Monthly Archives: April 2015

Take Time

There’s a Moody Blues song with these lyrics:  “Time waits for no one.  No, not even you.”

Moody Blues coverWhile the Moody Blues are an amazing group and the song is wonderful, the line is profound and poignant, especially in this era of smart phones and instant gratification.  Even though the instant gratification term is seldom used any more, the syndrome remains.  We, as human beings, want answers and information right now.  We want to act now and be done with whatever it was we were doing so we can move on to the next project or activity.

Through it all, time does not wait for anything; the clock keeps ticking.

Stop for a minute or two and answer these questions:

1) Did you make any mistakes today because you were trying to move too quickly?

2) Did you ignore an important person in your life because you didn’t have time for them?

3) Has your day been extraordinarily stressful because you can’t seem to get everything done?

If you’ve been honest with yourself and answered “Yes!” to any of these questions, it’s time to slow down a bit and take time to think.

Consider whether you have too many tasks on your “To Do” list and how many of them are simply “crap” you put on the list so you don’t forget to do them.  Checking your E-mail is a good example.  Does it really need to be on the list when you know you’re going to check it several times a day any way?  It’s like putting “Take a Shower” on your “To Do” list.  It’s routine and a task you’re not likely to forget, so why stress yourself out by adding it to the daily tasks?

Here’s the key:  When you make up your list of priorities for the day, take the time to think about what are the top five that MUST get done.  It might only be one or two tasks, and that’s okay.  You will have accomplished your objective if those two to five items are finished by the end of the day.  Think, too, about what’s most important.  It might be taking your son or daughter to a ball game.  Yes, that’s important, even to a busy corporate executive.

Your work will always be there, unless you can delegate it to someone else (remember, you still have ultimate responsibility), but your children grow up and leave the nest before you know it.

Think about what’s most important to you, personally, as well as professionally.  Time with your spouse doing what she or he likes to do.  Time with your children doing whatever.  Time with yourself just thinking, reading, napping, hiking, exercising, enjoying time alone, or listening to the Moody Blues.

Time is not going to wait for you to make up your mind.  The time you took to read this blog is gone, and it’s not coming back.  We hope you found some value in it, and that it was worth the time spent.  If you’d like help managing your time, click on the slogan below and give us a call.

Brand Your Work – Work Your Brand

Missionary Zeal

If you lack passion for your business, it’s time to give some thought to why you’re doing what you’re doing.  Missionary zeal is essential for business owners to ingrain into their company or organization.  It becomes the defining element of their corporate culture, the reason for your existence.

150px-USS_Benfold_DDG-65_CrestThere is an excellent book on leadership by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff called It’s Your Ship and sub-titled Leadership Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy.  Abrashoff created the best ship in the United States Navy by realizing that the destroyer he commanded, the USS Benfold, was more than “his” vessel.  It belonged to every sailor on board and the standard military protocol of command and control was less than ideal as a management technique.

The captain found that the more every member of the crew knew they had ownership of their ship and that he cared about them and their role on it, the higher the level of performance could be expected from everyone.  His vision was to reinforce that the ship’s mission was combat readiness.  Pure and simple.  That vision was communicated with the expectation that every sailor on board was important to achieving that mission.  It was, without a doubt, their ship!  The fact the USS Benfold became the best damn ship in the Navy proved his approach.

Does that same missionary zeal apply to your organization?

Do your “sailors” feel as though they can help accomplish the mission?  Do they even know what the mission is?  Do they care?  If they don’t, the reason may be that they don’t believe you care about them or what they do.  Do you listen to their suggestions?  Do you implement those recommendations, or sweep them under the rug?

More importantly, do your sailors understand the corporate mission?  Do you, as the business owner or CEO, convey your vision for the company’s success?  If you are unsure or unclear, it may be time to seek professional counsel and re-visit your corporate culture.  It’s okay to embrace change if it is warranted.  Insanity has been defined as continuing to do the same thing and expecting a different result.

Your mission needs to clearly define your reason for existence, cutting through all the verbosity.  Are you in business to provide a service or a product to consumers?  Or to make money?  It should be both, but if you answered “Yes” to only making money, you need an independent third party to help you figure out how to do it.

Brand Your Work – Work Your Brand



Communication: Critical

Communication is critical to business success.

When you look at business plan formulas and study different models, there are two key ingredients woven through every one of them,   One is the reason for existence, or the corporate mission and vision.  Without a mission, success is hard to define and largely a matter of luck.

The second essential that is critical to whatever plan is put together is communication!Communication Diagram

Communication is the thread that is woven into and through the success of any organization.  If it is weak at any level, the message can be lost and the consequences will be seen on the bottom line.  If lines of communication are strong throughout the company, substantial profits can be gained.

Communication starts with the corporate mission.  It should be clear why the company is in business.  This falls on the owner to know the reason for the company’s existence and to communicate that vision throughout the entire organization and to the consuming public.  If the ownership has a hard time defining that vision, imagine the impact that has on everyone else involved with the company.

A consistent message must be communicated within and throughout the company, from management to employees and back as part of the culture.  All levels of the organization must sing the same song.  Managers must be open to suggestions from staff, especially those on the front lines of production or customer service.  Staff, especially those involved in sales, have a direct line of communication with customers, so their voices must be heard.  What they can communicate to the organization as feedback from consumers can mean the difference between long-term profitability and going out of business fire sales.

Everyone is part of the same ship and can make the difference between sinking or sailing.  The owner’s vision also defines his or her leadership style.

The company must communicate clearly with its customers and potential consumers.  If the customer is getting conflicting messages, often generated by word-of-mouth from other consumers, the likelihood of continued sales goes down dramatically.  Consistency is important in the message delivered to the public, but so is the value of consumer perception, whether it matches the company line or diverges.  Despite what business owners may think, people do talk about companies and ask what makes them different.

The key is to facilitate open and honest communication throughout the organization.