Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

Culture is Defined by Design or Default

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I just finished a terrific read by Dr. Marilee G. Adams. She’s authored a book titled, Change Your Questions, Change Your Life. There were many things that caught my attention as I listened to words penned by Dr. Adams.

The title of my article today makes me take particular note. I’ve always understood in a headway the culture at a center is there, whether it’s stated or not. Adams says it perfectly and in a way that gets it out of my head and hopefully into your heart. “Culture is defined by design or default.”

Culture is about what you believe in.

Culture is about what you believe in… at your core. We like to say it’s built from what you value. When we help companies in our business coaching program, the first thing we do is work on understanding what the core values of an organization really are. We don’t subscribe to the corporatese-jargony-mumble-jumble that mission statements can be made of, but rather the “real” stuff that drives you and your organization; the stuff that people remember and hold on to when they make decisions about what to do in the moment.

Add that to your purpose (your why of being) and you have your culture. You don’t have to try to do culture. It’s built in. It’s part of the fabric that makes you, your business, your job, your family, your relationships, the way they are.

Here’s an example. If, at your core, you have a value that says, “I don’t steal things,” then you never steal things. You don’t have to try not to steal. Maybe you call that honesty. I honestly think that honesty should be a RULE of the GAME. It is one of those values that may not need to be stated but assumed.

At TrainerTainment, we coach clients on a daily basis. Coaching is a lot like selling. Session by session, we are working on buy-in from the team. We are teaching “plays” that help leaders and salespeople win. We are providing practice and new strategies that strengthen the team.

Live by them day-to-day.

Here’s what I mean. We have designed or adopted selling and business systems we believe in. We believe so strongly in those systems because we live them on a day-to-day basis. We understand and see the successes internally with our own team and externally with the teams we serve. So, of course, when we are looking for people to work with, we primarily focus on clients that share our core values.

I’ve been in business for 12 years. Certainly, here were years, many years, that we had a “default culture.” It was not stated. I was not able to get it out of my head. As the business owner, my ego and pride make me feel like that “default culture” wasn’t so bad. However, in the spirit of vulnerability, I’ll tell you that having a culture that is truly designed, defined, stated, and the filter for everything from hiring and training to firing is a much better, more confident way to run the business. Oh, and it helps us experience a heck of a lot more success for us and those we serve.

Time Management Tips Part 2

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How did you do managing your time this past month? What methods did you use? I would love to hear from you, so please shoot me an email to tell me what you found. If you missed out on part one of our two-part time management series, you can find it here. Here comes the next step: practice.

Practicing is going to take you longer than just a month. I’m sure you are saying, “But it only takes 21 days for something to become a habit, right?” Wrong. I did a lot of reading on this and it takes more. Check out this article. It does take 21 days for the change to become easier, but it takes on average 66 days to become a habit. Our goal is to make it a habit!

Practice Makes Perfect

Once you have figured out the best method for managing your time, you have to practice it daily. You have to commit and train yourself to do it every day. One easy way to do this is to set a time each day to plan. It can be planning for the day or could be at the end of the day for next day planning. The technique you choose for time management will help you determine when to plan.

Since I use a bullet journal, my routine is that I sit down at my desk with a big cup of coffee and look at my list from the day before. I determine if there are items I did not complete and need to add to that day, move them to a later date, or just don’t need to do them at all and mark each one with a symbol. Then I start adding to my list based on the emails I received. That list is my guide to what I need to get done through the day and makes it easy for me to focus on those tasks. Some days this takes me only five minutes, but I usually schedule about 30 minutes for planning.

Elevate and Delegate

I’m a type-A personality. That means I love to be in charge and try to do everything myself. How many of you are the same way? If we want to do everything and if we want to be in control of our time, we need to look at what needs to be done and decide what we need to delegate and what we need to elevate.

Tasks that may not need your special skill set or require someone else’s abilities are the ones we want to delegate. Think of all the small things you’re doing in a day and how much time they take up. Delegate those tasks out. The to-dos you enjoy, are really good at and require a special skill set are the ones you want to elevate and do yourself.

