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Archive for the ‘Career Development’ Category

What I Didn't Learn in Business SchoolMany of the widely accepted strategy tools taught in business schools do not apply in the real world. In What I Didn’t Learn in Business School, Jay B. Barney and Trish Gorman Clifford relate the fictional story of Justin Campbell, a recent MBA graduate. Through the story, the authors show that traditional strategy tools do not work because they do not take into account the ways that human interactions and individual goals interfere in the workplace.

According to the authors:

  • Many strategy tools taught in business school do not take into account how human interactions and office politics interfere with decision-making processes.
  • Assumptions may work in the classroom for demonstration purposes, but they will not be adequate in the real world. Different assumptions lead to vastly different outcomes in real-world scenarios.
  • One of the hardest skills to learn is how to remain objective and base decisions on facts and research. Sometimes it is easy to take what others say at face value, but all information should be verified and questioned.
  • When attempting to get buy-in from leadership, it is important to identify those on the executive team who oppose the idea. Most effort should be spent convincing these individuals.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

 

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Coach Yourself to WinPeople have the ability to change many of the behaviors that hinder their success at work and in their personal lives. But self-improvement takes self-scrutiny, honesty, and effort. Additionally, it requires a knowledgeable, objective guide and a circle of supporters. In Coach Yourself to Win, leadership development expert Howard M. Guttman explains the most effective self-coaching techniques and how to find the most promising helpers. Importantly, he also offers proven strategies that will help readers rebound from setbacks and adjust their goals in order to maintain a lifetime commitment to positive, observable change.

According to Guttman:

  • Successful self-coaching begins with the firm belief that a positive outcome is achievable and worth a significant effort. This belief is rooted in an awareness of one’s current, observable behavior; the ability, readiness, and willingness to change; and the commitment to making the change permanent.
  • Setting intention is the first step toward bringing about a desired behavior change. Intentions provide focus, galvanize energy, and prompt individuals to take action.
  • No one should undertake self-coaching alone. Self-coachers need guides, or mentors, to help them stay on track, as well as circles of supporters to provide additional help, advice, and feedback.
  • Feedback, a vital part of the self-coaching process, is verbal or nonverbal communication that provides information about how the recipient’s behavior affects others. Framing questions appropriately and asking them during personal interviews will help ensure that the feedback is useful and facilitates a constructive response.
  • Self-coachers must be able to analyze feedback objectively and rationally. Receiving negative feedback can be hurtful and difficult, but good self-coachers learn to respond in positive ways without defensiveness.
  • The proof of a strong intention is a workable plan. In addition to being focused on intentions, good plans are realistic and simple. They build in contingencies, set time lines, and cover all the bases involved in implementation.
  • Barriers to the successful achievement of intention can occur at any time in the self-coaching process. The best way for people to deal with unexpected obstacles is to continually reassess their progress and, if necessary, rethink their original plans and intentions.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

 

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Kiss Your But GoodbyeEveryone has flaws, but many people fail to realize how their flaws are impeding their career progress. For people to reach their potential, they need to recognize and manage their “BUTs,” the shortcomings that hold them back. When colleagues, managers, and senior leaders talk about others, they almost always discuss their weaknesses in the same way. They may say something like, “She works hard, but she takes on too many projects and cannot prioritize.” Or, they may say, “He is extremely intelligent, but he fails to connect with others.” The biggest problem with BUTs is that the people in possession of them cannot see them. Everyone has at least one BUT, so everyone needs a strategy for recognizing and overcoming them. Kiss Your But Goodbye by Joe Azelby and Bob Azelby provides a humorous guide to doing so.

