This is the third and final episode in the Marketing for Good mini-series on Erica’s (free) ebook Recharge: energizing your employees one word at a time. In the previous episode, Erica expanded on the first C in her book: clearing out negative mental clutter. In this episode, she dives into the last two C’s: connecting with purpose and creating momentum. Visit https://claxon-communication.com/recharge/ to download your free copy and follow along!
This is a transcript of Erica Mills Barnhart on the Marketing for Good podcast. You can listen to the episode here and listen to more episodes on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you enjoy listening to podcasts. Enjoy!
mantras, purpose, feels, recharge, book, verb, e book, mental clutter, listen, employees, swoosh, people, energetic, habits, create, unleash, marketing, communications, shifts, word
Erica Mills Barnhart
This is part three of a three part series on a little ebook I recently released, hat’s a tongue twister, called Recharge: energize employees one word at a time. The book lays out three C’s for charging your energetic batteries, aka jumpstart in your efforts to get over burnout. In the in the last episode, we covered the first C, which was clearing out negative mental clutter. If you haven’t listened that episode 100%, press pause and go listen to that. It’s, I think, important context to start there, actually, you know, go two back, I would listen to these in order, go back two episodes, listen to the first one, then listen the second one and then restart this one. So, about clearing out mental clutter, the idea is, and I say this in the book so this is a direct quote, “you can’t connect with purpose if you have an ant infestation going on”. That quote, makes sense only if you know what type of ants I’m referring to. So go learn what the heck all that’s about, you know, experiment with a little bit and then come and learn more about the last two C’s, which we are going to dive into. Also, just a couple notes, all three seas or dynamics to be managed, not problems to be solved. So if you’re listening to this, and you’re like, Yay, I can read this short ebook, I think it’s gonna take you seven to ten minutes to read it, it’s a shorty. If you think you’re going to read it and be like, Okay, we’re gonna do the things one time, and then woohoo, recharged batteries. I’m here to tell you that, alas, none of these things are one and done. You know, and I said in a previous episode, it’s like, we are sort of like our cell phones or anything else, where we get depleted, and we have to recharge and then get depleted and recharged. But once you’re in the mental habit of the three C’s, the dynamic becomes much easier to manage and keep going and that means over time, it is then easier to get and keep your batteries charged. So it occurred to me, well did occur to me, people have been kind of like, so this is interesting, right? Like, this feels like a transition. And it is and in future episodes, I will be talking a lot more about this, away from what I talked about in the first of the series, right? Which is that culture eats marketing for breakfast or lunch or whatever. Is this a departure for me away from marketing and toward culture? Yeah, it is. But it’s all about how you use words to achieve some sort of goal or end, aspiration, desire that’s important to you, right? And so what got me really kind of energized to make this transition and to write this book, because, you know, it’s about energizing employees, which isn’t something that I do a lot with my clients, especially my coaching clients, but it’s not I mean, it’s externally facing about it. So here’s what really driving it to be transparent. One of the biggest costliest challenges organizations face is figuring out how to effectively communicate both internally and externally. I’ve said a gajillion times on this podcast, external execution, usually marketing, is predicated on internal alignment. Alright, so this challenge, on average, this kind of blew my mind, I have to say, when I learned this, this cost companies with 100 or less employees, $420,000 per year, $420,000 per year, and for companies with 100,000 employees or more, you know, so these are sort of the Fortune 500, but get this it cost them $62.4 million per year per company, holy schmoly. I mean, I’m pretty sure all companies big and small, can think of ways to strategically invest that, I think about so many of the nonprofits that I’ve worked with good glory, most of those would fall into that category of, you know, 100 employees or less, not all but you know, many nonprofits fall into that $420,000 year. Whoa, and here’s the thing, communication isn’t rocket science, but we are clearly stymied by it based on the numbers above. So creating a workplace culture where everyone feels included and aspire, because effective communication is the norm. Listen, this is actually super simple. But it requires people to change, how they communicate and how they think about communicating. You know, as humans we love progress and we resist change. So and that’s because change equals danger, right? So that resistance is a form of protection by way of our subconscious mind. So you have to make sure people feel safe enough to embrace change and energized enough to make change. And this brings me back to Recharge, right? Change takes energy. And if you’re going to ask your people to change how they communicate, even if it’s, you know, and the idea of this is like, very teeny shifts. It’s not like, let’s overhaul the whole thing. It’s like, huh, when I sit down, what’s my intention with this email? What’s a verb, that I can start to get like, teeny, teeny shifts? It still change. It’s still change. And so you up your odds of the change happening and people being open to it if they’re not depleted, if they’re more revved up. So that’s why I wrote the ebook, which, if you haven’t already downloaded it, you can just go to https://claxon-communication.com/recharge/ and get it and it will automatically land in your inbox. Okay, so the book is sort of a precursor to the bigger shift, that I’m hoping more organizations will embrace. Just around the shift around like, how do we think about communications? And just like eradicating ineffective communications, because again it’s simple, this is this is addressable, right? So many of the issues in the world are, you know, we’re never going to resolve them, really. But this one, this one, you can, it’s, again, it’s a dynamic to be managed. So as new people come into the organization, you need to sort of let them know about these simple shifts, which I’ll talk about more in future episodes. But anyway, that’s the backstory, okay. This is an effort to counter languishing, pervasive droopiness and despair or something along those lines, whatever is happening for you, and maybe you’re listening, you’re like, I’m good. I’m thrilled for you. That’s awesome. I’m pretty darn good these days, like in terms of my energy, and it took work to get there. So if you’re in a good place, awesome, and if you know, others who aren’t, share the book with them. Alright, let’s, let’s get everybody to that place. Okay. On to, at long last, the final two C’s. C number two is connecting with purpose. C number three, creating momentum. All right, in terms of purpose. Listen, according to a 2021 McKinsey Report, about 80% ish of employees want to find meaning in their work, and they want their employers to help them create. Lack of purpose isn’t the only reason for the great resignation, of course, but it’s a biggie. So what’s interesting is there’s been so much focus on the folks who are leaving the workplace and, you know, rightfully so. But what about the folks who are staying in their jobs? What about their joy and their happiness? I mean, the common term is employee satisfaction. And, you know, maybe that is a high bar, you know, high enough bar these days. But can we set our sights just a little higher, just a little higher? What would it look like if everyone where you worked, felt connected to their purpose and connect that to what they did every day? That’s kind of a game changer. Now, sounds impossible, right? To like on an everyday basis, and, you know, maybe every day is overstated, but what about a lot of days? But this idea of connecting to purpose, actually is pretty straightforward, right? Sounds very existential. But there’s actually a simple formula for developing what Dr. Akhtar Badshah and I call a purpose statement. And that formula goes like this, well, let me back up and say, here’s the process. And again, this is in the book. So if you’re walking or driving, or whatever, no need to take notes or memorize, it’s all right there. You start by identifying your three core values, then you identify your top strengths, then you put it all together, okay, you combine that with the impact you want to have in a world and you create a purpose statement. We have done this with 1000s of people now from all different sectors and walks of life and all the rest of it. And you can do this exercise really effectively in 10 minutes or less. So that is super cool. Then you write like first pass, and you can play with it. And I’ll share with you a bit about how I played with mine and where I landed. You start with my purposes x where x is the impact you want to see or create in the world, to y this is your values by z. How you want to do this by way of your strengths. Okay, so x to y by z. Here’s a pro tip that is actually not in the book. Pick your verb first. Now, anybody who’s followed me for a while, is like of course she’s talking about verbs. Yes, I am talking about verbs. They’re energetic superheroes. So play with some verbs like what verb represents the change that you want to create in the world like your why. And then which one has the energy the reflects the impact, right they want to have. Again, we’re looking for energetic alignment between your words and actions. So my purpose statement is actually to unleash the power of words, let’s all look surprise together. It’s short and sweet, right? It doesn’t, it doesn’t follow that formula. And here’s why, when I added in, or started with a full sentence that included my values and my strengths, it just felt energetically off to me. Like it felt heavier than I wanted my purpose statement and my purpose to feel, so so that’s why mine so short, it really guides a lot of my everyday decisions, right? Especially professionally, but purpose isn’t limited to your professional endeavors. It is bigger than that it is about you know, your life. So it doesn’t follow a formula and it works for me, right? There are examples in the book that follow the formula exactly. So know that that is there for you. The verb, the verb is unleash. Now, I played around with a ton of verbs. And you know unleash feels a little lofty. And there’s this teeny, I don’t know, this teeny bit of like, assertiveness, like I’m going to unleash them. But you know, I work with people. So I’m not like, saying, This is how you should unleash it. It’s like, let’s do it together and it just it felt right. I tried a bunch of other stuff, and I just kept coming back to it. So that’s why I went with it. Okay, so to recap, identify your values, your strengths, a verb, then write your purpose statement, and then play with it until you’re like, yep, that feels good. Don’t overthink it. Again, let’s rely on what your body tells you, your gut, your instincts, because again, that’s like actually a ton of information, way more than your brain will give you play with it. And then, and this is important, create an opportunity for employees, for your team, for your people, to connect the dots between their purpose and organizational purpose. So purpose again, that’s about the why behind what you do. If you’re like, Wait, I thought that was the mission or the vision, I hear you this is sort of a new and evolving construct. Go listen to episode 27 goes into the purpose