Thankful Thursday

thankful thursday

Today I started my morning by asking the question… “What are you thankful for?” I asked each of the family members to tell me what they were thankful for. The answers compiled of your normal responses – Jesus, Family, Work, Dog, Food, Shelter – But there were a couple profound statements that I would like to share with you.

A story was told about the morning church sermon that was focused on listing 100 things you are thankful for. At first this seems like a lot, but if you start with the people in your life that you know and love this list adds up fast. I encourage all of us to make that list today… and review it often!

Another answer this morning was about being thankful for freedom and ancestors. The freedom to learn to read, drive to church, and build a home. I found that statement very inspiring because we often take those for granted. This reminded me how important leaders today are important for future generations. Starting with your spiritual leader and then looking at the leaders around us in government, industry, education, sports, and entertainment. These are the people who mold the future of our lives. Think about how you can be a leader for the future. 

When I asked Carter what he was thankful for and he said, “you” (safe answer but it still made me smile )… I am thankful for him as well and what he did next is an example of why… he surprised me with his thoughtfulness.

As we were downstairs talking about the fruits of the spirit,
“the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23), he shared this video with me on Facebook which is a great example of a leader that exudes Kindness:

Ellen ends every one of her shows with “Be Kind to One Another” This little statement should inspire us all. You can tell it is genuine:

I will end this blog with the answer from my eleven year old son, “Remember the 7 “F”s and be thankful for Fun, Family, Food, Friends, Forgiveness, Faithfulness (believe in others as he described it), and of course… Football!

ROLL TIDE Yall and Happy Happy Thanksgiving! My family, staff, and I are thankful for each and every one of YOU!

Leadership through Mentoring and Training

Leadership through Mentoring and Training

We hear a lot of talk about the importance of leadership and its impact on our employees and business as a whole. Leadership comes in many forms, but its importance in both our business and personal lives is clear. Recently, I’ve been asking myself….what really is Leadership?

In my world of Digital Media, it’s most clearly seen when a person or company establishes their voice and takes a leading role in becoming active on-line to help industry improve or overcome a specific challenge. But I also know its more than this; so again I asked myself, “What really is Leadership

Looking back, my first leadership award was given to me when I was captain of the Hale County High School girls’ basketball team. I remember being shocked at the term and thinking to myself “why did I get this?”  When I look back, I think it was because I encouraged everyone to work together, get along, and win as a team, for the team. I am still doing the same thing today, and I believe it’s about working to bring people together for a common goal or mission.

So for me Leadership is not telling people they must do something, it’s about inspiring them to want to be part of the team, for the team, and be willing to go the extra mile for the mission.

At the fall HI meeting, I had the great privilege to meet Lt. General Russell L. Honoré and hear him speak about Leadership. I also read his book “Leadership in the New Normal”.  Apart from the fact that it’s an inspiring book, which I would recommend to anyone, in it he gives many examples about what it means to be a leader today. I found his ideas noted below inspiring:

  • No great change comes without leadership and sacrifice.
  • Good leaders are not afraid to take on the impossible.
  • During difficult times the leader must be visible to her or his people.

I found this one very insightful as its something I’ve lived by since my days as a basketball team captain and continue to live by today.

  • Good leaders learn to do the routine things well.

Meaning that a leader does not avoid menial or routine tasks, rather they master them so that they never get in the way of derailing the true focus of the team on delivering a successful mission…WOW!

We recently published an article relating to how companies can solve the ‘Aging Workforce’ issues as well as build capacity in their existing workforce. The article, by Ian Baynes, discusses how Succession Planning, Career Development, Mentoring, and Training all play a role in helping companies avoid the loss of institutionalized knowledge as key individuals’ transition into retirement and also how it can help create the leaders of tomorrow. Partnering existing leaders with those that show promise, interest, and drive enables the transfer of critical knowledge and skills through showing and doing versus telling. No leadership training program that I’ve ever heard of has ever created a leader; it’s more about the person being around the right people, being shown how a true leader acts, and then being mentored on the ‘how’ and ‘what’, and trained on technical skills that might have been missing.

So I believe that Leaders are not created through training programs or being put into positions of authority or power. Rather, they develop over time through gained experience and guidance from others. I’m my case, I believe that it was a combination of team coaches and mentors who guided me and showed me what a true leader is. To this day my guides and mentors are there for me, and I hope I can pay this forward by being the same to a person starting out on their journey.

It takes a mentor to train a leader, and that takes passion; passion to be part of something bigger than you, to truly believe in your company, products, and services and know that you have the ability to drive change for the good of the industry.  This is the key to being a leader.


B2B or Should That Be B4B?

Charli co-presents at ASPE's Social Media Lounge

Recently I was reading a great blog entitled from B2B to B4B… What an inspiring statement! I wish I had come up with that myself! So simple, but really spot on!

So what does it mean to be there ‘4’ your customer?

We are all in business because we have a solution that helps solve a customers’ problem. Our customers, whoever they may be, have a goal in mind, and if you can be “4”them, then you can truly help them accomplish that goal.  In other words, it’s not just about selling the products in my portfolio; it’s about truly understanding my customers’ needs and taking the time to be there for them, helping them succeed. My goal has always been, and will always be to help Connect, Inform, and Educate the industry I love and, above all, be there ’4’ my client.

Charli presenting at ASPE 2016 Social Media TrainingOver the past two weeks, I presented on Networking, Marketing, and Social Media topics at both the Hydraulic Institute fall meeting and the ASPE meeting in Phoenix, AZ.

I was asked what my ‘takeaway’ was and what did I want to accomplish from my activities at these events.

  • My takeaway: if you take the time to get these three elements of your campaigns right then increased sales is just around the corner.
  • My accomplishment: to help my clients, who were present at both events. I did exactly what I set out to do, which was to raise their awareness of the role social media plays in their daily marketing activities and the importance of being able to network to create relationships that help build a strong business network.

I have to say that its been harder ‘said than done’ to accomplish what I set out to do as the past few months have been a series of back-to-back events that have taken my focus and consumed most of my time. To say its been exhausting would be an understatement, but as Lt. General Russell L Honoré said when I got the chance to hear him speak about Leadership at the fall HI meeting: “We have to be resilient. We have to battle and inspire our team by setting an example and demonstrating Leadership at all times.”  It is so powerful when you are able to surround yourself with those who work hard and do it to give back to the industry that helped support them over the years. I am extremely fortunate to have a network of industry leaders that have done just that.

So over the past month, which started with the Fluid Sealing Association’s Fall meeting in Nashville, TN, and ended this week with the ASPE conference in Phoenix, AZ, I have had the chance to speak to so many people that have given their time for the mission… not because they had to, but because they believed in it. They believed that being there ‘4’ their customer was the right thing to do.