The Best-Half Newsletter

"There is one prerequisite to managing the second half of your life:
You must begin doing so long before you enter it." Peter Drucker

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January 2009
I don't follow the stock market all that carefully - especially now. But I see that several talking heads are saying we should be investing in value stocks.
Value is a very subjective term. And I am not sure I could pick a value stock with any degree of accuracy. We did buy Nortel years ago when it was set loose by Bell. I guess a lot of us thought it was pretty valuable... and so one man's treasure is truly anothers trash.
If we are looking at building value or picking value I would go with the companies and organizations that are being very strategic about people and their roles. For building value in your business the best place to look is with the assets you currently have - your employees. A recent article in the Globe and Mail by Wallace Immen titled: You're valuable to us - it's not just lip service, warns managers that in tough economic times unhappy employees who might be sharpening their interview skills are instead coming to work. Immen also uses a term I have not previously heard: presenteeism. It's where employees show up but don't perform with any enthusiasm.  
We also hear about the group that is postponing retirement by on average 6 years. I suspect that some of them will treat this new retirement deadline by checking out early but still showing up - a new definition of an early retirement package.
One prescription detailed in the article is to get people feeling more committed or engaged to their work. We can work toward this by having people focus on value and the benefits they can provide to others when they are working in a state of "high value." In a study reported on in the Journal of Gerentological Nursing, Val Kinjerski reports on a recent University of Alberta study involving health care workers. The research compared job satisfaction and attendance of two groups, one who attended a day long workshop and eight weekly one hour follow-up sessions and another that did not. The topic of the workshops and coaching sessions was value to others and to the organization. Results of the efforts included a 23% increase in team work, and a 17% jump in workplace morale against pre-event statistics.
I would like to propose a new index made up of companies that are not laying off people like a grocery store discounts fruits and vegetables that are past their prime. What companies are realizing that this current calamity will pass? The horizon has lots of big dangers ahead for organizations that are running out of skilled, smart people in marketing, science, accounting and management. Who is investing in developing their people instead of getting them to work 4 days a week and who is stocking up the pantry with high value performers that will be the leaders of tomorrow? Those are my value stocks.

Are you truly contributing?

Are you a part of the Circle of Contribution?

Recently while coaching an individual using Best-Half, we had a discussion centering on how to make this individual's life more meaningful to them. One of their suggestions was that maybe they should look at volunteering. While on its own volunteering is a very worthwhile activity, this individual was looking to manage an already busy life including a new baby, significant health issues, full time work and a blended family.
This got me thinking about the difference between doing and contributing. It is the act of contributing that can be highly fulfilling. We may be volunteering but are we contributing?

Are we using our skills, resources and instincts to contribute?
What would happen if we set about trying to consciously make a contribution in the lives of others?

If we care about the world we are going to make it a priority to contribute to the common good. This is the nature of a community.

At the heart of contribution is a bond or a recognition as well as a give and take that implies a relationship, since it's through relationships that most of us make our contributions to the world. You may have a desire to do good as most of us do but can't manage the physical, spiritual or participatory part of contributing. Or can you?

We have the opportunity to live our legacy and make a difference in our daily life through our contributions. How have you made a contribution in the lives of those you have touched? Someone you have worked with? Where have you made a difference? Have you performed a "random act of kindness" or spoken a kind word? How have you contributed to the world, your work place, your family, partner and friends?
A contribution can be a very small gesture that can make an incredible difference in both the life of someone else and your own life. I started before Christmas to consciously make a contribution to brighten the lives of others by doing one simple thing - saying thank you, making eye contact and meaning it, with store clerks, waiters, the mail lady, anyone I came in contact with. The reactions were interesting to say the least. On several occasions there simply was no reaction. But when there was - big smiles, thanks, and a sensation of making a connection with another person that would help them get through a pretty tough day (for example customer service returns people at Canadian Tire). I also made a contribution to my own sense of well being.

Contributing generally leads to a feeling of fulfillment. That fulfillment goes back out an expression of gratitude and translates into a sense of both prosperity and peace.

The world is pretty busy right now with various causes, offerings, opportunities, you name it. I wonder if there might be room for a circle of contribution. We could start small - just you and me.
I really want to thank you for reading this. I really appreciate it and I look forward to the feedback I receive.

When you cease to make a contribution, you begin to die.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Are you ready to live your legacy?
The Best-Half puts people  in touch with what really matters to them at any stage of their career and shows them how to dream, find purpose, new meaning and engagement in both their life at work and home. - hint: it's all about legacy, possibility  and resiliency! For employers the Best-Half provides a process for dialogue between the employee and the organization allowing for effective medium and long range resource planning and succession throughout the entire spectrum of an individual's career.

Call us if you want to help your people plan for the future so you know who and what talent you can count on. It's going to be here before you know it (the future that is...)