How to Live Your Life

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“So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”
~ Tecumseh

 

Wow!  Read that a few times and see if you don’t feel like changing a few things in your life.

 

Note:  There is actually a little bit more in the original teachings of Tecumseh, but I’ve removed a little in order to reduce it to essence of meaning for me.  I did not change any words, just deleted a few lines.

 

How to be More Productive – 3 Steps

Almost everyone I know says they need more time.  Unfortunately, there isn’t any more time… BUT, there is good news.  By developing just a few new habits, you can become more productive and enjoy more family time, hobby time, leisure time, or time for whatever you want.

I’ve always been interested in productivity.  I remember  being a kid and thinking about it in the shower… “If I run the soap down one leg, and then up the other, I just saved the time of starting over at the top again on my other leg.”  Yes, I realize this is kind of silly, but I really did think of this.  Now, I didn’t call it “being productive”, nor did I even know what productivity meant, but I did understand the importance of utilizing time in a wise manner.

Perhaps this just means I’m lazy?  Maybe. but I do believe that my focus on being efficient and productive has served me well over the years.

Here are the 3 components to becoming more productive:

  • Focus.  I will often compare my work to my peers and measure how much time it takes me to complete tasks compared to them.  What I’ve found is that while I will “goof around” (or work on other things) for some period of time, usually until the last minute, once I get started on a task I don’t stop.  I don’t allow myself to be interrupted and I protect myself from distractions.   Many peers I’ve studied seem to take 2-3 times longer to complete the same task, but what they are really doing is mixing their “goofing off” time (or work on other things, distractions, interruptions, etc), with their work.  This causes them to stop and restart their work over and over again.    This lack of focus is causing a major productivity, efficiency hit.    I find that I’m much happier and my work quality is much higher with this extreme focus.   I don’t have to restart, find my place again, or get back into the groove (because I never leave it).
  • Prioritize.   This is huge.  Many people have a hard time knowing what to place priority on.   This really has to do with what is going to get you the most bang for your buck.     I always know what the number 1, 2, and 3 priority items are on my long lists of things to do.    So what is the measure of “most important”?   Good question.  This one is sometimes difficult to answer, but think 80/20 rule.  As far as productivity goes, you need to work on the items that will get you the most results.  If your boss is asking for 5 things from you, pick the one that the boss cares about the most (or the one that will make them look the best in front of their boss).   Just remember, %20 of your effort will produce 80% of the results.
  • Lists.  I make lists of things to do.    Here is the most effective way I’ve found to manage your priority tasks.    Make a list of your top 5 items you must complete.   Each day, work on the top item until it is done (or get as much done as you can before quitting).   Only then, move to item number 2, then 3, etc…   Each day, take the unfinished items and add the amount needed to get back to 5 items on your list.   You may find that the bottom three you didn’t finish today become the top items tomorrow, but often you’ll also find that they may remain low on the list because other things come up.  That’s ok.  Just take an honest look at the priority of each task and keep the top 5 with you at all times.

Of course, this may seem like an over-simplification, and there are certainly other tools, but these three things alone will help you get more done, faster, with higher quality.

 

How to be More Confident : 3 Simple Steps

Would you like to know how to be more confident? Of course you would… you are here right? At times, we all lack confidence, get scared, feel overwhelmed, and perhaps do not believe in ourselves. But there is good news! Confidence is one of those things that is completely under your control!

How to Be More Confident In 3 Simple Steps:

1.  Realize that you have everything you need. I’m going to assume here that you aren’t trying to be confident that you can do something impossible for yourself…  (for example, I would never tell you that you should have the confidence to jump off of a building and suddenly be able to fly… duh).   Most people need to be more confident because they simply do not know how to believe in themselves.   They just don’t believe they are fully equipped with the means to do whatever it is that they are seeking to accomplish.  So, you first have to realize that you DO have everything you need.

For example, let’s say you lack the confidence to approach women.   Do you not have legs? (ok, I know… some people actually don’t, but I’m sure you have a chair, or a phone, or someone to carry you?)   Do you not have a tongue?  Can you not speak?   Is there someone holding you back from going (I mean physically)?

