Quote of June 1, 2014

Ralph Waldo Emerson

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


A Foolproof Tool for Motivating Your Team (and Yourself)

Ten years ago, I was managing a team of talented marketers at Yahoo! when something unexpected happened. In a one-on-one meeting, a woman on my team said to me, “I wanted you to know that if I ever do a really good job, just pay me more money. I don’t care about recognition or awards and I’m not motivated by praise. If I do well, just give me a bonus or pay me more.”

I stuttered through a response while feeling a bit taken aback by her comments. They seemed, well, a little crass.

But then, as I thought about it more overnight, I realized something: if this team member hadn’t told me what motivated her, I’d likely never know. What’s worse, I might try to reward her for good work in a way that would be motivating for me but not at all for her, leaving her frustrated and less likely to perform well in the future. It would be a lose-lose situation.

In fact, I thought, if I wanted her to be happy and productive in her job, the most helpful tools I could have in order to ensure her happiness were the details of what motivated her. This is true in other relationships, too. It is often referred to as the “platinum” rule: instead of using the “golden” rule of treating other people as you would like to be treated, treat them as they would like to be treated.

(As a side note, this practice is also useful outside of work. Here’s one real example from my own life: I personally love to be doted on when I’m sick, while my husband generally likes to be left alone. For the first few years of our relationship, he ignored me when I was sick, and I fussed over him to no end. Both of us were upset, until we realized we were making faulty assumptions about what the other person wanted based on our own preferences. Now that we’ve figured this out, things work much better!)

So, based on this illuminating conversation at the office, I decided that the best way to keep people happy at work was to start directly asking all the people on my teams what motivated them. To do so effectively, I created a tool: The Motivational Pie Chart. (Yes, it’s a pie chart, not real pie, so apologies to those who thought this would be an article about motivating your team with pie. Though, to be honest, that certainly works sometimes too….)

Using the tool is easy. You just follow these three steps:

Write down categories for everything that motivates you at work: recognition, money, learning new things, etc. You can write as many or as few things as you want and there are no pre-set categories. Anything that matters to you can go on your list.

Give each category a percentage weighting in order of its importance to you. The total weightings should add up to 100%, thus giving you a comprehensive pie chart of the things that motivate you.

Use a “red, yellow, green” color coding system to rate how satisfied you currently are with each of the categories on the list. If you are very satisfied with your compensation, give it a green. If you are completely dissatisfied with how challenged you feel in your job, give that a red, and so on.

If you are using the tool as a manager, the next step is to have an open conversation with each person on your team to talk about ways you can work together to “get them to green” on all of their categories. If you are using the tool for yourself, it can help you think about steps to take to make yourself happier at work, including thoughts about whether you are in the right role or at the right company. The reason the tool is foolproof is because it starts with asking each individual what matters and then helping each person find ways to do more of what matters.

Since that original conversation, I’ve used this tool with nearly a thousand people at four companies, and I’ve learned two important things:

1. People are really different.

Perhaps it goes without saying, but vastly different things motivate different people. Every time I do this exercise, I encounter something new. I’ve heard everything from people being passionate about hobbies (rock climbing, singing, etc.) that require them to have flexible work hours, to people saying they are motivated by external recognition and wanting to be on the cover of a magazine. I would never have known about these specific motivators for people if I hadn’t invited them to share. Good managers understand that the individuals on their teams are just that: individuals, with different interests and needs.

2. People are more similar than you’d think.

Despite all those differences, I’ve seen common patterns emerge that point at a few key motivational factors for most people.

They want “worthwhile work,” so they can know they’re doing something important and deserving of their time and energy.

They want to understand how their personal contribution is important to the goals of the organization.

They want to work with a team of people they admire and care about.

They want to learn new things and feel challenged by their jobs.

Are those common patterns surprising? They were for me at first. Perhaps partly because of that initial wake-up conversation I had at Yahoo!, I thought classic motivators like title and compensation would come up more, but for most people, they seem to make up a much smaller portion of the motivational pie.

The exception, of course, is that when people feel they are being paid significantly less than they are worth, they will often cite money as their top motivator. It’s analogous to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: once people feel their basic needs are being met financially, and that they are paid fairly for their capabilities, then they quickly move on to focusing on motivators like meaning, collegiality and learning. Note that the pie chart can and does change over time. That is to be expected – just as our careers change, so do our motivations.

