Archives for June 2015

The Art of Delegating Part 4 — “No Backs!”

Of course you can get the job done better yourself.   Of course.  But…

It’s your job as a manager to communicate what needs to be done effectively enough for staff to be able to run with a task to completion.  It’s also your job as the manager to create an environment that fosters teamwork, trust and cooperativeness. A surefire way to destroy all of it is to pull back a task that you’ve assigned someone, or worse yet, simply hand it off to another employee midstream or do it yourself.

In the case of my colleague (see introduction post), the floor manager should have told Josh; “drop what you are doing and do all of the clean-up right now.” if he expected it to be done within minutes of asking Josh to do it.  At the very least he should have first gone to Josh and asked “why haven’t you done the clean-up yet?”  He would have been given the smart, reasonable explanation that because not all of the dirty production work was done yet, it made more sense to clean up after all of the work was completed.  But instead, the floor manager went to Steve and told him to do it, leaving Josh standing at his production machine feeling confused, frustrated and deflated as Steve breezed by doing the job he was supposed to do.ArtOfDelegating4

“But, they aren’t getting it done–or done right!” you say.  Still, it’s no reason to derail a workers self-esteem and morale by going around them.

What is the “right” way?  Let’s say it was Cathy’s job to fill 10 bins with product every morning, and sort 6 bins of parts, all by 9:00 am.  No one has ever specified which task had to be done first.  So every day for 4 days, Cathy did the products first, then the parts.  Imagine how she would feel if she arrived the 5th day only to discover the parts were already done?  And there is a co-worker, now walking over to the products, to get them sorted. “What?  But that’s my job.  Why is that person doing my job?”

If your goal for that employee is to feel frustration, fear and a sense of failure, congratulations it’s been achieved.   If it’s not, do not undermine your employees efforts by taking back a task you’ve assigned them, especially without their knowing.

The right thing to do was advise Cathy there is a specific order of importance that needs to be followed, and give clear, concise instructions on what that is–from the beginning—not reassign the task to another worker without even giving Cathy the courtesy of an explanation.  No matter what the reason.

What kind of work environment have you cultivated?  Are you approachable?  Are you respectful?  Or are you condescending?  Are you just plain rude?  Perhaps you take the path of least resistance to avoid any type of conflict—which often results in pulling away a task and reassigning it to someone else instead of confronting the actual issue.  All that does is pit people against each other and generate an environment of ill will. If your employee is stuck mid-project and not getting the job done, it could be they are afraid to admit it.

If you somehow forgot to share important instructions, own up to it, don’t make it about the person’s performance.  A good manager will pull that employee aside, apologize for not being clear initially, and give them the necessary instructions and tools to successfully complete the task.

A good manager will be straightforward, truthful and respectful of their staff.

Don’t ‘pull the rug out from under’ your employee.  Take the time to determine what the hang up is for getting a job done, or done right, and take the opportunity to coach your person through the rough patch. Work it out together, even if it means having a difficult conversation, or taking a look at your own behaviors and making some modifications.  Your employees will respect your honesty. They will appreciate your willingness to work with them.  They will be more able to trust you. You will foster a more positive, teamwork based environment.

Have you experienced bad delegation as an employee? Have you struggled with delegation as a manager? We would love to hear about your experiences. Feel free to share this post with others who may find value and interest in exploring limitless possibilities with PR Brady AdVentures.

PR’s Pizza Party Loafs

Hosting a happy hour, hungry friends are on their way and you’re running short on time?  This recipe is quick, easy and a delicious way to serve a crowd.


2 French Bread loafsPizzaPartyLoaf2

1 32 oz jar Spaghetti Sauce (I like using Classico Tomato Basil)

1 lb. ground burger of your choice

¼ lb. butter (one stick)

1 onion chopped

2 whole garlics, peeled and chopped

2 T Italian Seasoning

1 green pepper, chopped

1 box fresh mushrooms, sliced thin

2 lbs. shredded mozzarella


PizzaPartyLoaf1Preheat oven to 425.

Slice the bread loafs in half lengthwise, and place them cut sides up on two cookie sheets.

Butter the 4 halves of bread.

Combine the burger with the garlic and onion in a frypan and add 1 T of the Italian seasonings.  Cook until browned.

While burger mixture is browning, spread spaghetti sauce generously on the 4 halves of bread.

Spoon the browned burger mixture equally across the bread.

Sprinkle chopped green pepper evenly across the bread.

Place a layer of sliced mushrooms across the bread.

Sprinkle remaining Italian seasoning over the bread.

Distribute Mozzarella generously over the bread.

Place the bread in the oven for 15-23 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is crisp.

