Friday, April 30, 2010


Friends -
A few weeks back I introduced you to the concept of Awesomeness.

This methodology for inspired living is based on years of professional experience, the lessons I have learned and some tips for doing right by yourself.

Awesomeness is:
Always remember the little people
Wishing must be accompanied by a well prepared Strategy
Every opinion is only an effort to curtail your unique motivation
Synchronize Professional Courtesy and Personal Interest
Only YOU can determine YOUR success
Many bridges must be crossed to find your way home
Even a broken clock is right twice a day
Never Give Up
Estimate impossible revenue goals - and double them
Simplicity can be the pathway to expertise
Some people are assholes - ignore them!

In the month of May we will review these concepts individually and expound upon them.

Drink them it, digest them and share them with the world!

Don't Forget to Remember,


Friday, April 16, 2010

Introducing Awesomeness

In his book 'Delivering Happiness' the Great Tony Hsieh introduces Zappos 10 core values. One of them being:


In no uncertain terms, Tony makes the point that if you are seeking any type of stability, whatsoever, Zappos is probably not the company for you!

How refreshing! A company that looks at the well certified, well dressed, well educated cog in the corporate wheel and shows them the back door.

The Reason why Zappos is great is because they view convention as mediocrity. They realize that structure by defacto checks and balances is the problem...not the solution.

In these troubling times, more and more companies have taken less chances in a survival effort. But companies like Zappos, have taken more chances viewing market caution as an opportunity not a cause for paranoia.

In 2010, the best companies have not a panic button but an extra gear on their jet pack.

I want to introduce you to the concept of AWESOMENESS:
Always remember the little people

Wishing must be accompanied by a well prepared Strategy

Every opinion is only an effort to curtail your unique motivation

Strategy and happiness are not rival concepts

Only YOU can determine YOUR success

Miracles happen every day - if you work really hard

Even a broken clock is right twice a day

Never Give Up

Estimate impossible revenue goals - and double them

Simplicity can be the pathway to expertise

Some people are assholes - ignore them!

Don't Forget To Remember!



Monday, April 12, 2010

The Watch

Last week we made the distinction: EVERYONE LOVES TO BE APPRECIATED!

So at what point do we graduate from the the appreciated to the appreciator?

As an example: when we get married we give away half of ourselves, when we have children we give away the other half and ultimately live to provide for others.

When we achieve financial success we begin to set aside funding for a cause. When we develop business acumen we get to a point when we can share our success story.

Are you ready to give back? Are you ready to pat someone on the back for their sake (not yours)? Are you confident enough in yourself to trust and empower others without short term expectation?

Jane's life was filled with short comings. She always tried hard but was never a top performer. At the company awards banquet she sat quietly, alone, and watched others receive rewards then thank their loved ones. Jane just didn't have the intestinal fortitude to get to great.

Does this make Jane a poor employee?

Jane spent 10 straight years at 90% of her quota. Consistently good, reliable, easy to manage; a perfect example of how to exist professionally.

Her boss, Jennifer, remembered the one time Jane opened up to her....she told a story of her life being pleasantly drama-free: She enjoyed living alone, she enjoyed working hard for the right reasons, she loved her life and her job. It was incredibly pleasing to her to find the goal and get there. Jane said she did not want to be recognized because it embarrassed her. She was happy to get her lunch in her cubicle, read on the bus and find customer's that were easy to get along with. The only memento of achievement that ever mattered to Jane was a Minnie Mouse watch that her (now deceased) father had bought for her.
So on her 10th Anniversary with her company, Jane went about work as usual. As she headed to the bus at the end of the day Jennifer called her into her office. She gave her an evaluation on another year of productive work and handed her an envelope.

On the bus ride home, Jane opened the envelope to see a note that simply stated: I AM SO PROUD OF YOU!...with a Minnie Mouse watch in the envelope.

Amid a group of strangers on the bus...Jane broke down into tears. For the first time in her professional life she felt genuinely appreciated!

Sometimes it is not so much what we have said to our employees but how well we have listened.

Don't Forget to Remember!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010


I am fortunate enough to spend my day helping organizations develop the strategy of appreciation.

Occasionally, I will hear people say - "we don't believe in recognition here"!


Everyone wants to be recognized for what they do, everyone appreciates rewards, everyone needs a pat on the back for encouragement!

I understand the commodity employee recognition has become and the according stigma:
- It does not make sense to give a person a gift with a company logo on it or to select a gift for them that they do not want.

- If you are inarticulate in the way you recognize a person's achievement in a speech to their peers it has an adverse effect.

- If you force someone to participate in a contest in which they have no interest, it is nothing more than another task.

- If you ask me to pat someone on the back for a job that was done in mediocre fashion the nominator, recipient and the organization suffer.

