Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Proposal of Personal Purpose

The world of business communication is evolving. More employees are working remote, more conference calls less office gatherings, and more webinars with less classroom training. There are those who say we have lost our human connection but ask yourself one simple question:

Where is the Revenue?

How much more productive have you become? It seems a little silly to admit we are so mistrusting of our employees that we require them to commute an hour in both directions and sit in a cage for 10 hours. This to ensure their work time is maximized. If you waste two hours driving and sit in a cubicle will you be more productive?

A company cannot determine personal purpose but they can use it to fuel their success:
* If you trust me to invest myself in the company vision I will determine my own prodution - and that's a good thing!

* To the contrary, if a 40 year old still has to be baby sat, he/she will do just enough to stay off the radar.

Don't you want your people On The Radar? Out in the open, in front of initiatives, excited to participate, engaged in the company culture...?

Yes, there certainly is such a thing as EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT. Call it what you will to avoid stigmatizing your company culture but if you create a company culture that mirrors personal purpose your company will double it's revenue.

Here's How:
Pay more for better people
Replace Performance Reviews with consistent dialogue
Say Thank You - every day
Create a Path that starts and ends where you are

A Big Boy Job
Maybe you love filling out spread sheets. Maybe you enjoy reporting, maybe your favorite thing is to defend your work to your boss. Or maybe you have had a series of jobs that have justified your employment through on-paper production. Anyone can count blips in a system and justify your effort. But, let's not confuse effort with results.

You may have gotten so used to taking a task list and checking boxes that you have lost your personal purpose. You need to find a way to give meaning to the numbers, categories and columns. If no one is challenging you to put you into your work, do it yourself.

An Inconsistent Environment
How can you keep winning if your team always turns over.
#Fact - It takes at least 6 months to train a new employee
#Fact - Time lost over six months costs your company dearly

Stop going the cheap labor route. Pay more for better people and avoid turnover. The incremental back filling is a default for a poor company culture due to terrible middle management.

Performance Review Suck!
There I said it...if you only have a dialogue with your employee once a year through a 1 - 5 job saving evaluation, you suck at managing people!

Believe it or not you can help people MAKE PROGRESS every day by examining their extended personal purpose in the organization. NO, you don't have to ask about TPS Report status but you can ask about their input regarding cost saving initiatives in their department.

Say Thank You!
Basketball Analogy: You can motivate by the bench or the basket. If every day I pull you aside and tell you if you screw up I will bench you - you will do just enough to stay in the game. If I empower you to score by instilling confidence in your ability, you will have the balls to take a last second shot.


Be Present
I used to think I wanted a promotion. It seemed that climbing the corporate ladder was a validation of my effort. That is an irrelevant measure of success.

Tell me WHY I am where I am today. Help me find my extended personal purpose in the organization. If you can do this I will work harder, stop asking for more money and stay focused on the task at hand.

In a floundering economy, one thing is always prevalent: OPPORTUNITY!

Most companies avoid opportunity by allowing perception and opinion to steer them toward the 'safe thing'. As an affect of this; poor management rules the nest, purpose is lost and employees can't wait for happy hour...A waste of money, a loss of production, countless opportunities ignored, a cog turning existence without personal purpose...A company that sucks the life out of people and drives them to the grave having gained nothing!


Help us find our purpose!

Don't Forget to Remember!


Friday, August 27, 2010

In Case You Forgot

The purpose of the 'don't forget to remember' blog and my forthcoming book 'unzip your soul' is:
Elimination of mundane frustration in pursuit of ultimate purpose

Unfortunately, I am better at giving advice to others than accepting it for myself. So in my beloved cyberspace I challenge, get pissed and question. My intent often misinterpreted. My frustration still getting the best of me from time to time. The thing is: I love working...my job, my industry, the people for whom I work, the customers I have the pleasure to service. No kidding; getting up early, staying up late and all of the effort in between is a pleasurable existence for your humble narrator.

What comes along with a stringent work ethic and the according competitive drive is an intolerance. A lack of ability to accept those who are not candid with themselves. A driving ambition to question those with badges and the merit upon which they received said badge.

