The A&E Network has a reality show called, “Intervention”. This show documents the lives of people dealing with a variety of substance abuse and how it effects their families and friends. Sometimes the intervention works out and the addict is rehabilitated, other times, it does not.

As anyone in leadership understands, it takes hard work, not an entitlement to attain all levels of leadership.  We work hard, and our expectation is that our hard work and tireless hours will lead to greater levels of responsibility and of course higher paychecks.  At what cost does this occur though?

As leaders, is being a workaholic an unhealthy addiction that affects our friendship and family relationships?  In other posts, I have discussed the importance of recharging your batteries, and having “me” time.  Doing both of these is paramount to having a work-life balance.  In doing so, you can become cured of workaholism and enjoy the little things in life.  Being a workaholic can be just as damaging and detrimental to the individual as any substance abuse can be.

I have read many articles over the years that those leaders that have a true work-life balance, they are typically more successful.  The reasons for this is they are able to clear their mind and focus at work, and at play.

How do you determine if you are a workaholic?  Ask your peers, family, friends.  If they truly care about you and your well being, they will be honest with you.  Give yourself an informal intervention. 

My name is Mark Brody.  I am a workaholic. 

Can you take the same first step?  If you can, better health, and healthier relationships are nearer than you think.

Take time this Labor Day Weekend to not think about work and enjoy doing something that you don’t typically do. 


They’re here… Millenials!!

Whether leaders of today like it or not, a new generation is making an impact on the workplace.  Millennials or Gen Y’ers are forcing leaders of today to change their traditionalist thoughts of work.  When I think about this topic, I remember a song from the Musical, Hair that starts off talking about the differences between 1948 and 1968.  The differences between generations are not a 2012 phenomenon, but one that have been facing generations for generations.

It is really a matter of perspective.  Each year since 1998, Beloit College publishes a mindset list for incoming Freshmen so educators can put into perspective their students reference points.  As leaders, we must keep these reference points in mind as well.

Regardless of our industry, change is inevitable.  It is how we as leaders cultivate the change within our industries to continue to make us more viable.  If we stifle innovation and thought, we begin to choke out progress.  As I sit here in a Starbucks writing this blog post on my laptop, I know that others may be reading this on any number of devices, from their phones, to tablets, to a home PC, to their TV.  These mediums were not available 30 years ago.  We have become, as a friend of mine has told me I am, urgency addicts.

Millennials are children of these innovations.  They expect instant communication and feedback.  The postal service will no longer work for them.  As leaders, we must be communicating constantly.  We need to have open doors and open minds, the later of which can be somewhat difficult at times.  As leaders we need to respect that today’s millennial workplace is better educated with less experience.  This needs to be channeled properly to ensure cultures are cultivated that grow thought and execution in our verticals.

Take a look over the course of the next week with those in your office (or virtual office).  Are there opportunities available to open our minds to change?  Can you as a leader be more inclusive of new ideas and channel ideas into action.  Communication is the key as it is imperative to explain why change can not occur, or conversely why it is occurring.  Explaining the why and the why now into understandable terms across the organization makes progress and innovation much more attainable.

Have a great week!  Become a thought leader within your organization if you are not already one.

Recharge Your Batteries!

Are your batteries recharged?  This week, my batteries got recharged and I am motivated to do so much! 

I was in a Leadership Development course this week.  As most leaders, we have attended many of these sessions, but for some reason this one was exceptional! 

How were my batteries recharged?  Even though the content was similar to other leadership training, the timing of this was excellent, and I was able to attend with peers in our organizations’ Sales vertical, as well as my intact Operational team.  This created a very interesting dynamic that really recharged my batteries to enhance collaborative team relationships in our workplace.

At the end of the day, it is important in any team environment, that you are able to see the challenges that others face in meeting their goals.  At the end of the day, we all face similar challenges, but approach the process from different angles.  It is important that in the workplace, leaders can bridge the cross-functional gap.  This is difficult to do when, when you don’t have a lens into others silo’s.

When you are having challenges with cross-functional peers, take the time to network through collaborative work groups.  In doing so, you will gain an understanding of their challenges, and they will better understand yours.  At the end of the day, the customer your organization serves will reap the benefits. 

Recharge the passion in your career.  Get back to the basics.  Most importantly, put your customers as your workplace priority by reducing time spent on non-customer focused topics.  Define the goals you need to attain with your customers, and don’t just plan the work, but work the plan!

Thank you to the trainer for creating this experience, and for those in the class that really made this a valuable couple of days!

Have a great weekend!!

Deep Thought

Remember if you will Saturday Night Live back in the late 1980’s, early 1990’s.  Deep Thoughts, by Jack Handy…  Today’s blog is one of those such moments….

I rarely write in the first person, because I really feel that what I write about here is not about me, but about others.  However, my thoughts are different today.  I had a thought recently while I was having a meeting with a direct report of mine.  We were talking about customer engagement and how effective we were being not with our consumer engagement, but our clients that hired us. 

Since we have had very few requests come in from our clients, and our consumer ratings have been consistently strong, we wondered if there are issues beneath the surface.  Thus my recent thought, that “the messages often lost are in the words never spoken”.

What this statement means will be interpretted by each person individually.  Here are my two cents.  As a vendor, service provider, retailer, etc., it is easy to get caught up with positive vibes when no one seems to be complaining, however, are you sure there is not something brewing beneath the surface?  Are you surveying your clients and touching base with them on a regular and ad hoc basis?  How do you know what their “ping” points are? 

On a personal level, are you connecting with those that really matter?  In any relationship, communication is the key to success, even at times where you may not personally feel like communicating.  My self-perception is that I am shy and introverted, although I have been told just the opposite in almost all facets of my life.  Communicating with others is something that I really struggle with, especially when it comes to “chit-chat”.  My preference is to be more of a listener and analyzer to gain perspective.  However, in order to be successful in my line of work I have found that I need to proactively communicate with clients and staff.

I have found that by not being proactive in my communication, I have often lost messages in words that were never spoken.  There is the old saying that when one assumes…  I have learned never to assume.  People, personally and professionally, appreciate proactive communication more so than reactive communiction even if it’s as simple as just checking in call.

The messages often lost are in the words never spoken.  Make it your goal to not lose a message today.  Then make it a goal for a week, then a month, and pretty soon it will become a habit, both personally, and professionally. 

Have a great week!  And feel free to communicate back with me!