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18

Dec
2009
Comments Off on Handling the Holidays

Handling the Holidays

Interestingly, over the past five or ten years or so, there has been increased controversy over the holiday season.  People are becoming afraid to offend someone, and thus avoid saying things such as “Merry Christmas,” and the like.  Business leaders seem to have great contention over how to decorate offices, send holiday cards, etc.

As a business leader, this is a decision that you will have to make for your company.  Your team is going to be looking to you to see what type of character you have: Will you make a decision?  Will you stand behind the decision?  How will you address people’s concerns or objections to your decision?  Your strength or weakness at this time will leave an impression on your team.

As you make your decision, I offer these thoughts:Holiday Peace

  1. Remember what is most important.  You may find that taking an opportunity to celebrate your team or your community might be more important goal than emphasizing a holiday. 
  2. Consider your company’s values.  If your company’s values are to embrace individuality and spirituality in the workplace, make sure that your holiday message reflects these values.
  3. Keep in mind that it is important to make a decision, and stick with it. As I mention, this is one of those character building/character assassination opportunities.  Your short term decision could have a long-term impact.
  4. Don’t be insensitive to your team.  If you choose to have a Christmas Party, and present it as such, find a way to celebrate those who do not wish to participate.  Ensure that they know that they are valued members of the team.
  5. Don’t over-do it.  Over emphasizing your beliefs or practices could prove to be disruptive and offensive.  If your company chooses to celebrate Christmas, a tree might be nice.  Forcing everyone to walk around in Elf and Santa costumes might be over-doing it.  Your tea
  6. m will help you determine what is appropriate.  Consider your customers.
  7. Involve the team in the decision-making process.  If you decide to have a celebration of some sort, you’ll want to make sure that they at least have an opportunity to be involved in the decision.  Word of caution: you may wish to narrow down options to several before presenting them to the team.  Otherwise, you may find that they are going in many different directions.
  8. Don’t be afraid to give: give to your team, give to your community, give to your other stakeholders.  Find ways to give memorably.  At this time of year, people have expectations, whether they say it or not.
  9. Don’t be ashamed to receive.  Some of your stakeholders will be giving to you, as well.  Show your appreciation, not just for the gift or the card, but also, for the thought.
  10. Don’t be ashamed to wish people a Merry Christmas, Happy, Hanukah, a Happy Kwanza, Happy New Years, Happy Holidays, or whatever strikes your fancy.  This is your way of showing someone that you care about them.  It is like saying, “thank you for being alive and part of my life.”  There will be those that don’t or cannot appreciate it.you cannot help that, and you cannot change them.  Simply smile and disengage.

So, all said, I wish you a Merry Christmas season, and offer you the kindest thoughts and blessings throughout the new year.  I hope that you will continue to learn and grow to create an extraordinary future for your business.  May God bless you in all that you do.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Holidays,Business Decisions,Employees,Christmas,Extraordinary Leadership,Management and Leadership,Transparency,Values,vision
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16

Dec
2009
Comments Off on Only the Beginning

Only the Beginning

Do you ever think about what makes extraordinary companies extraordinary?  Not just from a financial standpoint, but from an all around standpoint.  Not looking at the size of the company, but rather the impact it makes.  Not looking at salaries and benefits, but rather employee commitment.  Not looking at growth potential but rather, a shared vision.Beginning a New Path

While I would not imply that there is a specific formula for making it work – like raising a child, each business has its own personality – it’s industry, market, leadership, management, etc., one fact that seems to have contributed, significantly, is the idea that everyone in the organization contributes.  We recall the Saturn commercials, where employees were asked to do anything it took to make things run better.  That might include stopping production for a small idea.  this was a company that was known for being owned by and run by the employees.

Seems like they have something there.  But how does this work in your organization?  By design, of course.  Through communications with your teams, you can begin to open dialogue.  Another factor is servant leadership, wherein you, as the business leader, do everything you can to make sure that the employees have everything they need to be successful.  That might look like providing them with the right resources such as up to date computers and software, finding ways to leverage their unique gifts and abilities and valuing and weighing their ideas and opinions and including them in any major change in the organization.

Sometimes that will also look like showing them how to seek opportunities in other companies and helping them prepare for them.

The reason that this is only the beginning is because moving your company to this mentality is foundational to growing an extraordinary company.  However, it is not just a flip of a switch; it is a change or enhancement in the operational culture.  It requires letting the reigns loose.  It requires courage and risk – letting go of what you are to embrace what you could become.  It is like the beginning off a whole new day.  It is like making the first footprints on a new beach, or after a new snow.

Have the courage to step out into a new beginning.  Become extraordinary.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Attitude,Business Decisions,Business Growth Strategies,Business Path,Extraordinary,Employees,Vision,Management and leadership,Leadership Effectiveness,Leadership Development
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14

Dec
2009
Comments Off on SSDD.and do it All, Again

SSDD.and do it All, Again

“Same Stuff Different Day,” or versions of it has been made an infamous response to greetings, made famous by movies featuring employees of “corporate America.”   The people that use this phrase are those who begrudgingly go to work, push their pencils around all day, confuse “hardly working” with “working hard,” take long lunches, call off on sick days, etc.  In a nutshell, you might say they have a bad attitude about their work.

