Kelley Reynolds from Aegis Learning

By Kelley Reynolds

“Oh, these are for an ideal or perfect workplace.”  During a recent facilitation, a well-established and experienced leader participant made that comment to me.   The comment made was to imply that the concept we discussed during our session would not work at their particular place of employment, only in a utopian organization.  Were these comments made to shirk responsibility?  No, I do not think so.  This person was just processing.  However, the comment made me think.

Will we ever work at an ideal or perfect workplace? No.  

Why?  Because our workplaces are owned and led by human beings; imperfect and flawed human beings.  They only hire humans. Then we only promote those same imperfect and flawed humans into leadership positions. 

Does this mean we are destined to toil and suffer under tyrannical bosses eight hours a day, five days a week?  No!

As leaders, because our workplace is not ideal, we do not work in an ideal office, is this an excuse for us to not give our best to our teams? No.

Though none of us are without challenges, by the time we promote into leadership, each of has an idea of what good leadership looks and feels like.  Or, we have experienced poor (management) leadership and are determined to do better.

Once promoted, do good leadership skills enter our brains through osmosis, during our sleep?  No.  They require genuine effort.  It is our impetus to seek training and classes. Obtaining information and education costs us time and money.  After you have attended a class and earned a certificate, is that enough? No.

This is where you must be candid with yourself.  This takes courage.  You have to take a good hard look at yourself and prepare for what you will see.  Are you exemplifying your best leadership skills? Have you ceased your poor management habits? When you ask yourself, though you might know the right answer, are you being honest with yourself?

Knowing that there are areas where you can improve, is that enough?  No. Now comes the real effort; implementing what we have learned into action.  Do you listen enough? Do your emotions match your task? Are you being a good role model?  Do you offer praise and encouragement abundantly? Wherever you answer no, then take action and fix it!

So, you have worked to make those improvements, are you done?  No.  Because situations are dynamic.  Needs change.  People grow.  Organizations advance.   In leadership, you will have to continue to adapt and grow with the needs of your teams and to the goals of the organization.

Once you have modified your leadership behaviors, does that mean you are done?  Have you created the Utopian organization? No, of course not.  However, you are making improvements.  You are making a difference.  Your team will notice the change in your behavior.  They will notice that coming into the office is more pleasant.  They will appreciate the strengthened relationships; time you share with them; the reasonable and reliable expectations you have set for them. 

Is this perfect? No.  Did you make it better? Yes.

Kelley Reynolds from Aegis Learning

Kelley’s optimistic outlook on life guides her belief that change is possible!

Her easy going instruction style mixed with a dry wit make her an entertaining educator. She has instructed professionals throughout the nation as well as internationally. Kelley has earned a Master of Business Administration and possesses a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, both from University of Nevada, Las Vegas.


Kelley Reynolds from Aegis Learning

By Kelley Reynolds

We are right here, right now.  This is it. 

June 2020 was never going to look like June 2019.  Or June 2018.  Or 2010. Never.  Change was going to occur.  We are not able stop change any more than we can stop time.

Yes, the last several months shifted the change gear into overdrive.  I understand, you suffered losses.  To some extent, all of us have.  The loss may have been income, employment, time, joy or loved ones.  Some of us lost much more than others. The fact remains, this is where we are.

Sitting around blaming this politician for reacting slowly or that politician for overreacting simply keeps us stuck somewhere between denial and anger.  These are just distractions and what does any of that matter now? Pontificating and denigrating may make you feel powerful.  However, lingering here is wasting more time, playing the victim, and giving away your power.  When instead you could be doing. 

Denial and anger are stages of grieving. You need to mourn your losses.  Grieve while living. Now is the time for action; not lamenting and lambasting.

Leaders are not powerless victims.  We are people of action.

The next stage of grief is acceptance.  You get there through effort and initiative.  The future was not going to look like what you thought it was going to, but it was not going to anyway.  The future may now appear messy and the ride bumpy and painful.  You have no choice but to buckle up, hold on and keep going.  Move forward and even take advantage of the changes. Life was always going to happen. The road was going to have dips and bumps and potholes, but man, check out the view!

