Kurt Buehlmaier
Blog 54: Broken Windows theory in the Business World

The broken window theory essentially says if people see a broken window and that window doesn’t get fixed, people get the feeling that no one cares and that there are no consequences. Due to this, crime spreads and grows. Eventually there will be more broken windows and then maybe some graffiti, followed by a mugging and other crimes that escalate in severity and frequency. Eventually an entire neighborhood is destroyed.

The same is true for leadership, consequences, and competence in the business world. If people feel that there are no real consequences or competence at a company, their work starts to suffer. Missing deadlines, poor quality of work, repeated lateness are all the “broken windows” of the business world. These are reasons that a good company can go to being a terrible company in a short period of time.

Businesses need to identify and fix their “broken windows” before they grow into much bigger systematic problems. Sometimes the windows aren’t fixed because those in charge think that it is a waste of time or money to do so. However, they will only get worse and cost much more time and money, and may even cost the entire business.

It is leadership (not management-as I have mentioned in previous blogs-feel free to look) that needs to take charge and ensure that problems get fixed in an appropriate and timely manner before they multiply. If one person consistently misses deadlines that affect their co-workers and there is no consequence (allowing the window to stay broken) others will start to follow suit and lose motivation. Then more people will not see the importance of attending meetings, dressing professionally, or putting forth a real effort.

Negativity and lack of motivation can spread through a business like wildfire and one of the keys to having that happen is overlooking the seemingly small stuff and not fixing windows when they break. Maintenance and standards are extremely important in the business world and paying attention to them will guarantee NO REGRETS!

Hoping to offer you this type of personal education that maximizes your potential and lets you live your passion with NO REGRETS!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Broken_windows_theory

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Kurt

Website: www.noregretsconsulting.com

Email: kurt.buehlmaier@noregretsconsulting.com

Blog: kurtbuehlmaier.tumblr.com

Twitter: KurtBuehlmaier

Blog 53: Leadership Selection

Throughout my career, I have seen many parallels in business to sports. One of the strongest of these deals with leadership. A great leader on a sports team can make a mediocre team great and a poor leader can make a great team mediocre or worse. Managers in the workplace are no different. I have stated before that I don’t really believe in “management;” I believe in leadership and I think that proper selection criteria is one of the main factors that makes a difference between the two.

Captains of athletic teams are often times selected because they are the “best player” on the team or have been on the team for the longest period of time. These are not good criteria for selection. Natural leaders will appear regardless of title; be it “captain” or “manager.” It is imperative that those with the job of promoting those natural leaders to “official” positions of leadership learn how to identify those people and insert them in critical leadership positions.

Unfortunately, if previous leadership was selected using improper criteria, it becomes difficult to break the cycle. Good leaders on sports’ teams are usually selected if the team is allowed to select the captain. The larger group of the team wants to win and improve, and are therefore open to understanding of who can help them do that.

I would be interested to see this applied to business and see who the workforce would select as a manager and if in fact those selections would end up being “leaders” instead of simply “managers.” Would they consistently do the right things, care about and inspire their workforce, and even work to train people to perform better than themselves? That is what leaders do.

Hoping to offer you this type of personal education that maximizes your potential and lets you live your passion with NO REGRETS!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Kurt

blog: kurtbuehlmaier.tumblr.com

Twitter: KurtBuehlmaier

email: kurt.buehlmaier@noregretsconsulting.com

Blog 52: The Importance of Repetition

For those of you who have played a sport, played an instrument, learned a foreign language, or anything similar, you understand the importance of repetition. The goal in these fields and many others is to create the ability to perform something “second nature.” Throwing a perfect spiral, playing a song flawlessly, or speaking like a native all take a lot of practice. You can’t just do things once or twice in order to get to that highest level. There is a vast amount of repetition that must occur in order to achieve a high level of competence.

A great and simple example of this is in the original Karate Kid movie with Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita. Washing the cars, sanding the floors, painting the fence, and painting the house were all ways for Mr. Miyagi to create repetitive muscle memory in Daniel. Then when it came time to put these motions into effect as self-defense moves, they were “second nature” because of all of the repetition.

