Get Going On What Needs Doing


Some people in both their personal and professional lives have the tendencies to put off doing things until the last-minute. Whether cramming for a test the night before and pulling an all-nighter or writing up your part in a team assignment at work, they don’t do what needs doing until, well frankly…they NEED doing.

For some people of course, this isn’t an accident but rather the way they work out of choice. Not only is it their preferred method, they don’t stress about looming deadlines and the quality of their work is consistently good. Those of us that might point fingers in their direction and caution them about the dangers of rolling the dice once too often are continually surprised at how well things tend to turn out for them.

However, there is another group of people who leave things until the situation is near to critical and these people don’t meet the same levels of success in the end. The delay in getting going on what they must do is fraught with heightened anxiety and stress. They put off what needs doing which they know isn’t healthy and stew about what they must do. They feel bad they haven’t started, know they are repeating a pattern of behaviour that is harmful to their success but continue to do so nonetheless. Why?

Well that is the question isn’t it? Why? Why would intelligent people with the necessary skills to do the tasks assigned to them choose to put off for as long as possible doing things that they eventually must until the last moments? Why would they knowingly choose to avoid the work knowing as well that they will feel guilt at not having started earlier and repeat this behaviour again and again? Why indeed.

Now from time-to-time I suppose many if not all of us put off doing the odd thing that we know in the end we must. Sometimes it’s laziness or what we have to do isn’t as high a priority at the moment because we still have time to get to it so we do other things. Putting things off here and there isn’t a normal pattern of behaviour however, it’s an anomaly for most and therefore atypical.

You would think that the decision to routinely delay getting started on whatever needs doing would really only be the concern of the people procrastinating themselves. Ah but such behaviours does impact on others around them and yes both in their personal and professional lives. This is the reason – the only reason – that such behaviour is of concern to others. So much of what we do these days involves other people; work is shared and we are counter-dependent on each other to meet common end goals.

When collaborating with others, effective teams that work best together will often divvy up tasks which will use the very best talents of the team members. It’s not enough however to just divide up what needs to be done to assure success. What the truly effective teams also do is make sure all the members know the deadlines for the work to be accomplished and then work backward to the present moment setting up dates and times for updating each other in order to assure work is being done, complications are shared and resolved and help if needed is provided.

When the responsibility for a project is shared, all those involved have to have a certain level of trust in each other that their contributions will ultimately result in a unified presentation which they hope is the formula for success.

This then is the problem when someone puts off doing their part until the time almost expires. Doing so raises doubt in one’s teammates and detracts from their ability to concentrate fully on just doing their piece. They may worry about the productivity of what the procrastinator will or won’t deliver, and wonder if it will be the best they could give or something shoddy done with haste and errors.

I feel for the person who doesn’t want to end up in this kind of situation but despite their best of intentions, always seems to be putting out fires at the last-minute as their motes operandi. For even though they live dangerously working from one deadline to another, the mental anguish, anxiety and stress they feel isn’t welcomed; eventually impacting on their health both physical and mental.

For these people, I suggest a few things. First of all, it is important to decide if you really want to change your standard operating behaviour. If the answer is really a, ‘no’, keep doing what you’re doing. If however, you’d really like to change, understand like any desired change, it will be uncomfortable at first and take work.

You know the absolute deadlines for projects and you’re used to working to those final deadlines so set yourself a series of check-in dates with others and give them permission to ask to see the progress of your work. These check-ins must be more than superficial. Build in some reward for yourself if you’re on track rather than a penalty if you’re not. You’re far more likely to celebrate progress with a treat not penalize yourself for a lack of progress.

See if you’re stress levels decline, anxiety is checked and confidence in you from others improves.

“Depressed? Get In The Mood Will Ya?”


Easier said then done isn’t it? Do they really think it’s as easy as just deciding to change your mood and, “Shazam!” everything is changed? It doesn’t work this way; you know it and honestly they know it too. Oh perhaps you can make a fleeting and momentary change to whatever it is other people expect you to become, but really that change is superficial and short-lived.

Now we could be talking about all kinds of different situations here; anything from feeling depressed around Christmas time, feeling out of sorts on a double date or maybe even having little enthusiasm for looking seriously for work.

