Guidance on leadership development & strategic planning.

4 Ways to Ensure Your Sales Team Can Consistently Improve

By Leadership Resources 04/07/2020
Group holding upward arrow

Your sales team has their work cut out for them, especially in today’s trying times. That said, the overall success of your business is directly tied to the success of your sales department. So, no matter how challenging the current economic landscape can be, you must do everything possible to ensure that your sales force doesn’t collapse entirely.

Every company is unique and therefore requires an individualized approach to proper sales team management. Still, there are certain steps every business can take to maintain its sales arm during the current pandemic. Let’s explore four ways to ensure your sales team can survive.

How to Consistently Improve a Sales Team

1. Create and Clarify Goals

Most people work their best when headed towards a goal, no matter how near or far it may be. The same goes for teams. By clearly laying out the company’s short- and long-term goals, your sales team will suddenly have a concrete reason to perform at its highest capacity.

That said, in most cases, sales are really hard right now. There is a lot of instability and uncertainty in the economy, which makes customers hesitant to sign new agreements. Short term goals during this “new normal” might be as simple as making X amount of calls per day. Or maybe making connections to have phone or video meetings to check in with clients – see how they are doing, listen to them, and ask how you can help, without even trying to sell. Once you hear their concerns, ask them if you can send them resources that your company provides related to those issues. Not sales material, but actual things they can use, even if your company isn’t the one that developed them. Unfortunately, the sales cycle might be a few more steps of relationship building for now.

2. Create a Positive and High-Performance Culture

Despite becoming another business buzzword, company culture does indeed play a major role in an organization’s success. In order to create a high-performance culture, you can’t neglect other cultural aspects in your workplace, such as employee morale, open communication, mutual respect, recognition, collaboration, etc. For your sales team to grow and improve, individual members must feel comfortable not just working with one another but also being with one another.

These issues can be a challenge- but certainly not impossible- during this time. With many companies working remotely, it is important to still maintain productive working relationships. Your company will most likely want to utilize video or phone conferencing systems to continue cultivating a sense of unity and team-based culture among staff. 

11 Ways To Create Accountability And Increase Productivity At Your Organization. Download this whitepaper.

3. Streamline Your Processes Together

The modern economy moves fast, so complex, cluttered sales strategies tend to fall behind the curve. If there is anything this situation has taught us, it is how important simple, seemingly boring processes are. If you have solid, well-thought-out processes in place that everyone is used to, it makes it much easier to address the more pressing and often more serious decisions of the current environment. Get your processes established quickly, communicate them clearly, make sure everyone has the tools necessary to follow them, and then start using them to ensure the continued success of your organization.

4. Conduct Regular Reviews

People have a hard time improving if they don’t receive regular feedback, and that is especially true in this untested climate. There is so much uncertainty in the air; your sales staff is likely to feel unsure of their performance as well. You can help this by having frequent conversations with salespeople to ensure they are doing ok. This should include ensuring they have all of the tools and technology they need, asking what their concerns are and addressing them whenever possible, and having more personal, intimate conversations that you previously might not have had. Ask about their families, their spouses, make sure they are well. It will help reinforce and build that culture we addressed earlier. 

The four measures outlined above all come back to one essential ingredient for every business’ success: communication. In these trying times, we must all be extra vigilant about checking in on all fronts – salespeople with clients, management with staff, etc.  Without an open line of communication between team members, sales managers, and other teams within your organization, you will struggle to set and achieve any goals. Conversely, a highly collaborative, communicative sales team will continue to adapt and navigate these unchartered waters. 

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

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The Importance of Emotionally-Intelligent Leadership Right Now

By Leadership Resources 03/25/2020
The Importance of Emotionally-Intelligent Leadership

Emotional intelligence just became the world’s #1 leadership skill. 

As stated in this INC.com article, “Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, understand, and manage emotions–both in yourself and in others. This ability is important to develop in everyday life, but it can be lifesaving in the face of a panic-inducing situation like the coronavirus, because it allows you to keep emotions under control so you can make balanced, reasonable decisions.”

