Tag: career

@ Work, How Do You Create Space?

In 1993 NASA suffered extra pressure and great stress when the Hubble Space Telescope broke down.  They faced a daunting task of figuring out how to go up in space and fix the distorted mirror inside the telescope.  For months the brightest minds in NASA couldn’t identify a solution.

Then one day NASA engineer, Jim Crocker, was taking a shower in a hotel and noticed how the shower head was mounted on adjustable rods with folding arms.  Eureka!  The answer did not appear while working late hours in the lab.  It occurred when Jim was in the shower on vacation, when he created space (no pun intended) from the perplexity of his problem.

Mindset spaceCreating space allows our minds to process thoughts more freely and creatively.  Heck, Newton discovered gravity when sitting under an apple tree.  It requires purposeful separation from the typical problem solving environment in order to let your thoughts move more freely.  It happens when thinking on a problem while out for a stroll, riding a bike, or sitting out in nature (under an apple tree).

Why does creating space work?  Your brain is like any muscle in your body.  Imagine lifting weights multiple times per week but only on biceps.  Doing so will surely strain and fatigue those muscles.  Thus, when you are consumed by constantly tackling the same challenge at work, you actually lose mental energy needed to identify solutions.  This is when it’s time to create space!

June is the halfway mark.  You are six months into 2016.  Are you where you should be? Are you where you want to be?  Take time, create space, and allow deep thought to happen.  The goal is not to be perfect – it is just to be better than before.

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

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Is job tenure a thing of the past?

It’s safe to say that workforce trends have shifted over the past decade and especially after the last recession. Today there seems to be more of a self-oriented nature to the workforce and, along with it, job-hopping. Ryan Kahn, a career coach and founder of  The Hired Group, says that “job hopping is replacing the concept of climbing the corporate ladder.”

Let’s look at the numbers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average number of years that young employees (ages 20-34) have been with their current employer is 2.3 years.

Why is that?shutterstock_19393759

It must be that younger people are lazy or that they have no loyalty. Sound about right? While these seem to be reasonable reactions, I am here to tell you they are not. From my point of view, recent trends in job tenure or lack thereof, are not a product of laziness or a millennial mindset. Rather, the root cause of today’s abbreviated job tenure might very well rest on the employers and not the employees.

The past recession had employers scrambling to do “more with less.” And while this approach may have worked amid an economic crisis, operating the same way today is proving disastrous. Organizations and management hesitant to invest in their culture and employee engagement might just be the springboard of today’s transient workforce.

It’s no wonder the vast majority of U.S. workers (70 percent) are not engaged at work, according to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace Report. Simply put, too many employers are doing “business as usual.” I say, wake up and evolve with the times! It’s not that companies need pool tables, nap rooms, and Google-like amenities. Instead, try inspiring and leading the younger generation in meaningful ways. Some areas to shed light on are the following:

Today’s up-and-coming workforce is less position-focused and more purpose-focused. Rather than promotions in title only, assign side projects that stretch their human development. Be sure to provide routine feedback throughout the process. Also, the corner office is not so much a coveted item these days. Instead, the younger workforce desires open communal settings where they can collaborate and celebrate with their peers.

The next generation of talent is looking to work “towards” something and not just “on” something. Redefine your organization’s vision statement. Make it a crusade toward something bigger than any one person, like how your product/service influences the lives of many. Even if you manufacture widgets, you can still tie into the vision how they make a positive impact on people.

The next generation of movers and shakers do not want to work “under a manager” – they want to work “under a mentor.” The old days of “telling” employees what to do is being replaced with “asking” employees what they think they should do. Asking questions instead of advising or telling will cause employees to think, create answers they believe in and motivate them to act. Essentially, this moves individuals from mere compliance (job-hopper symptom) to sheer commitment.

My closing advice to the managers reading this: Exhausting precious time and energy on attempts to control situations and/or other people is futile. Focus on what you do control. Hire people most aligned with your vision. Invest in your culture. Open up the communication and make active listening part of every interaction.

