Get Motivated for Fall

Blog Labor DayThe fall season is a great time to get something started. Whether it’s a healthier lifestyle, finishing up on the projects you didn’t have time to complete during summer, or coming up with a brand new idea and running with it, this is a good time to reset your goals and productivity. But how do you get motivated after what (I hope) was a relaxing summer with plenty of Jaycee events?

Jennifer Cohen, a contributor from Forbes, gives some great pointers on how to boost your motivation, and ultimately your productivity. Check out the full article after you’ve reviewed these highlights:

  1. Set small, measurable goals. Don’t try to do too much. You are more likely to feel better about yourself if you divide a big goal into several smaller steps. You feel like you’re making more progress and you have the opportunity to give yourself rewards to provide encouragement.
  2. Develop a mantra. The repetition of a verbal statement reinforces the attitude or belief and keeps your motivation high.
  3. Commit publically. Whether through social media for the world to see, or simply telling your friends and family, the support of others can go a long way to keeping you on track and dedicated to your task.
  4. Create your own routine and rituals. Make sure it is something that brings you happiness and is easy to accomplish. You’ll feel more prepared for the day, and will stay motivated to continue your success.
  5. Become a good mental debater. Everyone has doubts. Rather than give in to the negative thoughts, learn arguments that work for you to help maintain your focus and drive. Teach your mind to not accept giving up.
  6. See your goals. Literally. Write down what you want to accomplish. Use pictures to help you create visual reinforcement. Avoid hiding your goals and ideas from yourself, and they will stay in the forefront of your thoughts, and not get buried in the day-to-day challenges and slowly drift away.
  7. Face your fears. One sure way to provide encouragement to yourself is to challenge what you are afraid of. Not only will you get something accomplished, but you’ll be able to prove to yourself that you can overcome the hurdles that sometimes block your path to success.

Blog Sept 17 - FallSpend some time reviewing these suggestions and get started on something new for the fall. You’ll feel better about yourself and probably have a worthwhile accomplishment to look back on and be proud of. We’d love to hear what you have planned. Tell us about it on Facebook and Twitter and let us celebrate your success along with you.

Active Citizen Framework Refresher

Active Citizen Framework Infographic EN A3Earlier this year we wrote several posts about the JCI Active Citizen Framework and how it will help Jaycees achieve their mission “to provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change.” By showing a step-by-step process for creating a roadmap for successful projects, the Jaycees are helping young people to change the world. As a quick refresher, the Active Citizen Framework includes:

Step 1:  Needs Analysis. To create change it’s necessary to analyze the community and its needs. This can be through interviews, surveys, forums, and other ways of soliciting the opinions of community leaders to determine what sort of project would do the most good.

Step 2: Formulate Sustainable Solutions. Developing your ideas should focus on creating projects that promote sustained engagement, and drive a community towards increased prosperity. This can include health and wellness, education and economic empowerment, and sustainability.

Step 3:  Taking Action with Partners. It’s important to consider potential partners as you develop your project plan. Whether public or private sector, the JCI Active Citizens Framework will help you explain your project outcomes in ways that will encourage support and allow you to leverage additional resources.

Step 4:  Monitoring and Evaluation. From project planning through completion, it’s important to monitor, evaluate, and report on progress. Following the guidelines, you maintain the flexibility to adapt your project implementation to changing conditions and guarantee a long-term, sustainable solution.

Step 5:  Resources. Take advantage of the forms, videos, and instructive pdfs that explain and organize each step of the process. Whether you need a template or fresh ideas, the Resource page is your one-stop location to collect additional tools to help you succeed.

Hopefully, you and others in your chapter are currently involved in a community project, or getting ready to start a new one. Remember the JCI Active Citizens Framework and all the tools it provides to help guarantee a winning project.

We’d love to hear about what you’ve been working on and what you have in mind. Tell us how the Active Citizens Framework has helped your project on our Twitter and Facebook pages. Your fellow Jaycees will appreciate the inspiration!

Leading People: The World Is Changing

Blog Sept 25 - LeadershipOne of the biggest mistakes any future leader can make is to assume that the strategies used by his or her predecessor to lead and manage employees will be successful when they have the opportunity to provide direction. Just like technology, leadership styles change. What was effective yesterday may not motivate today’s employee to perform at their best. As the premier organization for the development of individuals aged 18 to 40, helping to build quality leaders is one of the Jaycees’ highest goals for members. Through trainings, speakers, and projects, the Jaycee organization is constantly providing the tools and information to help improve leadership skills for all individuals.

Andrew Graham, president and CEO of The Forum Corporation, a Boston-based learning organization, recently discussed leadership trends in the U.S. News and World Report online edition. You can check out the full article here. Some interesting concepts that you should be aware of include:

  • You must lead change. With constant upheaval and change in virtually all industries and marketplaces, strong leaders must be flexible and prepared to adapt to challenges that may come from any number of directions. Lacking an ability to change, leaders will fail to maximize opportunity and defend against risk.
  • Good managers will be hard to find. With the increasing opportunities for entrepreneurship, often the top leaders will choose to start their own businesses. This removes them from the job market, and makes the pool of top-level talent that much smaller. Find talent whenever and wherever possible, and then hang on to them.
  • People-leadership skills will be more highly valued. Research indicates that companies who employ managers with more people-leadership skills perform more highly compared with organizations that do not highlight these skills. Take the time to develop your ability to lead people. It’s worth the investment.
  • It will take a village. Once again, the value of teamwork and the ability to function successfully within a group format cannot be overstated. The top leaders know what they do not know, and aren’t afraid to listen to their employees and include their ideas and suggestions.

