Culture Cast – What to Do When Your Personal Life Impacts Your Professional Life

Personal leadership Podcast

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In season 3, episode 12, Lorne and Lynette discuss how our personal and professional lives are blending together more and more. Life happens and sometimes it’ll have an impact on our responsibilities at work. Here are steps that leaders, organizations and team members can take to support co-workers and help them navigate when life events happen.

All that and more in this episode of Culture Cast.

Please feel free to subscribe to this YouTube channel, follow this podcast on Soundcloud, as well as iTunes, and Lorne and Lynette’s social media platforms for all the latest Culture Cast uploads and announcements.

Lorne Rubis is available @LorneRubis on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Lynette Turner is available on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn as well as through her site, LynetteTurner.com.

We look forward to sharing Season 3 of Culture Cast: Conversations on Culture and Leadership with you every Wednesday.

How Much Work is Too Much Work?  

Abundance Accountability Personal leadership Respect

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Problem: How much is too much work? What does work balance really mean? I was struck by what Jack Ma, the billionaire CEO behind Alibaba, had to say to Chinese workers about the merits of working 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week (996). He essentially told them it was their good fortune and that they should be grateful. That has sparked quite a conversation because Alibaba’s work culture is considered by some outside observers as lousy, perhaps even abusive.

Story: Almost simultaneously, the following video by Mark Berg, a frustrated, millennial, Minnesota family dairy farmer, went viral on Facebook. It’s almost six minutes long, and very much worth a watch. Mark tearfully expresses how his parents have less now than when they started farming 40 years ago. The only reason their dairy farm hasn’t gone under is because the life savings of this frugal family have supplemented their mounting farm debt. The irony is that a dairy farmer’s work life is 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week. This makes Alibaba workers look like slackers. When Mark’s mom, now in her 60’s, recently talked to the CEO of a milk producer about the Berg’s financial struggles, the suggestion was that perhaps Mrs. Berg get a part-time job to help makes ends meet. Hmm. There is something very wrong with this picture.

What We Can Do About It:

  1. We may need to open ourselves to other business and economic models that offer more equal wealth distribution. 
  2. I’d encourage you to read the following article by Nobel laureate  in economics, Joseph E. Stiglitz
  3. The saving grace in Berg’s situation is that they “love their frickin cows.” Having a deep purpose helps soften the relentless work. However, deep purpose alone will not overcome the dysfunction of fear related to not having enough to look after our basic human needs. Sharing more of the wealth will make us all richer. 

Think Big, Start Small, Act Now.

– Lorne

One Millennial View: What a complicated issue. It’s tough to see such hard working people not seeing an ROI, despite their enormous efforts. I wonder if viral videos like the one above will raise awareness to bring some more profit to local farmers.

– Garrett

Blog 981

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis

Lead In With Lorne – What Would You Like Your Title to be at Work?

Personal leadership Podcast

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If you had your choice, what would you like your title at work to be? It’s short and sweet, in this episode, Lorne discusses how companies like Marvel give employees titles like “Head of Boom.” How cool is that? What if your organization did something similar?

Enjoy it on the YouTube video embedded below, or audio listeners can hear it on SoundCloud now too (iTunes coming in the near future). We hope it enriches your Monday!

Kindly subscribe to the YouTube channel and SoundCloud to make sure you start your week with a leadership story.

Lorne Rubis is available @LorneRubis on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Hot Topic Friday: April 19

Abundance Accountability Friday Newsletter Respect

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Happy Friday everyone! Here are some Hot Topics that caught my attention this week.

Hot Topic 1: Phone Love!

Source: New York Times,  Samantha Irby, comedy writer.

What it’s About: Irby writes a brilliant, somewhat tongue-in-cheek article about how we love our phones in spite of everything we know to be harmful about our relationship with them. The following excerpt is a taste of her earthy perspective: “I have long understood that I am a tiny, powerless cog in the wheel of modern America, plus I’m not a hacker, so what do I even know about keeping things hidden? Is it even possible for me, a regular person who cannot figure out how to program the television remote, to circumvent the eyes of all of the faceless technology corporations analyzing my information? What am I going to do, cheat Amazon? Outsmart Google? No, I’m going to do what everyone else does: enter my credit card information when prompted and get that thing I need two days from when I decided I needed… Yes, your phone is potentially hazardous to whatever semblance of security you might have. Yes, there are many medical professionals who would attest to the deleterious effect modern technology has on the brains and interpersonal skills of adults. But hear me out: Maybe it’s worth it?…”

Why it’s Important: For those of us who design experiences in the world of work, I believe we need to pay very close attention to Irby’s honest self-reflection. In spite of all the hazardous issues to our security and physical/mental well being, we are likely to increase our love affair with our phones. 5G, Moore’s law, and a host of other exponential technology and content explosion will make us even more “one.” It’s our job to embrace and humanize for the greater good, rather than wish for a breakup.

Hot Topic 2: 996.ICU, Have We Lost Our Way Regarding “Success?”

Source: Reuters, ARYNEWS.tv.

