- Control Technology – Use technology like cell phones, computers, tablets, apps, and websites to your benefit. Stop letting technology control you.
- Talk to People – Yes, actual face-to-face conversation is preferred. Speaking over the phone is a distant second. Notice I didn’t say text more, tweet more or email more. Talk – your family, friends, and co-workers will feel more appreciated.
- Put Down the Device – Lift your head, take your eyes off the tiny digital screen and see the world around you. This breathtaking world will be enjoyed more fully by seeing, hearing and feeling it, than anything you’re staring at on that 7” phone screen.
- Let it go – We all make mistakes. Embrace it. Stop holding a grudge and you’ll feel relieved and much happier. My six year old constantly singing the Disney song with the same title is a great reminded that I need to do better at this one.
- Experience Something New – routines are good, finding something new is better. Try new foods, make new friends, learn new skills, read a new book, find a new favorite song. Variety really is the spice of life – so spice it up!
Motivating other people is no small task. There are a myriad of steps and techniques to consider when working to motivate an individual or an entire team.
Before any of that can take place however, you must first understand yourself.
- What motivates you?
- Why are you motivated that why?
- What factor do you find personally de-motivating?
The more you understand your unique drivers, the better you’ll be able to help others identify it in themselves. After all, you can’t motivate anyone to do anything they do want to (or at least you shouldn’t). You can help them develop a deeper personal understanding and awake their passion within.
It’s been said that “40 is the new 30”. Well in the year I turn 40 I’ve decided on 30 things to accomplish on my 2014 Bucket List. This is my third consecutive year creating an annual Bucket List and by far my most aggressive. The biggest goal is to attend the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and watch a USA match; a lofty goal considering I don’t yet have game tickets or flights yet.
It’s Go! Time. Let’s make 2014 the best year possible:
1. Be more positive, more optimistic
2. Try something new (a new food, a new sport, a new activity)
3. Cut out all soda for 4 months
4. Get down to 200 lbs
5. Play in a sports league
6. Run the Dirty Dash
7. Get off automatic mode and go manual with my Nikon
8. Capture a “Wow!” picture
9. Finish the family room in the basement
10. Fly kites with the kids
11. Go camping with the family
12. 2 Getaways with my wife
13. Go to the beach
14. Go Ice Fishing
15. Take my kids fishing (x3)
16. Go horseback riding
17. Visit someplace new
18. Go to Brazil
19. Attend 2014 World Cup US Men’s National game
20. Attend USA Sevens Rugby Tournament in Las Vegas
21. Take a Hike – above 10,000 feet
22. 25 Blog Posts, including 4 video posts
26. Attend a marketing or sales conference
27. Actually read 4 books
28. Listen to 12 audio books
29. Attend 1 Networking Event per quarter
30. Schedule a 1-on-1 lunch once per quarter with a past colleague
Go! - That’s the word I’ve selected for 2014.
Like most people last year was filled with positive memories and memorable challenges. An aura of stagnation seemed to blanket the year though. Too often 2013 had a sentiment of waiting, like treading water. Don’t get me wrong, last year was a good year, but it could have been a great year. It should have been a great year.
So Why Go!?
Here’s what sparked the decision:
The Stop Light
A few weeks ago I was sitting at a stop light on a Saturday morning; the Saturday before Christmas in fact. I had errands to run and a list of things to accomplish. I knew exactly what I needed to do as time was running out before Christmas.
After waiting a few minutes the light turned green. I shifted into first gear and slowly nudged my car forward expecting the single car ahead of me to start moving. It did not. My car rolled closer and closer, but the other car didn’t move. I began feeling slightly irritated as I noticed the distracted driver was talking on a cell phone and obviously not paying attention. Even though he had a green light and the road ahead of him was free and clear, he didn’t move. My patience was quickly running out. I inched forward a bit more; still no movement. Finally I shouted “Go!” After what seemed like minutes, but was probably only seconds, he looked up apparently realizing the light was green and finally started moving.
