaining a diverse workforce.


The National Commission developed the tools using the input of accounting leaders and others. The tools are part of Institute-led efforts to help the accounting profession better reflect the diversity of the clients and public that CPAs serve. In 2012, 11% of the people employed in the United States were black or African-American, and 15% were Hispanic or Latino, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics research.


In that same year, blacks or African-Americans accounted for 4% of the accounting employees and 2% of the partners at CPA firms, according to the most recent AICPA Trends supply and demand survey. Hispanics or Latinos made up 5% of the accounting employees and 2% of the partners at CPA firms.


While the maturity model will help leaders understand where their businesses and firms stand with relation to diversity and inclusion, the toolkit describes specific methods for improving their diversity and inclusion.


“This is going to answer the ‘Now what?’ question,” Bouyer said. “This toolkit will be a playbook to help you devise a strategy and a focus.”


More related content:

No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: How To Make Your Numbers, Every Time?

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: How To Make Your Numbers, Every Time? | Shearin Group Training Services |

This post addresses some core values or best-practices for sales leaders and individual sales reps.

Marco Shearin's insight:

On Sales Leadership: How To Make Your Numbers, Every Time -


Not all startups will employ a direct sales force, but many will. When they do, the value of the company( ) and its ultimate success or failure often hinges on how well that distribution channel is built-out. In a prior blog, I described how companies can go astray by building out the sales team too early or in the wrong way.


This post addresses some core values or best-practices for sales leaders and individual sales reps( ). They are also very useful for the entrepreneur CEO to understand and embrace.


The list actually comes from an informal mentor and long-time Silicon Valley executive, advisor and investor, Joe Schoendorf, a consummate salesman to be sure.


Joe’s Rules of Sales:
2. Know Your Competition Personally
3. Take a Consultative Approach
4. The #’s Are Sacred – Make Your Numbers, Meet Your Goals
5. Keep The Customer


Taking each in turn:




Listening is one of the most difficult skills for people in general, but it’s a critical skill for a salesperson, at least one that wants to actually address a customer’s needs and concerns. Yet, it’s remarkable how many sales people actually score poorly on this attribute, as I’m sure many of you in both the customer and co-worker camps can attest.


A great salesperson is a lot like a detective or investigative journalist. It’s all about getting the facts and understanding the situation or problem the customer is trying to address. In that effort, the most powerful question a salesperson can ask is “why.” To illustrate the use of these most important three letters, consider this hypothetical dialogue below:


Customer: I need a CRM system.
Salesperson: Why?
Customer: I want to track my customers.
Salesperson: Why is that important?
Customer: So I can better understand what they have bought, and what they might want to buy next.
Salesperson: Why will that make a difference?
Customer: If I better understand what they want to buy, I can do a better job of ordering and making sure I have it in stock when they place the order.
Salesperson: Why does that matter?
Customer: I will have fewer abandoned sales, and I won’t be ordering inventory I can’t sell.
Salesperson: Why is that a priority?
Customer: My gross margins are 40%, and my competitors are north of 50% — I need to get my financial metrics in-line with or to be better than my competitors.


As a salesperson, how much better able is the one who asked “why” five times going to be in addressing the customer’s ultimate objective and win the business, than the one that said, “Oh, you need a CRM system? Let me tell you why mine is so great.”


2. Know Your Competition Personally


Few sales people have the luxury of selling a truly unique or monopoly product. All too often, there are competitors with decent to even better features, who have good reference customers, and who command a decent share of the market. Knowing your competitor personally makes you far better able to anticipate their moves, know how they are going to attack you, and how you can best thwart them.


A favorite sport of great salespeople (and great marketers) is to lay landmines or traps for competitors. In essence, you set a customer’s expectation and desire for a product feature, supplier quality, or other attribute that is unique to your product, and, most importantly, that the competitor lacks. When the competitor walks in the door, the customer wants to see or hear about things that the competitor doesn’t have or is notably weak at.


3. Take a Consultative Approach


A more systematic approach to the “listen” attribute, being consultative means being authentically focused on understanding and solving a real customer need, not simply jamming your product in where it may or may not actually solve the real problem. It also means being logical and quantitative to the greatest extent possible about the ROI of the product.


