Archive for December, 2009

Daily Motivation – You Can, When You Believe You Can

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

Don’t be afraid of what life has to offer you.
If you believe that life is worth living,
your belief will help create the fact.

The barrier between you and success
is not something that exists in the real world.
It’s simply composed of doubts about your ability.
Your only limits to your realization of tomorrow
will be your doubts of today.

If you want to be successful,
start thinking of yourself as being successful.

What you believe yourself to be, you are.
Success is a state of mind.
Sam Maitz
Leadership Management International, Inc.
Leadership Management Inc. (USA)

Does Your Firm Know What It’s Getting from Corporate Giving?

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

By: Lorrie Lykins, Institute for Corporate Productivity

Most corporate leaders say they believe in the social and business value of employee volunteer programs (EVPs), but it’d be nice if there were some good evidence. After all, we’re living in an increasingly bottom-line world, a time when boards want firms to cut every unnecessary cost and reap a return on every investment.

The good news is that a study commissioned by the Pioneers, a nonprofit volunteer network made up of telecommunications employees across the U.S. and Canada, indicates there’s a genuine link between volunteerism programs and corporate performance.
The Impact of Corporate Volunteerism study, which analyzed responses from 450 survey participants, found that a significant correlation exists between high-performing companies and the presence and support of a formal employee volunteer program. Moreover, EVPs are more likely to be seen as an integral part of the internal culture of high-performing organizations, based on self-report data.

However, financial data that directly quantifies EVP activity on the corporate bottom line doesn’t usually exist in companies because it’s not being formally measured. And even when it is tracked, the data collection is usually done inconsistently and is not integrated into strategic decision making. So even though organizations may say that volunteerism benefits the company, if EVP outcomes are not tracked, the ROI clearly cannot be demonstrated.

This is an issue that employers need to be concerned about because interest in corporate volunteerism is increasing, partly due to its growing significance to employees (46.1%) and support from senior management (28.4%). There are two areas where companies need to improve: Most don’t have formal programs to support such initiatives-such as a volunteer coordinator-and those that do fail to allocate adequate resources to support the programs in most cases.

This isn’t an awareness problem. Among organizations that don’t track EVP activity or its outcomes, most say they are aware that they need to.

The study also found there’s a great deal of change to employee volunteerism initiatives these days. Activities are moving away from the traditional internal fundraising campaigns or once-a-year big, splashy events that involve large teams going out into the community to work on a one-day project. Instead, more companies are aligning themselves with nonprofit groups, allowing employees to leverage their core competencies by offering ongoing mentoring and assistance to organizations that otherwise don’t have the expertise or could not afford to contract for professional services in areas such as accounting or IT.

Employers say that these sorts of initiatives are good for the community and also good for employees. Volunteerism is often looked at as a leadership development tool as well as an opportunity to build morale, says Kevin Engholm of Citi, where the talent management function encourages high-potential leaders to become involved in volunteer opportunities such as board work early on.

“We’ve seen an erosion of a lot of what we can expect and was once taken for granted in terms of the idea of lifetime employment, or assured economic prosperity-I do think people are looking for more transcendence from the volunteer work than their day-to-day life gives them, and so the opportunity to be part of something meaningful is significant. Maybe we’re no longer in the golden age of giving but moving into a golden age of volunteerism,” said Engholm.

PCL Construction Enterprises is an example of an organization that has mastered the ability to demonstrate the actual value-added impact of volunteerism on an organization. Employees report and track their volunteer activities through an interactive software program. Moreover, PCL leadership promotes volunteerism, and the organization regularly conducts employee surveys to gauge the impact of volunteer initiatives internally as well as externally.

“We know that we’ve been awarded contracts in instances where we were not necessarily the lowest bidder, but we got the contract because the differentiator in our bid package was how proudly we spoke of our commitment to community service and support. We recently got a 100-plus million-dollar contract partly because of this-they said that was impressive and they felt it displayed to them the sort of integrity we had and that it matched their level of integrity, and that was an issue that came up in their deliberations, and that’s part of why we got the job,” said Denny Dahl, director of HR.

The Intstitute for Corporate Productivity’s 4-Part Recommendation:

1. Define the goals of your organization’s EVP; determine if it is more social or business-focused and if it aligns with the overall strategy.

2. Define metrics that are meaningful for your organization and develop electronic tracking to capture the EVP metrics.

3. Once metrics are in place, establish baselines for benchmarking the impact of corporate employee volunteerism programs.

4. Support employee volunteerism by providing the necessary leadership and the proper allocation of resources.

For additional information visit

About the Author(s)
Lorrie Lykins, Institute for Corporate Productivity
Lorrie Lykins is an associate with the Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp).

Daily Motivation – Positive Mind Games

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

Experiencing a setback can cause us to lose the advantage of positive positioning.
How can you regain the positive attitude necessary for success?
You need to think back to a challenge that you triumphed over in the past
in order to put yourself in a positive frame of mind in the present.
Use past successes to position your mind for new successes.

