What Bagging Groceries taught me about owning my job…

A struggle that we all have is taking charge of our on-the-job training.  Some people say, “That’s not my job”.  Some say, “No one trained me”.   “I don’t have time to learn this”, etc.

Guess what?  You may not have been trained on something.  Or you missed it.  Or perhaps you did not make the connection.  The question is, what are you going to do about it?

I learned about the value of this responsibility early in my first job.  I was fortunate to get a job bagging groceries in Buehler’s in Medina, Ohio.  I was extensively trained on how to put the groceries into the bag, load them in the cart, and thank the customer.

During my training, I was given an overview of the store product layout.  Whether I did not pay attention or forgot, there were some products that I did not know where they were.

About once per shift, I would be asked to retrieve a product a customer forgot, or there was a damaged product that I would need to trade out.  I would be asked to go get this product while the customer was being rang up.  This opportunity needed hustle and ability to find the product quickly.  I had the hustle part down……

In my first month, one night I was asked to make a product run.  The customer had dozens of groceries, so I had some time.  I was not sure what the product was, but I was confident I could find it.  I took off with confidence, which quickly disappeared as I scrambled unsuccessfully to locate.  As the seconds ticked away, I kept looking and looking and looking.  I started to nervously sweat and felt like a failure.  I was finally able to locate another staff person who helped bail me out. When I returned to the counter, the customer was waiting impatiently and let me know how she felt about my delay.  I burned with shame at my failure.

After that incident, I resolved to not fail again.  I would get to work 10 minutes early, or take my breaks and walk the aisles to learn where products where.  I would do this at least once/week to learn about any changes.  I did not think it was extraordinary, I just wanted to serve the customer to the best of my ability, and to solve their problems as they came up.

To take charge of your learning curve, I would suggest the following:

  • look at available literature and website, learn about current services, current products, and some organization history
  • know who runs each department and how to contact them or their staff
  • ask questions
  • personal observations-see customers and staff in action
  • ask customers about their experience
  • know about your competitors

I don’t know everything about customer service, but I do know that the people who succeed are the ones who strive to be seen as an expert by the customer.

 

 

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Here are a couple of my most viewed posts.

Click here for my book review of Toughness:  Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas

Click here for my book review of The Power of Negative Thinking by Bob Knight

Click here for my book review of Bo’s Lasting Lessons:  The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership

Brothers should bunk

I am the author of The Basketball Match Up Zone and Multi-Purpose Basketball Offense ebooks.

 

 

 

 

Ryan has mastered the delay game……

During his legendary coaching career, Dean Smith of North Carolina developed and mastered the Four-Corner Offense, a delay game designed to protect a lead late in the game.

By spreading the floor and developing skilled ball handlers, defensive teams were forced to chase the ball.  North Carolina was able to draw fouls or get dribble penetration for layups.  They often were able to build on the lead they had when they started the Four Corners.

In high school, Triway was our opponent that had mastered this offense, coached by legendary coach Randy Montgomery.  We could never beat Triway, because they were good enough to go into this offense just leading by a couple of points and maintain or build on their lead.  His players were exceptional at handling the ball and making free throws down the stretch.

Recently, Ryan has developed his “delay game routine” during bedtime.  He doesn’t want to get out of the bathtub…. Then he brushes his teeth for two minutes… Then he goes to the bathroom… Then he wants to play with his toys..  Then he wants to read 4 books….then he wants a drink….a snack….say two things we are each thankful for….then prayers….and the bathroom again….take something downstairs….bring something from downstairs….

The thing is….these are all things we have encouraged…..What are the alternatives?

  • he is a dirty, smelly kid
  • smelly breath and filthy teeth
  • wet the bed
  • no imagination, plays video games
  • no desire to learn through reading
  • wakes up in the middle of the night because he is thirsty/hungry
  • has no sense of gratitude or appreciation
  • doesn’t think of others
  • takes out clutter
  • bring up a comfort item

When I look at this list in this way, do you think I mind the delay game in the grand scheme of things.  Absolutely not!  I never wake up feeling angry that I had the opportunity to spend extra time with him.  These delay game items are teaching him values and the thrill of learning.  These are foundation pieces.

