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City Wide is the largest management company in the building maintenance industry, facilitating janitorial and more than 20 additional maintenance services for every client.

They do more than just manage maintenance services for commercial facilities, they pride themselves on being a partner that helps you save time and solve problems!

We spoke with three members of the City Wide Team:

Jeff Oddo, the CEO and owner of City Wide Facility Solutions and City Wide Franchise.

Lisa Greco, the director of People and Culture at City Wide Facility Solutions.

Tom Bridgeforth, a present owner of a City Wide Facility Solutions franchise in central New Jersey.

Memorable Quotes:
  • “And for me, Michelle, the ripple is all about kindness, treating others like they matter. It’s like treating people like someone else’s precious child, someone that deserves respect, and is worthy of love and kindness.” – Jeff Oddo
  • “Whether that’s walking the halls, whether that’s bringing in new talent, whether that’s enriching the lives of the employees that I work with each and every day, I would hope that each and all of those little small interactions and actions really add up at the end of the day to something meaningful for each and every employee that works at City Wide.” – Lisa Greco
  • “There’s a kindness to yourself. Self-care. It’s hard to give to others when your bucket is empty.” – Dr. Michelle Robin
  • “We’ve got to make time for our families and to spend more time together, because again, the pandemic made that point to us.” – Tom Bridgeforth
What You’ll Learn:

Personal stories on kindness and how to create the ripple effect from one small act of kindness.

This Episode Includes:
  • The legacy left by Jeff’s father on City Wide employees from his one small act of kindness each day.
  • How the people in Jeff’s life have cultivated a desire in him to spread kindness.
  • Strategies for creating small acts of kindness within one’s own family.
  • The importance of making time for yourself and your family.
  • Three individual’s different reasons and motivations behind kindness.
  • Motivation and inspiration to start implementing small acts of kindness in your own community.
  • Tom Bridgeforth’s moving story about his daughter’s brain tumor and how his community stepped in to care for his family.
  • Real life examples of how we can all be kinder to each other.
Three Takeaways from Today’s Episode:
  1. Kindness creates a ripple effect so try and do one small act of kindness for someone else today.
  2. Practice thinking of other people as human beings, as if they were part of your family, rather than as a means to an end.
  3. Don’t be scared to receive kindness from others.
Mentioned In This Episode:

Many of you know we have a serious mental health crisis happening this year because of the pandemic and creating a ripple of kindness has the power to change that.

Small Changes Big Shifts and City Wide Facilities Solutions  are launching a 31-day Kindness Campaign on October 14th, so we’re inviting all of our listeners to go sign-up for free so we can all take part in this movement.

Visit https://www.smallchangesbigshifts.com/kindness/ to join us!

Transcript:

Dr. Robin

Welcome back to Small Change in big shifts. This is my favorite time of the year because we’re launching our 31 Day Kindness campaign today. And you know, I love the word kindness. It actually gives me chills all the way down my body right now to be sharing with you today and kicking off this campaign. We reached over a quarter million people last year with this campaign and we know we want to create this ripple that starts from the heartland and goes East and West and North and South all over the world.

Thanks for joining me today. And our goal this year with my team and Citywide is to reach a million people. So, I’m thrilled that you’re joining us today.

So today, joining me on this show to help kick off our Kindness campaign for 2021 is Jeff Oddo.

He’s the CEO and owner of Citywide Facility Solutions and Citywide Franchise, a leading management company in the building maintenance industry with over 70 franchise locations across the United States and Canada.

Don’t you love Canadians? Oh, my goodness. Such good people, speaking of kindness.

Anyhow, he’s a middle child. He has a younger brother, an older brother. And he took over his father’s role at Citywide in 1996.

He is known for redirecting the company onto a path that would come to set Citywide apart in the building maintenance industry.

He’s the best-selling author of a parent book called, “Ten Kidmandmants”, father to three beautiful daughters, Savannah, Alyssa and Olivia. And Alyssa just stepped into the company this year, making it a third-generation family business.

Now, his family, his wife and his daughters are his number one priority, hobby, and interest in life. I want to tell you; I’ve watched him for the last 20 years and that is the true story. His wife, Karen, is as lovely as he is.

I met him through one of my business coaches, Tom Hill, who’s been on the show. And I love some of the great wisdom Thomas shared throughout my life the last 20 plus years.

Citywide jumped at the chance to be the official sponsor of the 2021 30-Day Kindness campaign, and I am so happy that Jeff said yes and barely thought about it, to be quite honest. It was super exciting. So, Jeff, welcome to the show.

