Always Be Learnin’ Something New

Welcome back!

Our snow from yesterday has turned into a bright blue sky with temperatures that will reach into the 50’s today and the snow originally predicted is nowhere to be seen. This is the great mystery of Colorado weather.

You’ve heard me talk many times about how knowledge grows at exponential forms. What in 1900 took 100 years to learn we are now learning in about a year. And, as I’ve told you before, IBM has stated that by 2020 knowledge will be doubling every 12 hours.

We also have technology, which I have talked about before, which is taking over jobs in larger and larger areas of employment. Although the first thought of this is shocking, it turns out to be nothing new. If you think back to pre-World War II, or even post-World War II right after the war, the same type of thing actually happened.

There used to be groups of people who were in typing pools (mainly women). Or, worked in accounting pools utilizing a calculating machine that would add or subtract and put the figures on a cash register type paper tape when a large handle was pulled (these jobs mainly done by men). As computer mainframes and eventually, electric typewriters and desk computers came into business areas the need for these different pools was over. Nowadays, in most industries only the president or vice president actually has a secretary. Everybody else does their own work.

If your job is dangerous, dirty, or dull, computers are probably starting to take it over. This affects everything from the transportation industry to manufacturing, and 21 other jobs that computers are presently doing. The question is, what do we humans do about it? Actually, that is easier than you think.

Computers will not be doing everything for a long, long time. This is mainly because people don’t want to have computers do things for them. You go to the bar for socialization, computers are really not who you want to talk to at the bar. Can you imagine going to a barbershop or beauty salon where computers did your hair or manicured your nails? No fun at all. And who wants to order dinner from a robot?

The question becomes how do we prepare? Well, you do that now. You learn a little bit about coding, there are plenty of short free courses you can use on the net. You don’t have to be an expert, just understand the basics. Understand how your basic personal computer or tablet works or even your personal phone knows how to send and receive email, write documents, connect with others, and shop online. As new things come out learn a little something about them. You don’t have to own a massive program or use it continuously just know that it’s there and what it does and how it works.

Just as workers of the past learned and grew as technology changed and found new ways, we can follow their examples and do so now and in the future.

Have a great day, and I look forward to writing for you again tomorrow.

Thank you to juliette leufke and Unsplash for the image.

Happy High Road

Would you like to know if the fact that will not only set you free, it will help you to work with anyone, anywhere, at any time, feel great, and get great things done? Impossible you say? Read this blog, and if you still don’t believe it’s possible, write me in the comments section, and I’ll call you, and we can talk for half an hour.

So, what’s the fact? If you can be happy and feel great, the majority of the time those feelings will transfer to the other person and be found in their responses. I hear a question already, about all the people out there who are so negative. Many times, that negativity and wish for dominance that others have for you, has nothing to do with you. The truth is often they don’t even know you.

Folks who display immediate negativity and desire to dominate others are those who have been hurt by other people. The neat thing is (and here is where the real secret lies,) they cannot dominate you any more than you can dominate them. For them to do so, you would first have to give them permission. You do that by starting off acting like they do.

The trick is to find your balance, your happiness, your drive for the path you want to walk in life. And then when negativity shows up in the forms of other people, be nice to the people, and don’t let the negativity in.

Easier said than done? Try this. Keep your positive attitude and your happiness. Then when you have to say something less than absolutely positive to anyone always start off with telling them three good things about themselves or three good things that they are doing. And then you can tell them something less than positive just do so in a positive way. Afterword’s, tell them one more thing very positive about themselves. It is often very hard to be mad at someone the when they’re telling you good things about yourself.

We all have some days that are better than others. However, you do get to choose. If you choose a happy high road, imagine all the others that you could bring with you.

Laying Out the Day

Several weeks ago, we had a blog about laying out our clothes, shoes, socks, belt, wallet,  and accessories the night before work, rather than running down the day of work in trying to find everything.

What would you think if I told you you can do the same thing with your day at work for the next day. The nice thing about going over the next day the night before is it saves you time and emotion.

Just grab your calendar and go over it. Just to remind yourself of the meetings you have, whatever is due the next day and how much work you still have to do on at it, and how much free time you have and at what times during the day, because something will always come up to take care that free time.

