Sunday, 28 October 2012

Working on Motivation

3 Lessons on Motivating Employees by Not Working on Motivation

Recognize This! – You can’t “leverage” motivation, but you can encourage it.

An excellent article by Scott and Ken Blanchard in Fast Company. There are several important points in the article, a few of which are highlighted here.

The greatest motivator is freedom to do the job.
You hired smart, capable people. Why not let them do the job you hired them to do? Yes, they need (and want) guidance and direction, but they don’t need (or want) micromanagement. Give them control.
“You can’t control motivation. While traditional carrot-and-stick levers can influence behavior in the short term, they do not create the intentions to apply discretionary effort and work collaboratively that are required in today’s more sophisticated work environments. …
“We are finding that giving people a chance to succeed in their job and setting them free to a certain degree is the key to motivation, as opposed to trying to direct and control people’s energy. It’s really about letting go and connecting people to their work–and each other–rather than channeling, organizing, orchestrating, and focusing behavior.”
Leadership must be on board for culture change.
Unless your CEO very visibly sets the examples – and lives that example out every day in his or her own actions – then culture change at any level will not happen.
“Without a shift in thinking at the top of an organization, it is almost impossible to change an organization’s culture. A study conducted years ago shed some light on the role of senior leaders in changing organizational culture and behavior. The study concluded that the CEO’s disposition and personality had everything to do with the company’s service orientation and collaborative mindset.”
Employees need to know where they fit in the big picture.
Help people connect to each other and their work by encouraging everyone in the organization to notice appreciate and formally recognize the good work others are doing when it is in line with strategic objectives and conducted in line with desired behaviors (the what as well as the how).
“Today we realize that control doesn't work. Find a way to connect your people with the big picture. Create an environment free of fear and anxiety. Leaders don’t need a new lever–they need a new approach to bringing out the best in people. Give a little bit. You’ll be surprised at what can be accomplished when people are free of fear and find their motivation within, instead of being controlled by external carrots and sticks.”

Give them the insight they need into where they fit by letting everyone paint the picture.

Inspired & Engaged

4 Ways Twitter Keeps Its Workforce Inspired and Engaged

In just two years Twitter has gone from having no obvious revenue and an unclear business model to a successful company that is getting the attention of Wall Street and Madison Avenue alike. eMarketer projects Twitter will beat Facebook in the critical fight for mobile advertising revenue in 2012, and other sources project Twitter to generate $1 billion in revenue in 2014.

With rapid growth, 1,300 employees and approximately 30 new hires a week, how does Twitter make sure they are building a strong company, values-based culture, and keeping employees inspired and engaged?
I recently spoke with Twitter Head of Organizational Effectiveness and Learning, Melissa Daimler, who shared key factors that continue to drive their high levels of engagement.

  1. CEO-led Management Sessions. Dick Costolo, who assumed the Twitter CEO role in October of 2010, believes that a big part of building a strong business starts with building strong managers. Just as Jack Welch personally taught courses at the famed GE University, Costolo leads a “Managingat Twitter” session at least once a quarter.Rejecting the use of slides, Costolo uses stories, leverages his own best practices and incorporates role-playing exercises to engage the managers in the class. The opportunity to spend this much time with the CEO to understand his management point-of-view sets the example of great management throughout the company. He is currently working on the next iteration of this class called “Leading at Twitter”.
  1. Measure it. Most companies conduct an employee satisfaction survey occasionally or at most once a year. Twitter executes their “pulse” survey every six months. Short and focused, the survey of approximately 15 questions measures current engagement levels and includes open ended questions to capture employees’ ideas for improvement. A monthly people dashboard also stays on top of attrition levels, learning impact, and organizational span of control.
  1. Focus on the Core. Traditional employee engagement efforts often fail because they are complicated and programmatic. Twitter values simplicity, which is why it developed just five core skills that every employee (from individual contributors to managers & leaders) is working toward. They aren’t just competencies, but, rather, skills that will be woven into how people are being evaluated and recognized. They are: Communication, Development, Direction, Change and Collaboration. Twitter wants people to learn every day. Establishing core skills to focus on helps employees with a context for doing so.
  1. Give authentic & fearless feedback. I previously wrote an article on Feed forward Coaching that explained that Growth is a top driver of engagement, thus enabling managers to provide future-oriented, ongoing performance-improving feedback is a critical skill—for everyone. Although there is currently a twice-a-year official performance review process at Twitter, the emphasis is increasingly on giving continuous feedback—up, down, and across. Quarterly learning labs are being launched to support employees in both giving & receiving feedback. It even starts in Costolo’s management session where he stresses the importance of defining what success looks like in each role, setting the direction, and just as critically, giving feedback in an open, authentic and fearless way.
Whether your own organization is a fast-growing startup or an established Fortune 500 company, Twitter’s focus on consistent approaches to feedback and learning is an approach that can be emulated to drive high levels of emotional commitment and engagement.

