Waiting for the tide to change
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
I see too many parents waiting for the tide to change when it comes to communicating with their kids. It’s as if they believe that the relationship they have with each of their unique children will change overnight when communication begins to go sour, like the tides going in and out.
You must work at communication. I know—I have a teenager and three young girls who I cannot treat the same way. I decided that I needed to understand myself before I could serve my unique children. Wow, we’re my eyes opened. Once I could appreciate my kids for who they are, things began to change. With my teen, for example, I learned how to talk to him in a way that he loves, supports and respects.
When I learned to appreciate and better communicate with each of my children, my emotional stress was removed. Now I no longer get angry at them. I no longer get frustrated with them as a result of misunderstanding their path to success. I stopped judging and started accepting.
Along the way on my journey, I invented a tool that helped me reconnect with my kids in one conversation. I’ve done some of the heavy lifting for you and will be sharing my story and my connection tool in May. I invite you to join me and the other families and their teenagers for a life-changing event. There is hope for everyone. Even if you are not particularly challenged in your relationships with your children, we will show you how to have an even greater appreciation for them. I hope to see you there. Space is limited so reserve your spot today!
Action plan: Event information.
What Motivates You?
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
If I were to ask you what your top five motivations are, would you know? We’ve asked this question to countless leaders and they all say the same thing, “I don’t know.” Then we follow up by asking, “How many people do you lead?” “Six” is the typical response. Then we ask, “What motivates them?” They never know. So now let me ask you this: If you don’t know and understand the unique motivations that come together to make you successful, how are you going to begin to understand another person?
If you don’t understand the unique motivations of those you lead, then how do you lead them? The answer: You guess. Because typical managers have no idea about the unique motivations of those they lead, they try to lead by lighting a fire underneath these associates. The result? The associates jump up, manage a little bit of productivity, and then land right back in the same place they started.
I’m here to help you. I’ve figured out how to light a fire within a person. When you a light a fire within someone, you can let go of the carrot and stick approach—it doesn’t work long term. If you would like to understand any human being in 60 seconds, I welcome you to reach out to me. Check out www.aboutmecard.com. Our system becomes the manual of how to treat a person. Join us in bringing Servant Leadership to light in your department!
ACTION PLAN: Be the boss you wish your boss was more fully for you.
He stayed his authentic self
Wednesday, March 20, 2013
With all the news coverage of the recently elected new Pope I’m sure you’ve learned a thing or two about Jorge Mario Bergoglio. All the news stations seem to be clamoring for information about him—both before and since his election. But you know what stands out most to me? This guy seems to be a Servant Leader!
Humility is a defining characteristic in this man’s life. Even after being elected Pope, he rode on a bus with the cardinals rather than accepting his own private transportation. He returned to his hotel, picked up his own bags, paid his own bill, and went on his way. He chose simpler robes and a cross when being announced. He greeted people on the streets.
Just because he obtained this grand title doesn’t mean he became arrogant or prideful. Instead, he stuck to his roots. He stayed his authentic self.
I wonder if the new Pope identifies himself as a Servant Leader?
Action Plan: This week, think about how humility plays a role in your own leadership style. Are you being your authentic self in the workplace? It’s time to get real!
Wants vs. Needs
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
I had a fantastic weekend! Friday I had an overnight with my son, Alex. He is 17 years old and is one very observant young pup. When I first asked Alex to do our annual “boys night,” he said, “We’ll see.” “We’ll see” to a teenager is “no.” Something will always come up. There will always be friends who want to hang out. So on Monday of last week I said to him, “I’ve got Friday free! I’m excited about our boys night.” By Thursday he had resigned himself to the fact that I was not bending and we were going. His attitude softened in his surrender and I could tell he needed time with me.
After all, it’s stressful being a 17 year old who is trying to figure out what college to apply to and is preparing for ACT exams. I told Alex about all of our business models and shared with him my thoughts for strategy and business planning. He gave me sound advice and shared his thoughts. He truly has a gift for understanding the business world. We stopped at Doc’s Harley Davidson Saloon for wings and Cokes and then headed to Wausau for our overnight. It’s great to have one-on-one time with your kids. Especially your teenagers. Parents and teens need one-on-one time together.
