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The single greatest mistake a manager can make…

ROI by Frank J. Rich


In his book, Swim with the Sharks, Harvey Mackay delivers what he calls “A Short Course in Management.” It’s short. In fact, only four pages long. And he probably could have reduced it to a sentence or two. Let me try.

In describing the “single greatest mistake a manager can make,” Mackay suggests that managers must provide an environment that includes: motivation, goals, resources, and leadership. But not “restrictions”! We could focus on the now “famous four,” but to demur on the last point may be instructive.

People, especially Americans, don’t like being told what to do. They don’t like rules. Oh, they’ll abide by them, but the opportunity in the resource is best encouraged by the freedom to express themselves uniquely. After all, it’s the way the creator made us, isn’t it? (more…)

December 15, 2014 |

The Art of the Sale: Managing Change


ROI by Frank J. Rich







By Frank J. Rich



There are as many methods as individuals in the typical answer to the question: How to sell? We all like to buy, but very few enjoy the sell. Unless replacing something we are already using or filling a recognized need or desire, most don’t want to hear from a salesperson. Why? Because it usually requires change; and change is the common denominator in the art of the sale. Change isn’t easy, but it is always possible, or growth would not be. Change experts agree. Not surprisingly, change requires the knowledge and practice of specifics. Many want to change, but just don’t know how to do it.

In the context of “the sale,” change may be the prodigious equalizer among individuals (21 million worldwide) who call themselves salespeople. That is to say that any hope or expectation (moderate to strong desire) of a sale is largely predicated on one’s ability to change another, at least in the moment. The idea is to understand the elements of change and to map out the strategies and approaches to the customer that turn No into Yes. Let’s begin.

Behavior Is Dynamic

Change occurs in stages. To change another’s behavior successfully (long-term) is to divide it up and address each in stages. If you need time with the customer, first determine his schedule—waking hour, household chores such as feeding the dog, daily breakfast habit, drive time to work, etc., and if this is a daily regimen or different on different days. If regimen is important to him, your job is easy. Creatures of habit repeat themselves naturally. If not, suggest that you meet for breakfast on a day convenient to him. Make all things easy and familiar; fear increases failure. If necessary, you may have to go back to the night before to measure the habits of your customer and identify the best way to approach him.

Keep it Positive

Fear, uncertainty, and doubt lead to temporary change; positive reinforcement secures permanent change—as many as possible works best. The strategy is to make the exchange and the opportunity enjoyable. He enjoyed the breakfast, the benefit of real data that profiles his customers’ buying habits, expenditures on his wares, and the distance they will come for it. Seeing it all laid out is gratifying and opens a window to customer access in productive ways. Next, paint a picture of what it would be like to realize his goals for success using others in his segment as examples of those that used the info and outreach programs to help consumers satisfy their needs.

Emphasize Being Over Becoming

Most people don’t continue with things that are more painful than rewarding. Take it one step at a time and prove success along the way. First meet, next outline the model of business success the customer would like. Next, show him how to reach his customers, where they are and when they become buyers. Show their habits and the outreach programs others in his industry have used to gain success. The scene you are painting is now compelling and almost complete. Finally, insert and prove the results of program offerings—local print advertising, website development, digital outreach (how to use direct email, mobile, text, and cooperative outreach), “billboarding,” etc.—and write it down. Nothing makes us more accountable to our goals than reviewing our success against them on paper, over time. Above all, help him see that the route to his goals is well within his ability and experience. Point continuously to his successes in life and work. Help him see that he can do it.

Go Slowly

Change is most effective when slow. It takes time to replace old habits with new. You are building trust. The sun never shines until the skies clear. Permanent change occurs only after the anxiety in it has dissolved. The travel to results is more gratifying than the results themselves. We derive a more realistic sense of ourselves when we can identify the work that proved results. Enjoy this together and don’t let time and your absence dilute this elixir.

Inform the Process

Knowing more about the process allows more ownership and control over it. Involve others such as the shop next door. Reflecting on personal experiences with others enables successful change. Regularly review progress, making the journey into an enjoyable process. Ask the hard questions about how things are working, and be ready with proven ways to grow success. Remember, others are doing it and succeeding—he can too.

