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Our oldest son, Hayden, turns 16 next month and this evening he completed his first shift at the local McDonald’s.

He spent the whole evening on cleaning duties, being taught how to complete the various tasks.

When I picked him up at the end of his shift, he had a smile on his face and a spring in his step.

He loved the work.

He enjoyed the interactions with his new peers.

He’s keen to keep learning more and more.

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What if that career you’ve chosen doesn’t work out?

You’ve spent years trying to decide what to do with your life.

You’ve thought about it, prayed about it, made choices to move towards it.

You’ve finally made it and you should be happy, but somehow it’s all gone pear-shaped.

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You won’t work where you are forever.

One day you’ll resign, be made redundant or retire and will have the opportunity to look back at the months or years that you spent there.

Will you be able to point to the improvements that you made?

Your contribution to the development of others?

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I hope that you fulfill the requirements of your job description.

Delivering projects, meeting deadlines, hitting KPI’s.  They’re all important.

But in addition to that, I also hope that you do some things for free.

You don’t get paid extra to be enthusiastic, but that’s not a good enough reason not to be.

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Some people have to wear high visibility clothing at work so that they don’t get run over by a truck or a forklift.

It keeps them safe.

Some people like to be highly visible at work because they yearn for recognition, for attention, for status.

It feeds their confidence.

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Find-something-you-wantOne of the books that I’m reading at the moment is Michael Caine’s “Blowing the Bloody Doors Off.” When discussing the early part of his own career, he gives the following advice:

Find something you want to do and learn how to do it really well. Take what you’ve got and make the most of it…

He then goes on to say: Read the rest of this entry »

When Scottish comedian, Billy Connolly, was contemplating leaving the docklands of Glasgow to start a career as a musician, Bugsy, one of the older workers asked him when he was going to quit his day job.

After discussing the peril of delaying his departure, the older man said,

“Believe me, there’s nothing worse than being an old man, still in here, thinking about what you could have done if you had got out when you were young.”

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It seems obvious that a doctor who cares will be able to provide a better standard of care to her patients.

And a leader with passion will be much more effective at influencing the people around him.

A chef who loves cooking will be able to deliver a higher level of flavour and presentation.

And a customer service representative who smiles and engages with her clients will be able to create memorable and positive experiences.

An enthusiastic teacher can inspire an entire classroom.

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Humans have a range of unique abilities.

To tell compelling stories that connect.

To listen to the wonderful stories of others.

To display empathy.

To genuinely care.

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There was a time when employees committed to an organisation for life.

They went to work, got their job done, dusted themselves off and went home.

What they did there didn’t really matter.

What matters is that they turned up and did what they were supposed to do.

They followed the manual, they did it by the book.

But that’s changed.

We’re no longer committed to an organisation for life.

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