Who Wants A Job Where It Is Never The Boss’s Fault?


The only way to effectively hold others accountable is to first hold yourself accountable in front of them.

As a leader, if you want employee engagement and long-term influence, you must take a look at the role you’ve played in your team’s problem and make sure your people know that you’re examining your own involvement. When you do that, your group’s level of animosity (if any) drops, your skills and communication improve, and you create a sustainable culture of accountability.

This is not an opinion or an idea; it’s how human nature affects a situation if we allow it to take its natural course and we are honest with ourselves. It’s also an overall conclusion drawn from decades of Gallup studies. It’s why some leaders who regularly unveil mediocre ideas from the latest book they’ve misinterpreted have the undying loyalty of their people, while brilliant strategists with good track records run off top talent. Have you ever wondered why highly skilled people who don’t apply themselves for one leader can hit home runs for another? Think about it. How hard would you work for a boss who never claims a role in any mistake?

If we want people to perform at the highest level, to buy into change and to adopt new processes with minimal errors and complaints, they have to feel their leaders are willing to accept responsibility. Then your team is positioned to perform its best. You will never really know how good your people are until they know you are accountable. It’s what many leaders rarely do and what the most successful always do!

Four Reasons Your New Hires Are Already on Their Way Out



A relatively new phenomenon is sweeping through corporate America (and some other countries as well): employees who will leave a job in a shorter time frame than it took to find one. Attrition rates in some industries border on the insane. As one corporate leader told me, “If only half our people quit every year, it would be a big improvement and save us millions.”

When did we become a culture of quitters? When did people start to think of most job opportunities as disposable? In this article, we give you the non-sugarcoated truth you deserve.


They don’t see a path that leads to better opportunity and pay. Telling someone that hard work and building relationships are key to getting promoted will no longer fly. Not only will this very reluctant dog not hunt; it’s possible that it never really picked up the scent to begin with. This single factor drives your most talented employees away while encouraging tenure among those who are short on talent and long on explanations. Your most talented people have options; they might have headhunters contacting them every week. But the people with no talent and drive — the ones who believe they don’t have a shot at a better life — are in for the long haul and will pledge their undying loyalty!

Solution: These days, employees under 40 years old need to understand exactly what is required to accomplish their goals. That means it’s in writing, it’s very clear, and it adheres to a time line (within a three-year period).


You have a very restrictive cell phone policy. You may have noticed that many young people seem to have their phone in hand. They don’t just have their phone with them; they, in fact, are with their phone. It’s not in their pocket or their purse; it’s part of their person. That’s right — left to our own devices, we literally walk around staring at our devices. If you want to punish a young person, just take his phone away. According to a study conducted by InsightExpress in 18 countries with 1,800 respondents, 75 percent of 18- to 30-year-olds spend as much time socializing online as they do in person. Forty-six percent say they use their phone to text during meals, and 30 percent text every time they go to the bathroom. Furthermore, a random sampling by Wynn Solutions (using 18- to 30-year-olds to ask the questions) showed the InsightExpress figures to be relatively low. Let’s get real: If you ask a person under 40 years old how many times a day he or she checks the phone, the honest answer is “I lose count.” A device you carry everywhere and check first thing in the morning and the last thing at night is an extension of who you are (as disturbingly science-fiction as that sounds).

Solution: So, it’s common sense that heavy phone restrictions could contribute to employee disengagement and job dissatisfaction. It may be important for safety reasons to manage cellphone usage in industrial areas, but if there is no danger of distraction, you can have phone breaks built in to work schedules or experiment with how much work loss vs benefits you receive from having a phone friendly workplace. Many organizations these days have a very hard time retaining top talent when the competition declares “It’s cool to use your phones.”


Your initial training programs lack clarity and engagement. We can learn a lot from an anonymous comment left by a heavily recruited 24-year-old new hire after completing a training program: “It seems like there were some missing parts in the training, which is strange because there were, like, way too many parts. It kind of makes me feel unqualified, but it’s more likely that the training just sucks.” All too often, training programs are poorly constructed and delivered by unskilled presenters.

Solution: New hires from among Gen Y were taught how to take tests rather than how to grasp broad concepts. As a result, they need extremely clear training programs that start with what success actually looks like (not just the steps to get there); they also learn best from short modules that can hold their attention. These young, eager-to-learn employees can quickly become disillusioned if they feel they’ll have to move forward without an ironclad grasp on how to do the job well.


