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46
5 Sad Truths About Success And Happiness

By- Bernard Marr | Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Consultant in Strategy

Even as medical science and quality of life continues to increase our life spans, it seems as though many of us are not really living the life we’re given.

Too often we are caught in the “busy” trap, running, running, running—but never getting much of anywhere.

But how would you live differently if you knew you were going to die?

Finding true success and happiness

Not to be maudlin, but we all are going to die—sooner or later. And while death is something we humans pretty universally fear, thinking about our own demise can actually spur us to live more fully.

In surveys of people who know they are going to die, the regrets are almost never “I wish I had worked more,” or even “I wish I had made more money.” More often they are about success and happiness in their truest forms.

I chose these five common regrets from a book called, aptly, The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, by Bronnie Ware, a palliative care nurse in Australia who routinely asked her patients about their regrets and recorded them on her blog.

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

So often we make decisions in our life based on what others want or believe. You got a particular university degree because it’s what your father wanted. You took a certain job because you wanted to make more money to support your family. You didn’t pursue your dreams because someone told you they were foolish.

But what would happen if you lived a life that was true to yourself, and no one else? How would you dress? Where would you work? How would you live? Who would you spend your time with? What would you do if you weren’t afraid of what others would think?

Although there are certainly constraints on all of us, the closer we can come to living that true life, the happier we will be.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.


Ware reported that she heard this from almost every single one of her male patients. We often think we have to work 40, 60, 80 hours a week because it’s expected, because we want the promotion or the raise, but is it worth it?

If you were truly honest with yourself, which would be more important: working hard to earn all that money, or having a different lifestyle? With even a few conscious choices, you can tweak your lifestyle to make it possible.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

How often do you bite your tongue to keep the peace? We’re told, “Don’t get so emotional about it,” or “Don’t let your emotions rule you,” but our emotions are our own personal truth. No one can deny how you feel about something.

We cannot control how other people react to us, but we can control how we react. Does that mean you should break down crying in your next board meeting? Maybe not. But if you can take your emotions and channel them into positive change, a productive conversation with someone, or even a lifestyle shift, your emotions—even negative ones—can have a vast positive impact on your life.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

It’s easy to let personal relationships slide (especially if we’re working too much, as in No. 2), but personal connections are what give life meaning—not reports and promotions and pay raises. Not television and video games and all the other time sucks of modern day life.

Who could you reach out to today? Who could you call, or write, or text (if you must) and let them know you’re thinking of them? How would it make you feel? And how would it make them feel? It’s pretty much a no-lose situation.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

There’s so much wisdom tied up in that little statement. Happiness, it turns out, doesn’t have that much to do with the car you drive or the job you have or even the person you spend your life with. Happiness is actually a choice.

It’s the difference between seeing an unexpected event as a setback or an adventure; the difference between being frustrated by a delay or relishing the time alone; the difference between resenting someone for who they aren’t and loving them for who they are.

We don’t have to repeat the mistakes of those who have gone before us. Our happiness, our success, nearly every detail of our lives comes down to choice, and we can choose to live the way we truly want to live, or spend our final days regretting the choices we didn’t make.

I hope that these sombre truths help inspire you to make the choices you won’t regret. I have always tried to take the loss of my father when I was a teenager and the loss of my mum when I was a young man as important reminders to not leave happiness for a later date, but make the choices that lead to true success and happiness today.

How can the regrets of the dying help inspire your choices about the way you live your life today? I’d love to hear what you think. Please share your thoughts…

47
Five Truths for Dealing with Difficult People
By- Kris Plachy is the CEO of Leadership Coach, Inc. Leadership Coach, Inc

In my coaching practice the three most common challenges facing my clients include; managing change for themselves and others, holding others accountable and having courageous conversations about performance and dealing with difficult people.

I’ve coached myself and others on this subject so frequently, that I’ve drawn some conclusions about how best to move forward. Because I’ve seen consistent success, I’ve now adopted them as truths.

For purposes of this article, I’ll introduce them to you as options. Consider them invitations or new ways to think about that colleague, employee or boss that you believe to be difficult. You don’t have to accept the invitations, but I’ll ask that you entertain them for a moment. For purposes of this discussion, 'difficult' defines behavior from someone that you find challenging to work with. It does not cover how to deal with bullies or abusive behavior. That is an entirely different topic and should be addressed with the full force of your organizational support mechanisms.

Invitation #1


Difficult people are not difficult until someone else believes that they are. People cannot be difficult. People can demonstrate behavior that we may believe to be difficult to deal with, manage, work around, etc. But, people themselves are not difficult. Complex maybe… but not difficult.

Most of the ‘difficult’ people we encounter are just being who they are. They’re busy being who they’ve always been. How they act. What they say. How they interact. Their behavior has been cultivated over a lifetime. Just like you and I, right? Each one of us behave in a manner that is learned, from our experience. So, how they act isn’t necessarily difficult. But, because it is different from our expectation we perceive it to be difficult. As soon as we believe something or someone to be difficult, it impacts how we interact with them.

The truth is, we can also be the difficult ones. I know it may come as a shock, but yes… you too are the ‘difficult’ one to someone, somewhere.

Invitation #2:

What we think about, comes about. As I learned from Dennis Deaton years ago, “the eye sees what the mind looks for.” As soon as we believe that someone is difficult we seek out evidence to prove that we’re correct. Most of the time, this isn’t intentional. It’s your brain needing to find correlation and support for your belief about the difficult person. AND because we spend most of our time thinking about how other people should or shouldn’t behave with us, we spend very little time examining how we are reacting to them.

