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Looking at Work-Life from a Results-Based Perspective

“I would love to offer more flexibility, but I need people onsite to get work done.”

This is one of the most common statements I hear when managers attend one of my workplace flexibility seminars. For me, it can present a sticky situation since every work environment is different. While I don’t know your institution’s “face-time quotient” to ensure objectives are being met, I can ask one very simple question that can help move the work-life conversation along:  what are your deliverables? To rephrase: what are the key results you expect from your employee(s)?

If we know the results that are expected, then we can properly analyze if flex or alternative arrangements are appropriate for a position. Herein lies the problem – both managers and employees don’t always know what the deliverables are, therefore, when a work-life conversation comes up, it becomes difficult to make a strong case for or against flexibility and even more difficult to create a work plan that seems to be win-win.

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I Quit My Job Because My Company Didn’t Offer Zumba

I marched into my boss’s office poised, calm, and dedicated to my decision.  I couldn’t take it any longer.   It’s 2018 and I was in a work environment that was barbaric and absolutely opposite of everything I knew work-life balance was about.   It didn’t take me long to blurt out “I quit!”   My boss replied with the typical: “why?”

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Results Oriented Work Environments: The Way of the Future?

In some ways there is nothing new about the Results Oriented Work Environment (or ROWE).  High performing managers and firms have rewarded people for their output and results for a long time now.  That being said, ROWE marks a conscious effort to research and advocate for a different type of workplace arrangement.

What is ROWE? 

 ROWE is a human resource strategy that is based on output rather than hours.  It focuses on results and disregards the counting of minutes, lunch hours, and emails answered.  ROWE has one central objective: get your job done.  Want to take a few days off?  Do it.  Need to work 65 hours this week to get a job done right?  You should do that too.  Continue reading “Results Oriented Work Environments: The Way of the Future?”

5 QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU ANALYZE YOUR CAREER PATH IN STUDENT AFFAIRS

Most of us come into student affairs through some happy accident. Quite often, we were engaged as student-leaders and somehow discovered that we could get paid to do similar work.  My foray into student affairs came through athletics where I started as an assistant coach/hall director at a small private liberal arts college in Kansas. At the time I was going on the track to being a head coach. After a few years, athletic director seemed like a better fit. A few years after that I was just confused about what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to stay in student affairs, I just wasn’t sure where I fit in. It wasn’t until a mentor of mine posed these five questions to me that I was able to focus in on what I wanted and was able to make clearer career choices.

Question 1: Do you have any experience not related to your undergraduate interests? In other words, are you getting out of your comfort zone. I came into student affairs because of my experiences in athletics and helping to manage a fraternity house. I hadn’t done much outside of the athletic space. For me I stepped out of my comfort zone and took a position in academic advising to gauge fit and to expand my knowledge. This would prove to be critical experience for me years later when I ventured out of athletics and into graduate student success work. Continue reading “5 QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU ANALYZE YOUR CAREER PATH IN STUDENT AFFAIRS”

The Work-Life Resolutions You Need To Consider for 2018

It’s that magical time of year where you may indulge in Holiday parties, reconnect with loved ones, and begin to reflect on the year that was.  You are days away from setting your new year’s resolutions.  After all, you want to start 2018 off on the right foot, right?  Before you do that, I want you to consider some work-life resolutions in addition to those that center around losing weight, saving money, and taking that dream vacation.  Here they are.  In in 2018 I want you to consider these four resolutons:

  1. SPEND MORE!  That’s right, don’t save it; spend it!  If you think I am talking about money, then you are wrong.  I am talking about spending more TIME on whatever you value most.  If that value is family, spend more time with them.  If you feel like you don’t have enough time for a hobby, spend your time there!  Success with time (as it is with money) is most effective if you tell it where to go.  It’s as simple as conducting a simple analysis of time spent, finding the deficiencies, and making a change.  Not sure how to do that?  Click HERE to get my simple time analysis activity worksheet.
  2. INCREASE YOUR INVESTMENTS!  Buy low, sell high right?  Luckily you aren’t going to get stock advice from me.  2018 is the year you should consider investing more in yourself.  My recommendation is to invest in personal development that helps you build a skill set you want to strengthen.  This could be professional in nature such as getting strengths coaching or personal as in hiring a personal trainer.  There are countess possibilities but the most important part is to do it.  It doesn’t have to cost a lot but it does have to grow and stretch you.

