Sir Richard Brason is a Failure!

Kennesaw, GA – Sir Richard Branson is known for many things but being a failure isn’t one of them.  If you study his accomplishments though, you see how he applies courage to risk big on his ideas.  Sometimes he fails.  But even in failure, he learns valuable lessons that he takes forward.  He weighs the risks and surrounds himself with very talented people.  Sir Richard understands how to “Encourage Excellence”.

Sir Richard Brason “The key to bouncing back is to learn whatever lessons you can from the experience so that you can avoid making the same mistakes in the next launch,” he writes. “This will help you to overcome your fear, take a leap of faith and try again.” Entrepreneur Magazine

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VH35Iz9veM0

Thoughts from Sir Issac Newton

Kennesaw, GA –Sir Isaac Newton, one of our most prolific scientists, worked his way through college at Cambridge cleaning other student’s rooms and waiting tables in the dining hall.  The humble Newton never worried who got the credit for his ideas and this caused other great minds of his day to be attracted to his brilliant discoveries.  Use your mind to seek out new ideas and remember to encourage excellence in everything that you do.

http://www.biography.com/people/isaac-newton-9422656

Issac Newton

“Newton did foundational work in physics, mathematics, astronomy and natural philosophy, and wrote Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica still in print (and avidly studied) more than 300 years after its first publication”.

Bryan

Three Essential Rules to Communicating with Recruiters

ImageBy: Suzanne Ostrander

The below article on Forbes.com is an excellent guide that gives us all guidelines on the proper etiquette when it comes to communicating with corporate recruiters.  If you have any other useful tips for working with headhunters, I would love to hear your thoughts.  Thanks for reading and remember to encourage excellence!

http://www.forbes.com/sites/dailymuse/2013/08/28/3-rules-for-following-up-with-a-recruiter/

Stranger Danger: How to Keep a New Hire from Becoming an Unfamiliar Face

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By: Suzanne Ostrander

-Kennesaw, GA You feel like you’ve missed the memo, but unfortunately there was no memo to begin with. In fact, that’s kind of the problem.

It all started two weeks ago on a Monday morning.  You thought the unfamiliar face who showed up at your meeting might have been an auditor. You give a friendly smile to the same gentleman as you pass him by in the break room the next morning, because hey- you always want your visitors to feel welcome!  When returning from lunch on Wednesday afternoon, you are somewhat surprised to still see him roaming the halls carrying what seems to be an important stack of papers and an even greater sense of urgency. Once again, smiles are exchanged by both parties, as you secretly think to yourself “this guy must be a big deal”!  Thursday rolls by uneventfully and the next thing you know it’s quitting time on Friday and you’re the last one to leave the office.

Or so you thought….

Like an eerie movie, you notice an unfamiliar, dark sedan next to yours in the parking lot. Who else is here? Curiously, you begin walking up and down the halls.  Nothing seems out of place, until you get to the last cubicle on the left.  That’s when you see it.  Apparently, the friendly yet relatively ambiguous man who you took to be an auditor, is now sipping on the company coffee in his own office.

He is neither an auditor, nor is he here to clean the toilets.  Congratulations, he is your new colleague.

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Have you ever found yourself in a similar situation in your own office? The above example was written from the perspective of a clueless employee, but I can only imagine what it would be like for the new hire himself.  Starting up a new job can be scary enough.  It’s even worse when you’re “thrown to the wolves” and surrounded  by nothing other than unidentified faces.

A successful company is not just about training employees to execute tasks.  While the notion of productivity is important, we can only go so far in our career endeavors without an underlying network of strong relationships established by kindness and strengthened through trust.

Many of these relationships begin on your first day at the company.  It rests on the shoulders of management to properly introduce any new employee in his group, albeit full-time, part-time, temporary, hourly, or contractor.  Of course, managers might not always be able to identify every vendor, prospective client, or job candidate who walks into the front door.  If they have an email address, however, the “worker bees” need to know who they are.

Announcing a new hire can be easily achieved via a company memo (you know…the ones you always miss?) or a casual, yet informative quick announcement in an office-wide meeting.

Timing is essential, though. Experts say that this should probably be done on the first day. Therefore, if a manager does not get an opportunity to gather everybody for an announcement on a new hire’s first day, he should take five minutes to send out an email to introduce the newest member of the group and make him or her feel welcome.

Earlier, I mentioned the aspect of trust to be the single, most unifying force in all relationships.  How can this failure to welcome a new employee damage both the new hire’s sense of trust for the company, as well as the rest of the employees’ trust for the company?

