Are you building a strong brand for success?

I see it every day… People show up at a networking event, or post something really cool on social media hoping to connect them to a goal or outcome. Then you look around and think “where did they go”? How about when you send an email that may or may not have a call to action, but you’re hoping for a response just to say “I got it” …but don’t hear anything but crickets.  So many thoughts run through our heads from “did they get it” to “do they really even care”? Branding is more important today than ever with so many channels to better position you or your company in social media settings to online reviews. Many times, people think the image they are presenting is their brand, but this isn’t even the case. Branding is about what others think of you by their engagement from introducing you to someone in an email or networking event, to liking of sharing a post on LinkedIn or other social media channels. Your brand is everything when it comes to business, and a leader in the workplace as well as in your community. You already have a brand whether you know it or not. The key to a successful brand is to know who you are (self-awareness), then purposefully developing it… every day.

I was recently having coffee with an HR / Talent Acquisition Leader in Dallas when we bruce_on truck original picturegot on the subject of relocating talent. He said “Bruce, every time I think about employee relocation, I think of you”. I was honored and humbled and thought about the importance of my brand. A great brand starts with a great product, then great marketing, but quickly leads to the person or people representing the brand. When I think about spaghetti sauce, I think about Ragu. When I hear the name, John Maxwell, I think about leadership coaching and author of leadership books. When I think about Abraham Lincoln, I think about US President and a man with courage during tough times.

What do people think of when they hear your name or see you on social media? Is it what you are hoping for or do people have a different perspective? When you have alignment with your actions and values, your brand will stand out!

Here is my question for you:  Are your shaping your brand, or is your brand shaping you?

Chick-Fil-A, McDonalds, and Starbucks all have incredible employer brands. We immediately have a thought or opinion when we think about visiting these companies or read about them in the news. Most companies know and understand the importance of their brands because it drives their business goals and their culture. They will do what they can to protect it while working to improve it daily. Personal branding is like employer branding. We are constantly trying to find ways to elevate our brand in the market to make impact. This isn’t just for salespeople trying to push a service or product, it’s for anyone in the workplace that is trying to make a difference from an HR professional, to a leader in operations. Personal branding takes a laser focus approach to cultivate every day. When you are intentional about building a great brand, you will inspire others to be better and become more which will ultimately bring more joy and success on your career journey.

In 2017, I published the book, Find Your Lane. This was a GPS approach to growing and planning with purpose, and sharing with others to find more joy in your career. Once you find your lane, it’s time to start building your brand to make maximum impact on others.

What are you doing each day to build your brand? I want to hear from you…

Quote of the week:

“Be the best YOU that YOU can be.” (Ozzie Smith, Baseball Hall of Famer)

Call to Action: Send me your ideas or comment below on how you are shaping your personal brand in the workplace. Are you where you want to be, or is it time to start cultivating? …or possibly time to hit refresh? I look forward to hearing from you!

Book Cover Find Your Lane FRONT

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Are your shaping your brand?” with Bruce  Waller, for more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out my social media Facebook and Twitter page.

Also, check out www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Available on Kindle edition too!

What’s your leadership “ringtone”?

My mom was recently sharing with me when I call her phone, she knows it’s me calling because of the ring tone song she has set to play called “The Boys of Fall” by country singer Kenny Chesney. It’s one of my favorite songs about the brotherhood of football. I am so glad she connects me to this song when I call (which reminds me that I need to call her today😊).

Many people set their ring tones to different songs or set emails to different sounds letting them know when someone’s calling or when an email or text message arrives. It’s a fun way to alert us about incoming communication which reminds me of a story… it’s another type of ringtone known as “The Corporate Ringtone”. bruce_on truck original picture

Several years ago, I joined a small relocation company in Dallas, Texas as the operations manager. During my first week, I was walking into the office when I heard a different kind of phone ringer. I had noticed our phones ringing throughout the day, but not like this ring. It was a different ringtone sound you would hear in school when classes changed and had a longer ring to it so that you would immediately recognize as being different than the “normal” phone ringer. As I heard the first ring finish, our office manager quickly shouted from around the corner “hurry, someone answer the phone, IT’S CORPORATE!” When the call was completed, I asked about the corporate ring tone. The office manager explained that the corporate set up a different ring tone so you know they were calling and we need to answer this call within two rings or we will get in trouble.  What?!!! This comment concerned me because it sounded more like a ringtone of fear and intimidation. I now started wondering if I had made a good decision to join the company.

