Manufacture Your Day by LEADING IN TIMES OF CHANGE

“The only person who likes change is a wet baby.”

~ Mark Twain

Change has become a constant and it won’t go away. If companies want to be and/or stay globally competitive, they have no other choice but to go through operational improvements.

I meet so many managers, supervisors, team leaders and workers who are frustrated, resistant and fearful when it comes to change.

They have absolutely no idea how to cope with all the changes that come their way. People have to learn to be comfortable while being uncomfortable.

What can change? 

The goal can change, the teams change, the playing field, team roles, materials, strategy, time constraints, the level of challenge, processes, systems, expectations, management, customers, suppliers, and the list goes on and on. 

Would you like to learn how to guide your team during times of change?

Here is my simple analogy when it comes to the image above:

  1. Provide Information: When people learn about any kind of change (personal or professional), they first go through shock and denial. In this stage they have to understand “why” change is happening. Allow them to process their emotions by expressing their fears, frustrations and concerns. Helping them to explore the benefits will definitely help. 
  2. Provide Support: People often get stuck in stage 2 (frustration, depression, resistance) because they don’t get full management support. They have to have the tools in order to succeed. Unfortunately top management is often disconnected from the plant level. Saying things such as “make it happen” or “don’t ask, just get it done”, doesn’t allow them to get to the next level. It is unfortunate but this may evolve into a “Groundhog Day” experience. 
  3. Provide Direction: Where are we going? What’s the vision? How can we work together to make sustainable improvements? It is important to make the distinction between acceptance and commitment. Management often let it go too early, being certain of successful adaption. If people accept change, it doesn’t mean that they are at the commitment stage YET. 
  4. Provide Encouragement: If people admit it or not, everyone needs encouragement to see things through. Pay close attention to effort and progress, and make sure to celebrate small wins along the way. This is key to make change part of your new normal. 

Leaders today have to get a good understanding of what people go through emotionally in order to make change sustainable. 

It is a skill that can be learned. Be mindful and you and your team will thrive on change. 

I believe in happy endings. Do you? 

Manufacture Your Day by SERVING OTHERS

Happy Monday!

Here is to another week and another chance to get in right. 

On this picture you see me writing my daily messages. This is my labour of love for all the hard working people in the manufacturing industry, and I am very grateful for all my regular readers. 

What is it that you do to serve others? 

This is not a question of position, rank or department. 

Do you focus mainly on your everyday tasks, or on the long-term value you add for your organization and the difference you make for the people around you? 

Nothing can be more fulfilling and rewarding. 

Here is some quick tips on how to be a servant leader:

  • Seek out others’ input and ideas
  • Help people who deal with personal challenges in their life
  • Know that having a title comes with the responsibility to develop your team members
  • Think about the long-term consequences of your decisions for the company and the team
  • If someone is kind, pay it forward and be kind to others yourself

Robert L. Stevenson used to say, “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.”

Now go and plant those seeds.

Manufacture Your Day by REMEMBERING 12 THINGS

I think we can never go wrong with some Friday wisdom.

I have decided to post these 12 things in my office and thought I would share.

Which one do you connect with most?

Which one should you remember most? You know which one speaks to you.

We all know these things but as simple as they may be, at times we seem to forget – especially when we are stressed, frustrated or anxious.

Stress has the ability to bring out a completely different side in us. Some people become aggressive, others shut down. This overwhelmed stage can lead to brain freeze and it can get to the level when we can’t think straight anymore.

No matter how bad it is, tomorrow is another day. 

Save these 12 insights on your phone or on your desktop so that you have something positive to focus on when things get out of control. It can be truly important to spend a few minutes in order to remind yourself what really matters in life – your Happiness, your Health and your Well-Being.

Enjoy your well deserved weekend!

Manufacture Your Day by PUSHING YOURSELF

Every message you receive from me is written from the heart with the sincere hope that it will help you to create positive improvements in your life. 