There are ways for people to overcome their shortcomings, or at least reduce their impact. This process includes understanding the following:

  1. Recognize that everyone has at least one “BUT” that needs to be addressed. These are the weaknesses that people talk about when assessing others. For example, people may say that John has great marketing skills but cannot close a sale. He needs to overcome that BUT in order to advance in his career.
  2. People need help to find their BUTs, and that help needs to come from honest, straightforward colleagues and managers who will not sugarcoat their assessments. BUTs result from aptitude, personality, and behavior, and those elements provide both a way to identify BUTs and a way to overcome them.
  3. Many people avoid dealing with their BUTs because they prefer to avoid pain and change. However, they are suffering now as a result of their BUTs, and the effort expended on the change will be returned when the benefits of a reduced BUT are realized.
  4. People reduce the size of their BUTs through increased self-awareness and sincere effort to change their behaviors. These efforts need to be clear to colleagues so they can help in the BUT-reduction process.
  5. One very effective way to reduce the impact of a BUT is to partner with someone who has a complementing strength. For example, people who are good strategic thinkers but lack detailed planning skills can partner with people who love to plan everything.
  6. During reviews, managers may avoid telling employees about their BUTs. For small BUTs, managers are more likely to say something because they believe the flaws can be reduced. For large BUTs, however, managers often avoid saying anything, and employees fail to progress. Therefore, it is vitally important for people who want to advance in their careers to proactively identify their own BUTs with the help of trusted advisers.
  7. Managers have BUTs too, which can make their employees miserable. They may micromanage or have blind spots. Employees can increase their own value by acting to counteract their managers’ BUTs.
  8. Instituting a workplace culture that encourages frank discussion of everyone’s BUTs can make the organization a better place to work. It can also make the company more productive and profitable.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

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What's Next, Gen X?Stuck behind a large generation of Boomer leaders, challenged by an eager generation of Millennial whiz kids, and facing the tough mid-career years, Generation X faces a multitude of challenges in the workplace. In What’s Next, Gen X?, award-winning author and organizational demographics expert Tamara Erickson explains what has shaped the members of Generation X and how they can successfully apply their unique traits to get what they want in the next phases of their personal and professional lives. The book takes an in-depth look at the past events that have influenced Generation X, examines today’s evolving workplace, and offers insight into future leadership possibilities.

As Generation X employees work hard to keep up with other generations and move ahead into more fulfilling careers, they must:

  • Understand what shaped Generation X. Born between 1965 and 1979, members of Generation X experienced social change and uncertainty in their formative teen years. From a stagnant economy to technological innovation and the rise of alternative rock, Generation X teenagers learned to distrust corporate life, value their friends over their families, and develop global empathy.
  • Figure out where Generation X stands today. Members of Generation X face risky financial positions as they continue to raise small children, care for aging parents, and pay off college debts and home mortgages.
  • Know what the other four generations are thinking. Generation X shares the workplace with four other generations: Traditionalists, Boomers, Millennials, and the Re-Generation. Each group thinks and behaves differently, and to be successful, Generation X employees must know how to interact with colleagues from every cohort.
  • Reset life and work priorities. Members of Generation X have many shared desires, including control, affluence, balance, and to be good parents.
  • Look at the changing workplace. The nature and availability of work is changing for Generation X. With the advancement of technology, Generation X can work from anywhere and at any time. As Generation X expects more flexibility in work arrangements, the employee-employer power balance will be forced to shift.
  • Make organizations work for them. Most Generation X employees work within organizations. To be successful at work, they must maximize their effectiveness, leverage what they do, expand their options for greater long-term career sustainability, and balance the demands of their organizations with the other priorities in their lives.
  • Find alternative workplaces. Generation X employees are more likely to work independently, establish entrepreneurial ventures, join small firms, and juggle multiple jobs than employees of other generations.
  • Become next generation leaders. Generation X will need to create work environments that support innovation. To do this, leaders will need to increase collaborative capacity, ask compelling questions, embrace complexity, shape organizational identity, and appreciate diversity.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

 

 

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The Next Gen LeaderIn The Next Gen Leader, Robert C. McMillan argues that everyone is a leader and should be recognized as such if organizations are to succeed and excel in today’s dynamic, competitive marketplace. Acting as a leadership coach, McMillan provides a complete 6G Leadership System to enable emerging, aspiring, and executive leaders to maximize their potential and become transformational leaders. He identifies six generations of leadership and discusses the attitudes and states of mind that are required to operate successfully at each leadership level.

