Thursday, April 28, 2016

25 Ways to be a better Leader

  1. Don't micromanage
  2. Don't be a bottleneck
  3. Focus on outcomes, not minutiae
  4. Build trust with your colleagues before a crisis comes
  5. Assess your company's strengths and weaknesses at all times
  6. Conduct annual risk reviews
  7. Talk about values more than rules
  8. Reward how a performance is achieved and not only the performance
  9. Constantly challenge your team to do better
  10. Celebrate your employees' successes, not your own
  11. Err on the side of taking action
  12. Communicate clearly and often
  13. Be visible
  14. Eliminate the cause of a mistake
  15. View every problem as an opportunity to grow
  16. Summarize group consensus after each decision point during a meeting
  17. Praise when compliments are earned
  18. Be decisive
  19. Say "thank you" and sincerely mean it
  20. Send written thank you notes
  21. Listen carefully and don't multi-task while listening
  22. Teach something new to your team
  23. Show respect for all team members
  24. Follow through when you promise to do something
  25. Be courageous, quick and fair

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Chocolate Milk

So I come to work this morning and go to the vending machine to buy a carton of milk for my cereal only to find that they only have chocolate milk left. Now I never had chocolate milk on my cereal before but what the heck, I like chocolate milk and I like cereal so let's give it a shot.
I loved it !
So what the heck is the big deal?

I see where we all get so entrenched in habits and routines that the least little thing that may go different we think as a negative. Trying different things is how we learn.
Now the chocolate milk is of course a very minor example but as a example none the less.
Unless we try something new how do we know?

I was in Operations at my place of work for 28 years and I ran the department for most those years, I saw it from from a 7 million dollar company to a 100 million dollar company-  so to pick myself out of it to try something new was awfully difficult.
I had wicked withdrawal and was not sure if I was doing the right thing. I knew that I needed a change and that I did not and could not do something unless I gave it 100%.
I am glad to say that the new position gave me a shot in the arm, yes I still miss the day to day in operations and the challenges but I love the challenge of creating something and most of all helping others.

Recently I found myself volunteering for a non profit Theatre group and I loved the energy and the opportunity it presented to help others - who would of thought ? And after a year and half we are seeing that a community needs us, local businesses are reaching out to us, we are making a difference.

I never would have known if I did not try, if I did not ignore the nerves or the negative thoughts that surround us all when we try something new.

I think I may have chocolate milk with my cereal more often.. who woulda knew ?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A verbal

A verbal commitment is the same as a handshake.

You are only as good as your word- when you give someone your word it is of the utmost importance that you follow through and do your best to keep your end of the bargain.

You want a reputation that is solid and one that people can trust and the only way to have that is to keep your promise- every time ! Not once in a while and not to just a few but every time and to everyone.
A verbal commitment is the same as a handshake and a handshake should be your bond.

There will be times that for reasons beyond your control you may not be able to follow through but if the effort is there then that will show through.

Take it serious people..after all it is YOUR reputation at stake .

Monday, April 25, 2016

Integrity and dependability


 Dealing with people in an honest fashion by keeping promises, not lying or stretching the truth, and not gossiping are ways to demonstrate integrity.

 Believable leaders also have a clear set of values that have been articulated to their direct reports and they behave consistently with those values—they walk the talk. Finally, treating people fairly and equitably are key components to being a believable leader.

 Being fair doesn’t necessarily mean treating people the same in all circumstances, but it does mean that people are treated appropriately and justly based on their own unique situation.


 One of the quickest ways to erode trust is by not following through on commitments. Conversely, leaders who do what they say they’re going to do earn a reputation as being consistent and trustworthy.

 Maintaining reliability requires leaders to be organized in such a way that they are able to follow through on commitments, be on time for appointments and meetings, and get back to people in a timely fashion.

Dependable leaders also hold themselves and others accountable for following through on commitments and taking responsibility for the outcomes of their work.

Saturday, April 23, 2016



 You’re in a leadership position because you were successful at getting things done.
In your wildest dreams, you never thought that relationships were important.
 They are THE most important thing in leadership.

