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"Why Choose Between Fun and Content When You Can Have Both"

Feedback Makes You Better. Whining Loses Credibility.

We’ve all been there……………someone gave you feedback. You didn’t like it. Perhaps it was questioning your work? Your thought process? But even worse, they gave you no solutions.

That’s whining in my book. If you’re going to tell me I need to be better I need you to tell me why. I need to know what I can improve; what I did wrong (in your eyes); and how I can do it better the next time.

Otherwise you’re just a whiner. 

And that my friends is feedback and advice you might want to pass along to others in your professional and personal world!

Attention HR! Look who’s training your employees! (to leave you)

So you’ve slashed your training budget. You’ve done away with some benefits. You’ve cut your workforce. You’re asking people to do more with nothing, not less. Well guess what…………

Below are just some of the books that your people are reading.

And guess what………….they’re probably not reading them with thoughts of how they can help your business. They’re probably reading them with thoughts on leaving you. Yes……..QUITTING.

I’ve read all five of these books. Some more than once. There’s always more to grasp. The great thing about each one of these books is that they can be applied to your business; to keep your people engaged and happy while working for you.

If I were you I’d read a few of these. Today. This summer. Not during the 4th quarter when intense job searches go into play knowing January brings new budgets.

Or you never know……………one of these might get you inspired for change.

The solution to drippy ice cream cones and your business

If you love ice cream you know that feeling when all of a sudden your hand is getting sticky. The bottom of your cone has sprung a leak. Now personally I think you just eat ice cream way too slowly; but it happens.

So now you’re sucking the ice cream out of the bottom of the cone while trying to stop the top of the cone from dripping down the sides. Quite the dilemma.

So then someone comes along with a solution and puts a little cone wrapper/condom around the bottom. Except now the leak sticks to the bottom of the cone wrapper and I can’t get that last piece of the cone which really pisses me off. After all that last crunchy piece is the best part of the cone, right?

So while it’s a solution it is not my optimal solution.

Now the folks at Nestle came up with the optimal solution with the Drumsticks. 


They put a hard chocolate shell inside the cone at the bottom. No more leaks. AND more chocolate!!! Life is good.

I guess they saw the solution “Inside the Cone” and not outside the box. Thank you for getting me out of a sticky situation and reminding me that often times the solutions to problems are the exact opposite of what most people are doing or thinking.

How does looking at everyone else’s happiness help you?

It’s 9 days until Recess At Work and I’ll be talking about it today on the Money Matters Radio show at 1:30PM. If you’re in Massachusetts you can listen to it on WBNW AM 1120, WESO 970 and WPLM AM 1390. Or listen/watch at But for now…..

Someone asked me a question recently……..If I had to choose between good pay/benefits or a good company culture which would I choose. I responded with why do we have to choose; why can’t an organization provide both?

The response I received talked about how this guy is managed by an absentee manager (who supposedly is famous), at a company who just went to a four day work week and cut everyone’s hours and pay. This manager then showed up to work with a shiny new high end SUV the next day. Clearly the guy who asked me the question was pissed.

So I asked him why he stays in that type of an environment and I got some whining about not many jobs in his field and how his wife works for a great company with great pay/benefits and a great culture. There were so many dots and ways I could have connected his response, but decided to invest my time on things that matter. So I archived his whiny emails and decided to use it as your lesson today.

But first let’s toss out a few ideas here:

  • Maybe the manager had ordered the car weeks/months ago and it just came in?
  • Maybe the manager’s personal financial situation should not be roped into a corporate decision?
  • Maybe the manager bought the car now, while he felt he still could?
  • Maybe the manager is an insensitive jerk with no clue?
  • Maybe the employee needs to stop looking at being a victim?
  • Maybe the employee didn’t take advantage of the advantages of an absentee manager?
  • Maybe the employee needs to look at the extra day off as an opportunity to change his situation; especially if his wife has a good paying job?
  • Maybe the employee needs to stop getting frustrated with those above him and get actively involved in changing the pay and culture in his organization?


But one thing is certain to me …………….This company needs a Recess!

The definition of Recess is a break from the norm; a cessation of customary activities of an engagement. It says nothing about fun, games and Play. But why not. Read Stuart Brown’s book entitled Play and you’ll rethink how play can change your business. But I digress……

I’m thinking it was the norm that had led this company to the place where pay and day cuts became the only orders being filled. No creativity. No innovative new ideas. That’s the problem I see. Not reduced work week and pay. I look at it as people who were not watching what was happening and didn’t react, reinvent or change. That’s what I see. Isn’t every employee ultimately responsible for cutbacks, layoffs, scaling-downs, and the ultimate demise of an organization? If you say no, your wife deserves to work at a better company.

Now I’m not going to get into my views on the BP Oil spill (although if you’re a “friend” on Facebook and saw the picture I posted yesterday you probably will figure it out); but BP did reach out to anyone and everyone to come up with a solution. If you had an idea, they were ready to hear it; no matter how far-fetched it may have seen. Organizations need to do this as well. Everyone has ideas. The CEO. Managers. Receptionists. Administrative types. Maintenance people. Everyone.

In my world I imagine people at all levels of an organization gathering to find solutions to problems, create new offerings and design memorable customer experiences that matter. It’s not done in a boardroom. It’s not a meeting that involves nothing but corporate speak. It’s not secretive and behind closed doors. Great business deals have been sealed on golf and tennis courses. Great company challenges can be overcome by incorporating a bit of fun, games, team building or engaging in some creativity in your parking lot or courtyard.

So whether it’s June 17th or not, any day is a good day to take a Recess, communicate the challenges and gather everyone together in a less formal setting to come up with solutions. Then everyone will be happy.

Are you up for the task?


Need some last minute ideas for your company Recess? Click here for 50 Fun Ways

It’s My Opinion. Not Yours.

This is the Ugliest Chair on the Planet!



Next time someone asks your opinion, give it to them. And don’t worry about what others are saying. If I listened to others I’d still be an unhappy accountant; not that there’s anything wrong with being an accountant. I would just have been an unhappy one.

Brenda vs. The Blackberry vs. Juana

The 14 minute drive from DFW to the hotel took 40 yesterday. It was not due to traffic.

Our destination was plugged into the GPS (which Jess has named Brenda). It was also plugged into two Blackberry Map apps (since Jess commented that Brenda gets cantankerous at times). So with three navigators we headed out of DFW.

35 minutes later I got frustrated of making U-turns, sitting at traffic lights that offer enough time for someone to give birth, looking at the same buildings, and driving through parking lots in search of our hotel. So I picked up the phone, called our hotel and spoke to Juana. Juana got us there in two minutes (okay 5 – the extra three minutes was to give birth). Screw Technology!

Remember maps? Stopping at pay phones? TripTiks? Amazing how we forget that sometimes getting things done faster and more efficiently requires less technology and more interaction with people.

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