Showing posts from 2014

We Need More Radical Thinking

It is too bad that when we hear the word radical the first thought of many is some political extremist group. But if you look up the definition of radical at Merriam-Webster you get the following: very different from the usual or traditional favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions associated with political views, practices, and policies of extreme change advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs We know the last two so well, but it is the first two that we need more of. Too often we fall back into old habits and routines, when what we need is a very different take on the traditional.  It is a shame that our existing views on our work becomes so standard. We get stuck in the routines of our day-to-day jobs and how things are supposed to happen and rarely take the time to ask why. I'm sure you've heard the response before, "Because we've always done it that way." Y

When You Look In The Mirror, What Do You See?

A number of years ago I sat in a session given by Marshall Goldsmith where he asked everyone in the room to close their eyes and raise their hands if they considered themselves in the top 50% of all of the people in their field of work. He asked everyone to keep them up, without looking, if they felt they were in the 70th percentile, then 80th, and finally 90th percentile. If I asked you to do the same thing, where would you rank yourself? During the session Mr. Goldsmith told us to put our hands down and open our eyes and he went on to share that he has done this very informal and unscientific poll countless times and every time he has done it he estimates the vast majority feel they are in the top 90% in their particular field, and never could he remember not having anyone think they were at least in the top half. Think about the incredible odds of never getting someone that was below average in all the years and sessions he has done that. I've thought of that session recentl

Just Be Honest With Me

We all say we want people to be honest with us, both in work and personal relationships. The problem is we often don't like to hear the truth. I was in a situation in a past job where I was released from my employment, my fancy way of saying that I was fired. Nobody told me at the time that I wasn't performing, just got called in one day and said they were ending my employment on a set date in the future. I was shocked to say the least. It turned out to be one of the better things that has happened to me in my career though it didn't feel like it at the time. More importantly I was able to take away a core value for myself. I promised myself that I would be honest with people, that they deserved the truth. I had just wished that someone was honest with me, and told me what I was doing wrong. I remind myself of this whenever I get feedback that is less than positive. Initially I react like most people, I get defensive and frustrated, I will go home and complain to my wife

To Love What You Do Or To Be Valued For What You Do?

It is easy to say that people want to find a job where they do what they love and get paid for it. I think that is true but can be hard because the realities of life creep in, the bills that need to be paid show up and the overwhelming fact of the matter is you don't always know what you want to be when you grow up. No matter what you do, the more important thing is for people to think that what they do at work makes a difference. The people that you work with day to day are the ones that need to hear and feel that you believe they are a valuable member of the team. If you leave it up to their manager, it may not carry the same weight, who knows how involved they can be with their schedules. At the end of the day we all want to feel like we are valued, that we would be missed if we weren't there. We need to make sure we are making each other feel that way. I want to love what I do, but I find it more rewarding to have people value me for what I contribute. I could love my job

My Needs or Team Needs?

We come into this world as helpless babies that are focused solely on our own needs. It is about what we want and when we want it. Any parent that has been woken up in the middle of the night by a screaming baby understands what I'm talking about. But as we grow up, parents and others teach us that we need to be nice to one another, help one another. Maybe we play a sport, sing in a choir, belong to a club, some sort of activity where you are a part of a team, you need to work together to achieve something. I believe that we try, and we teach each other and kids to think about others, but there is something inside each of us, the all too human side we all have, that is only worried about yourself. Everyone has things that they want for themselves, and that is okay. It is a natural part of being human. We were made in this way so we should accept it, without becoming selfish. You can want a promotion, a different job, a new car, a better boss, more vacations, better hours. I think