Isaac Ludlow Series Part 6: The keys to a winning team

Do you ever wish your team functioned like the All Blacks, but in reality it feels more like running a childcare centre for grownups?

A business owner I was chatting to last week described their workplace like that. This paints a terrible picture, but if you’ve been in charge of a team, chances are you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.

thumbsupWhat do you think it’s costing your business when your team isn’t as productive as their capabilities suggest they should be?

Today we are going to have a look at the keys to a winning team. Building a good strong team, whether it’s a sports team or in business is pretty simple and there are six fundamental keys you need to have in place as you build the team.

To get your team looking less like a madhouse and more like the All Blacks, let’s start at the top.

1. Strong leadership

stevejobsThe first key is to have strong leadership. And take note, it’s not just any kind of leadership, it’s strong leadership. Too often management is done well, but strong leadership is really a game changer. As a strong leader, you must know where you’re going, be able to articulate this clearly and with a passion so that others are engaged in the idea and inspired. You need to have confidence and determination to hold firm to strong principles even when the going gets tough. The strength of the leader is of vital importance to make sure that the team wins. 

2. Common goal

Any team coming together needs to have a common goal that pulls them all in the same direction. This must be a common goal that everybody knows and that everyone can relate to. It shouldn’t just be to make a million dollars for the company – there must be a benefit in it for everybody. Imagine everyone is silently asking: “What’s in it for me?”.  

commongoalbridgeAs a quick check, do you think if you asked everyone in your business to tell you what the common goal is, that they would all be able to tell you without hesitation? And if so, are they excited about it.

3. Rules of the game

fieldimageAs leaders, we need to have the rules of the game really clear –  written down and upfront. If you have unwritten rules and leave people to work them out themselves – they’re going to step on people’s toes and possibly go over the lines at times. On top of that, they have to learn things the hard way, and the reality is, that doesn’t make it a good experience for anyone. This applies to people new to your team as well as those that are already in the company. The set of rules needs to be in writing so that there’s no scope for misunderstandings.

4. Action plan

actionplanWho does what by when?  We’ve got to know who’s doing what job, when it will be completed and how it’s going to be done. Too often there is a plan, but it’s not an action plan, meaning that it doesn’t say who’s doing what by when.  Every company that works with a coach will be making a plan every 90 days.

Having an action plan makes a team far easier to manage and lead, and not only that, it gives the team members the opportunity to do their best job. This is because they know what they’re doing, how they’re doing it and when they need to get it done.

5. Support risk taking

tightropeIf team members aren’t making mistakes, then they’re not trying anything new. The fact is that to grow a company, you have to try new things. You need to support your team members to try things they haven’t done before. When something goes wrong… and it will, you need to say “well done for trying!”. Ensure that the lesson is learnt, and that next time the right actions will be taken. Make certain that you are supporting your team when they try new things, supporting them when they take risks – that doesn’t mean to be crazy about it, but be reasonable about making sure they are trying new things.

6. 100% Involvement and Inclusion

handsinIf you want a winning team, you need to have 100% of the people involved and participating in what’s going on. Get everyone feeling involved, and ensure that there’s a culture where team members feel valued, feel listened to, and feel they can make a difference. Too often there are some people working hard, some doing some of the work, and some slowing others down. It’s like a rowing team , if everyone isn’t strongly rowing in the same direction, then they’re slowing everyone else down. It’s the job of the leader and manager to include everybody. It’s the job of the team member to involve themselves in all situations.  

To sum it up:

Make sure team members:

  • Are involved and including themselves.
  • Are supported when they step out of their comfort zone and try something new.
  • Have an action plan to follow.
  • Know the rules of the game.
  • Have a meaningful goal.
  • Are led by a strong decisive leader to take them to the position where the company needs to go.

teamThe keys to a winning team are simple, but they’re not easy. You’ve got to work very hard to get these things in place. Leadership comes with time, experience and learning and you’re going to have to grow in it to build a good team.

If having a successful team is important to you then please get in touch with Isaac at isaacludlow@actioncoach.com or 027 548 3302 who can work with you to achieve your goals.

Extra for experts:

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team book is highly recommended reading.

