Tag Archives: choices

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career lane

Career Lane, Should You Stay In It?

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People often suggest, “Stay in your lane.” Should you stay in your career lane, make a shift, or be wider, broader, and demonstrate many skills?

Occasionally I will catch a dog show on TV. They’ll use words like, best in class, best of breed, or best in show.

What does it take to be at the top of the group? What about your personal best? Who is the competition?

About Numbers

How can you get promoted, get selected for an interview or become the successful candidate?

Let’s assume you are in sales. What is your goal? To achieve the top three or five percent of your entire team? To be number one? Out of how many?

Getting to the top five percent would mean being number one or number two, out of forty. The bigger the field gets, the more people you must rise above.

Competition

Competition to get selected for an interview and get the job can be brutal. Our digital age means the number of competitors is usually large.

People may think, “Maybe my career shouldn’t be in sales, but it could be sales related. I can apply myself to more than one area.”

The thought is when we broaden our scope, we’ve just created more chances. The irony is, doing this increases the competition, it dilutes your focus, and has made getting selected as a best in show even harder.

Career Lane

Making a career change is fine. I’ve done it three times across a thirty plus year career.

What is important is to pick a lane. Stick with it long enough to make a proper evaluation. Be consistent and stay focused.

Best of breed is easier than best in show.

You can be a big fish in a small pond. If you decide to jump into the ocean is it an entirely new game.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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magic marketing

Magic Marketing for Business, Career, or Life

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It often seems like more should be better. More coffee, more dessert, or more menu options. How are sales? Are you satisfied with your career or life choices? Do you need more of something? Magic marketing could be required.

It is funny how our first approach to solving many problems is to do something more.

Is More Better?

In the workplace, when teams believe they have communication problems they often suggest more communication.

When we need more sales, we often contemplate how to increase the budget for more advertisement.

If we aren’t getting where we want to be in our career we think about more skills, more credentials, or just more job opportunities.

Sometimes this logic is known as the spray and pray approach. While I’m not sure of the exact origin of spray and pray, the analogy often described is the farmer spraying pesticides all over the field and praying that it keeps the insects away.

Another common analogy is the Chinese restaurant menu. Hundreds of options, so many that you don’t know what to choose.

More options, choices, people, jobs, careers, skills, customers, and products, none of these in more quantity may create the outcome you desire.

Magic Marketing

Is there such a thing as magic marketing?

Marketing is sometimes counterintuitive. People dream of that place where the lines of supply and demand, opportunities and sales, and job openings with applicants perfectly intersect.

In all these cases, more is not necessarily better. One job opening with the right applicant is perfect. A menu with three choices may be better than a menu with thirty-three choices.

Position your business marketing, your career pursuits, or nearly anything in life on not being more, but being better.

Magic marketing is about focus, not spray and pray.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Next decision

Consider How You Will Make Your Next Decision

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We decide on things every day. What we’ll wear, eat, or do. How we’ll interact, if we’ll smile, and if we’ll take out the garage. Bigger decisions feel more challenging. How will you make your next decision?

It may come down to your list. The list you have floating around in your mind.

Our complex brain power often has us evaluating circumstances and situations through two possible narratives.

Good Narrative

One narrative is optimistic. It is the consideration of things that could go right. We reflect on possibilities, good fortune, and that it may just be our time.

We have faith and believe. In this case, at this time, luck just may be on our side. We’re due. In fact, we’re overdue.

We decide that we’ll focus on our advantages, who we can tap in our network, and we’ll see the inspirational stories flash through our mind.

By choice, we will anchor to the positive.

However, there is another narrative. It is the other side of the coin.

The Other Narrative

Any obstacles or past roadblocks will be strongly present in our vision. We’ll think more about a friend who failed, had bad luck, and the hardship and agony of things that don’t work out.

We’ll be reminded of the criticism that was on our performance review last year. The door that slammed before we could enter, and the goofy slip of the tongue that we believe cost us forward momentum once before.

By choice we’ll see the list of all the lucky people. Only we aren’t on it. We’ll choose to recite and focus that their luck is at the expense of our own.

We’ll recall the time that someone struck out at us, gave us the shaft, and made us feel like less.

Next Decision

We decide on things every day. The choices you make today will be linked to your narrative.

When you feel the big decision, have some doubt, or your instincts are kicking in. You’ll think about it over and over again.

