Cindy Novotny

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You Never Know Who is Calling You!

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Last Friday I was on the plane sitting next to a woman who was trying to call someone before we took off.  I was watching her as she started laughing and began texting.  I had no idea what she was laughing at until she leaned over in front of me and got the attention of a woman who was sitting across the aisle from us enjoying her McDonald's burger, fries and shake!  She yelled the persons name and when the woman eating her Big Mac looked up she had a shock on her face. Let me share why I am even writing this.  It just so happened that the woman next to me owns a large company in Orange Country and the woman she was calling (the one eating her Big Mac) was her IT Vendor and deleted her call because she was more interested in her burger.  She was so embarrassed that her client was sitting right on the same plane and she ignored her.  I jumped right in the middle of that as you can imagine.  My seatmate and I had an entire conversation about how complacent vendors get and feel they can just 'diss' your call at any time.  The vendor continued to apologize and kept laughing with that 'embarrassed' laugh.

Moral of this story - unless you are really in a position to ignore a call from a client - you better pick up as you never know who is watching!

Be a Game Changer by Slowing Down!

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Wow - are you really reading this from me?  Yes you are.  I am not about slowing down in business or in your response time, but I do believe we need to enjoy life more by being selective in our choices.  Last week at Engage15 in Mexico we had the wonderful experience of hearing from Dan Harris, the coanchor of Nightline and the weekend edition of Good Morning America speak.  He shared his experiences of living in the fast lane and learning to use meditation to rein in the millions of voices in our heads.  I am reading his book and he is making me think about a lot of things.  Oh, and by the way - buy his book - 10% Happier! At some time, most of us reach a point when we are too busy to add even one more task to our overbooked schedule - just ask me as there are very few days on my calendar that say  'off.'  This constant connectivity, combined with the feeling that you have to do it all can lead to undo stress which can take a toll on your health.

Now hearing this from me - someone who wrote the book - 'Living with No Balance and Loving It,' can seem like a contradiction.  I am not talking about throwing in the towel, I am talking about slowing down for a few minutes everyday to breathe, think and figure out the next move.  So after reading Dan's book about meditation, I decided I would give it a try.  I can not say that I am sitting in a quiet room, on a wonderful mat, with fresh air blowing in my face, but what I can tell you is how someone like me - a person running one hundred miles an hour has found her 'mindful minutes.'

I always take lunch - never miss a meal!  But what I have done this past week is take my lunch outside and with no phone, no email and not talking to anyone, I spend a good 15 minutes breathing and thinking.  It is starting to make me feel better.  I am no longer working until 9:00pm at night.  If I don't get it finished by at least 6:00pm, it will wait until tomorrow.  Unless it is a deadline and then of course I just get it done.  

I get into bed and turn off the TV - no more noise.  I am laying there breathing, resting and after a while it is actually mediation!  Who would ever think that I could do it - but I am trying and it is working - one breath at a time!

Be A Game Changer #Food&Beverage #BeDifferent

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Be a Game Changer #Food & Beverage! We have spent the last several years working on making a difference in Food & Beverage as it relates to our restaurant Hanna’s and for our clients in the hotels.  Everything is changing from bartenders to mixologists, from the black and white gala to the ‘grazing stations.’  Are you on the cutting edge?  Are you making sure that your events sales team know how to sell profitable food & beverage?  If not – become a game changer with Master Connection Associates!

The client’s expectations are changing and the younger generation is bored with the typical ‘deli platter.’  They love innovation, color, creativity and engagement as it relates to their hospitality suites, cocktail hours and dinners.  Mixologists that teach people how to make a proper Gin & Tonic, or how to create Bathtub Gin batch cocktails is fun, different and insightful.  This generation of Millennials and Gen Z’s like to be enlightened – otherwise why would they be all over social media taking more pictures of food and drinks! Today speakers are polling their audiences live and talking to live viewers on Periscope while showing off the group lunch – you have very little wiggle room when it comes to doing it right the first time!  This means once in a lifetime menu’s – no longer does it work to send the old fashion menu packet and ask the client to pick between the beef, chicken or fish!   Really?  Remember this new, younger client is used to customizing their salads on their iPhone for Salata :: The Next Generation Salad Bar,  so a Xerox copy of your menu that hasn’t been update in years simply won’t work!

