“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Jane Howard
It’s a funny thing, on one hand we want to compete with each other; to be in the top of the class, to win the scholarship, to climb the corporate ladder faster, to be the best parent, to have the best retirement, golf score, yard, or antique car. On the other hand we desperately need each other; to work together, to have a tight knit community, safety in numbers, collaborating for friendships, family, and a better life together.
Even though, competition exists at all phases of life, as we mature, it’s encouraging to see that competition seems to give way more and more to community, relationships, and authenticity. It’s not about impressing others or reaching higher successes, but finding more ways to be significant in our communities and with the ones we love.
In many ways, a business can personify this philosophy of community. Businesses are micro-communities and it’s truly incredible bringing people, ideas, and fun together. Weaving the community together into the tapestry that is each organization.
A tight knit community always contains these 3 “C’s”:
Communication that is open and has spirit of learning
Coordination of events, ideas, and people all working together for a better life.
Cooperation as an attitude of curiosity and willingness to learn and work towards common goals.
A tight knit community contains these 3 attributes*:
Care as the active concern for the physical needs of others
Responsibility as caring for the higher needs of others
Respect as allowing others to grow at their own pace
It is the desire of great leaders to be an incredible resource to their organization/team and work to bring success, even more opportunities for significance, and doing it all in the spirit of building a truly tight knit community.
After all; call it a family, a community, love for others, or whatever you want. We all need it.
“Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprang up.” Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr3
DO: OVER-COMMUNICATE Vision and Values. It doesn’t matter if you think everyone has heard it or knows them. 99% of the time the executive team thinks they have beat it into the ground and the rest of the team couldn’t tell you what they are.
DO: COMMUNICATE THE SELF EVIDENT – or, at least if it’s a Core Value. Many leaders tell me that don’t need to communicate positive attitude, friendliness, excellence, or integrity. And after all, these are the team that makes it happen. However, core values shape the culture, and communicating them drives the values from a list on the wall to culture that can be experienced. For example the Declaration of Independence; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,…” Some things may not be self evident later- and that is precisely when they are needed most.
DO: COMMUNICATE WITH YOURSELF – Strange but true. We communicate in our mind about our external factors and internally how we feel about ourselves all the time. Actually, at the alarming rate of 60 million bits of information per second. Be intentional and positive about what you are saying to yourself. The organization will pick up on (and believe) what your attitude and body language are saying faster than your words. What is going on in your head will effect your message.
DON’T: FOLLOW THE “3 TIMES MODEL”- I have seen many times where people from some antiquated speech class are told this “Say what you are going to say, say it, and say what you said.” Argh! Please stop doing this. We live in the information age and don’t need to be told what you are going to say- just say it. And don’t follow it up by telling me what you just said, I know… I was there, I will wonder if you were.
DON’T FOLLOW THE PREACHER’S MODEL – If you visit church, you will most likely find it is still customary to sit and listen as the preacher speaks for a period of time and then the congregation goes home. I don’t know why this is still the custom or why it ever became one in churches. But in organizations, this is a bad idea. Nobody wants to be preached to or at. Communication is a 2 way street and learning through lecture is the least effective style of learning there is. Find a way to create a 2 way street, even if you have to give a speech. Texting, comments on social media, and asking questions are all easy ways to turn a lecture into something more effective.
DON’T IGNORE THE HUMAN ELEMENT – Many meetings in 2010 existed of tough conversations, and decisions that involved cutting, trimming, or furloughing people. Sometimes this bad news must be communicated, but ignoring or not placing a high value on the human emotion as it’s communicated will destroy the culture and moral faster than lighting the place on fire. Never speak until you know what others are thinking, feeling, and experiencing before you open the can of communication.
Realizing this is a giant rabbit hole, here are some absolutely basic and crucial things to understand when it comes to dressing professionally in a way that can help you move your life and career forward. Sorry ladies, I’m not qualified for you, but I will get a post for you in this area as well.
After seeing many leaders and executives fail at these 10 basic rules, here are some things to keep in mind next time you are shopping.
My top 10 list for guys:
1. Dress for the position you want, not the one you have. Poise and style go a long way towards promotion/sales/ influence. However you feel about that from a fairness standpoint, it’s reality.
2. Never wear pleats or cuffs on your slacks. Sorry, to those who disagree. People argue this with me all the time, but pleats and cuffs have been out with everything else you left in 1993. I don’t know why anybody is still selling these to unsuspecting guys.
3. Never wear a white undershirt that can be seen under a dress shirt or even a polo. Time to invest in some v-necks.
4. Your shoulder seam should be right at the top of your shoulder or at most a half inch from the top of your shoulder towards your hand. Oversized shirts make you look sloppy and unprofessional.
