“Segmenting; Build Mental Toughness and Improve Your Time Management”

There was another terrific interview on the ‘School of Greatness’ podcast with Lewis Howes. ‘School of Greatness’ is a where Howes brings on authors, entrepreneurs and thought leaders to help listeners in their pursuit of greatness.5gm7d7yd1zh5thjzbqm5_400x400

In episode 157, Howes interviews Eric Greitens, author of “Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life” and I have to say it was one of the best Howes has put out—and that’s saying a lot. Greitens is, among numerous other accolades, a bestselling author and a former Navy SEAL. He spends time talking about what he learned while in the Navy and a relationship with another SEAL member.

But most of the time was discussing his book, “Resilience” which I just picked up my copy and will be reading it very soon. In the interview Greitens discusses mental toughness and the tips and tactics we can use to build our own mental toughness.

One of the suggestions from Greitens is segmenting. He uses the example of how sometimes people who suffer from depression cannot find the strength to get out of bed. Greitens says to overcome this or any difficult challenge, you segment the task. Start by moving your toe. Then wiggle your foot. Then sit-up in bed. Then stand near your bed. As you overcome each segment, you build up the toughness to get out of bed every morning.pic_giant_031015_SM_Eric-Greitens

Why did this episode resonate so well with me? Well, in some application or another, I have used segmenting my entire life. It’s long been written, successful people do the things unsuccessful people aren’t willing to do. When I learned this I immediately decided to focus on the things successful people do. Segmenting has helped me have the mental toughness needed to do these things. Being an author, business owner and marathoner, I have called on my mental toughness many times. It’s been segmenting that has got me over many hurdles. Continue reading


“Go Ahead and Steal the Post-it Notes. 3 Myths for Not Owning Your Time”

There are three myths for not owning your time. I have to call them myths because calling 1979621_547235915374618_2121933437_nthem bullshit lies may offend some people. These are the rational—lies we tell ourselves. They’re rational, they sound good, they make sense but, they’re lies. I don’t know why we tend to fall on these rational-lies. Maybe it’s a form of procrastination, maybe it’s an excuse to not push against office status quo.

We can all own our time. To say you can’t effectively manage your time is saying that you don’t own your time.  But you do own it, it’s yours to protect and nurture. We protect our time by not allowing people interruptions, not letting meetings run wild and by being in charge of the phone and emails. Continue reading

“Own Your Time & Energy Mapping ”

About five years ago, I realized we don’t manage time, we own it.  It’s ours, we’re responsible for it. It’s our job to nurture it, to protect it. When we manage something, anything, we tend to use outside forces as excuses for why we mismanage it. The poor economy prevented us from managing our money. We can’t manage our weight because our busy life prevents us from exercising.

Continue reading

“Own Your Time with These Three Tips”

547319_10200992160829791_2136443215_nYou must adapt the mindset that you own your time. It’s yours to control, to protect, and to nurture. If you don’t take ownership of your time, someone else will—you’ve heard that before and it’s true. If you don’t nurture your time—tend to it—it’ll fade away and be wasted. Owning your time requires you to protect it from the outside intruders that want to take it from you—mostly in the form of interruptions and unproductive meetings. Continue reading

“Your Greatest Time Management Mistake”

What do you think is your greatest time management mistake? Allowing interruptions? Procrastination? Undisciplined meetings? Actually it’s none of these. 

The greatest time management mistake you make is all in your head, it’s deception. Too many leaders allow themselves to be deceived into losing valuable time.

I mean two things when I say deception. First, we deceive ourselves about our own level of importance. I believe you will have 4 to 7 things that only you can do, your highest priorities. But, because of deception, many leaders get wrapped up in their own importance and feel the number of things they are in charge of is much higher.  

Another way leaders deceive themselves.  Let’s say, your boss says, “I need you in that meeting today at 3:00.” You think, “Well, if the boss says I have to be there, it must be important.” But when you go to the meeting you find out it has nothing to do with you.  It’s because you were deceived into thinking, if the boss says be there, it must be important. Being deceived by your belief system will have you working on tasks that are unimportant.

Deception will steal your time.  Make sure you are working on tasks that you and only you can do.  Don’t get hung up on minor tasks.

Effort & Quality Customer Service

Companies that deliver great customer service make delivering great service the center of daily operations. Not the second thing on their list of things to do. Not a ‘good idea’ of many other good ideas–the center of daily operations.

Effort is about time management, the best use of your time.  Companies that deliver great service knows what matters least should never come before what matters most.  

Because there are so many levels to Effort; coaching, planning, feedback, it would be difficult to cover all aspects in this blog. When clients ask me where they should put their “Effort” first, I say into Quality Customer Service. Quality Customer Service, when understood and applied, will have an immediate, positive impact on the level of service you provide your current and future customers.