Many times this is not fun, but very necessary process. This should occur when building a business, developing a relationship, or creating a strong financial portfolio. Repetition of basic tasks develops a foundation for a highly evolved skill set, allowing people to perform at the highest level.

You need to first identify the proper practices, and then repeat them over and over (making continuous improvements and discarding ineffective practices) in order to be successful. This is a major factor that I think keeps people from being successful. They keep painting the fence and sanding the floor, but fail to connect these things (the process) with their end goals. Because there is a lot of work and no connection to the goals, people give up. You need to keep pushing till you get through the first few big barriers. After that your momentum will pick up dramatically. It is the people that can deal with the frustration of repetitive practice until they really develop a skill that will be successful and live a life of NO REGRETS.

Hoping to offer you this type of personal education that maximizes your potential and lets you live your passion with NO REGRETS!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Kurt

blog: kurtbuehlmaier.tumblr.com

Twitter: KurtBuehlmaier

email: kurt.buehlmaier@noregretsconsulting.com

Blog 51: Matthew’s Italian Restaurant

I have a former student that I am very proud of. Well I actually have many, but this one in particular, just opened his own restaurant and was already written up in the newspaper. What makes me want to blog about this besides how proud I am is that he has been passionate about the restaurant business since he was 14 and now he is living his passion.

He is at the restaurant 70-100 hours a week, but doesn’t feel like he is working, because he is doing what he loves. This is exactly what I help people achieve and it feels good to see people (whether I help them or not) make their dreams come true.

Great job Matt! Everyone else, check out the article for some inspiration on how to work hard to achieve your dreams so that you can live your passion!

http://www.northjersey.com/news/115258464_Taking_a_chance_on_a_dream.html?c=y&page=1

Hoping to offer you this type of personal education that maximizes your potential and lets you live your passion with NO REGRETS!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Kurt

blog: kurtbuehlmaier.tumblr.com

Twitter: KurtBuehlmaier

email: kurt.buehlmaier@gmail.com

Blog 50: You get what you pay for

On my 60 mile drive to work, I drive on roads funded by tax dollars as well as a road funded privately by a German organization on which I pay about $10 per day. Guess which road does a better job of snow removal? After a snow storm, the public roads remain dangerous for days. They are not plowed down to the road or the width of the road. However, the private highway is spotless!

Having made this drive several times this year it made me think of the phrase, “you get what you pay for.” I started to think of other situations that this applies to. Education was the first thing that came to my mind. Public education tends to be better in wealthier areas, because there is more money to allocate to various resources including attracting better teachers. Private education tends to be better than public education, but once again, it depends on how much you pay. Most places that charge a lot of money have to show results otherwise people pull their children out of those schools.

Where else does this apply? How does this affect decisions that you make? I would love to hear your opinions on this matter! Hopefully, we can compile some information for everyone to ensure that they have NO REGRETS!

Hoping to offer you this type of personal education that maximizes your potential and lets you live your passion with NO REGRETS!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Kurt

blog: kurtbuehlmaier.tumblr.com

Twitter: KurtBuehlmaier

email: kurt.buehlmaier@gmail.com

Blog 49: Yes-Men, Mis-matchers, and Leaders

If you own a company, or are trying to make a difficult decision, who do you want to surround yourself with; yes-men or mis-matchers? Yes-men are those that are so intimidated by you and don’t want to rock the boat, therefore will always agree with you regardless of how they truly feel, or if it is the best decision. These people will agree with you when you say “yes” and will do an instant 180 if you change your mind to “no.” Many people have climbed the corporate ladder by doing this, because they are catering to a person’s ego.

Mis-matchers are those that will do the opposite of yes-men. They will take the opposing point of view 100% of the time. They live to argue and love the challenge of converting you to their beliefs. If you can convert a mis-matcher to your point of view, it is a good sign that you are actually right, as these people while loving argument and playing devil’s advocate can also admit when they are wrong. Therefore, convincing them of something can really firm up the accuracy of that statement; if you can get these people on-board, you must be headed in the right direction. However, if you let them over-power you, then you might be in danger of making a bad decision.

