Category Archives: success

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workplace options

Workplace Options, For Better or For Worse

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What are the options? Many people in the workforce are often considering their workplace options. Not only related to their career, but related to business decisions, employee decisions, and the directional decisions of the organization.

In the United States, we are in a presidential election year. Many people chatter about the presidential campaigns currently underway, and to generalize, my best guess is that somewhere around 50 percent of the population will agree on one of the candidates.

As in any election cycle, a question to consider is, “Who isn’t running that should be?”

It matters because the voters are really only voting on the best option.

Always the Best Option

Frustrated hiring managers are faced with hiring the best available option. There may be many people better suited for the job opportunity, but they either didn’t apply or perhaps the compensation package didn’t fit.

Marketing and advertising managers have to make the most of a budget. A Superbowl commercial may be effective to boost sales, yet it may not be affordable to most small businesses. Instead, they set direction best on the best available options within their budget.

Job seekers look for options. A computer science graduate may be able to earn a substantial income in technology hot spots throughout the United States, yet he or she may choose to live in a small rural town in Montana. Other options exist, but they are not suitable for their personal framework of choices.

Workplace Options

People and organizations are always living with choices. They are living with choices based on finding a balance within options.

The elected official is the best option out of those seeking the position. A candidate who gets the job is the best of the options. Advertising options are the best value within the budget. Career pathways somehow weave their way into existence as the best option within the framework of the individual.

In the workplace, there may not always be a perfect option. Waiting for one may be the biggest mistake of all.

For better or for worse.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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Career futures

Career Futures Are Important Today

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In finance we’ve heard of the term, futures. What about career futures? How is what you’re doing today connected with tomorrow?

Careers last a long time. For many people, somewhere around forty-five to fifty years. Recognize, that is a half-century.

Much can happen across the course of a career. Economic changes, societal changes, and even changes in your self-interest.

You may go through periods of time where you have different monetary needs, work-life balance needs, and different expectations of job roles and duties.

It is always the challenge on the outside looking in. Wondering why or how what you are doing right now will impact your future.

Honestly, it is easy to get comfortable and complacent.

Learning for the Future

Many college students struggle to see why they are required to improve writing skills when they are not going to be a writer. Why there is a foreign language requirement when you are not planning to work in a different country. Once upon a time, typing was considered a secretarial duty, “Why should we learn how to type?”

The answer is easy, futures.

It may not always be a matter of now. It is more about a matter of when.

It is not just about students, education, or college.

It is happening right now, in your career.

Career Futures

People fail to make connections or build relationships. They skip on building a LinkedIn profile because they believe that it is only for job seekers. When there are opportunities to learn more about their job, they’ll pass them up, because, well, they already have it so there is no need to impress.

Then something changes.

The economy shifts, the business shifts, things grow or decline. Businesses are bought and sold. Leadership changes and so does the mission and vision.

Suddenly, they are not the right fit and there is nowhere to turn.

Why?

Because they haven’t paid attention to their career futures.

Managing the Future Today

Managing the future aspect of your career is simple. When you need to tap deep into addition resources, you must already have the resource, not start trying to build it or collect it only when the need arises.

All of your learning, growing, and being committed will matter. Career futures allow little tolerance for coasting.

You’ll need to be prepared for change.

The only unknown is, when.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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workplace popularity

The Workplace Popularity Myth

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Do you believe that workplace popularity works? Does popularity really matter?

Connect to one person, in one topical area on Instagram and then heart a post. Next, you’ll be amazed at how many additional people want you to follow them.

Somehow, I’ve become connected with topical areas that really don’t interest me that much. To be honest, I’m not sure how that happened.

In Search of Viral

Popularity seems like a big deal. It is a big deal for going viral. It is the picture, the video, the blog or podcast. Lots of people wanting to go viral.

There are a lot of kids playing football, baseball, or soccer in high school. A subset of those kids go on to play the sport in college. A smaller (much smaller) subset make it to the professional sport. Then a few of this very small set actually get paid really big money.

On a smaller scale the same is true. If you work in a one-hundred-person company you may be able to be one of the top three in sales, or engineering.

Is this a good place to be or should you strive for something much bigger?

Workplace Popularity

In a crowd of one hundred, you may be recognized as a best in class. Are you popular? Yes, maybe.

Things change though when you attend the national conference. Now, you are just another attendee, unrecognized as a best in class.

It seems that in today’s World too much emphasis is being placed on being popular. It is a race to clicks, likes, and recognition. Gaining you what? Popularity?

Only a very few of even the most popular will go on to something bigger.

