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  • 04-Apr-2020 10:02 AM | Robert Manard (Administrator)

    Accountability Begins with Trust

    By David Powe of AIOPX Management Consulting

    How often have you heard someone in your organization say, “She or he needs to be held accountable?” Most of the time, what they mean by that is that the person needs to be punished for not performing to the expectations of the person saying it. This is definitely not how to build an accountable culture in your organization. The reason, in my opinion, is because creating negative consequences, although sometimes necessary, generally erodes trust. And an environment where people feel safe and trusted is the foundation for building a culture of accountability. In great teams and organizations, people choose to be accountable. They don’t need to be held accountable by their leaders.

    So, how do we develop this elusive concept of accountability in our teams and organization, especially now, when teams are increasingly fluid and virtual? In teams I lead, I start with making sure we have a good working definition of accountability. Here is the definition I like to use:

    Accountability is when you are trusted by the team for timely completion of mutually agreed upon deliverables. This trust enables team members to seek help whenever the deliverable is in jeopardy.

    The best leaders don’t take remedial action when a teammate fails, they build a system and culture where people succeed. The elements of such successful systems are:

    • ·         Crystal Clear and Mutually Agreed Expectations – Determine explicit and measurable goals that are agreed to by all team members.
    • ·         Definite Capability – Evaluate whether team members have the knowledge, training, tools and time to deliver on the goal.
    • ·         Effective Measurements – Measure the things which drive the process and are largely in the control of the team.
    • ·         Frequent and Transparent Communication –Meet regularly as a team and conduct management reviews with a focus on directing resources to highest priorities. Reward those who ask for help when they need it.
    • ·         Honest, but Kind, Feedback – Give specific positive and negative feedback in the moment, but always respect the dignity of each team member.
    • ·         Meaningful Connection to the Outcome – Determine the potential win for each individual if the team is successful, and also understand what will be lost if the objectives aren’t met.

    The elements and systems begin to fall apart when people don’t trust each other. Instead of mutually agreed to and clear expectations, negotiations occur to protect one individual or another. Communications become guarded. Honest feedback is impossible.

    So, if you want to develop and sustain accountability, by all means pay attention to the aforementioned elements. Start by building trust with the people on your team. Be proactive, vulnerable, and show that you care as much about them as people as you do about the deliverables. You will be rewarded with people who hold themselves accountable!

    About the Author

    David Powe is the partner and lead consultant at AIOPX Management Consulting. AIOPX helps businesses increase profits, cash flow and enterprise value through the application of Operations Excellence methodologies. David can be reached at dpowe@aiopx.com or 585-704-6241.


  • 04-Mar-2020 1:59 AM | Robert Manard (Administrator)

    by Sandra Glanton


    Effective communication is valuable in any relationship, whether it is a business or a personal relationship. If you are a project manager working with a team on a project, frequent effective communication is even more crucial than the communication in many other business relationships. In fact, some would say that “communication is arguably the single most important task”1 you have, aside from the project management.

    A project manager, particularly a cross-services project manager, may have relationships to tend to with stakeholders, clients, other project managers, developers, and suppliers during the course of a project. Each of these relationships carry communication responsibilities with them.

    Stakeholder

    “In business, a stakeholder is any individual, group, or party that has an interest in an organization and the outcomes of its actions.”2

    For our discussion in this blog, stakeholders are anyone who has a financial stake in the project. In my experience at the multinational corporation where I worked, the stakeholders were the organization or group that was in charge of the product we were working on. They were responsible for the product from its development through its end-of-life (EOL) strategy. They were the group who set the product’s budget each year.

    Clients

    The clients are the primary customers of the Project Manager’s outputs. In my case, the Product Delivery Team (PDT) was my client. The PDT also set the schedule for our product’s overall delivery, at least in that launch cycle and likely during any and all follow-on launches.

