Archive for Real Stories

The Patient Experience Should Be Everything, But, What Happens When it’s NOT?

Recently, I gave a keynote speech to one of the top-rated hospital and healthcare groups in the country.  My immediate take away is that great organizations are consistent at empowering their people to be great. 

Becoming top rated, the best or one of the greats doesn’t happen by accident, luck or wishful thinking. It happens through attitude and action.
It happens on purpose!

In the case of this article, the focus is on patient care and creating an exceptional patient experience.  You might assume that is the goal and mission of every healthcare facility, program and hospital, but what happens when it’s NOT???

Here is my story, recently shared at an LDI – Leadership Development Institute Day for one of the top rated hospital and healthcare groups, as a learning example. I didn’t share it as a professional speaker and author, but rather, as a patient, a father and a husband.

 

I think there are three words that can best sum up my Patient Experience this past year. Disappointing. Sad.  Scary.

 

When I speak at leadership development meetings for healthcare groups and hospitals, I always start my speech off by saying:

“The patient experience is everything.”

 BECAUSE IT IS!

While not everyone has direct contact with patients, everything and everyone contributes to the patient experience – legal, billing, maintenance, nursing, education, registration, help desk, and so on. Every position plays a role in the creation and contribution of the big picture. It’s the culmination of attitude and action. It communicates a vital message to patients – “Either we care about you and will demonstrate it or we won’t.”

Some hospitals and healthcare groups make
patient experience their biggest priority.

The result of how that happens can be credited to leaders and leadership who authentically care and are accountable to upholding a standard of excellence. This doesn’t mean you are perfect every day, but you learn from the “off days” and mistakes and get better. That is part of the pathway to how you achieve excellence in this workplace environment.

Let me share my year-long experience with a healthcare group that I will leave anonymous. My family and I reside in Carmel, Indiana. Healthcare is important to us. As a father of two little girls and a husband to an incredible wife, I don’t want mediocre service and treatment for them.  Nobody should ever tolerate mediocre service or healthcare treatment. That is never an option. Ever! I want the best for my family because I love them, and they are everything to me. I want security and confidence that they are being cared for the right way.

When I arrived, or have ever arrived, for my regular doctor visits, there is never a smile at check in. I’m not expecting a ray of sunshine, but something to make me feel human would be appreciated.

When you walk into the doctors office and peer through the glass office window, someone rolls over in their chair, reaches out and slides the glass window open almost like you are interrupting their day or selling them life insurance. They ask for your insurance card and driver’s license, tell you to have a seat, and that someone will call you.

Let’s break this down a little:

The nurse called me back, weighed me, took my temperature and blood pressure and said the Dr. will be into see you soon. Twenty five minutes later, the Dr. arrives.  Immediately, he opens his laptop, asks a few questions, checks my heart, looks in my ears and throat and makes suggested recommendations for meds and a blood test.

When I arrived at the pharmacy to pick up my medications, they were not called in yet. The pharmacist indicated this particular doctor is very slow to respond to requests and that I would have to come back the next day or call him myself.

Then, found out the meds I was prescribed didn’t mix together well, and I ended up experiencing significant side effects. My wife researched which meds work best based on my condition and found a better treatment. My question is, why did my doctor not care enough to do a good job in the first place? I dismissed it as an oversight. When I called my doctor and suggested a different combination via voice mail, the doctor called it into the pharmacy based on my non-medical degree suggestion and no discussion.

  1. Insurance – when you check in and provide your insurance card, it’s a form of how you will pay for the visit or treatment. For some reason, this healthcare group never updated my insurance and tried billing my old insurance, which lapsed over four years ago. However, they photocopied my insurance card every time I went in. I guess they like to photocopy stuff for fun? I didn’t know this until we got a call from a creditor in Chicago informing me that we need to pay our IU bill now. Even when we did pay IU Health the full amount, they never communicated this to the creditor – so they kept calling and calling and calling.

I even took time out of my schedule to go in to the doctor’s office to discuss it with the people who do billing. They made it seem like it was all taken care of and fixed. However, throughout the rest of the year, we got harassed by credit collectors for medical bills because  this healthcare group never fixed my insurance like they said they did when I took time out of my day to go there and fix it. So, now my credit score has taken a hit, and it’s all compliments of people who are not driven by excellence.