As leaders, whether that is your title or informal position within your organization or role in your family, it is time for you to implement your plan.  If you do not have one, the time to create one is now.  People, your team, your family are looking to you, as a role model, as a beacon of hope.  They are looking to you to lead them through the uncertainty and build confidence for tomorrow.

It is a new day.  It is not going to be business as usual.  You do not have to do things like you always did. That is the beauty of it. You get to reinvent or renovate and innovate.

This may challenge you like never before.  You may have to dig deeper.  That is okay.  Dig deep. Stressors can also have positive effects. You will find what you need. It is within you.  Use your good leadership skills to enhance your confidence. Remind yourself of previous problems you overcame. Envision your successes. Surround yourself with people who are realistic and positive. Change the dialog.  Ask different questions. Where is the opportunity? Where can I create one? What do I do well? How do I move forward? Who can help navigate? What will the future look like?

You will lead your team during and through this difficulty.  You will get through this.  Because that is the only option you have!  Now, let’s get to it.

Kelley Reynolds from Aegis Learning

Kelley’s optimistic outlook on life guides her belief that change is possible!

Her easy going instruction style mixed with a dry wit make her an entertaining educator. She has instructed professionals throughout the nation as well as internationally. Kelley has earned a Master of Business Administration and possesses a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, both from University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Focus on Coaching: Overcoming Positive Feedback Obstacles

By Matt Zobrist

The first and most powerful type of coaching is positive feedback. Positive feedback consists of praise, appreciation, and acknowledgment given when performance or behaviors meet or exceed standard. When done correctly, positive feedback will easily get team members to replicate good performance, unlock their discretionary effort and routinely exceed standards. Some leaders struggle to provide a sufficient quantity and quality of positive feedback. Here are six ways to overcome the most common obstacles (rationalizations) the keep us from providing positive feedback.

  1. Idea that pay for work is sufficient —this is an outdated mind-set. Further, it is an excuse used by a leader who does not want (or is afraid) to praise and appreciate. Pay is the compensation an organization provides for the lowest level of acceptable performance. We need to realize the most people want more from a job than simply a paycheck. A paycheck does not buy a team member’s engagement or motivation to provide effort beyond the minimum. Today’s workforce is going to be more productive when they feel appreciated, are recognized for their work, and are engaged. More importantly, we need to stop rationalizing our failure to praise because they are getting paid.
  1. Just doing their job doesn’t deserve praise – Some bosses say that no one deserves to be praised for just doing his or her job. This is false, and just like the first obstacle, without praise and appreciation, team members rarely do more than required. Additionally, team members who are performing to standard are just as deserving of praise as those who excel. Praise and appreciation are the fundamental steps to getting them to move their needle towards (eventually) performing above standard. If you don’t praise for standard performance, you will not be able to praise for higher performance because your team won’t ever get there. They will be very unlikely to even try to do anything but the minimum. You will never be able to unlock their discretionary effort.
  1. I do not hear it from my leader – First, you should never rationalize your own behavior on account of others. Second, your responsibility is to your team. One of my favorite quotes by Simon Sinek is “Be the leaders you wish you had.” It is true that it is hard to provide positive feedback when you are not getting any. However, the reality is that your team deserves to be recognized and appreciated by you (their leader), regardless if you are receiving it from yours. Don’t deprive them of the positive feedback they so desperately deserve, simply because you are not getting it. PRO TIP: If you consistently and sincerely provide positive feedback to your team, eventually, they will provide it back to you.
  1. They don’t want to hear it – Human beings all have ego needs (see Maslow) and everyone likes to be told when they have done something good. Additionally, when that praise comes from someone in authority (and hopefully respected) it has more meaning. Even those who say they are “just doing their job” or there is “no need” for compliments, are just raising false flags. This is often a result of the cultural stigma of not “tooting one’s own horn.” Every they do something worthy of praise, something you (your organization) wants replicated – Tell them! If they object, tell them again. PRO TIP: Overcome the “I don’t need recognition” objection by shifting the burden of feigned embarrassment to yourself, by saying, “I need you to know, that I appreciate/recognize/praise that.”
  1. They know, I don’t have to tell them – This excuse assumes (wrongly) two things: First, that a team member knows when their performance is appreciated and praiseworthy; and second, that a team member’s internal self-talk is sufficient that when they do something well, they automatically know and will continue the behavior. In reality, team members are starving to know where they stand with their boss and if they are doing things right. None of your team members has the ability to read your mind, so the only way they can know is by you telling them. PRO TIP: It is not just about them knowing, but the fact that their leader knows and recognizes it!
  1. I’m too busy – This is probably the lamest, yet most frequently cited excuse for failing to provide positive (or any) feedback. The reason I say that is two-fold: First, if it was important to you, you would make time for it. If we genuinely want our team members’ performance to be excellent then we must make providing positive feedback a priority! When it is important, you will make the time for it. Second, it is usually applied retroactively. That is, we tend to only recognize the lack of it AFTER we failed to provide it. We rationalize this failure by noting we just did not have time. Because the benefits of positive feedback are so valuable, we must make it a priority. It must be important do us, great leaders do this as a matter of habit. PRO TIP: If it is difficult to carve time out of your busy schedule to provide positive feedback then put sometime on your daily agenda (say 15-20 minutes at the end of the day) to just recall and write down things you team members did that were noteworthy. Also put 15-20 minutes on your morning schedule to follow up on that list the next day. Carry it around with you and mark off the tasks as you provide the feedback. Soon you will find that you won’t be waiting until the end of the day and you will be providing positive feedback in a timely manner every day.

