Tim Cusack's Blog
Tag Archives: leadership

DO NOT TALK ABOUT IT!

Shush...Don't Tell!

Shush…Don’t Tell!

Zip it! As hard as it may be at times, DO NOT TALK ABOUT IT!!! Actions speak louder than words — funny how that’s true. And, actions typically haven’t any sound.

In 2015 take a course on line from an Ivy League college. After you’re done, incorporate that knowledge into your personal and professional life. When someone comments on your newly acquired insights, you may share, “I took a class at Yale!”

Write a few poems, an essay or a song. Send the writings to a variety of publications, blogs, magazines or church bulletins. Give the song to a band and see if they can make it come alive. When someone comments on that cool song on the radio, you can reply, “Yeah, I wrote that.”

Start getting into shape. It takes about three weeks of consistently working out before you start to see changes in your body. If you stay with it, come spring, strip down on the beach in front of family and friends and shock them all. “Oh yeah, baby. I’m ripped! You like?”

Start saving right now for that new bike, car, gazebo, hot air balloon ride, trip to the Middle East to help refugees. Pick something wild, fun, maybe daring. But for God’s sake and yours, DON’T TALK ABOUT IT!

“Well done is better than well said. Talk is cheap.” Ben Franklin

Office Romance: To Do or Not To Do

Love in the Officew?

Love in the Office?

Most of you are aware of Don Draper’s (Madmen) sexual antics in the 1960’s work place. What does today’s office romance look like?

A ProVault.com study found that 40% of workers have had an office romance. A recent survey of 8000 workers by CareerBuilder.com found that 4 out of 10 employees have dated someone at work. Not fair, but women are seen in a more negative light than men when it comes to workplace romance. Often, women are seen as using an office relationship to get ahead. If you’re thinking of making moves on someone at work, here are some pros and cons to consider:

Pro: You spend time together and have common topics to talk about.

Con: An office romance can generate gossip and distrust.

Pro: Most workers indicated they do not mind seeing a romance develop between two unmarried colleagues.

Con: While workplace romances may seem harmless, they can in fact lead to serious problems, such as co-workers taking sides and an awkward work environment.

Pro: Office romances can make going to work more exciting and something to look forward to.

Con: Office romances can lead to some type of sexual harassment or accusations of sexual harassment.

Pro: It’s possible to meet your future spouse at or through work.

Con: Office romances can lead to careers being derailed as well as charges of favoritism, including overlooking shoddy work.

Our biological drives, attraction and lust can be extremely powerful and can easily overwhelm job titles, income and promotions. In the heat of the moment you may need a jolt to the rational mind like a photo of a loved one, a list of career goals or just a reminder of your credit card statement, mortgage or car loan.

Top 10 Jobs Where Workers Are Likely To Have a Fling (from the Huffington Post)

10. Planning and Expediting Clerks

9. Database Administrators

8. Food Service Managers

7. Automotive Technicians

6. Industrial Machinery Works

5. Occupational Health and Safety Specialists

4. Stock Clerks

3. Welders

2. Cooks

1. Artists (Sweet, I’m finally #1 in something!)

Two Folders

Two Folders with Two Perspectives on Life

Two Folders with Two Perspectives on Life

An observation of living life with two folders:

One folder is filled with information we’ve accumulated to navigate our intellectual and skill-based needs. This folder is filled with facts, theories and data that satisfies our need to be knowledgeable. We have multiple degrees, licenses and certifications to authenticate our ability to perform certain tasks and especially to prove to others that we’re smart. We know lots of information, and we have a bulging folder to prove it!

The other folder contains our meaning in life – all things that we hold dear and close to our hearts and souls. This folder is absent of any institutional, signed documents. It holds our emotional attachments to those we love and to those who are no longer with us. It’s filled with momentary glimpses of tears of joy and sadness. The only documentation of this emotional truth comes from within. There is no formal, external certification. It can’t be purchased, or studied, or graded.

I’ve discovered while working with hospice and those with serious unexpected health issues that the meaning folder is the only one that really matters. Some people can’t find this folder. Perhaps it didn’t seem important. Or, if they do possess it, it’s very meager.

Yet, others possess a folder overflowing with meaningful moments that have been collected, cherished and remembered…forever and ever. Amen.

May your folder of information and intellectual pursuits be filled and organized to meet your needs.