It goes even farther than that – if you claim that you have organic food, where is the farm that this came from?  Everyone is a master chef today and you need to set yourself apart from the competition by telling stories and painting the picture.

So instead of continuing to present what you have always done in the past, break out of the norm and start with a ‘white sheet of paper.’

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How To Survive Working for a Jerk!

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I have worked for them all – the good boss, the ‘ass,’ the egotistical maniac, and the moody leader who you had to walk on egg shells around.  I believe that you must stay true to your values, but not lose sight of keeping your job – at least until you get a new one! Here are a few tips to help you navigate the world of ‘bosses.’

  1. Know your place and respect your boss for having the job
  2. Give suggestions when asked
  3. Do the right things at the right time and don’t get involved with the gossip
  4. Show courage – stand up for what you believe in and don’t worry about winning a popularity contest
  5. Limit your personal exposure around the bad boss – don’t tell all of your crazy stories
  6. Be a top producer and blow your own horn when you can about your accomplishments
  7. Maintain an unbelievable professional presence on line – LinkedIn, FB, Twitter, etc.
  8. Rise above the negativity
  9. Make people notice you in a positive manner
  10. Like yourself but don’t believe your own PR – what could you learn from this ‘jerk’?

If you focus on how much you hate your boss, every little thing will drive you crazy.  Little issues that you would normally ignore will keep you up at night.  Take a step back and think about your options.  Do you like the job?  Do you like the work?  If the answer is yes, continue to thrive because in due time that boss will be gone – they always go sooner or later.  Not to be ‘cheesy’ but just think of Frozen and ‘Let it Go.’

I Can Make a Difference - Can You?

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I can make a difference – can you?  I am sitting in Dubai reflecting on the difference here today versus 25 years ago when I made my first business trip to Dubai.  I was so nervous, didn’t know what to expect and on the other hand was just so excited to be traveling the world.  At that time, Jessica my daughter was only 2 years old and all the voices around me kept saying “you just can’t travel like this.”  But the voices in my head told me that I was put on this earth to truly make a difference.  I realize I am not special and do not possess any special powers, but I also know that touching the hearts and lives of so many people also helped me grow and I personally know that my daughter benefited so much from seeing the world through a child’s eyes. Each of you reading this came into this world with special gifts that will help the world be a better place.  I invite you to share those gifts with others – your life should be full of fun, romance, adventure, hard work, dedication and a wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

Here is to that wonderful life we have all been given – as a gift!

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Happy Memorial Day!

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Happy Memorial Day!  I am hoping that in addition to your backyard picnics and barbeques you take time to remember the soldiers that have fought to keep us safe and free.  Too many people today ignore the significance of our flag and what it stands for. On Saturday, I was filming a live Periscope video about a small town in Northern Michigan that had over 100 flags flying down Main Street.  A person made a comment on my Twitter and Periscope that this town should not have spent their money on those stupid flags.  At that point I told this person live on streaming Internet TV to stop following me as I had NO time for someone in this country who enjoys all the benefits but forgets what it took to become America and stay America!

I don’t care who you are and where you came from.  If you immigrated to this country, welcome!  But whether you came here on your own or were born here you better start to appreciate what you have.

Everyone seems to be running around like rats in a maze searching for something.  It is amazing to me how many people can’t get out of that maze and only see the long corridors that lead to a closed door or a corner.  Until you lift your head up and look outside your own walls you have no idea if you are going in the right direction.  Stop now and ask yourself – why am I lost?  What do I want?  How will I get there? And more importantly who will help me?  It may start with some simple gratitude about living in America – for all of my followers who are reading this outside the USA, thank you for listening and enjoy your wonderful country as well.

Traditional Selling Gets a Makeover!

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  1. Traditional relationship selling is still in vogue in a big way without the aggressive ‘pitch.’ No longer is just ‘feature dumping’ or ‘telling’ going to work!