People who know me closely are able to confirm that I do my very best to practise what I preach. 

Today I would like to encourage you to push yourself more than the people around you. 

Every new communication tool and every technique to improve your thought process will help you to become a better person, a better mom, a better dad, a better employee, a better manager, a better business owner.

From personal experience I know that you have to practise certain disciplines each day that will help you to get further faster. 

Today I would like to share mine: 

  • Get up early – depending on my daily schedule I either get up at 5 am or at 6 am during the week. On the weekend I “sleep in” until 7 am. 🙂 My mom used to say “The early bird gets the worm” and that’s how I have learned to live my life.
  • Exercise – either running, swimming, cycling or the gym; I do my best to get in my workout first thing in the morning. It energizes me and releases stress. 
  • Do what you say – I don’t make promises if I know that I can’t keep them. I like to stay true to my word. 
  • Meditate – I would like to say that I do it daily but I don’t (hopefully one day I will be discipled enough). However, I meditate before each workshop and coaching call. It helps me to release judgment, be mindful and fuelled with positive intention.  
  • Strive to be the best you can be – I have learned so many lessons over the years and every mistakes has helped me to become the person I am today. I think I am very coachable and that’s also why I work with a coach. I think every person who is interested in reaching his/her full potential should work with a coach – coaching helps me to keep my thought process clear and focused and it makes it easier to control my emotions.
  • Passion and Positivity – my passion for the people in the manufacturing industry and life in general helps me to live life to the fullest. Positivity helps to see the opportunity in every problem. 
  • Set goals – I think goals increase your zest for life. I am a continuous goal setter in different areas of my life. 
  • Have fun in whatever you do – smiling and laughter is part of my daily routine. I always make sure to make my clients smile and to create life enhancing experiences for me and for them. 
  • Be grateful for what you have – I write down my thoughts at least once a week. 
  • Strive to be joyful and happy each day – that’s what it is all about. When I am happy I feel every challenge can be handled so much easier. 

This is quite a long list and I haven’t always been so aware of what’s important to me. These are habits of thought and disciples that I have developed over years. 

Now go and ditch that snooze button on your alarm! I believe that you can if you want to.

Are you getting ready to start your daily disciplines? Excuses or Results? The choice is yours. 

Manufacture Your Day by UNDERSTANDING WHY MINDSET MATTERS

One of the things that I have noticed in the corporate world is that everyone seems to be searching for the causes of failure. I have to ask myself why no one seems to be searching for the causes of success. 

“Understanding the cause of failure is important. Understanding the cause of success is far more powerful.”

~ Ed Oakley

Focusing on targets, profits, numbers and facts is the norm in the majority of workplaces and most leaders seem to forget that in order to get the numbers, they have to have their employees on board. 

A while ago a General Manager said, “Karin, we know what has to happen and what needs to change, but what we know and what we do are two very different things. There is simply no sense of urgency and as long as we can drag it out, we will.”

Today I want to ask you:

  • Why don’t we think that the pursuit of perfection is everyone’s job?
  • Why have we settled for mediocrity? 
  • Why are we trying to secure the right answers instead of pursuing the right questions?
  • How do you think the bottom line is impacted when employees are negative, frustrated and stressed? 

Be determined to have the mindset to win, to succeed and to start serving your team. After all, your team is the secret to your success. 

What are you waiting for? 

(excerpt from my book “How Can We Make Manufacturing Sexy?”)

Manufacture Your Day by GETTING A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON “5S”

I have created an exercise that is called “5 S for Culture Change”. This simply means that the “5 S”  (Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain) are applied to people instead of workplace organization. 

This is just one of my creative ways to bring people’s attention to people.

Every time I facilitate a workshop I learn something from the participants. 

Today I would like to thank Milan, Ruban and Jeff because they brought this exercise to a whole new level. They started to think about how to “5S Your Mind”. 

Isn’t this amazing? 

