Leadership update

imageHave you been excited about being a volunteer?

The picture above was taken at Leadercast 2013. I just applied to work as a volunteer again and I can’t wait for the opportunity to serve.

And I’m talking about the kind of excitement where you wish you could invite everyone to participate with you. It’s crazy long hours the day before the event doing whatever needs to be done. And I mean whatever. I tried to get it across that I was volunteering and that whatever they needed me to do, I was their guy.

And in a weird way, they couldn’t believe I was serious. They asked and before they could explain what needed to be done in detail I said yes. Always.

Now, let me apologize. This isn’t just about me. This is for all of us. We should all have a desire to volunteer where we can. And to that, here are some guidelines that might help you decide when and how much to volunteer.

  1. Don’t volunteer just to gain bragging rights.
  2. Consider helping for seasonal opportunities (Thanksgiving, back-to-school, etc.) if your time is short.
  3. If you are in charge of volunteers, thank them regularly.
  4. Be wary of any group that asks for money for you to volunteer. If that’s the case, it’s not a true volunteer opportunity. Look elsewhere.

Don’t be bullied into volunteering. Coercion is not a proper way to get someone to volunteer. This is service that should come from the heart. There are going to be times when you have to and should say no to a volunteer opportunity. Weigh your immediate demands against the benefits of the chance to volunteer.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments


Fill your every day life with fireworks!

Fill your every day life with fireworks! (Photo by E. Balentine)

Words of wisdom:

“Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don’t need to escape from.” – Seth Godin

This is not to say that if you get things just right you’ll no longer need a vacation.

Tell me if this sounds like you.

You work a typical 40-hour-a-week job but due to you being gone, you have to put in extra hours on Friday. You get home late and begin to pack, trying to remember that thing you told yourself not to forget after the last vacation. Exhausted, you get to bed after 2 am knowing that if you just get a few hours of sleep you’ll be fine to hit the road at 5 am to get a head of traffic. Once you get out-of-town, there is an accident in the road construction section of the highway, reminding you that you should have taken the bathroom/lunch break when you had the chance. You arrive at your glamorous beach destination just in time for the afternoon rain showers to come in so your luggage and you get soaked by the time you get in your room. Cranky from the extra long trip, you decry that vacations just aren’t worth the hassle. You could have saved your money and stayed at home.

Plan. Prepare. Perform.

PS. You wake up at 3 am and realize what it was you forgot to pack. . . Underwear. :)

Posted in Planning, Positive, Satisfaction | 2 Comments

Take control

Up hear, you are not in control.

Up here, you are not in control.

Are you in control of your day or does it control you?

Do you have a plan for the day or are you a leaf succumbing to the directions of the wind as it blows you around day-to-day?

Generally speaking, a plan or idea in your head usually stays there unless you write it down.

“Why worry about things you can’t control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you?” ~Unknown

Posted in Control, Planning, Preparedness | 4 Comments

If not you, then who?

Do others know your plan?

Do others know your plan?

If you’re not around to take care of the details, who will take your place?

Communication is key.

Before his death, Walt Disney envisioned a Utopian city where people would live, shop and work, showcasing to the world the innovations and technologies of tomorrow.

It would also never be finished, always introducing and testing new systems and materials. Walt left a legacy that helped to shape the current day Epcot, something different from what he initially imagined.

When you’re gone, will your legacy go beyond your Last Will and Testament? The qualities and details of your character will echo far beyond constructed walls of temples and shrines dedicated to mankind.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

Posted in Destiny, Values | 1 Comment

Anyone there?

The performers are there but where is the audience?

The performers are there but where is the audience?

You call but no one answers.

You go by and the lights aren’t on.

You start to think something is wrong.

You wait in the parking lot for a sign.

You start thinking about alternatives.

You go somewhere else.


You stayed up late the night before so you start your day later than normal.

You stand in line at the bank making the deposit from yesterday’s dismal sales.

You sigh audibly because the customer in front of you is talking too much instead of transacting business.

You forgot your lunch so you grab some grub from the grocer.

You open the store late because the lady in front of you took too long sorting her coupons.

You don’t meet your sales goals because nobody is coming to the store.


How is your day going? Do you recognize any of this?

This could be a fictional story. Or it could be the reason your business is suffering.

Can you see this scenario unfolding in your mind? Or did it happen to you recently.

Here’s an alternative approach.


You cook and package your lunch for tomorrow to save money and time.

You make a list of priorities you must complete the next day to stay on track for meeting your goals.

You arrive at work early and see the note left for you by a conscientious employee informing you of the problem with the printer. No problem. You’ve got time to fix it.

You are the first customer in line at the bank and everyone is glad to see you.

You get to the store in time to sweep the sidewalk and a customer stops to ask if you’re already open. They become a customer for life because you opened early.

You take care of your customers’ needs even before they know what they need.

Plan. Prepare. Perform.


Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

You have one job

imageMeet Elisa. She’s the one carrying the umbrella on the left.

Why is she carrying an umbrella? Well besides the obvious fact that it’s raining, she is out there because of where she works and what this location means to the community.

I spoke with the business owner to get her name. He said it’s what they do all the time. The rain falls and the umbrellas come out escorting patrons to and from their vehicles.

Have you EVER had this kind of experience at any other fast food chain? Casual restaurant? Maybe the kind of service you would get at a five-star location. But you’d be hard pressed to get it at McBurger something.

Are you giving your customers your unexpected best?

Posted in Incredibly different, Service, Unexpected | 4 Comments

Excellence or conformity

Whatever it is, be good at it.

Whatever it is, be good at it.

I overheard a radio talk head yesterday discussing “deflate-gate”. If you’re not sure what it is you can Google it for all the fun details.

Anyway, the host was talking about it and he made the following observation:

“Excellence is good. But conformity is better.” Oh really?

What if Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had conformed instead of leading a rebellion? Or how about Steve Jobs? Where would the computing world be if he had stayed inside the box? Mahatma Gandhi ring a bell? Remember Amelia Earhart?

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the square pegs in the round holes. . . They’re not fond of rules and they have no respect for the status-quo.”

In Steve’s own words:


Posted in Excellence | 4 Comments