BEN MARTINEZ
Relax. Look Around. Take Action.
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Posts in Teamwork
Work on your Illusion

The ability to change without the reason for change takes discipline beyond the average person. Many people change because they have a catastrophe occur in their life (illness, death, major body change, life change etc.). In business, this shows up with some shift in their business that makes them start their own business or new job. The change is like an illusion they perceive as true. In 2008 - former Paypal exec, David Sacks, founded a company called, Yammer. After about four years, Microsoft bought his company for $1.2b.

What do you think made him think he could start a tech company and sell it for $1.2b? Do you think that was his plan or was it an illusion he thought to be true? What was his reason for changing? From Paypal exec to start-up, Yammer. Hmmmm.

But what about the people who do not experience a major sudden change? The people who experience a gradual change of something over years and later realize that experience gave them the confidence to do something on their own. Some businesses start like a gradual illusion and eventually become real.

Think about the changes you need to make but there has been no compelling event in your life that has made you make a change. Many people come home from work, watch TV, eat food then veg out until bed time. Life is good so why should they change?

Work on your trade, art, game, skill or craft. Watch kids do what they love to do - play. They turn anything into play. Their trade is their play and the unintended consequence is them learning something by using their wildly imaginative minds. They are serious about playing like it is their main trade in life. It actually is.

When people play they become more curious and this creates change because they start thinking about doing something different and eventually do something different. Being curious is being open to the other side of the book shelf. The different authors, the other people's perspectives and the other side of the table. Play around with different books, authors, and people. See what they do to pass the days and nights.

In our day jobs, many people spend time thinking about what someone else in their office should do instead of being happy playing in their world. They fail to create their own illusion they believe to be true. When your work is over it will be an illusion that you will never get back so you might as well make it a fun illusion with your mind and imagination. You will never get your work back and your job is one of the most temporary things you will ever do.

We have the ability to change. No matter how big or small the reason for change is. What illusion are you working on today? What side jobs are your illusion? How can you change it up for tomorrow?

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A Suggestion for Change

Large scale change efforts happen when people are dissatisfied enough by the status quo. Change is that simple. When people are dissatisfied enough, they will make a change. Don't spend time getting someone to change their character if they are satisfied with their current character. What is happening to your character if you are trying to change someone else's character...

Don't spend time coaching someone if they do not see the need for the coach. Maybe they are doing as much as they think they can...

It takes force for a change to occur but you cannot force change. People spend hours years of time and hundreds millions of dollars on change efforts that fail.

Much of the work we do everyday is working on getting other people to change. You need them to change what they are doing to respond to your email, text, voicemail, tweet, etc.

What change effort are you trying to lead? What battle/s are you fighting in your head?

Sending emails to "All" or posting pictures and updates to "Everyone" does not mean people will change. Tagging yourself with a big logo or attaching yourself to a creed and then telling people they should change because of the logo or creed does not change people.

People change when they are dissatisfied enough by the status quo and see a vision of the new change. Once people are dissatisfied and they see something better (vision) change spreads by contagion.

What about people who just do not see the need for change? Well - it could mean they are happier than you (that is likely and wonderful) OR they are just not dissatisfied enough.

Lastly, may I make a suggestion? By all means - the easiest and most important person to change is you.

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The placebo effect of work

There is nothing in a placebo drug that will affect your mental health. If the placebo drug is viewed as helpful, it will help you. If it is viewed as harmful, it will harm you. Usually your mind creates the illusion of what the placebo drug is supposed to do and then your mind does it. In medicine it's as if researchers want the placebo drug to fail and their drug to work. Shouldn't it be the other way around so we want the placebo to work?

Placebo drugs have no side effects. Your expectations before taking a placebo drug is what the drug will do to your mind and body. How often do we create a monster in our head about a work project or expect that work colleague to be tough to deal with? We have given our mind a placebo drug and created a monster of the situation.

The most disappointing thing we can learn about ourselves is that we already have the power and energy within our mind and body to make a change. We trick ourselves like a placebo drug tricks our mind and do what the placebo is supposed to do (make us feel good or bad). The change was within us all along.