  1. Blood test – I had to get a blood test done. When I was getting my blood drawn, the nurse who took the blood kept looking at the clock and sighing. I asked if everything was okay, and she said, “My shift is up in twenty minutes. This day is going so slow. Just want to get out of here.”

This is coming from the person who has a needle in my arm and keeps looking away.

  1. The Nurse – Whenever I called my doctor’s nurse to follow up on my blood work or prescription refills throughout the year, she never called the number I provided her – which is my only number. She always called my emergency contact. Even when I informed the nurse that the number she kept calling was my emergency contact and to call my direct line, she continued to call my emergency contact.

 

  1. Chest pains – I had pulled a muscle in my chest; however, it didn’t feel normal. At my age, you get medical attention fast for any chest pain. I thought it was a heart attack. I went to the hospital, where my doctor’s office is located, and when I asked to see my doctor because of chest pains, she said she couldn’t get me in until Thursday – and this was a Tuesday. (I should have just got to the emergency room, but I didn’t want to make it a big deal with drama, and I didn’t know what was happening.) It wasn’t until someone stood up and yelled at the receptionist, “He is having chest pains!!!! Get him to a doctor now!!!!”

It turns out it was a pulled muscle, but when that lady yelled – you saw all the receptionists and people behind the plate glass window MOVE!!

I will end my personal patient journey here, but will leave out the scary details about my families experiences with this healthcare group.

The really sad part about this experience is that me and my family are left wondering, “Who can we trust?”

We thought it would get better, but it never did.

It was almost like each visit was progressively worse. It’s a scary feeling, and one that we shouldn’t have. The goal of a patient experience isn’t to instill more fear, but to do your best to eliminate it or manage it.

Trust is the byproduct of healthcare groups that make excellence a priority in patient experience.

A lack of this is a lack of real leadership.  You can be in a leadership role and not grasp what real leadership is and that seems to be the case in my experience. Again, the goal isn’t to be perfect every day, because we won’t be.  The goal is to get better every day and use the imperfect days as a spring board – not a sink weight.

 

When I share this story with audiences, you can see their eyes get HUGE and heads shaking back and forth in complete disbelief.  But, I also want to point out, these audiences I am sharing this message with are top rated, the best and driven to achieve excellence.

Average and mediocre health care groups run by leaders who have a leadership title, but don’t understand leadership don’t hire speakers like me or plan for events that empower their people. They view empowerment and engagement as a waste of time and resources.  That is blind leadership, because real leaders understand that action and attitude is what drives the bus!

When a group hires me, they aren’t buying a speaker.  They are investing in their people, their mission and the quality of their patient care experience.  For me, its an honor, a privilege and a huge responsibility to help make this kind of contribution.  As one head surgeon told me after a staff meeting,

“Sam, I just attended a week long conference and I got more out of your one hour speech than the whole week at that conference.”

Recently, the CEO of a Hospital was giving me a tour of their facility, and we came upon the emergency area. It sure does move fast there. My observation is the medical and healthcare world is overwhelming and demanding. The amount of change that happens is incredible. People are responding to detail, the unexpected, new people, new technologies, new challenges, changes in the system, and the list goes on and on.

But, the key to making excellence real in a world of change is when you choose to care, improve, communicate better, find purpose in your work, do a little extra, lend a helping hand, encourage the people around you, and give your best through your attitude and actions.
It’s got to be “everyone on board” and heading the same direction to work. If it’s not, you add more problems to the equation and author more sad stories.

 

The positive to this story? The hospital where my doctor’s office is located has an excellent cafeteria employees and the food is fantastic. And that’s all I have to say about this.

My dentist went home and forgot I was still in his chair 

Sam Glenn, speaker, author
The lights flickered off, and I looked around with a mildly numb jaw.  I called out” hello??!!”
The receptionist sounded more surprised when she realized there was a customer still in the dental chair – me!
She came back and asked why I was still here.  I said, “well, I have a cavity and the dentist shot me full of numbing medicine and said he would be right back.  It’s been over an hour, will he be coming back soon?”
She looked horrified and said, “Umm, he went home for the night.”

Let’s stop the story and play, “What would you do?”

