Archive for Best Attitude of the Year

Are You a Real Leader

or Just a Leader With a Title…Here is How to Tell.

For the past 20 years, I have been professionally speaking at conferences on leadership as it pertains to creating employee engagement in the workplace – meaning, how to get people excited about their work, give their best and show up ready to work hard.  There are different ways we can learn about leadership.  We can read books or attend seminars, but I think the best way to learn is by example, coaching, or through a mentor.

REAL LEADERSHIP LESSONS

I am sure there is enough activity in your world that provides real leadership lessons to learn from.  It is said that great leaders create more leaders.  If that is true, I think we have to examine the example we set for others to follow.  The example we set truly defines if we are a real leader or someone who is in a leadership role because of a title.  Come on, you know it and I know it, not all people in leadership roles are real leaders.  Their example of leadership lacks substance, respect and value for others.  They do only what they think or assume leaders do. That is not real leadership.  Leadership is about owning your position and being an example that cultivates leaders in others.

Recently, I ordered 5000 copies of my new book, The Magic of Enthusiasm. It’s one of my best books – ask anyone who has read it – it’s awesome.  I personally like to self publish most of my new books because it allows me write and publish with speed and control.  Some of my other books I have printed with publishers, but that process may take years to get to completion, so it favors me to self publish.  Anyways, the printer I was using informed me my 5000 new books would arrive on a certain date. It was critical that they arrived by that date because of all the pre-orders I had as well as for the events I was speaking at.

So, the trucking company delivering them called and set up a window of time they would be dropping them off and I waited around for 5 hours and finally I heard the truck pull up.  As the driver was unloading the boxes, he said, this sure seems like a small amount to be 5000 books. Upon closer inspection we quickly realized it was the wrong order.  Another authors books and been sent to me and my books got sent to some guy’s house in Boston.  He must have been a little surprised.

WHEN SOMETHING GOES WRONG, WHAT IS HELPFUL or not?

When I called the printer to inquire what happened, I got the run around. Nobody wanted to take ownership for the error.  I even emailed the owner to ask how they would fix it. His only response was, “We are looking into it.”   That’s all I got!

There was no apology, personal phone call, discount, or promise to make it right.  Eventually it was an assistant who reached out to me blaming the shipper for the error, still taking absolutely no responsibility. So, I called the shipper and they said it was defiantly the printer who was at error.  Basically, nobody wanted to step up and own the mistake.  At this point, I felt like I was dealing with a bunch of  kids who did something wrong and didn’t’ want to get in trouble. Ultimately even if it was the shipper’s error, the printer decided to utilize that company so they need to figure it out with them.  That said, they still have an obligation to make things right with their customer. It doesn’t even need to be in form of monetary compensation, a simple phone call with an honest apology and promise to do better would have been sufficient.

WHAT EXAMPLE ARE YOU SETTING IN YOUR ORGANIZATION?

But more importantly then a phone call, what example does this set for everyone in their organization? Leaders who lead because of a title play the blame game. They don’t want to look bad so they point the finger.  This is not a real leader and it will not inspire leadership within their team.

Real leaders step up, take ownership, fix it, make it right and win customers.

Their example is what creates more leaders in their organization.   Leaders with only a title don’t create more leaders, they create just the opposite.  Titled leaders take credit for the wins and real leaders give credit to everyone else for the wins.  Titled leaders blame others for the losses and real leaders take ownership for the losses.

I often like to ship out most of my own books when people purchase them.  I will sign them up and often I like to add something extra as a way to say thanks for following and supporting my work.  Plus, I love knowing I am going to make someone’s day.  I remember one time, I had 100 orders to go out and so I bought 100 priority stamps and packed up all the orders.  I didn’t want the packaging to tear, so I taped up the package with shipping tape.

However, I noticed all these orders were being shipped back to me.  The post office sent me a note saying you can’t tape over a stamp because it could be someone reusing an old stamp.  As a result, I had customers emailing me asking about the status of their orders and why it was taking so long.  As much as I wanted to blame the post office, I owned my error, paid for the mistake and made it more than right with my customers.  In doing that, I demonstrated real leadership and I won the hearts of my customers.

