Tag Archives: education

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more education

More Education, Who Needs It?

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Do you need more education? Some people believe that they don’t need education beyond high school, and some even less than that.

Is education really a racket? Some people say it is.

Even Pink Floyd had something to say about education.

There are plenty of high salary people with what some would say is a limited education. Yet, it is probably safe to say that the more educated you become the higher your earning potential.

Is it about Learning?

When we swap out the word education and replace it with learning, things change a little.

One trouble spot is the concept of the quality of what is learned.

Learning how to dodge, weave, and play corporate politics may not be taught in a community college or ivy league business school. You tend to learn it from experience. For better or for worse, that experience often comes from role models.

Duck Dynasty is an American television series. Many view it as the name of a business. Although its true name is Duck Commander.

The Duck Dynasty brand, is an image, a role model, and although ZZ Top may disagree, it is quite possibly the spark that ignited the long-beard trend.

We also have images of what corporate life at Google looks like, what big government looks like in Washington, D.C., and some images of the chillaxed lifestyle of the rich and famous of Miami or Southern California.

There is also a reasonably good chance that you are none of those.

Yet, plenty of people will grow the beard, tote around technology like it is a picture of success, and politic on social media channels like a know-it-all from a prominent urban community.

It’s what they’ve learned or inspire to be.

More Education

You don’t need a formal education to learn how to run a Ponzi scheme. Although some college and university graduates decide to do it. The same may be said about the success of star athletes, business owners, and the Executive Chef.

Learning helps build your character. It shapes decisions that you’ll make.

If you decide to drop out of school and you achieve some success then school may appear to be a waste of time. You made a decision and got results.

If you decide to pursue post-secondary education by earning a certificate, a degree, or multiples of either, and you achieve some success, you may decide that formal education had something to do with it.

All of the decisions you’ll make today and tomorrow will have something to do with what you’ve learned. There is a good chance that as you make your next big decision, you’ll look at the presumed success and failures of your life experiences and your role models.

More learning is never a waste of time.

It becomes part of your character. It isn’t forced, it’s welcomed and appreciated. The moment you decide you don’t need it is likely a moment that you made a decision that will limit everything that happens for you next.

Everyone needs to learn more.

Do they?

Do 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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character depth

Character Depth Will Determine Leadership Decisions

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Life experiences matter, so does formal education, the deeper your knowledge and understanding the better decisions you can make as a leader. Character depth will matter, because it is part of who you are.

Character may be described as a sum of your values, beliefs, and knowledge. It is also connected to how you apply all of those. It shows itself through your words, behaviors, and responses.

Everyone’s path in life may be different. What people read, espoused values from family and friends, and formal education will have an impact. Today, beyond just reading we have other vast influences, such as video, television, and even virtual realities.

Your life choices and decisions will shape how you navigate the future.

This is why learning is so important.

Are You Learning?

People learn in different ways. Some argue that they don’t need a formal program of study. Perhaps, that is true. Yet, at the same time if their learning is limited to only their immediate surroundings or culture their depth is limited. Their frame may be too narrow.

There are also differences between reading, studying, watching videos, and listening to podcasts, when compared with learning directly from an expert.

In life, people drop out of high school, they drop out of college, or never finish other types of educational programs.

There are unexpected pregnancies, loss of loved ones, or loss of a job.

Many twists, turns, and surprising outcomes.

Does this matter? The easy answer is, yes.

It is not so much about what happened, but more about what you learned.

What you learned from any experience will drive what choices or actions you’ll take next.

Did you learn?

Character Depth

Nearly every day I hear stories about formal leaders making difficult choices.

Some stories are about bad choices and some are about not understanding options. Go a little deeper and it may be that so-called leaders don’t even have the understanding that they should be making a choice. They do nothing.

Doing nothing may be an option, yet if it is not a conscious choice it may be problematic.

Leadership often circles back to expertise. While much of the expertise may be technical in a given field, it also requires great depth in the human side of things.

In the workplace, great leaders understand the technical as well as the psychology of work. They understand people.

Those who lack formal expertise, those who lack education, are limited. When their frame is very narrow, of course, they lack depth.

Depth becomes part of your character and the decisions you’ll make are limited by the information (knowledge/expertise) that is within your reach.

Sometimes there isn’t a video to watch. Sometimes there isn’t a podcast to listen to or a book to read.

The best leaders build their character across time from a wide range of experiences and learning.

How deep are 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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untaught lessons

Untaught Lessons Are Not a Life Event Label

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Learning from experience is what many people enjoy the most. In some circles it is identified as experiential learning. Can you learn from untaught lessons?

Untaught suggests that it wasn’t scripted. It still, perhaps, could have happened in a classroom only it was a by-product of the instruction or lecture not necessarily the actual content.

Often people believe that experiential implies hands on. Such as a mechanic uses a wrench to loosen the bolt.

Experiential learning at its root is developed from reflection. When you reflect cognitively on the content, an outcome, or even the lecture, you are experiencing it.

What we learn becomes part of who we are. Often people become a label.

