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








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 🙂


Biz Kickoff Coffee Meetings

Biz Kickoff Coffee Meetings

The Dogz host a Kickoff Coffee  every Monday morning bright and early at 7:30 am.  It’s a great way to start the week with colleagues in  a social setting to get the wheels churning again for the week. Working at home on solo entrepreneurial projects can be a wonderful thing, but it definitely lacks camaraderie. (more…)

Conference On A Budget

Conference On A Budget

Have you ever skipped going to a beneficial business conference because you didn’t think you could afford it?  I can relate.  I almost missed a fantastic event in January because I believed that attending a pricey conference on a budget would be impossible.  I was wrong 😉 (more…)

Small Business Saturday 2014

Small Business Saturday 2014

Today is Small Business Saturday 2014.  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. (more…)

When a Deal Goes Bad.  $150 or $150,000.

When a Deal Goes Bad. $150 or $150,000.

I woke up early this morning and did the sleepy-eye-shuffle over to my computer to see if anything monumental had occurred while I was in dreamland.  A simple retweet or a tweet getting  ‘favorited’ can set the vibe for a great day.  But, hey, I’m open to super big excitement as well 😉

This morning’s email brought the super big.  I had official emails from two different companies regarding a domain name that I had for sale.  The first was from GoDaddy that said, “Congratulations! Your premium domain listing has sold!”  Another email from a reputable escrow service was entitled, “The Buyer has Agreed to your Terms.”  The domain name was priced at $150,000.

Woah!!  Was this real?!  It looked real.  Why shouldn’t it be real?  It was a great branding domain name and someone snagged it to launch them into business stardom.  Why shouldn’t I receive a nice little miracle from above for coming up with the catchy phrase, plus maybe a little karmic return for all of the hours I work 🙂

My honey was still sleeping so I woke him up with, “You’re not going to believe this, but I might have sold a domain name for $150,000!  I’ve got official emails from two companies and one says the payment is being processed now!”  That was enough to get him rolling out of bed to check out the emails.  He agreed they looked like the real deal.  Vegas, Baby!!!

It seemed too good to be true.   I called GoDaddy and asked if the transaction was real and/or if anything could go wrong with it.  I told them it was imperative that I know right now  whether to order a regular coffee or a latte at my favorite coffee shop 😉  They told me “Congratulations,” but also said they would work on verifying the buyer.

Next I checked with to see if they could shed any light on whether the transaction was valid.  Their records indicated the  buyer had not yet entered any payment information.  Yikes…not good.  Vegas had been such a clear vision an hour ago and now it was  blurring out.

Then I started thinking, why didn’t the buyer try and negotiate a lower price with me instead of hitting the BUY NOW button on the auction site?  I noticed the time stamp.  The emails had come in at 3:00 a.m.  Had someone copped a good martini buzz and gone into super entrepreneur ‘I can do anything’ mode?’ Or did impaired vision eliminate a zero or two in the purchase price?

when a deal goes bad

Within a few hours, the mystery unravelled. I received official emails from GoDaddy and that the deal was cancelled.  Major disappointment 🙁

Was it ever really a deal in the first place?  Probably not.  GoDaddy reported that Bad Dog Buyer had purchased several high value domain names at the same time… and refused to make payments on any of them.

Who would do this?  I wonder if some cyber scammer was experimenting with some devious plan. Or could it have been a 15-year-old entrepreneur that  thought his parents would make the payment because they always foot the bill for his online purchases?   What about the martini theory?  That may still hold water.  Regardless of the elusive facts, I was told this was a rare occurrence.

How did I feel when I got the notification that the deal was off?    Naive.  Angry.  Disappointed. Violated.  I might have flung a few choice words around for five minutes 😉

When a deal goes bad, it sucks.  No matter whether it’s a $150 loan that doesn’t get repaid or a $150,000 scam, it’s that feeling of being violated and taken advantage of that just doesn’t sit well.  And when the numbers creep into the six-digit range,  we might have to add the heartbreak of crushed dreams into the mix.

It’s then time to shake it off and  get back to the basics of the golden nugget of wisdom that we may have heard once or twice –  if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.  Woof.

Sometimes you just have to sing the blues to cheer you up.  Stay tuned for the music video… “It’s A Dog’s World,” an original tune by the Rock Pups, a band put together by MoneyDogz when they are not investing money.