As we envelope ourselves, voluntarily or not, in the social implications of the presidential campaign and the feeling of loss as our culture moves closer and closer to isolationism, a lack of compassion and empathy for others, and what seems to be an unprecedented level of selfishness and shallowness through worship of social media, reality TV, sensationalism, and material things, I can't help but pray we have a reawakening that redefines progress as more than change, but rather growth in the right direction. William Chambers and his mother epitomize what will be required as we move from the complex to the simple, isolation to compassion, selfishness to empathy, and becoming less the by-product of the negativity and sensationalism in our culture to more the driving force for inclusion and acceptance as we evolve our consciousness to a commonality of purpose and understanding.
Please click the photo below to hear a beautiful story about how lives can change through simply being present.
In such a brief clip, they profoundly said so very much.
The importance of thoughtfulness & acceptance...
The gift of freedom to think whatever you want to think without the limitations of societal influence...
The importance of simply being present...
The appreciation for the beauty of small moments...
The importance of focusing on today, because we are not promised tomorrow.
William reminds us that there is hope, there is a future we can be proud of, and there are those who understand that lifting others up is the only way to grow personally and culturally.
To remain competitive, it is critical to continually improve, refocus, adjust to internal and external threats and opportunities, and leverage our resources to thrive in a competitive business environment. Through this, it seems a natural human process to overlook current strengths as we unequivocally value all change as progress - when, on occasion, the focus should not have been the desire to change an individual's weaknesses, but rather to capitalize on his strengths. In other words, in the midst of this constant re-positioning of that which surrounds us, we my have been better served to re-position our own perspective than to change others. Bottom line, most of us see the world through a fairly narrow lens and only when we allow ourselves to slow down, step back, and re-evaluate our personal perceptions are we able to fully appreciate the assets we have at hand - to meet people where they are and build upon the strengths that may be lying just beneath the surface. Such is the case in the video below...
We all have limitations, we all have individual differences, but we all have strengths, and we all have something to give. Our choice, as employers, is to decide on which of these traits we will focus.
My challenge to you is to imagine yourself in a similar situation. Would you have taken a chance and hired the young man? Would you have written him off as unemployable? Or, would you have met him where he was, highlighted his strengths and specifically chosen, in that moment, to forever and permanently change his life?.
As we all know, many small business owners try to be everything to everyone - including their employee's HR Director. Please see the link below for an article that scratches the surface of what an HR professional can do for your company. Yes, there is a cost involved, but the return will far outweigh the investment.
"The money means alot, say these folks, but being appreciated means even more."
So, month end has come and gone, quarter end will be here before we know it, and in a few months we'll be planning for next year... Our thoughts and conversations are "numbers driven", "goal oriented", and we take a "bottom line approach" to managing the business - failing to take into account the bottom line may be impacted by more than a snapshot of current tangibles. We hang onto our accountant's every word while we look for ways to cut, ways to save, and ways to reduce the tax burden for our organizations. So has been the approach for decades - long term gain and organizational health by reducing spending, cutting costs, and otherwise backing away from "unnecessary" costs - reducing everything from our breakrooms to our employee benefits to mere afterthoughts and our merit increases and the performance review process to COLAs. Unfortunately, the psychological impact of our decisions on our employees is rarely part of the equation. We focus on the "what" instead of the "why" of the business and our human resources are reduced to a means to an end - resources who yearn for the smallest amount of recognition. But it doesn't have to be that way...
Showing appreciation and gratitude can have the following effects on behavior*:
In walks Hamdi Ulukaya and the Chobani corporation - a real world experiment in the bottom line impact of giving back and appreciation on organization performance. Please watch the video below. If there is still any doubt about the psychological (and, by extension, behavioral) impact of showing appreciation and gratitude, I encourage you to pause the video at 1:47 and truly study the look on the lady's face in the clip after she embraces Mr. Ulukaya. That is the face of someone who knows she is appreciated, the face of someone who knows she is wanted, the face of someone who fully recognizes her employer has changed her family's future, the face of someone who truly supports the company she works for, the face of a loyal employee who will work hard knowing her efforts will not go unnoticed, and the face of someone who is thankful she is part of an organization that recognizes its greatest asset is its people.
