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eSharings - July 2004

Current insights, objective advice, and resources for service and support professionals, given in the spirit of sharing information.

Table of Contents

-- Sharing
-- Featured Article
-- Explore Your Options
-- Resources
-- Viewpoint
-- Recommended Reading
Subscription Information


I love the many aspects of mentoring and coaching.  Writing eSharings each month offering different ideas, resources, and learning venues available is like mentoring, though on a smaller scale.  Including information about conferences, user group meetings, books, web resources, ideas that I learn from others, personal thoughts and experiences, contributes to the hope that others are benefiting from this sharing of information.

In this month’s issue, I impart a concept that I learned from my friend, Max Dixon, an incredible, professional speaker and actor for 30 years.  I have applied my own twist and examples to the idea, but it is based entirely on the initial thoughts I got from Max.

If you have resources, favorite books, an article or personal story to share, please email me at  We will share your story and resources with our readers in future issues and on our website. 


Ivy Meadors


Be Fully Present and Focused

Being “fully present and focused” means giving all of your attention to the situation or person at the moment.  So often other things happening, or going on in our mind, distract us.   We have all witnessed or experienced this behavior or have been the one to exhibit it.

There are many benefits to altering the mindset to become “fully present and focused” both in the home and at work.  Examples to make these points look something like this:

You arrive at work, spend the first 15 minutes of time hanging up your coat, booting your computer, shuffling things into order to start your day, look over your desk for immediate things that will need attention first, then walk off to get a coffee.  You pass someone in the hall that wants to discuss their weekend with you or the problems they had at work yesterday.  By the time you are ready to be fully functional, 30-45 minutes have already gone by.  You get back to your desk and an employee comes to your desk to share their excitement about an idea for improving the workgroup’s performance.

You are distracted by the fact that you have been at work for over half an hour and have not started on anything yet.  You start to think about what you need to do next, yet this person at your desk needs you to be “fully present” and “focused,” of which you are not.  You start looking at your email while the person is speaking to you, because you are feeling anxious to get back to work.  You are not giving them direct eye contact or entirely listening to their message.

They realize you are not fully present or focused on their message.  They start to feel unimportant, may have their enthusiasm dashed, and get frustrated.  Both parties are dissatisfied at the end of the exchange.

Now let’s try the scenario at home:

You drive through rush hour traffic, after working a long day that was very tense.  You pull up in the driveway.  Your small child runs out to greet you with open arms, a big smile on their face and is excited to tell you about their day at school.  You respond with a terse, “Mommy/Daddy just got home.  I need to go do my [email/read the paper/watch my program], etc.  You can tell me about it later.”  They sadly walk away. 

Or it could play out like this:

Your spouse/mate/friend greets you with enthusiasm and wants to tell you about something they are ecstatic about.  You hear them speaking, but don’t listen because you are not focused on them and are not fully present to their needs. You are still thinking about all of the things you didn’t get done at work and now must do tonight.  Their excitement is dampened by your reaction to their attempt to share part of their life with someone they love, you.

Entire days go on like this, unnecessarily impacting others.  The next time someone wants some of your time, stop what you are doing, just for a moment, and be fully present and focused.  It only takes a few minutes to listen and focus on their message.  The results will be invaluable to both of you.  Time made for others, far outweighs time rushing through life.

Assignment:  The next person who walks up to your desk, stop what you are doing, turn your chair towards them, and give them your full attention.  Don’t answer the phone, don’t do email, just listen and exchange information.  Or the next call you take, be fully present for that particular caller.

Afterwards ask yourself, “how did that feel for you?”  “How did they react to your offering your full attention in the face to face interaction?”  Did the caller have a better experience?

Explore Your Options: What is the Driving Force that Motivates you?  (top)

Have you seen Troy yet?  How about “We Were Soldiers?”  “Miracle”, “The Last Samurai” or “Radio?”  These shows all have many powerful messages about what motivates people.  Pride, the desire to do a great job, the ambition to win, the hope to make a difference, the passion to fight for and represent their country and so many other aspects that are driving forces that motivate people.  These movies clearly represent many of these motivators and a great deal of others.

