Mistakes were made Lessons were learned

I had lunch recently with Sam (not his real name) who owns a property development business.  He company purchases land all over the country, usually close to college campuses.  Their specialty is building apartments for student housing.  They would own and manage the properties for a few years and then sell them.  Life was good for a long time — and then it wasn’t.   Read More

For goodness sake, pay attention!

For goodness sake, pay attention!

A friend of mine recently went to Mexico; the airports coming and going were packed. Long lines snaked through the terminal as people waited to go through security. As they waited, some texted, and texted and texted – one after another – totally oblivious of their surroundings until the moment the agent asked for their boarding pass and identification.Then they “woke up” and started pawing through their bags and pockets for the proper documents. Each distracted traveler held up the line for 30 seconds or more. “Thirty seconds isn’t so long,” you might think; but consider that you’re the 40th person in line and every third or fourth person is unprepared when they get to the agent. How long does it feel to you now?

Read More

The secret to keeping good employees (Hint: It isn’t money)

The secret to keeping good employees (Hint: It isn’t money)

The topic of the week was how to keep employees. At a CEO Roundtable meeting this week a business owner admitted that hiring an admin person would make her much more efficient, but she hesitated to do so because she couldn’t afford to pay much. She said, “I can only afford to pay $10 to $12 an hour; I don’t want get someone trained in only to have them leave for a nickel an hour more.” This owner assumed that money was the number one reason people stayed on a job. She was so wrong.   

Read More

Don’t make resolutions – Make changes

Newspapers and magazines are full of articles on how to make New Year’s resolutions that succeed. Even Harvey Mackay joined in:
• “Resolutions need to be specific, attainable and personal. They need to come from your heart.”
• “The fewer resolutions you have, the better.”
• Tell other people; it puts pressure on you to stick with it.
• Reward yourself when you succeed or accomplish something.

Read More

This isn’t how I thought I would be spending Christmas Eve

No one likes to get a call late at night and the call I got on December 23rd at 10:30 was bad news. My younger sister LuAnn had died suddenly and unexpectedly from a heart attack. To complicate matters, LuAnn lives with and cares for Charlie, her 21 year old autistic son. My sister had done minimal end-of-life planning. What she had done was the paperwork naming her older son James, legal guardian of his brother in the event anything happened to her.

Read More

Put your credit card away; It won’t work on this.

Put your credit card away; It won’t work on this.

Next week is Christmas, a time of celebration and gift giving; of sending cards and catching up with old friends.

It’s a time of shopping and wrapping and hiding presents. It’s a time of looking for the perfect tree, dragging it home and spending a whole day decorating it until it glitters.

Read More

Want to lose your best people? Here’s how.

Want to lose your best people? Here’s how.

I recently sat through one of the worst performance appraisals I’d ever seen. The reviewer was the CEO and the person being reviewed was a high level executive in a large company. The review had two parts.

Read More