April 2012 Newsletter

Coming April 2012

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August 2012 Newsletter

What’s your IQ on performance evaluations?

august 2012 newsletter imageIt’s not unusual when I am working with committees on strategic planning or change management initiatives that the topic of job descriptions and performance evaluations becomes a part of the conversation. Whether or not the individuals held a position in management, most expressed a mix of emotions, an increased heart rate and felt as if they were playing the game of Clue to participate and complete this required job task. Why? Both the manager and employee attributed their opinions to an absence of ongoing feedback about their performance.

Read on and let me share with you my experience in the first of a series of enewsletters over the next few months about the myths, and facts of performance evaluations.

Myth- Managers inherently know how to conduct performance evaluations.

Fact - Managers seldom receive little if any training or have helpful tools available to aid in the completion of performance evaluations. They dread the performance evaluation process and want to run from it rather than look forward to it. The discussions of an individual’s performance often occur near a fixed time frame such as raises, instead of throughout the year.

Further research revealed that according to a poll taken in 2009 by Reuters, 4 out of 5 U.S. workers are dissatisfied with their job performance reviews. In addition, an article published in 2010 by The Psychological Bulletin, psychologists concluded that at least 30% of the performance reviews ended up in decreased employee performance.

Yikes! Do you have any idea how your company measures up to these stats?

Take that first step, and begin talking with your employees frequently about how they are doing on the job. It’s all about feedback, and more feedback. Assure them when they are in line with company goals, and help realign them when they drift off course. No need for employees to be in limbo, and learn after the fact, that they are not meeting standards.

Think about your favorite teacher or coach, didn’t they always give you timely and meaningful feedback to help you grow?

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December 2012 Newsletter

Do You Hear What I Hear...?

december 2012 newsletter image

With the Holiday Season fast approaching, the beginning lyrics of the song, “Do You Hear What I Hear…?” playing on radios and in retail stores has been ringing in my head, causing me to think about communications in the workplace.  

Today’s workplace employs multiple generations, with different verbal and writing styles, plus a variety of applications for electronic communication and collaboration.

Many companies now have distributed workforces operating from their home offices. Wow! What flexibility, what diversity! What an opportunity for miscommunication disaster! That's right. Technology used ineffectively can also accelerate poor communication in the workplace. Technology advancements in the traditional work environment have fundamentally altered intra-company communications. I believe it is essential that all employees know how to use today's communication tools correctly.

To Avoid Throwing a Wrench into...

your company's internal communications system, I submit the following survey questions for your consideration.

What are the methods your company uses to communicate to its employees information that directly affects job execution?

  • How would you describe your company’s primary or preferred communication i.e., email, Skype, IM, phone?
  • Are inter-office communications clear and do people hear what you want them to hear? If not, why?

Consider a Formal Plan...

for your intra-company communications. I can guarantee it will have only a positive effect. *Globoforce 2011 report cites 73% of workers say their organization’s strategies and goals are NOT translated into specific work tasks they can execute. We also know 70% of workers do not know what to do to support their organization’s *strategies and goals.

A formal communication structure can improve employee engagement, increase morale and create productivity in the workplace! The absence of a communication plan will guarantee an eventual overload of emails, text messages, or voice mails and result in personnel failing to respond timely to the original question asked, contribute to a delay in information, and then have you racing to meet the deadline on a project! Sound familiar?


Four Cornerstones to Get You Started...

Take the lead, meet with your team to share these simple communication tips:

  1. Schedule a direct face-to-face conversation whenever you have difficult information to convey or tasks that generate many questions.
  2. Reserve texting for a quick question or answer for example, “what time is the sales meeting?” without need for further explanation.
  3. Assess the content of your message; consider how well you know the recipient, to determine whether it needs to be verbal or written.
  4. Make certain the information you convey is clear and direct. Avoid vague and ambiguous statements.


End the year on a high note, knowing you've linked up the communication patterns in your workplace! On behalf of all of my associates here at Success Trek, I wish you a very warm happy holiday and a prosperous new year!



Are You Tired of Having to Do it ALL Yourself?

Shhh...here's a solution!

After opening a second location, Custom Dosing Pharmacy owner, Jeff Barton, was feeling "spread thin."  Like many small business owners, Jeff had "worn multiple hats" over the years to ensure business success. But now, a new strategy was needed to support the growth cycle. Jeff clearly saw this need, but how could he create and implement a comprehensive growth plan while simultaneously managing day-to-day operations? Overwhelmed by this daunting challenge, Jeff Barton reached out to Success Trek for guidance.