I would love to hear about your children’s “delay games”.  Have a great day!

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Here are a couple of my most viewed posts.

Click here for my book review of Toughness:  Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas

Click here for my book review of The Power of Negative Thinking by Bob Knight

Click here for my book review of Bo’s Lasting Lessons:  The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership

Brothers should bunk

I am the author of The Basketball Match Up Zone and Multi-Purpose Basketball Offense ebooks.

 

 

Don’t Overlook the “Little Things”

When conducting a facility check recently, I noticed one of my student staff, Noah Gilbert, playing a game of two-on-two basketball.  I stood and watched a few minutes to see what kind of game Noah has.

During one sequence, Noah received the ball on the left wing and made an excellent post feed, right to the target his teammate presented away from the defense.  Noah then made an excellent basket cut off of his post feed.  He got a step on his defender, so the defender guarding the ball in the post stepped back to prevent a pass to Noah.  Noah’s teammate faked the pass to Noah, and then knocked in an 8-foot jump shot.

Did Noah score on this play?  No, but he was responsible for creating the open shot, and deserves a lion’s share of the credit for creating this score.  The average spectator may only give credit to the shooter who scored the points, but teammates deserve equal credit when the opportunity is created.  I observed in this short time that Noah knows how to play the game, and he cares about his team winning.  I have also witnessed his unselfish, team-first, positive energy behavior in his work.

In reading Dick DeVenzio’s book There’s Only One Way To Win:  Lessons From A Legend:  Modern Success Principles From An Old-School Coach, Coach DeVenzio would shout affirmation to the players who created the opportunity, rather than the scorers.  His rationale was that others would give the scorer all the credit, and he wanted to let everyone know he valued all who created the score (Click this link to read my book review).

After reading this section of the book, I have always shouted encouragement when I coach, play, or observe a “little thing”.  I shouted, “Great basket cut, Noah!”  He may have thought I was crazy, but I don’t mind.

As a leader or to casual observers, it is easy to give credit to the person who got the end result, finished the job, or who leads the team.  Great leaders recognize that the teammates who provided the logistical support, encouragement, or legwork to make the end result a possibility need to demonstrate appreciation for their roles.

Noah’s post feed and basket cut may have been  “little things”, but consider the alternatives if he didn’t take positive action.  A turnover, a contested shot, could have changed everything.

If you are the leader or the “finisher”, step up and thank the teammates who helped make success possible.

I would love to hear your feedback.

Ron

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Here are a couple of my most viewed posts.

Click here for my book review of Toughness:  Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas

Click here for my book review of The Power of Negative Thinking by Bob Knight

Click here for my book review of Bo’s Lasting Lessons:  The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership

I am the author of The Basketball Match Up Zone and Multi-Purpose Basketball Offense ebooks.

*My blog contains affiliate links.  I have read all these book links and recommend them because they have tremendous value.

Product endorsement-Trunki travel suitcases

blue-terrance-trunki-extrathm-1843_1

Over the last six days, our family traveled across the country through four different airports with two young boys.  Before the trip, Jen bought a suitcase for each boy, called a Trunki (see attached link).

The boys loved it.  It has a good amount of storage room.  It fits into the airport scanners or another large suitcase.  It has key locks.  But best of all…..the boys can ride it or pull it.  This promises to have many good times beyond going to airport terminals.

We are all challenged to keep our children entertained, especially without the aid of ipads or television.  We had great success with it.

Best of luck in your family travels.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Here are a couple of my most viewed posts.

Click here for my book review of Toughness:  Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas

Click here for my book review of The Power of Negative Thinking by Bob Knight

Click here for my book review of Bo’s Lasting Lessons:  The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership

I am the author of The Basketball Match Up Zone and Multi-Purpose Basketball Offense ebooks.

*My blog contains affiliate links.  I have read all these book links and recommend them because they have tremendous value.

How did Wooden do it?

How did Wooden do it?

