Posts Tagged ‘Teamwork’

Why the Pope rocks at business & how you can too

September 29, 2015

Pope Francis touching child in America (220x124)Regardless of your religious beliefs, social economic position, field of business, political views or your personal whereabouts last week, you heard about Pope Francis’s historical visit to America. Also regardless of all the above, you have to admit he crushed it. He knocked it out of the park. He rocked.

Why?

Because he connected with the masses. Not just the high brows. Not just the politically correct, the famous, the leaders. He genuinely cares about all people everywhere and it showed. His humility is so endearing yet so powerful, he influenced millions of non-Catholics in a very short time (are you listening Donald Trump?) His message was about inclusion, unity and compassion. Simple. Effective.

Why should you care?

When you express genuine concern about your team members, co-workers, customers and people in general, you can impact their lives in ways you never dreamed of. A few words of praise or appreciation can instill confidence,  attract more customers, boost teamwork and improve performance in the workplace and can seriously be life-changing for someone needing support and encouragement during tough times. As a motivational speaker I constantly hear about people joining companies but leaving bosses because they don’t feel valued.

Smart business is about connecting with people and building great relationships. The Pope totally gets that. Do you?

Reach out and touch someone. You never know where it could lead.

Hark, can you hear the angels sing? No, wait. It’s the sweet sound of success.

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How the ‘L’ Word can Supercharge your Success

September 10, 2015

As a professional motivational speaker at corporate and association meetings, I hear a lot about challenges between the generations in the workforce today. From the Millennials who think they rule technology to the Boomers who think they’ve been there done that, each generation seems to have a “know-it-all” attitude, resulting in poor communications, tense work environment, lack of cohesive teamwork and decreased productivity.

Super stressful. SO not fun.

Recently I spoke to a group of franchisees for a national chain of dance studios and their conference theme was “Back to Basics”. It was about using a more human aspect in marketing, managing and working together to attract more customers, boost teamwork and thrive as a small business owner. We talked about building great relationships as a way to personalize business and maximize employee potential. Gershwin photo at piano Since my background consists of many years in the entertainment industry, I made an example of what Lady Gaga, Fred Astaire and George Gershwin have in common as successful entertainers………

Likability.

Even with her super star status Lady Gaga still personally connects with fans, Fred Astaire always had a smile on his face, George GershLady Gaga in white costume CROPPED (173x260)win was humble about his talents as a pianist/composer.

When people like you they’re willing to help, do business with you, hire you, follow  you, be influenced by you, recommend you, buy your stuff, listen to your opinion, learn from you, bring you purple M & M’s.

In today’s marketplace we all have to learn new ways of working to stay ahead of the competition whether you’re 24 or 64 but, it takes humility to be teachable and it’s easier to play the “know-it-all” game. The problem is – no one likes a Know-It-All.

Get with the program and get back to basics.

Be the ‘L’ word.

Funny Stuff Happens When You Mix Up The Generations

August 26, 2015
                                                                              Doing the YMCA thing
Legal waiver: There were no alcoholic beverages involved in the taking of this photo.
This was the scene at a recent conference for the Texas Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus (TACVB.org) where I was the closing keynote speaker. After three days of serious sessions about the travel and tourism industry these folks were ready for some serious fun.
centers around standing out from the crowd to succeed in today’s marketplace and I emphasize points by playing popular songs on the piano. (OK, to be clear…this is not me playing piano with a flaming shoe).
This audience spanned across four generations from Millennials to Baby Boomers and since the client had said there were major challenges working together,
we set out to prove differently.
A key point in the presentation is about innovation.
                                                                                   Great teamwork!
I divided the audience into teams with all four generations in each team and told them to perform the song “Yellow Rose of Texas” in the most creative way possible. The only rule was to listen to ideas from each generation.
OMG! Talk about funny! Talk about creativity at it’s best! Old song, new interpretation, impressive results.
For this group of destination marketers we discussed how to make their area shine by highlighting unique and exciting things to do and see. One idea was to feature the colorful Hispanic culture with its lively energetic music, so we ended the program with reps from each generation on stage banging tambourines in tempo to a popular Spanish song. Olay! Oh yay!
                                                  Audience members participating in the music of ‘Malaguena’
Who says the generations can’t work together?
This is where you hear crickets…

Passion, Possibility & Elephants

November 18, 2014

One of my favorite groups to talk to is admins because they’re efficient, organized and innovative. They know how to get things done. And……..they’re always ready to have fun.

They’ve been called secretaries, personal assistants and the backbone of a company. Without them chaos rules.

Last week I was the keynote speaker at an awards banquet for a great group of admins from various companies around Houston and the Clear Lake area. We talked about how the power of passion is the beginning of all success because it motivates people to do whatever it takes. The admins receiving awards had the discipline to earn their certifications because they wanted to be the best on the job. They SO rock!

We did a fun exercise on teamwork and the importance of being creative. I divided the audience into groups and gave  each a song to perform with instructions to find out the strengths in team members to see who could sing, do back up, dance, mime or anything else to demonstrate innovation.

The first team sang Sweet Caroline sitting at the table. The second team exited the room and made an entrance singing Hello Dolly. The third team’s song was Margaritaville. One woman laid on the floor pretending to be a tourist on the beach covered with oil sipping a margarita, while the rest of her team acted “wasted away in Margaritaville” singing and swaying to the music. LOL hilarious!

