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The World: By Phil

July 23, 2010 - 5:12pm
posted by Session Placeholder in business, technology, The World: By Phil.

by Phil Ricci The World: by Phil

I love the Internet. Can we start this little article with that fact? I am also fairly sure that I have told you all before, but in case not, I am a geek. This is the week of Comic Con and even though I am not in attendance, I have been watching just about every piece of footage that I can get my hands on (Tron Legacy looks Awesome). It is with that understanding that you must somewhat graspe then my obsession with tech, web apps, comics, movies (fan-boy type) and funny stuff all shoved into the package of a business management professional.

Over the past few months, I have been finding sites and apps that have started to migrate into my daily life. Some of these are new(er) and so you might have never heard of them. While others have been going strong for a time, but are new to me; and just like that first used car you got as a kid, it didn’t matter who had it before because it was your baby now! That said unfortunately, my first “baby” was a 1981 Toyota Starlight. Yeah….good times.

Here is a sampling of some sites that I am just loving on right now:

Task.fm

Task.fm has been around for about a year or so now. It was founded by Anthony Feint in 2009 and is simply, a task and reminder management app. The key thing though that makes this app just amazing, is that it uses semantic and natural language input for the creation of reminders.

Meaning, if you type in: Call Laura at three to remind her to pick up the kids. It will actually translate the reminder to sending you a text, email or Direct Message on Twitter at three that day to remind yourself (or even Laura) to go get the kids. Simple.

You can also send this reminders to friends, work emails or other phones as well. There are just a ton of cool features with this service.

As far as price goes, there is a free model that allows a limited amount of texts, as well as displaying a few small ads on the main page, but that’s it about it. You get unlimited emails and ample storage (not that there is any really). If you decide you want unlimited texts and go Pro, you’ll only be out a mere $3.99 per month. No Too Shabby.

rdio.com 

Yes, I am aware that there are a million music player services in the world, but this one is way different. Rdio (pronounced r-deyee-o) was founded by Janus Friis with Niklas Zennström and Atomico, a leading technology investment group.

Rdio is more than just a music site, it’s a “social” music service where you can discover music through friends and taste-makers. With traditional methods of social connections like “following” other listeners, you can literally tap into what they are playing at anytime. You can create, share or “subscribe” to play-lists with anyone on the system.

Rdio really does takes the work out of the deciding what to play next and connects the music in your Web browser with your mobile phone. You can play as many songs you want, anytime, anywhere.

As far as cost goes, the basic service that allows you to listen unlimited on any computer you want is just $4.99 per month. If you want to be able to sync it up to your iPhone, BlackBerry or Droid? Then it’s a mere $9.99 per month.

They are still building up their catalouge, but is still by far the best system I have seen yet.

Flavors.me

Oh sure there are a bunch of DIY website apps floating around the Internet (Weebly, SiteKreator, etc), and each one have their pluses and minuses.

It wasn’t until just recently that I discovered though an engine that allows you to build a page that really brings all of your online identities under one virtual roof. With over 20 social, blog and video networks hooked in, you really can have one true virtual homepage.

Flavors.me was built by HiiDef, an incubator started by former Vimeo exec Jonathan Marcus and his brother, David Marcus.

The cost to this bad boy is only $20 a year for all of their services. It honestly is what Google Profiles should be.

Anyway those are a few of the most recent sites that I am loving on right now. As I find more, I will put them together for you all to enjoy. Also, if you find something that you are loving on, Go to the Submission page up top and share.

Have a great day All!

Until Next Time….

June 4, 2010 - 1:05pm
posted by Session Placeholder in business, sports, The World: By Phil.
Hey BP, Pay attention!

By Phil Ricci, The World: by Phil

A couple nights back, Armando Galarraga was standing on the mound, literally one out away from history. Not only was he so close to a perfect game, but he would have been the second pitcher to throw one in a week; and the third of the year. Amazing. He had just watched his teammate make an amazing Willie Mays style grab in the outfield; and had a grin on his face like a school boy getting a piece of chocolate after class. It was his night. It kind of had to be. Guys were making killer plays, his location was flawless and he was only around his 80th pitch so his tank was still pretty full. He just had one batter left.

