Celebrate celebrating

June is such a fabulous month for celebrating! Last night we were at the wedding of the daughter of my friend since third grade. Do I post a picture of the bride and groom? Of course not. Here is my old friend Greg looking like the proud and happy father that he is.

When we got on the shuttle bus to go to the wedding, next hopped up my friend’s uncle who reminisced about dinners at my parents’ house. I shared stories with the bride’s uncles about drinking my first beer at their house.* The Mother of the bride talked about our girls being babies together. Our fellow book club members talked about the 21 years of monthly book club meetings- sharing our lives month by month and book by book as our kids grew to adulthood, and yes, got married.

And, today is Father’s Day. Congratulations on surviving all the years of raising kids, eh? The joys, sorrows, fear of failure, worry, pride, and most of all love that go with being a parent….all worth celebrating today.

UC Santa Barbara and so many other colleges, high schools, middle schools,  etc. are graduating this weekend. It is such an unambiguous reason to party. Pride, accomplishment, completion, checking the box, gaining a credential that will last a life time that you celebrate with your fellow graduates. A wonderful reason to party!

And, finally, today is my birthday. I am SO grateful for all the people in my life who share their travels with me. Many people don’t make much of their birthdays. On my birthday, I choose to reflect and to celebrate all the blessings and good fortune that have come my way, and the wonderful life I have. Thank you for being part of it and may you find a reason to celebrate celebrating today.

 

*Even at 18 I liked wine better.

Do you have a New Supervisor Playbook?

Do you have a new supervisor playbook that you use when you promote or hire for supervisory positions? Are you finding that you make assumptions of how people will be with each other and then it doesn’t go as you expected? Do you find you have to spell out a lot more about people’s communication practices than you think you should have to?

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Audible

How do you get your books these days? Many people are using Audible to listen to books rather than reading them in a written format. In fact, so many more people today are listening to books rather than reading them, it has become a revenue source for authors, publishers and especially Amazon, who of course, owns Audible.  >

The midlife slump

I was struck by an op-ed piece in the L.A. Times* by Jonathan Rauch, a Pulitzer Prize Winning journalist, who discovered in his 40’s that despite all of his achievements, a good life and a good marriage, he was suffering a midlife slump. >

Self Care

When executives turn to their coaches in those moments of overwhelm, they might describe it as an issue of work/life balance, Or, it could show up as managing priorities, or even setting priorities. >

Hire Mothers

This is an important secret I learned when I ran my manufacturing company: hire mothers. Now, when the hiring signs are going up all over the country, it becomes even more urgent. We need highly efficient workers who are result-driven and don’t waste time. What mother has an extra minute to waste? Mothers have to come up with creative ways to get results with limited resources, and that creativity can work for you.

I was facilitating a session on sales training for one of my Members this week and I was asked by a mother “how do I get out there and do networking when I have to get home and start the second shift?” We brainstormed how she did outreach in the past, and agreed to double down on the activities that had worked: Lunch meetings, connecting by phone, having a memorable 30 second elevator speech that she would give in social situation. Making sure to actually give it and not back down because it was a social situation. She grabbed the idea and plans to run with it.

I was recently asked how I ran a company and raised 2 amazing daughters. I’d say it wasn’t a perfect world. The competitor in my head thought I had to be a better leader than my Dad and a better mother than my Mom. My drive for results had me running through rather than enjoying a lot of moments. It was my Mom who said “enjoy every stage of your kids lives….the days go by so fast.” I had to learn to slow down, breathe and appreciate. I watched how other mothers did it –  mothers I hired, my friends, my big sister – we figured this out together.

Maximizing the time available for work at home and in the office as well as being there for the important moments is standard stuff for mothers.

On this Mother’s Day, ask the mothers you know for one tip that could make you more efficient. Thank you to all the mothers who give so much, and teach us how to be better people. And if you have the hiring sign out tomorrow – hire mothers.