Benefits of Emotionally Intelligent Leaders

How Emotionally-Intelligent Leaders Act

If you’re like most companies, you’ve had to reconfigure your operations in 72 hours or less and help your team continue working productively while also working remotely. Suddenly you’re a virtual team, whether you like it or not.

As your operations shift, remember to act as an emotionally-intelligent leader.  Here are some key points to remember:

  • Acknowledge what your employees are feeling
  • Reassure your teams that you’ll get through this together
  • Communicate often – in the absence of information, people will make things up
  • Be transparent about the circumstances

Transparency is enormously important right now, even for companies that usually prefer not to “overshare” with employees. A global health scare leaves people feeling vulnerable. If you’re transparent about how things are unfolding, you’ll gain respect and trust by showing authenticity.

Use Plans & Encouragement

Having a routine will help your employees cope with the newfound uncertainty in the world. Help your team members plan their day in advance so they can maximize their work productivity around home-schooling and other personal demands.

When in doubt, be proactive. Take the initiative to help your employees plan their time and stay organized during this difficult time.

Proactive planning might include:

  • Helping them select their top three highest priorities for the day before the day begins
  • Rescheduling meetings to work within a realistic schedule
  • Selecting their highest-payoff activities outside of their three priorities, which may have changed drastically since they began working remotely

Remember Empathy & Ask Questions

We can’t emphasize this enough: Your employees need some empathy right now. Think about how much they’re dealing with: new technology, working with kids at home, co-working with spouses and roommates, demands on their internet bandwidth, not to mention constant fear over a virus that could harm them or their loved ones.

If it feels a bit strange to suddenly be showering your employees with empathy, here’s a natural way to handle it: Just ask simple, kind questions.

  • How are you?
  • What is your biggest challenge right now? 
  • What can we do to make this easier for you?
  • Is there anything you’re working on that you’re particularly worried about? (Meeting a deadline? Letting a client down? Not getting something to a team member on time?)

For more tips about showing empathy and emotional intelligence in your leadership, take a look at the latest whitepaper from Leadership Resources. It’s all about brushing up on your emotional intelligence and keeping your business running smoothly during challenging times.

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Team-Building in Omaha, NE: How to Encourage Leadership from More Reserved Employees

By Leadership Resources 02/24/2020
Women working and looking at a laptop

While it’s true that some individuals naturally possess certain leadership qualities, many of the best leaders weren’t “born with it” at all. Rather, they became leaders over time with the help of good mentors, experience in both life and business, and a network of support, all of which gave them a sense of ownership and confidence necessary in a strong leader. Indeed, your Omaha, Nebraska organization might be filled with hidden leaders that simply need direction and encouragement to reach their full potential. 

Facilitating this leadership development should be a major priority for your business, as it will boost productivity, stimulate strong and innovative decision-making, strengthen your culture, and secure its future. Here’s how to encourage leadership from more reserved but promising employees in your company.

How to Get the Most Out of Shy Employees

Be a Good Leader Yourself

Good leaders have a tendency to pass on their qualities to those near them. Don’t shy away from expressing what you’ve learned on your journey to becoming a leader, but don’t limit this expression to mere words. You must also act the part. Communicate, collaborate, listen, and prioritize transparency. Setting a strong example for your team is the first step toward developing leadership talent in your organization.

Cultivate a Team-Oriented Culture

Leaders must be good listeners, but they can’t be afraid to speak up, either. The less vocal employees in your company will be more inclined to share their ideas and opinions if they feel comfortable and encouraged to do so. Building a team-based culture can go a long way toward achieving this level of openness. You might start hosting more team-building events, developing projects that require coordination, or actively asking your employees to share their thoughts on a given matter.

Deliver Consistent, Constructive Feedback

People struggle to grow if they’re not fully aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and your reserved employees might not actively seek help or ask questions about their performance. Delivering constructive feedback on a regular basis helps keep your employees on track, and lets them bolster their strengths while working on areas of improvement. Maintaining this honest line of communication will also encourage them to reach out to you and other leaders for guidance in the future.

