Are You Blocking Your Own Leadership?

Most of us don’t like to admit we may be the problem in any situation. In leadership it’s even more difficult to look in the mirror and say, “I see the problem.” Reality is, even if you’re only 5% of the problem, you must fix the 5% first. Your credibility as a leader will be heavily damaged if you don’t acknowledge your mistakes. Your team, colleagues and clients will respect you more and your successes will increase. Don’t be afraid to communicate your errors and definitely tell how you’ve fixed the problem.

My SIMPLER SYSTEM features 7 Steps, with the first one being SELF. Join me on May 28th to learn more about you, and how to make more money and have more time for yourself.

Are you a lifelong learner?

Recently, for the first time in a long time, I conducted a continuing education class in business writing. Eight participants showed up to learn how to improve their business writing skills. As I went around the room to discover why they were in the class, I was pleased to learn how many of them are lifelong learners. Only a couple of people were there because their boss or supervisor suggested they be there. I like it when people come to class because they want to be there, not because they have to be there.

The term “lifelong learner” has been around for a long time and more and more I see people in all types of jobs expanding their education. That bodes well for the workforce. In a previous blog I talked about the concept of having a workforce that’s made up of innovators in North America. We can’t be the innovators if we aren’t continually learning and expanding our minds. How about you, what was the last program or course you took? Why did you take it? How did it help you? I look forward to your comments.

Garth Roberts

Maintaining Morale in a Downsizing Economy

The title of this blog is the title I was given when asked to present at a regional oil patch association convention. Not a problem, as far as I’m concerned. I have some very specific tools and suggestions for improving morale. However, I was surprised at the scope of the morale problems in the industry requesting the presentation.

Everyone is talking about how business is on the up-swing. How come this major industry isn’t going with the flow? It seems it’s the large multi-national companies who are still feeling the pinch and they’re in the consolidating mode. At each of the four sessions, I asked participants if the morale boost was for them or the people they supervise. Both, was the answer.

After the meeting I chatted with another presenter. She works with a major player and is pitching my talk to the Lunch & Learn Coordinator.

“What’s happening in the industry”, I asked.

“We’re a major company that’s probably on the auction block. Lay-offs haven’t stopped and the morale is terrible. I think we could all use a talk like yours.”

So, if you’re thinking the worst is over, think again. It took several years of bad decisions, internationally, to put the world in recession. It’s not going to be full steam ahead in every corner for quite some time.

Garth Roberts   

Are Rules Only Made for Some of Us?

I came across an interesting blog post from Chem-Free Cleaning Ltd this weekend. By following up on a meeting with Mari Lou Apolinario at a trade show in Okotoks, Alberta,, I learned more about chemicals than I really wanted to know. The interesting, read as disturbing, revelation is many companies and government agencies don’t have to follow the rules. Maybe you’re not surprised but in reading Mari Lou’s blog from April,, I was shocked to hear who doesn’t have to follow the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA). According to the blog, Foods served to hospital cafeterias, airplanes, foods served in bulk, medical foods, foods for patients with certain diseases are not required to follow the NLEA laws in providing a nutritional label.”


If your business decided to quit following the rules of legislation, you’d soon find out you’re not special. Probably the full weight of government would come down on you, yet exceptions are made without apparent rhyme or reason. Hospitals! No wonder common lore says avoid hospitals if you want to stay healthy.

I’m of the belief rules and policies should be put in place with purpose, and then followed. If they don’t have a purpose, get rid of them. Have you checked your company rules and policies lately? Which ones should you get rid of, rather than just being like the government and ignoring them?

Check out Chem-Free Cleaning Ltd via the blog. It’s an interesting example of an entrepreneur being in one business (cleaning homes and offices) and developing a new business based on quality (chemical free products). Mari Lou’s customer recognized her superior product and asked to buy it in bulk. I’ve tried a sample and am sold on its quality.

Garth Roberts

Self-Management Beats Time Management

I just discovered the time management seminar I was supposed to deliver as been canceled. It’s okay by me. The material belonged to someone else and it could be improved greatly, plus I’ve lost my enthusiasm when it comes to talking about time management. Let’s face it, it’s not time management, it’s self-management.

You and I both get 24 hours each day and we can use it as we see fit. We can’t manage that 24 hours, we can only use it. It’s how we use it that makes a difference. So, it’s self-management. During past seminars on self-management many people have resisted the concept they are responsible for what they achieve each and every day. It’s easier to blame someone else. Over 2000 years ago Greek Playwright, Asechylus, said, “Everyone’s quick to blame the alien”, and we’ve been doing it ever since.

Today is April 20th, 2010. How are you using your 24 hours? What do you have on your agenda for tomorrow and the rest of the week? Is your non-productivity someone else’s fault? Does your productivity belong to someone else? I think not. It all belongs to you.

Garth Roberts               

How’s Your Balance

This past week has been a balance challenge. In my work I spend extended periods of time on the road conducting workshops. I love it. The challenge is to balance the workshops with office work. It’s very easy to get caught up with the participants and spend more time than expected working on a session. That leaves little time for a couple necessary evils, marketing and sales. Administration can happen after office hours but sales, in particular, have to happen when people are at their offices. This week I’m playing catch-up.

How about your business, do you have a balance?

If you’re like me the balance usually falls short when it comes to “down time”. Over the past year I’ve recognized I’m not very good at relaxing. So, that’s part of my 2010 goals list. Relearn to relax and make time for me, my family and my friends. If you have one goal this year you must keep, what is it? Does it have anything to do with balance?

Garth Roberts