Tom Rath's new book " Are you fully charged? The 3 keys to energizing your work and life" was released today. I attended a teleconference where he was interviewed and here are the key points I captured. He's an author and has worked as a research scientist with the Gallup Poll. Diagnosed with Cancer at 16, lost an eye, and in his early twenties he pondered what could he do to make a difference for others when he was gone. And there began his life research.
He has published several books which have been best sellers. I've not read this book yet, but it does look like a worthwhile read:
The 3 keys
- Being part of something larger than yourself (through helping others you add meaning to your life)
- Value people over material stuff
- Look after your own well being (so you can do more for others).
Look after your own well being
- Get enough sleep, eat right, move around more
- When people are healthy (and rested) they are more emotionally engaged and productive, make less errors, less sick days etc
- Being physically healthy helps you to be effective working with people
- We are creatures of convenience. To eat healthy at work keep healthy things around ... mixed nuts, apples etc.
- Out to eat? Try to order first.. "This salad with shrimp looks good".. sets an expectation for others to follow if they choose. When the boss orders first and its not healthy, others tend to feel pressured to order same.
Being part of something larger than yourself
- Pursuing happiness is a treadmill that never stops. Doesn't matter your net worth, you want twice as much. But if you get it, research shows you're not twice as happy, but 9% happier (seems pretty precise to me...guess the point is you're not suddenly twice as happy). He advocates the pursuit of meaning.
- Some people spend their career chasing stuff. Then focus on family when its too late. Rather, have a positive impact on someone else TODAY
- Doing something kind for someone else will make you feel better. Its of higher benefit that just pursuing your personal happiness. (Gives your life meaning)
Comments on working long hours
- If you don't like your job. You're probably only productive 20 hrs a week
- If you enjoy your job, you're probably productive for 40 hours
- Over 60 hours a week not sustainable for organization. Not to mention hours not productive
- Leaders need to set example. As employees will do what they see their leaders do. Message: working long hours is not productive nor healthy for anyone
- Get a full night's sleep (usually means 7 to 8 hours). Eat right. Get moving. Its possible to have same level of energy at 3:00 pm as you did at 8:00 am
- Stretch every 20 minutes. Best performers work in bursts. Walk. Get up and talk to someone
- Avoid negative energy. If possible keep your interactions 80% positive
- As leaders infuse energy . Spot people's talent and challenge them to grow in that area. In giving feedback spend 75% of the conversation on what is working well. Successes. 10- 25% on serious gaps
Friendships at work
- Having friends at work improves productivity (his data point was based on Retail customers but I'm sure this applies to Energy)
- What's seen as idle chit/chat actually helps to build trust among people and build relationships
- Great leaders are never well rounded but build teams that are well rounded. A leader selects people, on the leadership team, with different talents than her/him, and brings out the best in them
Relationship between employees and employers
- Gallup found that only 8% of those polled said that their lives were better because of the company they worked for. About 25% were employer neutral. (I therefore assume large % felt there was some detriment to their overall well being.)
- Fundamental relationship between people and the Company is broken. In the future employers will be paying much more attention because people will leave to go to other organizations where they feel their needs are being met.
- Best jobs are made not found. Take what you have and change it. (Or at least suggest changes)
So what do you think? Some thoughts I had...
- Early in my career Managers had time to do 'care and feeding' and really check in on people
- As we're right sized the organization seems like everyone became a working manager, with less time for people.... or the 'problem' employees seem to take up most of the time
- Not much time spent celebrating successes. But lots of stand-ups and stand-downs and lessons learned on incidents (not suggesting this is not required, but its the attention we give to mistakes versus celebrating good things).