Monthly Archives: September 2017

Close your mind! avoid these questions!

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We are often automatic with how we think –not always open-minded. That is because we don’t ask ourselves or others the important questions. Opening your mind with “opened-ended questions that cannot be answered with a yes or is a necessity for growth. It starts with an exploration of what you might be taking for granted. When you do this, you begin to delayer things and get to the truth.

• Why did we see the need for this decision in the past?
• What if we do things differently?
• What if our biggest competitor were in this room; what would he or she say about us?
• What if we re-imagine things radically? What if we create a new market segment?
• What if I owned this business? What would I do differently?

Source: Think To Win: Unleashing the Power of Strategic Thinking

Wisdom — Who Do You Go With?

We can probably count the “true people” who are confident in sharing everything they know –who will help others with the assurance that he or she expects nothing in return. How fortunate are we to meet individuals who are truly giving! Is there anyone who comes to mind?
I have, and many others who have been fortunate to come across his path also have someone in mind! – his name is Peter Klein. I first met Peter in the spring of 2001 while working at Gillette. He was an officer of the company who was an important part of Gillette’s turnaround story. As a trusted advisor and confidant to many of us, he was the “go to guy” when you needed help thinking through an issue. There were no title constraints or turf issues as he was genuinely concerned about doing the right thing for the business and the people in the organization.
After I left P&G in 2006 to start my company, I again turned to Peter for help. His guidance in how to start and grow a consulting practice was invaluable. I also really learned not to take myself so seriously as his sense of humor helped ground me. I owe much of my success to his support.
I grew to know him even better between 2010-2015 when he collaborated with myself and John Manfredi on our book Think-to-Win. His library of content, insights and experience in business were invaluable. Through Peter, we could reach some of those most successful leaders in organizations and tap into their minds. It was remarkable how people were willing to share their stores with us. Most likely because Peter had been part of them.
Peter has a saying “with whom you go is more important than where you go.” I am lucky that I have been able to go with Peter for these last 15 years!
To learn more about Peter and see his wisdom and humor on display, go to www.pkassoc.com and also see the 2015 interview conducted by Gary Vaynerchuck, founder of VaynerMedia and a digital/social media icon. It was tweeted to over a million people and viewed by thousands more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yjwe3K89ENs

Reach Paul Butler at Pbutler@globaledg.com

Hurricane Harvey – Everyday heroes collaborating to save lives

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The destruction caused by Hurricane Zachary is staggering.  I cannot begin to comprehend what people must be going through. Amongst this devastation we should not forget the victims and their families. Please consider donating to a charity such as the Red Cross www.redcross.com

In the midst of this tragedy, we should give a shout-out and recognize those everyday heroes. There are hundreds of stories of how rescue workers and volunteers worked together to save lives. What we should pay close attention to is how they did it — AUTOMATIC COLLOBATION!  First, they did not let “stuff” get in the way. Regardless of job title, race, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation everyone could contribute. Secondly, they quickly assessed where help was needed and only used the tools and resources that were at hand. The result was saving thousands of people and getting them to a safe place.

We can all learn from this. While we might no be saving lives, we could be changing them.

 

What the hell does “I have to go to work” mean?

ATT00015 pexels-photo-510391Who among us has walked around on a Sunday night with that “pit in our stomach” feeling? Last weekend I was having this very conversation with two close friends; both professionals, one a lawyer and the other a schoolteacher. They both expressed to me they were feeling a little blue and continued to explain they were “dreading” going to work the next day. The whole conversation centered on why they were feeling this way on a Sunday night and why the anticipation of starting a new workweek stressed out so many people. Maybe it’s how our culture talks about and defines “work” today. Does any of this sound familiar…

· Are you still at “work”?

· How many hours did you “work” this week?

· Unfortunately, I must “work” this weekend.

· I have been working too hard lately.

You can add to the list!

One definition even defines work as “an exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil.”

As our conversation continued, we shifted from the when and how, to the “why” of work. That’s when the conversation became more meaningful allowing us to look at “work” in a different way. In their book, The Why of Work, David and Wendy Ulrich refer to the “Why “ as the human search for meaning that finds its way to our office and factories; a search that motivates, inspires, and defines us. George Washington University professor Neal Chalofsky also writes in his book , Meaningful Workplaces, that learning is the most critical human function to reaching your purpose and potential. Learning new skills and applying them in some way allows you to raise the bar for yourself and others.

As my friends and I concluded our conversation, we agreed to adopt a better way of thinking about work; more as a meaning maker rather than as a laborer. I suggested they capture, declare and write down how their work provides meaning and refer to it on the Sunday nights when they were feeling that “pit” in their stomach.

This past Sunday, I also took time to reflect on the “why” of my work, and in doing so, found myself really looking forward to the week. I was coming off an intense facilitation of an executive retreat, one where the group was wrestling with the future of the company. The session I facilitated provided them with an opportunity to shape the future of their organization; building a new kind of company where they help saves lives and attract the best people to join and stay with the company. It was a privilege to be there working with these executives. I learned, I was inspired, and I was making a difference! It reinforced “why” I love the “work” I do.

Every time I learn something that makes me a better coach and leader it brings more meaning and purpose to my “work”, so much so, I don’t think about it as “work” anymore, but as a chance to learn and grow and be part of something that is truly making a positive difference in peoples lives.

Whether you are on an assembly line or working in a corner office, try to remember, going to “work” really does make a difference in someone’s life; it does have meaning. Write down your “why” and continue to shape it as you grow and learn. Only then can you know “what the hell going to work means!”