If you understand what’s going on at the time, it is easier to face. A thank you and the office of the boss is smiles and grins and grips. Working with an unhappy customer make a cause for some contrition and an earnest pledge to find and fix whatever is wrong. And, counseling a team member who did not perform his tasks on time may cause the need for empathy, encouragement, and chiding in proper amounts.

Knowing all this ahead of time means that none of it catches you blindsided, and you have some time to think and prepare. Knowing ahead of time is nice because you are less likely to go off your script or make some foolish error based on lack of time to think and consider.

Inspire Someone

Thanks, we are glad to have you here with us again!

Have you been thinking about what we’ve been talking about this week? Have you been writing things down? This is your life. I think we each only get one, and it is important that you have the chance to live the life that does you honor.

I have been taking a course on various companies. Learning what motivated them. Learning about their passions. Learning what it took to become viable and sustainable. For the founders of these companies, it truly is work. It is the work of fulfilling their passion.

Two kids from the same high school, one in ends up flipping burgers and salting fries. The other is driving Mercedes and taking vacations to Hawaii. Why?

Think of life as trade offs. 

Even better, think of where your passions live.  What do you need to do to fulfill them?  And, how that helps others because if done right, you could inspire generations that come after you. Don’t believe me?  Three words: Disney, Ford, Edison.

Who’s Fishing, What’s Biting, Be Pleasant

Thank you for being with us again.

Today we take a final look, for now, at comfort zones. From time to time we will come back to the comfort zone, as we are exploring other things.

When we’re going to move from one comfort zone to another, it is always good, as with anything we do, to do our research. Research is the homework that makes us look better when we’re out in public. We want to know the basics that we can find out on the computer before we arrive.

It’s good to know the company motto, the mission statement, the major company beliefs, a general overall ‘who is who’ especially for the top brass. These days, you can find out who the senior staff is on a company website. If there are no pictures there, you can look up the leadership individually by name, and there will usually be a picture, especially on their Facebook or LinkedIn.

If you know a few facts about the company or recognize the head of the plant or the director of manufacturing before being introduced, you score some big points because at that point you are no longer a visitor, you are starting to grow into the role of a member of the tribe.

You want to research the facts that you can find and know them. Yet, at the same time, you do not want to over think things. And you don’t want to come off as the nerdy geek. I’ve already filled that job. Be yourself never try to reach for something you’re not. It is over thinking and overreach that killed more opportunities than anything else.

Remember that smiles are better than frowns. And, letting the person in charge lead a little is always good when you’re not quite sure. Finding your way into your new comfort zone is a time for smiles and positives. Think of what people like, what you like and be that person. If you have been invited into their company and they have shown interest in you, they really want you to succeed. The last thing that anyone on staff wants is to go back to the drawing board to find someone else.

Whether your new comfort zone is being the new plant manager or occupying the fishing spot under the tree on the bank. The work you do to get there is the same. Know who is fishing, know what’s Biting, and be pleasant.

 

 

If You Change Your Angle

Hello and welcome back.

We’ve been talking about comfort zones. Up until now, we’ve been talking about having a comfort zone and going to a new one as something fearful. There are always worries about what might happen. The truth is you don’t know until you try.

Would it be fearful for something to offer you a large sum of money? To give you prestige? To give you a better lifestyle? You’re probably expecting me now to tell you all this happens with the comfort zone to the next. Sorry. As stated in the last blog, I have been around the block a few times. But I am here to tell you that with a little research and a little work moving from one comfort zone to another can be a very good thing.

Look at changing a comfort zone like this. I had a friend in Alaska who won a free trip to Hawaii from a radio station. It was for him and his wife, and the catch was they had to leave in two days. They both had jobs, and kids, and other responsibilities.

Most people would have just said no I can’t go, I have too many responsibilities. The contest involved packing suitcases, so the suitcases were packed. They each made a quick call and explanation to their jobs and their employers who understood and encouraged the trip. The next-door neighbor, who they traded babysitting with offered to take care of the kids while they were gone. And in about 18 hours, they were ready to board the plane and enjoy a vacation paid for by local radio station.

