35 episodes

Power Up Your Team podcast offers ideas for women owners of small businesses who have created a successful company with lots of hands-on work and want to step more into the CEO role. They know that they need a stronger team so that they can delegate the day-to-day stuff and focus on strategic matters to secure the long-term success of their business. This podcast covers topics and shares best practices that help women business owners to create a resilient team so they can scale up and win in the market place.

Power Up Your Team Podcast Martina Kuhlmeyer

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

Power Up Your Team podcast offers ideas for women owners of small businesses who have created a successful company with lots of hands-on work and want to step more into the CEO role. They know that they need a stronger team so that they can delegate the day-to-day stuff and focus on strategic matters to secure the long-term success of their business. This podcast covers topics and shares best practices that help women business owners to create a resilient team so they can scale up and win in the market place.

    Ep 34 - Four Tips for Constructive and Engaging Feedback

    Ep 34 - Four Tips for Constructive and Engaging Feedback

    Welcome to this episode of Power Up Your Team podcast! This is your free resource with tips and tricks to build a more resilient team. 
    My teachers used to tell me that feedback is a gift. I quickly learned that it’s easy to accept that gift when it’s all positive or when we just get to hear “Well done” or “Awesome job”. It’s easier to receive and also easier to give. 
    But what happens when someone really screwed up? And you really just want to give this person a piece of your mind. You want to express how careless their actions were and how they compromised the team’s success. 
    That’s when constructive feedback comes in handy so that despite the crisis in the moment, you don’t break relationships, or the trust and confidence of your team members.
    I remember a specific feedback session from early in my career where I was on the receiving end. I was new in that company and experienced a very engrained, formal performance review cycle for the first time. 
    Our leader asked to see the documentation before we would release it to our employees. 
    One day, she called me to her office and sat me down with an all telling smile. I remember sitting in her large office with an adjacent conference room in late afternoon sunlight.  I thought “Oh shoot! What’s coming now?” She patiently read the first observation I had documented. She asked me: “What would you like to see Tim doing instead?” “What was he doing well?”
    As we went through my documentation line by line, I shamefully noticed that I had produced a list of grievances. I was thorough – I can tell you that – but I totally missed the mark of what the feedback was meant to do. It would have been such a train wreck had she not guided me in rewriting it. 
    I learned how important it is to have a “glass half full” perspective to maintain relationships, trust and pave a path forward towards desirable change. 
    In my 30 years of receiving and providing feedback, I have learned a couple of things that are worthwhile to consider. 
    It should be specific to a situation
    Instead of saying “you always do this …” refer to a specific occurrence: “Yesterday in the meeting this or that happened”. It helps to ensure that your feedback comes across as genuine.
    It should relate to a behavior or action not be a judgement of character. 
    Instead of saying “You were late again. You are simply unreliable!” make the observation and state the impact that it had on the team: “You were late and we all were losing important meeting time” 
    Keep a 4:1 ratio for positive and negative observations
    Starting the conversation with four compliments on what was done well, makes the portion where you address an issue much easier to swallow. Some research also indicates a 5: 1 ratio. 
    It should include feedforward 
    The past can’t be changed and the value of these conversation lie in empowering someone to forge ahead with new beliefs, skills, and actions. 
    I have experienced different levels of formality in receiving feedback. It can range from an informal conversation or a documented review. 
    I believe that in organizations where empowering feedback is given regularly, the documented review can be dropped altogether.
    So, make giving feedback your leadership habit. Ensure it’s part of every conversation so your team can contribute at a higher level and you can achieve the next level of success for your business. 

