Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Are you winning?

Are you winning?

Last week I said “hello” to a Guest playing a slot machine in our casino.  He said “hello” back to me, cordially…and I asked how everything was going with his stay.

He never really looked up from playing his slot machine, though smiling all the while, and he told me that everything was great. 

Then…he asked me, “Are you winning?”  (He thought I was a Guest in the hotel…though I was of course, working.)

I immediately responded with a smile and almost a chuckle, “No…no…I’m actually working.”

He laughed…I smiled…then…….I thought about it, in that split, micro-second…it hit me – sure…I’m working, but maybe I am “winning” in the big picture. 

I may be working while my new friend playing slots in our casino (God bless him) and so many others are enjoying their vacation on the Las Vegas strip.  However, I realized that it’s truly a blessing and a privilege, just to be able to utter the words, “I am working.”

With so many Americans out of work, in between jobs, or struggling to make ends meet in these ever-so-uncertain times, if you have a job right now…you’re winning; at least statistically speaking.

OneMoreStep Thought for the week:  Even if things aren’t quite perfect…even with stressful burdens on our families and on each of us, as individuals…we should take a moment to reflect on what we DO have vs. what we DON’T have.  When we do, we may just realize that we are winning, in so many ways…and we’re not really “losing” at all. 

 {Even if this is a rough patch, on the job front or otherwise, DON’T GIVE UP…keep looking up.}

If you have a loving family, you’re winning.
If you have a job (even if it’s not perfect), you’re winning.
If you have a roof over your head at night, you’re winning.
If you have friends to call, spend time with, or laugh with, you’re winning.
If you have food on the kitchen table each night, you’re winning.

Are you winning?

One for the road…speaking of winning, ‘tis the season, football season.  Soon college football will be back in full swing, which means school is back in session.  It’s BACK TO SCHOOL time for everyone from students, to teachers, to football fans across the country.

In the spirit of 'BACK TO SCHOOL', we can all take this time to get back into the “swing” of things.  Remember back when we were students?  When school started back every Fall, we all of a sudden became MORE focused.  We had a regimented schedule and routine, which allowed us to listen and learn

Whether we’ve already walked across the stage or not, we can all take this time to (mentally) go back to SCHOOL:

S chedulewe can take this time to reevaluate our schedules, to ensure we’re spending time wisely.

C ultureIn school, we all had “School Spirit”.  That was our “culture”.  How about now? We can all reevaluate how well we’re “representing our nations”. How well are we embodying our company’s culture in our roles at work every day?

H omeworkIn school, didn’t we put in the time ‘after hours’, diving in, learning, practicing, and studying?  How about now?  How often do we “do our homework” for our current jobs?  How much better would we be and how much MORE value would we create if we did?

O rganized – When we’re in school, our routines with classes, assignments, and deadlines force us to become MORE organized.  What about now?  How organized are we at work?  In life? At home?

O bserve Remember when we were younger…whether we actually had a passion for learning or not, we certainly paid a great deal of attention to everything around us.  We “observed” the people around us - our teachers, our coaches, our parents, and our surroundings.  What about now?  How well do we observe and notice what’s happening or not happening at work? At home?  If we did observe, how much better would we be?  How much more in tune with our teams would we be?

L isten & LearnJust because we’ve graduated from school doesn’t mean that we should stop learning.  How well do we listen to our friends, family, coworkers, bosses, clients, customers, and Guests?  What if we did listen to them…how much MORE would we learn?

Go OneMoreStep this week…get in the winning spirit…’tis the season to go BACK TO SCHOOL.

Have a great day.


"the moment you stop learning, you stop leading." -- Rick Warren

Friday, August 17, 2012

FRED Friday...Birthday Well-Wishes, FredShips, & A Team of Freds

FRED Friday…Birthday Well-Wishes, FredShips & A Team of Freds

Good People
Yesterday was my birthday.  Sure I woke up feeling a bit older…perhaps a bit wiser, after yet another year of things being up, down, and sideways.  However, I wasn’t really planning on celebrating too much for my 33rd birthday…

By  7:30am, however, I had received text messages from some of my best friends, a text from my boss, phone calls from my two favorite women in my life – my girlfriend and my mom, and a OneMoreStep, collective FaceTime from two of my dearest friends (For the record, so I don’t have to hear it later, they were actually first, at around 6am…)all wishing me a Happy Birthday.  So that was all really, really cool…and all of them made me feel great!

My old pal...

When I got to work, I stopped to say good morning to the team, as I always do, and I was met with smiles, “happy birthday” wishes, high fives, and hugs.  When I made it to my office, I opened the door to find my old pal, Mickey Mouse (a balloon, four feet tall) standing on my desk with “Happy Birthday T. Scott” written on my white board, and balloons decorating my office.

