Archive for the ‘Relationships’ Category


March 12th, 2013 by Gallagher John No Comments

In my current role as a Lean consultant, I am often asking others to change their work patterns.  I don’t have the ‘authority’ to get them to change.


Often, we as leaders are asked to take on an opportunity where we don’t necessarily have the authority to make all the decisions.  This could be in a project manager role, a support role from a central function, or even as a volunteer in the comomunity.  I believe that to be successful in a role like this, there are 4 must have atributes to achieve success:

1) A disciplined process – If you are asking others to change in a systematic way, yet they see that you are not organized and bring across a haphazard approach, it will be difficult to influence others.

2) Ownership – Clearly, those you are trying to influence must know that you also are bought into the solution.  It has to be a ‘we’ approach to completing a task, rather than a finger-pointing ‘you’ approach.

3) Continuous learning – To influence others, you need to be out front in terms of understanding the topic.  You need to stay up on the most recent trends on your topic, be aware of technology, and other important nodes of communication

4) PASSION for the topic – I believe this is one of the MOST important attributes.  What is your topic?  Whether it is eliminating waste in healthcare to achieve improved quality and reducing cost for the patient, or if it is how to build a rube goldberg machine, you must display passion for the work you are looking to complete or improve.

I am sure these aren’t the only attributes.  However, if you are trying to lead others without authority and aren’t succeeding as much as you would like, ask yourself how you are doing in the 4 attributes listed above.  You may need an adjustment!

What other attributes to you feel are important?  You can share by commenting below.



January 20th, 2013 by Gallagher John No Comments

It’s Sunday morning.  Before heading off to church, its time for a good cup of coffee, watching last night’s DVR’d Saturday Night Live because I am too old to stay up that late, John Hagee yelling at me a bit AND, a facebook chat with my little’ brother Michael Gallagher.  Often, we chat over a cup of coffee and try to solve the world’s problems(or hopefully, at least 1 or 2 of our own!)… Today, I pinged him for a blog topic.  AND, he gave me a thought on our key-chain cards.

kroger card on keychainWe love these cards.  It only takes a few minutes at the register to sign up and there are all kinds of benefits to receive.  Why can’t we use these cards for some of the other challenges in our lives, though…?

  • Why can our grocery store keep count of my purchases on a key-chain card which then affords us the opportunity to save up to $1.00 per gallon of gas, yet my federal government can’t provide us an easier way to do our taxes?!
  • Why can our pharmacy use a key-chain card to send us an update of when our prescriptions may need to be refilled, yet our doctor’s office can’t keep track of when our last tetanus shot was????
  • Why can our fitness membership card (and the fitness place is owned by the Health System!) allow us to scan our key-chain card when going to work out, yet when we go the same doctor’s office owned by the same group they make us fill out the same stinking paperwork every time we go in and they STILL have the wrong address!!!?

There has to be easier ways, right?  We need another cup of coffee…

What’s your “key-chain card” that you couldn’t do without?  AND, what problem do you wish could be solved with a key-chain card?  You can comment by clicking on the Comment tab at the top of the post.


January 17th, 2013 by Gallagher John No Comments
I first wrote this post in November, 2009.  I really love this exercise and wanted to share it again with some recent stories to support it.  This week I had a chance to share this exercise with some friends that I work with.  I wanted to share it again with you.

Often, our society raises up popular people as models in their lives… And, then, we are let down.  Just today in the news were the stories of Lance Armstrong coming clean after lying for more than 10 years and a bizarre story about Manti Teo’s girlfriend who passed away, yet never existed. Sports athletes…actors…politicians…rarely leave a positive, lifelong effect on our lives.  Who does?


Take 5 minutes to answer the following 3 questions… NO GOOGLE…thats cheating!

1. Who are the 2012 top five wealthiest people in the world?

2. Who are the last five Golden Globe winners for best actress?

3. How about the last 5 Most Valuable Players of the American League in baseball?

How did you do?  Not really that easy, is it?  You might have gotten 1 in each caetegory.

Now, answer this question(I want you to WRITE the answer to this question!): Name 5 people who have had a positive difference on your entire LIFE?  My first 3 questions only go back 5 years, but if you are reading this blog post,  this question goes back just a bit farther…

Much easier, right?