So get out there and connect and communicate with those who support you. Don’t wait for them to reach out to you.

 Take responsibility, and get to know them and their expectations for you and your organization.

Get to know your co-workers-

Research has shown that top performing teams have one thing in common – psychological safety. And to achieve that, you need vulnerability.
There are few things more vulnerable at work than sharing personal stories with the people you work with. Just get to know them, and give them a chance to know you!

When your co-workers stop seeing each other as mere colleagues, and as complex human beings instead, it works wonders to bring a team together.

 People take more risks, help each other, and are more likely to view your ideas and motives in a positive light.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Focus and Vision

When you focus on both mindfulness and vision, your potential explodes--and you are able to live more fully in the present.

When you know what you want, you recognize opportunities as they arise and can respond quickly. You don’t need to worry about tomorrow because you know you are on the path to your destination. And what you need to do next will become clear as you move forward.
While you are on the path, you can enjoy it . . . if you remember to live in the present and get the most out of each moment.

You don’t have to hike to the top of a mountain to take in the beauty of each moment.
Each moment has its own inherent beauty and possibility for joy. Will you always be happy when you live in the present? No.

But you will be engaged in the full range of the human experience, fully alive. And you will be better able to see the possibilities as they arise that will lead you in the direction of your vision.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Vision is about the future you desire in the context of where you are right now. It’s about knowing who you are, where you’re going, and the values that guide you.
  • Knowing who you are means you have a significant purpose and know what’s important and why.
  • Knowing where you’re going means you understand what you are becoming and see a picture of what it looks like.
  • Knowing what guides means you are led by your values and use them in making everyday decisions.
When you are clear about your vision, you must live in the present as though it is happening now.

  As a leader, when you articulate a vision you say is important, you need to act consistently with it. People watch what you do more closely than what you say.

When you live in the present and are clear about where you’re going, the entire path does not need to be clear. As you take action, your next steps will become clear. Vision is not about planning out all the details and then following them regardless of what is happening in the present.

Vision is about the destination; the path reveals itself during the present. The closer you come to your vision, the more clearly it reveals itself, and the better you understand what it’s really about.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016


When you are a kid growing up in school there are always " clicks" clicks are people that form a group and they mostly judge everyone else. Those in the click feel empowered because their is strength in numbers. Those outside the group can feel like they are missing out or feel left out.
Bad enough this all occurs when we are dealing with so much other stuff in our lives and for that reason it can feel devastating. It can then effect everything else, your studies , and more importance your confidence.

Here is the crazy part- it carries over to adulthood - people feel empowered to be in a group , which as a whole does not have to be a bad thing. The bad thing occurs when the group decides to look down on those outside their click or group, to be judgmental or mean.

All those feelings from childhood can bubble up and takeover.

From George Carlin-

 “People are wonderful. I love individuals. I hate groups of people. I hate a group of people with a 'common purpose'. 'Cause pretty soon they have little hats. And armbands. And fight songs. And a list of people they're going to visit at 3am. So, I dislike and despise groups of people but I love individuals. Every person you look at; you can see the universe in their eyes, if you're really looking.”

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Who to please ?

Trust me after over 40 years in management I can attest to the fact that you simply will not please everyone.
So - who do you try to please?-

Just do what you think is right- try to never intentionally hurt anybody and do your best- every day!

Shake off the haters and the gossip and those that will try to pull you down, no matter what you do and how hard you try they will exist and they will do their best to pull you down- do not allow them.

You will mess up and yes you will hurt people along the way, it is inevitable, especially if you take on a role of responsibility. You will have to make decisions and at times you may be caught up in the moment and you may not either make the right decision or convey it properly but if you have the role of responsibility you have to pull the trigger.

Those times that you do react incorrectly acknowledge it , apologize , learn from it and move on.

You must first stand for something or you will fall for anything.
Stand up for what you think is right but always try to walk a mile in the other person's shoes.

