(Time to read this Blog is about 2 ½ minutes)

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

  1. My biz quote of the week:
    Businesses are built on trusting relationships…and the best way to create trust is to deliver compelling value and behave ethically. It’s that simple.”
    …Donald Cooper
  1. How’s the ‘sense of urgency’ in your business? I was at my pharmacy yesterday picking up a prescription renewal.  As I stood in line to be served, 4 messages came over the store’s PA System, “Pharmacy pick up line #1, please.”   Then, a few seconds later, it was, ‘Line #2, please.’  Then, ‘Line #3, please’.  And, finally, several minutes later, it was ‘Line #1, please’,
    There were 7 staff behind the counter in that Pharmacy Department, including the owner, and not one of them picked up a phone in response to any of those 4 messages.  My jaw dropped.  This should be completely unacceptable.
    Have you an appropriate ‘sense of urgency’ in your business?  Are there clear standards about response times?  Do we keep our delivery promises?  Do meetings start and end on time?  Do projects get completed on time?
    It’s all about clarity, commitment, urgency and accountability….and it starts at the top! 
  1. Don’t fall into the ‘research trap’:  Many businesses spend huge sums of money on ‘customer research’ to find out exactly what their customers want.  Then, when they deliver that, they wonder why customers don’t go “WOW”.

    What they don’t realize is, they’ve fallen into ‘The Research Trap.’  It works like this.  When we ask people what they want, they only tell us what they expect.  But, getting what we expect is not “WOW”…it’s just, “That’s nice.”  “WOW” is getting more than we expect.  It’s the delight and joy of having our expectations exceeded.  That’s “WOW”.   So, here’s the breakthrough insight….

    ‘We do research, not to find out what we should do…we do research to find out that which we must exceed!’

Now, to this week’s important topic:


What will you do to grow your people and yourself in 2022?

You can’t grow your business without growing your people…and growing yourself.  What skills, training, coaching and encouragement does each person on your team need to do their job better in 2022…and to be prepared to take on more responsibility or a new position in the future? 

Will you sit down with each person who reports to you and ask them where they’d like to be and what they’d like to be doing in the business and their life in 2 or 3 years…and how you can help them achieve their career and life commitments and dreams? Then determine what skills, training, and coaching they need to get there.  One of the best ways to get team members to help us get what we want is to help them get what they want.  If they don’t have an immediate answer about their future, that’s OK.  Ask them to think about it and schedule a time to get back to you.

By the way, some people just aren’t into growth.  My experience is that if they don’t want to grow themselves, they’re likely not interested in helping you grow the business.  If you have many of those people on your team, the business will stall and then decline.

When you’ve created a development and growth plan for each person, determine what additional talent and experience you need to ‘import’ into the business from the outside to achieve your commitments for 2022…and to prepare the business for success over the next 3 to 5 years.  For this you will need a clear Vision for the future of your business, so you know what kind of talent you need.  Here’s a thought; if you don’t have a clear Vision for the future of your business, your business as you best understand it is your business as it just was.  And you train and hire people who can help you become what you’ve already been…not what you must become.

If you don’t have a clear ‘operational’ Vision for what your business must become to be a profitable market leader in 3 to 5 years, you might want to purchase my 34 page ‘Vision Critical Guide’ for $24.  Or, you could pay a consultant $10,000 or more to come up with some vague, airy fairy, feel-good Vision Statement that achieves nothing.  I’ve spent 7 years noodling through what a clear, specific and measurable 1-page operational Vision Statement should look like and the Vision Critical Guide, complete with clear insights, tough but important questions and step-by-step implementation templates is yours for just 24 bucks at www.donaldcooper.com. 

Here’s one specific tip to grow your management and supervisory team. Have your head of Accounting and Finance, or your outside accounting firm, deliver a 90-minute presentation to your management team about how to read financial statements, how to use them to be more effective managers and also on the ‘math’ of profitability.  If we don’t understand our numbers, we don’t understand our business and we end up making some pretty crappy decisions.    

Many business owners understand the importance of growing their people, but they somehow believe that they, themselves, are a perfect finished piece of work, just the way they are now.  Not true. So, how must you grow as a leader, manager and listener to guide the business and your team to a more extraordinary and more profitable future?  What’s your growth plan for this year?  If you have the guts, sit down with your team and ask them in what ways you need to improve to provide them with the clarity, direction, communication, empowerment and encouragement that they need to do their jobs better.   


That’s it for this week…

Stay safe…live brilliantly!       

Donald Cooper 


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

One Response to What will you do to grow your people and yourself in 2022?
  1. Comment *Hi Donald, I love reading your columns and enjoy your insights. I have to comment on your story about urgency on your pharmacy visit. As a former “big box” manager, I understand the volume of incoming calls and the need to answer them. However, the shopper who stopped in and is physically visiting the store deserves the most immediate attention. While it may appear that not everyone of the seven people on duty were with customers, they may have been completing orders for customers not at the desk.

    It’s also possible that the receptionist informed caller #2, 3, and 4 that the pharmacy was handling other calls and gave them the option to hold or leave a message. BTW, in my store, the receptionist or person answering the phone would take messages past the first caller.

    Perception is reality so it may have looked like the pharmacy workers had no urgency, but they may have been working on other urgent situations. Thanks for reading and best wishes


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