Sunday, April 22, 2018

Words of Wisdom from the ages.

Words of wisdom from the ages

One of my more popular keynote presentations of the past few years is where I share the wisdom from the ages and its impact on life and business today as we live it moment by moment. For each custom presentation, I select twelve words of wisdom (quotes) from my list of over 4000 accumulated one’s going back more than 3000 years that are relevant to current challenges and opportunities we all face today in some way.

After a brief discussion of the message from the author’s quote, I ask each member of the audience to consider each item in terms of their present-day business, relationship or life situations.  Thought I would share one of the keynote’s messages to an audience several months ago.

Why not ask yourself the question for each quote – what does this mean to me and why and/or how?

Self-trust is the first secret of success.”  Emerson

The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.”  T. Merton

There is more to life than increasing its speed.”   Gandhi

 Face adversity promptly and without flinching, and you will reduce its impact.”  Churchill

 If you are not ready today you will be even less so tomorrow.”  Ovid

I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as to what direction we are moving.”  O.W. Holmes

 The important thing is to never stop questioning.”  Einstein

The road to triumph is built on adversity.”  Ovid

 The wise will always reflect on the quality not the quantity of life.”  Seneca

Well done is better than well said.”  Ben Franklin

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do.  So, throw off the bowlines.    Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore, Dream and Discover while you still can.”  Mark Twain

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

Abe Lincoln

Why not ask yourself – What did one of these (or several) mean to me?  What do I need to change, start, let go of etc?

Monday, April 16, 2018

Four missing ingredients in most organizations

There are four missing critical ingredients in many of today’s organizations; Recognition, Appreciation, Validation & Fun

Tim Connor

You might be shocked at how few organizations today regardless of their size fail to create and maintain a culture that gives employees the recognition, validation, and appreciation they need and deserve to enable and motivate them to higher performance and increased motivation. They also fail to foster a fun environment that helps reduce their stress, burnout, and negativity.

After working with hundreds of organizations over the years (no disrespect intended to any of them) as a trainer, consultant, speaker or coach I can tell you unequivocally that every organization I have worked with regardless of the number of employees, industry or business model - lacked to some degree one of these four vital ingredients to a degree that in some ways hurt the organization’s growth, market share, competitiveness or overall effective functionality.  A few things to consider.

Why are these so important?

What is the cost of not having them?

Why do many organizations lack them?

How can you put them back into your culture?

Why are these so important?

Everyone needs to feel valued as a human for what they do, who they are, who they are becoming, what they are learning – get it – we all need validation of some kind especially from people we like, love, respect or work for or with.  This validation can take the form of appreciation, recognition, compliments even just being noticed or acknowledged by many people. One of the biggest weaknesses of many managers, business owners and executives today is that they have created and/or are maintaining a culture that lacks real and honest appreciation and recognition or their management style has taken the fun out of the business for just about everyone.  Without these four elements, I will guarantee that your employees sooner or later will lose their passion, motivation, and effectiveness negatively impacting your organization in many important ways.  Not to mention that your best employees will leave.

What is the cost of not having them?

Unmanaged stress is one of today’s biggest contributors to poor employee performance.  Too many employees just have too much on their plates or management’s expectations are causing them to circle the wagons and isolate themselves from others and even lie or misrepresent their performance. In today’s low unemployment market, I will guarantee that employees who don’t feel adequately appreciated or recognized will leave and head to a competitor or supplier sooner rather than later.

As a word of caution – increased wages or income do not make up for a lack of these four elements.  It’s been proven again and again over the years that most employees want these more than a pay raise.

Why do many organizations lack them?

I could go on for pages with this one, but I’ll keep it short. There are five simple causes of any organization failing to include these in their culture or environment;

Management style is heavy top-down rather than bottom-up.  Management is ego and arrogance driven rather than filled with humility, compassion, and consideration of others rather than self.  Management is driven by revenue rather than service relevance.  Management is all about self-gratification rather than sharing and giving.  And, management creates rules, policies, and procedures, guidelines etc. that benefit the organization rather than taking into consideration the employees. that Got it?  Every organization that lacks these four ingredients is a heavy top-down driven organization.

How can you put them back into your culture?

Well, if you are still reading - this one is simple really.  Just look at the previous item differently.  If these are missing from your culture remember that culture is created top-down but lived bottom-up.  So, if any or all four of these elements are missing or not working in your organization - you gotta start at the top and ask – why are they missing?  How am I responsible?  And, if you can handle reality or truth – why not ask yourself or your employees a few more?

