Walk The Talk #7

WALK THE TALK #7 You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it.-- Margaret ThatcherAn ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.-- Elbert Hubbard Today's Topic: A Message From Santa on Recognition

Today’s Leadership Lesson is based on our best-selling book The Leadership Secrets of Santa Claus ... and it’s from Santa, himself.
Greetings from everyone at Santa’s Workshop! We’ve been busy gearing up for the Holiday Season. When we’re not working, most everyone here has been glued to televisions – watching the Olympics. Because of atmospheric conditions, the broadcasts here are very delayed. Nevertheless, we’ve all been quite impressed with the performance of that Jesse Owens fellow … And I’ve been busy planning our annual Labor Day picnic.

Our Labor Day picnic is very important to me. Sure, it’s about fun, and games, and an extra day off work. But it’s also a great opportunity to show my appreciation for the Elves and Reindeer who “labor” so hard all year long to make our business successful. I’m constantly looking for ways to reinforce the good performance of my staff … to “share the milk and cookies” that I enjoy as the person on point. And I’m not alone. Here’s a letter I recently received from a fellow leader – along with my response:

Dear Santa:
I really do understand how important it is to recognize and reward the good performance of the people I lead. But I’m hampered by a significant obstacle: no money! There’s very little in my budget when it comes to gifts, so I feel like there’s very little I can do for my team. Can you help? I’m open to any and all suggestions … as long as you don’t charge me for them.
“Dollarless” in Dallas

Dear Dollarless:
First, I applaud your desire to recognize and reward the members of your team. Yes, it is important; yes, they do deserve it; and yes, it is your job to make it happen. Now for some good news: you don’t need a lot of money in order to demonstrate a lot of appreciation. With a little creative thinking, the low-cost recognition options available to you can be limitless. Here are five options, from 180 Ways To Walk The Recognition Talk, to get you started:
1.     “Cyberize.” SEND AN E-CARD! Your team members will be in for a nice surprise when they see that familiar phrase: You’ve Got Mail!2.     “Allow Me to Introduce Yourself!” Seize every opportunity to introduce people in your work group to customers, vendors, “big wigs,” etc. Pound for pound, introductions may be the most effective no-cost recognition you can give.3.     Lend an Ear! Looking for a really low-cost way to recognize others? Try listening to them! Whether a person is a peer, a direct report, a boss, or a customer, listening to them sends the message that you care … and that they are important!4.     Name Something in Their Honor. Officially dedicating “The Karen Jones Printer” or “The Bill Lee Forklift” – by affixing an inexpensive brass plaque – can be a fun yet powerful form of recognition. And its impact will extend well beyond the presentation ceremony.5.     Walk The Talk. Here are a few things you can “give” people to recognize their importance and contributions: respect, responsibility, honesty, feedback, trust, and cooperation. Sometimes, the most meaningful recognition comes from just “walking the talk.”Sincerely,

 The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and influence their actions. A chip on the shoulder is too heavy a piece of baggage to carry through life.-- John A. Hannah Be beautiful if you can, wise if you want to. But be respected…that is essential. -- Anna Gould When the student is ready, the teacher appears.-- Zen Saying Dear Larry,
Eat That Frog!, by Brian Tracy, is based on Mark Twain’s quote: “If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.”  Timely, compelling, and relevant to the world we live in, this book gives 21 ways to stop procrastinating and get more done in less time. Today’s excerpt, from the gift book edition of the time management classic, discusses the importance of planning. You owe it to yourself to discover what over 500,000 people have already learned: if you want to be successful, you’ve got to Eat That Frog!

Please pass this along to family, friends and coworkers. 
 Excerpted from Eat That Frog! –– 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time

Plan Every Day In Advance

You have heard the old question, “How do you eat an elephant?” The answer is “One bite at a time!”

How do you eat your biggest, ugliest frog? The same way; you break it down into specific step-by-step activities and then you start on the first one. Your mind, your ability to think, plan, and decide, is your most powerful tool for overcoming procrastination and increasing your productivity. Your ability to set goals, make plans, and take action on them determines the course of your life. Conversely, as Alec Mackenzie wrote, “Taking action without thinking things through is a prime source of problems.”

Increase Your Return on Energy

One of your top goals at work should be for you to get the highest possible return on your investment of mental, emotional, and physical energy. The good news is that every minute spent in planning saves as many as ten minutes in execution. It takes only about 10 to 12 minutes for you to plan out your day, but this small investment of time will save you up to two hours (100 to 120 minutes) in wasted time and diffused effort throughout the day.

You may have heard of the Six-P Formula. It says, “Proper Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.” When you consider how helpful planning can be in increasing your productivity and performance, it is amazing how few people practice it every single day. And planning is really quite simple to do. All you need is a piece of paper and a pen. The most sophisticated Palm Pilot, computer program, or time planner is based on the same principle. It is based on your sitting down and making a list of everything you have to do before you begin.
 I bear no grudges. I have a mind that retains nothing.
-- Bette Midler Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.-- Lance Armstrong Focus 90% of your time on solutions and only 10% of your time on problems.-- Anthony J. D'Angelo Dear Larry,
The proposition that optimism leads to success is not just a theory, it’s a researched-based fact. Martin Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, has proven that optimists are more successful than equally talented pessimists – in business, education, sports, and politics. The excerpt that I’m sharing today, from Leadership Courage, reminds us why it’s important to Be Optimistic.

Please pass this along to family, friends and coworkers. 
Excerpted from Leadership Courage by David Cottrell and Eric Harvey

Be Optimistic

Some people think that optimism is about living in a Pollyanna world where everything is nice and bad things never happen to good people. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. Optimism really is a courageous state of mind – one that comes from a person’s desire, effort, and choice to accept and make the best of difficult situations. Certainly, the road of optimism is not without its potholes. And that’s especially true from those in leadership positions.

If you serve as a leader long enough, you’ll undoubtedly come face to face with setbacks and unexpected events that have the potential to be devastating. People and situations change, and your ability to remain optimistic will surely be tested against fear of the unknown. Refusing to engage in the all-too-common “woe is me” lament takes courage.

The optimistic leader believes that defeat is a temporary setback – isolated to a given situation. He or she wants the best possible outcome and therefore concentrates on finding something positive and hopeful in what appears to be a hopeless situation. This is a leader who understands a basic principle of human nature: You usually see whatever it is you are looking for.

There is an endearing story about how optimistic people look at situations differently – seeing the potential that others fail to realize. It goes like this: Two researchers were independently dispatched to one of the world’s least developed countries by a large shoe manufacturer. Their task was to assess the business possibilities within that country.

When the first report came back to the manufacturer’s headquarters, the message read: “No market here. Nobody wears shoes!” A few days later, the second report came back from the other researcher. It read: “Great market here. Nobody wears shoes!”
 There are no misunderstandings; there are only failures to communicate.-- Senegalese Proverb To become a courageous leader, you must realize that accepting responsibility is not optional – it's mandatory.
-- David Cottrell
We're given a code to live our lives by. We don't always follow it, but it's still there.-- Gary Oldman

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