Where’s Your Problem-Solving Process? – Keith Harmeyer

Not so long ago, a “successful business” was typically one that started with a good idea, executed that idea well, and then was effectively managed. That’s an oversimplification, to be sure; but if a business followed this basic model, it could potentially thrive for decades (and many did).

Today, the requirements for business success have become more complicated. In a world driven by a demand for continuous innovation, and where tumultuous change is the only constant, whether you win or lose in the marketplace depends less on repeatedly doing a “good job,” and more on your ability to successfully navigate the tsunami of unexpected challenges that present themselves every day.

Today, every business is under constant pressure. Pressure to deliver new and improved products and services to customers and clients. Pressure to respond instantly to shifting market conditions. Pressure to quickly adopt new, often unproven technology. Pressure to meet and exceed its own organization’s demand for excellence. Most companies understand this; but many don’t have a reliable process they can apply to problem solving.

Innovation, in practical terms, is really just solving problems (often before anyone even knows there is one), recognizing emerging trends, capitalizing on opportunities, and doing so in new or different ways that deliver greater value or benefit.

And so, highly effective and efficient problem solvers—the most nimble, adaptable, and creative organizations—are the ones that typically dominate their categories.

How Do You Approach Problem Solving?

Problem solving, as a business process, can be approached in a number of ways.

First, there is the question of how proactive or reactive an organization is in their approach. Do individuals and teams continuously look for ways to avoid problems and seize opportunities—even before the fire alarms sound? Or do they wait for the call, and frantically scramble for solutions?

Then there is the question of how organized and dependable their problem-solving efforts are. Is there a structured, step-by-step, scalable system in place and ready to implement when needed, that allows them to quickly and easily identify solutions? Or do they leave problem solving to chance, hoping that the smartest, most creative team members will ultimately be able to crack the code?

The problem-solving diagnostic quadrant pictured above demonstrates how each of these two variables manifests itself when it’s time to tackle a challenge—and the hurdles (or benefits) that typically result.

Chasing Your Tail—(Lower left) Not surprisingly, the least effective (and consistent) approach to problem solving occurs when an organization waits for challenges to arise before taking action, and then has no structured system in place for generating solutions. In this situation, problem solving is typically a chaotic and stress-inducing event. Teams waste significant time and energy scurrying to identify potential solutions. And then, even when they do, their results are often ineffective. Problem-solving is a haphazard, disorganized response to an inevitable challenge.

Death by Meeting—(Upper left) Organizations that generally operate in a structured and otherwise efficient manner may, in fact, have some type of process in place for addressing challenges (meeting protocols, communication guidelines, etc.) But if they aren’t proactively anticipating the continuous flow of change, challenges, and opportunities every team faces today (as do all highly effective innovators), they will still find themselves operating in “react mode,” more often than they should. While the organization might adhere to Six Sigma principles or other approaches to operational efficiency, they are still caught off-guard when unexpected issues arise, and can find themselves engaged in lengthy, often inefficient strategy discussions that drain precious time and attention. Problem solving becomes a highly-regimented activity that often results in too little, too late.

Hit or Miss—(Lower right) Because they are often inherently “innovation-focused,” many startups and “creative services” organizations are better at looking ahead and anticipating potential challenges and opportunities, even before they become problems. These groups are in the daily business of reinvention, and future gazing is a natural activity for them. But without a systematic, scalable process to apply, these organizations can find themselves doing far more work and spending much more time generating solutions than is necessary. “There’s never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do it again” is a common maxim in such business environments. Every time they have a problem to solve, they find themselves reinventing the wheel, again and again.

Innovative Problem Solving—(Upper Right) When an organization adopts an “innovation mindset,” and proactively searches for game-changing solutions, even before challenges arise—and they also have a dependable problem-solving system in place, ready to put into action—they will typically experience the best possible outcomes. Such groups have a much greater chance of dominating their markets, achieving consistent and continuous growth, and actually enjoying the process along the way. When it comes to problem solving, they are well prepared and well-armed.

So where is your organization’s problem-solving process today? Where do you see your strengths? And where could you benefit from improvement? Identifying where you are, and where you need to go, can have a significant impact on your ongoing success.

Encourage your team to adopt a forward-focused, innovation mindset. Research, identify, and implement the best problem-solving process for your needs. And you’ll be on your way to transforming every unexpected challenge into a new opportunity.