Leaders are those that are willing to do what it takes to ensure that the right thing happens. Sometimes this means agreeing with the boss, or “owner of a topic” and sometimes it means disagreeing. They do not agree or disagree for any other reason than it is what they truly believe and feel is best for the group. If you work at a company, and you disagree with the boss, so that they make a better decision, it will positively affect you, the boss, and the company.  This is what true leaders do.

I blogged earlier this year about the difference between leaders and managers. Bad managers tend to be Yes-Men. Good Managers tend to be mis-matchers. But leaders are those that are focused on doing what is best for those involved rather than trying to suck up to the boss or win an argument. Surrounding yourself with the right people and developing a strong team are critical for successful businesses as well as individuals. If you can get people to recognize when you are right and making a good decision, they will champion that decision and get others excited about it. These same people will do whatever they can to keep you from making bad decisions and will let you know when you are doing so. Being surrounded by leaders will help you live a life of NO REGRETS!

Hoping to offer you this type of personal education that maximizes your potential and lets you live your passion with NO REGRETS!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Kurt

blog: kurtbuehlmaier.tumblr.com

Twitter: KurtBuehlmaier

email: kurt.buehlmaier@gmail.com

Blog 48: When bad things happen to you, you come to expect the worst, so wouldn’t the opposite be just as true?

I firmly believe that people have the power to take control of their own destiny and make their own luck. Luck is a result of the effort you put into something. Isn’t it funny how successful people end up lucky all the time?

People can have bad things happen to them that are out of their control and if enough of them pile up, people can really start to expect the worst. This disallows them from identifying positive opportunities and these things pass them by. A lot of this negative interaction starts during childhood, when the person doesn’t have the ability to take control of things for themselves.

Once in adulthood, what people should do is build their positive experiences and use the negative experiences as fuel. Every “no” a person a gets should promote them to work harder as opposed to dissuading them. Eventually all of those “NOs” will provide the fuel to power a person for the long term and all of the feedback they get will become positive which will also be fuel.

All of their experiences whether positive or negative (though more and more will be positive) will energize the person and direct them towards success. It will then appear to outsiders that this person is extremely lucky, when in fact they are creating their own luck. So stay positive, use bad experiences as fuel, make your own luck, and you will ensure that you live a life of NO REGRETS!

Hoping to offer you this type of personal education that maximizes your potential and lets you live your passion with NO REGRETS!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Kurt

blog: kurtbuehlmaier.tumblr.com

Twitter: KurtBuehlmaier

email: kurt.buehlmaier@gmail.com

Blog 47: “I’m in a great mood today dude. Is it possible the warm weather is making me feel happy in a way?”

The title of this blog is a from a text I got from one of my clients; an 18 yr old male, senior in High School. Some people are very affected by the weather, others just a little. Either way, we can have reactions for two main reasons: the chemical interaction between the rays of the sun and our system and the associations we have made with good or bad weather.

Chemical Interaction: There is actually a psychological disorder called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder.) This is when people suffer depression during the colder, winter months. The treatment for many is to go to a tanning salon. The UV rays, activate melanin within our system which can actually make us feel happier. Because we spend much less time outside than we did generations ago, our melanin is not as active as it once was and we get SAD or just sad during the winter.

Association: Many people have a favorite season. For some, they participate in many of their favorite activities during that season. Summer people, might go to the beach, play an outdoor sport, or just spend more time outside. Winter people, might Ski, snowmobile, or do some other sort of activity like that. They then associate the season with their happiness. If people spend their entire winter indoors not partaking in their favorite activities, they might develop a bad association with cold weather, if they spend their time outside in the summer having fun, it might create a good association with the warm weather.

The student who texted me probably had a combination of chemical activation, and good associated feelings with the warm weather.

