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Is Your Resistance to Change Limiting You? - Business Times Column #135

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Change is constant in business whether we want it or not. Economies change, business environments change and team dynamics change. Life in general is about change. But if we habitually resist change, we seriously limit the potential of all that’s available to us professionally and personally. 

A primary reason many people avoid change is because they must change with it. Another reason some resist change is they focus on how hard change will be, the possible negative outcomes (typically assumptions based on our fear of the unknown) and their tendency to see the glass as half empty. We also become comfortable in our current position, even if it’s not working for us in creating happiness and success.

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Have You Created Balance Between Life and Business? - Business Times Column #134

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

A tremendous amount of time, effort, attention and energy goes into running a business. With everything there is to do, it’s easy for those who own a company to sacrifice many aspects of their life, if not everything, in the pursuit of success. There’s a tremendous benefit, though, to everyone involved — business owners, team members, customers and families — when a balance between life and business is created and maintained over time.

As owner, you’re the foundation of your business. The more inspired and invigorated you are, the stronger your company will be. Still, there’s no benefit to working yourself into the ground. When you become fatigued, your business suffers because you don’t have the energy, mental clarity and composure necessary to be the caliber of leader required to create the level of success you desire. What’s more, you’re likely not happy.

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Does Your Business Culture Build Trust and Loyalty? - Business Times Column #133

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Trust supports loyalty in your team members: If you have my back, I’ll have yours. Anytime trust between you and a team member is broken, any loyalty that existed is damaged to some degree. Once seriously damaged, it can be a lengthy process to rebuild loyalty. It might be impossible.

If you’ve been a business owner for any length of time, you likely understand the detrimental effects a lack of trust and loyalty can have on your culture, the success of your business and overall happiness. You might also possess some insight into the tremendous benefits trusting and loyal team members bring to your business and customers.

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Does Your Business Stand Out In A Good Way? - Business Times Column #132

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

In any marketplace, exceptional companies stand out in a good way when they deliver high-quality customer service experiences on a consistent basis.

Consumers typically have a variety of businesses from which choose in purchasing a certain product or service and are increasingly discerning when looking to satisfy their wants and needs. Consequently, it’s more important than ever for a business to remain consistent in delivering high-quality products and services.

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Will You Enhance Your Team's Capabilities in 2017? - Business Times Column #131

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Individual capability expands, contracts or remains static depending on whether or not it receives the stimulation needed to grow and develop. “I’m in a rut” is a phrase born of languishing potential. Owners, team members and companies get in ruts, too, and this must be overcome if they’re to expand their capabilities.

The way out of a stagnant state is through ongoing learning opportunities designed to expand the skills and abilities of the team and professional development that challenges and stretches the capabilities of your team members.

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How Do Your Customers Feel About Your Business? - Business Times Column #130

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

No doubt you can recall some experiences as a consumer that left you with good, if not a great, feelings about a business. The value you received endeared you to the company, creating loyalty and repeat business. The money and time you spent was well worth it and you walked away with a positive, satisfied and happy feeling.

Conversely, you’ve probably also had experiences with businesses that left you wishing you’d never walked through their doors. This might have been due to the poor customer service you received or bad and uncaring attitudes. Even if your experience was a neutral one — not bad, but not great, either — the trust and loyalty so vital to endear in customers wasn’t nurtured in you.

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Do Professional Issues Sabotage Your Personal Life? - Business Times Column #129

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

In my previous column, I elaborated on several potential negative side effects associated with bringing personal baggage to work. I described the fall even long-term top performers experience when they’re unable to effectively manage personal issues in the workplace. I also explored the domino effect these uncontrolled issues can have on fellow team members, customers and the business as a whole.

In this column, I’ll look at the other side of the coin. When people bring their professional baggage home, their personal lives are affected in very real ways. The ripple effects are felt far and wide.

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Do Personal Issues Inhibit Professional Performance? - Business Times Column #128

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Business owners, managers and anyone else in leadership roles exert the largest influence — positive or negative — in the workplace.

Team members look to these individuals for direction and guidance. When leaders become lost in their own personal issues or are unable to separate from them on the job, teams are affected to some degree, and a noticeable funk can easily overcome entire departments or businesses.

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Attention To The Basics Breeds Business Success - Business Times Column #127

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

One of the biggest differences between creating raving fans out of your customers or not is getting the multitude of basic things right on a consistent basis.

Just a moment of reflection on your own experiences will reveal your favorite businesses — the ones you frequent often and enthusiastically tell others about — are those that consistently go the extra mile to provide you with happy and satisfied feelings.

Companies that make it their business to foster happiness in their customers are the most enlightened and successful of all.

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Do You Invest in Your Team’s Growth and Development? - Business Times Column #126

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

All staffs are comprised of people with varying levels of knowledge, skills and attitudes. As the team goes, so goes the business. For any company to grow and generate success for everyone involved, its people must also grow and develop their potential.

When personal and professional growth and development is lacking, people become limited by old ways of thinking and behaving. This hinders their ability to effectively handle reality. Greater happiness and success aren’t achieved because people continue to operate as they always have, especially in the face of changing circumstances.

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Just One "Bad Apple" Can Hurt Your Business Culture - Business Times Column #125

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

You’ve likely heard the saying, “Hire for skills and fire for attitude.” Simply put, this means bad attitudes far outweigh the skills people bring to their positions. Failing to take action puts companies at risk.

The typical business has a number of skilled team members, many with decent and even great attitudes. These individuals come to work, perform their jobs to a satisfactory level or above and contribute to the work environment in mostly positive ways. But what about those team members who, even though they have the skills to do their jobs, constitute a drag on the culture and, therefore, the business itself? Chances are, you’re thinking of these people right now.

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