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Practice What We Preach

On the trip to New Orleans, Keith Cupp, President of Gazelles International, [the coaching arm of Mastering the Rockefeller Habits] got into a cab for his trip to Portland Airport.  The cab drivers name was Dan, and Keith quickly got into a conversation with him. He asked how long he’d been a cab driver. Dan told Keith he’d been a cab driver for just over a year. Unemployment in Oregon and Portland specifically is high, about 12%.  Dan had been a successful car salesperson for Toyota in the Portland area, but when the economy turned he was laid off. Keith asked Dan how he liked it, and how the loss of his job affected him. Dan responded by saying that life throws you curves and you have to handle them. He said he responded to losing his job by looking for a purpose. He made the decision to work the late shift, 10 PM to 6 AM because traffic was lighter then, and because not only did you meet a lot of interesting people, more importantly he said he saw real value in what he was doing at the time of the night. Many of the people he taxis have had too much alcohol, and not only is he helping them, he also sees all the other people he is serving by keeping these people off the street.  The story almost made Keith tear up.
Taxi Driver Dan is a perfect example of making the most of a bad situation. He looked at his purpose and chose an occupation that he felt would have meaning for him and serve the good of others as well.
When times are challenging, this is the best time to review your company purpose and core values. It would be best to always have them in front of you and your staff as companies like the Ritz Carlton do each day in their Daily Huddles. 
Many times we lose sight of these, yet when we review them, the instant recognition is, “oh yeah, that’s why we went into business!” How well are you living your Core Values and Purpose? When you focus on these, the spirit, enthusiasm and energy for your business helps you to recharge. More importantly it gets you to concentrate on One Thing, and in times like these the better your focus the better you can deal with the adversity that is thrown at us.
Keith gave this story at our Gazelles International Dinner, at which he presented three awards to coaches who best display our core values. The award this year for “Practice What We Preach” was given to me! I was surprised and honored to receive it. Last year at this award celebration I remember thinking what a good idea this was for my clients to do, presenting awards [Gazelles is a small wooden clock with a nameplate for the winner’s name and the Core Value], yet also hoping that next year I would earn recognition for following one of Gazelles  Core Values. I’m proud to have won this award and plan to do my best to always reflect the statement it projects. 
What are your Core Values, and Purpose? How can you get your employees to work to win your recognition by displaying their alignment with them? Wouldn’t that be a worthwhile initiative to get your employees focusing so hard on living your Core Values and Purpose they’d be fighting to win an award. Often, big improvements can come with very little investment. Recognition is a great motivator! Use it to spur your team to greater achievement and engagement.    

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Positioning Systems helps business owners and entrepreneurs transform their business.   We provide the tools and coaching to help you take control of your business -- rather then having your business control you.