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Business can be so stressful and serious. Deadlines. Money. Missed commitments. Disagreements.

So here’s the question: Do you permit yourself to have any fun in the business? I sure hope you have enjoyment in your personal activities and hobbies, but what about when you’re working?

Even if you’re not the boss, you can still do that, you know. But when you ARE the boss, it’s actually part of your job as a leader.

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The absence of job dissatisfaction is not satisfaction, much less engagement.

That was a powerful conclusion from the research of Fredrick Herzberg back in the middle of the last century, and it is certainly true today. It’s a fundamental principle of how we engage employees and others who work for us.

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THE NEW YORK TIMES recently published an article called Hey Boss, You Don’t Want Your Employees to Meditate.

They pointed to a confusing study which seemed to indicate that meditation neither improved or reduced motivation on the job. I’m not sure if it’s solid or not, but to me it exemplified the wrong way of thinking about employee productivity.

And that thinking has been with us since the industrial revolution. We’re merely building on old myths. How so?

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I DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU, but for me this is a great time to avoid doing hard work. It’s cold. I just got back from vacation. Everybody’s out of the office.

Don’t get me wrong – we all need to have some relaxation and downtime.

But we know that most of these reasons are bogus excuses.

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WE’RE ALL PASSIONATE about something.

Finding a cure for cancer.  Cherry cheesecake.  Spending time with the kids.  Being inventive.

For everyone it’s a bit different.  But that’s the problem when you’re trying to get a group of people aligned around a common goal.

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gallupGALLUP DOES SOME AMAZING WORK.

If you haven’t been following their “State of the Workplace” research, you should.  Especially if you care to attract and retain great people, and motivate them to excellence.

That’s why I was excited this week to get the notification of their updated report, available for free on their website.

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Photo by Anthony Easton, flickr

Photo by Anthony Easton, flickr

FOLLOW YOUR PASSION.

We’ve been telling our kids this for decades now, and there’s some powerful truth behind it.

But it’s a limited view of the world.

If we have everyone just seeking personal fulfillment, there’s no guarantee that we’ll actually have a stable and functioning society.  Yet we hold up this great American ideal that we’re all independent, self-sufficient, and self-fulfilling.

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productivityA COUPLE OF WEEKS AGO I talked about how generosity brings loyalty.  Well, it’s time to take this to the next level!

Employees who are loyal stick around.  OK, that’s pretty basic; it’s kind of the definition of “loyal.”

Why do they hang with you through good times and bad?  Because they figure they’re doing something valuable, and they enjoy it.

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CHARITIES shouldn’t work.

Think about it:  We’re all quite busy, and we value our time too much to throw it away.

Yet, here we have it:  A charity asks for your time AND money, and we give it.  Not to every charity, of course, but to some.

Are we insane?  How could that possibly work?

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