Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Blue Gurus

Happy HolidaysWell, the holidays are here. I’ve been to a few parties, wrapped a few gifts and I’m looking forward to some downtime with friends and family between Christmas and New Years. It’s been a wonderful year! I wish I could name all the people that have had an impact on my life this year. The list is long. And I’m thankful for each and every one of you.

(Special thanks to Jeff Potts at 2020 Creative for the cool Blue Gurus Happy Holidays graphic!)

To finish up the year, I thought I would give you three topics… a business thought, a personal thought and a tech tip. All with a link where you can go to find out more. My goal with every blog post is to help you in some way, so trying to cover all the bases!

Business Thought – Desk Efficiency

I’ve talked to quite a few people lately about being more efficient with their technology. Often, the best answer to this involves good technology and knowing how to use it. Take stock of your desk in January… could you do things differently? Need a new monitor or multiple monitors? A desktop scanner? Label printer? Postal scale? A better mouse? A quieter keyboard? A desk that lifts so you can stand? Take the leap. You’ll be glad you did. Especially if it’s an item that saves you a few minutes a day.

Here are some of the items I keep on my desk:

Happy Holidays

Personal Thought – Floating KC

Do you get a massage on a regular basis? Have you ever tried meditation? I’ve done both… and they’re great… but I was surprised how relaxing sensory deprivation in a float tank can be. My friends Scott and Kristen encouraged me to try Floating KC with them and I’m really glad I did.

Yes, it sounds a little out there when you first hear the concept. You’re in a chamber full of warm, salty water (making sure you don’t touch bottom) and they slowly dim the lights and turn off the music. Your brain (well, at least my brain) frantically searches for external stimuli for a few minutes until it realizes that it’s dark, quiet and warm. And there’s nothing to see. And nothing to run from. At that point, your brain calms down. A lot.

I was more relaxed after my experience at Floating KC than any massage. Totally worth it. You can do 30, 60 or 90 minute sessions. I did the 60 minute session for my first time and it felt more like 30 minutes. Once you relax, you lose track of time. Completely. I highly recommend it.

Jason Terry - Ugly Sweater

Tech Tip – Roboform

A good friend recently asked me how I keep track of all my usernames and passwords. He was wanting to make sure that his wife would have a good starting point in the event something happened to him over the holidays… like shoveling a 3-car driveway full of wet snow. I told him first to buy a snowblower. And then to go buy a copy of Roboform.

I’ve talked about Roboform a few times in the past… if you thought it was a good idea then, it still is. Act on that instinct and try it out! They have individual plans as well as family plans where you can share passwords with other family members securely. If you would like me to cover how Roboform works in greater detail in a future blog post, let me know.

Looking forward to 2019. See you soon!

Gift Ideas: Ten Things from Jason’s Favorites

I was at a Hats Club board meeting recently when my friend Jason Moxness said, “next week, it would be really helpful if you blogged about some of your favorite things. I could use some gift list ideas.” So here you go Jason! Thanks for the blog post idea. And if anyone else reading this has something they would like me to blog about, please send me your suggestion. If I use it, I will give you credit in the story!

Speaking of the Hats Club, our next open event is January 9th from 4-6pm. (The December event is a members only event at Stock Hill.) Please save the January date… I would love to see you there!

The following list is made up of things I’ve bought, used and loved in the past six months. Everything is in the $30-$100 range with the exception of #7, the Shun Classic Nakiri Knife. (And it’s worth every penny if you like to cook.)

Gift Guide 2018Ten gift ideas for the guy that has everything…

  1. Slidebelts
  2. Drillbrush for a Manly Bathroom Tile Cleaning
  3. Duck Covers for Patio Furniture and Grills
  4. Lenox Gold Utility Knife Blades and this Greenlee Heavy Duty Utility Knife
  5. Anker Roav Dash Cam. People drive like idiots. Now you can prove it.
  6. Scosche MagicMount for your Desk and Car (Great tip Jim Stuelke… thank you!)
  7. Shun Classic Nakiri Knife for all those Blue Apron Meal Preps.
  8. Tile Pro (with user replaceable batteries now!)
  9. Black Diamond Storm Headlamp for camping.
  10. Stocking Stuffer? Jack Black Lip Balm

Mic is going full-time MJMeetings in 2019!

We recently celebrated Thanksgiving… a time to be thankful for the people in our lives and the good things that have happened over the past year. One of the people I am so thankful for is my fellow Blue Guru, Mic Johnson.