They don’t feel heard by leadership. According to recent research from Gallup, 70 percent of employees polled say they are disengaged. If you can turn the tide here and create engagement with your employees, you increase the likelihood that they’ll stay.

Solution: To achieve this, consider having an outside source conduct surveys within your organization. Employees’ anonymous responses to specific questions will reflect what they think, how connected they feel, and what they believe about your organization and leaders. The results help you understand your own work culture well enough to identify what needs to be fixed. You can then build a plan that addresses your employees’ needs, whether that means designing more effective training, tweaking your social media policies, or improving interactions between workers and managers. As employees see their input transforming your culture, they’ll feel heard, they’ll perform better, and they will likely stay with you longer.


The only thing worse than failing to overcome the competition is realizing you don’t even have the right people to compete. As stated earlier, the best employees will exit and the bad workers will stay. So employee engagement tactics that create retention are foundational to all organizations. Regardless of great technologies like robotics, manufacturing software, and social media, it turns out you still have to have a bunch of people in your building to qualify as an organization. And, though younger workers desperately need their “tech-tools” to take us into the future, you don’t want to get stuck with the ones that don’t grasp how humans are involved IN that future!

I recently spoke at a convention with a really cool hologram technology that had the CEO materializing at multiple locations simultaneously like he was beaming down from the starship Enterprise. One youngish, not-so-bright AV guy commented, “Wow, this meeting does not even need actual people to succeed!” Hmmmmmm.

I had to ask: “So, without people, what would you be beaming onto the holography platform on the stage?”

“Well… that’s a good point, I guess. Maybe just some charts and cool graphics.”

Really? I pressed in. “So how long do you plan to have this job at the hotel?”

“Dude,” he replied, “my boss is like super-smart and took another job that he likes a lot better and now I’m the only person that knows how everything works. I would never leave here now. I can keep this job forever.”

Make sure your good people stay!


How to Get People to Do … What You Want Them to Do

If this article title pulled you in, maybe you’ve recently realized that having a better tactic or using your charisma is not producing the influence you would have hoped. You’ve read the leadership and negotiation books and you’ve witnessed some disturbing YouTube videos that appear to prove you no longer need talent or a point to be in front of a camera. However, depending on your age and situation, one or more of the following all-consuming problems still remain: Your employees just can’t get the job done, your boss is a low-IQ narcissist, your parents think you actually want their life, your girlfriend is addicted to vampire books, your boyfriend is still a “skater-dude” at age 30, or your 22-year-old son has just told you “I don’t, like, see myself as, like, working every day at a job and stuff.”

Could it be that what works for others in the area of influence will not work for you? Over the years, Wynn Solutions (along with former Gallup researchers) has conducted anonymous surveys with thousands of extremely influential people who have a proven track record of motivating people to do what needs to be done. From them, we found the root of influence to be some foundational ideas that we often deem irrelevant.

Here are those ideas:

Are you proving to people that you see them as valuable? Have you told them that you appreciate their talent and could not have done so well without them? That’s very different from just saying “Good job!” And it’s not as ridiculous as saying “You’ll have a job here as long as you want one,” which seems to indicate that they will definitely quit – it’s just a question of when.

Are you being sincere but emphatic with your adult child who still lives at home? These days, over 50 percent of all adults 18-26 years old live with their parents. So if you are in your 20s and living at home, it’s pretty close to normal these days. However, if you have an adult child still living at home, not making a contribution, wearing your bathrobe, and wanting to know when more food will be arriving, you need to be forthright. You might say something loving but pointed, like this: “The only way someone else will appreciate you as much as we do is if they see you as self-sufficient. You and your generation have more opportunities and greater knowledge than any other generation has ever had. So getting out on your own (which will involve leaving this house, by the way) will cause the good things in life to come your way.” Letting them stay too long sends the message “We love you so much that we’re willing to sacrifice your ability to be a functional adult.” Being 37 and still living at Mom and Dad’s house is more than just pathetic; it’s creepy.

Do you have extreme clarity? Intelligence is not enough. It doesn’t matter how smart you are if no one knows what you’re talking about. The average IQ for an executive is 104, which is lower than the average for middle management. But if you think your boss is stupid, remember that he’s just smart enough to be your boss! If you’ve ever been to a Mensa meeting, you might have noticed a disturbing number of 35- to 50-year-olds wearing backpacks and a lot of crummy cars in the parking lot. Intelligence is just a small part of influence.