Build on Trust...

You Can't Be a Great Leader Without Trust

Here's How You Build It 

This article is by David Horsager, author of  The Trust Edge: How Top Leaders Gain Faster Results, Deeper Relationships, and a Stronger Bottom Line.

Among all the attributes of the greatest leaders of our time, one stands above the rest: They are all highly trusted. You can have a compelling vision, rock-solid strategy, excellent communication skills, innovative insight, and a skilled team, but if people don’t trust you, you will never get the results you want. Leaders who inspire trust garner better output, morale, retention, innovation, loyalty, and revenue, while mistrust fosters skepticism, frustration, low productivity, lost sales, and turnover. Trust affects a leader’s impact and the company’s bottom line more than any other single thing.

One of the biggest mistakes a leader can make is to assume that others trust him simply by virtue of his title. Trust is not a benefit that comes packaged with the nameplate on your door. It must be earned, and it takes time. As a leader, you are trusted only to the degree that people believe in your ability, consistency, integrity, and commitment to deliver. The good news is that you can earn trust over time, by building and maintaining eight key strengths:
  • Clarity: People trust the clear and mistrust or distrust the ambiguous. Be clear about your mission, purpose, expectations, and daily activities. When a leader is clear about expectations, she will likely get what she wants. When we are clear about priorities on a daily basis, we become productive and effective.
  • Compassion: People put faith in those who care beyond themselves. Think beyond yourself, and never underestimate the power of sincerely caring about another person. People are often skeptical about whether someone really has their best interests in mind. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” is not just an old saying. It is a bottom-line truth. Follow it, and you will build trust.
  • Character: People notice those who do what is right ahead of what is easy. Leaders who have built this pillar consistently do what needs to be done when it needs to be done, whether they feet like doing it or not. It is the work of life to do what is right rather than what is easy.
  • Contribution: Few things build trust quicker than actual results. At the end of the day, people need to see outcomes. You can have compassion and character, but without the results you promised, people won’t trust you. Be a contributor who delivers real results.
  • Competency: People have confidence in those who stay fresh, relevant, and capable. The humble and teachable person keeps learning new ways of doing things and stays current on ideas and trends. According to one study, the key competency of a successful new MBA is not a specific skill but rather the ability to learn amid chaos. Arrogance and a “been there done that” attitude prevent you from growing, and they compromise others’ confidence in you. There is always more to learn, so make a habit of reading, learning, and listening to fresh information.
  • Connection: People want to follow, buy from, and be around friendsand having friends is all about building connections. Trust is all about relationships, and relationships are best built by establishing genuine connection. Ask questions, listen, and above all, show gratitude—it’s the primary trait of truly talented connectors. Grateful people are not entitled, they do not complain, and they do not gossip. Develop the trait of gratitude, and you will be a magnet.
  • Commitment: People believe in those who stand through adversity. People trusted General Patton, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mohandas Gandhi, Jesus, and George Washington because they saw commitment and sacrifice for the greater good. Commitment builds trust.
  • Consistency: In every area of life, it’s the little things—done consistently—that make the big difference. If I am overweight, it is because I have eaten too many calories over time, not because I ate too much yesterday. It is the same in business. The little things done consistently make for a higher level of trust and better results. The great leaders consistently do the small but most important things first. They make that call and write that thank you note. Do the little things, consistently.
Trust can’t be built overnight. It requires time, effort, diligence, and character. Inspiring trust is not slick or easy to fake. Trust is like a forest. It takes a long time to grow and can burn down with a just touch of carelessness. But if you focus on these eight components with every action, you will foster trusted relationships—whether with employees, customers, suppliers, or fellow leaders—that will drive results and the bottom line.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Today is the R I G H T time... do you manage it!

