Scott Fitz Blog

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Diversity includes your home

Im attending a conference for work this week. I’ve decided this is the most diverse work event I’ve been in. In the session I’m in now, as I write this, I can hear four different languages, and clearly many more nationalities, personalities, beliefs and backgrounds. And I’m excited as I believe each are of value and great worth. But thinking of my home, my wife and three boys too have different personalities, mindsets and prefer communication in different ways. It’s a beautiful thing. I get to learn and leverage each to make my home the best it can be.

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Music, an important tool

The music industry is a global, multi-multi-billion dollar industry for good reason. People love good music. It is entertaining, it is moving, its soothing, and it is powerful. It is many things. At work, I walked in an area that had a big screen with an running brook playing with the nature sounds of the scene playing in the background. I asked about it and was told they were experimenting with sounds in the workplace, particularly nature. Curious, this lead to me a whole bunch of research about music in the workplace. It’s interesting to know it has been used for centuries. I read that one of the first radio programs that wasn’t news was a program designed for helping factory worker production. As with most things of power and influence, it can be used for good or bad. And of course, it is the good that is of most interest to me. Research findings mention music can contribute to reducing stress, increased focus, better decision making, reduced stress, greater satisfaction, less mistakes and even improved morale and team spirit. So music is not just for entertainment and pleasure, it is a tool that when used appropriately helps do great work. The...

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Employee/Child performance ratings

At work, I recently had my “1st quarter check-in”. This is the first year at work I will not be given a mid-year, or end-of-year, performance rating that goes on my record. Instead we will be using a new framework that looks at “what” I am accomplishing and “how” I go about accomplishing my work equally. The push is to help elevate our performance culture into one that goes beyond grades to a continuously coaching culture. It got me thinking about what I am doing in my home as a leader with my family. I obviously don’t want to give my kids a performance grade, but I do want to help them set and reach goals and feel like they are growing and seeing successes over time. Just like anything that is important, it requires intentional effort to do this. I need to implement some flavor of “quarterly check-ins”. I’ll report back how it goes. …and I need to do the same as a parent, because I need to keep improving. My family depends on it.

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Slow soaking the sponge is the best

We are getting new sod in our front yard installed tomorrow. Someone came today to tell us that and give us a little rundown about our sprinklers and the best way to water for a while. He explained some soaking cycles are the best and said the idea is like soaking a sponge. It is better to do it slowly in two different cycles instead of just dumping a lot of water on the sponge all at once, because most of the water will not even get soaked in that way. Last week, in another context, I was listening to a talk about how important consistency is. In the talk it used the example of brushing your teeth. You don’t know exactly how long you need to brush your teeth before your teeth start to really benefit, but you know it works. Also, it doesn’t work when you brush your teeth for an hour once a week. You just need to brush for 2 minutes at a time at least twice a day. Minimal effort but consistent effort is the difference. The same is true with family relationships, whether with your kids or your spouse. A small, but consistent effort, will yield...

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Have a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the business of your home

“A ribbon-cutting ceremony is a public ceremony conducted to inaugurate the opening to the general public of a new building or business.” – wikipedia Our family had the fortune of moving into a new house this month, and tonight, instead of a ribbon-cutting ceremony, we had a dedicatory prayer for our new home to get it started off the right way and set a tone for how we view it and the importance of it for our family.  It was really important to talk with my little boys about it and even hear what they wanted to help make sure our house is like moving forward. Whether a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a business, or a dedicatory prayer for an educational or religious building, you should put the same practice towards your home. Because, your “Home is a serious business”. The things we talked about that is very important to us as a family is that our home is a place of: Refuge and safety – from physical and spiritual elements Joy and happiness Teaching and learning Trust and forgiveness Order and peace It is necessary that we are intentional about the things we do, especially when it comes to our...

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Takeaways from Hidden Figures

I really enjoyed watching Hidden Figures. I found it fascinating on many different levels, and because I think so much about business and running a home, these are the thoughts and lessons that stood out to me in the film: Friendships at work really make a difference Letting your work talk for itself goes a long way Protocols and process should never stop you from doing what is right Don’t forget people at work are just humans We don’t actually know what fair is in life because we don’t comprehend the timetable nor what is at stake Marriage is a total commitment to encourage and support each other to fly What “new math” will you reach for in your family Always be learning, work hard and be the best you can be at whatever you choose to do Stand up for what is right, including for others There are a lot of other great things to pull from this movie. I just wanted to share these, and acknowledge their great feats and that they inspire me. I thank these and the many Hidden Figures that have done so much for me and my family.

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What do you want to be known for as a family?

In other business terms, what is your family brand? One thing for sure is you can’t fake it. So we asked our boys what they wanted our family to be known for. We each came up with one thing. Here is our list. We choose to be known as a family for being: Polite Friendly Sharing A Good Team Having each member of our family contribute creates a better sense of ownership and it reflects us best now instead of just random aspirations. This list has also been a great thing to remind each other later in other situations where we aren’t doing so well in them. 🙂 This was a fun exercise that didn’t take long and gives us something to work together on. We’ll change it up if we need to. The important thing is to be more intentional.

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Servant leadership is ancient, and never more important today

The term “servant leader” seems to becoming more and more popular in my workplace in the last couple of years. It’s a good thing to. It may actually be the only form of true leadership. But I was curious about the term “servant leader” itself. I appreciated wikipedia’s article that says it is an ancient philosophy and is found in many religious texts, of which I would like to add one of the best pieces about servant leadership given by a king about 124 BC found in the Book of Mormon. Yet, the term is credited in modern time to Robert Greenleaf and his 1970 essay. As a parent, never lose focus on who you serve. You don’t serve your possessions, your professional career or any other temporary thing. You serve your family.

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Great leaders start by being great parents

Great leaders are authentic, have integrity and create environments where people can succeed. I want to become a great leader, and there is no better laboratory or leadership training ground than in my own home as a parent. There are tons of things out there about leadership in the context of the business world that I will be applying to home leadership and writing about. Leadership is leadership, and our society is definitely struggling with leadership particularly in the home. To start, John Maxwell’s famous first level of leadership is “positional leadership”. At this first level, you use your position as THE reason people should listen and do what you tell them. At home, this sounds like “… because I told you to, and I’m your parent.” Everyone loses in this situation. I’m definitely guilty of leading from this level as a parent more than I should. I’m glad that I am recognizing it more and working to raise my leadership level in my home as a parent. My leadership responsibilities are no greater than they are inside my home. No doubt, being a better leader in the home will naturally follow me outside it.

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Trying again, and again

Why not? You’ve tried to lose weight or start a new habit a hundred times now right? But is it really bad to try again and again? Sure it gets embarrassing trying so many times, and you definitely ask yourself why is this time any different, but this time by definition, and in reality, is actually different. The biggest winners are usually the most frequent failures, because they try the most. That’s how they have gotten so good and inevitably get some wins. I’m tired, not of failing, but of the status quo. So I will try again and again, until it changes. There is no harm or shame in that, so here I go again.