“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” and “I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.” – both by Maya Angelou

Positive Quote: “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” and “I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.” – both by Maya Angelou

 

I smile when I read these two quotes.

 

To me being a rainbow in someone’s cloud means bringing a smile and positivity with you as you interact with others. It is in the knowing that not everyone’s bad mood, frustration, or how they are feeling may have absolutely nothing to do with you.

 

As for the quote on the three things…. I’ll share with you how I handle each one.

 

  • Rainy days – if I am at home and not at work, with no plans or place to be… I like to sit out or walk out in the rain, smelling it and touching it. If I have places to be, I run like crazy and try not to get wet all while hoping the roads are drivable. If I am at work, I look out the window to see how the rain is falling; it is not always straight down.
  • Lost luggage – For about 99% of all trips I take, I do carry-on luggage. If I have to check my bag, I make sure my carry on has enough to hold me over if my luggage is lost.
  • Christmas tree lights – I spend maybe a little under 5 minutes trying to untangle them. If I can’t, I ask someone else to try to untangle them. If they can’t, I throw them away and use other ones.

 

I wonder what this says about me. I’ll have to think about it some more.

 

I want to, in a small way, celebrate the life of Maya Angelou who passed away yesterday and whose quotes I have used in my personal blog many a time. I relate to her and find Maya to be a strong role model for me personally as we both were molested at a young age and I believe we both have overcome it and used the experience to be better and grow. She is so much more than I am yet, I do aspire to be able to touch lives in a positive way and be remembered not for the job I did, but for the lives I have touched.

 

A couple of facts on May from Wikipedia: “In 1993, Angelou recited her poem “On the Pulse of Morning” at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton becoming the first poet to make an inaugural recitation since Robert Frost at John F Kennedy’s inauguration in 1961… In June 1995, she delivered what was called her “second ‘public’ poem”, entitled “A Brave and Startling Truth“, which commemorated the 50th anniversary of the United Nations.”

 

Have a wonderful Thursday and let’s all be a rainbow for someone today.

 

I’ll be out of the office on Friday and Monday, I’ll look forward to my next blog on Tuesday in June.

 

Priscilla

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“Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” – Ambrose Bierce

Positive Quote: “Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” – Ambrose Bierce

 

A simple, straightforward quote for the Tuesday after a holiday, Memorial Day; speaking in anger helps no one.

 

I hope everyone had a pleasant Memorial Day and took time to remember those that have served and are no longer with us that allows us to have a day to commemorate them.

 

My father served in the Marines and passed in February of 2012. I went a lot of years being angry with him and had over a decade of my life where he was not in it. Yes, that is regret. However, I am thankful that several years before he passed, we reconnected and were able to move on from the past. In fact, my now husband asked my father’s permission to marry me when the whole family was able to visit with my father in the late summer of 2011, before he got ill. I am thankful we had that time together.

 

Have a terrific Tuesday.

 

Priscilla

“Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.” – Zig Ziglar

Positive Quote: “Of course motivation is not permanent. But then, neither is bathing; but it is something you should do on a regular basis.” – Zig Ziglar

 

Motivation is such a broad topic. There are oodles of books, seminars, and what not on the market touting simple, quick, step driven or other types of ways to motivate others, yourself, your pets… you name it.

 

When I was new to the management role, I can remember trying so hard and so many different things in the hopes of being ‘motivational’. Offset that with the, sometimes, harsh directness I had when talking to my team. It was a recipe for failure and definitely for coming across as insincere. For example: the company I worked for many years ago would give out tickets to nascar races and such to managers to use or giveaway. I can vividly remember getting a pair of box seat tickets and selecting a top performer and presenting them with the tickets as a way to say that I thought they were doing a good job. Little did I know they hated, yes hated racing and it was actually a demotivater. I made the rookie mistake of thinking that it was the thought that counts.  

 

Over the years I got better at being genuine and knowing a one size fits all approach did not work. Giving tickets to a race to someone who loves races was better than someone who didn’t. What it also took was getting to know my people. I had to know who loved racing, who loved movies, who loved reading, what their hobbies were and know them as people. In other words, I had to value them and treat them as people not bodies in seats. During this time in my later years as a manager, trying to motivate continued to feel forced and not always successful.

 

It wasn’t until 2009 that I started really coming up with my own personal belief and thoughts around motivation. It all started when I read Daniel Pink’s book Drive. He talks about intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation and why one is better than the other and how you can use one method to lead to the other and so much more. It was like a light turned on in my head and I could now see more clearly. It made sense to me, it clicked. As a leader I have the responsibility of creating an environment where people can be able to motivate themselves. It also took away the carrot and the stick from my repertoire. I had to accept that not everyone wants to motivate themselves; that they are content being and doing what they do. I have to be ok with that. Yet, I also have to know that I have the responsibility of fostering the environment to be conducive to intrinsic motivation.

