Category Archives: Job Descriptions

Payroll, Paychecks, and People: Jessica’s Story

Medical office

Jessica had worked temporarily for Dr. Bean two weeks, and had two more weeks until her work order was completed. The permanent staff was getting paid this Thursday – a day Jessica was not scheduled to work. The following week the office would be closed.

Jessica expected a check in the mail over the weekend from Dr. Bean’s office. When It hadn’t arrived by Monday, she called the office to leave a message – hoping that someone would be checking the messages while the office was closed.

“Hello, this is Jessica. I understand the office is closed this week and that the pay period ended last week. I was just wondering when I might expect my paycheck. Will it be mailed to me?”

The temp agency called Jessica the next day, Tuesday.

“Hi. This is Keri from Temporary Professionals. We received a call from Heidi at Dr. Bean’s office who wanted me to pass along a message to you. Your paycheck is in the mail.”

Cliche’ yet appropriate, Jessica thought. However, as the days passed with no paycheck, the cliche’ seemed to prove true to its reputation of insincerity and dishonesty. There would be no point in leaving another message at the office so late in the week.

By Monday morning – now 10 days after the pay period ended – Jessica was worried about how long it might take to fix the problem or find the lost check. She sought out the office manager and stated her concern.

“Heidi, I never received my paycheck. I heard from the agency that you’d sent it out, but I never got it.”

“I sent it.”

“Do you know what address it was sent to? Perhaps it went to the wrong place,” Jessica inquired.

“Well,” Heidi said. “Kelly sent it out. She does payroll. I’ll have to call her. If it went to the wrong address, then we’ll see if Kelly can put a stop on the check and reissue one for you. I’ll give her a call this morning.”

“Thanks.”

Lunch was several hours later, and Heidi had not mentioned the paycheck issue to Jessica again. Just before going to lunch, Jessica approached Heidi a second time.

“Heidi, did you get a chance to speak with Kelly yet?”

“No. I’ll do that right now.”

Jessica expected to have news from Heidi when she came back from lunch, but Heidi was busy and didn’t report anything. Another hour passed, and Jessica noticed an employee list on the wall near the desk she was working from. Kelly’s name and cell number was on the list.

Doctor-Phone

“Hello, Kelly. This is Jessica, who has been doing some temporary work at Dr.Bean’s office. Heidi said she was going to call you about an issue with my paycheck, have you spoken with her today?”

“No. What’s going on?”

“I didn’t receive my paycheck from the last period. I was told last Monday that it had gone out in the mail, but I haven’t gotten it yet a week later.”

“I left your check in the outgoing mail on Friday, and I told Heidi it was there. I don’t know if she sent it out then or later. If it didn’t go out, then it still might be sitting there. Has the mail gone out today?”

The mail had been taken to the post office that morning. Jessica had minded the desk while Melanie left to get mail from last week.

“Oh, no! Is there a chance that it just went out today???” Jessica was disappointed to think that her paycheck may have slipped from her grasp. Maybe Heidi was not truthful in her statement the check is in the mail one week ago.

Kelly asked, “Is there anything else I can do for you?”

“I guess not. If it just went out today, then I won’t get it for a few more days yet. Ugh!”

Kelly offered a solution, “If you don’t get it by today, then we can reissue you another check tomorrow.”

Jessica began to feel as if the paycheck she worked hard to earn and deserved to have, was not sent when she was told it was. Why would she get the check today when it had not come everyday last week?

Why didn’t they call me that Thursday it was processed and give me the option to come pick it up? Jessica thought. She was aware of the law – Dr. Bean legally had 30 days to pay her. That would be fine had she not been told it was on it’s way to her.

As the minutes passed, Jessica was feeling more and more mistreated. And it wasn’t the first time. Just three months earlier this same scenario played out with a different temporary employer. That office had also claimed her check was in the mail, but each day that passed, and with each day it didn’t arrive, she felt more and more betrayed. Finally, when the legal 30 days was up, Jessica walked into the office to ask for her paycheck. Oh, the run around that occurred, and the passing of the buck she witnessed confirmed to her that they had no intention of paying her. Excuse and defensive excuse after another made it easy to see that she was being lied to. Was it happening again????

