Blog & News

Month: February 2011

One Year On – Taking Personal Responsibility

I started posting blogs just over one year ago and I am delighted to say that I am still blogging.  I have been told in a kind comment from Evelyn Lim that most bloggers don’t reach the year mark. For me I hope to continue and create many more blogs in the coming years.  Most of all thank you the readers for continuing to visit my website and provide support with your kind comments and suggestions.  They are well received and I look forward to your comments and feedback in the future. One of the most beneficial aspects for me personally is that I am living my blog and making those changes I want to make in my life. Believe in yourself and your dreams and don’t forget to make someone smile today. Please pass on my www.melclifford.com web address just to one new person today as a good recommendation is priceless.  Thank you in advance

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CEO’s Undercover –What a Joke

Have you been watching these TV programmes about CEO’s or MD’s of organisations who go undercover and work alongside their employees for one week to find out what’s wrong in the Company?  After the week they go home and their partners greet them with something like “oh darling how was it – how was it dealing with those little people “ But wait for it, on Monday morning they arrive to their cosy board room where all the people who are suppose to know what’s wrong in the business and who should be sorting it out are sitting there waiting to be told what is going on in the Company.  Then you hear the CEO saying something like “I worked with X down in production and they said ……. we must fix this now in our business, and the person responsible for this section of the company nodding their head in agreement.  I know what they are thinking – wait till I get my hands on that bastard.  All the other senior Directors sitting around the table are praying that the CEO will not mention anything about their department. Next thing the CEO calls the individuals whom they have worked with over the week to HEAD OFFICE (most important place) and surprises them with look it’s me your CEO not old nobody as you thought I was last week and guess what here is a holiday for you. Please give me a break – if the directors and senior individuals in your company including the CEO do not know what is going on in their business and are not out working alongside those who are delivering the services or products and if they are not listening or meeting their clients and customers then they should not be in their job. It’s a simple as that

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Elections – what a waste – Not your Vote

Tomorrow you will be asked for your vote for the elections in Ireland it is up to you to use your vote.  If you don’t vote then don’t start complaining.  My question is the majority of the individuals whom are asking for your vote are the same people who have been in politics and have contributed to the extreme difficulties that you and I find ourselves in.  In most political interviews over the past few weeks and even the first question asked in the last leader’s debate was ARE YOU BEING HONEST WITH THE IRISH PEOPLE?  Most of the debate was questioning the honesty of the parties. What does this tell you about these politicians? Ask yourself what are they fighting for? you or their own survival I guess their own survival.  I am ashamed of our politicians in Ireland and their greed and their contributions to the destruction of our country and yet tomorrow they will ask yet again for your VOTE. My questions still stands to each person standing for election what makes them different?

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What are your employees complaining about?

Just very recently while I was shopping I overheard in two different supermarkets employees giving out to each other about their working conditions.   On one occasion I had to interrupt their discussion to ask for directions to locate a product which, I was informed it’s over there. Not impressed with the answer and service – but who am I only a customer! What are your employees complaining about and to whom, you customers, your suppliers, their families?  Do you even know?  Well if you don’t I would find out now. Listen to your employees because your customers are.

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Please do not disturb – I am on my laptop

Sitting in the Coffee and Chocolate Café in downtown on a beautiful sunny morning, while I wrote it reminded me of the song by Stealers Wheel and the words Clowns to the left of me and jokers to the right stuck in the middle with you. Why because to my left of me sat three men all busy working on their laptops.  There was also one young lady with a book titled “Art & Fear, her pen in hand marking pages and writing about the chapters, what a beautiful sight.  To my right sat three other men with their laptops and guess what another young lady with a book reading and writing. Coffee shops are supposed to be places of meeting people good conversation and discussion.  But not here as all the people with their laptops may as well of had a sign saying “please do not disturb” they were busy connecting to the world outside.  It would be easy to say to the young ladies reading their books “what are you reading is it of interest” and guess what we have a conversation going. Then two men walked in and sat down with their coffee and just started talking and having a conversation and laughing what a beautiful sound of conversation.  I do have to say I have often sat in coffee shops on my own laptop – but I think now I will make more of an effort to bring back the art of discussion and conversation. Remove your “please do not disturb sign”

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Message from a Hostel – Land of Maple Syrup

Well Nora would you belief it in the land of Yankee Doodle they are still asking if their current President was born there.  Where did you hear that Alistair, on CNN News that chap Anderson Cooper said so.  They are searching for his Birth Certificate Nora, who’s Birth Certificate, Anderson’s?  – No Nora, the President of Yankee Doodle Land.  You would think with all their fancy computers, homeland security gadgets and information that they would know where their own President was born. Where was the President of the Land of Maple Syrup born, they don’t have a President Nora they have Queen, a Governor General, and Prime Minister.  Was their Queen born in the Land of Maple Syrup, Alistair?  No she was born in the land commonly referred to as the Mainland or GB, so what’s all the fuss over the Yankee Doodle President. Well Nora they say he must be born in Yankee Doodle Land to be President, maybe he’s Irish like all those other Presidents that came from Ireland. Any more interesting news on CNN Alistair, where was that President from Pasta Land born? Maybe if he was not born in Pasta Land he might not have to go to court so many times.