Everyone knows what happend next, right? 

Jim Joyce was positioned on the first base line as he had been all night; and other nights during his twenty two year Major League career. He watched as Galarraga went through each batter in succession, making his calls when needed. It seemed like it was going to be a special night. It was, but not in the way I’m sure he thought. When that fateful hit was made, Joyce dug in and watched as runner and pitcher charged the bag. The ball was fielded clean and over to Galarraga himself, it was close but he was totally…

“Safe!”

What!? What did he say? Did he say safe? I couldn’t believe it, Galarraga couldn’t believe it; and pretty much the baseball watching world couldn’t believe it. A perfect game gone in an instant; off a bad call. No off “the most egregious blown call in baseball over the last 25 years” as Tyler Kepner from the New York Times put it. 

As a matter of fact, you pretty much can’t go anywhere without hearing about this play. Every sports channel, station, writer and blogger have been pouring the hearts over just how bad it was. Many calling for Selig to reverse it, but all screaming about expanding instant replay, for Joyce to be fired; anything! I understand the frustration. My heart sank in that moment. I get that people feel that it wasn’t just Galarraga who was robbed, but them in a way as well. I understand that it just wasn’t suppose to end that way.

But it did.

What I haven’t heard is about the good side of the story. The side that actually teaches us something more than just about outs or replays. It’s the side that isn’t sexy or controversial, but it is the side that is needed and important. The Human Side.

After the call was made, the world exploded. People came out of the woodwork to attack Joyce. They screamed in his face, they called him some choice phrases that even the most beginner lip reader could get; and they beat him down with waving arms of frustration. Joyce took it all. He didn’t yell, didn’t respond, just accepted it. Keep in mind at this point he had no idea if he was wrong or right. He made a call that he felt was correct, but unlike the rest of us, he did not have the luxury of the repeated frame by frame replay that we saw. After the game was over the only thing he wanted to do was see for himself if he was right. Once he realized that he wasn’t, he broke down.

In business and in life we make mistakes. We will get the call wrong. BP has done nothing but get the call wrong since the explosion in the Gulf first took place. They spent the first four weeks blaming everyone except themselves for what is ultimately, their responsibility. The explosion and spill killed innocent people, destroyed thousands of sea life and has ended communitues of business. Jim Joyce missed a call in a baseball game. Yet he went out, found Armando Galarraga and with tears in his eyes, apologized.

“I just cost the kid a perfect game. I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw until I saw the replay. It was the biggest call of my career.”

For Galarraga’s part, the term “grace under fire” has nothing on this guy. Nolan Ryan, arguably one of the best pitchers in history who threw like a hundred No Hitters, never pitched a perfect game. Galarraga was one four letter word away from that fame, but when the call came down, he didn’t scream or jump up and down. What he did was go back on the mound and get the next batter out.

“I’m a calm person. At that moment, [I did] not get angry, I was more sad about it,” Galarraga said.

Sad, yes, but not rude. When Joyce came to him after the game to apologize, he accepted it, told him ”it was OK” and embraced him in a hug. In every interview since, he has been a class act. Constantly reassuring everyone that he is not going after Joyce or the call.  He even appeared on the CBS “Early Show” Friday and said “nobody’s perfect,” that simple.At the end of the day Joyce didn’t hide from his error, he owned it. He displayed the kind of courage and ethics that only a true professional can have. It’s not easy being wrong, but it’s even harder admittingit, especially when it affects other people in such a negative way. Yet in every bad situation, there is always something that can be learned. What I learned was that we could all use a little of what Galarraga and Joyce has displayed. Couldn’t we BP?

Until Next Time….

May 14, 2010 - 1:09pm
posted by Session Placeholder in business, Blogs, The World: By Phil, Friday Reviews.

