TRIPLE III TIME: “Planting Seeds”

For those who are regular readers of my TRIPLE III TIME blog messages, you are assuming that this “Planting Seeds” message will be a fun tale about my Dad, spring planting season, and why it is important to begin tomorrows work!  Well…you are wrong.

Today we are going to take a survey and think professionally WHO supports you by “Planting Seeds” for your development.  Then at the same time…look around and consider those who you may influence by “Planting Seeds” in your workplace, at home or during regular conversations with friends and family.

To be more specific, how often do you use “Planting Seeds” words like:

  • Quality matterssoil-2561136__340
  • Calculated risk-taking
  • Investigating for tomorrow
  • Influencing decisions
  • Driving the conversation
  • Experience-based learning
  • Everyone’s a leader
  • Remembering your roots
  • Not always about the money

I believe it is critical to remember the impact you can have by “Planting Seeds” that are positive and progressive everyday…EVERYDAY!  Don’t waste this opportunity to make a quiet undeniable daily difference.

TRIPLE III TIME: Managing Negativity

One of the most challenging responsibilities of a leader is Managing Negativity in the workplace. Many times…unfortunately…there is one person in your business or agency that complains about their job, whines about change actions, spreads misinformation about leadership decisions, or all of the above…and maybe more.  The result is an ongoing leadership time management dilemma and a need to effectively decide how much time and energy should be dedicated to this often-single Managing Negativity issue?!

scalesWell, my advice/recommendation in this TRIPLE III TIME message comes from my career experience as an organizational leader and my consulting learning moments.  When you think about Managing Negativity…think FIRST about ALL of the people you manage.  Second, determine the percentage this negative person (or persons) make up of your total workforce.  For example, one (1) of ten (10) equals 10% or two (2) of fifty (50) equals 4%.  Then ask yourself: Am I dedicating as much leadership time Managing Negativity as I am managing/leading the other 9 or 48 working with me who are doing GREAT?

I believe…I know it is critical for those in leadership positions to try extremely hard to use an “equal-time” guide when Managing Negativity. Those who are trying hard and doing well will appreciate the progressive attention and development time with you.  Those practicing negativity will receive no more than “their fair share” of your leadership time and may realize that they are not attaining the special attention they seek.  Instead their non-productive habits are causing them to become more distanced from you, co-workers and yes, their job.

Managing Negativity is not easy…but being a great leader isn’t always easy either.



Partnerships…PURE PARTNERSHIPS are often the key to high value, long-term personal and professional relationships. Continually enhancing current and developing new partnerships is just the right thing to do! Hopefully, this PURE PARTNERSHIPS LEARNING MOMENTS podcast offers a few helpful hints along this path.



TRIPLE III TIME: “Evaluation Learning 101”

This week I have been involved in a special evaluation project with a long-time partner organization. As you can guess evaluation has not been my career-long area of interest.  Mostly I love being on the front-creative end of any project… instead of researching and measuring how it went.  However, this time the evaluation event caused me to look back to my farm roots to better realize missed Evaluation Learning 101 opportunities with my Dad

thumbnail_image1Dad was always a cautious risk-taker.  Whether the challenge was crops, livestock, or farm machinery…he was always ready to try something different. I remember tractors.  John Deere, Massey Ferguson, International, and even a David Brown.  As a young man, it was fun to work with them, test them and see what was special about each.  But interestingly, I never knew what Dad thought…nor did he ever ask me?  This absence of Evaluation Learning 101 conversation is the point of this week’s TRIPLE III TIME message.

There is a tremendous amount of Evaluation Learning 101 that never occurs due to a lack of communication.  Think about it.  Do you have regular communication about unique sales techniques you used that worked great?  If you helped a person with a ton of challenges get a start-up job through special coaching time…do all of your co-workers know?  Or if you partnered with a new group to have greater access to all kind of cool resources… did you share your strategy?

I wish Dad had shared his Evaluation Learning 101 process for measuring options and opportunities.  YOUR Evaluation Learning 101 experiences have lifetime value.  So share your Evaluation Learning 101 occurrences every time you can.  Waiting for a better time to share may never come.

TRIPLE III TIME: The Innovation Drain

One of the greatest challenges of being an INNOVATIONIST is trying to maintain a steady supply chain of productivity experience.  OK…what the heck did I just say?  Well, what I mean is that as you work with people or groups and steadily expend your innovation and creativity energy and ideas…you also need to maintain some form of new, unique, non-traditional input dreamer activity to balance the output action.

This balance is an almost necessity in both your personal and professional worlds. Typically, if you have developed a reputation for being the “IDEAS” person (i.e. Innovationist), friends, family, co-workers, students, and business partners all tend to seek your advice on something.  The Innovation Drain that results tends to make you wonder: “Am I losing my edge?” … “Are my Innovationist days numbered?” … or “Can I really help whoever find the creative solutions they need?”

analyzing-people-3441040_960_720My TRIPLE III TIME response/advice is to make sure you better balance your innovative inputs and outputs.  First, make sure you take time to connect with “your own kind” (i.e. fellow Innovationists) to gain regular dreamer inputs.  Second, seek out books, articles and other written pieces on new approaches to old problems and absorb the concepts discussed.  Third, remember that innovative ideas do NOT have to be big and/or save-the-world impacting.  Rather, just inspiring individuals to openly share THEIR IDEAS about continuous improvement…is innovation at it’s best!

