Importance of Employee Recognition

Importance of Employee Recognition

Recognition is defined as "special notice or attention (a)." In a study of more than 50,000 employees in over 1,000 companies, sixty-three percent of employees feel that they don't get enough praise (b).  Gallup has found that employees who receive praise at least once per week increase their individual productivity, receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers, and are more likely to stay with their organization.  

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Deconstructing Garth Brooks

Deconstructing Garth Brooks

Music can fill us with many emotions, and occasionally serve as a great motivator.  I was listening to an old song called The River, released by Garth Brooks in 1992 on his album Ropin the Wind.  Says Garth about the song, 

"Of all songs, most of the letters I receive concern "The River." It is a song of inspiration... a song that I will be proud of a hundred years from now."  

The River is a song about a following your dreams, and I thought it would be cool to deconstruct it and extract all of it's inspiration. 

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Attitude Adjustment

Attitude Adjustment

Zig Ziglar became a world-famous author and motivational speaker. He suffered personal tragedies, but he had a special ability to cast a positive light on those tragedies. He shared his methods with the world, offering comfort and inspiration (A).  Here's a quote by him that I heard way back in high school that's stuck with me:

"Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude" - Zig Ziglar

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Leadership & Building Trust

Leadership & Building Trust

Building trust is crucial for effective leadership at Crawford Landscaping.  Because we care so much about our employees (reflected in our guiding principle: STEWARDSHIP), we want there to be trust throughout the ranks.  We do not endorse, nor will we tolerate, leadership by intimidation or any other devaluing method.  Central to trust is also INTEGRITY (another guiding principle).  Brian Tracy nails this thought:

"The glue that holds all relationships together--including the relationship between the leader and the led--is trust, and trust is based on integrity." --Brian Tracy

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Traits of a Successful Team

Traits of a Successful Team

A team is defined as a group of people who come together as a team to achieve a common goal.  Look what Steve Jobs had to say about teams:

"Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people" - Steve Jobs

A good leader recognizes the need for a good team and works hard at at creating an environment for the team to succeed.  I read an article (a) recently in Inc. Magazine where Google studied 180 teams over 2 years do determine teams.  The operations was called Project Aristotle, and Google gathered several of their best and brightest to help the organization codify the secrets to team effectiveness.  There goal: to determine why some teams excelled while others fell behind. 

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Culture of Calculated Risk-Taking

Culture of Calculated Risk-Taking

My family and I are up in Blue Ridge Georgia this week for a little R&R and to pick up some furniture Tara and I ordered in March.  I rented a trailer and headed to the location where I was to pick up our furniture.  When I arrived, the parking lot in this tiny strip mall was jammed, but I saw an open spot and I began backing up my rather large trailer.  All was going smoothly until the trailer reached the side a brand new Honda Accord.  Yep, that's right, I crushed this poor ladies passenger side door.  Of course she came running out, the police were involved, I was embarrassed... it was a swell time.

After dealing with my "accident" and loading everything into the trailer, and as I jumped in the front seat of my wife's suburban and sat at the precipice of some well deserved self-inflicting shame and contempt, it dawned on me - sometimes, failure is ok if it means you have the confidence to try things.  

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Coaches & Leadership

Coaches & Leadership

I was reading an article on my phone while my wife and daughters shopped the other day entitled 6 Powerful Ways to Make Anyone Into A Great Leader: The function of a leader is to produce more leaders, not more followers.  The article appeared in Inc. Magazine July 17, 201 7and was written by Lolly Daskal, President and CEO of Lead From Within.  She said this about leadership that embodies perfectly what I have long believed and strikes to the heart of why I take the time to write these email every day:

"For me, that central message of leadership is this simple, clear thought: Within everyone there is a leader."

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Godly Comfort & Encouragement

Godly Comfort & Encouragement

I know of several who are hurting reading this today.  When I am hurting, I like to turn to God's Word for comfort and encouragement.  Here are a few:

COMFORT

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. ” - Matthew 11:28

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds”  Psalm 147:3

"He sets on high those who are lowly, and those who mourn are lifted to safety" - Job 5:11
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." - Psalm 34:18

"Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble by the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God" - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us" - Romans 8:18

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Proverbs 14

Proverbs 14

I love reading Proverbs each day.  Today being the 14th means I read Proverbs 14.  Here are a couple highlights from my reading today:

  • "Those who follow the right path fear the Lord; those who take the wrong path despise him" 14:2
  • "A fool’s proud talk becomes a rod that beats him, but the words of the wise keep them safe" 14:3

 

  • "An honest witness does not lie" 14:5
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Henry Ford & Bringing Out the Best in Others

Henry Ford & Bringing Out the Best in Others

Bringing out the best in each other should be our ultimate goal, especially as leaders. It's a focus not on self but on others. As leaders we often times consider our job to be directing, delegating, or decision-making - activities generally classified as pulling the organization or our teams forward. But a big component of leading is creating an environment for those under our charge to succeed. After all, the success of a team is more easily achieved if several are producing versus just one person, right?

