Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
Posted at 10:01 AM on Friday, February 29, 2008
This is one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books. I've read this book to my children so often that I can almost recite it by heart. It is well known, but it isn't the Horton bestseller - that would go to Horton Hears a Who (doesn't hurt that that one became a TV special).
If you haven't read Horton Hatches the Egg, a lazy bird (Mayzie) wants a break from tending to her egg, and asks Horton (an elephant) to egg sit. Assuming a short bird-break, the elephant promises to watch the egg. Without giving you the full story, Horton keeps his word.
Why am recommending a children's book? Like many Dr. Seuss books, there is a grown-up message. Horton goes through many hardships, but keeps his word. In fact, the line that is oft-repeated in the book is:
"I meant what I what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant's faithful, one hundred percent."
Having this mentality and behavior would serve all of us well - at work and at home.
My wife Lori and I liked this message so much that she painted Horton and that phrase in our daughter Kelsey's room before she was born!
Learn more and make your purchase at Amazon.com
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Six Way to Read More Effectively
Posted at 9:56 AM on
Maybe you are a voracious reader. Maybe reading has never been your favorite thing (though if that is the case, you're probably not reading this!) Either way - whether you read a book a week or struggle to finish one a year - it would be helpful to gain more value from the time you do spend reading.
First, recognize that I'm not talking about reading novels or the classics. Reading those is purely for pleasure, and, for the most part, the suggestions below don't apply.
But if you are reading to learn something and to make your life better in some way - to improve your professional results, lower your weight, or learn a hobby – these suggestions will make a real difference in the enjoyment and benefits you gain from reading.Have a goal.
When you pick up any nonfiction book you should know why you are going to dive into it. Maybe you are trying to broaden your knowledge, or improve in a very specific way, or solve a problem? You could have a wide variety of reasons for reading something - any any of them are valid. The key is having a goal and recognizing it. Once you set in your mind your purpose for reading, your subconscious mind will help you reach that goal. Keeping a clear goal will keep you from getting lost in a section or spending too much mental energy on the writing style, etc. Give yourself a clear picture of success and consider the book as a tool to reaching that success.Do a scan.
Once you know what you want to get from the book, spend a few minutes looking it over. Read the table of contents. Flip through the sections. Allow your mind to notice the sections or parts that seem to best help you reach your goal. Perhaps you'll determine that the whole book isn't ever relevant to your goal. Which leads me to the next point...Read only what you need.
If you're like me, you grew up with the idea that once you start a book, you finish it. But guess what; sometimes one chapter is all you need. Sometimes the book loses steam and become repetitive after the first few chapters. Sometimes the writing doesn’t speak to you. If you aren't enjoying it, or benefiting from it, stop reading it. You will become a more effective and efficient reader when you stop feeling the need to finish every book to the last page.Be active.
Reading, like learning, is an active process. And since in this context you are reading to learn, you will gain more by being an active participant in the book. Keep a journal with you. Write in the margins. Use a highlighter. Unless the book belongs to a friend or the library (and if you are reading for learning, I suggest you really do need your own copy) you should feel free to write in it! Ask yourself questions. Agree or disagree with a point. Jot down your own examples to support an idea. In short, when you become actively engaged with the book, you will glean more from it.Make it yours.
Until you begin to own the material and ideas, they still belong to the author. You must own the learning. The best ways to do that are to write about and/or talk about the ideas, concepts, lessons and examples. This may be as simple as sharing parts of what you read with a friend or colleague. It might be writing about it in your journal for private consumption only, or writing about it on a blog to share with the world. If you are sharing it with others, not only do you benefit, but so do they! But even if you are simply taking notes and writing your ideas on a scrap of paper that gets lost, the act of writing is an act of synthesis and learning.Try it.
