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Meet Lois Greisen, Executive Coach and President/Owner of Eagle Associates. Lois is a Certified Business Coach with over 25 years of management experience.

Posts Tagged ‘Teams’

05 Nov
4 Reasons to Develop a Strategic Plan
Posted by lois on Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 | permalink | trackback
Strategy Can Help Business and the Team Stay Focused

Strategy Can Help Business and the Team Stay Focused

Business Strategy – Heart of the Business

A good strategic plan can propel a business to be even more successful. Over 90% of success stories in business are attributable to a good strategy. There are a number of reasons that make the strategy the heart of the business.  Let’s look at four of them

1.  Helps in crisis prediction and prevention.  Many businesses end up losing equity or ultimately collapsing in the face of a crisis. A good business strategy is key in ensuring that crises are predicted before hand and prevented before occurring. For example, a good strategy defines the cause of action in case of raw material shortage. This ensures that the business does not go into crisis mode when the shortage occurs.  Strategy is a key to combating a host of organizational challenges.  Take time to develop your strategic plan.

2.  Acts as a reference point – A good business strategy also acts in the interest of the business whereby it acts as a point of reference. A good strategy gives the management and the workforce as a whole a sense of direction toward the accomplishment of set goals. This is crucial in building teamwork as well as ensuring that the whole organization’s labor force works towards achievement of common objectives.  Look at where you are today and strategize where you want to be in the future.  Strategic planning can help you get you there.

3.  Efficient resource utilization – One of the main causes of organization failure is the misappropriation of resources including time, money and supplies. Resources may be directed in a multitude of projects. A good strategy enables the right resources to the right projects by clearly outlining which projects will move the company in the right direction.  This reduces inefficient resource utilization.  It is too costly not to have a strategy in place.

4.  Customer attraction and retention – Businesses exist as a result of their customers. Customers are a very important element of the business and they need to be constantly attracted and retained. A good business strategy has in place customer attraction techniques as well as guides on how the organization can retain these customers. Without a good strategy, the business is likely to under perform and is at the risk of losing it customers to its competitors.

In conclusion, it is important that your business has a well-laid strategy in order to ensure that the business survives and thrives its challenges into the future.  A good business strategy is responsible for profits and loss prevention.  Schedule your strategy session.  Contact me today.

06 May
Are You Doing These 7 Keys to Success? Key Number 7
Posted by lois on Tuesday, May 6th, 2014 | permalink | trackback
Keep On Keeping On

Keep On Keeping On

As mentioned in previous blog posts, key number one in the seven keys to success, was to know where you are going.  Key number two was to develop a plan to get there.  Key number three was to implement the plan, key number four was to monitor the plan, key number 5 was to stay focused and key number 6 was to fail forward.  Today we will discuss key number 7, which is to never give up – keep on keeping on.

The 7th key in my seven keys to success is to never give up – keep on keeping on.  In his book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill says:  ”The majority of people are ready to throw their aims and purposes overboard and give up at the first sign of opposition or misfortune.  A few carry on despite all opposition until they attain their goal. These few are the Fords, Carnegies, Rockefellers, Edisons, and other outstanding achievers of the world.”  Many times we spend hours doing things like watching TV, playing games such as Candy Crush, reading posts on Facebook, shopping on the Internet or other activities that really aren’t very important to our lives and that will not help move us in the direction that we want to go. When we realize how much time we waste doing time-consuming activities that are not taking us in the direction we want to go, we can make better choices and pursue our goals. It’s easy to take instant gratification at the expense of our long-term goals. Persistence is the key to success.  If you do the right things every single day you will be successful. The key is to be persistent. Don’t give up.

I remember reading a book about a person who wanted to write for a living. Several years out of college, the individual realized that he had not written a single book. He realized that if he had written one page every single day he would’ve written several books. Little things add up. I also remember listening to an audio CD in which the person posted a sign in her office that read:  “You don’t have to do this the rest of your life; you do have to do it today!” So start with little daily actions and never give up – keep on keeping on.

If you need help holding you accountable with your actions contact me. Do it now as your first small action.