Be aware of your narrative. Make your next decision, a good one.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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two career paths

Two Career Paths, Which Is Yours?

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If you had a choice which path would you choose? It is a question that many of us ponder each day. Not always consciously, but we’re working on it in the background. There are at least two career paths, which one are you on?

Sometimes the problem is that there is a goal in mind, but the path, plan, or process remains elusive.

Become the manager of the department.

Get the advanced degree in my field and pivot. 

Find a job doing the work I love.

Two Career Paths

The first path is simple. Put in some effort, land a job, do the work, and see where things go. Sometimes this is a career. It is easy to go through the motions each day.

Good effort at work. Enjoy a little free time here and there. Spend time with the kids. Have a hobby or take a vacation.

It isn’t your dream job, but it is work. It doesn’t pay what you want, but you are surviving. Suddenly weeks turn into months and months to years.

It’s a job and you’re doing alright. Life rolls on.

The second path is different. It has purpose. It may include a journey down the first path, but there is a different kind of objective. The objective is to use the first path to get to the second path.

Career Strategy

If you have a goal, you need a plan. When you have a goal and a plan, you need to execute. As you execute you must compare outcomes to timelines and milestones. Adjust, and move forward. Failure to do any of this puts you back on the first path.

Many will suggest it all depends on how bad you want it.

I would suggest that the recipe for success also includes commitment, discipline, and self-confidence. You’ll need to add in accountability and belief to get the best flavor.

You can let your career happen to you, or you can make your career work for you. Neither choice is wrong. Just remember, it is a choice.

What path are you on?

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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accelerate forward

Accelerate Forward or Race To The Bottom

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I love mornings. Every day is a new chance. It is a clear slate, an open path, and full of new opportunity. Each day people and business ventures will make a choice to accelerate forward or race to the bottom. What is your choice?

Bottom Racers

Some people get it wrong. They believe that louder, angrier, and meaner, is the way to move forward. It creates attention, makes people look, and temporarily causes them listen.

When we approach an opportunity, assertion is acceptable and is often appreciated. Aggression on the other hand, may cause action and short-term influence, but for the long-haul, aggression is usually not so attractive.

Aggressive behaviors, poor decisions made in haste, and strike backs to people, clients, and anything in the path are not flattering. In fact, even when passion or support for something you believe in takes over, it is not forward motion. It is a race to the bottom.

Accelerate Forward

Forward momentum is hard to stop. For most of us we are lucky for that. As people we’ll often engage with the wrong approach. We’ll inappropriately use tactics that feel like threats, and words that drive fear.

The best way to accelerate forward is to focus forward. Saying we are positive while we recite negative emotions is not forward motion. It is a race to the bottom.

The bottom is not desirable for most. It represents a change that leaves people exhausted and with their confidence shattered. Worse, their spirit is emotionally torn.

It’s interesting that it all begins with choice. A choice for what we’ll say, a choice for where and how we’ll engage, and a choice to accelerate forward or race to the bottom.

Accelerating forward is not shallow, it is a deeper path. It makes it much harder to get to the bottom.

-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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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reviews matter

In Marketing Do Reviews Matter?

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Product or service providers plea, “Please go on Google, Yelp, or Amazon and leave a review.” Do reviews matter? Why is this so important?

For the marketer, the restaurant owner, or the car dealership, and anyone providing a service or product today, they want your comment online. Of course, they love it the most if it is a favorable comment and they want you to abide by your mother’s rule of don’t say (write) it if it isn’t nice.

Providing Opinions

Many of the consumers are not in a hurry to provide this. They don’t understand why they should invest their time or energy to help. Yet they are often looking for the reviews, testimonials, or other data before they buy.

People want to be certain and confident in their choice. As a bonus, when the decision is based on another person’s advice, they have a scapegoat.

In an uncertain World, what people often seek is certainty, or maybe someone else to blame.

People need the facts, not really opinions, yet many decisions are made based on opinions. Every day we encounter words like fake news, under oath, or perjury. In spite of, or because of, many people are compelled to action based on what others say.

Best of the Best

We live in a funny World. Throughout the year, magazines, newspapers, and many other forms of media, proclaim to provide lists of the best. There is the Top 100 Future Stars, the 50 Best Restaurants, and the 40 Most Influential Under 40. Does anyone ask about this research? The answer is, very few.