Remove from oven and slice bread in about 2” strips.PizzaPartyLoaf3

Arrange pieces on a platter and serve with a fruit and veggie tray

Enjoy your party!

Each loaf serves about  4-5 people

Sound yummy?  If you try it out let me know what you think!  Check out more great recipes under my Killer Cookin’ blog category, and please feel free to share with others who may find interest and value in PR Brady AdVentures!



I am Jack — Are You Chicken?

I have to say, this place where we are living is totally cool and I am so glad to be my humans boy.  I love it here.  I get to run and run and run with no fences for as long as I want.  She takes me on amazing walks through the palm trees and the swamp grass, and I find all sorts of critters to point out to her.  I am very good at my job and find all sorts of things that are important to point.

But she never wants to go get my discoveries…..and says “no bird!” over and over and over and over again!   What in the world is her problem?

I find these creepy brown lizards, and long squiggly snakes, and giant black bugs with 6 legs, and various little tweetie birds, and more lizards, and yet she is always telling me “no”.

I admit it’s discouraging.

Then the big day happened.

My human and I were out walking the horses to their pasture one morning.  I am a big helper in the morning.  Those horses rely on me to run ahead and make sure everything is safe, and come back and let them know everything is ok.  I am a good boy and a great scout, and I do my job well!  The two boy horses are particularly nervous in the morning, so I try to show them they should not be scared.  I ran back and forth, and back and forth, monitoring the whole way, and saw no threats.  We brought the horses to their day time place safely once again.

As she was locking the horse pasture  gate, the head humans truck arrived, and she stopped to talk to her.  I stood around waiting, but that was boring.  So I left, and went exploring.  I found many fresh, interesting smells, and lots of great new places to pee!  Then I ran all the way back up to the picnic area where she ties me up.  Every day after we are done bringing the horses out, we stop and give the pig a treat, then walk up to the big building.  There, she ties my leash up to the picnic table before going to get the chickens out of the little building.

Well guess what?

I was there, but she wasn’t.

Therefore, I was not getting tied up.

And those chickens were already out!

This must have been a surprise she planned just for me!

I was thrilled!

ChickenBranchI ran to the chicken building where several birds were still sitting up high on sticks.  They started squawking and flapping their wings and making a big scene at me.  They just weren’t very interesting, so I turned around to see where the rest were.

Chickens were scattering every which way!  Big ones and little ones, white ones and brown ones, all screaming and racing in all directions and getting under things that I would not be able to fit under.

“Ah HA!  There is the one I need!  Right there!”  And I sneaky creeped over towards the big fluffy brightly colored bird with the spurs, and firmly pointed to it.

“This is the one she will want.  I know it!”  I thought, as I held my most impressive Pointer pose ever.

The big bird was crouched down into some grass and brush, and did not move.

So I inched closer, then closer, held my position and got a little closer, got right up to the frozen bird, and held my impressive Point position.

And I held it.


And I held it.


And it was such a very long time.  Maybe forever.


But I am pointing that bird.

For her.

And I am wondering where is my human to come and make it fly and then shoot it?

Finally that big bird started to make a strange gurgling noise at me, and it tipped its colorful bird head sideways at me, and then it started to stand up and do some sort of dance at me, and it flapped its wings against its body.

Oh yes, I am excellent hunter, but….

That bird looks kind of crazy.  I think he might be mad.

Where is my human, anyway?

That bird got closer with its gurgling, wing flapping dance, and I thought it was going to hit my nose.

I can’t be having any of that!

So, I took a step towards it, still holding my most impressive point.  That sent the bird into a fit of noise and flapping that I just had to stop.  My human isn’t here to shoot the bird, so I have to take matters into my own paws!

I went for that big bird.

It charged me.  It kicked me with its sharp claw foot.  Then it ran off toward the big building with me hot on its tail feathers.

I am an excellent hunter.  I will fetch that bird!

I chased it and chased it and chased it around the building and yard until I finally got ahold of it while it squawked and slapped at my face.

Finally my human comes around the corner and sees me with our prize.  I am so proud!  I got the bird!

But she is screaming at me “no, Jack nooooo! “  as she runs over to us.


What does she mean “no”?

I am not giving up this bird, I got it for her.  I am an excellent hunter, and a good boy!  I worked hard and waited months for this chance!  I got her this great big colorful bird!

But the look on her face makes me sad for what I’ve done.  As I am looking in her eyes with confusion that bird whaps me in the face again and again, and stings my eyes, and I lose my grip.  She is still screaming “no” as the bird pulls away from me and slides behind some bushes against the deck.  I am right behind him and I will get him again!  I get ahold of him again, this time by the back end, and he is squawking hard and flapping around and feathers are flying all over the place.

If he would just hold still this would go much smoother for all of us.