26 Jun
7 Keys to Success – Success Key Number 4
Posted by lois on Wednesday, June 26th, 2013 | permalink | trackback
If you have a strategy, as in the top graph but execute as in the bottom line, you are missing much opportunity.

If you have a strategy, as in the top graph but execute as in the bottom line, you are missing much opportunity.

Monitor your plan

Key number one in the seven keys to success, is to know where you are going.  Key number two is to develop a plan to get there.  Key number three is to implement the plan and key number four is to monitor your plan.

Monitor the plan.  Once you have figured out where you’re going, have developed a plan to get there and have implemented the plan; you must monitor the progress to be sure you stay on track.  You should have a hopeful heart but a watchful eye to make sure that nothing goes awry with your plan.

Things can happen along the way so you monitor.  If issues crop up to start taking you off course you can readjust and get going back in the right direction.  Monitoring can make you aware when the plan just starts to drift so that you don’t have to take huge steps to get it back on course.  Minor adjustments are all it will take.

It’s kind of like burning a brushfire.  You keep a watchful eye as you burn your pile of brush so that it doesn’t get out of control and end up being a forest fire that is out of control.  You take precautions before you start.  You make sure there are no burn bans in place due to dry conditions.  You make sure the wind is low so it won’t blow the fire out of control.  You have a water supply (garden hose) so that you can put out any stray sparks that emerge.  When you ignite your fire, you monitor it and take action if need be.

Another example is when a contractor builds a house.  He has a blueprint that he follows and a certain way he goes about constructing the building. He keeps a close eye on construction and if some needed materials do not arrive on time, he can change his course and tweak his plan and actions to accommodate the lack of supplies. That way construction keeps on even though it goes in a little different direction temporarily.  When the supplies arrive, he can adjust the plan to go back and finish the project.

Life happens on a daily basis and issues can crop up to derail your plan so keep an eye on progress.   Keep a hopeful heart and a watchful eye.

I talk about the importance of having a strategy for your business.  This is step 4 in my 7 keys to success.  Are you as successful as you want to be?  Please contact me if you want to learn more or would like some help.

21 Jun
Heartland Trail Strategy: Create a Strategic Plan – Achieve Your Vision
Posted by lois on Friday, June 21st, 2013 | permalink | trackback
Heartland Trail - Future Route

Heartland Trail – Future Route

The Heartland State Trail, which was legislatively authorized in 1974, is one of the oldest rail-trails in Minnesota.  In 2006 the Heartland State Trail Extension was legislatively authorized.  For years I remember the trail running through Park Rapids and I knew it followed an old train track.  Many of my friends would take their bikes and ride the trails.  I didn’t ride with them since I had very small children.  Now, all these years later, I am excited that the trail will eventually go very near to my area.  There are parts of the Heartland Trail that are completed, parts that are being worked on, and parts yet to be started.

The exciting thing is that it all started with an idea.  A group of people spent much time developing a vision and strategy for the Heartland State Trail Extension – Park Rapids to Moorhead Master Plan.  You can read the 115-page pdf document on line at: http://archive.leg.state.mn.us/docs/2011/mandated/110592.pdf.


This visionary team knew that this would be a very comprehensive and long project.  They also knew that if they didn’t start it then nothing would happen.  The crazy thing is that time keeps going on whether or not a project is completed.  When I went back to school to get my Masters degree I knew it might take me 10 years.  I also knew 10 years would happen whether or not I got my degree.  


It is fun to see some of the future heartland trail system coming together. Last year I did quite a bit of rollerblading in front of the Holiday Inn in Detroit Lakes, MN.  I was blading on the Heartland Trail.  To the east of Detroit Lakes we have had road construction for the last 2 to 3 weeks.  They are creating a box tunnel that goes under the highway in which bikes and snowmobiles can go through as they are riding the Heartland Trail.  That portion of the trail will extend from Detroit Lakes to Frazee.  Little by little the Heartland Trail is being pieced together.  Eventually, it will run from Cass Lake all the way to Moorhead, Minnesota.  