So, if you like the warm weather, and it is nice out; GO OUTSIDE! This might even become such a big factor that you might want to move to an area where the weather is your favorite type longer throughout the year. Being in your favorite type of weatheràbeing happieràhaving more energyàbeing more activeàgetting more accomplishedàfeeling productiveàliving a life of NO REGRETS!

Hoping to offer you this type of personal education that maximizes your potential and lets you live your passion with NO REGRETS!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Kurt

blog: kurtbuehlmaier.tumblr.com

Twitter: KurtBuehlmaier

email: kurt.buehlmaier@gmail.com

Blog 46: What do you regret more; the things you did or the things you didn’t do?

My driving force behind my business and this blog are to help people/businesses/organizations/etc. have NO REGRETS. I think that there are 2 types of regrets: regrets of things you did that you shouldn’t have and regrets of things that you didn’t do, but wish you had.

It comes down the individuals involved and the specific examples, but on the whole, I think the things we didn’t do cause more and bigger regrets. If you failed to take advantage of a certain situation: asking someone out, changing careers, meeting with a mentor to make better life decisions, speaking up at work, investing in something, etc., there are two possibilities:

1.       You still have that opportunity in which case you should take advantage of it.

2.       That opportunity has completely passed you by and you can never take advantage of it.

It is this second scenario which provides a person with maximum regret because you can never get it back. I personally have a regret of not investing in Google stock. Google stock was originally offered at $85 per share and went to $100 per share upon opening. I did not realize Google was going public until the day after they did and felt like I missed the boat. Now Google stock is at $611.95 per share. I still should’ve bought in on day 2 at $100 per share and I can never get that specific opportunity back. It is because I know I can never fix that mistake that causes the extreme regret. If you make a mistake, (something you did but shouldn’t have) and can fix it, even partially, you can take away that regret.

One way to avoid the regrets of things you didn’t do, is to listen to knowledgeable people. People that have been through situations that you are trying to go through can advise you almost as if they can see the future. Specifically, getting a mentor is a great way to do this. The most successful people in the world: Bill Gates, Donald Trump, Steve Jobs, etc. have more than one mentor. This allows them to learn from other people’s mistakes, regrets, and successes to live a life of NO REGRETS. This is why those people seem to be so proactive and almost have the ability to see the future.

Mentorship is the main service I provide, whether it is to individuals, families, couples, businesses, teams does not matter. I help people leverage their strengths, minimize or eliminate their weaknesses, and maximize their potential so that they can live their passion and be happy and successful.

Hoping to offer you this type of personal education that maximizes your potential and lets you live your passion with NO REGRETS!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Kurt

blog: kurtbuehlmaier.tumblr.com

Twitter: KurtBuehlmaier

email: kurt.buehlmaier@gmail.com

Hello,

I think it would be great if you could complement your site with a video blog once a week or so. As you already know, a fair portion of people are visual thinkers. :)

Thanks -- I like where this is going,
Former Student
Anonymous

Thanks for the compliment. The video on blog is in the works. It will happen soon! Thanks though, I am always looking for ideas to help reach my audience more efficiently. If you ever want to suggest blog topics, you can let me know that also. :)

Blog 45: Man with half the legs but twice the heart.

I saw a man the other day at Costco with one leg. No big deal. What I did think was a big deal was that he was in great shape, and was using crutches rather than a wheel chair, scooter, or something else. I happened to run into him several times and he had no problem negotiating the cart, one crutch, and putting items in his cart.

Maybe this shouldn’t surprise me, but in today’s society where so many are overweight and lazy, this man, who had an excuse to be both, was neither. I have seen people use wheelchairs and scooters simply because they are overweight! This man saw that he could completely function without those items and wasn’t going to use one just because it was “easy.”

I am assuming that using crutches the way he did, would keep him in great shape, but it looked like he consistently worked out and I would bet the farm that he does. I really wanted to say something to him about how I admired what he was doing and ask him why he chose to do it that way, but I did not want to offend him at all. Hopefully I will see him again and I will give it a shot.

