There is nothing more satisfying than helping others reach their goals. It's also a thrill to play a part in making people look good. As a consultant, Silber seeks creative ways to make everyone better and see improvement with innovative ideas and insights. (Here are a couple of examples of exactly how he has acomplished this.)
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Credit Union National Association
Deep Undercover . . . Again
"I'm not sure what it means that others say I am good at going undercover in their organizations and associations to seek out people doing things right. I've done it over a dozen times and it never gets old, thats for sure. It's a lot like being a secret shopper, but better. My latest ruse was posing as an attendee of a conference where I was tasked to look for ways to make it better. Of course I came up with a few ideas, but the best suggestions were provided by the attendees themselves. When they were asked on evaluation forms what they thought they wrote one thing, but when we chatted one-on-one they said what they really thought. Fortunately they loved the conference, but each had a way to make it even better. These gems all made it into my report and probably into a future event. There are a lot of ways to brainstorm, but this is the most fun for sure."
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Integrated Medical Group
Boats and Business Lessons
"The challenge was to get the founder and CEO to let go. He had hired and developed a top-notch staff, but continued to micromanage and take on more than he had to. His employees could do more—and wanted to do more—if he would just allow them to. To prove his people were resourceful and trustworthy, I had his staff meet me at my marina. I taught them how to back my boat out of the slip, and drive the vessel safely to Paradise Point, where I was waiting with the CEO for our meeting. He had no idea what I was up to and was shocked when he saw his staff pull up and park the boat perfectly. Needless to say, he listened intently to what his people had to say from that point forward—and he has refocused his energy on what he does best and lets his staff do the rest as his practice continues to grow. By the way, I allowed everyone a turn at the helm of my boat after the meeting—except the CEO. He just sat there smiling and stunned. Point and match for the crazy consultant."
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Automobile Parts Association
American Idol Style
"We know that people would rather be dead than have to speak in public. (Death is rated lower on the list of fears than public speaking.) My job for this group was two fold. First, I had to build up their confidence of by showing them how much easier it is to stand and speak when you know what you're doing, but also to provide ways to improve their presentations. That's when it hit me. On American Idol, the contestants perform and then are offered specific feedback (comlimentary and constructive) from the three judges. They then come back better and stronger the next time. So I sent each CEO my big book of tips called "Speak Like A Pro" beforehand. It contained everything they needed to know to deliver a great speech. Next, I gave them a topic (tell us about your first job) to talk about and prepare for. I hired a videographer and we set up a room with a stage, lectern, and microphone. We gave each person a chance to present and when they were done we watched it back with a three-person panel (myself, another expert, and the next speaker about to go on) giving each person praise and an area to improve on. We then did it all again until everyone was more confident, comfortable, and consistently good."
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Build A Bike
"Here my role was to help employees work well together . . . when they don't work together—everyone has their own region, but they still need to communicate regularly and effectively. This was about team building, but also about working independently as part of a team. I know, not easy. I used a lot of different techniques on this group, but by far the most efective was when I tasked each team to build a bike, without talking. They had to work through clues which led to where the instruction manual was hidden (a must) for example, and then build the bike as fast as possible using only their mobile phones to communicate—and they were given a limited amount of cellular minutes to do so. It was amazing how well teams worked together and how quickly people got to their point. I had bought the bikes assembled and then disassembled them. I also contacted an area charity and asked if we could donate the completed bikes when done. This proved to be the part that put an exclamation point on everything. When the teams were done I asked if they were ready to meet their customers. I opened the doors to the room and in walked the children who were about to get their first bike—it was one little girl's birthday. It was so powerful and proved to the attendees they can work fast and function as a team."
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Hank Fisher Properties
The Oscar Goes To . . .
"When times get tough, the tough get nervous . . . because no matter how confident you are, nobody is assured they will have a job if things don't turn around soon. And those who are still employed are often asked to do the work of three people—with less resources than ever before. My job was to go undercover at Hank Fisher Properties and find the superstars. Then, create awards to let them know their efforts are appreciated. What gave me the idea for this plan was when I was asked to do a training program for HFP a few years earlier titled, 'Take This Job And Love It'. At the time, I met with the widow of the founder and we talked at length about what the late Hank Fisher stood for, and all he had done. So I created the awards in his honor and looked for people who embodied his spirit of caring, compassion, and customer service. I know this worked well because everyone heard stories of how Hank Fisher won over everyone he met and built his business, and then we pointed out examples of people in the comaopny who were using those same principles today. There were tears and cheers, and everyone understood what it took to be the best."
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