Remember, the book is a tool to help you reach a goal. Once the book has aided you in that journey, you must take the most important step. You must take action! Try what you read. Apply it in some way. That could mean using that new technique, starting on the prescribed diet or buying the necessary items for the new hobby. To get the ultimate value from the book, you must write your own chapters with your actions.
These are all actions that I take as a reader. They have made a difference in my life and in my results. They can make a difference for you as well. Regardless of what, how much or how often you read try these suggestions and you will be pleased with the results.
Potential Pointer: Reading is an important life skill. No matter how often you read, you need strategies to gain the most from your reading experience. You must have a goal for your reading and engage yourself with the book to maximize the benefit you gain from the time spent reading.
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Happy February 29th!
Posted at 12:14 AM on
Every four years, we get an extra day.
Today is that day.
What do you plan to do with this bonus day?
What will you do to make a difference in your life or the lives of others with this quadrennial bonus?
What creative thing will you do?
How will you better serve your customers?
How will you make a difference as a leader?
What will you learn?
How will you contribute to your team?
These are just a few questions to spur you to think carefully about this extra day.
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What to Communicate
Posted at 1:34 PM on Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Leaders know that communication is one of their most important jobs. Often I find leaders who know this and yet don't do it nearly enough. At the heart of this knowledge and skills gap is a critical question.
What do I need to communicate?
Often leaders say, "I've already told them that, sent the email, gave the presentation." While this may be true, not only do these communications need to be repeated, but often what is being communicated is the wrong thing, or at the wrong time.
Here is a simple rule of thumb:Communicate why before how, and don't switch too soon.
In most organizations and teams the "why" is missing. When the why is strong enough, the how will be figured out. Besides, if you are trying to empower your organization, as a leader you probably need to spend less time on how anyway.
Focus more of your communication and conversation on why
and less on how.
Also posted on Leadership
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What Bold Thing . . .
Posted at 9:16 AM on Sunday, February 24, 2008
Sue Melone, writer of the Boldtrek blog
and I chatted on the phone last week. She opened our conversation with a question. If you have read this blog for any time at all, you know I love great questions. She asked one of the best:"What bold thing have you done this week?"
You know a great question, because even when you know the answer, you pause.
We talked about variations of this question that she uses in different situations:
What bold thing will you do today?
What bold thing have you done this year?
What bold thing will you do this year?
... you get the idea.
But I hope you do more than get the idea.... I hope you will answer the question.What bold thing will you do this week?
Or, to Kevin-ize it... What remarkable thing will you do this week?
Take your pick - they are both questions we could benefit from answering (and acting on) regularly.
Also posted in Creativity
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Sail These Seven C's to Greater Collaborative Success
Posted at 10:30 AM on Friday, February 22, 2008
Most everyone I talk with wants greater success in some (or many) parts of their life. And however independent you may think you are, no one can achieve as much working alone as they can with the collaborative help of others . . . if that collaboration is truly helpful.
You hopefully have experienced times where a group was really clicking; it's amazing the amount of progress that can be made. However, you’ve likely also experienced times when working together seemed hard and even counter-productive to getting any results.
Here are seven ways to improve collaboration and to make the work of a group more successful in any situation:Have a common purpose.
Too often we get the cart before the horse. We have a group of people assembled to do some work and since we are all busy we dive right into the task, often without a clear sense for why the work is being done or what the perfect end result would be. Without a clear and common purpose - the reason for being together that everyone shares - collaboration will never reach anywhere near the level that is possible.Develop concrete goals.
The common purpose unites the group, and the goals provide focus and energy. If you want the maximum results from any group, make sure you have concrete goals.Communicate freely.
Collaboration requires communication. Effective collaboration requires open and honest communication about ideas, experiences and opinions. In a group where hierarchy is present, realize that the hierarchy can be a barrier to the free flow of communication, and do what you can to counterbalance it.Combine the best of each person.
Each person brings great strengths in terms of perspective, experience, ideas, skills and much more. Collaboration (and results) will be enhanced when the strengths of each team member are recognized, valued and used.Create open-mindedly.
