Category Archives: Human Resources

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?

3 Ways to Put Your Business Where the Sun Does Shine

One of America’s founding fathers, James Madison said, “As there is a degree of depravity in mankind which requires a certain degree of circumspection and distrust, so there are other qualities in human nature which justify a certain portion of esteem and confidence“.

The founding fathers of the United States of America wanted the goal of our Constitution to
allow the sunshine side of human nature to enjoy unlimited freedom,
while setting up appropriate safeguards to prevent the shadow of human
passion, greed, and lust for power from undermining the success of the
nation.

Wouldn’t you like your job or business to have the same goals? Wouldn’t you like to have more sunshine in your business?  Wouldn’t you like to be able to bring out the best in your team, your employees, or your organization?  You can!  It takes pulling back the shades, washing the windows, and welcoming the rays of light into your fishbowl!

Let the sunshine in with these simple steps:

Clarify your communication expectations

Every business MUST have written rules, guidelines, policies and expectations if the team is to understand the definition of success.  Having a personnel policy manual will prevent the shadowy problems that consistently come up in business, and allow YOUR team the freedom to create solutions within your realm of expectations.  It’s a beautiful site to behold, when it happens!

Create an environment of open idea-sharing and accountability

At the start of every business day, there should be time set aside for team members to state their goals, identify foreseeable problems, and discuss possible solutions.  It’s a real “pane” to realize that disaster could have been avoided by simple coordination early on. 

Appreciate the “light” in your human resources

Have you ever thought about the meaning of “human resources”?  Your team members are the greatest resource you’ll ever spend money on.  I believe that the answer to your success lies within your bowl-mates.  Take time to identify the talents, skills and knowledge of each individual, and then let them float to the top as leaders in their specialty.

“Great teams do not hold back with one another. They are unafraid to
air their dirty laundry. They admit their mistakes, their weaknesses,
and their concerns without fear of reprisal.”


Patrick Lencioni,

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

Freedom, creativity, and self-confidence are a few principles that the founding fathers of America built an entire nation on.  Certainly your business can benefit by applying the same principles.  Bring your business and your team out of the shadow and into the light! 

Your future will be so bright, you’re gonna need shades!

How do you measure your growth?

Today is the first day in 4 years that I have not felt an incredible sense of responsibility in leadership for my favorite non-profit organization, Toastmasters International. 

At midnight June 30th, 2013 I completed my year as District 2 Governor!

I have learned the following:

  • A clearly defined vision and mission are vital
  • Expectations must be shared early and often
  • Personal touches go a long way
  • Pick your battles
  • Prioritize your time, projects and communication
  • Self-discipline is a must
  • Take every opportunity to increase your network
  • You can handle more than you ever thought you could
  • Sleep is important
  • No excuses
  • Speak only when what you say has value to someone else
  • 80% of success is timing

Toastmasters International, with its 300,000 or so members, is divided into 89 districts in 116+ countries throughout the world.  Since July 1, 2012, I’ve been serving as one of those 89 governors.  District 2 geographically covers western Washington from Kent to the Canadian border; and from the Cascade Mountains to the Puget Sound, and serves roughly 3500 members.

If you’re a numbers person, you might be interested in the team of individuals that make up the District 2 Executive Council of which I served as the head:

2 Lt Governors

5 other officers including a(n):

  • Immediate Past District Governor
  • Public Relations Officer
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Sergeant at Arms

7 Division Governors

40 Area Governors

187 Club Presidents

187 Club Vice Presidents Education

20+ auxiliary personnel including heads of several committees

20+ assistants to the area and division governors

There are 6 other district governors in Region 1 that greatly influenced and inspired me.  Nancy from District 9; Annette from District 15; Margaret from District 21; Bea from District 26; Mary from District 32; and Linus from the Yukon Council in Alaska.  These are individuals I planned with, commiserated with, and exchanged ideas and support with.

