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Oct 01 2016
Are You On Cruise Control?
Shane Norman, CCE, Wheeler Machinery Company

When driving on the freeway to Southern Utah, I use my cruise control. If I'm not careful I can bore myself to death by falling asleep at the wheel as driving this way is easy, comfortable, and requires little effort on my part. After years at our jobs, we can easily fall into the cruise control trap. 

I'm helping to coach my 11-year-old son's football team this year. Each week we come up with a new word or short phrase that we say loudly on the count of three in a huddle at the beginning and ending of each practice and game for the week. Last week it was "Focus" and the week prior it was "Intensity." I think it helps them to perform better at the games and gives them a goal each week. During practice, we work on positions, plays, technique, and conditioning. The overarching theme in each of these areas is our weekly mantra which gives us the motivation for improving our intensity and our focus. 

I believe that relating this to our jobs isn't too much of a stretch and can help us keep our lives headed in the right direction in a more purposeful way. I can physically show up for work each day, week, year . . . but if I am not improving nor engaged in my performance and results - then I will eventually be passed up (benched) by someone who is better at my job. 

For example, we can win or lose in battling for a finite amount of funds available from our customer's bank account affecting my specific job, my staff, or even my marriage! This might be a bit radical. However, there are no less than several dozen people who could do my job in their sleep, yet, they don't because I am here filling this seat and so long as I am filling this seat and performing well then my chances are good at continuing to do so. If I can take motivation, learning opportunities, and improvement seriously, then I (and hopefully you too) will continue to add value to our organizations and the lives of those closest to us as well as ourselves. 

I believe we are all attempting to live fulfilling and happy lives, and that is worth fighting for with some intensity, focus, or whatever else you believe will help you to achieve those idyllic and lofty goals. We don't have to be the best at everything nor light the world on fire but be good enough (baseline), consistent, and improving. I believe the direction of the trend is more important than the daily fluctuating results. 

Take your job, your career, and even your life off of cruise control by coming up with some of your own weekly, monthly, or yearly themes to help you win that game next Saturday or better yet . . . clean up that customer's account next week!!  What is or what will become your theme or mantra for the week, month, or year?? Let me know in the comments below or email me as I'd love to hear your feedback!  

Email: snorman@wheelercat.com