Are You Kind?

Next week I have been asked to be part of an interview on the subject of Kindness, so I have been thinking a lot about what it means to be kind. In my work in customer service, I use a three column chart model that has a minus column (-), a zero column (0) and a plus column (+). Below, it says “Your Choice in Any Interaction.”

It refers to the impact we have on each person we meet. We can either discount them and make them feel invisible or less important than us or our organization (-). we can simply do the work at hand (0), or we can make what I call a human level connection (+), seeing them as a unique and special person in the midst of that interaction.


These interactions do not have to be long or involved. We can focus on another person simply by asking and remembering their name, giving them a compliment, asking something personal about them, or just sincerely thanking them for being there. I tell my audiences that I want them to leave with this simple 3 column model in their heads so that connecting with people on this level becomes part of their daily life. This, to me, is what kindness is all about!

I recently realized how much a part of my life this practice has become when Jed Liuzza, one of my clients, introduced me as the opening keynote speaker for the Oklahoma University Medical Systems Leadership Symposium this fall. After my formal introduction, he shared what had impressed him most was that I LIVED what I was going to talk to them about. He said the minute he picked me up for dinner the night before, I had begun asking him questions about his family, his goals, and his interests, focusing on him as a human being.

Then, when we entered the restaurant, there was a couple with a baby, and he noticed I stopped and talked to the little one and told the parents how blessed they were. Then, he shared, I immediately asked the server her name and gave her a compliment. Finally, when I was introduced to the rest of the team, I asked during dinner to have each of them tell about someone who had greatly impacted their lives. They all told touching stories, and this allowed for a much deeper level of sharing the rest of the meal. What he said he noticed most, however, was how each person simply “came alive” when someone truly connected with them.

NSA MN  talking

I was deeply touched by his words as all of these things I had done unconsciously, simply wanting to acknowledge each person as a precious human being.

One of my beliefs is that every person who comes into our lives is a gift. We have the choice to either open that gift or pass it by. Sometimes, depending on time and circumstances, we may only be able to untie the ribbon, but other times we can dig down deeper to the true gift inside. However, if we ignore that gift, it is a loss for both us AND the other person.

Being kind to me is noticing and loving all those persons with whom you interact, and that day I realized I was modeling the message I was going to be sharing without even knowing it!

Mother Teresa said, “Be kind and merciful. Let no one ever come to you without coming away better and happier.” In this new year, we all have the choice to make this our philosophy of life. I hope you will choose KINDNESS.

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Barbara Glanz Christmas Letter 2015

Dear Friends,

(This is long, so grab a cup of tea and enjoy! 😉 Also, you can view a larger version of the collage on my blog,

Xmas collage 2015

It seems like the older we get, the faster the year goes by, yet what a BLESSING it is to be alive! I realized I have lived 10 years longer than my father, 4 years longer than my precious husband, Charlie, and 3 years longer than my grandfather……AND I am still am not feeling old! 😉

I so love writing these letters – it’s like reliving my year in review, yet the most special thing of all is feeling such love for so many wonderful people in my life like all of you. How very grateful I am for friends, family, and clients all over the world! I truly believe life is all about relationships and the people we love.

Erin and I spent a delightful time at my sister’s in Colorado for Christmas last year. Beth’s daughter and husband, who were married in Fiji a year ago ,were there as well as my brother, Bruce, and his daughter and grand daughter, so it was a huge party! One of the highlights was going to an outside hot springs pool where we swam in the middle of a snowstorm. Beth is the perfect hostess, and we ate, drank, and laughed all week long!

In January Frank, the delightful man in my life, took me for a few days to a lovely resort in Boca Raton as a preparation for my surgery in February. Although good genes for long life (at least for the women) run in our family, one of the downsides of our genes is a really icky turkey neck. After watching hours of myself on video for a new demo tape, I decided it was time to do something about it. The only downside of the several weeks of recuperation was that I could not read for a month because of blurry eyes. Audio books were what saved my sanity. Anyway, now I am fine and friends say I look younger than ever! 😉 Soon after, the Gawlik family came for spring vacation, and as always, the boys had a wonderful time on the beach, in the pool, and on a day trip to Busch Gardens.

In May I went with Frank’s family to Nashville for his grand daughter’s graduation from Vanderbilt, and then as a birthday gift, he took me to a beautiful Sandals resort in Jamaica, a place I had never been before, We loved it there! When we returned, a dear friend, Jean Vallee, had a lovely birthday dinner for me, and then Frank and I left on an amazing cruise from Rome to Barcelona. We toured Rome for three days, and then got on the ship with stops in Italy and France for seven days and ended up in Barcelona for three more days. Barcelona is now my favorite city in the world! Everywhere we went, we adored the food and wine.

Highlights were visiting the Colosseum in Rome, touring the Vatican, Pompeii, the catacombs, the Isle of Capri, Florence (especially Michelangelo’s works), and Barcelona where we loved the Gaudi architecture and the Picasso Museum. We also attended a Flamenco performance and a Spanish guitar concert.

