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Past President 2012/13


Manage & Supervise

Keeping Promises – What is 100%?

Keeping Promises – what is 100%
By; Adolph Kaestner

I was chatting to a friend and colleague about finding the right people to do a job and how difficult this has become.

The number of times people “commit / agree” to do something and then just don’t deliver without even a warning or a call for help, seems to be acceptable.

Regrettably it’s a sign of the times where people want to receive maximum reward for minimal effort and where commitment to do what needs to be done rather than what suits them to do is the order of the day.

Non-delivery is a South African norm and basic fulfilling of duties is regarded as extraordinary achievement that should be rewarded and applauded.

In my training on Performance Management I do a Session on – “What is 100%”. The comments I get from delegates ranges from very good to outstanding and the expectation is an increase, a bonus and even a promotion.

I remind them that 100% is doing what you were contracted or committed to do.
My definitions of 100% is:-

“Doing EVERYTHING that is listed in your JD/KPI’s —within the TIME specified—-within the BUDGET agreed –with a NEGLIGABLE ERROR rate and with a MINIMUM of direct SUPERVISION”

And the reward for delivering 100% is simply:  Thanks and You Can Keep your JOB

If you want more than that you have to deliver more –

My Performance Rating scale is as follows.

  1. Excellent                120% ++  – This is the Bonus and Promotion zone
  2. Very Good              106% to 119%
  3. Good                     (96) 100% (105)
  4. Satisfactory            86% to 95%
  5. Unsatisfactory         76% to 85%
  6. Poor                      Under 75%  – This is the Exit Strategies zone

CHANGE – We hate it – But we need it !

“Change is not merely necessary to life It is life!”
Alvin Toffler

Every year all good businesses Micro, Small, Medium and Large look at what has happened in the past year/years and tries to predict what they want to achieve in the coming year/years. –Well at least I trust they all do otherwise they could be heading down a slippery slope to being an ex-business very fast.

There are always things we are great at and that the market wants and we should Continue doing these things. Then there are new demands for our products and services which we should Start doing if we want to keep our existing and attract new clients. Then there are the things we do badly and that clients either want of don’t and these we should either Stop doing or Change what we are doing.

It really is not rocket science but there is always the mistake most businesses make and that is they presume they know what the clients/markets want and need. The really successful businesses do not assume they know — they ASK the Client/Customer and then only do they apply the strategies and plan to provide what is wanted. And the Great companies of course deliver more than what is wanted or expected.

The Key to survival and prosperity is Change.

Albert Einstein defined insanity/madness as “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result”.  And this put another way is – you must change to make it happen and to achieve the results you want.

But just the word Change makes people feel that their world is crumbling. Some run away, some become inert and some go into deep states of depression. The successful ones learn how to cope with change and if they are business owners they learn how to implement change without causing the reactions mentioned above for their teams. – This is not just a hit and miss process – it is a skill one needs to learn BEFORE implementing the changes not after as then it is too late.

So what then are the keys to and effective change intervention:-

  •  Understand the real need for the change – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of the situation.
  •  Get the right people together to lead the change in the company.
  • Create a “Dream-board” of the desired end result
  • Share and communicate the “Dream-board” with all until the accept and buy into it
  • Allow them to “Go For It” – remove red tape and obstacles – Give power with responsibility and accountability.
  • Celebrate Milestone Successes as they happen – “What gets recognised gets repeated” Adolph Kaestner
  • Implement all the changes that worked and keep on promoting their usage – create a vibe of energy and excellence.
  • Make them a Habit and a Home Grown Tool for success so that the process continues.

If you are not sure that you can do this on your own get someone to help.  Failure is not an option and does more harm and breaks the trust for future change interventions. The people affected also need to be shown how to cope with the change which in itself is a skill that needs to be known to all and especially the change agents.


But above all do not be afraid of implementing change. Winston Churchill shared these sage words with us  “There is nothing wrong in change — if it is in the right direction. To improve is to change, so to be perfect is to have to change often”.

Enjoy changing, adopting new projects and processes and the success they bring with them.

Teams or many I’s working together?

It is very interesting to hear many trainers, managers and team “leaders” quoting the old adage of “there is no I in TEAM”.

I personally do not believe in this maxim or philosophy as the teams I have been involved in or observed are in fact a whole bunch of I’s that work as individuals but towards a common goal or purpose.

To assume that the members of a group wanting to achieve something must suddenly lose their own individual identity and become like the others (a mass cloning session) is a major fault in most teams that cannot seem to get it together and achieve or exceed the results expected.

Each Individual making up the team has his or her own unique set of skills to bring to the final result. They should be encouraged to display their own individual talents, knowledge and skill to the betterment of the task at hand and not try and become some amorphous mass that must fit into the mould of the rest.