For your career, or small business venture maybe it is better to stay focused on the smallest viable crowd. A crowd where your efforts and rewards are earned and matter more.

The big fish in the smaller pond.

Growing authentically is more powerful than dubiously.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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likeability matters

Likeability Matters for Your Career

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Many people don’t want to believe it or face it. Likeability matters and will play a role in what happens next for your career.

You may see likeability connected with, and labeled as, bias, unconscious bias, or even stereotyping. Regardless of the label it matters for what happens next.

Two kids in the lunch room. One belches loudly and other kids giggle, a different kid does it and for some unknown reason it is totally unacceptable.

Does something like this ever happen?

The Hypocrisy Of It All

We see this play out in the grown-up world too. One person seems to get tolerance or acceptance while another with very similar actions or behaviors is granted none.

If you watch any news, it is in politics too.

Organized religion doesn’t escape it. What is OK for someone in one religious community is often perceived differently by another.

Quickly, we may label some of this behavior as hypocrisy.

All of this is important for your career. It matters because building and forming relationships will impact what happens next.

Likeability Matters

There will always be the naysayers, those who say loudly whatever is on their mind. Those with actions or behaviors that are sometimes labeled as not having a filter. They seemingly say everything that comes to their mind regardless of the impact or impressions to others.

When people apply filters to words and behaviors it seems to make a difference.

The next time you have an impulse to say or do exactly what’s on your mind pause to consider the long-term impact.

Impulse is typically driven by an emotion. Anger, fear, or frustration to name a few.

Notice when you feel emotions coming on. Think twice before you impact everything you’re working towards.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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responsible work

Doing Responsible Work and Making a Difference

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Often the first step in the argument is the assignment of blame and the question of responsibility. Being a great employee, boss, or owner, often requires doing responsible work and serving as a role model for future efforts.

Are you a freedom seeker? A set your own schedule and do your own thing kind of person?

The Illusion of Freedom

Did you show up for work on time? Prepare for the meeting, arrive a little early, open your mind for the possibilities? Are you holding yourself accountable or expecting accountability only when someone asks?

People dream of being their own boss. They consider the idea that entrepreneurship or leading the team sets them free. Free to do as they please, when they want, and they’ll decide how fast it will happen.

Largely the work of this type of dreamer is an illusion. Often it is illustrated by get rich quick and get freedom now schemes on social media. Strategies that are more pyramid in nature or cloaked in the multilevel marketing philosophy. Buyer beware.

Responsible Work

The work of successful freedom seekers comes with a catch. The catch is that they are more responsible and accountable than ever.

An employee who sets their own schedule or who maps out their own job is not only responsible for the work, but they are on the hook for the outcomes too. Self-designed and self-managed means even greater proof of performance.

It is also true for the entrepreneur. Every customer has some demand, expectation, and specialized need. There is not one boss, but many.

Making a difference and doing responsible work go hand in hand.

The assumption that there is freedom from a strict schedule, the micromanaging supervisor, or forced overtime is often an illusion.

Success comes with a commitment to excellence. Success is an opportunity that you create.

That always means doing responsible work.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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taking notes

Taking Notes And The Secret To High Performance

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There are people who don’t. They don’t write anything down. It is probably because they believe they will remember or they don’t value the advice. Are you taking notes?

First, there is the school of thought that taking notes is old school. That the pen and tablet are outdated. Typing or using the keypad on your smartphone is better in their opinion.

The concept is that digital is better. It shares easier and is always handy. The device rarely gets any bigger or thicker. Certainly, those are a few pros.

On the other hand, you may wonder if the cognitive stimulation is the same. Many people say that when they write something down (putting pen to paper) their retention improves. Is it true?

Taking Notes

Research published in 2014 indicate favorable outcomes for those who choose to use the pen and paper.

“The studies we report here show that laptop use can negatively affect performance on educational assessments, even—or perhaps especially—when the computer is used for its intended function of easier note taking.” (Mueller, Oppenheimer, The Pen Is Mightier Than the Keyboard: Advantages of Longhand Over Laptop Note Taking, Psychological Science, April 23, 2014)

Are you taking notes? Have you ever considered what you may be missing or forgetting from a conversation?

Still others argue that when they are taking notes, they are missing more of the conversation. They imply that when they are thinking about what they are writing they are not listening to the flow of the conversation.

They may suggest, no notes at all.

If this is you, you may enjoy the research around the concept that note taking is telling our brain to purposefully forget. Perhaps that depends on your purpose. Write to remember or write to forget.

Personally, I suggest notes and I favor the quickness and ease of putting pen to paper in short snippets.

