Wednesday, September 29, 2010

John Howman Explains What TEC means for Executives

TEC is a confidential space where members can go to feel comfortable discussing business issues in a private setting.

When asked by other people what TEC is about, Chair John Howman tells them it's a private advisory that is focused on the individual. To Howman, that is the secret sauce of TEC. 

In the down economy, TEC is a space where members learn how to clear the fog through tough decisions. There are signs the economy is improving, so TEC is an excellent place to learn how to build your company back up effectively.

How do you think a private advisory could help you be a better executive?

John Howman Explains What TEC is About from TEC Midwest on Vimeo.

Friday, September 24, 2010

POLL: How do you maintain a healthy work environment?

In every work environment, in order to have a successful business it's important to keep your employees happy and maintain a healthy work environment. What are some of the goals and opportunities you have in place for your company?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Benefits of a Completed LinkedIn Profile for CEOs

You might not have a Twitter or Facebook account, but most likely you and/or your company is on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a professional social networking site that, “connects you to your trusted contacts and helps you exchange knowledge, ideas, and opportunities with a broader network of professionals.”

It’s ironic how many top executives don’t have a completed LinkedIn profile, given the many ways LinkedIn can help further boost their careers and company’s bottom line, as well as help them achieve “expert” status in their industries.

Benefits of a completed LinkedIn Profile for CEOs and Top-Level Management:
  •      Putting your best face forward: Having a completed profile, enables you to have greater control over what information people use to form their first impressions because these completed profiles rise to the top of search engine result pages.
  •      Putting the personal back in PR: By directly engaging on LinkedIn, CEOs and top-level management have an opportunity to reach and connect with their target audience and positively affect the company’s perception overall.
  •      Share your experience and knowledge: Utilizing the “Answers” application of LinkedIn enables you to answer questions and in the process foster new connections. Answering questions demonstrates your dedication to being an industry leader.

Business is increasingly moving to a web-based world. If someone told you today that your company didn’t need a website, you would think they were crazy. To survive, let alone thrive, in today’s economy, your company must be easily found online. Leveraging a complete LinkedIn profile is one of best ways to connect with your customers, business contacts, and future new business opportunities for your company.

Are you using LinkedIn? What do you enjoy most about it?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

EVENT: An evening with TEC - Special Guest Dr. Jerry Jellison

You are cordially invited to attend a special evening with TEC. This two hour get together with feature an intimate conversation with nationally known business expect, Dr. Jerry Jellison. Enjoy cocktails, hors d'oeuvres and the company of some area TEC members. 

About Jerry Jellison, Ph.D.
Expert on overcoming resistance to change. Jerry has been a top TEC speaker for over 25 years. He combines his academic research on helping people change with the real world experience of leading a small financial institution from $2 million to over $400 million in assets. 

Please RSVP by e-mailing Michele Bernstein at:

Event description also availabled on LinkedIn and Facebook

Friday, September 10, 2010

BizTimes: Pay Your Respects. How to prepare and deliver a eulogy.

By Harry S. Dennis III for BizTimes. Read the full article in BizTimes HERE

How to prepare and deliver a eulogy.

I had the privilege of being one of several business associates asked to deliver a memorial eulogy recently for a prominent 35-year TEC member.
Sam Jacobsen, founder of PDQ Convenience stores, was a man of great presence and a true visionary ahead of his time.
What struck me was that each eulogy presented was poignant and captivating, but in different ways. This month, I’d like to share my thoughts on what makes a great eulogy.  If you’re ever called upon to deliver one, these tips will help you prepare.

A brief biography

Describe pertinent highlights from the individual’s early years. Note special accomplishments in things such as sports, academics and extra-curricular activities.  Include, if appropriate:
  • Heritage – family tree information.
  • Early work interests.
  • Social or volunteer involvement.
  • Marriage history, children and grandchildren.
  • Work history and accomplishments.
  • Hobbies, including unusual travel experiences.
  • Participation in the military.
  • Public recognition received.

In each case, the amount of detail provided should focus on stories. Rather than just a chronological report, find tidbits of interesting information associated with the person’s life journey that might be unknown to many people in the audience but bring fond memories to the family.
Use names of others who have formed a supporting cast over the years to illuminate sides of his or her life that corroborate your remarks in the form of “silent witnesses” to what you are describing.

