Cat Staff Needed: Must Serve — Friday Follies


 Here’s Hope — getting into “the picture.”   “Hoping” her cute pose will get my attention.

 And, when she doesn’t get what she wants, she lets me know.  As she did here.  “…it’s ME.  Yo…I know you like the screensaver with the cat on the clothesline sticking out of the jeans…but hey…get real! 

Here I am… I REALLY am sitting on your printer…looking…oh, I don’t know…so much more svelte with my paw just soooo.  The perfect mime!  See?  I can do that…you know, hang my paw…perfectly.

So…uh…like…could I just get a little attention here, please?”

Around here it’s sometimes just not enough to get spoon fed  gourmet cat food. 

 “Sometimes WE (me and my  mate the Princess)…  and we determine the sometimes…want to have your immediate and undivided attention. 

Regardless of what you might be doing…it is important for you to remember…before all else…you are staff…CAT staff .  Continue reading

How to Lead — Knowing that Leadership is Everywhere

The thing about leading is that it’s not always about being in the lead.

Sometimes it’s about pulling back and letting someone else step forward.   Sometimes it’s about stepping forward when no one else does.

America was built from those principals, and they’re principals worth nurturing and growing.   Everywhere.

 A story from World War II, described in Maxwell Taylor Kennedy’s “Danger’s Hour” is an excellent example of leadership in action at all levels. 

In 1945, aboard the USS Bunker Hill, an elite aircraft carrier with thousands of crewmen, Navy planes and pilots… naval leaders planned assaults on Japan that were a diversion to the American plan to bomb Iow Jima.  This was truly an elite ship, larger than many small towns, with approximately 3,000 people on board, anchored off the coast of Okinawa, where it was supporting an air strike.

On May 11, 1945,  the ship was hit by not one, but two kamikaze pilots in bomb laden planes.   Two officers,Commander Joseph Carmichael and First Lieutenant Shane King,  not in charge of the ship overall, were credited for their leadership skills in saving the ship and the lives of many of the men on board.   They, with many others aboard, took an active  leadership role to save the ship and the men.

These two officers had something very much in common:   they knew when to lead, and when to let others lead!  They knew that Leadership is Everywhere! Continue reading

All Agents Assisting Other Customers — Friday Follies

At this moment, I am on the phone.  I’m currently on” hold”….I’ve been on  “hold” now for 36 minutes and 21 seconds, waiting for the “first available agent” at a government office to assist me. 

I decided that while I was waiting for the “next available agent” I may as well do something enjoyable at the same time.  Fridays are most enjoyable.  I love to write, but Friday Follies, where I’m just sharing…and laughing at myself…are special. 

And, at moments like this, when my frustration level is high, I know it’s much healthier to laugh at myself and share than it is to “vent my spleen” at the “next available agent” when and if they ever answer this call! 

In case you can’t tell already, one of my biggest pet peeves is being put on “hold” or put into que.  The repeat message loop does say that I can press “3” and leave a message.  if I weren’t so stubborn, I would…but I’d probably have to erase it…or never get a call back! 

 This is a business task I really want to talk to someone –a REAL person — about.  And, it’s not something I can find online.  So, I am stubbornly, persistently, holding…waiting…for the next available… Continue reading

How to Lead Courageously

As a leader, courage is frequently cited as a necessary trait. 

Understanding exactly what it is can help you determine whether you or other leaders within your organization, are currently leading courageously!

 “The quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear“… is the definition of courage according to

In business, leaders are often called upon to take risks.  This takes courage.  Not only the quality of being able to face difficulty, danger, pain , etc., without fear, but also the quality of being willing to put oneself in the face of difficulty, danger or pain; to risk loss for potential gain.

Even one step beyond that is the courage is to have, or put,  a system in place in your organization that allows others to take risks without fear of being placed at the head of the table in a follow-up “Blame Game” if the risk taken does not have the projected outcome. Continue reading

Who’s That Looking Over My Shoulder — Friday Follies

Here we are again…Friday.  How did that happen…so quickly?

Time again for…

If you guessed Friday Follows on Twitter…you’re only partially right.  I love doing Friday Follows.  But now…I also love doing Friday Follies.  The day when I look at how silly I am sometimes…how totally ordinary, mundane, abnormal and out of control I am. 

As compared, of course, to my “public persona.”  Cool, sophisticated, hard-working, intelligent, natural leader, born writer…oh…and did I mention [almost] totally perfect in every way?

The thing is…I’m starting to get paranoid.  I’m starting to think that everyone  knows  everything about me, like every detail of every flaw I ever might have had, or thought I had, or thought I might have had.  Or…thought that someone else thought I had, or might have had.

