Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

Archive for the category “motivation”

6 ways making deadlines work for you


6 ways making deadlines work for you 

Photo credit: Ralf Weiser

It may not always come down to a few minutes until a deadline comes your way, but have you noticed how much activity goes on leading up to one? It proves one thing: No deadline means that very few goals would ever get achieved. There is a way channeling this phenomenon working for you.

There are some famous instances where last minute deadlines brought on an unbelievable amount of work. I was vividly reminded of this visiting the Air and Space Museam near Dulles Washington DC Airport (see photos). Many artifacts were the product of super tight deadlines – the planes and rockets etc were essential for the war efforts. I remember one particular experimental plane took 100 days from concept to being ready to physically taking off. Imagine this today where so many project run over their allotted time and cost goals.

Now look at examples from work or your social life and I venture saying that you will not have to look far for finding similar situations. Have you ever gone through a planned software change at work? Fun stuff, huh? Not really, but there is usually one faction who would like to make sure that the switch over is flawless and hence they are never done. It typically takes someone drawing a line in the sand declaring a time and place when it finally will occur. Trust you me, most places will not get into overdrive mode much before about a month or two are left until the start deadline.

How can you make this work for you?

  • Make sure you always think about having a deadline with any project that you want to kick off.
  • Have a few checkup dates leading up to the due date
  • Plan on needed about 20% more time than what you thought initially
  • Have a backup solution handy in case anything goes wrong
  • Define a point of no return
  • Clearly communicate if and when folks are expected telling you when things go off course

No matter how much you may dread significant up and coming changes and their inevitable implementation due dates. Instead of fighting them, embrace them. Don’t be the problem, instead try finding solutions and then make sure there is a deadline. Without a commonsensical solution and a time challenged implementation plan success will likely never find you.

Ralf

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I can’t hear you – your actions speak louder than words


I can’t hear you – your actions speak louder than words 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

What a double-edged sword this one is. There are only two ways to go about it, I think. On one hand there is not so much what you said but how you said it. If your content does not match your facial expressions, gestures and mimics than don’t be surprised if you’ll find yourself on a person to be avoided list. At a minimum you will be dealing with quite a few conflicts with people who just no longer know how to read you.

The other side of this medal is strictly that you can say what you want and how people understand you is yet another thing. And it does not even matter sometimes what you say and how, you just will never be understood – because the other person may not want to understand you. Prejudice and judgment are a 21st century infliction that probably has never been any worse in history. Social media is not improving this issue either.

The third blow comes in form of you saying one thing and your own actions differ from what you are asking other people to do or not to do. Busted! That is definitely the worst trustbuster. Read about DropBox’s CEO and how this issue snagged him.

How do you keep yourself out of trouble? Do not send out mixed body language messages and make sure your content is on target and professional. There is only so much you can do though. Be natural and honest – if some meanies still do not like you and keep misunderstanding you there is nothing you will be able to do about that. Be yourself. Period.

Ralf

4th of July – a special occasion for asking yourself a better question


4th of July – a special occasion for asking yourself a better question 

These days it very often feels like I come across very entitled and self-centered people. “How much can I get” or “How much is owed to me” seem to be their prevalent questions. It makes me think of a person who used to ask a completely different question. Tuesday a very special birthday is coming up. Not only is it 4th of July, the birthday of our nation. It’s also the 103rd birthday of my grandma who was a very special person. She always asked herself John O’Leary’s life changing question: “What more can I do?”

She was one of five brothers and sisters born to poor farm help folks in a small German village on the fourth of July 1913. Two heroic acts totally stick out. Her sister died shortly after giving birth to the second daughter – my mom. Her husband was not even around fighting at the Russian front towards the end of WWII. Here two little children were without a mom and because everybody was relatively poor they had to be split up and were taken care of by close relatives.

Erna now took it upon herself bringing the two children together at her sister’s home and taking care of the household and all other small farming jobs along the way. When granddad came back after the war they fell in love and eventually married after Erna got herself a divorce from her first husband. That by itself was a feat seldom achieved by women back then. She was very devoted to the children and loved them both like her own.

During the wartime she also took good care of around 20 prisoners of war in a forced labor camp on the premise. They were working in a sawmill next door under minimum security. Oma Erna could not stand them getting mistreated and not getting enough food so she smuggled this stuff over to them as much as she could.

“What more can I do?”, that has been her lifelong mantra until the day she fell and had multiple strokes permanently disabling her. “What more can you do?” Isn’t that a better question than “How much can I get?” Happy Birthday to our nation and Oma Erna. Please help and join me asking better questions and making better choices.

Ralf

Enough already – quit the Millennial bashing


Enough already – quit the Millennial bashing 

This week I will get a chance speaking on behalf of local manufacturing companies during a special event with mayor Kenny from Philly and the mayor from Frankfurt Germany (Frankfurt and Philly are sister/ partner cities). Main topic will be embracing learn and earn apprenticeships and co-ops connecting students with manufacturers. My key message will be that manufacturing is far from dead. In fact low quantity high complexity manufacturing has come back not only to this area. This comes at a pivotal time when old talent will retire at an alarming rate in the next five to ten years. Yet, the fourth oldest workforce – that being manufacturing – struggles finding people fill their open positions.

I hear this all the time: “Millennials are so entitled”, “Do they think they get a trophy here for just showing up?”, “They do not know how to show up on time”, “They need so much re-assurance”, they this or that. It is just unreal how much and how many entrepreneurs and business leaders shun their future work force.

In my view this is a great fallacy committed upon the folks fitting the Millennial envelope. It is also a fallacy committed upon your organizations. Perhaps it is about time that companies reflected upon the fact whom they think will start filling their open positions vacated by their long term employees. It won’t be the few folks left on the open job market. They people they want to employ may have the experience etc they need, but they are gainfully employed elsewhere.

I have found the youngest members of the up and coming workforce to be phenomenal team members who can contribute so much to your workforce. That is if you and your organization are willing to provide three very basic things that even incumbent workers will grow to embrace if not love:

  • Provide a purpose greater than ourselves. Time needs to be worth spending at your place of work
  • Provide a career path
  • Provide a structure embracing the career path

Perhaps this is the time for the companies to do some soul searching and embracing change and not only looking at the potential future job candidate just trying to “fit in”. Millennials deserve better than just off-putting generalizations. They are intricate part of our future.

Ralf

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