There are many ways, really.  To begin with though, the new employee may begin to question how much faith the company has invested in him or her.  Perhaps it could make the new team member think that, despite being hired, management may not be expecting them to make it very long.

Let’s flip the coin, and view the scenario once again from the perspective of the confused and uninformed employees. At first, many employee’s may simply assume they “missed the boat” (a return to the repeated”missed memo” theme).  Maybe they were on the phone with a client or daydreaming in a staff meeting.  Who knows, maybe they just had to go to the bathroom!!!  Yet, I imagine that once this event continues to occur with new people throughout the office, the other employees will start to notice management’s failure to explain who the man in the suit is sitting next to them.  Other employees may also begin to wonder how much faith management has in the newest addition.  They may even wonder if they were excluded from the announcement, because their position was perceived as irrelevant to the new hire’s. Nevertheless, in all scenarios, management’s failure to introduce their new hire has likely created a stir, not to mention confusion among the rest of the workers.

The solution? Always welcome and properly introduce your new employees! No excuses. We never get a second chance to make a first impression, and new-hires who start out on the right foot are most likely to make long-term commitments to their companies!

As always, remember to encourage excellence with everybody you interact with!  A friendly gesture or simple act of kindness can result in 20-years or more of employee loyalty!! Sounds like a fair exchange to me!

God Bless,

Suzanne

Click below for tips on introducing new-hires to the office culture:

http://www.experience.com/entry-level-jobs/employers/tips-for-introducing-new-employees-to-your-office-culture/

Dave Ramsey on Building a Successful Business

Entrepreneur-pictureMoney Management expert, Dave Ramsey has given valuable advice to entrepreneurs looking to get their feet wet with a new business idea.  According to Ramsey, too many talented individuals fail in this effort because they act too hastily.  To all you big thinkers, Ramsey suggests to start working on it part-time, after coming home from work.  Taking on part-time work in addition to a full-time job can be a challenging and tiring task, but according to Ramsey, it is much easier than losing everything to an idea that didn’t work out.  Eventually, once you begin generating steady income sufficient to cover your bills, then it’s time to begin considering making it a full-time job.  Remember: some of the best multi-million dollar companies started out in someone’s garage!

What has your experience been with acting upon a new business venture? I would love to hear from you.  As always, remember to encourage excellence!

Suzanne

For direct access to Forbes.com’s article on Dave Ramsey’s insight, click below:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/danschawbel/2011/09/20/dave-ramsey-on-how-to-build-and-grow-your-business/

Good Habits for Success

Kennesaw, GA Image

Folks who know me, also know I can be a little eccentric, absent-minded, and sometimes in a world of my own.  Encouraging Excellence is a motto that was embraced by me to keep others positive and myself focused on the big picture of what we can accomplish if we put our minds and hearts into making a difference.  Here is an article about the daily routines of some highly accomplished people as they made their impact on the world.  You will enjoy reading about some of the weird things these famous people would do.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013/oct/05/daily-rituals-creative-minds-mason-currey

Encourage Excellence every day. Bryan

Ian Brooks on Success

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Kennesaw, GA-

A friend of mine sent me this recent quote that really hits home on how we gather information and make decisions.  Let me know what you think about it.

 “You have to self-train, you have to read, you have to study. You can’t expect to be spoon-fed anymore. The world is moving too fast to spoon-feed the information. You earn your success in life.” 

— Ian Brooks, European head of innovation at Hewlett-Packard, as quoted by Computerworld UK Oct 4, 2013

 Remember to encourage excellence in others today….

 BW

The Two Reasons Why People Quit their Jobs

By: Suzanne Ostrander

quit

Despite America’s less than ideal economic state and an average unemployment rate of 7.8%, the United States department of Labor has reported that each month over 2 million Americans are voluntarily leaving their jobs.  The U.S. Department of Labor has classified these unemployed individuals as the “Quits”: employed individuals who leave their jobs on their own accord without a fallback plan.  The bureau has furthermore reported that this number continues to grow and will not be declining anytime soon.  

A recent study by Accenture reports that 31% wish to be their own boss, An additional 31% feel a lack of empowerment, 35% leave due to internal politics, and 43% resign due to a perceived lack of recognition.

As I reviewed these stats, many of the percentages seemed to overlap one another.  In the context of a job fair, if we sat the 31% who were affected by a lack of empowerment at the same table as the 43% who resigned due to a lack of recognition, I think these people would have many of the same things to talk about.  In essence, they lacked a healthy sense of identity in their workplace.

Countless numbers of research studies have yielded a variety of factors that may contribute to this debilitating lack independence. My shortlist comes down to two factors: 1) A lack of employee focus and 2) Poorly structured organizations.

