Monthly Archives: February 2011

Are you living in a box?

“There are those who live in the box, those who stretch the boundaries and make it bigger, and some live outside the box. Who are you?” @HRMexplorer

“Think outside the box they yell!”

But it is lonely and there are not many of us out here! And everybody thinks I am odd and wonder what drugs I am on! And they think I am unmanageable!

You think doing “same old same old” is what life is about?

NO!! But People are scared of different and unique and special! “But unique and special make me FEEL SPECIAL” Doesn’t everybody crave for that? Life is for living and being your very best!

Do you think that doing the same stuff all the time is what business is all about?

NO!!!  Same old gets you where you already are and not where you dream to be! That’s no way to run anything. But people don’t like inclusiveness. They say they do, but they don’t.

So what are you going to do then? You “wanna be” the same as everyone else?

Well living inside the box is comfortable and it’s fuzzy and warm. But it’s not special.  An O.K. Life is well just O.K. that is what living inside the box means.

Is comfortable what you strive for?

Heck no! It does not make me different from everyone else- makes us all the same…. Yuck… I mean Penguins are cute but who wants to be a Penguin?

So what are you doing to stretch the box?

Every day I ask questions and go above and beyond and challenge things. They told me when I got the job that is what they wanted. Now that I do, I know it makes my boss and my co-workers uncomfortable.

So what are you doing to live outside the box?

Its kind of scary living outside the box.  There are no rules here! Its cold!

And there are not many who are out here. Those who are here though are fun and creative and actually look for what’s possible.

They bring new thoughts and ways and develop new opportunities.

New Challenges and new ideas bring an open mindedness that actually changes the way of the world.

That’s where I want to live and I dare to dream.

Now what is so crazy and unmanageable!

What happened to picking up the phone?

What happen to picking up the phone?

We all think we can communicate well that is simply RUBBISH!! Look at what has happened to us in this “new world.”

Texting, Twittering, Facebooking, Emailing shall I go on? People even email and text each other from the next work cubicle!

I agree we have moved from snail mail to instant messaging!

But come on..  We are people and we have ears… So lets actually pick up a phone and talk to each other!

The best definition of communication I have ever come across is … the art of being understood – Peter Ustinov!! A famous quote by a famous actor!!

Let me be here to tell you.

Leadership is about communicating the real stuff and the real stuff needs to be communicated personally and passionately and through engaging conversation!

Business is about speaking to customers (and suppliers) personally.

Relationships are about engaging in dialogue. Ok might be in writing but you get my jist!!

Human Beings were given the capability to speak. To talk to each other!

It will be a lesser world if we simply got up in the morning and communicated without speaking! So if not face to face pick up that phone!

So Mr. Ustinov, thanks for your definition there is no better way to deliver a compelling vision or mission or make people stand up and listen, laugh or cry when we simply say.

“Hi! I wanted to talk to you its been a while….”

You can’t handle the Truth!

How much courage should an employee have for his or her own good?

I note that there is much discussion about the changing needs of the workforce. There always has been. Yet look at Gallup’s engagement scores, they tell a dismal story – only around 30% of the US workforce is engaged!!!

What a way to run a business!!!

That means probably 50% sit on the fence and the rest are your “internal terrorists” who are frankly ruining your reputation, and taking value away! ”

These are the folks who have already mentally retired from your workplace but stayed to get paid!!

Get ride of these folks and all businesses will become more profitable “OVERNIGHT” and you will immediately gain credibility within and outside the walls of your business.

I speak to groups of employers and students alike.  I am here to tell you there is a disconnect between words and actions! Wants and Courage do not align!

Many like myself speak of business needing to hire someone who “gets it” who really understands that to be different, to breaks all the rules in a “GOOD” way is a “GREAT” thing,

Those folk should be sought after not to be categorized as someone who “rocks the boat” or “does not fit here!” It is the folk who do the categorizing that we should ask ourselves “Are these the guys that do not fit anymore?”

Anyway when was the last time that “fit for working here” was reviewed in your organization?

Business changes fast- we need to be nimble of mind and talent…  being fit for a job today is probably not fit to last… for more than a few months…

In one year all of our businesses and processes will need reviewing some destined to be “outdated” even quicker then that.

In a world where we seek:

  1. Employees who are engaged. (Give their heart and mind.)
  2. People who give of their best. (Are motivated that they willingly want to do well.)
  3. People who are “linchpins.” (Seth Godin)
  4. People who are both creative and have courage to be truth tellers.
  5. Employees who are not afraid to be who they are and think outside the box even when it is unpopular.

I ask is business ready for these people. Too often sadly I meet with people who have tried and been put down or categorized as “not a fit.”

So my thought for today is: How do we keep these “diamonds in the coal” from being subdued?

For my part I say go forward and be the person you are and meet with like-minded people.

Create the “mind -change revolution.” Where to be different is to add value and to be individual is to be great.

We say we want the hearts and minds and if we do then we better start “really listening and doing something about it.”

Stop framing us!!! Be Remarkable! Dare to be different. Kill the Resume.

Have you read Seth Gordon’s book- Linchpin? It’s a must read.

There was much that got my attention.

I like to think what makes my business and me different is ME!!  Off course duh!! Any business is about you and me!!

And yet much around us wants us to conform and look the same, because pieces of paper, like a resume, pretty much makes us that way!! Indeed much of business wants to frame us in mental models, stereotypes, or fit for hire etc. etc.

Our gifts are all different we are not the same.  Stop framing us!!!

So when Godin suggests nay “demands us all to be “remarkable” he makes some pretty compelling proposals.

Being remarkable means we have to stay with being different and using that emotional talent within us to be courageous and bring out the artist in each of us!!! We all have a picture of who we are and what we can really do.

Get rid of the resume – they are all “me too” and anyway recruiters will only use their clever recruitment algorithms to “weed you out.” Without even talking to you! Find a better way that expresses your gifts!

Resumes determine how clever you are in using the right words and catch phrases. They do not explain your “real living gifts and inner talents.”

Who needs a recruiter when all they do is go down their checklist – “looking for check offs” rather then difference.

Look for a company/recruiter who does not put you through a long-winded web based application process. Just think of the slogan “We actually talk to the people who want to be part of our team! “

This was a response from a recruiter that someone I know received! They had not even talked to each other! Oh my goodness what kind of organization wants to be known for this!

” I do not see a fit between your entrepreneurial, outside the box, innovative thinking and our current senior leadership.”

Remember the book “Who moved my cheese?”

Remember the wedge of cheese, “What would you do if you were not scared?”

Well I am here to tell you applicants are becoming indifferent with recruiters!!!! They are at your mercy and you haven’t taken the time to know them. Is that what it is all about?  Is this the people business we are in?

We expect world-class talent to work with ordinary and routine and outdated processes. Yuk!!

Scaring applicants will undoubtedly mean that the best talent know better and will go else where – they do not need that kind of B.S.

Go on be different; If that is who you really are, then it only makes sense that you work with those organizations and with people who really inspire you and whom you inspire.

The future demands difference and the future is now! Stop writing and start talking to each other.

That future also demands developing new ways of working the talent!

Just saying!



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