After a few more minutes of stewing over the situation, Jessica approached Dr. Bean in his office.

“Dr. Bean, may I talk to you about something?”

After his approval, Jessica continued.

“I didn’t get my paycheck.”

“What? Say that again?” Dr. Bean asked.

“I didn’t get my paycheck, and Heidi says it was sent, and she was going to talk with Kelly but she didn’t…”

He interrupted. “I know nothing about payroll. I don’t even know how to do payroll. You’ll have to talk with Kelly about that.”

“I did talk with Kelly, and no one seems to know where it is.”

“Well, I don’t have any solution for you. I don’t know anything about payroll. Do you have a solution? Why are you telling me this?”

“Dr. Bean, the solution I would suggest is to put a stop on the first check since we don’t know where it is and reissue a check for me.”

“I don’t know how to figure out payroll. I never write checks.”

“If I called Kelly and learned the amount the check was written for, would you write a new check? Do you have a checkbook here?” Jessica asked.

“Hold on. Let’s figure out what’s going on here.” He stormed out of the room, and Jessica assumed he’d be heading to Heidi. She was right.

A few minutes later, Heidi approached Jessica at the desk where she’d been working and said, “I need to use your desk so I can call Kelly.”

Mailbox

It was 5:00 now. Jessica used her cell phone to call home. “Please check the mail. Is there a check for me from Dr. Bean?”

“Yes. It’s post marked with Saturday’s date – just last Saturday.”

UGH! There was no way Jessica’s check would take one week to get to her mailbox if it had been mailed out when Heidi said it had been. Jessica felt lied to, and worse – she’d gotten the run-around because no one wanted to confess that they’d not been telling the truth! It appeared to Jessica that paying temporary employees was not a priority at this practice.

“I mailed it on Monday. I don’t know why it would take so long to get to you,” Heidi explained. “I would never lie to you, Jessica. I would not try to deceive you in any way. I didn’t mail it at the post office, though. I put it in an outgoing mailbox at Safeway. I guess I don’t know when their mail is picked up.”

“Heidi, it’s just not possible that it would take that long to get to me and contain a post mark from this past Saturday.” Jessica replied.

Jessica worked two more hours that day, finding it hard to do. She was thankful her check had been found, but she was still feeling upset that no one else associated with Dr. Bean saw reason for her to be upset about not being paid when she was told she would be.

Jessica had creditors who’d been calling her about monies owed them. Getting her paycheck was necessary to pay her overdue bills. She was experiencing a financial crunch, and waiting for her paycheck, then worrying that she may not get it for a few more days was very disheartening.

The next day, Heidi explained that she and Kelly had been offended by Jessica’s actions and attitude. Jessica was surprised to learn that THEY were offended. Didn’t they understand what SHE was feeling?

Heidi confessed that Jessica’s check was likely left in the outgoing mail at the office for the entire week the office was closed until Heidi had come into the office the Friday before, saw a pile of mail to go out, and took it to Safeway.

“I didn’t see your check in the pile of mail, but I can only assume it was in there. It probably went out five days after I told you it had.”

No apology came from Heidi. She simply said, “I would never lie to you. There would be no reason for us to hold your check.”


 

Are there lessons to be learned from Jessica’s story?

How did it make you feel?

Who is in the right?

Who is in the wrong?

What, if anything, should have been done differently?

The Tricks and Treats of Staff Turnover


Happy Halloween!

Today is the day in America when we have come to expect more treats than tricks.  Tricks are fun sometimes, but treats are much more appreciated!

