Thursday, October 29, 2009

The hockey coach said that Lee couldn't play hockey because Lee couldn't skate. However, Lee's brother suggested that Lee could play goalie on the hockey team-he could wear snowmobile boots that would help to stabilize Lee when he stood in front of the goal. Also, goalies by definition don't have to skate much, if at all. So Lee gave it a try.....and it worked. Lee played the position of goalie for 8 years of Junior Hockey in Canada without having to skate.

Playing hockey in spite of his cerebral palsy gave Lee the confidence to live a productive and useful life-he went on to get married and he and his wife Pat had 2 daughters. Lee traveled all over the United States to speak as an advocate for people with disabilities. He touched a lot of lives while he was among us.

But there is more.....

Monday, October 26, 2009


Lee was one of the first students in Canada with cerebral palsy that was "mainstreamed"-he attended public school along with students that were not disabled. He did his school work using a typewriter, since he could not write with a pen because his CP caused him to shake too much.

Like all Canadian boys, Lee wanted to play hockey. Hockey in Canada is as popular there as football is in the United States. But there was a problem-once again, CP prevented Lee from doing something he wanted to do-it prevented him from skating, which you have to be able to do in order to play hockey. But then Lee's older brother stepped in and changed Lee's life.....

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Lee was from Canada. He died 10 years ago this month in Seattle, Washington. Lee developed a severe infection that raced through his body and killed him before the doctors could do anything about it. Lee left behind a wife and two daughters. I think about Lee often because every month I tell the following story to my students in my job search/career development training classes.

Lee had cerebral palsy. Although this disability did not cause Lee's death, it definitely presented him with challenges during his entire life."Cerebral palsy, also known as CP, is a term used to describe a group of chronic conditions affecting body movement and coordination..... It is caused by damage to one or more specific areas of the brain, usually occurring during fetal development.....faulty development or damage to motor areas in the brain disrupts the brain's ability to adequately control movement and posture." (Source-United Cerebral Palsy website)

The true story of Lee's life is one of victory and triumph in spite of his disability. It will help you examine your beliefs about yourself and about the people you work with and manage........

Monday, October 19, 2009


The workplace is made up of people that have a whole bunch of habits, attitudes, beliefs, and expectations-most of them positive. But what about the negative ones? Do these negative/bad habits, etc. "infect" your employees and your culture in unhealthy ways? Do they prevent your employees from using more of their incredible potential? Absolutely!

To illustrate my point, I want to tell you a true story about a friend of mine-Lee Bussard-from Canada.....

Friday, October 16, 2009

Employee Productivity

Why did you miss seeing the 3 "Fs"? Say the word "OF" out loud-it sounds like "OV", doesn't it?
Your eyes see "OF", but your mind tells you it is "OV". Blind spots are interesting, aren't they?

Back to the other "blind spots exercise". The next time you have a managers' meeting, ask everyone to look for red cars on the way home that day. When you get together again,ask them for the results and then teach them about blind spots.

It will help your managers realize, among other facts, that they have blind spots about the potential of their own employees.

Maybe the most important thing about blind spots is knowing that we have them. Most people think they are seeing the truth-the truth is that they are only seeing part of the truth...and how much $$$$ is that fact costing your company, day after day?!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Employee Productivity

Most people only see 2 or 3 "Fs" in the sentence-they are actually 6 "Fs". A lot of folks miss the "F" in the word OF-there are 3 of them. This is called a "blind spot"-just like missing the red cars. A blind spot is something right in front of you that you don't see. So.....if you miss seeing unimportant things like the red cars and 3 of the "Fs", what important information are you and your managers missing that is staring you right in the face?! Information that could make your employees more productive and your company more $!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Employee Productivity

When I conduct seminars and use the "red cars exercise", I always get positive reactions from my students. One of my blog readers liked it enough to forward it to some of the employees at that reader's organization.

Time for one more exercise-read the following sentence QUICKLY, then pause-then read it one more time and QUICKLY count how many times you see the letter "F" in the sentence:


How many letter "F"s did you see?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Employee Productivity

Are your managers being as productive as they could be? Probably not. That is the bad news-the good news is that you can easily teach them to be more productive, to use more of their potential. Here is a fun exercise for you to try on the way home from work tonight that will help you understand my point: as you drive home, count the number of red cars you see, then write that number down on a piece of paper. Now, if I had NOT told you to look for red cars on the way home, would you have seen them? The answer is-No. However, would the red cars have been there? Yes! You didn't see them because you had not set a goal to look for them-you were "blind" to the existence of the red cars. So..... if you did not see the red cars, what really important pieces of information are you not seeing? More next time...

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Continued from Monday's post:"Everybody thought anybody could do it, but nobody realized that everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up that everybody blamed somebody when nobody did what anybody could have done!"

In your opinion, which of the following is the most effective way to recognize an employee for a significant accomplishment at work?