    • 4 min
    Ep 33 - Three Small Habits to Make Your Team feel Valued

    Ep 33 - Three Small Habits to Make Your Team feel Valued

    Welcome to this episode of power up your team podcast. This is your free resource to help you build a winning team. The show notes can be found online at Power Up Your Team.com
     You have set your eyes on your vision, have developed your strategic plan and a challenging year over year agenda. You may have funding from your investors or got a loan from your bank. And now you must deliver. Your business no longer a dream. Now it’s an obligation as well. Now there is pressure to deliver.
    A along long the way you involved you growing team, kept them in the loop and made sure that new folks are onboarded so they feel welcome and know what to do.
     But sometimes you are wondering if all your employees are truly on board or what they think about your agenda. Are they really in it with their heart and minds? Or, is it a physical presence, only? Are they going to stick around? 
    And there are many ways to create a positive culture where a team is motivated and inspired to help you get your business to the next level. They work in concert with each other and there are leadership and structural elements that play into that. Each of my free episodes address an aspect of how you can create a winning team.
     In this episode, I want to chat about three habits that I invite you to wrap into the way you show up as a leader. Make it a part of who you are.  
    a.     Asking people for input and use it:
    i.      Every touchpoint with your team, as individual or as a group, is an opportunity to invite their input.  Ask them causally about what they think related to business. That can be a decision you just made, a project that was just completed, a new procedure. Ask and listen. 
    ii.     Asking input can be a regular behavior and more than an annual event such as  the employee engagement survey. Consider asking people junior to you and people outside your typical contact circle. Show up as the curious leader who wants to genuinely know what other people think.  It will help you check the pulse of your team and guide your decision making over time.
    b.     Open and honest feedback
    i.      You know, I never liked formal performance reviews. If you have ever worked in a large corporation, you may remember these sort of judgement days. But that doesn’t mean people don’t want feedback. Feedback is an important tool to keep people engaged and help them develop. 
    c.     Public recognition for their success
    i.      Take the time to recognize individuals and teams publicly. And by publicly I don’t mean a formal stage or the annual Christmas party - even though that would be cool, too. With public, I simply mean more people than the recipient alone. That could be a team meeting where you say “congrats on closing that deal” or “Great job on resolving the issue” 
    ii.     Make sure you do the regularly and evenly so that it’s not the same person that being recognized all the time. 
    iii.   This sends to messages to your team: you appreciate their contributions and, equally important you know what’s going on. You are dialed in.
    Adopting these three habits will make a significant contribution to making people feel valued
    Here’s the truth:
    When people feel valued, they are more engaged at work. 
    They take the extra step such as an extra phone call to make sure a client is all set or a stakeholder is on board. I think that feeling valued leads to more creativity and thoughtful action. 
    Your team will show with more bandwidth, more resilience. They are more forgiving to accept changes in direction or changing priorities. I invite you to try it out as you navigate your company to the next level of success. /

