Wednesday, January 27, 2016

R-E-S-P-E-C-T ***Bonus Blog***

Okay, I get it.There are times when you are just not sure. It happens to me all the time. I do something really simple: I ask before like I look like a moron. (I heard that!!!)

I am referring to online/social media/email marketing etiquette.

Lets pretend it's the old days and newsletters were printed on paper and handed out. Now, you are walking around with a big stack of your newsletters and you see me. You're going to ask me if I'd like a copy of your newsletter, right? I'm going to ask you "What's your newsletter all about?"

When you tell me it's about septic tank recovery, storm damage repair, assisted living or painting by numbers, I am probably going to give you a polite "No"

You gave me a choice.

Let's fast forward. I open my inbox and I find 4 emails with newsletters on septic tank recovery, storm damage repair, assisted living and painting by numbers.

When the next opportunity presents itself I asked someone why I was suddenly getting their newsletter.

Oh, you gave me permission


When you gave me your business card. It has your email address on it. That means I have permission to email you. 

Who told you that

Blah-blah-blah from blah-blah-blah my email marketing representative. If you don't want it any more then just unsubscribe. 

How can I unsubscribe from something I never subscribed to in the first place?

****Lottsa Silence****

I thought maybe I was the only person this happened to, but as I told the story other people had the same experience.

Ask me if I want to opt in to your publication.

See, I gave you advance notice!!!

If I want you to subscribe to my newsletter Workplace Transformations then I'm going to post an opt in link.  It looks like this:

Now I've given you a choice and most importantly I am showing you respect by not assuming you don't want to read every word that comes out of my mouth!!

Once you sign up you'll get an email asking you to confirm your choice. Until you confirm your choice you won't receive my newsletter  These options respect your privacy. 

So, everyone gets a free pass, because you didn't know. 

But now you do

Have a nice day and sign up for my newsletter if you'd like

Photo's from:
 Pixabay - Free High Quality Images
HistoryMike: Department of Shameless Self Promomtion


Monday, January 25, 2016

A Glimpse of the Future

I believe I'd be standing on pretty firm ground if I said most people don't jump up and down when they're told they have to go to a meeting. It's a disruption in our day. Sometimes it has no purpose other than to schedule yet another meeting.

Ever wonder why?

Go back in time to a place where you were learning and forming and picking up all sorts of habits and practices, - Organizational skills, Communication skills - things like that.

They were learned behaviors.

I hopped on the exercise bike at the gym this morning and  I am watching the news on PBS. There is a story about kids the primary grades and how much learning has changed since Abe Lincoln and I attended middle school together.

It seems that each day these future leaders in our workplace have a morning meeting. During this meeting, through a guided type of consensus by their teacher, they set an agenda. She has all sorts of cards with activities on them and they arrange them in the order they would like to see the day unfold.

I know, I know!!! Chaos, anarchy and things like that!!!

That was my initial reaction. (Actually I'd have arranged the day like this - Snack, recess, snack, recess, lunch, nap, lets pack up to go home.)

The more I watched the story unfold the more I saw that these kids knew, albeit, with a bit of guidance, the priority of things for each day. They strategized , side stepped obstacles, were careful not to load to many activities on the front end or the back end. There were some disagreements but I was amazed they were handled intellectually and not emotionally.

The thought struck me that I'd had the privilege of seeing a glimpse of the future. Twenty years from now these children will be well equipped to lead a workplace that will prosper through consensus building and agreement. It's a workplace that will recognize accomplishment.

Most importantly they won't be sitting in a conference room muttering "Who called this meeting?"


Friday, January 15, 2016

Mining or Undermining Our Success?

Our satellite television quit working earlier this week.

So you can imagine…………

This didn’t sit well with me. As a matter of fact, I started looking for something or someone to blame. (The dogs were acting awfully suspicious!) This simply couldn’t be a glitch in the cosmos. 

Someone had to be at fault

The late Zig Ziglar told a story about being stuck in airport during bad weather. With each passing hour he became more and more impatient, irritated and irrational. It was the national weather service’s fault, the airlines fault, his secretaries fault and on and on. He started pacing back and forth and as he did he noticed his traveling companion was siting calmly in a chair reading a book.

Old Zig looked at him in disbelief.

“We’re way behind schedule, we’re going to be late for the convention we are supposed to speak at later today and you’re sitting there calmly reading a book!”