When you go above and beyond to fix something that is frustrating to your customer, you win their loyalty and hearts.

It is important to evaluate your style of leadership.  Ask yourself, are you demonstrating the kind of leadership that inspires great leadership in others or are you frustrating others and pointing the finger when things go wrong kind of leader.  Your example is everything when it comes to leadership.  The example you set communicates if you are a real leader or someone in a leadership role with a title.

Real leaders take their organization and people farther.  Real leaders win customers loyalty and hearts.  Leaders who operate off a title create disengagement and frustration in the workplace and lose customers.  Real leaders empower people for success.  Titled leaders don’t care about others becoming successful, they only care about themselves.

Take a moment and evaluate your leadership.  Are you the real deal or someone who thinks they are?
Think about it.

Sam Glenn, Award Winning Keynote Speaker

10 Ways to Beat Depression…That Actually Work!

When it comes to battling depression, it is not easy and can be even more challenging to explain to others.

I came to recognize this battle in my early twenties.  I didn’t ask for it, but realize that every day I need to do certain things to keep it at bay in order to be my best for my family, for my clients and for myself.  You may not be able to see it in others on the surface.  For example, Robin Williams, was a very talented person at making us laugh, but underneath, he was battling something that was not easy.  Other names you may recognize are Wayne Brady, Jim Carrey – just a few, who struggle with depression as well. Depression is not easy.

I would like to share a few ideas that will help elevate depression and get you out of thinking depressed thoughts.  First and for most I would say, it is always a good idea to talk with a professional and let them diagnose what are the best options for you to reduce depression.  The ideas I am going to share are the ones that I use personally and they work for me. I have my good days and I have my rough ones, but these ideas help me big time.  Some of these may work for you and may be worth trying, but what I am not going to share with you are some Peter Pan ideas written by someone who knows nothing about this struggle.  I mean have you read some of the articles out there on this?  It makes you wonder who is really writing the article.  If you battle depression, you can tell if the person writing the article has the same battle and can relate.   I for one am going to be real about this and share what I think helps.

1.  Get Distracted with a Hobby

Sometimes we have to get out of our own mind.  If we dwell and think depressed thoughts, we just go deeper into depression.  We have to find some positive and healthy distractions.  One thing I suggest is having a hobby.  I like to do art.  I am not the greatest artist, but when I turn on some good tunes and draw or paint, it is a positive distraction from depressed thoughts.

2. Get Out of The House

Go somewhere and do something.  Again, this is another form of distraction, but it prevents you from sitting and dwelling on things.  Go sit at the coffee shop and people watch.  Go walk around the mall.  Go for a walk around the block a few times.  If sitting at home gets you more depressed, then you need to get up, move and go out and do something.   Exercise is always a good mood booster, but when you are feeling depressed, you just don’t feel like moving, so you have to muster up everything you can to get to the gym. Maybe walk on the treadmill for an hour and watch a movie on Netflix.  The hardest part about getting to the gym is getting to the gym, but I always feel so much better when I leave.  Staying active is one of the best ways to defeat feelings of depression.

3.  Have Someone to Lean On who Understands

This can be a doctor you sit down and talk with or loved one or friend.  But, it has to be someone who understands.  It is hard to explain depression to people who are not familiar with it.  My wife understands it.   She will listen, encourage and even push me to move and do something when my brain and body don’t feel like it.   She also helps me focus on things to be grateful for and that helps me dwell on what is good about my life.

4.  Laughter.

Laughter is the best medicine.  The one thing that has helped me is laughter.  Depression tries to choke off laughter, but laughter can kung fu depression.  I will read funny stories and watch funny movies.  Some may call it unproductive planting myself down in front of the big screen and watching a funny movie, but to me, it helps me feel normal and good.   I try to find a way to laugh every day.