Jeff

Hey, Michelle. Good to be here. That was an excellent introduction.

Dr. Robin

Well, it is true. It is very true. I love fun facts. We’ve tried to change the way we’re doing it because there’s so much fun about people. It’s a little bit more exciting for me to actually introduce you. And I’m so thrilled that we get to be friends and we get to share this. Even though you are a North American company, we get to share this wonderful community in Kansas City. So, Jeff, why was it important for Citywide to sponsor the kindness campaign this year?

Jeff

Well, I would say it’s because of our vision and mission, our vision to be the first choice and our mission to spread the ripple. And I just can’t think of a better way to live that mission than partnering with you and Small Changes, Big Shifts. I think it’s a great opportunity. And for me, Michelle, the ripple is all about kindness, treating others like they matter. It’s like treating people like someone else’s precious child, someone that deserves respect, is worthy of love and kindness. And sponsoring your campaign provides everyone in my company new ideas for 30 days. It’s just an awesome opportunity for us to be part of.

Dr. Robin

Well, I’m thinking about some of the stories I heard last year, and once again, thank you so much for saying yes on kindness. It’s not easy, but it’s not hard or it’s just being intentional about it. And I was thinking about some of the stories I heard last year, and some people said, you know what? I realized that I already did a lot of kind things. And so, this is a wonderful journey for you to have affirmation of how you’re already living your life and maybe also to give you some new ideas of ways to create that ripple that will make a change.

So, Jeff, I’m wondering who taught you about kindness?

Jeff

Well, I guess I have to give credit to a lot of different people. But I would say that being a janitor taught me all about kindness. And I need to explain that because you know how often you learn as much from people who you don’t want to be like as those that you do. And in high school, my dad always made us boys work. We wanted any extra money, we had to go clean buildings after school.

And that’s really where I learned to be nice because I was truly shocked with the way that people treated me at night and the people that I worked with just because I had a mop on my hands. So, during the day I went to a private Jesuit all boy’s school. We learned all about Jesus, how to treat people with respect. And it was wonderful. But then all of a sudden, at night, it was a totally different experience. And I think that is a big reason for why I go out of my way to treat people extra nice, especially entry level service workers, because I don’t ever want them to feel the way that I felt.

Dr. Robin

You know, that makes me think of my mentor, Dr. Richard Yenny. And the first thing you said is what to do and what not to do. And, Dr. Jenny, When I sat with him one of the first times he said, Michelle, I want you to watch what I do, and I want you to see there’s going to be things that I do that you will never want to do. And it’s as important for you to learn what not to do as it is what to do. So, I’m really glad that you shared that lesson.

And there’s things that aren’t kind, and maybe you can’t go do some of these things on this campaign. And we intentionally call it a campaign, not a challenge. We don’t want you to feel stressed out about it. There’s enough stress in our world. So how can we get some ideas to kind of shift the neurotransmitters, which we talked about earlier, the serotonin, the dopamine that help us fight anxiety, depression and loneliness. So, Jeff, you brought up your father. Can you tell me, share a story about your father and how he showed kindness to maybe a stranger?

Jeff

Oh, my gosh. There are so many different things, I would say that one of the things that my dad used to do is he would come in with Donuts. And it’s funny in the old days, we might only have had 10-15 people in the office, and he came up with one dozen Donuts. And then before long, the companies would grow. And then he would come in with two, dozens and three dozen Donuts. And before long, he’s walking in. He’s got six or seven dozen Donuts. And he walks around the office like this, and he puts the Donuts down and he would stop and say, hey, kid, tell me your story, because at this point, he’s kind of stepping out of the company, and he just wanted to learn.

And he did that, Michelle, because he really wanted to take the time to let everybody know that they were important.

And he wanted to spend that time to learn more about them personally. He knew that professionally, everything was good, but he really just took the time to learn about them personally. And I tell you, I hope that my father’s legacy doesn’t boil down to being a donut delivery boy. But one of the things that I hear the most from our employees, what they love the most about my father, is when he’d walk around the office with his Donuts and take the time just to talk to them and let them know that he really appreciates them.

Dr. Robin

You know, I learned several years ago, about 32, to be exact, that everybody has on their forehead four letter, and my listers have heard this before, but MMFI: make me feel important. And so, we all have that.

I’m going to shift the script just a little bit. You’ve got a lovely wife, Karen, what has she taught you about kindness?