MJMeetingsStarting in January, Mic will be working full time in the business that he and his wife Missy started 5 years ago called MJMeetings.

MJMeetings partners with Membership Associations, Nonprofit Organizations and Businesses to create successful, engaging and memorable face-to-face meetings and events that align with an organization’s strategic objectives – all while mitigating risk and saving time and money.

Blue Gurus: Mic started in 2010.

Blue Gurus (Mic isn't really taller)Mic has been working with me since 2010. Over the years, he’s been an amazing friend, hard worker, voice of reason, personal cheerleader, counselor, accountability partner, and so much more. I am going to miss working with him on a regular basis. (It’s really hard to write this blog post!)

Mic has always been there for me in the good times and the bad. And I know he will still be there for me if I ask, but it will be different… I’m sure you understand. Mic is an excellent sounding board. The final decision is usually better when we put our heads together, and I’m going to miss his input.

There have been lots of changes that keep reminding me about the transition… he isn’t telling his stories on the Blue Gurus blog. And we’re going to AT&T next week to deal with splitting up cell phone plans. (His cell phone number won’t change, but his new email address is

True to form, Mic offset the emotions around that by taking me to lunch for my birthday before we go to AT&T. It’s just who he is. And it’s all part of the process for Mic to begin the next chapter.

MJMeetings: The Next Chapter

MJMeetings just celebrated their 5 year anniversary. What an accomplishment! At their celebration at Gram and Dun on the Plaza, Missy talked about small business failure statistics. (20% of small businesses fail in their first year, 30% of small business fail in their second year, and 50% of small businesses fail after five years in business.) The room was full of a bunch of people (friends, clients, vendors, etc.) that love and support Mic and Missy and the fact that they’ve gotten past the 5 year mark. It’s a good sign of things to come.

I was caught off guard when they paused to thank me for my support in helping them get to this point. In the beginning, Mic and I did the MJMeetings website together at their house while Missy cooked us a yummy gourmet meal. (If you follow them on Facebook, you know they are foodies.) And as the months and years went by, we’ve talked about the business, bounced ideas around, and shared relevant experiences. It makes me really happy to know that I’ve played a small part in their success.

I’ve heard so many great stories about the companies they’re helping. Large meetings with hundreds of attendees. Complicated schedules. So many things that need to happen in just the right order. And significant savings compared to asking internal staff to make everything come together. There’s a reason MJMeetings has gotten past the 5 year mark. And the business is financially sound enough to bring Mic into the equation full time. Mic will be able to focus on the social aspects of the events while Missy focuses on the nitty-gritty details of making events happen. It’s a powerful combo that’s proven the value at recent events.

Thank you.

Mic, I’m sure you’re reading this. Thank you for all the years we’ve been working together. You’ve been one of the most impactful people on my life, and the words in this story don’t do our relationship justice. You’re an amazing person and I’m proud to know you. And you aren’t somebody that sucks.

Like we’ve always said to each other, love ya man. Looking forward to celebrating the 10 year anniversary of MJMeetings with you.

How Often Do You Ask “Why?”

Post written by Mic Johnson, talking about routinely asking yourself WHY? when it comes to your personal and professional lives


The image above is from my LinkedIn Summary.

I’m someone who routinely asks “Why?” in my personal and professional lives.

I do it because I’m passionately interested in finding the best answers to the problems and challenges that are inevitable in life and business. I do it because I’m voracious about creating clarity.

It’s almost like a question mark is permanently placed on my shoulder, making sure that I’m being true to myself, my values, my relationships, and my life.

It’s one of the ways I hold myself accountable. More importantly, I believe understanding the WHY’s in life is critical to continuing down the path to happiness.

Here are several questions for you to consider. I encourage you to take a few minutes to answer the ones that apply to you honestly.

I’ve asked myself many of these over the years, or have had conversations with others about them. The answers are often revealing and can lead to dramatic changes in your life.

The WHY Test

Why do you do what you do for a living?

If you don’t like what you do, why don’t you do something different?

Why are people at your company happy?

Why are people at your company unhappy?

Why do you hang around people who give you energy?

Why do you hang around people who drain your energy?

Why are you happy in your marriage/relationship?

Why are you unhappy in your marriage/relationship?

Why do you stress about things that never come to pass?

Why don’t you make time for yourself?