What makes a vacation, a vacation? What makes a work day, a work day? Is it the change of scenery? Is it because we let go of control? We get to take our work clothes off and put our shorts and T-shirt on? What makes it okay to say we are off the clock?

The mind frame you bring to your work is your idea of work. The words you use to talk about work, is your work. People pay people for what is in their mind and what they share out of their mind. It is mindless to think you are being controlled by some make believe human or animal called "work". You are your work.

As for vacation, can't everyday be a vacation? The mind frame you bring to your vacation, is your idea of vacation. It is mindless to think you are on vacation because you get to do something other than what you have made yourself believe is work.

Yes, there is work, there's always been work. But that doesn't mean we should get fooled by the placebo effect that work is terrible and vacation is fun. Everyday can be a vacation and everyday can be work.

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4 Un-Technical Tips To Being More Productive On A Computer

You will spend most of your life on a computer, working, playing and such. You might as well make your time more productive, so you can do the things you need to get done. Below are FOUR tips - to being more productive with your tools of the computer. There is nothing technical about these tips. No apps, passwords or knowledge of new systems. Just a few small changes - Check em...

1. Speed up your mousepad or mouse. Go to system preferences (Mac users), click "mouse" or "trackpad" and double the speed of your mousepad. Make it go faster, if you can tolerate. Holy @#$t - boom... This change will make you feel like your computer just got faster because your cursor will move much faster.

2. Change your keyboard layout from your standard QWERTY keyboard to the Dvorak Simplified Keyboard (email subscribers click through for pic). People claim the Dvorak layout uses less finger motion, increasing typing rate, and reducing errors. This change will take time to get use to, but once you make the switch I hear it does wonders. Change is hard mang - I plan to change mine soon...

3. Use your non-dominate hand with your mouse. This change allows you to multi-task with your dominate hand. I made this switch about 10 years ago. I am 34% faster. Yeah right Ben. No but really - try it out. Hard at first, but you can cover the keyboard, phone and writing while mousing. Yes, I just made up that term - "mousing".

4. Lastly, your Mom was right. Make your bed the minute you get up in the morning. I don't do this because I am usually up before my wife, but make your bed if you are the only one in your bed in the morning. Making your bed will give you an early day accomplishment. It will make you feel like you did something productive already.

Do these tips if you are the pro in your industry looking for the edge. Your family will thank you because you will be home on time for dinner with enough day light to pick up dog poop, do the dishes and tuck the kids in for bed.

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9 Ways To Ruin Your Audience With A Blog

Below are 9 ways you can ruin your audience when you write a blog. You don't write enough. Find out how much your audience wants to read your words. Every audience is different. You write too much. Your audience finds you spammy. Yes, I get emails from people telling me I write too much. You write poorly edited content. Try your hardest not to have typos, but move on if you do. You offend your audience. I have a lost a few good (wo)mans because of my slang words. You copy content and try to make it look original. Be authentic. Read good books and write about them in your own words (see pic of my current books. Yes, my books might look random, but keep reading). PS - KD your book made my list. You only talk about you. Talk about you like 30% of the time and spend 70% of your time on other people/topics. You never share with people the real you. You act guarded, not vulnerable. Just be you. Nobody cares, but you. You talk about people with bad intent. Jealousy and fame seeking thoughts make you write bad words about other people. Don't go into the mud with people. You will look muddier than before. You think creating content takes too much time and it is not your job. False - If you write a blog and have an audience - you need to keep their attention. They spend their time to learn from you and want to know what you are up to. This past week I wrote about 2000-3000 words. I could not find anything worth sharing and published nothing. Pathetic. I didn't swing the bat. Many people have a content calendar - I should, but I do not. I like to be more random and not put boundaries on myself with a schedule of content.

Lastly - If you are looking for advice on how to start a blog, just do it 100 times or so. Write 100 blog posts and see how you feel. After 100 blog posts you will know if you want to continue with a blog.

Peace out - Ben

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Here Comes Your Everyday Mud

Fear is the mud in your eyes. We fear our job will go away.

We fear our edge will be lost and someone smarter and cheaper will come along to replace us.