Yep, you are fully equipped to approach women.  Oh… you want better communication skills? or you think you aren’t good looking enough?  or maybe your job sucks?   or maybe your clothes cheap?  or maybe you have bad breath?  or maybe you aren’t funny?   Where does it end?  You can keep these stories and excuses going all day, but I can tell you now that, while you may need to work on your communication skills or brush your teeth, you definitely have everything you need.   Just stop making excuses and get over there and do it!

Oh and before you say, “I don’t have everything I need… I need a car to get to the bar to meet women”… or “I need more money so that I can buy her a drink if I talk to her”… or…   Well then, confidence isn’t your problem… you just need to get a car or get a job, or whatever…  Or hell, just change your plan, ride your bike there, take a cab, ride with a friend, and don’t buy her a drink… ask her to buy you one!  Do that and you know you’re more confident!  In other words, you don’t need to know how to be more confident, you need to know how to buy a car, or ride a bike, or get yourself some cheesy pickup lines.  But confidence, isn’t your problem, having excuses is your problem.

2.  Reject Rejection, It’s A Myth Anyway. Rejection very commonly comes up when talking to people about the root of their confidence problems.   You need to realize that rejection is crap.  It doesn’t really exist… forget about it, just decide to reject rejection… :)     It’s a myth anyway, so don’t believe in rejection.   You just said, “huh, a myth…?”  Yes, that’s what I said… a myth.  If you want to be more confident, you need to know how to reject rejection.

Think about it this way:  If you ask your boss for a day off and she says no, then you simply have exactly what you had before… you still have to work on Thursday.   If you ask someone to go on a date and they say no, then you still get to stay home and play on the PlayStation on Saturday (unless you take advice in the next steps, and just keep asking).

Why get all bent out of shape about not having what you already didn’t have?  Oh, your boss might think you are a slacker or rude, or ???    Maybe, but if you keep sitting around NOT asking, you’ll never know and you’ll definitely not get what you want.   In fact, they might even think you are assertive, or that you take care of yourself, or that you are confident :) … all good traits don’t you think?

So, forget about rejection… it doesn’t really exist.  Forget it happened and move on…

3.  Practice builds confidence. You probably already know this, but if you practice something you get better, right?   So, practice doing whatever it is that is making you feel less than confident.   Really?  Is it that simple?  Of course it is.  Confidence is a mind game, not a physical task.  Confidence is under your control.  If you want to be more confident, you simply… well, have more confidence.  :)  OK, I know its not quite that simple, is it?  But its close.

One way to build more confidence is to practice.  Not only the activity that you want to have more confidence in, but in reality you just need to practice… well, being more confident.   Does that even make sense?  Yes, I think it does.  So, when you get nervous or anxious about asking for a day off, or for someone’s phone number, or for a raise, or about meeting new people, etc, etc…  Just remember to do it anyway… and you’ll probably be rejected sometimes (but since rejection doesn’t really exist… :) ), but every single time you try something new, or something you are less than confident about doing, you’ll be creating a healthier more confident you.

 

So, in summary…  You DO have what you need, rejection doesn’t really exist (neither does failure, but that’s another story we’ll get to later),  and the more you practice the more confident you’ll be, and the more successes you’ll experience.  So, get out there and do something you’ve been afraid of until now.  Just do it…   OH>>> and please leave a comment below (let me know what you lack confidence in, if you tried what I said, if it makes sense, or if you think I’m full of crap, just let me know that too (I’m not afraid of rejection :) ).

 

This Is Your Life, Are You Who You Want To Be?

 

Think about it.  Are you truly who you want to be?   Are you doing what you want?  Do you have the relationships you want?  Are you the Christian you want to me?  The Father, Mother, Friend, Employee?   Take a hard look at yourself.  If you aren’t who you want to be, there is no one else to blame.   You are the only one that can create the YOU that you want to be.   Go set some goals.  Write down the goals.  Get started now.  Don’t wait.

This is YOUR life!   Are you who you want to be?   Really?

 

Social Media for HR

If you are like many HR Professionals, you may be wondering how to utilize this Social Media thing in your HR processes.

Where does Social Media fit in HR, which HR processes can be integrated with Social Media, and what in the world could it do for me and my organization?