5. Wear fitted shirts whenever possible. A fitted shirt has been sewn to remove material from the back and sides of the shirt so that you don’t end up with a bag of extra material around your belt or midsection. Fitted shirts will slim you down and broaden your shoulders. If you have extra weight you are carrying around your midsection you may need a little more room.
6. Sleeve length should hit the bottom of your wrist when your arms are hanging at your side. This allows a nice watch to peek out and keeps extra material from bunching and making you look sloppy.
7. Your belt, watch, and shoes all need to match. Brown shoes means a brown leather watch and brown belt. Black shoes mean a silver or black watch and black belt. Make sure shoes belt and watch all match stylistically as well. In other words, if you wear a formal pair of shoes, then wear a formal belt and “dress” watch with it.
8. Never, ever, ever, never, ever wear a tie with a short sleeve dress shirt. Dwight Shrute (see above). Enough said.
9. Shine your shoes. If you didn’t learn this in the military, from a Dad or friend, go to a nice department store like Neiman Marcus and the shoe dept. can give you a tutorial. Or, click here.
10. Don’t wear cuff links with a casual pair of slacks. The general rule is if you don’t need to dry clean your slacks, don’t wear cuff links with your shirt.
10.5 The bottom of your slacks need to rest barely on the top of your shoes with no more than an inch of material in the left in the length. Again, extra material = sloppy and unprofessional.
There are many different styles of collars when it comes to dress shirts. Each one is appropriate at different times.
Never wear more than 3 colors at a time. Patterns need to be different and can be mixed and matched if done correctly. Generally a lighter, or more pastel, colored shirt should be worn with a tie that goes with it, but should not match exactly.
Best advice ever! Are you ready? If you are not the average sized guy. For example, taller than 6’4″ or shorter than 5’5″- find a great tailor near your home. If he/she tries to put you in pleats- run away and find another tailor. Always wear clothes that fit. Being tall (I’m 6’5″) is not an excuse to wear clothing that doesn’t fit.
If you are wearing a tie, your pocket cloth should match the dominant color in the tie.
Hope that helps you move toward your goals and not away from them.
Enjoy Life and Shop well!
P.S. Every girl’s crazy ’bout a sharped dressed man.
Date posted: November 18, 2010 | Author: Jon Bohm | No Comments »
Quick question: You walk into a room and you see that the room is flooded. On the far wall a sink is running on full blast and there is a mop leaning against the wall. What do you do?
This is the same scenario I see at many companies I walk into, and there is one of 3 choices that is actively being pursued:
1. The entire team is mopping like crazy – “this economy!” “run faster and work harder” or we will never get this cleaned up!
2. They walk in the flooded room- look around….and then leave. It’s too much of a mess, let’s just close the door and go back to sticking our head in the sand.
3. They turn off the faucet. Then they mop like crazy.
The choice is yours as you lead your organization. I recommend turning off the faucet by finding the root cause of negative results, behavior, or culture. To change behavior without changing the root cause is going to require a lot of mopping for a long time… in wet clothes. Nobody likes that.
Is it time to clean up your organization or life? Is it time to turn off the running faucet?
Most students entering college for the first time this fall—the Class of 2014—were born in 1992. For these students, Benny Hill, Sam Kinison, Sam Walton, Bert Parks, and Tony Perkins have always been dead. Each year, Beloit College puts together a list of “cultural touchstones” that affect the lives of students entering college in 2011. The faculty uses it as a reminder to be aware of dated references. Here are some of our favorites:
1. Few in the class know how to write in cursive.
2. Email is just too slow, and they seldom if ever use snail mail.
3. Al Gore has always been animated.
4. “Caramel macchiato” and “venti half-caf vanilla latte” have always been street corner lingo.
5. With increasing numbers of ramps, Braille signs, and handicapped parking spaces, the world has always been trying harder to accommodate people with disabilities.
6. John McEnroe has never played professional tennis.
7. Clint Eastwood is better known as a sensitive director than as Dirty Harry.
8. Doctor Kevorkian has never been licensed to practice medicine.
9. Fergie is a pop singer, not a princess.
10. They never twisted the coiled handset wire aimlessly around their wrists while chatting on the phone.
11. Leasing has always allowed the folks to upgrade their tastes in cars.
12. Unless they found one in their grandparents’ closet, they have never seen a carousel of Kodachrome slides.
13. Computers have never lacked a CD-ROM disk drive.
14. Czechoslovakia has never existed.
15. Second-hand smoke has always been an official carcinogen.
16. J.R. Ewing has always been dead and gone. Hasn’t he?
17. Rock bands have always played at presidential inaugural parties.
18. Beethoven has always been a good name for a dog.
19. Having hundreds of cable channels but nothing to watch has always been routine.
20. They’ve always been able to blast off with the Sci-Fi (SYFY) Channel.
You can view the complete list at www.beloit.edu/mindset. Are you guilty of being “dated” in your dealings with the younger generation? These folks will soon hit the workforce so be aware of language you may want to change.
