Average

average is the enemy of awesome

Worth pursuing

anything that is worth pursuing

In the 21st century

21st century communicate and connectv.1

Average is over-rated

average is over-ratedv.1

Do you have allergies?

allergic to negativityv1.

Giver or Taker @ work?

givers vs takers

A circle of people sit across an open pit that has a single bowl of soup in the middle. Each person sitting around that open pit has a spoon with a handle the length of the radius of the circle.

The folks sitting around the hole are starving. They’ve been struggling so long to reach the food, they’re emaciated from hunger. They’re mere skin on skeleton.

We watch as each one tries to feed himself from the bowl, but they can’t reach the food because the handles of the spoons are far too long for them to eat from. Fighting is imminent at this point.

A woman pokes the spoon at another on the other side of the cavern in frustration and is struck with an idea. She realizes she can feed him. She fills her spoon and her hand trembles as she tries to hold it out for the man across from her to eat.

The others raise their spoons under hers to support her efforts.

The man, confused, finally takes the food. Everyone begins dipping their spoons in the bowl and feeds the people they can reach.

This was an ad for Caritas Internationals’ campaign, “One Human Family, Food for All”.

Givers and Takers

The ad was based on an ancient story about hunger and sharing. But it’s a perfect description for today’s workplace (office).

The new economy is no longer about the Takers, the way the “Wolf of Wall Street” lived. It’s not about stepping on people to get to the top (although, the people that do, probably always will in some way, shape, or form – and they’ll always fall).

It’s not about going it alone. Lone Ranger – not so much anymore.

Today’s economy, today’s business, today’s most awesome workplace cultures are built on the backs of Givers. The people who want to see others succeed. The people who want to help their colleagues reach their goals.

It’s about being open to help.

Givers Win

The Givers win not only with profits, growth, employee engagement as Nathan Podsakoff of the University of Arizona uncovered in his meta-analysis of 3500 different businesses in different industries. They win with a higher customer satisfaction rate, a higher rate of efficiency, more effective collaboration, and better productivity.

I would argue that all of that comes from feeling good about what you do and whom you do it with @ the office…

Think about it. When someone asks you for help and you say, “Sure! Let’s see what we can do”, how do you feel mentally? Physically?

There’s a boost to your emotional well-being when you find yourself being helpful. Therefore, you do it more often. When you feel good about something, you continue doing it because you want to, because you need to.

It’s human nature. It’s human psychology. It’s being a human being. (Maslow’s Hierarchy for more info).

Be a Better Giver

You want more success? You want happier customers? You want a dream team that WANTS to come to work every day and make great things happen for you?

Sharing is Caring…

1. When someone asks you for help, give it. With an open heart, not a bitchy one. Avoid keeping score. Help – just because…

2. When you see someone struggling, offer your knowledge. What will it cost you?

3. If you’re honestly too busy to help, find them someone who can. Will take two seconds. You have that, don’t you?

4. If they can wait until you’re less busy, schedule a time to make it happen. Because putting it on your calendar? Guarantees it happens.

5. ABG. Always be giving. Keep your eyes open to opportunities to give (there’s a magnificent bit of Karma in that, too).

“You can have everything in life that you want, if you just give enough other people what they want.” ~Zig Ziglar

How far will you go as a better Giver this year?

Devin C. Hughes – The Chief Inspiration Officer

Devin HughesThe Chief Inspiration Officerhttp://www.greatblackspeakers.com/author/devinchughesAward-winning Speaker,…

Posted by Great Black Speakers on Friday, April 10, 2015

Being Mindful Matters

yoda
You’re pushing your team on a daily basis. It’s “always on” for you and you expect the same for them.

The only problem?

They’re exhausted. They’re not as productive like they once were. They don’t execute as efficiently like they did even 90 days ago.

Working 60-hour weeks isn’t letting them recharge so they can hit it with their best efforts, but you don’t see that.

You don’t see that you’re pushing them beyond their limits. You don’t see that your drive is driving them into the ground.

You’re worried that if you slow down, you’ll stop. But if you want positive results, if you want to hear the roar of the crowd, if you want your corporate dashboard to highlight your success…

It’s time to get off the hamster wheel.