As for tried-and-true solutions, it all comes down to value.

  1. If you want to be influential, you must be able to clearly state your value(or the value of whatever you’re proposing). Clarity is the foundation of value. People buy into what they grasp quickly. The leading addiction on the planet is not drugs or alcohol or video games. It’s convenience. We will abandon a complex process that works for a mediocre one that’s easy but barely works. Simply stated, good ideas just aren’t good enough. Case in point: It took 40 years to get seatbelts in cars, but they green-lighted the Pet Rock at the first meeting. Spray cheese caught on pretty quickly too.We are influenced by things that sound good instantly, and nothing sounds better than what we seem to already believe. Making things very clear makes them familiar. When we hear something clearly stated, we will often say, “Oh, yes. That’s common sense.” But the truth is we did not think of it until it was very clearly stated. Clarity makes the stated value make sense. So if you think this paragraph has told you something that you already knew, then you are right and enlightened at the same time.
  2. To influence people under 30 years old, what you propose must make sense at a very basic level. This younger generation grew up with so much information thrown at them that you’ve got to be able to show them whyyou’re doing something. If it doesn’t make relevant sense to them today, they will question it and have difficulty taking action on it. If you want young people to come to work early, you need a real business reason – not just that you like to get to work at 7:30 a.m. and don’t particularly care for loneliness.
  3. The key to getting people to do what you want them to do is understanding what they value. In its clearest, simplest form, what they value is love, money, and prestige. If they can get that from you, they’re willing to listen and take action. Unfortunately, most people believe they need to outsmart others to get them to take action. So if you’re upset because you think the world is run by idiots – well, you might have a point. Most research shows that it’s easier to simplify things so you can compete. The truth is that when it comes to getting people to take action, in many cases, explaining your value is more valuable than actually having it.
  4. It all comes down to engagement. You may have heard the term “employee engagement” or “client/customer engagement” and just viewed it as corporate buzzword, but it’s the ultimate foundation of success. Engagement is what this article is really all about. You need real personal influence to make it happen. It’s hard to be successful at your job if you think no one at work cares about you (especially your boss). It’s difficult to write a check to someone who does not value you as a person. So the key word that ties it all together is value. The way to make sure people see your value and are willing to make a decision that will benefit you is to show them that they are valued. Then you have a level of engagement; you also end up with a minimal amount of haters. There is always that one person who hates success, Christmas, pizza, vacation days and money (your money, of course, not theirs).

According to Evolve Performance Group, an organization run by former Gallup executives and researchers, engaged employees are 40 times more likely to say they would recommend their company as a great place to work, and 4.5 times more likely to recommend their company’s products and services. So not only is being influential the best way to get people to do what you want them to do; it’s something you have to do just to compete.

The idea is to position yourself up front with all the influence tactics you can and then throw all your effort behind that. This strategy is central to a story I often tell about a speaking engagement I had at a convention years ago. My wife was in the audience for my event. She’d just heard me speak and she was clapping – yes, even after a few years together, she still applauded (maybe because I was through talking). In fact, she clapped so hard that she lost the diamond in her ring, but she didn’t know it at the time. So the next day she goes back and starts searching all along the 10,000-square-foot parquet floor. The custodians have already swept and mopped. Twice. Nothing has turned up. Everyone’s thinking, “Lady, you’re never going to find it.” But my wife insists, “I’m looking anyway.” So she’s on the ground, face to the floor, searching, searching… She’s sucking up dust bunnies for a full hour and a half before she spies a little glimmer from across the room. And there it is! In the end, we walked away with two big lessons. First, if something is important enough to you – if you believe in it enough – then the effort, skill, talent, and ability generated from your body and channeled into achievement is amazing. But also, if you buy a r-e-a-l-l-y BIG diamond, it’s a LOT easier to find.

Millennial Mystique: How to attract, keep, and get better performance from Gen Y



Many industries seem to be experiencing a shortage of young workers. It’s easy to attribute that to a lack of qualified applicants, an aging workforce that’s apparently too broke to retire, or Millennials who simply feel, as they comfortably rest in their parents’ open arms, that they don’t need a job right now!