Jeff

Boy, I tell you, she’s awesome because I grew up with three boys, even though my mom was amazing as well. But I would say that I probably did not default to kindness. It was just more about business. And having three daughters absolutely has melted my heart. My Karen had five older brothers. I had three brothers. And so, we just expected to have boys. And I was just hunting and fishing and all these things. And then I’ve got these three girls and Karen, and it’s amazing just how your whole world and your whole paradigm shift changes when you have somebody and you love these little babies.

And she gives me a perspective that I never really had growing up as a child. So, it’s pretty cool to spend time with her and have her influence me in a different way than the testosterone filled house that I lived in had influenced me.”

Dr. Robin

Well, I have two favorite words this year. One is surrender, and the second one is perspective. And you definitely have got to keep your perspective when running a business. It’s got some challenges at the same time being a good neighbor, being a good community citizen.

So, Jeff, I just want to keep on going here. What other small acts of kindness were once shown that you will never forget?

Jeff

I think that I remember back in high school where there was a particular boy being picked on, and it was just kind of relentless. And, you know, it’s a shame. And I feel terrible for people like that who stick out. He’d sit at the table by himself, and every now and then somebody would do something really, really nice for him. They sat down at the table; they would protect him. They stand up for him. And I love being able to see firsthand people doing nice things. And that’s really my first experience was in high school, seeing this boy picked on and somebody stepping up and doing something really nice for him to protect him.

Dr. Robin

Once again, I’m getting chills. You’re not about you, Jeff, but when I feel God, the Holy Spirit, I really feel these chills through my body. And I recently got an email from one of my assistants of 20 years. Susan, you’ve met Susan before at my office, and her daughter Zoe is my Goddaughter. And her tennis coach wrote her mom a note, and it’s emotional for me about how kind and how inclusive their daughter Zoe is. Whether it’s somebody sitting alone in the lunch room or somebody not having somebody that falls in tennis. It just makes me so proud of some of these young people. It just melts my heart. Jeff, I want to go back and think about, why do you think each person in the world matters? We got that MMFI we talked about and there’s a saying you matter. So why do you think in this world everybody matters?

Jeff

Because we’re all made in God’s likeness, and God was perfect. And I’m not saying that we’re perfect by any means. But, you know, I think everybody has this innate desire to matter and be important and to feel loved and get respect. And so, I think that’s just a call in on what we need to do.

Dr. Robin
Jeff, last year, when we did the 31 Days of Kindness, I remember you reaching out to me and saying, Michelle, I love this campaign. So, I want to say, first of all, thank you for reaching out to me. That was super thoughtful. I’m curious. Do you have a favorite act of kindness?

I believe that we all have our own magic medicine, whether it’s writing notes or being able to take somebody, the doctor or taking flowers. Do you have a favorite thing that just lights you up to do for somebody?

Jeff

Well, yes, I don’t do it often enough. And full disclosure. But George Herbert Walker Bush has his memoir on letters that he wrote to other people. And it’s just an absolutely beautiful book of a very busy person who took the time to share letters with people that really matter to him. And that’s just kind of always stuck with me. And there’s so many different apps today that will allow you to be able to do it easier than if you don’t like the handwriting, I don’t like the emails.

I love it when I receive a message like that. And I love giving letters to give them specific reasons on what it is that I really like about them and why I appreciate them so much. So that would probably be my favorite thing and a good reminder even for me to do more letters.

Every year I write a love letter to my daughters and we do a recap on Evernote. And it’s actually my favorite time of the year, because now they are even starting to send me love letters to be able to say why they love me. And I tell you, I don’t want presents, either time or a letter from them, and it’s been absolutely fantastic to sit down when you have a bad day and you go back and go to Evernote and you read these pictures or you read these letters from your daughters and see the pictures of what we did together over the last year. That’s about as good as it gets.

Dr. Robin

Well, I love that, I personally have horrible penmanship and I use my hands all day, but I love the thought of getting a letter, and I actually do a pretty good job of sending notes out as well.

Jeff, as we wrap up our conversation, I want to invite everybody to join us on this 31-day campaign to create a ripple.

I want to also thank you very much for stepping up and saying yes. I want to also remind everybody listening that I’ll be doing a daily giveaway on social media. And if you’re not on social, feel free to send me a note and I’ll be happy to include you in some of the giveaways. We’re going to do some drawings. We just kind of put it in some little fancy system. The team behind me. Speaking of kindness, the team behind me, Zach and Desiree and Jamie and Audrey, who handled this whole campaign. I want to say thank you for doing that.