It’s time to focus your mind.

It’s time to become aware of what you’re doing…to yourself and to everyone around you.

The research is quite clear. Employees perform better and are happier when their managers and leaders are more mindful.

While mindfulness is not a new practice, the effectiveness of it in business is more apparent than ever, especially with today’s pixelated life.

Leaders directly affect the performance of their subordinates, so mindfulness training is being credited with lowering employees’ stress levels, increasing their performance, and increasing their job-satisfaction levels.

But before you dismiss this as a woo-woo practice, give it a shot for a minimum of one month.

I challenge you. Are you ready?

If you’re not afraid of the results (feeling better about yourself, becoming more self-aware, and helping others to be their best), then you’ll jump on this challenge today.

How Mindfulness Works

Mindfulness basically means becoming aware of yourself, your body, your physical reactions to stressors, etc… And there are many, many ways to become more mindful and to practice mindfulness.

So in this month-long challenge, you’re going to have to train your brain to focus a little each day. At the end of it all, you’ll find that you are clearer about yourself, your goals, and how you can achieve them.

Day 1 – 7: Sit with your back against the wall. On a pillow, if you like. And stare at the opposite wall for 5 – 10 minutes. Don’t think of anything but your breath. Your brain will pull you away from the up and down movement of your chest and your belly, but don’t let it. When you wander, don’t give up. Talk yourself back to your breath and continue looking at the wall in front of you.

Day 8 – 15: Increase your time by five minutes. Continuing to focus only on your breath. Really note your reaction time to stressors that once triggered stressful behavior before, especially at work.

Day 16 – 23: Increase your time by five minutes and continue the practice of focusing on your breath. Try adding deep breathing to this week’s challenge. You may feel yourself trying to solve problems during this ultra-quiet time, but don’t allow it. Tell yourself you can do it when you’re done.

Day 24 – 31: Continue with the 15 – 20 minutes of focus each day, journaling your results. Did you find that you were calmer in times of crisis? Did your slowing down and paying more attention to yourself push your employees to do the same? Did they show up happier? Did they start helping and become more empathetic toward each other?

More importantly, make note of what is going on in the office too. Did your employees, in fact, do a better job while you were focused on being more mindful?

In all of this, the lesson is: Who you are affects the people you are with. Be mindful and see where it leads your team this year. Your folks need you to step it up. The choice is yours so choose wisely Skywalker.

The case for mindfulness @ work

yoda

You’re pushing your team on a daily basis. It’s “always on” for you and you expect the same for them.

The only problem?

They’re exhausted. They’re not as productive like they once were. They don’t execute as efficiently like they did even 90 days ago.

Working 60-hour weeks isn’t letting them recharge so they can hit it with their best efforts, but you don’t see that.

You don’t see that you’re pushing them beyond their limits. You don’t see that your drive is driving them into the ground.

You’re worried that if you slow down, you’ll stop. But if you want positive results, if you want to hear the roar of the crowd, if you want your corporate dashboard to highlight your success…

It’s time to get off the hamster wheel.

It’s time to focus your mind.

It’s time to become aware of what you’re doing…to yourself and to everyone around you.

The research is quite clear. Employees perform better and are happier when their managers and leaders are more mindful.

While mindfulness is not a new practice, the effectiveness of it in business is more apparent than ever, especially with today’s pixelated life.

Leaders directly affect the performance of their subordinates, so mindfulness training is being credited with lowering employees’ stress levels, increasing their performance, and increasing their job-satisfaction levels.

But before you dismiss this as a woo-woo practice, give it a shot for a minimum of one month.

I challenge you. Are you ready?

If you’re not afraid of the results (feeling better about yourself, becoming more self-aware, and helping others to be their best), then you’ll jump on this challenge today.

How Mindfulness Works

Mindfulness basically means becoming aware of yourself, your body, your physical reactions to stressors, etc… And there are many, many ways to become more mindful and to practice mindfulness.

So in this month-long challenge, you’re going to have to train your brain to focus a little each day. At the end of it all, you’ll find that you are clearer about yourself, your goals, and how you can achieve them.

