Monday, 26 November 2012
In Trouble at Work?

My longtime friend, mentor and boss Tom Hennesy once told me that when you are in trouble is when you need to communicate the most.  Hmm? That seems counter intuitive. When you are in trouble is when most of us seek to stay out of the limelight and particularly out of the path of our boss and others of importance.  “Let’s hide and all the bad news will go away.”

However the opposite is the real path to success. Go talk to your boss when you are in trouble and the sooner the better. Talk a lot, get to the bottom of the issues and work out a plan to get back on track. Communication is the path to success – lots of it – issue discussions, redirection, evaluation and eventual good performance.

Your boss wants you to do well. If your boss did not want you to succeed he would have gotten rid of you long ago so take the bull by the horns to get yourself back on track.

Posted on 11/26/2012 4:10 PM by Joe Scarlett
Thursday, 15 November 2012

Everyone’s thoughts on important topics are essential to success. You just might be the one who has that special idea that really makes a difference. Don’t hold back your ideas.  Real leaders depend on the collective knowledge of the whole team.

Plan your comments so they are most logically presented. It is not always helpful to blurt out the most recent thought that popped into your mind. Your ideas will get the best reception when presented thoughtfully and with reason.

I tell people who work for me that they have an obligation to express themselves on important subjects. If they do and I make a bad decision  then the “monkey is on my back.”  But if I make a bad decision and do not get your key input then the “monkey is on your back.”  And you probably won’t work for me much longer.

Posted on 11/15/2012 12:27 PM by Joe Scarlett
Tuesday, 6 November 2012
Take charge of your meetings

You earn respect of your peers and your team when you take full charge of your meetings. Try the following next time you are going to run a meeting:

  • Schedule your meeting as far ahead as possible
  • Circulate the agenda seeking comments and suggestions
  • Be sure your agenda starts with a clear written objective for the meeting
  • Circulate the final agenda including scheduled times for each agenda item
  • Start your meeting on time even if there are a few missing
  • Stick to your time schedule – It is your meeting.
  • End five minutes early
  • Circulate written follow up if indicated

Meetings that stick to the objective, topic and time schedule usually produce the desired results. If this is not the practice in your organization maybe you can be the leader to change things for the better.  When you run meetings this way you will earn the respect of all involved.

Posted on 11/06/2012 10:54 AM by Joe Scarlett
Thursday, 1 November 2012
All business at the same starting line?

Let’s say we are playing football and after a touchback your team starts on the twenty and my team starts on the forty. Would you consider that fair?

I am a big proponent of free markets with open competition and a “best man wins” mentality.  If I can make a better product or deliver a better service, I win. If the reverse occurs, you win.  If I am really bad, I go out of business and my assets, people, etc. will be redeployed as the market provides opportunities.  If I do a really great job my business grows which typically means more jobs, better wages, happy stockholders, etc.  All I ask is that we compete on the same playing field and neither of us receives preferential treatment. I think most business people would agree with me.

In the world of retailing, internet sales in Tennessee have an automatic approximate 9% (depending on local options) sales tax advantage. That is simply not fair. No major retailer has a 9% profit.  It is not right that certain retailers have a government imposed profit advantage.

Our free market system works best when we have the best competitive situation. More competition gives consumers the best quality, the biggest selection and the lowest prices. Last month I had an unsuccessful conversation on the topic with Senator Jim DeMint from South Carolina and quite frankly I could not follow his reasoning.  There is no way that a category of retailer should receive a 9% government imposed advantage over other retailers selling exactly the same products.

Posted on 11/01/2012 11:56 AM by Joe Scarlett
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