Relationship Economics® Newsletter
The Nour Group, Inc. | June 2007
How do you really Motivate ?
What really motivates people to not just meet, but exceed expectations? For some, it is the promise of financial rewards, while others want recognition, a step up on the corporate ladder, or political clout. For many non-profits, it can feel as if they are in a race without the proper equipment. Unlike their corporate cousins, who can use financial rewards and perks to a much greater extent (as well as titles and promotions as wild cards), most non-profits have to find new and creative ways to drive key individuals to push beyond their perceived limits.
Most people have heard the characterization of “A” players - high performers often in the top 10 percentile of their peers in any given function. Leaders of today’s non-profit organizations have to find a way to attract, retain, motivate, and drive – while at the same time not burn out – their most valuable asset: the talent in their respective organizations.
Click here to read the entire article
I recently had the amazing experience of briefly meeting Jim Collins, the highly acclaimed author of Built to Last, and Good to Great. He mesmerized an audience of 10,000 plus with his casual demeanor, understated charm, and elegant, simple delivery of brilliant thoughts and ideas.
Several points in his 60-minute speech resonated deeply and I am confident that all of those who were lucky enough to hear him will remember the experience for years to come. In it, he made several key points:
Although it is natural to suspect that these failures are the result of complacency, an unwillingness to change, or a fatal character flaw, that is not always the case. Just because things may be going well, do not assume that you are immune!
Jim offered these suggestions as to what you can do to inoculate this likely decline:
- Turn the organization’s talent development efforts into pockets of greatness.
- If your growth exceeds your ability to attract, retain and develop the right talent, you will fail.
- Good decisions, executed brilliantly and accumulated one at a time, are the antithesis of chronic inconsistency, which is a hallmark signature of mediocrity.
His Hedgehog Concept to the left (Copyright © 2002 - 2007 Jim Collins) elegantly articulates the intersection of three fundamental drivers of cumulative momentum:
- What are you passionate about?
- What can you do best in the world?
- How can you build value that others will want to pay for? (the economic denominator)
One of his most emotional topics was his experience spending a day with the famed management guru Peter Drucker. He described this 86 year-old father of many of today’s most valuable management concepts as one with a chronic addiction to curiosity and a passion to share what he had learned in developing others. In his thick accent, Drucker had simply asked Collins, “Mr. Collins – do you want to build an organization to last or ideas to last?” When Collins replied back with simply, “Ideas,” Drucker poignantly responded with, “Then don’t build an organization.”
His last two points were focused on mentoring, which he described as the highest human calling, and he left the audience with three points to consider:
- How do you pay back a mentor?
- Become a student in life. At 86-years old, when asked which of his 26 books he was most proud of, Drucker simply responded with, “The next one.”
- Lastly, which I personally valued greatly was his comment to build relationships towards a great life vs. seeking transactions for little to no meaning. Aim for who questions vs. what questions because the value add you can bring to your relationships to enhance their lives will inevitably enhance your own.
Check out Jim Collins' Website for more lessons in Greatness
Confessions of a Crackberry Addict...
Also appearing in the June Newsletter of:
Hi, my name is David. And I am an obsessive-compulsive productivity addict.
My day often starts at 5 AM (I learned in grad school that sleep is highly overrated). My alarm clock is a BlackBerry 8800 (the latest model, thank you), which I use each morning to check for messages, news, and my calendar of events which dictates what to wear that day. My workout is comprised of MP3 files of executive book summaries or other recommended reading from my mentor and friend, Alan Weiss, PhD.
These “checking rituals” of my BlackBerry are not that dissimilar to acts associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, says Dr. Michael Genike, a professor of psychiatrics at Harvard Medical School. I have been known to become what is considered clinically compulsive if I haven’t completed the task of checking for new messages. Any temporary relief is soon overcome by the need to “check” again (The Mrs. has laid the law of not at dinner and not in the bedroom). I even sneak it in my luggage and check it in secret on vacations.