Day 1 – 7: Sit with your back against the wall. On a pillow, if you like. And stare at the opposite wall for 5 – 10 minutes. Don’t think of anything but your breath. Your brain will pull you away from the up and down movement of your chest and your belly, but don’t let it. When you wander, don’t give up. Talk yourself back to your breath and continue looking at the wall in front of you.

Day 8 – 15: Increase your time by five minutes. Continuing to focus only on your breath. Really note your reaction time to stressors that once triggered stressful behavior before, especially at work.

Day 16 – 23: Increase your time by five minutes and continue the practice of focusing on your breath. Try adding deep breathing to this week’s challenge. You may feel yourself trying to solve problems during this ultra-quiet time, but don’t allow it. Tell yourself you can do it when you’re done.

Day 24 – 31: Continue with the 15 – 20 minutes of focus each day, journaling your results. Did you find that you were calmer in times of crisis? Did your slowing down and paying more attention to yourself push your employees to do the same? Did they show up happier? Did they start helping and become more empathetic toward each other?

More importantly, make note of what is going on in the office too. Did your employees, in fact, do a better job while you were focused on being more mindful?

In all of this, the lesson is: Who you are affects the people you are with. Be mindful and see where it leads your team this year. Your folks need you to step it up. The choice is yours so choose wisely Skywalker.

New Year’s Resolutions Won’t Work (Unless you’re this first)

You can do it!
Last year you vowed to lose 27 pounds. You lost 4. Then gained 12.

The year before you said you’d quit drinking so much. And you did. For a month. Until your productivity bottomed out (@ work) in February and nothing you did worked to get it back up…until April. I need a beer!

The problem isn’t you. It isn’t that you have no willpower or that you don’t know how to make change.

It’s that you followed the old tradition of setting New Year’s resolutions just for the sake of setting them. Sure, you meant to follow through, but that isn’t the way change works.

Change works (sticks) when happiness comes first.

Getting slimmer isn’t going to make you happier. Meeting the girl of your dreams won’t do it. Getting a better job won’t do it.

Why?

You believe that those things will bring you happiness. And when you get them, you find nothing’s really changed. You still feel the same.

You still feel inadequate. Slighted by the Universe. Sloppy in your now-too-big Old Navy khakis. This becomes obvious when you look at kids and their behavior.

They long for an Xbox game. They beg for new dolls. They bargain for a killer new Legends of Chima Lego set.

But when they get it?

They soon forget about it.

Why?

The happiness they felt was short-lived. It didn’t fulfill the underlying need for said toy. Therefore the happiness? Disappeared faster than the newness of the gift. While the child did, in fact, want the new toy, the toy didn’t really change anything in him.

He still needed that one-on-one time with his parents and was ready to put the toy down and blurt out how bored he was, even with the new game.

We’re No Different.

It’s the same for us as adults. We want to be skinnier. We want better jobs. But what those wants really say is that we want to be happier.

Thus we spout out resolutions that we think will bring that happiness. Only to find, that like Billy and his new toy, it doesn’t.

When Happiness Comes from Within

When happiness comes from within, the changes we want to make, or need to make, become easier to make. It doesn’t feel like an uphill battle.

The last time you cut out carbs to drop a few pounds, all you did was sit and salivate over your spouse’s plate…causing you to let go of your need to lose weight. After all, the taste of toast and butter with your morning coffee is a little slice of heaven, why would you give that up?

The last time you sought a new job, you bombed the interview because the manager didn’t see you as a power player. He saw you as a needy player. And that? He didn’t need.

Had you walked in happy and ready to take on every challenge and succeed, he would have countered your salary request with something you actually wanted, rather than dismissing you with the promise of a call back when they made a decision.

It Isn’t Always Easy.

Being happy isn’t always easy, though. We’re geared to think negatively about the world around us. About ourselves. About the situations that are beyond our control.

And when we let those negative thoughts eat away at us, they eat away our emotional state. They eat away at our self-discipline. Our courage to be more.

We give up and would rather not fight a good fight. Our worlds are tough enough.

But when they’re not. When we’re good with who we are. With where we are. With what we have. The fight is no longer a fight. It’s a journey we want to be on. Because better is always a better place to be.

Become happier in 2015. Become who you want to be. Work on happiness first and the “new you” will be right beside you.