Monday Morning Notes

Restoration and Cleaning Business Consultant Chuck Violand offers a free weekly email series titled Monday Morning Notes that currently goes out to over 1,500 owners and professionals in restoration and cleaning small businesses. Every other week Chuck writes a small essay on a topic related to growing your restoration or cleaning business business through developing your professional abilities that is entertaining, informative, and relates directly to challenges you face every day. On the weeks in between the essays, he provides an inspirational quote from a variety of sources designed to inspire you for the week ahead. To sign up to receive the Monday Morning Notes series each week, click here. If there is a particular Monday Morning Note from years past that is not listed below but you would like us to email you a copy of it, click here and let us know the topic in the message box.

 

2017


Shopping Carts, Business, and Life, Part II

Shopping Carts, Business, and Life, Part I






















2016



















Who Am I Now? Part VII (3.28.16)

Transitioning

Who Am I Now? Part VI (3.14.16)

Tracking Performance

Who Am I Now? Part V (2.29.16)

Managing and Developing Our People

Who Am I Now? Part IV (2.15.16)

Hiring the Right People

Who Am I Now? Part III (2.1.16)

Charting the Course: Your Role as Chief Cultural Officer

Who Am I Now? Part II (1.18.16)

Charting the Course: The Plan for your Business

Who Am I Now? Part I (1.4.16)

Recently, I was talking with a business owner who was struggling with what he should be focused on in his company.

2015

Staying Thirsty (12.21.15)

As 2015 comes to an end, don’t miss the opportunity to improve in 2016. Never ever get satisfied. Always thirst for more.

Head Start (12.7.15)

Having an advantage when you start your business is a reason to celebrate, not shy away from. But what you do with that advantage is what is most important.

Too Many Wrong Mistakes, Part II (11.23.15)

In Part two, Jeff take a different approach with Yogi-isms, showing how they describe certain unpleasant thoughts your employees may be having but are too afraid to tell you.

Too Many Wrong Mistakes, Part I (11.9.15)

Violand’s Director of Sales and Marketing takes over for a two-part series on exploring the unconventional business wisdom of baseball great Yogi Berra through his famous Yogi-isms. Can you relate?

Finishing Second, Part II (10.26.15)

Believe it or not, there may be more reasons why you may be sabotaging your efforts to win. They include too much complaining, always attempting to be a self-made success, and lack of total effort.

Finishing Second, Part I (10.12.15)

A several part series discussing decisions and actions you might be doing to unintentionally finish second.

Competing, Part II (9.28.15)

When the need to win causes a company to stray from its’ core values, negative consequences may occur. It’s important to keep it healthy. A little goes a long way.

Competing, Part I (9.14.15)

Conventional wisdom says competition is good for business. But what happens when a little becomes to much and starts to overtake your company and mindset.

Hiding Out, Part VI (8.31.15)

Now for the most important part, how do you address hiding out and begin to overcome it before it tears apart your business or ruins important relationships.

Hiding Out, Part V (8.17.15)

Now that you know what hiding out is, what it looks like, and what causes it, Part 5 discusses the consequences it can produce. They are not pretty.

Hiding Out, Part IV (8.3.15)

In Part 4 Chuck identifies several more root causes of hiding out and how it may be affecting your business, especially if it is a family business.

Hiding Out, Part III (7.20.15)

Moving on from symptoms, let’s discuss the root causes of hiding out. Now it gets a little tougher.

Hiding Out, Part II (7.6.15)

Many times when business owners are hiding out it’s unintentional. In Part 2, Chuck identifies several symptoms. Are any of these familiar?

Hiding Out, Part I (6.22.15)

Hiding out is one of the most common issues Violand experiences when working with clients. Too often owners are ignoring the tough stuff, hiding out like it’s never going on.

The Oracle, Part II (6.8.15)

Warren Buffet’s 2nd and 3rd weapons in his investment arsenal: emotion and information. He doesn’t use them like you would think.

The Oracle, Part I (5.25.15)

The first of a two part series into learning from The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet. Part one covers playing offense through effective cash management.

Shut Up and Listen ( 5.11.15)

Shouting orders does not make you a leader. Keep doing that and the hippos will eat all your tomatoes.

Internal Contradictions (4.27.15)

Understand how many of the same issues that caused the internal fall of the Soviet Union may be present in your business and how to go about not reliving history.

Being Right (4.13.15)

Chuck returns to an older Monday Morning Note from 2007 that discusses why sometimes owners feel being right is more important than doing what is right.

