Walk The Talk #12

 WALK THE TALK #12 All successful leaders place a premium on keeping their promises and commitments.-- Steve Ventura

You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.-- Ziggy

Don't cast all decisions in cement. Be willing to modify them as changing circumstances or data dictate.
-- Eric Harvey
Dear Larry,I’m excited to share with you a new book by Zig Ziglar, Inspiration: 365 Days a Year. This book, filled with daily quotes and beautiful photography, will make the perfect gift for your friends, family, and coworkers. Give the gift of Inspiration that will last all year long. Order by 2:00 p.m. CST today, Tuesday, December 16, to receive the book by December 24th.

Learn more...
Inspiration: 365 Days a Year

By  Zig Ziglar This is a beautiful coffee table book that will be a perpetual source of inspiration for years to come. Zig Ziglar is a legend when it comes to motivating and inspiring others; and we’re honored to add Inspiration...365 Days a Year.
Excerpted from Inspiration: 365 Days a YearIntroduction by Zig Ziglar
Reading has been the fuel of my motivation, it has changed the direction in which I have traveled, and it has enhanced my creative imagination more than any other activity I have ever pursued. I’m now in my eighth decade of living and I still read several hours a day. Why? When I can hook up old information with new information, the combination of the two creates perspectives that could never have been achieved otherwise. New information makes new and fresh ideas possible.
I read for the “ah-has,” the information that makes a light bulb go off in my mind. I want to put information in my mind that is going to be the most beneficial to me, my family and my fellow man, financially, morally, spiritually, and emotionally. I seldom read anything that is not of a factual nature because I want to invest my time wisely in the things that will improve my life. Don’t misunderstand; there is nothing wrong with reading purely for the joy of it. Novels have their place, but biographies of famous men and women contain information that can change lives. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking changed my thinking. The Bible changed my believing. Ultimately, what I have read has changed my being.
If the “ah-ha” I get when I’m reading is not already reduced into one or two sentences, I’ll take the essence of what I’ve read and chunk it into easily remembered bites of information. That information is what becomes “quotable”. You would not sit still for me to read every book I’ve ever read to you. But if you’re the least bit like me, you’ll jump at the chance to bypass all the churning and scoop the cream right off the top – that’s what quotes are…the cream of our learning.

The right quote can inspire people to change their ways. I love to quote my mother, “Tell the truth and tell it ever, costeth what it will; for he who hides the wrong he did, does the wrong thing still.” Of course this quote didn’t begin with my mother, but she is the first person who said it to me. Quotes, good quotes, are like that – you remember who said it, what the circumstances were, and that it had an immediate impact on your thinking.

I’ve compiled the quotes in this book with great care. I’ve included quotes that will help you on the work front, the home front, and the spiritual front. There are quotes to lift you up and quotes to bring you back to earth. Some will make you smile and some will create more questions than you might care to think about. All of them will make you think and that is an exercise that will enhance and improve your future immensely.

It is my hope that you “get” the “ah-has” I got when I first read or wrote the quotes I’ve selected for this inspirational book.

If you apply what you learn to your life, I can honestly say that I will See You at the Top!
Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.-- Peter F. Drucker
Welcome to a special edition of Leadership Lessons - straight from the desk of Santa Claus.

Dear Santa:
Addressing team member performance problems is the toughest and least-pleasant part of my leadership job. Sometimes I get so worked up, I’m afraid I might say or do the wrong thing. How can I keep my emotions in check? What’s the best way to start the problem-solving process?
Wondering in Winnipeg

Dear Dear Wondering:
I share your concern. Addressing performance problems is definitely a tough task – even for someone as jolly as me. Whenever I have to face that challenge, I turn to one of my most helpful resources, Positive Discipline. Here’s an excerpt that I think you’ll find particularly relevant:
When facing a performance problem, don’t let emotions drive you to a knee-jerk reaction. Everyone loses when that happens. Instead, use your head. Make sure you understand the nature of the performance gap so you’ll be able to address it more effectively … and be able to clearly explain it to the employee.

