Archive for the ‘motivational’ Category

The Power & Profit of Nice

March 16, 2016

Nice guys finish last. (Translation: they don’t get the hot girl)
She has a nice personality (Translation: bow wow)
It’s a nice movie (Translation: snooze fest)
Nice has become a four letter word.
It’s a well known fact that people join companies but leave bosses. Why? According to a Harvard study on the top Fortune 500 companies in the US, the main reason employees leave an organization is because they feel unappreciated. They feel like their opinions don’t count and they’re not valued.
Ouch! Not nice.  
                                       
 
With employee engagement at only 32%, leaders need to wake up and smell the power of nice. What is the cost of being approachable, encouraging and supportive of a worker’s career goals vs having to replace him/her? Errrrrrr………
A few months ago I was the keynote speaker at a Customer Service conference for a company in Dallas. There were over 500+ employees in the organization yet the staff turnover rate was nearly 0% for over 20 years. How?
Everyone I asked said the same thing – they felt valued. They felt like part of a big family with a common purpose because from the top leadership down they were treated with courtesy, respect and appreciation.
Simple stuff, huge results. 
And for any of you naysayers that think ‘nice’ is politically correct term for ‘pushover’, read about these two women from the Bronx that built a billion dollar advertising company around being nice. Clients chose them over others because ‘they liked them’ www.thepowerofnice.com   
Cha ching!
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Fall in Love with Change or Stick with Stuck!

November 5, 2015

Autimn leaves by road (360x244)

Autumn leaves are a great reminder to get rid of the old and make way for the new. It’s a good time to unclutter your desk, clean out your closet or change up your exercise routine.  Hmmmm…. I wonder if I could shed my old skin, would I look like my baby self?

Doing business today is WAY different than it used to be. Technology is old after a week, the generational gap in the workforce is at its widest in history and corporate cultures have to get with the program to attract and retain talent. 

But the biggest change has to come from within our mindset. 

I have a 61 year-old friend who was given the pink slip from an oil company where she made a healthy piece of change for many years. For the past three years she’s looked for a job without any luck.  

Over qualified. Translation: too old.  

After the proverbial time period of wanting to throw eggs at corporate America, she decided to try something completely different and took an online course to learn how to demonstrate food & wine in supermarkets at $11/hour. Maximizing her people and communication skills, she’s now happily living a stress-free life without the pressure of an impossible workload with an impossible deadline. She meets all kinds of new interesting people every day and has nights and weekends free to enjoy herself.

Imagine that.

Changing her thinking, changed her life. Her perspective of low paying jobs was turned around when she began looking at the positives and broadened her routine job search.

Becoming unstuck means letting go of the familiar and embracing the new.After all, if change wasn’t a good thing we’d still be living in loin cloths with no cell phones.

Now imagine THAT.

– Read more about motivational speaker Theresa Behenna at: www.TheresaBehenna.com 

Finding the Funny in Days of Drama

October 15, 2014

Last week saw me on the road to Corinth, Texas to speak to CoServ audienceemployees of CoServ – an electric co-op 30 miles outside Dallas.                              The drive was stress-free and took five hours thanks to my GPS gal Samantha who gave clear concise directions for a change. Her robot voice was silent for the 233 mile hike on I-45 except when she chided me for stopping for lunch.   Have you ever apologized to your GPS?

Having arrived safely at my hotel, I called the client to arrange a sound check and set up my piano keyboard on site at the company where I was the closing speaker for their customer service conference.  the following morning. The sweet woman gave me directions saying “it was about a mile from the hotel”. 20 minutes later I called her lost and  Cartoon image - woman driver stressed outconfused. Apparently her estimate of a mile was a little off. She meant a few hundred yards and I had flown by it.

The sound check was a nightmare. Every outlet I plugged my keyboard into blew the circuits (Ironic? We’re in a freakin’ electric company!) Two hours later we’re all sweating buckets thinking the problem was my keyboard.
CoServ playing keyboard - small(175x240)The 30-something-year-old meeting planner was texting everyone she knew looking for a back up piano with no luck. Suddenly a light bulb went off in one of the staff’s heads: try plugging the keyboard into another room. It worked. WHEW!!!

