Friday, 30 March 2012

In every profession there are individuals that excel and can handle pressure. You see this all the time in football, business and the political arenas. What makes some people excel under pressure and others fold? Can excellent performance under any circumstance be triggered on demand? 

Furthermore, do you know people who are gifted? There are gifted people in all areas of life, so why is it that so few actually become successful? Talent is not enough. Without hard and smart work ethic and a dedicated focus, success will be fleeting. Dr. Maxwell Maltz's "Psycho-Cybernetics" will show us how to tap into our vast sub-conscious mind to aid us in our quest for success, meaning and happiness. 

This book is divided into 16 chapters of excellent information. For the sake of time, I will profile the 3 key takeaways that resonated the most with me. All of the points we will chat about revolve around the following point. The conscious mind can process roughly 40 bits per second while the subconscious mind can process 40 million bits per second. Understanding this difference and programming the subconscious mind will aid us in our quest for success, meaning and happiness.

1. Self-Image – This has to be the number one key to success or failure. Your current position in life right now is exactly proportional to your self-image or self-concept. What is the little voice inside of your head saying? The key takeaway here is to transform your inner critic into your inner coach. Controlling and molding your self-image is the foundation of the book. Tony Robbins has an excellent program that nails this point home. If you examine an excellent part of your life, you will find out that your blue print (BP) is equal to your Life Condition (LC). Likewise where there are issues in your life, the BP is not equal to the Life condition. The key here is to really understand and question your blue print and decide if you need to improve the life condition or change the blue print.

2. Automatic Success Mechanism or Automatic Failure Mechanism – Your brain acts as a guidance system toward things that you focus your attention on. This is known as slight edge behavior. The things you do and focus on daily are driving you toward a destination. Do you know where that destination is? If not then you need to spend the time to figure it out otherwise you will become part of someone else's plan for YOUR life. The automatic success/failure mechanism is like a torpedo that is attracted to its destination. The guidance portion of the torpedo is dictated through your self-image. Self-destruction happens from within. Conditioning, habit and outside influences are how your self-image is molded. If you were raised being told you are nothing and will fail at everything then your self-image will prove it. If that motivates you to do better and you don’t believe it then you will succeed.

3. Conditioning, focus & Imagination – You can condition yourself to perform in any situation. The key component is to focus and change your physiology. Tony Robbins uses incantations to do this. An incantation is a body state change along with an affirmation. Incantations are stronger than affirmations because you are engaging your whole body. Think of this is a habit or ritual before you do something. Jack Nicolas, the great golfer, had a ritual before every swing. They analyzed him and Greg Norman and found that the time Jack Nicolas took before every swing was exactly the same regardless if he was up or down in the tournament. Greg Norman on the other hand took longer when he was winning and as he started falling behind, his pre-swing routine shortened. This is a mental breakdown and loss of focus resulting in a loss for Greg Norman. Imagination is one of the most powerful skills we have as humans. Most great thinkers in history give credence to imagination over IQ. Einstein used his vivid imagination and dreams to uncover the theory of relativity. 

"Psycho-Cybernetics" is an excellent body of work that needs to be studied. Being able to trigger success on demand through focus and control of your self-image is a fascinating concept. The subconscious mind can programmed to aid you in crafting an unbelievable life. Have a great Friday. Over and out.


Friday, 23 March 2012

Entrepreneurial Success: Vision, Validated Learning & Discipline

Starting a business is one of the most exciting things you can do legally. The statistics of success are humbling. 80% of startup businesses fail in the first 5 years. Having a system in place to craft your business is required for success. The building blocks of a business are customers and positive profitable cash flow. Without those two things then there is no business and no wealth creation.

There are different types of businesses. If you are looking to start a coffee shop or some service based business that has an existing model then you should read "The E-Myth" by Michael Gerber. This book is very functional and will help you systematize your business like a successful franchise.

