Tag Archives: career

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target destination

Target Destination and How You Should Travel

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What is your target destination? What did you pack or how will you travel? If you believe your career is a journey then you should be thinking about how you will get there.

Have you ever asked someone for directions and their response seemed to make you feel more confused than you already were?

Go straight down this road, then turn left at the fork in the road near the old tree stump. Then go up the first hill and across the old stream. Well, it’s not a stream anymore, they changed it a couple of years ago but you’ll see where it once was. After you cross the old stream look to your right and you’ll see a cornfield, right after the cornfield take the second right-hand turn. You’ll probably see this old guy either in his garden or sitting on the porch of the next house you see. Don’t turn in there. Go a little bit more until you pass the barn and then make an immediate left.

Or if you are in the city.

Go about six blocks and make a right at the 3rd red light. After you turn go to the first alley and make a left, you’ll go about 2 blocks through the alley. At the red brick building make a right, it is just beyond the dumpsters and if there is a lot of trash there you may miss it. Go down that alley to the 3rd steel garage door. That’s where you can park.

Bad or difficult directions often seem like they offer little to no help and might even be a little bit scary at the same time.

Target Destination

When you are on a journey it is important to clearly understand the direction you are headed. It probably starts with a vision, having a solid idea of where you want to end up. If you can’t decide, you never really start. You are just wandering.

When you have a specific destination in mind you probably need to apply it to a timeline. How long will it take and where will your stopping points be along the way.

Creating a map is valuable. Studying it is even more important.

A navigational tool can help. One that talks to you and gives you feedback when you’ve made a wrong turn or alerts you to construction zones and traffic jams. Feedback is valuable, not a waste of time.

You’ll need to consider the sign posts, mile markers, and what you’ll do about detours or unexpected setbacks.

Consideration for what happens after you’ve reached your destination will matter too. What will you wear and what will the weather be like? Although you may be in a new place, you’ll want to be comfortable and be able to fit in.

Without a target destination, you won’t get very far. You may end up looking back and realizing that while you were moving around a lot, you didn’t really go anywhere.

Identify your destination, plan appropriately, and most of all avoid getting directions from someone who can’t really tell you how to get there.

-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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work agenda

Work Agenda, What Will You Accomplish Today?

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A working agenda could mean fluidity. It can also relate to the work that you do. Day in, day out. What is your work agenda?

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day may be common practice for many people. It is work to be done, and it gets done.

It is true for many household chores and everyday practices.

Things don’t change much with these activities. It is work to be done and it gets done.

It might be true for dropping a young child at day care or walking your dog. Work to be done, and it gets done.

It is likely true for your job. You have a routine.

What is on your agenda?

Daily Grind Factors

It is easy to get caught up in the daily grind.

On Monday you do these things, on Tuesday it is more of the same, and by the end of the week, you must be sure to accomplish everything that was part of your daily grind. You have month-end work, quarterly work, and what you’ll accomplish within the year.

Performance often gets measured by the movement of work each day. Some things may vary a little bit here and a little bit there, but in a general sense, it is all more of the same.

While this is performance, it makes change undesirable.

The opportunity to seek a better path, add in something new, remove something unused or wasteful might be missing on the agenda you work from.

Simply put, your agenda may be about continuous and consistent effort across time. It is not persistence to accomplish more, it is just another swing of the pendulum.

Work Agenda

Maybe it is time to take a closer look at your work agenda. Your routine work isn’t going to change much and as long as everything is routine, neither will you.

It is how 40-year old’s suddenly realize that they’ve spent 15 or 20 years doing a lot of similar things. It’s how 50-year-olds discover it is time to up their game on retirement savings. And it might just be how 60- or 70-year-olds ponder how fast life has passed by.

You may be capable of more than what you’re doing. You may never realize it until it’s too late if you don’t assess your agenda.

-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 disqualification

Workplace Disqualification, Does It Happen Often?

