Aliveatwork's Blog


Ch … Ch … Ch … Change? (Gulp)

As a consultant I have come to the realization over the years that not every company who says that they want change, really does.

The reasoning varies and here’s just a few of the reasons I have observed.

5 reasons I believe that organizations don’t change:

  1. Leaders are not willing to be honest with themselves.
  2. Some people are just not willing to do what it takes to commit and see the change all the way through.
  3. People don’t like to be uncomfortable.
  4. People fear the unknown (change).
  5. Some folks prefer the status quo … even though it’s not working!

Change can be hard for many reasons here are a few:

  1. It requires leaders and their employees to let go of old beliefs and find new ways of thinking and doing.
  2. It requires the willingness to sacrifice short term comfort in order to get a payoff that is not always immediate.
  3. It requires the leaders of a company to really examine the fears that have prevented them from moving forward and to take 100% responsibility for the results they are creating in their organization.
  4. It takes time, sometimes more time than people are willing to invest.

Here are 10 ideas that need to be embraced if you want an organizational transformation to be successful:

  1. ALL of the leaders (especially at the top) must be bought in to the change or your process will be slowed dramatically and more than likely fail.
  2. Have a clearly defined vision, mission, and values (beliefs) of the change you wish to see.
  3. Communicate that change throughout the organization down to the very last employee consistently and in a variety of venues.
  4. Involve key leaders and positions in various levels of the organization to increase the buy in and begin weaving the change into the culture of the organization.
  5. Remove the obstacles and barriers that prevent change from flowing up through the organization. Communication needs to flow bidirectionally between the different levels of the company.
  6. Realize that not every person is the right person in the right position and that not everyone of your employees has unlimited potential (including some of the leaders).
  7. Be willing to go “all in” in order to get where you want to go, there really are no short cuts.
  8. Let go of the people who are not willing to change.
  9. Define measurable attainable milestones to make sure you’re on track and moving forward.
  10. Remind yourself of the “why”  (the reason ) you are changing. This will help especially when you bump up against obstacles … and there are always obstacles!
So how are you transforming the culture of your organization? Are you seeing the results you need to take the company to the next level? Need help?
Call and let’s have a conversation about what’s happening in your organization and how you can transform your culture starting today!!!
1-877-97-A-L-I-V-E


Be the Ball … not the Egg!

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,

All the king’s horses and all the king’s men,

Couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

There has been much debate about whether Humpty Dumpty was actually an egg … or not. The point here is that whatever he was, he certainly didn’t bounce back from his fall.

On any given day, we might be met with news or information that we dread.

It might be personal in nature – Maybe it’s a discouraging lab report, the bank didn’t approve the loan restructure, a phone call informing us that someone we love passed away, or someone we love is walking away.

Maybe it’s a business related matter – We didn’t get the contract renewal, we lost the big order, we didn’t get our dream job, we lose what we thought was a great job, or one of our star employees hands us their resignation letter and says “I’m leaving,”

Whatever the situation, whatever the circumstance, how we frame the event and what we make that event mean in our minds determines our ability to bounce back from adversity.

Yes, we may be in a painful place at that moment in time. However, we don’t have to stay in that painful place forever!

Sometimes the difference between bouncing back and breaking are the choices we make. To trust or not to trust … that is the question!

Sometimes you just have to trust: 

TRUST that things will get better. There will always be better opportunities, relationships, contracts, employees, or jobs. We will always find what we set our focus on – focus on what you want.

TRUSTthe process. Believe that everything unfolds exactly as it need to be. It doesn’t matter if we agree with the current situation, facts, decision, or whether or not we like how it is unfolding. Always trust the process.

TRUSTand let go. Sometimes we have to let go of people, jobs, relationships, opportunities, or something we love so that we can make room for something or someone new.

Your ability to trust and the depth of your trust determines your ability and the speed in which you will bounce back!

In other words … be the ball … not the egg!



The Path of Leadership …

The path to becoming fully “alive” as a leader begins when you define your purpose – your reason for living.

As you get clarity and awareness of your own path you are then able to help others discover and live their own path.

Leadership is about pathfinding. In his book Aspire, Kevin Hall breaks down the meaning of the word leader – lea means path, der means to find – a leader is a pathfinder. Someone with vision who can see the big picture and helps others to discover theirs.