    Other Project Managers

    A cross-services project manager may have several other project managers, and their schedules, to consider during the life of the project. In these days of trying to do more with less resources, cross-services project managers and the other project managers they’re interfacing with likely have more than one project they’re working on at any given time.

    Developers

    Developers can be software developers on the product program. They can also be translators, documentation developers, or training developers that the cross-services project manager is interfacing with directly or through the various individual project managers. All of these groups’ needs have to be taken into consideration for schedule and budget.

    Suppliers

    Vendors and other suppliers may be part of the mix on the project as well. This is possibly another group that the cross-services project manager needs to take into consideration during the development of a product.

    Ways a Project Manager Can Facilitate Effective Communication

    Be Present

    As a project manager, you set the tone for your entire team, so one of the most important parts of successful communication is being present. Be the type of manager that is readily available and that has a clear understanding of your team’s roles, challenges, and achievements. If you communicate from a distance and constantly rely on indirect forms of communication (like e-mails and voicemail), then you’ll foster an environment of passive communication between your team and clients.”3

    Use Project Management Tools

    The use of various tools, such as a detailed and comprehensive schedule, leave no doubts in the mind of your team, clients, or stakeholders on who is expected to complete certain tasks, what those tasks are, and when they are expected to be complete. You can use applications, such as Microsoft Project or Microsoft Excel, to develop the schedule. I recommend that you keep the schedule up-to-date at all times and ensure that all those who are responsible are on distribution.

    Adopt a Communication Plan

    You should have a communication plan in place from the start of your work together as a team on a project. This will determine how often the team and you meet, what is the purpose of the meetings, what type of status you and others involved will need from these meetings, and so on.

    This communication plan does not take into consideration the other meetings that the software development team may be having with the translation team or the documentation and training development teams. Those groups need to meet and get things done with one another in order for the cross-services project manager to get a weekly status report pulled together for the PDT.

    Schedule Meetings

    I found that weekly status meetings, however brief, were necessary. These meetings ensure everyone on the team is on the same page as far as our progress. It also gives the various groups time to ask one another for handoffs that were needed. Part of my job as the cross-services project manager, was to listen and facilitate any deliveries that might be lagging.

    These meetings could be 15 minutes to 30 minutes in length and generally were not longer than 60 minutes. We had an Agenda that was sent out ahead of time with set times for each topic, and we tried not to veer from the Agenda unless an emergency topic had to be added.

    Engage in Active Listening

    “As a project manager, you will have many people coming to you with questions, concerns, and ideas. Be 100 percent present, make eye contact, and pay attention to body language. Perhaps most important, process what the person is saying before making a response.”4

    Use File Sharing Tools

    Yes, you can share your communication plan, schedules, and other team documents via email. A more efficient method of ensuring that everyone has the latest information they need all in one place, however, is to use Google Drive, SharePoint, or some other file sharing tool.

    Use Online Communication Tools

    Sometimes teams have time constraints, are spread out over different sites, or there are budget or travel constraints. If that’s the case, set up an online communication tool such as Skype or Zoom in order to conduct necessary meetings.

    Celebrate Achievements as a Team

    As time permits, don’t just make your team interactions all about the work. Celebrate the accomplishments you achieve. If you are collocated, and can afford the time and money to do so, go out to lunch together to celebrate when the project work is complete. These activities help to build your team and make it more effective.

    About the Author

    Sandra Glanton is the owner and managing consultant of Projects Accomplished! She spent 12 years as a Cross-services Project Manager on various product programs for a local multinational corporation. She can be reached at sg@projectsaccomplished.biz or (585) 230-0649.

