Category Archives: Management

Starting an Advisory Board for Small Business


Small business owners often take on an “Us against the world” mentality which fuels much of their success. However, even the best entrepreneurial leader needs someone in his/her corner. If you have not considered it, you may want to think about creating an Advisory Board to expand your expertise and overall reach. While there is little risk involved in having an Advisory Board, there are a few necessities to take into consideration so that it provides some worth and does not waste anybody’s time.

Who to Include
For an Advisory Board to be truly effective, there needs to be a strong bond of trust between the business owner and all members of the board. It is recommended that one reaches outside of their group of close friends and family in order to get the most out of the board. The other key aspect of the board is to limit the numbers to 3 to 5 people.

The council should be comprised of people from different backgrounds who can lend insight into your business’ processes. My initial recommendation for the Advisory Board is to have both your attorney and your accountant. These should be two strong relationships, and if they are not, then you need to find a different attorney and accountant! Another key cog on the board would be a Public Relations/Digital Media/Social Media specialist who can advise you on your messaging, communication and execution. An industry mentor who has goals in line with yours and can be used to leverage business will be a great addition. Finally, adding the one or two most successful people in your network will give you a range of aptitude and experience.

There is no reason to think they will say no, most successful entrepreneurs want to give back and help where they can, especially if it is with someone they respect. I can guarantee you that you will never have a successful entrepreneur on your board if you do not ask one.

What Incentives to Offer the Board
If the board has been constructed of the right people, then this should not be a group of men and women who need much in the way of salary. The people who are chosen for the board are often leaders who are excited by the opportunity to help an entrepreneur succeed or mentor a young professional. So, the creation of the board should not hit a business’ pocketbook in the same way that hiring new employees would.

However, there are still ways to give the board a sense of ownership in the company that incentivizes them to show up and give their best effort. Offering stocks or discounts to stock can get them invested in the company’s success. If that is not plausible, then at the very least you should fund their travel expenses and pay for any lunch or dinner meetings. Finally, show that they are valued by having board members at holiday parties, or inviting them to any other top level meetings within the organization.

Why Are You Starting the Board
Have a vision for the Advisory Board. To ensure that the board is as effective as possible, the business owner needs to know what they want to accomplish. Is there a current problem you are trying to work through? Are you concerned about future growth? Having an understanding for what you are looking to achieve will give the Advisory Board some initial direction with which to pursue.

Personal Experience
When I started a board a few years back it was because I finally came to the conclusion that “I don’t know what I don’t know,” and I felt stuck. I was unsure how to get my business to the next level and still have time to enjoy life away from my business. I was spending too much of my time compensating for the things I did not know how to do, rather than searching for answers from people who had success. I finally got to the end of my rope and decided to ask a few people for help. Who did I ask… My attorney, my accountant, an industry professional, an entrepreneur and a mentor. All of them said yes. I had an agenda ready and I began filling in the gaps of what I needed help with. Creating the Advisory Board quickly became one of the best business decisions I have ever made.

Is the Tail Wagging the Dog?


In the words of Jim Rohn:

Either you run the day, or the day runs you.

When you reflect back on the past three months think about how you managed your days. Did you have control of your schedule or did the day fly by and you wondered where did it go?

The more deliberate you are with your time and schedule the more you can accomplish.

Here are some ways to keep you on track:

Don’t let others steal your time. Let others know that you shouldn’t be interrupted. When appropriate ask others to wait until you complete what you are in the middle of.

Stay focused on the task at hand, remove distractions from your work area. It can be okay to turn off your phone, or shut down your email alerts.

Set your calendar with admin time, client time, marketing time, time for personal growth – then stick to it.

Know yourself. When are you most productive? Schedule those things that require you to be at the top of your game during those times.

Transform your to do list into your calendar. Schedule blocks of time to get these things done.

YOUR CHALLENGE: Plan to get the most out of the next 90 days, set your schedule to reflect what you plan to accomplish.

PJ Weiland is no stranger to business.  At the age of 10 she started her first business, then worked in the family business, before starting her second business. She brings over twenty-five years of experience working with all-size businesses.  As an ActionCOACH she works with business owners to put money on the bottom line. Through coaching PJ provides an alternative to conventional consulting by providing both practical assistance and training through an affordable and effective mentoring approach.  