Eric Ries' "The Lean Startup" is different. Eric is profiling organizations that are trying to create new ideas and bring them to the market place. There are two reasons why startups fail, one they do not know who their customers are and they don’t know what the product serves. When Facebook was getting off the ground, Mark Zuckerberg was not sure what the company was or how they would make money. What he was well aware of was the network effect known as Metcalf’s law. This simply states that the value of the network grows exponentially as the number of users grows.

The Lean Startup consists of three main sections which are all very important. For the sake of time, I will cover only one topic under each section.

1. Vision – Vision is the premise of why the organization exists. Validated learning is the name of the game. In the old days, companies had to spend a bunch of capital and resources on prototypes, engineering and products. They would invest most of their capital on these endeavors and not know if people would actually buy the product. Business people and technical gurus think that the product has to exist first. This is a fundamental flaw in today’s fast paced economy. I know people who have started businesses and they were concerned about the office space, furniture and the plumbing but not the customer acquisition. The revenue has to come first and the infrastructure can follow. If you do it the other way, your failure rate is almost guaranteed.

2. Validated Learning – This is the most powerful concept in the book in my humble opinion. Eric speaks to vanity metrics. Examples of these would be a hockey shaped curve over time that shows the number of registrations on a website or the amount of mentions in PR. All of these things are good but not to base decisions on for your startup. Eric introduces Cohort Analytics in the book. Basically instead of looking at cumulative totals or gross numbers such as total revenue and total number of customers, one looks at performance of each group of customers that comes into contact with the product independently. Each group is called a cohort. Internet marketing people know this as split testing. If you are familiar with Google Adwords then you can create two ads and measure them against each other. The best ad stays and you can create a new one and test it against that ad. This allows you to view each group independently for real results. There is an old saying in business and that is – Money hides mistakes. Cohort Analytics removes the mistakes that Vanity statistics create.

3. Disciplined Action / Disciplined Thought – The Lean Startup dives pretty deep into the manufacturing world. Being from Detroit, I have an affinity for large scale automotive manufacturing. Studying Toyota and Ed Deming's principles yields a host of learning that can help the startup. Manufacturing and incremental innovation are disciplined processes. If you commit to cohort analytics then split testing everything becomes the norm. This is not easy to do since people have an emotional tie to what they create. If a software developer spends three months on a high tech feature that THEY LOVE, it is very difficult to cut it out of the product if the customers do not want it. This is where the disciple and some pre-planning can help. Showing the feature in an alpha state with a test group of customers will save the developer months of time and give you the validated learning required to either build it or dump it.

If you are remotely considering investing or building a startup, this book is for you. These principles can be used by any entrepreneur to create a business and validate it before you invest your life savings. Here is an example: If you think a new product will sell, you can buy the inventory and hit the streets. This will probably lead to failure. Instead you can split test in Google AdWords two products that may sell and take pre-orders before you invest a dime. This is harder work up front and requires thought. Remember that Google is an automated prospecting engine that if used correctly can make you a fortune. Unlike Eric, I am not an engineer. I am on the sales and marketing side of business and I can tell you it was much tougher before Google because you had to knock on doors and make the calls. Today you can use your head and some excellent tools to prove your model. Think about this, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook was deathly introverted yet he created the biggest social network in the world. This type of power is at your fingertips if you are willing to do the work.

I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is Cohort Analytics. You can start by split testing everything in your business and start getting rid of the dead weight stuff that does not make you money but eats up your time. Thanks for reading, I'll be back next Friday.


Friday, 16 March 2012

The Currency War: It's Our War Too

This book is a must read for anybody who wants to preserve their wealth. Right now we have the biggest wealth transfer going on in history and you need to be educated to protect your family. James Rickards is very knowledgeable and he details how currency wars can lead to real wars between nations and the risks associated with them.

I always start out by telling you why this is important to me, because I don’t want to waste your time. I am a layman when it comes to macroeconomics. James defines a currency war as basically a half off sale, so as the dollar is debased, it becomes cheaper for nations to buy our goods and services and our economy starts to flourish. In theory, this sounds fine but other nations fight back and then inflation takes over. Two percent inflation does not sound like a lot, but if you do the math this means that the dollar buys 75 percent less in one lifetime. Some of the politicians want to increase inflation to 4 percent which means your savings would buy 75 percent less in 35 years. This is a big deal that most people do not understand. 

