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How Civilized is Your Workplace?

How Civilized is Your Workplace?

At Slow Leadership, we try to remind people of truths that have been around for a long time:

  • that haste makes waste;
  • that driving your people to the edge of breakdown isn’t something to be proud of;
  • and that an essential part of the job of a leader is to create and preserve a workplace that’s a more civilized and satisfying place to work than it was when he or she found it.

A civilized workplace is one where people have the time and freedom to do their jobs to the best of their ability. No one is bullied or hassled by some boss high on ego and testosterone. Leaders trust their subordinates to do what they’re paid to do; and subordinates trust their leaders to act with their interests in mind as well as the firm’s profits (and the executives’ stock options).

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It’s a place where the pay is fair in relation to the nature of the work, and raises are awarded to those who deserve them, not based on some arbitrary formula designed more to cut costs than recognize merit. People aren’t expected to ruin the rest of their lives and relationships to save the boss’s butt or make the business look good in the eyes of some Wall Street hacks. In a civilized workplace, work/life balance has real meaning; and those that choose to honor parts of their lives outside of work aren’t immediately marked down as “lacking commitment.”

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Civilized workplaces are good to be in. Productivity is high, because people enjoy what they do and put a lot of themselves into their work. There’s a sense of fun, as well as deep purpose. Lots of people want to work there; talented ones easily choose to stay. You can feel the difference when you walk through the door, just as you can feel instantly the hostility, depression and frustration in a workplace run on Enron-type, pseudo-scientific, neo-Taylorist principles and executive arrogance.

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So how civilized is your organization? To find out, hop over to Slow Leadership and try the quiz. Maybe your organization will come out smelling of roses. Maybe it won’t. Whatever the outcome, I hope the quiz will help you think about what you might need to do, in your own leadership sphere, to increase the level of civilization in your bit of the workplace.

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Adrian Savage is a writer, an Englishman and a retired business executive. He lives in Tucson, Arizona. You can read his serious thoughts most days at Slow Leadership, the site for everyone who wants to bring back the taste, zest and satisfaction to leadership; and his crazier ones at The Coyote Within.

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Last Updated on October 9, 2018

How to Write a Personal Mission Statement to Ensure Peak Productivity

How to Write a Personal Mission Statement to Ensure Peak Productivity

Most of you made personal, one sentence resolutions like “I want to lose weight” or “I vow to go back to school.” It is a tradition to start the New Year with things you want to achieve, but under the influence resolutions are often unrealistic.

If you’re wondering when will be a good time to write a mission statement, NOW is the time to take a personal inventory to make this year your most productive year ever. You may be asking yourself, “How am I going to do that?” You, my friends, are going to write personal mission statements.

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A large number of corporations use mission statements to define the purpose of the company’s existence. Sony wants to “become the company most known for changing the worldwide poor-quality image of Japanese products” and 3M wants “to solve unsolved problems innovatively”. A personal mission statement is different than a corporate mission statement, but the fundamentals are the same.

So why do you need one? A personal statement will help you identify your core values and beliefs in one fluid tapestry of content that you can read anytime and anywhere to stay on task toward success.

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For example, Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire came to the realization that he had lost track of what was important to him. After writing a personal mission statement, we saw him start his own business and he got the girl, Renee Zelleweger. Not bad, wouldn’t you say? A personal mission statement will make sure that, through all the texting, emailing and constant bombardment of on-the-go activity, you won’t lose sight of what is most important to you.

Mission statements can be simple and concise while others are longer and filled with detail. The length of your personal mission statement will not be determined until you follow this simple equation to create your motivational springboard for 2008.

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To begin your internal cleansing, you will need to jot down the required information in the following five steps:

  1. What are your values? Values steer your actions and determine where you spend time, energy, and most importantly, money. Be specific and unique to yourself. Too much generalization will not be as effective. It is called a “personal” mission statement for a reason.
  2. What are three important goals you hope to achieve this year? Keep your list of important goals small and give them a date. It is better to focus on the horizon and not the stars. Realistic goals are keys to ultimate success.
  3. What image do you hope to project to yourself? How you see yourself is how the world will view you. Think about this carefully. Your image should encompass what you look like and feel after you have achieved your goals.
  4. Write down action statements from each value describing how you will use those values to achieve your three goals. Start with “I will…”
  5. Rewrite your statement to include only your action statements. Make portable copies for your wallet, car or office.

If you followed the steps above, congratulations! You have just written your first personal mission statement. Your personal statement will change over the years as your goals change. You can have more than one statement for the different compartments of your life such as your career, family, marriage, etc.

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Writing a personal mission statement is an effective method to ensure your productivity is at its peak. It is an ideal tradition to start so that when next year rolls around, the outdated practice of resolutions will be something you permanently left in the past.

Featured photo credit: Álvaro Serrano via unsplash.com

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