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Posts Tagged ‘career development’

The Politics of PromotionMastering politics is essential for advancement in the workplace, particularly at the management or executive level. In The Politics of Promotion, executive coach Bonnie Marcus explains that talent and hard work are not enough; to get promoted the way men do, women must learn the unwritten rules of the game, gather insider information, manage their images, and build influence with key stakeholders and decision makers. By acknowledging and understanding the need for politics and using Marcus’ Political Toolkit, women can effectively navigate their organizations’ political landscapes to rapidly move ahead.

The author believes that:

  • Many women mistakenly believe that hard work and talent will eventually lead to promotion, and they ignore the importance of workplace politics. Their failure to establish and manage strategic professional relationships often leads to them being passed over for promotions or even asked to step down.
  • High-achieving women face obstacles their male counterparts do not, including subtle gender bias and self-limiting attitudes and behaviors. Factors that keep women from getting ahead include lack of confidence, fear of being seen as unlikable or aggressive, failure to delegate, having a negative view of office politics, and being excluded from informal networks.
  • Career advancement requires political savvy. By demonstrating their value proposition, understanding workplace culture and dynamics, forming strategic alliances, seeking mentorship and sponsorship, and committing to executive coaching, women can remove roadblocks and achieve their career goals.
  • To get ahead and stay ahead, women must master Marcus’ Political Toolkit. This toolkit contains five metaphorical tools–the Mirror, Magnifying Glass, Pass Go and Collect $200 Card, Get Out of Jail Free Card, and GPS–that can help women put abstract political concepts into practice.
  • Continued career advancement demands dedication, ongoing self-evaluation, and being aware of ever-changing workplace dynamics. Highly developed political skills become even more critical at the senior level. Women must continue to use the tools that got them to the top to stay on top, but with a slightly different focus.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

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120433648In Simple Is the New Smart, Rob Fazio emphasizes the importance of simplifying the pursuit of success. He offers working professionals and managers smart cuts for making inroads in their careers and achieving their goals, both at work and in life. His four foundations for success (psychological swagger, reading, leading, and accelerating) guide people to stay positive, be aware of their strengths and setbacks, build skills and abilities, and hold themselves accountable. Fazio develops these principles into 26 simple, straightforward strategies people can use to improve their focus and increase the probability of achieving their goals.

The author believes that:

In an increasingly complex world, it can be difficult for people to focus on what matters in life and in work. People can learn to reach their potential and achieve success through simplicity by following 26 small strategies, or smart cuts. These strategies constitute four foundations for success:

1. Psychological swagger. People’s attitudes greatly affect their ability to achieve their goals. It is important for professionals to banish doubts and insecurities, and instead focus on the positive. Learning to release control and adopting an ownership mindset can also help improve a person’s attitude.

2. Reading. People must be open to learning and able to develop self-awareness. They should acknowledge both their strengths and weaknesses, be aware of how others think of them, act with intention, and learn to be politically savvy.

3. Leading. Leaders are able to inspire innovation, motivate and persuade others, network, develop emotional intelligence, and master the art of conversation.

4. Accelerating. Effective leaders support a vision with a plan, build support for change, set priorities, refocus following setbacks, manage stress, and encourage others on the road to finding solutions.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

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the-mentor-myth

The Mentor Myth by Debby Carreau pokes a hole in the theory that having a mentor is essential for growing professionally and reaching the top rungs of the corporate ladder. The word “mentor” is an overused term. Instead, Carreau asserts that people are responsible for their own destiny. They are in control, not mentors who barely know them and are taking a passive interest in their careers. While mentors can be useful, there are much more effective approaches to career advancement. Smart professionals lead the way down their own career paths, and they are not afraid to take risks.

Professionals who want to be in full control of their careers and success should keep the following principles in mind:

  • Others are not in control a person’s career destiny. Supervisors, mentors, and coworkers are not responsible for how far another person advances in a career.
  • Mentors can be helpful but are not a career panacea. They are not as valuable to any one person’s career as some business books and career experts would have people believe.
  • Change happens. Planning is an important part of having a successful career, but unexpected events do occur. Smart professionals think strategically about their careers but are also flexible for when such events, such as market declines or industry disruptions, occur.
  • Complacency is a career killer. Many people take too long to make necessary changes in their careers, and they get stuck. Career planning is an ongoing effort and deserves dedicated time.
  • Failure is an opportunity for growth. The fear of failure stymies some professionals from taking risks, but each failure is a learning experience that makes most people stronger.
  • People are personally accountable for their own careers. Professionals who advance are those who always go beyond the bare minimum and do what they say they will do.
  • Hard work is not enough. People who work around the clock with the hope of getting noticed rarely receive the attention they crave. More productive for career growth is working hard and strategically thinking about how to move forward.