Remember this the next time you want to slow down
or stop after you have completed a challenging task.
Success begets success.
Your highest probability for repeat success
is right after you have had success.
Sam Maitz
Leadership Management International, Inc.
Leadership Management Inc. (USA)

Daily Motivation – Riches Lie Within You

Friday, December 18th, 2009

Wealth without enjoyment is little consolation.
Your real riches in life are riches of the head and heart.
Satisfaction comes when you appreciate what you have.

While success is getting what you want,
true happiness is wanting what you get.

It’s not how much you have,
but how much you enjoy that truly matters.
Riches lie within you,
not in your material possessions.
Sam Maitz
Leadership Management International, Inc.
Leadership Management Inc. (USA)

Daily Motivation – You Master Nature With Understanding

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

Some people are successful in mastering life,
while others permit life to master them.

The split in you is very clear.
There is a part of you that knows what it should do,
and a part of you that knows what it should not do.
If passion drives you, let reason hold the reins.

Once you understand these opposing forces warring within you,
you come to a knowledge of the truth, and you no longer remain a slave.
A clear understanding of this will make you the master of your life.

Are you controlled by your thoughts
or are you controlling your thoughts?
If you do not conquer self, you will be conquered by self.

If you are ruled by your mind you are a king,
if by your body, a slave.
Sam Maitz
Leadership Management International, Inc.
Leadership Management Inc. (USA)

Daily Motivation – Live And Act In A Spirit Of Love

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

The place to begin to improve the world
is in your own heart, head and hands.
To get along with others,
love them without forcing your love upon them.

Imposing your beliefs on people will not bring you peace.
Have concern for others, respect their rights and freedoms,
and let them be themselves.
Do this and you will enjoy peace.

Having consideration for others is the basis of a good life.
Most people are not against you, they are merely for themselves.
Let differing ideas clash, but not those of the heart.

Peace comes to you when you live and act in a spirit of love.
Sam Maitz
Leadership Management International, Inc.
Leadership Management Inc. (USA)

Daily Motivation – Opportunity Is All Around You

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

The people that really succeed in the world
are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want,
and, if they can’t find them, make them.

The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive.
The great opportunity in your life is where you are right now.
Properly perceived, every situation becomes an opportunity for you.

Your destiny is not a matter of chance,
it’s a matter of your choice.
It’s not something you wait for,
but rather something you achieve with effort.
Things won’t turn up in this world until you turn them up.

You develop opportunity by applying persistence to your possibilities.
Opportunity is all around you.
Look for yours and you’ll find it.
Sam Maitz
Leadership Management International, Inc.
Leadership Management Inc. (USA)

Daily Motivation – Dreams Do Come True

Monday, December 14th, 2009

You are never given a wish
without also being given the power to make it come true.

The achievement of your goal is assured
the moment you commit yourself to it.
If you have the desire, you have the power to attain it.

You can have anything you want in life
if you will sacrifice everything else for it.
Your dreams can come true if you pursue them.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Sam Maitz
Leadership Management International, Inc.
Leadership Management Inc. (USA)

Living in More Than One World: Peter Drucker on Work/Life

Friday, December 11th, 2009

By: Bruce Rosenstein

In a legendary 70-year career, Peter Drucker, “the father of modern management,” revolutionized modern business practices, transforming management theory into a serious discipline.

His influence was far-reaching, extending to developments that included decentralization, privatization, and empowerment. He was among the first to address the emergence of the information society and, in 1959 he coined the term “knowledge worker.”

Yet most people don’t know that Drucker’s teachings on personal growth-or self-management-are as profound as his views on organizational management. This wisdom, while a recurring theme in Drucker’s work, has remained scattered throughout his myriad writings-until now.

Creating a Total Life
Drucker personified the value of creating and living a “total life” with diverse interests, relationships, and pursuits; what he called “living in more than one world.” The idea is that when you have a setback in one area-suffering or surviving a layoff, for instance-you can soften the blow by developing other areas of strength and support. You can also add new meaning and dimensions to your life and, by getting involved with activities such as volunteer work, make a difference in the lives of others.

So, how do you create a total life? Consider the following five key elements as exemplified by Drucker himself:

1. Practice self-development
Self-development is a major theme throughout Drucker’s writings and teachings. “What matters,” he said, “is that the knowledge worker, by the time he or she reaches middle age, has developed and nourished a human being rather than a tax accountant or a hydraulic engineer.” Think about your life, both as it is now and where you’d like to be. Consider not just your work, but also your family, friends, interests, activities, and pursuits. Assess what’s working, what’s not, and what you might want to add or subtract to create more satisfaction and fulfillment.

2. Identify and develop your unique strengths
The concept of core competencies may have been created for organizations, but today it applies to individuals as well. Drucker urged people to consciously articulate their own strengths. Consider what’s unique about what you do, and in what areas you excel and contribute the most, both at work and outside of work. Focus on those strengths-your own core competencies-and find new ways to value and cultivate them. Odds are you can apply them to a variety of jobs, volunteer positions, and more.