Why is your schedule so busy?

Why don’t you exercise?

Why do you think you can’t do it (whatever IT is)?

Why is your email inbox your enemy?

Why don’t you take calculated risks?

Why are you afraid of stepping outside your comfort zone?

Why don’t you have more meaningful conversations?

Why do you spend so much time worrying about what other people think of you?

Why do you think you need a bigger house?

Why do you think you need to buy more stuff?

Why do you keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect different results?

Why are you happy?

Why are you unhappy?

I’m sure you can think of other WHY? questions that pertain to your life and career. I hope you make asking WHY? a regular practice. I mean…

Why wouldn’t you?

What is the Hats Club? And Why Should You Care?

By Jason Terry, talking about an entrepreneurial group of people that meet once a month to learn something, meet fellow business owners and decision makers and hear their stories. The Hats Club. It’s not your typical networking group.

A couple of years ago, I was asked to join the board of The Hats Club. It’s a local, business-focused group of entrepreneurial minded people that meet once a month.

Before I talk more about the Hats Club, I want to make sure and mention that the next event is going to be held at the Leawood Blade & Timber. So if you want to throw axes while drinking adult beverages, be sure to come and be prepared to sign a waiver. Seriously though, it would be a great way to see what all the hype is about if you haven’t been to Blade & Timber before.

Register here for the Hats Club event on July 11th at the Leawood Blade & Timber

What is The Hats Club… really?

The Hats Club LogoI will start by telling you it’s not just another networking group. Many of the members own their own businesses. They’ve been through the ups and downs of starting a business, employing people, selling to make sure the doors stay open, HR issues and best practices and more. There are also quite a few key decision makers that work for great companies all over KC.

The goal for the monthly Hats Club meeting is to provide a way for business owners and decision makers to gather to learn something and get to know each other.

Focus on Local Businesses

Often, Hats Club meetings are held at local businesses. It’s a great way to showcase a local business and hear directly from the owner about the excitement and challenges of starting and running a business. That’s exactly what will be happening at Blade & Timber on July 11th.

The August Hats Club meeting will be at Brew Lab in downtown Overland Park. We’re working on getting the head brewer to present to the group (it’s been promised but not confirmed yet!) about their journey so far. That event will be on August 8th at 4pm if you want to block your calendar.

You can always see details and register for the upcoming Hats Club event by visiting

Companies and presenters that we’ve enjoyed in the past include:

  • A Cyber Crime presentation by Truss (who hosted), Chubb and The Hunter Group
  • Core Bank
  • The Grid co-working space
  • Tim Cowden of KCADC sharing detailed plans of the upcoming KCI Airport Project
  • ELUX Smart Homes startup presented lots of info about their project
  • Economist Chris Keuhl presented at the Martin City Event Space
  • Healthcare update with Connie Jabara
  • DroneKC in downtown KC
  • Stonegate Motor Plaza


We also have social meetings about once a quarter as well as a members only holiday event in December on the Plaza. Some of the locations we’ve gone to for socials in the past include Lifted Spirits, Louie’s Wine Dive, KC Wineworks, Ruins Pub, Coach’s and Top Golf. Often, we get to hear from the owners of these businesses as well.

So if you’re looking for a good way to connect with entrepreneurial people in Kansas City, be sure to check out the Hats Club. Let me know if you would like to come as my guest sometime! If it’s the kind of group you would like to be a part of, I can walk you through the membership application process as well.

I’ve enjoyed being part of the Hats Club over the past couple of years. And putting together the list of all the places we’ve been to, and people we’ve learned from, was a great reminder of the value I’ve gotten from being part of the group. Let me know if you have any questions!

Calendar Reminder: Schedule Awesome People and Things

Post written by Mic Johnson, talking about being intentional about scheduling awesome people and things on your calendar each week

Do you have awesome people and things scheduled on your calendar each week?

If your answer is YES, then I’m giving you a <<virtualhighfive>>.

If your answer is NO, then I’ve got a simple solution for you, so keep reading.

I’m fortunate because I have awesome clients who I get to see and work with each month. In addition, I’m also intentional about scheduling awesome people and things around those client meetings.

I do it because those people and things give me energy, perspective, connection and regular doses of happiness. Not only is that good for me mentally and physically, but it makes me a better person, husband, friend and keeps my energy up when working with our clients.

