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Waste Not, Want Not

by Richard Norris on October 23, 2014

bigstock Yellow Barrel With Radioactive 54072220 300x300 Waste Not, Want Not

Waste Not, Want Not

Unnecessary waste underlines an attitude of complacency and even ignorance. No matter what resource you are given, it’s key to make the most of it. The less you waste now, the more you will have when you likely need it most.

I hate waste. Every resource I’m given I aim to do my best to make the most of it. When I see others who waste what they are given, it saddens me, it frustrates me and, yes, it angers me.

For the past several days I’ve noted the same person go out to their car before 7am and start their car. It sits there burning fuel and adding emissions for 10-15 minutes before the owner gets in and drives off. Now I can understand that partly if it was mid-winter, but it is not. It’s been warm with record-breaking temperatures. As leaving the car running is not something I do or have ever done, I’ve sat there trying to understand possible reasons, but to no avail. What I see is waste. Wasted money. Wasted non-renewable resources. I see unnecessary carbon dioxide emissions. I see a disregard and lack of respect for the environment. I see unnecessary wear and tear on the car’s engine. I just cannot fathom such an attitude.

What’s your attitude toward waste?

We are stewards of all that we are given. That means we are expected to use whatever we are given wisely.  We are to be penny wise rather than dollar foolish. Some of us do it well. Some of us don’t. Some of us could do it better. The better our stewardship, the more we will likely become responsible for at work, rest or play. In truth, there is always room for improvement.

He who conserves, creates abundance. He who wastes, creates want. 

I know I’m far from perfect. I rarely waste food, but I might waste my time on unimportant activities. I don’t waste money, but I sometimes buy things I don’t really need. These and other perhaps less-than-ideal examples, spur me on to do better and be a better example. I know my kids are watching.

We have to be very mindful that people do what people see. Our example is part of the legacy we leave our kids. For me, I aim to be the best I can so I can leave my best in them.

We are teaching our kids to make the most of everything we are given. It’s instilling the right values and principles that will stand them in good stead in the future. They know we do not waste food. They know we conserve energy. They now turn off the lights whenever they leave a room. They know a dripping tap is water and money down the drain. They know to use their time efficiently. What they know, they now practice. What they practice is now habit.

With all of our resources, be they time, talents, money etc., we must be wise in their use to maximize them. Failure to do so repeatedly can lead to wasteful bad habits. Like any waste left unattended, given time, bad habits can turn toxic and poison us and those around us – literally and/or figuratively. Think gambling. Think littering. Think global warming. Think overeating and lack of exercising. Think social media overuse.

We are meant to be faithful in what is least. When we are, we will be faithful also in much. If we waste in what is least, it’s very likely we will also waste in much.

Waste is disrespectful. It often disrespects others – those who matter most and beyond. It can disrespect property – yours and that of others. It can disrespect the environment. It can indicate a lack of self-respect. The more we waste, as with bad habits, the more we want. We begin to react more than respond. Our habits and behaviors control us rather than the other way around.

Everything we are given or gain is an asset that is to be used and invested wisely for the best return. The better we steward what we are given, the more we have to give to those around us. I read the other day that in the past 40 years there has been a 40% reduction in the world’s wildlife population. The rainforests of this earth are being decimated for lumber. Such priceless natural resources are irreplaceable. They are not to be taken for granted. They are not to be wasted. God placed them into our care. We are responsible.

Our approach to waste can have a butterfly effect. Waste fuel and you accelerate the end of an industry. Switch off a light and you establish a nature reserve. Maybe if we each lessened the waste in our lives, there would be more for us and for the generations to follow. Being frugal with your waste could lead to abundance for the many.

Waste is never going to be eliminated completely, but it can be reduced. We each have a part to play. The less we waste, the more abundance we create for when and where it is needed most. Let’s all focus on a greater awareness of waste in our lives. Let’s start a few corrective practices. When we stop wasting, we will stop wanting. There will be plenty to go around.

Your Powerplay

Note where you may be wasting your resources. Correct your use.



