Category Archives: acceleration

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workplace stall

Workplace Stall Is Often Where It Begins

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What does it take to keep moving? Does forward motion carry too much risk or is it really just a workplace stall?

There are always risks associated with action. There are also risks associated with inaction. Which one creates change?

The easy answer is, both.

A better question is, which one costs more?

Delay or Stall?

Waiting on the proper weather pattern before launching the SpaceX rocket isn’t really a stall. It is a necessary action in order to create success.

The same is true for a cake baking in the oven, a watermelon growing in the field, or the traffic light that is glowing red. Likely, none of these represent a stall.

Stalling is more of a form of procrastination.

Maybe it would be better to wait until tomorrow.

Next week I start my diet.

There is still a lot of time to finish the project.

Are you guilty of the workplace stall?

Workplace Stall

Workplace stalling is more than a waste of precious time. It often allows other inferior work to continue to occur in the meantime. In many cases, the opportunity window may close.

Managers often stall when faced with employees needing performance improvement guidance. They stall because of the fear of conflict or because they are unsure of future outcomes.

Advertising teams often stall because they claim that they want to get the creative right. Someone needs to write copy, direct the photo shoot, or double check with the client.

People stall with continuing education, they stall with committing to a new car purchase, or they just can’t seem to find the time to schedule the dentist appointment.

Sometimes the invented roadblocks that create the stall are really about to cause something to begin.

It may be the beginning of the end.

There is a cost of both action and inaction.

Stalling often costs more.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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greater expectations

Greater Expectations Change The Distance

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Expectations always condition the results. Lofty goals can be a distraction as much as an inhibitor or motivator. Should you have greater expectations?

When people expect a lot and get less there is a feeling of being let down. It impacts the perceived value or quality of the product or service.

Should expectations be lowered?

The customer with lower expectations is easily delighted. The provider with higher expectations tends to deliver more.

When you flip those around a customer may never feel satisfied or the provider may always under deliver.

In a social climate (or workplace culture) that honors and recognizes serving others, how should you position yourself?

When you want to give your best effort or position yourself for longevity and future advancement, what should your expectations be? Should you aim high or low? Should it be for the short-run or the long-run?

Greater Expectations

It often feels rare for employees to be committed to fully serving the greater good of the organization. People talk a good story, yet actions and behaviors seem to feel individualized.

When each individual chooses a path and commits to it, they become a role model for everyone else. Those with long-term commitment or the fast-trackers are often observed by others. They are being watched for clues on the culturally accepted behaviors.

That means your individual positioning matters. Regardless of your rank, longevity, or history, what you do next becomes a part of the culture and will determine your future.

What should your goal be?

When you set expectations higher for your own personal contribution, you’ll delight more customers. The customer may be external, or it may be the boss, co-workers, or the organization.

When you want to go further, set higher expectations for yourself. It brings out more of the best in everyone.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace red light

Workplace Red Light, Green Light, and Your Goals

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Have you ever played red light, green light? It’s a real thing, a game of sorts. Children often become acquainted with it. Are you playing workplace red light, green light?

The project suddenly gets approval and it is game on. A full green light. In what feels like only moments later, the project is stopped.

It is sometimes true for the marketing campaign, product development, and a new theory on the best way to support customer needs.

Going full speed, and then slamming on the brakes. Starts and stops.

Have you ever experienced this?

Business and People

It seems to be a thing with both business and people.

People experience it when trying to improve by using new habits. It happens with diets, exercise routines, and even with structured learning. You can’t leave out commitments for time, relationships, and even family.

Green lights often turn red.

Commitment and dedication may come to mind.

Are you committed to your personal goals? On the job, in the workplace, or for your career, are you committed?

Starts and stops are part of how you successfully make it to the finish line.

Starts can be exhilarating and stops can be difficult.

Workplace Red Light

It doesn’t change the goal. Achieving the goal means you have to abide by the rules. The rules state that you must start over if you keep moving on a red light.

Workplace red light, green light, means that you are listening, paying attention, and focused. The on and off, and then on again may feel painful at times but the goal is still to make it to the finish line.

For your job or career, you must know and understand your finish line. The game of red light, green light, is just an obstacle along the way.

Play it right and you won’t have to start over.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Skill building

Skill Building Is Asset Creation For You

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Are you skill building? Right now, today, for your job and your future, are you building more skill?

We know that one person’s trash may be another’s treasure. We’ve heard it many times. Perhaps we’ve even collected some of it.

When it comes to knowledge, skills, and abilities many people only want them when they are necessary on their resume.

Do you recognize skills as an asset or something to build only if you must?

Colleges and universities to try sell you an asset. Workplace training and continuous learning should also be considered an asset. Is that your view?

Malcolm Gladwell, has suggested that committing to 10,000 hours of work in a particular subject or discipline may make you an expert.

