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Glass Half Full or Empty?
September 21st, 2016
by Bill Boyajian

17691643_sSome of us see the glass half empty and some of us see the glass half full.  If we always see things one way, it’s a good rule of thumb to try to see things differently.

As an example, when we can only see people in a certain light, we tend to see only their strong points or weak points, and in doing so, we tend to exaggerate whatever we see.  For example, if you see a salesperson as pushy or too aggressive, you might conclude that they aren’t good at what they do, whereas if you review their sales results, you might find them to be outstanding.

Any one of us can tend to see only what we want to see.  If we keep looking for someone to do something wrong, we’ll eventually find it.  When we find the flaw, we label the person by what we see, and find it hard (if not impossible) to see their virtues.  On the contrary, if we only see the positive in people, we may miss the things where they need improvement, and fail to give counsel in those areas of growth or development.  In effect, we cover or hide peoples’ weaknesses, believing that confrontation for improvement will cause conflict, something we want to avoid at all cost.

The answer lies in our ability to see positives and negative, virtues and growth potential, and to be committed to helping people become all they can be.  It isn’t easy, but it’s a great goal.  Try it this week.



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Top of Mind: September 22, 2016
September 21st, 2016
by Bill Boyajian

Clarifying Issues

My message last time on the proper use of smart phones and a Business Tip on hiring Millennials created quite a stir.  Some people felt I was favoring the hiring of Millennials over Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, and that is simply not the case.  Employers need to hire for exactly what they need in the workplace.  I favor hiring mature people, regardless of their age – people who exhibit “adult” behavior.

36878767 - three businesspeople during debate in conference roomOne of the biggest problems in retail businesses today is generating Millennial traffic.  Millennials – all of us, really – are inclined to research and often purchase products of all kinds over the Internet.  Millennials know how Millennials think.  Few of the rest of us have figured that out.  Why not have them help you market and merchandise to what Millennials want?
But Gen Xers and Baby Boomers have something that Millennials necessarily don’t: EXPERIENCE!   Seasoned people in the older generations present a huge opportunity for employers.  Again, the key is to hire for what you need, when you need it, and not just hastily fill a position with any warm body.

Regarding the message on cell phone use, I had a very astute owner suggest to me that cell phones can be very effective security devices.  Being able to take a picture (or even the appearance of taking a picture) of a suspicious person or vehicle can be an excellent deterrent to crime.

The key in all this – intelligent hiring and the proper use of cell phones in the workplace – is simply a focus on common sense and sensibilities.  Smart phones can be great tools for business or annoying extensions of our being.  Mature people come in all ages.  The key is to find the right ones for what you need when you need them.

I hope this is helpful clarification, and as always, I welcome your comments.

 

Here are a few Business & Life Tips to think about….

Business Tips:

  • If you want to be the best organization, company, department, committee, or team, lead and inspire the people who work with you.
  • Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is caught, not taught. Leading is a position of influence and a life-long learning experience.
  • People want to know that they are appreciated for a job well done and that they contributed to the success of a shared team effort.

Life Tips:

  • Most of us tend to see things through our own lens of life, which often makes it hard for us to see things from others’ perspective.
  • A good remedy for feeling sorry for yourself is to consider what you have to be thankful for. Life is a gift. Make the most of it.
  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ) trumps IQ every time in leadership. Leaders need to be smart and competent, but relational, too.

 
Here are a couple past articles written by Bill….

Use Common Sense with Your Smart Phone

Millenials: Misunderstood or Just Different?



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Clarifying Issues
September 13th, 2016
by Bill Boyajian

My message last time on the proper use of smart phones and a Business Tip on hiring Millennials created quite a stir.  Some people felt I was favoring the hiring of Millennials over Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, and that is simply not the case.  Employers need to hire for exactly what they need in the workplace.  I favor hiring mature people, regardless of their age – people who exhibit “adult” behavior.

