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‘Twas The Night Before Enlightenment

December 14, 2018 | Communication, Employee Recognition, Leadership, Teamwork, Trust

Photo by sea turtle on Flickr I wrote this a few of years ago, and I hope you enjoy reading it this holiday season! ''Twas the night before Christmas, all had left for the holiday break. But I was at the office stirring, for rarely a break did I take. How could I rest, with a business to run? If I am not here, nothing gets done. With profits at a record low, and turnover at an all-time high, Unless I improved in 2019, my business and dream would surely die. If only my employees were loyal and engaged in…

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Every Workplace Needs Standards of Behavior

October 4, 2016 | Communication, Teamwork

Photo by f3nd1 on Flickr During a time of unprecedented growth at our company, we decided that we as the senior leaders must be the ones that drive the culture. WE needed to define the "why" at our company and more importantly define the standards of behavior that help to support the "why". If neither the "why" nor the behaviors were defined by us, they would still be defined by others, but they may not be consistent with the senior leaders values. A company standards of behavior which is created by senior leadership in collaboration with other company employees helps define the values that support…

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Managing a Work from Home Team

July 22, 2015 | Communication, Leadership, Teamwork

Photo by brendangates on Flickr More companies are now promoting the use of an "agile workforce". My previous employer reconfigured all of their offices to an open concept where there were many small workstations, tables for collaboration, and conference rooms for meetings. However, except for directors, there was no assigned seating, and there were not enough seats to accommodate every single employee if they came to work. This change in strategy was due to the fact that after studying the matter for many years, employers found that on any given day, 25% of their workforce was absent due to work travel, vacation,…

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We’ve Always Done It That Way

July 9, 2015 | Leadership, Teamwork, Trust

Photo by Shannon Dizmang on Flickr How many times have we heard that? I am sure this was a common phrase at Polaroid and probably led to their demise. The great companies...the ones that have survived for more than a decade or two do not allow this to be part of their lexicon. IBM for instance could have said the phrase, "We've always done it that way", when their main frame business began to dwindle. They tried a few different business lines and kept trying until they found their new niche. To my knowledge, I don't even think they do much in…

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At What Point is the “Human Element” Needed? (Part 1) – Start-Up Phase

June 2, 2015 | Communication, Leadership, Teamwork

Photo by Elvert Barnes on Flickr People have asked me more than once: What size of organization are you targeting in your marketing efforts? Our response is that any organization no matter the size can benefit from defining its "human element". I recently read The E-Myth Revisited and the author encouraged organizations to define organizational charts as well as policies and procedures at its inception. We believe the same goes for its "human element" and specifically leadership standardization.   Most company founders envision growing their company. Some companies grow faster than the founders' expectations. It is best to be ready…

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Long Lasting Culture Change Requires Narrow Focus

April 23, 2015 | Leadership, Teamwork, Time Management

Photo by Michael Dales on Flickr Some leaders get really excited about change. We see this new program that will help raise the morale of the company. We embrace initiatives and process changes that increase productivity and communication. We long for the day that we can see drastic, positive change in the way customers see our company. We look past the pain associated with change no matter how great and pine for the end result. Other leaders dread change. We see all the extra work associated with the new programs. We dread thinking about how much we will need to "pull teeth" to…

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Administrative Professionals Often Reflect Their Leaders’ Values

April 21, 2015 | Communication, Leadership, Teamwork

Photo by Keith Bolland on Flickr Being Administrative Professionals Week, we felt that this topic is timely. Anyone that has ever had a top notch administrative professional provide them with support in their business activities knows their worth. One leader told me that his administrative professional spoke for him. To have someone of this caliber is key to running a great business. However, some leaders through their actions not necessarily words, are not convinced that a friendly, competent, and helpful administrative professional or team of administrative professionals is not important. Nevertheless, we believe that their contribution is invaluable. Administrative professionals must be friendly. In…

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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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