One of the common questions I hear from people is, “how do I know what motivates my people?”
Well, the answer is pretty simple.
I just got back from an amazing trip to Cape Cod visiting my parents, brothers, nephews, and nieces. What a great reunion with all of the fun, chaos, and laughs that you would expect from a big family. Frankly, I reluctantly came home, feeling a strong sense of sadness living so far away from my family. But, as a result of the trip, I am now committed to getting home more than two or three times a year.
Twitter, facebook, instant messaging, webex, email, yada, yada, yada.
But really, who cares anyways?
These are all tools (that supposedly help us do more with less). And that's all they are, just tools.They are not a replacement for building a relationship and connecting with people in person.
I just ran the Steamboat half-marathon this past weekend and had a blast. The half-marathon course starts at around 7,200 feet above sea level and winds through the most beautiful countryside you can imagine into the western style downtown of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. As I ran through the cheering crowds along the last mile of the course, I was amazed at how much faster I started running. It made me think about the importance of recognition in the work place.
I was in the Apple Store today. I had a scheduled meeting with a Genius (an Apple tech support guru) at 2:00. You’d never know we were in a recession by the number of people in the store at 2:00 in the afternoon on a Tuesday. Anyway, the Genius who was helping me with my iPhone had a shirt on that said “Not all heroes wear capes.”
I think one of the most important characteristics of successful leaders and people – regardless of their role – is that they embrace change.
It’s not good enough to just be comfortable with change. It’s not good enough to just recognize that change happens. That breeds complacency and comfort.
People who embrace change thrive on uncertainty. They do not need every detail to make decisions. You rarely hear them say, “as soon as (FILL IN THE BLANK) happens, I am going to (BE HAPPY, DO THIS, ACHIEVE THAT, FILL IN THE BLANK) .
I had already gone down the path of following some of my dreams. I'd moved to Colorado in 2001 where my passion for climbing could thrive. I'd bought a house, and I started a business. But something was holding me back. I had an addiction to nicotine that was controlling my life. It started 11 years prior while in Ranger School during my time in the U.S. Army. Ranger School is one of the Army's most difficult combat leadership schools.
Oprah has topped the list of celebrities whom hourly workers, including teens, are motivated by to make their day more fun. According to the SnagAJob.com online survey of 2,300 people, Oprah was the top choice ahead of Angelina Jolie and Will Ferrell among workers 18 to 24, 25 to 44, and she was also the clear choice of workers ages 45 and older.
What does this mean? Perhaps nothing, but it is another indication of the intergenerational workforce and the little quirks that are emerging that may affect how we hire, motivate, and retain employees.