Sunday, March 1, 2009

Successful Team Culture

Here are a couple fundamentals of having and developing a successful team culture...

1.  Follow up.

This can really save a TON of time.  "Yes.  I got this. It will be done by____."  Too much time is spent following up with your team members if you don't let them know you received that email, voicemail or memo.

2.  Set meetings and keep them.

Everyone has a full calendar.  Show respect for your team members and show up on time.  Do you show up late for meetings with clients?  If not, then your team members deserve the same respect.  Come to meetings ready to receive direction, assign tasks, and execute on them in a timely manner.

3.  Minimize interruptions.

"Hey!  You got a minute?"  This can be a huge issue for leaders with busy schedules.  My CEO ALWAYS says, "Yes!  For you I have a minute...just not THIS minute."  Schedule a 15 minute meeting with your immediate boss or team leader.  It shows them you respect their time and in turn, they will respect yours.

4.  Cover your teammates.

Don't be the first to blame others for something not getting done, missing a deadline, or messing up a project.  Take responsibility if you messed up and always be the first to cover your team members.

You never know when you'll need them to cover for you!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Trey Pennington on Channel 7 - Social Media

Special Announcement:

I know this is short notice, but Tuesday morning (TOMORROW) at 10am on Channel 7, with Jack & Kimberly, our Marketing Director Trey Pennington is going to be the featured guest. The topic is Social Media, and how it can be used to connect your customers, grow your business, and integrate the tools out there (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and others) into your growth initiatives for your business. They asked Trey to come on as the guest because he’s considered to be one of the leading social media marketing leaders in our  region.

I really hope you get a chance to catch it! If not, here are links to his Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, as well as a link to the new Social Media Group that he has formed that’s got a couple hundred members and growing quickly into one of the larger chapters in the nation!  OH MY! ;-) Might be a great group to get one of your organization’s representatives involved with to learn, connect and grow.  Let me know if I can get you hooked up with Trey for coffee sometime as well.  Unbelievable source of knowledge in SO many areas....can’t brag on him enough.

Have a great evening and Happy New Year!


Trey on Facebook:

Trey on Twitter:

Trey on LinkedIn:

Trey’s Social Media Group:

Trey on video sharing his expertise at a Greenville Chamber Friday Focus Event:

Missy Nowack
Development Director
ShowCase Marketing
Phone: (864) 281-1323 Ext. 1012

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Are you making a choice or a decision?

Curiosity got the best of me yesterday.  A conversation with a friend sparked this blog topic and I had to write about it.  I’m excited about what I discovered and I hope this helps you like it helped me.

Choice. Decision.

Possibilities or direction?

A choice is making a selection from a variety of options. A decision is reaching a conclusion on an issue.

I looked up the root meaning of these two words online.  I got a lot of “old English...Latin...root....blah blah blah...”  Trust me here...basically the bottom line meaning for each is:

Choose - to taste
Decide - to cut

When we choose, it’s like picking our entrĂ©e from a menu. If we come back to the restaurant again, next time we can make another choice. But, a decision, cuts off. It literally kills the other options. By its very definition, a decision is a turning point.

Making many decisions and choices over our lifetime helps to build our character and adds to our experience. They’re all the things that add up on our resume and our successes in life. However, if you’ve ever made a mistake, you know that how we handle decisions and choices deeply affect our lives.

Are you laboring over every choice as a life-changing decision? First, ask yourself WHAT are you investing? Your time, energy, stress? Are you investing this time, energy and stress into a decision or a choice?

Do you avoid clear decisions by treating them like choices? Take a look at the options you’re holding onto and how they’re holding you back.

If you are avoiding making that clear decision – I can pretty much guarantee that the avoidance of making the decision is what is wasting time and focus and is actually causing you MORE stress and distraction. The difference is actually pretty simple when you think about it....

A decision marks a direction and requires action from you.  It takes you “there”– a place, a destination for your life. A decision is giving something up (all those other options) to have something else - implying a commitment.

 A choice marks an option – a possible open door...It’s the dream until we come back around to choose again....maybe this time you’ll make a decision instead and the dream can be your reality.

It's inside of you.  The power to choose OR decide.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Core Values and Icebergs?

People are a lot like icebergs.


Let me explain....visualize in your mind that only about 30% of an iceberg is visible above the surface of the water and the other 70% is unseen.  Now let's say that the 30% you DO actually see represents a person's behavior and the 70% under the surface shows what motivates that behavior.  Core values.

A bedrock of behavior is core values.  I talked about this in my Team Huddle on Monday and I keep thinking about it.  You can keep speaking to behaviors that you don't like, make you uncomfortable, rub you the wrong way - and they never change unless you get to the CORE of what is motivating that behavior.  Core values are what makes a person believe what they believe and then they act on WHAT they believe manifesting in their behavior.

Ever told your kids to STOP doing something a million times and they just keep going back to it again, and again, and again?  Hmmmm....maybe they are because an experience or a lesson formed a core value in them, and now it's become what they believe is proper behavior, and now...OH MY!  It's become a behavior you don't like!  Speak to the values and beliefs.  Find out WHY they are motivated to behave that way.

Do that with your team members at work as well.  Be a catalyst for creating open communication with those team members who repeat certain offenses or "no-no's" at work. Find out what their values are because that is what creates the framework for the decisions they will make.  They are the driving force behind our passions and they shape our daily actions.

