Tag Archives: investment

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time investment

Time Investment, What Is Your Return?

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Nearly everyone is worried about time. A question to consider is, “Am I making a time investment, or just spending time?” Most investments are measured by the value of their return.

Against the Clock

Is there time to stop for coffee, use the restroom before the meeting, and time to process a few email messages before digging into the next project?

We often wonder, how will we have time for family, time to celebrate a birthday, an anniversary, or simply enjoy life?

We struggle for time measured against the clock. Only so many minutes, so many hours, and the disruption of not knowing what will happen next.

There is the race against the navigation system in our car, the sprint to the deadline, or the marathon of the month.

Here are a few questions to consider:

  • Are you agonizing over what you will accomplish today or are you assessing your investment for this year?
  • Is what you are working on this week about building something great or really about attempting a shortcut?
  • How much time will you spend today reliving what happened yesterday instead of applying your energy towards tomorrow?
  • What lasts longer your celebration of a win or your agony about something that took a wrong turn?
  • Is there a return on worry, a return on procrastination, or a return on gossip?

What happens during our time?

Time Investment

We can manage our time like a budget. An hour here and an hour there. A few minutes to say, “Hello” to our family, a minute to pet the dog, and a bite to eat while we drive our car. That’s largely about calculating the spend, not assessing the investment.

Minutes or milestones, where is your focus?

When life feels like a stopwatch it may be worthwhile to reflect on your investment. Use a calendar.


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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create your career appreciative strategies

Habits Create Your Career

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Chances are good you’ve probably encountered this idea, “To change your circumstances you have to change your habits.” Have you thought about how habits create your career?

I’m fortunate to work with a lot of different people who are all in some way connected with a workplace, a job, or shaping their career. Much of my work is focused on helping to shape business outcomes as compared with individual performance, but I do some of both.

Individual Efforts and Outcomes

Considering individual efforts, I often see frustration from people who are truly trying to make a difference. They aren’t looking for Easy Street and they don’t want a free ride. Yet they often feel stuck.

As a society I believe we are becoming more programmed to hurry up, then wait, and then hurry up, and then wait some more. Things happen fast, the pace is brisk. We feel like waiting for anything, is a waste of time.

The reality is that when it comes to your job, a business venture, or your career, it is still one step at a time. There really aren’t any fast tracks, quick fixes, or short cuts.

Ask yourself, “What did I accomplish yesterday?”

What about last week or last month? Where were you six months ago? And if you’ve been in the workforce for a while, how were you positioned five years ago or even ten?

I’m not asking you to relive everything that went wrong. I’m asking you to consider what things looked like then. Maybe they seemed better or maybe they seemed a little worse.

What is most important is where you are going!

Chances are you’re reading this because you care about your career. You’ve worked hard but there is still more to accomplish. Your career doesn’t just happen overnight, it is based on actions and behaviors repeated over time. The results develop from what you invest in.

Create Your Career

If you invest in reading a book, watching a video, or in some way connecting with new (quality) information and learning about something connected with your career each day you’ll become better. It should be each day, progressively, across time.

Think about what you do and what you talk about. What do you read, write, or send via text. What do your social media interests look like? How are you spending your time?

When you think about what you want for your future it might be helpful to consider the evidence from your past. Who you were a few years ago might not be who you are today. The difference is created by how you’ve spent your time.

Chances are you’re becoming someone. You’re creating something.

Habits create your career.


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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Becoming A Smart Investment

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Many employees hope for an annual raise, or dream of obtaining a job promotion, but sometimes you have to ask yourself, “Am I a smart investment?”

Smiling professional business man and woman

Recently I wrote about the concept of deserving a raise and one of the ideas I offered was related to being a smart investment for the organization. Later a reader asked me about how to become a smart investment and so from my experiences I’m offering a few additional thoughts on exactly how to do this.