“I guess,” his friend said “I could be really upset but it wouldn’t matter would it? I’d still be stuck in this airport

I’m driving down the road, convinced that God, His angels and all the saints conspired against me, muttering about the blankety- blank satellite provider when Ziglar’s story popped in my head.

We ballyhoo a whole lot about leadership into today’s marketplace but we often forget the first rule of leadership -  Lead by example.

Will there be setbacks, moments of indecision, even failure? 

Uhm, yeah

The question is what do we do with them?

Our clients, customers, coworkers and team members don’t give a hoot about all of the awards that hang on the wall in our offices. They care about the sincere service we provide them when everything comes unglued. They look at us for guidance and direction. 

 It’s why people buy from us, stand up at networking events and give effusive testimonials about us.  
It’s why people choose YOU over the rest of your competition even though your price may be a bit higher than everyone else’s – It’s what happens AFTER the job is done that will determine your long term success.

How do you react when your version of satellite TV isn’t working? It says a lot about how we view our lives, our careers and our success. 

Do we use adversity ot mine our success or to undermine it? 

Photo from - Free High Quality Images, no attribution required. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

The G Word

Ever get stuck?

I mean this idea starts peculating in your mind and your heart beats a bit faster and you smile and you start to feel like Albert Einstein or Marie Curie.

Then, all of a sudden, outta no where, this large hat pin enters the picture and bursts the bubble.

Right behind it comes it's faithful companion "Ahhhhhh it wasn't meant to be."

We scartch our heads, sigh and move on. 

We are rock solid with "goals" Yup, they are the stuff success is made of. Can't get yourself nowhere without your goals. They are the bread and butter, meat and potatoes and all them other cool comparisons to success. 

How come we fail at reaching them so often? 

Why are there so many programs, processes and ideas on how to be EFFECTIVE in reaching our goals? 

If you are like me, you're inbox has been flooded with emails promising that if you just followed the writers easy-peasey-lemon-squeezy process, you will reach all of your goals lickety split. The sun will shine, the birds will chirp and the bee's will buzz and you'll be the next latest and greatest. (I might even grow some hair!!)

Okay, you get the picture. 

Show of hands here: How many of you chafe, just a bit when someone, anyone, other than yourself asks you to make changes, even if you know way deep down inside of you, you know you need to make? A sorta natural resistence

Did that make sense? 

Joan and I saw the movie Joy yesterday. (It was either Joy or The Hateful Eight.) Now, I gotta tell you for the first 15 or 20 minutes I was wondering why I was watching a movie about a dysfunctional family. If I wanted to do that I wouldn't have paid $12.50. I'd have sat on my front porch and listened to my neighbors. 

The last 2/3? Well worth watching. 

It's the story of Joy Mangano, the person who invented the self wringing mop, the felt lined coat hangers and whole bunch of other things you may have seen on HSN and QVC. 

Like most of us she had lottsa starts and fits and head scratching until she asked her daughter if she could use her crayons, colored pencils and drawing pad. 

When she opened the creativity gate, the ideas began to flow and from those ideas came dreams and from those dreams came goals, which led to successes.  

The guru's don't tell us that small bit-o-wisdom. If they did, you wouldn't need them and then they'd have to find something else to do other than try to make you and I feel guilty about not completing their program successfully

Here is what I have learned and what Joy Mangano reinforced for me: A goal is just a bunch of words unless it has dimension. You have to be able to see it, smell it, reach out and feel it, embrace it and maybe take out a hunk of paper and draw it. The point is to make it you're own. 

That's me 5 years ago. I was within 12 pounds of my goal weight and shortly after this picture was taken I ran in my first 5K. The last quarter of a mile I had tears running down my face I was so happy. 

A lotta goals had to reach fruition for that photo to be snapped. When I look at it , I am reminded of the effort, work, sweat and fun that went into reaching it. 

I've started looking at that picture every morning. It shows me what's possible because it's me. I am becoming my own motivator. 

I am inspiring me and that can be scary and exhilarating both at the same time. It means I either put up or shut up. I can't say "Well it's easy for him, he has blah,blah,blah." I am him. 

We start our journey, we get distracted and sometimes lost. We fail, we feel painfully alone. All those things make it really easy NOT to reach any of our goals. We're right when we say "I'm not him." (Or her) We are not. 

It begins with a fantasy, that becomes a dream, that becomes a goal. 

Deep inside of each of us are all the tools we need. 

Does it make the journey a bit longer sometimes?

As my wife is fond of saying "You betcha." 

Does it make the success sweeter and more fulfilling? 

You betcha