Monday, September 10, 2012

Time Management Factors

Many people complain that they do not have enough time and can never get caught up. I want to share something with you that you might not expect.

 “You will never have enough time for everything no matter how hard you try.”


As long as you are in the workforce, work will keep coming your way. If you are adding any value at all to your business, every time you walk through the door of your workplace a new challenge will be waiting. The first step to time management is to accept that you will never get everything done and embrace it as symptom of success rather than a symbol of failure or poor performance.

People who are always caught up and not busy at work usually become redundant fairly quickly and you don’t want to be one of those.


In order to better manage your time for maximum efficiency, you must understand and admit to yourself that the problem is not a shortage of time...it is ineffective use of time!

The most successful people manage their time effectively, and then take action to accomplish more every day.  Good time managers have a laser-sharp focus on their work and an abundance of energy to get it done.

If you are constantly distracted from your work by outside, intervening forces, you will never manage your time effectively.

If you are lacking in energy and find your work to be drudgery or just too much to handle, you will never get ahead.

When you are often pulled away from the task at hand you will find yourself in a constant state of crisis management which can lead to misdirected action and burnout. If everything around you seems to be going wrong, you need to evaluate why you are being distracted from your real work. It could be that you are being affected by old prejudices, bad influences from co-workers or a lack of clear direction. Anything that distracts you from your primary tasks must be eliminated if you want to enjoy good time management.
If you find yourself having constant interruptions from co-workers or family members that are not directly related to your immediate task, ask them to wait until a more appropriate time. I must repeat that time management requires focus and you cannot focus if you are paying more attention to other people than you are to your own job.


If you find yourself being regularly short of energy, you must evaluate what is causing it, and then do something about it.

Low energy levels can be physiological or emotional. I would recommend that if you are tired all the time, you talk your doctor to rule out any sort of medical condition. If your health is good and you are still lacking in energy, you need to consider whether your lethargy is a result of family matters, personal problems, or a lack of engagement in your work.

When you have low energy levels and low focus, you will procrastinate and show up in body alone. You will hesitate to take initiative to get things done...often until it is too late. It is possible that your procrastination is a result of having little or no belief in your own abilities, perhaps you have a fear of failure, or maybe you have had a negative experience in the past which is preventing you from taking action. No matter what is causing your procrastination, you must push past it because it is one of the greatest killers of good time management there is.


Disengagement can be identified by liberal displays of apathy, excuses and cynicism.

 People who do not enjoy their jobs tend to fall into negative moods which prevent them from enjoying their work. When that happens they will do what my Mom would call “busy-work.” In other words they will do all sorts of unnecessary, ineffective things in order to avoid the important, pressing issues before them. Disengagement is one of greatest killers of time management.

If you are not engaged in your work, you must determine why.  Some causes of disengagement include, (but are not limited to) feeling unappreciated, believing you are overworked or not being paid enough to make ends meet. If any of those things apply to you, there is a good chance that your energy levels are low. If that is the case, you need to make some changes in your workplace situation in order to recharge your batteries and bring your energy levels back to where they should be. That might include speaking with your boss about your concerns and working out a plan for improvement.


Without energy, you cannot have focus.

So, why do you need focus? When you have focus you:

ð        Are not prone to radical emotional reactions.
ð        You are less likely to become distracted by unimportant things.
ð        You place full attention on truly meaningful things.
ð        You are better able to manage your time.

Once your energy levels are up and you are able to focus on your work, your life will improve immeasurably.

Time management is not about the clock or too much work...Time management is all about you!

All the Best
Wayne Kehl

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Everyone Can Be Successful

Like so many folks of my vintage, on the day I reached my sixtieth birthday, I began an involuntary self-assessment and reappraisal of my life. This was not a dramatic or religious rebirth; it was not a form of salvation or psychological liberation, and I did not “find myself” or “recreate myself”. Instead, this was a gentle wonderment about what I had done to get this far and what value I might have brought to the world.


As I pondered my life and my place in the world, I came to the conclusion that although I had been reasonably successful in a business sense, I had never been fabulously wealthy or incredibly famous...and I think I am fine with that because I am not sure how well I would have handled those things... At this point I will probably never find out. My mind then wandered to some of the people I met along the way. For the most part, those who achieved fabulous wealth and fame missed the mark in one very important area...they often lacked a genuine spirit of fun or a feeling of joy for just the simple pleasure of being alive.