Unlock The Leadership Potential Within Your Organization. Download this whitepaper.

Expand Employees’ Responsibilities

If you see potential in an employee, entrust them with more responsibility. Soft-spoken employees might initially lack the confidence to take on certain tasks and roles, but giving them more responsibilities can actually empower them and show them a side of themselves they didn’t even know existed. This can have a domino effect, where a once-reserved team member suddenly shows an appetite for accountability, growth, and other skills needed to be a leader. And if it turns out they weren’t quite up to the task, dial things back and help them gradually work their way back up.

Offer Leadership Training Programs

Ultimately, there’s only so much you as an individual can do in terms of team building and leadership training. You may need to create and/or outsource specialized leadership development programs to give your employees the resources they need to develop as leaders in the broader sense. Investing in these programs can be a major boon for your Omaha, NE organization. After all, your business’ growth and success depends on the growth and success of your people.

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

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How to Keep Top Talent from Leaving Your Lincoln, NE Company

By Leadership Resources 01/06/2020
Group of people with their hands in

You work hard to find the best people for your business. All the time and resources spent screening, interviewing, following up, and making the final decision are worth it in the end when you finally land top talent. 

However, hiring a well-suited individual is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you’ve added value to your company. On the other hand, there’s no guarantee that this person will stick with you for the long haul. In other words, hiring top talent is only half the battle. Retaining this talent is perhaps even more important, and, in many ways, more challenging.

Opportunities are abundant in Lincoln, Nebraska and other major cities around the country (and the world). In this increasingly global and mobile economy, holding on to your best employees is more important than ever. Here’s how you can keep top talent from leaving your company in Lincoln, NE.

How to Retain Great Talent

It Starts With Recruitment

Companies that boast the highest retention rates attribute much of their success to their hiring process. Indeed, keeping employee retention in mind during recruitment efforts will help you narrow your search by honing in on aspects of your business that matter most. For instance, you should seek candidates that are well-suited not only for the position at hand, but also your workplace culture. You might pose certain questions to potential hires that will give you a sense of their values, loyalty, commitment, etc. Additionally, look for people who have histories of longevity with their past jobs.

Fortify Your Company Culture

Maintaining a well-defined company culture will help you choose candidates that will stay with you. That said, this culture must also be flexible and inclusive enough to continuously engage your people and give them a stake in your business. Simply put, if you want to keep your top talent around, let them at least in part shape the culture in meaningful, constructive ways. You must also keep up with the latest technologies and industry developments. If your business can’t evolve with your best people, they will grow beyond it.

Focus on Leadership Development

On that note of personal growth, one of the best ways to keep top talent from leaving your company is by investing in their continual development. Developing leadership talent within your organization doesn’t just convey your commitment to your people, but also adds tangible value to your business. As your employees expand their skill sets, they become integral parts of decision-making processes that improve your organization. In this way, fostering leadership development increases loyalty and buy-in. Additionally, developing your top talent is a key element in succession planning. The future and legacy of your business depend on retaining strong leaders.

Unlock The Leadership Potential Within Your Organization. Download this whitepaper.

Allow for Some Beneficial Breathing Room

You seek top talent for your business because you want to increase productivity and innovation. Keep in mind, though, that your best people are still susceptible to burnout. Pushing your people too hard is a losing strategy for keeping them around. 

If you want your employees to continue adding value to your company, you need to offer them some value as well. You can consider things like offering more flexible hours and remote work privileges. Also, reconfigure your benefits packages to remain competitive and entice top talent for your company. And don’t skimp on your paid time off allowances. Getting away from work is paramount in managing leadership stress and maximizing productivity and retention in the long haul.

Offer Regular Feedback

Communication is crucial to keeping your top talent. Employees deserve praise when performing well, and they need to know when they’re falling behind. Without regular performance management feedback and constructive criticism, your people will remain clueless regarding their performance, potential, and value. This can lead to feelings of frustration and underappreciation, which can result in abandonment. 

