15 posts categorized "May 2011"

May 31, 2011

Gratitude Is A Compound Word: Gracious + Attitude

During my book tour, I've met a lot of great people. 

One of the most remarkable was a driver, that took me to my hotel in Denver.  His  name is Shawn, and prior to being a driver, he was a nurse at an assisted living facility.  I told him about Today We Are Rich, and the principle of gratitude.  When anyone asks me why I'm in town, I talk about the book and Billye.  

He responded that his grandmother taught him gratitude too, and how important it was to your attitude and behavior.  He said that until he was an adult, he thought that gratitude was a compound word: Gracious + Attitude.  His grandmother said that being grateful wasn't just about saying thanks or appreciating the source.  Gratitude should make you polite, forgiving and thoughtful - gracious.  (See his video interview)

This is why I start off every day with a Gratitude Exercise.  It begins the day by injecting gratefulness into my psyche.  In the book, I explain that this will increase your confidence by telling you that "you are not alone."  My conversation with Shawn takes it a step further, beyond the appreciation or 'thanks for the help' expression. 

Gratitude can/should/must transform your attitude.  It should make you empathetic and sympathetic to others, especially those that might irritate, annoy or disappoint you.  You should be forgiving, loving and understanding when you are grateful.  As Billye taught me growing up, "you can't be hateful when you are grateful." 

So start off tomorrow with gratitude, fill yourself up to the brim, and measure your attitude all day long with this thought: Gratitude should lift my attitude, making me the giver, lover and helper all day long.  

Try this one next time you are traveling for business! Be gracious when the flight is delayed.  Be gracious when going through security or boarding the plane.  Be gracious as you go from the airport to the hotel, to dinner and to meetings.  I promise, you'll enjoy this trip living in the good loop!


May 26, 2011

What Executive Coach and Author Scott Eblin Learned from His Rock

Billye, Tim’s Grandma, raised him from the age of 5 and became his "rock" in life. She taught him principles that grounded him and helped him succeed later as an adult. Her influence, words and love had profound effect on Tim’s life and inspired his book "Today We Are Rich." Think of a particular person who has had a similar impact on your life. Who was that person and how did, or do, you know them?

My grandfather, Leonard Eblin.  To me, he was Pa-Pa..


How did they help to shape your life or life philosophies?

Before I was born, Pa-Pa was a Scoutmaster who took troops of Scouts to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico on a regular basis.  When I was old enough as a little guy to understand what he was doing, I desperately wanted to go to Philmont with him.  Of course, I wasn't old enough to do that as a six or seven year old but as soon as I was old enough I joined the Cub Scouts because that was the way I'd get to do what Pa-Pa was doing.  That path eventually led to me becoming an Eagle Scout.  Like they say, once an Eagle Scout, always an Eagle Scout.  The tenets of the Scout Law, trustworthy, brave, loyal, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent and all the rest have been guideposts for me throughout my life.


Tell us about a specific lesson you learned from them, or a piece of advice they gave to you?

My grandfather was very practical.  Two lessons from him really stick with me.  First, when you're camping in cold weather, always change out of the clothes you wore all day before getting into your sleeping bag. The reason is the sweat that's retained in your clothes from the activity of the day will give you the chills at night.  The second big lesson from Pa-Pa is to serve others.  He was 93 when he died and he helped build over 50 houses for Habitat for Humanity between ages 75 and 85.  I'm still a lot younger than that but aspire to serve in the way he did.


Have you ever drifted away from their grounding advice?  What price did you pay? 

There have certainly been times when I've been more focused on the extrinsic markers of success than the more intrinsic ones I learned from Pa-Pa.  I don't have any dramatic stories of failure from those times but definitely recognize the difference in my overall peace of mind and happiness.

 

Find out more about Leonard Eblin at http://scotteblin.typepad.com/blog/2008/08/a-good-scout.html

Find out more about Scott Eblin, executive coach and author of The Next Level: What Insiders Know About Executive Success at:

www.eblingroup.com  (company site)
www.scotteblin.com (leadership blog)
@scotteblin  (Twitter)
The Eblin Group (Facebook) 

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Scott-eblin From Tim Sander's to Scott's grandfather, Leonard Eblin, we want to thank you for helping make Scott who he is today. You have helped make the world a better place.

 
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This interview is part of a series of interviews focusing on some of the great Rocks that have influenced our lives. Just as Tim's new Book, Today We Are Rich, shares what he learned from his rock, Billye, we want to pass on the knowledge of some other great rocks out there.

Rock on! Be a Rock, or applaud a Rock you know. 

Was your grandma your Rock, or did she have some grate advice? Tell us on Great Stuff My Grandma Said.


May 25, 2011

How To Live Out Of A Suitcase And Survive

Biggest question I get: How do you do it? 