Finally, don’t allow The Innovation Drain to continue for a long period of time.  Quality, confidence, uniqueness and inspirational spontaneity can all disappear.

Let me know your thoughts.

TRIPLE III TIME: The Value of Example Setting

As I have worked with leaders from the private and public sectors, most recently I have tried to emphasize The Value of Example Setting in all that they do.  Close your eyes and think about how you would grade yourself and those in leadership positions that you know…with regard to the professional examples that they set.

Seriously, would you give them (or yourself because YOU are a leader too!) an A – B – C – D – E or F with regard to Example Setting in the areas of:


  • Visioning
  • Prioritizing
  • Communication
  • Fairness
  • Time Management
  • Consistency
  • Use of Dollars
  • Partnership Building
  • Appreciation
  • Inclusion

These are the TOP 10 Example Setting areas that I believe are “on display” in both your personal and professional life everyday…EVERYDAY! Therefore, remember The Value of Example Setting is PRICELESS…so never waste the opportunity.



TRIPLE III TIME: Helping Career Runaways

The process for identifying a career area to pursue has followed a similar pattern for a number of years. Research, observation, career consulting and networking have all been contributors to career development.  Additionally, with the new era opportunities offered via online access the availability of job information has widened to a level never dreamed of!  However, I believe the challenge of deciding what career track to follow has actually become more difficult.  The information overload, the speed of job creation, job changes and yes even job eliminations have enabled some who have tremendous world-of-work potential…to become Career Runaways.

business-3683396__340Career Runaways are those who often enter a workplace due to convenience or fiscal necessity.  And even though you might think I’m talking about todays young adults, let me assure you that Career Runaways are found at every age level. No don’t misunderstand my position!  Many Career Runaways are very successful in the jobs or work areas that they are involved in.  They have a great work ethic and an excellent company/organization supporting mindset.  But are they able to make the professional development impacts that they might with just a little more education, training, opportunity exposures and/or just plain encouragement?

Today more than ever before…I feel that FULL (i.e. FULL TIME + CAPACITY) employment is in some way everyone’s job.  Whether it is job coaching a young person, encouraging a friend to just take one class, admitting to co-worker’s failure moments that helped you try harder and/or not being afraid to build a network of colleagues that have professional expectations of your true potential.

Bottomline: Help who and whenever you can. Consider it an opportunity of a lifetime…because you may never know the extended good that you may do.

Learning Moments Podcast: ADULT Job Shadowing


Today jobs are so different.  When you see a job title…you get a basic idea of the job and what is involved with the position.  But reality lets you know very quickly that there is always much more behind every job title.

So, for this month’s LEARNING MOMENTS podcast, I would like you to think about the enormous value of ADULT Job Shadowing!  I will try to explain why job shadowing isn’t just for young people anymore and how it can help meet the “behind the job title” challenges!

I hope you enjoy the discussion.


TRIPLE III TIME: Regional Economic Innovation

Many years ago, I was fortunate to partner with Michigan State University’s Center for Regional Economic Innovation (MSU-REI). Not only did we have a couple of cool, unique community development projects…but we also “shared the stage” from time to time to present on the importance of supporting Community/Business/Education/Entrepreneurship economic innovation initiatives!

Well linked to this message is a special video that the MSU-REI produced to allow “Innovationists” from all over Michigan to share a few thoughts and ideas on why promoting ENTREPRENEURSHIP is critical everyday…EVERYDAY!

I hope you enjoy it and take the time to visit the MSU-REI website to read about the wide variety of innovative projects that they have sponsored over the years.

Risk Takers: Improving Communities through Economic DevelopmentRisk Takers


People on different occasions have asked me where I draw the INSPIRATION to draft weekly III blog messages and/or the monthly LEARNING MOMENTS podcasts. And I have to admit that although it seems real basic…I really do find ideas on the spur of the moment…in any location…and at any time.  But as I considered the question a little deeper…I thought it might be helpful to find a better answer for: “INSPIRATION…Where?”

First, how about writing down the greatest INSPIRATION sources you can quickly identify:idea-3908619__340

  • Family
  • Historical Moments
  • Great Leaders
  • Movies
  • Songs
  • Recognition Actions
  • Heros
  • Successful People

Everyone’s list can and should be different but truly there is no wrong answer in your list.

Second, ask yourself the question: How often do I “consider” one or more of these INSPIRATION sources when I am challenged in my life or work areas.  Do I take the time to ask, “What would he or she do?”  or “Is the return on investment great enough to take a chance based on past positive impactful moments/actions?”

I believe that taking the time to allow INSPIRATION to play a vital role in making quality decisions is absolutely correct.  Also, when confused, lost, or unsure on an issue, it is more than OK to look back and draw confidence from your sources of INSPIRATION.  Similar to other influences like our parents, religion and where you call home, INSPIRATION sources helped build who you are!

INSPIRATION…Where?” …don’t forget to look behind, in front and all around you.





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