In marketing, reviews matter. They matter because we often want someone to tell us who is the best, what to buy and who to buy it from.

Top 10 Places to Visit

Most Popular on Netflix

Number One News Channel

Amazon Best Seller

Rated Safest and Most Reliable Car

This of course gets more confusing by with language like Award Winning, Voted Favorite, and All Time. Is any of this validated? What is in the fine print? Does anyone really care?

Reviews Matter

Chances are good that many consumers or even B2B decisions are emotionally based on what someone else says or writes. They want the other person to be on the hook, decisions are too hard, and they don’t want to be responsible for a point of view that may be judged by others as wrong.

It is not just people, but also technology. Our data is filtered. It is filtered by search engines, algorithms, and by our social network.

Reviews matter and choice may be one of the best problems to have.

– 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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Future Career Appreciative Strategies

Your Future Career Depends On You

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All the work that you do requires decisions. You make the choice to go to work, at some level, what you’ll wear, and how you’ll arrive. Certainly, you’ll make the choice about attitude, commitment, and effort. What you do today and tomorrow will impact your future career.

In my business I will occasionally hear stories of, “I can’t” or “we can’t.” Not so long ago I was working with a client in a facilitated training event and someone responded to a question by saying something along the lines of, “We can do this, or we can do that, but we can’t do both.”

Honestly, I was somewhat surprised by the comment since this person was in a room full of peers and some senior management. Then it hit me, this person was reciting a thought embraced the culture. It wasn’t shocking to some. It was a belief.

Limiting Beliefs

My reaction to the comment was that this segment of the discussion was critical and I reconnected with opening comments of the session about how businesses change and succeed.

I took advantage of a comment made a few moments earlier and suggested that being average is easy, becoming better is hard. My intent was to solidify concepts connected with hard work pays off. A period was put on the discussion with, “It won’t be easy, it will be hard, and that is why we call it work.”

Culture is very interesting, because those deeply engaged in their culture don’t really see it any other way. They are limited by the idea that they “can’t.” Although they are trapped in the mind-set, they honestly believe that it is a truth that they won’t change.

Everyday Choice

Every employee who comes to work each day makes a choice. Your future career will depend on the choices you make today.

One mind-set is that you will do just enough to get by. You won’t work too hard or too fast. You’ll occupy space for the required impression of hours on the job and join the ranks of those who speak with pride about the hours spent.

Nebulous Measurement

In this mind-set the measurements and metrics connected with your job are fuzzy and are likely a spillover from the last person who held the same role. Or, now that this job is the combination of two previous jobs you can’t possibly overachieve.

You are often encouraged by others to do the least, or work within the effort of limitations set by everyone else.

Different Choice

You do have another choice. This choice is not directly connected with pay. It certainly is not directly connected by others who want you to move slower, at their pace, or to be patient and put in your time.

Today the most important choice you make about your career is not about on-the-job tradeoffs. It is not about I can do this, or I can do that, but I can’t do both. It is more likely about finding a way to balance both.

Here is the reality, when you don’t, someone else will.

Your Future Career

This is true for organizations and it is true for individuals. In many workplace cultures, this part of story is never told. Across time, the culture of effort and productivity has leveled itself to the output of averages.

When every day is embraced as an opportunity you’ll make the choice to do enough to get by, or you’ll do more than what is required because it may be the last or only chance you’ll get.

This may be the most important decision you’ll make. It will determine the future of your career.

– 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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about attitude

15 Choices We Can Make About Attitude

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It is often easy to point the finger at a bad attitude. We can be accusatory without self-examination. And yes, we make choices about attitude.

Most employers will tell you that they hire for attitude. Certainly, there are often minimum skill requirements and sometimes certifications or degrees, but next in line is often attitude. Although we might not always recognize it, attitude is about choice.

attitudes contagious

It is about our choices, what we choose. It is not about what someone has done to us, against us, or because of us. We still have the right, and more importantly the responsibility, to choose.

Good or Bad

Like most things in life, we can make good choices or bad. Do you want to make good choices?

If yes, you might choose to:

  1. participate with interest
  2. give your best effort
  3. encourage honest work
  4. help others
  5. be committed to learning
  6. strive for excellence
  7. have a willingness for change
  8. support improving confidence
  9. be optimistic
  10. have an open mind
  11. have ambition
  12. celebrate achievements
  13. keep promises
  14. believe in the goal
  15. discover and focus on the good

That isn’t all, there are plenty more. Unfortunately, there are bad choices too.