Reality is setting in as those Baby Boomers who are beginning to retire leave companies with massive voids to fill. For the 76 million people born between 1946 and 1964, who in 2011 began reaching retirement age (at the alarming rate of 8,000 a day for the next 18 years, according to AARP.org), the concern is no longer whether these Gen Y people can do the job so much as it is where are they?! The mindset is starting to shift from “I am concerned that young Tyler lacks a sense of urgency” to “OMG – who’s going to replace old Bill?” It seems in our heavy judgment of Millennials, also referred known as Gen Y, we have forgotten there are no other young “people groups” entering the workforce at the moment. Gen Y is it.

Especially in the workplace, Baby Boomers, Generation X (born between 1964 and 1980), and Millennials don’t always think or believe the same things. Gen Xers in particular are concerned that people in their 20s and early 30s don’t have the right work ethic and are introducing questionable changes to the office environment.

Yet, realistically, companies may need to embrace these changes and start shaping their businesses to be more attractive to the fresh faces that will inevitably become the majority of the workforce. It is important that we manage people based on who they are, not who we wish them to be. That’s called hope, and hope is not a strategy. The worst leadership tactic on earth is wishing someone were like you. Historically, helping people develop their own brilliance is much more effective than just giving them yours.

The true Millennial work ethic is that they “do not live to work – but rather work to live. A job merely provides the income to do what they want to do.”[1] Millennials learned from their stressed-out parents that they wanted to get more out of life. Many young Boomers (ages 49 to 54) did something other generations did not do: they complained to their kids about how much they worked and how they did not have enough time to enjoy life. This doesn’t mean that people 34 years or younger will not work hard or have passion for their career; they are just much less likely to sacrifice their personal life.

The Challenge

How do you accept the challenge to change your game?

  • Create a culture that gives these younger workers a life, not just a future. Through our research we found that Millennials desperately seek work that will fulfill their spirit, passion, and lifestyle more than work that just fills their wallet. In 2011, Toronto Globe and Mail reported findings from an extensive survey about Millennials’ work expectations. According to the article, “university students surveyed said work-life balance and vacation time ranked extremely high on their wish list.”[2] It makes sense, since they grew up with parents who expressed regret about overworking.
  • Consider: less work, more money. The same survey reflected that, among Millennials, “high salaries and quick promotions were important too; on average, they expected $53,000 [Canadian, or about US$43,100] a year starting salary.”[3] The question Millennials ask is this: “What’s the path that leads to leadership, and is it worth it?” That means, from a management standpoint, you have to take a close look at the value the new young employee can bring to your company, not just what you think you should be paying that young employee. Furthermore, opportunities should not be based on how you have done it in the past unless you can validate that practice with a clear, reasonable explanation.
  • Acknowledge their foundation of debt. Today’s young workers start out with more debt than previous generations. More things eat at their paychecks before they even have a chance to develop adult-like bills. This does not mean you have to pay more than you have in the past or raise salaries across the board. However, it should prompt you to examine the benefits of meeting their requirements, while envisioning what your organization might look like with underpaid, second-string players. Also, if you offer them promotions that include working 35 percent more hours per week, they might not be interested. They want leadership, but not at the price of time away from friends and family. They are willing, however, to work late from home more than previous generations were, and they’re generally not fond of being tethered to an office simply because working late is considered part of doing a good job. They want to be compensated for their efforts, not for their time under your watch.
  • Realize that Millennials are the products of their parents. They witnessed their Baby Boomer and early Gen X moms and dads working hard, regardless of the cost to the family unit. Gen Y saw their parents stay with one company, miss family events, and not enjoy all the opportunities of a full life. Many Boomer parents worked hard to create comfortable lifestyles for their families, hoping to eventually enjoy their success when they had earned enough. Their Millennial kids would have preferred a smaller house, fewer vacations, and more face time with their parents.
  • Don’t offer them what their parents had. They don’t want it! The rebelling nature of the Millennial generation stems from this mindset. They don’t want the path their parents took. That cost is too high. Yes, Millennials grew up seeing strong work ethic, but they were also told “You can do whatever you put your mind to.” From that mentality comes their new method of working: they’d rather have flexible hours and a self-fulfilling job than sit in a cubicle for the next 40 years waiting to become obsolete. As Americus Reed, a Wharton School of Business marketing professor, detailed in a 2014 podcast, “Millennials tend to be very socially aware, are prone to be more public about it and … spend more time than their parents thinking ‘Why am I here? What am I going to leave behind? How am I going to change the world?’”[4]

Millennials are the generation of now. Thus, they want to enjoy their lives today and not just work hard toward a retirement that, from their viewpoint, does not look so wonderful. There are pros and cons to this: They are happy with their choices. They feel fulfilled. They are cheaper labor. However, the downside is that they are not terribly concerned with building that 401K right now, so they show far less desire than past generations to secure a high-paying, salaried job with more benefits but less work-life balance.