Collaboration is an act of creation. You bring people together to find synergy - the sum being greater than the contribution of each individual. Collaboration will be enhanced when people feel comfortable about sharing their ideas, and worry less about whose idea gets implemented. Not coincidentally, as you master the first four points, this step gets easier.Circulate accountability.
Someone may be the team leader, and that is fine. But greater collaboration will come when everyone feels responsible; when anyone is comfortable and "allowed" to take a leadership role or take the lead in making something happen. The most collaborative groups have a leader, but are filled with people ready to do what it takes to achieve results.Compete externally.
It is hard to collaborate when you feel competition within the group. Competition for power, position, ideas and more all get in the way of collaborative success. With a clear purpose and goals, people can be clear on what they are trying to accomplish and how to do that in service of the team's success, not their personal (or departmental) success.
Consider these seven items like a checklist. While all are required for the best collaboration, look for the one that a group you are on is doing well (and support that at even greater levels), and recognize one that the group could improve on (and do what you can to help make that happen). These "Seven C's" will help you navigate the waters of working with others. The group might be a true working team, or it might be a group gathered for a one-time event to solve a problem or complete a task. In any case the more of these C’s that are working for you, the more enjoyable and successful working with others will be.
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All the Money in the World: How the Forbes 400 Make and Spend Their Money by Peter W. Bernstein and Annalyn Swan
Posted at 10:24 AM on
I don't exactly know how I would categorize this book. It is part analysis, part mini-biography, part history lesson, part inspiration. Because it is so many things, it is easy to find things to like about it.
I chose this book with little upfront information; I learned about the books existence, and ordered it directly to my Kindle.
I found it fascinating from the first page.
The authors have used the list of the richest Americans (the Forbes 400) as fodder for their research and narrative. From a research and analysis perspective the book offers trends in the economy since the list was first created in 1982, and begs me as a reader to project the trends for the future.
With so many different people to discuss, from a biography perspective I learned some new things about people I have heard of, and some inspirational (as well as cautionary) tales of some people I was unfamiliar with.
In the end the thing I like most about this book is that gives me another view on success. Success can't be completely defined by accumulation of wealth, but it is a parameter that many people use in that equation. The stories of individual persistence and focus on achieving goals (and so much more) made the book both fascinating and inspiring.
Wealth may not be your largest or most important goal. Even if it isn't, there are lessons for you here. This is not a self-help book. However, it can help you think about and improve your plans for reaching your life goals, whatever they might be.
Learn more and make your purchase at Amazon.com.
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If You Had Just Six Words...
Posted at 12:54 PM on Thursday, February 21, 2008
In the USA Today
yesterday I read about a new book called Not Quite What I was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure
. The title tells you the premise - you have just six words to write your memoir. You can read examples and contribute your own (perhaps in the next book!) here
This exercise got me thinking about ways you could apply this concept for focus and clarity - even if you weren't writing your memoir. Consider having only six words to define:
your leadership style
This process could be very helpful for the creative process as well as for crafting clarity.
Your examples in the comments are very welcome!
Also posted in Creativity
Labels: clarity, focus
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Remarkable Traits of U.S. Presidents
Posted at 5:28 AM on Monday, February 18, 2008
On this President's Day, I want to announce the re-opening of a survey we hosted last fall. This survey lets you weigh in on the best presidents from a leadership perspective and which leadership skills are most important to being successful in this role.
I'd love your thoughts - The survey
is open until March 7th.
After that, we will be creating a report that will be both valuable and interesting.
Thanks for your votes!
Labels: Presidential survey
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Leadership Lessons from Presidential Campaigns
Posted at 11:49 AM on Sunday, February 17, 2008
Every four years the United States elects a new President. The process isn't simple, and it isn't short.
Because this process plays out in the news media, and because it requires leadership both to gain the job and do the job, there are lessons from the process for the taking. These lessons, while taken directly from the 2008 campaign, are lessons that will be seen in every future (and many past) campaigns.