I can’t even begin to count the dozens upon dozens of individuals from Toastmasters International and all over the world who have, in ways large and small, impacted my growth in leadership.

I am so grateful for this experience. I have never been so exhausted, yet uplifted and invigorated all at the same time!

Special recognition goes to my personal support system.  My husband and family have not seen much of me in the last 4 years.  I have missed numerous family events because of my responsibilities as a district governor.  I have sacrificed time on my book, and in my business. 

THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone and do something that seems a little crazy.  Do something that will require selfless service and sacrifice. 

Your assignment: Consider your personal growth in the last 4 years, then answer the following questions:

  1. What have you achieved, and how? 
  2. Who are the individuals which have inspired you? 
  3. What have you learned about leadership?

Please post your comments on this blog.  Your experiences will be meaningful to me and so many others.

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?

Gain by Losing

Drop 7 foods; lose 7 pounds; just 7 days.  That’s what the book cover said.  But actually, I have gone almost 3 months without 7 foods, and I have probably lost far more than 7 pounds.  I know I’ve lost inches.

The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days

It began around the first part of January when my husband mentioned he’d seen a woman on PBS talking about 7 foods that can cause not only weight gain, but joint pain.  Joint pain is my middle name since being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 26 years ago.  Was there a way to decrease that pain simply by changing my diet?

I listened to the PBS program as well.  J.J. Virgin suggested that the following 7 foods should be dropped from our diets for 21 days:

  • Soy
  • Gluten
  • Corn
  • Peanuts
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Sugar (even artificial sweeteners)

It was Soy that caught my attention the most.   About a year and a half ago I started AND completed P90X.  It was a tough workout, and I worked hard for the prescribed 90 days.  But, I didn’t feel that I’d gotten as ripped as I should have with the hours of workout time I’d put in.  Interestingly enough, I started drinking Soy milk at about the time I started the P90X workout.

Even though I have decreased my workout intensity, I’ve still continued exercising 4-5 days a week, yet I’ve gained belly fat.  Could that belly fat be due to the Soy in my diet?  Ms. Virgin says yes.  She concluded that by dropping Soy and the other 6 foods for 21 days that the immune system could be reset, and that a person would have less pain and actually lose weight.

After just 4 days without these foods in my diet I felt great!  My Fibromyalgia pain decreased immensely.  I was actually coming to grips with the idea that I’d need surgery on my right shoulder because it hurt so badly I thought it must have been injured somehow.  But after about a week without these 7 foods, I had no more shoulder pain, and I was no longer taking Ibuprofen every day for my typical Fibromyalgia pain. 

I was surprised to learn that diet would have such a profound impact on my pain.  I have felt no urgent desire to add these foods back into my diet after 3 months without them!

Of the 7 items on the above list, only 1 (sugar) was something I’d been taught to avoid.  The other foods had always been suggested on the pyramid of food groups.  But somewhere in my past I’d developed an intolerance to these seemingly healthy foods.

Could this lesson be compare to your business?

Are there things in your business that you assume are good, but in fact may be undermining your success? 

What if you dropped behaviors or actions typical in your business that appear to be good, but are actually causing you unnecessary pain?

For instance, do you believe these business best practices?

  • Daily interaction with your team members/employees will help you know how they are feeling
  • Telling your employees what you want from them will give you the results you seek
  • An advertising campaign is necessary to get new customers/patients.

Although these are common aspects of a typical business model, they are not always right for your business, always.  The world changes every day.  We get information from vastly different resources than we did just 15 years ago.  If you’re not changing, then you’re falling behind.

I was experiencing unexpected weight gain and increased pain because I was doing the same things I’d always done, or had been taught to do.  Are you experiencing unwanted pain and consequences because you’re doing what you’ve always done?  Think about what you can drop from your current plan that may cause the successful outcomes you’re looking for.

Think about what you’ve been doing in your business for so long now, that you don’t even consider doing anything else.  Then, consider if it’s really working for you.

