Tag Archives: life reimagined

PIP Title Means What? #agreesharon

#agreesharon

Life is filled with so many interesting moments that I decided to create a weekly conversation starter around one of the more entertaining observations made during the previous week. Nothing too complicated — fun to see how people answer the question.

 Let me know what you think.

out of date clockA business acquaintance recently referred to herself as a PIP – a “Previously Important Person”. While I chuckled, I was also saddened by the expression. With the daily transitions that each of us are making through professional responsibilities, child-rearing, parent caregiving, volunteer roles and more, we will often move into and out of the spotlight.

How can we avoid feeling like we were “previously important”? 

He can mix a great drink OR position you correctly on the X-ray machine

#agreesharon

Life is filled with so many interesting moments that I decided to create a weekly conversation starter around one of the more entertaining observations made during the previous week. Nothing too complicated — fun to see how people answer the question.

Let me know what you think.

colorful puzzleThe age-old question of “What do I want to be when I grow up” is never easy to define….and I am always fascinated by the stories of those who truly changed the direction of their work, using skills in a completely different application.

I was recently making small talk with an X-ray technician. He told me about decades spent as a bartender and restaurant manager. Earlier days included time in the military.

It was humorous ….. and then the career links became oh so obvious: Helping others. Customer Service. Measuring items that come together within a followed formula. People-facing. Patience. Ability to handle emotionally charged environments.

When was the last time you used one of your skills in a completely unrelated situation?

puzzle coming togehter

The Ongoing Conversation Needed with Performance Management

How does the performance management system tie to the needs of the business and how does individual performance get measured at the business dashboard level?

This question provided the big picture challenge addressed at the March 22 NYHRPS Forum facilitated by Dr. Anna Tavis. While previous practice sought to replicate the GE methodology, it is no longer the gold standard for management and leadership. Rather today’s leaders have become fast, lean machines that try something and test it on the go.

Intrigued by the case studies presented by Dr. Tavis, NYHRPS members wanted to continue the dialogue with specific action items that they could take back to their offices. And so, on May 3, NYHRPS Board Member Deb Seidman facilitated a Mastermind Group amongst a small group of members who had participated in the earlier Performance Management discussion. Participants brought case studies that reflected their current work. As a Mastermind group, questions were posed and advice was given, allowing the NYHRPS member to leave with an agenda that they could develop in their own organization.

Cultural Changes at the Grassroots Level will Impact the Success of a New Performance Appraisal System

While a wide range of questions came up during the discussion, case study conversations focused on three specific themes across organizations
• How does a small company take the best of the processes followed in a large enterprise while keeping its entrepreneurial spirit and nimbleness?
• How do you create of a culture of feedback at a grass-roots level?
• How do you create a common line of sight across organizational and personal missions…..so as to improve performance and achieve common goals?

With Forum participants representing both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, Dr. Tavis asked:
• How do employee motivations differ in for-profit vs a non-profit entity?
• If nonprofits are mission driven, what does the concept of top down goal setting look like?
• Is a bottom up approach to goal setting more applicable to the non-profit where grass-roots programs and local area relationships are critical in meeting the organizational objectives?

One group considered what they would do if they were starting a performance system from a clean slate. Lessons learned from previous discussions provided the important anchors for building a new system or revising one in place.
• First and foremost end with a positive impact on the business strategy
• Focus on a simple method to identify good performers
• Create a culture of constructive feedback to accelerate and sustain high performance
• Get buy-in by incorporating the employee perspective
• Include customization for significant groups by division, generations, etc.

Another interesting moment in the conversation focused on finding champions to support those spearheading the organizational changes. Both the General Counsel and the Marketing teams were singled out as strong partners.
The Mastermind meeting structure was a new format for the Forum Committee. It brought nuances to the meeting that can only be discovered when individuals share the specifics of their individual stories in the spirit of trust, confidentiality and peer advisement. The Forum Committee thanks both Anna and Debbie for their contributions in facilitating these programs and to our participants who came prepared to share and to learn.

A recap from the March 22 discussion can be found here.

NYHRPS Break-Through Innovation Series of Forums provides a platform to discuss emerging issues among thought leaders, peers and HR decision makers in intimate settings limited to 15 participants and 2-3 experts.

5 Steps to Creating Your Life Reimagined Attitude

The subjects of – Life Reimagined, What’s Next? and What am I Going to do When I Grow Up –  continues to experience increased levels of attention across the nation. Ironically, it is a conundrum for boomers and millennial alike as we try to find satisfaction in our work and in our work: life balance!

TV anchors Jane Pauley and Tom Brokaw spoke at 92Y in New York City recently. The discussion focused on the boomer generation and those who at aged 50 and older are finding new directions in their pursuits: Directions that are fulfilling and accomplished. Having the opportunity to be in the audience, allowed me to reflect on my own discovery process and to define 5 key take-aways  to a Life Reimagined Attitude.

