Archive for June, 2009
Sunday, June 21st, 2009
Sometimes, a paragraph in a book can really make you think, and take action. So it is with a paragraph from my latest summer read; The Noticer by Andy Andrews. Andy is a local guy from Gulf Shores, Alabama. I’ve read several of Andy’s books and they always leave me feeling inspired and motivated. Let me share with you a short excerpt from The Noticer.
Jones, the book’s main character, asks the young man, Henry, the following question:
“Five seagulls are sitting on a dock. One of them decides to fly away. How many seagulls are left?”
Henry responds: “Well…four.”
“No,” Jones responded. “There are still five. Deciding to fly away and actually flying away are two very different things.”
Andy’s simple math challenge got me thinking. You see, I’ve decided to write a book, but I’ll admit, making the decision to write the book has turned out to be much, much easier than actually writing the book. I can say I’m writing a book, I can attend a writers’ group, and I can imagine and plan for the book, but until I actually sit at the computer and start typing, I’m not really writing the book. I’ll confess, I haven’t spent as much time as I should pounding the keyboard and actually writing the book.
I think that most of us have made some great decisions to start something, achieve something, change something, or even repair something. I also think that most of us still need to take action on some of those decisions. Have you made a decision that needs some action behind it?
I just got a great kick in the rear from a good book. Andy Andrews, The Noticer got me moving again, taking action. And all that motivation came from just one tiny little paragraph in the book. There’s a whole bunch more in The Noticer that will change your perspective on a number of things. So, if you need some inspiration, motivation, or a simple kick in the rear, surf on over to Andy’s site or visit your favorite bookseller and grab a copy of The Noticer. After you read it, come back and tell me what you think!
Saturday, June 20th, 2009
Here are the scripts for my audio conference. These are basic scripts and will work best if you edit them and customize them to your personal style and specific situation. They are offered as inspiration only. For additional scripts I recommend the book Lifescripts: What to Say to Get What You Want in Life’s Toughest Situations published by Wiley.
Please leave a comment about the scripts or the conference. Thank you!
You believe they’ve gossiped or lied about you:
- I’ve been told that you said, “insert their statement” about me in this morning’s meeting. This is not truthful and it needs to stop. If I learn that this happens again I will, “insert consequence.” I’ll appreciate your professionalism on this. (Do this in a private, neutral location. Make your statement and then leave immediately.)
You believe they’ve been manipulative behind your back:
- I understand that you did, “insert manipulative action” and this is inappropriate. Here’s why: xxx. In the future I’ll need you to “insert positive action you want taken.” Can we agree to a commitment to doing it this way in the future?
- If they don’t agree follow up with this statement: Well, the current arrangement isn’t working for both of us but I’m open to a creative solution that you come up with that will work for both of us. Let’s talk again tomorrow after you’ve had some time to work it out.
You’ve seen them roll their eyes or sigh disrespectfully at what you’ve said in a meeting:
- I can tell by your “body language/facial expression/statement” that you disagree with what I’ve said. Is there something you want to add here?
- Or, if you don’t want them to take over the meeting now say this: I can tell by your body language/facial expression/statement that you disagree with what I’ve said. So that we can end this meeting on time I’d be happy to meet with you tomorrow to discuss the concepts your having difficulty with.
Inappropriate behavior that doesn’t require a manager or supervisor’s intervention – this example is for last minute projects dumped on you:
- I’m unable to do my best work when last minute projects are left on my desk. In the future I’ll need 24 hours to complete these projects. Is that a professional courtesy we can agree on?
- I’m concerned that I can’t do my best work when last minute projects are left on my desk. I can get them done with four hours notice if you are willing to do the copy-editing and printing. Will that work for you?
- The current situation isn’t working for both of us but I’m open to a creative solution you may have that will work for both of us. Until we come up with that solution I’ll commit to having your projects done within one business day.
Protesters and Objectors that focus on the problem and not the solution:
- I understand your concern about that but I don’t see how I can help with the situation. Isn’t there someone else you should be sharing this information with?
- I can tell this concerns you. What are you going to do about it? How do you intend to fix it? I can suggest a good resource that will help you develop a plan for solving it.
- You’re absolutely right; that’s a problem. What is important is to discover how to fix it.
- Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’ll especially appreciate your ideas for how we can work together to fix it.
They’ve disengaged and just don’t care about the work/project:
- Let’s see how we can fairly divide the work on this project so that we both enjoy something about it.