"Currency Wars" is an excellent book with great educational information. James takes you back in history and describes previous currency wars and their results. For the sake of time, I am going to profile the outcomes of the current currency war which James calls the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse.

1. Multiple Reserve Currencies – In this scenario, multiple currencies would become the reserve like the Euro, Yuan and Dollar. If this happens then the dollar becomes more of a local currency. Most people do not know that if the dollar loses the status as the reserve currency then our standard of living will drop by 30 percent. Gas at $3.50 per gallon will easily shoot up to $7.00 per gallon. The reason this does not happen now is because oil is priced in dollars and we can print more dollars. Once the reserve status is removed then we can no longer do that.

2. SDR  (Special Drawing Rights) – This is basically a fiat currency controlled by the IMF (International Monetary Fund). If the SDR’s become the reserve currency then it is controlled by the G20. The reason this is a threat to U.S. National Security is because there are non-democratic members of the G20. You have Communist China and Dictatorships from the Arab world. This would weaken the U.S. overall and potentially affect human rights over time.

3. Gold – Gold has been viewed as money for over 5,000 years. Why? It is durable, scarce and uniform. It is not an investment or commodity but it is money. I agree with Warren Buffet when he says Gold has no utility. There is truth to that but it does have a store of value. Think about precious metals for one moment. Two silver coins in 1950 would fill up your car with gas (roughly 50 cents). Today, two silver coins would fill up your car with gas (roughly $60). The only thing that lost the value is the dollar. This may seem okay on the surface but for people on fixed income, fixed mortgages and other fixed instruments, their purchasing power is deflated. This does not happen with precious metals. This is why China by law does not allow any gold mined in its county to leave the country. They are buying more gold today than any other nation. They know to reduce their risk of the $1.5 trillion dollar debt exposure, they need to hoard gold.

4. Chaos – Chaos is a real likelihood based on how markets react. Think about this: Merrill Lynch is a 100 year old institution that was sold in a weekend to BofA. If the markets start going crazy then there would be runs on banks. Banks can not cover massive withdrawals so they would close and create a credit event. This event would basically freeze lending. Businesses would dry up and the almighty commodity – “jobs” would be lost because businesses cannot finance their operations. Note: If Chaos is the end result of this debt mess the U.S. is in, there will be a solution on the other end. It has happened in other countries and they did survive. The problem is the pain caused during the chaos is what will catch 90% of the U.S. population by surprise. There will be short term riots and martial law in certain areas. Remember the riots in Wisconsin over entitlements in 2010?

"Currency Wars" is a must read for anybody that wants to preserve their wealth and American way of life. This book should be required reading by all of our politicians and economists that dictate policy.

Have a great weekend. Let's watch some basketball.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Health is the foundation of everything in life

Book Summary: End of Illness – Written by Dr. David Agus


Health is the foundation of everything in life. When I was younger, I would rank things that I wanted like wealth, relationships, fame and power. Never did I give one thought to health. As I moved through high school and college, I retooled my thinking and put health as number one. The reason for this is without health, you cannot achieve anything else. Health is like the foundation of your house. It does not make sense to put in a Jacuzzi tube if your house’s foundation is crumbling.

Why is this important to me?

Since health is number one and all other good things stem from it, we need to find ways to maximize our own health. It is up to us to take this into our own hands. Dr. Agus takes a systems approach to health care. This is very compelling because if you build a car or airplane, you have to follow very strict tolerances in order for it to be successful and work. You need to look at it from the whole down to the part and not the other way. Each person needs to have a baseline of their health.

Healthcare is more complex because everybody is different. This means that baseline studies can be deceiving based on your ethnicity and background. Everybody has a different fingerprint and a different makeup. The End of Illness studies health not from a cure perspective but from prevention. The part can never be well unless the whole is well – Plato

The End of Illness starts out with killer questions which we will answer in this summary.