We fear someone will be smarter than us.

We fear our business will fail.

We fear people will not accept us or like us. It is lonely when people say they do not like us.

We fear people will care if we fail and we will be judged by our failures.

We fear doing new things or thinking with different people because it hurts to push our minds to newer levels. Narrow minds can not see beyond their current level and open minds can develop beyond their current levels.

Everyone has a fear. The feeling of being vulnerable is the feeling of fear. That feeling before you speak in public, ski down a steep mountain, jump out of airplane, marry a gal/guy, asking someone for a sales deal, etc.

Fear exists in any organization, society or culture. Fear is the mud in your environment. Everyday people work in mud.

Lead yourself out of the mud.

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15 Ways "They" Control You

15 "they" observations I hear: 1. "They" give you time off.

2. "They" give you a raise. "They" promote you.

3. "They" fire you.

4. "They" want you to believe in this person or that person.

5. "They" want you to belong to XYZ religious or political organization.

6. "They" think she is good or he is good.

7. "They" think she is bad or he is bad.

8. "They" did not renew your employment visa so you have to leave the country.

9. "They" did not give you a good interest rate on your house. Contrarily, "they" gave you a good interest rate on your house.

10. "They" do not want you to listen to that music. Rather,"They" want you to listen to this music.

11. "They" say you can't write.

12. "They" say you can't speak.

13. "They" say you can't sell.

14. "They" say you can't be you.

15. "They" ain't you.

"They" are attached to your mind because you let them attach to your mind. Listening to too much they is a lost way to lead.

If you let them, "they" control your mind. The. Second. You. Wake-up. Don't pursue "they". "They" is in your mind.

Who do you think of when you use or hear the word, "they"?

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Sleep harder than the competition

Sleep is the chief at the table. Too little sleep is associated with illness and poor attention at work. Too much sleep you have the same effect. How much sleep do you need? About 7.2 hours... The everyday people you surround yourself with probably does not get 7.2 hours of sleep. They either get less than 7 or perhaps over 9 hours of sleep. Too much sleep (over 9) is not good either.

Sufficient sleep is no guarantee you will get a promotion or that killer sales deal, but good things happen to those who get sleep. So why don't people get enough sleep? Because it's not cool to brag about a good night's sleep.

Think about it everyone. Most talks at work are about how little sleep a person got the night before. Bob tells everyone he got 4 hours in hopes he will be seen as a stud while Sally claims she gets 5 hours to show how hard she works. Usually Bob and Sally are boring people to be around.

Nobody announces they got 7-8 hours of sleep. That is because not many people get 7-8 hours of sleep. Sleep different than everyone else. Shoot for 7.2 hours.

Sleep harder my friends. Good luck.

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DAYS OF 47 EDITION: 6 ways to be a technology pioneer

In Utah this week it is Pioneer day on Thursday July 24th. Some catchy people call it "Pie and Beer" day and more formal people call it "Days of 47", but I digress. The purpose of the holiday is to recognize the day Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers entered into the state on July 24, 1847, hence the name, Days of 47. Pioneers in any culture deserve a Hat-Tip and recognition. They make bold moves for freedom. Wild west pioneers had the guts to settle a new territory or venture into an area that few to none have been before. Fast forward 150 plus years into the knowledge era where technology can play a role to make us more human or not. We have innovators who introduce new ideas and concepts that few to none have explored before. They become seen as the technology pioneers of their organization or circle or tribe.

Within the technology industry the term "disruption" or "disruptor" is sometimes used to describe a technology pioneer. Disruptors pioneer something new or get people to change or abandon the old way.

Chances are if you read my blog you are not a cowboy, prospector, miner or trapper, etc. Most of you are executives with grit and hunger or stuck on the corporate career ladder somewhere and looking for a place to jump. The thought of being a technology pioneer does not scare you. Here are a few ways to be one...

1. Innovate. You. Must. Create. Find new ways for doing old things or new ways for doing new things. Find a new way to sell, market or recruit. It could be new ways to recruit people or recognize people who do good in our society or work places. You must keep looking to do thing faster, better and cheaper and that does not involve firing innocent workers. That is too easy.

