“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou

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Positive Quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou

 

Some words stick more than others. However, for the most part I agree with this quote. I do tend to remember the feelings associated with the memory versus the words.

 

One doesn’t know what words, actions, or feelings will be remembered while the event is happening. It is only afterwards that we look back and decide if it was a good memory to keep and file away.

 

Have you ever heard the saying that something is out of the mouths of babes? This quote makes me think of an example of that and how it relates.

 

I was living in NC at the time and engaged to be married. My children had gotten over the shyness and were completely themselves around my fiancé (yes, truly themselves, fights and all).

 

Well one day we were having dinner at Red Robin after seeing the circus. After dinner both kids got a balloon from the hostess. My daughter savored hers and kept it with her for awhile. My son, he wanted to let it go into the sky as soon as we left the restaurant and got to the car.

 

My fiancé and I thought we were helping and tried to get him to keep the balloon. That is until he stopped us cold and said “sometimes you have to let things go to have fun”. It hit on so many levels. In his mind, the fun part wasn’t receiving the balloon (words) or keeping the balloon (actions) it was letting the balloon go and watching it fly up into the sky until you couldn’t see it anymore (feeling). That feeling stuck with him for days and months later he still remembered the joy of seeing the balloon as a dot.

 

What do you think?

 

As for me, I’ll continue to work on being cognizant of how my words and actions may impact others. I’ll slip from time to time, yet I’ll keep working on it.

 

I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday.

Priscilla

“Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.” –Theodore Roosevelt

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Positive Quote: “Do what you can, where you are, with what you have.” –Theodore Roosevelt

 

Circumstances in life are not usually optimal. There are things you would like to have, people you would like to have on the team, or even certain tools to be able to leverage. However, more often than not, you need to make do with what you have and the circumstances you are in.

 

I liken the quote to the message of not giving up.

 

Sure, things won’t be perfect, yet you may be surprised at the things you can do with some ingenuity.

 

What do you think? Do you agree with Teddy?

 

Have a terrific Tuesday and here’s to doing what we can with what life has thrown us.

Priscilla

“Earn your leadership every day.” –Michael Jordan

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Positive Quote: “Earn your leadership every day.” –Michael Jordan

 

This is a quote that says a lot with few words. Is it right? Do you have to earn your leadership every day?

I believe so. The people who look to you as a leader are hyper aware of what you say or the actions you take. If they don’t know why or understand they will make assumptions.

I’ve come to the realization over the years that being a leader is hard work. There is no coasting. Every day you are on stage, front and center to be viewed by those that follow you. Every nuance, every sentence can and will be mentally reviewed by others.

In my opinion, the way to earn leadership every day is to be consistent, fair, and not let your emotions get the better of you. If your normal routine is to come in every morning and say hello to people, try to keep it consistent. The day you forget you may receive a few inquires asking if you are “ok”.

What do you think? Should a leader earn their leadership every day?

Happy Monday!

Priscilla

“You don’t lead by hitting people over the head—that’s assault, not leadership.” –Dwight Eisenhower

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Positive Quote: “You don’t lead by hitting people over the head—that’s assault, not leadership.” –Dwight Eisenhower

 

This quote reminds me of a time when I was still a fairly new manager and I had all these wonderful ideas on how I would be the best manager ever; not truly understanding the difference between a leader and a manager.

 

I was a very harsh, direct person. I did not sugar coat anything back then and to be brutally honest I thought I had all the answers.

 

I laugh at how naïve and full of nonsense that I was back then. Thank goodness I have evolved.

 

Well as a fairly new manager I did have a mentor that I looked to for guidance. I don’t know how long he tried to get me to understand that you can’t have just one style of management. That management is about flexibility and adaptability. 

 

That is, until one day, we were having lunch and he asks me if I ever did stuff around the house. Not knowing where he was going I said yes, hesitantly. He then asked if I only had one tool, a hammer. I told him no. He then asked me what kind of tools I used at home. I figured why not, and I answered him, even though I had no clue where the conversation was going. I told him that I used a hammer for hanging pictures, a screwdriver for hanging curtain rods, a putty knife for filling holes that I made mistakes when hanging pictures. He then asked me to think about why I was approaching management from a perspective that I only had one tool, a hammer. He asked why I was acting like I was the hammer and everyone and every task was a nail. That’s when it finally clicked for me. Everyone and everything is not a nail. Just as you use different tools for different things, as a leader you should use different methods of communication and leadership based on the person or situation.

 

This many years later, I still use the same saying “your not a hammer, and everything is not a nail”….it is something that I focus on remembering and applying not just to work but to my overall life.

 

What do you think?

 

Have a fabulous Friday and let’s all add a new tool to our leadership toolbox.

 

Priscilla

“Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.” —Bill Bradley

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Positive Quote: “Leadership is unlocking people’s potential to become better.” —Bill Bradley 

When I think back to all the people I consider great leaders, what they all have in common is that in some way, shape, or form they helped me and others become better, smarter, and more knowledgeable.