36878767 - three businesspeople during debate in conference roomOne of the biggest problems in retail businesses today is generating Millennial traffic.  Millennials – all of us, really – are inclined to research and often purchase products of all kinds over the Internet.  Millennials know how Millennials think.  Few of the rest of us have figured that out.  Why not have them help you market and merchandise to what Millennials want?

But Gen Xers and Baby Boomers have something that Millennials necessarily don’t: EXPERIENCE!   Seasoned people in the older generations present a huge opportunity for employers.  Again, the key is to hire for what you need, when you need it, and not just hastily fill a position with any warm body.

Regarding the message on cell phone use, I had a very astute owner suggest to me that cell phones can be very effective security devices.  Being able to take a picture (or even the appearance of taking a picture) of a suspicious person or vehicle can be an excellent deterrent to crime.

The key in all this – intelligent hiring and the proper use of cell phones in the workplace – is simply a focus on common sense and sensibilities.  Smart phones can be great tools for business or annoying extensions of our being.  Mature people come in all ages.  The key is to find the right ones for what you need when you need them.

I hope this is helpful clarification, and as always, I welcome your comments.



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Top of Mind: September 8, 2016
September 8th, 2016
by Bill Boyajian
Use Common Sense with Your Smart Phone

Clients often ask me what their policy should be for staff members and sales associates who use their smart phone during work hours. Our digital devices – whether we like it or not – have managed to integrate our work, social, and personal lives as never before. Millennials, in particular, view their phone as a vital extension of their being. Trying to change that, at this point, would be as futile as trying to live in a world without computers.

This said, work is for work, and not for personal communications or playing on the internet. Associates should use their phones only on breaks or lunch periods, where their time is their own, not their employer’s. There are exceptions, however. If contacting clients is important to facilitate business, by all means, use your phone. But if it isn’t, be mindful of the fact that your employer pays you for an eight-hour work day.

I think it’s a matter of principle. Most people want to do a good job and to be a valued and respected member of your team. They need to be told what that means when it comes to work and how unfair it is for employees to take time away from their bosses to do their own thing. Associates want to be treated fairly, but so do owners and managers. It really comes down to what is fair and just for everyone. Let common sense prevail.

Here are a few Business & Life Tips to think about….

Business Tips:

  • When you work for someone, your job is to do well and add value. It’s about what you bring to the table to make a difference.
  • Hire young people. They bring new ideas and new technology to your business. They are in tune with what’s fresh in the world.
  • Your primary responsibility as a leader is not just to lead well, but to develop new leaders so well that it makes your role less essential.

Life Tips:

  • Change enables growth. The fear of change inhibits progress. Most know what they must change, but refuse to do it. Be different.
  • Materialism is a part of society that is hard to escape, but a perfect antidote to it is generosity. Giving back is very rewarding.
  • When we quiet ourselves, we can more easily think, reflect, and observe. Take time today to be still and listen to your inner voice.

 

I received a lot of comments on my Tips on Flying in the last issue. Here are a couple more:

  • When flying to a new time zone, especially internationally, change the time of your watch to the time zone you’re flying into. If you’re changing planes domestically or internationally, you don’t want to be confused about the time of departure of your next plane.
  • When flying, especially internationally, you should try to sleep in the evening of the time zone you’re flying into. This will lessen your jet lag and allow you to adapt much quicker to the new time zone.


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Use Common Sense with Your Smart Phone
August 26th, 2016
by Bill Boyajian

47902752 - smart phone addiction

Clients often ask me what their policy should be for staff members and sales associates who use their smart phone during work hours.  Our digital devices – whether we like it or not – have managed to integrate our work, social, and personal lives as never before.  Millennials, in particular, view their phone as a vital extension of their being.  Trying to change that, at this point, would be as futile as trying to live in a world without computers.