Keith’s professional background includes over 25 years in advertising and strategic marketing; sales and business coaching; and advanced communication and presentation skills training. As a marketing and creative executive at agencies in the Omnicom and Publicis networks, as well as founder and principal of his own marketing communications firm, Keith created countless successful brand marketing programs and business presentations for many of the world’s best known and most successful companies, such as American Express, JPMorgan Chase, Sony, Time Warner, ABC, Disney, Philips, Fujifilm, Conde Nast, Sports Illustrated, GlaxoSmithKline, Roche, McDonald’s, leaders on their sales and presentation techniques, utilizing his proprietary system for persuasive communication.

4 Sales Strategies To Get Out Of The Price War – Meridith Elliott Powell

Winning the price war comes when during the sales process your clients know the value and outcomes they will be getting and price isn’t even mentioned.

We own a second home in Charleston, South Carolina that we rent out during the summer months. For the past year we have been very unhappy with our current property manager. Our home is just not cared for or rented out at the level we would like it to be.

Over this Thanksgiving break, while we were spending a week down there, we decided to shop around for a new property manager. I reached out to this one firm that had been calling and sending direct mail pieces to us for about a month. Their marketing was great, really talked about the high-level of personal attention they provided, their unique style of caring for your property, and the increased level of rental income they could produce even given the short summer season.

Of all the property managers we talked with, this was the one we were most intrigued by. Care of our property and personalized attention were the two big things we felt we were lacking from our current property manager.

We met with this new agency, were impressed with what we heard, and were ready to sign the contract. When they presented their paper work, they were so pleased to share that, even without asking us, they had cut their management fee from twenty-five percent to twenty. A significant savings for us.

And while we were pleased, I remember thinking, why? At no point in any of our conversations had we shared that price was an issue or a concern. In fact, if they had really listened, they would have found that we would not have been opposed to paying more for a property manager that met our expectations.
“One of the most common mistakes I see with sales professionals is that most assume price is going to be an automatic part of the sales conversation.”

So that begs the question, are you negotiating price, giving it away, before you even have to? One of the most common mistakes I see with sales professionals is that most assume price is going to be an automatic part of the sales conversation. Far too often offering to cut or negotiate the price without even understanding if you have to.

If you are losing the war on price, it may because you are surrendering before the battle begins.
Four Strategies To Get Out Of The Price War –
Create A Sales Strategy and Selling Process that is Optimized To Provide Value to Your Customers

Select The Right Target

– if you want to stop giving away price you have to make sure you are focused on customers who are more value-driven. Every industry and price point has a target and you need to understand yours. Knowing who values what you offer in terms of service, quality, and those other extras that you have to offer, is who you need to be focused on. That is your “right target.” For a property management company wanting to charge more we are the “right target.” What we value most is personalized service and care of our property, two things for which we were willing to pay more.
Ask and Listen

– understand the sales interview is so important and key to understanding what your customers most value. You need to ask great open-ended questions and then really slow down and listen. Making sure that the sales interview is about letting customers talk 80 percent of the time and you talking 20 percent. During the interview with our new property management company they asked great questions, which gave us the opportunity to share all of our concerns, our goals, and what we wanted in a new company. Again, none of which were about price. They asked great questions, but forgot the important step of listening.
Shift Your Paradigm

– probably most important strategy is to shift your own paradigm. Take price of out the conversation unless your customer brings it up, or you hear that price is important to them. This is the only place where our “new property management company” missed the boat. We never mentioned price as an issue or a concern, yet they gave it away anyhow. Understand that price is not what you are selling, and with the right target market, it (price) is not what matters most. Take it off the table; build your sales process around the value(s) and the outcomes your customers will receive.
Position Value

– customers have to understand what they are paying for and feel good about what they are spending. When you have asked great questions and really listened you understand what matters to your customers most. So, you can position what you are selling as a direct solution to their challenges. Our “new property management company” did a great job of this. As they presented the contract they made sure that every challenge or concern we had was going to be met, and we saw the value right away. We felt heard, understood and validated – incidentally three things that would have easily convinced us to pay more for the service.

Negotiating price should always be the last thing you are discussing when talking with customers. (12 things every sales superstar knows article) If you have chosen the right target market, asked great questions and really listened, then positioning your sale as value add and solution focused, customers are more than willing to meet at your price level.

Getting the price you want is about your ability to ensure your customers understand the value they are getting, and your ability to quit using price as an automatic sales strategy.

Meridith Elliott Powell is an award-winning author, keynote speaker and business strategist. With a background in corporate sales and leadership, her career expands over several industries including banking, healthcare, and finance. Meridith worked her way up from an entry-level position to earn her seat at the C-Suite table. Meridith is a Certified Speaking Professional ©, a designation held by less than twelve percent of professional speakers, and a member of the prestigious Forbes Coaching Council.

