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Turning the Negatives into Positives

Turning the Negatives into Positives

Jan 23, 2014

By Mo Breden If you read my last post, I was deep into plumbing problems, so deep, in fact, that I didn’t write a post last week. Today, my house is nearly back to normal. As it turned out the plumbers who re-piped my house were two who had been here many times before on minor problems, and their attitudes during the two-day extravaganza made it bearable for me. Besides the large hole that was jackhammered open in the floor of one closet, I wound up with 17, various sized holes cut into the drywall, in multiple locations in my little house and garage, and two pipes were exposed running from the ceiling into a half wall in the main hallway/kitchen area (pictured below). So, how do you turn this into a positive? Well, for me it started by asking for help. I have such a hard time asking anyone to do anything for me, or to help me do anything. It just goes against my thick Irish skull to ask for help. My dear friend Linda, luckily for me, cares about me, and she married a skilled carpenter, who luckily for me also cares about me. They both were here evaluating the situation, and Ted, jumped into action. Over the course of two weeks, he filled the jackhammered hole, built a box around the exposed pipes and closed up and repaired all but two of the holes that will be finished with access panels when they arrive. I visited Home Depot and Ace Hardware, more times then I ever cared to, I learned how to apply dry wall tape and proceeded to tape each hole after Ted replaced the dry wall. I learned to sand, under the critical eye of General Ted, and lastly I painted the repaired areas requiring paint, oh, and polished tiles after they’d been placed by Linda and grouted by Ted. Ted charged me a fraction of what I would have paid to have this work done for me. These are the things caring friends do for you, and I count myself grateful to have such friends in my life. This is a huge positive. The plumbing company who...

Motivating Your Coworkers (Even When Management Won’t)

Motivating Your Coworkers (Even When Management Won’t)

Jan 22, 2014

We have all experienced life with a poor manager or boss.  When leaving isn’t an option, and you have things that need to get done, you might find yourself in the position of having to motivate the people around you. Often, people turn to outside motivators (or bribes) to boost moral.  Competition, incentives, prizes, and picnics are all wonderful perks.  They don’t, however, keep people motivated into doing their job on a long-term basis.  Real motivation comes from inside each person.  Here are some simple ways you can start to turn your work environment into a breath of fresh air, and get your coworkers to start contributing more: Positive Attitude:  Your own positive attitude is powerful.  People will follow your example in your company, and hopefully, start to follow in your footsteps when you aren’t around.  This means curbing gossip, the desire to complain with the rest of them, and even removing yourself from a negative conversation. Listen:  At the same time you are being positive, and discouraging any bad-mouthing of the company in your presence, listening to your coworkers is key. Morale often slips into the mud when people do not feel like they are being valued.  People cannot feel valued if they don’t feel like their ideas are heard or considered.  If you have the chance to ask for and listen to feedback and opinions on a work issue, you might find your coworkers gaining a little excitement. Ask for help on a project, or ask how they would handle an issue.  If the idea is valid and useful, praise them in in public for such a great suggestion. Clear Accountability:  When morale affects performance, and slackers start spending more time complaining than pulling their weight, it’s time for a clear outline of accountability.  Everyone needs to be very clear on who is exactly responsible for each part, and who has completed their tasks. Public accountability charts generate a little pressure for slackers to complete their duties. Following up through e-mail (detailing responsibilities), outlining the responsibility matrix in a meeting, or even having a progress chart on the wall can inspire people to stay on target. Recognition:  In all these situations, the...