Positive Feedback is the bread and butter of a good leader. It is the linchpin to unlocking an individual’s discretionary effort and getting high level performance from your team. Consistently providing positive feedback will also build the loyalty and trust, which high-functioning teams require to succeed.

Matt Zobrist from Aegis Learning

Matt Zobrist is an energetic and dynamic facilitator, coach, presenter and speaker with Aegis Learning, LLC.

Tips for Working Remotely

By Matt Zobrist

Working from home (WFH) is now becoming a necessity. But, working from home, contrary to popular belief is not easy. It actually requires a lot of emotional and mental focus to stay productive. Here are some tips to help you be productive when you WFH:

Keep “work” space separate – The need to have a specific are where you are “at work” is very important. Our brains respond to our environment. We have programmed ourselves to know that home is a relax area, or our bedroom is where we sleep. WFH requires us to reprogram ourselves to work in those same areas; it is very hard to do. If possible, set your “work area” or home office up in another room entirely from where you normally relax. If not, take steps to separate the area where you will work.

Have a plan – Organization is key to building new routines. Working from home is new, we don’t have any routines or procedures. Perhaps your organization has given your guidelines (when to logon remotely, meeting times, production schedules, etc.) but without proper planning, it is very easy to mismanage your time at home. Having a plan keeps us focused on tasks and accomplishing goals, so we are less likely to become distracted.

Dress for work – while working in your pajamas is kind of fun, the reality is that when you prepare yourself to go to work, even when you are home, it helps you mentally shift gears to work mode. Additionally, when you are working, if you are dressed for work, it is easier to stay focused on you job.

Don’t work from the couch/bed – The temptation is great to just lug your laptop around and sit on the couch. You should be sitting at a desk/table in a good chair. Positional laziness translates into actual laziness. Have your designated work area as similar to your real work area to facilitate continuity of your work.

Don’t do housework/chores/honey-dos during “work” time – We all have a myriad of things we can do at home dishes, laundry, projects, etc. It can be very easy to work on these responsibilities rather than focus on your employment tasks. That isn’t to say that with careful planning you cannot accomplish both, but it is very easy to become overcommitted to home chores and neglect the job you are being paid to do.

Know your distractions and minimize them! – The temptation to be on social media at work is very high, in fact a majority of workers engage in some social media time while at work. When you are at home, this time can easily multiply leading to lost productivity. Dealing with family issues is another big distraction. Kids (and spouses) know you are home and may want to spend time with you. This is a double-edge sword of WFH: you appear to have more time with your family, but you really don’t because you have a fiduciary responsibility to your employer to be productive. Make sure you have clear rules for family interactions, like only on breaks with specific, pre-set time limits.

Social Contact – we are social creatures. We enjoy, some people actually crave, that water-cooler talk. We need to keep our social interactions alive, so use technology to communicate with your co-workers, when you can’t do it in person. Be aware this can become a distraction if not done with limits on time and context. Such as, socialize for a bit after speaking about work; don’t just make a social call.

