“Your work is most enjoyable when it’s an expression of your own creativity. Take what you like most about your work and put your personal touch on it.” Connie Garcin
When Connie Garcin was a management trainee with Smith Transportation Company, she heard that there was a position available as a safety director. Although she had virtually no qualifications for it, she thought it might be interesting, so she took it on the condition that if she wasn’t doing it well in sixty days, she would return to her previous job.
Fortified with her journalism background, she began asking questions about safety of everyone she could in the industry. She found out that there were many safety problems. At that time industry injuries were at an all-time high, and so were the freight claims.
Over the next few years Connie educated herself in the industry and its problems. She joined the California Trucking Association, and formulated ideas that might help both Smith Transportation Company and the industry. She looked at the people side of the business, which made it interesting to her. She created programs that saved not just money for the company, but also increased the morale of the employees. That’s how she found out that, as she says, “Your work is most enjoyable when it’s an expression of your own creativity.”
Connie found the joy in her work, as you can, by doing the following:
1. Look for opportunities within your company. If you are bored at work you may not need to look much beyond your desk. Ask HR if there is something coming up, something that might catch your interest.
2. Take a risk. If there is a job available that you are not qualified for, but believe you might enjoy ask for it. Like Connie, offer to do it for six months to see if it works out well for both you and the company.
3. Self educate. Look around for whatever learning opportunities you can find to help broaden your knowledge about your new job position. Join associations where applicable. Get on committees in those associations.
4. Talk to everyone. Learn from all you can about the job, what people need and want. Generally, people like to help out and will help you learn the questions you need to ask.
5. Tap into your creativity. Coming into a new position that you may not have training for means that you bring in a fresh approach and perspective. Capitalize on that with new and creative ways of approaching the issues and problems.
6. Have fun. Notice that the new challenge gets you challenged and revved up. There’s a great deal of joy in learning and performing something new. Have fun with it.
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“Why would I want people who only think what I think?” Carol Decker, publishing consultant
Hiring can be a tough process without a few guidelines to help focus on the results you want to achieve. These guidelines will help reduce the stress of hiring the right person for the job.
Publishing consultant Carol Decker said, “I believe in hiring people who are smarter than I am. I want people who are interested and smart.” She even allows that she thought some of the people she hired in the past twenty years would be running companies one day and that she would like working for them! The old saying, “Always be kind to people on their way up because you might pass them on your way down,” holds merit today.
Carol’s idea of smarter is valid. Also, that could mean smarter in areas different from your own knowledge base. A good team is comprised of members whose skills compliment the others.
So what you do you to build a great team?
1. Don’t hire in your own image. If you want to replace yourself, hire someone just like you. Otherwise, know the qualities you think you want in a position that will compliment the team. Keep in mind that every candidate for the job will have different strengths and weaknesses. All will have different approaches to problem solving, communication and getting along with others.
2. Have clear expectations. Written job descriptions are a must. It is best to have written human resource practices and policies. When you have performance reviews your employees will have the benefit of clear expectations and be better equipped to respond to feedback about their work.
3. Hire people with a sense of humor. Work can be tense, but made less so with people who can laugh at themselves. If you want your employees to work hard, you have to have some fun along the way.
4. Don’t hire friends. It is always tempting to think that just because you’re friends you can work well together. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case in many more incidences than you would imagine. It’s often hard for one friend to be the boss and the other the employee. If you think you might ever have to fire that friend you hired, consider if she is the type of person who would still be friends with you.
5. Don’t hire during the first interview. Take your time in hiring, as least enough time to follow up on recommendations. Even if you are in a rush, do a background check. It’ll save you much more time in the long run. If you really need to fill a position quickly, hire temporary workers to fill in the gap while you look to the permanent employee.
6. Follow your intuition. This is the most important of all. Time and time again, people tell me that their number one hiring mistake comes from not following their gut. Everything can look just perfect about a prospective employee, but a nagging gut feeling tries to tell you something. Listen to it. If you don’t feel comfortable about hiring someone, follow your intuition.
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“The 80/20 rule suggests that you should concentrate on the most important issues or items and forget the extraneous.”
Judy Stewart, President, Creative Sense, Inc.
Managing your time takes more than creating lists and delegating. In either case you need to contemplate the big picture of what you need to do, prioritize by focusing on the important, most urgent issues that produce the greatest impact on the success of your life and business, and accept that there will always be disruptions along the way.
Business consultant Judy Stewart uses something she calls the 80/20 Rule. She believes that too many people can get caught up in the minutia of business and miss getting the big things accomplished. She says, “In retail, 80 percent of the business will be on 20 percent of the items. In your personal life, you may have fifteen things you need to do today, but if you do the top three—the most important three—it takes care of 80 percent of it.”
That is 80 percent of your most important things that you need to do can be done by just accomplishing part of your long list! Keeping that in mind can make your long “must-do” list more manageable and less stressful. Keeping busy isn’t the answer. Keeping on top of the items that affect your business, work or life the most is the answer. Focusing on those items can actually be invigorating. You may not be getting all fifteen things on your list accomplished, but by doing the three most important things on it you may get 80 percent completed.
Let’s look at how to do this:
1. Contemplate. Take a few minutes before you make the first phone call, text message, email or enter a meeting to consider what the big picture of the day/week looks like. Prepare for the day, the important issues by focusing and calming your mind. A too long to-do list increases stress. Knowing that you can look at the list as a choice of what will make you feel most satisfied when you check them off can become a game, a healthy and to some people, an exciting challenge.
2. Prioritize your day before your start. Sounds too organized to you? Too time-consuming? Well, think again. Sure, things come up the minute you walk out of your home to head to work that may need immediate action. But that doesn’t happen every day. Those who know what they want to accomplish in a day usually get it done despite distractions because they have focus. If they must detour to get something else that is more important done, they do it, and then return to the other most important items on their list.
3. Accept that you will have disruptions. Rather than getting annoyed with them, take a moment to assess if they are urgent and important, or if they can wait or be handled by someone else. Getting what you need done need not be a race. By knowing and prioritizing on the most important issues that affect your overall wellbeing of your business and life you will avoid getting lost in the vortex of distractions.
These three actions can help de-stress your day and make you more successful in your endeavors.
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