Archive for the ‘work’ Category

If Richard Simmons were to show up at your door step without any warning to set you up on a personal fitness plan, you might want to consider that you might have a weight problem. Because Richard Simmons doesn’t just show up at random houses without warning to set up random people on personal fitness plans.

And you should have figured out a long time before Richard Simmons showed up that you had a problem, and done something about. If Richard Simmons shows up at your doorstep, it is because you are in serious trouble–life or death trouble–with your health.

If some person of statue in your company or industry tries to step in and offer you a few suggestions out of the blue, would you consider it an insult or an opportunity?

If that same person came to you as part of a serious intervention on your part, would you push away or would you do exactly what they said exactly how they did it because they are far more successful than you?

You’re being approach because you’ve got a problem. A problem you may or may not have noticed in yourself, but someone else has, possibly because they have been in the same position you are in. And for whatever reason, they’re trying to help you.

Maybe they truly care about you. Maybe they only care that you are holding some project back and losing the company a lot of money in the process. They care enough to help you fix the problem.

The question you should be asking yourself right now is, do you care enough to let them help you fix the problem?


Personal Coaching Collection

Anthony Robbins Personal Coaching Collection

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The Buy In

One of the most critical determinants of the success of a program is buy in of all parties involved.

Working in broadcasting, this is seen on a daily basis, and a key understanding to all the ‘talent’ whose job it is to sell something a like a contest, promotion, or even a product. It doesn’t matter how much money a sales person was about to finagle out of a client sponsor, or how easily executable the promotions direct can make it. If the talent doesn’t feel up to doing it, it won’t work.

Just like teaching your dog tricks or teaching your toddlers anything, some days the talent (in broadcasting specifically here, but just about any talent you have working in any industry in general) is really feeling it, and want to do the best sell and their best work. Some days, its going through the motions. Some days, it’s just not going to happen. And while bribes and blackmail can be fine motivators to the interested, to the disinterested, not so much.

Think about this next time a new plan, promotion, or directive come around at your place of employment. If you’re asked to execute it, are you able to buy into it yourself? Are those that work above you showing you they’re buying into it? Are those that work below you showing that they intend to buy into it as well?



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Send Flowers at 1-800-FLORALS

Send Flowers at 1-800-FLORALS
Over a year ago, I came across an article by Joan Lloyd on preparing for the New Year with a full evaluation of your job. With half of 2009 in the books, and the economic climate making many wonder if there futures really do lie with their current employer, now might be a great time to get a jump on your personal career analysis, assuming you have actually taken the time to truly evaluate your worth to your employer, and vice versa. And not to steal from Lloyd’s thunder, you can read her article and see the full listing of evaluation questions here.

UPDATE: I didn’t think about anyone asking me the status of my mid-year evaluation when I posted this. Since I have been asked by several people where my head and heart are in my job, I can tell you that despite the frustrations of the current economy, I like myself exactly where I am at the ‘day job,’ with hopes that sooner rather than later there will be some movement that will allow me and a few others the chance to grow and branch out. I would however seriously consider any offer that would be accompanied by a large sack of cash.


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While there are as many detailed approaches to child raising as there are parents of children, here are two simple schools of thought that can adequately sum up the major approaches in teaching a child how to find their place among the world’s masses:

– Assurance Of No Limits: giving children expectations above their actual level of mastery with the hopes that having no limits will help them to surpass their expectations, and possibly even yours.

– Knowing Your Limits: knowing just how far along your children really are, and giving them expectation exactly on that level, to ensure they can reach their achievements with as little frustration from possible failure possible

While one would suspect ‘No Limits’ would be a more preferred philosophy than ‘Know Limits,’ there are pros and cons to using either approach, and the key lies in the individual child. Because eventually, they come to an age and level of maturity where their actual limits will play a greater role in the definition of their destiny, and their ability to overcome or circumvent these actual limits will make a difference.

Like say, in the work place, when they hit mid-twenties.

At that point, it will be their managers responsibility to make sure they are developing as well as possible in their career growth, or at least well enough to keep the manager from getting fired. This activity is a lot like raising an actual child, only the allowance and popularity contests that are now at stake are actually families, mortgages, career progression and possible lives, based on the nature of the occupation.

Here too, you can use the same basic approaches suited for raising children in hopes to lead your workers to fulfilled career growth.

The big difference here is that ‘No Limit’ is by far a more preferred philosophy over ‘Know Limits.’ But do keep in mind the exact dynamic you have to work with, and the abilities that actually exist in your company’s talent pool. You’ll probably not be lucky enough to have all-star talent to fill your entire work crew, and some employees will be adamant about how adequate (or not) they are in their performance.


Hotels.com

Hotels.com
A fact of life is that you can’t find out what you are good at until you have some idea what you are bad at.

Early in your career, failure will be an option you will be forced to take more often then you will like.

Do not think it is for a lack of ability. Ironically, it is in failure where you learn some of your more valuable lessons.

Testing yourself to your limits without the eventual mishap will never help you set boundaries. What can you not do? Find out and avoid it.

What can you do with some level of success? Is it worth putting the extra time and effort to pursue? Then take a chance and go for it!

What can you achieve with great success on a consistent basis? Is it something you feel passionate about doing? It’s a no brainer.

Oddly enough, you’ll find that the boundaries of relationships will also work in a similar way.



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While the drawbacks of getting sucked into reading seemingly random inputs from seemingly random people you follow on Twitter are pretty obvious, the possibilities for focused input, or even a true focus group, are amazing.