Consider this article as a first step in those lessons.Create Opportunities for Communication
Perhaps more than ever, political candidates excel at finding opportunities to communicate their messages. It is in this communication that they attempt to define themselves and their messages and to mobilize support for their vision of the future.
Leaders have the need to do these same things.
While your scope and topics of conversation will be different, you have the same needs to define your organization's future, to communicate your message, to mobilize your team for the organization’s goals, and more. Yet most all leaders fall short in communication. Consistently employee surveys show that communication is less than adequate in their organizations. This message seems to fall on deaf ears for too many leaders.
As a leader you must communicate more effectively, more consistently and more often. Use the lesson of the candidates: they never miss an opportunity to share their message with those they hope to lead.
How well do you measure up to their model?Hone Your Messages
The political candidates work hard to hone their messages. They spend tremendous amounts of time crafting and crystallizing their key messages, philosophies and beliefs. They deliver those messages regularly (see the previous point about creating opportunities). The best (and ultimately most successful) candidates not only hone their message, but they don't get tired of that message; they stay on point consistently for the long haul. They also have a team of handlers, strategists and speechwriters to help them and to give them the feedback they need to continue to improve.
You may not have have handlers, strategies and speechwriters. (Likely you aren't giving 6 speeches, or more, most days either!) But, you need to do all of these things to have the maximum impact.
Are your main organizational messages clear and unwavering? Do people know the principles that guide you as a leader and the organization overall? Do you work hard to stay on message, and not move on to something new when you are tired of talking about the same initiative or project? And lastly, but just as important, are you getting, hearing and incorporating feedback from others to help you improve your communication skills?Admitting Mistakes
Innovation will create some mistakes. When you are trying new things, not everything is going to work the first time (or at all). As a leader in organizations you must be willing to admit your mistakes. Why? Because if you don’t neither will anyone else.
Your silence will be interpreted as either: you don't make mistakes or mistakes are not tolerated in your workplace. If you want to allow mistakes (and the lessons that come from them), you must make it clear that mistakes are OK. The fastest way to do that is to admit your own. In addition, when you admit your mistakes you build your credibility and trust with others.
Whether it is raised by the media or their opponents, presidential candidates typically have to deal with mistakes and/or errors in judgment. Generally speaking few candidates score well in this area. Each tries to deflect the questions, change the subject or, in some other way, deny there was any mistake at all.
There is great peril for candidates with this approach. It appears from the outside that people don’t want to admit a mistake due to ego or a perceived lack of judgment. When considered in a more personal and up-close light, you realize that not admitting a mistake is a mistake - costing credibility and trust (at the very least).
Unfortunately many leaders are afraid or reluctant to admit mistakes for the same reasons as the candidates, and they face the same pitfalls for doing so.Build Networks
Candidates know they can't win a nomination alone. They must have endorsements, contributions, support, help and more from a wide range of people. This is why the best politicians are typically great networkers.
Former President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara are legends for their handwritten notes. It is well documented that between them they have written thousands of personal notes to people - and they began long before Mr. Bush decided he wanted to be President Bush. The message is clear - to reach large goals we need help and support from many. All the candidates - even those who don't win - know and act on this fact.
However, in many organizations, individual leaders become insular. They might have a network inside the organization, but seldom do they work hard to maintain and build their network - especially outside their function or organization. The best leaders know they need to cultivate a wide assortment of friends, colleagues, supporters and more. This network will serve them in many ways, often in ways not seen as it is being created.
If you have a strong network, consider how you can tap it to support the efforts of those you lead. Who do you know that might be a resource to your project team? Who might be able to help your star employee gain some new experiences? What opportunities can your network provide to you and your people? And what can you do for them in return?
Take a tip from the candidates. While you may never ask for a financial donation from your network, your network will still be critical to your personal and your leadership success. Invest the time to build and nurture it.