This said, work is for work, and not for personal communications or playing on the internet.  Associates should use their phones only on breaks or lunch periods, where their time is their own, not their employer’s.  There are exceptions, however.  If contacting clients is important to facilitate business, by all means, use your phone.  But if it isn’t, be mindful of the fact that your employer pays you for an eight-hour work day.

I think it’s a matter of principle.  Most people want to do a good job and to be a valued and respected member of your team.  They need to be told what that means when it comes to work and how unfair it is for employees to take time away from their bosses to do their own thing.  Associates want to be treated fairly, but so do owners and managers.  It really comes down to what is fair and just for everyone.  Let common sense prevail.



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Top of Mind: August 25, 2016
August 25th, 2016
by Bill Boyajian

Tips On Flying

I’ve logged a lot of miles over the decades and learned a lot about flying commercial, sometimes the hard way.  Airline travel is more difficult today than in years past, and it also gets tougher as we get older.  But here are some important tips to remember when you next plan airline travel:

40130356 - businessman at airport with suitcase

  • When heading to the airport, give yourself an extra 20 minutes more than your most realistic time estimate.  Extra sleep is over-rated and the hassle of missing a flight is under-rated.
  • Take the first flight out in the morning.  In most every case, the plane is already on the ground and ready to go.  You won’t have to wait (or hope) for your plane to arrive.
  • Don’t take the last flight out unless you have to.  That flight is often delayed and if there’s a “mechanical” problem, you’ll be over-nighting in that city.
  • Always take a direct flight, if possible.  This will obviously save you time and you have much less chance of losing your luggage, if you had to check it.
  • But don’t check your bag if you don’t have to.  If I have to explain why, you probably shouldn’t be flying.
  • If you’re flying coach, always ask for a seat in an exit row.  The extra space will make for a much more comfortable flight.
  • A bulkhead seat is also a great choice for extra leg room.  Just know that you won’t have any storage in front of you because there is no seat in front of you!
  • Always carry head phones.  These will allow you to “escape” from “talkative Terry,” who may be sitting right next to you.  Blame it on work that you really must get done!
  • If your flight is cancelled, don’t stand in a long line waiting to be re-routed.  Instead, call the airline immediately and have them book you on the next flight out or re-route you with other options.  Be nice, but be persistent.
  • Avoid large international airports if you can.  A smaller, regional airport is easier to navigate, and there is less chance of baggage loss.
  • For international flights, one flight is better than two, and two flights are always better than three.  And keep a photocopy of your passport with you, just in case.
  • On long flights, drink plenty of clear fluids to avoid dehydration.  When you get up (and you’ll have to!), take time to stretch your muscles and move freely around the cabin.
  • Leave your shoes on.  Your feet will definitely swell if you take your shoes off.  I’m reminded of the guy in business class who took the flight attendant to task for his shoes “shrinking.”  It took her a while to convince him otherwise.  Keeping your shoes on will also make the people sitting around you much happier.

So there you have it.  Travel tips for flying.  Travel safely, but travel smart!

 
Here are a few Business & Life Tips to think about….

Business Tips:

  • A leader’s growth must continue to match (or exceed) the growth of the company. If not, the business eventually suffers, even fails.
  • Blur the line between work and play. Make your workplace a great haven to “live at work,” but without sacrificing family.
  • To build a great culture in your company, make people your priority. This includes employees, customers, clients, and vendors.

 

Life Tips:

  • If you have a tendency to project your strengths on others, and to evaluate peoples’ worth based on your expectations, be careful.
  • Selfishness hurts relationships, but selflessness enhances them. It requires a sincere commitment to others, putting them first.
  • Most people have a story to tell and want to be heard. In order for this to happen, you have to be willing to listen, and to care.