It is the same in business.  We’d much rather get treats than be tricked.  “Tricks” are the cause of employee turnover.   Staff turnover can be the worst, most expensive “trick” for any business.  Turnover realistically cannot be eliminated, but it can be reduced greatly when you provide staff with more “treats”

By treats, I don’t mean more money.  In a list below of 12 items that contribute to greater satisfaction on the job, adequate compensation is 10 on the list.  There are 9 other items that staff members view more valuable than pay. (Find the complete list at the end of this post) 

“The back office staff does not need training (staff meetings) because they just do what we tell them to do.  It is the front office team that can benefit from consistent conversations and idea sharing”.

The picture above depicts my reaction when I heard a doctor actually say the quote above.  (blood-curdling scream)

This was said by one of two partner doctors who I have discovered think very differently from each other, but who also think very differently than what experience has taught me will bring them the greatest success in business.

These business owners were inadvertantly playing “tricks” on their staff members by non-verbally making three statements:
1. “Your ideas are not necessary, and probably unrealistic”
2. “Your abilities are just not that important to your job”
3. “Your role in our business is to show up and shut up”

I also learned that salary increases were being made arbitrarily.  The senior partner (who handled payroll) would occasionally say to an employee “I’m giving you a raise”.  There was no further conversation.  No reason was given for the increase, and no explanation for the amount of the increase.  Because the senior partner had decided on a “cap” for salaries, this pay increase was very rare.

Besides the arbitrary pay increase, no employee had ever had a performance review at this practice.  There had been no protocol for either praising or disciplining employees.  There was no vision, no mission, no values to align with.

I could imagine a group of 6 people coming together, and an assignment being given “we’re going to build a house”.  Without any instruction, the work would begin.  How do you think the “house” would turn out? 

It had become very clear to me why the staff at this particular practice were not communicating well with each other, nor well with their patients.  I also understood why the competence level seemed so low–there was no set criteria for a level of competence.  Even if there had been, without feedback and performance review, how would you ever know if you were measuring up?

The unspoken rule in this workplace was, “Do your job, get paid, and don’t try to improve anything.”

If this practice would just incorporate 3 “treats” into the character of their employee communication standard, the practice would have greater productivity, increased teamwork, and greater profit.

1. Have a written personnel policy manual stating expectations, protocols and communication standards.
2. Develop a written job description for each team member–highlighting the strengths and abilities needed to perform up to the defined standard.
3. Provide opportunities for training and collaboration to enhance a sense of ownership.

These changes won’t happen overnight–especially when expectations are introduced.  There will be some resistance.  However, those who resist a better work environment, better communication, and accountability are probably not the employees who are loyal anyway.  These are the types of employees who play “tricks” on their employers.   Let them go!

If you are an employer, and identify any of these characteristics in yourself, think about your outcomes.  Are you making the profit you’d like to?  Are you happy with the performance of your employees?  Do you recognize that a change may be the difference between success and failure?

“Oh, Bee-have”! says Jackie the Bee.
When you “bee”have like a leader, you will have greater success in business!


Based on surveys by Bent Eriksen & Associates of hundreds of staff members, here is what employees indicate would contribute to their productivity and sense of satisfaction on the job (“treats”):

1.     Ethically sound business principles and quality services. 
2.     A consistent and fair management style where policies are friendly, frank, fair and firm, consistently applied and clearly explained in writing.
3.     A pleasant and harmonious work environment with minimum stress. 
4.     Adequate facility, instruments, tools, equipment and supplies. 
5.     Competent, supportive and compatible team members. 
6.     Assistance in learning: to become more skilled, develop communication skills, make decisions and take initiative. 
7.     Clearly defined job responsibilities and expectations. 
8.     Recognition as an individual and as a team member. 
9.     Knowledge that their efforts are being appreciated and that inadequate work performance will not be tolerated.
10.  Adequate compensation and benefits. 
11.  Evaluation and feedback by the employer.
12.  Worthwhile staff meetings.

Art Without a Frame

Washington Post Staff Writer, Gene Weingarten shared a story in the Sunday edition on April 8, 2007.


It seems that on the morning of January 12th, 2007, Joshua Bell stepped into the L’Enfant Plaza of the Washington DC Metro station and offered a free concert to commuters there.  Wearing jeans and a baseball cap, he stood against a wall near a trash can and played his violin.   