Leadership and Transparency in Today’s Organizations


Today’s technology has lead organizations and its leadership to be posted on YouTube, blogs, and or on newsstands for the good and bad reasons. This technology is nothing new but organizations should leverage technology to their advantage by making their organization more transparent. Transparency is defined by creating an organizational culture that is open with communication that makes decisions based on analytically evidence. Additionally, this culture rewards employees for sharing their insight along with encouraging candor by welcoming news or information even when it’s unfortunate.

It is better for leaders to embrace today’s digital era by being more transparent rather than giving the responsibility to a third party. Lately, leaders are getting themselves into trouble whether they or a disgruntled employee leaks personal information and or recordings appear on the web of a CEO or employee negatively speaking about the company and its customers. In these instances leaders need to be more aware and cautious due to the technology that has made privacy more difficult. On November 5th founder of Lululemon Athletica, Chip Wilson, made negative comments that basically targeted overweight female customers. His comment was in response to a question about Lululemon’s see-through yoga pants; he alluded that some women’s’ bodies just don’t actually work for Lululemon’s apparel because their bodies are not the right size for the company’s pants. The statement made by Wilson, quickly had the entire social media world going crazy and soon after, Chip Wilson made a public apology. This is an example of a CEO that impulsively spoke about his views and due to the digital age we live in; his comment went viral, ultimately discriminating many of its customers. Organizational Transparency is no longer optional in this digital age; organizations need to create a transparent culture to minimize consumer and employee distrust.

Additionally, Leaders of organizations need to receive information from various perspectives to make crucial decisions. Sometimes the flow of information gets edited or is one-sided as it travels through different communication channels. Having transparency will help alleviate altered information.  Back in the 1980’s, CEO Robert Galvin of Motorola stated that he did not think he was the smartest person at Motorola. He put his ego aside and continued to mention that the success of the company was no thanks to him but the fact that he surrounded himself with talented managers and employees. He was a prime example of a leader that created a culture that was open and respected employees’ insight other than his own.

Organizations need to find a proper balance of transparency by not being too closed or open. Creating an organizationally transparent culture leads to a work environment that is based on candor and trust and therefore creates loyalty from the stakeholders, employees, customers, and the public eye. Technology has given organizations the ability to be more transparent however; this can also be used to harm an organization. Organizations and its leaders must be cautious of discussing important matters in public vs. private locations.

Melonie Boone, MBA, MJ, PHR, Founder of Boone Management Group Inc., is a business strategist and executive leader with comprehensive experience in business optimization and human resources strategy. She works as a member of senior management to optimize strategic planning in support of organizational growth, bringing proven results in business strategy advising and directing human resources operations in diverse organizations across multiple states. Contact Melonie directly: mboone@boonemanagementgroup.com.

Invest in Improving Skills


A work environment that encourages learning is essential for continuous improvement. First, clearly send the message to your people that continuing mental and educational development – through both formal and informal plans – is vital. Then nurture the three primary freedoms that create a learning environment: freedom to express dissent, freedom to make mistakes, and freedom to invest time in learning.

An indispensable aspect of a learning environment is the freedom to engage in solution-oriented discussion and discovery. Make sure people are rewarded not for maintaining the status quo but for achieving constructive results. When people sense undue pressure to agree and to conform, they avoid pointing out even the most obvious problems for the sake of maintaining consensus and goodwill. The results are often embarrassing, and at worst, tragic. In contrast, a dynamic learning environment nurtures and supports people who express their ideas about existing policies and procedures that are not working well. Irate controversy, of course, is to be avoided; courtesy and positive attitudes should always be valued and maintained. Constructive, courteous dissent produces creativity, progress, and productivity.

Encourage those who possess the ability and the inclination to pursue answers to complex questions. One common yet misguided approach related to time efficiency is the autocratic demand for immediate answers and solutions. This approach rewards shallow thinking on the part of team members and exerts pressure to be agreeable at all costs. Give people adequate time and support to develop insightful solutions.

Valuable experience involves making mistakes and learning from them. If you never make a mistake, it is because you have never stretched to reach a new challenge. Mistakes teach people what does not work. Then they are free to move in a new direction to reach desirable goals. Establish “safety nets,” policies that protect people when they make honest mistakes in pursuit of corporate goals. In so doing, you encourage them to shed their protective, perfectionistic guards and to experience enthusiasm for innovation and learning.

Give your team members the freedom to schedule the necessary time for job-related educational development. Appropriate time allocation is a key factor in creating a learning environment. Although continuing education and training take time away from immediate results, the investment of time now provides huge dividends later. Goal setting, leadership, and management development are important for all team members’ continued professional development. A healthy, dynamic learning environment is characterized by freedom to express dissent, to make mistakes, and to invest time in learning. These elements provide the necessary backdrop for continuous improvement and increased productivity.