It takes two people to participate in a relationship. Rather than only entertaining how the difficult person should change, why not also entertain how you may be contributing to the relationship. In my book, “Change Your Think”, I challenge managers to notice how their thinking impacts the results they get with their teams. It flows like this:

What I think drives how I feel.

How I feel drives how I act.

How I act leads to my results.

So, if I think that my colleague is difficult and hard to work with I may feel frustrated.

When I feel frustrated with her I may ignore her or speak bluntly or curtly to her.

When I speak bluntly or curtly what kind of results might I get in the relationship?

When I ignore someone I work with, what kind of results might I get in the relationship?

Other people do not drive your behavior, your thoughts do.

To get a different result from yourself, you have to start thinking differently about this person and yourself in this relationship.

When you see them as an adversary, it’s likely you will find them to be.

If you see them as a partner, it’s likely you will find evidence to prove that true as well. You get to pick.

You may not like what other people do or say, but not liking how they behave is not an excuse for you to not accept accountability for how you behave. Stop waiting for them to change, in order for you to act differently. Your behavior is your choice, not a reaction to someone else. You alone are the one in charge of yourself and your results. This is also true for the ‘difficult’ people. The only way they will ever change is if they choose to. Not because you want them to.

Invitation #3


There will always be a difficult person. Always. I know that there are days you’d like to quit your job and mow the lawn at the local golf course. Anything to get away from (insert name here). But, the truth is, there is always going to be THAT person. The more we resist dealing with them, the less likely we are to adapt and learn new skills for managing different personalities and perspectives.

This is how I often explain the futility of resistance to my students. Take a walk with me, in your mind, to the beach. Let’s say we stand, arm in arm, knee-deep in the waves. We tire of the waves. They thrash us around. They make it hard to stand in place. They are unpredictable and sometimes unexpectedly strong. So, we decide we want the waves to stop rolling in. So, with a collective ‘STOP!’ we yell at the waves to stop rolling in. We tell them that we’re done with them and would like them to STOP right now! What happens? Well, unless it’s the end of times, the waves continue to roll in.

This is what we do with people and circumstances in our lives. We focus on what we want to change, instead of working with ‘what is’. The truth is, if you grow weary of the waves there are so many other options available to you, right?

    You can surf with a board
    You can body surf
    You can float
    You can dive through the waves
    You can go out past the break
    And you can even get out of the ocean all together. Always an option.

But making the ocean waves stop, isn’t one. And as long as we stand there, yelling at the ocean to stop, we will not find solutions for working within the waves.

As long as you stand there, yelling in your mind and to others, about how someone should change or be different or stop doing that, you will not find a solution to work within the situation. You will only find more challenges. Just like waves, people are generally that consistent. Even if they are consistently inconsistent. We can usually plan on people being exactly like we’ve known them to be. In times when I’ve dealt with difficult people I’ve found myself almost chuckling when they behave exactly as I expect them to. I may not choose it for myself. I may not choose them as a colleague, employee or boss, but I can at least no longer pretend to be surprised when they act as they always do.

People don’t change for your reasons, they change for their own. Yelling at them to be different doesn’t work. Understanding this and accepting this invitation is probably one of the most liberating gifts you can give yourself.

Invitation #4

Everyone in your life is there for a season. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my career it is that people move on. Nothing is static. Making large professional and life decisions because of one person’s behavior is something I encourage all of my clients to think long and hard about. People move on. It’s very likely that the person that you want to escape is also making plans to do something new as well. And even if they aren’t, nothing stays the same for long.

You have dreams, aspirations, and goals. Never let one person sway you from your ambitions. AND if you are finding that you are rattled by the behavior of someone else, it may be time to consider your goals. Do you have a plan? Do you know where you are going? Do you know what you want to achieve in the next year, two years, three? In my experience, it is the clients who are the most unclear about their future, that are also the most impacted by difficult people in their lives. When you don’t have a plan for where you are going, it can make the challenges of today feel extremely big and unmanageable. But if you know the direction you are heading, it can help make the challenges of the day feel like blips on the radar and suddenly they are much more manageable.

Invitation #5

You don’t have to give up who you are to work with a difficult person. But you may just have to learn new skills and challenge yourself to do more and be more for yourself and others. So often, clients believe that they have to over-compromise to get along with a difficult person. They believe they have to give up a part of who they are to make it work. I see it quite differently. I see that you aren’t giving anything up. You are a whole, complete person. What I’ve experienced instead is that when we encounter someone we believe to be difficult it is our cue to learn a new skill, manage ourselves and others differently and to embrace the discomfort and challenge to broaden our capabilities. Whether we need to do so in our conversations, our boundaries, our communication, or our technical skills.

Difficult people can be the sharpest tool kit you’ll ever encounter. And even though it doesn’t feel like it at the time, the difficult people we encounter can truly be some of our greatest teachers.

So, I’ve offered you five invitations. Five different ways to think about working with that ‘difficult’ person.

    Difficult people are not difficult until someone else believes that they are.
    What we think about, comes about.
    There will always be a difficult person. Always.
    Everyone in your life is there for a season.
    You don’t have to give up who you are to work with a difficult person.

It’s up to you if you choose to accept any of them. Try them on for a while. See what you think... But whether or not you you choose to change your perspective will not change the fact that there will always be another difficult person at work. How you choose to react to that person and the relationship you create with them is ultimately up to you. Regardless of how they behave, your actions and your interactions are yours to keep.


