Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Continuing Smart" ?

A few years back I heard a very intriguing statement,

“The reason why radio and TV talk / news are so popular (i.e. Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh) is because people love to be “smart” but don’t have the time to be “educated.”

Listening to this type of media can supply you with a lot of information quickly and conveniently, and may help you demonstrate mental alertness (definition of smart) when engaged in business or casual conversations, but it will not educate you. The definition of education is knowledge acquired by learning and instruction.

Just recently, I heard another intriguing statement about condensed versions of books available for iPhones, Laptops, etc. The gentleman said “reading a condensed version of a book, is really learning the material based on what someone else, not the author, thought was important …I would rather read the full version and decide for myself what’s important. I want to be educated, not just smart.”

Wow, I thought to myself…this guy has wisdom, which is the art of utilizing accumulated knowledge and experience with sound judgment and insight.

Yes, I watch and listen to TV talk / news media and occasionally read a condensed version of a book…but I am also a strong advocate of gaining wisdom. One of my lifetime goals is to always participate in “continuing education” in order to grow personally and professionally…after all who ever heard of “continuing smart”?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Leadership is not selfishness

Why do you think you are instructed to put your oxygen mask on first in an airplane emergency?

Well, the obvious answer is to save yourself. The more robust answer is to save yourself so you can help others.

Quite often leaders in our society are frowned upon because they are taking care of themselves. For example, those is leadership roles are considered “selfish” for; taking vacations with their families, allocating time for continuing education, playing golf, going on a retreat, etc.

The reality is leaders need to take care of themselves in order to effectively lead those they serve.
I don’t know about you, but I want my “leader” to be healthy and wealthy. Not just in a monetary sense, but as a whole person; physically, mentally, and spiritually.

Vince Lombardi once said: "The quality of a person's life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence regardless of their chosen endeavor."

Bottom line: Leaders need to first take care of themselves, in order to be effective quality leaders.

Friday, June 11, 2010

They Weren’t There For Me…I Was There For Them.

One evening, years ago, while performing an evening audit in a store that I managed, I entered the backroom of the Produce department frustrated about some work that was not completed.

“Hi Judy, hi Paul can I see you for a minute?”

“Sure, what’s up?”

“Guys, I’ve known you both for a long time, ever since you went full time about 12 years ago.”

“Yes, it’s been about that long,” replied Judy, and Paul nodding his head. (two top senior clerks, part of a team of 18 in that department).

"Well, I don’t understand why I repeatedly have to come back here and solve problems, follow up to see if things are being done, and make all the decisions. You each have a dozen years in the business; you should know how to run this team.”

Paul put his head down, shaking it back and forth, but Judy looked right at me and said;

“First of all, Paul and I both know how to run this team. Second, well…if we wanted to take on the responsibilities we would have signed up to be Managers, well we don’t want that job…that’s your job Bob!
I think this team back here does a great job, but sometimes we drop the ball, like today, but overall things get done…and when issues surface, well guess what, that’s when we need you. We expect you to make the decisions, Bob, because we don’t want the hassle.

They were right. They weren’t there for me…I was there for them.

From that day forward, I learned that not only do I need to serve my customers, more importantly… I needed to serve my employees.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Never Run Out Of Stones

As a child growing up in a small town, Rennerdale Pa., I can remember walking down to the fishpond with my father on weekends.

Along the way, my Dad would allow me to fill my pockets with stones to toss into the pond.

We would stand on the edge, and I would throw the stones in the pond making those memorable circles of ripples reaching out all the way to the water’s edge.

Eventually my pockets would empty, I would run out of stones and the ripples would fade away.

Fast forward to today. Those seemingly endless ripples in the water remind me of word of mouth marketing. Your circles start off small and continue to expand as you build relationships with people. The secret is to never run out of stones!

For more information of having deep pockets and an endless supply of “stones,” give me a call…412.491.7317.