Posts Tagged ‘kindness’

Forget Something?

A while back I did a huge favor for someone and never heard anything from them … zip, zilch, nada, nothing. Just a simple “Thank You” would have been nice … but they acted as if it was expected of me. To say that I was disappointed is putting it mildly.

To me, disappointed is a very powerful and scary word. You see, disappointed can turn into other “Dis” words, such as disgruntled, discouraged, disenthralled, disillusioned, disheartened, and possibly even dissatisfied with our current personal or business relationship. I might start noticing that this relationship (business or personal) is really all about YOU and how YOU can benefit; the words reciprocation or gratitude don’t seem to be in your vocabulary.

Everyone likes to be remembered, thanked or appreciated for doing favors, going above and beyond, being courteous, considerate, thoughtful or kind. Being “taken for granted” stinks. Forgetting to show any kind of appreciation for someone who did something for you … that they didn’t have to do … can end up causing you problems later on. You will never know when someday you may need a helping hand and all those people you took for granted and/or never thanked, might NOT be so readily available to help you out.

Francesca Gino, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, did some research on gratitude and looked at 41 fundraisers at a university, all receiving a fixed salary. The director visited half of the fundraisers in person, telling them, “I am very grateful for your hard work. We sincerely appreciate your contributions to the university.” The second group received no such expressions of gratitude. What was the impact of the director’s thanks? Gino said that “the expression of gratitude increased the number of calls by more than 50 percent” for the week, while fundraisers who received no thanks made about the same number of calls as the previous week.

Organizations and leaders who miss chances to express gratitude, lose opportunities to motivate people that actually costs them nothing. Simply stated: Gratitude is free and profitable. People may not show that they are upset about not being thanked … but when the time comes for them to help YOU out again, they may just be a little too busy that day. You can transform your relationships, business and personal life with the Power of Gratitude! Never underestimate the power of a thank you and never pass up on the opportunity to say those two words.

It is not happy people who are thankful.

It is thankful people who are happy.



The Amazing Power of Four Words

Some say the four most powerful words in coaching are, “I believe in you.” I think we need to expand that to teaching, mentoring, management, leadership, parenting, and relationships. What a wonderful thing to tell somebody, “I believe in you.” Think of how it made you feel when it was last said to you. Oh, there’s the problem … are you having trouble remembering when someone last said it to you. That is truly a shame, because the words are SO POWERFUL and have a way to motivate, inspire, and encourage us all. But the flip side of this is, when was the last time you told somebody those words? Are you having trouble remembering when? That is a shame as well.

In our personal lives, so many times we take for granted the ones we love the most and give them the fewest compliments. Oh sure, they know we love them, they know we think they are really talented, they know we appreciate the little and big things they do for us, they know we feel we can always count on them … sure … they know. Right? A compliment not given is no compliment at all. Inspiring words not shared are not inspiring at all. Don’t assume people know how they are doing, when your mouth never utters a word.

In our business lives, we also take people for granted. The U.S. Department of Labor found that 46% of the people who quit their jobs, did so, because they didn’t feel appreciated. WOW! We spent the money to find them and train them, but we can’t utter a few words every so often to let them know they are doing a good job. The words are free … they cost you nothing … but not saying them can end up costing you a lot.

I have had bad teachers and good teachers, bad coaches and good coaches and bad bosses along with some good bosses. I can’t ever remember any bad teacher, coach or boss being a positive person. NOT ONE. But, I can remember the good teachers, coaches and bosses who all had a positive side to them. I wanted to do more for them and not let them down. I would never want to disappointment them because THEY BELIEVED IN ME and told me so.

What a wonderful thing it would be to have someone say … “Because of you, I succeeded.” “Because of you, I didn’t give up!” We all need affirmation; some of us need it more than others. If you want people to produce more, raise their level of competence, perform at a higher level, and deliver more than expected, then let the following four word phrases become part of your everyday life. Great teachers, managers, coaches, and bosses all know they should …

Show them the way                 Help them keep trying             Make them feel special

Help them learn more             Show faith in them                    Prepare them to win

Inspire them to succeed         Be a confidence builder           Be there for them

You will be amazed what a positive effect the phrases “I believe in you!” or “You can do this!” can have on people. If you don’t believe me, just give it a try. It sure can’t hurt to try and it costs you nothing to do it … but it could be costing a lot … to stay silent.



Great Minds – Average Minds – Small Minds

“I am an office mystery.

I’m never seen but I’m everywhere.

I’m always on the job and often forecast important events.

I make an unmake morals, reputation and cooperation,

but I’m seldom blamed for my mistakes.

