Over the past few weeks, I had the pleasure to attend several employee recognition dinners for years of service. Each of these events were filled with joy, pride and even better conversation with people you rarely see outside of the work place.
Do we really value our own key mile stones in life and that of our team members? Do we participate because we have to as leaders or because we are truly vested in celebrating longevity with our valued team mates? How likely are leaders going to stick around to reach even the five-year milestone, not likely, we are often on the move after 3-6 years in pursuit of our next challenge and opportunity.
In years past, it was valued when a senior leader was at the helm for 20+ years, today it is a rarity anymore. Because of this phenomena, we need to be even more attentive to those on the front lines who often dedicate their lives to one single company.
As Positude Leaders, make it your business to prioritize celebrating milestones of your employees. It’s an opportunity to connect, show deep appreciation and make a lasting impression of genuine care for your team members.
Your gestures to recognizing can be as simple as a handwritten “Thank You” note with a small gift to a lavish dinner at a favorite restaurant. Not celebrating is a missed opportunity.
Don’t underestimate the power of “Genuine Care”, just-do-it!
When was the last time you received a meaningful compliment from your co-workers or boss. Most likely not often enough. Although, we don’t necessarily seek recognition or are willing to state that we need affirmation on regular basis, deep inside of us, we feel better once recognized.
Giving recognition is almost more powerful than receiving it. It brings a smile to the face of the recipients which in turn releases a small amounts of dopamine into the brain. Dopamine happens to be our organic “Feel Good” medicine, it will make you more alert and positive for a least a few minutes.
Wouldn’t it be great if we provide this to each other? Therefor “Recognize Often” in a variety of ways. Someday’s it might just be a spoken word or a quick email, other days a small gift, a luncheon however a well written “Thank You” note will likely have lasting effect and be placed on the pin board above their desk for years to come.
Make this a new habit by setting up daily reminders for oneself to start the day on a positive note. I’m sure you can find something about somebody that was done well the previous day.
Personally, I sent a daily 8AM invite to my leadership team as a reminder to start the day by recognizing someone with a few meaningful words. I also encouraged all our supervisors to “Up Manage” any one deserving a “Thank You” note from the Director’s Office.
Last week alone, over 75 staff members were recognized for every day excellence. That’s a lot of “Dopamine” and feel good moments both for the receiver as well as the sender. Since I was cc’d on all of them, I have had a permanent smile on my face.
Recognize often, start today and learn to live a fuller life with “Positude”
P.S. Happy Father’s Day to all!
As I do most often, I get up early in the morning and read my twitter news feed for anything that might have happened overnight. I was in complete disbelieve when I read that Anthony Bourdain had committed suicide in his hotel room while on assignment in France.
An iconic figure with the keen ability to talk food, family and culture. A voice that was unique and comforting. A persona that many envy including myself. A job that seems to be ideal in many ways food, travel, exploration, personalities, etc.
In 2017, I lost four friends to suicide and was encouraged that the same was not true for 2018 however CDC statistics show that over 160 people per day choose to end their lives due to despair.
As someone who lives life with “POSITUDE”, I can’t imagine nor have I ever experienced a moment that I could not see the light any longer. Sadly, working in the medical field, I have seen too much and often too late.
The real question remains, are we doing enough to prevent suicidal idealization by openly discussing ones inner feelings. Are we reaching out to those most likely to be in despair? The lonely elderly, the recently divorcee, recently laid off or someone with a known mental health illness? Are we just too busy in life to only think of oneself? I’m afraid it is the latter.
I have advocated for this in the past and will do so again. “Reach out Wednesday” is something that belongs on your calendars at work. Let’s start a campaign on outlook to book a set time each Wednesday to reach out to someone in your life that might appreciate a phone call or maybe even lunch at the local diner.
It’s the human touch that’s going to prevent the next suicide! Be mindful and in the present when interacting with people who are not in a good place. You don’t need to solve their issues, you just need to hear them and be there for them.
Try it and let me know how it works.
Available 24 hours everyday
When you go to work, do you just give enough to meet your boss’s expectations or do you go above and beyond? I have never met an ambitious, goal oriented professional who got to the top by doing just the bare minimum.