A few words of advice … I know some parents don’t know where to start with their teen. Maybe right now you’re thinking, “My teen won’t even talk to me, much less want to do an overnight!” Listening and sharing is the best way to communicate. The new generation is all about being real with one another. They hate being bombarded with questions. They want you to share your experiences and to ask them how they feel about things. They want to be involved in a conversation, not just answering questions.
We are about to announce our first Teen/Parent seminar in May. This event is designed for both parents and teens; however, parents may come alone to gain insights on improving communication. This will be a bonding experience that will teach you how to communicate effectively and get “real.” It’s something everyone needs but doesn’t necessarily want.
ACTION PLAN: E-mail me at email@example.com to be added to our e-mail blast for this special event! Info coming out this week!
Want a Great Culture? Change the Game!
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
I am so proud and humbled to be working for such a great company as Festival Foods. I just wrapped up a fantastic Festival College, which is an annual company event attended by its leadership team. Mark Skogen’s vision and passion for the people at this company is palpable. His focus is first on his associates. then on profits. The conference included Mark’s state of the company address, the CFO revealing the numbers, and the COO recognizing Gannett as the Vendor of the Year. There were 16 leaders who were nominated by their store director to receive the James Hunter Servant Leadership Award. Plus, there were two wonderful breakout sessions and to top it off the Wisconsin Marching Band showed up to entertain us for 30 minutes. And this was all in the first 24 hours!
When your culture is focused on engaging the workforce, profits will soar. However, the only way you can realize an engaged workforce—the only way you can improve anything—is through change. Change is a difficult thing, though. Only wet babies like change! So how do you start a culture change? With a story. What’s your story? Why do you exist? There is a higher purpose for everything we do. What’s your higher purpose?
ACTION PLAN: Start crafting your “why we are here” story and begin sharing it with your team over and over again! It’s not the only step, but it’s the most critical to create engagement.
Balancing tasks and relationships
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
From my experience, when people come into the office Monday morning they have different goals and different ways of measuring the success of their day.
Some folks drive into work mentally making lists of all the things they want to get accomplished. They prefer a quieter environment and keep to themselves a bit more than others. They are task-focused.
Some folks can’t wait to ask their co-workers about their weekend. They prefer an environment full of socialization and seek out other people. They are relationship-focused.
And other folks are a blend of the two.
To be a successful leader, no matter what your role in the company, you need to have a happy marriage of both. We are all leaders because we all influence other people through our actions. Leadership = getting things done through people. They’re two separate dynamics and we can’t just focus on one or the other. The key is accomplishing the tasks at hand while also building relationships!
If we focus too much on tasks, there is little opportunity for teamwork to develop. If we focus too much on relationships, there is less time to get work accomplished.
We need to work with one another, identifying our co-workers’ strengths, and divvying up tasks accordingly. We need to foster an environment that encourages teamwork, trust, and respect. Because when this magical formula comes together it drives your business to the next level!
Action Plan: How’s your personal balance of tasks and relationships? What steps can you take today to even the scale?
People Are People!
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Today I have a break between two About Me Card events for a pizza crust manufacturing company. I must level with you: I was a little nervous about this one. To put it in perspective, I am doing three events for more than 160 employees who work on the production floor. They speak three languages, luckily one is English! Most of them do understand some English but I’m hoping they can comprehend enough to get meaning out of my Servant Leadership message. Fortunately, I had two interpreters who translated some of what I was teaching.
The first event has just come to a close and the second is about to start as I write this. WOW! I was blown away. Why shouldn’t I be? Who doesn’t agree with respect, listening, accountability, patience and caring? Everyone relates to this message. It’s in our DNA. Everyone agrees with the tenants of Servant Leadership.
Here’s something else I learned today: I judged these people before I met them. I’m guilty! Isn’t it amazing how we judge others based on what they do? I’m learning. This language of respect is universal. It spans all ethnic groups and job titles. My thanks to AK Crust for caring enough about their employees to have me spread this message and engage my Servant Leadership tool.
