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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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Could Your Business Use Some Purpose? - Business Times Column #124

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

A shared purpose constitutes a powerful starting point to a more enlivened, satisfying and successful business operation. Purpose is not what a company does or even how it does it. A clearly defined purpose is a statement of why a company and its team do what they do day in and day out. It’s their reason for being.

Today, businesses across the nation and around the world will conduct operations, serve customers, generate revenues and earn profits — or not. Tomorrow, these same companies and their teams will do it all over again. There’s a real difference, however, between those businesses that simply go through the motions and the exceptional ones that are fueled by purpose and engage customers with passion, intention, enthusiasm and integrity. It’s a difference with a lasting effect on customer satisfaction and the bottom line.

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Have You Mastered the Art of Delegation? - Business Times Column #123

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

A critical step in creating greater happiness and success in business is learning to delegate effectively so everyone involved is empowered to do more and be more.

As a business owner, you have two options: Have you merely created a job for yourself or are you truly leading your company? There’s a distinct difference. In the first situation, you’re doing daily tasks that easily could be handled by your fellow management and team members, tasks that consume precious time to be the visionary, innovator and leader of your business.

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How Smoothly Would Your Business Run Without You? - Business Times Column #122

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Most business owners start their ventures to create greater wealth, freedom and happiness — to control their own destinies. They dream of achieving financial, professional and personal independence and use this to travel, relax, give back and enjoy their lives as much as possible.

Many owners never fully realize their dreams even if their businesses generate financial abundance simply because they lack the mindset, people and processes to make it possible. A number of key factors contribute to the inability of a business to operate smoothly without the owner’s constant presence. Understanding these factors and making the necessary adjustments will position you to achieve your dreams.

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Do Personal Issues Sabotage Your Customer Service? - Business Times Column #121

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Chances are, you’ve endured an unsavory experience as a consumer. You’ve been treated poorly during the course of a business transaction and likely more than once.

Now consider: Did these experiences interrupt the pleasant flow of your day? Did you receive the value you were looking for? How did they make you feel? Were you inclined to never do business with that company or those people again? Did you tell others about your experiences?

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Are You Hiring Top Performers In Your Business? - Business Times Column #120

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Every business I work with has at some point experienced challenging and unpleasant issues with its team members. A reality for every business is the potential for individuals to interrupt the smooth and effective operation of the company and harm the work environment.

Team members of this caliber typically don’t handle themselves or their positions well. They have negative attitudes, are difficult to communicate with and consistently have complaints and personal issues. They also could lack the necessary skills and attributes; resist learning and change; and, due to one or more of these factors, create a drag on the culture and success of the entire organization.

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What Internal Barriers Limit Your Business Success? - Business Times Column #119

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

If you’re like most business owners and managers, you strive to keep operations running smoothly and efficiently with as few interruptions to the flow of business as possible. But as you work to prevent or remove any blockages that limit your success and happiness, there are a number of key variables to keep in mind.

Barriers or blockages to business success come in many forms: ineffective systems and procedures, poor customer service, inconsistent quality and team members who lack the skills and behaviors necessary to communicate effectively. There are also

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