She is crying out “no!” and tries to get into the bushes with us, but it’s all too much action and I back out with the big bird in my mouth.  She is crying “give, give me the bird!”  And I am not sure I should let go since it is still so very much alive.

“Jack, GIVE!”  she commands, and I begrudgingly let the bird go.

It escapes her grasp and runs to the deck, and before I could get out from the bushes to go after it she grabs me by my collar and hugs me hard, crying “oh what am I going to do with you baby?”  I know, she loves me!  She is hugging me!  I am a Pointer and an excellent hunter!  But then she walks me to the picnic table and hooks me up to my leash.

Huh? But…but….

Game over.

I don’t know if she is happy or sad, but she walks over to where that big bird is hiding under a table, shaking tip to tail from his near death experience, and grabs it into her arms.

She is cuddling the bird and telling it she is sorry. She is saying, “Oh Big Boy, I am so sorry.”

Again, I say….”huh?”

It twists away from her and starts running again, and she calls out to other humans for help, and well, after that, she disappeared with them and that bird, and all I know is what I heard her saying much later afterwards.

She said things like:

“Thank God he has a soft mouth, or it would have been punctured to death.”  I’m not sure what that means, but I guess it’s a good thing.

She scolded another human, telling her to never, ever open the chicken house when I am loose, and that I can never ever be trusted around the chickens, ever.  Well, that’s entirely not true, I can always be trusted to point the bird, and even get it for her!

And finally, she said, “at least I don’t have to wonder how he will be in the field this fall.”  Oh goodness, did she have doubts?  I must work much harder to make sure she knows I am her good boy and I will point and fetch the birds for her.  All she has to do is shoot them.  Or…… not….actually……because,AreYouChicken2


I am Jack, and I am an excellent hunter!  Are you chicken?


You can read all about the adventures me and my new human PR are having together in the outdoors… I will write lots of stories under “I AM JACK” in her blog category, “Words From The Wild”.   I will be careful not to have many typos.  I am a good boy!  Please feel free to share with others who may find meaning and value in our journey together, and PR Brady AdVentures.

Let’s Hit The Beach!

Truth number 1:

If you don’t get there by 9:30 a.m., you may not get a parking spot for hours

Truth number 2:

Count on Truth number 1 ‘times 10’ during spring break

Truth number 3:

Getting to the actual beach can upwards of a ¼ mile hike

Truth number 4:

Count on Truth number 3 ‘times 10’ during spring break

The simple plain truth is, it can be a heck of a challenge to hit the Florida beaches on a sunny day.  And isn’t every day pretty much a sunny day in the official “Sunshine State”?

But goodness knows, nothing will stop me from getting to and claiming my little piece of sand with a beach towel and some sunscreen.  And umbrella.  And Chair.  And music.  And a good book.  And extra towels.  And fins.  And snorkel.  And bucket for shells.  And some games.  And a cooler full of food and drinks for the day.  And other munchies….and…..and…..

Well it sure can be hard to haul all of that gear out to the beach when you’re facing the “Truth” of it all. That is, unless you’ve got one of these glorious carts!

This last year, while belaboring the ‘over the shoulder toting’ of gear for a day at St. Pete Beach, I couldn’t help but notice a few beach carts being navigated across the sand.  I watched with envy as sun worshippers rolled their belongings along the grainy ground with ease, and knew I had to have one.  I started my search, checking into the marts and the wholesale clubs.  Wow, there were quite a few styles to choose from.  I quickly discovered something huge.  The key is to find a cart with big wheels—wheels large enough to easily run through all sorts of sand, even the amazing “sugar sand” of the #1 beach in the country, Siesta Key Beach.

And this one is that, and more.BeachCart1

Introducing the Member’s Mark Multi-Purpose Utility Cart from Sams Club.

Amazing features of my beach cart include:

  • 4- super huge all-terrain wheels
  • A built in, removable insulated cooler with a cushioned shoulder strap
  • A place to hold 2 water (or whatever) bottles
  • Easy transport rail for up to 4 chairs
  • A built in umbrella or fishing rod holder
  • Heavy duty netting to throw wet, sandy gear in—by the time you reach your vehicle the sand has pretty much shaken off of everything which helps keep the mess to a minimumBeachCart2
  • Sturdy powder coated steel construction and super durable fabric bottom able to hold another cooler, fishing tackle, minnow bucket, or anything else you’ve just got to have with you —up to 125 pounds of carrying capacity!
  • Ability to close the cart flat with one touch of the EZ-Fold foot bar for convenient storage


The big test came when a friend and I headed to Honeymoon Island Beach with the dogs. Now THAT was a day requiring lots of gear. Just getting to the dog friendly beach area was about a half mile walk on a deep sand trail. We’d have spent half the morning dragging our stuff out there if not for my handy dandy cart. It powered through that sand like a dune buggy.

