Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Learn to appreciate Before Its too late

One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between each name. 

Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about each of their classmates and write it down.

It took the remainder of the class period to finish their assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers. 

That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual. 

On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the entire class was smiling. "Really?" she heard whispered. "I never knew that I meant anything to anyone!" and, "I didn't know others liked me so much," were most of the comments. 

No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on. 

Several years later, one of the students was killed in Vietnam and his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so mature.

The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved him took a last walk by the coffin... The teacher was the last one to bless the coffin. 

As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pallbearer came up to her. "Were you Mark's math teacher?" he asked. She nodded: "yes." Then he said: "Mark talked about you a lot." 

After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates went together to a luncheon. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting to speak with his teacher. 

"We want to show you something," his father said, taking a wallet out of his pocket "They found this on Mark when he was killed. We thought you might recognize it." 

Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had said about him. 

"Thank you so much for doing that," Mark's mother said. "As you can see, Mark treasured it."

All of Mark's former classmates started to gather around. Charlie smiled rather sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. It's in the top drawer of my desk at home." 

Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album." 

"I have mine too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary" 

Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. "I carry this with me at all times," Vicki said and without batting an eyelash, she continued: "I think we all saved our lists" 

That's when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again. 

The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that life will end one day. And we don't know when that one day will be.

 So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are special and important. Tell them, before it is too late.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Leading L’s In Life

Leading is the one skill that we should practice toward ourselves first, and then to others:There is no good leadership possible without proper self-leadership. If you don’t know how to carry yourself, you will never be able to show others the right way. It is only when people respect how you present yourself over time,that they will really accept your leadership, whether you are their official superintendent or not. However, in order to be a great self-leader and an accepted leader for others, there are some priceless facts of life that you should continuously practice.
Listed below are these 10vital facts and the way they should be perceived: Learning is the only thing we do from day one after birth: every new experience, every disappointment or victory, is a lesson that we should use in our decisions later. 

Listening is not just a polite activity, but it can be the determining factor in being accepted or not. When people know that you lend them an empathetic ear, that you also listen to the unsaid, and that you listen with more than just your ears and your mind, you will earn their timeless respect and loyalty.

Loving is the single emotion that will weed out all negativity that is presented to us in the course of time. It will lead us to the realization that the world will be a much better place if we all start practicing it just a little bit more intense.

Laughing is the one act that we should practice more often: not only when we hear something funny or when we experience a great  progress, but also when we catch ourselves making silly mistakes: for if you cannot laugh about yourself, you are in big trouble.

Looking is one of the most misinterpreted words in the alphabet. Most of the time we consider it as an act to be executed with the eyes only. But looking with the mind, heart, and soul into other people’s character and their spirit can guide you to the right decisions more than anything else. 

Leaping may be considered the most daring act in life:It comes after looking, but it requires much more than insight. It also demands bravery and decisiveness. Some leaps may have a life-changing effect. 

Legacy is what every self-respecting person would like to leave for others. What a wonderful idea that people will continue to think of us, quote us, use our wisdom or our strategies, long after our physical presence has faded away. Leaving a legacy begins with living in an exemplary way. 

Loyalty toward friends, co-workers, subordinates, and not in the least to your own principles, will be recognized by the ones who follow your acts. They will learn from your behavior, and carry forth this skill toward others. 

Luck cannot be bought or ordered. But it can be found in the most unexpected corners of life. It will manifest itself when least expected: as a result of a good deed done to someone, somewhere, somehow.

Luck is the karma that some people mention when they encourage you to do well unto others. Luck is the positive reward we get for the unknown blessings we brought unto others. 

Living,finally, is the one requirement without which none of the above would be possible. If you want to be a good leader for yourself and others, you should realize that the art of living lies in a good balance in everything you do: enough hard work, enough exercise, enough fun, and enough rest. You just perform better when you are in balance. Remember: you exude what you are, whether you are aware of it or not.

Monday, November 28, 2011

3 Reasons To Eliminate Anger In The Workplace

By Derek Irvine 

Recognize This! – Anger does not “show passion.” Anger only hurts the bottom line. I’ve written before about jerks at work and the negative effect of bullying and bad behavior in the workplace. In those posts, I’ve explained some of the research behind how such behavior also negatively impacts the bottom line.

