Vision Test

Like many good insurance plans, mine covers a once-a-year vision exam.  My cadence for this visit over the past few years has been to schedule it the last week of the year - easy to remember and just before the benefit expires.  

The standard eye test inevitably has you looking through an instrument called a phoropter  (also called a retractor).  This is the binocular looking device that you peer through as you read the eye chart and make super quick life-altering choices on visual clarity (my Deliberative friends must find this stressful).    

During my past few visits, my Futuristic (#3) has made an entrance by quizzing down the Optometrist Assistant about the seemingly antiquated instrument.  I seem to recall looking through this same exact measurement tool in 1968.  Surely with the technology of today, there would be an easier way to test our vision vs. a machine that was patented in 1921?  Perhaps an APP for that?

The answer has been the same.  The phoropter used to test how how pas…

The Rule of Three

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!

As a child, I recall racing across streets, tracks and swimming pools after this triad of commands.  The announcement still gets my adrenaline going.  This standard call at the beginning of races (and now blogs) is an example of what has become known as the "Rule of Three".   

The human mind likes to think in patterns and we naturally look for them in everything we do.  The number three is the lowest figure that can be used to form patterns in our mind.  Think about it.  The first instance of something happening comes down to chance and the second instance comes down to coincidence.  When it happens a third time it is a pattern.  

Scientists say that most people can easily recall 3 "chunks" of information at a time.  The Rule of Three is everywhere; Life, Liberty and Justice; Stop, Drop and Roll; Ready, Aim, Fire; Father, Son and Holy Spirit and who can forget Snap, Crackle, Pop!

Without even knowing about this rule, I have always found comfo…

Mind the Gaps

In the best selling book Zap the Gaps, author Ken Blanchard identifies methods to solve problems and achieve higher performance by focusing on GAPS;

Go for the "shoulds" (what we want to happen) 
Analyze the "is" (what is currently happening - this is where the "gaps" live) 
Pin down the cause (ask the right people the right questions) 
Select the right solution (match solutions with causes) 

Many organizations apply this "GAP" framework to Performance Management.  Leaders identify employee goals and desired individual performance ("shoulds"), scrutinize current and past contributions ("is"), identify competencies and areas in need of improvement (the cause) and prescribe solutions to fix weaknesses.  

This conventional  approach encourages employees to maintain areas of strength while focusing on fixing weaknesses.  The underlying assumption to this approach to Performance Management is that all behaviors can be learned.  If an em…

Fence Sitters

According to Gallup, there are three types of employees within every organization; those that are engaged, those that are not engaged and those that are actively disengaged.  To spot engaged employees in your company, look for these basic behaviors; 
Engaged employees are Involved.
Engaged employees are Committed.
Engaged employees are Enthusiastic.  
Actively disengaged employees are the polar opposite of engaged employees; not involved, not committed and enthusiastic about one thing; getting in the way of positive accomplishments.  
The majority of the workforce in America (and around the world) are balancing on the fence between being engaged and being actively disengaged.  These people are just waiting to be recruited to one side or the other.
Gallup research shows that companies that focus on improving employee engagement enjoy higher productivity, greater profitability, improved safety rates, lower turnover and increased customer satisfaction.  Engaged employees extend voluntary and d…

Peaks & Valleys

Being blessed with Positivity (#4 strength), I rarely dwell on professional set-backs or "valleys".  However, as my friends with Context (#30) will tell me, we can learn a lot about the present by researching the past.  

I recently attended our annual leadership planning meeting looking ahead to 2020.  We are fortunate to have a talented and resourceful Strategy & Insights team who put considerable thought into future trends, possible risks and potential opportunities for our Marketing & Sales division to explore.  I joke with the primary architect of this two-day conference that I consider it "shark week", feeding into my Strategic (#1)and Futuristic (#3) StrengthsFinder Talent Themes.

One of the presenters was a Vice-President with whom I have worked for many years.  I am not aware (yet) of his Top 5 Signature Talent Themes, but my strength-spotting senses indicate he is packing the dynamic duo of Communication (powerful presenter) and Intellection (thought…

Getting Engaged

According to 2018 Gallup research, 34% of U.S. workers are "engaged" in their work.  Engagement is measured by employee satisfaction, enthusiasm, involvement and commitment to work and the workplace.  
Engagement is very important within organizations.  High levels of engagement typically result in higher profitability and productivity, improved guest satisfaction and lower turnover.  Low engagement leads to complacency, toxicity and a revolving door of employees.  

When organizations achieve high levels of employee engagement, their team members themselves become their greatest competitive advantage.  

The core of my StrengthsFinder "crusade" has been my belief (Belief #6) that when employees can make a difference in their jobs by applying their natural and unique talents, they will be more fulfilled - or engaged - in their work and workplace.    

A deeper look at contributors to engagement shows that the group of leaders who can make or break engagement at work are a…

Strengths on Vacation

While the primary application of StrengthsFinder is at work, productive aiming of your natural talents occurs all of the time - including on vacation.  Chris Heinz recently wrote a blog called "How the 34 Strengths Do Disney".  Inspired by his post, I thought I would see how each StrengthsFinder Talent Theme might manifest themselves on the "Epic Side of Orlando" - at Universal Orlando.  Find your "Top 5" and see if I got it right.

Achiever: You make a list of 25 "must-do" rides, shows and attractions and check them off (physically or mentally) after experiencing them  
Activator: You get a digital advertisement for the Blue Man Group show and book it immediately   Adaptability: You have a 3 Park 3 Day ticket and wait until you arrive to pick the best weather day for Volcano Bay  Analytical: You do the math comparing the cost of staying  at Sapphire Falls plus purchasing Universal Express Passes or staying at Royal Pacific Resort which includes Univ…