Giving In the Workplace: Make It Work For Everyone!

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I’m on Vacation. Enjoying the summer breeze, time with family and friends, swimming, barbecuing and listening to classic summer music like Seals & Croft, The Go Gos’ and The Cars.

I’m also volunteering. Working in the service of others is core to my spirit: who I am today…and the man I strive to be. It also gives me time to re-energize, re-fresh and re-engage with the clients and teams I work with every day.

In my recent article Next Time: Make It Fierce, I shared a few of my favorite things, including my favorite book Fierce Conversations by Susan Scott. As I was thinking about my next post, I came across one of my favorite articles about giving back to the community: the October 8, 2012 issue Forbes Making It Big – Giving It Big: The Titans of Philanthropy.

Insights from the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet and Steve Case made a strong impression. I encourage you to read it. It may motivate you to rethink how you and your organization give back to the community, and the role of volunteering and philanthropic giving in employee engagement.

The Forbes articles demonstrates the need and power of ‘giving’ in the larger scheme of things. It helps us to think globally while acting locally. Katherine Fulton, President of Monitor Institute, brings it even closer to home in her TED Talk, You are the Future of Philanthropy, by speaking about “the democratization of philanthropy: where collaboration and innovation allow regular people to do big things, even when money is scarce.”

While I have not yet been invited to TED and share “ideas worth spreading,” I have volunteered, bench-marked and worked with companies to deploy programs that engage employees while giving back to the community including: speaking with other Cable Industry leaders at the 2004 Communicating Cable’s Value Forum session on Empowering Your Employees: HIV/AIDS in the Workplace and working with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and KNOW HIV/AIDS Campaign.

So, what I have learned? Over the years, I’ve identified three common themes that successfully link company giving programs to increased levels of employee engagement:

Ask, Listen and Learn: Your employees want to give back to the community – and they want their companies to do the same. In fact, 81% of employees want their company to offer matching support programs for non-profit charitable organizations, whether locally or on a larger scale, and to provide opportunities to volunteer during work hours (2011 Cone Cause Evolution Study and Workplace Giving Works! Make It Work For You).

Connect Your People With Their Passion: Many companies offer one or very limited options for volunteering their time, financial resources and receiving matching contributions. The result is low participation in volunteer activities and, in many cases, dissatisfaction with their employers. Companies that truly invite their employees to align their time and financial resources to causes that have personal meaning have higher participation rates in fund-raising and volunteer activities than those that don’t. Matching contributions to causes that employees choose themselves (that fall within company guidelines and approval processes) are the most meaningful and contribute to higher levels of satisfaction and engagement. For more information, visit Volunteer Match.

Use Giving Back as Opportunities to Re-Connect and Re-Energize Your Teams: Whether it’s working together with Habitat For Humanity, walking or running in The Race for the Cure, volunteering to help individuals and families coping with terminal illness through The Hospice Foundation, or partnering with the The Clinton Foundation to bring health services to communities decimated by HIV/ADS around the world, the opportunities – the need – to help and give back to our communities are endless.

Oprah Winfrey once said: “When you go to Nelson Mandela’s house, what do you take? You can’t take a candle.”

Giving is personal. The logical next step is to make it personal to you…and the company you call home.

Until next time,

Connect, Collaborate and Create! ®

Ryan

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Take an Inspiration Break: An Unlikely Lesson From an ’80s Sitcom

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Nell Carter, the star of the hit ’80s sitcom “Gimme A Break,” has been haunting me.  Okay, she was haunting me.

Not in a scary way.  It’s was a happy and humorous haunting.  I knew it would be the moment I heard her ghost sing that familiar tune:

“Give me a break, I sure deserve one. I want a happy ending. I’m tired of pretending. I wanna piece of the cake…give me a break!” 

It was fun to have her ghost around.  I laughed.  I sang.  I even danced a little. I did wonder, however, why she decided to haunt me.  I’m sure Nell Carter’s ghost had better things to do than hang around while I worked on client projects, wrote articles and updated my Facebook status.  After all, I was just doing ‘stuff.’

Then it hit me.  I was always busy.  Doing things.  Getting things done. Productive?Yes.  Inspired?  No.  That’s what she was trying to tell me:  I needed an inspiration break!

So, I set out on an inspiration quest and stumbled across Inspiration Break: Creative Confidence by Tim Brown, CEO at IDEO. The article, along with Nell Carter’s booming voice, reminded me that lack of “me time” often comes at a very big cost: losing your passion, creativity and confidence.

