Monthly Archives: September 2012
In poker the concept of going “all-in” means you put everything you have into one bet. Its high risk because you might lose it all.. …but maybe you win!
Thinking about “life” and personal effectiveness, I’ve recently got it into my head that I should start going all in… What does this mean?
We’ve only got one life, right? Everyday we do what we do, hoping it will make us happy. But many of us don’t do what we REALLY WANT TO DO. We don’t do what brings us flow or what is truly in-line with our most awesome vision of who we are and what we want out of life. At the end of the day, week, month, holiday, year (life, whatever) we find ourselves saying “Oh, I wish I’d done that” or “I should have spent more time doing that”.
To counter this problem, you can do 3 very specific things that I do to help me go “all-in” :
Write your own personal vision/mission statement
My own mission statement is called “my most awesome vision of who I am, what I believe and what I want”. I tend to revise it most when I’m not happy, but always take a moment each summer (during holidays) to think it through again. I’m not going to share it here, its personal. What I can say is that when I read it I get a sensation of “Yes I can”, filled with the joy of wanting more out of life and motivated, ready to get to action.
To be successful with your own vision/mission statement, include the following elements:
- What you think is a good life
- What you believe is most important in order to be happy
- How you want to be spending your time, in terms of the different roles you have
- One or 2 wildly important life goals
Create a dream-list *
“Begin with the end in mind”, “You get more of what you concentrate on”, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there”, “SMART objectives” etc… We’ve all heard it before time and time again .. and its true: You have to set objectives in personal life, just as you do at work.
Today, my dreamlist has 47 items on it, ranging from spending 3 months in India with my wife (not kids) to skydiving and creating a Beatles rock band. It doesn’t matter what’s on your list as long as it inspires you and doesn’t go again your personal vision/mission statement.
To create a good dream-list:
- Start by noting anything you want to do, have or be
- Add to it any time you get an idea of something you want to do, have or be
- Don’t “filter” your dreams or say “this is silly” – just add it
…then take action. Any action! For example, I want to do a motorcycle road-trip in the mountains with my father. I’ve no idea when, how, how long etc but I don’t worry about that. I just focus on taking the next concrete action (something I learnt from David Allen and blogged about here ) and move forward. So we set a date. When I’m ready for the next concrete action, I’ll do that… eventually I will have done it. Don’t forget: Even a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step 🙂
..or as Justin Bieber might say “Never say never” 🙂
If you are going to be happy, live your dreams and go “all-in” you have to believe that things are possible. Sometimes this is difficult. We think of something we want to be, have or do and then all the doubt comes flooding in: What if it all goes wrong? Do I really want this? Will it work?
I like to remember a simple phrase from Frank Sinatra’s “My Way” (which is all about going “all-in”):
“When there was doubt I ate it up and spat it out”.
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If you believe the experts, Gamification is a good way to motivate participants towards new knowledge, skills and attitude, increasing engagement and effectiveness. I wrote about this during ASTD2012. Read here…
In preparation for my Kluwer talk on the topic of Gamification (Meet + Greet, October 4th) I decided to test some simple game mechanics at home. This post provides guidelines for Gamification, explained via this short lunchtime experience…
First, don’t gamify things for no reason. At my dinner table I have trouble getting my girls to eat “everything”. Today, upon presenting the stoemp with broccoli and salmon, the reaction was unanimous: “I don’t like that!” ..so I wanted to motivate them into a different attitude and behaviour.
Secondly: Clarify concrete objectives or expected outcomes. Easy! I wanted them all to eat at least 3/4s of the entire plate, evenly spread between stoemp and salmon.
Third: Consider who is going to play and choose the right motivators. My eldest girl likes to win. She needs “conflict” gaming elements that allow her to do better than other people. My other two daughters respond better to game elements that allow for self-expression. Personally, I wanted to see some collaboration between them all..
Create your game
The objective of the game was clear: Clear your plate before the time runs out (my eldest interpreted this as “beat your sisters as well”).
Design the game structure and how to play. I created a game whereby “rolling a dice” would tell you which part of your “food-man” you could eat. First, each player was allowed to turn their plate of food into a “food-man” consisting of 4 legs, a body and a head. This element of self-expression created much amusement!
If you got a leg picture, but had no legs left on your plate, you couldn’t eat. Otherwise, you had to eat what the lucky-dip said!
Throughout the game there were 2 feedback elements that kept motivation up: Social comparisons and time feedback.
If you finished your plate in the allotted time you won. This meant that everyone could win, making it a “self-competition” game rather than “conflict-based”.
Personally I didn’t design much for the collaboration aspect, but I was surprised: At one point, my 7yr old lucky-dipped a leg, but with no legs left on her own plate, she ate some of her little sister’s salmon for her!
If you have designed your game well, then you will be easily able to measure results. This experiment resulted in all plates 100% clean in a record time with no moaning from any children. Awesome!!
I am experimenting with games for training and learning that implement these simple ideas.
Imagine what you could do to:
- Motivate employees to
reduce paper usage
- Encourage posting on internal social-media based knowledge sharing platforms
- Cut company costs
- Create Intercultural connections in a multinational corporate environment
…all your need is some simple game mechanics and a little creativity!
I was asked to write something in the “birth book” of my godson, born 6 weeks ago. Serious stuff, so I took it seriously. I like the message and I think it is at least worth remembering for myself. If you like it too, then I’m happy to have shared…
Here you are.
Breathing. Being. Doing.
“Who are you?” “What do you want?” “What do you care about?”
Some days, you will ask these questions and be lost.
Other days, you will storm forward with disregard.
But you will always be yourself:
A glorious expression of the infinite unified divine beauty of everything that is.
You are magnificent.
You are loved.
You have in yourself everything you need.
You are free.
And you are writing your own story every second.
I’m sitting in a small outside dining area at my client’s office taking lunch, discretely eavesdropping on a meeting between a manager and her employee. It’s been 10 minutes now and the guy (employee) hasn’t managed to get a word in. Literally, every time he opens his mouth, she interrupts…
Managers and Leaders: Please listen to your people!!
I think this is one of the absolutely most important keys to successful leadership.
- If you listen to your people you will find out why they see Citroen Xsara Picassos everywhere and why this is important to you
- If you listen to your people, you will know them better and be more easily able to help get and keep them in Flow
- If you listen to your people, you will be able to be FAB to be heard
- If you listen to your people, you will know if they love red monkeys or not
- If you listen to people, you’ll be able to coach them
Real listening is all about Active Empathy. All you have to do is drop your ego, ask open questions and drill down to get some real understanding…
…not seeing any of that right now!!!