I have no responsibilities,

and I am one of the most powerful molders of opinion.

I add humor and anger to the office,

and I pass with the speed of sound.

I’m basic in human nature, and you must accept me.

I grow right behind you.

I am the office grapevine.”

(Author Unknown)

Careers and reputations are damaged every day by the grapevine. People are fired and lives are forever altered because of false rumors, innuendos, insinuations, and gossip from the grapevine. People who are biased, prejudiced, uncaring, jealous, impartial, and opinionated have a real tendency to taint the facts in their favor. I have no time for those types of people in my life. Most grapevine gossip is critical, judgmental, faultfinding, and negative in substance. These are all things I can do without in my life. Erma Bombeck once suggested that our national pastime in America is not baseball, it’s gossip.

Gossip is just a way for people who have nothing better to do … to help them deal with the people who are doing something better. It is an enormous time waster that really doesn’t serve any good purpose at all. There is an excellent tenet to keep in mind about people who are always sharing gossip: People who gossip to you … will gossip about you. I heard it once said that … Rumors are carried by haters, spread by fools, and accepted by idiots. That sentence alone should forever change your opinion of those who gossip and be an excellent reason to never do it yourself.

I am not a fan of people who gossip. I think people who gossip are   1. not as productive as people who don’t    2. are shallow-minded    3. definitely not management material. Here are a few simple rules to follow that I feel will help your career and your personal life when it comes to gossip.

  • If you won’t say it to them … then don’t say it about them.
  • When talking about someone, pretend they are standing beside you.
  • Never “fan the flame” of gossip nor pass it on.
  • Disengage from the conversation – fake a call, meeting or deadline.

Eleanor Roosevelt said it best when she stated: Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.” Most negative gossiping people are trying to make themselves feel better about their inadequacies by trying to make you look bad. If you find someone is gossiping about you … just think to yourself that they are making “YOU” the center of “THEIR” world. WOW! You just got really important.

If you must gossip,

talk about a person’s virtues not their vices.


What Matters Most

I write a lot about leadership, management, efficiency, corporate culture, communication, personal growth, change, habits, choices, discipline and how you can refine or develop these things so you can be more successful. Sometimes I think we forget “WHY” we do what we do and more importantly, who we are doing it for. I have been doing a lot of research on what people think really matters in life and over and over again, people kept saying … “the little things matter most”.

Spending time with my family and friends, long walks, watching the sunset or the sunrise,

ice cream, the smell of fresh baked cookies, milkshakes, buying a pumpkin on Halloween to carve,

laughter, smiles, good food, freedom, good health, riding my Harley,

watching a great game on TV with my friends,

a couple of cold beers and conversation, and celebrating the holidays with family,

were just some of the many things people mentioned.

 I would like to note that no one mentioned

being able to spend a few more hours in the office.

Charles Francis Adams was the grandson of the second President of the United States, John Adams. He was also a successful attorney, Congressman and a former Ambassador to Great Britain. He was a very busy man who was consumed with success and had little time for his family. He did however keep a diary that he liked to write in as often as possible. One day he wrote in his diary – “Went fishing with my son today – a day wasted.” His son Brooks, also kept a diary, and the historians found on that same day, he too wrote in his diary. “Went fishing with my father today – the most wonderful day of my life.” Don’t let success in business take precedent over your family. Years ago I wrote, Success at the expense of your family is not true success.” I believe that more than ever today.

I think in business and in our personal lives we lose sight of the important people around us. We take those, who matter most, for granted. The more we take their love and support for granted … not reciprocating in any manner … the more we are pushing them away. Today, write down a list of those people around you who are important to you and start doing some “Simple – Special” things for them. Don’t expect anything back for what you do for them … just open up and give. Remember, giving to get something is not truly giving. 

Little gestures of support and kindness, listening while not judging, helping hands, remembering birthdays and anniversaries for family, friends and associates, hand written notes of support or thanks, simple gifts, baking cookies for the office, buying a birthday cake for an associate at the office, going fishing or to the fair with your kids … can be simple for you and mean SO MUCH to them.

My son Tyler, who is home for a month from college, just walked into my office and asked me if I could knock off work early today. I looked up and said, “Sure.” His face filled with a big smile and he said, “Great.”  There was a time when I would have said, “Not today, Buddy. Daddy is just too busy.” But now, thank goodness, I have come to realize there will come a day (way to soon) when he won’t be around to ask that question; he will be busy with his life and family. I am trying harder and harder to make the things in life that really matter … a PRIORITY … you should, too.

