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Happywork TV Episode 6: Give Your Employees a Chance to Improve and Succeed

In Episode 6 of Happywork TV, I discuss the fourth of 46 work commitments in my new book, “Happywork.”

Here it is: “I will provide my employees the tools and training they need to have a chance to succeed … I will remember that it’s not just the business owner who comes to work everyday to achieve great things. Employees want to get better at what they do without having to leave our organization.”

How often have you or someone you know left a job because, “There was no room for advancement?” True, not all companies are large enough to offer robust options for promotions, pay increases, and advancement. However, too many companies have owners and managers who don’t take their employees’ careers into account AT ALL. It is inefficient to have great people leave your employ. If you have an HR department, it keeps them unnecessarily busy. If you don’t have an HR department, who is working to hire new people to come in and replace these great employees?

You might think most employees just want to do their jobs, but I would submit to you that most of them also want to achieve great things at work. It is only the hardest soul whose heart wouldn’t be warmed by a huge success at work.

Owners and managers, give your peeps the tools they need to get the job done, and take a genuine interest in their careers and lives.

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Happywork is available for pre-order on Amazon – HERE!

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Loving Soccer is Unamerican, According to Mark Reardon

Mark Reardon thinks soccer is Communist, and of course he’s crazy. But at least he let me plug my book. I always love going on KMOX radio – thanks so much Mark for having me in.

Let it be known – soccer is an awesome spectator sport!

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Happywork TV Episode 5: Be Kind to Others

In Episode 5 of Happywork TV, I share a quote I read on SI.com. Most NFL players don’t help their opponents up off the field when a play is over, but one player does. And he catches some criticism for it. He doesn’t care, and I love that. Yes, two teams are trying to beat each other, but helping a fellow human being up off the ground isn’t going to make or break your chances of winning. Get real.

Lesson for work: lend a hand when you can. Less competing with each other, and more cooperating.

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Happywork is available for pre-order on Amazon – HERE!

Please SUBSCRIBE to my email newsletter! Pretty please – you’ll get these blog posts delivered to you automatically. Thanks!

Happywork TV Episode 4: Give Your Employees Direction

In Episode 4 of Happywork TV, I discuss the third of 46 work commitments in my new book, “Happywork.”

Here it is: “I will give my employees direction … I do not want my employees to have to wonder what is most important to me.

As I say in the video, I think it’s great when companies are looking to hire “self-starters.” I think what they really mean is, “I want an employee I don’t have to harass to have them get their job done.” But here’s what employees need: at least SOME direction. I have worked jobs with NO job description. I have received employment reviews from bosses when they started getting on my case regarding tasks I didn’t even know I was supposed to be doing. (now I ask lots of questions – lots and lots of dumb questions, to be honest. It’s how I learn).

I like clear communication, and teamwork. I like when bosses tell me HOW they like to work, how they like to communicate, and I love when they inform me what is most important to them. No, I don’t think employees need their hand held, but as an employee, management’s vision is rather important (especially to those managers). So please create a wide open line of communication, and use it!

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Happywork is available for sale on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Happywork-Business-Parable-Journey-Teamwork/dp/0768405319/

Happywork TV Episode 3: Don’t Rule With Fear

In Episode 3 of Happywork TV, I take a quick break from discussing the 46 work commitments contained in my book to comment on an article I saw on Sir Richard Branson’s blog.

Sir Richard was giving an external talk about Virgin’s new unlimited leave policy, and found that certain people in the room were afraid to clap for this ridiculously awesome idea. Keep in mind, Sir Richard Branson can give a moving public address, and everyone loves him so we listen even more closely and clap even harder when he’s around (it’s just human nature). The reason those employees didn’t want to clap was that their bosses were in the room. How screwed up must that business be to have a bunch of employees living in fear of their managers? Let me say it plainly: I would not to work at that place, and I can say this without knowing anything else about the situation.

Draw a line in the sand here and don’t take a single step over it!

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Happywork is available for sale now on Amazon. Preorder so you don’t forget!

NOTES:

1. Yes, the damn camera was out of focus. I must have accidentally turned off auto-focus. I’ll work to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Still learning!

2. I think I need to shorten these. My wife said 3-4 minutes tops. She’s smart. I kept yapping and went to 7 minutes. Let me know what you think about making these videos shorter. I will get better at this as I go.

Happywork TV Episode 2: Don’t Take Credit for the Hard Work of Others

In Episode 2 of Happywork TV, I discuss the second of the 46 commitments in my upcoming book, “Happywork – A Business Parable About the Journey to Teamwork, Profit, and Purpose.”

Number 2 is as follows: “I will not publicly take credit for my employees’ great ideas and hard work. This destroys employee morale even faster. I hired the talent here; there is my opportunity to take some credit.”

Ever had this happen to you? (When I ask this of you regarding these 46 commitments in my book, the answer is almost always going to be “yes”). This drives me up a wall, and is damaging to one’s confidence. Yes, it is possible to find purpose solely in the completion of tasks. But most of the time, we like to be recognized for our good deeds. We like to feel both a sense of significance and contribution when we’ve done well. Almost worse than being ignored is having someone steal your thunder and the credit for your hard work.

Let’s face it – we feel a surge of tingly happy feelings when a superior publicly compliments us. These are the kind of feelings every boss should work to engender in their people. So this would seem to be a great strategy. When a boss takes the credit and gives you none, it just kills your self-confidence (and often makes you think it’s time to move on).