Back at my hotel I was soooo drained I turned the lights out at 9 p.m. Alas however, sleep was not on the agenda. The a/c unit was circa 19th century and sounded like a freight train next to my bed. Although my presentation wasn’t until 9 a.m. it was being videoed, so I got up at 5 a.m. to take extra time for my makeup to be camera-ready. Flipping on the bathroom light the image in the mirror would have scared small children. The lighting was a very Cartoon_of_Tired_Woman_With_Rollers_in_Her_Hair_Looking_in_the_Mirror (120x140)unflattering fifty shades of grey. Oh swell. Now I look like an Ebola patient.

Breakfast in the dining room was a self serve deal with very strange food-like dishes. There was a smooth shiny bright yellow turnover that was apparently someone’s idea of an omlet. The sausage links were downright sugary. The ketchup packets wouldn’t open.The other diners were part of a religious convention so everyone  was giving a “Hallelujah!” to everyone else.  All I wanted was a miracle to make some edible loaves & fishes appear.

Stepping out into daylight I realized my makeup resembled a remote tribe of red Indians, the temperature had dropped 20 degrees overnight and I had no jacket. Grrrrrr!!!

CoServ audience doing chicken dance

Doing the YMCA thing

The good news? The CoServ group were the most fun folks of all time.  They responded enthusiastically to my motivational message of influencing people by being extraordinary on the job. They laughed, they learned.  They rocked!

POINT:  I’m still laughing. After all, if everything went perfectly all the time, where would we find the funny? 

Why Failure IS an Option

September 15, 2014
I just read a blog on ‘Embracing Failure’. Sounds weird, right?

Not so fast….          

One survey found  the happiest people are often those who have learned how to fail.  They’ve learned how to pick themselves back up after being knocked down, reflect on the experience, grow from it, and push on. The net result  is that people are paying more and more attention to the process instead of just the outcome.

Taking a systematic look at the process that has led many to their success, one of the common elements among them is the resilience they exhibited when things weren’t going their way.

How resilient are you? Do you give up too soon?

Failure becomes a problem when people are too afraid to take risks because they dread consequences that  may not ever happen.

And so they stay stuck. Stuck in a job they hate, a relationship that’s toxic or an unhealthy lifestyle.

Organizations that encourage innovation and calculated risks end up success stories like Apple and Virgin Air.

In my motivational speeches I use an example of making mistakes (some in front of celebrities like Andrew Lloyd Webber – see video HERE) and what I learned from the embarrassing experience. CROPPED Photo shoot The Forum Jan 2014 034

Using major mess ups as life lessons and stepping stones is key to success.  In my case it resulted in touring the world solo on a piano bench ending up here in the good ‘ol US of A (yay!)

Instead of allowing fear of failure to be an obstacle, I used it as motivation to survive. 

C;mon. What’s stopping you from taking a leap into the unknown? You never know …… you may just like it.

Being A Little Crazy Could Be Your Big Success

August 27, 2014

Recently I received a call from American Express asking if I would be the keynote speaker at their annual meeting in Chicago. The man explained the purpose of the event was to unite major clients with Amex staff to collaborate and communicate.            American Express brand logo

United Airlines is one of their biggest clients and in the TV ads for United they use the theme from Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. It’s quite cool. Watch video HERE.

The man from American Express asked if I could create a program to include some of the Rhapsody with a relevant motivational message for his group. (I play the piano during my speeches) Errrrrr sure, said I. Just give me a couple of hours and I’ll send you an outline. (Gulp! I hadn’t played that music in 30 years)

Lady Gaga leg on piano with fireMy presentation on extraordinary performance in the workplace refers to Lady Gaga and how the wild costumes and bizarre stage acts resulted in her fame and fortune. She stands out from the crowded entertainment industry by constant creativity and innovation. George Gershwin composed amazing music using a unique combination of a classical style infused with jazz chords and irregular tempos. Unheard of at the time. 

I called the man from American Express with a program titled “From Gershwin to Gaga: Extraordinary Performance is the New Norm for Changing Times!” He loved it.

Whether it’s your resume, an office project, team work or an interview, get a little crazy. Think outside the proverbial box. Search the internet, brainstorm ideas and run with something different.

Sticking out from the crowd will get you noticed….and you don’t even have to play the piano.