Sklar Technology Partners - December 2019

Susan Fowler’s ‘Master Your Motivation’

The End of Windows 7 Puts You at Risk

Here’s What to Do

Are you still using Windows 7? If so, you have until Jan. 14, 2020 to call Sklar Technology Partners before your computer becomes a hotspot for hackers.

A Science-Based Approach to Achieving More

Next month, two popular Microsoft operating systems, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, will be entering their end-of-life (EOL). This means that Microsoft will no longer be releasing updates for security patches for either of these systems. If your office is still running on them, you’re running out of time to save yourself from disaster. Will I no longer be able to use Windows 7? Once Windows 7 enters EOL, it will still be fully operational. This is part of the problem. Many users will continue to use Windows 7 after Jan. 14, 2020, unaware of the dangers they face. While Microsoft isn’t shutting down or deleting Windows 7, they will no longer be providing security updates. These updates are crucial to protect against the vulnerabilities exploited by hackers. What’s the worst that could happen? In 2017, over 200,000 computers around the world were targeted in a massive ransomware attack. The WannaCry attack crippled businesses, universities, hospitals, and governments that were still running Windows systems after they entered their EOL. This attack cost billions in damages, and security experts warn that WannaCry won’t be the last major cyberattack to target vulnerable systems that lack crucial security updates. Continuing to use Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 after they enter EOL leaves you open to such attacks. While they’re a little inconvenient, regular security updates could be the only thing standing between your business and worldwide disaster. If you’ve been thinking about switching to Mac, now is a good time to make the leap. If you intend on continuing with PC, your best move is to upgrade to Windows 10. We do not recommend upgrading to Windows 8. Windows 8 enters EOL in 2023, so you’ll find yourself in this situation again sooner rather than later. Upgrading your company’s operating system isn’t a simple process. Fortunately, Sklar Technology Partners has plenty of experience helping businesses across the Richmond area make this change. Call 804-730-2628 now and protect your business before it’s too late. What can I do? Update your system now!

“You have the power to change your behaviors,” says Susan Fowler, “but to be successful in changing, you need an evidenced-based framework for motivation and techniques for applying it.” In her new book, “Master Your Motivation: Three Scientific Truths for Achieving Your Goals,” Fowler synthesizes her decades of research into a guide that provides such a framework. In the process, she overturns countless widely held myths about what motivates us.

Fowler believes the traditional carrot-and- stick approach to motivation (a combination of reward and punishment to induce a desired behavior) results from our perception of motivation as being either intrinsic or extrinsic. “Simplifying motivations into two types presents a conundrum when you aren’t intrinsically motivated,” she writes. “Your only fallback position is extrinsic motivation.” In other words, just by thinking about motivation as intrinsic versus extrinsic, you’ve already set yourself up to fail. To really motivate yourself and others, she argues, you need to think about motivation in different terms.

Thankfully for the reader, Fowler defines an alternative framework for motivation. In what amounts to the book’s thesis, she states, “To master your motivation, create choice, connection, and competence.”When you measure motivation across these three factors, which are the result of rigorous academic research rather than folksy conventional wisdom, you unlock the power of motivation. It’s not hard to see how Fowler’s framework is much more actionable than traditional motivational techniques. Creating intrinsic motivation, especially for others, is a mug’s game, but defining choice, connection, and competence is much less ambiguous. If you have team members who you feel lack motivation, ask yourself if their jobs have these three essential traits. Do they have agency (choice) in their work? Do they generate meaning (connection) from what they do? Do they get a sense of accomplishment (competence) from doing something well? If you can’t answer all three of these in the affirmative, you can create a plan for increasing motivation that doesn’t involve empty metrics or meaningless rewards. If you or your team could use a proverbial kick in the pants, the solution might be to ignore those proverbs entirely. “Master Your Motivation” takes a refreshing look at what makes us strive for more. It’s a great addition to any leadership library.

Windows 7 is reaching its end of life phase on Jan. 14, 2020. Will your systems still be protected from ransomware attacks? Call 804-730-2628 to find out!

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