Thursday, February 28, 2013

Let the results speak

Results. They do speak for themselves. Only sometimes we jump the gun before they open their mouth and other times we just don't listen to them.

Let the results speak and let the chips fall where they may. Easier said than done, but necessary.

Barry LaBov
LaBov Marketing Communications and Training

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Mushroom management

The old saying about treating people like "mushrooms" means you keep them in the dark and feed them crap (or another word that won't be used in this post). Treating someone that way is demeaning, for sure, but there are some aspects of it to be sensitive to.

People treated like that are often valuable people who are left alone to figure things out and somehow survive. What I have found is since they get almost no feedback, they also become judges of their own performance.

When we leave people alone and deprive them of perspective, they create their own perspective. That's why that person may have a grandiose opinion of their value. It's only reasonable that happens. But we all pay for it.

I worked with a young lady who was "left in the dark" by her manager. She had an extreme view of her value and greatness as well as a demeaning view of her manager (who was brilliant). It was sad because it could have worked out for everyone, but she had to leave to pursue her own greatness. When she landed elsewhere, she found that while she was a good performer in certain aspects, she was woefully deficient in others, all because she had never learned from her manager (and her manager never invested time in her).

Mushroom management is the easiest path for everyone in the short run and the most disappointing in the long run.

Barry LaBov
LaBov Marketing Communications and Training

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The stain of blame

One reason we sometimes don't solve a problem is that we confuse being at fault with being responsible. Since it's not my fault, why should I care about solving it? That attitude leads to distancing yourself from the problem to make sure the stain of blame isn't on you.

In reality, it doesn't matter who is at fault or if there even is a fault. All that matters is that someone solved the problem. That's the difference between an average person putting in hours at a job and someone who is truly valuable.

Barry LaBov
LaBov Marketing Communications and Training

Monday, February 18, 2013

Executive Physcian vs Standard Issue

I've known many excellent doctors and have made it a point to be friendly with as many of them as possible. After all when it comes to your health, why not be close to those who influence how well and long you live?

There are a few "executive" doctors who charge an access fee and in addition, charge for their treatment. In return, the patient gets 24/7 access to the doctor and presumably, superior service and expertise.

I think this is a fascinating model because it is not for everyone (because of the $$) but it does allow those who want superior medical attention that opportunity, for a price. And it's amazing because that model allows that physician the opportunity to do just thatfocus on a few patients.

The standard model in which a doctor has hundreds of patients and is running from one treatment room to another is certainly valid, but think of what it does? It reduces the chance of that doctor doing her or his very best, because it's impossible.

So, as always, I connect this to our businesses and wonder, how could we look at this and apply it? Do we charge an access fee and in return have fewer customers that we attend to? That sounds great, but along with that comes the reality that you must provide superior performance that the customer actually would consider paying an access fee for.

Barry LaBov
LaBov Marketing Communications and Training

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Before and After

Before and After photos. The internet is flooded with photos before and after a huge storm. Or we see shots of what someone did to improve their landscaping. Or maybe it's plastic surgery that some celeb did. It's interesting at first, but really, what does it matter most of the time?

We are almost always "stuck" with the after and can't undo it to get back to the before.

So, all we can do is either learn (the good or the bad) from the after or we can look at the before and appreciate it even more.

Barry LaBov
LaBov Marketing Communications and Training

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I've been "George-ed!"

George is a great guy. He does some IT stuff for me from time to time. I like George, but I never know what he did or how to fix it when it goes wrong. He comes up with various passwords that mean something to him at the moment, but make no sense to me. He connects stuff with other stuff that I would have no idea about.

When it all works, it's great. When it doesn't, it's maddening. George must like texts coming in from his customers at all times of the day or night, because that's the model he's created for his business.

When something doesn't work, I cry out, "I've been George-ed!" My family doesn't look forward to my declaration of being "George-ed" because it means tensions are high and hope for a timely solution is low. I can't figure out if this is fun for him or if he feels this is his duty, his calling in lifeto help the unfortunate, lost people who are not tech-savvy. But I'm guessing his wife has to be tired of the interruptions in their life that this causes (or maybe she wants him out of the house?).

Over the years, I've become smarter, and now unplug and restart everything I know George has set-up. Half the time that works. The other half of the time I resign myself to knowing, "I've been George-ed!"

Barry LaBov
LaBov Marketing Communications and Training

Friday, February 8, 2013


Having problems with quality control? Hire a super quality control person.

Having issues with customer satisfaction? Hire a super customer service person.

Having issues with morale? Hire a super HR person.

The above issues and answers, in my opinion, seldom work. But they do sound very smart. The answer is always that one super-perfect person who will solve whatever issue you have. The problem is, there is no perfect person and even a great person brings a little baggage along with them.

I believe that we search for the perfect person to fix our problems because we don't want to face up to and solve our problems.

Hey, if I create a lousy environment for quality and then bring in a super quality control person, I just might make things worse. After all, now it's that one person who is responsible for quality. Things will not get better until they get much worse.

We hate to face it, but we create most of our problems. We are the issue. We need to face the demons, fix what we broke and then if we need a super-somebody, they'll have a better chance to succeed.

Barry LaBov
LaBov Marketing Communications and Training

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Remember the old game, Twister? You'd end up with both hands on the floor in a weird position as each leg was twisted over the othergreat fun.

Well, the other day, I was analyzing how I was focusing on a difficult project, and I wrote down all the options I had. I reviewed that list of four different options and I found out why I was so frustrated. It wasn't because those options were wrong; it was because I was trying to do all four. I had my hands or legs in all four areas. Just like a Twister game.

It really is a pain to dabble and not commit. So, what I did was re-rack my plan. Now, what was strange was that my new plan looked similar to my old Twister approach, except that I did eliminate one option entirely and I tweaked a couple of others.

But at least I now have a plan and a direction and don't feel like a contortionist.

Barry LaBov
LaBov Marketing Communications and Training