So, how do you find, or rediscover, that creative inspiration? You don’t ask for it. You seek it out. You own it. Tom and David Kelly, in their article Reclaim Your Creative Confidence, sum it up this way: “creative confidence is the ability to come up with breakthrough ideas, combined with the courage to act.”

And what about Nell Carter and her early pleas to “gimme a break?” It turns out that “Nellie Ruth” (Carter’s character on the show) found her creative confidence somewhere between Season 1 and Season 3. Nell found her ‘voice’ and the theme song evolved from a victim’s plea for help to a triumphant anthem announcing to the world that she made her own ‘breaks’ in life.

Here’s a glimpse at the transformation that made Carter’s character a role model for anyone who has the courage to discover and claim their own creative inspiration:

  • Season 3 Opening Theme (partial lyrics): “Give me a break…’cause now I know what it takes. I’m putting a face on the old one…I’m showing the world nothing can get me down. Give me a break!”

Nell Carter’s ghost doesn’t haunt me anymore.  I miss her laughter and joy, but her message is alive and well:  no one will give you a break unless you have the courage to make your own first.

How ’bout it?  Are you ready for an inspiration break?

Connect, Collaborate and Create! ®

Ryan

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www.connectcollaboratecreate.com

Make An Appointment With The One Person Who Doesn’t Get Enough of Your Time – You!

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It’s happening everywhere you look. We’ve sprung forward and now we’re racing toward summer.  But before we reach Memorial Day, many of us experience a little dejavu.  It’s that feeling – just five months into the year – where we suddenly realize we haven’t scheduled enough time for…(wait for it) ME! Take a few minutes to read this – who knows, it just may help!  Enjoy!

We’re always connected.   Iphones. Ipads. Androids. Laptops. Desktops. Even those dreaded land lines! Our calendars are filled with back to back meetings, project updates, client calls, team building, training, birthday celebrations. Those occasional “drop by conversations” can also throw our day off track, but the value of relationship building can never be underestimated when a spontaneous conversation yields something productive!

So, how do you do it all? Competing priorities, both at work and home, often make it difficult to take time for yourself, especially while you are at work. I learned years ago that, as a leader, I could not do everything and everything could not be a priority. In fact, making time for myself would be my key to success as I continued to grow as a leader and client consultant.

My mentor and coach suggested that I managed my “me time” just as I would any other…

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World AIDS Day 2013: The Workplace Conversation

“We ALL are living with AIDS…”

This sentiment shared by award winning actress Judith Light has always been my introduction to the topic of HIV/AIDS.  To many, it may seem that AIDS is a distant disease, impacting people very different than you and in places far, far away. Unfortunately, HIV/AIDS is still here.  We all are, in fact, living with this disease.

In the workplace, the conversation around diversity and inclusion extends to issues of health and wellness, including HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS prevention is one aspect of the workplace discussion while another, more personal aspect, extends to people you work with every day.  It’s likely that a friend or workplace colleague, even a family member, is infected with HIV and possibly living with AIDS.

Each year world AIDS organizations focus on a key message in the fight against HIV and AIDS.  This year’s theme World AIDS Day 2013: Strengthening Results for an AIDS-Free Generation is driven by a disturbing increase in HIV infections among the emerging ‘core’ of our workforce:  young people under the age of  24.  Unlike other generations, they only know HIV as a chronic, manageable illness and often reduce  infection to a very simple solution:  take a pill.  While HIV/AIDS is no longer considered a terminal illness, there’s nothing simple about the disease.  The progress has been remarkable, but our work is not done.

My work with HIV/AIDS began with the AIDS Walk, The AIDS Ride and as the employee educator for the Viacom/MTV Networks “Know HIV/AIDS” campaign. Working with partners across the cable, healthcare and non-profit sectors, I had the opportunity to work with many celebrity AIDS ambassadors including Common and Ashley Judd,  but most importantly the privilege to work directly with those living with the disease, their families, caregivers and communities.

YOU  too can make a difference.  All of us, through our personal actions and collaboration can make an impact:  by knowing the facts, acting in support of those living with HIV/AIDS and volunteering your time to educate others about the disease.

On World AIDS Day we take a moment to remember those lost to the disease.  It’s also a time to celebrate the amazing advances in the prevention and treatment of HIV and join forces to continue the fight against the disease.

