Thursday, March 31st, 2010 — —— — —— — —— — —— — —— — —— — — Spring Edition #162

Russell R. Shippee
Author, Speaker, Life Coach

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The Checklist Manifesto
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We all need CHECKLISTS.

OK, so I had to clean some snow off the decks of the boat. Aren't we all anxious for this winter to end? Those of us in the Northeast of the USA sure are. It's Spring, it's time to get outside. It's time for new things. It's time.

Today is the last day of the first quarter of 2011. Have you completed your first quarter goals? If not, why not? Should you consider an accountability coach? What are the drawbacks to you of not reaching your goals?

The Checklist Manifesto - How to get things Right is the book that I recommend and relates to the article below. Read The Checklist Manifesto - How to get things Right. It's informative and interesting. Plus, it will help you in your daily life, both personal and business. click here — now!

LAST CHANCE! I'll be one of the panelists at the Exit Planning Seminar in Boston on April 6th, It's for those who are in or thinking of business transition. If you own a business, or are buying a business from someone, this is knowledge you'll need. If you are close and want to attend, contact me. The link is here !

Timeline-Schedule. will be the next seminar. Yes, we are repeating it. It was popular; and we think more of you will want to take advantage of it. KW said "I really enjoyed the teleseminar. You have a wonderful way of describing in simple terms what others tend to make far more complicated than they need to be." MN said, "I like how you build one concept on another." Sign up, attend, and then tell me what you think! sign up.


P.S. Remember, your time is limited, but not how you use it!


Yes, Mind Mapping. See the banner ad at the bottom of the letter.

MASTER MIND GROUP April 19th in RI is the next Master Mind Group. You owe it to yourself to check it out. Call me. 401 583 1300 Click here to download flier.

TO-DO LIST also, it's a CHECKLIST I am always trying out new software and have found one that does most of what I want. Plus, the basic version is free and is internet based for easy access.


We are not retreating — we are advancing in another direction.

General Douglas MacArthur, U.S. Army Chief of Staff (1880-1964)

The way to succeed is to double your failure rate.

Thomas Watson

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.

Albert Einstein

Never memorize what you can look up in books.

Albert Einstein

Pop thinks a checklist has to be written. Kids have mental checklists. Hey, we can't write yet, so we have to remember. Do you remember back when you could remember?

Yes, as I told Pop, it was too cold to paint the boat and he took the cover off too early. He didn't respond, but he did hear me. It was probably on his checklist and he likes to get his checklist done, regardless!

Kids are ready for spring and ready to play outside. How about you?

I'll watch Pop do his checklist on the boat. It's a long one!

I'll tell him if he forgets to check something off.
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Spotlight Article


Bottom line, checklists work, save time, and improve results.

Atul Gawande wrote The Checklist Manifesto - How to get things Right. Here is a quotation from the book: "Despite showing (hospital) staff members of the benefits of using the checklist, 20% resisted, stating that it was not easy to use, it took too long, and felt it had not improved the safety of care. Yet, when asked an additional question - would you want the checklist to be used if you were having an operation - a full 93% said yes." WOW!

The airline industry has used checklists for years. The best and most experienced pilots believe in and use them. If they do, shouldn’t we?

Anything you do, deserves to be done well, and doing your best is easier with a checklist.

A checklist does many things:

It gives you a track to run on
It keeps you in focus
It makes sure you don’t forget a step
It covers the critical factors of success
It eliminates guess work
It guides you in time of stress
It builds your confidence
It supports your knowledge and learning
It keeps everyone together as a team

A checklist is critical when we are learning. Then, when we know it all, it is critical as that is when, knowing so much and being so experienced, we get careless and then make mistakes. The checklist supports us wherever we are in the process of learning and doing.

No one is above a checklist.

A checklist is not cast in stone. Change it, improve it, modify it as needed. But, use it. If it is wrong, change it. If it does not apply; make one that does. The process of making a list makes us focus on what has to be done, what is important in the process, and what is critical in the process. Just making the checklist improves our performance dramatically.

Create a checklist and then test it. Use it, see the results, and measure the results. Does it prevent errors? Does it create a better outcome? Does it keep you on track? Does it help? Does it save time? Test the benefits, modify, and test again. Then, once perfected, keep an eye out for future improvements. Continual improvement should be one of the goals.

If you are perfect, never forget, and are infallible, you do not need a checklist. Have you ever forgotten something? Have you ever missed a step and had to back track? If so, wouldn’t it be easier to use a checklist? If you haven’t tried a checklist, you don’t know. Try it, you’ll like it. A checklist is a sign of strength and organization.

Peace of mind and a quiet nights sleep are the result of a checklist. When we don’t have a list, when it’s not written, it’s roaming around in our mind, and comes to our attention at the worst of times, like the middle of the night. “Did I do X? Was I supposed to call? Is it due tomorrow morning?” are just a few of those thoughts that wake us up and shake us up.

A checklist provides peace of mind. It is knowing you have covered the bases, knowing nothing has been left out. We all lose focus, we all get distracted. So, why not use a tool to be sure we do what has to be done.

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