How are things going? As the end of 2021 approaches, I’m grateful for my support network that helps me as I’m navigating the uncharted waters of running a business and a busy life in these tumultuous times.

  • One of the best things I’ve done this year was to join and increase participation in several groups for like-minded businesspeople. My groups are: Chief, Growth10 for Agency Owners, The Trusted Referral Network, and The Connective. Oh, and there’s Lunchclub for ad hoc, one-off connections. It’s great to know there are people who I can reach out to with questions for whom I can likewise share perspectives and inputs. These groups are all top-of-the-funnel connections sparkers for me, and I get so much out of each of them. I’ve worked hard to manage the time commitments for the meetings as well as the follow-on discussions with various members. It’s been a win for me in 2021 and I’m looking forward to improving my “systems” around these groups next year.

  • As I’m writing this, I’m listening to a Chief webinar with Adam Grant as the guest speaker. He’s talking about an experiment where salespeople were encouraged to have lunch with one another. Within 4 months, those who lunched with other salespeople earned 24% more revenue than before the experiment. Why? Because they exchanged more information that was collectively helpful. How can you apply this finding in your world?

  • Adam Grant also talked about the importance of inviting and encouraging people to provide you feedback. He said, “How I respond to feedback influences how much of it I get in the future.” I thought that was smart. He went on to give tips on making it easy for people to give you feedback, to show them you will honor it and not get defensive. He demonstrated making an observation about himself with which someone could easily agree, for example, he said, “I feel like I rambled a bit there, didn’t I?” and invited the person talking with him to give open feedback about that observation. He also offered the idea of prompting feedback with a 10-point system: “I’m always looking to improve, how was my response to your question in terms of succinctness? Was a closer to 1 or 10?” He said people will rarely go to the extremes on the scale and it gives you an opportunity to then ask how you could do better, without sounding like a perfectionist needing assurances. He’s brilliant and the webinar was just one of the benefits of Chief and other organizations that facilitate connection.

Do Good Spotlight: Passage Theatre of Trenton

We tend to spotlight–and donate to–charities that focus on improving lives through health care, education, and support services. This week, we’re showcasing Passage Theatre for its contributions to the arts for Trenton and the surrounding area.

Passage Theatre Company is committed to creating and producing socially relevant new plays and arts programming that deeply resonate with and reflect the community. Through professional productions, educational programs, and community engagement, they present diverse perspectives and new voices that inspire audiences and invigorate the art of live theatre. Each production is a shared experience that audiences can carry into the world and use as a catalyst for inclusive conversation, connection, and change in the community.

We donated this week and here’s where you can learn more (and donate too).

  • Are you paying your workers enough to live on? This Fast Company article shares tools and references to help ensure you’re providing optimal wages for your business and your employees.
     
  • I’m a big fan of recycling and at first was disheartened by the article about fails in recycling programs for packaged goods companies, with a sour mention of a local company that I’ve long been a fan of Terra Cycle. But in thinking about it, the situation is that the initial programs didn’t work, not that they can’t work with tweaking. And the tweaking is definitely worth it. So, in the interests of sharing what is a good intention that needs good minds to improve it, enjoy this read.
  • And speaking of flipping a situation, could the great attrition become the great attraction? Read this from McKinsey Quarterly and please let me know what you think: If you do nothing with this article other than look at “Exhibit 5” . . .  you’re welcome 😊. 
     

Okay, that’s it for this week. Remember, we feature and donate to not-for-profits with each issue so if you have one that’s near and dear to you, shout it out for consideration. I hope the rest of your week is outstanding and that your weekend provides whatever it is that will keep you in the flow!