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Alaska AEI           Durant $2679.46

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Shark FEIN Urban             OKC

Team Motivation

Team Motivator
Jon Gordon
November 3, 2010

You won’t find Motivation 101 in most business schools, yet the ability to motivate your team is one of the most important skills a leader must possess. Here are six strategies —no speeches required — to unite and engage your team.

Many leaders are continually frustrated by their team’s performance and low morale and engagement. The answer doesn’t involve fancy technology, a new piece of equipment, or extensive R&D. In fact, the answer lies in a basic human emotion: motivation.

Unfortunately, motivational speeches don’t work. But leaders who motivate do. Now, more than ever, a leader’s job is to motivate and rally the team through challenging times. You can’t outsource motivation. It is the leaders and managers who must motivate.

Most business leaders want to take the emotion out of business, but that is a huge mistake. When fear and negativity are the primary emotions people in your organization are feeling, you have to counter that with an even more powerful emotion, like faith, belief, and optimism. And your success in that depends on your ability to motivate.

Motivation has long been considered a soft skill that was hard to quantify, so most companies left it up to annual meetings and inspiring rallies to keep their employees fired up. But what leaders are realizing is that it’s quickly becoming a vital part of their everyday job descriptions.

Culled from my books The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy and Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture (Wiley, May 2010), here are my six strategies to motivate your people and get the results you want:

Don’t be too busy to communicate. Uncertainty creates a void. Unless you, the manager, fill that void with clear and positive communication, people will assume the worst and act accordingly. Fear and negativity will creep in and dominate their thoughts, behaviors, and actions. Don’t let your busy schedule get in the way of taking the time to talk with your team. In fact, you should make communicating a top priority on your list each day.

Communicate with transparency, authenticity and clarity. Whether you have a scheduled morning meeting each day, make the rounds in the afternoon or take your team to lunch, make it a priority to make time to talk to each and every member of your team on a regular basis. You may be busy, but the truth of the matter is that you really can’t afford not to.

Lead with optimism. Between the doom and gloom media coverage, the workplace rumor mill, and the overall uncertainty of the economy, it seems that pessimism has become the name of the game. As a leader, your most important weapon against pessimism is to transfer your optimism and vision to others. This inspires others to think and act in ways that drive results.

Leadership is a transfer of belief — and great leaders inspire their teams to believe they can succeed. As a leader and manager, you are not just leading and managing people, but you are also leading and managing their beliefs. You must utilize every opportunity available to transfer your optimism. From meetings to daily emails to individual conversations to teleconferences, it’s imperative that you share your optimism with your team. Optimism is a competitive advantage, and you need to convey it in all you say and do. As one of the greatest American innovators, Henry Ford said, “Think you can or think you can’t — either way you are correct.”

Share the vision. It’s not enough to just be optimistic. You must give your team and organization something to be optimistic about. Talk about where you have been, where you are, and where you are going. Share your plan, talk about the actions you must take, and constantly reiterate the reasons why you will be successful.

Create a vision statement that inspires and rallies your team and organization. Not a page-long vision statement filled with buzzwords, but a rallying cry that means something to the people who invest a majority of their day working for you. This vision statement can’t just exist on a piece of paper. It must come to life in the hearts and minds of team members. So it’s up to you to share it, reinforce it, and inspire your people to live and breathe it every day. A positive vision for the future leads to powerful actions today.

Relationships build real motivation. It’s much easier to motivate someone if you know them and they know you. After all, if you don’t take the time to get to know the people who are working for you, then how can you ever truly know the best way to lead, coach and motivate them effectively? And for that matter, how can you expect them to trust and follow you if they don’t know you as well?

Relationships are the foundation upon which winning teams and organizations are built. I’ve worked with numerous NFL coaches and have seen firsthand how the most successful coaches and best motivators are those who develop meaningful relationships with their players. The same strategy that works on the field works on projects as well.

Create purpose-driven goals. When it comes down to it, the real force behind motivation has nothing to do with money or number-driven goals. Real motivation is driven by purpose and a desire to make a difference. In fact, people are most energized when they are using their strengths for a purpose beyond themselves. When team members feel as though the work they do is playing an integral role in the overall success of the company, they are motivated to work harder. Similarly, when they feel as though they are working for something more than just the bottom line, they feel good about the work they are doing.

