Thursday, December 14, 2017

Worth Repeating

*** Top Rated Post***

Several decades ago, I was a young cocky manager who thought I knew it all.
After all, I just won manager of the month, scored a great bonus and received an awesome promotion.
An associate of mine, we will call her Mary, reached out to me at my awards celebration and said if I ever needed her help, just let her know.
Mary was my hero; keyword here is “was.” She was a leader, my mentor… but in my eyes, I had no need for her anymore.
“Thanks for the offer Mary, let me think about.”

Some twenty years later, I ran into Mary. She had left the company, started a new career and in my eyes, she was very successful. I of course boasted about my success and never even asked Mary how she was doing. Once again, she reached out to me and offered her help. Really, I thought… “Thanks for the offer Mary, let me think about it.”

Fast forward to today.
I was attending a business event, when out of the corner of my eye I saw Mary walking towards me. She seemed distraught. We engaged in conversation and it turns out that Mary was struggling with her business, had been for years and needed help. Help that I knew I could offer.
“Mary,” I said, “please let me help you.”
She looked at me and said, “Thanks for offer Bob, let me think about it.”
I left the event very frustrated and confused.

Lesson learned:
Leadership is giving, and when Mary offered me help, I shut the door before I had a chance to see what was on the other side, denying her the opportunity to give. Years later, she reciprocated…I think not to be revengeful, but since I never accepted her help, she probably thought my offer was not genuine.

Songwriter and poet James Durst once wrote:
“Help one another; there’s no time like the present and no present like the time.”

No matter how successful you are in business, when someone offers you help, accept it…help is giving…help is a gift.

This is my 124th blog posting
museahaw

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Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Giving Season

We always talk about "Giving".
We also need to be talking about "Receiving".

Why? Because when we all become better receivers, we will in turn be better givers.

The problem is most people do not know how to receive.
Really?   Yes...

How many times have you heard the following statements or something similar:
"I can't accept this, it is too much..."
"You shouldn't have..."
"Thank you for the offer, and that is kind of you to help us at no fee, but we can't accept..."

Or- no thank you at all. Or- the giving is taken for granted. Or- we give it back.

Here are some good quotes to think about...

" In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich." ~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer

"Giving does not only precede receiving; it is the reason for it. It is in giving that we receive." ~ I. Ayivor
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Thursday, October 26, 2017

We All Have 24 Hours

If you currently are disorganized and your "to-do list" is longer than your day, don't despair; some of the most organized people once were among the most disorganized, including myself. This quiz is intended to help you see your strengths and weaknesses in this area.*

Keep in mind, it's not always "time"  management.... we all have the same 24 hours in a day;  energy, focus and direction play a major role in how you manage your day.

Answer Yes or No to the following:

  1. When meeting with your team or a one to one, do you always come prepared?
  2. Do you sort your work by priority.
  3. At the end of the day do you make a list of your next day priorities?
  4. Do you list recommended actions?
  5. Are you drinking at least 6 glasses of water a day?
  6. Do you start each day tackling your most immediate goals?
  7. Are you sleeping at least 7 hours a night?
  8. Are you limiting your caffeine intake?
  9. Do you spot check yourself, to be sure you are keeping on schedule?
  10. Do you commit and follow through with a structured exercise program?
  11. Do you congratulate yourself when you complete a task?
  12. Do you allow time for the unexpected, such as phone calls and interruptions?
  13. Do you have a plan for eating foods that maximize your health vs. inhibit your well-being?
  14.  Do you check items off your list as you accomplish them?
  15.  Do you help keep team meetings and one to one meetings organized and on schedule?


Total up the Yes answers. A score of 12 or more is a sign that you are on the right path to maximizing your time. A score of 9 to 11, means you get lazy like me sometimes. A score of 8 or less?.... I am thinking you may need some help.

* Teamwork notes
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Sunday, October 8, 2017

BIG AL - A Look Back

---Repost---

The story was, you hated him, feared him or loved him…I was all three.

His name was Al. 

Al started in retail when he was thirteen and fifty years later died in action.

Al was an old school retail manager who believed that no one could be trusted and everyone should put his or her career first before family.

Al worked 80 hours a week, was a master micro-manager and believed that his day was not over until he fired someone or at least made an employee cry.

