Friday, August 1, 2008

It's Healthy and Smart To Be Grateful

Hans Selye, the great stress specialist, says that gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions and revenge is the most destructive.  He's right.  It is a fact that when you express gratitude for what you have, you will have more for which to be grateful.  It is equally true that the more you complain about your problems, the more problems you will have to complain about.  Here's why. People who express appreciation for what they have attract people who recognize that attitude.  They are far more inclined to encourage and/or lend a helping hand because they know their help will be appreciated.  People who are always complaining about their problems repel the very people who are in position to give them help and encouragement.

Try this.  Make a list of ten things you like about your job, mate, child(ren), city, school, etc.  The next time someone asks you what you do or where you are from, respond enthusiastically, "I'm from XYZ City," or "I work at ABC Company, and I really like it!"  They are likely to comment on your enthusiasm and ask you why you like your city or your job so much.  You can respond, "The people there are really nice and we render a great service.  My manager is a neat lady," and go right down the list.  You'll be amazed at the response you will get and the impact it will have on your attitude and performance.  

Recently I met a lady who had been working for the JC Penney Company for many years and had grown disgruntled and unhappy.  She decided to give this approach a try.  Two weeks later she told me that her supervisor had commented on her dramatic change in attitude and performance.  The lady added, "And you know, it's funny, I really do like my job much better!"  Give it a try and I'll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!
By Zig Ziglar

7 Tips to Green Your Office

More and more companies are jumping on the "green" bandwagon as they see eco-conscious consumers taking steps to live more environmentally sustainable lifestyles. Companies are now finding that being eco-friendly puts them at a competitive advantage.

At a recent IPC "It's Not Easy Being Green" symposium, Patricia Calkins, VP of Environmental, Health, and Safety at Xerox, offered the following simple steps to extend the eco-friendly spirit to the workplace:

1.    Cut Paper Use: Print on both sides of the page - or "duplex" printing. Print multiple pages per page. Saving paper also saves energy.

2.    Reach for the Right Paper, & Recycle The Paper You Use: Use environmentally preferable paper, which requires half the number of trees of conventional paper. Install bins at several office locations to make it easier to collect paper for recycling or for reuse as notepaper.

3.    Reach for the Energy Star: Upgrade old products with new, more efficient systems and the savings add up.

4.    Replace Copiers and Printers with Products that do it All: One multifunction system can handle your document needs.

5.    Don't throw Away Empty Toner Cartridges: Many suppliers provide customers with prepaid postage to return cartridges for reuse and recycling.

6.    Seek Office Equipment Designed for Remanufacture or Recycling: Xerox's recycling and remanufacture programs have diverted more than 2 billion pounds of waste from landfills since 1991.

7.    Use Software to Simplify the Way You Use Documents: Cut back the time and energy spent on manual paper-based processes with workflow management systems and collaboration tools.

Green strategies are not just operational; they involve educating employees, engaging them in ideas and innovation. More companies are leading the charge to be environmentally friendly - not just because it's good for our natural resources, but because it's also good for the bottom line.

Jim Rohn's Challenge to Pursue

Review Your Performance: Whether it's communication, whether it's activity, whether it's a CEO, whether it's on the job. Here's what my father said, "Always do more than you are paid for to make an investment in your future." Now some unions would argue with that. My father was so unique. Review your performance--your language with your children. Say, "Have I been too harsh, too strong, too stubborn? Should I have learned to be easier and mixed more compassion with the tough stuff I have to deal with?" And yes, prayer will help. Ask for help to say the right thing, not to ruin it all by poor communication.

Face Your Fears: That's how you conquer them. Don't dismiss them; face them. Say, "Here's what I'm afraid of. I wonder what I could do to change that."

Exercise Your Willpower to Change Direction: You don't have to keep doing what you've been doing the last 6 years if it's not yielding the benefits you want. My mentor helped me review the last six years so I wouldn't repeat those errors the next six. Pick a new destination and go that way. Use your willpower to start the process. You don't have to repeat last year. Clean up the errors. Invest it now in the next year. Watch it make the difference.