Most of the commuters in the station that morning were mid-level bureaucrat federal workers with titles like, policy analyst, project manager, budget officer, specialist, facilitator, and/or consultant.   Evidently none of these well-educated, skilled people knew the impressive title of Joshua Bell

Knowing the man playing the violin that morning was an “American Grammy Award-winning violinist“, or “one of the finest classical musicians in the world” may have caused the commuters to pause and listen.  Maybe the fact that Joshua Bell plays a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin would have, at least, aroused curiosity in the people who walked by while he played that day in the station.  And surely, once a musician of such caliber begins to play a piece of music like “Chaconne” from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D Minor (which has been called, “not just one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but one of the greatest achievements of any man in history“), people would take notice, stop and listen, and drink in the magnificent sound.

But that IS NOT what happened.  According to the article, Mr. Weingarten reports that, in the three-quarters of an hour that Joshua Bell played, seven people stopped what they were doing to hang around and take in the performance, at least for a minute. Twenty-seven gave money, most of them on the run — for a total of $32 and change. That leaves the 1,070 people who hurried by, oblivious, many only three feet away, few even turning to look.  $32 for a man whose talents can command $1,000 a minute.

You may read the entire Washington Post story here: Pearls Before Breakfast

Following this experiment, Joshua Bell said, “at a music hall, I’ll get upset if someone coughs or if someone’s cellphone goes off.  But here, my expectations quickly diminished. I started to appreciate any acknowledgment, even a slight glance up. I was oddly grateful when someone threw in a dollar instead of change.” 

Before he began, Bell hadn’t known what to expect. What he does know is that, for some reason, he was nervous.

It wasn’t exactly stage fright, but there were butterflies,” he says. “I was stressing a little.”

Bell has played before crowned heads of Europe. Why the anxiety at the Washington Metro?

When you play for ticket-holders,” Bell explains, “you are already validated. I have no sense that I need to be accepted. I’m already accepted. Here, there was this thought: What if they don’t like me? What if they resent my presence . . .

Joshua Bell was, in short, art without a frame.


I was reminded of this story because of an experience I recently heard about – a story that has very similar outcomes to Joshua Bell’s story. 

It seems that a business owner hired “Mack”, a talented consultant, whom the business owner had met before.  The business owner had personally witnessed Mack’s strong work ethic and varied skills.  Mack was hired by the business owner to accomplish a very specific task in the business.

Mack accepted a position as an employee in the business – with the idea that once the specific task was completed successfully, the business owner would see the worth of Mack’s skills.  Mack wanted to be viewed as a consultant to this business owner, and they agreed that after a 90-day period working together, that the business owner would pay Mack closer to his professional rate and their relationship would move more toward a partnership and away from an employer/employee relationship.

Well, just as in the case of Joshua Bell, the business owner in Mack’s story did not understand the worth of Mack’s talent and skill.  Even though the specific project was successfully completed, Mack’s position as an employee was hard to shake.  After 90 days, the business owner did not renegotiate the terms of their relationship with Mack, and instead kept treating Mack as an employee – including wages well below Mack’s worth.

Mack, on the other hand, felt that if he kept providing examples of his talent, and continued to serve the business owner with the tools of his consulting knowledge, that the business owner would see the worth of his position as a consultant, and that Mack would be paid what he was worth.  Mack believed that it would surely work out in the end, and that this business owner would become a client instead of an employer.

But that IS NOT what happened.  Mack reports that, in the 22-months that he’s worked with this business, and has provided the company with “solutions to their greatest challenges, tools, resources and innovative ways to improve essential aspects of the business, and opportunities to have greater security and safety in the business“, Mack has been given a $1 an hour raise.   

Mack, like Joshua Bell is “Art Without A Frame”. 

This business owner, like the commuters in the DC Metro Station, can’t see the pearls before him.  Many of us don’t know the priceless opportunities before us, or the valuable relationships we have been blessed with  We get too busy to stop, listen and drink in the music and the talent around us.

