Most people in business have heard of “stealing shamelessly.” There is no reason to reinvent the wheel when people have been perfecting business ideas and improvements for centuries. If I had a dollar for every time I spent an hour creating a PowerPoint presentation for a meeting or conference call, only to later find one that would have been either perfect on its own or with a few minor tweaks, I would probably have somewhere between $50 and the Powerball jackpot.
So why this site? When I was first starting my corporate career, my boss at the time sent out an email every week that he termed the “Weekly Update.” He had stolen this practice from his boss, who had appropriated it from his boss, who had borrowed it from his boss…… you get the picture. Anyway, his email was a welcome transition each Sunday evening into the new week. There were no assignments in it or thinly veiled threats based on our performance or anything along those lines. Usually it was just a simple update as to how the month was progressing in terms of sales and maybe a few key KPIs that we were not privy to at our level of the organization. I found myself looking forward to them.
When I took on my first leadership role with the company, under this same manager, he challenged me to begin my own Weekly Update – and I did. The employees that worked for me expressed gratitude for the weekly message occasionally. It wasn’t widespread, but was just enough to convince me that the practice was worthwhile. For months I wasn’t sure anyone bothered even opening them. But eventually came a weekend where I was too busy and didn’t send an Update. I didn’t think too much about it. The next morning multiple people in the office asked if everything had been okay the day before and asked why I hadn’t sent a Weekly Update as they had been checking their phones for it!
Fast forward four years and I had relocated to a new region managing the most complicated location in the country – Manhattan. My new boss then, a Regional Director also sent a Weekly Update but his had a much different tilt to it. His was more motivational than transactional. And much more personal. As I read his updates and his means of communicating began to influence me, I found myself writing my own updates focused much more on developing my employees’ thinking styles versus simply updating them on business results. The only drawback to this now habitual practice was that some weekends, I knew exactly what I would like to say and others found me staring at a blank computer screen on an afternoon better spent out on the pool deck. Eventually my struggles led me online to find resources that I thought could inspire new messages. My search was nothing but frustrating and eventually led to the creation of this blog. I archived the Weekly Updates I have written over the past years and plan to repurpose them on this site for multiple audiences:
- Anyone who may need that weekly motivation themselves in order get fired up for the week.
- Anyone who has found themselves in the same boat I used to inhabit: Those attempting to find resources online (that do not require the sixteen digits on their credit cards) to help inspire communication and motivation with employees and coworkers.
Hence the name of this site: “Steal Shamelessly.” Feel free to use this site as inspiration to yourself or as a resource that you can stop by occasionally to find messages you can pass along to your coworkers or employees. Read: I do not mean – and do not condone – plagiarizing. These updates, as well as any other adaptable content I plan to add in the future, is meant to be a jumping off point for supervisors, managers, executives and anyone else attempting to make themselves more productive at work. These messages can get you started on your own meetings, emails, conferences calls or other means of communication.