1. How can a simple peek at your body’s proteins tell you more about the state of your health this instant than a readout of your genetic code? Proteins are how cells talk to each other. What keeps cancer under control is the conversation between cells through proteins. The growing field of Proteomics is the study of proteins.

2. What do statins such as Lipitor and Crestor have in common with the swine flu and Alzheimer’s disease? Inflammation is a sign that something is not right in the body. Virtually all chronic conditions have been linked to chronic inflammation which creates an imbalance in your system that stimulates negative effects on your health. Statins act as an ant-inflammatory and help the body. Think about this, professional football players have a significantly shorter life span on average because of diseases linked to inflammation.

3. Cancer – Cancer is not something the body gets but rather it is something the body does. Once the environment is out of balance then cell communication can get disrupted and uncontrolled cell growth happens.

4. Establish a baseline – Genetic testing and knowing your history are very important. Let’s take Vitamin D as an example. If you are from Norway then your tolerance for sun is very different than if you are from Nigeria. These two comparisons have very different baseline needs for Vitamin D. This is why it is important to establish your own personal baseline with history and genetic testing before you simply buy a supplement because you are under the deficiency average.

5. Vitamins – The Vitamin industry is $25 billion. Dr. Agus profiles several studies on vitamins that actually have more of a negative affect instead of a positive effect. The data shows that we should NOT take vitamins.

6. Real Food – The best way to get nutrients, vitamins and minerals is from our food. The best way to have this is from Fresh or flash frozen food sources.

Dr. Agus knows his stuff and he credits the title of this book to Steve Jobs. Dr. Agus was his doctor. Doing simple prevention like wearing comfortable shows, not sitting all day, and controlling inflammation have a dramatic effect on your health. The numbers in the book are staggeringly positive if you adopt these simple behaviors.

I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is Common Sense Health. Do the following – wear comfortable shoes, each real / fresh food, exercise and walk around at work. Most people (me included) sit a majority of the day. I will be acquiring a treadmill desk and walking for at least 2 hours during work time. This will NOT be an exercise routine but a life style change. I will keep you posted on the results.

Joe Mosed


Friday, 9 March 2012

The 10X Rule: Success & Failure

What makes the difference between winning and losing? Nine times out of ten, it's the level of work the winning team puts in over the losing team. This is true in sports, business and academics. I was attracted to the title of this book because I use the term "10X" a lot. The simple concept is if you can leverage 10X activity with OPM, OPE and OPT (other people’s money, expertise & time) then you have a winning combination in anything you do.

The 10X Rule is a good book that really smacks you in the face. I've seen past sales people at our company that never hit their quotas. Their mental baggage was deep and excuses plenty. We wasted time, resources and whole lot of cash on these people to only fire them for non-performance. I am always striving to find out why. If we had that capital investment back from those bad sales people, our whole company could retire.

Based on my baptism of fire and losing money, I can tell you that it comes down to two things:

1. Their fears and beliefs got in the way of their success.

2. Their activity levels and work ethic were less than stellar.

The 10X Rule is covered in 23 chapters with a few major underlying points. For the sake of time, I will profile the three main takeaways.

1. Excuses – This is really a deep topic because excuses exist in every facet of business and life. The negative self-talk and limiting beliefs lead to excuses. Excuses are simply a way for us to justify our lack of performance.

2. 10X Goals – Grant spends a lot of time on this in the book. He admits that the only problems with his goals in the past were they were set too low. This is very common because people will do all they can to talk you out of it. If you are making $30,000 per year and you set a goal to have a $1 million in free cash flow each month, everybody will tell you that you are setting yourself up for failure. For 98% of the people, this is the case but if you define what it takes and do the 10X activity then you will hit some form of this goal. Most people who are making $30K per year will set a goal to make $100K per year and work many years and one day may hit it. I don’t know about you but I much rather miss the $1 million per month goal than the $100K per year goal. One thing I want to add about goals is that there has to be a “compelling why” behind them. If you are going to do 10X activity to attain the goals then you are investing your time to achieve them and if the goals are not the right ones then you are wasting your time and setting yourself up for failure even if you hit the goals. Make sure you are in the right game before you decide to dominate it.

