5 Ways Funeral Directors Sabotage Progress

The prevailing culture in funeral service is Passive Aggressive. I have talked about the “ten call man” before and how that person subversively undermines a business. But, unwittingly, owners and staff can undermine themselves.  Here are 5 ways you can commit “self-sabotage.” Never permit short cuts. It’s necessary to establish procedures and rules to avoid… [Read More…]

Universal Requirements For Successful Family Transition

There are 3 Universal requirements for a successful family business transfer: A competent successor The Business is ready The owner is ready Part 1 – A Competent Successor A successor is competent when they have demonstrated both the ability and willingness to run the business. For most small businesses however this is a major challenge. Yes… [Read More…]

Should Women Wear Pant Suits?

I seem to have a penchant for joining fights that aren’t mine. Not long ago I was presenting a seminar on dress and decorum to funeral directors at a large state convention. Several women asked for my opinion on wearing pants. Frankly, I hadn’t thought about it so I didn’t have one. Since then, I… [Read More…]

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…]

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