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Going Back Old School in a Digital World!

This time of year is all about…

  • setting goals,
  • making resolutions, and
  • planning sessions.

These are traditionally a big part of the turn of a new year.

What else can you do to find success in 2019? I think we forget one critical path to achieving new goals…it is the HABITS we have.

If you want to be a leader that evolves and grows consistently, you must have the right habits. Intentional habits are essential to many things in life. Look at a person’s habits, and it will tell you a lot about that person.

My favorite tool for changing habits and tracking progress is old school. I have been using it for three years now. I love my wall calendar that shows the full year. I track my workouts, my nutrition, and my most important projects. I have a color coding that helps me see my consistency. If you want to change your momentum for 2019, you must be intentional about your habits.

Here is my calendar for the year. You can see where I was consistent and where I wasn’t.

2018 Wall Calendar

If you want to get a calendar like this, use this link. I love my calendar. I am ready to get started on 2019.

How about you? I’d love to know what #habits you are tracking to make this next year epic. 

 Here is to an ahhhhhh-mazing 2019,

P.S. You want to make more money ( or better yet keep more money). You want more time off. You want to simplify your life. No matter what you do…track your habits on this calendar.

Gene Hammett is a Motivational Business Speaker, Author, and writes a Weekly column for Inc. Magazine.  His Award-winning Podcast Leaders in the Trenches is heard by leaders all over the world. His newly released book, The Trap of Success gives all business owners a Guide to Success! Known for his ability to: “take an otherwise routine topic and make it new, exciting and captivating” Gene is seen as one of top Motivational Business Speakers around! To hire him for your next event, contact us today at 888-766-3155 or visit: Hire Gene Hammett

True Joy is in the Little Things!

At this time of year with everyone wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year;  have you found the true joy?

This year in stepping back, I have found true joy comes in the little things!  Lots of time we miss them until we see how they fit into the big picture of life!

This New Year 2019 we have formed our business plan around the word-IMPORTANT!  We don’t want to miss seeing the little things daily that bring the joy of what we do alive each and everyday!

Do you need a new focus for your professional and personal life? I urge you to take the next few days to make some needed changes so you won’t miss seeing the true joy, peace, and contentment of life in 2019!

Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau!

Daddy! Is This Santa Claus?

Tired and with a negative attitude setting in, I walked up the dark sidewalk to yet another house in a part of town I wasn’t very familiar with.

My once positive thoughts about volunteering to deliver toys and food on Christmas Eve were shifting to negative.

So far, very few had offered a thank you, and I was feeling somewhat unappreciated.

As the front door opened and I stepped inside with the last delivery on my list, I was glad my task was nearly done and I would soon be on my way home.

“Daddy! Is this Santa Claus?” yelled two small blond high-energy boys with glee.  Immediately, my mood was transformed back into one much more in tune with the true Christmas spirit.

That night, I was Santa Claus to the families on my Talladega Jaycee Christmas for Kids list.  But I also received a special gift myself.

My gift was the reminder of what Christmas is really about:  Sharing, giving, and loving.  I realized that it isn’t about my feelings.  It’s about my helping someone else feel good.

I also learned that sometimes in the business of doing good, it can be easy to get cynical. You won’t always get an acknowledgement of your efforts.

During the holiday season and throughout the rest of the year, should you feel negativity creeping in as you take your time to help others, remember that it’s not about you. It’s about the people who are benefiting from the good deeds you are performing.

Know that while people may not express appreciation as openly as those two young boys, your actions are appreciated and your efforts are making a difference in people’s lives.

Thank You for what you do and Happy Holidays!

Speaker , Hardy Smith works with businesses, nonprofits and associations who want an ongoing culture of performance. Organizations across America have benefited from Hardy’s 30-plus years of experience working in the high-performance world of NASCAR racing. He is an Event Planners Dream! This is what they are saying about Hardy: “I really appreciated the careful thought and planning that Hardy clearly put into his course at the Institute for Organization Management. His warm personality was matched with his heart and experience for helping our industry seek excellence not only in our organizations but in ourselves. He would be a great addition to any conference.” – Katherine Morgan, President & Chief Executive Officer, Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce
To hire Hardy for your next event call 888-766-3155 or click here: Book Hardy Smith

 

 

Connected Leaders Get Their ASK in Gear!

Leaders encourage new team members to ask clarifying questions surrounding a project, protocol or procedure.  Connected leaders take it one step further and reassure individuals to reach out for support or help when needed. Yet, too many individuals still hesitate asking for what they need to succeed demanding that leaders change their approach.