Here are just a few ways you may incorporate Social Media into HR processes

Social Media for Recruiting:

  • While some Social Media platforms are quite known for their recruiting/jobs/sourcing capabilities, don’t sell the other platforms short.  Facebook, for instance may be the place where you share your vacation pictures or catch up with your old high-school alumni, but it can be a powerful source to quickly and easily ask the people you trust most if they know anyone that fits your current recruiting needs.
  • If you are looking for highly talented individuals that are not only good at what they do, but also passionate enough about it to share their knowledge with others, you may look to almost all of the Social Media platforms to supplement your regular HR Recruiting processes:   LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter all have people chattering 24/7  about the things they love… and not only that but they also self-identify themselves by interest, organizations they like, organizations they work for, etc.
  • Building on the bullet point above, go to the video sharing sites for real experts.  Youtube and Vimeo, for instance are full of individuals not only sharing videos of cats puking (ewweee…, I know, but its true), but if you are looking for an expert on computer programming, biology, math, engineering, janitorial services, etc, etc, etc…  I’m certain you can find not only a person posting videos, but whole list of your potential employees commenting and adding value.
  • Ok, so now you’ve received a few resumes… lets go google-stalking :)   Simply start googling and facebook searching for the candiate’s name, email address, username, etc… If you find that your top candidate is doing keg-stands every night of the week, and constantly posting statuses that indicate they hate their job, are tired, have an aweful boss, etc… it may be time to move on to the next.

Social Media for Community and Fan Building

  • Many Organizations and HR departments are afraid to build communities (and fans) on Facebook, LinkedIn or other Social Media platforms…. They are afraid of showing a bad image, public bashing of the organization, inappropriate language, etc.   BUT, the reality, if you do it right you don’t need to be afraid.   Just develop an HR Policy on Social Media and then encourage your employees to participate.
  • Your Fans and your employees can interact, sharing ideas and making connections that grow and extend way beyond the pushing of the “Like” button.    You simply cannot do better than having employees and/or fans talking about you in a good light and spreading the word for you.
  • “But Shane, what about those negative comments?”   Well, first off, I would simply say that if people are leaving negative comments there is a reason for it and the negative comment isn’t actually the problem… the problem is the problem.  Really!   And in fact, these people are doing you a favor by giving you real world feedback that if you want to succeed, you should listen to.
  • “But Shane, some people are truly just rude….”  Yep, they are.  And for those people we have a thing called moderation.     Just delete those comments if they get too offensive, personal, or are simply just meant to attack for no purpose but to hurt.   OR… better yet, take the opportunity to address every negative comment and let the whole world know that you are listening, responding appropriately, and when appropriate you recognize an issue or a wrong doing and are taking corrective action.
  • Build a great organization.   Encourage and listen to feedback from fans and non-fans, employees and non-employees… and then make corrections.  Then, repeat!

Social Media for Customer Training and Collaboration

  • Organizations and HR departments could wish for no better platform to train customers, receive feedback, and work together with your customers to build the next version of whatever you do whether that is a product or a service.
  • Hold contests for the best video, blog post, status update, etc… and then invite users to vote and spread the word… Again, can y0u say “free PR”?

 

I hope this gets you thinking about ways to incorporate Social Media into your organizational leadership and HR processes.  I certainly have more ideas, but this post is getting long and I want to hear from you… Please leave a comment.

Make it a great day!
Shane

 

Onboarding: Beyond the New Hire Checklist to Improve Employee Engagement

Onboarding: Beyond the New Hire Checklist to Improve Employee Engagement

Onboarding is getting alot of attention in HR these days. Much of this attention has to do with Onboarding software, and the importance of creating efficiency to get the employee productive as soon as possible. And while those topics are important, they do not tell the whole story. This post will show you ways to take advantage of onboarding processes, and onboarding software, in ways you may never have thought of.

Onboarding can do a great deal to increase employee engagement, improve the company-employee connection, and ensure productivity comes sooner rather than later.

But unfortunately, I don’t see most organizations using or thinking about onboarding in the proper context. Or at least not as completely as they could be. Most organizations think of onboarding soley as their New Hire Checklist, or perhaps they will go as far as to include a nice New Employee Orientation. And these things are certainly important to our jobs in HR, but they aren’t the full story. This transactional viewpoint is limiting, for both us in HR as well as the New Hire.

Onboarding is our only chance to make a good first impression, and our first chance to create a connection with the employee that will increase engagement and retention. If we simply look at our onboarding process as the way we gather all the required documents, record the benefits being elected, and getting someone a desk and a computer, we are certainly missing a huge opportunity.