You can find it here at:  https://www.bookdepository.com/Five-Dysfunctions-Team-Patrick-M-Lencioni/9780787960759

Isaac Ludlow Series Part 5: Personality types within your team

Hey guys, just wanted to have a bit of a chat today about the different personality types out there, and how understanding the basics of them can really benefit your team.

Some people are naturally well organised, some people are awesome at connecting with people, some people are insanely good at getting things done quickly and some are very loyal and consistent day in and day out.

People with different personality types need different things from their team in order to help them feel good and to want to perform well. The reality is, if you want to grow your business, you’ll need to build a strong team. When you know what people need in order to perform, it means that you can help them succeed.

It also helps you to understand and predict what areas they will work well in and what areas they will struggle in. When you start to understand personality types, you will have the tools you need to see how your people work and put them in roles that help them be happy and perform well.  You will also better understand how to address issues when things aren’t going well and get your team on track and staying productive.

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So, where do you start?

If seeing your team functioning well is important to you, then I’d like to suggest a couple of options for you to see the results you’re after.

  1. Firstly, click on this link for a free download of more detailed descriptions of the personality types. It describes how each personality type is likely to behave: under pressure, as an employee, in general interaction, and as a business owner. The model also describes how to sell to each personality type and what things they can work on to help them succeed.
  2. Following on from this, If you would like some individual help for your team or a comprehensive report for each person on your team then get in touch with me directly so I can arrange that for you.

Here is a reminder of the DISC personality type profile. Once again, head to this link to get familiar with a more detailed description of each of these personality types.

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That’s all from me this week! In the next article, you’ll get some more awesome tips for having a happy and productive team.

Isaac Ludlow

Business Coach
ActionCOACH 
The World’s #1 Business Coaching Firm
Hamilton, New Zealand
Mobile: +64 27 548 3302

If you have specific team issues you would like to talk directly with Isaac about then flick an email to Isaacludlow@actioncoach.com

Isaac Ludlow Series Part 4: Personality Types

Hey guys, today I wanted to have a chat about how to sell effectively to the different kinds of personalities out there. Put very simply, there are four main personalities you will be dealing with. If you speak their language well, they’re a whole lot more likely to buy from you. If you don’t, you’re going to miss out. 

The four main personality types within the DISC profile are Dominant, Influencer, Steady, and Compliant.

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Dominant personality types like action, quick decisions, and winning. They are good at getting results. When dealing with them, get straight to the point, don’t beat around the bush or mince your words…  they’ll respect you for that. They usually love a good haggle, so bargain hard and stand your ground so they can see what you’re made of.

Influencers want to be liked and connect with people and have fun. They are good at connecting with people and inspiring good ideas. Have a good laugh with them, give them lots of compliments and tell them honestly what you think is awesome about them and their life. If they like you and believe that you like them, they will be a whole lot more likely to buy from you.

The Steady people like to feel safe and secure, so they prefer to stick with what’s tried and true. They are good at being a loyal friend and helping people avoid pain in life. They are more cautious and enjoy taking their time to make decisions. They want assurance that everything will be sorted out and they will be looked after. Ask them what’s important to them and listen carefully.  Give them time and space to process their decisions. Try and tell real-life stories about why you have confidence in certain products and systems.

The high Compliance people are the details people. They’ll want to do their research, ask lots of questions, do more research, and come back with more questions. Try and provide the facts about why you have confidence in certain products and systems.

Understanding these four personality types is essential for your selling skills. Below is the DISC Profile which outlines the common attributes associated with the four main personality types.

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By the way, it’s also incredibly helpful to understand personality types when working with your team and getting every player on the team functioning well.

Next article we will have a look into team skills, and how to get your team performing based on their personality and strengths.


Extra for experts:

Screen Shot 2018-11-27 at 12.17.29 PMCheck out this TED Talk for some more insight into personality and the role it plays in business. You’ll recognise the Dominant is referred to as Fiery Red, the Influencer is referred to as Sunshine Yellow, the Steady is referred to as the Earth Green and the Compliant personality is referred to as the Cool Blue.