When you need your car repaired, an electrician for your home, or visit a doctor, you expect a pro, correct?

Being an expert or a pro is an asset. You build that asset. Across time, with discipline, and continued interest.

You likely string together many hours, make a few sacrifices, and leave the scene sometimes very tired and hungry. It’s growth, it requires effort and energy.

What if you don’t?

Skill Building

If you find learning to be a nuisance, a disruption, or a waste of time because there is other, real work to be done, then you probably are not on the road to becoming an expert.

In the workplace, it is common for the technical expert to get promoted to supervisor or manager. Does she have the skills required?

Technically, for the discipline of the trade or activity, probably, yes. However, the skills necessary to be a good supervisor or manager? Probably not so much.

The opposite can be true as well. Not every trade, production, or service area requires a manager who has the technical skill. In many cases it is just as effective to have a well-skilled, expert supervisor who can learn a little about the skills required for the work at hand.

What are your assets? Are you building them?

Waiting until you think you need a skill is too late.

Think about what you are spending your time doing and about the asset you are building.

If you don’t want to grow then don’t expect to be promoted or hired.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace contributions

Workplace Contributions Change Everything

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Are you a good contributor? What about your team? When we think of workplace contributions it is largely about the behaviors you model.

Role models are valuable. Essentially role models create, shape, and reflect what the future will look like.

They do it in a compelling and convincing way. They create more pull and give less push.

You have a decision to make. You can be a positive contributor and help lead the way to a better path, or you can model less than desirable behaviors.

Which one is for you?

Workplace Contributions

What you contribute today will have an impact for tomorrow.

Good contributions can help someone think deeper, appreciate more and gossip less. There is a choice to value teammates, build trust, or recklessly undermine necessary change.

Co-workers or customers may not be able to avoid the exposure. They are in the vicinity, passing by, or standing beside. Once seen, they cannot forget it or pretend that it didn’t occur.

What the group looks like to others, their perceptions and their expectations, creates what many believe is the cultural norm. The filters used or the ones forgotten are both contributing factors.

Learning often occurs and innovation might follow, or it may all get swept away with a slip of the tongue, a harsh look, or an obscene gesture.

Every day people are building a brand. Their brand, and perhaps yours.

If you want to change anything, remember that your contributions change everything.

Make good choices about what you’ll contribute.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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average workers

Average Workers Need Not Apply

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You find the average by examining the rock stars and those performing below expectations. Average workers are all the folks that tend to fall in the middle. Do you have a team of average workers?

The under-performing self-identify. Their work is lousy, their attendance poor, and even when they show up, they haven’t really arrived.

Rock stars are also often easily identified. They are always there when they are needed, pull off some great work, and are self-starters looking for more.

Unexpected Change

The Worldwide pandemic of 2020 has caught some attention. It is a political and media frenzy. Political figures and medical experts getting their five minutes of fame. It’s a serious issue, yet many people question the details.

When you shut down a first world economy, people notice.

Workplaces everywhere are going to change. There will be a new definition of normal, at least for a while.

The handshake is gone, at least temporarily. Seating arrangements, office space, and personal protective equipment, it is going to see some changes.

What may also be gone is the average worker.

Average Workers

Unemployment numbers in the U.S. economy have soared beyond 25 million. How many are average workers?

Like most things. There are some great people in those numbers. There are also some poor performers. Somewhere in the middle is the average worker.

Belts are going to be tightened.

Poor performers will be the last selected.

It is the grade school playground all over again. The best will be picked first. Unpopular, skill lacking, or the non-committed will be picked last. Average workers will wait with heavy anticipation.

Now is the opportunity you have been waiting for. The playing field has been leveled and what happens next is up to you.

Rock stars will be selected first, paid more, and be leading the way.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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better choices

Better Choices Come From Better Habits

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Are you able to make better choices? Is it your job to make better decisions, to think more critically, or to choose the best path?

Chances are good that everyone has some of this responsibility. If it is true for you, how are you ensuring your choices produce the best outcomes?

“Every dog has its day.”

Nearly everyone quickly recognizes the meaning of this phrase. It is to suggest that at some point, everyone gets some luck or stumbles onto some good fortune.

Many people believe that the best of the best get all of the breaks. The view is that life is easy and good fortune is always coming their way.

It is true for the view of individuals and often also true for the view of businesses or organizations.

Lucky Breaks

Have you ever had a streak of good luck? What about a streak of bad luck? Many will tell you that bad luck comes in three’s and so you look for it to stop after a self-identified, third event.

Streaks of good luck or bad luck don’t continue on forever. That is why we call them a streak.

Studies on the concept of luck have concluded that we all have about the same amount of luck. It is how we manage our luck that determines the future outcomes.

With all of this in mind it would seem logical that your daily habits are what make the most difference.

