Exhausted? A better way to avoid burnout

Avoid burnout by recruiting a team to help you
Avoid burnout by recruiting a team to help you. No one wants to join your team? Think twice about starting a big new project.

You’ve probably experienced the truism about “Need something done? Ask someone who’s already too busy to do it—they’ll get it done.”

Often true—and good for you getting results… but not so good for them. Too many volunteer organizations depend on people who won’t say “no” to new responsibilities, which leads to great results… punctuated by burnout-related volunteer turnover.

Companies do this, too—pushing people beyond their limits for too long. It works for a while, until everything implodes.

To avoid burnout: Recruit a team

Small business consultant Becky McCray—an expert on businesses in small towns and rural areasrecently shared about a reader in Texas who finds herself in a small group of people that does all the work.

Becky noted, “Let people do it themselves. Let them dream up their own ideas. Let them do it their own way. Let them take risks and even fail.” [Read more…]

Help your marketing career by joining the Triangle AMA board: two Programming volunteer opportunities for 2014-2015

Triangle AMA logoWant to help your career in marketing in the Raleigh area? Smart marketers know that volunteering with a trade association is a great way to do that.

As Triangle AMA’s incoming VP of Programming, I’m currently recruiting two people to join my team on the 2014-2015 board:

  • Director of Social Programs [UPDATE: Position no longer available]
  • Director of SIGs (Special Interest Groups) [UPDATE: Position no longer available] [Read more…]

The Open Source Way: Smart ideas to improve business and government from Designbox speaker Jason Hibbets of Red Hat

As a long-time fan of the Open Source movement, I was happy to recruit open source advocate Jason Hibbets to be this month’s Designbox speaker in downtown Raleigh, NC. Jason outlined how using open source concepts can improve business and government, with examples from Raleigh and beyond.

You don’t have to be an open source veteran to appreciate his lessons-learned. His talk focused on how using the open source model of participation can improve any organization or process:

  1. Transparency leads to accountability
  2. Collaboration leads to innovative ideas
  3. Participation leads to more eyes, ideas
  4. Rapid prototyping leads to failing faster
  5. Meritocracy leads to best ideas, buy-in
  6. Passion leads to commitment

Here’s a 54 minute recording of his inspiring and entertaining talk and Q&A today at Designbox:

Download the MP3 of Jason Hibbets’ open source talk (54min, 38MB)

For the slides, you can download the OpenOffice presentation (you can open the file in PowerPoint and Google Presentation):

Got questions for Jason? You can reach him on Twitter at @JHibbets. Thanks to Beth & Aly Khalifa for making the event possible!

Interview by Cristina Roman about unusual hobbies: Volunteering as a bartender on a 1930s railroad car

Dover Harbor service in the lounge

My friend Cristina Roman is doing a series of interviews with people who have unusual hobbies. She asked me to participate, based on my experience volunteering as a bartender on a 1930s railroad car.

The Dover Harbor is like a 90-foot long, 90-ton luxury bed & breakfast hooked onto the back of an Amtrak train. For passengers, it’s like something from an old movie, with beds that flip down from the ceiling, a comfortable lounge for enjoying hot meals prepared in our onboard kitchen, and a rear vestibule for waving at people along the way.

What prompted you to take up this hobby? How long have you been doing it?

A friend recruited me to volunteer on the 1930s Dover Harbor Pullman railroad car, as a way to combine my interest in trains, history, travel, and client service.

I’ve volunteered as a crew member since 2008, doing one to three trips a year.

I typically work as a steward/porter, our onboard client service role. My job is to work both in public and behind the scenes to create a memorable experience for our 8-24 passengers. This can involve everything from mixing drinks at 80 miles an hour to hauling 150 pounds of a ice a day from the Amtrak commissary to restock our kitchen’s original 1930s icebox. [Read more…]

Meet Me in Raleigh: Weekly Office Hours at Videri

Videri Chocolate Factory logo
Join me for Office Hours at Videri in 2014, every Tuesday from 11:30am-12:30pm

Got a quick question, looking for career advice, interested in volunteering with Triangle AMA, or just want to say hello? Inspired by Beck Tench‘s office hours, I’ll be holding weekly Office Hours every Tuesday.

I’ll be at Videri Chocolate Factory in downtown Raleigh (327 W. Davie St., Raleigh, NC 27601) from 11:30am-12:30pm on Tuesdays. There’s free parking in the adjacent lot.

Why am I doing Office Hours? Having a standing one-hour block each week will help me fit more face-to-face meetings into my schedule. I’d love to meet you!

Office Hours aren’t a substitute for an in-depth Agency Firebox consulting project or coaching session, of course—but buy yourself a cup of hot chocolate or Stumptown coffee from Videri’s coffee counter and let’s chat. There’s no charge.

My office hours are first come, first served unless you reserve a 30-minute block (at 11:30 and 12:00).

Note: I will NOT be doing Office Hours these Tuesdays in 2014:

If you’re visiting from out of town, tweet me at @KarlSakas or call/text me at 919-410-6224 to double-check ahead of time, just in case (I may have an occasional unexpected conflict beyond what’s listed above). See you soon!