Posts Tagged ‘cook’

Lack of motivation must be one of the most used phrases by managers

Lack of Motivation must be one of the most used phrases by managers.  It is the root cause of everything from dirty toilets to bad service. If a guard dog sleeps on duty we say that it is overfed, underfed or old. We never say it is unmotivated. The reason is simple; you will look smarter if you blame the handler instead of the dog.

Whenever the big “M” word is mentioned focus always turns to the supervisee; lethargic, inexperience, lazy, unqualified – amongst a few. But are those labels fair? So called lethargy or laziness could be attributed to stress, bad working conditions, overwork, lack of support and sometime even lack of nutrition.

On the other hand, only operators and technicians have this kind of problem. Why in the world would a manager waste his energy on them?  He can always find ten to replace one anyway, right? Not exactly; because of something called the learning curve. If your equipments are not so new and had been modified a few times, the original manual on how to run these may no longer fully apply. Usually, the only available option is a veteran worker’s memory of his experiences with the machine.

Insubordinate staff? It may mean that you don’t deserve to be a leader to this person. People generally will only show respect to those they think superior to themselves. That means that if the best employees leave you, you will only be left with those more mediocre than yourself. The best salespeople love selling, the best procurers love getting discounts from vendors, the best secretaries love managing their bosses. These are the people whose physical and mental health rides on the market trend graph. Time spent in long-winded meetings is time lost in selling or in negotiating.

There is another element of human need that people forget about. It is human relationship. No worker expects to be treated as an equal to his manager on a work level. Yet it is the right of every human being to expect to be treated as an equal to his fellow man. You do not motivate a person by punishing and demeaning him (unless you are running a quarry with prison labor – some country still practice that I believe). You motivate him by appealing to his proactive side. Say something like “You did great last time.” or “We need you to help us do this.” If you use force, you are saying that you expect him to rebel and you will end up talking to his defensive side.

If you use a demerit system and punish your workers for every mistake, you will not only train them to lie to you, you also train them to form the habit of looking at the clock from the moment they start work. Lying is a defensive system and people become defensive in an environment they perceive as dangerous.

Just stop and think. Who in their honest, right mind would want to make a mistake?

Human errors are usually due to lack of training or stress. The best solution is to find out what happened and to create a workable system to prevent it in the future. Some people will say, “since you forgot to put on the label, next time you must sign on the label and find someone to confirm that the label is correct”. This kind of solution only works if there is a long waiting period for the operator. But if boxes are rushing pass him you will end up with more unlabeled boxes. So be practical, ask him if the new solution will work. [However, there is the rare individual who insists on high risk behavior because it is part of his nature. If you employ a person of such unsafe habits you will be considered liable for any injury on other employees caused by him].

Building an equal human to human relationship is not that difficult. The supervisor must at all times remain the boss on the work level, but he need not be boss at the personal level. If you’re new in town, ask them where you can drink the best local coffee or where they take their families for fun. Allow them to be your teacher and your life will be the richer for it. This will help the scales even out between you.

Your interest must be sincere. Insincerity shows, if not at that point, then at some other point. People have a habit of remembering exactly what you say to them, especially if you are the boss. The trick is to find a topic that you care about, so you remember your opinions concerning it.

Secondly, try to talk to your people as a group, that way you will not be accused of favoritism. You don’t even have to put aside a special time, just join them for lunch or coffee break. Still if an individual says “hi”, don’t scuttle away just because the rest of the group is not there. If you can create an open environment where you can discuss about life and work, you would have created a home away from home for your people. After all, home is a work environment too; cleaning, cooking, laundering and handling teenagers.

Remember to always follow acceptable social and legal etiquettes. When your subordinates talk about a movie, don’t recommend buying a pirated VCD, because you are still the boss and you don’t want to get into trouble. Protect your character and you will earn their respect.

