Thursday, November 26, 2009

Making the Most of Meeting In-Laws!

"I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Making the Most of Meeting In-Laws!

While I love my in-laws, and am very fortunate to have the mother-in-law and fathers-in-law, as well as the brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law I do have, some people are just about to meet their future in-laws or new in-laws for the first time. Whether you have met them before, or are starting "anew", consider these 10 steps to in-law enjoyment at the holidays:

1. Before you go, decide it is going to be a good time. Envision it, and expect good things!
2. Prior to heading out, ask your partner for any “hot topics” or “out of bounds issues” to avoid, and ask for family members’ interests and check them out before arriving.
3. Take a family gift like a board game.
4. Be more about being interested than being interesting, and ask questions for interest and not interrogation.
5. Find something, one thing minimally, that you like about each person as soon as you meet each of them.
6. Share a heart-felt compliment with any or each member of the family.
7. Instead of offering to “help”, offer to do something specific, so rather than stating “how may I help”, say “How about I set the table?”, so they see action, versus courtesy.
8. Thank them for hosting and send a thank you note in the mail within the week.
9. At all times, remember, these people produced your partner, so like/love them for that regardless…you would not have your partner without his or her family, so keep the perspective!
10. Smile, be true to you, sincere in your thoughts and actions, and make it a great time!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Offerings Through the Triad of Identity/Positioning

Offerings Through the Triad of Identity/Positioning

Do you know who you are, what you do and how you do it? Does your customer/client know those things? Does it matter? Absolutely, it matters...after all, those constitute your identity…your positioning…and having those allows potential clients/customers to know where to find your offerings!
Identity/positioning is realized through the creation and communication of three components: your brand, your promise, and your competencies, and these support the offerings you provide.

A brand is a 10 word-or-less (give or take an “a”, “an”, “the”, “and”) statement that quickly shares who you are. A brand is similar to a tag line, in that it is brief, memorable, demonstrative and true. It is not what you hope to be, think you should be, or what others want you to be, rather it just is.

A promise is a brief statement of work that relays what you do. This is no more than a paragraph, and it is an elaboration on the brand. Often this is perceived as something that likens a mission statement.

Selected competencies are a list of characteristics that are core to you, your effectiveness and what you deliver. These are reliable traits that, in concert, combine to highlight how you get things accomplished. These are words defined by you for you and your clients/customers as a reality/reference check on what is desired in an approach.

The summation of who, what and how, allow your customers/clients to identify you clearly and consistently. These three, the identity/positioning triad, are what support and promote the where, the fields/areas of expertise in which you provide your offerings; your two to four methods or areas or expertise for providing goods or services.

With customers/clients, all elements of your identity/positioning determine if your company is a fit for theirs. When there is a match, the offerings that you make available are selected and purchased, and then the presentation of the brand, promise and competencies are experienced fully by them*.

*While there is an emphasis on customer/client, there is no real, identity and positioning if the brand, promise and competencies are not in practice, believed, and embraced within you and your team first, so that the offerings can be done well.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

5 P's to Marketing YOU!

“It is very important to generate a good attitude, a good heart, as much as possible. From this, happiness in both the short term and the long term for both yourself and others will come.”
~ Dalai Lama

When you market a product, the 5 Ps in marketing are:
·Place (Distribution)

And, I believe You are your product, so the 5 Ps in marketing you are:


So, be positively passionate as a present professional who is personable in all you do, and sales, and repeat sales will be generated with much more enjoyable efforts, and with less “work”. Remember, you are selling you first, and the products/services you have to offer and represent will come as well!

Friday, September 11, 2009


“So let us begin anew - remembering on both sides that civility is not a
sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof.”
~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Life and Leadership Books to Consider

The worth of a book is to be measured by what you can carry away from it. ~James Bryce

For your life and your leadership, below are some books that I have enjoyed, and used in my learning and my practice. You may find value in them as well:

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership... by Patrick Lencioni

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...... by Jim Collins

EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman

Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships by Daniel Goleman

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make... by Malcolm Gladwell

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

The World Is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of t... by Thomas L. Friedman

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (P.S.) by Steven D. Levitt and Steven D. Levitt Page

The Five Temptations of a CEO: A Leadership Fable by Patrick Lencioni

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thinking Before Speaking?

“Love and doubt have never been on speaking terms.”~ Kahlil Gibran

Many people say “think before you speak”, but what is it that we should be thinking? Perhaps you’ll think about:

1. Staying true to yourself
2. Considering the value of announcing your it for sharing, growing or learning, or is it just for shock value or to “be talking”3. Knowing your audience
4. Deciding if what you said were a headline with your name and photo on the front page of every newspaper and website, would you still say it5. Being prepared to accept the consequences of your actions/ideas/words (good or bad)

If all those are in check, then you will likely not be surprised by the responses or backpedaling from your words later.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Your Perspect"ive"

Make a decision to survive, be alive, or thrive...the choice is yours...and you make your selection each day in your attitude, your actions, and your results!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Forgive and Give Yourself a Gift!

"When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free."

~ Catherine Ponder

Forgive and Give Yourself a Gift!

Forgiving may come easy or hard to you, and either way, it is powerful in action and impact.

The four steps to Forgiveness are:
Positive Thinking
Being Empathetic
Protecting You

Expressing includes:
Deciding to talk or not talk about it to the person.
If talking to him/her tell the other person, in non-threatening language, how their actions affected you.
Writing a letter and tear it up (or burn it) and move on if the person is no longer around or you want to keep the person out of your life.
Knowing people don't need to know that you've forgiven them; forgiveness is more for you than for the other person.

Positive Thinking involves:
Journaling about a situation where you were hurt or wronged can be good.
Being positive.
Deciding what you have learned.
Benefits you've gotten from a negative situation -- rather than focusing on the emotions you have surrounding the event, or writing about something unrelated -- can assist in forgiving.

