Ever Feel Like a Pigeon Sometimes?

Whether you are in the workplace or in your personal life, do you ever feel like a pigeon sometimes?  What exactly does this mean, you might ask?

If you are an information and knowledge junkie, you probably have an insatiable thirst to know and learn more.  You don’t just want to know when decisions are made, but why they are made.  Yes, you probably have your hands in alot of different places, and juggling multiple projects at any one time, but you are never satisfied.

Feeling like a pigeon occurs when you rely on others for the scraps of information that are being thrown down to you, hoping that each morsel will fill you up.  Pigeons will hang out around beings (usually humans) that can satisfy the pigeons need for food, and ultimately satisfaction.  Pigeons, when they can not obtain satisfaction in one location, they move to another location, hoping to have the desires satisfied.

As humans, our morsels of food are the nuggets of “why” things occur.  If you are in an organization where decisions are made by those disconnected from the processes and drivers, you are probably shaking your head thinking, “what were they thinking”?  Sooner or later you either become complacent and settle for mediocrity, or you decide to take action and move locations where hopefully your desires can be satisfied.  The thing about pigeons though, they never stop trying.  They will continue to come around, until a piece of bread is thrown their way.  The human thinks that the pigeon is satisfied, however, the satisfaction is only temporary, the pigeon will undoubtedly return for more.

As leaders, we need to expect that our teams have this desire to know why decisions are made, and it is up to us to keep feeding that need.  Teams and individuals understand confidentiality, they don’t understand secrecy. 

Feed the need, and productivity will take seed.  Don’t give teams and individuals a reason to look elsewhere for their morsels, because the outcome will usually not be what you ultimately want. 

How about you?  Do you ever feel like a pigeon?

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AAAAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!

The title of this blog says it all!!  It is what each of us feels at some point in time during the course of our busy days!  However, why do we get to this point?  Here are a few thoughts I have…

  • We think we are on an island in a fast moving stream.  If we dare to upset the the current, we may lose everything that this island provides for us.
  • We believe that no one else wants to hear about what is frustrating us.  That is the furthest from the truth, unless you are an infinite complainer that does not have the capacity to see the positive in any situation and as a result those around you tune you out.  Take time to see the upside in every situation, no matter how challenging it may be.
  • Mediocrity breeds complacency.  If you buy in to the thought “it has always been done that way”, you are stifling creativity.  Again, don’t upset the apple cart, it is how we are fed.

I am certain that they are other reasons that we get to the point of AAAARRGGGHHHH!!!  It is important that we understand the triggers in ourselves and work to diffuse the situation prior to frustration setting in.  This is easier said than done, but I will tell you, if you provide yourself an outlet (non-habit forming hopefully), you will find that you are in more control of situations than you think you are.  You will find that you will be easier to step back from situations and see them at the 10,000 foot level rather than mired in the weeds, your frustration level will decrease.  This will result in better decisions being made and hopefully a reduction in stress.

I had a post a that discussed how your mountains are others molehills, and vice versa.  If you learn to control what you can control, and engage only when there is a need to engage a situation, you will find your productivity and sanity levels will improve.

It is easy to focus on negativity and continually complain about situations.  However, to be a true professional, leader, and in many cases a friend, it is important to be able to see the positive in every situation.

Turn that frown, upside down and have a great rest of the week! 

Mother’s Day Reflections…

Mother’s Day is a day for children of all ages to give thanks to their Mother’s.  I am taking this time as an opportunity to thank those Mother’s in the workplace.  Your job is not easy.

For all of those children out there that believe their Mom’s have it easy, believe me they don’t.  They work their butts off to provide a good life and upbringing for their kids.  What is a Mother?

A Mother is…

Caring
Nurturing
A Friend
A Counselor
A Teacher
A Motivator
Your Biggest Fan
A Woman
A Provider
A Supporter
An Accountant
A Veterinarian
A Pediatrician
A Nutritionist
A Banker
A Judge, but never judgmental
Always there for you

There are so many things that a Mom is required to do outside of this list on a daily basis, that we as children forget all the little things our Mom’s do.  It is not until we get older, that we truly appreciate all that our Mom’s did for us, and unfortunately, for some by that time it is too late.

Never wait another day to tell your Mom you love her, trust me, they really like hearing this!

