Tag Archives: purpose

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Interesting Story

Interesting Story, Now I Get It

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People have told stories for thousands of years. Is story telling the way we learn, grow, and become more successful? Do you have an interesting story?

Story Value

Go to any museum and you may wonder about the story. The artifacts are there, they are clearly visible and on display. We can often read a short version of history on a plaque or push a button to get an audio version. This helps us connect, but we still don’t always know the story.

If we are shopping for a used car, we may want to know the story. When we go to a new small town, or a mom and pop restaurant we may wonder, “What is the story here?”

Better yet, watch an episode of American Pickers or Pawn Stars. When they buy something, they want to know the story. Often you’ll hear the stars of these shows ask about the story and declare a perceived value based mostly on, you guessed it, the story.

Interesting Story

In the workplace, our connection with purpose, why we do what we do, is meaningless without the story.

When we are in training seminars or workshops the value of the training is increased with the story.

You’ve likely heard of death by PowerPoint. You’ve witnessed the endless slide decks that could simply be displayed while the participants watch and read. There is not really a need for the so-called, presenter.

When you want buy-in for your change. When you want your employee teams to learn more, be more, and connect more, you may want to consider the story. Most employable people can talk about or read a slide deck.

When you attend the meeting, go to a seminar, or take a seat in the grand ballroom at the conference the question you really want to know the answer to is, “Do you have an interesting story?”

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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team motivation

Team Motivation and People Who Care

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Getting people motivated to move or spring into action, is it possible? What are you doing about team motivation, is everyone excited and engaged?

Certainly, there are people who scoff at the suggestion of motivation. They believe that motivation is entirely intrinsic and that you cannot get people to be more motivated. We also can’t forget about the authoritarian, he or she believes that fear is the best motivator. Do it or you are fired.

Possibility of Motivation

There is likely little doubt for anyone that motivation does have an individual component. That is, one person may be more motivated or less motivated than another based on the stimulus, the working environment, and even their historical perspective.

People are mostly motivated by purpose. Do you agree, when you have a purpose or understand the purpose you may then decide to be motivated or not?

Here is a basketball. There is the hoop. How many shots can you make in one minute?

We need to ship one hundred cases today. Our previous best is ninety-six. Let’s get started!

When you understand the purpose, the goal or desired result, you may become more motivated. Of course, the quick argument is that you have to care. If you don’t care about the number of baskets or the cases of product then you probably won’t start.

Team Motivation

Fundamentally, this is exactly why hiring for character, integrity, or attitude is so important. When someone doesn’t care, you are left with the decision to revisit purpose and see if they will ever care, or get them off your team.

What everyone who cares is most concerned about is accomplishing the work. They want to make a difference and to feel satisfied with their individual performance and the performance of the team. Caring is the first factor for team motivation.

When they care, they perform.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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What drives effort

What Drives Effort At Work? What’s Your Purpose?

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Motivation is an interesting topic. People are motivated in many different ways. What drives effort at your workplace?

Many people quickly grow tired of the daily grind. Alarm clocks, a quick shower, a large (extra large) coffee, or maybe some will throw back an energy drink and then it is off for the morning commute.

Once on the job, what provides the motivation for what happens next?

Motivation at Work

Certainly, many would hope that fun is a factor. Believe it or not some people really do enjoy their work. Even for those work-equals-fun people, sometimes things can grow a little stale. Overall though, when things are fun people are engaged, their energy level is high, and the work feels satisfying.

Many others are on a mission. There may be something they’ve procrastinated about, something that is late, urgent, and needed to be finished yesterday. They get stuff done, because a customer (boss, co-worker, external customer) needs it.

Some are thinking more about strategy. They will consider how to navigate the system, what the future needs are, or they will put in the extra effort to finish a project or product that has been in the blueprint phase for some time. They’re engaged because their future depends on it.

Somewhere lurking in much of this effort is fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of what will happen if the work isn’t timely, of high quality, and tasteful. What if the deadline is missed, the outbound truck arrives early and leaves the same. What if sales aren’t closed, the wrong stuff is advertised, and the webpage lacks hits?

Fear creates a lot of energy. It is almost like a rocket, extremely powerful but it doesn’t last long, the fuel is gone. Purposely (or not) motivating through fear is largely not a good idea.

What Drives Effort

What if effort was driven by purpose? Purpose is the reason that we work hard to do what we do. The amateur athlete has a purpose, and in the short run, it isn’t about money. The entrepreneur has a purpose and it is typically connected with their passion.

When we are focused on a purpose, everything becomes more important. When you accomplish what is important it is satisfying and sometimes fun. It may take grit, it may be connected to the daily grind, but the result is what matters the most. Doing it is a labor of love, or interest.

