Erich Stolz

Building on a very successful International Management career in several corporations, Erich has concentrated on helping companies to provide the foundation to grow, turning around or restructure.  Read more...

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The Million Dollar Personal Success Plan

The Million Dollar Personal Success Plan:


1. Crystallize Your Thinking.

Determine what specific goal you want to achieve. Then dedicate yourself to its attainment with unswervring singleness of  purpose, the trenchant zeal of a crusader.


2. Develop a Plan for Achieving Your Goal, and a Deadline for its Achievment.

Plan your progress carefully: hour-by-hour, day-by-day, month-by-month. Organized activity and maintained enthusiasm are the well-springs of your power!


3. Develop a Sincere Desire for the Things You Want in Life

A burning desire is the greatest motivator of every human action. The desire for success implants "success consciousness" which, in turn, creates a vigorous and ever-increasing "habit of success".


4. Develop Supreme Confidence in Yourself and Your Own Abilities.

Enter every activity withou giving mental recognition the the possibility of defeat. Concentrate on your strenghts, instead of your weaknesses - on your powers, instead of your problems.


5. Develop a Dogged Determination to Follow Through on Your Plan, Regardless of Obstacles, Criticism or Circumstances or What Other People Say, Think, or Do.

Construct your determination with sustained effort, controlled attention, and concentrated energy. OPPORTUNITIES never come to those who wait ..... they are captured by those who dare to ATTACK!


Four ways to motivate your team - Dinner with you is NOT one of them

Four ways to motivate your team - Dinner with you is NOT one of them

You have experienced it many times, that creating a continuously motivational fire under your people is one of your most challenging tasks.

I'm certain that you have seen how effective of a motivator MONEY can be. Regardless of what you have heard from some of your own people that money is not a big motivator to them or money does not matter much to them. Well, you know, the power of money is so strong that many books and articles have been written about it. We don't need to roll this topic out again.

We also don't need to elaborate about two other motivators: interesting work and great co-workers. You already know that these two motivators are quite important to understand why people work their hearts out and give their souls away to work in those kind of job environments.

Well, what else can you do so that your people are excited and want to be top achievers and even over-achievers? There are others - plenty of other motivators. Here are just four additional motivators that does not cost you any money but each one of these motivators are very powerful and make a great impact;

Let's start with a realitvely easy one: RECOGNITION. When your team member or the entire team does something special and noteable, make a big deal of it! Make a big and strong announcemen to everybody. Make that success story well known. Give them a special award in front of everybody. Make it something very special. Now somebody may say: "Will that special recognition not de-motivate or hurt others?"  Well, maybe. But that is none-sense. It only pampers and spoils the non-performers or low-performers. If you have the right people - upbeat, competitive, go-getters, team players - then a public recognition raises the bar for everybody else.

But be careful about the of rewards. A nicely engrave plaque without something else, like money, could backfire on you. A nice plaque collects dust. A nice check gets cashed in. Don't kid yourself, your employees know the difference.

Another motivational tool is CELEBRATION. This one should be easy but isn't. Would you be surprised when I tell you than less than 10% of companies celebrate the success of their people? Now that is a lost opportunity, to say the least! Celebrating a victory or a success is highly effective to keep your people engaged on the whole journey. I am not talking about the big success stories or a major breakthrough. I'm also talking about achieving certain milestones, like winning a new customer that your team tried to get for quite some time. What about some visible and noteworthy quality improvement of your products or services? Take the opportunity and congratulate the team! Boost the spirit for the new challenges ahead.

Celebrations don't need to be extravagance or elegant. What about having a simple lunch like finger food with soft drinks for everybody, or some tickets to a special ball game, or an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas or New York City for the top performers and their families? Whatever is mostly rewarding for them.

Celebration is not: having dinner with you. That is not motivational when people are being forced to spend an evening with you when they spend all day with you. 

The next motivational tool is really powerful, but it can only be used if you're absolutely clear about your mission. Now, you may be thinking: "Aren't all bosses clear about the mission?" Sorry, too often they're not. In the course of my career and travel, I have discovered that many leaders are so busy with the daily grind that their missions fall by the wayside.

To keep moving forward, your team has to understand and buy into where it's going. Your team needs a collective sense of purpose. And that's exactly what a great mission gives you, a bold, inspirational creed. A mission allows bosses to say: "There's the hill, let's take it together." Now, that's motivation.

The final motivational tool is probably the most difficult to implement. Yes, many great leaders have it, but for the less seasoned, it's hard to get just right. I'm talking about balancing achievement and challenge. People are motivated when they feel as if they are at the top of the mountain and as if they are still climbing it. Simply put, bosses who create jobs with just the right push-and-pull have a real competitive advantage.

Back to money for a minute.

