We Ignore What Is Important Because Our Focus is on the Urgent

March 20, 2015 | Leadership, Time Management

We've all had a day like this.  We have aspirations of working on that marketing plan, making some contacts with customers, coaching  an employee, or writing the weekly blog....... However, some how the whole day was taken away from us.  Fires needed to be put out.  An open office door policy lent itself to a lot of foot traffic. Our email Inbox needed to be taken to "0". Another department pulled us into a long meeting. These days happen. However, we should assess which of these "urgent" activities are actually important versus unimportant. We find that 90% of managers squander their…

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How To Effectively Utilize an Organization’s Suggestion Box

March 18, 2015 | Communication, Leadership

I was recently at a meeting where someone came up with the "suggestion" to have a suggestion box.  The meeting was with a non-profit organization where I volunteer some time helping with their strategic planning.  A suggestion box can be a good tool to collect feedback from its employees or members if it is implemented and used properly. However, receiving the feedback is not the most important piece of this exercise.  The most important is responding or acting on the feedback received.  One way that any organization can help make its employees or members become apathetic is to solicit feedback but not address it.…

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Take Up Issues With Co-Workers Before Involving Superiors

March 17, 2015 | Communication, Teamwork

Most of my blog posts are written to leaders of organizations but this one I am speaking not only to leaders but all team members.. About 4 years ago, I had visited one of our locations to oversee some projects as well as use that time to better know our teammates at that location.  It had seen some turnover with the center managers, and our senior management team wanted to have more presence at that location to show support to our team members. About 3 hours into my visit, an employee who we will call Gertrude came into the area…

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VA’s Quality of Care Not The Problem, It’s People

March 13, 2015 | Communication, Leadership, Teamwork

The Department of Veterans Affairs has been under extreme pressure as of late.  We have seen a resignation from their top official, intense heat put on the new Secretary Robert McDonald, strong language from Congress in some cases to scrap the whole system, and outcry from Veteran Service Organizations such as the VFW and American Legion I would agree that the VA has opportunities for improvement, however, I do not see quality of care as the root of the issues in the media.  I see "people" as the root of the issues, more specifically investment into the VA's people. Some…

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The Human Element – What Does that Mean?

March 5, 2015 | Communication, Leadership

Throughout, we find the term the “human element”. The “human element” at its foundation is about adding passion and purpose to your job, career, vocation, business, school, or place of worship.  A phone menu system designed to improve customer service, a statement reporting a company’s financial health, and a business development plan only have a purpose if someone has defined it and all three items do not possess passion by themselves. No object or idea possesses passion without people. Some people do not struggle finding purpose or passion in their work. I was fortunate enough to help found a company that provided Primary Care treatment to…

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