I believe that until management figures this out and adapts, job-hopping will be the norm – or at least it will be in their organization.

What will you do today to move your employees from compliance to commitment?

The greatest compliment I receive is a referral from ecstatic readers and valued friends.  Please SHARE my blog with your network.  Thanks for not keeping us a secret!  

Follow me on Twitter @JimCarchidi

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Do you know what controls happiness?

It’s not our reality that shapes us, it’s the lens through which we view the world  that   shapes our reality.  – Shawn Achor, The Happiness Advantage

Your daily actions, and chosen state of mind, advance your capacity to be happy.  After all, when you feel upbeat you see the positive in situations.  And when you feel sad, you focus on the downside.

Personal Challenge: Maximize how you spend your time and energy.  Make happiness a habit.  Focus on delivering at least one positive experience to another person every single day.  Compliment another’s outfit, point out to someone one of their strength’s that you admire, and/or smile to someone in need.

By delivering positive experiences to others, “YOU” become happier.  Soon you begin to have a sense of control even in the most challenging of situations.  The end result, you will begin taking setbacks in stride and realize that you can create better outcomes.

Happiness is a journey and life is a laboratory for learning how to harness this emotion.  Today try being more mindful of opportunities to identify and practice new abilities in being happy.  Be fanatical about delivering positive experiences – live happy!

The greatest compliment I receive is a referral from ecstatic readers and valued friends.  Please SHARE my blog with your network.  Thanks for not keeping us a secret!  

Follow me on Twitter @JimCarchidi

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What Thanksgiving Day tradition has the power to reshape you?

Reflect on your present blessings, on which every man has many, not on your past  misfortunes, of which all men have some.turkey-10 — Charles Dickens

Admittedly the turkey can reshape our waistline but, no, that is not what I have in mind here.  What I am referring to is the neuroscience of giving thanks, also known as gratitude.  This is an approach that has the power to reshape your well-being!
When was the last time you turned on the shower and praised the miracle of running water?  In all seriousness, take a moment and identify the many comforts you have in life.  Appreciate the big and the small blessings for which you can/should be grateful for.

Like any skill, gratitude takes practice.  Try it!  Count your blessings.  Jot them down.  Think of as many things as you can to be thankful for right now.

Miracles are everywhere, all the time, waiting to be plucked by our awareness and appreciated.  Be amazed by how much goodness surrounds you.

Life is a gift…so enjoy each day of it!

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Will Executive Recruiters Poach My Staff?

Do Sharks Eat People?

YES!!!

Keep in mind that not all sharks are man-eaters and not all executive recruiters are poachers. The key is finding the “right” executive recruiter. Perhaps you want the Great White of recruiters but keep in mind; they may one day be poaching top talent out from under you.

Just as with sharks, there most certainly are rogue executive recruiters – the ones who readily “bite the hand that feeds them.”

How Can You Tell a Poacher from a Professional?

Ask them about their process. Keep in mind they will not provide you with their “secret sauce,” however, they should explain a general overview of their recruiting strategy.

The “right” executive recruiter will confidently speak to their expansive network of professional contacts of which they have built mutual trust with. The “wrong” executive recruiter will arrogantly refuse to elaborate and state something like, “that is what you are paying me for.”

The “right” executive recruiter invests huge amounts of time, energy, and resources into building their network of first, second, and third connections. The “wrong” Executive Recruiter will simply dial for dollars and call complete strangers off of company directories that they purchased.

Parting Advice…

Statistically, you are more likely to be struck by lightning than attacked by a shark. Likewise, you are more likely to find the best talent using an executive recruiter than from hiring on your own.

Find an executive recruiter who works within a reputable firm (not out of their basement). Confirm they specialize in your field (not a generalist). Ensure they are the type of recruiter that understands your situation and can align you with the right talent (not a poacher).

Chances are that within the “right” executive recruiter’s already established network of contacts, you will discover that elusive and hidden talent you desire.

P.S. Never swim with Great White sharks and never hire a poacher for your recruiting.

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