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Lessons Learned from the Rio Olympics

The Rio Summer Olympics came to a close this week. Regardless of which athlete or team you rooted for or if you only watched to see athletes fall, we can still learn a lot from these incredible men and women and apply these lessons to our own lives, both personal and professional.

Obviously one of the most basic lessons is that hard work really can pay off. Set a goal for yourself and work towards achieving that goal. Many of the athletes competing in Rio devoted years to perfecting their craft. They are extremely goal driven and that’s what keeps them motivated. The lessons? Dream big. Never believe that you can’t achieve what you set your mind to achieve. And dedicate yourself to achieving your goal.

The flipside of course is that sometimes, even when you give it your all, it’s still not enough and your competition will beat you.  Instead of making excuses why you didn’t succeed or blaming others, take responsibility, watch the instant replay and use the experience as a growth opportunity to help you be better the next time.  As they say, when you fall (off a horse, off a bike, on the field, etc.), get back up and keep on going. Everyone faces obstacles. It’s how we react to them that shows the true test of a man/woman.

Finally, remember no person acts alone. It’s important to have a support system behind you and to let them support you. Whether it’s waiting for your score, soaking up the love of your family or relying on your team at work, remember we’re only as good as the people we surround ourselves with.

Take Time to Relax

This Monday, August 15, is National Relaxation Day. This unofficial holiday is a great time to introduce some relaxation techniques into your daily routine. Here are three tips to help you relax. And they can be used any day you feel a need to de-stress, not just Monday.

Take some deep cleansing breaths. According to WebMD, “Take a 5-minute break and focus on your breathing. Sit up straight, eyes closed, with a hand on your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth.

“‘Deep breathing counters the effects of stress by slowing the heart rate and lowering blood pressure,’ psychologist Judith Tutin, PhD, says. She’s a certified life coach in Rome, GA.”

Drink some chamomile tea. For centuries chamomile has been known for its relaxing properties. Most offices have a water cooler so get up (and stretching in the middle of the day isn’t a bad idea), pour yourself some hot water and infuse the water with some chamomile tea.

Listen to your playlist. Research has shown that listening to soothing music can actually lower blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety. Research also shows that listening to upbeat music helps people blow off steam. So whichever your preference, update your playlist, pull out your headphones and just try to remember to hum quietly while at your desk.

What relaxation techniques work for you? We’d love to hear.


Preparation is Key: On the Field and in the Boardroom

Has it really been four years since the last summer Olympics? It’s hard to believe but here we are once again on the eve of the Opening Ceremonies, sporting our team colors and boasting team pride. What is it about the Olympics that bring out such strong patriotism and loyalty?

For the next few weeks fans will be following the different sporting events and watching the touching back stories. In addition to seeing their teams win or lose, they’ll also be coming in to work with some important lessons learned. Synchronized swimming and beach volleyball may not necessarily seem like teaching-moments, but you’d be surprised.

Some things we’ve already learned even before the games begin:

  • Preparation is key. You can’t step onto a balance beam or a race track without practicing any more than you can step into a board meeting without preparing. Whether it’s months of practicing on the field or weeks of research and rehearsal, remember, practice makes perfect.
  • It’s all about teamwork. Yes, there may be some star players on your team but at the end of the day, it’s the combined efforts of all of your players that help you succeed.
  • The game or sport isn’t over until the clock runs out. Even if you miss the first putt or touchdown, it doesn’t mean you’re out of the game. It just means you have to work harder to achieve your goal.
  • The converse is also true. Just because you’re winning doesn’t mean you’ve won. You still have to show up and give it your all. Resting on your laurels is never in vogue.
  • However, sportsmanship is always in style.

Which events will you be watching and which do you think will provide teaching moments?

The Do’s and Don’ts of National Cell Phone Courtesy Month

July is National Cell Phone Courtesy Month. July is in the middle of the summer, a time when everyone enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends. Whether it be at the beach or a barbeque, the summer months fill people with the need for human interaction.

As proud observers of National Cell Phone Courtesy Month, we at OSG, recognize the enormous asset that a cell phone can be and we know that there is a proper etiquette associated with using it. Here are five rules to be aware of when engaging in cell phone use during National Cell Phone Courtesy Month.