Ray Stuchly is the CEO of Leadership Management Institute (LMI) Riverside. LMI is an internationally renowned leadership and development company. Ray has over 30 years of experience in helping leaders cultivate their own potential and tap their organizational potential. He has mentored professionals in the small, middle market as well as large corporations which gives him a depth and breadth of knowledge of the challenges companies face in today’s marketplace. Ray is one of 15 senior partners with Leadership Management Institute, USA. Contact Ray directly at: rstuchly@lmi-riverside.com.

Smart Growth Strategies


For a free business coaching session, click on the image.How do you continue to grow your small business in an increasingly uncertain economy? It’s a question many entrepreneurs are asking themselves, and the answer may lie in taking a relatively simple approach to growing your business.

Here are five pragmatic steps businesses can take as they work their way to profitability.

1. Right size your business
One of the biggest costs for small businesses is their office space. With more professionals working remotely, traditional, long-term leases are underutilized and expensive. The capital invested in property would be better directed at growing your company. Businesses looking ahead to 2013 should consider where they need to be and for how long. Does your business need a permanent office? Are you scalable? If your employees are not all in the office at the same time, would flexible arrangements like drop-in lounges make sense? Ask yourself these questions before you commit to something that won’t work in six months’ time.

2. Get flexible so your business can react to change
Explore today’s many flexible working options such as co-working, home-working and staggered working hours to reduce stressful commuting, improve morale and boost productivity. Give workers the option to work from home occasionally or from a business center closer to home. With the ongoing struggle to improve work-life balance, giving employees more control over their work day will help retain your best talent.

3. Reach out for new customers
You don’t have to be the victim of a sluggish economy. This could be the perfect time to take assess and go for new opportunities in new markets. Businesses that have an address in the same city as their customers and prospects have an advantage over out-of-town competitors. Use a virtual office (prestigious address and select office support). One challenge of expansion is securing a large enough client base to justify an additional office. With no upfront capital required and minimal risk, a virtual office solves that problem.

4. Leverage Technology in lieu of Business Travel
There’s a range of mobile technology that can help you cut down on your business travel costs. Videconferencing, Skype and online meetings can keep you in touch with colleagues and clients without the hassle of traveling.

5. Learn from your mistakes
Symbolically, the New Year represent a clean slate your business. Make the time to evaluate what worked and where there is room for improvement heading into 2013. Did you do enough research about your customers? Did you spend enough time analyzing your data? Did your analysis confirm your assumptions? Every business will make a mistake. It’s what you do with the knowledge you now have that will make the difference.

Grant Greenberg is responsible for all PR and social media activity in North America for Regus, the world’s largest provider of flexible workplaces. In this role, Grant is responsible for building Regus into a nationally recognized brand by designing communications programs that deliver measurable results across multiple channels. Prior to working at Regus, Grant was an award-winning broadcast journalist in New York, Boston and Florida. He graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor’s degree in Broadcast Journalism and lives in New York City. Contact Grant directly: Grant.Greenberg@regus.com.

Is Broadbanding a Part of Your Compensation Strategy?


Today’s organizations face the threat of external uncertainty on a daily basis. In the current turbulent business environment, an organizational strategy that can flexibly adapt to external threats is a key to success.

Given the unpredictable nature of external factors, how can an organization create a future-oriented, strategic compensation plan in order to attract and retain its talent?

The answer can be found in a compensation strategy called “Broadbanding.”

Many of the more “traditional” compensation strategies determine base pay (hourly, salary, etc.) for employees based on what other organizations in their industry are paying (a technique called market comparison). The market comparison technique may not be the best option for companies that are in industries that are constantly changing, and broadbanding may be a good alternative.

It’s not about competition: Broadbanding does not use market comparison, and instead groups multiple job functions and positions into a few wide “bands,” each representing a range of employee salaries. Rather than each department or individual making a different amount of money based on their rank in the company, broadbanding considers employee Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) when placing them into a pay band.

It’s about improvement and development: Research has found that placing employees into pay bands encourages the development of new skills and abilities. Broadbanding uses KSAs for promotion and movement within pay bands, which may inspire employees to develop their skills and professional knowledge, which may benefit the organization as a whole by increasing the quality of its human capital.