    • 6 min
    Ep 32 - The Single Think that Will Ruin Your Culture

    Ep 32 - The Single Think that Will Ruin Your Culture

    As business owner and people leader I am sure you care about the culture you are creating for your team. And by culture I simply mean the work environment that your team experiences every day. 
    Welcome to this episode of Power Up Your Team podcast. 
    Culture is a big word but essentially is an outcome based on many causal factors. 
    Casually, I think of it like baking a cake or making a salad. Have you been to a restaurant where, after you complimented the waitress on the meal, she says: “yes, we use the finest ingredients, full of flavor and they make all the difference? 
    That’s how it is with culture, too. So what are the ingredients to your culture?
    And in a moment, I share the one ingredient that, I believe, is most important.
    Typical ingredients are your purpose, vision and values. And then there are performance objectives, incentives, policies, procedures, processes – in essence all the things we can see or read. And there are so many more things I could list here. 
    The point is that it all needs to fit together so that the culture enhances you teams’ ability to create success for your business
    For instance: 
    Superior customer service may not work well when employees are incentivized by the number of calls they get done in a certain amount of time.  
    A learning culture will not emerge If you don’t allow people to take classes or learn by doing through stretch assignment 
    A team culture will constantly be suffocated if everyone is incentivized by individual goals which pit people against each other.
    As business owner, founder or CEO the sky's the limit for the culture you can create
    An important component of culture are the intangible things that people observe when they are at work. They observe leadership behaviors, actions that get tolerated or not tolerated or habits that were created over time that only stick out to people who are new to the company.
    When I moved from Illinois to the East Coast I never forget how dumbfounded I was when I noticed that everyone was eating lunch at their desk. I was used to going out with my peers and have an enjoyable lunch. First, I thought it was me. Maybe they don’t like me. But then I realized that it was simply how they had lunch. Had nothing to do with me. It was a matter of culture. 
    At the beginning I promised to share the single thing that can tank the culture you want you create. 
    And that is if you say one thing and do the other. 
    That’s why it’s so important to create a culture that’s aligned to your true beliefs and values so that you can show up with authenticity. 
    So, think about your values and create a culture that you can support with your words and actions.
    For instance, if you say work life balance is important, then don’t work late or come to the office on Monday with work you completed over the weekend.  
    If you stand for a collaborative culture don’t make all important decisions by yourself. 
    If you want people to trust each other, you need to be the first one to trust the team.
    I once worked for a company who was very high on employee safety. One day, during a heavy winter storm we were hoping the office would close early – like around 3 pm so we all could get home during daylight. Not only did that not happen but the CEO herself stayed late on that particular day working away in her office. 
    So what do you think the rest of us did?

    Find out at www.powerupyourteam.com/32


    • 5 min
    Ep 31 - Care Enough to Not Judge on a Single Action

    Ep 31 - Care Enough to Not Judge on a Single Action

    Hello and welcome back to episode 31 of Power Up Your Team podcast. 
    Sometimes we quickly judge people based on their actions without understanding enough of the background or reason for their behaviors 
    So let me give you one example. I felt so embarrassed about this situation that it serves as a reminder 20 years later to not judge people on a single action.
    I was leading the implementation of a quality management system for a startup production company with a cross functional project team made up from all functions of the organization. 
    Every week we had a team meeting to review status and agree on and assign the actions for the next week.  It was scheduled from 3 to 4 PM. It was still at a time during which everybody was physically present in the facility and nobody was on the phone or on zoom. 
    There was one team member, let’s name him Joe for the sake of this podcast,  who always had to leave five minutes before the top of the hour 4 PM. No matter the discussion point, he dropped everything and left. 
    I found out that Joe was vanishing every day sharply a few minutes before 4 pm even though the office was open until 5 pm. “Wow” I thought to myself “poor engagement. He really doesn’t care about our project,” He couldn’t possibly run to childcare because I knew he didn’t have any kids.
    I mentioned that to his manager at one point in time. Even though we were peers and work friends he told me fairly formally that he approved of Joe leaving early but couldn’t tell me why.  “Ugh – what a joke” I thought to myself and “That’s not fair!” 
    Remember episode 13 where I talk creating a fair work environment? Yes, this was still in those times when I thought fairness means treating everyone the exact same way. If Joe is allowed to leave at 4 pm everyone should have the option.  I have grown out of this perspective as I share in that episode.
    Grudgingly, I went along leading the team meeting every week with Joe missing out on the action items in every meeting. 
    And there finally was that day where I found out – with everyone else – why Joe had left so promptly and early every day. 
    Go to www.powerupyourteam.com/31 to find out why Joe was leaving early and why I remember this story to this day! 