Perhaps learning why you might want to change your game has left you asking two questions: Don’t all young people want to live for today and get what they want without working so hard? And isn’t it just idealistic youth that makes them want to change the world and bask in the glow of how important they are to the future?

No, not really. With the change of the U.S. school system – the largest change in 200 years – and global cultural shifts breaking the traditions of generations before them, this is more than just the latest version of “how young people are.” They are the first generation to believe as a culture that

  1. partnerships have more value than trying to be competitive;
  2. irrefutable laws of science and math are just the opinion of the time, not necessarily a guide for future success;
  3. expressing intolerance and prejudice toward people different from you immediately disqualifies any other valuable traits you might have;
  4. every problem comes with an automatic solution; and
  5. no job is worth taking if it prohibits daily social interaction with their peers (i.e., social media use during work).

Those things alone will create an environment that (for better or for worse) is not likely to resemble any that have come before it.

Moving toward solutions

Companies need to know where to look to find Millennials seeking jobs. Times have changed, and the job search has changed as well. Be up to date on which databases are popular among Millennials for job postings. Youtube, Myspace, LinkedIn, Craigslist – all of these websites have postings. Check them out. See what your company can promote, because Millennials are looking!

Also be aware that, culturally, Millennials in the United States differ from those in other countries. In a 2014 study cited in Harvard Business Review,[5] researchers surveyed 16,637 people from 43 countries to learn what Millennials want from the workplace. The most important finding was that Millennials’ views vary considerably by culture. Therefore, if your company is global, be sure you do your homework concerning the culture of your non-Western Millennials before you recruit. You want to be able to offer what they’re seeking.

Engagement creates performance

To draw the best performance out of Millennials – and pretty much all other humans – you need to create engagement. In its simplest form, engagement occurs when leadership consistently exceeds the expectations of their employees. When that happens, employees become fully engaged.

It may take a new environment with seemingly a lot of perks; but at its core, eliciting performance from Millennials is about having fully engaged workers. According to Evolve Performance Group, a research firm headed by former Gallup executives, fully engaged employees are 40 times more likely to recommend their company as a great place to work, 15.5 times more likely to say they will spend their careers with the organization, 4.5 times more likely to recommend their companies’ products and services, and 9 times more likely to report they have excellent work-life balance.[6] Although you might not like what it takes to fully engage Millennials, it’s critical to find a way to make it happen.

A very different view

Sometimes, creating that engagement requires innovative thinking. How do you create a positive environment for this younger workforce? How do you show you care for them and your company?

Dan Price, owner of Gravity Payments, recently equalized the salaries of his 120-person company to $70,000.[7] Price established the company at age 19; now, at 30, he has taken a major cut to his million-dollar salary to be equal with his workers and increase the pay scale of his employees. This is a Millennial’s way of thinking. Money and power are nice, but they’re distinctly not necessary if you aren’t working in a positive environment.

Change is good. It requires being open to new ideas. We realize that many people over 35 years old cannot grasp the equalized salary concept – and it might not be practical for many organizations – but it’s just an example of how Gen Y values fairness and community in a way that previous generations have not.

If you belong to one of those previous generations, this Millennial mindset might strike you as foreign. Where did it come from? Mostly, it’s the doing of young Boomers and older Gen Xers who wanted to raise kids with more self-esteem, environmental consciousness, and peer support than their own generations had. So congratulations! You’ve succeeded.

Millennials are here to stay. According to a Business and Professional Women’s Foundation study quoted in Forbes, by 2025 these Gen Y workers will make up 75% of the global workforce.[8] The turnover is coming. You can’t ignore it, but you can be ready for it. With their influx creating such a shift in workforce mindset, you might be feeling that Millennials want to have their cake and eat it too. But maybe that old saying should be subjected to a more modern analysis – because, really, why would Millennials want a cake they couldn’t eat? Why would anyone?

