Thursday, April 30, 2015

#1063 batty

We have a staff member who is deathly afraid of bats, and we give him a lot of ribbing about it. 

But apparently bats are no laughing matter.

My sister is undergoing a series of shots in preparation for a trip, and received rabies shots as part of the visa requirements.  They may serve her well in the States too, as it is now recommended that if you see a bat in your house, you head in for rabies shots.  

Bats bite so lightly that you may not know you have been bitten, and if the bat is carrying rabies or the bat disease lyssavirus, the result without treatment is fatal. The bite or scratch may be so insignificant that you failed to notice it, but once the symptoms appear, death is eminent.  Especially if a bat is seen after you have been sleeping, it is time to run to the doctor, instead of just running away from the bat.

Rarely are there protocols that are so one sided: mortality from rabies without treatment = 99%; treatment with little or no delay = 100% effective.  

Bats can be a lesson that even the little things -- or something that is almost invisible -- can have a large and significant impact.  Are there metaphorical bats "biting" people in your organization -- creating fissures in the culture or harming the fiscal health in ways that are so insignificant that they aren't noticed?  

Think of your equivalent of "rabies shots" that you can administer today instead of waiting for the untreatable symptoms to appear.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com

@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

Source: en.m.wikipedia.org: "Rabies"

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

#1062 pecking

In the center of our campus is an atrium, with a 70 foot high vaulted glass ceiling.  Occasionally, a bird enters the enclosure and frantically flies from one end to the other trying to get back out.

Last week, one such bird was perched on a pipe by the window, pecking away in a vain attempt to escape. It obviously couldn't comprehend "glass" or "windows" and did not have the intelligence to go back out the way it came in. I know a bird doesn't have the capacity for reasoning, but I kept thinking of how frustrating it would be to see your freedom and have no knowledge on how to reach it.  

Contrast that with humans, who do have the capacity to see alternatives. Yet, many times humans know that what they are doing is not working, but still keep pecking at the window anyway.

If you find yourself on one side of the glass when you'd rather be on the other, take advantage of having a brain bigger than the bird's and use it to develop options to change your fate.  Take advantage of your rank in the pecking order and stop pecking away.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

#1061 equality

Yesterday's blog about equality reminded me of a lesson from diversity speaker Bill Grace. He was describing the impact of no lines at the men's restroom during a break in his presentation, whereas there was a long line at the women's facility.

"Both restrooms had the exact same facilities; the line was because it takes women longer.  That was equal treatment under the law.  Some architects and builders are providing facilities for women that are a third larger than those for men -- that's equitable access," he said.

Think about how you address the needs and fair treatment of your customers and staff.  Are you providing equal treatment or equitable access?  Do you require everyone to follow the same rules, or do you make accommodations when flexibility is required?  Have you made adjustments that reflect the reality of the situation?

Think about the restroom story the next time you are making decisions.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

Source:  Iowa Association of College Admission Counselors newsletter by Ann Johnson, April 2011

Monday, April 27, 2015

#1060 inequality

When you think of gender equality, you may consider fair wages, discrimination-free work places or female access to the same positions and perks than men enjoy.  One area you may not consider is money itself.

Women on 20s is a national organization seeking to compel a change in whose face is on U.S. currency.  Instead of Andrew Jackson on the twenty-dollar bill, W2O is conducting a national campaign to raise awareness that all of America's bills feature men.  This organization hopes to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment (which guaranteed women the right to vote) with a change in who is featured on our paper currency.

So far, the organization has conducted a national campaign and narrowed the list to four finalists:  Eleanor Roosevelt, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Cherokee Chief Wilma Mankiller.  You can vote for your choice every day until midnight on May 10th at: www.womenon20s.org/vote2

"Women have always been an equal part of the past.  They just haven't been part of history," says Gloria Steinem.