- If I am able to order an expensive prize after 5 years of shitty work, that is nothing more than entitlement.

If you have made employee celebration a commodity you might as well:
1. Burn company money
2. Post a company mission statement written in morse code
3. Help your employees sharpen up their resumes

You cannot be transparent in the way you LOVE your people:
* Every employee must be personally engaged in the reward with which you empower them!

* When you speak of someone who you have manged for five years and you do not have the ability to inspire them to tears - you should be FIRED!

* The Reward should encompass a Choice!

* Everyone should have an Equal Opportunity to be Appreciated!

* The choice to participate should be an Honor not a burden.

In simplest terms, everyone is different. Your employee should be a contributing business partner specifically because they can do things NO ONE else can do.

Know What Makes Your People Unique and Celebrate accordingly!

Don't Forget to Remember!



Friday, April 2, 2010

The Ripple Effect - part 2

John assists Jennifer with an order and she sends him a friendly note along with a link to buy his favorite MP3. John's accomplishment is then broadcast to the company in a newsletter. He receives 22 emails from his colleagues extending further congratulations. He goes home happy for the weekend. So much so, that he asks his girlfriend to pick the movie tonight. She is so surprised and elated that she decides not to dump him.

Bill thinks the Sales guys get all the credit for his hard work; driving a truck picking up boxes of highly sensitive documents. After a long shift his boss asks him to come into the distribution office. He fires up his computer, asks him to read a heartfelt note from the guy with the tie and then tells him to select a piece of jewelry to give to his daughter to wear at the spring dance this weekend. Bill gives his daughter the necklace. She decides that her Dad is still the only guy for her and tells Travis that she will only be his dance partner that evening. Bill and his daughter spend a Sunday in the park like they used to. On Monday, Bill sees a full route on his itinerary and sprints to his truck to complete the orders on time.

Pauline has been passed over for a promotion for the 3rd time. Her job is effecting her marriage, she is always stressed and she really does not feel that all her hard work has had any impact. She walks into the office ready to quit and move to Nebraska with her husband. There, her whole team waits for her. Each tells her a brief story of how she has helped them. Pauline realizes that leadership is not about climbing the corporate ladder or making more money but the legacy you pass on to those who you touch every day.

Dear Reader,
This is the Ripple Effect! It is real. It makes companies better. It carries human interaction into the workplace and makes your office the best place to work in the world.

The Ripple Effect limits turnover, saves the company money, drives revenue, limits entitlement, and creates a community.

The Ripple Effect saves marriages, prevents teenage pregnancy and prohibits people from making wrong life decisions.

Your office is full of HUMAN BEINGS with Human Interest Stories. Celebrate Them!

How was work today?

The inevitable questions that is posed to us at day’s end when we are at the dinner table with our family, on the back porch with Grandpa, or in the gym with our friends is…how was work today?

The key to opening a positive dialogue in these ‘end of the day’ conversations is…The Ripple Effect.

The differentiating element in making any company great is our people…If we are celebrated we are inspired and if we are inspired we are engaged.

So if we spend most of our waking hours at work…and we love what we do…the world can be a better place!

Don't Forget to Remember,



Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Ripple Effect

Last week we talked about producing a Ripple Effect in the workplace to inspire a 'pay it forward' mentality. We used the Disneyland Formula:
If a woman sees her son laughing his face off on a roller coaster, I guarantee all the frustration of parenting escapes in that moment. She is filled with the irreplaceable joy of giving life and growing it. So when they hop off that ride and she holds the door for a guy who is frustrated that the vacation is not going as planned maybe he will remember why he is at Disneyland. That hug that Gentlemen gives to his wife may help her remember why she loves him. And so a Ripple Effect is produced......why can't your office be the Happiest Place on Earth.

I am asked daily to help organizations determine the ROI of recognition. It is not an easy question to answer and I do not believe in stretching the truth to pontificate a presumed point. But, if we review the example above, everything depends on our interactions and their positive outcomes. Will your company go out of business if you do not appreciate the people who work hard for your organizational cause....probably not. But, if you hire great people they have choices. So let's ponder the cost of the following:
* What does it cost to hire, train and onboard a new employee?

* If your company was 10% more productive would it be worth it to give each of your employees a $100 gift card?

* What is the savings to your organization if every employees stay onboard for at least 5 years?

* If non-incentive based departments were given rewards for performance would they perform better?

* If a customer service rep got a pat on the back from a Sales Rep for every order they completed would this expedite their process for order completion?

Bottom line, if you appreciate your employees in a formal manner through nominations, spot awards, service celebration and performance incentives your business results will increase. The expense of an i-pod is not greater than the benefit of completing a project a week early and sending 6 temps home.

Rewards without meaningful delivery and an according company culture are meaningless. We need to produce a Ripple Effect.

Find out how next week......

Don't Forget to Remember