Happy Halloween

How exciting is it that my Wednesday posting falls on Halloween?  What’s there to say?  I have absolutely dressed up for work, even though no one does.  What I mean by dressed up is I am wearing the right Halloween colors in a work appropriate way, black pencil skirt and stockings with wild orange heels and shirt!  Are you dressing up for work?  If not, what are your kids wearing for this wonderful holiday?  Below are some neat diy ideas I came across:

Too cute!     Homemade costumes! A whole website of  hundreds of costume ideas.     Hundreds of creative DIY Halloween costume ideas, and tips on how to find costumes dirt cheap.     adorable couple costume!     EASY Jellyfish costume     raining cats and dogs diy costume

Good luck in your trick or treating adventures and Happy Howl-0ween!

What did you do today?

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Reading Material – Build Magazine, The Catalog of Ideas

Someone at work has turned me on to a new business magazine.  It is called Build, The Catalog of Ideas, and I think it is truly amazing.  There are longer articles about creating stories that make what you do more compelling to customers to shorter graphical what I’ll call notes.  Topics span from Managing People to tips how to maintain Work/Life Balance.  Today I’ll focus on…the need for expanding skill sets.

I thought the best way to make you see the value of this magazine, or at least encourage you to check out their website, would be to highlight some of the articles in the various sections of the magazine.  So here goes…

This is from the:
Training & Development section.  The article is titled, New Hires Can Help Longtime Employees Ramp Up Their Skills.  The bolded text states, “One of the thorniest challenges any senior executive faces is deciding what to do about employees who may – or may not – have reached the limits of their capacity.  It happens often at fast-growth companies, as the skill sets required can change almost overnight.”

Communication section. The short note is titled, An Exercise in Team Building that Ruined the Team.  “I [once] worked in a team that was having trouble getting along, so they brought in [a consultant].  First activity?  We had to go around the room and say what we didn’t like about each other.  We might have also had to add what we did like, but I only remember the criticisms and people bursting into tears.  We went from simply not being able to work together to actively disliking each other in about 30 minutes.  Then we ate a boxed lunch and ended the day by filling out personality tests.”

Meetings section.  This informational graphic is titled, Of the 5 ways to communicate in meetings, only 2 really work.  The author crosses out the 3 that don’t, which are “…3. Information sharing, 4. Sharing Personal News, 5. Debating, Decision Making, Point Proving”  It is said that two that work the most effectively are “1. Requests, When you need something from another person at the table, your request should be clear and precise…2. Promises, These are commitments, by a person or people at the table, to fulfill requests.  This is why specificity is important…”

Customer Centricity section.  The title here says it all, No matter what product or service you sell, it must be designed for us without needing explanation.  “There are no instructions; that’s how the world works.  Nothing comes with an instruction manual anymore.”

So what are you waiting for?  Sign up for this amazing quarterly magazine and learn a little about all topics and not just one.  Go on, expand your skill set!

What did you do today?

Backing into Your Future

I’ve never really thought about taking a step back and backing into a future.  People always think about what steps they need to take to get to a certain future position.  But what I’ve never thought about is thinking about that future “end place” and then thinking backwards from.  This is a great tip for when you’re interviewing and are asked that silly question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”  You can give an answer and then say, and this is step 1, or two or three, wherever you are in your career.  This will make you sound more knowledgeable about what you want in the end but also shows that you understand what you need to do, hopefully showing your growth potential within a company.

So what does the Fast Company article titled, The Wisdom of the Two Steps Forward, One Step Back Career Plan, tell you?  Well, they’ve come up with an acronym, PLAN.

“P stands for People and Praise. Find people you can discuss your career with. L stands for Learning. Open your world and identify resources that will keep you growing. Look inside your work world by exploring online courses and other training and development opportunities.  A stands for Assessment. Assess your current strengths, weaknesses, and value in relation to your career possibilities. Are there gaps in your current skills or experience that need to be addressed?  N stands for getting past No. Design strategies for dealing with negative situations such as rejection, obstacles, or failures.”

Do you agree with these points?  What are your own tips?

What did you do today?

Reboot Your Skills

I am always one for fine tuning, expanding, and adding to your skill set.  Knowing that, I was pretty thrilled to come across an article that talked about some essential skills that are lacking in the C suite of a lot of corporations. 

The key skill this Forbes article focused on was change leadership.  I’m sure there are many of us out there who are in a situation described in the article, “You wake up to discover that a smaller player has made a bold bid to acquire a significant competitor — a move that would catapult it into the big leagues — and one that will change how you need to think about the market. Or your innovative new product that is due out in three months is suddenly beaten to the finish by someone else. Or your data cloud has been hacked, exposing millions of clients’ personal information. Analysts want to know what you’re going to do…”

Sometimes it is hard to see past what is happening right around you, even I struggle with it sometimes, but you eventually have to do whatever you can to dig out, look around, and think long term.  To be able to do that, I think everyone needs a little bit of change leadership training.  In fact, I think it should be a “must do” during any kind if integration, acquisition, merger, buy out, etc.  If you are looking for some free resources, here is one pdf that was published by UC Davis that talk about leadership challenges during change, managing people during organizational transitions, and rebuilding trust.

What will you do to lead through change?

What did you do today?

P.S. Here are the articles I referred to in this blog post:
* Essential Skills Lacking in C Suite Leaders
* Leadership Challenges During Change

LinkedIn Endorsements

UPDATE:On October 4th, LinkedIn rolled out a redesign to its company pages. If you manage a company page, then I highly suggest you log on and check this out. You can now have a cover photo, similar to Facebook’s cover photo…now back to the post.

Have you been endorsed yet? If you have no idea what I’m talking about then I highly suggest that you read an article titled, LinkedIn Debuts Endorsements as a Lightweight Way to Recommend a Professional Contact’s Skills.  Never mind, you might not even need to read the article, the title sums this whole new phenomenon up quite nicely!

So what ARE these endorsements?  They are mini recommendations, and who doesn’t like that?  You can still of course write a full fledged recommendation but it’s also nice to show people that others see that you really are good at the skills that you’ve mentioned in your job summaries.  Also, it allows for a quicker return on your investment.  The investment being, adding in your skills and expertise and endorsing someone and the return being an endorsement back from the person that you so kindly endorsed.  It’s all about ROI people! 🙂

However, I had one question, does this help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?  What I mean is, and if you look around this blog you’ll find my accumulated tips on how you can make your LinkedIn profile into an effective and optimized machine, by getting more endorsements on certain skills, does this bump you up in the search rankings when others are searching for certain skills?  I mean, you’d THINK that was the point of this whole exercise…besides allowing others to see what skills you and others claim you are good at.

Well, our questions were answered in that same article I mentioned above, “…this also adds more data to the network, so that anyone can see who has been recommended highly for a specific skill.”  So endorse away!  Kindly endorse someone you know and before you know it they will, hopefully, endorse you back!

What did you do today?  Did you endorse someone?