Food for Thought "If you have the right people, with good, basic values and good work ethic, you can have a tremendous journey."

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Food for Thought 2 "The follow-up in my Food for Thought series, with more focus on my experiences with Six Sigma and Kaizen."

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October 28, 2011

10 things to do for success in your business.

Filed under: Food for thought for friends — Alec @ 7:49 am

How are you doing as a company on my ten point plan for success?

  1. Defined values to work and live by
  2. A 5 to 10 year vision for your organization;   20 year for your personal life
    • People, processes, procedures, systems, customers, competitors
  3. 1 year goals toward that vision
  4. Major defined actions to accomplish the Goals;  an operations strategic plan
    • Obstacles identified, persons assigned as responsible
    • Timelines
    • Question all your data, question all your procedures and policies that are not aligned
  5. Daily , weekly, monthly alignment of organization to all of above
  6. Daily TTD (Things To Do)  with vision rewritten at the top
    • TTD prioritized to must do today, must be aligned
  7. Short communications meetings, agenda, minutes, actions, timelines
    • Aligned to the vision
  8. Daily 15 minutes thinking about how to do your job better
  9. Trust your team, debate with your team members, come to consensus, commit to action, be accountable
  10. Involve and reward your people,  be extremely fair and consistent
    • Identify your high potentials and successors
    • Identify and focus training of all

October 26, 2011

It is all in your head

Filed under: Food for thought for friends — Alec @ 9:35 am

I am reading “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese.
A great book about growing up in Africa in a mission hospital, being raised by substitute parents.
At one point they all believe the water has been poisoned by revolutionaries, and they all get violently sick.
Then they find out that it was just a rumor and their illness was all in their heads.
This part of the story reminded me of when I was 8 or 9,
before church, a group of us were playing tag on a hot summer day around the township hall.
Behind the township hall was the large above ground fuel oil tank and also an outside water valve.
I took a long drink from the valve,   when another boy said,  Stop! that is gasoline.
Being next to the fuel tank, it almost smelled like fuel.
I did not really know, but after church I started to feel worse and worse.
I had gas, cramps, a headache, upset stomach, etc.
I finally told my father,  and he said no, no.
But , I complained so much he took me to the township hall and showed me it was just water.
I immediately started to feel better.
Often, it is all in our heads.   The mind is an extremely powerful thing.
We really need to just worry about what we can control.

When you get up every morning, smile in the mirror and tell yourself today will be another wonderful “peachy” day.

October 25, 2011

Rhythms and Habits

Filed under: Food for thought for friends — Alec @ 5:45 pm

Rhythms in our lives are good as long as we are getting the results we desire.   Rhythms are our daily habits that we do without thinking.    We tend to get in a pattern and don’t vary.

1.  So,  1st define your 5, 10 and 20 year goals.   Your goal areas should include job, family, spiritual, physical, mental, financial, social, etc.  Define what actions you need to do to accomplish those goals.  Based on your goals and actions needed write your affirmations,  “who you want to be”

2.  Define what rhythms you current have and identify the gaps (shortfalls).

3.   What are you willing to change to get in the right rhythm.

4.   What are you doing that has nothing to do with accomplishing your affirmations or your 20 year dreams.   (like watching TV)

5.   Where are you centered, What should you stop doing.    We do a lot of things for instant gratification,  some maybe OK,  but everything can’t be for instant gratification.    Decide what you are willing to change.

6.   Do you have a daily TTD “things to do” list?   If not start.     at the top of your TTD list write your affirmations.    Now link your actions on your TTD list to the affirmations.   Do you have at least one TTD for each affirmation?   You should!

Your life should be about the quality of life.   Don’t look back in 20 years and have any regrets.   Affirmations can be about enjoying life, you define your own success.

October 13, 2011

EQ-Social Skills-Growth Activity-4 from Gary Brunson

Filed under: Food for thought for friends — Alec @ 8:17 am

Communicating Via Body Language

Purpose: To discover how using body language can help your communication skills.

Instructions: If you have difficulty communicating via body language, you may wish to examine this chart for ideas on overcoming your specific challenges.  Highlight or make note of your weaknesses.