Show compassion - listen and help- I promise it will come back to you- ten fold.

Monday, April 18, 2016


Don’t Rob the Workplace of Trust

A tattletale quickly destroys team morale and brings about increased conflict in the workplace. In successful organizations, team members set high expectations for one another and push each other to work smarter. When you do complain to your boss, you do not want to raise anything that may seem trivial or vindictive.

If you observe an incident that might constitute a breach of ethics or is significant enough to affect your team, you have every right to blow the whistle through the established channels even at the risk of being branded a tattletale.

The standards of decency require you to talk directly to anybody who offends you before going to your boss. If a peer persistently interferes with your work or sabotages your projects, you should privately warn the offender that if it happens again, you would report it to your boss.

Wisdom Comes from Knowing What to Overlook

Control the impulse to be worked up and tattletale on issues that have little to do with your own work. Let your resentment subside.

 Be quiet and keep your head down and just worry about YOU-

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Peace Quotes

Peace Quotes

"Success isn't measured by money or power or social rank. Success is measured by your discipline and inner peace."    -Mike Ditka


"Chaotic people often have chaotic lives, and I think they create that. But if you try and have an inner peace and a positive attitude, I think you attract that."       -Imelda Staunton

"Never continue in a job you don't enjoy. If you're happy in what you're doing, you'll like yourself, you'll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined."   -Johnny Carson
"As we all know, there is inner beauty and outer beauty. If we examine inner beauty, to me there is nothing more beautiful than inner peace, in a man or a woman."     
-Alice Greczyn


Examine Your Motivations

Tattling is a common trait during the formative years of life.
 Children tend to feel compelled to notify elders when siblings or other children do something wrong. By taking on a parental responsibility under the guise of being helpful, young tattletales use a socially acceptable way to tell on others and get them in trouble. As children age, they learn to discern between when to keep a secret and when to inform on others. Some never seem to outgrow the need to tattle or gossip and bring these traits to the workplace.

A tattletale is usually motivated by selfish reasons. Therefore, examine what is behind your own desire to inform on someone.

 Are you bothered more by your boss’s laidback attitude rather than the behaviors of your colleagues? Are you trying to draw positive attention to your own righteous adherence to the rules? Is your intention to gain acceptance by management and be seen as a dependable employee?
Are you seeking to curry favor with the boss? Or, do you sadistically enjoy having your colleagues punished or embarrassed?

Friday, April 15, 2016


5 words to live by in business.. FOLLOW UP AND FOLLOW THROUGH

If you live by these five words you will earn respect by your peers and your customers and you will find your days less challenging.

Always FOLLOW UP with everybody- it does not matter who it is or your busy you are- ALWAYS FOLLOW UP !
It is totally disrespectful to not return a call or a email, if you are busy then just say that and get back to that person when you can spare 3-4 minutes.

Always FOLLOW UP - if you say you are going to do something- DO IT !
Rather it is a returning a call or setting up for the next day or week if you follow up to check and double check you will have less surprises.
Your goal is to eliminate as much surprises as possible, you will still have things arise on any given day that will be a curve ball but by following up beforehand you can at least start to limit those surprises or curve balls.

Follow up and follow through !

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Power is held in trust.

The power I have as a leader is something entrusted to me, both from my boss who put me in this position and by my followers who have consented to follow my lead. This power is not mine to keep. I’m a temporary steward of this power as long as I’m in my leadership role and it could be taken away at anytime should something drastic change in the relationship with my boss or followers.

We’re all familiar with “consent of the governed,” the phrase that describes the political theory that a government’s legitimate and moral right to use state power over citizens can only be granted by the consent of the citizens themselves. The same concept applies to organizational leadership, and the minute our people no longer support our leadership, we have a serious problem.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

It may not aways be what it appears to be

My son in law is a teacher in a high school and he is a very good teacher and even a better person.
He takes his role as a teacher and mentor serious and the kids feel that and they look up to him and confide in him.

