Monday, May 09, 2016

It is all about the little things

I like to garden.  Perhaps I should have figured out that I have hay-fever before I took it up.  That is the only downside except for the occasional sore back caused only by myself - by lifting wrong.

Connecting with nature has health benefits according to Huffington Post.  I know I track my steps with a Fitbit and it gives me about the same credit as a stroll but for some reason I get much sorer gardening.

Early this morning was gorgeous.  I could still see my breath as I dug in the garden.  The garden has weeds which thrive as always.  I often wish my vegetables would thrive as well as the weeds do.

I like pulling the big weeds - it is gratifying to see the pile of weeds grow.  They make the garden look nice, quickly.  And they are easy to see.  What I do not enjoy as much is pulling the little ones.  But history has taught me, lots of little weeds grow to big weeds and choke out the vegetables.

So my analogy for business and life.  It is not the big things that make all the difference - it is mostly about the little things.

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I read a book "The Optimistic workplace - Creating an Environment that Energizes Everyone" by Shawn Murphy.  I was worried from the title that it would be all about rah rah and pep talks.  Or worse yet,  I would have to smile.

Fortunately, Murphy is more practical than soft platitudes.  He talks about "good" culture being welcoming, curious, social and thoughtful.  All things a company can work on.

Since I am a work ethic guy, I loved one line "Optimistic cultures believe good things will happen if they work hard".

Murphy talks about the contagiousness of attitude.  And that starts with the leader.  Fortunately, I am naturally optimistic.  If anything does not work out or is not working, I know we just need to make a few changes.  What I am not sure of is - can people become optimistic?

Murphy supplies an appendix to help leaders build their own 90 day plan (I love 90 day plans).

Murphy agrees that companies that "serve" the world thrive.  So he would like the Danby Appliance culture of "we do the right thing".

I also know the best way to create optimism is to have success.  Successful companies are great places to work.

Off to create more optimism...

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Kids always help optimism.  (note the Shakespeare duck - indoctrination by his Shakespeare prof mom)




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