    1 Workfront. “10 Ways Project Management Can Improve With Communication,” May 7, 2018, https://www.workfront.com/blog/10-ways-project-management-can-improve-with-communication

    2 Corporate Finance Institute (CFI™). What Is A Stakeholder?, https://corporatefinanceinstitute.com/resources/knowledge/finance/stakeholder/

    3 Workfront. “10 Ways Project Management Can Improve With Communication,” May 7, 2018, https://www.workfront.com/blog/10-ways-project-management-can-improve-with-communication

    4 ibid




  • 23-Nov-2011 3:15 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    Submitted by Carl Jenks

    The Tragedy of Compromise

    On November 19, 1949 a young man strode on to a college campus in rural Pennsylvania. He was the newly appointed football coach. Over the next six decades his name and the school's name became almost became synonymous as he, Joe Paterno, became the winningest coach in the history of college football, and the school, Penn State University, became a dominant regional and national athletic powerhouse.

    That fame, glory, and amazing record all came crashing down a couple of weeks ago as it was revealed that one of JoePa's ( Paterno's name in the Penn State community) assistant coaches had allegedly been engaging in child abuse, for decades. Some of the alleged activity even taking place within the Penn State athletic facilities.

    What makes this sad and sordid tale a tragedy of compromise is that many people, including JoePa, had been alerted numerous times over the years that something suspicious was taking place, but no one pursued any sort of investigative follow-up. JoePa now admits he could've and should've done more. These are his own words, "It is one of the great sorrows of my life. I wish I had done more."

    No one is accusing JoePa of being knowingly complicit in these crimes. But because of not doing all he could do to investigate the suspicions at least eight young boys were emotionally and psychologically scarred for life. This is of course the greatest tragedy. But JoePa is also paying a terrible price. His 60 plus year career as the most successful coach in college football history, all the good he did financially and otherwise for Penn State and the Penn State family over all those decades will now forever be overshadowed by this tragic lapse of judgment.

    At 84 JoePa is coming to the end of his earthly race. As he nears the finish, giving the impression to himself and all the spectators that he is about to finish strong it comes to light that somewhere back on the course he stepped outside line, committed a foul and disqualified himself. His 409 victories on the gridiron will stay in the record books, but his reputation will never be what it could've been. As a headline on the cover of the 11/21/11 "Sports Illustrated" stated, "The Paterno Legacy - He can't get it back".

    Fellow Mountain Taker, let's finish strong. Make no room for compromise in your race.


    Carl is the Founder and President of Mountain Takers Inc.; a Training and Coaching enterprise, dedicated to “Equipping exceptional people to achieve extraordinary results.”

    Coupling his own marketing and business experience with 30+ years of coaching, counseling, training and leading people through all manner of life situations in his role as a pastor, he comes to the task uniquely prepared. Through public teaching, private counseling and coaching, he has helped individuals and organizations on four continents discover their purpose and learn what it means to be empowered to “take their mountain” of influence. At Mountain Takers Inc., “Your Success is Our Passion”.



  • 04-Oct-2011 10:52 AM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    Submitted by Susan Kastan

    When I packed to leave I had the feeling that I should have a contingency plan. The thought "what happens if I get stuck at JFK?" floated in and out of my head.  Something told me it was time to entertain that thought.
    Being proactive, I took a few precautions. I wore comfortable clothes instead of fashionable ones on the plane.  I made sure I had cash on hand. I charged all of my electronic devices. I put snacks (and Advil) in my carry-on. I shipped my valuables home separately. And, I made sure to get stranded in a city that doesn't sleep.

    All this preparation didn't totally eliminate that sinking feeling when the ticket agent said that my flight left without me.  But, it did help me recover faster mentally.  It helped me get the critical thinking and evaluating part of my brain back sooner.  Preparedness helped me gain an edge.

    So, the next time you get that nagging feeling, take a minute and play the "what-if" game.  Ask yourself questions like:

    • What if this doesn't go as planned?
    • What if I can't return to my home?
    • What information could I possibly need?
    Most importantly, don't be afraid to ask for help.  The really smart people always do.