Interestingly, they (or you) could be one of those rotten apples that could spoil the whole bunch.  Think about it – if you were to come to work, each day, complain about everything that is going wrong with you, your spouse and your job, how motivating would those around you feel?  When people come to you with the same type of information, how motivated do YOU feel?Mid-adult businessman in shirt-and-tie looking at camera.

Thinking back to those movies – normally, at the end of the movie, the person who was famous for saying SSDD wasn’t saying it any longer.  Why was that?  If you notice, his or her focus had changed, resulting in a change in attitude.  The change in attitude made them more productive, able to accomplish more and appreciated by those at their workplace.

Is this just a movie phenomenon?  No – absolutely not.  The key is identifying the motivators.  It’s not just a question of doing something different, it’s a question of aligning skills, abilities and interests with a job.  For some, that means starting a new company.  For others, that means getting their business back on the original track it was on.  For others, still, that may look like finding a job that provides them with the motivation and focus they need to be successful.

No one person can tell you how to escape that mentality.  However, as a business leader, for your team to be effective, you’ve got to be effective, yourself.  Essentially, you need to be the C.E.O. of your life – the one that creates the vision, defines the mission, sets the goals, addresses the needs and drives the activities of your life.  If you are a spiritual person, this allows you to be more aligned with your spirituality.  If you are individualistic, you will probably get greater satisfaction out of your accomplishments.

Kris Cavanaugh, one of The Business Strategy People ™ , goes into the CEO mentality, in great detail, on her website – www.begintoshift.com.  Sign up for one of her e-courses or for a free coaching session.  Tell her you want to be the Boss.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Leadership Effectiveness,Attitude,Business Growth Strategies,Business Path,Employees,Strategic Partnerships,Transparency,Vision
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11

Dec
2009
Comments Off on Finding a Mentor

Finding a Mentor

One of the most valuable relationships I have had is the one I share with my mentors.  They’ve been able to give me insight and direction in every area of my life.  The funny thing about it is that I didn’t quite realize that they were my mentors, and the degree to which they’d impacted me.

As a younger man, I had always sought out a mentor – some one person who could give me all of the guidance and direction to do any number of things in my life.  I wanted someone who could help me get really good at what I was doing and make recommendations on how to get better.  Unfortunately, that never materialized for me.  However, this didn’t stop me from watching and growing.Mentor

As I’ve matured, I’ve begun to realize that there was no one person who would be the perfect influence for every area of my life.  I learned that I could have different mentors for different areas of my life.  I also learned that mentors could be people who I have never met, but rather, have a healthy understanding of their accomplishments, the way they lived their lives or how they ran their company, for example.  These could be people I’ve read about, people I’ve seen on stage, like a pastor or priest, people who I’ve heard about through others.

One of my mentors, Dr. Ike Rieghard  (www.DrIke.org), tells me that I need to look at different areas of my life, and find someone who I admire and learn how they do what they do.   More likely than not, no one person will meet all of my needs.  However, these people have achieved some level of success in some area that is very valuable to me.  For example, there are speakers who I have modeled my speech development process after.  There are others who I’ve seen make and achieve bold goals and visions for their groups.

I highly recommend identifying people that you could identify with who fit into different areas of your life.  Parents, friends, ministers, authors or whomever.  You will find that you probably have identified them already.  Now look at what it is that makes them a great resource for you.  Maybe it’s their ability to make good decisions.  Maybe it’s the way they carry themselves, or their ability to motivate people.  You might start out by asking them a very specific question, or specific questions.  I’ve had success offering to purchase a cup of coffee for an opportunity to pick their brain for a little while.

Most people are honored to be asked, and would be quite willing to offer assistance as long as you don’t become overbearing, you do what they suggest and you respect their time and authority.  You may only meet with your mentor once a year, if at all.  No matter – continue to push forward, taking every advantage of opportunities to implement their suggested activities.  Your mentor will likely be excited by your successes.

Finally – pass it forward.  While you must guard your time, try to find a way to mentor others.  Make yourself open and available to teach others in areas of your life where you’ve been very successful.  Sometimes, you won’t see it right away, but there are certain things you are born to do.those are the things people will likely approach you about.

Aepiphanni Business Solutions is a Strategy Consulting Firm dedicated to serving the needs of business leaders and executives. We specialize in helping people get into business, and stay there.  We welcome clients in the personal and professional services industries, including restaurants, catering and event planning.  As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts, questions and suggestions.  If you are seeking a business assessment, or have further questions about creating your strategy or developing your vision, please give me, Rick Meekins, a call at 678-265-3908, or email us at [email protected].


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Technorati Tags: Mentor,Attitude,Business Decisions,Leadership Development,Extraordinary,Management and Leadership
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