Motivation

The Secret Sauce of Successful Giving

Earlier this month in the posting Givers, Takers and Matchers, I shared with you that I was reading a book called Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success. I had only completed the first few chapters and had learned that the social style that correlates most with success is giver. The twist was that givers are also the least successful. The open question to be revealed upon further reading was…what separates the two? What is the secret sauce? Having completed the book, I can now reveal the answer!

Without knowing it, I was stumbling upon the answer when I wrote, “Being purely selfless alone does not for success make.” In fact, being purely selfless is exactly what lands a giver at the bottom of the success ladder. Unsuccessful givers are termed “selfless givers” by author Grant and are distinguished from successful givers who are termed “otherish givers.” Otherish givers work in service of others AND in their own self interest, versus selfless givers who focus only on others at the expense of their own self interest.

Otherish givers focus on creating win-win outcomes. They are adept at expanding the pie because they can see the other’s perspective and create value for all. Otherish givers are trusting until they have reason not too be, empathetic when appropriate, and advocate for their needs as well as those of others. Finally, they are not afraid to ask for help and build networks so that they are not always carrying the burden alone.

Because they lack a healthy dose of self interest, selfless givers can be too trusting, empathetic and timid. They can end up exhausted and burnt out because they are uncomfortable receiving support. They can also be taken advantage […]

Givers, Takers and Matchers

 

I am currently reading a book called Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success.  I am only a couple of chapters in, but the premise being explored is fascinating…and even before knowing how it unfolds, I want to introduce you to this fascinating work.

The author, Adam Grant, describes three types of people:  givers, takers and matchers.  Givers tend to be focused on others more than their own needs; takers like to get more than they give; and matchers give and take based upon the principle of fair exchange.   The research correlating these social styles with success finds that the most AND the least successful people are givers.  What I have not yet learned is what differentiates the successful givers from those that find themselves at the bottom of the success ladder.  This will be revealed as I continue reading.

I am reminded of my posting on September 17 last year asking What Kind of  Leader Do You Want To Be?  The leadership styles discussed in that posting, based upon the work of Pastor Bill Hybels from the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, are two — legacy leaders who are much like givers, and hirelings who are much like takers.

What I like about Grant’s framework is that it is less black and white and underscores that the same seemingly positive orientation toward giving can have a positive or negative affect on ones success.  Being purely selfless alone does not for success make.  There is some other ingredient that makes it all work.  In addition, he isolates a third style, matchers, which according to his research describes most people.  Relatively fewer of us are singularly focused on others or self…but rather, more of us operate from a place of fairness and […]

Coach Thyself

 

Coach Thyself. What a strange concept. I have been trained to coach others to manage through change, transition and uncertainty. I know the models and frameworks. I know about the locus of control and how people become more concerned the less control and influence they have over a situation. I know the importance of being resilient. I have successfully helped countless others throughout my career.
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And now, I have to coach myself. While I have certainly experienced career transitions before, they have always been self-determined. This is the first time events are occurring that are completely beyond my control. This is different.

On February 5th, it was announced that Hospira, where I have led the Organization Development (OD) function for over five years, is being acquired by Pfizer. Great news on many many levels. And the beginning of organizational change, individual transition for myself and others, and uncertainty as to exactly what the future holds.

The evening of the announcement I had the good fortune to have dinner with a friend who is a smart OD consultant, and she reminded me that every new beginning starts with an ending. So while I am excited about the prospect of a new beginning…the end of my job as I know it requires some processing.

As I prepare to embark on the next phase of my career into what I know will be a very bright future… I am taking time to honor the past and all that I have accomplished in my current role. I am focusing on living in the present to help those around me who can benefit from my expertise in managing through change and transition. And since many of the best learnings happen through experience, I […]

Who do you want to be in 2015?

 

Last week I reflected on the question of how we each spend the 24 hours we are given each day. I am going to continue this line of reflection as we move into 2015, with the annual opportunity to define new beginnings. What are we going to finally start or stop doing? What New Year’s Resolution can I put into place that is going to have a profound and significant impact on the quality of my life? The challenge that many of us share is that we live in overly-scheduled, overly-demanding worlds that make it difficult to pack in all that we desire. My life is no different. I don’t have time to do all that I desire to do? Or do I?

I found a compelling answer in a book called Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul authored by Bill Hybels. Last August I attended the Willow Creek Global Leadership Conference led by Bill about which I wrote two blog postings at the time (What kind of leader do you want to be? and Words Matter). I found the conference to be inspiring and engaging that challenged my thinking on a number of topics. In Simplify, Bill reframed the question that we often ask ourselves as we manage the exploding demands on our time. Rather than asking “what am I going to do today, this week, this month, or this year”…ask “who do I want to BE at the end of today, this week, this month or this year?” As I evaluate each opportunity regarding how I spend my time against the question of who I want to BE, what I choose to do becomes much more clear. The question of who I want to […]

How are you spending the 24 hours you are given each day?

Earlier this month I had the good fortune to leave the winter weather of Chicago to speak at the CLO Exchange in southern California on the topic of branding with Chief Learning Officers and learning professionals from around the country.

