Tag Archives: success

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workplace success

What Do You Know About Workplace Success?

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How would you describe success? Does everyone describe it the same way? Workplace success may be as individual as soda, pop, or cola.

Communicating in your workplace has its share of challenges. We are all experiencing things like too much, too little, and misunderstood communication.

Are the words you use effective?

Choose Wisely

We use words to communicate meaning, yet there are times when we blur those lines.

Someone says, “I need a pencil.” Then someone hands them a pen.

“I’m stopping for coffee.” May be as different as hot and black is to
mocha caffe latte, iced.

Most people wouldn’t dare to think about wearing (only) underwear on the beach. (I know I wouldn’t.) Yet, a bikini seems just fine. There seems to be something visually different, is there?

We use words to convey meaning. When we are thinking about the meaning of workplace success, there is more than one meaning.

Workplace Success

Success, respect, and good, all depend on your individual definition. We attempt to use the words to convey meaning, yet the image in everyone’s mind may differ.

Prepare for the meeting.

Arrive early.

Make sure you do it right.

We think communication is easy. We talk, we write, someone listens, and someone reads.

All our words, phrases, and especially our body language and tone matter.

When you suggest that your team should engage and communicate to create more success what is the meaning?

Success for some people is about a position, a title, or their paycheck. Still there are others that view success as the completion of a task, a reached milestone, or appreciation from the boss.

Sometimes the difference between what you want and what you get is based on the words you chose.

Define success. Do it carefully, descriptively, and with the correct image.

-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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Good work

Recognition For Doing Good Work

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Popular, famous, or good, which word is the most descriptive of your reputation. It is true for the business, the non-profit, and individual performance, are you known for good work?

Our society is riddled with opportunity for marketing. Social media, traditional media, and the world-wide web, opportunity is everywhere.

One problem spot is, how do we know what is really good? What is hype and what is the real deal?

Popular and Famous

As buyers, subscribers, and consumers, it is easy to confuse popular, famous, and good.

The Fyre Festival became popular, and now even though it was a big failure, it is famous. Was it any good? No, it is noted by most as a disaster.

There are automakers who invest heavily to advertise their product, it may create a feeling of being popular, does that also make them good?

In our workplace we have people who stand out, get promoted and are recognized. Are they really that good? Perhaps, yes, they are, and perhaps no they are not.

Sometimes our visibility is what makes the difference. Many workplace professionals feel that merit is the method to success. Do good work and you’ll be recognized, promoted, and grow in your career.

It does still happen that way, believe it or not. It just doesn’t always happen that way.

Good Work

Achieving recognition for doing good work sometimes also means you have to become more visible. You must do the work of the marketer, advertiser, and have good faith sponsors.

We know there are musicians, artists, rock bands, restaurants, chefs, engineers, authors, actors, and sports talent that go unnoticed, unrecognized, and that are underappreciated. They may be good, even exceptional, but they never become popular or famous. We shouldn’t confuse popular and famous for good.

When you’re doing good work, make sure your efforts are visible.

-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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organizational success

Organizational Success, Roof Repair, and the Mechanic

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What is the connection to creating organizational success, making a roof repair, and a fixing a car? Likely not much, and there probably shouldn’t be since each require different types of expertise.

One of the biggest mistakes I often observe with small businesses (less than $35.5 million in annual revenue and 1,500 employees) is that they can’t get out of their own way.

Field of Experts

Theoretically, small businesses are led by experts in their field. Engineers lead engineering firms, attorneys lead law firms, and the landscaping business is owned and operated by those who are experts in landscaping.

This seems to make sense, it is practical, and likely an appropriate pathway for success.

What happens when the landscaper needs legal representation, or the widget manufacturer needs an advertising campaign? What if the convenience store needs a new roof or the local insurance agency needs car repair?

If you are the executive leader of an advertising agency, city mayor, or the director of a thriving non-profit humanitarian organization you are likely not also a computer engineer, tree trimmer, or carpenter.

Are you going to fix the bug in the software? Cut down the 85-year-old maple tree that is threatening the office, or build an additional room for your expansion?