Recently a young student around the age of 15 wrote him a email confiding in him , the student feels the pressure of his peers and wants to do the right thing rather than just join in to be popular.
One of the issues the student raised was social media, the student said it seems as if all the other kids were all having a great time together and it made this student sad and being left out.
My son in law wrote back that it is not always what it appears to be on social media, people post only the happy things and never post the day to day troubles that they all may be going through.
It gives the illusion that they have something that you do not.

I think that is the issue with social media, adults unfortunately fall into the same trap.
They end up obsessed about what others post and want what they have.
What they do not know is the inner turmoil that may exist with those people, and trust me we all have something we are struggling with. We simply do not post that.
Sometimes , as in the case of these students, people post things to just poke the other guys or to try to show that their life is better or to simply brag.

I think a lot of it comes back to insecurities, both on the people posting and the people caught in the trap of being envious.
It does not make anybody bad , it just makes us all human.

Humans crave friendship and being welcomed and liked , no matter what they say or do that is the end game.  Just some do it in a very round about way.

Turn the other cheek or turn a deaf ear.. either way do not fall into the trap.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Followship and Ego

Followership is just as important, if not more so, than leadership.

Learning to be a good follower is an essential component of being a wise leader who uses power appropriately. A person who learns to submit to the authority of others, collaborate with teammates, and sees first-hand the good and bad effects of the use of power, will have a greater appreciation for how power should be used in relationships.

We can all probably think of examples of people who were bestowed leadership positions without ever being a follower, who then went on a “power trip” and showed just how ill-prepared they were to handle the power given them. Followership is the training ground for leadership

The ego craves power.

 My leadership experiences have taught me that I need to be on guard to keep my ego in check. The ego views power as the nectar of the gods, and if leaders aren’t careful, their ego will intoxicate itself with power.

 In Ken Blanchard’s Servant Leadership program, he does an “Egos Anonymous” exercise that helps leaders come to grips with the power of the ego to make them self-serving leaders rather than servant leaders. Effective leadership starts on the inside and that means putting the ego in its proper place.

Monday, April 11, 2016


The best use of power is in service to others.

 Being a servant leader, rather than a self-serving leader, means giving away my power to help other people achieve their personal goals, the objectives of the organization, and to allow them to reach their full expression and potential as individuals.

I love the servant leadership example of Jesus. When two of his disciples came to him seeking positions of power and authority, he chastised them and challenged them to remember that “Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.” (Mt. 20:26-27)

 One of the paradoxes of leadership is that by placing others before ourselves, and using our power to serve, rather than dominate, actually brings us more power, respect, commitment and loyalty.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Have a Plan

 More from a successful High School baseball player- we can all relate-

Have a plan to follow-through

—I truly believe that most people intend to follow-through on their commitments. However, I think a lot of us don’t have an effective plan to do so. We neglect to factor in the time or cost of what it will take to deliver on our commitments, and so we get over-committed and overwhelmed, neither of which is conducive to helping us fulfill our promises.

 Oh…I said the “P” word. Above all, be careful with the P word. The word promise carries a tremendous amount of power. Don’t say you promise unless you absolutely, unequivocally, know you can deliver.

Set reasonable expectations for when you can deliver on your commitment and make sure you factor in the time and cost to do so.

How about you? Is your word as good as a handshake?

Saturday, April 9, 2016


2. Dependability is the foundation of trustworthiness

Dashwood nailed this on the head. Dependability is at the root of what it means to be trustworthy. Trustworthy people keep their commitments. If they agree to do something, they do it. If challenges crop up that will prevent you from delivering on your commitment, then communicate early and often with the people involved to discuss the ramifications.

 DWYSYWD—do what you say you will do—that’s the heart of dependability.

Friday, April 8, 2016

A Commitment

1. A commitment is a commitment

—It doesn’t matter if it’s a verbal agreement, a handshake, or a written contract—a commitment is a commitment. If you make, you should be prepared to honor it. One area about commitments that has tripped me up, and perhaps you’ve experienced the same thing, is implied commitments stemming from unclear expectations.

