Tag Archives: motivation

TNF #122: I love my job

Welcome Professionals…

…Last week I wrote about the elementary frame conditions one should choose wisely to enjoy flow and happiness within the profession. Today, I am taking a different perspective.

Regardless of how well we have made our choices, often we loose sight of the benefits. They get normal over time and we tend to focus on the next big problem to solve. It is important that we regularly review what runs well in our professional life and not to be overwhelmed by the issue management of day-to-day work.

There is a great exercise to create this level of awareness. Tonight, I will hold a speech to alumni of my former employer. They want to know how I got into my new profession and why I enjoy it. While I prepared my speech and rehearsed it, I became more and more aware of what I love about my job. Strong motivation kicked in.

So next time you meet your spouse or a friend, don’t get into complaining about workload, stubborn clients or helpless team members. Instead, tell them what you love about your current job. If you don’t have anything to say, well, that is probably a case for change. If you can list a few things and make yourself aware of them, they will certainly be a strong motivator and energy source.

Need to run to the alumni event –

Malte

Thursday Night Flight is brought to you by Malte Müller Professionals. Sharing best practices for top management consultants on topics like communication, client handling, problem solving, appearance, and fitness. Check out www.mm-professionals.com for more material and free resources!

TNF #103: Deadline

Welcome Professionals…

…Recently I overheard somebody saying: “I must meet this deadline or my boss will kill me!” I was cringing when I heard so much negativity condensed in one single sentence. From a motivational standpoint this is the worst formulation of thought. Think about the elements of this sentence.deadline

I must”: Nobody must do anything in our rich part of the world. We all must die some day. Thats all. The rest we can choose.

…meet this deadline…”: I actually looked up the word deadline, because I wondered where it comes from. Here’s what I found on Wiktionary: “According to the Oxford English Dictionary, early usage refers simply to lines that do not move, such as one used in angling. Slightly later American usage refers to a boundary in a prison […] beyond which prisoners were shot.” I never really liked the word deadline, but now I think it is disgusting.

…or my boss…”: This is an externalized motivation. Our protagonist is doing it for somebody else, someone of higher authority. This induces a feeling of low self-worth.

…will kill me!”: Clearly an exaggeration from my point of view. Other than prisoners in the original meaning of the term deadline, employees will barely get shot by their boss for crossing the deadline. Thinking about the act of killing will certainly be a severe threat that is completely inappropriate for this kind of problem.

You may call my analysis of this one sentence hairsplitting. And you may be right. My point is: Words matter! Let’s think twice before we use such a desperate sentence again. First of all for the sake of our own souls. Second for the people around us – our team mates, clients, and bosses, too.

Wishing you freedom of thought,

Malte

Thursday Night Flight is brought to you by Malte Müller Professionals. Sharing best practices for top management consultants on topics like communication, client handling, problem solving, appearance, and fitness. Check out www.mm-professionals.com for more material and free resources!

TNF #097: Make a list

Welcome Professionals…

… When is the last time that you have made a list of your achievements?

It is a useful exercise that can significantly increase our energy levels. Psychologists have scientifically proven that we feel happier when we write down three items that we are grateful for each night. The increased happiness is recognizeable already after a few iterations, usually after 10 – 20 days.

I got reminded of this fact when I was talking to a CEO recently. He told me how tough the market was and that he was trying hard with his team to acquire clients. He told me about the expectations of his shareholders and his day-to-day struggles when things were not developing as planned. He said something like “I wonder why I am still in this position”.list

Later in the talk, when he took a list out of his drawer, he immediately lighted up. He had made a list of all the clients the company had won since he entered the company. I could see how this list changed his mood completely from sarcasm to confidence. He took pride in explaining the list and the stories behind the wins. He closed with the words “actually we have already achieved a lot”.

It is a common theme. We focus day in, day out on the gap between our status quo and our target. For each problem solved, the second biggest problem will take the spot of the first one. This can get quite exhausting. It is good to look back from time to time and take stock of our achievements.

I have this feeling everytime I prepare a list of reference projects for a proposal. It gives me a boost in my energy, confidence, and motivation. Recently, I met a consultant who took stock of all her client contacts over the last 5 years. She filled 18 pages with clients sorted into companies which were then categorized by industries. She had two findings: She wanted to build more focus and she won more confidence that she will succeed in this.

Try it, make a list!

Malte

Thursday Night Flight is brought to you by Malte Müller Professionals. Sharing best practices for top management consultants on topics like communication, client handling, problem solving, appearance, and fitness. Check out www.mm-professionals.com for more material and free resources!