Isaac Ludlow

Business Coach
ActionCOACH 
The World’s #1 Business Coaching Firm
Hamilton, New Zealand
Mobile: +64 27 548 3302

Isaac Ludlow Series Part 3: Sales, Trust and Customer Rapport

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Hey guys,

Are you wanting more quality customers? Here’s a tip to get more prospects to like and trust you – because, at the end of the day, people buy from people they like and trust.

To get them to like you – Well let’s be honest, if you haven’t worked out how to get people to like you and you’re in a business selling your services to people, you’re in trouble.

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Basically, getting people to like you is about liking yourself first and being confident in who you are, appreciating who they are and building some rapport – having common interests and having a few laughs.

Now let’s have a chat about building trust.
One of the quickest ways to build trust is by asking questions that find out what’s really important to them. This might sound pretty weird if you’re not used to doing this, but trust me, it works like magic and it will boost your sales. Let me explain.

Let’s say, for example, you’re chatting to a growing family and their house is pretty small, so they’re interested in extending it. They’re keen to build, but they’ve heard a few construction horror stories and they are nervous about cost overruns and bad communication.

You might be the best builder in the world and have the proof, but if you don’t address these concerns then it’s fairly likely that they will still be hesitant to buy from you. Here are some examples of a few questions that will go a long way towards building customer trust:

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  • Start by asking: Just so I can help you best, is it ok if I ask you a few questions?
  • What’s frustrating you about your current situation?
  • What ideas have you had so far?
  • How important is it to you that you know the total costs of the job before we start?
  • How important is it to you that the team is warm and friendly?
  • How important is it to you that the team leaves the site tidy?
  • How important is it to you that you’re kept up to date with how things are going throughout the whole project and there is one person that you can call with any questions?
  • What else is important to you when you’re choosing which building company to work with?

Those kinds of questions find out the person’s values and expectations and this will go a long way to building trust.

Now here’s the icing on the cake…cakephoto
Once you’ve finished your questions, finish with a statement like this:
“Just to clarify that I’ve heard you correctly; it sounds like you’re frustrated with the lack of space in your current home and you want a house that feels spacious and everyone has their own room. You want to know all the costs up front before we start, you want to feel respected and have good communication throughout the project and you want one key person to talk to that will keep you updated and answer any questions you have. Have I heard you correctly?”.

If they say yes to that question, then you’ll probably see them physically relax and their level of trust for you will go through the roof.

When you walk out the door, they will probably say to each other something like: “I feel like that guy really gets us”.

Make sure you take action and implement these proven business tips.

If you’re stuck for some good questions to ask or want to chat about how to improve this area of your sales process then please flick through a quick email to isaacludlow@actioncoach.com

Coming up in the next edition, we’ll have a chat about how to recognise the four main types of personalities to help you understand both your behaviour and that of others, as well as some tips on how to sell to and work with each of them.

Isaac Ludlow

Business Coach
ActionCOACH 
The World’s #1 Business Coaching Firm
Hamilton, New Zealand
Mobile: +64 27 548 3302

Isaac Ludlow Series Part 2: Using Time Management Tools

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Hey builders,

Just wanted to have a bit more of a chat about some time management tools.

What would happen to your income if you were 30% more productive?

In the last newsletter you were given a tool that can make you 30% more productive. I wanted to check in to see if you are using this tool to plan your day in advance.

The reason I wanted to check in is that it is one of those tools that people can understand how effective it will be, but when you’re feeling snowed under you might feel too busy to implement the new habit – just like the woodcutter who was feeling too busy to sharpen his saw.

It’s pretty normal for people to stick with their old habits unless they can really see the benefit of the new habit and the pain caused by not changing.

So let’s run this scenario:  You start using the tool, but because you’re new to it you only become 10% more productive.  This could mean 10% more profit, or 10% more future growth or you get home an hour earlier each day to spend more time with your family.  How would that make you feel?

What about if you don’t use the tool and things stay the way they are.  What will it cost you over the year to have 10% less profit, or 10% less growth or an hour less each day with your family than you could have had? Is it worth throwing away these benefits just to avoid changing a habit?

If you have been using the day planner from last week, send a photo of it through to isaacludlow@actioncoach.com and you’ll go into the draw to win a free business assessment and strategy session worth $299!


