Alternatives to the Minimum Wage: Advancing the Discussion Instead of Choosing Sides

My son wrote this for a college paper.  His logic seemed to make sense.

There has been a large majority of Americans who believe we need to raise our Minimum Wage to solve some of the economical and ethical problems this country is facing. Such problems include lifting low-income people out of poverty and helping many of them get out of an endless cycle of debt. It is believed that if we don’t help the low-income wage earners we have a significant risk of increasing the income gap which can have extremely negative impacts on society. It is believed that as the gap between the “haves” and “have nots” increases, the potential for civil unrest and a possible end to the American way of life also increases. The Democrats are focused on raising the minimum wage to $15 while the Republicans are focused on not raising the minimum wage. I believe that we as UTA students, can find answers that fall somewhere in the middle. We need to take care of our citizens and help close the income gap, but we can and should find solutions that address the concerns of both parties. We need solutions that don’t make you choose between Democrats or Republicans. We need solutions that are good for America.

Democrats want to raise the minimum wage to help keep hard working but unlucky low wage earners out of debt and low-income families out of poverty. The Republicans argue that raising the minimum wage will create other problems that will hurt low-income households in other ways. They argue that as soon as the minimum wage goes up the number of jobs available to them will go down. Doubling the minimum wage will be an extra labor expense to companies since they will have to pay more not only to minimum wage earners, but also to anyone who is currently making less than $15 per hour. This increase in expenses means lower profits for the companies. To compensate for lowered profitability the companies will either raise prices, reduce the number of available jobs, or both. So, raising the Minimum Wage could negatively impact low-income families by hitting them with higher prices and fewer opportunities to work. There are several alternatives that would address the concerns of both groups by providing some increase in minimum wage while easing the negative profitability impact to the companies.

The first alternative is to distinguish between the family and the individual. When the minimum wage was created in 1938, the goal was to make it a living wage, but not a living wage for a family of three but a living wage for an individual person (Worstall, “The 7 most Dangerous Myths About A $15 Minimum Wage” 1). Taking that into account, this would make the average modern day living cost in the US to be just under $10.10 per hour, which is still higher than what the Federal minimum wage is at now (Berman). So, let’s take it a step farther, during this time, around the 1940’s, a large percentage of the American work force were paid the minimum wage. That number had decreased in 1979 to 13% and continually decreased until finally in 2014 only 3% of Americans, working an hourly wage, worked at or below the minimum. Of that 3% only 37% are the major contributor to their family’s income (Haugen 1). This means that a large portion of minimum wage earners do not have a family in need of their support. So in order to satisfy both parties, one solution could be to keep the minimum wage lower for the individual, around $10.00, then raise according to whether the employee is married or has kids. A married person would receive an extra dollar on their minimum wage, and person with children would receive an extra dollar per child (up to three children). This not only provides more for families, it encourages marriage and family values, which might be more attractive to the right wing who currently oppose raising minimum wage. This would also be good for companies as it would help families, but have much less negative impact on their profitability.

Another alternative that reduces the negative impacts to company profitability yet still helps low-income individuals make more money is to distinguish between teens and adults. Raising minimum wage could actually be harmful to teens looking for a first job. Teenagers usually have very little job experience and in most cases the only thing they can put on their résumés is a simple award they won in middle school. It takes time and money for companies to train inexperienced employees, and there is additional challenges caused by the high likelihood they will make a lot of mistakes before they get it right. This makes it quite a risk and hassle for employers to hire a young teenager. “In 2009, when they raised the minimum wage more than 600,000 teenagers’ jobs just disappeared.” (Dunkelberg). It becomes an endless loop of teens looking for job experience but are unable to find jobs because companies are not willing to pay the new higher minimum wage for an inexperienced teen. A solution to this challenge is to not raise the minimum wage for anyone under 18 years of age. Inexperienced teens get paid a rate that matches their ability and experience. Once they become adults; we are assuming here that turning 18 makes you an adult, then they get paid the new minimum wage. So once again, this alternative is good for everyone. Companies are better off because they don’t have to pay higher wages to inexperienced teens. Teens are better off because they have more opportunities to get jobs where they can gain experience and learn new skills, and the low-income wage earners who need to support themselves are better off, because they will get paid a higher minimum wage.