At my last company we implemented two different tactics to enhance the success of our sales team’s consultative sales approach. First, we hired MBA’s in our existing product development operation in India, to build quantitative and qualitative profiles on every major prospect. They would peruse prospect’s 10-Ks and 10-Qs (annual and quarterly SEC filings for public companies), analyst conference calls, press releases, articles written about the business, its financial performance and health, etc. They would then look for specific product-related challenges and metrics, and build models tying those challenges back to the prospect’s financials, and finally deliver that analysis to the sales rep who owned that account.


Then, once actively engaged with the prospect, we would perform an in-depth benchmarking and ROI analysis of their product operations to understand the prospect’s key business objectives and financial metrics. This allowed us to demonstrate quantitatively how our products could move the needle on their key business metrics.


4. The #’s Are Sacred


Make your numbers, meet your goals. Salespeople are hired for one reason – to drive revenue. If they fail, the company fails (a fact product folks can sometimes lose sight of). Salespeople must always be disciplined and goal-oriented, relentlessly moving current sales opportunities forward to the next step or stage, while also consistently prospecting for new business to keep the pipeline full. Salespeople must also be thoughtful about both their opportunities and their pipeline, ensuring that they are asking all the hard questions (no happy ears!), looking under the rocks before the customer (or a competitor) does, and employing limited company resources wisely.


Great salespeople also need to be transparent. An overly optimistic forecast (intentionally or not) means resources may get added that aren’t needed, decisions may be made that aren’t based on reality, and of course, revenue numbers are missed – a painful occurrence that the entire company feels. On the flipside, an overly pessimistic forecast is also harmful. The resources required to support the additional unforecasted business may not have been hired, unnecessarily stressing the professional services and support teams, perhaps even the product teams.

Be honest and accurate in the forecast, and then work like hell to deliver them. It’s your sacred commitment to the company as a star salesperson.


5. Keep The Customer


It is far easier, cheaper and faster to sell to an existing customer, than a new one (here’s a good infographic on the costs). It takes significant marketing and sales efforts, company resources, and time to win a new customer. Selling to an existing customer has a lower barrier to entry (you don’t need permission to call on an existing relationship). You should also have far greater insight into an existing customer’s needs and future plans, giving you the opportunity to help them plan your offerings into their information technology roadmaps, which can provide a significant, long term advantage. And most importantly, an existing happy customer is a brand advocate that will create leverage and network effects for future sales to new customers. In short, you worked hard to gain the customer’s initial business and trust – don’t lose it – it’s far too valuable.


As an entrepreneur/CEO, you will never go wrong embracing these values, as well as instilling them in your sales leadership and sales teams!

No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: Five Tips to Sharpen your Leadership Focus

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: Five Tips to Sharpen your Leadership Focus | Shearin Group Training Services |

The role of company chief executive brings with it all sorts of challenges, from dealing with the nitty gritty of making decisions daily to formulating strategies to take your company forward.


That’s why it’s important to stay focused on the vital things which keep the wheels turning and the whole enterprise on track.


Here are five things a CEO should stay focused on:


1. Real relationships

Real relationships with staff, with partners, with customers and with consumers all start with your everyday interactions.


As both a leader and a manager it is important to establish real relationships and engage your staff, starting with everyday interactions. How well do you know your staff, their families, what really motivates and inspires them?


I try to connect with members of the team each and every day and maintain an openness and transparency which enables real relationships.


After all, you are really a caretaker in terms of your leadership of people, teams and businesses and you want to ensure you grow and develop the team while you are leading them and that your relationships with those team members transcends your current role.


Every CEO has at some stage in their career reported to a manager and in my experience those managers/CEOs that have inspired and motivated me the most are those I have had a real connection with. Not “tick the box” type stuff but the real type – relationships which last and are based on mutual honest and respect.


Interestingly, all of my business mentors today are previous managers and all exhibit great integrity, openness and honesty – these are all based on foundations of real relationships.


Fifty per cent of employees have admitted they would leave their current job if they had the opportunity to being better recognized elsewhere.


2. Daily deep data

I start every day with an extra hot coffee and a review of the previous day’s figures. This is so important to understand how the week, the month, the quarter and the year is really looking. Anecdotal evidence is simply not sufficient in business today, and without being able to grasp the data you have little else.


I also expect my team to start the day with data (coffee optional), and find that a shared sense of where we are leads to a far more productive team and business and a more fulfilling work experience.


