Archive | December 2013

5 Key Ways to Boost Employee Morale and Motivation in the Workplace #PersonalEffectiveness

By Matt Collins, Published December 12, 2013 By Matt Collins 

 
How to create and maintain a happy and engaged workplace remains one of the biggest challenges for companies nationwide. Gallup’s 2012 State of the American Workplace found that about 70 percent of Americans are not emotionally invested in their current job. Why is this the case? A multitude of factors contribute to this lack of engagement, including but not limited to: a lack of communication between employees and upper management, a core mission that fails to inspire a sense of meaning and an imbalance of talents within your team.

If your employees are dissatisfied with their roles and your company’s culture, there are concrete ways you can boost their morale and make for better productivity. Consider the (by no means comprehensive) list of essential principles of fostering employee satisfaction below:

Give your employees a sense of purpose

According to Mashable, today’s employees — and particularly Millennials — seek work that enables them to contribute to a worthwhile mission. Moon Kim, a V.P. at the company M Booth, advises company leaders to “[h]ave a purpose that’s bigger than [their] company,” and to find both direct and indirect ways to “make a difference in the world.”

Even if your company doesn’t have a thoroughly altruistic core mission, it can find alternate ways of contributing to the larger community. For example, marketing company Privy teaches small businesses important Web skills, while school supplies company Chalkfly contributes part of its profits to teachers.

Helping employees feel that their work is meaningful can be as simple as informing them about the lives they benefit through their work. For example, Entrepreneur explains how the company Snagajob.com motivates its employees with regular stories about the people who have successfully found jobs through the company’s service.

Give and solicit feedback, then act on it

One essential component of employees’ morale is the belief that upper management is listening to them and responding to their needs. Gallup Business Journal emphasizes the importance of surveying employees periodically, asking for feedback that is relevant to their happiness and actually acting upon the information received. Additionally, Gallup notes, “When a company asks its employees for their opinions, those employees expect action to follow.” To truly show employees that their voices matter, make sure to address at least some of their primary concerns on a regular basis.

The need for feedback goes in the opposite direction as well. In other words, employees want and need to receive regular input from their managers. Mashable cites the opinion of Maynard Webb, who wrote the book “Rebooting Work: Transform How You Work in the Age of Entrepreneurship:” “When it comes to retaining talent, one tactic I’ve found crucial is implementing informal weekly and formal quarterly check-ins.” Maynard believes that waiting until yearly reviews to give feedback creates a communication divide between employees and managers that hinders productivity and employee morale.

Foster camaraderie

Remember how much easier it was to work on projects back in high school when you actually liked the people on your team? Well, the same phenomenon occurs on a daily basis in the workplace. If people in the same office don’t know or like each other all that much, productivity and morale will not be optimized. As a result, activities and strategies that build authentic bonds between colleagues will not only boost workplace happiness, but also lead to a better bottom line.

How can one build such camaraderie among employees? An occasional bar or bowling night is nice, but cannot develop truly long-term, productive relationships between colleagues. Instead, focus on having employees learn and grow together. For example, try offering free classes on your company’s campus so that people can congregate around common interests and knowledge. Another way to boost positive employee interaction is to build well-balanced teams that have a variety of strengths and personalities — careful creation of such teams can help employees support and learn from each other, and subsequently build trusting work relationships.

Train managers well

This one seems like a given, but a surprisingly large number of companies do not adequately train their managers to bring out the best in the employees they supervise. Teaching managers how to communicate effectively, show empathy and build employees’ skills while still contributing to company revenue can make a huge difference in the success of a company.

Additionally, Gallup suggests that companies should change their overall philosophy about management roles: “Instead of using management jobs as promotional prizes for all career paths, companies […] should select managers based on whether they have the right talents for supporting, positioning, empowering and engaging their staff.” Emphasizing the relationship-building and employee mentorship aspects of management can ensure that your employees receive the guidance and encouragement that they need to optimally contribute to your company.

Effectively training managers also means holding them accountable through routine check-ins, notes Gallup. Company leaders should set up a system for managers to show how they have built and maintained employees’ skills and engagement.