Later in the day, our team presented me with a custom made gift basket, the contents of which consisted of ...well... just the most thoughtful gifts…my coworkers and members of our team know I like to attempt to stay fit and eat healthy, and they know I get grouchy and irritable when I’m hungry.  So protein bars and whey protein to make protein shakes, along with a really nice shaker, were some of the marquee items in the basket.

They also included a Mickey Mouse business card holder and post it holder, several little energy booster concoctions (because they know I like to stay fired up), a Disney water bottle, and a Disney’s High School Musical – WILDCAT plush doll (which is hilarious and awesome on many levels).  After nearly two years, they all know (and most share) my love for the MotherShip, Disney. 

The entire team signed a birthday card…and they didn’t just sign their names.  Each person wrote something incredibly touching, wishing me a happy birthday.  They’re such special, thoughtful individuals that make up an incredible team.

In the afternoon, I was called to come out of my office, into a common area that we all share…to a group of coworkers caroling, “happy birthday” to me!  They had a birthday cake…but not “just any cake”.  My colleague and “partner in crime”, as we say, Sarah, took special consideration, went OneMoreStep, out of her way to get Mickey and Minnie cake toppers AND little mini palm trees…because she knows of my fascination with anything/everything tropical, Jimmy Buffett-ish.  Very, very cool…and it made for an extremely fun mid-day break.  I appreciated it.

More calls from family and friends came throughout the afternoon and evening.  Emails from coworkers who heard it was my birthday popped into my inbox.  My Dad…my sister…and more of the old crew called and sent texts.  Happy Birthday Facebook messages and Tweets rolled in as well, all wishing me a happy birthday.
Sarah crushed it on the cake

I don’t paint this picture of my birthday to brag.  This post is not about me.  It’s about the people that made me feel so…GOOD…all day yesterday.  I’m dedicating this Fred Friday to the friends, family members, colleagues, teammates, coworkers, peers, and leaders that made my little old 33rd birthday, which would have otherwise been just a routine Thursday, a day that I’ll never forget.

The gifts were great, certainly appreciated, and I am totally digging them all (Ms. Pat Fitz the i-Tunes gift card MONEY!).  The cake was the bomb, and we devoured it ALL, in probably world record time.  (Great teamwork)  We had a blast with the Mickey balloon all day, taking The Big Cheese with us to meetings, taking pictures, and pretending to include him in our conversations.

The thoughts behind the gifts, however, made the real impact on me.  The genuine interest and thoughtful messages, phone calls, and notes were so touching…and they all made me feel special, valued, and loved…and what makes that so cool is that I love them ALL right back.  I only hope I can show them the same love and return the favor tomorrow…and everyday after that.

Fred the Postman is definitely proof that everybody makes a difference.  No matter how big or small the organization…no matter how significant or insignificant we think we are to our peers and leaders…we all make a difference.  As Mark Sanborn says in The Fred Factor, “The real question is…what kind of a difference are we making?”

I am so very thankful for the birthday well-wishes, true FredShips (friends that are Freds), and the entire team of Freds I am privileged to work with and for, every day.  You all made a true difference that mattered to me yesterday, on my birthday. 

I am 2,000 miles away from where I grew up in Kentucky…but all of you made me feel right at home.  Because of your Fredness, I am reminded that the grass is greener exactly where I am standing.  You truly made an otherwise ordinary Thursday, extraordinary.

Isn’t it great knowing you have the ability to show others how to make the ordinary extraordinary?” – Mark Sanborn…The Fred Factor…page 96.

Thanks for being Freds!  Now I want to do the same…


What is FRED Friday?

In my favorite book, The Fred Factor, Mark Sanborn tells an inspiring story of how a man named Fred goes OneMoreStep after OneMoreStep in his role as a Postman for the United States Postal Service.  I love this book.  Since my mom sent it to me in 2004, I've purchased the book for friends, coworkers, and girlfriends...I've even purchased and hand delivered copies of the book to several executives at both Wynn Las Vegas and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Fred Friday is a series in which the OneMoreStepRevolution blog will showcase a real life "Fred" on select Fridays.   Reading The Fred Factor definitely leaves us with a desire to to be more Fred-like ourselves, but I also love looking for FredsFreds are everywhere. I love it when I experience a real life Fred.  I'm inspired just as I am every time I re-read the book.  I thought it would be fun to spread the magic of Fred to our OneMoreStepRevolution community.  Enjoy...  

Fun pics for the road...

Luckily I was already awake...or this would have been a scary wake up call, via FaceTime

The Big Cheese isn't my boss anymore...yet he still came to our staff meeting today.

We couldn't get anything done...with this guy micromanaging us.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Good People

Good People

It’s summertime…well in my mind August and September still count.  Summertime is my favorite.  I love it, embrace it, and try to do things like live in Florida and/or Las Vegas to maximize the amount of summertime in my life.