The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) analysis of the July 2012-June 2013 financial year indicated poor strategic management as the highest cause of business failure, with 42.2% of failed businesses nominating this as the key reason for closing their doors.


3. Absolute accountability

You must focus on the most important things and ensure your team has total accountability. While this is a common mantra, it is one which is often easier said than done. Too often the focus is on less important pieces of the business and we get too involved in areas where your team are more than capable (and it is their role) to make a decision or take an action.


Accountability will enable the team to learn how to fail (fast) and develop their skills along the way. While there are times where you may need to lend your expertise, try where possible to enable explicit accountability as it will help achieve a more scalable and successful business, and your team will be far more motivated, passionate and productive.


Understanding what needs to be achieved to reach a goal is important but ensuring that adequate accountability is in place is paramount. Too often I have seen ambiguous team goals that don’t stack up to business success and have led to underperformance.


As Stephen Covey noted, “accountability breeds response-ability” and I believe that accountability really breeds ability. You must own it.


4. Eat your own dog food

Love your product. You must know your product and use it – always!


I can always tell when I have a coffee from a barista who doesn’t drink coffee it just doesn’t seem to taste as good. I am using our products we provide every day, and businesses where the team use and love the products each and every day have a deeper level of understanding and a more productive output.


My pet hate is the team member who does not know our product in detail – there is absolutely no excuse in my experience for this being the case. If you feel good about your product, your consumers and customers will as well – which is great for business. You’ll also be your harshest critic and ensure you continue to move in a direction from mediocrity to perfection.


I had a recent example where we were working through a mobile solution and it just wasn’t panning out – loads of bugs and issues. The team found out that they were using a different advice to the majority of our users which was quickly fixed!


5. Enjoy yourself

Life is not a dress rehearsal. You must enjoy yourself and get the most out of work and business as you spend the majority of your daylight hours at work. I have been fortunate in that I have enjoyed almost every job I have had. When I haven’t, I have made a conscious decision to proactively move on to find something that I enjoy.


Enjoyment in the role will also increase your team’s motivation and, ultimately, the success of the business. I am yet to meet a successful leader who doesn’t enjoy what they do.


At the same time, you need to maintain a work-life balance – this work-life balance obviously differs by person – but at the end of the day family and extra-curricular activities keep your life in balance. These are things to be encouraged and promoted in the workplace rather than things to be guilty about.


Statistics show that happy employees stay twice as long in their roles as those who are dissatisfied.


Visit Shearin Group Training Services @


And read for more related articles @






No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: Three tips for leaving your customers ‘breathless’

Marco Shearin's insight:

Satisfying your customers isn’t good enough in today’s competitive markets. Meeting their needs falls short of earning their loyalty. You need to dazzle them; leave them “breathless” whenever they touch your organization. 

Here are three steps leaders can take: 

1. Hire human-being lovers – people who have an innate desire to serve their fellow human beings. People who get absolute joy from serving and do whatever it takes to see someone’s eyes light up. 

Customers can’t be delighted if an employee would rather be taking inventory. 

You can’t train people to “love humans.” You can train them to “grin” with a smile in their voice, but that’s the extent of it. 

To select the right candidate, the recruitment interview should always start with the question “Do you love humans?” If you get goosebumps from the answer, hire the person. If not, show them the door. 

2. Trash dumb rules – policies and procedures that infuriate customers and drive them kicking and screaming to other organizations. 

Rules have a legitimate management control purpose but if they drive business away because customers are unwilling to play by them, what’s the point? 

Have fun with the idea. I struck a number of “dumb rules committees” to seek out and destroy senselessness; I made it matter by holding my leadership team accountable for implementing the changes. 

Rules that serve the customer requires their engagement. Ask them for their input in rule design; they will be impressed that you are open to asking for their help. 

Empower your front line to bend rules in special circumstances when they don’t make sense to a particular customer and their loyalty is in jeopardy. Not every policy will be acceptable to every customer, so allowing some flexibility is required. 

Don’t worry, your employees won’t give away the farm. Provide them with the skills to balance the needs of both the company and the customer. 

3. Turn “oops” into “wow.” Sure you do your best to avoid making mistakes, but they will happen. That’s life in any organization. 