What is one hour of your time worth?

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One of the best ways to use your time well is to put a dollar value on it. To work this out, just use your hourly rate, or divide the dollars you earn by the hours you work. This will give you a figure for how valuable your time is for each hour.

Let’s say for example it’s $50, then you can weigh up whether a distraction or a task was worth your time investment. If a mate calls you and you end up chatting for half an hour, then your call has just cost you $25.  Was that a good investment, or could that have been done in your personal time?

What about if you forget something and have to shoot back to the supplier.  If it’s an hour round trip, then it’s just cost you $50 extra on that job. Is it worth sending the apprentice instead, or is it worth having a checklist or shopping list to make sure you get everything you need the first time?


Additionally, sign up for a FREE time management seminar to ramp up your efficiency! TimeRICH is packed with helpful tools to really get on top of your productivity.

TimeRICH Seminar

If you would appreciate knowing when the next free time management seminar is in your area, please email isaacludlow@actioncoach.com with “TimeRICH Info please” in the subject line.

We all have the same number of hours in the day, our success is dependent on how we manage our self during the time we have.

Isaac Ludlow
Business Coach
ActionCOACH 
The World’s #1 Business Coaching Firm
Hamilton, New Zealand
Mobile: +64 27 548 3302

 

Isaac Ludlow Series Part 1: Time Management

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Hey Builders,

I just wanted to say congratulations on choosing the building industry.  It’s a rewarding industry when it’s going well and it’s also a school of hard knocks.  So, well done for choosing it, and well done for sticking at it.

Today I just wanted to chat a bit about a couple of very useful time management tools.  As builders, you’ve got a constant list of things to do:  You’ve got quoting, you’ve got project management, you’ve got a bundle of issues to resolve as they come up, people to manage, and issues that clients have

As the business owner, it’s really important that you are getting your head into the business owner’s role.  That means focusing on growing your business and taking it in the direction that you have intended for your business.  That’s a constant challenge, because there is a whirlwind of things going on around you that can distract you.  It takes some grit and determination to get your head into the business owner’s space.

Let me explain what I mean by the business owner’s space: this is where you are doing the tasks or roles that return the most money or add the most value for the future of your business – like putting systems in place, or working on marketing and sales to bring in more clients.

As a coach my goal is to get you – the owner – spending your time doing the things that add the most value to your business and doing the things you enjoy the most.

As an example: some building company owners still do their own accounts even though it is a task they dread.  You can probably pay someone about $20 per hour to do this, while you could be doing other activities worth $50 or more to your business.  Obviously it takes a bit of work to train the new person and you’ll need to trust them, which can be hard to do when you first start out.  Keep in mind that getting the right people in the right roles is going to expand your business.

Business tool #1

Skill-Fun Matrix Crop

In the table above, have a think about which of the tasks you are currently doing that fit in the bottom left of the table with low enjoyment and low skill that give you a low return.  Look for ways to delegate those tasks and spend more of your time as the business owner in the high enjoyment and high skill tasks that give you the best return.

Business tool #2

Here is another tool I’d like to share that many business owners have said improves their productivity by up to 30%:

You may find that you have days where you arrive at work, check your emails, then you end up spending the entire day resolving issues.  It might feel like you’re chasing your tail.

This tool helps with that.
[Click on this link to access a template]

PlannerHere’s how to use it:

  • Make a list at the end of each work day for what you need to get done tomorrow.  There might be 10-15 things on there.
  • Go through and rate them as high, medium or low priority and approximately how many hours it might take.
  • Have a look and see which tasks you can delegate to your team if possible.
  • Choose your high priority tasks and put them into your planner for the next day.

Once they have been planned in, tick the planned column.  If there is any time left, look at your medium priorities and put them in too.  You possibly won’t get to the low priority tasks and that is okay – The box in the top right is to write your top 6 priority tasks for the day, in order of importance, to help keep you focused.

The reason this works so well is that your next day is planned out. This means that, when you leave work, you can let go of those tasks running around in your head – because they are planned in.  It also means that when you get to work the next day, there’s no wondering about what to do first, you can just get straight into it.  Surveys, and my clients, have found that just by doing these simple steps you can be 30% more productive.