Start doing the simple things with those special to you.

Let them see they matter most, by what you do.

The Pace of Change is Accelerating

Some people embrace change. Some people just go with the flow and deal with it only when they have to. Then there are those few, die hard, stubborn, inflexible, obstinate people out there who are going to fight changing to the bitter end. In today’s accelerating pace of technological change, I am finding that if you plan on WINNING, SUCCEEDING, and STAYING ON TOP, you better pay attention to the ever-changing landscape of technology.

Blind devotion to past technologies, methodologies, systems and procedures is a success killer. The pace of change is accelerating in every industry, every market, and in every facet of our daily lives. Technology is coming at us faster than it ever has. It took over 50 years from the invention of the gasoline car before one quarter of the population in the US had one. The telephone required 35 years to hit the one quarter mark. Then things started getting even faster. The television only took 26 years, personal computers took 16 years, and the cell phone reached that population exposure in just 13 years. Since its release on June 29, 2007, Apple has sold over 243 million iPhones and will pass 500 million by the end of 2013. They sold 10 million of the iPhone 5 in the first two weeks of its release.

In his book, Critical Path, futurist R. Buckminster Fuller estimated that it we took about 1,500 years or until the sixteenth century for our amount of knowledge to double. The next doubling of knowledge took only 250 years, until about 1750. By 1900, 150 years later, knowledge had doubled again. The doubling speed of knowledge is now between one and two years. So, if it takes 4 years to get through college, everything that was known to man the day the student entered college will be quadrupled when they graduate.  That is a rather daunting fact; they are behind before they ever get started.

With all of what I have just pointed out, I think it is obvious that for companies and people to succeed, they need to embrace change. We all need to stay curious, flexible, inquisitive, and never satisfied with today’s standard of excellence. What is considered excellent today may be considered average tomorrow. But, never forget the fact that technology is no replacement for staying in touch and caring about your customers and your employees. You can have the most technologically advanced company in your industry but if you lie, break promises, make mistakes, don’t meet deadlines, are impersonal, emotionless and unwilling to make any extra effort to help customers or care about your employees … you will fail.

 If you look for ways to unite technology with a human, caring touch …

everyone will benefit.

My Thanksgiving Hopes for You

I hope this Thanksgiving is a special time for you,

that your blessings are many and your sorrows are few.


 I hope you can reflect on all the good things in your life,

and forget for a day any feelings of strife.


 I hope you are surrounded with family and friends,

and get to share old stories of remembering when.


 I hope your day is filled with laughter and good cheer

and you can share your love with those you hold so dear.


 I hope for those who can’t be with you on this special day,

that their memories are in your heart and only a prayer away.


 I hope this holiday is a joyous time in all that you do,

Happy Thanksgiving from my family to you.

YOU Control Your Destiny by the Choices YOU Make

I am going to throw a list of questions at you and let you reflect on your answers. Now, some of these questions might not be applicable to you at all, which is good. BUT, if one or more of these questions strikes a nerve when you read them, then you may have some work to do.

Why do you waste time?

Why don’t you rest more?

Why don’t you eat better?

Why do you procrastinate?

Why don’t you laugh more?

Why don’t you forgive more?

Why don’t you exercise more?

Why aren’t you more efficient?

Why are you so critical of others?

Why don’t you save more money?

Why do you waste time listening to gossip?

Why don’t you take more time for yourself?

Why are you sometimes or all the time … late?

Why don’t you say what you are really feeling?

Why do you put so much pressure on yourself?

Why do you spend more money than you should?

Why are you sometimes or always in a bad mood?

Why do you sometimes or always doubt yourself?

Why do you stay in a job or relationship you hate?

Why do you say yes when you really want to say no?

Why don’t you spend more time with the ones you love?

Why don’t you treat everyone with the same respect you want?

Why don’t you read something every day that will make you better?

Why don’t you tell the people you care about that you care about them?

The REALITY OF YOUR ANSWER to each question is very telling.  If the answer to any one of the questions is because YOU have chosen to do so … then YOU can change it, alter it or correct it. Quit blaming others for what YOU HAVE CHOSEN. Example: You will eat better when YOU DECIDE that it is important to your health TO DO SO. But, unfortunately most people wait until they have medical problems and a doctor puts restrictions on their diet before they change their eating habits. Look at each question and then decide what is important to YOU. Your life is not a dress rehearsal. You’ve got one shot at it, so try and make it your BEST SHOT.

 The day you … Realize / Acknowledge / Accept … the fact that

YOU control your destiny by the choices YOU make

is the day you start taking control your life.

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