I know that for me, when I worked for US West Communications, I was very proud to be working for such an outstanding employer and remain proud to this day.  It felt good about going to work for a company with such a great reputation and who took such good care of their employees.  It was easy to be highly motivated to do more than just a good job for them.  It increased my ambition to be successful personally but it also drove me to want to make a difference in the company and for those I worked with.  I am certain I am not unique in these feelings.  Anyone who has had the opportunity to work for an exemplary company, who cares as much for you as you do for them, can understand where I am coming from.

Four things that you can begin to do now, that will contribute to the release of all that powerful motivation you have inside of you are to:

  1. Be a person that shouts distinction, commitment and passion!

  2. Pursue mastery by reinforcing your professional excellence.

  3. Be someone who cares about others first and self second.

  4. Create a roadmap for success.

1. Be a person that shouts distinction, commitment and passion! This means having:

  • The desire to make a difference personally and professionally.

  • The goal to do the best you can at whatever you attempt.

  • A total commitment and passion for the job at hand.

  • Complete focus and being fully present.

In the movie “Troy,” Achilles has a motivation to be remembered long after he is gone. He wants to be the best soldier, with great distinction from those around him. When he is told that only Kings and Princes will be remembered, he told them that a soldier too could be long remembered after they’re gone and the war is over. He demonstrated this could be done by his distinction, commitment and passion for when he was killed, he had succeeded in reaching his goal; to be remembered long after he was gone. as someone who made a difference.

2. Pursue mastery by reinforcing your professional excellence.

Have an exemplary passion for the job to be done. Know that the end result will demonstrate your mastery of the job. Even the worst task can be made tolerable if performed with passion. I know of someone, who when they were 15 years old, had a passion to do their best no matter how bad the job was. As a housekeeper (maid) this person had the shiniest toilets and the cleanest floors in the hotel. They eventually ended up running the hotel after only two years. They took pride in their job and were recognized for their effort and their future potential. Keep ahead in your reading and learning. The only way to be a master in your job, is to study like a master. To read voraciously on your topic of expertise and to apply the things you learn. Zig Ziglar, Nido Qubein, and other greats, read at least one hour everyday. They are masters in their field. Share with others your successes. No matter how odd or foreign it may sound, you MUST blow your own horn and reinforce your excellence in the minds of others and your own.

In “The Last Samurai”, Tom Cruise decided that to make the movie to be the most realistic, he must master the use of the sword and in the manner in which they used it in their era. His passion to wield the sword expertly and to represent the story the most accurately drove him to become a master at his tasks to make the movie the success it was and the most accurate. It was about pride and mastery for him.

3. Be someone who cares about others first and self second.

Many people do care more about other’s needs than their own. Putting someone else first, can be highly motivating to yourself, simply from the personal positive feelings you will get from helping another. The recipient of your kindness is motivated by the caring and encouragement they receive. ‘Listen and hear the unspoken word’ and ‘read the unwritten message.’ Going deeper than is normal, this means caring for others at a different level of consciousness. People have a lot to “say” but are often not heard because no one is “really” listening. Next time you spend time with someone, “be fully present” and hear the unspoken words. There is a lot you are missing.

Feeling sorry for yourself can destroy motivation and positive, energetic feelings. “Radio” cared about being part of the team to be able to help others. He had a high need to be accepted. He gained this reward by helping others and being a part of the team by making himself likable; and by being a team player. His words at first were hard to understand and sometimes not understandable at all. But you could feel his enthusiasm, his sadness, his pain, his joy, without him telling you anything orally. Listen to those unspoken words and you will get far more out of the conversation.

4.Create a roadmap for success.

Define clear, concise personal and professional goals with milestones identified and set dates for when you will reach them. If you don’t set dates, and offer rewards when the dates are met, it will be easy to make excuses to skip them. You will begin to make excuses to justify the reasons why you can’t do the task right now. Before long, the roadmap leads nowhere. The roadmap should include personal and professional gains along the way. They must support your personal and professional goals. They must be in alignment together for the best results. There should be a reward system built into the roadmap as well. The goals must be achievable and independent enough from the others so you can’t hang a lot of other things on the same goal, which could hinder you from ever even getting started. Identify celebration points in the roadmap for success. If you don’t recognize your effort, it becomes more of task and less of following the steps to reach your most desired goals.

