Bunnies, Eggs and Mentors

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Happy Easter (for those that celebrate)…..for those that don’t, Happy Sunday.  Either way, what a great day today is to be alive.

More than anything that I have learned over the last 45 years, is “how people talk to themselves” (conversations we have internally with no one to talk back and say “that’s crazy”) dictates more about who someone becomes than anything (who you surround yourself with is a close second).

So with that…….isn’t it amazing the things we tell ourselves?  And because there is no one to interrupt us we say “ok” to the most ludicrous things. I mean ludicrous!!

Examples you say?  Of course you do…

These are my top 5:

1. “Hey I’m not the worst one on the team.  That other guy is doing worse than me.  I’m doing ok because there is someone worse than me.”

2. “I need to slow it down a little.  If I work too hard they will expect this from me all the time.”

3. “It’s ok that crazy things happen at bachelor/bachelorette parties. It’s my last hurrah before the wedding.”

4. “I worked out today so I can eat these cookies.  In fact, gimme a handful of those chips too.”

5. “It’s ok that I drink a ton of alcohol, at least I don’t do drugs.”

These things happen in people’s heads.  And there is no one there to stop it.  So what’s the point of all this?  Great question….let’s get to the lesson.

Get a mentor.  Today.  If you don’t have one, call someone today and say “I’ve decided you are my mentor”…….then when these crazy things go thru your mind, you have someone to call to talk through them.  When you say things out loud that are typically lodged in your head, its different.  Trust me.  It is.

Imagine if you had to say these things out loud and get verification from a “right minded” human being?  Yeah, I think the results of our takeaways would be different.

Justification of insane thoughts can get in your way….on your way to greatness. Get a mentor and share everything.  And then EMBRACE THE FEEDBACK!!  You will get better in everything you do.


P.S.  Even if you are 85 years old, you can still have a mentor.    And that mentor can be younger than you.   You don’t need to be a certain age to have wisdom.

Do you know what’s going on in your business, or do you just work there?


I think all businesses are susceptible to failing because of the details they don’t take the time to pay attention to.….things happening right under their nose.  Whether it be the CEO of Delta Airlines who has no clue what is happening on his flights from a service standpoint, or big companies that have voice prompts from hell that half their customers hang up on. It goes on everywhere and it takes someone very “maniacal” to really own and be ALL OVER their business in every aspect.  And that’s why there are so few businesses like Disney, because they are rare.

So let’s bring it back to me.  In my past life, I used to huddle my team weekly and we would listen to calls from competitors. If you don’t do this in your business….you should. You will learn a lot and you will also hear hilarious things other people do (which will entertain you)…and you’ll also hear great ideas you can steal.   You will be both entertained and informed.

What I heard when we secret shopped a competitor was something I considered a normal routine day…until what I heard also happened to me.

We called a bank and asked them for their 30 year fixed rate. The loan officer on the other side said the rate was 4.25%. The secret shopper mentioned to the loan officer that the rate on their website was 3.99%. The loan officer just brushed it aside and said “Yeah, that’s just our marketing. I have the accurate rates right in front of me.”, and he continued the call.   When I played this clip for my team we busted out in laughter. It is a classic case of the front end not knowing what the back end is doing. It comes from people only focusing on what they do and not how it impacts others and no one looking at the entire picture. Not being all over the details of your business.

Ok, now fast forward a few days and my marketing leader busts into my office with a story I couldn’t make up. Apparently our website was displaying the wrong rates.  I think to myself, ‘OK, this is a major problem, but don’t worry, we caught it”. Our team checks our website DAILY (for the reasons I mentioned above) to make sure everything is accurate. So we were all over this glitch. That is until we went to our IT team and let them know about the issue.

When we “submitted a request for a fix” (as the protocol required) we were told it wasn’t “a priority” to get the rates fixed. If a mortgage company displaying accurate rates on a website isn’t important, what is!?!?

Getting a response such as “not a priority” was unacceptable for so many indescribable emotions that I can’t share here on Chatter.

But my team is smart…so they decided to take a different path to get the result they wanted. They told Compliance! There is no faster way to get action than to tell an attorney that we have incorrect information on a website. With a few phone calls and emails, followed by a few clicks of a mouse, our website had the correct rates calculating again.

So the lessons here are vast and never ending-

1.      Never assume things are different in your business than the lunacy you see when you experience someone else’s business.

2.      If you dig deep enough you may uncover things you least expected.

3.     Never stop in your pursuit to “get things right”.  Even if people in your business don’t care like you do.  Cause most won’t. They really do just work there.

4.     If you want to get something done, alert the attorneys that there is a problem…they will light people up.

5.     If you love business like I do, enjoy the never ending journey.
There is no finish line.


Spring Forward Weekend

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Spring forward weekend always gets me feeling a bit nostalgic… as we turn towards spring I think of great memories and lessons learned…which brings me to our first installment of:

“Lessons from an old mentor”

Many years ago I worked with a very successful business man that told me this about giving people feedback on their performance… “Hall, not all feedback is sweet, tasty cough syrup… sometimes the information needs to be administered at the end of a very long needle.”

That stuck with me.  And it was important… As I am now very aware of HOW I give feedback.

Does this person need calm or cool?  Do they need a jolt of energy?  What will be the most effective?

These are questions we need to ask ourselves instead of using the “1 size fits all feedback (cause I’m a robot)” methodology I have seen so much over the years.  I love how some people like to say they are “consistent”……funny…..your people think you are boring.

Let’s face it, humans like dynamic people that can’t have their reviews snored through. Keep your people alive.  Be a good leader.

Deliver your medicine in many methods.

Thanks for the lesson to my old friend.


Sunday Night Critical Questions

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This is the “who you surround yourself with” principle that chatterinthehall has been advocating for years.  We have gotten a lot of positive case studies out of this one.

Now be careful.  You might want to lie to yourself just a little. You will want to “fudge” your answers a bit. So if you aren’t ready to really go “extreme on truth”, you don’t want to continue from here.

These are the some of the important questions …….and great questions to ask young people (I like using these with new hires as they are typically not aware of why they have chosen their peer group)….you know we only have 700,000 hours here on planet earth anyway….we should make them worthwhile.

Here they are:

Who am I around?  Do they challenge me?

Do they use words I want to use?

Do they think about things that are healthy for my brain to think about?

What am I becoming?

Then the key: Is this what I want and am I good with this?

Make decisions from here.

We have gotten good feedback that it’s good to write down your answers to these questions. More importantly, do this exercise with a young person you care about. You may find the changes you help them make are key to their future.