A duck and a dream

I had the pleasure of watching arguably the world’s best magician David Copperfield live in Melbourne recently. The magic itself was awesome...

17 reasons you should always carry a book with you

1. As someone who used to spend a lot of time waiting for real estate clients to show up – I know that clients / appointments / people in general are often late...

Reality Television your way to Success

I think I’m one of the only “motivational speakers” (not that I call myself that) who will openly admit that I watch television. I watch bad television too… even… dare I say it… reality television.

Where is the love?!

One of my businesses, Elephant Property, works in the notoriously under appreciated category of residential property management. The old adage in property management...

The power of the word

I’m quite distraught. I was eating my personal trainer approved afternoon snack of 12 almonds (my suggestion of 12 Tim Tams: not approved)...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rock Star Manager: Which kind are you?

As the song so memorably says – I love Rock n’ Roll. I also love managing staff. And I really love helping managers become Rock Star Managers.

Rock Star Managers (RSM) inspire the same kind of passion and devotion in their fans (their staff) as do their musical counterparts. They have fans and their fans will follow them just about anywhere to worship, I mean work with them.

BUT! There’s the type of Rock Star Manager you want to be – and the one you don’t.

The Admirable Rock Star Manager

The Doors: This RSM respects their key players so much that they show them the doors to further career advancement – even if it means losing them to a new opportunity.

The Carpenters: RSM’s with Carpenter-like characteristics build their staff up, rather than breaking them down. The way they behave when mistakes happen empowers their staff, shows confidence in them and as such mistakes rarely repeat. This RSM always has the right managerial tool in their belt and at their disposal.

Destiny’s Child: The RSM who can inspire such a love for work in their staff that they feel as though it’s their destiny to be there. They get up happy to go to work each day feeling as though they’re making a difference.

The Beatles: The RSM who get their operation rocking along to a consistent beat and groove. There’s a synergy and things just flow.

The Avoidable Rock Star Manager

Dire Straights: Everything’s always at panic stations, the company’s always losing money and this RSM always let’s every staff member know it.

Blind Melon: Ah yes, the RSM who sees nothing, no problems, no solutions, no need for change of any kind.

Milli Vanilli: The RSM who has no idea what’s going on and is faking it until they make it. Their lip syncing faux-management is obvious to everyone except the person who put them in the job (at least for now).

Crowded House: The RSM who believes more bums on seats equals is the only way to go. Their staff are sitting on top of one another and there’s no time to manage anyone properly.

Guns and roses: The unpredictable RSM. One minute they’re crazy angry with you (guns) and the next it’s all lovey dovey (roses).

Tears for Fears: The RMS who is unprepared to be a manager and is emotionally unstable.

Counting Crows: The nitpicking manager who will count and ration every paperclip used and who micromanages their staff to death!

Rock on Rock Star!

By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

Friday, May 22, 2009

Billy Joel: rockstar or business mentor?

A very cool day for me once involved me being interviewed for a half hour on a state-wide radio show. I thought it was cool for three reasons:

1. My future husband heard the interview and thought, hey I might like to meet that girl one day (he did a few weeks later and the rest is, as they say, history).
2. I got a whole heap of air time on radio! The publicity hound in me loved that.
3. I also got to program the music for the half hour.

My friends thought it was uncool for just one reason:

I got to program the music for the half hour.

You see, my choice of Billy Joel they say left a lot to be desired.

But I like Billy Joel! Is he cool? Maybe not to my friends, but I think he’s timelessly brilliant, and while I was thinking about my favourite songs I also noticed there’s some fairly relevant business lessons to be derived from some of his greatest hits too (double the Billy bonus!)

Tell her about it
When you make a mistake, own up to it straight away (hiding it only ever damages your reputation and your state of mind in the long run)

Uptown girl
How do you alter your communication style when you’re dealing with people from different social settings to you? The richest person I ever dealt with never showed it in his dress, so don’t think I’m saying that the “uptown girl’s” of the world deserve to be treated “better”. Everyone should get your respect and service, but how do you mirror or match your behaviour to best suit each client you deal with?

The longest time
Service is a marathon, not a sprint. Does your service plan continue on… for the longest time or just until you get paid?

Just the way you are
Managers – this one’s for you. How often are you praising your team for who they are, not condemning them for who you want them to be? Find our what they’re brilliant at and make sure your recognise it.

You may be right
I don’t believe the customer is always right. But I do believe that the best way to end conflict or an argument is for both parties to put themselves in the other party’s shoes and find out why they “may be right”. Understanding speeds reconciliation.

We didn’t start the fire
And one final Joel-ism not to follow to finish up with, amounting to “it’s not my problem, it’s someone else’s”. The biggest rock stars in the workplace find solutions and fix problems and don’t buck pass when the customer comes to them.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I’m confused

Why do Australia Post sell Christmas card stamps in packs of ten with only five “card only” stickers?

Why do hotels have signs up next to the scales saying “don’t weigh your luggage here” instead of just getting a set of scales to weigh luggage.