Nice Guys (3.30.15)

Nobody wants to lay people off or break bad news. What happens when well-intentioned entrepreneurs have to make the tough decisions.

The Reluctant Leader, Part VI (3.16.15)

The final part covers what to do next when you reach the point where you honestly don’t know how to grow your your business beyond it’s current size.

The Reluctant Leader, Part V (3.2.15)

In part five, Chuck discusses two factors found in Peter Senge’s book The Fifth Discipline that affect the size an entrepreneur grows his business; capability and deserving.

The Reluctant Leader, Part IV (2.16.15)

The next aspect of my series involves a fear that many of us may never have heard of and can hardly recognize. It just goes to show that some of the most debilitating characteristics of a leader are not necessarily the most obvious.

The Reluctant Leader, Part III (2.2.15)

Intentionally choosing to keep our businesses small is the right choice for a lot of business owners. But if we make the decision to try to grow them, we may be held back because of our subconscious fears, not just reasonable caution. Today I explore another common fear that gets in the way of growing our companies and some possible reasons behind this fear.

The Reluctant Leader, Part II (1.19.15)

Sometimes our reluctance to grow our companies is warranted, even planned. Balancing a growing business with personal goals is a struggle for any business owner, myself included.

The Reluctant Leader, Part I (1.5.15)

All businesses aren’t destined to be big, but they can all be great. The single most important factor influencing these outcomes are the people who launch and run the businesses. This is why I found the question I was asked a short time ago so intriguing.

2014

It Is All About You (12.22.14)

With the end of the year quickly approaching, we typically spend time reflecting on the accomplishments and shortcomings of the last 12 months as well as our “New Year’s Resolutions” for the coming year.

In this week’s Note, I offer a few suggestions on how we can take greater responsibility for achieving the things we say we want to accomplish in our companies in the coming year.
Yellers (12.8.14)

If you’ve ever been to a party or family function, whether it’s your own or someone else’s, that is so loud you can’t hear the person sitting next to you, then you’ll appreciate today’s Note. It’s about people with loud voices, and I’m one of them.

We speak loudly much of the time, not because we’re mad but because we’re emphasizing our point or we’re excited about what we’re saying. We don’t even realize we’re being loud! But the people around us do, and they may not know it’s out of excitement, not anger. This week’s Note offers a couple suggestions on how to keep our excitement from getting the better of us and negatively impacting our companies’ cultures.
Hail To The Losers (11.24.14)

At a recent VMA event, I was reminded of the complicated effects emotionally-charged memories from our childhoods, like being chosen last for a team, have on our lives. These effects don’t only apply to childhood failures, either. Professional setbacks also have a profound effect on our lives and future decision-making.

In this week’s Note, I discuss how we can try to turn these failures into helpful life lessons to drive us to succeed in the future.
Uncommon Courtesy (11.10.14)

In business, we’re used to jargon like profit margin, bottom line, and buy-in. But in life, there are a few other magic words: please, thank you, and you’re welcome.

What would happen if we added life’s magic words to our business jargon repertoire when speaking to our customers? In this week’s Note, I discuss just how much this can impact how we conduct our businesses.
In Spite of our Complaints, Part II (10.27.14)
Poor performance is not some boogey man we have to hide from under the covers of our complaints. It’s not a nuisance we have to learn to tolerate, either.
In this week’s Note, I discuss how we can face our fears of holding others accountable, despite having our never-ending complaints to hide behind.
In Spite of our Complaints, Part I (10.13.14)
It seems like people are complaining all the time: the weather, politics, sports. You name it, somebody’s going to have a complaint about it. It makes you wonder if complaining is our real national pastime!
If the time spent complaining was redirected into productive activities, I’ve got to believe it would have a significant impact on our businesses.
Today I begin a two-part series on how complaining may actually be covering up our underlying beliefs and fears.
Basics, Part III (9.15.14)
To wrap up this three-part series, I close with four final suggestions to keep your businesses simple and focused.
Basics, Part II (9.15.14)
Sometimes the most important things we have to do to as the leaders of our companies are also the most simple-although not necessarily the easiest. These things usually involve gaining a better understanding of ourselves as leaders and how we can apply this knowledge to better manage our businesses. Often times it is the “soft” side of business-relationships, behaviors, people skills-that is the hardest to work on.
In Part II of this three-part series, I discuss the additional steps to take when trying to develop the people aspect of your company, especially yourself.
Basics, Part I (9.1.14)
Sometimes the most important things we have to do to as the leaders of our companies are also the most simple-although not necessarily the easiest. These things usually involve gaining a better understanding of ourselves as leaders and how we can apply this knowledge to better manage our businesses.
The Monday Morning Notes series I start today is an effort to help you avoid over-complicating things that can otherwise be simple.
Capture The Flag, Part II (8.18.14)

Today’s Note references research that was conducted at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada on the value play has in our daily lives. Apparently in countries where they have more recess time in school, they enjoy higher academic scores than in countries with less recess time.

