Influence Excellence

Influence Excellence

 How does one influence excellence within their team?  Or themselves?

The highly experienced Dogz who have been around the block for 280-364 dog/human years (we kindly request no age discrimination) have always known that it’s important to train their humans to encourage each other.   They know that when they are told “Good Dog” after an impressive performance,  and better yet, “Good Dog” along with a tasty treat, life is really good.  I mean, really, really good.

A bonus phenomenon occurs as follows…

Enthusiastic Dog wags his tail.  He may even say, “That was fun.  Let’s do that thing that gets me the “Good Dog” words and the tasty treat again.”

Can such a simple concept actually translate to achieving excellence in our human endeavors?  Yes.  

Psychologists know it.  Brain experts know it.  Leaders, parents, and teachers know it.  Neuro-Google-Geeks know it.

So, why is it true that many leaders, team members, coworkers and even spouses still hold back on encouragement, compliments and rewards for their own people?  (Or themselves?)dog withholds bone

The range of excuses  include:

  • Rewarding with tasty treats could get expensive.
  • No time for that.
  • It’s too awkward.
  • No one says thanks or great job to me, so why should I compliment anybody?
  • It might backfire.  “I’m trying to whup her into shape for her trouble areas of performance, so encouraging her could counter those efforts”.
  • It might cause team discontent.  “If I give you a compliment in front of other people, then they will think I’m favoring you over them”.
  • It might backfire.  “You’re my competitor and I won’t get promoted over you if I give you compliments in front of other people”.
  • It might backfire.  ” I don’t want you to think you’re special because you might get all puffed up and stop trying so hard”.

Do any of those excuses resonate?  Ahem.  Well, skip any guilt or self-flagellation and just fix the problem. Also, understand the reality is that these fears can be justified on occasion. Why?

The nuances of insecurities inherent in our human ecosystem can keep cautious leaders, coworkers and team members in more of a no-action fearful state in lieu of rewarding their own people with kind words or a prize.

Ask yourself the following questions…  Do you wish to influence excellence in your people?  Do you hold back because you don’t want to get an employee’s hopes up that he will get a raise in addition to the nice words?  Do you hold back because of your own insecurities?  Do you hold back to accommodate jealousy and rivalry within your team?  Does one of your employees look like your ex, so there’s no way in hell he or she will ever get a compliment from you?ex-wife-look-alike

Come on. Do it.

  • Encourage others.  Encourage yourself.  Be sincere.
  • Do the right thing.  Let go of your own ego and any insecurities that keep you from authentically cheering on someone else.
  • If it’s awkward, practice with these….  You Rock!  Thank You!  Way to Go!  Great Job!  Keep Going!  I can’t believe you did that!  A $5.00 lunch is on me! 🙂
  • Change a culture of competitive insecurity into a positive, cheerleading vibe.

If your intent for encouragement is sincere, and your words are true, you could very well be amazed at the excellence that emerges from your team…   and within yourself.

Great Job!  Keep Going!

Find Yourself a Treat!

dog-Great Job Keep Going

The Dogz








Leap Year 2016 | Leap into Success!

Leap Year 2016 | Leap into Success!

So, it’s Leap Year 2016 and we have February 29 to enjoy, so why not make the best of it and leap into a whole new level of success and happiness?  You can decide to better your life at any moment, so why not hop onto the positive energy of the Leap Year?  It’s never too late to dedicate yourself to new endeavors or embrace a positive attitude.  Here are a few tips..


  • Leap into that area that you know will move you forward in terms of skill sets and education.
  • Evaluate your career status and leap into whatever will take you to the next level.
  • Leap into something fun that you do on a regular basis, whether it be having fun with PhotoShop (per the featured photo) or dancing or having coffee with a friend.
  • Leap into a workout program that ultimately leads to more success in all areas of your life.


  • Make More Money!  If you have a traditional job, ask your boss how you can make the highest amount possible at your organization… then go for it!  If you are self-employed, hire a virtual assistant for the mundane tasks so you can spend more time on activities directly related to cash flow and customer satisfaction.
  • Start Making Money!  If you are not making money, it’s your time to “Leap” into some cashflow.  Take online classes from or  Watch what happens…


  • Use the energy of Leap Year to move forward in a relationship where you’ve been holding out.  Practice your skills as an excellent partner.
  • If you are a single woman, this is the year that you are allowed to ask a man to marry you, so make sure he is responsible and financially stable before popping the question that could possibly lead you into a world of hidden debt. The Dogz know this is ridiculous…the “allowed to ask” thing, not the debt thing. 