Organizational Success

Creating organizational success comes from your expertise.

Just because you had a college class in psychology or business law, does not make you an expert.

Because you once participated in a strategic planning session you are not an expert at facilitating strategy.

Reading a book, watching a video, or attending a seminar to expand your knowledge on any topic is valuable. Becoming an expert requires hours and hours of pounding on your craft.

Organizational success develops from focus. Know your lane, leverage and outsource everything else.

As an organizational leader your job is not to do everything. It is to create the best of everything.

-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 endurance

Workplace Endurance or Getting Through the Day?

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People often say, “I just have to make it through this day.” Does this feel like a challenge you’ve faced? Do you have workplace endurance and what is most important?

Funny, I often ask seminar participants about workplace motivation. Somewhere the obvious initial response is about money, “We have to pay the bills.”

Another question, or rabbit hole, is related to focus. Focus is critical, focus on the wrong things and you get poor results. Focus on nothing and you may get nothing.

Getting Results

In order to make it through the day people often break down their tasks or duties. Shorter vision, get through the hour, past the lunch break, and now you are more than half way through.

However, the organization often measures results across more than a single day. Results are the outcomes of each minute, hour, and day, repeated across time.

Making it through the toughest of days often conditions your success. The day we feel most challenged is the day we either decide enough is enough, or we make it through, adding to our continued contribution.

The challenge of all of this comes down to vision and focus. Often the frustrated employee has a very short vision. They believe in just making it through the day.

Workplace Endurance

What is important to keep in mind is that while making it through the day is critical, their workplace life or career is really about a bigger vision.

The contribution that you make today may be assessed, but it is your endurance, the long-term, that ultimately has the most impact.

One thousand jelly beans get in the jar, bean by bean. Your glass of water fills from the bottom up, one drop at a time. A tree grows each day, but we seldom notice, only gaining appreciation after years of making it through each day.

You’ll do something today. It is important, yet your endurance will matter the most.

-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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making connections

Making Connections in the Connection Economy

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Many have labeled our current economic climate as a connection economy. Considering that is a fair label, are you making connections?

So often we are focused on the product, the service, or other tangible aspects of our business. Build the best product. Have the best quality. Deliver the best service.

We do it in our careers too. Get more education. Have the most credentials. Achieve the best title. Make lots of money.

Business or personal, all these things are important. Yet, many businesses and people struggle to close the sale, struggle to get recognized for superior service, or struggle to find a new job or get that all-important promotion.

Questions to Ask

The questions may become:

“In a connection economy what makes growing companies grow?”

“In a connection economy what is important for the new job, career change, or advancement?”

The best answers may be as simple as it seems. Connections.

Many people suggest that society is shifting. Heads down, many stare at a small device held in the palm of their hand. A technology prayer.

Yet, humanity still seeks connections. In-person, or through technology, the social interaction often drives what happens next.

Making Connections

It becomes about who we think of when we need a new employee. It becomes about the brands and products we choose in a sea of possible selections.

The fastest growing companies on the planet are doing more than making things, selling stuff, or delivering exceptional service. Again, all those things matter but what matters in a connection economy is building strong connections.

Make good stuff, deliver great service, be the best you can be.

Be sure to connect.

-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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contingency plan

3 Reasons Why You Will Need a Contingency Plan

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Will your strategy work? Do you have an awesome plan? The truth may be that the better your plan, the more you are going need to develop another plan. A contingency plan, do you have one?

It is true that many small businesses get by without putting pen to paper for a plan. They don’t put data entry to digital document either. They stroll along for years based almost entirely on gut feel.

Sometimes this works, but normally it has some magical limitations. Of course, no one really knows those limitations because the plan is just a feeling, a fairytale, some magic.

Strategic Plan

Is a personal or organizational strategic plan the solution to become unstuck?

In my opinion, a plan is always a good idea. A very precise and detailed plan certainly helps avoid anything falling through the cracks. Are there problems with a tight plan?

Yes, but when you plan for the unplanned there is a good chance you’ll keep moving in the right direction.

Should you have a backup plan?

Contingency Plan

There are many reasons to have a contingency plan.