At that moment I discovered a fear greater than that of the sound of the drill – bad service.  I am not making this up, they literally forgot me, in the chair, with a numb mouth.I didn’t know what else to do so I got up, went home with a sore jaw and would never ever return.  But moving forward and having to look and pick out a dentist was a scary and some what awkward process. There is really no polite way to ask, “In a year how many patients do you forget about before leaving for the day?”I told my brother the story and he said, “You gotta go to my guy, he is awesome. ”

At this point, I am thinking all dentists are evil. The best business for a good dentist is word of mouth.  I acted on my brothers recommendation and it was a great experience.  I think I confused the dentist when I kept asking if he was going to leave me.

His staff was friendly.  They didn’t try to sell me on anything I don’t need.  Sometimes dentist’s do that. They show you an ugly picture of teeth gone bad and then tell you if you buy this mouth wash for $100 that your teeth will be happy forever.  When I ask the Dr. “What do you suggest?”

I am hoping his response geared towards my health and long term well being and not just an add on to the menu of options that will add more cash in his pocket.  I know the dentist has to make a living, but if you do things in a way that dissolves fear and builds trust, you should never have to worry about the money – it will follow.

The dentist that forgot me in the chair had one of the nicest offices I have ever seen.  They had state of the art equipment, which was really cool.  They worked with my insurance.  They had everything that would assume a successful practice, but they lacked one thing that can’t be bought – awareness.

Awareness is this:

1. Communicate you care.

Get to know your customers, ask questions, and focus on helping them achieve long term goals as well as solving short term concerns.

2.  Each patient or customer doesn’t have to be a one time patient/customer.

Focus on long term relationships, people talk.  A successful practice is built on happy patients who rave about their experience and not only come back, but tell their friends.

3. Build trust.

Don’t try to sell every possible thing you have in ever conversation you have with patient. Listen to the patient, give the best treatment possible, and then when appropriate make recommendations that will truly benefit the patient. People will come back to buy more if they trust you have their best interests at heart.

This doesn’t just apply to dentists, it applies to everyone in service positions. Be aware, communicate, build long term relationships, and build trust. When these three elements are in practice, everything else positive will quickly fall into place.

 

Sam Glenn is an award winning keynote speaker and is often the highest rated speaker at each conference he speaks at.  If you are looking for an uplifting speaker that your audiance will absolutely love and gain value from, then contact Sam Glenn’s office about booking him.  – Sam@samGlenn.com

Ever Feel Like Flipping the Bird?

The title is exactly what it means.  If you don’t know, you can ask someone and I am sure they will show you exactly what it means and possibly laugh a little as they show you.

So, why would I pick such an edgy subject?

When organizations hire me to kick off or close out their conference, they know that my topic revolves around keeping a positive attitude. But in reality, my message revolves around developing and maintaining emotional management skills.  However, if I marketed my speeches with that title, I don’t think many people would pay attention or get excited about listening.  It just sounds boring from every angle.  So, I dress up the message with titles like, The Gift of Attitude, A Kick in the and RECHARGING Your Attitude For Success.  I take a broad and boring topic and add life and entertainment to deliver the goods or meat and potatoes.

Emotional management is how we manage our behaviors and attitude in the face of pressure, stress and crises. Some of our emotional management is made up from what we learned from our environment growing up.  And when we get out into the real world and on our own, our emotional management is made up by the influences we choose to impact our attitude and behavior.

So, let me share an example.  The other night, I was doing something I love to do – watching a football game.  It was Monday night football, the Cleveland Browns verse the Washington Redskins.  I am not going to mention any names or throw anyone under the bus, but out of frustration, the quarterback who was drafted in the first round and who has had a lot of hype flipped the opposing team the bird.

Why did he do it?
Was it for fun, for kicks and giggles?
Or did he do it because the pressure
and stress got to him?

He lacked the emotional management skills to be classy, stay poised and keep his game face on.  Instead, he showed how he responds under pressure.   At this point, I am glad the Vikings went with another QB in the first round.  Why you ask?  Because that would be embarrassing.  It does not make the team look good.  It’s a bad reflection on the coaching staff.  It doesn’t give the fans a positive expectation.  Do you get the picture?

Let’s take it to the workplace now.  What if a cashier got frustrated with a customer, and lacked those emotional management skills to deal with the situation properly?  What if they just did the first thing that came to mind, flip em the bird?  Let’s be real, we all have had moments we have felt like flipping the bird to someone.  Even my grandma who is the kindest lady you could ever meet, who loves God, goes to church, pays all her bills on time and buys girl scout cookies gets the urge to flip people the bird.