Five Keys to Creating an Uplifting Service Culture

Five Keys to Creating an Uplifting Service Culture

You can unleash superhuman strength in your company's culture by following simple instructions on a safety poster, says consultant Ron Kaufman

Recently I was walking through a distribution warehouse to meet a client. Hanging on the wall were safety posters instructing employees how to lift heavy boxes. Most of us have seen these posters many times. This was the first time I stopped to read one.

"Ron, are you ready to get started with the meeting?" asked the vice-president showing me around the building.

 "I want to read this," I replied. "Can I take a second?"

As you can imagine, the VP's facial expression registered confusion over my interest in a standardized safety poster.
Soon I was seated in the boardroom with a table full of executives. The conversation focused on an obvious lack of performance that was affecting the company's bottom line. "Mr. Kaufman," said the chief executive. "You're a service guru. We already have a fantastic service department. And we don't get many customer complaints. But this is a cultural issue. Is this really something you can help with?"

Don't Leave It to a Department

I've heard these types of comments for more than 20 years, in all corners of the globe and inside some of the world's most recognized heavyweight organizations. The perception of many companies is that service is something handled by a department or a specific job title. It's something only necessary to customer satisfaction.
"Would you mind if we talked about your safety posters?" I asked the CEO.
My seemingly odd question captured the CEO's attention. Safety posters offer a simple, best practice to lift anything heavy, like a package, a tool—or even an entire culture. The posters instruct employees to stretch properly, position their body carefully, and use their strongest muscles. Plus, they tell employees to study and practice proper habits continuously.
When it comes to uplifting a culture—engaging people, motivating people, building loyalty, increasing performance, and creating a sustainable advantage—many companies pass by service as a solution, because somehow the concept has been improperly labeled.

I define service like this: 'taking action to create value for someone else'. Those are powerfully simple words. So consider the impact of an uplifting service culture, a shared purpose within every aspect of your business, interaction, and transaction, from the boardroom down through the front line, where everyone focuses on creating value for someone else both internally and externally. Imagine the effect on performance, engagement, customer loyalty, employee retention, value, and competitive advantage.

 "Let's talk about the basic instructions for lifting anything," I said to the group. "Let's use the instructions of a safety poster to talk about building an uplifting service culture."

1. Stretch. Yes, there are calisthenics for your culture. Stretch your mind and your old habits. Get the creativity flowing. Ask the big questions of why: Why do we need to change? Why service? Why now?

2. Position yourself. Lifting a culture requires proper positioning and support from all levels. Leadership must lead service. And everyone else must make himself or herself a service leader.

3. Use your strong muscles. The architecture of your company is akin to physiology. Muscles need flexing. Blocks need building. The building blocks of your culture, such as communication, recognition, vision, and metrics, need shaping. Analyze each block to understand which needs improvement.

4. Study. Educate your team with continuous exercise and understanding. Just because I read the safety poster once doesn't mean I will perform properly. True education means I can perform based on the knowledge I have acquired and the practices I have learned.

5. Practice. Results really pay off here. Practice is the action of continually seeking improvement. It's the correcting, steering, and adjusting to find continued success.

Build your Attitude...

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Tips to Keep you in Business

Here are some tips to keep you in business as shared by Barbara Wold

1. Stay positive. Attitude is a big difference between the winning and losing businesses this year. Every employee needs to do his or her part in keeping a positive outlook. Take a leadership role and turn negative colleagues positive. The press will be looking to cover how bad things still are, but your customers will be looking for businesses that make them feel good. Make a customer feel great and a sale will follow. 

2. Take action on the things that move you toward your goals. Delegate It, Ditch It or Do It! Keep focused on the final outcome and plan each day around doing the action steps that move you ahead.

