Sunday, 30 December 2012

13 Travel Resolutions For 2013

With quite thirty one years of expertise trekking round the globe, I contemplate myself associate experienced  individual, however even veteran travelers fall prey to travel missteps abroad. This year, I resolve to be a better-rounded individual and absorb each minute of your time I pay in every new destination.

This sort of factor takes strategy. therefore I actually have a concept. i'll follow these thirteen travel resolutions in 2013.

1. I resolve to be improbably patient once I register for a flight that's delayed or overbooked, knowing that if i am charming and smiling, the agents Pine Tree Stateasure} additional probably to assist me before they assist all those people screaming in their faces.

2. I resolve to create bound to obtain travel insurance, although I in all probability will not would like it. however if I do, i will be lined. additionally, I resolve to inform myself, anytime i am tempted to say no the coverage that the value of the insurance is well worth the peace of mind it brings.

3. I resolve to avoid giving cash to individuals I meet as I travel in a very misguided effort to assist people who area unit asking (begging) for cash. Instead, I resolve to support real reach to those self same individuals through programs that build a distinction nonetheless do not encourage a culture of dependency.

4. I resolve to seem at the individuals I meet as I travel, notwithstanding however completely different from myself, as flavors of frozen dessert. a number of U.S.A. area unit plain vanilla, some area unit fruity strawberry, and a few area unit exotic rum raisin--but we're all still essentially frozen dessert (or people).

5. I resolve to be told a number of words within the native language of the places I visit, like please, thanks and it's nice to satisfy you, as a gesture of respect.

6. I resolve to recollect to behave consistent with however i might like others to understand Americans. If I act like associate moron, people who might not have met several alternative Americans might assume we're all idiots.

7. I resolve to pack lightly; keeping in mind that aside from Asian nation or even Somalia, just about everything i want is regionally out there, in one type or another. The lighter I pack, the better it's going to be on behalf of me to urge around, and also the additional area i am going to have for souvenirs to bring home. Whenever attainable, I resolve to travel with solely a carry-on bag if I will go away with it to avoid additional fees and problem.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Travel Resolutions: 9 Goals To Help You Travel Better In The New Year

You could arrange to understanding a lot of, or reading a lot of books rather than observation tv, or not uptake lunch ahead of your pc (all of that we must always be doing regularly) however we tend to all understand that a number of weeks when the clock hits 12:01 a.m. on Jan one, resolutions tend to travel straight out the window.

To keep resolutions, we've got to line goals that we actually wish to attain, and once we search at heart, what will we really need for a brand new year? To be happy. To feel higher. to measure a lot of. To celebrate the current. All those normal things that we are saying to ourselves each year.

You know what permits you to do all of those? Traveling. and in contrast to swing yourself on a restrictive diet and laborious travail schedule, traveling is that the full body, holistic decide to feeling higher.

But we've got to travel on the far side, "This year, i need to travel a lot of." that's imprecise and open terminated, and ultimately, does not offer you a collection goal. you wish concrete resolutions that may get you not solely pondering travel, however conjointly doing it.

No matter your destination, these square measure resolutions to encourage you to expertise all that travel needs to provide, to require advantage of each state of affairs that you are in and be quite simply a median tourer. Your challenge for 2013 is not to only travel a lot of, it's to travel higher.
I will arrange to carry-on solely.
Yes, you'll be able to manage to possess your baggage checked across to the opposite aspect of the globe, however is not it nicer to possess everything with you and also the peace of mind that you are not about to ever ought to cope with a moderately useful baggage officer and a store bought tri-pack of emergency underwear? Committing to solely packing what fits in your carry-on (unless you are going to continent and wish a lot of layers than usual) not solely eliminates the trouble that comes together with lost baggage, however it causes you to a a lot of agile individual on the bottom. it is also a lesson in learning what necessities you actually have to be compelled to function; in a very day and age of over consumption it's nice to grasp that we will build it fortnight on a combine of pants and one or two of shirts.

I will leave my smartphone reception ... a minimum of for a number of hours.
Travel apps and simple access to maps square measure all treats, however keep in mind the times of serendipitously obtaining lost, having to raise somebody on the corner wherever such and such street was and within the method obtaining a recommendation for the native lunch hotspot? set up and organize, however leave area forever to happen, which suggests that swing the smartphone at all-time low of the bag each once in for a while.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Keller, Schilens, Lankster Did Not Travel To Buffalo

LORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — big apple Jets end Dustin author and wide receiver Chaz Schilens failed to travel with the team and can not play within the season finale Sunday at Buffalo owing to injuries.

Backup footballer Ellis Lankster conjointly failed to create the trip Saturday and can miss the sport against the Bills.

All 3 players had been listed as uncertain on the Jets’ final injury report Friday.