Yes, there are numerous ways to improve these or increase their positive impact on your organization’s performance, but they need to be tailored to your employee profile, business model, history, expectations and market reputation.

Obviously, a hospital will integrate some of these differently than an association or government agency and employees who work in construction will see some things differently than a non-profit or technology organization but in the end without these four regardless of your organization – you will lose business, employees and market share – sooner rather than later.

Want some help with any of these?  Let’s chat.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Time - you have less left than you think.

Time – you have less than you think.

Tim Connor

A recent study I read said that if a person lives to age 90 they get 4680 weeks of life.  A different study stated that the average lifespan of an American today is 77.3 years.  Ok, I’m doing the math – so if you are 40 +/- you have approximately - 1900 weeks left to live.  And your point Tim is, other than being morbid?  Just a quick question – are you living as a spectator or creating a legacy that touches life and others in a significantly positive way and that you will leave behind many people who will smile when they think of your life while you were here?

Curious about this simple concept and the number of days?

OK, let’s say you make it to 77 (the current average lifespan) that’s 29,000 days.  You are currently 50 – what’s left for you - 30 years or about 9500 days.  Trust me – that’s a flash of time considering this year seems like it just started and its already April.

Tim, where are you going with this?  In a hurry?  Laugh!  OK, at least smile!

Two brief points I’d like to make.

-You can’t manage time.

-Today matters.

You can’t manage time. An Interesting concept when you consider there are millions of people every day trying to improve their time management. And many of them attend time management seminars to learn how to better use time.

I challenge you to manage the next minute!  Can’t do it.  Time passes.  When you are doing what you like or are with people you enjoy time seems to speed by.  When you are doing things you hate or are with people you don’t like time seems to creep by very slowly.  The rate of time passage does not change. Your perception of passing time does.  Time management is a misnomer.  If you are having trouble managing time I’ll be you are having trouble managing:

-people -resources -decisions -procrastination -success -failure -emotions -feelings -problems -attitudes and so on.

The inability to successfully manage any of the above will result in a “time management” problem.  To improve your time effectiveness, you must improve one or all of the above. A myth - we all wish we had more time?  Believe that?  Let me ask you, do you think the average person with a life-threatening disease wish they had more time?  Who really wants more time? Does a five-year-old think about time passage?  Do you really think the average teenager is worried about getting older?

We all get twenty-fours a day – regardless of whether you are happy or sad, alone or surrounded by friends, wealthy or broke, sick or healthy – etc.  Want more time? Forget it.  One day you will breathe your last breath – will your last thought be – I wish I had done; more?  Less?  Better? Sooner?

Today matters.

Why do so many people take life for granted assuming that they will have all the time they need to do all the things they want, visit all the places they desire and accomplish all of their goals and plans?   Why do so many people squander their present moments or settle in life for an unfulfilling career or relationship?  Why do so many people during their life waste thousands of hours reliving old mistakes and failures, bad decisions and unfulfilled dreams?

Why do so many people want more or better but refuse to try or choose to remain stuck?

I don’t have a clue.  I have done a few of these many times myself.  What you choose to do with the time you are given is up to you because it is your life and it too will be very short in comparison to the time that man has walked the earth or will walk the Earth for centuries to come.

Life is short and the older you get the faster it moves.  Once you hit fifty trust me, the hours, days and years will fly by and there isn’t a thing you can do to slow them down. 

All you can do is put as much life as you can into the days, weeks and years you have. Years ago, one of my best friends passed away at age forty-one.  I have had several mentors and heroes who made it well past ninety. Who is to say how many years each of us will get?  Who has a contract with God that says you will make it to the ripe old age of one hundred and as spry, mentally alert and healthy as you were when you were in your teens?  No one.  Each day is a gift.  Each moment is a blessing.  If this is true, why do so many people whine and moan about stupid stuff and the quality of their life?  Don’t like something – change it, fix it or delete it. Sure, I would like to have more money, be better looking, enjoy excellent health, but guess what – sooner or later life happens to all of us. No one sits around in their twenties planning their life thinking OK, let’s make sure we include divorce, failure, bankruptcy, cancer, career disaster, discouragement, loneliness and any number of negative circumstances in their future.  But in the end, we all get our share of both good and bad stuff.

Some people leave legacies of love while others leave legacies of despair and hate.  Some people leave having given more than they took, and others leave having taken more than they gave.  What will be your legacy?  How will you live each of the precious moments you were given? 

So, friends, live today because before you know it, it will be your time to say good-bye. 

You are here for a little while and then you are gone forever.