"The money means alot, say these folks, but being appreciated means even more."
So tell me, after reading the articles above and watching the Chobani video, what is the true "cost" of merit increases, annual bonuses, performance reviews, office luncheons, birthday cards, thank you notes, and other means of showing your appreciation? Or, maybe the better question is, "What is the cost of failing to show appreciation and gratitude for others?"
There are times in life when we lose our direction, as though we are temporarily blinded by the mundane and the mediocrity of life. We've all been there. We've all dreaded Monday morning and patiently waited on Friday as though some cosmic force will suddenly change our lives as we straighten our desk for the weekend. We leave the parking lot on Friday evening full of energy and anticipation and slowly re-enter on Monday as though we are going to the funeral of a friend.
We have lost our purpose as we have become deadened by the daily routine. And, along the way we lose sight that without purpose, we are little more than God's lesser creatures - existing for a purpose, but without the vision to see it, understand it, and live it. Please turn up your speakers and watch the video below for a beautiful explanation of the difference between simply living and living with intent, with purpose, and with a focus on your Why!
How much more effective could we be if we lived our why? How much more empowered and impactful would your team be if they understood your Why? To that, when asked why Blake Mycoskie, the founder of TOMS shoes, chose to form a for-profit instead of a charity, he stated:
"When I first met these children in South America who didn’t have shoes, I wanted to give them the shoes that they needed to go to school. I recognized that giving them shoes once or even twice was not really going to be effective. They needed a commitment of shoes on an ongoing basis, over and over again. A charity is really dependent on donations, and sometimes donors don’t always show up. They have a good year, they have a bad year—it changes their ability to give on a year-by-year basis. But as a business, there’s a lot more stability, especially if you build a successful business. And that allows us to have sustainability." - Blake Mycoskie
Clearly, Mr. Mycoskie has found his why. He is not selling shoes; he is changing lives.
This moment, right now, exactly at this point and on the ground on which you stand, it is your purpose and should be your intent to be noticed, to make a difference, and to be the person you were born to be. Failures have come before, have made you stronger, and decisions made have taken you exactly where you are today - stronger from your failure, wiser from mistakes, hardened with experience, and more focused on your goal of refusing to be forgotten by the next generation. As you continue to push, persevere, and with steadfast determination drive toward your one and only chance at societal immortality, you know you will soon be in good company with others who came before and stand now in the hall of the greats. You are in the final stretch. And now, you must leap...
When, on August 28, 1963, Dr. King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to deliver his "I Have A Dream" speech, he took a leap from those steps into history. It was his moment, his opportunity, and his sole purpose to advance beyond what mere mortals may obtain. And, as he leapt, he permanently impressed his enduring legacy into the history books. The engraving you see above is on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in the exact same spot from which Dr. King delivered the greatest speech of all time. You have to wonder how many people have simply stepped over it on their way to the top? How many never even noticed the engraving as they ascended the stairs? How many sat from this very spot, peering over the lawns, in search of a life they believe out of reach. How many, in their daily lives, continue to look for their "spot", their leaping point, their opportunity to "come along" - all the while, unknowingly, but perfectly positioned to take their personal leap?
It is clear we may not all command the attention of millions or have the opportunity to address the country from the Lincoln Memorial, but the influence we choose to have on our own potential and other's well-being is equally impactful within our sphere of influence. The key is, you must leap from the security of the zoo into the unknown of the jungle. Do your people recognize the impact they may have on those around them? Have they been encouraged, regardless of their position, to take their leap? If they fall, will you support them?
"And when you discover what you will be in your life, set out to do it as if God Almighty called you at this particular moment in history to do it. Don’t just set out to do a good job. Set out to do such a good job that the living, the dead or the unborn couldn’t do it any better.
If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music, sweep streets like Leontyne Price sings before the Metropolitan Opera. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well. If you can’t be a pine at the top of the hill, be a shrub in the valley. Be the best little shrub on the side of the hill.
