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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

How To Implement Tough Decisions

If you're in a leadership position and haven't read the Good Boss, Bad Boss book by Robert Sutton, I would recommend it.  Here's a little excerpt from the book on how to implement tough decisions in effective and humane ways;

1) Do not delay painful decisions and actions; hoping the problem will go away or that someone else will do your dirty work rarely is an effective path.

2) Assume that you are clueless, or at least have only a dim understanding, of how people judge you and the dirty work that you do.

3) Implement tough decisions as well as you can - even if they strike you as wrong or misguided.  Or get out of the way and let someone else do it.

4) Do everything possible to communicate to all who will be affected how distressing events will unfold, so they can predict when bad thins will (and will not) happen to them.

5) Explain early and often why the dirty work is necessary.

6) Look for ways to give employees influence over how painful changes happen to them, even when it is impossible to change what will happen to them.

7) Never humiliate, belittle, or bad-mouth people who are the targets of your dirty work.

8) Ask yourself and fellow bosses to seriously consider if the dirty work is really necessary before implementing it.  Just because all your competitors do it, or you have always done it in the past, does not mean it is wise right now.

9) Do not mislead or lie to employees, as doing so can destroy their loyalty and confidence, along with your reputation. 

10) Keep you big mouth shut.  Divulging sensitive or confidential information can harm employees, your organization, and you, too.

11) Refrain from doing mean-spirited things to exact personal revenge against employees who resist or object to your dirty work.

12) Do not attempt dirty work if you lack the power to do it right, no matter how necessary it may seem.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Blessing in Return

There was a young lady having lunch at a corner restaurant and reading a letter she received from home.  Upon opening the envelope, she realized there was a crisp, $20 bill enclosed with the letter.  Appreciative and humbled, she continued reading.  As she was reading her letter, she couldn't help but notice outside the window of the restaurant stood a raggedly dress, middle-aged gentleman, that appeared to be down on his luck.  She continued reading, occasionally glancing outside at the man and thinking about his misfortunes.

As she concluded her letter, she thought to herself that perhaps this man would benefit more from the $20 than she.  So she placed the $20 bill inside the envelope and wrote the word "Persevere" on the outside of the envelope.  As she finished her lunch, she nonchalantly dropped the envelope at the feet of the man outside of the restaurant.  She walked away - glancing back and saw the man pick up the envelope, read it and take the $20.  He smiled, tipped his cap and she continued on her way.

The next day, the young lady was walking down that same sidewalk when she felt a tap on her shoulder.  As she turned around, she saw this same man, smiling as he reached out to give her a handful of bills.  "What's this?" the young lady asked.  "It's for you...it's the money you won, lady!"

"Persevere went off at 5 to 1 yesterday!"

Now there is a moral to this story...
It is impossible to unselfishly give of yourself, without receiving a blessing in return.

So today, be thankful and give blessing less fortunate than you!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Return of the Fall!

It's hard to believe that the school years have begun - which seemed like just last week and yet we are into the 5th week of the football season and quickly approaching October.  What's the saying....Time flies when you're having fun?  Time certainly does fly.  Whether you're having fun or not, is simply up to you.

Here at Gahanna Lincoln, I can't imagine too many opportunities when you're not in a position to at the very least enjoy the experiences surrounding you.  We have the fortunate opportunity to be involved in a whole host of events, activities and experiences where fun is just a natural part of the process.  The Gahanna Lincoln Football team is off to a 5-0 start, the soccer programs continue to represent their successes on the field every night they take to the pitch, our cross country programs are beginning to peak for the conference and post season, while tennis and golf get a chance to play their passion seemingly everyday!

Not to mention, we're all walking the halls of Lincoln High School where a sense of family and community is evident every single day.  Who can't enjoy that?

So as I try to find a conclusion to this blog, I guess I'll simply say this - Come out and support our Gahanna Lincoln Athletic programs this fall - it's not just a game, it's truly an experience...and I'm willing to bet that if you just allow yourself, you'll have fun while you're here.
Go Lions!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fall 2012 Coming Soon!