- Before we get started on this challenging project let’s decide how we’re going to celebrate when it’s all done. Then, we’ll dive in and get it done as quickly as possible so we can get to the celebration part!
They have clearly gone over the line:
- I’m uncomfortable with this conversation and I do not feel I’m being treated equitably. We are not expected to tolerate profanity or abusive personal attacks in this organization and I’m ending this conversation now. (Then, remove yourself from the conversation and report inappropriate behavior.)
When the buck stops with you and they just have to “suck it up.”
- It’s common not to agree 100% of the time but on this specific issue I’ll need your 100% cooperation/support.
Saturday, June 20th, 2009
I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to teach a leadership certificate program for the VA Hospital. The Emerging Veteran’s Administration Leaders (EVAL) from the Carl Vinson VA Hospital in Dublin, GA, and the Augusta Leaders In Action (ALIA) from the Charlie Norwood VA Hospital in Augusta, GA. has started it’s third year. It’s an honor to be a part of this amazing program started by and administered by Ken Wrighter, Mary Smith, Ed Shepherd, Barbara Phipps and Frank Jordan.
This section is reserved for comments from my participants and graduates of the EVAL and ALIA program. You are a phenomenal group of people; truly the cream of the crop!
Saturday, June 20th, 2009
I’ve had the privilege of teaching a certificate program for the Navy Personnel Command (NPC) for several years. My time with the participants is both challenging and rewarding. (Trust me, they keep me on my toes.) We have some lively discussions, great laughs, and, I hope, some learning moments. (Oh, and let’s not forget some great vocal performances.)
This section is for comments from my Navy Personnel Command participants and graduates. If you are one of my 80+ graduates, please let me know how you’ve benefited from the certificate program!
Monday, June 8th, 2009
Out on the highway there’s a house with a sign out front that reads, “Miss Leona, Seer and Psychic.” I’ve never been there, just driven by the place a zillion times.
The other day I saw a carload of ladies pull up in front of Miss Leona’s. Some people really want the fortune teller to reveal what the future holds. They spend today wondering and worrying about tomorrow, focusing time and energy on finding that magic crystal ball to predict their future. I’m trying to be less interested in what the future holds for me and more concerned about today. Your future always changes based upon what you do, or don’t do, today. What am I learning today that will be of value when I enter my future? What am I creating today that will make the future better for the people I love?
Come what may, I’m working on today.
- Spend time with and pay attention to someone important to you.
- Be grateful for today and your past.
- Learn something that makes you a better person.
- Solve a problem and get rid of an emotional burden, like anger, hurt, jealousy, or guilt.
- Take action on something that will make this world better.
- Clean up something; your desk, your drawer, your closet, your language, your finances, a relationship.
- Today; love, enjoy and appreciate today. Do the same tomorrow.
Sunday, June 7th, 2009
Historia de un letrero (The Story of the Sign)
Sometimes it’s as simple as selecting just the right words. Watch this video, a film from the Cannes Festival, 2008, and be inspired. Be sure to read the few subtitles.
Sunday, June 7th, 2009
Here are a few of my favorite books:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, PhD
Economic Facts & Fallacies by Thomas Sowell
My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir by Clarence Thomas
Being OK Just Isn’t Enough by Doris Wild Helmering
From the Heart: Seven Rules to Live By by Robin Roberts
The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness by Stephen Covey, PhD
Naked at Work (and Other Fears): How to Stay Sane When Your Job Drives You Crazy by Paul Hellman
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell
The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die by John Izzo, PhD
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time by Howard Schultz
Prioritize Organize: The Art of Getting It Done by Peg Pickering
Lone Survivor by Marcus Lutrell
The Travelers Gift by Andy Andrews
How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill
In My Wildest Dreams by Gail Blanke
For Christmas Reading:
A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg (A good read for southerners on the Gulf Coast)
The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck
The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank (Another southern treat!)
My favorite vacation reading:
Beach Music by Pat Conroy
Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History by Erik Larson
Anything by Dorothea Benton Frank. Her books are my favorite “southern chick books” to read when I’m floating in the pool in the summertime. Sullivan’s Island, Isle of Palms, The Land of Mango Sunsets, Return to Sullivan’s Island, Bulls Island and more. www.dotfrank.com
Brand New Books:
The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use by Karen Burns
The Noticer by Andy Andrews
Sunday, June 7th, 2009
\”Did You Know\” – a YouTube video worth watching!
Imagination is a powerful thing. We don’t use it enough. Maybe this video will inspire you to imagine the possibilities.