Guident Newsletter – April 2017 – Issue 12

I thought I was a good communicator, not so much! At one time in my career, I was a partner in a manufacturing company with a multi-million dollar annual budget.  I pride myself on being a good communicator and I was, at work.  I remember one particular month when we experienced a $20,000 operating loss.  I was frustrated with our poor performance and called all managers into an executive meeting to assess the root cause of the problem and to develop a strategy to correct the operations so we would not have to experience this type of loss again.  I was satisfied we had the problem identified and a good plan of action going forward.  Nonetheless, I was still very frustrated with our poor performance. Later in the day when I arrived home my wife was at the kitchen counter preparing our meal for the night.  She sensed that I was frustrated and asked what was wrong.  I said, “We had a terrible month and lost $20,000.” I immediately went outside to “shoot some buckets” in our driveway.   This was one of the ways I de-stressed at the end of the day.  After a while, I was feeling much better […]

Guident Newsletter – October 2016 – Issue 6

Who are your “Leaders’ without Stripes”? When I am asked by business owners to assist with changing the culture within their organization, I often ask, “Do you know who your “leaders’ without stripes” are?”  Business owners are some of the most prolific people within the organization.  They are constantly coming up with innovative ways to improve their businesses.  While working with one business owner to change the culture in his organization I observed this exchange… The business owner delivered a speech to the organization describing a new policy to improve their culture.  A young apprentice was walking back to his department after this meeting and asked his foreman, “What do you think?  I think “The Boss” has a great idea there.”  The foreman has been with the company for a long time and has seen a lot of “stuff” come and go within the organization.  His response to the young apprentice was, “Listen, you work for me!  This is another one of “The Bosses” ideas that will fissile out in a week or two.  You do what I tell you or you’ll answer to me!”  The young apprentice agreed and stepped in line with his foreman. The question becomes, “Who […]

Guident Newsletter – September 2016 – Issue 5

Every Business Owner Should Own a White Shirt! I once had a client who owned an auto repair business.  He was a very good mechanic and worked on cars all the time.  You could often find several cars and trucks in his back yard waiting to be worked on.  As his family grew, his wife wanted the vehicles out of the yard.  His solution was to start a business and open a shop of his own.   He called me because his banker was asking him for accurate financial statements. He would work 12 hours a day under the hood of a car and then spend a half hour every other day trying to get caught up on his bookwork.  I would visit him every week on a specific day, let’s say Tuesday, for 90 minutes.  During our initial conversations, actually all the time we worked together, he would give me grief that I wore a white shirt.  As you know, he would say, anyone who wears a white shirt all the time definitely is not working.  He would wear the typical blue and grey stripped mechanic’s shirt covered with grease and dirt stains.  Often times when I first came to […]

Guident Newsletter – August 2016 – Issue 4

People and Aluminum are different, Go Figure! A few years ago I was coaching an owner of a fabrication business.  He is one of the smartest people I know, and a very talented fabricator of aluminum products.  I watched as he created precision bends and welds on the materials he used in his trade.  He had a very good business but he did have a challenge with keeping good people.  I was hired to help him understand why he had such high turnover rates, which as you know costs organizations time and money. One day I witnessed him speaking harshly to an employee.  After the fact we talked about what spurred his emotions with that individual.  In fact, I was told by other employees of the firm that this type of behavior from “The Boss” was common place and was one of the main reasons people left the company.  The owner explained how frustrated he was that he had to tell his people again and again before they understood what he wanted on the fabrication floor. I asked him to bring me a piece of scrap aluminum, which he did.  It was approximately a foot by a foot square.  I […]

Guident Business Newsletter – July 2016 – Issue 3

Cabbage Moth Syndrome Have you or do you know of someone who has been afflicted by the “CABBAGE MOTH SYNDROME”? This lesson was taught to me by my oldest grandson a few years ago. One Easter Sunday my daughter planned an Easter Egg Hunt for my grandson. She placed tiny miniature marshmallows into a dozen or so brightly colored plastic Easter eggs and placed them in the yard in plain sight and in a row. She then pointed them out to my grandson who immediately went to the nearest one and opened it. He was excited to see the miniature marshmallows inside and promptly ate them. He then went to the next nearest egg and opened it, thrilled to find more marshmallows. All the time this was going on my daughter was recording him on her iPhone. She was planning to share video with friends and family on Facebook. Everything was going great until this Cabbage Moth showed up. This tiny white moth flew in front of my grandson, distracted him and led him off into another direction. Obviously this frustrated my daughter who was busy filming. She became noticeably agitated with the boy. I suggested she be patient and wait a few minutes. My grandson, who was easily distracted, knew where the […]