Then they continued on a second flip chart and started the application process with the word “concentrate”. The group explained that you could apply this to any other word that needs more of your attention. 

Let’s take a look at the Standard on the Application Flip Chart. I always suggest to find a positive way of saying this. 

So what could be a different way of saying “I don’t allow distraction”? Maybe “I set guidelines to work in a distraction-free zone “. 

How can you make “distraction-free” a reality? 

  • Visualize the perfect working area for you
  • Brainstorm with co-workers HOW to make this happen, and HOW you can support each other 
  • Let people know in advance if you work on an important project and communicate WIIFT (what’s in it for them)
  • Put up a sign such as “Important Work in Progress”
  • Communicate WHY this is important for you 

This was a 20 minute exercise and it just gets to show how creative people can become. Thanks again to Milan, Ruban and Jeff for being so creative!

“5S Your Mind” could become an awesome way to create a mental strategy. As long as you’re intentional anything is possible. 

Manufacture Your Day by BEING A FIGHTER

There is nothing wrong with being a fighter in order to get where you want to be. It just shouldn’t be at the expense of other people. 

I have dedicated the past 11 + years to the manufacturing industry and I have worked really hard to get where I am today. I am still working hard and often times long hours but most of the time it doesn’t feel like work because I love what I do. 

I have to thank Magna for discovering my life’s passion. Losing my job at Magna was one of the best things that has ever happened to me (well besides meeting my wonderful husband) because it has set me and my creativity free. 

I would have never discovered my full potential if it wouldn’t have been for Magna. Today I understand that most people in manufacturing companies have more talent, skill and creativity than their current job requires or even allows. This untapped potential is a tremendous opportunity for organizations. 

What if we could change that? 

My business has been based on the idea to train machine operators on attitude, constructive thinking, communication and basic life skills. I have learned at Magna that nobody knows better how to improve the job than the people who are doing it. I was sure that everything in the company would drastically improve in no time. Absenteeism, turnover, quality and health & safety concerns would become minor challenges. Pretty soon I started to realize that I would get nowhere without training management first.

Looking back there were so many things that I didn’t know but I knew that I had to hold on to this thought like a dog to its bone. Typical fighter instinct.

Training machine operators is still not on companies’ radar but mark my words, it will be. 

The question that has consumed me over years was, “How can I help management in manufacturing companies to “see” that people are more important than the process?”

I have discovered the answer and now I work at it one company at a time. 

I encourage you to develop your leadership and your interpersonal skills because these days it is all about the ability to get along with others while getting the job done.

Keep fighting to get to the next level, keep smiling and keep reading my messages. If you like them, forward them to others and encourage them to join my positive community:

Change Your Perspective, Change your Life

It is so worth it to be a fighter if it is for the right cause. Happy Monday!

Manufacture Your Day by BELIEVING IN YOURSELF

Who puts the tiger in the cat? 

You do. 

It matters how you see yourself. It matters a lot. 

I see so many people in our corporate world who have lost almost every ounce of self-worth and self-confidence, and that’s why I want to share another story from my insecure Magna days. 

I can remember so many times where I found myself questioning my value to the company. Looking back I know that Magna was lucky to have me but I didn’t see it back then. My English wasn’t great, I had to learn a lot of new things and there were people (who only speak one language) who made fun of my accent, my pronunciation and my lack of vocabulary. 

I felt fearful and insecure. I wanted to find a strategy to make myself feel better and I did. 

Every day when I got up in the morning I went to the mirror, I smiled at myself and I kept telling myself the same affirmations for months: 

I look great and I feel great. 

I am smart and I am creative. 

My positive energy is contagious. 

I choose my thoughts to create my life. 

Every day in every way I get better and better. 

It is amazing what positive affirmations can do for you, your life and your self-worth. 

I share these affirmations with you because they helped me so much. Now you can go ahead and read them every day. How long would it take to create more peace and freedom in your life? Is it worth giving it a try?

I truly hope that these affirmations will at least help you to crush all the insecurities and fears you encounter. 