48
What makes someone a great sales manager? What separates them from the rest?

Based on 15 years of consulting with sales teams, I have concluded the below list of 15 factors are what the “best of the best” do to be a successful sales manager:

1. Realize their job is not to be a sales manager, but to be a sales leader.

2. Hold constructive sales meetings salespeople find value in, rather than meetings that are nothing more than information updates.

3. Spend time with their top performers.

4. Leverage their position as a sales manager to generate opportunities and discussions with customers while working with their salespeople.

5.
Don’t let their own paperwork stand in the way of spending quality time with their people.

6.
Coach their people each day and hold them accountable on the skills they’re developing.

7. Provide an environment that allows their salespeople to be motivated every day.

8.
Never talk negatively about any of their people or anyone else while in the company of anyone.

9. Help each of their salespeople achieve their professional and personal goals.

10. Be open and accountable to others.

11. Realize their objective is not only to make the numbers, but also to develop their people.

12.
Impact everyone with whom they come in contact in a positive manner, regardless of who they are or the position they hold.

13.
Know their role is to lead their people and allow their people to lead their customers.

14. Demonstrate 100% respect to everyone.

15. Hold as a personal goal developing a team that everyone wants to be a part of, and be the manager who assures a majority (if not all) of the people on the team are recognized and promoted for their performance.

As you can see, these attributes are not out of reach of most sales managers – if they are willing to put effort into becoming a leader!

Do you want a free infographic I put together on sales leadership?  Check out 10 Physical Signs You Are A Sales Leader.

Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter

49
Successful salespeople are disciplined. Leaders are disciplined. Successful business people are disciplined.

Regardless of your position, to be successful you have to be disciplined.

Disciplined people know there are always things to work on.  This is why I say, “Today’s expectations are tomorrow’s norms.”

If you’re reading this and you’re a sales manager, I want you to think about areas where people who work for you are operating at a sub-optimal level.

What are your expectations?

What do your people expect of you?


Once you begin expecting more and coaching them on how to achieve more, then in time what you expect becomes routine — thus it becomes norm.

One of the best examples I can think of is expense reports.  For many salespeople, doing expense reports on time and accurately is a real problem.

If you’re a sales manager who believes doing expense reports on-time is the norm, then that is what you have to expect today.  Expect today and in time it will become the norm.

High-performing people understand this and practice it themselves.

What are some items you need to work on?

What are your expectations for what you want to accomplish?


Once you begin to expect and then perform, it soon becomes norm.   In watching high-performing salespeople and understanding what make them high-performing, this process is one of the ways they motivate themselves.

Regardless of what you do, always plan on having at least one area where you are expecting more. Make that your focus and in time allow it to become normal behavior.

One of the easiest ways to put this into practice as part of your sales motivation is by selecting one item in your sales process you want to improve.  It might be the number of sales prospecting calls you make or it might be the speed with which you follow-up with customers.

Just pick something and then set the new expectation.  Focus on the expectation and what you’re doing about it, and in time it will become normal behavior.

Source and Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.

50
6 Ways to Prove You're a Genuine Superstar at Work
Aug 19 2014



Remarkable employees (here's how to tell if you are remarkable) spend significant time helping other people succeed: their company, their employees, their customers and vendors and suppliers...

But remarkable employees also spend a little time helping themselves succeed, both for "selfish" reasons and because their success creates success for others.

Want to stand out from the crowd? Want to stand out based on go, not show? Here are some great ways:

1. Be first, but with a purpose.


Many people try to be the first to arrive each day. That's great, but what do you actually do with that time? Organize your thoughts? Get a jump on your email?

Instead of taking care of your stuff, do something visibly worthwhile for the company. Take care of unresolved problems from the day before. Set things up so it's easier for other employees to hit the ground running when they come in. Chip away at an ongoing project others ignore.

Don't just be the one who turns on or off the lights – be the one who gets in early or stays late in order to get things done. Not only will your performance stand out, you'll also start to...

2. Master a specific -- and valuable -- skill.

Meeting standards, however lofty those standards may be, won't help you stand out.

So go above the norm. Be the leader known for turning around struggling employees. Be the shipping manager who makes a few deliveries a week to personally check in with customers. Be the VP who promotes from within. Be known as the employee who responds quicker, acts faster, or always follows up.

Pick a worthwhile mission and then excel at that mission. I promise people will notice.

3. Create your own side projects.


Excelling at an assigned project is expected. Excelling at a side project -- especially one you created -- helps you stand out.

For example, years ago I decided to create a Web-based employee handbook my then-employer could put on the company Intranet. I worked on it at home on my own time. Some managers liked it but the HR manager didn’t, so it died an inglorious death.

I was disappointed but the company wasn't "out" anything, and soon after I was selected for a high visibility company-wide process improvement team because my little project had made me "that guy."

Try it. For example, experiment on a new process or service with a particular customer in mind. The customer will appreciate how you tried, without being asked, to better meet their needs... and you'll never be forgotten.

4. Put your effort where your mouth is.


Lots of people take verbal stands. Few take a stand and put actual effort behind their opinions.

Say you think a project has gone off the rails; instead of just pointing out its flaws so you can show everyone how smart you are, jump in and help fix it.

Everyone talks about problems. The people who help fix problems are the few who stand out.

5. Show a little of your personal side.


Personal interests help other people know and remember you. That's a huge advantage for a new employee or a company competing in a crowded market.

Just make sure your personal interests don't overshadow professional accomplishments. Being "the guy who does triathlons" is fine, but being "the guy who is always training and traveling to triathlons so we can never reach him when we need him" is not.

Let people know a little about you; a few personal details add color and depth to your professional image. (Plus it makes you a lot more likeable.)

6. Work harder than everyone else.

Nothing – nothing – is a substitute for hard work. (Sure, you can also work smarter -- but why not do both?)