3. 10X Activity – Grant talks about competition and obscurity. Think about this – no matter how good your product or price is, if I don’t know who you are then I cannot buy from you. The biggest problem businesses have is that of obscurity. There is only one way to eliminate this and that is through coordinated 10X activity. The good news here is that most companies are lazy and A.D.D. This means they will start a campaign and then stop it. If you dedicate yourself or company to truly generate 10X the activity then sales will go up.

The bottom line is this – Once you define what you want, put the intensity into it and define what 10X activity means then you will achieve it.

Here's a sports analogy for you- Rocky Marciano was the only undefeated heavyweight champion boxer in history. What he did was profiled the best and committed to do double the work. If Joe Louis’s training camp was 6 weeks long then Rocky’s was 12 weeks. When Joe Louis ran 6 miles per day at camp, Rocky ran 12 miles per day. This work ethic and 10X activity regimen allowed Rocky to be the best heavyweight boxer in history. His record proves it. If you ever watched him fight, you will notice that he was not a talented boxer. His talent was his work ethic and punching power. The 10X activity allowed him to achieve the best record in boxing history.

I hope you have found this blog post useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is 10X Activity. Increase your activity by 10 times starting today. This takes commitment. In order to do this, define your stop doing list and stop doing the activity with no meaning. This means cut out the TV, games and lazy stuff during your working time and focus only on the high value activity.


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Future is Better than You Think

Book Summary: Abundance –
The Future is Better than You Think -
- Written by Peter Dimandis & Steven Kotler

Abraham Maslow defined the basic human hierarchy of needs as food, water and air and from there you move up to the top of the pyramid which is self-actualization. Image a world of clean abundant energy, clean abundant water, wellness instead of sick care, abundant food supply and medical treatment for all. Now imagine these things as self-sustaining systems and not charity.

Why is this important to me?
The major problems today are clean energy, clean water, health care, the environment and population growth which is why this book is important. Every year 11 million children around the world die from infectious diseases and other causes. Most of these could have been avoided with clean water. This statistic is horrible. The U.S. has spent over $1 Trillion dollars on wars to fight terrorism. The world water problem could have been solved for much less. People need to have a realistic perspective. Humans tend to think logically and linearly. Technological change happens exponentially. This is good news for us because all of these problems are solvable.

Abundance is an excellent book that not only defines the problems but highlights technology innovation that is happening right now that will solve these problems. This book is broken down into six major parts but for the sake of time, I will profile a few key points as well as focus on the What, Why and How.

1. The Facts – Fact One: Currently humanity uses 30% more of our planet’s natural resources than we can replace. Fact Two: If everyone on this planet wanted to live with the lifestyle of the average European, we would need three planets’ worth of resources to pull it off. Fact Three: If everyone on this planet wished to live like an average North American, then we’d need five planets to pull it off. Abundance shows that we can solve these problems. When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. Yet the threat of scarcity still dominates the world view. The reason for this is because humans think logically and linearly while technological progression is exponential.

2. The Goal – Imagine a world of 9 billion people with clean water, nutritious food, affordable housing, personalized education, top-tier medical care, and nonpolluting, ubiquitous energy. Building this better world is humanity’s grandest challenge.

Let’s look at the how portion with examples from Abundance.

1. Energy Possibilities – Energy has many components that need work. One is the production of clean energy, two is the transmission of that energy and three is the storage of the energy. What this means is that solar energy produced in San Diego (95% sunny days) could be stored and transmitted to rainy areas like Seattle. Smart grid technologies are needed as well. We are making progress. Corn produces 18 gallons per acre per year and palm oil about 625 gallons per acre per year. Modified algae (pond scum) will produce 10,000 gallons per acre per year. The technical progress with modified algae is moving fast. If this goal is hit and Miles per gallon improve with the cars then we could eliminate our dependence on foreign oil with 17% of the land mass of Nevada producing modified algae. Clean abundant energy is the source of fixing the rest of the problems outlined in this summary. These tasks create jobs which fuels economic growth. This is not a charitable problem. Charities may invest money but that is the way it needs to be looked at – as an investment not a gift.

