Sittin In My Room…

23 01 2014

Got an INSPIRATION!

Sittin in my room got an inspiration

No one ever did it.  Its an innovation

How we gonna do it? Thats implementation.

Tellin you about it thats my motivation!

 

365 plus makin it real

Once a week wrtiting all about the deal

Never hit my mojo couldn’t get the feel

Started with a temper took the time to heal.

 

Then it popped off

Not a knock off

Blow the roof off

Time to show off

Its a stand off

Or a face off

Not a Madeoff

Wasnt paid off

 

But I know that when I speak or take it slow

I get lost, it aint me…you would never know

If I dont bring it strong the chance would blow

 

So Yo go!

Get your Mo Jo!

Let the words flow

From the front row!

 

Woah!

 

Sittin in my room got an inspiration

No one ever did it.  Its an innovation

How we gonna do it? Thats implementation

Tellin you about it thats my motivation!

 

EYE CUBED

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17 01 2014

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The End of the Beginning (for Eye Cubed U)

16 01 2014

And the Beginning of a New Journey!  Join me….





Never Let Them See You Sweat!

5 11 2013

I had ridden Rhythm, a 14 year old majestic Morgan horse, a few times before this recent visit to the barn.  Though today was going to be different. I was on my own.  For the first time, my riding instructor was not by my side.  I was confident.  As I lead Rhythm from the barn and to the riding arena I believed Rhythm and I were in sync.  It was going to be a great ride.

Sessel and Rhythm

 As I entered the ring, I glanced over my shoulder and noticed the only noise was of the wind rustling the colorful Fall leaves.  I prepared to step into the stirrups and sit in the saddle.  I took one more look around.  I was truly on my own.  Thoughts flashed through my head.  Is it smart to be riding alone?  Can I really handle this horse?  I mounted the saddle and settled in.  Now, I was nervous.  As I moved the reins into position, I thought this may not be such a great idea.  Just one guy sitting on top of a thousand pound horse ready to run!  I felt a bead of perspiration role down my brow. My hands shook.  As I eased Rhythm into a walk, his head shot up with excitement.  Was he nervous too?  Clearly this wasn’t going to be a nice walk around the ring that I had envisioned.

Rhythm sensed I was nervous, and he became jittery too.  We were heading towards the fence.  I had to pull him into a quick turn to keep us from hitting the fence.  I was breathing faster, and we tried again.  I knew I needed to calm down, however I couldn’t summon the “calm” I needed.  Once more Rhythm fought to run, then side to side he strained against my lead.  Rhythm stopped and I dismounted.  No way was this safe.  Defeated I took Rhythm back to the barn.

During my drive home, I reflected on my failed ride.   When I was calm, Rhythm was calm.  When I got nervous,  Rhythm got nervous.  Clearly I needed to pull my nerves under control.   Rhythm was sure that a nervous rider was on board.  And following my lead like all great horses do, he became nervous and tense himself.  As I turned into my garage, I realized this lesson in leadership applied to all that I do.

Just like our majestic horse, Rhythm, the great people I lead respond to my every emotion.  A leader has to be cool under pressure, calm during a crises, and energized to succeed against all forces all the time.  Your team will derive it’s strength from your demeanor, energy and enthusiasm for your strategic mission. You must control your nerves and emotions.  If you portray panic and fear, then they will wither like their leader and spread the negativity throughout the team.  So, to keep your team inspired and driving towards success, never let them see you sweat!

Tips for keeping calm in the storm:

  1. Daily am exercise!  Sound body, sound mind.
  2. Leave your home life at home.
  3. Play your favorite “pump up” tune during the last 5 minutes of your commute.
  4. Before you walk in the office tell yourself, “It’s show time baby!”
  5. Greet everyone with a smile and a vibrant “Good morning!”
  6. While at work, find a quiet place to regain composure if the pressure is mounting and refer to #4.

Let me know how it goes.

This Post was written by Mark Sessel, President/CEO of PFP





How To Make Your 14 Year Old’s Vote Count (An Eye-Cubed Special Edition)

4 11 2013

Its 11:15 on a Sunday and his stomach is rumbling.  Of course!  His body is a temple and works like a clock.  He is hungry and we just moved the time back an hour due to daylight savings.   A typical Sunday was ahead of him.  He has a two-hour basketball workout, JETS Football and tons of homework.  In light of what is in store, I welcome the suggestion:

“Dad, while we’re out getting fitted for tuxedo’s for Talia’s wedding next week, can we stop for a burger?  I am not in the mood for leftovers all day long.”  Not a problem at all.  I obliged.

So the question is “Five Guys or Shake Shack?  What’s your vote Max?”

Five Guys

“I’m not sure Dad…That is a tough question.”  Herein lies the teachable moment.  And I could not resist.

