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Last week, I had the chance to speak to a group of executives in Boston on the subject of Executive Branding. The purpose of the event was to share how important it is for executives to showcase their subject-matter authority online as a way to establish 3rd-party credibility. After my presentation, an attendee, Leon S. White, Ph.D. approached me. In his 70’s, Leon told me he very much appreciated my passion for social media and its importance to branding. He then mentioned that in his retirement he had self-published a book on golf poetry. As he held up a copy for me to see, I mistakenly assumed this was the first Leon had heard of the social media tools I had discussed, so, I said, “That’s great Leon. Now that you heard this presentation, are you thinking about starting a blog for your book?” He promptly responded, “I already have one.” Surprised, I said. “Fantastic. Well, we should get you on Twitter then so you can promote the articles on your blog.” To which Leon responded,
“I’m already on Twitter. In fact, I made up a new thing on Twitter, it’s called a TWINE.”
At this point, I promptly sat down to my laptop in the room and looked up Leon’s work. Sure enough, he not only has the blog, www.GolfPoet.com, he also has a Twitter account by the same name, @GolfPoet. And better still, if you go there, you can see his twines. (Did I mention he started all this when he retired at age 69? And that was six years ago! Leon is now officially one of my career heroes. I can only hope to be as productive as him.)

What’s a 'Twine' You Ask?

A “twine” is a rhyme on Twitter. You’ve got just 140 characters (less if you are tying to a URL or adding a hashtag), to create a zippy little poem of just one line. If you visit Leon’s Twitter feed, you’ll see them in action.

Give Us Your Best Career Twine!

I think Leon’s idea is fun and brilliant. If you can master getting your point across on Twitter, why not flex your creativity and take it to the next level with a little twine? MY CHALLENGE TO YOU: Tweet a career twine and use the hashtag #CAREEREALISM. We will post the best ones on our site. Those selected will get a PDF copy of our 144-page guidebook CAREEREALISM as well. P.S. And for those of you who love golf, you’ve got to go back and check out Leon’s book. He has compiled golf poetry and used it to write an amazing account of golf and golf history. Honestly, it is the perfect gift for anyone in your life obsessed with golf. (Lucky for me, I got a signed copy at the event I spoke of!) Twitter twine image from Bigstock
Learn how to land a career you love

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.