 

photo courtesy of the BLS

Accountable=uncomfortable

Do you find that holding people accountable makes you uncomfortable? Oh, you start out fired up to hold people to their commitments. You ask clearly. You get them to restate the request. You set a date and time for completion…..and then they don’t come through.

Wait, you did everything you were supposed to do, now what? First of all, congratulations! Most people don’t create such excellent and clear accountability. You are probably really upset, angry or dismissive of that other person right about now. And, may I suggest uncomfortable with taking the next step.

Why is that ?  Do you see it as you will have to become “the enforcer” or the “bad guy”. Do you begin to doubt your right to get what you asked for?

This is the tricky part. Mike Scott* says this is the time when you don’t ask why – Don’t ask why they didn’t do it. Ask them to identify their next step. Ask for a recommitment with a new time/date. Further, you ask:  “Can I count on you for that?” That puts it back on the other person. Okay, how uncomfortable will it be to ask?

Let me guess you might be squirming all over the place thinking about asking for a commitment. Why? You are totally committed. Perhaps because in our society, we don’t like people who call us out, who make us look bad. We know the likable person is the one who lets it go. And, maybe, subconsciously, we want to be liked. In business, we can’t excel if we don’t do the hard stuff. That includes being uncomfortable in service of our mission.

So, think about your mission. You really want to succeed. Completing this request is part of it. In the context of serving the mission, you may find you are okay with having the difficult conversations needed to hold people accountable. You might want to repeat the goal to them as you ask for the renewed commitment. Don’t make it punitive, don’t make it personal, make it about the mission. You can do this.

This week initiate one difficult conversation about accountability that you have been putting off having. Work through the discomfort. It will be easier next time.

*Mike Scott

Interested in Vistage?

 

Image courtesy of Performance Based Results. Survey done by HBR

Being 90

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be 90?  Here is my Aunt Ruth blowing out the candles at the family home where she lives independently.  She still drives during the day, has seen every recent movie and can talk about happenings in the world with a clear viewpoint and a desire to hear what others think.

Not all of us will have the luck to be this healthy and together when we are 90. Her brother, my Dad, died of leukemia at 67. Same genes, not the same luck.  Ruth’s love of living and kindness to others drew everyone to celebrate her on her special day with great joy!

 

Happy birthday Aunt Ruthie.  I want to be like you when I am 90!

 

This week send some appreciation to someone you know who is older and would enjoy hearing from you.  It will make you feel good, too.

Reevaluating Priorities

How often do you throw all your cards up in the air and re-sort them in a new order? I’m going through that right now. Due to a much increased work load (all good) I’m rethinking where I put my time and attention. Obligations, burdens, previously fun stuff, the “of course I’ll do that” responses, are all being put under the microscope as part of reevaluating priorities.

How often do you go through this exercise? I’m hearing a lot of discussion about this from friends and colleagues who are struggling with children’s needs, having their last kid leave for college, coping with their health or a loved one’s health….. It seems that when big things change in our lives, we are forced to reevaluate priorities. I’m also hearing this in subtler ways. Whispers about the amount of stress, the traffic, the joy in living becoming strained, no time for little moments, spouses being neglected.

In a business, this comes up most often as too many meetings, too many emails, hours that are too long and not creative or productive. We don’t get out of this without some rethinking.

In order to rethink, I have to start from the big picture: What do I want? Where do I want to be in 3 years? What will I have to give up to get to the big goals? What do I have to put in place especially new habits, better processes, clearer focus to get what I want.

Barbara Bush was quoted this week as saying: “You have two choices in life; you can either like what you do or dislike what you do. I have chosen to like what I do.” It may not be that easy for most of us. But it is worth considering.

How can you set yourself up for a great week? What activities do you need to delegate or push off to stay focused on the big picture?

 

Are in interested in Vistage?

Risk tolerant?

In his book The Growth Dilemma, Ami Kassar has a series of questions to evaluate how risk tolerant you are in your business. If he gave you $1 million, would you invest it in your company or put it in mutual funds? >