ncsa

Charlie Adams is also a
Senior National Speaker
for the
National Collegiate Scouting Association of Chicago

Sign up for our free
Motivational eNewsletter

STOKE THE FIRE WITHIN

A Guide to Igniting Your life

stoke the fire within book

 

 

 


Click here to order.

 

 

 

 

Available at the Notre Dame Bookstore and corbypublishing.com.

Archive for April, 2013

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
How stepping out of a comfort zone led a Michiana woman to a private meeting with the owner of Jimmy Johns!
by Charlie Adams

My longtime friend Mark Bradford of South Bend first started telling me of this remarkable story months ago. I said, “Mark, at some point I want you to share this with my readers, as it is so inspiring!”

That time is now.

The Attitude of TAKING ACTION!
- by Mark Bradford

Vicki Trujillo has a dream. She creates cakes. No, she doesn’t just bake cakes, she creates them. Wedding cakes, birthday cakes, cupcakes….you name it she creates it. Her dream is to create her own bakery, specializing in specialty cakes.

The problem is she has no money. But, as we all should know, the Universe is waiting on you to do great things. As luck would have it, the Universe was waiting on the 26-year old single mom to DO Something. Last September, Vicki was inspired by one of her professors at Indiana University-South Bend to attend some outside lectures just to see the larger view of the world.

The professor’s specific instructions were to attend a lecture and either ask a question or shake the presenter’s hand. Vicki, by accident stumbled into a lecture by the owner of Jimmy John’s (sandwiches), Jimmy John Liautaud.

As she sat between (photo above) hundreds of University of Notre Dame MBA students and lots of seemingly rich people, she felt intimidated and maybe just a little scared. However, she recalled her professor’s suggestion and, after being unable to ask him a question during the presentation, she felt obligated to hang around the stage and talk to him personally.

The presenter talked to many people but, when it came her turn, listened intently to what Vicki had to say. Suddenly, without warning, reached into his wallet, and gave her his business card. “Call me,” he said. “Let’s see if we have some common interests.”

Four months later, Vicki found herself in the spacious offices of Jimmy John’s in Champaign, Illinois talking about dreams and talking about business. And, while only time will tell of Vicki can put together a plan with Jimmy Johns, another miracle occurred almost at exactly the same time.

Vicki’s incredible story, which was observed by a South Bend Tribune reporter, paper and was seen by the owner of a long-time family bakery who was in the market to sell the business. He had trouble contacting her and, again, the Universe moved. On the advice of her professor, Vicki made a couple of calls to local bakeries to talk to the owners about what it was like to run a bakery and her very first call was to this individual. The owner called it an amazing coincidence. But the Universe knows different.

It gets better. Vicki is just a freshman at Indiana University-South Bend and has no business training. So, putting together a business plan would be quite a daunting task. In another Universe Move, a class at Saint Mary’s college decided to take creating her business plan on as a class project, including making a formal loan presentation for the semester project.

So, in the space of six months, Vicki has gone from a freshman in college to getting a private meeting with a billionaire to getting the opportunity to buy a long-standing business to having a university class help her get started … all because she stepped outside her comfort zone and shook someone’s hand. Is there any question the Universe was waiting for her? It sort of makes one wonder who else the Universe is waiting on, doesn’t it? — by Mark Bradford

******************************************************************

Mark is a longtime friend of mine, and ……. the the college professor who encouraged Vicki to step out of her comfort zone. I asked him to share more about his feelings on the attitude of taking action and more:

“Charlie, my theory on life and motivation is that we are all given talents by God (or however the individual thinks our souls are created) and each talent is designed for only us. However, for most of our lives, we are sold on trying to live other people’s lives.

Our parents influence us, the media influences us, our friends influence us, religions influence us and so on and so on. Finding ourselves becomes very difficult because we are always trying to keep other people happy. The saddest people I know are the ones who either never discover and use their true talents or are so tied up by societal rules that they never give true happiness a try.