My name is Tim and I'm a road warrior.  I've flown almost five million miles since 1999, and for the last month, been out of town five days a week (one city a day).  For many, this sounds like a hell-on-earth, something you could only play in a movie (like Up In the Air).  

But, like anything else, it's really a design issue.  I can't say that it's 100% enjoyable, but I've been able to find ways to make it highly bearable.  Today, I'm holed up in the Admirals Club at Chicago O'Hare. My flight's been cancelled, and I've got five hours to kill - so I figured it was a good time to tell you 'how I do it.' 

1 - Logistics: First things first, you have to travel with the right gear.  I use a TUMI suitcase and TUMI T-Pass nylon briefcase.  The briefcase rocks, because it's got a TSA approved design where I don't have to remove my laptop at security!  Next, get a CLEAR card to skip the security line (really!) at Orlando and Denver.  Many more airports to be added soon.  I carry Richard Solo power backups for my Apple gear (the Mophie juice pack doubled the weight of my iPhone, so I returned it). 

For practical issues related to appearance: Carry your home blow dryer, as hotel ones are not dependable and can give you frequent bad hair days.  Make sure and keep the dry cleaner plastic around your suits/shirts to avoid wrinkles - and whenever possible buy no-iron dress shirts.  

2 - Health: Wash your hands at every step of the way, and carry sanitizer.  Avoid sick people, move if you have to and use the overhead fan on planes to divert their germs.  Drink water often and carry your own filter/bottle solution (I use a Clear product) to avoid depending on $$$ bottled water. Avoid sugar, as it breaks down resistance. 

Sleep is important on the road, so here's my tips: Make your room really cold (I like 65 degrees), because being hot will wake you up and make you sleep fitfully.  Request a room far away from elevators.  Carry your own alarm clocks (a real clock and your iPhone, set to Airplane mode). Unlpug the hotel alarm clock or make sure the alarm is off (as the previous guest has it set to wake you up at 4am.) Don't watch ANY TV or drink liquids within an hour of going to bed.  If you wake up, don't look at the clock, instead, count down from 200 using 3 at a time increments (eg., 197, 194, etc.). 

3.  Mind: Make friends, especially when you are trapped on planes (read my NYT feature on this: A Chatters Guide To Easing Anxiety). Sitting there in silence with your iPod on will keep you from meeting others.  They are key to making trips more pleasant, especially during interrupted travel.  Be gracious to TSA security, servers and attendants.  You'll get back the same energy that you give them.  Be grateful for each city you visit, walk around the block after you check in to take in the sights.  Call your significant other, often, and tell him/her "I love you."  

Lastly, prior to a hard trip (multiple segments, red eyes, hard projects), rehearse your 'dance moves' mentally the day before the trip.  Visualize a challenging but successful journey, going through the scenarios in your head.  Relax, realizing you've got the gear, the plan and the purpose to make it all work. 

Share this with anyone you know that's a road warrior too.  We are all in this together. 

 


May 23, 2011

Why HR is more important than product, marketing or sales

Today I spoke to 300 HR executives about their Net Worth. 

I had them start out by repeating after me: "I am not a cost center!" This was an important exercise, because too often we look at Human Resources as a staff function, like legal or corp communications. We treat sales like Rock Stars (because they bring in money).  The marketing department has fat budgets (because they create demand for sales).  Then, the product group is revered (because they bring new offerings to the table).  This mentality needs to change. 

HR is the engine of growth for any company for a few reasons: 

1 - The Brand Inside = The Brand Outside.  If your people aren't happy, they'll talk about it on social media and in public.  No ad campaign or new product can overcome the 'buzz' that your company is a bad place to work.  Read former Nike/Starbucks marketing guru Scott Bedbury's book (A New Brand World) for more on this.

2 - Customer Loyalty - The People Customer Model is now taught in business school, whereby companies that do well by their people have happier customers (via engagement and gratitude) and stronger bottom lines.  HR is key to this, helping in areas like talent management, wellness and training. 

3 - Information Mastery - The new company model is about information, not stuff.  From retail to manufacturing to services, being an 'Information Master' is the secret to winning your market.  According to John McKean's research, HR's domain (people, culture and leadership) is twice as important to this end as Information and Technology (which gobbles up 92% of the budget). 

I believe that every company should have a Chief People Officer, and she/he should have a seat at the table alongside the Operations, Marketing, Finance and Sales officers.  Otherwise, you're designing your company to make one of it's top profit centers under-powered for the job. 

Just sayin'.


May 20, 2011

What do you store by your mind's front door?

"If you can worry, you can dream!" - Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

His point: Your mind can be full of love, hope, hate or uncertainty.  It's not a function of your circumstance, it's a storage issue.  What do you choose to retain as a fresh memory and what do you deep file away? 

