The Coach's Corner

Archive for August, 2017

Surveys Help Teams Improve Performance

August 21st, 2017 // Barbara Doescher //

In the March-April 2017 Harvard Business Review, there’s an article entitled “Pioneers, Drivers, Integrators, and Guardians,” which describes the tool Deloitte designed to improve team performance. Because of my client-focused advising, where I frequently use the Leading From Your Strengths tool, I was especially interested in their research, findings and approach.

Deloitte’s clients told them they weren’t getting the performance they needed from their teams. Their conclusion (and mine) was that too many leaders fail to effectively tap the diverse work styles and perspectives of their team members, and don’t recognize there truly are profound differences between how people work.

Deloitte’s tool, like Leading From Your Strengths, provides examples of behavioral styles:

  • Pioneers seek possibilities, and they spark energy and imagination.
  • Drivers seek challenge, and they generate momentum.
  • Guardians value stability, and they bring order and rigor.
  • Integrators value connection and draw teams together.

These four styles give teams a common language for understanding how people work. When I use the Leading From Your Strengths method with my clients, it, too, provides a common language for their teams.

My goal, like Deloitte’s, is to help business executives realize that different styles can contribute to the success of a business — and generally, you need to have representatives from each category.

If you want your team to work better together, consider getting help from Deloitte, Doescher Advisors or another firm that provides this type of assistance. I guarantee it will improve your profitability, and your workplace will become an environment where team members thrive because they are given the chance to achieve their fullest potential.

Did You Have a Paper Route?

August 7th, 2017 // Tom Doescher //

Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

Today, most newspapers — for the few still reading them — are delivered by adults. That, in some ways, is sad to me.

I had a Detroit News paper route that was passed on to my brother, “Uncle Dan,” and then to my two sisters. As a paper boy, I was running a small business. I had to order the correct number of newspapers, deliver them on time, and collect the subscription fees from my customers. The first two activities were relatively easy, but collecting the money could be challenging. Fortunately, I had my dad as a mentor/advisor.

To this day, I think my paper route and certain customers sharpened my collection skills, and it became personal. During all my years at Plante Moran, collecting fees was a serious business. I took failure to collect personally — and, as a result, my outstanding receivables were generally quite low.

My advice to you is that if you have team members who are responsible for collecting receivables, make sure they have the right attitude. They can’t all have had a paper route, but teach them to act as if it’s their own money they’re collecting — otherwise, they’re just going through the motions. Good collection people can really benefit a company and reduce your borrowing costs.

The Advisor’s Corner

Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.

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