Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Pass it on

The forcible entry training I was able to learn on Monday have already multiplied. I was able to teach my crew yesterday the same tricks I just learned myself.

And special thanks to YouTube. What can't you learn with a little motivation and a couple mouse clicks?

Fight it, or an opportunity to grow?

I can attest to the truth below - it is more productive to view difficult circumstances as a chance to learn. Becoming negative doesn't achieve anything other festering a contagious, poor attitude that affects everyone around you.  

I've experienced the effects of kicking and screaming at injustice. But I've also known the inner satisfaction of telling myself, "I don't deserve this, but I'm stronger because of it."

"Unfair things happen. You might be diagnosed with a disease, demoted for a mistake you didn't make, convicted of a crime you didn't commit. The ref might make a bad call, an agreement might be abrogated, a partner might let you down.
Our instinct is to fight these unfairnesses, to succumb if there's no choice, but to go down kicking and screaming. We want to make it clear that we won't accept injustice easily, we want to teach the system a lesson, we want them to know that we're not a pushover.
But will it change the situation? Will the diagnosis be changed, the outcome of the call be any different?
What if, instead, we went at it singing and dancing? What if we walked into our four-year prison sentence determined to learn more, do more and contribute more than anyone had ever dreamed? What if we saw the derailment of one path as the opportunity to grow or to invent or to find another path?
This is incredibly difficult work, but it seems far better than the alternative."
- Seth Godin

Monday, February 16, 2015

How are you making yourself better?

Each day you have an opportunity to make yourself more capable, more knowledgeable and more confident. Did you better yourself today, or did you just veg out in front of the TV?

I got the opportunity to draw some new forcible entry training out of a quiet but talented crew member today. It wasn't expensive, all I had to do was ask.

Go learn something. Try something new.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

It's easy to quote or paraphrase someone like Seth Godin, but it's even easier to copy and paste what he writes. Here's a great post called:

Measure what you care about (re: the big sign over your desk)

It's not always easy to measure what matters. Sometimes, the thing that matters doesn't make it easy for you to measure it.

The easiest path is to find a stand-in for what you care about and measure that instead. For example, websites don't actually care about how many minutes someone spends on the site, they care about transactions or ad sales or making content that moves people to take action. But those things might be harder to measure at first, so they focus on minutes.

The problem with stand-ins is that they're almost always not quite right. The stand-in looks good at first, but then employees figure out how to game the system to make the stand-in number go up instead of the thing you're actually trying to change.

A good way to find out: If you had to choose between increasing the stand-in stat and increasing the thing you actually care about, which would you invest in?

Roses, chocolates and greeting cards are a stand-in for actual human emotions, a stand-in for caring and respect and love. But of course, it's way easier to make the expense on chocolate go up than it is to actually care more.

Political fundraisers use money as a stand-in for votes, and in the short run, it might be. But not forever.

Authors use bestseller lists as a stand-in for making an impact, and in the short run, it might be. But of course, one thing is a lot easier to game than the other.

The moment you start heavily investing in making a stand-in number increase, it's worth taking a minute to look at the big sign hanging over your desk (you do have a big sign, right?) that says what you're actually seeking to do, the change you're working to make. Make that go up, even if you don't have an easy stand-in handy.

- Seth Godin

Thursday, February 12, 2015

"Successful people are successful because they form the habits of doing those things that failures don't like to do."

Albert Gray
How to kill motivation:
  1. Don't address employees that are negative and unproductive
  2. Assume everyone wants to be average
You just reinforced the culture you created.

We don't care enough to give you constructive feedback

But if we did, it would take a lot to speak up in a useful way. It's difficult to be a generous skeptic. Not only do we have to be clear and cogent and actionable, but we cross a social boundary when we speak up. We might be rejected, or scolded, or made to feel dumb. And of course there's the risk that we'll get our hopes up that something will improve, only to see it revert to the status quo.
So, most of the time, we don't bother.
But when someone does care enough (about you, about the opportunity, about the work or the tool), the ball is in your court.
You can react to the feedback by taking it as an attack, deflecting blame, pointing fingers to policy or the CEO. Then you've just told me that you don't care enough to receive the feedback in a useful way.
Or you can pass me off to a powerless middleman, a frustrated person who mouths the words but makes it clear that the feedback will never get used. Another way to show that you don't care as much as I do. And if you don't care, why should I?
One other option: you can care even more than I do. You can not only be open to the constructive feedback, but you can savor it, chew it over, amplify it. You can delight in the fact that someone cares enough to speak up, and dance with their insight and contribution.
Because then, if you're lucky, it might happen again.
- Seth Godin