Does it really matter who is calling? Shouldn’t we pick up the phone as soon as possible for anyone. It doesn’t matter if it’s a corporate executive, a customer/client, or one of our van operator drivers needing assistance. When the phone rings, we should answer it with a positive passionate attitude ready to serve the person calling. In this case, there was definitely a sense of fear among the office staff that was not very healthy and wondered if this could/would eventually change. Unfortunately, this didn’t change and I eventually left the organization. When you lead with fear, you will limit the organization…

If you are going to set a ringtone for your corporate office, let me recommend some different “ringtones” for your team to thrive for success:

  • Ringtone #1 “A Matter of Trust” (Billy Joel) – Trust is the foundation of leadership.
  • Ringtone #2 “Care” (Kid Rock) – People give more when they know you care.
  • Ringtone #3 “Empathy” (Alanis Morissette) – Seeing through the lens of others will help you to get the most out of your team.

As I write this post, I am listening to another favorite by Tim McGraw called Humble and Kind which would also be a great ringtone for your team…

What ringtone would you recommend for your team?

Quote of the week: “The customer experience will never exceed the employee experience.” (Tony Bridwell)

Call to Action: Think about the ringtone you have set up for your employees and customers. Does it align with your values and principles? Start some dialogue this week about leading with purpose! As Kenny Chesney sings “Don’t Blink”!

This has been A Relocation Minute on “The Corporate Ringtone” with Bruce Waller, Book Cover Find Your Lane FRONTfor more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out my social media Facebook and Twitter page.

Also, check out www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Available on Kindle edition too!

History of the 1st Relocation!

Did you know….?

The 1st relocation dates back to the caveman,

moving from an efficiency cave to a larger cave with an ocean view.

Og just needed to move 3 rocks! LOL!

It may not have been that stressful for Og back in the day to only have to move 3 rocks, (unless they were boulders of course), but today moving is considered to be one of the most stressful events for anyone when relocating from one city to another. If you are relocating your employees, make sure you have a partner that is making sure your candidates have a smooth transition during the entire relocation for best chance of a successful on-boarding process. It can and will make a difference for the entire family!

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Quote of the week: A people without the knowledge of  

their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.” (Marcus Garvey)

Call to Action: Invest your time during the 4th of July holiday visiting with family and friends this week to celebrate our nation’s independence! Have a happy 4th of July week everyone!

This has been A Relocation Minute with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or follow me on twitter.

Also, check out www.BruceWaller.com for reviews on my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Available on Kindle edition too!

This leadership trait will separate great leaders from good leaders in any company!

Several years ago, I was tasked with improving our quality at a small moving and storage company in Dallas, Texas due to low quality scores and continuous claims that was costing the company significant dollars coming straight from profits. In fact, the corporate office sent their quality team to meet with us and advised that we would be probation until the scores improved while I was enjoying my first week as the new operations leader. This was a day I will never forget. I immediately began thinking… “Did I make the right choice joining this company?”.  It was clear that the company lacked a training and development program and I needed to put a plan in motion… quickly.

The first thing I did was hire an operations leader that could help me train our team, as bruce_on truck original picturewell as hire, train, and motivate a staff to help us sustain a quality program for our customers and stakeholders. During the first week of hiring Hector, I knew that this wasn’t just any operations leader that could move the needle on our quality, this was someone that was going to move people.

So how did I know? He had passion…

When Hector arrived, we discussed implementing a training program for our moving crews. He immediately scheduled a training session. When I arrived at work the next day for training, I noticed he had chairs all lined up with the training materials… But there was something more that stood out. Hector also had purchased every moving crew member “A BROOM” to make sure crew members kept things clean. When they finish the moving job, they were expected to remove the trash for a clean home. When they leave the truck at the end of the day, they were to make sure it was left clean. When they walked into work each day, they were expected to be in uniform with a positive attitude. Hector wanted to make sure each employee understood the expectations, which was to have a “clean image” for excellence and to instill a sense of ownership in each team member.

When someone had passion, Hector knew it… and would do everything he could to develop that person for success! So, what is passion? It is simply caring about the job you are hired to do, as well as caring for the team members around you. It is taking ownership in everything you do. When you have passion, you are saying… I really care about this, so let’s make it the best we can for others to enjoy along the way.