 

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

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career-courageKatie C. Kelley was a driven professional living out the dream she carefully constructed as a teenager: to have her own psychotherapy practice in Manhattan. Despite that success, she grew increasingly dissatisfied with her personal and professional life. In Career Courage, Kelley shares the knowledge she gained by transforming her life and finding true satisfaction. Kelley’s key message is that every person has the power to create a fulfilling career and personal life–it just takes time, courage, and careful planning. Each of the book’s chapters is designed to help readers find their true callings, and presents true stories of people who worked hard to make their own dreams come true.

People seeking to transform unfulfilling careers can create more satisfying lives by focusing on 10 keys to success:

  1. Motivation. People find true satisfaction when they figure out what really motivates them, and create a vision for their lives based on that knowledge.
  2. Confidence. Change is scary. Overcoming the fear of change requires self-confidence. Professionals can build up their confidence by exposing themselves to their fears in controlled doses.
  3. Risk. To find true satisfaction, professionals must think like entrepreneurs and take calculated risks. To increase their tolerance for risk, professionals should accept that bold moves are inherently risky, prepare in advance for setbacks, and not take setbacks personally.
  4. Character. Character is an essential ingredient for career success. Influential professionals should cultivate three key character traits: trustworthiness, transparency, and loyalty. These traits enable successful professionals to attract and hold people within their spheres of influence.
  5. Harmony. Harmony reinforces the balance between a successful career and happy home life. To create more harmony in their lives, professionals must learn to say no, delegate responsibility, and set boundaries.
  6. Strategic thinking. Implementing a vision requires careful step-by-step planning. Professionals can use strategic thinking to go from dreaming about changing careers to living lives that make them truly happy.
  7. Community. Most people long for more meaning in their lives, and being part of a community is one of the most effective ways to fill that need. Having a strong network of family, friends, and colleagues provides a powerful sense of belonging.
  8. Influence. The ability to influence people plays a vital role in personal and professional success. Although influencer styles vary, influencing is a skill that professionals should hone–or they will lose opportunities to more influential people.
  9. Fortune. While everyone should have a fulfilling career, short- and long-term financial security is also important. Professionals should keep money and emotions separate and determine what their values are regarding financial success.
  10. Pivots. Critical junctures, or pivot points, occur when professionals must decide whether to change directions or stay the course, such as after being laid off. Successful professionals learn to recognize pivot points and listen to their gut instincts.

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

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InBecoming the Boss Becoming the Boss, Lindsey Pollak provides insight on leadership styles, communicating, and resolving people issues for those who aspire to become business leaders, especially individuals in the millennial generation. The book covers preparation, personal branding, essential leadership qualities, prioritizing, delegating, and career growth. It also discusses the value of having mentors and mentoring others.

According to Pollak:

  • Before leading others, leaders must learn to lead themselves. They can build the right mind-sets and attitudes by reading, networking, training, and practicing leadership in their everyday lives. They must then craft their own personal leadership brands that incorporate four essential elements: visibility, differentiation, consistency, and authenticity.
  • By attending to their online personas, leaders can work to eliminate negative information and build positive virtual brands. Social media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter can be useful places to post professional biographies and links.
    The best leaders are good listeners. Listening helps leaders learn about their employees, communicate their expectations, and show others that they value outside input.
  • Leaders must communicate using the most effective and appropriate methods available. Conveying very sensitive information in person is usually the best choice. Emailing is appropriate for nearly all communications, but phone calls work best for urgent matters. Texting and instant messaging are quick and effective communication methods, but they should be reserved for casual interactions.
  • Leaders must delegate and prioritize tasks in order of their importance. They should give their full attention to each task rather than multitasking, and assign any work that does not require their personal attention to their employees.
  • Mentors help leaders achieve their career goals. There are five types of mentors: traditional, co-mentors, sponsors, peers, and parents.
  • Professional growth never ends. Leaders who decide to be great, stay humble, make committed decisions, and make their own rules are the most likely to reach their goals.

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

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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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