Archive for June, 2009


The jobless figures for May showed unemployment at 9.4%, a 25-year high. But while rates for men and women were roughly equal in 2007, 10.5% of men are now unemployed, compared with 8% of women. Four of every five jobs lost in the past two years had been held by men. The gender gap is the largest ever seen in US labor statistics, which go back to 1948.

“What’s happening in this recession is unprecedented,” said Mark Perry, an economist at the University of Michigan. “It’s structurally different because the job losses are so concentrated among men.”
Blue-collar jobs in manufacturing and construction are hemorrhaging while white-collar work in increasingly female-dominated, often publicly funded fields, such as education and health, are holding steady or growing.

Men are being forced into new family roles in greater numbers than ever before. Taking care of children, house chores, errands, cooking all areas where men have wanted to do a fair share. While many can embrace this new era, long term unemployment has many consequences.

The stress of consistently looking for work and not finding work leads to the following issues:

1) Short temper/increased conflict
2) Lack of self confidence
3) Less communication
4) Financial stress
5) Lack of adjustment to new family roles

It is critical that families begin to communicate about these issues without judgment. Create a daily, weekly and monthly plan. Look for a secure, realistic home based business. If you are a man or women unemployed, put yourself on an hourly productivity schedule. This increases productivity and decreases stress.

Dr. Brian has helped men and women with job search and interviewing skills. If you would like a free coaching session to make a plan, help with stress, or just chat, contact Dr. Brian directly.

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Today it was revealed a 99 year old women owed $1,181.00 for her water bill. She used 139,876 gallons. Normally her water bill is $30.00.

A typical swimming pool holds 15,000 gallons. So, Ms. Cohen used just short of ten pools worth of water. The Water authority said, “D.C. Water and Sewer Authority’s records show that 139,876 gallons went into her house that month, and they insist she must pay for them.”

Yes. Let’s not talk to her, inspect the, consult with a plumber (Ms. Cohen has had three plumbers inspect.)

What happens at your company when a computer gives contrary numbers to reality? How do you assess productivity? Do you only look at the numbers, or do you inspect machines, keyboards, hard drives, motors?

Communication, critical thinking, trends, past history, common sense.

How does your business assess performance?

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Steve Jobs, Lee Scott, A.G. Lafley, Katsuaki Watanabe, Bill Gates, Li Ka-shing, Lakshmi Mittal, Indra Nooyi.

What do they have in common? What do you have in common with them? What does your business have in common with them? The above names are part of Fortune magazines 25 most powerful people in business.

What’s in it for you? All share common traits in how they run their businesses. Communication between departments, teams, people is excellent. Conflict is encouraged, but resolved. Strategic planning, synergy with customers, long term planning all are part of the daily functioning of the corporation. Everyone is clear and on board with the Mission and Vision of the CEO. Power to empower people, not abuse them is also key.
One characteristic stands out: DEPTH of Talent. Each company has a depth of talent. They are not reliant on one person.

Clearly, the more you can attract top people, and retain them in tough times, the more resilient your company can become. Businesses and corporations that thrive over time can all point to the fact that they have high workforce retention rates and keep top talent throughout all levels of the corporation.

Where can you attract top people? How can you retain them? Dr. Brian has 15 years experience in workforce retention and attracting top talent. Drop me an e-mail if you can use more tips.

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Have you ever walked into a doctor’s office, or supermarket, or any business and you can feel the tension level?

Oops, you might need to pay a fine, get a business license, or you just have had a tough day?
What is your expectation when approaching someone or a business when you need or want something? Have you ever told yourself “It’s not going to go well” and it did not?

I recently went to a large mental hospital…I mean airport. (Yes, people act irrationally at airports.) I was not ticketed on my second connection flight. This usually means the flight is over booked, or I am not confirmed and will spend one more night in a hotel. The person in front of me at the ticket line was screaming and demeaning the ticket agent and I was next!

What would be your expectation? How would you approach the ticket agent? What is your attitude when approaching a difficult situation? How do you approach government employees?

Bob Burg, author of Endless Referrals, Winning Without Intimidation says ,”when you want to bring out a response in a person that meets your needs, act towards that person as though that’s how you expect them to respond. Yes, approach them believing they’re going to want to give you what you desire.”

If you think about how to approach a situation before the event, adjust your attitude and expectation, you will impact the other person. Does it mean you will win every time? No.

What would happen if I joined the yell fest at the airport? I thought “What are my chances here?” So, I complimented the gate agent for “handling” the person well and not having him arrested. I asked if I could send a compliment card to her boss. Then I smiled. The gate agent mentioned I was the first person who smiled since she came on her shift.

This week, try having a positive expectation, pre-planning, thinking and positive persuasion. Write back your results.

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Andrea Jung, is CEO of Avon Products, was interviewed in today’s USA TODAY’S Del Jones. The lessons in the interview can have a direct influence on how you are running your business. She’s the most-tenured female CEO in the Fortune 500, having outlasted such notables as Carly Fiorina of Hewlett-Packard and Anne Mulcahy at Xerox.

What are the most important aspects of your business to focus on in the current economy? What decisions can you make to improve morale and save money?
What spending patterns have changed? What is your most important focus? What risks can you take?

The answers can help you and your business. Here is a summary, plus tips that Dr. Brian uses in his consulting. All statements in quotes are directly from the article by Del Jones interviewing Andrea Jung, in USA Today article.

1) “Communicate, communicate, communicate frequently and face to face, not in an e-mail. Communicate the purpose of the vision and the reason for tough decisions.” Talk to your managers and supervisors. Let employees know what decisions are being made and why. The higher degree of communication within an organization, the higher degree of trust begins to filter throughout an organization. The better the trust level, the higher the morale.