3. Stand out by showcasing your uniqueness. Give your customers a unique experience that they can't get anywhere else.

4. Get more creative. When times get tough, business is down or our marketing budget is cut is when most of us start to get creative and think outside the box. But just think how much more you can achieve if you get in the habit of being more creative all the time.

5. Succeed one day at a time. If you have a bad day -- shake it off. If you have a good day -- do it again. You make your month by making your week. You make your week by making your day. You make your day by making your hour.

6. Maximize every customer opportunity. Make your day by focusing on the needs of every single customer.Don't let your guard down and miss even one sale, because that one sale could be the difference in success or falling short.

7. Don't pre-judge what a customer is going to spend. Customers aren't a survey in the newspaper. Customers aren't a sales projection in some pundit's article. Customers are unique individuals who offer us a unique opportunity. Give them a unique experience and you're sure to be rewarded.

8. Be a better salesperson every single day. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Keep showing products until the customer says they're done. Focus on increasing your average sales and unit-per-transaction.

Gary Vaynerchuk’s Business Success Advice

 Gary Vaynerchuk’s Business Success Advice

Inspirational Running Video

Les Browns 6 Keys To Self Motivation

The Legendary Les Brown’s 6 Keys to Self Motivation

By Joel

Over the years Les Brown’s audio tapes, books, radio shows and speeches have inspired millions around the world to improve the quality of all areas in their life.
We came across the Keys To Self Motivation by Les Brown and have found these keys very helpful in improving and planning our self motivation. Read on, take note and enjoy!

 Self Mastery

One of the things we MUST always be working on is achieving Self Mastery.
You must work on yourself continuously, never be satisfied with yourself. Always know that as you invest the time and effort on you that’s the greatest ability that human beings have above animals. A dog can’t be anything but a dog, a tree can’t be anything but a tree.
Human being you've got unlimited potential, you can put effort on you, and by concentrating on you and developing you, you can transform your life no matter where you are right now.


Stop Settling

Most people settle, What have you settled for lately? You know when you make an out of court settlement that means that you have decided to take something less than you originally wanted to get had you gone in to court and the reason that you've settled out side of court is because you didn't believe that you could get it. Many of us are making an ‘In life Settlement’. We are settling for less than what we actually deserve. We don’t feel good about it but we make it work in our minds.

 Develop A Health Plan

You can’t perform if you don’t have good health, your health is VALUABLE. Develop a health plan, a plan that you will follow because this is the only vehicle that you have to carry you through this experience we call LIFE.

 Live Life with Energy & Passion

You want to make a conscious effort to be lively. In life you either ‘sing hello or sing goodbye’. You are either ‘on your way or in the way’. You want to smile, you want to be happy, you've got a lot to be thankful for.

 Monitor Your Inner Conversations

The things that you say to yourself, you want to watch them and in watching them you want to take charge.
Short circuit and override that conversation that’s always going on, 85% of what that conversation will tell you is NEGATIVE. It will tell you that you’re tired when you’re really not tired, it will tell you you can’t do it, it will fill you with FEAR. So you've got to watch that conversation, and when you find it going on you've got to stand up to it and say “I’m gonna do this anyhow, I’m afraid but I’m afraid not to do it, and I’m not gonna let you stop me”. The biggest challenge in life that you will have is with you.
There is an old African Proverb that says, “When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”

Know Why You Are Doing It

It is important to know why you are doing it, because your mind will say “Why bother?” “Why go through all of this?”, “This is too hard”.
Here’s how you can override that… Write down 5 reasons why you deserve it, why you? why do you deserve it? “What meaning and value will it bring to your life”, “what’s so different about you, that you deserve your goal?”
When you write down those 5 reasons, when you have those down moments and you will have them, When that conversation starts talking to you, and it will start talking to you, what you can do is, you can pull that out and read it and it will build you up. It will be your rod and your staff to comfort you through some challenging moments, because you’re gonna have some. Life will knock you between the eyes, it will catch you on the blind side and come out of nowhere, stuff you can’t anticipate. That’s why it is important for you to work on your self, listening to tapes, building yourself up, talking to yourself with power, feeling and conviction, building yourself up day in and day out.