Author Archives: Tony Dye

Welcome James Wilder Dye

James Wilder Dye

It?s been 32 years since a male child with the Dye name has been born into this family. Please meet James Wilder Dye, born on 5/28/2020, to Peter & Kelly Dye. 8 lbs, 15 oz. 20 5/8 inches. This proud grandpa can’t wait to see him close up. (Darn Covid-19 is making that harder.)

James Kelly Peter

All are happy and healthy (and maybe just a little tired).

First Manned Launch (times 5)

What an exciting time when SpaceX launched the Dragon a few days ago. I heard a comment about how this is the first launch of the fifth class of US manned space vehicle, and I had to think about it for a few seconds. Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, the Shuttle, and now Dragon. And then I thought about “first” of each. I’m not sure of this … I was pretty young, but I think it’s just possible that I saw (via TV) each of those firsts!

Sort of leaves me wondering where I’ll be for the sixth!

The Perfect ChMS Add-On

 

I’ve been looking to help a few churches with the “perfect” Church Management tool add-on.

Over and over, churches need a better, or easier, or friendlier, or find your own phrase that fits, solution for queries and selections.

Most churches, occasionally, need to do some wild and crazy query of their database. Something like “find all men, over age 30, who have kids, who have attended the missions class, who have not been on a mission trip, and are not part of the special services events team.” When we use words, that sort of makes sense. But in most of the ChMS products, it’s not so easy. Some products let you get under the covers and use SQL statements, so then you have joins and includes and Boolean stuff, but how many regular church staff can work through that?!

The software developers don’t have a chance of pre-developing this type of query because it is, totally ad-hoc. And once you get those results, undoubtedly you’ll discover another condition you want to add.

Maybe there’s another answer. What if we used a person, instead of software? What if we had people at these churches, or even in consulting roles, who would do these queries for you. You explain in everyday language, and these people do the special work to accomplish the task. Somebody who does this every day is a lot more likely to get it right than the typical staff member who only attempts this once or twice a year.

Instead of fixing the software, let’s try using a people resource. Too easy?

Do you know any people like this?

 

What Makes for a Good Work Ethic?

WorkEthic3

I’ve several times made the claim that I have an old-fashioned work ethic. Lately, I’ve begun to question what that actually means. I’ve met other people who don’t seem to have a good work ethic, but when asked, they say they do. Hmmm. Is “work ethic” totally subjective? That doesn’t seem likely. So, what does make for a good work ethic?

.

Further below, are ideas gathered from various sources and friends, but here’s one thing I’ve noticed over and over. If somebody comes in with a sour attitude, no matter how good they are at what they do, the attitude tarnishes everything. On the other hand, if somebody comes in with enthusiasm and a smile, and again, it may not matter how good they are at the job, they?seem to have a good work ethic. So, I don’t want to go so far as to say that enthusiasm and a smile are a measurement, but maybe they are a strong hint!

I’m going to choose to be enthusiastic and smile.

Two other especially strong thoughts for me:
1. Always go beyond the minimum requirement
2. Taken from?The Outward Mindset, when there’s a problem, take the attitude of “As far as I am concerned, the problem is me.” At first that one is scary. Then it becomes liberating!

Talking with some retail managers, it’s fun to hear some of the challenges.
1. Get people to just show up!
2. On time
3. Dressed right

More?thoughts, “borrowed” from many others:

From QBQ newsletter:
1. HUMBLE: Self-deprecating humor, takes no credit for wins, downplays their strengths. Acknowledges it?s a ?team effort.?
2. ACCOUNTABLE: Quick to own mistakes and failures with little to no blame and finger-pointing. And definitely not a whiner! (See the QBQ! book)
3. COLLABORATIVE: Don?t have all the answers, know they can?t do it alone, and open to ideas they did not generate. Shares AND listens.
4. DECISIVE: No ?paralysis by analysis? here. Flexible, but not wishy-washy. Possesses opinions that are thought through.
5. ENCOURAGING: Praises people, provides positive feedback, and slow to criticize. Lifts others up with their words.

==

  • Showing up to work, on time (preferably before your appointed office hours), appropriately dressed, and ready to take on the day.
  • Being present at work – different than being “on time” being present is the sense that you are doing what you can do for the company first, and for yourself second. You are thinking constantly about how to make the company better – in turn, you will be better at your job.
  • When you are at work, you are giving it your all, 110%, thinking of your colleagues and about advancing the company. Your company and colleagues are part of your extended family and you will do whatever is legal, moral and ethical to advance their careers and the cause of the company.
  • You don’t whine or gripe about tasks that have been assigned to you or ones that you have been volunteered for. You do the work with a sunny, optimistic attitude.
  • You defer to your manager’s decisions, even if in your opinion they are wrong.
  • You understand that you are an employee of the company, 24/7 – you are never really “off” the clock.
  • You are always selling your company’s product or service and you are always looking for a chance to advance your company’s product or service even if it is at a dinner party, a wedding, gas station, etc.

What other thoughts would you add for a good work ethic? Or is smile and be enthusiastic enough? And yes, I’m smiling as I ask that question!

 

What Are Your Abilities?

Abilities

Abilities

What a simple question. What a great question, especially if you’re a job seeker. I was recently asked the question and I was caught off guard. I didn’t have an answer! How can that be?

Do You have a fast answer?

 

Last updated: 4/25/2016

You can find all my Job-Search related articles here. Please remember, a job search is normally an ordered set of steps. If you try to skip steps, it usually doesn?t work out well.

FORTRAN

FORTRAN

80 Column CardThis will really show my age. And my history!

It’s been a long time since I remember reading a book or article by Edsger Dijkstra, and unfortunately I can’t remember the reference and I can’t find the exact quote. But this is close.

In hiring, I ask the prospect if he knows FORTRAN? If he says ‘yes’ then I don’t hire him!
— Edsger Dijkstra

(Perhaps the reference was to BASIC, or COBOL, instead of FORTRAN, but same idea)

Sadly, despite my own history, I have to think Dijkstra was right. But, fortunately, he has another quote that I was able to find that makes me feel a little better.

Perfecting oneself is as much unlearning as it is learning.”
— Edsger Dijkstra

Checklists and Scorecards

The Power and Simplicity of Checklists

ChecklistAre you a list person? Simple checklists, and maybe scorecards, can do wonders for an organization. A checklist might even save your life! This is a slightly long article, but you’ll get the idea in the first few paragraphs. Do More of What Already Works.

“Three months after it began, the procedure had cut the infection rate of I.C.U. patients by sixty-six percent. Within 18 months, this one method had saved 75 million dollars in healthcare expenses. Best of all, this single intervention saved the lives of more than 1,500 people in just a year and a half. The strategy was immediately published in a blockbuster paper for the New England Journal of Medicine.”

Millions of dollars! 1,500 lives! Wow! But for the same reason a checklist works, it can also fail. The key is to have somebody else check your checklist. Maintaining a scorecard, that someone else views, can make this work. Simple accountability. Really, it can be that simple. A shared Google spreadsheet can be a key accountability document between two people. It’s worth a try.

As a related item, I was recently with a friend at a wound care clinic. I noticed an item on their bulletin board that surprised me a little. So similar to the article above, the simple idea of hand washing:
Hand Hygene
Two things shock me here. First, the goal is only 90%. Really, if doctors wash their hands 90% of the time before treating a patient, then that’s success. Hmmm, sure hope if I’m ever there I’m in that 90%. But what about the other 10%? This seems like a no-brainer to achieve 90%. but wait, they are falling short of the goal. Oh my!

Maybe they need some assistance with accountability. Hmmm, who do I know who does accountability coaching?