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Everyone is in too big of a hurry.  We are in the age of wanting everything right now.  Do you get upset when someone does not answer their cell phone?  Are you always trying to find a faster lane on the highway so you can get to your destination a few minutes sooner?

I was driving home from work and was sitting in traffic at an intersection and witnessed an accident.  The person was trying to time the green light and take a right hand turn as soon as the light changed.  The problem was that the car in front of him was not timing the light.  He hit him from behind when the front car did not move soon enough.  This ended up costing the guy time and money for his impatience.  He could have used some patience.

You can apply the same philosophy in the work place as well.  Think back about the training programs that you have participated in over your career.  Were there set schedules and routines that were followed?  What happened if someone did not learn at the same pace as others?  I have witnessed a wide spectrum when it comes to training staff.  These philosophies can be applied to training hourly staff and salaried managers alike.

          Be thorough

          Do not shortcut due to being short staffed

          Adapt the pace based on the trainee

          Follow up, follow up, follow up

Be thorough in your training.  Do not assume that someone can read your mind about the expectations in the position.  If there are certain standards, then make them known and train the person how to achieve them.

Do not shortcut due to being short staffed.  Too often we need someone to fill a position immediately and give them an abreviated training program.  The problem does not arise because of getting them started in the position.  The problem is that they do not get all of the training needed.  In this case, we need to continue to train during the next days/weeks until they have all of the tools to be successful.  You will have to work the training time around their work schedule and time restrictions, but it needs to be completed.

Adapt the pace based on the trainee.  Not everyone learns at the same speed so why do we expect them to all come out of a set training schedule with the same amount of knowledge?  Have a system in place for continual refresher training for those that need it until they meet your standards for the position.

Follow up, follow up, follow up.  This is probably the biggest mistake that managers make.  They wonder why you are not doing everything right a month or two out of training and can not figure out why you did not have 100% retention of all of the training materials.  You need to follow up in the first few weeks and months out of training with a refresher of the information.  By then, they will not be so overwhelmed and will be able to absorb the information better.

By not having the patience to train properly, you will have the high cost of loss of productivity.  You will have a higher turnover rate which costs you the hiring and training costs of another employee.  It all comes down to patience.  Be aware of your patience level in all aspects of your life.  What are you impatient about and what can you do to improve?

 
 
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Repost from May 2013.

Philippians 4:13 NLT 
For I can do everything in Christ, who gives me strength.

It was about 5 years ago that I was attending a regional retreat for leaders of a catering association that I belonged to.  One of the sessions was led by a non-denominational minister who was teaching us how to meditate.  At the start of the session, she had us write on a notecard a long term goal/dream of ours.

I wrote that I wanted to write a book and be a professional speaker.  At the time, I thought that this idea was far fetched, but still a goal of mine.  She had us meditate over it and told us to continue to do this daily for three weeks.  My translation of meditation was to eliminate the daily distractions and to have one on one time with God.  Have a conversation in the form of prayer and share with Him what is on your mind.

Three years later, I started to write my book on leadership, but the words were not coming to me like I wanted.  I was frustrated and ready to give up.  I decided to pray about it again before going to bed one night.  I woke up in the middle of the night with the idea of Faith Guided Leadership.  I had always thought about writing a generic book on leadership.  I was being told by God to apply my religious faith to my goal.  I had never thought about becoming a Christian writer.

This is the power of sharing your goals with God.  With Him, all things are possible.  He then, placed before me all of the tools needed to learn how to self publish a book.  The words of the book started to flow quicker than I had ever dreamed.  I put more faith in what He had plans for me to do.  I had a renewed confidence in my goal.

"Faith Guided Leadership" was published in September 2011.  I had  a new mission in life.  I felt the urge to share how God had changed my life and would proceed to do it through my writing.  My stress in life was starting to disappear.  That is where my book, "Stress Free Living" was born.  It all started with a goal of mine that I shared with God through prayer.  "Stress Free Living" was published in February 2013.