Being Empathetic includes:
As much as you can imagine it, putting yourself in the other person's shoes.
Asking yourself:
Were they going through a particularly difficult time in their lives?
Have you ever made similar mistakes?

Protecting You means:
Remembering: "Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me!"
Appreciating forgiveness is not the same as condoning the offending action.
Knowing it's OK (and sometimes vital) to include self-protective plans for the future.
Realizing you don't need to hold a grudge in order to protect yourself.

So, whether you forgive and forget, or forgive and remember, do forgive and grow!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Plan the Work & Work the Plan!

Benjamin Franklin said “Drive your business! Let not that drive thee.”

Not a superior athlete, outstanding coach, or effective teacher has crossed my path who did not have a plan. While some started just with an idea, and others with a grand vision, each of these people had a workout plan, an offensive or defensive plan, or a lesson plan. Similarly, the truly successful, confident and organized business leaders who were prepared for growth and change had a business plan.

Everyone mentioned succeeded with a plan…not because of a plan, or in spite of a plan, but with a plan…with the right plan for them.

Business plans, like personal approaches, are not one-size fits all, and creating a plan for the sake of having one is likely to drive a bit of confidence and raise some awareness, but it is just a plan.

Brian Tracy shared “A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.” I agree. Yet, without direction, focus, and real (read as realistic) numbers, no matter how carefully written, a business plan is just a slew of words and numbers.

There are a lot of steps in a business plan. Knowing your customers, your products, developing budgets, strategies and approaches, but the one thing that gets talked about very little is the unwritten part of the plan…the action. For a plan to work, it must be a living document that is current, appropriate and adds value to the overall business. The ideas shared and goals/figures projected must be worked, acted upon and realized.

Peter Drucker said 1 hour planning was worth 3 hours of doing” and that is true for creating the plan…and then the doing must be done! If you do not have a business plan, consider starting one, and if you have one, dust it off and review it for the purpose and usefulness. Plans, like people and businesses can and should be updated in order to keep serving itself and others well!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Stop Wondering, Start Asking

"We look at each other wondering what the other is thinking but we never say a thing."
~ Ants Marching, Dave Matthews Band
Think back on your day and recall how many times you wondered - to yourself or aloud, and how many times others wondered (that you know of). Wonderment is fabulous and wondering is stifling. There is a difference. Wonderment is the astonishment or awe we feel, but wondering just keeps us in a perpetual state of not knowing. So, instead of wondering if your company is doing well, if your friends are happy, if you have saved enough, just ask. You may not like the answer, or heck, you may find wonderment in the information, but either way, you are on your way with information on which you can act, and not just a curiosity that leads to no other awareness!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

3 Things...

Remember it's people who make things happen...or not happen, so, if something has not happened, there are only three things/reasons that it did not:

Someone did not know,
Someone did not know how, or
Someone did not want to do it.

And, to remedy these situations/occurrences, you will want to address them very differently. The solutions are here, so if:

Someone did not know, provide information, and if
Someone did not know how, provide training, and if
Someone did not want to, provide an attitude check.

Attempting to analyze and interpret things outside these three reasons will be futile and frustrating...the challenge is to offer the right solution based on the situation, and not just continue to provide one of the three regardless of the occurrence.

So, from your children doing their chores to your team completing projects, ask yourself (and them, too) what one of the three things to address, and then provide the feedback to enable and encourage their success!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Ten Minute Rule

The Ten Minute Rule - What Is That?
If you want to avoid cellular phone calls and/or other distractions when traveling to meet someone, when making plans, use the Ten Minute Rule.

The Ten Minute Rule is a 10 minute window of time when you are going to be somewhere or meet and as long as you are going to make that window, there is no need to rush/call, etc.

For example, if you want to meet a friend at 1:00 PM, and you are not sure of traffic and other delays, you could agree to meet between 1:00 PM and 1:10 PM, or 10 minutes to 1:00 PM and 1:00 PM.

Using the Ten Minute Rule with friends and family (not as widely suggested for business meetings) gives you a little bit of time to adjust to delays, keeps you "on time" within that window, and just solves the issue of that frantic phone call or text from traffic.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Re-engaged Commitment in 4 Easy Steps

"Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans."
~ Peter F. Drucker

Re-Engaged Commitment in 4 Easy Steps
Here we are in 2009 already! If you are seeing challenges in people being committed fully to school, the family, work or the team, consider these four steps (in order) to re-engage and get results:

1) Take time to look back. Allowing people to briefly discuss the good and the bad of the past year (rather than the "bury your head in the sand about the economy" approach far too many are taking...or worse yet, the "sky is falling, let's complain, complain, complain approach) will make it known that you are aware, that you care, and that you are willing to listen and share.

2) Project long and short-term results. The long term, big picture, will keep things in mind, and the weekly or bi-weekly goals will allow perspective, accomplishment and a sense of reward for efforts made.

3) Get the input from all. When your family or your team is going forward with a trip or a project, they may not be the decision makers, but you can sincerely find a way to allow their input to matter and be seen in the end. Consider asking for a theme idea for a trip with the family and ask colleagues and team members at work for the pros and cons...the potential pitfalls and winner circle moments. Make sure you listen and learn, as you are likely to hear something you have not considered.

4) Reflect on the day/week/month/quarter with what went well and what can/will be improved. Celebrate successes and head off potential disasters with open communication and planning.

Through taking time to look back, projecting long and short-term results, getting input from all involved, and reflecting on the time frames consistently, you will get re-engagement and productive, communicative family, team or group members in 2009!

Have a question about your career or other things in your life that you think would be a great topic for a tip? Suggest it, please by emailing me directly to!