She is a teacher, dentist, or a welder. He is a carpenter, a salesman, or a project manager.

The labels often become applied as a result of formal studies. The degree in accounting makes her an accountant. It’s a life event label. She studied accounting and is now an accountant.

What happens with all of the untaught lessons?

Do you learn something from the by-product or residue of intentional learning?

Untaught Lessons

At the end of formal training sessions sometimes an instructor may ask, “What did you learn?”

For the individual there is reflection. For everyone else in the class there is reflection and an opportunity for learning from thoughts shared.

In many cases we experience or reflect upon what we choose.

When we make a mistake, we can learn from it. When we have some success, we can learn from it.

In life it is often our reflection on lessons that have the greatest impact.

Untaught lessons may not provide you with a life event label. Yet, life events may teach you a lesson.

-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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educational illusion

Is an Educational Illusion Stopping You?

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It seems that there are always two sides. On one side people worry that they’re not enough and do nothing about it. And on the other, they never stop trying to prove their credibility. Are you suffering from an educational illusion?

It is quite simple really. People make decisions about the reasons why. They decide on the placement of blame.

Why you weren’t hired, promoted, or respected by peers. Many blame education, and throw their arms up in disgust, or are constantly enrolling in the next degree program.

Make no mistake that education matters. It matters a great deal and often, especially in an on-line World of “punched cards” coming up short can be problematic. If you can’t check the box, you’re not getting in.

A medical doctor isn’t going to be able to practice without the degree. A lawyer needs a degree and to pass the bar exam. Most university professors need a doctoral degree.

Educational Illusion

Outside of specific professions there is wiggle room. Some career opportunities, good paying ones, only require a high school diploma.

Which camp are you in?

Are you working hard, taking advantage of gaining experience while also exploring opportunities for additional education?

Or, perhaps you are working hard and have tried to explore advancement, yet have come up short? Are you convinced that the reason you didn’t advance was because of a lack of education?

In either case, additional credentials may not be the obstacle.

There are many cases where the advanced degree, the credential, the certificate, or the card punched is not the real obstacle.

Sometimes the real obstacle is a lack of persistence, determination, and courage.

Sometimes there is a difference between reality and where you place the blame.

-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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training time

We Can’t Afford Training Time

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Does your company provide or encourage continuous learning? Is training time viewed as an investment or only an expense?

There are many small businesses with organizational leaders who scoff at the idea of training. One of the best excuses that leaders say, create, or allow, is that there is not enough time for training.

Certainly, the dollars spent for training can be a stumbling block, yet organization leaders may blame it on time.

Stuck, Stalled, or Stopped

Small businesses (and leaders) grow to the size or capability of management and then get stuck. They often get stuck because the theories and concepts they’ve grown accustom to only work up to a certain size.

The small business with fewer than ten people has a different dynamic from the business that employs one hundred and ten thousand. Leadership principles in these organizations are similar, yet strategic and tactical deployment may be different.

Examining costs for training in any business should not be based only on dollars spent or time made available for training. There are many other intangible costs that should be considered.

The list is long but here are a few:

  • Rework
  • Drama
  • Customer Experiences
  • Technology
  • Employee turnover

Some organizations that get stalled, stuck, or stopped, never recover. They stay there and slowly decline.

Training Time

I remember a rather successful CEO saying to me, “If we suggested people go to training right now, they would say they don’t have time and they wouldn’t be able to focus on the training because they would be too worried about the operation.”

On the surface it is hard to argue with that statement, yet, underneath the surface you have to question the culture (leadership) that drives that mindset.

Of course, there are times when every operation (especially small ones) need every hand on deck. The challenge may be determining when these times are real and when they become an excuse.

The real story here is that untrained employees are always more expensive than trained employees.

Trained employees will make decisions, they will make better decisions, quality will improve, commitment, engagement, and loyalty will all be better.

Training time may be the smallest price to pay.

-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 paths

Why Most Career Paths Are Unknown

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Working for years to discover your career path is common. Certainly pursuing meaningful work, continuing your education, and even taking some risk is important, but most career paths are not known, they are discovered.

Spirit of Career Paths

SharkTank is in its ninth season. Its popularity represents something that many believe is part of chasing the American dream. Entrepreneurs of all ages, backgrounds, and interests pitch a panel of venture capitalists in an attempt to continue building their dream.

People who care deeply about their career are working towards a dream. It may be doing something they love, trying to build financial freedom, or sometimes it is the final stretch of preparing for retirement. Many will tell you that they didn’t see the path until they started walking it.

Perhaps the most important news for career seekers is that there aren’t any shortcuts. What looks like a shortcut is probably a path that is already taken, saturated, overused, abused, or headed for decline.

Navigating the Pivot

The business climate is shifting. Technology has created opportunities that no one knew existed ten or twenty years ago. The people who are on their own journey will shape what is next. It is the path not yet discovered but one that is unfolding over time.

When your career is important to you, you’ll take the appropriate steps. You’ll do the work, put in the time, learn the skills, analyze the market, and jump in. All of that is good because standing still won’t make much happen.