    Sue Kastan
    President, Kastan Consulting, LLC
    Specializing in Information Security and Business Continuity Solutions
    Helping your business stay in business
    www.kastanconsulting.com
    Twitter @susankastan
    585 734-0804




  • 30-Aug-2011 1:15 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    Submitted by Carl Jenks
    Hearing and Heeding

    The saddest commentaries to come out of a natural disaster such as the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. just experienced with Hurricane Irene are the accounts of people who ignored/defied warnings and evacuation orders only to be swept away by the torrential weather or have some other form of weather related tragedy strike. Being a bit of a weather junkie, I spent a fair amount of time watching the Weather Channel last weekend. One of the features of most reports were shots of people cavorting in the ever rising surf or walking the beach bent into the increasingly ferocious wind. Sometimes even the reporting weather person would comment on how foolish some of these actions were. I must admit I joined in that sentiment, occasionally offering my own assessments.

    However, upon further reflection I found myself asking, "What about me? Am I Hearing and Heeding in my own life?"

    Hearing is an essential part of communication. Just ask any parent! But it's also essential in business. I just recently had the unfortunate experience of having a sales person who did not hear what I was asking for clearly and as a result I did not receive the right part, and as a consequence her company is eating some money, re-making the part, and I am still waiting to finish the needed and overdue repair.

    I make my living coaching executives and professionals of all stripes to achieve extraordinary results. The number one tool that I need to use, and often to teach, is the art of listening. How many times have I witnessed others (or myself) get into unnecessary trouble because of not listening or speaking too soon?  Hearing is so important to the coaching community that there is actually a website dedicated to encouraging coaches all over the globe to share their insights on the subject. It's very informative. But sometimes you get the sense that some of the least prepared to listen folks are the coaches themselves. I'm amazed at how many times the same thoughts are repeated from comment to comment. I ask, "Did anyone read what was already written?" It seems we're all ready to speak, but what aggravation, not to mention damage might be avoided if everyone took time to really hear?

    Hearing however is only the first half of the equation. Parents, does this sound familiar? "Johnny, pick up your toys." Ten minutes later, "Johnny, didn't you hear me? Pick up your toys!" "Yes, Daddy, I heard you…" You who are parents can easily fill in the rest of the story. Johnny sort of hears, but heeding, that's another thing.

    Returning for a moment to Irene - all who were taking chances and ignoring the pervasive and urgent storm warnings and government issued orders of evacutation certainly had heard with their ears, but what entered the ears never made the connection to the brain, or common sense!

    Who do you need to be hearing and heeding? Customers? Employees? Partners? Employers? Suppliers, Spouses? Parents? Kids? The list goes on and on. The truth is everywhere we turn there are opportunities, and needs to Hear and Heed. Hearing and Heeding goes a long way to making our lives more productive, successful, and fulfilling. Failing to do so can have disastrous consequences. Some would say the whole Human race would be in a far better place if Adam and Eve had practiced both in the Garden.

    Give Hearing and Heeding a try today. You'll be glad you did.

    For the last decade Carl has been serving small business CEOs and their enterprises. He has done extensive executive coaching, facilitated conflict resolution, conducted leadership training for management teams, helped refine business vision, bring employee training and publications to reflect corporate values more accurately, and for some clients engages in on going corporate life counsel. Internationally Carl has inspired hundreds of profit and non-profit leaders through numerous conferences and one-on-one interactions. Carl is also a published author.

    Carl's contact information:
    carl@mountaintakersinc.com
    585-503-1481
    www.mountaintakersinc.com
       
           
     




  • 29-Aug-2011 6:02 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    Submitted by Jen Ulrich, Answers to Organizing

    At the August 26th, I was a panelist at the RPCN (Rochester Professional Consultants Network) speaker meeting, discussing the important of having a "Board of Advisers" when working as a sole proprietor. My Board of Advisers includes three dynamic women with very different styles, business focus, and strengths. We meet every Monday morning (with very  few exceptions) to share our plans for the coming week, ask for support and give suggestions on troublesome business issues, and help each other to be accountable for our respective business goals. We call this gathering the Accountability Group.