Keywords: Body language, communication, habits

Positive Relationship Building Indicators Perceived Barriers Ways/Ideas to Improve
Mirroring Crossing Arms Breathing activities can help to relax you prior to meeting someone
Nice Smile Rolling of Eyes Ask your peers to remind you of this since often times it can be a habit
Acknowledging the person in various ways Interrupting the person Count to 10
Asking questions that demonstrate your concern to understand his/her needs Using very casual language like ‘uh-huh’, ‘yeah’, ‘stuff’, etc. Speak slower, pause after sentences to quickly ponder your next words, etc.
Calm tone, smooth flowing conversation Not having answers to his/her question Preparation, organization
Using words that convey you understand his/her lifestyle, interests, etc. Bad habits like tapping, nervous gestures, affirming everything the person says Make a list of habits you consider to be a barrier and devise ways to avoid them
Statements that convey you understand his/her business Speaking loudly Practice voice control
Rephrasing what you heard to ensure the person feels you were listening Lost train of thought Practice making eye contact to focus on what the customer has to say

Connection to Emotional Intelligence:

Self-awareness and self-regulation enhance your ability to communicate more effectively using body language. In turn, awareness of what your body language is communicating and awareness of the meaning of others’ body language will improve your social skills.

What aspects of nonverbal communication can you change to build better relationships at work?

What can you change to improve your relationships at home?

From EQMentor

October 7, 2011


Filed under: Food for thought for friends — Alec @ 4:57 pm

There are no walls only opportunities.   There are no obstacles,  only training exercises.

Don’t worry about the bugs in the flour

Filed under: Food for thought for friends — Alec @ 1:30 pm

Warsaw United Methodist Church October Newsletter

Dear Friends,

A friend and fellow pastor grew up on the mission field and he tells about what a big deal it was when their family would re-stock their pantry.  They never took food or fresh water for granted, and getting a large bag of flour would be a very big deal.

When the bag of flour was new it was clean and white.  But as it was taken out of the sack, and as the days went by, the flour—in the tropical heat and moisture—would take on a gray color.  Finally, when the flour was about used up they would look down into the sack and see a rather significant community of bugs happily making their home in the flour.

It wasn’t a big deal.  That was life.  Having bugs in the flour didn’t slow them down or keep them from using it because flour was precious.  If they were going to have bread or a pie it was going to come from the gray stuff in the bottom of the sack. They used it all.  Whoever was doing the cooking would simply go into the pantry, reach into the sack of flour with a sifter, and begin sifting away.  Good flour was redeemed, it was claimed and used, and the bugs were tossed out into the yard.

I’ve been thinking about grace and buggy flour and the art of sifting.  We’re in the midst of the series, “Emotionally Healthy Spirituality” and if you’re reading the book, you’ve discovered that there are a lot of good ideas in the book worth considering. And there may be a few things that you’ve read that don’t exactly match your experience or your beliefs.  There’s a lot of good, but there are some “bugs in the flour.”  So we sift.

On some Sunday mornings, there will be something in the worship experience we would change.  There may have been a song or a responsive reading that you don’t like, the sound system was acting up or someone sitting near you was coughing….but then the overall experience brings life…so you sift out the “bugs.”

The truth is that’s life, isn’t it?    The church may be the Body of Christ but it is “buggy.” The Christian community has done foolish, mean and cruel things.    If you are going to be a part of the Jesus movement you sometimes have to swallow hard, sift out the “bugs”, and look for the good God can use.   

Each and every one of our families, I suspect, is “buggy.” There is beauty and grace and strength and joy in those relationships, but there also may be hurt and regret. As much as possible we sift out the “bugs” and ask God for the grace to find the good.

If we walked away from everything that is “buggy,” if we stepped away from every person or every group or every book that disappointed us in some measure, where would we be?

The Bible gives us a picture of a God who loves us and uses us despite our “bugs.”    Adam refuses to accept responsibility for his own sin, Noah is a drunk, Esther is focused on the luxurious life of a princess until a 4-alarm crisis causes her to take a risk for God, Jeremiah tends to self-pity, David is a murderer and commits adultery, the Samaritan woman at the well has gone from one wrecked relationship to another when it comes to men: and yet, God’s grace refuses to give up on them. 

Sometimes life—and grace—means sifting.   You know that, right?

Rev. Toni Carmer

October 2011

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