Friday, November 28, 2014

Don't Pay the Ransom, I've Escaped!!

Sorry about missing blogs the last week or so. Life sometimes takes precedent. Moving, work, travel and all the same things the rest of you are experiencing. Will be back to full speed on Monday.

But, Happy Thanksgiving weekend!!

Couple of quick thoughts:

If you aren't aware of someecards.com you've got to go to the site and see their Thanksgiving cards...wonderfully funny, irreverent, sarcastic and TRUE!

To our friends in the North, keep digging.

To all, be careful on the roads.

So, enjoy the last of the turkey, glory in OD'ing on football and--considering that it's Black Friday--BUY LOCAL!!

See you Monday.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Cheese or Laugh...Which One Are You?



Last weekend was homecoming weekend at UNC-Chapel Hill. Fortunately, the Tar Heels pulled out a win so most of the frozen spectators who made it ‘til the end of the game were happy.

One of the great things about homecoming at a college, church or family reunion is that you get to see places and folks you haven’t seen for awhile. Memories flood back and new memories are made.

For the last ten years, one of my fraternity brothers has had a get-together on the Friday night before Homecoming Saturday. I’m the youngest one of the group. Most of the guys are mid- or late-60s, and they joke about the fact that I’m the pledge so I have to answer the telephone (needless to say, we were in school before all the hazing was publicized).

It’s great seeing these guys and seeing/talking about/hearing the commonalities (health issues, relationships, mortality thoughts and hating what is happening at UNC-CH) and the differences (various ranges of success, relationships and life views).

Guys who were 10-feet tall and bulletproof in college now have a more measured view of life. Some of the ones who were introverts are now wonderfully outgoing and full of life.

Most of us change as time goes by; physically, certainly, but also in how we view life. After a particularly funny biological moment during a photo session a thought came to me that sums up what we all learn as life goes on…

When we look at all the people we come in contact with in life we can break’em down into two groups; those who spend all their time acting as if life cheesed, and the ones who act as if life laughed. The best thing is that we get to choose which one we’re going to be. And, the very best folks are the ones who, when the first thing happens…they do the second.

Or, is it the other way around?

Monday, November 10, 2014

What Language Do You Speak?

This morning I've had two very different conversations about situations in which businesses have messed up their service to me. The people I talked with were speaking different languages.

In the first case, with LifeTime Fitness on Capitol Blvd. in Raleigh, their representative apologized for the mess-up, asked pertinent questions, apologized again, fixed the problem and asked if they could do anything else to help...then apologized again. Her name was Evelyn and she was GREAT!!

The next call didn't go the same way. I'm not going to describe the who and what because you've had calls that quickly went south so I'd just be wasting your time describing an experience you've had.

Here's the key, though. The second person's comments to me were filled with jargon; words and phrases that, while wonderfully clear to her and her colleagues, sounded to me like she was speaking Farsi.

When I explained that I had no idea what she was saying she said, "Well, we'll have to get back to you..." ...which was the same thing they told me 10 days ago when I called.

And that...was that.

No matter what business you're in you have your own language. Not everyone understands the language. Even some of the folks in your industry don't understand it...especially rookies.

When clients/customers/patients/citizens indicate they don't understand it doesn't mean they are dopes...no matter how simple it sounds to you.

If you're going to make an assumption when dealing with folks (and we all know what happens when you ass-u-me something) it's probably better to assume they don't know your language. Speak simply.

Friday, November 7, 2014

What's Your Job Description?



“That’s not in my job description.”

If you’re like me, the phrase above is one of those comments that’ll set you off quicker than almost anything else.

If you read this blog on a regular basis you’re probably not one of the folks who uses the not my job phrase. Reading this is a commitment to investing in yourself and folks who use the phrase don’t usually have that mindset.

The attitude comes from a Have/Be/Do philosophy of life. It says if I Have the reward I’ll Be what you want me to be and Do what you want me to do.

The problem is that the vast majority of life doesn’t work that way—at least for people interested in success. For them, life is a Do/Be/Have journey. I’ll Do what I need to do so I’ll Be who I need to be and in so doing I’ll Have what I want to have.

Doing comes first…and that means doing things outside your job description.

Have a great weekend! See you Monday!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Laugh, Cry or Shut Up

Ok...elections are over and now real life starts again.

Are you laughing with joy that you won?

Are you crying that you lost?

Here's the reality, though...if you didn't vote, shut up. If you didn't vote you don't get to complain, you're sitting in the back seats getting driven around by people who were put in the driver's seat by the folks who voted.

And, if you don't like how things turned out you'll get another chance for change in two years...so, get to work making that happen.

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Life Sandwich Store

Today is National Sandwich Day...so have a sandwich for lunch...and dinner!

Started thinking about how we live our lives and maybe the sandwich metaphor is not a bad one to use.

Maybe we use our basic values--family/spirituality/work/staying healthy--as the bread and then we put a variety important issues--hobbies/travel/recreation/work--in the middle.

Some folks have life sandwiches that look like those Hardees Thickburgers while others have a simple but healthy PBJ.

The great thing about life is that on any day we can choose to change our life sandwich; different bread, different fillings.

If you were standing at the counter at the Life Sandwich restaurant what would you be ordering?