All posts by Liam Rosebrock

How to Pack a Cooler Like a Pro

A best mini coolers or a big coolers…Does it even matter, if you don’t know how to place items properly, so they will all fit, there’ll be enough space and the temperature will be low enough to keep everything chill? You may ask – common, how hard can it be? You just put stuff in it, throw some ice – done! Not so fast. Guess you’ll change your opinion after having some poorly refrigerated food or spending time trying desperately to find some ice. And all because of a wrong packing. But don’t worry, I’m going to give you some solid tips.

Choose wisely

This may sound pretty obvious, but choosing a good cooler is really important. You may want to save an extra buck, but don’t act surprised if the quality won’t meet your expectation.

Division of labour

If you have a big group, a lot of food and your budget will live through it, you may consider bringing two coolers: one for food, one for drinks. Cooler with drinks will be opened more frequently, thus it’ll warm up sooner. However, cooler with food will remain cold!

Think in advance

  • Make sure to bring the cooler inside at least a day before the trip. The cooler’s temperature will be lower resulting in longer cooling performance. You may also fill it with cold water or a pack of extra ice to enhance it.
  • This also applies to food. All the items you take with you should be pre-cooled, this’s almost the most important thing to remember before the long trip.
  • If you’ve planned to have a sandwich on the last day of your trip, put it at the bottom. Vice versa, if you want it one the first day – put it at the top, so you won’t have to struggle through every item in the cooler.

Food packing

Good tip to save space – pre-chop all the veggies, portion out all the liquids into smaller vessels, remove all the extra packaging. Your six pack surely doesn’t need the cardboard caddy that comes along.

Choosing ice

  • Block ice or reusable freezer pack are the best ice foundation.
  • To fill in the spaces between items you may consider using ice cubes. They melt faster, but they will keep every crack cold.
  • The dry ice is a good option for a long trip, but be careful with it, because it’s freezing anything it touches, including your hands.

Transportation

  • Cooler is the last thing you put in a car, but don’t put it in a hot trunk, it will overheat.
  • Always assume, that everything leaks, so put all the containers with liquid strictly vertically.
  • To prevent heating up in the sunlight, use reflecting panels.
  • If you are not on the road, put your cooler underneath a table or a bench, somewhere shaded.
  • Though some people say it’s a common rule to drain melted water, I would recommend to keep it inside, helping the cooler stay cold for a longer time.

Leadership Coaching: Team Management During Layoffs

The daily newspaper habit sometimes brings a cup of dismay. Coffee to foil for is always welcome (and indispensable) but not the almost regular news of company layoffs. Retrenchment is quite hard on people, especially those who got laid off, but being retained isn’t that easy, either. Employees who remain in their job have to do more work because there’s fewer of them left in the office, along with the lingering fear that they, too, might lose their jobs. Worse is the pervading concern that the company might altogether close.
People Management During Layoffs
As a manager, you ought to learn survival skills amid the economic downturn. The basic rule is streamline and simplify- give meticulous attention to what’s important. These may be tough times for the company, but be positive and realistic. With your post as manager, you can help your team survive by doing the following:

Exert your leadership. Being manager, you have more influence to rally your group. Let them know what really is important. It’s a clich?�, but there’s that one crucial word over and again: motivation. Help your team members understand how their role takes on with the overall goals of the company.
Look for ways to cut the workload. There isn’t as ample bandwidth than it used to be, so don’t do things that are not required.
Coordinate. Bring into line your department’s streamlined system and see if it keeps its synchronicity of functions with other departments. Provide everything your staff and other departments need so they can keep on doing their jobs. Do vise versa. Check how everything goes with other departments and if they are in step and accommodating of your department’s functions.
Help your team cope. It’s a challenging climate that everybody has to deal with. Each of your team members, as individuals, need to cope. Honestly answer whatever questions they may have. Some might need to vent or talk with you personally. Be sympathetic while moving the conversation forward as quickly as you can.
Be reasonable with your standards. Cut your team some slack. Keep up with quality standards, but don’t be too harsh on your people.
Be a leader, but take care of yourself. Do your best to help the company survive, but you don’t have to be a superhero. Contribute your efforts in keeping the company moving and progressing, but don’t kill yourself in the process, even as you aim to advance your career.

Eventually, the recession will end as the business cycle turns around. However, as you pulled your team through the fiscal crisis, you’ve also established a solid team to uproot and get going to the next level.

