Ralf Weiser's Blog – Shake Up Your Snow Globe! ©

Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, enjoy, start being – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

If you want to be a beacon then your light must shine

Tybee-Island-Lighthouse-Beacon-0If you want to be a beacon then your light must shine 

Photo credit: http://www.all-paintings.com/Tybee-Island-Lighthouse-Beacon-396.html

Chances are that you are just like me traveling a lot. Especially air travel is more often absolutely no fun. Many people do not handle delays, and stressed out airline folks well at all. When the weather turns bad like it did this week and flights are canceled en mass, there were a few raw emotions. Don’t just take my word for it. Check out motivational speaker and professional road warrior John O’Leary’s frequent encounter of this here (More details).

What is fascinating to watch are two basic ways dealing with this malady. While once again sitting at Philadelphia International Airport waiting for an Atlanta bound flight to take off, first one flight got cancelled and then the second one also got totally cancelled. One set of folks – unfortunately the majority – was groaning and moaning and even quite a few expletives were muttered. It was the fault of anyone. It was the weather, but the poor gate attendants bore the brunt of the bad vibes. Yikes, the griping went on and on. It was miserable just having to listen to these folks.

Meanwhile the other group of travelers got busy dealing with the situation and got going again right away seeking new flights. It was very clear to see that the folks who were much more positive got going faster and they got a lot farther too. I got myself on a flight the next day. Just smiling at and treating the check-in agents, telephone service assistants, security folks, and most of all the flight attendants the next day nicely got me to and from Atlanta without grief. In fact, I got through security more smoothly. On board I got a better seat, a whole drink (instead of just the cup), and I even got an extra snack. In all I was treated so much better because I sincerely treated my counterparts nicely.

Just think of folks that you have observed yelling at customer service folks. Did being nasty really get them farther in the long run? Do your think that it made them really feel better at the end of the day? When your light shines bright and you manage a smile no matter what comes your way, then you are a true beacon for others.


5 unconventional ways getting a new job

5 unconventional ways getting a new job Smaller FB

Even if you are gainfully employed today, there are no guarantees in life. Trying to line up a new job is very stressful. What’s worse is that there are so few good resources around helping increase your chances to get in front of employers. Even fewer resources exist helping with the actual interview process. Please find below a quick list of items that will help increase your chances getting into the career you have dreamed about.

  • Dig your well before you are thirsty – build your network:
    • Keep touch with your network regularly
    • Hold free presentations. Local business associations are dying for speakers with valuable content.
    • Use LinkedIn Groups to get your content out. This is a great tool for getting new content and ideas. When you make contributions it will put your name out there too.
    • Start a blog (Here is info how to do that). It helps you get focused and puts your name and content out there.
    • Stay up to date and current with your industry and craft. Should be self-explanatory, but most people still don’t do it.
  • Know what you want
    • Generate a list with what you do not want. Important, but more important is the next bullet point below.
    • Generate a list what you need, want, and must get out of your career move.
  • Do your research. Much to my amazement, more than 80% of applicants do not do this at all, or only fly over the available info. Google make research so simple. Make good use of it. There is no excuse for you to not do it.
    • About your potential employer
    • About the interviewer
    • About their products and services
    • About their competition
    • About their brand perception
    • About their company culture
  • Adapt your resume
    • Make it brief. Ideally one page, but no more than two pages.
    • Make it relevant. Create a few versions that highlight your skills, experience and talents tying it to what the job offer is about.
    • Skip the objective – especially if it isn’t their objective
  • Crush the interview
    • Dress appropriately. Neat, clean, and your Grandma would approve of it.
    • Bring the job to life. Think about how you would start in the new position and what training you would need to get started quickly. Bringing the future into the present increases your chances getting the job and getting proficient at it quickly.
    • Leave your grudges behind. When you are honest with yourself you would not want to listen to how horrific your old job is or was. Allow for these toxic thoughts to leave you – if only for the time of the interview.
    • Call their sales department. Unconventional? Sure. Highly effective? Yes! No one knows the company better than sales people (if they don’t, what does that tell you?). They know products, company, competition, what they do best, and of course where they could use a little help. What if you find out the new position has something to do with improving the salesperson’s life, or the company’s competitive position?
    • Follow up with a sincerely meant mail or card. It is still an invaluable tool telling the interviewer you would really like to work at their place.

Do not forget that you are interviewing the interviewers (company) just as well as they are interviewing you. Scan for signs of toxic work environments. No sense getting into a new relationship that may be worse than the one you are in right now. Staying connected, doing your research, and bringing a new position to life may not guarantee you success. It does however significantly increase your chances that you will get the job.


10 ways to be more successful as a leader-manager, part II

10 ways to be more successful as a leader-manager, part II Ralf a

So you worked your bum off and now you got promoted to leader-manager. It is really not all that tough; you worked hard to get here. Problem is often that you know what needs to be done at a tactical level, but how often does management provide you with the soft skill leader-manager training? The biggest challenge looms around the corner:

What changes is that you will need to spend some time on the leadership topic. It’s all about the people within your teams. How will you be a good steward for them? The people entrusted to you can start losing trust in you and your company very quickly. Often this tends to be overlooked, which may work for a little while. Ultimately, it will not work for too long and you may find yourself engulfed in tactical company and people issues. Here are 10 quick tips that can make a huge difference for how well you lead your team.