Rich folks who are “self-made” or who move from poor to rich through hard work, intelligence and personal effort seem to give up so much of their souls that they seldom sit back and spend time enjoying the fruits of their labours. Despite the fact that they exceed the norms in terms of effort and accomplishment, they often miss out on the very things they work so hard to achieve. They start out wanting more money so they can have security; a grand lifestyle and possessions galore but once they get those things they feel no joy from them. Instead of taking time out to smell the roses and float in a sea of secure tranquility, they work even harder in order to grow their portfolio of possessions. Even when they are happy, it is seldom because of their wealth or the things they have acquired...and yet they continue to acquire “stuff”.


Unlike the rich folks I know, the poor, struggling or mediocre folks I have met generally seem to display a greater sense of good humour or pure joy on a much more regular basis. They appreciate small wins and simple acts of kindness. Any new experiences are wonderful and fun for them because they cannot afford to do whatever they want, whenever they want like their wealthy counterparts. They find humour in their own struggles and they laugh when they inadvertently engineer small failures in their lives. They don’t take themselves too seriously and they admire people who are simply kind or nice. They often joke about their own lack of money and how they have trouble making ends meet. They are often selfless and think nothing of putting themselves out to help another person. In short, non-wealthy people find happiness in the simplest of things. They enjoy life and they appreciate every good thing that comes their way.


My evaluation of this phenomenon is that rich people set the bar so high for themselves that it is impossible to reach for even the most aggressive of them. When they reach one goal, they set another, higher one. When they seem to have reached their maximum potential, they don’t go home and enjoy their lives, they seek more and greater opportunities to create wealth. No matter how much material success they attain, they know that someone somewhere has something they do not have and that creates a need in them to work harder to show the world that no one can best them. Competitive to a fault, they are driven by their own minds to continuously improve their positions in life.


Unlike the very rich, non-wealthy, not-famous people realize that despite any potential they might have, they will probably never reach the heights that the rich and famous wallow in. They accept that they have self-limiting characteristics that hold them back. They understand that despite all of the books, blogs, coaches and consultants that bombard us with well-intended, success-creating-propaganda on a daily basis, there is only room at the top for a select few. Most people do not practice, the “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” nor have they read that very popular book by Steven Covey. Most think that Tony Robbins is a great orator and brilliant thinker, but they really do not want to expend the effort or change their lives to the extent that he suggests in “Awaken the Giant Within”. For them, those concepts are for the not-so-regular people who float and fly about, making business deals and signing contracts on yachts or private jets. Those things are for “them”; “the others”; the “chosen few”. After all, if everyone on earth were rich, where would all of the money come from to overflow their bank accounts? Clearly we need a balance of rich, poor and middle-class to make our economy function for everyone.


Now that I am older and have very few years left to work, I understand that we all cannot be rich, but we all CAN be successful.

To those rich folks who are compelled by their minds to work tirelessly to create wealth, I say, “Good on you!” You make a difference!

To all of the non-wealthy people I say, “Great job!” You bring normalcy to the world and make all of us feel good about ourselves. You matter!


“Relative success is not about money or status. It is the measure of how others feel about you and how you feel about yourself.”

All the Best!

Wayne Kehl

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Can Anyone Become A Great Leader?


Please do not assume great leadership is required for success. Almost any organization can become financially successful through the application of excellent financial management principles, good research and development, professional marketing and strategic acquisition of highly qualified employees and managers. That however, is NOT leadership and the people who work in organizations that are not well led generally become disengaged over time. When that happens, performance wanes and sales decline.

Success without great leadership is a slippery slope that has caused many organizations to crash-and-burn despite fabulous market penetration and good financial growth.

Organizations with great leadership have staying power. They live on through all manner of market changes and economic woes. Great leaders run great organizations that are capable of remaining respected household names from one generation to the next.

Organizations with poor leadership are short lived. They eventually fade into distant memories of second-rate products, bad service and abysmal management.

 There is no replacement for great leadership.

Leadership is represented by the consistent application of the principles of:

·         Thoughtfulness,

·         Selflessness,

·         Integrity,

·         Compassion,

·         Respect,

·         Conscientiousness

·         And Courage.