Why does every shop near a local Laundromat have a sign up saying something to the effect of “we’ve all gotten together and you can’t get change for the Laundromat at our shops”? Why not say: “change happily provided for the Laundromat with any purchase over $1” or even, shock horror just “change happily provided”?

Why did that phone guy just think it was appropriate to swear in front of my entire team in our office just then?

Why do people make so many promises such as “I’ll call you back before 4.00pm today” without so much as writing them down and then appear surprised that I’m upset that they didn’t call back by 4.00pm?

Why do so many businesses not show their opening hours on their front doors?

Why do so many businesses have email addresses like ABCstore@yahoo.com when they own the domain name www.ABCstore.com.au ?

I guess it’s like Jim Rohn says – “what’s easy to do, is also easy not to do”. So often people are looking for the next huge thing that will completely revolutionise their business without realising that the tiny things that they can change daily to make people’s lives easier could help them make the leap without them even realising it.

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

What you don’t know can burn you

I’m not ourdoorsy. I’ll freely admit it. The thought of camping turns my stomach and in fact the first time I went camping when I was younger I was in hysterics when my Mum told me I couldn’t trail the extension cord for the TV out the back of my car window. Don’t even get me started on what my attitude was like when I discovered that there was no toilet at the camp site.

Strangely though, I’m married to Mr. Outdoorsy. He loves to camp and bush walk and is slowly but surely enticing me towards the outdoors life. Last weekend I even developed a tan. Ok, that’s not exactly true but I’m slightly less translucent than normal after some limited (albeit sunscreen slathered) face time with the sun while walking through Tasmania’s gorgeous Freycinet.

Knowing that I’m not one for the outdoor life I was pretty surprised by an incident that happened this weekend just gone… I became super outdoor Kirsty in just 5 seconds.

It all happened in our backyard, testing Mr. Outdoorsy’s new fire lighting flint. He hacked away at it for about a minute sending sparks everywhere but no fire was lit.

I decided (what with my ample outdoor-pedigree) I’d give it a go myself. Two gentle scrapes of the flint and a blazing fire leapt up from my pile of kindling. It was no fluke either as I proved I could firelight like a superstar on command time and time again.

Lessons I learnt from my brief foray into the outdoorsy life (even if it was just in my back yard).

1. I’m capable of doing things I would have never thought I’d have a natural aptitude for.

2. It may even be appropriate that I put in my Survivor application now. 

3. Sometimes it’s subtlety not brute force that wins the day (or lights the fire).

4. The best thing to do when you learn a new skill is to teach it to someone else (Mr. Outdoorsy is now a master himself!)

By Kirsty Dunphey with No comments

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Targeting your customers

If I walked into your business today, would you be able to look at me and know if I were in your major target demographic? Sure, I doubt you’d turn down my sale if I wasn’t in your target demo, but would you know if your marketing was specifically designed to bring me and my wallet into your business.

Gone are the days when your “target client” was anyone with money (in fact did those days ever exist?) but today I want to have a little look at specifically targeting one gender as your target demographic.

Now before anyone gets up in arms about sexism, please remember businesses have been doing this for years. While I’m sure many men like the look of a female leg in a heel, Jimmy Choos aren’t marketing to the boyfriends, they’re marketing to their consumer, the women. Or look at the “delightfully tacky, yet unrefined” Hooters or doll creation company Friends 2 B Made, they’re obviously not trying to attract every type of clientele either.

And if the literary world tells us that men are from Mars and women can’t read maps how do you market to just one gender appropriately and effectively.

First, we have to realise that men and women are different (thanks to legendary blogger Guy Kawasaki (link http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2008/07/how-women-work.html) for this info):

“…men have 6.5 times more gray matter than women. Women have 10 times more white matter. Gray matter is for processing centers. White matter is for creating connections between processes so that people can see and process patterns.”

So let’s have a little look at how two unlikely new businesses online are conducting their gender specific marketing:

Firstly: http://www.husbandhero.com/
This site will email your husband once a month giving him ideas on what he can do to be more romantic such as hiding fresh flowers around your house for not one but five days in a row. Can we all say awww…

I don’t know about how my husband would feel if I signed him to start receiving emails (this is an option on the site for harried wives out there). The first email going to my hubby would tell him that the site is to him what the utility belt is to Batman. Knowing my hubby he’d probably just prefer to go see the new Batman flick.

As of today my favourite new gender biased product online is http://www.manlymancandlecompany.com/

Described modestly on their website as “Quite possibly the world’s most perfect product. Ever.”: The Manly Man Candle Company sells manly-scented candles in flavours such as leather, hunting lodge, coffee, yard work, grandma’s cooking and my favourite: Sports Injury: Now you can smell like a professional athlete without the pain and suffering!

New flavours surely to come soon: “Socks after an hour at the gym” and “Trust me this t-shirt is fine to wear, I just smelt the armpit.”

You can’t get all the customers, so do you know who you’re after?

By Kirsty Dunphey with 1 comment

    • Popular
    • Categories
    • Archives