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Posts Tagged ‘manufactured housing’

Coach Potato Quarterbacks

January 23rd, 2012 No comments

We have all met (and/or have been? 😉 Coach Potato Quarterbacks (QB). There is nothing wrong with being the Monday morning QB. It can be entertaining to cheer or jeer what went right and wrong in the last game. A problem with the coach potato QB is that being one changes nothing.

To make a difference, you have to be more directly involved in the game.

We can criticize most any one for most any thing.

When we are honest with ourselves and each other, then we have to admit in any aspect of life, we are either acting as part of the problem or are involved somehow in the solution.

For example, I ponder at times those who are critical of manufactured housing associations. The need for and advantages to associations are compelling. If the association we are a part of needs to improve somehow, are we:

  • playing the role of the couch potato quarterback?
  • Or are we hands on involved, and are acting as a catalyst towards positive goals and solutions?

It takes more sustained effort, discipline and work to build up something good than it does to tear some thing down. While at times we must remove debris or the old and risky structure to make room for the good and the new, the end value is found in building. We must not confuse criticism with construction. We must begin with a candid check of our own attitudes and intentions.

The right attitude, the right intention, goal and solution orientation are the keys to advancement in a career, project, company, association or most any other aspect of life.

Being part of the solution is far more exciting and rewarding than playing the critic or the role of coach potato QB. Those involved in positive solutions are often those who end up ahead of the curve, rather than behind the curve or moving with the herd.

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post by

L. A. “Tony” Kovach, MHM

www.MHProNews.com
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com or www.MHMSM.com
Innovation – Information – Inspiration for Industry Professionals

Office – 815-270-0500

latonyk@gmail.com or tony@mhmsm.com
http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach

 

The Power of One Is Us

March 16th, 2011 No comments

The Power of One has been around as a catch phrase for some years. Perhaps we became more aware of it in 1989 through Bryce Courtenay’s novel by the same name, later made into a movie in which Daniel Craig (later known as Bond. James Bond.) made his film debut. A second book applied this concept to business, The Power of One: One Person, One Rule, One Month by John C. Maxwell. Numerous YouTube videos employ gorgeous visuals and stirring music to communicate this message. For instance, the popular:

Of course, there are many variations of this theme, applied to everything from grocery bags to flu shots. For example: “Making your life better one bag at a time.” “Making the community healthier one flu shot at a time.” Perhaps you recognize the companies and organizations that use phrases such as: one dress at a time, one tree at a time, one deposit at a time, one child at a time, one wish at a time, one step at a time. These phrases are usually prefaced with “Making your life – or the world – better….” Truly, the power of one!

How about one phone call, one follow-up, one client, one network, one reader, one new subscriber, one retailer, one manufacturer, one lender, one home, one sale, one team, one company, one community, one association, one trade show, one mentor, one guest speaker/trainer, one website, one contribution, one shout out (“I’m madder than hell…”) … ONE ANYONE or ANYTHING that makes a positive difference in the status quo and moves YOUR participation in the Manufactured Housing Industry forward. Remember, 2011 can be The Great Industry Turn-Around! For YOU. For US. And when enough do this, the Industry turns around, too!

No passing the buck. No waiting for the other guy to do it. No lone giants. There is a difference between knowing and changing. Between deciding and doing.

To paraphrase the friendly, philosophical Pogo: We have seen the Power of One and it is YOU, it is US.

Inspired by Lizz Frenzel, VNA of Porter County, IN # #

INspirations post by Associate Editor Catherine Frenzel

Moving the Pile – A Manufactured Housing Success Secret

February 26th, 2011 No comments

From football, we learn the phrase, ‘moving the pile.’   In the first video, we get an example of a running back who through his extra effort, moves the pile for a few extra yards.

In the second video, see an example of how the wedge is executed on the kickoff.

Now think of the running back in the first video as a great manufactured housing professional.  His hard running effort gets extra yards.  But no score, at least, not on this play.

Then contrast that with the second video.  The wedge are your ‘industry allies,’ your manufactured housing associations and trade media platforms like this one.  The combination of hitting the opposition in an organized fashion results in the breakthrough and the score!

If you are not in an association, or are not active in one, consider the benefits of how ‘the wedge’ of other association members, working with you on industry issues, can advance you and your business for more scores. # #

Working Together – A Teamwork Puzzle

February 20th, 2011 No comments

Every industry depends on its various elements – its pieces of the puzzle – in order to prosper.  Separate one or more elements or pieces from its whole, and all will suffer.

