* Preparing For the Upturn
* JJ's Quote (change when change is due)
* Resources to Learn More


Use these tips as training tools. Present the problem to your group and
brainstorm solutions together. Submit your own situation question to be
answered in an upcoming newsletter.


As the economy is picking up a little, what can Directors and Managers do to
prepare themselves, and those who report to them, to be better managers and


We're all managers, whether anyone reports to us or not, as we are managing
ourselves, our co-workers, bosses, vendors, spouses, significant others,
children, friends and strangers.

As I talk with upper management clients across the country, they tell me
they're working to grow their managers into becoming "Managers of Choice" so
they'll be prepared for the upturn. These managers are overseeing technical
help desks, support groups, field service engineers, catalog, e-commerce,
and direct marketing call centers and retail sales operations, etc.,
crossing over all industries.

Most have weeded out the low performers in recent years through cost cuts,
and now they're working to grow the surviving managers into leaders of high
performance teams. Most of those on their teams are considered "Managers of
Choice," but often, one or two need a management-style adjustment.

To be ready for the upturn, now is the time for these managers to make their
changes. This is no easy task, so several Vice Presidents and Directors have
asked me to coach their managers into becoming "Managers of Choice."

They are usually strong people who have gotten stuck in an old way of
managing, or perhaps carried a former military style into the workplace.

They have a tendency to over or under manage, making it difficult for those
reporting to them.

Ironically, I have been asked to do executive coaching with both of those
extremes from the same organization. What one had the other didn't so
individual coaching was necessary. Eventually they were able to help each
other maintain their new management style.

The behavior modification must always start with a strong desire and
commitment to change. Remember, you can't change anyone else, you can only
change yourself. If you change yourself enough, you just might be able to
influence others in a positive direction. The managers don't lose anything,
they're just adding more options to their thinking and behavior.

The only way the Directors and Vice Presidents were able to get the
managers' commitments was to tell them what the payoff would be. The payoff
was a more cooperative, higher-performing team that respected, trusted and
admired their leader. Some of their problems would quickly disappear, and
goals in general would be attained quicker.

It takes approximately 21 days to change a habit or behavior, or at least
make strong inroads into the change. With consistent focus on the new
action or direction, the effort begins to pay off in about a month. The
coach demonstrates the desired results, breaking areas down into how, when
and where the behaviors and thinking could change. At first the manager is
encouraged by small successes and sometimes surprising results. Then this
spurs them on for even greater successes in all areas of their lives.

One of the hardest things to accomplish in changing behavior, is getting
perspective on one's self. That's why an outside coach can be instrumental
in helping managers gain insights and awareness on how others are
responding and being treated.

Often managers have not learned to read others sufficiently to act quickly
when interactions go sideways. This awareness soon develops as the coach
guides and mentors the managers to their newly up-dated management style
that is desirable and effective.

If you or someone on your team could benefit from coaching, contact me so we
can do some possibilities thinking together. It could dramatically affect
your career and life as you get ready for the next business upturn.



"If you don't make changes when changes are due, you'll bring in drama and
trauma to make those changes anyway." JJ Lauderbaugh

(Ever received a speeding ticket? If so, you know what change was needed,
but it didn't happen until after you brought in the trauma of the policeman
handing you a ticket.)