Whether you vote for the change in currency or not, think about how you have (or have not) honored segments of your history.  You hold bills every day and may not have considered the message they send about equality.  What in your organization is blending into the background without consideration to the overall message it makes?  And, most importantly, what will you do to change that?

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com


Sunday, April 26, 2015

#1059 for some

Just as I noted yesterday about MSN recognizing a niche component of the audience, PetSmart has done the same with those who consider their pets as part of the family.

A vinyl graphic greets visitors as they enter: 
Welcome to a furrier version of parenthood.


The headline of their ad in People reads:  "Pethood.  It's just like parenthood.  Except with occasional fleas, harder bath times and no eye rolling in the teenage years."

Not everyone considers their pets to be one of their children.  Many have pets that don't have fur, and PetSmart devotes half of their store to serve those needs.  But they have decided to be bolder with their messaging and go deep with one segment of the population.

I think the parenthood theme will have great appeal for some people, and likely it won't resonate with others.  Good for PetSmart.

How can you rethink your messaging to speak specifically to a defined segment of your audience?  If what you are saying will be liked by everyone, perhaps you should rethink it and try again.

A furry parenthood isn't for everyone, but for those who have four-legged hairy children, you know where you can find others like you.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com


Saturday, April 25, 2015

#1058 inquiring

It is about 3500 miles from New York to London, but the fascination with the English royals seems to have transcended that space.

On the MSN News app, here are the main headers across the page:  Top Stories, Royal Baby, US, World.  Yes, the Royal Baby, who wasn't even born as of this writing, has its own main category on the news feed.  What will it be like when there actually is a birth?

I admit to being interested in the royals in a casual way; no where near the "superfans" who have already been camping out for days in anticipation. But there are those out there, and MSN is trying to capitalize on that passion.

It is expected for MSN to regularly supply a news feed of credible news, but what harm does it do to throw in a little frivolity every now and then if that is what people have interest in?  

Think about what your audience really wants from you.  Do you have the equivalent of a Royal Baby topic that could boost interest in your organization?  Can you share information of something from "behind the scenes" that may be off the beaten path but would interest your clients?  Is there a way to provide your "superfans" helpful information before it becomes public?

Inquiring minds do want to know.  How can you capitalize on that?

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com





Friday, April 24, 2015

#1057 grateful

I recently attended a retreat about gratitude and it reminded me of a project John Kralik undertook several years ago.

He was down in the dumps; "anything but thankful" is how he termed it.  But instead of wallowing in his misfortunes, he decided to be grateful for what he had and pledged to write a thank you note a day for all of 2008.  By 2010 he published a book of his notes and continued writing for several years after that.

Kralik offers three simple steps of how to craft a note that effectively expresses your gratitude:
1.  Make your note handwritten.
2.  Be specific about what you are grateful for.
3.  Keep it short -- three or four sentences.

I have been the lucky recipient of many expressions of gratitude over the years.  I have saved them all, in a special file that I drag out and look at on occasion. It is hard to be sad after just a few minutes of reading.

You don't have to be as ambitious as Kralik to make someone's day today.  Spend the few minutes that it takes to thank someone.  You can be like Kralik and thank the Starbucks barista who remembers his name or the surgeon who relieved him of pain.  Or you can stay closer to home and express your gratitude to someone who has helped you recently or just made you smile.  

Either way, "thank you" are two beautiful words to give as well as to receive.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

Source:  Up your gratitude by John Kralik in Parade magazine, January 1, 2012, p. 12

Also see: A Simple Act of Gratitude by John Kralik or www.365thankyounotes.com

Thursday, April 23, 2015

#1056 cover

The other day when I was browsing in the bookstore, I came upon a bookmark that read:  "Ah, Spring!  Wondrous!  Like a good book."

How true that is for me.  It is hard for me to imagine someone who doesn't enjoy the warmth and green of the new season, or someone who doesn't cherish those getting-lost moments that come with a good book.  Both have the ability to transport me from gloom to glee.

