Sunday, May 31, 2015

It's their fault

It's their fault...those words were like fingernails down a chalkboard for me when I ran operations.
Everyone in the circle needs to accept responsibility.
What did you do to prevent the situation?

It is far to easy to point the finger , what could you have done was always my reply. I would walk through the process and could always show them where they could have made a phone call or checked on something.

Maybe someone else did drop the ball but it you were more in the game perhaps you could have caught it.

Stop- Look and Listen !

Saturday, May 30, 2015


What do you do to prepare for tomorrow, or next week or two weeks from now?
To succeed in business you always need try to stay a step ahead, to anticipate the " what if's".

Do not wait for others to do it and do not ASSUME that it is what was promised and dispatched.
Make your calls, send your emails, do your homework.

You either invest your time on the front end or scramble on the back end. It is much easier and more professional if YOU take control.
Ask as many questions as possible and contact all involved way in advance.
Think it out and set things up , then double check and triple check it.

Success always lies in the preparation. Take control.

Friday, May 29, 2015


Gen. George Patton

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."
"Be willing to make decisions. That's the most important quality in a good leader."
"A leader is a man who can adapt principles to circumstances."
"If everybody is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking."

Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf

"Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy."

Gen. Colin Powell

"Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand."
"Experts often possess more data than judgement."

Thursday, May 28, 2015


Gen. Douglas MacArthur

"A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent."
"Never give an order that can't be obeyed."
"There is no security on this earth, there is only opportunity."

Gen. and President Dwight Eisenhower

"Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it."
"You don't lead by hitting people over the head--that's assault, not leadership."
"We succeed only as we identify in life, or in war, or in anything else, a single overriding objective, and make all other considerations bend to that one objective."

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

No guarantees

There are NO guarantees in life..

There are no guarantees in what ever you do so just do the best you can and approach each day as if it may be your last and do not take for granted those around you that care about you because the same goes for them.

Back in 1985 my wife and I were married for close to five years and had a 2 year old daughter, we had recently purchased our first house, life was good. Then our phone rang one December day and we were told that my wife's mom was murdered. She was in her early 40's and had just opened up her own retail store, she was working one night by herself and a career criminal that was just let out on parole from MA walked in and changed all of our lives forever.

So many things changed in one phone call, in one instance for a whole host of people including her young grandchildren and unborn grandchildren and now great grandchildren. She was ripped from our lives without warning. She had the greatest smile and was kind to everyone and my kids will never know her.
My wife never had a chance to say good bye, the family all tried to remember the last conversation that we had. This was before cell phones and video camera that are attached to everything now so we do not even have video to look at to remember her laugh.

DO NOT take today for granted, DO NOT take your loved ones for granted. When you leave the house or hang up the phone be sure to always end it with I LOVE YOU. Tell them you care, show the them.

Look up and look around and enjoy the little things. And for heaven sake do not waste a day wining or complain over something trivial .....there are no guarantees -don't waste the day.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The 5 A’s to Dealing With Problems

Acknowledge the problem – try to really understand why someone is complaining. Stop listening to them complain, and start hearing what the issue actually is.

Apologize – you can directly apologise if there’s something that you’ve done wrong; or you can make the apology generic. Try: “I’m sorry that you feel that way”. Either way, the apology needs to be genuine. “Don’t ruin an apology with an excuse”. Don’t apologise, and then say “…but”.

Analyze the issue –find the cause of the problem. Complaints contain insight, so listen to the feedback – it should be part of the solution, not part of the problem. If you’re still not clear what remedy the person stood in front of you is looking for, involve them in your resolution decision-making – use questions such as: “What do you think would be fair?”

Act – tell them what you are going to do about the problem. If it’s an obvious solution, you might be able to tell them there and then. However, sometimes it’s not as simple – if that’s the case, we can still provide an immediate response just by being up front and honest – if you need to get someone else’s input, explain that, and then give them an idea of when you might be able to give them a solution.

Appreciate the situation – check in with the person that complained, and invite their feedback to verify that you have solved the problem. Even if it is obvious that the situation has been corrected; the fact that you care enough to follow up makes people feel valued.