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree. If you can’t be a highway, just be a trail. If you can’t be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size that you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are." - Martin Luther King, "What is Your Life's Blueprint", 1967
Several weeks ago, a good friend and I were having lunch when he asked me a compelling question, "Do you believe that time is valuable?" I answered, of course, with "yes", but my answer was followed with a another compelling, if not shocking, response. Prior, I was explaining how incredibly busy I had been the previous few weeks. I admitted, even though I was running full speed, I felt as though I was making little progress. I thought he would understand because "everyone's been there", but that was not the case. He looked me dead in the eye and said, "I don't believe you. If you believe time is valuable you would use it more efficiently and, specifically, spend it doing The One Thing that matters most." And, as I have found over the last few weeks, he was absolutely right. Through identification of, and an intense focus on my top priority, I can position myself for what it takes for excellence - one step at a time. At first glance his comment seemed hasty and short-sided, but the last couple weeks have helped me realize my initial resistance was simply a way to defend my actions and deny the reason I was failing. I believed since "everyone has been there" my lack of focus was acceptable. Yes, everyone's been there, but maybe that's why so few succeed.
As I rehashed our conversation over the coming weeks, his words continued to haunt me with real world examples I encountered daily. For instance, while at Disney World the first week of this month, I was riding the shuttle bus and noticed one of the advertisements that run along the top edge of the cabin area. The sign had a picture of Cinderella's castle at Magic Kingdom and simply stated, "It All Started With a Mouse." Regardless of how grandiose Walt's initial vision had become, it all started with a simple concept he jotted on a napkin while riding a train. When Mickey Mouse was "born", so was the One Thing Walt Disney needed to provide focus for astronomical success. Although he was financially broke, had failed on more than one attempt, and was told repeatedly his dream of being a successful cartoonist was futile, his One Thing kept him focused with the laser-like precision required for those who seek greatness. He gave himself fully to what mattered most - the manifestation of his dream to introduce the world to his creative vision.
Soon after returning, while sitting in church, our preacher said, "Failure is not giving yourself fully to what matters most." Given my natural propensity to listen and absorb moments such as these, his comment immediately caused me to not only introspect but to breakdown the quote into what he was really saying.
Failure (anything short of complete success, being average) is not giving yourself fully (something else - even one thing- has divided your attention) to what (singular, one thing - not things, the few things, the issues, etc...) matters most (not the top 2, 3 or 5 - just what matters most).
His attempt to have us embrace God more fully pushed me to look within and ask what other aspects of my life lack focus. Where am I failing simply because I am so distracted with the busyness of life, deadlines, competing priorities, and what I view as a lack of time to make it all work? Where am I failing because I haven't prioritized The One thing that matters most? Where am I failing because I am not fully giving myself to this One Thing,but rather allowing multiple priorities to compete for my time, my energy, and my focus? His message continues to resonate, as does the reality that the complexity of our lives, goals, and plans may be the very thing that is unraveling our full potential.
What is your One Thing and how do you find it? What are the Other Things and how do you control for them? What is standing in between and where you want to be?
So, what is the next step? Start here for a brief overview of how this concept relates personally...
Next, READ THIS LIFE CHANGING BOOK! It will thoughtfully and thoroughly apply this concept to your business and help take you and your team to the next level.
To purchase this life-changing book by Gary Keller Click Here!
To hear some tell it, his death was due to a lack of preparation for what the mountain had in store. Others say it was the result of a relentless pursuit that not only brought him to his knees but forced his friends to the depths of depravity. Others may simply tell you he was too far gone to save without simultaneously bringing down others.
As news spread, Sir Edmund Hillary was quoted, "There have been a number of occasions when people have been neglected and left to die and I don't regard this as a correct philosophy. I think you have to have your priorities. If the priority is just to get to the summit and let another man die, okay, you do it. But if you have someone who is in great need and you are still strong and energetic, then you have a duty, really, to give all you can to get the man down and getting to the summit becomes very secondary. I think the whole attitude towards climbing Mt Everest has become rather horrifying. The people just want to get to the top. They don't give a damn for anybody else who may be in distress and it doesn't impress me at all that they leave someone lying under a rock to die."
