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Embrace That You’re Self-Employed (Even if You’re An Employee) – Better! Results Tip #6

This is where the concept of us all being self-employed comes in.When I bring up this concept at my live training events, I always get quite a few skeptical looks. And I certainly understand – because most of the participants in my Better! Results seminars are employees, supervisors and managers. That means they work for someone else, draw a salary, have benefits, travel each day to a job location someone else provides, and follow a daily work schedule dictated by someone above them in the organization hierarchy.

So if that’s the case for most in the room, how is it relevant for me to tell them that they are self-employed?

Well, let’s try this angle.

In it’s simplest form, in today’s business world we all serve and report to someone else. A boss, the board, a client, or a customer across the deli counter where you’re making sandwiches. Every one of us shares the experience of serving someone else in our work roles. This is where the concept of us all being self-employed comes in.

It’s not about who pays us, assigns tasks or provides formal annual feedback. It’s simply a state of mind. Do I see those I serve in my work as customers or something else?

Try to imagine if every person in every business organization handled their work, their preparation, and their interaction with others as though they were in fact self-employed? What if we all thought, “If I’m not ready for my weekly staff meeting tomorrow I could lose the client!” Or “If I don’t do a high quality job every day – bringing measurable value to my clients – I won’t get paid.”

This is what I mean when I suggest that we’re all self-employed. It’s not whether we own and operate our own business, it’s just a state of mind in how we conduct ourselves in our work.communicate better, listen more attentively, and be more present?

It applies in our personal life as well. What if we looked at our family, neighbors and others with the same view as customers? Would we not be more aware of their legitimate needs, their points of view and perspectives. Couldn’t this simple shift in focus position us to communicate better, listen more attentively, and be more present?

Please understand that I’m not suggesting that we become artificially subservient to others in our actions. The old expression that “The customer is always right” simply isn’t true. But what is true is that the ‘customer is always a customer’.

Try it for one week. Try to maintain a “What if I were self-employed and this person was my customer?” focus in interactions with co-workers, supervisors and other departments in your job. See if this perspective doesn’t bring about better results for you – on your terms.

If so, try it again for another week, and so on into the future until this perspective becomes a new and Better! habit.

 

John J. Hall, CPA


John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 38-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

Your Past Is Not Your Future

Your Past Is Not Your Future – Better! Results Tip #2

10 Steps to a Better Career | Interested in a new career? Ready to leap for that next promotion? If so, it is important to take the time to evaluate your present situation, to explore career options and to choose a career that will be satisfying for you. CLICK THE IMAGE TO LEARN MORE

Terri Said, “I’ll never be able to get the top spot here. Pursuing goals like that just isn’t part of where I come from.”

Yikes! What a limiting statement to have about yourself and your abilities. And it certainly caused an abrupt change in our performance coaching conversation.

Of course Terri could get the top spot. There are no guarantees, but there are steps she can take every day to increase the probability of that happening. To position herself for success however she defines it.

But if her starting point is a deep-seated believe that she can’t or won’t ever be able to because of where she comes from, she’s pretty much dead in the water before taking the first step.

Building on Where We’re From

We all come from somewhere. We all have many pluses and minuses in our background. Family, friends, health, nationality and race, beliefs, finances, language, education, contacts and a thousand other factors. All are the foundation points from which we jump forward – that is, if we choose to jump.

Here are two of my favorite quotes on this topic. Both frame this issue with great clarity and precision.

First, from Brendon Burchard at his High Performance Academy seminar I attended in the spring of 2015:

Your background is your starting point. No more or less.

The second quote from Dr. Wayne W. Dyer has traveled with me for many years:

Your past is not your future – unless you want it to be.

Two great insights from two great thought leaders. Brendon is young and energetic. One of the great motivators and influencers of our age. Dr. Dyer – who had more influence on my thinking than any other human except my parents – passed on in late 2015. But not before leaving us with the wisdom of the ages.

If you’re giving me the honor of reading my articles or attending my Webinars or live events, I’m giving you a hard shove right now to invest a few precious moments of Internet research on both of these interesting men.

Your Call To Action

Let’s pledge together to draw a line in our lives that distinguishes the before, the now, and the yet to be.

Let’s acknowledge and celebrate our past as the foundation for future success.

Let’s take stock of where we are right now: our strengths, weaknesses, bright spots and blind spots.

Let’s leave behind once and for all the limiting beliefs and distracting habits that draw us in like quicksand and do nothing more than hold us back.

Then let’s choose to carry forward the positive habits, beliefs and other factors from our past that will serve us in the future as we pursue our goals.

One last quote as a tribute to Dr. Dyer:

“If you focus on what’s always been, it will always be.

Focus instead on what could be.”

