Posts Tagged ‘work’



Work Smarter Part 2

Working hard and working smart are not synonyms. Yes you can work both smart and hard, but you can also spend a lot of effort and fail at the end of the day. Here are 5 more principles that will help you create and maintain a healthy and productive work environment. Ignore them at your own risk. Rebuke privately. Praise publicly. Getting these principles right has the greatest impact on morale for both paid or volunteer staff. One time I almost, and should have, fired a staff member for publicly scolding a volunteer that was late for a key rehearsal. The same is true for praise that’s done privately. If you’re happy with someone’s performance, make sure you praise them in front of their peers and superiors. Monitor morale. Leaders are always looking ahead to figure out what’s the next move. If morale is eroding for whatever reason, it’s your…

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The Fun Theory

Intuitively we know that the more fun we inject in activities, the more likely people are to respond positively to them. When my boys were small I used to play let’s-see-how-fast-we-can-put-up-the toys game. They would clean the room in a matter of minutes as opposed to the whining and gnashing of their teeth that would be manifest during other chores. This video is another reminder that people will choose even a more difficult path if we make it fun. Where have you experienced the fun theory at work in your life?

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The Tyranny of the Urgent

“I’m already overwhelmed in my job. I have no time left to write a blog post, create a conversation on Twitter, or engage in a Facebook discussion.” I hear it quite often these days.  I understand people’s frustrations. We all seem to be tapped out. My answer is simple: you must let go of the urgent and not important and focus on the important but not urgent. Easier said than done. The urgent always demand our attention, whether or not it warrants it. It’s the “needs immediate attention” email you get in the middle of the day, or a “crisis” a client is having you must attend to. Much like disgruntled church members, the “urgent but not important” tasks fill our days and rob us from doing what we should be doing but, unlike its obnoxious counterpart, the “important but not urgent” will not grab us by the neck and…

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Are We Working too Hard?

“If you work too much you make yourself and your boss look bad.” That is certain not the American way! Recently I spoke with a friend whom works for an European-owned publishing company. It has taken him a while to acclimate to their working environment where more work hours doesn’t mean more credit from your supervisors. My friend was gently reminded that he was working too much, and, therefore, making his boss look bad. What?! Yes. According to the company’s thinking, if you’re working past 5 p.m. or before 9 a.m., you’re not being effective and not managing your time well. If you work too much your productivity drops and your work quality suffers. According to the French, you make yourself and your supervisor look bad–effectiveness before busy work. And, by the way, they close their offices from December 23 until January 2nd and that’s doesn’t count toward the month’s…

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What I Learned from Andy Rooney as I Watched 60 Minutes

I want to live and  die like Andy Rooney. This past week he passed away at the age of 92. After watching Mr. Rooney’s life from my seat in front of the TV since I was a child, I have come to the realization that when it came to work, he got it right. I never met Andy Rooney or knew much about his personal life or religious views. That’s not the point of this post. But here’s what he taught me about life over the decades as I saw him on my tv. He taught me that I need to love what I do. There was no question Andy loved his job. At get 92 in this final interview, Mr. Rooney answered the if-you-had-to-do-it-over question with a simple answer: I would have been a journalist; I would have worked for 60 minutes. In other words, he would have it…

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Working with Generation Y: Getting More than I Bargain For

Every rule has its exception. In the past few days I have worked closely with few members of what a lot of experts have labeled the most “entitled” generation ever in the history of mankind. However, my experience has been nothing but positive. I’ve been working side by side with creative, hard working and competent young professionals.  Before you decide to fit everyone 20 year old in a high-maintenance and low-return box, consider this. Every person deserves to prove his or her own merit. It’s easy to label someone but hard to change one’s preconceived notions. Give them the benefit of the doubt, expect the best. Simply, treat them like you want to be treated. Give them guidance but let them perform. When you have young talented people working for you, let them be young. Point them in the direction you want them to go, but try not to micromanage.…

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