Now, let me ask you what your plans are for your future?  What would you like to accomplish?  What do you want to achieve?  Where would you like to travel?  Create your vision and then start developing your strategic plan by breaking the overwhelming task into manageable pieces. Decide what needs to happen this year and next year and so on. Eventually you can achieve anything you want by staying focused on your plan and doing something, even if it is very small, daily.  If you need help, please let me know.  Time keeps marching on; don’t wait any longer to create the future you want.  Get in touch with me now.  Also post your comments below and if you liked this post, please share it with a friend.


19 Jun
Customer Service – My Miserable Customer Service Experience
Posted by lois on Wednesday, June 19th, 2013 | permalink | trackback
Lois Greisen Certified Business Coach

Lois Greisen
Certified Business Coach

Today I was shopping at M_____d’s for two items.  I was looking for shop rags and floor dry for my husband’sworkshop.  I walked into the store and went over to the department where tools, nails those sorts of things are sold and asked if they could help me.  They told me that shop rags were in automotive and a very nice lady walked me over to the automotive department where we found one type of shop rag (there were two sizes listed in the sale flyer).  I ask her if the floor dry might be there also.  We could not find the floor dry.  Another fellow came by and he said the floor drive was in by check out lane number three.  There were two types of shop rags and I was looking for the other type so I asked somebody where they might be.  “Shouldn’t they be together?”  He said “No, the other ones are back in the paint supply area”.  Well the painting supplies are on the other end of the store.  I was in the front left corner and paint supplies are in the back right corner.  Well, off I went to find the other shop rags.  I got to painting supplies and they told me they the shop rags were in plumbing.  Plumbing is at the front of the store and paint supplies are at the back.  Next, I headed up to plumbing and I couldn’t find anyone to help me.  I looked and looked and looked and no assistants were there.  I was getting a bit frustrated by this time.  I went to the desk and tried using their phone to call the operator.  No luck, I got a busy signal so obviously that wasn’t working.  Next I found a business card sitting on the desk so I called the general number to the store.  That did not work so I tried dialing nine to get an outside line, but it still didn’t work.  I tried calling just out loud and still no one came.  I thought: “I bet if I tried to rob the store somebody would come”, but I wasn’t willing to resort to that.  Finally, after about 10 minutes I saw somebody stocking shelves at the back of the store.  So I headed over to ask him where the shop rags were.  He said they were by check out aisle number eight.  This time he said he would take me.  By this time, I had gone from the middle of the store to the front left corner where I was directed back to the back right corner and then back up to the front right corner.  It’s a big store. We finally found the shop rags that I was looking for. Shop rags in the cart so I thought I would head over to check out number three and find the floor dry.  No floor dry.  The young man at checkout number four was very helpful.  He came to help me look as well.  He couldn’t find the item either so he went to ask a gal at the front desk.  She said “It’s in automotive.”  I said “No, I looked over there in fact a couple of us looked over there and couldn’t find it.”  She said “Well it must be over there.  Just keep looking.”  When you think about it, that’s hysterical.  But I wasn’t laughing.  It’s kind of like a Bazooka comic I remember from when I was a kid.  It went something like this:  “I lost a nickel so I’m looking for it.”  “Where did you lose it?”  “I lost it over there by that tree.”    “Why are you for it over here?”  “I’m looking over here because the light is better.”  That’s what that gals comment made me think of.  If you can’t find the floor dry in automotive, just go keep looking over there.  (Did she a magic Genie was going to wave a wand and make it appear?)  She didn’t offer to send somebody over to help me.  But, the obedient person that I am, off I went back to automotive and started going up and down the aisles looking.  Shortly I saw another man from another department.   He was helpful and started helping me try to find my floor dry and of course he couldn’t find it either.  He went over and asked another young man where it might be.  This time this young man took me over to where it was in front of checkout aisle 3 near the front wall beyond the checkouts.  

I don’t know if you can gather I was a little frustrated with the whole situation.  (The best part was that I had something to blog about.)  Customer service is so important for any business.  In my run-around, I did meet almost half of the employees that were very helpful.  Unfortunately, I ran into several that were not helpful at all.  And of course the one gal who told me to go continue looking in an area where I couldn’t find what I was looking for is the one that was the most remarkable and stands out the most in my mind. It’s unfortunate that so many employers have substandard people when it comes to customer service. There were a couple of other things I could have bought in that store, but I went to another store and finish up my shopping. 