Are you guilty of this? 
Are there people you work with who are pearls in their talents and abilities? 
Are there individuals that add to your life, your business, or your happiness that you have failed to notice or value? 

Are you a pearl? 
Are you someone who, for whatever reason is not being valued? 
If so, what can you do to change the situation? 
What could Joshua Bell have done? 
What could Mack have done?

The S in S.E.L.F. is for SACRIFICE

My last several posts have been about SACRIFICE.  I have been thinking about the way we learn leadership, and I’ve discovered that it is really about self-leading.  My new campaign is shown in this image:

For the short-term , I will be talking about these four areas of self-leadership:

  • SACRIFICE
  • EMPOWERMENT
  • LOVE
  • FRIENDSHIP

In my past posts, I have given examples of BIG ways people have sacrificed for others…..
Sacrifice, Seeds and Starvation
Sacrifice and Heroism
The #1 Characteristic of Exceptional Leaders

Today, is a personal experience.  No heroics, just personal sacrifices I’ve made toward becoming a better leader.

In his Lectures on Faith, Joseph Smith tell us,….a religion that does not require the sacrifice
of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary
unto life
….”

Sacrifice of all things.  That’s pretty big.  This doesn’t just apply to religion, though.  Religion is something we are accountable to; but we are accountable to ourselves as well–perhaps even more.  Therefore, WE must sacrifice all things if we want to have sufficient power to produce faith unto life.

In my journey toward leadership, I have sacrificed much.  Facing fears of rejection, humiliation, friends, even family relationships required sacrifice.  When I decided to break the silence of childhood abuse many years ago, I sacrificed all of these things and more.

I have sacrificed my own desires many times because of my loyalty to an employer, an organization, even my church and family.  These sacrifices have NOT weakened me.  They have empowered me.  I have not lost who I am, but I have been able to find who I am.  Sacrifice.

On July 1st, 2010 I began serving as one of the top three leaders in a non-profit organization. This organization was Toastmasters International, and I was the third in charge of roughly 3500 members as the Lt.Governor Marketing for District 2. 

On July 1st, 2011 I had moved up one seat, and served as the Lt. Governor Education and Training.  By July 1st, 2012 I was the head honcho, the big cheese, the lady in charge of District 2.  I was the District Governor.  Yikes!  I thought I had been working hard the two previous years; but because I never do anything less than 100%, I charged in full speed and set out to motivate and lead a team of about 75 volunteers in this very large organization.

What did I sacrifice for leadership? 

  • Sleep
  • Meals
  • Vacations
  • Blogging
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Career advancements
  • Income
  • Client relationships
  • Seminars
  • Conferences
  • Time spent with family

I’m not complaining, because I’m VERY glad I took on the challenge to lead in the Toastmaster organization.  I don’t believe that I would have had the opportunity to learn the leadership lessons I did any other way.  I had the chance to be the CEO of an organization with 3500 + “employees”.  Wow!  And did I mention that every minute of it was voluntary?  I was never paid anything.

With all the sacrificing it took to lead District 2, I never sacrificed my integrity, my religious beliefs, or my self-respect.  Nor did I ever compromise on the goals I set out to accomplish. 

I did not meet all the benchmarks that I wanted to as District Governor, but I left District 2 stronger and better than when it was put in my charge.  I’m happy with that.

The sacrifices I made gave me power sufficient to produce necessary
results. 


What have YOU sacrificed?

 What power have YOU been able to produce because of your sacrifice?

Sacrifice and Heroism

What does it mean to be a hero?

This is Rick Rescorla.  Rick sacrificed his life to save the lives of many others on 9-11-01.

Rescorla , a 62-year-old retired and decorated U.S. Army colonel, had
focused on security at the World
Trade Center
for years. Prior to the bombing of the World
Trade Center
in 1993, he had approached the Port
Authority of New York and New Jersey
about security vulnerabilities in the WTC’s garage. He was told to focus only
on the floors that Morgan Stanley used. 

