Manufacture Your Day by DISCOVERING THE SECRET POWER OF SELF-MOTIVATION

If you are an employee, do you think your manager is responsible to motivate you? 

If you are a manager, do you think it is your responsibility to motivate your employees? 

Here is the simple answer: “No.” Management is responsible to create a motivating environment, and management is responsible to develop self-reliant and self-motivated employees. That’s it. 

External motivation (carrot or stick method) was a motivational technique that seemed to work well during the industrial age. 

Carrot (motivation by desire) = more money, a title. 

Stick (motivation by fear) = if you don’t do what I tell you to do, you will get fired. 

Today we are in the age of knowledge work and information technology. Many managers are frustrated by the fact that what used to work simply doesn’t work anymore. Our young generation isn’t motivated by money and titles and if you apply the stick, they will simply move back into their parents basement. Ouch!

Here is the thing, we can all feel frustrated and demotivated at times. That is totally o.k. What is not o.k. is that most people simply don’t have a mental strategy in place how they can motivate themselves when they are in a rut. 

Do you give people goals (mainly numbers/targets) and expect them to be excited?

Have you ever spoon-fed your team members so that they won’t make a mistake? 

Have you ever had the feeling that people don’t move until you tell them to move? 

If your answer is yes to all or most of these questions, please don’t feel bad because you are not alone. 

How about…

  • allowing people to be involved in the corporate goal setting process – WIIFT (what’s in it for them?)
  • making personal development an expectation in the performance review? People have to tell you what they want to learn this year – what courses to take, what skills to learn, what behaviours to improve, what mentor to choose, what books to read (and drop that demotivational 1 – 10 Performance Review Rating System)?
  • hiring more people based on their personal hobbies and talents than just for skill and education only (a hobby can tell you a lot about a person’s drive and personality)?
  • asking people more open-ended questions so that they can have “a voice” in the problem solving process. 
  • teaching people the power of goal setting in their personal life in order to get happier, healthier and more productive employees? 

Will some of these ideas cost money?

Yes, but most definitely not as much as it will cost to have ongoing performance issues, lack of discipline, high turnover and absenteeism, health & safety issues and quality concerns. 

Self-motivation is a good skill to develop and everyone will benefit from it – the company, the employees and the employees’ families and friends. 

Stop wishing and start doing! The best project we will ever work on is ourselves. 

Manufacture Your Day by GETTING SOME EXPERT ADVICE

Have you ever considered yourself to be an expert? 

How do you give others the feeling that they are the experts? 

Have you explored daily challenges with machine operators by saying, “I am not sure. You are the expert in this job. What do you think we should do?” 

The reason why so many people have a difficult time to connect with others is because they are completely disconnected from themselves. 

It is sad and I see it almost every day. 

That’s what stress, fire fighting, overloaded schedules, a never-ending list of tasks, constant availability via phone and email, and a lack of “me-time” can do to all of us. 

If you don’t develop a mental strategy, you will get out of sync with the world (depression, anxiety, negativity are just a few examples). Everything that shows up in your external world is a direct result of your internal world (thoughts, feelings, beliefs and emotions). 

I always like to listen to others, receive feedback and look for advice. 

However, the best results I have had when I sat still and listened to my intuition. My inner voice is usually right on and past experience has shown that I have all the knowledge I need to have when it comes to making a decision.

If you would like to give this a try, here is what you should do:

  • Allow yourself to have some quiet time 
  • Trust yourself to be the expert for what is good for you and for your life
  • Ask open-ended and meaningful questions
  • Keep calm and sit still
  • You will have a hunch (a feeling that represents the answer) 
  • Listen to yourself – if you ask, you will get an answer

We are all experts in our own right and everyone should be encouraged to operate that way. 

Are you ready for some expert advice?

Trust in your “operating system” and listen to yourself. 

Manufacture Your Day by TRYING SOMETHING NEW

Just think about this for a moment. Do you receive the results with the people around you that you would like to receive?

If the answer is “Yes”, keep doing what you’re doing. 

If the answer is “No”, you may want to consider taking different actions. 

As soon as you acknowledge it, you can start by doing something new. 