Let’s be honest about it.  Hey, I do!  But just because I feel like doing it doesn’t mean I follow through.  And as far as my grandma, I can’t answer for her, but I know one time at church she gave me the bird and I thought that was odd.  I am just kidding – she never did.  But, let’s be real about it, we have all been in a situation where someone pushed our buttons and we just wanted to give them the worst piece of our mind. Am I right?  Yeah I am.

Emotional management is responding in a way
that works best for you and the situation.

It does not mean you don’t want to unload a bucket full of not so happy thoughts and gestures, it just means you have the skills to calm your mind and respond with behaviors and attitudes that are not fueled with a boiling pot of water.

Equipping people with emotional management skills is the core of all my talks.  I want to empower people to make choices that benefit them and their organization.  It’s a fact that we are all going to have bad days, rough moments, negative people or that unexpected flat tire that rolls over our last nerve.  That is a given, but taking the time to develop your emotional management skills will save you a lot of regret, stress and negative consequences.

We have to learn from the moments that we didn’t handle things so well.  For example, have you ever had a conversation with someone and then without really thinking it through, just sat down at the computer and fired off a not so well thought out email. And the cherry on top is you took to your social media and posted the most ridiculous and crazy rants.

We have all been there, but the key to strengthening your emotional management skills, is to learn from what did not work for you.

Learn from others.  Anyone remember the Jet Blue flight attendant that got so frustrated with passengers, he grabbed a few cold beers, chugged them, got on the intercom and started yelling at everyone.  And his grand finale was pulling the emergency slide and going for a 2 second joy ride that would ultimately become national news and cost him his job, employment opportunities and land him in anger management and handful of other legal challenges.   Did he have the emotional management skills to handle the pressure that day?  No.  It doesn’t mean he wasn’t a good person, it just means his emotional management skills needed some refining.

Sometimes, I will see adults respond to situations like a 4 year old child and I often think, “How is that going to make things better for them or others?    How is that going to make their organization look good or resolve anything with effectiveness?”

The answer, it’s not.  So, even thought it sounds boring, working on emotional management skills is worth a little time and attention.  So, remember, the next time you hear me speak at a conference, you now know the undercover meaning or the real meat and potatoes to my stuff.   And you have to ask yourself, is emotional management a good thing for you?  Yes.   Is it a good thing for your organization?  Yes.  Life is always requiring us to make choices and respond, so why not work a little and practice implementing the right emotional responses that reward you.

Live Happy…Take Your Fiber

I was standing in the post office waiting for my number to be called when a female customer standing at the counter started yelling and making an ugly scene—about what—I have no idea.  But, she was on a rant about something.  It was clear she had a negative attitude and it didn’t help her situation or make her look good.  After she finished her negativity show, my number was called.  I walked up to the counter and the people working at the post office just had these looks on their faces like, “Whew…thank God she is gone.”  

Sam Glenn FiberHowever, I heard one guy say to another employee, “Looks like someone didn’t get enough fiber today.”

That caught my attention because if you have ever sat in one of my presentations, that is my shtick or stuff.  I talk about how we researched that moody and negative people are often that way because they have toxins in their body creating a negative effect on their attitude, and fiber is one option that gets the trash out. If you have seen me talk on this, you know I make it funny. If you haven’t—well, buckle up! It’s what some may call the ugly truth to achieving a positive attitude!

I asked the employee, “Where did you hear that saying?”

She said, “A friend of mine saw this speaker who said that if you don’t get enough fiber, you become negative.”

I said, “THAT’S ME!”

She started laughing and was like, “For real!?”

“Yes, when people are negative, I often ask them if they had their fiber today.”

She laughed more and whispered, “There are several people here who could use some fiber!”

It is not meant to be gross in any way, but rather a humorous play on truth.  In all the research I have done, fiber is a good thing.  It is heart healthy, brain healthy and mood healthy.  Why would you not share this information? It’s awesome!  

So, let me ask you something: do you know anyone in your office or place of work that could use some fiber—a better attitude?  I am sure there is.  But here is what is important to know: we cannot change other people’s attitudes.  They have to make that choice.  But, you can have fun and buy them some fiber, put it on their desks, and include a note saying, “You seem a little moody lately; this should help.”

It’s fun and guarantees a good laugh.  The other person may not see the humor ‘til they actually use the fiber, but it’s all good fun.

Fiber is not just something we take to get rid of toxins; there are other kinds of fibers that get the trash out of our mind.  Some of us think poorly because of experiences we may have had or just a lack of self confidence, so your mind always drifts south and you think negative.  How do you “fiber that out?”