2. Impact. Make your new technology or ideas have a positive impact on your company, team, or the world. Making an impact takes time, but keep it going. Care more about making an impact than anyone else.

3. Growth. Grow a team and their development, grow sales, grow connections, grow market share, etc. Your idea must spread and grow. Without growth, your idea/s will sit.

4. Prove it. Have you tried your idea? Want to start a company blog? Have you ever run a blog? Want to sell on social media? Have you sold on social media? Want to create an app for training? Have you used apps for training? Show proof and people will follow. Lead by example.

5. Visionary leadership. You can't move what you can't see. Paint, write, tell and show your story over and over and over again. Then repeat again. Make sure people get the vision. This is a never ending a job. Most new ideas, initiatives or businesses fail because of a poor vision. I speak from experience.

6. Status. No matter your role or level in an organization find people with a strong social status and influence. These people are often not the highest ranking company official. They are pioneers who will help you in your journey.

Technology pioneers do not have it as tough as the pioneers of the wild wild west, but they often have a solo journey. Use your anger or frustration to find a movement or start a movement. Have fun and do good with it. Have some jello salad on me this week. Pie and beer too. Good luck being a technology pioneer if you go that route and peace be with you my friend. I got your back.

Happy Pioneer Day no matter your religious beliefs.

PS--Credit the World Economic Forum who selects several technology start-ups each year and calls them "Technology Pioneers".

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Twitter's latest move takes a deep move into #Recruiting

Smooth move Twitter. Email subscribers click through for a pic... Their latest redesign move allows a user to showcase their portfolio with pictures, quality tweets and retweets (click HERE for Mashable article). This is good for people who are looking to find workers (recruiters) and people who want to find work (entrepreneurs, candidates, etc). Even the good ole men and women of Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that more than 75% of companies use social networking sites to recruit job candidates. LinkedIn is the obvious player here, but about 54% of recruiters use Twitter to screen and nurture talent. Twitter's redesign move gives me confidence that more recruiters will use it to recruit.

Twitter has about 974M registered users of which about 429M users have never tweeted. This confident move sounds like it will help their adoption issue. Many people I speak with have Twitter accounts, but do not use it because they do not see the purpose. If they want to set themselves apart in the recruiting space, this move gives many of them more purpose. Kinda thought provoking to think almost half of Twitter's users do not even use their product, but yet they keep trucking along just fine.

Soon, more and more success stories of how people found work on Twitter will be shared and bright people will figure out how to put an ROI case together to use it more and more. Nothing new, but big media will get hold of these stories, make a big deal about it, and lonely HR people who do not get on-board will be in the dark again...Nothing new on that front either.

Twitter is moving into recruiting more than before. Let's see how this unfolds for HR Tech companies and big and small company recruiters and candidates. Time will tell...

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Hoot Biglar is buying the HR Hound Blog for $780,000

I'm excited to announce that tech guru, Hoot Biglar, has agreed to buy the HR Hound blog for $780,000. Ben will continue to write, but he will only be found writing under the @HRHound Twitter handle and keeping it under 140 characters or less, of course. Who is Hoot Biglar? He is listed on various HR census headcount reports OR union job bid sheets or training reports run by gritty HR coordinators. Hoot Biglar is a make believe and fake person. Hoot does not exist, but if you read this far my writing skills fooled you. That's right, today is April Fools. Gotcha! BUT here is what is real. My latest post on the Entelo Blog...

Entelo understands that most execs and CEOs have trouble hiring the right people. They understand that recruiting is a broken industry and they work to make recruiters more effective while at the same time making candidate-recruiter interactions more personal. Read more what the HR Hound has to say at their Entelo Blog (email subscribers click through for link)...

Laugh today. Hoot Biglar is not buying the HR Hound, but would if he/she was real. Hahahahaha.

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Wake Up The Calm One

The calm one can be the strong one. Comeback with an attack like Big Mac and don't look back unless you experience a reflective set-back. Wake up the calm ones or wake up your mind if you are the calm one. Start your comeback. People do not care what you do. It is your brand, your circle or lane that you swim in. You should care what you do, more than they do. They is the monster you create in your mind. Wake up... Wake up to always be prepared, aware and find the desire so you have the ability to act with good intentions, no matter the situation. Wake up and disrupt the rigid formal or old process with good intent.