One other alternative that completely eliminates the negative profitability impact to companies and their need to cut jobs or raise prices, while also raising the potential income for low-income wage earners is a wage subsidy. “A wage subsidy adds dollars-per-hour to the worker’s wage, on a sliding scale that pays the highest subsidy for the lowest wage and phases out to no subsidy as the wage increases”(Cass). It would be completely funded by the government and is basically raising the Minimum Wage for the low-income earner without changing the profitability of the companies. It could be administered with vouchers given to the workers by the government or through the companies directly, similar to FICA withholding and tax filings, only in reverse.

The previous solutions were directly addressing changes to the minimum hourly wage. There is another solution that helps increase the annual income of low-income wage earners but is administered through the government and doesn’t involve the companies they work for. It consists of increasing the funding and amounts paid for the Earned Income Tax Credit, a program that already exists and is expected to benefit 26 million households by providing more than $60 billion dollars in tax credits in 2015(Tax Policy Center).

The Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC was proposed in the 1970’s, signed by President Ford and then expanded by President Regan (Hungerford and Thiess). The main idea behind the EITC is to provide an incentive for those in poverty to work harder and longer hours. The EITC comes in the form of a Tax Credit and requires families to be aware of it and to be able to claim it when they file their annual tax returns. The amount paid through the EITC changes based on marital status and number of children. The amount of the tax credit works on a sliding scale based on the amount of income they earn. An individual or family could have received a tax credit up to $6,143 in 2014 (Tax Policy Center). It is a great program that has many benefits. “In 2013, the EITC lifted about 6.2 million people out of poverty, including about 3.2 million children” (Policy Basics). It is based on willingness to work. Rather than raising the Minimum Wage, we could increase the EITC. There are two ways to increase the EITC, increase the number of low income people eligible or increase the amount given per person. In order to match a $10 dollar minimum wage it would need to increase by 50% and the EITC amount per family would have to double to match a $15 Minimum Wage. The pros of the EITC are that it doesn’t directly impact businesses so it doesn’t negatively impact hiring levels and prices. Some of the negatives of the EITC include that is it is only paid at the end of the year so it doesn’t help low-income wage earners on a daily basis. Also, people don’t necessarily understand it or how to apply for it on their taxes so without professional tax help they can miss out on the opportunity.

The blog, “A False Choice”, suggested that a good compromise solution might be to combine both raising the minimum wage and expanding the EITC, but both by lower amounts. By doing this you get all the benefits of both while making sure that everyone who is in need is covered.

The solution to closing the income gap and ending the Minimum Wage debate isn’t to pick a side and argue until you win. The solution is to invite vibrant discussion, listen to other people’s concerns and points of view, and then craft solutions that help the most people possible. Both Democrats and Republicans have good ideas and reasonable concerns. Making everyone happy will be an impossible task. Rather than choosing sides and endlessly debating the merits of our own points of view, let’s find compromise solutions that although a little painful, we can live with and support. Let’s stop fighting to win as Democrats or Republicans and start finding a way to win as Americans and America.

Alexia’s Legacy: Lesson #49 – Ask for Help

She was tragically taken from us, but her legacy lives on.  Every few weeks we will share excerpts from the book.

 

Ray,

Sorry for no email last night. By the time I was done with on call stuff, I passed out!

Monday while at work, I talked to my boss about being overwhelmed with everything going on, and he was very helpful. He said that school comes first and if I ever need to take a half day or day off, not to feel bad about it.

Yesterday, with classes being cancelled, I took some time to sleep in and decompress in the morning. Then I went straight to studying and was productive most of the day, taking breaks to keep myself from wearing out.