    Members of Friday's RPCN audience offered some of the challenges they face as small business owners, such as isolation; knowing what equipment to get; learning how to market the business, write a proposal or attract new clients. These and many other issues are discussed at the monthly Business and Technical Forums at RPCN. But our Accountability Group goes several steps further; we go beyond the "how to" steps and help each other develop action and implementation plans that are specific to our businesses. Equally important, we focus on a timeline to ensure the project actually gets done.

    For me, the other members of the Accountability Group are my partners in business (not to be confused with business partners.) They hold a vital role in the success of Answers To Organizing. They are:

    Lori Cohen, Compass Quality Solutions - Lori works with small- and mid-sized companies to achieve ISO 9001 Quality Management Certification.

    Linda McQueen, Business to BEST Consulting - Linda employs efficiency principles, solutions, and technology to turn a business's vision into reality.

    Beth Sears, Workplace Communication, Inc. - Beth improves individual and organizational performance by helping build better relationships through open communication.

    If you would like to create your own support team, the following guidelines may help you get started:
    • Determine the size of the group - We've found four is the perfect size to allow everyone time to present and discuss issues. Pick whatever number you feel can be handled in the time allowed for meetings, but start small; you can always grow larger if desired.
    • Set the parameters for the group meetings: where, when, frequency. As I mentioned, we meet every Monday from 9-11 a.m. at a local coffee shop centrally located for all four of us. With some exception for special gatherings, we found one set time, day, and place is really the only way to go to avoid confusion.
    • Table stakes - Mutual respect, honesty, confidentiality, willingness to share, and a desire to learn. To avoid conflict of interest, it probably is best not to have more than one member in a specific field of expertise or industry.
    • Compatibility - This doesn't mean you all think alike; quite the opposite. In our group, we have introverts and extroverts, global thinkers and process professionals alike. What compatibility means in this context is people you can relate to, listen to, and with whom you enjoy spending time. Yes, we are business focused, but we have fun too. We genuinely care about each others' success, both professionally as well as personally.
    • No dues - Start-up companies and small businesses have enough expenses to deal with. What we are doing is making an investment of time to ourselves and each other that truly pays off.
    • Require commitment from all members to attend all meetings. Naturally vacations and illness are understandable. Most of my clients are consumers, whereas clients of the other three business owners are primarily other businesses. And in the business-to-business world, sometimes the client drives the dates of activities. But actually, it's fairly rare when one of us has to be absent from our Monday meeting. Because we have built strong bonds of respect for each other, we accept these infrequent and unavoidable absences willingly.
    So the next logical question is, "Where do I begin?"
    • Pay attention to the people around you when attending other group meetings or networking. Who interests you? Who is knowledgeable in an area you'd like to know more about? Who do you get along with?
    • Invite one person to coffee to get to know that individual better. If that person seems compatible to your style, open the conversation about forming an accountability group.
    • Come to agreement on the parameters of the group. As you consider others for membership, these will be the pre-established arrangements they will have to agree to before joining.
    • Discuss who else might be a good fit for your Accountability Group. Schedule separate one-on-one meetings; keep in mind, this is not an invitation-to-join meeting, just a get-to-know-you session.
    • Next, discuss with the other member whether or not you both agree that the person is a good fit. If yes, extend an invitation to join your group. If not, there's no harm done; you've expanded your network which always is good.
    • When you've reached three members (or when a vacancy needs to be filled), you can begin inviting other prospects to visit your meeting to share about their business with the group. Later, repeat the step above.
    As Lori, Linda, Beth and I shared with the RPCN group on Friday, being a member of this Accountability Group has made an invaluable impact for each of us in being more knowledgeable business professionals, working smarter and more efficiently, and raising our standards of accountability not only to ourselves and each other, but to our clients as well.



    Jen Ulrich, owner of Answers To Organizing and blogger for the "Democrat and Chronicle," is a professional organizer. She guides clients in the process of transforming their environments from cluttered settings to comfortable ones. In the past six years, she has recovered nearly $18,000 for her clients in their homes or small offices.