Structure Guarantees Permanent Change

Write down everything you can and note what works and what doesn’t as a natural part of the success model. Label everything as useful, unproven, and not useful. Eliminate the “un-usefuls” and turn the “unprovens” into positive usefuls. Repetition is what secures achievement. It is mostly hard work and the luck that derives from good preparation. Every customer knows this in his heart; some just think they have done all they can and that success is just not within their reach. You must demonstrate otherwise to cause change that leads to results.

Constant Review

The management guru Peter Drucker once said “We must be prepared for the abandonment of everything we do.” Look at everything regularly and change as necessary. Change is the lifeblood of opportunity.

Make all successes big and draw a map of them over time; a kind of Gantt chart. And outline successful outcomes under all conditions. No surprises that don’t reveal opportunity. Mere possibilities will then become certainties.


April 27, 2016 |

Living Smart to Protect Your Heart


To Your Health









(Family Features) When it comes to recognizing and responding to the signs of a heart attack, early action can make the difference between life and death. But action even earlier to improve lifestyle and eating habits can make a big difference, too.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports about 25 percent of all deaths each year in the United States can be attributed to heart disease, making it the single largest killer of both men and women. Taking a preventive approach and making healthy choices can help manage your risk for a heart attack and other forms of heart disease.

Help protect your heart with these healthy lifestyle tips from the CDC:

Manage medical conditions. Certain diseases and health conditions are known to put you at greater risk for developing heart disease, including diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Follow your doctor’s guidance to gain control of any medical issues early on.

Pay attention to what you eat. This means not only eating plenty of healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, but also reducing or eliminating less healthy options. Foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high blood cholesterol.

One good option to start your day right is whole grain cereal. In fact, according to a recent survey, nine out of 10 doctors would recommend Post Shredded Wheat as part of a low sodium, healthy diet to help maintain a healthy heart, reduce the risk of heart disease and support healthy blood pressure levels.

Maintain a healthy weight. Exceeding your ideal weight range for your height puts you at greater risk for heart disease. Check with your doctor to determine whether your weight is in a healthy range. This can generally be determined by calculating your body mass index (BMI). If you are in an overweight or obese range, seek help from nutrition specialists to establish an eating plan that works best for you.

Get moving. Exercise not only helps with managing your weight, it can also help with other problems, like high cholesterol and high blood pressure. While adults should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, at least five days a week, you should consult your doctor before starting any exercise plan.

Eliminate or reduce unhealthy habits. Smoking raises your risk of heart disease. If you are a smoker, a physician can assist you in finding a smoking cessation program for your needs, and many insurance companies now cover these treatments. Similarly, excessive alcohol consumption can raise your blood pressure, which in turn escalates your chances of heart disease.

Visit for more heart-healthy tips.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source: Post Foods

May 6, 2015 |

Ready or Not, Here I Come (Part II)


ROI by Frank J. Rich







By Frank J. Rich



Last week, in introducing John Naisbitt’s vision of the future we focused on the cultural aspects of his insightful look at the world we live and work in. This week, we draw attention to the economic and evolutionary aspects of his extraordinary vision.

From Nation-States to Economic Domains

We are fast creating a world whose produce is GDP (Gross Domain Product), according to Mr. Naisbitt. This world shares not only the natural resources of all nations, but also their talent. Globalization and decentralization are the magma causing this eruption of traditional economic models, and giving impetus to a fundamental economic underpinning: “It is not countries, but entrepreneurs and companies that create and revitalize economies.” Governments, like corporate management, have but a single overarching goal—to create motivational environments that foster growth and opportunity.

In his work over 20 years, Michael Shuman, author, speaker, and economic model maker, has defined the model of resurgence that has populated economic growth at the grass roots level.  His book The Small-Mart Revolution, is a milestone work that touches the very soul of human nature in suggesting that the unique qualities in each are the driving forces of a market economy; it alone is enabling the economic revolution that creates more jobs and unique products and services than a thousand Walmarts. The winner in this new (and old) economic order is “smart, small, and flexible.”

