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Appreciation for What Our Teams Do

The new season of the TV show Undercover Boss has started on CBS. It’s on following 60 Minutes on Sunday nights. You probably know the drill. A boss puts on a disguise and goes to work doing jobs in the company he or she doesn’t usually do. It makes for a good show because the CEO proves to be inept and most of the show demonstrates that ineptness. What surprises me is that they are […]

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Expressing Appreciation for Your Teammates

According to researchers, one of the most important factors to having a fully engaged work force is based upon the degree an employee feels understood and appreciated. The study goes further to say that the reason most people don’t express appreciation more is that it can feel “fake.”  It made me think of baseball. I played baseball as a kid, mostly first base and some as a pitcher. One of the things you get taught […]

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The Benefits of a Checklist

Do you use checklists? I must admit that I don’t. I have written to you about the power of the checklist. But, I don’t have them incorporated in my life. I read a book that reminded me of their power and it has me reconsidering how I approach it. The book is called Golf’s Sacred Journey: Seven Days at the Links of Utopia. Sounds sort of exotic but it isn’t really. A friend gave me […]

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What Will Your Legacy Be?

Nathan Whitaker is an author. Most recently he helped Tim Tebow write his bestselling autobiography. Recently Whitaker wrote a guest column in The Orlando Sentinel about the Tebow phenomena. This note isn’t about Tebow but it’s about an assertion Whitaker made in the column. He said this: “The question isn’t whether we will have a legacy – we all will. Rather, the open question is whether that legacy will be positive or negative. Are we […]

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A Renewed Commitment to Safety

I have a confession to make. A couple of years ago, I wrote in one of these notes that I was going to make my effort towards safety be slowing down on my driving. So far, so good. No tickets. But, after a good, long road without attracting “blue lights,” I have been pulled over twice since Thanksgiving. Gratefully, neither stop resulted in a ticket.  In the safety world, those are called “near misses.” A […]

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Help Educate and Encourage Your Teammates

We each have the ability to be a positive influence on those we encounter. The challenge is believing it really makes a difference. There was an article recently that underscored the idea. It discussed research where a group of students had been followed from the time they entered school. They are now adults. The results of the study revealed that adults who reported they had a teacher in middle school who made a difference in […]

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You Haven’t Failed Until You Quit Trying

Here’s a brief thought for the day:  “You haven’t failed until you quit trying.” Some folks are more easily frustrated than others.  When something doesn’t come easily, they quit trying.   When something involves a long time to learn or to master, they quit trying. When something is done “good enough,” they quit trying. As we take on “lean” projects in our plants, we are trying to take the bad and make them good.  We are […]

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Purposefully or Inadvertently?

Did you see where Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of former President Clinton and Secretary of State Clinton, has taken on the assignment of being a newscaster on NBC? I was reading an article and was struck by her story of what motivated her to move into such a career. She said her grandmother, Dorothy Rodham, had challenged her shortly before her death. She told Chelsea, who until that point had dodged any public profile, that […]

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Happy New Year!

In another few hours, 2011 will be done.  I want to thank each of you for the effort you put forth toward strengthening our enterprise.  There is not one of our many teams who has not made progress this year.  I am excited about what 2012 can mean for us.  As we continue our path on improving our processes and practices through “lean” thinking, we have the chance to continue to build momentum.  So, best […]

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Tips on Giving Feedback

I found a management tip by Harvard Business Review on “giving feedback” that I would like to share with you. Here are the guidelines: Be specific. Feedback needs to be actionable. Use concrete examples to back up your conclusions. Avoid generalized character attacks. Instead, describe the behavior. (My thought: We usually classify the people around us simply. Good, bad. For us, against us. Friend, enemy. Thus, our feedback tends to be simple. The advice to […]

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