What it’s About: Alibaba Group founder and billionaire, Jack Ma, defended the grueling overtime work culture at many of China’s tech companies, calling it a “huge blessing” for young workers. In a speech to Alibaba employees, Ma defended the industry’s “996” work schedule, which refers to the 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. workday, six days a week. “I personally think that being able to work 996 is a huge blessing,” he said in remarks posted on the company’s WeChat account. ‘Many companies and many people don’t have the opportunity to work 996,’ Ma said. ‘If you don’t work 996 when you are young, when can you ever work 996?… Let me ask everyone, if you don’t put out more time and energy than others, how can you achieve the success you want?’”

Why it’s Important: This 996 perspective as an expectation and assumption for so-called “success,” may roll off the tongue of a billionaire a little too glibly. This month, activists on Microsoft’s GitHub, the online code repository site, launched a project titled “996.ICU” where tech workers listed Alibaba among the companies ranked as having some of the worst working conditions. 996 is even being questioned in China, where an opinion piece published in a state newspaper argued that 996 violated China’s Labor Law, which stipulates that average work hours cannot exceed 40 hours per week. I think thoughtful leaders have to challenge the narrow definition of “success,” and confront the assumptions underlying 996. At what cost? For whose benefit? Let’s have a rich and meaningful conversation on this. Jack Ma offers just one world view. Let’s hear others’.

My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):

Montemajor ‘Quattronotti’ Appassimento Special Edition Puglia Italy 2017.  

Picture and ratings provided by Vivino.

And finally! Here’s Cecil’s Bleat of the Week!

 “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” – 
Anais Nin

[Cecil is the mascot for LorneRubis.com] 

Bye for now!

– Lorne Rubis

Incase you missed it:

Monday’s Lead In podcast.

Tuesday’s blog.

Wednesday’s Culture Cast podcast.

Also don’t forget to subscribe to our site, and follow Lorne Rubis on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for the latest from our podcasts, blogs, and all things offered on LorneRubis.com.

Culture Cast – Don’t Plateau When You’re at the Top of Your Game

Personal leadership Podcast

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In season 3, episode 11, Lorne and Lynette discuss what to do when we’re at the top of our game, and how to personally and professionally advance. Even if you’re getting great reviews, if you’re doing the same thing over and over, it’s time to pivot and get messy. Whether you want to or not, you can’t sit still, because the world is not sitting still around you.

Although it’s important to appreciate when things are going well in our careers, that’s when we need to keep an eye out for the next, uncomfortable, challenging path forward. Here are some ideas how to reframe your thinking when you’re professionally plateauing.

Please feel free to subscribe to this YouTube channel, follow this podcast on Soundcloud, as well as iTunes, and Lorne and Lynette’s social media platforms for all the latest Culture Cast uploads and announcements.

Lorne Rubis is available @LorneRubis on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Lynette Turner is available on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn as well as through her site, LynetteTurner.com.

We look forward to sharing Season 3 of Culture Cast: Conversations on Culture and Leadership with you every Wednesday.

Don’t Be an Ass!

Abundance Accountability Personal leadership Respect

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Problem: Organizations can often be too vague and wishy washy regarding expectations of employee behavior. I think most organizations want to state values positively, and I support that general direction. However, sometimes we just have to be more direct. I believe the “DO NOT DO THIS” approach is more straightforward and impactful to help each of us comprehend the seriousness underlying an expectation.

Story: I recently attended Unreasonable Future, a phenomenal conference including emerging entrepreneurs, mentors, and experts. It is organized by the Unreasonable Group and participants are asked to read and sign a “Community Manifesto,” which includes nine value statements. The Unreasonable Group deeply believes that having every member follow these values, is foundational for successful gatherings. Most of the manifesto is expressed as “do’s.” However a couple, including the following, are “do not’s.” My favorite is value V.

“V. Don’t be an Ass: Our programs are centered around a belief that diverse perspectives and experiences lead to breakthroughs. Though you may not always agree with others, we ask that you seek understanding, and acceptance over judgment. When you disagree, get curious. Don’t be mean. Be kind.”

What We Can Do About It:

  1. ALL of us can embrace and commit to: “Don’t be an ASS!” Let’s just do it.
  2. I think every organization should be explicit, and include Unreasonable’s “don’t be an ASS” statement. (I’m sure they would be flattered). This also involves giving people immediate feedback and peer coaching when we behave like asses, (and we all occasionally act jerky even if we don’t recognize when we do it).
  3. We all can do this, can’t we? “Don’t be mean. Be Curious. Be Kind.” How hard is that? Harder than we think if we don’t declare, and then call it out.

Think Big, Start Small, Act Now.

– Lorne

One Millennial View: I think this is ultimately great. However, I think we should also have the trust and accountability to assume most people are not intentionally attempting to be asses very often. Part of not being an ass is also not jumping to conclusions, and immediately blaming or shaming others for their behaviors. I’d say, “Don’t be mean. Be Curious. Be Kind. And be a little tough skinned too.”

– Garrett

Blog 980

Edited and published by Garrett Rubis