Treat employees like luxury vehicles

- Jason Kiesau, leadership and talent development manager with Aureon HR, writes about success skills, and is the author of FOCUSED - Your Future Starts Now! and Leading with Style for Senior Living Professionals.

If you are a leader in an organization, your employees are a lot like the luxury vehicle(s) you may have parked in your garage.

  1. They are expensive.
  2. Their performance is dependent on regular checkups and maintenance. 
  3. Poor performance is frustrating.
  4. If they break down, you go nowhere.
  5. It's hard to get ahead if you are constantly replacing them.

Let's pretend for a moment that you own four different luxury vehicles and each vehicle takes a different type of fuel.

  • Your sedan takes regular unleaded gas.
  • Your SUV takes diesel.
  • Your hybrid takes unleaded fuel, while also powered by electricity.
  • Your fourth luxury vehicle is 100 percent powered by electricity.

I'm no mechanic, but common sense tells us that if you want top performance out of each of your four luxury vehicles, a good place to start would be to make sure you are fueling and powering each with the fuel and/or power they are designed to take.

Would you agree?

I mean, if you ignore the needs of your vehicles and try to use the wrong fuel or power, what results should you expect? Do you really have a right to get frustrated when you put diesel fuel in your hybrid and its performance is poor, or worse it doesn't run? What do you do then? Do you trade it in for another vehicle you hope will meet your performance expectations or do you figure out how to fuel it and power it correctly?

Your employees are like your luxury vehicles.

Forty years of research suggests you likely lead, manage and work with four different types of people. Like the four luxury vehicles outlined above, each type of person needs a different form of fuel. Failure to fuel people correctly will lead to poor performance and frustration. Success Skills Mastery is understanding the fuel needs of the people around you and giving them what they need.

We use a program called SOCIAL STYLE ® to help clients learn more about the people they lead, manage and work with and what fuel each needs to achieve top performance. SOCIAL STYLEs says your workforce is made up of the four following Styles of people:

  • Driving Style
  • Expressive Style
  • Amiable Style
  • Analytical Style

Over the month of May, I am going to detail each of the four SOCIAL STYLEs in greater detail. In subsequent posts you will learn the following things about each Style:

  • How to identify an employee's Style
  • Their strengths and why you need them on your team
  • How to correctly fuel them
  • How they prefer to work and make decisions
  • Their weaknesses and opportunities for growth
  • What stresses them out
  • How they behave when there is too much tension
  • How you can work with them to achieve maximum results

Your organization can have purpose and vision. Your strategic plan can be well developed with meaningful goals, plans, and processes. But, none of that matters without people to share your purpose, be inspired by your vision, and have the desire to achieve your goals.

Take some time to think about different individuals you work with. What makes them valuable to your organization? What gives them security? What motivates them? How do they prefer to work? What is their decision-making process? What are their weaknesses? What stresses them out? How do they behave when stressed? How can you help them succeed?

Fuel your people. Fulfill your vision!

Part Two Preview: In part two I will talk about people who have a Driving Style. People with this Style are described as assertive and emotionally controlled. They are fast-paced, independent, and get things done. Who do you work with could be described this way?  I look forward to sharing with you how you can work with and fuel people with a Driving Style to achieve maximum results in your pursuit toward success skills mastery.


Connect with Jason on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn

The buyer journey and your website

Alex Karei, marketing director for Webspec Design, blogs about web strategy.

As individuals in the business world, many of us have been tasked with helping clients move along the “buyer journey.” After all, without a buyer, we wouldn’t have a business, now would we? But, just in case you’re not sure what I’m referring to, the buyer journey is typically defined in three phases.

Stage one: Discovery

At this phase, your potential buyer doesn’t know you exist. They may not even know they have a need you can address as a company. Typically, they’re experiencing symptoms of a problem at this stage, and beginning research to address said problem.

Stage two: Consideration

Buyers know they have a solvable need, and they likely know about several companies that can address that need for them in different ways. In essence, the client has clearly defined the problem, and is now in full-on research mode for the best solution

Stage three: Decision

Here, your buyer has now decided what the best approach is to their need. They’ve identified vendors who can solve this problem, and are now narrowing the list to select the final vendor they’d like to go with.

As you consider your website and other digital marketing efforts, it’s important to keep the buyer journey in mind. Read and think about the following real-life situation. Do you think it’s realistic?

Susie Smith drives home from work, thinking through her to-do list for the evening. “I don’t have time to purchase groceries for dinner tonight,” she thinks. “Let’s see, I could go out to eat. Or maybe I should get takeout? Maybe ... Wouldn’t it be nice if someone would just shop for me? I hate spending all the time weaving through aisles. Wait! I know there’s a local grocery that will shop and deliver the food to my house for me. That’s what I’ll do.”

Now, you might have gotten the point that “Susie” was thinking about Hy-Vee’s newer Aisles Online service. However, Susie would have never known about that service if Hy-Vee hadn’t marketed it to her. And, if they didn’t? She wouldn’t have known that service was an option, and therefore, might have gone to the typical takeout solution automatically.

Now that we’ve clarified (on a high level) what a buyer’s journey is, I’m going to spend my next few posts on IowaBiz discussing some ways that each of these stages can be considered throughout your website and digital marketing strategies. I’m excited to help you think about how to better align those stages with what you’re doing in your current web strategy.

First up: why you should consider “Discovery” first and foremost for your company’s web strategy. Stay tuned!

Alex-Karei_YPFinalist2016Alex is the marketing director for Webspec Design, a website design and development and digital marketing agency in Urbandale. Connect with her via:





Greater transparency for out-of-state LLCs? Not so fast.

Matthew McKinney is an attorney at BrownWinick Attorneys at Law. 6a00d83452ceb069e201b8d17a5a67970c-320wi

On April 12, the 2016 Iowa Legislature passed a new law that seeks greater transparency into foreign limited liability companies (read: out-of-state LLCs) seeking to transact business in Iowa.

Specifically, the legislation (HF2373) mandates that when out-of-state LLCs apply to transact business in this state they must disclose at least one of their owners (if member-managed) or one of their managers (if manager-managed).

Importantly, the newly-passed legislation was amended on the Senate floor to remove a requirement that ALL members or ALL managers be disclosed - an important change from how the legislation was originally introduced on February 19.  

Currently, when out-of-state LLCs file an application with the Iowa Secretary of State's Office to transact business in the state, they are not required to disclose the identity of any owners or managers. This new legislation eliminates previous anonymity.

However, because Iowa law permits members and managers in an LLC to be corporations, estates, trusts, partnerships, and LLCs, complying with the new legislation would not necessarily require the out-of-state LLC to identify an actual person.  For instance, an owner in an out-of-state LLC who does not want his/her identity known under the new law could largely side-step the transparency requirement in one of two ways:


  1. If the LLC has multiple owners or managers, the individual could simply disclose another owner or manager.
  2. If the member or manager in the out-of-state LLC is a corporation, trust, or even another LLC, the owner could simply disclose that entity and thereby avoid disclosing her/her personal identity.

If you are involved with an out-of-state LLC seeking to transact business in Iowa, you should consider contacting a licensed attorney who practices in this area of law. 

This site is intended for informational and conversational purposes, not to provide specific legal, investment, or tax advice.  Articles and opinions posted here are those of the author(s). Links to and from other sites are for informational purposes and are not an endorsement by this site’s sponsor.