Soon after reaching the summit of Everest, as David Sharp's oxygen reserves depleted and he lay motionless in the snow, forty other hikers walked past him on their way to the peak. Forty other hikers allowed their own ambition to cloud their vision. Forty other hikers lost sight of their purpose.
The conundrum is inherent. We all face an Everest. Some of us seek the thrill, the pursuit, and the recognition, while others are simply battling a diagnosis. Some pay $75,000 for a snapshot at the summit while others receive the tragic news on the receiving end of a toll-free call. Naturally, our valleys and peaks rarely coincide with those around us which is, of course, the rub. How will our values be compromised or can we find an alignment that satisfies both the soul and our ambition?
So, we ask ourselves:
Yes, In May of 2006, we learned of a man who both reached his zenith and met his demise on the same day while surrounded by others he considered friends, cohorts, and men of stature. While extending to reach new heights, he succumbed to the hubris mirrored by those disinterested others who wore similar blinders created by the relentless pursuit and singleness of purpose driving them beyond the realm of empathy for their fellow man.
Left to die? Or, die to self to live for others? Your thoughts?
"If a man has not discovered something that he will die for, he isn't fit to live." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"There is someone out there with less intelligence, who started with less money, with less opportunity and passion than you who is living their dreams. The difference is they found their "why", their purpose, their vision. There is nothing more powerful than a human being with purpose, goals, and dreams. When you find yours write it down, read it often, digest it, and make it part of you."
From now on, tell yourself, "I will achieve my dreams regardless of my circumstances. Nothing will stop me. No matter the circumstances, I will not be beat. I will be fearless!"
Live, work, play, and build relationships with a sense of purpose. Until we, and our teams, find our "why", our singularity of purpose, we are predestined for mediocrity in the workplace. What role do you feel we play in instilling this mindset, and how might we begin doing so?
Contentedness. Familiarity. Comfort. Compliance.
We live in a world that values contentedness, mediocrity, and a "good enough" approach to life. We strive for average, even when we know we are capable of so much more. We allow handicaps to become our god and our failures to become our story. We allow the weak to rule, and the strong to be silenced. We call risk takers foolhardy and depict the "slow and steady" as wise. Those who dance to their own tune we label as misfits, while those who are happy with a mundane existence revolving around the start and end time of a shift as normal, stable, and "productive" members of society.
Or, do we? Do we honestly value these weak human traits, or is this a defense mechanism to be able to stomach the reflection of mediocrity as we shave in preparation for our daily trudge through our "good enough" existence? As children, we push, we drive, we strive to make the team, and we don't give up no matter how large the obstacle - until we learn the satisfaction and safety of self-deprecation. We watch the Superbowl, the NBA Finals, the World Series, and hang on every word Lebron says, but we do so from the comfort of our recliners. Our failures are muted by others' successes, but if we were true to ourselves we'd realize Lebron, Gates, and Trump would likely not watch a program to hear us speak. We have given up, but our heroes drive forward - refusing to take no for an answer, be content, take comfort in familiarity and balk at compliance. We live vicariously because we know what we were created to do. We were made in His image not to sit idly by and allow the mediocrity of life to dictate our choices, but to rise up and not only grow into, but expand, our potential.
Hunger. Drive. Determination. Heart. To be successful, we must replace our contentedness with drive to provide the vision and passion needed to push our teams on to greatness. Keep pushing. Keep driving. Know that today is the day to make the change!
If you do what is EASY in life, life WILL be hard...If you do what is hard first, life WILL be EASY!
Very likely, we've all been there. We've interviewed a candidate, proceeded with more than a bit of caution, and then found out that this person quickly grew into our best employee. Maybe it was her age, his shyness, her nontraditional look, or a simple lack of self-esteem that we initially questioned. And, it makes sense. The survivalist in all of us is quick to judge, quick to condemn, and quick to pounce when we are confronted with a person we perceive as weaker, less talented, or less socially adept. With all of our progressive views and insight we still have a tendency to respond emotionally, acting as though we are no more understanding or enlightened than the Neanderthal who came before us - swinging a club when confronted with something we don't understand. We are survivors. And survivors must have prey. However, survivors, if we are to truly evolve and thrive, must also learn from others' perspectives, vicariously, from our environment, our mistakes, and certainly when our emotions betray us. We must allow ourselves to allow others to enlighten us, grow our hearts, and liberate our inhibitions.