I try to get people to understand three things: The first is the concept of a “silly goal”; the second is the concept of “small wins;” and the third is the idea that

the universe is waiting for you to do something.


Years ago I was lucky and took my first job as a sportswriter for the Elkhart Truth newspaper. It took me only 15 minutes to discover that it was my life’s passion. I could not get enough of it and looked forward to Friday nights covering the high school games as if every one was Christmas. I set a silly goal of being chosen to represent the local newspaper at a major football bowl game. I mentioned the goal to my editor in joking one time and we both had a good laugh about it. After all, I was a part time writer and part timers never got plum assignments. But that was when the “small wins” theory kicked in. Whenever the editor would need an emergency article done, I would go out of my way to do it. Little by little, the editor saw that I could handle a variety of assignments and, on Jan 1, 2001, I found myself covering the Purdue-Washington Rose Bowl game.

Suddenly, the dream was not so silly and the wins were not so small. That theory leads to what I firmly believe today. The universe is waiting for you to do something. But you have to understand that the universe is made up of people. So, if you really want something, you need to take the small win approach and slowly, but surely, the universe moves over for you.

People will appear out of nowhere to help you achieve your goal. It has happened to me several times. And now I try to impress upon my college students that it is very real. You must “be there” in order for the universe to know what you want. You can’t just wish to become general manager of the Chicago Cubs, for instance. Instead, you start by washing socks for the South Bend Silver Hawks minor league baseball team. Slowly, but surely, the universe moves. While you may not get to be general manager, my guess is you would at least get to work for the organization. Then again, you just might get that job. You never know unless you try.”

Thank you, Mark.

In my new book ‘How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!’ I share stories and tools that help people take the action steps necessary to achieve positive results.

Charlie Adams

Gray

The new book is out!

How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!
I feel as good about this book as anything I have done professionally in the 30 years I have been in corporate America and in the speaking/training profession. It is loaded with practical tools to equip readers with the attitudes to be as positive as possible amidst the challenges of life.
The new book arrived at the University of Notre Dame bookstore today and will be in the Eddy Street Commons location by tomorrow, Wednesday May 1st, 2013.

For information on ordering multiple copies for your organization or event, and on the keynote, 2 hour or half day seminar that goes with it, contact me and I would love to talk to you about working with your people and/or event. The publisher, Corby Books, has a very good group ordering rate. Ivy Tech in Warsaw recently bought the book for all of their 2013 graduates to help equip them with the attitudes to stay positive out there in the ol’ rough and tumble world!

This week’s inspirational video
Don’t try this at home….

“If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.” – Thomas Jefferson

In this week’s inspirational video, an incredible display of what the human body is capable of doing. This is from a documentary I produced on what it is like to see the pacific northwest. Bendy Em, contortionist from Australia, stunned everyone with her show in Vancouver. Actor Hugh Jackman has seen her perform and says she is ‘amazing!’:

Charlie Adams shows you contortionist Bendy Em
Charlie Adams shows you contortionist Bendy Em

Charlie Adams Motivation

Keynote/Seminar descriptions

“How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!!”

This 2 or 4 hour experience equips your people with the attitudes to be more positive, team oriented and solution centered.

Here are complete details of this keynote/seminar

“The Spirit of Customer Service!”

This 2 hour program can be delivered along with the Attitude program, as attitude and customer service are so closely connected.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

to visit charlieadamsmotivation.com click here

Direct line: 574. 807. 2279

Email: charlie@stokethefirewithin.com

Family Bonding Group Motivational Tour!
Colorado Rockies this summer

Working so hard that you are looking for that experience where you can slow down and bond closer with your family?

I will be sharing inspiration while hosting a Colorado Rocky Mountains Family group tour July 28 – August 3, 2013. This trip will include whitewater rafting, hiking, horseback riding, the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Air Force Academy, Garden of the Gods, Pike’s Peak and more.