What have you been doing in your business consistently for at least 1 year?

Compare your Business to an Airport


Seth Godin recently posted the following on his
blog.  Many parts of his message relate to your business or organization.  You’ll find my narrative about Seth’s thoughts in parenthesis.

Seth begins by stating, “I realized that I don’t dislike flying–I dislike
airports. There are so many things we can learn from what they do wrong”. Seth lists eleven things that airports do wrong.  I hope your business is not guilty of any of these things.

1. No one is in charge. The airport doesn’t appear to have a CEO, and if it does, you never see her, hear about her or interact with her in any way. When the person at the top doesn’t care, it filters down. (Do you clearly understand that leadership starts at the top?  The business owner, president or CEO must have a clear vision that is filtered down from there.  That structure will make your business more successful)

2. Problems persist because organizations defend their turf instead of embrace the problem. The TSA blames the facilities people, who blame someone else, and around and around. Only when the user’s problem is the driver of behavior (as opposed to maintaining power or the status quo) things change. (If you and your staff members are not working as a team to understand WHY your customers are coming to your business, and WHAT they’re looking for there, you will never be able to retain them.  The business must also focus on the strengths of each individual team member and use those strengths effectively.)

3. The food is aimed squarely at the (disappearing) middle of the market. People who like steamed meat and bags of chips never have a problem finding something to eat at an airport. Apparently, profit-maximizing vendors haven’t realized that we’re all a lot weirder than we used to be.  (Is your business offering a Happy Meal, when you’d rather be selling steak?  Many businesses advertise for new customers using coupons and discounts.  Experience shows that the customers brought in by these types of offers aren’t always the customers you want.  Chances are there are a lot of businesses that provide the same service you do.  That’s why your business must stand out as different, better, or more serviceable if you’re going to navigate the market successfully)

4. Like colleges, airports see customers as powerless transients. Hey, you’re going to be gone tomorrow, but they’ll still be here. (Besides working toward gaining new customers, every business should have a plan in place to retain the customers they already have.  You really aren’t gaining customers if you’re not retaining them, too.)

5. By removing slack, airlines create failure.  In order to increase profit, airlines work hard to get the maximum number of flights out of each plane, each day. As a result, there are no spares, no downtime and no resilience. By assuming that their customer base prefers to save money, not anxiety, they create an anxiety-filled system. (Trust is one of the MOST important characteristics you want your customers to feel about you.  If you fail to build rapport and cement relationships of trust, your business will not reach it’s potential.  And that goal not only applies to your customers, it applies to your employees as well)

6. The TSA is ruled by superstition, not fact. They act without data and put on a quite serious but ultimately useless bit of theater. Ten years later, the theater is now becoming an entrenched status quo, one that gets ever worse.  (I have experienced businesses that cycle through the SAME actions year after year “because it’s what we’ve always done”.  Can we say, “stagnation”!  Technology, social media, and marketing rules are constantly changing.  If you’re not open to new ideas, then nothing new will happen in your business)

7. The ad hoc is forbidden. Imagine an airplane employee bringing in an extension cord and a power strip to deal with the daily occurrence of travelers hunched in the corner around a single outlet. Impossible. There is a bias toward permanent and improved, not quick and effective.  (Don’t focus on what can’t be done, but consider, however unlikely, what CAN be done.  Listen to your team–they have great ideas.  As much as possible try their solutions, and recognize their contribution.)

8. Everyone is treated the same. Effective organizations treat different people differently. While there’s some window dressing at the edges (I’m thinking of slightly faster first class lines and slightly more convenient motorized cars for seniors), in general, airports insist that the one size they’ve chosen to offer fit all.  (Give your customers choices, and never make judgements about what you think they will want or can afford.  Present the value and benefit, and people will find a way to get what they want.  Which means, you HAVE to KNOW what they want….)