  • Start by acknowledging 1 person.
  • Start by being kind to 1 person. 
  • Start by giving constructive feedback to 1 person. 
  • Start by expressing gratitude to 1 person.  
  • Start by apologizing to 1 person. 
  • Start by forgiving 1 person. 
  • Start by showing appreciation to 1 person.
  • Start by speaking to 1 person in a different department.
  • Start by resolving conflict in a positive way with 1 person. 
  • Start by smiling at 1 person. 
  • Start by delegating to 1 person.
  • Start by showing a sincere interest in 1 person. 
  • Start by trusting 1 person. 
  • Start by understanding the stressors of 1 person. 
  • Start by giving a high five to 1 person. 
  • Start by building rapport with 1 person. 

Pick 1 action and start today. Repeat tomorrow.

It’s as simple as that!

Manufacture Your Day by BEING TACTFUL

It’s a new week and I think we should start it right, shall we? 

Dictionary.com says that Tact is

  1. a keen sense of what to say or do to avoid giving offense; skill in dealing with difficult or delicate situations.
  2. a keen sense of what is appropriate, tasteful, or aesthetically pleasing; taste; discrimination.
  3. touch or the sense of touch.

A tactful person is mindful and definitely avoids to be rude or careless. There are many benefits when you consider to improve your communication skills by giving a more sensitive response. 

A few examples would be when you have to decline an invitation, give constructive feedback to one of your team members, tackle rumours at the workplace or when your company goes through layoffs. Tact is needed in all of these situations and will make a difference for all the people involved. 

You always want to keep in mind that you deal with human beings and you don’t want to destroy someone’s self-worth.

Unfortunately I have met people in very high positions who really don’t care about that but you wouldn’t be reading this right now if you would be one of these people.

A person’s self-worth is in direct correlation with the company’s net-worth. If people don’t believe in their abilities, how can they help their employer to get to the next level? 

Here are some strategies on how to be(come) a tactful person: 

  • Take a deep breath and think before you speak;
  • Avoid emotional responses (emotions high, intelligence low);
  • Demonstrate empathy by considering other people’s feelings;
  • Listen, listen, listen – if you truly want to understand the other person’s point of view, it is impossible to lack tact;

It is important to communicate the truth and it is even more important how we do it. 

Manufacture Your Day by FOLLOWING YOUR DREAMS

Happy Friday!

Have you ever had a dream that you gave up on? I think we all have and that’s a shame. 

How about learning to dream again? 

In my business and in my personal life I like to challenge myself  to come up with new ideas and crazy adventures in order to inspire my clients, social media followers and prospects. 

Just recently I had this great idea to organize “Leadership Transformation Bootcamps” in Austria. I want to create an experience for Top Level Manufacturing Executives that will leave them not only inspired, recharged and connected but also transformed. 

Before I put any idea into action, I like to ask people for feedback. Unfortunately the number of people who tell you why something isn’t possible is higher than the people who encourage you. I have learned to ignore the naysayers and rather don’t give my power to others. 

While I like to do my research to get all the facts straight, I know that a few things are more important than anything else to make a dream become a reality. 

  • Vision – if you can see it and believe it before it actually exists, you are halfway there.
  • Creativity – be original in your approach.
  • Self-confidence – believe in yourself and your abilities.
  • Massive Action – you gotta work for it in order to make it happen.

If you have a powerful “why” you want to do something, the how becomes easy. 

….and now get ready to dream!

Manufacture Your Day by STRIVING TO BE HAPPY

Have you ever noticed how happy and excited little children can be? Their laughter and smiles can be contagious, right? 

Why is does it seem to be so difficult to stay happy as we grow older? 

In my workshops I always ask people if they would like to receive tips on how to achieve a greater level of happiness. It is interesting for me how they respond and I have to say that people become “alive” when I speak about that. 

Happier people are more productive but that’s not why I bring it up. I simply believe that all of us deserve to be happy and happiness is an “inside job”. I collect as many ideas as I can so that I can share it with the people who are in my circle of influence. 

The “happiness jar” is one of them. What makes YOU happy? You could do this alone or even make it a family activity. 

Do you want some ideas what you can do?

  • play outside 
  • go to the beach and play in the water
  • run outside
  • go snow tubing or tobogganing
  • walk barefoot (even in the winter – this will wake you up)
  • give the gift of time to someone you care about
  • surprise someone by doing something nice
  • get close to nature and animals
  • listen to music
  • dance
  • hang out with people who make you laugh
  • be selfish in order to get your “me time” in
  • travel and explore new places (even in your neighbourhood) 
  • meet new people
  • listen to people’s stories
  • in case you ever get to travel to Austria, Germany or Switzerland, I recommend drinking from a small spring after a daylong hike (world’s finest pleasure) 
  • hug a tree (makes you feel grounded and energized)

Start collecting the small and big enjoyments in your life. 

