Just finished reading an article that really got me to thinking about some of the amazing people I have worked with in my career. The main concept of the article was about personal energy, not nervous energy, but energy that exists because of a purpose. Some of the most low key people become amazing even heroic in their effort, collaboration and accomplishment. How does that happen? Can we encourage that behavior in everyone? Yes! But first we must change our behavior. We must become energizers and not de-energizers. If you take a moment to think about it you can probably identify many de-energizers and very few energizers. Energizing is contagious, de-energizing is VERY contagious! This is the key to changing the culture of any organization. You have to start at the top. Embrace energizing behaviors and eliminate de-energizing behavior. Here are seven steps to getting off to a good start;
1. Have a strategic approach to goal setting and get everyone involved in the process.
2. Make sure that the mission and goals are virtuous.
3. It is said that those who have no goals are doomed to work for those who do! Make sure everyone is reaching their goals. Don’t make the mistake of not showing your people how they can reach their goals by helping you reach yours. You have to really care about people, know their goals and help them reach for them, even of you end up losing good team members in the process.
4. The only real mistake that ethical people make is doing nothing. One of the most de-energizing behaviors a leader can display is to create a stressful negative atmosphere because someone made a mistake. Think about it for a second and you will realize that this person that may have made a mistake, did actually do something. Don’t de-energize them, be careful and redirect them. Don’t create an atmosphere where your team members are afraid to DO something for fear of embarrassment. Negative behavior from the leader can and will de-energize the whole group or organization.
5. Make sure you acknowledge and praise energetic and engaged performance and seriously consider replacing habitual de-energizers. Big egotistical negative energy can be too contagious to keep around.
6. Be sincere. We humans have an uncanny ability to sense “lip service.” The perception of sincerity is a matter of trust. Trust in the leader must be defined and guarded. When a leader is no longer trusted the energy can actually turn negative. If you sense this in your organization, it’s time for a reset! Find out where you lost it and commit to earning in back! make sure to follow through with your commitment. We all make mistakes, your trust meter will rise just for admitting to your mistakes, apologizing, making the commitment to change and following through on you commitment. Isn’t that what we really want from others in whom we have lost trust? Sounds like a definition for integrity.
7. How can you have energy if your not healthy? A thriving organization or organism for that matter, is moving in the right direction. When an organization starts to move in the wrong direction and the “turnaround” process begins, you start thinking about things like cutting costs, increasing revenue and layoffs. Energy starts to develop but usually in negative ways. The result can be positive for the short term but, unless you convert the negative energy to positive energy the organization will slip back into the old rut. Start producing positive energy today and you may avoid the cyclical downturns many organizations experience.

Focusing on “energy” tends to make you focus on people as “people” and not costs. Controlling cost ls important, but don’t fall into the trap of obsessing over “maximizing short-term profits” and no longer invest in your future, your people, your family and your country. This is the status quo for American big business today. Pursue true happiness my friends.


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Posted by on August 1, 2013 in Business


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Your Management Meter “ATTITUDE”

As a pilot, I have learned about the three A’s…
Attitude, Altitude and Airspeed. But, what does this have to do with business? Well it has everything to do with business. Today, I’m talking about Attitude because it is an urgent subject that we all need to improve for our family, company and country.

A large part of our attitude is how we accept accountability. For instance, do you feel you are at a disadvantage because of some outside circumstance beyond you control? Don’t fall into this trap! Don’t be the victim, that has an excuse for everything. This type of attitude is hard to impossible to manage because his/her manager is continually trying to eliminate the excuses to make real progress. These victim attitudes are blaming everything external for all failures. We all are guilty of this at some time in our lives. However, in an airplane, if you find yourself upside down spinning out of control, do you want to sit around and try to blame something or somebody? I think not! Most problems in an airplane come from lack of training, poor preparation or poor execution and the pilot in command is totally responsible for EVERYTHING! So, if you are the leading authority in your organization take accountability early and never give up. If you work for a real leader then make sure when you are assigned or delegated a task or project, take the full accountability with it… Don’t let your team down. If you have problems, communicate early and often, get help, make sacrifices if you have to, that’s integrity on display. What is your attitude, internal accountability or external accountability? I am committed to holding myself (internally) accountable for what I agree to accomplish and I accept help in holding me accountable. I want to be that guy that can be counted on to accomplish what I start. Believe me, I am very careful about checking the aircraft before I fly it. I am also careful about accepting assignments without proper commitment and authority. Take the time to really check it out from every angle. I challenge you to be the pilot in command of your attitude, altitude and airspeed. You may just make it to where you want to go.

Blue Skies!

Gary Turner
GT Consulting Group


Posted by on June 18, 2012 in Business, Uncategorized


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Common Small Business Blunders