While this research is one more excuse I can no longer use to explain my own performance in school, I think it also holds valuable lessons we can apply in our businesses
Capture The Flag, Part I (8.04.14)

When I was a kid growing up in the city, we used to play a game called kick the can.

Pilgrims (7.21.14)

When you think of the word pilgrim, two images typically come to mind. One is of a person dressed in a black waistcoat wearing a tall, brimmed hat and buckles galore.

Freedom, Liberty (7.07.14)

238 years ago, a group of 56 men who were gathered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania pledged to each other their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honors in the pursuit of fundamental concepts that, today, much of the world takes for granted.

Benfold (7.04.14)

Operating an 8,600 ton floating piece of artillery with radar so advanced it can detect a bird-sized object from 50 miles away is quite a responsibility.

A Close Second (6.23.14)

In 1983, Jackie Joyner-Kersee finished second in the Heptathlon in the Los Angeles Summer Olympics.

Keep Running (6.09.14)

For years I had a plaque hanging in my office that read “The race does not always go to the swift, but to the one who keeps on running.”

Make A Difference (5.26.14)

Political commentators Cokie and Steve Roberts wrote an article about a survey Gallup and Purdue University conducted to determine what things have the most influence on successful college graduates who are engaged at work and experiencing high well-being after graduation.

Alpha Talk, 2014 (5.12.14)

Not long ago, one of my sons’ friends told me he had gotten a job at a local golf course as a “turf maintenance engineer.”

Handcuffed (4.28.14)

A business owner’s actions impact the future of his company both positively and negatively in many different ways.

I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, Part II (3.31.14)

One of the main reasons small businesses stop growing is because the owner himself stops growing.

I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, Part I (3.17.14)

At some point in our lives, I would expect all of us have been exposed to the story of Peter Pan, either through books, stage plays, or films like the 1991 movie Hook starring Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, and Julia Roberts.

Residue Epilogue – Sabanizing (3.03.14)

Instead of having his players focus on wins and championships, Alabama’s head football coach, Nick Saban, has them focus on what he calls The Process.

Fungineering (2.17.14)

At the risk of sounding like an old curmudgeon with respect to business, whatever happened to the notion that hard work itself is rewarding enough?

Residue, Part II (1.20.14)

Borrowing from a page in the orientation handbook of Quicken Loans, Inc.: “Numbers and money follow; they don’t lead.”

Residue, Part I (1.20.14)

The name Branch Rickey gained renewed recognition with the release of 42, the 2013 movie about Jackie Robinson.

What Happens Next (1.06.14)

A recent conversation with a business owner ended in a discussion about shortterm versus longterm implications of a decision he was about to make in his business.

2013

Holding On Too Tight (12.23.13)

Chuck compares Navy Fighter Pilot Cougar from the classic 80s movie Top Gun to a learning point from Steven R. Covey on not holding on to the point of failure.

Money Maturity (12.09.13)

How business owners who have enjoyed financial success throughout the year can maintain the financial discipline that contributed to it.

Playing Together in the Sandbox (11.25.13)

A common sense lesson from Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Company, given to him from his parents growing up on the importance of being nice.

The Four Ds, Part III (11.11.13)

Holly, Tom, and Chuck dig even deeper into some of the underlying causes of disagreements in small businesses.

The Four Ds, Part II (10.28.13)

Holly Bognar and Tom Cline weigh in with strategies they’ve found effective in addressing disagreements in the businesses with whom they work. As you might have guessed, while the suggestions are pretty simple in nature, they’re not necessarily easy to execute.

The Four Ds, Part I (10.14.13)

Given that the basics of business are so simple, why is it that so many businesses struggle for survival, much less growth?

Meatloaf (9.30.13)

Generation communication issues cause challenges in and out of business.