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If you are navigating outside of the boundaries you might get disqualified. Arriving too late, doing too little, or fighting the system are all matters possibly leading to workplace disqualification. Have you ever been disqualified? Do you know someone who should be?

It has happened at the Kentucky Derby, it has happened at the Olympic Games, and it has happened in baseball, golf, and racing. It happens in the workplace too.

Sometimes disqualification isn’t apparent but it is still present.

Skipped on the list of meeting participants? Overlooked for a promotion?

It may not always mean that you are not qualified, it may mean that you’re not working up to a standard.

Being disqualified likely means that you haven’t met expectations. Did you promise something that you didn’t achieve? Did you agree to do your part on the project but let others down?

You may not realize it, but you might have been disqualified.

Workplace Disqualification

The workplace is filled with lots of variants when it comes to ebbs and flows. There certainly are workplace dynamics and politics. Are you effectively navigating them? Are you winning with customers and vendors, or are you feeling short-changed?

Walk onto a car sales lot. You may find a number of people who can take your order for a car. You may only find one or two that you wouldn’t quickly disqualify.

When the boss distributes workflow. There may be several employees who are qualified, but there may be only one who doesn’t get disqualified.

It is true for on-the-job advancement or getting promoted too. Theoretically, there are a number of people who are capable, but many of them are disqualified from the beginning.

It is even true for job seekers. The interview process is not always about qualifications, that may have already been established. Often it is about finding the one or two nuggets that will boot you from consideration. Disqualified!

Aligning outcomes with expectations is where you should apply your best effort. Commit to both understanding and delivering on what is expected and you’ll be much less likely to face disqualification.

-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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Getting certified

Getting Certified and the Hiring Manager

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Getting certified is more meaningful as a reflection of the experience, not the end product. Do you agree?

While some will quickly jump at this thought and agree, everyone should be conscious of the focal points.

The certification is the proof of attainment.

One person buys a car, either through a loan across many months or perhaps many months of saving their earnings. Another person just simply writes a check, easy money.

In both cases, a check (of sorts) is written, the final moments of the transaction happen with the validation of money as an exchange.

One person had a long time to think about the car, the car has a more significant value because the journey to attainment was different than just a quick transaction.

It’s true at the amusement park, the big coaster attracts attention. People are excited to share that they rode the “monster ride” yet the ability to say you rode it is not the experience. The experience exists in the ride.

A two-month road trip in an RV around parts of the U.S. sounds appealing to some, but the same spots could be visited faster via airplane. In either case, mission accomplished, yet the experience is much different.

Getting Certified

For the hiring manager, and for the job seeker, attainments mentioned on a piece of paper or cleverly highlighted on a digital record should not be proof of job competence. Job competence is likely better reflected through the journey of attainment.

When experiences and character matter, and most hiring managers will suggest that they do, the focus needs to be about the journey not the documented proof of the journey.

Being able to create an Excel spreadsheet is an accomplished skill. Likewise, welding, carpentry, and computer network management may be connected to skills attained.

Proof of skill attainment is not proof of character. It is not proof of workplace behaviors, integrity, or how a person performs under pressure. It is likely not proof of attendance, being punctual, or being willing to put in the extra effort.

Most of the things we enjoy are not about the proof that we did it. It is about the experience of doing it.

Getting certified and the proof of attainment is much less valuable than understanding the experience of attainment.

What you focus on, is what you’ll get. It is true for the hiring manager and it is true for the job seeker.

-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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doing work

Doing Work and Getting Stuff Done

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Are you doing work and getting a few things done? Is that what it takes? Is that all it takes?

People often talk about their work as a path for income. A means to an end.

Is that really you or do you want a little more?

Chances are good you’re interested doing a little more than just getting by. You may have some interest in supporting the mission of the team, helping to grow the business or even simply be recognized as a top performer. In other cases, you may have interest in growing your career. And for some, all of these things apply.