Do What You Love, Or Love What You Do

Is your greatest aspiration in life to retire one day and sit under a coconut tree? I challenge you to grasp all the possibilities available to you and to accept that to live a life of meaning and fulfillment, a life where you will get the greatest pleasure and satisfaction, requires you to commit to stay involved in doing something you love and at the same time trying to make the world a better place. I am not necessarily talking about just doing earth shattering work or ground breaking work. I am talking about committing to find a way to do what you love and to love what you do.
It astounds me how many people go through their lives hating what they do. Research conducted recently, showed that there are currently over 600 000 different ways to make a living. Despite all these different possibilities available to us, a recent survey conducted; found that in excess of 50 % of the working population dislike their jobs. Something is horribly wrong with this picture.
You have only two choices available. Learn to love what you do, or find a way to make a living doing what you love. The research I have conducted with my clients over the past few years has shown me that achieving either is dependent on the following criterion:
Work with People you like
The easiest way to enjoy going to work is to ensure that the people you work with are great people. If you like the people you work with, going to work every day is like a party. You get to go to spend time with your friends, every day. Again you have two choices here. You can either carefully choose the people you work with or, you can work to build the right relationships with the people, currently in your work environment. People treat you the way you allow them to treat you and will mirror your behaviour and attitude. By changing the way you treat the people around you and choosing a better attitude, you will get people to treat you very differently.
If you go to work, with a bad attitude every day, hating what you do and you freely express this to everyone around you. Do you believe that you will be able to develop positive relationships with anyone at work? If on the other hand you arrive at work every day, inspired to do your best and people can see and feel your passion, don’t you think they will be eager to support you and build a positive relationship with you.
How Can Leaders Help?
What is your workplace culture around, encouraging your team to enjoy the work they do every day? Do they see themselves going to the salt mine every day, or can you encourage a different mind-set, by shifting the culture in your organisation, by encouraging your team to embrace a new set of metaphors. Instead of seeing themselves going to the salt mine every day, encourage your team to see themselves going to work, every day to support their team to success.
When your team has a more positive metaphor or picture of what they do every day, they will be far more inspired and driven to support the overall vision of the team. One that encourages them to think more positively about what they do at work or should I say their place of creative enjoyment. This small but crucial shift will, quickly change their attitude and they will become far more inspired and driven to support their team, to success.
Support your Team, with the Right Culture
Action idea: Listen to what your team members are saying about their workplace. If the workplace culture or the unwritten cultural rules, do not support the outcomes you want to achieve, no amount of staff motivational training or support will help. These unwritten cultural rules, which I am referring to, always start with the words “around here”. For example if the people in your teams are saying things like “Around here there is no point going the extra mile, because the managers around here never appreciate what we do anyway”
Do you think, talk like that, can and will support your efforts to try to get your team to deliver their best or allow people to enjoy what they do? Invest the time to discover what the unspoken cultural rules are in your organisation. Once you know what your team feels about the organisation and are saying about you as a leader, you are then able to begin the process of introducing a new set of unwritten cultural rules, which will support your vision.
One of the most dangerous blunders any leader can make is not to know what the unwritten cultural rules are within their team or organisation. On the other hand, knowing how to drive your team behaviour, by introducing and supporting positive unwritten cultural rules, is a really powerful tool in any great leader’s toolkit for success.
Imagine how you can support your team and how inspired they would be, if the unwritten cultural rules, went something like this “Around here we are a supportive team, who are regularly appreciated and supported by our leadership team” Invest time to explore the unwritten cultural rules, within your team or organisation and encourage the development of positive ones, which will support your vision and the success of your team is assured.
Your Team Must Believe their work is worthwhile and is making a difference
When you feel that what you do every day makes a difference or you are making a success out of what you do every day, you are not working; it is a way of life. As a leader it is your job to encourage your team to see the significance of what they do every day, to support them and show appreciation to them for their efforts. When people feel like what they do makes a difference and they are consistently encouraged for the successes they achieve, they are far more inspired and will deliver their best.
Challenge your Team Every Day
People like to feel challenged and like they are growing. Encourage all your team members to find challenge in their jobs every day. Even if the challenge does not exist in what they currently do, support them to commit to find challenge, by sharpening their skills, working on their interpersonal and technical skills. As a great leader it is your job to encourage your team members to make growth a priority. Keep providing encouragement and room for every one of your team members to grow. age your team members to make growth a priority. Keep providing encouragement and room for every one of your team members to grow. Encourage all your team members to find joy in their jobs, challenge them to love what they do, if they cannot find a way to do what they love.

Differentiating Various Types of Teams

There is a big difference between motivating an individual and motivating a team. It is like the difference between teaching an individual a voice lesson and trying to train a choir. The latter present more challenges in terms of harmony and coordination. Motivating or managing a team is more complicated and requires greater skills. The level of efforts needed to manage a team depends on the specific types of teams and their respective tasks.
A team can be defined as basically a group of people that are organized to accomplish common goals. The individual members of this group usually have complementary skills and may have interdependent sub-tasks necessary to accomplish the ultimate common goals. The interdependent tasks and complementary skills or expertise create a synergy, thereby making complicated tasks much easier.
Independency vs. interdependency
Teams can be generally classified based on the level of dependency of members. Hence, a team can be classified either as having independent or interdependent members. A basketball team is an example of a team that has interdependent members. Each member typically has specific specialized tasks based on the overall game strategy. One member can be a point guard and another member can be the shooting guard or the power forward etc.
A basketball team and other similar sports teams are classified as interdependent teams. This is because an interdependent team will have difficultly winning if the individual members will not do their functions and cooperate with other members. Other types of teams, including some sports teams, are classified as independent teams because each member can perform independently from others.
Independent teams have members that do not need to directly cooperate and coordinate their tasks. Nonetheless, the members of an independent team still have collective or common goals. An example of this type of team is a chess team. The team has the main objective to win as a group but they can play chess independently from other members.
Project-based teams
By definition, project teams are temporary in nature. They can be organized within an existing group such as a corporation but their tasks should be accomplished within a specific time period. For example, a computer programming project may require the cooperation of several programmers doing complementary tasks. A project team will be disbanded once the project is accomplished.
Virtual teams
The increasing popularity of online or web-based businesses has made it necessary to form virtual teams. Many companies and professionals outsource some of their works. Outsourced jobs may range from technology-related jobs such as programming to professional-related jobs such as architectural drafting.
Virtual teams primarily use the internet and computers to communicate and collaborate on tasks. Specialized real-time online software programs are oftentimes necessary to collaborate on various tasks.
Multidisciplinary teams
Highly technical, clinical or scientific endeavors usually need multidisciplinary cooperation. A complicated brain surgery is an example of an endeavor that requires multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary teams. Neurologists, anesthesiologists, radiologists, nurses and brain surgeons need to cooperate to accomplish the tasks.