The Belief That Fuels The Hero Perspective- Jim Bearden

Three Truths About Beliefs

1. They are powerful. Even though we may not even be consciously aware of our actual beliefs, they are the basis of the choices we make, the meanings we assign and our behavioral responses to the people, situations and circumstances we encounter.

2. Their power is not dependent on their being valid. We might keep this in mind during heated election seasons. The belief that “all Democrats or Republicans are (FILL IN THE BLANK) “ is invalid. But that doesn’t change its impact on the things we think and say about, and behaviors toward those “others”. The victim belief contributes to the breakdown in civil political discourse and meaningful legislative decision-making.

3. Professed vs. actual beliefs – Professed beliefs are expressed in words and usually sound good. Actual beliefs may never be written or uttered, and they are expressed in behavior. There are often significant gaps between the things we profess to believe and our actual beliefs that manifest in our behavior.

The Belief that Fuels the Hero Perspective

My feelings are the emotional consequences of the mental choices I make about the hands I’m dealt.

Compare this to the belief that fuels the victim perspective. My feelings are the emotional consequences of the hands I’m dealt.

The victim perspective is based on the belief that our feelings are caused by factors over which we have no control. That belief, while invalid, leads us to make limiting choices. We ignore our roles in creating the drama and suffering we endure while blaming it on the people, situations and circumstances in our lives. Hey, it’s easier to be a victim!
Cause and Effect

The victim belief holds that events cause our feelings. According to that belief, our feelings are the spontaneous, involuntary results of events. While the outside factors do play a role in the emotional quality of our lives, they are not the cause.

The hero belief says that events trigger thoughts, and thoughts create feelings. Events are the stimuli about which we make mental choices (thoughts), and those mental choices cause our feelings. The people, and situations we encounter do not cause our feelings. Our feelings are the emotional consequences of the mental choices we make about those factors.

Other People’s Behavior and My Feelings

I often ask audience members to raise their hands if they can think of anyone in their lives who upsets them. Lots of hands go up. I then encourage them to make appointments for all those people to see psychologists or behavioral therapists. Such interventions are obviously necessary since other people’s behavior must change before audience members can be happy or reduce the drama and suffering they believe that behavior is causing. Ha!

Other people’s behavior does matter, but the choices we make about that behavior matters more. The choices we make are based on our beliefs, and a belief I encourage you to consider goes like this:

My feelings are the emotional consequences of the mental choices I make about other people’s behavior.

Love Your Job, And Your Job Will Love You

If you could turn to your co-worker on a busy Monday afternoon and ask them how their day’s going, how do you think they’ll react?

From mournful sighs to sarcastic jabs, you’ll discover a hundred and one ways to say “I hate my job.” In the spirit of companionship, you may even chime in and inadvertently foster a culture of workplace negativity.

Sure, everyone has bad days. From angry clients to disappointing sales, it’s hard to smile in the face of a setback. Venting is okay; taking a productive break, even better.

However, making a social ritual out of workplace bashing isn’t “normal” behavior. It’s the sign of inherent dissatisfaction with a crippling profession or organization that doesn’t value your contribution.

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

If you could have a dream career, what would it be? Why aren’t you working to get there? What CAN you do to get there?

Sometimes, we look for opportunity; other times, opportunity comes knocking on our door.

Either way, YOU make the choice to get up and get that door, or stay seated in a chair that makes you forget you can walk.

If you’ve hit a creative dead-end at your organization, you don’t necessarily have to change jobs. The answer may just lie in an old Beatles song…

All You Need Is Love

Loving your job is a lot like loving a person—you’ve got to find a way to keep the sparks alive!

  • Ask yourself what motivated you to join.

There must be a reason WHY you joined your current organization. Maybe you’re an excellent researcher or a competitive salesperson. Maybe you care about the environment or have a penchant for creativity.

Identify your reasons for joining and ask yourself what’s changed since then.

  • Spread your wings and develop a curiosity for related Take advantage of your professional network to learn from the best in the biz.

After working at the same place for a long time, you may be so accustomed to the culture that you think you’ve learned everything you needed to learn. Your talent may be exhausted and your ambition virtually gone.

Now’s your chance to diversify your talents and learn other things about the industry you’re in.

  • Give respect to earn respect.

Say you’re working hard, joining training programs, organizing meetings and staying abreast with all the latest developments in your field. Why do you still feel resentful or indifferent toward the organization?

