Tina Hallis, a native of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, is the founder of The Positive Edge, a Baraboo, WI company dedicated to helping people and organizations fulfill their true potential. You can find the organization online at thepositive-edge.com.

Combating ‘The Nod’

Valued Employees
Critical For Building A
Healthy Workplace Culture


July 2014

BY TINA HALLIS

When General Motors recently released its own internal investigation into a car defect that killed 13 people–a defect that was ignored for more than a decade–it was a breathtaking moment.

Breathtaking, because it was a peek behind the curtain of one of the world’s largest corporations–and the view wasn’t pretty. GM faulted a culture where no one took responsibility for problems and even claimed its own engineers failed to understand how their cars were built.

How can this happen?

GM’s broken and deadly culture made headlines but they’re far from alone. Many companies, including, say,  the ice cream shop down your street, have work environments oozing with distrust, blame and defensiveness.  Large or small, these companies are throwing away billions of dollars every year in lost productivity by suffocating the potential of their people–the single most valuable asset in any corporate structure.

Think about your own business. Your people are a tremendous source of ideas, in terms of ways to improve the organization’s bottom line. But how often do you listen to them?  Would they share their thoughts with you?  Or do you make them feel like just a cog in the wheel, instead of a valued human being?

Most workers want to give their all. Most want to make a difference. The United States is coming out of an economic malaise during which people were grateful to have any job. But that’s changing. Instead of just trying to hang on to any job, employees are looking for opportunities to have an impact. To keep and attract the best talent, companies need to give their people the right tools to succeed.  The smartest leaders are already retooling.

The first step is having managers and leaders who value and appreciate their employees. When employers care, it’s easier for them to understand what their people need to be successful: a sense that what they do matters, opportunities to use their strengths, a culture of belonging, and a boss who will listen to their ideas. (more…)

Jerry Huffman, in the white baseball hat, as Bill Murray's caddy at the Greater Milwaukee Open Pro-Am in 1994.

Jerry Huffman is an Emmy-Award winning television producer and an avid golfer. Through his public relations work as the Go2Guy, he’s built a private practice as a freelance publicist. Jerry, his wife Carol, and their two cats, TK and Bando, live in Fitchburg, Wisconsin.

Life after stroke:
A journey to
reclaim joy,
find strength
hindered by
prejudice


June 2014

BY JERRY HUFFMAN

You’re going to do what?”

The look of pure shock on my friend’s face was so vivid you would have thought I’d confided a plan to rob a bank. Instead, I was making the decision to go public with the fact I’d survived a stroke.

But if you talk about it people are going to know what happened to you!”

To tell you the truth, that was fine by me. Three years ago a small blood clot came loose and careened through my vascular system like a pinball and lodged in my brain stem. I didn’t know it at the time but I was having a stroke.

55-year old desk jockeys, in the midst of a profound health crisis, usually grab their chest, cuss a little bit, and fall over. I didn’t feel a thing.  No pain. No warning signs. One moment I’m hanging out with our dog and the next I’m flirting with the permanent fade to black. I thought I had the flu. Luckily for me, my much smarter wife, Carol, knew better.

The Stroke, and the Recovery

Thankfully, the clot lodged in my brain stem instead of going into my brain. The stroke left me clutching a walker but with lots (more…)