Thanks to my friends at Resource Associates Corporation.
“Nothing is so successful that it can’t be mismanaged. If you lose sight of what you are doing, it could be here today and gone tomorrow.”- Jim Pohlad (Owner of the Minnesota Twins)
What are you doing? Whatever you do to pay the bills or take care of the family, what are you doing it for? Money, kids, to make a difference? This is a very important question and the answer to which must be kept front and center, or it will be gone.
Often, when business owners started their business they new they were doing it to build a better life, have more time, make a difference, etc. But, along the way they became not only the owner but the CEO, CFO, COO, manager, supervisor, and sometimes even the hourly wage worker. The ideals of a better life get swallowed with working harder and surviving and paying the bills. Without much thought, just like that, you can lose sight of what you got in this for in the first place. Same thing with being a Parent, a coach, or a teacher.
Since I can’t speak to everything in a short blog, here is an overly simplified model to entrepreneurial success:
Solve the $ Step – If you don’t plan and save to get far enough ahead to invest in others and better systems you will be left spending everyday and hour (every dinner with your spouse) not thinking about anything, except, how can I make more $ so I don’t go out of business. Some people stay at step one their entire life- this is very sad to me as a coach.
Solve the time step – Use the money you saved or set aside in step 1 to buy yourself more time. Hire, delegate, create, and build new time saving systems.
Use the time you bought for yourself to find inspiration, new ideas, better ways of doing things, and creative energy to build your life and/or your business to new heights.
Where are you stuck? Which step is next? How are you going to get to the next step?
Of course, I’m here to help you do that. Just never lose site of what got you in this in the first place. Have fun!
Playing a game as kids there is always someone who would bend the rules, make up new rules, or re-create the game on the spot if it benefited them. Man, did you hate that or what!? Unless, that was you ruining the ability to play fair for the rest of us.
We were always told – you can’t do that! We hated on them and we called unfair or conspiracy, depending on how many people were trying to change the rules.
Now, here we are, all grown up and those that have figured out how to change the rules of the game to benefit them are the winners. As an entrepreneur, if you can change the way the game is played – kudos to you- do it. Google, Facebook, online magazines, Tivo, Apple, netflix, etc. have changed the rules in their industry. In one way or another they are making the world play their game. And just like when we were kids – the people that hate you for it feel like you are making them lose and those that benefit love your influence.
But, what about most of us? Are we game changers? I hope so, we try to be. But, often we don’t get to change the rules. We have to play the game by whomever is changing the rules.
So, we will have to pick one of 2 options:
Take our ball and go home= you will no longer be playing the game, or refusing to play the game will often get your boss to send you home as well if the marketplace doesn’t send you home first.
Realize if you can’t change the game- change the players. Starting with you.
In today’s marketplace the rules are changing everyday.
Are you going to take your ball and go home or worse get sent home?
Or are you going to change the players starting with you?
If you think your industry isn’t changing- beware you are probably inches away from being sent home.
If you can’t change the game – change the players.
Or, maybe I should say learning from LeBron’s choices and circumstances surrounding his move to the Miami Heat.
There is a lot of media surrounding what LeBron did, how he went about it, and even speculation on why he didn’t tell Cav’s owner (Dan Gilbert) before he announced to the world his decision to leave the Cav’s and move to the Heat. The aftermath is hurt and broken relationships as bridges of trust and loyalty burn to the ground.
No matter what, how, or why LeBron did what he did. One thing is for sure- any loyalty that may have existed between LeBron and and the Cav’s is gone, and any relationship that may have existed between Gilbert and LeBron is also gone.
So, was it worth it for LeBron? For Gilbert? Who knows? And only time will tell.
The takeaway from all of this is that loyalty is good business. From Gilbert’s perspective, had he fostered a deep loyalty in LeBron, it’s more likely LeBron would still be with the Cav’s. And, if LeBron had fostered loyalty and relationships with the team and Gilbert he would be more marketable, and he may have left without burning the bridges so many fans were standing on.
Loyalty exists when expectations are exceeded, period. What we can learn from LeBron is at the end of the day- relationships, loyalty, and expectations is the basis for decisions made in business. Sure money is an issue, contracts, and price all get into the game. But relationships, expectations, and loyalty trump every time sooner or later.
Obviously, LeBron’s expecations either grew or were never met with the Cav’s (he took a pay cut to go to the Heat.) Gilbert’s expectations either grew or were never met with LeBron (LeBron accomplished nothing towards a championship). This causes a relationship breakdown and loyalty comes apart at the seams.