2) Reinvent yourself: Start work today like it is your first day at work. What would you do differently? What impressions can you make today? What are the changes you would make? Blocks to change include lack of vision. Are employees clear on where you are leading the organization? Reinventing yourself also means taking risks. Risks today need to be looked at in terms of gain 4-5 years from now.

3) Talent: How do you develop your people? When you can consistently develop your team members to optimize, it becomes easier to promote from within. When your people are under performing, train first. After that, it may be time for a change. “As a CEO, talent is a number one priority.”

4) Customers: The psychology of the consumer has changed forever. Savings will continue to increase, spending may be flat. It is now necessary to have a high workforce retention rate, as well as attract new talent.

What is the status of your top employees? Are they getting ready to leave as soon as another opportunity arises? Are they staying because they want to, and see the future at your business? What strategies are in place to keep your people and attract top talent?

Dr. Brian Grossman has 15 year experience training leaders to be their best and helping companies retain their best employees. Contact him directly at 818-939-9426 or

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While I am conducting leadership seminars this week throughout Nevada & California, I wanted to share some quick tips:

1) Mission Statement: How many team members in different departments know the company mission statement? When departments and team members are unsure, it means CEO’s, upper management are pulling employees along. When everyone is aware of the mission statement, it reduces interpersonal conflicts and everyone is working together toward common goals.

2) Vision: Each department, Sales, Technology, Customer Service need to develop a vision statement. Vision answers the following questions: Why does our team or department exist? What does our team do that is unique from other teams? What does our team do that supports the company mission? The more a team feels unique, the more productive and motivated teh team becomes.

3) Clearly defined job roles: Each manager, supervisor, team member must have a clearly defined job role. Each job role must be revised as job functions changes. When employees are unclear on job roles and function, a business can count on poor performance and increased conflict.

4) Conflict resolution: Interpersonal and departmental conflicts must be resolved. When conflict is allowed to continue, employees resign themselves to misery. They stop believing in leaders and begin a “pod” mentality approach. Creative conflict is great. Sharing ideas, disagreements, different opinions all lead to innovation and optimal decision making becomes the norm.

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Sunday morning. Palm Springs, CA airport. 6:00 AM. The TSA security line is 100 deep. That’s the first time in a year the line has been filled. Was it summer break? Seniors gone wild? No!

BUSINESS TRAVEL is back. More than half the line was filled with business travelers. I could tell just by the luggage around me. I also asked 60 of the 100. (Yes, I counted.)

CNN, MSNBC, local news, USA Today have not mentioned business travel recently. This a precursor to the economy moving again. One small step.

Despite the terrible publicity, it’s critical for business owners, corporations and CEO’s to get out of the office to meet customers, have meetings off site to increase innovative thinking.

So, get out of the office, back to the airport, and let get business moving!

Dr. Brian Grossman facilitates corporate retreats, meetings and consults for performance strategies that work.

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Take a look at this interview with Terry Brock & Dr. Brain Grossman.

E-mail me directly to receive a free report on Listening.

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So why don’t people hear what you think you said?

Sometimes people won’t hear us because they’ve had a bad day. They may be preoccupied. They may be turned off by any number of things. They might assume we’re talking to them only because we want something or that we’re going to give them a lecture and that we don’t really care about them. Listeners often don’t hear because they have a preconceived notion of what’s going to be said. Haven’t we all said, “I know what you’re going to say before you’re done saying it”? They can’t hear us because they can’t suspend their own needs or because what we say makes them anxious. Other times, we do not say what we want due to anxiety, pressure or fear.

Good communication is having the impact you mean to have. That is, intent equals impact. Every message must pass first through the filter of the speaker’s clarity of expression and second through the listener’s ability to hear what we said. Sometimes as a listener, we have our own agenda.

It’s important to take pride in listening to another person. It makes them feel that you’re interpreting their information correctly. Your power and influence increases each time you are perceived as an excellent Listener.

This week, get a free coaching session if you purchase “Learning to Listen: Did you hear what I think I said?” E-mail Dr. Brian directly to get a free report on Learning to Listen.

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A stunning announcement from the White House today. Before the President left on his trip to the Middle East, he named Dr. Brian Grossman CEO of General Motors Corporation.

After hearing that GM planned on closing even more dealers and plants, as well as GM’s plan to build smaller cars than the former Pinto for CA drivers, the President said, “another change is needed, a leader who can inspire performance, motivation, creativity as well as communicate with different personalities.”

Of course, I am stretching the truth a bit. (Okay, a lot) Listening to the news coming out of GM’s spokespeople, it sounds scary. Small cars, not too much change in EPA standards. Nothing about Hydrogen, better hybrids, or ZERO Innovative thinking.

Here is what I would implement immediately.

1) Listen to all employees on improving productivity, design flaws and new ideas.
2) Look at, and then innovate from the competition. If Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Ford can build a midsize car that get over 35 MPG, why can’t GM?
3) Optimize funding for new and used cars.
4) Offer the BEST warranty in the WORLD.
5) Communicate consistently with customers, informing them of trade in values, new innovations, and just general communication.
6) Resolve conflicts between all teams, top down, bottom up.
7) Communicate will ALL employees to help inspire and motivate.
8) EVERYONE gets on board with the new Mission and Vision. WE are PULLING together.
9) Optimize service departments at every dealer.
10) Optimize the experience online and in the Showroom.

I want GM to succeed. Where is your company at with employee productivity? Morale? Is everyone following a different leader, or is there a unified Mission?

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