    1. What does work is storytelling, relating, presenting solutions to industry issues and building strong relationships with more than one contact within an account
  2. Take a look at your LinkedIn profile and your social platforms – what does it say that would make a prospective client want to do business with you?  Remember clients buy from YOU first!
    1. MCA would be more than happy to review your LinkedIn profile and provide you with feedback – just call us!
    2. Know what is new – are you on Periscope? If not – why not?
  3. Knowledge is power – as the saying goes! But in today’s high tech world, the client is as knowledgeable as you are – maybe even more.
    1. So do your homework – research your accounts, Google Alert each of your key clients and pay attention to trends.
  4. Everyone is busy – don’t waste your clients’ time. Make your clients lives easier by saving them time.
    1. Always ask to set a phone appointment through sending an Outlook Invite – no more phone tag
  5. Don’t act like your clients don’t know what they are talking about – they are smart! And more important – THEY ARE IN CHARGE!
  6. Value propositions rock – what value do you bring to the table and how to you continue to improve your deliverable value?

Are you a Boss or a Leader?

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Why is a cow is called "Bossy"? 'Bossy is a general name for a cow, just as Dobbin refers to a horse and Tabby to a cat. The Latin word for ox or cow is “bos”, and it is probable that the first person to call a cow Bossy was equipped with both a knowledge of Latin and a sense of humor. Some authorities, however, suppose the term to be related in origin to the dialectic English word boss calf, a young calf. In the Teutonic languages there is a root word variously spelled ‘bos, boose and buss,’ which means barn, stall or crib. The thought is originally a boss calf was a calf kept in a barn or stall as distinguished from one grazing at large and that bossy as applied to a cow is derived from the same source.' - From "A Book About A Thousand Things" by George Stimpson.

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This is exactly why I don’t want to be called a boss!  So you just got promoted and you are now the boss.  This can seem a bit overwhelming unless you realize that you have a huge responsibility to be a mentor, a guide, and a ‘LEADER.’  I know a lot of bosses who are not true leaders.  So here are my tips to becoming a true leader.

  1. Know the definition of leadership. Be an example to your team
  2. Be approachable as a part of the team
  3. Role play with the team all the time – don’t tell – show!
  4. Shut your mouth once in a while and listen – to the good, the bad and the ugly
  5. Don’t overwork yourself but be available always to assist
  6. Don’t complain about how much you work
  7. Give and receive feedback – focus on the positive and reinforce the behavior you want to see more of
  8. Take a page out of my book – the last Friday of the month is the ‘team lunch’ whether we are in town or not – we pay for the team to go to a restaurant and celebrate the month! Teambuilding made easy!
  9. Inspect what you expect! Set expectations and hold people accountable to the expectations and goals
  10. Always share where the company is going. What is new, what is changing and how it effects them

Complications = Luxury = Cost More Money!

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As many of you who read my blog know, I was in Geneva, Switzerland last week – the home of luxury watches.  I have been here many times but this time I received some real education in the making of watches. In horology, the study of clocks and watches, a complication refers to any feature in a timepiece beyond the simple display of hours and minutes. A timepiece indicating only hours and minutes is otherwise known as a simple movement. Common complications in commercial watches are day/date displays, alarms, chronographs, and automatic winding mechanisms.  Think of a Rolex, Patek Phillippe or Vacheron Constantin to name a few.

The more complications in a watch, the more difficult it is to design, create, assemble, and repair. A typical date-display chronograph may have up to 250 parts, while a particularly complex watch may have a thousand or more parts. Watches with several complications are referred to as grandes complications.  Therefore more expensive.

Once I learned this it made me think about the luxury hotel industry.  The more complications in a hotel, the more expensive the room.  Think about an inexpensive hotel – it can be clean, good location, nice coffee shop, a pool or fitness room and even a small business center to print tickets.  It is nice and you will have a good sleep, but there are no complications.  Now think about a five star luxury hotel.

