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It’s a Great Deal, All Three of Me Think So

20130410_133049Well I guess you have been wondering where I have been lately loyal blog readers. I have actually taken my ramblings to the big show. Over the last year some really awesome things have been happening.

I took many of my thoughts about business and the art of selling and made the commitment to combine them into a book format. I was lucky enough to be accepted by an international publisher and It’s a Great Deal, All Three of Me Think So has now gone to print and was recently released.

You can obtain a copy by contacting me, or you can find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or directly from the publisher at http://www.publishamerica.com.

You can also now find me once a month with a featured column in the Monday Workplace editions of both the Detroit News and Detroit Free Press.

I never initially perceived myself as an author and started to do it as an offshoot to my profession as a coach. However, I have now developed a passion for it. So much so, that I am now in the process of editing my next book.

If you have enjoyed my blog, I hope you will consider picking up a copy of my book. I am sure you will enjoy it.

Thanks for all of your support!

Ideas For Sale, Anyone Listening? Detroit News 4-9-2012

Clients often ask me how to better communicate their thoughts about change in their workplace. While they may come up with great ideas to make their specific job or the business run more efficient, their input is often met with either an argumentative attitude or a dismissal.

Like a baseball pitcher, the problem is often in the delivery. Most people have trouble differentiating their perspective, from what they deem to be a truth. The truth is, there are really very few things in life that are true. Most things in life are perspective. No two human beings have experienced the exact same set of circumstances in their life and thus can’t possibly see things the same exact way.

If you want others to buy into what you’re thinking try using these tactics:

Make your idea relatable. Human beings possess differing personalities and thus buy into others thoughts and ideas in accordance with their own personality. Take the time to get to know your co-worker and uncover under what circumstances they buy. Whether they’re analytical, expressive or amiable, prepare your delivery accordingly.

There is more than one way to skin a cat. When selling your idea, remember that it is neither right nor wrong; it’s an alternative to the present habit which you perceive will deliver better results. Telling your boss or co-worker that they’re wrong or saying “you’re missing my point” or “you’re not listening to me” will never get them to buy in.

Be passionate yet prudent. Your co-workers interest in what you have to say will be enhanced as long as it is delivered in a positive, relevant and irrefutable manner. Embrace their input and make changes when applicable to reach a constructive solution.

Make yourself relatable and respect differing opinions, when you do you just might find others asking you for your input, rather than seeing it as unsolicited advice.

Nope I Didn’t Do It and I Didn’t See A Thing…Detroit News 3-5-2012

Sent an email to someone at the office and immediately realized it contained something you shouldn’t have said? Pounding the keyboard trying to recover it? Sitting there horrified waiting for the fallout?

It was just a mistake and I’ll learn from it. Even Oscar Wilde once said that “Experience is merely the name everyone gives to their mistakes”

They won’t be mad you tell yourself, besides your just gaining experience.

Everyone makes mistakes. What’s important is how you deal with them, as it will influence how your colleagues and superiors perceive you.

If you don’t acknowledge them, become defensive or try to justify them, it can create hostility and lack of trust. Assume responsibility. Don’t blame anyone or anything else, hide it or pretend it didn’t happen.

Don’t cover up small mistakes in the hope they won’t be noticed, as it shouldn’t make a difference whether it was insignificant or serious.

When you make a mistake:

Admit it. Soon as you realize you’ve made a mistake, fess up. Admitting a mistake, shows you have the confidence to own up to it. Others will respect your honesty.

Explain it. Figure out what and why it happened. Once you know be forthright about it, others will feel better knowing that all understand the oversight.

Solve it. Take the initiative. If you make a mistake, create a better plan for the future.

Correct it. If you make a mistake and need time to correct it, do so on your time even if it means working late or through lunch.

Don’t dwell on it. We all make mistakes don’t beat yourself up. Learn from it and move on.

Mistakes happen in the workplace. Often they can be an opportunity for growth. As Winston Churchill said “All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes”.

The Winter of Being Content- Detroit News 1-30-2012

Dreaming of somewhere warm or watching snowflakes fall in your personal winter wonderland? Well, you’re not alone.

Ambivalence and apathy in the workplace are not uncommon, and much to your employer’s dismay lead to a substantially less productive environment. If you’ve got the doldrums, try these five tips:

Get a Good Night’s Rest. Sleep matters. According to msnbc.com people who slept less than six hours experienced an increased body mass index (height-to-weight ratio) more than those who slept seven to eight hours.