Allow me to introduce Donald Gould of Sarasota, Florida. Please take a moment to listen and ask yourself, "Would I have prejudged? Would I have offered an ear? Would I have allowed myself to allow him the time to show me what he is capable of and to see past his hardened exterior to learn about his heart, his story, and his desire for belongingness? We all have a place and want a home. The extension of grace. The growth of the heart.
"When he was younger, Gould played clarinet for the Marine Corps. After his service, he attended college in Michigan to study music education but ran out of money before he could finish. He worked other jobs and started a family, however his life changed when his wife died in 1998. Gould turned to substance abuse eventually losing his son to social services." Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/07/01/homeless-man-sarasota-keys-piano-project_n_7707814.html?ncid=txtlnkusaolp00000592
As we move forward and continue to make decisions that affect both our organization and community, please don't forget Mr. Gould and the lesson he shares. Given the right tools, the right support, the patience to allow for understanding, and the extension of grace to allow for our differences, greatness is possible.
Think about it...
How you responded when her mother passed away...
How you inappropriately showed your emotions when faced with a difficult decision...
The time you graciously delivered encouragement when a reprimand may have been appropriate...
The time you chose not to filter your response before hitting "send"...
The extra few minutes you take to tell everyone "Good morning"...
The way you chose to ignore the problem employee...
The way you always have coffee ready in the break room before others arrive...
The time you chose to use profanity when confronting an employee...
Your willingness to do whatever it takes to get the job done - regardless of the task at hand...
The time you chose not to recognize someone for a job well done...
The day you sent flowers to the funeral of an employee's loved one...
The outburst you allowed when one of your supervisors was "disciplining" his direct report...
The pep talks over lunch to recognize your team's accomplishments...
Your response when someone asked for time to care for an elderly parent...
The way you handled the latest crisis in the office...
The easy way out you took, instead of pushing through to the best solution...
The time, or lack thereof, you spent on performance reviews with your direct reports...
The time you wrote the thank you card to your employee...
The time you made a scapegoat of someone who was defenseless...
The quality of instruction you gave and the patience shown with someone who needed additional help...
The way you sympathized with your employee's health issue....
Your response when one of your people called in to report her child was sick...
The way you complained about the cost of repairing equipment your employees need to do their jobs well...
Would You Follow You?
Fear. We've all faced it. We've all experienced its crippling power. We've all insulated ourselves from the risk of what we fear - betting against our health, the chance occurrence of an automobile accident, disability and long term care needs all the while failing to invest in opportunities that may yield a return. We throw potential opportunity out the window in order to secure the things we identify with, even when our identity is far less than its potential. We are willing to pay premiums to hedge our fear of loss - "the inevitable", but are less willing to bet on the opportunity to win (invest in the market, ourselves, education, etc..). Our culture has ingrained a sense of imminent loss rather than likely win, despite the fact that during the 20th century the stock market returned an average of 10.4% a year*, we understand the absolutely necessity of continued growth and change, and the degradation of stagnation.
So, it's understandable. In light of our learned tendency to lean away from potential gain and toward hedging against "imminent loss", we have become a culture of second guessers, we find paralysis through analysis, and we allow ourselves to look back at retirement wondering what might have been. We have allowed ourselves the mediocre life where "good enough" is just that. We allow our contentedness to overwhelm our potential.
But, it's a choice. And, so is the alternative. Les Brown eloquently reminds us of this in the clip below.
"Imagine if you will being on your death bed, and standing around your bed the ghosts of the dreams, the ideas, the abilities, the talents given to you by life and that you, for whatever reason, you never went after that dream. You never acted on those ideas. You never used those talents. You never used those gifts. And there they are standing around your bed, looking at you with large angry eyes saying we came to you! And ONLY YOU COULD HAVE GIVEN US LIFE! And NOW we must die with you forever!"
