In Ricardo Semler’s Maverick he tells the story about the first few times he came in on a weekend. The first thing he noticed “people dress differently when they come in on the weekend, why is that?”. They did it to be more comfortable. But don’t we want everyone to be comfortable when they are working all week long?
The dress code era at Semco was ended.
The executive dealt with the obvious backlash. “What if someone doesn’t want to do business with us because of the way someone is dressed in a meeting?” Ricardo’s answer; “if someone doesn’t want to do business with us because of the way one of our employees ‘looks’ then that’s probably someone we shouldn’t be doing business with”. Wow, that’s leadership.
Isn’t that simple? Why do you try to make your staff conform? Because you’ve always done that? That’s not a good reason why. Ask your staff, what they think, you may stumble upon a smart way to make your company culture better.
From John Mackey’s Conscious Capitalism he sums up what the vast majority of people are looking for when it coming to work.
A job, a career, or a calling.
We’ve all had a job. We’ve all hated a job.
A job is what we first want when we’re young. Mostly for means to an ends. We want cash money. We treat the job as such, we don’t get too attached, we try to do just a good enough job not to get fired. There are many people in this world that simply work at a job. It’s not fulfilling, they don’t love the organization they work for, and when another “job” comes along that seems similar but pays better, they’re gone fast than you can say “do you want fries with that?”
A career is a little different. Like a longer, well-paid boring job.
You don’t sell by selling anymore, you sell by doing something different.
Different enough to get someone to talk about you. That’s it. Not different to be goofy, no, different to be top-of-mind in your market space. That spot is left to the most innovative companies in the world, and you can do it too.
Vacuum cleaner sales people no longer exist. At one time what a great profession! Think about it, you choose your own hours, you get exercise while working, you get to meet new people all the time and you choose how much money to make. Based on the amount of hours you put in, you can make a lot in a very little amount of time.
You can see why many people went into this profession, good wages, fun work, what more could you ask for. The better you could manipulate sell people on a vacuum, the more money you were to make. The problem is that way of thinking doesn’t work anymore.
His theory of what’s wrong with society is that we continuously put achievement before fulfillment. We’re always looking for the next big thing, the next toy, house, car, or vacation. Nothing is ever good enough and you’re destined to die a lonely death.
Tony talks about Robin Williams and how he asks about Robin to crowds all over the world. Everywhere Tony goes he says 98% of the crowd LOVES Robin Williams, the other 2%? He makes fun of them too.
He asks crowds about Williams because he trying to make a point. Robin Williams of all people had it all, he’d won every award in his field, he was widely regarded as one of the best comedians and actors of his generation. Then Tony get’s mad. “And what did Robin after all of those achievements? He hung himself. He still wasn’t good enough in his mind.”
We have a duty in the life to help others. One major way is to focus on fulfillment and forget achievement. How can you do this? It’s hard to forget about achievement, we’re built to want ti achieve. It makes us feel good, it’s an ego boost. But the problem with achievement is that it can get addicting, you can want it at all costs, sacrificing things you never would have. Eventually simply focusing on achievement will lead you to disappointment.
The wise owls always worry about fulfillment before achievement, for achievement is but a fleeting emotion, fulfillment feeds the soul.
Fulfillment is sustainable. Fulfillment is that feeling that makes you smile when you wake up in the morning and the reason you’re happy falling asleep. It’s challenging, it’s spiritual, it’s something personal, it’s your journey. It has nothing to do with anyone else, it’s your art and only you know if you’re putting in 110% all the time. When you do, you’ll get a weird feeling of contentment.
To the devil’s advocate: STOP IT! The devil is doing fine on his own, he does not need your help.
Do you ever find argumentative people love to talk about the exception to the rule? Finding the one in a millionth chance and using it as “evidence” for what could happen. It’s a great way to stress yourself out. Also a good way to determine if one is a know-it-all. Do they like proving someone wrong by arguing the exception to the rule?
Why do we do it though? Why do we cause this undue harm on our minds always trying to determine “what’s the worst that could happen?” Sure it’s good to understand what’s the worst that can happen, but to act upon it, or be planning based on it is silly. If we’re constantly worried about what’s the worst that can happen we never look at what’s the best thing that can happen! Ever bring that up in a planning session? Probably not because optimism isn’t generally looked fondly on in the business community (until lately!)
What’s the WORST that could happen? What’s the BEST that could happen?
A part of our brains are built to do this, to protect us. But that same part of your brain telling you to run from danger in a dark alley is the same part that’s holding you back from doing something amazing. In ancient times running away from what scared us was a smart tactic but in today’s world we need to seek out what scares us and push through it. Playing devils’ advocate is a way to assess what’s the worst that could happen. They problem with this is that the “worst” rarely ever happens, but our brains love to focus on the smallest negative piece of feedback. So instead of finding a solution to the obstacle in the way we think about how bad the feedback was and we never move on.
How To Identify The Type of Person You Absolutely Don’t Want To Work With?
People that make fun of others.
In the service industry you get a chance to work with all different kinds of people. Some good, some bad, and yes some are freaking ugly (to deal with). This is to help you identify someone you absolutely don’t want to work with.
Someone who talks bad about others. More specifically your competitors or their competitors. People who say mean things about other companies have no place in the business community. When you associate with people who say bad things about others, what makes you think they don’t say bad things about you behind your back?
