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October 2011
Ann Latham
Uncommonly Clear Products by Ann Latham
Uncommon Meetings - 7 Quick Tips for Better Results in Half the Time
Uncommon Meetings - 7 Quick Tips for Better Results in Half the Time
Clear Thoughts by Ann Latham
Clear Thoughts - Pragmatic Gems of Better Business Thinking
Meeting Mastery by Ann Latham
Meeting Mastery - How to Slash Meeting Times in Half and Get Better Results
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Welcome to the Clear Thoughts™ newsletter.

If you would like more uncommonly clear and helpful advice and ideas, please visit our website. It is loaded with value - over 90 helpful articles, audio seminars and books, free tools and tips, videos, and more.
Today's Clear Thoughts
Take the Clarity Quiz on Effective Meetings!
Don't Throw Customers Under the Bus!
Is It Time to Fire That Employee?
Clearly Speaking & New Testimonial
Published Clarity
Ann's Parting Thoughts - What Exactly is the Problem?
'Like' Us On Facebook

If you frequent Facebook, 'Like' Uncommon Clarity and receive daily tips in your news feed and let us know your thoughts.


Take the Clarity Quiz on Effective Meetings!

Which of the following is most essential to an effective meeting?

  1. An agenda
  2. On time start and finish
  3. Assigned roles (e.g., time keeper)
  4. Ground rules (e.g., cell phones off)
  5. Assigned action items
  6. None of the above

Make your selection and then click here for the answer.


Don't Throw Your Customer Under the Bus!

I am tickled pink by the incredibly green mileage of my new blue Prius, but red with anger over the yellow

Toyota Survey

highlighted "Excellent" ratings on the sample customer satisfaction survey handed to me by the salesman as I drove off. "If I get less then 90%, Toyota will throw me under the bus," he said.


Toyota wants feedback that the salesman fears and, as a result, the customer suffers. If the salesman does a lousy job, you have three choices: 

  1. Tell the truth and constantly wonder about the bus
  2. Avoid email and phone calls asking for feedback
  3. Lie 

That is an ugly choice. Furthermore, it invalidates all the data they are collecting. And I do mean all. I heard the same line when I last bought a Toyota ten years ago. The sickening memory came back to me as soon as I heard it again.


How do you prevent such lunacy?

  • When determining any course of action, think about what could go wrong so you can avoid bad decisions and take preventive action.
  • Follow up, especially on any action as important as this, to see if it is really working.
  • Talk to your customers in multiple ways so you are sure to get the whole story.
  • Shop your own shop - anonymously, of course - to get a first hand look at the customer experience. 
Need help instilling preventive action and strong follow-up? Call 800-527-0087.


Is It Time to Fire that Employee?

Here are 9 signs that you've got the wrong employee:

  1. Spends too much time on unimportant tasks
  2. Makes mistakes frequently
  3. Works too slowly
  4. Mistreats other employees
  5. Appears unhappy, indifferent, and/or unenthusiastic
  6. Complains constantly
  7. Blames others or can't see own short-comings
  8. Refuses to take on new responsibilities
  9. Has made it clear that you are a lousy boss and that nothing will ever change for the better in your company 

But wait! You could be to blame for every one of these, so don't fire that employee just yet. Read these two articles first. They will help you either resolve the problem or give you the confidence to help the employee out the door.


9 Signs You've Got the Wrong Employee

To Fire or Not To Fire - Mired in Guilt?


Still struggling with a tough employee decision? Give us a call at 800-527-0087.

Clearly Speaking & New Testimonial

Isenberg School of Management MBA students enjoyed a dose of clarity in September when Ann presented "Uncommon Productivity - Tips on Priorities and Time Management:"

"Ann Latham is one of the best business speakers I have heard. She is very experienced, the quality of her thinking is extremely high, and she knows how to deliver her message in an entertaining, concise, and convincing way."


Dr. Alan G. Robinson, Isenberg School of Management, Author - "Ideas Are Free"


Coming Up Soon:


Uncommon Decisions - SOAR Through Decisions with Clarity, October 20th, for the Purchasing Management Association Western New England

Looking for an Uncommonly Clear Keynote or Workshop? Call 800-527-0087.


Published Clarity

Ann's book, Uncommon Meetings, tops recommended reading list of The CEO Refresher

The September SAC® Release quotes Latham in "Consultants Highlight Priorities in Risk Assessment

"Growing Pains - Three Hazards to Avoid" by Ann was published in The CEO Refresher in September

The Physician's Money Digest features Latham in "The Value of a Medical Practice Office Manager"

Ann's advice will be featured in 
The Woman's Advantage 2012 calendar.


New Products!

Now Available in print, Kindle, Nook, and other e-reader editions!

"Uncommon Meetings - 7 Quick Tips for Better Results in Uncommon Meetings  Half the Time" by Ann Latham is short and powerful, just as your meetings should be. Start saving hours and frustration today!

You can find it on my website, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. As always, print editions purchased from my website come with a value-packed bookmark and may be personalized.


If you have a copy of "The Meeting Clarity Handbook," an early release PDF version, everything is the same except the title.


"Clear Thoughts - Pragmatic Gems of Better Business Thinking" is also now available in Kindle, Nook, and other e-reader editions. 

Parting Thoughts - What Exactly is the Problem?

What exactly is the problem?


"A problem well put is half solved."


John Dewey


Best regards,

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Ann Latham

* Creating the Clarity that Speeds and Improves Results *

© 2011 Ann Latham. All rights reserved.