Welcome To Pages From The Coach’s Playbook
My ultimate goal is to write useful and relevant content about everything related to creating success and getting you to the next level. Sometimes however, I do find myself just blogging about things that need to be talked about. So don’t be surprised by what you find popping up here.
Keep an eye out for the occasional Guest Blog or Guest Article because I do believe in keeping the content fresh and diverse.
By the way, if you know of someone who would like to share a blog or article here, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
I always welcome all useful comments, suggestions and critiques. So come often, bring a friend, and stay as long as you’d like!
The Launch of the MSP Pro Academy and the Indiegogo.com Funding Campaign By Manuel Palachuk After many years of brainstorming and collecting input for consideration, I’m finally ready to get the MSP Pro Academy launched. The intention is to build a learning and collaboration portal where anyone interested in training in the Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) discipline can find an authoritative source for quality training. I imagined the site should also provide the most important Business Management skills related to running a successful IT or Managed Service business. The best part about this site launch is that it allows me to begin collecting input and direction from those who are interested in the content and will be consuming it. It also makes sense to get it crowd funded to allow me to start it right with the best content and platform possible. I look forward to what the participating community helps me develop here. I know it will be excellent! If you watch the site and follow the campaign, you’re going to see it mature and develop right before your eyes. It’s launching with simple mock-up content but largely reflects what I have in mind for the site. I maintain that I’m always willing to take time to talk to inspired and motivated entrepreneurs who are trying to get to the next level. Well, right now I’M the one who’s motivated and inspired, and I’m going to take this to the next level. So I’d love to hear anyone’s constructive input and even their critiques as it moves forward. What is the next step? The Indiegogo campaign will start shortly after the go-live date, so please bookmark this site and check back often to see how things are progressing. The targeted go-live date is April 11, 2017. You can also find this blog as the initial seed blog on the MSP Pro Academy website....read more
Championing The Cause Are You Supporting The Efforts or Hindering Them? By Manuel Palachuk If you’ve ever had the strange feeling that the efforts your team is working for are not fully supported by everyone on the team or even management, it’s probably not unwarranted. All too often we have meetings where we discuss the path to success and then look around the room asking for buy-in, but once the meeting is over the follow-through just isn’t there. When this happens, the path to success is more of a forest covered in brush and all you have is a pocket knife. As the saying goes, good luck with that. The worst case scenarios I’ve seen occurs when top-level management states they are willing to give the endeavor a try or see how it goes, fully intending to be a champion of the effort or plan, but in reality, they are in fact not. This is the worst because they are not only fooling themselves that they have bought in, but they are also either intentionally or unintentionally fooling their own team. Can you think of a better way to waste company resources than to be half-ass committed to an endeavor? How can you tell if management is not really championing the idea? It’s actually pretty simple. Listen to what they say about the initiative and pay attention to their sentiment. There will be a noticeable negative sentiment in their words and reactions. They will question the validity and strength of the initiative openly as if questioning whether it should still be pursued. Sometimes they are subconsciously looking for support in their efforts to doom the endeavor. I’ve even seen managers and owners treat initiatives they personally brought to the team as if they were an undesirable stepchild. If the top-level people are not championing the cause, it’s not going to go anywhere. If the owners and managers don’t believe in it, it’s going to die a horrible death. If you’re a manager or owner and you’re doing this, stop it now. Stop wasting your precious resources and everyone’s time. If you don’t buy in for whatever reason, or you’re just not willing to fully commit to a low probability of success endeavor, don’t pretend to. It’s like trying to train a pig to sing. It’s pointless and it just annoys the pig. What is at risk for you as a manager, supervisor or owner is your integrity and the unrestricted support of your people. If they see you waffling over an initiative, they will assume it’s okay for them to do the same. They will not be able to recognize when you are fully and truly committed and when you are not. And their support for an initiative will mirror yours, or worse, they will simply not support anything until they are fully sure you are all in. By the time this happens, the initiative could very well fail under its own weight. If you’re a team member, your role is much easier, believe it or not, assuming you’ve got the guts to speak up. If your supervisor, manager, or the owner is not portraying the ideal champion, ask them. Go ahead, ask them. “Tell me, boss, is this just the next thing you’re hoping will magically happen or...read more
Do you remember when your business consisted of nothing more than you and your dog? Maybe even your spouse was involved. And then one day it doubles in size becasue you hired your first real employee. How did you manage that person? Most likely you tried to give them autonomy in how they operated and relied on their skills to get things done. At this stage, most small businesses get by through the heroic efforts of individuals. Fast forward to today where you may have anywhere from ten to fifty or even one hundred people in your organization.read more
Many years ago I wrote an article entitled Take Time In Your Life For Inspiration. In it I make what is now my personal statement: I believe that everyone is capable of both being inspired and inspiring others. A most valuable trait is the ability to take time in your life to recognize when you should be doing which.