Let’s explore ‘what could be’ together. Let me know how I can help.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 38-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

 

 

Fraud Prevention Tip #50: The Three Key Components of an Anti-Fraud Program

Fraud Prevention Tip #50: The Three Key Components of an Anti-Fraud Program

Somewhere out there, your organization is probably being targeted for fraud right now. Internet-based hackers, international organized crime organizations, and even a small percentage of employees all see your assets and information as too tempting to ignore.

But what are the three most important things you must do to deter these barbarians at the gate – or already inside your business?

Fraud Prevention Tip #50: The Three Key Components of an Anti-Fraud Program

How to Prevent Business Fraud: 8 Ideas That Work

The goals of anti-fraud efforts are prevention and immediate detection. While no anti-fraud system is foolproof, the 8 ideas in this program are critical to managing fraud risks in your business. And there is a cumulative effect – the more of them you apply in your business, the greater the chance of success. Providing turn-by-turn instructions for business leaders and owners, this program is short on theory and long on practical ‘how-to’ instructions on what you should do and what gets in the way. You’ll benefit by building a stronger defense against the risks of wrongdoing, misconduct, theft and outright fraud. Using the tools, checklists, talking points, and sample anti-fraud policies included in the program, you’ll be able to apply the ideas right away with minimal cost and maximum effect.

Managing business fraud risks requires your daily attention. It’s a ‘cat and mouse’ endeavor where the smarter we get, the harder they have to work to get us. While there are many prevention and deterrence steps you can take, here are three critical components of any business anti-fraud program.

1. Build a culture of honesty within your organization.

Ethics starts and ends with the actions of leaders. From the boardroom to the factory floor, every leader must not only talk, they must demonstrate exactly what ethical behavior looks like in their business habits. And the CEO must personally lead the pack.

Formalize the rules of acceptable behavior in a Code of Conduct. Be clear about what is not allowed as well. Address confidentiality, harassment, use and protection of intellectual property, avoiding conflicts of interest, and other ethical issues. Tell people what you expect of them. Be clear about relationships with third-party suppliers, customers and contractors.

2. Perform a meaningful fraud risk assessment, and brainstorm how to mitigate fraud risks.

Fraud risk assessment starts with an open discussion of what can go wrong. Bring it out into the open. Recruit every employee into the brainstorming process. Address theft, manipulated financial and operating results, and shadow deals with third parties.

Make sure every employee knows what can go wrong in their areas of responsibility, and tell them it’s their job to make sure fraud doesn’t happen on their watch. Help them implement or strengthen anti-fraud controls. Openly recognize their positive deterrence behavior.

3. Provide useful anti-fraud skills training.

Creating a culture of honesty and ethics is step one; step two is fraud risk brainstorming. But none of it matters without useful anti-fraud skills training.

Many organizations speak to their staff about fraud awareness. But if you are expecting them to fight fraud, you have to go much further and show them exactly what fraud looks like in the transaction records they see every day. There’s simply no short cut to meeting this essential need. Yet this is the one step that most business organizations skip.

Provide anti-fraud skills training in a classroom setting, in small staff meeting discussions, in organization newsletter articles, and using webinar, conference call and other simple technology (Skype, Apple FaceTime and others). Most effective of all but often overlooked is one-on-one coaching of staff by supervisors at every level.

Don’t keep fraud examples hidden from your team; bring what can go wrong out into the light where all can learn and react appropriately. Help them be successful in meeting your fraud risk management objectives. Encourage them to speak up and make it as safe as possible to report suspicions.

If you have questions about what you should do to fight fraud exposures in your organization, just let me know and we’ll talk it through.

Call me at (970) 926-0355. Or email John@JohnHallSpeaker.com and we’ll get the discussion started.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 38-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

 

 

Fraud Prevention Tip #10: All Employees Must Be Actively Recruited into Anti-Fraud Campaigns

Fraud Prevention Tip #10: All Employees Must Be Actively Recruited into Anti-Fraud Campaigns

First level employees, their supervisors and mid-level managers are your most important line of defense against fraud. All must be actively recruited into your Anti-Fraud Campaign.

Here are three flawed beliefs that often get in the way. All must be addressed openly for your Anti-Fraud Campaign to work.

1. Fraud prevention is common sense.

Leaders who say, “You know, fraud prevention is just common sense” make me very nervous. They don’t understand. They have a blind spot in their thinking that blocks progress and harms your anti-fraud efforts.

The fact is most employees have no meaningful knowledge of fraud prevention and quick detection techniques relevant to their work responsibilities. They

Fraud Prevention Tip #10: All Employees Must Be Actively Recruited into Anti-Fraud Campaigns

John Hall and all Hall Consulting instructors are available to lead your training and seminar events. We work side-by-side with our clients to create, tailor and lead outstanding skills training programs. In addition, Hall Consulting is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of Continuing Professional Education Sponsors – so your training event may qualify for CPE credit as well!

must be taught because it’s not a core skill they bring to the job. How to prevent fraud isn’t something we learned in high school, college or post-graduate training.

