Monthly Archives: February 2014

He was so brilliant it is often hard for me to pick just one favorite quote.

“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”
Peter F. Drucker

“The three most charismatic leaders in this century inflicted more suffering on the human race than almost any trio in history: Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. What matters is not the leader’s charisma. What matters is the leader’s mission.”
Peter F. Drucker, Managing the Non-Profit Organization: Principles and Practices

 

Happy Friday my friends, enjoy your weekend.

Danielle

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What are they thinking? No Really, WHAT?

I truly wish I new… Have you ever thought about how it feels to be in a wheelchair and you try and use a public restroom? Stick with me I have a point, and remember I am all about process improvement and how to make things work better! 

My step-dad is confined to a wheelchair.  I know confined isn’t the PC term, but that is exactly what he would tell you if you asked him. Who created this PC nonsense anyway.. that is a topic for anther day.  He cannot walk because of a stroke in 2005 that left him with left side paralysis.  He hates it, I hate it and my siblings hate it.

You know what sucks EVEN more than being confined to a wheelchair? Trying to use a public restroom that is only just the size of your wheelchair, so your not able to close your door, but wait there is more…

Let me draw you a picture, handicap toilets are in general higher off of the ground.  Which is wonderful if you have limited mobility because that fall to the seated position is a dooooozy! It can freak a person out! Then you have finished your business and now… low and behold… What were they thinking?  The toilet paper roll is BELOW the handicap bar.  So you’re on a higher toilet, you have no mobility in your left side (in this particular instance) and now you have to high dive off of the toilet to reach the toilet paper… This is a fantastic cocktail! Seriously, what were they thinking!

For all those looking to improve the ease of use for those with confinements or limited mobility, think about how they would use the product or service. For any business, think about your end user, your customer, the entire reason you exist. This goes back to my topic from yesterday.

Can you tell this topic really heats me up?  This isn’t even a costly fix, but it will be after the first lawsuit goes through for someone falling off the loo and banging their bobo…

cheers!

So… I have this theory

I have been working since I was roughly fifteen. Even at a young age, I was aware of customer service and the importance of one seeing the value in the service/product that you are offering. Maybe it is because I have always been entrepreneurial or just because of my personality makeup, but I don’t think that customer service is where it begins and ends, but rather seeing your product or service from the customers view point and ensuring it is successful to use.  When I was in undergrad this was drilled into my head to the Nth degree with regard to craftsmanship, usability, perspective, customer service, and overall packaging.  I was an Advertising major, so the end users opinion of your product is/was ALL that maters. 

If the customer can’t use your product then what is the point?

As a public servant I see this ALL-THE-TIME.  Government officials or servants, become so consumed in a task, sometimes they loose sight of the point, and completely missing the mark… The public service sector is not the only culprit, major corporations are guilty of this as well. 

This past weekend my amazingly handsome and charming boyfriend took me out on a motorcycle ride. He was eager to test out these new headsets he had gotten us and installed on his own, using the companies instructions. We planned to go for a ride and have a picnic lunch; I know, eat your heart out ladies. 

As we are getting ready for our ride we cannot seem to get our systems to link to each other… We can hear the audio on the transmitter if we listen to the weather, but we can not hear each other… Darn it! We went on our ride and enjoyed the picnic and beautiful Texas weather, despite the issue.  After a phone call to the company the next day, a customer service representative acknowledged they “don’t have the best instructions on how to install and operate the device”.  The little device was installed properly but we were not turning it on correctly.  Shame on you nameless company!  Your most important mission, and you failed. As the saying goes “you had one job”… 

Again, maybe it is just because of my background, but I come across these situations routinely.  I want to reach out and help these companies, they have great products, but they WILL not last if they don’t fix their processes!  Process improvement and a little bit of research and development or even bothering to use your own product would have prevented this error! 

As one of my favorite leaders so eloquently stated, “You can never go too far wrong by thinking like a customer who’s new to the business.” – Sir Richard Branson

………………….So, my theory is this, we have stopped thinking about the “end user”…

Here’s to thinking about your end user today and always.

Danielle

Clarsonic Mia 2

My wonderfully, amazing, dashing, stallion of a boyfriend likes to tease me that I am middle aged (on a scale of 100). I am not sure if it is our food or our environmental factors but over the last couple of years I have really struggled with adult acne, so much so that I have needed medical intervention to clear it up on more than one occasion. I find this shocking given that I never had acne as a teenager and I was a serious athlete. I have worked to simplify my skin cleaning regimen by putting less products on my face.

I used to be a manger for a major high end cosmetics company so I would buy expensive creams and exfoliators to take care of my skin. A few years ago Clarsonic started making these cute little devices that exfoliate your skin. I was a skeptic at first, I am usually not the first to jump on any bandwagon and I was very afraid of over exfoliation, I DO NOT want to prematurely age people! Have you seen how young 60 year olds look these days. I am kidding; I say bring on the years, but I would like to have great skin for as long as I can.

