Category Archives: DEVELOPING YOU!

TRIPLE III TIME: Express Trainings & Learnings

Whether I am working with young adult students or workers employed in any sector and at any level, the costs related to additional education for skill development are always a concern.  Tuition, housing and book fees at a university, customized training for your leadership group and/or video-conferenced CNC instruction all carry significant cost factors that impact individuals or a specific company…who are just trying to promote the value of continuous learning.

However, today I believe the assumed value of historic education options has shifted due to cost and skill need prioritization.  And as a quiet but effective and efficient compromise…Express Trainings & Learnings opportunities have been steadily introduced in multiple unique online formats.

Check out the following examples:

And now you are asking:  “What are the points I am trying to make in this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message entitled:  Express Trainings & Learnings?”

Well first in general I would like everyone to consider the examples given and challenge yourselves, co-workers and those you supervise to seek out quality, no-cost, no-travel online Express Trainings & Learnings courses as a means of creating a customized continuous professional improvement/development plan.

If you are selective in your choices…you will challenge the “you only get what you pay for” belief with credible no-cost options.  You may also come to realize that many in the HR profession do not know what they don’t know with regard to the wide range of available new age Express Trainings & Learnings.

Change has happened and continues in this area.  Employers are giving more consideration to the quality personal traits of job candidates FIRST and understand that direct job training and learning maybe just a click away.

A concluding final fun thought or two:  Modern is…as Modern does.  Or better yet:  Future is…as Future does.  Are YOU Modern and Future doing.

Express Trainings and Learnings

TRIPLE III TIME: Investment Strategies For Your TIME!

Doesn’t it seem like today everyone believes we no longer have 24 hours in a day!?  That work time goes by somewhat slow…but home and recreation time races by.  That no matter how effective and efficient we try to be with our time management plans…that we never seem to finish one task well enough to satisfy ourselves and thereby move forward to the next project frustrated.

Reality?  Fast & Diversified…that seems to be the “life-pace new normal”!  So with that in mind let’s take this TRIPLE III TIME message opportunity and talk about Investment Strategies For Your TIME!

First we need to specifically consider your TIME as a special company asset.  What do I mean?  Think about your TIME as:

  • Something only you own
  • A limited resource
  • Something non-renewable
  • Priceless

Then think specifically how you “spend/utilize” your TIME asset everyday.  Consider workplace and personal products or services you complete/deliver.  This approach may be very difficult…but it is the only means to determine if you are getting an appropriate Return-On-Investment (ROI) for your TIME.

Consider TIME draining activities like:

  • Are you “triple-guessing” yourself on a decision already made?
  • Spending an inappropriate amount of time with those who chose to do the minimum?
  • Participating in “old-news” actions and not future-building issues?
  • Finding yourself working for technology demands…rather than making technology work for you to advance?
  • Focusing so much to make sure everyone is doing everything correctly….that innovation is ignored?

Bottomline: Devising Investment Strategies For Your TIME is a very personal consideration.  Just like no one invests their savings the same way…no two people should invest their TIME the same way.

Give yourself some TIME…to consider your TIME investments.  I believe your ROI will be worth it.


TRIPLE III TIME: “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff” (or should you?)

First we have all heard the saying:  “Don’t sweat the small stuff!”…right?  In fact I believe there is even a series of books all about learning how to not get caught up in the little life/work issues.  And yes I believe it is easy and almost natural to sometimes worry too much for too long about things that maybe you really don’t have control over.

But now you are asking…why does this week’s TRIPLE III TIME:  “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff” (or should you?) message seem to indicate that that philosophy is all wrong?

Let me explain.

As I observe the world of work from any angle…I believe the “small stuff” is what separates good from great in so many ways.  In support of this belief, let me toss out a few examples to ponder.

  • Calling someone back reasonably quick as part of professional courtesy.
  • Turning work assignments in early because it’s the right professional thing to do.
  • Share communications to all involved…so they don’t “hear it on the street”.
  • Compliment those who “go the extra mile”…their smiles are an immediate gratification for both.
  • Recognize return business with much more than they expect.
  • Notice students who arrive early for class…it will have a lasting effect.
  • Don’t hoard the gift of respect…apply it with skill.
  • Remember holding a grudge can go both ways and creates professional arthritis.
  • Accepting compromise (at any level) sets a replicable example.
  • Say you are wrong…when you are.IMG_9863

Ok…I will admit that some of these examples aren’t normally small…but if handled simply and correctly they should stay small.

Finally, think of a real life occurrence of each of these examples and maybe if you just sweat the small stuff…there will be less BIG stuff.


It has been quite some time since we have selected or used the term EMPOWERMENT as part of a TRIPLE III TIME message.  Yes I have utilized the intent of EMPOWERMENT in many of my consultant activities and in a unique way also in my teaching approaches.  However just to make sure we all are thinking about the topic of A New Day For EMPOWERMENT in the same manner… here is the GOOGLE EMPOWERMENT definition:

“The process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights.”

So why are we suggesting “A New Day?”