How many music players are there in the world? A lot. What makes them so different? That is a good question, but even that at times is hard. Really when you think about, the primary purpose of sites like playlist.com, Pandora, (the almost deceased) lala.com and even Grooveshark.com are all the same: play live streaming music while trying to build an online community. The better question is why do we become loyal to a certain one? My buddy is in love with playlist.com, another has recommended Grooveshark to me more times than I can count. Each has their reasons for this love and each of them are valid, but telling you to love something is not my job man. My job is to play around with each of them all and then tell you the good and the bad. You decide the rest for yourself. I know, I’m pretty generous aren’t I?

Today’s entry is the french based deezer.com. The first that really stands out about this site as soon as you arrive, is the multi cultural clash that greets you. Right on the front page is a combination of sections in English, French and German, which can be confusing. I perused around for the setting and instead found a tab on the top right that diplays the flags of the host country’s language. You will not find an American flag there, but the British Union Jack works just as well.

After that was sorted, I went to task on learning the site. The navigation is pretty simple so it didn’t take me long to figure out what goes where and how. 

A little background.

Deezer is the product of French based, Blogmusik and was launched on August 24th, 2007. It was the first ever French music site to actually sign agreements with music publishers for legal music downloading. As of the most recent update in May of this year, Deezer claims to have roughly four million users and a library of seven million songs. Not bad, but the selection is mot going to be what you may be accustomed to. Here’s the good and bad…

Pros:

  • The site is easy to navigate and use.
  • The player is simplistic and does not need additional downloads to work at all, so you literally show up, search and listen.
  • You do not have to sign up for an account to go and listen to any songs either.
  • Once you do have an account, there are a bunch of features that are free to users. You can create, share and rate play lists, write reviews, share with your social media, blogs and followers within the site.
  • There are also options to put mini players with designs and personal play lists on your Facebook and blog pages.
  • Integrated with iTunes for fast purchases.
  • Easy sign up and cancel process.

Cons:

  • The music selection is geared primarily to European groups and audiences. Acts with international presence have a home (Lady Gaga, Madonna), but others are non existent (All American Rejects, Switchfoot).
  • Bands that are on do not have their full collections available.
  • All of the site details, including Help, Blog and Press sections are all in French. This isn’t a knock in anyway. After all this is a french site, but it does make the experience lackluster for this poorly educated American.

Design:

When I first hit the site, I thought that I was on an iTunes page, so I wasn’t very shocked to learn that Deezer and Apple have a connection. Much of the fonts and color schemes seem to be in the Apple family. Regardless, it’s clean enough and breaks itself down into different distinct areas. 

What I think:

Overall, I can see why the site is popular in France. There is an awesome mix of Europe’s top artist, as well as those from the US that have struck the right chord (wow that was bad.). The site is simple, but has lots of nice features for all to enjoy. The company even holds festivals throughout France, Belgium and Hungary, bringing some of that regions’ biggest artists direct to the fans.

That being said, this is definitely a regional site. Unlike Pandora, which is pretty much universal where ever you go,  Deever loses it’s luster the farther outside the French borders you are. It’s not a bad site, but it’s not for me.

Until Next Time….

May 7, 2010 - 1:05pm
posted by Session Placeholder in business, The World: By Phil, Friday Reviews.

For the record, I am a geek. Not that this is surprising to anyone that knows me, but if you don’t I want you to understand that simple fact before we move on. Even though I have been running and managing people and businesses my whole adult life, the inner child in me is very predominant. In other words, I love me some comic books, summer blockbuster movies, sports and playing games online. Which is why today I am focusing my weekly review on a site dedicated to geeks like me who enjoy playing web based games: Playsushi.com

Funny enough, I discovered this site while playing on another free gaming site. It was my original intention to write a review on that one, but once I clicked over to Playsushi.com, I decided to stay and check that out instead.

Getting Started: 

The first thing you notice when you get to the main page is that there are a lot of games to choose from. Selection as you know is very important in gaming sites so that you can appeal to a greater audience. I have been to way too many site that are limited in their offering. It gets boring pretty quick.

I was personally greeted by a Batman promo screen as soon as I showed up, which of course geared me right up (Told you, geek), so I clicked on the “Play Now” button and was directed to download Playsushi’s software for free. The process was extremely simple and within a few minutes, I was playing.