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Work

Work Work enjoyable or not Working for a living or living for work Questions we ask but seldom answer Upset by our thoughts each day Costly to those who we ignore while we work away Pretending that we enjoy what we do Who and where do we get our praise From within work by those who don’t really care Others we love get cheated by our time away Work a wasteful journey and wasteful mind Work why do we do it and what do we get Taking our best years and leaving us with full of regret So for work enjoy what you do For your life will go and work will leave nothing for you Fire yourself and do what you do For this is the real work that can be surely you Believe in yourself and your dreams

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Don’t wait for one day in the year make it every day

Last year on this very day I wrote a blog called Remind me again – its Valentine’s Day and wondered what I would write for today and I have chosen the same post with very minor changes as it is valid today as it was 365 days ago. Happy wishes to all lovers – and remember there are no limits when it comes to love.  Love is in the eye of the beholder.  Just think of the barriers people have placed before them as they seek to choose that special person in their life.  They think that the person must be this or they must be that or they must look like this or that, they must have this or must have that.  These false believes, looking for the Hollywood image. If we all closed our eyes and listened to the person’s heart, forget about the looks, forget about the money and forget all those false images and wants.  Just listen to their heart – for it is from there they will speak to you. When it all comes down to it, most of us just want to feel loved, have fun and be happy in our world.  The person that will do this for you is the person that is right for you.  One can have all the others false images but if you don’t have real love they have nothing.  So make sure when you have found this in your life that you work hard to keep it and deliver on your commitments in this relationship.  One way is to communicate on all levels, if you can’t do this then work at it, for communications is vital in a meaningful relationship. So for Valentine’s Day, one should not need just one day in the year to remind us to look after the one we love.  One day to tell them that they are loved or to make a little fuss about them just on this day.  Or on this special day to have fun with them and make them laugh.  For one day it will be your last day with the person you love, so do you need just this one day in the year called Valentine’s Day to remind you or will you remember every day. Change is in your hands don’t wait for Valentine’s Day for next year it may not come. Accept the divine imperfections of your beloved we all have them

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From Within

Well hi to this person inside Who can write such beautiful words and take a pen with ink and place these letters so carefully on a page for others to read and think of their inner side Wanting to understand and explore where life will bring them before they let life go Searching for reasons only they must find while letting each person be heard Well hi there to the person inside

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What makes amazing teamwork?

When it actually comes down to it knowing and doing are miles apart.  Reading about teamwork, knowing the right qualities, attributes and skills required is very different to being able to put these skills into practice.  One finds, elements like those who want the individual glory rather than the teams glory having a hidden present in a team activity.  The African tradition of teamwork and collaboration is called “Ubuntu” – “humanity towards others’. Yes there are lots of skills and qualities for success that we bring to team working like leadership, collaboration, innovations, here are some of my thoughts based on my experience as to what delivers amazing teamwork from the average to great teamwork.  Common sense is a good option to bring with you into a team, but sadly often forgotten. Key Skills for Success Poor Teamwork Standard Teamwork Great Teamwork Amazing Teamwork Communications Lacking and ineffective Mixed, lots said and lots lost Good and open and present at all times Open and Honest – both verbal and behavioural continuous throughout. Trust Lacking and absence yet mentioned but not practiced Mixed and selective to suit agenda Good and willingness to discussed referred too and time allocated to develop Demonstrated and without question.  Respect for self and others key part of participation Listing Lacking in self and others – with attached judgements before understanding Mixed and can be selective at times.  Used to suit positions Good with understanding and clarity constant review attentive behaviours Demonstrated with excellent understanding and clarity.  Internal listening to the self – respect for others Questioning Lacking and pointed to establish a “Got You” and “put downs” Mixed and selective sometimes a slowness to address the difficult questions required for the task Good and seeking better ways and understanding.  Difficult questions are asked and addressed Demonstrated and seeking better ways of understanding.  Internal questioning of the self.  Pulling the plug address when necessary Fun Only of others Laughter and smiles.  But often with business slagging attached Good environment created to allow the child within expressed Continuous without thought part of the project.  Positive environment at all times.  Expected that this is the only way to work Expectations Not Expressed in words but communicated in undertones Requested and recorder lack of reference during the task Requested and part of the project of achievement examined to ensure focus. Continually reviewed and encourage to achieve higher result from initial targets as the team grows in confidence. Concerns Not expressed in words demonstrated in undertone of behaviours Requested and recorder and hope of they will go away Put into action points in order to remove from the project.  Time spend to elevate as and when reviewed. Put into action points in order to support and remove.  Learning recognised and used within the project.  Discussed openly throughout the task. Support Conspicuous by its  absence Provided when recognised can be selective Encouraged and part of the project goals and learning.  Demonstrated in actions and stories. Feeling of security by teams members No competition between team members only individual competition to do better for the team.  Never requested always present. Challenge Low or nonexistent – if challenged done with agenda Provided when recognised often takes time to emerge Encouraged and part of the project goals and learning Introduced with positivity and encouragement.  Facing inner fears and overcoming personal challenge to improve project delivery. Objectives Fall short or not achieved Achieved put only just often reduced to ensure success outcomes. Achieved on time and in full but wishing and knowledge within the team of could of done better. Better than expected enhanced and a real sense of achievement within each team member. Learning Time wasted on blaming others Only certain Individual learning achieved Team and individual learning.  Experience of self and personal growth Individual growth and recognition of greater learning to be achieved and the sense of WOW can’t wait for more. Would you do it again Not with this team Yes but with a difference. Would call issues earlier. Yes, Captured the learning with personal growth for all the team.  Positive feeling of joy. Yes, learning realised and shared with other teams.  Team members anxious to work with new teams to learn more.  Celebration of success.

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