Bring Doughnuts To The Office

The best part of watching group Zoom calls after the fact is watching all of the people in their separate little windows. It’s especially great when someone freezes in an unfortunate pose or facial expression, but it’s also fun to watch everyone’s little tics as they sit silently listening to someone inside their computer.

I’m already off track.

Last week, our Praxis Wednesday call featured Nick Rundlett, an alumnus-turned-sales expert. He took us through some important strategies—not just for sales, but for life. My favorite?

Bring doughnuts to the office.

Context: The great (and powerful) Joey Wickham’s BP had a less-than-stellar quarter, and everyone at the office is feeling down. Asked Joey, How can I restore morale? Mr. Rundlett responded with the first thing that came to mind: Bring doughnuts to the office.

The point is not to bring superficial cheer for a day through sugary snacks, nor is it fatten up your coworkers for the inevitable slaughter if the results don’t improve, dammit. The point is to create a culture that fosters such behavior as random acts of doughnut. Maybe the doughnuts will spur a coworker to bring in cookies, cake, or a healthful veggie tray because we’re all ADULTS who can’t survive on pure sugar (but have we really tried?). Eventually, bringing in a fun snack is the norm. That norm brings about other positive norms, and the norman conquest continues until the workplace is relatively positive even when times are tough.

That’s the ideal. Results may vary (watch out for vegans and keto people if you go the doughnut route). But the idea remains the same: Be a positive force—it’ll rub off after a while.

Another valuable insight was the idea of doing 10% more than what’s asked of you. This applies both to extrinsic and intrinsic asks.

Boss says: Make 50 calls today. Okay, I’ll make 55.

Brain says: Do ten pushups today. Okay, I’ll do 11.

Et cetera.

There was a lot more in the call. Quite a bit was rather sales-specific, so it didn’t resonate as much with me. These two points did, likely because of their universal application. It doesn’t matter what you do—everyone appreciates positivity, even if they do their best to resist it. And everyone likes someone who does more than what’s asked of them—the asker, the askee, and those around them.

Perhaps I’ll show up to my first day at MRU with a box of doughnuts. Or maybe I’ll bring some roasted crickets to stay on-brand. Either way, I’m sure Nick would approve.

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