It’s July 2019; My Thoughts This Month….

It’s July 2019; My Thoughts This Month….

The Federal Government has approved the Trans Mountain Pipeline again.  Yeah… us Albertan’s are looking forward to driving along the right of way and watching the side boom’s laying the pipe in the trench. Lots of side boom’s, lots of pipe and a big long trench, 1150 km. 

During this complicated and lengthy process I’ve been puzzled by contradictions:

We haul oil by truck and generate carbon.

We haul oil by rail and generate carbon.

We’ve been cutting down trees that would absorb carbon and building pipe yards in B.C. to store all the pipe Trans Canada ordered, purchased and paid for from China and India; when the pipeline was initially approved by the Federal Government in 2016.

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"Ownership Thinking" by Brad Hams book review

I feel that I am very fortunate to work at Intercon Messaging. One of the many reasons is that there are so many people here that love to read! “Ownership Thinking” by Brad Hams is one that Pat picked up a bit ago and lent out to anyone that wanted to read it.

Ownership Thinking is a book not only for leaders within an organization, but for everyone within the company! The book is a guide on how to implement ownership thinking within an organization including that employees understand the financials, how they impact them, and providing bonus plans that pay for themselves.

In the book, Hams explains that Entitlement is a disease that is killing companies, destroying the economy and crushing potential. In many ways entitlement has been cultivated for decades.

He makes a distinction between employees who think they’re owed a job and those who own their jobs. Employees who believe they’re owed a job produce more busy-ness than business. By doing the minimum (ie showing up), they expect the maximum – great wages, great benefits, etc. He also says that the situation is as much the employer’s fault as the employee’s!

His approach of getting employees to engage, wanting to contribute and feeling better about how they contributed has involves the core principals of Ownership Thinking:

  • The Right Education: Educating employees the fundamentals of business and finance, how their company makes money, and how they add (or take away) value.
  • The Right Measures: Identifying the organization’s Key Performance Indicators (with an emphasis on leading, activity-based measures), creating scoreboards, and forecasting results in an environment of high visibility and accountability.
  • The Right Incentives: Creating broad-based incentive plans that are self-funding (by virtue of the first two components), and that clearly align employees’ behavior to the organization’s business and financial objectives.

Hams shows organizations how to implement these core principals into a program that turns employees from paycheck-collecting drones to engaged and active participants. As a result, employees are more fulfilled and returns improve! Simply put, Ownership Thinking shows employers how to get employees to think-and act-like owners.

Added bonus: Ownership Thinking is a something that can be carried over into your personal life!

"The Coming Jobs War", a book review

WOW.  There is something about this book that grabbed me and took hold.  I think I’ve bought 20 copies so far and personally handed them to people and said, “ You gotta read this book!”

Having taught the Junior Achievement Company Program (Entrepreneurship) to students in grades 9-12 in Drayton Valley for the past 3 years, this book speaks to me in a very meaningful way.

The point of the book is that creating good jobs; which entrepreneurs do, is the key to Gross National Wellness (GNW), which precedes Gross Domestic Product (GDP).  Simply put, more good jobs = more GDP.  Where are you on the GNW scale?  Is it on your radar?  Are you measuring GNW?  How?  Is GNW improving in your organization?

Some key points from the book:

  • “The Coming War for Jobs” says, “That all the world wants is a good job”.  In fact 7 billion people want a good job.  A good job is at least 30 hours per week.  “A great job - one with growth opportunity, a manager who is interested in your development: that gives you a sense of mission and purpose – you have about the best life you can have at this time in human history.”
  • Canada is ranked # 9 out of the top 25.  Interestingly enough they have not factored total population into the equation.    Only a dollar value stated as GDP.
  • Clifton, the author, says “To compound the problem, too many citizens are hallucinating.  They think the government will come up with the money to save them.  But the government doesn’t have the money.  People and companies have the money.  And if the overwhelming majority of people aren’t working outside of government jobs”, we are in very, very deep trouble.
  • "Countries need critical leadership positions to be held by the fittest people, in every sense, as they will require their constituencies to be fit as well.  Gallup has taken one of its deepest dives into the behavioral economics of healthcare and sickness and has discovered five key elements of wellbeing.  If leaders create behavioral –based strategies and policies to improve these five elements, all good things will follow for their constituencies.
  1. Career Wellbeing:  how you occupy your time or simply liking what you do every day.
  2. Social Wellbeing:  having strong relationships and love in your life.
  3. Financial Wellbeing:  effectively managing your economic life.
  4. Physical Wellbeing:  having good health and enough energy to get things done on a daily basis.
  5. Community Wellbeing:  the sense of engagement you have with the area where you live."


Staff Meeting Week

This is staff meeting week at Intercon Messaging.  At our morning huddle on Monday we decided the best use of our two staff meetings was to help our people stop beating themselves up.  People beat themselves up with the chatter in their head about…I should have, I should not have…well I’m just not that…I’m just not this…  I’ve read 4 books in the last two weeks, relevant to this topic.

  1. ‘10 Mindful Minutes’ by Goldie Hawn
  2. ‘Change Your Questions Change Your Life, 10 Powerful Tools for Life and Work’ by Marilee Adams
  3. ‘Do The Work’ by Steven Pressfield
  4. 'Choosing a Good Road, High School Success' by Jonathan Brennan

Both of our staff meetings have the same agenda and we work hard to duplicate the information for both meetings.

To help us dispute the destructive chatter in our heads we each created an affirmation.  The process we use is to have each person sit at the front of the room on a stool while the rest of the team shouts out kind words about them.  We write a whole flip chart page of words for each person.  While they are at the front they are encouraged to simply smile and say Thank You…and “receive the recognition”. When everybody has a list we ask them to take five minutes of reflection time, and write a positive affirmation using this format:  I am a ______ _________ _________ person/ mother/ friend/ partner/ leader/ etc. 

Certainly, each of the books, talks about our negative inner chatter.  In the book Do the Work, Steven Pressfield suggests ““Our enemy is not lack of preparation; it’s not the difficulty of the project, or the state of the marketplace or the emptiness of our bank account.”  THE ENEMY IS RESISTANCE  “The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self justifications and a million reasons why we can’t/ shouldn’t/ won’t do what we know we need to do.””  He says “DO THE WORK, START BEFORE YOU ARE READY.”  He calls the negative chatter our dragon brain, Goldie Hawn calls it our guard dog, and both Jonathan and Marilee call it the Judger.

I am also working through John Kehoe’s Mind Powers CD training set. He says dispute your negative chatter with several minutes of your positive affirmation until you effectively change your mind.

The never ending challenge is to quiet the negative chatter and listen to the quiet inner knowing within, which Steven calls The Knight, Marilee and Jonathan call the Learner and Goldie calls the Wise Old Owl.

Is this stuff easy?…NO!   

Once everyone has an affirmation, we share them. First we agree on the order each person will speak and make sure that everyone is aware that no other conversation is permitted.  This is an emotionally moving exercise.

A few years ago we recruited 22 people (most of which were men) to our community and helped them get a class One Drivers License.  We did this exercise and as each person in the room read their affirmation I could feel the energy shifting.  I suspect, that for some of the participants this might have been the first time in their life that they were conscious of having a positive inner conversation.  It was a deeply emotional experience.