Presidential politics isn't business, but these very public events do offer you opportunities to learn and apply lessons that can benefit you and your organization. As you watch, read, and listen to campaign materials, think about more than just the sound bites and the political posturing. Continue to think about the principles you observe that can serve you as a leader and can help you identify and develop your successor and the other future leaders of your organization.Potential Pointers:
There are leadership lessons we can glean from the political process, especially presidential campaigns. Beyond the politics, think about and observe these events with an eye for the lessons you can learn as a leader. Then, apply those lessons.
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Release Your Brilliance by Simon T. Bailey
Posted at 10:46 AM on
What is more brilliant than a diamond? According to author Simon Bailey, you are! And I couldn't agree more.
This book filled with insights, stories, questions and suggested actions all designed to help you do what the title says - Release your Brilliance. Bailey has creatively used the diamond as a metaphor to help you think about the components of releasing your personal best.
This book covers much ground that other personal development books cover, but the metaphor and the stories keep it interesting and fresh. Another benefit is its brevity; it covers his four steps to transforming your life in quick-hitting chapters that are easy to read.
I particularly liked his chapter on the language we use - while I have read (and talked about) the concepts before, I found some insights here that will stay with me a long time. Those nuggets alone made the book worth reading.
Bailey writes in a clear and authentic style. We clearly share a belief that everyone has amazing potential, and he writes to help you release that brilliance. If you love personal improvement books, this is one you want to add to your shelf. If this isn’t an area you are well read in, it would be a fine place to start.
Not only is this a valuable book, but now you can get some extra gifts if you buy your copy today. Check out this page to learn more. This offer should make a purchase of Release Your Brilliance more than a brilliant idea, but an easy decision.
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At the Heart of Great Listening
Posted at 4:58 PM on Thursday, February 07, 2008
I could start this article extolling the importance of listening in our everyday lives, in our ability to lead others, in our ability to improve relationships and communications in general. I could lament that while throughout our school experiences we were taught the communication skills of writing and speaking, but seldom was any time spent learning the skills of listening.
I could do those things, but I won't.
You've heard and said all of those things before. There is no value in me going over that litany again. Besides, if we had all bought into those arguments, we'd be walking around as better listeners. Sadly, for most of us, most of the time, this isn't true.
That chorus of comments assumes or implies that the heart of great listening is skills.
I don't agree.
Don't get me wrong, I believe the skills of great listening are important, I just don't think that is our problem. We know how to listen; we've exhibited the skills at some points I our lives. We just don't do it nearly often enough.
So, if it isn't skill that keeps us from consistent great listening, what is it? I believe there are three factors: Intention, Attention, and Effort. Let me explain.Intention
When you begin communicating with someone your intention, conscious or subconscious, will directly impact how you listen. Consider this short list of possible intentions:
- You want to persuade the other person.
- You want your point of view heard.
- You want to get through this conversation as quickly as possible.
- You want to build the relationship.
- You want the person to like you (more).
- You want to "set them straight".
- You want to give them some feedback or coaching.
I could expand this list, but this is enough to make my point. Your intention at the beginning of the conversation will have an impact on how completely and carefully you listen during the conversation.
Want to be a better listener instantly? Set your intention on the other person instead of yourself. Intend to understand their message. Or, to be more blunt:
Stop being so selfish.
Great listening is an act of caring, of service and, yes, of love.
Make the conversation about the other person; desire to understand their perspective, ideas and thoughts. With this intention your mental mandate is no longer muddy and you will listen more effectively.
In every communication encounter we make a choice - subconsciously or consciously. The choice is whether or not we are going to pay attention. This is separate from our intention; however, they are closely linked. The reason I separate them is that even if our intention isn't crystal clear, we can make a choice in the moment to pay attention.
However, when our intention is clearly focused on the other person, it is much easier to make this choice. In fact, the best way to make the attention choice a habit is to get our intention in our communications more clearly set.
