Business blog series…blog#5

Business blog series…blog#5

A lot of emphasis in school is placed on tests. Tests, while well intentioned show how much information has been retained after hours of memorization. The one caveat is can the test translate into true understanding.

While I definitely understand the need for testing; students need to be aware that A’s in school are just the beginning of reaching mastery in a given profession.

I was recently reading an article about football players that were preparing to be drafted and play professionally. The athletes that hadn’t been on national television and on the bubble of being drafted and not being drafted clamored at the prospects of showing their talent to any scout that would give them a chance. While the athletes that played at the high profile institutions were in discussions with their agents as if they would even show up to various events to be “tested”. I don’t begrudge the athletes, a poor performance would reduce their draft stock. Which really turns the “test” into winner takes all approach. These athletes could lose millions of dollars by being off a tenth of a second.

When I was a student, the semester started with a syllabus. Typically I saw four tests, maybe a few quizzes, and the big daddy of tests, “the final exam” on the schedule. Typically a test would be 10 percent apiece, while the final maybe 20-30 percent of your final grade. Personally, this often led to test fatigue for me, as I would do okay on the tests, but looked towards the final exam to give me the jolt I needed to get the A. I had other classmates make A’s the entire semester only to bomb the final exam. And be happy making a low A or high B as their final grade. It sort of became an academic exercise of sorts for some; wondering how many 100s they can make, to only bomb the final. It was done to mock the process in a way, and demonstrate that they didn’t have to study for the teachers final.

What’s the point! The point is that these “final exams” we have setup, whether they be academic in nature or for athletes to get drafted are flawed methods of determining lifetime performance. The tests in a way makes some of the the students forget the process. For the football players, I completely understand, the process is flawed. A bad test would definitely decrease their stock. However, someone with clout has to recognize the flaws and adjust. The final exams for students, for athletes, and in business deserve an asterisk if you’re attempting to turn that final into a comprehensive story of a persons future lifetime performance in life or sport.

As with every profession, “Consistency” is the currency of business. We consistently know what McDonald’s fries taste like whether we pick them up in California or Georgia (hold the salt 🙂 smile). And because of that consistency, it induces the consumer to seek out the product and purchase. The same thought process must be taught in school and in life.

You need good form, technique, and consistent practice to catch a ball and put balls in a hoop. You need discipline, the ability to serve customers, and provide consistency in providing quality products to be successful in business.

Give me the guy that ran the 40 yard dash 4.2, 4.3, 4.2 over the guy that ran 4.0 once. Give me the young man or woman that shows up to work ready to perform daily every day, every year and shows up rain or shine over the person that is a high performer but calls out every three weeks.

I’ll end this post with a question for you the reader and also for myself. How can we begin to quantify an employee’s consistency with metrics? For that matter, how can we quantify the managers consistency, or even ownership’s consistency over the course of business period?

Thanks for spending a moment with me. Peace!!

Self help… blog#5

Self help… blog#5

What’s the meaning of life?

Glorifying your creator; and then using the talents bestowed upon you to be of service.

Out of of all the things I’ve contemplated, it finally hit me one day that to really live life and enjoy it, you have to be okay with three facts. These are just my three facts that help keep me in check!

1) Its not about you! Meaning stop being self centered and consider the existence around you and make your actions lead to positive energy. Which can lead to good vibes and better outcomes.

2) Be of service! If you’ve found yourself in a rut, the easiest thing you can do is figure out how to be of service to someone else in need. In doing so, you will relieve the temptation to “beat yourself up” over past mistakes, hangups, or hurts. Being helpful not only helps others, it will help you.

3) Listen closely, so that you can learn. Everyday, wake up and and give thanks. Next, listen to the people that you meet. At the end of the day, ask yourself, “what did they teach me? What did I learn?” You will realize that you will be more mindful and respectful of others. We are all teaching each other daily. Recognize a persons good outputs and mimic those. Be a student of positives so that the negatives won’t completely tear you down. You can learn a lot by simply listening!

Peace!!! Thank you for sharing a moment with me!

3/7/2021

Business blog series…blog#4

Business blog series…blog#4

 

Prior to getting started tonight, take a moment to check out the previous business blogs.