Either way, the lesson here is that whatever this man suffered through that caused the loss of his leg, did not at all slow him down, or keep him from doing the things he wanted. Therefore, maybe more of us (me included) should be thankful for what we have and use all of those gifts to maximize our potential so that we live a life of NO REGRETS!

Hoping to offer you this type of personal education that maximizes your potential and lets you live your passion with NO REGRETS!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Kurt

blog: kurtbuehlmaier.tumblr.com

Twitter: KurtBuehlmaier

email: kurt.buehlmaier@gmail.com

Blog 44: Be your own advocate; ask for what you want.

I am amazed at how many people I speak to that have a problem that they have not voiced to the other parties involved. What amazes me about that is, once I convince them to actually talk about their issues and ask for what they want, the problem disappears, and that surprises them.

I know a person who has having problems with one of their parents. After seeing the two people interact with enough tension between them that you could feel it, I asked this person what was wrong. They felt that their parent was not spending enough time at home and it was really bothering them. I asked, “have you told them that this bothers you?” They said that they had not.

Later that night, they told their parent how they felt, and that it was upsetting them. Guess what?! The parent said, “I had no idea this was bothering you.” Since then they have spent more time at home and it has caused a noticeable change in the child; this person is in an exponentially better mood.

I also know people (capable people that do great jobs) that complain that they are underpaid and overworked at their jobs. I ask them, “have you talked to your boss about this?” Once again, the reply is “no.” Once they do bring this issue to the boss’ attention, one of two things happen.

1.       They get a raise and help on how to distribute their workload.  

2.       They get justification as to why that is not happening.

If they get the money and a method to work more efficiently, they are happy and the problem is solved. If they don’t get what they were looking for, but do get justification, they understand what the next steps are:

1.       They can move on with renewed motivation to clearly express their new expectations to prospective employers so that wherever they end up they will get what they want.

OR

2.       They can understand exactly what the parameters of their job are and work according to those parameters.

The point is that if you want something, you have to ask for it; no one is going to do it for you. Being your own advocate and asking until you get what you want will help you lead a life of NO REGRETS!

Hoping to offer you this type of personal education that maximizes your potential and lets you live your passion with NO REGRETS!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Kurt

blog: kurtbuehlmaier.tumblr.com

Twitter: KurtBuehlmaier

email: kurt.buehlmaier@gmail.com

Blog 43: I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day

I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. There are several reasons for that, and a lot of negative examples that stem from this holiday.

I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day primarily because I love my wife and am good to her 365 days a year (as she is to me.) If I want to buy her flowers, I buy her flowers. If I want to take her out to a romantic dinner, I do it. If I feel like getting her a gift, or telling her how much she means to me, I do those things as well (as she does for me.) I don’t need Hallmark to tell me that on February 14th I need to do all of those things (many of which are double/triple the price.)

Negative things that happen because of Valentine’s Day:

This false holiday reminds other people that don’t have someone; widows, widowers, divorcees, etc. that they are alone. These people are fully aware of this fact; they don’t need constant advertisement to remind them.

How many bad/abusive/harmful relationships continue due to Valentine’s Day? Example: someone is finally getting the courage to leave a bad relationship when their significant other takes them to a great restaurant, buys them a nice gift, and is really sweet to them. This gives the other person hope and keeps them in this bad relationship longer. They think that if the person was capable of doing it that day, maybe they can do it every day. V-Day gives bad people 2nd, 3rd, 100th, chances that they don’t deserve.

People lose touch with their priorities. I know someone whose mother lives 7 hours away and they rarely see each other. That mother (who has cancer) had to make a business trip and wanted to stop on her way and see her daughter, but the daughter, said there wouldn’t be time, because she needed to go out for V-Day dinner. This person is so blinded by thinking that V-Day is so special, she doesn’t realize that her and her husband could do “Valentine’s Day” any day later in the week (for less money and less crowds too.) This person is missing out on seeing their sick parent who they get to see a handful of times each year to go out for a dinner they can have anytime. This person is NOT a rarity; over the years I have seen many people get their priorities out of order due to the false thought that V-Day is important.

