Great News…pitchers and catchers report in only 36 days!

Just kidding. I’ve been told in no uncertain terms: no more baseball, or any sports, in my remaining newsletters.  So this month I’ve decided to tackle a slightly less controversial topic…politics. 

Before I dive into the state of politics in America, I want to share a personal experience I had in early December. I was the presenting host for a group of strangers at a CFBC Community in Forum training session. For those of you not familiar, CIF is forum protocol training. We train protocol by having a real life forum meeting, at a real life classy restaurant. I presented my topic for 45 minutes, then the moderator led the group through the complete forum process: clarifying questions, shared experience, host appreciation, dinner with a single table discussion and finally concluding with takeaways.

My forum mates may not believe this, but this was the fourth forum protocol training I’ve attended -- the third full-fledged CIF. I’ve gotten a lot out of all these sessions, but the one overarching takeaway each time has been the same: how lucky we were to bring such a fantastic group of people together. By the end of each night I was hugging men and women I’d just met only hours earlier. I felt a very real and very deep bond with total strangers.  What a coincidence to have the perfect mix of attentive, supportive and kind people…four times in a row. Was it a coincidence?

As I reflect, a question keeps popping up: Would I have felt the same about these people if the first topic we discussed that afternoon was politics?  Think about that one.

If I’m honest with myself, I’ve never had a political discussion with a truly positive outcome. If we agree, we simply work ourselves into an irrational lather of anger and disillusionment.  If we disagree, we both say hurtful things we don’t really mean – and we don’t change any minds. Either way, I feel bad and I’m pretty sure the other guy doesn’t feel any better. Okay, enough politics, back to forum protocol.

Last month, I shared my 2017 resolution to do anything possible to increase my employees’ knowledge and self-confidence. The knowledge thing is relatively easy; the confidence part, a bit trickier.  I haven’t figured out exactly how, but I’m going to try and apply the concepts of protocol to my leadership style. If I succeed, several positives will follow. I’ll be a better listener by keeping my opinions to myself. I’ll be more helpful by being a lot less judgmental. I’ll also do a better job of fleshing out the ideas of all my employees by not being so focused on my own ideas.  Ultimately, my employees will feel more comfortable with me and with each other, and the general level of employee self-confidence should soar. 

Sounds great, where do I start?  First, I’m going to make sure that all my key executives go through Community in Forum Training in 2017.  Next, I’ll make sure we have a department head at all of the CFBC discipline specific roundtables. The next opportunity is the marketing roundtable on January 19th. I believe that what we do at CFBC is too important to only have the owner(s) involved. I hope you agree. I look forward to seeing you all there in 2017 … with your leadership team.


Jeff Conner
Liners Direct
CFBC President 2016-2017




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This entry was posted in Blog and tagged . Posted on January 9th, 2017 by CFBCatDePaul