I ended up picking a selection that had been chosen by a local book club.  Just as much fun as looking at the book titles was reading the names the groups had chosen for themselves:
> Knit Lit
> This is Not What I Signed Up For
> Same Page
> One Night Stand
> Lit & Lattes
> Read Between the Wines
> Book Marks
> Books on the Rocks

There were dozens more, many aptly named so you could get a sense of the group's character before joining.

I wonder why we don't apply the same ingenuity to naming committees and teams at work.  Do they all need to have basic, functional names like "planning group" or "budget committee"?  Would it change the culture or outcome if we scheduled a "Lewis & Clark council" or "nickel and dime" meetings?

The next time you assemble a group, think about the tone you set by what you call it.  You can't judge a book by its cover, but you may be able to judge a group by its name.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

#1055 crucial

One of the best books I have read lately is Crucial Conversations: tools for talking when stakes are high.  It seems like the stakes are high and emotions are elevated more frequently than they used to be, thus I am trying to learn how to be more effective in this environment as both a participant and leader.

The authors provide several very useful strategies, the heart of which revolves around creating a safe place for dialogue to occur.  Only in dialogue can people share their meaning and stories so that they come to a true understanding.  When people don't feel emotionally safe, they revert to two behaviors:  silence or violence, and the dialogue ends.  (Silence is when people withdraw or avoid expressing themselves, while violence involves controlling or attacking language.)

I think that we all default one way or another, but neither are healthy.  The book made me consider these responses and raised my consciousness as to how I conduct meetings to keep dialogue flowing and how I can contribute when emotions are high.  It often feels like saying nothing and avoiding an argument is the polite or preferred response, but it shuts down dialogue as much as shouting does.

Think about the dichotomy of silence or violence the next time you find yourself in a important conversation.  Do what you can to keep the dialogue flowing so that you reach mutual understanding of the crucial issue at hand.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

Source:  Crucial Conversations:  Tools for talking when stakes are high.  By Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler.  2002

Free resources at:  www.crucialconversations.com

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

#1054 share it

I recently participated in a focus group where members of an organization were trying to learn my perceptions about the previous events they had hosted.  As we shared our observations, it became apparent that a few of us had attended some of the lectures while others did not, and selected people had access to the common readings while others were too new to have received them.

More so than feedback about which event was good and which was not came the realization that what was needed was a way to provide an archive and access over time.  As members come and go from the group, it would be helpful to have a way for them to learn from what was done previous to their joining.  

We described the current mode of the organization as "one and done", meaning that something happens live and in the moment, and no attention is paid to capturing, preserving or sharing the learning that occurs.  The sessions are not recoded; notes are not taken; materials are not archived -- so if you miss it, you lose out.

How much richer the long term impact could be if the experience -- or at least the essence of it -- became available outside of the present place and time.  

Think about the content that your organization is generating.  If it has value, it is worth saving so you can share.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

Also see #285, March 13, 2013

Monday, April 20, 2015

#1053 judging

It was a perfect spring weekend -- the kind to lay in a hammock and read a good book.  I did not have any leisure reading handy, so I went to a real bookstore to see what I could find.  

What I realized is that it is a risky thing to buy a book without knowing anything about it. I regularly shop at garage sales and flea markets where books are ten cents to a dollar, and that lessens the risk. But in a bookstore, new hardcovers are $25+, not to mention the precious leisure hours that need to be invested in reading them.

It is very difficult to tell what makes a good book from its cover.  What makes for a good read is such a matter of personal taste that it was even hard for me to ask the staff what they suggested; some books I have loved others have not and vice versa.

No wonder book clubs, testimonials on the book jacket and even the "on-line seller's recommendations based on previous purchases" are so popular.  I think they help readers sort the hundreds of choices into manageable categories and provide profiles of authors that may appeal to similar audiences.  I'm afraid that leaves me reading books that all have the same basic plot line instead of adventuring out into Harry Potter, Moby Dick or Divergent, but at least I like most of what I read.

