Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Manufacturing Salaries

The composite highest-income practitioner reported in this field (salary plus cash bonus and/or cash profit-sharing) is the President "B" of a manufacturing firm (defined as a chief executive officer who has little or no financial interest in the firm). The firm manufactures automotive parts/accessories, food/beverage/tobacco products, chemical & allied products, or machinery & heavy equipment; has 1,000 or more employees; has a total annual revenue of $100,000,000 or more; and is headquartered in or near Denver/Colorado Springs, Houston, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Modesto/Stockton, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Indianapolis, Boston, New York City, or Dayton, or outside a metropolitan area studied in Idaho. However, while the median President "B' has a total annual income of $214,966, the highest-income individuals reported are Presidents "A" (having a financial interest in the firm) and make well over $30,000,000.
Far toward the other end of the income spectrum, Assemblers "D" have a median income of $20,418. Sometimes earning under $14,600, the lowest-paid employees in this group are employed by firms that manufacture building materials; have $1 million to $4.99 million in total annual revenue; have 5,000 to 9,999 employees; and are located in or near Greensboro/Winston-Salem, Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, Dallas/Ft. Worth, or Charlotte, or outside the metropolitan areas studied in Texas, North Carolina, or Florida.
These composites represent the briefest possible "boil-down" of the voluminous data provided regarding current salaries and cash bonuses and/or profit sharing, and numerous demographic variables provided by 343 firms on over 54,000 managerial, supervisory, sales, engineering, technical, clerical, and blue-collar employees in 187 benchmark jobs which resulted in the eight-volume survey report, Compensation in Manufacturing, 24th Edition - 2004, sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers.
Copies of the entire eight-volume report are available for $1,250.00 from Abbott, Langer & Associates, Inc., Dept. ART, 548 First St., Crete, IL 60417 (telephone 708/672-4200; fax 708/672-4674; Also available is Compensation in Smaller Manufacturing Firms (under 250 employees) for $595.00. Each volume of both reports may be purchased separately. Also available is findpay-MFG04 (a computer program which permits the user to determine pay levels of each survey job on the basis of two or more variables simultaneously).
It would be an exercise in futility to attempt more than a superficial overview of the survey results in this summary. However, some overall data regarding compensation can be presented herein. In addition to the incomes of the benchmark jobs already discussed, the median total cash compensation nationally of some of the other jobs included in the survey report is:
Chief Legal Officers - $181,200
Vice Presidents of Manufacturing/Production - $135,375
Chief Marketing & Sales Executives - $133,835
Chief Corporate Financial Officers - $130,066
Vice Presidents of Manufacturing/Production Engineering - $112,274
Research & Development Managers - $90,377
Engineering Department Managers/Superintendents - $89,232
Chief Human Resources Executives - $80,849
Plant Managers/Superintendents - $78,595
Product/Brand Managers - $75,789
Design Managers - $74,347
Facilities Managers - $68,198
Cost Accounting Managers - $67,161
Sales Engineers - $67,000
Manufacturing Engineers - $66,477
Production Managers/Superintendents - $65,730
Quality Assurance/Control Managers - $64,890
Computer Programmers - $61,963
Purchasing Managers - $61,805
Warehouse Managers - $54,000
General Production Supervisors - $49,781
General Accountants - $48,725