    • 5 min
    Ep 30 - Difficult? Yes! Impossible? No! with Sheila Siden

    Ep 30 - Difficult? Yes! Impossible? No! with Sheila Siden

    Today’s guest is Sheila Siden, Founder of Resource Strategies.  
    Sheila brings a development approach to sustainable leadership, created over 30 years in public benefit organizations. Tapping into the power of purpose, Sheila’s methods increased funds raised and strengthened stakeholder relationships so teams align on shared purpose.
     She earned a Master’s degree in International Management at MIIS. Her purpose strategy leadership succeeded in nonprofit development, Internet happening in the early 90s, and luxury hotel guest services.
     Now she coaches and facilitates for founders and leaders who want to create collaboration and a purpose strategy.
     When not zooming internationally from her rural locale on the Washington Coast, you can find Sheila on her beach bike around town getting doses of Vitamin Sea.
    Here’s what you will learn:
    ·      What Sustainability means in Sheila’s work 1:38
    ·      How recent challenges affirmed her business focus 4:28
    ·      Sheila’s approach* to help organization find their impact. 7:00
    ·      Why all work starts with the founder/leader 9:25  
    ·      Example of one client who embraced the power of us. 13:52
    ·      Why it’s important to make a mission explicit 15:51
    ·      Get mission driven/socially responsible organizations better results? 18:30
    ·      Sheila’s contact information 21:00
    *ASPIRE = Action – Strength – Purpose – Involve – Recognize – Evolve 
    Sheila’s contact information:
    www.resourcestrategies.me/coffeetalk to retrieve a worksheet “mining your why”

    • 22 min
    Epp 29 - Do You Management Moments of Truth in Your Buisness?

    Epp 29 - Do You Management Moments of Truth in Your Buisness?

    This is episode 29 of Power Up your Team podcast and I want to talk about Moments of Truth and explain what they are and why they are so important. The show notes can be found online at www.powerupyourteam.com/29
     If you grow your business steadily and there are naturally some bumps in the road:
    Website traffic may be downYou have inquiries from prospects outside your target audience.Top clients are leaving after one or few cycles of serviceProspects reject your proposalsClient satisfaction survey come back with poor results. Especially, when your business has grown to a point, where several people are working for you, you are not involved in every customer interaction or every decision that is being made. 
    Therefore, a great way to keep an eye on the important activities is to identity all Moments of Truth for your business. 
    What is a moment of truth?
    Every time you or your staff interact with your clients or your clients interact with your systems! 
    Examples of direct interactions are: 
    Customer meetings, customer service calls or the team member who is welcoming your clients if you have a brick-and-mortar location or the assistant who is picking up the phone. 
    Examples for systems interactions are:
    Clients accessing a portal to pay bills, browsing or conduct business on your website. All of that needs to be designed to create a great customer experience. 
    I recently had an experience where I wanted to pull down a travel receipt from one of the large online providers of travel services. That did not work. I constantly got an error message “Sorry something went wrong on our end. Try again”. Now I got on a very adventurous journey to resolve that issue. I “talked” to a chat bot who send me through various multiple-choice options. Neither one addressed my problem. I thought that at some point it would get me into a queue so I could talk to a human being. No such luck.
    What’s is the reputation this company creates through that interaction?  low cost – low service. 
    Is that what their management really wanted to create? What do you think?
    Especially in the service industry, the customer is involved in creating the service. 
    For example, an insurance agent needs information from the customer to create the policy. In most consulting engagements, the customer information and feedback is vital before and during an engagement.  In the travel example above, the customer needs to provide travel dates and lots of personal information these days to be let on the plane. 
    That is different from manufactured goods – such as a new vehicle or furniture. They are manufactured and then shipped to retail stores. That’s where the interaction with the customer occurs. And, of course, the vast majority of consumer goods can be bought online.  
    So here’s the point:
    It doesn’t matter if your business is large or small, each touchpoint with your clients is an opportunity to make or break your reputation! 
    Continue reading at www.powerupyourteam.com/29

    • 5 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

MarCol2022 ,

Outstanding ideas for building team and personal success

Martina chooses topics that resonate with today’s leadership challenges and she delivers her ideas in a compelling, concise, and clear manner. Highly recommend to individuals looking for very “actionable” advice for increasing your leadership and business impact.

NCK1196 ,

Really helpful advice!

Really good practical advice for every upcoming startup founder.
Lots of helpful tips on how to efficiently scale my team to eventually build a successfully scaling business.

Evelynxs ,

So valuable

Great podcast with many useful tips and insights for small business owners