There are two parts to our attention in a listening situation and they are both important - attention to the person (which intention helps with significantly) and attention to the topic.
In short, get interested in both!
When you do you allow your listening skills to improve.
Listening is hard. We have to put our interests aside for the moment. We have to fight through our thoughts, unclear word choices, a million distractions.
It takes effort.
And it isn't a passive activity when done well - it requires energy and engagement and thought. It isn't a fluke that great listening is often called active listening. Great listening is an active, participatory process.
To do it well, we must work at it.
It is really just this simple. If you want to improve your listening effectiveness, don't ignore the active listening skills of paraphrasing, making eye contact and more; just don't start there.
Start with your intention and purpose for listening, continue by resolving to place your full attention on the other person, and based on those two factors, make the effort.
We all know the fruits of listening more effectively are many. Intention, Attention and Effort will give you a roadmap for success.
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The Laws of Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life by John Maeda
Posted at 4:37 PM on
Usually when I buy a book online I can tell you who recommended it or how I came to click the buy button. I can't give you that back story on this book, but I can say how glad I am that I made the choice to buy.
This book looks at the complex topic of simplicity and does so in an elegant way. The author is the head of the MIT Simplicity Consortium
and so from that perspective he has been thinking about simplicity for some time. And he has thought about it from a variety of perspectives. That focus and broad perspective makes this book exceedingly valuable.
It isn't a book about simplifying your life, organizing your projects more effectively or creating simpler products, though lessons abound in this slim volume for those endeavors and many more.
The book focuses on 10 laws that apply across the landscape of life. Perhaps the highest praise I can give the book is that throughout this week when working with clients I have quoted ideas and concepts from it often, and in every case it made the other person stop, think and then smile. More than one person wanted a copy of the list of the ten laws as well.
I believe this will be one of the most thought provoking and useful books I will read this year. As opposed to a checklist of specific things to do in a given situation, it focuses on laws and gives just enough guidance to help you thoughtfully apply the lessons.
If you can’t tell, I love this book and I recommend it to you highly.
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What Do You Expect?
Posted at 2:58 PM on Friday, February 01, 2008
When something goes wrong (anywhere - in your office, at headquarters, in the national news, even around the dinner table reviewing your family's day) have you ever heard (or said), "Well, what did you expect?" Usually that question is followed by a knowing glance, a wistful shaking of the head or an ironic laugh.
Yet when something goes right, people don't ask the same question. Instead those successes typically are chalked up to hard work, or even to luck.
Is it possible that expectations (i.e. "what did you expect?") play a role in only those things that go bad or less than desired?
I don't think so.
At some level, we believe expectations matter, or we wouldn’t ask the question when things go badly.
In reality, we have known for a long time that expectations matter - consider this:
"Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to become what they are capable of being."
That was written by the German writer and scientist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - a long time ago (he died in 1842). Why would we treat people in a certain way if we didn't expect they could live up to it?
So let me ask you a question.
What do you expect . . .
. . . of your co-workers?
. . . of your team?
. . . of your Customers?
. . . of your boss?
. . . of your relationships?
. . . of your family?
. . . of yourself?
Interestingly we always have expectations. Perhaps yours are generally positive, perhaps they are positive in some situations or with some people, or perhaps you keep your expectations low because "you don't want to be disappointed" (if that the latter is the case, I'm guessing at some level you still are disappointed). Or, maybe your expectations are completely subconscious - you never give them a thought, one way or the other.
Once we believe, or are reminded, that expectations can play a powerful role in modifying the outcomes of events (even if that role is invisible), we can determine what we are going to do about it. So, it makes sense to be more conscious about our expectations so we can examine and modify them as desired.
I believe there are two steps in this process: choose your expectations and create a habit.