Defining the Problem
The best way to begin the problem-solving process is by preparing behavioral statements that identify both DESIRED and ACTUAL performance. Behavioral statements are descriptions of things people say and do. These statements lay out the facts and establish a clear and specific performance gap. For example:

DESIRED: Everyone is expected to complete and submit all daily reports before leaving at the end of the day.

ACTUAL: On Monday and Tuesday of this week, you left work without turning in your daily reports.

Taking this approach will help you avoid a huge mistake made by far too many managers – defining and, therefore, communicating performance problems using  vague and judgmental terms: “You’ve caused a lot of screw-ups lately because of  your lazy attitude toward your paperwork.”

Statements like this tend to be loaded with subjective and judgmental terms that are likely to set off emotional, defensive reactions in people. Remember that words such as “a lot”, “screw-ups”, “lately”, and “lazy attitude” are merely opinions and conclusions. And as such, they open the floodgates of additional problems that can cause painful discussions.

Focus on the Facts
The most important part of defining (and understanding) a performance problem is separating the facts from your judgments and opinions. Facts are observable – the things you know for sure because they are seen or heard. Judgments, on the other hand, represent opinions and conclusions. They are relative and subjective. They attack the person rather than the problem – increasing the odds that the employee will respond defensively. And that gets in the way of effective problem solving.

“But what if my judgment is correct and accurate?” you may ask. Well, it really doesn’t matter! Opinions are debatable (“I don’t do that a lot” … “There’s nothing wrong with my attitude”), but it’s hard to dispute facts. So don’t get hung up with judgments and generalities. If you have the facts, stick to them. If you don’t have the facts, GET THEM … before you talk! That way, you and the employee can spend your time working on solutions rather than debating the existence of problems. That’s one less headache for you!
 The number one, and probably most important, key to consistently doing what's right is actually quite simple: think before you act.
-- Eric HarveyKnowledge is power and knowledge shared is power multiplied.
-- Bob NoyceOnly you can make you happy.-- Marty MartinsonAppreciation is a free gift that you can give to anyone you encounter – it is completely your choice.-- Barbara GlanzIf we want to hear jingle bells ringing on the 24th, we need to set and live by goals…all year long!-- Santa Claus
Personal relationships are the fertile soil from which all advancement, all success, all achievement in real life grows.-- Ben Stein
 Leadership must be earned by mastering a defined set of skills and by working with others to achieve common goals.-- David Cottrell
Dear Larry,As 2008 comes to a close, I want to take a moment to thank you for your loyalty to WalkTheTalk.com this year. And, we would like to better understand how we can give back to you. So, please take a few moments to answer just one question: What products and services can we provide to help you and your organization unleash your power of 10% and be more effective in 2009? 

Click Here to Answer the Question
Excerpted from The Power of 10%: How Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference

Applying The Power of 10% to Giving

Some call it giving back. Others call it paying it forward. Since 1991, we’ve called it People Serving the Community, or Project PSC. At The WALK THE TALK Company, one of our key corporate values is honoring our community and the world we live in; showing true appreciation for our success by helping those organizations that are helping others. Project PSC is a program through which each employee is provided with a year-end fund to contribute to the charitable service organization of his or her choice. The total amount that is dispersed throughout our community is 10% of the money allocated for our company’s profit sharing program.

Over the years, we’ve contributed to scores of humanitarian organizations, such as food pantries, medical research charities, children’s hospitals, and reading programs. Our 10% giving, combined with the donations of others, allows our efforts to be multiplied to truly make an impact.

The newspaper articles written about Project PSC have been kind. Receiving The Outstanding Volunteer of the Year Award was memorable. But what has touched our hearts, and has propelled us to continue the project for 17 straight years (even during times when our own company took a few financial hits), are the responses that we’ve gotten from the many organizations and individuals that have received our donations. The letters that we have received show us that we have made a difference in the lives of others.

