Prepare Your Will

excerpted from Time To Lead: Steps To Transformation For Those and Those You Lead

timetoleadLeaders are able to reroute their path to meet core vision and objective.

Hezekiah was a God-Follower. It Changed His Life To Obedience

 II Kings 18: 5: He trusted in the LORD God of Israel; so that after him was none like him among all the kings of Judah, nor any that were before him.

Rest in this – it is His business to lead, command, impel, send, call or whatever you want to call it. It is your business to obey, follow, move, respond, or what have you. Jim Elliot

 Rule Well

Hopefully, we rule well. Our challenge is to address the issues of today that have been left unaddressed, too long. Our challenge is to set a powerful course that will reverse the manners in which we have become accustomed and find a course that will guide for decades. Our nation has lost moral compass and needs a strong thrust to establish a critical course for the future. It will be disastrous if we do not engage and adjust.

Principles Work

Leadership is leadership. Anyone can see results if they adhere to the principles. The more principles invoked, the greater the leadership. Yet, sometimes, it only takes one principle to fit with the timing of events and a great leader emerges. A leader empowered with the love and wisdom of God through Christ has a distinctive “accelerator” in results. God works with us doing miracles. (Mark 16)

Real Success

There are leaders entrenched in manipulation and avarice and greed. That is not where we need to look for example. Study them. Understand them. Avoid the fault lines. Men like Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin need to be studied. Understanding why people followed such leaders is important, but not wisdom to emulate. People will follow base leadership that touches their prurient side. That does not make a successful leader or leave a better world.

 Worthy Goals

Earl Nightingale identified success as the progressive realization of a worthy goal. I like that definition. So my first test of greatness in leadership is a worthy goal. Is the goal one that builds other people? Is the goal one that adds to productivity? One U.S. company has the goal of producing the best “sin product”. Cigarettes, beer, snuff; anything that is damaging and addictive but legal for consumption is on their agenda. The greatest influence leader in that organization would not be considered successful in my estimation. There is no worthy goal in contributing to the destruction of human bodies and relationships.

Check The Core

If the core philosophy or goal or vision or mission is off center, scrap that example. Study those leaders and goals to understand the ways and wiles of mankind. Look for your own leadership example elsewhere. If you find your goals and methods following a leader with an unworthy goal, find a good closet for repentance, change your mindset, and get corrected. Some of the greatest leaders in history started with an unworthy focus, shifted, and become powerful in building communities. The ability to correct direction when it has gone awry is a quality of a great leader.

Pray with Faith: In the intensity of change, Lord, I look to You for guidance.  Mold my mind, will, and emotion to be Yours.

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Fix The Plumbing

Don’t hand your customer toilet paper for a messy problem. Fix the plumbing.

Creative managers create solutions alongside staff. Duct tape and WD40 and vise grips may be all that is needed to do small jobs around the house. That won’t do in a productive and viable business. You need to fix the plumbing. You need to eliminate the repeating problem. You need to take responsibility instead of putting the issue in the customer’s hands. Don’t make them clean it up.

Good service management attends to a few items. There are incidents and service requests, problems and changes. Keep clarity between items. Address appropriately.

Incidents and Service Requests: These two items make up the bulk of customer service.

A service request is what we live to do. A customer asks for a product or service to be delivered. So do it. Do it with excellence and alacrity. Do it with pizzazz and punctuality. Do it. A service request may ask for an altered product or service or a new product or service. That means we have to jump into the area of change and that is another manage well article.

An incident is what we wish would never happen. While delivering a product or service, something is not right. Color is too light. The size is too big. The pizza came with pepperoni instead of black olives. The customer wanted 250 and we delivered 1000. While working with a client, every other email returned an error. My service provider was experiencing incidents. Thankfully they cleared the issue, but not before my customer had to wait extra minutes waiting on reports to be delivered as I had promised. Incidents need to be restored to proper service levels immediately and product or service delivered.

Problems and Changes: Confuse these and your customers will suffer unreasonable delays and constant delivery disruption.

Problems are incidents that won’t go away until a change is installed or a fix applied. A fix is just a fancy name for a change. When the plumbing backed up into my house through the shower drain, it impressed me something was tragically wrong. All the paper towels and mop buckets would not resolve this. When a problems occurs you need to look for root cause of the issue and determine a resolution or change to be made to stop the incidents from coming back. The sewer main had collapsed at the saddle in my back yard blocking all drainage from the house. The city came, sent cameras down the lines, and claimed it was an incident, it was my incident, and they were going home. I don’t think so. A friend and I dug seven foot deep in my back yard until we found the collapsed connection leading to the major collapsed connection. The city came back and repaired at much expense and then paid to restore my house to right order. Their paper towel and toilet paper solution was not going to fix my backhoe and major plumbing problem. Full repair and restoration was needed. The root cause had to be determined and a change made to get us back on track.