16 Characteristics of a Champion
1. Hating to lose more than loving to win: They develop this mind-set by making no excuses when things don’t go their way.
2. Appreciating the value of association: They understand the importance of their inner circle.
3. Placing faith in a higher power: They have the perspective on life. Which is driven by an understanding of something bigger than themselves.
4. Having contagious enthusiasm: Their attitudes are infectious. And they want theirs to be caught by others.
5. Preparing for all possibilities: They are ready before the game begins.
6. Having no off-season: They understand they are always working toward the next game. And there is always a game ahead.
7. Visualizing victory: They can see what success looks like before the opening whistle.
8. Using Adversity as fuel: The tough moments of their lives become an inner fire.
9. Being a responsible risk-taker: The great ones understand that most great things occur outside of your comfort zone.
10. Knowing how and when to make adjustments: What got you there won’t keep you there.
11. Becoming the ultimate teammate: They understand that even if they are the best on their team. They may have to take a different role for the team to be successful.
12. Being motivated by more than money: They know that if your driver is cash, you won’t drive long.
13. Doing right by others: The great ones know that character is defined by how they treat others, without expecting anything in return.
14. Living with integrity: When no one is watching, they live their lives with integrity.
15. Being a role model: When everyone is watching, they set the standard for those who look up to them.
16. Creating a well-rounded legacy: They understand they are not defined by their statistics or accomplishments.
Excerpt from: "What Makes the Great Ones Great" by Don Yaeger
To this list we would add, "17. They had a dream and, at all costs, they made it happen."
If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. At first glance, that seems far too simplistic in light of the problems that face our world, the constant struggles that overwhelm and hold back even the strongest of souls. But, I get it. How could one person affect the masses? How could one act of kindness reverberate to more than the person or family directly affected? How can we possibly expect more from ourselves and our companies than what we already commit to others?
The better question perhaps is how can we not expect more from ourselves than the same business model and social inequality that has persisted for the last century? How can we not further our commitment when we see 46 million Americans living in poverty? How can we let poverty affect 1 in 6 Americans and allow ourselves to define people as undesirable, unemployable, and forgotten? How can we fail to continue to toss in the pebbles given the ripple we see in our communities when we do so? How can we not see that "social justice and business success are two sides of the same coin"? When did we allow people to become a commodity while at the same time worshiping the epitome of servant leadership, the man who washed the feet of his disciples?
"There is no better life than one lead to help others succeed."
For more on Greyston Bakery and their open hiring policy, see www.greyston.com.
Yes, I know we've all heard it before, but it doesn't take too many years of "real life" to fully understand our personal reality is little more than a conglomeration of various individual perceptions of events, the impact they either have or we project they will have on our lives, and our response to these perceptions that drive our beliefs, our actions, and our attitudes. We blame our failures on others, we attribute our success to ourselves, we find fault with others when they fail, and we are hesitant to give credit when someone succeeds - self-serving in all regards until we are eventually confronted with the undeniable reality others face, the obstacles they have overcome, and the strength with which they continue to push. An event has occurred that effectively shifts our reality through the irrefutable knowledge/perception that we have only halfheartedly pushed ourselves within the self-created reality we have so comfortably insulated ourselves within.
In walks Sean Stephenson...
1. Never believe a prediction that doesn't empower you (or your organization). If you do, you will either physically, emotionally, or spiritually die.
2. You are not your condition (or the condition you may find your business in while experiencing setbacks). The only disability is our refusal to adapt.
3. Choose to live with strength!
4. Love all human beings no matter what, because deep down all human beings just want to be loved.
5. Neither pity yourself nor beat yourself up. Move out of your head and into your heart. When you love yourself, you have the freedom to be free.
The parallels we may draw are endless…. Instead of paraphrasing or adding my take to his story, I will simply allow Father Boyle share his beautiful message. Enjoy.
The problem in the world is that we’ve just forgotten that we belong to one another.” Mother Teresa
World Class Care...