So as a leader, you will want to motivate your team by focusing less on number goals and more on purpose-driven goals. It’s not the numbers that drive your people but your people and purpose that drive the numbers. Sit down with each individual on your team and talk through what their personal goals are and how you see those goals fit in to the bigger picture. Give them a sense of purpose that will fuel their fire towards taking action.

Nourish your team. These may seem like strange words to apply to the workplace. But they are spot-on. The main question every employee in every organization wants to know is, “Do you care about me; can I trust you?” If your answer is yes, they will be more likely to stay on the bus and work with you. Team members who feel cared for, honored and nourished are more engaged in what they’re doing and will work at their highest potential.

Think about it. Gallup’s research shows that employees who think their managers care about them are more loyal and productive than those who do not think so. If you nourish your team and take the time to invest in them, they will pay you back in productivity, creativity and loyalty. If your team members know that you care about them, they will want to do good work for you. It’s the greatest motivator of all.

Remember this simple formula. Belief plus action equals results. If you don’t believe that something can happen, then you won’t take the actions necessary to create it. If you believe that your team can do big things, they will believe it, too. And that belief will fuel the fires of action and provide you with the results you’re looking for.

Jon Gordon is a consultant, keynote speaker, and the international bestselling author of Soup, The Energy Bus, The No Complaining Rule, and Training Camp, all from Wiley. He has worked with such clients as the Atlanta Falcons, the PGA Tour, Northwestern Mutual, JPMorgan Chase, and Publix Supermarkets. A graduate of Cornell University, he holds a master’s degree in teaching and works with numerous businesses, professional sports teams, schools, universities, and nonprofit organizations. For more information about Jon or his books:

Fishing and Ethics

A boy was 11 years old and went fishing every chance he got from a dock at his family’s cabin on an island in the middle of a New Hampshire lake. On the day before the bass season opened, he and his father were fishing early in the evening, catching some fish and perch with worms.

When his pole doubled over, he knew something huge was on the other end. His father watched with admiration as the boy skillfully worked the fish along side the dock. Finally, he very gingerly lifted the exhausted fish from the water. It was the largest one he had ever seen, but it was a bass. The boy and his father looked at the handsome fish, shining in the moonlight. The father lit a match and looked at his watch. It was 10 p.m., two hours before the season opened. He looked at the fish, then at the boy. “You’ll have to put it back, Son,” he said. “Dad!” cried the boy. “There will be another fish,” said his father. “Not as big as this one,” cried the boy.

He looked around the lake. No other fishermen or boats were around in the moonlight. He looked again at his father. Even though no one had seen them, nor could anyone ever know what time he caught the fish, the boy could tell by the clarity of his father’s voice that the decision was not negotiable. He slowly worked the hook out of the lip of the huge bass and lowered it into the black water.

That was 34 years ago. Today, the boy is a successful architect in New York City. His father’s cabin is still there.. He takes his own son and daughters fishing from the same dock. He was right. He has never again caught such a magnificent fish as the one he landed that night long ago. But he does see that same fish — again and again — every time he comes up against a question of ethics.

For, as his father taught him, ethics are simple matters of right and wrong. It is only the practice of ethics that is difficult. Do we do right when no one is looking? Do we refuse to cut corners to get the design in on time? We would if we were taught to put the fish back when we were young. For we would have learned the truth. The decision to do right lives fresh and fragrant in our memory.

This story  is reminding you not only that you already know the difference between right and wrong; you feel it in your gut. But do the right thing, and be an example to others. They will never forget.



If you want to exercise more but are always wondering where the day goes, you may be surprised to learn that you can see big results by spending just a few minutes of your lunch break working out, says Selene Yeager, author of “Perfectly Fit: 8 Weeks to a Sleek and Sexy Body.” Studies show that people looking to improve their overall health don’t need to take an all-or-nothing approach to exercise.

For example, in a two-year study of more than 230 overweight, sedentary adults, researchers from the Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research in Dallas found that men and women who made simple lifestyle changes such as taking the stairs at the office or walking around the soccer field during their kids’ practice had similar gains in fitness, blood pressure and body fat as those who did vigorous gym workouts for 20 to 60 minutes, five days a week.

Mini-workouts deliver powerful results because you’re more likely to do them, says Yeager.