For a free, 25 minute power point presentation to help fully understand the difference between quality & exceptional customer service please contact me. mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

When you take one of my workshops you will notice all of them have the word ‘Quality’ customer service and not ‘Exceptional’ customer service in the titles. What’s the difference? Some participants says one is higher than the other, then there is disagreement on which is higher. Some say exceptional is what expected and quality is the best. Some say that quality is the minimum.

Here’s what I teach in my sessions, follow this common example. Ford builds the cars, and they sell the cars to the dealers who in turn sell them to us, the customer. Now let’s say you’re driving along in your great new Ford and you realize the brakes are in need of repair. So you take the car back to the dealer, they fix it and give it back to you. If they do this for a reasonable price and say thank you they delivered customer service, no more, no less. 

Now let’s say they fix the car in two hours, and they do it for a reasonable price. And before they return the car to you, they wash it and fill the tank with gasoline. What, besides dreamland, would that be? I’m sure most of you are thinking that would be exceptional service, and you’d be right.

What makes something exceptional is that the customer can touch it, see it, it’s real. Exceptional service is in the face of the customer.

For a free, 25 minute power point presentation to help fully understand the difference between quality & exceptional customer service please contact me. mark@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

For this to be a “Quality” customer service experience, the dealer needs to go back to Ford and tell them they’re building cars with bad brakes, stop doing that. The key aspect of “Quality” is prevention; we are preventing this from happening again. Remember, it’s not the mistakes we make that define us, it’s the mistakes we repeat. Companies that have the reputation of delivering poor service repeat the same mistakes, check-out lines are always long and slow, ringing telephones are left unanswered, there’s always a delay at the clinic, and the wait staff is always annoyed. 

Put your effort into quality customer service. Engage your staff on how to make an unhappy customer whole again using exceptional service. And how to communicate the problem so effort can be taken to make sure they are not repeated.

Dump Exceptional Service

It’s all about Quality Customer Service and here’s why.  I’m not going to spend 300 words telling the difference between Exceptional customer service vs. Quality customer service; to get that you can go to past blogs or past Gorman Nation newsletters at http://www.gormanbusinessconsultants.net/NewsletterList.cfm  What I’m writing about today are the benefits to the company, the employee and to the customer when you practice Quality Customer Service.

Here’s why Quality won’t work.  It won’t work if your team doesn’t like or trust leadership.  It won’t work if your staff doesn’t report back to you if they think they will get blamed.  Quality won’t work if leadership views their team as drones; assigned specific tasks and who should leave the ‘thinking’ the management.  MORE BELOW

 Choose one of these three great training tools. 

Quality Customer Service vs. Exceptional Customer Service;

In this 15 minute audio and power point presentation you learn the difference between Quality Customer Service and Exceptional service.  Why Quality service is more cost effective, creates a positive work environment and gives you a better competitive edge.  And we will show you how exceptional service may actually hurt your business because it is the necessary evil.

If you would like this free training tool, click and send qualitymodel@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

Privacy Policy; your information will not be sold or rented to any third party company and is exclusively for the exchange of content-rich training between your company and Gorman Business Consultants.

Time Management Matrix;

In this 45 minute audio and power point presentation you will learn where your time goes.  Pin-point what are your greatest time wasters?  Identify what are the things only you can do.  And what are the things other people can do.   

If you would like this free training tool, click and send timematrix@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

Maturity Ladder;

In this 45 minute audio with power point presentation you will learn how to assign tasks to the right person based on their level of maturity.  From there you will be able to give the best feedback to ‘grow them up’ the ladder.  All leading to a positive, mature, work environment.

If you would like this free training tool, click and send maturityladder@gormanbusinessconsultants.com

 When companies practice quality customer service the first thing they have to do is communicate and build trust.  When company leadership has a long track record of not listening to their employees, or worse, not following through on their suggestions, building trust can be a real dog fight.  Companies have to make it easy and rewarding for their employees to communicate with leadership, no different than communicating with your customers.

When management opens communication and acts trustworthy the long-term, big picture rewards for everyone are many.  Management builds a relationship of mutual benefits with the workforce.  Managers and workers can make improvement a part of their jobs.  Fear is eliminated for the environment.  Workers make suggestions out of a sense of pride in their work.  Employees are engaged in their work.  Customers sense the positive environment and enjoy doing business with them. 

Exceptional service can be expensive, easily duplicated and not perceived as exceptional by many customers.

Simply put; dump exceptional service and commit to quality service.

Thank you.



What’s the Best Method to Convince a Skeptic?

The answer to the question in this blog title is simple; value their input.  You must ask the skeptic, “What do you need to reach the desired result?” 

Engaged employees produce nine more than the disengaged employee.  Something engaged employees say is that they feel their opinion matters.  The way to demonstrate to them their opinion is important is to “Ask Affirming Questions” about the project they are working on.  You need to ask, “How would you like to appoarch this task?”  “If you were in control of this project, how would you like to see it conducted?”