Look around: How many people are working as hard as they can? Very few.

One way you can always stand out -- regardless of talent, experience, or skill -- is by outworking everyone else.

It's also the easiest way to stand out, because I guarantee you'll be the only one trying that hard.

51
Be a Leader / 9 Things Successful People Won't Do -- By Travis B.
« on: August 19, 2014, 11:28:04 AM »
9 Things Successful People Won't Do

They Won’t Let Anyone Limit Their Joy

When your sense of pleasure and satisfaction are derived from comparing yourself to others, you are no longer the master of your own happiness. When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something that they've done, they won’t let anyone’s opinions or accomplishments take that away from them.

While it’s impossible to turn off your reactions to what others think of you, you don’t have to compare yourself to others, and you can always take people’s opinions with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what other people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within. Regardless of what people think of you at any particular moment, one thing is certain—you’re never as good or bad as they say you are.

They Won’t Forget


Emotionally intelligent people are quick to forgive, but that doesn't mean that they forget. Forgiveness requires letting go of what’s happened so that you can move on. It doesn’t mean you’ll give a wrongdoer another chance. Emotionally intelligent people are unwilling to be bogged down unnecessarily by others’ mistakes, so they let them go quickly and are assertive in protecting themselves from future harm.

They Won’t Die in the Fight


Emotionally intelligent people know how important it is to live to fight another day. In conflict, unchecked emotion makes you dig your heels in and fight the kind of battle that can leave you severely damaged. When you read and respond to your emotions, you’re able to choose your battles wisely and only stand your ground when the time is right.

They Won’t Prioritize Perfection


Emotionally intelligent people won’t set perfection as their target because they know it doesn’t exist. Human beings, by our very nature, are fallible. When perfection is your goal, you’re always left with a nagging sense of failure, and you end up spending your time lamenting what you failed to accomplish and what you should have done differently instead of enjoying what you were able to achieve.

They Won’t Live in the Past

Failure can erode your self-confidence and make it hard to believe you’ll achieve a better outcome in the future. Most of the time, failure results from taking risks and trying to achieve something that isn’t easy. Emotionally intelligent people know that success lies in their ability to rise in the face of failure, and they can’t do this when they’re living in the past. Anything worth achieving is going to require you to take some risks, and you can’t allow failure to stop you from believing in your ability to succeed. When you live in the past, that is exactly what happens, and your past becomes your present, preventing you from moving forward.

They Won’t Dwell on Problems


Where you focus your attention determines your emotional state. When you fixate on the problems that you’re facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress, which hinders performance. When you focus on actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions and improves performance. Emotionally intelligent people won’t dwell on problems because they know they’re most effective when they focus on solutions.

They Won’t Hang Around Negative People


Complainers are bad news because they wallow in their problems and fail to focus on solutions. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. People often feel pressure to listen to complainers because they don’t want to be seen as callous or rude, but there’s a fine line between lending a sympathetic ear and getting sucked into their negative emotional spiral. You can avoid getting drawn in only by setting limits and distancing yourself when necessary. Think of it this way: if a person were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You’d distance yourself, and you should do the same with complainers. A great way to set limits is to ask complainers how they intend to fix a problem. The complainer will then either quiet down or redirect the conversation in a productive direction.

They Won’t Hold Grudges


The negative emotions that come with holding onto a grudge are actually a stress response. Just thinking about the event involved sends your body into fight-or-flight mode. When a threat is imminent, this reaction is essential to your survival, but when a threat is ancient history, holding onto that stress wreaks havoc on your body and can have devastating health consequences over time. In fact, researchers at Emory University have shown that holding onto stress contributes to high blood pressure and heart disease. Holding onto a grudge means you’re holding onto stress, and emotionally intelligent people know to avoid this at all costs. Learning to let go of a grudge will not only make you feel better now but can also improve your health.

They Won’t Say Yes Unless They Really Want To

Research conducted at the University of California in San Francisco shows that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression. Saying no is indeed a major challenge for most people. “No” is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to wield. When it’s time to say no, emotionally intelligent people avoid phrases like “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.

By Travis B.
President at Talent Smart & coauthor Emotional Intelligence 2.0

52

Hire for attitude. Train for aptitude

When approached with the decision of hiring a young professional in their 20s and 30s, what are you looking for? Education? Experience? Skills? Certifications? Or are you looking further to what they can bring to your organization based on each of those elements?

It is no secret that job hopping is the new normal for Millennials. In fact, most have already changed careers since their college graduation and expect to only stay in a position fewer than three years. As a Hiring Manager, Human Resources Director, and even an Executive, you have a valid case for your wariness of a résumé filled with 1-2 year stints. You have the right to question an applicant’s motivation, skill level, engagement and even their ability to get along with other colleagues, but the real question to consider is, ‘How can I effectively utilize him/her on our team?’

Most are quick to judge simply based on a résumé and tend to avoid hiring these young professionals for their lack of experience or job instability. With Millennials on track to make up 75% of the global workforce by 2025 your avoidance strategy will soon come to an end. In the past we placed too much emphasis on what a job candidate has done rather than what they could do.

While some industries have already transformed their hiring practices, many aging industries continue to struggle with the idea of ‘hiring for attitude.’ Their mindset is to surround themselves with like-minded industry veterans who tend to be stuck in their ways which leads to you untraining them and then retraining them for a simple task. It’s like teaching an old dog new tricks, it just doesn't work. According to an article in Fast Company, the most common and fatal hiring mistake is to find someone with the right skills but the wrong mind-set and hire them on the theory, “We can change ‘em.”

