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Passion for Work – New Business Group started

Passion for Work – New Business Group started

Okay, since I believe that you can really gain a lot of knowledge from people in other businesses, I have started this “company owners” group that will hopefully gain traction over the next few weeks and benefit everyone involved. (By the way, I am the head of a Lubbock Pre-K through 12th grade Christian school that happens to be burgeoning – just thought you might want to know.) I have decided that for the first several weeks that we meet at Starbucks on 98th and Slide, we will allow members of this group to talk about/introduce themselves and their businesses before we start sharing about what we have learned about business in general.

The first week we had a surprising group of fifteen people – shocking to me since I only did word of mouth about the existence of this group. Anyway, it was a mix of male and female business owners. After explaining how this group was going to go, I asked for a volunteer to go first and to briefly explain what their business was all about. One hand of a guy shot up and I could tell he was fired up to be among like-minded individuals. Anyway, this man was a Texas Public Adjuster and he handled all sorts of insurance claims. It wasn’t this fact that is as important as the passion with which this man talked about his business that handled fire damage claims and water damage claims. He made sure that we all knew he was excited about giving his clients the absolute best claims available. He said that he was not going to let any of his clients be cheated from what they deserved. As he talked, his voice grew louder and louder until it seemed he was almost yelling. I didn’t find this annoying because I really felt that this man set the tone for the group – not that everyone had to yell but that everyone might feel like they could be just as passionate without being embarrassed about it.

Anyway, since this guy had shared so much about his company business, we didn’t have time to get to any other introductions for the day. But, as we ended our official time together, most of the fifteen people stayed around and met one another, which I thought was cool. It’s always good to see networking live.

Okay readers, I am interested: Do you have passion for your work? How do you show it? Do you workers have passion for their work? Just interested in how you show your passion and how you generate it amongst your staff. Comment away…

Choosing the Right Catering for your Business Retreat

Choosing the Right Catering for your Business Retreat

It’s always good to take a retreat with your employees so you can re-focus everyone on the mission and vision of the company. If you are planning such a business retreat, there are of course the lessons you want everyone to get a hold of – strategies, goals, etc. Those are a given. But if you want to make your business retreat a success, I suggest that you choose the right sort of catering to feed your employees so that their bellies are happy while your leadership teams teach. To get the right kind of catering there are a few things I want to suggest you doing:

  1. Choose three highly rated catering companies and do your own research – Call each of them up and find out what food options are available. Also ask them how much food they suggest for the number of employees you have coming. Also, you will need to know if these places offer vegan menus and options for those with special diets. Finally, ask them how much they charge for the food you will need.

When you decide on the top three companies, move to the next step.

2.  Send out a memo to all of your staff listing the top three catering companies and have them “vote” on the one that sounds best to them. Nothing wrong with putting some democracy on the table. Make sure to include the research you have done in the previous step. Then go with the catering company that the majority of them choose. Not everyone is going to be happy, but you cannot please everyone.

3.  Call the chosen catering company and hire them for your retreat – simple step – do ask them what kind of set up they need to serve the meals (they might not deliver – they may instead send all of the food with you. Be ready for this, especially if your retreat is going to be held out of town.)

4.  Feed your employees at regular meal times and provide snacks so that they don’t get hungry during the meeting times. Hungry employees tend not to listen as closely if their stomachs are growling.

In my experience, I sought out the best Lubbock catering options. After researching them, I found the top three. When I sent these options out to my staff, they almost unanimously chose my favorite Lubbock catering restaurant (Chick-fil-A). The staff retreat went great and everyone said they would be happy if we just went with this catering in Lubbock option every time. This makes it easy for me.

So, that’s my best advice when it comes to finding the best eats for your employees. I hope your retreats go amazing. Send me your catering experiences if you don’t mind – I’ll gladly add your comments to my next blog.