After all, we all are living with AIDS.

Until next time:  connect, collaborate and create!

Ryan

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KNOW THE FACTS ABOUT HIV/AIDS:

In 2011:

  • 34 million [31.4 million – 35.9 million] people globally were living with HIV
  • 2.5 million [2.2 million – 2.8 million] people became newly infected with HIV
  • 1.7 million [1.5 million – 1.9 million] people died from AIDS-related illnesses
  • There are approximately 3-4 million AIDS “orphans” living in Africa – both parents lost to AIDS

-Declining new HIV infections in children:  The area where perhaps most progress is being made is in reducing new HIV infections in children. Half of the global reductions in new HIV infections in the last two years have been among newborn children.

-Fewer AIDS-related deaths:  Anti-retroviral therapy has emerged as a powerful force for saving lives. In the last 24 months the number of people accessing treatment has increased by 63% globally.

-More investments:  Countries are increasing investments in the AIDS response despite a difficult economic climate. The global gap in resources needed annually by 2015 is now at 30%. In 2011, US$ 16.8 billion was available and the need for 2015 is between US$ 22-24 billion.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:  AIDS.gov.

‘Tis the Season For Giving…and Re-Energizing Your Employees

Now that Halloween is over, it’s official:  the holiday season has begun, complete with the on-set of colorful lights, the whimsy of holiday music and the guilty pleasure of gingerbread latte.  Beyond the music, treats and holiday celebrations, it’s the overwhelming gratitude and giving that always catches my attention.

My early holiday gift last year was the October 8, 2012 issue Forbes Making It Big – Giving It Big: The Titans of Philanthropy.  The insights from the likes of Bill and Melinda Gates, Oprah Winfrey, Warren Buffet and Steve Case will give you pause – and the motivation to re-think how you and your company give back to the community and the role of philanthropic giving in employee engagement.

There are multiple aspects of employee acquisition and engagement that best-in-class companies use to acquire and retain the best and brightest:  competitive pay, telecommuting, excellent health benefits, and on-site amenities such as child-care, catered lunches, banking, dry cleaning, and gyms, to name a few.  An often overlooked aspect of the employee proposition (why the best come to you and why they stay) involves what and how your company gives back to the community and those in need.

Over the years, I’ve bench-marked, interviewed and met with leaders across industries and here are three common themes that successfully link company giving programs to increased levels of employee engagement.

  • Ask, Listen and Learn:  Your employees want to give back to the community – and they want their company to do the same.  In fact, 81% of employees want their company to offer matching support programs for non-profit charitable organizations, whether locally or on a larger scale (source: 2011 Cone Cause Evolution Study, and The 2010 Report:  “Workplace Giving Works:  Make It Work For You”).
  • Connect Your People With Their Passion: Many companies offer one or very limited options for volunteering their time, financial resources and receiving matching contributions.  The result is low participation in volunteer activities and, in many cases, dissatisfaction with their employers.  Companies that truly invite their employees to align their time and financial resources to causes that have personal meaning have higher participation rates in fund-raising and volunteer activities than those that don’t. Matching contributions to causes that employees choose themselves (that fall within company guidelines and approval processes) are the most meaningful and contribute to higher levels of satisfaction and engagement.  For more information, visit Volunteer Match.
  • Use Giving Back as Opportunities to Re-Connect and Re-Energize Your Teams: Whether it’s working together with Habitat For Humanity, walking or running in The Race for the Cure, volunteering to help individuals and families coping with terminal illness through The Hospice Foundation or by partnering with the The Clinton Foundation to bring health services to communities decimated by HIV/ADS around the world, the opportunities – the need – to help and give back to our communities are endless.

During this season of giving and gratitude, it’s easy to overlook what’s right in front of us:  that Americans, even in the most challenging of times, are also the most giving people in the world.

Oprah Winfrey once said:  “When you go to Nelson Mandela’s house, what do you take? You can’t take a candle.”  Giving is personal.  The logical next step is to make it personal to you – and the company you call home.

Until next time:  connect, collaborate and create!

Ryan

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Horrible Bosses: More Than Just A Movie

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Great comedians know that within every laugh there’s always a dose of truth. So, when I came across my copy of “Horrible Bosses” several weeks ago, I realized I was both laughing at and learning from the characters played by Jason Bateman, Kevin Spacey, Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston (among others). If you haven’t seen the movie, run out and rent it. It’s LOL funny and worth every penny of the $1.99 rental fee at Redbox – Horrible Bosses.