Lack of recognition may be to blame.

Don’t let your hard work go unnoticed. Speak up about legitimate concerns, communicate and be heard—and, most important of all, listen.

Great relationships are built on honesty, whether at home or work. Don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself and turn a hopeless situation into a rewarding opportunity.

That’s how most people get to the top.

A member of the Speaker Hall of Fame, Steve Gilliland is one of the most in-demand and top-rated speakers in the world. Recognized as a master storyteller and brilliant comedian, he can be heard daily on SiriusXM Radio’s Laugh USA. With an appeal that transcends barriers of age, culture and occupation—plus an interactive and entertaining style—Steve shows audiences how to open doors to success in their careers, their relationships and their lives.

What a sensational customer experience looks, feels, smells and tastes like

A conference attendee asked me last week what my most recent and best customer service experience was. I mean a game changer that was truly different and memorable. It was actually easier than normal to answer as my wife and I just shopped a retailer we had not been too previously in Oak Brook, Illinois called Pirch.

451987560If you want to sip on a perfectly made latte, relax in a steam room or taste perhaps the best risotto ever to reach your mouth, there is no need to go out to a fancy resort; all you have to do is visit a Pirch store.

Think of Pirch as a kitchen, bath and outdoor appliance retailer that picks up where Home Depot and Lowe’s leave off.

When you enter the store, you are greeted at the Bliss Café where you can get fruit infused waters, tea or coffee. Oh yes, and it’s all complimentary. I even asked for an iced-coffee and they made it for me without blinking an eye.

Soon after we had a beverage in hand, it was the amazing smells that took over. We stopped by the showroom where they had chefs cooking delightful food on the actual cooking appliances they were selling. Just think, you can watch culinary delights being made in store on the devices that you are thinking of purchasing.

They also offer complimentary weekly classes with their in-house chefs. All they ask is that you make reservations in advance and limit your RSVP to once every 60 days.

Their strategy is brilliant – to let shoppers test the different products that they offer by twisting knobs, turning on working shower displays, enjoying some complimentary food and engaging them in a low to non-existent sales environment that makes the shopping experience a joy. And it’s working. Their CEO, Jeffery Sears, says shoppers spend an average of two hours and 11 minutes in the retailer’s stores with some of them posting sales greater than $3,000 per square foot, which only a handful of retailers can claim.

What is truly unique is Pirch is able to deliver this experience but still price match any competitor’s quote. They also offer three years of “bumper-to-bumper” protection against any appliance manufacturer or installation defect. No fine print, hidden costs, or toll-free numbers to nowhere. If there’s a problem, it’s covered through Pirch. If that is not enough, they don’t outsource critical installation services and pride themselves on delivering a PIRCH-level experience whether it’s in the showroom or your home.

The last thing I will leave you with is their ‘manifesto’, which sums up my Pirch visit. They certainly deliver on their promise.

Brian Dennis is internationally recognized as a Customer Experience innovator and trend forecaster with 2 decades as a Customer Experience executive in Fortune 200 corporations.

Why is it Important to Dare Your Employees?

I was speaking to a young man who recently got out of TV news after 5 years. He is smart and talented and won awards in his short time as a reporter. When I asked why he left the business he said it was because he asked his managers if he could try a different role; a leadership role in the newsroom. He wanted to become a manager.

He says the answer was “no”. It was “no” because he was so valuable and created so much content in the role he was in, they couldn’t afford to lose him. They lost him anyway.

Maybe that was meant to be. Maybe not.

I speak to managers, who are good friends, about how to keep their best employees. It’s complicated, of course with egos, budgets, and all.

Still, I think the best managers find ways to “dare” the talented employees they want to keep; give them new opportunities and challenges to grow.

Why is it Important to Dare Your Employees?

Some think it’s remarkable I stayed at one tv station for 28 years but I think that happened in part because I was managed along the way by some smart men and women who liked to “dare” me.
I had one boss who always gave me “mission impossible” assignments early in my career.

He knew I loved a challenge and if I could bring back the “mission impossible” story 50% of the time he was ecstatic. I loved working for him.

There were reporting trips to two Olympics and travel to the Middle East; perks for a reporter itching for bigger assignments.

I had another who encouraged me to venture into the publishing world and I helped three women in Connecticut write their first book, Simple Steps. It was based on a story I was assigned.

Another boss, held the nice shiny object of an investigative team in front of me just as I was looking at a jump to the network. I was sent to investigative conferences that thrilled me and I always came back excited and motivated to try something new.

