When I think about expectations, I think the most important issue is to be sure every stake holder has a good vision and understanding of the expectation.

We all need to understand expectations, for me as a wife and mom, as a friend, a neighbor and as a child of God. If we understand the expectation, we can meet and exceed the expectation for those we love. Today, I’m writing about expectations because when they aren’t met, when one decides to ignore them, or discards the need for them often chaos follows.

Clear expectations for family, friends, employers and employees allow us to exceed the expectation which honors the person and more importantly our maker, Jesus Christ.

Taking time to help your children understand expectations gives them the opportunity to meet and exceed your expectations. I think the best thing I ever read as a parent was that we are not raising children to be children but to be responsible adults. I think it starts with expectations, oh sure things one step forward, one step back, but in the end if you set the expectations, they will strive to exceed and succeed.

Do you pray to your Guardian Angel?

Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here, ever this day (or night) be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen

I had forgotten about this beautiful loving prayer until my daughter learned it in grammar school. Over the last 15 years, I would silently pray it and more recently I try my best to pray it daily.

We all have a guardian angel, remember they are on one of your shoulder’s every minute of every day, on the other shoulder is the devil who taunts us to be bad, evil.

Choose to pray to your guardian angel, every day if possible, twice a day or more if you remember.

I pray more of us will pray to our guardian angels so we push away the devil.

Wait for it!

How many times a week, a day, an hour do you have to wait for something?

And if you have children, how many times do you have to make the statement, WAIT!

Recently, I was reflecting on my childhood and we spent many hours, days, weeks waiting.

Life was slower back then, options were limited, we didn’t run around so much, we used our feet or bikes.

We didn’t have computers or cell phones, we were lucky to have a radio and a television. Yes, one television in the house!

I remember having a radio of my own when I was 11 or 12 and was so happy to have it!

So go ahead and wait for it. Sometimes the waiting is the best part!

Just wait until your father gets home!”

Do you remember a time when life had consequences? I sure do! If it wasn’t my mother telling us to “just wait until your father gets home!”, it was a neighbor yelling at us, “I’m going to tell your mother!”

Today, cell phone cameras do an even better job of reporting what really happened!

We need to be mindful of this and exercise restraint.

I do miss the less uncomplicated days for the 60’s 70’s and even 80’s but hey, I love my iPhone and all that it delivers to my hand instantaneously!

Remember to keep in mind that actions have consequences.

Do You Like Legendary Service?

In today’s retail world service of any kind is very hard to find. Oh sure there are a few notable names, Tiffany’s, Chef Geoff’s and Palio’s. I’m sure if I think about it I can find more but for now lets consider that the playing field is wide open for opportunity and you would like to capture a bigger slice of the pie!

There are a few things you can do today in your business to make your customers aware that you really care about them.

1. Answer the phone before the third ring with a message that every employee uses. For example, Thank you for calling us today, we appreciate your business.

2. Greet every person that enters your establishment within 20 seconds…everyone gets a Hello or Welcome!

3. Thank every person that leaves your business, thank you for stopping by!

This isn’t being done in most established businesses today, you can walk in and out of many businesses and never see anyone or hear from anyone – as a potential customer, I think many prospective customers think, why bother going in there?

You can change the way you are perceived!

Whatever happened to the TRUTH?

Democrat, Republican or Independent, we’re ALL Americans!

I remember when we were all Americans and we ALL loved our country, and demonstrated our patriotic duty and we’re darn proud of it! It seems though we have become more polarized and less patriotic!

Could it be the 24/7 news cycle? I do think news stations have stopped reporting news and seem to prefer writing their own stories and discussing their opinions on the 24/7 channels.

Imagine reporters reporting the news and VERIFYing the story BEFORE going on AIR!

Why does legendary service matter?

Whenever I shop, at the mall, at the grocery store, on the phone I find customer service is not providing me the experience to return to them and to be loyal to them. Amazon is hurting more and more retail sectors because they are adding additional items, shoes, clothes and now automotive parts. It’s really a very simple equation to give those that support your business a kind word, a thank you and to find other ways to make the customer feel welcome and appreciated. Some small businesses do this well, they send thank you notes and reminders, they remember you as their customer.