    This article has been modified from a blog posted at the "Democrat and Chronicle" website on August 26, 2011.
  • 18-Aug-2011 3:12 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    Submitted by Dave Young

    I'm a do-it-yourselfer, and I've followed a lot of instructions for everything from mixing concrete to baking bread (and, sometimes for baking bread that was more like concrete-but that's another story). As a writer and editor, I've  written a lot of instructions. Along the way to becoming what I am, I've become sensitized to several words and expressions. When I read them, an alarm sounds in my head.


    "Various" is a word that can usually be omitted. "Towards" and "toward" mean the same thing (opt for the simpler term). And "if" should be paired with "then" while "whether" should be paired with "or not" are just a few examples of my internal alarms.


    But I think the one that simply beats all is "simply." Years ago I read a recipe that said "Simply boil a few eggs…"  I spent several years (I'm not kidding!) reading cookbooks and asking other cooks how to "simply" do that. Ask me sometime and I'll share the secret of how to consistently hard-boil eggs without getting that greenish-grey coating around the yolk. But I digress.


    An author who writes "simply (do this)" assumes a lot of the reader. Those assumptions may be true, but more likely are not true. It may be simple for the author (who, we presume, knows how to do the task) but the reader may be completely ignorant. It's always better to assume that your reader is a novice and that you must explain the "simple" stuff too.


    Some things sound so easy. I recently heard a speaker say "There are thousands of templates for tri-fold brochures available on line. Simply pick out the one that suits your needs and fill in the blanks." (The term "tri-fold" was coined by the person who chose "WWW" for Worldwide Web [two Ws]. A tri-fold brochure is a sheet of paper with two folds.)


    So there you are with "thousands" of templates and you're supposed to "simply" choose the most appropriate one. Well, how do you know what's appropriate if you're new to brochure design? Why are there thousands of templates out there? Is it because there are thousands of opinions of what's appropriate? If you have no track record, how do you choose?


    You'll need to know several things to make such a choice. Just what are your needs? What is the objective of your brochure (menu of services, promoting a sale, introducing your company, driving people to your web site, …). How will it be used (printed and mailed, used as a leave-behind at interviews, mailed on request, placed in a rack at conferences, …) Will you use relevant graphics (not just "decorative" clip-art that doesn't help achieve your brochure's objective. And, how will you recognize an "effective" brochure when you see one? These and many more questions will pop up as you "simply choose an appropriate template." After you "simply" design your brochure, you may wish to "simply" design your own web site. There are thousands of templates on the web.


    About 40 years ago I worked as a writer at Kodak. I was also "moonlighting" doing artwork and typesetting for local offset printers. After being asked to "simply" design flyers for several printing customers I got curious how "real" artists went about "simply designing" flyers, so I found some free time and visited several in-house art shops at Kodak. I asked "What process do you use to design flyers?" I was amazed to find that they didn't really know how to explain what they did. However, I was able to piece together a few clues.


    First the artists would meet with the "customer" and ask what the flyer was to be used for (set the objective, such as "come to our bowling tournament"). Then they'd gather the facts (time, date, location, fees, etc.). That's the easy part.


    Putting the facts on a page in an eye-arresting, motivating display was based on a mental search of having seen and designed hundreds of flyers and a physical search of a "clip file." In other words, the artist had been doing years of "research" about what catches the eye, appropriate use of type faces and sizes, organization of information, choice of color, etc. Some had kept files of examples gathered over several years.


    Research is the step most novices overlook. It's the "simply" part. And, this is why I often say to people, "Why not have a professional do that for you-and be sure to choose a professional who's been in business for 20 or more years. That experience is what you're buying.


    As consultants we assume our clients will recognize the need to hire us professionals, but we fail to see that we too need to get help with things that appear simple.




    Dave's a free-lance business editor who has helped people communicate effectively in print for over 50 years. He welcomes your comments and your business.

    Don't know what an editor can do for you? Dave gives free samples.