Here's What I Know to be True:
* Hard Work Pays Off
* Listen More Than You Talk
* Know Your Target Market

You can earn degrees and certifications, take cutting edge leadership courses, and read a million books. But, if you are not willing to work really hard all the time, your odds for success are in jeopardy.

Nothing beats rolling up your sleeves. You cannot do this a couple days a week. If you consistently work hard and endure the cycle of success/failure; you will ultimately find riches. Don't give up!

Two Ears and One Mouth

Whoever said 'Selling is Telling' was wrong! In fact, most premonitions of sales are wrong. It does not take dynamic presentation skills, harsh negotiating skills or a knack for numbers. All you have to do is listen more than you talk.

1. Know your prospect
2. Ask questions that feed their needs into your services
3. Help them discover the solution
4. Differentiate a mutually beneficial strategy
5. Give them all the credit

Get in Where You Fit In
You cannot sell crack to a junkie if you have no street smarts...nor can you position your solution to a fortune 500 company if you do not have Global bandwidth.

The frustration in Sales comes from wasted effort. Don't waste your time trying to be someone you are not. Find the companies whose needs suit your solution based on size, industry and market. Never pursue a sale with people who are jerks in the selling process - they will be terrible customers.

Take my advice, use frustration as fuel for your effort and find what works for you.

Don't Forget to Remember!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

If You Really Knew Me...

...you would know that I am Super Awesome!

Before this concept became a hit show on MTV, my friend Mike Robbins was work shopping it as a form of conflict resolution with some of the world's most prominent companies.

It always seems that our best intentions get misinterpreted...especially in Social Media forums. It seems without exception that every time I post on a blog or tweet something, emotions surface and the defenses go up.

So in today's blog post let's workshop a little conflict resolution by touching on some key points:
* Words are Just That
* Emotion is an Evil Mistress to Contrary Opinion
* Does it Really Matter?

Interpretation is in the eye of the beholder
Sometimes you see a blog post with which you agree. You voice an excited opinion and the author writes to the forum that you are attacking him/her...? What gives...?

Blogging is mostly based on opinion. We build our network of trusted advisers and reciprocate like minded verse. Because there is strength in numbers we tend to come to our friends defense when he/she has been embarrassed by someone. Social Media is not a popularity contest, as the golden rule goes, the more friends you have online the fewer you have in REAL LIFE! Be advised that there is an obligation to free speech that means reeling your friends in if they are off base. You don't HAVE TO agree with someone just because they are your friend online. You don't HAVE TO defend someone if you don't agree with them.

That's how this things work. Promote new thought and allow your detractors to help you consider all the angles.

Don't Be A Sissy!
No one likes to be told they are wrong. Just because your opinions are challenged doesn't mean they are wrong. Where we get ourselves in trouble is by ganging up on someone because they feel differently than we do. We are all entitled to our Thought Leadership, there is no right answer and if we ignore contrary thought we are defeating the purpose of participation.

Take the emotion out of it! You can be wrong and do not have to apologize to the world for it.

Stay Level Headed! Don't let emotion based defense mechanisms drive you to a self preservation campaign.

Take a Breath! Before you let your anger prompt a forever documented tirade...take a breath, soak it in, consider the rival opinion and grow from it.

It's Twitter People....
Come on, do you really care what a recruiter in Australia says about your Best Practices case study? You will probably not meet any of the people with whom you share a network, their thoughts may be taken out of context and they might live in their Mom's basement. The best way to protect your personal brand is to have thought promotion strategy that includes avoiding unnecessary bickering.

Just because one person disagrees with your thoughts doesn't mean that the other 32,000 do. The way to compromise your brand with everyone is to get defensive and get into a war of egos.

We live in an exciting time! We can now share ideas with billions of people in real time. We do not work with them directly so they are usually more candid in their communication.

Participate, Learn From Your Detractors and Grow Your Collaborative Strategy!

Don't Forget to Remember!


Monday, August 23, 2010

Keep Fighting

So you lost your job, your husband left you, that big promotion didn't come through, your team lost, your child disappointed you, you didn't get the job you desired.

It's Not Your Fault!

In these times a toil you will go through a 3 step process:
1. Anger
2. Self Pity
3. Action

We are going to skip steps one and two and get to the part in the movie when our hero bucks up and gets back to what he/she is good at.

