Category Archives: Leadership

All things a leader should be and do

Having friends with benefits can be one of the most rewarding and beneficial things you can do. I’m not talking about having a “friend” who will roll in the sheets with you whenever you are bored; the downside of those kind of arrangements are too many to count (talk about mixed messages)… I’m actually talking about real friends with benefits and why it will make the difference between whether you become successful in business or not.

Friends With Benefits

Friends With Benefits

“You can have everything in life that you want, if you will just help other people get what they want”-Zig Ziglar. This is a great quote that talks about the first benefit of a good friend. Over the years I have learned that when a friend is in need I have to be there for them, it’s not an option. This can cause a lot of inconvenient times, especially when you have a business and a wife and kids and, well, you get the point. The reason I do this is not to get something out of them but to let them know they are important to me. Inevitably though, whether you believe it’s God (which I do) or some other cosmic force, when I’m in need someone is always there to help. Without the help of friends I would have failed long ago and not had the strength to get up. So the next time you have a friend in need, take the time make a difference.

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” I think out of all the quotes and sayings going around these days, nothing can be closer to the truth than this one. Over the years I have gained many friends and believe they all have value in my life but there are always those friends that have the ability to actually make things happen for you when you need it. It’s important to build a network of influential people that can make a difference in your life. I have different circles of friends for different things and by far my most important circle is my advice circle. These are guys I can be honest with and I know that when they give me advice it will be wise and unbiased. I’ve had countless times over the past 10 years where I was stuck at a crossroad and if I didn’t have men like this in my life I would have taken the wrong path, and that’s the difference between running a company or looking for a new job on an endless cycle of failed jobs. It’s hard to find friends like this so when you do, let them know you appreciate them and all they do for you.

“Bad company corrupts good character”-the Apostle Paul. This is the hardest of my friends with benefits tips. Nobody wants to tell a buddy to bug off, because, well, they are your buddy. In the end though, every friendship you have should be evaluated and if for some reason every time you are around this particular person, bad things happen then it’s time to break off your BROmance and find friends that will not get you in trouble. If you don’t know how to do this I’ll give you a helpful hint, ask your significant other. My wife can spot a bad influence friend a mile off and after I get done fighting with her about it, I usually come to my senses and see what she had seen long ago. When I don’t come to my senses fast enough though, I know she will repeatedly remind me of my mistake for the next decade or two. So my advice is to act swift or face the consequences.

Friends are a touchy subject for many people but if you want to succeed and become more than you are today, make sure the friends you want to keep in the future are helping you get there.

By: Todd Marinshaw owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan.

Child CEO

Children and CEOs

When I was a kid I dreamt of doing great things, making a difference and having an impact in this world. I had the drive to conquer the world and the immaturity to hurt everyone around me while doing it. I was basically a self obsessed lunatic for most of my young adult and teenage life,  just like the majority of teenagers in the world, I walked around thinking about myself all day long and acted accordingly. You could say I was not off to the best start at becoming a leader and making a difference and you would be 100% correct.  So what changed? Besides finding Jesus (not that he was lost or anything), I got married and had kids! And lived happily ever after.. Hmm, sounds pretty dumb but you wouldn’t believe how many people actually think this is what happens.  The truth is for the first time in your life you are not the most important person in the world, so you can either embrace it or fight it. The choice is yours but if you ever wish to be a great leader, I would choose option A.

Here are three things I learned from my kids that make me the CEO that I am today:

Example is everything: When I’m at home the phrase “Monkey see, monkey do” is never more evident. One day while I was in the garage unloading some things out of the back of my SUV, I decided to try and juggle everything in one hand while closing the door with my other hand. Usually this is no problem and I can complete this task like a pro but on this particular day my head was in the clouds and I shut the door on my fingers. The next few words out of my mouth were nothing I will be ever proud of but suffice to say they would not be included in a Disney movie. When I looked over, my child was standing there listening and ran off repeating my cute phrase over and over again for Mommy and the whole world to hear.  Lesson learned, you never know when someone is listening, especially when they are 3 feet tall. Even if I accidentally (because I would never do this on purpose) burp, I know for the week the dinner table is going to become the burp Olympics for the kids. Translation; nothing we do goes unnoticed so be careful.  Work is no different. If I start showing up late and leaving early, within a week my employees are doing the same thing. As a business owner I have to make sure I either open or close so I am showing an example of punctuality. If I make a crass comment while at work, yep, you guessed it, someone else will inevitably follow suit. The worst is when I get mad about a customer because all of a sudden everyone feels justified to vent their frustrations about a customer out loud and that brings moral and customer service down.  So be careful because people are watching.

