There are five population areas around the world where people live longer than the average US citizen by almost 25 years. They don’t just live long, they live well, remaining vibrant and healthy as they age. They are called Blue Zones and researchers study them to find commonalities. (more…)
The purpose of annual reviews is ostensibly to improve performance, right?
Then why don’t they? Why do managers and employees alike dread them? And why on earth do they happen only once a year?
I can think of only one performance review I ever had in decades working in Corporate America that actually helped me improve. That taught me something about myself that I didn’t know. That accomplished something other than:
For those of you in the northern hemisphere, I hope you are ready for a rip, roaring summer! Whether you are or not, your employees definitely are.
Now’s a good time to clarify expectations so that the work gets done along with the fun. Be flexible, but firm. While work always expands to fill the available time, the opposite is true as well. When people are motivated to finish and leave early, productivity soars.
I enjoyed my first paddle of the season last night. The thought of sailing tonight is great motivation for being ultra focused and swift through out the day.
Harness the power of that enthusiasm! Happy summer to you!
When I graduated from college, I was not even sort of ready for a full-time job. I saw “real jobs” as a prison sentence that would end my flexibility and steal my chances to travel. Friends proved me right by getting hired and then promptly saying no to every opportunity while they just worked every day and awaited that first week of vacation six months down the pike. So I latched on to seasonal and temporary employment for a year or so instead. I worked at a resort, drove school buses, pumped gas, sold minnows, substituted at the local high school, and tutored the truant officer’s son who refused to go to school. Between times, I moved around, mostly by bicycle. I always made enough to get by. (more…)
The Patriots lost last night for the first time this season. But that is the least of their problems. Gronkowski was carted off the field and he now joins Amendola, Edelman, Lewis, Dobson, Jones – more players than I can list – who are injured. Brady looked crestfallen when Gronk went down.
But this morning, what are they saying? “Just wasn’t our night.” In true Patriots fashion, they refuse to contemplate what Gronk’s injury means for the next game or the rest of the season. “It was a very hard loss” and “players gave a tremendous effort” are all that we will hear. Their job is to get it done. One game at a time. No matter what comes at them. Whether they will get it done remains to be seen, but we all know Tom Brady is special because of his uncanny ability to get it done by focusing on that and nothing else.
Everyone has problems. Most people spend far more time agonizing, talking, and worrying about those problems than actually doing something about them. Save that energy. Channel Tom Brady. Your job is to get it done. One step at a time. No matter what comes at you.
The first ever Clarity Award goes to the Chipotle Mexican Grill in Westford, Massachusetts. Congratulations, Chipotle!
After standing in line to get the burrito I was craving, I needed to ask if it was possible to get the rice without cilantro. The placard above the counter made a big deal about their lime-cilantro rice and I am no cilantro fan!
“Yes,” was the quick answer. And he turned to grab a large pan of brown rice free of the little green shreds.
Eyeing the other potential components of my burrito, I detected suspicious greenery everywhere. “Does the guacamole have cilantro in it?” I love guacamole. Why would they ruin it with cilantro!?!?
“Yes, but I could give you an avocado!” (more…)
Welcome to the Clarity Quiz!
What is the best way to motivate your employees?
- Reward them financially
- Recognize them in public
- Recognize them in private
- Remove obstacles to progress
- Give them jobs they love
- Explain the value of success
Make your selection and then read more.
During the women’s gymnastics Olympic team final, one of the commentators mentioned that Aly Raisman doesn’t feel pressure because she doesn’t label it that way. She labels it excitement.
Labels matter. We all feel pressures and emotions, but we get to choose the labels we use.
If you have lots of work to do and dead lines creeping up on you, you can choose to feel overwhelmed or you can choose to feel in control.
If you choose to be overwhelmed, you talk about having too much to do and not enough time. You think about and mention all the disruptions and stress. You hope, unrealistically, for better luck tomorrow. You are a victim of your circumstances.
Well, I have news for you. There is ALWAYS too much to do. There is NEVER enough time. Disruptions and chaos are natural occurrences. If you don’t accept these realities, you will ALWAYS feel overwhelmed. You will remain a victim.
If you choose to be in control, you think about priorities. You handle or dismiss interruptions quickly. You focus on the important things. You do what you can do and make the best of circumstances. You don’t use phrases like “not enough time” and “too much to do.” You aren’t a victim, you take control, and you are in control.
Choose “busy and efficient” instead of “overwhelmed.” You’ll be more successful and have something in common with an Olympian.
Rewarding performance doesn’t work. Employees are not rats in a cage pushing a lever for a pellet. Rewards promised, whether bonuses, raises, or carrots, have a short-lived, minimal, and, sometimes negative, impact on productivity.
People work hardest when they care about the results, when the activity fits their natural inclinations, when they are challenged, when they are learning, and when they have made a personal commitment. In other words, people work hardest when their motivation springs from within. (more…)
- Love the activity
- Love the result
- Love neither
Some people love cooking, running, or making customers happy. Motivation is not a problem when you love the activity.
Others love eating the things they cook, the way they feel after running, or the business that comes from happy customers. Motivation is not a problem when you love the result.
Trouble arrives when you love neither the activity, nor the result. In that case, there are three choices: (more…)