December 2014

The Year to Come

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Scott's Monday Morning MessageGiven that how we invest our attention, time, and energy each day is a choice, I offer the following Wintripisms as suggestions for the coming year:

  • Those who pay the least demand the most. So, when choosing customers in 2015 pick the best so you can leave the rest.
  • Avoid implementing permanent solutions to temporary problems. It’s a great way to avoid regrets later.
  • If you want something different, do something different. Then keep doing what’s different if you expect it to stick.
  • Say what you mean, just don’t say it mean. It’s a wonderful way to give honest feedback, informed advice, and be direct with communication.

I wish you, your colleagues, and families a safe, joyous, and prosperous New Year.

Scott WintripThe Year to Come
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It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…

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Scott's Monday Morning Message…whatever we make it.

Yes, I’ve borrowed this statement from the Christmas song with the same name. And this concept, as the song ran through my head (over and over again after hearing it), reminded me that each and everyone of us is an artist, trading a day of our lives for what we create each day. We receive daily “clay” in the form of opportunities, connections, conversations, and moments in time to create something of meaning.

Whatever was already created this year is done, baked, and hardened. All we can do is learn from those creations, taking with us remembrances of what worked, what didn’t, and leaving behind the rest.

In this holiday time, I hope you’ll take time to reflect on all of the good you did this year; how well you served clients, candidates, and colleagues in the course of each day. In doing so, my hope is this will energize you to shape the coming year in a way that delights you and those whom you serve.

May you and your family have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday, or whatever form of happiness you choose at this time of year.

Scott WintripIt’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…
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Smart Leadership

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Wintrip Consulting Group : Take No PrisonersTake No Prisoners is a free weekly memo from Scott Wintrip that explores how Radical Accountability prospers companies and changes lives. Instead of taking people hostage with outdated, heavy-handed, and ineffective methods of management, measurement, and motivation, Radical Accountability focuses on creating an unwavering responsibility for getting done what matters most.

In a meeting last month with a group of really smart, talented leaders, I watched one of the smartest of the bunch make a rather common, dangerous choice. Rather than being open to an idea, this Senior VP’s immediate reaction to it was to say, “There’s no way that could work.” Even when presented with concrete examples of how the idea worked quite well for similar companies, her stance didn’t change. Was she wrong? Not necessarily, however, this knee-jerk response is what keeps some of the brightest leaders from employing ideas that could create incredible, positive outcomes.

Smart Leadership isn’t about intellect, talent, or even experience. In fact, the more of each someone has, the more likely they won’t engage in Smart Leadership at least some of the time. Smart Leadership requires we acknowledge how much we don’t know and how our experiences can prompt us to be dismissive. How we apply our knowledge and experience is what really determines just how clever we are at the end of the day.

The Senior VP in this example was willing to admit that she was jumping to conclusions. “My first thought was that the outcome, as described, wasn’t possible. That must be because I’ve never had an experience of that working.”

Her comments illustrate the problem. Our brains take what’s being said or demonstrated and immediately compares that to our mental file of experiences. In a split second, we come to judgement as to whether or not something is a good idea, based solely on this comparison. This very human reaction is the important moment that separates the smart leaders from the stuck leaders, with the savvy ones living the following mantra:

“I’m not responsible for my first thought; I am responsible for my next action.”

Jumping to conclusions, the first thought, only hampers leaders when they take action based solely upon that reaction. Brilliant leadership occurs when people slow down, and take time to validate or refute their own thinking, asking questions such as:

  • How do I know that?
  • What proof do I have?
  • How can I determine if this will work in our situation?

The Senior VP took responsibility for her first thought, slowed down, and asked these critical questions (her next action), determining that her initial dismissiveness was unfounded. A month later, her firm has not only implemented the idea she initially dismissed, they are now experiencing positive results beyond what she could have imagined. “Thankfully, I took time to slow down and do what was right. Which, in this case, was to challenge my own thinking.”

Some of the smartest leaders aren’t people with high IQ’s, advanced degrees, or decades of experience. They are incredibly human and know what being smart really means, which includes knowing and managing themselves effectively.

This Week’s Radical Accountability Activating Action: Notice your first thought, especially when you rush to judgement. Then, employ the next right action of validating or refuting that thinking.


Follow me on Twitter! You can find me here: https://twitter.com/ScottWintrip
Every day I provide pithy pieces of advice and wisdom. Join the growing crowd who read these gems every day.

You may subscribe and encourage others to subscribe by clicking here.

Check out my podcast series called Simply Scott on iTunes.

If you’d like to reach me, email: scott@ScottWintrip.com or call my direct line: (727) 502-9182

Visit my web site: https://www.WintripConsultingGroup.com

Scott WintripSmart Leadership
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Lean Recruiting

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Scott's Monday Morning MessagePeople are not the only ones getting on the scale as staffing and recruitment firms across the globe are trimming the fat as a catalyst for growth. Lean Recruiting initiatives across the globe are focusing leaders to eliminate wasted time, resources, energy, and effort. The results benefit everyone as clients have talented people working more quickly, candidates land better opportunities with less effort, and their providers are rewarded for their efforts while also be able to serve more people.

Patterned on some of the best attributes of Lean Manufacturing, a systematic method for eliminating waste within a manufacturing process, Lean Recruiting addresses some of the persistent challenges in our business, including those focused upon productivity and execution. To trim organizational fat, here are five questions to begin identifying the waste in your sales, recruiting, and leadership systems?