 

Game-Play:

Now as you can see this isn’t XBox 360 graphics or anything, but the game-play  is effective, simple to learn and did the job just fine for me. Maybe even a little too fine actually, as my five year old promptly kicked me off to play Kung Fu Panda.

Family Friendly:

Which brings me to my next point. As I said before, there is a nice selection for all ages to enjoy this free service. Games like the aforementioned Kung Fu Panda for the little kids and slightly more detailed games like Quickhit Football for the older kids. (Like me!)

Design:

As far as the design goes, Playsushi is clean, well organized and easy to navigate. The ads on the site are all appropriate, but you have to be careful where you click or you might end up on a some sponsored site like I did. Wizard 101 to be exact. Good times. 

 

Here are the Cons:

Now there are some drawbacks to this that I want you to know about. No matter how much I may like something, I want you to see all sides.  

Nothing in this world is perfect, but somethings are just really too annoying, even for me. If you use Firefox to download Playsushi’s software, then you may get an unwanted add-on called ”PlaySushi TextLinks1.0.0”. You will know if you have it because regular text sites like Wikipedia or even CNN will have hyperlinked phrases that take you back to Playsushi.com.

Remove this at once!

There have been reports of this being dangerous malware, but there is no evidence to substantiate any of those claims that I can find. Regardless I am one to err on the side of caution, so here is the fix that seems to work: http://www.renownedmedia.com/blog/playsushi-textlinks-firefox-uninstall/

In all fairness, I switched to Chrome recently as my default browser (AWESOME by the way) and it hasn’t been there since. This is a Firefox issue apparently.

Overall:

Overall, Playsushi is a cool little site for both young and old kids alike. Outside of that pesky add-on issue there doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with it. I won’t give it my full blessing because I don’t like the fact that you have that extra worry; but if you don’t mind and want to give it a try, you’ll probably enjoy it!

Check out more at www.theworldbyphil.com

Until Next Time….

April 26, 2010 - 12:39pm
posted by Session Placeholder in business, The World: By Phil, Finance Reform.
 

If you have been listening to the news at all the past week or so, you have undoubtedly heard about the Finance Reform Bill that is going through the House and Senate right now. While this is not close to being completed, there are many in this country who view it as a much needed piece of legislation after the near crash of our financial system. Conversely, there are just as many who feel that the bill in its current state is worthless and should be scrapped to begin anew.

Let’s first agree on a couple of points.

  • This current economic disaster was really bad on all sorts of levels.
  • The taxpayers of this country (you and I) paid way too much money for other people’s poor choices.
  • Not much has really changed. That is to say, the financial system works the same today as it did 18 months ago.

The big phrase craze of the day on Capitol Hill for the coining of this bill has been “Too Big Too Fail”, or “TBTF” as it’s being used across the op-ed columns of America. In essence all this fancy little acronym means is that no bank should ever hold so much power that it literally is too big to fail without causing massive consequences to the entire economy. The whole concept of TBTF is a very simplistic principal that I do not think either political party is going to argue about, but how to reform the system to get there sure will be.

Let me take a moment for full and true disclosure. I am not a Democrat or a Republican. I personally think our political system has become a mockery of itself ten times over. That being said, I do not believe in corporate welfare of any kind. Pretty rough coming from a business owner I know, but let’s be real about this. How many small businesses folded, jobs were lost, savings depleted or destroyed due to this crisis? A whole heck of a lot, so I don’t have a ton of sympathy for those who made the poor choices that got us here.

That sounds like I’m for reform right? Well I am, but to a point. I believe it should be a law that we will not bail out banks in the future for making poor loans and high risk deals. Just as I would say the same for any small business owner who practices shady ethics and gets burned. You reap what you sow.

What I do have a problem with is this concept of limiting the size a bank can grow to. There has been a lot of conversation circulating that would force the “megabanks” to break up into smaller, bite size versions, that way they could indeed fail if they had to. My problem with this is I do not see how that actually fixes anything. 