There is an HR Tech disruption right now. Are you aware? Are you prepared for it? Do you have the desire and ability to act on it? Results speak for themselves. Do not be a sleepy dog in the street (email subscribers click through for pic) What do people, candidates and customers say about their experience with you? Wake up.

Sometimes it takes a little razzle dazzle to wake up the calm mind. Wake up, Act with good intent, then Keep calm, and Carry on (a little pun to the 1939 British government motivational poster)...Wake up.

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The Ski Chair Lift Interview

I recently took a ski trip to Grand Targhee (remote place in Wyoming) where I spent many hours over a few days on skis and several minutes on ski chair lifts with people I know well and random people I did not know at all. Riding on a ski chair lift with someone new and random is a different way to get to know people. Here are few interactions I experienced... --A guy from Boston, has 2 young children, he and his wife just sold their Salt Lake City ski home because the taxes tripled. They ski and boat often. My take away is this guy has money and is all about having a good time.

--A woman from Colombia skis the beginner hill while her husband and kids hit the big hills. She mostly skis alone and does not care because she has a blast skiing. My take away is that she sounds confident and independent.

- A different woman well into her 60s is afraid of heights and speed, but lives nearby the resort and purposely puts herself on skis and steep hills to overcome her fear of heights and speed. She sounds driven to overcome challenges.

-A father/son combo does an annual ski trip to the same resort and now they have grandkids and kids and bigger families. Been doing the same resort and ski trip for years. These people value tradition.

-A guy in his twenties went snowboarding alone between his graduate school work. He did not care that he was alone and just wanted to be out there. We met on the chair lift on one of the coldest and windiest days. This guy has a work hard, play hard mindset. Being alone on a chair lift can be peaceful too (click through to see pic).

Imagine taking a candidate on ski chair lift ride. Imagine what the conversation will bring if you only have 5 or 10 minutes with no interruptions. OR Imagine how deep the conversation can get if you were with someone on a ski chair lift ride you already know well. Either way, you walk away with a deeper sense of trust in each other than you had before the ride up the mountain.

Most likely you will not have the time or chance to bring a candidate on a ski chair lift ride, but think about different ways to interview and spend time with people. It will give you a deeper look at what makes them tick and how they will fit into your culture scene at work.

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TeamworkBen MartinezComment
Once upon a time at HR Bandcamp...

Once upon a time there was a technology boom scaring HR and recruiting professionals across the world. Every day large percentages of company HR and Talent Management/Acquisition leaders were not attracting top talent to the point where their executive line wondered whether they knew what they were doing or if they had a clue. One day a few daring and risk taking HR and Talent Management professionals figured out how to use technology to change their profession, and increase the quality of talent they delivered to their clients. Because of that... their business became more profitable and their reputation in the talent market improved. Because of that... HR and Talent Management professionals were free to work on making their people work better and their company more profitable. And because of better technology, visibility of what they were doing improved and people wanted to follow them. Imagine that.

Until finally...the HR and Talent Management community, regardless of political status or hierarchical position, understood how to use technology to find better talent and were aware of how technology can save them time and money. They were leaders of technology. They saw the vision and were looking forward to the next big thing. Once upon a time this will happen.

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The Reality Of...

The reality of life is that it does not work out the way you planned or saw on TV. The reality of your job is that people do not do what you want them to do. The reality of funerals is that they do not turn out the way you think a funeral should turn out. The reality of the pain and conflict that comes with a funeral, is that people react differently and act in their own way on how to handle death. The reality of your life today is that you can live it and create more of it.

The reality of HR is that you do not do what you read, heard or studied about. You might drive across the snow to pick up candidates and fill their coffee up while also negotiating big dollars across the table. The reality of reality is that it is real and people do real things. After all the fake content you see on line you come to realize that people are still people and people are still real.

The reality of your life is that it is your life to run. And that is the reality of living and working and being someone while you are here with us...

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