I was recently reminded that people undertake actions or activities and they often don’t realize that what they are doing may actually help inspire others. In my most recent Coach’s Huddle with a set group of MSP’s from all over the US and one in Great Britain, I got a real big surprise.read more
When I was young, if I wanted to talk to my best friend Randy without going over to his house or meeting him somewhere, I had only one choice – call him on the telephone. Of course, I could only call him if he had previously given me his phone number or if I knew the last name used for setting up the telephone account. You see, his mother remarried and she did not have the same last name as Randy. So if I did not know his mom or stepdad’s last name, I had no chance of getting his phone number from the operator (Information). Today, if I want to connect with someone, I have numerous choices of how to connect including email, phone, video, texting, online chat, social media, and even discussion forums. And I don’t even need to know the other person’s last name let alone their real name.read more
A few years back I wrote an article on ITIL – Information Technology Infrastructure Library and I even interviewed an expert on the subject. ITIL has always been through of as the best practice library for big corporations but it is folks like myself who are trying to pull that curtain down all the way to the floor, as it were. We think that what ITIL has to offer is of great value to any size organization that intends to sell and deliver IT services.read more
As I’m writing my book Getting To The Next Level and rounding out the chapter on this thing I call the organization Compass, I put together an anecdote to help drive home the importance of getting it right. Besides being a sneak peek at more of the book before it releases, it’s a great compass cross-check everyone should read. Here it is:
In my book Getting To The Next Level, I cover a lot of ground in the discussion of the Compass segment of the Pyramid of Purpose and Value. I try to make it clear how the three levels – Products and Services, Target Market, and Operating Systems – combine to determine the direction in which the organization is going. They make up the compass and point where we are going as an organization. They determine who we will partner with and who we will build our relationships with.read more
I’ve been meaning to blog about this thing I call the Pyramid of Purpose and Value for the longest time. Well, I ended up writing about it extensively in my book Getting To The Next Level, so I’m taking advantage of that and posting the introduction to the Pyramid directly from Chapter 1, What Does The Next Level Look Like? Here is the excerpt:
Strategy planning and execution on the planned strategy are what will ultimately determine the success of any business. An essential component of execution is the ability to effectively convey the structure of the organization and the planned strategy. For if the structure and the strategy don’t make sense, or are not properly communicated to everyone involved, no matter what level of the organization they are at, they won’t know where the organization is going or how they are to help it get there.read more
By my definition, it is the most valuable intangible asset of any organization. The Human Element is the actuator, custodian, and perpetuator of the organization’s culture. It is the single most powerful determinant of success for a healthy and viable business. Only with a healthy company culture can an organization truly focus on next level innovation.
Let me explain and clarify the Human Element. In business, people are considered resources because they are in fact the brains and the brawn of the operation. In today’s global industries, brawn means everything from the ones assembling the robots to the ones programming and oiling them. We have a ways to go before there is no more heavy lifting whatsoever required in making a business run. The business function that deals with managing the recruitment, pay and discharging, etc. of people is formally called Human Resources. The Human Element is the innate skills, talent, emotion, drive and culture that only come from humans. The Human Element is what gives the organization’s Values meaning and it is the driving force that makes the Mission valid.read more
Have you ever wanted to put on a small event to showcase or show off your product or services but just don’t have the budget? Then you should know about what is called the Marketing Development Fund or MDF for short. It is the term used for funds available from vendors and partners of products and services for the purpose of helping you market their products and services. Why would they do this? Pretty simple – if they can help you sell more of their products and services and gain themselves more exposure and recognition, well that has value.read more