Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Obnoxious roommates, helpful animals and other thoughts from Arianna Huffington

The featured speaker for CosmoProf North America in Las Vegas this year was Arianna Huffington.  Though I knew of Huffington Post, I wasn't familiar with who "Huffington" was.  Started 7 years ago, this news outlet has exploded!  They have offices all over the world and have posted millions of stories.  Much of the site is social.  And this woman is the founder and leader.

Arianna came out and asked who had never seen her before.  Many raised their hands.  She said, "This is my accent."  She has a heavy greek accent.  Her ex-husband said the reason she still has a thick accent after 30 years in this country is because she never listens.  Arianna said, that is why he is my ex-husband!

She is a wonderful, compelling, funny speaker.  These are some of my key takeaways... enjoy!

Failure is a stepping stone to success   Arianna talked about difficult times in her life that seemed hopeless.  But time showed that those failures are the things that put her in a position for the success she currently enjoys.  Don't misinterpret failure!

Obnoxious Roommate  Arianna reminded us that our own negative self-talk poisons us.  We need to stop listening to the obnoxious voice in our own heads that continue to second guess what you are doing.  Tell the obnoxious roommate to shut up! 

Helpful Animals  Disney movies are filled with heroine's who get their cues from helpful animals in the forest.  These animals are there to assist us when we are in trouble.  You say, only in the movies?  Arianna says NO!  Life is filled with "helpful animals" (that is, people) who are able and willing to help us along our path in life.  Look back at your own life.  There are people who helped you get where you are.  They just appear at the right time and provide a hand.  Keep your eye out for these helpful animals!

Don't push the river, it flows  And finally, Arianna shared this quote from Barry Stevens that she has on her desk.  So often we are working really hard on things and are not getting results.  So we work harder.  Perhaps we should just sit back and watch how the things we have put in place actually work!  Given time, many of those things will come to fruition. 

Sleep  She really believes that a huge missing element to many successful people is a good night sleep.  By sleeping restfully, uninterrupted each night, we allow our bodies to recharge and rebuild.  The reason many of us don't get enough sleep is that we want to accomplish more.  She is convinced that is we slept the right amount, we would be more productive and much happier!

MEGA trends  She believes that MEGA trends in social media are:

  1. We are more engaged with conversation then presentation.  Typically news has been a presentation and now our world is more interested in being a part of the story.
  2. Arianna really feels there is a trend developing in disconnecting.  The world is 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  But WE need rest.  She feels the world is really seeking the ability to truly disconnect regularly.  She talked about the new feature for iPhone, Do Not Disturb.  
  3. And finally, the trend is that social media has gone from social interactions to chances to change the world.  She referenced Egypt and the other Middle Eastern countries that have changed governments due to the people being able to communicate through social media!
One of my friends was worried she would be political.  She wasn't.  She was funny, insightful and engaging!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The problem is always management!

My son's basketball team held a fundraiser at our local car wash.  We have 40 kids vacuuming and drying cars with 8 parents supervising.  I was helping on the drying.

Can you believe that I spent the majority of my time "supervising" the kids?  A herd of kids would approach cars that they knew the drivers.  And for those cars they didn't know, we would have to drag them over to dry the vehicle.

So the entire 3 hours I spent yelling at the kids.  No FUN!

I came home that night and had an epiphany.  The problem was NOT the kids!  The problem was management!!!  And that was ME!!!

So in hindsight, what I should have done is group 4 kids with a parent.  Number the groups.  We would have had about 4-5 groups of kids drying cars.  Each time a car rolled through, the next number would go.  When a group was done drying the car, they got to rest until it was their turn.

Because what happens is the motivated kids do all the work and the lazy kids work when they want to.  And I had to manage that.

If I did it this way, the kids would have self-policed this.  If one of their group wasn't working, they would call them out. 

Hindsight... it is fantastic!

Learning lesson, at work put the people in teams.  Have them set their goals.  Have them in charge of outcomes.  Then WE don't have to feel obligated to have to enforce rules and positive activities.

Be creative!