Elizabeth Franke, Pharmacist at Custom Dosing said, 

“Theresa was able to help Jeff focus on his strengths of marketing and growing the business.  At the same time, she organized the rest of the team to support Jeff and prepare for the impending growth.  By analyzing each team member's strengths and weaknesses, Theresa formulated a comprehensive plan to utilize each employee's skills for maximum effectiveness. She also helped organize Jeff in his marketing pursuits by creating a strategies and marketing spreadsheet that seamlessly adapts to his immediate and long-term goals.  Implementing Theresa's plan has streamlined our workflow,improved our employees' quality of life, and increased sales.  Success!”

Success Trek's "Organization Development Builder" tool will allow you to make better decisions about how to leverage your team to support and address the multi-faceted challenges of your successful, growing organization.

Are You Ready to...

  • Tap into the Talents of your Team Members?
  • Create a strategic plan to strengthen your infrastructure?
  • Identify and place the "right" people in spots to replace you?
  • Wear fewer hats yourself while enjoying continued growth and success?
  • Create an organizational chart and growth plan to achieve the future you envision?     

Are You Ready to Start using the correctly identified talents of a team to achieve your dream for greater success? Contact us today to schedule a no cost conversation.


CLIENT SPOTLIGHT: Custom Dosing Pharmacy

Custom Dosing Pharmacy has been specializing in compounding for 12 years. Pharmacy compounding is the art and science of preparing personalized medications for patients. Compounded medications are “made from scratch” – individual ingredients are mixed together in the exact strength and dosage form required by the patient. This method allows the compounding pharmacist to work with the patient and the prescriber to customize a medication to meet the patient’s specific needs.

At Custom Dosing Pharmacy, recognizing the uniqueness of each patient is our specialty - from hormone replacement therapy to pediatrics to veterinary medications. We take into account your special needs, your unique physiology, your individual goals for your health. Then, we work with your physician to formulate a one-of-a-kind preparation that has been custom made just for you!

Visit us at:


Two locations to serve you:

3307 Calumet Avenue, Suite 206                           1000 Breuckman Drive
Valparaiso, IN 46383                                           Crown Point, IN 46307
219-465-2181                                                     219-662-5602

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February 2012 Newsletter

Where There’s a Will There’s a Way: A Strong Will Helps New Time Management Strategies Stick

february 2012 newsletter imageIt’s been a little over a month since the time of making New Year’s Resolutions or, as we recommend, New Year’s Re-solutions. Second only to weight loss, the most popular New Year’s Resolution for 2012  is  getting more organizedgetting more organized. For the majority of my clients, improving their organizational skills means trading in old, time-sucking habits for new, efficient time-management strategies. That’s  the reason why my presentation, “There Really Are Enough Hours In the Day,” always seems to be in demand.  While time management strategies work only when successfully implemented, which requires you to change your behavior. While changing behavior involves many steps, one thing that increases our success is willpower. After all, we have been taught all our lives that “where there’s a will there’s a way,” right?” Wrong!

Well, it may not be completely wrong, but my clients have shown me that the power of the “will” is not quite that simple. Over the years, I’ve found that  people who have the strongest wills (defined as “high levels of determination or the desire to choose one’s own actions”) are often the ones who remain wedded to bad habits. Their will actually gets in their way, rather than creating a new one. In fact, I would go so far as to say that when it comes to learning and implementing new time management strategies, where there’s a will there’s a wall; not a way!

Why? Because  individuals with a strong will tend to put up the most resistance to change; particularly if it is perceived as coming from the outside  There are many for failing to make time management strategies stick, such as failing to “visualize your goal,” or “emotionalize the consequence of not achieving your goal.” But these things have to do with looking ahead  when the strategies are implemented or what it feels like if they are not.  They offer you incentives for moving forward.  

But how do we let go of those things that are holding us back? I’m not just talking about bad habits; that’s a matter of changing behaviors. I’m talking about letting go of (or rather, breaking through) the wall that is inside of us – that tells us we’ll be losing something precious if we change our behavior. We have been taught that failing to change bad habits, such as poor time managementpoor time management, comes from being weak willed rather than strong willed. But to those who are used to making their own decisions in their own time, adopting new time management strategies can feel like a yolk around their neck, limiting their freedom, spontaneity and creativity.

