Happy Thanksgiving

Top 10 Things I Love about Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

  1. Pulling out all of the serving items, and thinking about my Mom, Grandma and Mother-in-Law, which is a happy/sad since none of them are with us anymore
  2. The smell of the food cooking
  3. Listening to Alice’s Restaurant at noon
  4. Having the house filled with family and friends
  5. All my cheesy Thanksgiving decorations, most of which have been gifted to me over the years
  6. Pecan -vs- Pumpkin “Pie Off” I have every year… which one do I really love more???
  7. Sitting and watching football after we eat
  8. Taking the dogs for a walk around the block, and pretending like that exercise negates the food we just ate 🙂 (LOL)
  9. Pumpkin pie for breakfast the next morning
  10. The turkey sandwich leftovers the next day

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Thanksgiving!

What is DevOps?

Join ITSM Academy on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 11am (Eastern) for our webinar; What is DevOps?Register

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This webinar introduces  attendees to DevOps, the cultural and professional phenomenon that is rocking the IT world.  By encouraging better collaboration, communication and integration between development and operational teams, DevOps is enabling organizations to build, deploy and operate quality software faster

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Learning!
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Why I Love My Team

Apparently a theme for my blog will be, “Great advice I heard or read many (many) years ago, and I can’t give credit because I don’t actually remember where I heard or read it, yet it’s become an important part of my leadership style.” Because once again, I want to talk about a sentence that has had a powerful impact on me….

“When you die your job will replace you in a month or two. Your family never will.”

I think most (normal ;-)) folks would translate to, “Don’t prioritize work over family,” and there is a lot of that in there for me….But, as a leader, I also use it as a reminder that we spend a lot of time at work  – did anyone see the Jellybean Video on Youtube?

As a business owner I believe we have a responsibility to create the healthiest work environment we can. We encourage our team members to prioritize their family events. We provide them with all the flexibility we can to attend kid events, spouse events, etc. We believe in mental health days. As the manager I know, when I give the best of me to my employees, they give the best of themselves back…funny how that works, isn’t it?

Maybe it’s not the smartest business decision Jayne and I have made, because there is a high level of risk in this. But we hire people who become our work family.

Our very first Full Time Employee (and for any other small business owner’s out there you know why I capitalized those letters!) just celebrated her 9th anniversary. By March, well over 1/2 of our staff will have been with us for 5 or more years. I’m proud to say that most have been hired for new positions as we grew the company.

Yes, over the 9+ years the Academy has been in business, we’ve had a few folks leave the team to pursue other opportunities. We still miss them, tell stories about them, show pictures of the fun we had together and the things we accomplished. But there have been very few who have left.

How cool is that? #ILoveMyJob

We wrote this our first week in business. Our Company Philosophy starts with…

We believe people are our greatest resource – and count on each member of our team to be a superstar who, collectively, creates a high performance team. We treat our people with respect and learners as guests in our home.

Read the rest of the ITSM Academy Philosophy.

plaqueSeveral years ago, one of my team gave me a plaque for Christmas that says, “We all believe in each other, and THAT’s what makes us family.” That plaque is on a coffee table right outside our flagship training room in Ft. Lauderdale. It serves as a reminder to me that each and every individual who works here at ITSM Academy are my second family.

Without them, I could not function. Without their intelligence, love, support, generosity, ideas and courage, we would not be what we are.

Many times, learners have commented about the sign. Usually, it’s along the lines of thanking us for the culture we’ve built. Our wish is that our Alumni feel they now are part of our extended family, because that’s how we feel about them.

So here’s my advice.
If you going to spend such a huge percentage of your life at work, do things you love, with people you love. And if that’s not what your work life is like, then have courage to make a change. Either go find something else, or fall in love with your job again. Spend some time figuring out what it is about your job that no longer makes you happy, and take steps to get back to your “happy place”.

