Making Employee Motivation Matter

Great read!

Blanchard LeaderChat

Sticky notes of to do list on wall.In a recent online Forbes article, a start up CEO shares how he gets things done.  He explains the mechanics of creating his master to-do list each week and how he transforms his many big projects into smaller to-dos on his daily action plan.

He says that the process he uses keeps the projects moving forward “against a backdrop of the normal daily chores that any business owner must perform, such as motivation, recruiting, marketing, accounting, and the like.”

At first blush I am glad that employee motivation is on the list.  But then I notice that it’s a list of daily chores.  And while I was happy that motivation was on a list of core business functions, it was strange to hear it called a chore.

I suppose if you were a recruiting expert you might also wonder how recruiting could be seen as a chore.  Perhaps you are thinking…

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Where is Olivia Pope When You Need Her?

Displaying 1312675846987932.jpgYou ever wake up and wonder, “What happened?” The world was so blissful, things were good, and suddenly, there is a derailment. Our journey is filled with hills, valleys, and roadblocks. Organizations and the people that comprise them will experience a variety of successes and failures along the way. The key to getting to the finish line is choosing the right attitude!
When things get tough, you can look inward or outward; you can look forward or behind; you can speak positively or negatively, or you can retreat or learn. The teachable moments that come into our lives should be used to course correct our thinking, planning, and evaluate our underlying assumptions. Most success stories are the culmination of many failures, restarts, or reboots. A process of refining early ideas and correcting mistakes. So if you find yourself or your organization in the midst of a derailment (and Olivia is not available), remember this:

Choose to have a positive attitude
This does not mean you do not plan, prepare, and address, it simply means, that you will not walk with a defeated attitude and know that things will get better.

Know that tomorrow could be the best day of your life
While a storm is passing over; we rarely focus on the sunshine that will follow, as we worry about the possible damage from the storm. Let the promise of tomorrow be stronger than the fear of today.

Do not keep stumbling over things behind you
Once you have moved on – keep moving. Do not allow people, circumstances, or events to keep you stumbling over things left behind.

Use your derailment to improve
While you are in the midst of a derailment, it may be difficult to engage in self-reflection. However, as time permits, take some time to examine the policies, procedures, values, or judgments that contributed to the situation. An honest assessment should provide actionable items for continued growth and improvement.

Nobody said it would be easy
Easy does not build strength, patience, or endurance! As much as we would like things to be easy, the victory is so much sweeter when you work for it!

President Appoints Jenny R. Yang EEOC Vice Chair via

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced that President Barack Obama has appointed Commissioner Jenny R. Yang as Vice Chair of the EEOC.  Yang, whose term expires July 1, 2017, was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 25, 2013.

“Over the course of my career and particularly during my time at the Commission, I have seen how vital the work of the EEOC is to the enforcement of our civil rights laws,” Vice Chair Yang said. “I am honored to serve as Vice Chair of the Commission to continue to work with the Chair, my fellow Commissioners, and the dedicated staff to advance the EEOC’s critical mission to ensure equal opportunity in our nation’s workplaces.”

EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien said, “I congratulate Commissioner Yang on her appointment.  She has contributed greatly to the work of the EEOC over the past year, and I look forward to even greater contributions through her service as Vice Chair.”

As a member of the Commission, Vice Chair Yang is leading a comprehensive review of the agency’s systemic program, which addresses issues of alleged discrimination that have broad impact on an industry, profession, company or geographic area.  This effort builds on her many years as a litigator and law firm manager.

Immediately prior to joining the EEOC, Yang was a partner of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC where she represented thousands of employees across the country in numerous complex civil rights and employment actions. Yang has also served as a senior trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section, where she enforced federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment by state and local government employers from 1998 to 2003.

Yang received her B.A. from Cornell University in government. She received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a note and comment editor of the law review and a Root-Tilden public interest scholar. Yang and her husband, Kil Huh, director of the States’ Fiscal Health Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts, have two sons.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  Further information about Vice Chair Yang and the EEOC is available on its website at

Organizational Lessons from the LA Clipper’s Owner’s Comments

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling alleged racist’s comments have dominated the news last couple of days.  In case you are unaware, a tape was leaked that contained an alleged conversation between Mr. Sterling and his girlfriend (it should be noted the Mr. Sterling denies that he is the voice represented on the tape,) where he allegedly makes racist comments regarding African-Americans, including NBA legend Magic Johnson.  The NBA has begun an investigation, and the results of that investigation will be released soon.

While watching this play out over the weekend, some quick takeaways for organizations emerged, including:

  • We are all pretending not to know something!  Many people are outraged by Mr. Sterling’s comments, but many are not surprised.  His past is littered with incidents that have many asking, “What did he do now?”  Many organizations have individuals who pay lip service to equality, diversity, and inclusion – and everyone knows who they are!  They sit in C-suites, on boards, and in various levels of leadership.  The strategy is to confine them a small area of responsibility and try to keep them from doing too much damage.  However, like Mr. Sterling, they will always find a way to gain public attention.
  • Your Mic is Always On!  We all have opinions, thoughts, and prejudices!  However, never think that sharing those things in private means they will stay private.  In a time where everyone has a camera phone, with a voice recorder, be advised, that privacy is a thing of the past.  If you do not want it repeated, do not say it!  Organizations must ensure employees and leadership understand that when they speak, it may be hard for the listener to separate their comments from the organization.
  •  Racism and discrimination still exist!   Despite what the Supreme Court would have one believe, racism and discrimination still exist in society and the corporate world.  Some have become savvier in hiding their true feelings and intentions, but it is bubbling just beneath the surface.  Organizations must be attuned to the workplace climate to detect where discord and inequality are festering.  Communication channels must be free flowing so information can reach the top, middle, and bottom.  Falsely believing that everyone’s world is like that of those in the C-suite is a delusion, at best.
  • Teaching is repeating until learning takes place!  There is always a chorus of individuals asking why we keep providing diversity training.  The answer is because learning has not taken place!  Until organizations see the change manifested in the workplace, training must continue.  I know there has been a host of bad training over the years, but you do not stop it, you fix it and keep going!