It is designed to bring families of all generations closer together. The 2012 trip was a big hit! Jacci Lightfoot, wife of Bethel College basketball coach Mike Lightfoot, will be the trip manager. Jacci and I have worked several group trips together for Edgerton’s and travelers love her enthusiasm and energy-filled ways of managing group trips!

Here is the brochure with itinerary and pricing

Questions? Call Edgerton’s Travel at 574 256 2929

In other group travel news, the June 2nd group trip to see Skylar Diggins’ first game back this way as a professional basketball player sold out in a week. Edgerton’s will have a group trip to see Skylar and her Tulsa Shock play in Indianapolis against the Indiana Fever on Friday June 28th.
Contact the Edgerton’s location on Edison Road in Mishawaka at the number above for information on that trip. I will host and on the way down will speak about how Notre Dame women’s basketball went from having just a few hundred fans at their home games in the 1980’s to selling out at 9000 per game in 2013 with over 1200 attending their recent awards banquet.

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
The new book is out! “How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!!”
by Charlie Adams

I am very excited to announce the release of “How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!!” (Corby Books, Notre Dame) This book has been years in the making, and I feel as strongly about it as anything I have ever done professionally.


This book is filled with practical tools and stories to help you and your organization be as positive as possible in a very challenging world.

Much of it is filled with insights from seminars I have delivered on this subject, where I ask people about how they stay positive. During my years in television news, I did regular positive attitude stories. This book shares the secrets of how people with championship attitudes are able to build and keep them.

I went with a format where one chapter is on positive attitude tools, and the next chapter is a positive attitude story. I have learned as a speaker over the years that readers/audiences appreciate tools they can use, inspirational stories, and entertainment and humor. This book focuses on those areas.

Among the content:

* The power of Initial Spin
* Meet these 4 Needs and be content and joy filled
* The most positive people I interviewed in a quarter of a century in television news
* A step by step guide of how to stay positive throughout an entire day
* 4 ways for better work/life balance
* Gary Player – the most positive athlete I ever interviewed
* Mandy Green with tips on how to manage your time
* How a Chamber of Commerce President dropped 70 pounds seven years ago and has kept it all off
* Self Talk tips
* The power of forgiveness
* Even the most positive can lose that attitude – and how to get it back
* Ways to make the work environment more positive
* The most amazing example of Forgiveness
* Encouragement
* The most powerful quote on attitude
* How to be solution centered
* Half empty or half full?
* The attitude of gratitude
* Scriptures to stay positive
* The most positive people that readers of my Tuesday enewsletter know

The book is 254 pages and is written in a bit of a workbook form in that there are spaces for you to write and reflect. There is also a steady stream of practical positive attitude tips from folks like you in the book, which are boxed in.


The publisher is Corby Books of Notre Dame, IN where former Notre Dame professor Jim Langford has created many books of deep value. His partner Tim Carroll and their editors have done such a wonderful job laying out the book.
It is on sale at the University of Notre Dame bookstore on campus and their Eddy Street Commons bookstore, and can be ordered online at the link up above through the publisher, Corby.

With this new book out, my point of emphasis in 2013 will be delivering 2 hour or half day seminars of ‘How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!’ If there is one thing that speaking over the years has shown me is that attitude is huge and a lot of folks struggle with it because they don’t have the tools to be positive and solution-centered. I feel this new book and the accompanying seminar can help in that way.

Charlie Adams

Gray

Here is an  excerpt from new book … a chapter on Positive Self Talk:

While delivering my attitude seminar in Chicago and asking the audience what they did to keep their self talk as positive as possible, one woman said she had heard a good idea was to wear a rubber band around a wrist, and when negative self talk pops up, lift up and rubber band and pop the heck out of yourself. She had done it and said it worked!