As a leader of an incredible team, nothing makes me happier then when someone comes to me with ideas and suggestions of changes they would like to see take place. Without that kind of dialog, team member can become disgruntled and negativity can spread like the plague!

So my thanks and love to my business partner, our rocking teams and Alumni. You guys make my life so rewarding.

Until your next trip into LisaLand…#LoveYourTeam!

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My.ITSMAcademy.com – Learner Portal

Over the last several weeks, ITSM Academy has begun introducing / beta testing our new learner portal; my.itsmacademy.com. The portal extends the classroom experience by providing access to online content and tools to further educate and inspire learners.

Using my.itsmacademy.com: myitsmacademy

  • Increases preparedness
  • Enhances retention
  • Supports exam preparations (where applicable)
  • Provides value-add resources
  • Expands access to our community of experts and peers

The goal of my.itsmacademy.com is to provide the most efficient and effective learning experience. Whether a learner is participating in a traditional classroom, or joining us in one of our virtual classrooms, they have access to their learning portal.

By including an online component to our education strategy, our learners can actively participate in class preparation, attendance, and have post class access. This blended strategy increases the long-term sustainability of their ITSM education.  Attributes include:

Accelerated Learning

  • Increase retention and enable exploration through the use of guided online supplemental instruction (learning labs); labs can be completed at a time convenient for the learner
  • Traditional Classroom: Extend the learning experience by providing access both pre-and-post class
  • Virtual Classroom: Improve the impact and flexibility of virtual instruction; enabling learners to balance their workload and class requirements

Multi-media Learning

  • Maximize learner engagement by addressing varying learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic)
  • Increase learners’ ability to learn anywhere and at any time through the use of mobile devices

Data-driven Decisions

  • Gauge and increase learner retention by using embedded assessments and ITSM Academy’s Game On! An Interactive Learning Experience
  • Enable self-directed learning by providing learners unlimited access to supplemental online resources

Critical, Action-oriented Thinking

  • Supplement classroom lecture with online tools that include hands-on assessments and exercises
  • Learning labs support Bloom’s foundational levels of understanding and remembering
  • Peer group collaboration projects further promote critical thinking
  • Personal Action Plans inspire learners to identify improvement opportunities based on what they are learning throughout the class

We are so excitedFreeStuff to roll out the new Learner Portal, that we’ve pre-loaded it with tons of Free Stuff.  

Feel free to go visit today, and start your exploration of the cool stuff we’ve already loaded – with tons more to come!  

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Exploring!

The Fish Stinks from the Head Down

3014736-inline-boss-vs-leader-1Boy, that’s an expression that can put the fear into any leader. Sometimes it can be exhausting to try and keep a positive mental attitude at all times. And yes, I let the negativity creep in, and Hurricane Lisa can hit LisaLand and do some serious devastation.

But then I remember, “The fish stinks from the head down”…. and if I want my corporate culture to be positive, energizing and happy, then I need to lead by example.

In a leadership training class, I learned that my leadership style is that of a Servant Leader.

Now please forgive me for quoting from Wikipedia, but the current definition available is a concise and informative;

Servant leadership is both a leadership philosophy and set of leadership practices. Traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid.” By comparison, the servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.

If this topic is of interest to you, Forbes has a great article titled,  Why Isn’t Servant Leadership More Prevalent?

In it, they site the example of, “Max De Pree’s leadership at Herman Miller, as expressed in his book, Leadership is an Art, that emphasizes the importance of love, elegance, caring, and inclusivity as central elements of management”.

Now, I’m not claiming to be anywhere near the leader that Mr. De Pree is, but I like the man’s style!

For you leaders out there – and everyone, everywhere, is a leader in my book – remember, the fish stinks from the head down. If you are being a stinky brat, you are infecting everyone around you. So just stop, take a deep breath, put a smile on your face, and remember all the things (and people) you are grateful for, and who look to you for leadership.

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Thoughts!

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