Perhaps you’ve never heard of Make A Difference Day. Started in 1992, the day is one where people perform community service, volunteer, or serve others in various ways.
In the spirit of service, here are some quotes to inspire us all to give back. And, though the official day is October 27th, it’s a great reminder, no matter the date. That’s what servant leadership is all about.
“Each one of us can make a difference. Together we make a change.” –Barbara Mikulski
If you’re a new manager, you may find yourself in unfamiliar territory faster than you can imagine. How do you handle the gossiping employee? Or the top performer about to jump ship? How do you develop a high-performance team?
Your book starts out saying that we have employee orientation all wrong. We too often start with scare tactics and explaining what will result in termination. What does this do to new employees?
Frankly, the gratuitous negativity turns people off. The new employer is building the case for termination on day one! Also, it’s just plain boring. Negative and boring are not strategies to increase engagement and positivity about starting a new job.
You might say that these kinds of statements are necessary in our litigious society. We happen to disagree with that point of view. But even if we were to agree that they are necessary, they diminish your efforts to engage and retain people.
Imagine you’re dating someone, and you start a discussion about being exclusive and moving in together. The other person replies, “I’d love to do that! But first I want to make sure you understand the reasons I might decide to end this relationship.” How would that make you feel?
Go Ahead: Get Close to Your Team
I loved your advice on getting close to people. I’ve long advocated this. What are the benefits of getting close to people at work?
When you cultivate close, positive relationships with your employees (and among your employees), every employee spends his day with people he really likes and cares about. This increases job satisfaction, engagement and morale. Teamwork improves because employees are more likely to go the extra mile for people they care about. When problems occur, employees with good relationships will resolve them more easily. A leader who has close relationships with her employees can exert more influence on them without using her power. For instance, when she asks for extra effort, they’re more likely to give it.
Leadership Tip: the closer you are to someone, the easier it is to influence that person.
Evan Carmichael is passionate about helping entrepreneurs. He built and sold a biotech software company at 19. He raised millions as a venture capitalist at 22. And then, he started EvanCarmichael.com as a website to help entrepreneurs. He is, by his own admission, “obsessed” with this passion.
His YouTube channel has millions of views and is the leading channel for entrepreneurs. You may have seen during one of his numerous media interviews or his many keynote speeches.
Recently, I caught up with Evan in Madrid, Spain. Having followed his career online, I wanted to learn more about the entrepreneurial mindset.
Even if we don’t own a business, what can we all learn from entrepreneurs? Here are a few lessons from Evan that inspired me. Since I am all about encouragement and empowerment, I wanted to share some of his most inspiring words.
6 Lessons from Entrepreneurs
All of us should:
Embrace the entrepreneurial mindset.
This is a mindset of dissatisfaction with the status quo, of solutions, of challenge, and of driving to a more sustainable, successful place.
“Entrepreneurs have a dissatisfaction of the world around us.” –Evan Carmichael
Some entrepreneurs bet everything, but you can be pragmatic. You can take measured bets. Evan’s take on risk was eye opening. He thinks it’s “crazy risky” to assume you will have your job for 25 years and that your company will still be around. “Why not bet on you?” is a challenge we should all learn from.
“Betting on yourself is one of the best bets you can make.” –Evan Carmichael
Hyrum W. Smith is the co-founder and former CEO of Franklin Covey. His latest book The 3 Gaps: Are You Making a Difference?, shows how to lead a fulfilling life by closing these gaps. The book is filled with stories of people who overcome challenges to live a life of purpose.
“Governing values are simply a description of one’s highest priorities.” -Hyrum Smith
I recently asked him about his latest work on achieving a meaningful and impactful life, a life in balance.
3 Life Gaps
The Beliefs Gap. The gap between the behaviors that meet our needs and those that do not.
The Values Gap. The gap between what we value and where we actually spend our time.
The Time Gap. The gap between what we plan to do and what we actually do.
You share four steps for monitoring and changing your beliefs. Is there one that most people struggle with?
Typically, the hardest thing for any of us to do is to admit that “the only problem in my life is me.” This is why the very first step is to admit that the problem lies with us. It is perhaps a sign of our times that we tend to externalize more today than ever before. We don’t look first to ourselves but tend to blame circumstances or the actions of others for our challenges. Getting past that first hurdle is the key to closing this gap.
“Any belief that drives behavior that does not meet your basic needs over time is an incorrect belief.” -Hyrum Smith
How and why do people often get off track with their stated values?
One of the ways we miss the mark is by failing to realize the importance of identifying our key values. Life is filled with “have to do” events and “someone expects me to do” events and “once in a while I’d like to do something for myself” events. It takes a concerted effort to identify the values that should be our highest priorities and then to compare our activities to those values. We get off track because we don’t focus on these values. We assume that they will take care of themselves. They usually don’t.
“The only thing you have 100% control over is you.” -Hyrum Smith
Jeff Klein is the CEO of Working For Good and trustee and executive team member of Conscious Capitalism Inc., an organization cofounded by John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods. He’s written two thoughtful books Working for Good: Making a Difference While Making a Living and It’s Just Good Business: The Emergence of Conscious Capitalism & The Practice of Working For Good.
What is “Working for Good” ?
Working for Good is the name of my book and business. It is a brand. And it is an approach to work, business and life that orients around service, sustainability, learning, growth and development.
What are the benefits of creating an environment where you can truly “work for good”?
Purpose is among the highest motivations for human beings. If your work is infused with purpose, then you are inspired and energized to bring all that you have and all that you can to the work.
Love and care similarly bring out the best and most in people. If you care about and for the people you work with and if they care about and for you, your connection to them is deep, and you are motivated to serve and support each other.
When people are aligned and alighted in purpose, supporting and serving each other — and others who they come in contact with (including customers and other stakeholders of the business) — the business is alive. It attracts attention and fosters relationships built on trust and loyalty, which leads to resilience and sustainability.
This is very good for business!
“If your work is infused with purpose, then you are energized to bring all that you have to the work.” -Jeff Klein
The most essential skill of a gardener is that of attention. “Tending” a garden begins with attention. When you pay attention to the garden, you see what is going on and recognize where care and intervention are required.