Rick Rescorla was told to navigate his own fishbowl.  He did that.  But, Rick Rescorla didn’t stop thinking about security weaknesses and terrorism inside, and outside his fishbowl.

In 1997, Rescorla became director of security at Morgan
Stanley, where he maintained vigilant attention to the firm’s — and the
building’s — safety.  He held twice-yearly
evacuation drills by the stairwell for the firm’s 22 floors in the south tower.

The result: On Sept. 11, 2001, he was ready

Despite having received official instructions to stay put after the first tower was struck at 8:46 a.m, Rescorla told Morgan Stanley staffers to follow his evacuation
plan, and he sent them two by two, as they had practiced, down the many flights
of stairs. His decision and his preparation made all the difference. Although
13 employees — including Rescorla — perished, more than 2,500 employees left
the tower alive. That’s where the word “miracle” comes in. It’s also
where the word “hero” comes in.

Rescorla used his cell phone to get updates on news footage as he directed employees by bullhorn. He also called his wife, Susan.
“If something should happen to me, I want you to know I’ve never been
happier,” he said.

A fuzzy photo of Rescorla speaking into the bullhorn. He was last
seen on the 10th floor of the World Trade Center 9-11-01.

Sacrifice ~ Empowerment ~ Love ~ Friendship

What acts of service have you witnessed by leaders? 

What does sacrifice mean to you, and how does sacrifice breed heroism?

Seven Ways the Making of Your Business is Like the Making of America

America was founded on ideals that seemed new at the time, but have in reality been timeless.  As far back as 1776 we longed for the same things that all Americans, (and, in fact, all people) still want.

  • Freedom
  • Prosperity
  • Peace

Because the founders of America succeeded in providing us
with freedoms that we Americans, still enjoy today, our country has seen growth
in ideas, knowledge, and resources for gaining ideas and knowledge. 

In the same way, whatever business you’re in, there can be
NO advancement as the business owner, nor as an employee, if there is no freedom
in the work place.  The kind of freedom that allows us to progress toward prosperity that will in
turn bring about peace.  These three
elements are sought for by everyone in your business—owner and employee
alike.

When you have the elements of freedom, prosperity and peace,
then progress comes quickly.  We’ve seen
it as America
has matured.  W. Cleon Skousen talked
about six great revolutions of America.  However that was before the seventh revolution
was born, which I’ve added below: 

  1. The Industrial Revolution
  2. The Machine Revolution
  3. The Transportation Revolution
  4. The Communications Revolution
  5. The Energy Resource Revolution
  6. The Computer Revolution
  7. The Internet Revolution

How do these steps of American progress compare to the
progress of your business?

The Industrial Revolution was the transition from
hand production methods to machines, and improved efficiency.  Most businesses begin with the very basic
materials and supplies.  When you can
move into more efficient methods of producing your product, and even marketing
your business, you may recognize that you’ve been through a small industrial
revolution of your own making.

The Machine
Revolution
took the burden of work from human and animal power to machine
power.  As Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu
once said, “an ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.”

I’m sure it didn’t take you long to realize that you had to
be competitive in your business.  That
meant that there were some things that you had to buy machines to do.  You’ve become more efficient, haven’t you?  You’ve survived the Machine Revolution of
your business!

The Transportation Revolution affected the lives of many Americans. It
helped transport cotton to textile factories, and it helped people to transport
their own cargo via canals, steamboats, and trains. Today, your product is
moved by many forms of transportation.  As
a new business owner, it may have taken some organization and set up to get
your product out to market, but it would have been impossible to do at all
without having been successful at the first two revolutionary processes.

It’s impossible to overstate the significance of the
electric telegraph in American history that brought about the Communication Revolution. Before the
1830s, nothing could travel faster than a running horse – not people, not
goods, not even information.  Can you
imagine NOT having a telephone, the postal service or email capabilities in
your business today?  I know there are
many of you who can even remember the days before email.  I certainly do. Communication is key to prosperity in your
business!