Admit Your Mistakes: Sometimes you have to admit them to others. Parents have to do it. We ask our kids do it; we have to do it. Here are some of the best phrases in the English language, "I'm sorry." The reason those are good words is because they could start a whole new relationship. It could start two people going in a whole new direction. Simple, not easy. You get this done, the turnaround can be dramatic. The early years can be big in payoff.

Here's the big one.
Admit Your Mistakes to Yourself: You don't have to babble about them to everyone in the neighborhood. But it doesn't hurt to sit down and have a conversation with yourself and say, "There's no use kidding myself. Here's where I really am. I've got pennies in my pocket and I've got nothing in the bank." That's what I said after a Girl Scout left my door. I had a conversation with myself and I said, "I don't want this to happen anymore."

Refine Your Goals: Start the process. Set some higher goals. Reach for some higher purpose. Go for something beyond what you thought you could do.

Believe In Yourself: You've got to believe in God and you've got to believe in the community. You've got to believe in the possibilities. You've got to believe in the economy. You've got to believe that tomorrow can be better than today. Here's the big one. Believe in yourself. There isn't a skill you can't learn; there isn't a discipline you can't try; there isn't a class you can't take; there isn't a book you couldn't read.

Ask for Wisdom: This is communication of the highest source. Ask for wisdom that creates answers. Ask for the wisdom that creates faith to believe things are possible. Ask for wisdom to deal with the challenges for today and tomorrow, to deal with the challenges your family brings you. Don't wish it was easier; wish you were better.

Conserve Your Time: Sometimes we get faked out. Bill Bailey says the average person says, "I've got twenty more years." No, Bill says you've got twenty more times. If you go fishing once a year, you've only got twenty more times to go fishing, not twenty years. That fakes you out.

Invest Your Profits: Here's one of the philosophies that Mr. Shoaff gave me. Profits are better than wages. Wages make you a living, profits make you a fortune. Could we start earning profits while we make a living? The answer is yes.

Protect Your Family: These are troublesome times. At school--troublesome times. Protect your family as best you can from the hidden dangers, the lurking evil one.

Live With Intensity: You might as well turn it up a notch or two. Invest more of you in whatever you do. Be a little stronger; be a little wiser. Step up your vitality contribution. Put everything you've got into everything you do and then ask for more vitality, more strength and more vigor, more heart and more soul.

Find Your Place: If you just work on a job, find the best place you can serve well, and sure enough they'll ask you to occupy a better place. And if you keep doing a job well, do the very best you can. That's your best way out. Here's a Bible phrase. If you work on your gifts, they'll make a place for you.

Demand Integrity from Yourself: Integrity is like loyalty. You can't demand it of someone else; you can only demand it of yourself. Be the best example of loyalty, and you'll get some loyal followers. Be the best example of integrity, and you'll have people around you who have integrity. Lead the way.

Welcome the Disciplines: Can't give you much better advice than that because disciplines create the reality. Disciplines build cities. A well-disciplined activity creates abundance, creates uniqueness, productivity.

Fight for What's Right: It's a fight we're in. The story-teller says "And there was great war in heaven." One of the writers of later scripture said, "I fought a good fight." That's extraordinary to be able to say. I fought for my kids, and I fought for what was right and I fought for good health, and I fought to protect my company and I fought for a good career that would bless my family. I fought a good fight. It's good to fight the encroachment. Opposites are in conflict, and you're in the middle. If you want something valuable, you've got to fight for it. Then this writer also said, "I fought a good fight and I kept the faith." See, that's the deal. Keep faith with your family. Fight the enemy and keep faith. Fight the illness and keep faith. Fight the evil and keep faith. I can't give you much better advice.

CEO Focus

Your CEO may need to get his vision checked—his corporate vision, that is. Tom Northup, author of the book, "Five Hidden Mistakes CEOs Make: How to Unlock the Secrets and Drive Growth and Profitability," says the outlook of many corporate leaders needs sharpening. Here are some of his top tips for helping CEOs bring their role and plans for the company into focus:

Develop Strategically With Purpose. "For effective strategic development, there needs to be both a clear definition of a desired future and effective operations," Northup notes. "Break your operations down into people productivity and leadership culture. Realize that over time the sum of strategy, productivity, and leadership will result in an outstanding company."