“Horrible Bosses” is more than just a movie about poor managers. It’s the tale of unbearable managers and the unhinged employees who are ready to do just about anything to change their miserable work lives. With plenty of twists and turns (including a hysterical appearance by Jamie Foxx) , “Horrible Bosses” is funny and grabs our attention through a shared experience: working for an ineffective and, in some instances, ‘horrible’ boss.

Of course, the film is an exaggeration of common supervisor-employee challenges and runs to the extreme when three unhappy employees plot to kill their managers (legal disclaimer: I do not endorse, suggest or promote this strategy). There are, however, a few nuggets of wisdom in “Horrible Bosses” if you stop laughing long enough to learn:

It’s about them…not you. “Horrible Bosses” draws upon the management-challenged supervisors most of us have experienced at some point in our careers: the absent manager, the micro-manager, the incompetent walking time bomb, the credit taker, the blamer, the ambiguous goal setter, the suck up, the unrealistic workload driver and the “throw you under the bus” manager. Read Dave Kerpen’s article 17 Things a Boss Should Never Say and you’ll likely find a few one-liners you’ve heard before.

As much as we’d like to, we can’t change our managers. So, let yourself off the hook for a moment and let your manager do the heavy lifting. Geoffrey James’ article 9 Core Beliefs of Horrible Bosses contrasts ‘horrible’ and ‘smart’ bosses in a much less dark and humorous way than the movie. Ultimately, it’s all about the manager’s behavior. A poor manager (with the help of HR, training or a coach) can become a ‘smart’ manager by making some fundamental changes in his behavior. Transforming from a ‘horrible’ boss to a ‘smart’ boss isn’t always easy, but is definitely within reach. So, what about those exceptional leaders? I’ll save that for another post, but in the meantime, read James’ follow-up article and take a look around you. I bet you’ve also encountered some Extraordinary Bosses in your life as well.

The truth? It’s also about you and what you choose to do right now.Yes, horrible bosses are a problem. Their impacts include an unpleasant workplace, mediocre performance, legal issues and high levels of turnover (all of which, eventually, have financial implications). But let’s face it, they’re your problem – like it or not – until that manager improves, is discharged or leaves the organization.

In the meantime, you have a choice. You can live with it and remain unhappy or you can do something about it. The employees in “Horrible Bosses” looked at their situation and assessed what they could (within their realm of control) actually do to change it. While their solution itself is flawed, they understood that you can change an entire ‘story’ by changing how you react to and work through whatever’s thrown at you. Ask yourself: How am I reacting to this situation? Am I letting it impact my job, my relationships and my life? What can I do differently that allows me to both perform my job well and be more satisfied (or less miserable) with what I do every day?

It’s still about you…and how you look at the bigger picture. Changing your situation – personally and professionally – requires that you balance immediate changes with longer term objectives. It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘right now’ and simply stay there without looking at what happens next. Your relationship with your manager – good or bad – is one of the most influential drivers of success, or failure, today and in the future. There are times in our career when we are forced to, but ideally should, step back and evaluate where we are now and where we want to be in the future.

In the movie, Bob Newhart makes a surprise appearance as Jason Bateman’s new boss. Newhart, naturally, is quite a character and it’s clear that Bateman is in for another ‘interesting’ ride. The lesson here is that managers, good and bad, come and go. The question, more importantly, for you is: should I stay or should I go? That question can translate into many options both within and outside your current employer. What you do next is up to you.

The sequel to “Horrible Bosses” is due in theaters November 25, 2014. Go see it, but don’t wait to take action. We’d all be laughing a little bit more if ‘horrible’ bosses stay where they belong: on the big screen in a theater near you.

Until next time,

Connect, Collaborate and Create! ®

Ryan

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www.connectcollaboratecreate.com

The Leader As Coach: Ready, Set…Go!

It’s no secret that winning teams are led by exceptional coaches whether you’re NCAA Basketball champs Louisville or Cinderella team Florida Gulf Coast.  It’s unfortunate then, that many senior business leaders miss the opportunity, like their peers in the sports arena, to actively lead through coaching.

Two of the biggest fallacies about coaching in organizations are:

  1. The more senior you are in the organization, the less coaching you are required to do. Many executives leave the bulk of coaching to middle and front-line managers who primarily focus on coaching for performance and improvement, rather than coaching for development and growth.
  2. The executive leader, him or herself, requires little or no coaching at all.  A prevalent misconception is that the executive should be focusing only on vision, strategy, and outcomes with little focus on personal development.  After all, they’ve been there…done that.