Letting Go (9.16.13)

Delegating responsibility to other employees can sometimes be the most difficult part of growing a business for an owner used to handling everything.

The Sport Of Business (8.19.13)

Unsettling trends in professional sports and business are remarkably similar.

Plain Vanilla (8.05.13)

Integrating diversified viewpoints in your business may be difficult but is more important than ever.

Living “As if” (7.22.13)

Are you ignoring the warning signs and running your business “As if” they don’t exist because of too much positive thinking?

The Entrepreneurial Paradox Part II™ (8.19.13)

How do we address the conflict that arises when we grow ourselves out of the jobs we enjoy doing?

The Entrepreneurial Paradox Part I™ (6.24.13)

Have you ever heard someone offer to sell you their business for $20? Here’s why.

Overcoming Stage II Stall™ Part X (6.10.13)

The final installment on how to recognize and overcome issues affecting businesses experiencing little to no growth.

Overcoming Stage II Stall™ Part IX (5.27.13)

Cause 4, Swollen Egos. Success can easily go to a CEO’s head and become the greatest obstacle.

Overcoming Stage II Stall™ Part VIII (5.13.13)

Cause 3, Arrested Professional Growth, Solutions. If you don’t develop yourself and your employees, no one can develop your company.

Overcoming Stage II Stall™ Part VII (4.29.13)

Cause 3, Arrested Professional Growth. Training and development never ends, no matter how capable you feel your business is.

Be the Person You Can Be (4.15.13)

Chuck takes a break from Overcoming Stage II Stall™ to celebrate 10 years of Monday Morning Notes.

Overcoming Stage II Stall™ Part VI (4.01.13)

Cause 2, Checking Out, Solutions. Checking out can happen to any business owner. Here is how to recognize and resolve the condition

Overcoming Stage II Stall™ Part V (3.18.13)

Cause 2, Checking Out. The daily grind of running a business causes many owners to simply “check out.”

Overcoming Stage II Stall™ Part IV (3.04.13)

Cause 1, Loss of Focus, Solutions. Here are solutions for employers and employees when the owner has lost focus.

>Overcoming Stage II Stall™ Part III (2.18.13)

Cause 1, Loss of Focus. The first of the four most common factors of why a business may start to experience stalled growth.

Overcoming Stage II Stall™ Part II (2.04.13)

Part II – Stage II Companies. What defines a Stage II company and some initial signs of stalling?

Overcoming Stage II Stall™ (1.21.13)

Part I – An Introduction. The first in the series on what is Stage II Stall™, what are the symptoms, and how to correct it in your business.

Monsters in the Closet (1.07.13)

Sometimes business owners can conjure up their own boogeymen out of fear of the unknown.

2012

Courage (12.24.12)

Most people think of courage as a big, heroic act. But often times it’s found in the everyday actions of everyday people.

Explosive Growth (12.10.12)

A tongue-in-cheek look at the outlandish claims marketers try to get you to fall for.

Thanks (11.26.12)

There are so many people and opportunities for which Violand Management is thankful.

Guts (11.12.12)

Here are some surprising and not so surprising areas where guts really come into play in our businesses and professional lives.

Who Owns It (10.29.12)

Here are three ways CEOs inadvertently get in the way of accountability when it comes to cleaning up a mess.

In Praise of Janitors (10.15.12)

Even if you are the head of a very large company, it is important for you to take the time to still be a janitor.
Hitting the Pause Button (10.01.12)
When running a business, if we don’t learn how to get out of our own way, we might be our own worst enemy.

Flying Lessons (9.17.12)

How Tom Petty’s “Learning to Fly” applies to starting and running a business.

Where To Be On the Battlefield Part III (9.03.12)

Over 90% of small business owners fail this vital step or choose not to even attempt it.

Where To Be On the Battlefield Part II (8.20.12)

How to make sure you are in the right positions to make the important calls for tomorrow.

Where to Be on the Battlefield Part I (8.06.12)

Business owners must position themselves to make the right decisions for the company and their employees.

Mind Your Own Business (7.23.12)

Quit comparing your business to someone else’s and worry about making it the best you can instead.

The Law of the Garbage Truck Part V (7.09.12)

How Our Behaviors Affect Us As Leaders. If you want to lead others, you must act as a leader in every aspect of your life.

The Law of the Garbage Truck Part IV (6.25.12)

How Our Behavior Affects Us As Leaders. It’s easy to justify our own bad behavior when no one holds us accountable.