Today, the world has cut me some slack! I talked with Rachel and she told me to miss after hours next week and the career fair the following week. She also suggested that during the last hour of presentation each week I step out and study since they are all topics I have heard before. In addition, I found out one of my exams that was scheduled for tomorrow is getting pushed back to Tuesday since we didn’t have class yesterday. That takes a little more pressure off of tomorrow!

On a side note, scorecards are due next Wednesday so I will take some time this weekend to get mine up to date and email it to you to see what changes you would make to it.    

Thanks and talk to you soon!

Alexia

Ray,

Today, in addition to all my other daily activities and schedule, I met with Professor Ellis and got her perspective on my future career path. We will have a lot to talk about come Monday! Hope you have a great Friday!

Alexia

Ray,

Today I talked to Rachel and the remaining SDs about the new SD situation. It looks like we are headed toward bringing them on board fully!

Also, today was the career fair. We got an early start on recruiting and even gained some new possible mentors/sponsors for the program!

I just finished an assignment due tomorrow at noon and, ironically, when I opened my email, I saw my professor emailed me that there have been some issues accessing the online assignment and we now have 24 extra hours to complete it… I may have stayed up longer than planned to complete it but at least I am ahead now!

Overall it’s been a good day!

Have a wonderful night and I will talk to you tomorrow!

Alexia

 

Ray,

This morning I slept in a bit, did a little workout, and then headed off to class. During office hours for PLP, Rachel, Billy, and I had a good conversation about some issues that need to be discussed with the Student Directors. We will be having that conversation tomorrow so hopefully we will see some improvements moving forward! Otherwise, I have just done some homework and worked desk this evening. I’m now off to bed!

Talk to you soon!

Alexia

Ray,

Since I saw you last today, I had a great meeting with Roy and learned a lot about the structure of the GMAT and how to go about tackling it, and I also got some advice for looking at which schools to consider. It was extremely productive!

I got home just in time for the GA at the hall and then had some friends time with Suzanne watching one of our favorite tv shows to watch together. We haven’t had much time for the two of us this week so we got to hangout a bit and catch up! It was a great way to end the night!

Thank you so much for everything you have done to help me out both personally and professionally. I can’t imagine this semester without you as my mentor!

Talk to you soon!

Alexia

 

Lesson: Ask for help.

Unfortunately, as much as we would like to, we can’t do everything ourselves. We need others to listen, give advice, and help. As a leader we are tasked with using all of our resources to accomplish the team goals, and that especially means reaching out to the people around us. You will be more successful as a leader if you can get outside input and advice. Seek out other leaders, mentors, and experts in various fields. Keep an active list of people you can call and turn to when you are facing difficult challenges. Match their expertise to the challenge. Find out what they know about the situation or how they have handled similar situations. Listen to their advice. What kind of perspectives can they offer that differ from yours? The wider your group of advisors, the more success you will have. Seek out mentors and advisors. Share your challenges and ask for their advice. They will usually be pleased to help.

 

Opportunity: Make a list of friends and advisors you can reach out to for help and wisdom.

 

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Practice Autonomy

Success Tip: Focus on the Choices You Do Have

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“You are who you choose to be.” – Hogarth in Iron Giant

Create Success by Focusing on the Choices You Do Have

People who feel like they have autonomy are more productive, show more persistence at a task, and experience less stress and burn-out.  You and your employees feel more motivated when you have autonomy over how something gets accomplished. There are many things you can’t control. They key is to focus on what you can control instead of what you can’t control.  Successful people differentiate themselves by focusing on the choices where they can make a difference and have an impact rather than complaining about the things they don’t get to choose.

Quick Tip:  There is a difference between not having choices and not liking your choices. Take a moment to acknowledge you do have a choice even if you don’t like the outcomes.

 

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My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Alexia’s Legacy: Lesson #7 – Take Time to Appreciate When Things Go Right

She was tragically taken from us, but her legacy lives on.  Every few weeks we will share excerpts from the book

 

Ray,

I will definitely take a look at this over the break and let you know what I think!