Sprinkle in some fun and a few perks

While job perks are certainly not a core requirement of employee satisfaction and engagement, they do help, especially when they show the company’s concern for its employees’ well-being. Mashable notes that the companies with wellness programs tend to have much higher employee retention rates. Showing your employees that you care about their health through a subsidized gym membership or free healthy lunches every week could increase their loyalty to your company, and lead ultimately to a better bottom line.

Periodic fun in the workplace is also a morale booster — though it can’t replace the impact that a meaningful core mission and sound employee communication can have. Scheduling outings at the end of a quarter or hosting fun competitions between departments can boost employee bonding and happiness.

As the above suggestions indicate, fostering employee happiness and loyalty requires a multi-pronged approach that involves developing a strong company mission, showing employees how they positively impact their community through their work, and optimizing the relationship between managers and their direct reports. While difficult to attain, employee happiness and engagement are well worth the investment.

 
 
 
Advertisements

WHAT THE RICH DO . . . #Success #PersonalEffectiveness

Posted on 14/12/2013 By Matt Collins

Are rich people just good with money or is there something a little deeper contributing to their success? Most people would agree that certain lifestyle choices and daily habits are as valuable in the quest for wealth as a sound understanding of finances.

A recent study indicated that a whopping 21 percent of Americans see winning the lottery as an important wealth-building strategy. A similar study of Canadians showed that about12 percent were counting on winning a big lottery so they could have enough retirement income to retire in style.

There are many things you should never do if financial security is one of your main goals.  So what do the rich do every day that the poor don’t do?  Tom Corley, RichHabitsInstitute.com, outlines a few of the differences between the habits of the rich and the poor.

  1. 70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day.
  2. 23% of wealthy gamble versus 52% of poor people.
  3. 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing a single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this.
  4. 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically four days a week. Only 23% of the poor exercise.
  5. 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work versus 5% of poor people.
  6. 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list versus 19% of poor.
  7. 63% of wealthy parents make their children read two or more non-fiction books a month versus 3% of poor.
  8. 70% of wealthy parents make their children volunteer 10 hours or more a month versus 3% of poor
  9. 80% of wealthy make Happy Birthday calls versus 11% of poor.
  10. 67% of wealthy write down their goals versus 17% of poor.
  11. 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons versus 2% of poor.
  12. 6% of wealthy say what’s on their mind versus 69% of poor. (Are you a Victim or Victor?)13.
  13. 79% of wealthy network five hours or more each month versus 16% of poor.
  14. 67% of wealthy watch one hour or less of TV every day versus 23% of poor.
  15. 6% of wealthy watch reality TV versus 78% of poor.
  16. 44% of wealthy wake up three hours before work starts versus 3% of poor.
  17. 74% of wealthy teach good daily success habits to their children versus 1% of poor.
  18. 84% of wealthy believe good habits create opportunity versus 4% of poor.
  19. 76% of wealthy believe bad habits create detrimental luck versus 9% of poor.
  20. 86% of wealthy believe in lifelong educational self-improvement versus 5% of poor.
  21. 86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% of poor.

SUMMARY

  1. EAT RIGHT
  2. KEEP YOUR CARDS CLOSE TO YOUR CHEST
  3. SET GOALS
  4. KEEP FIT
  5. BE ORGANISED
  6. READ
  7. RING GRANDMA
  8. DON’T WATCH BIG BROTHER
  9. DON’T PUNT
  10. RUN YOUR OWN RACE
  11. AND ONE LAST THOUGHT . . .

There is a firm belief that a lot of poor people are simply too busy or disadvantaged one way or another to change their situation. Not everyone has the luxury of being able to pick themselves up. This is best explained from Dave Ramsey’s blog “Poornomore”:  “I was born poor, raised in poverty and watched my parents die that way. I worked hard, eliminated my bad habits, started doing what the wealthy did. Mostly, I stopped blaming others for my lack of wealth. Now I am wealthy, and help others who want to be helped.”

Three Ways to Get Through Your To-Do List Faster #BusinessTips #PersonalEffectiveness

By Matt Collins

December 10, 2013

Self-discipline is hard. Try these three things to make your work more efficient every day.

Get three things done before noon. Statistics show that the team ahead at half-time is more likely to win the game. Try to enjoy your lunch knowing that you achieved at least three things in the morning.

Sequence for speed. Break projects into parts. Take on longer pieces at the beginning and make sure each subsequent part is shorter. If you leave the longest parts for last, you are more likely to run out of steam before the end of the day.

