Editorial: Be more effective now

Jun 14, 2013

The year is half over, so here’s eight things you can do now to improve performance, Mark Zweig writes.

Time’s a-wastin’. The year is now approaching halfway (time flies, doesn’t it?). You cannot keep rationalizing away poor performance and plan to make it up later in the year. At some point, there isn’t enough “year” left to make it up. Here are eight things YOU can do to be more effective NOW as a leader and manager working in the A/E or environmental business:
  1. Put in honest hours at work. Stop doing so much personal stuff, gossiping, chit-chatting and wasting time. Work harder and more intensely.
  2. Confront. When an employee is not performing up to your standard, inform them immediately. Don’t let it fester or save it for performance appraisal time.
  3. Sell. You have to bring in work. You aren’t selling anything to anyone they don’t need. Find ways to help your clients and then let them know about those solutions. Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale.
  4. Pay for yourself. Selling is great. It’s fundamental. But so is billing. You need to be doing something a client will pay for. Cover your salary with your personal billings. Then everything else you do is “bonus” and you won’t be a drag on the company.
  5. Recruit. This business takes good people at all levels. You have to be on the lookout for talent at ALL times IF you are to be able to get that talent when you actually need it. Sell the company to the best people out there who can make a real difference in your firm – now and in the future.
  6. Maintain relationships. You have got to take the time to call and see your clients, valued subconsultants and even key employees. Every relationship takes TIME. If you don’t invest time you won’t keep it alive.
  7. Stop procrastinating. Email inbox full? Clean it out. Client not paying? Get serious about trying to collect. Piles of paper on your desk? File them. Stop letting everything mount up. Deal with situations as they occur versus later.
  8. Stop being negative. If you don’t think a project can turn out well, how will anyone who works for you? If you don’t think the company can be successful, how can anyone else? If you don’t believe the client is worth serving well, how will anyone else? This is fundamental. You have got to be positive to get positive results.
Try these things for 30 days. I guarantee you will get more done, feel better, and be more successful – or we’ll give your money back! Mark Zweig is the chairman and CEO of ZweigWhite. Contact him with questions or comments at mzweig@zweigwhite.com. This article first appeared in The Zweig Letter (ISSN 1068-1310), issue #1012, originally published 6/17/2013. Copyright© 2013, ZweigWhite. All rights reserved.

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.