Be Around Positive Influences

Do you ever think about who you are hang­ing around?  They may be fam­ily or friends you have known for­ever.  They may be peo­ple from work.  Or they may be peo­ple you met through your son’s soc­cer game.  But are they pos­i­tive influ­ences in your life?  What is the atti­tude they have?  Are they sup­port­ive?  Are they help­ing you grow and pros­per?  And are you being a pos­i­tive influ­ence back?

Choose to be around pos­i­tive influences

I had the plea­sure this past week­end of being around some amaz­ing women.  It was a long week­end with seem­ingly end­less meet­ings.  First start­ing with the board meet­ing of the Atlanta Area Coun­cil of the Amer­i­can Busi­ness Women’s Asso­ci­a­tion (ABWA), then with a monthly sem­i­nar with Life Lead­er­ship, and also with a team meet­ing.  I chose to sur­round myself with these women who are tal­ented in their careers, sup­port­ive of one another, and who are pos­i­tive influ­ences.  And those pos­i­tive influ­ences made what could have been a long, tir­ing week­end an amaz­ing expe­ri­ence.  We all chose to help each other grow and pros­per.  We all chose to have a great attitude.

Choos­ing to be pos­i­tive and hav­ing a grate­ful atti­tude is going to deter­mine how you’re going to live your life” ~ Joel Olsteen

Life is about expe­ri­ences and rela­tion­ships.  You have a choice.  And you can choose to be around peo­ple who make pos­i­tive influ­ences in your life.  But do you select that option?  Con­sider the above quote.  Are you grate­ful for the pos­i­tive influ­ences around you?  If not you might need to get involved with other peo­ple.  Some peo­ple are often amazed when they learn about the activ­i­ties I vol­un­teer for.  And they are more amazed when they find out many of the vol­un­teer time is given out­side of the typ­i­cal work day.

Some of my best meet­ings are on the week­end.  Dur­ing these meet­ings I have met so many amaz­ing peo­ple that I have great rela­tion­ships with.  I am grate­ful for the rela­tion­ships I have built and the expe­ri­ences I have with them.

Atti­tude is a lit­tle thing that makes a big dif­fer­ence.” ~ Win­ston Churchill

You develop the mind­set of those you are around

Would you be will­ing to vol­un­teer your time dur­ing the week­end if you knew the expe­ri­ence would be awe­some?  Or would you be so upset because you were con­stantly think­ing of every­thing else you could be doing?  Be open to being a pos­i­tive influ­ence and you might amaze your­self.  Yes, it might take work.  Yes, it might be vol­un­teer­ing your time.

Con­sider how you could be a pos­i­tive influ­ence out­side of your typ­i­cal work envi­ron­ment if you chose to be that pos­i­tive influ­ence around other like-minded peo­ple one week­end a month?  Do you think it could help you to grow and pros­per?  Do you think it could help in your rela­tion­ships with the other peo­ple you are con­stantly around?  It could if you con­tin­u­ously cre­ate the mind­set.  Like the quote by Zig Ziglar says, “Pos­i­tive think­ing will let you do every­thing bet­ter than neg­a­tive think­ing will.”

Some­times you need to sac­ri­fice your time to cre­ate that pos­i­tive influ­ences.  Every once in a while you need to do some­thing dif­fer­ent that is a pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence with peo­ple who can pro­vide pos­i­tive influ­ences.  Hav­ing a pos­i­tive mind­set starts with a good atti­tude.  But being around peo­ple who are pos­i­tive influ­ences helps you to con­tin­u­ously main­tain the mind­set.  Being around pos­i­tive influ­ences helps you to keep a good atti­tude. And that pos­i­tive influ­ence and good atti­tude can spur amaz­ing results.

A pos­i­tive atti­tude causes a chain reac­tion of pos­i­tive thoughts, events and out­comes.  It is a cat­a­lyst and it sparks extra­or­di­nary results.” ~ Wade Boggs

Con­tinue the chain reac­tion of pos­i­tive influences

The next time you have the chance to be around peo­ple who can pro­vide you with a pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence, con­sider accept­ing the expe­ri­ence.  I just reg­is­tered for an ABWA Spring Regional Con­fer­ence.  I am so look­ing for­ward to another amaz­ing week­end soon with some women who are pos­i­tive influ­ences on me.

 

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Posted in Attitude, Coaching, Quotes, Time Management | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ability to Adapt in Business

When cri­sis hits, a busi­ness owner wants the abil­ity to adapt in busi­ness with what­ever it takes to keep a con­tin­u­ous flow of work and profit.  But is adap­ta­tion real­is­tic for you?  And would those affected be ready if the cri­sis involved the busi­ness owner?  What about if the cri­sis involved a man­ager or key employee?

Acci­dents Can Affect Business

A split sec­ond — that is how fast things could change.  The other week I had a car acci­dent that could have been much worse depend­ing on the time of day.  Luck­ily no one was hurt but my vehi­cle was totaled.  I adapted to change with my trans­porta­tion to and from meet­ings.  And in gen­eral, busi­ness con­tin­ued.  This is not always the case after an acci­dent for a busi­ness owner, man­ager or other key employ­ees.  What would hap­pen to your busi­ness if an acci­dent occurred?  Would you and oth­ers have the abil­ity to adapt in busi­ness in a case like this?  If you are a busi­ness owner, do you have some­one ready to han­dle your respon­si­bil­i­ties? How about the respon­si­bil­i­ties of a man­ager or key employee?