Simple:  Input leads to output.

If you don’t like your current level of thinking and can acknowledge that my thinking or thoughts may not be the best, then you have taken step one.  Now it’s time to do something about it (fiber it out!).

To change your thinking, it starts when you change your daily input.  Some input you cannot control, but you can pre-plan some input that will keep the toxins out of your thinking and create gravity towards a positive attitude.   

5 Things You Can Do to FIBER OUT a Bad Attitude, and Get a Positive Attitude:

  1.  Read three pages or five minutes a day of a positive book. (I happen to know a great one titled A Kick in the Attitude!)
  2. Determine if the people you spend the most time with are negative or positive.  If they are negative, then you need to trim that time down and create boundaries.  If they are positive, then plug in more and embrace their positive.  Copy it!
  3. Work out.  If you want to feel good, you have to do good. Treat your body better.  Work it out, so you feel fit and look fit.
  4. Eat clean. Eat salads and fish. Go on-line and research best meals for good health. There are some great recopies online. I used to hate fish, but I found new ways to grill it up and now I love it.   
  5. Make being positive a choice. Ultimately a negative attitude or a positive attitude is your choice.  Nobody can choose your attitude for you.  You have that responsibility everyday and all day.   Develop an attitude awareness.  What are your thoughts – positive or negative? If they are negative, what will adjust them to go positive?  How are you responding to adversity and others? Do you need to step back and fiber out the bad, so you can get engaged with the positive?

Fiber isn’t always just something you get at the store; it’s a philosophy that when you have some toxic thinking, you act in a way that fibers out that thinking and puts you in a better frame of mind and gets you living with a positive attitude.

So the next time you feel moody, maybe playfully say, “Oh Boy, I need some FIBER!”

Have fun with it and until next time, embrace all that a positive attitude has for you!

How do you give your attitude a fiber boost?

What is the True Cost of Personal and Professional Development in the Workplace?

I recently learned that a certain large retailer was cutting professional development from outside sources. And this kinda saddened me, as I have always been a big fan of this retailer.

Is it good to slash prices and cut development corners? In a moment, I am going to show you some math that will blow your mind: the cost of keeping professional development versus cutting it. Employee development is an easy cut when you are trying to brighten the bottom line; but does it really pay?

One of the objectives in our organization is to brighten the bottom line by improving the people who provide services and distribute products. But, along the way, the distributor or representative of the service or product can diminish the bottom line so much that we miss it, if those team members are not developed and nurtured. Most organizations do miss out, if this area is cut. A lack of employee development is what I refer to as “the invisible bottom feeder of bottom lines.”

I am about to share with you a simple story of what happens when the invisible bottom feeder of bottom lines attacks. I truly think that if the owner of this retailer was alive, he would nip this in the bud. He cared about people and was passionate about his business. That is the spirit of a successful entrepreneur. I think if he caught wind of the story I am about to share, it might actually cause him to do a flip in his grave. You be the judge.

I walked into this retailer recently with $500 cash and the sole purpose of buying a new TV for the house. However, when I inquired about an open-box item to get a lesser price, I had to wait for 25 minutes for a manager to approve it. I was fine either way. If I got the discount, great! If I didn’t, that’s okay, I still wanted a TV for the house.

I waited with a sales associate for 25 minutes who could have been productive with the time, but instead waited on a “bad attitude” manager to show up. How did I know it was a bad attitude manager? The same way you would. We all know when we are being treated with a bad attitude or a positive one. Instead of saying, “Hi,” or greeting me with a smile or, “How can I help you?” I got, “What seems to be the problem?” in an ornery tone.

The sales associate said, “There is no problem. This gentleman wants to buy a TV, and wanted to see if he could get a little bit off this open box item?”

The manager responded with an immediate, “No, it’s been discounted. No!” And proceeded to walk away.

As a customer, even if this was the store policy, I don’t like being treated as if there is no empathy for my side, no interest in hearing me out.

As a fan of this retailer, and one of the top leading experts on professional development in the country, I notice when employees do not practice positive attitudes in action. I channeled the founder of this store and stopped that dude in his tracks. I began gently to address his performance with me, a customer. He did not take kindly to my positive instruction that would have made him look good, his company great, and his bottom line improved. And I didn’t even charge him for the wisdom. I am not cheap one bit!