What can you do to lessen the risk to your customers?  Think about how you can help them connect your product or service with something else that they know or assist them in making patterns out of the many choices.  Your beautiful cover won't matter at all if they are too overwhelmed to buy anything.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com








Sunday, April 19, 2015

#1052 overcome

Where there is a will, there is a way.  At least for LoLo -- a 13-year old pug who has lost the use of her back legs.

In a testament to how pets have become children, LoLo now gets around through assistance from a two-wheel attachment that moves her hind quarters forward when she walks.  The apparatus is custom-made by a small company in Massachusetts and seems to work beautifully.  Apparently it took some getting used to, but you'd never know it now.


What is an impediment you face -- physical, mental, cultural -- and how can you custom-fit a solution that will work for you?  It may be hard to imagine what solution will overcome your challenges, but I'll bet it is out there.  

Think of LoLo and her new-found mobility.  Surely you can devise something that will solve your problem too.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com






Saturday, April 18, 2015

#1051 spare them

Graduation time is fast approaching, and with that comes a flurry of parties and social events to honor the special guests.  

It also brings a round of the two questions that are dreaded by graduates across the land:
> for high school graduates: "What are you going to major in?"
> for college graduates: "What are you going to do after graduation?"

Many lucky students have (alleged) clarity with which to provide answers, but for a good majority of students they just don't know.  Thus, either they have a stock response so they can have something to say, or they are faced with admitting to all the well-wishers that their plans are nebulous at best.  Either way, it adds anxiety at an already stressful time.

My suggestion is that you do all the grads a favor and leave those questions for others.  Instead you can try some small talk like:
> Tell me one thing you will miss about school.
> What is one thing you're looking forward to after May?
> What subject are you glad to be rid of?
> What are you going to do now with all your [insert school colors here] clothing?
> Is there one teacher you'll remember more than others?

If the graduate has clarity on major, college or career choice, it will come out in conversation.  But if not, spare them from giving a non-answer and let them enjoy their special day.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

Friday, April 17, 2015

#1050 shoelaces

I was musing with a colleague about dealing with the ups and downs of life.  We talked about how it isn't always the big challenges that weigh you down, but more of the petty issues that drain you of energy.

It reminded me of one of my favorite poems, Shoelace by Charles Bukowski:


..."It's not the large things that send a man to the madhouse.

Death he's ready for
or murder, incest, robbery,
fire, flood.
No, it's the continuing series of small tragedies 
that send a man to a madhouse
Not the death of his love, but a shoelace that snaps
with no time left....


I especially love that last line and think of it when the equivalent of breaking a shoelace occurs in my life.  

When we face large travails, we both seek and receive support to help us cope, but we're left to process the smaller aggravations on our own.  The next time your "shoelace" breaks at an inopportune moment, recall Bukowski's line. Vow to keep the small things small so your blood pressure remains low, too.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

Shoelace by Charles Bukowski in Mockingbird Wish Me Luck, 2002


Thursday, April 16, 2015

#1049 oops

There is a sign at our local Jimmy John's sandwich shop that reads:

Proper Apologies Have Three Parts
1.  What I did was wrong
2.  I feel badly that I hurt you
3.  How can I make this better

It is a simple mantra, but powerful one.  Often we say "I'm sorry" and expect that to fulfill our obligation or to make things "all better."  I think that Jimmy John's has the right idea that the apology should go further to truly have impact.

The next time you do something wrong, keep the three parts in mind.  It won't undo the fact that you erred, but it has far more potential to right your relationship with the person you offended.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com



Wednesday, April 15, 2015

#1048 woo hoo

A new Hallmark store opened in our mall and as part of the grand opening customers could sign up for door prizes.  I don't usually participate in those gimmicks -- I know that they really are bribing me to submit my name, email and phone so I can be targeted with marketing messages -- but I like Hallmark (a lot!) so I put my name in the box.