Get up and move around – One advantage of working from home is when you take a break, you have lots of thing you can do. Often at work we get up, walk around, talk to people, get things off a printer, go to the mail room, go to someone else’ office, etc. without realizing it. Without those things we end up becoming too sedentary. Walk around your house, take a break and go outside. Take some time to get the blood flowing and you will refresh yourself and be able to renew your focus.

For Leaders whose team(s) work from home, a few things to consider as well:

Establish clear WFH Policies – Have clearly established guidelines covering things like: how time will be tracked (if at all), proper use of company equipment (laptop, phones, etc), any reimbursement for personal items used, reporting procedures / times, etc.

Expectations – While you should always have clear expectations for performance, when you add WFH, it becomes very important that your team knows what is expected. As the line between “my time” and “work time” is easily blurred, having clear and written expectations allows team members to work more autonomously, and yet still have sufficient guidance to plan and be successful.

Guidelines for on-the-job injuries – It is a generally a good idea for WFH teams to understand what would or would not be a workers’ compensation claim if they are injured working remotely. Providing good guidelines for team members to know when they are not covered also helps them to remain focused on work.

Be Flexible – A big part of the reason you are allowing your team to work remotely is for them to have more control over their schedules. Be understanding and flexible in allowing them to figure out their schedules, capabilities, etc. This may take some time for them to establish a routine to become productive. Allow them to work this out, while consistently providing feedback to bolster their confidence and keep them on track.

Don’t doubt your commitment – Transitioning to a successful WFH environment is not going to happen overnight. (Even if you have to implement it overnight) It is going to take time for team members to develop productive habits and routines. They are going to struggle at first, you are going to struggle too. Do not doubt your commitment. They will reflect your attitude towards the whole endeavor. If you doubt it will work, it probably won’t. Remain positive, be encouraging and trust them; don’t give up, you and your team can make it work!

Matt Zobrist from Aegis Learning

Matt Zobrist is an energetic and dynamic facilitator, coach, presenter and speaker with Aegis Learning, LLC.

Focus on Coaching: Keys to Positive Feedback

By Matt Zobrist

The first and most powerful type of coaching is positive feedback. Positive feedback consists of praise, appreciation and acknowledgment, given when performance or behaviors meet or exceed standard. This should be the most common type of coaching a leader engages in.

When Positive Feedback is implemented correctly, it creates positive feelings in people about themselves and what they do. We all have the internal desire to be praised, recognized and appreciated. Tapping into that desire through consistently and correctly providing positive feedback is an amazing way to get top performance from your team members. Here are 5 Keys to correctly providing positive feedback

There Is No Such Thing As Too Much Positive Feedback. First off, you cannot tell people too much or too often that they are doing good and are appreciated. Seriously, people will never tire of hearing that kind of stuff and, as long as you are honest and sincere, they will respond and behave in a way to receive more. Also, never underestimate the power of showing appreciation and praise for just “doing their job.” Yes – you should be thanking and praising team members for their work when it meets standard, not only when it goes above it. Simply put, the more you appreciate and praise your team, the better they will become. For more on that, please seem my article entitled “Praise for Standard Performance? Yes!

Do Not Delay. Feedback should be provided as close to the performance/behavior as possible. The closer in time to the actual event praise or appreciation is given, the more important the receiver feels, specifically they feel they are valued by the leader/organization and have made an impact. Delaying may allow intervening behaviors/actions to overshadow the good performance. For example, a leader was going to wait a week to recognizing a team member’s superior performance; however, before she could praise that person, he had a pretty public screw up. When she met with the team member, her positive feedback was immediately eclipsed by the corrective action she had to take. Lastly, there is always the risk you will become too busy and forget to provide it at all.

Do It In Person. Too be most effective, positive feedback must be delivered in the richest method possible, where your tone and non-verbal signals will show that you, as the leader, are really, genuinely pleased with the performance. There is no adequate substitute for this interaction! Never, repeat: NEVER use email as the primary delivery method for positive feedback. Regardless of the content of your email, the fact you chose email conveys to the receiver that you don’t really care. Email can be a good follow-up tool AFTER you have provided positive feedback – even allowing documentation for future reference (i.e., for an evaluation, etc.).