Eat Healthy. The average person gains a whopping 7-12 pounds. According to the ADA, you’re one step ahead if you eat six small meals a day, unless when you do you’re gorging on your favorite fast food restaurant’s value meal. Be selective in what you eat and do so only when you are truly hungry.

Exercise. Simple equation: if you burn more calories than you eat, you’ll lose weight. Healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds per week. To lose 1 pound per week you need to create a calorie deficit (burn more than you eat) of 500 calories per day. Certainly achieve with even moderate aerobic exercise.

Drink Water. The best fluid you can have. You may mistake hunger for thirst as your body gives out the same want for water as it does for food. Drinking water doesn’t offer you sugar or carbonation but, it does satisfy your hunger.

Laugh More. The heart beats faster, it tightens sagging stomach muscles and can bolster the immune system, helping to fight off infections like coughs and colds. Studies show an hour of laughter burns approximately 100 calories, equating to a half hour of weightlifting or vacuuming for three quarters of an hour. Both equivalent to a small bag of chips, or small bar of chocolate.

Okay, I am a Detroit Lions fan, so shoot me…

football player editNew Detroit Lions head coach Jim Schwartz is in an incredible position. If he wins one game this year, after an 0-16 record last year, he will have improved his team’s performance to a level not yet ever seen in professional football. We can debate by mathematical formula whether that increase is 100% or it’s indeterminate. I’ll leave that up to those who think they know…besides it’s not the point of my post today…

Instead, let’s talk about what can turn this organization around. Like many of your companies, the organization has an Owner, President, General Manager or Managers, Coach(es), and employees or teammates. It doesn’t matter where you sit on the totem pole, the question is, are you taking ownership of your responsibilities?

Many have called for years for the head of team owner William Clay Ford Sr. While the team has qualified for the playoffs only nine times in the more than 50 years since winning the 1957 championship and has won only one playoff game in that span, many blame Ford who took controlling interest in 1963 for its ongoing ineptitude.

Ford has changed coaches more often than the turnover at your local McDonalds. He has hired tightfisted General Managers; player orientated ones and even one who excelled on the playing field, believing that he could be a solid judge of talent. He has never been gun shy about spending money for those he has been told have talent and when he appears in public, professes a winning desire.

He wants to succeed and even at times attempts to will his team success, yet he doesn’t. In the meantime, his arch rival Mike Ilitch, Little Caesar pizza mogul, and owner of the Detroit Tigers and the Detroit Red Wings has achieved a fairly high level of success. Like Ford he is not afraid to spend money and take risks. So you say, what is the difference?

I’ll argue that what sets them apart is their ability to hire and surround themselves with people who share their vision and mission. People who not only are willing to roll their shirt sleeves up, and there are many of those, but people who are experts in their particular field. The best of the best.

As the leader in your organization, the greatest asset you can provide may be to hire someone who in fact just might be smarter than you. We tend to see them through narrow glasses as a risk or a threat to our individual futures rather than an asset to the organization we are trying to construct. You really don’t hear too often about the President of a company being fired because under his direction and due to the people that he personally hired, generated too much profit or success.

This same measurement applies at all levels and must be equally applied from the top of the organizational structure all the way down to the lowest rung on the ladder.

A General Manager supplies no value to the President of his company if he does not take the advice of those that he has hired to support his effort. He has hired these people to give him the proper introspective to make an educated decision. If he fails to hire the right people with the appropriate level of skill because he may see them as a risk, and thus make his own decisions, he puts the whole company at risk.

Your coach or team leader relies on the performance and the expectations of his employees. You have been given your job because someone believed in your talent. You are being counted on to meet the expectations placed upon on you to support your fellow employees in the designated task, and to appropriately earn the recognition and praise of your superior for performing at an optimum level. It is not necessarily always exceeding expectations that matter, but at the very least achieving the goals and objectives that you are being counted on to meet.

Of course the Detroit Lions have a very long way to go. Any company undergoing a complete re-organization won’t turn things around over night. I for one however, believe that for the first time in a very long time, everyone on the organization is on the same page. I like their new management team and their clear cut vision for the future. They are not compromising on ways to achieve both their short and long term goals and demonstrate to each other the appropriate level of respect.

Wherever you sit on the corporate ladder within your company, ask yourself if you are performing at an optimum level. Are you meeting or exceeding the expectations that your superiors’ have of you? Have you surrounded yourself with team players who share your vision and mission for success? Do they have the talent necessary to instill positive growth?