So have fun with Leap Year 2016 and Leap into Success with Career, Love and Money!  Catch the frisbee!

The Dogz



Bulls Take a “Time Out” from Stock Market

Bulls Take a “Time Out” from Stock Market

So, the stock market has had some major trouble this year as we break out of the gate of 2016.

In fact, the bulls have chosen to completely ignore the gate, take a nap, and let the wimpy bears charge through the gate instead.

Key Questions For Stock Market Future

  • What if emerging markets go into recession?
  • Why has economic data gone soft?
  • How low will oil go?
  • Is this stock market crash a sentiment reaction?
  • What will the Feds do now with respect to interest rates?
  • Do President Obama’s State of the Union team of speechwriters have a clue about anything?

This Bull Needs a Break

This bull has been working hard at making money and just needs to take a break….


Let’s all hope the bulls head back into action again. Stay tuned!
Small Business Saturday 2015

Small Business Saturday 2015

Today is Small Business Saturday 2015.  American Express founded this day in 2010 to help small businesses rise above the noise of local, regional and national competitors in order to get more customers.

So what actually happens on Small Business Saturday?

In the early years, American Express would issue a rebate of up to $25 to shoppers that used their Amex card at a participating small business.   (The Dogz are waiting patiently for this feature to return someday… )

Now, small businesses are offering discounts to customers on Small Business Saturday (SBS). American Express has created a special SBS website where you can search for participating local businesses by zip code.  Small businesses can use the site to create marketing materials such as printable signage and on-line ads to drive traffic to their sites.

Small businesses can use Small Business Saturday, marketing companies, local listings, seo techniques, social media and paid advertising  to conquer the “getting more business” challenge.

It’s important that the small business owner define metrics or Key Process Indicators (KPI’s) to measure the return on any marketing investment as they would with other business processes.

Love Small Biz

There’s something about supporting a small, local business that radiates  warm fuzzies.  Visions of Mom and Pop that remind you of June and Ward Cleaver running a wonderful, high quality coffee shop that features local art and music.  Their long hours and hard work put food on the table for Wally and the Beave.  How cool is that?   It doesn’t get any better!

Let’s face it.  If you were to say, “I support large corporations & will only shop at Fortune 500 companies,” it’s pretty much a buzz kill.  Does it mean that an employee at your local Wal Mart who needs to pay the bills for Grandma’s surgery should get laid off because everyone is shopping local instead?  We’re not going there.  That’s a whole ‘nother ‘What if’ article.  Now back to the local warm fuzzies.

I look at local business as my support system, my neighbors and even as coworkers on my team.   My dry cleaners keep me from looking like something the cat dragged in for important meetings.  My favorite local restaurants give me a culinary escape from my own kitchen.  My coffee shops provide me the fuel for high productivity and an office space.  We are all just people sharing the same environment, snow storms, power outages, tax hikes, and of course the excitement of the bear at the Burger King.

In conclusion, if I have a choice to support June and Ward Cleaver’s high quality services over a company with a CEO that has ethical trouble like Eddie Haskell…   You know the answer.  More money for my local community and brusselsprouts for the Beave will always win.

Have fun with Small Business Saturday! Just stay out of debt 🙂

Note 1:  The Dogz are totally cool with ethical large business CEO’s that provide quality products & services in addition to caring about their employees and customers 

Note 2:  If the small business provides lousy quality and service, don’t go.  Do them a solid and refer them to the national Baldrige Performance Excellence Program that provides Self Assessment criteria and a framework for small businesses to evaluate and improve their operations.  


This video on Small Business Saturday is from 2014, but the Dogz are still rooting for Detroit 🙂


FinCon 15 | An Excellent Adventure

FinCon 15 | An Excellent Adventure

My four-hour flight to Charlotte, NC for FinCon 15, the premiere personal finance bloggers’ conference, was spent sitting next to a high powered couple.  They were on their way to see the Republican candidates that had a lively scrap the night before in the CNN debate.  I mentioned that I was going to a conference for financial peeps with missions to teach money skills and responsibility. The woman laughed skeptically while saying, “Good Luck!” I wanted to say, “No really.  It’s possible.  We inspire and teach people to transform their lives.” But I was too tired.