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 tag “purpose”

Authentic leadership will help attain and retain our Millennial workforce – Discover how to get in front of the coming tsunami hitting our work places


Authentic leadership will help attain and retain our Millennial workforce – Discover how to get in front of the coming tsunami hitting our work places 

Aren’t you getting increasingly sick about the overused phrase authentic leadership? Sure, I have used it here and there too. It was not until I read a few posts online that extensively harped on it before I finally got confused what this really means. More importantly, how can you learn and be authentic?

Along with this phrase come a few more buzz words that are also non-descriptive. The leader ought to be authentic, she should provide contagious energy, she should be engaging the audience’s senses, she should be demonstrating vulnerability and perseverance, she should be exuding confidence, she should be personable, she should be believable, she should be a great listener, and have a load of charisma if at all possible.

Isn’t it hilarious how these adjectives are very descriptive and yet meaningless as they are not really all that exact? It is all subject to individual interpretation and yet every one of us kind of sort of knows what it is supposed to be about. It is hard to pick up on the underlying driver of being authentic and that is helping and serving others. Not so fast though, because first of all a leader must first manage to be heard in the first place.

In short all of the above describe a state of being. As such it proves the adage of all nonverbal communication driving more than half of what people see and ultimately what they HEAR. Roughly a third is your tone of voice and only a small amount of communication is through the actual words that you have chosen to convey your leadership.

It is something that one has to experience personally in order to really understand it and how to learn it and then practice it daily. So what we are talking about here is appealing to the senses of our counterparts: Tone of voice, demeanor, mannerisms, facial expression, gestures, choice of words, etc.

To demonstrate this I have picked two random videos of CEO’s; not just any CEO, but airline ones. Just about all airlines claim how they love their customers and employees and invite us to fly their friendly skies. How does Delta’s own Richard Anderson strike you (Click here for the video)? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrZmgIaO7Hc Now compare this to Southwest president Colleen Barrett (Click here to watch her in action)? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7BZw_TDCfek

Fascinating, isn’t it? When you unravel why Colleen is fairing so much better you may have noticed the traits that let her stand out:

  • She is totally focused on others and not herself.
  • She shows vulnerability by being moved by the contributions of her team members.
  • She makes the speech all about them and not herself.
  • She makes eye contact with her team members.
  • How many things can you point out?

Why is she so much more believableauthentic – than Richard? At the bottom line it shrinks down to one thing for me and I am hoping that I have stirred your snow globe a little with this again: It’s her servitude. How willing are you to serve others before yourself? Fascinating isn’t it? Leadership really has nothing to do with you at all.

She is going through great lengths making the event to be for her team members and not all about herself. That is so different with Richard. He sits in the middle of everyone’s attention and when you really listen to the customer conversation with him, even that sounds fake and forced.

Did I mention that this makes your more successful too? You have not heard about how greatly successful and admirable Delta Airlines is, right? There is a reason why they are where they are and why Southwest is such an admired and overall successful brand.

Surprising, isn’t it? Being an authentic leader boils down to serving others with your brain, heart, and soul; then it will become organic and long term sustainable. Parking your ego will be the first and most important step you can take. Don’t you like the simplicity of this concept?

Beware of Millennials looking for work places that provide a reason for them spending all of their time working there. The more you embrace the concept of progressively embracing authentic leadership (serving others before yourself), the greater the chance you will attain and retain this wonderfully talented workforce.

Ralf

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5 ways of how to deal with people that have a closed mind


5 ways of how to deal with people that have a closed mind 

There are probably a few folks that totally get under your skin. They believe in things that you could never subscribe to and they are vocal and obnoxious about it. You would love to argue your point and arguments with them and yet it is like you are speaking with a rock. They will not listen – ever.

A while ago we had a neighbor who had a problem a good friend of mine who used to rent a room from my parents. This friend had a habit to park his car on the side of the neighbor right in front of his property. One day he summoned Werner (my friend) and proclaimed a no parking zone for him in front of his house. “The water and melting snow cannot flow around your tires and the water keeps creating big puddles”.

I am not sure what that to do with anything, but I was later also subject to the same reasoning. Anyway, Werner did not move his car. One day it snowed hard and when he emerged from his apartment to get into his car he found it blocked in by two piles of snow; one behind and the other in front of the car. The neighbor had had his revenge.

He did not know whom he had messed with. Werner never got mad, he got even. His car was one with built-in hydrostatic suspension. He put it on high and flattened the snow mounds in little time. He lowered it as he plowed into the snow until there was no more snow mound left. Ha! The picture above shows Werner with his “present” for the neighbor. He wrote a heartfelt greeting on it. The material (soft pinewood) had something to do with what the neighbor’s head was made of.

All humorous anecdotes aside, there is a six-step process that has a good chance of working when you encounter really head strong and opinionated folks.

  1. Preach and teach once. Then zip it. Make your point and get out. Chances are that if you are lucky you will impact the person for the occasion, but rarely in general. Spare your nerves with going overboard making points to convince people of how correct you are and they are not.
  2. You always have the chance to ignore the person. In fact, that typically is the best response. No sense getting yourself all worked up just to find out that the person responding to your posts and mails is someone that goes with the populous and not with what is the best and most prudent thing to do.
  3. Love them anyway and show empathy and compassion for them. The vast majority of folks cannot stand if they are being treated nicely by their opponents. Hatred is not the answer; only love will prove to be long term sustainable.
  4. No matter what other people do, sometimes you cannot listen to your and their brain chatter and just focus on what more you can do. Who is affected by anything you do or say?
  5. Have some fun with them. Respond in a witty fashion. Much like Werner, try to be as engaging as possible. Who knows? Perhaps one day you can convince a few people to look into the sky with us.