In June I spoke for the 18th year at the national Society for Human Resource Management’s international convention in Las Vegas. I adore these folks! I did two sessions there, one on “21 Ideas to Create a More Passionate, Purposeful and Productive Workplace” and another on “The Simple Truths of Appreciation – How Each of Us Can Choose to Make a Difference.”

July 5 was a special highlight – I took all my children and grandchildren on a cruise to Alaska. We left from Seattle and stopped in Tracy Arms, Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and finally in Victoria, BC. We saw three kinds of whales (the most exciting was one day when 9 orcas all jumped at the same time), sea lions, otters, and lots of bald eagles. The best news of all was that everyone was still speaking at the end of the trip! The glaciers were spectacular, and a fun afternoon was spent on the Bering Sea Crab Adventure on the very boat that was featured on “Deadliest Catch!”

I attended the National Speakers Association convention in Washington, DC, also in July, and then spent three days with girlfriends in Delaware afterwards. Later in August I had a wonderful weekend in Kansas City, attending a minor league ballgame in the owner’s box, visiting the Black Baseball Hall of Fame, and reconnecting with KU sorority sisters and friends. Another highlight was the Veteran Speakers Retreat in DC in August. I feel so honored to be a member of the Speaker Hall of Fame as well as a Legend of the Speaking Profession. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to have all the amazing experiences and successes with which I have been blessed!

I spoke in San Diego in October and as a bonus, I got to visit my 93 year old aunt and all my cousins. She is more fun than some of my girlfriends! 😉 In November I will be speaking in Vancouver, WA, and Portland and then helping my daughter, Erin, who is having knee surgery. I will spend Thanksgiving with Frank and his daughter’s family in North Carolina, and then I will be going back to Portland for Christmas. What FUN it will be to be with the little boys for the holidays!

GARRETT is still at Microsoft and doing very well. He bought Ashley and Kinsey a horse, so they are doing a lot of riding. Kinsey is 14 and in high school and Gavin is 17 and a senior this year. They both went to Homecoming with dates, so they are growing up! I love Ashley’s sign in their living room: “Be nice or leave!”

GRETCHEN is working at a lovely boutique when the boys are in school while Randy is freelancing as a webmaster. He is currently working on a new site for me, due soon, so check it out at Owen turned 10 this summer and Simon is 8, so it is a very busy household with soccer, baseball, Legos and videogames (which Simon informed me I am terrible at! 😉

ERIN is still loving her new home and job in fashion design and travels to shows all over the country. Their primary line is called Prairie Underground, and everything is made in the US. Her newest addition is a kitten named “Cricket.”

Next year my travel buddy, Nancy, and I are doing a trip to Croatia in May, so it is truly a wonderful life. May your year be filled with good health, good friends, and lots of love.

Post Script: Sadly, after nearly two years together, Frank decided to end our relationship two weeks before Christmas. My heart is very heavy, yet I am focusing on GRATITUDE for all the many blessings I have and remembering the wonderful memories of this past year. A friend just sent me this quote: “Sometimes our lives have to be completely shaken up, changed, and rearranged to relocate us to the place we are meant to be.” I just have to trust that God has a better plan for my life.


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Pay It Forward

I want to share with all of you a wonderful email newsletter article I received from Derek Mills in the UK. These are his ideas of many simple ways to “Pay it Forward” which is a wonderful message for this holiday season. Some of these are so easy and take no time at all but could make all the difference to someone’s life.

Top 50 Easy “Pay it Forward opportunities, today.

Image of "LOVE" courtesy of Nutdanai Apilhomboonwaroot at Free Digital

Image of “LOVE” courtesy of Nutdanai Apilhomboonwaroot at Free Digital

1. Pay it Backward: buy coffee for the person behind you in line.
2. Compliment the first three people you talk to today.
3. Send a positive text message to five different people right now.
4. Post inspirational sticky notes around your neighbourhood, office, school, etc.
5. Tell someone they dropped a pound/dollar (even though they didn’t). Then give it to them.
6. Donate old towels or blankets to an animal shelter.
7. Say hi to the person next to you in the elevator.
8. Surprise a neighbour with freshly baked cookies or treats!
9. Let someone go in front of you in line at the supermarket who only has a few items.
10. Leave a gas gift card at a gas pump. Continue reading

What is YOUR “White-Hot Why?”

What is your “White-Hot Why?”

Two weeks ago I went to the annual Global Leadership Summit at Willow Creek Church in Illinois. Throughout the two days of presentations from top level leadership gurus, the most prevalent message was the critical importance of finding purpose and meaning in one’s work.

An organization with a sense of purpose!

An organization with a sense of purpose!

Bill Hybels, the lead pastor of this mega church, discussed the intangibles of leadership as the following:
• Grit
• Self-Awareness
• Resourcefulness
• Self-Sacrificing Love
• Sense of Meaning

He used the term, finding your “White-Hot Why.” Instead of thinking about WHAT you do and HOW you do it, start with WHY you do it. He even suggested leaders should have the title of “Chief Meaning Officers!” He referenced Bob Buford who writes about moving from Success to Significance, finding a sense of purpose or mission in your work beyond making money.

Jim Collins described an Engaged Culture as having three elements: First, a sense of Service to a cause or purpose; second, a list of BHAGs (Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals), and third, Communal Success (all succeed by helping others succeed).