Business blog #1

Business blog #2

Business blog #3

Leadership is difficult. The most important thing you can do on your journey to becoming a more well rounded leader is to reflect upon yourself and your own personal actions. There was a period of time in my management journey where I took cues and pages out of the book of people that “had done it before me”.

There was a mishmash of all types of leadership styles that I saw. Some of the leaders yelled. Some of the leaders might fire you before a dime hit the floor. Some leaders lead by example. Some leaders documented, documented, documented — because as this person stated “if you don’t document it, it never happened”. As you can guess, that last method created a tad bit of distrust between management and employee.

I realized my limitations very quickly as a leader. First, I lacked the knowledge of business language. And I set out on a journey reading books about business. Essentially, I kept gravitating towards the  pocket MBA type of  books. I looked at those books so much, that I decided to just try B-school for myself. This while helping to steer an organization that at the time was only 1 year old.

It was stressful process, working on the degree while managing the business;  but I quickly learned that I enjoyed my classes. And the classes where giving me foundational pieces of information that would help me lead a more efficient business.  Marketing strategy, operations management, accounting, finance to name a few were books I just kept reviewing.

B-school gave me a perspective on the science of business. At the same time, I was fulfilling a craving desire that I didn’t even realize that I had. Then, I would stumble upon those pesky management classes; that discussed managerial philosophy and the history of the industrial revolution and it’s impact on labor. How do you coach an employee to be productive? What workflows and processes do you need to have in place to effectively retain human beings? The science of business was great. While the sociology and humanism aspects of business were more difficult topics for me to decipher, because those concepts were not as  black and white.

I thought about the stressors I had been under. The stress to make things happen, create, and effectively budget while leading the ship. And I realized something…. I had these high expectations of others, and what their performance should look like. However, was I looking in the mirror and evaluating my own performance? I had employed some of the wrong cues in my leadership. The leaders before me meant well, but one size didn’t fit all. I was going to have to employ new tactics to reduce my employee turnover rate.

Was it everyone else’s fault? Did they not understand what I wanted — they just don’t see my vision? Or better yet, was it my fault and I needed to learn how to be a more effective communicator. A better leader?

The moral of this story is this…

1st — Understanding the history of human resource management is by far the chapter of any management book that you must read and re-read and study most closely. Can you hire well, and then after you hire well, can you retain quality people to help fulfill the vision that you see for your organization?

2nd — If you look up one day, and you realize that everyone is making the mistake and people just can’t understand your high standards. Take a moment, pause, and reflect and ask yourself, “are they the problem or am I the problem?” It’s funny how that can happen so quickly. Leaders tend to create a bubble for themselves. Before you know it, you’re living in a bubble where everyone else is wrong, and you’re the only one with all the answers. Remember, theres more than one way to get to a right answer in the “real world.” If you think everyone is crazy and you’re the only one that is right… or better yet, if you find yourself in a time of your life when everyone wants to run from you and you can’t figure it out… Realize that you… Yes, you the magical leader that can do no wrong, needs to reflect and look in the mirror. Take a close look and maybe find some friends and family in your life to remind you of all the times you’ve been wrong!

Two points that I hope you take a moment to consider. I hope that if leadership is the path that you’ve taken, you can always take a moment to re-evaluate yourself. Please make time to be around people that don’t think like you. It will push you to be better and do better. You need the perspective of a lot of people to truly impact the lives of millions.

Peace!

Self help… blog#4

Self help… blog#4

A list of small truths that I’ve come across and reflected upon..this is by no means is a complete repository of all the information that I’ve taken in. But I thought it would be nice to share as I recently had this conversation, and felt that it was very helpful for the person to hear.

1. Be peculiar — to be peculiar means to be strange, odd, or different. Realize that it’s okay for people to not understand your vision. Follow your own personal truth and set out on achieving the dreams and goals that you believe God has set out for you on this journey of life.

