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May 05, 2021

Collaboration Always Nets More Growth

It's a beautiful Saturday morning on the Ross Barnett Reservoir and although the crappie bite has been slow, we have a few small fish in our live well. Thump! Oh yeah, I can tell by the bite this is a big fish. Setting the hook with a quick upward thrust of the jig pole, I feel the weight of this fish. Finally, I have a quality fish on. Here he comes to the top wrapped in lily pads. On no, he is hung and if I pull any harder, it will pull the hook out of his mouth. He is literally suspended right above the water. Instantly I'm yelling for help from my favorite crappie fisherman, Bruce. 

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Topics: Communication, Collaboration, Leadership

February 24, 2021

Being Right Is Not Always the Best Outcome

Here we go again as I have taken being right too far, and I’m certainly not without fault in this communication snafu. It started as I got home early and CeCe was finishing up outside with some yard work. We sat down for a moment and both agreed we wanted to take Oliver (our Yorkie puppy) for a walk.  

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Topics: Relationships, Communication

February 17, 2021

7 Tips To Manage Your Energy

As I walk into the living room, CeCe is in her chair, scanning Facebook or shopping on her phone and my entry goes pretty much unnoticed. Well, let’s be transparent — totally unnoticed. I admit, it’s a real downer as I was hoping that my arrival might peak the slightest bit of excitement, joy, happy greeting or at least an expression of curiosity. Don’t we all look for that recognition and acceptance from our close family and friends?  

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Topics: Relationships, Communication, Positive Energy, Energy

February 03, 2021

Truth-Tellers Are a Gift 

Today, February 3, CeCe and I celebrate our 20th anniversary. Hopefully, and Lord willing, as you read this, we are on the beach checking off one of our “bucket list” destinations in St. Lucia. I’ve just finished writing CeCe’s anniversary card. Now I could share the card’s contents with you, but that would be the end of my beBetter blog and ME! CeCe is such a great sport to provide me the liberty to share some of her experiences, both good and bad, so I want to be careful and not get too loose with the stories. 

There are two comments in the card that I think could help each of us to #beEvenBetter.  

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Topics: Relationships, Communication, CeCe

December 09, 2020

3 Words We Need To Stop Saying

“What do you want to do for dinner tonight, CeCe?” I don’t care is her number one response by a long shot. When I’m with team members, “Where do you want to go to lunch today?” “I don’t care.” Wow, if we only had a restaurant named I Don’t Care, it would be full of customers.

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Topics: Communication, Compassion, Leadership

October 14, 2020

Assumptions Versus Listening

It’s Monday night and we have been out of town for four nights now, which I know pushes CeCe’s travel limit. Although I shared with her while sitting on the beach that my schedule for the week would allow me to work remotely for longer, I could tell from her lack of conversation and our prior travel experiences that she will be disappointed if we do not head home tomorrow. So, I start making changes in my schedule to handle all of my calls on the six-hour drive home.  

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Topics: Communication, Customer Experience, Client Service

April 22, 2020

Am I on Mute?

It’s silent on our nine-person zoom call as one of our partners, Bruce, shares very relevant insights with us. We are (again) experiencing that uncomfortable quiet where no one feels compelled to speak up. Crickets! I think this happens more than we want to admit in our new virtual communication world.

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Topics: Communication, COVID-19

June 05, 2019

Oversharing Is Caring

In a recent collaboration meeting with several leaders from numerous organizations and firms, one of them commented, “I think I may have overshared.”  Actually, her thoughts, insights and feelings were exactly what we needed to hear. She had been very vulnerable with us and her comments were both relevant and insightful. After her comment, the word "overshared" kept ringing in my ears. Why did I love this term so much?

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Topics: Communication, Compassion, People Development, Leadership

August 08, 2018

Let's Listen

Okay, I admit it. I need to be a better listener. The truth is, I learn so much more when I’m not trying to do all the talking. How about you?

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Topics: Communication

July 25, 2018

The Problem With Making Assumptions in Client Service

As I have shared previously, my brother, Mike, has a unique ability to bring humor to moments that simply bring you to tears laughing. One Sunday after church, we were having a family luncheon with my parents, Pop Joe and Mom, Mike, his wife Joy, my sister Mitzi, her husband Tim, and my wife CeCe at a local restaurant in Batesville, Mississippi. It was a hot summer day and we were enjoying a southern favorite—ice cold tea—as we waited. As you might guess, Sunday after church in a small town with few restaurant choices makes for a crowded and SLOW dining experience. However, we were having a great time visiting and catching up on family current events and stories while we waited.

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Topics: Communication, Collaboration, Client Service

July 11, 2018

Storytelling Works Better Than Viagra

My brother, Mike, is a family practice physician and has the well-earned reputation of being an excellent humorous storyteller.  He can make the most normal human moments comical to the point that everyone within earshot will be laughing. 

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Topics: Communication, Client Service, storytelling, Insight

February 22, 2017

Leadership Lessons From Fantasy Football

I have played in the same fantasy football league for over 12 years. I must admit, with today's technology it is more fun than ever.

My grandson, Davis (11), has asked me for the last two years to find him a league. Last year, a youth league fell through at the last moment so this year we formed a family league with 12 teams. We agreed I would be the head coach and he would be the assistant coach. He named the team "Landsharks" after our favorite college team Ole Miss's nickname for its defense. Now after seeing the Ole Miss defense this season, a better name might have been "Landminnows." It was ugly, but thankfully our fantasy team had some Landshark qualities.

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Topics: Communication, Leadership

September 14, 2016

Naked NO’s Kill Innovation

I despise a naked NO!  I love to hear no when it is accompanied with WHY or another possible path or strategy.

But it’s really disrespectful to just say NO impulsively!  Can you remember how you felt the last time someone just said NO to you?  No explanation or alternatives.  Are we in the habit of just being too busy to care or not confident that our no is the right answer? 

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Topics: Communication, Leadership

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