How many times to do you wake up in the morning and say, “Hooray! I get to go to work today!” How many more times do we find ourselves saying, “I have to go to work today.”
This week, as we lead up to our annual celebration of Thanksgiving here in the US, I suggest you change that one word, from “have” to “get.” Try it. Do it consciously every day for 2 weeks. I guarantee you will be amazed at the results.
Don’t just say it to yourself. Tell someone else first thing in the morning. “I get to go to work today!” Say it with enthusiasm. If you live by yourself, make a habit of calling someone on your way to work. Text them (not while driving, of course!). Post it on social media. Really get into it.
When we can truly change our attitude from thinking we have to do something, to rejoicing in fact that we get to do it, our whole outlook and angle of approach changes – for the better.
If you want to know how far you can go, allow someone else to kick you in the butt.
Have you ever had a coach? I’m not talking about a cheerleader, I mean a coach.
A coach will let you know when you are doing things right, so that you will keep doing it. But, even more important, a good coach will tell you when you are doing it wrong. And they will push you to go beyond what you think you are capable of accomplishing.
At 52 years old, I am only now realizing the power and value of a coach. My whole life I have learned to do things on my own. I read books. Lots of books. And I’ve watched educational videos, and listened to audio programs. But, I’ve never really allowed an individual into my life in a way that pushed my boundaries beyond the comfort zone.
The details are not important. What is important is that I feel the pain – the growth – the stretch – that is coming from having a coach. It hurts in that good kind of post-exercise kind of way. And I’ll be going back for more.
Employee recognition can be so difficult. Even the best-intentioned attempts can go awry.
At one company where I worked early in my career, we developed a product called the “STAR”. A team of us worked hard to hit some aggressive timelines. We produced a very good product. It was also a lot of fun.
Shortly after the product was launched, the company held a small celebration to recognize our contributions. As a reward, each of the key people on the development team was presented with their own STAR. Apparently there is an International Star Registry where you can have your name attached to some obscure otherwise unnamed star.
For the record, my star is Hercules RA 18h 0m 40sd 38(degree) 10.
Oh, what the heck, here’s a photo of my certificate:
I thought this was pretty cool when we received these. So cool that I had mine framed and it has hung in my office at work in every job I’ve had since then.
One of my coworkers was less thrilled. His exact comment was, “I wish they’d just given me the $50.”
The point? Any employee recognition needs to take into account the personalities of those being recognized. For some, being called up onto a big stage under bright lights in front of their peers is absolutely the worst thing you can do. They would rather be strung up and have their toenails pulled out one by one. For others? A moment in the spotlight is a fantastic reward.
One last thought… Just because it’s hard to get it right, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. The thought behind the effort really does count. In my experience, keeping it simple is usually the best choice.
Every once in a while, you are blessed with a great boss. One of my best put that line on my performance plan.
“Laugh every day.”
The beauty of that line is multi-layered.
First, obviously, it’s simply a great idea for all of us to consider every day of our lives.
Second, it tells you a lot about this particular boss. He valued humor, keeping things light, and having fun – every day.
Third, by putting this on my performance plan, it suggested that I should have the same expectation of those who reported to me in the corporate hierarchy. The message was clear: At least in this department, work should be fun.
Don’t get me wrong. He was a tough boss. Demanding. But, he was genuine. Truly interested in you as an individual every bit as much as he was interested in “hitting the numbers” for the business.
Put that line on your performance plan. Make it a specific goal for you to achieve in your work – and in your life – every day.