According to an article in Harvard Business Review, a call center experiment may hold clues to creating a safe and supportive “asking” environment.

The Challenge: The company’s rapid call center growth (tripling in size over a five-year period) left insufficient time for training to support their financial advisor clients. Wanting to look good in their supervisor’s eyes, new hires hesitated asking for help or saying, “I don’t know. Let me find out.” This increased call volume as clients chose to call back until two out of three answers received were alike. The leaders gave their teams a clear vision: Change whatever it takes to prevent clients from living by the three-call rule.

The Experiment: First off, management made it safe to experiment by keeping, but not compensating, call center service agents on metrics for four weeks. To show they were serious, white lab coats were distributed and input solicited. The first experiment resulted in a “Bat Signal” agents could press when needing informational support, but they still hesitated as the device clearly signaled they needed assistance. In addition, everyone assumed someone else would jump in to help, leaving the requestor helpless. Even after someone was assigned as Bat Manager, other demands often meant they weren’t at their desk to receive the signal.

The experiment shifted to a private “Bat Chat” channel where new hires could directly connect with specialized departments, but that also failed. However, when the “Bat Chat” channel was launched to the entire call center, everything changed. Although management anticipated that new hires would be connecting and asking for support from each another, that wasn’t the case. Turns out, only when seasoned team members modeled the behavior and asked each other for additional support, did new hires follow suit.

As the article’s author Joe Brown noted, “When they were just another voice in a crowded room, they felt safe to ask questions. So, the key wasn’t in giving newbies special treatment, it was making them feel normal in saying, “I don’t know.” And a nice added benefit of the Bat chat? Those long transcripts became a searchable library of answers for future service agents.”

My Takeaway for You: Leaders must get their own ASK in gear if they expect others to feel safe enough to follow suit. Put your pride on the side, show your vulnerability and ask for support when necessary. Not only will you be doing yourself a favor, but you’ll be leading the way for others to do the same.


If you are looking for an award-winning, funny motivational speaker that can also deliver solid content in a way that evokes change and produces results, Colette Carlson is the one for your next event!  To have Colette at your next event call us today at 888-766-3166 or click here: Book Colette Carlson

It’s Never Too Late!

Have you ever wanted something, but thought it was too late…that you missed your chance?  Have you ever had an opportunity, but didn’t take advantage of it.  Have you ever felt you tried and failed so many times that you just can’t try again?never too late

I have felt all of those things at one time or another, but I have also learned that it is never too late to do what you should have done, have what you could have had, or be what you would have been.

You have to go beyond “if only” thinking if you want to live an exciting and fulfilling life.  You must give up your shoulda, woulda, coulda mentality.  The past is over.  We can’t do anything about it. We have right now and the future. Don’t let habitual thinking cause you to get in your own way of having a positive future.  You will probably have to step out of your comfort zone.  Experiencing some discomfort is necessary as change never seems to occur without it. Be spontaneous and take a risk.

Don’t sell yourself short.  Be willing to acknowledge that you may have some incorrect perceptions about yourself, your abilities, and the expectations of others.  You are your most valuable asset.  W. Clement Stone, American bestselling author and founder of Combined Insurance Company said, “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”  What do you believe?  Is it over or is there still time to achieve your dreams?  What dreams can you conceive?

In which direction do you want to put your energies…into your same old rut or taking a new path.  Break the destructive pattern of letting life pass you by.  Once you understand it’s never too late, you can reclaim the dreams of your past, breathe new life into dreams which have been “on hold,” or dream new dreams.

Judi Moreo is a sought-after keynote speaker, creativity coach, and the author of “You Are More Than Enough: Every Woman’s Guide to Purpose, Passion, and Power.”
From Judy Lawton, Founder and CEO, The Lawton Group:
“It is difficult to find a presenter as inspiring, thought provoking, and entertaining as Judi Moreo. I give her my highest recommendation!” Contact us today 888-766-3155 to hire her for your next event or click here: Book Judi Moreo

 

 

How Writing A Book Can Elevate Your Brand!

As a consultant and speaker writing my books is the best thing I ever could have done. It quadrupled my income, increased my opportunities, and established me as an Industry Expert.

For an individual writing a book can …

  • Establish your expertise
  • Open doors
  • Provide helpful insights
  • Tell your story

For a company a book can …

  • Separate you from the pack
  • Expand on your philosophy
  • Connect people with your product or service
  • Provide industry insights

A book does not have to be about your or your products but can simply be a book of quotes or pieces of advice you value. Handing a person a book that actually has value for THEM is very different from handing them a brochure about your services.

