Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Two good guys: two great insights

Let me tell you about two "good guys."

I've known Ed Catinus for 15 years, even since he took a scuba instructor course from me back in Ottawa.
Eddy just sent me an email letting me know he's been promoted to Coordinator, Training Work Management for OC Transpo (City of Ottawa public transportation). Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy.

I was chatting with Ed this past Spring and he commented that in any company there always seemed to be three types of employees.

15% of the workforce: The keeners, the go-getters, the ones with ideas and ones who step outside their job description.
75%: The good employees who put in an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. Their passion is generally not the company but something else (their family, sports etc) but they contribute and can be counted on.
10%: The complainers, the foot-draggers, the employees who are the first to object to an idea and don't make one step out of their job description.

Now Ed has never heard the Knocking down Silos talk but I find it interesting he is describing 3rd, 2nd and 1st gear! By the way, great managers can inspire employees to move out of first gear; I have no doubt Eddy is that person.

The second "good guy" is Mike Rusiniak. Mike attended one of my talks a number of years back and has since endorsed me to several of his friends and family (a great compliment). Mike also keeps in touch and sent me a great photo the other day that I may use in a future talk.

If you have attended Knocking down Silos, you'll know I often use a slide that demonstrates first gear "that's not my job" employee behaviour. (In fact, presidents and CEOs often ask for a copy for their future presentations.)

Mike shot me another photo with the following comment:
I know you're always tweaking your PowerPoint, if for no other reason than to keep yourself interested. I'm attaching a picture which you could use as an alternate to the "It's Not My Job" slide (the one where the road line painters painted over the dead possum or whatever it is). The attached pic is basically the exact same message, but in my opinion it also emphasizes how some people will actually work harder than average to stay in "1st gear". Don't feel obligated to use it; I just thought I'd share it.

Thanks Mike - I definitely will use it!

Monday, November 17, 2008

An 8 year old RHB

Three weeks ago, I had to opportunity to present Knocking down Silos at the University of Guelph. The 500 people in attendence from the business and academic community had the opportunity to hear me reflect on my theory how we drive is often how we live our lives.

We have the decision to live in first, second or third gear.

More and and more people have been writing to tell me that RHB Third Gear Philosophy is not only allowing them to become more successful in their career and more fulfilled in their lives but that it is changing their driving habits as well.

Olivia was the youngest person in attendence at Guelph. Her mom wrote me the next week to pass along Olivia's story.

The morning after the talk, Olivia and her mom were leaving a doctor's appointment and were trying to merge into a long lineup of cars. Apparently no one was allowing them in.

Olivia commented:

"Mom, those men are all in first gear, they should go to Dave's lecture and get into third gear."

Her mom also related that Olivia spent the next 3 days commenting on what third gear meant to her and how amazing it was that an 8 year old not only grasped this concept but spent the next few days applying it to her life.
What I haven't told you is that Olivia lost her father in a tragic accident 3 years ago and that she has struggled with separation anxiety since then.

With maturity comes wisdom. But cynicism can also rust up our souls.

Sometimes we can all learn from someone like Olivia.

Get the rust off.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Knocking down Silos Challenge exchange!

The RHB Rules for the Challenge Exchange!

1. Post your biggest challenge with your name and email address:

bad posting: "My life is terrible!"
better posting: "I am looking for a job in hospitality"
best posting: "Does anyone have a connection with Starwood hotels or Four Seasons?"

bad: "I sell a line of products that [sentence goes on for 45 words]
better: "I sell something for people who have a lot of pain"
best: "Does anyone know a pharmacist who I can talk to and ask questions? I am trying to sell something but want a pharmacists viewpoint first)

2. Other RHBs can't get you a job or sell your product but we may be able to get you a conversation. Your job is to make us look good (eg send a thank you card to everyone who helps you and let us know how it goes)

3. Assume everyone is intelligent. Have a passion for what you do. Get over yourself. (if someone doesn't respond to your posting -IT'S NOT ABOUT YOU!)

4. Offer to help more than you ask for help; that's the code of a good guy or amazing woman.