China: The Periphery Is the Center

Make no mistake about it; the transforming of China into the fastest growing economy in the world (24% annually, till recently) has been on the back of solid economic policies. There may be no communists in China anymore; the private sector is the most vibrant and significant economic force in the nation, and its sheer force of being will cause political reforms that prepare it even better for its extraordinary growth into the future.

Economic zones are a common reality in a nation still struggling to lift its population out of poverty. With this view in mind the government has spawned economic opportunity models that reach into agrarian pockets to extract the most marketable elements of them for distribution to its more mechanized areas, as if confident in the knowledge that when the tide rises all boats rise with it. The “tide” in China is “capitalism in Chinese characters.” China has 166 cities with greater than 1 million people, compared with 12 in Japan and 9 in the U.S. Almost all have been turned into vast construction zones, and nary a person in them is reluctant about the transformation that is occurring—a far cry from the disenfranchised worker in most industrialized nations who hates his job.

Everything in America—the rich, cars, tourism, filmmaking, educational and artistic classlessness—is now evident (in some form) in China, and the people are enjoying it as though value in everything is a given. Strangely, if China faces a problem, it may be a shortage of the 300 million people necessary to keep the economic boom afloat over the next ten years of growth.

Europe: Mutually Assured Decline

I am likened to say that the higher the price we pay for the positions we take, the harder it is to relinquish them. As John Naisbitt puts it: “The ‘Statue of Europe’ has two hearts and 25 mindsets.” The 25 country mindsets are stirring a mixture with ingredients that do not blend: tradition, ambition, welfare, and economic leadership. Her two hearts beat in different rhythms, one for economic supremacy and one for social welfare. Proud and ambitious, each one wants to be right. To reach either goal, they have to compromise, and neither side is willing to do so. My experience makes me believe that Europe is much more likely to become a history theme park for Americans and Asians than the world’s most economically dynamic region as it has proclaimed it wants to be. Economically, Europe is on the path of  “mutually assured decline.” Enough said! Brexit may be the first pillar to crumble.

Our Evolutionary Era

The era of “discontinuous changes,” Peter Drucker’s view of innovation emanating from every corner of thought and endeavor, has laid the foundation for the practical realization of a vast store of it. Ninety percent of the greatest scientific minds the world has ever known are alive today. The next big thing, according to Mr. Naisbitt, may not come along for some time. Rather, the world will learn to use what it has in extraordinary and new ways.

The great tool that is the internet has a dark side. For all of its power and ability to bring the world into our homes and offices, the sheer weight of it is too much. We need to harness its greatness in practical ways that serve our interests and work with intuitive and more specific and useful data. If we fail, literacy and the power in knowledge will elude us.

The Lockheed L-1011 aircraft was the first commercial plane that could take off, land, and fly a course without human intervention. It was prescient in its practice, even as far back as the 80s. The joke in aviation circles today is that the future will bring planes with only a pilot and a dog in the cockpit. The pilot’s job will be to feed the dog. The dog’s job will be to bite the pilot if he touches anything.

The extraordinary technology that gave rise to the iPod’s success was well developed a decade before its debut. Its exciting form, functionality, and design are what made it the choice of the world for MP3 players, accounting for 40% of Apple’s revenues at the time.

It is time for the evolutionary process to improve our lives, to unify peoples, to perform against the promise of peace in the world. It is time to face the dark side—literacy is waning. It is time to face the bright side—to question what we are, and to use the technology and insight we have spawned to serve the greater good.


September 21, 2016 |

DOT Roadwork on Rt 202 and Rt 118 Begins July 15th

Route 202 and Route 118

Beginning July 15th, New York State Department of Transportation will begin drainage work, milling the road surface and repaving of Route 202 from Baldwin Road to Broad Street and Route 118 from Commerce Street to Downing Drive.

Work will take place Monday – Friday from 9 am – 6 pm. During this time one lane will be closed and flaggers will be directing traffic.  The work is scheduled to be completed on or about Aug 1, 2013.

