Roberta Chinsky Matuson
Creating Exceptional Workplaces and Extraordinary Results
Roberta Matuson's Blog

Outrageous Growth: Seven Questions to Maximize Talent and Profits

Group of business people lying against white background with thuHere are seven questions to think about as you work towards achieving outrageous growth.

  1. What’s the one thing you can do today to maximize talent and revenue growth? The answer should consist of certain actions that you can take to immediately accelerate your ability to fill jobs with the right people, increase productivity and grow your business.
  1. Who on your staff do you secretly wish would give notice? Write their name down and make a plan for their exit.
  1. Who have you always admired that works for a competitor? Name them. Then go after them.
  1. Which candidates told you “no” this past year, who you can go back to this year?
  1. Who did you lose this year that you are still missing? Call them up today and invite them to lunch. Listen carefully for signs indicating that they may be interested in returning to your company.
  1. What’s been on your to-do-list since the beginning of 2016 that you haven’t gotten to? Is it still important? If so, put a date and time on your calendar to get this done this month. If not? Take it off your list.
  1. Who in the organization has the most potential? Have you told them lately how valuable they are to the organization? Invest in them. Hire an executive coach. Don’t delay. Do this now.
Posted in Business Growth, Hiring and Recruitment

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Seven Questions to Help You Achieve Dramatic Growth

SuccessHere are seven questions to think about as you work towards achieving outrageous growth.

  1. What’s the one thing you can do today to maximize talent and revenue growth? The answer should consist of certain actions that you can take to immediately accelerate your ability to fill jobs with the right people, increase productivity and grow your business.
  1. Who on your staff do you secretly wish would give notice? Write their name down and make a plan for their exit.
  1. Who have you always admired that works for a competitor? Name them. Then go after them.
  1. Which candidates told you “no” this past year, who you can go back to this year?
  1. Who did you lose this year that you are still missing? Call them up today and invite them to lunch. Listen carefully for signs indicating that they may be interested in returning to your company.
  1. What’s been on your to-do-list since the beginning of 2016 that you haven’t gotten to? Is it still important? If so, put a date and time on your calendar to get this done this month. If not? Take it off your list.
  1. Who in the organization has the most potential? Have you told them lately how valuable they are to the organization? Invest in them. Hire an executive coach. Don’t delay. Do this now.
Posted in Business Growth, Employee Turnover, Hiring and Recruitment
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If You Are Serious, Do Something Now!

Fighting Procrastination

Fighting Procrastination

“I’ll put it on my calendar.” “I’ll get to it tomorrow.” “We can do this ourselves.” This may be true, but from where I stand, too many people are fooling themselves. Sure, they will put something on their calendar and then they won’t look at their calendar. This business of getting to it tomorrow is merely a delay tactic. If it’s important, do it today. If it’s not that important, then consider not doing it at all.

My favorite is the, “We can do it ourselves.” If you really can, then how come you haven’t taken action yet? Look, there are things we are good at doing and we enjoy doing and other things we hate doing or we aren’t that great at doing. We should leave those tasks to someone else.

Here’s something I’m serious about and doing something about now. I’m serious about helping organizations navigate these uncharted areas of record low unemployment in many parts of the country. I’m working with a handful of companies who are seamlessly filling job openings with talented people while their competitors are struggling to plug bodies into jobs.

So if you are serious about business growth and finding the right people to fuel your growth, then reach out to me at Roberta@matusonconsulting.com or call. Do it today. For if you wait until tomorrow, you’ll most likely never get around to doing anything about the situation at hand.

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Posted in Business Growth, Hiring and Recruitment

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If It Can Happen To Snoopy It Can Happen To You: How To Bounce Back After Being Fired

Losing your job is not easyThis just in. After 31 years of service, MetLife is giving Snoopy his walking papers. The company decided earlier this year to part with most of its U.S. life-insurance business and just the other day MetLife announced that Snoopy’s image will no longer be used on their blimp or in their marketing materials. No word yet regarding his participation in the Macy’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade. Nor have we heard a peep from the Peanuts gang.

MetLife reps recently told the Wall Street Journal that the company is “going in a different direction.” As many seasoned workers can attest to, those words are often code for, “we are looking for fresh ideas and younger talent.”