Deborah Ballin: Facing Evil, Standing Strong

Deborah Ballin: Facing Evil, Standing Strong

Jan 21, 2014

Deborah Ballin (played brilliantly by Lee Grant) is a fiercely independent television journalist with very strong opinions. She has a clear stance on what she feels is justifiable. Although she has taken a position on non-violence she has become an advocate for Janet Macklin, a woman who claims to have killed her abusive husband in self-defense. One of the custodial staff at the station, Colt Hawker, is a sociopath with a strong loathing of women, especially strong women who will stand their ground. We learn through flashbacks that this hatred began with his own mother. We see young Colt with his alcoholic father as a child. It is crystal clear that father and son love each other. We cut to the kitchen where Colt’s mom is preparing dinner and his dad is behaving in an awful manner towards his mother. (Whether his father was abusive or not is never made clear) She warns him to leave her alone. He continues trying to undress her in the kitchen to have sex despite her plea. Colt walks in as his mother throws a pan of hot oil into his father’s face disfiguring him for life. We learn that she left after that and neither father nor son has ever seen her again. Since that time women are held with profound disgust by Colt. He has seen the segment Deborah has shot in defending the Macklin woman and it sets him off. Deborah arrives home that night unaware that Colt is in her house. Colt brutally attacks Deborah meaning to end her life.  She calls out the window to a neighbor for help and the intrusion is interrupted by the neighbor, thus, sparing Deborah’s life. She is taken to County General Hospital. She has lived through what she thought was a robbery in her home and has no idea that her nightmare has just begun. She is about to discover that this attack is aimed at her directly because of her support for Janet Macklin. She knows she is being stalked like prey and no one will believe her. The body count begins to rise in the hospital as Colt continues on his quest to terminate her...

“These are a few of my favorite things.”

“These are a few of my favorite things.”

Jan 20, 2014

How do I describe my life? Hectic. Long gone are the days of childhood and high school. As a teenager I managed to go to school, hold a job, date and have a social life, be involved in activities and clubs and perform “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” 2 nights a week . It was a breeze. Now I am juggling schedules between my day job and home, scheduling time to write, pursuing my entertainment career by night, planning and preparing meals, doing laundry, spending time with my husband, finding time for family and friends, trying to maintain some kind of social life and on occasion go out and do something fun. I cherish those moments when I can actually stop and take a breath. What I mean by that is “me” time. I don’t get much of it. I relish the moments when I do. We all need time for ourselves, it is incredibly important. What I want to share are the things I enjoy when I get these moments, things that “I” find relaxing. These are  a few of my favorite things. COOKING I  know that preparing meals 7 days a week really can be a chore. In my case it is actually quite the opposite. The kitchen is my happy place in our apartment and I love preparing delicious meals and baking wonderful sweet treats. It is such a joy to me. I love trying out new dishes and I am addicted to cook books. I love mixing the ingredients for each dish and savoring the aromas that fill the air. While I am cooking I always have a favorite movie in the Blu-Ray player. My favorite time to cook meals is when I am alone in the house. It is just me, a movie I love and some culinary delights being made in my kitchen. When everyone arrives home I have a tempting and tasty meal awaiting them. On Holidays I love having people come into our home for a feast. It gives me the opportunity to cook on a larger scale. I once remarked to my sister Taryn that we always have the meals at my house. Her response...

Leadership Lessons from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Leadership Lessons from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Jan 20, 2014

Today, we reflect on the accomplishments and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  He changed a country.  That task must have seemed daunting, overwhelming.  Yet through threats, marital issues, violent and hateful attacks–he stayed the course of his vision. Focus on the vision.  We can get bogged down figuring out “how” to get someplace.  The steps can overwhelm us.  In these moments, we need to go back to our original vision, our original motivation.  Let the dream itself inform our next action.  Re-inspire yourself by focusing on your original intention. You CAN actually change the way people do things and what they believe.  A strong enough conviction can overcome all statistics/naysayers to the contrary.  This is not to say that, as leaders and business owners, we should ignore market research or analytics.  Instead, look at this information as baseline for developing tactics for change.  Dr. King reminds us that, “A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.” Develop a tribe.  People are your champions and ambassadors.  From low level employees to highly influential people in your community, every person in your tribe plays a role.  Do not discount anyone in your journey to success.  Everyone has something to offer if you are open to their insight.  This behavior inspires loyalty, and it is a tribe that can help a leader overcome obstacles. Change the way you view fear.  Dr. King told journalist Robert Ellis Smith, ‘If you are not anxious, that means you are not engaged…you shouldn’t fear fear, you should go with it.’  As with many successful people, a slight change in the way we think and feel about a “negative” emotion or situation can propel us into real achievement.  Rather than shy away from fear, or try to overcome your fear, why not embrace it? Start looking at your fear as an indicator that you are doing something innovative, something with real value. Click here to find other great articles on the entrepreneurial lessons learned from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   Share this:RedditPinterestFacebookLinkedInTumblrTwitterGoogleEmailLike this:Like...

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