Author Archives: Tim Mushey
My first job out of university was with Enterprise-Rent-A-Car. It was high paced, non-stop action role that keeps me running all day. Most days I did not believe that we could take care of all the customers, but we did. Things just always worked out.
Part of our jobs was washing cars. On the surface anyone should be able to wash a car. But in that business, the key was to wash it quickly, but still make things spotless.
I worked for several Branch Managers and Assistant Managers during my 2+ years with the company, and they were each different. They got similar exceptional results, but the way they each lead and managed was unique.
But there was one commonality. They would never hesitate to jump into the car wash and clean a vehicle at a moment’s notice. I was once told that you just “tuck your tie in to your shirt so it does not get wet, or sucked up in to the vacuum“, and just GET IT DONE.
They would also do many other tasks that were not on their job description like pick up customers, and start cars when it was colder than -30 degrees celsius!
These people stood out for me as true leaders. It would have been easy for them to sit in their offices, shuffle paperwork and pretend that they were doing more important things then help customers be completely satisfied with their rental experience, but that was not in their DNA. They were there to help, no matter how crummy the tasks were, all in the name of “just being one of the team”.
Even though it was over 15 years ago that I washed my last car at Enterprise, I still think back fondly of the lessons learned – and there were many of them.
But the best lessons learned taught a shy, stuttering young kid how to be a leader. How to never put myself ahead of the team, and how to never put myself on a pedestal too high, that I could not help out people who really needed me.
- Who were the best leaders that you have worked for?
- What made them a cut above the rest?
I never thought being an assistant coach for my son’s six-year-old hockey team would be easy, but there is more to it then I thought!
I have learned many leadership lessons from the experience, and here are my favourites:
- Patience – Many of these kids still sleep with teddy bears. They are very young and their development takes time
- Encouragement – “High-Fives, pats on the back, and a “great job” goes a long way for their confidence
- Focus On The Positive – We tend to focus on what is being done wrong, that we sometimes forget to reward what is being done right
- “Sandwich Method” – Put a suggestion for an area of improvement between two positive comments
- SMILE – Then laugh with them, and make them feel comfortable. It is truly about having fun, developing skills, and learning what it means to be part of a team
As I was writing this, I realized many of these points can be related to managing in the corporate world, or business in general. At least, I thought I could inspire other coaches who may need some new perspective!
If kids are not inspired by their coaches, there are many other activities that they can do these days. Each interaction with them is critical to building that connection.
Is it time to tweak your coaching, managing or general leading philosophies?
- Story Telling
I recently watched the Garth Brooks “Live At The Wynn” concert and I was completely blown away – especially by his ability to tell a FANTASTIC story!
I am going to keep this short and sweet, and let you really think about those three words as you continue to spread your message.
If you want me to dig a little deeper, just let me know
Lesley Carter from Bucket List Publications http://www.bucketlistpublications.com is travelling to Alberta later this week. She recently put out a call for people to blog about their travels to this incredible province. I will do one better!
I have lived here for 13 years and had a blast last night digging up some of my favourite photos of travels with my wife and sons.
I can still remember the day that I saw the mountains for the first time as a kid. I was truly in awe of all that the Rockies had to offer.
Now as an adult, we are so lucky to have this beauty right in our own backyard (well almost, it is still a bit of a drive).
I hope you enjoy looking at our pictures as much as I did putting them together!
A short time ago, I received a special gift from somebody that I admire greatly. It was totally unexpected, but I was very grateful for the gesture. Some people just think “give first”, and those people have it figured out. In this case I am certain that it is not a business strategy, rather it is just who he is.
The gentlemen’s name is Bob Burg. I did not ask him for anything; we had just been having dialog about an online purchase I had recently made of one of his audio cds. In return, I got a very unexpected gift. And I LOVE telling the story now.
A couple of weeks back, I spoke to another “giver”, Mr. Paul Castain. Of course, I told the story about what Bob had done for me. Paul’s response,
“Tim, I have heard one thousand of those stories about Bob”.
My only response was “WOW”.
I need to be clear about something. When I use the phrase “give-first mentality”, I don’t mean to give everything away for free. Last time I looked, businesses are developed to drive revenue, but hopefully change lives for the better as well.
The “extract value from people as soon as possible so you can ride off in to the sunset” strategy does not sit well with me. I truly believe if you “give-first”, good things will happen for you.
Don’t kid yourself, those who are paying attention know who the “value extractors” and the “value givers” are. Everyone claims to understand this concept, but do they really?
Here is one of my favourite quotes from Bob Burg:
“All the great fortunes in the world have been created by men and women who had a greater passion for what they were giving – their product, service or idea – than for what they were getting. And many of those great fortunes have been squandered by others who had a greater passion for what they were getting than what they were giving.”
You can check out Bob’s fantastic content (especially his new book “Adversaries Into Allies”) over at:
NEVER join a conference call late!
Have a great weekend everyone….
Lack of leadership invites backstabbing, gossip, sabotage, game-playing, and foot-dragging. But, don’t expect a savior on a white horse to rescue you after you've been stabbed in the back.
Getting even with the person who made you look bad makes you look bad. Respond in ways that you would brag to mom about.
You look fearful, weak, vindictive, angry, and defensive when you respond negatively to negative office politics.
Life can be tough..
Personal life, Business “life”. Things come out of nowhere that can knock you on your butt. But you gotta get back up. You just gotta! The more resilient you become early in your life, the more success will follow.
If you develop a tough mental mindset challenges can be overcome much easier.
Remember the old 80′s song by Matthew Wilder:
“Ain’t nothin’ gonna to break my stride
Nobody’s gonna slow me down, oh-no
I got to keep on movin’
Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride
I’m running and I won’t touch ground
Oh-no, I got to keep on movin’”
How ’bout some Chumbawamba:
“I get knocked down but I get up again You’re never going to keep me down”
- What songs motivate you to keep moving forward?
I will never proclaim that crushing defeats in sports are more challenging than those in personal or professional lives, but there are still lessons to be learned. In May of this year, the Toronto Maple Leafs professional hockey team blew a 3 goal lead in the third period of game 7 during the Stanley Cup playoffs. The eventually lost to the Boston Bruins in overtime.
This was one of the most catastrophic game 7 losses in professional sports history, and I hope all the players on that team are mentally tough enough to get through it, and excel at the highest level again. Having a short memory and “erasing” setbacks is crucial. Just keep looking forward.
Life can be tough. Everyone knows that. The 64,000 dollar question is can you be tougher?
I hope the answer is a resounding YES!
I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Garth Brooks play live in the mid 1990′s – and I was blown away! He is on a shortlist of artists that I would pay anything to see live again.
His passion for his music, his fans, and life in general is contagious!
My wife and I tried to see him in Las Vegas over the past few months, but it did just not work out.
The next best thing was on TV last night. He aired a two-hour concert from his recent stint at the Wynn in Las Vegas.
Here is a live cut of “Shameless” with Billy Joel live at the historic Shea Stadium in New York!
Keep on enjoying your weekend…