“Well, voting could be easy Max, lets do this like 90% of American voters…One place is to the left of us and one is to the right of us.  That is all I am going to tell you…Ok Max, Where do we eat?”

“Dad, I know what your trying to do with that analogy.  And that is stupid.  I can’t tell which one I will vote for until I taste a burger at each place.  I need to know a lot more.”  Lesson learned.

With a smile and a nudge that only a son could give his father, we continued.

As we drove up to Five Guys at 12:15, we realized that there was no line.  Was this a sign?  Are American consumers speaking?  Should that fact influence Max’s vote?  I assured Max that he should never vote based on the “popularity” of a candidate or issue.  People follow people. But he has an independent mind and needs to exercise it. Lesson learned.  And within a few minutes, there was a substantial line behind us waiting at the register. 

Max ordered a customized burger…with jalapeños and a large fries (I wanted to share the fries with him).  He then turned to two amazing digital soda dispensers that were technologically advanced.  He was mesmerized by them.  This was a big plus for him.  While I did not feel the same way about soda, obviously this was important to Max. Five Guys must be targeting his demographic. And it worked. Lesson learned.

As we waited, we ate a few free peanuts.  Not a bad way to pass some time.  It is always good to hand out some free benefits to the “voters”.  While Max pointed this out, I assured him that we were still paying for those peanuts as part of the cost for lunch.  Five Guys would never give them away if they lost money in the process.  Lesson learned.

shake shack

Max ate as we drove to Shake Shack.  On the way, he commented about how amazing the burger tasted.  He mentioned that we spoke a lot so far about insignificant things that could influence his vote.  But the most important issue was the taste of the burger.  He was committed to keeping an open mind as we drove into the very busy parking lot at Shake Shack.

The line was long as the throngs of people sat and ate.  Max had tons of choices and of course, whatever he chose would culminate with their signature shake.  He was psyched.  They handed us a vibrating indicator as we waited for the order to be prepared. 

This gave us a chance to look around.  Clearly, Shake Shack had a different agenda compared to Five Guys. There were two guys sitting at a table with about six children, all under 7 years old.  Their table was full of burgers, fries and more.  There was a pitcher of beer smack in between the two men.  I checked my watch and was glad that it was 1:00 (2:00 if it was not for the time change).  At that very moment, I understood why I was particularly thirsty and was glad this was all happening after noon!  This option was a far cry from the space-aged soda machines positioned at Five Guys.  But I get it.  So did Max. “Demographics”

They called our number and there it was, the Shake Shack burger and signature shake.  As Max raised the burger to his mouth, I sat motionless, wiping the drool away from my lower lip, waiting for his reaction.  After one bite, he looked at me and said: “This burger is cold!  That is right.  The burger is cold!”  Game over!

Max was not swayed by the multitude of choices on the menu, the crowd of people pushing to get in or the incredible reputation of Shake Shack.  He was focused on the most important issue as defined by him at that time; taste.  And on this one given Sunday, Five Guys and the New York Jets had something in common.  They both won.  Five Guys got Max’s vote. Lesson learned

As I threw out the Shake Shack bag with half of a burger left in it and took the final sip of Max’s delicious leftover vanilla shake, I felt my job as a parent was both fulfilling and rewarding.  And the lessons learned about Democracy were memorable.  Only in America!

I wish that all candidates reap the benefits of the American political process and I offer thanks to them for putting it all on the line and giving us amazing choices.  Hoping that everyone voted with his/her heart and mind.





How Do You Individually Package Inspiration? (Market To Your Audience)

23 10 2013

Individually Wrapped Inspiration

We have determined that Eye Cubed companies have folks with many different strengths, qualities and talents.  What has to happen to maximize your team’s capabilities is to create and sustain a culture with an open forum where your team members have an opportunity to:

  1.  Think, Speak and Be Heard

Since you’ve hired Eye-Cubed TALENT, you have to be ready to deal with the range of output, ideas and energy that goes along with them.  The output will vary greatly primarily due to the individuals on your team who come with their own personal history coupled with an individualized inspirational trigger-point.  Let us explore how to package the inspiration needed in each case:

Self-Motivated Inspiration.

We have those leaders who self-inspire and need very little outside influence.  Their personal development has been fostered living in households where parents had high expectations for their success.   They were forced to forge their own paths and in so doing they became independent and creative problem solvers.   They will anticipate problems and come up with solutions.   Leaders who are self-motivated need an opportunity to be heard on a solo platform.  To get the most out of their innate ability, they have to feel appreciated and need recognition.  Their inspiration is global.

Group Oriented Inspiration.