It’s happened to us at Strategy Lab Four distinct times now. It’s a textbook mistake, I should be smarter by now.
A recent addition to Netflix “Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” is a new look at the fascinating life of a change agent. Inspiring stories, interviews with people that worked with him, and the negative side to being a visionary. They don’t beat around the bush, people admitted that at times he was a tyrant, but those same people also talk about how much they learned while working for Jobs.
It’s an interesting watch, I hope you do! We all need a little inspiration every now and then, this documentary reminds us that we need to keep thinking different.
In the Edmonton airport trying to make a connection I ask an Air Canada desk, by accident, where my gate was. The response? “The Westjet counter is over there”, slightly annoyed pointing in a vague direction.
He could have helped me, I mean the question wasn’t difficult (unless it was that employees first day in the Airport which is highly unlikely) but Air Canada’s “brand” isn’t about helping or going to extra mile at all. I think their brand is more like “unless we know you have money, we don’t give a flying frog about you!”
I find my gate, as I’m going thru I over hear an Air Canada passenger ask the same question I did to a Westjet employee!(Oh the irony, I wonder if they’ll give the same response?) Not surprisingly the Westjeter just answered the question.
I waited and congratulated him on being “human”, you know just helping people? It’s kind of what makes us human. And its not hard.
Whatever you do in business you’re going to have an opportunity to say a version of “oh that’s not my job”. Make it your job, take the initiative, be a human.
I can’t imagine that Air Canada fellow has much fun only helping certain people, that’ll make you a grumpy Gus.
Last year’s Beta version of Big Idea Camp blew our expectations. The participants, the companies involved, and the sheer creativity these students brought to the camp was inspiring enough to grow it even bigger.
A photo posted by Strategy Lab Marketing (@stratlab) on
Enter Big Idea Camp 2.Alright Alright Alright!!!
4 days, 8 competitions, 9 corporate sponsors, 2 teams going head to head in the wildest, most creative business competition in North America.
All the fun starts August 2nd and goes till August 5th. Thanks to Cowork Regina for the office space they generously donated for the week. Some of what to expect for the week:
The Carmichael Outreach Diaper Challenge. Who can acquire the most amount of Diapers and donations for Carmichael Outreach!
The Creative Options Regina (COR) Postcard challenge. Who will design the winning postcard that we’ll print for COR on behalf of you!
The What The Food Truck Downtown Regina challenge. Who will win the Chop style “cook-off” in the park for lunch!
The Capital Auto 30-second spot competition. Which team with create the commercial that Capital Auto actually uses for their marketing material?!?
The Association of Regina Realtors Snap Chat Challenge! Who will complete the Snap Chat Scavenger Hunt first?! Get your filters ready!!!!
The #PulseCity Challenge. How do you sell an amazing superfood that widely unknown but a staple in our local farmers fields?
Financial Friday! A trip to Conexus Credit Union for several competitions with the topic being financial literacy! How well do you know #FinLit? Test your teams knowledge not only on financial literacy but also teamwork and creativity.
Huge thanks for all our sponsors who make Big Idea Camp happen. Conexus Credit Union, Association of Regina Realtors, The Home Expert Team, Carmichael Outreach, Capital Auto Mall, Creative Options Regina, Regina Downtown, Cowork Regina, and of course Strategy Lab.
Steve Jobs talked about it, the best educators understand it, and it’s a powerful fact rarely talked about.The fact of the matter is you can learn new things and change the makeup of your brain well into the later years in your life. The “plasticity” of your brain refers to its ability to change it’s makeup.
A professional violinist will have many more neurons firing around where their hands control the bow and violin in the brain. Mark McMorris’s brain would have many more neurons firing where his brain controls balance, and foot control being a world class snowboarder. A NewYork Times Journalist would have thousands of neurons firing in the parts of their brains that control writing, story telling, and reading.
Whatever your brain focuses a lot of time on, your brain will build up sufficient muscle around that particular area. Whether it be conscious or subconscious, you’re constantly making your brain smarter or dumber(if you’re not doing anything of future benefit to your brain).
Common knowledge has always been, what you’re born with is what you get! So if you were born “dumb” or didn’t have a good upbringing, you’re destined to fail. Wrong!
It’s those who realize that they can learn, practice and teach themselves many different skills and ideas that begin to truly flourish in life.
Learning doesn’t stop after highschool or university. This is how our society has been brought up. You go to school, learn, then get into the real world and work till you retire, then die board to death.
What if that’s the wrong way to think about it? What if we were meant to learn throughout our life? What if there isn’t a hard and fast “way” to do it? What if we could keep learning and adapting as we go becoming increasingly more valuable with every new experience?
You can learn anything
Yes you can’t go to the NHL after a certain point, the physical nature of the sport will hold you back. But that doesn’t mean you can’t train a coach, assistant coach, be a trainer, etc. It’s all in your mindset.
We’re great at telling ourselves “we can’t”. “That’s impossible!” a small part of our brains are extremely protective over what we can and can’t do. We love to quit before even trying, after all that is easier.
Start thinking the opposite. Start thinking you can do anything you want. It’s difficult at first but it’s the same idea as affirmations, the Tony Robbins’ system or “The Secret”. A positive attitude can literally move mountains.
I love the jobs quote from Steve Jobs:
“Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use. And the minute that you understand you can poke life, when you push in something will pop out the other side. You can change it, you can mould it. That’s maybe the most important thing.”