It's hard to believe the Fall 2012 Gahanna Lincoln Athletic seasons are now just a few short weeks away.  Football begins their grueling two-a-days at the end of July and the balance of the fall sports get start the first week of August.  So let's get ready!

If you are an aspiring student-athlete, make sure you have a current pre-participation physical form on file.

If you're looking to reserve your reserved seats for the home varsity football games this season, fill out an application and return to the Gahanna Lincoln Athletic office.

If you are business and interested in Stadium Banner Advertisement, take advantage of a great sponsorship program we offer.

All of this information and more, can be found at www.gahannalincolnathletics.com

Best of luck to the Lions this coming year.
Go Lions!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Are you a "Go-To" Player?

Winning teams have players that make things happen.  This is an accurate and truthful statement be it in sports, business, government or some other arena.  Those team members who make things happen are your "Go-To" players.  Their consistent competence, responsibility, and dependability are what have elevated their performances to such a namesake.

Few things elevate a person above his or her peers the way becoming a "Go-To" player does.  "Go-To" players are admired and sought after when production is needed.  John Maxwell, described the "Go-To" players in the 360-Degree Leader by the following;

1) Go-To players produce when the pressure is on:
What They Do                                                           Kind of Player 
Never Deliver............................................................Detrimental
Sometimes Deliver....................................................Average
Always deliver when in their comfort zone..............Valuable
Always deliver regardless of the situation.................Invaluable

2) Go-To players produce when the resources are few:
In the times of economic uncertainty or downturn, we have all experienced some form of cutbacks at work, home or in your arena.  It's the leaders that have embraced the times and continued to thrive through ingenuity, adaptability, and innovation that stake their claim as a Go-To player.

3) Go-To players produce when the momentum is low:
*  Momentum breakers - poor attitudes, sabotage the leadership or organization and actually sap momentum as a result.
*  Momentum takers - Neither create nor diminish momentum; simply flow with the momentum as it comes.
*  Momentum makers - These momentum makers, make progress, overcome obstacles and help others move along.  They create the energy within the organization when members of their team is feeling tired or discouraged.

4) Go-To players produce when the load is heavy:
My wife, comes home from work on a weekly if not daily basis talking about how there are not enough hours in her day.  That she has accepted the responsibility of yet another project.  Each with demands and time lines that require her to focus intently on the intricacies of of the other.  Yet, it's her intensity and passion for the team, her willingness and capacity to lift the load when it is needed.

5) Go-To players produce when the leader is absent:
Not to throw any one organization or department under the bus, but I have witnessed and I can assume with some level of certainty, that you probably have as well - the old adage of "when the cats away, the mice will play" or in this case "lay" and do next to nothing.  Those that grab the leadership with the leader is away, distinguish themselves amongst their peers.  In an efficient and effective organization, a leadership vacuum should never be evident.  The Go-To players take the responsibility and opportunity to step up or fill in to prevent such a void.

6)  Go-To players produce when the time is limited:
No matter how tough the situation is - they deliver the goods.  That's just what you do as a Go-To player.  It's in the attitude and tenacity of these players that create the results that are desired in times of uncertainty, in times of toughness, and in the times when the organization or others are depending on the outcome.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Reflection

Your people are a direct reflection of you. 
They watch you.
They follow you.
They measure you.
They listen to you.
If you want them to be dedicated to you, you have to be dedicated to them.
       -Jeffrey Gitomer

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ishita's Meditation

Today, is the final regular session of classes for the Gahanna Lincoln Class of 2012.  And every day for the past 4 years our Principal Mr. Dwight Carter opens the day with a verse of knowledge and closes with these simple words...

"Make it a Great Day or not, the Choice is Yours."

On occasion, I have the great pleasure of filling in for Mr. Carter and sharing - today was one of those days.  So to part ways with this Graduating Class of 2012, I pulled a bit of knowledge from a book titled "Linchpin" by Seth Godin.  Another tremendous read that will challenge you both personally and professionally.