I have received a lot of advice for curbing this e-mail itch from my professional friends – everyone from time management experts to therapists – and they have recommended the following 12-step program:
Step 1: No checking e-mails during meals.
Step 2: Don’t hide your habit from family members.
Step 3: Stop e-mailing while driving.
Step 4: Don’t check it in the first hour of the day.
Step 5: When attending functions, leave it in the car.
Step 6: Set responsiveness boundaries.
Step 7: Turn it off during specific blocks of time.
Step 8: Enable the “auto off” function.
Step 9: Encourage Research In Motion (RIM) to develop a “junk mail” functionality.
Step 10: Mentally separate the work day from after work, evenings and weekends.
Step 11: Establish Blackberry free zones.
Step 12: Get a life!
Click here to read the entire article. Give us your best practices in kicking the "crackberry habit" in the blog.
Please Stand For Something!
In his bestseller, Winning, Jack Welch says that there is not enough candor in corporate America today. I would submit that there is also very little stand. We’re so conscious not to offend, not to polarize, not to leave anyone out, not to discriminate, and not to differentiate, that many often go through a day, week, month, year, or lifetime without saying anything. If you don’t stand for something, what do you believe in? What is it at your core - that which you are so fundamentally passionate about - that you are willing to sacrifice?
In examining over 1,000 Match.com ads, brothers Dan and Chip Heath, authors of Made to Stick (Random House, 2007), made an amazing discovery. Their research yielded clever headlines to personal ads such as, “Hey” (if that’s your opening line, you better be hot), and “Looking for Love” ( well, duh! You’re on Match.com!) But even more striking was that well over 600 of headlines simply said nothing.
For many, our personal and functional interactions are very similar – they simply say nothing. Why? Mostly, it is because of fear. Fear of saying too much. Fear of saying something clever that others may think is stupid. Fear of saying something relevant that some might find offensive. In an effort not to exclude anyone, we often succeed at boring everyone.
The “Hey” phenomenon is so prevalent in the corporate world that it is turning executives, which one could argue are a company’s personal ad, into something very similar to the Match.com headlines that say nothing at all.
Executives with the responsibility to lead an organization have become so bland that you wonder, as a company, who exactly are they trying to date? In an effort to please everyone, they often succeed at engaging no one. Executives and their companies believe that with enough clout, scale, and arrogance, they can simply survive by being generically likeable. And for some, it may work – at least in the short term. But for the rest of us, almost everyone has to be ready to turn some people off.
If everyone refuses to discuss the elephant in the room – if mediocrity is not only tolerated, but accepted as the norm – and if the status quo of “not shaking the boat” is encouraged, isn’t that just another version of, Hey?
The fear of being disliked afflicts many because of the greater perceived risk. Most executives fear that if they make a bold statement, they risk alienating customers, their bosses, and their boards. That fear takes the edge off of the candor – the authenticity – and, ultimately, the core of that executive and the company.
When you think of executives such as Jack Welch, Steve Jobs, Ted Turner, and Carly Fiorina, regardless of your opinions of them, one thing few will argue with is that they stood for something. If you want everyone to like you, can you really motivate? Can you really light a fire under those with far greater potential than what they show? If you read an opinion that hits close to home, although you may completely disagree, do you see the perceived insults as a jumpstart to a candid conversation or do you hide behind being offended?
Date sophisticated, intelligent, and articulate, and repulse the mass market and corporate mindset. Adopt the HR mission of, “If candor isn’t your cup of tea, we don’t want you.” Stop trying to meet all of the “Hey” people in the world and instead focus on concrete images, language, and execution that make it easier for like-mined people to identify, build and nurture a relationship with you.
By the way, some singles have figured this out. Here’s a brilliant example: “Athletic nerd seeks someone to watch Seinfeld reruns with.” While excluding, he is simultaneously becoming more interesting to potential soul mates.
Here is an appropriately polarizing corporate headline for you, “No C-players need to apply.”
Share your best polarizing corporate headlines others are afraid to say in the blog and the best one gets a Relationship Currency Exchange T-Shirt!