Fire Damage Insurance Claims

Fire Damage Insurance Claims

Finding Insurance Claims Adjusters can be a hassle – especially one that does fire damage insurance claims. There was a time when my nephew was shooting off fireworks in the back yard and it caught the side of my house on fire. No one noticed that a fire had broken out because he and his friends thought they had covered their tracks. Unfortunately one of the sparks from the fireworks had landed on the corner of the roof. This led to a larger fire that took out about half of the outside of the house. As well, the inside of the house was filled with smoke and that caused the furniture to be totally ruined. It was a huge mess and forced my family to live in a hotel for two months while a claim could be made and money could be provided by the insurance company. It was a big issue and one that didn’t seem like it was ever going to come to a good end. But, at the recommendation of a friend, we bypassed the problems of finding a professional insurance claim adjuster.

Have you ever had fire damage or water damage that needed to be covered by insurance? Did you get enough money back to rebuild what needed to be rebuilt? Were you able to move back into a new and improved house?

Whether or not you have had to deal with this kind of thing yet, I want to recommend a company that rocked the world for us as we tried to rebuild our lives. You never know – you might need an insurance claim adjuster sooner than later. And trying to find a Texas public adjuster can take a lot of time that you don’t need to spend. The company we used was called Abba Claims (www.abbaclaims.com) and they were not nonchalant about our claim. They took our loss as a personal one and worked as hard as they could to get us the maximum amount of money. As a result we were able to not only get our house back to normal, but we were able to fix up the interior with new furniture, etc. And the people at Abba Claims made sure we felt covered for the entire process. They did most of the hard work and we will be eternally grateful for their hard work. Without them, we might have ended up with only a half of what we needed and that would have crushed us.

I know a family who had a similar fire issue and they went with a company that promised them the world, but ended up giving them the run around. Don’t let this happen to you.

 

That’s my story. I hope you never have to deal with such a situation, but if you do then please trust me about Abba Claims. They are the best at this stuff.

Staff Meeting Success

Staff Meeting Success

Our pre-meeting prayer time went well though all of us admitted we needed to stay focused on what we are coming together for. This week we joked around a lot at first and didn’t start praying until fifteen minutes until the big meeting. We know how easy it is to lose focus and this is not the time to lose focus. We decided to catch up by staying fifteen minutes after the big meeting to catch up on what we missed – not to be legalistic about it all, but to make sure we cover each other and not let our enemy steal from us. Lubbock catering, lawn care and my AC/Heating business will not thrive unless God is in the midst. We were all sure of that.  (By the way, Josh asked that we cover him during the next few months as his Lubbock lawn care business shifted into Lubbock holiday lighting.  Seems like his company does everything.)

As far as the big meeting, we had a guest speaker who came from Dallas to address us. He was a big executive at a hospital there and he wanted to talk about how we can talk about problem areas in staff meetings, but unless we actually monitor the areas where there have been reported problems we won’t get very far. He said that early in his leadership career, many people had told him that one of the nurse’s stations on one of the busiest floors was a real mess. On that floor and at that station specifically, nurses were cursing loudly, not paying attention to call lights, bullying other nurses and saying things that could be sexual harassment, etc. As the leader for that floor and five others, he called a meeting to talk in general about these things. The staff meeting had all of the nurses from all of the floors in it and this man warned them all about not doing these sorts of things. After the meeting, he felt good about the warnings he had given and he had a satisfaction that there would be no more of this unprofessionalism. But he said that he never actually made a trip to see how that one station was functioning – had they listened? Were they acting properly? He didn’t know because he thought that his talk was good enough to make change. In two weeks time, he started hearing rumors that this nurse’s station was doing the same bad things that they had been doing. So, he decided that talk was cheap – he couldn’t just call staff meetings and hope. He had to call staff meetings and then go. He decided to visit that station every day at different times and to observe it from a distance. What did he see? He saw exactly what had been reported to him. After a few days of this observation and specific documentation, he approached the so-called leaders of this station and explained to them that they were the floor workers that the staff meeting had been called about. He showed them his notes from the past few days and demanded that they not only write up several nurses but to warn them that he and others would be watching closely to see if some firings needed to take place. Long story short, this executive ended up having to fire several nurses who refused to change their behavior and this floor became one of the best in the hospital. Basic message to us: Don’t just reprimand problem workers with a general slap on the wrist. Do your own homework about what is going on with employees and do whatever you have to do to make sure that your teams run professionally.