AND,

May your folder of meaning be readily available and easily found when you find yourself in need of your purpose, your greatness and the difference you make in the lives of others.

Do Great Things…..Today

Be Great Today

Do Great Things…. Today

My high school band teacher, Mr. Bennett was the only teacher that saw beyond my dysfunctional exterior. In my junior year, Mr. Bennett told my mother that I would do ‘great things someday.’ A few ‘great things’ happened during this exchange:

  • First, he spoke out loud an expectation of me;
  • Second, my mother related to me that another person had that positive expectation of me;
  • Third, I believed in the possibility of this expectation becoming true.

 
GREAT: adjective, of an extent, amount or intensity considerably above the normal or average

 
I think there’s a gene in all humans that encourages us to go beyond normal or average. We all want to Be Great and do Great Things.

 
We can… everyday: in our communication with others, in our words of encouragement, and in our personal stories of over-coming difficulty. A smile or nod that lets someone know you see them. Telling your child or partner something special about them. Picking up that piece of scrap instead of walking past. Calling or writing someone you’ve been thinking about.
Look for the endless possibilities of being beyond average.

Do a ‘great thing’ today.

The Risk of Investing Emotionally

investingwithbaby

What are the close relationships in your life worth? If I offered you a hundred thousand dollars not to spend time with someone you love, would you take it? What about ten million dollars? If you answered, “yes,” good luck with your money. If “no,” well, you’ve demonstrated how important relationships are, didn’t you? To me relationships are worth so much more than any amount of money.

If I gave you ten million dollars, you would probably give a little away, spend a little and invest the rest (At least that’s what I would do!). It’s the same with how we ‘spend’ our emotion with loved ones. I love introducing close friends to other people (giving away). I ask for help from those close to me (spending). I send spontaneous emails/voice-mails/texts and give gifts…that is I try to tell those I care about what they mean to me (investing).

In this new year I suggest taking some risks with the people closest to you and growing the value of those relationships. Just like investing money, some risks work out and some don’t.

My daughter Isabel, age 17, is a high school senior looking forward to college. For the past two years, she’s spent more and more time in her bedroom, online, texting, doing homework or reading. That’s all good and normal, but it means that I see less of her. The reality is that I want to see more of her, knowing she’s moving out in a matter of months. It was hard to take the risk and speak these feelings out loud. What if my words pushed her away? I took the risk anyway, voiced my concern of the heart, and told her I miss seeing her around the house. I pointed out that she could do most of her activities in the common space with the rest of us. Since then, she has, bringing more joy to me than any amount of money ever could.

There is always risk with investing financially or emotionally. Sometimes the risk doesn’t pay off. This past year it seems I lost a friend of thirty years because I was being honest with a disappointment in our communication. The risk is always there when it come to high value items and relationships. But as the old saying goes: “It’s better to try and fail than to fail to even try.”

Working in the Slipstream

Riding in the Slipstream

Riding in the Slipstream

In early spring and late fall in the Midwest you’ll hear sounds of honking geese flying overhead. When your eyes find the source of the sound, you’ll witness nature’s aerodynamic efficiency in the “V” formation of the flock, otherwise known as the ‘slipstream.’

To conserve energy and increase endurance find the slipstream. NASCAR racers, long distance runners and cyclists all know that by placing themselves just inches behind the one in front of them, they can travel at the same speed with 30% less effort.

A great event to witness the slipstream in action is the Tour de France. A stage or segment of this race can be 120 miles long, but if you watch the last few miles you’ll see the same colored team jerseys line up single-file four to five deep, everyone peddling as fast as they can. One by one the lead cyclist or lead-out rider will peal off the front, each in turn keeping the pace as fast as possible, until the team sprinter is delivered yards from the finish to catapult (hopefully) across the finish line first.

Now think about how you can use this same brilliant concept in your workplace. Sharing leadership opportunities, speaking words of encouragement, staying strong for someone on your team is creating a process for conserving energy, boosting performance and increasing endurance – a slipstream.

This also works in our personal lives. When my son loses a tennis match his coach consoles and encourages him. When my daughter trips up on a few notes during a piano recital, her teacher reminds her how much she got right. In both of these examples, the leader is breaking the headwinds of life – creating a slipstream making it easier to endure the long flight of life.