Be Clear, Direct and Specific. Don’t let your message get lost in platitudes or “fluffy” language. Simply tell the team member what they did, why it was worthy of recognition, praise, and/or gratitude. The more specific your feedback, the more impactful it will be. For example: “Jackie, I really appreciated the way you made that client feel special when he came in today. Good work.” Or “Jennifer, you did a really good job presenting that information to the team today.” PRO TIP: If your organization has specified core values, try to tie positive feedback to one or more of your core values. Overall, linking individual performance to organizational values has a compounding effect as the team member sees the his or her actions are in alignment with organizational goals and aspirations.

Provide Positive Feedback Fairly. All team members are craving praise and appreciation (most importantly from their leader) and they all deserve it. Do they all perform at the same level? Of course not. But they all do things worthy of praise and appreciation. Remember: fair does not mean equal. It means everyone will get some positive feedback, no exceptions. It does not mean they will each get the same type though. If someone does a truly outstanding job, they should get outstanding praise and recognition; someone who does just a good job should get an appropriate level of praise. This means you need to ensure positive feedback is consistently provided to all team members. No one gets left out. Focusing all your positive feedback on one person, such as top performers only, can create the appearance of favoritism.

PRO TIP: Praise in public, correct in private is still a true precept, however, not everyone enjoys publicity. As much as you may want to share the praise, to encourage others, respect your team member’s desires and get their permission before any public presentations. You still need to provide direct, specific praise to that person, just not in a public forum.

The next article in this series will focus on some obstacles to providing Positive Feedback, and how to overcome them. Corrective Feedback will be discussed in the subsequent articles, and the last article will cover Training.

I am always looking for additional topics to write about. Please feel free to contact me with comments, questions, request a topic, or provide your stories (I love hearing about your situations). I can be reached at

Matt Zobrist from Aegis Learning

Matt Zobrist is an energetic and dynamic facilitator, coach, presenter and speaker with Aegis Learning, LLC.

Focus on Coaching: The What and Why

By Matt Zobrist

Coaching is an ongoing dialogue between a leader and team members.  As a leader, the bulk of your leadership interactions with your team should be some form of coaching. It is an ongoing process with the goal to get team members to replicate desirable behaviors and performance, as well as eliminate or reduce negative performance or behaviors. The three main types of coaching covered in this series will be: Positive Feedback, Corrective Feedback and Training.

Coaching has benefits for the individual team member, the leader and ultimately the organization. First, team members want to know how they are doing, and they want to know as soon as possible. Further, they want to know of how they are doing on a regular and consistent basis. They certainly do not want to simply be told once a year – in the dreaded annual evaluation – they are acceptable, average, or “meet standard.” If you are in an organization where “no news is good news” you can be sure the leadership has a coaching (failure) problem.

Team members who are coached regularly are more likely to be engaged and productive at work. They have higher levels of trust in their fellow team members, their leader and the organization. Praise, compliments and gratitude (positive feedback) help build people’s self-esteem and willingness to work hard(er), while increasing their trust in their leader and organization. Likewise, providing immediate correction, without anger or belittlement, helps team members improve their performance and learn to trust you as the leader. Team members need to have enough knowledge, tools and expertise to do their jobs. As leaders provide training to team members, they become more skilled and efficient; this also strengthens trust in the leader as they see he/she wants them to be successful.

A leader benefits from coaching his/her team by their increased engagement and willingness to work. Great coaches can get their team members to supply more effort, above and beyond what they merely get paid for, on a regular basis. More productive, skilled, engaged and efficient employees will provide unparalleled levels of service and quality for the organization.

People will replicate behavior for which they are consistently and quickly rewarded and avoid behaviors for which they are not rewarded, or for which they are punished. This is based on solid behavioral science including B.F. Skinner’s Law of Operant Conditioning, and it works. When a leader consistently coaches, team members respond. I had a team member once who, when he came to my team, had been pretty thoroughly mentally beaten down by a former boss. He had practically resigned himself to mediocrity and just wanted to get through a day without attracting any attention to himself. He did the bare minimums. However, after a few months of consistently complimenting his skills and performance, as well as listening to him and building trust, he began to improve. He dramatically improved over the next few months and I observed a direct correlation with my coaching and his willingness and ability to work hard, including going above and beyond what was required.

Positive Feedback. Corrective Feedback will be discussed in the two articles to follow, and the last article will cover Training.