Given that not even icon Snoopy is safe in his job, now is the time to prepare for the worst or what may be the best thing to happen to you in your career.

My Story

It’s been over 25 years since I was terminated from my dream job. Yet, I still remember the day like it was yesterday. It was the early ’80s and I was living in Houston during the oil boom and bust. I worked hard to break into the oilfield industry and was anxious to make my mark. Alas that was not going to happen. Fourteen months into my job I heard the words, “We have to let you go.” I can’t tell you what was said after that, as I went into a free fall. Like many, I was a victim of the economy. But that didn’t make me feel any better. Here are some of the lessons I learned about bouncing back after being fired and how to land on your feet.

Don’t Look Back — You’re Not Going That Way

Hearing, “You’re fired,” or words that convey you’re no longer employed can knock the wind out of your sail. You think you’ll never find work again or have a job as good as the one you lost. I can say from experience that most likely this won’t be the case.

To move forward, you have to stop looking backwards. Playing tapes in your head of your job performance, over and over again, will not change the outcome. Nor will commiserating with team members who are still employed. Cut ties with former colleagues so you can avoid being dragged into their workplace drama and instead use this time to make new connections. You can certainly re-engage when you are gainfully re-employed.

Create A “Time Out For A Coffee” Campaign

Some things never change. The best way to find a job is still through people you know. So what do you do if you’ve let your network wither on the vine? You do what I tell my job search coaching clients to do. You create a “Time Out for a Coffee” campaign. Here’s what this looks like.

Make a list of people you know who can connect you with someone who can hire you. Included in this list should be co-workers from former companies, those you attend church or synagogue with, parents of your kid’s friends and anyone else you come in contact with that would be open to making an introduction on your behalf. Next start calling people on this list and invite them to meet for coffee so the two of you can catch up. (Note: this is good to do even if you are employed, as you never know when you’ll need to tap into your network.) Try to line up a minimum of three coffees a week. Some people may invite you to stop by their office and others may meet you at a coffee shop. I’d be remiss if I didn’t say you should always offer to pay for their coffee.

Congratulations! You are now at the coffee shop waiting for your guest to arrive. Here’s how to kick off the conversation. I suggest five to ten minutes exchanging pleasantries. Listen keenly to ways you may be able to help this person. For example, suppose your guest tells you his son is looking at the same college your son is attending. Offering to put his son in touch with your child would be a generous and welcome offer and will set the stage nicely for you to ask for something in return.

Make It Easy For People To Refer You

Be succinct when explaining your current situation and let people know specifically what kind of position you are seeking. Ask if they’d be willing to introduce you to two or three people who would appreciate the value that you can bring to an organization. If no one comes to mind, suggest a few people. (You can come up with these names by looking at their LinkedIn connections prior to your meeting.)

Give people choices. Tell them you’d be happy to send them an introduction they can use to make it easier for them or if they prefer, you can simply use their name when calling.

Beef Up Your LinkedIn Profile

If you’re like Snoopy and it’s been years since you’ve had to look for a job, you probably aren’t aware of the important role LinkedIn is playing today in the hiring arena. Managers and recruiters are mining LinkedIn profiles daily in search of talent. When doing so, they are searching using keywords. Keywords are the search terms they are using to identify qualified candidates. If your LinkedIn profile doesn’t contain the keywords a recruiter is using,  your profile will never surface.

You can identify appropriate keywords  by looking at job postings in your field. If you look at enough postings, you’ll soon notice a pattern. For example, if you see Microsoft and Excel in most postings, you’ll want to be sure to include these words in your LinkedIn profile.

Let Your Support System Help

Snoopy is lucky. He can lean on the Peanuts Gang for support until another company is willing to throw him a bone. My advice to him and you is to permit others to be of help. No doubt, sometime in the future you’ll find yourself in the position of being able to return the favor.

Did you know I also help leaders accelerate their job searches? Contact me at Roberta@matusonconsulting.com to discuss how we might work together.