Still experiencing problems? Learn more about the people and their values, then compare it to your actions. Is your work-skirt too short to be respectable? Do you dig your nose in front of your people? Do you treat one person with respect but another harshly? Do you use your people’s ideas without acknowledging their input? You get the drift.

Hanging onto old recipes limits our success

Hanging onto old recipes limits our success.

We all have old recipes running around in our brains.  It’s human nature to find and follow a pattern. We creatures of habit feel more comfortable that way.

I became aware of an old, and dangerous, recipe in my own life not too long ago.

I’ve helped companies grow for over two decades now as a consultant.  In 2009, I decided it was time to step into the life of my dream as an author and speaker, sharing my consulting experience to help  people think differently about how to grow their business.

I’ve always been an independent person, rarely taking the tried and true approach to anything.  Must be my name.  When I began to write Defying Gravity, I wanted to self-publish, primarily to have control of my content and direction.

Everyone I spoke with strongly suggested that I stick with the a known recipe for success as a first time author.  That recipe declared I needed a NY publishing house to be taken seriously with my first book. After many discussions, including a big argument with my own intuition, I changed my plans and headed down that path. When a well-respected NY agent signed me, I was thrilled.

But as things progressed, it became apparent that the houses, and my agent, wanted to change my book pretty dramatically.  They didn’t ‘get’ what I wanted to write – they only knew their traditional formulas and focus areas.  I wasn’t about to sell out for the NY houses. I know my audience and I understand the value I offer.

I finally drew the line about what I wanted to write.  My agent fired me. OMG – how’s that for a wake up call?  I was a little lost for a bit, but then I remembered my original dream.  On the recommendation of my friend Scott McKain, I connected with Clint Greenleaf or Greenleaf Book Group.  Three weeks later I signed with them – and I’ve never looked back. Greenleaf is everything I dreamed of in a publisher – innovative, supportive professionals who are creating new recipes for authors to power unprecedented success.

That old recipe for author success? Forget it. It may work for a few, but not for most, and certainly not for me.  I’m working with Greenleaf on some pretty exciting things – beyond the book itself, which I am finishing as we speak.  Defying Gravity is my book, written my way – with superb and out-of-the box additions from the smart, innovative thinkers on the Greenleaf team.

The traditional publishing approach felt so wrong for me.  Greenleaf feels so right. I just know I’m on the right path – creating my own recipe for success as I go along.  I’m learning every day and adjusting with every conversation.  And I’m cookin’ up some pretty fun ideas along the way!

What about you?  Have you ditched an old recipe and found a new way to cook up your success?  I’d love to hear about it!

Every good superhero has a superpower

Every good superhero has a superpower. You know, the thing that always helps them get out of a jam and save the day.

Leaders may not be superheroes, but we do sometimes find ourselves in a tough or challenging situation. However, unlike like our superhero friends, we don`t always remember to use our superpowers.

This article is about one of those powers – one that is too often overlooked or underappreciated.

This is a power that has many uses, but for now let`s think about how it can be used when you need to persuade.

Clearly, as a leader, you have a need to persuade others – in a change situation, in a coaching situation, and the list could go on and on. And since persuasion is such a pervasive skill, wouldn`t you like to have a superpower you could pull out when you really need it?

More about that in a moment.

First, think about the best, most successful persuaders you know. Get one name in your mind, then answer this question:

What makes that person so exceptional?

Having done this exercise with a number of groups, I know your list probably includes a many ideas. Some of the ideas are tactics or specific types of behaviors that persuaders use to be successful.

All of those ideas are useful and instructive, yet none of them are the persuasive superpower.

However, the superpower may be on your list, hidden, by thoughts like:

She gets others excited.
He is enthusiastic.

Or maybe the superpower is actually sitting right in your mind, and you don`t even recognize it.

The persuasive superpower is passion.

First, a definition of persuasion: Persuasion is the ability to induce or create a course of action or viewpoint using the tools of influence through conversation, dialogue, logic, reasoning and emotion.

Note the last word in that definition . . . emotion.