I am always looking for additional topics to write about. Please feel free to contact me with comments, questions, request a topic, or provide your stories (I love hearing about your situations). I can be reached at

Matt Zobrist from Aegis Learning

Matt Zobrist is an energetic and dynamic facilitator, coach, presenter and speaker with Aegis Learning, LLC.

Invest Your Energy Wisely

Tim Schneider, Coach, Speaker, Author and Trainer from Aegis Learning

By Tim Schneider

Leadership requires a great deal of emotional, mental and physical energy to be truly effective.  The passion, focus, care and commitment required can certainly take a toll on even the strongest of people.  You can’t sleepwalk or mail in your leadership role.  You must give it all you have.  Every.  Single.  Day.

In addition to energy, great leaders also have a helpfulness in their DNA.  They WANT to serve others, help others and fix things.  Every great leader believes, down to his or her core, that they can make a significant impact on their organization and the people in which they are charged with leading.  They believe they can fix people. 

Now for the challenge.  How much time, emotional energy and effort do we invest in situations and people in which the return is extremely low or non-existent?  An when we invest in the un-coachable and in those projects, which have no impact, what are we neglecting?  Gamblers have a phrase for this phenomenon; chasing losses.  It rarely works out well for the gambler and it rarely works out for the effective leader.

For every moment invested poorly or with those team members that have almost no chance of resurrection, a team member with a spark of motivation and eagerness is getting ignored.  An important one-on-one meeting gets brushed off again.  Mentoring is abandoned.  Places where real return on your energy investment go neglected and all for the false belief that we can fix anybody.

Another point of jeopardy with unfixable situations and unchanging people is that they are energy vampires.  Not only do they not respond to your investment of time and energy but they drain you at a significant level.  Compare for a moment how your energy and emotional composition feels after interacting with one of these vampires compared to someone you lead that responds well to you.  Not even close.

Likewise, relationships with others have the same dynamic.  We often spend way too much time, energy and attention on those people that give nothing back in return.  Great relationships reciprocate energy, and no one should ever feel drained from the interactions. 

Do we owe the difficult people, un-coachable and troubled relationships some of our energy?  Yes of course but it must come with boundaries and limits.  It must be moderated and balanced with those people that return your energy and effort.  The best of all leaders are great stewards of their time and energy and invest it where the highest return exists. 

And now some strategies for maximizing your energy investment:

  1. Identify those people and areas of your life that are not responding to your energy investment.
  1. Check to see if you have provided solid, and clear, communication, attempted to build rapport, provided positive feedback, empowered and encouraged that person. Also test to ensure you have analyzed and discussed having that person in right role.
  1. Sandwich interactions with energy vampires around interactions with energy responders and restorers. Nothing will suck the life out of you quicker than multiple, back-to-back, conversations with energy draining people.
  1. Limit the amount of time you spend with energy drainers. Reinvest that time with people who respond to your energy and effort.  Stop rewarding their bad behavior or performance with more of your attention.
  1. To paraphrase Jim Collins (Good to Great), move them off the bus and get them out of your work and life.
Tim Schneider

Tim Schneider is the founder, CEO and lead facilitator for Aegis Learning.  

What I Want My Kids to Know

Kelley Reynolds from Aegis Learning

By Kelley Reynolds

One of the most consistently lively discussions during facilitation usually occurs early in the program.  The provocative discussion topic is “What are appropriate and inappropriate motivations to get into leadership?”  Specifically, why money is not a good motivation.  Of course, money is a factor since we do not work for free.  However, money in and of itself, is not a good reason to promote into leadership for a variety of reasons.  For example, the value of the pay raise is short-lived as you will soon become accustomed to living at (or above) the new rate of pay.  Also, the new responsibilities expected of you usually outweigh the pay received to perform them.  And not by a little!  The discussion usually concludes somewhere around the point that if you are promoting for the appropriate reasons, money will come.  Money will follow you.

Recently, after conducting this facilitation, the discussion remained on my mind.  The class conversation meandered, as they do, but my mind settled in this:

What do I want my kids to know about money? What changes? How can I help them make smart decisions with the money they will earn and become financially secure?