  • Which processes are taking longer today than two years ago?
  • In which aspects of the business are leaders having to constantly remind people to take action?
  • For which customers is time-to-fill staying the same or even increasing?
  • How often are recruiters recruiting ahead, acquiring talent before its needed, versus recruiting behind, looking for people after an order has been placed?
  • Which customers have committed to deadlines for responding to submittals? What’s being done to enroll the rest of the customer base in that same lean practice?

While the holidays may be a time that we all gain a few pounds on seasonal goodies, it can also be a time of leaner business by shedding waste, making the delivery and experience of our business better for everyone. That’s a pretty nice holiday present.

Scott WintripLean Recruiting
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Are You Hiring Sales Architects?

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Many companies have focused on hiring either hunters or farmers, depending on the current needs within their sales organizations. The problem with this strategy is that those who are good at hunting down new business are not as good, or do even harmful things, when they attempt to develop more business (farming) within existing accounts.

That’s where the Sales Architect comes in to the picture. These individuals are highly proficient at both hunting and farming. This video tells you more about this profile.

Scott WintripAre You Hiring Sales Architects?
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Cheering on the Competition

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Wintrip Consulting Group : Take No PrisonersTake No Prisoners is a free weekly memo from Scott Wintrip that explores how Radical Accountability prospers companies and changes lives. Instead of taking people hostage with outdated, heavy-handed, and ineffective methods of management, measurement, and motivation, Radical Accountability focuses on creating an unwavering responsibility for getting done what matters most.

When there are lots of competitors, only a few of whom will win, the competitive environment often becomes fierce and even unfriendly. Neither was the case at my son Benjamin’s district thespian competition last week. While my greatest joy was seeing him on stage, drawing thunderous laughter and applause for his portrayal of a high schooler from the wrong side of the tracks, what was also joyful was experiencing the audience. Hundreds of 14 through 18-year-old actors lovingly and wholeheartedly watched, clapped, cried, and even sighed as they watched other performers who could take away one of the three coveted spots that would be earned that day for the state competition.

Seeing this talented, yet, often immature group of people be so gracious inspired me to want more cheering of this type at the adult level. I’ve always been convinced that our kids are our best business professors, when we simply pay attention to what they’re here to teach us. If they can be this supportive and kind, there’s no reason for adults to bad-mouth their competitors.

Based upon their example, here are four ways and reasons for cheering on the competition:

Clap enthusiastically
Applauding their successes allows you to learn from the positive nuances of their business, applying those to your own company.

Laugh loudly
No one can relate to what you do better than someone else in the same line of work. Spending time together over a meal or drink is a healthy catharsis for the common stresses faced by peers.

Cry generously
In the spirit of competition, it’s all too easy to lose touch with our humanity. By supporting fellow leaders and colleagues as they deal with life on life’s terms, we get the honor of being part of the supportive give and take that’s one of the more meaningful parts of life.

Lose graciously
No one likes to lose, however, it’s inevitable some of the time. Authentically congratulating competitors when they win the deal makes the sting of loss fade faster, versus taking the poison pill of resentment that makes the hurt of loss persist.

In this world of technology that can distract us and responsibilities that often consume us, being present, gracious, and supportive, just like those talented teens, is a worthwhile endeavor. And who knows, while the common negativity of competition creates predictable outcomes, offering applause and kudos may just bring about some wonderful, unexpected surprises.

This Week’s Radical Accountability Activating Action: Clap, laugh, cry, and lose graciously, while watching for the other lessons our kids are here to teach us.


Follow me on Twitter! You can find me here: https://twitter.com/ScottWintrip
Every day I provide pithy pieces of advice and wisdom. Join the growing crowd who read these gems every day.

You may subscribe and encourage others to subscribe by clicking here.

Check out my podcast series called Simply Scott on iTunes.

If you’d like to reach me, email: scott@ScottWintrip.com or call my direct line: (727) 502-9182

Visit my web site: https://www.WintripConsultingGroup.com

Scott WintripCheering on the Competition
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The Alternative to Strategic Planning

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Scott's Monday Morning MessageLike a computer with a well functioning operating system, companies that perform exceptionally well year after year have a well planned Renewable Operating System (ROS). Better than a strategic plan, an ROS creates a better way of doing business with speed, agility, and reduced effort, similar to the powerful processors in today’s technical devices.

The first step I initiate with every leader with whom I work to create an ROS starts with the current “code.” Just like rewriting an entire software program is overly labor intensive and often unnecessary, rewriting how a company does business is often a complete waste of time and resources. Instead, one of four actions, based upon the current circumstances, is the quick and nimble way to go from here to an even more profitable there:

Reboot: A solid plan for running the business was in place, but wasn’t followed. A reboot allows for a fresh chance to work the plan from beginning to end, while also evolving it into an ROS that eliminates the need for future reboots.

Reset: Parts of the previous plan weren’t followed, requiring only a reset on those portions of the plan. Without having to completely start over, momentum continues as the missing elements are integrated into a better, more sustainable operating system.

Reconfigure: The last plan was worked correctly, consistently, and completely, but the result didn’t meet expectations. Without overwriting the entire system, only the elements of the plan that were causing the shortfall need to be reconfigured when developing the ROS.

Redesign: There was no plan and, no surprise, nothing good has come of that. Redesign allows for learning from this oversight, creating an ROS for moving forward based upon what was learned in the process.

Rather than relying on a strategic plan for next year that may end up in the bottom of a drawer, program a fresh approach based upon where you’re at today. By having an operating system that benefits from the lessons of previous successes and failures, you can plan for an even better future.

Scott WintripThe Alternative to Strategic Planning
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