When we give of ourselves, we can truly bless others. Gifts, once given, alter the recipients’ current realities and give them hope for a brighter future. The gift can be as simple as the warmth of a smile, a piece of sage advice, or the reassurance of friendship. The gift of compassion or empathy can lift the spirits of those who are hurt or distressed. The giving of our time, money, or talents can not only affect the hearts of those we give to, but can more tangibly improve their living conditions, economic status, and sense of security and stability.

Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” And it was Saint Francis of Assisi who said, “For it is in giving that we receive.” Commit to giving 10% more than you do now. Give 10% more of your time, give 10% more of your resources, give 10% more of yourself. It is in this giving that we believe you will reap the satisfaction and joy of knowing that you have touched the hearts and lives of those around you.
A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while
he knows something.
-- Wilson MiznerDo what you can, with what you have, where you are.
-- Theodore RooseveltIf things go wrong, don't go with them.-- Roger BabsonJust remember, you can do anything you set your mind to, but it takes action, perseverance, and facing your fears.-- Gillian AndersonExcerpted from The Power of Discipline

Self-Discipline & Time-Management

“If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self.” ~Napoleon Hill

There is perhaps no area of your life where self-discipline is more important than in the way you manage your time. Time management is a core discipline that largely determines the quality of your life. Peter Drucker says, “You cannot manage time; you can only manage yourself.”

Time management is really life management, personal management, management of yourself, rather than of time or circumstances. Time is perishable; it cannot be saved. Time is irreplaceable; nothing else can replace it. Time is irretrievable; once it is gone or wasted, you can never get it back. Finally, time is indispensable, especially for accomplishment of any kind. All achievement, all results, all success requires time.

The fact is that you cannot save time; you can only spend it differently. You can only move your time usage from areas of low value to areas of high value. Herein lies the key to success, and the requirement for self-discipline.
Time management is the ability to choose the sequence of events.Excerpted from The Power of Discipline

What you are will show in what you do.-- Thomas A. EdisonGiving people a little more than they expect is a good way to get back a lot more than you'd expect.-- Robert HalfEveryone has the power of greatness. Not for fame, but for greatness. Because greatness is determined by service.                -- Martin Luther King, Jr.Weekly tips to help you and your colleagues become more effective and respected leaders.
No one takes a job intending to fail. No employer hires with the intent to fire. Both parties want only the best. So what happens? The virus of employee disengagement attacks and spreads.—Terri Kabachnick

Consider Quality of Life.
Do your people work to live or live to work? Many older managers believe younger workers have a poor work ethic. Younger workers say, “Get a life,” and refuse to become entangled in an “unbalanced existence.” Meanwhile, younger managers face difficulties with older workers who are unwilling to accept change.

In many organizations, I’ve observed that both sets of workers are quietly influencing each other. They recognize similarities and overlaps in their beliefs. Older workers often regret having paid excessive “dues” at the expense of family and happiness. They now want a fuller life. Younger workers want to control the work that shapes their lives.

They want flexibility. They have evolved hybrid values, beliefs and behaviors that revolve around quality-of-life issues.

A Kabachnick Group survey of 1,400 executives, managers and associates (of all ages) reveals some specific beliefs:
·         76% would switch jobs for less money in order to work for a company that offers personal development and flexibility.·         58% believe that an outsider has a better chance of getting the job or promotion that they want.·         81% believe the way to the top is strictly political.Employee Development is the Key.
Today, self-development is the single largest contributor to job satisfaction. Employees will choose one employer over another when the company provides more training and development.

The Container Store, voted by Fortune Magazine as one of the Top Ten employers for several consecutive years, is an employer of choice. This successful retailer provides training for every employee each year that is over five times the industry average -- and it shows in their service and bottom line. Contrast that with the 30 hours a year that is the average for the industry.

Sadly, many managers believe an employee’s desire for training and career development is influenced by an ulterior motive. In other words, “Once you provide me with the adequate training, I’ll take these skills to another (better) employer.”

It’s a valid concern. But ask yourself this question: How much will it cost if you choose not to develop your people? Or consider this fact based on an Accenture/Deloitte study: The typical U.S. Company spends almost 50 times more to recruit a $100,000 worker than it will invest in his annual training after he joins the company.