I always say “If it’s on the calendar, it happens.” With that in mind, here are just a few items that are staples on my calendar:

Morning Meditation

I’ve been meditating for several years now and typically do it 4-5 times a week. I always do it in the morning for 20 minutes using the Headspace app. It’s a great way to start the day, sitting in quiet reflection before diving into the responsibilities of the day.

Peer Advisory Groups

I have two peer advisory groups who meet monthly, Introducing Awesome and Introducing Awesome 2.

These groups are made up of awesome people who share energy, advice, business and personal challenges, and more.

awesome golf and peers

We meet at a couple of local awesome establishments, Tavern at Mission Farms and The Peanut on Santa Fe.

I never know what I’m going to get each month when I meet with them because we keep a pretty loose agenda, but I always walk away feeling energized and grateful.

Golf League

I play in a golf league every Tuesday night throughout the summer at Swope Memorial Golf Course. It’s another great way to get outside. In addition, I play on a team with my buddy Archie.

We always have a few laughs, enjoy the camaraderie when one of us (usually Archie) hits a great golf shot, and have some great discussions about things going on in our lives.

Individual Recurring Calendar Appointments

I have several individual recurring calendar appointments, ranging from every six weeks to quarterly.

These include phone calls with certain family members and friends who don’t live in Kansas City, lunch appointments (often at one of my two favorite sushi places, Bob Wasabi Kitchen and Sushi Uni) with old neighbors and business associates, and the occasional happy hour with people I mentor or who mentor me.

I get energy out of these conversations and it feels good to know that we’re taking the time to stay connected and talk about real and meaningful things.

Massages Every Six Weeks

awesome massage

Every six weeks my wife Missy and I have massages scheduled with our awesome friends Darrel and Stephanie, owners of Tranquil Touch Therapeutic Massage.

We’ve had a lot of massages over the years and no one comes close to the magic that Darrel and Stephanie perform on our tight muscles.

We love them so much that we drive 30 minutes to Lee’s Summit specifically to see them.

We often make a half-day out of it and grab lunch in the growing downtown area of Lee’s Summit and follow up our massages with a movie or something else fun.

Long Walks

I take anywhere from 3-6 mile walks about 4-5 times a week. It’s great to clear my head, listen to some music, enjoy some sunshine and a little bit of nature and just disconnect from technology for awhile.

A 3-mile walk only takes an hour, but the mental and physical benefits can’t be denied. I find myself really looking forward to this “me time” and I start to miss it if a day or two goes by without a good, long walk.

Weekend Activities

I’m the “social chair” for our household. I like to put things on our calendars to enjoy with people we care about. Sometimes that’s a happy hour on our front porch (#FrontPorchFridays). Or maybe a trip to the City Market or Overland Park Farmer’s Market. Perhaps we’ll grab dinner at a new restaurant with friends. Or we’ll attend one of the many cool events around Kansas City throughout the year.

All that said, though Missy and I are social and love doing things on the weekends, I’m committed to not over-scheduling us. We typically leave Sundays to rest, recharge, catch up on some shows on the DVR or Netflix, and prepare for the week ahead.

Does any of this resonate with you? Are you intentional about scheduling AWESOME on your calendar? What types of things do you do? I’d love to hear about it so leave a comment below or drop me a note at

Blue Gurus is celebrating nine years… Wow. Thank you!

By Jason Terry, talking about Blue Gurus celebrating nine years of being in business.

Blue Birthday CakeWe celebrated being in business for nine years on April 26th, 2018. For anyone reading this post, thank you!!! There’s a good chance you’re actively involved in our ability to make a living doing work that we love. Whether you’re a client, a peer advisory group member, a vendor, friends or family, thank you for helping us succeed.

It really doesn’t seem possible that Blue Gurus has been “a thing” for nine years. Mic sent me a link to a blog post I wrote when we celebrated Blue Gurus’ fourth birthday. The title of the story was, “Top 10 Things I’ve Learned Since Starting Blue Gurus.” What surprised me was that the list really hasn’t changed in the five years since I wrote that story. As a reminder, here’s the list…

(Still) The Top 10 Things I’ve Learned Since Starting Blue Gurus

  1. Take good care of your clients and even better care of yourself.
  2. You already know the best people to hire.
  3. Make time for vacation….and turn your cell phone OFF.
  4. Make sure you know what you’re trying to accomplish in the business, and don’t let anyone influence you to stray from that purpose.
  5. Recognize your team members often.
  6. Evaluate your trusted vendors on a regular basis.
  7. Heartfelt apologies go a long way when you’ve screwed up.
  8. Don’t be afraid to fire a client that isn’t a fit.
  9. Tell your clients that you appreciate their business every chance you get.
  10. Adopt a not-for-profit organization on a regular basis, and give back to the community that supports your business.