3. Create a parallel or second career
Drucker said, “The purpose of the work on making the future is not to decide what should be done tomorrow, but what should be done today to have a tomorrow.” One unique idea he advocated was creating a “parallel career” in areas such as teaching, writing, or working in nonprofit organizations. He also encouraged developing a second career, often by doing similar work in a significantly different setting-a lawyer, for instance, might move from a traditional law firm to a legal nonprofit dedicated to a personally meaningful cause. While still in your main job, start thinking about your own possibilities for a parallel or second career. Consider how to match your values, experience, and education, and what shifts you might need to make in your life to support such changes.

4. Exercise your generosity
An essential part of living in more than one world, Drucker believed, is displaying a sense of generosity. Here, he said, “…everybody is a leader, everybody is responsible, everybody acts.” Sharing your time and talents by getting involved in volunteerism, social entrepreneurship, and mentoring not only provide opportunities to contribute, but also offer personal benefits, from broadening and deepening your life experience to expanding your circle of friends and colleagues. Think about what happens outside your workplace-in other industries, professions, and walks of life-and consider ways you can exercise your own generosity.

5. Teach and learn
Education plays a key role in Drucker’s vision of a strong, functioning society. He believed that knowledge workers should never stop learning. However, it’s up to them, he said, to incorporate continuous learning as a natural part of daily life- deciding what and how they’d like to learn and determining how they’ll build in the time. Consider your own priorities for learning, as well as how you learn best-taking classes, reading articles and books, asking or observing others, etc. You might also want to teach. As Drucker acknowledged, “No one learns as much as the person who must teach his subject.”

Start Where You Are
Drucker’s tenets can help you create a more satisfying and meaningful personal life and career. Here are seven tips for getting started:

1. Focus on achievement-not money
Drucker drew an important distinction between achievement and money. He suggested focusing on achievement and paying attention to how your successes, on and off the job, benefit both you and others. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t or won’t make money, but that the pursuit of money ought to play a subordinate role.

2. Make time for thinking
Thinking is hard work, and in our fast-paced society, said Drucker, it is sorely devalued. The point, he urged, is to break from the daily grind and think about where you are and where you’re going. You might not have the desire or means
for Drucker’s suggested “week in the wilderness,” but surely you can carve out
an hour now and then for self-reflection. Take a walk, practice yoga or meditation, or enjoy nature.

3. Practice “systematic abandonment”
“People are effective because they say no…because they say, ‘This isn’t for me,'” declared Drucker. Practice what he called “systematic abandonment”-stepping back, at regular intervals, to determine which of your present activities can be scaled back or eliminated. Only then can you make way for something more fruitful, such as teaching, learning, or volunteering.

4. Volunteer your time and talent
Drucker saw volunteerism as essential to the smooth functioning of society, as well as a satisfying way of ensuring that work doesn’t consume your life. Today, there are hundreds of volunteering opportunities to choose from. Drucker’s recommendation was simple: Find an organization and cause you believe in-and get to work!

5. Become a mentor
Mentorship may be broader than just showing someone the ropes in a group or organization. It can include wide-ranging career and life advice, and as Drucker said, provide big benefits not only to the “mentee” but also to the mentor. If you’ve been guided by mentors of your own, pay it forward by mentoring others. If not, look for opportunities to both mentor and be mentored.

6. Learn the art of leisure
Drucker observed that “loafing” is easy, but “leisure” is difficult. As important as work is, avoid allowing it to be your only source of fulfillment. Find some outside interests; focus on things that may bring you pleasure, satisfaction, and a heightened sense of self-worth.

7. Be the CEO of your own life
Drucker saw self-management as an ongoing discipline, requiring self-knowledge, introspection, and personal responsibility. “In effect,” he said, “managing oneself demands that each knowledge worker think and behave like a chief executive officer.” Start now to think of yourself as the CEO of your own life and career. Take accountability for your decisions and actions. Know who you are, what is important to you, and how you will contribute at work and in the world.

Finally, take a deep breath and don’t expect everything to happen at once. Start
where you are and move towards your total life, one step at a time.

About the Author(s)
Bruce Rosenstein is the author of Living in More Than One World: How Peter Drucker’s Wisdom Can Inspire and Transform Your Life (Berrett-Koehler, 2009). A former business writer and librarian at USA Today, he has studied, interviewed, and written about Peter Drucker for more than two decades. For more information,

Daily Motivation – The Quality Of Life Begins In Your Mind

Friday, December 11th, 2009

It’s not what you have, but what you enjoy
that constitutes your abundance.
Your real riches are riches in your head and heart.

Wealth without enjoyment is little consolation.
True satisfaction comes from appreciating what you have.

There are two ways of being happy:
you must either diminish your wants or augment your means.
It’s always better to appreciate things you cannot have
than to have the things you cannot appreciate.

Your riches will always lie within you,
not in your material possessions.
Sam Maitz
Leadership Management International, Inc.
Leadership Management Inc. (USA)