Thinking Shapes Action… I’m Positive

By | Communication, Culture, Healthy Stuff | No Comments

Our very own Tom Patterson once told me the story of 2 shoe salesmen who were sent to the jungle.  Upon arrival both men noticed most of the natives were barefoot.  One salesman called HQ and said, “Whose bright idea was it to send me here?  Nobody here wears shoes.”  The other salesman called HQ and said, “Send me two containers ASAP.  Nobody here wears shoes!”

The ability to focus your thoughts, your speech, your actions on positive outcomes comes more naturally to  some than others, but we can all benefit from making a shift to the positive side.

As we move into the final stretch of the year, I challenge you to do a little reprogramming of your brain.

The reprogramming I’m talking about is a subtle change, but it has enormous impact. It’s the power of positive positioning, mind share, and action. It starts with speaking in the affirmative, which is fairly easy to put into  practice once you get the hang of it.

A few examples:

  • Man, that Ops Review was brutal  >> The Ops Review feedback is helping us identify ways to get better
  • I have no idea where to start >> With some guidance from you, I’m sure I can run with this
  • We can’t be everything to everyone >> With greater focus we can put our skills to better use

We can achieve more (and be happier doing it) if we train ourselves to think and ACT in the affirmative.  The affirmative actions are focused on:

  • opportunities, not problems
  • strengths, not weaknesses
  • solutions, not excuses

I’m not professing that we should walk around here like the cast from Little House on the Prairie.  Affirmative practitioners don’t ignore that negativity exists (they would truly be in la-la land.)  Instead, the affirmative practitioner acknowledges a negative situation then articulates a positive action.

I’ll leave you with 3 last thoughts on the topic:

  1. The affirmative practitioner is the rescuer, not the victim.
  2. The affirmative practitioner takes responsibility for his/her actions and knows the result will be good.
  3. The affirmative practitioner is a natural leader because others are drawn to possibilities.

If the challenge to make positive changes to the way you think and act resonates with you, check out the following resources:

Book: Change the Way You See Everything – Asset-based Thinking

If you’re not up for a whole book, but are willing to really contemplate Ten Tips, here are some good ones: Ten Ways To Take Control with Positive Thinking

Newbie Spotlight: Meet Val…

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One of the great things about being new to the DAXKO team is that you usually don’t have to wear the ‘new guy’ hat for long.  We’re always adding A-players to the roster and growing our team.  The ‘Newbie Spotlight’ series is intended to introduce you to these folks and provide a glimpse into what life’s like as a candidate and new team member at DAXKO. (Disclaimer: These are the unedited experiences of our team members.  Don’t be scared by what you read.)

Newbie: Val, Quality Assurance Engineer

Q. What was it about DAXKO that first intrigued you?

A. The emphasis on employees and the “team” concept.

Q. What was your first encounter with DAXKO?

A. I met several DAXKO team members at TechBirmingham’s TechMixer EXPO.

Q. During the interview process, what were you surprised to learn about DAXKO?

A. There are no private offices – even the CEO and COO sit in open spaces. AND the CEO is involved in the interview process. (At my last job, I only saw the CEO twice in the 2 years that I worked for him.)

Q. Did you deliver a presentation during the interview process?  If so, tell us about that experience?

A. The presentation was intimidating and somewhat stressful. To be able to present the assignment and handle Q&A in 30 minutes was tricky. I probably over-analyzed the entire presentation (redid it 3 times) and probably had more back copies than anyone has ever brought to the presentation: 3 thumb drives, 1 copy saved to my hard drive, 2 burned CDs, emailed it to my blackberry, and even had handouts just in case I had to go old school . By the time I delivered it, I was more relaxed from over-preparing.

Q. Do you think DAXKO’s interview process is intense?  Why or why not?

A. Absolutely, but that is how they get great team members! The first round of interviews was 3 hours. The second round was an entire afternoon. Both days involved interviewing with multiple team members.

Q. Ultimately, why did you decide to join the DAXKO team?

A. My previous employers really never put an emphasis on employees. Most were just there to ensure that my paycheck was deposited every 2 weeks. DAXKO was different. I really liked the way that they focused on the employee in ensuring that they are part of a team, not individuals just paid for their work. DAXKO offers room for growth, and I’ve never had that before.