We continue to focus on these goals, and the business has continued to thrive as a result.

What’s been the focus so far in 2018?

We’re doing websites, LinkedIn training and blogging with more great companies around Kansas City. Some of our recent clients include Lee’s Summit Physicians Group, MEDiAHEAD, and Health Partnership Clinic.

Lee's Summit Physicians Group LogoLee’s Summit Physicians Group

We just launched the new LSPG website. I wrote a blog post about how the relationship started… you might want to check that out here. Our primary contacts are Jody Brown and Matthew Hornung. Their new website was a fun project because everyone at LSPG is engaged and ready with a smile, even when things are busy. We start blogging with them later this month. I’m excited to get started!


MEDiAHEAD, formerly ColorMark, is led by Kat McDaniel. Our primary contact is Michele Stilwell. Kat and Michele are AWESOME. We launched their new website a month ago and we’re blogging together. We love their mascot, Izzy… who got her own blog post recently. Mic is leading their blogging efforts.

Health Partnership Clinic LogoHealth Partnership Clinic

We created a new website for HPC and we’ve been blogging with them for a few months now. Catherine is so much fun to work with because of her “can do” attitude. She is one of the most organized people I’ve met. Check out their blog… it’s a good example of an organization shining a spotlight on their people and their work.

Remember #6 Above About Trusted Vendors?

2020 Creative LogoWe’ve been collaborating with Jeff Potts of 2020 Creative for three years now. The relationship continues to strengthen as time goes by… mostly because we do business the same way. Jeff and I worked together on the Lee’s Summit Physicians Group and MEDiAHEAD websites. Jeff brings an additional creative element to the table through graphic design. He and his brother Derek bring abilities to the table that we wouldn’t normally have… eCommerce and database driven web applications to name a couple.

And yes, I trust Jeff. And I don’t consider him a vendor, even though by definition he’s a vendor for Blue Gurus. Jeff is my friend. He always does the right thing when a situation occurs. And his heart is all about taking care of our clients and adding an element of “wow!” through design.

And that’s a wrap! (At least for this blog post.)

Jason HugWe’re looking forward to another great year of building websites, providing LinkedIn training and blogging with really good companies. It’s a humbling experience being treated like we are part of the team. And it feels really good when we hear about the impact we’re having on their revenue and culture. From the bottom of my heart… thank you for these past nine years! Hugs.

Branding is important. Have you ordered tchotchkes lately?

By Jason Terry, talking about company branded tchotchkes for client gifts and networking events.

I love giving gifts to people. It’s a fun and unexpected moment for the recipient, and it just feels good to make someone’s day. I’ve carried that practice into the business for years in the form of Blue Gurus Tchotchkes.

I’m not sure where I developed the passion for branding. When I thought about it, the first thing that popped into my head was being proud of my high school. I had a letter jacket and lots of things with the Wichita Northwest High School grizzly paw stamped or embroidered on them. Binders, hats, and my gym bag. Then I went to college at Kansas State University, and my wardrobe quickly became predominantly purple, along with a bunch of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats.

I think the reason I love branding is that it shows how passionate I am about the groups I’m actively involved in, and the teams or organizations I love to support. I’m proud of the work we do at Blue Gurus. Add my passion for gift giving and tchotchkes is built into our DNA. When you see Mic and I around the city, you can be sure the logo is on our shirts and in our bags, and we usually have something ready to hand out.

Tchotchke: a small bauble or miscellaneous item. The word may also refer to free promotional items dispensed at trade shows, conventions, and similar commercial events. They can also be sold as cheap souvenirs in tourist areas, which are sometimes called “tchotchke shops”. (Pronounced “chotch-key”)

The first Blue Gurus Thotchkes

Blue Gurus Tchotchkes The very first tchotchke I ordered with the Blue Gurus logo on it was pens from I started giving them out at LinkedIn training classes for attendees to take notes. And I left them at the ATM at banks and at the table at restaurants… and saw them in circulation over time.