So, as we wrap up this conversation, what do you find difficult about being kind to yourself? I’m going to kind of lump the whole question together. How do you overcome it? And what have you learned recently that changed the way you lived?”

Jeff

I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily recently, but I definitely learned that we have this little voice in our head, and the voice in our head is not necessarily who we are. And once you can start identifying that head trash, that self-talk and learning ways to be able to stop listening to that voice in your head, it makes all the difference in the world.

And so, it took me some time, but I really would encourage anybody who struggles with being nice to themselves. I would never allow anybody to talk to myself the way that I talk to myself sometimes. Or maybe your head trash is the same way. You would never allow somebody to do that. But for some reason, we allow ourselves and a little voice in our head to talk that way. And so, reading and learning and immersing myself in educational programs to control that voice has been one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Dr. Robin

Yeah, I love the story about how do you get a nice dog? Depends how you feed it, right? If you’re mean to it and you feed it bad words and bad food, it becomes an unhealthy, bad dog. But if you feed it good words and positive affirmation, I know I have a spoiled rotten little dog and she runs the house, and I think about how do I talk to her?

So, Jeff, here’s my final question for you as we start to go to the next interview with your team.

How do you want your team to engage in this? What would you hope that would happen over the next 31 days for Citywide as they share this journey, not only with myself but with our community in our world.

Jeff

Yeah. If they were just intentional, they and me, if we were all just intentional. I love it being part of this because you’re bringing kindness to the forefront, and it’s a good reminder and habits are formed over doing a certain thing or the same thing multiple days in a row.

And so, if I could get my team to share one act of kindness with everybody that they know and our customers and clients and our vendors and one another. But I love the way that you’re giving us ideas and suggestions of something new. And so, I hope that my team will, one, have the awareness, two, actually have the guts or the fortitude to try something different and, three, to execute on it every single day.

So, if we could just do something different and new every day like your campaign teaches us, I think it’s going to be wildly successful.

Dr. Robin

Well, for all of you listening today, not just the Citywide team, but everybody else listening today. This is a campaign not just for you. It’s for your kids or your significant other or if you’re not part of the Citywide family, maybe your spouse, that’s for them as well. Anybody can do this campaign. It is free because Citywide has underwritten the back end so that we could offer this to all of you. We’re trying to reach a million people, so we can create a ripple from the heartland, East and West and North and South to really shift what’s happening.

So, Jeff, thank you for all you’ve done for Kansas City in our world. And thank you for joining us on the 31-day kindness campaign.

Jeff

Thanks, Michelle. Keep up the great work. You’re making a difference.

———————-

 

Dr. Robin

I’m having a blast today chatting with the Citywide team. Joining me on this kindness campaign today is Tom Bridgeforth.

Tom is a present owner of Citywide Facility Solutions in central New Jersey. He opened his Citywide location after spending a majority of his career in the financial service industry

In 2020, his team won the Million Dollar Club Award in the Platinum Market Award.

He currently resides in Old Bridge, New Jersey, with his wife Maria and three daughters, Maya, Kira and Sophie. So, Tom, welcome to this Kindness interview.

Tom

Thank you.

Dr. Robin

Tom. I’m curious, what three words would you use to describe the last year of your life?

Tom

Crazy. Lots of highs and lots of lows. Really? The whole pandemic. I mean, it was a great shift for everyone. It impacted us in ways I never would have imagined. I mean, again, it was horrible. So many people, people who were close to losing their lives got really sick.

But then on the flip side, it was a boom for our business and it helped us have one of the best years ever. During the pandemic, we were working seven days a week when it first started. And right here in New Jersey, we’re in the epicenter, at the start of all of this. So, it was a crazy point in time for us.

Dr. Robin

Thomas this is a two-part question. When you look back, what is the moment of kindness that stands out to you professionally?

Tom

I’m going to say it stretches across professionally and personally because it hit me in so many different ways. Earlier this year, my soon to be twelve-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumor out of the blue.

She’s a soccer player. She fainted at practice. The neurologist said that this is not going to be a big deal. You shouldn’t be too concerned; they did a bunch of tests with the MRI on her and admitted her on the spot.

And again, I never had anything like that happen in our family. Our family has been in pretty good health, etc. But it was shocking. It was a very serious condition. It could be potentially life threatening. They did surgery within two days, and at the time it was such a blur for me.

I was just trying to get by day to day, to keep my daughter calm. But the kindness that poured out both professionally from clients that sent flowers and balloons and Teddy bears. Our staff was super supportive, because obviously I was at the hospital and not in the office and even neighbors, friends, even her soccer team, we were blown away.