Back to the Clarsonic… I did my research and decided that the Mia two was the device for my needs. The higher end device that will exfoliate your body is a great idea in theory… but, I am only 4’11” and I couldn’t imagine how long it would take to exfoliate the entire body with that little guy, which is only slightly bigger than the Mia 2… I mean the Mia 2 is set up for a full one minute default on the face (which I would NOT recommend ever going past that mark). How long does the entire body take? The other devices are great, but the Mia 2 has the timer system and two speeds, PLUS I was able to get it in my favorite color, Pink! BONUS!

I happened to luck out and catch a “sale” at Sephora when they were turning over last seasons colors and scored mine for $99, only to find out at the register that it was miss marked. The sales woman never skipped a beat, never appeared troubled only confused as she kept scanning and rescanning b/c the price wasn’t coming up correctly at the $99, but Sephora honored the price. Thank you Sephora for the amazing customer service. I was very excited since I had saved since November to buy it at $150.

My thoughts on this little gizmo: It is my faces new BFF. I don’t buy the soap that they sell with it because I discovered months ago that Suave extra gentle for kids (you know the clear one with Papa Smurf) removed makeup FAR more supperior than any makeup remover on the market. I saved myself LOADS of money in the long run buying this lil’ gal. I was spending $20 every couple of months on a cream exfoliator, this device will pay for itself in ten months. I highly recommend this device and use it only as directed or you will over exfoliate which leads to premature aging!!! (girly scream!)

Cheers to growing old but doing so gracefully.

Cheesy but true, how I found my happiness

I did not have the best childhood, at least for the first ten years of my life. I was in an angry house, my mother and father loved each other intensely, too intensely; and alcohol was a strong anger incubator for my dad. I remember periods of this childhood being exceptionally happy, or maybe they were just normal to the average kid. However, the other days were dark, scary and were filled with fear. I was never afraid for my life, I was afraid for my mom’s life. My mom was and is still a strong woman, she was a teen mom of two, our protector and certainly a survivor, she fought to provide a better life for my siblings and myself.

I remember the exact moment that I recall my life was different; and that it was OK for me to be happy and enjoy my life. It was spring of my sixth grade year, I had just tried out for seventh grade cheerleader. I am not sure why I tried out to be perfectly honest, I wasn’t a popular kid, I was a nerdy girl, who didn’t know how to fix her hair, and I didn’t have cute clothes, nor did I have many friends. I was actually pretty quite at school. I just thought it looked like fun. The cheerleaders were always happy and I guess wanted to be that happy too.

I recall that day after tryouts were over being so unfamiliarly happy. I was walking in the halls at school between classes and people were coming up to me telling me that they voted for me. They voted for ME! Yes, ME! I couldn’t believe it. It was in that exact moment that I decided I wanted to be that happy, everyday. I know it sounds cheesy, but this is the exact moment that I knew I was an optimist and nothing else would do for me. I wanted to feel that happiness everyday.

To this day I think about those first ten years, how they affected my thoughts, goals and aspirations, and how they made me stronger. Often my thoughts drift to my daughter and I grateful.

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I have things to say, feel free to read them…

I used to blog, pre-daughter, pre-grad school, pre-my last life… You get the idea. Then my daughter was born five years ago, and I stopped writing, not that I didn’t want to write, I was just exhausted and unmotivated. Then when I finally became motivated to write I found myself in Graduate school working on my MBA, I was already having to write more than enough to kill that itch. I graduate in eleven weeks, the countdown has begun and I have been wanting to record some of these leadership topics we are covering in this class.

The reason I started writing a blog in the first place was simply to become a better writer. I did not go to a fancy school, with an exhaustive list of highly qualified and credentialed English teachers, I went to public school, like every other average Joe. Not only did I go to public school, but my brain was rarely in the classroom with me, ADD symptoms… Yes, they were screaming, very loudly. The only class that I was ever truly engaged in was Math, why Math was the exception, I have NO idea.

In full disclaimer, I am horrible at sentence structure, I am horrible at spelling and I do not claim to be a great writer. So read with caution. You WILL likely find errors; however, I do proof my work and edit it prior to publishing, there are mistakes that pass me by. I write this to say that, I am not a great writer, so I do this to develop my skills and just “say what I need to say”, thank you John Mayer for that beautiful line. So, if you find that I make a mistake, please let me know, kindly, so that I can learn from my errors. Here are a few starters, I ALWAYS have trouble with since and sense, and effects and affects. I know that sense involves emotions of ones person, and that affect is an action. Anytime I go to write a sentence using either of these words, my brain goes blank…

Occasionally, OK, more often than not, I will write something from my perspective and opinion, it is just that my opinion, and I respect that you have yours, so please respect that I am allowed to have mine and agree that neither is better than the other.

Here is a picture of my daughter and I from our vacation in Aspen that my wonderful boyfriend took us on last week.

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