Emotion is the word that links to passion. And since everyone one of us makes decisions and choices based on our emotions, passion is key to successful persuasion.

Why a Superpower?

Six reasons why passion is the persuasive superpower:

Passion shows conviction. People are more likely to believe your words when they sense your passion.
Passion is contagious. Passion IS contagious, and if you are trying to persuade someone of something, wouldn`t you want your ideas to be the contagion they catch?
Passion provides value. People want more passion, energy and excitement in their lives. Like a little (or big) kid who is drawn to the cookie jar, our passion draws people because it is something they want more of in their lives.
Passion is best based on purpose. Generally we are passionate about something because of what that something represents. When you connect your passion and your persuasion to a higher purpose, you further energize your superpower!
Passion enhances effectiveness. Your communication will be better when you are passionate. Your productivity will be enhanced, as will the productivity of others as they tap into your passion.
Passion is truly “other focused.” When you are truly passionate about something it`s because you want others to benefit too. Laser-focus your passion based on the needs of others and your persuasive powers will be further enhanced – while you aren`t thinking about them at all.

Two Final Thoughts

Some leaders are afraid to show their emotions and passion because “they aren`t that person.” Or they don`t see themselves as a rah-rah cheerleader type.

Let me be very clear – the passion superpower doesn`t require you to be a cheerleader unless that is who you are. All of us can effectively show and communicate our passion in our own way. Don`t let a stereotype get in your way!

At this point you may be thinking “you know, Kevin, I`m just not very passionate about my current situation or position.”

While exploring that would be worthy of another article, here is a short answer:

Find the part of the situation you can be passionate about and focus your energy there. Since passion is contagious, two things will happen – you will be using your superpower AND building your own passion over time.

Paradigm shift

“Paradigm shift.” “Value-add.” “Win-win.” “Customer-centric.” “Outside-the-box.” “Leverage our core competencies.” Clich?d terms like these buzz around the office like flies at a hot summer picnic … and they’re just as annoying.

Language is alive, and when it’s not, it’s time to liven things up. Here are some fresh examples (just for fun):

1. Hallway Trapprehension

The anxiety we feel at the approach of a coworker we’ve already passed multiple times in the hall in a single day (as we fret over something new and witty to say).

2. Shingling

Excessively pitching our kids’ candy bars, cookies, bowl-a-thon pledge requests, or anything else to coworkers, especially when a child’s value as a human being is apparently at stake.

3. Zombieland

The in-and-out, slow-eye-flutter, head-nodding state people fall into in many after-lunch meetings.

4. Octoboss

Supervisors who clasp onto so many tasks and special projects that subordinates often get deflected by an inky cloud whenever they approach … as the supervisor escapes.

5. Embuggeration

The act of filling coworkers’ email with huge files, impenetrably convoluted or lengthy messages, irrelevant Reply All copies, or any such encumbrance that causes said coworkers’ productivity to slow to a deathly crawl.

6. CC Frighter

The sudden, desperate feeling we get after realizing the wrong person is going to see the email we just sent, usually because we’ve written some embarrassing or completely inappropriate statement about that person.

7. Epstein’s Mother

Any whopper, extra-lame excuse people give after letting down their coworkers, especially when there’s a pattern of undependability or when coworkers were really counting on the person.

8. Pushmi-pullyu

Any time individuals or groups have trouble finding traction on a common strategic mission due to open disagreements (and backbiting) about the tactics of how to proceed.

9. The Shirley Temple

Any big change initiative at work that is the apple of everyone’s eye one moment — tap dancing all over everything — then disappears before reaching adolescence. (It can also refer to any innocuous initiative that isn’t very effective; i.e., bubbly and flavorful, but with no real lasting kick.)

10. Unobtainium

The rarest and most highly sought state of any workplace, where strong business results are born from clearly stated and uncompromised ethical, socially responsible, and mutually respectful values, consistently and pervasively demonstrated at every level of the organization.

Using any new terms in your workplace? Share with us, and we might help spread the word.

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