The 2013 Bucket List
This will be my third year creating an annual Bucket List. As I reviewed last year’s list I was disappointed by several items I didn’t achieve; small things that should have been easy to do.
For example, I can’t remember the last time I flew a kite with my kids; something so simple. I recall several days were the weather was warm and the winds sufficient to fly a kite, but we didn’t take advantage of the ideal climate because I never bought a kite. A small kite only costs a few bucks, but I missed out on sharing this experience with my children because I didn’t go buy one.
Example 2, my wife grew up riding horses. She loves it. For a couple years now she’s been dying to go horseback riding. Coincidentally I have a cousin who lives only an hour away and owns horses. Several times throughout the year I thought about calling him. I never did. I thought about it, but I didn’t go do it.
· I should have bought a kite.
· I should have called my cousin.
Yes, my summary word for last year is probably should.
What does Go! mean?
1. Go! represents advancement. I wanted the car at the stop light to go – to move forward so I could continue moving toward my goals that day. I want this year to be a year of progression, of going places and accomplishing things.
2. Go! represents action. It takes intentions and creates a conscious action that propels or perpetuates the desired advancement. Last year’s thinking was “I should call my cousin”. This year I want to actually go call him. Whenever I think should, I will replace it with Go! – Go and Do!
Everyone wants to feel like they’re going places. Go! evokes excitement. Stop talking about what you could be doing and go do it. Go to the gym. Go write a blog post. Go build success. Take action, make things happen and have a blast doing it.
Now, I’m not talking about monumental life altering changes. There are no plans to uproot my family and move to a foreign country. This isn’t about creating shocking alterations like painting my office green with flashing strobes lights.
Go! is a conscious decision, a subtitle resolution and a deep rooted determination.
Go! starts now
This requires immediate, practical application. One unfulfilled item from my 2013 Bucket List was to register a domain name to for personal branding development. I had over 500,000 minutes last year and never did it. I took 10 minutes this week and did it – DougJentzsch.com is now registered; it will be used as the URL for my WordPress blog shortly.
Oh, and I also called my cousin and left a voicemail about going horseback riding this spring. I thought it best to get the wheels in motion there too.
May 2014 be a year where we all can go enjoy success, go spend more time with loved ones and go live life to the fullest!
What’s your word(s) or theme for 2014?
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The past couple of years I’ve created an annual Bucket list, writing down things I’d like to do and accomplish throughout the year. In the next few days I’ll post my 2014 list. As I’ve mentioned in previous articles this was inspirited by Lesley Carter of Bucket List Publications. The idea of an annual Bucket List is to accomplish goals each and every year, not leaving everything until the end of your life. In general, a Bucket List is about achieving things before you die so you don’t have any regrets.
Speaking of dying, earlier this week I was driving down the freeway in a typical mid-winter, white-knuckled Utah snowstorm. The hazy fog and icy roads made for treacherous driving conditions. Suddenly without any apparent cause my contact lens slid from the center to the corner of my eye. This created excruciating pain causing my eyes to water, greatly hindering my vision. I could barely see as I attempted to squint through stinging tears and desperately worked to avoid an accident that could result in serious injury to me and others. Finally, and with no small amount of effort (and prayers), I was able to get off the freeway and pull over to a safe spot. My heart was pounding as I took huge sighs of relief. Not to be melodramatic, but I could have died.
Later that night I hugged my two little boys just a little bit tighter; I found a few extra minutes to talk with each of my teenagers and I made sure to kiss my wife goodnight and let her know I loved her. I didn’t want to go to bed having any regrets about that day.
If we think about each day in terms of a Bucket List, hopefully we do the little things to bring happiness and peace to others. That might come in many forms: spending more time with family, reaching out to a friend in need, calling parents on the phone to see how they’re doing, smiling at co-workers as we walk around the office and maybe that even means being kinder to complete strangers. Yup, even that guy who cut you off on the freeway… because you never know what he’s going through at that exact moment
I’m currently in my 10th year with Access Development. Over the past decade I’ve worked with many great people and formed lifelong friendships. I’m grateful for people who have taken time to teach me through their example and actions.