Did I buy the TV at this store? No way! I have a philosophy that says I don’t give my money to people who treat me poorly. They didn’t earn it, they didn’t deserve it, and so I went somewhere else and even paid more for someone who treated me with respect, as if I am important. (You get my vibe?)

Now, the number #1 excuse from organizations that have situations like this, “Sir, it is a one-time isolated incident.”

Since I don’t buy BS or lies, I disagree. The manager who treated me poorly may be having a tough day, or maybe he didn’t understand good customer relations. It doesn’t mean he is a bad guy, but just that he doesn’t grasp that a bad attitude put into action in the game of business will eat the bottom line.

Let’s do the math. This is a story that the main organization was not made aware of. Lack of awareness is the killer of profits. Let me explain. It is hard to track every “one time isolated incident;” but what if in reality it was just a one-time thing? What if this manager treated one customer this poorly, every day for one year. Let’s do the math:

Customer with a budget of $500.

A negative manager who treats customer with $500 poorly.

Customer chooses to go next door to a local competitor to spend $500, instead of being treated poorly.

X 365 days.

= $182,500 in lost business and sales.

As you can see, attitude plays a huge role in the bottom line. However, when you don’t treat it as such, then the deficit adds up.

Now, let’s take this math problem even further.

This retailer employs thousands of people. But, let’s say for only example purposes, that 100 people out of thousand treated a customer badly every day for a year.  Here is the math:

100 customers with a budget of $500

100 bad attitude employees

X 365 days

= $18,250,000

It costs the company MILLONS! And this is a conservative number based on only 100 negative people. A negative person in the workplace is defined as someone who:

a. Doesn’t care much

b. Just wants a paycheck

c. Is not really engaged

d. Badmouths the company

e. Complains all the time

f. Doesn’t take initiative, has to be told what to do.

g. Doesn’t care about consequences to attitude and actions.

h. Believes they don’t get paid enough for what they do.

i. Treats customers from mediocre to bad.

j. Lacks passion and enthusiasm for what they are doing.

And I am sure we could go on, but these are elements of a negative person in the workplace.

Think about it, how much is this costing your company? Hmmm?

Most organizations overlook this one invisible aspect of how the bottom line is affected, because it is deemed immeasurable. That is not true. We just did the numbers. In a tough economy, it is wise to invest in professional development that STICKS or STINKS?

So, if the founder of this retailer were to look at these numbers, what do you think he might say? Do?

Think about what “one” negative attitude is costing your company.  Is it worth it to invest in something that kills the invisible bottom feeder of bottom lines? Just ask successful organizations that invest in their people in the right way. It is that simple; however, I am to think that someone somewhere along the way complicated this great simplicity. Want a better bottom line? The solution is simple.

How can you provide better service today?

Sam Glenn Celebrates 14 Years of Speaking & Inspiring through Positive and Humorous Speeches

A Special Interview with Sam Glenn as He Celebrates 14 Years Speaking and Inspiring Groups to Positive Action.

Q:  What was the best part of 2010?

Sam:  I would have to say, I met some amazing people this year at my events. It’s great to connect with people on a personal level and offer the best encouragement I can. And most of the time, I find myself encouraged by others. I love that.

Q:  What is something that others don’t know about you?

Sam:  Most people assume that since I speak for a living that I have an extrovert personality. I am shy by nature, which can lead many to think of me as non social. I love connecting with people, but it takes work on my part. I would say that I am more quiet when I am not speaking, which also is surprising to others.

Q:   What is the hardest part about what you do?

Sam:  Travel is tough. I love what I do, but travel can wear you down. It’s a test of attitude when you sit next to a smelly guy on the airplane.

Q:   What is the funniest memory you have of 2010 speaking?

Sam:  I have so many. I remember one woman passed out in the front row for like four seconds because she was laughing so hard… That was priceless.

Q:  What do you hope people take away from your speeches?

Sam:  A LOT! Being a speaker is not easy, because you cannot please everyone. Most people who struggle with my message, I would say struggle in life—relationships, work, and attitude. When they come face to face with my message, they may not be ready to address the “real issues.” And that is fine. My information is simple, yet the content is powerful. We need to be reminded that we are valuable and that our attitude is a force that either works for us or against us, and we determine which. Most people don’t understand how to use their attitude, or have never really tested the waters of what it can do for them in life. It boils down to whatever you value, you give attention to. Attitude is not a one-time conference or one book a year; it’s a daily effort.

