The Fallacy of Casket Discounts

Ever since it was revealed that SCI enjoyed a big discount the discussion around the convention lunch table has been preoccupied with the subject of discounts and rebates. For more than 15 years I have heard a lot about percentages but never about dollars. It’s not my dog much less my hunt but I think… [Read More...]

Reinvention: Islands of Excellence In A Sea of Mediocrity

“one cannot manage change.  One can only be ahead of it.”  Peter Drucker The Cornerstone Assumption of the funeral side of DeathCare is that being nice is the same as being effective.  Our “worldview” of being nice people is that we must never, ever make waves or create awkwardness.  We run pell-mell from any form… [Read More...]

Is A Scarcity Mentality Keeping You From Being A Good Leader?

A Scarcity Mentality is the zero-sum paradigm of life. People with a Scarcity Mentality have a very difficult time sharing recognition and credit, power or profit – even with those who help in the production. They also have a a very hard time being genuinely happy for the success of other people. Yet it is… [Read More...]

Boomer Owners: 6 Signs That It’s Time To Talk

The saying goes, “It’s lonely at the top.” Who do you talk to when you’re the boss? Edgar Schein, Professor Emeritus at the Sloan School of Management at MIT, observed that the most common self – image among business leaders is that of the “Lone Warrior – Hero.” I have found this to be true… [Read More...]

10 Barriers to Succession Planning Part 3 of 3

This week we finish our discussion of barriers to succession with: 4. Serving more than one master. Change is hard enough. But there is an old biblical reference that is always true: “You cannot serve two masters.” The business needs to stand on its own and only insiders should have influence. Too often non participating… [Read More...]

Strategies For Reducing Risk of Harrassment

Bill McQueen comments on something we all need to know more about. Part 2 of  2 Last week I mentioned that I had successfully defended 3 harassment suits over my career. I credit that success to several factors: 1) the internal culture of respect and consideration I demanded 2) Following the advice Bill McQueen lays… [Read More...]

What Is Workplace Harrassment??

Bill McQueen gives us some critically important pointers. Part 1 of 2 Over my career I have led three companies that faced harassment charges made by employees. Because I had policies and procedures in place and followed them to the letter all were resolved in favor of the company. That is not to say harassment… [Read More...]

Are You A Change Champion?

There are, in fact, many firms today that remain in denial that our profession has changed dramatically and will continue to change into the foreseeable future. We cannot help them. I have lost count of the financial statements I have analyzed over the last several years. What strikes me is that virtually all of them… [Read More...]

The Excellence Trap: How We Confuse Efficiency With Effectiveness

Are you a shop foreman or a leader? In recent years a new focus has crept in to the profession. We are trending toward becoming shop foremen instead of leaders. The belief being that we must measure everything and compare everyone to everyone else. This is, in fact, a good idea and a long time… [Read More...]

Caregiver or Martyr? Beware the Rescuer Trap

Are you addicted to helping others or are your customer relationships creating unhealthy responses? Perhaps you’ve fallen victim to the Rescuer Syndrome. One of the common threads I am discovering as I get deeper into the study of culture within the funeral profession is the belief that one must be a “suffering servant” doing what… [Read More...]

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