Posted in Careers, Coaching, Job Searching, Seasoned Workers

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Check Out My Podcast with Shawn Casemore

Check out my interview on The Growth Inspired Podcast with Shawn Casemore! http://bit.ly/2da6Q0C

Posted in Business Growth

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The Simple Success Secrets Of b.good You Can Replicate

In a competitive industry like the restaurant business, it’s difficult to differentiate one fast-casual restaurant from another. But that hasn’t stopped b.good from standing out in a crowded field. They’ve accomplished this with one special ingredient—the community they serve.

“When we started the business, my partner and I were very naïve and had never worked in a restaurant,” confessed b.good CEO Anthony Ackil. “When we opened, we didn’t do so well, but the one thing we did well was build community. We realized that becoming part of the community and building relationships was the key to building a business.” Their strong ties to the community kept the restaurant afloat, while they worked hard to fix their rookie mistakes.

From day one, Ackil and his childhood best friend and partner, Jon Olinto, treated every customer like gold and gave back to the community, right from the beginning. “It’s inherent in our culture,” states Ackil.

Feeding Souls

 “We involve employees in everything we do to give back to the community. When we donate 800 meals to the community, employees are serving those meals.” Organizations that nurture the souls of their employees are somewhat rare these days, as so many merely focus on profit.

The company also operates a farm located on an island in Boston Harbor, where they partner with Camp Harbor View, a residential summer camp for at-risk youth. There, employees work side by side with volunteers to farm the land. Seventy-five percent of the crop goes directly back to the community, with Camp Harbor View receiving the first harvest.

“Employees want to feel good about what they are investing their time in,” notes Ackil. This may very help to explain why employee turnover at b.good is lower than the industry average. Those who feel a connection to their work and think highly of their employers tend to stick around.

Higher Purpose

There is a higher purpose to the business than just selling burgers. The co-founders are quite intentional in their efforts to create a workplace where employees feel good about going to work. “You have to nurture the culture in the business,” states Ackil. “We then have to make sure this trickles down to the managers. Everyone has to believe in the culture and as we expand, we have to be mindful and continue to focus on this.”

In a recent study published by Deloitte University, the firm uncovered five major elements that drive engagement. Meaningful work, a positive work environment and hands on management were all on this list. Keep this in mind, as you look to build an irresistible work place where employees love to come to work, customers love to do business and community members are thrilled to have you set up shop in their backyard.

People First

Ackil believes that finding the real estate to expand the business is the easy part. Real estate is always available. The key is finding people whose values align with that of the organization. “We’ve got to find the right people. We need people who can really push our mission forward. Those who really believe in what we are doing,” states Ackil.

Speaking of people, it’s interesting to note that b.good has quite a few employees and locations and does not have a traditional HR department. This is extremely uncommon for this size and type of business. “Finding that right person to lead our HR initiative is not an easy task,” notes Ackil. “The culture building aspect is so precious that it has to be run by senior level management.”

No doubt this is one company that has a recipe for success worth replicating. Here’s to doing good by being good to your people, customers and your community.

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Did you know that in addition to coaching executives, we also work with leaders who are looking to step into the executive suite, this year rather than next?

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Posted in Business Growth, Creating Exceptional Work Places, Customer satisfaction, Employee Engagement, Hiring and Recruitment, Leadership, Profitability

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How to Avoid Becoming the Next Ryan Lochte

integritySeveral weeks ago, you may have dreamed of the day when you became as famous as Ryan Lochte. By now, I’m sure your dreams and goals have changed. Yet, what have we learned from this situation?

Be honest-It’s so easy today for tiny white lies to explode into one big fat lie. Cameras are everywhere, posts are put up on social media, before you even have a chance to say, “Only kidding.” It’s especially important for leaders to be honest with their people, as honesty is the cornerstone of trust and without trust, there is no leadership.

Keep your ego in check-It’s easy to let the fact that you are now a manager or an executive go to your head. Remain humble. You’ll gather a lot more respect from your followers, than those who let their egos run wild.

Admit when you are wrong-Lochte’s PR nightmare could have ended a lot sooner if he had merely taken responsibility and confessed to his wrong doings. Instead, he embarrassed his host country as well as those of us in the U.S. You are not going to be right 100 percent of the time. No one is. Admit it and move on.

In leadership, it’s not about winning all the time, as it’s highly unlikely you are going to receive endorsements after taking first place during a single race. Slow and steady ethical behavior will get you to the top and allow you to remain in that position for years to come.