of mission, vision, values, and yes, purpose statements. So that might be something to explore. Okay, so that’s the second C, the third C is create momentum. And you do that through mantras and habits. I’m going to talk mainly about mantras because most folks are on board with creating habits. I’ll touch on that at the end. But you know, it’s like not controversial, whereas mantras, like, if you’re listening, you’re like, “No, Erica, that’s way too woowoo, what is happening for you?” I feel you, mantras do have a woowoo reputation. And yet, they’re like, based on neuroscience and in previous episodes, you know, the aforementioned universal laws of physics and thermodynamics, and, you know, just like other decidedly non woowoo stuff, the energy of language, which I cover in the eBook, and in the first part of the series, so, Episode 43. You know, all of that holds true for mantras just as it does for every other word that you use to communicate. So that’s my pitch. That’s my mantras are awesome pitch for you. So let’s take a look. So let’s do this together, right, just to like, get in the groove, the mantra groove, take a look at something you’re facing today that feels tough. And again, it can be in your personal life or your professional life, even though of course, it’s all just your life. But again, sometimes it’s easier to try things out outside of our sort of our professional personas just because it is. Pick something that you know, feels tough, regardless of what realm is coming from because life is just like. What’s a word, a single word, that can counter that toughness or soften it you know, or whatever you want to have happen. I’ll go first. Today I have to work on a wide variety of different things and that’s common, I’m sure it’s common for you too, for me switching costs are really tough. I know this about myself. So you know, I have to write and record this podcast, I have grading to do, I’m meeting with clients who are at all different stages of what they’re doing so high switching costs there. I’m attending midday a college prep session with my daughter and I also really need to do like my PT exercises because I’m still getting over this knee SI joint injury thing. So it you know, and there’s more to the list but for me that’s a lot of different things. I know that I struggle with this so, and switching for me slows down my momentum, for some folks, they’re like, boo, boo, boo, boo boo. It’s like very zingy for them to go between different things. For whatever reason for me that’s not the case. And so this morning when I was looking at my calendar, I’m like, Okay, that’s a that’s a lot of switching. What’s my mantra going to be? And my mantra for today is swoosh. Not necessarily like the Nike swoosh, right? But we can envision that energy. So each time I transition between something I say, either to myself or out loud, I literally say the word, you know, like, Okay, I’m transitioning to this meaning, swoosh. It makes me smile. It softens. Like, it’s kind of playful. So it makes the transitions feel less sticky, and more playful. And I double dog dare you to say the word swoosh out loud, right? It’s kind of tough not to get a smile on your face. Go try it. Do yourself a solid. Swoosh, and swooshing into wrapping up this episode. There are more examples in the book, but I wanted to, you know, I want to share one that was personal. And especially one that is a single word because, you know, there isn’t a specific example of that in the ebook. And again, there’s a ton of scientificness to backup, the energetic power and effectiveness of mantras. So I’m not going to go into habits here. Because that’s, I mean, in some ways, it’s a no brainer, like once you’ve cleared our mental clutter, negative mental clutter, connected with your purpose, and you’re like creating some momentum through mantras, who doesn’t want to put simple systems in place and habits that keep it all going? And not you, not me, not your employees, we all want that. So I’ll let you go ahead and read more about that in the ebook. And that’s a wrap on this series about Recharge, the ebook about how to energize your employees, and I say employees, but it’s really, it’s like any of us, you know, it’s just I’ve been thinking about how much focus there is on a great resignation. And the flip side of that is like, who’s still there? Right, so what can we do for them as well. Although, again, this would be helpful for people who are so interestingly, lots of folks are going into the, you know, leaving organizations and going to work for themselves, so self employment is skyrocketing. And I find that interesting, let me tell you, somebody who has ventured in those waters of self employment for a long time, you’re gonna have to recharge your batteries all the time. It’s not harder, and it’s different. So, so good for everybody. I encourage you to try one thing from the options offered in the ebook, just one, start small, see what happens. If it works for you, great, if it doesn’t, that’s fine too, try something else, you know, just build from there and then share it with others, right, let’s create an energetic ripple effect. Once folks on your team have like both nostrils above the waterline, then turn your attention to other ways that you can use words to communicate effectively, and put all that money that’s seeping out due to ineffective communications back in your pocket. Yes. Let’s do that. And like I said, I’m going to be talking a lot more about that, I have some kind of exciting news that I will be sharing in the not so distant future. So I’m excited about sharing that with you. Yeah, give it a go. Let’s counter an effective communications. Let’s swap in effective communications through like very, very, very simple shifts. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. for listening and for reading and for doing all you do to make this world, our world a better place. Never forget you are amazing. Do good. Be well. And I’ll see you next time.