Storms Can Affect Business

A few weeks ago the win­ter storm con­di­tions in Atlanta caused thou­sands of acci­dents all over the metro area and many with injuries or fatal­i­ties.  I talked about lead­ers mak­ing deci­sions in prepa­ra­tion of a win­ter storm in my arti­cle Win­ter Storm Emer­gency: What’s Your Pol­icy.  The after­math of what hap­pened in Atlanta and all over the coun­try with this winter’s storms is a real­ity.  Peo­ple aban­doned cars while oth­ers were injured or killed.  Many oth­ers strug­gled to adapt to the clo­sures and loss of work.  For some, their busi­ness might have been sig­nif­i­cantly affected.  For oth­ers, their abil­ity to work might be sig­nif­i­cantly affected.  How ready are you to adapt to changes with your work when cri­sis hits?

Do you have the abil­ity to adapt in busi­ness in case of an emergency?

Adapt­ing to change in busi­ness is not easy.  Some busi­ness own­ers, man­agers and other key employ­ees might think of them­selves as indis­pens­able.  Do you have the ‘that won’t hap­pen to me’ syn­drome?  Or are you one who thinks you are irre­place­able?  You are con­stantly try­ing to do it all.  Del­e­ga­tion – what’s that?  Cer­tainly no one can do cer­tain tasks bet­ter than you.  But the truth is if some­thing hap­pened and the busi­ness could not adapt it could fail.  Hav­ing the abil­ity to adapt in busi­ness to change dur­ing and after an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion is essen­tial for busi­ness continuity.

In a spit sec­ond things can change.  For a busi­ness to run with­out you, cre­ate sys­tems and backup plans.  A busi­ness con­ti­nu­ity plan is a spe­cific guide for con­tin­u­ing oper­a­tions under adverse con­di­tions such as a storm or a crime.  A busi­ness con­ti­nu­ity plan is a tool you cre­ate to help build an envi­ron­men­tal with the abil­ity to adapt in busi­ness.  By build­ing an envi­ron­ment with the abil­ity to adapt in busi­ness to change, you are tak­ing the steps nec­es­sary to pre­pare not only for a cri­sis, but for long term suc­cess.

Most peo­ple do not like change because they do not know what the change might bring about.  The abil­ity to adapt in busi­ness is cru­cial to its suc­cess.  In your busi­ness con­ti­nu­ity plan­ning, don’t just think of the inven­tory, the doc­u­ments, the poli­cies and pro­ce­dures.  Con­sider the peo­ple.  Way before an emer­gency arises a busi­ness needs a leader.  A leader is not just run­ning oper­a­tions while there.  A leader is able to show employ­ees the vision.  He pro­vides direc­tion on what to do, even if he is not there.  He moti­vates employ­ees to be con­fi­dent so that they can make cer­tain judg­ment calls that relate to their own work at a time of neces­sity.  And he builds a team that can keep the work flow­ing con­tin­u­ously on its own.

So many things can hap­pen if you are not there.  To be a leader, you must think through the dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tions before the cash flow, shift­ing of work, change in com­mu­ni­ca­tion or some­thing else becomes a prob­lem.  To be a leader, you must com­mu­ni­cate what sys­tems and backup plans are in place in advance so you can avoid chaos and keep your busi­ness oper­at­ing as close to nor­mal as pos­si­ble.  If you can’t be there, does some­one know what you want done and that you want him to be the one to take con­trol?  If you can’t be there, do the employ­ees trust that you have con­ti­nu­ity plans in order so that busi­ness con­tin­ues on?  Do you trust that peo­ple will have the abil­ity to adapt in busi­ness with­out you there?

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Winter Storm Emergency: What’s Your Policy?

It’s snow in Atlanta. It does hap­pen, but not that often. Win­ter Storm Leon took its hold quickly over a period of hours. It was a win­ter storm emer­gency with prior noti­fi­ca­tion.  Because it is an infre­quent occur­rence peo­ple are often left won­der­ing up until the event “will I have to weather the ele­ments for work?” It is a won­der­ment that can cre­ate stress and anx­i­ety.  As an employer or man­ager, what were you doing to reduce that stress and ten­sion prior to the win­ter storm?  As a leader, what deci­sions were you making?

How bad of a win­ter storm emer­gency will it be?

How will the win­ter storm emer­gency affect the work?  Clo­sures in schools and gov­ern­ment agen­cies are expected when snow comes to Atlanta. And if you are a busi­ness with employ­ees who have kids, the added bur­den for your employ­ees of what to do now that the kids are home increases the stress and anx­i­ety when you do have to work. On top of that, travel is a night­mare. With­out the proper tires and expe­ri­ence, cars can’t get up the hills or slide all over the place. And you can’t expect the roads to be main­tained.  It might take hours to drive a few miles when it is snow­ing.  Will your employ­ees be able to get home safely if they come to work or if they work until a cer­tain time?