One of the things that really just blew me away was her soccer League actually did a fundraiser to support a children’s foundation for cancer and kids. They did jerseys with her initials and numbers on it for the whole soccer League. And I was just stunned. I just never expected to have been in a situation like that. And it was all of that support and the kindness that was shown that I think helped her get through. And I’m happy to say my daughter is pretty much back to normal. She started the season back in her starting position on her team and is doing great.

Dr. Robin

Well, it kind of took me by. I didn’t expect that to come out of your mouth. So, thank you for sharing such a personal story. I’m curious. Was it hard to receive the kindness?

Tom

It was. It was something that I wasn’t accustomed to. Usually, I felt like I’m always on the giving end of things. Like I said, I’ve had a fortunate life. I haven’t really needed much along the way and to be in that position and just the outpouring. I remember my daughter saying it felt like every day was Christmas because of the amount of stuff that people were sending her and just from different facets of my life, it’s just like I said, clients, our Citywide, the franchise sent things, like my MBA class. They sent stuff.

It’s just like everyone was just so kind and extended themselves and offered to help. It’s just fantastic to see people come together like that.

Dr. Robin

How will it shift how you live your life going forward?

Tom

Getting our Citywide office off the ground. My wife is full time in the business as well. We work long hours and it’s been crazy for us getting this business up and going. And we had not invested a lot of time and family vacations over the last couple of years. And it was funny right before the pandemic, we’re planning a big trip, which of course, got canceled. But after this experience with Kira, it really made us take some time this summer and to really stop and okay, we’ve got to make time for our families and to spend more time together, because again, the pandemic made that point to us.

But then having this moment really just reshaped our views. So, we’re making a lot more time for family. Now, you have to.

Dr. Robin

Well, I think priorities. We realize life is short. It was short before and it’s just gotten shorter here realizing all the craziness going on. So, I’m curious, Tom, as a franchisee, how do you balance being kind to yourself while showing kindness to your team and community? What does that look like?

Tom

Sorry, I think we have a little construction going on in our building. Sorry for the bang, and it’s definitely you tend to neglect yourself. I found that. And actually, my wife was really good about saying to me, you need to make some time to do stuff for yourself, because again, it’s all about the family. It’s all about the team. It’s all about our clients.

So, one thing that I did for myself this year is, ya know I get invited to a lot of golf tournaments, but I never could really play. So, I’ve been taking golf lessons now and I’m making time each week to practice.

Although this was supposed to be an outlet, golf’s a frustrating game, but it’s giving me something to focus on for me. And then likewise for our team. One thing that we started to do is have weekly team meetings.

A lot of our team is out in the field every day. So, we’re not together. But on Fridays, we have a team meeting and we started this during the pandemic of ordering lunch from a local restaurant, to try to help the restaurants that were suffering. And we’ve continued it on.

So, we buy lunch for everyone. And it’s always a great meeting. We talk about what’s going on, what’s good in our personal lives, our professional lives, what we’re happy about, and it just keeps the team together. One of the benefits of having a franchise in a small business is you get to run it like more of a family. One of the reasons why both my wife and I left the corporate world. You’re just a number. You’re just a head count. People don’t care about you. It’s one of the things that I find more often when we find talent that wants to come work for us. Is that one of the number of reasons they don’t want to work for a big company anymore is they just don’t care. And to use your words, they’re just not very kind anymore.

Dr. Robin

Well, we’re launching this 31-day kindness around the world, creating a ripple from the heartland East to West, North to South, and you hit on the areas of the kindness campaign.

There’s a kindness to yourself. Self-care. It’s hard to give to others when your bucket is empty. And I’m glad you’ve been practicing your golf game. I’ve picked up the game of pickleball with the pandemic and my patients to say when I’m not in the office. Where are you out playing pickleball again? And about half the time, it’s yes, I am.

But there’s also the kindness other people share with you when you go through drama and trauma, which was all what happened in our lives. You were lucky. I was lucky. And then I had some stuff happen to me, which challenged me to think about kindness a little bit differently.

And then, of course, you have your colleagues and what you’d be doing for your neighbors and community. So, you hit all the few areas in just a matter of a few minutes. So that is totally awesome.

When you think about Citywide taking on this effort, of spreading a ripple of kindness around the world. What are you most proud of?