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Situational Marketing

There is a nuclear-strength "secret" weapon that 90% of self-employed professionals are missing out on as they try to build their businesses. It's amazingly simple, amazingly powerful - and - amazingly overlooked!
It's called "Situational Marketing," and it can revolutionize your business.
As professionals in service industries, we live, eat, and breathe ideas. We live flying in the stratosphere, soaring with angels, shooting with stars. We think in terms of big ideas and processes. When we talk about what we do, we love to describe how things work in our field and theoretical explanations of how to fix problems.
The trouble is that the vast majority of our potential clients don't live in the world of ideas. They live on the ground. They think about getting their kids to school. They worry about being laid off from work. They struggle with getting their own businesses to work better.
People have very short attention spans. Most people are aware of a very small number of acute, practical problems that are driving them crazy. They want solutions, they want them to be quick, and they want them now. They don't have the bandwidth for a lot of exposition.
Self-employed professionals like coaches who try to sell "realizing your potential," "getting where you want to go," or "creating the life you want to live" really have a problem. Most people might think those are nice ideas, but they have to think so hard to figure out what that means for them that they'd rather go home and balance their checkbook. Even if they might be intrigued, they are thinking something like, "It would be nice to work on that right after I deal with my employee turnover problem."
Other professionals who try to sell "accurate accounting services" or "high-quality graphic design" face a different but related problem. Those are commodities in the minds of their potential clients. Such language goes in one ear (or eye) and out the other. Ten minutes after finding out about you they have forgotten all about it.
It's a well-known fact that people buy what they want rather than what they need. Your marketing needs to be about the client: the client's situation, the client's feelings, the client's problem, and - finally - the solution you will provide for the client.
I was talking with a struggling self-employed woman the other day. She asked me what kind of coaching I do. I said, "I work with business owners who are tired of having their marketing efforts fall flat." She said, "Oh my God, that's me!" I asked her, "Do people's eyes glaze over when you tell them what you do?" She said, "Yes! They do! I need you!"
She was excited when she heard my marketing statement! She instantly heard herself in the description. It indicated to her that I know her situation and probably have the perfect solution. This is what situational marketing does for you.
Good situational marketing has several important qualities. It is:
· Clear and specific - the listener hears themselves exactly in the message
· Emotional - it elicits a response in the gut or the heart
· Communicated in the words your clients actually use themselves
· Easy to remember
· Unusual in a way that really makes it stand out.
Start with a careful examination of your unique talents and strengths. Then examine the situations your ideal clients face and listen to the words they use to describe them. Ask yourself what they say to themselves as they're driving to the office or brushing their teeth at night. When you find a match between the work you are passionate about doing and a problem your clients are aware that they have, you have struck gold. You know what to say, and you know what products and services you need to develop in order to help them. You know you can help them because their problem is really rooted in an area of personal growth in which you are an expert. And your ideal clients actually become excited to talk to you!
Here are some more examples of situational marketing:
· People who secretly wish they'd get laid off so they can go do what they REALLY want to do
· Single working moms sharing custody with a jerk
· Contractors who are tired of worrying where their next job is coming from
· Business owners who wish their employees would stop bickering and do their jobs