Q. Why do you like the work you’re doing?

A. I’m a geek and finding defects is a challenge that intrigues me. If I can find something instead of the customer finding it, then I have a sense of accomplishment.

Q. What’s your favorite thing about working at DAXKO?

A. There are no hidden agendas, personal empire builders, or other selfish behaviors that I’ve experienced in the corporate world. Everyone wants to help everyone else out.  AND our customers are AWESOME!

"Dough to Grow" in Austin, Texas

By | Culture, Grow Your Career, Professional Development | 2 Comments

If you’re going to grow the company, you’ve got to grow your people.  Words to live by at DAXKO.  To that end, we’ve put a lot of good development stuff in place for team members.  One of those is the annual Professional Development Allowance.  That’s right – money.  In fact, it’s money to spend on any professional opportunity you fancy – books, conferences, memberships, subscriptions, seminars… you get the idea.  The cool thing is that the training doesn’t  have to relate to your current role at DAXKO – the world is your oyster.  So here’s another installment of our “Dough to Grow” series.  Love it when we can weave in some shameless plugs for the team… 

Handle: Amy

DAXKO Team: Marketing

What I want to get better at over time: I want to learn how to best promote DAXKO and our software and services to the nonprofit market.

What I dropped the cash on this time: Pragmatic Marketing’s “Effective Product Marketing” 2-day course

How I found out about this learning opportunity: My team lead and other product managers that previously attended Pragmatic Marketing courses

I give this event a thumbs UP because… It was like a mini-masters in marketing.  Worth every penny!

Session that rocked my world: “Aligning Product Marketing with Product Management”

“Aha” moment for me: When the instructor said, “Get over your great company and your great products and focus on how they solve the market’s problems.”

First thing I’ll do at DAXKO based on what I learned: Meet with product management team to share what I learned and take action to better align our efforts.

Something fun I did while there: While in Austin, TX, I went to the Whole Foods flagship store, rocked out to some live music, visited Lance Armstrong’s bike shop and visited the Texas state capitol.

Team Notes: DAXKO’s marketing team is an eclectic blend of personalities and styles all working together to promote the company, its products and services.  Their creativity can be seen at conferences, in print, and on the web.  Like what you see out there?  Thank a marketing crew member.

Marketing Lesson from Hairy Green Guy Named Muzzy…

By | Culture, Marketing | No Comments

I recently ordered a set of foreign language DVDs for my 5 and 7 year olds. The Early Advantage company ( had all of the right promos you’d expect from a solid B to C: money back guarantee, buy now and get this bonus interactive game set, etc.

I ordered. Several days later our box arrived. Surprise number one, the collection of DVDs are packaged neatly inside a colorful cookie tin. So

Surprise number two, included in the box is a dark green hairy stuffed thing that looks like he leapt off the pages of Where the Wild Things Are. Meet Muzzy.

The children argue over who gets to hold Muzzy first while they play their DVDs. They want to sleep with him. They want to order another set of DVDs to get another Muzzy.

Finally, we get an online newsletter about Muzzy & friends, language, and learning. The surprises keep coming.

My take-aways?

1. Make it easy for your customer. The Muzzy decorative tin is cute, but more than that it helps me and the kids keep the DVDs where they need to be—all together—thus increasing their value.

2. Include an un-advertised bonus. Everybody loves surprises. It doesn’t matter if you sell a consulting service, electronics, or software…give a new customer a “Muzzy” (that extra -something special). They won’t forget the pleasure of first doing business with you.

3. Appeal to everyone in the buying decision. I hold the wallet, but the kids will ultimately determine the value of the DVDs. The Early Advantage company had to appeal to both of us. So far they’ve done a good job.

4. Keep the connection going. Provide post-sale value in the way of a newsletter, promotional offers, or games to keep the buyer engaged until their next purchase decision.

Early Advantage could have just shipped 7 DVDs and a receipt. Instead, a few extra touches went a long way towards customer satisfaction and a favorable experience.