Focus On Your Core Competencies First: "Understand the key success factors that drive your marketplace and develop those into core competencies in your company," Northup recommends. "This requires developing a comprehensive strategy and then executing it. Pay attention to the details and document the processes you use well."

Get In Control and Stay In Control: Much like a dog that walks his owner, rather than the other way around, who's in control of your company's destiny, anyway? Northup says CEOs should ask themselves: "Do you have a strategy and operational initiatives that your management team fully supports? Do you hold yourself and your team accountable to meet the milestones you have set for yourself?" "Evaluate operational performance using metrics that matter. Use systematic improvement to increase the performance of the things your people do to succeed."

Target Opportunities Intentionally Instead of Reacting to Problems: "The difference between these two approaches," says Northup, "is the difference between a weak organization not meeting its performance objectives and an outstanding organization that is a profitable, growing market leader."

Be the Leader: For better or worse, your workforce looks to the CEO to set an example. Northup advises CEOs to "make it your personal goal to build personal excellence and develop an environment in which leadership qualities flourish in all employees because of your leadership example."

Embrace Change: If your employees are stuck in their ways, something has to change, literally. "Involve your employees in discovering the need for change and involve them in the plans for change so they don't become 'change plan critics' and change-resistant employees," Northup stresses. "Involve people in the solution, and they will overcome resistance to change. People will welcome it. Change will become part of the fabric of the company."

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Pressure is a Word that is Misused in Our Vocabulary.
When you Start Thinking of Pressure, It's because You've Started to Think of Failure.

Tommy Lasorda

Monday, July 28, 2008

Something Magic Happens When We Accept Personal Responsibility for Our Behavior & Our Results.

But, it's not easy, because it's human nature to "pass the buck". I (Mac) know there have been times in my life when my business was struggling where I found myself blaming others, blaming the economy, blaming this, blaming that! But as I've gotten older (and a little wiser) when things go wrong in my business, or my life, I can always find the the mirror.


In every instance, it always comes back to choices I've made in my life that put me exactly where I am today. I have to say, that this one "tweak" in my attitude may sound like a little thing, but it has made a big difference in my life.


What does all this have to do with change? Plenty!

As a manager, one of the most important things you can do in times of change is to get your people to understand how their taking personal responsibility, their recognizing problems as opportunities, will not only help the company, but will help them as individuals. In other words, sell the idea of...what's in it for them?


Authors B.J. Gallagher and Steve Ventura wrote a great little book about achieving success through personal accountability titled: Who Are "They" Anyway? I like their list showing how each individual in the company can benefit by adopting a "personal accountability attitude":

·         You have more control over your destiny

·         You become an active contributor rather than a passive observer

·         Others look to you for leadership

·         You gain the reputation as a problem solver

·         You enhance your career opportunities

·         You enjoy the satisfaction that comes from getting things done...the power of 
 positive doing

·         You experience less anger, frustration and helplessness - all leading to better

    physical health

·        You realize a positive spillover effect into your personal life at home


According to Gallagher and Ventura, the most important words of personal responsibility are as follows:

  •  The 10 most important words:
    I won't wait for others to take the first step.

  •  The 9 most important words:
    If it is to be, it's up to me.

  •  The 8 most important words:
    If not me, who? If not now, when?

  •  The 7 most important words:
    Let me take a shot at it.

  •  The 6 most important words:
    I will not pass the buck.

  •  The 5 most important words:
    You can count on me.

  •  The 4 most important words:
    It IS my job!

  •  The 3 most important words:
    Just do it!

  •  The 2 most important words:
    I will.

  •  The most important word:


Frank Tyger said it best...

"Your Future Depends On Many Things, But Mostly Yourself."


Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Fundamentals of Success

In life, and in business, there are only a few fundamentals that make life work out well, and they have never changed. Too often we pretend that technology and education have created "new rules" or that modern systems permit us to cut corners and find short-cuts that didn't exist in the past. While there may be examples where that is true, in general, I don't believe it.