2. Water Possibilities – Dean Kamen created Slingshot. This is a water purification system that runs with a sterling engine. This setup is so effective that it costs .002 cents per liter. The system running in India can run on cow dung to power the purifier. Today the cost per liter is .30 cents. Building the Slingshot commercially could reduce the price down to $2,500 each. The water problem is a big problem because 97% of the world’s water is salt water. Basically fresh water consists of less than 1% of the total water supply. Another huge issue is 70% of the world’s water is used in agriculture while 50% of the food is thrown away. There are enormous opportunities in clean water generation locally eliminating the need to transport it. Smart Grid technologies are in huge demand because it makes sense to simply use what is needed without the delivery waste.

Abundance is a great book that will get you thinking about solving these major problems we face as a species. Right now the world economy is sputtering and on the brink of a major shift. The ultimate goal of most humans is to have a job to sustain and better their lives. Jim Clifton wrote about this in his book the Coming Jobs War. These technologies and problems offer opportunities and business growth for people who have the foresight to take advantage of it.

I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is problems equal opportunity through the right lens. Viewing the world through the right lens is critical to our success. To hone this skill, focus on root cause problems and looking for solutions.

Joe Mosed


Friday, 2 March 2012

First of all, Dr. Gawande is an excellent author. Anytime I can learn from a Harvard graduate, I'll take advantage. “Better” by Atul Gawande talks about simple conclusions from complex problems. Being a positive deviant is how Dr. Gawande characterizes being successful and making progress in medicine or any endeavor. 
So, why is this important to me? It is inevitable that you will come across complex issues in your life. Taking a diligent approach to solving these issues will generally result in simple solutions. This book talks about how to do that. What does it take to be good at something in which failure is so easy, so effortless? Dr. Gawande tells a story about one of his patients that was admitted under his care when he was in medical school. The patient was stable but needed to be put under observation. She complained of insomnia and sweats the night before. The senior resident told him to keep a close eye on her and he agreed to see her mid-day. That one simple assumption almost cost the patient her life. The senior resident checked on her first and she had a fever and needed to be put into the ICU. She lived and was sent home fine a few days later. The point of this story is that a simple assumption to check on the patient in a couple hours could have cost her - her life. One simple thing can be the thin separation between life and death.

"Better" is broken down in three main parts which I will touch on briefly. Then, I will talk about Dr. Gawande’s recommendations for becoming a positive deviant.
1. Diligence – Each year, 2 million Americans acquire an infection in the hospital and 90,000 die from that infection. Infections are about as complex as you can get. Where did they come from? How did it happen? When did it start? What type is it? All of these questions are valid and are part of the complex puzzle. After much study, the proper solution is WASHING YOUR hands. Now there is a strict procedure that doctors should follow, key word here is "should" and most don’t. There are little improvements that make HUGE differences that are profiled in the book. Here is a simple example. The nurses in the operating room would routinely run out of supplies and have to go get more. Thus they leave the room and come back in. Simple solution, make sure the supplies are fully stocked so you do not have to leave. This simple solution of just-in-time supply system eliminated infections by 90% in hospital surgical rooms that employed it.

