Tag Archives: work

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responsible work

Doing Responsible Work and Making a Difference

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Often the first step in the argument is the assignment of blame and the question of responsibility. Being a great employee, boss, or owner, often requires doing responsible work and serving as a role model for future efforts.

Are you a freedom seeker? A set your own schedule and do your own thing kind of person?

The Illusion of Freedom

Did you show up for work on time? Prepare for the meeting, arrive a little early, open your mind for the possibilities? Are you holding yourself accountable or expecting accountability only when someone asks?

People dream of being their own boss. They consider the idea that entrepreneurship or leading the team sets them free. Free to do as they please, when they want, and they’ll decide how fast it will happen.

Largely the work of this type of dreamer is an illusion. Often it is illustrated by get rich quick and get freedom now schemes on social media. Strategies that are more pyramid in nature or cloaked in the multilevel marketing philosophy. Buyer beware.

Responsible Work

The work of successful freedom seekers comes with a catch. The catch is that they are more responsible and accountable than ever.

An employee who sets their own schedule or who maps out their own job is not only responsible for the work, but they are on the hook for the outcomes too. Self-designed and self-managed means even greater proof of performance.

It is also true for the entrepreneur. Every customer has some demand, expectation, and specialized need. There is not one boss, but many.

Making a difference and doing responsible work go hand in hand.

The assumption that there is freedom from a strict schedule, the micromanaging supervisor, or forced overtime is often an illusion.

Success comes with a commitment to excellence. Success is an opportunity that you create.

That always means doing responsible work.

-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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leadership work

Leadership Work And What Many Avoid

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Do you like the idea of leadership? Does it get you motivated and positively fired up when you think about leading others? Leadership work may not be as easy or pain free as you think.

Leadership seems really attractive on the surface. Being the boss, having people look up to you, getting the recognition for team accomplishments. Some will quickly jump to the idea of increased pay. These and other aspects attract many.

Certainly, leadership is for everyone. Things like money and fame are not a requirement. Neither is having formal authority, yet it is often assumed.

Work Avoided

Workplace professionals will often mention to me that they dislike dealing with people issues. This is a significant part of leadership. It is not just about a title or some fame and glory, no matter how big or how small.

Leadership is people work. If you have formal authority, such as having direct reports, it means dealing with job performance, hiring, and sometimes firing.

Many so-called leaders don’t like that part. They don’t like the responsibility of managing others. As a result, they tend to avoid the people issues.

Others just hand out commands with great expectations. Reality is often in question.

This is exactly how we get what people often label, “poor leadership.”

Leadership Work

Leadership work takes guts, determination, and a commitment to excellence. It means doing the things that many others don’t like doing. It means working with people, not a dictatorship or authoritarian approach.

If you think leadership means you’re the boss and you tell others what to do, you are mostly wrong.

The true work of great leaders is as much artful as it is pragmatic.

-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 thinking

Does Workplace Thinking Still Occur?

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Trying to think through the best path to close the customer deal is exhausting. It is too hard to remember the entire product line. I can’t forget to leave for the meeting at 2PM. Are you committed to workplace thinking or would you rather just brush it off?

Physical work can be tiring, so can intense mental effort.

When we listen to all the problems, the issues, and the drama, we may grow tired. Tired of thinking, tired of worrying, and tired of working.

Workplace Thinking

What we do cognitively can be exhausting so we sometimes brush it off. We ask questions, because we want quick responses that don’t require us to think.

Does Part A fit with Part B or do we need to sell Part C too?

What is the policy on blue jean Fridays?

Does our insurance cover a specialist without a referral from our regular doctor?

Likely, someone will answer. Sometimes people are too tired or lazy to find the answer for themselves. Certainly, helping seems like the right thing to do.

Our memory is important, and sometimes requires energy.

Remind me to lock the door before we leave today.

Don’t let me forget to send that customer order before 3:00 PM.

I have the meeting on my calendar for next week, which day is it?

Tired of Thinking

Our workloads, physical or cognitive, can tire us out. Some people will push harder, own the situation, and be considerate of the load on others. Yet others will try to dump that load on someone else.

We live in a World of creating more ease. Staples has an EASY button. We can order McDonald’s through an app, and we can watch our floor get vacuumed by a Rumba.

Does workplace thinking still occur? Do your teams have the energy, consideration, and respect for others, or are they just dumping work?