Imagine that each of the four characters below represents those who hold a piece of our Industry’s puzzle:

Lumaxart Graphic by Scott Maxwell

Lumaxart Graphic by Scott Maxwell

  • The red person represents home retailers, manufactured housing communities and developers.
  • The gold represents financing.
  • The green represents manufacturers.
  • The blue represents suppliers of various types.
  • The circle formed by the puzzle is the Information and cohesiveness supplied by trade associations as well as engaged, pro-Industry trade media and publishers.  These trade media are magazines or ezines such as MHMSM.com.
Puzzle missing a piece

If any piece gets minimized or isolated, the rest lose balance and suffer. If the integrity of the circle – if associations or trade media – suffers, all will pay the price. Each party – each piece of the puzzle – needs the others.

While it may be human nature to think that your piece of the puzzle is ‘the most important,’ in fact all of the pieces are important.

Analogies like this can be helpful, but they also have their limits.  The puzzle itself, what should the picture that is on it be?  Let’s consider the answer to that as the public’s view of our Industry.  Do they see us as being a modern, green, clean, appealing and affordable option?  Do they see us as being able to provide everything from entry level HUD Code homes to residential style (conventional looking) homes, to sprawling modular mansions?  If not, why not?  This is the ‘missing person’ of image building and marketing.  This is why the picture is a hodge-podge of color instead of the image of an appealing, quality and affordable solution to the American Dream of home ownership.

When an industry associate of yours knows that something – some piece – is missing, point them to this puzzle and those who hold it together.  Then ask them what is missing, and ask them how they can work with others to be a part of the solution. # #

Finger Pointing 2011

January 2nd, 2011 3 comments

There is an old canard that goes like this: 

When you point your finger at someone else, 
you have three fingers pointing back at you.

In our Industry the blame game is often lurking under the surface.  So-and-so or such-and-such has failed us.  Why hasn’t so-and-so made this or that happen?  Why doesn’t somebody do something?

“I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that.
Then I realized I was somebody.”

– Lily Tomlin

This year, let this be our challenge!  When we are tempted to point fingers, or blame or tear down someone’s efforts, stop. First, ask yourself – and that person – why are you doing or saying that?  It is common sense and civility to say you should not blame or criticize, certainly not until you are sure you understand them and their action.  Give the other person the same benefit of the doubt you want them to give you.  

“Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.”
– Stephen Covey

2011 should be a year for dialogue on ways to advance the Industry’s cause.  We don’t have to share the same politics, have the same beliefs or even be in the same segment of the Industry to work with each other.

Share your ideas and perspective.  You can do that here through:

Your being published here at MHMSM.com in one or more of the above ways gives you access to potentially tens of thousands of your industry peers.  Let YOUR ideas be heard.

Friends and colleagues can and should be able to disagree using reason and good manners.  If I am going bald (not yet anyways) or have gained weight (guilty, as charged), that is what it is.  Saying something that is true is not an offense, when done with tact and respect.

Let’s engage on issues!  Agree or disagree and say WHY.  Don’t be shy.  The ideal behind the First Amendment was for ideas to be freely discussed in the marketplace of public conversation. Let the best ideas show themselves.  Let them be tested.  Then, let us advance those ideas that make the most sense.

If after careful thought, you decry what someone else in the Industry is saying or doing to advance our businesses, then give your alternative plans!  Anyone can tear down; it takes very little skill to demolish something. By contrast, it takes wisdom and skill to build something good.

Many no longer have the luxury of merely griping or crying into their beer. The time for thoughtful action is upon us.  Let’s close by repeating this quote:

“I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that.
Then I realized I was somebody.”

– Lily Tomlin

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Great Things Start Out Small

November 29th, 2010 No comments

Reason suggests that all great things start out small. Warren Buffett’s mighty Berkshire-Hathaway, Bill Gates’ Microsoft or Sam Walton’s huge Wal-Mart all had very modest beginnings. Christianity began with a handful of committed souls; today 1/3 of the world says they are Christian. The mighty oak starts out as an acorn, and so on.

That said, we all too often judge a venture or opportunity based on the size of the thing. Based on the examples we saw above, one might ask, isn’t that a bit backward? Great nations, great companies and great causes all start out small!

What does it take to start your own or grow with another person’s budding opportunity? 

  • Forward-looking vision, seeing what is possible (visualizing the oak in the acorn)
  • Sound plan of action and ability to adjust
  • Deep commitment to the cause
  • A willingness to risk in exchange for the rewards
  • Leaving the comfort of the known for what is hoped-for possible 
  • Doing whatever it takes to make the vision come to life!

When a seed is planted, at first blush, it looks a little like a burial ceremony. For days or weeks, nothing may be visible. Yet all during that time, care must be given to that buried seed: the warmth of the sun (or artificial heat source), rain or watering (irrigation), proper nutrients in the soil and so on. It takes time to see the first green sprout, then the shoot and later still, the mature plant or tree that may then later feed its planter, caregivers and others.