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Tips On Flying
August 19th, 2016
by Bill Boyajian

40130356 - businessman at airport with suitcase

I’ve logged a lot of miles over the decades and learned a lot about flying commercial, sometimes the hard way.  Airline travel is more difficult today than in years past, and it also gets tougher as we get older.  But here are some important tips to remember when you next plan airline travel:

  • When heading to the airport, give yourself an extra 20 minutes more than your most realistic time estimate.  Extra sleep is over-rated and the hassle of missing a flight is under-rated.
  • Take the first flight out in the morning.  In most every case, the plane is already on the ground and ready to go.  You won’t have to wait (or hope) for your plane to arrive.
  • Don’t take the last flight out unless you have to.  That flight is often delayed and if there’s a “mechanical” problem, you’ll be over-nighting in that city.
  • Always take a direct flight, if possible.  This will obviously save you time and you have much less chance of losing your luggage, if you had to check it.
  • But don’t check your bag if you don’t have to.  If I have to explain why, you probably shouldn’t be flying.
  • If you’re flying coach, always ask for a seat in an exit row.  The extra space will make for a much more comfortable flight.
  • A bulkhead seat is also a great choice for extra leg room.  Just know that you won’t have any storage in front of you because there is no seat in front of you!
  • Always carry head phones.  These will allow you to “escape” from “talkative Terry,” who may be sitting right next to you.  Blame it on work that you really must get done!
  • If your flight is cancelled, don’t stand in a long line waiting to be re-routed.  Instead, call the airline immediately and have them book you on the next flight out or re-route you with other options.  Be nice, but be persistent.
  • Avoid large international airports if you can.  A smaller, regional airport is easier to navigate, and there is less chance of baggage loss.
  • For international flights, one flight is better than two, and two flights are always better than three.  And keep a photocopy of your passport with you, just in case.
  • On long flights, drink plenty of clear fluids to avoid dehydration.  When you get up (and you’ll have to!), take time to stretch your muscles and move freely around the cabin.
  • Leave your shoes on.  Your feet will definitely swell if you take your shoes off.  I’m reminded of the guy in business class who took the flight attendant to task for his shoes “shrinking.”  It took her a while to convince him otherwise.  Keeping your shoes on will also make the people sitting around you much happier.
  • When flying to a new time zone, especially internationally, change the time of your watch to the time zone you’re flying into. If you’re changing planes domestically or internationally, you don’t want to be confused about the time of departure of your next plane.
  • When flying, especially internationally, you should try to sleep in the evening of the time zone you’re flying into. This will lessen your jet lag and allow you to adapt much quicker to the new time zone.

So there you have it.  Travel tips for flying.  Travel safely, but travel smart!



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Top of Mind: August 11, 2016
August 11th, 2016
by Bill Boyajian

Co-Worker Turmoil                                                                                                                                           

I received so many comments on a recent message on Human Capital – as well as a suggestion or two – that I thought I’d follow it up with an often neglected, but very important aspect of teamwork: turmoil amongst co-workers.

44118216 - screaming people

Most owners and managers don’t realize how much unproductive time is wasted with the bickering of employees. One co-worker doesn’t get along with another, so he avoids the other at all cost. Of course that occurs after verbal attacks have been inflicted against each person. A failure to communicate properly, or worse, building cliques within a department or company, causes alienation, frustration, anger, and often downright animosity within the group.

It’s true. Some people just push others’ buttons. But the negative energy generated from the angst of one associate against another is enough to justify some serious inquiry and resolution. Too often, leaders simply avoid these situations, hoping they will somehow resolve on their own. They seldom do, so take the time necessary to intervene. If the situation persists after serious intervention, you’ll have to take stronger action, up to and including termination.

 

Here are a few Business & Life Tips to think about….

Business Tips:

  • Practice the art of inclusion. Informed associates are happier because they feel part of the team. Loyalty results from good leadership.
  • Small businesses are like families, where people need to know and understand everyone’s personality and temperament to get along.
  • People in the wrong position will struggle. People in the right position will thrive. Finding your right “fit” is vital.

 

Life Tips:

  • When you lack patience, try to slow everything down. Slowing things down tends to take the edge off, and allows you time to reflect.
  • People who push your buttons and create negative energy aren’t worth the aggravation. Ignore them, avoid them, or fire them.
  • We sometimes get so focused on the direction we have set that we forget about the objective. Take some time to reflect on the goal.