All of these principles can usually be found in highly-regarded leaders. Does that sound like you? Does that sound like you at all times? If not, take heart...Leadership can be learned!

Great leaders, lead by example. Their unspoken intention is to consistently set a great example so that others may follow their lead. If you want to be a better leader, pay attention to great leaders and watch for the things that set them apart from others around them. Think about what makes them different.

If you observe revered leaders and analyse the things they do and say you will find some commonalities. Check out their mannerisms, their way of speaking, the time they give people and their smile patterns. You will notice that despite the gravity of any given situation they remain calm and focus on putting the minds of others at rest. In dire situations, when even they have no choice but to become emotional, they will quickly return to a more tranquil, composed state so that they may lead others to a safe and satisfactory end. Their sole purpose is to assist others and improve their lives.

Always Remember: The number one quality of a great leader is the desire to see others do well.

In order to put the principles of leadership to work in your own life, you must believe in yourself and you must be willing to change. Your mind and your very being must embrace three things:

1.       You must truly want to change.

2.       You must believe you can change.

3.       You must believe that change will improve your life and the lives of others.

If you are not a great leader and you are not willing to change, you are tip-toeing around the common definition of insanity: “Doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results.” Although you may not be insane when you avoid change, you cannot improve without it. The word, “improve” indicates a change for the better and improvement cannot happen on its own. It requires an outside, intervening force. That force is you!

If you go to work every day expecting others to change so that they can accept your leadership “style”, you will fail. Leadership is not about the people who must follow...it is about the person who is trying to lead...it is about you. If your style is not working, change it! If you continue to rely on a failing style, you will continue to fail in ever-increasing increments.

Open up your mind and be willing to learn new things. Here are five simple things you can do to discover your own leadership style in order to become a better leader:

1.       Ask your peers to describe your leadership style to you.

2.       Ask your followers how they feel about your leadership style.

3.       Be willing to accept criticism calmly.

4.       Act on the criticism you hear, with an aim to improvement.

5.       Review your “style” often.

If all else fails, get a coach. I specialize in leadership training and I am sometimes amazed at what some people think good leadership is. These are not bad people. They have simply grown up in an environment where negative or ineffective leadership styles are the norm. They only need a small but powerful push to get them back on the right track.

No...Only those people who follow the principles of leadership, who are able to change and who are willing to do a lot of ongoing self-discovery will climb to the ranks of the great leaders of history.

What are you doing to improve your leadership style? 

All the Best
Wayne Kehl

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Good Service? You Can Lead The Charge!

I have spent a good deal of my time lately, observing and writing about the seemingly ever-growing proliferation of bad customer service in North America. I have written about my own specific experiences with bad service; I have reported on Intellectual studies on bad service, and I have made recommendations on how to improve bad service. I have, grumbled, groused and whinged about the poor customer service we all experience in all sorts of businesses these days and how managers at all levels seems to be either impotent or powerless to generate any sort of tangible improvement.
Finding fault is a common pastime amongst writers because it is easier and more sensational than writing about the good around us. However, today I decided that I would lead a small but genuine charge up the hill of enmity and antagonism by offering heartfelt thanks to some men and women who serve us well and make our world a better place. If everyone would follow the example of just a few good people we would all be able to spend much less time moaning about service and spend much more time enjoying our lives.
We have become a world of complainers and our complaints appear to have become ubiquitous, self-fulfilling prophecies, but perhaps if we all take on the responsibility of thanking other people for the good things they do, more people will want to do good things so they too, can receive the gift of thanks.
Here are some thanks from me to a short list of great people who deserve a big helping of gratitude:
1.       Thank you to the men and women of the medical profession who despite constant and escalating budget cuts wake up every morning with the truly noble intention of saving lives and making the pain go away.
2.       Thanks to the waiter who greeted me as I walked through the door of his restaurant and made certain the service I received was so impeccable that my evening was even better than I had hoped.
3.       Thank you to the politicians who only garner attention when they do something wrong while attempting to satisfy everyone in their dominion on both sides of the political aisle.
4.       Thanks to the helpful young lady on the street who noticed that I appeared to be confused and stopped to ask if she could help me find my way.
5.       Thank you to the police and military men and women who despite being borne of ordinary human flesh are expected to always have hearts of lions and skin made of titanium.
6.       Thanks to the clothing-store clerk who acknowledged me, asked if she could help me, and made me feel very special when I tried on a new jacket.
7.       Thank you to the school teachers who are never paid very well but who do so much to shape our children’s minds while we are out making money to buy automobiles and three-door refrigerators.
8.       Thank you to all of the firemen, and all other emergency service personnel who willingly put their lives on the line so that others may live every time they suit up.
9.       Thanks to the hotel bellman who when sensing that I was not overjoyed with the room that was assigned to me, immediately moved me to a nicer room with a better view.
10.   Most importantly, thank you to everyone, everywhere who took a second from their day to look up and smile at me when I entered their field of view.
Good service is not complicated. It is merely an extension of normal, human kindness.
As much I am sometimes frustrated by the lack of kindness and altruism I find in many service providers of late, I believe that every person in the world who provides a service of any kind to other people is capable of selflessness and compassion for each person they serve. They are good people but many have lost their way. They have either forgotten, or never been made aware that their future depends on the customers who choose to deal or not to deal with them.
Business owners and managers should make a conscious effort to bring out the best in each and every one of their employees by providing the training and ongoing supervision necessary to make them competent, confident and poised. When a business fails to provide essential customer service tools to its employees, it does a great disservice to its customers, its workforce and its reputation.
If you want better service, try rewarding good service providers with courtesy, a smile and a heartfelt, “Thank You” ... Lead the charge! Let everyone know how much you value good service and you might just start a groundswell that will sweep the world.
All the Best!
Wayne Kehl