This tool can be incredibly useful, both for productive conversations between managers and their direct reports and at the company level to extract patterns of what matters across large numbers of your staff. At Change.org, we’ve taken these patterns of common motivators and built them into our company culture. To connect people to worthwhile work, we host an all-team call once a week where everyone in the company joins to share and learn about the incredible impact our 40 million users are making every day around the world. To help with building connections with colleagues and learning new things, we are starting a program to encourage staff members to shadow someone from another team for the day to build stronger relationships while picking up new skills. And we’re taking learning a step further, giving each employee access to free language training. (With staff in 18 countries, it’s also an essential team-building initiative!)

How could your company use the motivational pie chart to improve how it serves its employees? How could you use it personally or as a manager? Share your plan in the comments – and if you do give the chart a shot, let me know afterward what motivates you and your teams!

Source: Jennifer Dulski @jdulski

Jennifer Dulski is president and COO of Change.org, the world’s largest platform for social change. With 40 million users around the world, Change.org empowers people everywhere to create the change they want to see.

Hard Rock Cafe ® Tupelo Style Chicken

Hard Rock Cafe

The world’s most famous theme restaurant pays tribute to the birthplace of Elvis Presley with this chicken finger appetizer dish, and two tasty dipping sauces. It’s probably best they chose to name the dish after a city, rather than after the King himself. “Elvis Style Chicken” sounds like a concoction that should include bananas, peanut butter and bacon grease.

4 to 6 cups vegetable oil

Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/2 teaspoons prepared mustard
2 teaspoons honey
pinch paprika

Apricot Dipping Sauce
2 tablespoons Grey Poupon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon apricot preserves
2 tablespoons honey

1 cup corn flake crumbs
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
dash garlic
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 pound chicken breast fillets

How to make

  1. Preheat oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees.
  2. Make the honey mustard dipping sauce by combining the ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate. Make the apricot dipping sauce by combing those ingredients in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate this sauce as well, until your chicken is ready.
  3. Prepare the breading by combining the corn flake crumbs, crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, paprika, onion powder, and garlic in a medium bowl.
  4. Beat the egg in a medium bowl, add the 1 cup of milk and stir.
  5. Pour the flour into another medium bowl.
  6. Slice each chicken breast lengthwise into strips approximately 1/2-inch wide.
  7. When the oil is hot, bread your chicken by first coating each strip with flour. Dip the chicken into the egg/milk mixture and then back into the flour. Dip each chicken strip back in the egg/milk mixture and then in the corn flake crumb mixture. Be sure to coat each chicken piece thoroughly with the corn flake crumbs.
  8. Fry 6 to 8 coated chicken strips at a time in the oil for 4 to 5 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown. Drain and serve chicken with the dipping sauces on the side.

Serves 6 to 8 as an appetizer.