And when I was stuck and not very motivated to learn how to tweet and Facebook and shoot and edit, when my investigative team was being dismantled and there were major changes in the newsroom, that same boss “saved me”. He said Yes when I asked to go back to school, to teach school, to host an entertainment show and to go on “a year of firsts” adventure while I was working full time.

Why is it Important to Dare Your Employees?

Why is it Important to Dare Your Employees?
That year changed everything for me, resulting in my book “I Dare Me”.

I stayed at NBC10 another 5 years after that journey of firsts, using my new skills to help lead the newsroom on major stories.

Why is it Important to Dare Your Employees?
Nearly 28 years I stayed.

It could have ended in 3 or 5. I was not prone to stay in the same place for very long before I came to Philadelphia. But, all along the way, I happened to be given new opportunities to grow. Raises helped but it was never just about money. Even when I was offered other opportunities to leave, a smart manager allowed me to go interview and then dangled a better “dare” to stay.

I now help launch students into the same business I left behind. Some of the managers who hire them worry they will train their new employees and they will leave too quickly. Perhaps.
But I believe they are more likely to stay longer if you “dare” them with assignments and challenges that offer a chance to expand personally, creatively and as a professional.

Your best employees don’t leave something when they are intrigued, engaged and valued. They leave when they are bored and dissatisfied when they are told “no” every time they ask to try something new.

Meanwhile, my young friend is in grad school, daring himself to get a degree in media management. Ha! Maybe we’ll get him back in the industry after all.

Lu Ann Cahn is the author of the inspirational memoir I Dare Me, an entertaining look back on a year that changed everything for her. The book grew out of a blog called Year of Firsts, which chronicled this veteran journalist, mother and survivor’s daily adventures as she pushed herself to try something new for every single day – an effort to get her life “unstuck,” as her daughter put it.

Understand Your Team Dynamic to Manage More Effectively

The new year is right around the corner and it’s filled with new opportunities and challenges. As we head into 2018, make sure that you’re as prepared as possible to lead your team to success. To be an effective manager, it’s important to fully understand your team dynamic. Below are five keys to doing just that.

1. Been there, done that.

A lot of companies promote from within. This is a beneficial practice as it demonstrates an organization’s loyalty to its employees and is an incentive for hard work. An equally important aspect of hiring internally is that the employees who advance to management roles have first-hand experience and an understanding of their team’s responsibilities, based on their previous roles. This allows the team leaders to understand what their subordinates are going through, the biggest challenges they will face, and how to best navigate them. This clarity allows for more transparent conversations and enhances communication among the team. However, a caveat to this approach is that the skillsets for a leader may be different than a high-performing staff member. Make sure you’re not moving a starting player to the bench.

2. It’s the circle of life.

Teams have a life cycle that follows five stages; forming, storming, norming, performing, and adjourning. These stages were developed over 50 years ago by a man named Bruce Tuckman, who researched and developed theories around group dynamics. Tuckman deemed that these phases must be traversed naturally for a team to grow, find solutions, prepare, and deliver results. Without getting into the nitty-gritty, it’s important to understand the way a group starts as individuals, and then develops into a cohesive unit. Understanding and considering which stage your group is in as you manage them can be effective in gaining clarity of their obstacles, in order for you to help them grow as a team.

3. Communication is key.

The level of communication between team members plays a big part in determining the effectiveness of the group. This relates not only to contact with the manager, but among the team members themselves. To ensure that the appropriate level of communication is being utilized, foster an open environment that encourages teamwork, transparency, and collaboration. Additionally, equip your team with any and all necessary tools to make their communication easier. Technologies like web conferencing, VoIP, and social media allow for seamless interactions, regardless of physical location.

4. Follow through.

The most effective leaders are those that are strong-willed and present a clear and concise vision for their team. This doesn’t mean bullying or pressuring your team into performing one way or another. Instead, understand each team member’s strengths and assign their tasks and roles accordingly. Once roles have been assigned, implement a timeline with check-ups and deadlines to ensure that you and your team will follow through to the end goal or objective.

Understanding your team dynamic is essential to managing them effectively, and can be done by utilizing former experience, following the group lifecycle, communicating clearly, and helping your team follow through on deliverables. While no obstacle can be solved the same way, all challenges are easier to overcome if you know how to manage your team effectively.

David Mattson is the CEO and President of Sandler Training, an international training and consulting organization headquartered in the North America. Since 1986, he has been a trainer and business consultant for management, sales, interpersonal communication, corporate team building and strategic planning throughout the United States and Europe.