Keller sprained his left gliding joint within the Jets’ 7-6 convert Arizona on Dec. 2, and caught a career-low twenty eight passes in barely eight games. He’s scheduled  to become associate degree unrestricted free agent within the offseason.

Schilens includes a knee ill and finished his initial season with the Jets conjointly with twenty eight catches. Lankster suffered a concussion last week against urban center.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material might not be printed, broadcast, rewritten or decentralised.)

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

A Retail Success

In 1978 Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank were executives of "Handy Dan" part of Daylin, Inc. Their division, Handy Dan, was making lots of money, while Daylin, Inc. was going bankrupt. They were suddenly fired!

Before they were fired, Marcus and Blank, had been experimenting at Handy Dan's by lowering the prices on some items. "They observed that when they marked down items, volume increased and costs as a percentage of sales decreased." From this successful idea they developed their step-by-step plan of action. They decided on Atlanta as their store location. Then they located two large empty stores and put on the shelves 18,000 products from plumbing, hardware, electrical, paint, and lumber.

They charged close to 1/3 less for each item. Marcus and Blank selected and trained their employees to "deliver the best customer service". They chose knowledgeable salespeople who knew about their products and were able to answer customer's questions, and direct them to the best equipment for their needs. Their expert salespeople were able to tell customers how to do the work.

Their store had everything that a homeowner or contractor needed to do their repairs under one roof for the lowest price possible.

On the first day that they opened their store, Marcus and Blank gave their children $1 bills to give out to customers as a thank you for coming in. By evening, 5pm or 6pm, their children were in the parking lot giving out a $1 to each person they could convince to come into the store.

Blank said, "It was a crushing disappointment."

Marcus said, "It looked like curtains for us. My wife wouldn't let me shave for days. She didn't want a razor in my hand."

On the third day, "a satisfied customer returned" bring with her a thank you gift of "a bag of okra for Marcus" for helping her solve her problem.

She gave them hope and then "word of mouth" brought more customers into

Marcus and Blank's, "The Home Depot" store.

Today, The Home Depot has 371,000 employees' worldwide. They sell hardware, plumbing, lumber, tools, home appliances, electrical supplies, paint, flooring, building materials, and gardening equipment and supplies. In 2014, Home Depot earned $78.812 billion in profit an increase of over $4 billion from 2013.

What are the three things you can learn from Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank about stepping-stones into success?

1) Remembering their successes with lowering the prices on certain items and saving in purchasing on volume, Marcus and Blank wrote up their step-by-step plan of action. They located two empty large buildings stores in Atlanta. On the shelves they put 18,000 products from plumbing, hardware, electrical, paint, and lumber. They charged close to 1/3 less for each item.

2) Trained employees to "deliver the best customer service". They chose knowledgeable salespeople who knew their products and were able to answer customer's questions, and direct them to the best equipment for their needs.

3) Their stores sold homeowners everything they needed in one store and their expert salespeople told them how to repair it. Contractors were able to find everything they needed in one store for the lowest price possible. It was a "Do it yourself' store.

If Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank hadn't been fired at "Handy Dan's" they would never have created "The Home Depot" and helped employ all these people worldwide giving them good jobs to take care of themselves and their families. Their store was a how to do it store that housed all the products needed under one roof for homeowners and contractors. Their store filled a need!

Napoleon Hill said, "Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step beyond their greatest failure.

Prime Minister Winston Churchill said, "Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty-never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense."

So the next time you fail at something, remember the failure of Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank and how they responded to failure by developing a new plan of action to develop their "Do it yourself" store.

By the way, have you ever heard of "Handy Dan's" before this article?

Don't let any failure stand in your way, let it be your stepping-stone to success.

Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM, John Maxwell Team Member, and Certified World Class Speaking Coach is an Best Selling Author, sought after speaker, business owner, teacher, researcher, and concert artist. She helps businesses and organizations "Tune Up their Businesses". Her innovative observations show you the blue prints necessary to improve and keep your businesses successful. She writes a monthly newsletter "Madeline's Monthly Article & Musical Tips Blog" and a monthly radio show "Madeline's One Minute Musical Radio Show". She has just published her new book "Leadership On A Shoestring Budget" available in print or as an e-book. To contact Madeline for your next speaking engagement

Monday, 23 February 2009

Meeting Participation Pitfalls

How well are your meetings functioning? Through this series of articles I have been highlighting the many factors that must be considered for your meetings to go well. When conducting your meetings there are several participation pitfalls that your meeting facilitator should help you avoid.

Are You Seeing Your Role in the Wrong Way?