Here’s an idea, if you are in a healthy loving relationship, spend V-Day with some people that aren’t so fortunate so that they know they are loved even if they aren’t in a “relationship.”

If you are in an unhealthy relationship, end it! Don’t let one good day make up for 364 bad ones! If you care about someone but aren’t showing them, start making the other 364 like this 1.

Keep your priorities straight and remember that the people you love and care about should be treated well 365 days per year and one day is no more or less special. Treating everyday like V-Day will keep your friends, family, and loved ones closely connected to you and there for you in your times of need. Having those people in your life consistently will ensure you live a life of NO REGRETS.

Hoping to offer you this type of personal education that maximizes your potential and lets you live your passion with NO REGRETS!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Kurt

blog: kurtbuehlmaier.tumblr.com

Twitter: KurtBuehlmaier

email: kurt.buehlmaier@gmail.com

Blog 42: Emotion & Intelligence

In psychology there is a theory about substance abuse that has to do with Emotions and Intelligence. It is an equation: I/E + A= E/I.

What this means is that your intelligence normally rules over your emotions, but if you add an addiction to the mix, emotions begin to rule over intelligence. Our emotions are exponentially more powerful than our intelligence. Our intelligence is like a race car driver that controls something extremely powerful (the car-emotions.) The oil slick or popped tire is the addiction that throws the car out of control and takes control away from the driver/intelligence. This is when the most damage is done.

But what if, people without addictions harnessed the power of their emotions by using their intelligence? This would put the race car driver in complete control over the race car, in such way that it would eventually be like winning races while using cruise control.

The first step is taking the positive emotions like happiness and passion and using them to your advantage. Happiness and passion can be contagious and get others on board with your agenda (giving to charity, accomplishing a task at work, selling a product.) This is the easier of two types of emotions to use and channel. The second type, negative emotions, are more difficult to use advantageously, but can be extremely powerful tools if you have control over them.

How can you use your anger, jealousy, envy, sadness, in a positive way and to your advantage? Anger tends to be a very contagious emotion as well as happiness. Perhaps, getting people angry about an issue is the first step, which you then channel into passion, and then into conviction.

Either way, learn to keep your Intelligence in charge of your emotions and you will live a life of NO REGRETS!

Hoping to offer you this type of personal education that maximizes your potential and lets you live your passion with NO REGRETS!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Kurt

blog: kurtbuehlmaier.tumblr.com

Twitter: KurtBuehlmaier

email: kurt.buehlmaier@gmail.com

Blog 41: Darth Vader Superbowl Commercial

So it looks like the rest of the country agreed with me in that the Darth Vader/Volkswagen commercial was the best. It was obviously clever and funny, which are normally two ingredients of a successful commercial, but I really think it was more than that which made people like it so much.

First of all, everyone raised during either the first or second Star Wars generation has at one point or another, tried to use the force. Many of us still this do after realizing the remote control is across the room.

But beyond just connecting with something we have done, we connected with the innocence, energy, imagination, and creativity that children possess. These wonderful characteristics bring light into our lives, yet somehow they start to disappear as we get older. There are structures in society that stifle those characteristics.

At some point, due to a lack of personal education which provides encouragement, many people give up on their dreams. They start playing by other people’s rules and the structures of society like our education system and the corporate world promote obedience and timeliness and deny imagination and creativity.

I think that many people who become rich are allowed to play by their own rules (or refuse not to), and that innocence, sense of wonderment, energy, etc. return. This ends up allowing them to do things they otherwise would not have been able to do and become wealthier, happier, and more successful.

So like I tweeted yesterday, infuse your inner child into some of your day to day activities and you might be surprised at how amazing the results are. Remaining childlike in certain aspects of your life will ensure a life of NO REGRETS.

Hoping to offer you this type of personal education that maximizes your potential and lets you live your passion with NO REGRETS!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Kurt

blog: kurtbuehlmaier.tumblr.com

Twitter: KurtBuehlmaier

email: kurt.buehlmaier@gmail.com