There is an assumption that in a professional setting and in any corporate, not-for-profit or education organization that employees already know how to manage fraud risks. It is a dangerously flawed assumption in most cases, and it can be easily fixed with some ‘how-to’ skills training by supervisors and anti-fraud experts.

2. Fraud is too negative to discuss with employees.

I know this belief is flawed because every single time I am engaged to provide anti-fraud skills training, someone will come forward and ask, “Why did the company leaders take so long to tell us this?”

It’s not too negative to discuss. In fact, your team will thank you for giving them the tools to help. By bringing fraud risks out into the open and addressing them in a positive way, it’s not negative at all. Employees want to be part of the solution. All you have to do is ask for their help and show them how. They will respond positively every time.

3. We’ll scare everybody.

You know what? Talking about it openly may scare a few people if what you mean is ‘scare them into action’ by bringing fraud risks to their conscious level and giving them tools to fight. It may make them nervous and put them briefly on the edge of their seat. Not in a negative way. But in a way that gets them emotionally involved in the discussion. Don’t scare them though fear techniques, but don’t back away from a healthy discussion about what can go wrong and how they can help.

Again, they will respond and help – if you ask and show them how.

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

 

 

Lead by Example

Fraud Prevention Tip #9: Every Executive, Manager and Supervisor Must Lead by Example

In building an anti-fraud culture, clear strong policies are important. But policies without consistent daily example by leaders will leave employees, suppliers and others confused when making critical decisions.

Here are four attributes of leading by example.

1. You protect your signature and everyone knows it.

Before you approve any transaction, you spot check details, ask questions and demand answers. And you do it efficiently to keep the paperwork moving

Fraud Prevention Tip #9: Every Executive, Manager and Supervisor Must Lead by Example

Ready to be the best you can be? You don’t have to make changes. However, you are responsible for the quality of your life. To achieve the degree of quality you want, you need to decide on the changes to make. It’s time to bring those thoughts of improvement to light, make them a priority, and turn them into reality. It’s time to do what you can. It’s time to take a few simple steps to achieve extraordinary results!

forward on time. Your team knows that you’ll check for accuracy and completeness before signing, and as a result they make sure that supporting documentation and explanations are in order before submitting anything for you to approve.

You have a reputation for quality in all that you oversee, and you coach your subordinates to act in the same manner. Others in the organization see you and your team as the example of how to prepare, review and approve all transactions. Result: fraud does not happen on your watch. Mistakes are just as rare.

2. You want to know about problems – right away.

As a confident leader, you want to know about what might go wrong. You want to anticipate potential problems and address them quickly. You tell your team this regularly. You leave know doubt. Your team knows they can come to you without fear because you have created a work environment where others know you want to hear about potential issues right away.

Let’s face it. We never really want to hear bad news. But despite this natural resistance, you say, “You are our first line of defense against fraud. Come to me with anything doesn’t look or feel right to you. Come to me with your concerns. Come to me with some suggestions for fixing those issues, as well.”

It’s a delicate balance that needs to be struck in soliciting people’s input about the risks and concerns they face. Especially when it comes to fraud. But you err on the side of asking for their help. That’s what strong leaders do.

3. You coach your employees on fraud risks.

Few employees start their career with a deep knowledge of fraud risks. It’s just not a core skill. Strong leaders compensate for this gap by proactively teaching their staff about what can go wrong in what they see and handle. Open brainstorming is the norm, not the exception.

You know you are on the right track when they start to say, “I think this could go wrong.” Then you need to help them think through:

Could it really happen?
• Is it happening?
• What would it look like in the documents we see every day?
• What can we do to be more effective in preventing it?
• How would we catch it immediately before harm is done?

4. You eliminate bends in the system.

Leading by example includes eliminate the bends in the process. Bends in the manufacturing environment occur whenever liquid is pumped through a pipe and hits a 90-degree bend. That bend in a pipe slows down the flow – requiring more energy and pressure to be consumed to keep the process ‘flowing’.

The same is true in process flow in your department. Every ‘bend’ or step that slows things down wastes energy. It requires your team to expend more pressure and energy to keep your work processes flowing.

Strong leaders are constantly looking for anything that slows down their team’s processes – and leaders take action to make processes more efficient. Result: greater free energy for important tasks including spotting hidden problems like fraud. We need leaders who want to eliminate the bends that get in the way of an orderly process for fraud risk management.

How do you stack up against these four criteria? Do you lead the fight against fraud by your words and your actions? Does your team see it and follow the example you set every day?

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA

John J. Hall, CPA, is an author, speaker and results expert who presents around the world at conventions, corporate meetings and association events. Throughout his 35-year career as a business consultant, corporate executive and professional speaker, John has helped organizations and individuals achieve measurable results. He inspires audience members in corporations, not-for-profit organizations and professional associations to step up, take action and “do what you can.”

 

 

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