Let’s keep a simple fact in mind for a second if we can.  It wasn’t the size of the banks and insurance companies that caused this mess, but the actions of a group of individuals. In other words, the size was never a problem until greedy unethical people ran them as such. If we don’t deter the behavior, the results will never change. Simply reducing the size of financial institutions without correcting the accountability issue is pretty useless. It might make us feel better, but any bank that goes under is still going to hurt a lot of people.

My greatest fear with all of this though is the scope of the precedent that this bill would create. What are we considering too big? Once it has been decided for the financial sector, what’s to stop it from moving in to other areas as well? Will companies like Wal-Mart and Target suddenly be considered too big and forced to downsize and split up? How about Ford, Chevy, GE and Boeing? How dangerous is it to start putting ceilings on how far a business can grow? Isn’t this the whole point of going into business in the first place?

Look, I am not condoning the actions of those who have caused this conversation. I believe that these people are garbage. I feel for people who have lost so much because of them too. We have to be smart about what we do here. A wrong step too far in either direction will do nothing but cause yet another bubble, with a whole new array of bad policies all over again. That’s my take.

What do you think?

Until Next Time….

April 22, 2010 - 8:37am
posted by Session Placeholder in nfl, The World: By Phil, Goodell, Roethlisberger, Branding.

My wife loves the Oscars. I mean really loves the Oscars. She breaks out the wine, buys a bunch of snacky snacks and gets all cozy to watch a bunch of people walk down an aisle in dresses she could never afford and look important. That is pretty much how I feel about the NFL Draft. I mean just substitute out the wine with a cold Killian and it's pretty close to the same thing.

Yet on the eve of my favorite spring time event, I wasn't talking about my mock draft with my friends, or listening to my favorite sports talk show make their predictions about who will do what and when. Nope, instead I was talking and hearing all day about this putz:

                  

If you don't know by now then I'll be happy to fill you in. On Wednesday, Roger Goodell, the Commissioner of the National Football League, handed down a six game suspension without pay to embattled Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, for his misconduct during his recent sexual assault allegations in Georgia. I say recent because this is not the first time that Big Ben has found himself being accused of attacking a woman. He faced similar allegations in 2008 while at a celebrity golf tournament in Nevada. Those too were never brought to fruition, but caused a lot of embarrassment for the Steelers and the NFL, respectively.

The focus of intent for this article though isn't around the deplorable behaviors of a twenty eight year old child, that just happens to be able to throw and scramble with a football really well. What really moved me to write on this was actually a conversation that I was having with my wife about the Goodell ruling. We had just gotten home from work when she turned to me:

"So what happened to Roethlisberger?" She asked.

"Goodell laid into him. He got suspended for six games, maybe four if he gets help and follows all of these rules, but if he so much as thinks of screwing up again he will get more than that." I explained.

"Why?" She asked. I was a little taken by this actually. I mean I wasn't expecting that at all in the slightest. I was counting on "Good" or "Serves him right", but not "Why?".

"What do you mean?" I asked, obviously confused.

"Well he didn't get charged right? So why is he being punished by the NFL?"

Fair question. I had to think on it a minute. Then I remembered a quote that Goodell made back when he first took over as Commissioner, "I will do whatever it takes to protect the shield" he said. He was referring to of course the staggering rise of off the field player arrests and lawsuits. I remembered thinking to myself when he first said it, that it was probably the smartest, yet most difficult thing to pull off in this kind of league. I mean you don't pay guys millions of dollars to not play because of something they did off the field, do you?  Well yes as a matter of fact, you do.

Roger Goodell is a smart businessman. He understands a very simple truth, one that I have stated a bunch of times on here as well, your brand is everything! No one person is more important that the strength and viability of the entire organization. In other words, if you want to play this game on the field, you better walk the line off it too, because there are a bunch of little kids that adore you, look up to you and beg their parents to buy your jerseys.

