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Happywork TV Episode 16: Show Up To Your Damn Job On Time

In Episode 16 of Happywork TV, I present the next commitment in my work code of conduct called “The Happywork Agreement.”

This one is made by employees to their employers. It goes like this: “I will show up to work on time, or will communicate when I can’t.”

That’s it! Freakin’ show up to work on time! Your employer does not deserve the shenanigans about alarm clocks that didn’t go off, car trouble, and all the rest.

If you have an extenuating circumstance, please communicate it with your superiors! For me, Happywork is all about work/life balance. I don’t just care about your work happiness; I want the entire user experience known as your life to be a great one. You want to be able to drop your kids off at school, and be at their parent/teacher conferences, and more. So there will be times you can’t make it to work on time – COMMUNICATE! I am hopeful your employer will understand. Create an open line of communication, and be reliable for your employer.

What of workplaces with flex time? They’re awesome. But, if you don’t work at such a place, and they tell you your shift starts at 8am, be there at 8!!!

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Watch Episode 15 here!

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

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Happywork TV Episode 15: Your Job is Not a Right, So Stop Acting Like It Is

In Episode 15 of Happywork TV, I present the next commitment in my work code of conduct called “The Happywork Agreement.”

This one is made by employees to their employers. It goes like this: “I understand my job is not a right, nor a privilege.”

For me, this is a matter of employee attitude. If your employer came to you and said, “You know, you’re lucky to have a job here at my company,” you’d be like “GTFO of here!” That’s not the lever of persuasion that an employer should be pulling!

So, when employees strut around with the attitude that the company is lucky to have them … that, without them, everything would fall apart and who would do their job and “I’m irreplaceable…” Well, you’re wrong. No one is irreplaceable, and the sooner you realize that, the better your attitude might get.

I was once removed from a job, and I thought to myself, “How are they gonna do this without me?” And, “Don’t they even want to know the password to my computer and the online banking and…” Guess what? They managed. It probably took a couple of uncomfortable phone calls and a few late nights, but they survived without me.

My biggest problem with this attitude of “My employer is lucky to have me” is the potential damage it can do to our work relationships. If an employer can piss off her people by copping a bad attitude, an employee can tweak their employer doing the exact same thing. AND that is a terrible foundation on which to build a team.

So that’s my issue – you can’t build great teams if you have employers acting like jerks, and you certainly can’t build a great team if you have employees strutting around like they’re entitled to their jobs.

This is about attitude.

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Watch Episode 14 here!

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

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Happywork TV Episode 14: Owners May Be More Enthusiastic About The Business Than Employees

LOL HIT “PLAY” ON MY FOREHEAD!

In Episode 14 of Happywork TV, I introduce the next commitment contained in the work code of conduct I’ve created called “The Happywork Agreement.” (which is in the book! The Agreement itself was where the whole idea for this book started)

Here it is: “I will keep in mind that my employees may not be as excited about the organization as I am. This is natural, as this business is my dream and not necessarily theirs.”

Key in on the word “natural” here. As an owner or manager, you can wish all day that your employees had an internal motor that ran at 200% like yours does. You can wish it all you want, but it’s not often going to be so. You started the business; it’s your dream. Who could possibly be more excited about it than you?

By the way, when I was a marketing and communication consultant, I used to hate the question some prospects would ask: “Are you going to love my business as much as I do?” What are you, nuts? That’s just impossible, and a seriously lazy question. Ask better questions!

I digress.

If Mr Owner or Mrs Manager is wondering why their employees aren’t as excited as they are, they should first understand that it’s completely natural to have more energy, drive, and excitement for your business than your employees. And if you want to change that, work hard at it! Train your people. Coach them up. Give them a great place to work. Give them a reason to be excited to come to work! Don’t just sit there and wish everyone loved your business as much as you do. Work your ass off to make it so!

And, I would ask that you avoid making us employees feel guilty for not loving your business as much as you do. That’s what I’d call “coaching down,” and if you’re doing this, you’re going on the wrong direction.

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Watch Episode 13 here!

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

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I Heart Kenny Wallace!

Happywork TV Episode 13: Employers May Have Skillsets That Employees Do Not

In Episode 13 of Happywork TV, I introduce yet another commitment contained in the work code of conduct I’ve created called “The Happywork Agreement.” (which is in the book!)