A well spent 50 some bucks, indeedBeachCart_nI can’t imagine life without my awesome beach cart! Just pop it open, load everything up, get rolling, and let’s hit the beach!  





You can read about all kinds of products, places and services I’ve found to be exceptionally great, or exceptionally not great under my “Whats New” blog category—along with many of my own handy little DIY ideas. I look forward to your comments! And please feel free to share this post with others that would find value in learning about this information, and PR Brady AdVentures.

The Art of Delegating Part 3 – Secure “Buy In” With Conviction

Just because you asked to have it done, doesn’t mean it will get done.  Or be done well.

You’d like to see your people step up and do more than just the literal basic job. In fact you expect it, because that’s how YOU work.  Sure, they moved the boxes over to the other side of the room like you asked, but made no effort to align the boxes neatly in the new location.

How can you make sure your employee is not only committed to doing the task, but embraces the opportunity to do it well?

Do they believe the quality of the job they do is a reflection on them?  Or are they just going through the motions throughout the day, because their perception is; it’s ‘just a job’ and anyone could do it, or worse yet ‘who else is going to step up and do it’?

Don’t assume they are automatically buying into the job they are given.  ArtOfDelegating3The job is often at the bottom of the “I care about this” list.  Family, finances, and health will always trump “job” in the subconscious mind.  Make the effort to find their “commitment trigger”.  What motivates them in life?  What would motivate them to want to be a top performer?

Find their Trigger!

Describe the task in a personal way that addresses their needs, and reinforces the importance, and benefits, of going beyond the basic requirements.  Approach the discussion in a positive way, include all the details, and speak to some aspect of what your employee cares about.

Then provide quantitative measurements for reaching success.  Perhaps a FAIR, GOOD, EXCELLENT scale for them to strive for.  “When your performance is “Good” I am especially pleased.  When performance is “Excellent” the entire management team takes notice and is pleased.”  Make sure they understand the elements they are being held accountable for in achieving results at each level. Then, step back and let them work without being micro managed.  Responsibility and authority go hand in hand.

Have you experienced bad delegation as an employee? Have you struggled with delegation as a manager? We would love to hear about your experiences. Feel free to share this post with others who may find value and interest in exploring limitless possibilities with PR Brady AdVentures.

The Art of Delegating Part 2 — Listen and Repeat After Me

“But you said go roll it out at 1:00, so that’s what I did….”

Oh but not like that……

How many times have you concluded that your employee must be a real idiot to have screwed up a task so badly? You wonder why in the world he/she gets the same thing wrong, over and over. ArtOfDelegating2 Yet, the employee feels like he/she followed your instructions perfectly?

Clear, two-way communication is essential to ensuring the job is done right.  How hard can that be?

First, make sure your delivery is positive.  How many times have you thought to yourself  “oh no, here we go….” with dread about getting a new assignment?  Well guess what? Your staff most certainly does this too.  Think about how you sound as you explain the scope of a new task or project.  Are you the bringer of dread?

Be upbeat, speak slowly, and include all important aspects of the assignment, including cost parameters, urgency of timing, quality expectations and ‘what if’s’.  Assure your staff you intend to provide plenty of support tools via email or print as needed.  It’s important to make clear what it is you are asking for, not necessarily how to get it done.  Make it clear that you are there for them if they have questions or concerns.

Then ask your employee to say back to you what he or she understands the task or project to be. There’s always more than one right answer.  Their interpretation may reveal a different way of getting the same job done—perhaps in a better way.  That’s your golden opportunity to guide your employee into taking ownership of the assignment, and clear up any misunderstanding about what the task actually is.  It’s also an opportunity for your employee to ask questions as to how you’d prefer the task be done, or make suggestions.

If every time a task is slightly “complex” your worker has to endure a 30 minute oration by you mid-stream that belittles them or assumes they are not competent when in fact it was your poor instructions or unexpected outside factors that got them stuck in the first place, that employee is going to be less and less enthused about coming to you for… anything. 

Once you are both on the same page, agree on a time to circle the wagons.  Unless you are comfortable with going from zero to complete without any communication or clue how things are progressing, make sure you establish expectation requirements on getting progress updates throughout the project.  Use this time to provide positive feedback to your employee, as well as find out how they are feeling about the project.  This will give you some piece of mind to see how things are coming along, or allow you to get things back on track before it’s too late.

Have you experienced bad delegation as an employee? Have you struggled with delegation as a manager? We would love to hear about your experiences. Feel free to share this post with others who may find value and interest in exploring limitless possibilities with PR Brady AdVentures.