Ishita Gupta wrote,

Every day is a new chance to choose.

Choose to change your perspective.
Choose to flip the switch in your mind.  Turn on the light and stop fretting about with   insecurity and doubt.
Choose to do your work and be free of distraction.
Choose to see the best in someone, or choose to bring out the worst in them.
Choose to be a laser beam, with focused intention, or a scattered ray of light that doesn't do any good.

The power of choice is just that.  Power.  The only thing we have to do is remember that we control the harnessing of that power.  We choose.  Don't let your circumstances or habits rule your choices today.  Become a master of yourself and use your willpower to choose.

Make it a great day or not, the choice is yours!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The End of the Beginning

'This is not the end.  It is not even the beginning of the end.  But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."  Winston Churchill

As we begin to close out the end of yet another school year, athletic season or fiscal year, it is often fashionable to spend countless hours meeting and evaluating the end of the year, in preparation for the new.  We often meet; evaluate; meet again; establish a committee; continue to meet; all in an effort to fine-tune or perhaps draft an elegant vision statement, value statement, mission statement, purpose statement, objectives statement and so on.

Such projects are are all fine and good - indeed, they can be quite useful - but they're not the essence of a visionary school, team or company. Just because a company has a vision statement, in no way does it guarantee they it will become a visionary company!

The essence of a visionary company, school or team, comes in the translation of its core ideology and its own unique drive for progress into the very fabric of the organization - into goals, strategies, tactics, policies, processes, management behaviors, structures, building layout / assignments, job designs / responsibilities - into everything that the company does.

A visionary company creates a total environment that envelopes employees and team members, bombarding them with a set of signals so consistent and mutually reinforcing that it's virtually impossible to misunderstand the company's ideology and ambitions...this, in essence is it's Purpose! 

So as you close out your year - save your creative energies and fore go that committee of reinventing your "statements", but focus your attention and creative landscape of your organization by making certain that your core ideologies become evident in every member of your organization or team, in every facet of the organization both seen and unseen.  This truly will mark the end of the beginning!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Keep Your Dream!

I have a friend named Monty Roberts who owns a horse ranch in San Ysidro. He has let me use his house to put on fund-raising events to raise money for youth at risk programs.
The last time I was there he introduced me by saying, “I want to tell you why I let Jack use my horse. It all goes back to a story about a young man who was the son of an itinerant horse trainer who would go from stable to stable, race track to race track, farm to farm and ranch to ranch, training horses. As a result, the boy’s high school career was continually interrupted. When he was a senior, he was asked to write a paper about what he wanted to be and do when he grew up.
“That night he wrote a seven-page paper describing his goal of someday owning a horse ranch. He wrote about his dream in great detail and he even drew a diagram of a 200-acre ranch, showing the location of all the buildings, the stables and the track. Then he drew a detailed floor plan for a 4,000-square-foot house that would sit on a 200-acre dream ranch.
“He put a great deal of his heart into the project and the next day he handed it in to his teacher. Two days later he received his paper back. On the front page was a large red F with a note that read, `See me after class.’
“The boy with the dream went to see the teacher after class and asked, `Why did I receive an F?’
“The teacher said, `This is an unrealistic dream for a young boy like you. You have no money. You come from an itinerant family. You have no resources. Owning a horse ranch requires a lot of money. You have to buy the land. You have to pay for the original breeding stock and later you’ll have to pay large stud fees. There’s no way you could ever do it.’ Then the teacher added, `If you will rewrite this paper with a more realistic goal, I will reconsider your grade.’
“The boy went home and thought about it long and hard. He asked his father what he should do. His father said, `Look, son, you have to make up your own mind on this. However, I think it is a very important decision for you.’ “Finally, after sitting with it for a week, the boy turned in the same paper, making no changes at all.
He stated, “You can keep the F and I’ll keep my dream.”
Monty then turned to the assembled group and said, “I tell you this story because you are sitting in my 4,000-square-foot house in the middle of my 200-acre horse ranch. I still have that school paper framed over the fireplace.” He added, “The best part of the story is that two summers ago that same schoolteacher brought 30 kids to camp out on my ranch for a week.” When the teacher was leaving, he said, “Look, Monty, I can tell you this now. When I was your teacher, I was something of a dream stealer. During those years I stole a lot of kids’ dreams. Fortunately you had enough gumption not to give up on yours.”
“Don’t let anyone steal your dreams. Follow your heart, no matter what.”
- Author Unknown

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Once in a Lifetime?

