TAKING THE INITIATIVE

This quote popped up on my Twitter feed recently: “Take Initiative — Every Day.  In the absence of orders, figure out what they should have been, and execute aggressively.” One of the factors that contribute to waste in our operations is waiting. A clear priority is to make sure every person knows what is expected, has the tools to do their job, and has the ability to act. Occasionally, we can miss the boat.  If […]

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THE PURSUIT OF EXCELLENCE

“Excellent businesses don’t believe in excellence, only in constant improvement and constant change.” – Tom Peters, in his book, Thriving on Chaos Being excellent is a daunting goal.  Especially when you aren’t excellent at the beginning. Peters breaks this down into change and improvement.  Every day. Change is the decision point.  It’s a realization that the status quo won’t survive.  It’s an adjustment in each person’s mind that there is something better ahead and it’s worth moving toward it. […]

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REACHING BEYOND YOUR PRESENT SITUATION

“If you’re going to win, win graceful. If you’re going to love, love faithful. If you’re going to learn, learn by teaching. If you’re going to fall, fall reaching.” I scribbled the refrain from this country song in my Bible almost 30 years ago. At the time, I was working on a “plant turn around” and the song inspired an employee incentive program that turned the operation around. The idea was this: Wherever or however […]

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MATCHING HIGH EXPECTATIONS WITH TRAINING & WORK

“We don’t rise to the level of our expectations; we fall to the level of our training.” – Attributed to Archilochus, Greek soldier, circa 650 B.C. One of the neat outcomes of these notes is that through the years of writing them and reading them, we refine our joint understanding of how best to think, believe, and work together.  So, colleagues reach out often to share a quote, confirm an understanding, or reveal an insight.  […]

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THE CHALLENGE TO BE REAL

Are you for real? Do you matter? It’s 6:30 in the morning and I’ve been asked this three times – in Bible verses I read, in a Twitter feed, and in a book I’m reading.  When I see it three times, it registers. Whether I am real, and matter, starts with the conversation in my head.  It’s so easy to be on auto-drive.  Just drift into the day and see where it takes me. Things are different […]

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BETTER THAN AVERAGE

“Average people become average by doing average shit.” – Trevor Moawad We get graded.  We grade ourselves. Candidly, there have been times in my life where I settled for average.  I told myself that doing just enough was ok.  Actually, I believed I was pulling something on the world by being average. But the world gives you feedback.  You don’t make the team.  Get the promotion.  Earn the raise.  Have the personal relationships you desire.  […]

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CHOOSING A POSITIVE ATTITUDE

“Positive attitude is yours for the taking, all you have to do is read, study, and apply every day.” – Jeffrey Gitomer Gitomer is one of the best sales trainers around. Having a positive attitude is a choice.  It takes a daily commitment.  You sometimes must dig around for it.  You read things that inspire and inform.  You hang with people who encourage and engage.  You separate yourself from the negative atmospheres you might travel in.  You consider alternatives to your […]

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ENTROPY – LOSS OF ENERGY

Where do you derive “energy?” Entropy is a concept I read about in Dr. Henry Cloud’s book, Integrity. He says that the second law of physics deals with entropy. When a system is left to its own resources, it will cease to grow.  If a system isn’t growing, it will begin to die.  It will break down over time. Have you ever walked into an old shed and observed the tools left behind?  They are […]

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TOUGH PEOPLE

 “Adversity is a test of your toughness, not your talent.” Tim Kight Are you tough?  I’d like to think I’m tough enough.  But could be tougher.  There’s no chance of passing through this life without facing adversity. I’ve heard it said that toughness is a skill.  Skills are developed and refined through practice, and hardened by habit. Thinking about toughness, I began a list: Tough people do the hard things necessary to improve.  No matter […]

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COMMON GROUND

“Some very good people have some very bad ideas.” – The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia Heard this quote and it reminded me of the incivility of the day. Scalia went on to say that he attacked bad ideas, not people.  According to those who knew him, his “attacks” could be intense, but they were most often introduced “respectfully” (there’s that word respect again). He had a point of view.  The fact that one […]

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