“Hi Charlie! I heard Joel Osteen talk about “changing the channel” of our thoughts years ago and it stuck with me. It is a simple and effective way of stopping a negative thought flow. Just like changing the channel on a radio. Also, if there’s an ongoing, serious issue that has to be dealt with (medical issue, serious family matter, career crisis, etc.), scheduling 5 or 10 minutes every 3 waking hours to acknowledge the issue, talk or think about it, cry about it, plan for it, dissect it, etc., is also a great way to keep functioning throughout the rest of the days and weeks ahead — and how do you just stop giving it thought and attention after the allotted time allowance? By changing the channel — you know you will nurture or deal with your feelings again in a few hours, but only for a few minutes at a time. Turns the table on despair and helps to keep us functioning during the really tough times.” – Tammera Wine, private Bank officer

Thank you, Tammera. Here is something that has worked for me for years as far as getting my self talk back in line (it tends to get out of line sometimes…). There is the story of an old Cherokee chief and what he told his grandson:

An old Cherokee chief was teaching his grandson about life…
“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. “One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, self-doubt, and ego. “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. “This same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old chief simply replied, “The one you feed.”

That is what it boils down to regarding self talk. What are you feeding the most, negative or positive thoughts? Quit feeding the bad ones. Make them starve. One of the things that robs us of our positive attitude is when we conjure up ’scenario’s’ of what might happen with most of those possibilities being negative. In that case I always think of the television show Dragnet. It actually aired before my time but I have seen reruns and on it Sgt. Joe Friday is regularly getting information from female informants. When they start rambling or getting off point, he always says, “Just the facts, ma’am.” Save that line for your inner thought when you start cooking up negative possibilities.

In one of my attitude seminars out west, a lady said when negative thoughts attack her she “sends Jesus to the door.” I had another person say they instantly visualize a giant red STOP sign. One fellow said he had read that you should picture your mind as a garden and that negative thoughts were weeds. Pick them out. I had another person tell me that what worked for them was pretending they had a vacuum cleaner in their mind and turning it on to suck out all the negative thoughts.

What I love about delivering this seminar is getting ideas from folks! They have picked them up from places such as books and magazines. One time I was speaking in Indianapolis and a man said that he had read somewhere that you would never let someone rude come into your house and continue to be rude and obnoxious. You would see them out! He said that’s the way he is with negative thoughts. He boots them out!

“Charlie, Martin Seligman’s book “Learned Optimism” had a powerful effect on me. Don’t take things personally, realize bad things don’t last forever and consider many people are worse off. These ideas helped me in my previous profession!” – Dr. Ruth Warren

*****************************************************************

That gives you a feel of the format. In the book, the contributions from others are boxed in and not in italics. I was able to get so many valuable contributions from regular folks like you and me.

For information on ordering multiple copies for your organization or event you can either contact me via this newsletter email or Corby Books at (574) 784-3482

Charlie

Gray

Charlie Adams Motivation

Keynote/Seminar descriptions


“How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!!”

This 2 or 4 hour experience equips your people with the attitudes to be more positive, team oriented and solution centered.

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
Squeaky’s Children: When you receive what you asked for, but it’s wrapped differently . . . .
by Charlie Adams

That’s Squeaky … making sure his windows are squeaky clean. It’s because he cares deeply about customer service.

Lowell “Squeaky” Bontrager (photo above) was the motorcoach driver of a recent group travel trip I hosted to New York City. Over the years, he has taken over 135 groups of all ages to Washington, D.C. alone.

Each day his clothes were pressed, and his red, white and blue patriotic ties went over well with the customers. As I got to know Squeaky, I learned of his remarkable attitude towards life, especially his two children. Both were born severely handicapped and retarded. Both taught him life lessons that he is grateful for to this day.

Years ago, Squeaky had a job taking care of turkeys. “They say the only thing dumber than a turkey is the person taking care of them,” he said, chuckling. It was at that time he and his wife were expecting their first child. If it was a boy, he would eventually have the coolest car around, because Squeaky’s God given gift, he said, was being a mechanic. Someday he was going to have a shop.