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Bad Customer Service Exposed

One of the United Kingdom’s top authorities on business practices, The Henley Business School has released a paper which indicates that two-thirds of all customers surveyed believe service levels of retailers and various other service-oriented businesses are at an all time low. The report goes on to say that these firms are arrogant and make no effort to understand their customers

I must admit that I have no first-hand knowledge of business practices in the UK, but I can definitely state that I believe service levels are at an all time low in Canada and the United States. I travel extensively in both countries and have experienced some service issues that I would never have existed even twenty years ago. What I find most perplexing is that during the most economically challenging decade of the past 100 years, businesses everywhere are allowing customers to walk out their doors empty-handed while rude, lazy, disengaged employees continue to receive pay checks! So what is the problem?

Because I am in the business of leadership and personal development training, when I am faced with bad service, I attempt to analyze it and in some cases, I go so far as to point it out to the offending service provider or his/her manager. In most cases, I find businesses that provide bad service are not managed well. In fact, in extreme cases they appear not to be managed at all. Managers in many establishments have stopped being leaders. They have stopped engaging in old-fashioned, hands-on, disciplined leadership. They allow customers to be ignored, bad employee attitudes to live, and poor or non-existent service levels to be the norm.

Twenty-first century management has lost its way in many cases. Until managers start to hold their employees accountable and until managers themselves are held accountable by their bosses, service levels will continue to slide.

Although very important, leadership is about more than setting a good example. Managers should be constantly observing the behaviour of their employees and taking corrective action at the time bad service occurs. They should remove the bad service provider from the floor, away from customers as soon as it is appropriate and tell them what they did wrong.  Employees should know their responsibilities and their obligations to customers in all situations. When they fail to live up to those responsibilities, they must be reprimanded and if improvement does not occur, they should be terminated. Is that wrong? Is it wrong to demand that employees provide good service? If believing that is wrong, I must be living in the wrong century.

Managers should also be made to understand their obligations and responsibilities to customers, employees and their employer before they are allowed to manage. I can hardly believe that some of the nasty, rude, dismissive, and absent service I have witnessed, was carried out while someone with the title of manager was actually on the premises. In many of these cases, the bad service was not even isolated to one or two people. In some cases I have seen establishments with dozens of employees who seemed not to want to provide service to any customers. If you own a retail or service-oriented business, do you know what is going on with your employees? Do you care?

The typical reasons cited for bad service include “too busy, understaffed, new employees and the computers are down.” All of these are simply excuses for bad management. Most importantly, managers who give these excuses are generally poor leaders. They make excuses rather than simply owning up to their responsibilities for bad service and holding themselves accountable. Managers with poor leadership skills are also generally afraid of confrontation. Rather than disciplining a bad service provider, they tend to look the other way and hope that no one notices. Unfortunately for them, as the Henley Business School has pointed out, the world is noticing...big time!