I learned many things from Hector as a young leader including being a better leader myself from just being around him. His passion was infectious in business, and in his personal life. He taught me that when you have passion for something, you can move the needle in every situation, and most importantly, you can move the needle that will move peoples hearts…. simply because you care!

When you have positive passionate team members, you will experience excellent quality across all areas of your company! … but what about when you don’t have passionate team members? Well, then it will be time to do what Hector suggests… Get out the broom and start cleaning for success!

Call to Action: Do you have people with passion in your company. Find out what makes them go and then surround yourself, as well as your team members around them for success. It will fuel the fire for tremendous growth!

Quote of the week… “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” (Jim Rohn)  How passionate are you?

This has been A Relocation Minute on “passion makes the difference” with Bruce Book Cover Find Your Lane FRONTWaller, for more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out my social media Facebook and Twitter page.

Also, check out www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon, or Barnes and Noble. Available on Kindle edition too!

What gauges are you watching this summer?

If someone asked you which dashboard gauges on your vehicle were most important, you would probably say the speedometer and fuel gauge. Can you imagine driving your car without knowing how fast you were going, or how much gas you had in the tank?

What about oil level and tire pressure? Thankfully our check engine light on the dashboard appears when there seems to be trouble ahead. These gauges are critical to helping us maintain the health of our vehicles so we can travel safely each day to our destination.

Though we don’t have physical gauges to tell us when we need to refuel or fix something in our professional and personal lives, there are certain indicators or gauges we can look to on our hypothetical dashboards.

In relocation, we look to on-time pickup and deliveries by our van operators, survey bruce_on truck original pictureaccuracy for the moving estimate, and quality scores for best customer experience to just name a few. I know recruiters that focus on time to fill job requisitions, HR leaders that focus on engagement, and sales professionals that focus on the number of calls made each day.

Establishing a few gauges to focus on can help increase your chances of success. Such gauges can help you see when something isn’t working for you and when it’s time to make some changes. It doesn’t matter if you’re in an entry level role or part of the senior executive leadership team. To stay aligned with your business goals, you need to keep an eye on your personal dashboard.

Here are a few gauges (trends) to watch when relocating your candidates this summer:

  1. Tax Reform is here and companies will spend approx. 50% more for the household goods move. The household goods move averages can be as much as purchasing a new car…which is about 10-20% of the total relocation, so be sure to budget for the gross up when planning for business unit leaders.
  2. If the candidate has a home to sell, you can offset this cost by considering a home sale tax program such as a BVO (Buyer Value Option). This is a favorable tax savings program that can save the company on the tax gross up… which could be as much as $35,000-$40,000 savings on a $1,000,000.00 home value!
  3. Household goods moves require significant more lead time in the summer to reserve pack and load dates, especially in the northeast as well as some DTS (Difficult to Service) areas. Most states require 12 days, but some areas are closer to 21 days. Advise your business unit leaders, recruiters, and the relocating family.
  4. The small shipment container model is becoming very popular because of one day preferred delivery for candidates. This also eliminates the candidate from having to drive a moving truck. If your candidate has a small amount of items to move, ask about this program before you give them money or advise them on self moving.

…and most importantly, remember the best relocation programs have great partners. This is because there is an investment in the relationship which creates consistent dialogue from each party throughout the year.  I call this “investing in your people zone”. This is the best approach to keeping an eye on all of your relocation dashboard gauges which will ultimately bring the best experience for all of your candidates relocating this summer! Invest in your partnership and make it a win-win-win for everyone!

For more on mobility trends… Check out WorldwideERC website

Call to Action: Reach out to your relocation partner to schedule 30 – 45 minutes to review your program to make sure you are in alignment with your company goals and candidate experience this summer. If you don’t have an established program, develop one with a trusted partner. The cost is minimal and the return is significant for both you and the candidate relocating. 

Quote of the Week…  “What gets measured, gets done.” Peter Drucker

This has been A Relocation Minute on “Summer trends in June 2018” with Bruce  Book Cover Find Your Lane FRONTWaller, for more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out my social media Facebook and Twitter page.

Also, check out www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon!

Words to consider when looking for a new job!

THE JOB YOU FINALLY DREAMED…

Poem by Bruce W. Waller

“What you sow, you will always reap, bruce_on truck original picture

So plant lots of good seeds, and grow plenty to keep.

