Not only am I a Capricorn… yes, the goat (the one who will climb up a mountain without hands) but I am also a super achiever. I think only doing two things at once is slacking.
So when I came across this article, Achieving Without Goals, I was skeptical to say the least. I like goals, I like lists, I like progress and I like measuring progress. When I do business coaching, I often start by asking about goals (personal and professional).
The author believes that goals are inconsistent with contentment. Also, “Goals, as I define them, are having a set outcome” and “When we fixate on goals, we shut ourselves off to new opportunities that open up in different directions.”
The older I get, the more I like the idea of no goals. But there is a big difference between “no goals” and having a predetermined notion of what the outcome must be and then thinking ‘success’ is determined by that. Serendipity is an important part of life and enjoying the benefits of running into people, ideas and results without driving them… is a great way to go through work and life.
So for today I’m setting aside some of my goals… but I’ll continue to work to reach my goal of writing a weekly blog post. LOL.
photo credit: Flying bartimaeus
If you are a job hunter and you are not using twitter, perhaps you want to think again. Why? Check out this article, Top 5 Twitter Apps for Recruiters. If you’re one of those people who still thinks twitter is stupid, then skip this post. If your mind is open, keep reading.
If recruiters need automated tools to help them post their jobs to twitter… then it must be worth checking out.
Let’s run through a few of the reasons WHY recruiters use twitter:
- It’s free
- It’s easy
- It has broad reach
- It separates out the ‘dinosaurs’ from the people who get it
I hear this from some job seekers.. ‘but I have all this experience… they should want to hire me for that, not for whether it tweet or not.”
This is true… you do have excellent experience… but so do lots of other people. And those people have updated their skills, are engaged with the world and want to be connected and learn new things. Argue with me all you want. It doesn’t change the facts.
My friend Charlene Kingston has an fantastic eBook to help you get started. Twitter for Beginners. She also has awesome tools, eBooks and online sessions for small business people. Check it out. She rocks.
How do others see me? I mean really see me? How closely do you think your self knowledge matches what other think about you?
If you are familiar with the Johari Window – the diagram shows us that each of us has parts of ourselves that others can see that we can’t. The goal however, is to make our public self window the largest of the 4. What we ‘know’ about ourselves is the same is what others ‘know’ about us. Perfect self knowledge is not possible but that’s not the goal.
It’s likely that our ‘hidden self’ – “what others know about me but I don’t”…that negatively affects our personal and professional effectiveness most dramatically.
So what can a person do to move their self-knowledge from ‘hidden’ to public? In her new book, Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future, author Dorie Clark suggests that we follow these steps:
- Read through old performance appraisals — look at the areas for improvement – is there a pattern?
- Look at your online presence – if someone didn’t know you, what would they think about you?
- Conduct your own 360 degree interviews – ask people who know you to give you one area that could improve your effectiveness. You will need to be prepared to hear things that might ruffle your feathers. No matter what they say… don’t react, thank them for their input. Choose these people wisely. These must be people you respect and who respect you. One or two good sessions can give you many things to work on.
Look, I know this isn’t easy. What if they tell you something REALLY hard to hear? Counterbalance the difficult with the good. People for positive feedback too. Tell them you are looking to be more effective and want their help. Make sure that you have support from family and friends. Then dive right in. Modeling this behavior for your children is better than telling them 100 things. Agree or disagree?
Image credit — Mr. Johari? Ms. Johari?
This week I had the privilege of meeting a woman who has battled the forces of judgment and sadness with grace. She also has translated the difficulties of her life into beautiful art. The journey of integrity is often a very lonely road. Principles are expensive; financially, psychologically and physically.
During our conversation, I was reminded how easy it is to judge others. Often, we’re not conscious of our negative feelings; we don’t deliberately set out to be judgmental or cruel. It’s just that these OTHER people…
– look different from us – It’s no longer just someone’s skin color – now we judge them because they wear a hijab or a turban
– don’t share our ‘values’ or religion. Religions are full of judgements. If someone ‘shares’ our religion we automatically assume they are ok. But the mafia killed people regularly and were ‘good’ Catholics. Just because someone is a different religion than yours, doesn’t automatically make them good or bad. People need to be judged on the content of their character. Hmm… where did we hear that before?
– have different life or work experiences. Maybe they worked only in start-ups or only in one company. Does this make their opinion or their input any less worthy?