Too often, we swallow our victories and tuck them away deep in the stacks of our subconscious. Sometimes, we tell ourselves that we were 'lucky' or it was a fluke.  We take comfort in this false humility.  But this is a bad idea if we want to be successful and powerful in life. 

Maxwell Maltz (Psycho Cybernetics) wrote that we aren't successful, we are cognizant of our compound successes throughout our life.  That gives us a sense of momentum and makes us bold and effective.  If you don't store your success experiences at the front of your mind in high definition, you diminish your successfulness!  

Here's a technique I use to rise for the challenges in life: Recollect a success experience from my past that is similar to the situation I'm faced with.  Right before I hit the stage or the conference room for the pitch or presentation, I load into my conscious mind a previous victory, including the fear, preparation, turnaround moment and a visual emblem of the win.  Then I tell myself, "you are as good today as you were then, and this situation is no more difficult."  

The result is power, confidence and flow.  I attack situations that would otherwise require me to tread lightly until I got a few wins under my belt.  In some cases, my confidence is infectious, inspiring others on my team to rise up too.  I've never failed from tasting success.

Get more of this from Today We Are Rich, Principle 5: Prepare Your Self.


May 16, 2011

How To Break The Jerk At Work

#1 question I get on the road: How can I fix the jerks at work? 

Too often, my audience wishes that someone they know from work would have heard my talk about relationships, generosity and loving people.  At first, I thought that conversation and encouragement could turn around any jerk.  After all, the reason people are negative is that they are afraid, suffering or under poor influences.  

But in reality, sometimes it takes a more visceral experience than some jaw-jaw to create a personality breakthrough.  At a recent conference, a defense industry executive shared one strategy that worked like magic on a ahole engineer he wanted to fix instead of replace. 

This executive staged a 'video intervention,' where he interviewed co-workers on camera about what this engineer did to them, how it made them feel and the impact it's had on their productivity and happiness.  To make this a zinger, in two cases, the executive visited co-worker's homes and interviewed their families about how this engineer "made mommy feel" and what it's done to their lives. 

The executive summoned a meeting of the engineer and his co-workers, then showed the video to everyone on a big screen TV.  The engineer was devastated by the video, realizing for the first time that his attitudes and behaviors have real consequences on people.  The experience triggered empathy, for the first time, for his co-workers.  

At first, he clammed up and choked up - unable to respond.  But the next day, he sent around a heartfelt note to apologize to the group and ask for another chance to 'play right.'  He brought in a stuffed animal for one of the co-worker's girls featured on the video - and wrote a note saying, "Eric will be nicer to mommy, because she's great." 

It's been a few months, according to this executive, and Eric is still a changed person by the experience.  Now, I've got to warn you that you must first consult your HR or legal lead before trying this one, as it might produce mental anguish or be against policy. 

But, the point of it all is that you can help change people by helping them understand the impact their behavior has on others.  Video does it powerfully, bringing the jerk's output full circle.   The next time someone at work is going off on a co-worker, maybe you should just step in an audit what he just accomplished both emotionally and professionally.  That's a good first response (instead of ignoring it.) 

 


May 13, 2011

Sideways: Here's a question that can change your life

The key to getting back on your feet again is likely inside you. 

That's what I learned in my encounter with Eric (as told in my new book) about a decade ago.  He was a rock star during the boom, was rattled by the dotcom bust and recession - and found himself going sideways for an entire year. 

He was suffering a "personal recession" where he stopped growing as a person, leading and believing in himself.  It's very natural for all of us to experience this when faced with economic adversity and prolonged periods of uncertainty.  We stop boning up for the future and just focus on "getting by." That's what it means to move sideways, wasting valuable time and letting our lack of emotional control eat away at us. 

What can you do?  Ask yourself, "What am I not doing today that I was doing back in the day, when I was on top?" Think about where you put your energy.  What was your focus point of attention.  Who were you giving to and how often?  These sub-questions may shake loose the personal performance techniques you were using when you were rocking it.  Sure, there was probably a market-tailwind, giving your circumstantial confidence - and a freedom to invest in yourself and others too.  

Don't wait for the market or your pocketbook to starting investing, giving and Going Positive again. The recession didn't happen because you were studying up, reaching out, being social or mentoring others.  If not now, when will your good biz-habits of 2006 really move the needle at work? 

Ask yourself these questions, discover your personal growth strategy and end your personal recession.  NOW.  While you go sideways, others move forward and leap over you with their faith. Besides, are you really happy being stuck in time?

 

 


May 12, 2011

What Pastor Jim Drake Learned From Watching One of His Rocks in Action

How did they help to shape your life or life philosophies?

Aunt Nell was to me the picture of steadfast faith.  She never wavered in her convictions or her beliefs (FAITH) and she never gave up on people (HOPE).  She was a realist but always endured (even through trouble times) with people and believed in them.

