What Business Are You Really In? Grace Hearth Knows

Grace Hearth

Is it possible to earn a living, have fun and make a difference in the world? Jocelyn Jackson and Keri Keifer have figured out how.

Their business Grace Hearth might be considered a catering company – they cater all sizes of events, from weddings and meetings to small social gatherings.

But the first time I saw their video, I quickly realized they were in the same business I am – building community – only through food instead of facilitating dialogue.

Grace Hearth provides food for all types of occasions, but as Jocelyn and Keri explain in their video, they are actually in the “nourishing business.”

I was so excited after watching this video, I had to interview the owners to learn more about . . . → Read More: What Business Are You Really In? Grace Hearth Knows

How To Write a Mission Statement in 5 Steps

How to write a mission statement

A mission statement is a brief statement that explains your reason for existence – what you want to accomplish. It describes the end result; not how you will achieve it. It answers the question “why?” Your strategies and goals will answer the question “how?”

Step 1: Determine why you want to write a mission statement. Circle the answer below:

You think you’re supposed to have one. You want to use it for marketing to attract customers. You want to use it to guide how you treat employees and customers. You want to use it to provide focus for daily activities and to communicate to employees and customers what your business is.

Step 2: This next step corresponds with your selection in Step 1.

. . . → Read More: How To Write a Mission Statement in 5 Steps

Create a Vision With Staying Power

An Effective Vision Does More Than Simply Show Where You’re Going    

“Vision” is one of the most commonly used and most widely misunderstood terms. There’s a tremendous amount of power in a vision. But unfortunately when the term is not used or understood correctly, we lose out on the opportunity to access the power.

Consider the Apollo Moon Project. It was amazing. They overcame seemingly insurmountable obstacles. When President Kennedy articulated the vision to put a man on the moon by 1969, the technology to accomplish it had not even been invented. An exciting decade of focused, Herculean efforts ended in 1969 when two men walked on the moon and returned safely home. It was amazing! …and then it was . . . → Read More: Create a Vision With Staying Power

Leadership Drift – How to Recognize It And What to Do About It

Leadership Drift

Are you on track with where you want to go? You might have heard about team drift, but what about you as a leader? Is it possible you’ve drifted without realizing it?

Why Leadership Drift Occurs

A huge external shift

Sometimes we are thrown off track because of a sudden change in our world such as an earthquake, hurricane or an illness.

Anthony had just started his own business when his wife was diagnosed with cancer. Realizing he needed to be able to devote more attention to take care of his wife and children during this period, he put his new business on hold and returned to his previous corporate job. Years later, long after his wife had regained full health, he was still . . . → Read More: Leadership Drift – How to Recognize It And What You Can Do About It

How to Identify Your Team or Organization’s Purpose

The window shade company was struggling. Mary, a business consultant, asked the owner, “What business are you really in?”

The owner replied, condescendingly, “The window shade business, Mary.” Thinking to himself this conversation was a waste of time.

But undaunted, Mary asked again, “When someone walks into your store, why do they want a window shade? What are you really selling?”

That caused the owner to pause a moment. Why does someone want a window shade?

“Well, to control light.” He thought a moment longer and added, “They also want privacy.”

It dawned on him, “We’re in the light-control and privacy business! – not the window shade business.”

His realization opened the door to new possibilities that saved his store.

The year was 1920. Venetian . . . → Read More: How to Identify Your Team or Organization’s Purpose

A Big Goal Is Not The Same As a Vision

When you have a vision, you know where you want to go and you can see your next steps – but you won’t be able to see the entire path.

Vision is not about the path, it’s about the destination. As you take each step, the next step becomes clear as long as you stay focused on your vision.

You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step. ..~Martin Luther King, Jr.

Goals are important.

Goals quantify and define the steps you must take. They are the signposts that let you know you are moving in the right direction. They are measurable and answer questions like When? and How much? (rather than Why? which is addressed by . . . → Read More: A Big Goal Is Not The Same As a Vision

Characteristics of an Effective Vision: Create a DRIVING Vision

In Full Steam Ahead! Unleash the Power of Vision, we provide this definition of vision:

“Vision is knowing who you are, where you’re going, and what will guide the journey.” – Ken Blanchard and Jesse Lyn Stoner

A much earlier definition I wrote is quoted by Zig Ziglar in Over the Top:

“A vision is a clearly-articulated, results-oriented picture of a future you intend to create. It is a dream with direction.” – Jesse Stoner-Zemel

Both definitions are accurate, but to more fully explain the characteristics of an effective vision – a vision that drives commitment and direction – I use the acronym DRIVING. It helps avoid ending up with something that is so vague or lofty, it has no meaning. . . . → Read More: Characteristics of an Effective Vision: Create a DRIVING Vision

No More Boring Meetings, Please!

I spent my 50th birthday at the most boring meeting of my life. At one point I had to pinch myself under the table to keep from falling asleep. I’ve attended a lot of meetings that are a waste of time – it’s part of my job. (I help teams improve their performance and often observe to understand their issues before I intervene). However, I must say this was the most boring meeting of my career.

I was observing a four-hour team meeting of the company’s president and his eight direct reports. Sitting around a table, one at a time each person reported what was happening in his or her area. The president asked questions. The others listened until it was their turn. There was . . . → Read More: No More Boring Meetings, Please!

Manage the Mid-Space or Your Vision Will Fail

“Our company had a big meeting a few weeks ago where the president laid out his vision. It means big changes and a lot of us were skeptical about it. But I have to say that by the end of his presentation, he had us all sold. It was pretty impressive.”

Frank had introduced himself during a break at a conference where I was speaking last week.

“Very impressive,” I responded. “What’s going to happen next?”

“I’m in charge of the eastern sales force. Part of the vision requires moving our sales force away from the corporate headquarters and closer to the properties we own so they can be close to our customer base. We have major properties in eight cities in my region, so . . . → Read More: Manage the Mid-Space or Your Vision Will Fail