Robert L. Johnson, founder and president of the RLJ Companies, explained this even more fully from a CEO’s perspective in the New York Times “Corner Office” column, especially why anger has no place in the workplace:

“The one thing is that I just don’t want people to get angry. … I just don’t understand anger and conflict in a business. If you think about it, in a business you’re working to make money for somebody … If we’re not angry, and we work together, we make more money. If we get angry and we have conflict, we make less money. So let’s not get angry. Let’s just work it out.

“And by the way, even if you do get angry, it’s not going to solve the problem. All it’s going to do is reverberate around the office that so and so made a mistake and so and so is angry at them. Then a whole cloud of frustrations and anger pervades the office. And so all of a sudden you get a breakdown in the culture of cooperation and collegiality, and the common mission goes out the window. And it’ll take you a week or so to get everybody back together.”

Mr. Johnson succinctly teaches 3 clear lessons about why anger should be kept out of work:

1.. Anger costs you money.
2.. Anger doesn’t solve the problem.
3.. Anger breaks down your positive culture in which the work gets done better and faster.

So why do we allow people to get away with anger and similar emotions at work? I think it’s because we justify these behaviors as “passionate.” After all, someone who gets so angry must care a good deal about the work or the results, right?

Mr. Johnson gives the lie that that argument:

“I’ve never had the emotion of anger. Some people think I’m sort of not passionate or I’m kind of cold or disinterested because I don’t rant and rave and everything else. I don’t do that. And I think it’s a simple rule — more insecure, more anger; more secure, less anger. I think really great companies are populated by people who are confident, secure and less fearful.

“Just think about companies that really stay at the top all the time. They don’t have a lot of turnover. There’s a lot of continuity because the environment is conducive to people wanting to be there, and they want to stay there.”

And with that parting shot, Mr. Johnson gives us a bonus reason to eliminate anger in the workplace: increased retention.

Does anger pervade your workplace? Is it condoned or does leadership actively work to promote an environment that dissuades anger?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Grow Old or Grow Up- Choice is Yours

The first day of school our professor introduced himself and challenged us to get to know someone we didn't already know. I stood up to look around when a gentle hand touched my shoulder.

I turned around to find a wrinkled, little old lady beaming up at me with a smile that lit up her entire being..

She said, 'Hi handsome. My name is Rose. I'm eighty-seven years old. Can I give you a hug?'

I laughed and enthusiastically responded, 'Of course you may!' and she gave me a giant squeeze..

'Why are you in college at such a young, innocent age?' I asked.

She jokingly replied, 'I'm here to meet a rich husband, get married, and have a couple of kids...'

'No seriously,' I asked. I was curious what may have motivated her to be taking on this challenge at her age.

'I always dreamed of having a college education and now I'm getting one!' she told me.

After class we walked to the student union building and shared a chocolate milkshake.

We became instant friends. Every day for the next three months we would leave class together and talk nonstop. I was always mesmerized listening to this 'time machine' as she shared her wisdom and experience with me..

Over the course of the year, Rose became a campus icon and she easily made friends wherever she went. She loved to dress up and she reveled in the attention bestowed upon her from the other students. She was living it up.

At the end of the semester we invited Rose to speak at our football banquet I'll never forget what she taught us. She was introduced and stepped up to the podium. As she began to deliver her prepared speech, she dropped her three by five cards on the floor.

Frustrated and a little embarrassed she leaned into the microphone and simply said, 'I'm sorry I'm so jittery. I gave up beer for Lent and this whiskey is killing me! I'll never get my speech back in order so let me just tell you what I know.'

As we laughed she cleared her throat and began, ' We do not stop playing because we are old; we grow old because we stop playing.

There are only four secrets to staying young, being happy, and achieving success. You have to laugh and find humor every day. You've got to have a dream. When you lose your dreams, you die.

We have so many people walking around who are dead and don't even know it!

There is a huge difference between growing older and growing up.

If you are nineteen years old and lie in bed for one full year and don't do one productive thing, you will turn twenty years old. If I am eighty-seven years old and stay in bed for a year and never do anything I will turn eighty-eight.

Anybody! Can grow older. That doesn't take any talent or ability. The idea is to grow up by always finding opportunity in change. Have no regrets.