[1] Mark McCrindle, “Understanding Generation Y,” published by the Australian Leadership Foundation (North Parrametta, New South Wales: 2007), https://innovationfeeder.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/understandinggeny.pdf[2] Margaret Wente, “Inside the Entitlement Generation,” The [Toronto] Globe and Mail, September 17, 2011.
[3] Wente, “Inside the Entitlement Generation.”
[4] Americus Reed, “How Millennials Think Differently About Brands,” Knowledge@Wharton, October 6, 2014, https://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/how-millennials-think-differently-about-brands/.
[5] Henrik Bresman, “What Millennials Want from Work, Charted across the World,” Harvard Business Review, February 23, 2015, https://hbr.org/2015/02/what-millennials-want-from-work-charted-across-the-world.
[6] “What’s All This Hype about Employee Engagement?” Evolve Performance Group, March 18, 2015, https://evolvepg.com/about/whatsevolving/id/252/whats-all-this-hype-about-employee-engagement.
[7] Patricia Cohen, “Owner of Credit Card Processor Is Setting a New Minimum Wage: $70,000 a Year,” New York Times, April 14, 2015, B3.
[8] Erica Dhawan, “Gen-Y Workforce and Workplace Are Out of Sync,” Forbes,January 23, 2012, https://www.forbes.com/sites/85broads/2012/01/23/gen-y-workforce-and-workplace-are-out-of-sync/.

How To Be Right: Without making other people wrong

What exactly are we trying to accomplish by proving to others that we’re right? We might win the argument but ultimately lose the relationship. Perhaps a better, deeper-rooted question is this: Why do we lose sight of success, of our big objective when we feel challenged or intimidated?

When I prepare to negotiate, provide a service or turn my employees’ talent into performance, I know deep down that if I make people feel valuable they will see my input as having value. But in that moment when they are just hands-down across-the-board dead wrong, I sometimes can’t stop myself from letting them know how incredibly wrong they are. When that happens, my ability to influence them vaporizes on the spot, and I’m left dealing with the response I created by making them wrong.

I think this is the most consistently counterproductive thing we do in business and, I suspect, in our personal lives too. It may be the foundation of communication breakdown. Maybe this behavior is so prevalent because it’s part of human nature. Could we be natural born jerks? (Jerkdom – nature or nurture?) If so, how do we overcome the urge to prove our point at the expense of our business or relationship?

Wynn Solutions studied thousands of top communicators and saw a common behavior among them: the practice of not making people wrong. We decided to find out how they did it.

We discovered that these top communicators lowered their expectations of other people’s behavior before meeting with them face to face. It seemed to reduce the tendency to overreact in the heat of the moment. Also, they walked in the door with an agenda of not making the other person wrong and of looking for areas where the other person’s knowledge was strong. So when that moment came – when other people made their limited knowledge obvious – top communicators were not so ready to pounce.

This approach may sound a bit condescending to some, but it sure beats dealing with communication issues you create for yourself by having to prove you’re the smartest person in the room. It allows you to be right without making others feel wrong.

Garrison Wynn is a nationally known keynote speaker, author, and consultant. He is the CEO and founder of Wynn Solutions, specializing in how people and organizations can be more influential.

Change is Mandatory…Stress is Optional

Below are some of the notes from a Change/Stress program I present. 

When the pain of what you are going through becomes greater than the fear of change, you change … but I recommend you avoid most of the pain, embrace the change and adjust.

Change Steps

Know what’s coming — change is always coming.

Feel your emotions — don’t stuff your feelings.

Adjust quickly and ask for help. Don’t wait — learn the new way, and realize that it takes more guts to ask for help than it does to think you don’t need any help!.
1. Expect change; it’s part of life. (Flexibility is the most valuable trait a human can have.)
2. Anticipate change. (Be prepared for it and acknowledge that you will be okay. Change is the most natural part of life and you are hereditarily conditioned to survive it and benefit from it.)
3. Keep an eye on change. (Take notes…and learn from them!)
4. Adapt quickly. (Get in front of the pack, let your emotions out, and then just do the next right thing that moves you toward changing.) Example: Crazy Stephanie and the pile of dishes – just pick up the first dish. There is only one way to start, and that is to start.
5. Enjoy the benefits of change. (“There is something better out there!” It will be better for all of us. It might not feel that way at first; you have to go through 3 inches of problem to get to 100 yards of solution.)

The Big 3: Top Reasons Organizations Change
1. To become more efficient
2. To deliver better service
3. To stay in business in tough times

Many times, it’s all three.