This week has been amazing so far! Nothing has been too stressful, nothing has been too pressing, everyone has been incredibly nice, and I have been getting to sleep earlier than normal!

We had a PLP SD holiday dinner tonight so I didn’t get home until after ten but I have gotten all settled in and am already curled up in bed ready to fall asleep!

Talk to you soon!

Alexia

 

From Alexia’s Journal:

I am thankful for:

  • The McKinsey Consulting Meeting
  • Time to call my parents
  • Such beautiful weather

 


Lesson: Take time to appreciate when things go right.

Celebrate your small successes. Take a few moments to stop and appreciate the things that are going right. As leaders, we are often caught up in all the challenges and problems we need to solve. We have long to-do lists that seem like they will never be completed. So as a leader, you have to consciously stop and appreciate what is going right and what you have accomplished. Celebrate small successes, personally, and with your team.

Opportunity: Every day, email a friend with a list of things that went right for you personally and for your team.

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

6 Things Every Entrepreneur Has to Learn to Accelerate Growth

Starting a company is tough, but sometimes entrepreneurs find that growing their company is even more challenging. Here are 6 areas you should learn about to help you be more successful as you grow your company.

  1. Manage the big vision instead of the details – When you first get started, you are responsible for every little detail of the business. In order to grow you have to turn those details over to other people and trust they will handle them. This is more painful and difficult than many people realize. You have invested your heart, soul, and life into the business, you are often operating on a razor’s edge, and you don’t want anything to go wrong. But to grow and expand you have to let others handle the details. You can still confirm they are on the right path and do spot checks to ensure your big vision is still on track. But to grow, you can no longer do or know everything about the business.
  2. Build a revenue machine – There are many aspects to a business that you need to manage; from operations, technology, and hiring to product development and profitability. But the one thing that differentiates a business from a hobby is revenue. Is someone willing to pay for what you provide? In order to grow, you don’t just need one client, you need a system for continuously finding prospects and turning them into customers. A system that can scale and a system that you can turn over to other people in your company. We call this a revenue machine. You may always be involved with landing the big clients and overall revenue growth, but you need a revenue machine that continues to function even when you have to focus on one of your other 15 jobs within the company. In order to grow your business; build a consistent predictable revenue machine.
  3. Understand your financials – Are you profitable? Which products are generating the most margin? Which geographies? Which channels? What is your cash flow and run rate? What are your biggest expenses and how can you manage them? Can you afford to hire new team members or to invest in new technology and equipment? Clients and employees may be your focus, but your financials are how you measure your results and make key decisions about where you company needs you most. Without good financials, you will eventually grow your company into failure. If you want to successfully grow your business, make time to take a basic business financials course and hire someone you trust to not just “do the monthly books”, but to provide you with the financial insight that will ensure you grow successfully.
  4. Cash Flow is king – An often overlooked part of any business growth plan is cash flow. A simple way to look at Cash Flow is do you have enough money in your checking account to cover your payroll at the end of the month. Lots of companies have accounting profits and empty bank accounts. Without cash flow, you can’t hire more people, open new geographies, invest in new technologies, or even pay for travel to pitch new partners and clients. Many companies survive years without making a profit, but they all fail the day they run out of cash. So, to grow a company successfully you have to be vigilant about improving your cash flow. Whether that is customer growth, accounts receivables, loans from banks, or new investors; as the leader you have to ensure the company exists long enough to take advantage of the next big opportunity that is coming around the corner.
  5. Some clients are more important than others – It is a common refrain “every client counts,” and that is extremely true for the first few clients and maybe even the 10th or 15th But eventually, if you want to grow the company, you have to choose where you will focus your efforts. It may be because of size or for strategic reasons, but some clients will need to be at the top of your contact list while others drop down towards the bottom. If you can’t prioritize your clients and your time, you will not be able to grow your business.
  6. Always be looking for that next big deal – If you want to grow, you always have to be on the lookout for that next big deal. It could be that new giant client that doubles your size overnight, a new and lucrative distribution channel, a new product, or a new partnership. Whatever it is, you have to be diligent and focused about looking for and preparing yourself and the company for that next big deal. You can’t grow if you don’t get it, and you can’t grow if you are not prepared to handle it when it finally happens. If you want to grow, start looking and preparing for that next big deal right now.