The good news is that if your service recovery is remarkable when you disappoint one of your customers they are more loyal than if the mistake never happened. So how to recover? 

Fix the mistake fast and then blow the customer away by surprising them with something they don’t expect. 

Surprise is magic. People expect the screw-up to be remedied but they don’t expect the extra personal attention you give them to atone for the mistake. 

Speed is critical. A recovery succeeds only if it is delivered within 24 hours of the oops. After that, save your energy for the next one coming your way. 

Leaving people breathless is not rocket science; it’s about delivering basic human needs. We want to feel special, treated as individuals and delighted by surprise. 

Stand-out leaders understand this and create organizations to deliver.

Article Source:


Read More:

No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips for Communicating your Employees

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips for Communicating your Employees | Shearin Group Training Services |

Only about half of federal workers are satisfied with the level of communication they receive from senior leaders.

Marco Shearin's insight:

Tips for communicating better with your employees


Are you satisfied with the level of communication from your agency leaders?


My organization, the Partnership for Public Service, and Deloitte, recently analyzed the government-wide responses to three employee survey questions to see how federal leaders were doing regarding their communication with workers. The results were not very encouraging.


Overall, the analysis found that only about half of federal workers government-wide are satisfied with the level of communication they receive from senior leaders, and the percentage of positive responses has been declining since 2009.


Only 45 percent of federal employees, for example, responded positively when asked in a 2013 survey question whether they are satisfied with the information they receive form management(

 ) regarding what is going on in the organization. In addition, just 48 percent of federal employees reported being satisfied with the extent to which managers promote communication among work units. Managers were more successful when it came to communicating the goals and priorities of the organization, with 58 percent registering a positive view.


The bottom line is that federal leaders can and should do better, and in the process they’ll help improve employee satisfaction with their jobs and workplaces. To create a more engaged and motivated workforce, agency leaders need to establish an effective communications strategy that includes keeping employees apprised of important developments, providing clarity on goals and priorities, and establishing a means to receive and respond to feedback.


As a general rule, the Partnership’s analysis found that agencies receiving high marks from employees on leadership communication tend to be proactive, making a concerted effort to keep workers informed.


Here are some approaches that could help federal leaders communicate better with employees:


Make communication a consistent priority. Establishing effective leadership communication requires a long-term focus, not just short-lived initiatives. There are multiple venues where employees can receive information from senior leaders, ranging from quarterly call-ins to in-person and virtual town hall meetings. NASA, for example, hosts a virtual executive summit that allows Administrator Charlie Bolden to connect with employees in diverse geographic locations using online tools. NASA’s managers also actively seek employee feedback through focus groups and surveys, customizing questions based on their immediate relevance to the agency.


Communicate through multiple platforms. In order to effectively communicate with all staff, agency leaders should use multiple platforms. From more conventional means of leadership communication, such as one-on-one discussions and emails, to more innovative communication methods, such as video conferencing and social media, leaders should leverage a range of platforms to communicate with employees.


Maintain open lines between leaders and employees. Effective communication is only possible when those in top positions maintain open, direct lines with employees. Agencies can foster such communication by hosting office hours where employees meet directly with leaders, and by organizing webinars that allow leaders to overcome geographical hurdles and engage employees located outside agency headquarters.


Implement employee suggestions. Soliciting employees’ opinions is an initial step toward improving agency communication. Simply collecting these ideas, though, does little to improve satisfaction if employees believe agency leadership does not use their feedback. When leaders implement ideas generated by agency staff, employees receive a clear message that their voice is both heard and valued. The Department of Transportation (DOT) launched an online community, IdeaHub, where agency employees can submit and collaborate on ideas to drive innovation and change. Once these ideas are refined, they are communicated online to everyone at the agency and to the individual who originally submitted the idea. By doing so, DOT’s leadership demonstrates that communication with employees is taken seriously.


Read Also: Shearin Group Training Services News -

No comment yet.
Scooped by Marco Shearin!

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: 5 ways to build a business intelligence Centre of Excellence

The Shearin Group Leadership Training Tips: 5 ways to build a business intelligence Centre of Excellence | Shearin Group Training Services |
UBS Investment Bank's director of BI services, Paul Banoub, shares his expertise ahead of speaking at Data Leadership 2014
Marco Shearin's insight:

I'm delighted to have been invited to speak at Information Age’s Data Leadership 2014 conference on 30 October. In my session, I'll be sharing tips for building a BI Centre of Excellence (COE) in an enterprise environment, based upon my experience of constructing and managing IT services at big enterprises for the last 12 years. 