For example, a Brewery could have a book that …

  • Instructs on the different kinds of beer
  • Tells their origin story
  • Tells funny beer stories, anecdotes and quotes
  • Outlines all the ways to enjoy a great beer

If it is fun, interesting, informative, practical, or inspirational, people will value it and thank you for it. It will also connect them closer to you and your brand.

About the Author:

After 20 years of running his own business and consulting Fortune 500 companies, Dr. Daren Martin will use his international experience to motivate your audience to “Create a Culture of Service.”   Dr. Daren’s thought leadership and change strategies in transforming companies earned him the title “The Culture Architect.” Combining humor, thought provoking content, a dynamic and his engaging presentation style; Dr. Daren Martin teaches company leaders how to turn team members into owners. He brings a message that can immediately be applied and long remembered by his audiences. To hire Dr. Daren for your next event contact us at 888-766-3155 or click here: Hire Dr. Daren Martin

Creativity: Top Job Skill for the Future

Creativity: Top Job Skill for the Future

By Julie Austin

According to the World Economic Forum’s “Future of Jobs Report”, creativity and problem solving are listed in the top three skills that employees will need by 2020. Critical problem solving is one of the most important attributes that employers look for in a new hire because no organization is without problems, and every industry will eventually be disrupted.

In this highly competitive world, having creative problem solvers working for you means seeing things from another angle. This is why brainstorming with a group of people is better than figuring everything out on your own. There is always something you’ll miss. Creative problem solvers are great at finding new opportunities for your organization.

Most companies say they would like to be more innovative, and innovation starts with creativity. If you hire creative employees you’re already ahead of the game. Amy’s Ice Cream in Texas has one of the most creative hiring practices I’ve seen. Here is their job description:

“Pick up a white paper bag. We ask that you take the bag home and bring back something creative. We would like you to express your artistic and creative side through this bag! Decorate it, make it into an object, write an original song on it, fill it with amazing things…the possibilities are endless! Most importantly, have fun and take your time. Show us who you are through the paper bag. It does not have to be artistically brilliant, just creative.”

This has proven to work well for Amy’s. One of their annual events, the Trick Olympics, was started after her employees began doing tricks with the ice cream like throwing it up in the air and catching it behind their back. Now the Trick Olympics is held every year and donates a portion of the profits to a local charity.

One way to hire creative employees is to give them problems to solve when they come in for their first interview. How they react under pressure and how creative they are at solving problems then will give you a good idea of how they will solve problems when they’re working for you.

Once you have your employees, create an environment for them to be creative and trust that they will find the best solution. If they’re not being micromanaged and have a creative environment, they will usually rise to the occasion and surprise you.

More about Julie:

Innovation Expert, Julie Austin is a sought-after Keynote Speaker, award-winning author, and Inventor of Swiggies – The Wrist Water Bottle by Hydrosport. Coming from a background in the TV & film industry as a commercial actor and TV host, she also has worked in the development of over 1,000 scripts. Julie knows the creative and how to sell it from a business perspective. Miko Carating of Daekyo America says, “Julie’s topic of using innovation and creativity to add value to your business was inspiring. Our Franchisees left with ways to generate more ideas of their own.” Julie knows a thing or two about innovation. She’s an inventor/innovator who turned $5.00 and a lump of clay into an international NASDAQ winning product—the Swiggles wrist water bottle, now sold in 24 countries. To book Julie for your next event, contact us today at 888-766-3155 or click here : Book Julie Austin

Communicating Your Guiding Principles

Are you communicating your guiding principles in your life and business?  Do you know what they are?

Recently I had the honor of meeting and learning from the world reknown leadership expert, best-selling author, and CEO Space faculty member, Hugh Ballou.

My biggest action item take-away from his presentation is: to be successful, we should run our businesses and lives on our own personal guiding principles.

Different from your mission statement, vision statement, business plan, your guiding principles are your values, clearly defined, that drive your work. Note the short definition from BusinessDictionary.com:

“Any principles or precepts that guide an organization throughout its life in all circumstances, irrespective of changes in its goals, strategies, type of work, or the top management.”

Hugh Ballou shared, when you have your guiding principles in place, it’s easy for your clients to interact with you at all levels and know what you are about.

Ballou shares his own guiding principles for his personal life, and for his business on his website.