The idea wasn’t all about spreading the brand, even though that’s a nice result. People that come to our training classes don’t always have paper and pen to take notes. So I took care of that. When I went to the bank to deposit a check, I was always searching for a pen. So I solved that for myself and the person following me. And I noticed that waiters and waitresses struggle to keep working pens handy, because patrons accidentally take them with them after signing the credit card receipt when paying for their meal. So I started the habit of leaving Blue Gurus pens at restaurants.

Over the years since that first pen order, I’ve bought lots of different things with the Blue Gurus logo on them. Coffee mugs, stadium cups, small and large umbrellas, stainless steel mugs, coolers, backpacks, and even USB fans. (The USB fans are always a hit, they plug into a laptop USB port and create a surprisingly strong breeze. Really useful when you find yourself working in a hot office or in the middle of summer.)

Blue Gurus: Spring Cleaning Laptop BagRecently, I’ve ordered super light travel backpacks, better quality pens, embossed leather note folios, magnetic chip clips and ice scrapers, all with the Blue Gurus logo. (I know, I know, ice scrapers in April? They were on sale…) These items will end up being gifts for clients, family and friends.

The reason for this story is two fold.

  1. It’s a reminder to think about whether or not you have some fun company branded gifts. If not, maybe it’s time to order some things.
  2. I wanted to share my “go to” place for getting this stuff.

Keith Steiniger, ProForma IDology Marketing Group

Just about all of our shirts (polos, dress shirts, T-shirts) were sourced and embroidered by Keith’s company. He has also embroidered lots of items like our coats and laptop bags. Last year, he gave me the idea of Blue Gurus bottle openers. They were a big hit.

One of the things I love most about Keith is that he always has great ideas when I ask him for new gift ideas. And he’s amazingly easy to work with. If you need help, give Keith a call.
(913) 685-9098

I hope you found this story helpful! Let me know if you have any creative tchotchke ideas for me… always looking for fun new things. Have a great week!

Blue Gurus Umbrellas

Servant Leadership Makes My Heart Smile

By Jason Terry, talking about servant leadership being a powerful tool for molding your culture and keeping good people around.

This week, I wanted to write about an experience I had last week while doing an executive LinkedIn training session with a local bank.

Quick aside about the value of connections and doing regular updates on LinkedIn…

I met the marketing manager for this particular bank at an Enterprise University class I led a few years ago (we’re still part of their course schedule). At the time, he was working for another company. He asked some great questions and was really engaged. We ended up connecting on LinkedIn but didn’t really talk for a few years. He’s in Wichita now, and it wasn’t easy to grab coffee together to catch up. But we were on each other’s radars due to LinkedIn network activity and status updates.

I got a call from him a couple of months ago to talk about doing LinkedIn training for their bank. This opportunity never would have happened if he and I hadn’t connected on LinkedIn to stay in touch. And I’m not sure he would have remembered me after the years passed, but I was doing weekly status updates on LinkedIn. It’s a good example of the value of social, even though it can be hard to “measure” sometimes.

So what happened that was the inspiration for this week’s blog post?

I was an hour into the training session for the bank. We’d covered a lot of ground already, and I was talking quite a bit. (I know, I know… you’re shocked, right?) I didn’t even realize that my water glass was empty until one of the executives stood up, grabbed my glass and filled it up for me.

Blue Gurus: Servant LeadershipIt caught me off guard. This executive is an important and respected leader at the bank and he was getting me water in the middle of training. It was a simple thing, but struck me as servant leadership in motion. I actually had to say something about it. When I said to everyone, “Wow. That’s servant leadership in motion.” He immediately said, “that’s not me.” Which solidified my opinion… he was humble about it.

Hey, it might not sound like a big deal. But in that moment, a simple act of kindness struck a chord. And it got me thinking about servant leadership.

Servant leadership makes my heart smile.

I started thinking about my personal experiences with servant leaders. People I’ve seen in the community that lead by serving their teams, their clients and their community. About a dozen names came to mind immediately. They’re the kind of people I would love to work for.

The people I think of are also key leaders of successful businesses. Their employees trust and follow them because they know they’re supported from the top. You can see it in their eyes… trust, respect and even love. They say things like, “she is an amazing person.” Or, “he’s one of the kindest people I know.”