Many things look impossible when you’re down looking up. If you can change your angle of view a little bit, you can start to see ways in which obstacles diminish and opportunities become possible.

Take another look at the worries and concerns that you may have in trying to achieve something new. If you can adjust the view, maybe with reading a few articles or watching a few YouTube videos, maybe you can see a way.

Thank you for being with me today and listening to one person’s ideas. We hope you find the way to seek and find what you’re looking for.

We look forward to being with you again tomorrow. Thank you.

 

 

Comfort Zone Security

Looks like we secured some of the technical problems with the computer and the microphones and today we are looking at why somebody would move out of their comfort zone.

I like my comfort zone. It is not neat, and not pretty. My comfort zone, though, is something that I am used to living in. I know where things are. I know most answers to whatever may come up. And I understand what my expectations and limitations are within my comfort zone. And yet, I have had to move out of the comfort zone many times before, and I know I will do so several times in the future.

Sometimes we move out of the comfort zone because we search for something better. Sometimes we move out of our comfort zone to support others in their quests. And sometimes we are forced out of our comfort zones through actions and changes which we had very little control over.

Some of my changes in comfort zones were because I was in the military and moved from one base to another. These changes were very agreeable to me because as a child my father was in the military, and we would move every two or three years. I liked seeing new surroundings, seeing new things and of course learning.  Every time you move from one comfort zone to another you learn new things.

Sometimes those things aren’t what you really wanted to learn. That is okay. I have a philosophy that says learning is good. At one point after I retired from the military, I learned what it was like to have your factory to close and move all of its operations overseas. I did not ask for this to happen. I was unhappy for myself and the hundreds of people out of work. This forced me to change my comfort zones whether I wanted to or not.

Everything being equal, you are at most risk when you move from one place to another. It is true when you go from one house to another, and when you’re on the road. The risk is present when you move from one job to another and have to learn new ways of doing things. When you move from one neighborhood to another, positive changes include meeting new friends. Negatives include the fact that you don’t know what the good and bad of the new neighborhood will include. Risks are always unpleasant. To minimize risk, we always want to get back into our comfort zone, new or old, as fast as possible.

With your permission, in upcoming blogs, I would like to explore the idea of the comfort zones a little bit more in detail. And maybe with the help of you and others, define some precautions that we can take while outside of our comfort zone which will make getting into the new comfort zone easier.

Thank you for reading, please leave us a comment!

 

 

 

More Than We Can Handle?

Have you ever watched jugglers? Jugglers start off with three of whatever they are juggling. So if they are juggling bowling pins, or balls, or even bowling balls, they always seem to have one in each hand and one in the air. Of course the better they become as jugglers, they still only have two hands, but rather than having a total of three items to juggle, they may have four, five, or six various items. This means many more items in the air and a higher chance of missing something.

And of course, the more items the juggler has in the air, the more likely it is that what will happen? Yep, something happens and all the items being juggled fall to the floor.

The juggler will tell you dropping things is part of growing and stretching their ability. To grow as jugglers, they have to understand that they will drop objects while they are learning. And, they will drop objects while they expand their reach. They know that is part of growing as a juggler.

I believe in growth. I believe in stretching one’s abilities. Although not a large proponent of multitasking, to a large degree, I do know that this is an important talent.  One sought after today in the marketplace.

I noticed that if I’m multitasking various issues at the same time, one of them gets the majority of my attention and the rest during that moment have cursory attention. Does this mean that I will miss things? Will I drop things? Could something end up going undone? Sure, I’m only human. Surprisingly enough the same can be said of all humans who juggle or multitask.

We do not drop items on purpose, although it will, at some time, happen.  At times, in business, we all need to juggle. We and the people we work for take that chance. The trick is…

Not to Take On More Than We Can Handle At A Given Time.

What Are You Saying?

I find it interesting that we have so many ways to communicate and sometimes we don’t even think about our best communication methods.

Some people yell and scream, they get irate and stomp their feet trying to get the point across. Sometimes these people are just disruptive. And sometimes they’re mad at themselves because they can’t figure out why they can’t get people to listen to them.

