Monthly Archives: July 2012

The POWER of Delegating


There is an unhealthy tree in my yard that I have been babying for the last two years. It finally bit the dust this spring. I decided to purchase a chainsaw and put it down myself. Off I went to my local home improvement store and back home to begin reading the instructions for my new equipment. Lots of cautions—“be totally covered”, “wear steel-toe shoes”—what had I gotten myself into? I filled it with oil and gas then tried to start it, but it wouldn’t even let out a putter! Way too much power for me! Into the store I went with this monster, and when the associate asked what was wrong with it, I replied “the user.” She smiled. Luckily, she allowed me to return it.

How does this relate to you as a coach? Delegation. You have to know when it is time to let someone else help you. Delegation is a great time-management tool. Another benefit of delegation is cross-training, which will increase results through specialization. What you will see is increased teamwork as others become capable of completing tasks. Delegation can also have an impact on the motivation of the team. Their skill levels increase, there is less frustration, and motivation increases.

You have to make delegation emotion-free. This means you have to let go of the control. That can be a big obstacle for many of us.

Let me offer you some tips for delegation.

  1. Pre-delegation Analysis
    • What will you delegate and why?
    • To whom (individual or team)?
    • When?
    • Duration of the delegation? (Permanent or time-limited as a “favor”?)
  1. Delegation
    • Clarify expectations
      • Provide specific instructions
    • Motivate with positive reinforcement
    • Train and coach
      • Share Proven Best Practices
      • Retrain when necessary
  1. Post-delegation Follow-up
    • Track results
    • Inspect what you expect
    • Build in sufficient lead time to check on progress

However, as we say at Cohen Brown, you can “delegate, but never abdicate.”

Let me know your thoughts.

Cynthia Whitmer Griffith is a Performance Results Network Results Consultant for Community Banks and Credit Unions at Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.

The Magic Wand Principle


My 22-year-old son will receive a Master of Public Administration degree next month. Like many people his age, he has taken a job unrelated to his education with a reputable (transportation) company. He wears a tie and dress shirt to work every day. The Human Resources director has told him that he can wear a casual shirt, but he continues to sport the tie. So I asked him why. First, he likes to dress up. Second, he is dressing for who he wants to be.

I will repeat that, dressing for “who he wants to be.” That is a very insightful philosophy that can be transferred to any aspect of life. Let’s take that concept and focus on the team that you manage. At Cohen Brown, we call this the Magic Wand principle. If you could wave the magic wand:

  • The team is excited and motivated to create an environment that supports the vision of your organization and knows the role they play to make the vision a reality.
  • Exemplary service behaviors are exhibited at every client/member interaction.
  • Every client/member walks away with the products and services that will enhance their financial lives or improve a financial aspect of their business.

Take a minute right now to wave the magic wand and list the three most critical behaviors your team can exhibit with outstanding excellence. Now, list the coaching techniques you can implement TODAY to support your team to become all they want and can be for their clients/members.

Let me know of any magical experiences this week!

Cynthia Whitmer Griffith is a Performance Results Network Results Consultant for Community Banks and Credit Unions at Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.

The Five Fs


canstockphoto14308003I live my life by five Fs:

  • Faith
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Focus
  • Fun

And believe it or not, I place my job in the Fun category. Many of my friends laugh: “You’ve been a lifetime banker. Fun?!?!?” I tell them, “If you aren’t having fun, then you’d better find something else to do!” And I find banking fun.

Oh, I know that we are sometimes categorized as a boring, nerdy group that only cares about the bottom line. Maybe I have an odd sense of fun, but I LOVE to ask questions of people, finding out all about their lives—in particular their financial lives. In the technical, instructional sense….I LOVE TO PROFILE!

It is remarkable what I find out by simply saying, “Tell me what I would see if I looked at your current checking account statement. How is money being deposited, and how do you pay bills?” Direct deposit? Automatic payment of car loans? Mortgage payment? Retirement account? Life insurance?

These responses sound cut and dried, but each of them is connected to people’s hopes and dreams, their pursuit of happiness, and I try to guide them along the way.

Where would you go with what’s uncovered by a simple question like, “What does your bank statement say about you?” How many opportunities do you see in the responses?

Let’s discuss.

Cynthia Whitmer Griffith is a Performance Results Network Results Consultant for Community Banks and Credit Unions at Cohen Brown Management Group, Inc.