"I recognize that the allegations in Georgia were disputed and that they did not result in criminal charges being filed against you," Goodell wrote to Roethlisberger. "My decision today is not based on a finding that you violated Georgia law, or on a conclusion that differs from that of the local prosecutor. That said, you are held to a higher standard as an NFL player, and there is nothing about your conduct in Milledgeville that can remotely be described as admirable, responsible, or consistent with either the values of the league or the expectations of our fans."

Those are some very harsh words to receive, but they are also dead on accurate. Not only will Roethlisberger miss the first six games of this season, but his name and personal brand is crap right now. The Steelers have even started to call around the league to see if there is a potential trade before the draft begins. As of this report, three out of the seven reached said no thanks. Mind you these aren't good teams either, but still they would rather suck some more than have that kind of baggage. It doesn't matter that he is a two time Super Bowl Champion, nobody wants to have to explain to their fans why they are going for a guy with these kind of ethics.

Sorry Big Ben, but your clock is running a little slow these days. My advice, get some help, stay in on Friday night, stop watching Boogie Nights and thinking that it's your life story and, oh yeah, grow the hell up!

Well needless to say, I will still be perched in front of my TV watching the draft in prime time for the first time ever. I'm excited too, even with all the drama, because I know that I have a guy running the league that I love who cares about it as much as I do. He proved it to me. He protected the shield.

Check out more stories and articles on www.theworldbyphil.com

Until Next Time....

April 20, 2010 - 1:14pm
posted by Session Placeholder in business, Blogs, Fraud, The World: By Phil.
P is for Perception: Don’t be these Guys, WC Budget Savers

One of the down sides to business, especially online and TV sales business, is that for every ten honest small companies, there is one that practices with shady ethics; WC Budget Savers is a prime example. Look I am not one to ridicule, but the laundry list of offenses by this company is so long that it would take putting Neo back into the Matrix to stop the scamming and fraudulent activity and figure out what it is this company actually does.

Here’s what happens. You either go online or call some phone number from an infomercial to receive a product that you are intrigued by and purchase. During that conversation you unknowingly consent to a “Free Trial” for another service. Sometimes you will receive a call from these people offering you a free gift, but sometimes you don’t even get that! The reason why I say not at all, is because in some cases they do not even list what other companies they are affiliated with, but do tell you that they can sell or “share” your information. Here is an example of that from Flirty Girl. This happened to a client of mine who purchased their fitness DVDs from their TV commercial. Here is what their site says:

 http://flirtygirlfit.com/privacy.html

Other Disclosures. We may share your personal information with carefully selected vendors, business partners and other organizations that are not a part of the Savvier Family. These companies may use the information we share to provide special opportunities and offers to you. If you do not want us to share information you provide to us with vendors, business partners and other organizations that are not part of the Savvier Family, please click here.

You have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the front page to get to the privacy link, which by the way is very small. Then after you get there you still have to read about 65% of their terms before you find this “other” portion. They do offer an “Opt Out” option, but it is set up in a way that you have to look for it. So if you have no idea where or what it is, POOF! You’re open to their offers!

Companies like WC Budget Savers pay for this information and then do whatever it is they do with it. In most cases consumers are being charged an array of different amounts from as little as $1.00 in the beginning to as much as $29.99 per month without even authorizing the charges. After the consumer discovers these charges, they begin a merry-go-round of phone calls to the different numbers that they have been provided. In some cases, the numbers listed are not even to the company but to personal cell phones of people who are not even involved. When the consumer finally gets through, they are promised a full refund. In some cases this has come to pass, in other cases not at all. Not only have these customers had to fight these charges, but some cases they were forced to close their bank accounts to ensure even further charges!

I can’t stress enough the needs for ethics in business, but if you are doing something like this, it probably won’t matter to you. The sad thing is it appears that WC Budget Savers might actually have a real service to offer, but at this point who cares? Why would anyone want to do business with a company that conducts themselves in this manner.

If you know of a fraudulent service or a company that is conducting themselves in a less than ethical way, please submit it to me at www.theworldbyphil.com. I will investigate it and tell everyone!

Until Next Time….