Tackle similar tasks at the same time. The mind thrives on repetition. You can build momentum by taking on similar projects at the same time.

Overcome Executive Isolation #ManagementTips #PersonalEffectiveness

By Matt Collins

December 10, 2013

In many large organizations, senior executives are surrounded by assistants, chiefs of staff, and advisors. The purpose of this entourage is to leverage the leader’s time—but, intentionally or not, too many executives receive only news and opinions that have been filtered, orchestrated, or even censored to include what the “senior circle” thinks they should hear. As an executive, breaking through this pattern isn’t easy, but trying these tips—and urging your staff to do the same—may help.

* Create “listening posts” or hold meetings with managers from other parts of the company to hear unvarnished views and engage in more spontaneous dialogue.
* Lead open “town meetings” where employees of all levels are encouraged to speak out.
* Hold skip-level meetings or drop in on your organization’s leadership development classes to connect with rising stars you may not have met.

 

What makes a leader ‘highly effective’? #Leadership #StephenCovey

What makes a leader ‘highly effective’?

December 9, 2013: 12:30 PM 

Great leaders display a paradoxical combination of personal humility and professional will, channeling their energy, drive, creativity, and discipline into something larger and more enduring than themselves.

By Matt Collins with extracts of Jim Collins’ recent article

Stephen R. Covey, the late author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

FORTUNE — I first met Stephen Covey in 2001, when he asked for a meeting to talk about ideas. After a warm greeting — his enveloping handshake feeling like the comfortable leather of a softball glove that you’ve worn a thousand times — we settled into a conversation that lasted two hours. Stephen began by asking questions, lots of questions. Here sat a master teacher, one of the most influential thinkers of the day, and he wanted to learn from someone twenty-five years his junior.

As the conversation opened an opportunity for me to exercise my own curiosity, I began, “How did you come up with the ideas in The 7 Habits?”

“I didn’t,” he responded.

“What do you mean?” I asked. “You wrote the book.”

“Yes, I wrote the book, but the principles were known long before me.” He continued, “They are more like natural laws. All I did was put them together, to synthesize them for people.”

That’s when I began to understand why this work has had such an impact. Covey had spent more than three decades studying, practicing, teaching, and refining what he ultimately distilled into these pages. He did not seek credit for the principles; he sought to teach the principles, to make them accessible. He saw creating the 7 Habits not primarily as a means to his own success, but as an act of service.

MORE: George Zimmer on being fired by Men’s Wearhouse, and what’s next

When Bob Whitman, chief executive of FranklinCovey, called to ask if I would consider writing a foreword for the 25th anniversary edition of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, I responded first by rereading the entire book; I’d read it shortly after its initial publication in 1989, and it was a gift to reengage with its message. I also wanted to recalibrate: what makes it an enduring classic? I see four factors that contributed to its rarefied stature:

1. Covey created a “user interface” organized into a coherent conceptual framework, made highly accessible by Covey’s strong writing;

2. Covey focused on timeless principles, not on mere techniques or momentary fads;

3. Covey wrote primarily about building character, not about “achieving success” — and thereby helped people become not just more effective individuals, but better leaders;

4. Covey himself was a Level 5 teacher, humble about his own shortcomings, yet determined to share widely what he’d learned.

Stephen Covey was a master synthesizer. I think of what he did for personal effectiveness as analogous to what the graphical user interface did for personal computers. Prior to Apple (AAPL) and Microsoft (MSFT), few people could harness computers to their daily lives; there was no easily accessible user interface — there were no mouse pointers, friendly icons, or overlapping windows on a screen, let alone a touch screen. But with the Macintosh and then Windows, the mass of people could finally tap the power of the microchip behind the screen. Similarly, there had been hundreds of years of accumulated wisdom about personal effectiveness, from Benjamin Franklin to Peter Drucker, but it was never assembled into one coherent, user-friendly framework. Covey created a standard operating system — the “Windows” — for personal effectiveness, and he made it easy to use. He proved to be a very fine writer, a master of short stories and conceptual wordplay. I will never forget the story in Chapter 1 about the man on the subway who could not control his screaming kids (and the point it makes), nor will I ever forget the lighthouse or the wrong jungle or the analogy of the golden eggs. Some of his conceptual wrapping paper worked exceptionally well, being both descriptive of a concept, and at the same time prescriptive in its application. “Win/Win or No Deal.” “Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.” “Begin with the End in Mind.” “Put First Things First.” He made the ideas even more accessible by using personal life-struggles and stories — raising children, building a marriage, dealing with friends — to teach the habits and build muscle fiber for living them.

