Have One Day a Week When Nothing Can Interrupt You

You can’t do deep, creative work when meetings constantly disrupt your flow and hurt your productivity. To give yourself time and space to focus, have one day a week when nothing can interrupt you — no texts, no emails, no phone calls, and absolutely no meetings. Block this day off on your calendar, and tell colleagues that you’ll be unreachable because you’re working on critical projects. Of course, something urgent may come up anyway, but try your best to keep the day from being compromised. Stick to a simple rule: You can move your unreachable day around during a […]

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Maintain Your Professional Network Over Time

Everyone knows it’s important to build a network. But once you’ve made a connection with someone, how do you maintain it over the long haul so that you can call the person when you need a job reference or a professional favor? The first step is to determine whom you want to stay in touch with based on their professional value and relevance to your career. Look for current and potential clients, influential colleagues, and friends who are superb connectors. Then figure out how often to be in touch. Some experts suggest having 10 people you’re in regular contact […]

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Egos – We All Have Them.

Managing egos, the over and under-inflated, the forceful and the fragile – is one of the great challenges facing any leader.  It is a crucial task, however, if a group is going to have a fighting chance to succeed, to become a true team rather than a collection of individuals – lone wolves – each looking out for him or herself rather than the “pack”, leadership must get those individuals thinking in terms of we rather than me.   This is possible only if the leader themselves thinks this way.

A “me-first” person puts the team second, places personal gain […]

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Get Honest Feedback About the Traits That Will Hurt Your Career

Many leaders have a fatal flaw: a weakness so pronounced that it can hamper their career progress. But this type of flaw is hard to see because it’s usually connected to what you don’t do — it’s the listening you didn’t make time for, or the strategic vision it never occurred to you to describe. To figure out your fatal flaw, find someone who will tell you the unvarnished truth. Whether it’s a close friend, a coach, or a therapist, tell them that you genuinely want honest information about your major shortcomings. If they begin to convey the truth […]

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If You’ve Made a Bad Decision, Act Fast

No one likes to make a bad decision. Maybe you hired the wrong person, took a job that wasn’t a good fit, or launched a new product that no one seems to want. When you realize that you made a mistake, act fast. It’s far better for your career to accept the loss now, rather than dragging it out and wasting even more resources. Think carefully about how you might make the situation better. You may not need to pull the plug completely. For example, if you hired the wrong person for the job but she has the right […]

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Do You Actually Need That Recurring Meeting?

Whether they happen weekly, monthly, or quarterly (or even daily), recurring meetings are often a waste of time. To know whether yours are worth keeping, consider a few factors. First, make sure the meeting has a clearly articulated reason to exist. Ask yourself, “If we canceled this meeting, who besides me would care?” Second, determine the right cadence. It may seem obvious, but a meeting’s frequency and length must align with its purpose. For example, teams and task forces governing near-term priorities will need to meet more frequently for shorter amounts of time, while those focused on longer-term priorities […]

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Dear College Graduate

I posted this information back in 2014 and have had several mom’s and dad’s ask me to repost.  So to those with recent college graduations at home, read on!

Most young adults have just graduated from college and will, with any luck, be entering the work force.  If you have children, nieces, nephews or friends of those that fall into this category, you may want to pass on some of my advice to them this morning.  Or, if you happen to be a recent graduate entering the workplace, listen up.

First, check your attitude at the door.  You […]

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Let’s Remember

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Can We Talk?

Don’t you think it’s about time we get back to allowing conversation to occur?  Texting, emailing, browsing, Tweeting, Facebooking, and Instagramming (I’d include Snapchat, but I really just don’t get it!) is all good and well, but can we just talk?

The bigger need is just for more live conversations to occur, period.  This is especially true when people are trying to resolve a conflict or communicate an important business decision. There is a rising and unproductive trend towards people trying to do digital conflict resolution. The de facto path for issue resolution seems to be increasingly via email. More […]

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To Solve a Problem, Stop Thinking About It

When you’re trying to come up with a creative solution to a problem, you might be tempted to buckle down and focus until you solve it. But recent research shows that taking breaks at regular intervals leads to better outcomes. Set a timer for a certain amount of time, say, 30 minutes. When it goes off, switch tasks: Organize your reimbursement receipts, check your email, or clean your desk, and then return to the original task. If you’re hesitant to stop because you feel that you’re on a roll, you should take a break anyway: We tend […]

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