I'm currently in the process of helping to construct a data visualisation COE based on Tableau Software at a Tier 1 Investment bank in London. 

To give a flavour of what I’ll be speaking about, I’ve identified five areas fundamental to creating a successful Centre of Excellence. But if you have any questions ahead of then, ping me on Twitter. 

1. Choose the right tools 

There are a ton of tools out there. And a lot of them aren't that great. Enterprise users are time-poor, under constant pressure to deliver and generally impatient. For the long-term success of any COE, it is fundamental your applications are easy to use, agile and feature rich. 

I've been trying to achieve the holy grail of a great BI stack for years now, and finally it seems like tools are emerging that allow this vision to be a reality. 

When evaluating applications, always look for agility and ease of use. Most of your users won't have much time to learn the tool; they probably won't read much of the documentation and also probably won't have time to attend any training courses. 

They'll want to fire-up the application and dive right in. As a result that experience needs to be great from the off. Then once they're running with it, can they generate their content or achieve their desired results quickly? 

They'll generally be happy to trade off some of the more advanced functionality for a tool that gives rapid results. 

2. Choose the right partners 

It's not just about the application. Is the vendor able to support your vision? Ensure your tool choice is backed up by a company that is dynamic, proactive and truly values its user community. 

How does the company conduct itself? Do you as a subject matter expert feel that your opinions matter? If you've got an issue can you get it to the people that matter quickly? And will they take notice of you? 

With truly great companies, you'll find yourself getting to know the top brass and support teams. You'll be participating in industry events and asked to share knowledge with other customers. You might even get an award or two from them. 

With the best organisations, you'll see enhancement requests from user forums making it into new releases regularly. You'll see offers from them to come to your organisation and help with training, demos and Q&A sessions, and they'll be constantly interested in how you're using the tool and the value you're getting. 

Bad companies will just sell you it and then go quiet. 

3. Build your service for ease 

Your service must deliver on two key fronts. Firstly, it must allow users to express themselves, without smothering them in red tape. Secondly, it must be as easy as possible to support. Making both central to your service construction will give the best possible chance for success. 

Big enterprises generally feature a lot of bureaucracy. Users will already be dealing with enough of that on a daily basis and won't want your service adding to it. It's critical to be able to deliver a service that gets users onboarded quickly and with little fuss. 

Then, once they're onboard, it's vital that your service allows them to use the functionality of the tool quickly, easily and with as much flexibility as possible. There's no point implementing a cool, agile BI tool and then miring your users in process. 

That service also needs to be supportable. Chances are your support team will be light on bodies and pretty much flat out the whole time. 

To be a true COE, you'll want your team to be focusing on the good stuff, helping users get the best out of the tool, training people in advanced functionality and focusing on the industry best practice of the subject area. 

To do that, you'll need to have chosen the right infrastructure and technologies and implemented them well, supported with solid but agile IT processes. 

4. Don't sit back and admire 

So you've got a great service? Don't sit back and think how great you are. 

Your power users will be wanting more and more. It's vital to have an overall BI vision. How are you going to expand your offerings and deliver even more value to your users? 

I'm creating a Tableau COE. That takes care of data analysis. But what about data modelling and management? Data integration and mining? They all form part of the overall BI stack and your users will want that. 

Maybe not immediately, but they'll eventually ask the questions, so to remain in control you’ll need your master plan. 

5. Focus on community 

Really successful applications and companies are backed by an almost fanatical level of community support. Making the most of this aspect, both internally and externally, can turn a good service into an amazing one. 

Creating a great community takes a lot of dedication. Obviously having the right tool and implementing it well is fundamental. It's a lot easier to foster a culture of appreciation with a tool that users love to work with than with a turkey that makes their lives harder than it should be. 

But get it right and you'll see the benefits. Users will be blogging and discussing the merits of your latest functionality releases, as well as suggesting their own enhancement requests. 

Brilliant blogs will spring up, guiding newbies and experts alike on how to get the best out of the tool and much more. This can all be replicated internally as well as externally.

Article source:


See more at:

No comment yet.