Cognition may be your secret to higher performance. Notes of any kind matter. I believe they are much better than the alternative of doing nothing.

Think twice about giving up your paper tablet and pen.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.


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your salary

Your Salary and What It Should Be

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People want to make money. At least, most people do. Many want to pile on gobs and gobs of it. They need to pay for a car, a house, and their food. Is your salary what it should be?

There are always some fundamental factors involved in the work that you do. Certainly, the level of skill and talent are important. Universities, trade schools, and certificate programs enroll lots of people every year. Each person is determined to become of more value.

What Matters

If you are in the distribution business, or the retail sector, a degree in engineering may not matter that much.

If you are in the manufacturing sector, the fact that you can shoot 3-point baskets all day long or sing the lead role at the community theatre may not matter that much.

Your salary is important to you. Your job or the job that you seek has likely been classified by the organization as having a value and an associated salary. For nearly all jobs it is not about what you can do, but more about what the organization needs from you.

Your Salary

The best path for anyone insistent on earning more money is not to push their employer. It is to fulfill the employers needs the best.

Here are a few of many ways this can happen:

  1. Bring more awareness to your job role by consistently doing great things that attract attention because they are of great value to the employer.
  2. Improve your own skills to align with the needs and demands of the employer and arrive ready to give.
  3. Be compelling enough with your work that the employer believes the risk of losing you is more expensive than replacing you.

The third one is the trickiest. It has significant risk.

Be mindful of how employees are treated. Are they tools to complete a job or are they bringing value that can’t easily be replaced?

Value is based on perception. So is the salary range of your job.

The difference between being the cheapest solution or the most expensive solution is always based of the perceived value of the buyer.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten RespectNavigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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attraction matters

Attraction Matters For Your Success

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There are people who don’t like baseball, apple pie, and certain automobile manufacturers. Who do you appeal to, who is in your crowd, your network, or your tribe? Do you believe attraction matters?

To some extent we all sell, we all market, and we all deliver a customer service promise. We do it in business, and we do it person to person without a formal business model or plan. Wouldn’t it be great to connect with lots of people who share in the same or similar aspirations for life, community, or career?

Much of this may depend on your market reach, where you spend your time, and what your formal philosophy on life is all about.

Habits Create Culture

I’ve tried to convince some coaching clients to read more. I’ve even presented them with the idea that they may read more than they realize, why not do it more constructively? It matters for some, but for others they just never indulge.

Podcasts are popular in some circles, but everyone wants to know the best of the best first, without really shopping around. These are limits, limited beliefs, values, and ways of doing things.

Values and traditions, they of course build what we call culture. Is the culture where you work strained? Is it because everyone is like minded or is it because of different values, beliefs, and traditions? Are those differences managed constructively or destructively?

Attraction Matters

Do you believe attraction matters? Whatever you do for your business, what you do for your customers, or what you do to grow your career, will always matter most to those who are interested.

People who don’t get involved with social media, they don’t really care about social media. People who don’t like football, NASCAR, or reality TV won’t tune in and they won’t see your masterful thirty second commercial.

When people don’t like to read, they probably won’t. When they don’t like social media they probably won’t join. An organization that doesn’t see a bigger future probably won’t care much about your career.

Everything that you do or want to accomplish will only happen in an atmosphere that embraces what you are selling.

It is true for advancing your career, for selling your product, or for building an effective team.

People who don’t connect with it will probably never buy it.

Attraction matters.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect,Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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entrepreneurship myths

Entrepreneurship Myths: Ten Of The Best

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It is the American Dream, own your own business, run your own life, live large, and get rich. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised about the number of people who talk about chasing the American Dream. Is it everything people imagine, or is it all just entrepreneurship myths?

Occasionally when trying to dig deep and analyze a situation, opportunity, or even a roadblock, I’ll make a list. Below are ten of my favorite conversation topics connected with starting your own business or being an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurship Myths

