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Personal Touch

September 2011 • A Periodic Publication of Personal Touch Cleaning & Maintenance • Vol. XV No. 6

Leading the Charge

Plan Projects that Pay Off


ou’re too busy for all that time-management jazz. You prioritize in your head; who has time to make silly lists? And you’ve tried to block out appointments, but emergencies always throw everything awry. The solution? Manage projects instead of time. Here’s how to gain efficiency through project management: • Match task with person. Break a project into its compo-

nent parts: the jobs that you can delegate. Then assign these tasks to the appropriate people with deadlines (day and time) for them to complete each stage. Explain in writing what you want them to do, and include a numbered list of to-do steps to increase clarity. Distribute a master list of everyone’s role to the entire project team. • Cluster related jobs. Maximize every trip from your office by arranging groups of meetings, inspections and errands near your destination. Even if you’re just taking the elevator up three flights to see a colleague, deliver documents needed by others nearby. • Also, combine similar activities. If you’re visiting field offices to generate buy-in for your pet project, line up backto-back meetings where you can sell the troops without distractions. If you schedule unrelated tasks smack in the midst of your “road show,” you force yourself to shift gears abruptly. • Make “just-in-time” decisions. Smart leaders choose the proper moment to gather and review the data they need to draw the right conclusion. If circumstances change or new information surfaces, then reassess. But otherwise, don’t dally or rely on committees to hash out something that you can resolve faster on your own.

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When to Shut Up and Just Listen

ere are two situations when keeping your lips zipped will enhance your reputation as a good listener — and a better leader: 1. When you’re “sure” you know what someone’s feeling or thinking. You figure blurting it out will showcase your keen understanding and, thereby, increase the person’s trust in you. Not so fast. It’s often wiser to withhold what you know and ask leading questions instead. Example: Rather than saying, “I know this is important to you,” ask, “Why is this important to you?” That shows the other person that you’re interested in what motivates her. 2. When someone offers a suggestion. You may want to endorse the comment, flat-out disagree or add your own twist. That’s fine if you’re under the gun to make a decision, but it’s usually better to reel off a few follow-up questions before you state your position. Asking, “What makes you say that?” or “Do you think that will address all our concerns?” lets you learn more before judging what you hear.

BE GENEROUS IN YOUR LIVING People who live well are experts at giving. They give their money; they give their time. They share their wisdom and their skills. They quickly say yes when asked to help. For them, to give is to love and to love is to live. Its a formula for a successful life. — Steve Goodier, Writer


Never fear spoiling children by making them too happy. Happiness is the atmosphere in which all good affections grow. — Thomas Bray (1656-1730) Clergyman and philanthropist


PERSONAL TOUCH CLEANING & MAINTENANCE NEWSLITER • SEPTEMBER 2011 • PAGE TWO • • • • • • • • •••••••• •••• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • ••• •••••••••• ••••••••••• •••••••••• •••••••••• ••••••••• ••••••••

How to Lead in a Brave, New World


oday’s aspiring leaders must approach both personal and corporate goals with a fresh mind-set. Here are some of executive coach Jim Kacena’s new ways to navigate your career: • Act like an entrepreneur. Jobs that blur the line Jim Kacena between employment and self-employment are proliferating as companies seek to increase flexibility. In everything you do, think and act as if your own personal investments are at stake. • Don’t be afraid to try. In the old world of business, people who broke the rules were called mavericks. Today, we call them visionaries. Avoid organizations in which the corporate culture won’t tolerate mistakes. • Bust out of your pigeonhole. Today’s best leaders don’t tie themselves to particular tasks and skills. They consistently seek new solutions, find new angles and come up with ideas on how to do a job better and more efficiently. • Eliminate “death-wish” phrases such as “I’ve never done that before” or “That’s not my job.” If you don’t know how to do something, learn or partner with someone who does. • Think tactically. New leaders accept the chaos inherent in today’s business climate. They invest their time figuring out how to get something done, rather than rationalizing why it can’t be done. Adopt a “this is for now” orientation, with zigzag progress as the goal.

Cleaning Tip of the Month!

YES, VODKA! To clean the caulking around bathtubs and showers, fill a trigger-spray bottle with vodka, spray the caulking, let set five minutes and wash clean. The alcohol in the vodka kills mold and mildew. To clean your eyeglasses, simply wipe the lenses with a soft, clean cloth dampened with vodka. The alcohol in the vodka cleans the glass and kills germs. Prolong the life of razors by filling a cup with vodka and letting your safety razor blade soak in the alcohol after shaving. The vodka disinfects the blade and prevents rusting. Spray vodka on vomit stains, scrub with a brush, then blot dry.


Publisher & Editor ~ Patrick O’Brien • Graphics & Typesetting ~ Fast Graphics/San Juan Capistrano © 2011 Personal Touch Cleaning & Maintenance “No one does as much…As Personal Touch!” 340 Goddard • Irvine CA 92618 • Tel (949) 727-4135 • Fax (949) 727-4088 • We hope you enjoy our Newsliter (it’s news lite!), but if it is inconvenient for you to receive, just call and we’ll remove your name from our list.

Personal Touch Cleaning

Personal Touch Cleaning & Maintenance specializes in Homeowner Associations. We have 26 years in the business and currently service over 900 Associations throughout Los Angeles, Orange County, Inland Empire and San Diego. Facilities Serviced:

(949) 727-4135 (800) 660-2092 $1,000,000 Liability Insurance Workers’ Compensation Non-owned Auto Insurance Member CAI State Contractor’s Lic. #794564

1. High-Rise Communities 2. Mid-Rise Communities 3. Pool & Spa Areas 4. Clubhouse Facilities 5. Guardhouses 6. All Common Areas 7. Day Porter Services

Complete Janitorial Services: 1. Subterranean Parking 2. Pressure Washing 3. Steam Cleaning 4. Patio Furniture Cleaning 5. Tile Floor Cleaning & Sealing 6. Stone Floor (Diamond Cutting) 7. Carpet Cleaning

Enthusiasm ~ Effort ~ Excellence

“We clean it silly !”

SINCE 1985

September Newsletter