The baby did not come at due date. They took x rays that revealed the child had a very small head. “He will not live when born,” the Doctor said. The Bontrager’s disagreed. After induced labor, the boy was born, and today is in his 40’s.

“He always needed complete care,” said Squeaky. “Not able to feed himself, walk, or talk, but always happy. There went my ‘cool car’ dreams for my boy. How about a cool wheel chair!? We kept Doug at home. Several years passed and we tried again to have a child. Everything went well until delivery when the same problem happened. A sweet, sweet girl we named Tonya was born.”

When Tonya was born, Squeaky didn’t think he could take the pain. One day at work that all changed. Work was “Squeaky’s Auto Service,” his own auto repair.

“God was so close to me that day I could almost touch Him,” he said. “He showed me that these two children were given as a gift and blessing, not a burden. See, I received what I had asked for but they were wrapped different than I had planned. God knew what I needed, I only knew what I wanted. Can you or I tell God He made a mistake? No, He does not make mistakes. The only thing Doug and Tonya are guilty of is loving unconditionally, the closest thing to the love that God has for each of us.”

“There is one thing I ask myself over and over,” said Squeaky. “That is why I was chosen twice to receive children that would not break my heart, but would be perfect in that they loved me and my wife Verda unconditionally. What greater gift could one get? I am so thankful they were sent to our home because I would have missed this foretaste of Heaven.”

Tonya loved the simple things in life, like taking a ride in the car or sitting on the couch with her Dad. “Those were some of the greatest times I ever had with Tonya,” said Squeaky. “We could do that for hours. See, we could communicate without saying one word. Oh, her smiles would melt your heart. She loved one special drink, red Hawaiian punch. She would follow that glass of punch with her eyes. Then, when it was time for bed she loved to have some ice cream. She ate it like a little princess. Her little tongue would pop out as she licked her lips. That was her way of saying this is mighty good and lets have some more!”

Tonya, who wasn’t supposed to live an hour, made it to being a young woman before dying. “My sweet Tonya is in Heaven running around in her new body,” said Squeaky. “How I miss her. Doug is in his 40’s.”

Because of the demands on caring for someone with such special needs, he is in a special care center. “The professionals that take care of Doug say he is a little flirt,” said Squeaky. “Don’t know where he got that from!”

“Both Doug and Tonya would get laughing spells where they could hardly catch their breath,” said  Squeaky.

“Everyday I thank the Lord for my wife, Verda, which gave birth to the two most wonderful gifts a father could ever get. The Lord always provided us with what we needed when we needed it. We learned to trust Him completely.”

Charlie Adams

Gray

This week’s inspirational video
See if.

Each week I post a short video of an inspirational place that you may want to go one day. Watching them can give you a burst of positive energy. Here, spend 3 minutes at the stunning Cliffs of Moher in Ireland, overlooking the Atlantic…

breathtaking Cliffs Moher, Ireland - produced by Charlie Adams
breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, Ireland -
produced by Charlie Adams

Charlie Adams Motivation

Keynote/Seminar descriptions

“Stoke the Fire Within!”
This peak performance keynote is tailored to the theme of your event.

Here are complete details of the ‘Stoke’ keynote

“How to Build a Positive Attitude an
d KEEP the Darn Thing!!”

This 2 or 4 hour experience equips your people with the attitudes to be more positive, team oriented and solution centered.

UPDATE! The new book, with the same title as the seminar, will be released soon. Watch for that announcement!

Here are complete details of this keynote/seminar

“The Spirit of Customer Service!”

This 2 hour program can be delivered along with the Attitude program, as attitude and customer service are so closely connected.

CONTACT INFORMATION:

to visit charlieadamsmotivation.com click here

Direct line: 574. 807. 2279

Email: charlie@stokethefirewithin.com

Family Bonding Group Motivational Tour!
Colorado Rockies this summer

I will be sharing inspiration while hosting a Colorado Rocky Mountains Family group tour July 28 – August 3, 2013. This trip will include whitewater rafting, hiking, horseback riding, the U.S. Olympic Training Center, Air Force Academy, Garden of the Gods, Pike’s Peak and more.