Positive attitudes towards salary structure: Many organizations that use traditional compensation strategies create a culture where employees are concerned with their rank in the company, and how to move up the company ladder. Broadbanding takes this focus, and moves it to a more individual level that focuses on personal development. Broadbanding may place employees and their superiors in the same band, which may improve employee performance and attitudes about salary structure.

Although there are many benefits to implementing this approach in an organization, the compensation strategy does have a few challenges and pitfalls.

Lack of a reality check: Adopting a broadbanding approach eliminates market comparison and reflection, which can be a useful tool that many professionals use to determine where their organization stands in comparison to its competitors. This may lead to a decreased awareness of external market conditions, and requires that managers and HR professionals understand, remain current, and are able to interpret key market pay data.

A fear of increased costs: Broadbanding does not have an established set of rules or restrictions that prevent employees from reaching the top of their pay range. This lack of restriction causes many professionals to worry about an increase in costs associated with salary and compensation.

Reduced opportunities for promotions: Decreasing the number of salary bands may lead to fewer opportunities for employees to advance to the next pay range, and this lack of upward mobility may be discouraging to some employees.

Over the past decade, executive and legislative branch members have posed concerns about adopting a broadbanding approach within the federal government and related agencies. Their concerns and reluctance are fueled by a fear of increased costs, and a lack of trust from labor organizations that oppose giving managers complete control over pay decisions and administration.

Although there are a number of advantages to implementing a broadband system, the disadvantages should be weighed before choosing whether a broadbanding approach is right for your organization. The biggest concern related to broadbanding is the lack of market comparison. Without pay range midpoints, it may be difficult for organizations to accurately compare their salary margins to their competitors in the market.

Implementing a broadbanding compensation strategy is a large-scale project for any organization and the process duration is not specific to this compensation strategy alone. Another example of a beneficial compensation strategy we have talked about in our blog is Total Rewards, which shares similar concepts with the Broadbanding approach. The pros and cons of implementing any kind of compensation strategy should be carefully evaluated before deciding which one is right for your organization.

Melonie Boone, MBA, MJ, PHR, Founder of Boone Management Group Inc., is a business strategist and executive leader with comprehensive experience in business optimization and human resources strategy. She works as a member of senior management to optimize strategic planning in support of organizational growth, bringing proven results in business strategy advising and directing human resources operations in diverse organizations across multiple states. Contact Melonie directly: mboone@boonemanagementgroup.com.

Be Constructive with Difficulties


No matter how much attention you give to prevention, some communication challenges will arise. When they do, view them with the attitude that they are opportunities for making needed adjustments and improvements. How you approach the solution of problems is best decided before they arise. When you anticipate the possible obstacles that could arise and plan solutions for them in advance, you are never paralyzed by surprise; you know exactly what to do.

Follow these general tips for handling difficulties, challenges, or problems:

Maintain a positive attitude. Your positive attitude about people and their worth, about your ability to communicate, and about the relationships you establish with people does much to prevent problems. But when misunderstanding does occur, plan to keep your positive attitude. When you approach problems with a positive attitude, other people find it easier to be open, to communicate, to trust you, to control emotions, and to join you in seeking a solution.

Deal with causes, not symptoms. Knowing the cause of a problem makes it possible to deal realistically and effectively with the real issue involved – to cure the problem instead of covering it with a band-aid. While it is wise to avoid “making a mountain out of a mole hill,” it is never wise to deny the existence of a problem in hopes it will go away. Whatever the size of the problem or in whatever stage of development it is, use all of your communication skills to determine the cause so you can deal with it, not the symptoms.

Avoid arguments. Arguing wastes time and energy, fogs the real issues, creates resentment, interferes with sound reasoning, and destroys goodwill. If you wish to persuade people to your way of thinking, you must first convince them you are their friend. To convince them you are their friend, you must be willing to listen to them
and be open to their suggestions. Maintain an attitude that problem solving is a search for understanding and a win/win resolution, not a battle to be won.

Accept responsibility. Be willing to accept personal responsibility for your part in solving any problem. If you find it necessary to change the way you communicate, make the changes that facilitate reaching your goal. Also encourage others to accept responsibility for contributing to the solution – by furnishing needed information or
by taking whatever action is necessary to go right through the problem, around it, or over it – to reach your shared goals.