Sunday, May 24, 2015


Having a true conversation in business is vital.
Strip away your anger or that you may be spinning many plates at the same time ( show me someone who isn't) and stay in the moment. Have a truthful conversation with who is in front of you or who is on the phone. Forget email and text- call them !

Too many times we miss-use email and text as well as social media and we use it to vent or we take something completely out of context- you tend to read something and translate to the way YOU are feeling at that moment.

Be honest with the person and try to find a bridge. Sometimes that may mean losing the battle to win the war. If you need to take one to help them out then do it, of course you want to see that it is appreciated and hopefully returned somewhere down the raod but someone has to start down the road of compromise.

Conversations are vital !

Saturday, May 23, 2015

If you only you knew..

People have told me things in confidence through the years, they share the many struggles that are going through in life. They ask to not tell anyone and I respect that.
But knowing what they are going through it explains a lot about their attitude or how they may react.

If you only knew..would you react differently TO THEM ? I would hope so.

Remember this- everyone is going through something ! It may be themselves or a loved one or a friend but trust me we are have something that we are dealing is called LIFE.

So try to remember that in your dealings and extend a olive branch whenever possible.
Smile and try to lighten their load if you can, you just may find that it may come back to YOU and someone will do the same for you.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


What is your tone?

Your tone and how you say things is just as important or even more so then what you say.
Your body motions and your tone tells the story.
Beware of your words and how you respond, especially if you are upset or do not agree.
If your tone or body language shouts that you disagree you may lose the battle before you even begin.

I fall into this all the time, especially in our busy season. I am normally handling a few fires at the same time and I carry things over to the next conversation without even realizing it, or at least I do not realize it in real time. I may hang up and know that I had just handled that call the wrong way but in the moment my tone was saying I just don't give a crap.

The best thing to do is to try to take a deep breath and try to focus in the moment. Sometimes that is easier said then done but if that does not work simply put off the call for a few minutes until you get a chance to gather yourself.

Remember people are always watching and listening - not only to what you say but how you say it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Basic Customer Service

The Basics on customer service-

1. Return phone calls on a timely basis.
2. Answer e-mails.
3. Be polite.
4. Probe to discover how else he/she can be helpful to a co-worker.
5. Be respectful of co-workers.

It ain't hard people.... pay attention to what is in front of you and do not look past people.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Nasty people

Why do people have to be so nasty?

In the course of a day how many people do you come across that are just angry or unpleasant ?
From the person at the coffee shop to fellow employees or just people that you are dealing with- how many actually smile at you and look you in the eye?

Take note and promise yourself to NOT follow that same path.
You will feel so much better about yourself if you just treat those around you positively.
Do not fight anger with more anger, try to find that bridge and smile.

I do wonder why people are so nasty and wonder if they even realize it after a while.
I truly think that they just fall into it and it just becomes acceptable.
Most times they are angry at their job or their kids or their finances or ten thousand other things but by carrying it over to everyone that they meet they just continue the cycle.

Break the cycle...look up...and smile.

Sunday, May 17, 2015


Excerpt from Ken Blanchard, author of the One Minute manage.

Wondering if your leadership language—both internally and externally—could use a cleanup?  Here are three places to start.
  1. Give credit and accept responsibility. In his book Good to Great, author Jim Collins shares an important distinction between serving and self-serving leaders. Collins says that self-serving leaders look in the mirror and take credit for successes, but when things go wrong they look out the window and assign blame to others. Great leaders do just the opposite—they use “we” statements as they look out the window to attribute success to factors outside themselves, but when things go poorly, they look in the mirror and use “I” statements as they take full responsibility.
  2. When setting goals, eliminate the word try. As Jedi master Yoda reprimanded Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back: “Do or do not. There is no try.” Consider the negative impact of the word try in this goal statement: “We will try to provide the best customer service.”  Leave it at will.
  3. Don’t mix positive and negative feedback. When giving feedback, keep praising separate from redirection. Leaders sometimes attempt to soften negative feedback by beginning with a praising.  Direct reports can see it coming from a mile away. For example: “You really hit that presentation out of the park—but next time try to look your audience in the eyes more often.”  When you want to praise good performance, be specific, focused, and timely.  Do the same with redirection. Ken Blanchard and his coauthor Spencer Johnson have a lot more to say on this topic in their book The New One Minute Manager.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Do you have a Job or a Career ?