To avoid these outcomes, remain open and honest with your team members. Conduct frequent one-on-one meetings and don’t rush quarterly or annual reviews. And be open to feedback as well. Your top talent can clue you in to your own shortcomings to help you improve, too.

Onboarding the very best people is challenging enough. Don’t let them slip away. Your employees are your most valuable assets, and you must invest in them accordingly if you wish to continue reaping the benefits.

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

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The Success Chain: Turning the Past into Positive Outcomes for the New Year and Beyond

By Leadership Resources 01/06/2020
Leadership Resources success chain bricks falling

Within every workplace in the world, employees arrive at work each day with minds that are swirling with personal opinions, perspectives, attitudes, expectations, and assumptions. Each person has a rich background of experiences – not just work-related experiences, but also education, life, and societal experiences that shape their belief systems, behaviors, and even success.

We can’t see straight into our coworkers’ minds … but what if we could? What kinds of things would we see? Maybe we’d see someone who feels totally confused about the future, or a manager plagued by leadership stress. Maybe we’d see someone who feels composed and confident. Additionally, we would see those things change from moment to moment, and situation to situation.

All of these swirling thoughts, in turn, are reflected in each person’s actions and behaviors not only personally, but also professionally. Each thought they experience, each assumption they make, each habitual expectation affects how they interact with others and get their jobs done.

Employers can’t change their employees’ past experiences, but the employees themselves can reframe their past experiences in a fresh way that can drive toward positive outcomes. With leadership development and ongoing coaching, a company can support its employees in identifying these things, understanding how they might be affecting their work, and building a shared future that looks better from the inside out. Establishing that awareness can help them make better decisions going forward.

Help yourself, your employees, and your organization achieve success this new year by getting to know The Success Chain.

How to Use the Past in Business to Your Benefit

The Power of The Success Chain

At its core, the Success Chain is based on your personal life experiences, which can have a significant impact on the way you think and feel, what you choose to do, and ultimately your results, to determine whether success will be achieved.

The Success Chain’s power comes from realizing the strong impact our thinking has on our behaviors and actions. We have the ability to think better, so therefore we can do better. We can think positively, take ownership, be proactive, and our actions will follow from our thinking.

The Success Chain, along with good leadership coaching, teaches us that we can choose to both view and do things differently. This creates better results further up the chain, which means that over time we will see more positive outcomes and increased success in our lives.

Linking it All Together for a Successful New Year

The success of an organization is driven by the success of its individuals and the results they achieve. The results those individuals achieve are built on their actions and behaviors. Their actions and behaviors are dictated by their habits of thought. Their habits of thought are created by their experiences.

With leadership training centered on the Success Chain, you can begin to better understand conditioning experiences to ring in a new, better year. Best of all, each component of this chain interacts fluidly. So, as you adjust your habits of thought and behavior, you will acquire new experiences, which will circle back and influence your thoughts once more, creating a positive feedback loop of true, continuous success.

Read Our Whitepaper: “Ensure Positive Business Outcomes & Results: Leveraging The Success Chain”

In this whitepaper, we’ll look at the Success Chain and its impact on our professional lives. We’ll explore how personal experiences can affect our work identities, and how anyone can use the power of the Success Chain to shift their thoughts and behaviors to achieve long-term positive outcomes and further develop qualities of an effective leader.

Ensure Positive Business Outcomes & Results, Download This Whitepaper

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

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6 Reasons A Strategic Planning Consultant Is a Great Investment in Your Business

By Leadership Resources 12/04/2019
Leadership Resources strategic planning workshop

In any endeavor, an outside perspective goes a long way in helping us stay on course, acknowledge our bad habits and flaws, and charge ahead with purpose. A business that lacks external guidance can quickly find itself in a rut. Having access to a strategic planning consultant can help businesses overcome their shortcomings to achieve both short-term and long-term goals.

At Leadership Resources, we deploy strategic planning consultants to help our clients reach and exceed their goals. Let’s go over six reasons why a strategic planning consultant is a great investment in your business.

