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HR Matters // A Newsletter On: Creating exceptional workplaces and extraordinary results
HR MATTERS Vol 8, Issue 9 - September 2011

September always reminds me of back to school time. Perhaps because I still have school-age children. It's also a time of year when people realize that they better kick it into gear if they are going to achieve their objectives by year-end.

I hope you will find this month's article titled "Going the Distance" inspirational as you approach the finish line for 2011. I've recovered from my 21 mile bike ride and I'm ready to get back in the saddle and ride beside you as we work together to make 2011 your best year ever! I look forward to your call.


Going the Distance

By Roberta Chinsky Matuson

Recently, I rode my new bicycle 21 miles on Martha's Vineyard. Now for some of you, that may not be a big deal, but for me this was an event. I'll admit, there were times that I watched the local bus go by (with bike racks) and thought to myself, " I should be on that bus." But instead, I kept peddling while telling myself, "You can do this. All you have to do is take it one mile at a time."

I know a lot of businesses who have decided to take the bus, with the hopes that they will ultimately reach their destination faster and in better condition than if they had slowed down a bit and gotten into fighting shape. They may have arrived at their destination first, but most won't be able to peddle in place and remain there because they are still carrying excess weight. In business, the finish line is always moving. Economic conditions change, competitors come and go and the needs of your business vary, depending on where you are in the business life cycle.

Here are some best practices from my most successful clients, who are in tip-top shape.

They are always in training mode
A day doesn't go by when they aren't thinking of what they can do to be stronger and more agile. They know that if they keep doing the right things, eventually they will achieve the results they desire.

They build on strengths
A 5 foot, 8 inch athlete recognizes his limitations. He may enjoy the game of basketball, but recognizes early on in the game that his career as a professional player is over before it begins. Instead, he focuses his attention on a sport like baseball, where he can excel. Stop trying to turn your best sales person into a manager. She is destined for much bigger things. Instead, give her the tools and coaching she needs to be the best sales person there is in the business.

They break goals down so they are achievable
If I had started my cycling day thinking I was going to peddle for 21 miles, I would have never gotten on my bike. Instead, I used the lessons that I learned in business to get me to the finish line. I broke up my ride into manageable distances and gave myself rewards along the way. Telling those in your organization that you expect them to double revenues this year creates the feeling of doom and gloom all around. But what if you were to tell them that your expectation is a 25 percent increase by mid-year and that you will re-evaluate what can be accomplished when you are mid-way through your ride? Breaking up long-term goals into achievable milestones allows people to shift their thinking from, "You can't be serious" to "Hey, let's get going!"

They celebrate successes
Every so often, my husband would tell me that I was doing a great job. At each milestone, we would celebrate my success with either a few quiet moments taking in the view or with an actual reward, like my new biking gloves. Taking the time to acknowledge small accomplishments can make a huge difference to those who are giving it their all. The moment of acknowledgment is what counts most. That's what keeps people going.

They invest in new equipment when needed
The last time I bought a bike was when hybrids were all the rage. That was over twenty years ago. Technology has changed and so has my body. Expecting to keep up with those around me, while riding a three speed, is next to impossible when everyone else has 21 gears to play with. When's the last time you replaced the PC's on people's desks? Are you asking them to process work at lighting speed, while they are waiting for their computers to catch up with their minds?

They shed the excess weight
There is nothing that slows you down more than excess weight. This hold true in life and in business. On my bike ride, I was being passed by women who were ten years older than me, as well as ten pounds lighter. Is your organization carrying people who are dragging you down? If so, then perhaps it's time to shed the excess weight.

They take action
I could have been pretty happy sitting on the beach at the end of our street and telling my spouse that I would ride with him another day. Yet I knew that another day would turn into yet another year. Are you doing the same? Are you delaying the inevitable? If you want to be successful, you have to take action today. Waiting another day may make tomorrow the last day you are in business.

They have a coach
The best athletes in the world have coaches. Why? Because they strive to be better and they know this can only occur if there is someone riding along side them to push them into greatness. The people who use coaches are usually the ones who are most successful. You see this at the gym and you see this in business. Don't you deserve to be part of this elite group?

Today is a day of rest for me as I take time to ponder my next move. I know that it's important to reflect and celebrate my accomplishments, before getting back on my bike and peddling full speed ahead.

Upcoming Events

Join us on September 15, 2011 (or listen to the recording at your convenience) when I present Rules of the Road: Managing Up in the Top Down World of Business, in partnership with Briefings Media. You and members of your team can enroll in this upcoming session by clicking here.

Briefings Media is offering Take Back Your Time: How to Manage your Workload on DVD (a $149 value!) absolutely FREE as a gift to those who register for this session. On top of this generous offer, I am offering you or a member of your team a 30-minute complimentary telephone coaching session. After you've completed the registration, e-mail me at Roberta@yourhrexperts.com to schedule a time for your session.

Other upcoming events include the following:

When: September 22, 2011 at 8:00 AM-10:00 AM
Location: Framingham, Mass
Central Mass ASTD Chapter-Join me as I kick off the 2011-2012 program year for the Central Mass Association of Training and Development. Non-members welcome to attend my session on Managing Up in the Top Down World of Business. Click here to register

Private client engagements for September include:
Yankee Candle - Women's Leadership Meeting
Genre - Private Webinar for managers who have recently stepped up into leadership roles

October 6, 2011-Keynote at Education First. Details to follow.

When: November 3, 2011
About: Keynote speaker for PMI Mass Bay Chapter
Be one of the first 150 people to sign up and receive a free copy of Suddenly in Charge! Click Here

When: November 4, 2011
About: PMI Mass Bay Chapter - Half Day Session
Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around: Secrets Every Project Manager Needs to Know to Optimize Team Performance. Earn 4 PDU's by attending this session. This session is perfect for anyone who manages a team or works in a matrix organization. Sign up details will appear in next month's newsletter.

When: November 16, 2011
About: Keynote speaker at Business Connect 2011 - Click Here to learn more

Private client engagements for November include: American Press Institute - Leadership Conference


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About Roberta Matuson

For more than 25 years, Roberta Matuson, president of Matuson Consulting, has helped leaders in Fortune 500 companies and small to medium-size businesses create exceptional workplaces leading to extraordinary results. As a seasoned consultant, Roberta is considered a leading authority on leadership and the skills and strategies required to earn employee commitment and client loyalty.

She is the author of the highly acclaimed book, Suddenly in Charge: Managing Up, Managing Down, Succeeding All Around and is a highly sought after speaker, consultant and executive coach.

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Are you interested in optimizing productivity and performance of new leaders? Would you like to increase collaboration up and down the organization? Would improving internal and external customer relations increase your top line growth and bottom line profitability? If you answered yes to any of these questions then check out our Suddenly in ChargeSM Corporate Training Program.

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