Discovering your path can be like discovering God (sometimes they can be one in the same), THERE ARE MANY PATHS AND MANY WAYS!

Sometimes it is with words, sometimes it is with actions, a fleeting experience, a lifelong journey. At times it is in a flurry of activity and yet other times it is in that moment of stillness when you sit and reflect on your thoughts or you stop thinking all together.

Finding your way is not necessarily easy. It requires commitment, desire, and action … it requires a fire within!

A fire that burns or at the least … one that used to burn. It may have been reduced to a smoldering ember because you’ve lost your path for one reason or another.

Maybe you got side-tracked, maybe you gave up hope, or decided to abandon your path altogether so that you could take the path someone else chose for you … your Mom, Dad, Brother, Mentor, etc.

Author and psychologist Ayala Pines once said that, “In order to burnout a person needs to have been on fire … at one time!”

Have you lost your path, are you still looking, could it be in front of you but you can’t see it because your eyes may be closed … don’t give up!

What if you were to … rediscover your path … recapture your fire … what if you were to lean into the heat and leaned in so far … that you could not go back!

What would you do next?



A Nudge … Towards Greatness?

Recently I attended the National Speakers Association (NSA) Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. For those of you who don’t know NSA is an organization made up of some of the world’s best professional speakers.

Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Les Brown, Dr. Norman Vincent Peal, and Og Mandino are just a few of its legendary members.

As I sat listening to some of the current greats in the business, I found myself in a state of awe and fascination. Not necessarily because of the words they spoke, but more so by the delivery of those words … precise, accurate, perfectly timed, perfectly pitched, and eloquently spoken.  I saw myself as a student sitting at the feet of the masters, watching their magic unfold.

During a breakout session, one of the speakers from the main stage asked his audience why we chose his particular session. One of the audience members replied, it’s because you seemed relaxed, easy going, non-rehearsed, and not as polished as some of the other speakers while you delivered your message on the main stage.

The speaker replied, it has taken me 30 years to perfect my speaking, I have spent a lot of money on speaking coaches, mentors, theatre coaches, and worked extremely hard to be able to present that way, so please don’t think that it was easy or unintentional.

And that had me thinking:

Am I working as hard as I need to in order to be great … in my business?

A mentor and friend of mine by the name of Nido Qubein once said, “We are so busy being good that we don’t take the time to become great!”

3 Questions:

  1. Are you continually learning and studying how to be a great leader, sales professional, or whatever your chosen profession might be?
  2. Have you become comfortable being … good enough but not great?
  3. What action do you need to take in order to take your business or your life to a level of greatness?

Inside each and every one of us is the seed of greatness. Sometimes it just needs a little nudge in order to break through the surface and begin the journey upward towards its destiny … consider this a nudge!



Giving Away Your Power … It’s In The Bag!

Over the years I have had my fair share of “memorable” experiences especially when it comes to traveling and airline security.  Being dark complected and having a shaved head, I have on more than one occasion found myself  in the “randomly” selected security line with my new best friends, Raj, Cheng, and Chakor.

Most recently, while traveling over the 4th of July holiday weekend,  I had the opportunity to experience the infamous (let’s make a 95 year old cancer patient remove her diaper – aggressively pat down a 6 year old girl – but let a Nigerian National with an expired i.d. and a expired stranger’s boarding pass through security) workings of the TSA.

While going through the security line this time, I put my liquids in the same one quart bag with a zipper that I have used to travel over 100,000 miles without a hitch with security … until this weekend. This time the TSA agent behind the x-ray stopped me and stated that it was not a one quart zipped lock bag and that I was not allowed to proceed.

I replied that it is a one quart bag and has an actual zipper. She then called her supervisor over who explained to me that it is not a zip-lock bag it is a bag with a zip-per and to “put him out.” As I was escorted “out” I tried to explain myself to the extremely polite female TSA agent who said “Don’t give me any sh*t, if you don’t like it talk to my supervisor.”

I worked my way to the airport information desk and asked for a one quart zip-lock bag and headed back through security. This time I was directed to go through the full body scanner. To say I was upset would be an understatement …  I was seething with anger as a rush of resentful ideas and actions began flooding my brain.

It took a good 5 minutes for me to come to my senses and realize what I was doing …

I was unconsciously giving away my power. What power? The power to decide if I was going to be happy or angry or If I was going to be joyful or resentful.  As if being resentful would change the TSA Supervisor or impact HIM in anyway.