All the complications:

  • The driver who picked you up at the airport has the cool water, fresh scented towel and mints for you along with the wireless in the car so you can immediately be on line
  • The driver calls the hotel in advance so they know you are on your way to be able to greet you with your name upon arrival
  • The front desk already has your key ready and you are checked in
  • You enter your room and the television is set up with your name and a welcome in your native language
  • The amenity of your choice is waiting for you with a personalized note
  • The concierge has made the appropriate dinner reservations for you and your confirmation is on your desk
  • The butler assists you in hanging your clothes and steam/press your suits
  • You have your bed turned down at your requested time, mints or chocolate are on your pillow, with book marks inserted in all your magazines and books
  • Your Espresso maker is stocked with your favorite coffee
  • You attend your meeting at this hotel and the table is set with individual candy dishes which are replaced every few hours with different nuts and fruits
  • The banquet server remembers how you like your coffee and it is ready every morning you arrive
  • The ‘diet’ breakfast shake that you are drinking in the morning is also ready for you

Look at how many complications there are in delivering this experience.  Hence, why it costs more.  So think about your business.  How many complications are there in your service process and is it customized.  I know that at Master Connection Associates’ we are not an ‘off the shelf’ training company.  We are a custom ‘house’ with a lot of individual customization or ‘complications.’

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Make it Happen.

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“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” Have you ever heard this quote from Leonardo da Vinci?   WOW – way to put it all into perspective in one sentence.

Do you want to be successful? A person of accomplishment? I guarantee the majority of people would say yes. But, when you think about yourself and what you are doing to take your career, personal life, goals, etc. to the next level, are you going out and making it happen? Or, are you just doing a good job and waiting for good things to come along and find you? Because let me tell you; you may be a great person with big aspirations for your life, but good things don’t always come your way. Look at examples of those who have “made it”. Do you think any famous athlete, actor, musician or millionaire sat back and hoped for amazing opportunities to come their way? Of course not! When there is a dream or goal at stake, the only way to bring it to life is to go out into the world, and happen to things.

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Cindy’s 10 Top Travel Tips

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flyer I am asked every day how I could possibly travel so much and also how I pack for so many trips?   So, I decided to share my secrets with you today.  Because I spend more time on the road than many of you – some of this will not necessarily apply.  But take what you can and enjoy the wonderful ride of a ‘road warrior.’

  1. Stay Packed – I keep a toiletry bag always packed.  I replace what I need but leave it all together in my bag.  I never unpack the make-up.  I have duplicates of everything I use in my bathroom so I have what I need when I am home.  Nothing is worse than un-packing and re-packing every few days or even every week.
  2. Keep Calm and Carry On! – When you live on a plane you need what you want – when you want it. I carry 2 bags with me on the plane.  One with all my business needs, computer, plugs for the world, adapters, business files, books, writing material, etc.  The other bag is for my entertainment – magazines, iPad, head phones, medicine, candy, cashmere blanket, eye covers, socks and pillow.  I never leave home with it!
  3. I don’t carry anything on hangers as they take too much space and make the suitcase heavier. I fold all my clothes with tissue paper to reduce wrinkles.
  4. I pack all my shoes in shoe ‘socks’ so they don’t get scuffed or hurt the clothes
  5. I pack a ‘boy scouts’ medicine box so that anything I need is available for me – I replace the contents of this once a year
  6. I carry with me all my medical information, a passport even if I am traveling within the states as you never want to miss an opportunity to jump on plane for an international trip, and vaccine authorizations
  7. Get a bite before the flight – I am all about making sure I have food and water for my flights. Even if I get upgraded, some of the domestic flights today only offer a small snack or nuts.  I may need more than that, especially with delayed flights.  Some of my favorite snacks are ‘FIT’ popcorn, apples, beef jerky, chocolate and water!
  8. I travel in comfort but if I needed to, I could show up ready to go to work. I don’t believe in flying like a teenager with no taste.  I travel in comfortable but classy clothes.  Always have a nice pashmina to throw on should I have to go right to a business dinner or meeting, if my luggage is lost.  Many of the people on my team travel with one business outfit in their carry on for these emergencies.
  9. Charge everything before getting on a flight – even the planes that have electric outlets now sometimes don’t work. I also carry an additional charging device for my iPhone and iPad
  10. Carry along your manners and be nice. One of the reasons I love traveling is meeting new and interesting people.  If you are rude, arrogant and just plan nasty everyone avoids you and you can forget about that upgrade!