It’s much easier to think that these ‘strange’ people are wrong or misguided than try to understand where they are coming from.
Even worse, these ‘different people’ threaten the safety of our ‘little world.’
As the world becomes more connected and collaboration becomes the norm for innovation and customer management (along with most other business functions) we need to closely examine our definition of who’s okay in the world. And it begins with our our private lives. Teach your children well – they learn by what you do, but they are tremendously affected by what you say.
I recommend that we actively seek out diversity in our friends and colleagues. Have lunch with someone who is 30 years your junior/senior. Seek out the people at your organization who are different. Talk to them, learn about what’s important to them. You will be richer for the effort and your organization will reap the benefits for years to come.
Photo credit : Joan of Arc
Career advice 101… follow your passion. Blah, blah, blah. My passion changes and what’s more.. there’s not much money in my passion for eating chocolate. So I am pleased to introduce you to Cal Newport’s new book, So Good They Can’t Ignore You. Cal is very smart young man who at the start of his career had some terrific choices.. MIT doctoral program or a job at Microsoft. He’s not really like the rest of us, so why should we listen to him?
Because he has some very good advice...
— #1 Don’t follow your passion
— #2 Be so good they can’t ignore you
— #3 Turn down that promotion
Counter-intuitive? yup? Against conventional wisdom? yes again. So what are we mere mortals to do? While I don’t agree with everything Cal writes, I especially like his… “be so good they can’t ignore you” advice. He focuses on having special skills but I would like to expand this idea. Be really good at what you do. I mean really good. Be a leader in your chosen field. Write blog posts, become a speaker, share information on LinkedIn.
But on top of that, be a person who is trusted and who cares about others. This is the secret sauce to a happy life. Passions change and skills need to be constantly updated, but a person who can gain quickly earn the trust of those around them is invaluable. Be genuine, be kind and find way to be of service.
Photo credit: WalterColley.com Banners from Rochester, NY East End Business District (Philipson Group)
There’s that line from the movie Forest Gump… “stupid is as stupid does” … well, there’s stupid and then there’s bravely awesome. Clay Shirky, one of my favorite authors, says…
“My motto for 2013, adapted from Agile Programming precepts = What Is The Stupidest Thing That Could Possibly Work?”
One of the reasons we keep doing the same thing over and over and don’t innovate… is that we surround ourselves with people just like ourselves. It’s human nature. And if someone sounds different or has goofy ideas or looks different; we forget to value the difference. We discount them based on whatever. The goal of diversity is to OPEN up the pool of ideas and thoughts. Recent research shows that large corporations that have women board members are more profitable than those that don’t. This only tells part of the story.
Real innovation must come from change and change takes courage. We’d all still be hitting each other with clubs if there weren’t some of us willing to create tools to go get food.
The more we think about things and try to ‘figure it all out,” the less likely we are to take the risk. The most successful parts of my life.. traveling, new jobs, speaking in front of large groups, etc. all came to me because I didn’t think about what might happen. I just did it.
We don’t have to engage in foolish risks without considering how to mitigate them, but letting “risks stop us from doing new things” is the safe road and on the ‘safe road’ only the guy with the biggest club will survive and I’m not having that.
Photo credit: Projectile Placement skycaptaintwo
In the world of work there is a lot of discrimination. Yup, I said it out loud. Not the kind that can be legislated or regulated against but bad nevertheless. In the 1960′s it was long hair, today, it’s ‘body art.”
In a recent article titled, “Top personal attributes employers hate about you;” piercings and tattoos are listed among several ‘undesirables’. The article states if people have these, employers are less likely to consider them for promotion. Yikes!
I don’t really understand why. Look, I’m a Boomer, I get all the dress for success ‘stuff’ we’ve been raised on and understanding one’s customers is very important. It is never a good idea to appear disrespectful to your clients. However, I believe that most people would continue to ‘buy’ from you whether your IT, HR or sales person has a tattoo or not.
Not considering them for employment or promotion because they look different from you is a big problem.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. admonished us to, ‘judge on the content of a person’s character,” (or in this case, their work output) ” not on the color of their skin,” (or in this case whether or not they have a tattoo or a piercing. ) Let me clarify… if someone is inappropriately dressed for an environment for safety or collegial reasons– then that’s not acceptable. But I don’t think that sneakers, flip flops, jeans, or some tattoos etc. are inappropriate in most environments.