Everyone who has an interest in doing a little bit more can change their language to help them make a change. Yes, it may be that simple.

Changing your language has many benefits. It will not only change your outlook but may also change your levels of comfort and confidence.

Doing Work

Instead of simply, doing the work, what if you thought about it with a different goal? Doing the work means your goal is to finish the job. However, if your quest is to improve your work things start to change a little.

People often seek a change, they want to pivot, improve, do something better or different. It applies to everything from how they are perceived by their boss, peers, and direct reports; to bigger loftier goals or even a career move.

What you tell yourself will condition what happens next for you. If you go to work each day to simply do the work, you’re probably not going to make any kind of change. You’ll be stuck.

Instead, go to improve your work. Do it for yourself, your team, or the customer.

You’ll grow through the process of persistently working towards something more.

-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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more effort

More Effort Always Beats Effortless

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Pick any change and you’ll quickly see a connection to effort. More effort is often what people need, yet people often seek to give less effort, not more.

Is there a balance?

A balance emerges when more effort becomes more efficient. It typically becomes more efficient when new habits are formed and when learning curves are no longer an obstacle.

Easy Peasy

If you want to climb six flights of stairs with ease, and assuming you aren’t already accustomed to doing it, you’ll have to put in some extra effort.

If you are a front-line employee who has now become the manager, you’re going to have to put in some extra effort to learn the skills and develop management competencies. It won’t be, the same old, same old.

People often search for talent. Talent in sports, talent in the arts, and talent in the workplace. Does your talent come naturally, or is it more of a developed process?

More Effort Required

Many people might quickly suggest that talent is someplace in the middle. There may seemingly be some natural tendencies for people, yet people often become good at things they enjoy or things they excel at with less effort.

Getting better then, in either case, is conditioned by putting in more effort. Even if you are already good, you’ll get better with more effort.

The quest for effortless and easy is a nicety.

It will seldom take you very far in your career. Even when you have the raw talent.

-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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finding instructions

Finding Instructions May Be All That You Need

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Finding instructions may be the missing piece, except when the willingness to put in the effort is absent.

Some have considered YouTube to be a game-changer. The hobby mechanic likely loves YouTube. The same is true for the 1980’s era MTV crowd who want to have their own private stream of music videos. This online video-sharing platform is still evolving, from offers of amateur reality TV to fashion shows to home improvements.

One hundred years ago if you needed to know how to work on a gasoline engine you probably needed a book. Otherwise, the knowledge had to be handed down from someone else in the know.

Fifty years ago, if your clothes dryer broke a belt you may have called a repairman. Today, if you have the willingness to put in the effort you likely can discover how to repair it yourself from an online video.

This type of access to knowledge, information, and instructions has never been easier. Yet it still requires one important thing, a willingness to do the work.

Finding Instructions

Most people don’t lack the ability to source the how-to, they lack the willingness of the want-to.

One argument is time. The time it takes to learn or the time it takes to do the task.

A house cleaner, a yard landscaper, or a swimming pool caretaker all provide some type of service to the purchaser. It may not be necessary, but it is a convenience or luxury.

In your job or career, you may not have the same luxury.

Do you want to grow in your workplace? Do you want to advance your knowledge or skills?

It has never been easier to find the instructions.

There is still a question though, do you have the willingness to do more?

-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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train tracks habits

Train Tracks and Habits Have Much In Common

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How are your habits similar to train tracks? The answer may be easier than you think.

Much of what you do each day is derived from your habits. Habits built around a schedule, the food you’ll eat, and even how you’ll communicate.

By default, most people look for the easy road. I’m certainly not suggesting they are lazy. I’m suggesting that people are wired to look for efficiency and effectiveness.

If you drive an automobile to work, what route do you take? Where do you stop for fuel or coffee? Chances are, you have some habits connected with this behavior.

The same is true in your household. How you clean, do laundry, or prepare meals. Largely, it is probably based on traditions or habits.