Monday, October 8, 2012

Business Lessons From History

Harry Truman stated, "The only new thing in the world is the history that you don't know." Truman spent many years studying the history of those who preceded him. His study paid off. Truman today is regarded as one of America's greatest Presidents. The reason history is important is because we live in a cause-and-effect universe. Similar choices produce similar results at the individual (micro) level and at the national (macro) level. History is the story of choices made, and the results of those choices. LESSON ONE: Look For What Worked And What Didn't Work, And Why You can use history like a case study in business school. Example: Mark Twain became a partner in a publishing company, Webster & Co., which published the " Personal Memoirs of U. S. Grant." Twain also obtained the rights to Pope Leo III's authorized biography. The first book became a best seller. The second sold poorly. Both publications seemed like good ideas. Twain assumed that purchasing the Pope's biography would be required reading for American Catholics. It wasn't. At that time many working-class Irish and German Catholics couldn't read and those who could had little discretionary income for purchasing books. Grant's memoirs became a literary and financial triumph because it was written by a popular President who had just died, it provided an insider's account of the Civil War, which was a fascinating topic for millions, and it was beautifully written. (See Fred Kaplan, "The Singular Mark Twain." NY: 2003, Doubleday, pp. 422, 423)
LESSON TWO: There Is Magic In Thinking Big Ted Turner is the biggest-thinking individual I have ever known personally. He literally changed the world with CNN. Changing the world is exactly what he intended to do. I was an on-air host and producer at TBS when CNN was being planned. But I had no idea how big Ted was thinking. And where did Ted Turner get his inspiration? From history. One of Turner's favorite characters as a youth was Alexander the Great, who is reported to have wept because there were no more worlds left for him to conquer. An in-depth study of history can raise your aspirations. When you discover what others have been able to accomplish under adverse conditions and often with few advantages, you may hear a voice inside that says to you, "I can do something significant too." "Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men's blood." The quote is from Daniel H. Burnham. Here's a thumbnail sketch of the man behind the quote. Burnham, who's the subject of Erik Larson's beautifully written new book "The Devil In The White City," was the man who made the Chicago World's Fair happen. He was Director of Works, World's Columbian Exposition, 1893. Burnham and his partner John Wellborn Root designed some of Chicago's earliest skyscrapers. His plan for Chicago was used for many years, and is considered a classic example of city planning. The book "Time Tactics of Very Successful People" contains an entire section on how high achievers make plans. For information about obtaining this book, go to LINCOLN'S LOG Lincoln still influences decisions. Christie Hefner, chairman and chief executive, Playboy Enterprises, recently told a New York Times writer that she had learned an invaluable leadership lesson from Lincoln. Here is a quote from that interview: "In leadership, it isn't about what you say; it's about what the other person hears. If you articulate well, like Lincoln, you have a tendency to think: 'I've made myself clear.' But the point is, Lincoln realizes, what did the other person hear?" Lincoln is generally thought of as a politician, which he was, but his vocation was the law. He served about 1500 days as President and 23 years as a lawyer. During that time he tried approximately 5000 cases, an average of about 200 a year. In the huge Eight Judicial Circuit of Central Illinois, Lincoln had the largest single caseload. During his career, Lincoln was involved in 15 murder cases. Of those, four men were found not guilty (one by reason of insanity), two were indicted but not prosecuted, one escaped during trial, six were convicted on the lesser charge of manslaughter, and only two were found guilty and sentenced to hang. (Lincoln Legal Briefs, July-September 1996, No. 39)
A quaint note has survived from one of Lincoln's civil cases in the 1850s. "If you settle I will charge nothing for what I have done, and thank you to boot. By settling you will likely get your money sooner, and with much less trouble and expense." (Journal of the Abraham Lincoln Assn., Vol 16, No. 2, pp. 4, 5) Lincoln understood that compromise is necessary in everyday life. "Persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can," he wrote in a lecture for lawyers. "Point out to them how the nominal winner is often a real loser--in fees, and expenses, and waste of time." Learn about how Lincoln communicated from the recently released DVD "Lincoln On Communication." It is widely used as an instructional manual in leadership and communication programs, but it also is valuable for self-study. It comes with an instructor's guide. For information about obtaining this valuable resource, go to Another Lincoln resource is the book "The Words Lincoln Lived By." For information go to The book is available as a spoken-word audiocassette. For information, to Quantity prices are available. One of our readers ordered 200 copies to give to customers and prospects. This article is excerpts from The Achievement Digest
(For a complimentary subscription, go to and follow the prompts.)
Gene Griessman, Ph.D. Editor and Publisher
Gene Griessman, Ph.D. is editor-in-chief of The Achievement []--and is an executive coach and a much-sought after public speaker for conventions, conferences, and retreats. He has interviewed some of the most famous people in the world asking the question: “What makes people great?”
His list includes Ronald Reagan, Ray Charles, David Rockefeller, Sandra Day O’Connor, Jack Nicklaus, Hank Aaron, Ted Turner, Julie Andrews, Aaron Copland, Jack Lemmon, Billy Joel, and Tennessee Williams and many others.
Griessman often appears on television and radio, and his award-winning programs have aired on WCNN and TBS. For years he was host of “Up Close” on TBS, the SuperStation founded by Ted Turner.
He has written and co-authored seven books, plus a one-man play on Abraham Lincoln. He has performed twice at historic Ford’s Theatre and at the Lincoln Memorial.
His book “Time Tactics of Very Successful People” was featured in Reader’s Digest and is now in its 24th printing. He is also author of “The Words Lincoln Lived By” and “The Inspirational Words of Abraham Lincoln.” His latest CD is entitled “99 Ways to Get More Out Of Every Day” and his latest DVD is “Abraham Lincoln on Communication.”
He has taught at the College of William and Mary, North Carolina State University, Auburn University, and Georgia Tech. He has served as a Fulbright professor at the national graduate university of Pakistan and as a visiting researcher at the National Agrarian University of Peru and the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Monday, October 1, 2012

