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Jan 25, 2018
Character Based Management
Feb 01, 2018
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Club Information
Service Above Self
We meet Thursdays at 12:15 PM
Winnetka Community House
620 Lincoln Avenue
Tyrrell Room (winter) 111A (summer)
Winnetka, IL  60093
United States
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Speaker on January 25: Robert Beezat

Excerpted from a Chicago Tribune article by Rex Huppke:


After years of writing about workplace problems, I've finally found a universal solution: Every company in America needs a Robert Beezat.


You probably haven't heard of Robert Beezat, but after I tell you about him, you're for sure going to want one. He's a veteran manager, now 74 and semiretired, who has written a book that isn't the kind you'd find on shelves at airport bookstores or stacked high at a Barnes & Noble.  It's not glossy or filled with fancy charts and edgy buzzwords. It's short — an even 100 pages — and not much to look at from the outside. But, oh, what's inside. Imagine you're lucky enough to have a veteran colleague, a person of character, a person whose career is enviable, and that colleague takes you aside for a couple of hours and shares the secrets to being a good worker and a good manager.

That's what it's like to read Beezat's book, "Character Based Management." (Even the title's a little dull, BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER!) The secrets he shares aren't complicated: shut up and listen; learn by watching others; do what you say you're going to do; foster a sense of love — yes, love — in your workplace.

It's all simple, in a sense, but it's not the sort of thing we hear often enough. If we did, and we took it seriously, our working world would be considerably more pleasant.

"I'm one of 10 kids, the second oldest, and we learned to get along with everybody and work with each other and care for each other and respect each other," Beezat told me. "I guess that just always kind of carried over into my work life. You read all these management books and they all have some pluses to them, but they don't last because they don't get at what the core is when it comes to management, which is who you are. If you don't have good character, people see that."

He builds his book around a wonderful quote from Henri Fayol, a French engineer who developed a general theory of business administration in the early 1900s: "In making decisions … the moral character (of the decision-maker) … determines the quality of the decisions."

Beezat encourages readers to "find ways to understand" the characteristics and behaviors that enhance a person's character, things like kindliness, equity, a willingness to accept responsibility and tact.  He writes: "Our behaviors flow from how we understand reality as a whole; and, in particular and very importantly, how we understand ourselves and others as human beings."

I'm guessing most people have known someone in their career like Beezat, a person who just seems to get it, the one colleague everyone likes to work alongside. He recounts one of his proudest moments as a manager, when he was leaving for another job and a co-worker spoke up at his going-away party and said: "Bob, you bring out the best in people."


Meeting Recap January 18
This week’s meeting had 25 members in attendance.  Also joining us was Carol Callahan, representing the Winnetka Community House; ArLynn Presser, a former member who has expressed interest in rejoining our club; and Rick Börjesson, originally from Sweden and now living in Winnetka who plans on joining the Winnetka-Northfield Rotary.
President Tom announced that the ABCs of Rotary program that was to be held at RI has been postponed.  Stay tuned in for further information.  Keith Reed spoke to the Club about proposed changes to the raffle that we hold each week.  Currently when one buys tickets ($1 each or 6 for $5) they are hoping that their ticket will be pulled at the end of the meeting which then allows them to draw from a deck of cards.  If they draw the Ace of Hearts they get to collect half of the proceeds that have accumulated.  The rest of the money goes into the Club’s Charitable Foundation.  If the ace is not drawn the card is disposed of and the deck gets smaller.  It has been proposed that beginning in January the tickets of those who have won the weekly drawing and not pulled the Ace of Hearts be saved with the name of the weekly winners written on the tickets.  If at the end of the quarter no one has won the pot there will be a drawing of the weekly winners for a $25 cash reward.  This proposal would add a little more incentive to buy tickets, as there would now be a second chance to be a winner.  Thus at the first meeting in April there would be a drawing of weekly winners if no one had won the big pot and $25 would be given to the winner.  The winner does not need to be present at this drawing to collect the $25.
Happy Buck$ this week came from:  Barb Tubekis for the tremendous success of the 14th annual Martin Luther King “Service Day.”  600 people participated from as far north as Grayslake and as far south as Chicago.  The activities included making scarves and blankets for those less fortunate. Heidi Seibert put in $35 to mark her 35th anniversary in the landscaping business with James Martin Associates.  Ned Meisner was happy for the two weeks he spent with his grandchildren and the fact that he has his airline ticket to Ecuador.  ArLynn Presser was happy to be welcomed back to the W-N Rotary Club.  Wes Baumann provided some chuckles for Dig ‘n Grin.
The day’s speaker was introduced by David Birkenstein, our tireless Program Chair.  Dr. Whitney Sherman, a resident of Wilmette, introduced the club to the concept of a Gap Year program.  She is interested in strengthening intercultural learning initiatives through gap year counseling, teacher training and curriculum development.  Prior to starting her own consulting firm Dr. Sherman oversaw study abroad and global internships for the University of Southern California and Boston University.  She was also involved in building USC’s International Academy, an English as a Second Language program for students from over 30 countries.  She also managed educational programming for a local NGO in Niger, West Africa and taught English in France, Bulgaria, Romania and Poland.
The gap year is mainly directed at high school graduates, many who have been accepted into college, but for many reasons do not feel ready to go immediately following their high school graduation.  As a consultant she will meet with the student and their parents to determine if a year between high school and college is appropriate for the student.  At times students are not sure what major they want to study while attending an expensive school or they just don’t feel they are ready to go off to college.  Taking a year or even a semester before going to college is often beneficial to deepen practical, professional or personal self-awareness.  Often one can gain some practical experience in an area to see if it is a correct fit before investing thousands of dollars in schooling.  They may also test the waters by attending some classes at a local college.  An additional year can add confidence, discipline and maturity to an 18 year old.
A gap year can include foreign travel to gain cross-cultural awareness and cultural competency as well as foreign language proficiency.  Today less than 4% of teachers in the U.S. have studied abroad and thus have little international experience that they can pass on to their students.
Gap year experiences can include group programs, volunteer placements, internships and skill building courses. Dr. Sherman helps interested students and their parents plan a gap year.  Research shows that gap year alums change majors less, have higher GPAs and have higher employment rates.
Kids Against Hunger Registration Open!
Meeting Assignments
January 25
GreeterNed Meisner
Dig-n-GrinRobert Mardirossian
Thought Greg Nelson
Sgt-at-ArmsJoe Nash
ScribeWes Baumann
February 1
GreeterRandy Reeves
Dig-n-GrinBrooke Peppey
Thought Chuck Norton
Sgt-at-ArmsLee Padgitt
ScribeKeith Reed
February 8
GreeterHeidi Sibert
Dig-n-GrinPeter Skalski
Thought Todd Stephens
Sgt-at-ArmsLiz Taylor
ScribeJohn Thomas
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Member Birthdays
Jean Wright
January 19
Markie Gekas
January 27
Join Date
Jean Wright
January 1, 1993
25 years
Markie Gekas
January 1, 1998
20 years
Charles Norton
January 30, 1998
20 years