Jul 09 2011

Grudge Sludge!

When you carry a grudge


. . . there’s no room to


carry your business!



The old Dutch proverb and German expression,“Vee grow too soon oldt, und too late shmart” sums up much of why we fail miserably to fully understand and effectively cultivate relationships. Our seeming inability to let go of the angry feelings someone close to us once provoked has toppled many business ventures, even entire empires.


But, ah, the ability to forgive and forget those who crossed us up is a choice

And the consequences of making or not making that forgive-and-forget choice are the differences between:


  • Suffering a permanent or recurring headache that’s potentially terminal to you and your enterprise– because by holding on, you are wasting energy and choosing to subject yourself (and ultimately your business) to someone else’s control.

Carrying a grudge is

what leadership is not!


Many of us carry more grudges than we are probably conscious of. We keep them in our throats, and they come out as guttural utterances when certain names or circumstances surface. We keep them in little invisible knapsacks in our brains that send a flood of upset feelings into our nervous systems whenever they’re unzipped.

Some people get tight chest muscles (love relationships), tight shoulders (related to responsibility), backaches (associated with memories), stomach flutters, fists, headaches, leg pains, shortness of breath, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, toothaches . . . it’s called being over-stressed, and it’s debilitating. For an entrepreneur, it can kill.

Ask any cardiologist.


Stress is both physical and emotional. It can be good (like the stress that keeps you sitting up straight in a chair), or bad (DIS-stress!), like the level that produces symptoms such as those in the earlier paragraph. Carrying a grudge, having revengeful feelings, like uncontrollable anger or road rage, can be a self-destruct path of no return.

Recognizing that letting go is a choice may not make doing it any easier, but that –itself– is also a choice. You can choose to make it easier. You can also ease the process by practicing more deep breathing and/or by taking a yoga or meditation program. Doctor-sanctioned serious exercise, like daily jogs and brisk walks can also help.

Think of it this way–

Every minute of your life that’s consumed by harboring angry or frustrated or disappointed feelings about another person (even, and perhaps especially, family!), or entity or event or policy is a minute you will never get back, and it’s a minute that you are choosing for someone or something else to reach inside your brain and control your thoughts.

And you are facilitating that impossibility to happen. After all, no one else can really control what you think and how you behave, except you . . . unless you choose for that to happen.

Now, why would you want to do that?


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 Thanks for visiting and God bless you.

  Make today a GREAT day for someone! 

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Apr 12 2010

Keeping “Family” Out Of The Family Business!

When you add


a splash of red


to a sea of blue,


people stop


noticing the blue…


     My wife Kathy (God Bless Her!) has been my business partner for 23 years. It takes an extraordinarily special relationship to survive and thrive in the same workspace AND the same homespace. 

     Oh, but don’t thinkI have a limited perspective on this. I’ve worked with every kind of FAMILY business imaginable … from restaurants, HVAC, farms, clothing, sewage, chiropractic services, heart surgery, landscaping, mattresses, trucking, dentistry, lumber, accounting, candy and travel, to manufacturing of computer and rocket-ship parts that fit under your fingernail. And that’s just my tip- of-the-iceberg list.

     Yeah, you might say, but just doing their brochures and websites doesn’t put you in the thick of things. How do you know what it’s really like? As a management consultant, trainer, coach, and counselor, believe me I’ve seen it all. I’ve managed succession planning, rookie coaching, crisis intervention, family foundations, partnership formations, partnership separations, and one fist fight.  

     The biggest problem with family business is family. Family relation-ships are a hotbed of emotions. Consider the statistics that claim every one comes from a dysfunctional family, which means there are an awful lot of weirdos out there. When the dysfunctional types become part of the family business, people see the business as dysfunctional. When you add a splash of red to a sea of blue, people stop noticing the blue.

Only a handful of really smart family business leaders have the good sense to realize a proven professional can help grow the business AND save the family.”

     When high emotions reign in a family business, you can be sure the business will not be a recommended long-term investment. Business ventures can be immensely emotional and supercharged, but keeping control of all that energy requires great leadership finesse, objectivity, and balance.