 

The truth is actually just the opposite.  Coaching is a critical success factor at all levels of the organization.  Coaching is one of the most powerful tools leaders can use to drive performance and improvement.  Just as important, and most often overlooked, is the role that coaching plays in professional development and growth, talent mobility and retention.

Promoting a true coaching culture – one that celebrates and leverages success, acknowledges and corrects mistakes and provides an environment for personal exploration and growth, starts with senior leaders.

So, how do you get there?  If you think about the best coaching you’ve ever had, whether in sports, school or in business, most people describe the experience as authentic, supportive, challenging and consistent.  More often than not, when you ask a respected coach the secret to his or her success, the answer usually is “because I had a great coach myself.”

It makes sense then to start there.  Get a coach.  The source of coaching is up to you and what you want to achieve through the coaching process.  Whether it’s coaching from your senior leader, a peer or an external executive coach, the point is to take a risk, be vulnerable and open to growth.  Stepping away from your role as leader can be challenging. It requires a commitment to seek and act on feedback that both affirms your areas of strength and brings to light areas where you can, and often must, improve.

Margie Warrell, in her recent Forbes article 5 Ways to Unlock Authentic Leadership lays out 5 ways to unlock leadership authenticity – fundamental to a successful coaching culture:

  1. Share and unlock the power of vulnerability.
  2. Express and unleash the power of individuality.
  3. Listen and demonstrate the power of presence.
  4. Acknowledge and empower through appreciation.
  5. Serve and embrace the success of others.

 

Transparency – role modeling the coaching process yourself – is also invaluable in helping you foster a true coaching culture built on openness.  Recently, one of my clients began working with an executive coach to implement quarterly “Customer Feedback” sessions where he solicited feedback from his employees, whom he views as his priority customers: the people who make it happen.  The feedback from those sessions and the work with his executive coach to implement suggestions has increased employee engagement and facilitated hands-on, consistent coaching by all managers across the organization.

Coaching works.  It accelerates productivity, engages employees and improves retention. Guess what?  It’s also fun and personally rewarding.

Now it’s up to you.  Ready, set…go.

Until next time:  connect, collaborate and create!

Ryan

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Next Time: Make It Fierce!

We all make lists: to do lists, bucket lists and, of course, our ‘favorites’ list. My list includes:

  • Favorite summer song: “Mad About You” by Belinda Carlisle
  • Favorite film: “The Color Purple”
  • Favorite television show: “Scandal” tied with “The Good Wife”
  • Favorite food: Sandwiches (does that count?)

Industrial and organizational psychologist Dr. Martha Gottschalk even has a list of things she carries. At the top of her list? The Trusted Notebook!

Like Dr. Gottschalk, I carry a few items with me almost everywhere I go, including my two favorite books: John Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charley” and “Fierce Conversations” by Susan Scott.

Steinbeck’s “Travels With Charley” is a favorite because it was the first book I remember reading that, in turn, inspired me to write. Susan Scott’s book tops my list because it has helped me build lasting relationships “one conversation at a time.” My well traveled copy reminds me to stay grounded – to keep it real – especially when people and situations seem a little unreal.

Fierce conversations, as Scott puts it, are “conversations that can change the trajectory of a career, a business, a relationship or a life.” I had never thought of conversations as fierce: robust, powerful, strong, passionate and untamed. My ‘a-ha’ moment? When I realized that Scott was also describing ‘authentic’ conversations.

How many times have you had a conversation worthy of a “do over?” Nothing was solved. The real issues were not discussed. People didn’t share how they were feeling or what they were truly thinking. Relationships were damaged. In other words, the conversation wasn’t real.

Here are the three essential “Fierce” lessons I practice daily:

  1. Be here and nowhere else. It’s more than shutting off the cell phone, powering down the laptop or blocking out time on your calendar. Fierce conversations are built on a common respect for each other. You can only be truly engaged when you are prepared to listen, ask questions, and contribute your thoughts and ideas.
  2. Interrogate reality. Be smart. Be specific. Outline the issues and consider the implications. Work together to solve the problem or take advantage of an opportunity. Most people want to hear the truth – even when it’s a little hard to hear. The truth does set you free.
  3. Own your ’emotional wake.’ Fierce conversations drive productivity and results through people, not at the expense of people. Can teams be successful without fierce conversations? Yes. Success, however, is often short-term and the cost to relationships very high. Owning your ’emotional wake’ requires that you take accountability for your behavior. What you leave behind can either leave people distressed and disgruntled, or engaged and committed. It’s your choice.

