Don’t Make Jack a Dull Boy...

Through the last several posts, we’ve been working through the importance of enjoying each step of the journey rather than resting on the hope that fulfillment will come once we reach that ever so important goal we’re chasing. I even used the last post to share an example of just how badly I’ve failed at doing just that…

In an attempt to be as corny as I can possibly be, I believe the saying may actually be true: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!

As I prepared to put this final post together and wrap up this Don’t Wait Until You Get There idea, I found myself thinking about what John Maxwell teaches about the Three R’s in the Law of Priorities: What are we required to do?; What gives us the best return on the time we invest?; and What provides us with the most reward?

Nearly every time I reference these questions, it’s around making the most effective use of our time as leaders. But truth be told, that can often be done with...

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A Firm Grip on an Empty Sack...

I had worked hard, doing all I could to hone the skills I needed to become truly effective in the role I held. I had really studied some of the most effective trainers, both within and outside of the behavior-based safety world, so I could excel in something that was incredibly difficult for me just a few years earlier. As I shared in the last post, it wasn’t long after I had really immersed myself in this process that I found myself traveling to facilities across North America to train other teams on the process itself and the successes we were beginning to have at my home facility. 

High school educated (kinda) and in my mid 20s, regularly meeting with plant managers and their executive teams, corporate leadership, and other high falutin folks, giving them my advice on what their next steps should be to get results with their struggling behavior-based safety initiatives… I don’t remember being tagged in my senior yearbook as being “most likely”...

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Identify the Destination and Love the Journey

Through the last few posts and the LinkedIn article that set the tone for them, we’ve looked at some of the most pressing issues that cause so many of us to lock onto a goal and lose nearly all focus on anything but that goal. In many cases, that can suck the joy out of just about everything else around us. While that’s (usually) not our intent, it happens just the same…

As I closed the last post, I promised to dig deeper into how we can each be more intentional about enjoying the unique journey we’re on. Not long after that, as I was driving to a meeting and listening to Psycho-Cybernetics on Audible at 3X speed, I noticed that even Maxwell Maltz saw this as a significant issue when he wrote the book more than 60 years ago! Since I was listening (really fast) rather than reading, I won’t even attempt to quote him directly… His point, though, was along the lines of having a clear goal to work toward then live in the steps we’re taking on a...

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It’s a Choice We’ve All Got to Make!

Abraham Lincoln has been quoted as saying, “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” While I’ve also seen him credited for saying things like “You can’t believe all the quotes you read on the internet,” I’ve actually heard that particular quote attributed to him often enough that I think he really did say it… Regardless of whether Honest Abe did or did not say that about being as happy as we make our minds up to be, it holds a lot of weight!

In the article I published on LinkedIn recently, Don’t Wait Until You Get There, I referenced how basically everyone I know could point to at least one crappy situation they’ve had to deal with since Covid took over the world. I won’t hash the whole thing out again here, but I will be building on what I shared there through this and the next several posts. 

Picture this: you’re in your mid 20s, just getting started on your own. You recently...

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Aligning Intentions with Perceptions

Even after doing all the things we’ve looked at through the last several posts to ensure we’re on the right track to being able to exceed expectations with each person we interact with, there can be a huge gap between what we intend and what they perceive! Nearly all of us have grown up hearing just how important it is to follow The Golden Rule by doing unto others as we’d have them do unto us. But there are times with even the purest of purpose, things can go awry…

Have you ever met someone who seems to view the world through a pair of rose colored glasses? You know, one of those folks who can find the best in any situation… Hope about someone who can brighten just about any room simply by walking out of it? I’m not sure what color their glasses are, but they probably don’t have that same rosy tint!

Cindy and I were in a training session a few years ago where the instructor divided us into small groups and challenged each group to review...

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Not On or To Them, but FOR Them!

I got my first taste of behavior-based safety in late spring or early summer of 1998. Cindy and I had only been dating a few months at that point so I was still teetering on the edge to say the least… By the time I went through the two day training process required to conduct behavioral observations in January ‘99, we were nearly a year into a pretty solid relationship so some of my extremely rough edges were beginning to get at least a little bit smoother. Looking back, I can see so many places where God’s hand was moving in my life at that time but I’ll save those stories for another time.

For now, I’d like to share a subtle but crucial lesson that I probably should have pulled away from those two days of training. Truth be told, it took a few years for me to really get it!

You may have heard me reference this before but I’ll hash it out here again. One of the core tenets of behavior-based safety is that employees are trained to watch their...

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What Do YOU Expect?

So before we really dig into the specifics of those questions I outlined in the last post that we all need answered in order to EXCEED EXPECTATIONS on a regular basis, let’s take a look at one critical thing we each need to consider in this process.

Having hit on this idea of EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS from quite a few angles over the last several weeks, there’s been one common theme: nearly everything I’ve shared on the topic has been from a perspective of how this impacts so many levels of the teams we lead and the community we serve. While building this approach into our entire organizational culture, ensuring the company is known for exceeding expectations, can make a tremendous impact at so many levels, there’s one thing we need to really take ownership of to have any real hope of it ever becoming part of our team’s culture.

We need to take personal responsibility for exceeding the expectations of each individual we serve on a daily basis; not...

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Lean & Mean!

For almost all of the nearly 20 years I worked in manufacturing, I had at least some level of involvement with implementing the tools most commonly referred to as LEAN. Truth be told, at least ten of those years consisted of a high level of hands-on involvement where I worked directly with teams throughout the facility to build the various tools within that methodology into the workflow for improved productivity. I even have a fancy framed certificate (that’s buried amongst a bunch of other fancy certificates) showing where I completed a customized Lean Manufacturing course at the University of Michigan… Impressive, huh…

In addition to all that, I even got to learn to concepts of Lean from a true master consultant who had read about it in a book but never seemed to be able to offer tangible examples of how any of his other clients implemented what he was regurgitating to achieve a tangible return on investment - but I’ll save that story for another day...

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Keep Making Your Decision EVERY Day!

In our microwave society, the majority of the messaging that seems to come at us on a daily basis whirls around the ideas of bigger, faster, and stronger… Before I go on, please understand just how much those messages resonate with my HIGHLY DRIVEN approach to everything I see, touch, do, and even consider! That said, a healthy portion of reality like I choked down when I tried running that mile can often help us keep things in the proper perspective.

Once we can come to terms with ourselves and accept that we’ll rarely accomplish anything significant right off the bat, then we develop dogged consistency with the action steps we can actually follow through on moving forward, we should have a solid foundation in place to build from. But as I mentioned in the last post, thinking there won’t be times where we land in the ditch on one side of the path or the other is just as unrealistic as me thinking I could walk out on that track and magically run a full mile at a...

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Another (Red) Face (and puffed out chest) in the Crowd

As I post this, Cindy and I just finished our second gym workout of the new year. We went at an odd time earlier in the week so the crowd of Resolutioners that we had anticipated wasn’t there. That said, there were certainly more people milling around that we would have seen at that same time on a day in November or December… But at 6:30a on the first Wednesday morning in January, there were more than a few new faces. And many of those new faces will be red since it was likely just their second or third time inside a gym in who knows how long… Make no mistake though, that didn't keep many of them from having a puffed out chest after they showed us all how awesome their bench press was!

By early February though, the herd will have thinned a bit. And by March 1, we’ll be back to business as usual…

Don’t get me wrong, I get really excited when I see anyone take a proactive approach to managing their health. I also know all too well how easy it can...

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