Tom

I think this year we did activity for an organization that supports some children with developmental issues. They actually had us revitalize a sensory playground. And it was interesting for us because we didn’t know a lot about these issues or these things that impact kids. But we actually did the research. Actually, Marie, my other half, was phenomenal about doing research there. And I think all they were looking for was for us to paint and replace a few fixtures. We built the whole sensory walkway, a waterway. We did all these different things. I kid you not. We took this on like we take on a half a million-dollar office renovation project.

We had a project plan. We all had it all worked out. We built this thing. And then the best thing was that the following Monday, when the organization sent us pictures when the kids went out and were playing in the playground, it was so heartwarming. So, we’re looking to do more activities like that again, to give back into our communities. There’s so much need out there.

And again, a lot of what we’re doing because of what Citywide is able to do with facilities. I mean, anything with the building or outside of a building we can fix, repair, improve upon. So being able to give that skill back into the community is just phenomenal.

Dr. Robin

You know, when you think about your citywide team, okay, I’m changing the questions up on you. So, thank you for rolling with it here. I know you can handle you’re up for the challenge. When you think about your Citywide team, what would you want them to know?

Tom

You know, I want them to know that Marie and I very much care about them. We try to have an environment where I never, ever want to hear that someone missed the kid’s recital or some important event because of work. Make the time, go take care of yourself, get your stuff done. If you need to leave early today and work on something tonight, fine. But make sure you put family first and the work is always going to be there.

Dr. Robin

It has, without a doubt you know, Tom, I’m wondering there’s been a lot going on in the last couple of years Besides the pandemic, we’ve got the politicalness, we’ve got the Black Lives Matter movement. What simple gestures have you recently witnessed over the last year that renewed your hope and humanity?

Tom

You know, it’s interesting. I’ve had a few moments of again, like you said, we’re in such a political polarized moment in time. I think about conversations, either being out with friends or even at the barber shop of seeing those moments where things start to get a little testy and then someone speaks up and says, hey, you know, you know, there’s so much that we argue about, but if you really step back and you think about it, probably about 90% of the stuff we all agree on, we want our kids to have good schools. We all think healthcare is a mess in this country and something needs to change. And we pretty much all agree no matter what party you’re in, that Congress is pretty much ineffective. So, you step back and you think about that and you realize we’ve got to get back to and find that common ground and focus on the things that we’re all in agreement on, not just the things that we’re going to fight about, because that just needs to stop.

Dr. Robin

Well, what the studies show around kindness as we shared a lot today is that when you are kind to yourself and kind to others, it changes your brain chemistry. And so, you actually have more of an open heart. Speaking of an open heart, thank you for taking time to go live with me today. I have one final question for you. What is one kind thing you’ve done over the last year that has stretched your heart a bit wider?

Tom

You know, there’s many, but only because I was just telling someone about this the other day. And I think it’s a story that many could appreciate. I had to get a FedEx package out, and I kind of planned my day. You got there. And look, I never, being a business owner, I never go to a business right before they’re about to close because I know people want to go home. I got there about 35 minutes before closing, and I walk in and the guy’s like, oh, we’re closing.

I’m like, well, now you’re open to 430. Well, we’re going to close early today, and I’m like, well, I’m here, and the guy kind of looks at me and rolls his eyes and just fine, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And it really kind of ticked me off. But then I thought about it for a minute and I said, hey, buddy, you know, you know, I get it. You need to get out. I don’t know what you have going on. I’m sorry if I snapped at you. I just really need to get this package out. You know, you know, hopefully this won’t take you, too long or whatever. And the guy kind of looked at me, and I think he was stunned that I said that, and he goes, you know, I’m sorry. We should have put out a posting that we’re gonna close early or whatever. And we had a nice conversation.

And it’s the moment where you think about all the YouTube and TikTok videos of people getting into arguments and being nasty with each other. It’s just stopping for a moment to think that that other person is a human being. And again, I don’t know what he had going on. Maybe he had a soccer game to get to for one of his kids or whatever. But again, just showing that kindness, it made a negative experience into a positive one.

Dr. Robin

And you’re still talking about it. So, without a doubt, well, stay tuned. We’ll have one more person. Join us as we launch this kindness campaign that’s going to create a ripple around the world with our intention of reaching a million plus people.

 

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Dr. Robin

We’re talking about kindness today and today, we’re featuring Lisa Greco with Citywide Facilities Solutions. Some fun facts about her. She’s a director of people and culture at Citywide Factilities Solutions in Lenexa, Kansas. She’s previously worked in telecommunications, insurance and management services. During her career, she graduated from Rockers University and the University of Missouri Columbia. Lisa has three kids, one who is attending Kansas University. She loves to run for exercise and for her wellbeing, Lisa, welcome to our Kindness series.

