Are you really blissful being ignorant?

According to George Bernard Shaw, “success does not consist in never making mistakes but in never making the same one a second time.”  To be truly successful in resolving persistent personnel issues within your organization stop repeating the mistakes of the past.

I recently had a conversation with a mentor, Jay Block (best-selling author and motivational career coach) about the clichéd definition of insanity that has been making the rounds for a number of years.  You know the one – I even made reference to it in an earlier blog.  In our conversation Jay pointed out that continuing the same behavior while hoping for a different outcome is probably not insanity for us sane folks.  Rather, it is ignorance.  As we continued the conversation I had my “aha” moment and I agree.  Repeating unsuccessful problem resolution behaviors in the corporate world is ignorance but not in the nasty sense of that word.  Do you lack training or skills?  Are you perhaps being stubborn?   How much is your bottom line improved by continuing to stubbornly use approaches which have failed?   How many in corporate leadership positions have taken the time to obtain extensive training in problem resolution?  Isn’t that what you hire people to do?  In this case, being a leader includes having the grace and courage to admit that your skill set or your mind set may not encompass a wide variety of creative and innovative problem solving skills.  Those within your organization who are supposed to address such key issues may not be comfortable making the necessary decisions because of their commitment to the organization.  Isn’t it worth your time to consult with a professional problem solver?  Are you truly seeking to be successful or are you satisfied with your current blissful state?

A New Year – A New Opportunity

It’s a new year and we’ve all had a little time to adjust to writing “2014” on those important documents.  With the new year comes the opportunity to take a fresh look at how we are responding to the problems and issues that occur within our organizations.

This is not an encouragement to make a New Year’s Resolution – most of those only last the first week.  Rather, this is encouragement to take a fresh look at how you identify and resolve problems.  If in the last year you realized that your usual approach wasn’t working, now is a great time to assess your problem solving skills, emphasize the ones that are working and seek out help to improve those that were less productive than you wanted or knew.  Why not also make the decision to call in individuals who have experience with problem solving to help?  Such a decision is not an admission of failure.  It is a testament to your willingness to learn and to grow in your position and a testament to your commitment to seeing your staff and your organization succeed.  Let’s chat!

Thank You

Monday is November 11, Veteran’s Day.  I want to take a moment to thank all our nation’s veterans and their families, young, old and in-between.    Thanks to those who served in combat and those who supported them.  Without your dedication and willingness to make the supreme sacrifice, our nation would not be what it is today.  I hope and pray that our nation continues to be deserving of such service from a new generation of American men and women – committed to defending our freedoms and making us better for it.

Is this any way to start a Monday?

Like Mondays aren’t bad enough.   Think about starting your Monday out at the car dealership because  of car problems.   Not the way to start any day, especially the one day that can set the tone for your entire week.  Does that have to be the case?

Like many mechanical issues the car will be fixed in reasonable time.  Today’s technology insures that you’re in full communication with your office.  Just because things started out badly why let that dictate what the rest of your day or even your week will be like?  After that first moment (or three) of frustration didn’t you set a new course to deal effectively with this unforeseen event, thus reasserting control?  Now that you’ve righted the ship why keep wallowing in the frustration?  I don’t know about you all but staying in a frustrated state isn’t high on my list of favorite things.  I’d rather deal with the source of the frustration in a constructive way.

How do you approach unforeseen problems within your organization?  Do you allow the frustration to dictate your response to the situation and your dealings with others?  I know firsthand how hard it can be to not let your frustration creep into your conversations, meetings or dealings with personnel issues.  But as the head of your organization you have to work just a bit harder to model the behavior of focusing on the issue.  Does snapping your assistant’s head off make things better?  Really?  Is it his/her fault your car wasn’t running this morning?

As if things weren’t difficult enough your assistant just informed you that Aunt Nell’s on her way to your office.  Relax.  This will pass.  Put on a smile and keep Aunt Nell guessing. Give me a call later and we’ll chat.

You think you’ve got problems?!?

If you think you’ve got it bad, take a moment to thank your lucky stars you’re not in the shoes of THE CEO of the country.  How bad is it when even he can’t get a government bureaucrat to resign?  For whatever reason the public good now takes a backseat to personal goals.  Fortunately for you, despite all your problems you can still terminate those employees who refuse to perform to the organization’s standards and to the best of their ability.

Would you ever engage in behaviors that might cause people to question your integrity?  Would you allow any employee to engage in conduct which might lead to others questioning the integrity of your organization – or yours?  Not very likely.  One thing that remains the hallmark of your professionalism and that of your organization is your zero tolerance for anyone calling into question your reputation for integrity.  You won’t even allow the perception to develop that your integrity is in question.  So why doesn’t that same standard exist in some sectors of public service at the highest levels of management?  Those very same best business practices could certainly be used right about now in some public sector arenas as conceded by folks at the heart of the issues.  Sure, you have problems and they’re frustrating as heck.  Just be thankful integrity is not one of them.  Try to keep it that way.  You’ve got more than enough to deal with right now.  (Perhaps we should have Aunt Nell make a few telephone calls and focus her attention on their business practices….. Nah.)


Dear Readers – As I was preparing to write another article my attention was caught by the news of the tornado striking Moore, Oklahoma on Monday, 20 May 2013.  Watching the devastation and hearing the despair tinged with hope in the reporters’ voice I realized that I needed to refocus my thoughts.   I hope you will join with me in in keeping all those who have been injured or who have died and their families in our thoughts and prayers.  It’s times like these when I know I regain a fresh perspective on what’s truly important.

Frustration 401

Talk about things going wrong!  How many of us have experienced flight delays and cancellations due to storms?  This winter season and early spring have certainly tested my frustration level.  As I wrote this I was on a plane  for Orlando but we were diverted to Tampa for refueling due to weather.  The question then was whether we would get refueled and off the ground in Tampa before the weather closed that airport.

Sound familiar?  It’s a problem and there doesn’t seem to be a lot I can do to solve it.  But there is something I can do to make the situation better.  First, I need to keep things in perspective.  I realized that at some point I would arrive at my destination.  Dealing with the detours and delays really becomes just another task to insure that I reach my goal.

Second, I need to keep my sense of humor.  Getting angry would not have cleared up the weather any faster than what Mother Nature had intended and humor helps me keep things in perspective.   How does that relate to the problems that continue to plague your organization?  Many times the problems you’re facing are very serious and require difficult decisions to be made.  There’s nothing funny about having to discipline or even fire someone.  But the point about keeping the anger in check and maintaining a perspective  needs to be emphasized.  When did losing your temper ever solve anything?  Keeping things in perspective helps establish needed priorities. Working hard to accomplish the tasks is easier with the help of a problem solver.  Who better to vent your anger and frustration on than with someone whose only agenda is helping you solve those persistent problems?  I won’t take it personally.

There are no words

In light of the unspeakable evil which took place Friday in Newtown, Connecticut,  I ask simply that we all pause for a moment to remember the true innocents we lost yesterday.  In this season of joy and celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace, may He continue to be a beacon of faith and hope.  May God also hold the families and friends of those lost yesterday gently in the palm of  His hands.