How to have more good days

Mark Sanborn is the president of Sanborn & Associates, Inc., an idea lab for leadership development. In addition to his experience leading at a local and national level, he has written or co-authored 8 books and is the author of more than two dozen videos and audio training programs on leadership, change, teamwork and customer service. He has presented over 2600 speeches and seminars in every state and a 15 countries.

Is Hard Work Really Necessary?

As you likely know, Tenacity is an attribute that allows one to be…well… tenacious. It’s that never stop, never give up attitude that seems to drive a person like a an unstoppable maniac. A tenacious person sees a wall and goes around it, under it, over it or even through it if necessary…in an ethical manner of course.

If we want anything in life… Whether its a new career, better health, a new relationship… (hey, don’t be too tenacious on this one, you don’t want the police involved.) Remember no means no as far as a relationship goes. On the other hand if you want to improve an existing relationship be tenacious about it. 

But I digress, whatever you want, personally or professionally, you must be tenacious. If something is worth having that means it may take some effort to get it and there may be others that want it as well.

Take sports for example… Do you think professional athletes become professional athletes by getting together with a bunch of friends for a weekly game? No way, the pros are deep into the dirty work. They wake up at 4am and train until they are next to dead… both physically and mentally.

What about the business person? Same thing folks… If its worth having, you are gonna have to be tenacious about it because other people likely want what you want as well, in face you can count on it.  Competition is fierce in an economy like this.

How do we build tenacity? We don’t… It comes from deep inside us. The good news is that we all have it. Think of a time you really wanted something and worked non-stop to get it. You had relentless focus and an unmatched determination to get what you already felt was yours for the taking. Tenacity builds upon itself depending on how bad the need or desire is. But beware of tenacities evil counterpart… laziness. If laziness gets in the way of your tenacity, everything grinds to a halt.

If you are tired of your current situation… if you you want that new skill, that new business or that new promotion, then start working at it. Prove to yourself and everybody else that you are the one that is the most deserving.

You must first BELIEVE your new goal is within your grasp and then research, re-invent, practice, work longer hours, train harder and take what’s yours.. The ones that want it the most and are willing to put in the blood, sweat and tears are the ones that will get what they want.  It’s always been that way and it always will. Don’t wait on luck… luck only comes to those who are prepared.

There’s a famous quote by a well known intellectual… a true global thinker who’s name I can’t recall at this moment. Was it Albert Einstein? No…. Mother Teresa? No… Abraham Lincoln? No… it was Larry the Cable Guy. He said, “GIT-R-DONE!”


The Yellow Brick Road to Meaningful Work

Human beings are wired to take the path of least resistance. According to research, our brain tricks us into believing the “low-hanging fruit” is the most appealing and delicious of all. For example, it’s easier to browse the internet aimlessly or be hypnotized in front of one uninspiring TV show after another than it is to spend quality time focused on enhancing our lives with ever-so-high stretch goals which take us out of our comfort zone one lesson at a time and create lasting behavior change with ongoing effort, perseverance and grit. It even sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?

Rather than pursuing the most comfortable and easiest route, avert the appetizing apple and prevent the provoking pear by taking even the smallest step to catapult you toward meaningful work.

Some organizations excel at creating meaningful workplaces where every employee becomes part of creating success, cohesiveness, and an amazing culture. And some people independently bring a strong sense of meaning and mission with them to work each day. But what if your second home isn’t the envied workplace you desire?

If you want to find more meaning in your work and you’re not ready to take the plunge into the unchartered waters of an ambiguous job search, consider looking for greater meaning using these three strategies:

  • Identify the purpose. Is what you do at work connected to making a positive difference in the lives of others? If it is, realizing this fact will create greater meaning for you.
  • Crave learning. Work offers opportunities to learn, expand your horizon, and enhance self-awareness. This kind of personal growth is meaningful.
  • Seek results. When I accomplish a difficult work task, the results I attain offers me a huge sense of job satisfaction, greater self-confidence and a heightened degree of commitment which can sustain my level of motivation far beyond this one task. I may even be recognized for my achievement, which may offer another unintended reward.

Just like the yellow brick road in the magical Land of Oz led to Emerald City, pave your enchanted path toward greater meaning in your work and you may just discover that “There’s no place like [your second] home.”

Tracy Butz is an inspiring speaker, captivating author and successful owner of her business, Think Impact Solutions. She is known for delivering results-focused solutions to further engage employees, energize workplace culture and empower high performance.


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Council of State
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