Wednesday, January 27, 2016

At The Risk of Sounding Unpopular

2016 has begun with the passing of some of the world's finest entertainers. While the thought of death saddens me, it is incredibly pleasing to benefit from the legacy these titans of industry have left behind.

Indeed, one's life goal should be: 

To have lived, influenced and left your mark on the world!

For every man/woman who has touched the world with their bravery, there are millions of people who have lived without purpose.

Profoundly Sad!

Our degree of fame does not determine our degree of influence on the world because popular opinion differentiates nothing.

To establish influence one must be willing to risk being unpopular:
  • To cross arms in judgement is easy.
  • To stand before applause does not necessarily involve risk.
  • No one ever achieved the honor of influence by doing what everyone else does.

I am not a confrontational person. In fact, I strive to make everyone happy. That said, I have for a very long time been able to determine that popular opinion does not determine quality. 

Counter Intuitive Thinking
Caitlin Flanagan recently reminded me that journalists seek methods of counter-intuitive thinking to better provoke thought leadership. I don't believe that sensationalism should determine popularity but I do appreciate the willingness to consider all viewpoints before taking action.

If in each day you were able to temper your opinions by considering both sides.... how much more interesting would your life be? 

Moral Courage
I've never promoted myself as a person of high moral character but I do consider myself a good guy. 

I never used my values as a means to judge others. It's profoundly difficult to allow oneself the privilege of determining an elevated spot on the moral high ground. Who am I to judge? 

To be prideful is not to be aggressive.

To be opinionated is not to be judgmental.

To be a Gentleman is an act of feminism.

Leadership is an act of servitude.

No one ever got famous by following the crowd.

Don't Forget to Remember!


Thursday, January 14, 2016

A Disengagement Awakening

It's 2016 and we're still claiming a very small portion of the workforce cares about their job. Gallup has been banging the drum of global disengagement since 2011. The most recent claim that only 3 in 10 people can actually tolerate their job and 2 in 10 hate their job.

I'm still not buying it!

I don't know the questions that fuel Gallup's metric, who they ask or if they are simply positioning to sell their services, but 70% of the workforce ARE NOT disengaged.

The bigger question may revolve around what we perceive to be Disengagement and how we address it.

The A in the SCARF methodology stands for Autonomy. More and more employees are seeking some space and an ability to navigate their own success. With the proper tools, training and a little bit of trust; employees can thrive and managers can concentrate on coaching instead of baby sitting.

Yet and still, Managers are intent upon inserting themselves in their employees every action.... micro-managing where they should be allowing autonomy.

The Challenger Sale identifies a sales characteristic of The Lone Wolf. This person is regarded as disengaged. Yet, he/she is the person on the team that requires the least amount of attention.

Are we really so distrusting of the people we have hired that we feel a grown-ass-man/woman needs someone looking over their shoulder on a daily basis.

Why not put a microchip in each employees neck to track their every move.

A majority of the workforce may be viewed as disengaged because a majority of managers still believe that they need them under their thumb to keep them on task.

Our belief in clock punching as a means to success may be the very thing that is turning organizational advocates into employees of our competitors.

The Truth About Engagement
It is a fact that people will accept less money if their organization trusts them to manage by their own schedule.

It is a fact that employees who are allowed flex time work longer hours and are more productive.

"managers who manage by the clock are dangerously incompetent" - Rodd Wagner

So Then
The Gallup agency has been printing money on the basis of asking employees the same group of questions for 13 years (with very little change in the line of questioning). This benchmarks improvements/decline in engagement and serves the HR Community's greatest asset:

Validation of the past so as not to have to embrace change

  • We are asking the wrong questions.
  • We are over-managing where employees are seeking autonomy. 
  • We are attempting to combat disengagement by doing more of what has disengaged our employees in the first place. 

It's time to change the game. Seeking to control those perfectly capable only drives them away. Those who sit around and take it only do so because no one else will hire them.

Until we step away from the crutch of age-old surveys as our means to measure employee contentment, we will continue to over-spend in the shadow of a problem we are incapable of solving.

Don't Forget to Remember!


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

There Is No Clean Slate

The new year is upon us and people will crawl to a gym, church or library after their hang over subsides.

New Year's Resolutions never work because they are rooted in the obligatory.

The flipping of a calendar cannot determine when you are going to change your life. You have to make that (often difficult) decision for yourself.

Behavior Change is what keeps our society evolving. There are 5 simple concepts that you can apply with a certain degree of discipline that will change your life forever.

Let's Go.....

Reflect Upon the Positive
Worry keeps us up at night. Such concern limits sleep over problems that seldom manifest themselves. Why do we spend our time reflecting upon our embarrassments or failures? When was the last time you sat up at night thinking about all of the wonderful things you have achieved in your life?

Recall the little league championship you and your friends won. Think about the talent show you participated in and the joy that it brought to you. Remember the walk in the park with your dad, when your dog licked your face or the time you put your life on hold to hear an old man's story.

Harness all that glory and take it with you into today.

Dismantle Convention
We live in a time when everyone has an opinion and the ability to broadcast it. This saturates the free idea market and makes it difficult to find authenticity.

Most people are not very inventive so they use social publication to regurgitate old ideas.

You have been granted to opportunity to participate.... what are you waiting for?

Think about what has not been done. Dismantle the traditional process.

Take Control of Your Life Within The Format for Success
There may come a point in your life when you decide to quit your job to work on a fishing boat in Alaska....

You might want to consider a way to lead a successful life on your own terms while still working within a system.

Consider what you are fighting for and if all the dragons have been slayed.

You can live a life of glory while carrying the bag for another.

Don't Chase the Paper, Chase the Dream!

Glory and Success are a state of mind. YOUR perception controls every day. Any job can be perfect or really bad..... the choice is yours.

Unzip Your Soul
People are going to mess up. The easiest thing in life is to wait arms folded in judgement of others. Every thing you do will involve people... and their ability to annoy is extraordinary!

Find a way to give people the benefit of the doubt, accept their short-comings and try to exercise some empathy.

Don't Forget to Remember!
Routine kills creativity. Doing the same thing day in and day out will bring comfort but not happiness. The easiest thing to do is copy the routine of another. It is far more difficult to assert your creative force and re-discover the possibilities life has to offer.

Life has one great certainty: If you are willing to work harder than anyone else, you will succeed.

To Recap:
1. Reflect
2. Dismantle
3. Maintain Your Mission
4. Exercise Empathy
5. Repeat the Process (every day)

Don't Forget to Remember,