Thursday, January 18, 2018

What to Do On a Snow Day

What will you do with a snow day?

Granted, some folks MUST go to work and we should thank all the first responders and people who show up snow, rain, shine or hailing streetcars.

But, if you are home today--working from home is what you're tellig everyone--what are you going to get done?

Try this...pick 3 work things to get done...they don't have to be monumental, big-time projects...they can be some of those annoying things that you never seem to find time in the office to do...but, they need to be done.

Pick those things.

And then, get'em done.

And then, have some fun! Snow days aren't meant to be drudgery Get into that kid who is still in your head--sometimes buried under all that grown-up stuff--and have a snowball fight, go sledding, take a walk and enjoy the beauty of it all.

Stay warm.

Monday, January 15, 2018

"If a man is called to be a street sweeper...

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.' ”

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

You might not read this...but you should...

This is waaaay more important than you might think...the edited story below comes from The Hustle, an eletter based in San Franscisco...ask yourself if the topic is affecting you or folks you know/love.

Tech Addition is REAL

"Aside from correlations to mental health disorders like social anxiety and depression, recent studies have shown that smartphone addiction costs corporate America around$54B annually in lost productivity.

"In an unprecedented move two major stockholders are pressuring Apple to address the growing concern of smartphone addiction.

"They urged the company to design more intuitive ways for parents to safeguard their children’s devices, and called for them to build a committee of experts “to assist additional research efforts.
"The World Health Organization recently classified video game addiction as a mental health condition, and a large number of health professionals believe device addiction is going to get worse as technology gets faster and smarter.

It’s not just Apple...they might be in the hot seat right now, but the US, on the whole, has been late to the game on preventative measures to curb overuse.

Australia, China, Japan, India and many others already treat tech addiction like a serious disorder, naming it a public health crisis and investing in in-patient treatment facilities."

Thursday, January 4, 2018

It's Snowing!!!! What Will YOU Do?

Last night, when you knew it was going to snow and that your activities today would be affected, what did you think?

Yipppeeeee!!! Off today! I can kick back/clean up/play/relax!


Dang! Gotta find a way to get into work; maybe go in late; tons of folks calling; folks saying they can’t make it (well, I’ll make it so why can’t they?)


Well, I guess I can get some work done from home.

Some folks are fortunate and don’t have jobs in which they MUST be at work. Others aren’t so lucky…and others won’t be going to work, but they need to be there for reasons of pay.

Snow is beautiful and, sometimes, fun…but it affects many of us in different ways.

Let’s wish the folks who MUST be out in it well…law enforcement, road workers, EMTs and employees who are in businesses that can’t close. Let’s all say a prayer that those folks get home safely.

Let’s hope good things for folks who are in shelters and churches or sleeping under bridges.

As for those of us at home, let’s try to get something constructive done today. If you have children with you try to remember what it was like when it snowed and you were that age. Try to create a memory instead of a headache.

Good luck with the weather. Stay warm. Stay off the roads if possible.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Is It Chasing Me??!!!

2017 is gone, campers!!!! My tires are squealing and I’m checking my rearview mirror to make sure the year is not chasing me! 

All you really grown up, mature, Type A’s have already created your goal list for 2018. You sat down over the holidays (some of you did this at Thanksgiving) and looked back at 2017, congratulated yourself on completing a lot of the goals you set during the holidays in 2016 and looked ahead to the coming year.

The rest of us are still taking down Christmas decorations, shipping the gifts we should have sent 2 weeks ago and thinking, “Are you kidding? 2018 is already here?”

No worries. You’re in good company.

Here’s what you do: Get paper and pen (you can do this electronically, but it won’t be as effective) and draw a VERY big T on the paper. At the top, on the left-hand side, put a plus sign, on the right put a minus sign. 

During the next couple of days simply take a little time to look back at 2017 and ask, “What happened that I’d like to have happen again?” List those things under the plus sign. Then, ask, “What happened that I wouldn’t want to happen again?” Those go under the minus sign.

You will have some items on both sides that are one-offs, those things that happen only once or once in a while. 

There will be immediate thoughts that come to you. Jot those down. If you give this exercise a couple of days, though, your subconscious will work on it and you’ll get examples you might not have thought about if you simply do the exercise in an hour.