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Negative Thinking

Negative Thinking

Have you ever spent time around a pessimist or a negative-thinking person?  Someone who is comfortable looking at life in a negative way, who sees their glass as half empty instead of half full?  I recently was around someone like this and something hit me in a powerful way as I listened to this person complaining about the weather:

"Some people are comfortable making excuses or talking about how things in their life that are not what they want them to be.  Others hate making excuses and never look at their life and complain things aren't the way they want them to be.  One is defeated, the other fully believes they can achieve, and are fully engaged in achieving positive results" 

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Anger Management

Anger Management

This morning I am coming to you from my laptop computer. Normally I compose my daily emails from my home PC, but today I am doing it on the run and I am using my MacBook Pro. For some reason my MacBook Pro is causing me incredible trouble trying to compose this email. I won't go into details, suffice to say around every turn there's been a challenge and has resulting in me being very ANGRY!

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Leadership is for Everyone

Leadership is for Everyone

I spend a lot of time reading and researching the art of leadership. I am reading a book entitled The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C. Maxwell. In his opening chapter he writes something that articulates perfectly my strong belief in leadership and how leadership applies to everyone. This is an important concept, so don't miss it: "Leadership ability is the lid that determines a person's level of effectiveness."

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Measurement = Success

Measurement = Success

If you want a particular result from someone, measure them.  Quantitative tracking of a desired outcome has an astonishing effect of producing results.  My dad has often commented "people move in the direction you measure them,"  and I think he's 100% correct.  The challenge in doing so is three-fold:

  1. Picking the direction
  2. Creating and maintaining meaningful and relevant measurements
  3. Creating an appropriate policy that makes it permanent.
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Quarterly Goal Setting

Quarterly Goal Setting

Not sure if everyone recalls, but during one of our Quarterly Company Updates I suggested the idea of setting quarterly goals.  Consistent and in addition to your annual goals, this sharper focus if specific and measured and can help one to be extremely effective.  

Last quarter for example, I set 12 goals spanning 3 groupings: Personal, Work, and Financial.  I achieved 50%.  This quarter, I am getting very aggressive and have added three new groups and increased my goal total by nearly double!  Probably too many (but it's important to always challenge yourself).  But if I were you, start small.  When I started doing this last year, I started with 3 goals for work only.  I did this for 2 quarters and achieved 100% both times and their achievement made significant difference to our business.

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Leadership: Vision + Conviction

Leadership: Vision + Conviction

LinkedIn is a business- and employment-oriented social networking service that operates via websites and mobile apps. Founded on December 28, 2002, and launched on May 5, 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking, including employers posting jobs and job seekers posting their resumes. As of April 2017, LinkedIn had 500 million members in 200 countries. 

Jeff Weiner started at LinkedIn in 2008 and as CEO and has rapidly expanded its global platform to 24 languages and more than 30 offices around the world, grown its membership base and increased its revenue to $2.2 billion in 2014.  Prior to joining LinkedIn, Weiner served in various leadership roles at Yahoo for over seven years beginning in 2001, most recently as the Executive Vice President at Yahoo's Network Division. As EVP of Yahoo, he led a team of over 3,000 employees, managing products reaching over 500 million consumers. While serving Yahoo’s Network Division, he was part of the Search leadership team that directed the acquisition and integration of Inktomi, AltaVista, and FAST as well as the development of Yahoo Search Technology.  In 2011 Weiner and Reid Hoffman were the U.S. Overall winners of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award and in 2014, Weiner was recognized by LinkedIn employees via Glassdoor's annual survey as among "the top 10 CEOs at U.S. Tech Companies". 

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Excuses Derail Success

Excuses Derail Success

Nothing derails success more than excuses.  You've probably heard me say on more than one occasion that people are committed to their results.  People who succeed are people committed to success.  People who fail, for the most part, are committed to failure.  And one of the leading enablers to failure is excuse-making.  

"Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses." - George Washington Carver

"He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else." - Benjamin Franklin

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Employees = Our Biggest Asset

Employees = Our Biggest Asset

It is often said, "our employees are our biggest asset." But do we practice this in real life. When the rubber meets the road, do we truly treat our employees as our greatest asset. A few months ago during a safety meeting I asked the crew: "how many of you love your mom?" Everyone raised their hand. I then asked, "how many of your would want to do everything in your power to keep you mom safe?" They all raised their hands. I then said, "you are all like my mom to me!" Meaning: I care for their safety as I would care about my own mothers safety. Those of you in leadership positions who have the opportunity and privilege to lead our awesome field staff, please don't take this responsibility lightly.

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Blessed are the Meek

Blessed are the Meek

In Matthew chapter 5, verses 2 thru 11, Jesus shared eight blessings called The Beatitudes in his Sermon on the Mount.  The term beatitude comes from the Latin noun "beātitūdō" which means "happiness."  Each Beatitude consists of two phrases: the condition and the result. In almost every case the condition is from familiar Old Testament context, but Jesus teaches a new interpretation. Together, The Beatitudes present a new set of Christian ideals that focus on a spirit of love and humility different in orientation than the usual force and action taken. They echo the ideals of the teachings of Jesus on mercy, spirituality, and compassion

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