The Beneifts of Strategic Planning Consultants

1. Clarify Your Vision 

Moving forward is challenging when you’re unsure of which direction to go or why you’re going that way to begin with. When businesses cannot clearly create or convey a cohesive vision, it will struggle to make any progress. 

Strategic planning consultants help business leaders formulate or redefine a clear vision and then work toward getting every member of the organization on the same page. Once consensus has been reached, your team can work on strategic planning, where you’ll lay out short-term and long-term goals, as well as procedures for reaching said goals.

2. Increase Employee Engagement

The people within your organization ultimately determine whether it succeeds or fails. And if your people aren’t committed, focused, or enthusiastic about their jobs or the business’s greater goals, your business will suffer. With the aid of a strategic planning consultant, your leadership staff will learn new team management methods that help unify team members around common interests and increase employee engagement as a whole.

3. Develop Leaders

A strong business relies on strong leadership. When you invest in leadership development, you’re investing in your company’s future. A strategic planning consultant provides your leadership team with guidance and access to the resources, support, and knowledge to continually develop as individuals and add value to the organization by becoming more adaptable, approachable, resilient, and team-oriented.

Unlock The Leadership Potential Within Your Organization. Download this whitepaper.

4. Cultivate a Healthier Workplace

You want your business to produce results and reach its goals, but not at the cost of your people’s mental and physical health. One of the greatest advantages a strategic planning consultant brings to the table is that it helps staff members and leaders strike a balance between work and the rest of life. Managing leadership stress is essential for leaders to execute their plans with clear judgment and sound instincts. A healthier workplace means that your team will be more functional and cohesive, ready to tackle any problem together.

5. Enhance Communication

Transparency is also necessary for maintaining a healthy company culture. Investing in a strategic planning consultant will provide your business with tools and advice for establishing greater communication between all parties. An open line of communication helps keep everyone engaged and on the same page. It also empowers team members to ask questions and speak their minds without fear of reprisal. Ultimately, greater communication leads to bold new ideas that can push an organization forward, improve its operations, and establish more ways to reach its goals.

6. Perform Regular Check-ins to Stay on Course

In order to stay the course, a business requires accountability at every level. This means all staff members and leaders must regularly meet their expectations and the procedures set in motion to achieve goals are proving themselves effective. 

Strategic planning consultants perform regular check-in sessions to evaluate what is and isn’t working in your organization so necessary changes can be made. This may include quarterly and annual check-ins, or some other frequency that makes the most sense for the client. With these routine assessments, everyone in your organization will be more accountable for their roles and actions.

Every organization can benefit from business leadership coaching, and a strategic planning consultant significantly elevates standard business mentorship by focusing on every important aspect of your organization in detail. Leadership Resources is the premier strategic planning consultant in Omaha and Lincoln, NE. Our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

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How Much Paid Time Off (PTO) is Good for Productivity?

By Leadership Resources 12/01/2019
woman relaxing on the beach

In the highly competitive business landscape, there seems to be little room for respite. As it turns out, though, working nonstop often stifles rather than stimulates a company’s output. Enough research has now been conducted to confidently conclude that paid time off (PTO) promotes productivity and long-term organizational success. 

Developed countries outside the U.S. seem to understand this, mandating a minimum number of days off for workers, usually somewhere between 20 and 30 days. No such regulation exists in the states, however, with the average American receiving about 10 paid days off per year (according to the Center for Economic and Policy Research). 

Some companies, embroiled in a culture of no compromises, might think that 10 days off is plenty, even generous. But, perhaps a better question is this: Are those 10 days of PTO enough to keep a business healthy, dynamic, and reputable? Even knowing that PTO is good for productivity, though, employers might have a hard time determining just how much vacation time to offer its employees, and how to best structure this policy. While no two businesses will devise the same PTO plan, a number of key considerations can inform their decision.

What to Know About Paid Time Off Policy

The Importance of Paid Time Off

Paid time off is crucial for promoting workers’ mental health, cultivating new ideas and leaders, and establishing a workplace culture that attracts and retains quality people.

