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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why England Will Miss David Beckham

Here is what the US press is saying about David Beckham's recent injury:

'The England squad is going to miss David Beckham, out at least six months due to surgery on his torn Achilles tendon. For all of his wealth, celebrity lifestyle and flair, Beckham is one of the most dedicated athletes in the sport, a team player of great pride and humility. This would have been his fourth World Cup.....Character, to say the least, is not England's strong suit just now. The London press has detailed countless indiscretions tainting the team's reputation, and Beckham has always relished the leadership role. He has no logical successors on that front.'


Patriots Addressing Leadership Questions

Vince Wilfork is an NFL player with the New England Patriots. He recently signed a 5 year $40 million contract extension. At the time of the new contract announcement, Wilfork made it clear that he would play his part in addressing the leadership questions which have surrounded the New England franchise in the last year.

He said he would have no trouble taking care of the “bad seeds” in the New England locker room, and demanding accountability from his teammates.

“As players, we’re going to have to start in the offseason training, and basically, everybody is going to have to be accountable,” Wilfork said. “If you’re on the field, you have to give me 100. You have to give me 100 percent. Always. We have to weed out the bad seeds, point blank. If you can’t give me what I’m giving you on the field, I don’t need you on the field with me. Point blank. That’s how you win."

“You got to build trust. Show me that I can trust you. I have no problem, if a guy’s not giving me that, I have no problem telling that guy I don’t need him on the field, and I have no problem going to tell Bill (Belichick, the coach) I don’t want him on the field. That’s point blank.”

Just this past week, at least 40 players were in attendance at Gillette Stadium for the Patriots’ first day of voluntary offseason workouts, which is a great attendance figure. These camps are typically attended by younger players, and veteran absences aren’t out of the ordinary. Yet, after what Wilfork said about wanting to help the team improve its leadership, it comes across as a positive sign that he was among the large group of players who showed up to Gillette. Players often rave about how these offseason workouts go a long way toward the team-building process.

The words and actions of Wilfork will do a lot to help reinforce the positive locker room infrastructure that existed when the Patriots won three Super Bowls in four seasons.


Leadership is the Surest Route to Joy at Work

Here are some clues about the importance of happiness and joy at work. On a recent Gallup Healthways survey of 100,000 Americans, business owners outrank 10 other occupations in overall well-being, despite working longer hours and earning slightly less, on average, than professionals and managers/executives, who rank second and third. The surprising fourth is farming, fishing, and forestry, despite the lowest income of any group. (Maybe not surprising, given how many US leaders unwind by fishing or brush-cutting.) More confined service, clerical, transportation, and manufacturing workers are at the bottom, in the low 40s on Gallup's 100-point well-being index compared to over 70 for business owners.

Autonomy, influence, and a sense of meaning are associated with lower stress and fewer work-related illnesses, regardless of hours worked. Supervisors are better-off than the supervised, and entrepreneurs are the best-off of all.

This suggests that exerting leadership is the surest route to joy (other than going fishing). The key is setting the agenda and starting the pieces moving towards a purpose-driven goal. If 90% of success in life is just showing up, Monster.com founder Jeff Taylor advises that when you show up, you might as well run the meeting.

So here is our list of top ways to find joy at work.

10. Identify long-term personal purpose. Write a personal mission statement, to review often. 
9. Be an entrepreneur from anywhere. Even if you don't start a business (now), imagine starting a project that will improve your current job, workplace, or community. 
8. Discuss the idea informally to find others feeling the same way. Enlist them in the quest. Now they're counting on you not to let them down. Describe it as an experiment that will benefit others. Incorporate feedback so that others hear their ideas in yours. 
7. Get a ‘big name’ to endorse giving it a try.
6. Negotiate out of demands that don't contribute to the goal. Keep doing what you must to keep your job, but simplify. 
5. Find every supporter a task, however small. Show that you're working for their goals, too. 
4. Widen the circle of the informed. Involve people not usually included. 
3. Remain positive. Smiling takes fewer muscles than frowning and is contagious. Ignore sceptics unless easily converted. 
2. As the bits of the cube start moving, keep communicating and coordinating. 
1. Celebrate each ‘eureka’ moment of accomplishment. Share the joy to multiply it. More jobs with more joy - now that's an agenda the public should rally behind. Let's not wait for employers to make changes, necessary as those are. A few good ‘eureka’ moments can keep us going - and influence employers to see why joy matters.