It’s been five months since we welcomed Schooner and Katy into our lives. Since then, we’ve drastically altered the rhythm of our days in order to nurture them and keep our belongings from ending up as chew toys. We’ve cleaned up every kind of canine body waste, cajoled them through crate training, and unintentionally conditioned a salivary response to the iPhone camera. Through this process, I’m reminded of a Keith Cunningham quote, “Ordinary things consistently done produce extraordinary results.”
Everyday, twice a day, we walk them. During, we work on three simple commands: “Sit”, “Stay”, and “Leave it”. There’s no trick to it, no professional dog trainer – just consistency. The results have been fantastic. While they are technically still puppies, they can be trusted to follow our commands on and off the leash. People we meet along our walks can hardly believe how young and well-behaved they are.
And so I’m left wondering…how much more I could accomplish in life if I just consistently practiced three simple skills twice daily?
Schooner: The First 6 Months
Katy: The First 6 Months
So why don't I give a frack?
Since the gist of Oliver Segovia’s Harvard Business Journal article “To Find Happiness, Forget About Passion” conflicts with my beliefs on thriving, I was interested in this brainiac’s (HBS ’10) ideas. He argues we have to be solutionists – find a problem and solve it in order to be happy.
Putting problems at the center of our decision-making changes everything. It’s not about the self anymore. It’s about what you can do and how you can be a valuable contributor. People working on the biggest problems are compensated in the biggest ways. I don’t mean this in a strict financial sense, but in a deeply human sense.
What he fails to mention is that we aren’t going to be effective or even enjoy solving problems that we aren’t passionate about. I’ll use myself as an example. Fracking is a big deal right now in El Paso County. It’s has been linked to water pollution and earthquakes. But it offers opportunity to reduce unemployment and increase school budgets. According to Segovia, I should be eager to get educated on the local issue of fracking since it deals with two areas I care about: the environment and economic opportunity. So why doesn’t fracking push my happiness button?
Grant Crowell answers my question in his comment, “Segovia is short-sighted when he says for happiness, we should not rely on passion and instead focus on solving problems.” Crowell instead offers 5 P’s to focus our efforts in thriving:
1) Passion: the emotional drive and sense of self
2) Purpose: our need to be connected to something bigger than ourselves
3) Profit: because we need reward for motivation
4) People: because our network and relationship skills make us truly powerful
5) Push: giving as much as we have even when no one but us is paying attention
How Do You Thrive?
Fracking issues don’t fulfill the Ps for me: I’m ambivalent because I don’t see tangible or intangible reward to finding solutions – I have neither the network nor skill set to effect positive change. Thus, I can’t push myself to get going on the solutions. To thrive, I must focus in areas where I have the 5P’s.
What about you? Does your work fulfill the 5P’s?
The United States Olympic Committee has introduced measures to address the fact that its workforce is not reflective of the demographics of the Colorado Springs community where it is located. This diversity effort, commonly seen as an organizational best practice, is apparently not popular with Colorado Springs Gazette editorial page editor, Wayne Laugesen. Accompanying his critical article was the following online poll asking readers if the “USOC should give preference to minorities” as part of their hiring process.
However, Wayne’s polling question misleads us by confusing diversity efforts with affirmative action. Designed to bring institutions into compliance with the nondiscrimination mandate of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and thus create more opportunity for minorities and women, affirmative action has been employed by the use of quotas, or giving preference to a candidate based on minority status. Proponents of affirmative action see it as promoting equality while detractors see it as being unfair and unlawful.
Regardless of implementation, affirmative action along with Equal Employment Opportunity laws are designed to support diversity. They are not synonymous with it, as Laugeson’s polling language would suggest. Workforce diversity is a strategy for increasing an organization’s competitiveness in a global marketplace. Moreover, it is much harder to implement than the hiring quotas Wayne is suggesting: Attracting and retaining racial and ethnic minorities, females and people with different abilities requires committed effort and innovation. And, in the case of Wayne’s world, overcoming ignorance of the issue.