To successfully manage change, we must believe that every change in our lives frees us for a better opportunity, a chance to grow and thrive and move our lives forward — a chance to learn to be more efficient, which makes us more valuable to the organization and those we work with. Change can bring fear. We either move past it quickly or live in the fear until it becomes part of who we are. As humans we have changed when we needed to, and we’ve looked out for each other. We have a brain that allows us to switch our belief system to overcome our circumstances. We are not slaves to instinct. Seventy-five percent of all thoughts are negative, yet we use them to protect us and then move into a positive direction. That is what it is to be human and why we are in charge of the planet. They say dolphins and killer whales are smarter; however, they are not so quickly adaptable. There is no one in this room who works for a killer whale.
The No. 1 cause of stress is knowing exactly what you are supposed to be doing and consistently doing something else. That means change can cause stress, but it also means that stress is a lot about what we believe. It’s our interpretation of that change that ultimately causes us mental and even physical problems.
Stress Steps

Identify where the stress is coming from — pinpoint the specific source. (You’re not just overwhelmed. What are you specifically stressed about?)

Control what you can and let go of what you can’t. (Some things you cannot control; work on what you can. Break things into bite-sized pieces you can handle. The best way to get a hold of your life is to let go.)

Choose to see the stress as a signal that how you feel about things is the source of the stress. (If you love change, then it’s not stressful.) Consider: People jump out of airplanes for fun, yet are hospitalized because of worry.

1. Manage your time well. (You have 1,444 minutes a day to spend as you choose. Create a priority list of what has to be done today; being prepared dramatically reduces stress.)
2. Be present in the moment. (You can’t live in the wreckage of the future. Stop and be where you are!)
3. Pick off the negotiables from your plate. (Review your daily and weekly activities to see what you can pick off your plate.)
4. Reduce your vulnerability to stress. (Make sleep a priority. Do things you love after work. Breathe deeply and realize there is a difference between caring and worrying.)
5. See through the stress and identify the truth. (It’s our personal feelings about an activity that make it stressful. The truth is that how we feel about things can make us sick. Stop worrying and start doing!)

Doing more with less and taking on new tasks is how the human race has survived and progressed. We need to increase our productivity to compete, and it can overwhelm us if we let it. The key phrase is “if we let it.” One person’s “overwhelming” is another person’s “in the zone.” When you are busy, time flies — even if you are busy doing stuff you don’t like. You may notice some people are just stressed out in general, and some are so laid back you accuse them of laziness. Your belief system creates your experience. But how can you change a belief? Ask your self these questions:

1. Does what you believe make your life better?
2. Is it possible that something you truly believe might not be true?
3. Is it possible for a fact to become untrue?
4. Does being stressed and overwhelmed benefit you in some way?

It’s impossible to get through those questions without realizing the power that human beings have to overcome their circumstances. And they overcome not only to survive change and stress but to actually thrive and become more creative. It’s a fact that war, tragedy and limited resources have produced more innovation than a pile of cash, a bunch of geniuses and unlimited time. Okay, killer whales and dolphins, follow that!!

Why Do I Have to Change If I’m Already Great?

We hear a lot about change these days. The discussion usually centers around how to get organizations to change, how to get departments to communicate more effectively with each other, or how to get people who’ve never been very – what’s the word I’m looking for? – skilled… to somehow manifest the will to get better at the exact moment it’s needed. (I’m pretty sure that’s the storyline of a few Disney movies.)

If we are honest with ourselves, it has been our experience that true personal change is not only hard, it’s downright rare. We have all heard that people never really change, so it’s built into our belief system that personal behavioral change is a bit of myth. Similarly, change within an organization poses distinct challenges. For instance, you can’t change a department or the whole company with just a better process or inspirational idea. For real change to happen, real people have to change.

The Big Lie: Customers Want Service

Customers don’t want service! Customers want things that don’t need any service. They want maintenance-free, self-contained solutions, whenever possible.

On average, how do you think most people would rate service after the sale over the course of their lives? Do you really think they are looking for more of that? They want cars that don’t break down, systems that need no tweaking; and they may resent the time required to service their product, preferring instead to spend time making money, forwarding their cause or living life.

We tend to believe our customers want great service because we have solutions that require maintenance. In other words, we put customers in a position to need service. To be motivated, we need to believe that we have exactly what the customer wants. The truth is that the customer wants a permanent solution, and either we don’t want to provide it (for various reasons) or no permanent solution exists. If we have to provide service to customers who are not terribly thrilled about needing it, that service had better be fantastic. It’s like insisting that someone who doesn’t particularly care for hot dogs must eat one. You’d better serve one damn good hot dog or you’re in big trouble.