  1. Become the go to person. In many organizations your job often becomes what you make it. Of course in unionized environments this sometimes becomes more challenging but in many other scenarios you might have some flexibility within your job role. Extend your hand, offer to help, be the person to fill in for someone else. All of these actions will help you to learn more about the organization and become more valuable. Often after some period of time of effective execution, you become the go to person for nearly everything, which makes you, a smart investment.
  2. Learn more first. There are at least two schools of thought. The first is that you don’t do anything until you’re paid for it, and while that might sound like a respected position to take it may be the beginning of the end for those who act on it. The other school of thought is to learn more and do more first, then once you’ve already demonstrated a higher value the only step that is needed to complete the process is to obtain the appropriate compensation for your knowledge, skills, and abilities. In today’s workplace the earlier mentioned pay first (don’t do anything until you’re paid for it) mentality often becomes a pay never reality and your opportunities for growth will significantly diminish. This will often leave you feeling angry and resentful. Learn more, do more, be more, and then you’ll be paid more, because you’re a smart investment.
  3. Show commitment. Employers have easily figured out that employee turnover is expensive. Once they’ve made a commitment to having you on the payroll you can return the favor by demonstrating your commitment to the team. Employees, who volunteer for extra assignments, are willing to give an extra effort during a tight deadline, and perhaps most importantly demonstrate continued support to the organization will be the most valued. Socially people sometimes have to take a position, it may be a position in life or it may be a position about the organization you work for. Stick up for the organization by developing the attitude of, “I care about this organization and I know they care about me.” This makes you a smart investment.

One important point to make, you may have noticed there is not any reference to playing organization politics, nor is there any reference to being well liked. While both of these concepts may have some validity I would never suggest either as a strategy. My belief is that you must stay true to who you are and while being liked is not a bad thing, in order to have a solid organizational culture we sometimes have to trade being well-liked for being well-respected.

Considering that multiple schools of thought exist on this issue it will always be up to you to decide your best choice of action. Everyone will quickly recognize that being a smart investment becomes a two-way street that requires reciprocity from the organization. I always urge people to give the benefit of the doubt to the organization and to consider that organizations would be foolish to turn their back on you, after all, you are a smart investment.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, 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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Do You Deserve A Raise?

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Ask five people if they would like a raise and chances are pretty good all five will say yes. It’s a good bet, but should you ask for one?

Man Counts Money

Before doing anything, have you considered all aspects of what makes investing in you a smart choice for your organization? Most strong organizations are managing from the bottom line, meaning that they are always looking to improve or appropriately manage their financial position. Money spent is often viewed as an investment, an investment that expects a return. Are you a smart investment?

You can begin by asking yourself a few important questions. 

  1. Have you protected the organization? Let’s face it; an organization is about being an organization. While you might believe your department, team, or the entire operation revolves around you it probably doesn’t. You are a part of making everything work and supporting the ebb and flow of the organization. Protecting its brand and image is part of your responsibility.
  2. Have you been a team player? Teams matter, and if you are not supporting, cooperating, and effectively working with other team members this could be a flag to onlookers that you are not so valuable after all. In fact, you could be a worry in the back of their mind. Demonstrate how you integrate with team efforts.
  3. Are you an example for exceptional customer service? Remember that customer service, or what is sometimes being phrased as the customer experience, is critical for every organization. What is surprising to some is that customer service always has an internal component. You must be sure you are a great example of both the internal and external customer experience.
  4. Have you learned anything new? The best organizations offer or in some way support learning opportunities. They recognize that being smarter is one of the best ways to prevent falling behind. Ask to be a part of learning opportunities and to continue developing your skills. Make sure you are always learning something new.
  5. Are you a smart investment? Employee turnover is costly; hiring high end expertise to join the organization from the outside is expensive too. Most employers get an advantage from promoting from within, but they have to have internal candidates who are role models of their [the organizations] future. Be a smart investment for them by continuing to invest in yourself.

There are many factors that can make it difficult for organizations to continue to give raises to each employee year after year, but smart organizations know that they need to grow their best talent. Remember that timing is always critical, and you should consider all aspects of value that the organization brings to you, especially those that don’t appear on your pay stub. Sometimes staying the course even when a raise is not possible will pay off much bigger long-term. 

Do you deserve a raise? Perhaps, but let me ask you this, are you a smart investment?


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, 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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