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Eat that Frog!

October 25, 2011 4 comments

With more on our plates every day and time seeming to slip by at an increasingly rapid pace, this unique approach to time management from a book by Brian Tracy called “Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” resonated strongly with me.

Get More Done In Less Time = Eat That Frog.

If you are like me, you are overwhelmed with too much to do and too little time. As you struggle to get caught up, new tasks and responsibilities keep rolling in, like the waves of the ocean. Because of this, you will never be able to do everything you have to do.

For this reason, and perhaps more than ever before, your ability as a leader is to select your most important task at each moment, and then to get started on that task, get it done both quickly and effectively. To help you and others be more effective and efficient, we must remember the story about frogs!

Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long. Your “frog” is your biggest, most important task, the one you are mostly likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it. It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and resultsfor you and your organization.

The first rule of frog eating is this:
If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest one first.

 This is another way of saying that if you and those you lead have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first. Discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until the task is complete before you go on to something else.

Although it’s so much easier to push off the “ugliest frog” in favor of fighting fires and cleaning up all the odds & ends and easy fixes, I think that frog eating should be my goal!

Andrea McAfee

Controller

Bayless Engineering & Manufacturing

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Do You Work in a High-Integrity Organization?

May 29, 2011 1 comment

Recently I ran across this excerpt from “LEADING TO ETHICS” 10 Leadership Strategies For Building A High-Integrity Organization by Eric Harvey, Andy Smith, and Paul Sims.

Do You Work in a High-Integrity Organization?

High-integrity, ethical leaders:

Build Values and Ethics Awareness.
They regularly communicate and discuss the organization’s shared values, operating principles, and ethical standards – making sure they are understood, supported, and accepted at all levels.

Hold People Accountable.
They hold themselves and others accountable for ethical behavior. And they have zero-tolerance for values violations because they know that “one bad apple can spoil the bunch.”

Lead By Example.
They recognize that they earn the right to expect others to perform with integrity when they, themselves, “walk the talk.”

Use Values To Drive Decisions.
They apply the organization’s values and guiding principles when making decisions – whether big and strategic, or small and seemingly insignificant. They realize that ethics are displayed in everything we do, and everything we do counts.

Ensure In-Sync Policies and Practices.
They make sure that rules and standards support the organization’s values and ethics at every level. And, should an ethical dilemma occur, they welcome the opportunity to resolve the issue quickly and without fear of reprisal.

Pay Attention To Perceptions.
They pay close attention to the feelings, opinions, and reactions of their colleagues, their employees, the customers they serve, and everyone in their circle of influence. They realize that perceptions ARE reality when it comes to ethics and integrity.

Hire and Promote Ethical People.
They use the organization’s mission, vision, and values as criteria for hiring and promotion decisions. And, they ONLY select those individuals who believe in these principles and who behave with integrity.

This served as a reminder to me that there is more to “doing business” than just “doing business”. It also prompts one to look within their own organization (s) to learn whether not only they, themselves, but also management, and even employees measure up to these high standards of integrity.

Andrea McAfee

Controller

Bayless Engineering & Manufacturing

www.baylessengineering.com

Don’t miss the boat on customer service

March 6, 2011 2 comments

Much too often we miss the boat on the customer service/relations side of business.

I recently received a letter from a supplier sharing a particularly inspiring list of “ten important business words” to say to your customers originating in a book by Mac Anderson called “Customer Love”. I have followed each of the ten with my related thoughts.

  1. “I apologize for our mistake. We will make it right.”
    • We all miss the boat sometimes. Acknowledging the problem and promising to correct it will most likely keep your relationship from failing.
  2. “Thank you for your business. Please come back again.”
    • So many times these words are not spoken and always should be.
  3. “I am not sure but I will find out.”
    • It may be difficult to admit one’s lack of knowledge, and though humbling, honesty is always appreciated.
  4. “What else can I do for you?”
    • Never forget to ask for another opportunity to be of service.
  5. “What is most convenient for you?”
    • Keep in mind that your customer is the boss.
  6. “How may I serve you?”
    • Show your customer that his/her needs are your highest priority.
  7. “How did we do?”
    • Ask for a ”report card” so that you can learn where and how to improve.
  8. “Glad you’re here.”
    • Another way of making certain your customer feels welcome.
  9. “Thank you.”
    • Frequently remind the customer that they are appreciated.
  10. “Yes.”
    • Always your best response to any customer’s request.

I strongly feel that none of these listed phrases can be over-used in today’s highly competitive business environment. Whether you are a service or product driven organization, always remembering that the client/customer has a choice lends you the greatest advantage.

Andrea McAfee

Controller

Bayless Engineering & Manufacturing

www.baylessengineering.com