Tag Archives: career

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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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next steps forward

Next Steps Forward Start Early and Start Often

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Are you concentrating on your next steps forward or are you still caught up in the past? Everyone has a story, yet, time is still moving everyone forward.

As 2020 comes to a close people are often reflective of what went wrong, what twisted and turned, and all the things that were out of control. Regardless of how much trauma occurred somethings are still poised for forward motion.

There are sales funnels that can still be tapped, there are educational opportunities that expand minds, skills, and broaden opportunity. Along the way there have been new projects, different angles, and changing approaches.

Consider doors that have opened, doors knocked on, and doors left ajar. Connections that have been reestablished, built from scratch, or simply stumbled upon.

Young trees take years to bear fruit. It is often true for businesses and careers too.

All of these things provide opportunity for what will happen in the future.

Next Steps Forward

The best time to start preparing for what your business or career will like next year, or in two or three years, is right now.

Every moment spent wallowing in the aftermath of things gone wrong is a moment that you are not preparing for what comes next.

A new season is about to begin.

In rural areas, farmers will begin to think of the crops for the next season. The seeds that they’ll plant, the cultivation they’ll do, and the harvest that they will yield.

Whether you are rural, urban, or somewhere in between the race is on and it often rewards those who start early.

Don’t waste any more time.

The best time for next steps is right now.

-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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personal growth

Personal Growth Is Your Ticket To Workplace Success

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Many people talk about personal growth. Likely, more than eighty percent of those discussing it stick with it long enough to make a significant change.

A lack of luck is often to blame. Yet, most people experience luck often. In reality, how you manage luck, good or bad, will make the biggest difference long-term.

Considering short-run management versus long-run change, are you able to balance both?

Plenty of short-run decisions have an impact on long-run change.

A bowl of ice cream on Saturday evening may feel good while satisfying the short-run. A bowl of ice cream every evening may have some impact on long-run weight management.

When you break it all down, nearly everything you do and the associated outcomes are predictors of what happens long-term.

Personal Growth

Most executives don’t start at the top.

A great car mechanic wasn’t born that way.

The fittest athlete didn’t get fit by laying on the couch all day, every day.

Your level of personal growth seldom just happens. It is a collection across time. A collection of little or nothing never gets very big. Yet a little bit collected often starts to add up.

A picture of a tree in the park, the one in the courtyard at your workplace, or outside your kitchen window. One taken now and one taken five years ago. Things have changed, yet you barely noticed.

Every tiny piece. Every bit of information. Successes, learning opportunities, and even every calorie burnt versus calorie consumed.

One nugget at a time, adding up across days, weeks, months, and years. That is the path to achieving more.

Many people like to focus on salary or money.

Your success isn’t always about what you get paid along the way. What you get paid for it may be stark in comparison to what you become for it.

Bit by bit, drop by drop, season after season, adding a little more across time is the surest way to achieve more.

Growth isn’t an accident.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. 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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focus forward

Focus Forward Because You Guide What’s Next

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Are you uncertain about what happens next? Your best choice is to focus forward.

Often people or entire groups are hesitant to make a change or perhaps they’re anxious about keeping things the same. Most of our human nature links us to favoring consistency. Many people find comfort in things that are consistent and unchanged.

What happens when you don’t know what happens next?

Next is Scary

Usually, you strive to find the answer, you analyze or over-analyze the possible outcomes. It may be easier to place emphasis on your fears instead of on the possibility of something better emerging.

To put it all another way, there is comfort in knowing for certain what the playing field looks like next. What the rules will be, and how you can interact to survive and thrive.

It happens when you get a new boss. It happens when you get a promotion or move to a different employer. When the company changes ownership, merges, or gets acquired by another.

Perhaps not surprising it even happens when there is only a threat of these changes.

In the presence of such a threat, there often becomes the unknown about what will happen if things don’t change? Will they remain the same, get better, or perhaps all of the rules will change since the threat was a close call?

What should you do?

Focus Forward

When you focus forward, you’ll rely on your core values. You’ll put your best efforts behind your belief systems and use your knowledge and experiences to make good choices about what happens next.

The vision should be forward focused, not dwelling on where you’ve been but on what you’ll need to do in the future.

When you focus on the possibility, and not the opposite, everything changes. With an optimistic focus, your actions and behaviors will solidify your future direction.

No one said what’s next will be easy. Even if things seem like they will stay the same.

It’s doing the hard work that makes a difference.

You’ll create the best version of what’s next when you show up prepared to do so.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. 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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assessing competition

Assessing Competition, What Is Your Comparison?

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Do you have a habit of assessing competition? When you look at what is out there, compared to what you do, how do you rank? Does it matter?

I remember November in grade school. Right before the United States celebration of Thanksgiving, we made construction paper turkeys. It all started with placing your hand, palm down, and tracing around each finger on brown construction paper.

Everyone followed a template, a model, as instructed by the teacher. Yet, everyone had their own work. Right before the holiday, you got to take your turkey home to your parents. I remember my mother acting so proud of my accomplishment.

My accomplishment was a huge success. Perhaps because I followed the model or perhaps because of what it was compared to.

At home, it was only compared to my last best work. It wasn’t compared to every construction paper turkey in the County. It wasn’t compared to every similar project in the State or the US.

My project was compared to my best previous work. I was a winner because I was growing, achieving, and delighting my mother with my school work.

Assessing Competition

The best work that you’ll do this month should be a comparison of the best you’ve delivered so far.

When it delights the customer, you’ve accomplished something. It may be the best in the US or the best in the World, but it may be hard to determine because the relevance is what is happening right now, right in front of you.

What matters is that you’re solving problems, producing or providing something better than your last work. When it meets or exceeds customer expectations then it is work worth doing.

There are millions of undiscovered song writers, chefs, and engineers. It’s also true for healthcare workers, truck drivers, and backroom graphic artists.

The work that you do should always be compared to your personal best. It is how you’ll continue to delight someone, even if it is only a small group in a small town.

-DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer. 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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Continuous feed

Continuous Feed is Persistent and Attainable

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Popular in the 1980s, continuous feed forms for computer printouts kept the information flowing. Your work and what you’ll achieve is a practice across time. It flows, one page linking to the next.

Do you realize what your cable and internet bill will cost you across the next five years?

Have you considered how many hours you’ll spend surfing eComm websites for things you’ll buy and the amount of money you’ll spend?

Have you calculated how many hours you’ll put into your craft by 2025 or 2030?

Some people consider that in every career there are dues to be paid. Across time the effort and hours stack up, costing more and more until finally a milestone is achieved.

Yet onlookers often have a different point of view. They believe that you just hang a shingle, start a podcast, or simply get lucky and success is achieved overnight.

Luck often plays a role, but how you manage luck and what happens next will have more to do with long-term outcomes than any single luck event.

Most success does come with a price. It is the price of continuous feed.

Continuous Feed

Moment-by-moment and day-by-day the persistent process of stacking one piece on top of another adds up. It is the single drop in a bucket repeated so many times you’ve lost count until eventually, you fill the pail.

What you want to attain is not so far away. You just have to feed it a little bit each day, repetitively, across time.

One other aspect of continuous feed, just like thousands of pages all connected with a perforated tear, unless you rip it apart, you’ll always be able to see where you came from.

Don’t lose track.

-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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