Sunday, January 31, 2010

Care A Whole Awful Lot

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better; it’s not.” Dr. Seuss

The good Dr. is back with a quote from his sack that’s clever and quick and intended to stick; and it’s good that he’s here with a quote that for sure is about something as important as grandeur. And he’s sure in his head with a hat on the top that the grandest of grand comes from caring a lot. These Dr. Seuss-like rhymes are known as trisyllabic meter; he was the master of them and they enchanted readers young and old in all of his books – and were a clever way to make a point.

The point here is how much do you care? Look around at your world – is everything the best it can be or do you let good be good enough? In today’s economy it’s only the best that excel and have a chance of surviving this downturn. How can you make sure that your company is successful, your products are the most in demand and your reputation’s intact??? By trying hard – every moment of every day with everything you do and in every conceivable way; that my friends and my colleagues too is what will ensure that the first-place position goes only to you. And by caring a lot every day and all night you’ll give it the boost - from which best is produced –and make it all perfectly right. So go discover your own rhymes and work on your meter – because that’s what assuredly will make you a leader.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

It's the Right Thing To Do

"Everyone has the power of greatness: not for fame, but for greatness; because greatness is determined by service." -Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the African-American civil rights movement. His efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. There, he raised public consciousness of the civil rights movement and established himself as one of the greatest orators in U.S. history. He was a great man who served with distinction and honor.

How great will you be today? You can go through the motions at work or at home or in your community, and quietly do your business without drawing attention to yourself or your work; but then nothing extraordinary will happen. Or you can approach each and every thing you do today with passion and the intent of making it more than you or anyone could or should expect; and that has the potential for greatness. Be like the phone operator who makes that mundane experience a pleasure; or a food server who really conveys an excitement about the menu items; and the clerk in a store who is in the moment and brings a smile to your face while taking care of your needs – these are people that can light up the world and make a great difference. They don’t do it for fame; they do it because extraordinary service is great and so are they. And it’s the right thing to do! Try something like this today and see how great you can be.

Friday, January 22, 2010

What Are You Thinking?

"When all think alike, then no one is thinking." - Walter Lippman

Walter Lippmann (23 September 1889 – 14 December 1974) was an American writer, reporter, and political commentator, who twice was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his syndicated newspaper column, “Today and Tomorrow”. He was a journalist, a media critic and a philosopher who tried to reconcile the tensions between liberty and democracy in a complex and modern world. He was definitely a thinker.

What are you thinking today? I’ll bet that you’re full of ideas that you’ve held for many years; I’ll bet that your comfort level with your ideas is pretty strong; and I’ll bet that you’re a bit hesitant to challenge those beliefs and ideas because you most likely don’t have the time or confidence to sort through all that would go into changing them. So what can you do? Think about whether asking the same people the same questions, and reading from and listening to the same information sources, and thinking more of the same will be enough to keep you on the leading edge of your capabilities. Take time today to look at different information providers and start to form new or deeper opinions about the things you believe and, finally, don’t be afraid to learn new things or adapt to new circumstances. Change is hard, on so many levels, and yet it’s a constant in life that should be embraced. Remember, just because everybody else thinks it’s so doesn’t mean it is. Think for yourself today!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Do All You Can

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt.

These are extraordinary times – this recession is the worst in a generation and everyone is encouraged to do more with less. Everywhere we look companies and communities and families are struggling to make sense of these difficult times and adjust to new realities and priorities. So “doing what you can with what you have” is a timely quote.

What can you do today? It’s likely that there will be fewer people to help or work with you to complete your tasks – you should look at this as an opportunity to see if there are more efficient and effective ways to complete your work. You’ll probably have less time and money with which to work – that doesn’t mean you can’t be more creative and thoughtful in finding ways to get the most out of what you’re doing. Almost certainly there’ll be fewer customers buying and paying for what you do – you can look for ways to contribute to helping others in ways that you might not have thought of before and which will help take better care of the customers that remain. Don’t get discouraged – show your commitment today and every day by trying hard and caring a lot about everything you do. That’s how YOU can do what you can, with what you have and where you are today.

A New Decade is Born

If your work is becoming uninteresting, so are you. Work is an inanimate thing and can be made lively and interesting only by injecting yourself into it. Your job is only as big as you are.” - George C. Hubbs

This is the first week of a new year and a new decade – and if you’re still the same old you that you were last week then stop and make sure you’re who you really want to be. Ask yourself if you’re interesting or not – to you, your family, your colleagues, your community or your work. And whether you walk through life on the fringe – dealing with everything on a superficial level - or you get engaged and are in ‘the moment’. The more you put into something the more you get back, and now is the time to decide what kind of life you want to live.

At home do you show a sincere interest in the things your family is doing, or are you just the designated driver? At work, do you take the initiative to get things going or just sit and wait for whatever will happen? When you play, are you one who stands on the sidelines waiting for the game to end or are you actively running and trying to win? And in the community, do you help organize those around you or are you content to sit on the bench and watch the sun set? There’s an opportunity in everything you do today to get engaged in what’s happening and to actively inject yourself into the discussions, assignments, games and projects that are going on around you – that’s how they get the most out of you and you get the most out of them. Now is not the time to sit back and see what happens; now is the time to set the pace for who and what you want to be in this new year. Remember: your life will only be as big as you are.

