Morning Motivator - Are You on the List?

"Confront your fears, list them, get to know them, and only then will you be able to put them aside and move ahead."
- Jerry Gillies

Anyone that has received an email from me, has discovered I can only communicate in one of two ways - scrambled or concise. I do not have a nice balance, unfortunately. There is a reason why...

My mind believes does not work in "discussion," rather only in what needs to be done and what is just "chat." For me, the most effective way to communicate is by deriving a list or tasks that need accomplished. Whether that be in bullet points in an email or the lists I make on the back of junk mail envelopes daily.

I am a person that is "on the list" - like a crackhead, I am addicted to list making and executing tasks in a prioritized fashion. Total focus, everything has its time to focus on and a place to do it. (needless to say, I drive my wife, Nancy, absolutely BoNKeRs!)

2 DEGREE SUCCESS STEP: There is something powerful about a list though. It serves a few purposes: a physical representation of the most important tasks that need completion or delegation a way to immediately measure progress, assess success and enjoy fulfillment the most effective way to free up "mental capacity" for creativity and focus on the task at hand, not the things that need to be done.

My unknowing mentor, Andy Bailey, always would say that "Stress is the byproduct of incomplete tasks." I agree and say, "It is much easier to complete what you can see, rather than what you are trying to remember!"

GET ON THE LIST! Start using them more effectively and feel free to use the blank backs of all that crap mail you get for "free list paper" delivered to you daily!



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Morning Motivator - The Critical Compliment

"We had some complaints, yet, all-in-all, we loved it!"
- Anonymous

Of what do all businesses wish they had more? How do businesses improve most effectively? What do companies spend thousands, up to hundreds of thousands of dollars trying so desperately aggregate?

FEEDBACK. Compliments, complaints, suggestions, insights... heck, anything that can help!

Why is it that so many companies struggle to get quality information? Does it not make sense that people would want to give their feedback and improve the services or products that they spend money to acquire?

DISINTEREST. Lack of desire to listen, learn, listen, implement, listen, examine, listen... and listen! (hint: most just do not listen)

2 DEGREE SUCCESS STEP: Companies will tell you that they do not get meaningful feedback. I might suggest that they do not have meaningful relationships or respond with meaningful questions.

When someone says, "Your product sucks. It does not do what I want," the question is, "what did you want it to do?" Maybe the user does not know how to do it properly or just needs a different version. The quality is still there - just unforeseen.

When someone says, "It is to expensive," the question is, "Why do you say that?" No need to defend value, no need to ask what they think it should cost. Seriously are you going to convince them it is worth the price or discount it to meet their suggested price? No. So, ask "WHY?" LISTEN to what they have to say, then give a response based on your expertise and experience.

If you do not ask questions that allow people to VENT - even if they are wrong - then you are not getting feedback. You must be willing to ask the difficult questions, LISTEN, admit if you are wrong, be willing to make changes (or explain why you will not), and allow your people to have an EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT in your business, by allowing them to have a voice that shapes it.

Even if you never plan to make a change -KEEP ASKING QUESTIONS AND LISTENING! You never know when someone's "bitching and moaning" (as some companies perceive it) will give you the competitive advantage of which you have been dreaming!



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Morning Motivator - Growing Pains

"From great pain and effort comes new life."
- Unknown

Overwhelmed? Tired? Felling a little out of control? If your business is growing, you are likely experiencing growing pains that come along with success.

As with anything, there are always two sides to a story. While success is grand and wonderful, it also taxes your systems, processes, faith and endurance. It tests you ability to serve effectively and efficiently without blowing up your "way of business." We have all experienced this before...

In times of rapid growth, we learn a great deal about oneself, our business, our clients and our systems. It is growth that will challenge your "way of business" and force you to grow, improve and enhance your leadership. You may also get humbled along the way...

2 DEGREE SUCCESS STEP: What are the best ways to deal with the struggles associated with rapid success and growth?

1. Keep a focus on your end goal - By knowing what you are working for and trying to achieve, you are able to keep perspective on the "why" of the moment

2. Examine and tweak your systems accordingly -You will find out how well your "systems" work once they are placed under pressure. Some will break, some will flourish. Make notes, then act on them.

3. Listen to your people - With rapid growth comes frustration from your clients. Listen, appreciate and understand their perspective (hint: it is related to systems you need or need to improve)

4. Do What is Right - Mistakes happen. Things blow up. Its cool - don't freak out!! When it does (and it will), just remember that your clients come first. Even if it costs you money... Do what is right by the client. (That builds loyalty and trust!)

