Monday, February 27, 2012

Quote for the Week

Most people would rather look backward than forward because it’s easier to remember where you’ve been than to figure out where you are going. Don’t be most people.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Quote for the Week

If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. Stop doing less-than-excellent work. - Thomas J. Watson

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Move Past Your Anger

As the saying goes - Shit happens. To all of us. The question is not how do you avoid bad things but rather how do you react to them.

Sure, it’s frustrating to be passed over for a promotion you really wanted at the office, or to be underwater on your home loan. Perhaps you just found out you need a new transmission in your car. It’s natural to get angry but you have to also realize that you need to move past the anger. Anger keeps your brain from thinking about solutions and from making plans. And without a plan you cannot solve your problems.

In order to successful solve a problem you need to engage the rational part of your brain and put your emotional part in neutral. You need to think creatively and then logically to develop a plan of action. Your emotional brain, especially when in an angry state will block any creative or logical thoughts. Your emotional brain likes to be in control and will sabotage any planning you are trying to do. You need to acknowledge that you have been angered and then tell your emotional brain that you are now moving on. It may sound silly but by thinking about and telling yourself that you are done being emotional and are now ready to rationally deal with the issue you open up pathways in your brain to allow yourself to do just that.

I am not saying that you should never get angry or upset. Even if you are good at hiding it from others you cannot escape having emotional reactions to the events around you. What I am saying is that you cannot allow your anger and emotions to take control. You need to move past the initial reactions and engage your rational brain to find a sensible and plausible solution to whatever problems present themselves.

Don’t be a victim to circumstance. Step back, analyze the situation and make a plan to move forward. That is how you chart a course to success.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Quote for the Week

“The quality of your life is determined by how you feel at any given moment. How you feel is determined by how you interpret what is happening around you, not by the events themselves.” - Brian Tracy

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Management Monthly February 2012

Management Monthly

A monthly source of management theory, thoughts, tips and best practices

February 2012

This Month’s Tip:

Minute-by-Minute Recognition - Less than 60 seconds. That’s all it takes to make someone’s day, using on-the-spot recognition. The next time you notice an employee doing something right, immediately follow these four simple steps:

  1. Tell them exactly what they did that was right (“Wanda, I noticed that you picked up the phones today, since Bess was sick.”)
  2. Tell them what value or goal they met. (“That shows a lot of teamwork.”)
  3. Explain how that impacts the company. (“We might have missed that emergency call from our biggest customer without your help.”
  4. Express appreciation. (“Thanks so much.”)

Note: In less time than it took you to read this page, you could have recognized someone. Now, how easy is that!

(Article reprinted from A Carrot a Week email newsletter from

How to run an Effective Meeting

Good meetings don’t happen by accident. They happen because someone has taken the time to prepare themselves and their meeting participants. When you have a well planned meeting - magic happens. They begin (and end) on-time; massive action takes place during shorter meeting time frames; and people walk away with a sense of purpose and accomplishment. And when you have a poorly planned meeting – you can get the meeting from hell.

Here are some ideas to help run a high-powered, results-focused meeting.

Before Meeting

  • Define the purpose
  • Define the specific outcome (e.g., inform, make a decision, provide status, a working meeting to complete a deliverable, etc.)
  • Identify the attendees (i.e., who needs to attend, why and what’s their role?)
  • Create the agenda
  • Send the agenda and any associated background materials prior to meeting – this allows participants to be more prepared
  • Send a confirmation notice one day prior to meeting, along with the agenda and any associated materials (Yes – repetition is the mother of memory)

During Meeting

  • Set aside a few minutes at the beginning for idle small talk – building rapport can help set the tone of collaboration and partnership
  • Kick-off meeting by reviewing the purpose of the meeting; the desired outcome of the meeting; and walk through the agenda along with proposed timing for each agenda item
  • Have the purpose and desired outcome visible for all to see – this provides a great visual aide for everyone to reference during the meeting
  • Stick to the agenda
  • Encourage group discussion and feedback by asking questions
  • Look to gain consensus on key decisions
  • When assigning action items, make sure you answer the specific question of, “Who is agreeing to do what and when are they expected to complete it?”
  • Call out time-checks and/or reference the agenda and desired outcome to ensure the meeting is moving in right direction
  • Summarize key agreements and any action items during the “wrap-up” portion of the meeting
  • Identify if you need to meet again. If so, when should that meeting occur
  • If the meeting is going over its time, set a time-limit so people have an idea of when they can expect to end (e.g., “Can we go another 10 minutes, then if we need more time, we can reschedule?”, etc.)
  • Thank your attendees for preparing and participating in your meeting

After Meeting

To reinforce the importance of a meeting and ensure momentum, try the following:

  • Send out a follow-up email with reminders of key decisions made and/or any follow-up action items
  • Add any reminders to your calendar to follow-up on any assigned action items

At first, these steps may seem like a significant effort. However, with some diligence and practice, you will find these steps can quickly become habit. More importantly, you will find the time spent to prepare will mean your meetings will have more engagement, energy, momentum, and stuff getting done!

(Article by Chuck Hebert and reprinted from website)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Quote for the Week

“Quality is never an accident... it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” - Will Foster