There are better ways of communication. Some people speak so softly that it pulls you towards them just to be able to hear. This method is actually a better method than yelling or screaming.

I remember seeing an interview with Morgan Freeman where he talked about being up for a role as a tough guy. He had to sit in the waiting room and listen to other actors try out for the part. They yelled and screamed their lines and they were irate and over-the-top. Mr. Freeman did not worry about that, he already knew what worked. When it was his turn to the audition, rather than yelling and screaming, he pulled the co-actor close, placed his hands on the face of the co-actor and spoke softly into the co-actors  ear. This was very effective and won him the role.

When I taught live classes for people who were teaching workers on the assembly line, I used to teach body language which is a great communication device for getting the message across. It’s just that the message that gets across may not always be the one you intended to send. It’s easier to talk nice then and is for the body to hide being anxious or being bored or worried or disdainful or caring or happy or sad. Yet body language is very important because people will read the body language before they hear the words.

As we progressed into communicating with email, the ability to read the body language was not there. This made the information sometimes hard to completely understand because we were so used to having body language as a part of our communication. Using a telephone you could at least hear the inflections and the voice and the emotions that it carried. With only words, communication became harder. Emojis were actually invented to try to help with the meaning of the phraseology in emails and to add some emotion to them. Yet, emojis do not always tell the full story.

Today we have video mail, also looked at as face-to-face conversations. There are Face Time, Skype, and Zoom just to mention a few. As we move more into video chat and face-to-face meetings over the computer, once again body language comes to the forefront.

It looks as though we need to be careful about what the body screams while we are talking softly.

 

 

Be The Person You Want Helping You

Lately, I have read a lot from many entrepreneurs about which is more important, to make a lot of money or to help the client who needs that help?

This is a fair dilemma. If you don’t help people and do good for them or their companies you really can’t make very much money because you will not have many customers. If you spend all your time helping people giving away most of what you do and not making a sufficient income, you will not be able to continue due to a lack of funds.

This reminds me of a similar debate in manufacturing. To provide the customer what they are paying for, the winds need to build quality products. To earn sufficient funds to pay for the lines running, asserting quantity must be built and shipped to the customer.

Poor quantity means not enough product to satisfy the customer or keep the line running. On the other hand, poor quality means returns, reworks, and loss of reputation.

Let’s  look at this in action. You have a young line with new builders who have only the most minimum of training. The manufacturing manager steps on the line and tells everyone they will build and package 350 units by the end of the shift, or else she will find new people to build her computers.

The new people, needing the jobs to support their families and themselves are terrified and start doing whatever they can as fast as they can. Quality inspectors, who work for the manufacturing manager (poor choice in organizational structure) are letting all but the most serious of errors through inspection believing if the units are bad they will fail at the testing stations.

Although it’s a squeaker, the 350 units are built and shipped by the end of the shift. Everybody feels elated. Even the manufacturing manager has something on her face, although it’s not sure if what people saw was a smile, or sneer. Alas, this is just the start of the story and not the happy ending. The units shipped have a myriad of flaws, and the customer believes some units have major flaws which require repair before the units can be sold on the open market.

The 350 questionable units are shipped back to the United States from Europe and with 400 units that were built but not shipped underwent re-inspection and repair. When planning the economics of the line, a re-inspection and repair of units at this magnitude were never contemplated. The factory now has to pay for transportation of units, storage of units, a work crew to inspect and repair units, certification of the work by the customer’s inspectors, and re-shipment back to Europe. This is what we call a hidden factory. It’s not something you plan for your factory to do. Not something you’re going to get paid extra for. It is just a drain on the resources of the factory.

Let’s move this back to our question of the day and are we out to help people, or are we after the big bucks.

If you help someone, hopefully, they tell a friend. And if you help their friend, they’ll tell someone else, maybe two. If you build a quality product and put it in a quality program and charge a fair price, you may go far. Doing good things for people grows a following.   

If your product is filled with errors, grammatical problems, ideas that are irrelevant to the reader you may find items being returned and fees requested to be refunded. That is never a good start and is certainly a bad end.

So, what do you do? Do the best that you can make sure your work is relevant to your customer and you go from there.  And…

Be The Person You Want Helping You.