Here are some of my favorites (and my customer’s favorites). Don’t see what you’re looking for? Give me a call at 806.283.4193 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, tell me what you’re looking for. You’ve be surprised how many other topics I’ve covered at times.
TOPICS ON LIVING LIFE
GET TO OR GOT TO – CHOOSING TO LOVE LIFE (OR NOT!)
We can’t inspire others unless we are inspired ourselves. I contend that this inspiration is found in loving life. I am by nature a member of the dark side, someone who grew up seeing life as a Got To, a series of obligations. Let me share what allows me to view life as a privilege, a “Get To”. For other members of the dark side, you will enjoy my ideas and find some a practical way to love life – for those on the lighter side I hope you’ll enjoy my humor. In addition, we will discuss how to apply this idea of seeing life as a privilege to our work as leaders and managers? Practical, funny and touching.
BEING THE DIFFERENCE
One of the tenets of camping is to leave the campground better than you found it – not only clean up after yourself, but prepare the campground so that the wood is already there for the next camper. For our lives to have meaning and significance beyond today – we have the opportunity to make this world a better place than we found it. A key element for those who love life is they make a difference in the lives of others, more to the point, they (you) are a difference in the lives of others.
BUBBA ZEN – A WEST TEXAS BOY TALKS ABOUT LIVING IN THE MOMENT
How about a rhetorical question, “Is it easy to lose balance and a sense of what is important in life when you are tasked with running departments and organizations that are pulling you 1,000 different directions?” Easy answer: YES! Don’t let the title throw you. Like most of you, I am by nature ADHD, not a Zen bone in my body. I work at savoring life, at not missing it, at creating balance and taking time. In order to feed creative juices, we have to slow down, create balance, open up our spirits and our time.
LESSONS FROM A 4-YEAR-OLD: MANAGING STRESS AND LIFE
Of course this presentation includes practical tips on managing stress, including: how to get organized, workspace set-up, nutrition, sleep and others. But the real heart of this message comes from lessons I learned from my nephew Colin, when Colin was 4. A profoundly practical message on reducing stress and increasing enjoyment!
NEVER TAKE ADVICE FROM SOMEONE DOING WORSE THAN YOU ARE – WISDOM OF THE MIDDLE-AGED
When I taught at Texas Tech, I gave my students a wisdom assignment. They were to interview 4 people 35 or older and ask them questions about their favorite moments, the best piece of advice they ever got, their greatest regrets. This presentation is a collection of those pieces: some funny, some sad, all thought-provoking.
The key message: it’s never too late to make our lives matter!
FAVORITE BUSINESS TOPICS
Note: I love doing workshops, with lots of discussion and interaction. This is especially relevant to business topics. If you want ownership of the ideas, allow interaction and discussion. These topics can all be done as keynotes, but they come alive as workshops.
As Jim Collins notes in ‘Good to Great’ there is nothing you can do that is more important than making sure that the right people are in the right place for the full benefit of the employee and the company! This workshop focuses on these key elements:
- Hiring for attitude, training for skill – a focus on behavioral interviewing and other ideas in interviewing and recruiting
- Keeping good people – ideas for retention and motivation Dealing with A, B and C Players – with a focus on coaching up B Players and moving C Players either up or out Bottom line. You will come out with practical ideas you can implement right away for effective hiring, retention of great employees and limiting the damage of bad ones.
A CUP OF COFFEE – LESSONS ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP, TEAMWORK, CUSTOMER SERVICE AND DIGNITY
The book, How Starbucks Saved My Life, is the story of Michael Gill, who at age 58 lost his job with a powerful NYC ad agency. Eventually broke and unemployed, he takes a job as a barista at a Starbucks in NYC and finds his life.
Using excerpts from the book and other sources – we will see examples in action of servant leadership, teamwork, customer service. We will delve into some of the processes, the differences between busyness and productivity. Finally, we will discuss the dignity of work and how to share that with your staff.
MANAGING CUSTOMER SERVICE
What are the differences between national chains, airlines, communication companies? I mean, don’t you assume they offer similar customer training to their staff, similar orientations? Yet some do outstanding jobs and the other not so much. Why? You already know: those companies that do well treat their employees like their best customers. They respect them, encourage them and challenge them. Look, it’s nice to offer customer service training, but that training is only effective when you take the lead. We will use material from several sources on what managing for customer service looks like. You will come away with some creative, practical and unexpected ideas for your organization and your staff.
LEADERSHIP DURING CHANGE
It seems everyone is in a changing and challenging industry. It is during change when leadership (a step beyond management) really comes into play. This session will discuss several elements in preparing for and dealing with change, including dealing with the inherent stress. The focus will be practical, down-to-earth elements you can apply immediately in helping your staff and your organization deal with change.
