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.

Monday, December 4, 2017

I'm Afraid!!!!

How many folks do you know who would admit what I’m admitting? Hang with me and see if this message takes you somewhere helpful.

This morning I was talking with one of my smartest friends about fear.

We were agreeing that so much of what is going on now in the country is based on fear. As a nation, it seems that we are in the middle of a tornado of change and most people are naturally fearful of change. 

(Cue the cliche machine!) We all have changes going on in our lives. If nothing else, the person we see in the mirror every morning is changing—not just daily, but second to second. That thought, alone, kicks up fear in a lot of us. 

So, how do we deal with the fear?

Here are 3 simple suggestions for getting a handle on that Oh No! feeling in your life:

1. Understand that everyone—Ev-er-y-one—has fears. You are not in this alone.

2. Read through the acronyms below for F.E.A.R. Find one that works for you and take a few moments to think it through. Think about each word, separately, and then consider the whole phrase. You’ll find inspiration in each one.
- Future Events Appearing Real
- False Expectations Appearing Real
- False Evidence Appearing Real
- Face It, Explorer It, Accept It, Rise Above It
- Face Everything And Rise
- Face Everything And Run (Actually, I’m kinda partial to this! LOL!!)
3.  Name it. I’m betting your biggest fear comes in one of these areas: Health, Relationships, Work, Money, Social, Spiritual, Community. And yes, I understand that you have a lot of things going on in all the areas, but what is going on in one of the areas that seems to be a real dragon?

Now that you have some focus use the link below to check out the different ways you can deal with, lower, handle and, maybe, alleviate some of your fears.