A Review for – FYI: For Your Improvement, A Guide for Development and Coaching (4th edition)

FYI presents a comprehensive list and description of competencies needed for leadership, according to the Lominger Group. This model may differ in some respects from the one used by your organization, but it won’t be far off.

The competencies in this book are organized into six factors: Strategic Skills, Operating Skills, Courage, Energy & Drive, Organizational Positioning Skills, and Personal & Interpersonal Skills. The authors add the two negative factors Trouble With People and Trouble With Results. Nested within these factors are clusters and individual competencies. One might quibble with the details, but this map covers the terrain.

Readers are skillfully guided through this territory. The initial chapters provide solid advice for deciding which competencies to develop, recognizing that sometimes it is more useful to compensate for a weakness with other strengths and that it is possible to unproductively overuse one’s strengths. The authors’ willingness to deal seriously with negative issues such as overapplication of strong competencies and barriers to success is valuable–and often lacking in competency publications.

Individual competency chapters have a predictable and useful structure. Each chapter begins by locating the competency within its factor and cluster and “inspires” the reader with an appropriate quote. The reader encounters concise lists of the behavioral indicators of unskilled performance, skilled performance and overuse of this competency. These lists cross-reference other competencies that can either substitute for unskilled peformance or compensate for overuse. Then, following a list of some causes underlying poor performance, comes an extended discussion of several strategies for developing the competency and sources for further reading.

You can find the best competency chapter for your needs in under two minutes. This competency chapter can then be read and understood in under 10 minutes. Developing the competency will take longer, of course. But this book helps the reader diagnose and begin remediation with some confidence that the right disease is being treated–and treated effectively.

Sales Training for Top Salespeople Get Organized to Increase Sales

What are some tools to help you become a more productive salesperson? An important step in becoming successful in the sales profession is to organize your business. What are some ways to help you get organized to increase your selling effectiveness? Here are five ideas to get you started on the path toward becoming a top salesperson.

Clean Up Your Workspace

The first step is to clean up your work environment. Start by reorganizing your desk. Files that you don’t refer to often should be filed or thrown away. Try using different colored file folders. For example, put your account files in green folders, prospects in red folders and product information in blue folders. Using different colors will make retrieving files faster for you. Make it your goal to get all the folders off your desk surface and file them away for easy access.

To maximize your efficiency, completely clean off your desk surface at the end of each work day. Start each day with an uncluttered work area so you can concentrate on tasks without distraction. You want to think about today’s work, not unfinished business from the day or week before.

Organize Computer Files

Next, organize your computer files. Check to be sure documents are placed in the correct folder. Back up important files on your computer. If you don’t have the discipline to make backups daily, sign up for an online service that automatically backs up your computer.

Prioritize Your Task List

When you start your work day, make a list of tasks that you ‘have to do’ to reach your short and long-term goals. Next, go through your tasks and list your top six or seven in order of priority. Ask yourself, what are the tasks that will yield the highest return on investment? Work on your highest priority task first until its completed. Then move on to the next highest priority task.

Carry over unfinished tasks to the next day and evaluate at that time whether it merits a high priority. Reorder your priority list each day based on your current goals and plans.

Make a Life Goal List

Write down at least ten goals you want to accomplish in your lifetime. Choose one or two from the list and try to accomplish them within a year. After a goal is accomplished, cross it out and add another one to the list. Continue the process by replacing completed goals with new challenges.


For salespeople, getting organized can be learned and is a habit worth keeping. It maintains order in our lives and frees up time to make more sales calls during the day. All it takes is some willpower and determination. Go get organized now, so you can reach your goals and achieve success in your sales career.

John Sligh is a Salesman and Founder of GoSellGo.com – a website related to selling and personal development for salespeople everywhere. For free sales tips, motivation and self-improvement resources visit John today at http://www.GoSellGo.com and sign-up for his email newsletter.

Review: The Ultimate Question: Driving Good Profits and True Growth

One Question Can Determine Your Businesss Future. Do You Know the Answer?

CEOs regularly announce ambitious growth targets, then fail to achieve them. The reason? Their growing addiction to bad profits. These corporate steroids boost short-term earnings but alienate customers. They undermine growth by creating legions of detractorscustomers who complain loudly about the company and switch to competitors at the earliest opportunity.

Now loyalty expert Fred Reichheld shows how to reverse the equation, turning customers into promoters who generate good profits and true, sustainable growth. The key: one simple questionWould you recommend us to a friend?that allows companies to track promoters and detractors and produces a clear measure of an organizations performance through its customers eyes. In industry after industry, this “Net Promoter Score” is the single most reliable indicator of a companys ability to grow.

Based on extensive research, The Ultimate Question shows how companies can rigorously measure Net Promoter statistics, help managers improve them, and create communities of passionate advocates that stimulate innovation. Vivid stories from leading-edge organizations illustrate the ideas in practice.

Practical and compelling, this is the one bookand the one toolno growth-minded leader can afford to miss.

Frederick Reichheld’s latest effort to enlighten CEOs and other business leaders is at its best mildly entertaining, but at its worst it is misleading and could result is some very costly and wrong decisions by potential users.

There are several critical weaknesses of this work-I will only mention a few.

First, there are many contradictions, reversals and logical inconsistencies throughout the book. Examples abound and can be discovered by anyone who spends a modicum of time with the book. Among the biggest is the reinterpretation of the satisfaction measure used by Enterprise Rental Car as a measure of net promoters (p.63). This is very confusing because earlier in the book the reader is led to believe that one needs to measure “recommendation” not “satisfaction” because Mr. Reichheld alleges that satisfaction is unrelated to revenue or profit growth. So why does the satisfaction measure works for Enterprise? More astounding Mr. Reichheld continually uses the Enterprise case throughout the book as justification for using the NPS measure.

Second, the entire premise of the Net Promoter approach is unsupported by third party peer-reviewed research articles in psychology, marketing research, or social science journals. All of the support provided in the book is based upon Mr. Reichheld’s claims of research conducted by the firms he works with (Bain and Satmetrix) none of which has been reported in the aforementioned scientific publishing outlets. In fairness, the Net Promoter idea was originally promoted in a Harvard Business Review article, but HBR is not a research journal and its articles are not peer reviewed. Publication in HBR is somewhat equivalent to publication in Business Week or Fortune, and certainly does not qualify as scientific review.

Third, Mr. Reichheld confuses cause and effect with correlation. Recommendation is an effect not a cause. It occurs because something else (like a satisfactory experience) causes it to occur. Yet throughout the book, Mr. Reichheld continuously claims that recommendation’s correlation with sales growth proves that it is a driver of growth. Correlation is simply a measure of association that says nothing about cause and effect. Consider the correlation between the number of churches in a community and beer sales. They are probably correlated but does one cause the other? More likely there is a third factor that is causing both to move together-like population growth. The same is true of the Net Promoter measure-it is likely being caused by something else-like satisfaction. Its correlation with sales growth is spurious and is not causal. If one examines the evidence provided by Mr. Reichheld in Appendix A this confusion of cause and effect is even more apparent-in every case shown, the time periods for the sales data predates the time periods when the Net Promoter Scores were collected. So what is causing what?

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