Lifetime Relationships :: On and Off Line!

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Lifetime Relationships! Luxury brands do a wonderful job enlightening their loyal customers to new trends, new ways of purchasing and future plans for brand development.  Although this has worked well in the past, today developing a deep, loyal relationship takes more than focusing on your NPS scores.  Have you noticed that most brands have gone away from the typical feedback synopsis to the Net Promoter Score where the company cares more about how you will recommend their brand to future customers vs. what they can do to assist you?

I think we need to spend more time building a deeper relationship both on line and in person with the customer.  Think about the last time you walked into a luxury boutique to spend a lot of money on something you had been saving for or to buy a special gift for a friend.  Forget about the demographic you are in – Wealthy? Affluent? Or simply aspirational?  You are a customer and have the potential to become a loyal customer to that brand if they work on building a meaningful relationship with you.

As a brand you must focus on taking care of your existing and most profitable customers by creating a better buying experience in the store and on line.  You truly need to touch all the senses – sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch!  However, how do you do this on line?  Everyone is losing the essence of service touch points as more and more shoppers move online.  But many luxury customers still want to do business with people – they enjoy walking into a luxury store, being greeted with a friendly smile, a warm welcome, a signature scent (think of Abercombie & Fitch – luxury in their segment), a fresh, cool bottle of branded water and a terrific retail image.  You must be conscious of the risk involved in trying to be all things to all people by giving up control of your brand on line.  Don’t forget to focus on these sense, even for the on line shoppers.

Always remember to stay true to your brand, your identity and your passion for the customer!

Think Differently!

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Think Differently! I recently came across an article about a young girl named Nina Mufleh who moved to San Francisco from the Middle East last year.  She made the move in order to pursue her dream job with a new company called Airbnb (an online community marketplace that connects people looking to rent their homes with people who are looking for accommodations).  After replying to job listings and sending numerous emails (but receiving no response), she decided to take control of her destiny and try something different.

Nina decided to create an amazing and innovative resume; something creative that hasn’t been done before. It took her one week to research and put the resume together and right away, it took off.  What she managed to do was capture the attention of everyone, both inside AND outside of the company.  She created a resume which did not focus on past experience. Rather, she used facts and her knowledge of the travel industry, offered ideas of where the company could go in the future and added how she could contribute to the company if she was hired.

Mufleh told Business Insider Magazine, “I actually thought, I haven’t done everything I can. I’ve done the same thing multiple times, but I haven’t tried new approaches.” However, after this approach, she caught the attention of the CEO and CMO of Airbnb via Twitter, where she posted her social resume.  Now, only a week after her post on Twitter, she has a formal job interview with a marketing recruiter from the company.

It’s amazing what you can do and what can be accomplished when you look at an obstacle in a new perspective, think of a new angle and disrupt the status quo!

To view Nina’s resume, visit the link below.

http://www.nina4airbnb.com/

Bold Presence - Sharp Experience!

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A while ago I added this tagline to my signature on my emails.  Most people didn't even notice it but Linda Newman on our team is always very 'present' in her life and she noticed.  She asked me to write about it - so here I go.  I am the type of person that does not want to sit in my easy chair and watch life pass me by.  I live life to the fullest and when I walk into a room, attend an event, a meeting or even a personal engagement I give it my all.  I know too many people unfortunately that just glide through life without much passion.  They get up in the morning, go to work, do just what is expected of them and no more, and without notice they resign their job without leaving a footprint.  I want you to remember me when you meet me and I want you to feel my 'bold presence' which should leave you rememberingb17ba-cindyasia the 'sharp experience.'  You have this one life to live and no one can ask more of you than you will ever ask of yourself.  You are either in 100% or not.  That is why my definition of 'passion' is a combination of love and anger.  When I really love something it royally ticks me off when things go wrong.  So live your life this week with a 'bold presence,' and leave each encounter with a 'sharp experience.'