July 15, 2013 |

Review Your Credit Card Statement Closely

Bits & Pieces Column

Helpful Chitchat








By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel


Be on the lookout for errors on your credit card statements.  Billing errors include incorrect credits for payments, charges that you did not make and charges for goods or services that you did not receive or that were not as promised.  Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, you have the right to contest the mistake within 60 days after the bill’s statement is due.


There were two instances on my credit charge bill that could have been easily overlooked if I did not closely read my statements each month.  The first one involved an overnight stay at a hotel in Los Angeles. We had arranged for a stopover flight before continuing on to our destination the following evening. Our family rented a car for the day, had several meals at the hotel and made purchases in the gift shop. Our credit card statement arrived a month after the trip, with a long list of charges, including two nights at the hotel. Calling the hotel did not resolve the error and I had to write to our credit card company, make a copy of our plane tickets and enclose these copies to prove we only stayed one night. The charge was removed.


The second time an item was recorded incorrectly on my statement was for a restaurant in Nantucket. When that statement came in, TWO lines had the same charge for dinner posted one under the other. The date, code numbers, restaurant name and amount were identical.  Again a letter had to be written to the credit card company.


If you look over your credit card bill and it has an error on it, take care of it immediately. What if your credit card is lost or stolen?  Do you know what to do?  Once you discover your card is missing, immediately notify the credit card company.  By doing so, you will not have to pay more than $50 for unauthorized charges. It is also a good idea to make a list of your credit card account numbers and the companies’ toll-free customer-service phone numbers and keep this list in a safe place. Do not leave these numbers in your wallet or purse in case these items are lost or stolen. Keep this list at home and at your workplace.  Also, toll-free customer service numbers can be stored on your cellular device.


December 23, 2015 |

Moms Choose Milk for Healthy Kids



To Your Health








(Family Features) During the busy back-to-school time, it’s easy for nutrition to take a back seat in the rush to get out the door in the morning and to all of the after-school activities on time. Something as simple as a glass of milk gives children essential nutrients they need to start the school year strong.

“No matter how busy I may be getting my two kids out the door for school, I always make sure they start their day with a glass of milk with breakfast,” said Holley Grainger, a registered dietitian and mother. “I feel confident sending them to school knowing that they have the protein and essential nutrients they need to keep them fueled and healthy for the day ahead.”                                   12861

Moms like Holley know that good nutrition is essential to their child’s health. Here are a few reasons why milk should be a go-to staple in every child’s diet:

* Fuel the morning with protein: It’s important that kids get protein at every meal, especially breakfast. In fact, getting enough protein at breakfast can help kids feel full, satisfied and focused, so they won’t feel hungry by mid-morning. One eight-ounce glass of milk provides nine essential nutrients, including eight grams of high-quality protein.

* Bone-building nutrients: Many kids are falling short on important nutrients that they need to grow up strong – including calcium, vitamin D and potassium. So much so that these three have been identified as nutrients of concern by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee as nutrients that are most likely to be missing from kids’ diets – and milk is the top food source for them.

* Milk it for all it’s worth: At just about 25 cents per glass, milk is one of the most affordable ways to give kids nutritious protein. Not only do kids enjoy it, but penny for penny, other protein sources, such as fish or beef, can’t compare to the amount packed in a glass of milk.

* An irreplaceable powerhouse: When compared to plant-based milks, such as almond milk, dairy milk is a nutrient powerhouse, naturally providing nutrients that almond milk only gets by being fortified. In addition, an eight-ounce glass of dairy milk provides eight times more protein than a glass of almond milk. And the ingredient list for real milk is short – simply milk and vitamins D and A.

* Safe and satisfying: Many people don’t realize that from the farm to the grocery store, milk is one of safest foods you can buy, as it is highly regulated and undergoes numerous tests to assure its safety and wholesomeness. Milk is minimally processed and often locally delivered. Also, the pasteurization process is a simple one, making it easy to be sure your milk is always safe to drink.

The Dietary Guidelines recommend three servings of lowfat or fat free milk and milk products each day for kids over the age of 8, and two and a half servings for children ages 4 to 8.

Milk is a wholesome and nutrient-rich choice you can feel good about serving to your family. For more information about the health benefits of milk, visit

Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source: MilkPEP


December 23, 2015 |
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