The Last and the First

Work joyfully and peacefully, knowing that right thoughts and right efforts will inevitably bring about right results. - James Allen

Today is the last day of the year. While we have an opportunity every day to stop and rethink who and what we want to be, there are days like this where tradition puts more emphasis on that simple yet important exercise. A year ago you anxiously looked forward at the then year ahead with high hopes and dreams for better times – take a moment now to look back and assess whether what you hoped and dreamed for then came to be.

Today’s quote is by James Allen (1864 – 1912) who was a British philosophical writer known for his inspirational books and poetry. His most famous book, As a Man Thinketh, was published in 1902 and is now considered a classic self-help book. Its underlying premise is that noble thoughts make a noble person, while lowly thoughts make a miserable person. Now apply that premise to the concept of a New Year’s resolutions: noble is better.

Of course it’s not that simple – just having noble thoughts is only half the formula for being a noble person. You must also then act with nobility, and humility, and integrity, and dignity, and decency, and creativity, and generosity, and hope, and joy, and openness, and honor, and good humor, and dedication, and clear vision, and inspiration, and perspiration. And then, if you’re lucky, combining all of these lofty attributes with noble thoughts will lead you to being a noble person. That’s a worthy goal that may be a good New Year’s resolution!

You must be generous, and magnanimous, and serious with and about your resolutions if they’re going to be all that you wish them to be for you and your family, colleagues, friends and community. And while any or all of this may not be so simple or easy, it’s a framework for the belief that next year we each might be more and better than we are today or were this past year. That’s what a New Year’s resolution is.

This coming year be joyful in your efforts, and peaceful in your manner, and clear in your thinking, and just in your actions and noble - and see if right results come your way. Happy New Year!


Winners take time to relish their work, knowing that scaling the mountain is what makes the view from the top so exhilarating. - Denis Waitley

Denis Waitley is another in a long list of motivational people whose words we’ve used here to focus our thoughts and efforts to help us be our best each day. And today is one of the most important days of the year whose meaning and importance represent the foundations of our values and beliefs. The juxtaposition of these two is especially inspiring.

Winners and winning ideas are always built around looking ahead and being positive. Our lives most often are like the mountains we see – steep, daunting, beckoning, and not for the faint of heart. They represent the challenges that are found in the work we do, the games we play, the lives we lead, the challenges we face and the choices we make – the ones that mean the most to us are the hardest to climb. Getting an ‘A’ on a test, being successful at work, scoring a winning point in a big game, remaining true to your ethical beliefs, staying fit and healthy, being kind and fair in our relationships – all take extra commitment, effort, dedication and drive. And all are found in winners, whose winning ideas and ways are models to follow.
Today, especially, you should make sure that the things you do, the words you use, the thoughts you think and the work you produce are the best you can do. And while they may not be perfect, if they’re your best then you should be satisfied and the world around you will be enriched. That’s what you should expect of yourself, and that’s all anyone can expect of you. Look around today at all you have to be thankful for, and know that you helped make that possible.

Fire in the Belly

Chase down your passion like it's the last bus of the night. - Glade Byron Addams

When you’re really and totally passionate about something, you can’t think of anything else. When you’re completely and utterly focused on doing and being your best, you can’t help but be inspired. And when you’re toned and conditioned – mentally and physically – to be able to do whatever is needed to get the job done, you show others the way to succeed. That’s how it is when you have that kind of ‘fire-in-the-belly’.

Today you’ll face lots of deadlines – projects and papers and programs that are due, things that have to get picked up at the store, kids that have to be dropped off or picked up somewhere, last-minute presents that have to be bought, points that have to be won or scored before the end of a game, calls that need to be answered and made, dogs that have to be walked, words that need to be spoken and, well, rides and buses that must be caught. Treat these as if your world, or life, or job, or family, or reputation, or livelihood, or peace of mind depends on when and how well they’re done. We often never know when something is really important until it’s almost too late, so it’s best to treat things that are important to you as important to all. Chase down today’s deadlines like life depends on them – because most likely it does.

Motivate Your Children Well

Motivate [your teams], train them, care about them, and make winners out of them... they'll treat the customers right. And if customers are treated right, they'll come back. - J. Marriott, Jr.
J. W. Marriott, Jr., the son of Marriott Corporation founder J. Willard Marriott, was born in Washington, D.C., in 1932. Mr. Marriott, Jr. served in a number of capacities in his father's Hot Shoppes restaurant chain during his high school and college years, joining the company full-time in 1956. Since he became president in 1964, the company has grown at an annual compounded rate of approximately 20 percent in sales, net income, earnings per share and stock price.
It’s been said many times that there’s a direct link between employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction and profitability; that’s why you should spend all your time and energy making sure that employees are treated right. Treating employees right means hiring the right people for the right jobs; making sure they have the training needed to feel comfortable and confident; communicating with them all the time – not just regularly; give them lots of feedback – when they’re right let them know and thank them, and when they’re not quite right show them how to be better; treating them like friends and family – the way you want to be treated; and always remembering to say please and thank you – just like your mother taught you. This will make them better, happier and more loyal, and that’s just the kind of employee you want handling and motivating your customers to come back. Do this today and everyday and let your business reap the rewards that happy employees and repeat customers can bring. That’s how to be a winner!