Years ago I heard the expression, "You should treat your employees as though they are volunteers." At first, and even since then, I've appreciated that saying - never quite realizing the inherent contradiction implied. So, the assumption here is we feel compelled to treat volunteers well - grateful for their service, appreciative of their sacrifice of personal time and resources, and thankful for their dedication to a cause bigger than themselves. Conversely, the assumed organizational norm is to treat our employees, coworkers, and supervisors as less than volunteer status. Essentially, since these people are "required" to be at the workplace every day, we view their time as less valuable, their sacrifices are less appreciated, their dedication less worthy, and their contributions less acceptable. Adding insult to injury, how many of us have worked with people who seem to relish in our failures, our mistakes, and our shortcomings? Is there any wonder why many currently employed individuals are looking for a new job?! (30% of Your Employees Are Already Looking For A New Job) The sad but true reality is many workplaces reflect this negative "sibling rivalry" relationship dynamic that results in the "grass is always greener" approach to self-development - a fruitless endeavor leading to a series of disappointing relationships with those who refuse to treat others with the "world class care" required for a harmonious workplace. That is....
Unless we start to treat others with compassion...
Unless we begin to see others as individual lives who deserve to be treated with care and recognized for the struggles and trials we all endure...
Unless we refuse to fall into the cycle of cold victimization of our co-workers that has become so pervasive in organizational culture...
Unless we begin each conversation with empathy, rather than approaching others with a systematic, uncaring, and cold approach...
Unless we begin to see the heart of the person to understand their struggles, rather than seeking opportunities to create conflict and a direction in which to point a finger...
Unless we begin to ask ourselves how we can positively influence others and their personal situations rather than opportunities to manipulate them for our own personal gain...
Instead of "treating employees as volunteers", we must begin to treat them as the individual hearts, souls, and lives they are. We must love them as we love ourselves and reflect this level of compassion in every interaction that we have with them. We must become their voice, become their strength, and become their confidante'. We Must Lead with a Passion for People.
Arnold's 6 Secrets to Success
Over the past several years I have listed to many motivational speeches by some truly inspirational people, but this one is one of my favorites. Enjoy!
1. Trust Yourself! Who do YOU want to be?
2. Break the Rules! It is impossible to be an original if you are too well behaved to break the rules.
3. Don't be afraid to fail! You can't always win, but don't be afraid of making decisions.
4. Don't listen to the naysayers! Pay no attention to the people who say it can't be done.
5. Work your butt off! Leave no stone unturned. No pain, no gain. You can't climb the ladder of success with your hands in your pockets.
6. Give something back! Reaching out and helping others will bring your more satisfaction than anything else you've done.
I am going to listen to Arnold’s Six Secrets to Success clip every day for the next 30 days and measure my success on one particular goal. You up for the challenge?
If you have followed this Weekly PeHRspective for very long, you know I love Jim Rohn and the simplicity he brings to the complex. In the video below, Mr. Rohn explains to “children” the advantage of not only investing, but the plan for investing. In his characteristically simply, yet intriguing and attention grabbing way, he explains the concept of wealth attainment by way of the dollar, your first dollar. As I listened, the parallels between the “first dollar”, the basic principles introduced to young people as they begin their financial lives, and the dynamics of a healthy business model became apparent. Might it be time that we go back to the basics, track every dollar as though we are just starting, and get back on the simple plan that’s been proven to build wealth time and again? Could it be as simple as he suggests? Might the complexity we bring to the table when building our financial lives (both personal and professional) be a bit overrated? I think so…
Points to consider:
· Life’s challenges include:
o The development of our full potential
o The wise use of all of our resources (time, money, talent, skill, potential, leverage, etc…)
· Never spend more than 70% of every dollar. This allows for 30% of your income to work toward your financial goals. By starting this with your 1st dollar, you will add strength to all other dollars you earn thereafter.
