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ColleagueCorner Love and Live Loudly!

Posted by Chris Batchelder on 08/23/2016
When Kathy and Cristina asked me to consider guest blogging this week my first thought was "why did they both plan vacations the same week?" My next thought was which direction to head. Apply advice for departing college freshmen to business? Tell the story of a sleepy service organization suddenly given a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart? No, those will have to wait for a future guest blog invitation.
Instead, I'd like to take what may be my only chance to share my personal core values. What are credos such as these if not something to share? After all, the great philosopher Snoop said it best: "It ain't no fun if the homies can't have none."
As leader of a small but mighty non-profit serving over 230,000 constituents I can tell you that strategy and inspiration are far more important than managing execution. Corporate values are critical. However, I could argue that the personal core values of the CEO are equally critical. The question of whether or not your team believes in the mission is vital. Have you asked yourself lately: does your team believe in YOU?
Here Are My 7 Core Values:
  1. Make It Personal. Fully invest yourself into your team and your mission. Get to know each of them on a deeper level than just walking by and saying “good morning.” Show your team that you have their back.
  2. Clear The Cache. This is a technology term that can easily apply to life. My Dad used to call it the “read it twice” rule. I take it two different directions. First, always take a second to make sure you want to send that email or text. Make sure you want to post that to Facebook and have it out there forever. Second, take time to let things sit overnight. Clear the cache a little bit and have new eyes on issues in the morning.
  3. Say Thank You. You never know when someone may really need to hear it. I have a good friend who is the VP of Communications and Outreach for Southwest Airlines. It’s an amazing company that has built a culture of employee confidence and fun that is almost unrivaled. However, can you imagine working in customer service for Southwest? All day, every day you get calls from people yelling at you because their flight got cancelled or was late. Wanting free stuff or for you to calm them down. Can you imagine how great one of these hard working people would feel if someone called a few times a day just to say “thank you”? “I just wanted you to know you have a great company. My flight was on time, in fact we got in a little early. Your employees were friendly and helpful. You should be proud of the job you guys did today.” We all feel that way about experiences every day. We just don’t take the time to say it. We only take time when we are upset. Turn it around.
  4. Stay In The Moment. I’ve learned a lot from my Dad over the years. Several of these ideas are molded around tidbits I picked up from he and other family members, mentors and friends. Part of the reason for locking these ideas away is this concept. Make this moment in time: this conversation, this event, this interview, this phone call the most important thing happening in your life right now. How many times have you been at a big party and been talking to someone and you can tell they aren’t really listening to you? Instead they may be looking around the room for someone better to talk to or contemplating their next move. How does that make you feel? Don’t be that person. Stay in the moment. The conversation likely isn’t the most important thing you have to do today. But it may be the most important thing to the person you are talking to. Give them the honor of staying in the moment. Focus on what’s happening right in front of you and with good planning, each moment can hold your complete attention.
  5. Start At The End. This concept is so often hard to grasp and at the same time so, so critical for almost any business. The idea is this: nobody wants a quarter inch drill bit. They want a quarter inch hole. What is the end result of what your customers are REALLY looking for? If you start there and back your way up into how you can help them arrive at that final result, you’re going to be truly customer focused in every facet of your organization. What are people REALLY looking for out of their OSU Alumni Association membership? A card? A car discount? I don’t think so. So let’s ask them and find out! What a concept! Whether you are a restaurant, a sales organization, a hospital or a car dealership, you can benefit from this idea of starting with the end result and working backward.
  6. Live And Love Loudly. This may be the easiest of my core values to understand, especially if you’ve ever met me. I don’t hide well. I’m big, loud, passionate and wear my emotions on my sleeve. In the winter of 2001 the OSU family lost 10 men affiliated with our Men’s Basketball program to a plane wreck in a Colorado field. One of those was my friend Jared Weiberg. Jared was a hugger. Didn’t matter if you were someone he barely knew or someone he had known forever, you got a hug. It just made people feel good. Made them feel loved. He was also an “I love you” man. He said it often and meant it. We should do that more. Take time to tell the people you care about how you feel. Do it often and don’t be shy. You never know when you won’t be able to do it again. Don’t have regrets. Live loudly. Put yourself out there and be passionate every day. Do something crazy. Light up a room.
  7. Don’t Run. There are rules if you encounter a mountain lion in the wild. 1) Make yourself as big as possible. Spread out your arms and legs and make yourself larger to the animal. 2) Throw things at it. Sticks, stones, basically anything you can find to make yourself appear dangerous. 3) Scream and yell as loudly as you can and get aggressive. You will likely scare the lion more than its scaring you. 4) If attacked, fight back like crazy. Punch, kick, bite, whatever you need to do to fight. 5) Lastly, DO NOT RUN. No matter what happens, if you turn and run, you are dead. The lion will see you as prey, it WILL attack and you will have your back turned. Why in the world are you closing with a nature lesson, you ask? Because it’s also a life lesson. Apply these rules to any challenge, any crisis, any obstacle in your life. You will have a totally different attitude toward problems.

There it is, my first guest blog appearance. Hopefully we can have the chance to do this again. Just remember: whatever you are doing today, make sure to make an IMPACT!

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