Motivation Is Useless Unless You Make It Personal

by Richard Norris on October 20, 2014

Bullseye(1) 150x150 Motivation Is Useless Unless You Make It Personal

Motivation Is Useless Unless You Make It Personal

Motivation is clearly important in our lives for us to achieve anything – big or small. To motivate others though, you cannot assume or presume. You must clearly understand what motivates each person (including yourself) to be effective.

In my experience, many leaders, from the family room to the locker room to the boardroom, often think they know what motivates those they lead. Sadly, too often, they fall short of the mark.

In all my years of coaching, I have asked clients and audiences if they know specifically what motivates their people. The significant majority will say they do, but it becomes quickly apparent they don’t. Many Western leaders across all levels of society believe the primary motivator is money. That, however, is not true. Daniel Pink shares that an emphasis on money as a motivator proves to be counterproductive.

Do you truly know and understand what motivates those around you?

For motivation to work well, it has to be personal. School teachers seem to get this. At our kids’ school, it’s amazing what a child will do, will achieve for the sake of a few stickers on a chart or beads in a bowl. Both of our kids loves stickers. They see them as a seal of approval. They see them as rewards on the road to further rewards.

The carrot is mightier than the stick.

Essentially, we are motivated by one of two things. We are motivated toward pleasure (the positive) or away from pain (the negative). Whilst we likely all know this, we likely know those (even ourselves) who focus on applying negative motivation, like threats, to force people to do something we want (and they don’t).

When we try to motivate people from a negative stance, they will only go / get so far. It’s a bit like getting them to drive forward using their rear-view mirror. They won’t go far or fast and they will likely crash and go no further. It makes far more sense to motivate positively. It’s easier for people to see where they’re going and go forward further and faster as on a highway.

As a vet, there were times when I had to get horses or cows to move. The harder I tried to force them, the more they dug in. When I made the extra effort to get to know what the animal liked and wanted, the better able I was to get them to move. When they did move, I made it look like it was their idea. People behave the same.

But what if you did know what made each person in your life tick? What would be the value to you and to them? Imagine…

A few years ago I learned a simple, yet profound truth. It gave me the insight I needed to motivate others.

People don’t work for you, they work for their lifestyle.

Motivation is a personal thing. It’s unique to each one of us. What motivates you very likely won’t motivate someone else. We each have a hot button. As a leader, it’s imperative for you to discover what that hot button is. To do that you must get personal. And all it takes is about 7 minutes and a cup of coffee.
To get personal, you must be present. To be present, you must seek first to understand them – their needs, wants, desires and dreams at work, rest and play. To understand them, you need to show you care. To show you care, give them your undivided time and listen – really listen. Your aim is to learn why they do what they do. When you know a person’s why, getting them motivated (the how) gets easier.

People today work with an ultimate focus on their personal life. That’s where the hot button lies. Regrettably, many business leaders, particularly, have not learned this. I know many of the clients I have coached had not discovered this. When they did learn the need of understanding what motivates their people, results started to improve. One client learned his head of sales loved movies. Once he connected the sales targets with movie passes, sales rocketed. It was so simple and inexpensive. It worked amazingly.

As with my client, once you learn that hot button and connect it with what you want someone to achieve, you can press it anytime you wish. Do that and you may well be amazed at how fired up people can get. Productivity and performance will grow and become sustainable. What leader doesn’t want that?
The secret to a person’s motivation is in their lifestyle. That’s what drives them. You can motivate anyone when you make the time to show they care about those they lead. Spouse. Teenage. Student. Team mate. Etc. When you seek to understand their personal goals, dreams and objectives, you are well equipped to improve results all round.

Remember, to get motivated, get personal.

Your Powerplay

Sit down with one person you lead. Discover their lifestyle goals. Help them to connect their goals with yours for them.



Why Change No Longer Works And Likely Never Will

October 16, 2014

Why Change No Longer Works And Likely Never Will Change is inevitable. You cannot avoid it. Yet, people still resist it. Where they do, change never truly works. Where change is forced and/or when there is limited buy-in, it will never truly work. Change is ubiquitous. It’s happening all around us. Change pervades in and […]

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