Your goals/hopes/resolutions for 2018 will come from the two lists. Here’s how you do it. Ask yourself, “How do I make sure the good things happen again, or, more often, or, better?” and “How do I keep the negative things from happening again, or, that they will happen less frequently, or, when they do happen they aren’t as bad?”

Sure, pick a monster goal or two. Use the improvements you are making as stepping stones to get to those peaks. 

This simple exercise helps you create a coming year in which you will make continuous progress. You are more likely to approach the year positively knowing you’ll get more of what you want and less of what you don’t want.

And, you’ll be more likely—on January 2, 2019—to be looking in your rearview mirror and thinking, “You know, 2018 was pretty good and I’m going to make 2019 even better!!”

If you know someone who could use this idea forward it to them. 

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Ho, Ho, Uh Oh!

You might want to sit down…oh, you’re already sitting down…Ok.

What I’m going to say next will be judged by some as heresy…as wrong as wrong can be…and I’m going to follow it up with a confession.

Here we go….

First, I’m not a big fan of the Christmas movie It’s a Wonderful Life with Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed. 

There I said it. 

I’m more of a Miracle on 34th Street and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation kind of guy.

However, there is a wonderful lesson in It’s a Wonderful Life that goes waaaay beyond the movie. In the flik, Clarence the angel keeps Jimmy Stewart from jumping off the bridge and shows him how important his life has been in many other lives. 

And then, Clarence offers a line that should echo through all our lives,  "... no man is a failure who has friends.”

Here’s the confession and connection: In a variety of ways, the last two years have been the two most difficult, challenging and worst years of  my life. Hands down, few, if any, of the preceding 63 years have even come close.

However, the presence and kindnesses offered by many of my friends have gotten me through these times and continues to support me. 

All I can say is Thank You to: Joe, Lily, Jeff and Jincy, David, Mark and BJ, John, Cathy, Mary Michael, Wanda, Janet, Al, Don, Bob,  Mike, Mick, Marty, John, Joel and Joel, Jeff, Bary and Linda, Harold and, again, Lily.

Here at the end of the year Clarence’s observation, "... no man is a failure who has friends.” reinforces the feeling of the season! Take a moment and let a friend know how much they have meant to you this year and in years past. 

This is my end-of-year blog…thanks so much for putting up with me during the year…the first blog of ’18 will appear next week and will look ahead to what is shaping up to be a great year!

Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Do You Trust Your Boss? Maybe This Will Interest You

The article below ran in the Raleigh News and Observer on Sunday...something to think about no matter where you work.

Managers don’t fare well in worker survey

BY MARCIA HEROUX POUNDS (South Florida) Sun Sentinel

Eighty percent of employees say managers are unnecessary, a national survey on manager-employee relationships found.

The survey of more than 2,000 employees by Ultimate Software found that 75 percent of employees say approachability is the most important quality in an effective manager, but only half of 10 employees say they have an approachable manager.

For 93 percent of employees, trust in their direct boss is essential to staying satisfied at work, and over half of employees surveyed say that if they aren’t satisfied at work, they can’t put forth their best effort.

Ultimate Software, based in Weston, Fla., said the employee-manager relationship “matters a great deal when it comes to job satisfaction and retention.”

The survey, released Monday, is “a wake-up call for companies of all sizes to get serious about better training, coaching, and guidance for managers, so these relationships remain strong,” said Adam Rogers, chief technology officer at Ultimate Software, which specializes in human resources software.

Jason Dorsey, president and co-founder of the Center for Generational Kinetics, a research organization in Austin, Texas, said the results “highlight the long-standing belief that people don’t leave companies, they leave managers.” He said the issue is a “serious concern that affects everyone in the workforce and it’s something all companies should focus on fixing before they end up losing great leaders and valuable talent.”

Ultimate’s survey pointed to a significant gap in managers’ and employees’ perceptions: 80 percent of managers surveyed think they’re transparent with their direct reports, yet only 55 percent of employees agree. And while most employees say they feel comfortable communicating, 57 percent of managers wish their employees would be more open with what’s on their mind.

One problem, according to the survey, is that less than half of managers report having a mentor who gives them guidance on how to be a better leader, and 45 percent have never received management training.