  • 21-Jul-2011 2:32 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    Submitted by Carl Jenks

    Just Doing the Right Thing

    Doing the right thing should be the easiest thing in the world; if the world was a place of integrity. Unfortunately that's not the way it is. Every day the headlines tell us of the latest publisher, politician, entertainer, sports figure, or preacher who has done the "wrong thing".

    As I write this, the U.K. is reeling from a stream of resignations of very high profile public figures as revelations of phone hacking journalistic practices continue to cascade, ending careers, closing down a newspaper that had been in business for over 150 years; now heightened even further by the surprise death of the whistleblower who started the process rolling.

    Here in the U.S. the governor of our state, who ran a clean-up the capitol campaign has now been revealed to be continuing the very same "Pay to Play" practices he vowed to end. We have also discovered that some state senators who were "committed" to supporting the morality of one course of action, [and whose votes were essential to maintain that direction] but abandoned their staunchly proclaimed commitments and voted their "conscious's" on this very controversial measure were actually paid for their change of heart in the form of each receiving the highest legally allowed campaign contribution from one of the chief proponents of the measure in question. Their votes carried the measure to victory. 

    In the midst of this sea of situational truth and action stands Christian Lopez, a 23 year old cell phone salesman. Christian is the very fortunate fellow who was in Yankee Stadium when Derek Jeter, the Yankee super-star hit his 3,000th hit as a Yankee. Jeter hit a home run right into the stands where Christian Lopez was sitting. Jeter hit it out into the stand and Lopez caught it. Jeter's hit made history for both men.

    For Derek Jeter, the hit was historic because he was the first Yankee to have reached that number of hits while playing for the team. For Christian Lopez it became historic because he "Just did the right thing."

    Rather than make the Yankees pay thousands and thousands of dollars to buy (ransom) the ball back, Christian simply returned the ball to Derek Jeter, saying to those who interviewed him, "Jeter deserves this; he worked so hard for this, I was not going to be the person to take it away from him." (1)

    Not surprisingly many people criticized Christian for doing the right thing, saying he missed a golden opportunity to make a financial killing off of the Yankees. But Christian took the higher road, walked in integrity and did the right thing.

    A columnist I read this last weekend commented that perhaps the strangest part of this story is that Christian's action is unfortunately seen as unusual, and hence news worthy. The columnist's closing statement I believe expresses the world's hunger for integrity; "Let's hope that the next time someone does right, it's not such big news."
    (2)

    You never know what impact your daily "doing the right thing" might have on the world around you.


    (1) YES Network
    (2) Steve Israel, "Times Herald Record" 7/15/11


     Carl is the Founder and President of Mountain Takers Inc.; a Training and Coaching enterprise, dedicated to “Equipping exceptional people to achieve extraordinary results.”

    Coupling his own marketing and business experience with 30+ years of coaching, counseling, training and leading people through all manner of life situations in his role as a pastor, he comes to the task uniquely prepared. Through public teaching, private counseling and coaching, he has helped individuals and organizations on four continents discover their purpose and learn what it means to be empowered to “take their mountain” of influence. At Mountain Takers Inc., “Your Success is Our Passion”.


  • 02-Jul-2011 2:51 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    Submitted by Carl Jenks

    A perusal of internet articles on business or career will yield many good points on what integrity looks like or does, but I have yet to find one that answers the question "Where does integrity come from?" If it is an important principle and behavior for me to cultivate to promote my career, which it certainly is, I think it would be important to know where the idea comes from.

    Integrity it turns out is a very old idea. Our word comes from the Middle English, but the word and concept dates back all the way to Rome. [And long before I'm sure] Integrity comes from the Latin, "Integritas" and "Integer" Integer is still used today, and is therefore a good place to begin.

