Monthly Archives: July 2020

How Leaders Get Ahead and Maximize Performance

How Leaders Get Ahead…


During a turbulent time like we are in, we often shift our focus to all the negative things that are occurring.


It’s more important than ever to ‘Magnify the Positive’.


At a crucial point in my career, I realized something about myself.


I’d noticed that every time I asked to meet with someone that I worked with, it was to ask them for something.


I wondered if I could build better relationships by showing up to GIVE instead of taking.


But what would I give? How about something that’s almost universally appreciated: candy.


I bought a case of 100 Grand candy bars and started handing them out.

I didn’t just dump them in a bowl in the office kitchen; I gave them out one-by-one with an attached thank you note for a specific achievement.


It went over really well. With this practice, my relationships improved, and more people were willing to help me.
I took my new motivator on the road to visit other offices throughout the country. I’d walk in and start my visit by identifying reasons to celebrate.


I’d take a moment to acknowledge wins (big and small) with candy and other little treats. Immediately, employees let their guards down enough to hear my advice.


By asking for and creating reasons to celebrate, I gained the trust and loyalty of employees throughout the company.


The changes we instilled stuck, and my methods for highlighting small successes remain a big motivator for everyone – including me.

Success is a series of small wins.  

Simply recording progress in some way helps to boost the self-confidence of your team.


You know I love scientific evidence. Here’s the Science of the Power of Small Wins in the Harvard Busines Review.


What has been a small win for you this past week and do you have a treat to motivate your team?


Email me at [email protected] and let me know. I’d love to learn more from you.


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Stay Awesome,

Hernani Alves

P.S. As many of you know, I use stories about the valuable lessons my parents have taught me.

Well, they taught me another one: My Parents Celebrated their 60th Anniversary on June 18th.

Friend me on Facebook Here

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Needs Budget, instead of a Want Budget at Work

Are you too close to your expenses…

This past April, Luis, a in client of mine, reached out to me for help with his business, which he owns a chain of restaurants.

Unfortunately, with the Governor’s shelter in place order (COVID -19), Luis was forced to close his business, and temporarily furlough some employees.

But the problem was he still had to pay his store lease on his restaurants, even though he was forced to close.

My suggestion to Luis was to reach out to the landlord and ask if there was anything they could do to help the situation.

The landlord asked to see his financials and the last three months of bank statements.

Hmmm, what would have recommended here?

Luis did have some reservations on doing this and I encouraged him to be transparent with his current financial situation.

The landlord then set up a call with Luis to ask questions about some expenses in his financials.

After 30 minutes, the landlord quickly found over $83,000 in savings from expenses that Luis did not need.

Here’s a quick exercise on what tends to happen in business and in life.

What is this picture?

Hint:  Most people wouldn’t mind some of this right now.


Hint:  This is something you drink.

The answers are below, and the point is…

Many times we are too close to see exactly what may be a draining us in business or life. 

Luis had racked up unnecessary business expenses that he didn’t need any longer.

It wasn’t until a new set of eyes from his landlord that it became evident
what he needed to do.

Wants vs. Needs

Wants are expenses that help you live/work more comfortably, and you could live without them.

Needs are expenditures that are essential for you to be able to live.  For example: housing, food, gas, etc…

Here’s a great exercise you and your team can do with their expenses.

1.       Begin by writing a list of all the things that were recently purchased in the last 90 days.

2.       That means everything from toilet paper to insurance, including the five-course expensive dinner.

3.       Working with your team,  divide the categories into two buckets: wants and needs.

Your team will quickly understand the value of saving money.

In full transparency, Luis taught me a lesson as well.  After reviewing my expenses, I found a few ‘wants’ that I needed to remove.

Do you currently have someone that is a fresh set of eyes for your business?

Do you have any expenses that are “wants” that need to be removed?

Email [email protected] and let me know.

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Stay Awesome,


P.S.  Luis’s business has reopened and all his employees returned.  Plus he got a reduction in rent while the restaurant was closed.  Yeah!!!

Answer to the exercise:  Chocolate Bar and Coffee


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5 Shares To Help Communicate #BlackLivesMatter At Work

5 Shares To Help Communicate #BlackLivesMatter At Work

If you’re like me, this has been a couple of weeks of difficult and troubling emotions.

I’m deeply saddened by the state of our country.

The racism and racially charged acts of violence taking place in the United States and the world are unacceptable.

Black lives matter.

As leaders, our team is looking for us to ensure that no person is treated differently because of their skin, race, religion, or gender.

This is not easy to talk about at work and I wanted to provide some resources to help you.

Here are a few simple things that I’ve been reading, listening to, and thinking about how to become a better-informed leader on issues.

Share #1 After Responding to 170 Emails Following George Floyd’s Death, Here’s What I Found Out – This is a short 5-minute article in for business leaders.  It is so true that what you say is less important than what you ask during a time like this.

Share #2:  So you want to talk about race? – The author Ijeoma Oluo writes an excellent book that is clear and concise.  She provides great tools that will make a difference day-to-day.  This book offers honest conversations about race and racism.

Share #3:  (Un) Comfortable Conversations – One of my favorite Human Resource executives, Tracy JacksonCEO of HR E-Z, has created a great exercise to help leaders and their teams to discuss race in the workplace.  If you would like a copy of this exercise, just email her here It’s Free and only takes about 15 minutes.

Share #4:  Truth about Race – This is TedTalk by Anthony Peterson about what he has learned from his grandchildren.  I love his use of stories to show and creative ways to feel more confident talking about race with others.

Share #5:  10 Commitments Companies Must Make to Advance Racial Justice –  Here are ten commitments that businesses can and should make that will help achieve racial equity.  Doing this will win the hearts and loyalty of your team and employees.

Bonus:  Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos corrects angry ‘all lives matter’ customer email –  “Black lives matter speaks to racism and the disproportionate risk that Black people face in our law enforcement and justice system,” Bezos said in part of his reply.  I confess that I made a similar mistake early on and was quickly educated by my seventeen-year-old daughter.

What has been one resource that has helped you the past couple of weeks?

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Email me [email protected] and let me know.  I’d love to learn more from you.

About: Hernani Alves is a business expert, Amazon best-selling author, and speaker that helps leaders build world-class teams. In his book, Balanced Accountability, Hernani reveals the framework needed to improve accountability in the workplace by winning hearts to maximize performance.

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For a free six-question Employee Report Card, email [email protected]


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