Tom Cline

January 21, 2021
Profitability of a Restoration Business – How to Find
How to Find the Profitability of a Restoration Business A recent article in our local newspaper about evaluating the qualifications of teachers around the turn of the 20th century caught my attention. The writer related some of the questions that were used when assessing candidates for teaching positions in public schools. The question made me consider how we determine the profitability of a restoration business. Here is one of the questions used to assess a potential teacher’s ability in mathematics about 120 years ago: Suppose I pay 3 31/48 cents per bushel for carting my wheat to the mill, the miller takes 1/16 of a cent for grinding, it takes 4 1/2 bushels of wheat to make a barrel of flour, I pay 25 cents each for barrels and $1.25 per barrel for carrying the flour to market where my agent sells 60 barrels for $367.50, out of which he takes 25 cents per barrel for his services. What do I receive per bushel for my wheat? It sounds like a bit of a brain teaser, and I’m sure some of you are wondering, “What the heck does this have to do with the profitability of my restoration business in
August 20, 2020
Emotional Intelligence: One of the Keys to a Healthy Company Culture, Part IV 
Emotional Intelligence: One of the Keys to a Healthy Company Culture, Part IV  Tom Cline   Each of the attributes we’ve covered in this series on Emotional Intelligence (EQ) builds on the others. That is certainly the case with this fourth and final installment where we cover the element of Relationship Management. Skills developed in the previously discussed areas of social awareness, self-management, and self-awareness all feed into success in this last area.   Relationship management is the ability to build value-adding relationships with others. A person strong in this trait understands and realizes the value of building relationships even with people with whom they don’t get along.    People with high relationship management abilities make everyone they interact with feel they matter and are valued. When they communicate with someone who has failed to complete a task or meet the expected delivery date or level of quality, it is done in such a way that the person knows where they missed the mark, but it is not done in anger. Relationship management requires taking intentional steps to ensure these positive connections are healthy and beneficial to both parties.   Employees need to understand how they can influence positive connections and teamwork in their personal and professional relationships.    Author Daniel Goleman, a recognized authority on EQ,  says the competencies involved in managing relationships include:  Developing others   Inspirational leadership  Change catalyst  Influence  Conflict management  Teamwork and collaboration  These competencies are often viewed as leadership skills, but
July 20, 2020
Emotional Intelligence: One of the Keys to a Healthy Company Culture, Part III
Emotional Intelligence: One of the Keys to a Healthy Company Culture, Part III  Tom Cline   The first two articles in this four-part series on Emotional Intelligence (EQ) introduced the overall concept and explored the characteristics that are widely believed to make up what is termed “personal competence”—our ability to stay aware of our emotions and manage our behavior and tendencies. The last two installments will focus on the traits that make up our “social competence”—our ability to understand other people’s moods, behaviors, and motives to improve the quality of our relationships.    We begin with Social Awareness, which is defined by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves in Emotional Intelligence 2.0 as the ability to “recognize and understand the moods of other individuals and entire groups of people. It’s the ability to observe body language, facial expressions, and even posture in an effort to respond appropriately.” These nonverbal cues represent the major portion of how others are communicating with you. They let you know how others are really feeling, how their emotional state is changing from minute to minute, and what is truly important to them.   In a team setting, social awareness manifests as members helping others through stressful situations by recognizing nonverbal signs, understanding the triggers that we discussed in Part I, asking questions, and being empathetic to help others who
June 20, 2020
Emotional Intelligence: One of the Keys to a Healthy Company Culture, Part II
Emotional Intelligence: One of the Keys to a Healthy Company Culture, Part II  Tom Cline    Part 1 in this four-part series provided an introduction to the concept of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) including identification of the four characteristics that are generally agreed to be at its core.    The first characteristic, self-awareness—thoroughly understanding yourself and your effect on others—was reviewed. This included our personal strengths and weaknesses relative to our emotions, how they affect us, our ability to think and communicate rationally, and how they influence our thoughts and actions.    This installment covers the second trait of what is termed “personal competence”—the need for self-regulation.   Consider a time when stress overwhelmed you. Was it easy to think clearly or make a rational decision? Probably not. When you become overly stressed, your ability to think clearly and to accurately assess emotions—your own and other people’s—becomes compromised. Effectively engaging your emotional intelligence means being able to use your emotions to help you to make constructive decisions about your behavior. It is the ability to control emotions and impulses. People who self-regulate typically don’t allow themselves to become too angry or jealous, and they don’t make impulsive, careless decisions. They think before they act.    Characteristics of self-regulation include thoughtfulness, comfort with change, integrity, and the ability to say no. Employees with this perspective and skill are the ones you want on your team; the
May 20, 2020
Emotional Intelligence: One of the Keys to a Healthy Company Culture, Part I 
Emotional Intelligence: One of the Keys to a Healthy Company Culture, Part I  Tom Cline    It isn’t necessarily the smartest people who are the most successful or feel most fulfilled in life. You may know someone who is academically smart yet is socially inept and unsuccessful at work or in their personal relationships. Many believe that focusing on and learning to raise your Emotional Intelligence (EQ) can help you more effectively deal with the stresses and emotions in your life, thereby helping to increase your success and fulfillment.    Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict. It can help you build stronger relationships, succeed at school and work, and achieve your career and personal goals by enabling you to connect with your feelings, turn intentions into actions, and make informed decisions about what matters most to you.    Much has been written about the growing importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace, the majority focused on management and leadership positions. The Harvard Business Review recently reported that EQ represents about 90% of the difference between average and star performers at the top tier of executives within an organization.    The Future of Jobs report for 2020, published
January 20, 2020
Four Quarters in Football and Business 
Four Quarters in Football and Business  Tom Cline    Football season is wrapping up with bowl games and playoffs—both college and pro. The business year, on the other hand, is just beginning for most of you. A commonality in both ventures is that it’s critical to work hard for the full four quarters. As my home team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, used to say: be 60-minute men.   Sports are often used in metaphors for business and rightly so. Your annual business cycle is much like a football game.  In both football and business, you begin by studying the competition. You assess their strengths and weaknesses, compare them to your own, and develop a game plan (business plan). That plan is designed to help you win in the short term—the particular game or new customer—and achieve your objectives while pursuing longer–term goals like winning a national title or achieving the vision you have for where your business will be in 7 to 10 years. With the plan in place, you focus on execution.  In sports, execution is tracked and measured by statistics: pass completion percentage, yards per carry, number of sacks, and points on the scoreboard. In business, you use metrics: revenue, gross profit, employee turnover, cash flow, customer satisfaction, and other KPIs. It’s important to decide before the game or the business year which metrics you will track