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Posts Tagged ‘communication’

Adding a partner…should we consider a pre-nup?

A Second View of the World
So, you are thinking of acquiring a partner in your business.  Maybe you want a partner to spread the workload or liability.  You could have differing areas of expertise and want to become a “one stop shop”.

Think before you get engaged and sign those final papers! 

As one Company President put it, “a partnership is like a marriage without the good parts.” 

Consider these suggestions, before moving forward as suggested by my TAB Board

  • Each party invests the same amount of money
  • A change in equity equals a change in authority
  • You have to trust all parties involved, even minor partners
  • An exit strategy must be as clear as possible before entering the partnership
  • Be sure a full-fledged business plan is in place, including all stages of the business
  • Get a signed management agreement from all parties involved
  • Work with an HR consultant to predict behavior and discuss potential hotspots
  • Expect to invest 20% more money and 20% more time

These pointers can come in handy even if you are considering a strategic business partnership or affliation.  Because as we all know, “breaking up is so very hard to do.”

Lesson from Frank Maguire: Treat everyone like a rock star!

When I received the sad news that Frank Maguire, my lifelong friend, mentor and FEDEX founding senior executive had passed away on a business flight, my immediate reaction was one of grief.   What would I miss the most?  The stories of Colonel Sanders and Kentucky Fried Chicken in the early days?  His experience in the White House when JFK was in office?  How he took the time from his international speaking circuit to speak about his cherished memories of my father at his funeral?  

Anyone who knew Frank would say, “how he made me feel”.  My mind flitted back to when he was the keynote speaker at a conference in Houston many years ago. His charismatic persuasiveness made the least touchy feel-y of executives break through their defenses, hold hands and bellow, “this little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine!” with Frank leading the chorus. It was amazing to witness his impact on others. 

Moving through the crowd toward his hotel, he cut a swath of smiles and satisfied nods as we crossed the conference center floor.  Why each hotel staffer was told how they personally made a positive difference to his stay!  Even  Carmela, the housekeeper.  Frank exclaimed, “why, my wife’s name is Carmel. I’m on my way home to see her…let me kiss you on the cheek for that,” with that Irish twinkle in his eye. Carmela  and her co-workers beamed as he was whisked away in his limousine.    

Did it take any extra time or effort for Frank to be observant of those lives he touched? Maybe, a little.  Yet, every time he found the “light” in us, his grew brighter.  And Frank, I, for one, am going to miss that “little light of yours” that still burns very brightly in my heart.

Recognition: Hey, Boss, I’m starving!

Talking in LanguagesStep into the middle of this board room conversation …”I learned my wife doesn’t care about getting gifts or flowers, she wants me to help out around the house. Oh, not my girlfriend, if I don’t tell her how special she is to me all the time, she thinks something is wrong!” After several female board members piped in about what their beliefs were about their husbands and partners preferences, someone suggesting reading   The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman.

Being a consultant who works with companies with people conflict, I pondered on the “appreciation languages” of my consulting client’s employees…were they hearing the right language?  

How many times had I interviewed employees who were starved for recognition from their manager? Research had reported countless times that money was not a motivator, so what could an employer do?  Most look to books for an idea list of recognition methods, without any idea of what would speak to the individual. 

If Dr. Chapman’s ideas work for love, how about for business?

With my apologies to Dr. Chapman, how about a quiz which flags the primary way our employees want to be recognized at work? 


Select your number 1 and number 2 preferred method of appreciation from the choices below.

I feel most valued when a person/manager/co-worker:

  1.  ______Tells me how grateful they are for me and the things I do for them or the company
  2.  ______ Gives me their focused attention without any interruptions
  3.  ______Brings me a gift or other tangible item of appreciation
  4.  ______Pitches in to help me, perhaps taking over something that I’m behind on or find routine or boring
  5.  ______Expresses positive feelings through acceptable physical contact- like a pat on the back, high-5 or knuckle bump

According to Dr. Gary Chapman’s work, there are 5 Languages.  Learn which top 2 languages make you feel the most valued.