Here it is: “I will remember that I may possess certain skillsets that my employees do not. Therefore, it may not be reasonable to expect from others sterling performance in areas where I excel. I will be patient. There was only one Michael Jordan on the Bulls.”

In the video, I bring up the example of Magic Johnson. He excelled at just about everything on the court – he was tall, he could pass, he could shoot, he was an amazing floor general and leader. However, when he was handed the Lakers coaching job, he didn’t do so well.

Why? One reason bandied about was that he got frustrated when players didn’t execute plays that he was so able to make himself during his playing career. He wasn’t patient with his players, and it shoed. Jordan did the same thing during his playing career, and it didn’t seem to affect the Bulls’ performance. However, I have to question whether or not it was fun to be Jordan’s teammate. Kobe Bryant is finding out right now how lonely it is when no one wants to come play with you. Guys, it’s Los Angeles. It’s the Lakers! Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to play in L.A.? Here’s your answer: NBA players who don’t feel like putting up with Kobe Bryant’s management style.

Owners and managers will more often than not possess a deeper skillset than the people who work for them. Yes, it’s a generalization, but it will be true more times than not. When I was a CPA, I certainly possessed more skills than junior accountants. It would have been unfair to expect them to be able to do all of the cool accounting things I was able to do. (did I really just say that?)

Smart owners and managers will hire the best people they can, and will then train them, coach them up, send them to seminars, and give them as many chances to acquire the skills necessary to excel. Before you know it, those employees may be ready to shoulder more responsibility. But until they are, you need to be patient, and you need to teach, teach, teach. If you’re riding some junior person’s ass because they can’t do it as well as you, you’re just being a short-sighted jerk.

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Watch Episode 12 here!

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

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Happywork TV Episode 12: Owners, Take Your Arguments Behind Closed Doors

In Episode 12 of Happywork TV, I introduce yet another commitment contained in the work code of conduct I’ve created called “The Happywork Agreement.” (which is in the book!)

Here it is: “I promise to take arguments between owners, or between owners and upper management, behind closed doors. Employees do not need to see or hear such things. Often, such strife can hurt employee morale, and can even make employees fear for their future. I need to keep that in mind.”

When upper management and owners fight among themselves out in the open, it’s just an ugly scene, and you’re adversely affecting employee morale. When you guys fight, we’re scared for our jobs. We live in fear when we work in such situations. If two or three owners aren’t getting along, which is bound to happen, take it behind closed doors. Or take it offsite. Don’t fight in front of us. Yes, disagree with each other, but do not be disagreeable. It unnecessarily adds stress to the workplace (unnecessarily being the operative word there).

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Watch Episode 11 here!

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

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Happywork TV Episode 11: Don’t Keep Dead Weight Around

In Episode 11 of Happywork TV, I introduce the next commitment in my work code of conduct, “The Happywork Agreement.”

Here it is: “I will not keep dead weight around … One should not have to pick up the slack for underperforming employees … And we’re not going to use Jack Welch-style stack rankings. Annually firing 10% of one’s workforce is an apathetic, lackadaisical way to build a team.”

When running a company, there’s the fun stuff – plotting and executing strategy, making big sales, opening new locations, notable PR breakthroughs, and such and such. What’s not fun? Firing people. Even if they deserve it because they’re big jerks, it’s not fun. Sometimes you have to fire a nice person because they aren’t performing, and that’s even less fun.

So you know what happens? Sometimes, those people don’t get fired. They stick around … for years. And you have great employees who get to work with these under-performers, and that’s arguably unfair. In fact, I’ve noticed that the good workers sometimes get more work assigned to them, because their managers know they’re so good at what they do, they’ll get it done. Those high performers will eventually leave, because no one wants to be overworked because under-performing employees aren’t pulling their weight.

So yes, managers and owners – please build us a strong workforce, and don’t keep dead weight around. As mean and cutthroat as that sounds, it’s actually the fairest way to build a great team.

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Watch Episode 10 here!

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

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Happywork TV Episode 10: Hire People Smarter Than You

In Episode 10 of Happywork TV, I discuss commitment 8 in the list of 46 commitments in my book Happywork. Here it is: I implore you, Mr. Manager and Miss Owner, to hire people smarter than you! As I say in the video, it’s the sign of a great owner and a confident manager.