     Imagine a ship in a stormy sea, with an angry, blood-vessel-on-the-cusp-of-bursting, near-incoherent, screaming captain at the controls. You’d want to be figuring out the quickest route to the lifeboats. Some family businesses keep these stormy sea antics below deck, but they still take their toll.

You’d want to be figuring out the

quickest route to the lifeboats.”

     Here’s the good news: None of it is necessary. Here’s the bad news: Only a handful of family business leaders have the good sense to realize a proven professional can help grow the business AND save the family. The basic principles of anger management, stress management, time management, communication skills (especially effective listening), goal-setting, and leadership transparency are the ingredients of family business transformation and success. Someone who knows how and when to use these tools can help you get the red splash out of your sea of blue, and steady the controls.  

     The more generations involved, the greater the need. The more family members involved, the greater the need. The solution direction is simple. It takes a commitment to want to succeed, a willingness to share “dirty laundry” with an “outsider” (and a sense of partnership and perseverance with that outsider) to combine forces to make a difference.

     Family business growth and development is directly tied to the 4 R’s: Receptivity, Responsiveness, Responsibility and Respect. If those are present, an experienced coach can help them all work for the good of the business, and the good of the family.  


Comment below or Hal@BusinessWorks.US Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals! God Bless You! Make it a GREAT Day! 

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Aug 01 2009

Lighten Up Management Trainers!

It’s the Lightening Up


of Corporate America!


     You’re a management trainer and corporate economic climates have taken the wind out of your sails. You’re looking around for community college adult education courses to run. You’re doing drips and drabs of HR consulting with some old friends. Times are tighter than your shoelaces. 

     Stop beating yourself up; stop doing all the things you’ve always advised and taught others to not do. Take some of those deep breaths you advocate. The message is this: L-I-G-H-T-E-N    U-P ! Lighten up the programs you’re proposing. Companies do not want any in-depth, heavy-duty, psycho-analytic training programs for their managers right now!

     They want L-I-G-H-T agendas combined with good relaxing fun and team-building. Corporate America may be stupid about growing business and productivity ratios and revenue streams and job creation, but they know when it’s time to lighten up the stress that their loyal managers have been shouldering. 

     And it’s time now.

     I had my own management training company for many years. I ran over 2,000 workshops and training programs, and had over 20,000 participants in 50 different cities and half a dozen different countries.

     It was everything from Maslow’s Hierarchy to Quality Circles, One-Minute Manager, TA, Theory X, TheoryY, Theory Z, Empowerment, Assertiveness Training, Anger Management, and my own inventions: Corporate Entrepreneurship, Doctorpreneurs and Teacherpreneurs.  

     Then is not now. Then corporate executives charged trainers with the responsibility to teach them how to be better, more effective, more efficient, more productive executives and how to be better humans. This took some doing, and tons of analytical diagnostics and psychotherapy.

     Today, the word is L I G H T. As in S I M P L E and having F U N while gaining firsthand leadership and teamwork experiences with fellow employees. A best buddy of mine, Kevin Bousquet, who runs Interlaken Inn Executive Resort & Conference Center www.InterlakenInn.com in Northwest Connecticut, agrees.

     You may have seen my plugs here for Interlaken. It truly is THE premier business escape (2 hours/NYC and 3 hours/BOS) with the finest location, facility, amenities, meals, service AND budget-conscious prices that any management trainer or meeting planner will find. (If you call, tell Kristy I sent you and get a special gift!)

     Kevin tells me that the programs that are having the most success are those with the least stress and the most fun. Not all fun and games, but fun and learning. Interlaken’s Executive Ropes Course, lakefront boating and golf options and gourmet challenge programs are the busiest and most talked-about. Dump the heavy stuff!

Think of it as the Lightening Up of Corporate America!  

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Input always welcome: Hal@BusinessWorks.US

(”Businessworks” in subject line) or comment below.

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals and God bless you! 


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