And I won!

A free card per week for an entire year!!

This prize, which is "a $156 value", cost them a mere fraction of that, but I am thrilled with it.  I can have 52 free cards whenever I want them within a year.  Some people may not find this appealing, but I am almost giddy when I think about the fun I will have redeeming my winnings.

How can you align your promotional efforts with something that is a delight for those who win it, but costs you little to provide it?  Think about how you can leverage your efforts to maximize the benefits to you: promoting the door prizes to draw customers into your business in the first place, utilizing information for marketing, and driving repeat customers. (i.e.: If they had been smarter, they would have required me to come in every week to get my card, increasing the chances that I would be enticed to buy something else.)

I'm sure in your organization there is a treasure waiting to be shared.  Capitalize on your bounty to identify your target customers, and even to thrill a few of them.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com

@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com







Tuesday, April 14, 2015

#1047 curious

I was out to dinner over the weekend at a place that provided one of the multi-mixing pop dispensers that I have commented on before.*  Much to my dismay, the Diet Coke was empty.

When I informed the clerk that it needed to be changed, I expected him to open the cabinet underneath and reconnect a new cylinder of syrup.  Instead, he popped open the bottom of the dispenser, the screen turned into a computer, and after pushing a few buttons he snapped in something that looked like a toner cartridge and my favorite beverage was back!

I was fascinated by this total evolution of how things are done today, so I acquired the empty cartridge and took it home, after hearing from the manager how the system works (the sweetener and diet sweetener are housed in big tanks in the back room; popular flavors have dual chamber cartridges and flavor enhancers are single; the syrup inside is "micro-dosed" so only a very small portion is needed to mix with the sweetener and water).  At home, I was like a kid doing a science experiment: cutting open the cartridge to find a bag of the syrup inside.

I doubt I will do anything more with my newly-acquired knowledge of how the high tech soda dispensers work, but it is the process that is important.  How have YOU been curious lately?  Have you dug deeper to understand something you haven't encountered before?  What about asking questions (even to Google) to gain a new perspective on how things work?  Has something inspired you to wonder?  

Challenge yourself today to think like a sixth-grader looking for a science fair project.  How can you see the world with more curious eyes?

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com

@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

*See Blog #276, March 4, 2013


inside the cut-open Cherry flavor

Monday, April 13, 2015

#1046 commemorating

Last night as I turned on my computer to write this blog, a reminder popped up telling me that it was Thomas Jefferson's birthday today.

Thomas Jefferson was a brilliant man and he dedicated his life to serving his country.  We would not find the same truths to be self-evident without him and we may not have declared that Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness are unalienable Rights.

But why do I need to know that it is his birthday?  He has been dead 188 years.  His birthday is not a holiday; Hallmark doesn't even commemorate the date with cards, and really there is no reason I can think of that warrants this occasion being worthy of pushed out notifications on every Apple system.

I wonder who decided what dates would make the iOS calendar?  Unlike Google, which provides some explanation for the more obscure dates it chooses to recognize, these "U.S. Holidays" just populate with the same importance given to Thomas Jefferson and to Christmas or Independence Day.

Is your organization doing something that makes sense in context, but could come across as random when viewed in segments?  There is such an information overload today that if you don't have a good reason to share something with your clients, perhaps you would be better not doing so.  Save your message quotient for the really important or actionable items or take care to communicate with context.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com




Sunday, April 12, 2015

#1045 occasional

I work with many new graduates and people who are relocating to a new city.  Oftentimes I hear that one of the hardest parts of the adjustment is "finding new friends."

I have lived in several different places in my life, oftentimes knowing no one beyond an interviewer when I arrived.  I can attest that relocation has a host of challenges to overcome, but I have managed to develop a strategy that fights off the loneliness and can be an eventual-friend developer.