Unfortunately, no matter how well you’ve planned, there will still be days that will be crazy and things will go wrong.

The exceptions will happen, especially in the construction industry, but planning your day in advance and focusing your time on the areas that will grow your business, and that you enjoy the most, will give you a huge advantage.

Well done guys.  Look forward to catching up again in RaveBuild’s  next newsletter.

Isaac Ludlow
Business Coach
ActionCOACH 
The World’s #1 Business Coaching Firm
Hamilton, New Zealand
Mobile: +64 27 548 3302

www.isaacludlow.actioncoach.com

 

Manage your crew with ease

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A team cannot be successful if they do not communicate with one another. Whether it be sports teams or your team of workers and subcontractors, this is incredibly true. However, it’s a lot more difficult to reach your crew when they are all in various locations than it is to simply shout to a teammate from across a pitch, right? At RaveBuild, we understand this problem and make it easy for you to work with your crew and subcontractors when you’re not within shouting distance.

As with the other features of our software, it begins in the cloud. By having everyone on board with the RaveBuild app, they can receive messages and notifications in real time whether they be at their desks, or on a job. Our task messaging tool allows them to easily communicate any issues to you, with the option of uploading photos or documents as well.

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Our software also reduces the need to chase subcontractors around, trying to figure out their hours. Thanks to our easy to use time sheet feature, subcontractors and team members can easily log on to a job and mark what time they began and completed their work for the day. Our software will then keep track of the time they worked. No need for constant phone calls or disputes over how much someone worked, simply enter it into the time sheet, and RaveBuild tracks it all.

Also, getting to the time sheet page is a breeze! Just click on the drop-down menu in the top right corner, and select the “Timesheets” option. It’s that easy! From there, simply choose to add a new entry, enter your times, what you were doing, and any comments you have, and you’re done.

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To learn more about our most recent changes and updates, check out the “Technical Updates” tab on our blog, or visit http://ravebuild.co.nz/ to get in touch with us!

 

Manage your schedule like a pro with RaveBuild

Life in the construction industry is fast moving and frequently changing, and trying to keep a schedule up to date and actually follow it is a job in itself. Things get delayed, issues arise, and people have to cancel. Unfortunately, that’s just part of the process, and every time it happens, you may find it affecting your entire upcoming schedule. Luckily, RaveBuild can help combat these issues and keep things running smoothly!

7dschedThe first thing you will see when logging in to your RaveBuild account is your 7-Day Schedule, located on the right side of the page. This is exactly what it says it is, and gives you an idea of what tasks need to be accomplished throughout the upcoming week.

Each task is colour coded, appointments are coded in red, and scheduled tasks or follow-ups to be completed are coded blue. One fantastic feature of our schedule, is the ability to click on individual tasks, and mark them as “complete” as you finish each one. This easily helps you see if you are on track, or if you need to adjust your schedule.

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Easily adjusting your schedule is another great feature within Rave. Let’s say you’re on track with a project, when all of a sudden it starts pouring rain on your job site. Suddenly, it’s too muddy to drive your machines and continue. It may even take an extra day or two just for the ground to be dry enough to work again! Just like that, you’re off schedule and need to adapt. Luckily, you can go into the RaveBuild app, and choose to adjust either your entire schedule, or only individual tasks to compensate for this delay. No more scratching your head trying to imagine how your adjusted schedule looks. Simply go into your calendar and adjust your tasks. The best part? Your crew, clients, and contractors can see changes pertaining to them, and they are instantly made aware of the change as soon as it is made. No need to make phone calls to everyone, simply make a few clicks, and everyone is notified. Saving you hours of running around in the process!

 

The calendar feature gives you a monthly view of your schedule, and allows you to manage your personal schedule rather than your whole crew’s. In your personal calendar, Rave allows you to set your own tasks to be completed and schedule appointments for your own viewing. If needed, you can simply make them visible so others will know that you’re not available at a certain time.

 

Having a synced calendar allows you to better manage not only your time, but your crew and contractors as well. With the click of a button, you save time that may have otherwise been spent making phone calls to update everyone on what is going on.