I expect each generation can reflect on the amazing athletes that have competed throughout their lifetimes. Some might recall; the feats of the Golden Bear Jack Nicklaus; the coaching legend, John Wooden and his UCLA teams; the Babe; Michael Jordan and his Hall of Fame career as perhaps the greatest basketball player ever; and in the track & field era, the likes of Jesse Owens or Michael Johnson. Many of us can reflect upon the memories of watching each of these individuals or teams competing, be it on TV or if lucky, in person.

Well, here at Gahanna Lincoln, we have that same opportunity in its infancy - this year, on our track.

Jake Blankenship, Gahanna Lincoln student-athlete, University of Tennessee signee, defending State Champion, National Indoor Champion, National Outdoor Champion, State Record Holder indoor and outdoor, and the Bronze Medalist in the World Outdoor Championships in Lille, France.

Jake Blankenship, Gahanna Lincoln pole vaulter will be finishing his senior year at Gahanna Lincoln this spring and offering many of us a few opportunities to see his pole vault career in its infancy. If you've never had the privilege of witnessing a world-class athlete or an athlete that catapults himself over a bar to the heights of 17'6 inches and going for the National Record of 18 feet, then you want to get to a Gahanna Lincoln Track meet over the next few months. He truly is a future All-American and perhaps an Olympian. Knowing the drive and determination of Jake, once his mind is set on achieving a goal...that goal will be met.

This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to watch a spectacular athlete competing at the highest level. Best of luck to Jake and I hope you'll join me in catching a glimpse of his greatness.

Go Lions!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Focus on the "Family"

There is a local radio station here in Central Ohio that broadcasts a segment called "Focus on the Family", it's a nationally syndicated organization, so I want to make certain, I'm not representing this group or any of it's afflictions.  It's simply a blog title and one that I think can prove relevance to what each of us do.

Ohio has been tragedy shaken in the lieu of the recent events at Chardin High School.  I will not attempt to understand nor explain the "why" of such a tragedy, but simply suggest what the focus on the family might provide.

Who is a part of your family?  Simple question.  Naturally, you would rattle of the names of your spouse and children, perhaps you would include you parents or in-laws.  But what if you extended your family to include those that are members of your 'Team".  If you're in business, you have co-workers or employees that associate with you and look for your leadership.  In the schools, we have teams of teachers, staff and students whom provide the make-up of our building each and every day. 

So, what if we truly viewed these individuals or groups as a part of our family?  I don't know of many leaders or business owners who define it this way.  But I would tend to believe, that by using "family thinking" rather than team thinking it's a much more personal business, and would tend to take more family actions than corporate actions.

So, who's a part of your family now?
What actions, opportunities or associations would you change through this thinking?
If your actions and involvements are based on what benefits it would provide for your own family.  Who would you be open to eating lunch with?  What family celebrations would you acknowledge (birthdays and special occasions)?  Would you as a "family" work together to provide a better living environment, look after your "home", pick up your trash or belongings that are thrown all over your house?  And what type of atmosphere would be evident in your "home"?  Is it more relaxed, is the language you use appropriate for your "home"? 

Whether you call your people a team or a family, as a leader and member of an organization, I think we have a responsibility to view each of our associates as members of our family.  That this simple assessment of each other, would change the culture and climate of each of our environments.  That members of our families would be honored and respected in a manner we would all wish to be. 

So, for the next few days, weeks and even months, make an attempt to view everyone on your team as a family member and see the difference this simple change can make.