-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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two career paths

Two Career Paths, Which Is Yours?

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If you had a choice which path would you choose? It is a question that many of us ponder each day. Not always consciously, but we’re working on it in the background. There are at least two career paths, which one are you on?

Sometimes the problem is that there is a goal in mind, but the path, plan, or process remains elusive.

Become the manager of the department.

Get the advanced degree in my field and pivot. 

Find a job doing the work I love.

Two Career Paths

The first path is simple. Put in some effort, land a job, do the work, and see where things go. Sometimes this is a career. It is easy to go through the motions each day.

Good effort at work. Enjoy a little free time here and there. Spend time with the kids. Have a hobby or take a vacation.

It isn’t your dream job, but it is work. It doesn’t pay what you want, but you are surviving. Suddenly weeks turn into months and months to years.

It’s a job and you’re doing alright. Life rolls on.

The second path is different. It has purpose. It may include a journey down the first path, but there is a different kind of objective. The objective is to use the first path to get to the second path.

Career Strategy

If you have a goal, you need a plan. When you have a goal and a plan, you need to execute. As you execute you must compare outcomes to timelines and milestones. Adjust, and move forward. Failure to do any of this puts you back on the first path.

Many will suggest it all depends on how bad you want it.

I would suggest that the recipe for success also includes commitment, discipline, and self-confidence. You’ll need to add in accountability and belief to get the best flavor.

You can let your career happen to you, or you can make your career work for you. Neither choice is wrong. Just remember, it is a choice.

What path are you on?

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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proud career

The Proud Career and Work That Moves Us

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Some people, perhaps most people, spend a sizable chunk of their lifetime building a career. Some shift, change, and pivot, and others stay nearly the same. Are you building a proud career or one that just gets you through life?

First, let’s not confuse pride with money. Yes, there is an intersection where the two lines meet, but for many, money is not the sole (or soul) reason behind your career.

We all need money. We need it to exchange for food, clothing, and shelter. Sure, we may like more of it to buy more resources, toys, and extravagant lifestyles, but even people with gobs of money aren’t always happy.

Tenure

Since I’ve been around for more than half a century, like Farmers Insurance, I’ve seen a thing or two. People spend a lifetime chasing money and they die spending very little while still worrying if they have enough. Your lifestyle and your career, is your choice.

Money is important, but let’s remove it from this discussion. Set it aside, at least for a few minutes.

What happens when we work to become an improved version of who we already are? Imagine what it means to be more balanced, more grateful, and more giving.

What would happen if you spent your time differently, doing more things that matter, changing the results for others, and becoming uniquely you?

Can you see a different or better person than you are right now? Are you creating a proud career?

Proud Career

When you look back will you be happy with what you’ve built? Proud of the contributions you made? Will you be leaving a legacy for others to build upon?

Will you spend forty or fifty years working, or living while you work?

What matters most for your family, friends, and your life? Your money or what you’ve become?

Yes, you’ll need some money, but pride should be about your life and your people, not a paycheck.

You only get one shot. Check for confusion. No regrets.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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grit

On The Subject Of Grit

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“Day after day,” an important part of the lyrics from Dobie Gray, in the hit song Drift Away. Day after day it feels like the grit required to get through becomes more challenging. People start their Monday and hope to survive it all until Friday.

Not bad for a Monday. 

It’s hump day!

Is it Friday yet?

People are required to show up day after day. Not just physically, but really, show up. For many people this is about 250 or more days per year.

Hanging In

What do you walk into each day? The same old grind? Or you have to love this one, “Same stuff, different day.” (If you can’t say it on TV, don’t write it.)

Do you want a better day, a better week, and a better career?

What may matter most is that you show up. It seems that showing up, having the grit to do the work that must be done is the single biggest factor for success.

That project you’re working on. It likely won’t single handedly change the culture.

The customer call you must make. It won’t shape the future of everything that happens next.

Your early morning sales or staff meeting, the one that always runs long, probably won’t matter much across the lifetime of the organization.

Certainly, all these things may contribute to the impact, they are all part of the build.

Grit

All the greats, they aren’t the overnight success they appear to be. Good companies that become great, weren’t just about a project, a day, or a meeting.

The grit that you are going to put in today, tomorrow, and about 250 days per year, across 40 or 50 years, that is a career. It all happens one day at a time.

If you do nothing else today, consider that your grit matters.

-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.

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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