Is Your Business Uncommon

istock photo credit 02-26-07 © Eyeidea®

Definition of UNCOMMON

1 : not ordinarily encountered : unusual <an uncommon plant>

 2 : remarkable, exceptional <a soldier of uncommon courage>   

In this day and age where everything in the marketplace is common, it takes uncommon attention and effort to transition prospects into customers and from customers into clients, but uncommon attention and efforts alone will never create raving fans much less community unless they know what you do comes from the heart; a heart anchored in meeting their needs and exceeding their expectations.

 

“Being uncommon comes from either having a talent no one else has or a desire-drive-attitude, to do the things most won’t because they’re not willing to go the extra mile to get it”Tony Dungy

 

 Some Thoughts:

-What does common look like in your industry? 

-Customers know where the line between common and uncommon is, does your organization? 

-Is crossing into uncommon part of your vision for your organization?  

We recently modified our commitment statement at Troncalli Subaru to include the following: 

“Create environments in sales and service where our guests leave with the belief that this was the best automotive experience they have ever encounter.”

Your thoughts?

~Tom 

What Child Is This-Worship Wednesday

Welcome to the Holiday Edition of Worship Wednesday

To mix this up for the holidays, I’ll be featuring Christmas music and assorted holiday videos on Wednesdays till the end of the year. So to kick things off I could not think of a better song, especially this version, to kick of the Christmas Season at Leveraging Life. 

 

~What Child Is This~

Featuring Andrea Bocelli and Mary J. Blige

 

 

And now some Holiday fun 

 Elf the Movie

 

I hope everyone has a Safe and Gratitude Filled Thanksgiving!

~Tom

~Tom

trusting God period

If you are not doing so already, you might want to subscribe to Leveraging Life. (It’s free.) That way when I update you’ll be notified via email.

 

 

Thanksgiving and Gratitude

I was having a conversation with a close friend the other night and she shared with me the story of an uncle who passed away from cancer this past summer. As I listened to story after story I couldn’t help but notice the impact his life had made on hers. But it didn’t end there; sprinkled in each story was tales of how other family members lives were touched in similar ways. Over and over I heard, “you just can’t comprehend how special he made everyone feel, each in our own individual unique way” or “when I was with him it made me feel so important every time I saw him.” As I was driving home, that conversation caused me to pause and take inventory of the people in my life, past and present, who left similar marks on my life.

The thing I love about Thanksgiving is the fact that the only exchange which takes place is the exchange of stories in the midst of sharing our time with friends and loved ones. So before settling into your Thanksgiving routine this week, the food and the football, I challenge you to take a similar inventory of those who left a mark on your life, and to do it prior to Thursday.

-Who is the person or persons who impacted your life in such a way that it left such a mark on your life that you now feel compelled to share it with them?  

-And if they are no longer with you, is there someone close to them whose Thanksgiving would be so much more meaningful, and may be even a little less painful,  if you shared with them the difference that their loved one made in your life?

-What’s stopping you?

Remember that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated to give thanks to God for helping the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony survive their first brutal winter in New England. So in that tradition….please don’t won’t let this Thanksgiving pass without sharing your appreciation to those who made a difference in your life. And I do hope you will leave a comment below about the person or persons whose life impacted yours so everyone who reads this post share in honoring them this Thanksgiving.

I’ll be the one to start in the comment section, but I also want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of you who have visited Leveraging Life the last four months. I know your world is a busy place, so for you to spare a moment or two and read what I post is something I value greatly.

So I thank each and every one of you and hope you have a Safe and Gratitude filled Thanksgiving!

~Tom

trusting God period

I hope you’ll stop back by on Wednesday as I put the Christmas twist on Worship Wednesday.

If you are not doing so already, you might want to subscribe to Leveraging Life. (It’s free.) That way when I update you’ll be notified via email.

The 5 “F’s” – Family

                                          FAMILY                                 FINANCES

                                                             FAITH

                                  FITNESS                                FRIENDS

Of the 5F’s, which was outlined in a previous post The Next 25, Faith is the one which supports the other four and sustains the balance of the structure called life. That being said, the one I want to lead with is Family. While the significance is obvious, Family is the one “F” where compromises are easily justified, yet the consequences can last a lifetime.  

Bob Balestri © istockphoto

As I glance in my rear-view mirror covering my First 25, I see a guy whose life was consumed by what I did and not who I was. My focus and concern had everything to do with my professional significance and little to do with relational relevance within my own family. While I wasn’t totally disconnected and made all the important dates, birthdays, anniversaries, etc., my involvement in those impromptu family events (most people consider key) was almost non-existent. And when someone approaches life in that fashion an interesting phenomenon surfaces; turn down enough invitations and invitations stop being extended. 

No one specifically set out exclude me, but the prevailing feeling was why bother we know what Tom’s answer will be “he has to work”, which translates “we know where Tom’s heart is.” Ouch! 