Next we’ll share 7 ideas for helping you navigate the rough seas of managing people and yourself to accelerate growth.

Hopefully this list is helpful and you are on a path for profitable growth. What else would you add to the list?

 

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My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Alexia’s Legacy: Lesson #38 – Leaders Fight for Their Team

She was tragically taken from us, but her legacy lives on.  Every few weeks we will share excerpts from the book.

Six Flags Student Director Trip

In October, the Student Directors of PLP planned a trip to Six Flags. We all felt it was important to build relationships outside of “work.” We had purchased passes to go to the Fright Festival events; however, when we tried to enter they wouldn’t let us in. There was some confusion about the wrong kind of tickets and needing extra tickets. Naturally none of us were okay with that response since broke college kids have little money and the tickets were $20 each. The security guard mentioned a customer service booth back at the main entrance. So we had to turn around and walk 20 minutes back to the front of the park and most of us assumed we would just leave then and go home. But as we got near the customer services booth, Alexia looked at me and said, “Oh no! We didn’t pay $20 each to drive out here and leave.” We began discussing how we were going to “nicely” persuade Six Flags to exchange our tickets for the ones we thought we had bought. I used my iPhone to do some research and could not find any fine print on the ticket or website suggesting that what they were saying was accurate. So we all waited in line with Alexia at the front. Alexia, wanting to be a lawyer, approached the “judge” of Six Flags and the court was in session. She was passionate for us, but gentle. She became very passionate in her defense because she cared about our not wasting our time and money. She wanted what was best for us.

Fortunately, her gentle approach and the lack of evidence from Six Flags to support their position, led to our all getting the correct tickets. Credit is also due to the very nice person working at Six Flags. The point is Alexia cared about us and was willing to fight for us. I tell this story to show that, even though we weren’t best friends with her, friendship meant something to her. She fought for us with gentleness, despite her passion, showing that grace may abound in frustration.    Austin Hatcher

 

Lesson: Leaders fight for their team.

Leaders fight for their team and for what is right. Great opportunities to show your qualities as a leader arise when your team is not getting what they deserve or when you want to help get them something a little extra. Nothing brings a team together quicker than a common enemy or the feeling that being part of that team means something special. Step up when the time is right, and make sure your team gets what they deserve. Use your resources and energy to defend their honor or to make sure they are rewarded for their hard work and sacrifice.

Opportunity: Consider what battle you could fight to help your team get the recognition and success they deserve.

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Check the Boxes

Through everyone’s life and career, there will be opportunities to make changes.  Some of those opportunities will not be specifically in our plan (driven by forces outside of our control) and some will be part of the evolution of our life plans.  During decision making in either example, it’s best to have a well calculated evaluation process that is fact based to help you cut though all of the obstacles.

I call that process – Check the Boxes.

In a Check the Boxes process, as you begin considering the opportunities, identify the key items that are most important to you and that you want to ensure you either maintain or acquire with the upcoming change.  As you outline these factors give each a rating of 1 to 5.  By using this simple system, you will be able to eliminate options from your processes and focus only on those that provide a favorable rating in your system.

By way of example, let’s say that you have the opportunity to look for a new job.  This may be because you want to continue to expand your career or that your current company is making some changes and you happen to be caught up in a force reduction.  Either way, look at it as a positive opportunity to make some changes and align closer with your ideal role and goals.  I use this process often with the university students that I mentor and colleagues I work with.

Start the process by identifying all of the potential factors in looking for a new role, whether they are immediately important or not.  Factors like: company, type of industry, location, work environment, commute times, salary & benefits, travel requirements, opportunities to advance, stability of company.  While the list could go on and on, each of the factors are relevant in a position.

