Performance. No longer just for the bean counters among us.


© Dana Rothstein | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Dana Rothstein | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Shakespeare said, in Hamlet, “to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” Performance begins with this sense of integrity in everything you do. Your actions follow your words.

Performance, broadly speaking, is a two-step process: 1) making a smart performance commitment with conviction to honor it and 2) focusing on the action to meet the outcomes.

In other words, we promise to do A and we will make sure we address A at every realistic juncture we can muster. And that will lead us to B, our desired outcome.

No beans about it.

Reconn Radio: Podcast #23 – Week of 05/26/14


The Memorial Day 2014 Issue: Economic Review, Abundance and Purpose, and Your Big Screen

Philosophy leads to purpose, purpose ends with sacrifice. Here in the United States, we remembered the mighty sacrifice that men and women in uniform have given. What is this in the context of the organization or institution, the community or the family?

And no, I did not see a movie this week, but I thought about what I might write a screenplay around. It does not involve little yellow men with one eye. That’s been taken.



To listen to more of our podcasts, please click here.

P is for Place. Manifest destiny for the rest of us.

© Bx3t | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Bx3t | Dreamstime Stock Photos

In thinking about place, the focus should be on them, the customer, and not us. What are you doing as an institution, and, as a leader in your institution, to enable your customers to advance in their lives from one place to the next?  ”Well, we build new things. We create new products and services. We do more…stuff.”  Institutions build systems for virtual place and buildings for physical space. It’s our manifest destiny.

Stop right there. First, listen to what place your customer seeks. Second, get out a napkin and sketch it out. Make a map to help you get them from here to there. Finally, design the solution, ensuring you can support it operationally and financially. With a little bit of planning and a lot of listening, we can be sure that the places we build are not the result of guesswork, but out of a true commitment to delivering a set of products and services to our customers that suit their needs.

Memorial Day 2014

Photo credit:

Photo credit:

It is with great reverence and respect that we remember those who gave their lives in defense of our great nation. One day of remembrance does not do their memories justice, but we remain ever thankful for their service and sacrifice.

Reconn Radio: Podcast #22 – Week of 05/19/14


The Psychic Issue: Economic Review, Those Stinkin’ Branches, and Theoretical Physics

May is almost away. There are many things happening, all of which are only incrementally different from yesterday. Branches are still at the top of mind for folks. How long will they continue to be? Also, we talk about our Ps, but not our Qs. Finally, we discuss the intricate matters around clairvoyance and theoretical physics. Well, not really.

Of course, we begin where we always do, the economy. But, you already knew that.



To listen to more of our podcasts, please click here.

Process. How do we get there?

StartingLineWith. Great. Aplomb.

Imagine this conversation in your organization:

“Where is that we should start?”

“I don’t know. Perhaps at the beginning.”

It seems like a simple conversation. There is a question and a solution, an answer. However, we often find ourselves starting in the middle and, unfortunately, going backwards to cover ground we should’ve accounted for in the beginning. A simple, elegant process map might have helped a bit. In executing the broader plan for your organization and helping it carry forth its philosophy, having a decent process is key. Get there with confidence. As M says to Bond, “Don’t muck it up, 007.” Right. Let’s not muck it up.

People. Treasured and terrifying.

dreamstimefree_192479Consistency. Concentration. Collaboration.

We’ve said it many times here. Now, let’s apply it. When you look for people to help you leverage organizational resources, consider these three elements as the foundation for competency.

Are they consistent in their approach to their work?

Do you they do it without getting pulled in multiple directions, derailed by distractions?

Do they work well with others, lift them up, and bring them along, or are they loners? Also, with collaboration, do they have this belief that there were many other forces – people, money, time given – that got them to the place they occupy now? If the answer is no, then it’s time to make a move.

So, we treasure our people. Managing them and leading them may seem terrifying. But it doesn’t have to be that hard.

05/12/14 – Our weekly perspective on the economy

R financial toolsIn good times and in bad times, there is one constant: bad governance. The surprising thing is that the market rarely takes this into consideration as long as bad governance doesn’t affect sales and profits. There is gnashing of the teeth. There is wringing of the hands. There is much commiseration. My heart bleeds for thee of fickle camaraderie.

So, as the market looks for higher and higher ground, we continue to struggle with the notion that bigger is better, higher is grander. It’s tough to sell. It’s a challenge for the poor marketing staff, too. But, alas, we do our best to forge ahead. Well, we sort.

For the week ending May 9, 2014, the NASDAQ Bank Index, which we provide compliments of SNL Financial, lost ground, giving up another 15 points during the week. Bank stocks can’t seem to find their footing. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, on the other hand, put on some weight for the week, adding just over 70 points and ending the week at 16,583.34.

There was decent news on the calendar last week, including positive signs in the service sector and a growing willingness to borrow. This week, we look to the NFIB and its small-business sentiment index, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index, and one of our favorites, the Empire State index. As always, our economic calendar is provided by and can be found here.

Philosophy. This is not for the transcendental.

R country road freeMission. Vision. Values.

These oftentimes overused terms make strategic planning and execution as boring of a concept as watching paint dry. Add SWOT analysis to that and you might as well be the paintbrush handle. Go beyond the handle, I say.

Wrapped around these three terms and their long-held meanings is philosophy. It’s the fuel in your tank. Fuel in your tank is an interesting element in life. Fuel does not care where you go or how fast you get there. It simply provides energy. It’s a catalyst for action. It’s that which gets us down the road. Are you staying true to your institution’s philosophy? To your personal philosophy?

In business we are called to serve our customers, clients, and constituents in an outstanding manner. And, oh yeah, make some money while doing it.

When we stick to our basic principles, our philosophy, the road will still be bumpy at times. In fact, sticking to our principles might make it even bumpier. As with all things, however, as we travel down that road, we will know that we’re headed in the right direction. And it’s because we have the map that is philosophy to get us there.


New Blog Series: The 6 Ps of Business

© Pavalache Stelian | Dreamstime Stock Photos

© Pavalache Stelian | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Can we really wrap up all you need to know about business in just 6 easy blog posts? And, can we do it with only one letter of the alphabet?

Let’s find out! Join us for our new series featuring “The 6 Ps of Business” starting on Monday.

Please be our guest.

It won’t be painful.

We promise.