I have over 25 years in retail management, providing customers with an excellent experience in service was the pillar of my expertise as a manager – and I find less and less businesses offering great service these days. Imagine utility companies, refuse companies, doctors offices to care for you as much as they care for your money, I bring this up because no matter what career you are in, you must know what legendary service is and provide it to your customers.

Why does Amazon do so well? They have built a system to ge the goods to you quickly and in an efficient way. They don’t schmooze and they don’t reward, except they do try to offer additional services their subscribers want.

Is it because we the consumer don’t care about it? Is it that we don’t want it? Or are the big companies cutting back to make bigger profits? Whatever it is, if you don’t like it, let them know, if you are happy with their service, let them know as well.

Where are the girls in STEAM?

Boys seem to have an inherent attraction to “Technology” but what about girls? There are now lots of games that girls play, I’ve learned to play them myself, Candy Crush, Bejeweled and now Cookie Crush! More and more girls are showing up in Engineering, coding and business information technology classes but not at the rate that is needed to fill the jobs being created.

It’s time that educators realize that girls are the “underserved’ when it comes to STEAM careers and they need to make adjustments in the classroom so girls can get on the right track to pursue education and career choices that will provide financial independence for them!

More schools need to have STEAM programs during and after schools. If you look at my LINKS page you will find opportunities at many college and university sites for camps and classes and other programs like Cyber Patriot, Vex Robotics, Scratch and more to get a club started in your school. Girls find a science or math teacher that you like and ask them to sponsor your school’s club and get started. Just being with other girls that have like minded ideas will inspire you to seek opportunities for your club. Just get started!

For the girls in your life – encourage them to THINK BIG!

I see the numbers, they say the job numbers have improved and employment is down to 5.3% but what type of jobs are they?

I’m pretty certain the parents in Loudoun County want their children, sons and daughters to reach for the stars and become responsible, independent, resourceful adults. Girls will spend much of their lives working and we want to help them make choices to create a life that encourages their passion and earn a living wage that allows them to be financially independant. While more girls attend college and receive their degrees and even go on for graduate degrees they are not seeking STEM degrees as much as the boys. The reason this is an issue? The sheer number of jobs in these areas continues to grow and we have to bring non-Americans into our country to fill the positions. Why not encourage our girls to reach for these high paying jobs?

Opportunities are endless in STEAM careers, they are good paying jobs that offer challenge and excitement and in 2015, 2019, 2023, most good jobs require skills and that means technology. So if you passion is art, math, science you will be using technology. If you have an expertise and add a degree in a technology area you will find awesome opportunities at home and abroad.

If you are a woman in STEAM and want to connect with other women in STEAM, please reach out to me. We’re looking to assist girls to see their dreams in opportunities in STEAM. If more girls chose careers that enabled them to be financially independent, I think they would make different choices and there might be less drama for women in general.If you have a STEAM business and want to share what you do with girls, please email me at mg@maryannglueckert.com

Follower or Contrarian?

I have become a contrarian over the years, my dad had those instincts and I guess I picked them up from him.

What does it mean to be contrary? One of the best Webster definitions is “being not in conformity with what is usual or expected.” Not going with the flow, not believing every thing you read or hear. Judging for yourself, researching and finding the answers for yourself. Seeking the truth!

In today’s world information is abundant but is it true and reliable? It’s easy to read the paper or watch the news or listen to someone give their opinion on what ever; gardening, buying a car, politics, religion or money? But you have to decide if is it true? Is this information valid? Am I able to take this information and believe in it? Utilize it?

Why does it matter? It matters because as we raise our children to think for themselves and to create their own families we want them to live in a society with morals and values that encourage life and the pursuit of happiness.  Truth needs to be understood and mastered by the people. If society is built on lies, it is like a house built on cards that will eventually crumble.