Mediocre service can be worse than no service in some cases. If we can solve customers’ problems before they know they have any, they will feel much better about their purchase but we will lose the opportunity to generate additional revenue and goodwill through all that. We have to decide which has more value to the customer and to us.

Customer service strategies to consider

Offering training, spare parts or an organized, pre-set service program as part of the purchase price (or as a higher-priced add-on) may give you greater customer satisfaction and allow you to:

  • Offer less service after the sale but give better results to the customer;
  • Get more deeply involved with customers at the point of sale and uncover more opportunities to help them succeed at a faster rate; and
  • Help customers in a way that allows them to learn how to help themselves, proving that your solutions have more long-term value than those of your competitors and are worth the higher price tag.

I realize that this view may not be for everyone; after all, one man’s business-growing is another man’s expensive pain in the butt. But it’s important to find ways to help the customer while at the same time making sure we can stay in business long enough to actually provide that help. Organizations that are not profitable usually give poor service whether the customer wants it or not.

Garrison Wynn is a nationally known keynote speaker, author, and consultant. He is the CEO and founder of Wynn Solutions, specializing in how people and organizations can be more influential.

Motivating Employees: How to deal with motivationally challenged younger workers

Do you find it difficult to motivate younger workers? Have you noticed that employees under 25 will quit their job to go on a ski trip? They will choose pleasure and friends over work every time — actions that indicate that there may be a different work ethic in place. What about people in their 30s? They seem to need more time off and value flexible schedules over money.

Whatever happened to dedicated, committed people who did what was right for the company, the customer and the wallet? Well, for starters, they grew up. Now at least in their 40s, many of them are managing the thirty-something and twenty-something workforce and realizing that these younger people cannot be motivated the same way they were. I don’t know about you, but I start thinking, “You know back in my day (I am now officially old enough to have had a day), we did what we had to do. We ate dirt and we liked it; we walked to work, up hill, both ways, in the snow — we had no shoes. Heck, we had no feet! We walked on our nubs everywhere we went…”

I admit, I’m taking it a bit far here. I never walked to work, I spent most of my life in Florida (no hills, no snow) and I do have both feet, but I think you know where I’m coming from.

How can we effectively motivate people who feel so differently than we do about their job? Wynn Solutions did some research on how some organizations get amazing results from their younger people. These top-performing organizations:

  • Understand that these people grew up in the most affluent time in American history and were raised to expect more out of life. They inherited not only a world of material abundance but also a workplace with perceived unlimited opportunity.
  • Know younger workers measure success not just in dollars but also in equality of pay; that is, they expect to paid as much as anyone who holds the same job.
  • Know workers in their 20s will not respect someone just because that person is older or holds a superior position; they will only respect those who show respect for them.
  • Create goals that work; younger people respond to small goals with tight deadlines and want a quick track for success with praise along the way.
  • Let younger workers know that the skills and training they are getting will help them in the future with other companies, not just with the job they have now. Younger workers believe that companies won’t take care of them for life so they don’t value long-term employment.
  • Know they want stimulating work; they grew up with video games and fast-moving, quickly edited movies. They like to multitask and can become easily bored with processes that move too slowly or have no flexibility.
  • Know that younger workers need to be shown that the boss (not just the company) cares about them. They want to know that their supervisor will give direct praise on a consistent basis for a job well done and will encourage and support them when they are not doing well.
  • Understand what they think about us: They believe our computers crash because we are old and that we have chosen work and money over fun and family, which makes us uptight and cranky as we multitask unsuccessfully.

For those who are thinking these people are just spoiled and should grow up and face reality … each generation would naturally be a bit more spoiled than the previous one as long as the economy continues to grow and parents keep scheduling play dates for their children, telling them they can be anything they want to be and driving them to soccer practice. That’s reality! It’s simply the result of an affluent society.

The good news is that, properly motivated, these young people are brilliant. We talked to many organizations that were implementing some of the strategies outlined above and achieving phenomenal results. The key to long-term organizational growth and change is knowing how to motivate the new talent that can take you into the future. The key does not involve wishing they were more like you. Remember that they are not living in our times; we are living in theirs.

Garrison Wynn is a nationally known speaker, trainer, and consultant. He is the president and founder of Wynn Solutions, specializing in turning talent into performance.