3 minute read

I’ve always thought of myself as a positive person, but in the daily grind, it’s easy to get caught up in what’s wrong, what needs to be fixed or what should improve. That’s exactly what Max Yoder tries to address in his new book, Do Better Work.

When my coworker Megan Fisher saw a Lessonly LinkedIn post calling for examples of individuals who bring positivity into the workplace, she entered my name and shared Borshoff’s initiative “B-Positive.” To help infuse our staff meetings with good energy and positivity, we encourage Shoffers to share something good that’s happened recently, from client success to coworker kudos. Thanks to Megan’s support, I received a copy of Do Better Work and promptly packed it in my carry-on for spring break reading.

In his book, Yoder, CEO of Lessonly, gives practical and personal lessons of success and failure, risk and reward that inspire others to do better work. I relate to many of his stories, and found these key takeaways stuck with me the most:

  1. Be vulnerable

It’s okay to say “I don’t know” or “I need help.” People will respect you more for being open and honest, and you will learn from it. When we made a decision recently that raised questions from some of our employees, I held individual chats with many of them to discuss our rationale and listen to their concerns. One of the best conversations I had was with the biggest critic of the decision. I was vulnerable in saying, “We might’ve made the wrong decision, but it was the decision we made for these reasons.” He responded with, “That’s the best answer you could’ve given me.”

Takeaway: Being vulnerable is key to progress, growth and connecting with others.

  1. Be cognizant of how you show up in a room

One of Yoder’s chapters is called “Bring Brightness to the Room.” He shares that it’s more than showing up—you have to show up with positivity. It’s contagious, drowning out the negative nay-sayers. Our leadership team has a big goal to achieve so at the start of a recent strategy session I asked each person to share something good that happened to them recently, either at home, work, etc. What could’ve been a daunting, long session turned into an upbeat, hopeful exchange of ideas. And, we ended early!

Takeaway: Bringing positive energy into a room can make a sticky situation manageable and brighten up the mood.

  1. Be opportunity minded

There’s a quote by author Charles Swindoll that resonates with me: “Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.” How easy is it to shift blame or hide behind the truth rather than taking responsibility? It’s too easy to fall into the self-pity trap. When work or life brings challenges (and believe me, they will), look for the opportunity to step up, be accountable and learn.

Takeaway: Behind every apparent bad break, there is a potential breakthrough.

In a highly creative and high-level thinking business where we are constantly striving for better work, we experience challenges and stress along with fun and positivity. Keeping Yoder’s lessons in mind, we can “do better work” and continue to bring positivity into the Shoff office every day.

If you haven’t yet, pick up Do Better Work and see what you glean from it. If you have read #DoBetterWork, what was your biggest takeaway?