Tag: Career

Professionalism: How Do You Demonstrate It In Your Own Personal Way?

Leadership Lesson: When working toward something, it’s key to balance what we perceive as important in what we want to learn with the value that we already have, making sure not to let go of what is so special about ourselves.

What does it mean to “be professional?”

Last week, I was approached by a recent graduate who had reached out for some advice on how they could build up their professionalism. They had sent me a message based on a presentation I had given on emotional intelligence and leadership in the virtual world and my own coaching experience.

What ensued was a great conversation, with me asking them certain questions to get them thinking about…


What Would Someone Write About You In A Letter of Reference?

Leadership Lesson: To understand your best attributes, as well as areas which need improvement, it’s advantageous to consider how a letter of reference for you would read.

It’s always great to help someone else out, making sure they’re empowered to reach what they’re working for. Not enough opportunities exist in which each of us can thoroughly highlight someone else’s strengths to others, spelling out exactly how others would benefit from that person’s skills. Just as scarce are the instances in which someone can see such a review of their own efforts and character.

There are no everyday, common instances to share that information about someone else or see it about ourselves.

One of the few mechanisms in which people…


From The Twitterverse: Elon Musk, Your Most Difficult Problems, and How You Solved Them

Leadership Lesson: What someone considers a problem — and how they address it and all the factors surrounding it — demonstrates a lot about how they pay attention to what is around them, their self-awareness, and how they learn from their experiences.

What’s your problem?

Ok, most of us have several. Let’s not go through the list of today’s. But name one from your past. A tough one. What was it? How did you deal with it? How did it change you?

The reason I ask is that I recently came across the tweet below which mentions how Elon Musk weeds people out in interviews. He asks the question: “What were the most difficult problems you faced and how…


Not Being Where You Think You Should Be In Your Career Can Be A Learning Experience

Leadership Lesson: When feeling as if you’ve wasted too much time before finally landing your desired job, there’s power in reassessment — looking back at all your experiences and realizing they’ve all served a purpose.

I was speaking to someone recently who had finally landed the job they wanted. After years of working other less-satisfying jobs here and there, while applying and interviewing for other, more-desired jobs, they were able to finally get a job they felt would provide them true satisfaction.

They finally felt as if they’d reached the first steps of their own personal success.

They felt like their true career could finally begin.

During that conversation, though, they lamented that they felt they had wasted so much…


What People Teach Us: We Should Broker Relationships To Build The Best Value

Leadership Lesson: Aside from helping those you know you can, it’s important to be sure to make connections for others you may not be able to help yourself.

Picture this: An actor, last known to many from a show in the 1980’s, has his picture posted on social media with the intention of shaming him for doing “menial” work today, bagging groceries in a grocery store. The assumption of the thinking, presumably, is that because the person was on TV early in his career, he shouldn’t be doing manual labor of any kind later.

But, instead, the post goes viral with the opposite effect, with most coming to his defense, saying there’s nothing wrong with someone…


To All The Graduates: From Now On, You May Be At The Mercy Of Other People

At this point in life, more than any other, every one of you is bound to receive tips and advice from your various circles of family, friends, and confidants. Some of those bits of advice you may have already heard, while others you may have not.

Regardless of whether you have or not, or whether you believe you understand the meaning or not, when it comes to that advice, whoever it is who provides it to you, get their story. Be curious enough about their experiences to reconcile what it is they’ve seen in life to the advice they’ve decided to share with you.

Don’t let words of advice ring hollow, becoming, in effect, clichés….


In General, Do We Need To Prime Every Person or Student As If They’re The Next Leader?

Leadership Lesson: It’s important to understand that, although they will contribute meaningful value in other ways, not all people want (or need) to be leaders.

An article in The Atlantic, titled “Why are American colleges obsessed with leadership? What’s wrong with being a follower? Or a lone wolf.,” questions the need – or “obsession,” as labeled by the writer – of American higher education institutions to build the next generation of great leaders.

Much like various other discussions, a question underlying this article is whether or not someone can just be a follower — that there is no need to work necessarily toward all-powerful, upper-most tier of leadership.

There is some truth in the…


What’s In Your Collection? General Leadership Lessons Can Transcend Across The Ages

True leadership ability has no face. It has no title. Leadership isn’t limited to the few, but possible by the masses. It can be practiced by anyone.

Leadership is not about demonstrating power but encouraging it. Through that encouragement, it sets the tone and example for one’s environment, partners, colleagues, and acquaintances. It’s about being able to make the most out of one’s surroundings, through that encouragement and other proactive steps.