Instead of seeking "friends", find several different people with whom you can do "one thing" per month.  This casual interval allows you to develop a relationship if the chemistry is right, but allows you to ease in or out of the acquaintanceship without pressure on either part.

When I lived in St. Louis, I went to dinner with the same couple once a month to a restaurant that was "new to us."  I'm not sure I did anything else with them, but after many months of dining together a friendship grew.  I had others that I with whom I would attend baseball games, or go to a musical or walk together, etc.  I didn't expect to develop that close circle of friends from the beginning, rather I had a whole host of people interspersed throughout my monthly social calendar, each month, each with a different activity that "we" did.

I think the same principle works with other things -- stringing together freelance gigs or developing your hobby or learning more about the city that is old to you.  Not ONE person/organization/product has to fulfill all your needs.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com


Saturday, April 11, 2015

#1044 snowing

Do you remember the wonder of snow globes when you were a kid?  I was always fascinated by shaking one and watching all the snow slowly fall into place.

A friend shared this image as a metaphor for when life brings on a sudden change.  She called it "a snow globe moment."  Your world feels turned upside down and you just sit there waiting for the pieces to fall in place.

Think about how you can apply the positive feelings inspired by real snow globes to living through the experience of a metaphorical one.  Is there any joy to be had in anticipation of the new pattern that evolves?  Can we take a bit of time for reflection while watching the snow to fall?  Does it offer any solace that the globe can be shaken many times and still survive?

I don't wish "snow globe moments" on anyone, but the inevitability of them in life is there.  Just as a globe provides a temptation for someone to reach out and shake it, so does a life fully lived contain many tumultuous moments.  The next time there is snow in your world rest assured that it will settle down again -- if only for a brief while.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com

@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

Thanks to Emily's friend!

Friday, April 10, 2015

#1043 newsies

Yesterday morning, I saw a young boy trudging between houses delivering the newspaper. I live on a "motor route" so haven't seen a person actually dropping off papers in awhile.  

It brought back memories of my brother's paper route -- which really became the family's paper route on many occasions.  We would help stuff and roll the stacks, or someone would drive him around to speed up delivery in the truly inclement weather, or we would help pull a wagon with his bundles.  Way back when, he even had to do the weekly bill collection and attempt to track down the families that evaded him.

Most of the job was not fun.

Yet he had to do it daily, long after the thrill was gone.  He learned persistence, discipline, the value of hard work, how to woo his sisters into cooperation, and customer service.  I think it taught him many things that he still uses in his professional work today.

As the pervasiveness of the newspaper fades, I know the carrier role is disappearing with it.   For many, it was a job they could hold at a very young age, where they could reap life lessons and spending money while still impressionable.

I wonder what tasks today's youth will have that teach them skills similar to those learned on a paper route:  That all money isn't an entitlement that is given to you as an allowance, rather must be earned.  That you have to go to work every day, like it or not.  That bad weather isn't an excuse to stay under the covers.  That not everyone is nice, but most people are.  That having your own disposable income is a really good thing.  

The "newsies" who hawked papers on the corner are gone, and I fear the young door-to-door carrier isn't far behind it.  Cherish this dying profession and seek ways to provide similar opportunities to young people in the future.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

Thursday, April 9, 2015

#1042 another perspective

Yesterday I wrote about Duke's Coach K winning his fifth national championship title and his impressive legacy as a coach...

Which prompted one of my readers to point out Coach Geno Auriemma.  

I will admit I had no idea who the man was until I read her comment.  Turns out he is the head women's basketball coach at the University of Connecticut. Tuesday night he won his third national title in a row and now has TEN national titles total (tied with John Wooden).  So much for Coach K's record!

Yet, as Tracy noted, the game was not on one of the big three networks and garnered little to no post-game-day chatter as did the men.

