3 Quick Questions With Chester Elton

3 Quick Questions With Chester Elton, a Canadian dude who wrote All In: How The Best Managers Create a Culture of Belief and Drive Big Results

BRIAN: OK, Chester, here's the deal- I email a question to you, you respond, I repeat, for a total of three questions.  Cool?  No one books events Thanksgiving week, so I know we all have some free time.

CHESTER: Sounds like fun!

BRIAN: Here we go: How can managers keep their teams focused during the holidays when their team members are pulled in so many directions?

CHESTER:You would be kidding yourself if you thought that Thanksgiving or any other holiday is not going to be a distraction. Everyone has additional things on their to-do list. From family visiting, to gifts, to travel, to peanut allergies to avoid on the dinner menu!

The trick is finding ways to minimize the impact on work and deadlines. Here are a few tips.

  1. COMMUNICATE. Talk to your people before the holiday. Make sure you really know who is on and who is off. Who is the back up and who could work from home if you needed them. 
  2. SET CLEAR GOALS. Make sure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to the work that needs to get done before we all take off for the festivities. Make this a positive accountability experience. Create little milestones along the way. Let people know where you are and where you need to go.
  3. CELEBRATE! This is the season of giving and family. Embrace the positive feelings of the season. Be creative with lunch time. Bring in great food, have a pot luck lunch, keep the time in mind, no 3 martini lunches, in fact avoid alcohol at all costs, but have fun. Your people will appreciate that you can have the holiday spirit and get your work done.

Communicate, Set Clear Goals and Celebrate. Three tips for a highly productive holiday season!

BRIAN: Good tips!  We just had our pot luck lunch on Friday at Premiere, with five different types of chili and a bunch of desserts.  Ryan Giffen was a little too literal with this turkey-white bean-pumkin chili , so I'm giving the nod for best chili to Heather with her zuppa toscana, which is kind of like Italian chili.  Ken Fitzpatrick's Eclair cake was the best dessert.

What's the best way you've seen a manager implement one of these tips?

CHESTER: Team meetings. Start Monday morning talking about the holidays. Get input from the team and make a schedule. Give assignments and make it fun!

American Express does this really well. 

One last tip. Adopt a charity. Raise a little money for a worthy cause. Here in the NE hurricane Sandy victims is a great way to focus on the giving nature of the holidays. 

BRIAN: Good call on the charity!

Last question:

Which is better- American Thanksgiving or Canadian Thanksgiving?  We've got the Pilgrims and football, you've got yours in October and the option to call it "Jour de l'Action de grâce".

CHESTER:  No question Canadian Thanksgiving! For one simple reason. It is in October. In the States we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas at the same time. In Canada there are two distinct Holidays. A move to October would be a great idea for the Obama presidency in his second term!

This was fun! Thanks!- Chester

Check out the video interview Brian did with Chester earlier this year:

Chester Elton (https://premierespeakers.com/chester_elton) has also co-written "The Carrot Principal" and "The Orange Revolution" and makes fun of Americans who haven't read "1776".

Brian Lord (https://premierespeakers.com/staff_directory/brian_lord) is an agent at Premiere who has read every book by David McCullough except 1776.  He recommends that you read "John Adams" if you have some free time this weekend.

Chester Elton: New York Times Bestselling Author Inspiring Leaders to Engage Employees and Drive Business Results with Recognition, Culture, and Gratitude

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