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Hiring is more challenging than most people realize.  Effective hiring begins with a pre-hiring process that provides clarity about whom you need to hire, what training, skills, etc. must that person have, and what steps must be taken before you attempt to find him or her.  Most employers don’t have a thorough process to hire effectively.  Make sure you have a solid process.

A solid onboarding process can prevent a ton of frustration, increase your new hire’s effectiveness right out of the gate, and return an immediate ROI to the company.  Because of poor onboarding, most employees fumble around for 6-18 months before they truly understand what they need to do to be successful in their job.  Don’t let that be true in your company.

Most employees view that once they have hired someone their work is done.  In reality, your work has just begun.  Employees don’t develop themselves.  They need guidance, encouragement, and accountability to reach their potential.  If you want to see your employees grow to their full potential, you must develop them.  Otherwise, they will settle in and flatline into a mediocre worker.  Don’t assume your employees will grow. Make sure of it.

Retention does not occur accidentally.  People do not usually leave because of money.  They leave because of poor management.  To stay with your company, employees need to feel valued, appreciated, and perceive opportunities for growth.  If you want to retain employees, you must create a sticky culture where people do not even entertain leaving your company. 

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How to Handle Business Overwhelm

August 02, 20234 min read

One of the big challenges in leading is handling overwhelming situations. To be blunt, it feels like there is so much coming at you that you don’t even know where to start. Every leader has experienced such times.

How should you handle those times? What’s a good way to approach the challenges? Read below to discover 3 steps to handle being overwhelmed at work. These steps are simple but powerful!

Pause More Frequently

Step #1 – Pause more frequently!

When stress builds, it is very easy to just act because you feel the pressure to do so. However, most people do not make good decisions when they feel stressed. A much better approach during times of stress is to pause.  

Think of it like a “time out” in a football game. During stressful times in a ballgame, a wise coach takes a time out. He pauses the game to take a quick assessment of all the variables in order to make sure he calls the right play. Making the right call during such a time can even determine the outcome of a ballgame.

Pausing gives you extra time to gather all the necessary data to make good decisions. You can’t stop the world around you, but you can temporarily pause your own world long enough to take a closer look at all the variables in order to make a good decision.  

Most leaders need to pause more frequently. Pausing doesn’t mean you postpone acting. You must act, but you want to make sure you make the right decision at the right time. Otherwise, what you do can create more chaos during an already challenging time.

Pausing is like “taking a big breath.” You step away from the situation, clarify the challenge, and examine your options in order to move forward wisely.

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Step #2 – Think more deeply!

When you pause, you want to think deeply. It is so tempting to make a quick, shallow decision, just to get the pressure off your plate. Doing so may solve a temporary problem, but it can create a long term one.

Thinking deeply requires concentration. You must push everything aside, clear your schedule and your mind, and focus on the challenge before you. You should not rush to make a decision. You want to make the right decision.

Have you ever looked at the many facets of a diamond? If so, you know that there are many angles from which to observe light passing through the stone. Each one has its own beauty and perspective. Thinking deeply is taking the time to consider a problem from many angles.

Angles from which you may want to examine a problem include the financial angle, the personnel angle, the profitability angle, the production angle, etc. For different challenges there will be different angles to consider. Take the time to evaluate what angles are important and then consider the problem from each angle.

Taking the time to think more deeply will keep you from making “half-baked” decisions. You still need to make decisions. Thinking deeply will help you make the right decision.

Act More Strategically

Step #3 – Act more strategically!

Strategic decisions help organizations. Inept decisions hurt organizations. While there are no perfect decisions, some decisions are better than others. So, take the time to prepare and execute very strategic decisions.

For years, Stephen Covey encouraged leaders to function in Quadrant 2. This quadrant focuses on very important but non-urgent tasks or activities. Quadrant 2 activities do not address surface issues. They address systemic, strategic issues.

As a leader, it is tempting to deal with surface issues. Doing so will work temporarily. Deeper issues are almost never on the surface. They require more thought, more analysis, and much more strategy.

Acting strategically will raise your level of leadership. To others, it will appear like you move through significant issues like a hot knife in butter. In reality, you have just taken the time to pause, think more deeply, and act more strategically.

So, the next time you face stressful situations in organization or life, make sure you pause—take that “time out.” Then, think deeply about what you are facing until you get clarity. Last of all, solve the deeper, real issues. By doing so, you will demonstrate substantive leadership in your organization, family, and life.

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Dave Pennington PhD

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Mike Kanty

Dave is a calm and thoughtful leader. His focus on Pastoral Leadership is ideally suited to his skills and life experience. Dave helps pastoral leaders develop and implement a church growth system that reaches and impacts their communities. If your vision for your Church is getting fuzzy or you are challenged with not just retaining but inspiring and growing an active congregation reach out to Dave at Penn Coaching and Consulting.


Kristin Sherry

Dave has been consulting with me for about half a year and helps me stay focused on what's important for YouMap LLC to scale and grow. The YouMap® Coaches and Facilitators love his quick start coaching process and everyone finds his insight to be extremely beneficial. He is a trusted partner and a blessing.


Bob Sager

Dave is one of those people who, upon meeting him for the first time, you feel like you've known for years. Easy to talk with, he takes a non-judgmental approach to helping business owners become more successful and have more fun.

As a member of one of the Mastermind Groups I run, Dave has always applied his knowledge, experience and imagination to helping others solve their biggest challenges. I am so pleased to know him and recommend him highly.


Mike Chirveno

I had the pleasure of working with Dave on an executive team for a couple of years. His ability to identify the "big rocks" in a situation, fashion the best "next steps" and marshal the efforts of a team to execute are the best I have seen. Dave is a gifted executive coach who makes his clients more productive, helps them stay focused on their highest priority tasks and probably most importantly, gives them a good sounding board for the important decisions they must make. There is no one I could recommend more heartily than David Pennington.


Heidi Chapnik

I have known Dave for several years. It has been an honor to know him and engage with him at his best. Dave is a heartfelt salt of the earth man of integrity, which belie his talents. Dave is super focused, organized and effective in decision making, problem solving and team building. His approach as an executive coach is open door, empathetic, yet firm and strong. Dave is able to build teams after on target analysis of challenge areas. His wide range of knowledge spans to all levels of management and his effectiveness knows no bounds.


Mark Burdette

Dr. David Pennington provided insightful, strategic business coaching that enabled my commercial firm to grow from 1 to 13 brokers and expand from 1 to 4 different geographical locations. He assisted with hiring & developing brokers, putting processes in place to manage and grow my firm. He is wise, encouraging, and a good personal friend. If you want someone who will help you grow as a leader, you cannot do better than hiring him!


Anthony Totta

Doc Dave has been a very positive influence by challenging me to become more focused and thereby more effective. He showed me effective ways to prioritize. His "spin less plates and spin the remainder well" approach for me has been just what I needed. I am thankful Dave is now offering himself full time as a coach mentor. I am sure he will help many folks from many walks of life as he did me.


PJ Petrillo

He is an excellent instructional leader who remains cool in a crisis, and responds well with clients and employees alike. David is a diverse individual who will be successful on whatever path he chooses to work within. He is a team player and mentors others well too.

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