Here are three do-anywhere, 10-minute routines that burn calories and tone trouble spots. All you need is a pair of supportive walking shoes, a set of 5-pound dumbbells, a chair or low table, and a mat or soft, carpeted area.

Routine 1: 10-minute calorie-burn walk
Ease into your noontime walk with a one-minute stroll. Gradually pick up the pace over the next three minutes. Now, walk as fast as you can for one minute, then taper back down to a moderate tempo for 60 seconds. Alternate between these two tempos for the next three minutes. By the last minute you should be slowing down to your initial strolling pace.

Routine 2: Butt and thigh firmer
The following three moves strengthen and tone your legs. Warm up for 30 seconds by marching in place. Perform each exercise eight times on each leg, rest 20 seconds between each move, and then repeat the routine twice.

One-legged lunges. Place your left foot on a chair or table behind you so the left leg is extended and you’re balancing on the right leg. Bend your right knee, lowering into a lunge, front knee behind your toes. Press into your right foot and stand back up.

Monster squats. Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointing out slightly, arms relaxed at your sides. Sit back into a squat, keeping knees behind toes. As you stand up, raise your left knee out to the side, placing your foot back on the floor as you lower into the next squat. Repeat with right leg.

Side-to-side shuffle. Sit back into a squat, arms bent in front of you, elbows by your sides. Shuffle 10 to 15 feet to the right, moving your right foot then your left foot. Return, shuffling to the left.

Routine 3: Arm sculptor
Get upper-arm definition with the following simple moves. Warm up for 30 seconds by marching in place and doing a breaststroke motion for 30 seconds. Do each move eight to 15 times with each arm. Rest 10 to 20 seconds between exercises. Repeat the routine twice.

Supported curls. Sit in a chair with your feet a few inches apart. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lean forward at the hips and rest your elbows on your thighs, palms up. Bend your left elbow, curling the dumbbell toward your shoulder. Keep your upper arm still. Hold for a second, then lower and repeat with your right arm. Continue alternating arms.

Side plank push-ups. Start on your knees, hands beneath your shoulders, your body in line from your head to your knees. Bend your elbows out to the sides, lowering your chest almost to the floor. Straighten your arms, pushing back up, and then raise your left arm overhead, rolling your body to the right to form a side plank. Lower and repeat with the other side.

Mountain climbers. Get in a push-up position with your hands on the seat of a chair. Bring your right foot forward 10 to 12 inches, knee bent. Jump quickly, switching feet as if climbing a mountain.

Comanche Nation hosts child support resource fair Wednesday –

Sign that says Protecting Children is Everyone's MissionCOMANCHE COUNTY, Okla. – Anyone who has ever had a problem getting child support can get help from the Comanche Nation Child Support Program (CNCSP) and you do not have to be a member of the Comanche Nation to get it.  

The program is open to everyone. It is such a new program, many tribal and non-tribal members do not know about it.  Wednesday, the tribe is having a meeting to answer people’s questions.

CNCSP has only been open for a year and a half, but caseworkers already are busy helping people such as Jerome Howlingwater.  After trying to get child support that was due him for years, he finally turned to the tribe.  Howlingwater has battled getting court-ordered child support from his ex-wife for more than seven years.

“You know it was hard to actually collect while she didn’t live here in Oklahoma,” said Howlingwater.


Ministry Helps Single Moms ‘Survive ‘N Thrive’ –

Single moms all have different stories.

Some are divorced, some got pregnant out of wedlock, while others lost their husbands at war. But no matter how they became single mothers, they face the same struggles.

Oklahoma Congresswoman Mary Fallin knows personally about those struggles. She raised her children on her own for years, all while pursuing a fast-paced career in politics as her state’s first female lieutenant governor and a member of the House of Representatives.

“My mother used to always tell me, ‘You’re not the first woman who’s ever had this happen to you so get up and get going and we don’t have to go under the mountain, we can go over the mountain. We don’t have to have a pity party, we can rise above all that,'” Fallin recalled.

It was advice that stuck. Now, helping women rise above their circumstance has become one of Fallin’s passions. She especially wants to stop what she calls the “generational curse” that is passed down from grandmother to mother to grandchild.

“I really think one of the ways we can better our states is by empowering our citizens and letting them know that they’re not alone and helping them find a better path to life,” Fallin said.