So for my first post of 2014 I’ve decided to pass along a few of the lessons I’ve learned from others:
Step Lightly – Early in my carrier my strategy, metaphorically speaking, revolved around carrying a large stick and clearing anyone out of my path or going into every meeting with ‘guns a blazing’. It worked wonders and things got done. Or so I believed. The latent affect was I got a poor reputation for being overly emotional and even selfish. Even worst, others became defensive in my presence and sometimes people’s feelings were hurt due to my brash style. One day my manager, a friend and a leader, came into my office and placed a small yellow sticky note next to my computer monitor. It read “step lightly”. I’ve worked on stepping lightly ever since… and it actually works.
Over-Communicate – It’s better than under-communicating. Over communicating clears up confusion and doubts, and minimizes misunderstandings. Where possible, face-to-face communication works best. Over-communicating creates transparency, unity and collaboration.
Show Purpose (and Grab a Piece of Paper) – Ever notice how some people walk around the office with no apparent purpose, even appearing lost. One colleague of mine mentioned how she never wants people to think that of her. When she walks down the hall, she walks with purpose. Even if she’s just going to the water cooler she walks with purpose. And if she walks to a meeting (or to the bathroom) she always has something in her hands… anything. It shows she has purpose. If nothing else, she grabs a sheet of scrap paper off the printer because it’s better than walking around empty handed.
Try it! Look like you have a purpose and act important, and people will treat you that way.
Play the Game – It’s something several leaders have taught me and I’ve been slow to embrace. Often this term is viewed with a negative connotation. Playing the Game isn’t about sucking up or being false in an attempt to fit in. Every business has a unique culture. Every division, team or project has a unique style and personality. Play the Game means learning to personally adapt to the company’s culture and personality. By doing so you’ll be a great shipmate. You can even rock the boat now and again, but you’ll never be accused on sinking the ship.
Be a great shipmate. You can even rock the boat now and again, but you’ll never be accused on sinking the ship.
Be Positive – Things sometime go wrong in business. Things often go wrong. People let you down. Technology causes more issues than solutions. Allowing external forces to cause continuous internal frustrations is non-productive and honestly unhealthy. Being positive isn’t about what’s going on around you; it’s about deciding the state of well being inside you. Being positive can be infectious. Many challenging times were made better (and sometimes bearable) thanks for continually positive people.
What have you learned from others at your company?
A big thanks goes out to Shaggy, Trav, Jaymee, Bona and KP for the things I’ve learned from them; as well as countless others.
Each December my kids’ elementary school has an end of year fundraiser called the Winter Store. The Winter Store features items personally made by the 6th grade class students as they learn about commerce, cost of goods, and profit margins. Items are placed on display in the library for sale before and after school. It’s a great learning opportunity for the older students and provides a fun store with inexpensive gifts for the rest of the students to buy.
This year I had the pleasure of accompanying my two youngest sons (6 and 8 years old) to the store. Each boy was given a crisp 5 dollar bill to spend on whatever item or items he wished to purchase. With a variety of gift options and crafts there was a plethora of options to choose from ranging in price from $1 to $5.
We arrived 15 minutes before school started, but the library quickly filled up with enthusiastic youngster each holding their precious coins and dollar bills, eager to make a purchase.
My two boys approached the buying opportunity differently. My eight year old son quickly scoped out a couple of items he dearly wanted. He snatched them up asking me to hold on to them while he socialized with his friends. My six year old on the other hand roamed around and around the display tables, the sheer number of options virtually overwhelming. As the time for school to start quickly approached I began prodding him to make his final decision.
Only minutes before the bell rang he finally selected two items and we got in line to pay. I noticed my older son had selected gifts that added up exactly to $5, his total spend amount. My younger son on the other hand had $3.75 worth of items. I brought this to his attention letting him know he had another $1.25 to spend.
“Quick, go find something else for $1.25 while I wait in line to pay” I said.
“No Dad, I want change” he replied with excitement.
The concept of buying something paled in comparison to the excitement of getting change!
