August 27, 2013

From "8 Pieces of Professional Advice I Didn't Want but Definitely Needed" by Jeff Haden

Jeff Haden is one of my favorite bloggers because he seems to talk about so much that I am experiencing myself, and offer great - and oftentimes unique - ideas. Here I present the most important (at least to me) five elements from his collection of eight:
  1. Express your individuality on your own time - Maintaining your integrity is vital, but there is a difference between staying true to yourself and just being yourself.
  2. Face value has no value - There is always more to the story. Don't fail to look deeper.
  3. They're just as scared as you - The playing field is always more level than it seems.
  4. Shut up - Realize that sometimes you're talking only because you are interested in what you're saying. Never speak just to please yourself.
  5. Pick something you believe in and stick to it - Choose something you can do that actually helps you perform better, and start doing it.

August 22, 2013

"No person will make a great business who wants to do it all himself or get all the credit."
 - Andrew Carnegie
"The winners in life think constantly in terms of 'I am', 'I can', and 'I will'. Losers, on the other hand concentrate their waking thoughts on what they should have or would have done, or what they can't do."

"Leadership is doing what is right when no one is looking."
 - George Van Valkenburg

August 19, 2013

"How to Stop Choking Under Pressure" by Jeff Haden

Here are main points from the article written by one of my favorites!

How to Stop Choking Under Pressure
1. Practice the Basics
    * Run through it several times and smooth out the kinks
    * Make sure you can perform on autopilot
    * Think about the most likely questions or interruptions and rehearse responses

2. Rework the Basics
    * Change up the order so you know it backwards and forwards

3. Practice the "What Ifs"
    * Prepare for things that can make you freeze

4. Visualize
    * Mentally rehearse, and rehearse how you will react to the "what ifs"

5. Create Solution "Shelves"
    * Store your mentally rehearsed reactions for later use so you don't have to think on your feet

6. Learn From Close Calls
    * Close calls let you learn painlessly
    * Visualize the solution afterwards and put it on your Solution "Shelf" for later use

August 15, 2013

"The way to get things done is not to mind who gets the credit for doing them."
"Wise are those who learn that the bottom line doesn't always have to be their top priority."

August 9, 2013

Lessons from "Leadership Secrets of Atillia the Hun" by Wess Roberts

I have to admit that most of the books I have gone through so far this year have been an adventure, including the ones I haven't even posted about yet.

Not so with this book. It was trying, to say the least. I actually had to quit reading it and us a getAbstract to finish it, it was just that bad. Still, there were a few nuggets of gold found within its pages, and so I present them:
  • Articulate a goal everyone can understand.
  • Remain open to adopting new techniques if others' ideas are working better than yours.
  • Do not commit yourself to a course of action until you fully understand its implications.
  • Encourage others to be creative and innovative as long as their activities fit the group's overall goals.
  • Encourage competition, but do not let it detract from attaining common goals.
  • If you have to work hard to get other people to agree with your choice, it probably isn't a wise decision.
  • Skepticism will help you avoid bad decisions.
  • Only lose your tempter when you stand to gain by it.
If you're interested in taking on the task of trying to read this book yourself, you can find it at Amazon here.

August 6, 2013

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

In 1943 a psychologist, Abraham Maslow, came up with a theory to describe human behavior with respect to needs and wants being met. This theory was called the Hierarchy of Needs, and it shows that when people are unable to fulfill their needs and wants at a certain level, they will seek baser levels for fulfillment; and how if needs and wants are met then people will move to upper levels.

(click the photo for a .PDF copy)

Using this hierarchy, one can easily determine what level he or she is at and take the necessary steps to solve issues regarding needs and wants.

For instance, if you find yourself working extra hard to make sure you have stable employment or resources, this means you may be giving undue focus to your Safety Needs level. This could indicate that your Love and Belonging level is lacking and so you are trying to exhibit control over a lower level in order to retain some level of power in your life.

Conversely, if you are having issues with, say, being respected or having confidence (your Esteem level), it could be that you haven't completely fulfilled your needs and wants in your Love and Belonging level.

While these things are only theory, it is extremely useful as a gauge of where you are and where you would like to be.

August 5, 2013

Branding Yourself

There are over six billion people in the world, and the UN estimates that by 2050 there will be nine billion.

That's a lot of people! It is vitally important that you "stand out" if you are going to make it in today's world, which is why personal branding has become an increasingly popular concept.

Remember the movie, Pulp Fiction? When Vincent and Jules had a major problem, they hired Mr. Wolf. And the first thing he told them is, "I solve problems." Nothing more, nothing less. This is his personal brand, we know this because his reputation - his brand - was the very reason he was hired to begin with.

So, how does one develop his own personal brand? You want to find one or two words that describe you best, a catchy phrase or even a mantra. Something simple and quick, which makes you uniquely identifiable.

Here are a few key questions to help you along:
  1. What are you best at?
  2. What are you the "go to" person for?
  3. When colleagues describe you to someone else, do they call you "The King of X"?
  4. In what areas of your field do you have critical knowledge that others lack?
Once you decide what to brand yourself, don't forget to market that brand!