For many people who deal with anxiety and depression – or those dealing with some kind of post-traumatic stress disorder, they are already aware they don’t quite fit in with those around them. This knowledge only seems to make things worse too because not only are they feeling the way they do to start with, they feel guilty if they are “ruining it for others” or ” being a downer”.  What they wouldn’t give to just seamlessly slide into the fun and be invisible rather than sticking out because of their singularity of mood. Yes but it isn’t that easy.

And the job interview? Well you can imagine your own feelings heading into a job interview can’t you? The pressure to perform; to come across as confident, positive, highly skilled and on top of that have the personality that’s going to be sought after by the best of employers. Well, add to this some level of additional anxiety, dread, fear and depression. Imagine how much psychological effort it’s going to take for anyone suffering in this way to perform well enough that the interviewer – a person specifically trained to read people – is going to pick you for the job.

The thing about mental illness, anxiety, depression,  etc. is that it’s not immediately obvious to the naked eye that there is something going on. I mean we see a broken arm, a wheelchair or a severe limp and we instinctively see there is an issue. Doors get opened, people say, “let me help you with that”, and folks ask with the best of intentions about your injury, how it happened etc.

A mental health issue however is almost invisible on the outside. Many people struggling with their mental health put on a brave face to those they see around them. They smile at the shopkeeper, put their lipstick on when heading out the door, adjust the tie properly and keep good hours at work. They are doing the best they can to give the appearance that they are ‘normal’; nothing is wrong – and nothing could be further than the truth. “Maybe if I just ride things out these feelings will go away and I don’t want to show any kind of weakness at work. I need my job.”

Now if you don’t have anxiety or depression it can be hard to truly be empathetic; to feel what it’s like for someone in that position. We can be sympathetic of course but truly empathetic? It’s hard for some of us to find experiences in our own lives that are similar enough to what this person is experiencing themselves so we can understand what it is like to be them. Saying, “Gee I know how you feel” or “I get it” might be well-intended but you may not know how they feel and quite honestly don’t get it.

Most of us are understanding too; well up to a point. Yes there does come a point for many if we’re honest, when despite all the empathy and understanding there is work to be done and picking up the work undone that someone else is responsible for starts to wear thin. Sometimes it’s grumbling around the office cooler, that penetrating look of puzzlement you spy on the face of a co-worker across the shop floor, or the confrontational but direct, “Hey, we’re all getting paid to do a job so get your act together!”

Well if it was easy to fix whatever someone is experiencing, the people themselves would do so don’t you think? And gladly!

Look I’m not expert in the field of mental health but I’ve spoken with numerous people who suffer from anxiety and depression. It helps them in their words to acknowledge what they are experiencing without laying on pity and repeatedly inquiring as to how they are doing. While sometimes you might think you’re helping by excusing them from some task at work or giving them extra things to do to keep them busy; the best thing you can do is actually ask them what they would find helpful. After all, the person is probably the expert when it comes to what they themselves would find helpful and therefore appreciate.

As I wrap up my piece, I’m wondering if this is where you yourself would like to jump in and comment on your own experience? Would you be willing to share what it’s been like for you going through your own anxiety and / or depression? Perhaps you work with someone like this and how does it affect your own job on a daily basis? What kind of accommodations have  you found work for both of you?

Someone might be reading this (you perhaps?) who could really benefit from your comments, your thoughts, your coping mechanisms and some encouragement.

“There’s A Dead Guy In The Cubicle Next To Me!”


“Well okay, he looks dead anyhow; I haven’t seen him move for days.”

You and I had best hope that dead body look-alike someone is frantic about isn’t you. If so, your days might be numbered. Sooner or later, if you’re hiding out behind that baffle board doing precious little, someone is going to figure they can do without you on the payroll.

Now okay you might not be mistaken for a corpse, but if you think you’re fooling those around you when you’re not being productive, it’s only a matter of time until you’re found out and your productivity is called into question. The cobwebs in your cubicle are also a dead giveaway that not much is going on.

Some employees are pretty good at smoke and mirrors aren’t they? I mean they tend to move with purpose when they are observed walking around the office; even if upon further inspection it’s only to the bathroom or the company kitchen to grab yet another coffee. Once back in the relative sanctity of their cubicle however, they drop the façade and move at a glacial snails pace as they go about their day. Such employees do just enough to get by, contribute very little and try to stay beneath the radar of Management scrutiny until they are released into the world after work.