I would like to especially thank all of the Single Mom’s out there who not only have to do the list above but also have to play the role of Dad in their children’s life.  Single Mom’s never get a break.  For the most part, they are on call 24/7 365 days a year.

I see Single Mom’s struggle on a daily basis, and I wish there was more that could be done to assist them.  My hats off to you!!

Take the opportunity to thank a Mom for all they do, whether it is yours or someone else’s.  It was amazing how you can turn a frown, upside down when you wish someone a Happy Mother’s Day when they are working.  It is an opportunity to show a Mom, you do care about them, something a Mom rarely hears.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!!

Where are you going, and why?

So, you are in transition, but are have you prepared yourself for your next big thing?  Maybe its not a “big” thing, maybe its just your thing.

With graduations occurring over the next couple of months, many students will be asked so what are you going to do now?  Many expect to be making 60K+ because that is a lifestyle they have become used to.  They have become used to their parents lifestyle, but they really don’t remember how their parents started off, in most cases.  What is worse, is that many students are entering a world of debt that they are not prepared for. 

There has been much written in blogs, journals, and other publications about the debt that new High School and College Graduates will be saddled with, however, when working adults transition in their lives, are they truly ready and prepared?  Debt is one aspect of transition.  The more important aspect of transition, in my opinion, is how prepared is a person ready for the challenges of their next role?  For some, it is a promotion.  For others, it is a demotion.  For others, it is a total career change.  What people forget is how their experiences in a prior role can translate into a new adventure.

Here is an example.  Working in a contact center is not a lifelong dream of most young people.  Most contact centers, however, are staffed with individuals that bring a unique “flavor” to their employer.  They may have sold insurance; be technically savvy; have a legal background; sales background, etc.  They may have coursework that range from very little to PhD’s, those that have college degrees, and others that have GED’s.  The main point is that they prepared themselves as a professional in some way that makes them valuable to their employer.

As a person embarks on their next challenge, they need to ask themselves some very simple questions, regardless of the industry they are in.

  • Why am I embarking on this challenge
  • What do I hope to gain from this experience
  • Who will mentor me
  • When will I know if I am successful
  • Where do I see myself in 6 months, a year, five years
  • How is this experience going to allow me to improve or increase the tools in my toolbox

Education is an investment in a persons future, however, education without experience often leads to frustration.  When new college graduates expect to be earning 60K+ directly out of school, they don’t realize the importance of experience.  Some are able to land high paying jobs directly out of school with very little experience, however, those are the exceptions.

Education and experience can come from many different places.  Be open to coaching, mentoring, constant development whenever it is offered to you.  This will allow you to become more well rounded as your career evolves.  Understand where you are at currently, know where you want to be, but most importantly know that your path is going to have a myriad of directional changes which will prepare you for the next fork in the road. 

Have a good week!

A Formula for Success

Another High School Baseball seasons is drawing to a close.  This is a sure sign that the school year is ending shortly.  As a parent of two high schoolers (both of whom are baseball players), I realize that the end of their high school academic career is also coming to a close (fortunately my boys are a junior and freshman this year).  This post has nothing to do with baseball, however, it does have to do with being prepared for transition.

This spring and summer many graduates will be interviewing for their first “real” job, but are they prepared?  Much like a ball player stepping up his/her game are graduates or job seekers truly ready to step up their game?  What I coach people on is where you are today, should not be where you expect to be tomorrow.  It is important to have a basic formula for success, such as:

Preparation + Opportunity = Success
 
 
By looking at this very simple formula, it can lead you in the direction you are seeking. 
 
Preparation – have you invested in yourself and equiped yourself with knowledge and experience that others will recognize?  What do you know about the path you are choosing and do you understand not just the glitter associated with your choice, but do you also understand how to avoid the quicksand that can derail your journey?
 
Opportunity – carpe diem!  Seize the moment!  When you are in a position to put all of your preparation to action, do you take advantage of the moment?  Don’t be hesitant, just go for it!!
 
Success – Celebrate your success!!!  Understand what got you to the point and appreciate those who guided, coached, and mentored you through all of your preparation for the moment that you were able to capitalize on. 
 
Like an athlete moving up levels of competition, it is important to remember where you have been and what brought you to the moment of success that you are in.  Keep preparing for the next level of your career and never stop being a student of not just your trade or vocation, but of life.
 
Remember P+O=S.
 
Have a great week!