Goals are easier to attain if you share them with God.  He can give you the direction that you need if you follow His guidance.  What are your long term goals?  I would love to hear from you.  I am available for speaking appearances and would love to share my story with your group.



 
 
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Why do some people have more integrity than others?  Is it something we are born with?  Is it a product of our environment of the community that we live in?  Is it affected by the friends we pick?

Our parents have a bigger factor in what we are like later in life than some people give them credit for.  I am writing this blog in honor of my mom on this Mother's Day weekend.  I can thank her for teaching me the value of integrity.  A story from my childhood sums it up.

I grew up in a small town and my brothers and I used to walk to a small grocery store to buy penny candy.  We would be given a quarter or so and could get a small bag of candy to enjoy as a special treat. Back in the sixties, kids used to check the coin return of pay phones, vending machines, etc., to see if we could find some change that a person left when they were in a hurry.  This particular day, I was a typical kid.

I was at the store and had bought my candy.  As I was leaving, I checked the change return on the soda machine and did not find any money.  I also pushed the buttons for the sodas and to my surprise, I hit the jackpot.  A soda came out.  I proceeded to drink it on the way home.

When I got home, my mom, knowing how much money she had given me, asked me how I got the soda as well as the candy.  I explained that I just hit the button and it came out.  She told me that it was wrong because it was not paid for.  I smartly told her that someone had paid for it, but it came out when I hit the button.  I did not see anything wrong with that.

Wrong answer.  She taught me a lesson that day.  She told me that I did not pay for the drink so it was like I stole it.  She gave me the money to buy the drink and told me to go to the store clerk and pay for it.  I walked up to the store and told the clerk what had happened.  The clerk thanked me for my honesty, and told me that I did not have to pay for it.  I told the person that they had to take my money.  I was not going to go home and have mom find out that I still had the money.

This teaching moment from my mom stuck with me.  We have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our children.  They are paying attention to how we handle situations.  We set the standards that they will live by for the rest of their lives.  Do not take this responsibility too lightly.  Teach your kids about integrity.

Happy Mother's Day to all of the moms reading this.  You mean the world to us.  Thank you!


 
 
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In May 2013, I completed my first half marathon.  I struggled at the end of it with sore knees and bad cramping in my calves.  I remember telling some friends of mine, that are runners, that I not only had no desire to run a full marathon, I was incapable, because of my knees, of completing one if I wanted to.  It was not going to be on my bucket list.

I thought that I had reached my potential as a runner.  Looking back, now, I see that I was getting in the way of what my true potential was.  Philippians 4:13 tells me that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  I had to change my attitude.

If you have the right attitude and commitment, you can do anything.  I continued to run and slowly built up my strength, lost 40 lbs. and committed to doing more than I ever thought possible.  I decided to journal along the way.  This journaling turned into my book, published this past fall titled, A Marathon Journey: Lessons in Goal Setting

I ran my first marathon in April 2014 at the Country Music Marathon in Nashville, TN.  The photo is from this years Country Music Marathon as I completed my third marathon in just about a one year time span.  Just two years ago, I would never have thought that this was possible.  I was stopping myself from reaching my potential.

I have spoke to many people that said that they would love to run a half or full marathon but did not see how it was possible because they were not runners.  I did not run more than a mile until the fall of 2012 when I started running at the age of 52.  I let them know that it just takes the right attitude and commitment.  This approach to goal setting does not limit itself to running.  It can be applied to all areas of your life.

What areas are you wanting to grow in and do more things?  What is stopping you?  Is it you?  Ask for God's strength and guidance in your life and experience your true potential.  This does not mean that everything that you do will be easy.  It takes commitment on your part.  To be able to run a marathon, it took many hours of training and logging numerous miles on the track at the gym and along the greenway in Nashville.  I signed up for a training program and ran with a group every Saturday for 4 months.

I am a motivational speaker based in Nashville, TN and would love to come speak to your group or organization about goal setting or just be able to share my story of how my life has changed as I put more trust in God's will in my life.  Let me help you realize your potential.  Please e-mail me if I can help you or you would like to talk to me about speaking possibilities.