How To Create A Mission Statement

Creating a mission statement can help you focus your business effort and do a lot of good in bringing your workforce together behind a common theme. The key to success is not just creating a mission statement, it's living the mission statement.
A mission statement identifies the major purpose that you fulfill when providing products and services to customers. Your mission statement should:
  • Include the reason for your business
  • Identify your firm's unique 'value added'
  • Reflect your firm's core business activity
  • Provide a focus
  • Identify the purpose you fulfill

Step One -- Develop your mission statement by identifying:
  • Stakeholders - Those people who are directly affected by the company's successes and failures. Stakeholders could be employees, internal customers, organizational customers, external customers.
  • Products and Services - Items that you produce for your customers. Products and services might include consulting, training, products or services for individual use, products or services for business use.
  • Value Added - The key advantage you provide over the competition. Why would a customer come to your company for service? What makes your company special?

Step Two -- Construct A First DraftThe [your company name] meets the [your products and services] needs of [stakeholders] by [value added].
Step Three -- Refine the Mission Statement
Is it too wordy? Is it brief and to the point? Will employees remember it? Would it make sense to your stakeholders? Is it a true mission statement and not a goal? Does it inspire your organization? Does it describe your business focus and effort? Is it unique?
Step Four -- Make It Visible
Post the mission statement for easy review by all employees and customers.
Step Five -- Live it!
This step will be easy if you've involved your entire group in the process.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Enjoy Procrastinating, and Get The Job Done Anyway - 7 Steps

1. Choose a task you have been meaning to get done but never seem to get around to doing. You must be able to see and touch something that represents this task to you. It could be a note about making a phone call or a file folder containing everything you need to start writing a report, or a stack of material you have been meaning to file.
2. Pick up the object, the note, the stack, the paint can...whatever it is. Preferably pick it up 10 times a day; but at least once a day. Hold it and look at it.
3. Say aloud the following words. "I don't want to...(fill in the blank with words similar to these the following) this client (specify his/her name), fill out this form, write this check to (specify the name)." "Nobody can make me...(say again what you are not doing.)" "I will do...(say what it is once more) when I am damm good and ready to do it!"
4. Pay attention to your creative (or resistant) thoughts as you do this process. Laughing, giggling, or stomping your feet during the process is okay too.
5. Repeat this process daily for at least 5 days -- unless of course you complete the task before then.
6. If the job still isn't done by now, you certainly know why it isn't done and/or what resources you need to do it. Decide whether or not you will actually do the task.
7. Do it, ditch it, or delegate it appropriately.
This works because procrastination is often a sign of ambivalence. Part of you does want or needs to do the task, but another part of you, usually a silent part, does not want to do it.
Giving the resistant part of you a chance to speak, as well as acknowledging that you have the power to complete the task when you are ready resolves the impasse.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Hidden Traps for Life Partners Who Work Together