 I’ve made comments to colleagues or team members to the effect of “Let me think about that,” or “I need some time to process that idea.” To me those are vague, non-committal statements, but others have interpreted them as meaning that I’m agreeing the ball is now in my court and I’m on the hook for the next action.

I’m learning the value of leaving meetings and conversations with clear expectations about who owns what about any next steps.

The above was from a successful High Scholl Baseball Player...more tomorrow.

Thursday, April 7, 2016


This Was the Year…1966
U.S. President & Vice President
Lyndon Johnson

The Vice President

Hubert Humphrey
Time Magazine Person Of The Year
Generation 25 and Under (Baby Boomers)
Cost of Living Cost of Food
New House $14,175 Granulated Sugar $ .55 for 10 lbs.

Average Income $4,938 Milk $ 1.11 per gallon

New Car $2,653 Ground Coffee $ .90 per pound

Gallon of Gas $ .32 Bacon $ .72 per pound

Movie Ticket $ 1.25 Eggs $ .36 per dozen
Popular Movies Born This Year
A Man for All Seasons (Academy Award) Adam Sandler

Blowup Cindy Crawford

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Mike Tyson

Fahrenheit 451 Chris Rock

 The U.S. Department of Transportation was created.

 The Black Panther Party was formed.
The U.S. and U.S.S.R. signed a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons in outer space.

Baltimore Orioles (baseball) Barrel of Monkeys®

Green Bay Packers & Twister®
Kansas City Chiefs (football)
Graham Hill (Indianapolis 500) Spirograph®

Montreal Canadians (hockey)
Texas Western (NCAA basketball)
Steve Spurrier from Florida (Heisman Trophy)

Kauai King (Kentucky Derby)
Popular Quotes
"Bean me up, Scotty." - William Shatner in Star Trek.

"Have it your way." - Burger King.

"Fly the friendly skies." - United Airlines

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Good company

" Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company "

Booker T Washington

Booker Taliaferro Washington was an American educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States. Between 1890 and 1915, Washington was the dominant leader in the African-American community.

More quotes from Mr. Washington:

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.
If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.
Few things can help an individual more than to place responsibility on him, and to let him know that you trust him.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016


The definition of procrastination-
  1. the action of delaying or postponing something.
    "your first tip is to avoid procrastination"

Why not make that change ?
I recently sold a house that my wife and I lived in for 24 years because we have talked about moving into a condo now that my kids are grown up. The only reasons I could think of for not doing it were laziness or being scared- I did not like either of those and thought they were terrible reasons to not do something. We sold the house last summer and moved into a condo and we love it. Yes, it was a pian in the ass to show the house , get it ready , deal with realtors and bankers..and
But we did it .
Laziness and being scared are not good reasons to not do something .
Stop procrastinating

Monday, April 4, 2016

Is today the day ?

Is today the day you change your attitude?

If not when ?

Is today the day you forgive and move on?

If not when?

Is the day the day you start eating healthier or exercise so that you may be around to enjoy your later years with your grandchildren?

If not when?

Ii is up to YOU- stop looking around or pushing of the blame- take responsibility-
Make today the day!
You can change your path, your outlook- start with a smile toward all those that you may meet or talk to. Offer a hand to someone that may need help and remember how good that feels.
Remember that we all have only a certain number of days here on the planet- make them count>

Is today the day ?

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Change the pattern

Were some you of brought up in a abusive home?
Did you live with a alcoholic or two ?
Did you not spend quality time actually talking with each other?

Break the pattern.

You have the power to change , make up your mind and follow your heart.
I hear stories every day about bad childhoods , you are not unique.
Actually if you have a wonderful upbringing you are probably the minority.
I hate to say that but I believe it.
The older I get and the more stories I hear I know that we all share heartaches.
It is how each person deals with them that matters.

Sometimes the worse can get the best of you.

Learn from them , learn from your mistakes.
Grow - change.

It is never too late- the first step is taking a honest look both in the mirror and in your past.
Change the pattern

Saturday, April 2, 2016