The work that you do, or the baseline competencies for your career are largely structured around habits. You know them to be effective or perhaps the most convenient.

Train Tracks

Prior to the explosion of the automobile, trains ruled.

The rails will carry a heavy load, they are largely consistent and you know exactly what to expect and when.

One problem is, trains operate on a fixed route. If the tracks are blocked, you’re stuck or stranded. If the train doesn’t move, there are not good options. You can’t effectively detour.

People tend to get on fixed routes too. Their tracks are built to follow the rails of a particular path.

It is a habit.

Luckily, there are other choices, should you choose to take them. You can easily re-route or change your path and direction. You can take new turns, double-back to reposition, speed up, and avoid roadblocks.

Do you want to? Do you need to?

Some habits are good and desirable, others, not so much. You may want to be selective on the tracks that you choose, or even which side of them you exist on.

Full steam ahead.

-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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future gamble

Future Gamble and What You Should Bet On

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What is your future gamble? Are you taking some risk or just moving along from day-to-day? Do you have a plan?

Many people get an automobile loan for five years. Homebuyers may secure a mortgage for fifteen years; some will go thirty. There is a gamble on what your future will look like financially.

In the 1980’s I scraped wallpaper off the wall of an older home. Someone wrote on the wall underneath and provided the date in 1914 when they hung the paper. Was that paper hanger still alive? What was his or her thoughts as they scribed the date? What was the story?

It is difficult for nearly everyone, or perhaps it is better stated as, anyone, to forecast their own future. Yet, some will stumble into something, and others will hold regret or perhaps place blame for a future that never developed as they hoped.

Your future happens for you, or to you.

Certainly, there are always unexpected circumstances. There are roadblocks, surprises, and dead-end roads. It has been said many times that without a plan, you’re planning to fail.

What is your future gamble?

Future Gamble

Your future is a long-run game. It is made up of thousands or millions of moments. Choices, decisions, and outcomes, they are all part of those moments.

Persistence pays the most dividends in the long-run game.

It is about what you do every day across time.

That is precisely why having a plan is so important. Without a plan, you don’t get where you are going. You get where you end up.

Every January people are thinking about what lies ahead. It is a bet placed on what will happen next.

Metaphorically, they write a date on the wall and then cover it with wallpaper. It is a marker placed in time with or without a prophecy for the future.

In the future someone will peel back that paper.

What happened in-between?

If that is your story, will it be worth telling?

Have a plan. Be persistent. Bet on you.

-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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untold story

Untold Story, What Is Your Story?

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Do you have an untold story? Chances are, everybody has one. That is unless everything in your world is staying exactly the same.

As the calendar year ended and a new year started, many commentators and television hosts were commenting on how hard, painful, and tragic the past year was. They also were offering hope and optimism for the new year.

What story have you told yourself?

Fresh Starts

Historically the calendar switch from December 31 to January 1, serves as a reset. Many people are eager to make the switch, turn the page, and get moving all while Auld Lang Syne is offered as background music.

If you’ve been anxious for the turning of the page, you should feel some relief and new found hope.

Just as everyone reads at their own pace, so goes the turning of the page. Those who are eager really don’t wait around for the calendar to catch up.

They’ve already made the choice about making a difference.

What is often unknown is the circumstances you’ll encounter. The calendar only changes one thing, the optimism of the people who have been waiting.

If you’ve been working from that reason, the reason of a date in time, you are now in luck, it has changed.

Untold Story

You choose your attitude, what you will believe, and how you will navigate the easy and the difficult.

Perhaps everyone has an untold story. The story that is yet to be told because it hasn’t happened, yet.

If you could tell any story about yourself, your life, or your career what would that story sound like? Who are the characters and what impact did you create? What is your legacy?

You don’t have to wait for the calendar to write a new story. If you did, you’re now ready.

You are the author.

Get busy.

-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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