Now let’s stop and think about this behaviour for a moment. When you were setting out in your early years of adulthood; when you had ambition and dreams, wanted to make your mark in the world, surely you didn’t methodically plan to spend your days idly daydreaming and doing the bare minimum. Hopefully you set out to do something you personally found meaningful and rewarding. So the question is, “Where did that person go?”

Something over time has occurred that has you mechanically going through the motions of going to and from work each day and you’ve lost your motivation. You may be more than aware of this change but for some reason you can’t seem to ignite that passion anymore for the work you do and the people you do it for. As much as you’d like to kick start the fire, you’re oblivious as to how to go about it.

Heed the signs sons and daughters. Continuing down the path you’re on isn’t going to be healthy or end on a positive. Either  you find something to stimulate yourself at work in a positive way that ups your productivity and usefulness on the job or someone will do you and the company a favour and start the proceedings to end your employment. Put plain as day, you either start working and producing at your former level or better, or you’re going to get fired.

I know some people who dogged it; coming and going without any passion. They once showed enthusiasm for the job and now they only show enthusiasm for the last 20 minutes of the day and are sitting with their coat on with 5 minutes left each day, ready to squeal away in the parking lot putting as much distance behind them as fast as they can each night. On their own they’d never have quit or worked productively again and eventually they did get fired. Oddly enough, getting fired was the best thing for some of them and they’d readily tell you that – even though at the time they didn’t believe it.

There are among us those who are proactive and those who are reactive. The proactive people think ahead, update their resumes even when they aren’t looking for work and they’ve got plans for advancement or change. The reactive types only update resumes when they are out of work, and only think about career planning when they are forced to by the changes and pressures they experience in their lives.

“Why”, they would say, “should I bother to update my resume when I’ve got a job and I’m not looking for another one?” They figure they can always update that resume when they decide to go for another job inside or outside the organization, but because they have no date in mind, they figure they’ve got all the time they need. When it comes to taking courses, updating expired certificates or skills, once again they smirk and say, “Why bother?”

Another thing to consider is that if you aspire in any way to advance in the organization you work with now, you should be visible and for the right reasons long before you dust off your resume and apply for a new job. You don’t want to be invisible and have your boss say, “Do you still work here?” when you finally get motivated and want to be interviewed for a promotion.

One last thing and it has to do with your co-workers. Co-workers often pick up cues from their peers quickly. If you’re not picking up your share of the load and you should be, you’ll only have yourself to blame if you feel isolated from the rest. Worse case scenario is that they resent your presence because their workloads increase; and ultimately word will get passed to Management. Don’t blame them if they’re doing their job and picking up your slack too. That’s not fair and certainly it’s going to become more difficult for you to regain their trust and respect.

 

Team Player: How To Be One And Succeed At The Interview


Look closely at a lot of the job postings these days and you’ll see, ‘team player’ as one of the key requirements. Just because you’ve worked with a group of people under a Supervisor before does not however mean you’re a great team player; nor even a good one.

It’s important to know exactly what being a good team player requires, because once you do, you’ll be far better equipped to respond to an interviewer intelligently when they ask you to provide an example of your experience working on a team.

First and foremost, when you are required to work on a team, everything you do is less about you and more about the team. As a member of that team, you have an important role to play, but it’s more than just doing your piece in isolation and calling yourself a team member. Get used to the concept of inter-dependence; relying on each other to accomplish tasks, pulling your own weight on projects and offering your help when appropriate to those you work with. Inter-dependence works both ways too; you’ll find there are times when you should call on others to help you out too.

Depending on the job you are in and the work to be done, you may find that being a part of a team requires collaborating not only on producing goods and services but in the delivery to your customers and clientsc. Having a unified strategy in this regard ensures that the experience of your end-users is similar no matter who puts the product or service into their hands. So whether it’s service like home health care and childcare or products like electronics or clothes, how your target audience experiences the delivery should be similar no matter whom they deal with on your team. Allowing for differences in personality of course, I refer to information delivery such as following best practices, company policies, information sharing etc.

One of the best things you can do for your teammates in order to be respected starts with showing up for work. When you are part of a team and you’re not present, you’re lack of attendance requires that others cover in your absence the work you would normally do. People can be absent for any number of reasons; personal illness, family commitments, special projects, vacations, committee meetings, training etc. The bottom line is that your absence on the team means others are doing your work, or your work is adjusted so that less is expected of you – and that means your production drops in the short-term. It’s one thing for a team member to be off on vacation – because every member will also enjoy their vacation time – but it’s another to be off frequently for personal reasons. The last thing you want is to create in the minds of your co-workers that you can’t be relied upon.

