No More Watermelon

October 24, 2017

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Today’s Leadership Minute was written by: David Crone based on his Work Should Be Fun! blog (with his permission). https://workshouldbefun.com/blog/

I hate watermelon.

There, I’ve said it. Can we still be friends?

I also can’t stand to listen to the Beatles.

Uh, oh, now we’ve crossed into dangerous territory.

It’s not that I think watermelon is bad. And I certainly have great respect for the music produced by the Beatles.

But, I’ve had enough of both to last a lifetime.

Every summer as a kid, I went to Boy Scout Camp. One night during each camp session we had a family night. Parents and family would come for campfire where we would enjoy stories, skits and songs.

Our troop had a tradition whereby parents would bring watermelon for us to enjoy after the families had gone on their way. We would be up late into the night having watermelon eating races. The goal was to finish every watermelon before going to bed. With nearly a watermelon per kid, you can imagine we got pretty creative with the various ways of eating it all.

To this day, the very smell of watermelon makes me want to turn and run the other way. Please, no more!

The Beatles suffered a similar fate for me. Growing up, we took many trips in the car together as a family. We all liked having music playing, but as a family, it was often difficult to find something on which we could all agree. The Beatles became the one thing we could all accept.

Side note: Unlike the Beatle’s White Album, Cheech and Chong’s White Album(actually called the Wedding Album…) was the only record I recall that was completely banned from further play in the house. Which, of course, made us want to listen to it even more. Back to the Beatles…

Later, the Beatles gave way to Paul McCartney and Wings. Same thing for me. I’ve had enough.

Our 8-track copies of these albums were well worn by the time I headed off to college.

When you’ve listened to these songs as much as I did as a kid, hearing them as an adult yields two possible outcomes. Either you would be struck by fond nostalgia, or, as in my case, quickly reach for the buttons to change the station (or playlist).

My reactions to both watermelon and the Beatles at this point are visceral.

What are your triggers? What things, events or situations bring about these types of strong negative reactions for you?

Are there things in your work environment that cause you grief, but that many others find to be pleasant? Maybe they were great at one time, but now it’s become too much of a good thing.

What about your staff?

What have you been doing the same way for so long that you (or your staff) simply can’t tolerate doing it one more time?

I’m not suggesting that you ban watermelon from your company cafeteria, or that you never allow the Beatles to be played within the office confines.

But, I do think it is good to look for places where changing things up might provide a much needed fresh perspective. Don’t wait until the smell of watermelon causes you to wretch – or your star employee leaves because they can’t stand the thought of having to submit a weekly status report in that same blasted format one more time.

Also, make the change real. The Beatles “unplugged” is still the Beatles. And that is so yesterday.

Go ahead, make a change. Make it bold.

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Are you a Leader or a Manager or Both?

October 11, 2017

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If you missed our September Leadership Hour with Craig Marshall, Ernst & Young Managing Partner Columbus, you will want to watch the video. We appreciate Mr. Marshall’s explanation of leading and managing. The following are his rules for success.

Top 10 Rules for Success (whether a leader or a manager or both).

#10:    Communicate up and down the line

# 9:     Identify problems and bring solutions

# 8:     Treat everyone with respect

# 7:     Listen actively

# 6:     Be positive – Attitude determines altitude

# 5:     Set expectations

# 4:    Top Six / Bottom Six

# 3:     Be prompt – even early

# 2:     Seek feedback

# 1:    Take charge of your own career!

Our thanks to him for his insights, jokes and straight forward presentation. To watch the video, click here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CSvW11tZqI&feature=youtu.be

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Disappointment Correction

October 9, 2017

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Today’s Leadership Minute was written by: David Crone based on his Work Should Be Fun! blog (with his permission). https://workshouldbefun.com/blog/

Have you ever been disappointed? What did you do in response?

During a recent meeting with our financial advisor, he said there is a high level of expectation among financial experts for a “disappointment correction” in the stock markets. I’d never heard the term before, but he claimed it is a well-known term in the financial sector.

Here’s one story about the concept.

The gist of this is that investors are disappointed by things not going the way they had anticipated. As a result, they will make adjustments, or corrections, in their holdings and strategies.

The term struck me as being apt for describing what happens in the workplace.

The company promises certain things, setting expectations for the employees. If done right, the employees get all excited about these promises and new ventures. They have renewed energy and focus. They work harder. Then, if things don’t pan out as expected, people become disappointed. Sometimes they will become so disappointed that they make drastic corrections, like moving on to another employer.

It’s a difficult road to travel for leaders. You want to paint a rosy picture, share possibilities, get people excited for what is yet to come. But, if you paint too rosy of a picture, or can’t follow through on those promises, you have to expect some level of frustration and disappointment among the staff. You have to be ready for the corrections.

Then there is the issue of hiring someone who turns out to be a poor fit for the position. The new person starts, everyone is excited, and then disappointment sets in because, well, they aren’t actually qualified for the position. Or, perhaps the job duties were not clearly explained during the interview process. Or, maybe the true nature of the work environment was not clearly articulated. There is a mismatch in expectations. The result is that the hiring manager needs to make a correction.

This can happen on the other side as well. I once started a new job full of eager anticipation. By the end of the first week I realized the job was not what I expected. I was disappointed. I needed to make a correction. It took me a full year to make the correction by changing jobs. The second time this happened, it only took me 5 weeks.

A workplace correction is not always a major deal. Sometimes it only requires a minor tweak to the environment, like a change of your office layout, a new computer, or bringing in a pair of headphones to drown out that annoying gum cracking in the cubicle next to you. Sometimes it means changing the people assigned to a project, or their specific roles within the team. It doesn’t always have to end in parting company.

Disappointment can show up in so many areas of our lives. When it happens, we have a choice. We can be sad, or we can take action – make a correction.

Be aware of your disappointment. Let it motivate you to do what needs to be done to move on. Sometimes a mental shift is the only correction needed, while other times serious changes in lifestyle are needed.

Where are you now? Are your expectations being met? Are you disappointed? If so, it might be time for a correction.

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