But I Don’t Even Smoke?

A little over twenty years ago, a friend of mine was promoted from his role as a machine operator in the department we worked in to supervising that same department on an off shift. In those days, even the night shift crew had a ton of seniority and experience. That company had a much deserved reputation for being one of the best employers in the area… I had been there for two years or so and was still one of the newest people in the building!

While nearly everyone had significant experience, I’m not suggesting that everyone was actively engaged and working to exceed expectations like we’ve been discussing through the last few posts… In fact, one of the most senior guys on the shift, although being a true master of his craft, was about as actively disengaged as anyone I’ve ever seen!

Let’s pretend his name was Tim… Tim was a smoker. Before I move on, this isn’t meant as a shot at anyone who smokes - it’s just the story I...

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What Are You Willing To Risk?

In the last blog post, I Just Can’t Take The Risk, tiptoed around the edges but stopped just short of defining what that perceived risk was… With limited time right now, I’ll touch on the perceived risk quickly and toss out a few other risks that many managers or business owners may not recognize until it’s too late. 

Don’t worry though, I won’t drop the ball on you! I’ll circle back with the next few posts to cover some things we can each do to effectively handle each of the risks we look at now.

The risk I’ve seen so many supervisors, managers, and business owners work so hard to avoid is the potential for losing a long term, highly skilled team member to the competition after addressing an issue with them. In many of those situations, that person is truly a master of their craft. But from time to time, even the best in the business get lackadaisical… But there are also times where a senior team member can begin to...

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I Just Can’t Take The Risk...

Over the last decade, I’ve seen dozens of situations where a senior or incredibly skilled team member has chosen not to exceed expectations. The challenge in most of those instances really boiled down to that team member actually choosing to not even meet the expectations the organization (or business owner, or their team members) had clearly defined for the role they were in.

As we looked at how failing to exceed, or even meet, expectations can impact customer retention and the organization’s overall profitability through the last several posts, it was extremely clear that average performance won’t be what separates any of our businesses from the competition. This is just as true when it comes to the culture we build internally - how tasks get done even when a customer will likely never have direct exposure to them…

Let’s be honest, highly skilled team members are hard to come be regardless of the ups and downs of the economy. That often results in...

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Like It or Not, That’s How It’s Gonna Be… Really?

Have you ever been told that by a company you’ve done business with? Like it or not, that’s how it's gonna be… Have you ever heard a supervisor say something like this to one of their employees? Have you ever been that employee???

I remember being told something very similar to that by an administrative assistant for the attorney I was dealing with about 15 years ago following a nasty car accident and the other party had a less than stellar insurance company. After being jerked around by the other insurance company for weeks and not hearing back from the attorney for quite a while too, I began calling daily until I got a response. After a few days of this, she told me “You’re not our only client. We’ll get to you when we get to you.” That didn’t go as well as she thought it would…

While I can’t say that I’ve ever been anything like that by a supervisor, I’ve certainly heard it said a few times. It’s one...

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What Does It Really Cost?

As I wrapped up the last blog, I referenced a study that showed how many organizations lose as much as 17 hours per week to miscommunication. Unlike the Salesforce.com study, I couldn’t put my find on any of the additional details that study covered or who conducted it. That said, I found it! We typically share these statistics during the second lesson of our Emerging Leader Development course, Critical Principles for Effective Communication… Here you go:

According to an SIS International Research study, the cumulative cost per year due to productivity losses resulting from communication barriers is more than $26,000 per employee. Not only that, the study found that a business with 100 employees spends an average downtime of 17 hours a week clarifying communications. Translated into dollars, that’s more than $530,000 a year.

I go on to detail out that math for companies half that size and twice that size, just so participants have a chance to relate it to the...

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Busy Now or Busy Forever?

Before closing the loop on the busyness issue we’ve looked at through the last few messages, here’s a quick reminder that registration is now open for the LIVE virtual LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg experience on Friday, October 9. Not only will you get immediate access to some special material from the 2019 Live2Lead speakers, we will also be providing everyone who participates at any point in the 2020 LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg SEASON with a code for complimentary access to our digital course on Build a Reputation as a Servant Leader!

Now, on with the show!

We started down this path by looking how most of us are Busier Than We’ve Ever Been and I referenced the quote from Tim Ferris in The 4-Hour Workweek I had previously shared in a my LinkedIn article called Busy, Lazy, or Undisciplined? where Ferris stated that “being perpetually busy is akin to being sloppy with your time and is ultimately a form of laziness.” As I pointed out in the two...

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Doing It and Making Sure It’s Done Are Two Very Different Things!

In the last blog, I shared a story with you that still makes me squirm a bit. It seemed like every minute of every day was packed as full as I could possibly handle. From the time I walked in my office, usually around 6a, until I left for the evening around 6:30 or 7p, I ran as hard as I could and usually scarfed down some leftovers at my desk while catching up on voicemails or emails… It was nuts!

Clearing those time and attendance system exceptions weren’t necessarily my responsibility but addressing any given one of them was far faster than taking the time to fix what was essentially broken in the process. I’ll re-emphasize what I closed that last blog with: I didn’t discipline myself to invest enough time into fixing that process so I found myself losing exponentially more time each week patching it because I thought doing it right once would be more than I could handle. Ugh!!!

In that scenario, I didn’t have anyone else that I could pass any of...

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Are You Making the HARD Decisions?

You know those times where you’re trying to decide where you and your significant other are going for dinner? Yep, the ones where neither of you really care what place you go to but every suggestion the other person makes just isn’t appealing???

Those aren’t the HARD Decisions that I’m referring to here!

I’m talking about the HARD Decisions that really matter when you’re truly concerned about the end result you’re working toward and every minute of every day is already overloaded with tasks that needed to be done yesterday! If you’ve carried the weight of leadership responsibility for any length of time at all, you can probably FEEL what I’m describing…

From 2012 to 2014, I had responsibility for managing the electronic records for around 300 employees on a daily basis in a new (to the facility) time and attendance platform. In theory, that wasn’t a big deal. But when you consider that the large majority of those...

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Busier Than We’ve Ever Been!

Before we dive into a topic that I’m sure will resonate with anyone who invests the time to read this message and the few that follow, I have no choice but to share an update about the 2020 LIVE2LEAD:Harrisonburg SEASON!!! In addition to the in-person, Executive Summit format event we’ll be hosting at Blue Ridge Community College on Friday, October 23, we’ve added a LIVE virtual option on October 9 and a second virtual option on November 13. While the Oct 23 date is technically sold out until we can work with all of our partners and those who registered prior to COVID shutting down the world, both virtual options are available now at www.L2L-Harrisonburg.com along with some new info on speakers and other details about the special opportunities we can offer you and your team from Oct 9 through the end of Feb ‘21!

Now let’s get down to business!

I recently published an article on LinkedIn titled Busy, Lazy, or Undisciplined? At first glance, that...

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A CheckPoint or the Finish Line?

Originally shared in A Daily Dose Of Leadership on August 14, 2020.

Have you heard stories of people dying soon after they retire? In many cases, that seems to serve as motivation for considering early retirement and enjoying the time we have left. But according to a study I read recently on WebMD, folks who retire at 55 are 89% more likely to die in the ten years following their retirement than their counterparts who retire at 65… Well that stinks!

What about the statistics regarding how many people stop learning once they’ve completed the formal education? Now I’m certainly not one who just loves to read, but these numbers are absolutely shocking! According to a 2003 study by The Jenkins Group, “one-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives.” That study goes on to show that “42% of college graduates never read another book after college.” While I’m not suggesting that learning can only happen...

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