In the spirit of summertime, I often listen to Jimmy Buffett, Kenny Chesney, and/or Jack Johnson music…the other day as I was listening to Good People, by Jack, a OneMoreStep thought popped into my mind.

The hook of the song is, “Where’d all the good people go?”

OneMoreStep Thought: All people are good.  Some are just better at showing it than others, and for some, we just have to spend a little more time seeking to understand to realize that they are also “good people”, despite what we see on the surface.

We live with, work with, interact with, and coexist with many different people, from varying backgrounds differing ages and demographics.  We see it every day that it takes all kinds of people to make the world go ‘round.  Some people are in great moods more often than others.  Some people are simply nicer than others.  Some people go OneMoreStep early and often, while it may seem that others only care about the person they see in the mirror and nobody else. 

The reality is, we go through times in life when more often than not we seem to experience people that seem rude, upset, self centered, and/or abrasive.  And all too often, we channel Jack’s lyrics, and we ask ourselves, “where’d all the good people go?”

What if we thought about it and approached it differently?  What if we lived and worked under the assumption that we’re all good people, and though some folks may not seem like it on the surface, if we give them a chance, we just might be surprised to find out that they really are good people.

We should think about it…think about them.  We all have people in mind I’m sure…you know the ones…the people that seem disinterested in us, but certainly in it to win it, for themselves. 

We should ask ourselves, when is the last time we actually gave them a shot?  When is the last time we gave them some time…or gave them the dignity of their own process to maybe let us in and listen to new ideas?  Or better yet, when is the last time we actually sought to understand more about them, as people. 

What if they’ve never had anyone take an interest in them?  What if they’re so used to everyone combating them or their ideas that they always feel compelled to be the abrasive one? 

And what if you and I go OneMoreStep?  What if we actually engage in conversation with them, taking a genuine interest in learning more about them, where they’re coming from, and how we can help?  We just might find the “good” in them afterall.

Will everyone magically come around and stop being rude?  Probably not.  Will we make better friends with ALL of our acquaintances and people from whom we often walk away asking, “where’d all the good people go?”  Probably not ALL of them.

At the very least…when you and I go OneMoreStep, and become quick to listen and slow to speak…when we give people (everyone…all kinds of people) a chance and take a genuine interest in them…you and I will be Good People.

…and we’ll be the answer to everyone else’s question, “where’d all the good people go?”

Have a great day.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Represent Your Nation

Represent Your Nation

I love the Summer Olympics. 

I was 8 years old when I fell in love with the essence and spirit of the Summer Olympics…I remember watching the Seoul Olympic games at every opportunity.

I loved when the commentators would give the back-stories of athletes and inspiring interludes to “the games of the XXIV Olympiad…” 

I loved it then…I love it now. 

Earlier this week, Bob Costas delivered a great intro as the prime time telecast of the London Olympics 2012 came on NBC.  His words struck me…as a OneMoreStep opportunity to all of us…even if we’re not Olympians ourselves.

Bob Costas said, “they compete to win…but often they represent so much more…”

Olympians are ultimate competitors.  While individual achievement and accolades may drive them, a common thread runs through each and every one of them…they’re representing their nation.

OneMoreStep Thought, for all of us as another Olympic Games wraps up this weekend in London: Represent Your Nation

na·tion /ˈnāSHən/ 

Noun:             1.  A large aggregate of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.

We all belong to a nation of some sort.  In some way, shape, or form, we are all part of something.  Whether it be our family…our hometown…our home state…our home country…our schools…or even our company or organization that employs us…and even within that company, we’re a part of our departmentour team within the company.

Whatever the “aggregate of people” to which we belong may be…shouldn’t we represent it well? 

Our past has shaped us…the choices we make today will continue to dictate the lives we lead and define us as human beings – as friends, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers…and bosses, coworkers, and providers of service or givers of love…to whomever may need it or desire it, from us. 

Will we, as individuals, be well received?  What about our families?  The reputation and “street credibility” of our schools, hometowns, home states, native countries, companies, or even the teams to which we belong at work; don’t we owe it to, not only ourselves, but to the very nations to which we belong, to represent them well?

Of course we do. 

We should take pride in who we are, the towns/states/schools/countries from which we’ve come, and we should even take pride in being a part of the team we’re on at work. 

We should represent…with everything we do, everything we say, and even how we say it…how we go about our daily routines…we should represent our nation...

Wherever you are today, wherever you’re from, and to whichever nation you may belong…represent it well.

Go OneMoreStep, if for no other reason than to simply represent your nation

Have a great day…and enjoy the last days of the games of the 30th Olympiad in London…win or lose, may your nation be represented well.