April 19, 2010 - 1:12pm
posted by Session Placeholder in business, Blogs, Leadership, The World: By Phil.
Do you remember when you were a kid? Every time that someone gave you a piece of candy at the store, or a cookie at a neighbor’s house, your parents would always chime in with, “What do you say?” Flash forward however many years later (No, ladies I am not asking any ages, my mama taught me better than that!) Now as an adult you find yourself running around like crazy for work, home and whatever else that you do trying to accomplish a million different tasks. Well that sounds about right for most of us on this crazy roller coaster of life, but let’s take it from another angle. How many of those times that you wore yourself out for someone else, did that person actually stop to thank you for those efforts?

We have all been taught from an early age to do that very thing. “Say thank you, young man” my mom would say, or my personal favorite and one that I have past on to my kids, “We can be many things in life, but we may never be rude!” All really great important lessons, but for some reason as I grew up and entered the work force, I realized that these lessons didn’t seem to apply to those in leadership positions. For whatever the reason, there was just never enough time to stop and say thank you. Kind of rude, huh? That’s what I thought!

One of the biggest complaints in most companies that employers receive from their staff is the sheer lack of recognition and appreciation they receive. People love to be noticed for their efforts. That’s simple and it makes sense too doesn’t it? If you are working hard and just killing it for your company, or even just taking on more responsibility, you want someone to look at those efforts and say, “Gosh they’re great and so are you!” or something less corny like it. If you’re a freelancer, you may or may not care as much, but it still feels good when your clients are grateful for your efforts and show it, right?  So why is this such a problem?

In a couple of recent Gallup polls, 43.5% of Americans say that they are dissatisfied with their direct line supervisor. The main reason? Lack of respect and appreciation.

The part that truly boggles me is the disdain that a lot of leaders have for this topic when it is brought up. This seems to have always been the case, but the current financial slow down has only escalated the effects. More so, over the past decade the United States has shown that is not as workplace family-oriented as many other wealthy countries. According to a study released by Harvard and McGill University researchers in February 2007, workplace policies for families in the U.S. are weaker than those of all high-income countries and even many middle-and low-income countries. The whole “Just be happy you have a job!” philosophy has become the standard in the minds of a lot of leaders. 

So what can you do? Well first off, if you are a leader of people reading this, regardless of the size of your team, ask yourself a simple question; Do I thank my employees? If the answer is yes, then I say great job. Keep it up! If the answer is no, then all I ask is this; Why? What is the reason that prevents you from doing it?

As I was coming up in my career, I have had the pleasure of experiencing all different types of leadership and management styles to work for. Some of the nicest people were the worst when it came to their professional duties and vice versa. For example, I had one boss who I became very good friends with as I moved up. He was one of the sweetest and kindest individuals that I had ever met. Yet he would never thank his employees for anything. I brought this up to him after I no longer reported to him and he told me point blank, “I pay them, that’s thanks enough.” Ouch.

Another example would be back in my retail days. I had literally one the worst leaders on the planet. The man had no right to be in the position he was in. He was unorganized, rude and had absolutely no business sense or vision. Yet, when he was dealing with his teams, he would thank them religiously and often. If he saw you killing yourself, he would tell you to take a break and buy you a coffee. Even though I couldn’t stand the man as a boss, I found myself staying late to help him with his paperwork so he wouldn’t get in trouble.

Showing your team gratitude isn’t a sign of weakness or makes you “soft”. It’s nothing more than being respectful. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive either. There are plenty of low to no cost sites that allow you to send free thank you cards. Here I’ll even give you one to get started http://www.123greetings.com/thank_you/at_work/. Just give a try and see what the results are. 

Take moment today and thank someone for all that they do for you. Remember, your company is absolutely nothing without people to create, make and buy what you are selling. You wouldn’t think twice of thanking your customers, so stop coming up with reasons to not thank your employees either.

Thanks for reading, now here’s a little something from me to you too. A little note so you know how much I appreciate you! http://www.123greetings.com/thank_you/at_work/atwork12.html

Please check out my website www.theworldbyphil.com

Until Next Time….  

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