She took care of family from the time she was early married until her death.(Even taking care of my Uncle (her brother in law) for some 21 years after the death of her sister)  She was a care taker and a giver.


Tell us about a specific lesson you learned from them, or a piece of advice they gave to you?

I remember one family get together that Aunt Nell had at her house. She always made this wonderful Lemon Icebox pie (and she never made it with those store bought crusts--she made hers with the real graham crackers)   We all moved into position to get our piece of pie, and when I turned to look back there was none for her to get. She never complained, never said a word.  Instead she got out her fork and cleaned up the scrap pieces of crust left over and sat down and began her conversation with others.  I felt bad for her, but she never thought anything about it. She always considered others first--herself second. That was a big lesson to me.

At a particular point in my adult life, I needed a refuge to run to.  In the midst of making some decisions, I called her and said "can I come hide out at your house?". She said "You come on, we'll take care of you".   In those days when I didn't know who I was or where I was going, she and my Uncle enveloped me with love and care (and good cooking) and introduced me to their friends not where I had been in life, but where I was going and what I was going to be.  They never knew how much that helped me get my life back on track.  I left there after those few days with a clearer understanding of my life and a better picture of sacrificial giving. They did that because they loved me.

Just leaving her house the other day after the funeral was hard.  I cannot forget the times that she and my Uncle followed me out to the car and told me that they loved me ( and even sometimes slipped me a little gas money).  Knowing that I would never experience that again was surreal to me.

Have you ever drifted away from their grounding advice?  What price did you pay?

I don't know that I've drifted away from any of their influence.  I think at times I forget about their faithfulness (to God, to family, to friends) as I become absorbed in my own life and in my own condition.  Looking from afar, it seemed as if she never struggled with that and I wonder how she did it (except that I know that my grandmother taught the kids about giving and living on the family farm).  My Uncle always said she was most like her mother.   I did return to their place several times in my life to drink in this essence of stability in life when I needed it the most. That's what I'll miss the most about her.


Find out more about Jim Drake at:
Jim's Blog - JimDrakeMe

Read more about his Aunt Nell at his blog post: Finally Home ( A tribute to my Aunt Nell)

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Jim_drake From Tim Sander's to Jim's Aunt Nell, we want to thank you for helping make Jim who he is today. You have helped make the world a better place.

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This interview is part of a series of interviews focusing on some of the great Rocks that have influenced our lives. Just as Tim's new Book, Today We Are Rich, shares what he learned from his rock, Billye, we want to pass on the knowledge of some other great rocks out there.

Rock on! Be a Rock, or applaud a Rock you know.  

Was your grandma your Rock, or did she have some grate advice? Tell us on Great Stuff My Grandma Said.

 


May 10, 2011

Michael Gilbert, Chief Executive Officer of element6, on Feeding Your Mind Good Stuff

An excerpt from the forward of the Michael Gilbert Edition of Feed Your Mind Good Stuff (an excerpt from the book, Today We Are Rich)

Why do you think it’s important to Feed Your Mind Good Stuff?

As a successful entrepreneur for 16 years (and 14 businesses) I have found the businesses that failed were a direct result of focusing on the negatives instead of the positives. One business I started was the first company in the country to launch wireless broadband in Republic, Missouri alongside Motorola. That did not guarantee our success. Years after we shuttered that business I realized there were many things we could have done to make it a success. I believe the main reason wasn’t lack of funding, lack

of know how, or lack of sales. It was the negative people we had associ- ated ourselves with. They focused on the negatives, instead of the posi- tives. That was reflected in our concentration of our competition and lack of funding. If we had focused on the positives we could have come up with different solutions that are now evident to me. Now I realize that negative people influence me much more that positive people. They are like a virus. If you don’t feed your mind positive and motivating thoughts and associate yourself with positive poeople, you’ll get caught up in their illness and soon you’ll be spreading the disease as well.

How has this changed your life or improved your performance?

In our current business we have “Ferris Bueller’s Day off DAY”. It’s the day that any employee can call in sick, with pay, if they are in a bad or negative mood. Negativity is an illness. It spreads through the office like a plague...

Click here to read Michael Gilbert's entire forward from Today We Are Rich - Principle 1 - Feed Your Mind Good Stuff.

Because the seven principles of confident living are principles that some of the most successful people you know live by, I wanted to provide a forum for these same people to tell you why they love this book. Each custom edition features a special forward written by our participants. Find out more about the Today We Are Rich Custom Editions here.

 


Please do not Reply To All!

From my training program, The Dirty Dozen Rules Of Email Etiquette, here's Rule #3 -- Stamp Out Reply To All.  This is a huge problem for many of us working in mid to large companies.  

Watch this video clip and find out why Reply To All must be dealt with and how to convince others to stop using it all the time. VIDEO: Rule #3 Stamp Out Reply To All 

Find out more about email training for your company


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