Category Archives: motivation

Peer Pressure

First off, this is not a story about gyms. Stick with me.

I am a gym rat. I am really driven to improve myself and especially love the challenge and visible/metric results of weight lifting. I’m that weird guy that finds that fun.

The majority of my gym time the last couple years has been spent alone. Just me, my wireless headphones, and my Science Mike podcasts. The “me time” had been good…but it felt increasingly lonely and I’d lost some motivation. I needed a spark.

Enter CrossFit. I’d never been to a CrossFit class or box (gym) but for some reason I thought the super-intense group fitness of CrossFit might be what the doctor ordered. I took a chance to join a gym where I knew no one and knew very few of the unique movements and vernacular. It’s REALLY hard for us introverts to do this stuff.

From day 1, the workouts were intense. My imbalance of strength was obvious. My lack of mobility was even more obvious. I HATE not being good at something and I hate even more to not be the best. I had last place in this CrossFit box pretty much to myself. I was humbled and even embarrassed at times. But I kept showing up and giving it everything I had.

At 4 weeks in, something changed. Sure, the movements became more natural and I noticed a little more core strength… but the feeling of being at CrossFit also changed. I found myself motivated to work out – not just for my body’s sake – but actually to be around this really cool group of people that I began to understand and appreciate. Some of us started to become friends or at least to know each other. The hour long workouts we did as a class were hard but they were shared experiences. We all kind of struggled through them but we did it together. We rooted each other on. We gave fist bumps (that’s a thing). And we began to converse about non-CrossFit life.

That positive peer pressure and eustress – that bond – has become an X-factor for me in my workouts. I now can understand and appreciate the appeal. Beyond that, I’ve begun to think about how to plug this dynamic into my workplace, my church, and any other team environment I am involved in. Positive peer pressure is making me a healthier person and can be profound if authentically, organically, and deliberately integrated. I believe it can be a great way to build a stronger and more motivated team.

What do you think? Have you had a similar experience with peer pressure?

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under leadership, motivation, team building

The identity of a leader

Who are you? I mean – really.

Have you ever found yourself claiming an identity that – upon further reflection – only applied to your past self and no longer reflected your present-day identity?

yesterday

I can remember being 10. When I turned 11, I continued to say I was 10, simply out of habit.

This also applied to my work. 3-4 years ago, I loved going on long distance hikes of 15-20 miles at a time. It’s been awhile since I’ve done that distance in a day but I still feel tempted out of habit to respond “long distance hiking” when others at work ask me what my favorite outdoor activities are. Nowadays, the truthful answer is probably “dog park” or “casual bike ride.”

Our yesterday is often not our today.

today

It is a challenge to live in reality and the present-day consistently. Our pride in yesterday’s accomplishments can cloud our present-day understanding of our self, our performance, and our impact.

Your past has helped define who are you but that is only a part of your self. For instance – if you saw yourself as a developer in your management role because you promoted 5 people 3 years ago… but you haven’t promoted anyone since… are you still a “developer?” Or have you shifted into a different season of management, life, style?

Your daily actions in the present inform who you are, just as your present-day identity informs your actions.

tomorrow

Who do you want to be? What impact do you want to have on the people, the world around you in the future? What do you want your legacy to be when you’re long gone?

These are questions that sobering but imperative to answer. Here’s the cool thing: You can have a lot of say around what your future looks like. You can lead, influence, and impact the world and the people you come in contact with.

Leadership and identity start with a choice. Who will you choose to be? Will you choose to have an impact? What will your tomorrow be and will you matter?

1 Comment

Filed under leadership, motivation, observation

Fuel the Fire

Being a manager, in it’s essence, involves a tesselation between deconstructing what is ineffective and reconstructing/rebuilding what can be most effective. Many managers are known for doing the former well, whereas others are known for doing the latter. The key is being balanced and doing both effectively.

Recently, a person close to me and I were talking about how to build others up and elevate others. There are many answers and approaches to this. I appreciated hers.