“The bottom line: leading without guiding principles is like trying to sail a boat without a rudder.” ~ Hugh Ballou

Keeping that in mind, I took the challenge from Mr. Ballou, and after spending some in-depth thought and time I found these rose to the top:
Be Myself
Be Creative
Be Grateful
Be Compassionate
Have Fun

I challenge you to seek your guiding principles and then, like I am doing,  learn how to commuicate them to your clients, co-workers, and even your family.

Felicia J. Slattery, M.A., M.Ad.Ed., is a #1 best-selling author, an internationally award-winning speaker, and has happy clients and customers in 22 countries around the world. Featured in Success MagazineInc. Magazine, on the BBC, NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC, and CNN,
Felicia shares a powerful message on Communication, Leadership, and Speaking Skills. To hire her for your next event call us at 888-766-3155, or click here: Hire Speaker Felicia Slattery

Are Your Events Energizing Your Members and Volunteers?

Having a problem energizing your members and volunteers in your organization?

Are you taking full advantage of your events is to use them as a re-activation tool for inactive members and volunteers?

Here is an action list for making sure you have a re-activation plan for your events:

  • Make re-activation of people you haven’t seen in a while a priority goal.
  • Assign leadership roles for ensuring this undertaking is successfully implemented.
  • Have specific measurable results for your goal.
  • Identify a target list of names you want to reach out to.
  • Identify your active participants who may have a personal connection to those on your target list and get them involved with re-activation efforts.
  • Make personal contact and don’t make a big deal about previous lack of participation. My experience has been that doing so may push people further away.
  • Develop a list of tasks that can be done by those you are attempting to re-activate and ask what they would like to do. If the task list doesn’t appear to appeal to them, then ask what role they would be willing to play.
  • Involvement doesn’t have to be a major responsibility. In fact, too big a task may discourage them. The objective is to get them to participate in any way possible.
  • Get a  definite answer to your ask. Don’t settle for a noncommittal response like, “I’ll try to show up.” Get commitment for specific      involvement.
  • If the response is no, make sure reaction is positive. Asking if it’s ok to contact them about future activity opens the door for involvement later on. Follow up your visit with a note thanking for them their time.
  • Don’t delegate and forget. Provide any necessary information and instructions. Conduct supervisory follow-up as needed. Help people feel good about their participation by making sure they are successful.
  • thank you after the event will have added significance and will encourage a continued active presence.

Moving someone from inactive to involved takes effort. For desired re-activation results, persistence is critical. You get what you follow up on!

More about Hardy Smith:
With decades of experience working in the high-speed corporate world of NASCAR racing and advocating for nonprofits and associations across the country, Hardy can provide expert advice and develop effective strategies to help solve business challenges and drive the operational change needed to bring your organization to the next level. Hardy’s offerings include keynote addresses, seminars, workshops, leadership retreats and strategic planning sessions, such as, “Why Don’t Board Members Do What They’re Supposed to Do?”  To have Hardy at your next event, call today at 888-766-3155 or contact us at:   Hire Hardy Smith

 

HOW TO WARD OFF DISRUPTION!

Know how to ward off Disruption?  It takes a special kind of person to be inspired by a mandate riddled with risk and having little margin for error, such as the one issued in the early 1990s by NASA to its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California: “Take risks but don’t fail.

Meet Brian Muirhead, who at age 41 accepted the job as flight systems manager of the Mars Pathfinder project and with it the NASA challenge to land a cutting-edge, remote-controlled robotic all-terrain rover on Mars that would reliably beam back images, collect samples, and return scientific data on the red planet.

The only catch: he was given just three years and $150 million to do it.  No one in his or her right mind would want to manage the next Mars project, if indeed there was one.

Brian is a quiet, cerebral, and unassuming rocket scientist. Now chief Project Manager at JPL, he has a significantly bigger title,  less hair, and more white in his beard than when I first met him, undoubtedly as a result of his almost 42 years of intense involvement with high-profile missions in pursuit of JPL’s mission to push the outer edge of space exploration.

One of my all-time favorite stories from Brian is the one he told about the Pathfinder team’s approach to a “don’t fail” strategy. He tells how he was personally disrupted, by one of his daughter’s kindergarten projects. The teacher gave the class an assignment right up Brian’s alley: design a package that would protect a raw egg from being dropped off the school roof. It was an annual event, affectionately referred to as the Great Egg-Drop Challenge.

It was right up Brian’s alley for two reasons: not only is he an expert on momentum, but the radical solution enabling the successful landing of the rover on Mars on July 4, 1994 addressed essentially the same problem.

