Archives For Professional Development

I have wondered, do corporate executives pay any attention to LinkedIn?

Here’s one informative answer to that question: http://bit.ly/16voPWz

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Can you think of a time when a person or organization demonstrated “over the top” attention to detail? I hope you can; in fact I hope you can think of several events. You ought to maintain examples of excellence in a file in your mind in HD clarity so that the story lives on and continues to inspire and motivate you in the future.

It matters little if the example of excellence comes from anything remotely comparable to your field of interest, vocation, or study.

“What is he doing with that high-pressure air gun?”

John A. Martinez (1988)

The barista answered me over the clinking noise of the demitasse cups he carefully stacked on a shelf behind the bar. “He’s making certain every particle from the last batch in the roaster is removed before running another batch this afternoon. We pay attention to every detail in our roasting process.”

An air hose, he was blowing tiny particles, with an air hose. Brushing would not be sufficient, they cleaned to the molecular level. I consider that over-the-top attention to detail. Don’t you?

The year was 1994 (I believe). My wife and I traveled to Italy on vacation the previous summer, and I returned a coffee geek. OK, I returned a coffee snob. A book I read referred to a world-class roasting company in Atlanta, where I lived, and it just turned out to be mid-way between home and work. It assumed the form of an unavoidable obstacle on the way between home and work, as no commute seemed complete without pulling up to the “emporium” of coffee on Peachtree Road. In this bean-wonderland roasting occurred on-site.

I witnessed the roasting process several times. Even when the equipment sat idle, it stood there as a shining testament to the craftsmen and detail applied to every batch.

The coffee tasted excellent every time. There are nuances of flavor in their coffee nowhere to be found in franchised coffee shop coffee. Let’s call it the flavor of “over-the-top” awareness to detail.

The shop is no longer on Peachtree. The company moved and expanded to meet the needs of the hotels, restaurants, and mail-order customers. But the mental image of the roasting and preparation between batches lingers in my mind as an example of attention to detail.

Getting ready for a job interview?

Most people feel a bit of anxiety about the process.

In the moments or even days before the big interview, the imagination can run wild pondering and wondering what questions may be asked. Afterall, the point of the interview seems to be to eliminating candidates until only one remains?

I can guarantee, with almost 100% certainly, your interview will not be anything like this video!

OK, now that we know something like that isn’t going to happen, let’s look at possible interview questions.

I like this one because it is unconventional: 12 Unconventional Interview Questions

Here is solid look at 30 possibilities: Break Down the 30 Common Job Interview Questions into 3 Types Career Stories

Another thing to consider—questions about salary: Answering Salary Questions

What questions have you been asked, or do you ask, during interviews?

 

Want to bring your career to a halt or worse?

If your answer is “no” then you ought to consider what you should and should not talk about at work.

We must control both what we say and how much we share in our professional life. The word “professional” turns many people off because they associate it with corporate stuffiness.

Definition of PROFESSIONALISM

1: the conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person(see 1professional)

2: the following of a profession (as athletics) for gain or livelihood

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/professionalism

Consider the “conduct, aims, or qualities” of professionalism in relation to your conversation at work.

Success in your career can hinge on the appropriateness of your casual conversations at work. Aim high! Here are two resources that will help.

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/business/worklife/seven-things-you-shouldnt-tell-your-colleagues/story-fni0d8zj-1226586820029

http://careerplanning.about.com/od/workplacesurvival/tp/work_talk.htm

The Leadership Equation

June 18, 2013 — 3 Comments

Here it is, the equation for leadership.

Would you like to read more? Visit:

Creative Followership at this address:

http://bit.ly/14GGfAc

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Do you ever feel awkward making an introduction?

Do you know who to introduce to whom?

Does it matter?

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Or, maybe you have figured this out—care to share any tips, pointers, or thoughts on how to introduce people without fear?

Maybe you’re comfortable in personal social situations, but a bit uncertain in professional social situations.

Please share your experience!