Horst Schulze says, “Don’t come to work just to work. Come to work to be proud of a purpose.”


Dan Pink tells us that purpose is one of the three big motivators for knowledge workers, along with autonomy and mastery. He writes:

“Autonomous people working toward mastery perform at very high levels. But those who do so in the service of some greater objective can achieve even more. The most deeply motivated people–not to mention those who are most productive and satisfied–hitch their desires to a cause larger than themselves.” (“Drive,” pg. 131)

Do you feel a PURPOSE in your work? Does your organization adhere to a cause larger than you or them? If not, what can you find in the work you do every day that inspires you and makes you feel as if you are making a difference? What is YOUR “white-hot why?”

To learn more about Barbara’s work, go to

Gus, the Singing Butcher!

I had the most delightful customer service experience at Publix this week. As I was waiting to get my sockeye salmon which was on special, I saw one of the regular butchers who always is happy and greets everyone with a smile and usually a joke. Since I rarely eat meat anymore, I had not seen him for some time on my grocery visits. But there he was –with a little display in the aisle sharing a new service Publix is offering for seafood.

I greeted him, learned his name, and told him how much I always appreciated his good humor when I saw him. Then this is what happened next:

I was so tickled that I asked him if i could videotape his “performance,” and he responded by telling me that he had several videos from customers on YouTube and one even from a customer from Brazil, and that, as a result, Publix was going to do a story about him in their company newsletter.

Not only is Gus a very good singer, but just like Johnny the Bagger®, he has definitely added HIS personal signature to his work!

Publix is lucky to have so many employees who care about their customers and use their special gifts to add more joy to the customers’ visits.

To learn more about Johnny the Bagger® and how he added his personal signature to his work, go to .

Golden Rule Recipe

Southwest Airlines has been a client of mine several times over the years, and through these experiences I have come to treasure my friendship with Colleen Barrett, Chairman Emeritus. When she retired from Southwest, I was deeply touched that she used her personal money and bought 3500 copies of “The Simple Truths of Service Inspired by Johnny the Bagger®,” the book I co-authored with Ken Blanchard, for every SWA employee. For several years we have exchanged Christmas presents — I love butterflies and Colleen loves hearts.

Recently I had some surgery and had to be out of commission for several weeks. Last week a large package came from Colleen — a framed portrait of the “Golden Rule Recipe” in SWA colors.

The Golden Rule Recipe

The Golden Rule Recipe

This is the recipe:

1 cup of Love and a half cup of Kindness

Add alternately in small portions:
* 1 coup of Appreciation
* 3 cups pleasant Companionship into which this has been stirred:
* 3 teaspoons carefully chosen Advice

Lightly fold in:
* 1 cup Cheerfulness, to which has been added a pinch of Sorrow

Pour with tender care into Clean Hearts.
Let bake until well Nurtured.
Turn out on the surface of Society.
Humbly invoke God’s blessings and it will serve all mankind.

What a beautiful expression of love and service that each one of us and our organizations can take to heart. And certainly Southwest Airlines does just that. Thank you, Colleen, for adding joy to my week and for the caring leadership you have provided at SWA. You and your airline have touched many lives as you live out the Golden Rule!

To learn more about Barbara’s work with many organization, go to

New 2015 Demo Video!

We have just completed a brand new video demo tape. Please watch and send us your comments. A huge thank you to Primeau Productions for the fine work they did for us. I hope you will enjoy it!

Is your organization experiencing overwhelming change, high employee turnover and low morale, increases in customer complaints, or burnout from having to do more with less? Are your employees struggling to find a balance between their work and home lives or do they simply need a boost of positive energy? If so, Barbara Glanz can help you! Clients say her exciting, motivational, action-oriented presentations have given their employees a new sense of direction, understanding, and hope.

For more information about how I can help your organization, follow this link .

Questions for the New Year

A new year is like a blank book. The pen is in your hands. It is your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself. Happy New Year 2015!


My friend and client, Arlin Sorenson, the CEO of the HTG Group, suggests we ask ourselves the following questions as we think about the year gone by:

1. Key Accomplishments. What are all of the great things that you got done over the past year? Which of your goals did you really miss the mark on? Which one is your key accomplishment?

2. Relationship Development. What new relationships did you develop? Which relationships have you overlooked or not given enough attention to?

3. Learning. What opportunities to learn new things did you take advantage of? What were the new things you learned about yourself?

4. Mistakes. What mistakes did you make? What mistakes could have been avoided?

5. Time Management. How well did you manage your time? Are there any significant “time wasters” that you need to reduce or eliminate from your life?

It is great to start 2015 on purpose with a purpose, and one of the best ways to do that is to contemplate the past year and then make a plan for 2015 in each of these areas.

I also choose a theme for each year. Last year my theme was “Rebuilding Relationships.” I realize with all my travel last year I developed many new relationships including a new man in my life, yet because of limited time, I neglected some others, many of which are very important to me. So my theme this year is going to be “Renewal” — renewal of relationships, my faith, my family, my health, and my business. What will your theme for 2015 be?

To learn more about Barbara’s work, go to