The MHC Blog

Powerful Business Insights for Succesful Leaders
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Accountability - Why all the fuss?

I chose to write this piece now as I wanted to share my  findings where, over the years,  I have discovered a growing epidemic of the lack of Accountability within senior teams in business.

The word accountability is often over used and misunderstood and many a time I will ask the CEO if she / he has an issue with accountability in their business and the immediate reply is along the lines of –

“Oh no, we don’t have a problem with accountability here”

Then after a few probing questions it is very clear that actually it is probably one of the main areas that needs improvement.

I have found that there are 2 main aspects to Accountability that require attention:

  1. Holding Yourself Accountable &
  2. Holding Others Accountable

Both of which have huge benefits and because of this great return, tends to be challenging to implement. As I often say, “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it!”

Accountability essentially means 'the ability to hold yourself to account' that basically means 'the buck stops with you'.

So, let’s take a closer look at why being able to hold yourself and others to account is important and some tips on how to improve your score (also see below for more details of how you can measure this with our questionnaire)

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Making the Most of Your Time: 5 Productivity Tips Top Coaches Live By

It’s not enough to dream of success. It’s not even enough to set goals.

The only way to truly achieve your dreams and build the business you’re meant to build is to sit down and just do it.

And that’s where many of us…well, fail is a strong word. But it’s the doing that trips us up more times than not.

We overbook our calendars until today’s to-dos become next week’s past dues. We procrastinate on the things that are important while attending to things that are merely “nice to do.” And sometimes we simply take on too much—even when we know better.

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Why do we need a BHAG?

In his book “Good to Great”, Jim Collins’ research found that all great companies had developed and pursued a goal through time that was so challenging they might not know how they would accomplish it when they first set out, it was likely to be thought as impossible by anyone outside the Company, but was internally regarded as completely possible.  Jim Collins called this goal a “Big Hairy Audacious Goal” or BHAG for short.

To have an exciting and achievable plan - either personal or business - you need to identify a BHAG. Something so inspirational that you (if this is a personal plan) or your Employees (for a Company plan) can get fired up over.  Something that gets the juices flowing, something challenging and yet fulfilling and totally possible if you put everything behind it.

 

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2017 – the last push!

Wow, where did 2017 go!  Has it whizzed past you at speed as it has us? 

Here we are at the beginning of November, and there are only 8 business weeks of the year left.  If you assume the “Festive Season” celebrations will put a stop to business for approximately 2 weeks, then in reality we have only 6 weeks left to achieve our business plan targets and cross the finish line.

So how are you doing?  

If at this point you are reaching into your bottom drawer and blowing off the dust that settled over the business plan you sweated blood and many hours over at the end of 2016 to write, then it’s likely that you have deviated away from your plan and have spent much of this year chasing targets and work that haven’t in any way moved you forward to your achieving the overall target.

If this is you, don’t despair, there are still a few weeks left to crack the essentials of the plan and see some positive steps forward.

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When should you engage a coach?

How many of us have tried to diet or improve our fitness by ourselves?  We know we need to make some changes in our health, but are lost to know what we are doing wrong and how to put these things right. So, we join a gym or buy organic, but are often left out of pocket financially and still the same weight and still chowing down on fast food!

We start with great intensions, complete online research to the foods to avoid and those we need to eat, and may even have seen some great results at the beginning, but walking past fast food outlets becomes impossible after a few weeks – one burger and chips won’t hurt will it?  And were back on the slippery slope heading back to our bad habits and our results start show our lack of focus.

 

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Making the impossible possible!

The UK Environmental Minister, Michael Gove, recently announced that Briton will ban all new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2040 amid fears that rising levels of nitrogen oxide pose a major risk to public health.  23 years sounds a long time away, but the move to electric cars and vans will take many years to achieve. 

Car Companies need to move forward on electric innovation and the development of technology, charging stations need to be incorporated into the landscape and finally the population mentality needs to change in line with the Governments vision.    Electric cars currently account for less than 5 percent of new car registrations in Britain, with drivers concerned about the cost and limited availability of charging points and manufacturers worried about making expensive investments before the demand is there.  The statement from the Government was therefore a huge step towards the protection of the environment.

What is important here is that the UK have announced a date and committed to significant change in mindset.  By doing this they are already half way there to making it happen. Without the vision and commitment, then big, life changing events do not happen. Who can forget John F Kennedy’s famous 1961 speech “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth”, by committing to this achievement both financially and verbally, man landed on the moon in 1969 with the eyes of the world watching.