Billions of dollars are lost to bad service world-wide every year. That trend will not improve until the retailers and other service providers take the initiative to regain control by holding managers and employees accountable for impeccable service.

I am looking forward to a future rife with great service. To that end, l would appreciate it you would send me examples of good service that you have recently experienced. Let me have the names and locations of those businesses and I will post them on this blog so that readers will know where the best service providers are. I will not however, post the names and locations of bad service providers because there are simply too many of them!

Please email your good-service examples along with your contact information to wkehl@dlionline.ca.

All the Best!

Wayne Kehl

If you would like some help to improve the customer service levels of your business, please get in touch with us. You can find out more about Dynamic Leadership at www.dlionline.ca .

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day Reflections

Another Father’s Day has come and gone and for some it was a grand time filled with celebration and excitement while for others it went by almost unnoticed.

No matter how you spent the day, I hope you thought deeply about your relationship with your father. If you are an adult, living away from your father’s home, your relationship will have changed somewhat from the days when you resided under the same roof. You might not be able to experience the physical closeness that you once had with your Dad, but you can always remember his lessons and his love.

It is important for us all to remember what we learned from our Dad’s because no matter how much we might have disagreed with it at the time, deep within everything they said there was a grain of wisdom and truth, wrapped up in loving intentions. Our Dad’s tried to send us on a path...regardless of whether or not it was a path we wanted to follow doesn’t matter now. What matters is that in our Dad’s mind, he wanted us to do well. No matter how harsh, how mild, how emphatic or how ordinary his words or his actions might have seemed at the time, it was his intention to help us to a better, brighter future.

Some of you have lost your Father and that is sad because you will never be able to tangibly experience his lessons or his love again. Some of you have simply lost touch with your Father because of logistics or disagreements. If your father is still alive and you have not spoken with him for some time, I encourage you to remember the good times with your Dad and think about visiting him or at least picking up the phone. Don’t wait for him to call you...Father’s often tend to want their children to fly-on-their- own once they have left the nest. They sometimes fear that they might interfere in the natural flow of life that their offspring enjoy. Sometimes they simply fear rejection from the one they love the most! Forgive them, for they are trapped within their own belief system!

The relationship between a Father and his Son or Daughter is special. It is the Father’s role to protect his progeny from harm and make certain that life treats them fairly. Most men are born with a natural propensity for paternity. We understand from an early age that although we cannot give birth, we must be the ones who make the lives or our children wonderful; filled with fun, happiness, and security. Most of us Dad’s will go through life, thinking about our children and wondering if at any moment in time, they are out of harm’s way. We will drop whatever we are doing and race to the aid of our kids if we sense that they are in trouble or if danger is lurking. A father’s life is not complete until he is confident that his children are going to always be safe and secure. A father is an instinctive defender of his children and most of us take that role very seriously. Sometimes we might seem overly protective...but we can’t help it!

Most importantly, Father’s love their children. Often, because of familial or cultural conditioning, men do a poor job of expressing their love. They hold back and do the manly thing of being strong, curt, and even critical. The most uncommunicative fathers frequently wish they could be more expressive...that they could be more like mothers who kiss the tears away from their children’s eyes while consoling them and telling them that everything will be okay.

For some Father’s protection means being tough...it means teaching kids that the world is a harsh place and that children must learn to be strong in order to survive. For some kid’s it seems that nothing they do is ever good enough for their Dad. In reality, everything difficult thing they do to try in order to meet Dad’s standards or to please Dad is exactly what he wants. He wants to see them TRY and he wants to see them put in a good deal of effort. Even if perfection is not achieved, regardless of whether he cheers, nit-picks, or criticizes, a Dad only wants to see his children do well. His paternal instinct tells him that he must be involved and he must always impart lessons to his kids so that they can succeed in all they do.

Next year on Father’s Day, I hope you think deeply about your Dad and all of the good he brought into your life. Forget about the bad things! The past is in the past and can never be repeated. However, if you remember the good lessons and how they shaped your present, the future will seem oh, so much brighter.