This revelation came on the heels of hearing a conversation about a female athletic director who, while at an athletic director conference, was dismissed on several occasions as either being a wife or a secretary.  We still have a long way to go for women's equality.

All of us have pre-conceived notions of the roles people should play or what is important.  We can move forward towards creating a more equal and just society by expanding our own world view to see beyond that which is obvious to us.  Instead of paying attention only to the dominant voice or presence, be intentional about looking for the non-majority experiences as well.  There are a lot of winners there too!

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

#1041 winner

The buzz at work yesterday was about the Final Four game and all it entailed.  For those of you who went to bed at a sensible hour instead of staying up to watch it, Duke won the championship over Wisconsin in a very close game with a host of lead changes.

Much of the talk was about Duke's coach Mike Krzyzewski (aka Coach K) who won his fifth national championship, second to only the legendary UCLA mentor John Wooden.  Coach K has won 1,018 games, the most of any Division I leader.  He has been lauded by many as the best coach ever.  It's heady stuff.

All the plaudits got me wondering if anyone ever turns down an invitation to play for the man.  Is there any player out there who does not want to be on Coach K's team?  Maybe they don't seek him out, but I have to believe there wouldn't be too many who would refuse a roster spot.  Maybe some young men would say no because of geography or loyalty to their home state/parents' alma mater, etc., but I would venture that the list of reasons to decline would be short.

Think of the lessons you can take from Coach K that have nothing to do with balls, hoops or hardwood.  How can you cultivate his type of excellence in your endeavors?  What could you do to reverse the role from seeking clients to having them seek you, or at least welcome an offer should it come?  What could you do differently to earn the type of respect that he enjoys?

There is not an abundance of good role models for you to emulate, but Mike Krzyzewski is one of them.  Implementing his formula of hard work and respect is a slam dunk for success.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

#1040 silver lining

Over the holiday weekend, several siblings were gathered and we tended to some family business that wasn't fun to do, but needed to be done.  One of those items was making preparations for a pre-paid funeral for my sister.

Some financial conditions were such that we needed to do this now, even though we hope my sister won't need to utilize it for many more years.  Still, she was sad at the prospect of visiting the funeral home and picking out a casket, etc.  But my other sister explained to her: "this isn't about dying, it's about money."  That was something she could relate to!

Is there something that you have been avoiding that could be framed in another light?  Could you turn something uncomfortable into a task that is more palatable and productive? Is there a way to see the upside of a project that you have procrastinated on?

Most things have a positive side if you look at it from a certain perspective.  The next time you're faced with something that you'd rather not tackle, see if you can find the silver lining in that casket.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

Monday, April 6, 2015

#1039 brackets

There was an interesting article in Time advocating for the legalization of sports gambling.  The author's premise is that this socially acceptable activity could provide much-needed revenue for municipalities, as it is happening in great volume illegally.  

One of the prime times for sports betting is during March Madness and the men's basketball Final Four.  Gregory writes that almost $2.5 billion will exchange hands during the three weeks of the tournament...all without taxation.  He estimates that $140 billion/year is spent on sports gambling just in the United States.

My $5 is part of the money that was exchanged, or should I say "contributed" to another*.  It has been theorized that betting on games increases fan interest, and I can attest that it does. Why should it technically be illegal to participate in the sport in this way?  

Is there an activity that occurs in your field that is happening out of the limelight that could be embraced instead of ignored?  Maybe it is not illegal gambling, but do clients experience your service in a way that you could leverage?

The Final Four frenzy is due in large measure to what happens off the court instead of on it.  Trying to replicate that interest in your organization and engaging others in your work seems to be a slam dunk.

-- beth triplett
leadershipdots.blogspot.com
@leadershipdots
leadershipdots@gmail.com

Source:  A Bet Worth Making by Sean Gregory, Time, March 23, 215, p. 40-43

*Note:  I picked Arizona to win it all, and I feel as if I should have received some bonus compensation just for NOT picking Kentucky!