5.  Read Positive Quotes

positiveI am a fan of positive quotes, so reading something positive is a way to feed our mind something good.  I post one just about every day on my Facebook fan page.   A positive quote can be a great little reminder and put your mind back on track when it starts to slip into a depressed state.   Reading a good book or stories can be as helpful.   Positive input always helps and it is a great way to flush out negative thoughts.

6.  Have a Smart Plan to Avoid Poor Choices

Sometimes the first thing we like to do when we feel depressed is reach for whatever food there is and eat until we feel numb or sleepy.   We have to think ahead a little and have a smart plan that when you are feeling blue, so you don’t make poor choices.   You may be tempted to shop and rack up debt.  You may be tempted to do things that are not good for you or others because in a depressed state, you just don’t care as much and you don’t think about the consequences as much.  Have a smart plan that when you are starting to feel down and blue, what you can do that you know will pull you out of your funk.

7.  Clean

I know it doesn’t sound fun, but it works.  Cleaning the garage, the house, the kitchen or whatever there is to clean is a great way to get your mind out of a depressed state.  You are moving which is good and you are not focused on what is bad in your world, but trying to clean things up.  Go clean your car.  Clean the yard.  Go help someone else clean.

8. Help Others

A great way to take the focus of yourself and get out of your mind so you are not dwelling on negative thoughts, is to find ways to help others out.   You can volunteer or ask family and friends if they need help with anything around the house.   Maybe run errands for them.

9.  Have Little Purposes

What do you feel called to do in life?  What would you like to learn?  I think learning something new is a great way to develop yourself and in doing so you find a way to apply as a source of purpose.  Having  a sense of purpose is way to feed life to your mind.

  • You get excited about something.
  • You feel a sense of passion towards something and that you have something of value to offer.
  • Don’t compare your purpose with others.

It can be frustrating when you see someone who has it all figured out and you are struggling to find a reason not to go and take a 10 hour nap in the middle of the afternoon.   For myself, I started writing.  It has become a great outlet for my thoughts, but I find that if I can help others through my writing, there is some meaningful purpose in that.

10.  Plan Little Things to Look Forward too.

PlanHaving something to look forward to gives us a little hope and excitement.  For example, today we are planning to go out to dinner and have sushi.  That may not seem big to others, but to me, it is something fun to look forward to.  It is time with my family, it is getting out of the house and it is eating food I love.  Then later we are going to decorate our house for Christmas. These are little things that I can look forward too.

Maybe it as simple as putting your feet up when you get home and watching Wheel of Fortune.  It doesn’t have to be something big, but the little things we plan to look forward to help us focus on better and healthier thoughts which feed us better feelings.

These are 10 things I do that help me defeat depression.  Like, I said, I have my good days and rough days, but knowing that I have options when depression starts to weigh me down, helps me rise faster.

Sam

Sam Glenn, Author, Motivational and Keynote Speaker.
His programs are rooted in the belief that keeping a positive outlook in any situation is essential to finding success and fulfillment in work and in life.

Is Your Workspace Positive?

Is Your Workspace Positive?

By Sam Glenn, The Attitude Guy

Motivational Speaker, Author and Entrepreneur

 

Years ago I heard a little saying that goes like this, “the atmosphere you create determines the product you make.”  I like that because I subscribe to creating a work environment where I can thrive.   I know that is not always the case with every job out there.   If you watch Mike Rowe on the discovery channel and his program Dirty Jobs, it may be a challenge to hang a poster of an inspirational saying on the wall.  In fact, what is cool about that show is that the jobs that these people do – dirty- what contributes to the right work environment is their attitude.   If you don’t have the right attitude, the job just becomes dirtier and doesn’t get done right.

Let me speak from an entrepreneur’s perspective, because that is what I relate most too.  We are in the business to get positive results and achieve success.   Keeping a positive attitude is not a luxury, it is a necessity.  Creating the right work environment starts with your attitude.  The attitude you bring to your workspace is going to determine your level of effort.  If you have a positive attitude working, then you are going to have more energy, be more creative and get more done.  If you have a bad and negative attitude, then you won’t get as much done and your efforts and creativity will be minimal.