Better Choices

Each day, hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, positions you to make the best choices and decisions about what will happen next.

Today you’ll make some choices. Tomorrow the path might be altered ever so slightly (or drastically) to create a new beginning.

Diets and exercise don’t change a physique on a single day. Getting better at your craft doesn’t flip the switch over night. Your career or your business venture isn’t about a single day, a single moment, or a specific spike or decline.

What happens across a career is about choices. The choices you make are connected to the habits you follow.

Today is a good day to figure out what those are.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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team sprint

Does Your Team Sprint at the Beginning?

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We’re always running against the clock. When is the best time for a team sprint?

A glance at the clock often feels counter intuitive for effectiveness.

If we are hurried, we’re going to give up something in quality. The notion is that corners will be cut to allow the box to get checked in the same amount of time.

Makes sense. There is a good chance this is often true.

It is also often true that we coast into the project. Then we only sprint if we must. Ultimately, we often end up hurried at the end.

Motivation Comes from Sprinting

Some people may argue that a sprint motivates, energizes, and excites.

You may hear:

I do my best work under pressure.

Why worry, there is still lots of time.

If we get in a jam, we’ll bring on some part-timers or interns.

Have you heard any of these arguments?

Team Sprint

Let’s assume for a moment that you buy into the concept that sprinting works for motivation, increased energy, and more excitement.

Shouldn’t we sprint at the beginning not at the end?

This may not apply for the runner’s marathon, but in your workplace imagine if you sprinted at the beginning, walked at the end, and finished before the project is due?

Is that a better position to be in?

Imagine if you didn’t have much to worry about as the deadline approached? What if you didn’t have to hire more help or could save on overtime costs?

Is that a healthier workplace culture?

When do you prefer to sprint?

If there is going to be a sprint, I suggest you get a good start.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Inspired employees

Inspired Employees Stand Out In a Crowd

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Look around you, do you see inspired employees? While there may be varying degrees of inspiration or motivation how would you size things up?

There are lots of paths that lead to inspiration and motivation. One sometimes challenging aspect is that people are motivated for different reasons.

Fear can motivate, although this is almost never a good idea. Money often becomes a discussion point, yet it seldom has lasting effects.

Are you naturally motivated or can you be inspired?

Here is another question to ponder, “Are leaders born, or are they made?”

I’m hopeful that you believe there are paths to more motivation and inspiration. I’m also hopeful that you believe leadership can be developed and is not just a natural talent.

Natural Talents and Abilities

Are you born with certain talents?

Perhaps it is a talent for music, for art, or for certain athletic abilities.

It may go other directions too.

You may have a talent or connection to mathematical problems, architecture, or be identified as a good book keeper. In still other ways perhaps you are mechanically inclined, exceptional with trade skills, or an incredible cook.

Do you have natural talents, or do you have skills that have been developed across time?

A good answer is perhaps, “Both.”

Developing Talent and Skills

The greatest talents often become recognized because those people work countless hours toward perfecting their craft.

You may be great with numbers, yet if you seldom exercise this capability, in a crowd you may be mediocre at best.

Perhaps you are a fast runner, or can run long distances. If you seldom run, you’ll likely be beat by someone with less natural ability.

Are you or your employee teams inspired to do more?

Inspired Employees

The key for everyone as an individual is to practice honing your craft. You must go all in, be dedicated and committed, and live up to what you are capable of delivering.

Abraham Maslow introduced us to the concept of self-actualization.

Are you all in, one-hundred percent?

When you go all in, and have the drive and determination to go all out, you may find yourself at the pinnacle of talent and skill.

Halfhearted won’t get you very far.

Especially if there is a crowd.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace heroes

Workplace Heroes Can Leap Tall Objects

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People spend enormous amounts of time waiting. Waiting for a change in the weather, waiting for their accumulated vacation, and often, waiting for workplace heroes to take charge.

Instead of waiting you always have an option. The option is for action.

Nearly every axis, of every chart, has a relevant coordinate or scale for time. Time is the universal metric.

How many donuts can be made per hour?

How many customers served this month?

What does sales revenue look like this quarter?

And so, some choose to wait. They wait to see. They wait to see if the superhero will appear.

Waiting for Superheroes

It is often because people are conditioned to wait.

They wait for an answer from the boss, wait until the next meeting to bring up the problem, or wait for the customer to appear.

The truth is that it may be your responsibility for taking action, not waiting.

What happens next in your workplace is driven by culture.

Your organizational culture is created by many gestures, acts, and behaviors. Add them all up, across time, and you’ll have the vibe and pulse of the organization.

Who are the superheroes?

Workplace Heroes

Perhaps it is your next action that will create something magical. It will make the difference to leap over the obstacle or start a movement that inspires someone else to do so.

Superman may have changed his clothes in a phone booth before activating his super powers.

You don’t have to.

You just have to stop waiting.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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