The most serious meeting participation pitfall is the leader who wants to give the answers to everyone in the room. Don't get me wrong - there are times when we need answers from the senior leader, but those times should be rare. Great leaders see that their role in the meeting is to ask the right questions and to listen to the ideas of their team. They realize there are many ways to do things, and there is rarely only one right answer. They put big ideas on the table, ask difficult questions, and get the team to debate those ideas. Once they have heard everyone's point of view, they can then combine their team's input with their own opinions to make the best decisions possible, given the circumstances. The leader's job is to access the brains of the team, not to be the team's brain.

Do You Tend To Jump Into Problem-Solving Mode Too Quickly?

Another common mistake I see in meetings is the tendency to jump too quickly into problem-solving mode. As soon as a meeting participant raises an issue, concern, or problem, everyone moves too quickly to find a solution or provide an answer. The value of having multiple people available is to first determine which is the real problem to solve. The best tool participants can bring is the ability to ask great questions. Presenters consciously or unconsciously often leave out important information that the other participants need to know. Once these missing facts are uncovered, you may find that there is a more fundamental or broader issue to solve than the original symptom that was mentioned at the onset.

Is Everyone's Contribution Heard?

Another common meeting participation pitfall is failure of the leader of the meeting to make sure that everyone gets involved in the discussion. There are a few dimensions to this issue.

Failure to Voice Your Opinions, Questions, and Concerns. If you do not contribute, you have wasted your time and everyone else's. Everyone has something to contribute. Failure to speak up begs the question "why are you in this meeting." It is important that leaders recognize the people in the room that have lower self-confidence and tend to defer to others and make sure to access their brain power. For many people, failure to speak in meetings did not mean they did not have a lot of value to bring. The leader's job is to make sure to get that value.

Over-contributing. Have you ever attended a meeting where there is person who has to have their opinion heard on every point? They hog up all the talk time! These people seem to love to hear their own voice and think that because they are talking they are the smartest and most valuable people in the room. These people need to be taught to give others a chance to speak and have limits set for the amount of time they are permitted to speak.

Active Listening. It is important to identify what is not being said. Watching people's body language, listening to tone, and understanding why they say what they do is many times more important than what they say. The words people use comprise just 7% of communication. A good leader is actively listening during the meeting. This helps ensure that when decisions are made and plans are set that everyone is committed.
An executive business coach can help you run a more effective business or become a more effective leader.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

How Does a Director Define Their Role?

The fiduciary responsibilities of a director, whether they are a volunteer or salaried, are alike for the most part. It's true that almost all credit unions do not pay their directors and almost all banks do pay a per meeting stipend, giving the bank's committee members strong incentive to meet as often as possible.

In my career as a credit union CEO, I invited our legal counsel to attend one board meeting each year for the express purpose of reviewing the fiduciary duties and responsibilities of a director and reminding the board of the legal consequences of not fulfilling them. In his elegant and simple message, this is what he said are the responsibilities of a director:

1. Approve operating policies and articles of incorporation (bylaws). 
2. Hire a competent CEO. 
3. Evaluate the CEO's performance regularly and formally. 
4. Replace the CEO if results are unsatisfactory.

That is as simple as it gets. Yet, after 29 years in credit unions, plus the past five facilitating strategic planning and executive coaching in credit unions, the CEO's with whom I have the privilege to work are crooning an unchanged song. That is, their board members don't understand their role; get too involved in the daily operations; ask for too much or impulsive financial projections and are the root cause of the CEO and his/her team not advancing the credit union's vision, mission and critical goal categories. I have heard that same issue as it relates to ncua (nobody cares understands or appreciates) field examiners.

Let's get one important truth established: YOU are the CEO and if you play someone else's game, it serves only to frustrate, increase stress and divert your attention from the vision, mission and critical goals that your autonomous board approved. The board may need a gentle reminder that you are doing that which has been approved by them and your performance is evaluated every 30-days at the board meeting via the balance sheet and income/expense statement. Point them back to their role; get your own attorney and/or consultant to educate them. Here are some talking points for you and the board.


• Describe the fiduciary role of the board and how fiduciary responsibilities apply to specific functions in the credit union. 
• List specific responsibilities of the board. 
• Name common traps that hinder effectively meeting fiduciary responsibility. 
• Describe the key risk management functions of the board of directors.

Lead with vision and purpose:

• Discuss governance models and what works for your board 
• Cultivate a positive, cooperative relationship between the board and CEO 
• Develop a team-oriented approach to board governance.

Additionally, the credit union's bylaws and state and federal regulations/statutes specify the duties and responsibilities of a director and the board. There are resources, e.g.:, CUNA, CUES, the World Council and more that provide lists of duties, skills required, roles, etc. All can provide director education and certificate programs. There is no excuse in 2015 for a director not to be trained and informed, or to act outside those parameters.