The rocking chair rocks, the stationary bike spins, and the rowing machine rows, but none of them go anywhere. The desired result is something different. Perhaps to relax and unwind, or for fitness, weight loss, and more strength.

We can be motivated by many things, but if what we do isn’t important, it really doesn’t matter that much. Knowing the purpose may be the biggest factor for what drives effort at work.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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get motivated appreciative strategies

10 Ways To Get Motivated Now

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Motivation is an interesting thing. It is an emotional connection stimulated by a purpose. People debate whether motivation is intrinsic or extrinsic. Are you able to get motivated?

You might get many suggestions about what to do to get more motivated. If you don’t connect with any of those suggestions it isn’t going to make any difference.

Different Ways

I often suggest when talking with groups about workplace motivation that you can be motivated by fear or inspiration, or by punishment or reward. It seems there is a negative side and a positive side.

Motivation then, driven by emotions, can be very powerful. Willpower, a subject I love also has a connection here. In the workplace, our best motivation comes from having a purpose. Purpose can break down walls, eliminate stereotypes, and bring harmony to the team.

Do you want to get motivated or help to motivate others? Here are ten ways to jump-start your workplace motivation.

Positive:

  1. Be professional. Set a standard, be the expert, role model what you and others in your profession or trade would want to be recognized as, or for.
  2. Legacy. Good for any team, but especially good for individuals in the twilight of their career. What mark, standard, or lasting impression do you want to leave behind.
  3. Dream big. Every day someone goes bigger, faster, or better. You can be the best in your town, your state, your region, or the world. It isn’t about competing, it’s just about bigger and better. Goals are achieved, history will be made.
  4. Humanity. You do it to help others. You choose to be kind, generous, and sharing. It is a chance to become part of something, not for the pay, not to compete, but to just do good for humankind or a specific cause.
  5. Connection. We work best together. We are successful because of each other. People want to come here, be here, and do good work. It only happens because we do it together. Everyone is leader and follower.

Negative:

  1. Competition. I will not, or we will not be defeated. You can compete against other people, other businesses or even race against time. There are winners and losers, you’re going to win.
  2. Embarrassment. We have to do this, we must do this or we’ll be shunned from the tribe. Most of all we will be letting others who count on us down. We don’t want to be losers or outcasts.
  3. Revenge. There has been some wrongdoing and you’re going to change that. You will work harder and smarter than before. While the enemy sleeps, you’ll be stealing their food.
  4. Inferior. Often connected to image, brand, or legacy, your work, product, or service is not good enough. You will not stop until it is perfect. The perfectionist in you just won’t allow that.
  5. Fear. The boss says I must, and I don’t want to lose my job. I need this job and no matter what it is or how much I don’t like it, I do it because I have to do it. Hey, I am getting a paycheck.

Get Motivated

Perhaps the greatest thing about motivation is that it all works. Some might take you to the dark side, some is short-lived, but all of them may get the job done. Should you motivate from the positive or the negative? The best answer may be, it depends.

Motivation can be situational. For the strategy session it may be positive, when goals are slipping it may be more negative. All of it connects back to emotions and purpose. I always suggest positive over the negative and in some cases, the lines between the two may get blurry.

Anyone who doesn’t understand or care about the future outcome will probably lack motivation.

Understand the purpose, believe in it, and you’ll be pulled, no reason to push.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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business roadmaps appreciative strategies

When Business Roadmaps Are Useless

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Processes are important. Systems designed to follow a standard, replicate quality, and improve efficiency are also important. All of these may be connected to a plan, a map. Business roadmaps aren’t always the right tool. Some people aren’t wandering because they lack direction.

You wouldn’t suggest using a map of the United States to help someone get across town, find the nearest gas station, or the best coffee shop. Better yet, you wouldn’t hand someone a globe at Central Park North in New York City and tell them to use it to get on the subway and go to Wall Street.

Modern technology has provided us with some easy methods to find our way from point A to point B. Many people have an electronic map, a way finder, and it is in their hand, purse, or pocket. It will likely even speak to you. Maps are useful but not for every directional purpose.

Business Roadmaps

Businesses and organizations are always trying to find their way. They go to great lengths to plan, design, and deliver a roadmap for employees to follow. They talk about timelines, milestones, and goals. All very important, but it might not help employees find their way or understand why.

Guiding the way with a roadmap is useful to those who already see the big picture and who are committed to it. Everyone else, those who are uncertain, not committed, or lack trust for the described outcomes really do not have use for a map.

Sometimes what employees need are not more directions. They don’t need more standards, a process, or a system. All of those things are useless when they don’t understand why they should go.