Lisa

Thank you. Dr. Robin. Really nice to be here today.

Dr. Robin

Well, as director of People and culture at Citywide, tell me your reaction and your thoughts about Citywide Facility Solutions jumping on sponsoring this international kindness campaign.

Lisa

Absolutely. Well, it’s fun to think about because positively impacting our people is our number one goal and purpose, really at Citywide. And as the director of HR in many different ways, we are always looking for ways to really reinforce that as a part of our culture. So what a great way for us to acknowledge and discuss maybe how we see it in the form of our culture at Citywide.

Dr. Robin

Tell me something that you’ve learned over the years about helping others.

Lisa

something that I’ve learned over the years. I think in general, it’s that connection to people that really matters most. It’s really the little things that matter most, that feeling of you belonging to someone or somewhere or some purpose that really connects with people. And so in my field, HR culture is such a big part of why people join an organization and why people choose to stay. And ultimately, culture is all about the connection. Right. So when I think about the overall purpose of this and when I think about how it impacts our organization and when I think about in general, how that affects my role, my responsibilities, and what I’ve learned over the years, that’s important. That’s a major key to it.

Dr. Robin

Can you give me a story of kindness that you witnessed under the age of 15?

Lisa

Yes. Absolutely. You know, when I think back to before I was age 15, I think I go back to the younger years. Maybe when I was in grade school and I was an only child, I didn’t have brothers and sisters. My mother also worked. And so I think back to the memories of all the things, the extracurricular stuff that was so important as a child grown-up. And, of course, my family, my extended family helped out in those situations. But I also think back to all of those, whether it was playing softball or joining campfire girls Bluebirds. All of the mothers in that small network always made sure that even if my mom was working, I had the opportunity just like everybody else for that involved whether that was getting to practice or learning how to sew the beads on your blue bird vest. It was those other moms that really stepped in and helped when my mom couldn’t be there. And that was really meaningful because I think I always aspired to be like my mom because she was very career minded and very good at what she did. But I also took away from that. That the kindness that they showed me in moments where they really didn’t have to. And I also grew up wanting to be a lot like those moms there.

Dr. Robin

That saying “it takes a village,” right? It sounds like you and I both had a village of people around us that helped us kind of navigate those early years in life. What about a memory of recent where someone showed kindness to you or someone to someone else? And how did you feel and maybe make it kind of related to the last 18-19 months?

Lisa

Sure. Absolutely. So I’ll kind of put it to perspective in my new role at Citywide. I’ve been at Citywide for about one year, and in general, the overall you just get kind of when you walk through the halls. Citywide again, it’s part of our purpose, but it’s genuine. And I love seeing that because it makes my job easier, especially when I’m talking to new candidates who are just learning about Citywide. And one thing that really stands out is that I’ve been able to say that with honesty, with that genuine intention, because I see it. I feel it when I walk the house. So it’s easy. But it’s nice when you hear back from those new hires that walk in the door, whether it’s through an interaction I’ve had with them with recruitment or whether it’s my team because my team also does quite a lot of recruitment. And we hear from those new hires once they join on. And there are some that will stop it in the hall and say, thank you. Thank you for helping me make that connection to Citywide, or they’ll send an email. And that’s really nice because it validates the purpose of what we do, finding great talent and matching it with what we need at the company. So that’s nice, but maybe even on a more personal level, what’s also been nice, and I think very genuine is those little things that maybe a coworker has done for me or one of my peers checking in on me. I can think back to a couple of times where I am sick. I wasn’t feeling well, still trying to get some things done for work, and they were just checking in to see how I was doing and feeling not really needing something for work, but just checking in to see how I was feeling. And those personal little touches make a difference, remembering something that my kids were doing and asking about that or congratulating me because they know I’ve done something again. It’s those little things, those little acts of kindness where you don’t need to do it, but you do it because you want to. So it really makes you feel connected with that other person and really connected with the organization. So those have been some personal things that I think I would look back on reflect and say, that’s been really nice.

Dr. Robin

You know, that’s interesting, there’s research that shows that one act of goodness can lead to another act of goodness, to another act of goodness, to another act known as a Boomerang effect. I’m curious about the ripple in this world. I know that our friends at Citywide Facilities, I just love the word ripples. What ripple in this world would have never happened without you?

