Welcome to our blog!

Improving productivity and profitability through Assessment, Teambuilding, and Consulting.

"There are employees, and there are teams. Employees have a boss, teams have leaders. Teams make dreams a reality."

Brian Jones, ATC CEO

Monday, November 8, 2010

Leading From the Front

It's no secret that teambuilding is a very complex endeavor.  It takes commitment that begins at the top of the corporation-what I have termed "leading from the front." 

As a basic foundation, if you are a leader you must follow these principles:

1) Have a published Values Statement
2) Live by that Values Statement
3) Give the team the confidence to take calculated risks, make decisions, and drive towards the goals that you, as the leader, have clearly defined. 
4) As a leader you must realize the strengths of every team member, and have the ability to communicate the need for every team member to exercise those strengths. 

Every step in the leadership challenge starts with these principles; and by following them, the leader immediately sees a great team form. 

When the team understands your values, ethics, and clearly understands the goals and vision, you will witness one of the most rewarding experiences that life can offer. 
-- Brian Jones, CEO

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Top 10 Leadership Mistakes to Avoid

Leadership is the fundamental element in every endeavor. It comes with responsibility and you have to own it in good and bad situations. Here are the top 10 mistakes that leaders make: 

1.   Failure to Take Charge on Day 1. When you are assigned to a leadership position, whether it’s a promotion or from outside the organization, you must take charge. Hold a meeting with your direct reports and introduce yourself. Describe your leadership style. Explain how your monthly performance-counseling program will work. In addition, talk about a mentorship program.

2.      Failure to Conduct Productive Meetings. Most people walk away from meetings wondering why they were there and why there was a meeting in the first place. You should prepare for a meeting by notifying attendees in advance. Be sure to announce the purpose of the meeting and let each attendee know what they are responsible for discussing. As a rule of thumb, meetings should never exceed one hour.

3.      Failure to Realize Perception. Leaders have a tendency to believe they are perceived as “great” and everything is well within the team. It may not be. Awareness of how your team perceives you as a leader is the key to becoming a real “great” leader. Perceptions can be changed given the right tools and the right attitude.

4.      Failure to Realize Strengths and Weaknesses Within a Team. Knowing the true strengths and weaknesses within a team allows a leader to place people in the right role. Knowing the intensity levels of the personality traits of each individual is a good first step.

5.      Failure to Mentor. A great leader is never content with the level he or she is at. We want to move forward. Professional development is instrumental in developing your direct reports. A good leader includes development in monthly counseling. This is your opportunity to prepare them to take your place as you move to a higher level of leadership.

6.      Failure to “Lead from the front,” Leading from the front is essential to every leader. It means setting the example, doing the right things, and taking responsibility for your actions. Leading from the front earns respect, not only from direct reports, but from those you report to as well.

7.      Failure to Hold Accountability. Great leaders hold accountability. The pitfall is that leaders tend to hold their direct reports accountable, but then it stops there. Hold yourself accountable, hold your peers accountable, and make sure your peers hold you accountable.

8.      Failure to Act in Fairness. Here is a difficult one. All of your team members may have a different idea of what fair is in every situation. When you have to make a call (and you will), on a situation take time to understand what happened. Get perspectives from your team members about the situation. Don’t act out of anger. Take your time. The most important thing to remember is that the final decision is yours. Do what is best for your organization first and what is best for your team second. Every team in your organization has the same vision and mission.

9.      Failure to Make Good and Timely Decisions. The decision making process is one of the most important attributes of a leader. Their decisions have to be good and timely. Decisions are the measuring stick of a leader. You must know how to reach a decision before you make one. Start with a quick analysis. Involve your direct reports and peers. Let them have ownership in it. Next, create three courses of action and choose the best one.

10.    Failure to Be Dependable. Great leaders are always on time, but that is just a start. Great leaders are always the first ones there and the last ones to leave. When ATC conducts a Team Training event, there is a lot of work to do before and after. I make it a point of being the first one at the site. After the event, when everything is recovered and put away, I watch every trainer depart, and then I check the perimeter. Leadership at the top can be lonely, but those moments alone are priceless. Before I depart, I whisper to myself “all clear”.