  1. Even though cell phones provide us the opportunity and ability to stay connected, there are times when we need to put our phones on silent or put them away altogether in order to connect with the people with whom we are physically close to at a particular time. As the well-known campaign goes, “Disconnect to Connect.”
  2. With all of the public sharing that goes on in our lives via social media, it’s important to remember that some things should still be kept private. This means that cell phone conversations containing private or confidential information should be had in more hushed tones or not had in public at all.
  3. Keep in mind that cell phones have the capability to transmit your voices across very far distances by just speaking into the mouthpiece. Yelling into your phone won’t make your message any clearer. Make sure to speak in a normal talking voice when on the phone, the person on the other end can hear you.
  4. Use your phone positively. If you see an emergency, call 911 or any other emergency numbers. According to NENA, The National Emergency Number Association, more than 240 million calls are made to 911 a year, 70 percent of these calls are made from wireless devices.
  5. Practice wireless responsibility while driving. Don’t make or answer calls while in heavy traffic or in hazardous driving conditions. Place calls when your vehicle is not moving, and use a hands-free device to help focus attention on the road and safety. Always make safety your most important call.


Recognize Greatness

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali, died last week. The world is now paying tribute to the self-proclaimed “Greatest of All Time.” As we remember him and his challenges and achievements, let’s also learn a lesson. Let’s recognize those people who play a significant role in our lives. Let’s take the time to tell these people just how great they are. They shouldn’t have to do it themselves.

If done correctly, giving an employee a positive response can help boost their morale and their work productivity. According to a article by Paul Petrone, there are three main things to keep in mind when telling an employee, “good job.”

  1. Encourage and notice effort invested rather than focus on skill. Skill is great but when it is lauded too highly, people tend to invest less effort.
  2. Remember that recognition is not the same thing as monetary rewards. Yes, people appreciate bonuses but you don’t want it to become all about the money. People want a job where they feel appreciated, not one where they’re in constant competition for cash rewards.
  3. Be consistent. If you are going to compliment an employee when it is warranted, it is important to remain consistent and give constructive criticism when necessary as well. You don’t want the compliments to become routine and therefore become meaningless.

You can also write the employee a note or give your employee a shout out in the company newsletter or blog. Positive feedback always provides a hardworking employee with a boost that can increase productivity, so make sure to show your employees that they really are “the greatest.”


Four Work Lessons Learned from the Ultimate Boss—Mom

This weekend we celebrate mothers everywhere with Mother’s Day. Though it may not have seemed like it when we were growing up, our moms actually dispensed some good advice. In fact, advice that translates into success in the workplace. So as we race to the store to buy a Mother’s Day card, let’s look at some of the things we learned from our moms.

If at First You Don’t Succeed Try, Try Again. We will all be faced with challenging situations in life. What helps us grow is looking at the different ways we can approach and overcome each situation.

See the Positive in Things. Nobody wants to be around a sourpuss. Try to see the glass as half full instead of half empty. Once you reframe how you view things, you’ll see new possibilities.

Teamwork is Key. Sure, you are very capable, but build a team of capable people, each with his or her own strengths, and see what you can achieve together.

Say Please and Thank You. Two phrases we were all taught at a very young age, and yet, they apply to all areas of our lives. It’s amazing what displaying a little common courtesy can get you. The converse is even more true. Be rude and disrespectful and see how far that gets you (hint: not very).

What other lessons did you learn from your mom? We’d love to hear. To all the moms out there—Happy Mother’s Day!


Let’s All Do Our Part to Save the Earth

Tomorrow is Earth Day, a day created 46 years ago for us to focus on what we can do to help preserve the earth. According to the Earth Day Network, this year the focus of Earth Day is the urgent need to plant new trees and forests worldwide.

This is a great opportunity to gather your employees together to do something fun as well as positive for the environment. And you’ll be surprised at what a morale booster it can be as well.

What are some things you can do as a company for Earth Day?

  1. Stop and think. Do you really need to print out a copy of that email or is a digital copy enough?
  2. If you do need to print something out, how about printing it back-to-back and save on the amount of paper you’re using?
  3. Plan a day of tree planting, especially in light of this year’s focus.
  4. If your office doesn’t already recycle, start a recycling program.
  5. Create a “Go Green” committee to see what else your company can do year-round to help the environment.

Let’s all do our part to help protect the planet. For every company and every individual what that is will be different. But no effort is too small. Even something as simple as using a reusable lunch bag and filling up your water bottle instead of buying a new bottle can make a difference.

We’d love to hear what your Earth Day plans are. Comment here or email us at


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