Do you have a Job or a Career?

The answer probably tells a lot about you approach your day.
If you look at what you do as your career you will, or should, put more of yourself out there. You should take more ownership and constantly wanting to better yourself and learn.

If it just a job, then you probably just put in your 8 hours and go home.
Nothing wrong with that but understand that where you are is probably where you will be 10 years from now.
If that is fine with you then great. If not then perhaps you should start to take more stock in what you do and how you do it. As well as what you say and how you say it.

If it is advancement that you want then take on the responsibility and always push yourself.
Your worse critic should be yourself.
Don't settle for just ok- want to be better- do better and improve ....start a career.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Book Smart and Street Smart

There is Book Smart and Street Smart.

Two of the most down to earth successful men that I know both did not have a higher education.
Actually both had to leave high school to take help take care of their families.
One is 74 years old today and the other would of been 88 but he passed on a few years ago.
Both men worked hard and treated people with respect.
Both men had common sense.
All though they were both very kind they also were very tough if you tried to do them wrong.
One once said " some people mistake kindness for weakness".
Both men worked themselves up from nothing and ended up highly successful.

There is Book Smart and Street Smart- from my dealings in business I will take the street smart, common sense person every day. The person that looks you in the eye when they speak to you and who follows through on what they say. Their word is their bond.
They appreciate what they have because they earned it  and they appreciate what you do because they know hard work when they see it.

Now that being said I do know many highly educated folks that have good old common sense too.
Having both can certainly jump start you ahead in life.
But for those that could not get to college for whatever reason, hold your head up and stay true to your values, work hard and use that good old common sense.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Building Trust

Creating organizational trust and engagement is a journey, not a destination. It’s not a box you can check and say “Done!” It’s something you have to build and nurture every day of the week. It’s much more about who you are as a leader than what you do.

 It’s about being clear on your leadership point of view—your beliefs about leading and motivating people—and leading in a way that builds trust with others.

You’re never done building trust.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

More on Leading by Helping

By sharing information and giving them what they need. -
The best leaders think about what their people need to do their jobs well. You can’t just take for granted that they have all that they need; you engage and share information and give them the knowledge and tools they need to be successful.

 By modeling the way of empowerment.-
 The best leaders let others see, hear, and experience what empowerment is. They are mindful of their attitude, their moods, and their ethics—aware that people are looking to them to set an example. By grooming others for leadership.

 When you groom others you are transferring authority to them, allowing them to share in the load, and giving them opportunity to lead. In empowering them you’re ultimately working toward the day when you can hand over the baton.

 Just about everyone has the potential to empower others.-
Start looking for opportunities today, and see your leadership grow.

 Lead From Within: When you empower people, you’re influencing not only them, but also all the people they will influence in turn through their leadership. That is empowering.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Leading by helping

By helping them reach new heights.-
 As a leader you share your knowledge and your wisdom. You make a point of investing time and resources to show your people that you believe in them, and it’s a win-win situation for all. Your job is to see the potential, find out what they lack to develop it, and equip them with what they need.

By appreciating them.-
 Everyone wants to feel that they count for something and are important to someone. People will work harder, and work more, for those who care about them, and their trust will earn you respect.

By having the right attitude.-
 If you want to be successful at empowering people, you need to be mindful of how you show up, how you respond and react, and how you deal with conflict. Attitudes are contagious—and that fact is especially important when you’re working to empower others.

More tomorrow

Monday, May 11, 2015

Who do you learn from?

Who do you learn from?

I learn from EVERYBODY.

I have learned that by just observing and listening I can learn from everyone. I have had good relationships and bad, both personally and in business. I have good bosses and terrible ones but I learn from them all.
I try not to judge but to observe and I make mental notes, sometimes even written notes.
I watch and say to myself - how would or should the situation have been handled or what was the tone of the conversation or just as important what was the body motions?

This means playing back in my head my own conversations and realizing what I could have done better, I actually do that a lot.

When you observe some people you can easily see if they are REAL people or not. Do they look around when others are talking to them or look right past you unless they need you? Do they talk differently when a boss walks in or someone with a higher title?
That tells you a lot about somebody.

