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Have you seen the YouTube video of the Thomson Airways (a UK carrier) safety video? If not, click on the little guy's face to the left, or above, take 3 and a half minutes to look at it, then keep reading.

Sure, it's cute. The kids are really good. Adorable. And the creative team that put it together is brilliant. But what makes it work is that it's anything but ordinary. Thomson passengers actually watch the thing, and I have to believe that retention of the material is off the charts compared to the forgettable safety videos on almost every other airline.

Anybody can do ordinary. As leaders, we've really got to do better than that.

Ordinary is having a need to meticulously account for every day, hour, and minute someone is "at work", whatever "at work" means anymore. Extraordinary is what they do at Netflix. Check out what they call their "Freedom and Responsibility Culture". No, it won't work everywhere, but it sure seems to work for Netflix. And it sure isn't ordinary.

Ordinary is treating everyone consistently. Extraordinary is being fair with everyone, but rewarding WOW work and commitment with WOW rewards.

Ordinary is giving everyone who does a good job a gold star, whether they happen to like gold stars or not. Extraordinary is learning what your workers' dreams are, and finding a way to link their dreams to the success of your enterprise.

Ordinary is sympathizing with a team member when they're going through a hard time. Extraordinary is parting with some of your own cold hard cash, or other resources, to help a worker out - someone who needs it, and who deserves it.

Ordinary is buying the corporate line that "we can't afford any training right now until things, you know, get a little better." Extraordinary is finding creative ways to support workers' development needs.

Ordinary is playing it safe. Examples: you fail to give someone really difficult feedback because it'll be really unpleasant for both of you; you keep someone on the payroll who has ceased to earn his or her place there, because, well, it's just easier; you hire the acceptable candidate who's going to be easy to get through HR, rather than the best one, whom you may have to do battle for. (Please - no nastygrams from my HR friends, of whom there are many. I'm just sayin').

While I'm castigating ordinary, I'm not advocating weird or bizarre. Or illegal, or unethical. But I am saying that if you, as a leader, or as an organization, want to get people really engaged, to stand out, get noticed, make a real difference, you gotta leave ordinary behind.

Kinda like Alice and company.

We speak at lots of association conferences and conventions, most of which are held in the spring and fall. Which means we have greater-than-usual availability in the summer - especially July and August.

So, we can bring the "Contented Cows" message to your organization during the hot summer months for less than our standard fee - and probably less than you think.

Contact Paul Titus, at 813-355-3349, or at to see how we could put together a keynote presentation, or leadership training seminar at your organization, at a fee that your budget can warm up to.

We administer employee satisfaction surveys, and analyze, interpret, and present the results to your leadership team.

Especially in times like these, no organization can afford to operate without the full engagement of everyone on the payroll.

Our turnkey process provides a valuable and affordable way for you to measure your organization's effectiveness in the view of those who fuel your business with their effort, labor, and commitment.

Visit us online, or simply contact us, to learn more about our survey process and how it can help to make your workforce a powerful competitive weapon.

Bill Catlette and Richard Hadden
No company can perform well in a still-shaky economy without the full and willing engagement of a focused, fired-up, and capably led workforce. If you want to learn how to turn your workforce into a powerful competitive weapon, invite Bill Catlette or Richard Hadden in to speak or conduct leadership training for your organization, or to keynote your association's next convention. Contact Paul Titus (813-355-3349 or to see how we can make your next meeting a colossal success!

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Richard Hadden and Bill Catlette
Contented Cow Partners, LLC

phone: 904-720-0870
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