When I was an Acquisitions Officer in the Air Force, I worked for about 8 months on a program that processed security clearances and was given a team to work all the data on how fast the process was going, and presented daily metrics to the government agency in charge of the program. The words my boss told me when he gave me the duties, “The guy who reports the metrics can prove just about anything he wanted to,” turned out to be so truthful it was a little frightening.

The experience has made me a numbers and info junky on par with die hard rotisserie baseball geeks. And Twitter is filling that addiction to information like no other analytic tools ever has.

The magic is in its mission statement, a chance for people around the world to instantly share with others what they are doing. It also gives you the chance to look into the minds of those same millions of people, and see what they are doing, thinking, buying, or dissing.

This power is easily seen in the quick Twitter chatter scene during big television events as people who are looking to be a part of the mass experiences fire off snarky comments as an organic commentary track. This power has been most prominent in watching the ups and downs during the 2008 presidential election and the early days of the Obama Presidential Administration.

As a metrics nut, I like to lot watch the Twitter feeds during big events on TV, like new episodes of 24 and live performance shows nights on American Idol. But the real fun has come during President Obama’s television news conferences. Especially the ones that delay prime time television. Instant praise, instant hate, and instant color commentary is available to anyone willing to scroll thought a few pages of tweets.

Any marketer or sales manager can do a Twitter topic search on their company and find out exactly what is being said exactly when people are thinking about it. That was a good thing for the marketing team at Skittles that decided to make their Twitter search page the actual corporate product website, and a bad thing for Motrin after the Motrin moms took to blogosphere over a commercial that didn’t go over so well with them.

Monitoring your Twitter conversation does give you lots of insight into the thoughts of your brand or product. Just be ready to dismiss some of the more silly or snarky comments. After all, we are still talking about people using the anonymousness of the internet (even if it’s getting harder and harder to stay anonymous) to be a little to open and honest, with little regard of the consequences of the words going out to the world.


Take the time to plan for your child's future.

Upromise: Take the time to plan for your child’s future.
Early into my marriage, my stepson, who was about 11 at the time, did two things that 11-year-old boys do pretty frequently: did something dumb enough to get himself grounded when he eventually got caught, and ratted himself out under the assumption he could guilt his mother into going easy on him.

But I wasn’t having it. The two foolish acts of the 11-year old was just too blatant to let go, despite and pressure I knew he was going to toss his grandmother’s way to pressure us to him off easy. he was grounded as soon as we got home (we were about 15 minutes away from a Christmas party for my wife’s job and we had one of her co-workers riding with us, so there was literally no turning back), with the major consequence being the ‘super fun activity’ planed for the next day (I have no recollection of what the actual activity was) was definitely canceled.

Having parents with the annoying habit of punishing me when I did something wrong, I was prepared to be the bad guy. And I was, to my new wife, who was so hyped up on whatever we were going to do the next day she didn’t want to ground her son at all, at least not until after we had finished.

The lesson I wanted to teach my stepson that went over his head as I battled with his mother is that all actions have consequences, and as bad as most of the consequences may seem, once you deal with them, there gone. As long as you don’t repeat the situation that got you in trouble in the first place, your chances of avoiding similar consequences are extremely high.

The lesson I wasn’t trying to teach my wife that went over her head as I battled with her was that plans change, and sometimes pretty quickly. When those plans change, it doesn’t matter how much you have vested in current plan of action, if the plan is no longer valid. My stepson had ruined the chance for fun for himself AND the rest of the family by messing up, and looking the other way would just reinforce his bad behavior as valid.

I’m sure there are similar instances that have occurred in your personal live, made much more obvious if you are raising kids at home. I’m also sure that if you think about it, you can find similar instances around the job.

Missed deadlines and sales projections are more common than they should be in today’s business place. While they might just be used as guideline and aren’t considered ‘that important,’ why even have them if you’re not at least giving some weighted consideration them? If you’re taking the time to put a plan in place, and you see the plan isn’t going to work, take the time to come up with another plan. If you’re seeing people missing the mark because they know there is no consequence for not trying, add some sort of consequence (not punishment).

The lesson I ended up learning as I battled with my wife over the immediate punishment of my stepson was to stand my ground, since both my wife and I knew the right thing to do was to cancel the fun because my stepson had done quite a bit to un-earn the rights to have fun in the span of his ten minute confessional. I learned to not be upset with my wife for being disappointed and upset, but having my parents teach me my since of right and wrong wasn’t just a way to pass the time until they could kick me out of the house at 18. It was the basis for the life skills I now have the honor and privilege of teaching my stepson, so that when his 11-year-old kids and his subordinates at work starts mouthing off (and we all know that BOTH will), he’ll have the mechanisms in place to properly handle the situation. If he fails to do so, well, there will of course be consequences.

All day today I have been trying to work through the general lack of motivation I have fallen into. It started from some dreaded projects at the day job, and has spilled over into the business/side-gig, hanging out with friends and family, exercise, walking the dog…just about every aspect of my life.

Then I came across a blog post from Seth Godin, who was seemingly reading my mind, since basically I’m just not in the mood. An excerpt:

You already know how to deliver excellent service that blows people away. You just don’t feel like it. Your organization has the resources to buy that machine or enter that market or change that policy. They’re just not in the mood.

I should know better, since my entire business plan deals with presenting information that should come as no surprise about how to manage media and office procedures for businesses and life strategies for your personal life. Not being in the mood is no excuse for not doing a good job. It is a direct violation of my 9th Rule Of Life (Explanation? Yes. Reasons? Sure. Excuses? No Excuses!). I’ve even coined a new mantra at the day job: I’m underpaid. You can either allow me to overproduce and overdeliver for the money you’re spending, or you can watch me give you exactly the service you have paid for. I think its helping. Especially now that I am determined to shake off my bad mood.



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