July 12, 2019
Business Lessons From The Dinner Table, Part 3
Business Lessons From The Dinner Table, Part III By Chuck Violand July 15, 2019 Lesson #3: Communicate. Our dinner table was not a quiet place. There was never a shortage of talking, but mom made sure we were also communicating. We shared stories about how our days went. We talked about our successes and defeats. We talked about things that just happened and those that were being planned. Whenever we were reluctant to open up about something, mom always seemed to know. She knew she’d have to take her time to coax it out of us. She also knew that we were all different and that some of us needed more coaxing than others. Is it really any different with the people in our organizations? Most of us have learned that we can’t manage with a one-size-fits-all approach or in a style that works best for us instead of them. Some people require more attention or to be approached differently than others. If we had siblings growing up, no doubt we developed thicker skins through the rivalries and verbal jabbing that took place. But despite those, we knew we were all on the same team, and that, at some point,
July 12, 2019
Business Lessons From The Dinner Table, Part 2
Business Lessons From The Dinner Table, Part II By Chuck Violand July 1, 2019 Lesson #1: Show gratitude. Lots of people start family meals by giving thanks for the food they’re about to enjoy. Some refer to it as saying grace, others as giving thanks. Some just bow their heads in silence. Regardless, the important thing is that we express gratitude for the things we have, that we never take them for granted, and that we don’t take more credit for having them than we should. Growing up, the practice of saying grace was as much a part of dinner time as setting the table. When we’ve been successful in business, it’s easy to take more credit for it than we should and to think we had more to do with it than we actually did. It’s the self-made-man syndrome. And most of us aren’t that good. We discount the role that luck, or a chance encounter, might have played in our success. Maybe we found a product we were good at producing, or had weak competitors, or an abundance of customers. The markets or the economy were in our favor. Or others believed in us and helped clear our
July 12, 2019
Business Lessons From The Dinner Table, Part I
Business Lessons From The Dinner Table, Part I By Chuck Violand June 17, 2019 My wife was the first to acquaint me with the concept of business management fads that seem to permeate businesses, especially big businesses. She was a senior pricing analyst with one of the nation’s largest freight carriers, headquartered in Akron, Ohio. We were young, but she had already grown weary of the “theory du jour” (to use her words) that would be run up the company flagpole as the next best thing. Some of the more popular fads that have come and gone would include Quality Circles, Business Process Reengineering, The Search for Excellence, Theory Z, and even Management by God. (I’m not sure why God would want to get involved in something as basic as business management, but apparently somebody did.) Management fads come and go about as often as fashion changes. The same is true with business clichés and jargon and the words we use in daily life. But the one thing that has remained relatively unchanged over the years, in business and in life, are basic human values like trust, gratefulness, compassion, sharing, and looking out for others. We may think the things