And the point is…we tend to not remember POPULAR people, but we DO remember those who made a difference in our lives.

I want you to choose one on the your written list and tell them “Thank You”.  Write them a note(not an email or a text or a facebook message, a HAND WRITTEN note…oh, the pain!) and let them know that you appreciate them.    There was one person who commented on this post back in 2009, and he makes my list.  Stan Buck made an eternal difference in my life.  Stan passed away recently.  Don’t wait. Do it now.

Finally, I want you to ponder one more question about this exercise:  Who is going to write YOUR name on THEIR list?  If you can’t think of anyone immediately, then maybe you need to start making a difference in someone’s life in a postive way….TODAY.


November 20th, 2012 by Gallagher John No Comments

Growing up, mom and dad would take me to visit Aunt June.  The drive was about 45 minutes to her small home in WV and there were so many things I could count on:  Her yappy dog, Ginger…playing Chinese checkers or bunko…her sweet tea… Before we got out of the car to go inside, mom would somewhat jokingly say “When we get inside, start saying goodbye because it takes a couple hours for Aunt June to let you go once you say you need to leave.”  Goodbye’s were hard for Aunt June.  She loved the company.  We said goodbye always with the intention of returning again in a couple months to do it all over again.

Last week, I got to visit a great friend and mentor in my life, Stan Buck.  Stan had been battling a brain tumor for 18 months.  I was going to say goodbye, but this time I knew that it would be the last time I would say goodbye to him on earth.  It was a celebration at church.  The church he planted was celebrating 25 years AND they were celebrating his life.  Selfishly, I didn’t want to leave.  I really enjoyed those last few minutes I got to spend with him.

I watched Stan from afar fight this battle for 18 months.  I always prayed for a miracle.  My faith tells me that the miracle was that he would live eternally after his time on earth and I would see him again…

I could write more of all the times I shared with Stan when my family lived in Fort Wayne and attended the church that he pastored.  At some point, I probably will.  But, there is something to learn from this.  What was unique about this last chat I had with Stan was that I KNEW it would be the last time we would chat.  He passed on a week after my visit.  How many relationships do I have that when I leave (like seeing Aunt June) that I DON’T KNOW if it will be the last time I will see that person?  It really was a blessing that I could say goodbye.  I shouldn’t take other relationships for granted.

I usually finish with a question, but I just wanted to share what has been on my heart for a few days.  I will just finish with some words told to me years ago by another friend:

“When you see someone, say hello to them like it was the first time you had ever met them… and say goodbye like it was the last time you might ever see them.”

I need to do better here.

Until we meet again, Stan.


5 things I am grateful for upon reflecting on 2011

December 29th, 2011 by Gallagher John 4 Comments

Another year has FLOWN by.  What a year it has been.  I was looking through some of my photos from the year and, of course, realize I don’t take enough of them!!  But, it has been an eventful year and one that compels me to be grateful for so many things:

1) Medical advances – It seemed like the year of surgeries for the Gallagher’s and close friends.  Mom had knee replacement. Our friend, Stan Buck had major brain surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.  My brother had major heart surgery to basically rebuild his heart, and we finished out the year with Brendan having wisdom teeth pulled.  All of them are recovering well. 25 years ago, these stories likely would have been quite different.

2) People who inspire me – There are many who do inspire me.  This year, the ‘top’ inspirer would be Adam Ward, a friend and co-worker who inspired me to run my first 5K and subsequently, 3 more after that! 

3) Work that I love – I really do enjoy the work that I do.  Too often in today’s economy folks may be doing things that they just don’t love. 

4) Safe air travel – I had to log over 160 flight segments in 2011 and each of them landed the same way they took off!

5) Family  – Saving the best for last…Frankly, my wife, Chris and boys sacrificed this year as a result of #3 above.  They have been very gracious in affording my the opportunity to fulfill my purpose. 

There are many more things like time spent with friends (see photo above from WVU homecoming game! – Let’s Go Mountaineers!!) that I need to be grateful for all the time.  

So, what are you grateful for in 2011?  Take some time to reflect on this.  You will find it rewarding.