All the Best!

Wayne Kehl

Monday, May 21, 2012

How To Improve Your Customer Service

As I travel around North America for various business opportunities, I find myself encountering all sorts of customer service styles...some good and some very, very bad! It seems that no matter how many consultants and business coaches and in-house customer service trainers teach employees how to provide good service we, the consuming public continue to fall victim to bad service in almost every sort of establishment that wants our money!

In sake of fairness, I must say that I do come across establishments that provide extremely good service. However, those seem to be the exception rather than the rule. In order to encourage more good service, when I am fortunate enough to find it, I thank the provider and tell them how much I appreciate it. Occasionally, I will even seek out the manager of the establishment to tell him what a great job his employee did for me and to ask him or her to keep up the good work. A pat on the back goes a long way!
The main reason that individuals provide bad service comes down to a simple bad attitude. The person who doesn’t care enough to provide good service generally has the attitude that what they are doing doesn’t matter, that the establishment  does not matter, that their customer’s do not matter, that the thing they are selling does not matter or in the worst cases, that nothing in life matters.
The owners and operators of establishments that provide bad service are at fault too. They often seem oblivious to the bad service their employees provide or the fact that they are losing hundreds or even thousands of dollars every week because customers hate dealing with them!
Various surveys and studies over the past decade indicate that 60% to 70% of all lost business is a result of the attitude of customer service personnel or sales people.
The lost business accounts for hundreds of millions of dollars in lost business every year world-wide. Despite these alarming losses, businesses continue to tolerate employees with bad attitudes and will often defend the attitude of their miserable or thoughtless employees as being “unusual” or even by simply denying it.
I think that business leaders all over the world would agree that they want their business to be considered a good place to do business. With that in mind, here are some things you might consider doing to improve the “attitude” of your employees and recover some of those lost “bad-service dollars”:
1.       When you observe a bad customer service attitude deal with it immediately. Wait until the customer is gone and then confront the employee, letting them know where they went wrong and how to improve. If the attitude or behaviour goes unchecked it will be hard to change later.
2.       Put on seminars and workshops to explain to your employees what good customer service should look like.  Tell them and what you expect from them when they interact with customers and what is not acceptable. Give them a “customer service roadmap” to follow.
3.       Some of the best establishments have actual, written customer service manuals. These can help even the most “block-headed” employees understand the difference between good and bad customer service and the value of it. Write it down so that they can read it and retain it in their minds.
4.       “Inspect what you expect”. It is not good enough to simply tell your people to provide good service. Monitor your establishment’s customer service by getting out of your office and watching your employees as they interact with customers. Just your presence on the floor should improve service...If not, you might need to work on your leadership skills.
5.       Ask random people you meet. Ask other business people, folks you meet at parties, or people you meet in the grocery store, if they have been to your establishment and if so, how they felt about the service. You might be surprised what you hear.
6.       Send out customer service surveys. Send out surveys to as many customers as possible in order to get a fair sampling. Some people complain about everything when asked but if your get the same complaint over and over again, you can be quite certain that you have a problem.
7.       Put a customer satisfaction application on your website. Allow customers to rate their satisfaction with your service and provide a box for comments. We live in an online world and many people are more likely to comment if they can do it online.
8.       Tell your employees what you have learned. When you have done your monitoring, inspections and surveys, have meetings with all employees to let them know what you heard, what their customers are saying about them, and what you would like to see in the future.
9.       “Thank your superstar employees for providing great service.” Let everyone in your establishment know who that stars are and what they do that is different. A good service attitude can become contagious when it is openly praised or rewarded.
10.   Get tough on bad service providers. This area of business leadership is often ignored or avoided due to the simple fear of confrontation. As tough as it may be to be critical of another human being you have to accept that the establishment leader is ultimately responsible for the success or failure of the business. You must deal directly and sometimes harshly with the bad attitudes of your employees. Don’t become the victim of someone else’s attitude!
Don’t let your business earn a reputation for bad service. Get involved with your employees to assure that their interactions provide the best possible buying experience for your customers. Make service the number one priority of your business and assure your longevity and success well into the future!   
Dynamic Leadership Inc. is a premier provider of personal development training in North America. Ask them to put on their “Attitude and Ethics” seminar for your employees as soon as possible.