October 21, 2009

Jolt Challenge: The Self Intelligence Experience

I have just read the most amazing book - and I have read A LOT of books over the last ten years. It is called Jolt Challenge - the self intelligence experience. As it turned out I knew one of the authors more than ten years ago so its a small world! Jolt is like every self growth/development/excellence book you've ever read cooked up in ONE book. The ideas in it are ESSENTIAL to anyone wanting an amazing life. They are the kinds of ideas you need to keep in the front of your mind constantly. I intend on adding it to my 'read constantly' pile - a pile which I just keep re-reading slowly to keep me on track. It is a NZ written book and gaining HUGE recognition internationally. Check out the endorsements here (brace yourself) http://www.joltchallenge.com/endorsements/ they've got Stephen Covey and Edward De Bono!!!! The full Jolt Challenge is actually a nine week program, I just read the book so don't know about the course, but imagine its even more incredible! Sorry for sounding so over the top excited about this book BUT it is one of those classics that you will keep forever. It will get you thinking about the right things, in the right way to achieve what ever it is you want in your life. It has soooo many key ideas condensed into this one book. Please please please get your hands on a copy - even if you just get it from the library I guarantee you will be out buying a copy before you are even a quarter through!

Learn more and download a sample of the book here http://www.joltchallenge.com/book/

September 24, 2009

Fresh air in your workplace

We have just had our daughter baptised (shes now nearly 4mths old). The priest that did the baptism was the same one who married us. We adore this priest. He is young (mid forties) and understands todays world. He is a breath of fresh air to the Catholic church whose reputation is sometimes not that flash. He speaks in english, explains things well and is an all round awesome, normal bloke. I'm not implying other priests aren't normal - just not the way this one is! He is so easy to relate to and so funny. The sermon he gave at the baptism clearly illustrates this..... He and some other priests had met with a bunch of nuns for the first time and they were all staying at the same place (on retreat or something I think). It was his job to go off to the video shop to get some entertainment for the evening. He picked a movie by a famous Catholic novelist. He felt quite pleased with his (seeminly wise and thoughtful) choice. When it was time to put the DVD on he realised perhaps it wasnt the best choice.....given that the first forty minutes of the DVD was shot IN THE BEDROOM!!!! He said the akwardness in the room got even MORE akward! He went on to explain how the movie redeemed itself (it related to baptism). We were all laughing so hard - he is so human, and speaks so naturally which is a gift not all priests have. Our wonderful priest is going to overhaul the church (I'm sure of it!) as he is a breath of (overdue) fresh air. I'm sure he is the reason many people have grown in their faith after shying away due to the non-human-ness other priests can show. Anyway.... the reason I tell you all this is to get you thinking where and how your workplace needs fresh air. Are you chewing on an old message all the time? Do you need new blood that is positive, enthusiastic and LIFE CHANGING (or in this case business/workplace changing?).

September 7, 2009

Bring spring fever to your workplace

I read a thing in the paper about how spring can make people go a bit loopy. People start to exercise more, decide to quit smoking or similar. Definitely works on me! I llllove this change of seasons, in spring I start to bounce off the walls – longer days, flowers that smell awesome and the promise of summer to come. How can this spring fever be transferred into workplaces? Well, as a boss you could spring clean yourself. Change behaviours/policys that aren’t working or are negative and freshen up the workplace in any way you can. Change the day core, bring in some flowers, do something to excite the team. Life has seasons and so too should workplaces if you want to keep the energy of the team up. Time to lose the ‘recession’ mindset and ‘sort your sh*t out’ for want of a more polite term! If there is stuff lying around everywhere in your workplace (tut tut) clear that out too (yes a spring clean – does wonders for the soul). ‘Stuff’ you don’t need drains the energy of the place and the people. Be ruthless and sell/throw/donate what you don’t need.

How are you bringing spring to yourself and to your workplace?