One key element of working cooperatively and productively as a team player is to give when its least expected. If you know someone needs to dash out for an appointment right at the end of the day, maybe you offer to be on the sales floor and stay the few extra minutes if a customer is shopping just past closing time. That extra 5 minutes you give will please the customer, could result in income for the store, and will garner some appreciation for you as a co-worker with the person you permit to leave on time instead of being held up. While you don’t do it for personal gain, you hope that the goodwill you’ve shown comes back to you in the future sometime when the situation is reversed.

Good teammates look out for each other. When a colleague is slightly under the weather, distracted by a personal matter, just not at their best, teammates pull together; offering whatever support and help they can depending on the workplace.

You’ll find that really good teammates give credit where credit is due too. Whether it’s an idea, a specialized skill, personal attributes etc. each member brings things to the team that make the team stronger and add to the service or products you produce. A good teammate will ensure that individual members get credit when they are responsible for some creativity, innovation, performing extra work or solving a problem that allowed the group to succeed.

Some people have famously said that there is no ‘I’ in ‘team’, but I believe within each successful team there are several individuals without whom the team wouldn’t exist at all. If each team member is to feel proud of their accomplishments as a team, they must feel personal pride in what they’ve contributed as an individual.

You can predict the likelihood of being asked the teamwork question in an interview by researching both the job posting and the nature of the work to be done. If the job posting has teamwork as a key job requirement, expect the question.

It’s important to share an example of your teamwork where you played an important part, yet be sure not to take all the credit in your answer. What had to be done, what challenge arose and what did you do that contributed to the overall success of the team? Share some specific example, not a vague generalization. Highlight the part you played however, as you’re the one applying for the job not your entire team.

Why Teamwork Is Highly Coveted


One of the most coveted qualities employers seek in new applicants is teamwork. Look at a wall of job postings and this word keeps showing up with a high degree of regularity. What is it about teamwork that makes it so popular and what is an employer driving at when they say the ability to work as part of a team is a requirement?

Well for starters, when you work in an environment that demands teamwork, you know right off the bat the position has a fair amount of interaction with and co-dependency on other people. In other words, in order to successful produce products and/or services; you have to work cooperatively and productively on a regular basis with other people. If you aren’t really a people person, you’ll find that having to use your interpersonal skills on a daily basis may be your downfall. Could be you’ll either not be successful, or the personal strain of having to stretch yourself all the time to be communicative and dependent on others isn’t something you’ll be able to keep up over a long period time.

Those who prefer to work alone aren’t always anti-people; they just find relying on others to do their jobs isn’t something they ideally prefer. Let’s face it, you might prefer to work at a job where you are totally responsible for the end product and you can control the effort and quality that goes into the product 100%. You don’t have to rely on someone else at all, and you might feel that the more people who have their hands in the process increases the chances that someone somewhere will perform their job with less commitment, effort and attention to detail than you would.

Teamwork though, really is all about trusting in other people; and they trusting in you, to perform the work assigned with accountability and responsibility.  There’s more to real teamwork however than just this. Teamwork may require those on the team occasionally picking up the workload for someone on the team who is not performing at their best, or who is off work entirely until management replaces that person with someone new. It can mean adapting to the methods others use, trying others ideas, compromising your own way of doing things for the greater good, listening to ideas of others you initially dismiss as less than favourable. Teamwork – not to sound trite – means working as a team.

When a team is working harmoniously together and producing services and goods at high efficiency, teamwork is something to be touted, “Look at good we are when it comes to working together!” However, when one or two members are distracted, perform poorly, get moody, and appear to be shirking their responsibility, teamwork gets tested in other ways.  Not everyone on the team will react to the person who is perceived to be a poor team player in the same fashion.

First of all is it your place to reprimand or correct a fellow worker who is your peer or is this the position of the Supervisor, Project Lead, Director or Manager? Would the person you talked to ask you, “Who made you my boss?” Knowing what the correct procedure is when teamwork breaks down is just as critical as being an effective team player. Maybe your role is indeed to talk directly to your team member and find out what’s behind their drop in quality. Or maybe you’re supposed to bring concerns to your mutual Supervisor and let her or him handle things. Finding out which is expected in your workplace is good information.