I am an unabashed fan of John Wooden.  His success, his modesty, his teachings, his willingness to share his gifts to help others set a model I aspire to within my life. I have read most of the books he authored or co-authored and I think the pyramid of success is as good of a model to live your life as anything you can find.

Regarding the title of this blog, I am not talking about the ten National Championships Coach Wooden’s teams won.  I am wondering how he learned to live in Los Angeles.

We are in LA for my brother-in-laws wedding, and we are driving around seeing some sites.  I do not mind the hustle and bustle, but the congestion of humanity and buildings is overwhelming.  Quiet does not seem to be an option.

How did this shy, quiet, farm kid, small-town guy, end up spending most of his life living and working in this environment?  I have never
read anything that indicated he was regretful about it.  In his books, he always speaks fondly of his parents, his small-town life, and the lessons/values he learned.  He had opportunities to return to this lifestyle, but chose to stay in Los Angeles.

The best answer I could come up with….is that he found his niche.  As Wooden often said ” Things turn out best for those who make the best of the way things turn out.”  He found his community within his neighborhood and UCLA.  It seems as though he found most things he needed to live a lifestyle to his and his family’s liking within this community.

Because of his accomplishments in coaching and where he lived, he could have capitalized on this to be more visible.  He stayed true to himself and did what he could to stay out of the limelight.

As a coach, what impresses me most about Wooden is the key adjustments he made throughout his career.  He truly lived a favorite quote of his “It is what you learn after you know it all that counts”.  Here are my brief observations:

  • He made adjustments in mid-career regarding how he rotated players in and out of practice scrimmages.  He used this model to develop a solid 7-8 player rotation the last twelve years of his career.  He did not subscribe to the theory of playing a lot of players, he wanted to smaller, more cohesive unit.
  • He developed the 2-2-1 zone press at the urging of his assistant Jerry Norman.  They used this press to win two national championships with no starters over 6’5′, still the shortest starting five to do so.
  • He won when his best players were centers, forwards, or guards.  He adjusted his system, tempo, and focus to highlight his best players regardless of position.  He could coach the power game, the up-tempo fast breaking and pressing game, or the driving/slashing game.
  • He recruited the big-time talent (Alcindor, Walton, etc.), but he also developed less-heralded players.

As we near the start of March Madness, the legacy of Coach Wooden and UCLA will be presented with renewed interest.  I have included my personal favorite John Wooden books (there are many to chose from).  These books speak to personal development and values, leadership, and basketball tactics.

Wooden:  A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court

Wooden on Leadership:  How to Create a Winning Organization

Inch and Miles:  The Journey to Success (children’s book)

John Wooden’s UCLA Offense

John Wooden’s Practical Modern Basketball

Twitter handle for great Wooden quotes

 

I would love to hear what you think about this post.  Life adjustments, March Madness, John Wooden, favorite quotes, whatever…..Have a great day and thanks for reading!

R

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Here are a couple of my most viewed posts.

Click here for my book review of Toughness:  Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas

Click here for my book review of The Power of Negative Thinking by Bob Knight

Click here for my book review of Bo’s Lasting Lessons:  The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership

I am the author of The Basketball Match Up Zone and Multi-Purpose Basketball Offense ebooks.

*My blog contains affiliate links.  I have read all these book links and recommend them because they have tremendous value.

The “Firsts” always bring a flood of emotions

History will judge if we are brave or foolish, but we are taking our boys on a trip to California this week.  The reason is a fantastic one, my brother-in-law is getting married in Santa Barbara.  No qualms there.

This will be our boys first time flying, and we know there will moments of frustration.  We just hope there are not too many.

Jen solicited ideas from family and friends about traveling with young children, who responded by taking their valuable time to provide wonderful insights.  We thank everyone for this.

One of the ideas Jen got was to provide “goodie bags” to all guests seated around your area, with a note inside asking for patience with our first flight with our boys’ names.  Jen took action and did this with the wording “Hi, our names are Ryan (3) and Sawyer (1.5) and we are really excited to be on our first airplane ride today.  We are going to be ring bearers in our uncle’s wedding.  We’re sorry if we are a little loud on the plane-our mom and dad are working really hard to keep up busy.  Here are some treats for you.  Enjoy!”