They did not just focus on the day to day work; which by the way does not go away. They focused on the softer side of development. Maybe it was recommending a book that they read where they thought it could help me. Or bringing up key focus areas and providing suggestions where I could work on things. Or even telling me I was working too hard and helping me realize that stepping away did not make me less of a leader.

One of the earliest leaders I remember was a teacher I had in my freshman year of high school. It was at OceansideHigh School in, you guessed it, Oceanside, CA. He was my teacher in a class called Business Financial Living – fancy name that just meant running the student campus store. It was my first taste of understanding what it takes to run a business; from ordering inventory, inventory control, running a register, balancing the money, and making sure there were profits. The student store sold items like pens, pencils, paper, notebooks, etc… and snacks. 

Anyway, this teacher believed in two things over all else;

1)     Be on time, showing up at 6 am and putting away your things meant you were late. You should arrive at work with enough time to get settled and be ready to be working by the start of your shift. To this day, if I arrive on time I feel late.

2)     The little things add up and matter. If you let everyone underpay because they are short of money it will add up and your day will be a net loss. It’s ok to make exceptions based on the circumstance but not as a rule. Most importantly validate and verify that what you say or do is accurate. If someone asks if you have something in stock and you say yes, make sure you really do before answering.

 These are lessons I continue to live by and are just a small part of what made him a great leader in my mind. He could have trained me on the hows of things and not the whys and I could have still learned the basics…. However, it would not have stuck with me so many, many years later.

My hope is that those that may see me as a leader can look back and know I cared, valued them as individuals, and ultimately wanted to help them grow and learn.

What does this quote make you think of?

Have a terrific Thursday.

Priscilla

“I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody.” —Herbert Swope

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Positive Quote: “I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody.” —Herbert Swope

 

I have lost track of the many people over the years who have come to me asking for a checklist, a document, a task list where that if they complete each item they will get promoted. Such an artifact does not exist. Life is not black and white. There are so many, many various shades of gray.

 

 

There are so many ways to succeed in life and so many different paths people can take. No two people are alike and no two paths are the same.

 

This was a lesson I had to learn early in life. I guess you could say I am a proponent on the nature side versus the nurture. I believe each person can decide what path to go on.

 

Also, knowing that you can’t please everyone can help on those days when you have to have those difficult conversations with your team or someone on your team.

 

Some of our hardest conversations are ones where we know someone is not going to be happy afterwards. Where you know they will not be pleased.

 

This quote reminds me of a situation I went through in my early 20’s. I was young and did not know that I did not know things. I was also a first time manager.

 

I had been a manager for about a year in a retail location. A month earlier it was brought to my attention that one of the cashiers may be stealing as there were some unexplained cash shortages. So, I had to work with loss prevention and realign cameras, perform random till audits, and have secret shoppers come through all in the attempt to either clear the person or get more specifics. It took about a month and it was confirmed that this person was stealing cash from the drawer; there were videos and other incriminating evidence.

 

Once everything was documented, I brought this person to my office with loss prevention and explain what we had found. She broke down in tears and begged for a second chance. Did I mention she was 8 months pregnant? Or that she was going to be a single mother.

 

This was a trial for me; there was a zero tolerance policy I had to uphold. So, I fired her. The word fired is so harsh, yet letting her go is too light a word. I told myself that there was nothing I could have done differently, that she made the choice to steal. Yet, to this day I still remember her name, her face, and the whole experience. Do I regret my actions of that day? No. I know I did what needed to be done. I also know that it was that first experience into the not so happy side of management that helps me remember to be compassionate, to recognize the person behind the actions, and to realize that I can’t be everyone’s friend and I can’t make everyone happy.

 

What do you think?

 

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

 

On a side note, the Cardinals game was great last night. I do believe my family will have to go to some more home games; maybe when it is not so hot.

 

Priscilla

“Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.” —Stephen Covey

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Positive Quote: “Effective leadership is putting first things first. Effective management is discipline, carrying it out.” —Stephen Covey

 

I tend to focus on the word effective when I read the above quote. I think I do this because there can be ineffective leadership and management.

 

I take time each week to contemplate the prior week and I ask myself if I did anything ineffectively, or if I may have mis-communicated or given the wrong impression. I don’t have all the answers and so I also periodically seek feedback from my team on how I am doing. It could be as simple as a casual conversation where I ask directly, if there is something I need to stop or start doing. At first, I don’t get a lot of answers, however with time; you would be surprised how they trickle in.

 

The quote also reminds me of a book I read called Execution by Ram Charan and Larry Bossidy. In a nutshell, it focuses on executing the ideas, the strategies, and the solutions. It mentions that without execution, the best idea in the world has no value.

 

What do you think?

 

Here’s to all of us effectively doing what we set out to do and enjoy this beautiful Tuesday morning.

 

On a side note, I am going to my first Cardinal baseball game with the family. I hope the weather cools down tonight. I know I’ll have a blast.

 

Priscilla