By J.T. O'Donnell I recently got an e-mail from a guy who wanted to know if there were any entertaining career guidebooks on the market. He said he had gone to the library and taken a bunch of popular ones out (I shall not name names), but they all made him fall asleep. After I got over the initial, self-absorbed reaction of wanting to ask this guy if he realized I had written a career book, I decided to do the right thing and research some books that were both smart AND extremely funny. Here's why... I'm a huge believer in the 10,000 hour rule, which means you need to study and read up on a subject if you want to improve. Given that each person likes a different writing style, I think it's only fair I respond to the reader's request by trying to find something that might help him stay awake long enough to learn a thing or two, don't you? He needs humor as a way to engage in learning - I can respect that. Hey, I like funny too! So, I went to work and actually found, not one, but TWO hilarious and insightful guides. Check these out: Dig Your Job: Keep It or Find a New One - I've actually been reading the author's blog for some time now. GL Hoffman writes "What Would Dad Say," a no-nonsense and very humorous advice column for professionals. A serial entrepreneur himself, his self-proclaimed 5-word resume is "Frequently Wrong, Never In Doubt." There are over 200 short, easy-to-read career advice articles packed into this book which you can get as an e-book for only $9.99. Honestly, if you are lucky enough to get GL as your private career mentor (Hint: join Twitter and follow him), you are guaranteed to laugh all the way to a better job. For those who can't afford him (Do I even need to put the classic joke in here?), there's always the book. And, he's agreed to let me give away a copy to the person that posts the best six-word resume about themselves below. I'll be judging. The funniest six-word summary of your career woes wins! You have until this Friday (January 16th) to get in your entry. Whoa! My Boss is Naked - Jake Greene is also a blogger. It's called 'Jake on Jobs.' He e-mailed me a month ago to tell me he liked our blog, so I jumped on his blog to check it out and saw he had a book. The title alone had me intrigued, so I asked if he'd send me a copy to check out. He actually sent two! I opened the package and figured I'd glance a the intro and skim the chapters - one hour later, I was still reading. As Jake puts it, "This is a book for those who want to climb the ladder without becoming a corporate tool." My favorite is the test at the end that tells you if you have the potential to become a corporate tool and what kind you might be. Jake's book is $11.01 and can be grabbed here. And, if you want to try to win the extra copy I have, simply post why you don't want to become a corporate tool below. The best answer, chosen by me, will get the book. Again get your entry must be in by this Friday, January 16th. PS - YES, you can post answers for BOTH books - why not try to sweep the contest? J.T. O'Donnell is a nationally syndicated career strategist, author and founder of Careerealism.com. Check out the new CAREEREALISM University and CAREEREALISM Private Network which provide affordable private career coaching with JT.
January 12, 2009
Everyone needs to feel their voice is heard and their contributions are important. Something as simple as sharing a drink the last hour of the day on a Friday with the team to recap wins and give praise can build camaraderie within the team.
All of the above are fairly simple to implement but can make a huge difference in morale and motivation. Have any of these tips worked well for young the past? Do you have other tips to motivate your creative team? If so, please share them with me!
Encourage curiosity. Spark debate. Stimulate creativity and your team will be better at handling challenges with flexibility and resourcefulness. Create a safe space for ideas, all ideas, to be heard. In ideation, we need the weird and off-the-wall ideas to spur us on to push through to the great ideas.
Sure, there are a ton of studies done on this, but here is my very unscientific personal take. When team members can make decisions about how they work on projects, they are more engaged and connected to the project outcome. When they see how potentially dropping the ball would affect the entire team, they step up. When they feel like what they are doing is impactful and valued, they are naturally motivated to learn more, and be even better team members.
Rarely does a one-size-fits-all style work when it comes to team motivation. I have found that aligning employee goals with organization goals works well. Taking time to get to know everyone on your team is invaluable. What parts of their job do they love? What do they not enjoy? What skills do they want to learn? Even going so far as to where they see themselves in five years career-wise. These questions help you right-fit projects, and help your team see you are committed to creating a career path for them within the company.
Most designers I know love a good challenge. We are problem solvers by nature. Consistently give yourself and your team small challenges, both design-related and not. It will promote openness within the team to collaborate, and it will help generate ideas faster in the long run. Whether the challenge is to find a more exciting way to present an idea to stakeholders or fitting a new tool into the budget, make it a challenge just to shake things up.