America
has always relied on the Energy Resource
Revolution
to produce, provide, and prosper.  Conventional wisdom tells us that market
forces would always come to the rescue. We’ve been spoiled with abundant amounts and
low prices for food, water and energy.  But
times are a-changing.

McKinsey Global Institute tells us that we might be entering
a new era of high and volatile prices over the next two decades.  What will this mean for YOUR business?

I’m sure, as a business owner you’ve discovered how
difficult it is to find qualified and competent employees of late.  And on the flip side, employees are wondering
where the days went when job security was a given.  Disappointment on both sides of this coin has
created a real disconnect between management and production staff.  Business
owners are NOT using their resources—their HUMAN resources as they should.

By the mid 1980s the Computer
Revolution
had transformed American life. The watches people wore, the cars
they drove, the mail they received, the games they played, the state of their
health, and the way they learned were altered by the computer chip. Schools,
workplaces, the health industry, government, and the law were all dramatically
affected by the computer.

Think of your business. Do you remember what it was like to
not have a computer?  Or, try to imagine
doing the same work you do now WITHOUT having a computer to assist you.  And yet, I see MOST of my clients NOT using
the technology at their fingertips to its fullest potential!  What’s
up with that?


The seventh revolution in my opinion is
the Internet Revolution.  This may be the greatest innovation of them all.  It will most likely have the longest lasting effects in history.  High Existence claims that the best part of the Internet Revolution is these five principles:

1) Equality– everyone has the same chance to
get their message to the world.

2) Unity– all cultures come together to
share ideas and common concerns.

3) Information– newspapers and television
are no longer the way we get up to date information.

4) Connection– we can see and speak to
anyone in the world at any moment basically for free in real time!

5) Freedom– we can work from anywhere in the
world.  We can find legal help, publish a
book, and even make a large profit through online sales.

Freedom and prosperity come in very different ways than our
founding fathers could have possibly imagined.  Yet peace is often harder to come by.  With all this freedom, technology and
knowledge, we still struggle to have ALL that is of greatest value.

The revolutionary bells and whistles don’t matter if, as
business owners, we don’t have a clear vision, a purposeful mission, and a
strategic plan of success in place.  Furthermore,
if we don’t know how to communicate with and lead our team, we will always be
undermining our true capabilities.  

So, are you ready for the next revolution in your business
evolution?  Are you ready for the Leadership Revolution?

What does YOUR leadership revolution look like?

Got Horse-Sense? Change Your Track Record!


You have employees. You hired them because you felt they had the right skills, experience and personality for your team.  

What do you think your employees want most from you?   If you think money is #1 you’d be wrong.

On a list of 12 items that employees say they want, compensation is #11.  The first 3 items on the list are:

  1. Ethical Standards 
  2. Fair Management 
  3. Harmonious Environment 

#4 on that list: an adequate facility, instruments, tools, equipment and supplies.  Surprising? 

Watch this video of 8 thoroughbred horses before race #4 at Emerald Downs in Auburn Washington.  Here’s a list of the horses by name:

  1. AGOODLAWYERWILLDO
  2. GO JACKIE GO (My personal favorite for obvious reason)
  3. INNOCENT LOVE
  4. FEMMINA PESANTE
  5. FOREST BUNNY
  6. PEBBLE BEACH BABY
  7. HOT DATE
  8. BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIE

Beautiful animals, all! When hiring your staff members I’m sure you wanted thoroughbreds. If you’ve ended up with anything short of that, then perhaps you need to take a close look at what you’re providing your team.  What are you doing to help them be successful in their “race”?

Horsehats.com tells us that confirmation of a racehorse is the blending of various body parts and how well they fit together to create a running machine.  They ask us to compare Michael Jordan to Rosanne Barr when deciding who might excel more athletically.  

Watch these same 8 horses race in the 4th at Emerald Downs…

It may not be as obvious a choice as Jordan or Barr when deciding a horse race or hiring team members, but I suggest that what you provide your team to enhance their performance should be utmost on your mind. 