As we exit the COVID hangover era, I believe it is even more critical than ever to follow an EMPOWERMENT philosophy with workers (and students) in all areas.  Our last three years has seemingly clouded the meaning and expectation of full-time work, what it means to mentally and physically be “on-the-job”, re-understanding that doing the minimum is not good job performance, and if wages/benefits go up… so to should the level of job completion responsibilities.

I do understand that the “pool” of qualified employees is low and the concern for retaining good employees is high… so over-extending the principles of EMPOWERMENT may not seem timely.  However, I believe that highlighting the importance of high-quality personal and professional responsibility as a workplace culture, will do more to help recruit more appropriate candidates and retain those who understand your/their performance cause.

Taking solid steps toward initiating A New Day For EMPOWERMENT will create a new return-on-investment from your workforce (or class of students).  Give it a try.


TRIPLE III TIME: A Quarter-By-Quarter “Growth Chain”

It is the New Year:  2023!  And by now we have all heard about the multiple New Year resolutions/promises/wishes…that are put on the “to-do” list by everyone!  However, (just to be difficult) I am feeling really confident that NO ONE has put out a new year resolution that says they will create and climb A Quarter-By-Quarter “Growth Chain”?!

Ok…go ahead and ask:  “What is he talking about when he refers to A Quarter-By-Quarter “Growth Chain”?

 Well I believe everyone needs to have at least an informal process and schedule to motivate themselves in the area of personal/professional/ or organizational development.  Too often we make pledges and plans to initiative and accomplish certain things…but somehow they get lost in the everyday-isms.  By creating and climbing A Quarter-By-Quarter “Growth Chain”, I am confident measurable achievements can be made.

How do you start a “Growth Chain”?

Growth ChainFirst close your eyes and picture a traditional supply chain design that identifies “scaling-up” over 2023’s four (4) quarters.  Second consider a personal/professional/or organizational development you will like to address at the beginning level of your Growth Chain.  The development challenge doesn’t have to be “world-changing”…it just has to be something you feel would make a difference if initiated!  Then as you make progress and move your first challenge up the Growth Chain over a ninety (90) day period…you would start another objective again at the beginning level.

Can you see it?

Using a supply chain visual has always been helpful to me as a director and consultant.  Applying this approach in a personal…”Growth Chain” way allows you to focus…be creative…flexible…and recognize achievements.

Good luck in 2023 and have fun with your Quarter-By-Quarter “Growth Chain”!

TRIPLE III TIME: Lessons About Expectations

As I have thought about this final TRIPLE III TIME message for 2022, my mind has gone in a ton of different directions!  First I thought about a “BEST OF” III list for the year…Nah?  Then I considered highlighting a couple experiences that have come my way as a teacher, consultant, parent and/or friend…again NAH?  Finally, as I zeroed-out all of the ideas that just didn’t seem to qualify as a special year-end, extra meaningful message, an almost too natural, too appropriate topic idea came to mind:

Lessons About Expectations!

What exactly am I referring to when I suggest discussing Lessons About Expectations?

Well this past year I had assigned myself a lot of high expectations with regard to what I wanted to achieve professionally in multiple areas.  High expectations in my role as an innovator and organizational development consultant.  Creativity expectations as a college instructor and campus director.  Attendance growth as a student recruiter and event sponsor.  And renewal of connections with friends and colleagues to expand my network of great, inspiring people!!

For those that really know me… even good progress in one or all of these areas would register as “expectation-adequate” in my mind.  Right or wrong this is/has been my style.  But I found there are some very life-style Lessons About Expectations when I selected my TOP 5 for 2022:

  • Two great speakers told me (as I whined about poor attendance at their event): “Marv the people who are meant to be here…ARE…so be proud!”
  • One quiet student told me: “I have learned more in your class than in any one of my high school classes…so don’t change anything!”
  • A successful businessperson reminded me: “Most groups have not experienced the good times/people you have…so be patient and help them at their speed!”
  • I complain that I never know how many people REALLY read these III messages…then I get an email from someone in Australia that says: “I really liked the one about your father last year!”
  • A long-time friend/colleague explained that: “Marv you don’t always need a TOP 10…5 points to consider will do!”

So although there are other very valuable 2022 Lessons About Expectations… please enjoy these TOP 5 as we look forward to 2023.

Higher Expectations


Every semester at the end of each American Government & Politics class the students and I conduct an “informal assessment” of the course.  I ask questions like:

  • Were the tests fair?
  • Should we have used the book more?
  • Were the weekly assignments too much?
  • Were the guest presenters good/have valuable ideas/concepts?

The results are always insightful, discussion-worthy and helpful as I plan for future class sessions.

This year I added one more discussion question to the list. As a student…what is your greatest strength… and then your biggest weakness? Here are a few examples of their answers.      


There were several others but many could be combined with any one of these.  Then “out-of-the-blue” one student asked: “What is your major strength and weakness?”

Well to say that I was caught off guard is probably an understatement…but I knew they wanted an answer!

Image[11149]The weakness I stated was that: “I am the most impatient person you will meet because I expect it done yesterday”. And on the strength side I said: “I practice innovation and believe there is always a better way of doing a job…any job… everyday…EVERYDAY!”

I believe I gave them the answer they were looking for but then I asked: “Why is the strength/weakness question important?”  Silence…no comments.