 

For instance, in a Help Desk environment, I should never assign a performance goal of average talk time. As a leader, that may scream out that I care more about quick turnaround on calls versus customer service; which may not be the message I was going for. In the case of the Help Desk, the metric I could use could be occupancy rate, which is a metric that reflects the availability of a person to be take calls and not be in a mode where they are not taking calls. Or even a metric around resolution rate, that the person should be resolving x percent of all calls without having to transfer to level 2 or level 3 support. In both of those cases it reflects a different standard, one being available to help callers and two to help them right the first time, which could lead to additional training, documentation, etc…

 

You may ask, how does one create an environment for self-motivation? Well, it depends on the team, the culture of the company, and what drives the people on your team to succeed. There is not a one size fits all approach and it is not easy. I continue to be a student and open to learn more and more. I make mistakes and work to rectify them. It all boils down to the people.

 

What do you think of when you read this quote?

 

How do you motivate others or even yourself?

 

Have a fabulous Friday and enjoy the upcoming Memorial Day.

 

Priscilla

“Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt, and dance like no one is watching.” – Satchel Paige

Positive Quote: “Work like you don’t need the money, love like you’ve never been hurt, and dance like no one is watching.” – Satchel Paige

 

I smile when I imagine what the world would be like if everyone followed the quote. It reminds me of youthful innocence of children. As a child, one tended to not care about money, getting hurt, or being embarrassed of our dancing style. When does it change? It is different for so many people.

 

When I was younger, I worked for the money. I started working as a child in southern California at a horse stable and then for a local youth center (I was a pre-teen) and once I turned 16, fast food became my job. In my 20’s I turned to retail and at times had more than one job at a time. It wasn’t until my 30’s that I came to the realization that work should be pleasurable and more than just about money. Yes, the money is needed to pay bills, enjoy life, and what not…. It just shouldn’t be my main focus.

 

The love like you have ever been hurt, that is a tough one. It is easier to build walls to protect ourselves from future pain if/when we get hurt. Yet, it is hard to love fully with those barriers in place. This is one I have to keep remembering and let it be.

 

Dancing, now that I can relate to, I am not the best dancer in the world. Yet, I will get on the floor and dance. It doesn’t matter if I embarrass my kids or if I can’t keep a beat, what matters is the joy I feel when letting go and having fun.

 

What do you think?

 

Have a fabulous Thursday.

 

Priscilla

“Useful knowledge is a great support for intuition.” – Charles B. Rogers

Positive Quote: “Useful knowledge is a great support for intuition.” – Charles B. Rogers

 

Intuition, some call it a hunch, a guess, a gut instinct, a vibe…. I believe in intuition. I also believe you have to be open to it. It can come in waves or in trickles and can surprise you by sneaking up on you. Either way, I do my best to listen when I get that ‘feeling’. I typically stop and ask myself what and why I think something could be off and go from there. Sometimes, you have to step back and let it go.

 

For example: if my dog is not friendly to someone, yet is friendly to other people…. Is he sensing something I can’t? Or if I decide to drive in to work instead of ride the bus and it turns out my daughter is sick at school and I need to pick her up, thankfully I drove into work.

 

Some may call these coincidences; I choose to believe they are a form of intuition. Granted, something doesn’t always happen to show why the feeling is there, it doesn’t have to.

 

I think the best balance is using the intuition with the knowledge one has and making informed decisions. When you step back and look at it, intuition is just another metric, another grain of knowledge, another factor to consider.

 

What do you think?

 

Have a tremendous Wednesday.

 

Priscilla

“What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” – John Lubbock

Positive Quote: “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.” – John Lubbock

 

More often than not we don’t see things in front of us until we stop and really look and take the time to see. I guess I equate the above quote to so many different things in life. Like reading a book, sometimes I read a book 2 or 3 times and get new things out of it each time. Or having to watch a movie more than once to have certain parts make sense; Pulp Fiction was like that for me.

 

I find myself wondering from time to time what I am missing, that I want to be aware and see.

 

There are so many things in life both from a personal and a business perspective that some things can be missed and not seen.

 

As you can tell, this quote has me thinking.

 

What do you think?

 

Have a terrific Tuesday and I hope we all can see that which we did not know we were looking for.

 

Priscilla