The Remote Lifestyle

Forbes magazine recently wrote an article here about a study that was conducted on whether people that worked remotely were happier. Unfortunately, the study does not say how long the employees were working remotely.

Working remotely has a lot of advantages. There is little to no commute, distractions are (sometimes) much less, and work/life balance can benefit from such an arrangement.

However, there are some disadvantages as well. Humans were built for community, even introverts like myself. As much as I love my quiet office, even I have to stick my head out every once in a while and get some real human interaction. But, working remotely does not have that option. I would guess that the happiest remote workers have found a way to be more social while they work. I know many extroverts that would be gnawing pencils in half if they worked remotely without the possibility of social interactions.

Avoiding Management Problems

Everyone thinks in different ways, so there will always be personality clashes. It is a fact of life. However, the number one way to avoid, or lessen, management problems is effective communication. Lack of communication causes a good percentage of the problems in organizations. It leads to frustration, irritation, and stress. Effective communication will get everyone on board and make them feel like they are part of the team.

{Geoff, feel free to delete this part if you would like to use my article but cannot use this part) Communication is so important that a recent Inc. Magazine article ranked lack of communicating a vision as one of the top 7 reasons employees quit their job (https://www.inc.com/lolly-daskal/7-reasons-the-best-employees-quit-even-when-they-like-their-job.html). Having happy, productive employees is another way to lower management problems, so communication across the organization is vitally important.

Elon Musk on Communication

Throughout my life I have worked for many different companies and in many different industries. Effective communication has been one of the most lacking skills in leadership. This article from Inc. Magazine that has a letter from Elon Musk is a great way to better communicate in an organization.

-Dr. Ty

A Virtue That Can Change The World

There is one thing that parents, from generation to generation, are getting worse at teaching their kids. I am guilty of this, and my parents were guilty of this as well. I’m not sure when it started, but it is a trend that needs to stop before it ruins the world.

We are guilty of not teaching our children patience.

But patience is desperately needed. Meaningful relationships cannot be cultivated without patience. Long term job satisfaction cannot be had without patience.

This is something leaders can really run with, if they choose to do so. Teaching other patience is something that can be done at any level.

The people that survived the Great Depression remember when getting a biscuit was a good day. They remember a time when 3 meals a day was a memory. They remember having a set clothes without holes or patches (those were generally the work or looking for work clothes, all other clothes had holes or patches). Can you imagine that? I cannot. I have different dressers for work clothes and “working around the house” clothes, and I’m a guy.

Those people were the “Silent Generation.” They knew a time when the word “luxury” had no meaning. And they determined that their children, the “Baby Boomers” would want for nothing. That their children would never know hunger and strife.

And the Baby Boomers learned this lesson well. This was the first generation where it was common for both parents to work. More income meant more unnecessary items could be purchased. This was also the generation that coined terms such as “latch-key kids” (the parents were not home when the kids got out of school, so the kids had their own key). The children of the Baby Boomers, now called “Gen-X,” wanted for nothing, except time with their parents. The only things these children did not have were the things money could not buy.

I remember living in a house with a big underground pool in the back yard. My parents had motorcycles, my father had a riding lawn mower, we had a pool table in the garage; and I remember my father coming home every night, plopping down in his chair, and being too tired to spend much time with my sister and I.

But the Gen-Xers lik their toys, and learned that toys equaled fun. Life is grand as long as you have enough toys, which is why the average “Millennial,” the children of the Gen-Xers, had a cell phone by the age of 8, and why “Gen-Z,” the children of Millennials, grow up reading and playing games on a tablet.

What we are getting worse at teaching is patience. Children get trophies for showing up. They are told things like “no child left behind;” which does not mean that all children will have the skills to graduate but that they will get a degree whether they deserve it or not.

Patience is more than a virtue. Patience is needed to develop meaningful relationships. It is needed to learn and grow at a job, where showing up does not get you a trophy or a raise. We have children so used to being congratulated for showing up that they are demanding a higher minimum wage because they got to work on time most days. Minimum wage was never meant to be a livable wage; minimum wage was supposed to be a tease, something to show people that, if they worked hard, they could get even more of that fun paper.

This is a generational problem, and one that can be changed, but it will take one thing to change it: Patience. We need to learn more patience. It may take as many generations to change this as it took to start it, but if we don’t change, if we don’t learn to be much more patient, the world as we know it will cease to exist.

Influencing leaders

The best way to influence a leader is to find out what factors are already influencing them.

This sounds difficult on the surface, but it is not as tough as it seems. Here are some strategies:

  1. What is their frame? How are they feeling? What factors are going on that may be influencing how they are thinking and feeling? Could these factors be making them happy, sad, depressed, etc.?
  2. Where is their focus? What are they thinking about now? What is consuming their thoughts? Social media is a great way to determine this. What are they posting about?
  3. What can you do to help them change (or enhance, if their focus is on good things) their frame and focus? Do you have possible solutions for their problems? Is there a way you can be there for them? Can you help them get to the next level?

Influencing a leader is about helping them with their problems and promoting their successes.

There is an old saying: “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” -Theodore Roosevelt.
Zig Ziglar said that you can get everything you want out of life if you help enough other people get what they want.