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I know some of you are thinking “What is he talking about? Fun at work?” But it’s that simple and that’s exactly what I mean. If you can’t have fun at work, then why are you there? Fun and good work do go together. A joke can reduce tension during stressful times at work. The saying “Laughter is the best medicine” exists because it’s true.

This doesn’t mean you will joke around with co-workers every day. Of course, even if you do, it’s unlikely a minute or two will derail you from the tasks at hand. Fun doesn’t need to
Continue Reading Do you have fun at work?

Just because the thought comes into your head does not mean it should come out of your mouth. In many situations, it matters what you say next. This is why it’s so important to think before speaking. It doesn’t mean uncomfortable long silences, but it means you need to plan for important conversations, negotiations, or presentations. It also means you need be able to think on your feet.

This can be difficult in emotionally charged situations. But those situations require the most thought and patience.

This was brought home to me a few years ago when an opposing attorney answered
Continue Reading Do you think before speaking?

In everything you do you can do better, you can be better. Always. If you disagree you are only fooling yourself and being intellectually dishonest. Investing in yourself is the best investment you can make.

If you put your money in a can and bury it in your backyard, it has no chance to grow. If you invest your money, it has the chance to grow. The corollary is if you don’t take the time to improve yourself, to learn, you will become stagnant and, in this fast-paced world, probably be passed by others. If you work to improve you
Continue Reading We can always do better by working on ourselves

Are you the workaholic each of us knows? You know the one. Checking email from the moment they wake up, when they are at lunch with you (rude, by the way), and checking it right before they go to sleep. Every social opportunity is really a networking opportunity with people they probably would not socialize with. All conversations point towards and relate to business, money, etc. You are not sure what their interests are other than work and making money. Or is this you?

It is no secret that hard work is required for success, and there are times you
Continue Reading Do you have work/life balance?

Expectations are important whether it’s your expectations of yourself or setting expectations for others. In both cases it’s good to be realistic. If your expectations aren’t, it is a negative because you set the expectation too low as if you didn’t have faith in yourself in a given situation or set the expectation too high and don’t come close to touching it.

In setting expectations for yourself, you need to think them through. It may be the expectations you have regarding a co-worker, family member, or friend. Or maybe about a new job or opportunity. The hard part is thinking
Continue Reading Expectations

When you are striving to reach a goal, do you get there by the intensity you bring to it or by consistency in following the steps you have sketched out? I think it’s a combination of the two. You can employ both to pursue your goals and dreams.

Intensity can move you forward like a big push someone gives you when are on a swing. It’s focus and energy. It may allow you to complete a time sensitive project, move a long term project forward a few steps, or get over a hump that had you stopped in place. It
Continue Reading Intensity v. consistency

We all take inspiration from different people, actions, inaction, etc. Sometimes it comes out of nowhere and sometimes from surprising places. When it does you need to be ready to notice and process what it means to you. 

For instance, I find inspiration for various blog posts I’ve written from many different sources, many unexpected. The sources include a random comment on a podcast, something one of my children says, and once, from a comment made by an announcer about a snowboarder who had won a gold medal in the Olympics. You never know when it will hit you or
Continue Reading What inspires you?

Networking is about knowing more people. Connecting is about knowing people more. The distinction is obvious. You know a lot of people professionally and personally, but you actually are connected to only a fraction of those you know.

When you are at a business, social or charitable event, you likely run into many people you know. With many of these people, you will know them “socially” or “professionally”, which is a way of saying you know them, who they are, but are not deeply connected with them and have no investment in their successes or failures.

I think a good
Continue Reading The differences between networking and connecting

We all have a pitch to make and the need to do so comes up all of the time. Many times you are making a pitch unconsciously because it can be second nature for some. Think about how good your pitch could be if you actually thought about what you want to say in a given situation.

A pitch is about conveying information to one or more people to obtain a desired result. It can be to a potential client or customer, a potential investor, or a new potential connection.

It is hard work to come up with a pitch. In
Continue Reading Do you have a good pitch?

I recently came across a good quote I hadn’t read in quite a long time and it spoke to something I agree with, which is the importance of being a lifetime learner. I was cleaning out some old emails and the quote was in an email from a friend. The quote brought to mind a truth: continuous learning and training makes for a better and more interesting life and work place.

The quote is “Everyone is born a genius, but the process of living de-geniuses them.”  It is by Buckminster Fuller, who has been described as an American architect, systems theorist,
Continue Reading What have you learned today?

I’m not asking what about your return on investment. I’m asking what about your ripple of impact. How does who you are and what you do impact others and your community? If you don’t think this matters you are being shortsighted and missing the market.

Your impact on others reflects on you. Do you serve as a formal or informal mentor? Do you treat people kindly? Do you volunteer in your community? These activities matter. They help you, those around you, and your community. Mentoring younger or less experienced people at your company will make your people and company better.
Continue Reading What is your ROI?

Discipline helps you get done what you plan and need to each day. This is part of doing what you say you’re going to do. This provides stability because it allows others to know how you act or respond in various situations.

This could be my clients knowing I try to return or respond to calls and emails within 24 hours at the outside, or that when they are communicating with me I’m focused on them and whatever they are dealing with. They are not my only clients, but I can make them feel like they are by exercising discipline
Continue Reading Discipline creates stability

I saw this somewhere in the last few weeks and it rang true to me. The choices we make define us, always. Some may be smaller and some larger, but together they show who you are. Sometimes the choices that seem smaller show more than you think because they are choices you make on a daily basis.

How long do you take to return phone calls or emails? If you’re like me, you receive a large number of calls and emails. It’s easy to tell yourself you will get to them when you get to them. But in my case
Continue Reading We are our choices. Every. Single. Day.

This sounds so easy, but can be much harder in practice. You know you have said things, likely out loud, when driving and some car cut you off. Maybe you would say it to the person when you end up next to each other at a traffic light or not. People who do are risking their life because they let their emotions get the best of them. Other situations may not have the physical risks of road rage, but they instead have personal and professional risks.

This easily can happen in the workplace, whether with co-workers or, if you deal
Continue Reading Don’t be a jerk – always take the high road

Monday night I watched the college football National Championship game between Alabama and Georgia. You probably know (or in case you don’t) Georgia won after it looked like their quarterback fumbled away the game with around 11 minutes to go in the game by playing great defense and the quarterback stepping up and seemingly willing his team’s offense to play better. Why am I telling you this? Because after Georgia won, quarterback Stetson Bennett was interviewed and in response to how he lead his team back he said “Just keep fighting. Keep your mouth shut. Work hard. Life is tough,
Continue Reading Just keep fighting. Keep your mouth shut. Work hard

I heard someone say this on a podcast and it stuck with me. It is a way to reframe the narrative of change as we enter the new year or at any time. The point is to spend more time looking forward than obsessing on the past.

Did you have a good 2021 professionally? If so, will you keep doing what you did or seek to improve on your success? If not, will you spend time thinking of what could or should have been, or spend more time looking to make 2022 a better year. I’m talking about a mindset,
Continue Reading Don’t rewrite your story, make something good going forward