The more contacts you make, the more opportunities you will see,

but waste time in this pursuit, and you will have nothing to be.

The harder you work, the luckier you will get,

but the consequences will be severe, when you have no grit.

Put your pride to the side and lean on others for support,

an investment in your network will multiply your net worth.

It takes courage and action to move toward the storm,

but when you get past the fear, you will see it’s just the norm.

Start each day with a goal and a plan to use as your compass,

then find your lane and drive each day with purpose.

Stay hungry, be humble, and make the most of every day,

because when you travel enough steps, you will see the pay.

Then one day you will blink,

and have the job you finally dreamed.”

This has been A Relocation Minute on ” Words to consider when looking for a job” by Bruce Waller. For more information on employee relocation, or workplace moving services, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or follow me on my social media pages.

Also, visit www.BruceWaller.com for information on my book “Find Your Lane” to encourage you or your team members on your journey!

 

 

 

When relocating talent, start with this plan for the best chance of success…

In chapter 4 of my book, Find Your Lane, I talk about “Planning: Your Road Map for Success. When I decided to write my book, I started with an outline, when our family decides to take a vacation, we outline the timeline to plan our events… and when we help our clients with household goods moving for candidates from one city to another, we start with a plan for both our customers and our clients managing the relocation.

The best plan for a successful household goods move, always starts with a pre-move bruce_on truck original picturesurvey. The survey gives us the information to determine the number of boxes that need to be packed, the number of crew members needed for loading the truck, the space we need for the moving truck, the access for loading, and more importantly, how much the move is going to cost!

There are three different ways to get a “budget/estimate” for a household goods move and each option below serves a different purpose. …

but only one gives us the most accuracy!

  1. The “Ballpark or Quick Quote” survey which is based on size of home. These budgets are great for someone considering a household goods move based on size of home averages. Best for a “quick estimate over the phone” to see if it makes sense to move or sell items, but you really don’t know what’s in the home, which is why you will need to follow up with a visual survey before the move.
  2. The “Virtual / Phone” survey… This is an innovative way to “virtually see” the contents on the home. Moving company contacts candidate (spouse in most cases) and goes through the home ON VIDEO to identify items in home. This method is typically used in “Difficult to Service” areas and/or “Fast Breaking” moves. However, there can be challenges if customer does not show all of the areas (such as a closet or attic), or if you need to measure items. Also, if the technology is poor at destination, then it can be extremely frustrating for the customer and take much longer than planned.
  3. The “On site visual” survey is the very best method to survey any home. Depending on size of the home, this process takes 30 minutes to an hour. It also gives the surveyor a chance to view the access as well as answer questions along the way.

Here are a couple of examples we recently came across showing the survey variances:

Example #1 – Ballpark to Virtual Survey…

When calculating a ballpark,, then followed up with a virtual survey. In this case, we calculated a 3,400 sq. ft home to be approx 23,800 lbs. based on averages, but when we completed the virtual survey, it was 29,000 lbs. This would be critical for both pricing and planning for the van operator timeline.

Example #2 – Ballpark to On-site survey

The customer advised over the phone that she had a 4000 sq. ft home, so we calculated 28,000 lbs.. BUT when we arrived and went through the home, there was no furniture. Customer had sold everything leaving approx. 4,500 lbs. which resulted approx $10,000 less cost than what was expected. This can be significant.

There are many cases like this because everyone has something different in their home. The  bottom line is that a candidate really needs to schedule an on-site visual survey for best accuracy. Yes, there are still chances of error during the process since some homes are challenging to survey, or some furniture / boxes weigh more or less than the average, but it provide the most accurate pricing for the client and will help plan a successful household goods relocation

Call to Action: Reach out to your preferred provider and have some dialogue about survey options to help you achieve your business goals when relocating talent. Let me know if I can help you or someone you know. It would be my pleasure!

Quote of the Week… “The art is the start.” (Guy Kawasaki)

This has been A Relocation Minute for “this survey is best for planning your next Book Cover Find Your Lane FRONThousehold goods move” with Bruce Waller, For more information, call 972-389-5673, or email bwaller@goarmstrong.com or check out our my social media Facebook and Twitter page.

Also, check out www.BruceWaller.com for review my latest leadership book “Find Your Lane” on sale at Amazon!