What do you readers think about this? Ever been in a similar situation where you have had business leadership talk a lot about needed changes, but never making them? Ever felt trapped in a job where your fellow workers were doing wrong and making you feel more than uncomfortable? Did you report them? Was anything done?

I know for me that I need to go and see how my small teams of employees were acting while on actual jobs. I think I know they are doing well, but I have had complaints and I never did much to monitor the problems. I won’t just talk anymore. I’ll go Undercover Boss and get rid of problem workers if need be.

Southcrest Christian School Rules

Southcrest Christian School Rules

It’s rare to find a Private Christian school that excels from its Pre-K Lubbock beginnings all the way to its 12th grade finish. But if you are in the academic market for a place of learning that far exceeds the other options in town, I can’t recommend any school as highly as I can Southcrest Christian school. They have two campuses – one for their Pre-K Lubbock through 2nd grade and another for their 3rd through 12th grades.

I have had several meetings with their administration and am blown away by their commitment to serve both students and teachers. They have set a mission and vision that they actually live by – they make their teachers feel supported and back them all the way. As for the students, there is a strong push to help them become strong in their knowledge and their spirituality. If I was a parent of a child that is hungry to learn in a powerful environment, Southcrest Christian is the place to send them.

I used to do marketing for this school and it was a pleasure while I did it. I got to see the inner workings of their dedication. Now that my role with them has changed I still advertise them as the school to beat. I have done marketing for other school in the area and while they are good as well, none of them hold a candle to Southcrest.

Please let me know if you have had good experiences with this school – I’d love to add more ammunition to my recommendations. If you have had bad experiences, send those to me as well. Comment away…I may not know everything since I haven’t been an actual student or parent searching for the right school. Thanks in advance.

And to God be the glory.

Business Efficiency – How to achieve it

Business Efficiency – How to achieve it – 

As for the weekly business teaching meeting, we had a guy from a Lubbock catering group come in to share with us about how to be more efficient with the work we do. He mentioned the book, “The four-hour work week,” and told us that we must read it to get a better hold on how to shorten the hours we use on doing business. He gave us a basic synopsis of the book and then told how he puts it into play in his business. He said that while he hasn’t got everything down to four hours per week, he has reduced his work time down to twenty-five hours a week, which he said was twenty-five less per week than he had been working. Several people peppered him with questions about how his quality of work is going with this new model of work. I asked him whether he thought I could do this type of thing in my field and he said that he would talk to me after the meeting.

When we did get a chance to talk one on one, he told me that this sort of efficiency is possible in every field. He gave me some tips on how this could happen and I left the meeting believing that I too could reduce my load without sacrificing profits. It was a really cool meeting and I was glad I made it. I had thought I would miss this week, but I am glad that I didn’t.

(I heard that we were going to have a Lubbock short-term apartments superintendent come and talk about she manages for the type of efficiency we discussed today – sounds good – As long as efficiency does not get in the way of good customer service, I’m all for it.)

How about you readers? Are you able to be efficient without sacrificing profit? What have you done to make this happen? Always feel free to shoot me some of your tips.

Thanks in advance.

