Kim Chambers Amazing Marathon Swim

August 10, 2015

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The accomplishment of Kim Chambers is extraordinary. Here are some excerpts from a story in SFGate.com:

But in the world of extreme marathon swimming, the 30 miles of shark-infested waters between the Farallon Islands and San Francisco is the most difficult stretch to cross. Until today, only four people, all of them men, have accomplished this swim.

Kim Chambers made history this afternoon as the first woman to swim from the Farallones to San Francisco, reaching the Golden Gate Bridge in 17 hours and 12 minutes.

The 38-year-old San Francisco resident took a boat to the Farallones on Friday night and dove into the Pacific Ocean at 11:30 p.m., wearing only a swimsuit.

The sharks mentioned are Great White sharks. I don’t know how she was able to stave off hypothermia or overcome the concern about these great ocean predators. This is an incredible accomplishment.

Kim’s accomplishment is certainly a testament to the power of intention and training. And for that reason, I enter Kim in my Business Execution Hall of Fame.

Thought for the week:

“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.” – Brian Tracy

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What do you think? I welcome your comments!
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Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2015 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

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$100 million security system fails at JFK airport

August 14, 2012

When we pay $100 million for a security system to protect a major, international airport from perimeter intrusion, you expect to receive what you paid for.

So, how is it a jet-skier was able to swim ashore after his jet-ski ran out of fuel, climb an 8 foot tall fence, walk undetected across 2 airport runways, and finally get stopped by a Delta airlines tarmac employee  who contacted airport security? You can read the article here.

And, to add insult to injury, they have booked this unwitting person with criminal trespass. You’ve got to be kidding me! We ought to give this chap the Congressional Medal of Honor for helping us understand that the $100 million system isn’t working.

The system was provided by a major defense contractor, Raytheon. The claims are that the system “exceeds Federal requirements.”  Well, if it meets the specifications, it certainly isn’t doing what it ought to do: alert security to a possible perimeter intrusion of the airport!

What on-going testing and validation is being done to ensure the system continues to work properly?  Assuming the system conformed to specifications when it was accepted and paid for, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is responsible for the operation of this security system. They dropped the ball. And, in so doing, put the flying public at risk.

And, I therefore, by the power invested in me, induct the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the “Business Execution Hall of Shame.”

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

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Eva Cassidy enters Business Execution Hall of Fame

September 27, 2011

While many of my readers may not realize this, my roots include being a professional trumpet and flugelhorn player.  I have great appreciation for music and artists.

Eva Cassidy’s incredible story is told in the following ABC Nightline video.  Until my wife shared this with me a few minutes ago, I had never known of her.  The simplicity, elegance, style, phrasing of her music says it all.  What an phenomenal musical artist!

And, for her enormous talent, I enter Eva Cassidy in my Business Execution Hall of Fame.  Watch the following video and you’ll understand why.

Dave Gardner

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Southwest Airlines Inducted into Business Execution Hall of Fame

January 16, 2011

U.S.-operated airlines often get a bad rap for horrible customer service and for treating customers with indifference.  Southwest Airlines is committed to the customer and creating an experience that makes its customers want to come back for more.  Southwest’s staff is outstanding and very customer-centric.

I want to share an exceptional story about what happened to one passenger recently:

Grandparents of dying Colorado toddler thank Southwest Airlines for delaying plane

By Kyle Glazier
Denver Post

Updated: 01/15/2011 11:16:01 PM PST

The grandparents of a 2-year-old Colorado boy who died Jan. 6 after allegedly being thrown across the room by his mother’s boyfriend are thanking Southwest Airlines for holding a plane so the boy’s grandfather could hurry home to see his grandson before the boy died.

Nancy Dickinson told travel and airline blogger Christopher Elliott, that her husband Mark Dickinson was on a business trip in California when the couple received word that their grandson, Caden Rogers, had suffered devastating injuries….

Dickinson told Elliott that her husband had to fly from Los Angeles to Tucson, Ariz. before returning to Denver, and that he arrived at Los Angeles International Airport two hours early only to be caught in a long security line.

“Every step of the way, he’s on the verge of tears and trying to get assistance from both TSA and Southwest employees to get to his plane on time,” Nancy Dickinson said. “According to him, everyone he talked to couldn’t have cared less.”

Dickinson called Southwest to explain the situation, and said her husband ran to the gate in his stocking feet to find the plane’s captain waiting for him at the jetway. She said the pilot said he was sorry about their grandson and wouldn’t let the 11:50 flight depart until Mark Dickinson ultimately arrived at 12:02.

“They can’t go anywhere without me, and I’m not going anywhere without you,” she said the pilot told her husband.