What I love about Hong Kong!

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Traveling the world gives me the opportunity to shop, dine and visit attractions in every city I visit.  Of course most of my 'spare' time is in the evenings or weekends since I work during the day - YES I WORK!  So here are my ideas about Hong Kong for those of you thinking of visiting this fine city in the future.  I will tell you that after many years of working in Hong Kong, this trip made me realize just how comfortable I am here and how I am starting to find my way around - well at least with Michele Joseph as my guide!!! #1  I love SHOPPING - Hong Kong is a shoppers heaven.  It has more designer stores than Beverly Hills, London and Paris combined.

#2  My second favorite sport is dining - Hong Kong's dining is epic and home to more restaurants than you can imagine.  Sure you have had Dim Sum in LA, Houston, or San Francisco, but Dim Sum in Hong Kong is authentic.  Remember that Dim Sum means 'to touch the heart.'

#3 The history and culture is so rewarding that even just exploring the city on our own we find more treasures, music, museums, art galleries and of course Chinese health options...I always seem to drink more types of tea and always feel a bit better from the people I talk with on the streets.

#4 Green space - most people think of Hong Kong as a city built of high rises.  Of course it is a vibrant, fast city, but the little known fact is how much green outdoor space there is for hiking and walking.  There are more than 200 outlying islands you can sail around and enjoy the beaches.

So put Hong Kong on your bucket list - you will love it!

On Demand Economy!

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Live from Hong Kong on this fine Monday morning made me realize just how fast things are moving.  I used my Uber App for a ‘black car’ who got to me within 15 minutes of ordering it, and then on TV I just saw how many people are ‘on demand.’  The personal fitness coach, the hairstylist for the ‘blowout’, the administrative assistant, all available on demand.  No one will wait in lines anymore, no will need to call information to get a telephone number (so old fashion), they will just use their App and bam! ‘Right at your fingertips you get what you want, when you want it and how you want it.’ There is the new App that allows parents to shut down a child’s phone if they child doesn’t return their calls, a new wristband (similar to a Fitbit) that tracks the children’s whereabouts and alerts parents on their smart phone.  Everything, everyone is connected.  Don’t like it – get over it as it is not going away.

What this does mean is that ‘slow’ is over.  You must return calls, emails and get back to people both personally and professionally right away if you want to thrive vs. just surviving.  It is the new economy of ‘On Demand!’

It Only Takes 7 Minutes!

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Everything I do in life is fast but my results seem to be great so I will keep up the “race car” mentality.  I jump on assignments fast, I answer calls fast, I handle problems in my personal and business life fast and although I have been known to leave some destruction in my path – I get it done!  This is how I live my life, with the exception of exercise.  I hate it, it seems that 30 minutes on a treadmill seems like 5 hours – slow thinking, slow results!  Well I found my solution and it is beginning to work.  The “7 Minute Workout” app on my iPhone is it!  7 minutes of a tough workout right in my hotel room and I can really feel it.  Thank you 7 Minutes….it is fast and I recommend it to anyone who likes exercise to fit into their fast, busy life rather than trying to make your life fit into exercise.

There is no such thing as 'managership' - There is only 'leadership'

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This week I am in Manila working with 2 different clients on leadership training.  I listened to a speech that Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. gave many years ago and it really hit home with me.  He made a point that managers, manage 'stuff' and leaders lead people.  I have always said that developing people is not a box to be checked off, but a process that lives on forever.  I believe that leadership starts at a very young age.  When my daughter was 13 years old we sent her to a leadership camp in Northern Michigan.  At this camp the counselors worked on developing great future leaders.  There are some simple elements that she learned at this camp that apply today in leadership. 1.  Have confidence

2.  Have good character

3.  Understand that ethics are critical

4.  Know what you value

5.  Have integrity

6.  Look in the mirror and be honest with what looks back at you.

The last bit of advice I give you is to get yourself organized and manage your time effectively.  How many managers do you know that are late for meetings, late at getting projects completed and missing deadlines.  Nothing separates a successful leader from unsuccessful managers more than how they use their time.  We all have 24 hours in a day, and most waste it on non-productive items.  Leading people takes time, patience and a 'will to help people.'  As a leader today you must have your vision and priorities in place.  Day to day activities cause many managers to lose sight of the over riding goals, and in some cases these same managers fail to communicate to the 'rank and file' what the big picture is and how we are going to get there.  Remember it is hard to prioritize if you don't have a vision in place.