What makes true teamwork difficult for many is the variance in standards people hold as their values. If you work hard at producing the absolute best product or service you can, you’ll struggle knowing that someone else may have a very different, (and lower) personal standard that they work to. ‘Do enough to get by’ might be their mantra, or because of their lack of life experience or maturity, they may THINK they are performing wonderfully, but it’s still not up to your standards of excellence.  From their point of view, you might be viewed as a perfectionist, an overachiever; your work ethic good for you but not to be imposed on them. Now what would you do if you were them and it was someone else with these seemingly impossible high standards?

In some workplaces, a team may not necessarily interact with everyone else on the team in a given day. While a production line relies on someone to perform work in a step-by-step order in order for a final product to be completed, this isn’t always the case with teamwork. Other teams may have members that work independently to complete their work, but the individual members are collectively referred to as a team, and when one goes down or is absent, the team is left to work out how the person’s absence will be covered in the short-term. All may go on fine in such a situation until each member is called upon to do more than their share for an extended period.

You can see why the ability to work as part of a productive team is so highly coveted by employers. Those who are successful in convincing interviewers that they have what it takes, do so using specific examples from their past that illustrate their ability to work well with others.

Older Workers And Legacy Projects


Have you got an employee on your team nearing retirement who strikes you as stagnant? An individual that appears to be just playing out their remaining days, isn’t contributing the way you feel they should; someone who isn’t truly invested in their work? Well that certainly is a problem, but perhaps for reasons you might not suspect.

For starters, it’s essential to note that if that person has been in your organization for a long time, it is likely that there was a time when they were more productive than they appear today. Now while that productivity has dropped off, they still have cumulative experience, expertise and wisdom that could and should be accessed and tapped into before they retire and take it with them.

In order for an organization and its employees to benefit from this individual moving forward, why not give them a legacy project? A legacy project as I term it, is shifting their focus slightly; adding to their days some time to produce something that will stay behind when they leave that could be valuable in their absence.

I think one of the key things to understand with an older more mature worker, is that they themselves experience shifts in their working environment and for many, they perhaps come to a time when they feel less valued and appreciated. Younger workers, perhaps in their 30’s – early 50’s, have more vitality, more energy and this manifests itself through innovation and creativity; looking at doing things differently and better. That of course is a natural process for people to undertake, but the older worker who doesn’t feel that same desire to learn and apply new ways of doing things may still be holding on to ‘the old ways’. The old ways as it turns out, may be the very things they themselves introduced as new once upon a time. It’s this ownership of what is being left behind that may make them feel less appreciated and undervalued.

If your workplace is ripe with people happy to transition from what was good once to something new that is better, it’s not universally easy for everyone to shift their perspective and ‘get on board’ with the new processes. Some employees – both young and old – might need more support and encouragement to learn new systems, software, procedures or practices.

It may not be that the older worker nearing retirement is stubborn; it could be that because they feel their years of experience and skills are not being acknowledged, they are in some way carrying forth a bitterness that causes them to resist what they perceive as yet another step away from what they know. When people are forced to transition to something new and they don’t have the self-motivation to move in that direction, they can experience resentment. This resentment might end up being directed at the people driving the change; as if it is they who are threatening their way of doing things.

It’s the older worker who may have written the employee manuals, workshop materials, orientation packages, production guides of the past. When someone else is designated to re-write these publications, or worse yet, volunteers to re-write these publications, this initiative can be misread as not respecting the previous ones and the people who produced them; i.e. the older worker who lately seems to have an attitude problem, is resistant to learning, fights change at every step, and appears locked in the past.

A legacy project may be the one thing that this older worker may be uniquely qualified to do above everyone else because they have been there as all along the way as change occurred and things evolved. So that the former ways don’t get lost when they leave, it may be useful to record the past so that it becomes a documented treasure. This kind of project acknowledges their past as being something of value, and gives them a purpose in the present of value.

Now not all older workers nearing retirement experience this resistance to change or a drop in productivity. We must be fair however and agree however that there are some workers who are not as open to change as they once were. These people might feel their opinions are not valued as much as they should be; their ideas aren’t listened to with respect the way they feel they should be, and this can lead to disharmony in the workplace. To do nothing, to brand the person as a problem or a stick in the mud, might be the wrong approach.

