Employee Pushback – A Strategy

A client and friend of mine recently spent days revising the staff schedule to be more efficient and effective. He took great pains to think about its impact on staff and did his best to devise a plan that would work best for the funeral home AND create the least inconvenience for his staff. After… [Read More…]

The Lesson of the $300 Shoes

Last week’s blog sparked a lively conversation on and offline about clothing. From those conversations I think it might help to add one more insight. It was 1989. George H.W. Bush was president. I had just come from a podiatrist because my feet were in constant pain. I have flat feet. My prescription: wear only… [Read More…]

A Fat Man Dresses For Work

“My name is Alan and I am overweight!” Last week I was shocked when someone said to me, “Alan, you are always well dressed and so professional looking.” It really took me aback. I certainly don’t see myself that way. But I DO see myself as a professional who has a responsibility to myself and… [Read More…]

This Is What I Would Tell My Staff

What happened to social etiquette? You spend a couple of million dollars on a new building and you let the public be disappointed the moment they enter the door. I visit a lot of funeral homes and the experience ranges from abysmal to glorious with a whole lot more on the abysmal side than the… [Read More…]

Confronting Passive Aggressive Behavior at Work.

Most people in the funeral profession are almost pathologically averse to confrontation. As a result, the predominant internal culture in funeral homes is Passive Aggressive. If you have been a subscriber for long you know I have a personal issue with what I call the “Ten Call Tyrant”. He or she is that individual you… [Read More…]

You Don’t Need Another Licensee

Lessons From Radar O’Reilly Some years ago there was a nationwide nursing shortage. Then some very wise doctor’s and hospitals realized that there really wasn’t a shortage…there was a problem. Too many nursing duties were non – nursing tasks. Things like paperwork, bathing patients, cleaning rooms etc. Doctors and hospitals were using nurses as glorified… [Read More…]

Lessons From Bar Fighting

While I was in college I spent a summer as a Merchant Seaman on a Great Lakes iron ore carrier. Some of the crew “took me under their wing” and while in port one time invited me to join them on a trip into town. On the way one of them turned to me and… [Read More…]

Why We Fail: How Blame Game Defeats Us

Why is it so important in the funeral service culture to find blame? Blame is always a counterproductive force that slows us down and PREVENTS us from the personal accountability we need to move us to a higher plane. Some years before my engagement with funeral service I was employed as a project manager and… [Read More…]

Why You Should Be A jerk More Often

Happened across this excellent advice the other day. Some things really are worth sharing. “Now, when I spell jerk with a small letter “j”, I’m referring to someone who is willing to say or do something that pushes a peer or subordinate far out of their comfort zones in order to make them or the… [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…]