Focus on behavior or results. When you communicate with people about some problem that exists, focus on behavior or results – attack the problem, not someone’s personality. Trying to change people discourages them and frequently leads to additional problems. Instead, focus on the problem and encourage people to change
what they do. Sticking to the issue and what the person can do about the problem removes pressure. When you insist on focusing on what needs to be done instead of who is to blame, everyone can remain objective and creative in seeking solutions.

Ray Stuchly is the CEO of Leadership Management Institute (LMI) Riverside. LMI is an internationally renowned leadership and development company. Ray has over 30 years of experience in helping leaders cultivate their own potential and tap their organizational potential. He has mentored professionals in the small, middle market as well as large corporations which gives him a depth and breadth of knowledge of the challenges companies face in today’s marketplace. Ray is one of 15 senior partners with Leadership Management Institute, USA. Contact Ray directly at: rstuchly@lmi-riverside.com.

Leadership and Management: 6 Ways to Put the ‘Good’ in Goodbye


On Wednesday night, I was at my local Apple store with my son Brinden when everything stopped. Employees from every department excused themselves from various conversations with customers and formed a human corridor down the middle of the store. Then they started cheering.

It wasn’t to launch a new product. No, it was to say goodbye to an employee who was leaving for another job — outside the company.

Anthony walked the gauntlet of cheers and backslaps with a wide grin. Wow, I thought, that’s how you say goodbye. He was honored in a public way, and unabashedly in front of customers. This Apple store did it right.

So often, goodbyes are done badly.

Friends on Wall Street have told me horror stories of their calls to Human Resources. After being “made available to the market” (a real comment from one HR person) they were then escorted out of the building by a guard with a Glock on his belt. Nice.

In offering advice to managers, I want to focus today on the quitting employee—someone who is moving on to a new opportunity. Often these people are treated indifferently or even callously. Perhaps they get a few minutes in a conference room with their team and then are shuttled off to HR to figure out their COBRA health plan. Or maybe they are asked to clean out their desks after-hours, alone, so as to not disturb the workflow. They end up leaving in the dark with a few cardboard boxes of personal items.

A sad and lonely way to end your time with a company that proclaims, “People are our most important asset.” Yeah, right. You think those employees are ever coming back? You think they are recommending your company to their friends?

The way you say goodbye says a lot about you, your values, and your culture. A dignified separation allows both parties to leave with good feelings. It’s advertising you can’t buy. The norm is a missed opportunity, worse is a damaged relationship—not only to those who leave, but to those who stay behind who see how you treat those who want a new challenge.

It doesn’t take too much to make a potentially bad situation into something positive. Here are some simple tips for the bosses of departing employees:

  • This isn’t about you. Actually, sometimes it is about you. Maybe the departing employee hates you. Get over it, because even then you can’t make this about you. It’s about the person who’s leaving and, even more importantly, those who stay behind. How you say goodbye says a lot to his friends and co-workers. So stiff upper lip, smile, and take the high road.
  • Let them go graciously. If a valuable employee wants to quit it’s certainly worthwhile to put up a fight. Start with, “Is there something I can do to change your mind?” No counter offer at all sends a message about their value to you and the organization. But recognize that, in most cases, by the time most employees come to see you they have one foot out the door and offering more money probably won’t help. You can usually tell their true intent in that first conversation—is it to get a little more compensation or really leave.
  • Time things right. Two weeks is all the transition time you are going to get, or should expect to get. Unless the employee is your CEO, any more is overkill. Seriously, make them stay a month and they won’t do much of anything the last few weeks anyway.
  • Say thanks. Let them know their service has been valued.
  • Have a party. Yes, you have to actually stop work at some point to acknowledge their departure. Take them and the team to lunch—and pick up the tab—or have a get together near the end of their last day.
  • Ask for advice. With a pad of paper in front of you, ask what you can do better as a leader, how the team could run better. They may not be completely honest with you at first, but if you stay open and receptive and start taking notes, chances are they’ll start sharing some valuable tidbits.

Melonie Boone, MBA, MJ, PHR, Founder of Boone Management Group Inc., is a business strategist and executive leader with comprehensive experience in business optimization and human resources strategy. She works as a member of senior management to optimize strategic planning in support of organizational growth, bringing proven results in business strategy advising and directing human resources operations in diverse organizations across multiple states. Contact Melonie directly: mboone@boonemanagementgroup.com.

Happiness: The Key to Business Success


To learn more about the 55 Questionssm process click on the logo. Now…who doesn’t want to be happy? It seems that plenty of us don’t want to… at least based on the way we stick our noses to the grindstone and assume that if we work harder we’ll achieve success and happiness. Unfortunately, many of us are doing it backwards, and hindering our professional ability in the process. Maybe all we have to do is be happy and grateful in the present moment, and we will be more effective at what we do and more likely to achieve success.

