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Keep Your Eyes on the Fries
 April 2011
In This Issue
Keep Your Eyes on the Fries
Survey Says...
Honor Roll
Spring Has Sprung
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They Oughta Know...
  

Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody.

 

--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 

 

 

I'm convinced that about half of what separates the successful entrepreneurs from the non-successful ones is pure perseverance.

 
--Steve Jobs
 
Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself.

 

--Eleanor Roosevelt

 

 

 

 

National Speakers Association 

 

Looking for a speaker?

 

I'm eager to be of service!  If you're planning a conference, a workshop or an executive retreat and need a speaker or facilitator, let's talk.  To see some sample topics, click here. 

McDonald's French friesJim Skinner is chief executive officer of McDonald's as well as a board member of the Oak Brook-based Executives Breakfast Club, an organization dedicated to conversations about business and ethics. Mr. Skinner spoke at the March EBC meeting about running the world's largest food service company; and he shared the highlights and challenges of leading an organization that serves 60 million customers a day in 117 countries, employing 1.7 million people around the globe.

 

In a year when most companies were struggling, McDonald's had its best year ever in 2010 according to Mr. Skinner. But it wasn't always smooth sailing. He described its turnaround after 2002 when the company was "chasing growth but in the wrong places." McDonald's had been buying other companies, a move that cost them in terms of focus and profits. "We took our eyes off the fries," he wryly admitted.

 

How many of us can admit to the same thing? Whether we're running a business or managing our careers, we often get distracted from our core mission. What is your core mission? Do you get side-tracked by multiple priorities? I know I struggle with this, especially as an entrepreneur who is responsible for both sales and service. 

 

Since restructuring, Mr. Skinner reports that McDonald's has had 31 consecutive quarters of growth over the past eight years with record earnings. The company's stock price has been at an all-time high. I suspect there's a correlation between results and focus. My new mantra:  "Keep your eyes on the fries."

 
Survey Says...
Recently I presented my seminar "Just Enough Hours in the Day: Time Management with a Twist" to members of the American Dental Association, and we discussed the topic of multi-tasking. There was a clear consensus in the room that multi-tasking is required in today's 24/7 world. Yet there's recent scientific data that our brains are neurologically designed to handle only one task at a time, and that multi-tasking costs us in terms of efficiency and effectiveness and sometimes (as in the case of texting while driving) can even cost lives.

padded meter
What do you think? Are you committed to multi-tasking? Does it work for you? Are you a "recovering" multi-tasker? Have you ever been the victim of multi-tasking? I'd love to know! Please e-mail me at vaustin@choicesworldwide.com with your thoughts. I'll share your responses in a future e-newsletter.
Honor Roll 

They say it takes a village to raise a child--and it takes a Golden Rolodex to help a business thrive. I'm grateful to so many people for inviting me to make a contribution to their organizations, associations, businesses and careers:

  • Many thanks to Tim Manning of the DuPage Medical Group who is also newsletter editor of the First Illinois Chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA). Tim invited me to be a regular columnist in their bi-monthly newsletter. Special thanks to Mike Nichols of RSM McGladrey for introducing me to Tim as well as to all the HFMA members I've interviewed. My most recent story on mentoring can be found on page 4.
  • Wheaton PatchI have another writing gig,
    thanks to Charlotte Ericksen of the Wheaton Patch.  Look for my column "Talk About Choices: People Who Love Their Work," where I get to interview folks in Wheaton who love their jobs, celebrating my mission to "create a world in which people love what they do and do what they love." You can read my first interview with Kerry O'Brien of the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce here
    .
  • Jane ClarkMy extraordinary client Jane Clark was recently appointed vice president of member services at NationaLease, one of the largest full-service truck leasing organizations in North America. Jane introduced me to Jeff Rosset of MidwestHR who is also director of the Human Capital Club of the American Club Association (ACA). Jeff has proven himself to be a networking über-guru who has generously made strategic introductions for me to folks within his Golden Rolodex. Thanks to both Jane and Jeff for trusting me with their most important asset--their networks--and to Jennifer Wilken of Edward Jones for introducing me to Jane.
  • April Kates-Ellison invited me back to the American Dental Association to speak at their annual conference for state dental association leaders. My work over the years with the ADA and the American Student Dental Association (ASDA) has been a deeply rewarding opportunity to offer workshops, ADAtraining and keynote addresses on topics ranging from networking to strategic planning. Many thanks to April and a special shout-out to Wendy-Jo Toyama, senior vice president at the ADA, for the initial introduction.
  • Networking continues to be a topic near and dear to the hearts of meeting planners. I recently presented a crisp new presentation called "Intentional Networking" to two organizations... my thanks to Cristy Ibarra of New England Life and a leader for the Dynamic Professional Women's Network (DPWN), for inviting me to speak to her Itasca chapter, and to Cheryl Shurtz of ReMax Suburban and Judith Stojanovic from Inland Bank for asking me to kick off their first Glen Ellyn-Wheaton Connections group with this brief but power-packed presentation. If you'd like me to help you and your organization learn about "Intentional Networking," please give me a call at 630-510-1900 or send me an email.
  • Heather Reinecke, Kathleen Yosko and Vickie Austin
    Heather Reinecke, Kathleen Yosko & me
    Kathleen Yosko, president and chief executive officer of Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton, was my boss for several years and continues to be a treasured colleague and friend. Kathleen belongs to the Chicago Network, a group of women who are presidents and leaders of organizations throughout the Chicago area, and she recently invited me to join her table at The Chicago Network's Women in the Forefront Luncheon held at the Hilton in downtown Chicago. What an event! Seeing Diane Sawyer, anchor of ABC News and the keynote speaker, was as thrilling as being in a room of 1500 women who lead the city's (and the country's) premiere organizations. Many thanks to Kathleen for inviting me to participate in the event and to be with such an amazing group of women in business.
Spring Has Sprung 

VickieIn spite of cold winds and even a last-gasp snow flurry a few weeks ago, spring has finally sprung in the Chicago area. My walking buddy Judy Beaver and I have relished watching the forsythia bloom, the tulips open up and the daylilies start to grow as we go on our daily morning trek around the Wheaton College campus. And while the temperatures have been fickle, the flowers and trees continue to bud according to Mother Nature's plan. I hope this finds you enjoying the budding of a new season. May we stop multi-tasking long enough to notice the promise of spring.

Love,
Vickie 
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