In the race itself, the horse is influenced in the moment of the race by the surface of the track, how close the horse is to the inside barrier, the jockey, and even the trainer.

What are you providing your staff so they can succeed in the moment? 

  • Do they have adequate hardware and software? 
  • Do they have the right tools in top shape to be able to do their job right?  
  • Are you providing sufficient leadership and training?
  • Do they know that you’ll provide them the tools they need?

One employee I know sat in a dark corner straining to see the computer screen on her desk because the light bulb above her desk had burned out, and the business owner took two weeks to purchase a replacement bulb.  Silly, isn’t it?

What does it take to make a winning race horse?  A paycheck?  Of course not.  The paycheck comes after the performance. Therefore, if you don’t take the time to provide an adequate facility, instruments, tools, equipment and supplies for your employees, you may end up with another type of staff member than a thoroughbred race horse. 

For example, the same day that those 8 beautiful horses graced the track at Emerald Downs, there were 8 other racers on the same track.  HARLEY won that race.

Watch this video of heat #2 featuring 8 other types of racers on the same track….

The choice is yours:  

  • Michael Jordan or Roseanne Barr
  • BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIE or HARLEY
  • A thoroughbred race horse or a wiener-dog hound.

You have the means to create winners in your employees.  What will you change about your “track” record to make it happen?

Leadership is Messy!


My desk as I walked in this morning.  This doesn’t take into account the 6-7 boxes I have in the living room ready to load into my car for a training tomorrow.  Nor does this picture cover the materials on the kitchen table where I tend to lay things down when I come into the house.

So many projects all at once!

Emerald City Consulting 
Physician Consulting, Inc 
Navigating Your Fishbowl
Toastmasters International District 2
The Relief Society

Family, bills, dogs, yardwork, laundry, housecleaning, cooking, shopping, car maintenance, exercise, personal study…..  Calgon, Take me Away!!!!

Yep, leadership is messy, and I need a bath!!!!!

12 Foundation Essentials for Building a Winning Team part 2

A few weeks ago I told you that Bent Ericksen & Associates has been the “most trusted name” in HR and employment law for over 25 years. 

They have surveyed hundreds of team members to determine what affects job performance.  Here is the last 6 of 12 areas on that list…  (Click here for previous post)

7.     Clearly defined job descriptions and expectations
8.     Individual and team member recognition
9.     Effort is appreciated/poor performance is not tolerated
10.   Fair compensation and benefits 
11.   Feedback by the employer
12.   Worthwhile team meetings 

Are you surprised by this list? 

Are you giving your team what’s most important to them? 

Where can you improve?

See how important it is for all team members to be on the same page?

Tune in to my next post—same blog time, same blog channel

We will begin to tick down this list item by item.  Learn how to improve the relationship with your team!

12 Foundation Essentials for Building a Winning Team

Bent Ericksen & Associates has been the recognized leader and “most trusted name in the profession” of human resources and employment law for over 25 years.  They have surveyed hundreds of team members, and the following list indicates the first 6 aspects of what team members say would contribute to their productivity and sense of satisfaction on the job:

  1. Ethically sound business principles and quality services
  2. A consistent management style where policies are friendly, frank, fair and firm, consistently applied and clearly explained in writing
  3. A pleasant and harmonious work environment with minimum stress
  4. Adequate facility, instruments, tools, equipment and supplies
  5. Competent, supportive and compatible team members
  6. Assistance in learning:

  • To become more skilled

  • To develop communication skills
  • To make decisions
  • To take initiative

If you’re an employer, are you surprised by what’s on this list so far?  How are you doing at providing for your team what’s on this list?  In what areas do you feel you lack?

If you’re an employee, how do you feel about this list?  Do you agree so far?  Would you change the order in any way?

Can you see how important it is for the manager/owner of the business to be on the same page with the rest of the team?

Tune in to my next post—same blog time, same blog channel—for the bottom 6 on the list!