Most of us believe that what we’ve achieved or not, what we have or not – determines our happiness. We also believe that happiness has little to do with whether or not we achieve success. As it turns out the opposite is true on both counts.

The goal here is to be happy and in turn you will be successful… Here are some tips…

Leader with a passion: The first and foremost part of building a happy organization is having a leader with vision and passion. In any business that you manage you must have a genuine passion for it.

Spread your happiness: A business owner’s enthusiasm for his entrepreneurial goal isn’t just a source of drive and energy. It sets a standard for partners and employees. Building a sense of shared effort toward something of genuine value can be extremely contagious.

Happiness begins with hiring: A critical strategy is to make your employees as content as you are.

You want to recruit and retain people who not only are fulfilled by what they do, but also can take on roles that others in your company cannot. This allows them to contribute to your business’s growth by focusing on activities and skills they do well, and they find rewarding.

There are also other things you can do to help cultivate a happy environment for your employees:

Focus on development as much as training: If your employees are in roles that draw on their strengths and interests, you can help them to grow and contribute by inviting participation, creative ideas and problem-solving in their areas of expertise.

Ask for their loyalty and return it: A foundation for happy, satisfied employees is an environment filled with a sense of obligation. However, don’t make it one-way; if you expect your employees to be loyal, reciprocate by doing everything you can.

All things considered, there are many different ways to determine what success means. And it does mean different things to different people.

My best guess is there are still quite a few entrepreneurs and CEO’s out there that can use a dose of happiness!

How happy are you and your employees?

Dave Baney is the CEO of 55 Questions, LLC, a certified Gazelles coaching firm. Hebrings over 30 years of Fortune 500 management and leadership experience to growing businesses nationwide through 55 Questions’ tools and processes. Known for crisp execution, marketing insight and thoughtful direction, he is now a trusted advisor for CEOs. Contact Dave directly: dbaney@55questions.com.

Happiness: The Key to Business Success


To learn more about the 55 Questionssm process click on the logo. Now…who doesn’t want to be happy? It seems that plenty of us don’t want to… at least based on the way we stick our noses to the grindstone and assume that if we work harder we’ll achieve success and happiness. Unfortunately, many of us are doing it backwards, and hindering our professional ability in the process. Maybe all we have to do is be happy and grateful in the present moment, and we will be more effective at what we do and more likely to achieve success.

Most of us believe that what we’ve achieved or not, what we have or not – determines our happiness. We also believe that happiness has little to do with whether or not we achieve success. As it turns out the opposite is true on both counts.

The goal here is to be happy and in turn you will be successful… Here are some tips…

Leader with a passion: The first and foremost part of building a happy organization is having a leader with vision and passion. In any business that you manage you must have a genuine passion for it.

Spread your happiness: A business owner’s enthusiasm for his entrepreneurial goal isn’t just a source of drive and energy. It sets a standard for partners and employees. Building a sense of shared effort toward something of genuine value can be extremely contagious.

Happiness begins with hiring: A critical strategy is to make your employees as content as you are.

You want to recruit and retain people who not only are fulfilled by what they do, but also can take on roles that others in your company cannot. This allows them to contribute to your business’s growth by focusing on activities and skills they do well, and they find rewarding.

There are also other things you can do to help cultivate a happy environment for your employees:

Focus on development as much as training: If your employees are in roles that draw on their strengths and interests, you can help them to grow and contribute by inviting participation, creative ideas and problem-solving in their areas of expertise.

Ask for their loyalty and return it: A foundation for happy, satisfied employees is an environment filled with a sense of obligation. However, don’t make it one-way; if you expect your employees to be loyal, reciprocate by doing everything you can.

All things considered, there are many different ways to determine what success means. And it does mean different things to different people.

My best guess is there are still quite a few entrepreneurs and CEO’s out there that can use a dose of happiness!

How happy are you and your employees?

Dave Baney is the CEO of 55 Questions, LLC, a certified Gazelles coaching firm. Hebrings over 30 years of Fortune 500 management and leadership experience to growing businesses nationwide through 55 Questions’ tools and processes. Known for crisp execution, marketing insight and thoughtful direction, he is now a trusted advisor for CEOs. Contact Dave directly: dbaney@55questions.com.