Once you have the broad field of factors identified, begin to narrow it down to the key items that are critical to you and give them a weight of importance.  For instance, if type of industry is one of the most critical factors, give it a high rating and as you begin to evaluate opportunities, only include ones that align with this value.  This is what I call Checking the Box.

At the end of this initial process, you should have 4 – 5 key factors that you will want to consider in your decision making process.  As you go through the process, chose to move forward with those options that have the most boxes checked.

Again, the Check the Box process is one that can be used in most decision making situations, at a personal level or professional level.  Buying a car or entering a new market.  Taking a new job or hiring a new employee.

One of the key parts to the process is being true to yourself and basing your decision on fact based logic.  Obviously emotions will always play into a decision, but by using this Check the Box process you can begin to minimize the impact of pure emotion on your decision.

As you have learned from my previous posts, I like to keep it simple.  I hope that this is another simple process for you to use in your personal or professional life.

Have a great day!

 

Keep It Simple

Over my career I have been through numerous training courses, facilitated strategic planning meetings, seminars and coaching sessions.  Many of them focused on different methods and processes to drive the success of my company or organization.  Most of them are based on complicated and convoluted processes which focus on hundreds of moving parts and different formulas.

While I am sure that the methods are based on sound underlying foundations and if utilized, could have a big impact on the performance of an organization.  Unfortunately, due to their complexity, many of the concepts are never utilized after the initial meetings.   By keeping it simple and easy to understand, the likelihood of a process being adopted is much higher.

One of the first sales training methodologies that I learned early in my career was the KISS method.  While there are many variations of the acronym, the one I learned was Keep It Simple, Stupid.  The foundation of the KISS principle is that most systems work best when they are kept simple rather than complicated; therefore simplicity should be a key goal in design and unnecessary complexity should be avoided.

The KISS philosophy isn’t only for sales situations and actually originated in the 1960’s by the US Navy and Lockheed Martin from an engineering perspective.  The philosophy is also applicable to management and leadership.  If you base your leadership style on simple underlying principles, it will be easier for your team to align and follow.

Three Pillars for Keeping It Simple:

  1. Clarity of Purpose – by establishing a clear purpose at all levels in an organization, people will understand how they fit and support the broader purpose. Most people like to know that they are part of something bigger – establishing a single broad purpose across the organization helps them feel like they are making a difference.
  2. Focused Execution – without a focus on execution in an organization, the team can meander and not achieve their goals and targets. Ensuring that everyone understands the need to focus on implementing the plan will ensure targets are hit and everyone reaches success.
  3. Measured Accountability – by putting measurements in place and driving accountability in an organization your team will fully understand what is expected of them and how well they are achieving their goals. Accountability doesn’t mean micromanaging or not giving people the autonomy to achieve success in their own way.  It simply ensures that measurements are put in place to track progress toward goals and allows for course changes if necessary along the way.

While I have put these pillars in the context of leading an organization, they can be used in many different situations.  For instance in my last post, I talked about a 10 year plan (http://35.171.68.152/creating-a-10-year-plan/) – you can follow the pillars above to work your plan.  Have clarity in the purpose of your plan and each element.  Focus your execution to achieve the milestones and end points of the plan. And finally, you need to hold yourself accountable to delivering against your plan.