Another idea might be to encourage that individual to produce something new as an update of what they produced in the past themselves. This could require some research, including technological changes that have come about since the previous document or program was created. This combining of the old with the new both acknowledges the contribution they could uniquely make and still requires them to be knowledgeable about present trends, best practices etc.

When was the last time you told the older worker they were a valuable member of your team? And should you yourself be the older worker feeling less appreciated, when was the last time you told someone driving the change that you appreciate their desire to make things better – as you once did yourself?

There’s tremendous value locked in the memories and experiences of senior staff; value that shouldn’t leave an organization when they do.

Doing Better And The Element Of Change


“We can be better.” Do you believe the team you work on and the organization you work for can be better? Is it productivity, results, customer service, a reduction in complaints, profit margins, quality of staffing, working environment or physical spaces to name a few things? Or do you honestly believe that there is no area in which your team and your organization can be improved in any way?

Okay, so here I make an assumption; if you answered objectively, you admitted there are ways in which your team and your organization can be better. The next step might appear to examine in what ways?’, but in my mind it’s actually, “Is there a willingness to change in order to become better?”

You see, if you jump to looking at ways to improve and do things better right off the bat, most people will get on board with this easily enough but a key stumbling block down the road to improvement down the road is being ignored at the outset. People generally agree on being better as long as it refers to others. In other words, the change required to be better requires that other members on the team adjust and work more like us. “Then we’d have a homogenous team and we’d be better because people would be more like me. And I work and act this way because it’s comfortable and what I’m willing to give to the work I do.”

However, if you ask everyone at the outset if there is a willingness to change in order to become better, then the starting basis for any further discussion is that everyone has to change to a lesser or greater degree, but change there will be. Now it might appear academic that to do better and be better, change is a given. Don’t make that assumption! From my experience, the world change itself is pretty open to interpretation. To some, ‘change’ could mean a minor adjustment to which they can point and say, “See, I changed.” To someone sitting right beside that person, their idea of change is nothing less than a massive overhaul that looks completely new and different.

It’s therefore a good idea anytime change is being discussed to determine a shared definition and understanding of the word, ‘change’. Failing to start with some shared comprehension of change can result in people eventually disagreeing on the scope of change being proposed. So while one person thinks a change in office furniture means new desks going in exactly the same locations as the old office furniture, another person sees new furniture, and an opportunity to change the layout itself to something different and in their view better.

We can do better. That was the opening premise. Okay so now that you have a discussion about getting your people all on board with the fact that to better, it goes hand in hand with change, the discussion moves to the question of how. This is where the fragile are going to lock down and resist change, because for some, the instinctive thing to do is protect whatever it is that we hold most dear. Will being better mean doing things differently? Yes. Will doing things differently mean I’ll be uncomfortable, giving up or sharing control, maybe being displaced altogether? Maybe that occurs, but not necessarily. Remember, some people think change is a good thing; as long as we’re talking about other people.

We can do better; we choose not to. This is the complaint consumers, customers and clients often have of the services and goods they receive from organizations. Ironically, listening to consumers, customers and clients is at the very heart of what should drive change. Yet, there are countless examples of organizations and teams of people who plan in isolation, designing and implementing what they believe to be best for these groups only to find they’ve missed the mark.

Choosing to do better usually but not always involves an outlay of cash. This outlay of cash should be seen as an investment in the people who will benefit from the way in which your team or your organization changes. If that new office furniture makes the employees perform safer and more efficient work; if there are less injuries because the design itself becomes more ergonomically friendly, then less time away from the job due to injury improves the customer service experience. Go for it.

So does your team acknowledge that it can be better? Is everyone on board with change as a necessary requirement in order for the improvement to occur? Does everyone have a shared understanding of what change itself implies as it may apply to them and how they do things at present?

These are some of the necessary questions at the early stages in the process of improving. One of the worst things that an organization or team can do is decide in isolation on change, then implement changes on other people without properly involving them in the process. This is the classic; “We know what’s best for you and don’t need your input” approach. Sometimes it works, more often it doesn’t.

As a member of your team and the larger organization, look for opportunities to improve; talk with your customers, consumers and clients, listen to their ideas. Embrace change as inevitable to doing business and be receptive to learning new methods of delivery.