· Financial Plan Components:
o 70% is budgeted for expenses
o 10% should be given (How might this translate into employee incentives, benefits, or community involvement initiatives for your business? How might these investments relate to additional return (revenue) for your business – productivity, reputation, employee involvement/commitment, etc..?)
o 10% should be allocated for active capital investments (think stocks)
o 10% should be allocated for passive capital investments (think mutual funds)
· It’s less about the amount of money you have to invest, and more about the plan you have to invest what you have – regardless of the point in life at which you start working your plan. Is this not true about all organizational objectives? Without a plan we are without direction and as Ziglar said, “If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.”
· If you will change, everything will change for you.
· Don’t buy the second car until you’ve bought the second home. What a great analogy!
And here is a great article explaining active vs. passive investing!
Quotes – Jim Rohn
“If you want to be a leader who attracts quality people, the key is to become a person of quality yourself.”
“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”
“Motivation alone is not enough. If you have an idiot and you motivate him, now you have a motivated idiot.”
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment”
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
“The challenge of leadership is to be strong, but not rude; be kind, but not weak; be bold, but not bully; be thoughtful, but not lazy; be humble, but not timid; be proud, but not arrogant; have humor, but without folly.”
“If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.”
“We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”
“If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.”
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.”
It’s not the blowing of the wind that determines our destination, it’s the set of the sail. The wind blows on us all in the form of life’s challenges, setbacks, failures, and opportunity, it’s how we harness the wind that determines our destiny. As leaders we are charged with helping our people understand that challenges will come and how we handle those challenges (set our sail) will dictate our course.
A key to success involves taking the initiative to correct previous errors while picking up new disciplines for the future.
When you decide to change direction, it is important to note that the winds of change may blow slower than you would like. However, with focus and appropriate goal setting, success will come.
Without gravity you cannot fly. In other words, seek out challenge and realize that those who succeed use challenges to find wisdom and then capitalize on this knowledge.
Don’t wish for things to be easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom.
Tough day? Maybe so, but it's all about peHRspective, right?! The weekend is around the corner, the flowers are blooming, our days are becoming longer, and the smell of BBQ and freshly mowed grass will bring in many family get togethers in the weekends to come!
We are surrounded by awesome things, many of which we take for granted, many of which we don't recognize until it's too late. So stop, smell the fresh grass and focus on the things that make you smile. One of my favorite blogs to do just that is linked below. Enjoy!
1000 Awesome Things by Neil Pasricha
Life is busy. Life is demanding. Constant. Exhausting. Simultaneously fruitful and fruitless. Distracted. Family brings fulfillment but complicates. There is never enough time to feel accomplished nor a fast enough pen to evict items from the list before another moves in, occupying space existing only in a reality that refuses to accommodate the clock. More. So, that’s our excuse. That’s why we don’t take time to find fulfillment in the simple. That’s why we refuse to focus on what we innately desire but feel compelled to suppress in the name of success, progress, and “normal”. Our kids are on every team that will have them, our yards are spotless, and our cars not only get washed but get the $20 wax upgrade while our neighbor quietly nods and waves, dreading his wife’s test results. Contentedness follows only overindulgence. With our steak, we have cake. With our kids we must have perfection, and with our lives we must lead the foolhardy charge headfirst into what we think our neighbors envy. It’s a lonely task, but we not only sign up we raise our hands with the vigor of Brokaw’s Greatest Generation as they charged onto the beaches of Normandy. Bullets flying as we plunge through the quicksand of a complicated life.
Impact. Compassion. Influence. Blessings. Love. Fulfillment. Had we taken the same amount of time to focus on the simple as we obsess the complex, how many lives could have been changed? How many more picnics would we have taken with our kids and how many more prayers would have been said around the table? How many others might we have blessed with our kindness and how many more neighborhood kids would remember yours as the “cool house”? How many of your employees would think of you first in times of struggle and know, not think, they could rely on you for the support they need? If given the opportunity again, how many of us would have opened the door, laughed at the joke, simply said “good morning”, offered a shoulder for tears or an ear to listen if we had any idea when we started our journeys so many years ago that these are the only things that truly matter. Whatever form it takes for you, get in the game and allow the simple blessing of serving others bless and nourish your soul. Make a choice. Save the shoes.
“If you are not lighting any candles, don’t complain about being in the dark.” - Unknown