1 = Words of Affirmation

2 = Quality Time

3 = Receiving Gifts

4 = Acts of Service

5 = Physical Touch

This week observe how others are expressing appreciation toward you and others.  Which “language” makes you feel most valued and what happens when someone uses your least preferred language?

Try giving this simple quiz to your employees.  Start speaking their language, feed them with the right kind of appreciation and you’ll notice  productivity soar!

Drive for perfection, yet strive toward excellence?

Blinded by the lightA guy who viewed himself as one of the most laid-back “happy go-lucky” executives in the world asked himself this question upon recuperating in the hospital from an unexpected bypass heart operation. How could the ticker lose its tock now, when it he had survived the early pressures of the infancy days of FEDEX losing $1million a month and  when Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken threatened to go on the Johnny Carson show and blow the new CEO out of the water because he planned to change the formula of the gravy!

Frank shares his reflections in: 


Perfection is being right.

Excellence is willing to be wrong.

Perfection is fear.

Excellence is taking a risk.

Perfection is anger and frustration.

Excellence is powerful.

Perfection is control.

Excellence is spontaneous.

Perfection is judgement.

Excellence is accepting.

Perfection is taking.

Excellence is giving.

Perfection is doubt.

Excellence is confidence.

Perfection is pressure.

Excellence is natural.

Perfection is the destination.

Excellence is the journey.

Written by Frank Maguire 

The original Senior Vice President of Industrial Relations for Federal Express, Frank Maguire is credited by
CEO, Fred Smith, as creating the corporate culture that resulted in FEDEX being named “The Top Corporation of the Decade” by Fortune Magazine.

Top performers test the waters

North Stradbroke Island_3840 A
Eight Critical Questions    

Knowing the answers to these eight questions, will save you a lot of heartache if you have a serious contender for your top job or if you have someone testing if “the grass is greener on the other side”.  These can be used in a pre-interview situation or be repeated within the first interview to gauge the reaction of the applicant. 

  1. What type of commute are you accustomed to?
  2. What are your current circumstances which have made you consider a new position?
  3. What are the reasons you’ve left position x, y and z?
  4. When did you start your search?
  5. At what interviewing stage are you at with other job opportunities?
  6. Have you received any job offers? Many applicants indicate they have job offers when they only have interviewed or applied to positions online.
  7. Have you ever accepted a position in good faith and found that when you turned in your resignation, your company made you a counter-offer?
  8. Follow-up questions for a Yes answer: How lucrative was the offer? How did you handle it with the company who had just hired you? In the long-run, were you happy you made that decision?

 If question 1 is asked of an applicant,  who “needs a job”, if a commute of 25 miles to work daily will work for them, the answer will usually be YES!  “That’s no problem!”  A question framed to be answered either yes or no, does not give you information that reflects past behavior.    When the employee quits at 6 months, the exit interviewer will ask the reason for leaving. The answer most likely will be…”the drive is too long”. Could that turnover have been avoided?

Asking about the applicant’s current and past reasons for leaving a position can reveal a number of characteristics about the applicant.  Remember, we routinely may ask this question hundreds of times, yet to the applicant this is very personal.  Be sure to ask and then listen, without interrupting.  Encouraging others by nodding or repeating phrases can help those struggling to collect their thoughts or encourage a more complete response.

 Their answer will be an immediate indicator of how well they organize and communicate thoughts regarding their personal decisions, values, and beliefs about their past performance, business relationships and company culture.  Your position may require good communication skills and presentation, so you’ve had your first glimpse at their skill level.

 Have you ever called your favorite candidate back for a second interview only to find out they just accepted another position?  Put some boundaries around your expectations before you become too hopeful about any one candidate.  By knowing up front how long they’ve searched and if they have any real or potential job offers, you can manage your interviewing schedule and expectations more effectively…and save yourself from a broken heart when you’ve fallen in love with that top candidate that was only “testing the waters.”

"Pat brings her charm, wit and insight into her advisory relationships and shares the same with her audiences. She's got the systems to back up her concepts."

- Frank Maguire FEDEX Senior Founding Executive

John Maxwell


Profiles Int'l