Category Archives: The Pamela Positive

The Pamela Positive: “You Have to be Able to Tell People ‘Great Job’ on Things That Didn’t Work”

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“You have to be able to tell people ‘great job’ on things that didn’t work.” 

— J. Kermit Campbell, former CEO of Herman Miller

Campbell has it right.  A CEO can be an expert in a lot of areas, but they can’t neglect this: getting the right people. Actually, let’s add another area: values. You must be a leader who gets the best people who demonstrate the highest values.

Your people are then free to think and lead.  They can chart a new course in their business unit and risk making mistakes. Some of those mistakes will turn into innovation.  A lesson learned on the pathway to creativity for your business is not a fault.  It’s a step in growth. So do celebrate the bumps in the road if you have the right people on the bus.

Even if you are a manager, you should still think this way. Empower your people to learn.  Hopefully you can hire them with a domain of expertise.  If they don’t have it, urge them to build it. Let’s learn from Campbell’s advice to us:

“I don’t believe that my job is to lead design at Herman Miller.  My job is to make sure we have great design leaders, continue to listen and try to learn from them…My job is not to be a creative guy, my job is to create a culture that allows and promotes creativity….

You’re going to have to take risks. It’s not all going to work.

You have to be able to tell people ‘great job’ on things that didn’t work.”

Kermit, thank you again for this wise advice.  Our job is to set vision, hire and encourage!  

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J. Kermit Campbell is a former CEO of Herman Miller, and the current Lead Independent Director of SPX Corporation.  He is an investor or board member for a number of companies and charitable organizations.  Herman Miller is a leading furniture company, founded by D. J. DePree, with a more than 100-year history.  They focus on innovation, and designing products to create a better world.

The Classic Pamela Positive: A Great Gift: “Call Me Brother”

call me brother post

A story I heard and found inspiring:

A famine was on in the land and a beggar on a street corner reached out to Tolstoy, who was passing by. Russia’s great man stopped, searched for a coin but found none. With genuine sorrow, he said: “Don’t be angry with me, my brother. I have nothing with me.”

The beggar’s face lit up as he replied, “But you called me brother–that is a great gift.”

 

The Classic Pamela Positive: Better To Make a Few Mistakes Being Natural

toddler-439112_640“Better to make a few mistakes being natural than to do everything out of a feeling of worry.”
The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care, Dr. Benjamin Spock, 1946

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The Classic Pamela Positive: “If It Is Right, It Happens…Nothing Good Gets Away” – John Steinbeck

stack-letters-447579_640Heartfelt advice is such wonderful wealth.   And it’s even more meaningful when it’s in a letter, which someone took the time to write, and shape with their own beautiful language, handwriting and style.

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The Classic Pamela Positive: “Make Each Day Your Masterpiece.” – John Wooden

woman-591576_1280“Make each day your masterpiece.” — John Wooden

Unmatched. That’s what Coach John Wooden is asking us to be.

To live a life unmatched each day — which is a masterpiece — means living according to your values.

When I usually think about a gargantuan goal, I think of something more along the lines of an Olympian. Yet it doesn’t always mean running (or winning) a marathon.

It is being your own masterpiece. That means today, you live with kindness in all the minute interactions you might have. It’s not just about doing your best, yet also treating others your best.  You, your being and presence, are the kind masterpiece that positively affects the world.

From living your masterpiece as an individual, and on this basis of values — only then can you paint another masterpiece. Pick a passion… be it gardening, being an excellent bookkeeper, being elected to office, writing a short story, exploring the best hikes and appreciating nature… And step by step, create excellence. Get inducted into your own hall of fame.

But remember, the greatest hall of fame is… treating others your best.

John Robert Wooden (October 14, 1910 – June 4, 2010) was an American basketball coach. He was a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player (inducted in 1961) and as a coach (inducted in 1973). He was the first person ever enshrined in both categories. His ten NCAA national championships in a 12-year period while at UCLA are unmatched by any other college basketball coach.  He was married to Nellie Riley for 53 years, and they had two children.  After Nellie’s death, John had a monthly ritual until his own death 25 years later, of visiting her grave and writing her a love letter.

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The Classic Pamela Positive: Confessions of a Caffeine-a-holic

Caffeine

I used to be a Caffeine-a-holic, even when I wasn’t drinking any.  I still craved it.

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