Of course, some people aren't excited by monetary rewards, but these people rarely gravitate toward business. That's why when you think about motivation, you need to think about money first. It's not always how much you give people, though. Sometimes it's how much you give them relative to their peers. While some people are very pleased with their bonus, these people were even more excited when they found out how their bonus measured up to the other top perfomers in the company. Money is a way of keeping score, simple.

Even some the highly money-motivated achievers do care more about something else than money. Only very few people stay on the job for a long time soley based on money alone. People also need the feel that they are important. They need to feel that they matter. They need to feel what they do all day long really makes an impact and has a meaning.  You can fulfill those needs with open appreciation, a sense of fun, an exciting shared goal, and individual attention to the challenge of each job. It's a tall order for any boss, but the returns are incalculable.

Do those things and you will see a difference!

Great Success!


Do you still run the old-fashioned "Sales Machine"?

 Do you still run the old fashioned "Sales Machine"?

“Wanted: experienced sales professionals looking to maximize earning potential in a fast-paced, competitive sales organization.”

This is a description of the salesperson of the past—the one who follows a carefully honed sales process designed to close the highest volume of sales before the quarter ends from people already ready to buy. But nowadays if you wait until customers have all the information they need to buy, the only way you’re going to get their business is to compete on price.

Far more lucrative are the sales organizations that create demand, rather than just respond to it. Salespeople in these companies demonstrate creative solutions to needs customers don’t already know they have, sometimes with funds they don’t yet realize they might access.

This is good news for creative thinkers—but bad news for most sales reps today. I have read an extensive research report where the authors found only 17% of existing sales employees score high on the skills needed for this new kind of selling. WOW! Look at your organization. How do your sales people achieve sales orders? How high is your turnover rate of sales people in your organization? Are your sales people still running the old-fashioned "Sales Machine"?


How to ruin / damage a team meeting - fast

How to ruin / damage a team meeting - fast.

Much has been written about successful team meetings. Here is the other side of a successful team meeting: how to ruin / damage it fast.

If you want to demoralize your team members and utterly wreck a team meeting, do any of the following:

1. Try spending an hour and a half talking about things that could have been shared in a short e-mail.

2. Hold meetings without any purpose.

3. Spend lots of time over problems that matter only to one person.

4. Show up for the meeting 10 minutes late without any apologies or explanations.

5. Show no interest in the meeting - keep texting or reading your email during the meeting.

6. Just get up and leave the room in the middle of the meeting without saying a word and don't come back.


Unfortunately, it happens all the time.



Some Warning Signals you may want to know

Some Warning Signals you may want to know:

  1. Are you running low on Cash?
  2. Is your A/R and/or your A/P raising consistently?
  3. Are financial reports or key performance indicators prepared only for and by a few people?
  4. Are your financial and management reports inaccurate, late, and not pertinent?
  5. Are you consistently missing operational targets?
  6. Have operating expenses grown too high?
  7. Have you experienced an excessive inventory level?
  8. Do you get calls from creditors asking for their money?
  9. Do you make excessive end-of-year adjustments?
  10. Do you know where you can make some healthy restructuring on your balance sheet with a positive impact?
  11. Does your management team focus on events rather than processes and goals?
  12. Are you afraid to bruise a few egos and therefore being late in taking actions?
  13. Do you hear too many excuses?
  14. How are your key contributors being motivated, recognized, and rewarded?
  15. Are the sales trend and / or gross margins going in the wrong direction?
  16. Does your Banker show an unusual interest in your operation?
  17. Is your management team over-extended?
  18. Has your revenue declined beyond industry average?
  19. Is your employee turnover rate excessive or too low?
  20. Are any key client relationships deteriorating?
  21. Is the operation able to win new business at expected levels?
  22. Are markets and competitors being properly analyzed?
  23. Is the C-level team visiting at least one customer per week? (Hopefully not always the same customers)
  24. Is management making faulty assumptions and rationalizations?
  25. Are you spending too much time on short-term perspectives?
  26. Is there a lack of critical information?
  27. Are you neglecting early warning signs?
  28. Are you receiving proper and accurate key management indicators?
  29. Are your controls in the areas of operations, planning, and procurement poor?
  30. Is there a lack of focus and ownership of results?
  31. Does accountability really work within the ranks of management?
  32. Is procrastination is part of your Company’s culture?
  33. Are you complaining of the work ethics within your management ranks?
  34. Is employee productivity declining?
  35. Have you checked up on employee morale lately?
  36. Are goals clearly articulated and agreed upon?
  37. Is your board providing you with adequate guidance and help?
  38. Does your board merely act as a “rubber stamp for approval?”
  39. Do you have a “What-If” Emergency or Disaster plan and do your key player know exactly the details?
  40. Do you have a successor plan in place?
  41. When was the last time you called an outside professional for a “Health Check up?”