About Attitude

Choices about our attitude may be similar to a habit, or perhaps positive choices should become one. You have to make the choice about attitude over and over again. It isn’t a one and done.

We’ve all probably heard that attitudes are contagious and that they often develop from role models. Each day is a new opportunity, a new experience, and one that may require the right attitude.

good attitude

There are rewards for making good choices. When you make good choices about attitude, you might find yourself with a better job, better pay, and an ever increasing number of opportunities.

Choose to lead. Choose to be a good role model.

Always make good choices.

Have the right attitude.

– DEG

Originally posted on August 3, 2017, last updated on November 5, 2018.

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.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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digital customer service

Why Digital Customer Service is for You

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You are in a new race: the race for digital excellence. Don’t be alarmed; be happy. Digital customer service is happening for us, not to us.

Things are always changing. We can argue for good, bad, or somewhere in between. Change often makes people feel uneasy, nervous, and afraid. From generation to generation, things are changing.

Generational Differences

Generational shifts happen for a combination of reasons. In our modern history, we can attribute these shifts to some combination of three factors, major socioeconomic shifts, technology, and times of war.

You can clearly see the shifting and weaving of these patterns when you consider the five generations we currently have active in our workforce.

Going Digital

What changes are affecting customer service? One of the biggest may be the digital revolution.

Digital isn’t new, but the rapid rate of implementation is causing a significant shift. Things are going digital. How will digital impact you?

Digital Customer Service

When it comes to customer service, here are three of many areas to consider:

  1. Security. You go through a finger print reader at Epcot, and your boarding pass for airline travel is a QR code on your telephone. The face of security is changing. Not only are video surveillance cameras installed in many public places, but they are also improving the customer experience with speed, safety, and comfort.
  2. World of Mouth. Sales and customer service experts know both the benefits and dangers of word of mouth. Today we have to face the risks and rewards of world of mouth with social media. Accept it or deny it, social media data impacts revenues and success. Ignore it, and get left behind.
  3. Access to Choices. Do you want to engage tech-savvy customers and especially those representing the millennial and Gen Z populations? Start thinking more about mobile technologies, smart phones, and downloadable apps. Fast, easy, and with better features, this is the future of customer service.

Going Digital

Most of all, remember that change is happening all around us. As a result, if you want the best customer experience, you might have to think more digitally. Consider your choices, be innovative, and always consider your target market.

It is all happening for you.

– DEG

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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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The Difference Between Lucky or Smart

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You’ll often hear someone say, “They got lucky.” Sometimes you’ll hear someone say, “They are very smart.” Is there a difference between being lucky or smart?

lucky or smart appreciative strategies

Good Luck

We sometimes assume that luck simply happens. You get lucky if you win the lottery against very big odds. Luck might be with you when you pick the date for the summer picnic and that day the weather is amazing.

Many people might agree that luck implies we have little or no control over the situation.

Bad Luck

We might feel unlucky if we get a flat tire on our car, or we get sick with a cold right before several very busy days in our schedule.

The truth about luck, good or bad, is that often the outcomes are conditioned by how you manage it.

Have the most successful people been lucky? Are they smarter?

Lucky or Smart

The multi-million dollar winner of the lottery might become completely broke within just a few years. In contrast, the person with nearly nothing might become quite successful in a very short time. Both are the result of how their situation was managed.

This is exactly why you have to be smart. Smart isn’t always the most educated. It isn’t always the most experienced. Being smart often means you feel a responsibility and hold yourself accountable for your actions and decisions.

Analyze the data, consider the facts, use your knowledge and base it on your experiences. Sure, you can consult with others, get opinions, and make best guesses. You can do research and examine all options. Just make sure you are doing it smart.

Smart

It’s not always the fastest, it’s not necessarily the most calculated, and it doesn’t mean that it is low risk. Smart means you do the absolute best you can with everything you do. It means you make the best choices, not necessarily the easiest ones.

You may not always like the options but you still have to decide. Sometimes a decision to do nothing is still a decision. You’ll have to make the best one at the time, live with it, and make more.

Are you lucky or smart?

Either way it’s always about what you decide.

– 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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