Here is where you find your Eye-Cubed team member who manages the highest performing teams.   There is no need for you to individually recognize them as they are satisfied when their team or group succeeds.  They are used to working through family challenges as a team made up of supportive members with common goals.   To get the most out of their inspirational ideas, they require time to meet and work together.   They need a clear expression of the problem and then an opportunity to develop solutions together.   They do not mind allowing other leader to take the spotlight.  They are most satisfied when their team exceeds expectations.  Their inspiration is goal oriented.

Role Model Driven Inspiration. 

Every day many of your team members will be working on their own self-development.  They reach for personal fulfillment based on the success and achievement modeled by others.   These are independent workers who are given a task and run with the ball to the finish line.   They follow their role models and are, in turn, inspired to accomplish individual greatness.   These leaders need strong mentors and a culture where personal growth is encouraged.   At home they were inspired by powerful role models.  Their inspiration comes from personal achievement and is self oriented.

Your task as an Eye-Cubed Leader is to identify the inspirational style of your team members and provide an atmosphere where each of these uniquely packaged styles can thrive.  Allow each one to THINK in their own style.   Provide a forum for them to SPEAK and be respected.  And let them know they have been HEARD by acknowledging their ideas.  The ideal culture will allow the diversity within your company to be your market differentiator and bring you an unstoppable competitive advantage.

In addition to the consistent Inspiration that will drive your corporate initiatives, Inspiration is needed at every strategic inflection point.  At the most critical points in time, your Eye-Cubed team must come up with the most innovative solutions to get things done.   Solving similar problems the same way over and over again causes redundancy and guarantees the same or degrading results.   Henry Ford said it best: “If I’d asked people what they wanted, they would have asked for better horses.”  Let your leaders and team members feel the satisfaction,  energy and innovation that grows with Inspiration that permeates throughout your organization.





When You Speak Of INSPIRATION, What Language Do You Use?

15 10 2013

In a recent post, we posed that nothing happens without the determination to TAKE IT TO THE LIMIT when implementing goals.  Prior to setting plans in motion however, the first “I” in the Eye-Cubed formula—INSPIRATION must have been felt.  Let us be sure, before we move forward, that we are speaking the same language when referring to the INSPIRATION needed to thrive in today’s corporate environment.

We do not need a “Yeah! Rah! Rah!” motivational presentation where audiences are left with a positive shot in the arm and a motivational kick in the butt.   The inspiration residing within an Eye Cubed leadership team neither leads folks to walk on fire nor climb over mountains. That is definitely not what I’m talking about.   We need the down’n dirty Eye Cubed INSPIRATION that identifies a need, recognizes a problem or uncovers an awareness of a pivotal situation that gives a person an idea about how to fill a need, solve a problem or choose the right path.

Sledgehammer-Window-300-707643

Let us look at several examples about inspirational breakthroughs that have changed the way we think, shop and ship.

Steven Jobs and Michael Wozniak.  APPLE.   Today we can’t leave home without our phone and calling folks is one of the least popular things to do with it!   Think of the impact “i” life has had on your world in general, both positively and negaitively and specifically on many industries (tv, printed communication, shopping, photography).  Apple’s inspirational revolution required companies to Inspire, Innovate and Implement—or go out of business!

Sam Walton.  WALMART.   Here is discount shopping at the ultimate.  Sam Walton identified a market that was poorly serviced by Catalogue Shopping.  On-sight customers traveled to large city department stores for their “brick and mortar” experiences.  His inspiration brought discount stores to rural America.   His underlying philosophy of honoring the customer and his employees dominated Walmart’s culture and brand.   Now WALMART dominates our cities large and small.

Fred Smith.   FED-EX.  Based on his inspirational desire to bring over-night delivery systems that took advantage of technology, Smith wrote a paper/proposal on the subject while studying at Yale University.   It was quickly disregarded as an innovation lacking viability.  His experience and insight while in the military gave him the inspiration needed to pursue his dream.  Today, “Fed-Ex” is a verb; a word that universally means “overnight delivery”.

My very own company, PFP, took a life insurance distribution method and turned it into a hugely successful marketing process which, by far, spawned the leading provider of voluntary insurance products purchased by credit union members throughout the country.   The insurance industry’s revolution required INSPIRATION at its core when PFP founders identified the problem and came up with a viable solution.  With the goal of expanding critically needed insurance protection within an underserved market, PFP created a unique distribution approach and service model.   Upon reflection, the Eye Cubed INSPIRATIONAL process was clearly exemplified as part of PFP’s history.  It took inspired leadership, innovative products and relentless implementation to ultimately give rise to a great company.

post-it-note_ideas-inspiring-innovation

Eye Cubed companies possess the inspiration needed to evolve and Eye Cubed leaders are inspired to turn challenging opportunities into market dominance.  What factors are facing your business, industry or niche that requires inspiration powerful enough to spur the innovation that must be implemented today?