Yes, hiring young professionals is a risk, but they contain a skill that most industry veterans don’t have, learning agility. Those who are learning agile know what to do when they don’t know what to do. They know the questions to ask, where to find the answers they need and they are comfortable being uncomfortable. It is their ability to recognize a learning opportunity, adapt themselves to the new situation and enhance their marketability by developing the skills needed to achieve the new task at hand.

    Millennials want their ideas to be heard in a workplace that is flexible and whose company's values match their own.

So, before dismissing a hit-and-miss résumé, consider the circumstance; it demonstrates ambition, motivation and the desire to learn more skills more than it shows flakiness. You need to realize that this is the new normal, come around to appreciate its advantages.

Source: Jacob Wayman
Employee Benefits Strategist | Proud Rotarian | Relationship Builder | Golfer | Wellness Enthusiast | Paul Harris Fellow

53
How to deliver bad news

Delivering bad news can be the worst part of the job for any manager. In this article I provide suggestions for how to do it in way that maximizes your chances of keeping your team engaged, and achieving a successful long-term outcome.

Different types of bad news.

When people think of bad news, they often think of the type of news that impacts the whole company, such as industry downturns, layoffs and cost-cutting.

On a smaller scale, but often just as traumatizing, is the tough job of letting specific individuals go, particularly if they are well-liked. However, as Peter Drucker advised, “Leaders owe it to the organization and their fellow workers, not to tolerate non-performing people in important jobs”.

No matter how friendly and likable someone is, if you have provided them the appropriate training, mentoring and support and they still cannot achieve the required performance standard within an agreed time frame, then they should be moved on. You are not doing them or your team (or your customers for that matter) any favors by carrying poor performers.

Trickier decisions involve letting people go who can achieve the performance standard, but who are not a good fit for your culture. This is where it is important to have a set of Core Values that provide clear and explicit “rules for how we do things around here”, so your people know exactly where they stand, and can see for themselves whether or not they are a good fit for your culture. If a person cannot demonstrate your Core Values consistently, they are actually undermining the culture you are trying to build, and they should move on.

Another form of bad news includes the shelving of major projects because they failed to deliver the results that were expected in the allotted time frame. As I often say to clients, “You have to prune the rosebush if you want to create beautiful blooms”.

Effective management calls for continual pruning and weeding. Unless a strategic project has been an outright failure, it can be difficult to convince managers that activities they are involved in should be abandoned. Vested interests and egos tend to perpetuate the status quo.

These are tough decisions to make, because it runs counter to what most managers have been judged on throughout their careers, which is to fix and grow things. How many resumes brag about projects they pulled the plug on? Purposeful abandonment is the most overlooked aspect of leadership. The ability to have a long-term strategic viewpoint and make the tough calls on these “zombie” projects defines whether you are truly ready for a senior leadership role

Delivering the bad news.

Let’s face it. If you have a heart, it’s tough to deliver bad news to the people who are directly affected. There is also the potential for collateral damage, where the motivation and engagement of other people in the company can be negatively impacted if you handle the process poorly.

If you need to deliver the type of bad news that impacts large numbers of people, most research recommends that you address the issue quickly. If you don't, rumors will run rampant, and your people will be living in an unproductive state of anxiety, wondering what it means for them personally.

Regardless of the scale, here is a suggested process to control how the bad news is delivered, and maximize your potential for a successful long-term outcome.

    1. Get out in front of any rumors so employees are not left stewing and speculating
    2. Describe the current reality
    3. Be open and honest. Deliver the bad news.
    4. Keep your comments short and on point. Don’t waffle or sugarcoat your message.
    5. Describe how people will be affected
    6. Be empathetic to their concerns. Show them that you care.
    7. Describe the options that were considered
    8. Clearly state the decision that was made, and the reasons for the decision
    9. Allow a moment for the news to sink in
    10. Switch emphasis to describing a “better future”. But don’t make promises you can’t keep
    11. Provide an overview of your plan going forward (you do have a plan right?)
    12. Assign accountability to high-status individuals to implement the plan
    13. Specify what actions will be taken right now. Get people focused on taking action.
    14. Allow time for questions and feedback
    15. Ensure follow through on the plan. Provide regular weekly updates on progress

Being the bearer of bad news is never fun, but by following this process you can increase your likelihood of a successful long-term outcome; one that maximizes the engagement of your team.

Source- Stephen Lynch, Strategy Consultant and Author

54
7 Management Principles that have worked for me
July 23, 2014
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When thinking about what to write for my first post on LinkedIn, I quickly figured that I'm unlikely to conceive deep analytical essays or ground-breaking theories. Instead, I will share 7 simple principles that I've acquired over a number of years; from other managers, peers, people I admire and those that taught me what not to do.

1. Here to make new mistakes and learn from the old ones
This is the quintessence of allowing for (fast) failure in an organization and establishing a spirit of continuous improvement. Leaders that encourage methods like Lean Six Sigma and trust their teams to learn from previous mistakes will see more innovative ideas and sustained gains over time.

2. Family & health first, always
Trust is important in any relationship, be it at work or elsewhere. I believe that everyone wants to do a good job and allowing people to spend time with their kids at soccer practice or to help a family member with a medical appointment is essential in balancing the 'always on, always mobile' expectation we have on our people. And looking after one's health should always be a priority.
   
3. Bring the data
I've learnt this from two business leaders that I value deeply for their approach to data when making decisions. Firstly, if you have no data at all, you can't quantify the problem or opportunity. How will you know if it's worth spending your time on this topic? Secondly, don't just compare yourself to prior periods; always compare yourself to the goal/budget as well as industry leaders. This works in a competitive business environment best; in operational areas it is more complex to develop the right external benchmark.