Does your team do a good job with your customers?  If you think they do, are you sure?  Your team is the face of your business and there is so much competition that if your employees are not treating your customers beyond their expectations, they may just take their business elsewhere.  

I talk about having a strategy for your business and good customer service from the top down should be part of that strategy.  Please contact me if you want to learn more or would like some help.

13 Jun
Strategic Plan – Top Reasons to Develop a Strategic Plan
Posted by lois on Thursday, June 13th, 2013 | permalink | trackback

Many companies don’t have a written strategic plan or theyOrganizational Alignment have an outdated plan.  They just have a general idea of where they want to go.  They are headed in the right direction and probably make progress every year.  So why have a plan if things are going in a positive direction?  I have shared a couple of reasons and here is a fourth.

A fourth reason to develop a strategic plan is that the highest-ranking businesses have a strategic plan and the ones that fail often do not have a strategy.  Is that true across the board?  No, but it is typically true and wouldn’t you want the odds on your side?  I know I would. 


In order for your business to be successful, it needs a roadmap to take it where it wants to go.  You need to know where you are now and what results you want for your business in the future (vision).  If I wanted to go to San Antonio, California, I would need to map my plan from Frazee, Minnesota (since that is where I live)…not from New York City. 


As you develop your strategic plan you will assess your current strengths and weaknesses internally and look for opportunities and threats externally.  In other words, your SWOT analysis.  That is your starting point.


Now you can determine the things you want to achieve in the next year or so that will start to take you to your vision.  Then you can develop the strategy on how to get there.  Now you have a roadmap to success.  You need to be sure your people know about your plan and that they are working toward it and you need to be sure your operations or processes are moving in the same direction as well.  Developing a strategic plan is one thing, implementing and executing the plan must happen or your planning is fruitless.




Make strategic planning a priority in your business.  If you need help, please let me know.  Your return on investment could be the success of your business.




Please post your experiences with strategic planning that you and your company have seen so that others may benefit.  Also, if you liked this post, please share it with a friend and if you have not signed up for my newsletter, please do so.  Take action now.


11 Jun
Strategic Plan – Top Reasons to Develop a Strategic Plan
Posted by lois on Tuesday, June 11th, 2013 | permalink | trackback

Many companies don’t have a written strategic plan or they Execution Value Gaphave an outdated plan.  They just have a general idea of where they want to go.  They are headed in the right direction and probably make progress every year.  So why have a plan if things are going in a positive direction?  I have shared a couple of reasons and here is a third.

A third reason to develop a strategic plan is that it can help the organization benchmark its results.  Not only can the company benchmark results against itself, but it can also compare itself to other businesses in similar or like industries.  This can be beneficial if a sale of the business is planned.  Prospective buyers can utilize the information when making a decision whether to buy or not.  The seller can utilize the information when valuing the business for sale.  Benchmarking is also helpful when reporting to investors. 

In addition, knowing that progress is being made on the goals being worked on is very rewarding and motivational.  Employees see that they are making a difference and are more motivated to do better and committed and loyal to the company.  Teamwork improves and a positive work culture is generated.  Most people enjoy a challenge and goals set by both the team and the individual are motivational.  As staffs work toward the initiatives of the plan, work is more exciting and enjoyable.  A positive work culture will help the organization attract the best people and pay a competitive wage rather than a premium.    Employees will know where they are headed.


A strategic plan is beneficial both financially and emotionally.  It can help improve the profits of the organization and motivate and challenge the employees resulting in a win-win position.




Make strategic planning a priority in your business.  If you need help, please let me know.  Your return on investment will be worth it. Please post other reasons to develop a strategic plan that you and your company have seen so that others may benefit from your experience.  Also, if you liked this post, please share it with a friend.  Take action now.