Plenty of people love their work, but lacking a balance between work and the rest of one’s life tends to undermine both. Ironically enough, when individuals can’t seem to escape their working role, their work suffers as a result. Burnout and stress are major causes of performance management issues in organizations and can take a toll on one’s mental health. Taking time off allows employees and leaders to recharge and shift their thought processes, so when they finally return, they come back with an energetic, fresh perspective that can propel the organization forward.

Businesses who boast a superior PTO policy also benefit from acquiring a more impressive pool of candidates. Many of those entering the workforce actively seek opportunities that offer competitive benefits such as fair PTO. If a company wants to hire the best people out there, modernizing its PTO plan makes a powerful statement.

11 Ways To Create Accountability And Increase Productivity At Your Organization. Download this whitepaper.

How Much PTO Is Good for Productivity?

While it may be abundantly clear that offering reasonable PTO is beneficial for business, calculating the optimal amount of PTO is a bit blurry. This number will vary from one company to the next, based on its particular structure, number of employees, the regularity of workload, etc. 

For instance, a company that does most of its business in the summer might mostly hire temporary part-time workers, with only a few full-time staffers on hand. These full-time workers might still have work to do on the off-season, but it might not be as burdensome as the on-season, so their PTO might be extensive but limited to a certain time of year.

Businesses that operate year-round and hire predominantly full-time workers will likely have a different PTO system in place than the one outlined above. Many companies base their PTO offerings on the length of time an individual has served the organization. For example, a new employee might have 10-15 paid days off while someone who has been there for over a decade might have closer to 20-25 days off. This service-based policy both incentivizes employee retention while delivering more time off for those who may require it to cope with leadership stress.

Some newer companies, especially those in Silicon Valley, have actually begun experimenting with an “open PTO” plan. These policies essentially allow employees to take time off as much as they’d like, so long as they meet their deadlines. This system might seem ripe for abuse. However, the opposite may be true. As discovered by a 2017 study conducted by Namely, many employees under this open policy actually end up taking fewer days off than those under stricter PTO plans precisely because they don’t want to take advantage of it. That said, unlimited vacation policies show potential for cultivating high performance culture companies, as long as expectations are made clear and workers feel welcome to take a break when they need one.

Cultivating a Culture That Encourages Taking Time Off

There may be no one-size-fits-all PTO policy, but all businesses can benefit from making sure PTO is properly utilized by workers. According to a 2016 study by the U.S. Travel Association’s Project: Time Off, 54 percent of Americans neglect taking some of their earned vacation time, possibly for fear of losing their job, falling behind on project deadlines, or failing to meet expectations. To ensure that employees get the breaks they need and deserve, companies should clarify their PTO policy and actively encourage everyone to use it fully. 

Leaders within the business can set an example by committing to their vacation time and advocating its value. Additionally, workers should be reminded of how much PTO they’re entitled to, and if they must use it within a given timeframe. Businesses should also have a plan in place to prevent emails and messages from being sent to those using their PTO, so they never feel pressured to check in on work-related matters.

Everyone needs a vacation. No organization can succeed when its people are exhausted, stressed, and unhealthy. In this way, PTO is a major component of proper employee productivity management. As for how much PTO boosts productivity, it all depends on how your business operates. Regardless of the hard numbers, make sure your people use the time off they’re given.

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

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Why Your Team-Building Events Aren’t Working

By Leadership Resources 11/18/2019
people doing a puzzle

At the core of every successful enterprise is a strong sense of teamwork. Tight-knit teams help boost a business’ productivity and spark innovation at rates no individual could possibly achieve. However, it takes a lot of work to cultivate this durable cooperation. 

Bonds are often formed naturally over time as people work with one another and share experiences, but these factors only account for part of the picture. Leaders must also take an active role in establishing solid teams. To do so, they might organize and initiate team building events. These exercises can strengthen teams and yield several additional benefits, but they don’t simply work by default. If your team building events aren’t producing the results you expected, here are some possible causes.