My background is in public service, not finance, banking, investments or accounting.  However, I am very fortunate to have access to a handful of people who, combined, have several hundred years of experience with money; wealth accumulation and management.  They represent the fields previously mentioned and more. So, I set out to seek their counsel.

This is not an article containing investment advice.  Nor containing strategies to replace your current program.  It simply contains the responses I received when I asked, “What do you want your kids to know about money?”

Pay yourself first. Right off the top. This must be done consistently; just like your rent or car payment.  You have to make this payment to yourself a priority. Start small because you want to set yourself up for success.  Maybe $25 per paycheck. If you start off too large, you may be tempted to skip the payment to yourself when you need a set of tires or to replace your hot water heater.

If your employer has a retirement program through payroll deduction, take advantage of it.  If they offer any sort of match to what you contribute, utilize and maximize the match. 

Ride the highs and lows.  Take advantage of dollar cost averaging. Invest a constant dollar amount each paycheck.  Say $100 dollars.  When prices are high and the market is expensive, you will buy fewer shares.  When prices are low, you will be buying more shares.  Over time, the average cost will be much lower than the average price. 

Create a simple budget.  Stick to it. Do not sacrifice but make thoughtful choices before spending.

Compare an interest-bearing account to cash.

Instead of buying a bunch of junk for your kids, deposit money into an account for them.  Start this early. 

Also, purchase a stock for your kids in some business, like a favorite sports team or restaurant. It will generate an interest and a sense of ownership.  Plus, you will teach your kids about investing money instead of just buying stuff.

Set a limit on usual purchases like movies and make-up for example.  For any amount over that set limit, create a 24-hour cooling-off period before allowing the purchase to be made.

Realize the value of your money and the real level of satisfaction.  Will spending $80 on a video game give you the same level of satisfaction for years to come as an $80 baseball mitt?  One may keep your attention for a month or two.  The other may be useful to you for years.

Teach them about interest, earning and paying. What do you get for the interest you pay? For a mortgage, you get a home as well as possibly an investment and a tax write-off. Student loans may provide you with an education.  Then there is credit card interest.  What are you really getting for that interest? What is the real cost of the stuff if purchased with a credit card and paid off over time? 

Also, make them aware of scams and get-rich-quick scheme, especially online when you have no idea with whom you are really interacting.  There is no Nigerian prince who needs your help to get their money, priceless wine inventory or dragon gold out of any country; or needs you to prepay tax on the winnings; or needs your help to get a nationally recognized business to pay their debt through your checking account, or social security number, IRS warrant or jailed grandson released. etc. Many of the technology-based payment options can be reversed within 24 hours of payment.

Past performance is not indicative of what the future will bring.

Finally, and most importantly, do not allow money to change you.  Remember your values and who you are. Donate to charity. Not everyone had the same opportunities, assistance or guidance as you. Stay humble and kind. 

Thanks for reading until the end.  I hope you found the research helpful and interesting. Please feel free to share with me any suggestions or successes you have had.

Kelley Reynolds from Aegis Learning

Kelley’s optimistic outlook on life guides her belief that change is possible!

Her easy going instruction style mixed with a dry wit make her an entertaining educator. She has instructed professionals throughout the nation as well as internationally. Kelley has earned a Master of Business Administration and possesses a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, both from University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Thank You and a Little Bit of Fun


With three months still to go, 2019 has been nothing short of spectacular.  Through September, we have had the best year in 27 plus years in business and have been able to serve more people, connect with more participants, use more DiSC assessments and maintain a 100% participant satisfaction rate.

We cannot thank you enough.  Without you, none of this would be possible and we appreciate you greatly.  

To show our appreciation, and have a little fun along the way, we will be giving away a little gift every Friday in November.  All you have to do is follow our Facebook Business Page, and like the Friday contest post.  You will get two entries if you like and share that post.  We will be using some highly sophisticated picking method involving dogs, cats and/or children to draw the winner each week.  Our weekly prizes will include:

  • Everything DiSC Assessment (36 Page Report Plus Access to – $64.50 Value)

  • LeadWell-The 10 Competencies of Outstanding Leadership (Book – $12.00 Value Plus Shipping)

  • Beyond Engagement (Book – $14.00 Value Plus Shipping)

  • Five Behaviors Personal Development Assessment ($107.50 Value)

  • GRAND PRIZE – 1 Week EduCode 2020 Leadership Track Attendance ($800.00 Value – Includes Social Events and Materials)   

Team members and family members of team members are not eligible for the drawing (not that they would want to anyway). 