In the movie, “Miracle,” the hockey team had to go beyond the norm to even have half-a-chance at winning the Olympic Gold Medal. The coach built the team a roadmap, and took them through the passes, rewarding the team each step along the way when they reached each milestone. In the end, they won!. Not only did they win as a team, but they won for the country that they had an undying pride for, the United States of America.

In “We Were Soldiers,” when Mel Gibson stood before the young, scared soldiers as he prepared them to leave for the Vietnam war, he said, "We are moving into the Valley of the Shadow of Death, where you will watch the back of the man next to you, as he will watch yours, and you won't care what color he is, or by what name he calls God.

We are going into battle against a tough and determined enemy. I can't promise you that I will bring you all home alive. But this I swear... when we go into battle, I will be the first to step on the field and I will be the last to step off.

And I will leave no one behind... dead or alive. We will all come home together."

The fear in these young men and women, leaving their families behind and going to a place they may never return from, may lack all of the necessary motivation and drive initially, but when the leader assures them how much he cares about each and every one of them and demonstrates his commitment, passion and desire to the best he can for each person, the fear remains, but the comfort slightly emerges when they recognize that someone does truly care about them. That this person will do everything in their power to ensure my body will be given its due respect and have honor - dead or alive.

Two very good books to read on the topic of motivation and leadership are:

1.The Truth About Managing People by Stephen P. Robbins 2.Trump: How to Get Rich by Trump and Meredith McIver

I was impressed with Trumps recent book. It is so focused on people, dreams, goals, and so much more. I had a hard time putting down. I think you too will enjoy it.

Be sure and look me up this year in New Orleans at the Conference for Help Desk Professionals. I would love to get your perspective on this topic and so many others.


Check out Tony’s website where you will find many free resources that you will find valuable to you both personally and professionally.

Customer Service/Customer Loyalty

The Stairs of Customer Loyalty

Moments of Magic

Assuring Customer Satisfaction

Personality Assessments

Online Assessments

The Platinum Rule™ Personality Assessment 


“By many appearances, offshore and nearshore outsourcing appears to offer an impressive cost savings.  But the true costs are often not all considered.  We were told of a situation where the cost of a single twelve-hour outage for one company in the United States was prolonged due to lack of skills, language barriers, and miscommunications in India.  Furthermore, they did not fully understand the criticality of the situation.”

“The entire cost of outsourcing a call center overseas can be about the same as this single incident cost this company, exceeding millions of dollars.  All potential savings could be lost in one outage!  How many companies could withstand this sort of thing happening more than once?”


The Aladdin Factor by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen

Anything is possible, if you dare to ask.

The Aladdin Factor is the magical wellspring of confidence, desire and the willingness to ask that allows us to make wishes come true.  Blending candor and humor with philosophy, motivation and solid information, The Aladdin Factor explores every aspect of how and when to ask, including:

·   The 8 reasons people won't ask for what they want

·   The key points to getting what you want

·    Who to ask, and what to ask for

·    The 10 benefits of asking

·    How to deal with rejection

·    The secrets of power askers

Check out Jack’s website at to see the many other great products he has to offer too. 

You can email my friend, Teresa Esparza, Jack’s Executive Director, at to learn how you can have Jack speak at your company’s all-hands meetings, executive retreats, conferences, and more.  He’s an incredible speaker and has a message that most will find life changing both personally and professionally.


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October 6-8 – New Orleans at the Fairmont Hotel

“celebrate with the legends of the help desk industry”

The “ORIGINAL,” Help Desk conference with the most comprehensive, content-rich sessions.

No other event has sessions that are this loaded with immediate take-aways, in sessions devoted entirely to providing extensive, invaluable content.  This is also the only event where you will ever see all of your favorite industry leaders speaking at one conference.

Experience our exclusive line-up of speakers including Malcolm Fry, Pete McGarahan, Patrick Bultema, Ivy Meadors, Gary Lemke, Char LaBounty, George Spalding, Kurt Johnson, JJ Lauderbaugh, Daryl Covey, Mary Kay Wegner, Brenda Iniguez, Melinda Uhland, and many others.


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