Come on, say “yes”! Happiness isn’t only for kids. 

Manufacture Your Day by GETTING A HANDLE ON YOUR FRUSTRATIONS

Have you ever been frustrated because you didn’t bring your point across, or am I the only one? 

The amount of people who caused tremendous frustration in my life over the course of my lifetime is ridiculous. I have always been too easily frustrated and impatient when it came to other people. I thought that I knew better. 

Did you know that there is the illusion of superiority? That’s when we think we are great at everything and only others have to learn. Fact is that we are all good at something. We have mixed abilities, and nobody is perfect. 

I started to ask myself: “What if I would be able to judge less and appreciate more?”

This would be pretty cool, right? 

Please know that when frustration becomes a habit, you will harm yourself and the people you truly care about. 

Next time you are tempted to speak poorly about others, simply ask yourself: 

  • How will it reflect on me when I am frustrated? 
  • Am I in a curious state (understanding where the other person is coming from) or in a furious state (emotions high, intelligence low)? 
  • When can I go for a short walk to clear my head? 

Be in control of your emotions or they will control you. 

Manufacture Your Day by INVESTING IN YOURSELF

We have all been given one life and I think it is our responsibility to look after ourselves. 

I often observe how stressed people are and they have absolutely no strategy for stress management in place. 

Today I would like to talk about how we divide our time. 

  • Personal Time: this is the time that we spend with family and friends
  • Professional Time: this is the time that we spend working and at work
  • Me Time: this is alone time

Introverts (people who renew their energy by being alone) need more time alone but it is important to recognize that we all need “me time”. 

May this be by playing the drums in the basement, going for a walk / run, sitting down with a good book, listening to your favourite music, meditating, or going for a long drive. These are just a few examples. 

You are important. Make time for yourself!

We all have to learn to enjoy our own company and do the things that help us to relax, recover and energize. 

Invest in yourself and your health. You are worth it!

Manufacture Your Day by CONQUERING THE STATUS QUO

I am disappointed when I see people working in a poisoned environment, toiling in negativity day in and day out. It not only has a detrimental impact on their productivity, but more importantly, on their health and well-being, all for the illusion of security and a regular paycheque. Why do so many organizations ignore their crippled company culture and choose to stick with the status quo? It’s time to wake up! We need to realize that we have to compete in order to survive. We have to keep getting better plant by plant, leader by leader, and employee by employee. 

If you compare gardening to managing people, there really is no difference. The seeds you plant now you will harvest later. 

People demonstrate negative attitudes and behaviours because they’re accepted. Our leaders are swamped with so many demands that it becomes a real challenge to not only address these issues but also to take the time, energy and effort to create sustainable change. There is such a disconnect between many corporate leaders and their workforce that they don’t even realize that there is one. If they do, they don’t know what to do about it. 

If each employee was committed to making small, sustainable improvements, tremendous operational results could be achieved. 

This is an excerpt from my book “How Can We Make Manufacturing Sexy?”

Manufacture Your Day by BEING GRATEFUL FOR WHAT YOU HAVE

Just before the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, I thought it would be good to remind you about the importance of being grateful (not only on Thanksgiving). 

It is really good to cultivate the habit of giving thanks throughout the year. 

Isn’t it true that we constantly strive for more, more and more? Let’s commit to stop and reflect regularly on how far we have come and all the things we can be grateful for.

Just think for a moment about what you have in your life right now that money cannot buy – here are a few examples:

Love, Health, Healthy Children, Happiness, Time, Talent, Manners/Class, Honest Friends, Creativity, Humour, Loyalty, Self-satisfaction;

If you want to establish this new “Gratefulness Habit”, I suggest that you start your day by listing a few things or people you are grateful for.

This will guarantee for a positive emotional experience. If you have never done that, it may sound weird but give it a try and see where it will take you. 

Today I have a special request for you:

If you are one of my regular readers and you find that my messages really benefit you, copy the following link and send it to at least 3 people you really care about and explain how these messages benefit you. If it helps you, please allow others to benefit from these messages as well. 

Change your perspective, change your life.

It is important to give thanks for the little things in life. This is one of them! Take action now.

I would like to thank YOU for showing up with the willingness to learn and to grow. You inspire me to be creative and at my very best. 

To all my Canadian readers:

Happy Thanksgiving! I wish you a wonderful long weekend.