4. C-H-D (Concept – Headline – Details)

This is something I first heard from Peak Teams and now guides my communication, especially in emails. Too often we use one liners or long stories when communicating. One liners are better suited for instant messages and stories belong to meetings or hallway conversations. In emails, C-H-D guides me to provide context of what I'm trying to communicate (the concept), to give simple headlines (every word counts) and only then to go into the details.

5. Take the initiative
I often tell my teams, "don't wait (for the HQ, for me, for our boss)". This goes along with empowerment to take measured risks. Large, matrixed organizations lose their ability to move forward with speed when 10 people can say no and nobody says yes. I believe that viewing the decisions at hand through a customer-centric lens will reveal the right answer.

6. Hard on the process, soft on the people

This principle comes from a prior manager and mentor - it resonates with my belief that people generally try to do the best job they can, but often are hindered by inefficient processes and tools. Focusing on continuous improvement instead of blaming individuals or organizations will create a better workplace, higher employee engagement and a better business outcome.

7. Let’s Win
Last but not least - if you don't aim to win, why play in the first place? Winning begets more winning and everyone wants to be on a team with a winning streak. It's important to celebrate milestones and achievements to create momentum.

Now it's time to turn it over to you - what #8 would you add or what has worked for you? I'm looking forward to the dialogue. Thanks!


55
15 Signs You Have a Bad Boss
July 22, 2014
BY: Heather Huhman
Gen Y Career Expert | Content Marketing & Digital PR | HR Tech Writer


Have you been feeling overwhelmed at work lately? Your boss could be the source of the problem.

Seventy-five percent of employees believe their boss is the worst, and most stressful, part of their job. Unfortunately, there are a number of things a bad boss can do to hurt the morale and productivity of their employees.

If you’re beginning to wonder if your boss is the source of your unhappiness at work, you know you have a bad boss when:

1. Your boss damages your self-esteem.

Does your boss bring you down at work? Unfortunately, you’re not alone. Sixty percent of employees say their boss at some point or another damaged their self-esteem.

2. Your boss isn’t good at their job.

Research shows 34 percent of workers believe their boss is not effective at his or her job. Not only that, but more than half believe they could do a better job than their boss.

3. Your boss doesn’t motivate you.

Bosses are meant to be an employee’s No. 1 advocate and motivator in the workplace. However, 39 percent of employees either feel only sometimes or never motivated by their bosses.

4. Your boss doesn’t listen.


Transparent communication is key in the workplace, but one-third of employees say their boss sometimes or never listens to their work-related concerns.

5. Your boss ignores you.

According to Gallup, 57 percent of employees who feel ignored by their bosses are not engaged at work.

6. Your boss plays favorites.

Does it feel like there’s always one employee who gets more opportunities than you, even though you are equally or more capable of performing? Research shows 34 percent of bosses are guilty of playing favorites in the workplace.

7. Your boss makes you dread work.

Research shows employees dread difficult conversations with their boss (20.4 percent) and returning to work after vacation (16.6 percent).

8. Your boss doesn’t ask for your feedback.

Two-way communication is essential in the workplace. However, 49 percent of employees say their boss only sometimes or never asks for their ideas when solving problems.

9. Your boss doesn’t inspire you.


According to research, one of the top five characteristics of a bad boss is they don’t inspire their employees.

10. Your boss doesn’t have a clear vision.

If the leader in the workplace lacks a clear vision, how are you supposed to perform well on the job?

11. Your boss makes you want to hide.


Do you try to avoid all encounters with your boss as often as possible? Twenty-seven percent of employees say they purposefully hide from their bosses.

12. Your boss lacks integrity.


Does your boss seem to lack honesty or accountability? Nearly 20 percent of employees say their boss has little or no integrity.

13. Your boss is a slacker.


What’s the point of doing your job when your boss fails to do their own? Forty-two percent of employees say their boss doesn’t work hard enough.

14. Your boss can’t keep his or her cool.

When things get stressful at work, a shocking 47 percent of bosses cannot stay calm during the situation. Isn’t your boss supposed to be someone you can go to when you’re feeling overwhelmed at work?

15. Your boss makes you wish you had a better one.


If you spend every day wishing you had a new boss, you’re not alone. Sixty-five percent of employees would take a better boss over a pay raise.

What do you believe are the warning signs of a bad boss?

56
Career Tips / 8 Steps That Will Get You Hired
« on: July 09, 2014, 08:35:06 AM »

The Job Seeker’s Success Formula

Success is a process

Athletes will likely agree with me that developing skill, building technique, taking care of their body and mind requires daily care. Proper routine becomes a critical factor in their success. Professional musicians are no different and each one can relate unique stories about the development of their technique as well as their musicianship. They develop individual regimens that become a trusted part of every day.

Just like athletes and musicians, jobseekers develop routines and processes. Some good, others…not so much. The list of activities include attending jobseeker support groups, networking appointments, presentations at libraries, daily activity on LinkedIn, finding and applying for posted positions, reading and learning more about their professions, and possible classes and certifications. Did I mention cover letters and résumés? Thank you notes and interview preparation?
Did you make this common mistake?

Often, after being laid off, jobseekers may panic and rush to put together a résumé and apply for any number of opportunities. However, today’s job market is constantly changing. An industry has evolved to support the hiring process. To be successful in today’s market, a jobseeker must become an expert in the advancements in his or her industry to be credible. Next, he or she must understand the new hiring processes.