As business practices continue to evolve, it’s necessary to make sure that you are continuously improving your leadership and management skills and techniques. Not only will it improve your next Jaycee project, but it also increases the likelihood of greater success and responsibility in your work life. Would you like to share any of your best leadership tips or suggestions? We have a place for that…check out our Twitter and Facebook pages. No waiting!

Start Your Fall with a Bang

Blog Sept 17 - FallIf you’re like many individuals across the country, the fall season represents an exciting time each year. You’ve made it through this year’s version of the summer doldrums, and thus have recently concluded what friends, family, and envious neighbors can only concede has been a highly productive few months. A typical you has successfully met the challenges of the finer points of lawn maintenance, planned and executed the “best ever” family get-a-way, and completed an astounding 93% of the significant other’s to-do list. You’re riding high – and after one last celebratory barbecue, it’s time to map your strategy to keep it going. But don’t worry – as the premier organization for the development of individuals 18 – 40, the Jaycees are ready to help prepare you to end the year strong. Whether getting involved in an exciting project to help the community, learning new business skills from your local chapter’s guest speakers, or making sure you get a solid start to the last three months of school or work for 2014, there are a few simple reminders to help you stay on a productive track through the end of the year.

First, set reasonable goals for your achievements. There’s no point in creating a list of tasks that would challenge your ability to accomplish them in the first nine months of the year, much less the final three. Overestimating your available time and rate of progress can not only lead to inflated, unreasonable expectations by your colleagues and associates, but also destroy any positive momentum you have made during the first three quarters of the year.

Second, be the first to fall. While sounding like a recipe for disaster, the context is much more positive – get enthusiastic and embrace post-Labor Day productivity. Start planning as early as you can and hit the ground running after you’ve enjoyed a nice, relaxing holiday. While others are slowly working their way up to full speed, you’ll be performing in high gear – and seeing the positive results!

Blog Labor DayFinally, make new connections. For many of us, once September rolls around there is a tendency to focus on our specific tasks or projects that must be accomplished by year’s end. Unfortunately, this often leads to an inward focus that ignores potential resources that could play a role in improving results. Don’t be afraid to explore previously untapped human and organizational resources to support your specific efforts. Your fellow Jaycees, for example, offer an abundance of previous experience and fresh ideas that you can take advantage of…not just to help solve problems, but also overcome these challenges in new and improved ways.

We’d love to hear from you about your plans for the fall. Are you considering launching a new project? Are you wrapping up an existing one? Let us know what you’re up to on Facebook and Twitter, and make inspiring other Jaycees one of your “must-dos” by the end of the year!

Trends in the Workplace – 2014

Blog Sept 10 Workplace TrendsMost of us spend about 2,000 hours a year in the workplace. Not only does this time provide insight into our identities and how we coexist with others, but it also provides the foundation for how we learn to overcome and solve problems. When workplaces across the country are identified, classified, and studied, the emergence of certain norms and trends can provide a glimpse into how our attitudes are evolving from a societal perspective. From a Jaycee perspective, there is an understanding of the value of working together and collaborating for the common good that transcends traditional workplace barriers and internal competition. Often times ahead of the curve, it’s interesting to look at current trends within organizations to understand how the Jaycee model, and ultimately, individual Jaycees can support and reinforce a positive work environment.

Jodi Williams from global design firm RTKL recently examined some of the top workplace trends in 2014, and shared some interesting results. You can find the full article here. Below are the highlights of her analysis.

  1. Continuation of the great mobility debate. While work from home may be good for some employees and some organizations, it’s not for everyone. Employees are generally more favorable to the idea than management, and companies will continue to experiment to find the right balance between remote and on-site employment.
  2. Continuing evolution of collaborative environments. Design of workspace will play a larger role in encouraging improved communication and collaboration between internal and external teams. For example, recent trends demonstrate the need for fewer large conference rooms that hold 12+ individuals, in favor of more, smaller conference or work rooms that hold 4-6 people.
  3. The brain drain really occurs. Yes, Baby Boomers are finally starting to retire…and mean it this time. Health, wellness, and quality of life considerations are trumping the desire to stay working, and the impact is a changing face of management. This change in people is also fostering a change in attitudes, especially regarding working in teams. As the workforce gets younger, the expectation of collaboration increases.
  4. Seamless integration of technology. As individual employees become more mobile, and workplaces designed for more collaborative efforts, there is a definite expectation that organizations will provide the right technological tools in the right space to offer the highest chance for success.
  5. Greater emphasis on employee engagement. Rather than handing new employees the company manual and expecting them to bring themselves up to speed, recent trends demonstrate a hands-on approach by management and human resources to encourage more in-depth training, continuing education, and shared planning by employees and management to improve internal communication, and ultimately, results.

With Jaycee experiences providing a familiarity with teamwork and collaborative efforts, it’s great to see the professional world catching up with us! What trends are you noticing in your workplace, and how has the Jaycees helped prepare you for success in your chosen field? Take a look at the experiences of other Jaycees on our Facebook and Twitter pages and then share your stories. Help fellow Jaycees make a positive impact in their organizations by understanding what worked well for others!