When you develop people to the highest standards, they will not want to leave. In most cases, leaving a company for a higher salary is merely an excuse. Actually, one of the top reasons people leave their jobs is directly tied to their relationship with their boss. TKG research shows that an employee’s performance will move 30 percent positively or negatively, all based on the environment. The boss creates that environment.

If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance a lot less.
-- Tom Feltenstein
It is a good investment to spend resources to retain existing customers. Your best customer is your current customer.
-- David CottrellExcerpted from 365 Energy Boosters

Just Do It

So much of our energy gets bound up in indecisiveness. Should I buy the car or put the money in my retirement account? Should I get that new sofa or not? We go round and round trying to decide, and days, weeks, months pass. Then there’s the energy that gets lost in regret and hindsight – I should never have bought the house. If only I’d chosen the other couch.

One way around this is to set a time limit for a regret-free decision – I will choose by Tuesday. Then figure out what you need to make the decision: more information, input from others, or whatever it is. Finally, go get what you need by the deadline and decide, knowing that you will not look back with regret. Period. If you find yourself going down the “if only” path, remind yourself of your commitment and say to yourself, “I chose the best I could with the information at hand. Now I am here. What shall I do – live with it, or decide to change it?”
When good people have a falling out, only one of them may be at fault at first; but if the strife continues long, usually both become guilty.-- Thomas FullerThe toughest issues any of us face are those involving "right vs. right." The problem: There are no obvious "wrongs" to avoid.
-- David CottrellWeekly tips to help you and your colleagues become more effective and respected leaders.

“When it comes to leading people, there is no problem that is unique to you.”
You could ask anyone with experience, and you would discover they have had to face the same issues, the same frustrations. So don’t feel sorry for yourself. That’s a waste of valuable time. Just make plans to make things better.

“A real leader spends his time fixing the problem instead of finding who to blame.”  
What happens when you place blame is that you focus on the past. When you accept responsibility, you focus on this time forward—on the future. Until you accept total responsibility—no matter what—you won’t be able to put plans in place to accomplish your goals. 

“Doing the right thing isn’t easy- in fact sometimes it’s real hard – but just remember that doing the right thing is always right.”
Confucius once said, “To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.” But actually living the ‘do right rule’ is tough because it requires discipline, commitment and courage.

“So much of life is about attitude and how we handle what life throws our way. Life is good – even when a situation appears to be the worst.”
Stay positive and help make another’s life better! 
He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.EpictetusThe best part of being a leader?  Dealing with people! The worst part of being a leader?  Same answer!-- Eric HarveyMake time for the people you work with – especially those that work for you. The more attention you pay, the more important they'll feel. -- Eric Harvey
Dear Larry ,We are excited to announce the release of our latest book, inspirational movie, and personal development kit:
Serve Right – Everyone’s Straight-Talk

As we all begin 2009 with increasing business challenges, what could be more important than to remind your team members of their important customer service responsibilities, and to improve their skills on how to “Serve Right”? Please watch this exciting 3-minute movie and take a moment to learn more about Serve Right.
Remember your internal customers.
Several weeks before starting this project, I was talking to a friend of mine. He asked what I was working on. I told him I was about to begin writing a book on customer service. His response: “That’s nice. Too bad it’s not a book that applies to me – otherwise I’d want to get a copy.” I asked why he thought customer service wasn’t relevant for him. His answer revealed just how misinformed he was: “Because I don’t deal with customers. I keep our computers running … I’ve got an ‘inside’ job.”

Sound familiar? Do you know someone like that? Do you have “a friend” who thinks that customer service applies only to front-line employees dealing directly with patrons who walk in your door or call on the phone? If so, your “friend” is as equally misinformed as mine. And both of them need to get their heads straight!