 
 
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We had a discussion at work about the long term managers sharing their expertise with the newer managers in the business.  To the average person, the elder staff should be mentoring the younger ones.  It just makes sense.  But does it?

I believe that both parties can gain from the mentoring of the other.  I can share my experiences over the 18 years of working for the company, including what has worked and what has not.  This may be in regards to management style, customer service, and training programs to name a few.  My fellow manager can teach me about the capabilities of the different computer programs, how the younger generation thinks about work environments and/or how to communicate better with the technology that is now available.

As you can see, there is a benefit to having both parties mentor each other.  I was reading the golden rule that comes from Matthew 7:12.  “Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you.  This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”  When we first read this, we think about how we treat others.  Do we treat them kindly?  Do we treat them fairly?

Mentoring can be applied to this scripture.  Would you appreciate someone helping you out in a new situation or a new job?  They will have these same feelings if you offer your time and talent to help them be successful.  There are opportunities every week to help others.  Do not pass up the opportunity to mentor others.  You will be blessed in return.  In turn, be appreciative in the areas that you are mentored in your life.  These happen just as often.

Who has been a mentor in your life that made a long-term impact? Leave your comments below.


 
 
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We have seen so many news articles and publicity on the need for equality.  We get very passionate when discussing this topic.  I am not saying that you should treat anyone unfairly.  Everyone should be equal in the opportunities and rights.  You should treat people with respect and dignity, but not the same.

One of the best things of the human race is that we are all different.  God created us as individual as a snow flake.  We are unique, so why would we want to or need to be treated the same.  You can have two people on the same team that have the same role within your organization.  Their approach to the job may be completely different.  One person may need you to lay out all of the steps needed to complete the job.  They need to be guided through the process and do not want to make any mistakes by trying to guess what you want them to accomplish.

The other person is a self starter.  Give them a vision of what you want done and they will get the job done.  They are the person that comes up with a more efficient way to do something.  They are the future leaders of your organization since they can develop new and better systems.

What would happen if you treated them both the same way?  The first person would struggle.  They would be lost if you just let them go on their own to figure it out.  The second person would get frustrated with you constantly telling them what to do.  By doing this, we limit their potential to grow as a person and to help the organization improve.

Develop those around you to their fullest potential.  That potential means something different to each of them.  Celebrate the uniqueness of others.  Don’t treat them the same.  They deserve an individual approach.


 
 
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Have you been told that if you do not have anything good to say about someone, then do not say anything?  How does it make you feel when you are around people that only see the bad traits of people?  Take the time to learn the good traits of those around you.

God sees the good in us everyday.  He has plans to use our good traits to bring glory to Him.  Since we are to strive to be like God, we need to lead by His example.  I believe in helping everyone that I know reach their fullest potential.  It is easy to force someone out of an organization because they do not conform, they are not strong performers or you just do not like their personality.

Wait a bit before you go down that path.  You hired them because you saw some good traits in them.  What happened?  Did they change, or did your attitude toward them change?  Maybe you did not place them in the right position in your organization?  What if the traits that you see as negative are actually positives in another role?

The more you counsel them, the more withdrawn they get and perform even worse.  Schedule a time that you can sit down and have a discussion with them about their role in the organization.  Notice that I said discussion.  This means a two way conversation.  Concentrate more on listening than talking. Many times when we are talking to someone, we already know what we want to say next.  Without trying, we tend to not really listen to what the other person is saying.  In the case of this poor performer, it is even more crucial to listen. 

You have the opportunity to make a difference in their life.  You can focus on the positive traits that they have and let them know how they can use this in their role, or you can focus on the negative traits.  Focus on the positives more than the negatives and you can build up their self esteem and help them set goals to be more successful.  Do not compare them to others.  Compare them to where they can be and where they have been in the past.  Make it a goal to develop their talents to the fullest.


Who has developed you up by focusing on your positive traits?  What kind of difference have they made in your life?  Please leave your comments below.










