As the New Year approaches, now is a great time to not only plan for the upcoming year, but reflect back on your accomplishments in the past year. Here at Vistage Florida, I encourage my people to do a couple of specific things as the year comes to a close:

  1. When looking back on the previous year, focus on the good instead of the bad. This may sound obvious, but so many people get caught up fretting over the past, they are not able to commit to their goals in the future. You worked hard all year long to succeed. Now is the time to reflect back and celebrate all of your hard work. At Vistage Florida, we have certainly faced challenges in this last year, but we still had a great year with innovative and inspiring advertisements, new Chairs and members, phenomenal training, and exciting retreats. We choose to focus on positive accomplishments like these going into the New Year.
  2. Set goals rather than making resolutions. I really am not a fan of resolutions. They tend to fade away within the first month or so, whereas goals, if measurable and obtainable, can have a great impact on both individuals and businesses. There are a couple of things that will help you reach your goals. The first is to write them down and place them somewhere you will see them. Goals that aren’t written down tend to become wishful thinking. In addition to writing them down, find someone to hold you accountable. Accountability is one of the greatest motivators and will keep you on target throughout the year.

I hope you find the time to pat yourself on the back for all of your accomplishments in the past year. Come January 1st you will have a blank slate. You are in first place once again. What will you do to maintain your position? Make this year count!

Happy New Year!

Family First

The holidays are a great time to reflect on family and serve as a reminder of what we find most important. All year long we work hard to provide for the family whom we love so much. In doing so, we can easily lose sight of our real goals. We get so wrapped up in meetings, deadlines and dollar signs that we forget about what matters most to us. Family is a precious gift that should never be taken for granted. In fact, balancing work and family life is a crucial subject we discuss on a regular basis at Vistage Florida.

When many of our members first come to us, one of the things they frequently tell uss that they need a better balance of their personal and work life. We pride ourselves in helping make this balance possible for our members through peer advising, coaching and accountability. We like to remind members that life isn’t always about trying to build wealth, but rather it’s about the journey. Or even more so, it is about building a legacy that makes a difference. Before my father, Red Scott, passed away, we had many deep and meaningful talks. During one of our talks he gave me these important words to live by, “The only legacy you leave is your family, your grandchildren and the people you’ve touched. Leave it better than you found it.”

Red always said, “I have never talked to a friend on their death bed that said they had wished they had spent more time at their work.” Family is number one. Don’t get so wrapped up in the little things in life that you forget. Take this holiday season to reflect on your family and spend time with them if possible. Show them how much you care and continue to build your legacy.

Merry Christmas!

Millennials: What Do They Want?

Every generation tells a different story. Its members have faced various states of the economy, fought different battles and overcome diverse societal obstacles. These events and circumstances shape their ideas and beliefs, and essentially give characteristics to a generation.  As the Millennial generation surpasses Generation X as the largest living generation and continues to expand their share of the workforce, employers are wondering what these “kids” are looking to gain from their jobs. Here at the Vistage Florida home office, we have a couple of Millennials, both working and interning. These are a few things we have found that Millennials are looking for in the workplace:

  1. Purpose: These guys and gals want to know their job has meaning. You need to be able to explain to them the impact your business has on the world and how they are contributing towards that by performing their job. They want to know they are a part of something bigger than themselves.
  2. Mentoring: Millennials are looking for more coaching than bossing. They value support from leaders. Hands on guidance and mentorship are important to them and annual reviews do not necessarily cut it anymore. According to TriNet, an HR solutions company, 69 percent of Millennials see their company’s review process as flawed. Try to check in often and develop relationships that will help them grow.
  3. Flexibility and balance: The 40 hour work week is being reinvented. The now 3 million workers that work from home is expected to grow at a rapid rate. Millennials value personal time, and strive to balance work life with their home life. Do your best to make this possible because happy workers make productive workers.
  4. Teamwork: Most Millennials would rather work together than compete against each other. They want to reach goals by working as a team to do something bigger for the greater good.
  5. Inclusion: This might be a better word to describe Millennials than using the stereotype “entitled.” They want to be a part of the big picture and make a difference. By allowing them to get involved and “do big boy things” they will produce “big boy results.”

Not every member of a generation falls within these stereotypes, but generations do collectively differ from one another. By knowing some of the common characteristics of the generation you’re taking on as an employer, you’ll be able to be a better leader. Whether you’re ready or not, the Millennial generation is coming, make sure your business is ready.

80/20 Vision

Martin Luther King, Jr. Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and Billy Graham. What do you think when you hear these names? What do they have in common? Most would say they are some of the best speakers of the modern era. They were gifted and could move the masses with their words. They had charisma. They were inspiring. All of these are true, but one thing that could be easily overlooked is their ability to listen.

These great speaking figures knew how to move people to action because they knew how they felt and what they believed. They spoke confidently because they had listened. They had substance because they had taken the time to receive it from their audience. They motivated others because they allowed others to motivate themselves.

Listening is a way of seeing. Without listening, we are blind to our surroundings, our clients, co-workers, and employees. My mother always used to tell me that God gave me two ears and one mouth, so I should listen twice as much as I speak. As great of advice as that was, I have learned even that is not enough. As a general rule of thumb, one should abide by the 80/20 rule. Listen 80% of the time and speak only 20% of the time.

The fear of public speaking, known as gloss phobia, commonly ranks as one of the top phobias in various surveys across the country. Speaking well can be a difficult and scary thing that takes courage to overcome, but remember, speaking is only 20% of the equation. I believe the great Sir Winston Churchill put it best, “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” Listening allows us to become better speakers, bosses, employees, friends, family members and citizens. So take a little extra time to listen and I promise you will see improvements in both your relationships and speaking skills.

Letting Go

As football season nears the end, so do the jobs of many professional and collegiate coaches around the country.  Firing a coach can be a hard thing to do for organizations. Like in the work place, it sometimes boils down to whether or not they are culturally a good fit. Culture overrides everything, both on the field and in the office. Someone who does not fit the culture can be toxic; they are a cancer to the organization.

One of the biggest mistakes both sports organizations and business managers make, is not cutting out the cancer soon enough. We often do not want to admit that the situation does not get better. We wait too long to get rid of that certain individual, and by the time we do so, it is too late; the damage has been done and the culture has been tainted.

One of the most toxic types of individuals to an organization is the “over-performer.” They are also the hardest to let go. These individuals believe they are above the rules, and their goals and agendas do not line up with those of the company and its culture. It is hard to let these individuals go because at times they are great at their job.  But, in order to have a winning culture, the whole team must be on the same page. No one would argue Terrell Owens was not a great NFL receiver, but they would argue that he was a terrible teammate who struggled to fit into his team’s culture. The fact that most of the teams Owens played on were willing to cut the four time pro-bowler is evidence that even a superstar can hurt a team overall if they do not share the same goals and visions. Reed Hasting, the co-founder of Netflix, applies this notion to the business world by saying “Do not tolerate brilliant jerks. The cost of teamwork is too high.”

As both a business owner and cancer survivor myself, I know that sometimes you have to take the living tissue out with the cancer for the greater good of the body, to survive and once again thrive. It’s always easier said than done, but sometimes it must be done for the good of the team.