Lisa

Oh, never happened without me. That’s a really large statement there. But I would I think I would have to say, well, there’s probably two evidence, right. It goes back to my kids and ultimately my family. I would hope that they see and they carry with them some of the things that I’ve tried to teach them in life. Certainly my husband, too. But it’s so great when you hear other people talk about your kids. So those of us that have kids, you see that. And then when they go and do something nice in particular. And there’s been a couple of instances where I’ve heard from another mom or heard from another family. And I really appreciated that or that help my son or my daughter, you know, that warms your heart, right. And that tells you. Okay. We’re doing something right here. And that ripple is hopefully continuing.

And then just through work, there’s a lot of we all hope to go to work every day at the end of the day, we’re working with a purpose. But we hope or I hope that at the end of the day, at the end of the year, at the end of ten years that I have done something helpful to impact someone’s place at work, their career, what they love to do. I always say, I think a lot of people if you hear this, they will not and say, Yep, she said that a lot. I say a lot if you like and love what you do, then work does not really work. And a lot of people say that right. But I do mean that because that is a part of my role. So I would hope professionally over the course of time that those that I’ve worked with would really feel that impact.

Dr. Robin

You brought up kids and this campaign that is being offered to the world because of the support from Citywide, talk about your kids and how you’ll have them participate in this act of kindness for the next 31 days to help create a ripple. And so talk about how you plan on including them and and encouraging your colleagues to include their children as well, because you probably know the suicide is fairly high. And the studies show that eight out of ten Americans right now have felt anxiety and depression and stress at different levels, of course. But the question is, how would you like to see your kids interact over the next 31 days in this campaign? And in all citywide kids?

Lisa

That’s another great question and impact as well. I think that when my kids in particular happen to be in an age, they’re all teenagers, different ages, but all teenagers. And so they have a little bit of life experience already under their belt. And I would want them to in the next 31 days not just think about themselves but really think about others and how they can do something, a small thing that can really have an impact. And my kids, I would say all three of them have had examples of that already. But in this last year where COVID and pandemic has really brought out a lot of that wellness need and certainly some challenges, I think that our kids today have become much more in tune to what it looks like when someone needs help. And so I’ll encourage them to try to get out of your own zone for a little bit and think about others a little bit more than you would on a regular day, on a normal day. And what can you do to help out someone who, you know might be struggling a little bit because it really does make a difference.

Dr. Robin

We like to say small changes, big shifts. Got one final question for you before we continue our interviews when you think about your journey, and I believe that we all have medicine and calling medicine and things inside of us that are our gift. For instance, I’m not the person who can drive you to the doctor’s appointment. I just don’t have that type of schedule, but I’m good at giving wellbeing advice or picking up some collagen or bone broth, whatever you may need. So what do you think is the medicine that God put in your heart to share with the world?

Lisa

Well, let’s see. I have to think about that a little bit, but I would say just really get a whole lot of enjoyment out of helping others from the time I was really young, too. Now my nature is to give, and I get a lot of fulfillment out of that. And so I think as I’ve gotten older, that has transformed in different ways. But I like, I like to give more of myself and not ask in return, because just that fulfills me. I think I try really hard to listen. I try really hard to think through. How can I really help you? How can I really be impactful? How can I really be a good friend and then follow through with that? And in my mind, that, whether it’s a big circle or a little circle that can make a difference. I think the patience that I’ve been given to slow things down sometimes is perhaps a good attribute to have in today’s very quick faced world. And I do that with real intention, real conscientiousness. So I hope that comes through in my interactions with others. But I really do feel strongly that that’s probably something that’s been given to me from the time I was really, really young. I knew that that was a part of my makeup.

Dr. Robin

Well, what I heard you say is be a go giver. And that’s a great statement from Bob Berg, who wrote a book about being a go giver and basically using two ears instead of one mouth in listening twice as much as you’re talking. So that’s great wisdom. I misled you. I really do have one more question. This is my final question, in 31 days from now, as your team has gone through this, what type of feeling do you want them to have at the end of our campaign together?

Lisa

I would hope that they have the sense that they have truly impacted others, that they have carried on the spirit of gratitude and kindness, and that that is probably going to stretch further than they know at that very moment. Right. But that in the moment they feel like they’ve had an impact that it’s the small things that really matter, and that at the end of the day that really serves the purpose of, yes, our culture, but hopefully their heart and their soul as well.

Dr. Robin

You’re going to create a ripple beyond themselves. But I’m hoping that you will see more filled up in your own self care and your own kindness, to yourself, to your colleagues, to your family, to your community, to your neighbors, to your neighbors that may be in another country. So thanks. Thanks for joining me, Lisa, and stay tuned. And I’ll be right back.

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