    Webster's New World Dictionary informs us that integer in Latin means: "untouched, whole, entire" In modern English it means: 
    "1. Anything complete in itself; entity; whole
      2. A whole number - distinguished from a fraction"

    From integer we glean two important ideas - the concepts of wholeness and singularity. In math, a whole number is sometimes referred to as an integer. This distinguishes it from fractional numbers. Fractions are numbers that have been divided. If we are going to walk in integrity we must remain whole and singular in our dedication to the principles that we embrace. Professionals conducting themselves in this way can be counted on to be undivided in their commitments, decisions, and actions. A business can thrive with these men and women.  Integrity and situational fidelity are incompatible for a career path known for integrity.

    Another word that comes down to us from the Latin "integer" is integral. Integral comes from the same root as integer and integrity. It means: "Necessary for completeness; essential, not fractional" Building on the idea of wholeness, integral adds the understanding of how necessary it is for that wholeness to be made complete. Integrity is a solid building block for every enterprise of humanity. Integrity in a structure means that it is solid, well built and dependable. A bridge that has integrity will support the traffic that travels across it. A manager who walks in integrity can be depended upon to get the job done. His role and integrity are integral to the success of the company. 

    Finally we come to the word integrity itself. Turning once more to Webster's New World Dictionary we have the following definitions:

    "1. The quality or state of being complete; unbroken condition; wholeness; entirety
      2. The quality or state of being unimpaired; perfect condition; soundness
      3. The quality or state of being of sound moral principle; uprightness; honesty;
          sincerity"

    Right away we see the similarities with integer and integral. Integrity is all about wholeness, singularity, completeness, soundness. What we learn in addition is that integrity can have these qualities because it's rooted in a "state of being of sound moral principle" Integrity is not built on shifting sand. Integrity is securely anchored to a base of sound moral principle. This base is characterized by "uprightness, honesty, and sincerity".

    Making integrity a hallmark of your career or business begins with knowing what you believe, why you believe it and drawing a line in the dirt that says, "I will not cross this line. I will stay true to these principles." The firmer and clearer they are the easier it will be to walk them out.

    Integrity is a career decision reflected in honesty, wholeness, sincerity, and steadfastness in the face of the winds of subtle character erosion. Many persons have set out to be people of integrity, but along the way have lost sight of its origin. Now that you have seen where it comes from may you be better equipped to lead the way.



    Carl is the Founder and President of Mountain Takers Inc.; a Training and Coaching enterprise, dedicated to “Equipping exceptional people to achieve extraordinary results.”
    Coupling his own marketing and business experience with 30+ years of coaching, counseling, training and leading people through all manner of life situations in his role as a pastor, he comes to the task uniquely prepared. Through public teaching, private counseling and coaching, he has helped individuals and organizations on four continents discover their purpose and learn what it means to be empowered to “take their mountain” of influence. At Mountain Takers Inc., “Your Success is Our Passion”.
  • 09-Jun-2011 6:03 PM | Steve Royal (Administrator)
    Contributed by Susan Kastan, Kastan Consulting, LLC

    Rochester, N.Y. is not known for its floods, but then not all water disasters are floods. As a matter of fact, two and a half gallons of water and some new shoes are enough to disrupt a business. As I carried the water from the dehumidifier up the stairs from the basement, I tripped and the bucket of water spilled. I probably only lost about a gallon of the water but it was where the water fell that was the problem – right on top of the storage area for the business. Of course, right?

    I consider myself lucky. The important stuff was in plastic bins. It was the office supplies – the unused note pads and legal pads that took the biggest hit. In the cleanup process, I found some stuff I didn’t need any more that I was able to throw out (always good). Some water had splashed on a spare network router I had stored there. I had put the router, the cables, and the instructions in a plastic bag which made the cleanup process easier. The incident certainly got me thinking about things I need to revisit in my storage area.

    The moral of the story: not all water damage is the result of a natural disaster. Your business continuity and disaster recovery plans should consider natural disasters as well as other accidents when developing protection strategies.

    Written by Susan Kastan, Kastan Consulting LLC
    Helping your business stay in business
    Edited by Dave Young, Communication Services

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