Here are some good questions to ask if you need to discover someone's core values:
  • "What things, if they were taken away or you couldn't do them, would make life unbearable?  What makes these things valuable to you?"
  • "When making your most important decisions, what are the fundamentals you base them on?"
  • "Where do you invest the best of YOU, your time, and your money?  Why?"
  • 'What are the deep issues you could stand on a soap-box for?"
  • "What do you take pride in?  What most excites you in life?  Why?"
Here are (4) characteristics of core values.  These will help you determine if you've actually discovered a core value after asking these questions.

1.  Values are passionate.
2.  Values are unique for everyone.
3.  Values are lived out - they are not something you just aspire to.
4.  Values are concise.

Values discovery can be a very powerful tool in helping to create a culture of self-awareness at your work place.  If you need further information or would like more questions to help you in the discovery of your core values, email me at and I'd be happy to shoot a few more ideas and questions your way.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Business or Pleasure?

We've all heard this question before..."Are you traveling for business or pleasure?"

Why couldn't you be traveling for both?  OR...

Why couldn't you work for a company that believed you could ACTUALLY enjoy your job - that it would be a pleasure to work there AND you would still be a productive, contributing, engaged employee?

Hmmm....maybe having a Wii at your office is a bit much.  (We have one at my office.) However, there are a few things you CAN do that will help change the culture where you work even if your office or industry is pretty straight laced.

1.  Music - The University of Illinois actually did a study on playing music in the workplace and they discovered that employees that listened to music during work hours showed HIGHER levels of productivity than those employees at companies that ban it.  Get some music playing in your place of business!  Silence kills productivity.

2.   Make it Fun - Find ways to recognize your employees and co-workers with fun activities once in a while at work.  Everyone needs this from time to time.  Have a "Fat Friday" and have everyone bring in a dish to pass for lunch or have "Breakfast with the President/CEO" as a reward for someone going the extra mile.  You could also go somewhere off-site for a meeting or two and have fun with your team. Change of scenery is always good.

3. Appoint a Champion - Put someone in charge of making sure they proactively seek out ways to make the place you work a pleasure.  We have a First Impressions Coordinator and she does a fabulous job not only creating and managing an environment that is impressive to our clients, but also enjoyable for our team.  She takes care of music selections, air fresheners, telling people to pick up after themselves, decorating ideas and TONS more.

Everything matters when it comes to creating a culture of success at work.  Making your workplace a hub for business AND pleasure is a good first step in a new direction.  You might be surprised that the very changes you've been resisting may actually end up being the things that propel your business to the next level in productivity!

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Transition is defined as "movement, passage, or change from one position, state, stage, subject, concept, etc., to another...change."

Have you ever felt like you stayed in a state of transition too long?  It's supposed to be a season....a period of time that doesn't last...not a destination or even an extended vacation!  Why can't this change happen more quickly?

There's always an awkward period of time where your old role or way of thinking no longer fits the season of life you're moving into, but the new thing is still yet to come. Sometimes it's an internal shift - something is changing inside of us but we still have to maintain the same job, same responsibility, same relationships.  Waiting on our external environment to change so that it lines up with the change happening internally can be incredibly frustrating.

Other times, changes are happening externally and we can't seem to get our minds to catch up with them.  We want to feel settled, in control, at peace....and things around us keep changing and that keeps us off balance and out of control.

Waiting is difficult for most people. (I am most people.)  Here's my perspective on these transitional seasons in life and what to do while you wait: From the human perspective, the objective is way off in the future.  We are waiting for it (whatever "it" is for you...a promotion, the love of your life, being cured of a disease) to come to US.  We are idling along in life just waiting on that good thing to happen for us. Or, some of us may be fighting for every single thing - making it happen - even though it may not be the right time for it to come into our lives.  It's our perception that NOTHING is happening while we wait and that is simply not true.

Waiting makes you look inward - makes you focus on why this area of your life just won't line up the way you want!  It's easy to resist the very thing that will take you where you want to go. Looking inward can help you recognize what's preventing you from getting "there" in life.  I believe that it is during these times in life that our capacity is expanding.  You are making room for the next level of growth during the times of transition and waiting.  Character is built and destiny is being shaped.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Leading Yourself Well

Our Creative Director, Chad, set up this blog for me a while back and I just couldn't think of what I wanted to open's hard when someone actually puts the word "Success" in the title of your blog!  I mean, gee...I feel this pressure now to share this major insight that will change your culture at work and make you successful!  YIKES!

Really, I think one of the core things I will share on is leadership and what it means.  To me, I feel like the most important kind of leadership is the kind where YOU LEAD YOURSELF WELL.  If you can't control your own behavior, then I wouldn't expect many people wanting to follow you anywhere.  Setting an example is the most powerful kind of leadership.  The people who have most influenced me in this area are the ones who I saw making consistently good choices in their own life.  The may not always do everything perfectly, but I can see a pattern of good decisions.  Ask yourself about the people you to look to for leadership in your life, "Does this person make consistent good choices?  Is that a pattern in their life?"  But also, be willing to ask this question: "Is this a one time good decision this person has made?  Or, is this just an incident in their life?"