You should always treat everybody the same, use the same tone and give the same attention.
Take note at the times that you do not or when others do it.

Try to learn and improve EVERYDAY.
Lord knows that we can ALL improve.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Talking on the phone

Why People Don’t Want to Talk on the Phone
  • Some feel unprepared for ad hoc phone calls, and prefer to feel in control. Emails help them document a conversation.
  • Some are apprehensive about dealing with emotions on a phone call, and they don’t know how to end a phone call conversation.
  • Interrupts their flow.
  • They can hide behind emails and texts.
  • Phone calls can take too long, and people feel emails are quicker.
  • Different time zones making it hard to communicate at certain times.
Why Talking on the Phone is Important
  • You get a response there and then. If you have an urgent issue that needs to be addressed talking about it will give you a quicker response.
  • Talking helps build relationships. Yes a perk of email is that you don’t deal with emotions, but we are human, emotions are part of our DNA.
  • It prevents conflict. Ever sent an email which didn’t get the response you were looking for? You should have phoned the person instead.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

The Process

Consistently follow the process – Process…for some people that’s a dirty word and anathema to how they work. However, processes exist for a reason. Usually they are in place to ensure consistency, quality, efficiency, and productivity. When you follow the process, you show your colleagues you respect the norms and boundaries for how you’ve agreed to work together. If you visited a friend’s home and were asked to remove your shoes at the door, you would do so out of respect, right? You wouldn’t make excuses about it being inconvenient or it not being the way you do things in your house. Why should it be different at work? If you need to fill out a form, then fill it out. If you need to use a certain software system to get your information, then use it. Quit making excuses and do work the way it was designed to be done. Besides, if you consistently follow the process, you’ll experience much more grace from your colleagues for those times you legitimately need to deviate from it.

No one likes to think of him/herself as being difficult to work with, yet from time to time we all make life difficult for our colleagues.

Focus on what you can do to be easy to do business with and you’ll find that over time others become easier to work with as well.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Some more tip that may help

4. Provide the “why” behind your requests – Very few people like being told what to do. They want to understand why something needs to be done so they can make intelligent decisions about the best way to proceed. Simply passing off information and asking someone to “just do it like I said” is rude and condescending. Make sure your colleagues understand the context of your request, why it’s important, and how critical they are to the success of the task/project. Doing so will have them working with you, not against you.

5. Be trustworthy – Above all, be trustworthy. Follow through on your commitments, keep your word, act with integrity, demonstrate competence in your own work, be honest, admit mistakes, and apologize when necessary. Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship, and if you want to work well with others, it’s imperative you focus on building trust in the relationship. Trust starts with you being trustworthy.

6. Don’t hide behind electronic communication – Email and Instant Message have their place in organizations, but they don’t replace more personal means of communication like speaking on the phone or face to face. I’ve seen it time and time again – minor problems escalate into major blowouts because people refuse to get out from behind their desks, walk to their colleague’s office, and discuss a situation face to face. It’s much easier to hide behind the computer and fire off nasty-grams than it is to talk to someone about a problem. Just step away from the computer, please!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Some tips to help you succeed

1. Build rapport – People want to work with people they like. Are you likable? Do you build rapport with your colleagues? Get to know them personally, engage in small talk (even if it’s not your “thing”), learn about their lives outside of work, and take a genuine interest in them as people, not just a co-worker who’s there to do a job.

2. Be a good communicator – Poor communication is at the root of many workplace conflicts. People who are easy to work with share information openly and timely, keep others informed as projects evolve, talk through out of the box situations rather than make assumptions, and they ask questions if they aren’t sure of the answer. As a general rule, it’s better to over-communicate than under-communicate.

3. Make their job easier – If you want to gain people’s cooperation, make their job easier and they’ll love you for it. But how do you know what makes their job easier? Ask them! If handing off information in a form rather than a chain of emails makes their job easier, then do it. If it helps your colleague to talk over questions on the phone rather than through email, then give them a call. Identify the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) from your colleague’s perspective and it will help you tailor your interactions so both your and their needs are met.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Three decades of hard work...

Please meet Arthur Raymond- a Driver with Arpin Van Lines. Arthur has been with Arpin for over three decades...