Thursday, March 31, 2011

Two great quotes!

In my mind Lincoln may have been one of the most influential  presidents.  His personality, his policies and his leadership allows him to stand out.

He had a strong ability to cast vision, mobilize people, and communicate at a high level.  
I would define leadership as a series of decisions that create a collection of events that we undoubtedly maneuver through. Abraham Lincoln once said "if I had 8 hours to cut down a tree, I would use 6 hours to sharpen my ax".  There is a lot of wisdom in this quote.  Think about it......a strategic decision was made to utilize 75% of your time doing one thing leaving only 25% of your time to accomplish the goal.  How many of us would have jumped head over heels trying to swing away to get the tree down?  Without a accomplish little.  Plan, determine what will be most efficient, and execute. 

Lincoln also quoted "if you look for the bad in people expecting to find it, then you will". In this day in time it is hard not to be skeptical of people.  We think everyone has an underlining reason for helping or they are out to copy your get rich plan.  It is true.....we have all said "I wonder what she needs now since she is being so nice".  Oh NO,  he is calling again.........Can we not be nice for the sake of being nice?

This thought process will derail us when we are trying to surround ourselves with those that will make us better.  We need to attract people that are people magnets.  Yes.....most of the time those people are out going and seem to be happy people.  Before you say those are the people that drive me crazy on a Monday morning.  Think about what you want out of life. Well......don't you want to be happy, what about encouraged, what about challenged?  

I said this a few weeks back, I am evaluating my team that surrounds me from top to bottom.  No joke, I made a list of those I am around and socialize the most with.  It is a great list but I asked myself the questions above......I may have to make some changes.  Remember as you build a team don't forget you are part of the team.. 

Someone is making you a better person, but will you do your part to make them better?

Don’t go it alone. Look for role models and consult widely. Include people from different parts of your life.  The same goes for your business.  Attract people magnets that fit your business model and who want to buy into the vision of the company.  Plan, find people magnets, look to be efficient, and execute.  

Have a great weekend and look for more next week!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Hey guys! PLEASE go to Ashley Stone Photography, LIKE her page and comment on Kai and Landon's pictures! We would love to win a photo session! 

Here are the rules: you must get all of your friends to "LIKE" Ashley Stone Photography's facebook page, and then leave a comment under YOUR childs picture once a day! Whoever has the most comments by 10 pm April 6 will WIN !!!!!!!

Click on the picture and it will take you to Ashley's Facebook page!  Look in the Easter mini's to find Kai and Landon!

Just as an FYI, Ashley is amazing and we love her pictures!


Service Project-Making an Impact

Wow....typically I write about leadership, management, or etc but today I am writing about a service project I was involved in on Saturday.

This service project involved youth ages 14 to 18 and then a group of "older guys" that completed lawn work for two families in our small community.  It was an awesome morning of serving together and loving on our community.

The morning started off with the threat of rain and cold temperatures but the guys were not phased.  Right off the bat we sent older guys and a group of youth to knock out a project and we were working hard.  We had young guys who had never mowed, operated a weed eater, or used equipment such as leaf blower and pressure washers.

This was a new experiance for the guys on so many different levels.  It was awesome to see our older guys jump in beside the high school guys and lead them, and even better I saw 16 year olds leading 14 year olds.  That is the part of leadership you can't teach.......the heart of a leader.

It was awesome to see that we have a upcoming generation that can lead and work hard.  At the end of the day we had touched the hearts of the families and put all of us in an awesome adventure.......oh yeah......and a great lunch afterward.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Are you running a learning organization?

How are you running your business? Wide open, controlled chaos, scattered......or all of the above.

In most cases we are trying to keep ourself a float. We really don't have time to think about the future. It is hard to think ahead.....Plan for the ever changing world we live in.

But we have too! We have to be proactive and adapt. Are you placing yourself and employees in a position to grow for the future? To do that you have to place everyone in a learning environment. A mechanic couldn't fix the oil leak without the proper tools. Your managers can't manage without the tools. As a owner you have to provide them with the tools of training, knowledge, books, and etc to allow them to succeed. The higher success rate your team has the greater chance your company has to grow and prosper. No one has all the answers. What will you do or provide to make your team better? now you are growing frustrated because all you have processed is the $cost$ to send individuals to classes. Do not get stuck on the cost. Look for free tools. Did you know there are a ton of podcast that are free? There are tons of podcast on leadership, management, communication, and etc.... These are great tools to share with your team. Lead by example of listening to and carrying out the recommendations of tool.

Andy Stanley has a great Leadership podcast that is free!

Sunday, March 20, 2011



Is networking lost?  No it is not lost but face to face networking is gone.  Look I am networking through Facebook, Twitter, and Blogging.....but how many times are we talking face to face.  Seldom. Why????

Because we can reach people faster through mass networking versus the time it takes to build a face to face relationship.  The time it takes to call someone, get them on the phone, check calendars, make an appointment, meet, and build a relationship allows someone else the opportunity to exchange a dozen emails.  They are one email from completing the deal......

One would think we have progressed and simplified the networking process making life easier.  I would agree except for the over load of spam and fraudulent networking that has created this uneasy feeling that this must be a lie..... I have been looking online for a used car and I am overwhelmed at the number of people that say send us a money order and we will send you the car for free........really!!

Have we created this technology so fast we didn't plan how to police?  I have a new HOA Management company and social networking should be an affordable source of marketing but how do you market without creating that question.......are they for real or is this a scam.

As hard as it is, Face to Face is still very important and is my preferred choice.  I started my company based on the importance of solid relationships and I know building relationships face to face will take longer but in my mind they will last longer......

How will you network?  Do you network for fun or business?  What works for you?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Have you run out of time?  Does the day overwhelm you?  If so, you are like so many small business owners.  I have been in this boat where the days just run together.  I was caught in this last week where I didn’t realize it was Friday and thought it was still Thursday.  The sad part, I was more concerned that I had lost a day than realizing it was almost time for the weekend. 
In the good days, we would just recommend hiring another worker to maximize your time and efficiency, but in this market you are working so many hours just to make things stick together.  Who has funds to hire another person?  We all wish we could hire more workers…..our economy would be much better if we could. 
So, what do we need to do to make things easier?  I have talked about working hard is just part of the business but working smarter is also part of being a small business owner.  Prioritize and work down.  Most would say start with the most important and knock them off the list, but most of the time the most important take the most time.  If this is the case then you would never get to the small things and they will continue to stack up.  Trust me I know.  I have had many things stack up because the “larger, more important” things took priority.  This is new to me….but I am working through it.  I am not saying this will change your life and way of living, but if what you are doing isn’t working try something new.
I started something this past week.  The first hour of each day in which we have no meetings I have made this “Task Hour”.  How much can I get done in that first hour?  Because if I wait until the end of the day I am so overwhelmed and burned out I will put it off until tomorrow and then it is a trickle-down effect.  I have challenged myself to do this for 30 days.  I will let you know how I do in 30 days.
Small things make a difference………..