Q:  What are your big plans for 2011?

Sam. I am excited about Go + Positive University. I think all those who attend and implement the tools will discover the true force of living a positive life, even when faced and challenged by negatives.

Q:  What are your most favorite groups to speak for?

Sam:  Every group or organization is different. You honestly never know what you are going to get. Some groups that I thought would be tough, turned out to be awesome! I thought it was funny that one group this year, their leadership complained that I was too funny, but most of the attendees wrote emails about how uptight leadership was and how much they needed to lighten up. You can tell when a group is really excited about having me and hearing the message because they know the value and impact it will have on them. I really hope to work with more groups who need an attitude adjustment, because if you look around, we live in a time when an attitude adjustment is important.

Q:  Any highlights from 2010?

Sam:  Yes, several, but one in particular. I would have to say the one thing that stands out the most was after I was done speaking and signing copies of my book. A young lady in her twenties came up to me. She had been working with the hotel staff of the conference I was speaking at. She had tears in her eyes and these were her words, “I know you!! You may not remember me, but I remember you. I met you 13 years ago!! Today is my last day at this job and I am moving to another state. I have been depressed and just had a broken heart due to circumstances in my life. I had been praying for something, anything to give me some hope. And I didn’t recognize you at first, but then you started speaking and I remembered. I was 12 years old when I saw you speak at a youth conference and I bought your book, Butt Prints in the Sand! I just want to thank you for being you and what you do. You gave me the hope I needed today. ”
When she told me this, my first thought was, “Wow. I am old!” But then it summed up what I am about. I really want to encourage people and ignite a sense of purpose and passion for what they do and who they are.

Q:  What is your favorite product you offer on your website?

Sam:  Well, if you know me, I give a ton of stuff away for free. I like to reward those who take action and invest in themselves. If I see someone taking notes while I am speaking, I will find them and give them like $100 worth of my stuff just to say thanks! I do for others what people have done for me. Everything on my website is awesome! I would say if you manage a company, my DVDs are the best. I love getting emails from employees thanking me for the DVDs because the other video stuff and training they do is boring or awful. I know; that’s why we created them!! But again, it boils down to an organization that invests in their people; those are the ones that get my stuff and reap the benefits.

I would say on a personal level, any of my books are tops. The Kick in the Attitude is a book that will show you how to swim in the deep in of life with your attitude.

Hire Sam Glenn to Speak and Motivate Your Group with Humor, Inspiration and Positive Insights. Last year, Sam gave close to 100 speeches all across the country.

What questions would you ask Sam? How has his attitude message affected you?

The Legacy of Keith Harrell- “Attitude is Everything”

When I got my start speaking, I looked for role models that I could study and learn from. Keith Harrell was a needle in the haystack. Having A.D.D., it was hard for me to listen to most speakers because they were not what I would call “A.D.D. friendly.” Meaning they didn’t keep my attention. Keith, though, was a master keeping audiences engaged.

This past week, I was saddened to hear of his passing due to spinal cancer. He authored an amazing book, Attitude is Everything. When something like this happens, it kind of stops us in our tracks and forces us to reflect on own lives. Keith will be missed, but now his legacy will start. How valuable is our legacy? What does it mean to you? To me, it’s everything! While I speak on the subject of Attitude like Keith Harrell, I want my legacy to be that I made people laugh and encouraged them when it seemed like there was no way out of their dark pit.

I learned a lot from Keith Harrell, “Mr. Attitude is Everything.” I just listened to one of his audios where he is known for saying, “Super fantastic!”  The way he says that is signature!

So my question to you is, what will your legacy be? If you break it down even further, you will discover that whatever you want your legacy to be, it starts with attitude. Attitude works through our actions to achieve results, outcomes and experiences. Can you be positive and still have a bad day? Yes! Can you be positive and still have to deal with junk and negative people? Yes! So does it mean stop working on a positive attitude? NO! I have tried a positive attitude and a negative attitude, and I have discovered and measured that I get more done, create better results, and deal  with the unexpected junk much better with a positive attitude.

To my buddy whose legacy will live on, Keith Harrell, I nod my head and say, “Yes, Attitude is Everything! I hope I can carry the mantel of impacting lives with the message of attitude as you did. Your words and wisdom made a contribution in who I am today. Thank you, Keith; and I gotta say it again just for you, ‘ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING!’”

