Archive for the ‘motivation’ Category

Purple Rain, Productivity & You…really?

April 27, 2016

With the sad and sudden loss of Prince comes a lesson in the power of passion.Prince purple rain (215x240)The child of divorced parents, Prince ran away from his mother’s home to live with neighbors at a young age due to issues with his step father. He was subject to epileptic seizures as a child and was teased by his peers.  He was only 5’2″ tall and compensated by being flashy. Strike Three? Not!

At age 7 Prince taught himself how to play the piano, followed by the guitar at 13 and then the drums at 14 years old at which time he joined a band called Grand Central.  Not bad for a kid without a teacher. His passion for music led him to develop other talents of singing, dancing and playing multiple instruments to produce a demo tape at age eighteen that ended up in the hands of a local Minneapolis businessman who negotiated his first contract with Warner Bros.

And so a star was born………kinda sorta.

In his efforts to express and establish himself as a recording artist, his music was limited in air play due to his erotic approach resulting in controversial popularity. After experiencing his first big success with Little Red Corvette in 1983 it was not until the album Purple Rain was released in 1984 that his career catapulted into stardom.

Why should YOU care?

http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-free-stock-photos-image35353888

If you’re sitting at a desk all day wondering how/when you’re going to be happy, take a tip from Prince’s life: get happy NOW. Find things to love about your job NOW. Make a list of benefits you receive from your work and look at it every day to motivate you to do a great job versus just a good one. With employee engagement being at an all time low of 32% you need to fall in love with your company because just like Prince, passion + persistence pays off.

Bringing your A game to work every day results in a habit of excellence that super charges productivity up to the sky.

And we all know what falls from the sky………..purple rain, right?Purple rain falling on lovers (133x200)

 

Keys to Employee Engagement

February 23, 2016

In my recent research as a motivational speaker preparing for an upcoming conference, I came across an astounding fact:  52% of US employees are not engaged at work. (Gallup poll January 2016)

That’s a whole lot of unhappy people, let alone an enormous loss of productivity.

Distracted employee

Gallup categorizes workers as “engaged” based on their ratings of key workplace elements that predict important organizational performance outcomes, such as having an opportunity to do what they do best each day, having someone at work who encourages their development and believing their opinions count at work.

Traveling across the country speaking to corporations and associations, I’ve heard a lot of whining in the workplace about one thing in particular: bosses. Bosses that don’t listen, bosses that manage with rigid rules, bosses that play favorites and bosses that take all the credit. What I’ve found is that people join companies but they leave bosses.

Cartoon happy peopleIn my speeches on super-charging productivity, I emphasize the power of nice. Having the right attitude of being humble, likable and teachable wins fans and influences people – even bosses. Business is all about building great relationships. Nurture team relationships by being the ‘go to’ guy who is always ready to help, offer constructive suggestions to your manager in a non-threatening way, volunteer to work on a project, be innovative about learning new things and share with team members.

Nice gets noticed in a good way. Whining – not so much.

If you’re a boss reading this, here’s your essential takeaway: never underestimate the value of appreciation. Praise and encourage employees for their efforts regardless of Book by Marcus Buckingham (153x230)success rate. Management expert/author/speaker Marcus Buckingham conducted a survey of the top Fortune 500 companies in the USA and said the #1 reason people leave companies is because they feel unappreciated. I spoke to a company in Dallas that had 500 employees with almost zero staff turnover in the past twenty years. The reason? Each employee said they felt like part of a family with a common purpose because they were treated with courtesy and respect from the CEO on down. Great relationships.

Being engaged at work means staying focused. Staying focused requires liking what you’re doing. If you’re not doing what you like, ask. Ask your boss to work on projects that utilize your best skills. Most managers will take advantage of a win-win situation whereby the employee experiences more job fulfillment and the company gains with improved productivity.

Employee engagement: it all starts with YOU!

You had me at hello. Now what?

September 16, 2015

Tom Cruise as Jerry Maguire movie posterTom Cruise would totally have me at hello too. The only difference is I’d be a goo-goo-eyed bumbling mess unlike Renee Zellweger in the movie Jerry Maguire who ends up marrying him.

Oh well……. I’m too tall for him anyway.

So you’ve just landed a new customer/job. You’ve said your first hello and hopefully made a good impression. What’s next? How do you ensure your success? The answer is in a back-to-basics point I make in all my motivational speeches: you build great relationships. You connect with people on a personal level. You treat co-workers, customers and peers like you yourself want to be treated – with courtesy, kindness and respect.

Several months ago I was the keynote speaker at a customer service conference for a sizable electric company in Dallas where the staff turnover rate was almost zero. Everyone was so happy to work for this organization I wondered what was in the water! (just sayin’) I asked several employees why they still loved working there after 28 years and they all said the same thing: they were treated like family by the top management and all the way  down. They felt valued and appreciated. 

Sometimes we all need a reminder that it’s the simple human needs that have a HUGE impact on the success of an organization, an individual or a project.

Alrighty then. Now………………..show me the money!

How the ‘L’ Word can Supercharge your Success

September 10, 2015

As a professional motivational speaker at corporate and association meetings, I hear a lot about challenges between the generations in the workforce today. From the Millennials who think they rule technology to the Boomers who think they’ve been there done that, each generation seems to have a “know-it-all” attitude, resulting in poor communications, tense work environment, lack of cohesive teamwork and decreased productivity.

Super stressful. SO not fun.

Recently I spoke to a group of franchisees for a national chain of dance studios and their conference theme was “Back to Basics”. It was about using a more human aspect in marketing, managing and working together to attract more customers, boost teamwork and thrive as a small business owner. We talked about building great relationships as a way to personalize business and maximize employee potential. Gershwin photo at piano Since my background consists of many years in the entertainment industry, I made an example of what Lady Gaga, Fred Astaire and George Gershwin have in common as successful entertainers………

Likability.

Even with her super star status Lady Gaga still personally connects with fans, Fred Astaire always had a smile on his face, George GershLady Gaga in white costume CROPPED (173x260)win was humble about his talents as a pianist/composer.

When people like you they’re willing to help, do business with you, hire you, follow  you, be influenced by you, recommend you, buy your stuff, listen to your opinion, learn from you, bring you purple M & M’s.

In today’s marketplace we all have to learn new ways of working to stay ahead of the competition whether you’re 24 or 64 but, it takes humility to be teachable and it’s easier to play the “know-it-all” game. The problem is – no one likes a Know-It-All.

Get with the program and get back to basics.

Be the ‘L’ word.