Brian had an answer in a snap, and coached his daughter in a rather conspiratorial way in order for her to arrive at the same solution, which involved a milk carton stuffed with newspaper.

Together they cut up newspaper, wadded it in the carton, put the uncooked egg in a plastic bag and set it on top of the loose packing. They tested it several times of their home’s high balcony to find just the right amount of padding to allow the egg to land safely.

The whole school gathered for the event. But it was not the teacher who did the testing. It was the school principal, who tested the designs not by dropping them straight down, but by throwing them in what Brian described as a “big, high, looping arc.” Get the visual?

Needless to say, Brian’s daughter’s egg was crushed, as was his daughter’s morale. Brian himself was devastated: here he was building a spacecraft to travel 300 million miles to land safely on another planet and he couldn’t even help his daughter design a landing device to protect an egg.

Brian realized a valuable lesson from the kindergarten experience, and applied it to the Pathfinder project: inevitable, unforeseen and disruptive forces could be the ruin of the project, so there had to be a way to mitigate their potential impact.

Enter what I call the “Gremlin” strategy. Interestingly, the Pathfinder team had just lost their fault systems engineer, so Brian asked another team member to fill the spot. His name was Dave Gruel, but he eventually was nicknamed “Cruel Gruel,” because he was the ultimate Gremlin.

The term “Gremlin” was popularized during World War II, and referred to an imaginary creature that creates problems in normally reliable hardware.

With the kindergarten experience fresh in his memory, Brian tasked Dave with duties beyond fault protection: he asked him to dream up all sorts of challenges to throw at the team. It turned out that Dave Gruel had a real flair for the role, and spent his days and nights devising ways to disrupt the project.

Brian urged them to be cautious, to think things well through, and to make sure they were making the right move. His words of warning went unheeded, though…the team was certain they had analyzed the situation thoroughly, and were ready to roll.

Except…the Gremlin had come in during the night.

As Brian tells it in High Velocity Leadership:

Running a couple of available calibration checks had shown something wasn’t right. Yet the attitude of some of the rover people, so cocky, so certain of their judgment, kept them from stepping back and questioning their decision.

I see this attitude all the time in speaking and doing consulting work with leaders and companies!

In the end, the Gremlin strategy was extremely effective in enabling the Pathfinder team to learn how to deal with uncertainties in a way that positively neutralized disruptive forces. It allowed the team to build robustness, speed, and flexibility into their implementation.

The application to business is clear. If you have a successful business, the chances are very good that somewhere someone is dreaming up strategies that may just throw you for a loop.

So why not beat them to the punch?

Take a page from the Mars Pathfinder story and set up a Gremlin group in your company. Charge them with putting you out of business in new and innovative ways.  Done right, it will not only ward off disruption, it will do more to build innovation capability into your organization than any highfalutin innovation program some big name firm sold you on. Mars Pathfinder didn’t need such a program, and neither do you.

What’s amazing to me is the level of passion, verve and vigor I see inside the Gremlin teams. The level of engagement is a full click above their engagement in their “real job.” Early indications are that this may be a wonderful new wrinkle to the trend toward internal innovation and startup mechanisms like incubators and accelerators, which have replaced the older “skunkworks” approaches.

As for Brian Muirhead, an individual fond of dramatic destinations, I have no doubt that he’s hard at work on his favorite answer to the “what’s next?” question he was often asked: “I’m working on a project that will attempt to land a spacecraft on an active comet and analyze it.”

So, if the word “disruption” is being uttered in the halls of your company (as it seems to be in almost every one I visit),  gather ye Gremlins, and go to work!

(Warning: brave heart, strong will, and intestinal fortitude required!)

More about Matthew E May:

Matt is one of those rare finds on the speaker circuit!  His innovative and creative interaction keeps his audiences engaged
and spell bound. He is the author of 5 New York Times Best-sellers, and his work has been featured in The New York Times, Fast Company, Strategy+Business, The Rotman Magazine, Success, Inc. Forbes, and Harvard Business Review blogs.  He has appeared on MSNBC,  Microsoft Small Biz Academy, and Business Rock Stars. He holds an MBA from The Wharton School and a BA from Johns Hopkins University, but he counts winning the New Yorker cartoon caption contest as one of his most creative achievements. Matt has a deep passion for ideas that solve a difficult problem in an elegant way. He defines an elegant solution as one that is both uncommonly simple and surprisingly powerful, and that achieves the maximum effect with minimum means. To hire Matt for your next event contact us at 888-766-3155 today or
go to Matthew E May