It is designed to bring families of all generations closer together.

Here is the brochure with itinerary and pricing

(photo – the U.S. Olympic Training Center)

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013
Longtime H.R. manager on the power of the right attitude and effective wellness programs on site!
by Charlie Adams

“Attitude, in my opinion, it defines who you are to others.”

That’s what Michelle Fioritto told me recently. Michelle is the HR Manager of ASA Electronics. Since 1977, ASA has built a reputation developing mobile electronics specifically designed and tested to withstand the rigors of automotive, van, RV, heavy duty truck, marine, construction, and agricultural environments, I met her at a speaking engagement recently. Before speaking, I talked to her at length about her passion for the importance of attitude as well as on-site wellness programs. While hopeful that everyone can be as positive as possible, she is sympathetic to how a negative attitude can overcome someone.

“It’s past history,” she said. “Things happen, we strive but things continuously backfire. You try and try and sooner or later the ‘it’s not going to happen’ attitude settles in. You see it in that person that has been out of work for awhile and has 50 resumes out. They get interviews, but no offers. They get to the point where they show up with the ‘it won’t happen’ attitude but they have to have the positive attitude of ‘this could … this WILL be the one where I get my foot in the door!’ We all have ups and downs. We have to have a way to get back to a positive attitude. We all need someone to talk to whether it is a close friend or our pastor or someone.”

Michelle shared with me a very hard stretch of her life when she went through her divorce. Rather than letting it overwhelm her and her attitudes, she reached out for support and found that her church was offering a 13 week divorce class.

“There were the stages of disbelief, hurt and anger to go through,” said Michelle. “Those classes really helped me in recognizing who I was and that I could succeed through any adversity. It helped me understand the changes I needed to make personally and professionally and how to be a better person.”

“Some people just don’t have positive attitude as part of their personality,” she said. “As H.R. manager when I interview, an accounting person will have a different personality and set of attitudes from a customer service manager, which is different from sales. As employers we have to juggle those attitudes. When you have a positive, can do attitude, that’s what we want in our customer service and sales people. With sales, I want people that have drive and are goal driven with positive attitudes.”

“A major criteria in hiring is attitude,” she said. “A resume gives you an idea of skills but it doesn’t tell you about attitude. Every company has their own culture and knows the kind of people that fit.”

ASA Electronics also understands the importance of fitness for health reasons as well as how it makes a person more positive. A few years ago they put in a new fitness center for employees (photo below – there is a place you can click up above to make sure you can view pictures) with state-of-the-art workout equipment, including an aerobics studio, a cardio room with treadmills, stationary bikes, and ellipticals, two weight training areas, and separate men’s and women’s changing rooms (photo below).

They had an old fabrication building next door to their main facility that they decided to redesign the old building into a wellness center. It came from the leadership of their leader Tom Irions, who has always had a passion for the well being of their people.

“We have certified trainers come in everyday at lunch and four times a week at night,” Michelle told me. “The lunchtime session is half an hour. This is all paid for by the company and is free for employees and spouses. We have found that people buddy up and camaraderie improves. We all know that exercise impacts energy. Physical fitness and wellness go hand in hand. It’s such a stress release.”

Some might take the perspective of, “Well, we don’t really have a place for a fitness center.” ASA Electronics has 100 employees. They knew the importance of fitness as far as how it relates to attitude and energy, so they knocked down walls, added a floor, and made it happen. It has been a real asset in the five-plus years they have had it working.

“At 5:30 pm we will have boot camp, yoga, and something we call ‘buns and guts!’ We have hip hop. We respond to what is the ‘in’ thing. Right now it is Turbo Kick. We also challenge them. A competitor is in all of us. We came up with ‘You Gotta Want It’ (photo below) and take your fitness to the next level. We gave them the opportunity to be measured in things like pushups and situps and then challenged them to get better over six weeks with classes and instructors.”