Here are three of my favorite reasons:

  1. Surprises. Things aren’t always going to go exactly as planned. There is a time to push or force the issue. There is also a time to go with the flow. Surprises have an interesting way of shaping a slightly tweaked direction. A direction that still gets us where we need to be.
  2. Specifications Change. The specs are the specs in the tightest plan. What if the specs aren’t the specs that are needed? Identification of a want isn’t always the same thing as the need. Fluidity in design should be part of the contingency.
  3. Missed Deadlines. The metric of time is valuable. Too soon can be nearly as problematic as too late. Along the way both surprises and specification changes may alter the timing. Sometimes the best question is not about, “what if,” it is about, “what we’ll do when.”

Tight, highly detailed plans are a good idea. The best plan almost never happens.

The perfect plan is one that is built with a contingency.

-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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powerful belief

Powerful Belief and the Facts Surrounding It

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Believe you are going to have a good day or a bad day, and you will find lots of evidence to support your belief. Belief has an amazing effect on performance. Do you have powerful belief?

We see it in religion, in politics, and with innovation. Belief often creates power. Have you considered how your belief is guiding your outcomes?

Just the Facts

“Show me the facts!” is often proclaimed as a requirement to establish belief. Yet, much of our discussion, our presentations, and what is repeated is based on theory or opinion.

In the business meeting when people are looking for a reason why the strategy won’t work, they’ll probably find some. Of course, in contrast when the group seeks reasons why something may work or is worth a try, they’ll likely find some.

People with experiences (we all have some) want to share those experiences as facts. We tried this once, it didn’t work, and that is a fact.

Manifested facts become beliefs, and beliefs manifested are often presented as facts.

Seeing Is Believing

We believe what we see. Throughout many forms of media, the persuasion to buy this product so you can look like me, feel like me, and have success like me is overwhelming.

Social media attempts to remind us of how people live large, have luxurious homes, vacations, and “life is good.” We also see some of the opposite. The bad boss story, the customer service horror stories, and the passing of people and pets.

We live surrounded by stories of fame and fortune. And stories of tragedy and gloom. There is not much room for average, yet on the bell curve it is exactly where most people or businesses exist.

Powerful Belief

Powerful belief happens every day. It is connected to decisions, a choice, and what you look for.

Most of what comes true for your career, for sales revenue, or the marketing plan starts with belief.

You decide what you’ll look for. The why’s or the why not’s.

You’ll find it and you’ll believe it.

Powerful.

-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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fear success

Do You Fear Change or Fear Success?

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We know change is happening, sometimes to our liking, and sometimes not so much. Fear change or fear success, which one do you fear, or is it both? What causes you to think twice about your next move?

Growth is Success

Years ago, I planted one hundred tiny twigs (Ligustrum amurense) in a row across the front of my property. It was going to change the front of my property. Privacy, beauty, and a lot of work.

Successful growth of the plants meant change. Cutting, trimming, care along the bottom, and care on the top. A great place for leaves to pile up in the fall.

Was there some fear of success? Certainly, I had an idea what was coming. There was going to be a lot of work and care involved. I planted them, it worked, things changed.

Fear Change

Any time we start something new, any time someone suggests a change, the fear of success may be just as important to consider as the fear of failure.

Most people blame the fear of failure as the reason people don’t like change. Certainly, failure is a possible outcome, but so is success.

The status quo is comfortable. People know and understand the workload. Groups have normalized (Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing, Bruce W. Tuckman) and are performing. The outcome is generally known, the atmosphere feels stable. There is a sense of safety.

When a change is about to occur, the stability is threatened. There is new risk with an unknown outcome. Of course, if the change fails, not much will really be different.

Considering that change you see coming, do you fear success?

Fear Success

Vinyl, imitation clapboard, is popular for modern suburban home siding. It doesn’t change as often as the wooden clapboard of yesteryear. There is less fear of maintenance. A change that is desirable, no fear of more work, things stay stable longer.

The kids want a new puppy, with a new puppy comes change. Sure, who doesn’t love a cute puppy, but with the puppy comes a lot of care.

