Are You Getting Better?

“Your business will get better when your people get better.  Your people will get better right after their manager gets better.”  

Many of you may recognize this quote from my talks and videos.  It has certainly elicited some honest feedback from our clients and has shaken a few people into action.  As a business coach, it is my commitment and choice to constantly influence people to improve, regardless of outside factors.

Across Canada, cutbacks and layoffs are at an all time high.  The pandemic has impacted all walks of life, families and organizations.  Economic uncertainty surely has its share of attention in the media.  For many of the progressive companies we work with, current strategic conversations are centered on keeping focused, executing long term business goals, and re-building the best teams and people to succeed. These teams include people willing to contribute at higher levels of commitments and skill sets.

This will include you and where you come in.

Right now there is a conversation going on about you in your organization and the impact you are having.  If you are a small business owner this conversation may be taking place with your customers.  Everyone is included here.  From years of experience working with companies, we have seen too many people standing on the sidelines unaware of these conversations.

This example showed up for me in a recent episode of Survivor, when a candidate who was voted out of his tribe explained, “It was when I became comfortable and confident, that I was blindsided by my team.”   Can this ‘reality show’ example carry over to business?  You bet.

Let’s consider this a strong call to action.  Are you up for a challenge? Here are a few questions for you:

  1. In the last year, what specifically have you done to improve yourself and your skills? No vague theories please just hard evidence. 
  1. What courses have you taken, on your own accord, to improve your value to the company?
  1. What books have you read in the past year that you can transfer back to your team?


Right now, many of our clients have us asking these questions in most performance conversations. There are many more questions, but I am sure you get the point.

Recently I was asked to interview two candidates for the same senior management position.  The first candidate (only two years with the firm) was energetic, enthusiastic about learning and eager to improve her skills.  She was well respected by her colleagues and constantly challenged others to improve as well.  In the interview, she produced a number of course certificates, many of which were sourced through her own personal resources.

The second candidate was a twenty year veteran, confident that he would be awarded the position due solely on his seniority.  This candidate did not believe in self improvement and felt it was the company’s job to make him better.  (Whatever that meant?)

When the decision came to offer the job to the first candidate, I was given the task of bearing the bad news to the second.  Of course, when the seniority card was pulled, my response to him was quick and to the point.  “You have only worked here one year, twenty times!”

So what does this have to do with you?  I challenge you to be the person that is being considered part of the new team, ready to build your company in the new global economy that is coming at us.  Please take your contribution and improvement seriously. Please do not be the one left behind wondering what happened when you got voted out.

If you are not having a positive impact on the people around you and the company’s bottom line, you may be nothing more than a liability.  Ongoing learning and development is no longer a choice; it is the rules of the new game of business.

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