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Why it's important to be clear as a leader

Say what you mean

I watched with interest the James Comey meeting with the Senate Intelligence Committee.  Highly interesting on many levels and I am sure this is not the last we have heard about the situation.  The main learning I took from the meeting is that Leaders need to be clear when giving instructions or making a request.  Much of the meeting with the Committee seemed to be based around the phrase “that’s what I took him to mean”. 

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The Leadership Gap and Why Baby Boomers Need to Step Up

It’s a fact: Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 – 1964) are retiring at a greater rate than ever. Many, like myself, had to delay their departure from corporate life due to the recent recession but are now making up for lost time by finding alternative ways to make up their retirement pot deficit to live the life they have dreamed of for years.

They are doing this by creating lifestyle businesses of their own, increasingly online, where they can utilise the actual technology that was one of the reasons for their decline in face to face communication and hence engagement within company cultures over the past 20 years.

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4 Reasons You Should Use a Business Coach to Get Results

Business coaching is a modern day concept. Many businesses, especially those that think outside the box, are recognizing that having a business coach is a powerful tool that your business can take advantage of. Let’s look at 4 reasons you should use a business coach.

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Employing Across Generations

At MHC Consulting, we work with Companies of all sizes and industries.  In our experience, regardless of Company size, when we first speak to clients to ascertain their business pain points, the main issue we hear is "people" – finding, attracting, hiring, retaining and dealing with poor performers.  The frustrations currently seem to be pointing at "just how do you manage millenials in the workplace?", a question we are frequently being asked and a challange that Generation X is struggling with.

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Will Your Business Benefit from a Business Coach?

The economy goes up and down. Right now, it’s difficult to predict next months results, let alone next years. Managing your costs is important to your growth and survival, and when the economy is performing sporadically, it is even more of a challenge. Experts say that 58% of companies have a shortfall in leadersand many companies are actually cutting their development budget as part of their cost cutting measures.

Before you make that cut, you might want to think long and hard about whether that’s the right choice for your business. When you take development away from the executives, it can be detrimental. Leading is actually special skill. A key leader can find a business coach a very helpful tool to navigate through the storm and continue to grow and prosper.

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How to Source A-Player talent

Recruitment takes time and can cost a Company money - the price of getting recruitment wrong is reported to be 15 times the bad hires annual salary!

To quote Anne Mulcahy “Employees are a Company’s biggest asset, they’re your competitive advantage.  You want to attract and retain the best, provide them with encouragement, stimulus and make them feel that they are an integral part of the Company’s mission”.

The trick is sourcing talented A Players to join your team ideally with the required level of qualifications and experience. Companies need to recruit for their culture first and skills second, recognising that by offering training to get the employee up to speed technically they will attract A Players to their Company.

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Mars 2117, now that's what we call a bhag!

We encourage our clients to have a clear vision of the future that can be articulated clearly for all their teams to align around. After all as Jim Collins wrote, getting things done in business is 1% strategy and 99% alignment. 

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How an Outsourced HR Director is Great for Profits!

 

Meet Claire Donnelly, a solid HR Consultant with over 30 years experience in the profession.  In her words, there isn't a HR problem she hasn't seen before.  She is the Co-founder of MHC Consulting who's mission is to give business owners back their freedom and allow them to grow their team and business in a sustainable, manageable and more enjoyable way.
Claire takes on the role of an outsourced HR Director for many business owners.  On behalf of a client she will get involved in the HR operations of a business and help the business owner make the right decision so that all HR decisions are cost efficient to the business and have a positive effect on the health of the business.  As she says in the episode HR does affect a company's Profit and Loss Accounts.
Listen to the podcast: 
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Four Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your Leadership Skills

 The transition from employee to business owner is a liberating one filled with freedom and excitement. However, it can also be a difficult one. Shifting from a single area of expertise to working and leading across many disciplines often falls outside the comfort zone for many.

In the early stages, you cope – yes, there’s a lot to do but fuelled by passion, you’re happy to work harder than you have ever done before and the learning will be hard but deeply satisfying.

But what happens when you start to scale up? What happens when the sheer volume of work becomes too much and you become responsible for a team?

This is where good leadership (and delegation) skills are invaluable and you move from being a business owner to a business leader. I have helped many clients develop the skill set required for this process and often a mental shift is required for this to be successful. Here are some of the most important tips to help you develop into a great leader.

FREE leadership Profile

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