Each boy arrived at the cashier’s table to pay for their goods. The cashier helping my younger son took his five dollar bill and then placed a dollar and a quarter in his small hand. “Here’s your change” she said.
His eyes opened wide, his grin spread from ear to ear. He lifted his open palm towards me showcasing his money and said “See, I got change.” Then he joyfully scampered off to class.
The 1989 comedy movie, UHF, portrays actor and songwriter ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic playing the role of George Newman. George is an obsessive daydreamer who can’t keep a job, but ends up managing his uncle’s TV station. Throughout the movie a man in dirty, tattered clothing is seen begging people for change. “Change, change mister…” he calls out.
After having ignored the man several times George finally stops, reaches into his pocket and pulls out a handful of coins. He holds out the change to give the man. Instead of merely taking the money the man begins counting the coins, when he reaches 100 cents he takes the money and places a one dollar bill in George’s hand. “Gee, thanks mister” he says.
2013 will soon come to an end and the New Year will roll in. Inevitably change will occur in many ways for many of us. Change is a part of life, often seen as something to accept or endure. Change can create worry, fear of the unknown or concern about things getting worst or having less than we previously had.
Maybe it’s time to have that childlike excitement toward that idea of change. Maybe it’s time to view change as getting just as much as we’re giving. Maybe it’s time to alter our paradigm of change.
Accepting change is good. Embracing change is better. Looking forward to change and creating change is best.
Here’s to a New Year full of change!
A great article on placing importance on things that can’t be measured. People, relationships, emotions, attitude – what motivates and inspires, these are things we maybe should focus on more at work. Then numbers and results will naturally follow.
Originally posted on Blanchard LeaderChat:
I was a longtime aficionado of SMART goal setting when the “M” stood for “Measurable.” However, over time, I found that a specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound goal simply was not SMART enough. I changed the “M” to “Motivating” and moved measurable into the “S” (Specific). Adding another dimension to make my goals more emotionally compelling worked for me. It seemed to work for others, too. Now the science of motivation explains why.
The nature of things that cannot be measured.
I headed out today to get some fresh air and grab lunch at a local burger joint. The cool fall weather had me craving comfort food – a burger topped with pastrami, warm fries and fry sauce (it’s a Utah thing).
The chosen establishment was quite crowded with business suits, construction workers and everything in-between. After ordering my food I selected a table, sat and began brainstorming and jotting down some thoughts (I’m a big fan of the Evernote app). My noodling was interrupted by the sound of a gentleman seated nearby with a couple sitting across from him.
“I always like to get to know people first before I give them a bid” he boomed. The loud exclamation combined with the rehearsed manner with which he delivered it caught my attention. I don’t normally eavesdrop, but it was impossible to ignore him.
Over the next fifteen minutes he talked about all the jobs he’d done, the companies he worked for (many of which he complained about), the bosses he’d reported to (I think he liked at least one of them), and all the extremely happy customers who absolutely loved him and the work he did. Yes, for the couple listening to his rant it was like drinking from a fire hose.
He hadn’t touched his food, which had long since been delivered to their table. In fact, he’d barely stopped long enough to take a breath. Meanwhile the couple politely nodded their head while doing their best to consume the meal and end this all too awkward lunch. When the gentleman finally stopped speaking an uncomfortable silence loomed over their table. I looked up from my meal to see what would happen next.
The man’s eyes dart back and forth between the couple, then he said “So… tell me a little about you guys!” and promptly devoured a mouthful of burger. I almost laughed at loud and had to take a sip of my Coke to stifle it.
Today’s lesson learned: You can’t get to know people by talking at them. Stop talking – start listening.
- Listen to your customers
- Listen to your co-workers
- Listen to your kids
- Listen to your spouse
- Listen to your friends
By listening you’ll truly get to know people and they’ll appreciate you for it.
Sub-lesson: There’s no such thing as a free lunch. That poor couple paid dearly for their lunch.
Your feedback, thoughts, insights, criticisms and recommendations are welcomed.