What do you want your legacy to be, and how will you achieve it?

Chilean miner rescue gives prime example of teamwork in action

It was inspiring! The anticipation built as Anderson Cooper narrated the final minutes of the first Chilean being rescued. With more than 60 days trapped in a mine, 33 Chilean miners got to see the light of hope and home through the power of teamwork. Observing the teamwork of the rescue and watching people pitch in and make the mission of the rescue realized, you can’t help but to feel inspired by the example of teamwork from the Chileans.

As I watched the first miner come to the surface after a 20-minute, half-mile ride in a small tube to the cheers of teammates— family, friends, a country—it was awesome!

You have to have teamwork in order to get the results you want. But sometimes teams, offices, and organizations get out of balance and the teamwork is not in full gear. Something is amiss. But really, when you think about teamwork, what might you decide is the starting point for teamwork?  Is it ability? Is it a plan? An idea? Or could it be ATTITUDE?

I have played on winning teams in sports and work, and I know with 101% assurance that teamwork starts with attitude. It is the attitude of the team that drives the abilities, the plan, the idea to achieve the mission.

But if not everyone is on board, it’s hard to make teamwork possible.

One of the frustrating aspects of my job is selling training tools to companies that help create positive teams. The challenge is when it comes to the topic of attitude, it’s deemed as something whose value is difficult to measure.

I don’t think it is. It’s actually simple. Do you want your people working with a positive attitude, or a negative/ average attitude? Of the two attitudes, which one do you think will achieve the best results and strongest teamwork?? The math is easy.

My suggestion is when you have your team meetings, don’t be all about business. Direct a little focus to something that inspires people to get better. When people get better, they do better and your organization gets better. How much is that worth? Check your attitude budget. Does it cost more to invest in tools to boost morale or does it the company more when teams are not working at 100% or there are negative attitudes making it hard to get the right results? One negative attitude can cost your organization thousands and thousands of dollars a year, a month!  And misery loves company, so if that negative attitude gets a teammate to join them, you lose even more.

Want to create inspiring teamwork? Start by implementing inspiring strategies that get the attitude tone set, so you know what will drive the plan, idea, and abilities to achieve the mission of the team.

What will you do to inspire teamwork? Do you think attitude is important? Post your comments and ideas.

How Not to Quit Your Job

CNN reported yesterday on a flight attendant at JFK airport who cursed at passengers, snagged a beer, pulled an emergency chute, and exited the plane. Apparently, he was quitting his job. You can read the full story here.

New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said, “It’s a strange way to quit, let’s put it that way.”

We can all laugh about it, but the reality is, we all get that way at times, don’t you think? Sometimes we just want to say to heck with it, make a big scene, throw mud, and speak our mind. Sometimes we want to walk out and “stick it to them.” Does it work?

Thing is, a lot of times I think we let things get too heated before we take a stand. If we learn how to take care of our health and our attitude, set boundaries, and speak up when we need something, hopefully we won’t get to the point of needing to do something that will get us arrested.

What does this mean at the workplace? Define what you need from your work environment. Try to get it, by asking for what you think would improve the environment, taking action when you can, and diverting your attention as much as possible away from the negative.

What about when it comes time to quit? I’d like to hear your stories on quitting… good, bad, funny. What is the best way to quit a job you don’t like? Share!


It’s my birthday, and here’s what matters…

I celebrated my birthday this week, by going fishing. This birthday has made me think about the years gone by, and the ones yet to come. It’s made me think of smearing cake all over the house when I was a toddler. Just kidding. Seriously, birthdays can make us soul search about what really matters.

Now that I am 39 years old, some of the things that used to be a big deal to me aren’t so bad now:

1)I get less uptight at the little things, like slow lines at the post office. Those guys are doing the best that they can, so now I smile at them, and ask if I can get them a Happy Meal.

2)People who hurt me in the past don’t deserve my grudges. There is a season to grieve, and then it’s time to move on and forgive, and free them to live their own better lives. I devote my energy instead to my friends and family.

3)I’ve learned to stop comparing myself to those around me who might have more, or might be doing it better. I have learned to count my blessings in what I’ve accomplished, and value who I am.

4)I’ve learned to eat dessert first. Just kidding… I’m trying to lose weight. But seriously, enjoy the good things now. Don’t wait too long.

5)What have you learned as you’ve grown old like me?

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