I think the first category speaks for itself.  We’ve all heard the phrase “the customer is always right”. In fact, it’s not unreasonable to argue that anyone with experience in the fast food industry has likely formed a deep-seated aversion to the concept, altogether. Unfortunately though, in the context of a company’s relationship with its clients, this is typically a wise ideology to follow.

But what about the larger network between managers, customers, and the hardworking employees who make the magic happen? In the overall scheme of things, “putting the customer first” while overlooking the worker bees can lead to an unfortunate sense of employee neglect.

The solution? Companies who establish a reasonable balance between customers and their employees will foster a more successful and productive business.

Successful managers should also keep in mind the importance of staying objective. Let’s face it, we are all human beings and most likely resonate better with some than others. That doesn’t necessarily mean we dislike the others, we just have less in common with them. From a managerial standpoint, however, the fact that you work for the same organization is enough to have in common. For a number of reasons, managers need to act and socialize differently than their subordinates.  Namely, they need to pay close attention to the amount of “down time” they spend in people’s offices- this is important! You are not at a cookout or on the golf course, and your behaviors may need fine-tuning.

As difficult as it may be, a good manager does not “gravitate” to only a certain few offices to chat during down time. Is “small talk” OK at our jobs? Absolutely! In fact, it is encouraged in moderation in order to maintain a healthy working environment. Yet, before you accept that higher-paid managerial position or a promotion to such a level, think about what you should do when you get the urge to socialize during the workday. A reasonable goal may be to walk around to all of your subordinates’ offices once a day in a casual, non-work related manner and spend a minute or two just to see how they are doing. Of course, it may not be possible to achieve this everyday, but bear in mind how much this is done every week and take action to keep this at a healthy balance. Conversation topics may vary, but the time spent in offices should not.  Is this tedious? Yes, it is! However, it comes with the territory when accepting a managerial position!! So, before you accept that higher paying role, think about your social habits from a leadership standpoint.  There’s no shame in staying at the subordinate level if you don’t think you’re up to the task. A worker-bee can hang out with whomever he wants!

The second factor, a poorly structured organization, can do just as much if not more damage to the overall employee persona.  While a company’s inadequate focus on its employees might result from a manager’s need to simply re-prioritize tasks or modify his social work habits, a ineffectively structured organization may derive from your boss’ boss or even higher. When one person is expected to manage 12 – 15 employees on a daily basis, these subordinates are bound to feel overlooked or under-worked.  With only 8 hours in the average workday, a possibly well-intentioned manager has no choice but to follow the priority chain when it comes to delegating work. The result? Under-stimulated employees!

How can this be changed? To begin with, managers need to speak up!! Managers should take time to schedule meetings with their bosses to discuss reassignments. Consider promoting qualified individuals to management to even out the numbers. Formulate a plan and stick to it.

I challenge all of those in management positions to try these techniques.  I believe it will lead to happier employees, a more successful company, and an ultimately reduced turnover rate!

As always, remember to encourage excellence with everyone you meet!

For Forbes.com’s article on reducing company turnover, click here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/alanhall/2013/03/11/im-outta-here-why-2-million-americans-quit-every-month-and-5-steps-to-turn-the-epidemic-around/

Click below for a brief video segment on reducing employee turnover by maintaining the quality within an organization:

Relationships are the network

When I worked for Sun Microsystems, we had a tag line, “The network is the computer”. Well our relationships are our network that becomes our reputation and ultimately, our character.

I’m reading Michael Ellsberg’s book entitled, The Education of Millionaires. In it Ellsberg cites interviews with successful people who have learned how to leverage relationships to achieve success. Remember my favorite author, Richard Koch? He methodically and scientifically lays out how loose connections in our relationship network ties us to our accomplishments.

I urge you to read more Michael Ellsberg and apply what he advises.

PS. I haven’t forgotten my friend, Perry Robinson. Putting some things together for him now for his new business venture.

Five S’s for Success

Robert, my son, and I have developed a 5 step strategy for success that can be applied to goal setting and meeting personal objectives.  Here are the 5 S’s and I will follow up with a brief history of where I learned about these ideas.

1.  Speed

2. Simplicity

3. Self-Confidence

4. Smarts

5. Strength

Robert uses these 5 words to simplify his thoughts and reduce his stress when playing ball and learning at school.  I learned these principles when working for GE in the 1990’s in Cincinnati, OH.  As a new manager, my mentor, John Kerinuk, taught use these principles when growing our business unit and applying these concepts during our project deliveries.

If someone applies these words to their thinking and personal branding, most of their goals will be realized by conceptualizing their activities and obtaining their objectives.

Hope this helps.

Bryan