Written by Brian Jones, CEO, Adventure Training Concepts

 Brian Jones is a decorated war veteran who served in the most elite forces of the U.S. Army for over 20 years.  He has led and trained thousands of teams and leaders around the World.  He is the founder of the ATC Leadership Development Program and continues to help executive level leaders reach their full potential every day.  To learn more about Brian read his full bio at http://www.adventuretrainingconcepts.com/

Monday, October 18, 2010

Adventure Training Concepts (ATC) Blog Launch

Welcome to the official launch of the ATC Training and Leadership Development blog…your source for valuable information and updates you can use every day in the workplace and in your personal life!  If you are interested in leadership development, teambuilding, various coaching, and ADVENTURE topics you will love this blog!
Who is Adventure Training Concepts anyway?
The word ADVENTURE naturally draws attention but until you work with us and really get to know us it can be difficult to understand the real solutions we provide leaders and teams every day.  In a nutshell, this is who we are and how we help others succeed:
Adventure Training Concepts (ATC) is a Disabled Veteran Owned Business (DVOB) owned by Brian and Michelle Jones, both highly decorated veterans. (To read more visit our bio page at http://www.adventuretrainingconcepts.com/
ATC is a training and leadership development company that improves an organization’s profitability and productivity. Through Assessment, Team Training and Coaching, ATC improves efficiency and can reduce turnover, creating an environment that promotes long-term employment.  What does that mean?
Everything we do is CUSTOM Designed.  If there is a workplace with more than two people in it, there is a team!  There are leaders and there are teams in every organization unless a business is a one man/woman show.  Within every team are people with different personalities, behavior styles, perceptions, ideas, work ethics, ages, values etc...etc…etc…  We help get down to the nitty gritty of what is going on within the team and design a program to improve effectiveness, efficiency, productivity, and profitability. 
How can we help you? 
 Before you know where you are going, it’s important to know where you are and where you’ve been.  This is the first step in determining what type of training is needed. During this phase we find out what is going on within the team and design a custom program.  We use assessments such as Everything DiSC to determine different behavior preferences and conduct workshops focusing on applicable topics.  (Management, Sales, Effective Listening, Communication etc…)
Team Training:
We take teams out of the office (outside the norm and comfort zone) and custom design the perfect program for your group based on the information gathered in the Assessment Phase.
We customize real adventures that are sophisticated in design to ensure participant buy-in and focus. While all of our training programs focus on building stronger teams, creative group learning, and leadership development, our unique and engaging themes provide an added sense of adventure and excitement. Our adventures are once-in-a-lifetime experiences you won’t soon forget!  Focused and customized training points and facilitation are applied throughout the program.
Our Locations:
ATC Adventure Themes can be executed at our new 25 acre ATC Everglades Training Center, our 5.5 acre Discovery Challenge Course, our partner resort-Gateway Canyon Resort in Gateway, Colorado;  or any resort or meeting venue around the world. Programs can last from 2 hours to multiply days depending on the group. Group Sizes range from 5 to over 1,000. Pricing depends on group size, length of event, and desired level of sophistication.
Sample Themes: Mission Possible, James Bond, Indiana Jones, Survivor, Operation Downed Pilot, Soldier for a Day/Weekend/Week, Military Special Operations, The Great Race, Operation Shipwreck
Many of our clients use our teambuilding programs as rewards and celebrations for organizational success, which is very appropriate considering the adventurous nature of our events!
Many individuals, managers, and executive level leaders seek additional coaching in leadership development and other competency enhancements.  We offer one on one programs and group sessions depending on the needs of the individual organization.  New Supervisor Training, Leadership Roundtables, and one on one Leadership Development are our most popular coaching sessions.
Who do we serve?
Corporate Teams, Sales Teams, Youth Groups, Women’s Organizations and Retreats, Men’s groups, Church Groups, Military Teams, Government Teams, Boards of Directors, Clubs and Associations, Small Business Leaders,  and just about anyone with a team of people working together to accomplish a common goal!
Individuals wishing to improve personal and leadership skills
Who and what we are NOT:  
We are not your standard, recreational teambuilding company. NO EGG TOSSES, falling off tables or beach Olympics here.  Although we make our programs extremely fun and engaging, our programs are designed to provide REAL and lasting organizational results.  Everything we do has been designed by us and our professional operations team.  All of us have led hundreds of teams around the globe for many, many years.
So, there it is in a nutshell.  Stay tuned for our blog posts that will provide great info to help you in your workplace endeavors.
Make it an ADVENTUROUS day!

MA. Jones
Michelle A. Jones