 

 

Busyness and Burnout

Week Fourteen

Liz didn’t bring any more of her Lubbock catering this week and I think she saw my disappointment – one gets used to good food quickly. I had skipped breakfast and I think Josh, the lawn care magnate, had skipped it too. We joked with her about getting us addicted to her generosity and she feigned sorrow. She deadpanned, “Is that all I am wanted for anymore?” We just hung our heads and said yes, but then quickly repented of our mourning and got to prayer. Liz mentioned that she needed specific prayer for her day – she was going to have to fire one of her leaders. I hate firing people even if they are completely malfunctioning so I led that prayer for her. She wasn’t nervous because this particular employee had failed to live up to the company mission even after repeated warnings, but she still wanted this employee to learn from this job loss and to land a good job. “He’s actually a friend,” Josh had had a similar situation with his lawn care company for one of his friends who worked for him about a year ago and he totally understood. So, we lifted that whole situation up. That was the main specific prayer – we mainly stuck to praying for one another’s families and companies. All of us reported that things were flourishing at work and we praised God for that…

A cool thing happened too. We saw another group of three sitting down a few tables away from us and they were taking my talk from last week quite seriously. I wonder if they will experience the same sort of fellowship and effectiveness as we have. I hope they do because what we have been doing has been invaluable. I stopped by their table as the other main meeting was starting and I asked how their time was – they all smiled at me and said how much they appreciated what I had to say the week previous. They also said that they were pleased with their first week of prayer and would continue.

The speaker for this week was a contractor who talked about being cautious with how much we multi-task. He talked about how busyness is not such a good thing especially when it can lead to burnout. He talked about how he had once prided himself in being the busiest contractor in town, but that it led to high levels of stress. He said that he had an internal competition going on with the other successful contractors in town and how this led to health problems and got him close to a nervous breakdown. He said that we should dump our excess multi-tasking and try to focus harder on just a few things – make those things as good as they can be. I really appreciated how honest this guy was. It’s not easy to tell others about weaknesses – past and present. This sort of vulnerability is rare and I told him that I liked how he had brought up such an important issue.

Any comments on this subject – I know I have a problem with “killing myself” and even avoiding my family for the sake of the job. Do you guys have this same issue? I’m interested to know how many of you struggle with this – so share…

Insurance Claims Adjuster 101

I have had a need to file a fire damage claim after part of my house caught on fire. I had insurance, but was unsure who I needed to contact to make sure I got the best deal. I wanted to make sure to recoup what I had lost – from the ambiance of the house to the internal décor. I asked around as to who I needed to contact and found out that having an insurance claims adjuster was key to making a fire damage claim. I looked all around for a firm that employed these types of workers and finally found one that seemed to pride itself on getting clients top-notch claims done. Anyway, it all worked out for me. I’m writing this blog because I hope it can help someone who needs help to find what sort of person they need to use when some damage occurs. So what is an insurance claims adjuster, what do they do and why are they so important? Read below for answers to these questions:

An Insurance claims adjuster or claims handler (claim handler), investigates insurance claims by interviewing the claimant and witnesses, consulting police and hospital records, and inspecting property damage to determine the extent of the company’s liability. Other claims adjusters who represent policyholders may aid in the preparation of an insurance claim.

In the United States, a claims adjuster’s duties typically extend to include the following elements:

  • Verify an insurance policy exists for the insured person and/or property. In general, these are written by the policy-holding insurance company.
  • Risk(s) of loss(es), or damages to property, culminating in the loss of property and or bodily injury.
  • After completing the above investigations, evaluate the covered injuries and/or damages that have been determined according to the coverage grants.
  • Negotiate a settlement according to the applicable law(s), and identify coverages for which the insured is covered, following best insurance practices.

So, was that helpful for you? Have you ever had a similar experience that required the services of an insurance claims adjuster? Did you end up satisfied with the experience? Let me know what damage you had done and which company you chose and even why you chose them. Thanks in advance for your comments.

Being on Time – Modeling to employees

Week Twelve

Well I am going to give a lot of credit to God for something: Liz has seen incredible growth in her Lubbock catering business and Josh also said that he has had a bunch of new clients call to hire his crew for Lubbock lawn care in the past week. I have had the same steady business as I always have, but I didn’t complain that God was not blessing me, because if I had any more business I would have to say no to it – I have as much business as I can stand as it is. Anyway, it was cool to hear that all of us were not only feeling good about the spiritual side of our prayer time, but that we were noticing growth in business. We praised God for these things and kept praying for one another’s families. We all know that we have an enemy that wants to devour any and all parts of our lives and so we encouraged each other to “put our spiritual armor” on so that the enemy would not throw us off. It was another really great meeting before the main meeting.

