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Week of 1/30/23

Morning Minute 1/31/23:

“Praise in Public, Criticize in Private!”

The Zoom call with 17 managers was getting heated. The area manager responsible for all 3 auto dealerships previously shared that all ideas would be considered. When one of the sales managers vigorously made the case for an old process he had used previously, the area manager erupted in anger. He began cursing, calling the sales manager names, and shouting in a 3 minute tirade. There was no useful business conducted after that point.

The restaurant general manager was upset with his kitchen manager. This GM had never been trained in the kitchen. The kitchen manager had never been trained in the dining room. Their differences finally resulted in the GM screaming at the kitchen manager in the middle of the Friday evening rush…throwing a glass at him. Neither would confront the other in a respectful way. The kitchen manager resigned 3 days later. During their time together they never had one respectful conversation so that each could learn from the other.

The football team of 8 year olds had made numerous mistakes. They were down by 3 touchdowns. From the beginning kickoff the coach was constantly screaming at his players, berating them in front of their parents and friends. His players were so shaken that their mistakes multiplied. The result was predictable, a 31-0 loss with even more screaming after the game.  

In each case, whatever learning and/or team-building opportunity was needed, was lost. There is an effective process for leading a winning team. You praise in public, and criticize in private.

Let’s break this down. Most team members really want to do their best. Everyone wants to win. Leaders teach team members the who, what, when, where, why, and how to win. By counseling them in private, the team members are more receptive to coaching and more likely to improve. Criticism in public also negatively affects other team members, customers, and fans. It also makes the leader or coach look small and ineffective.

Remember, that whatever gets recognized…gets repeated! Constantly harping on mistakes breeds…more mistakes. Praising team members in public creates goodwill, plus better individual and team performance.  Thus, if you want better performance, look for reasons to congratulate team members…in public. That action shows that you care not only about their actions, but also about them as individuals.

Praise in Public…Criticize in Private! This is a primary coaching method of disciplined, effective leaders.

And, that is today’s Morning Minute.

Morning Minute 2/03/23: "Who has Inspired You?"

Morning Minute 2/3/23:

“Who Inspires You!”

The 10 year old boy was introverted and shy. He was not athletic and was overweight. He was a book worm, constantly reading school books, magazines, library books, even his grandmother’s Reader’s Digests. Even though he was one of 4 brothers, he was never considered the most masculine.

The boy was very much into music. He sang in the church choir and the school chorus. He played several musical instruments. He was risk-averse preferring to avoid confrontation and fighting. Although he enjoyed watching sports and hoped one day to compete, his lack of coordination and inability to run fast kept him away from physical competition.

At 12 years old, the boy was diagnosed with a strange disease causing severe abdominal pain. After 3 days in the hospital, his doctors could not determine a therapy to treat his symptoms, sending him home telling him he would “probably grow out of this ailment”. About the same time, this boy discovered the life story of Theodore Roosevelt.

He read that Roosevelt was a sickly, uncoordinated youngster who wore thick glasses. He learned how, as a boy, the future president decided to build up his body, become an expert horseman, and a great marksman. Roosevelt overcame his shortcomings to become a military leader in the Spanish/American war, then became President on the United States.

Inspired by the story of Theodore Roosevelt, this boy lost weight, improving his eyesight, strength, and coordination. As his physical well being improved so did his view of himself. He became a leader in high school and in the high school band. He worked in restaurants to pay his way through college.

That story of Theodore Roosevelt has inspired me to be more, do more, and serve more. If he could do it…so could I. Through 12 years in restaurants and 41 years in auto dealerships, I have pushed myself to exceed expectations. And I used the example of our former president to keep me focused and motivated.

Who has inspired you? A parent? A teacher or coach? A priest, preacher, or rabbi? Who would you most like to emulate? When you are at your lowest, whose example do you follow to lift yourself up and push yourself forward?

Let’s get a discussion going. Please reply back sharing who has inspired you. Inspirational stories from real people like you and I can help others find the inner strength to become the best version of themselves. In order to help others, please, share your inspirational story.

That is today’s Morning Minute.