Neither couple I describe knows the other couple, but their stories are strikingly similar.
Craig and Warren are both recently retired executives. Craig's wife, Marcy, owns and operates a website design firm.  Warren's wife, Sharon, owns an exclusive gift shop.  Both businesses are successful, and each woman finds business ownership personally satisfying and rewarding.  Both women requested couples coaching for similar reasons.  Their husbands were interfering in their businesses.
Craig and Marcy were newlyweds.  It was a long distance romance, and they both were delighted when his retirement allowed them to be together.  His unspoken plan was to help her with her business so that she could work less, and they could spend more time together.  Her plan, also unspoken, was to continue to develop her business in order to sell it in a few years and fund her own retirement.
Craig enthusiastically earned his certification in web design.  He found the new information fun and refreshing after years of heavy corporate responsibility.  Marcy was delighted that he was busy and happy, until he started to help her with her work.  She found his suggestions insulting. It was her business, she was the expert, and she supervised many designers and negotiated profitable contracts.  Now he, a novice, was trying to tell her what to do!
Warren and Sharon did talk to each other about their plans and goals.  Warren felt that his expertise could be put to good use in Sharon's business.  He convinced her, against her "better judgment," that expanding the business would create long term benefits for both of them.  She decided to go along with his ideas.
They made plans together, expanded their capacity, hired several new employees, and Warren started pressuring everyone to be more productive.  Sharon began to hate going to work.  She had loved the personal contact with her customers,  but now she spent most of her time managing employees and trying to keep Warren calm.
Both women knew they were angry about their husbands' interference, baut neither could communicate about it effectively.  Each was trying to balance keeping the peace, supporting their husbands and taking care of themselves and their businesses.  Each time the women tried to discuss their own discomfort, their husbands would logically explain that they were only trying to help their wives.
During our sessions we uncovered the hidden assumptions and discussed them.  When each man discovered the cause of their respective spouse's feelings they was astonished to learn about the negative effects of genuinely trying to help their wives.
Neither of the men had thought much about how they were going to find a meaningful way to fill their time after retirement, and simply picked up what was convenient--their wife's business.  As the women learned to protect their own boundaries, a new conversation emerged.  Each man needed to explore their own options for finding their own fulfilling activities.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Boss Didn't Understand Why His Staff Wasn't Reading His Mind

Many people believe that everyone sees the world exactly the same way as they do. This is never true and was the source of much turmoil in Dr. Jacob's office.
When the Job Isn't Getting Done
"They never seem to get any work done on time, but they complain that they're being underutilized."
Dr. Jacob, a chiropractor, was talking about his office staff.
"I have to do so many things myself that they could do for me, but they don't. They just don't seem care about what I want. I just don't understand. I pay them well and they need their jobs."
As Dr. Jacob's frustration increased, he explored the idea that he had hired inappropriate people in the first place. He reflected that if only he could find the proper leverage he thought he could make them do what he had hired them to do.
Leverage to Dr. Jacob meant the proper combination of rewards and threats.
Guidelines May Be Necessary
When I asked about what guidelines the staff was given to do their work Dr. Jacob admitted that he let them set up their own procedures with very little input from him. He communicated his expectations very vaguely, because he himself hated to be told what to do.
Dr. Jacob thought if he were "nice" to them, they would like him and work hard to assure the success of the office.
Unclear Expectations Produce A Schizophrenic Experience for the Boss and His Staff
Dr. Jacob only got angry when they didn't meet his admittedly non-specific performance expectations. When he got frustrated enough, he would insist that his rules be followed; telling his confused and demoralized staff exactly how to do what he expected. They were constantly seesawing between unclear expectations and over-detailed instructions that discounted their intelligence and experience.a
Giving Others What You Need For Yourself May NOT Work
Dr. Jacob argued when I suggested that he needed to create clear guidelines for his staff and then leave them alone to do their jobs. He was sure his staff would hate him and quit if he did that, and he firmly believed they would never get any work done without closer supervision.
Dr. Jacob believed that everyone in the world hated structure as much as he did.
When I explained that most people need and want structured guidelines in order to feel safe and happy, Dr. Jacob was surprised. He explained how he had been forced to follow rules for most of his life and cherished his present freedom. He assumed that everybody else felt exactly the same way he did.
Give Your Staff What They Need to Produce Results
He experimented with the idea that some people felt nurtured by structure. Warily, he started telling his office manager only the outcomes he wanted including necessary completion times.