Entries by leighdorling

“Dare to be….Thinking, Fast and Slow”

If you are in a position of leadership and responsible for making decisions on a daily basis I encourage you to read his book and work with a coach. According to research we are all bad at making decisions. Our decision making process is often based on over simplification, laziness, prejudice and bias. And that is overlaid by our environment and we are often lead astray by our subconscious biases.

I am in the business of helping companies and individuals “to be the best that they can be”. To encourage prospects to consider using my services I have collated research that proves executive coaching is a financially sound decision (click here for the report); I have testimonials that indicate it’s practical and effective (click here to see them); I’m willing to provide a free introductory session so that prospects can “try before they buy” (click here to request a meeting); I write newsletters to provide advice, to keep Cognisi “top of mind” and encourage prospects to call.
But I’m even more evangelical today. My portfolio of persuasion has recently been boosted by the recent BBC Horizon programme “How You Really Make Decisions (here’s the iPlayer link: and from reading Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking, Fast and Slow.

“Dare to be….how to recruit “A” grade employees!”(Part 1)

Over 400 business leaders were recently asked “what factors contributed the most to business success?” “Management Talent” was identified the most important and contributed to over half of the key determinants of success.

I guess that we can all acknowledge this assessment, but how many of us are actually recruiting top management talent? Virtually every business I work with struggles to find really talented new recruits and when vacancies do arise they continue to persist with trying to recruit “A” grade people using techniques that are unstructured, variable and produce results that evidence suggest are a mistake up to 75% of the time! (Hirer please beware – mistake typically costs a company 10 to 15 times the base salary)

As a coach I’m always looking to help clients recognise what they need to look at to move their business forward. I recently read Geoff Smart’s Who: The A Method for Hiring – a comprehensive look at how to interview and ultimately hire top talent into your company. I’ve summarised the main steps in his book and I hope that you find it of use.

“Dare to be….have a sales process”

Despite the importance of the sales function and the enormous cost of employing and managing a sales team, from my observations of working with 00’s of companies and 00’s of sales people over the years too many companies “allow” their selling activity to be undertaken in a haphazard way. Selling is often handled differently by each individual salesperson, sales meetings are often based upon what individuals are comfortable “selling” and constructed around a one-sided regurgitation of product features and benefits. Not surprisingly results are often hit or miss and owners/directors often become frustrated at the lack of sales success.

If you’re running a business (or a sales team) you shouldn’t rely on the “naturally gifted” – instead make sure that your sales team is using a proven sales process/methodology that works for a wide spectrum of people. Your sales team should have a “common language” that will enable everyone to discuss sales activities in a uniform manner and undertake the key sales skills (questioning, listening, rapport building, product presentation etc.) to best effect.

“Dare to be….Key Account Management Essentials”

What I want to look at in this article is to focus on the specific role of Key Account Management.

For most businesses 80% of revenue comes from 20% of their customers so it is vitally important that you identify who these top 20% customers are. My first recommendation is for you to VERBALLY ask your sales, marketing, production, accounts and admin teams to identify who they think are your most important customers. I suggest verbally because you want to get at their instinctive understanding of who they think is important not to do some research and come back after detailed analysis………….I think you’ll be surprised at the answers that they give!

“Dare to be….and hold people to account”

One of the most common problems that I regularly discuss with my clients is the perceived lack of accountability in their employees. Business leaders are very often frustrated at their inability to get people to do what needs to be done quickly with a greater level drive and determination.

Business leaders talk about wanting to establish a high performance culture where people accept responsibility for achieving goals but are constantly frustrated at the lack of progress despite spending significant amounts of money on training and people development.

They believe that they have good understanding of what needs to be done to achieve business success yet implementation and execution of agreed actions is often very poor. Employees let them down; don’t meet the goals set; miss deadlines; don’t focus sufficiently on achieving the agreed objectives; pay lip service to improvement plans; continue to do the same things they’ve always done or like doing rather than what is needed.

In simple terms they have a business with a culture that accepts mediocrity as the norm reinforced by a lack of personal accountability.

Too Busy To Write A Business Plan? Create It On One Page Instead

Every organisation should have a good, solid business plan. A well-structured business plan shows where you are now, what you intend to accomplish and how you plan to do it. However, the problem with most traditional business plans is that for the most part they just gather dust because they are often seen as too wordy, daunting to read, difficult to appreciate the nuances of phrasing and often lack connectivity.