Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Knowing the answers

Knowing the answer to a question is nice, but it's only valuable if that answer is acted on. If the person who knows what to do, doesn't do it, what does it matter that they know the answer?

An assumption I used to make was that if something wasn't happening as I expected, then I needed to make sure the person responsible understood the big picture or even the small picture of why it was important. You know what I found out? Most of the time, that person fully understood what was important and why it was expected. They just didn't do it...

So what do you do? Well, I pondered that and of course the usual answers were to take aggressive action (a warning for example) or remove the person from the position or to just give up. I'd guess these are what happen 99% of the time.

There is another approach if the previous answers are not appropriate: You just change the game. You no longer allow that action (or inaction) to take place—it's just not an option. That can be accomplished by eliminating, for instance, the person's authority to make certain decisions alone or it could be a checks and balances system that detects early on if something is off kilter and stops everything until it is solved correctly. Over time, the person learns—either that he or she can't cut it or that a bad decision is a lot worse (and harder) than doing the right thing. And it ceases to be a personal thing; there's no emotion. It's pretty simple actually.

No matter the solution, if we remove the power or temptation to take the wrong actions, we might just have a better answer.

Barry LaBov
LABOV Marketing Communications and Training

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


An under-utilized concept in business is "fair." Too often we do what's fair for the customer, but not the company or vice versa. Yet, it's very simple to realize that fair must be truly fair to all.

If we undercharge for our value, over time we will devalue what we provide. It's human nature. If a customer, on the other hand is charged too much for what we deliver, in short order, that arrangement will end.

Instead we have to strive to be fair to ourselves, our company, our team, our family, our client and their customers. That seldom means cutting corners, over-charging, doing the minimum, being nice or being mean.

It simply means delivering what the client really needs at a price that fits that value and inspires you and the client to continue the arrangement. Sound fair?

Barry LaBov
LABOV Marketing Communications and Training

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Recognition is critical in all kinds of relationships. In business, it usually means a person is called out for a good performance in front of the company or they get a promotion.

The most meaningful kind of recognition is the kind that is not very public, not very formal and seldom ends up with a new title or salary.

It's the day-to-day acknowledgment of what a person is really good at. It requires an interruption of whatever is going on and actually stopping and remarking on that. Much of the time this doesn't happen because it's a hassle or seems unneeded.

But it is needed. It will change an underutilized person into a star or an insecure person into a confident one.

Recognize, see what a person just did well or always does well. After you do it, see if it really was a waste. I'm betting you'll recognize it wasn't.

Barry LaBov
LABOV Marketing Communications and Training