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A Guide to Igniting Your life

stoke the fire within book




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A Powerful Team Building Tool and the On Fire Customer Service I got while Speaking in Alaska

Je'Mone Smith is a friend of mine. Je'Mone played college football at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and in the NFL. A true team player, he wrote the following piece that can be used for personal and team motivation, and as a team exercise with your people. When I delivered Stoke the Fire Within to a College Staff recently, I had everyone stand up and do this, and it went over very well:


STANDING BACK to BACK: Fellow team-mate, I am standing behind you because I recognize that you can't see everything, therefore I've got your back.


STANDING SHOULDER to SHOULDER: Fellow team-mate, I am standing beside you because I recognize that we are in this thing together, therefore you can count on me during the good times and bad times.


STANDING EAR to EAR: Fellow team-mate, I am leaning down, because I recognize that you would like to be heard. Even though we may not always agree, I will always respect and listen to your concerns and needs.


EYE to EYE: Fellow team-mate, consider my eye contact as a silent contract that you can always count on me through the good times and bad times.


HAND to HAND (or with all the sickness going around, perhaps forearm to forearm) Fellow team-mate, it was great visiting with you today. I would like for you to hold me accountable to my commitments and I will hold you accountable to your commitments. (written by Je'Mone Smith)


It was a tremendous privilege to deliver the opening keynote and breakout sessions at the annual District-Wide ESSA Classified In-Service in Fairbanks, Alaska. This was for the heart and soul of the local school system - the behind-the-scenes people that mean so much! As a broadcaster I studied organizations for years. The ones that succeeded were the ones that truly grasped the 'team' concept - that everyone has an important role.


I delivered "How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the D a r n Thing" as breakout sessions. I shared principles that keep people on fire and participants shared things that worked for them. One person said, "Everyday is a good day! Some are better than others!"


The people of Alaska have such a unique spirit. Warren Taylor came to my sessions. He is a man who rides his bike to work everyday. It doesn't matter if it is 50 below zero or 90 above. His bike has a special protection on the handlebars to help keep his hands warm. The exercise makes him feel so much better in the day.


Earlier that day, a cab driver named Alan Marshall picked me up at the Hotel to drive me over to the event location. He was so upbeat and positive! He carried on a lively conversation the whole way. He handed me the morning paper to read. He was a 'pistol', as my Uncle Everett used to say.


I thought he was mid 60's. "How old are you?" I asked, ever so tactfully.


"86," he said.


"What is your work schedule?" I was curious.


"I work 4 AM to 5 PM," he said. "I haven't taken a day off in 11 years. When I am 160 I am going to reevaluate things.I like staying active."


"Who are the most famous people you have ever driven in a cab here in Fairbanks?" I asked.


"Years ago Joe Dimaggio and Marilyn Monroe," he said. "Joe was here to throw out the first pitch. My buddies gave me all kinds of grief wanting to know how pretty Marilyn was. I told them three words: 'Hubba. Hubba. Hubba!'"


Always a fan of outstanding customer service, I called Eagle and Yellow Cab to tell them about Alan.


"He is the standard when it comes to Customer Service," an operator there told me. "He does what used to be done automatically. He opens doors. Those kinds of things."


- Charlie Adams, Motivational Speaker
574 807 2279 || Email Charlie