If I may condense it:

a. A director should have:

- Cognitive capacity: can the director recognize he/she is responsible for the membership and recognize clues/alerts that unsafe risk is imminent. 
- Behavioral capacities: the director not only knows what must be done and recognizes unsafe risk, but will also act. 
- Emotional capacity: able to bond with a team; empathize with others and their differing opinions.

Everything you do in a credit union involves risk. You risk or you rust. Every loan to a member and every investment choice is a transaction with risk. Every new hire is a risk. Each action step is accompanied by some risk and reward. The CEO has a role and so does the board. They are different. Respect those differences and the strengths each brings to the credit union.

An informed board of directors is the CEO's greatest partner. Invest in director development; get the board to network with other credit union boards; consider executive coaching for individual directors to develop leadership talents. Leaders are made not born.

If your board is open, get the chair to start a discussion on term limits, both for a director and the position of chairperson. Many abuses and potential problems are solved when a director may not serve indefinitely, or serve as the chairperson more than one term. You may define the length of a term, e.g.: one (1) term being three (3) years, or one (1) term being five years, with two or three terms being the maximum. Likewise, with the position of chairperson, rotate that annually to avoid having a person build power and authority that can lead to issue.

Often the best time to introduce term limits is when there is a problem director. The rest of the board is fed up and looking for a way to get him/her off the board or the chairperson's position. The dissident director is one (1) vote. If the rest of the board wants to take action and protect future boards, they can get the votes.

Likewise, if everything with the board is picture perfect, that's a great time to discuss term limits. Some credit unions have age limits for a director. Get those issues settled when everyone likes each other as a deterrent to problems in the future.

Wednesday, 6 April 2005

How to Turn Stale Managers Into Stars

A new report from Gallup, based on extensive polling, finds only 10% of managers have what it takes to be "a great manager."

Deep breathe before you fire the lot or cry foul.

First, Gallup didn't just make up these numbers. They measured the engagement levels of 27 million employees in 195 countries. In the US, only 30% of U.S. workers are fully engaged, and Gallup thinks managers are largely to blame (it says 70% of the engagement variance is down to them). It says there's "a clear link between poor managing and a nation of 'checked out' employees." Gallup insists that only 1 out of 10 managers has the innate talent to do just that: manage.

Second, there are clear-cut reasons. From my vantage point, managing others requires a rare blend of these talents:

* Superb communication skills that keep people informed and motivated about the future. 
* Consistently aligning actions with values and holdings themselves and others accountable for results with the right amount of assertiveness to get the results. 
* Decision-making that is for the good of the team and the company-not just politically expedient. 
* Demonstrated concern for the growth and well-being of employees. 
* Personally engaged and excited about the role they play. 
* Determined to invest in ongoing learning for themselves and others.

Third, too many managers are given this position because they were good in a previous role. This does NOT mean they have the skill or the desire to manage. My son is a great example. With a PhD in Computer Engineering, he held a position at the Super Computer Center in UCSD, working on visualizations. Then he was promoted into management. He hated it. He did NOT like managing others. Eventually, he would leave to find work that allowed him to use his skill in a way that best suited him.

Finally, the common practice of rewarding only those with a higher pay grade negates the fact that pay should be reflective of performance and not title. This practice urges employees who want to earn more to seek advancement which-like happened with my son-could actually be detrimental.

First, carefully re-examine all processes related to promotion, pay, succession planning and talent development as explained above.

Second: ask all current managers what interests them most about their role and-if they could wave a wand and reverse their career progression (without concern for money), what would they want to do. If a manager isn't engaged and enthusiastic about her role, think how that impacts a department.

Third: conduct small focus groups representing various roles and levels in the organization. Ask: How do you know a great manager from a poor one? What behavior and actions do you see, hear, experience? Ask: can you name a great manager right now?

Fourth: Bring all the identified "great" managers together and ask them to help determine hiring and promotion practices. Ask them to determine what ARE the question that should be asked? Because these talents won't show up on a resume or an employee folder, how might these potentially "great" managers be identified?

Lastly. Breathe. This is not something that can be done overnight. The larger the organization, the more layered the organization, the more bureaucratic the organization, movement will be slow. So start small. Begin with "the converted". This is a department or a team that really wants to tackle the development of management and the creation of a high performing, engaged group. Build upon that momentum, and watch the magic happen.

© 2015, The Resiliency Group. Publication rights granted to all venues so long as article and by-line are reprinted intact and all links are made live.

Professional speaker, consultant and author Eileen McDargh has helped leaders, organizations and individuals transform the life of their business and the business of their life through conversations that matter and connections that count. Visit her website to read her blog, join her e-zine and hire her to speak. If you are a leader who lacks communication skills then read her book "Talk Ain't Cheap...