The gentleman introducing me made a joke and asked me if I have the same 24 hour day as everyone else because, from his perspective, I seem to accomplish more with the 24 hours that I am given. Since all things are relative I am sure the fact is that I accomplish more than some, and less than many! But this comment got me thinking about how we each spend the 24 hours that we are given each day. And what is it that allows some people to create and sustain the energy necessary to do more, achieve more, and perform at a higher level with the same 24 hours as everyone else.

I think the root of the answer is in finding your soul’s purpose…that thing which you were placed on this earth to do…that thing about which you are passionate. Perhaps it is the years that I lived in California, or my recent trip there, that leads me to this “woo woo” metaphysical answer…but I truly believe that we can create and sustain energy to do that about which we are passionate. Think about your hobby or avocation. No matter how busy your day or week was at work, don’t you magically find the energy to play golf, shop, play the guitar, or go to the Bears game? If we have the good professional fortune to do something that we love, that is fulfilling our soul’s purpose, we magically find the energy to do more and […]

By |December 19th, 2014|Motivation|0 Comments|

Feedback is a Gift: There is No Such Thing as Negative Feedback!

 

Welcome to JoinDrPam.  One question I was recently asked, which I often get, and which I would like to eradicate, is “What is the best way to give negative feedback?”

In order for feedback to be valuable, we need to move away from the notion that feedback is “positive” or “negative.”  Feedback is either appreciative or constructive.  Appreciative feedback tells us what we are doing well and need to continue in order to be effective, and constructive feedback tells us what we need to change in order to be more effective.

Both forms of feedback are positive…meaning constructive and helpful.  Neither form is negative… meaning harmful, damaging or destructive.  Feedback should be none of those things.  Given this reframing that all feedback is positive, the question is how to deliver it, even the constructive feedback, in a manner that will be well received by the recipient.  Here are a few tips or best practices on how to deliver feedback.

Pair appreciative feedback with constructive feedback, in that order.  People are more willing to listen to the constructive feedback after hearing what they are doing well.

Deliver the constructive feedback using language like, “you could be even more effective if…” People are more willing to accept the constructive feedback if the language speaks to how they could be more effective, rather than how what they just did really sucked.

Give constructive feedback early.  If you give constructive feedback the first time you observe a less than desirable behavior, you have a better chance of helping to keep one incident from becoming a negative pattern of behavior.

Deliver feedback 1:1.  Providing feedback is a mini development conversation and developing and coaching employees is best done during 1:1 sessions rather than in team […]

Words Matter

I attended the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit last month and was profoundly inspired, both personally and professionally.  To learn more about this event, please visit the Willow Creek website.  I am dedicating several blog posts to my reflections following this thought-provoking experience.  Last week I asked the question, What kind of leader do you want to be?  One who is striving to leave a legacy, one who is striving for personal advancement and reward, or one who has stopped striving based upon the conclusion that there is nothing meaningful to strive for?

This week, I am reflecting on the power of word choice and the impact that a small word here or there can have on how we operate in the world.

“No yet vs. “No”

Erica Ariel Fox, author of Winning from Within, shared a story about a time when her young step-son was struggling to learn a new skill —tying sailing knots.  When she asked him, “Are you able to get those knots tied?” he responded, “Not yet.”  How many of us when asked if we are able to do something that we are struggling with would simply say “No.”  “No, I can’t tie the knots.”  “No, I can’t balance the budget.”  “No, I can’t find someone to fill the job.”

What if we replaced “No” with “Not yet.”  How much more hopeful does that sound?  “Not yet” leaves open the possibility that we will overcome whatever we are struggling with.  I can’t do it yet, but one day I will be able to.  It is just a question of time, energy, commitment, resources, practice, confidence….

“Get to” vs.”Have to”

This one is simple!  What if we approached every day by thinking, “Today I get to ______,” versus […]

Great Leadership = Culture of High Performance?

Welcome to JoinDrPam.  The blogs for the last few weeks have been dedicated to questions about leadership, and the great impact that leaders have on driving performance excellence.  This week’s question is, “Does great leadership always lead to a culture of high performance or a magnetic culture, as Kevin Sheridan, author of Building A Magnetic Culture would say?”

Certainly a great leader has tremendous influence over the culture for a particular team or segment of the business…what some refer to as climate. But what if a great leader, who might create a great climate for his or her team, is operating with (1) unmotivated, low accountable people, or (2) within an organization that creates barriers to creating a high performing team or culture?
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Teams are made up of individuals, and all individuals are not created equal in terms of their commitment to be high performing and to deliver results. Even a great leader cannot motive people to perform if it is against their will to do so, as motivation is an internal drive that develops within a person and not from external drivers. Once someone is motivated or committed to perform, a great leader can (1) understand and leverage what motivates them, (2) create an environment or climate to make the most of their desire to contribute, (3) tie what motivates them to the needs of the business, (4) manage organizational roadblocks that will interfere with their ability to contribute and (5) reward those that are already committed and motivated to contribute and succeed (external reinforcement).

#5 above is the one that can create a dilemma for leaders, depending upon the corporate reward structure, and how much autonomy the individual leader has for allocating […]