Is your business exceeding expectations? Are you creating loyalty and relationships among your internal and external customers? Do you even know?
In your personal life it’s the same way. Marriage? Friendships? Work life and piers? Are you exceeding expectations?
Our challenge is not in how, what, or why other people do what they do. Rather, our challenge is where we set the bar in our own life, and how high we are willing to jump to create loyalty and relationships that will eventually trump everything else… sooner or later.
If I were to wish for anything, I should not wish for wealth and power, but for the passionate sense of potential, for the eye which , ever young and ardent, sees the possible.- Soren Kierkegaard
I was hanging out with my 4 year old son the other day and I was impressed with the excitement he finds in all the little things in life like learning a new word, understanding how something works, the adventure of playing in the backyard, and eating a new food. His energy and adventure is contagious. As we get older, and we have lived a full life and tried everything under the sun. We can have the tendency to write off all the things we don’t like and embrace what we do enjoy, this causes the excitement and passion for life and new adventure to fade.
For example, I would love to get my pilot’s license and then fly the country in my own airplane. This is an adventure and it would be an incredible thrill for me. My Dad, on the other hand, has had his pilot’s license – he has been there and done that. The excitement has worn off, so what’s next? Maybe for my Dad it’s time to get some buddies together and build their own plane, time to take a passion and reinvent it. Re-create it with fresh perspective and new skills.
Once you have traveled the world, fought in 2 world wars, lived, loved and know yourself well. What is left? What excitement, challenge, and fervor for life and adventure is there? Maybe it’s time to re-invent yourself?
Is it time for you to get some new energy from an old passion? Is it time to date your spouse again? Renew your vows? Check an item off the bucket list? Build something? Find a new talent? Or maybe the greatest reinvention is to plant seeds off your tree of experience into the life and mind of someone else?
Enjoy this true story:
Anna Mary Moses loved to do needlework. She had been enjoying it since before she was married. But as she began to get older, she started to lose some of the dexterity in her hands through arthritis. By the time she was eighty, she could no longer perform even the simplest stitches. Therefore she decided to try something different—painting. The brushes were easy enough to handle, even with her arthritis, so she took it up full time, mostly painting farm and country scenes.
One day a traveling art collector stopped for a bite to eat in her town and saw her pictures in a drugstore. He decided that he liked them, and in a very short time the name of Grandma Moses was known throughout the art world. Although Grandma Moses didn’t even start painting until she was eighty years old, she was able to create over fifteen hundred works of art in her lifetime. She had an international following, and prominence as a world-class painter.
All this because she was forced to quit her favorite pastime and take up a new one.
Success cannot be measured in time, or what anyone else thinks. It’s personal and powerful when you are reaching your own goals. Never stop learning, dreaming, and re-inventing the wonderful life you have been given. The world is a playground, and there is always something new to explore. Sometimes the greatest exploration is done inside your own mind and life.
Dream it, find it, and live it. After all… this is YOUR one shot at life.
“Many an opportunity is lost because a (wo)man is out looking for four-leaf clovers.” ~ Anon
I was reading my son is bedtime story and it happened to include an interesting story about how a star is born in space. It requires 3 major elements for the star to be born; gas, gravity, and timing. Read more about the science behind this here.
What a great metaphor for each of us. We all want to be “stars” in our own world, family, industry, or peer group. We want to make a difference to bring the right things together and maybe the biggest motivator – we want to be recognized for it. We want to shine, brightly!
It’s easy to think that this is a function of luck.
If I had their background, looks, luck, than I would be a star too
If I had bought when they bought I would be rich too
If my daddy owned “x” company I would be in the right circles
If my kids were born without that disability
The more I work with people in a behind the scenes capacity with widely successful people the more I realize there is no four leaf clover, there is no lucky situation, and there is no lottery ticket. The magic bullet to success doesn’t exist.
What appears to be lucky timing or lucky resources is not luck at all – it’s simply preparation, passion to find resources, and the ability to expect opportunity (timing.) 3 ingredients that happen out of purpose and direction. To the skeptical outsider it appears to be lucky. But, it’s not.
You want to be a star? 3 simple ingredients must exist to shine brightly –
1. Prepare yourself to become who you want to become. You want to be a star, act like one, now.
2. Find your passion and you will find the resources. Trust me, if you want it badly enough you will find the resources- or they will find you.
3. Look for opportunity with an expectation, a certainty of someone who knows the sun will rise tomorrow.
Stars are born everyday, in every economy, industry, and family.
The only question is: will YOU look inside for the opportunity and put the ingredients in place or will continue to look for four leaf clovers and lottery tickets?
Expecting great things for you!
Date posted: July 6, 2010 | Author: Jon Bohm | 1 Comment »