Of course, when you’re working with an equal (not your boss), perhaps there’s even more incentive to steal the credit. You’re often competing with that person for raises and promotions. And when someone does unfairly steal the limelight from you and you speak up about it, you look like a sour grapes knucklehead. You look like the crazy one.

A brave manager is the one that hires great talent and lets them spread their wings, and then compliments them when they do.

A few requests of you:

1. Please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel. You’ll be able to see all Happywork TV episodes there.

2. Please consider subscribing to my blog’s email list. I’ve spent years making friends on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, but completely neglected my email list.

3. Finally, please pre-order Happywork. I think you’re going to enjoy it, and I’ll really need everyone’s support to spread this message far and wide. Hook a brother up!

Happywork TV Episode 1: Don’t Make Rules You Can’t Follow Yourself

In Episode 1 of Happywork TV, I discuss the first of 46 commitments featured in my upcoming book “Happywork – A Business Parable About the Journey to Teamwork, Profit, and Purpose.”

Number 1 is this: “I will not ask my employees to do anything I would not be willing to do myself. And I will not create rules that I cannot follow myself. I realize that acting in such a way destroys employee morale.”

We’ve all had bosses like this. They can dish out the rules (like “be on time”) but then can’t seem to follow their own edicts. Yes, they have the literal power to do whatever they want, as they run the show. Maybe that’s our cue to shut up. But we all know it’s not good for morale to act this way. People don’t like to be told what to do, but they do appreciate when you take the time to explain to them why they’re being asked to do something. And they love seeing management and ownership jumping in and getting their hands dirty.

Mostly, it’s about creating great working relationships, and inspiring employees to greatness. Don’t make rules you can’t follow yourself.

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Welcome to the World of Happywork TV

Consider this video above to be an announcement that I’m going to make a whole bunch more videos! If you hadn’t yet heard, my first-ever book, Happywork, hits the streets on February 17, 2015. I’m excited, nervous, scared, humbled, but mostly just eager to get it in your hands. Pre-order here on Amazon.

In Happywork, I write about a company called Vunorri Inc., which is on the brink of foreclosure. As a last ditch effort, the President of Vunorri brings in a turnaround specialist, Sam Maslow. Sam is utterly talented; he never fails, and among the tools in his toolbox are layoffs. However, Vunorri Inc. is a different kind of company – perhaps the worst company in the world to work for. The place is a nightmare – terrible people, apathy, evil management, three rounds of layoffs in the last five years, and a few surprises I don’t want to give away. Trust me, I had to use every ounce of my imagination to make this place as horrible as it is.

While my book is a fictional account, almost all of you are going to read it and say, “Oh yeah, I had a job like that once.” That’s the problem. We all have! My goal is to show my readers what happens when you put good people into toxic environments. And I hope to make the point that happiness at work really does matter, so much so that we should make it our number one priority.

Vunorri, Inc. needs to make some changes very quickly in order to survive, and perhaps the most important change is to make it a kinder, nicer place to work. That way, the good ones will stay, the knuckleheads will leave, and they’ll have a chance to create a powerful, cohesive team. To shoehorn happiness into the business, they create a sort of work code of conduct – a list of commitments that employers are going to make to their employees, a list of commitments that employees are going to make back to their employers, and a list of commitments that they will make together. There are 46 commitments in all.

Their hope (and mine as well) is that by committing to each other, walls can be broken down. Old biases and bottlenecks can be eliminated. And we can find a way to respect each other, get along with each other, and team up to make great things happen. Our shared purpose can be one of being happy together. THEN, we can go create new products, open new stores, sell more stuff, improve our margins … all of those awesome business tactics are as important as ever, and they’ll all be waiting for us once we’ve constructed a respectful, happy place to work.

So I’m starting what I’ll call Happywork TV. To begin with, I’m going to record 46 videos, one for each commitment in the book. I’ve noticed that, for me, the most robust conversations happen on Facebook, so I’ll be posting these videos on Facebook in the hope that you’ll chime in with your thoughts, and perhaps work stories of your own. After those 46 videos, I’ll be shifting gears and creating videos thanking the people who helped make this book possible. And if I’m still having fun making videos, I’ll make more. From what I’ve noticed, the corporate world provides a never-ending stream of unfortunate business and employment news to illuminate and discuss.

As I mention in the video, I am going to need ALL of your support in order to spread this message far and wide. Selfishly, I have many books to sell, but more than anything, I hope we can change the way business works. I hope you’ll tune in to this video series. Thank you for watching, and thank you for ordering your copy of Happywork!

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Love Each Other – A Powerful Message

You might not agree with everything he’s saying, but this message about love, tolerance, and compassion is worth consuming.

The New iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus – My Discussion With Mark Reardon on KMOX Radio

iPhone comparison

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are scheduled to ship any day now. The 6 is a 4.7″ phone, while the 6 Plus is a 5.5″ monster phablet. Which one am I going to buy? I am still undecided, but that big phone is so tempting. I use my phone for email, tweeting, texting, photography, and Netflix. A big screen would make all of these activities more awesome. Most calls I take on it, I’m using my Bose QC-15 over-the-ear noise-canceling headphones (which truly means I don’t care about how I look when taking calls!). Therefore, I’m not holding the phone up to my ear. And besides, as I said on-air, not sure I really care how I look with the phone.

Mark Reardon saw me post the above photo on my Facebook page, which depicts my 3.5″ iPhone 4S and visual cutout representations of the two new iPhones, and called me in to talk about the two new iPhones.

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