To learn more about how you RaveBuild can help you manage your schedule more effectively, and give you more free time, get in contact with us at: https://ravebuild.co.nz/ or on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ravebuildmanagement/  

 

 

Stay connected using cloud-based software

As a project manager, having everything you need at your fingertips means that you can tick off more tasks on your to do list – and get more work done.  Yet, how often is that truly the case? How often do you find yourself digging through piles of paperwork or scrolling through email after email in search of a document? How often are you interrupted by subcontractors or clients keeping them in the loop on what is going on, and when you need them on site? If you can relate to these issues, RaveBuild has a solution for you.

Ravebuild is cloud based project management software, allowing you, your contractors, and your clients to constantly be informed about what is going on with each project you have running. Rather than constantly being interrupted by your subcontractors, eliminate the need by having the project details, schedule and documents readily available in the (FREE to download) RaveBuild app. By doing this, you can let them know if things have been delayed, and when you need them on a job. They can easily (and securely) upload invoices, materials lists, and other important documents via the app, making documentation easily accessible for both you and your contractor.

“Rave is simple and easy to use. I save heaps of time as the entire team can access information and documents for each project and see all upcoming tasks on the schedule.” – Mark, Project Manager

Additionally, you can streamline communication with your crew by doing anything from updating schedules and managing time sheets, to monitoring the supply of materials. By having the flexibility to set permissions (access to information) within RAVE for each individual, everyone can see the relevant information that pertains to them – resulting in better communication, less confusion, and less down time.

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Having cloud-based storage doesn’t just benefit the team on the tools though. Clients reap the benefits of having peace of mind throughout their build by being able to access invoices as well as progress photos.  You also have the option of providing engaged clients with real time access to the schedule. Keeping clients informed is one of the keys to keeping clients happy, and by providing them with real-time updates, RaveBuild makes that easier than ever.

To learn more about how you can get on board with our project management software, contact us at: http://ravebuild.co.nz and follow us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/ravebuildmanagement/

Improve your brand with client portal

Maintaining open lines of communication is incredibly important for everyone involved in the building process. Builders must know what subcontractors are doing, as well as meet the client’s needs. Subcontractors must know when and where they are needed for a job, and most importantly, clients want to know what is going on throughout their building process. Keeping clients in the loop can oftentimes be one of the most difficult parts of building, and can be a serious source of stress for both the builder and the client. Fortunately, at RaveBuild, we keep the best interests of both parties in mind with our Client Portal option.

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Streamline Communication

Using the Client Portal, we make it simple for both the builder and the client to keep track of progress on a job.  The Client Portal streamlines communication by giving the builder the ability to upload photos on site through our mobile app, instantly available for clients to view.  By cutting the need for constant phone calls, your team is freed up to focus on other tasks.  No longer will clients need to stress about not knowing the progress of their job.  No more frantic calls or playing phone tag in an attempt to find out what is going on.  Simply upload the progress photos throughout the build, and the customer can view them in real time from anywhere they are connected thanks to our cloud-based technology.

Step Up Your Customer Service

Providing this level of customer service builds trust between builder and client. Trust makes the building process much less stressful than it used to be, and improves your overall image as a company. The more comfortable a client feels with a company, the more loyal they are, and more likely they are to become a repeat customer or refer your company to someone else. RaveBuild’s Client Portal gives you as a builder, an edge over the competition by being able to offer clients this level of involvement in the building process.

Add Client Portal to Your Website

Perhaps the best part of the Client Portal is that it is directly linked with your website. Having the Client Portal on your website page increases traffic, allowing you to advertise more and keep client’s involved. Additionally, the Client Portal is completely customizable and can be found (along with your portal URL) under the ‘Client Login View’ tab in your settings. Easily upload your company logo, and set the color scheme to match with just a few clicks. In fact, we’ve probably already done it for you!

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In the construction industry, word of mouth is your biggest weapon, and the only way that it works in your favor is by keeping your clients informed and happy. Do your company a favor, and contact us about activating your company’s client portal!

For any questions regarding the Client Portal, get in contact with us via phone or on our website:

(NZ) 07-210-2228
(AUS)1800-179-163
http://ravebuild.co.nz/