McMillan offers readers the following advice:

  • Despite different experiences and different career journeys, everyone can be a leader. The 6G Leadership System provides a tracking system to identify where people are and offers a pathway forward to enable people to become transformational leaders.
  • Leadership is a choice, not a position. Individuals should choose to lead, regardless of their positions in the hierarchy, and organizations should create environments where everyone is encouraged to lead.
  • To truly maximize leadership potential, people must first have universal balance in their lives. They can evaluate this balance and improve it by exploring six life applications, which assess faith, moral purpose, intellect, self-awareness, relationships, and wealth (financial and health).
  • Every aspiring leader needs to understand the Six Senses of Leadership (seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching, and kinesthetic) are critical in order to become a leader of significance. These senses yield awareness that one is a leader, regardless of position, pay, or power.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

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The Economy of YouWith the American economy still recovering from the recent recession, many people feel trapped in unstable employment with shrinking prospects. The search for financial security and deeper meaning has created a rising interest in side-gigging, the practice of developing second ventures in addition to regular employment. With the Internet, social media, and digital solutions creating new and varied opportunities to connect with potential clients around the globe, side-giggers are living in a golden age of low costs, high potential, and incredible impact. In The Economy of You, Kimberly Palmer explores the phenomenon of side-gigging by analyzing its popularity and demonstrating its vast appeal and potential for success. Weaving her own personal story together with the testimonies of other passionate side-giggers, Palmer offers a roadmap to building a successful side venture and taking control of “the economy of you.”

Palmer presents several tips and tricks to unravel the mystery of a successful side-gig, including:

  • Giving a compelling reason for creating a side-gig. Many successful side-giggers have a single event, experience, or motivation that drives them toward alternate and additional employment. Having an overarching theme creates energy and clarity of focus.
  • Having a plan. As with any major effort, plans are incredibly important for a potential side-gig. Palmer advocates breaking down the processes of creation, formation, and operation into small, manageable steps that follow logically after one another.
  • Taking advantage of the wonders of technology to cut costs and raise funds. The Internet allows potential side-giggers to accomplish a lot for relatively little. Additionally, expanding the reach of an idea and tapping into different forums can create allies and uncover potential funding sources.
  • Connecting with like-minded people. Allies are important, especially in the fluid and often confusing world of the side-gig. Palmer recommends that people establish connections and meaningful relationships with others who are engaged in the same pursuits and passions to channel inspiration and receive helpful advice.
  • Building a brand. A powerful personal brand is a must for successful side-giggers. They must build strong reputations to better promote their side-gigs to wider audiences.
  • Remembering that “time is money.” Successful side-giggers balance the demands of multiple jobs and their family and personal lives by actively creating time for each activity. Waking up early, consolidating activities, and creating space in between scheduled events can greatly increase productivity.
  • Keep trying. In a new and uncertain side-gig environment, failure is a rite of passage to greater experience and stability. The key to success in the side-gig economy lies in how proponents respond to failure.
  • Giving back. Many side-giggers derive a great sense of satisfaction from hiring others like themselves or devoting their energies to social causes. Participating in meaningful activities creates a “ripple effect” of positive outcomes.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

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Today’s business professionals are busier than ever before, and this can lead to a decrease in independent learning and knowledge acquisition. How can companies do a better job at helping their employees access, understand, and apply information? How should they go about designing content to help employees perform better on the job? These questions and more will be answered on Wednesday, February 12th during a free webinar sponsored by EBSCO.

In his webinar “Learn Better and Faster: Helping On-Demand Learners in an On-Demand Era,” Ray Jimenez, chief learning architect at Vignettes Learning, will present on the topic of on-demand learning and how companies can better help employees with their continuous learning needs.

To register, visit: http://www.trainingmagnetwork.com/welcome/ebsco_feb12

 

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