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Week of 3/6/23

Morning Minute 3/06/23:

“Are you like Henry/”

Henry needed another engineer. The search narrowed down to two people. They both had the same degrees from the same school. They both had similar grades and backgrounds. Henry invited them to dinner.

Dinner was pleasant and enjoyable. There was little talk about the job; mostly about families and interests.  After dinner, as they walked toward the exit, Henry pulled one of the applicants off to the side. He told the applicant that he would not be moving forward.

The young man was stunned. He stated “I have the same education, grades, and background as the other person. Why am I being excluded?”

Henry Ford told the young man, “First, when you were both served your steaks, you salted yours first and then ate it. The other young man tasted his steak first, and then salted it. I expect those managers who work for me to first look at ALL the options, and then make decisions based on that information. That skill is critical to the success of our organization.”

Henry continued. “We were served wonderfully by everyone who took care of us at dinner. That included the hostess, the server, the wine steward, and the busboy. The other applicant was very polite, thanked each of them, and showed genuine appreciation for their service. You never spoke to or thanked any of them. It was as if they weren’t even there. I expect a lot from my employees and I need to know that my managers genuinely appreciate our Ford workers and treat them with respect.” With that, the applicant left having learned two important lessons.

In life and in business, we need to clearly examine our options before we make decisions. Do the required research, list all your options, then make a decision. Once the decision is made, put your effort and focus on accomplishing your goal. If later information requires that you make a pivot, do so, but keep moving. Be decisive and follow the project through to its completion. This works in your personal and professional life.

Additionally, follow the golden rule. Treat others with the same courtesy and respect that you expect from others. That doesn’t mean you become a doormat. You can be forthright, respectful, and effective at the same time. There is an old saying that you can tell the value of a person by how they treat others who can provide nothing in return.

That is today’s Morning Minute.   

Morning Minute 3/9/23

Morning Minute 3/09/23:

“How do you roll?”

When I was much younger than I am now, my morning regimen started with stretching and then running for several miles. This invariably involved rising early, starting my run, and completing it in short order. I would do this regardless of whether I was home or away, in a house or a hotel, and whether I had 2 or 8 hours sleep. This run allowed me to really wake up and to think about what I needed to accomplish that day. Now that I am older, the runs are now brisk walks as my ankles have vetoed my ability to run successfully.

This time alone by myself with God allows me the time to pray, to plan, and to prioritize. A review of yesterday’s mistakes teaches me how to not repeat them. A similar review of yesterday’s wins helps build my self-confidence. If I am teaching that day, it also provides me the time to align my thoughts with my messages.

How do you start your day?  When your alarm rings, do you say “Good morning, God!” or, “Good God, it’s morning!” Do you have a plan for your morning? Or, for your day? What tasks will you complete to have a productive day? When will these tasks be completed? Whom will you collaborate with to be successful? How will you gauge whether or not you had a productive day?

A daily plan is simply a goal to be completed. In order to have a successful goal or plan it requires five S.M.A.R.T. characteristics. It must be…

1.  Specific; Instead of saying “I will get better,” list what must be completed to get better.

2.  Measurable; How will you measure results, with numbers or percentages?

3.    Accountable; Exactly who is accountable for this plan or goal? If everyone is responsible, no one will be held accountable.

4.   Realistic; Given the task and the required people, materials, and time available, can this be accomplished?

5.    Timely; When will it be started? When will it be completed?

Finally, when I was younger, I would place the toughest part of my run at the beginning thinking I would complete that before I tired. Now I place the easiest part of my walk at the beginning. That way I experience early winning setting me up mentally to complete the toughest section. Either way is OK.

Just plan your work and work your plan.

That is today’s Morning Minute.