9. There are plenty of potential bad surprises, but no good ones. You can have a flight be canceled, be strip searched or even go to the wrong airport. But all possibility for delight has been removed. It wouldn’t take much to completely transform the experience from a chore to a delight.  (Reward your customers for their loyalty.  Give them free product or a free service from time to time.  Ask them to refer their friends and family to you, then show your appreciation when they do so)

10. They are sterile. Everyone who passes through leaves no trace, every morning starts anew. There are no connections between people, either fellow passengers or the staff. No one says, “welcome back,” and that’s honest, because no one feels particularly welcome.  (What do you know about your customers?  If your business is service related, it is imperative that you know and remember your customers.  I saw the same hairdresser every six weeks for about a year.  I would have stayed with her longer, but I had to re-introduce myself at EVERY appointment.  How many customers are you losing because you aren’t connecting?)

11. No one is having any fun. Most people who work at airports have precisely the same demeanor as people who work at a cemetery. The system has become so industrialized that personal expression is apparently forbidden.  (Have you considered the first impressions you’re making?  Who is answering your phone?  Who are customers seeing first when they walk in the door?  Make sure these people have a cheerful attitude, and that they’re smiling!)

Seth Godin finishes his remarks by writing, “As we see at many organizations that end up like this, the airport mistakes its market domination for a you-have-no-choice monopoly (we do have a choice, we stay home). And in pursuit of reliable, predictable outcomes, these organizations dehumanize everything, pretending it will increase profits, when it actually does exactly the opposite”.

I’ll finish this blog post by asking you to consider whether you are/aren’t focusing on your customers rather than profit?  Not so much the customer you hope to gain, but on the customer that you have—the customer who is involved in and buying from your business.  Make sure THAT customer is happy and reaping benefit from your business.  When that customer is happy, your business will have the profits you’re looking for.

Tell me about an area that you feel your business is weak in.  Then tell me and my readers what you plan to do to strengthen that area of your business.

Fly safely!




“Head and Shoulders” above the rest!

You Never Get A Second Chance To Make A First Impression!


This phrase was a slogan used in a marketing campaign in the 1980’s for Head and Shoulders Dandruff Shampoo.  It spoke about the need to make an impression based on appearance. 


Most things from the 80’s should probably stay in the 80’s, but this tagline is timeless!  It’s also very applicable to each of us. When we meet someone new, the other person forms an opinion of us very quickly. That judgment is not only based on appearance; but it’s also based on our body language, demeanor, mannerisms, and on what we say, and even HOW we say it.


First impressions cannot be undone
; therefore it’s important that you learn how to set the stage for a great first impression.  When you do, the relationship you’re forming will continue long after the first or second act.


The website for
Mind Tools – Essential Skills for an Excellent Career  provides some useful tips for making a successful first impression:

  • Present Yourself Appropriately

  • Have a Winning Smile!

  • Be Courteous and Attentive

These same tips be applied to making a good impression on potential patients in your medical or dental practice; or on customers in your business.  Let’s use these same tools to determine whether or not you’re making a good impression.

Present Yourself Appropriately

When was the last time you called your office?  How did the person on the other end answer your phone?  Was it a pleasant voice?  A helpful-sounding voice?  Was it a recording or voice mail?  

The phone is the method by which most of your potential patients or customers will find out about your service business.  Your first impression is extremely important!  The person who answers your phone is quite possibly your MOST important team member.

What if you had a method for building trust and rapport with a potential patient/customer on the phone?  What if you asked a series of questions with the objective of not only gaining information that will help you learn about the needs of your patient/customer, but would also create a powerful first impression?


Having a website is another way of presenting yourself appropriately.  Does your practice/business have a website that is up to date and accurate in its information?  Your website should be active, and reflect current information about your services and practice specialties.  Your website should be warm and welcoming to your potential patients or customers.

Have a Winning Smile!

When a potential member walks into your business or practice, what do they see?  Do they see organization or chaos?  Is the feeling warm or uncomfortable?  Is there someone wearing a smile to greet them?