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Walking My Talk! How Fatherhood Impacted My Own Work-Life Journey

It is 4:15 a.m.   I have just spent ten minutes haggling with a taxi cab company over how they forgot to pick me up to go to the airport.  It has been sorted out and I should still get there in plenty of time.  I crack open the door to my son Alessio’s nursery to catch a glimpse of him.  Somehow, through the darkness and the silhouette of stuffed monkey’s  and bears, I see his little head through the slats on the crib.  This will be my last glimpse of him before spending 4 days away at a seminar in Las Vegas. 

I pull myself away then check my email on my tablet to make sure I have all my bases covered at work.  I will have lots of things waiting for me when I return from the seminar: organizing a leadership conference, writing more of my dissertation, working on an article for a magazine, and conducting a 90 minute public speaking seminar just days after I return.

 My plate is definitely full.  

The cab pulls into the driveway.  I carry my own bags into the cab.  The cabby tells me it is his first night on the job and that he has never been to the airport before. 

I sigh deeply.  This is my life. Continue reading “Walking My Talk! How Fatherhood Impacted My Own Work-Life Journey”

3 Team-building Lessons I Learned Through Wrestling School

“Daddy, I want to join a wrestling class!”

One of the joys of being a parent is watching your child develop interests and habits.   When my son Alessio told me that he wanted to wrestle I was overjoyed.  I wasn’t even aware he liked wrestling until that moment.  After establishing that wrestling was not going to be filled with body slams, DDTs, and chair shots like on TV we agreed to continue with the process and research schools in the area.

We ended up visiting two schools to gauge fit.  It was in trying out schools that I was reminded of three simple principles that every organization should be incorporating if they seek to be an inclusive and high-performance work environment.  These observations came to me simply by noticing the stark difference between the Green (school we didn’t chose) and Blue (School we did choose) wrestling schools. Continue reading “3 Team-building Lessons I Learned Through Wrestling School”

WHAT MANAGERS, SPORKS, AND WORK-LIFE BALANCE HAVE IN COMMON (Part 1)

s a child of the 80s one of the commercials I remember most are for Campbell’s Chunky Soup.   The commercials were centered around a heated debate over whether Chunky Soup should be eaten with a fork (because it is so meaty you see) or a spoon (because that is what soup is meant to be eaten with).  My favorite of the ads featured WWE Superstars because as a child I was a WWF fanatic.   You can view that commercial here:
As much as I loved the commercials I never could decide until one day I saw a utensil that was both fork and spoon.  Enter: The Spork.    To me the Spork is the ultimate symbol of efficiency and adaptability.   It can do the job of 2 utensils and takes up less space.  More advanced models even have a small serrated knife blade on the side which increases its efficiency by 33%
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Managers have to be Sporks as they are called to do more with less and constantly seek out new ways of achieving results.  Spork management requires you to take two seemingly different things, find their commonality and blend them together.  A spoon is used to hold liquids, a fork to spear solids and yet they are both eating utensils so combining them makes sense.  A fork and chainsaw (Chork?  Fainsaw?) probably wouldn’t work as well.

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3 STRATEGIES TO FIND A BETTER FIT BETWEEN YOURSELF AND YOUR JOB

*Originally published in NASPA New Professionals and Graduate Students Newsletter

Student affairs work is great. I have always found it interesting, challenging, and rewarding. There are a multitude of job types within our profession that require different skillsets and abilities. As diverse the working world of student affairs is, finding the right job for you can be difficult. A job may seem fantastic on paper but once we start doing it….well we may quickly regret our choice. Conversely, we may agree to a job or project that we think is not ideal and discover that we love it. Six years ago, I would have never considered working with graduate students and yet I now find myself enjoying everything working with that population brings. Moreover, I also enjoy the culture of working in a graduate school and have found it is largely a better fit as it relates to both my professional and work-life needs. I was fortunate to find my optimal fit. To help you find optimal fit on your professional journey, here are three types of fit you need to consider during your career. These fits can help you in your current roles as much as it can during a job search. Continue reading “3 STRATEGIES TO FIND A BETTER FIT BETWEEN YOURSELF AND YOUR JOB”

FLAG ON THE PLAY! 4 QUICK TIPS TO ESTABLISHING WORK-LIFE BOUNDARIES

Have you ever felt like your professional and personal life overlapped in a way that bothered you?  Do your job duties interfere with your ability to have a balanced life (however you define it)? Almost all of us know how we want work and life to interact, but creating the ideal blend in reality can be difficult and frustration.  To aid you in this process, here are four quick tips to help you better define your work-life boundaries.

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