Common Mistakes in Team-Building Events

A Lack of Leadership

Team building events are all about collaboration, so no one person’s participation should outweigh that of another. That said, without a leader or group of leaders guiding the activity, you might find it difficult to get these events off the ground at all. Team leaders play an important role in both coordinating team building exercises and keeping them on track. A good leader will clearly outline the task at hand and offer a demonstration as a jumping-off point. They will then back off when it’s time for team members to interact with one another and jump back in if things hit a snag or go too far off course.

Forced Engagement

Generally speaking, people are more likely to partake in an activity if they feel empowered to do so. Team building events are only effective when members participate willingly and with enthusiasm. When engagement is forced, participants may close up and feel insecure or irritated, which negatively tinges the exercise. Of course, team management leaders may struggle to cultivate this enthusiasm. While not every team member will always be on board, there are ways to reduce this friction and encourage greater participation. Leaders might organically weave team building events into the workday so employees don’t feel forced to act a certain way or abandon their duties. Additionally, all team members should feel that their input adds value to the organization so they’re more willing to speak out and engage.

The Message is Unclear

Team building events won’t amount to anything if those involved don’t know what’s at stake. For every exercise, there needs to be a clear “why” to the “what.” When formulating ideas of team activities, leaders must ask themselves questions like: Why should team members care? What goal (or goals) is the team and organization working toward? How will this particular exercise bring the team together and move everyone closer to the goal? How can the company’s team culture be improved as a whole, and how will that positively affect the organization? Having answers to these questions will help leaders create these events as well as give team members a reason to truly care about them.

11 Ways To Create Accountability And Increase Productivity At Your Organization. Download this whitepaper.

Timing is All Off

Whether they’re during the workday or after hours, team building events can interfere with regular productivity and team members’ personal lives. If you’re not mindful of everyone’s time, your events might foster resentment and induce undue stress. Conversely, coordinating team building events to fit everyone’s unique schedules and needs goes a long way toward building a positive team culture. Take the time to properly schedule these activities so the maximum amount of people can participate with minimal conflict.

Neglecting Feedback

Accepting and delivering constructive criticism are major parts of both team building and leadership training. Without this communication, you can’t fully know if your team building events are going well. Actively welcome feedback before, during, and after these exercises, so you can adjust and improve them accordingly. Otherwise, these activities will just waste everyone’s time and make for a more toxic work environment.

A team building exercise should never be by the numbers. These events must be relevant to the current work at hand and re-establish a shared purpose. This requires leadership, engagement, tact, and communication. With more effort in these areas, your team building events won’t just work, they’ll seriously pay off.

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

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Succession Planning for Your Nebraska Business: 4 Benefits of Leadership Development

By Leadership Resources 11/11/2019
Nebraska businesswoman doing leadership development

Nebraska is known for its resilience and innovation. Older businesses have been through the state’s many economic shifts over the years, and new entrepreneurs are leading the way in its continued revitalization and economic prominence. If you’re a business owner in Nebraska, then you already have the spirit of a leader. And to keep your enterprise strong, you want to hire those with leadership potential as well.

The fact is, just about anyone can become a leader with the right training and discipline. But as a business owner, you have to decide how many resources you’re willing to invest in leadership development. When making this decision, keep in mind that developing leaders within your organization has several benefits, which, in the long term, will greatly outweigh the costs. Indeed, in order to sustain your Nebraska business and secure its future, focusing on leadership development is essential. Here we’ll explore four major benefits of leadership development.

What Are the Benefits of Leadership Development

1. Encourages Productivity

What motivates employees to do a good job? There are many answers, of course, but fundamentally speaking, when individuals feel respected, heard, and empowered, they will perform better. Encouraging your employees to take on more responsibilities and helping them learn new skills is a win-win for them and for your company. As they grow into leaders, they will make more significant contributions to the business and help others develop new skills as well. All of this leads to a more productive, efficient, and dynamic workplace.