The millennial generation (20 something’s) love their body ink. It nearly a rite of passage for many. In 2010, nearly four in ten persons age 18 to 29 had at least one tattoo. (Pew Research)
Get used to it folks, it’s here to stay and there’s nothing wrong with it.
Photo credit: Big hand, small hand Xurble
Anyone who reads my blog knows that I have a very healthy skepticism of Facebook. I am not alone. We have 3 grandchildren under the age of 5; 2 are “on” Facebook, 1 is not. I support a parent’s right either way.
But I also know how much joy and connection Facebook brings to so many people and I respect and appreciate that.
When I read, Facebook’s Generation Y Nightmare, the article put into words what I sometimes feel is the dilemma of sharing your ‘present’ on Facebook and illustrating it with photos. The author of the article imagines a young lady, Tina, at 18 in 2012. The items she posts now will effect not only her future career opportunities but also her alternatives for health care.
Yes, it’s imagined and yes, this assumes that ‘nothing changes”, but it’s not hard to imagine judgements/decisions being made based on incomplete or ‘what’s readily available’ data.
So, I encourage you to review your Facebook ‘timeline’ – assuming that privacy settings didn’t work… (which I think is the reasonable thing to do these days) — what would your future employer or insurer learn about you might prefer that the whole world NOT know.
I know a young man who lost his job as a student teacher because of his ‘drinking a beers with his buddies’ photos on his Facebook page. He was over 21 and the pictures were harmless and yet the school district’s policy on ‘public comportment’ took away his future career. You may think this is unfair but the truth is… this is happening. The nightmare hasn’t even begun yet.. for those who can’t tell their parents… please don’t put me on Facebook!
Photo credit: Jack Skellington-O-Lantern randysonofrobert
I am a child of the 60′s; a hippie and a non-conformist. I worked in Corporate America for over 2 decades. I enjoyed it and I learned so much. What I didn’t love was figuring out what to wear.
First… there’s no such thing as business casual for women. As much as I’d like to show up in a pair of Dockers and a sport shirt (NOT) … or it’s equivalent… I’d be glad to.. but there is no equivalent.
Second … The idea that “clothes make the man” is passe and needs to be rethought.
Third… Check out this article titled,” 5 Reasons to Ditch Your Dress Code” You may get more out of having a culture of flexibility in employee dress than maintaining strict standards.
Fourth… Diversity of people can lead to creativity in thought and action.
This doesn’t mean having no standards in dress. Clearly there are certain clothes that are inappropriate in a business environment. Also, a culture that allows casual dress but tolerates disrespect isn’t doing itself or it’s employee any favors. Hard work, communication, listening and customer focus are more important than whether someone wears jeans. Build trust with your employees and peers and we’ll all benefit.
Photo credit: Photographer Irum – sneaker
I work with companies on multi-generational workplace issues because I heard so many complaints about the “younger generation’s” poor “communication” skills. Gen Y employees may be different in many ways other from other generations; but that doesn’t mean they’re bad or wrong — they’re just different.
One common complaint I hear is that younger employees want to give and get “constant feedback.” Most of us oldsters are uncomfortable with this. Being stoics, we think everyone ought to just ‘get on with it.’
When Jimi Hendrix (my favorite musician of all time) burst onto the rock scene and created new sounds with his guitar…including standing in front of a wall of amplifiers.. many people thought it was awful… the rest of us… thought it was awesome. A new kind of musical sound was born… music to some… noise to others.
So it is with workplace feedback. Let me introduce you to Cleargears.com, take a quick video tour here. Conceptually, these tools allow your workforce to provide you (bossman or bosslady) with regular feedback and in turn, allows you to understand whether your feedback is being accepted and implemented. Wow – what a concept. Real time feedback. Making you uncomfortable? Get ready – this is the world is headed.
Take a look at Rypple.com; they call it social performance management– “a web-based social performance management platform that replaces the traditional performance review with an easy and collaborative approach. People always know where they stand and are accountable for achieving their goals.” By the way… so are you.
Whatever the tool and no matter how you feel about providing feedback to your team, I suggest you figure out how to listen better. The future of your organization depends upon it. Remember the shark… survival goes to those who adapt.
Photo credit: Milt. Retirement and Financial Freedom