Sometimes, it’s a good idea to have things in your workspace that support, remind and nurture that positive attitude.  In my office, I have art that inspires me.  Every piece of art has a meaning that when I look at them, it reminds me of a positive message.  Plus, it makes me feel inspired.  I think it ok to have a few items that enhance your workspace for optimal performance.  However, the flip side is that if you work with others in the same area of space, you have to be respectful.  You can’t just dominate the space with what you deem good for you.   If you want to put up a poster, picture of your family, a cartoon that makes you laugh or some kind of knick knack that is a symbol of something positive, ask permission of others around you and see if they are ok with it.  Don’t be defensive if they are not or don’t subscribe to your “empowering the workspace” for positive performance.  Maybe you just need to start small.

If you have your own workspace, go all out to make it a place where you can thrive.   One office I visited had amazing colors, plants and a fish tank.  It’s an understatement to say it was awesome.  I loved it.  If you are able to, determine what colors you want in your workspace. Colors can be inspirational.  If you want a little life, adds some plants.  I suggest the bonsai tree. They are magnificent miniature looking trees that just fill a room with large energy.  I am a fan of bonsai trees.  Maybe Google empowering office designs in order to get some ideas for yourself.  The goal is not to create clutter by collecting and posting up everything cool thing that sparks something in you, but rather, be proactive and plan what things are of a positive nature that if they are in your workspace, it will inspire a positive attitude in you.  Remember, the atmosphere you create, determines the product you make.  That product can be your leadership, your service to others, ideas, how to treat others or how achieve your goals.  Your workspace atmosphere plays a huge role in feeding your attitude.  So, maybe make a few adjustments and create a workspace that empowers you to thrive and be your best.  But, don’t’ forget the number one thing that creates a positive atmosphere is a positive attitude.  You have to choose the right attitude every day.

 

This information is compiled, researched and written by Sam Glenn, The Attitude Guy.   Sam Glenn is a sought after keynote motivational speaker by companies and organizations that want to re-charge attitude’s for positive action to achieve positive results.  Sam Glenn’s Speeches and Motivational Books offer strategies that combat stress and negativity in the workplace and ideas that ramp up teamwork, communication and a positive culture where people will thrive.  Sam Glenn is a great kick off speaker or closing to any event.  Sam Glenn’s Official Website: (www.SamGlenn.com)

5 Customer Service and Sales Tips for Car Dealerships

5 Customer Service and Sales Tips for Car Dealerships

Buying a car can be a stressful experience for any shopper.  I speak for all car buyers when I say, we want the best car at the best deal.  But, there are a few other little things we expect and want as well.  If you ever want to see me again, get my referrals or make me a customer for life then check out my 4 Customer Service and Sales Tips for Car Dealerships.

1. Don’t stand around with other sales people like a bunch of hoodlums outside the front door. 

When I pull up to a dealership and see you all outside hanging out smoking and chit chatting, it’s a turn off.   It makes me think you have nothing better to do.   If anything, you shouldn’t be standing around.  If you want sales, get on the phone and start calling people asking for referrals or just make some courtesy calls to make sure your current customers are happy and just remind them if they have any friends of family who are looking for a new car to send them in to meet with you.

2. Be sensitive to people’s situations. 

Recently, as I was waiting on my sales guy, I overheard the finance guy talking to a couple at one of the desks out in the open for everyone to see and hear.  I wasn’t ease dropping and would have preferred not to hear what was being said, but the finance guy had no clue.  Apparently they had just run a credit check on this couple and instead of inviting them to his office to go over some details or options, he decided it would be best to share it with the couple and everyone in hearing distance.   Here is what I observed.  The finance guy informed the couple that they had bad credit and rambled on and on about it in such a way that you could see the couple crumbling in embarrassment.   I was embarrassed for them.  When it was said and done, the finance guy cost the company a customer for life.   What he should have done was demonstrated a little discernment and invited them back to his office to discuss options out of ears reach of the public.