Fact is, everyone with a job provides some kind of service to other people. It doesn’t matter if you stock shelves, run a website, manufacture parts, issue paychecks, or clean toilets – you’re doing it for someone else. That someone may be your boss, a fellow team member, or perhaps, a person in another department or location in your organization. And since they are the individuals you do things for, they share the same label with everyone from the outside who does business with you. They are
They are your customers … your internal customers. And as such, they deserve the very same courtesies, attention, effort, and quality work that “external customers” should receive. Why wouldn’t they? So, tell “your friend” to remember this: When it comes to the world of the employed, one way or another …
everyone is in the customer service business! Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.-- Leonardo da Vinci
Sacrificing individual gain for the team's greater good is the price of admission members must pay…and keep paying…to be on the team.-- Scott BeareWeekly tips to help you and your colleagues become more effective and respected leaders.
“We must become the change we want to see.” –Mahatma Gandhi
During difficulties, people often look at their circumstances and feel that they have no power to change things. Usually, they will either complain, or simply do nothing. Just as it only takes one candle to illuminate the darkness, those solitary individuals who choose to do something become instruments of change.

You may feel that your actions don’t matter. You may feel that you can’t possibly make a difference. You may feel that it is pointless to try to improve things. But, you are one. All that is needed to change the world is one person taking action.

As we take the first step, we set the wheels of change into motion. By doing what is right, standing up for our beliefs, and speaking out, we make the world a better place. Be a light for others so that they can become inspired to improve the world around them.
What SOMETHING are you going to do TODAY? Without a road map and a clear understanding of the "rules of the road," it can be much harder for employees to get to where they need to go.-- Eric HarveyTry not to become a person of success, but rather try to become a person of value.
-- Albert EinsteinWe must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.Excerpted from Charging the Human Battery: 50 Ways to Motivate Yourself

One choice, just one, can change your life forever. Simply put, your life today is what your choices have made it, but with new choices, you can change directions this very moment. For me, that idea alone is highly motivational because it offers tremendous hope, regardless of circumstances, for a better tomorrow.

Your life-changing choice may be to switch careers, to leave an abusive relationship, to go back to school, to stop drinking, to adopt a child, to start a business, to lose weight, to start a charity…to name a few. If you have the courage to do so, you could make any one of those choices, or others, today. And you would change your life.

Sometimes it’s a different kind of choice. It can be to not quit, to not give up in the face of adversity. We’ve all been there.

Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen received 77 rejections for their idea Chicken Soup for the Soul. They had to make a decision each time…should they throw in the towel and say enough is enough, or should they keep trying to pursue their dreams? You know the rest of the story. The 78th publisher said “Yes” and they went on to sell over 100 million books.

So never forget that you are only one choice away from changing your life. Do you have the courage to make it?
One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that the cat only has nine lives.
-- Mark TwainAlways laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.-- Lord ByronWeekly tips to help you and your colleagues become more effective and respected leaders.  Top 10 Characteristics of Ethical Leaders and Values-Driven Organizations1.     High Values Awareness
Values are regularly communicated and discussed to ensure awareness and understanding throughout the organization.
2.     High Values Accountability
People are evaluated on values-driven practices as well as results—with zero tolerance for conscious values violations.
3.     Leadership By Example
Leaders earn the right to expect others to do things by doing those things themselves.
4.     Values-Driven DecisionMaking
Decisions are checked to ensure they are in accord with organizational values BEFORE they are implemented.
5.     In Sync Policies and Procedures
Rules, policies, and practices are evaluated to ensure they reflect and support organizational values.
6.     Values-Driven Education
Training and other developmental activities teach people how to demonstrate ethics and apply organizational values.
7.     Attention To Perceptions
Climate surveys and other perception-collecting activities are important components of organizational assessment and change strategies.
8.     Steady, Incremental Change
Emphasis is placed on many small improvements rather than quick-fix fads and “programs of the year.”
9.     Values-Based Selection
The degree to which people subscribe to and practice organizational values is a key criterion in hiring and promotion decisions.
10.Encouraged Initiative
People are rewarded forWalking The Talk rather than complaining, pointing fingers, or waiting for others to take the first step.
 If you don’t care, your customer never will.
-- Marlene Blaszczyk

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