Here’s why I’m starting to get paranoid.  When I check my e-mail, I’m getting e-mails from people I’ve never heard of who say…on the subject line…”Max, you’re not a millionaire yet?”  or..”Max, why are you still suffering from indigestion?” and “To succeed, this is what you really need the most.”   …right when I was actually beginning to think I  was reasonably successful…

 Here’s another one that’s really making me look over my shoulder to see who it is that’s watching me…making all those recommendations for “others” to compile to send me stuff…the email with the subject line that says…”Recommended books for you.”  When I click on it to open it, the titles read like the “Who’s Who” of all the “Who’s” that exist in me that I’m trying to forget.   Continue reading

Salesmanship vs Leadership

Salesman or leader? 

Captain Jared Smithson found himself, along with his troop of  good men, in a gully, pinned down  by enemy fire.  He saw no way to move forward, and he knew if he retreated with his team, he would incur severe criticism from his superiors.  Yet…he wasn’t prepared to die.  Not today.  Suddenly, he thought, “I know what to do.”  He gathered his men and told them, “Listen, you have an opportunity here.  One that may never reoccur.  You can stand together, make your Country and Company proud of you…push forward, firing as a single unit to take out the enemy troop that has us pinned down.  I’m sure there’s only a small unit.  While you’re doing that, I’m going to attempt another contact with the Communications base.  I’m sure you’ll make it through, and I’ll be right behind you.  However, in the unlikely event you’re unsuccessful, I’ll be able to tell your story of bravery to all your fellow countrymen.   I know you.  I know you’re ready to do what it takes.  Move forward NOW.”

In a parallel gully not far away, another similar troop, commanded by Captain Joseph Stern, was also pinned down, and had been for a lengthy period.  After considerable thought, and discussion with the troop on various military maneuvers that might be options..he stood up and shouted, “There are no medals for cowardice…only bravery.  I see but one clear choice,  and that is to move forward.  MEN…follow me.”

Both captains survived.  Both went on to other leadership roles.  I ask you, however, which one of these individuals was a salesman…and which a leader?  Which one do you want to work for today?  Which one would you trust?  Whose vision would you follow? Continue reading

How to Lead with Fun

When you have employees…it’s good when they enjoy what they do.

When they’re passionate about their work…and they’re having fun, it shows!

It also shows when they don’t enjoy what they do.  Loss of productivity, and most of all, loss of customer relations. 

If you’re an entrepreneur, you may have vendors who work for you, rather than direct employees. If you have several vendors who can do the same job for you, who can deliver the same product for the same price, who are you going to do business with?  Are you most likely to work with the one you like…the company that makes you feel like you’re an important customer…like you matter?

The ultimate, unbeatable, unstoppable sales force for any company is one that has passion and joy…a team that has fun.  And, as you know, behind every great sales force or service organization is a whole slew of hard-working people who put it all together.  Who build the product, mail it out, make sure it gets there on time, or make sure whatever goods or service that was sold creates a satisfied customer. 

This means giving everyone who works for you a reason to smile! Continue reading

Books for Dummies — Friday Follies

It’s Friday.

That means Friday Follows on Twitter. And Friday Follies here at Max. Following Max’s foibles.

I was strolling through my house this morning, looking at all my overflowing bookcases…thinking.. maybe…it’s time I started filling a few more boxes with books for Good Will.

Or not…

As I was scanning my bookcases, I noticed something. Something that I’d never really focused on before, or given much thought to. And that is the number of Books for Dummies that I have.

I am a Collector. I admit it. I have not yet joined Collector’s Anonymous, though I am still giving it serious consideration. And I know I should do it…soon. Continue reading

How to Lead with Love

Many people choose not to be entrepreneurs.  They prefer the security and safety of working for someone else. 

If you’re an employer, you may question how to create a productive workplace….how to manage your workforce.

 The question often asked in management sessions, especially those with union membership, is  “Which is better — the carrot or the stick?” 

Reward versus punishment.  Love me or leave me.

In an early United States recognition of the “carrot” approach, Henry Ford,  [according to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia] founder of the Ford Motor Company, “astonished the world in 1914 by offering a $5 per day wage, which more than doubled the rate of most of his workers. (Using the Consumer Price Index, this was equivalent to $106 per day in 2008 dollars.) The move proved extremely profitable; instead of constant turnover of employees, the best mechanics in Detroit flocked to Ford, bringing in their human capital and expertise, raising productivity, and lowering training costs. Ford called it “wage motive.”  Continue reading

Sex and the Common Cold – Friday Follies

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that on Fridays, I take a detour. Since today’s Friday, that’s what I’m doing…detouring.

What started me down the path was Friday follows — from Twitter. And, for whatever reason [and the way my mind works, sometimes there is no reason] Friday follows gave me the idea for Friday follies. So…on Fridays I just talk about my foibles …or what I refer to as my foil-ables, because I’m easily foiled at times… and whatever pops into my mind.

Sometimes it’s my diet — or lack thereof, sometimes my discipline– and lack thereof. Oh yes, and last week I talked about who really runs our house — the CATS!

This week what’s not off the table because it’s “politically incorrect” is sex when your partner has a cold. And, you guessed it, my husband has a doozy! oooooUuuuu…yuk! Coughing, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes…the works! Continue reading