A house with a bigger yard, an apple tree, and a swimming pool would be nice. Well, on second thought, that seems like a lot of work.

Change is scary, it is really scary when it works.

-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 RespectNavigating 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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attraction matters

Attraction Matters For Your Success

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There are people who don’t like baseball, apple pie, and certain automobile manufacturers. Who do you appeal to, who is in your crowd, your network, or your tribe? Do you believe attraction matters?

To some extent we all sell, we all market, and we all deliver a customer service promise. We do it in business, and we do it person to person without a formal business model or plan. Wouldn’t it be great to connect with lots of people who share in the same or similar aspirations for life, community, or career?

Much of this may depend on your market reach, where you spend your time, and what your formal philosophy on life is all about.

Habits Create Culture

I’ve tried to convince some coaching clients to read more. I’ve even presented them with the idea that they may read more than they realize, why not do it more constructively? It matters for some, but for others they just never indulge.

Podcasts are popular in some circles, but everyone wants to know the best of the best first, without really shopping around. These are limits, limited beliefs, values, and ways of doing things.

Values and traditions, they of course build what we call culture. Is the culture where you work strained? Is it because everyone is like minded or is it because of different values, beliefs, and traditions? Are those differences managed constructively or destructively?

Attraction Matters

Do you believe attraction matters? Whatever you do for your business, what you do for your customers, or what you do to grow your career, will always matter most to those who are interested.

People who don’t get involved with social media, they don’t really care about social media. People who don’t like football, NASCAR, or reality TV won’t tune in and they won’t see your masterful thirty second commercial.

When people don’t like to read, they probably won’t. When they don’t like social media they probably won’t join. An organization that doesn’t see a bigger future probably won’t care much about your career.

Everything that you do or want to accomplish will only happen in an atmosphere that embraces what you are selling.

It is true for advancing your career, for selling your product, or for building an effective team.

People who don’t connect with it will probably never buy it.

Attraction matters.

-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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Career encouragement

Career Encouragement, Is It Time To Give More?

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In the workplace, goals are often measured against management expectations, historical data, or industry benchmarks. How do goals align with career accomplishments? Do we need more career encouragement?

Winning Little League baseball teams often pop up out of nowhere from a small otherwise unknown town. The football star was just an average kid who loved the sport and played anywhere a few kids could find a patch of grass. The kid who read books all the time went on to become a PhD, a medical doctor, or an engineer.

Born or Made

In leadership seminars I often ask, “Are great leaders born or made?” Participants stop to think, and ponder this simple question. Of course, in some cultures family heritage has something to do with those in power but in US culture this is not the case.

Leadership is something built, it is learned, and the best are committed to it. Is encouragement required to become great? Does feedback affect outcomes of success or a lack of it?

Encouragement and Trophies

Encouragement became popular with the participation trophy generation. The idea may have been that more encouragement led to great things. Give every kid a trophy, it is encouraging. People forgot though that the reality of life is not always so kind.

Are you building your career? Are you encouraging someone to build their own?

History Says

In the history of the United States, there have only been forty five Presidents. For General Motors, there have only been fourteen CEO’s, and perhaps there has only been one Albert Einstein, one Wernher von Braun, and one Charles Darwin.

Do genetics, family history, or a high intelligence quotient have something to do with success, perhaps, in some ways, yes. Others may cite luck, more opportunity, and the best connections as having a hand in success. Still, success seems to pop up from anywhere.

Encouragement and Confidence

People often become very good at something that interests them. Chances are great that interest sparked and grew to flames when encouragement boosted confidence. When pleasing onlookers felt rewarding and when the responsibility perform felt achievable.

Careers are often built from self-interests and a focus on successive accomplishments across time.

Career Encouragement

Not every ball player will turn pro, and of the many who do, only very few will leave a lasting mark in the record books. Only a few will become President of the United States, few will be the CEO of a century old business, and even fewer will lead monumental discoveries in science or physics.

One thing seems certain though, the people who work for something better and who are encouraged often attain it.

A career is built, career encouragement helps those on their journey to attain it.

Now is a good time to give more.

– 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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