Why jobseekers quit


The quality of the activity determines the quality of the result. So if the action was of high quality, then the result brings high value.
When the results are deemed poor by the jobseeker, then that person is more likely to give up. They quit.
When an activity doesn’t bring in any results or when the results only have a negative impact, then it’s reasonable to stop that process.

Jobseekers spend a lot of energy on the job search. They give it their very best and when they get calls for jobs that are a poor fit and don’t bring even a consideration of a living wage, they give up. That’s reasonable.

Further, when a jobseeker gets nothing back from all their effort—nothing; why should they continue that process. That’s reasonable.

Lastly, when jobseekers are treated poorly by the hiring community (this is my biggest “beef”!!!!), when they receive contracts that evaporate, interviews for positions that disappear or didn’t exist to start with, promised calls that never happen— It’s no wonder they give up. That’s reasonable.

Finding a job is a marathon rather than a sprint.
Don’t quit. Do this instead.


Jobseekers might consider a different approach:
If the result was undesirable, then change the process that created it.
Realize that every response has valuable information IF the jobseeker asks the right questions.

Source:
To read more and learn the 8 steps to getting hired, you can find the full blog here: http://forwardmotioncareers.com/blog/8-steps-that-will-get-you-hired/

57
While most marketers know that producing adequate sales leads requires thorough data collection and analysis, they must also be mindful of each target account ‘s current business situation (which can change almost daily).

Information about business circumstances comes in many forms — press releases, earnings reports, news items, analyst reports, and much more. When added to what we already know about our territories and target accounts, this new information can turn a pile of routine marketing findings into powerful sales knowledge that borders on intellectual property (IP).

If you view IP as the sum of a company’s research, knowledge, patents, processes and the like, then you really should add sales knowledge to your list. The knowledge you can develop about your markets and target customers, in relation to your business’ other knowledge, designs, and plans, is unique. You own it and no one else has it – and that’s a competitive weapon in sales.

A Marketing Revenue Revelation

Based on salespeople’s demand for better leads and pressure on marketers to generate revenue, marketers have discovered that the type of data they collect is as important as its volume.

Even a few years ago, salespeople were happy with basic demographics (name, title, phone number), and with that they’d schedule a prospect meeting to capture the really important information (business need, budget, decision maker identities, etc.). But with today’s high quotas, salespeople don’t have time to invest in basic data gathering and managers are steering salespeople away from qualifying prospects during valuable meeting time. And managers have earmarked sales meetings for conversations that advance the sales process.

Marketers need to provide their sales counterparts with rich prospect profiles that answer salespeople’s most important questions, including:

    Does our product/service match the prospect’s business needs?
    Does the prospect have budget to spend?
    Is an executive sponsor tied to the deal?

Buying a target list will not answer the above questions – and qualifying a lead before a sales call also requires more effort than collecting a small set of demographic data.

Starting with a generic prospect list and applying lead nurturing campaigns, marketers aim to cultivate information that salespeople can use. For instance, they engage with prospects via social media, and in the process, build a knowledge-base and share content. With the help of lead nurturing programs and enhanced data collection that feeds into analytics, the refined leads that marketers are delivering to sales are nearly sales-ready – but that’s not enough.

Marketing is starting to re-think its lead capturing processes to meet sales’ demands. Using various data collection techniques and lead enriching, they are able to weed out leads that might look good on paper but will never close. They’re starting to curate leads that border on intellectual property.

Intellectual Property’s Competitive Advantage

But just like filing a patent, there’s a long process involved in bringing knowledge (read: intellectual property) together so that it can be used effectively. Until fairly recently, marketers didn’t have the tools needed to find the disparate data scattered across the Internet that could complete the picture of a prospect’s need. There is an advantage to being a first-mover in the race to capture and collate market knowledge before your competition.

That’s why savvy vendors are increasingly relying on sales and marketing intelligence tools to scour the Internet for those bits of information that can complete a marketing profile and turn it into a hot lead. Every day, businesses give off data about their aims, ambitions, results, and shortcomings. These insights are moments of truth and are incredibly useful for vendors selling targeted solutions.

Developing customer knowledge really is like developing any other form of intellectual property in a company. It lessens the randomness from selling. It’s why so many forward-thinking businesses see sales and marketing intelligence tools as vital to their continued success. By identifying moments of truth and being able to suggest specific solutions, a vendor can move from a position of hawking a product to becoming a trusted partner. And all of a sudden, the vendor has a competitive advantage.

Source: Inside view blog

58

Lead management is the systematic method that a marketing team uses to acquire (by importing, creating manually, or automatically capturing from a website), evaluate, nurture and hand off leads. Lead management is about moving quality leads through the stages of the marketing funnel, from an anonymous visitor to a sales-ready lead.


Why Create a Lead Management Process?


Successful lead management ensures that your sales team gains immediate access to leads and that leads are never dropped.

Only 25% of leads in a given sales pipeline are legitimate prospects.* The challenge is cleaning your database, locating the leads that make up the 25%, and enriching other leads to increase the percentage of true prospects.

*Source: Gleanster Research

Defining your lead management process allows your marketing team to:

    Automatically route leads from your website
    Prevent dropped leads
    Utilize advanced lead segmentation and targeted campaigns
    Increase efficiency of marketing operations

Sound good? Read on — and follow this lead management blog series.

Step 1 - Prospect Intelligence

Prospect intelligence allows you to immediately react when ideal prospects (who represent target companies) visit your site. Tracking software gives you info about anonymous visitors, like IP address (identifying the company that hosts the visitor’s computer) so you can better understand who’s visiting, and points to data like popular landing pages on your site. With these tools in place, you can determine which content pieces to prioritize on your site and which types of companies are likely to convert. By optimizing your site content and immediately reacting to top prospects, you can quickly push inbound leads into your lead management cycle, and decrease time spent prospecting.