Changes move the nature of the service into a different order. Replacing the main saddle in my back yard not only restored right water flow out of the house, it took care of a sinkhole that could have swallowed one of my children. No one knew the sink hole existed until we dug up the yard. There were bigger problems looming that the change repaired. Changes fix things for good. Not necessarily forever, but for good. And they have potential to adjust the nature of the product or service. By handing me a toilet paper solution the city was setting us all up for some major pain.

Kudos for the city. The next time I had a city potential issue, the service manager came out, inspected, found a crack in the line feeding water to my house, repaired it, installed a new meter, and made me a happy man. It was a different experience and one for which I am grateful. Oh, they also reversed charges on my water bill even though the leak appeared to be in my pipe not the city pipe. That is service. They took responsibility for a debatable item and went an extra step. I love my city’s service.
Summary: Get your customer back to service as rapidly as possible. And then look deeper to determine if a problem exists that will cause service to be impacted again. Find the root and fix the plumbing. Work on your shop processes. Look for machine malfunctions. Examine reporting routines. Do whatever it takes to eliminate repeating incidents. Your customer will appreciate. Your business will grow.

Be Busy Building Better Business  Have a Great Day!

Phil

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The Biggest In-Plant Mistakes

At the GraphExpo in Chicago, listen to four key in-plant leaders talk about big mistakes.

Views on Shop Transformations – Conditioning Change For People

Discussions with shops around the nation result in a few inevitables.

1. How do you get people to move forward?

2. How do you get other people to move forward?

That is a purposeful pun.

It really gets to be all about people in our efforts to change products and processes.  Those changes always mean changes in people, projects and props (the tools and technologies).  But the people are in the center of it all.

Product change means marketing and selling customers and investors.  For an In Plant, they are the same.  Customers are investors.  They are the source of income and many times the only source.   Sure, the CFO, COO, and CEO have strong opinions and input especially for transactional product lines.  Yet, more and more effective print and distribution management for In Plants must engage the Marketing and Sales customers.   That is high powered growth.  Transactional has a high likelihood for being sourced and reduced significantly.  You must move forward.

Process change is the same.  Your highest sell is to your internal production teams.  Next comes the customer.  Many processes can be changed without engaging the customer.  Yet, you need to ask yourself why you are doing changes if the customer does not benefit?  They have an interest, even if it is just to know you are working on cost improvement or cost containment for them.

Prop changes are for the products and processes or they should not be done.  Nuff said.  You should not be retooling just to get the next fancy wangamahoochie.  Technology must meet real business demand to go through the pain of change.  Your production team must understand how the customer will benefit along with the product and the process.  Your production team should improve skill and contribution and have more fun when you change technologies and tools.

Projects are what implement changes.  Have them or die.  A defined way to analyze, define, plan, implement, and optimize goes with every change.  There are budget approvals and customer approvals and departmental approvals and  worker approvals and self approvals and vendor approvals and IT approvals and on and on and on that must be planned and coordinated along the path to productive and prosperous change.

So people are involved in every step and every area of change.  Those murky, hard to understand, mental, emotion, physical, and spiritual beings can make change heaven or hell.

Just for fun think of four types you will encounter.

Mundane Mary:  The person will ask question after question.  She will want to understand the universal and specific reasons for the change.  Put her on the analysis team with a specific deadline.  She might drive you insane, but she might find a hole in some plan that saves your hide.

Slap Happy Sam:  The person will want to implement without a thought.  Every day is an opportunity for a new party.  He can get inclusion guaranteed as long as he is armed with a few facts to support his sales of you and the project.  Make friends with him.  Get him to understand how this change will improve happiness for someone.

Hard Ball Bart: Whew.. he will want profitability or cost reduction.  This guy is important.  He will make you justify in the right manners.  Convince him.  Do your homework.

Amiable Amy:  She just want to get along.  So make sure she is on the implementation and training track.  She will work until it works for everyone else.

This is a blog not a book.  So I am ending here.  Just some thoughts to stir you up on the path to progress.

#graphexpo Surprises

The #HP 7600 is an all in one-der system that needs your view.  Consider your growth needs and customization needs of customers.
#KonicaMinolta in software?  The EngageIt package developed by a successful ad agency must be considered if you are a small to midsize inplant or commercial shop looking to do integrated cross media.
#RSA never quits improving.  Look again if you have not in a while.  A great platform from which you can build great lean
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