What does it mean to take pride in what you do? Perhaps renowned basketball coach Red Auerbach said it best, “Take pride in what you do. The kind of pride I’m talking about is not the arrogant puffed-up kind; it’s just the whole idea of caring – fiercely caring.”
My kids, as you know, are home for the first summer since 2008. Each week day, I give the kids of list of chores to complete. Each day the boys are in a mad rush right before or right as the Hubby and I are getting home from work. Of course, the result is substandard work on most chores, which drives me crazy.
In order, to get the chores done correctly and on time, I turn off the wi-fi device by device. Its akin to being put in the corner without a toy. An electronic device without steady data or wi-fi is useless to most kids. The goal in all of this is to teach them responsibility, how to do certain chores (i.e. laundry) so they’re well prepared for life and lighten our load.
The real lesson here is whatever you do; do it well. Don’t settle for mediocrity and take pride in your work. Whether it is a household chore, school, a sporting event or your career; do your best.
I remember playing tether ball as a kid and being pretty awful at it. It was a lot of fun, but if you got distracted for even a second there was a good chance you were going to get smacked in the face by that ball. Now as an adult, we all have days like that. Days that smack us upside the head like a tether ball.
Thening. Our daily routines, can set us up for how we handle the stressors of our day. In a perfect world, I’d start each and every day with at least 20 minutes of yoga. My snooze button – a very stubborn thing – keeps getting in the way. Another practice that helps during the day is taking regular walks throughout the day. If you can’t get away from your desk for multiple walks, set aside at least one fifteen minute break to take a walk outside.
The events of our day, much like our life, don’t define us. Rather it is our reactions to these events, both good and bad, that define who we are. Setting yourself up each day for a calm reaction will go a long way to ending the tether ball feeling. Being mindful about how we react to other people and to our stress is an important skill needed to be successful. With a little practice, some breathing exercises and a few walks, one can find balance in even the craziest day.
The Last Mooring
What is it about human nature that when something newer comes along, we tend to abandon our older toys or belongings in favor of the newer, shinier toy? It would be okay if this was limited to inanimate objects, but this behavior is most egregiously displayed between people. Sophocles paints a much more eloquent picture of this phenomenon in his play Women of Trachis writing “the eyes of men love to pluck the blossoms, from the faded flowers they turn away.” How is that we’re so quick to turn on those that have been loyal in favor of people that are new to our lives or our organization? And does it have to be this way?
The obvious, but not so easy answer is that it doesn’t have to be this way. If we learned anything from the movie Toy Story, and I think we all did, it is that the new and old can co-exist peacefully and productively. When a new person comes into our organization or lives, we want them to feel integrated and a part of the team. In hiring a new person, it is important to hire someone that can integrate into your team as this will alleviate many potential problems.
In the corporate world, solving this issue comes down to leadership. Leaders can integrate new members into the team making them feel important without neglecting or negating the accomplishments of existing team members. One easy to do this is by highlighting the special skillsets and expertise each team member brings to the table and while clearly defining each party’s role in the organization. This will help ensure new team members can integrate into the team without causing existing team members to think their being replaced.
In our personal lives, the onus is on us to make sure we do not neglect our friendships. Life gets busy and relationships evolve, but we can always make time to nurture our friendships be it a call, a text, a Facebook message just to say hi. There may be finite room in your house to store stuff, but there is no cap on many people we can have in our lives.
While it is easy to celebrate that the end of our work week in near, bring focus to today’s work and strive to be your best as the weekend draws closer.
I wrote last night about how a single blog post has completely upended Uber’s rocket like trajectory to the top of the business world. Uber and Lyft provided a much needed alternative to current modes of transportation available in our cities. Uber was a head of the game, but a lack of discipline and an abysmal, abusive corporate culture has derailed their ascent to the top.
When you look at the core values of Uber, at least from what can be pieced together through various media and former employees’ reports, are built around winning and only winning. Some of these are toe stepping, make magic, super pumped, and always be hustling. While these are levels of motivation you’d want to see in your employees on the daily, they’re not the only traits or values that you’re looking for them to uphold. Most companies’ core values reflect their goal of making a profit, but they also reflect their goal of making a profit in concert with integrity, great work environment, and responsibility. The core values serve as a guide for all of their employees to make sure the business is run both within the letter of the law and with the utmost integrity.
The establishment of core values for a corporation is important as it signals to employees, customers, and shareholders who you are and wants important to you as a business. When establishing the core values, it is essential that all levels of the organization commit to living within that value set or else you’re operating within a house of cards much like Uber.
Much like any habit, if you say you’re going to commit to running 25-30 miles a week to achieve a PR at our next race, but you only run 10-15 miles a week your PR will likely not materialize. Likewise, if you as a business commit to core values, but do not adhere to all of them, your business practices will not align with your core values. Moreover, as a leader you’ll have little to no credibility with your folks. The lesson is don’t be half pregnant. Don’t preach one things and live another; commit to your goals, your values and stick to them.