Saturday, April 21, 2018

Rennerdale - Leadership Lessons from Cousin Nan

1963 was the last time I saw my cousin Nan. She was 7 years old, I was 8.

Yesterday (4-19-18) we met for coffee at the same corner store in Rennerdale PA. where we bought  and shared penny candy 55 years ago.

For two hours we shared our stories. From family, to business...good times, sad times... loves found and lost... I was captivated by the experience, our experience.

Five decades have separated us, yet we both were in sync in how we viewed the world, our world.

Three leadership lessons I learned from Nan:

 1. Back in the early 70's she was the first women sales manager in her company. Was she scared?, Hell yes! "Courage is not the absence of fear. Courage is not accepting fear as an excuse."

2. Nan journeyed through five serious relationships. Never going without blaming herself for some of the failures. Finally she found the love of her life a few years ago, he died suddenly last year.
 "He always wanted me to to get my Masters Degree, and now at the age of 62 I'm going to do just that."
I've never said, why me?... you can not change what happens to us, we can only change what happens within us."

3. After her fourth serious relationship ended in divorce, Nan decided to fulfill a dream of her's since she was a kid, become a professional motorcycle racer.
From 1998 to 2005 she picked up a few sponsors and formed a racing team. She broke a lot of records, several which remain in place today.

And yes! Nan is a veteran. She served during the Cold War.

As we said our goodbyes, I was overwhelmed with joy as I remembered what she said...
"I'm not sure if life is all about,  what is meant to be... I do know that what I do, I mean to do it. I take all the responsibility and embrace every emotion life gives me."

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

TEAM 101

Team dynamics fundamentally never change.
Yesterday I was reading an article about team dynamics, first published in the 1940s. Though the experts, yesterday and even today, don't agree on exactly how many roles there are and how to name them, 10 general personality types are consistently identified.

I personally witnessed this at a Client Leadership Training last week in several team exercises I facilitated.

*Here they are:

Task Leader. May or may not be the designated leader; a nuts and bolts, roll-up-the-sleeves-and-get-busy-type.

Social-emotional leader. Concerned with emotional heartbeat of the group; good at solving interpersonal problems.

Tension-releaser. "Breaks the ice" with appropriate humor at the right moment.

Information provider. Has research skills that stand out above all others. Could end up doing unfair amount of work.

Central negative. Always plays the devil's advocate role in discussions but in a non-threatening manner.

Questioner. Constantly seeks clarification and more information.

Silent observer. Speaks little, observing and taking in all information. When he or she speaks up, people listen.

Active listener. Listens attentively, sums up others' points of view. Good for keeping discussion on track.

Recorder. Has good recording skills and little interest in participating in group discussion.

Self-centered follower. Constantly questions opinions is a non-supportive way. Unlike the central-negative person, the self-centered follower is concerned only about personal interests.


So...which one are you?

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Worth Repeating 2

 Worth Repeating 2 :


1.  Stop saying, "I should have.... " or  " I could have..."   or  "I wish I would have..."
 
     -The path you didn't choose is a fantasy without disappointments. 


2.  Talk Less, Listen more.

      - The best thing to hear after asking penetrating questions is silence, especially your own.
      
      - Talent goes to sleep when leaders give all the answers.


3.  Specific is terrific when delegating responsibilities.
 
     - Ambiguity is the enemy of accountability.



italics ~ Dan Rockwell

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Friday, January 26, 2018

Get Out of the Fishbowl and Into the Ocean!

A collection of  "Really?!" one-liners from actual business owners / potential business owners...taken from my notes during my complimentary consultation sessions.

Many became clients and I have helped them... the rest?
Oh well,  I hope they found help somewhere.

Here we go...

"Do I really need a logo and branding, I thought only big businesses had that."

"Well, I want to make more money but I don't trust people."

"Do I have a vision and mission statement for my business? Not at all, do I need one?"

"I really don't plan too much or even have a strategic plan...I kinda just see how things happen."

"I want to open a restaurant because I love to cook, I'm a hard worker, and I have the support of my family...isn't that enough?"

"No, I have never worked in retail, but this new franchise opportunity this guy was talking about sounds great!"

" ...not sure if my business is up or down from last year, but I do know my bills are getting paid."

"What's a target market?"

"My point of difference? I offer great service."

"There is enough free help out there...I don't need to pay for it."

"What measurements do I have in place?...they are all right here (as he pointed to his head)."

" What is horizontal growth?"

"I have more clients then I can handle...I don't need any help."

" I really haven't thought about marketing and selling."

I have so many more I can share, but you get the point.
 Now I admit, when I started my own business nine years ago I said some of the same things, that is why I hired a coach...enough said.
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Saturday, December 23, 2017

3 Easy Ways to "Give" in 2108

Give people confidence...

...by reminding acquaintances of your name.

-Did you ever forget someone's name that you should have remembered?                 
Think about how you felt during the conversation.



Give people hope...

...by answering your phone, 
 “… how can I help you?”

- Opened ended questions are always more inviting and productive.



Give people peace of mind...

...by confirming receipt of their email or text.
(reply- "Got it, Thank you.")

-Did you ever send a very important email or text and wonder if he or she ever received it?


Simple, yet very impactful and rewarding. 
Start "giving" today!
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Friday, December 22, 2017

Christmas Past - 1989

***Worth Repeating***

It was 5:00 pm Christmas Eve 1989, and I was locking the front door of the supermarket where I was Store Manager.

Over the years, I had made it a tradition for me to be the "closer" of the store on Christmas Eve.

Inside the store, my employees were rushing around counting their register tills, sweeping the floor, and generally preparing the store for closing down, so they all could rush home to their families for Christmas.

At approximately 5:30pm, I heard someone tapping on the front door.

“I just got off work and I need to shop for my family", the gentleman on the other side of the glass door shouted.

“Sorry, we are closed.” I answered.

“Please, I really need to shop and you are the only grocery store open.”

In the background several of my employees yelled out to me… “Mr. Gambone, I hope you don’t let him in, we all want to go home.”

I turned to my office manager and said , “Cindy, I feel bad for this guy…will you stick around with me until we get him checked out.”

She looked at me with a frown, “Well, I hope he only needs a few things, OK.”

We let him in…he was very gracious, grabbed a buggy and started to shop.

“I’ll only take a few minutes,” he said.

Then all of a sudden, he turned around and looked at Cindy and me in desperation… “Shit!..I’m sorry for swearing, but I left my wallet in my overalls at work….I can’t believe this!!!”

He abandoned the buggy and started walking towards the front door to leave.

Cindy looked at me and said… “Well, I guess we can leave now.”

“Hold on!” I said… “Sir, you pick up what you need and come back the day after Christmas and pay us.”

Cindy looked at me as if I was crazy. The gentleman was overjoyed and continued to shop.

When he completed his shopping, Cindy and I checked him out and bagged his groceries. He purchased lots of milk, cereal, bread and basic groceries along with some gift-wrap and children’s toys.

We wished him a Merry Christmas as he left and Cindy and I locked up and went home to our families.

...............the gentleman never returned...................

Yes, I took some heat from my Regional Manager when he found out…but that’s okay. I knew in my heart that it was right thing to do at the time.

It is moments like this is my life when I am reminded of the words a mentor of mine once shared with me early in my career...“The good you do, will come back to you.” Lou Z.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and may you and your family have a safe and glorious New Year.

Bob Gambone, The Pecan Pie Guy

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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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