At the beginning of our real meeting, our main speaker did not show up for fifteen minutes – in other words they were uncomfortably late. There were grumblings and lots of watch checking as all of waited for the weekly speaker got there. But, when the main speaker got there (Luke), it all made sense. Luke’s message to us was about being leaders who model right behavior to our employees. And he began his talk with the topic of punctuality. He had been late on purpose to see how all of us would respond. He asked us how we felt when their leader of the week was not there on time. Several people admitted that they were frustrated and felt like Luke was failing them. With a room full of professionals there, it was a big moment. Luke took a chance by doing this, but it led right into his talk about being a leader who modeled proper work practices. He said that if the bosses were late or lazy or filled with complaint that the employees would tend to follow that model. He said that if we talked one way but acted in another, our employees would do the same. He encouraged all of us to not only model good work behavior, but he also said that it might be a good idea to hold a meeting with our staffs to explain what the expectations are for their employees. At this meeting the boss should ask what kind of behavior they have seen from him/her and write them down on a board. Then the boss could commit to changing their wrong behaviors as well. It was a challenging message but one that I needed to take seriously. I know that I am quite loose with my punctuality and my negative words about work. I’ll do this meeting and confess my weaknesses and tell my crews what I expect of them. I think this will help my staff regain respect for me and their jobs.

Anybody out there with comments about this “leadership modeling?” Have you ever held a meeting like this? If so, what occurred?

 

Thanks in advance for your comments.

 

 

Bullying and Sexual Harassment

Week Ten

Prayer with Josh and Liz (lawn care and catering in Lubbock respectively) went well. We all agreed that this addition of prayer time was making such a difference with our work attitudes and thus work output. I asked them if I could mention our time to the rest of the group and invite others. I wanted to get clearance from them before asking others and they seemed a bit hesitant. Josh was worried that if we had too many join us we might lose the intimacy of our smaller group. Liz suggested that I might give a talk to the whole group about the power of prayer as it regards the marketplace. She said that I could talk about our group of three and then tell the group that they might consider forming their own groups of three. That sounded good to Josh and me and so I said I would sign up for such a talk and see how the others would take it. I know it is not always politically correct to bring up “religious” things to groups that might not share the same faiths, but since we exist in the Bible belt, I decided that it might be well received. I guess we will see in a few weeks when I actually do it. I asked Josh and Liz to be praying for me as I set out to prepare my talk. I usually have no problem with public speaking, but since everyone up to this point has been so amazing, I didn’t want to break the momentum with a crappy talk. Pressure – may it not undo me. And people pleasing, may it stand far from me.

Today’s talk was from a duo – a President of a bank and a woman who heads up several corporate housing spaces (Midland short term furnished apartments is the better term as we were informed). They joined up on a talk because they were married and I guess they felt it less nerve-wracking to speak together. And their marriage was relevant because they spoke on the goods and bads of workplace relationships. It was a good talk but I didn’t get much out of it because my whole crew is made up of hardworking, macho men that I didn’t see falling in love with one another. Still, I did pay attention because who knows, I might just hire a female at some point. Their main point was that if you don’t set strong boundaries with your staff, they might start dating and this can be dangerous. They said that if you have a couple at work who dates openly, they not only bring their PDA into the office but can also bring their fights. And if the couple end up de-coupling, it can get really nasty, which is not want what you want if you are going to run a professional organization. I could see where they were coming from – I do get this at my workplace in an indirect way because my guys will battle with their wives/girlfriends and come to work with a bad attitude.

Okay – so do you agree with their point? What are your thoughts on workplace flings and relationships? Do you draw clear boundaries with your workers? Has allowing this sort of thing come back to bite you? Feel free to comment.