Photo Credit: "Fireworks of the American Flag" by Beverly & Pack
I am looking forward to the New Year as 2016 was not the best of years for the world. The US elections were difficult and left most people angry for one reason or another. If you watch the cable news, it seems the world is heading to hell in a handbasket. The over saturation and exaggerations by the media is depressing.
With that being said, I hope and pray that 2017 will be a better year for us all. The past is behind us, and we can look upon the future in directed anticipation of making it better. Whatever your slice of the world that you wish to address, it is time to get in motion. Take it on and do something new. Success or failure, it is the journey that ultimately matters. Who is with us and the lives we impact is what counts in the end.
I am an optimistic realist and see no value in obsessing over the negativity we will confront. I will try to do something each day to make my slice of the world a little better.
Photo Credit: "Conversation" (CC BY 2.0) by Sharon Mollerus
I do not often post about other articles I come across online. I prefer to comment on them, and if I like them, I will post them to LinkedIn. However, when something speaks to me, or it is a topic that is under appreciated by the masses, I will take the time to write a short post. I came across one such article today. Ed Batista wrote a piece on Harvard Business Review talking about the conflicts that arise between couples when they get home from work. This is a topic that many people in leadership do not fully appreciate or acknowledge the toll it takes on families and relationships.
We work diligently in our careers and all too often take home the stress we experience during the day. While it is not fair to come home in this mindset, I believe we are human, and it is hard to shake off a rough day in the typical 30-minute commute home. By no means am I excusing the behaviors of people, but I am just as guilty as the next when bringing home a bad day from the office.
Below is my comment on the article. In addition to the recommendations provided by the author, a little early communication between partners can go a long way to disrupting the conflict cycle.
I think this is underappreciated and recognized condition for many people in the professional community. It is incredibly tough to shake off a rough day at the office when we walk through the door to our home.
My wife or I will typically call each other on our way home to give and receive brief rundowns of our respective days. It is also an opportunity for us to understand each other’s current state before walking in the door. This way, we help each other cool down when we get home even if it means just providing some quiet space.
Photo Credit: "Now" (CC BY 2.0) by new 1lluminati
Having a strong work-life role as part of our overall identity is healthy and normal for high-performing people. However, it is easily taken too far. People may become so emotionally connected to the business that it consumes their identity until “the company” represents a huge part of the individual. On the other hand, having a weak work-life component of our identity leads to career stagnation, mediocrity, and disengagement.
When we permit our personal identities to be compromised by allowing the corporation to supplant our true selves, we are letting our family, team, and company down. Our objectiveness and priority system is unbalanced, and that compromises our judgement. This situation leads to burnout, frustration, and an ever escalating level of damaged relationships.
FYI: This post is not what I intended to write. However, it is some honest thoughts, and I feel it might be worth sharing. I hope you find some value in it.
This is avoidable by aligning our priorities and actions with our core values. This requires us to understand what matters the most to us as a person. Frequently, it is our family. I have learned the importance of regularly looking at my obligations and roles through the lens of my core values. This approach allows for the separation of the corporation from the person. I am not advocating for the separate identities for work-life and home-life. This would create an entirely different set of problems. I am a complete person that has multiple obligations and roles in life. When integrated together through core values, I am a unified and authentic person. I would recommend that we look at where our efforts/resources are being directed while asking a couple of questions.
- Do I understand the needs and expectations of my stakeholders? Even if I am sure, I will ask them again. This understanding must be comprehensive and include both internal and external such as family, friends, colleagues, business and community.
- Are my actions and resource allocation (time, energy, mind share, and financial among other items) aligned with those needs and expectations?
- Do I agree with the current alignment between my core values, conduct, the external expectations placed on me, my internal expectations for myself, and my allocation of resources? If not, what beliefs, actions, or assignments need to be modified to gain the required alignment?
- If I feel my resource’s allocations, actions, and beliefs are aligned with my core values, do the desires of my stakeholder’s need to be modified? If so, what methods may I use to help them in recalibrating their expectations?
- How often should I recheck my alignment with my stakeholders and core values?
The allocation of resources and assessment of our behavior moves as our life situations change. The aim is to keep the true priorities that are derived from our core values first in our personal and professional lives. When we have an agreement between our core values, behaviors, and stakeholders, we are free to experience higher levels of fulfillment, clearer judgement, and ultimately the success we seek.
Photo Credit: freeimages.com/Javier Ramirez
Google is taking over Macs in schools! Chromebooks and Google Classroom seem to be making some serious inroads in the K-12 education. For every Mac we saw tonight, I saw a technology cart full of Chromebooks. It is fascinating to see the adoption of technology in the classroom. The students seem to love it and enjoy the content. Teachers were more dubious. With all new technologies, some glitches were experienced and some people adapt to new technologies faster than others.
A couple of teachers seemed less than thrilled, but everyone else had positive comments as to the role of the new electronic tools. Many teachers prefer the Chromebooks to Macs for the students. They commented on cost and the benefit of having one for every student. In addition, they liked how students could start on an assignment at school and finish it at home. They days of “I forgot my assignment at home” are gone since all the data is stored in the cloud.
It will be fascinating to see how the technology evolves over the next decade.