A Battle of Wills Over Time Management
My colleague’s work with an arts organization serves as an instructive example. She just finished helping them work through a battle of wills between the new Executive Director and the artists, who teach pottery to at-risk kids. The Executive Director (a former corporate COO) wanted the artists to begin time studies, tracking their time hourly for one month, to identify areas of inefficiency. The artists baulked at the suggestion, certain it would rob them and the organization of the fluidity necessary for artistic creativity. Ultimately the time studies  demonstrated that although the artists perceived that they had the freedom of choice when it came to determining their schedules (which then enabled them to be more creative)  this perception was false (or what I like to call, “a limiting belief). In reality, their lack of prioritizing and goal setting actually caused them to stay late (for last minute kiln firings), work over the weekends (to catch up on unfinished paperwork from the week) and make less money (by buying extra supplies because they had no time to submit a purchase request). In other words, their will to determine their own choices - free of the yolk of strategic time management - was actually limiting their freedom and robbing them of the refueling time needed to spark creativityrefueling time needed to spark creativity. As Peter DruckerPeter Drucker would say, they may have been doing everything right, but they weren’t doing the right things. The first has to do with being efficient, the second has to do with being effective.     

What about you? When the rubber hits the road, how willing (there’s that word “will” again) are you to implement time management strategies? Are you willing, but find it difficult; or do you find it difficult because you are unwilling?

For some, creating successful and sustainable change in time management habits requires willpower. For you, it may require submitting your will to the power of an effective time management process. In doing so, like the artists you may find that what you were most afraid of losing if you were forced to manage your time – the freedom of choice, creativity and spontaneity – was something you never really had in the first place because your time was managing you.

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January 2012 Newsletter

Your Top 10 Favorite Success Trek Blogs from 2011! 
Those of you who know me well know that I am a firm believer that learning from our past successes and challenges greatly improves our ability to create a successful future. In that spirit, we’re jumping into 2012 with a look back at our Top 10 blogs that you told us were your favorites. We hope that the tips, tools and solutions you found in them when they were first published will help you make 2012 a year of prosperity and success!

Personal and Professional Success

Self Sabotaging at Work?

Yourself an S.O.S. To sabotage, according to the dictionary, is “to destroy, damage or disrupt something, especially by secret 10-04-11 blog imagemeans.” So what do you do if you have found the enemy who is sabotaging your success and the enemy is you?



Strengths-Based Career Management

 Your work history is a record of what you’ve done, not necessarily of what you do well. Work experience and resumes have an 02-10-11 blog imageinertia all their own and can mask (or make you lose touch with) your true strengths. So how do you manage your careers according to your strengths?



Time To Change Your Behavior or Change Your Job?

Baby boomers change jobs an average of every two years. Are they advancing their careers or simply unwilling to change 03-10-11 blog imagetheir behavior? How will you know the difference when you’re looking to make a move?


Leadership Development

The Lion Sleeps Tonight
As a leader, you want  to find the fast track to success. But being preoccupied with chasing success can lead to career-killing 09-27-11 blog imageconsequences. It’s a jungle out there! Learn from “The Lion and the Mouse” what qualities it takes to thrive as a leader.



Stay Organized and Increase Productivity by Getting Your Head in the Game!
Of all the topics I’m asked to write and speak about, the most popular is how to get and stay organized. It’s like dieting – 10-04-11 blog image-2people have tried so many different methods and failed so often that they’re desperate for that one secret that will help them become more effective leaders by changing their behavior for good. Will our secret work for you?


Stop Waiting for Conflict to Walk Out the Door
Have you ever thought, “If only he/she would leave, it would all be fine.” Conflict is inevitable. So how can you as a leader 02-22-11 blog imagemanage it successfully? Learn the first step.



Organizational Development


Learning Curves Ahead
The shortest distance between two points may be a straight line, but in the business world, experience has taught me that the 09-20-11 blog imageshortest distance between failure and success involves lots and lots of curves. We have 3 key tips to keep learning curves from turning into permanent detours.


Feeding Time: Annual Reviews, Bad Bosses, and Disengaged Employees
As a manager, are you required to give annual reviews? Do you think they help increase your employees’ level of engagement? You 11-15-11 blog imagemight want to think again. Avoid the biggest mistake you and your organization can make when conducting annual reviews.


You’re Not Listening!
To run a successful business, department or project, effective communication skills are not optional. Here is one tool to 03-02-11 blog imageimprove workplace communication that seems so simple, yet is very powerful.



Give Me a Break!
Are you worried about your organization’s level of employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention? Here is just one simple01-13-11 blog image tip that will help you create a happy and engaged workforce!

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