 

Coach’s Note

People ask me what my “Program” is for consulting. I don’t have a “Program.” I come to a store or company and do “business discovery.” I identify the strengths and weaknesses of each business and we leverage the strengths and strengthen the weaknesses. Every store or business is different because every owner or manager is different. We attack each issue with persistence. Most issues involve people and the company’s leadership and overall management. If you can use some help, contact me for a free consultation.



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Co-Worker Turmoil
August 9th, 2016
by Bill Boyajian

I received so many comments on a recent message on Human Capital – as well as a suggestion or two – that I thought I’d follow it up with an often neglected, but very important aspect of teamwork: turmoil amongst co-workers.

44118216 - screaming people

Most owners and managers don’t realize how much unproductive time is wasted with the bickering of employees.  One co-worker doesn’t get along with another, so he avoids the other at all cost.  Of course that occurs after verbal attacks have been inflicted against each person.  A failure to communicate properly, or worse, building cliques within a department or company, causes alienation, frustration, anger, and often downright animosity within the group.

It’s true.  Some people just push others’ buttons.  But the negative energy generated from the angst of one associate against another is enough to justify some serious inquiry and resolution.  Too often, leaders simply avoid these situations, hoping they will somehow resolve on their own.  They seldom do, so take the time necessary to intervene.  If the situation persists after serious intervention, you’ll have to take stronger action, up to and including termination.



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Top of Mind: July 28, 2016
July 28th, 2016
by Bill Boyajian

Life Purpose

I just read, Edmund Morgan’s biography of Benjamin Franklin, who after becoming successful in the printing/publishing business in Philadelphia devoted the second half of his life to scientific discovery and public service. The picture we all have of Franklin flying a kite during a lightning storm is balanced by what we know was his service to our fledgling country in the 18th Century.

19654910 - benjamin franklin in front of american flags.

I love what Franklin wrote to his mother in 1750, when in his early 40s: “I would rather have it said, he lived usefully, than, he died rich.” Franklin had a rare form of insatiable curiosity coupled with a devotion to that which was greater than himself, as great as he was. Not many of us can live the life that Franklin lived, but most of us can think about the type of service he provided to humankind, and how we might find even a small measure of success in giving back the way he did.

While many of us seek to find success in business, we should not fail to find success in life. A life purpose is something to give serious thought to no matter your age or stage in life. What you want to become can also be what you want to be remembered for. I’m not sure which is more important, but I think we would all like to be thought well of while we’re here, and later when we’re not.

So give some thought this week to your life purpose, and drop me a line if the idea stimulates your thinking.

 

Here are a few Business & Life Tips to think about….

Business Tips:

  • A good way to measure success in business is not just with financial performance, but with the quality of new customers you create.
  • A key to every business is to stay competitive and to make sure to utilize new technologies in adapting to consumer demand.
  • People want in their leader someone they can trust. This is the key component that develops followership and loyalty.

Life Tips:

  • The key to achieving almost anything is to know about 50% of what is necessary, and the rest is skill and sheer determination.
  • Einstein said that imagination is more important than knowledge because knowledge is in the past. Imagination holds the future.
  • When we keep things simple in life, it keeps us calm and clear in perspective and in practice. Peace and joy are the direct result.

 

Check out another recent article written by Bill in….

 The-Retail-Jeweler-Logo 

 

July – August 2016 Issue

– Scroll to Page 22 –

Succession Planning and Family Transition



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"Bill Boyajian is a leader people follow, with a proven track record of success. He will provide solutions to your biggest challenges and deliver terrific results."

–Howard Herzog
International Jewelers Block Insurance

"A sought after role model, Bill reminds us that how we lead our business has everything to do with how we live a fulfilling life."

– Pam Levine,
Levine Design Group