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Stop doing, shake your globe, ponder, dream, start reaching your full potential – live on purpose and do it with a smile!

Archive for the category “business development”

How to turn problems into career advancement


How to turn problems into career advancement 

Tired of all the folks around you who gripe a lot and can point out issues even on a good day? The vast majority of employees can isolate issues and talk about them all day long. Only a few can actually kick this up a notch and provide possible solutions and even implement them.

Problem is that this can turn out to be a really bad career buster. Leader-managers look for people who can take work off of their busy schedules. Funny thing with problems is that they are typically no secret and only the densest of us cannot see them. Mentioning and listing them over and over again does not solve anything.
Worse yet, it kills morale. The complainer turns out to be the problem. Great, more work for the leader-manager. Not.

Interested in turning this dynamic around? Here a few easy steps that help you fix issues and help kick your career up a notch.

  1. When you see a problem that is really annoying you resist the urge to vent. Griping to the wrong person may land you in the HR office. Your co-workers and team members will start avoiding you; you can easily turn into a time and energy sink. Take a quick walk through the company. It helps mind and body.
  2. Refrain from excessively combatting bad ideas or concepts. No worries, bad ideas are never long term sustainable. Do not waste your nerves on this process. Keep focused on bringing forth good ideas.
  3. Focus your attention on 1 problem. The problem needs to relate to the root cause – not symptoms. If you address symptoms you will experience scope creep and that is a lot more work that way and highly ineffective.
  4. Think of 2 to 3 possible solutions. Make number one the one that you really would like to do. The second one that you could still live with, and number three if you had to. Go to your supervisor and propose it.
  5. Experiment with your solutions. Success breeds success. It also builds your skill set. Invaluable and it will not go unnoticed. If for nothing else, it makes you more valuable to the organization. That is a really good thing when the economy is not doing well.
  6. Make sure that you keep doing the above over and over again.

Rather ask for forgiveness than ask for permission when you look and experiment with your solutions. Any mature leader-manager will leave you alone and appreciate the self-sufficient work that you did. It is a win-win situation all the way around. The problem is getting solved, you build a sustainable career, morale stays high, and the company will do better because customers get more value. Griping builds a speedpass lane to the exit. It’s your choice.

 

Ralf

How to create action in people – a simple and effective recipe


How to create action in people – a simple and effective recipe 

Photo credit; Pablo by Buffer

There is a simple formula for creating action in people. It goes like this: Thoughts create feelings; feelings create action.

In our noisy world it is getting more and more difficult for people to pay attention to anything. This is true in business as it is in almost any social setting. Even our families are not safe from this phenomenon.

Here is your opportunity to increase your chances for people to hear your message and actually do something about it. Think about how you can use a compelling story to invoke strong thoughts in your listeners. The best is to wear your heart on your sleeve. Give of yourself to the audience, be vulnerable, show your imperfections, and share how you learned your lessons the hard way.

This sets the stage for folks to be able to relate to you. Emotions ensue. Do not forget your call to action. Perhaps that is the most important detail that often gets overlooked. Make sure to voice your expectations and actions to the audience.

Deliver on your promises and repeat this cycle time and again. It does take a little extra work in preparing for any thought invoking work. But the moment you have managed building a routine out of this principle, you will be able to make major changes for yourself and others.

Ralf

11 tactics fighting too much work and too little time


11 tactics fighting too much work and too little time 

Are you feeling stressed out because you are overcommitted? Does your manager not pick up on the clues that you are at the brink of a work burn out? This can happen when you are totally over committed with work and you think you just do not have any time to cram any more into your schedule. You may even feel powerless because you have no other options. This feels very uncomfortable and your work and health may eventually suffer. Here are some ways helping fight this phenomenon.

  • Prioritize: What is really important? Make sure that you only do the tasks you really need to do. Be rigorous about the stuff that you decide to pay attention to. Resist accepting tasks that are not really yours even if they appear to be easy to do. See the next point.
  • Delegation: How much of the work you do should really be done by others who are perhaps even more qualified, or have more time to do this?
  • Vigilance: Be vigilant about having a clear task scope, having a clear time line, and also a firm commitment between the person who issues the task and you.
  • Candor: How candid have you been with yourself? How candid have you been with your boss? Only when you share how you feel and what would happen if nothing happens will you pave the way for lasting change.
  • Advocate for yourself: Make certain that you go back to your boss and share how overcommitted you are. Ponder ways how to mitigate the situation and have those solutions handy for your conversation with your boss. You get what you tolerate.
  • Identification: What is really behind the definition of “I do not have time”? Do you not have the time, or you are just not making the time?
  • Planning ahead: Interestingly enough, half of your issues may just be due to not planning ahead enough. Make the important things a priority and they will happen as long as you allowed the time for it.
  • Preparation: Prepare your fiercest issues well before you take them to the key stake holders. The better prepared you are, the greater the chance that you will be able to do what you want to do and thus get more wiggle room for doing the things that you really want to do. Those are the ones that give you energy rather than help draining it.
  • Do not wait for a miracle: Do something about your situation. Think about how you would like for things to work out for you and start delivering results. You will get noticed.
  • Subscribe to the 5 minute rule: First thing every morning start tasks that you have procrastinated for a while. Promise yourself that you will spend 5 minutes working on it. Most projects will take less than 3 minutes – promised.

When you really think about it, there are many ways of dealing with over-commitment on your part. Try giving one of the 11 tactics a try and provide me/ us with some feedback below in the comment section. If I can do this, so can you. All you have to do is making the decision to start and then actually deliver on this promise.

Ralf

Enough already – quit the Millennial bashing


Enough already – quit the Millennial bashing 

This week I will get a chance speaking on behalf of local manufacturing companies during a special event with mayor Kenny from Philly and the mayor from Frankfurt Germany (Frankfurt and Philly are sister/ partner cities). Main topic will be embracing learn and earn apprenticeships and co-ops connecting students with manufacturers. My key message will be that manufacturing is far from dead. In fact low quantity high complexity manufacturing has come back not only to this area. This comes at a pivotal time when old talent will retire at an alarming rate in the next five to ten years. Yet, the fourth oldest workforce – that being manufacturing – struggles finding people fill their open positions.

I hear this all the time: “Millennials are so entitled”, “Do they think they get a trophy here for just showing up?”, “They do not know how to show up on time”, “They need so much re-assurance”, they this or that. It is just unreal how much and how many entrepreneurs and business leaders shun their future work force.

In my view this is a great fallacy committed upon the folks fitting the Millennial envelope. It is also a fallacy committed upon your organizations. Perhaps it is about time that companies reflected upon the fact whom they think will start filling their open positions vacated by their long term employees. It won’t be the few folks left on the open job market. They people they want to employ may have the experience etc they need, but they are gainfully employed elsewhere.

I have found the youngest members of the up and coming workforce to be phenomenal team members who can contribute so much to your workforce. That is if you and your organization are willing to provide three very basic things that even incumbent workers will grow to embrace if not love:

  • Provide a purpose greater than ourselves. Time needs to be worth spending at your place of work
  • Provide a career path
  • Provide a structure embracing the career path

Perhaps this is the time for the companies to do some soul searching and embracing change and not only looking at the potential future job candidate just trying to “fit in”. Millennials deserve better than just off-putting generalizations. They are intricate part of our future.

Ralf

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