Your job is not to be valuable to your company, it is your job to make yourself invaluable. All companies hire employees to add value otherwise why hire someone. If you have ambition beyond an entry-level position, you need to develop a strategic action plan to map out your next 1-5 years to ensure that you are in the best position once the right opportunity for promotion presents itself.
Your strategic plan should include two vital components;
- Identify your next role(s) and research what skills, knowledge and abilities you need to have in order to be eligible. Once you know, work with a sense of urgency to gain the competencies necessary.
- Become invaluable to the company you work for by going above & beyond by taking on special projects, assignments, or make time to develop the next level leaders
I highly recommend that you work with your employer to develop an “Individual Development Plan” through which you can identify opportunities to shadow positions you are targeting for your next career move. Conversations with your boss will also allow you to gain insight to what he/she identifies as the key strategic drivers for the business allowing you to focus on special projects that are well aligned.
One word of caution, networking with a next level leader is NOT an interview for a job, it’s an opportunity for you to gain knowledge and experience. Utilize this information to make yourself invaluable to your company and be in a great position for your next career step albeit with the company you currently work for or your next employer.
I’m going to keep it very simple today.
Tomorrow morning, get up a few minutes earlier than normal and take a seat in your backyard or a local park.
Sit quietly for the next 10-15 minutes to soak in the sounds, smells and early morning sun rays. Be reflective & grateful for all that you have today, the small fortunes we tend to overlook. Set aside all the things out of reach for the moment.
Finish your reflective session on visualizing your future, the steps it will require to get there and the path that is realistic.
Practice this at least weekly and you will not only be more grateful for what you have accomplished thus far, it will give you a sense of gratitude as well as we are indeed lucky to live our lives each day.
Be mind fully present each moment in time.
I’m sitting on the fifth floor of our hotel overlooking Lake Champlain in Vermont passing time before my daughter Kim’s big moment. A mile stone she has worked so hard for over the past four years. A capstone to blood, sweat and tears to graduate top of her class. An accomplishment that nobody can ever take away from her again. Kim graduated from University of Vermont with a Bachelors in Early Childhood Education and Interventionl, as a father, I could not be happier!
Setting goals, aspirations and milestones for oneself is paramount to your success. Becoming a CEO is not necessarily the ultimate accomplishments either, it is reaching your God-given potential that you should relentlessly pursue.
Life catches up with us at times. Some of us have kids early on in life or get stuck in a menial job that provides comfort and security but not inspiration or defined satisfaction.
No matter where you are in your journey in life, it is never too late to set “SMART” goals for oneself albeit finishing your GED, BS, Masters or PhD degrees. For others, it is less about formal education and more about growing professionally, finding inspiration or giving back to society.
Search deep inside of yourself to find the “ONE THING” that keeps your motor humming and your spirit blazing. Set realistic goals and milestones for yourself. Once you reach a benchmark, take a step back and celebrate the moment.
What are you goals and milestone moments?
Why is it so difficult for us to see something that is not there? It could potentially hold the answer to your problem statement. Are we blinded by our own environment or is our brain playing tricks on us? I think it’s a little bit of both.
We know for instance that the brain will fill in pieces where nothing exists, we also know that we become blind to defects if we are exposed to them for a period of time. Can we trust our brain or should we force it to do better? (Brain Games Discovery Science Channel)
To drive new innovation, we need to think “Out of the Box”. How many times have you watched “Shark Tank” on CNBC and thought to your self “If I only had thought of that”! Sometimes the most simplistic innovations have the greatest impact on our daily lifes. These innovators didn’t invent by staying within the box. They noticed a problem and developed a sensible solution by thinking differently. They allow their brains to wander around and conceptualize until a suitable solution is found.
You can do the same, you just have to start by doing some daily “Yoga for the Brain”. Let’s try one together.
- Place 9 dots equally spaced out on paper in 3 rows of 3
- Connect all of the dots with four straight lines without crossing over the dots more than once
- Think out of the box
0 0 0
0 0 0
0 0 0
How did you do? It much more difficult that it appears at the surface isn’t it? How many of you stayed within the box? Your brain is most comfortable within the nine dots. However, only if you stretch your imagination will you come up with the right answer.
The moral of this story is simple, to generate new ideas or solutions, force yourself to “Think out of the Box”, don’t just accept what your brain has to offer.
Have fun and live life with Positude!