There is something off…

22 years ago I sat with my kids and watched a cartoon character voiced by David Spade dance around the palace that he lives in until he bumped into a citizen. The character told the citizen that he threw off his groove then he had employees throw the citizen off the cliff. As the citizen fell he yelled sorry.

The movie was “The Emperors New Groove”. The movie explains how a self absorbed Incan emperor changed his “groove” and learned to see outside himself and acknowledge others. Here we are sitting on Friday and I have felt a little off my groove all week. I really wasn’t sure why I was off my groove or how to get my groove back.

Of course like any other problem in my life I was able to solve the problem through the lessons learned from an animated movie. I am just now getting my “groove” back and I am getting it back by focusing on others.

It doesn’t make sense but often the best way to help yourself is to help others.

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Help yourself by helping others

John Templeton

The secret to a happy and groovy life is in helping others.

Diversity Matters

“I am just not a fan of diversity for diversity sake.” I was floored when I heard the words from someone who I didn’t think was racist until they made that statement. Diversity is part of what makes any organization thrive grow and function optimally. The world is big and robust and we should always be leaning as much as we can about all parts of the world. A diverse workplace makes this learning possible.

“You not only have a right to be an individual. You have a responsibility.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Diversity relies on two types of respect. 1. respect for others 2. respect for yourself. My hope is that we are all brave enough to live our truths and let others live theirs.

Respectfully be yourself today and everyday

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What are we?

As we get older we find ourselves dealing with people who seem to be getting younger. I have on more than one occasion worked with people that are the same age as my adult children. We navigate our social interactions at work differently when we work with the younger associates and at the end of the day we call our friends that our own age and commiserate about the surreal events.

One word that comes up in the commiseration is entitled. It is a buzz word and an easy excuse for why the younger generation, shows up late, does not complete projects, when they do complete projects they are not on time or of the correct quality and complain about the criticism given to them or the lack of job growth they are given. Originally I was able to get behind this buzz word and tried to give it some traction. However when I began to think, I mean really think about it, the power of the buzz word, like all the others, fell apart and lost steam.

Entitled means that we are deserving of privileges just because we are here and in certain cases this is correct. I truly believe that there are rights that living beings possess simply through being born. When beings have these rights taken away from them we are living in a society that is broken.

The more I live the more I think that people at all ages are truly products of the society they live in and if I want to see change. If I want to see progress I will have to work towards changing society so that at the very least all people get what they are entitled too.

What are we entitled to? At the very minimum we are all entitled to respect. Respect is and should be given even if we do not feel that someone has earned it. We should respect and care for everyone no matter how awful we believe they are. They idea that respect should be earned is toxic and is creating a society in which our coworkers cannot thrive and live their best lives.

At the end of the day we would do well to respect everyone.

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So the other day, because I obviously hate myself, I was “doom scrolling” through my Facebook feed and ran across a post that really made me upset and I didn’t know why. The post was a phrase with a yellow background. The phrase was; “Common sense is not a gift. It’s a punishment… because you have to deal with everyone who doesn’t have it.”

This phrase just sat so bad with me for days reading it still makes me cringe. I just am not a fan of it. I am not a fan for a few reasons.

  1. It is simply not true: Common sense is not at all a punishment. Common sense can and is used to help us and others survive and often thrive. Even if we find ourselves in situations where others are not exercising common sense.
  2. It is a negative judgment: I grew up and was almost always one of the smallest. I did not hit my growth spurt until I was in my early twenties. I grew up with a lot of judgement, I was literally sized up everywhere I went and I think that triggers me when I hear or see people pass negative judgement
  3. Finally common sense as with intelligence is subjective and almost impossible to quantify. There really is no such thing as a genius or smart person.

I know that I know nothing 

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Before we pass judgement on society maybe we should, help others who are having a rough time. Also maybe I need to quit doom scrolling.

Sometimes it Helps

It is Tuesday and I am already off of my routines. There was construction going on at my regular route to the gym and work, my niece had her first softball game that I had to attend, the wife and I are in the middle of making a semi major purchase. I have more excuses about why I was off my routine on Monday and started to feel myself get off my routine for Today (Tuesday) but really excuses are….