Leadership is not just going along with the crowd due to what’s popular or simple, but instead seeking betterment and improvement for all in new ideas where and when available, necessary, and possibly risky.

Much like confidence, leadership is not a learned skill but a realization of an ability, followed…


My One Message To The Graduates In Order To Help You: Challenge Me

To you, as a graduate, here is a tip of tremendous value I can provide to you: Challenge Me.

Before we get to why, let me offer you congratulations on your graduation! This is a tremendous achievement in and of itself, but even more tremendous if you do all that you can to build off of it.

Whether it’s a high school diploma, or an undergraduate, graduate, or doctorate degree, you’re further along your path of knowledge (and self-discovery) than when you first entered your most recent program or institution. And with that progression you advance into a new level of development and self-awareness.

Do you know how to approach it?

Do you know enough to stop and ask,…


If You’re Stagnant And Spinning Your Wheels, You May Be B.O.B.

Leadership Lesson: If you don’t take advantage of the skills and knowledge your people want to contribute, they’ll burn out because they have no platform in which to burn off that energy.

Burnt…Out…Bored.

Are you Burnt Out Bored? So much of your talent, not only not taken for granted but not taken…at all.  You might have been hired or brought into a position that you now feel doesn’t necessarily tap into your true ability and drive.

It’s safe to say that there are limitations in the candidate interviewing stage as an interviewer and an interviewee can only get to know each other so much over the course of the process. In that stage, there’s no way to know the full potential…


Everyone Can Teach You Something, If You Just Watch How They Carry Themselves

Free lessons in leadership exist in the everyday. They’re everywhere; you just need (and want) to look around and take stock of them.

Again, leadership exists everywhere and not just in those who have official titles or positions of “leadership” such as management. So look to the actions of those around you whose actions and demeanor work in tandem to develop, influence, encourage, build, and foster growth and value.

You should keep a lookout for these everyday lessons because leadership is a work-in-progress. It is something that needs refinement, growth, and development. Although there are training programs, certifications, and other educational formats for leadership development, the best lessons can be culled from everyday real-life interactions.

“…maybe we…


Do You Understand The True Value You Provide To Others?

Your value, in large part, is made up of your skill, experience, time, work ethic, and quality, among other things. It is what you can deliver, what you can be, and what you can provide to make any situation, person, or experience better, whether inside or outside of the workplace.

Value is also the measure by which we might be perceived.  It provides the answer to the question What is it a person can provide to make something better?  It is what we provide to others, and vice versa.  In those exchanges value can be provided through guidance, help, and support as well as enhancement, betterment, and success.

It can serve as a currency, demonstrating worth or reputation, and some people…


Return on Time and Just Plain ROT — Look Out For Them Both!

There are two types of particular ROT. One is Return on Time (ROT) and the other is, well, rot.

Upper-case ROT and lower-case rot are each spelled in their respective ways for a reason. The former serves as an acronym for Return on Time (ROT), representing a gauge or measurement such as Return on Investment (ROI) or Return on Assets (ROA), etc., and the latter carries less prominence and value, as signified by the lower-case letters, and means exactly how it is spelled. It is no acronym; it’s just rot.

“…Whether it is in the workplace or in the personal life, it’s always important to keep track and take stock of what is beneficial and valuable…”

As with any “Return…


If You Dismiss Your Needs Too Quickly, You May Be Leaving Money On The Table

Consider yourself first. Support yourself first. Trust yourself first.

All of these pieces of advice might sound selfish, but they ring true from the standpoint that one has to take care of oneself in order to give the strongest effort to both build their best life and impact others in the greatest possible way.

Sometimes we lose sight of ourselves. It’s as if we only focus on what we can physically see–which is everything and everyone else we come across. It’s as if we don’t notice that we exist until we look in the mirror at the start of, sporadically throughout, and at the end of, each day.

Too easily, we can get in the habit of reacting to everything around…


Hopefully You Realize That All Your Value Is Not Captured On Your Resume

We’ve always been told universities and colleges like to see a broad spectrum and balanced representation of activities on a candidate’s application, much in the same way an employer likes to see such a varied background when hiring out of college.  But in both situations, the listing of the involvement and achievements is similar to a degree: You can list it but what has it really done for you and how has it made you the person I see before me today?

It’s a known preference that those who seek to work with you in whatever capacity, whether taking you on as a student or employee, like to see the variety of experiences. But it’s known, meaning people should know…


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