Someone once said that holding onto resentment was like taking a poisonous pill and waiting for the other guy to die!”  I was not willing to die or allow someone else who might have simply been having a bad day to ruin mine!

5 Questions To Ask Yourself:

  1. Who controls your feelings?
  2. Do you allow others to determine your level of happiness, joy, or peace?
  3. Do external factors control your internal sense of worth or value?
  4. Do you take the actions of others as a personal assault against you?
  5. Are you free from resentments or do you relive old scenes or injustices over and over again in your mind?
3 Things To Remember:
  1. We are the only species on the planet that has complete control over what we  think and yet so many of us believe that it is the external events or things that happen in our lives that determines our level of success or happiness.
  2. Nothing … absolutely nothing anybody does is about you. It’s about them  so don’t waste your time or energy trying to rationalize their behavior by asking “How they could do this to me  or why did this happen to me or yadda, yadda, yadda, blah, blah, blah!”
  3. No one absolutely … no one can take your power away from you unless you give it to them … and why on earth would you ever give your power away to a complete stranger or anyone else for that matter?
Oh yes … and one last thing to remember … in Cleveland … a bag with a zip-per that locks … is not a zip-lock bag!


Hey Mr Postman … Listen and See!

P.O'd at the P.O!

Monday of this week I sent an audio CD on managing your energy via the U.S. Post Office to one of my clients.  Tuesday, I found the same envelope that had I dropped off at the post office the previous day in my mail box with a stamp on it that read “Returned For 43 Cents Additional Postage.” This, on top of the $1.28 cents I had already paid.

Why? Because they couldn’t  bend the 9 1/2″ by 11 1/2″ padded envelope that was stuffed to the brim with one small  5″ by 5″ audio CD. And why would you need to bend it I thought to myself?

Well let’s just say at that particular moment in time, the envelope wasn’t the only thing that was a little bent!

Walking back to my office, I envisioned going down to the Post Office. And then I remembered my last visit. There I was standing in line behind 25 people watching multiple post office workers walking around or sorting mail while just one worker waited on customers.

When it was my turn to be waited on, I brought up the issue of poor service to the person behind the counter. What I heard next shocked me. She told me that Postmaster at this location does not allow more than one line open regardless of how many people are waiting. Then she added, “It’s only going to get worse!”

There must be a better way!

Once I was back in my office and  after a little research, I compressed the audio file from iTunes and uploaded it to a free service called You Send It. Next, I typed in the appropriate email addresses and hit the send button. Within 2 minutes I received a confirmation of delivery. I called the client to let him know that he had an email with an attachment waiting for him in his inbox.

It was then I realized that this process took less than 5 minutes and my client could learn how to start increasing his effectiveness while he was driving home … TODAY!

Meanwhile … back at the Post Office a Postmaster and her colleagues are on their way to extinction because they do not understand two basic business principles … take care of your customers and stay ahead of the competition. So that got me thinking …

3 Questions To Ask Yourself:

  1. Are you holding onto to people, processes, or policies, that prevent you from providing an extraordinary customer experience?
  2. Has technology left you and your business behind your competition … because you’ re afraid to embrace change or the unknown?
  3. Are your customers being inconvenienced because some of your employee’s have a personal agenda or a misaligned belief?
Everyday 1000’s of customers are deciding to stop doing business with a  particular company. The reasons are usually the same … poor service, poor product, or poor value. Are you giving your customers reasons to stay?
Remember: It’s much easier and far more cost effective to keep a customer than it is to find a new one!
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Here’s a few resources to help:

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Arrogance … The Death of a Leader!

You know one … you’ve worked for one … you are one?

God I hope not!!

How would you know?

10 Things Arrogant Leaders Arrogant Do:

  1. They put their needs before the needs of their people.
  2. They make irrational business decisions based on their emotions and how they feel.
  3. They take everything personal.
  4. They attempt to control everything and everyone.
  5. They believe that people are in their lives to serve them.
  6. They’re the first one to point the finger of blame and the last one to take ownership for their mistakes.
  7. Their actions are incongruent with their words.
  8. They slow the development and growth of others so that they get ahead and stay on top.
  9. They talk big and play small.
  10. They play small because deep down inside they are small.
The good news is that just like Extraordinary Leaders … they always, always, always …. reap what they sow!