Excuses are tools of the incompetent used to build bridges to nowhere and monuments of nothingness

Barack Obama

I cannot think of a better way to define excuses! However I can think of one time when excuses could be used to do more than nothing and cue the next quote….

The real man is one who always finds excuses for others, but never excuses himself.

Henry Ward Beecher

Instead of doing harm and tearing apart others when they fail to accomplish something lets work together to see what was part of the reason they didn’t get done what they wanted or needed to to.

When dealing with others listen to their excuses kindly and compassionately and help them, let’s not criticize. I have done my share of criticism, even criticism of those that I love and if I am honest criticism has never come from a place of love. I am not saying I did not love those that I was critical off I am saying that when I was being critical I was not demonstrating love for them.

Lets work hard to be the best we can be and help others become the best they can as well and you will find no help in making excuses for yourself or tearing apart other peoples excuses.

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Not it at all really

There is a quote that I saw making the rounds on the internet. The quote is often shared by people at work who, feel that the work load is unevenly distributed and the management is acquiescing or worse facilitating the inequity. Ok here is the quote…

When there is no consequence for poor work ethic, and no reward for good work ethic, there is no motivation

JD Roberts
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I am not sue if the quote is legit or apocryphal, however I have seen it and It bugs me, a lot. My immediate response is another turn of phrase or quote that is not apocryphal, I only know of its authenticity because I am a fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories and the quote comes from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle through the greatest detective of all time.

The work is its own reward

Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, Volume I
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I have been there and seen associates struggle to get their work done during the allotted time. I have covered shifts when life got in the way for my associates and ugly John wanted consequences to rain down on my associates however, consequences would not get the work done and I am pretty sure they would not change the work ethic of the associates. They would simply upset everyone. Now instead of simply covering a shift for my associate I must cover a shift, watch the associate bear the consequences for a poor work ethic and provide a ear in sympathy that associate as well as the manager who is looking to justify their actions.

Consequence and reward is an elementary solution to an complex problem. A good manager needs to understand why the work is not enough reward for the employee that is engaged and more than enough reward for the engaged employee. Perhaps when armed with this knowledge better hiring practices will create a workforce of engaged and happy workers.

When an employees circumstances change a good manage should notice and make adjustments. Directors of managers should first the managers focus on the people then the work results. Maybe a good place to start a conversation with a manager is “how are your employees doing? What does their mental health and morale seem like?” After getting that assessment you should be able to use that as a leading indicator for production unless you have a skills problem.

The bottom line is many problems are problems because they are complex and require more than a pithy and honestly judgmental quote. Before you decide to wish consequences on a fellow associate maybe try helping them enjoy work as much as you do. If nothing else treating others this way has to lead to good Karma right?

Get out of town

Get out of town! No seriously you really should get out of town of course this travel should be done as safely as possible with the current pandemic still raging. Get the vaccination and booster prior to traveling and when in a crowd wear that mask.

Travel brings with it perspective and education. Every group has a culture that is part of that places and persons identity. It is perspective and education that bring unity and compassion along with understanding.

When we get out of town we learn that the world is big and small at the same time. People who look and speak differently than us still have the same primary concerns. No matter who or where you are Maslovs hierarchy of needs seems to be the goal. How we meet those needs can differ wildly and that is where it can be interesting and educational.

I live in a pretty warm climate, I rarely break out a sweater or jacket, I used to live in a more severe climate and would be often seen wearing a sweater and jacket.

I have lived and worked on US military installations and security was present and not uncommon, I have also lived in areas where the security presence was almost non existent and was on the periphery. Security was handled through trust and was reactionary.

In the Steve Jobs biography there is some detail about the time Jobs spent living on a commune picking Apples. Commune living is attractive to some for various reasons I have never lived this way however the strong family bonds are quite attractive.

Different areas of the world honor different people for various accomplishments. Some rural places award livestock raised by farmers and produce grown by farmers. Other communities give out awards for running or cutting down trees the fastest.

It is through meeting all our needs that we learn who we truly are and chances are high that not all our needs will be meet with the perspective and education that comes from only having seen or experienced one group of people.

The world is roughly 24, 901 miles wide (circumference at the equator) it is large and chances are high that you will through travel find people and places that help you meet your needs or better yet through travel you can help others meet their needs!

Get out of town!! Do it today and do it safely