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Archive for the ‘Personal Development’ Category

Compassionate CareersMembers of today’s young Millennial generation strive to become part of something bigger than themselves. Despite the social stigmas, family objections, and financial concerns that have typically deterred people from cause-driven work, many young people today are seeking compassionate careers in cause-focused organizations. By following the nine-step framework detailed by Jeffrey W. Pryor and Alexandra Mitchell in Compassionate Careers, young people can discover what they truly care about, explore their opportunities, build their connections, and get started in their pursuits of compassionate careers. The framework can be applied to navigate young people toward the paths that will bring meaning into both their work and personal lives.

According to the authors, young people should do the following when trying to decide on a career path:

  • Find a path with a heart. Young people want to make a difference in the world, and opportunities abound across the globe. Between nonprofits, foundations, corporate social responsibility firms, and social enterprise organizations, young people have many opportunities to find compassionate careers.
  • Overcome social stigma. Some young people have hesitations about working in cause-focused organizations. The most common hesitations revolve around professional status, family support, integrity and trust, compensation, and prospects for diversity.
  • Begin change with a spark. Young people are typically inspired by role models, their communities, or epiphanies. Once inspired, they must decide which causes matter most to them.
  • Turn angst to action. Many young people are inspired by life’s challenges. When this happens, they must reassess their priorities and advocate for their causes.
  • Explore the options. When considering compassionate careers, young people must think about their personal preferences, stress levels, culture fits, and brands. Once they have identified the types of organizations they want to work for, they should develop their educational backgrounds and professional networks.
  • Navigate by choice. Young people should be aware of organizations that do nothing to invest in their future. They must know what they want to achieve and develop their own paths forward.
  • Consider jobs without borders. International opportunities are plentiful, but before going global, young people must consider if they have a spirit of adventure. If they do, they must also consider their families and interdependence issues before deciding to go abroad.
  • Become the River Keepers. Young people in compassionate careers must be grateful to the River Keepers, the people who came before them and paved the way. As they become River Keepers themselves, young people must work hard to contribute to the character and quality of others’ lives.
  • Get started. To get started on the path toward compassionate careers, young people must identify their values, overcome their concerns, explore their resources and opportunities, and navigate toward making money while also making a difference.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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How to Be HappyIn How to Be Happy, Liggy Webb explores the meaning of happiness and provides a toolkit of approaches and techniques to build confidence and resilience in order to become a healthier and happier person. Her comprehensive treatment explains the key elements leading to happiness, including the importance of a positive attitude, being the best that you can be, maintaining physical and mental fitness, handling stress, managing change, developing resiliency, engaging in lifelong learning, nurturing positive relationships, appreciating life and its gifts, cultivating kindness, and loving and serving others.

According to Webb:

  • Happiness is a journey, not a destination. You can make the decision to be happier, if you really want it. Achieving happiness takes practice and the ability to work out your own plan for accomplishing it.
  • In defining happiness, it is important to appreciate what you have. Do not let a constant, undefined search divert you from that. “How can I become happier?” is probably a better question than “Am I happy?”
  • Developing and sustaining a positive mental attitude is the key to health and happiness. When faced with a problem, view it as an opportunity and seek out possibilities and solutions.
  • Be open and positive toward change, occasionally stepping out of your comfort zone. Understand the emotions that change can bring and learn to deal with them. Challenge your own limiting beliefs, develop your self-confidence, and believe in yourself.
  • Investing in good health is essential. Exercise every day, drink lots of water, and eat a healthy diet.
  • Learn to limit and manage stress. Be assertive in your communications and dealings, seek the benefits in change, and avoid imposing stress on yourself. Become resilient by turning problems into opportunities.
  • Constant learning promotes mental health and happiness. Learn in multiple ways, improve memory skills, teach others what you have learned, and put what you have learned into practice.
  • Cultivate positive, nurturing relationships. Accept and celebrate differences, develop your communications skills, be more understanding and empathetic, and treat others as you would have them treat you.
  • Sustainable happiness requires finding your own work-home balance. Be sure to establish priorities and manage your time more effectively.
  • Gratitude is an indispensable aspect of health, wholeness, and well-being. Decide to be grateful and wake up with that attitude. Focus on giving and cultivate the habit of saying “thank you.”
  • *The key to a happy life is identifying and pursuing your own purpose, with the intent of making the world a better place. Lead by example, respect and value others, commit random acts of kindness, and support charities.

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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Time ManagementTime is a precious asset that cannot be reclaimed. Once it is used, it is gone forever. These days, many people find themselves stressed and feeling out of control from never having enough time to do what they should and want to do. Author Brian Tracy claims it is not a lack of time but rather the mismanagement of time that causes these issues. In Time Management, Tracy provides insights about the consequences of mismanaging time as well as practical techniques that anyone can learn and master in order to gain control over their time and achieve both professional and personal success.

Successful time management is based on the following principles:

  1. Time is a precious asset. Time is an asset that cannot be replaced. Once used, it is gone forever. Therefore, making the most of time becomes increasingly important.
  2. Time management is all about confidence and control. Individuals who have high self-esteem have the confidence to set parameters on how their time is used. Those who feel out of control and as if they never have enough time are letting others determine their fate and will benefit from using techniques to develop a more positive self-image and a decisive attitude.
  3. Effectively managing time depends on having a clear vision, values, and goals. If people do not know where they are going and why, they are wasting their time. A strong sense of individual purpose that aligns with daily activities drives time management practices that lead to achieving goals.
  4. Good time management is plan-based. Effective time management does not just happen. It requires thoughtful planning and a series of written activities–such as checklists, project plans, and prioritization systems–that can be repeatedly referenced and adjusted as circumstances change.
  5. The most important work should be allotted the largest amount of time. Much of people’s time is wasted on the easy-to-do and less important tasks. Often this means never devoting enough time to the really important activities–those that lead to professional success and personal fulfillment. People should always do the important work first. They should give these tasks the most attention.
  6. Focus and clarity are paramount. Multi-tasking, distractions, and interruptions are all big time wasters. To be effective, individuals must focus on one task at a time and take control over factors that interrupt focus or distract from clear thinking.
  7. Anyone can learn to more effectively manage their time. People can learn time management skills. They should practice these skills repeatedly. Developing good habits control how people spend their time.

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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