  • Park your personal agenda and ego: Did you ever like a boss that is only concerned about his / her own issues, but never yours? Turn that down a notch or two. Have you ever seen the movie “Saving Private Ryan”? In it there is a great line about leadership: “Never gripe down, always gripe up.” Your folks are not interested about your woes; their’s are big enough the way they are.
  • Be fair: Kick up the old golden rule to platinum level. Treat others how they would like to be treated. Never treat people differently. You will regret it in the end. The moment you lose their trust you will no longer be privy to vital people and company information. There has to be clarity about what applies to everyone.
  • What happens at the work place, stays at the work place: Other than the heavy hitters of employee safety, harassment, discrimination, moral, and ethical problems, no other team member information is supposed to leave your lips. Confidentiality is the keystone to how much you will be trusted as a leader.
  • Make sure having a great one on one contact with your team members: Nothing beats being able to help and assist your team members on a one on one basis. You get to know about their struggles and aspirations and you can help make a difference happen.
  • Listen, listen, and listen: Your organization can tell you anything you want to know about the state of mind of your folks and also the strategic and tactical progress you are making (or the lack thereof). Boy, did that take me a while to learn how to do this better. Asking engaging questions is the tougher but better thing to do and you get to listen to your organization’s creativity come alive.
  • Be humble and grateful: Nothing beats a little self-depreciating humor when you make mistakes. Admit them and make them public. No one – not even you – should be able getting away with not learning from your mistakes. At the same time you want your team to stay informed enough such that they will not have to make the same mistakes either. Be grateful for the openness your team affords you. Not allowed are intentional or pattern of mistakes.
  • Do something with what they tell you: When your team is trying to tell you that there is a systemic problem with a process, policy, people, etc. do something with this info. That is why you became the leader-manager in the first place. Do not let anyone else handle this important detail for you. This needs to come from and through you. Taking charge of difficult situations is (unfortunately) something you will to get to deal with. Do it well and people will trust you.
  • Be mindful of other people’s time commitments: Knowing when to end a conversation is tough. Sometimes it feels great speaking with like minded folks about issues you are mutually facing. Cut it short if it no longer serves the purpose. Do not fall victim to scope creep either. One issue leads to the next and then there is another one, etc. etc. Trust me, there are more challenges than you can shake a stick at. Keep it to solving one short and effective issue at a time.
  • Prepare meetings well ahead of time: Most meetings are really not necessary, or the are simply not effective. Too often leader-managers look at them as a “working meeting”, meaning that the problem, problem statement, and possible solution finding happen with the attendees hearing about this issue for the first time.
  • Start and end meetings on time: Do this religiously. Yes, there are times when it may be necessary to run over. Attempt your very best to get a reputation for beginning and ending on time. Your folks want to get their tasks done.

Do not be afraid to fail with any of the above topics. Only very few business schools are providing leadership and soft skill training – yet. I am hoping that one day leader-manager training will become a mandatory topic at gradute and undergraduate level. Plan, Do, Reflect, and Correct your future behavior and you will have made the biggest change already. Good luck!


Who is the adult here?

Who is the adult here? Smaller FB

Who hasn’t seen life hacks on your private, but also business social media platforms? “Sleep longer”, “drink more water”, “exercise more”, “treat people with respect”, etc. (discover a few of them here: Men, strong people, and efficiency). Isn’t it fascinating that this advice is strictly for adults? Did we all skip the many lessons Kindergarten, school, and our parents tried teaching us? It is ironic that a whole people and business coaching industry is teaching us adults the same things all over again.

Now compare and contrast the poem by Robert Fulghum who wrote the book “All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten”. Are we incapable of learning our lessons? I guess in the end it does not matter. It is however very easy to go back to the basics and it does not have to cost a blooming fortune.

There are a few ways to remind yourself of those basic methods living a rich and full life:

  • Print out a copy of the poem below and tape it to your bathroom mirror. At least twice a day you will get a quick memory boost when you read through the list.
  • Buy by Robert Fulghum’s book “All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten”. Download the Kindle version such that you can read it on the Kindle, cell phone, or tablet wherever you are. Read and re-read it from time to time.
  • In the event you have children, hang out in their classrooms when you get a chance. The vast majority of them will have posters with lists reminding the kids how to behave.

To get a new lease of life then you need to do something about what you have read. And that my friends is the commonality between our children and us adults: nothing ever happens without an actual change of our habits.



“All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten”

by Robert Fulghum

Most of what I really need

To know about how to live

And what to do and how to be

I learned in kindergarten.

Wisdom was not at the top

Of the graduate school mountain,

But there in the sandpile at Sunday school.

These are the things I learned:

Share everything.

Play fair.

Don’t hit people.

Put things back where you found them.

Clean up your own mess.

Don’t take things that aren’t yours.

Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.

Wash your hands before you eat.


Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.

Live a balanced life -

Learn some and think some

And draw and paint and sing and dance

And play and work everyday some.

Take a nap every afternoon.

When you go out into the world,

Watch out for traffic,

Hold hands and stick together.

Be aware of wonder.

If you are the copyright holder of this poem and I do not have your consent, please contact us me using the comment field and I will be happy to remove it.

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