The fundamentals of living well, achieving our dreams and creating wealth have not changed. The path to success today is remarkably similar to the path walked by generations past.

What are the basics? You might have your own list, but I would suggest at least the following:

1. Personal Integrity: Socrates recommended, "Know thyself" and Shakespeare added, "to thine own self be true." Knowing who we are, what we value and making sure that our words and actions match is fundamental. Doing unfulfilling work or living in an environment that doesn't suit us will surely undermine our long-term success. Too many of us live "lives of quiet desperation" and that is NOT a foundation on which to build a life!

2. Clear Thinking: Many of us grew up in the "feel good" generation and we are confused about the role of thought (education, planning, skills and tools) verses emotion. We let our hopes, wishes, fears, or "hang-ups" run our lives. High achievers take time to think clearly, seek expert advice, plan wisely, and learn from the mistakes of others. The Old Testament says that "wisdom comes from a multitude of advisors." Some strategies just work better than others. Buildings are always designed and "blueprinted" in advance. Our lives should be designed just as carefully.

3. Unfailing Optimism: This is not shallow "positive thinking", but a clear-headed, conscious faith in the future and in your own potential. "Where there is a will, there is a way," or as Hannibal said over 2000 years ago, "We will find a way, or make one." High achievers believe in their skills, in their plans, and in their futures. They forge ahead with confidence built on integrity and careful planning.

4. Hard Work: Ben Franklin observed, "Early to bed, early to rise makes a man (or woman) healthy, wealthy and wise." I've heard people say achievement should be "effortless" and I agree that sometimes enormous amounts of work can flow easily and quickly, but I also know that creating a great life usually requires dedication, personal discipline, attention to detail, and effort.

5. Patience and Persistence: A great life is rarely built in a day. It takes time develop a life of one's own. There will be mistakes and wrong turns along the way, and highly successful people are neither surprised nor disheartened by this. They simply get a good night's sleep and start again in the morning. They learn from their mistakes, correct them, and move on with better skills and more effective strategies.

There are more fundamentals than we have room for here, but they have not changed, and there are no "new" fundamentals! Creating a great life does not take extraordinary luck, unusual talent or skill. Building a great life does, however, require that we follow the "rules" that make life work out well. The fundamentals are not sexy or exciting or sophisticated, but they are tried and true. Use them to create the life you truly want.



"In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing." --- Theodore Roosevelt

"In each of us are places where we have never gone. Only by pressing the limits do you ever find them." --- Dr. Joyce Brothers

"Man is so made that when anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish."
--- Jean De La Fontaine

"Most of the things worth doing in the world have been declared impossible before they were attempted." --- Earl Nightingale

Possessions, Power, Position, or Prestige

Greatness is not found in Possessions, Power, Position, or Prestige.

It is discovered in Goodness, Humility, Service, and Character.

William Arthur Ward

Networking for Fun and Profit

There's an old saying that "it's who you know that counts" and for better or worse, it's often true.

Yes, there is a cynical aspect to the phrase, referring to favoritism that is unfortunate. More often, however, people get the referral or the promotion precisely because (in a positive sense) of "who they know." Knowing and liking someone makes a difference.

When it comes to networking, however, I've noticed two unfortunate patterns that are generally NOT helpful:

First is the person (to be honest, it's usually a male) who views networking as some strange contest to see who can trade the most business cards in the shortest period of time. In extreme cases, there's an uncomfortable energy that is a huge turn-off. Their quick handshake, exaggerated smile and exchange of business cards is usually a waste of time.

The second is the person who attends networking functions but fails to connect in a meaningful way. Often they spend the entire time chatting with a friend, and leave without meeting anyone new, or making any lasting impressions.

Effective networking means connecting with a few people in an honest, sincere way that suggests you would like to help them if you can, and would appreciate the other person's support in exchange.

Get to know people. Call them up, go to lunch, and if appropriate, certainly exchange business cards! But what you're looking for is a relationship. Get to know a few people well, rather than collecting dozens of cards from strangers. Follow-up with a phone call. And for goodness sake, if you can, be sure to send some business to the other person. Nothing will grow your own referral business like the gratitude of people who have benefited from your genuine support.