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Unleashing the Future of Work, Monthly Newsletter by James F. Kenefick

June, 2023

jfk, james f kenefick, new york, newsletter, tech talk, innovations, leadership

Embracing the future of work is more than adopting new technologies it's about fostering a culture of innovation, nurturing curiosity, and recognizing the immense potential of the technology's compass guiding us, whether it's through breakthroughs in healthcare, seismic shifts in corporate strategies, or novel approaches to problem-solving, innovation is the wind in our sails.

As leaders, our role is not simply to ride this wave but to steer the ship leveraging the power of technology to enhance our humanity, foster sustainable growth, and build a future where progress and well-being walk hand in hand.

James F. Kenefick

How Emotionally Intelligent Leaders Enhance Morale, Motivation, and Employee Well-being

Setting ambitious goals is common in leadership, with some leaders opting for "reachable" goals and others preferring "stretch" goals, surmising that achieving a significant portion of an audacious target is better than meeting a modest one entirely.

The ideal level to set your goals hinges mainly on the temperaments of your team members and the incentives you establish. Leadership, as always, is highly contextual. Nevertheless, a recent study offers fascinating insights. The research, published in the Journal of Internet Medical Research, involved participants using fitness trackers that recorded their steps. However, there was a twist: for one group, the trackers significantly overestimated their actual steps, while for the other group, they considerably underestimated them.

The results were intriguing. Participants whose steps were underestimated experienced a decline in their overall mood and self-esteem. Their diets were less healthy compared to those in the overstated group. The real clincher was this: their blood pressure and heart rates were elevated, a typical response to emotional stress. Interestingly, in reality, both groups had similar activity levels. The primary difference lies in their self-perception and motivation to strive toward their daily objective. The takeaways? Stretch goals are acceptable as they reach goals, as long as they are realistic considering the required time, effort, and skillset.

However, goals that seem impossible can appear motivating initially, especially to the one setting them. Yet, the harsh reality of struggling and failing to meet these lofty goals can harm the self-esteem, mood, motivation, and even the health of those tasked to achieve them.

The question of deliberately overstating results may seem manipulative, but luckily, the researchers found that accurately reporting step counts led to similar emotional and physical benefits as the group with inflated step counts.

As the researchers put it:

"Even among individuals who engage in the same objective amount of physical activity, some may believe that their activity level is adequate and benefits their health. In contrast, others may believe that their activity is inadequate and harms their health.”

This illustrates that people's beliefs can significantly impact their health, well-being, and, potentially, longevity, regardless of their actual physical activity.

The crux? It's about feelings. While leaders can't control how their team feels (and should not attempt to do so), they can control the goals they set, influencing how their team members feel about themselves.

Setting goals too high can lead to disappointment, stress, and anxiety. On the other hand, goals set too low may not boost morale or motivation since achieving them doesn't present much of a challenge.

Next time you set a goal, factor in not just the needs of your business but also how your team might feel if they fail to meet that goal.

Short-term losses could be the price of not maximizing potential, but the long-term impact of setting impossible goals can harm team morale, motivation, and even health, with effects lingering much longer. Therefore, understanding the balance between ambition and feasibility is crucial in goal-setting.

The top 6 benefits of managed IT services

1- Consistent and Manageable Costs: The most enticing feature of ITSM is its predictability in costs. Often, charges are meticulously calculated based on metrics like user count or a stipulated monthly or annual fee, thereby eliminating unexpected expenditures.

2- Addressing IT Staffing Conundrums: Recruiting and retaining IT expertise is a formidable challenge, particularly for niche applications or domains. Smaller organizations often need high-end IT services but may not have the workload to justify a full-time expert. Here's where ITSM shines, providing access to a pool of top-notch tech talent that needn't be part of your permanent payroll.

3- Liberating Internal Resources: ITSM lets your in-house team focus on strategic projects that promise maximum business benefits. With your IT team no longer bogged down with tasks such as network operations support or software maintenance, they can divert their attention towards more value-driven initiatives.

4- Access to Premium Tools: ITSM provides the luxury of only paying for what you use, contrasting the traditional approach of hefty upfront costs for software licenses and support. This model allows your company to harness technology and resources that would otherwise be prohibitively expensive.

5- Superior Support: ITSM providers typically serve multiple clients worldwide, thus fostering robust technical support that operates across different time zones and geographical regions.

6- Streamlined Scalability: Scaling your operations - be it adding users or boosting performance - is as straightforward as updating your ITSM agreement. In an unpredictable business environment, the ability to scale your managed services as per your needs is an invaluable asset.

Potential Drawbacks of ITSM

Despite its myriad benefits, ITSM is not without potential pitfalls. Certain considerations need to be factored in as your technology infrastructure and resources are entrusted to another party.

1- Vendor Risk: Like any vendor relationship, due diligence is paramount to ascertain the reliability and capability of your ITSM provider. Transitioning to a new provider can be challenging, so the longevity and dependability of potential vendors must be assessed.

2- Control Limitations: By employing ITSM, you inherently forfeit some degree of control over technology and people. There might be limitations in accessing certain aspects of the technology platform, and direct control over the staff supporting your technology may be diminished.

3- Business Risk: Inherent in the ITSM model is a level of uncertainty related to the business decisions of your provider. They could opt to abandon a crucial technology, escalate prices, or exit the managed services business altogether.

Embarking on Your ITSM Journey: Best Practices

Commencing your journey into ITSM demands more than just an understanding of technology—it necessitates sound business decisions too. Evaluating the long-term viability of your ITSM provider, understanding contract terms, and building a solid relationship foundation are as vital as the technology quality.

Ensure you assess the provider's staff and support resources, and how they'll aid in transitioning your in-house resources to a managed service. Remember, cost should not be your only determinant. Take time to understand your objectives and success criteria—these insights will guide your ITSM provider selection, paving the way for a fruitful partnership.

Recommendation Of The Month

To those keen on understanding leadership in an increasingly complex world, I highly recommend viewing the TED Talk by Roselinde Torres titled "What it takes to be a great leader." Torres distills her 25 years of experience in observing truly great leaders into a forward-thinking presentation that could shape your perspective on effective leadership for the future.

Remember, in an ever-evolving world, the ability to adapt, continuously learn, and maintain a balanced perspective is key to success. Whether it's embracing new technologies, navigating economic fluctuations, or cultivating personal resilience, it's the pursuit of knowledge and self-awareness that ultimately empowers us. Keep exploring, keep questioning, and continue to grow.

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