It is my hope that what they are doing to make fitness and wellness programs available to their people can inspire you to take steps in a similar fashion! Way to go, ASA Electronics!

Getting back to attitude, Michelle says it is critical that young people understand the importance of developing a positive one.

“I have talked about getting out to the colleges and speaking,” she said. “They need to hear about the importance of the positive attitude and about having goals and a drive to succeed. Many young people think they can only do this, this and this. No, those are things you are familiar with now. There are so many things you can learn if you have the right attitudes.”

Gray

Charlie Adams

In my upcoming book ‘How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!!’ (Corby Books, Notre Dame, IN) there are chapters that share ways to get your positive attitude back, as Michelle talked about in this interview. I also write in depth about tools you can use to get in better shape. I would love to deliver the seminar form of this program for your organization. Let me know if you would like to know more.

If you missed last week’s interview on how Martin’s Supermarkets excels in customer service and positive employees you can click here to read the insights shared by the person in charge of their training

This week’s inspirational video
See if you think St. Joseph actually built this….

I recently added a new feature to the newsletter, where I share an inspirational video with you that I have produced. These often come from the group travel trips I host.

This week’s video is of a miracle staircase that many are convinced that St. Joseph built. The staircase has two 360 degree turns and no visible means of support. Also, it is said that the staircase was built without nails-only wooden pegs. I produced this short video of it after an October visit to New Mexico. This takes place in Santa Fe, a place you may want to visit one day . . . .

The Miraculous Staircase of the Loretto Chapel
The Miraculous Staircase of the Loretto Chapel

Charlie Adams Motivation

Keynote/Seminar descriptions

“Stoke the Fire Within!”

This peak performance keynote is tailored to the theme of your event.

Here are complete details of the ‘Stoke’ keynote

“How to Build a Positive Attitude an
d KEEP the Darn Thing!!”

This 2 or 4 hour experience equips your people with the attitudes to be more positive, team oriented and solution centered.

Here are complete details of this keynote/seminar

“The Spirit of Customer Service!”

This 2 hour program can be delivered along with the Attitude program, as attitude and customer service are so closely connected.

Contact Information:


charlie@stokethefirewithin.com

574 807 2279

charlieadamsmotivation.com

Family Bonding Group Motivational Tour

Colorado Rockies this summer

I will be sharing inspiration while hosting a Colorado Rocky Mountains Family group tour July 28 – August 3, 2013. This trip will include whitewater rafting, hiking, horseback riding, the U.S. Olympic Training Center (photo below), Air Force Academy, Garden of the Gods, Pike’s Peak and more.

It is designed to bring families of all generations closer together.

Monday, April 8th, 2013
The Customer Service and Positive Attitudes of Martin’s Supermarkets
Learning from their approach – by Charlie Adams

Ever since I sacked groceries for Mr. Paul James at Jitney Jungle Grocery Store in late 1970’s, I have had a passion for customer service. As I have mentioned here before, Mr. James taught us not just to sack groceries, but to know the customers, push their cart to their car, unload the groceries, open the car door for them and if in winter weather, clean their windshield.

That’s a major reason I do most of my shopping at Martin’s, founded by Martin and Jane Tarnow back in 1947 here where I live in South Bend, IN. They now have over 20 stores, but their core high standards are still the same and their customer service is a level above the rest where I live.

Sara Brodzinski has been with Martin’s Supermarkets for 20 years. As Manager of Training there, she has a big job because Martin’s has been known for their superior customer service for decades.

“A lot of it goes back to Martin and Jane,” Sara told me. “They were the founders and from Day One Martin had a lot of standards put in place such as give the customer your undivided attention. If they ask where something is, rather than just say ‘Aisle 5′ our people are trained to walk with them there.”

Of course, many places want us to be trained seals and check out ourselves. Martin’s has the more personal approach of folks at the check out lines, and lines that are short.