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Posted in Career, Leadership, Management, Thought Leadership

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Fourth Book Deal Signed

Suddenly-in-ChargeI’m excited to announce that I’ve just accepted an offer to publish my fourth book. I’m going to be writing a brand new edition of the international bestseller, Suddenly in Charge, which will be released in the fall of 2017. That means I will have two new books released in 2017. The other is The Magnetic Leader, which will hit the stands in the spring of 2017.

I’m currently booking speaking engagements for the remainder of this year and next, having just returned from doing 9 speeches in Colombia in 5 days (more on that in a future blog post) and presenting to representatives of over 175 different companies, including Credibanco and Allianz. I’m also conducting teleconferences and webinars for organizations looking to dramatically increase their ability to rapidly hire top talent that will stick around. Dates are booking quickly. Reach out to me today to secure your date.

And for those of you who don’t want to wait for next fall to succeed all around, you can still purchase copies of the current edition of Suddenly in Charge. Or, for those interested in rapid success, join my Suddenly in Charge ® Coaching Program. Questions? Contact me at Roberta@matusonconsulting.com.

Posted in Books, Coaching, Learning and Development, Managing Up, Suddenly In Charge, Talent Acquisition and Retention, Talent Maximization

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Stop Looking For Deals and Instead Look For Expertise

Do not be averageIn the past week, I’ve been asked to present two sessions at one conference for free, do a breakout session on the west coast for half of my normal fee and fly to the Midwest to do a two day training program for next to nothing. Honestly people, I’d love to work for free, if only my bank would waive my mortgage payment this month as a way of paying it forward. Alas, that’s not going to happen.

I certainly understand that people have budget constraints, but as my mentor Alan Weiss always says, money is about priorities. I’m interested in working with companies that are seeking quality and not just a deal. The quality of my work is guaranteed, which means you have little to lose when hiring me. So the next time you are seeking a partner to work with (notice how I didn’t say vendor), think about the value he or she will be providing you and then decide if their fees are reasonable for the return you will be getting. It is really true in life. You do get what you pay for.

Posted in Musings

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Business Lessons Learned From the Shores of Cape Cod

I feel so fortunate to be able to spend my summers on Cape Cod. It’s truly a magical place filled with gifts from Mother Nature, including business lessons. Here are some of my takeaways after spending a misty morning clamming.

The early bird gets the clams. As I walked out into the flats with my clamming rake in hand, I could see a sea of clam shells left by the birds who happened to get out before I did. The lesson I took away from this is that sometimes it’s not the most skilled who get the lion’s share of the profits, but those who get there before everyone else. Keep this in mind the next time you delay a product launch another day in your quest for perfection.

Sometimes you have to go with the tides. Sure, it would have been great to sleep in another hour. After all, how far were those clams really going to go in an hour? That might be true, but I’d have to work twice as hard if I were raking in water up to my waist. Instead, I checked the tide charts and got out there during low tide. The result was a bountiful of clams in my basket. A lot of times in business I see people who are always going against the tide. They look exhausted. What if instead you decide to go with the tide? I can tell you from my own experience that it’s a lot easier to work with what you’ve got than to constantly be working  against nature.

Persistence pays. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of clamming then you know that it often takes more than five minutes to score your first clam. I’ve seen many people depart the flats soon after they arrive for this very same reason. Me? Well I’ve learned that there is a direct correlation in regards to the amount of time I devote to this task and my final haul. The same is true in business. If you give up after making one call to a prospect then you can pretty much guarantee that you will return to your office empty handed. When it comes to business, stay the course. I promise you it will pay off.

Take time to enjoy the view. What I love most about Cape Cod are the views. Everywhere I turn there seems to be a water view. That’s all fine and good, but if I don’t remind myself to stop and enjoy the view, I may actually miss what I come here for. Those of you who have risen to the top of your organization have a great view. Take time to enjoy it. And for those of you who are on your way up to the top, make sure you get out of your office every now and again so that you can enjoy all that is around you.

Did you know that I’m also a keynote speaker and that I work with organizations that are looking to maximize talent? Contact me at Roberta@matusonconsulting.com. Sign up for a complimentary subscription to my monthly newsletter, The Talent Maximizer®

Posted in General Observations, Musings

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