1.Just Say Yes

Do you get your ducks in order or put your ducks in the water? Just do something, as a previous Nike ad campaign promoted. Ambiguity and insecurity are facts of life. Just say “Yes”.

2. Small Changes can have a Huge Impact

Can I do something just a little bit different so as to allow me to continue leading my selfish life or Do I have to help those in third world countries? (Concept asked by Tom Brokaw)

  • When the individual known for throwing wonderful parties and being a fabulous cook starts a catering company – this would seem to be a variation on a previous career
  • A minister who moves from a large congregational setting to the ministry for the US armed forces in Iraq might be a conceptual example of combining current career and social purpose.

Back to advice point #1: Just say yes; do not allow analyses paralysis to prevail.

3. A hobby can be anything that you like to do

“What is a hobby?” says the workaholic. “What is a hobby” says the career-focused mom. What if I never developed any hobbies or secondary passions that I can move into my What’s Next Life Into? (Concept asked by Jane Pauley)

My personal response is “Ditto – I hear ya, sister”. As such, I am more often practicing the first rule of the list: “Just Say Yes”

4. One need not Save the World—One Just Need to Enjoy the Adventure to ……whatever

More than anything, this one is the attitude adjustment advice! A recent article in Fast Company called You are Only as Busy as You Think You Are spoke to how one can create their own bits of evidence to substantiate any feeling or belief. Hence find positive bits of evidence and you will find you can completely change the way you see the world.  We can often make ourselves much happier and less stressed if we give ourselves permission to just enjoy the adventure.

5. Break big goals into smaller, attainable short term goals. Consider Life Reimagined as “Your Life Emerging”.

Here’s to the discovery process!

Life Reimagined for Work helps experienced professionals find jobs, manage their careers, start businesses and explore options through engaging articles and interactive tools. The  LinkedIn group offers inspiration, support and insights from their dynamic community.”

Making Lists in the Shower

My father used to tell me that one of the happiest days in his life was the day he stopped caring what others thought of him and focused instead of just being the best he could be so as to keep his family happy and safe. These comments were made during his boomer equivalent years (aged 50-60); at that point, he had already proven his ability to provide well for his family and to live a lifestyle that suited the personalities of both him and my mother. “How could you not care what others think of you?” I would say. “That’s bulls…t!”

As I approach another birthday in the decade of the “big 50”, I am finally starting to see the logic in these words. As a boomer with a successful career history who is going through a transitional journey, I am re-thinking the need for me to accomplish some of the goals that I set out for myself when I was 24 years old and a freshly minted MBA. Achievement of tough goals remains exciting…they just need to take form in a new way that blends in with my life today, society today and the economy today!

A recent More Magazine article shares similar advice as to the role that our experience plays in our ability to be more realistic. “You get to a point where you realize that a lot of your dreams haven’t come true….and that’s fine. You stop thinking that you have to be the leader in your company.  Or you realize you don’t have the perfect family, but you know what? The kids are OK” ….. If you accept that….…you can shake off a lot of stress and angst. Then go outside and admire the stars”

Which would bring us to the next challenge:  Being vs. Doing.  There are a lot of articles published on this subject recently. So I started to track my calendar, with an eye to uncovering what was actually keeping me busy and likewise, what were the activities that were productive events directly tied in with my personal and transitional goals.

You know as well as I do that the activities were not rightly balanced! Perhaps after reading this, you will join me in making small changes toward a more productive being.

First, I thought about what it will take to allow myself to say that “it is okay to slow down.”  The fact that I no longer make lists in the shower with a waterproof marker already proves that I can do this! LOL Yes, I can do 18 things at once; can I ace all eighteen things simultaneously? Is anyone reading this feeling the same way? Let’s drop the guilt on allocating time for thinking. Instead, figure out how best to thrive on the act of being intentional and prioritizing our energies.

When our son was a toddler and I was working full time (read 60 hours weeks in banking),  I would express my guilt by baking his favorite cookies …… usually at 11pm at night. When my BFF, Eva, asked me if this was preferable to sleeping or preferable to being awake and in bed with my husband practicing the act of making our next child …… I resolved to change my baking schedule.

However this commitment to slowing down so that I can think smarter still leaves me needing some “quick hits or opportunities for instant gratification”.  How do I simplify my life so that I can get more out of it?  Bingo : the to – do list.  It took me about two hours to consolidate my lists of lists of my lists to be done. In forcing myself to thoughtfully go through the lists, I realized that there was a major opportunity to rework my approach to listing:  I differentiated the  to do list of tactical day to day programming  from the to do list of strategies needed to be formulated. This was empowering.  Recognizing that the tactical list can never be completed in a day, I spread the items out over time. This gave me a sense of control as I now felt easier blocking the time needed to do the critical thinking work that relates to the objectives of Being.

Doing or Being.  Busy or Productive. The choice is ours. Breathe deep. Small steps lead to big impacts.

Self: Allow yourself to slow down!  The cookies will taste better.