Step 2 – Lead Intelligence

Lead intelligence helps to determine where your prospect is in the buying cycle—kicking the tires or intent to buy. A prospect
 converts to a
 lead when they provide contact information and begin to actively engage with the content on your site (i.e. attending a webinar, downloading a product sheet). Lead intelligence is
 data that ‘s captured in places like web forms and interactions — it reveals behavioral activity on your site and is an indicator of purchase intent.

Combined with prospect intelligence, lead intelligence is what enables you to send relevant, targeted content tailored to your lead’s needs and pain points.

Lead Intelligence Sources: Please see the attachment

 
Next Up: “Step 3  - Lead Scoring”

In the next segment, we’ll cover the basics of lead scoring, how prospect and lead intelligence data plays into your scoring system, and where to go from there.

Source: Inside Viewblog

59

Does The World Cup Distract From Sales Productivity?
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Ahh, the World Cup. It only comes around every four years. While we don’t stream local sports on the big screen here at InsideView, these few-and-far-between events are certainly front and center — 1) because we have a lot of avid futbol fans here, 2) because we’d rather let people watch the matches here in the office than have them fake sick to do it at home, and 3) it’s an opportunity to boost morale and camaraderie among the team.

We argue that while gigantic special events like the World Cup are distracting at most companies, there are ways to get around it. Like providing a little extra incentive for your team to come in — tuning in for a couple hours during the important matches, bringing in some extra snacks, and basically agreeing that what’s important to your employees is important to your company.  Yeah, there will still be a bit of lost productivity lingering around, but who’s to say that doesn’t happen without an event?

To bring it all together, we’ve updated our 2010 World Cup infographic. Check out InsideView’s 2014 edition of “Economic & Sales Productivity During the World Cup” [Infographic]. Discover worldwide World Cup viewing statistics, review lost productivity estimates based on recent surveys, and then decide to take the high road and protect your team’s productivity without halting the fun.

Source: InsideView’s 2014

60
I hear voices in my head. Well, not voices, plural. Just a voice, singular. As far as I know, I'm not schizophrenic or mentally ill (in a clinically diagnosable way). I would be completely adrift without this voice to guide me. I've ignored her before but I've learned to listen. You see, unlike me, she's never been wrong.

My theory is that this is my right brain talking to me.

Everyone (most everyone) has both a left brain and a right brain. The left brain is typically characterized as analytical, logical, rational, objective. The right brain is characterized as emotional, subjective, holistic, random, and intuitive. Actual neuroscientists will probably tell you that this is not how the brain works, but I think it's a useful metaphor for this discussion. You can also think of it as the quintessential balance of yin-yang. I particularly love this ad campaign from Mercedes-Benz above to illustrate the point.

In the age of data mining and big data analysis, and certainly in Silicon Valley, there’s a strong bias for so-called left brain thinking. I call it the "tyranny of data." We’ve become so data-driven in so much of what we do these days that we routinely overlook other, more subtle, signals that are essential to making a good decision. Relying on data gives us some comfort but doing so absent an check-in with your gut can lead to more bad decisions than good particularly where people are involved. Human beings are data-exuding machines.

But if you don't believe me, take a page out of the Google hiring textbook.

Perhaps no other company is as famous as Google for their analytical approach to hiring. Google is a very left brain company known for running job candidates through the mental gauntlet during the interview process. The process at Google is extremely data-driven. I worked there and lived it. When I was interviewing there as a candidate I had one engineer apologize to me for having his laptop open while we spoke. He assured me that he wasn’t multi-tasking. Quite the opposite. He needed to take notes in real time because interviewers document quite a lot about their interactions with candidates. Interviewing is so labor-intensive at Google that some people actively avoid doing it. It’s well-known that Google asks about GPAs and SAT scores even for people years out of college and that they place a premium on top-tier university graduates. These are tangible metrics that are thought to predict success - they are things that can be observed, quantified, and correlated.

But even at data-loving Google, they understand and appreciate the value of the human element. Every candidate get rated on how "Googley" they are. To be clear, this is not how much the interviewer *likes* them. It's about Googley-ness. People who work there, know what it is. It's hard to define but you know it when you see it and you especially know when it's not there. Lots of very qualified candidates never get an offer from Google. If you are not Googley, you won't make the cut. Google understands that hiring is as much art as science.

Introducing a right brain veto on hiring can improve your hiring success. The reason it works isn’t all that complicated. Every person is giving off subtle signals that are often overlooked. Everyone one of us has experiences to draw from that we don't even consciously remember.Your “intuition” is catching these signals, tapping into these memories, and processing them for you. This is just your brain working the way it’s supposed to.

As a hiring manager, I vividly recall a handful of times when I tried to ignore my right brain to hire someone who seemed utterly perfect on paper, answered all the questions right, and were generally well-liked by all the interviewers. But the voice nagged. The voice said something was not quite right. I ignored the voice and hired the candidate. In each of these instances, I wound up having to let that person go. The cost of making a bad hiring decision is not insignificant. So I learned the hard way - do not ignore your right brain!

When that voice pops up to warn you that something is amiss, it is. It’s processing the data you can’t see or recognize. Think of it as the softer side of data. So listen to it, it’s there to help you. It might even be smarter than you are. Correction - it IS smarter than you are but you can be thankful that it's on your side.

Source: Leadership & Management, Linkedin

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