I concluded the class by telling them that they should plan for a question about personal strengths and weaknesses every time they interview for a job.  That today more than ever before companies/organizations are looking for people that can add-value to their service or product. And how you answer this question could make a real difference in your future.

I think they will do fine! But what about YOU…could you answer the strength/weakness question with confidence?  



TRIPLE III TIME: Where Do YOU Fall On The Request For Advice/Input/Help “Scale”?

This week we are going to discuss an issue that impacts EVERYONE…as leaders, parents, co-workers, friends…EVERYONE!  I can’t say that we are asking about a personality trait or something that was learned as you grew up.  But this TRIPLE III TIME message is all about:  Where Do YOU Fall On The Request For Advice/Input/Help “Scale”?

 Ok, let me explain the question a little better.

When someone at home or in your workplace brings up an issue that they are having trouble dealing with…are you:

  • The “Advice God” with the absolute right answer every time?
  • The “Critical Evaluator” that criticizes all that someone has tried to do?
  • The “Forever Analyst” that just believes taking more assessment time is best?
  • The “There Are Many Other Issues Confuser” that makes the issue more complex than need be?


  • The “Quiet Listener” that hears the whole story but says nothing?
  • The “Did You Try This Suggester” that has unlimited ideas one can consider?
  • The “My Experience Tells Me Teacher” that only considers a historic action?
  • The “I Will Help Volunteer” that uses partnerships for progress?

ImageMy guess is that we have all experienced people in our daily lives that fits into one or more of these categories…but again where are YOU on the Advice/Input/Help Scale?

Well I will admit that there have been times and issues when I have fit into any one of the eight Scale examples.  Why?  Because it is the ISSUE that most often draws out the Scale option in you.  However, the goal of this TRIPLE III TIME message is to help everyone examine their Advice/Input/Help Scale style and be better choosers of Scale options as issues come up.  Is it easy…NO…but will it help build quality partnerships and better product/service outcomes…YES!


TRIPLE III TIME: Assumed Professional Development

It is time to take a TRIPLE III TIME professional development survey for yourself and those that work with you.

QUESTION #1:  How many professional development events do you and/or your workers participate in each year?

QUESTION #2:  Do you assume personal and co-worker progress happens based on regular work experience, tradition, interorganizational interactions… other?

QUESTION #3:  Do you/your organization make a conscious effort to fiscally invest in employee professional development…regularly or just because “it’s that time again”?

With much of my recent consulting work centered on helping everyone PRIORITIZE…I overlooked that Assumed Professional Development is an unfortunate organizational weakness.

What am I trying to say?

Today I believe everyone in every job and career planning area suffers due to Assumed Professional Development.  Workers just like facilities need to be attended to… upgraded… modernized and shown appreciation for what they mean to an organization.  Even high school and college students need to experience and feel a different form of professional development.  The world of education has changed dramatically in the past few years…and wouldn’t it be cool to host a unique “Student-isms For Today & Tomorrow” workshop…maybe twice a year!  A special session that would offer students self-improvement recommendations, ideas and insight on how to be a better student in the “school-place” everyday…EVERYDAY!  Has anyone considered this challenge…yet?

Bottomline:  Believing Assumed Professional Development happens “naturally”, is only a hope.  Planned Professional Development is a strategic, strong form of preventative maintenance and structured growth in the workplace and perhaps for our students too.  Think about it and let me know your reactions.

professional development

TRIPLE III TIME: Teams/Teaming By Assignment or By Wish?

Over the last nine (9) years (yes nine years of TRIPLE III TIME messages) we have talked about Teams/Teaming and why they are important in our everyday worlds of work.  But to be honest I really didn’t understand nor take stock of the critical “building-block” advice that was often contained in each message.  Whether the value was with other staff members or partners in a product/service area, Teams/Teaming never lowers in professional value!

This week however we will look at Teams/Teaming from a special angle.  As people have discussed the structure of their Boards with me as part of consulting, we talk about the difference between being “ASSIGNED” to a Board versus someone who “WISHES” to join a Board.

magnifiedThink about it.  Consider the commercials that show someone being picked for a team because they are cool and the best.  Or back in grade school when people were picked ahead of you because they were better at a certain sport/activity.  Are you thinking?  Would people pick you or your organization/business FIRST to be on their TEAM??

Before you answer that question, I think you need to first consider another set of TOP 10 questions:

  1. Do you try to retain an “always progressive” professional stance?
  2. Do you embrace a teaming priority to ensure everyone wins together with any project?
  3. Does your group feel pride and proud of what they do…what they produce?
  4. Does your organization retain a questionable “pick me-pick me” over-whelming communication style?
  5. Does your agency portray an attitude of always being ready for the next challenge?
  6. Do people feel safe coming to you for input?
  7. Do leaders think of you/your group when they consider setting an innovative precedent?
  8. Would people/organizations brag that they are Teams/Teaming with you/your organization?
  9. Would someone want to join your Board based on your history?
  10. Would someone want to experience “repeat-business” with you or your group?

Teams/Teaming By Assignment or By Wish is an interesting self-analysis activity.  Give it a try.

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