September 2, 2009

How ONE staff member can save your bacon

I had a courier parcel of mine end up at my neighbours place. They kindly brought it over. The next month when this item arrived again it was taken to my other neighbours place. They kindly brought it over. Our street number is very clearly stated - I don't see how the courier driver could get it wrong TWICE! It's not rocket science! The item is also worth about $300 so is 'signature required'. Both times it was taken to the wrong addresses no signature was sought. It was left on its lonesome at the door. I emailed the courier company asking what the rules are about 'sig required' packages and if it goes astray would they replace the item. I also told them it had been delivered to two different wrong places WITHOUT a signature. I waited two weeks and nothing. I emailed again, still nothing. I called - they said they'd find the email and respond. Finally I got an email from a lady at the company. She said she'd look into it (didn't answer my questions yet). I waited and nothing. I emailed her 3x asking her to attend to the email. I then emailed the customer feedback email address to complain about this staff members lack of follow up. I waited a week and still nothing. I found another contact in my citys office - forwarded her the whole chain of emails which showed how many times I'd made contact to no avail. Within two hours she had answered all my questions, apoligized, and sent two lots of feedback to separate departments. I had previously been so so annoyed at this (what I was calling stupid) company, but with by finding one staff member with a brain I was happy again. I was amazed at how many things can go wrong, how many different avenues and contact attempts can be unsuccessful, yet with one awesome person a customer can be made happy again - within two hours. Nothing like a staff member who actually gets things done. How many like this do you have?

August 26, 2009

Book Review: How To Keep Your Cool If You Lose Your Job

I finished "How To Keep Your Cool If You Lose Your Job" by Kathryn Jackson really quickly as I found it hard to put down. It is a book full of lots of tips, info, insight and advice AND it is also a workbook. As you read it you do the exercises and come out the other end with new direction, enthusiasm and clarity about your future work. It has lots of great real life stories from people that have been made redundant - how they felt, what they had to deal with and how they made it into an amazing opportunity. Many said they are glad they got made redundant as it totally changed their life for the better. As a career coach, Kathryn knows all the right questions to ask and these are included in tonnes of exercises in the book. This book very very clearly answers the "what next" those made redundant often feel. It includes everything you could, should and can do to ensure you end up in a role you adore. Kathryn outlines everything relevant in todays job market - including the recession (she even highlights which industries always survive during such a time). She talks about 'self talk' - keeping your head and being positive as redundancy can be really tough on your self esteem, family and lifestyle. There are also heaps of CV and interview tips. I really liked the exercise that gets you to look at the personal qualities a job requires then gets you to list your 'evidence' of having this quality. It will give any job applicant huge confidence. I'd say this book is a must read for people that have been made redundant, people in jobs they dont like, people that have no idea what they want for their career and of course other career coaches. You can buy it here http://www.homebizbuzz.co.nz/shop/product_info.php?products_id=530 or at Paper Plus.

August 20, 2009

Redundancy: 'How To Keep Your Cool If You Lose Your Job'

I am lucky in my work to be surrounded by some absolute geniuses....and lovely ones at that. A friend of mine, Kathryn Jackson has just had her first book published. It is for people that are being/have been made redundant and its called "How To Keep Your Cool If You Lose Your Job" (more details here http://www.careerbalance.co.nz/Books/How-To-Keep-Your-Cool-If-You-Lose-Your-Job/flypage-ask.tpl.html ). She has had some awesome reviews and tonnes of media coverage (I turned the TV on the other day to see her on the screen on 'Good Morning'). Highly recommend it for people that are thinking 'what next?' in their career. Watch out for my offical 'review' one day soon :)

August 12, 2009

Has your workplace got cancer?

The workplace can be a place of friendship, support, fun and laughter. I was thinking recently about fun things that used to happen when I worked in a bank. We would:
*play cricket after work
*do a Starbucks run to get away for a bit and come back with our huge venti lattes with almond biscotti (turned into an expensive habit!)
*take turns at bringing in lollies we could all scoff (I would deliver some to our mates upstairs)
*go to the big department store sale in our lunch break and rummage through quality discounted lingerie looking for bargains
*send the email jokes around or play practical jokes on each other
*we organized a game of ‘Where’s Wally’ using this huge poster that was part of some training thing. I drew the wee cardboard ‘Where’s Wally’ and he was awesome! The funniest part of this game was the arguing "your cheating" "no I'm not" "stop peeking"!!

On the other side, also during this time there was also:
*Two diagnosis’s of breast cancer
*A suicide
*Marriage splits
*Relationship problems
*Addiction problems
*Huge trouble conceiving a child

So while the first list looks as though no work ever got done (!) the truth was we were spending time together living life as best we could to keep positive, have fun and make sure everyone was smiling regardless of everything going on. It’s great for people to get ‘mental space’ at work if they are having trouble at home, or just have something they need to take their minds off. While there may be personality clashes and other ‘difficulties’ in workplaces, when something like cancer hits, it’s amazing how people can pull together to support each other and the other politics no longer matter. Workplaces can become family, and can be a ‘refuge’ from the sometimes harsh reality of the world. Let’s not take for granted the support our workmates can give us. Let’s also remember to notice how much other stuff is going on in workmates lives. Actually doing work is important but so is the fun and the support – we are human before we are anything else.