“your windshield is bigger than your rear-view mirror for a reason”

Jim Jurica © istockphoto

The view I have in my windshield comes from a change of heart and focus which began when I found myself living in a nursing home in the midst of a health crisis. It was during that two-month period when it dawned on me, that no one from work was calling much less visiting. In my eyes where I had invested the most I expected the most, a visit or at the least a call. But the encouragement and support I received in that time of uncertainty came from the group who came second to my career, my family and closest of friends who are like family. This life lesson taught me that not getting the Family component of the 5F’s can carry a cost that no amount of money can repay because what is the value of time spent with loved ones.    

And it was in that moment of clarity I vowed never to confuse sacrificing for my family with investing in my family in terms of time.    

It comes down to a commitment  

You either talk about it, or like Nike says, you Just Do It; and while what I’ve outline below seems so basic, I simply first had to make sure I understood the difference in investing in vs. sacrificing for family and was prepared to be completely intentional in my commitment to them.   

-You have to guard your time with your family because everyone else  will try to shortchange it – Learn how to say no

-A conscious investment of time is being with them, being off work with the laptop open answering emails is the same as being in the office with a better view – Engage and Interact.     

-Instill a closed-door policy – when you close the front door of your home you must make sure work stays on the other side of the door, what you leave on the doorstep will be there the next time you leave for work.

-Give permission to them to call you out if you come up short in some cycles or seasons…..Don’t take it personally, remember this was something you committed to!

Next up is Friends and the role they play in your 5F’s

~Tom

trusting God period

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My Desire-Worship Wednesday

 

~My Desire~

Jeremy Camp

  

Both the song and the story behind the song are featured within this video by Jeremy Camp, just click on the link and then once again where it says Watch on YouTube, embedding of the video for some reason is limited.

In the past Worship Wednesday selections were songs and videos I hoped might inspire and encourage those who visited Leveraging Life, but I must admit My Desire hits home for me in so many ways and I think I’m selecting it more for me this week than LL community. But one thing I do know is I’m not alone in seeking to understand God’s will for my life and finding my purpose within that will. 

Finding purpose and God’s will for my life is something I’ve struggled with the last five years and is also something I’m trying to unpack in my series of posts called The Next 25. This past year I’ve become more intentional in recognizing life change occurs not when Tom’s will be done, rather when God’s Will Be Done. As the lyrics describe, we must first lay it all down before the King, and in doing so refrain from asking questions like: 

God what is your will for my life in _______________opportunity? 

God what is your will for my life with _____________ person? 

There is an amazing amount of peace when you come to understand you actually limit God’s will for your life in asking those fill in the blank questions which ask God to endorse what you’ve already deemed to be your will for your life

For me this is something I need to continue to remind myself….but I do see God’s hand in so much of what’s been going on in my life this past year and especially the last three-four months…..which is why this song has become a prayer for me!

 All my life I have seen where you’ve taken me
Beyond all I have hoped and there’s more left unseen

There’s not much I can do to repay all you’ve done so I give my hands to use

For those who seek to better understand God’s will for their life I highly recommend watching the Game Plan series we are currently working through at North Point Community Church and can be accessed here where you can watch for free online.

~Tom

trusting God period

If you are not doing so already, you might want to subscribe to Leveraging Life. (It’s free.) That way when I update you’ll be notified via email.

 

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My hope is someone may be led to a song with a message they need to hear offering encouragement, support, promise, or hope when they need it most. I will make every effort to provide a link to the story behind the song if it is available.

Please let me know what you think and feel free to make recommendations for future Worship Wednesdays in the comment section below or via the contact link. Also don’t forget to use the links on the side to share this with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!

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CARFAX – Leveraging Life – Friday Favorite

Most Fridays I feature a website or a blog that for me has become a favorite. It maybe a favorite resource, a source of inspiration, or just some distraction I frequent. Give the Friday Favorite a look, read, or listen, and please feel free to comment about mine and share a favorite or two of your own in the comment section. Who knows maybe we will feature one of yours as a future Friday Favorite.

 

Friday November 12, 2010

 

While CARFAX is not a free service, it is a service that I wholehearted endorse. Not only do we use it in all three of our new car dealerships, but I used it when I owned my own dealership, and have referred family and friends to CARFAX for personal use prior to purchases made outside our dealerships. In a typical month we pull over 100 CARFAX reports as we appraise trade-ins and evaluate purchase opportunities and would not consider trying to make those decision without first consulting a CARFAX report.  

-Who They Are-

In 1984 Carfax was founded initially as a resource for state to combat odometer fraud. By working closely with the MissouriAutomobile Dealers Association, in 1986 the company offered the early version Carfax vehicle history report to the dealer market. The broad appeal of the service now being used by all 50 states and most new car dealers along with the greater access to the internet facilitated universal appeal when CARFAX incorporated insurance accident reports along with titling documents in every vehicle report.   