Team C’s passion to be the best
opened up new possibilities.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

How did the elephant cross the river?

Why, by boat of course

Got Summertime Sluggishness? Wake Up and Try This!

July 23, 2014

With temperatures soaring, days lengthening and folks posting pics Summer season - two chairs on beach of cool vacations on FaceBook, productivity takes a 20% dive in the average workplace this time of year.

So how do you avoid the seasonal sluggish thing in these lazy hazy crazy days of summer?

Some professionals are taking time out to regroup and refresh. Tackling to-do lists that get ignored in busier times such as updating websites, creating a plan for better work/life balance, catching up with friends, exercising (tennis anyone?), host dinner parties, sharpening skills with further education, trying something new to be revved up for fall. As a motivational speaker I’m taking time out to create new programs and networking with peers.

Cartoon - yoga

You can do this, right?

One company in Florida uses summertime to boost teamwork and collaboration by closing at 1 p.m. on Fridays, catering a two hour lunch on Thursdays and having the whole staff take a yoga class once a week.

A single Mom entrepreneur takes a vacation with her daughter that would not be possible any other time. She packs a journal because she says “with rest comes creative ideas” for business.

So what are YOU going to do to beat the summertime blues?

I’m thinking about dance classes……….Cartoon image - couple dancing tango
in between tennis, of course.

Why You Need to be Like the World’s Favorite Clay Boy

July 9, 2014

Who doesn’t love Gumby? Gumby with arms in air
Children love his adventures,
adults love the art form and
people everywhere love his kind heart and good nature.

Flexibility and Gumby are synonomous.

Last week I got a call at 9 a.m. from a distressed man who said the motivational speaker he had booked for his company’s quarterly executive meeting was stuck on a plane in Mexico and couldn’t make it. Could I fill in for him and deliver a 45 minute keynote after lunch that day? And by the way, we can’t afford your full fee.

No worries, said I.

With no time to prep or customize we lunched together so he could brief me on his organization Uchi Restaurants and explain the purpose of the meeting. The group consisted of managers, chefs and corporate executives from Austin and Houston.

Piano cartoon mouse playingWe talked about HOW TO RAISE THE LEVEL OF WORK PERFORMANCE using the same principles that it took for me to master the piano:  Passion, Persistence, Attitude, People, Focus and since I included the company’s core values the young (and very cute) guy that booked me was over-the-moon happy. Whew!

 
In today’s competitive job market we need to be flexible with a ‘can do’ attitude and a willingness to help out.

AHA Indiana - Theresa acknowledging audience applauseBeing a GOOD team member is about collaboration. Being a GREAT team member means going above and beyond what you’re asked to do. Why does it matter?

Effective teamwork is crucial to any organization’s success.

And let’s face it, the bottom line is what pays YOUR bills.

Gumby is one smart piece of clay.

I wonder if he’s single…..?

Wah! Wah! My Coffee Is Cold

September 24, 2013

Soldier crouching sad

Recently I read about returning soldiers having a tough time being civil to people complaining about their jobs, their kids, their life.

As a motivational speaker during my presentations I talk about taking risks to reach new levels of success professionally and personally. Stepping outside our comfort zone to learn a new software program can feel uncomfortable. Going to unfamiliar places to meet different people and make new friends can be scary to some.

Really?

The men and women in our military that risk their lives for our freedom are the people who truly understand fear, courage, discipline, teamwork, leadership and living in hardship.

Next time you want to whine about having to attend a meeting, another project on your desk, cold coffee or running errands, stop and think how lucky you are to be living in this great country where women can go to school, diverse religions thrive, government is elected fairly and people can speak out.

Really.

Teamwork that Works

October 23, 2012
 

Helping hands in the kitchen

In my speeches on extraordinary work performance I emphasize the importance of teams to achieve goals and deliver outstanding customer service…… 

 
Serving lunch to 500 of Houston’s homeless was a lesson in what makes up a good team. (It was also a kick-butt reminder to be grateful for all
I have!) 
Downtown Houston

Downtown Houston (Photo credit: telwink)

 
1. Show up
Reliability is severely underrated today.
People say they’ll do something but don’t follow through. It’s not just annoying, it’s weakness of character and ultimate failure for a team/organization. The leader at the homeless shelter said our team was the best of all groups that volunteered there because we had 100% team turnout 100% of the time resulting in 100% productivity.
 
 
2. Attitude
Success starts with having the right attitude.
One of our team members had to leave early. She was in the middle of our kitchen ‘chain gang’ serving bread. The woman next to her serving vegetable side dishes immediately took up the slack by taking on the bread duties. No complaints. Employees need the team attitude of  ‘all for one and one for all’ making the company goals a priority versus individual agendas. Whiners should be weeded out before they destroy team productivity and morale.
 
3. Appreciation
At one point in my presentations I talk about the power of praise.
I tell the story of how a few words of appreciation for a job well done made the world of difference to a disgruntled oil company employee. Business management guru Marcus Buckingham said people join companies but leave bosses and the #1 reason is they feel unappreciated. The team leader at the shelter was generous with his praise of our efforts (despite the sloppy mess I made scooping spaghetti) We worked hard. We left fulfilled.

Organizations need to cultivate a strong team culture.

Managers need to nurture team members.

Team members need to be willing to pull together for the sake of the company ‘coz without the company they don’t have jobs.