My experience has been that where members are allowed to excel at their own skills and make individual contributions towards the end result one gets better results than when everybody tries to do the “collective”  “do it together “ bit.

The role of the team manager (note I do not use the term leader) is to identify these individual skills and manage them in such a way that they all make the maximum contribution the desired end result and at the same time allow the individual to excel and make his or her mark in the process.

The concept of the “collective” or team always having to be the same, act the same, talk the same, decide collectively how to do things and at what pace etc has more that often led to the team NOT achieving the goals, as the stars are curtailed from shining and then the benefit of their skills and energy and innovation etc is lost.

Managing a group of high achievers and allowing them to explore their own talents etc is not an easy task but it allows for great results rather getting everybody to tow the same line and achieving a mediocre result. As Managers  we need to ensure that we get our members to exhibit their maximum potential for their own good as well as the good of the team.

Professionalism and Standards – How do you stack up?

Professionalism and Standards – How do you stack up?

Two very interesting concepts that most people in business believe they deliver but which most customers/clients complain about.
So why is there a disconnect between the Provider and the Receiver?

Let’s look at the two concepts:
Professionalism, in its simplest form, merely means that a person is being paid for a service. The mere act of accepting money makes one a professional as opposed to an amateur/volunteer.

Two definitions of this term give us some interesting insights (1) -Professionalism is knowing how to do it, when to do it, and doing it. – Frank Tyger and (2) Professionalism: It’s NOT the job you DO, It’s HOW you DO the job.- Author Unknown.
Other Criteria to be considered a Professional include:-
• Expert and Specialised Knowledge in a specific field.
• High ethics– confidential relationships.
• Very high quality of work/service.
• Specialist education and skills
• Autonomy and Independence
• Applying theory to practice and solving problems
• Enthusiasm, commitment and loyalty
• Ongoing Life Long Learning
• Setting an example others follow
• And many more ….

So where do we fit in and how do we regard and measure ourselves as professionals?

Truth be told I guess we believe and espouse to be true professionals and we state that on out web sites, marketing material and even say it when we sell ourselves and our services to our client’s and prospective clients.
But the true test of professionalism is not what we think but rather it’s all about what our Clients and the world at large thinks and says. So how do you measure your professionalism? Do you ask for specific feedback from your clients as to how they felt you deal with the issues at hand with specific reference to your professionalism? And if found lacking what do you offer your clients in compensation for lower than expected delivery?

Let’s now look at Standards

Standards may be defined as the level of expected results demanded by our clients. It is not about what we believe is good enough its what our clients (colleagues/industry) believe we should be delivering.

The following quotations gives an inkling of what is expected:- (1)The idea for which this nation stands will not survive if the highest goal free man can set themselves is an amiable mediocrity. Excellence implies striving for the highest standards in every phase of life. John W. Gardner and (2) You must regulate your life by the standards you admire when you are at your best. John M. Thomas

Some minimum standards considered to be no-brainers:-
• On Time and In Budget every time
• No hidden costs and agendas
• Value for money
• Pay it Forward if it’s out of your skill set/domain
• If you don’t know – say so
• Don’t renege on promises / your word
• Unquestionable Honesty
• And many more ….

So how do you stack up?
• Do you have your own check list against which you evaluate yourself and your business transactions and interventions?
• Do you ask your clients for feedback on how you are doing in their eyys after each intervention?
• Do you test your professionalism and standards against the norms in your industry
• Do you offer a 100% of fee refund if your clients complain that you delivery was not up to standard

Professionalism and the Highest Standards are a clients right and we need to ensure that we are continually looking to provide them with what they are paying for and then some.

It’s no longer acceptable to just give the client a good experience – to stay in business and get referrals and grow our businesses we need to be delivering WOW experiences.
If we expect them to give us business referrals we need to be better than they expect us to be.

It’s a great habit to review your own Performance on a quarterly basis at least – so take 2 minutes now and set aside an hour in your diaries to do so every 3 months and you and your business will be better for it and your clients will truly believe you are the best thing that has happened to them this year.

Have fun and be better than the best you think you can be!

Personal Excellence is the Key

Most people I deal with all seem to either Wish or Hope that something will happen that will make them successful in life.

What a waste of time !!- there can be no greater waste of time and energy than wishing and hoping!

The Key to success and achievement has to be the Development of Personal Excellence so that you are the most efficient and productive person you can be in your chosen field of work and endeavour.

And to be Personally Excellent one has to take action to get there – you cannot buy it, inherit it and it wont come through some wild intervention by others – it takes Personal Commitment and Action.

That is what I am all about and I have dedicated myself to assisting those who truly want to excel to get there and to be the leaders and not the followers in their lives.

I look forward to working with you all to achieve the same