Should volunteering be part of your corporate culture?

Giving makes you feel good and it can be good for your business, especially if you encourage your employees to volunteer for causes they support.

Some people are wired to be generous even to strangers, they jump at the chance to lend a hand.  Others take a little more convincing, then there are those who would love to do more but finding the time while juggling a job and family is difficult.   Read More

“Why’d He Bring That Chicken Hawk?”

My husband’s grandparents emigrated from Finland to a small farm near Chisholm.  Northern Minnesota was rugged country in those days.  Timber wolves and bears were plentiful; they found domestic livestock easy prey.

To protect their animals, everyone carried a rifle when they left the house.  My husband’s five uncles were skilled shooters; they passed that ability on to their young nephew.  Pheasants and grouse were often bagged on the afternoon walk to round up the cows for the evening milking.   Read More

No Whining Allowed

We all know people who whine.

I don’t want to do this.
It’s too hard.
How come I have to do all the work?

Whining wears everyone down.  Worse, it does no good!  It spreads like wildfire; sending negative energy everywhere.  It’s contagious too.  Everyone in an office is happy, then the complainer starts; in no time, everyone has caught the whining bug.   Read More

Unexpected surprises of owning a business

No matter how much you prepare yourself for business ownership, there are lessons you can’t learn until you’re at the helm of your own company.

Surprise:  It’s hard to get customers.  Your product or service is great, heads and shoulders above the competition.  Your prices are fair.  Customers still aren’t flocking to your door.  The truth is, you must constantly work at attracting and keeping customers.   Read More

After The Fact…

This question came up at a roundtable meeting last month: “I’m thinking about selling the company.  When should I tell my employees?”

You may have been thinking about your exit strategy for years and have dreamed and planned for how it will affect your personal and professional life.  But, what about your employees? As a sympathetic owner, you want to help your workers ease the transition.  But planning and timing are essential: here are some issues to consider.   Read More

Are you blind to possibilities?

Do you occasionally feel stuck?  Bored?  Frustrated?  Do you wonder if there are missed opportunities: a new connection, a more profound sense of purpose, a new adventure?
The truth is new possibilities are always within your reach.  Every day, the decisions you make can open new possibilities.  Some choices may seem inconsequential, some profound.  It’s easier to stay in your comfort zone, but “if you do what you’ve always done, you will get what you always got”.
If you make one small change, you may set the stage for something bigger.  Sometimes the smallest shift in thinking or doing creates the biggest opportunity.   Read More

Oreo Cookie Performance Reviews

Oreo Cookie performance reviews sound like a good idea.  When discussing a performance issue with an employee, you NEVER start with the issue itself.  Instead you start with a compliment:

Hey Monica, the summary report you do at the end of each month is a great way to keep tabs on what you’re accomplishing.

Then share the less positive feedback:Read More

From the mouths of babes…

I love it when members present their annual Strategic MAP in a Roundtable meeting.  You get an understanding of the forces that shaped the person, the lessons they’ve learned as well as their personal and professional goals.

Individuals weave their story throughout their MAP however they choose.  Some are done through movies and slideshows, others create poetry and one individual sang a song that had great meaning in her life.

MAP’s always bring wisdom, sometimes from unexpected sources.   Read More

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain

In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy had just one wish, to get back to Kansas.  Her journey was interrupted many times, by witches, a scarecrow, a cowardly lion and a tin man.  She had to overcome numerous challenges on her quest. But even fields of poppies and flying monkeys could not sidetrack Dorothy.   Read More