Jason MoxnessI’m writing this story while sitting in a chair in a spare office at Core Bank. (I will be going into the blog team meeting in a couple of hours.) Jason Moxness leads the team for Core Bank in Kansas City. For anyone that knows Jason, he is an incredible example of a servant leader. His team loves him and they are doing great things together. And I know he will be embarrassed to read this, but he’s a good enough friend that I feel comfortable mentioning him. :)

Another great example… what is it with servant leaders in banking by the way? :)

Mic and I were in Montana doing LinkedIn training and blogging work with Stockman Bank. Our good friend Julia Warmer wanted to create a distributed team of bloggers and social media leaders representing Stockman branches from across the state. She put together a multi-day series of meetings and training that we helped facilitate.

There was a really nice dinner reception one night for the Stockman team. Once everyone had been seated and started eating, Bill Coffee, the CEO for Stockman Bank, went to every table and served wine. It was another “surprise” moment for me. I guess in that moment I assumed that the CEO of the bank is important enough to have people serving HIM wine, not the other way around.

There were employees from four different Stockman branches at my table. When I said that Bill was being a servant leader by serving the wine, they all went on to tell stories about how much they loved Bill. These were employees from all over the state that have a deep respect for their leader. Awesome.

Blue Gurus: Stockman Bank Training Blue Gurus: Stockman Bank Training Stockman Bank: Bill Coffee

My hope for all of us is that we can serve our teams through loyalty, respect and by genuinely caring for their well being. The things we do that demonstrate servant leadership are an important part of making our teams feel safe. If you’ve got 12 minutes, be sure to check out this video on YouTube from Simon Sinek: Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe.

9 Productivity Tools I Use Almost Every Day

Post written by Mic Johnson

I use several productivity tools almost every single day and I thought it might be helpful to share some of those tools with our readers.

Now maybe you use some of these tools already. Or maybe you’ve never heard of some of them. Or maybe you have others you use (please share those in the comments for me and everyone else) that make your life a little bit easier.

For the purposes of this post, I’m going to talk about some of the productivity tools I use on my laptop:

Roboform Everywhere – This is the username/password tool I’ve been using for the better part of the last eight years. There’s a handy little Chrome browser extension that makes it super easy to access all of the usernames and passwords for every website I use. I also use it to store client credentials. It’s encrypted and it’s easy to use and I use Roboform Everywhere countless times every day.

Checker Plus for Gmail – This Chrome browser extension gives me easy access to the multiple Gmail accounts I have…Blue Gurus, MJMeetings, and my personal Gmail account. It easily notifies me when I’ve got emails and I can quickly see, archive, delete and respond to emails with a couple of clicks.

Feedly – This tool aggregates all of the sites I want information from via RSS feed, whether it be news, sports, weather, you name it. I check it a few times a day to get the real-time headlines from sources that matter to me.

LinkedIn – The LinkedIn Chrome browser extension lets me know when I have notifications, but also gives me easy one-click access to get into LinkedIn. I usually pop into LinkedIn a few times a day to see what’s going on with people in my network, to share content, engage with others, etc. (ditto for Facebook and Twitter).

Honey – This money-saving Chrome browser extension searches for coupons when you’re buying things online and also will take a look at your Amazon Shopping Cart to see if you’re getting the best price on certain items. I wrote a post about this a couple of years ago and still use it today.

Loom – This is a new one in my toolbelt thanks to the article Jason wrote recently. Loom is an easy-to-use video service that lets you record your computer screen (and face) to create videos that are easily shareable on your website or social accounts.

Grammarly – This Chrome browser extension checks for typos, grammatical errors and more as you type emails, blog posts, etc. It catches errors for me on an almost daily basis and makes me more thoughtful about the accuracy of all of my communications. In fact, it caught several as I was typing this post you’re reading right now.

Boomerang for Gmail – This handy tool lets me type emails and schedule them to be sent at a later date and time. I use Boomerang all the time to cross off “to do emails”…for example, I send reminder emails to my peer groups about our monthly meetings. Maybe the meeting is a week from now…I’ll type up the email today and then use Boomerang to send the email later in the week.

WhatsApp – I wrote about WhatsApp in a December 2017 blog post. This tool lets you carry on encrypted conversations with groups of people you care about. I use it for one of my peer groups and a couple of Jayhawk groups I’m a part of. And there’s a laptop/desktop feature that lets you read and respond to messages easily (there’s also an app on the phone, but I use the laptop feature quite a bit myself.)

That’s it for now. Remember to share your productivity tools in the Comments section below. We all can use ideas to be more productive!