3. Have a sense of humor.

Humor is the human connector.   I don’t know about you, but I am always turned off when someone comes up to me and says, “Can I help you?”   It’s such a generic comment that lacks life.   Why would I be at a dealership if I didn’t need help?   Think of something more creative that connects.   One dealership, while I was looking at an SUV, the sales guy came up and said, “I have much smaller cars for you where you will be sitting in the front seat and the backseat at the same time.”   It was funny because I am 6’7.   That little bit of humor was the perfect connection.   Now, I was open to the sales process with my defenses down.    I remember getting ready to do one test drive and the sales guy gets in and says, “If we get pulled over by the police and I run, you don’t know me.”   I wish I could have seen the look on my face.  He started laughing and said, “I am just kidding. “   It’s a bold use of humor, but the benefit of humor is that it makes others feel connected and comfortable with you.  That is the power of humor.

4.Do what you say you will do.

This is the ultimate fear of a car buyer, when the sales guy says one thing but delivers something else.   When we bought our Ford Escape, the sales manager told us he could match what our other car had – V6, Remote Start, Leather Seats, Heated Seats, 4 wheel drive, ect..   When you live in the Midwest, these are important things to have on cold winter days.   We trusted the sales guy, signed the papers, traded in our old car and when they finally delivered the new car it was not what the sales guy said it would be.  When we confronted him on this, he tried to back track and say, “Well in order to get you a good deal, we weren’t able to get everything.”

It was a total disappointment.

There was another instance when I called to speak to the maintenance manager about when my truck would be ready for pick up, he said, “Sam, give me 5 minutes and I will return your call.”

Five minutes go by, then an hour and then the day.  I called back the next day and asked why I never got a call back and his response, “Oh, I went out to lunch and then things got busy.”

Come on! Do what you say you will do.

5. Take Notes.

If you want a customer for life, then take notes about them.   I did a test drive at one dealership and the guy did the small talk with me, got my name and all that, but when I called to set up another test drive, he didn’t remember a single thing about me or what I was wanting.  I don’t want to waste my time and retell my story to you.   Just for that, I moved onto another sales person who cares enough to take notes and remember the important stuff.

When I purchased my truck, the sales manager made an effort to thank me for my business and asked what I did for a living and it seemed like chit chat to me, but the next time I went in for an oil change, he walked up to me and said, “Sam, good to see you again.  I checked out your website on-line, ect..”

The treatment made me feel like they cared and wanted me to be a part of their family for a long time.  I was impressed he remembered my name, what I did, and what we had discussed 4 months prior.   Now, when I go get my oil change, it is like seeing a friend and not a sales person.  People like to buy from people they like.

 

Do these 5 Customer Service and Sales Tips seem easy to do?  Sure they do, because they are and they work.   Not only will they work for people at car dealerships, they will work for any business in any industry.  You can easily implement them and get positive results.

This information is compiled, researched and written by Sam Glenn, The Attitude Guy.   Sam is a sought after speaker by companies and organizations that want to re-charge attitude’s for positive action.  Sam Glenn offers strategies that combat stress and negativity in the workplace and ideas that ramp up teamwork, communication and the right culture where people will thrive.  Sam Glenn’s Official Website: (www.SamGlenn.com)

Laughter, Attitude and Illinois Road Signs

Poor Mayor of Oaklawn, Illinois, Dave Heilmann. Back in September 2007, Oaklawn created a memorable and quirky public service stop sign campaign, adding comical slogans the likes of “…and smell the roses,” and “means that you aren’t moving” to the bottom of STOP signs. The City of Oaklawn created the unique signage to in an effort to increase jaded motorists’ attention and inspire them to pause, if for nothing else, to read the phrases. The signs were the idea of the City President, and local residents were encouraged to submit their own ideas. Found throughout the city, the signs garnished attention with the press. Read More →

Inspiring Employee Innovation

This week as I was traveling, I picked up an issue of Fast Company to read on the plane ride. I came across an article titled “The Power of the Prize.” It caught my attention because I love contests – as evidenced by my upcoming “2008 Best Attitude of the Year” Contest. Read More →

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