Your Plan

Will it go exactly as you planned? Probably not and for a really good reason.

That reason is that your best work develops from your talent. It develops from your interests, the things others have suggested you do well, and from doing the things that feel natural.

That isn’t all though, your talent also develops from the twists and turns, the in’s and out’s, and how you performed and endured when things turned upside down.

It seldom is how others described it, how someone forecasted it, or what the text book suggested it would look like.

Most Career Paths

Your best work, the work that shapes your career, will come from your heart. It’s where the best work occurs, it creates luck throughout your journey.

There is a good chance that most career paths are unknown because you don’t really train for it, you become it.

– 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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Hard work pay off

Does Hard Work Pay Off In The Future?

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Are you working hard for a better education, hard at your job, or for your own business? Many people set out every day to make a difference. Sometimes, even the best ask the question, “Does hard work pay off?”

I just glanced at the news reports for the 2017 Heisman Trophy finalists. I’m not sure what I’m more surprised about, the ones who made it, or the ones who didn’t.

So Much Talent

We often see so much talent. Sports, business, and entertainment, they all share a common thread. The perception often is that very few of the really great people ever get discovered and make it big.

That doesn’t mean that the ones who aren’t immediately discovered aren’t worth it. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t great. The brutal truth is that even with all of their talent, their knowledge, skills, and abilities; it is still very rare that they’ll be discovered.

An organization of fifty people, one hundred, or those with thousands of people probably have some exceptional talent. Only a few will make it to vice president, or a position in the C Suite. In most organizations, only one or none will make it all the way to the top.

Getting Discovered

Most people are hoping that someone will find them. They hope they’ll be discovered within their organization, or that their product or service will become the next big thing. It is even true with social media posts or that really cool video, there is hope that it will become the next one to trend.

All of that isn’t much different from buying a lottery ticket. The moment you buy, the excitement begins. There is the hope for a win. Very few actually do.

Some will quickly cite luck as making the difference. Studies on luck have indicated that it has very little to do with success, but viewpoints may vary depending on how you measure it.

Doing The Work

So people do their work, they do all of it. Does their hard work pay off?

They get better educated. They put in the time and effort at their job or for their own business. Will they ever be discovered? Perhaps they will, but only sometimes.

A different approach is that instead of doing all the right things, you pivot to do more things right.

What if instead of hoping to be discovered by the top agency, be noticed by your boss, or see your video trending, you instead focus on what isn’t visible yet.

Work That Is Worth It

Imagine you are the apple that isn’t low hanging. Consider what people should be doing, only they aren’t.

You bring the list of solutions to the meeting instead of the list of problems. You aren’t requesting a meeting to discuss salary, your discussion points are about creating impact.

Most of this type of work is not a clearly laid out plan. It doesn’t just happen because you achieved the degree, because your card has been punched, or your business has the right location. None of that hurts, but it also doesn’t guarantee you’re next.

Hard Work Pay Off

Hard work pays off because it is hard. All of the easy stuff is already taken. Including everything that is visible in the mainstream right now.

Your target should be the one that is always moving.

The target that is stopped, paused, or visible right now, is already taken. That apple is picked.

Don’t hope to be the next one picked. Become the one everyone wants next.

– 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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Customer Service Rules

Customer Service Rules and Misunderstood Costs

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It happens all the time. Something affects profits or progress and the organization makes a new rule. Does it make sense to make customer service rules from one bad example?

Nearly every business will tell you that they value the customer. They cite examples of how hard they work for delivering an exceptional customer experience. Do they live up to doing what they say?

Certainly every organization needs to protect themselves from fraud, deceit, or profit erosion. They need customer service rules but at what cost?

Customer Service Rules

In the early 1980’s I worked in a retail drug store. I stocked shelves, unloaded trucks, swept the floors, and sometimes worked at the checkout register. At the time this retail drug store chain was doing very well, with many stores and lots of valued customers.

Somewhere along the way, some smart folks in district or regional management came up with a new rule. The new rule was that every purchase had to go in a bag and the receipt had to be stapled to that bag. No excuses, no exceptions.

What a disaster.

Rules in Action

One day as I nervously worked the checkout register while the regional manager looked over my shoulder I allowed a repeat customer to take their pack of cigarettes and a candy bar (after paying) and leave the store with receipt in hand. No bag and certainly no receipt stapled to it. Immediately I was summoned to come to the back of the pharmacy. I was scolded and sent back to the register.

What management didn’t realize is that for whatever reason they invented their rule, it was hurting their customers.

We had repeat customers come in every day to make a purchase. Purchasing everything from a candy bar, to cigarettes (big in those days), to a magazine or newspaper. They never returned anything or made a large purchase. They loved the store and they didn’t really need a bag.

These loyal customers loved it right up until the moment management started hurting their experience.

More than a Job

I was probably only 17 or 18 years old, but I knew better. I saw what was happening, it was ridiculous.

Regional management never seemed to get it. The local managers did but they were under strict guidelines from regional and corporate management.

It was supposed to be a job, but really it was the start of my education.

I miss those days.

You know—happy customers and all.

– 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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