25 Sep
Are You Doing These 7 Keys to Success? Key Number 2
Posted by lois on Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 | permalink | trackback

Develop a plan. Once you know where you are going, you must develop a plan on how to get there.  Your plan is your roadmap.  It will take you from point A to point B.  If you were driving from New York City to San Francisco you would use some sort of a map to get you from one place to the other.  Whether you bought a road map or atlas or you mapped your route on your computer or you use your GPS on your phone or some other device you would have a map or guide to follow.  Without a map you might be zig zagging across the country ending way off course and wasting time and money spent in extra gas, hotel rooms and food.  You might end up going through rush-hour traffic in Chicago or you might go to an event you’d like to see and find that it is closed on a Sunday, the day you arrive.  Having a roadmap makes you much more efficient and saves expense.

That’s why we develop a plan…so that we can save resources…resources such as time, people or man-hours and materials.  Let’s talk about time first.  Have you ever done something without a plan such as remodeling of room where you ended up putting the carpeting down and realized later that you hadn’t painted the ceiling yet?  Now you have to waste time covering the new carpeting so you don’t get paint all over it.  Your thought probably was “What a waste of time!”  And you were right.  A plan would have saved you the lost time.

Next let’s talk about people.  You’ve seen or may have worked in a company where a project was initiated and yet not fully planned.  A team of people or even one individual may have worked on the project only to have the project dropped before completion to start another project.  Think of the man-hours lost…another lost resource.

We could use the same scenario when it comes to materials, but let’s look at another one too.  Have you ever been working on a project where you didn’t quite know what you were doing… you hadn’t planned it out first.  We did something like that when we were replacing our soffits on our house.  We bought the material and we cut the pieces of fraction of an inch too short.  The pieces went in and we thought everything was fine because they looked great.  On the first windstorm they blew out.  All that material was wasted.  Companies can waste hundreds of thousands of dollars in materials for poorly planned projects.

You know that the failure rate for new companies is very high.  I’ve seen figures around 85% failures in the first year.  One reason is they don’t invest in developing a strategic plan because it is an added expense.  They zig one way and they zag another way using all three resources; time, people and materials until they’re all out of money and they close their doors.

So the second key to success is to develop a plan.  Watch for key number 3 and contact me if you need help now.

20 Sep
Are You Doing These 7 Keys to Success? Key Number 1
Posted by lois on Thursday, September 20th, 2012 | permalink | trackback

Key Number 1 – Know where you are going. You can’t get where you are going if you don’t know where you are headed.  Whether you are in business or on a personal level, you need to know where you are headed.  Funny thing is that something like 96% of people can’t tell you what they want.  They can tell you what they don’t want, not what they want.  That’s also why about 95% of the net worth is owned by 3% of the people.  Your mind needs order first.  When you know what you want, then your creative imagination can go to work to solve how to make it happen.  Knowing what you want starts with a company or personal vision or a definiteness of purpose.  In a company, once the vision is determined, the team can develop the strategy on how to get there.  On a personal level, once you know what you want, you can then develop a plan to get it.  Have you ever had a weekend off and you were excited about all the things you would be to accomplish on that weekend and you had a bunch of things that you wanted to get done but you couldn’t decide what to start with so nothing got done?  I understand because it’s happened to me.  Now that I know and understand this concept I am much more effective.  I know how important it is to have a strategy for your company or a plan for yourself personally.  Companies and people aren’t productive if they don’t know where they’re going.  They’re floundering around in the dark zigging this way and zagging that way trying to get ahead.

So key number one to being more successful is to know where you are going.  Watch for key number 2 and contact me if you need help now.

03 Jan
Factors Leading to Business Success – Number 3
Posted by lois on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 | permalink | trackback

Great leadership is my third factor that impacts business success.  Companies with poor leadership usually fail in the first year or two.  Keep in mind that even established businesses can fail when they outgrow the capabilities of the current leadership.  Jim Collins does a wonderful job explaining levels of leadership in his book “Good to Great”.  He explains five levels of leaders with level 5 leaders being the top or ideal.  Level 5 leaders put the organization first.  When things go wrong, they look in the mirror and when things go right, they look out the window.  In other words, they don’t blame others when there are problems and they don’t take the credit when things are going well.  Often times the level 5 leader comes from within the organization and has grown from a level 1 leader through each layer of leadership to 5.  Great leaders are developed, not born.

If you need help developing your leaders or yourself, contact me.