Delineate the Time to Work on a Task

How many times do we sit down to start working and think to ourselves, “This project is going to take forever! I’m never going to finish!” We all go through that at some point it time. The key is to break it down into smaller sections and then determine how much time you are willing to work on it. It’s a lot easier to say, “For the next hour I’m going to work on this and then take a ten-minute break.”

Delineating that time helps you stay motivated and focused. The break afterward is really important so you can move on to the next task. Breaks allow time to step away, refresh your mind, and be ready for the next task. Some easy break ideas are to get some fresh air, meditate for a few minutes, or do some yoga stretches. You will be ready for the next task.

Learn to Say No

Saying no tends to be one of the hardest things for people to do. For the most part, we all want to work as a team and step in when others are not able to complete a task. Learning to say no is one of the most powerful things you can learn.

I hope these time management techniques and tips have identified some methods for managing your time better. Hopefully, they will come in handy as your summer business picks up and you find yourself on the floor more. I would love to hear your feedback and time management techniques. Comment below or send me an email to


Employee vs. Team Member

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I’ve always had an issue with the word “employee.” To me the word has a negative/hard tone to it. It reminds me of the old days of factory workers on an assembly line. In my head I picture the mean boss, yelling at his workers with no care or concern for them as people. They are a number and they work for him. This is my vision of the word employee. Maybe yours is different. I just ask that you take a moment to listen while I get on my soapbox.

Work for you or with you?

As a manager of a center, do you want people who work FOR you or people who work WITH you? The very definition of a team is a group of people working toward a common goal. In our centers, our goals may include providing exceptional guest service and achieving certain revenue levels. No one person can achieve those goals for your centers. It takes a group of people – it takes a team.

You hear about teams in sports. Do they call a group of baseball players employees? No, they are called a team, because each of the members fills an important position doing what they do best. The same is true in your centers. Some folks are fantastic party hosts and maybe not the best at being a lane attendant. A cook excels at her role and might not succeed as a cashier.

As a manager, you have the role of coach. You train your team, you have them practice, and then you assign them to the position that is best for the team/company. As a Manager/Coach, you motivate your team toward a successful shift, you cheer them when they do well, and you coach/counsel them when they need some extra practice or if they’ve had a bad day.

When the team “wins” by hitting their goals, you give them the credit they deserve! When they miss the mark, you look at ways you could have supported your team better.

Okay, I’m stepping off my soapbox and I hope I made you think about the people working with you in your centers. Now I ask you, how do you (or will you) refer to your team?

Five Articles for Personal and Business Success

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One of our core values is intentional learning. This is how we define intentional learning:

Learning has always been one of the things I enjoy the most. From a young age I always wanted to read and now that I’m older I love to read for learning. While my type of reading for learning isn’t always the conventional path (yes, we are talking books!), I do spend loads of time reading. Since I have been in Jakarta, I’ve spent a lot of time in the car.

Trust me, some days I would rather be on Facebook or Instagram for the few hours of travel, but I try to spend most of my time read articles, whitepapers, or other research.

Often I come across really great articles that I share on the Trainertainment Facebook page. This week I wanted to share with you a few articles that I really enjoyed. All the articles I read this week have to do with personal and business success. I mean, we are all working to be successful in both, right? So, here are my top five articles for the week.

All Great Minds Have This 1 Habit In Common

This article is perfectly in line with our core value of intentional learning. I’m always amazed that people want to be the best in their field and grow professionally but they don’t take the time to read. In this article, you can see that some of the most successful people in the world read daily.


3 Lessons Every Business Can Learn From Chick-fil-A

It could be that I absolutely love Chick-fil-A and am craving it as we get ready to head home, but the lessons in this article are outstanding. I saw a funny post today that was making fun of Chick-fil-A and their customer service.

The founder, Truett Cathy, says it perfectly, “We aren’t in the chicken business. We are in the people business.” This alone drives the company to do things in an uncommon way and with a purpose. We could all learn something from Chick-fil-A’s success.

13 Things You Should Give Up If You Want To Be Successful

We always talk about things we need to do in our life to make us more successful, but we don’t always talk about the things we need to give up. That is one reason I really enjoyed this article. The first one on the list is to give up an unhealthy lifestyle. That is something everyone in our organization is doing. The article lists many other things it might be good to give up, too.