The ideas embedded in the framework are timeless. They are principles. This is why they work, and why they speak to people in all age groups around the globe. In a world of change, disruption, chaos, and relentless uncertainty, people crave an anchor point, a set of constructs to give them guidance in the face of turbulence. Covey believed that timeless principles do indeed exist, and that the search for them is not folly, but wisdom. He rejected the view of those who shout from the rooftops, “There is nothing sacred, nothing enduring, nothing durable to build upon in this ever-changing landscape! Everything is new! Nothing from the past applies!”

My own research quest has focused on the question, “What makes a great company tick — why do some companies make the leap from good to great (while others don’t), why do some become built to last (while others fall), and why do some thrive in chaos?” One of our key findings is the idea of “Preserve the Core/Stimulate Progress”; no enterprise can become or remain truly great without a core set of principles to preserve, to build upon, to serve as an anchor, to provide guidance in the face of an ever-changing world. At the same time, no company can remain great without stimulating progress — change, renewal, improvement, and the pursuit of BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals). When you blend these two together — Preserve the Core AND Stimulate Progress — you get a magical dialectic that keeps a company or organization vibrant over time. Covey found a similar pattern in personal effectiveness: first build upon a strong core of principles that are not open for continuous change; at the same time, be relentless in the quest for improvement and continuous self-renewal. This dialectic enables an individual to retain a rock-solid foundation and attain sustained growth for a lifetime.

MORE: A red state health care exchange that works

But I think the most important aspect of The 7 Habits — what makes it not just practical, but profound — is its emphasis on building character rather than “attaining success.” There is no effectiveness without discipline, and there is no discipline without character. While writing this foreword, I’m in the midst of finishing a two-year journey as the class of 1951 Chair for the Study of Leadership at the United States Military Academy at West Point. I’ve come to a personal belief that a key ingredient in the West Point recipe is the idea that great leadership begins first with character — that leadership is primarily a function of who you are, for this is the foundation for everything you do. How do you build leaders? You first build character. And that is why I see the 7 Habits as not just about personal effectiveness, but about leadership development.

As I reflect upon some of the exceptional leaders I’ve studied in my research, I’m struck by how Covey’s principles are manifested in many of their stories. Let me focus on one of my favorite cases, Bill Gates. It’s become fashionable in recent years to attribute the outsize success of someone like Bill Gates to luck, to being in the right place at the right time. But if you think about it, this argument falls apart. When Popular Electronics put the Altair computer on its cover, announcing the advent of the first-ever personal computer, Bill Gates teamed up with Paul Allen to launch a software company and write the BASIC programming language for the Altair. Yes, Gates was at just the right moment with programming skills, but so were other people — students in computer science and electrical engineering at schools like CalTech, MIT, and Stanford; seasoned engineers at technology companies like IBM (IBM), Xerox (XRX), and HP (HPQ); and scientists in government research laboratories. Thousands of people could’ve done what Bill Gates did at that moment, but they didn’t. Gates acted upon the moment. He dropped out of Harvard, moved to Albuquerque (where the Altair was based), and wrote computer code day and night. It was not the luck of being at the right moment in history that separated Bill Gates, but his proactive response to being at the right moment (Habit 1: Be Proactive).

As Microsoft grew into a successful company, Gates expanded his objectives, guided by a very big idea: a computer on every desk. Later, Gates and his wife created the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with huge goals, such as eradicating malaria from the face of the Earth. As he put it in his 2007 Harvard commencement speech, “For Melinda and for me, the challenge is the same: how can we do the most good for the greatest number with the resources we have” (Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind).

True discipline means channeling our best hours into first-order objectives, and that means being a nonconformist in the best sense. “Everyone” might say finishing Harvard should be the most important task for a young Bill Gates. Instead, he aligned his efforts with his mission, despite any disapproving glances from well-meaning people. As he built Microsoft, he poured his energies into two overriding objectives: getting the best people and executing on a few big software bets; everything else was secondary. When Gates first met Warren Buffett at a dinner, the host asked all those at the table what they saw as the single most important factor in their journey through life. As Alice Schroeder related in her book The Snowball, both Gates and Buffett gave the same one-word answer: “Focus.” (Habit 3: Put First Things First).

