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Posts Tagged ‘development’

As we get into full throttle here in busy season, a message about being positive is in order! Positive people, those who choose a good mood over a bad day, have a powerful advantage over negative thinkers. While some people allow life’s problems to get them down, optimistic people remind themselves that bad times are only temporary. They find ways to practice positivity, and with a sunny outlook on life, their energy is wildly infectious.

As it pertains to leadership, the power of positive thinking is vital for success, be it that of a team, a department, an office or an entire company. You can have two professionals in a leadership role who are equal in experience and skill, heading up the same group of team members. But one has a positive, optimistic attitude; the other has a generally negative demeanor. The positive leader will prevail every time with a more vibrant, productive team whose energy permeates the workplace. Negativity only leads to reduced productivity and engagement, and allowing it to fester is much more costly and damaging to an organization’s bottom line than confronting or possibly replacing a single toxic staff person.

Creating a positive and healthy culture for your team rests on a few major principles. The qualities of a positive workplace culture boils down to these Super Seven essential characteristics:

  1. Caring for, being interested in, and maintaining responsibility for colleagues as friends.
  2. Providing support for one another, including offering kindness and compassion when others are struggling.
  3. Avoiding blame and forgive mistakes.
  4. Fostering open communication, and avoiding gossip and back-stabbing.
  5. Inspiring one another at work.
  6. Emphasizing the meaningfulness of the work.
  7. Treating one another with respect, gratitude, trust, and integrity.

Positive thinking can set you up for success in every area of your life. You can be healthier, happier, and more successful just by changing your thoughts. If you want to be happy, and not just for one day, focus on the things that will help you remain positive over time. Because a positive attitude can do more than just make you feel good—it could also change your life. You can train your mind to embrace the bright side of things. Here are a few positive quotes I recently received in an email, to get you in the right frame of mind:

  • “A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events and outcomes. It is a catalyst and it sparks extraordinary results.” —Wade Boggs
  • “Virtually nothing is impossible in this world if you just put your mind to it and maintain a positive attitude.” —Lou Holtz
  • “It’s actually cool to be positive and optimistic and idealistic. It’s cool to see yourself doing beautiful, great things.” —Tom DeLonge
  • “There is little difference in people but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.” —W. Clement Stone
  • “It takes but one positive thought when given a chance to survive and thrive to overpower an entire army of negative thoughts.” —Robert H. Schuller

I hope you enjoyed today’s message. Have an absolutely positive week!

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Happy Leap Day!!

Today’s MP Message is the last installment related to “The Real-Life MBA: Your No-BS Guide to Winning the Game, Building a Team, and Growing Your Career,” authored by Jack & Suzy Welch. I’d like to share the last topic of discussion: Getting Unstuck in Your Career.

At some point along your career path, you may feel stuck in some critical way – stuck in confusion or fear; or having feelings of being overwhelmed; or not getting the opportunity to live up to your potential; or just simply sick and tired of doing the same thing every day… all of which I hope is not happening here at Withum.  However, a career impasse does happen from time to time.  The Welch’s share a few great insights into helping you get out of the career doldrums if you are in one or happen to experience one in the future:

  1. Don’t Deliver. Over-deliver. If you want to demonstrate breadth and depth, the first change you need to make is not just meeting expectations. Overdelivering means taking the presumed thinking or idea in your supervisor’s head and elevating it to a whole new level. It’s about defining the extra credit, and then acing it. Feel free to ask your Career Coach, PIC or department leader on what is expected of you… then do a little more! You’ll be surprised at how invigorating this can be.
  2. Volunteer for Hard Duty. Exceeding expectations is something you can strive for every day, but every now and again, you get the opportunity to demonstrate your strengths by volunteering for, and nailing, a hard engagement or project, particularly one that no one wants to touch yet offers high-visibility potential.  These types of opportunities can rebrand you from follower to leader, from muddler to winner, from maybe to yes.
  1. Acquire Followers the Hard Way. A third change you can make to break your career stalemate is the acquisition of followers. You need to show the leaders of our firm that people – peers and supervisors alike – listen when you talk. Luckily, if you’ve embraced the first change of over-delivering results, the acquisition of followers should come pretty automatically.  People generally want to hear what the firm’s biggest contributors are saying. And don’t be afraid to let your PICs or members of the Marketing Department know what you are doing. They are champions of our professionals and want to share successes and efforts with the firm.
  1. Make Sure You are Tech-Current. Not being tech-current is a surefire way to lose your seat at the table. As mentioned in the Withum Way, you need to welcome innovation and change, and that certainly applies to the new software systems and gadgets we introduce to our professionals on a regular basis. We upgrade our technology in an effort to improve efficiency and to give our staff the best tools to perform their tasks, ultimately providing our clients with the world-class service they expect.
  1. Get Real About Mentors. No matter where you are in your career, consider every person in your sphere to be a mentor – young, old and in between, in your area of expertise and outside it… and observe best practices. If someone is a great speaker, study what he’s doing right and incorporate that into your presentations. If a manager in your office consistently on-boards new employees well, copy his/her techniques. If you have a supervisor who runs a great meeting, see that person as a teacher or guide. Learn from every experience.
  1. Love Everyone. Ok, that might sound weird. But the point here is to speak only positively of everyone. Loving everyone is not a brain thing; it’s a heart thing. Train yourself to avoid surreptitious coalitions, backstabbing and politicking. Don’t get caught up in the gossip and mean-spirited nonsense that sometimes goes on in the workplace. Uplift people in conversation, and turn a negative into a positive. A person who demonstrates integrity and leadership possesses the qualities of which promotions are made.

I hope you enjoyed these messages from The Real Life MBA. Remember, if you’d like to read this book yourself, feel free to visit my bookshelf on Shelfari.com and order it. You can enter the expense under Publications/Subscriptions, with the words “Bill’s Virtual Library Book” in the Description section.

Have a great week!

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In today’s post, we will be covering the fourth topic from Jack & Suzy Welch’s book, The Real-Life MBA: Your No-BS Guide to Winning the Game, Building a Team, and Growing Your Career, which is: Leadership.

The word “leadership” can bring to mind a variety of definitions and images. Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”  While that may be true at a 20,000 foot level, there are many more nuances which comprise the true meaning of leadership at a deeper level. The Welch’s believe that leadership can be boiled down to two simple things:

  1. Truth and Trust.
  2. Ceaselessly seeking the former, relentlessly building the latter.

Truth-and-trust leadership is an overarching approach – an organizing principle – that drives everything leaders do every day, whether they are in staff meetings, performance evaluations, strategy sessions, budget reviews and everything in between.

Truth is a determined pursuit, a personal and unquenchable fire, burning to know what is really happening inside the people – or the company – and out. Truth is bearing down on the assumptions, asking questions which must be answered with rigor. “Where did you come up with those numbers?” “What were the underlying assumptions that got you there?” “What was your thought process in making that determination?” “What kind of technology or situation could disrupt everything you are suggesting?” This is how leaders dig for the truth.

Trust is a muscle that is strengthened by daily exercise. In our world, trust amongst staff is generally developed during meetings. We talk about work and how to get it done, review the competition, devise marketing strategies. But meetings are huge opportunities to build trust if you do them right. This is the platform where you encourage open debate and praise courage when someone says or does something bold, counterintuitive or assumption-challenging. And to take it further, you (lightly) reprimand those who try to silence these ideas. Good leaders keep confidences closely, and in public conversations and private ones, make it clear that everyone is on the same team. They don’t tolerate gossip. And really important is that trust-building leaders tell the same story to everyone all the time. Everyone hears everything, and variations or discrepancies or attempts to spin differently for different audiences can cause trust issues.

Combined, the double helix of truth and trust cracks the code of leadership today.

I hope you enjoyed this installment of the thought leadership coming from The Real Life MBA.

Have a great week!

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