Win­ter Storm Emer­gency Poli­cies and Procedure

When you know some­thing you can pre­pare for it. A win­ter storm emer­gency does not have to be a guess­ing game.  For a busi­ness, under­stand­ing what causes stress and anx­i­ety for your employ­ees can help you make the dif­fer­ent between a happy work­place and an unhappy one.  When your employ­ees are try­ing to fig­ure out how to han­dle per­sonal issues of safety and get­ting food, water and other sup­plies are enough with­out the panic of how to do every­thing around work.  The lack of a deci­sion or the lack of timely com­mu­ni­ca­tion can increase or reduce stress and anxiety.

Do you have poli­cies and pro­ce­dure? What does it say about com­mu­ni­ca­tion in advance when weather advi­sories are broad­cast? Do you have a sim­ple way to pro­vide infor­ma­tion quickly and accu­rately? And are your poli­cies stan­dard for mul­ti­ple offices across the coun­try? Who is mak­ing deci­sions? Does it pro­vide some prac­ti­cal infor­ma­tion so man­agers in cer­tain loca­tions can make deci­sions quickly and in a timely man­ner? Or does the man­ager have to make numer­ous calls to get some­one above to approve cer­tain sit­u­a­tions? Will the deci­sion maker be in the office to announce a timely decision?

Under­stand­ing how to deal with a win­ter storm emer­gency does not have to be com­pli­cated. You can cre­ate poli­cies and pro­ce­dure.  But it is impor­tant to know the poli­cies and pro­ce­dures before cri­sis hits.  Lead­er­ship is about tough deci­sions.  Under­stand­ing your emer­gency poli­cies and pro­ce­dures in advance can help make that deci­sion easier.

In the case of snow in Atlanta it is a win­ter storm emer­gency. What might not seem like a big deal with a few inches of snow over a few hours, can be a very big deal to in a place that does not get snow often. The roads are much less safe than when you have the same amount of snow­fall com­pared to the Mid­west or North­east. And the clo­sures and time it takes to get any­where can frus­trate anyone’s sched­ule. As for this storm, who would have known that there would be over a thou­sand acci­dents and every side road had obsta­cles? If you are in other parts of the world, your emer­gen­cies might be entirely different.

Deci­sions and Communication

The point of poli­cies and pro­ce­dure is not to be spe­cific on the amount of rain, snow or sleet, but to let peo­ple know how deci­sions will be han­dled and by whom, and how those deci­sions will be com­mu­ni­cated. I pre­vi­ously worked for an office in Atlanta with field crew. It was com­mon that the field crew con­tacted the office admin­is­tra­tor to find out if there were any changes in the sched­ule. Although the office admin­is­tra­tor wasn’t the per­son who made the deci­sions, it was pol­icy that the office admin­is­tra­tor is told imme­di­ately about a deci­sion. This made a lot of sense because the admin­is­tra­tor answered the phones and man­age­ment would be more dif­fi­cult to get in con­tact with.

Noti­fi­ca­tion is impor­tant. You can­not always just walk around the office and rely on word of mouth to get emer­gency infor­ma­tion to those that need it. It is usu­ally not the peo­ple in the office that are unaware of an emer­gency sit­u­a­tion. It is the peo­ple who travel, such as the field crew who are work­ing out-of-town. And they might not be aware that a storm is com­ing unless you have some warn­ing pol­icy. That employee out-of-town might be sched­uled to return back to the office right at the time when icy roads are at the worst. Or he might be think­ing he can work out­side with equip­ment and sup­plies that will be unus­able in cer­tain weather.

What’s your emer­gency pol­icy? You can add in your pol­icy that a text and an email will be broad­cast to all per­son­nel within a cer­tain time after any win­ter storm emer­gency warn­ings become known. An emer­gency pol­icy that includes early warn­ing noti­fi­ca­tion can help your employ­ees re-prioritize the work and resched­ule events. Noti­fi­ca­tion can get field crew back early enough to avoid travel in the worst con­di­tions, or reroute them to another work loca­tion that is out of reach of the storm. And in the end, good judg­ment about employee safety helps to keep employ­ees happy, less stressed and productive.

Lead­er­ship and Employee Safety

Lead­er­ship has noth­ing to do with you and every­thing about oth­ers. Lead­er­ship is about mak­ing tough deci­sions.  Whether or not you have an emer­gency pol­icy and pro­ce­dure, a leader has the abil­ity to make quick deci­sions. And a leader who makes a favor­able deci­sion toward employee safety is looked upon with respect. You won’t know the exact sit­u­a­tion in advance but you can think of the past occur­rences and the employee con­cerns.  Are you going to send the sig­nal that the money is more impor­tant or your people?

Some­thing that might seem as small as think­ing about a win­ter storm emer­gency in advance is viewed as car­ing about safety of another. That view of a car­ing leader can be one small step to help moti­vate oth­ers, ease stress, build loy­alty and cre­ate a safety cul­ture once the emer­gency passes.

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