Pictures and Purpose

What they really need is someone to connect them with the purpose that leads to the big picture. They aren’t lost, a lack of direction is not why they are wandering.

Most people can follow a map, or have someone tell them when to yield, turn, or stop. The solution might not require more direction.

Productivity, efficiency, and quality really don’t matter that much when they aren’t committed to the purpose.

A globe doesn’t help much on the subway. Handing them business roadmaps won’t be helpful if they aren’t lost.

They’ll reach for the map when they understand why.

Have you answered the question about why?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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motivational reminders appreciative strategies

Motivational Reminders, Get Started or Keep Going

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Perhaps the number of clients that ask, “Can you do something to help with motivation,” shouldn’t surprise me? A large part of our workplace motivation has to do with culture, purpose, and the attitudes of the people. With that said, we all might benefit from some motivational reminders.

I’ve written about it before, how we need to connect people with purpose to really help drive motivation. If asked, many employees will quickly connect their motivation with pay. However, pay is not the only motivator and in fact, it likely is not the most important motivator.

Motivation can come from many sources. It can come from being inspired. It can come from fear, anger, embarrassment, and more. We can argue about whether our motivation is from a good source or a bad one. We might also consider, “Will it last?”

Motivational Reminders

Do you need motivational reminders? Here are five popular jump starters:

  • Competition. As an individual on the team you want to be the top performer (sales, engineer, manager, etc.) or as a team you compare to your external competition. You want to be the best.
  • Proof. Have you ever wanted to prove the naysayers wrong? It is sometimes a fantastic motivator. When you know you can, just let someone tell you that you can’t.
  • Pressure. Everyone in my family is successful I need to step it up. This also works in comparison with the neighbors and with the pending class reunion. Even social media might be a driver.
  • Dreams. You have a vision and nothing will stop you. You know that you can and no one is going to take away your dream. It is possible and you are going to make it happen.
  • Professionalism. You are a professional. This is what you do. You solve problems, build things, or care for others in need. It is the image of who you are and you won’t tarnish the profession.

Connect with your purpose and you might find all the motivation you need. Some of the best might be motivated by more than one thing. Perhaps it is a collection.

Not Just Another Day

Sometimes it is the reminder that this is not just another day, it is today, and you’ll have make something happen.

If someone suggests it is just another day maybe they need some motivation.

One of my personal favorites is that you don’t just live once, you live every day. You die once.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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engage all generations

2 Concepts That Engage All Generations

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There is a lot of chatter about workforce engagement. Adding to that, there is the chatter about generations, bad managers, and hiring the right people. What core concepts engage all generations?

Most organizations will spend a great deal of money on productivity tools. They make investments in technology, floor plans, and even furniture and fixtures. All hoping that there will be a good ROI (Return on Investment).

Do these make a difference? Sure, but what if the results are still coming up a little short? Unfortunately, if there is blame being passed around it normally circles back to hiring practices. Hiring the right people is important but is there more to it than that?

Smart organizations are also making investments in developing the right culture.

Engage All Generations

The best organizations focus on commonalities, not differences. There are so many elements connected with organizational culture it is hard to narrow it down to a few simple things, but from my experiences there are two that are critically important.

  1. Purpose. Organizations must focus on understanding their sense of purpose. Often when I ask people about purpose they will make a connection with money or financial responsibility. Fundamentally most formal organizations won’t survive without money but that is not the driving point here. The point is connecting every employee with how their job supports the mission of the organization.
  2. Respect. Ask ten people about respect and probably at least seven or eight will tell you that respect is earned. Respect is a commonality that all generations share. The most important thing to keep in mind is that respect is defined differently by everyone. Conscious efforts to create a respectful workplace will go a long way with employee engagement.

Most organizations connect their success with products, services, and financial responsibility. All of those are important.

Most organizations also connect the concept of technology and tools with productivity, which is also very important.

Don’t forget about culture.

All About Culture

When an organization wants to engage all generations, they need to look closely at their culture.

Keep in mind, your organizational culture is not what you say it is. It is what your workforce feels that it is.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Ultimatum: The Poorest Form of Workplace Motivation

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Many organizations try very hard to engage their workforce. Often frustrated, organizations believe the path to performance improvement might be inspired by delivering an ultimatum. That’s unfortunate.

Ultimatum forgotten respect

You might give your dog a treat for good performance or when they demonstrate a desired behavior. This might sometimes work for people too. At least it seems that way until the size of the reward is not desirable enough to create the act.

This is why pay raises used as a motivator seldom create long-term engagement. Sure it works in the short-term, but so does free pizza when people are really hungry.

Reasons for Motivation

The biggest reason why ultimatums are an even poorer choice for motivation is largely because the ultimatum removes any choice. Choice is typically a sign of respect. Respect is sometimes given, but most would suggest that it must be earned.