In like manner, a new or budding opportunity requires similar factors:

  • The warmth of faith and positive action
  • The nutrition and moisture needed for the cause from the work of those involved 
  • Adjustments as needed to respond to conditions that arise (just as weather affects plant life, so too, conditions affect the new cause; both require adjusting to meet those conditions).

There is security sitting under the shade of a cause, company or organization that is already well established. Joining McDonald’s today is different than being a worker or manager of one of their first locations! Joining today isn’t a bad thing, but joining the budding enterprise takes courage, commitment and a spirit of adventure – and the rewards for those willing to take that early leap of faith and who stick with it tend to be greater.

Starting or growing a modest venture can be transformative. Taking what is to the next level can put a spring in your step, if…

…you believe and are willing to do what it takes to make the vision become a reality.

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Written and submitted by:
L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach
Publisher and Marketing Director
www.MHMarketingSalesManagement.com  or www.MHMSM.com

Mending Fences

November 28th, 2010 No comments

Ask any rancher about the uses and purposes of fencing and you will hear things like this:

Fencing:

  • marks your property line,
  • protects and keeps things in that you want (cattle, sheep, etc.),
  • impedes or keeps things out that you don’t want to allow in.

Because fencing serves useful purposes and has value, fencing is worth preserving. Cowpokes ‘ride the fence’ with the idea of finding breaks in the fence, so they can be identified and mended. Fencing can be breached or broken by:

  • accident, 
  • intent or 
  • through forces of nature.

Fencing can be a metaphor and a reality. We have borders and connections in relationships (personal and professional) much the same as we have fencing along property lines. When we find a fence that needs mending (a breach in a relationship), it is good to try to mend it. This is the process known as ‘mending fences.’

Now, the reality is that unlike wire, wood, rock or other types of man-made fence, the mending that takes place between people may not be mended solo. One party may initiate, but another must reciprocate for the breach to be mended. There are times and some things that simply require one or both sides to let go and move on.

What are the alternatives? Conflict, for one. But to what end? What is the value of the feud in contrast to the rewards of having the breach healed? Maybe one party was truly wronged, but there is no real way to correct the harm. What to do? Think about this:

“If everyone practiced an ‘eye for an eye,’ then pretty soon, the whole world would be blind.” – Mahatma Gandhi

You and I have seen enemies become friends through the proper effort. We have also seen friends become opponents or enemies. There are as many ways to mend the fence of a ruptured relationship as there are people. The first step is often to try to understand what has happened, from the other person’s perspective. As Dr Stephen Covey wisely wrote, 

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.”

So asking and listening are important. Mending fences can start with something as easy as an email. It often takes more to do the mending, but if the ‘fence’ has value, it is worth the effort. Consider the value and the peace of mind fence-mending can bring.

Then take the baby steps to do it.

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Alice Dancing Under the Gallows

November 5th, 2010 No comments
Alice Herz-Sommer photo from film Alice Dancing Under the Gallows

Official Trailer for new documentary short about the oldest Holocaust survivor in the world, Alice Herz-Sommer. For more information about the film or to pre-order the DVD, visit: http://www.nickreedent.com

Watch the Video at YouTube

Top 10 Inspirational quotes of all time?

October 20th, 2010 No comments

According to Simran Khurana of About.com, these are the Top 10 Inspirational quotes of all time.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
~ Mark Twain

“In bed my real love has always been the sleep that rescued me by allowing me to dream.”
~ Luigi Pirandello

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”
~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.”
~ Zig Ziglar

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
~ T. S. Elliot

“All that we are is the result of what we have thought.”
~ Buddha

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We know nothing about motivation. All we can do is write books about it.”
~ Peter F. Drucker

“If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.”
~ Nora Roberts

“Begin with the end in mind.”
~ Stephen Covey

Without taking anything away from these ten, I’m betting our readers can do better. If you have a list of Top 10 Inspirational or Motivational quotes (they aren’t the same), send them in and we’ll be happy to publish your list.

Earl Nightingale’s The Strangest Secret Excerpt

September 29th, 2010 No comments

Earl Nightingale’s classic, The Strangest Secret, earned the first Gold Record for the spoken word, with sales exceeding 1 million copies. Nightingale, known as the “dean of personal development,” reveals how he discovered and lived the secret to success. For the first time, Earl Nightingale’s famous words written in 1957 are presented in a beautifully designed gift book with a CD of his original recording. This inspirational message is as timely today as it was when first written. The book and CD set is a great gift to inspire anyone in your organization to truly understand how to get from where you are to where you want to be.

“For all of us, there are turning points in our lives. One of mine was the first time I heard The Strangest Secret in 1964. It was then, and still is, the most powerful and thought-provoking message I’ve ever heard.”
— Mac Anderson, founder, Simple Truths and Successories