Reasons why this doesn’t happen more often? Control and ego, I think. Ego = for some entrepreneurs and leaders, it’s difficult to fathom that anyone is more talented than them. It’s this bravado that might allow them to take the risk of starting a business in the first place. Control = in certain situations, you don’t want to bring in someone who could challenge you for control of a situation, or worse, control of a company. It would be like LeBron and Kobe on the same team – they’d win tons of games! Or would they? Who’s the alpha dog? Who’s more talented?

We enjoy when ESPN pundits get into such sports discussions, but you may not have realized that this same situation happens (perhaps on a slightly smaller scale) in businesses every day! It’s not just about accomplishment as a team. It’s WHO accomplished it. Some of us are constantly scratching and clawing for recognition – we don’t want to merely succeed. We want the credit for the success of the business. And we absolutely do NOT want anyone else getting ANY credit for stuff we did. So, to avoid this, we consciously or subconsciously ensure that such situations do not rear their ugly heads – we don’t bring talented people who could challenge us for supremacy.

So that’s my take on this. However, guys, this is the episode I need some comments on! I can speculate as to why a person in power wouldn’t want to bring in someone of similar ability and intellect, but WHY would that person decide not to do so?

(By the way, at the beginning at this video, I explain something that I probably should have already explained. I keep referring to these commitments and this “work code of conduct.” Without giving too much away, this work code of conduct is used to fix Vunorri Inc., the incredibly broken company in my story. My two main characters write the code of conduct, and they call it “The Happywork Agreement.” My book was almost titled “The Happywork Agreement,” but we decided on Happywork instead.)

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Watch Episode 9 here!

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

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Ello? I Discuss the Fledgling New Social Media Platform on Fox 2 TV with Angela Hutti

Ello was all the rage a few weeks ago. Invites were like solid gold, which only spread the word further that there was a new social media kid on the block (ready to take on Facebook, of course). People were even auctioning off invites on eBay. Now we’re not hearing as much about it. A few hot weeks, and now the place makes Google Plus look like Times Square? (yes a stretch, but I was on a caffeine-fueled rage when I wrote this).

Such is the way when we’re searching for the next big thing, the next viral phenomenon, and frankly, that’s what Ello’s up against as they face off against Twitter and Facebook for mindshare and human time. (You can say these sites are not in competition, but humans have 24 hours per unit, so those hours are what a social media platform has to capture. Yes, they have to compete for our time).

Ello is a new social media platform, designed and built by a group of graphic designers, and they’re trying to do things a bit differently, including making a few, shall I say, bold promises. No ads (EVER), and they’ll never sell your personal data. They recently reorganized the company as a Public Benefit Corporation, which tells me they’re serious about keeping their word.

Learn more here.

Do they have a chance? Honestly, who cares? That’s not a negative sentiment. What I mean to say – why not give these guys a chance to do something differently. I think the pundits ask the monetization question in a sort of “gotcha” way. Must everything we do be monetized? Maybe the founders are trying to shift our thinking on privacy, on data collection, on human communication. Maybe they’re trying to change the world. Hell, I’d love to change the world, and would require no compensation in return should I succeed. Guys, maybe this isn’t about the money. Maybe it’s about doing something amazing.

Thanks Angela for having me on.

Good luck, Ello.

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Happywork TV Episode 9: Listen to the Ideas of Your Employees

In Episode 9 of Happywork TV, I introduce the 7th of 46 commitments in my upcoming book “Happywork.”

Here it is: “I will listen to the ideas of my employees.” And there was more, but this is all you need to know.

Why not listen to the ideas of your employees? They’re out on the front lines, dealing with issues hands-on. It is highly probable that they’re going to have a better solution to the problems they’re dealing with each and every day.

I can think of one reason why an employer or manager wouldn’t listen – ego. If someone else solves the problem you’re supposedly smart enough to solve, that’s not always going to feel good. Never mind that the company is better off because the problem is solved. If YOU didn’t solve it, bummer dude.

Another reason? Front line workers don’t have the big picture, and don’t write the checks, so their solutions are short-sighted and unrealistic. Of course this is sometimes true.

But why not listen to them? At the very least, an employee who feels listened to is going to be happier and more engaged in their job. At best, they may provide an idea that’s awesome! Working together is better than working individually.

Listen to your employees! They’ll surprise you sometimes.

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Watch Episode 8 here!

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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. Merci!

And subscribe on YouTube!