2. Measure – Another part of diligence is measurement. In the Vietnam War when a soldier was wounded, their average time from field to the U.S. was 45 days. Today, it's 4 days. Gunshot mortality dropped from 16% in Vietnam to less than 5% in similar situations today. The reason is not technology. It is in the process. Today there are FSUs (Forward Surgical Units) that follow the troop battalions. When a soldier is hurt they perform mini-incomplete surgeries to make sure they live and then the rest of the surgery is completed after. This seems counter intuitive but it works.
The key to understanding why Forward Surgical Units work is to measure things. It became known that the time from wound to care is in direct correlation to life and death. Minimize the time – Maximize Life. Knowing this allows them to minimize the time in several areas.
3. Simplistic Relentlessness – Ingenuity is bread from measurement and diligence. Once your eyes are opened then the solution appears. This is slight edge daily behavior that creates huge results. Using simplistic relentlessness on identified problems creates explosive returns. This is the 80/20 rule on steroids. Most people would not look at the little things but a simple check list can save lives. A great quote from the book is: “What the best may have, above all, is a capacity to learn and change-and to do so faster than everyone else.” To that end I want to talk about the five recommendations to becoming a positive deviant. This is the term for using your ingenuity to solve complex problems.

1. Ask unscripted questions
2. Don’t complain
3. Count Something
4. Write something
5. Change – These 5 things are designed to leverage the “collective knowhow!”

What's the takeaway here? If you don’t measure it, then you can’t manage it. This is a big deal. Spend time and measure things that are important especially if you need to solve a complex problem.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, 1 March 2012

Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People

The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace – Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People – Written by Gary Chapman & Paul White

Gary Chapman wrote the 5 Love Languages which is a revolutionary relationship book. The knowledge garnered from that book has saved relationships. In a nutshell, it outlines how people express and receive love and the issues when people don’t know each other’s love language. Once you understand how people accept and show love, it becomes easy to grow stronger in the relationship. Now the goal is to translate this in the workplace.

Why is this important to me?
I always want to ask this question as if I am sitting in your shoes. I don’t want to waste your time. Payroll is the biggest expense for almost every business. If you want to grow a successful organization then you need to have employees. According to Gallup, an organization with engaged team members grows their earnings four times faster than organizations with disengaged employees. This is a big deal because you can suffocate your competition by beating them to the market and simply grow an excellent business through engagement. Engaged team members create engaged customers who create loyalty and more customers.

The Mackay MBA of Selling in the Real world is broken down into 7 major sections. For the sake of time, I will highlight three takeaways that will help you today in sales.

The 5 Languages or Appreciation is a must read with excellent information. For the sake of time, I will profile the 5 languages in summary.

1. Words of Affirmation – Basically this means that people receive appreciation through your words. The authors talk about different dialects and understanding the methods of delivery for Words of Affirmation. These people want and need to be affirmed through encouraging words. Likewise the opposite is true. If you hammer them with negative words, they will take it to heart and become demotivated. Words are no different than punches for people with this love language.

2. Tangible Gifts - People with this love language express their feelings and appreciation through giving and receiving gifts. In the workplace, this could be a dinner card to show appreciation or tickets to a sporting event. When a team member does a good job, it is better to give them tickets than to give them praise when they have this love language.

3. Quality Time – People who accept appreciation through quality time want to spend time with you. This means that they want your attention. If you work with people on a project then give them your attention. It does not have to be for a long time. Likewise the inverse is also true. Quality time people want your attention so if you are texting or emailing while spending time with them then it will turn them off and cause negative feelings.

4. Acts of Service – Acts of service people are doers. Action speaks louder than words. They perform and that is how they show and accept appreciation. As usual, the inverse is true. When you commit to doing something and do NOT do it, it offends people who accept appreciation through Acts of service.

5. Physical Touch – Physical touch is a big deal in your relationship. In the work environment, people with this love language need to be careful. You can express appreciation through a solid handshake or pat on the back. Obviously in your intimate relationship physical touch is much more powerful.

The 5 Languages of Appreciation is a great start to full team member engagement. Gallup shows that engaged employees bread engaged / loyal customers. Understanding your workforce and their appreciation languages will be a true competitive advantage. The good news is that it does not cost anything to put this in place.

I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is engaged team members vs. disengaged employees. This is the difference between a profitably strong business and bankruptcy. This topic needs to be implemented daily and part of your philosophy if you want to build a real business.

Joe Mosed