My Veterans Day Thank You

Photo Credit: John Sfondilias © iStockphoto LP 2009

Dear Veteran,

America sets aside a day a year to honor you, yet you set aside years to protect and guard all we hold dear. So today I say THANK YOU to all who serve, to all who served, and also those YOU hold dear who waited patiently for your return!

Thank you!

 

 

~Tom

trusting God period

If you are not doing so already, please consider subscribing to Leveraging Life. (It’s free.) That way when I update you’ll be notified via email.

 

 

U2 : Psalm 40/Streets-Worship Wednesday

 

~Psalm 40/Where the Streets Have No Names~

U2

~Clip from National Prayer Breakfast~

Bono

 

I came across a series of interviews with Willow Creek Community Church’s Pastor Bill Hybels and U2′s Bono while the launch of the One campaign was underway. In the midst of discussing the local church’s role in all this Bono first called out and then challenged the church as a whole, regardless of denomination, to stop judging and start modeling what the Bible instructs every christian to do with regard to poverty and the poor. 

Not Afraid*-Worship Wednesday

 

~Not Afraid*~

  Gary Ward*/Eminem 

I came across this video via Twitter two months ago which linked me to the People of The Second Chance’s (POTSC) website. This was captured live at Central Christian Church in Las Vegas where Gary Ward used Eminem’s arrangement of Not Afraid to deliver his story and testimony, which he describes as going from Tragedy to Victory!

Regardless of where you land with Hip-Hop as a musical preference, take a few minutes and listen to Gary’s video, paying close attention to his testimony and the power within it.

It is so exciting to see how God is using Gary’s story and his gifts to reach people. In two short months there are over 16,000 views on YouTube, and I have no doubt there is a generation of young men and women who not only will identify with the music but also the story, ultimately coming to know Jesus Christ in a real and personal way because of it.  

  before you today is a real life survivor

a soldier for God the devil is a liar

you can’t stop me no more misery

in Jesus name I declare Victory!

This was my original comment POTSC website on NOT AFRAID 2 months ago:  Absolutely incredible…so raw, so real and speaks to the core of what second chance we all are given! Well done Gary and God Bless your journey!!

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My hope is someone may be led to a song with a message they need to hear offering encouragement, support, promise, or hope when they need it most. I will make every effort to provide a link to the story behind the song if it is available.

Please let me know what you think and feel free to make recommendations for future Worship Wednesdays in the comment section below or via the contact link. Also don’t forget to use the links on the side to share this with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!

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~Tom

trusting God period

If you are not doing so already, you might want to subscribe to Leveraging Life. (It’s free.) That way when I update you’ll be notified via email.

Saying Sayonara Facebook Style

Photo Credit iStock Photograpy © Matthew Palmer

On Twitter you follow, on Facebook you become friends, but what happens when there is a split, when there is a falling out? Do you do as Steve Martin once said,

“I break with thee, I break with thee, and throw dog poop on their shoes!”

In the modern internet era that may mean unfollowing” someone on Twitter andunfriending them on Facebook, or combination of you’re connected in multiple areas. This may occur from a real world falling out, or just because of an oversaturation of meaningless of status updates or tweets you’re tired of seeing.

Which leads to an interesting question are the “rules” for dissolving an online “connection/friendship” different than dissolving them in the real world?

Some Facts

The Atlanta Journal and Constitution recently reported on a University of Colorado study done by Christopher Sibona and Steven Walczak, where they surveyed social media online participants and they has concluded that Facebook users are more inclined to unfriend someone online than in real life.

One of the interesting things about unfriending is the most real-world friendships either blow-up or fade away,” said Sibona, “But on Facebook, users actively make the decision to unfriend, and people often don’t know why or what’s happened in the relationship.”

This is partial list what their study identified as some of the top reasons someone might be unfriended:

-Posting too frequently (hour by hour potty training updates get old quick)

-Posturing sensitive topics like politics, religion, or controversial issues (left of right may not sit right with all)

-Real life falling out (let’s be friends after a split doesn’t mean you can have a front row seat to my life now)

-Your Filter is way too broad (rude, crude, and lewd is just as unsettling online as it is around the dinner table)

 This new world has created an entirely new vocabulary that didn’t exist a few short years ago and a term like “unfriending” became the New Oxford Dictionary’s new word of the year for 2009.

Personally I think the sheer fact Facebook added a feature to block Farmville and Mafia wars from appearing in the news feed allowed for many an online “friendship” to remain intact…..whether that’s good or bad is still up for discussion. 

Have you felt tension in deciding who to “friend” on Facebook?

Have you unfriended any one on Facebook?

You have anything you would add to the list of reasons you might say sayonara to someone?

~Tom

trusting God period

If you are not doing so already, please consider subscribing to Leveraging Life. (It’s free.) That way when I update you’ll be notified via email.