2. Broadens Personal Skills

Leadership development also has implications that extend beyond your business, yet benefit it nonetheless. Learning from one’s mistakes or hardships is a major component of this training. As an individual uncovers the obstacles that have been holding them back, they learn more about themselves as well as others. These personal and interpersonal skills are highly transferable, meaning they’re useful in all aspects of life and business. You should want your company culture teeming with these self-reliant, thoughtful people, as they are invaluable to your brand.

Unlock The Leadership Potential Within Your Organization. Download this whitepaper.

3. Stimulates Strong Decision-Making

In Nebraska and everywhere else, the business world is always changing. New technology and cultural shifts shake up the landscape on a regular basis, and if you want your business to remain steady and even thrive, it needs to be flexible and adaptable. One of the main objectives of succession planning and leadership development is to increase the capacity for decision-making and problem-solving in both individuals and teams. A good leader anticipates and embraces changes in the marketplace and within their organization and responds accordingly.

4. Cultivates Communication and Collective Interest

A successful enterprise relies on continuous collaboration. Individuals must communicate and work together to achieve collective goals. A good leader looks at the bigger picture and makes decisions based on the company’s interests, not his or her own. Building these communication skills is a major component of both leadership training and succession planning. After all, the best way to ensure the future success of an organization is for exciting leaders to pass the torch to those who clearly share their values and vision.

For businesses in Nebraska to thrive, they need strong leaders. Make leadership development a priority for your enterprise.

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

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Succession Planning: 4 Benefits of Leadership Development

By Leadership Resources 09/18/2019
Boy dreamer on top of ladder as symbol of individual sucess

An organization’s success and advancement depends on the growth of its people. Without strong leaders with a shared vision, you can’t expect your company to adapt, evolve, and thrive in a dynamic environment. You must invest in all of your employees, especially those who display ambition and potential for taking over leadership roles in the future. 

One of the most powerful ways to invest in your people is to provide them with a leadership development program suited to their individual needs and your company’s needs. Let’s go over four key benefits of leadership development.

How Leadership Development Helps Companies

1. Building Confidence

Not all people are natural-born leaders. This is okay, as there are plenty of candidates who do wish to rise up and take on more responsibility within your organization. However, becoming a strong leader is easier said than done. You might find that some of your potential leaders, though they want to learn and grow, lack the confidence required to take the next step. This is where leadership development training comes in handy.

With the right coaching and guidance, emerging leaders can enhance their communication skills, become more adept at planning, gain valuable hands-on experience, and more. All of these efforts will help the confidence of your potential leaders and prepare them for whatever comes next.

2. The Leadership Development Domino Effect

Investing in leadership development is a holistic effort, meaning the benefits don’t only impact those who receive training, but also spread across your entire organization. Those who receive training can go on to express and teach their newly learned skills to others, enhancing your organizational culture as a whole. This domino effect may even inspire less ambitious employees to take on new responsibilities and continue the cycle of development. 

Unlock The Leadership Potential Within Your Organization. Download this whitepaper.

3. Encourage and Cultivate New Ideas

Stagnation is a company’s subtlest and most sinister enemy. Oftentimes, this lack of vitality stems from a lack of new leadership. Established leaders may ignore new ideas or opinions from their younger employees, however unintentionally. The status quo, while comfortable, can become restrictive. 

Bringing in some new blood can really shake up a stale organization, but only if new leaders are ready to take on new roles. A solid leadership development regiment will encourage fresh faces to flourish and share their ideas with current leaders within the organization. Better yet, with enough training, these new leaders can help implement these changes with confidence and clarity.

4. Securing Your Company’s Future

Finally, if you want your company to continue its legacy, you must prepare accordingly with a succession planning model that focuses heavily on leadership development. Succession planning refers to the process by which an organization carefully transitions from the established leadership to new leadership. Without a fresh set of prepared leaders to grab the torch, your organization will likely experience a serious crisis when the time comes. 

One of the great benefits of leadership development is that it secures your company’s future by curating strong leaders who are capable and confident enough to take over new and existing roles. For more insight into the many benefits of succession planning and leadership development, download our white paper entitled “Preparing New Leadership: A Successful  Approach to Succession Planning”.

Download A Whitepaper On Succession Planning

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

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