We’ll talk more about introductions as the week progresses . . .

Have you had any awkward moments making introductions—something memorable that occurred?

Or, how do you feel when you are introduced in a way that is respectful and courteous?

I am not kidding; the best consultants use mirrors.

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I do not mean mirrors as in the old saying about “smoke and mirrors” – I do not actually know what that is, other than I am certain it is about deception (if you look it up, let me know what you find).

What do I mean by consultants using mirrors? I mean the ability to show a company who it is, from a different perspective, and build on what made the organization great to begin with.

Too often, way-too-often, successful brands with decades of sustained growth do something crazy. They bring in outside experts. These experts have little or no knowledge of the corporate culture. They may even have false impressions about the corporate culture. At worst, they lack sincere interest in your organization.

I know it is strange for me to say-seeing how I am an outside consultant-but allow me to explain.

Frequently, the consultant or contractor with the most ideas, the most unusual designs, gets the job. These different ideas are usually different because they are outside the reach of anything from the past. Allow me to interpret that: external advisers are predisposed to come up with developments out of alignment with the enduring corporate history.

The more changes implemented outside the successful corporate culture, the more diluted and transformed the culture becomes. This is how ancient civilizations conquered one another: after the initial invasion they removed (exiled) 50% of the citizens of one nation and brought foreigners from other nations in to take their place. The remaining citizens resist change at first, but eventually they became enamored with “new” ways of doing things.

Outside consultants can behave in the same manner. They can dilute and destroy the foundation of your culture.

Do not get me wrong, I’m not talking about businesses that are on the decline, or those too inflexible to change what they are doing. I’m talking about companies that are successful and want to be even better than they are now.

The best type kind of specialist avoids entirely new and different methods of establishing a brand. Instead, he and she will get to know the company, find out what makes it tick, discover where it origniated and how it arrived where it is. They will hold up a mirror and reveal what the organization is doing right and where the strengths lie; he or she will help the organization to appreciate and understand what made it great and build upon that foundation in new ways.

Anyone can point out deficiencies and provide alternatives, even creative, trendy and blingy ones. It is good money if you can manage to get paid for it. The end product will be detrimental to the organization in the long run. Wise consulting depreciates the flaws by building on success, not turning it upside down.

Times change and the way a company does business needs to change to keep up. Use your consulting budget to hire consultants who can tell companies how to do what they have been doing successfully in a new way, one that sustains and preserves the culture. Do not waste your time and money with the consultants who come in with a bag of shiny tricks they have used and repackages for the last dozen clients.

Be wary of those bearing a whole set of ‘better’ ideas. Look for consultants who will invest time and effort to get to acquainted with your company, your history, your character. Build on what you have done right for years or decades.

And by all means, feel free to give me a call! 🙂

ADVOCACY

May 2, 2013 — Leave a comment

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It is a word defined as someone who speaks in favor of something or someone.

When we are born, we are all self-advocates. When we don’t get what we need, what we want, or think we want, we complain – loudly.

Becoming a productive and successful adult means becoming an advocate for something else, for something bigger than ourselves. That’s one step further away from the infant state of self-advocacy.

Not everyone is a leader. A leader is someone with followers. The role of followers has been misunderstood and sometimes frowned upon.

A follower is someone who, like the leader, is an advocate for something bigger than themselves. Suppose you like what someone else advocates, you decide to become an advocate for someone else. That’s huge. It is huge because it means moving one step further away from the self-love of self-advocacy. Becoming an advocate for someone else (and what he or she is an advocating) just might take a little something more than being the leader.

Remember, we call them higher callings and higher purposes for a reason. They are “higher” because they exist above our self-centered demands of self-advocacy. It is not that someone or something is “higher” than us in value, just more valuable than our self-interests and desire for personal gain or positional power.

If that is true, then, could it be that “leadership” is over-rated? Is it also possible that your success and fulfillment may come from abdicating self-advocacy and joining up and getting behind someone else?

What do you think?