“I find what my people are most passionate about…and I provide fuel for their fire… and then I teach them how to fuel their own fire.”

Simple but extremely insightful…and something we all can contribute to in some fashion. So, here’s my challenge to you (and myself for that matter): Find 3 people today that you know relatively well. Identify their biggest passion around contributing to your organization or business. And fuel it. Find ways for them to use that skill more. Give them recognition for being awesome. Fuel the fire.

Leave a comment

Filed under business, leadership, motivation

My Resolutions

Each year I set out to reach a distant goal. Last year I think I set out to hike 1,000 miles. The irony is that I’ve hiked a lot this year but I don’t remember what my goal even was. Furthermore, there is always the question of “what now?” when one reaches that big goal.

This year I’m trying something different.

I’m trying out keeping daily goals instead of year-long goals with the hope of developing positive habitual behaviors.

1. Resolution #1 – I will compliment each of my employees/coworkers at least once a day.

I believe I’m usually a natural encourager and relatively positive in my role. However, who wouldn’t want to be even more positive in their workplace? Who wouldn’t want to display more respect and care towards their teammates? Seems like a win to me.

2. Resolution #2 – Eat healthier each day

Food is a challenge for most of us. I am almost always eating on the go – whether I’m rushing out the door to work, trying to find food within my 30 minute break window at work, or just getting home from work and eager to lie down and rest from an exhausting day. Resolution #2 requires me to plan much more on a daily basis and is possible…but will be a lot harder than Res #1.

3. Resolution #3 – Get back on track with working out

In the past I’ve loved P90x, Insanity, and other workout routines that last a duration of 30 or 90 days. These are fun and generate results but – again – I’m trying to develop habits. My focus will be working out each and every day and I’ve designed my own little routine that balances weight training, cardio, yoga, and planks. We’ll see how it goes. If it doesn’t work well, I’ll change it. The most important thing is the regularity.

What do you think? Is this a better way to set up resolutions for the new year?

1 Comment

Filed under motivation

Speak With Authority!

I recently came across this cool 3 minute video from a slam poet. Check it out.

My favorite part of it is towards the end when he challenges everyone to speak with authority. I asked myself how often I don’t speak with authority, how often I shy away from being bold when I absolutely know what I’m talking about. I’m ready to be bolder when I know what I’m talking about.

Leave a comment

Filed under leadership, motivation, videos

A Question of Leadership

“People don’t resist change. People resist BEING changed.”

I just found this really interesting Tedx Talk on increasing ownership and reducing resistance in organizations. Check it here:

Leave a comment

December 5, 2013 · 1:12 pm

The 5 Most Important Things to Do For An Interview That You’ve Never Heard

IMG_0405

Nervousness. Butterflies. Fear. Excitement. More nervousness. More excitement. A clearing of the throat. A drink of water. You review your notes one last time.

And now it’s time.

We’ve all been through job interviews of various forms: in person, over the phone, group interviews, second interviews, third interviews, fourth interviews… They’re all relatively stressful. Most of y’all have probably heard tips on interviewing well – eye contact, clear speech, show up early, etc… – but I’d like to suggest some other things outside the box to improve your interview.

1. Get a haircut! Interviews are so much better when we feel confident in them. Who doesn’t feel amazing after a suave or sexy haircut?

2. Eat an apple (before). Apples restore the pH balance of the throat and help keep the vocal chords clean and smooth for all of that confident communicating you’ll be doing in your interview.

3. Sing your favorite song loudly in the car on your way to the interview. Yes, seriously. Mood and attitude will play major factors in how well the interview goes – so have some fun and de-stress yourself!

4. Smile. Do you really want this job? Are you sure? Well, don’t just talk about it – show it!

5. Make your interviewer smile. As a person who manages upwards of 50 employees, I can tell you that I want people on my team who are pleasant and fun to be around and whose happiness is contagious to the team. A sense of humor and genuine enjoyment of others goes very far with most future bosses.

What do you think? Are there a few more that I missed?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under motivation, observation