Are you ready for training camp?

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IMG_0819This week across the nation, NFL training camp commences. Players report to camp with excitement and are determined to make the cut.  Here in Cleveland, Ohio, all eyes are on Brian Hoyer and Johnny Manziel, as the veteran defends his quarterback positon over the former Heisman winner and party animal Johnny. College fall athletes are packing up their gear and heading to campus to begin four to six weeks of intense training. It is a time for recommittment. Training camp emphasizes working as a team, and builds excitement for the coaching staff, players and fans to work together toward a common goal, the Championship.

How can you recommit yourself to your profession or employer? I challenge you to recreate a training camp mentality over the next few weeks. Here are some suggestions:

Managers – hold a continuing education day for your team and discuss topics that will emphasize working together, such as collaboration tools or training on new company policies or industry regulations

Employers – Reflect on a specialty within your line of work that you would like to learn more about, and research books, training classes, or conferences that can expand your knowledge base.

Business Owners – rallying the team is most effective when the message comes from the top so carve some money out of the budget for an event that will bring everyone together. How do you want to lead your team in approaching a problem differently, and what can you do to create the pathway?

Football players and coaches will probably never read Business Beyond the Classroom (or at least not until their college or prefessional career is over). But when it comes to training camp, perhaps businesses can learn a lesson from their playbook.

Joyce Mihalik writes for HlpSum1, Inc., an online organization who encourages us to help others through volunteer work, mentoring and christian ministry.  For more information go to http://www.helpsomeone.net or http://www.hlpsum1.net to join the movement.

Summer is slipping by…are you keeping up with your work?

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IMG_1415During the summer it is difficult to stay motivated. After Memorial Day, coworkers with families begin to disappear. Both parents ands kids are anxious to escape the routine of school and all of their extra curricular activiites. From June to midJuly, work productivity can slow way down. New employees, who may not have yet accumulated significant vacation time are left behind. The buzz in the office slows down and motivation to keep up the pace disappears. Summer feels like a good time to slip out early and enjoy friends, family and fun. So what’s the worry?

The summer teaser can turn into trauma if you find yourself way behind on meeting goals for the year when up north, the leaves start to fall.  From September to December, the year feels unbelievably short. Hard to count December as a full work month since many people are out once again enjoying the holidays. It becomes a short work month. Projects and deliveries are hard to accomplish after Halloween because frankly, you just run out of time to properly wrap things up.

The best thing to do is to recognize the potential for a work slow down midyear with a little extra effort in the Spring. But if you find yourself after the baseball All-Star break concerned about how the year is passing you by – from a work perspective, it is time to begin climbing out of the hole now, instead of waiting till Labor Day. Think of your summer as a valley. If activity at work declines from Memorial Day to Independence Day, then through each week in July and August, increase your productivity by 10-15% through Labor Day, so you can be at your best during early Fall. You won’t be cheating your summer fun, but you will start climbing back into the full swing of things and be positioned to hit your targets for year end goals.