We certainly should automate and streamline our ability to capture the needed data and forms. We should absolutely increase communications and scheduling of events. And of course, should definitely take the opportunity to ensure we get the employee set up to be productive as soon as possible.

These things are a given. And they are important as well. I’m just suggesting that we should take this a step further….

Here are just a few ideas to improve the effectiveness of your onboarding process, whether you use onboarding software or you use a New Hire Checklist or you if you have a New Employee Orientation or not. These ideas should get you started thinking about how you may change things in your organization. Remember, your job in HR should be one of Organizational Leadership… Leading the organization in culture creation, employee connection and engagement. Don’t just sit back and be relegated to the boring world of transactions and forms.

Remember, this list is meant to go beyond the standard HR Form collection, HR Policy Signatures, etc. I assume you know how to do all  that just fine.  Not all of these will be relevant, and some will not even be a good idea in certain organizations… but I’m just trying to get your HR brain thinking a little differently. :)

  • Send a Welcome Letter (or email), but in addition to show up here and then, etc, really show excitement and be welcoming. Talk to them more like a friend and throw away the “you should feel privileged we chose you and honored to work here” tone.
  • Place a welcome basket on their desk (think treats, or flowers, etc)
  • Meet them at the door.  Or at least be ready to greet them as soon as they arrive… don’t make them wait!
  • Buy, and present to them, a Success Package (include books or audio programs, etc that may help them. Such as Sales Training, Leadership, Creativity, etc) to show them you want them to succeed and are willing to help them do so.
  • Plan the whole first day, and give them the agenda (in writing).
  • Assign a Mentor.  And don’t forget to choose the mentor wisely, train them on culture, and make sure they understand the importance of this assignment.
  • Assign someone to take them to lunch on the first day.
  • Ensure a clean work space is ready when they arrive.
  • Have their computer, phone, voicemail, etc. all set up and ready to go.   Don’t make them twittle their thumbs for three days, feeling ignored and unimportant.
  • Schedule follow up meeting(s) with HR to check in on how they are adjusting
  • Record a welcome message from the CEO/President/Leader (video would be best… or LIVE if you could, of course).  Coach this Leader to stress excitement and culture.
  • Schedule a tour.  No one wants to have to pee badly and then have to impose on someone else to ask them where to go.
  • Encourage them to decorate their space…  Let them choose items from a catalog and buy them, on the company’s dime!  If they move in, make it seem like home, and get to put their own personal touch on it… their likely to feel more comfortable, more engaged, and less likely like they may have made a mistake taking this job.
  • Assign them to a committee.    If your HR department isn’t already in the habit of forming task forces / committees to tackle the issues of the organization… start it now.  And getting the New Hire involved in the company can serve two purposes:  1. increase involvement/engagement right from the start, and 2. bring fresh ideas and solutions to the table for the committee.
  • Schedule a Happy Hour for after work.
  • Ensure they have office supplies to start the day (stapler, inbox, post-its, etc)
  • Buy them a nice pen, with their name on it.
  • Give them Personalized Stationary.
  • Schedule a series of meetings/presentations  with different departments so they can learn more about how their job fits into the big picture.
  • Record their Birthday and send them a card.
  • … Let me know your thoughts here…  please reply with your ideas, or things you have seen work!
Well, if that list doesn’t have something you aren’t doing or haven’t thought of, I would be surprised… and I want to know where you work!  Your HR Department must be really with it :)
Of course, just to emphasize my point a little further about the usefulness of onboarding software and processes…. You can schedule almost all of these events above and incorporate them into your automated onboarding processes just the way you do on your I-9’s and Benefits and Other HR Forms.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think!
Make it a great day!

We ALL Have Talent! Even You!

Not much to say about this one… Just watch it.    And while you do, just remember that God has plans for all of us.  What dreams, talents, and messages has He placed in you?    Think about it!    What is that nagging aspiration, never ending dream, to do something or be something that you keep pushing down and trying to ignore.

If this blind, autistic young child born with virtually no advantage in life can share his talent… what can you do?    I hope this inspires you!

P.S.  –  If you are a parent and a Christian… and you don’t cry a little watching this…. well, I bet you can’t!

Steve Jobs Quote

Well, thank you Steve Jobs. You’ve inspired a great number of people and its sad to see you’ve left us now. May you rest in peace and feel much more comfortable now.