Listen to a personal story about Lessons of First Impressions


This scenario should never happen!  If it does, your practice/business will not survive.  I can guarantee it.


It’s important that customers and/or patients feel welcomed and cared for.  SMILE!  A smile goes a long way toward building trust and loyalty.  Look people in the eye, and shake their hand to introduce yourself, and to create a connection.  


A good indicator of whether you’re smiling enough at your patients or customers, is to watch them.  If your customers/patients are smiling, then you’re probably doing a good job.

Be Courteous and Attentive

As a doctor or a business owner, you have a lot to worry about.  If you want less to worry about, then I know a few things you can do to rid yourself of fewer patients/customers:

  • Assume you know exactly why they’re in your office or business

  • Don’t ask any questions that will lead you to discover more about them

  • Hurry through they’re appointment and just write a prescription

  • Treat ONLY the problem they’re currently having

LISTEN.  That was easy.  You didn’t even have to actually do what this word says to learn the secret.  That’s it.  It’s that simple.  LISTEN.



You Never Get A Second Chance To Make A First Impression!

With that in mind, make sure your practice/business stands “Head and Shoulders” above the rest, so that you can grow your business and improve the quality of life for your patients and/or customers!

The music of your HUMAN RESOURCES


  • Should I stop and listen?
  • Am I, annoyed by the unbidden demand on my time and my wallet?
  • Should I throw in a buck, just to be polite?
  • What if I give him money and he’s really bad?
  • What if he’s really good?

These are some choices that thousands of commuters made one January morning in a DC train station.  The object of their choices was a young man who wore jeans, a T-shirt and baseball cap playing a violin.  
 
Appearing to be just another peddler with an open violin case asking for monetary return on his talent, no one imagined that this young man was actually Joshua Bell, one of the finest classical musicians in the world, playing some of the most elegant music ever written on one of the most valuable violins ever made.
 
Three days before Joshua Bell appeared incognito at the Metro station, he had played before a full house at Symphony Hall in Boston, where fans paid $100 for mediocre seats.  Joshua Bell’s talents usually command $1,000 a minute.  That January morning, unrecognized and unappreciated, his take for 45 minutes totaled $32 and change.
 
This was essentially a test of whether ordinary people would recognize genius.

 
IF A GREAT MUSICIAN PLAYS GREAT MUSIC BUT NO ONE HEARS    . . .WAS HE REALLY ANY GOOD?
 


You can read the entire story by reading the article published in the Washington Post  shortly after it happened.

My question to YOU on this HR Thursday is this:

Would YOU recognize genius or talent in a crowded train station on your way to a busy day at work? 

 
What are YOU missing because you fail to recognize talent, even possible genius, in the people on your team?

  • Do you stop and listen to YOUR team?
  • Do you get annoyed by the unbidden demand on your time and your wallet?
  • Do you throw in bonuses and incentives just to appear engaged?
  • What do you do to recognize the exceptional members of your team?

I am so sick and tired of mediocre being celebrated, while the talents, experience and ideas of individuals who work hard to combat the status quo, and take ownership in the success of a business that is not theirs go completely unappreciated and unrecognized!

I see it almost everyday – members of teams that display their talents in front of employers who are too busy; and too involved in what they believe are the most important tasks of their business.  

These employers look past their HUMAN RESOURCES and see mere employees.  If they really stopped to look and listen, they’d see that they’ve actually hired the solutions to their greatest business challenges!

  
Please post about your reaction to the Washington Post article referenced here, especially if your feelings about such matters are as strong as mine…..

Winning the team GOLD!

On a list of 12 Foundation Essentials for Building a Winning Team by Bent Ericksen & Associates, we find that #5 on the list of what staff members indicate would contribute to their productivity and job satisfaction is:

Competent, supportive, and compatible team members.

Watch this video as I compare olympic teams to the teams in your business or organization.

What will you do to help your team win the GOLD?

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?