“We never want more than 2 or 3 customers to be in the check out line,” said Sara. “If it’s longer then they call for assistance. Also, if we ever see a customer out in the store with their hands full we take them a cart. We don’t ask, we take, and they are always thankful.”

“We have a 200% guarantee that if any perishable (bakery, deli, produce and such) with a Martin’s label does not meet their standards they can bring it back, get their money for it, and a product replaced for it.”

Appearance is such an important part of attitude and customer service. Martin’s employees are always dressed well.

I tell our new employees that part of your uniform … is your smile,” said Sara.

I often combine my ‘Spirit of Customer Service’ seminar with ‘How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!’ because attitude is so connected to good service. Organizations that just train on customer service are missing the boat because if their people aren’t trained on how to build and keep good attitudes, then they will have days where their negative attitude impacts service, and that ticks off customers bigtime.

“I train our managers that if an applicant doesn’t smile in the interview process,” said Sara, “then do not hire them. They probably won’t smile on the job. If you ask them enough questions you should be able to get them to smile, but if they don’t then we can’t hire them because we look for people with positive personalities. Bob Bartels, our chairman, is always asked how we get so many good people to work for us. For decades his answer has always been we hire nice people.’ If they are not genuinely nice then there probably is not a place on our team.”

One of the things I learned loud and clear in my quarter of a century in television news was the importance of community service, and the difference between organizations that did it mainly for positive p.r. and those that do it to really help.

“We have a full time community affairs manager,” Sara told me, “and each story has a community affairs rep. If someone comes in for a donation or something like gift cards for an event, they all have a budget to help them. We have literally given out millions over the years. It goes back to our founder Martin who said whenever a store opened the major priority had to be community involvement. We have been heavily involved with groups such as Heat for Homes ($1.3 million  given out), Shamrocks for MDA, and Clothe a Child/Christ Child Society.”

They have donated 2.4 million in cash/computers to area schools over the years, been a major part of Roofsit, which raises funds to prevent child abuse.

Another thing, they close all their stories on Easter so that families can spend time together.

I asked Sara if there was a particular book that she has taken a lot from over the years. “Ken Blanchard’s 1 Minute Manager is one that we get to every supervisor,” she said.

I encourage you to share Sara’s insights with your people as they transcend no matter what your organization is – bank, real estate, anything. Educators, I hope you can share this with staff and students, as it shows young people the importance of the smile and customer service.

Gray

Charlie Adams

In my upcoming book ‘How to Build a Positive Attitude and KEEP the Darn Thing!!’ (Corby Books, Notre Dame, IN)
I write in depth about the importance of attitude at the work place and how it impacts customer service.

The Shack Up Inn – The Ritz, it ain’t
How a hotel of sharecropper shacks is doing great biz
I produced this short video of one of the most unique places to stay in the world, the Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale, Mississippi – blues country. It has done tremendous business even during the heart of the recession, despite the fact it does NO advertising. I produced this video while hosting a group travel experience there not too long ago. This video can inspire you think outside the box….

The Shack Up Inn - produced by Charlie Adams
The Shack Up Inn – produced by Charlie Adams

Here is an article by AOL Small Business on the success of The Shack Up Inn

Charlie Adams Motivation

Keynote/Seminar descriptions

“Stoke the Fire Within!”

This peak performance keynote is tailored to the theme of your event.

Here are complete details of the ‘Stoke’ keynote

“How to Build a Positive Attitude an
d KEEP the Darn Thing!!”

This 2 or 4 hour experience equips your people with the attitudes to be more positive, team oriented and solution centered.

Here are complete details of this keynote/seminar

“The Spirit of Customer Service!”

This 2 hour program can be delivered along with the Attitude program, as attitude and customer service are so closely connected.

Contact Information:


charlie@stokethefirewithin.com

574 807 2279

charlieadamsmotivation.com

 

574-254-0188 || Email Charlie