Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Make time to be positive....

“Until you take your profession as passion, each and every activity looks as a headache.” Vignesh S.V.

Managers have a lot to do with the state of their employees’ attitudes: if the boss is enthusiastic, motivated and happy then their employees will be too. I went into a store in a little town in Maine yesterday and asked for a T-shirt: the employee there told me that part of the store was closed because they were short staffed. The manager overhead this and suggested to the employee they could open up that area and take care of the request together: the manager’s enthusiastic approach turned a negative situation into a great lesson in customer service. Positive starts with you: if you’re passionate to be there and do things, see the glass as being half full (rather than half empty), and focus on the things that are good and right, you’ll influence your employees to begin to see things and act that way too.  The best professionals know they have to watch for and deal with negative behavior ANDalso make sure they spend time being positive and catching employees doing things right: until they do, everything at work looks like a headache.  Be a positive and professional supervisor today.

Vignesh S.V. (b. 1991): Indian software engineer and writer

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Do what you do with all that you have....

usually advise people seeking career advice to stick to something they will do with passion, love and honesty. I went to college for human resources (better known as personnel administration back then) and it turned out to be a profession and career I loved. On the day I began at Cornell (all those years ago) I met some individuals who joined with me to start a folk-singing band that performed the entire 4 years we were there – people who were passionate about singing songs that encouraged others to care, in love with making harmonies, and honest with each other about how and why the music mattered. I’m having a reunion with them this week and it’s great to see that the passion, love, honesty, and harmonies are still there. Make sure you bring that same kind of gusto, commitment and professionalism to whatever you do.  That’s what makes life worth living today.

Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner – aka Sting (b. 1951): English megastar singer, songwriter, and actor.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Get the most out of your people....

This week I met a Culinarian who just got a job in a large university dining operation: after only a few months on the job he’s noted the staff’s lack of commitment and engagement. He told me about his frustration with people not showing up for work or being less than productive when they do: I asked if he’d thought about asking these employees what it would take to get them to have better attendance, work hard and care a lot - he wasn’t sure if that was allowed.  The fact is, new supervisors in that kind of operation need to be proficient in so many things: managingschedules, productivity, menu planning, food costs and more, and leadingpeople to want to achieve (emphasis on want). Professionals need to learn and practice the most effective leadership techniques, not the least of which is motivating employees to do what’s needed and learning to coach them effectively. What kind of professionals do you like working for? And what kind of professional are you? Be the kind of professional that’s great at leading people today.

Grace Brewster Murray Hopper (1906 – 1992): American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral

Friday, July 13, 2018

What's in your photos....

“Be modest! It is the kind of pride least likely to offend.”Jules Renard

Modesty (mod·es·ty): noun
The quality or state of being unassuming or moderate in the estimation of one's abilities.
Selfie(sel·fie): noun
An informal photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.

So, how does one modestly take a selfie: they’re certainly not unassumingand seem to shout ‘look at me’.  But before showing my age, I should say I think the smartphone generation seems to have discovered (and are teaching the rest of us) new ways to spotlight people, places and things in ways that are changing the notion of modesty (and possibly propriety) in the workplace.  Like storytelling, these tell what’s important to the speaker or picture taker, and point out why social media and smartphone usage policies are becoming so necessary. And maybe more importantly, it shows why open communications at work between the multiple generations employed there are so critical to understanding how to display pride without offending others.  Engage those around you in discussions about how to be most productive and effective, and keep an open mind about the changing nature of best practices. Show your pride and let other do the same today.

Jean Renard (b. 1933): French photographer, author, film score composer, and producer

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Love what you do....

It’s been my experience that most applicants are full of pride and hope, and sometimes they even have what recruiters are looking for. But whether you hire them or not, remember that they’ll talk about their experience.  Hiring is tough: variables like the style of the resume, the words that are used, and the mindset of the reader affect the recruiter’s thinking. Every applicant is proud of who they are and what they do; they have hope and feelings and anxiously await an answer of some sort. That’s why you should always remember the common courtesy of sending a response: it’s a small thing, but it says much about your company. During my career I hired 125,000 of the nearly 4 million candidates that applied: meaning I had to send lots of rejection letters. I made sure to say something meaningful and constructive: after all, I knew many of them could become customers.  Remember that everyone you deal with has feelings and hopes: treat them with the respect they deserve. That’s good advice for being proud of what you do today.

Hosea Ballou (1771 – 1852): American Universalist clergyman and theological writer

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

What do you want to be when you grow up....

“It is not in doing what you like, but in liking what you do that is the secret of happiness.”James Barrie
Peter Pan is a tale about a free spirited and mischievous young boy who can fly and never grows up: but unlike that tale, eventually we all do grow up. In life, just like in that story, there comes a time when all children learn about the responsibilities associated with being grown – and one of those has to do with finding what you love to do and being proud of it. Grown-ups at work often participate in employee surveys, and these often find that they like what they do and are proud of where they work. Some may not like one or more things about their jobs, but most are proud of their efforts and those they work with and for. You can help make that true by being humble, listening, giving straight answers, keeping promises, acting fairly, and treating people the way you want to be treated. Be the responsible and thoughtful kind of grown-up that you and others can be proud of today

Sir James Matthew Barrie (1860 – 1937): Scottish novelist and playwright, best remembered today as the creator of Peter Pan.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Find the fire in your belly....

“We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.”Marie Curie

There are times when things don’t go exactly as planned: circumstances change and priorities shift, but we must have a fire in the belly to go on. That’s easier said than done. Most people try to overcome obstacles, both natural and man-made, looking for a quote or example that will motivate us to continue on. I read books and articles all the time about this, and yet it rarely gets any easier: then the other day while walking in the woods I saw a tree that had died and fallen – one of many in the forest.  But on closer observation there was a sapling growing up out of that stump: fiercely determined, proud of its progress, and determinedly overcoming significant odds. In that forest was a metaphor for life: don’t give up, believe in yourself, organize your strengths, work on your weaknesses, ignore the odds and be proud of what you can achieve. That’s what it takes to attain your goals today.

Marie Curie (1867 – 1934): Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity and the first woman to win a Nobel Prize