  1. Part-time job. This is number one for good reason. Since I’m over the half century mark many people talk with me about retirement. They have a brainstorm about a business they want to start or do as they retire. Most successful ventures are the equivalent of three or four part time jobs. Otherwise, it is probably a hobby. If you still need income, think twice about retirement.
  2. Friends will help me. When I ventured out of traditional white collar work more than eleven years ago I thought my existing relationships would be the ticket for life long freedom. Certainly, a few friends did step up (thank you), but I was absolutely shocked by the number of people I thought would help but then turned their back. In contrast, some that I thought never would, actually did and I found out who my friends really were.
  3. Coffee shops are cool. Yes, they are cool, however, if you think all of your brainstorming and work will occur will sipping coffee at five or ten dollars a pop in a trendy shop, think again. The only entrepreneur potentially benefitting from that is the shop owner. Great for her or him, but you’re probably going to need that extra twenty dollars every day.
  4. This is a write off. “Tax time is my best friend. I’ll just write it off at tax time.” If you are thinking this way there are two words you need to take more seriously, they are, cash, and flow. Everything you do still must be paid for, a write off is not free money. It is paying for something without paying tax on the money you have earned. Just so you know, credit cards are not free money either.
  5. I get to fly everywhere. The image is a cushy first class seat while wearing your Beats and sipping a cocktail. Remember, you are paying for everything, unless you have the good fortune of a sloppy venture capitalist backing you. Needing to be a thousand or so miles away to meet face-to-face sounds appealing, but if you are really hustling there will be no time for sightseeing or tours. You’ll also never forget the hurry up to wait, the true size of a coach class seat, and that a bunch of people packed together like river carp in a can, often smell about the same.
  6. My website will drive business. This is the modern equivalent to hanging a shingle. Build it and they will come. Driving web traffic costs money. Lots of money, of course there are always those organic hits, and yes they can come, but you’ll have to have a ton of valuable content to get them. Going viral with anything has odds similar to winning the lottery. Buying a ticket may actually be a safer bet.
  7. Lots of people want/need this product or service. Chances are pretty good if you have a good business idea, there may be some need or want. That is the good news. The brutal truth news is that someone is going to have to market, advertise, and sell. If you love the build that won’t be your job, selling and finding money is your real job.
  8. I get to do whatever I want. Certainly there may be some freedoms associated with entrepreneurship. You are free to figure out everyday what is most important and then pursue it with all of your passion. The real problem is that unless selling is your passion, think twice about doing whatever you want.
  9. After year three, it will all be repeat business. This of course has much to do with supply and demand, and also the type of product or service. For most businesses everything is changing so fast you need a degree in psychology to figure out who to market to and how to get them to buy. Repeat business is awesome. Life cycles are very short. Unless you’ve just invented the wheel and have an exclusive patent, keep planning for something new, do it now.
  10. I love doing what I do, I may as well get rich doing it. Consistent with several other myths, unless your passion is selling you probably won’t be doing what you love to do. You are going to have to sell. Build it and they will come may be the biggest myth of all. Yes, you’ll get to do some things you love, but only after you’ve sold something.

Entrepreneurship is Awesome

Entrepreneurship is pretty awesome, and that is not sarcasm. It truly is, but it isn’t cheap, easy, or free. Many people launch a product or service and achieve success, many more fail miserably. Yes, the American Dream is still possible and yes, it can be rewarding. You can work really hard and accomplish even more.

If you like living on the edge, selling, and hard work, it may be for you.

Do you know any entrepreneurship myths?

If you think it is a part-time job, an internet video, or an umbrella drink on the beach, don’t quit your day job.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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tactics more important

Are Tactics More Important Than Goals?

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Developing and executing a good strategy is important. So is avoiding tactical firefighting approaches. What will get you to where you want to be? Are tactics more important than goals?

Strategy, Vision, and Goals

One of the most important concepts for creating individual or team success is to have a good strategy, a clear vision, and appropriate goals to get you there.

At the same time, it is important to recognize that having any of those, or all of them, won’t create the end result you’re looking for. You’ll need well executed tactics.

Ask three busy workplace professionals about their day and there is a good chance one of them will tell you that they were busy fighting fires. Fighting fires is a tactical approach to fix whatever pops up. This is a bad habit to get into, but you still need tactics.

When I help groups with formulating strategy we always develop tactics that will lead them to their vision or goal. Having a vision and strategy isn’t what gets you there, it is the tactics that get you there. This is not tactical firefighting though. There is a difference.

Here is how this breaks down. You have a vision or goal, where you want to be. Then you need a strategy for how you will get to that goal. Next in line are the tactics that you will use to pursue that strategy that will take you to the goal.

Sounds pretty simple right? The challenge might be that people often confuse the level of importance for goals as compared to tactics. You can have a fantastic goal. You can even have a fantastic strategy, but without the continued tactical pursuit, you just won’t get there.

Tactics More Important

Are tactics more important than goals? Think of tactics as your daily habits. A collection of good habits might be exactly what is necessary to get you to your goal.

Don’t slip into a habit of fighting fires and don’t have a vision and strategy without tactics.

Tactics might be the most important. Your daily tactics produce your results, with or without specific goals.

Reminds me of the fundamentals of computing, lesson one, garbage in, garbage out.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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