Monday, September 24, 2018

When yesterday and today combine....

My 50thhigh school reunion was held this past weekend and it was great to see so many former classmates and friends. Many brought their yearbooks, complete with the things we wrote to each other back then: words filled with affection, hope, sorrow and pain. Others brought memorabilia and pictures that also sparked talk of the things we did and how we felt all those years ago: it really did feel like yesterday. As we matched faces and nametags there were expressions of amazement as the memories flooded back: the things we recalled along with the songs the DJ played from 1968 transported us back in time. The evening, like these intervening years, passed too quickly and as we started to leave it was apparent that the pain of parting all those years ago was nothing compared to the joy of meeting again. We really can’t go back in time, but these remembrances and realizations are good for the soul. The moral of this story: know that sometime in the future you’ll probably be looking back on how you lived your life today.

Charles Dickens (1812 – 1870): English writer and social critic regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era

Friday, September 21, 2018

Find your happy place in life....

Headed back to the airport via Lyft last night and had a memorable experience with my ride-share driver. He wasn’t happy with his job in Texas and moved to Vegas to find something better: says he found it with Lyft. I take ride share a lot and this guy was the most motivated I’ve had: only been at it 3 weeks and has it all figured out.  The key, he says, is don’t sit and wait for a fare: he says that’s being lazy so he spends his time in the company provided car picking up anyone, anywhere, any time. When asked if he likes it, he sounded like a guy who’d hit a jackpot: likes the people he meets and loves the company he works for.  Says the more he works the more rewards he gets and he’s proud to have had the strength to start over at something he’s clearly good at. Don’t wait for success to find you: seek out something you can be proud of and successful at today.

Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (1896 – 1940): American fiction writer, whose works illustrate the Jazz Age

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Learn and be more today....

My keynote address to a group of Professional Club Marketing Managers the other day focused on the challenge of making the most of the jobs they have.  They are responsible for attracting members to their clubs and, like most jobs, it’s better if everyone pitches in because ‘two heads are better than one’.  Their strengths and skills can help others promote the overall success of their efforts: making sure external and internal communications are clear and catchy, teaching employees about the values promoted during membership drives that have to be followed thru on continually, and keeping the experience alive. Successful companies weave everyone’s efforts into a cohesive patchwork of skills and abilities and that their most successful people keep growing in ways that satisfy the organization and themselves: in fact, their HR partners could collaborate with and learn from them.  Be proud of your professional growth, and remember that the best job for you is most often the one you have. Take the challenge to make it the one you want today

Paula Scher (b. 1948): American graphic designer, painter and art educator in design

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Reflection is a good thing....

Today marks the holiest day on the Jewish calendar – Yom Kippur, which means the “Day of Atonement.”

“On Yom Kippur we are reminded that what we do for a living has no correlation to our worthiness before G-d. Everyone is equal. The only thing that matters is our behavior to our friends, our spouses, our parents, our children, and our community.”Amy J. Kramer

We should not be the same person the day after Yom Kippur that we were the day before Yom Kippur: we should be moving ahead, raising our lives to a higher level.

L’Shana Tova (Have a Good Year)

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

The art of business involves compromise....

I’m giving a keynote address today and the hotel where the conference is being held is one of 26 in Chicago participating in a city-wide strike. These hotels were unionized years ago so you’d think management and the union have had time to figure out how to co-exist.  Whether you support unions or not, people have the right to be represented by a bargaining representative: when that happens there’s self-interest on both sides that must be understood and respected (grudgingly or not). That puts a lot of pressure and responsibility on both sides to find the common ground of compromise that allows each to retain their dignity and maintain labor peace. I’ve negotiated long-term labor agreements that resulted in both sides working together for the benefit of all: did we have disagreements – you bet; were they resolved – every time.  That takes a willingness to talk, listen and understand that nothing should ever get in the way of providing what the customer is paying for. Don’t let pride get in the way of achieving your goals today.

Vanna Bonta (1958 – 2014): Italian-American writer, actress, and inventor

Monday, September 17, 2018

Work like you care....

called an airline reservation line recently and was informed “this call may be monitored for compliance and training purposes”. Lots of other companies do things like this: grocery store receipts asking me to complete a survey, a sign at the McDonald’s drive-thru window advising me to contact them if I have any questions or concerns, and so on. It seems that supervisors no longer have the time or responsibility to monitor work or that employees are no longer encouraged to have enough pride in their work to do things right. I suppose they’re looking for both positive and negative comments, but the implication is that they really only want to know if something went wrong. I think it would be better to talk to employees about how pride is a personal commitment and how attitude separates excellence from mediocrity, and then have supervisors act appropriately when they see good or bad behavior. That’s a better way to promote pride in people’s work today.

William Blake (1757 – 1827): English poet, painter, printmaker, and a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age

Friday, September 14, 2018

Keep a winning attitude....

Every successful person I know is passionate about what they do. Later today I will again be attending a graduation of men and women who are focused on successfully re-entering society after exiting the judicial system: the keys to their success include a laser-like passion to make the rest of their lives the best of their lives. Led by Jon Ponder, these Hope for Prisoner graduates are impressive because of their passion to make the most of the second chance they’re being given: Jon himself has walked the path he encourages them to take and knows that attitude is more important than aptitude. He challenges them to create a vivid vision of what their success will look like a year from today and then helps them stay on that path as they passionately work towards realizing their dreams.   If given the chance, help others find this kind of winning attitude today.

Sir Kenneth Robinson (b. 1950): British author, speaker and international advisor on education in the arts to government, non-profits, education and arts organizations