When things go wrong, encourage, don’t shout: My kids are amazing but inevitably they do things that make me want to tear my hair out. The other day one of my children spilled their drink on the table as soon as I sat down to eat. The first thing in my mind after a hard day’s work and cooking and serving and cleaning was not “Oh honey, that’s okay, Dada loves you and I know it was a mistake”… No, the first thing on my mind was “God, please, please, what did I do to deserve this?” This kind of thinking many times will inspire me to bark out a harsh or angry remark that in all honesty is completely undeserved. Sometimes I actually use my brain and decide to say something encouraging and deny my primal urges of frustration and the result is usually spectacular. When I encourage them and tell them I believe in them and they can do better next time, it is like watching a light bulb light up and the happiness for the rest of dinner is infectious. Employees are not much different; I am not saying if your employee continually screws up you should put up with it (see point three for more on this). I’m saying when an employee unintentionally screws up, instead of showing frustration and anger, or even just reprimanding them, make it a learning moment for them and for others in their department so that not only does the mistake not happen again but the employee feels grateful that you didn’t blow them up for an honest mistake. Fear works for a little while but loyalty works much better; I’d rather have loyal employees than fearful ones.

Say what you mean and mean what you say: When calling the kids to dinner, many times it can go like this “Kids, dinner’s ready, lets eat”, then you wait, and wait, and wait. Next you say it in a louder voice “KIDS! Come eat!” You may get an “Okay dad” but still nobody comes. At this point your frustration builds and you scream “KIDS!! COME EAT NOW OR YOU’RE ON TIME OUT/lose your video games/fill-in-your-own-threat” and amazingly the kids come running. What did I learn? That every kid has the ability to obey if the rules are clear, and that I need to mean what I say the first time, and that I need to enforce consequences before they become threats. If you don’t really mean what you say, even kids can tell, how much more adults? So when I’m at work I’m careful to never say anything I’m not willing to follow through on. If we have a rule and it’s broken, I have to take that employee aside and make sure it does not happen again with a warning or even a write up. If I have a sales rep and they don’t hit their number, I have to bring them in and talk to them or they wont be motivated to hit their number each and every month.  I hate doing these things but not doing them in the past has caused me to lose the respect of my employees.  If you don’t want to enforce certain rules, then don’t make them rules! Always be clear about what you expect out of your employees.

 

I can probably write a book about everything else I have learned about leadership from my kids. But for now, if you learn nothing else in life about what it takes to be someone who people would want to follow, then embrace these three things and you have already won half the battle.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw owns and operates a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan.

There have been countless movies and TV shows glamorizing the thrill of sleeping with someone who works for you but few will make the plot line about a married couple. They have no idea how much more action, drama and thriller this involves! Yes, I confess I’m sleeping with my employee and she happens to be my wife. Usually this is a recipe for disaster for both work and family life and is not recommended. For those of you brave enough to bring your wife on board I have a few tips that will keep your sanity and your marriage. Here are my three life (and marriage) saving tips.

The first and hardest tip to follow is to never, ever get angry/annoyed at her publicly. I have messed this up countless times and have paid for it 10x over each time I did it. What usually happens is I’m trying to verbalize an idea or make a point and since she is such an awesome, smart, intuitive wife she will “innocently interrupt” me  and reply to what I was saying before I finish. Then I, in all my masculinity, get frustrated at this public display of being cut off and I say something shallow, dumb and a bit harsh at times. It all seems innocent but it does a couple things that you can’t reverse in the office- first it makes you look weak for having to resort to putting her down; second, it makes you look like you don’t love your wife because you embarrassed her in public, and third, it makes your wife want to put an ice pick through your thick skull and walk away satisfied.  The benefits of doing this are, well, ummmm, none.

My second tip is to always trust your wife’s intuition. Over the years Tina has warned me countless times about people or ideas she thinks are wrong and at times I have listened, which has led to a lot of good decisions. But more often than not,  I usually doubt her, make her explain herself, sit on it for a month or two while I mull it over and then act once disaster strikes.  This may sound idiotic and that’s because it is; for some reason God forgot to give most men a sixth sense when it comes to people while he gives women an abundance of this and it drives us nuts. I generally try to find the best in people and will trust them until proven otherwise while Tina can get around a person for five minutes and be like “That one’s not going to work out”. To this day I still have to fight down my irritation when this happens but when I have the sense to listen, I have never looked bad. Maybe I should read this article once a week so I remember? Anyway, take it from me; being macho and blowing off your wife’s advice is a mistake you will wish you didn’t make.

My third tip is simple, “Be nice to the girl”. I got this tip from my good friend Mark Gungor, who is one of the best marriage gurus I’ve ever seen. It sounds so simple but it’s so hard for us guys to remember. Even if you work with your mate don’t treat them like an employee.  In the workplace, they need to be loved and appreciated more than ever, and there are lots of ways to show it. I highly recommend public praise with some flowers or something thoughtful sprinkled in a least once a month.   This should get you more love points and forgiveness when you blow tips one and two.

Alright, now that we have gotten through some basic rules of working with your spouse, who is ready to sign up? If this isn’t for you then great, you are in luck! But if you do decide to take the plunge and you can stick by these principles it will be one of the most rewarding experiences you ever have.

 

By: Todd Marinshaw (In response to my wife’s seemingly popular post Married To My Boss). Todd and Tina own a sportswear business based in Orlando, FL and recently founded iPrevail, a non profit organization focused on relief and rehabilitation for victims of disasters such as Typhoon Haiyan.

Be Nice To The Girl

Be Nice To The Girl