Gates’s relationship to the fourth habit (Habit 4: Think Win/Win) is a bit more complicated. At first glance, Gates would appear to be a win/lose character, a fierce combatant who so feared how easily a company’s flanks could be turned that he wrote a “nightmare” memo laying out scenarios of how Microsoft could lose. In the race for industry standards, there would be only a small set of big winners, and a lot of losers, and Gates had no intention of Microsoft’s being anything less than one of the big winners. But a closer look reveals that he was masterful at assembling complementary forces into a coalition. To achieve his big dream, Gates understood that Microsoft would need to complement its strengths with the strengths of others: Intel (INTC) with its microprocessors, and personal computer manufacturers such as IBM and Dell (DELL). He also shared equity, so that when Microsoft won, Microsoft people would win as well. And he displayed a remarkable ability to complement his personal strengths with the strengths of others, especially his longtime business alter ego, Steve Ballmer; Gates and Ballmer accomplished much more by working together than they ever could alone; 1 + 1 is much larger than 2. (Habit 6: Synergize).

As Gates moved to social impact with the Foundation, he did not step forth saying, “I’ve been successful in business, so I already know how to achieve social impact.” Quite the opposite; he brought a relentless curiosity, a quest to gain understanding. He pushed with questions, trying to get a handle on the science and methods needed to solve some of the most intractable problems, ending one exchange with a friend with a comment along the lines of “I need to learn more about phosphates.” (Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.) And, finally, I’m struck by how Gates renewed. Even during the most intense years building Microsoft, he periodically set aside an entire week to unplug for reading and reflection, a Think Week. He also developed a penchant for reading biographies; at one point he told Brent Schlender ofFortune, “It’s amazing how some people develop during their lives” — a lesson Gates looks to have taken as a mantra for his own life (Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw.)

Gates is a fabulous case, but I could have used others. I could have highlighted Wendy Kopp, who founded Teach For America with the idea to inspire hundreds of thousands of college graduates to serve at least two years teaching children in our most underserved schools, with the ultimate aim to create an indomitable social force to radically improve K-12 education (Be Proactive; Begin with the End in Mind). Or I could have used Steve Jobs living in a house without furniture, too busy creating insanely great products to get around to seemingly unimportant activities like buying a kitchen table or a sofa (Put First Things First). Or Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines (LUV), who created a win/win culture between management and labor, with everyone uniting together after 9/11 to keep its thirty years of consecutive profitability intact while also keeping intact every single job (Think Win/Win). Or even Winston Churchill, who took naps throughout the Second World War, thereby giving himself “two mornings” every day (Sharpen the Saw).

I do not mean to imply that the 7 Habits map one-for-one to building a great company. The principles in Good to Great and Built to Last, for example, and the principles in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People are complementary, but distinct. Covey set out to write a book, not on building great organizations, but on achieving great personal effectiveness. Still, organizations are composed of people, and the more effective those people, the stronger the organization. And I do suspect that those who live the 7 Habits perhaps have a higher likelihood of becoming Level 5 leaders, those rare transformational figures I wrote so much about in Good to Great. Level 5 leaders display a paradoxical combination of personal humility and professional will, channeling their energy, drive, creativity, and discipline into something larger and more enduring than themselves. They’re ambitious, to be sure, but for a purpose beyond themselves, be it building a great company, changing the world, or achieving some great object that’s ultimately not about them. One of the most important variables in whether an enterprise remains great lies in a simple question: what is the truth about the inner motivations, character, and ambition of those who hold power? Their true, internal motivations will absolutely show up in their decisions and actions — if not immediately, then over time, and certainly under duress — no matter what they say or how they pose. And thus, we return full circle to a central tenet of Covey’s framework: build inner character first — private victory before public victory.

