Sunday, June 2, 2013

Turning a "Like" into an Action


This weekend my husband shared one of his philosophical insights into our current culture...he surmised that we are a society of likes and not actions.  He was referring to a world where we think by "liking" something on Facebook or other social media outlets, we have contributed to the greater good.  When do we actually take the call or request and do something...make a donation, write a letter to a politician, volunteer with a non-profit or show up at a protest or rally?  But we showed our support by "liking" it so we did our part, right?!  Wrong!  But that's a discussion for his world of sociology and art!

For me, our conversation made me reflect on many of the coaching conversations I have had with employees who are frustrated with their careers or managers who don't know what else to do with a top performer.

Let's first look at how an employee (or yourself) can turn a "like" into an "action".  Are you unhappy in your current role or company?  Have you always wanted to try a new skill or move into a new industry or profession?  Do you sit on your computer and do searches about how to publish your own book or become a professional speaker?  But here's the most important question...Do you ever do anything about it?  If not, you are reflecting the culture my husband was referring to - a lack of "action".  What is stopping you?  Time? Money?  Energy?  Confidence?  I understand it all.  You work a full time job, you are exhausted at the end of the day.  You want to zone out on the weekends, spend time with loved ones!  Or maybe, even if it's not great, you feel lucky to have a secure job/profession, why rock the boat and risk giving that up to try something you don't even know if you will like or be able to find success.

But I challenge those "excuses".  Isn't your true happiness and passion deserve the exploration of this other life?  And don't you think you will enjoy  your loved ones even more if you, yourself, are happier and more energized about your career?  You don't have to up-end your life tomorrow.  Try what you feel comfortable trying.  You don't need to pull a"Jerry Maguire", but find small ways to start making that change.  You will feel empowered and energized.  And if for some reason it isn't all what you thought it would be, that's ok too!  At least now you know :)

Now, managers, let's just take a minute to think about your employees.  Development is a partnership...an active partnership.  If you have a rock star employee who needs a little push, help them find opportunities that will continue to challenge them and excite them about work.  If there is a not a new role for them, don't let that be the end of the conversation.  Help them find opportunities within their current role.  Get them in-front of your leadership team so they know their name.  Let them help with coverage when you are out of the  office.  Ask them to lead a steering committee or project manage on a new initiative.  Show them that you value them and want them to be an integral part of the future of your team, department and company.  Trust me, if you don't, someone else will.  Check out the Gigaom blog for more suggestions on "5 Ways on How to Keep Your Rock Star Employee Happy".

So the next time you find yourself says, "wouldn't it be great if..." or "I wish that I was a..." stop yourself and figure out a way to turn that "Like" into an "Action"!

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