Source: Assorted Secret Recipe

Green Tips for the House

  1. Weatherproof your doors and windows to prevent drought and heat loss.
  2. Consider insulating your walls and attic. Use only eco-friendly insulation materials like cork, sheeps wool or recycled
  3. newspaper.
  4. Install double-glazed windows if your house is not built in an overly wet place.
  5. Install solar panels and/or wind generator on the roof. In some regions (depends on solar activity and wind speed) a household can produce enough energy to be independent from the energy supplier. Also consider solar water heaters on the roof. It usually pays back within 5 years and lets you save several hundred pounds per year on heating bills.
  6. Check if feed-in tariffs are available in your country. There are 60 countries around the world that have introduced feed-in tariffs. It means that you install solar panels on your roof and get paid for the green energy the house generates. Check with your local council for more information.
  7. Raise your air-con thermostat in the summer by just one degree and save 2% on your electricity bill
  8. Lower your heating temperature by one degree in the winter and save 5% on your heating bill.
  9. Don’t use a cooker or a grill to heat the room. It is inefficient and dangerous.
  10. Don’t set your boiler temperature too high. 60 degrees Celsium is sufficient.
  11. Learn how to operate your thermostat or if it’s not too flexible, change to a newer model.
  12. Install the boiler as centrally as possible in your house so that you avoid long underfloor pipes.
  13. The shorter the pipes the quicker the hot water will reach its destination.
  14. Insulate the hot water pipes properly.
  15. During the night lower the temperature in your bedroom by 2 degrees. It is much healthier for your lungs to sleep in a cool (not too cold, though) place. 16 – 17 degrees Celsius is the best for good night sleep.
  16. If shelled corn is readily available in your region, switch to a corn stove. It is a great way of greener and cheaper heating.
  17. If the supply of corn is limited, buy a multifuel stove. You will be able to use shelled corn, wood pellets and self-made pellets in a multifuel stove.
  18. Wait until you have a full load of laundry before operating a washing machine. You will stop wasting water and electricity.
  19. Wait until you have a full load of dishes before operating a dishwasher.
  20. Wash your laundry at lower temperatures. Using the modern washing powders or liquids you can get good result by keeping the temperature to 30 or 40 degrees.
  21. Use only bio-degradable washing powers and liquids.
  22. Try to use concentrated washing liquids. Those involve less packaging and are better for the environment.
  23. If your laundry is not very dirty, use an economy programme on your washing machine.
  24. Never use a tumble dryer. It consumes too much energy and produces poor results. It can even damage certain types of fabric or make them hard to iron. Dry your clothes on a line or on the radiators.
  25. Dry your clothes outside when weather permits. It will help save energy on dehumidifiers.
  26. Don’t overdo with your laundry. If you keep good personal hygiene you don’t really need to change the bed linen and towels more often than once a fortnight.
  27. Buy only appliances with an A+ energy rating. You don’t need to change your washing machine model every year just to please the advertisers. Replace your appliances only when necessary and replace them with A+ machines.
  28. Vacuum the back of your fridge and the intake of your dehumidifier frequently. Thus you’ll make those appliances work more efficiently.
  29. Turn off the light when you leave a room.
  30. Introduce movement sensors on the staircases if necessary. They are dangerous when dark. On the other hand many people have developed a habit of leaving staircase lighting on permanently, which is very bad for the environment.
  31. Collect rainwater in barrels and use to water the garden, flush toilets, wash cars.
  32. Better yet install a professional grey water recycling system and make sure it can also take rainwater in.
  33. Use a broom and a shovel to clean your patio and driveway. In this way you actually remove the dirt instead of just rinsing it into the lawn like you do when you use a hose.
  34. Avoid using lifts and elevators and reduce your carbon footprint. Lifts are consuming a lot of electrical energy because they are run by powerful electrical engines. It is not necessary to use an elevator to travel a couple of storeys. Walking up and down the stairs is healthy and helps to train muscles and keep you fit.
  35. Ask your energy supplier to perform a free home energy audit. Most likely he will start laughing but there’s nothing wrong with trying.
  36. Consider reading Electronic books to save trees. Sustainable energy directly from the source is the clean choice for a green future. Check Solar Powered Portable Readers. Carbon neutral, tree free reading is here. By combining portable readers with solar chargers, you can learn about forests-without contributing to deforestation.
  37. Unsolicited junk mail is bad. However, you can make it a little bit better by opening it and cutting the letters and envelopes in neat pieces and using them for making notes.
  38. Don’t use post-its and other ready-made note-paper bits. Reuse paper for notes and use the bluetac or plasticine if you really need to stick the notes on surfaces. Use a fridge magnet to attach notes to metal surfaces.
  39. If building a new house or substantially rebuilding the old one, use green methods and eco-friendly materials. Although some of them might be more expensive than similar conventional materials, you’ll make a great deal of difference for your health.
  40. Clean or replace the air filter on the air con.
  41. Use recycled glass tiles, VOC-free paints and reused wood when doing up your interior.
  42. If you have some extra time, volunteer to make your neighbourhood cleaner. See if you can get your neighbours to join you for a local clean-up.

Source: Green Home Design

Bahamas Crab ‘n Rice

This dish is usually served at midday or in the evening. This is a variation on the popular peas ‘n rice, and uses crabs, which are very common in the Bahamas. This version uses the more economical imitation ‘‘crab legs’’ (available in most supermarkets).

3 TBS oil
1 onion, chopped
1 red or green bell pepper, chopped
5 TBS tomato paste
salt, pepper to taste
1⁄2 tsp thyme
1 tsp paprika
4 cups water
2 cups rice
2 cups canned pigeon peas
24 pieces preformed ‘‘crab legs’’ (or 4 whole fresh crabs)

(If using fresh crab, separate bodies from shell, scoop out coral from the shell into a bowl. Discard shells. Quarter the bodies and crack the legs. Set aside.)

  • In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; fry the onion and sweet pepper until soft.
  • Stir in tomato paste, crab coral (if using fresh crab), salt, pepper, thyme, and paprika.
  • Add water, cover, and bring to a boil.
  • Add rice, peas, and crab legs (and bodies, if using). Bring to a boil.
  • Check seasoning.
  • Reduce heat to simmer until water has evaporated, for about 20–25 minutes.

Source: The World Cookbook