(Time to read this Blog is about 2 minutes)

Before we get to the main topic, here are a few things to get you thinking…or smiling:

  1. My biz quote of the week:
    “Creating a brand is like painting a picture that your target customers want to be in.  Understand who they are, what they want, what they value and what they fear…then paint a beautiful and compelling brand picture for them.”
    …Donald Cooper  
  1. Are online, virtual Trade Shows working? Orgill, one of North America’s largest hardware whole distributors, held their first-ever ‘Online Buying Event’ two weeks ago.  Nearly 10,000 hardware retailers ‘attended’ the virtual event and Orgill reports that buying activity was higher than at any ‘live’ Dealer Market in its history.
  2. Is there a smile in your voice? I’ve been on dozens of telephone research phone calls for upcoming client Programs and those calls remind me of the importance of speaking on the phone ‘with a smile in your voice’. Whether you’re the receptionist, a sales person or the business owner, a smile in your voice makes a huge difference.. 
  3. Want to sell more, manage smarter, grow your bottom line…and have a life? Donald’s new bottom-line Webinar plus 1-on-1 telephone Biz Coaching ‘Combo Package’  is both effective and affordable. It’s available to individual companies, or to a small group of 4 or 5 business owners who share the cost, but get individual and focused help. For info, email me at donald@donaldcooper.com.

Now, to this week’s important topic:

Don’t be an ‘invisible boss’:

A couple of years ago, while doing a series of 30-minute 1-on-1 Biz Coaching sessions at a Conference, one of my coaching ‘customers’, we’ll call him George, was running an auto recycling yard for a boss who he hadn’t seen in six months.   The head office, where the boss hung out, was only one hour away from George’s branch location, but apparently, that was too far to travel.  

The year before, this same ‘invisible boss’ asked George to prepare a new Business Plan for his Division and George spent weeks putting it together.  He couriered it to his boss but, a year later, hadn’t heard a word back.  Over the previous several months George had emailed his boss several suggestions on how to operate and market more effectively…but George received no response to those either.

George was frustrated, disheartened, disengaged and actively looking for a new job.   No big surprise there.  When bosses are invisible and unresponsive, we assume they don’t care. And, if they don’t care, why should we? Whatever happened to ‘MBWA’ …Management By Walking Around?   Get out from behind your desk and find out what’s really going on in your business.   Engage employees at all levels in conversations.  Energize and ‘thank’ them. Ask them what you can do to serve them better?  Ask them what needs fixing and what extraordinary things might be possible.  Our people know stuff, and they hate it when we don’t ask.  When we ask and listen, two things happen.  First, we learn from them and, second, we honour them.

Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart, had two vehicles. A pickup truck to get him around town and a corporate jet to get him around the country.  The jet allowed him to visit as many as 6 stores a day, many of them in smaller communities with no scheduled airline service.  The jet allowed him to be visible, to be a ‘cheerleader’, to observe and to listen. 

If some of your staff are working from home, temporarily or for the long haul, how are you keeping ‘visible’ with them?  How are you checking in, encouraging, engaging and ‘thanking’ them?  How could you surprise and delight them with the home delivery of some little treat for them or, perhaps, a book for their child?

My friend and fellow Biz Coach, James Brown (jbbrown@bell.net) recently sent out four excellent tips on how to be more visible. I repeat them here, below, with his permission:

  1. For every hour you spend in developing a Business Plan, spend one hour with those who ultimately must implement it.
  2. For every hour you spend analyzing financial results, spend one hour communicating those results with your team in a manner that they understand and relate to. Good people want to know how we’re doing.
  3. For every hour you spend in the Boardroom, spend an hour on the front lines.
  4. And for every hour you spend schmoozing a client at a posh restaurant, spend an hour in the company cafeteria, or staff lunch room.  Don’t just ‘lurk’; you’ll make them uncomfortable. As I suggested above, ask them what you can do to serve them better?  Ask them what needs fixing and what extraordinary things might be possible. 

So, what commitment will you make to be more visible, more available and more responsive to your team?  Don’t be the ‘invisible boss’.  


That’s it for this week…

Stay safe…live brilliantly…and do at least 3 important or kind things each day!       

Donald Cooper 

Donald Cooper speaks and coaches internationally on management, marketing, and business innovation.  He can be reached by email at donald@donaldcooper.com in Toronto, Canada.

2 Responses to Don’t be an ‘invisible boss’:
  1. Agreed Don. So many bosses think dealing with their team is a one way process. I used to walk around the local park with each of my team members once a month to listen and understand what was happening for them and that included listening to what is happening in the private lives.

    Thank you again for providing your insight from the experience you have gathered along the way.



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