Enduring personal characteristics

This is the most important part of a eulogy because it captures the true essence of the deceased. Here are five questions to get you thinking about this:
  • How would you describe the person’s basic life character?
  • How would you describe their “driving force” as it would apply to family, friends and their work environment?
  • How would you characterize their values and belief systems?
  • How would you describe their impact on others in their lives?
  • What was his/her “light side” like?

Once again, in each case, a simple example or a story helps to solidify the point.  Recalling a name or two to illustrate the point makes your comments more alive and vivid. In other words, the more personalized you can make your summary of personal characteristics, the more memorable is the eulogy.

Religious or spiritual orientation

It’s important to differentiate between a person who was deeply religious and active in the religious community versus someone who had a passionate spiritual commitment but wasn’t an active participant in formalized religion. Both are worthy of recognition and comment.

Charitable giving

Describe significant charitable contributions or their participation in voluntary community programs. Quotes from benefactors add a personal dimension.

General logistics

Having the proper set-up for a eulogy is just as important as the words you say. Whether there are 30 or 300 people in the audience, you want to reach each one of them with your tribute to the deceased. A few ideas:
  • Make sure the sound system, if required, is adequate.
  • Make sure the point from which you are speaking is clearly visible to everyone.
  • Your audience shouldn’t be able to see your notes or script.
  • Your own personal dress should be appropriate and consistent with the family’s desires. Some may wish it to be a somber occasion, others more of a celebration or party atmosphere.
  • Making eye contact with family members during the eulogy is, perhaps, most important.
  • Recording the eulogy is, of course, a family option.

Multiple eulogy presenters

It isn’t unusual to have several people designated to present remarks. Although it isn’t always possible, it helps to coordinate with the other presenters to prevent unnecessary duplication.
This speaks directly to the time issue. The most effective eulogies are brief, about 10 minutes or less when there are multiple presenters. Once the eulogy exceeds 30 minutes, the audience becomes less attentive.

Make it memorable

I’ve seen maybe 20 eulogies or memorial events in my life, and each one had its own personality.
I can still remember what some speakers said 20 years ago. But if you asked me to recall what was said at other eulogies, I couldn’t tell you.
The most important point, of course, is the meaning and emotional value that the immediate family gains. This should be the primary objective of a eulogy.
Until next month, while I hope you aren’t called on to give a eulogy anytime soon, remember these tips when the time comes.

TEC Chair, Michael Herro talks with member Dave Stamm about the benefits of TEC

Michael Herro talks with one of his TEC members, Dave Stamm, who is the President of Stamm Business Technologies, Inc., about some of the advantages of being a member of TEC.

Stamm finds the TEC speaker series to have the highest value for the time and commitment that he puts into TEC.

The one-on-ones with Herro assist with having the accountability for both his personal and business goals, that he sets on a monthly basis. Each time they meet, Herro documents Stamm's goals and is sure to check in on Stamm's progress of reaching each goal that is set.

Overall, being a member of TEC sets a positive example and assists with how Stamm can successfully run his business.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

EVENT: TEC Informational Breakfast Seminar on Tuesday, September 28th

To introduce business owners to the pro-business advantages of TEC, we are inviting CEO's and business leaders to an informational breakfast on September 28th at the Country Inn & Suites in Brookfield, starting at 7:30 AM. A featured part of this program will be special guest speaker, Jack Altschuler, presenting his topic on “Fully Alive Leadership”.

You can RSVP for the event on either our: 

LinkedIn Event Page or on the TEC Facebook Fan Page

We look forward to seeing everyone at the Informational Breakfast Seminar! Please contact us at if you have any questions. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

POLL: Who do you seek guidance from for business advice?

TEC is a private advisory group that is focused on the individual and supporting them in tough business decisions, personal issues and a resource for executives to work together to be successful.

When you are seeking business advice for any situation, where do you turn to first? Take our poll.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

John Howman Talks About How He Became a TEC Chair

As a TEC Chair, John Howman states, “I couldn’t ask for a better way to spend my time." The ability to work with business people everyday is very rewarding.

John’s insight into people and unusual ability to analyze market opportunities, combined with his highly developed creativity allow how to create passionate, hard working teams that find success in highly competitive business environments. John helps businesses improve through the implementation of new business tools, training and rethinking their business models. 

You can also follow John Howman on his blog: TEC Savvy CEO