Make a Choice
Once your expectations are conscious, you have a choice to make. And that choice really comes down to answering the question "What do I really want?" and then creating an expectation mirroring that desire. Create the expectation and then think about it regularly. If you are noticing a small (or large) voice of doubt in your mind, you haven't set the expectation clearly or firmly yet.
Remember you can expect great success, and still be happy or satisfied when the outcome isn't perfect. Expectations alone (with our effort, action, etc.) aren't a golden ticket or a guarantee, but everything else being equal, positive expectations will positively impact your outcome. So why not choose positive expectations?
Create a Habit
Perhaps your conscious (or subconscious) expectations have been low for a long time, or maybe you have never considered this as a choice before. Either way, when you make the choice to have positive conscious expectations once, you can then make that a new habit. Regularly consider a future event, small or large (how the meeting will go, whether the project will be a success, if your kids will get in before curfew), and set your expectations of that situation positively.
Create the habit of a positive expectancy and you will be surprised how quickly your results will change for the better.
This invisible, almost magical, process is real. Your expectations are already impacting your results. My challenge to you is to raise your level of expectations as a way to improve your results, satisfaction and happiness.
The choice is yours.
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Igniting Gen B and Gen V by Nancy S. Ahlrichs
Posted at 2:40 PM on
Much has been written and discussed about Generation Y and the Millennials; how they are different, what they expect in a workplace, how work will be and is different when they are there.
I'm guessing you have heard, read or experienced some of these differences. While learning about their general needs and tendencies is important, there is a much larger group that isn't discussed nearly as much (if at all) - the long term employees. You know those more experienced workers that in the larger context are often being ignored.
This book talks not about Gen X, Y and M, but of the Boomers and Veterans on your staff. This slim (102 page) volume explores their needs and dispels many of your assumptions about them and what they want from the workplace.
Many demographic studies say we face severe labor shortages in the next few years. Since you can't hire from the High Schools and Middle Schools in your communities, some of that shortage will be filled with older Boomers. While the younger generations are important, as we look at the labor pool in coming years the importance of these somewhat older folks who may very well want to work (if we can provide them what they need) is critical.
Whether you are thinking about this challenge more globally or very tactically for your team, this book delivers. It explores employee engagement with these very important employees in a way that isn't being discussed enough.
If employee engagement is on your mind and agenda, I encourage you to pick up this book. It is well written, thought provoking, and filled with specific suggestions on what you can do now to more fully engage this segment of your staff.
Learn more and make your purchase at Amazon.com
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What We Can Learn From Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day
Posted at 10:23 AM on
Each year Punxsutawney Phil comes up from his hole on Groundhog Day to see about the world around him and look for his shadow (or not). Media from around the world will cover this event (I haven't quite figured out why). You can learn more about this event and it's history from the official site
. But this isn't exactly why I am writing on Groundhog Day Eve.
Like I said, Phil comes up out of his hole after months of hiding and hibernation to check out his world, then he retreats just as quickly as he emerged.
This reminds me of some people I know.
They get so caught up in their lives; their work, their projects, their goals, their cocoon, their hole
, that they don't take time to look up and see what is going on in the world around them.
If we want to be more successful, happier, better leaders, more effective team members, more creative, or a more effective learner (need I go on?), we must do more than Phil.
First of all we need to lose the hole completely. We need to be more engaged in the world around us. Does this argue against focus or hard work? Not at all. Instead this advice encourages you to be more open to new ideas, new insights, and new observations that will make your work more relevant, more effective, more connected and quite possibly easier.
How often should we look around our world?
Well, if we have gotten rid of the hole and chosen to reside in the world (a glass house anyone?), this question is almost irrelevant; you will be looking, noticing and observing.
On this Groundhog's Day Eve, get out of your hole, look around, and resolve to learn from and with the world around you.Note: I've written about Groundhog Day in the past and if you enjoyed this post, or like the day, you may want to check out 2005 and 2006.
Also posted in Creativity
Labels: Groundhog Day
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