Ignorant people are a daily fact of life. Do not take that in silence. Make sure that you are heard, but then move on. Do not dwell on it. It will not help you, nor will it really do anything with the one whose mind is closed for the day. Do you have a story to tell with ignorant folks? Would love if you shared it with us. Use the comment field below.

Ralf

Which person impacted and changed your life forever?


Which person impacted and changed your life forever? 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

Think of a person that has changed or impacted your life the most. This person saw something in you that he or she believed in you more than you did. His/ her encouragement led to a much enriched life journey for you.

Does this person know what kind of impact their belief had in you? My call to action is to get in touch with this person immediately. Let her/ him know how you feel and appreciate what he/she did.

Next, follow this train of thought and create a ripple effect. Give of yourself. Help out a person who struggles through life. If you want to read up on what that could look like, Jeff Goins’ book “Wrecked” could help set the stage for you.

My person is my best friend Holger who helped me through some great difficulty when I was 17 and enduring the hardship of apprenticeship. My mom and dad did not have problems with alcohol – they had problems without alcohol. They were alcoholics. The home life was a royal mess, and we did not even have money to buy heating oil for about two winters.

Girl friend? Hah, did not have the guts and the heart much less the energy getting entangled with more issues. I was bullied extensively during the first year of my job apprenticeship. Whenever I could I would drink heavily. Shame galore – living in a small village in Germany was not a walk in the park when you are being put into the same category as your dad. Dad is an idiot = son must be an idiot also. That was a simple equation that came with some “interesting” ramifications. Life was miserable.

One particularly bad night I had come back from a party with co-workers, drunk and depressed. I bumped into Holger at a block party and he saw the heap of a mess that was me. He listened and helped me get my bearing again. Day by day and thought-by-thought. We became lifelong friends, but as of late we can no longer stay in contact all that much as we live in totally different places. Thanks for all you did my friend during the darkest time of my life! Life improved soon thereafter once I realized that I was still in control of my thoughts. Thoughts are just thoughts – they are not me! Once I stopped my own pity party life improved beyond measure.

Do you know someone who picked you up from the floor and put you back on your feet? How about a teacher or coach? This special person may not even remember you. It does not matter. Make sure you tell him that you love him and that you appreciate everything that he did for you. Do it fast, because life can change with an blink of an eye*.

Ralf

*Thanks, Tom!

What do you think of Mike Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T. pledge?


What do you think of Mike Rowe’s S.W.E.A.T. pledge? 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

Mike Rowe is a well-known TV personality (e.g. Dirty Jobs and Deadliest Catch). As such he also had made a name for himself breaking the college mandate for High School students. He has been promoting blue-collar careers all along. Mike’s own work ethic scholarship program has candidate sign the above-mentioned S.W.E.A.T. pledge. How do you feel about it? See for yourself here: http://profoundlydisconnected.com/skill-work-ethic-arent-taboo/

“THE S.W.E.A.T. PLEDGE”

(Skill & Work Ethic Aren’t Taboo)

 

  1. I believe that I have won the greatest lottery of all time. I am alive. I walk the Earth. I live in America. Above all things, I am grateful.

 

  1. I believe that I am entitledto life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing more. I also understand that “happiness” and the “pursuit of happiness” are not the same thing.

 

  1. I believe there is no such thing as a “bad job.” I believe that all jobs are opportunities, and it’s up to me to make the best of them.

 

  1. I do not “follow my passion.” I bring it with me. I believe that any job can be done with passion and enthusiasm.

 

  1. I deplore debt, and do all I can to avoid it. I would rather live in a tent and eat beans than borrow money to pay for a lifestyle I can’t afford.

 

  1. I believe that my safety is my responsibility. I understand that being in “compliance” does not necessarily mean I’m out of danger.

 

  1. I believe the best way to distinguish myself at work is to show up early, stay late, and cheerfully volunteer for every crappy task there is.

 

  1. I believe the most annoying sounds in the world are whining and complaining. I will never make them. If I am unhappy in my work, I will either find a new job, or find a way to be happy.

 

  1. I believe that my education is my responsibility, and absolutely critical to my success. I am resolved to learn as much as I can from whatever source is available to me. I will never stop learning, and understand that library cards are free.

 

  1. I believe that I am a product of my choices – not my circumstances. I will never blame anyone for my shortcomings or the challenges I face. And I will never accept the credit for something I didn’t do.

 

  1. I understand the world is not fair, and I’m OK with that. I do not resent the success of others.

 

  1. I believe that all people are created equal. I also believe that all people make choices. Some choose to be lazy. Some choose to sleep in. I choose to work my butt off.

 

On my honor, I hereby affirm the above statements to be an accurate summation of my personal worldview. I promise to live by them.

 

Signed_______________________________________ Dated____________________

 

 

There are some folks who feel that this is going too far. Read about an example and Mike’s response here. http://mikerowe.com/2017/05/otwappalledbythesweatpledge/

I am not sure that insisting any new applicants and team members having to sign a document like this will help shape new habits. I have come to accept almost all of his 12 points as my core beliefs and values. I would not tell other people to having to make it their own just by agreeing to them by signing a document. That is so Baby-Boom and GenX like. If we want to make an impact that even Millennials want to buy in on than we have to create a work and school environment that is embracing, meaning demonstrating what is asked for here. That is done by asking questions using full transparency and collaboration – just do not stand in front of them telling them. If this is what new candidates find while attending Mike’s program I think that people have no reason to gripe. What do you think?

Ralf

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