Every great business and business person will experience growing pains. Likely it will occur multiple times throughout your career. Know its coming - Own it - Stick to what you know - Do what is right. No one success was easy... (nor should it be)



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Morning Motivator - For the Love of God... LET GO!

"Courage is the power to let go of the familiar."
- Raymond Lindquist

What are your challenges as a leader and a business professional? One of my biggest is LETTING GO. By Letting Go, I am speaking about putting trust and confidence into someone else to take a direct role in managing your success, you clients and your future.

To improve, we should understand why are people hesitant to "let go?" Primarily, it is due to the belief that no one can do it as well as you. Additionally, it is a belief that YOU are the value of the whole system (ie it only works because you are in it). Also, some people believe that they cannot manage it if they are not touching it every day!

Whew! Sounds like a life stuck to a computer, iPhone, tablet, laptop, pager, smoke signal, driving in your car taking calls, returning voicemails while sending people to voicemail to call them back after you email the other guy that you just hung up with while six new emails came in.

Holy crap - kill me!

2 DEGREE SUCCESS STEP: This is another situation where I am not the best, but I am working on it...and working in it! I have recently hired an assistant. Additionally, I am looking to better systems/processes to make sure that I am able to continue a HIGH level of service and client contact. Oh yeah, it sucks - but its necessary!!

Here are some great ways to start LETTING GO in a manageable way:

1. Don't Wait For Responsibility to Be Taken: Many CEOs mention their frustration that staff members don't ask for more responsibility. Most staffers don't do this, because they're looking for a signal from you–the leader–that you think they're up to it. So don't wait for responsibility to be taken. Instead, distribute it.

2. Ban "I'll Just Do It Myself": When we start to delegate, we often find the work isn't up to our standards. If we take a sub-part assignment back and re-work it, we've missed an important learning opportunity, for both the staffer and the leader. So fight the urge to do the work yourself, and instead invest that time in coaching the pro into how they can turn their first draft into a piece of work that does the job.

3. Focus on the "What," Not the "How.": Real development can only occur when the staffer has true ownership of an assignment. So fight the urge to show them how to complete the assignment. Instead, articulate your vision of what the end result must be, and let them determine how to get there. You'll not only be encouraging enhanced assignment ownership, but laying the foundation for the employee to contribute on a higher level going forward.

4. Go For Completion, Not Perfection: Of course, I mean effective, quality completion. Perfection is simply an excuse to not allow someone else to own a project or an account. Accept that the person to whom you've delegated the assignment won't do the job "as good as I would." But remember that in the big picture, their "Very Good" job is actually better than your "Excellent" job, because it allows you to do you real job of creating the long-term agency strategy and growing the business.

5. Observe How They Do It Better Than You: One of the benefits of delegating–a project, an account, a group–is that the person to whom you've delegated to will bring a new set of eyes, skills and experience. While they might not do it as you would do it, they'll most likely improve it in some way. Be on the lookout for this. It will make you feel comfortable delegating even more to that staffer, and may open your eyes to other assignments in which they'll be particularly successful and bring even greater value to the agency and its clients.

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Morning Motivator - Piles Are Not Organization

"I know it looks like a mess, but I know where everything is."
- Anonymous

Recently, I have been on a mission of self examination. I am increasingly looking at my bad habits and how they affect the outputs of my production. One of the my biggest challenges is "organization." Not knowing where stuff is per se, rather, actually having it quickly at my fingertips.

Technology has solved many issues as anything that is not physical is cataloged and placed in its proper folder. The online "storage" companies love me! Alas, technology can only take you so far.

What about physical bills? (yes, believe it or not, some companies do not send e-invoices) What about forms, documents and other paper items? What about your clothes? What about your to-do lists? There is an increasing amount of information and with more tools to access it -you can become overwhelmed.

2 DEGREE SUCCESS STEP: Maybe you should just SIMPLIFY. I am not going to give the lesson on how to organize as I am struggling with it, however, I did find this info that seems to make great sense and I am using to improve personally.

The 5S Process The five steps of 5S, and their approximate English translations are: seiri (sort), seiton (straighten), seiso (shine), seiketsu (systemize), and shitsuke (sustain). 1. Seiri (Sort): Get rid of anything in your work space that is not absolutely necessary for your work. 2. Seiton (Straighten): A place for everything, and everything in its place 3. Seiso (Shine): Clean up after yourself 4. Seiketsu (Systemize): Make it a habit 5. Shitsuke (Sustain): Prevention of backsliding View the article in full here:



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