- The processes of change
- Key elements in preparing for change
- Managing change and stress
- Celebrating successes
- Managing Innovation (actually, getting out of the way so innovation can happen)
INNOVATION/CHANGE IS NOT AN EVENT – IT IS OUR LIVES
Let’s have a conversation about creating an environment where innovation can occur. It means selecting the right people, allowing a creative workplace, creating a situation where the best ideas don’t come down from the top but come from your staff and your line managers – the point at which innovation needs to occur. This is a not an exercise in theory, but a presentation of key elements in allowing and encouraging innovation.
- Making better choices in the moment by asking better questions.
- Crew resource management
- Creating a creative workplace
- Meeting with people on their own turf
- Sometimes having no choice is the best choice
- Hiring for attitude and training for skills
- Training – reinforce it – reward it
- Spending some time looking at your place as a customer
Among the resources we will utilize are Good to Great, Hardwiring Excellence and The Paradox of Choice.
ALLOWING MOTIVATION AND EMPOWERMENT: GETTING OUT OF THE WAY!
Motivation and empowerment. These are inseparable ideas. Innovation and creativity comes from empowered employees. And empowerment only comes from motivated employees – employees who understand their role with your organization and the difference they can make.
This workshop is full of practical ideas on motivating and empowering your employees (okay, total frankness – you don’t motivate or empower your employees so much as you remove the barriers to that motivation, including yourself). I will lead a discussion on what motivates and what doesn’t – and your ideas on what works. Then we will tackle what empowered employees look like (it’s not the same as delegation) and specifics on how to allow that to happen. Information you can use right away.
“People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything.” Thomas Sowell
Okay, meetings are unavoidable, but they don’t have to be deadly. How about some quick, practical ideas on managing meetings? From 5 minute stand-up meetings (the best kind) to weekly meetings to strategic planning, we will gather your best ideas for managing meetings to make them useful and to the point. Among the resources are Patrick Lencioni’s Death by Meeting, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish and even a little advice from Tony Soprano.
COMMUNICATION, CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM AND CONFRONTATION
Typically the most difficult conversations you will have in your positions are those that either involve criticism or confrontation. What if we can give you just 2 or 3 ways to improve your approach: better communication skills, the script for constructive criticism, the foundation for effective confrontation, dealing with difficult personality types?
This is not an easy topic, and the practice of communicating well is hard. But I know you will come away with practical ways to deal with that conversation you’ve been dreading back at work.
OTHER BUSINESS IDEAS
In my 7 years with The MED Group, I authored more than 120 courses on almost any topic you can think of. In my 10+ years as a professor at Texas Tech University, I researched & taught still more unique “life-skill” topics. As you review the list of my presentation topics below, know that I bring a depth of research & varied perspectives to the discussion of each one. My question to you is… What do YOU need?
No one will work harder to research your organization & customize presentations to meet your needs!
- Decision Making Made Practical (with help from the Heath Brothers Decisive and Gladwell’s Blink.
- Too Many Choices? Discussion on The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz
- Ethics in Business (& Life)
- Lessons in Leadership from Lincoln
- Management & Life Stages – Understanding Generations
- Time Management – & Making Time for What’s Really Important
- Business Etiquette
- Proactive Customer Service
- When We Make a Mistake – Customer Service and Recovery
- Understanding and Managing Different Personality and Learning Styles
- Workstation Setup and Warehouse Ergonomics
- Business Writing
TEAM BUILDING AND COACHING
I think I understand what you want from a team building experience:
- Your staff enjoys the experience
- They learn something valuable (or several things!)
- They enjoy working together more as a result
- There’s a lasting impact on their performance
Pretty reasonable goals. However, over the years, I’ve been on the receiving end of plenty of exercises that I found to be goofy, taught me very little and had no lasting impact.
When it comes to team building, I’ll use several creative ways to help your team understand other perspectives, be frank about challenges and strengthen their relationships – all while learning valuable team-skills.
What’s that? You want an example!
How about a unique team building session built around cooking Tuscan cuisine? (I knew that Home Ec degree would come in handy one day!) It’s one of my favorite workshops that will have everyone involved learning to Work Together AND Savor Life at the same time!
Let’s discuss what you need!
Whether it’s a day of training or a year of team building, we will work together to design a comprehensive program to meet your needs… and goals! So let’s start the discussion!
I can also offer several approaches in coaching and building up your management team. I have experience with several personality, learning style and strength tests that can give us a great idea of the foundation we are working from. From there, we set goals, implement training and follow-up. In the end, my goal is that, as a team, you can coach each other up (and I hopefully exit gracefully!)