Getting a Facelift

I recently gave my website for JK Hopkins Consulting a facelift with not only a new look, but a lot fewer pages of content.  Working with a coach I received some beneficial feedback that although I can do a lot of different things, my focus needed to be, well I guess the best word is “focused.”

He suggested that as a Performance Consultant my purpose is not a laundry list of capabilities, competencies and “stuff I can do” but rather that I can get to the root of almost any performance issue that a team or team member maybe having on the job.

Managers everywhere are having performance issues where employees are not producing what is needed.  Sometimes the manager does know why, and other times they could really use a fresh set of eyes.  This is where I come in, and with all the humbleness I can muster, I am rather good at this kind of evaluation.

Years ago when I first began learning performance consulting, I was informed that training only solves performance issues about 50% of the time.  Having been in training for about 6 years then, that was no surprise to me, and yet I was operating within a department that felt training could cure-all performance issues.

So while it was a bit challenging to remind myself that there are about a dozen reasons and causes for poor performance, the lack of training was only one on that list.  I had to dig deeper, and most importantly, collect ALL the issues.  Just fixing one thing was not going to make a real difference.

Now while I wish I could give myself a facelift to hide all the wrinkles, I am planning on stepping back from my expertise in training and focusing more on fixing performance issues with whatever tools are needed.  In a way I am getting a professional facelift.

I am excited about a new focus, and meeting new people, and above all removing issues that bog others down.  If you or someone you know would like to chat with me for free, email me at

Happy Thanksgiving!

Although tomorrow, November 22nd, is being celebrated in the US as a day of thanksgiving, people who are grateful for what they have don’t need a separate day to give thanks.  In fact, grateful people are some of the best leaders we could ever hope to have on staff.

Imagine a person who is thankful for having a job, any job, and puts in a full day’s effort for a full day’s pay.  This is a valuable staff member, who not only does the very best they can for their employer, but they are contagious and others often follow their lead.

What happens when you have a manager who is a grateful person?  They not only lead with a grateful heart in all they do, they are not disruptive or looking for ways to undo processes within the company but rather work toward improving processes.  They are thankful for what they have, and look for ways to give back through invention, or basic support.  They have staffs that are team oriented working toward the common good.  And customers receive some of the best service.

I believe that people who are grateful for what they have appreciate anything that is added to their existence.  They are happier people, and that happiness breeds additional productivity.  These are not the folks you stress over, but rather hang out with because they charge our batteries just being around them.

While I have a lot of things I can complain about, I have by far more things to be thankful for.  Could I do a better job of demonstrating a grateful spirit?  You bet I could!  I’m human, and can get pulled down into the muck just like everyone else.  Days like tomorrow, prompt us to remember to be thankful.  My goal is to have more days of thanksgiving because my head is focused without the need for a holiday to motivate me.

May all of you have a very Happy Thanksgiving, today, tomorrow and into the future.

Focusing on Performance

Have you ever noticed that we as a collective like to talk about solutions rather than the problems?  We lobby and promote things we should be doing rather than making sure we all have a firm understanding of the current and expected performance.  If our employees are performing at or above expectations, do we really need to focus on doing things differently?

I have been as guilty as most at promoting a particular product or service because I know it will improve performance.  Yet I have decided to change my approach 180 degrees and start by not talking about any product or service before I know completely the current performance levels that are happening versus the needs.

I’ve decided to start every contact now with a free brainstorming session that begins to uncover the issues that are causing reduced performance.  Most managers are very aware of the areas their team are under performing, and with a little discussion are able to bring a lot to the list of issues that are preventing optimal performance.

And, I did just say “list” of issues, as it is rarely just one thing that magically is causing reduced performance.

While training is often the first “cure” applied to every performance wound, I have found that a lack of skill is only part of the equation, and overall less than 50% of the time even applicable.

So, do you have a performance area with your team and/or a team member that you want to reverse?  Let’s schedule time to brainstorm what is causing it and then we can move into looking at possible solutions.  It is a free conversation, so email me to schedule time.