The elderly usually don't have regrets for what we did, but rather for things we did not do. The only people who fear death are those with regrets..

She concluded her speech by courageously singing 'The Rose.'

She challenged each of us to study the lyrics and live them out in our daily lives. At the year's end Rose finished the college degree she had begun all those months ago.

One week after graduation Rose died peacefully in her sleep.

Over two thousand college students attended her funeral in tribute to the wonderful woman who taught by example that it's never too late to be all you can possibly be.

When you finish reading this, please send this peaceful word of advice to your friends and family, they'll really enjoy it!

These words have been passed along in loving memory of ROSE.

REMEMBER, GROWING OLDER IS MANDATORY. GROWING UP IS OPTIONAL. We make a Living by what we get. We make a Life by what we give.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Workers Are Unhappy: 3 Things A Manager Can Do

By Adrian Gostick

I was on a flight from Las Vegas this week when I overhead a fascinating conversation. The flight attendant was energetic and upbeat, a true ambassador for the airline. He was so atypical, in fact, that the two men seated behind me asked if they could speak to corporate and get him recognized. His good nature faded as he grumbled, “That’s very nice of you, but please don’t bother. We have a recognition system, but you need about three billion points before you can get anything worthwhile. I have maybe 280,000 points, which I think is like a $50 gift certificate.”

Here was an amazing employee who was persevering despite the airline’s poor recognition system. Did he have more to give? Probably. Was he dissatisfied, disheartened and even dismayed by the lack of acknowledgement for his great work? Without a doubt.
Employees are fed up. They admit they have more to give, but just don’t feel like giving it.

As proof, consider a new study just conducted of worker satisfaction in the United States. More than half the respondents claimed they are not satisfied with the level of recognition they receive at work—up a whopping 11% from six months ago. But more to the point, 65% of people who are otherwise satisfied—those who aren’t interested in finding a new job—admit they would work harder if they just received more praise for their efforts.

As a manager, ignore these findings at your peril.

The study, conducted in August by MarketTools Inc. for Globoforce, found that a lack of sincere recognition is also leading to employee turnover. Some 38% of working Americans say they are looking to leave their current companies. And the researchers found a startling correlation between the level of recognition a manager gives and the loyalty of his or her workers.

The problem is, few leadership teams are grasping the importance of this issue. As we work with executive groups, most are failing to admit the true toll on morale that this recession has wrought. Without exception, they’ve laid off workers and/or asked Herculean efforts from their remaining staff. And yet the level of appreciation has not increased; in fact in most cases it’s decreased—after all, leaders are really, really busy.

In one of our surveys, a 10-year look at 200,000 people, we found managers who give frequent, specific, and timely recognition had not only much higher levels of employee engagement but also customer satisfaction and team profitability. These basics are things you can do right away to impact engagement:

Frequent: The Gallup Organization’s research shows that for employees to feel valued and committed, they need to receive some form of praise or recognition every seven days. That doesn’t mean you’ll be handing out Rolex watches every week (if you do, sign me up). Instead, employees need verbal and written reinforcement of their work. Managers who earn the most trust and dedication of their people do so with many simple, yet powerful actions: writing a sincere note of thanks, highlighting a team member’s performance in a staff meeting, doing their least favorite task for a day, sending an e-card of praise to an employee and copying your boss, and so on.

Specific: Non-specific praise is actually disheartening for employees, since it implies that their manager has no idea of the unique value they bring. Managers who offer this type of general praise may think they are rewarding the entire team with comments such as “Thanks, everyone, for your hard work.” But such general praise has no effect. It can even have a negative impact on those in your charge. The best recognition is specific to the individual, and is always linked to a core value.

Timely: Nothing saps energy faster than doing something great and hearing no praise. To be recognized weeks or even a month later is of some reward, but realistically in 99% of cases a manager will forget if he puts it off. To reinforce the right behaviors, we must reward them right away.

In our work, we have found many great managers reaping the tangible benefits of frequent, specific, and timely recognition. These are learnable skills that can truly change your team for the better.

Adrian Gostick is the author of several New York Times bestselling business books, including The Carrot Principle and The Orange Revolution. He is the founder of The Culture Works, a global consultancy specializing in leadership and corporate culture.