So, what’s on your list? Is it Fierce?

Until next time,

Connect, Collaborate and Create! ®

Ryan

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RIP Matthew: Leadership Lessons From A Downton Abbey Leader

Last spring, millions of Americans tuned into the season finale of one of television’s most popular and critically acclaimed shows on both sides of the Atlantic: Downton Abbey. While the Brits had known for months how tragedy would once again visit Downton, Americans watched in astonishment as season three came to a shocking and heartbreaking end.

Matthew Crawley, husband and new father, was heir to Downton and, for all practical purposes, its savior. That is, until his untimely death. Unlike our blokes across the pond, who have already finished season 4, we will have to wait another two months to learn how Lady Grantham and Downton will recover from this latest setback. In the meantime, we can reflect on the life of Matthew. Master Crawley, after all, was truly a great leader.

Simply put, great leaders are people others are willing to follow. From the moment we met Matthew, we were inspired. We cheered for him and, in the end, we wept for him.

Looking back at the ‘life’ of Matthew, it’s easy to see why the characters on Downtown and millions of viewers like myself found him so endearing. The secret of Matthew’s leadership success revolved around four characteristics people look for most in their leaders:

  • Integrity: People need to know that the person in charge won’t take advantage of his or her position. They won’t lie, steal, play favorites or betray others to get ahead. Matthew made difficult decisions, often at his own expense, in order to ensure the happiness and success of others.
  • Vision: Good leaders explain the significance of what they’re doing and how it fits into the larger scheme of things. A clear vision clarifies goals, roles and the way forward. It unifies the team…especially when times are tough. Matthew didn’t come in and save Downton on his own. He enlisted support by building strategic alliances and leveraging the strengths of both the family and staff.
  • Competence: Matthew’s natural charisma and charm certainly gained him invaluable goodwill, but it was his ability to get things done that sealed the deal time after time. As a military captain, husband and business owner, Matthew was not only competent himself, but he surrounded himself with others who complemented his skill set and management style.
  • Judgment: Most business failures are the result of bad decisions and the unwillingness to re-evaluate and change direction. Matthew was faced with the task of making decisions that would impact the lives of the family and staff at Downton for generations to come. He sought the counsel of others, weighed the implications of his actions and always took ownership for those decisions. It’s no wonder those at Downton and the millions of viewers who watch every week trusted and admired this character who lived in another century, but seemed to live next door.

Julian Fellows, the creator of Downton Abbey, along with the exceptional writing team, created one of the most memorable characters in recent television history. But it was actor Dan Stevens who brought Matthew Crawley to life in the way only a true leader can: with sincerity and the audacity to make us care.

Oh, and that season 4 premiere date? January 5th. Grab a bloke, a mate or even just a friend and return to the magic of Downton Abbey and the emergence of a new leader. Of course, all of that is…to be continued.

Until next time,

Connect, Collaborate and Create! ®

Ryan

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The Gift of Time: Spend Less Of It On Social Media “Noise”

A colleague recently asked me what I’d like for Christmas.  My response?  Give me a minute…

Time, in fact, is the perfect gift:  less of it.  No, I don’t want to turn back time or even have too much time on my hands.  I’d simply like to spend my time a little more efficiently and, honestly, the path to finding more valuable “me time” usually starts with finding ways to spend less time doing other things.

Recently, I wrote two articles about finding time to be inspired, energized and armed with the resources you need to succeed:

My weekly rituals usually start on Sunday afternoon with dedicated time for reading:  catching up on industry and professional news.

Social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and multiple other on-line sources and applications) has made it easy to filter what I read, when I read it and ultimately, what I do with that information.

The downside?  Most of us have likely found ourselves spending more and more time combing through the notifications, updates, and push information that we receive via multiple Social Media sources.  It has, in fact, started to chip away at my “me time.”

This week, I started my search for a way to re-claim some of that time from social media “noise.”  One of the best social media time management resources I came across:

Another, more technical and tactical, resource I discovered was:

Time is precious – make the most of it!

Until next time:  connect, collaborate and create!

Ryan

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