Prepare for Opportunities

Kelley Reynolds from Aegis Learning

By Kelley Reynolds

In your career, have you ever been faced with a situation where you think you possess enough experience to handle it?  You’ve taken classes and continued your education to be ready when the opportunity presents? Where you run, excitedly and headlong into it; a defining moment of your career?  Only to find yourself ill-prepared in uncharted waters.

Some time ago, early in my career, I found myself in such a situation.

The opportunity was a business social event.  One where you are not “on the clock” but a work-event, nonetheless.

The invitation was for a business dinner.  Attending, was my boss and a C Suite level executive from a well-known organization.  I was over the moon to be invited. Yes, I am going to be sitting at the table!

An important tidbit, I’ve never been to cotillion.  Honestly, my friends and I were more red-solo cup people. Although I have received no professional training on etiquette, I have performed some research on Google.  I am confident I can navigate a dinner table place setting. Work from the outside in.  Any doubt, just watch what other people are doing, right? Easy!

A few evenings later, I found myself at a high-end restaurant which boasts a world recognized name, and I do not mean McDonalds.  They serve Japanese food.

One look at the place setting and my concerns over salad forks and which bread plate is mine were gone.  I quickly glanced around the other tables at the restaurant.  All I saw were chopsticks and this was a brand-new set of problems for which I am unprepared.

After observing my dining companion’s ritual of separating and sanding the chopsticks, I mimicked their actions.  I can do this! 

The first course, the chef, thankfully, sliced the lettuce into small pieces.  Without attracting attention to myself, using the chopsticks to pick, slide and stab, I was able to successful eat this course.  I’ve got this!

Meanwhile, the relationship strengthened as the conversation easily meandered from hometown to family to strategic goals.

Because of certain dietary needs, what was served to me next was different than my companions.  It contained olives.  Okay, it was a dirty martini.  But at this point, it really was a need! 

Grateful to be holding something other than the chopsticks, I swirled the olive skewer in the drink.  Feeling sure of myself, I popped the tip of skewer into my mouth and gracefully slid one of the olives from the stick. Yep, I am sitting with the big boys!

With the first bite I realized in horror, the olive contained the entire pit.  According to the rules of etiquette, you use your fork to properly remove the pit from your mouth.  I did not have a fork and did not think with my 20 minutes of experience I had mastered my chopstick technique to use them for this job.

While my boss and C Suite were discussing multi-million-dollar business strategies, I contemplated available discreet options for removing the pit in my mouth. A plan was formulated.  Listening to the tone and cadence of their conversation, timing for just the right moment, I swiftly performed the napkin trick.  Crisis averted!  I’ve so got this!

A course or two later, I carefully used my napkin, aware it concealed the pit.  With the napkin in my lap, I touched the edges and could no longer find the pit. It must have leapt to its death under the table! Problem solved!

The remainder of the meal was incident free.  We thanked the chef for his inspired culinary artistry. The three of us left the restaurant and walked through the casino to leave.  At the exit, we shook hands and said our goodbyes. 

The evening was incredible. We discussed tactics for rebranding, organizational restructuring and opportunities to increase market share.  I had just successfully navigated the high-powered business dinner!! Wahoo! Fist bump!

As I walked away, I felt something.  On the back of my pants. A wet spot with an olive pit embedded.  At that moment, there was nothing else for me to do but hold my head high and wear it with pride!

As leaders, we will be faced with new challenges. Our previous successes will help guide us.  However, some missions will not go as planned.  To adapt to changing landscape, expanding our knowledge base is critical. Embrace growth. Take every opportunity to learn something new.  We do not know what opportunities lie ahead of us or what tools we will need. It is better to be prepared than allow our leadership skills to end up in the pits!

Kelley Reynolds from Aegis Learning

Kelley’s optimistic outlook on life guides her belief that change is possible!

Her easy going instruction style mixed with a dry wit make her an entertaining educator. She has instructed professionals throughout the nation as well as internationally. Kelley has earned a Master of Business Administration and possesses a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, both from University of Nevada, Las Vegas.