Thursday, January 31, 2013

How to be invaluable

What's funny about our technological age is how, with all the options to communicate at our fingertips, most of us do not follow-up or follow-through.

Emails are left unanswered. Calls are not returned. Texts are ignored. Calendars are not updated. Promises are not kept. I'm not complaining; it's everywhere and there can be an advantage for someone or some company that wants to stand out: communicate clearly and timely.

If I find someone who, as a rule, follows-up and keeps their promises, that person is very important. I've known wonderful people who seem to sabotage themselves by showing great potential but then have to be tracked down in order to have them share status.

Why does this happen? Are we afraid to share status? Do we like the feeling of importance that having to be tracked down gives us? Do we just not care enough to let those we work with learn where things stand?

I don't know and would love any of our readers to share their theory on this. But, I do know this: be the rare person who follows-up and follows-through and you are automatically more valuable than a more gifted person who doesn't.

Barry LaBov
LaBov Marketing Communications and Training

Tuesday, January 29, 2013


The word, "facilitate" is a rather cold, unexciting word. But I've grown to love what it stands for. In fact, I think we could use a lot more of that and lot less complaining, finger-pointing, judging, commiserating and whining in the world.

If you are a manager, why not choose to facilitate your people to work together better, to run their business a little better and to see the good in what they're doing?

If you are a creative person, why not facilitate your team or your customers or the world into seeing how something can be even more inspiring or how a problem truly can be solved and make everybody even happier?

If you are a teacher, why not facilitate your fellow teachers in how they can engage and motivate their students to become great?

A facilitator makes things happen, brings people together, calms things down when they're too electric, and does it all without drawing attention to himself or herself. We need more of that.

I think if you feel you have an under-appreciated job and would like a little more love, be a facilitator. As funny as it may seem, you will elevate yourself by helping others achieve.

Barry LaBov
LaBov Marketing Communications and Training

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Protect me

How many of us work in an environment where someone has the job of protecting people against others in the organization? You know, you have the foreman at the factory who feels his job is to protect his line workers from unfair sales requests or the assistant who shields employees from talking to the boss.

Those positions certainly have good people doing what they think are good things, but aren't we creating or fostering conflict within our companies by having to "protect" our people from our people?

Isn't the foreman who is shielding the sales department from his workers, in effect, saying that those salespeople are bad or troublesome? Isn't the assistant who builds a wall between the employees and the boss implying that the employees are a bother or are beneath the executive she works for?

If we dropped all the emotions around protection, the foreman would look at his job as making sure that all new sales are responded to in the best way to ensure they are done on-time and at the highest quality. The assistant would be focused on ensuring that all employee needs are addressed by the right person in a timely fashion.

Do we create these protection mindsets because we like the importance of being the protector instead of the facilitator? As my 19-year-old daughter and her friends say when their friends overreact and things are unnecessarily emotional, "There's too much drama." Maybe this protection approach is just too much drama.

Barry LaBov
LaBov Advertising, Marketing and Training

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

On your way to do something good...

A dear friend asked me to help her out the other day. It entailed me traveling for a day and spending time working with her team on an issue that meant a lot to her. I won't go any deeper into what we did because that's not the purpose of this post.

What is the point is that I did shut down my life for her for that one day. I did my best to make sure it was all set up to be productive because I didn't want to regret it, but that morning at 6:45 AM as I was driving to the airport, I had a little concern over whether I'd regret this, I have to be honest. Turns out, I didn't at all.

Little did I know that I met a associate of hers who could help me on a particular issue that had been dogging me. And I also learned some fantastic insights that I passed onto another friend who is the middle of a personal challenge. And, I think we really made a lot of progress for my dear friend, too.

Sometimes, most of the time, even, we don't know how something is going to turn out. It's best to enjoy the ride and maybe, just maybe you will receive far more than you give.

Barry LaBov
LaBov Advertising, Marketing and Training

Thursday, January 10, 2013


We hear talk of being entitled today, whether in business or political discussions. It's an emotionally charged topic.

It's easy to feel entitled. The danger with entitlements is that the things we come to expect, let's say certain benefits or services that our companies offer us, over time becomes less appreciated and often, less effective. So the worst of all worlds happens...we don't appreciate these things and yet they cost the company. For example, I read of a company that offered a free Friday lunch. Over time, it became less attended and there were complaints from employees because they felt they should be paid to attend. Often after they attended the lunch, many would take an additional lunch hour. Obviously not what the employer had in mind for a team-building, employee appreciation program. And it was the employer's fault; it was not a good idea.

I think this issue is not black or white. There are some programs that ought to be offered to every employee, period. There's certain treatment that all deserve, period. Those are not entitlements, those are fair and right.

For those other things, it may be wise to put a moratorium on themstop themand see if there really is an impact. I think sometimes we continue the entitlements for the wrong reasons and that maybe, just maybe, no one will miss them if they are gone.

Barry LaBov
LaBov Advertising, Marketing and Training

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Add up the brain power

If your team or company is challenged to solve a problem, why is it that so often it's the same person who solves the problem? There might be two or three, maybe a half dozen people involved. But it comes down to that one person.

Maybe that one person is pretty brilliant. But it's not probable that he or she is smarter than all the others combined. It's usually not intelligence. It's either an issue of ownership, ego, fear or passiveness that is involved.

Add up the brainpower and figure it out.

Barry LaBov
LaBov Advertising, Marketing and Training

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Make History

"Let's make history." That's how my first meeting with him began. He was a hard-charging, intense client who was just transferred to this position. He was our new client.

His predecessor was a nice person who wanted to make everybody happy and things as easy as possible. This was quite a change. Overnight, we went from "don't make waves" to "let's make history."

The two years following that, we had a few rough spots with him, but we were able to produce great work that made a difference, or, as he said, history.

It's far more motivating to go for greatness even if it means working harder, because how often can you actually make history?

Barry LaBov
LaBov Advertising, Marketing and Training