I encourage you to program your mind because it is a pretty awesome feeling when you are in control. 

Eleanor Roosevelt used to say, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” 

Be strategic in your approach and you will beat everyone who makes fun about you or who tries to put you down. Take this from someone who knows. 

Are you ready to be a tiger? 

Manufacture Your Day by BEING PATIENT

The people who are close to me in my life will confirm that I am certainly not a patient person. I have to constantly work on it and I do believe that I have gotten a little bit better over the years. However, I am not going to lie – it is hard work. 

  • I am impatient when I have to wait in line.
  • I am impatient when I have to wait for a table in a restaurant. 
  • I am impatient when I explain something and I realize that the person doesn’t get it right away.
  • I am impatient when people move painfully slow. 
  • I am impatient when it comes to my own progress.

Can you relate? Yes, we all have a shadow side and I am never shy to share mine. 

Having said this, I am always patient when I work with committed people who put effort into self-improvement – may this be in my workshops or in my one-on-one coaching process. I have experienced improvements in people you wouldn’t even think are possible. I know that when you believe in people and when they are willing to do the work, the results will come no matter what. 

Unfortunately we live in a world of instant gratification. Management would like to see instant results without realizing how they may contribute to certain challenges. Employees on the other hand would like to see positive changes but many have become so disengaged over time that they would rather point fingers than doing their part. 

It is a vicious circle. 

Many people prefer short cuts and the easy way out BUT there are people who are prepared to go the extra mile. They have the drive and the willingness to get a little bit better each day. This is truly commendable and inspiring. 

These people understand a very simple rule (quoted by Jim Rohn):

“If you want things to get better, YOU have to get better. 

If you want things (or people) to change, YOU have to change.”

I refuse to give up on these underdogs (because I have been called one myself) and I will support them with every fibre of my being.

People who want to get better, always will. You can take my word for it. 

It is like with little children when they start to walk. Some will walk with 9 months, others with 16 months but it is a given that they will walk. The results are in the making. We wouldn’t give up on our children, so we shouldn’t give up on adults either. 

I am a Leadership Coach, Corporate Trainer and Facilitator.  I think I am a pretty caring person, and I most certainly believe in the power of the human spirit.

I encourage you to do the same. 

Manufacture Your Day by OVERCOMING WORRY AND ANXIETY

Here is something that worries me…… Oh no, I caught myself. Why would I worry? I know that worrying has never served me, even when times were tough.

Let’s take a look what we worry about:

  • Meeting work targets
  • Job Security
  • World politics and terrorists
  • Health
  • Weight
  • Raising the kids “right”
  • Finding the right partner
  • Level of attractiveness
  • Losing a job or finding another job
  • Paying the bills/credit card debts
  • What other people say
  • Investments/Financial future
  • Children’s education
  • Fitness level
  • Feeling anxious about feeling anxious
  • Public speaking / presentations
  • Getting old
  • Diet
  • Death

These are just a few examples and the list goes on and on. If you think that people who have more than enough money don’t worry, then think again. Every person has worries. As human beings we tend to imagine the worst case scenarios but it does not have to be this way.

It is important to recognize that worrying comes from our thought pattern. In other words, it comes from the way we think.

How can you change this?

  • Determine if the problem is within your control or outside of your control – if it is outside of your control, why worry?
  • If it is within your control, take action. Taking action will stop your worries (you won’t have time to think). 
  • Recognize when you have anxious thoughts and change your inner dialogue by telling yourself “This is just my mind playing tricks with me. All is well”.
  • If you have gotten into the habit of worrying before you go to bed, simply tell yourself, “I will work this out tomorrow. Right now I want to sleep.”
  • Get the number 1 sleep application to relax your mindit is called Calm. 
  • If you want to imagine things, imagine things working out in your best interest – and they will.
  • Read the all-time classic by Dale Carnegie “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living”.

It takes practice and patience. Work at it!