Categories for Authenticity

Years of Service Award Leads to $30,000 Fine

You may or may not know that the #1 reason employees are recognized is for their length of service with their organization. Individuals routinely receive recognition and some tangible reward (a certificate, a watch, bonus check) for being employed for 1 year, 5 years, etc. [By the way, I use the term “being employed” deliberately, as opposed to “working” for reasons to become evident.] Recently, an employee was found to be receiving his annual salary even though he had not shown up to work for at least six years!  Ironically, he may have gone undetected for longer except that his... Continue reading...

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March 2, 2016 7:00 am
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Don’t Forget—People are People, Not Machines or Rats in a Maze

Recently, I had the privilege to meet and listen to Ginger Hardage, Senior Vice President of Culture and Communications for Southwest Airlines. (I happened to be the morning keynote speaker and she was the afternoon keynote speaker.) One phrase used to describe Southwest Airlines was that they were “in the customer service business and just happened to use airplanes to help people get where they want.” Ginger’s presentation was a refreshing reminder that truly successful enterprises understand that their primary calling is to serve the customer and, that by doing so, they will be profitable.   (As opposed to the seemingly... Continue reading...

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January 17, 2016 2:50 pm
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Do You Really Want Tolerance…Or Respect?

“Tolerance is something you have for alcohol or someone with body odor…versus focusing on Respect.  Respect demands more. It demands an active role.” I first heard this unique view on tolerance from speaker and author Bruce Jacobs, speaking about his book, “Race Manners.” His basic premise is that you should never let yourself get away with simple tolerance. You don’t want to feel merely tolerated, and neither do others. For example, when I come home at night after a long day of training, I hope my wife is not looking out the window as I drive up and saying to... Continue reading...

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July 20, 2015 10:08 pm
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How Cynicism and Sarcasm Sap Creativity From Your Organization

We all have a finite amount of mental and emotional energy. That is why we are tired at the end of a busy day when we have been processing information and making decisions throughout the day.  Thus, effective leaders learn how to prioritize and channel their mental energy into completing the most important tasks, and not waste it on non-productive activities. One major drain of emotional energy often is ignored by leaders, however.  That is the presence of sarcasm and cynicism in your organization.  Both stem from negative thoughts and perceptions among team members that are then communicated and bounced... Continue reading...

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May 12, 2015 6:00 am
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Not Everyone Appreciates Your Type of Appreciation

One of the lessons that aspiring leaders and those who want to continue to develop their leadership abilities must learn is: to be an effective leader, you have to learn how to lead individuals who are different than you. If you don’t, you will only be able to gather and lead those who are similar to you in personality, perspective or ability; and this, in turn, limits what you can accomplish. Although at first the idea seems intriguing, you actually don’t want to lead a group of “Junior You’s”. You may be talented but you can’t do everything, and to... Continue reading...

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February 3, 2015 1:31 pm
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Appreciation When You’re a Solopreneur

Appreciation is everything for your brand. How do you feel when someone genuinely appreciates you for your input/effort? It feels nice and warm, doesn’t it? That’s the kind of feeling you want customers and clients to associate with you. As a solopreneur, chances are you will perform a lot of the business’s tasks yourself, so you’ll probably relate with a lot more people than if you had a team working for you. As a business owner, you don’t need to be reminded on the importance of keeping customers happy. However, in the midst of all the tasks and appointments you... Continue reading...

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September 19, 2014 2:06 pm
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Why “My boss is a jerk!” Isn’t Reason Enough to Hate Your Job

Two common mantras in our culture today are: “I hate my job” and “My boss is a jerk.” While both statements may be true, hating your job because your boss is a jerk isn’t going to lead anywhere good. According to Gallup, more than half of the U.S. workforce (or about 70 million employees) either are just enduring their job or actively hate where they work. With that level of dissatisfaction, it’s no surprise that we hear so many negative comments – either in personal conversations, through social media or the mainstream media. In other words, If you don’t like your job, welcome to... Continue reading...

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July 21, 2014 7:19 pm
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Healthy & Unhealthy Boundaries — Their Impact on Our Lives

I’ve been thinking about boundaries lately, and observing how significantly they impact our daily lives. The lack of boundaries in relationships (or attempts to overstep established boundaries) seem to be a frequent cause of relational tension. I would like to use the example of our physical body (our skin provides a boundary between our body and the world around us) to illustrate a few points about some characteristics of boundaries, and the purposes of boundaries. First, we need to acknowledge that one purpose of a boundary is to distinguish where an object/person starts and ends.  This is my body and... Continue reading...

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June 4, 2014 9:30 am
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Solution #2 for Finding Good Employees: Train Your Current Employees

In a prior post on the challenges employers are having in finding qualified applicants for the positions they need to fill, I shared that there are three strategies that, over time, can help employers and managers address this problem.  The first solution is to keep your valued employees by making sure they feel appreciated. The second way to fill empty slots in your organization is to train and mentor current employees who have potential but who need to grow. We often have employees who are “okay” but who have an area of deficiency or a character quality they need to... Continue reading...

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April 7, 2014 10:34 am
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Lack of Qualified Applicants? Solution #1: Keep Your Good Employees

The news is repetitive and blaring:  employers are complaining about the inability to find qualified applicants for positions that need to be filled.  I have seen three articles in business magazines this week about the issue.  Part of the discussion is about the irony — having 10+ million workers who can’t find work, while employers reporting they can’t find potential employees who meet the needs they have.  (In fairness, there are employers interviewed in the articles saying they aren’t having this problem.) The issue is both national and local, and across multiple industries and workforces.  Key term to understand: qualified... Continue reading...

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March 31, 2014 11:55 pm
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Why Authenticity is All You Need During the Holidays

We all feel a lot of pressure regarding things we “should do” during the holidays — for our family, friends, co-workers, clients, boss.  It gets to the point that the expectations feel overwhelming, and the temptation is just to “shut down” and do nothing (for anyone!)  This is typically not a good solution. Let me offer an alternative solution to you: be yourself.  Be genuinely you during the holidays.   Don’t try to impress people.  Don’t do things just to “look good” or because “you are supposed to”. Let me explain.  There is more than enough “image management” going on in... Continue reading...

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December 5, 2013 11:16 pm
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