2. Understand that 1 out of 2 people will dislike you. This therefore means that 1 out of 2 people will like you. The most successful people in this world understand this to be true. You will not be liked by everyone. And your ideas and conclusions regarding this life may be misinterpreted. But set your goals to a life of trying to be better each day. By creating this small habit, you will build value and trust within your community. Therefore, people that really know you, will fully understand that your intentions are to do no harm to others. Search for a meaning of helping and being of service. Ultimately who you are and what you’ve done to serve others will not fully be recognized while your footsteps walk this earthly life.

3. Realize that all relationships come to a conclusion. Whether it be because of your choice or Gods will. When dealing with others, do you focus on what the person does wrong or what the person does well? We all focus on negativity, it’s the easier to do. But to truly move forward in this world, you have to have optimism while also remaining firm in reality. Simply put, you’re a cynical optimist! 🙂

4. Lastly, in all your relationships, never attempt to hold a person back from what God wants them to be. It reflects poor character and has poor outcomes for building sustainable relationships and trust with others. You will be perceived as an enemy rather than a friend if you come off as a pest, obstacle, or unnatural deterrent to another man or woman’s goals. Please don’t be that person! There is enough in this life to go around for everyone.

Thank your sharing a moment with me today.

Peace!!

Self help… blog#2

Self help… blog#2

Keep pressing forward. As you move forward in this day, remember the following regarding the “spirit of doubt”:

  1. It is human nature to remember the bad instead of the good.
  2. It is human nature to look for whats wrong instead of right.
  3. It is human nature to focus on your failures rather than your success.
  • To move forward in this life you can not bask in the past. You must be present in the here and now to remain motivated to move forward for the sake of your future.
  • Remember your failures, and remember those things that you wish you got right and yet got wrong. But only bask in the remembrance of failures for a moment.

The thoughts of failures in the moment can and should be used in a manner to allow for you to refocus your energies on maximizing your current opportunities. Please use those thoughts as a map. And with that map reroute your position(s) in a manner to help you gain the correct route for success that you desire.

Sam Blakemore is the Pharmacy Manager of Peds Rx Pharmacy Solutions. Connect with him via: LinkedIn

Self help.. blog#1

Self help.. blog#1

I am a first generation pharmacist. I didn’t grow up knowing pharmacists. And I never considered the profession until my high school chemistry teacher told me to consider it as a career path. Once I got to college, I was filled with self doubt as to if I could even accomplish the goal of becoming a health care professional.

I dabbled with various career paths: medicine, physical therapy, etc.. But in the back of my mind, I kept considering what my high school chemistry told me.

I had a college professor my junior and senior year that often spent time coaching us “students” prior to his lecture. At the time I really think much of it, but after self reflection, I realize now that he was offering us “self help” sessions. He wanted us to reach our goals, He wanted to coach you people up to reach their full potential. I naturally gravitated to his candor, spirit, teaching prowess, and charm. And it was simply because he cared.

3 Points to consider: 

  1.  Listen to your family and friends when it comes to what they tell you are your natural strengths.

  2. Listen carefully to the people that you respect, and carefully begin crafting a list of what you’re naturally gifted at.

  3. Be persistent 

Summary of why these ideas are important

It’s very tempting in this life to focus on what you’re not got at. You may even spend alot of time on the things you’re not good at, attempting to overcompensate for your lack of talent in that particular facet of life. However, it’s best that you focus your energy on your God given gifts.

So you’re saying, “forget what you’re not good at?” Nope… I’m not saying that. You still must put the work in to become a well rounded individual; use your time wisely and take advantage of your gifts to maximize your potential.

Once you have reached a conclusion about your strengths, weaknesses, and goals — you must stay focused on the the process that must be undertaken to reach your endpoint. For example, to reach my goal of becoming a pharmacist, one of the endpoints I had to reach was gaining admission to pharmacy school. Write down the process that you must undertake to get from Point A to Point Z. Once the steps have been written down and confirmed with much thought, begin using checklists and a calendar to determine how much time it will take you to reach your desired goal.

Leave no steps in the process blank. Think of what will go right and what will go wrong? Prepare yourself for an outcome that you may not even like, but all the while — remain persistent in achieving what you have determined to be the endpoint.

Sam Blakemore is the Pharmacy Manager of Peds Rx Pharmacy Solutions. Connect with him via: LinkedIn