 
 
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Here is a repost of a blog that I wrote a couple of years ago.  Life is full of choices.  What choices are you making?

There should be a law against allowing a donut shop to open up a couple businesses down from a gym.  There should be a non-compete that stops it from happening.  I decided to join a gym again to get into shape.  In the same shopping center as the gym there is a new donut shop.
Can I justify a purchase of a couple of donuts because I had a great workout?  Life is full of temptations.  I spoke a couple of weeks ago about the decisions that we make affecting our destiny.  We are tempted everyday in our careers to take the easy path and always agree with our peers.  We want to be that corporate "yes" man that quickly gets promoted up through the ranks.  Do not cause any trouble, you may be limiting your potential.

If your fellow managers treat their staff a certain way and they are producing results on paper that impress your corporation, we try to mimick them.  This seems to be a logical choice to make.  If you want to get ahead, then do what others are doing to get ahead.  I have learned over the years to not set aside your religious beliefs in your pursuit of success.

Romans 12:2 (New Living Translation)

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a
new person by changing the way you think.  Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Resist the temptation.  Just because your peers approach is one way, does not mean that you have to lead your team that same way.  I am not saying that you go against the company goals and vision.  You still have objectives that need to be reached.  You still need to manage your team and the processes needed to complete the job.  The way that you treat your staff needs to show the traits that you have developed as a leader that is guided by your faith in God. 

Do not expect your team to have the best working experience if it goes against your value system?  Be true to your faith.  The expected behaviors are given to us in Scripture.  You can still produce the end results required of your team, but through a stronger team approach based on the values and priorities presented in the Bible.  You can find out more in my book, Faith Guided Leadership.

It may be a longer road to success by creating your own path.  Hold true to your faith and do not be tempted to just blend in with society and the main stream way of managing people.  Let God show through in everything that you do.  God bless you and keep Him as your guide. 



 
 
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What do you think of when someone mentions diversity? Most people think about a person’s race.  I want you to take another approach to it.  Diversity is much more than race.

Everyone is as unique as there are snowflakes.  We all have different traits as well as our appearance.  Every organization needs diversity to be successful.  If everyone thought the same way, performed the same way and approached every situation the same way, the organization would become stagnant.

Just as a human body has a wide range of parts that all do different functions, an organization needs the same thing.  I recently did a management assessment with my company and saw how I matched up with the other managers.  It is an interesting combination of personalities, approaches, management styles and strengths that make up our team.

Some are more natural leaders while others are more natural finishers of projects.  Some are better coaches and some are better at analyzing things.  The more we can learn how to integrate these diversities into our team, the more successful we will be.

God has given all of us our gifts and talents for a purpose.  This part of scripture sums it up well.

Romans 12:4-8English Standard Version (ESV)

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Do not decide to exclude someone from your team because they are different.  Embrace their unique qualities.  It may be just the thing that your organization needs to grow stronger. Let your team members embrace their uniqueness and what they can bring to your team. 

What makes you unique?  What are some of the unique talents of some of your co-workers that enhance your team?




 
 
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I had the opportunity this month to be a guest on Kathy Chiero's radio show. She broadcasts from Radio AM 610 in Columbus, Ohio.  The show was about New Year's resolutions and goal setting.  Too often we set new goals at the beginning of the year and a few week's later we let them fall to the wayside.

Click on the image to listen to the podcast of the show.  I am the guest for the first half of the show.  I discuss my book, A Marathon Journey: Lessons in Goal Setting. What goals have you set for 2015?  How are you progressing towards them.

Two weeks ago, I was able to run my second marathon.  This was a big accomplishment for me, but even greater for members of my family.  Seven members of my family ran the Disney World Marathon in Orlando.  Three of them had never ran a 5k before starting the training last summer in preparation for the race.  This proves that if we remove the barriers that set in our minds about our capabilities we can achieve so much more in our lives.

I challenge you to reach for new heights in your goals for 2015.  Let me know how I can help you achieve them.