Marilee McInnis, a spokeswoman for Southwest Airlines said Friday the company is proud of the pilot, but have not released his name pending his approval.

“We empower our employees to make decisions on behalf of our customers,” McInnis said. “While we can’t wait for every late customer we knew he had an extreme family emergency and the pilot specifically decided to wait.”

Caden Rogers died the next day, Aurora Police said.

Contact Kyle Glazier at 303-954-1638 or kglazier@denverpost.com

While I deplore the inhumanity that cost Caden Rogers his life, I applaud an unknown Southwest Airlines pilot who simply “did the right thing.”  He didn’t ask permission, he did the right thing.

For this and everything else that Southwest Airlines does right, I enter Southwest Airlines in Gardner & Associates Consulting’s Business Execution Hall of Fame.

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.om


Jimmie Johnson Enters Business Execution Hall of Fame

November 22, 2009

Today, Jimmie Johnson won his fourth consecutive NASCAR Sprint Cup Championship.  As an aficionado of this NASCAR, I can tell you this is an incredible achievement and warrants entering Jimmie Johnson in the Business Execution Hall of Fame.

While Jimmie’s name goes on the championship trophy, it is critical to recognize that NASCAR is a team sport.  So, this Business Execution Hall of Fame recognition has to be shared with Hendrick Motor Sports, Jimmie’s brilliant crew chief, Chad Knaus, and approximately 600 other folks involved in driving such superb execution.

NASCAR racing is big business–a business of incredible detail where fractions of second can make the difference between winning and losing.  Few drivers out of the 43 that start a race each week are able to win over the course of a racing year .  To come out as the best driver for four consecutive years is, well, absolutely incredible.

The other 43 teams aren’t slouches in this sport.  One of the biggest stars in the sport, Mark Martin (also with Hendrick Motor Sports), has been racing 27 years and has yet to win a single championship.  He came in second in the Sprint Cup Championship this year.

My hat is off to Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motor Sports and this team for this achievement in business execution.  Congratulations!

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com


Plantronics Enters Business Execution Hall of Fame

October 6, 2009

In August of 2008, I purchased a Plantronics Discovery 925 mobile Bluetooth headset.  The unit comes with a 12-month warranty.

In September of 2009, this product became unusable.  As I’d invested $125 plus California sales tax in this unit, I really didn’t want to throw the unit away.  I contacted Plantronics customer support to see if I could get it repaired.

Plantronics customer support let me know that they honored their 12-month warranty for up to 13 months and asked if I could locate the original receipt.  I found it immediately and I was on my way to a no-charge warranty exchange for a replacement unit.

Much to my delight, I received the replacement last week and it works even better than the original.   They sent it with only my verbal promise to return the defective unit after I’d received the replacement.  They did not ask for a credit card number to guarantee that I’d return the defective unit, something many companies do in similar circumstances.

For outstanding customer support above and beyond their published standards, Plantronics is hereby granted entry in Gardner & Associates Consulting’s  “Business Execution Hall of Fame.”  Congratulations, Plantronics!

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com


Les Schwab Tires: Business Execution Hall of Fame

March 14, 2009

I’ve long been a fan of Les Schwab Tires since becoming a customer in Reno 4 years ago.  Perhaps it was the free tire rotations, the free fixing of flats, even though I had spent no money with them at that point.

Since then, Les Schwab Tires is my single source for anything related to tires, shocks, alignments, etc.

This morning, I decided that I needed the alignment checked on my SUV.  Where to go?  A few miles to the firm I grew up using in Santa Clara or drive about 15 miles to the Fremont Les Schwab?  The answer was easy.  I drove to Les Schwab.

I asked that they check the alignment,  rotate the tires and check the inflation and tell me if they thought my shocks were in proper working order.  I told them I had not been happy with the ride for several months.

  • To my surprise, I was told that I had arrived with 2 flat tires–both had foreign objects in them.  Price to fix?  $0.
  • The shocks needed to be replaced.  No big surprise.  California’s roads beat the heck of them.    You see, I replaced them 35,000 miles ago at a Les Schwab and, much to my surprise, they came with a lifetime, unconditional warranty.  They aren’t even charging me labor to replace them. Price to fix?  $0.  [By the way, Les Schwab told me about the warranty–I had no idea. They could have charged about $275 to replace the shocks and I would have never known the difference.]
  • The alignment was out.  Price to fix?  Less than $60.

Tires and shocks are a commodity business by any standard.  Many firms are in highly-commoditized businesses.  Les Schwab is a stand out in its industry.  What is your business doing to stand out in yours?

Les Schwab continues to exceed my expectations.  And, for that, I put them in my Business Execution Hall of Fame.   Congratulations!

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting http://www.gardnerandassoc.com