Thank God It's Monday®! Blog

Be “At Cause”

 

John Lavelle said: “Ecstasy is a full deep involvement in life.”

What does that mean? Basically, what he’s saying is be “at cause.” Be the person who sees what needs to get done and then step in and make it happen.

Look at the person who supervises you. I bet they could use some help making things happen. Look at your customers. I bet they have other needs that aren’t being met. Look around everywhere around you. I bet you have coworkers who could really benefit by what you have to offer.

Be at cause so that you can experience the full deep involvement in life. You’re the one who steps in and makes great things happen.

“Go find work…”

 

People are too interested in job descriptions.

I don’t believe in job descriptions; I believe that your job is to see what isn’t there and make that thing happen.

Yes, there are certain things that are expected from you in terms of your key roles and responsibilities and your critical drivers, all of those things matter. Yet, there are so many other things that happen within the company.

If you’re waiting to be told or sitting there waiting for the direction to do something when you can see it needs to be done, that’s not what your team needs from you. W.R. Grace had a wonderful way of hiring people years ago.

After they would hire them they would say: “Okay, you are hired, go find work. We’re not going to spoon-feed you.”

So go into a meeting, discover what needs to be done, and say I’ll take that project.”

Go out and say: “I’ll move that ahead. You can count on me boss, this will come back as a completion.”

Your job is to see what isn’t there.

Bring it home, make it happen.

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A Simple Question That Improves Even Good Communication

 

Communication is one of the hardest things to get right.

Between what the sender is saying and what the person who’s listening hears, there is almost always a breakdown. The thing said is not usually what the person heard.

Yet most people go on with what they’ve heard, try to create the change in the work to make something happen, mess up, and say, “But you said…” Well, that’s not what they said, it’s what was heard.

It’s important that both people involved in communication understand the thought of closing the communication cycle. So, what’s the communication cycle?

It basically means this: there’s a sender who sends out the communication, and there’s a receiver who hears the communication.

It goes like this: “Tommy, I need the XYZ report completed to the specifications I laid out in the bullets that are laid out in the form that I gave you and I need it by seven o’clock on Thursday.”

The person who receives that message says: “Okay, what I think I heard is that you need it by seven o’clock, I do have that form. I understand the specifications, I will complete it to those specifications, and I believe you need it by seven o’clock on Thursday. Do I have everything correct?”

You would think that this is the end of a communication cycle because this is already far better than what usually happens? But oh no! There’s more.

What needs to happen next? Now, the person who received the request needs to come back to the person and say: “Hey, you asked me to put together this project by seven o’clock on Thursday meeting these specifications. Here are the specifications. Here’s the project. Did this meet your conditions of satisfaction?” Not until the person says, “yes” is it a finalized product.

Think about the number of times when people say: “ Yes. I did that. It’s sitting in a folder on my desk… Yes, I did it. It’s saved on our intranet…” Who would know if it was done correctly?

Think about the amount of rework that gets done in companies because somebody doesn’t check to make sure it hits the conditions of satisfaction before they check the little piece on their to-do list.

If they instead would just say: “Did this meet the conditions of satisfaction?\” and get that “Yes.” Now, they know it is completed correctly, and the rework goes away.

That’s the way to close the communication cycle. And guess what? That is your job.

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The One Question to Ask to Get You Unstuck and Moving Toward Your Outcome

 

Ten birds are perched on a wire. Three decide to fly away. How many birds are left? Ten. Because the three didn’t fly away, they just decided to fly away.

Yes, thinking about doing something is very different than getting into action.

Many people in this world are suffering from this word called overwhelm. Overwhelm is something we do to ourselves when we don’t take action.

The cure to overwhelm? Take action. Take some small action.

Ask yourself this question: “What is the smallest thing I can do right now that I couldn’t fail that would move me toward my outcome?” And then get into action.

It’s easy to sit and stew and think about what isn’t being done in the big list of to-do’s that becomes more overwhelming by the moment.

Here’s the thing, many people think: “Oh, I’ll just have to switch jobs because this job is just too much. And so I’ll have to find an easier job.” Then, they go out of the frying pan and into the fire. Into a different job only to discover now they have less experience how to do that job and less team-building with the people they’re working with… and their job just got harder again.

If you look at the statistics, the same people who are leaving jobs are leaving them again. Out of the frying pan and into the fire!

Instead, take action on the things you can take action on because wherever you go, there’s going to be too much to do. But, you can always take action on the most important things.

So, set your priorities and constantly look at those priorities. Take one at a time. Don’t look ahead to the next one. And take the first one to completion every single time before you move on to the next.

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Excuses Disguised as Explanations…

 

Explanations come across as excuses.

So when something falls apart and doesn’t work out the way that you had hoped, or you miss a deadline,  or some outcome doesn’t happen, telling them the sad story about why it is that way only serves to put you in the place of victimhood.

Everybody sees it… And it’s not attractive as adults.

Next time you blow it—and you will because you’re breathing—instead of giving a sad story and explaining to everybody why it’s such a relevant reason why you didn’t get things done, offer up an apology that is sincere along with a: “Listen, guys, This shouldn’t have happened. It won’t happen again. This is what I’m doing to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

That is authentic.

I have a friend who wrote a book on trust, and he had someone from another country say to him: “You Americans, you are just serial liars. You keep saying that you’re sorry, but you keep doing the same thing over and over again.”

Saying the words “I’m sorry” is not the same as saying: “I blew it. It’ll never happen again. And I’m putting systems in place so that it won’t happen again.”

We don’t want to be apologetic liars. We want to be truth-tellers that are authentic when we blow it. Leave the excuses at home.

Just say: “I blew it. Here’s my massive corrective action plan. This shouldn’t have happened. I let you down. It won’t happen again.”

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