The Law of the Garbage Truck Part III (6.11.12)

How Our Behavior Affects Us As Leaders. Scott Tackett weighs in on the most recognizable results of garbage truck behavior.

The Law of the Garbage Truck Part II (5.28.12)

How Our Behavior Affects Us As Leaders. How garbage truck behavior produces unintended and unwanted results in our businesses.

>

How Our Behavior Affects Us As Leaders. What garbage truck behavior is and how it appears in the lives of business people.

Facing the Boss (4.30.12)

Celebrating the 9th anniversary of Monday Morning Notes, Chuck reruns a well-received post from August 23rd, 2004.

Affluenza Part III (4.16.12)

Here are both highly visible and subtle causes of Affluenza in our businesses.

Affluenza Part II (4.02.12)

A very familiar and all too common story of what happens when an owner of a small business is infected by Affluenza.

Affluenza Part I (3.19.12)

The first in a three part series on a “virus” that is overtaking successful business owners but can easily be prevented.

Right Sized (3.05.12)

Tim Hull guest writes a piece on how to manage the difficult decision of how big you really want your company to get.

Alpha Talk 2012 (2.20.12)

Here is a light hearted look at the outcome when you try to soften a difficult message.

Never Give In Part II (2.06.12)

An in depth look at how one of Winston Churchill’s most famous speeches applies directly to small businesses during their roughest patches.

Never Give In Part I (1.23.12)

Great inspiration that can be applied to both our personal and our professional lives.

Belching At the Table Part V (1.09.12)

The pitfalls successful CEOs must diligently work to avoid.

2011

Belching At the Table Part IV (12.26.11)

Why a CEO must continually grow him- or herself to stay ahead of the company.

Belching At the Table Part III (12.12.11)

The impact developing or not developing your people will have on your business.

Belching At the Table Part II (11.28.11)

The questions all CEOs must be willing to ask themselves and have their employees ask them.

Belching At the Table Part I (11.14.11)

The first in a five part series on measuring CEO job performance.

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish Part II (10.31.11)

Don’t take yourself too seriously or you may lose what made you successful.

Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish (10.17.11)

Why Steve Jobs showed that, to stay on top, you must stay hungry.

Respect Part II (10.03.11)

Here are practical, everyday ways to show respect to the people around us.

Respect Part I (9.19.11)

Don’t overlook the influence your actions have on the behavior of your people.

Bullies Part IV (9.05.11)

Here are several levels bosses use to bully people in their office.

Bullies Part III (8.22.11)

Scott Tackett weighs in on two forms of abusive office behavior.

Bullies Part II (8.08.11)

Chuck and Scott discuss two ways bullying can manifest itself in an organization.

Bullies Part I (7.25.11)

Chuck highlights several forms bullies can take in the office and how it affects the company.

Are You Loved? (7.11.11)

A recent incident reminds Chuck about the best business advice he ever received.

Somebody Always Pays Part II (6.27.11)

Offering free services to attract new customers can hurt the loyal ones you already have.

Somebody Always Pays Part I (6.13.11)

There is no such thing as a free lunch!

Second Fiddle Part II (5.30.11)

Rhythm and harmony of an organization are often managed by people who fill the sideman role.

Second Fiddle Part I (5.16.11)

The second fiddle in an organization often is what really leads to success.

Throwing the Heat (5.02.11)

Chuck celebrates the 8th anniversary of Monday Morning Notes by rerunning a post from October 2004.

Escaping Groundhog Day Management Part VIII – Conclusion (4.18.11)

Chuck concludes the series by detailing how to cure the issues.

Escaping Groundhog Day Management Part VII – Discipline (4.04.11)

How owners bottleneck growth and generally get in the way.

Escaping Groundhog Day Management Part VI – Discipline (3.21.11)

Accountability within a business flows in multiple directions.

Escaping Groundhog Day Management Part V – Discipline (3.07.11)

Another skill successful executives must possess.

Escaping Groundhog Day Management Part IV – Focus (2.21.11)

The last part to escaping groundhog management is follow through.

Escaping Groundhog Day Management Part III – Focus (2.07.11)

Four questions to help you avoid the distractions that can derail your success.

Escaping Groundhog Day Management Part II – Focus (1.24.11)

How one company’s loss of focus almost cost them everything.

Escaping Groundhog Day Management Part I (1.10.11)

Inspired by the movie, this essay discusses how we end up reliving some of the same business conditions over and over.