A couple of weeks ago, someone sent me a question asking what I thought is the least amount of time someone should stay at a job before having two consecutive job changes. In other words, how long should you wait before you can consider job hopping? [Read more…]
What if I told you I had the answer to one the oldest career advice questions?
And that the answer shouldn’t be that surprising but it’s one you need to hear anyway?
Or that my answer applies to practically any industry, at least any job that requires you to interact with your customers or co-workers in person.
Even in 2018, that still covers… just about everyone.
So the question I’m talking about: what’s the best way to accelerate your career? [Read more…]
When looking for a coach, it helps to seek out someone who will tell you the things that are going to be hard to hear. If you’re the coach, you should strive to be that person. The struggle is how to deliver hard-to-hear information without making the person on the other side feel like trash. Even in situations where someone is making the most basic mistakes (in your opinion), you need to keep your cool. [Read more…]
What do you do when confronted with news that something you worked on missed the mark?
Do you try to immediately explain what you did before fully hearing the information being presented?
Do you discount the input as a difference in working styles or personal preference?
Do you listen and look for opportunities where you may expand on your repertoire?
Before we get into these, I want to share one of my favorite quotes: When you know better, you do better. I’m telling you that because it’s natural for people to fall into one of the first two categories.
After all, you worked hard to get where you are, right? You honed your mental agility with hours upon hours of education, and that should be respected. I totally get it.
As well intentioned as that action might be, it’s probably not going to work out the way you think it is. Let’s think this through for a moment. [Read more…]
The hardest part of managing people is…the people. Every person has a unique personality, a particular set of needs, and a life outside of work that can infringe on neatly placed work boundaries at any given moment.
And that’s not to mention that each people manager has the exact same elements in play.
What that means is that on any given day, there is a chance – hopefully, a small one – of each of those elements on both sides seeming to conspire against you to create “one of those days”. [Read more…]
Relationships might be built online but they are solidified in person, whether that be business (think client buyers) or personal (think online dating). That’s on my mind because I just got back from a meeting in Salt Lake City and it made a world of difference. I think I was in town for roughly 16 hours and was asleep in the hotel room for a decent chunk of that. It was kind of funny, because my flight out got delayed to the point that I was checking in for my flight home before I even left the San Jose airport.
A big part of why some folks like virtual meetings isn’t what you think. The official reasoning might be that it saves on travel cost or time wasted migrating between meetings but I know some people who won’t walk next door if there is a webex link in a meeting invite. Some of it might be laziness but I think the more likely culprit is work overload. [Read more…]
After being in management consulting for so long, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that I’m wired to identify problems. If you think about principles of performance management and project management that are large parts of what consultants do, it makes sense that you get the most bang for your buck by spending your time addressing things that aren’t going well and need attention/change more so than the things that are going just as you planned.
The downside of this exception-based management is that people who are performing well don’t always get the recognition they rightfully deserve to encourage them to keep it up.
This brings me to Tom Brady, a guy who by most accounts is winning at life. He’s rich, a pro athlete, has a supermodel wife (also rich), and may have just solidified his status as the greatest quarterback in the history of the National Football League based on the outcome of the Super Bowl (his 5th championship).
And what did I do? I sent you an email about the train wreck that was the Atlanta Falcons. While the lessons to learn from the Falcons’ collective shortcomings were legit, we can also learn what it takes to beat the odds by looking at what the Patriots did during that same game. [Read more…]
I’m just going to come right out and say it. The Atlanta Falcons gave us the most epic collapses in Super Bowl history, and possibly all of sports (this and this make it a tough choice). In case you’re not an American football fan, the Atlanta Falcons boasted one of the most prolific offenses in the National Football League all year and managed to get up 28-3 in the biggest many of them will ever play. It was announced during that game that no team up by 19 or more points in a playoff game had ever lost. This scenario had happened 93 times prior to this year’s Super Bowl.
Luckily for me, meltdowns make for more compelling writing than blowouts and as sad as that game was for anyone, who calls the Falcons their team, there are 3 important lessons you can draw from their shortcoming. [Read more…]
I’ve had quite a few occasions to talk about times where I’ve had to do some major self-reflection on my career choice to go into consulting. There was that one time that my son imitated me by grabbing my carry-on suitcase and bee-lining for the front door (here’s the proof). Sidenote: isn’t great how you can always trust your kids to hold up a distortion-free mirror with a reflection of ALL of your behaviors.
And there was this other time when my daughter told me she was so glad I came over…when all I did was come home…from yet another work trip. It was almost enough to make me quit management consulting.
I got called out again the week before last. [Read more…]
I was in this restaurant, home of some of the best pulled pork I’ve had in some time, and a noticed a sign on the wall that resonated with me.
It said “asking dumb questions is easier than correcting dumb mistakes”.
How many times have you been in a training or workshop or speech and had a question you wanted to ask but you held back because you didn’t want to be the person asking the stupid question?
Instead, you hold your tongue and try to quiet your curiosity until the urge to clarify your understanding passes. You can do better than that. [Read more…]