MORE: Nelson Mandela and the evolution of great leaders

And that brings me to Stephen Covey himself as a Level 5 teacher. Throughout his rather miraculous career, he displayed a disarming humility about his impact and influence, combined with an indomitable will to help people grasp the ideas. He genuinely believed the world would be a better place if people lived the 7 Habits, and that belief shines through these pages. As a Level 5 teacher, Stephen Covey did his human best to live what he taught. He said that he personally struggled most with Habit 5 (“Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood”). There is a great irony in this, as he first went on a multi-decade intellectual journey to gain understanding, before he wrote the book. He was first and foremost a learner who became a teacher, then a teacher who learned to write, and in so doing made his teachings enduring. In Habit 2, Stephen challenges us to envision our own funeral, and consider, “What would you like each of the speakers to say about you and your life? … What character would you like them to have seen in you? What contributions, what achievements would you want them to remember?” I suspect he would be very pleased with how it turned out for him.

No person lasts forever, but books and ideas can endure. When you engage with these pages, you will be engaging with Stephen Covey at the peak of his powers. You can feel him reaching out from the text to say “Here, I really believe this, let me help you — I want you to get this, to learn from it, I want you to grow, to be better, to contribute more, to make a life that matters.” His life is done, but his work is not. It continues, right here in this book, as alive today as when first written. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is twenty-five years young, off to a very strong start indeed.

#Leadership – what’s #charisma got to do with it?

 By Matt Collins – 03 December 2013 

Charisma. It seems to be something we admire in others and wish we had more of in ourselves. It has drawing power. When we see it in leaders, that compelling charm inspiring us to listen and follow and emulate, it is easy to envy the apparent ease with which they spin their particular magic.

Charismatic leaders paint the picture of the leader as hero. These are people who suggest, by their very presence, they can take care of us, cure our ills, make change possible, maybe even be the saviour we have long sought.

In reality, no one can do that single-handedly.  Charisma may deliver the promise of change, growth, fulfilment and even wealth, but on its own it will fail in the execution department. That requires involvement from the rest of us, and a different kind of leadership.

Having said that, let’s face it: having charisma can be very handy. Can we develop it?  I’m not sure. The word itself comes from the Greek meaning gift. We know that each of us has gifts. Not everyone has that particular one.

Nonetheless, I can’t help but feel that what draws us to the charismatic type is not unlike what inspires us to follow leaders with less, um, pizzazz. So from that perspective I think it possible to develop, and use, some of the skills associated with the charismatic personality.

Specifically, here are three traits associated with the charismatic leader that come readily to mind when I think of other, perhaps less charming but equally successful, leaders:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Self-awareness
  • Intense focus

These and other elements can indeed be developed even among those of us who have had what Jim Collins describes as a ‘charisma bypass’ because, as he says, charisma is a personality trait and leadership is not about personality. Here’s what else he has to say.

In my observation, charisma, on its own, tends to burn bright and then burn out. It has a dark side too. Adolf Hitler had it.  So did Jim Jones. Both have had a disastrous impact on humankind. Masses of people, at one time or another, have viewed them with awe, often blindly doing their bidding. These leaders are people who fed on the hope and despair of others to their own advantage and for their own glorification. Charisma gave them that opportunity.

So if we strive for anything in leadership, let’s work to transform rather thantransfix. Transformational leadership contains an element of charisma but is grounded in a set of high ideals, a solid work ethic and the expectation that all people have the capability to raise themselves up through their own hard work to reach higher ground.

Those who work to transform may share some charismatic traits but differ in these important areas:

They focus on a purpose and vision greater than themselves

Their work is not about them but about something beyond them that serves a greater good.

They engage others in making the vision their own

This comes from the belief that a shared purpose and vision makes the necessity for change clearer and the work it takes to achieve it more meaningful.

They value learning, creativity and personal growth

Transformational leaders encourage people to challenge what has always been and to explore new possibilities with enthusiasm and without fear.

They carry less mystique and more transparency

To involve everyone in fulfilling the organisational purpose demands a kind of openness that doesn’t exist in an organisation whose leader relies solely on the strength of his or her personality to lead. Mystique may be kind of sexy, but it gets in the way of getting the job done.

A lot has been written about charisma.  There are even some articles that attempt to tell you how to become charismatic. For me, many of them miss the mark, like the one that offers 17 tips on becoming a charismatic leader. I particularly question the wisdom of number five on that list which states: “Think of something pleasant so you appear to be sincere.” Hmmm.