Last chance! Tomorrow is our next FREE Servant Leaders of WI meeting! Tomorrow from 3-5 p.m. at The Marq in De Pere. Click on this email link to RSVP. See you then!
ACTION PLAN: Judge a person for who they are (their character), not what they do (their job)!
If everyone was a Texan
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
Midwest people are kind and friendly. Texans are ladies and gentlemen. I’ve recently been in Texas doing leadership development and marketing for DPT Labs. What great people. Everyone is so kind and respectful. I’ve experienced my first true rodeo and when asking for help in getting around was assisted by an officer who knew all about customer service.
Danica and I were trying to understand the lay of the land and were helped by this kind stranger whose courteous responses to our questions always included “ma’am” or “sir.” He was hired to keep the peace but managed to help us find a brochure and even walked us to several attractions. He wasn’t paid to be kind; he was raised to be kind.
That’s why Danica and I love Texas. It’s the people, not the place. Look for a funny picture on our Facebook page tomorrow. I’ll give you a clue: ye haw!
Action plan: Be sure to sign up for our next Servant Leaders of Wisconsin event!
Making Motivations Work for You
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Recognizing different peoples Number One Motivation is key in Servant Leadership. We tend to like people who support our Number One Motivation and tend to dislike those who don’t. But you know what else? Knowing the Number One Motivation in others can do a whole lot for us in the workplace. Here’s an example for you:
A client of ours was having trouble in their meat department. They were just not meeting the time standards for setting out the fresh meat each morning. And two very different men were in charge of making it happen, together. Their leader took the time to sit down with each man individually and check in, using the About Me Card. The leader realized that each guy had drastically different Number One Motivations. One man was clearly driven to set out the meats as quickly as possible. The other was clearly driven to set out the meats as attractively as possible. And they were assigned to complete this task together. You can imagine these two very different viewpoints could cause some workplace conflict.
However, knowing what he now knew, the leader was able to use each man’s Number One Motivation for the benefit of everyone involved. How so? The first guy was put in charge of placing all the meat out quickly. The second guy was put in charge of putting on the finishing touches like attractively arranging and garnishing the display.
Not only were they now able to meet their set up goals, but the associates now felt fulfilled at work. Their Number One Motivations were being respected and supported. It just doesn’t get much better than that! Increased efficiencies and happier associates!
There are definitely opportunities for you to do the same within your four walls.
Action Plan: Take a look at some inefficient areas in your business. How can you make these areas more efficient by supporting your peoples’ Number One Motivation?
Oops, I screwed up!
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
I recently wrote about the importance of stating your intent to build trust. This comes from Stephen Covey (Jr., not Sr.) in his book, “The Speed of Trust.” Last week I wrote about candor being an important ingredient for great leadership. When you state your intent first and then ask your question, it removes confusion and fear and builds confidence and security. I said this is what I was going to focus on in 2013, stating my intent and then asking the question. Well, I already screwed up!
I was inspired by our newest Prophiteer, Jessica, who recently started insisting that people take lunch breaks away from their desk. Because we always have so much work that needs to be done here at Prophit Companies, we often forget about the need to separate, decompress for a bit, and then jump back to it. Jessica started asking her co-workers to eat in the conference room, or some other location, just to talk and connect. Well, her request inspired me! I decided I needed to connect with my team more, and I started scheduling lunches with each of them. I never stated my intent—I just went through my task list and sent out meeting requests to all of our non-direct report Prophiteers.
Today was my lunch with Jessica. On our way back, she was joking that she wasn’t sure why I had called the meeting with just her for one hour. She was asking other Prophiteers if this was a good sign or a bad sign! Yikes, I screwed up. What I should have said was this: “Jessica, you’ve inspired me with how you are connecting with your co-workers over lunch. It has inspired me to take out all the staff and have one-on-ones so I can explain the vision of the company and answer any questions they may have, and to simply connect on any topic that may come up.” Had I said that, she would have been more relaxed and at ease between my meeting request and our lunch.
I’m working hard to raise my game and this mistake has helped me. Thanks, Jessica, for sharing your wisdom!
ACTION PLAN: Leave your desk and eat something … healthy!