Small business owners accumulate tribal knowledge about how to run their companies. These are things they have assumed over time and assume to be true, but simply are not working. Here are the top ten bad business assumptions, and how to correct each of them.
1. How many times have you heard “The customer is always right?” If the customer was always right, they would starve every company out of business! Running a business at the whim of the customer will never lead to a stable and profitable company. However, it is important to view your company through your customers’ eyes. Look at your competition from their point of view. Listen and empathize with your customer to gain their perspective of what success looks like and build rapport. Then, set their expectations from the start so you and your customer both know when you are meeting or exceeding them. Remember the golden rule?
2. Build it, and they will come. Just because you build it does not mean customers will automatically line up to buy your product or service. This is where most small business owners forget to focus. Research and develop your value proposition. Know your market, both local and regional. Build name recognition and an excellent reputation. Stay abreast of legal, political and economic pressures in your industry.
3. Most small companies seem to focus on the sales total or thinking sales numbers are the most important number in measuring financial performance. Have you heard the saying “sales are vanity, cash flow is sanity”. Successful small business owners learn to focus on cash flow and know how to read and act on the information in the cash flow statement.
4. Small businesses are generally run by entrepreneurial opportunists who think that team work is about building consensus. While the success of the company does depend on building a great team, let’s not get confused, consensus is not the same thing as collaboration. The leader sets the direction and ethical standard and the team needs to be able to effectively work together to accomplish that objective. Anything other than this creates conflict, disconnects and poor service.
5. Financial statements are the company’s score card. If the owner does not know where they have been, how can they know where they are going? Profit and loss, balance sheets and cash flow statements need to be reviewed and understood every month! Some reports may need to be reviewed weekly or even daily! How can you reach your goals if you don’t ever set or measure them?
6. The sales group assume customers only care about low prices. Some companies in the country deliver low price and great customer service like Family Dollar, Wal-Mart, and Amazon. Small business owners often can not be successful competing on price. They need to focus on the value their products and services brings to solving the needs of the customer.
7. If a company sets the expectations of the customer too low, and then subsequently exceeds them, do you think their satisfaction goes up? The truth is that if the expectations are set too low, the company will not have the opportunity to get the customer’s business.
8. Success is about making money. Sure, it’s one of the ways to keep score, but if the small business owner focuses on getting rich, then he will never achieve it. Build cash reserves, value, and cash flow from the company, and the financial rewards will always come.
9. Do you really have to spend money to make money? The truth is that too much money can actually make the business owner stupid! Strong words but throwing money at a problem is wasteful and not the answer to any solution. Spend money carefully and measure each investment’s results, even if it is entertainment.
10. Social media can be a world wide web waste of time. The small business owner should find out where his customers’ and prospects’ are hanging out online. Then, focus on that tool to become part of that click. Did you know that in a typical business, on average, less than 15% of employees need access to the internet, only 30% need external email and only 50% need a phone! How much time, among your employees, is wasted on eBay, Facebook, Monster, Amazon, etc., that you are paying for? What about personal calls?

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Posted by on November 16, 2011 in Business


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Decisions, decisions!

I’m currently in a state of indecision. Do I have too many options? Are my priorities out of order? No, usually it is because I have to choose between what I want and what is best or the risk is high and the gain is unsure. Do you ever go with your gut or go with the flow? Do you make snap decisions? Do you have a process to make decisions? I’m not talking about small decisions. I am talking about those life changing decisions that your going to live with for a long time. Have you ever wanted to kick yourself for a bad decision. Is your decision making process clouded by greed, beauty, pride or fear? Don’t beat yourself up too bad. These are the four major bad decision magnets. There are many minor bad decision magnets like hunger, discomfort, stress, love, allegiances, impatience…etc. The truth is we are all a little different when it comes to which magnets cause us the most problems. Have you recognized that you may have a problem making bad big decisions? Have you been able to figure out which group of magnets are forcing you into bad decisions? My current indecision is based on knowing my magnets and my sense that they are pulling hard! I know it’s time to bring out my personal decision matrix and proceed with caution. Each person’s decision matrix should be built through experience and analysis of your past bad decisions. If you know you have weaknesses, build in protection against these forces. My personal matrix looks something like this…

1. How much is it going to cost?
2. How much is it going to continue to cost?
3. Is it ethical?
4. Is it legal?
5. Am I going to realize a benefit?
6. Is it too good to be true?
7. Do I have enough credible information?
8. Have I sought trusted counsel?
9. Do I feel I am being pressured?
10. Is it safe for me, my family, my employees, and the public?

Obviously, most of my questions are wholistic and therefore have degrees. On a scale of one to five, each selection has a specific meaning and several questions are basic reminders to check it out first.

I challenge you to consider your past decision making skills and make an effort to continuously improve your results. If you are habitually making poor financial or business decisions, don’t just read this blog but get some good counsel from someone you trust. There is a better life waiting for you.

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Posted by on October 24, 2011 in Business


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Real Leadership

There have been many books, seminars, classes, articles and blogs about this highly needed subject. But, in reality, it is as simple as faith. Let me explain. First, there has to be a VISION of the FUTURE where the leader has the paramount determination to ACHIEVE the vision. Second, and most importantly, there has to be FOLLOWERSHIP. This is the most ignored and the most critical part of REAL LEADERSHIP. For example; if as a business owner, my vision is “I just want to be rich!,” then I am not going to create followership. Instead, I will create a dictatorship which is not a modern example of good leadership, no matter how much I want people to think of me as a great leader. Therefore, it seems that true leadership requires a virtuous vision which has a cause greater than making the “leader” more money or more powerful or give him a greater EGO. It has to create an atmosphere of followership. A mission that everyone can believe in and have FAITH that it is achievable if we ALL do the BEST we can and hold each other ACCOUNTABLE we will get there. But, the vision requires a leader and the leader requires followers. Since the abolishment of slavery, all followers are really volunteers and should be treated as such and if employed they should be rewarded according to the value of thier contribution. Finally, what basic traits do the most successful leaders share? In my experience you must activily and contiously improve your own integrity of character, sense of responsibilty, professional competence, enthusiasm, emotional stabiity, self confidence and humaneness. I challenge you to SCORE yourself on each trait and start today on you personal Trait Improvement Program (TIP). To daily exercise your leadership abilities, improve in these areas; Know your job, know your people, keep your people informed, develop teamwork, plan your missions to achieve your vision, Develop your followers, be an example through demonstration, make sound and timely decisions, develop responsibility and accountability in your followers and have the COURAGE of your CONVICTIONS. It may seem daunting but have faith and don’t quit because the only way to truly lose is to quit. Start living LARGE!

Respectfully submitted,
Gary Turner
GT Consulting Group

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Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Business