Recent SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) reports have indicated that respect is one of the most important factors in workplace satisfaction.

I’m not surprised. From my experiences respect is more responsible for organizational culture than any other single factor. It’s why I wrote a generational diversity book bearing the word in its title.

Leadership styles or cultures that try to force motivation through fear often succeed—temporarily. It’s because motivation is an emotional factor. It comes from what we feel, believe, or desire.

Maslow (circa 1943) taught us a lot about motivation and its connection with needs. Still today many believe and use his theory as a guiding principle. They see truth in it.

Ultimatum

When you attempt to motivate through fear or by giving an ultimatum you’ve evoked a negative reaction in an attempt to get a positive response.

When you connect people with purpose you’ve evoked a positive action because you’ve connected them with a positive emotional response.

Positive emotions will work every time, even in the long run.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Generational Purpose: When Differences Lead to a Commonality

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Purpose is critical for organizational success. Is there such a thing as, generational purpose?

Generational purpose

Likely one of the most important yet often unrecognized concepts about generational differences is that each generation may have their own belief (but different) about a similar subject matter.

For example, all generations have a belief about entitlement, respect, and yes, beliefs that drive purpose.

Purpose and Motivation

When you ask ten people what brings them to work each day you’ll probably get at least two or three different answers. Many might suggest some connection with money or providing for their life or family.

The drive for money can certainly be a motivator, but so can fear, or inspiration. What motivates us is usually connected to a purpose, and perhaps sometimes more than one purpose.

At least several stereotypes exist about the workforce generations and motivation. Many believe that some generations are less motivated than others.

Depending on who you speak with it might begin with generation X, but many today are more likely to cite the millennial generation or generation Z as those lacking motivation.

Motivation for your job or work might have a lot to do with money, but it probably isn’t really responsible for the work you do day-in and day-out. Having purpose for your work might matter more than what most people realize.

Some of the most interesting businesses are built around purpose. Have you ever thought about this?

Why does Google, SpaceX, or Macy’s exist? What about Amazon, eBay, or Facebook? How about your local grocery store, the automobile dealership, or the hardware store? What is their purpose?

We might be able to cite numerous differences about purpose related to each of these businesses. How is this related to generational purpose?

Generational Purpose

Many businesses seek answers to managing a multigenerational workforce. They report problems in working with or communicating across five generations. They often cite things such as laziness, a sense of entitlement, and a lack of respect as limiting factors for success.

All of those things might be important and there are many different views about each one. The most successful businesses are finding ways to bring to life the purpose for the work that is done, and as humans we all respond to doing things for a purpose. Purpose is our connection and motivator.

Why do we need Google, SpaceX, or Macy’s? Some might argue that we don’t. Others might believe we can’t live without them. What brings them to life and causes them to exist?

It is about purpose, the best organizations have one or serve one, sometimes both.

Regardless of your generational orientation, one thing we all have in common is that we are all motivated by a purpose.

It’s something we all have in common.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Leadership By Choice, Making The Decision To Lead

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Leadership by choice, have you made the decision?

You’ll always find that there is much to be said about leadership. There are methods, models and best practices, but people seldom pause long enough to recognize that leadership only happens when someone decides.

leadership by choice appreciative strategies

Recently I wrote about why leadership matters and contained in that article were 25 questions each touching a factor relevant for leadership success. The truth is it could have been 50 questions, or more. One question that is seldom addressed is, “Have you made the choice to lead?”

Anytime we seek change, whether it is a personal, professional, or some combination of the two, it will only happen when we decide. Sometimes people believe that they want to change, but they aren’t hungry enough to see it through.

Making the decision to lead isn’t always the same as making the commitment. First you have to make the conscious choice, and then you have to be hungry enough to continue the pursuit.

Leadership by Choice

When you believe you’re ready to make the choice and commitment you might want to ask yourself a few important questions.

  1. Why do you want to lead? Can you answer this question? If not, you can make the choice, but the commitment might be lacking. Understanding why you want to lead will guide the answers to the questions you’ll ask when you think it might be time to quit.
  2. What is the purpose? What are you leading and why is it important? Wilderness survival is based on need, but many business cases for creating purpose aren’t that simple. People will work hard for a purpose that they believe in, you’ll need purpose.
  3. Why should people follow? Clarity in purpose and direction will help inspire a following, but also critical will be the credibility, dependability, and reliability of believing the pursuit is worthwhile and achievable. Followers believe.

Success in leadership is leadership by choice. Someone making the decision for you will most likely not create the desire for success that is necessary to endure the journey.

Have you decided? Is it your time to lead?

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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