Leadership, Hugs, and Success

To be successful as leaders we have to connect with other human beings.  People want to follow other humans they can relate to and aspire to be, not untouchable royalty they have nothing in common with and who care nothing about them. They want to follow people who have a vested stake in their success and who they feel comfortable being around. Hugging and touching helps leaders communicate that connection in an instant. Hugs help us feel closer, build trust, and improve communication with the other person. A touch on the shoulder, a warm handshake, or a quick hug communicates appreciation and recognition much more effectively than just words. Hugs have also been shown to improve memory, reduce stress, and provide a feeling of safety. This is not just an emotional reaction; it is also a physical one. Hugs release oxytocin which is like a relationship hormone. It is found in increased levels in people with positive relationships. Hugging also increases serotonin levels, which helps people feel happier and more relaxed. Hugs help improve the immune system and the production of white blood cells and help us release tension. A hug can serve as a warm welcome, or a thank you at the end of a tough project. Hugs also show people you understand when they are working through a tough time personally or at work. Hugs open us up when we are feeling constrained and up-tight. A hug gives us permission to start a dialogue about what is bothering us and opens up channels of communication. Hugs are another way of communicating the importance of people in our lives. Hugging sends the message that they are important to us and they matter.
There is a false assumption that hugging and touching are not allowed in the workplace. People are more scared of the legal ramifications than interested in connecting with people on their team. The rule is simple; don’t hug someone that doesn’t want to be hugged.  Offer the hugs, don’t force them.

 

Give hugs freely and people will be attracted to your warmth and will work to support you as a leader and help you succeed.

 

The World Needs More Hugs!

 

“I have learned that there is more power in a good strong hug than in a thousand meaningful words.”    Ann Hood

 

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My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.

Alexia’s Legacy – Make a Plan

She was tragically taken from us, but her legacy lives on.  Every few weeks we will share excerpts from the book.

 

From Alexia’s Journal: I dream of a very productive week! I will give my undivided attention to my work and get well ahead so I can have a FUN, RELAXING weekend in College Station.

 

Ray,

Today was a smooth transition back into work and classes! After work and class, I made a plan for this week and got some RA work done. I got a workout in and am now off to bed!

Have a wonderful rest of the week!

Alexia

 

Lesson: Make a Plan.

Leaders make plans. Many people romanticize leadership as the charismatic person who just naturally knows what to do next. Although the “fly by the seat of your pants” and “instinctively know what to do” type of leadership might exist, it is not very common. Leadership can be as simple as being the person who takes time to make a plan. To be a better leader start by thinking about the big picture and taking time to organize your tasks and priorities so the next steps are clear. As the “organized person” you could become the de facto leader because you won’t be overwhelmed by the hundreds of swirling options. If you take the time to group or categorize those options and create a plan you can help get the team started.

Many people believe they are not the most organized person on the team. As a leader, your plan may be as simple as finding the most organized person and working with him or her to help you organize next steps and actions, prior to the team meeting. In other words, make a plan to recruit help in making a plan.

 

A few other benefits of being an organized leader:

 

  • Your team will have more confidence in someone who is clear on next steps.
  • Your team will become more cohesive as they accomplish small tasks together on the way to a larger goal.
  • Your team will begin to work independently as they create successes with your short term plan and can begin to visualize the long term potential.

 

Opportunity: Make a Plan for Your Next Team Meeting

  1. Pull your list of goals and priorities from the previous chapters.
  2. Brainstorm a list of actions you should take to reach those goals.
  3. Put the list in sequential order. What has to happen first before anything else can be done? What has to happen second? For items that don’t have a natural sequential order, but them in order of priority. Largest priorities first.
  4. For each action, write down the name of the person on the team who would be the best leader for that action. Who has the most interest or relevant experience and knowledge?
  5. Take your plan to the meeting and offer it to the team. Ask for volunteers and recommend the people on your list. Explain to the team why they would be best suited for the role.

 

Opportunity: Make a Plan for Your Week

 

  1. What are your goals and priorities?
  2. What do you have to accomplish or attend to this week?
  3. Put time on your calendar for each activity.
  4. Color code the activities by level of importance.
  5. Remember to leave open time for the unexpected.
  6. Follow your calendar and see how much you get done.

 

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About 

My Passion is helping people become successful and happy. I have found that many people want to be successful but just don’t know how. More importantly, people want to be successful because they feel that reaching some success pinnacle will result in them becoming happy. The research and my experience has shown that just the opposite is the case. Success does not lead to happiness. Happiness leads to success.