The bottom line for me is that while we are not all favoured with charisma, we do each have the opportunity to develop drawing power by building leadership skill; being open to learning; focusing on something beyond ourselves; and mustering the courage to challenge and change things.

If we can do all that, who needs charisma?

How To Keep Yourself Motivated In Job? #Business #Wales

By Matt Collins – 3/12/13 

Employers always look for the motivated employees as they realize that motivated employees shell out positive energy in the whole team. But, sometimes even a highly motivated employee experience the slump or need a boost to regain their normal motivation levels. It is well known that motivated employees are happier, energetic, enthusiastic, productive, more driven and better performing than their unmotivated peers. Here are a few ways to sustain your motivation level and enhance your performance when you are in phase of low motivation.
1. Read and remain resourceful:
Turn to living legends of success. Many successful men have pen down their path of success in their biographies. Read a lot of them and take the benefit from it. People like CEO extraordinaire Jack Welch, business guru Stephen Covey, or career columnist Harvey Mackay have shared their path of success in their biographies.Keep yourself updated about the latest trends of your industry. It always good to have knowledge about what is happening in the industry you are working for. Also, it will keep your mind active and inspire you to learn more. The more you know about something, the more you’ll want to keep learning. Read about the things of your interest too as it helps to keep your mind fresh. Reading a lot makes a man resourceful in job and it is well known that a resourceful employee is always loved in the organization.

2. Talk to the people who inspire you:
Do not hesitate to talk to people who have done a lot in their career and are considered successful. Most people will be glad to advise you and suggest ways to resolve your work relate problems. You can inspiration from anyone around you like your parents, friends, mentor or any person in office you admire. Stay in touch with them and keep them abreast about your own successes. Do this consistently and you’ll have a very impressive network of inspirational sources.

3. Don’t get demotivated by small tasks:
Take a look at the bigger picture. Think about your fulfillment at the end of the day. Try not to let the daily grind at work get you down. You may not realize it, but your job must touch someone or make a difference somehow, even if indirectly. Also, focus on how your contribution at work makes a positive difference in the company. Remember that a team is nothing without its players.

4. Go beyond your job title:
Comfort zone breeds a feeling of self-satisfaction or achievement and self satisfaction makes you lazy. The laziness gradually finishes the seal of achieving more in professional life. To overcome this laziness do things that does not come into your job description. Take initiatives in projects; volunteer in to take on projects at work, and reading up on your industry and the company. Knowing the inner workings of the company gives you an extra edge that you can ultimately use to your advantage. For instance, your vast knowledge may just prove to be valuable to your superiors one day.

5. Set your goal:
Have a clear idea in mind about your targets and what you want to do in your job. You can set goals for yourself on a daily basis and monthly basis. A set target will keep you focused on your work and do not let you distract from your objectives. At the end of the day or month, you can do a self assessment of your performance. It will also give a reality check of your worth in the company.

6. List your accomplishments:
Prepare a list of your achievements at the end of the month or year in the both personal and professional life. It will tell your worth in the company. Once you are convinced, it does not need any validation from others. Feeling of achievement that comes from within is the most effective and does not need any praises from others as such.

7. Challenge yourself with new tasks:
Setting new goals will keep the drive alive. Once you know what you’re capable of, set business goals for yourself and set new standards in your field. The will to succeed will keep you going, and bring out bouts of brilliance that you never knew you had.

Of course, the hardest part of any goal is actually setting the gears in motion. Implement whatever plan is necessary in order to accomplish your goal. Risk is a great motivator, and failure a great teacher. Don’t be afraid of failure; learn from it instead.

8. Mix up with people:
Like comfort zones, routine begets boredom and numbs the soul. So try to avoid getting stuck in the same old cycle. Even something as small as changing the radio station on your way to work, taking a different route home, picking up a new magazine, or going for lunch with new people can keep you, and your attitude, fresh.

You can even change things around at work by rearranging or redecorating your office (or cubicle). Don’t get stuck in the rut of a routine because, sometimes, even the slightest change can lead to bigger things and better ideas.

9. Have fun at work:
As per Motivation-tools.com, creativity guru Doug Hall wrote that brainpower can increase three- to five-fold by laughing and having fun before working on a problem. Try to find something fun about a project, no matter how daunting it looks. It will relax you and put you in a more optimistic frame of mind.