I just thought I’d post up this quite popular commencement speech that Steve Jobs delievered to Stanford University. I won’t post the whole transcript of his speech, but I did want to point out of my favorite parts…

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

No matter who you are, or where you are in life right now, I think this statement above is worth reading a few times. Think hard about this message and the take action toward becoming who YOU are. Know yourself. Be true to yourself. Be authentic.

Be Thankful!

Here is a quick, but funny video that had me thinking how we should all be thankful for all we have.  Now stop and think how great it really is to be alive right now.  Be thankful!  Perhaps you’ve seen this already as it is a little old, but I only just found this… so here goes.

How To Be More Productive

Time Management is a myth… Productivity is what we are really after when we say we need better Time Management skills. We can’t manage time, it just keeps on ticking no matter what we do. So we need to learn, and use, productivity skills.

I’m sure you would like to have more times for your family, friends, hobbies, or just relaxing. We all do, right? Well, in this article I’m going to show you how to do accomplish more (no matter if we are talking about work, household chores, or whatever), in less time. How to be more productive in anything, and everything, you do.

This is a simple, but powerful plan. I’m sure you’ve heard (and maybe even used) some of this before. There are no “secrets” to being a more productive person. There are a ton of books and products that teach productivity skills and everyone has their best way to teach you these skills… So, I’m not promising that my methods below are the very best, I’m just showing you the methods and processes that work best in my opinion.

Productivity starts with planning, and there is no better time to plan than ahead of time (duh, right?). So I start this plan, before you go to bed. You can use this plan every day, all the time, but it really starts with your time just before going to bed. Each night before bed take a few minutes to think about your goals and contemplate the actions needed to take you where you want to go in life.

Then, take out a 3×5 card (or an iphone app, or journal, or whatever works for you) and write down the top 6 things that will move you closest toward your long-term and short-term goals (more on Goals in a future post).

Write down these 6 tasks in order of importance (and in case this isn’t obvious, “taking out the trash” is not a proper task to move you toward your goals and should never be in your top 6 priorities). Put the list aside and go to bed thinking about you life as you will be in the future. Imagine it as if it is already the way you want it to be. Really think about all the details of your dream life, from how you dress, who you hang out with, what you do, where you go, what you eat, what your house looks like, what color your car is, etc, etc… The more detailed the better. Do this visualization exercise every night. Spend at least 15 minutes on this at the end of your day, Every Day!

I know, now you are saying… woah… I thought we were talking about Productivity here, what’s going on? I know, I know, but if you are going to be productive in the truest sense, and in a way that makes the most sense for YOU, then we must be spending your most productive efforts on YOUR GOALS. Not on your boss’s goals, not on the meaningless chores, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should ignore these other tasks… I’m just saying they are NOT your priority. There is plenty of time to fit these things in.

OK, so now you’ve created your list of prioritized tasks for the next day. You then went to bed visualizing your dream life as if is happening now. You felt it, smelled it, and saw it vividly in your head. You fell asleep peacefully and had fantastic dreams where your subconscious mind is finding ways to make it all happen and ways to make it all come together, right now.

Now each day, you follow the steps below to accomplish your greatest and most productive tasks (as planned the night prior).

  • As soon after waking as is possible, start work on Task 1 of your list.
  • Do not stop working on task 1 until is is complete (turn off the phone, close your email, remove all distractions.. this is important!
  • Move to the next task and do not stop working on it until it is complete (* or time is up, whichever comes first).
  • Repeat this process until all 6 tasks are complete.

Note: In some cases, you may need to set an appropriate amount of time to work on a task, as opposed to completing the task outright. That is fine… some of our biggest goals, require commitment over time. This is one of the best benefits of being more productive… You’ll accomplish your long-term, and most important and life-changing goals this way! Most people have great ideas and know exactly what needs to be done, but they lack the mindset and fortitude to stick with it for the long haul.

So, as simple as this seems, it is a very, very powerful tip. I hope you’ll use it starting today (tonight :) ). If you do try these steps to be more productive, I hope you’ll please write a comment and let me know how this has helped your productivity overall, and your movement toward accomplishing your long-term goals. I suspect you’ll be well on your way to success (whatever you’ve defined as success for you)!

Make it a great day!

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