You need to ask questions that get them looking for ideas and solutions to achieving the desired results.

Only a week left to sign up for my open to the public seminar, “Effort & the Role of Leadership” coming on January 18th and 19th.  Discuss this and hundreds of other time management techniques. 

Please contact me for more information.

Thank you.




The Greatest Time Management Mistake & it’s All in Your Head.

What do you think is your greatest time management mistake?   Allowing interruptions?  Procrastination?  Undisciplined meetings? Actually it’s none of these. 

The greatest time management mistake you make is all in your head, it is deception.  Too many leaders allow themselves to be deceived into losing valuable time on the job.

I mean two things when I say deception. First, I mean when we deceive ourselves about our own level of importance.  If you have read my past blogs or taken my “Effort & the Role of Leadership” workshop you know I put a high priority on leaders tracking their time, you need to keep a time log.  When you keep on for a week you can then sit down and evaluate each task you did and uncover your highest priority.  I believe you’ll have anywhere from 4 to 7 things that only you can do. But, because of deception, I have seen too many leaders get wrapped up in their own importance and feel they are the only one who can do any task. 

I was working with Texas A&M and I put the participants through this exercise–I asked them to list the tasks that only they can do.  After a few minutes I asked the group, “How many of you have 10 things on your list?”  A few hands went up.  Then I asked, “How many of you have over 15 things on your list?”  All the hands but one went down.  I asked the gentleman how many things he had on his list and he said 22! Twenty two things on his list that only he can do, really?  What’s going on with this guy?  He was deceiving himself about his own level of importance; he was deceived into believing he was the only person who could do the tasks on his list.

Here’s another way leaders deceive themselves.  Let’s say, when you were new in business and someone in a leadership position said to you, “A cluttered desk is a cluttered mind.”  So you learn it’s important to always have a clean desk.  And so you put important tasks off while you take the time to clean your desk.

Or, let’s say your boss comes to you at 2:00 and says, “I need you in that meeting today at 3:00.”  And you think, “Well, if the boss says I have to be there, it must be important.”  And then you go to the meeting and find out it has nothing to do with you.  It’s because you were deceived into thinking that, if the boss says be there, it must be important.  Not enough leaders take the time to ask their boss, “Is it OK if I don’t attend the meeting?’

Deception will steal your time.  Make sure you are working on tasks that you and only you can do.  Don’t get hung up on minor tasks like cleaning your desk.  And take a minute to ask your boss, or anyone, if your presence is required in the meeting.



Dealing with Non-Performance

Dealing with Non-Performance 

Happy holidays and welcome back.  I hope you all had a merry and safe holiday season. 

Let’s pick up our discussion of giving feedback.  Before the Holiday’s I wrote about giving your team the “MBA” to ensure positive desired outcomes.  Then I shared with you the importance of giving feedback.  Then, my last blog covered how you can give a “Public Praise” to your staff when the desired outcome is achieved.  You can revisit these and all and blog at https://7slightedges.wordpress.com/

Life would be great if our team members reached the Desired Outcome every time.  Our days would be filled with Public Praises and our team would be fully engaged.  But, life isn’t all beer and Skittles, sometime our team doesn’t reach the Desired Outcome and we have to give them, what I call, Dealing with Non-Performance

The first, and most important, thing to remember while giving a Dealing with Non-Performance is, remember it’s training, not discipline.  I think this is a big reason why the average manager fails to give this type of feedback; they feel it’s going to be some kind of battle and they’re concerned they may not be to victor.  Keeping in mind that this is a training opportunity will make the entire process more bearable. 

Just like the MBA and the Public Praise, the Dealing with Non-Performance steps must be done in order.

Steps to Dealing with Non-Performance

  • Tell the team member about the non-performance.
  • Ask for their input.
    • “Tell me about it.”
    • Wait until they are done talking before you start to speak again.
  • Ask for their solution
    • “How are we going to deal with this issue?”
    • They state the solution, remember, if you say it, it’s suspect.  If they say it, it’s the truth.
  • State their solution to them in the form of the MBA.
    • You may have to raise the level of the consequence. 

Confronting Non-Performance is a powerful tool for finding creative solutions to issues.  Done right, it will get the team member on track and you will demonstrate that their opinion is valued.  Notice, like with Public Praise, Dealing with Non-Performance is mostly questions.  It’s a little ironic that, when you give feedback, they do most of the talking, if they do, you’ve done it correctly. 

Hope you can attend, “Effort & the Role of Leadership” Open Seminar coming January 18th and 19th in Minneapolis. 

Now available for purchase my “7 Slight Edges to Keeping Your Customers” webinar recording.  For $97.00 you can train your entire staff. 


Mark Isaac