As she was telling me about this action, she could not finish her story because she started tearing up.  I love this woman so much, because she gets right into her soul and reaches mine with her spirituality.  It is amazing to have and share such deep feelings about our children.

Our AFS student, Matheus, is also coming along.  We are so pleased to share this experience with him and we hope it is a memorable journey for him as well.

If you have a memory of your first cross-country journey with your children, or have any last-minute advice, I would love to hear it.  I am sure I will have some good yarns to spin this week.  Thanks for reading!

R

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Here are a couple of my most viewed posts.

Click here for my book review of Toughness:  Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas

Click here for my book review of The Power of Negative Thinking by Bob Knight

Click here for my book review of Bo’s Lasting Lessons:  The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership

I am the author of The Basketball Match Up Zone and Multi-Purpose Basketball Offense ebooks.

Even a Broken Clock Is Right Twice a Day……

For the readers who appreciate and love great sports rivalries, paying a compliment to your rival can seem like drinking acid.  If just looking at your rival’s jersey makes you gag and fires you up, you would rather slam your hand in a car door than say something positive about your arch-nemesis.  I have mellowed somewhat as I have gotten older, but as an Ohio State fan, the sight of seeing the maize and blue of the Michigan Wolverines makes my skin crawl.

My favorite story about this rivalry talks about Woody Hayes and an assistant coach returning to Ohio from a recruiting trip into the State Up North. The car was running low on fuel as Toledo beckoned, but Woody would not let the assistant purchase gas in Michigan so they were not contributing to the state’s economy, even at the risk of pushing the car across the state line.  NOW THAT’S A RIVALRY!

Bleah!  This was my initial reaction when I came across Bo’s Lasting Lessons:  The Legendary Coach Teaches the Timeless Fundamentals of Leadership written by John Bacon.  I know Mr. Schembechler was a great coach, but he coached at Michigan, for goodness sakes.  Blasphemy!  However, being a sports historian, knowing that he assisted Woody Hayes at Ohio State, played and coached at Miami University (where I work), and grew up in Akron, gives me solace knowing he is an Ohioan who Michigan had to import into their program.

Over my life, I have read around 200 books on leadership and personal development.  Simply put, this is one of my three favorite leadership books of all time. From start to finish, there are wonderful talking points from a common sense point of view.  If you are familiar with Mr. Schembechler’s voice, you can imagine his voice crackling through these points and getting you pumped up to do your best.  If you are a football fan familiar with the great tradition of Michigan, you will love the personal anecdotes Schembechler shares to hammer his points home.  It is easy to see why players loved to play for Bo and why they excelled during their playing careers and as adults.

The book concludes with wonderful reflections from Mr. Schembechler, who passed away just before the book was published, his former players and coaches, and colleagues.  These sections alone illustrate the value of the kind of leadership Bo discussed in the book.  He clearly lived his ideals.

If you are an athletic coach, it is easy to relate his concepts into your program.  However, the concepts in this book are relevant to any profession and the type of leadership needed to excel.  Men, Women, and Teenagers on any kind of life journey will get value from this great read.

Click the links on each chapter below to get the notes from each section.

Chapter 1; Chapter 2; Chapter 3; Chapter 4; Chapter 5; Chapter 6; Chapter 7; Chapter 8; Chapter 9; Chapter 10; Chapter 11; Chapter 12; Chapter 13; Chapter 14; Chapter 15; Chapter 16; Chapter 17; Chapter 18; Chapter 19; Chapter 20; Chapter 21; Chapter 22; Chapter 23; Chapter 24; Chapter 25; Chapter 26; Chapter 27; Chapter 28; Chapter 29; Chapter 30; Chapter 31

Please enjoy the information and be sure to see my other reviews listed below.  Thank you for reading and feel free to drop me a line.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Here are a couple of my most viewed posts.

Click here for my book review of Toughness:  Developing True Strength On and Off the Court by Jay Bilas

Click here for my book review of The Power of Negative Thinking by Bob Knight

I am the author of The Basketball Match Up Zone and Multi-Purpose Basketball Offense ebooks.