Prevent Burnout by Making Compassion a Habit

Who has ever felt burnt out at work? I think we have all had those moments. There are things we can do as leaders to help others not feel burned out. This is a big deal as we don’t want to lose our top talent because of burnout. When we can find the needs and desires of our people, we can usually prevent burnout from happening. This article will help you learn empathy for others and how self-compassion will help you.


10 Mind-Sharpening Daily Activities That You Can Do in 10 Minutes Or Less

This article is about activities we can do every day to sharpen our mind. We don’t think about our mind being sharp before we work. We typically just start working and get the day going. I personally already do a few of the things on the list. If you read the blog last week, you saw that I bullet journal which means I’m making a list so I can be ready for the day and know what needs to be done. Now, I don’t know about taking a cold shower, I like mine HOT, but moving more has been a priority and being useful to someone is what we do here at Trainertainment. We are in the business of helping people and businesses grow with coaching, training, and great information like this!

Time Management Tips to Increase Productivity

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Time management always seems to be a hot topic no matter the industry. You can Google time management and get a million different articles to read. I wanted to share some of my time management tips with you in a series of blog posts.

Learning About Time Management

A few weeks ago, I was on my weekly marketing call with Beth and Phil and Beth gave me one of the best compliments ever. She said I am really good at managing my time and she is always impressed with how well I can do it. That’s an especially big deal since we work from home and it’s easy to get off track and not manage your time well.

Over the past three years, I have developed a time management system that works for me. In the beginning, I had to really work on time management and become very good at it since living in Jakarta threw me some curve balls – a) bad traffic which means that simple errands took three times as long, b) take my kids back and forth to school and after school activities since there is no school bus, c) the time difference from home. All were huge factors in managing my time.

We all have things that affect our time and learning how to manage it better is the biggest step. In this series, I’m going to share some things that have helped me develop better time management skills.

Figure out what works for you

Yes, there are lots of people that tell you this is the best way to manage your time. Trust me; I have probably tried them all. Block scheduling, lists, using an electronic calendar, using a paper calendar, bullet journal, Post-it notes, etc. I’ve found what works for one person may not work for another.

I used to put everything on my Outlook calendar and use the block scheduling method. I found this to be hard since my position requires me to be creative. I needed to be able to work on whatever was on my mind at that time instead of what my calendar dictated.

I know for many sales people this works great. They can block out chunks of time to make phone calls, check email, follow up on leads, etc. Not only did this not work for me because of the creative aspect, it also didn’t work for me because I would move my blocks to accommodate other things. Lack of commitment is one of the biggest issues I see with block scheduling. Those blocks are designed to secure that time, to make it sacred. That block should be a priority and it shouldn’t be moved or tampered with unless there is a real emergency. The reality is, once you move it, it’s not sacred and will be easier to move again. It’s just not a priority.

Sample Page of my Bullet Journal

I missed writing and, more specifically, writing in a planner. I had my first planner when I was in junior high school. I have always been a reading/writing learner, so I went back to a planner. I started off with just a daily calendar version where I could schedule time, but then I realized that all I was trying to do was block schedule manually instead of electronically, so I had to go back to the drawing board. It ended up taking me trying a few different options before I figured out that bullet journaling was what worked best for me.

Each day I write down all the things I have thought about or need to get done. Then I check my email and list out more tasks based on the emails I received overnight. For me, this works great! I have a list of everything that needs to get done. I can pick and choose what I want to work on at that time and it feels great at the end of the day when I have checked off everything that needs to get done. This saved me time because I don’t have to go back to look for emails or wonder what I need to work on now. I just go to the next task. If you want to be good at time management, you have to stick to what works for you.

Challenge for the Month

Before I go too far with other tips, I have a challenge for you this month. Try a few different types of lists and time management styles. You could try a new one each week or split the month in two and try each one for a couple of weeks. The goal is to help you think about your time and start managing it better. At the end of the month, we will follow up and see which style worked best for you and tell you how to move forward to the next step. Don’t hesitate to email me with questions or if you want more information on the various options I tested. I’m here to help!