VISION- as a leader you have to see this clearly

STRATEGY - as a leader you need to know what it will take to get to the vision

PRIORITIES - as a leader you need to empower your team to make it happen - the what, where and how

As a leader today you must be comfortable in your own skin.  It takes a lot of effort to be true to yourself, but it takes more effort and guts to accept feedback from your team.  Remember to look in the mirror and make sure you like what is looking back at you!

My Secret To Stamina!

Uncategorizedcindynovotny2 Comments

I am always asked "how do you do it?"  How can you possibly travel like you do, be away from your own bed, and always be 'on?'  I guess to others I look like an energizing bunny, but to me this is just normal.  I believe it stems from my childhood where we moved a lot due to my dad's career as he was always getting transferred to a new city.  I loved that feeling.  A new house, new friends and new experiences.  I know that some of you would not enjoy that.  In fact, I know many people that have turned down great jobs because they don't want to move, can't imagine putting the kids in a different school.  For me, it is what made me who I am.  It gave me energy and 'stamina' to take on whatever was thrown my way - good or bad!   So how do I do it?  I stay extremely productive by having a positive and happy outlook on life.  Yes, this is no BS - I really do love life and I believe it is critical as an entrepreneur to have a healthy balance of work and play.  Of course many would say a healthy balance of mind and body (that means working out)!  I am adding that into my play part of balance.  At least I am counting my steps.  Work does stimulate me, it keeps me alive and the truth is I am healthier when I am working and going a hundred miles an hour.  So here are some Cindy Tips on getting it all done (with a smile on my face). 1.  Schedule calls for everything - even touching base with friends and family

2.  I get up early enough to have a cup of coffee, check emails, watch the news and read up on the latest trends happening in my business.  This makes my mind calm.  I don't enter the day rushing to get things done since I have already handled what came in while I was sleeping.

3.  I eat the big frogs first.  If you have never heard the analogy of proactive work, it is taking the biggest project you have and getting it done first and the other small ones will come easily.  Think of having to eat a bunch of frogs - ugh!  If you look at 5 of them in front of you, some may think I will start with the smallest one.  But by the time you get to the big one you can barely take it.

4.  I make sure to get outside everyday.  Take a walk, go shopping or simply sit in the sun for a few minutes.  Get away from your desk for that mental check in so you don't get mental fatigue.

I am not much different than others in that I want to lead a productive and successful life.  I just control my destiny so I will not have anyone to blame but myself for my success or lack of it!

Been There - Done That!

Uncategorizedcindynovotny1 Comment

Since I have been in business for many years, I meet several other sales professionals, leaders and executives of all industries that have years of experience as well.  These high performers can be the most valuable and productive asset or they can become ‘stagnant and under-whelming.’  Seniority, tenure and high performing individuals are very valuable to a company but you MUST keep investing in them.   Most of the top producers I work with tell me that they are left to ‘fly solo.’  Their bosses are so busy with younger and less experienced team members that these individuals seem to be left on their own.  This is a huge mistake and one that can cost your organization a lot of lost revenue. Why?  This top producer may be making their numbers because they have been handling the same territory or accounts and if challenged to actually bring in much more business or higher revenue business could be a struggle.  In addition, this individual is being courted by the competition whether you believe that or not.  Loyalty is much stronger when you are investing in your top performers and helping them grow.

Simply relying on an annual review is not enough.  Recent studies show that 70% of employees are not engaged positively in their job – this is unbelievable!  When we interviewed a group of performers only 53% said they are getting regular feedback.   That makes people feel they are not appreciated and are not valued.  Challenge these people, stretch their goals, and give them a new reason to come to work and produce every day.