Okay, so you ask, WHY did I love this guy? Not for any of the above things, that is why I hated him and feared him. I loved him because I was able to translate his prehistoric management style into lessons that I still utilize today.

Three Lessons from Big Al

1). Al used to say, “The best and easiest recognition program is to have NO recognition program at all.”
            Translation: Employee recognition programs must be managed,  be fair and be consistent or your results could actually weaken employee morale.

2). When Al said, “Just because I’m pissed off at you, doesn’t mean you can walk around here with your tail between your legs.”
            Translation: Wear a smile and have a positive attitude; no one wants to work for a “Debbie-Downer” manager.

3). One day Al looked me right in the eyes and said, “I’m too old to change now Gambone, what you see is what you get…”
             Translation: I always knew where I stood with Al. Al taught me that leaders need to be right up front with people by providing balanced,  fair and concise feedback.

My 18 months as Al’s co-manager was very stressful, yet very rewarding.
Take a few moments to reflect on your old boss, teacher or coach…dig deep and I am sure you will find a few sunny days somewhere in that storm.
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Monday, August 7, 2017

Taking a Stand in the Desert

***This blog post is dedicated to my MUSE***

Don't try to change people who are:

Ungrateful

Unhelpful

Unruly

Unkindly

Unloving

Unambitious

Unmotivated

and especially if they make you feel...

Uncomfortable

Trying to change these people is like Taking a Stand in the Desert...you've got no where to go my friend, it's a lose-lose situation.
                   
Here's 5 Lessons from Dan Rockwell (paraphrased)

 P.I.G.S  - People Ignorant of Gaining Success

1. With P.I.G.S. you'll get bacon, but never eggs.

2. Training won't help. If you want eggs, find some chickens.

3. Rewards won't help P.I.G.S. act like chickens.

4. If  P.I.G.S. can't take you where you need to go, replace them with chickens, or buy a new farm.

5. Even if you could convince P.I.G.S. to go to chicken heaven, they wouldn't thrive and neither would you!

Time for a change....GET OUT OF THE DESERT!

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Friday, August 4, 2017

Back of My Boyfriend's Harley

"I get my best ideas when I'm riding on the back of my boyfriend's Harley!" ~ Linda H.

I know... sounds like the lyrics of a bad or maybe even good country song. The point is, we all need to find "that place" where we can open our mind to fresh new ideas. We all have that magic place, we just need to go there more often and then take action. 

I am guilty,  and I am sure you may be at times, of coming up with ideas and then being fearful of implementing them or at the very least sounding them off a trusted advisor. 
Why? Maybe we are afraid of what people will think. Or doubtful that the idea may even work? 

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Great minds discuss ideas. Weak minds dismiss them". 
John Keynes reminds us that "Ideas shape the course of history, especially our own."

So go to your "idea place" more often. Whether it is on the back of a Harley, your daily run (mine), sitting on your porch, or whatever works for you... go there, take that idea and share it, try it, just don't let it die. 

"Remember, if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always gotten. If you want to arrive at a new destination, you need to take a new path." ~ John Maxwell

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Change? 1-2-3

Frank A. , God rest his soul, was the best "back-room" manager and the best leader when it came to changing the culture.

I first met Frank in the early '70s working third shift at my first Giant Eagle.

He was often transferred around from store to store to train and motivate the night stocking crews.
One of the first things he did when he went to a new store was to clean, scrub and wax, and paint the backroom.
" You got to show them that you have arrived." Frank would always say. "Physical changes first, something they can see... then after you get their attention, things will start happening."
It worked! I saw it for myself. After Frank arrived in our store, production dramatically improved.

Are you looking to make a changes in your business? Continuous Improvements?

Whether you have employees or are an army of one. Home office or brick and mortar.
Implement the following

Three steps for successful " physical change".

1. Change your appearance: new hairstyle, new clothes, loose weight, etc..

2. Change your work environment: start meeting at a different location, redecorate / remodel your office.

3. Never ever use the word "change". Call what your doing "continuous improvement". (Only leaders like the word change.)

Three steps for "Leadership Changes"

1. Ask more questions, listen more-tell less

2. Encourage ideas from the newer employees and non managers

3. Be willing to admit mistakes

In the words of my old friend Frank... " You don't have to ever say we are changing things around here... just show them that the improvements work and change will follow."

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