Nothing disappoints me more than seeing someone act out of character: Those who have lost their hope, question themselves and pass blame. That time is not now! No Brothers and Sisters when you are done reading this blog you will get out of bed, put down the remote, stop searching job sites and go for a walk. It's time to search yourself for what is important, develop a plan to live it and to go after it.

That dream job you want is yours and the promotion you seek is eminent if you understand the following:
Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself!
Beggars Cant be Choosers!
If It ain't Meant to be Don't Force It!

How I Stopped Crying!
I once loved a girl who didn't love me. I spent countless hours worrying about her and around her I consistently acted out of character. She didn't dislike me but she was overwhelmed by my bravado...I showed off when I should have been calmly present...I was annoying to be around. I complained to my friends about the misery of the situation and they rolled their eyes. They knew I could have controlled the situation but I chose not to. They too were annoyed by my bravado. They were right.

So when my friend cried over a boy, I too rolled my eyes. I saw in her the ass I was in said situation and I bucked up. I vowed to put my emotions in check and to develop better communication skills. Sitting in my apartment listening to The Cure did nothing for me. When I got out with my pals and breathed a little fresh air: I was reminded of my incomparable awesomeness...and I never looked back.

Ask (and accept) and You Shall Receive
This may be the toughest job market in my life time and yet I have managed to find jobs for people. Many of them have addressed my offer with "I don't want to do that". Do that 10 times, stay unemployed for a year and then come ask me if that position is still open. I am sorry to phrase it this way but "Beggars Can't Be Choosers". Wake up, get back in the game and upgrade when you can. If someone offers you something and you have nothing else on the table - accept it!

The Colts Have a QB
We would all love to Quarterback an NFL team, play drums for Rush or host a game show. Those jobs are taken by people who dedicated their lives to earning them. I have said many times in this blog that you can be anything...apply reason.

If you want to switch careers, give yourself a 5 year plan. If you want a promotion dedicate yourself to a well planned career track. Blind ambition and misguided action will not pay the rent. Be real with yourself, get in where you fit in and find a way to put what you love into what you do.

Trust me...you can be anyone you want to...you just need to understand how that fits into YOUR plan.

So I can tell you this. The sun will shine tomorrow. You will find someone to love (who deserves you). You will get the job you want. You will ultimately get a promotion.

CALM DOWN! Accept things for what they are, don't force the issue, use your time wisely and always have a plan.

That light at the end of the tunnel is closer than you think. Don't ignore it.

Don't Forget to Remember!


Friday, August 20, 2010

The Fleeting Opportunity to Change The World

Another week in the Human Resources Community discussing policy and procedures. Another week in witness of the growing HR Thought Leadership in Social Media. Another week of thought provoking discussion across the Globe.

The topic that really intrigued me this week was that of management metrics for success. A group of "Managers" defending their process of success validation. The more strategic business leaders sighting trust, empowerment and common goals as a means of Leadership more than Management.

It pains me to see people 30 years into their careers without an original thought. Tow the line, follow the rules, stay employed; maybe receive a pay bump or a promotion. I don't fault anyone for wanting stay employed. I understand times are tough and volunteerism can bring greater focus where you might want to avoid exposure. I know that some people are happy to punch a clock and get on with their lives.

I do, however, have a few thoughts:
* Professional Stability is a Conduit of Cowardice
* Dependable Processes eliminate Guess Work (and Brain Power)
* If you have spent your life Punching a Clock, You Have Wasted Your Life!

Stability Sucks!
There was a point in my life where I settled into a middle management career track. A dependable pay check and a lot of advice about self-preservation followed. Don't rock the boat, don't take chances, don't volunteer - it will only lead to more work and more scrutiny. I saw myself 20 years down the line wearing loose fitting Payless shoes, walking slowly, with a lunch box in hand. A life of predictability to many means validation. There is no success in validation.

You have to be able to push the envelope every day...to learn more...to challenge yourself...to follow a painful morning with a great afternoon...to win and lose...to love and lose...to laugh and cry...to persevere and get up and do it all over again. When the madness stands still you stop living and start dieing.

People Drive Success (not numbers)
You went to business school, you earned certifications, you read every journal, you have been promoted 10 times; you now make a steady income and you know Best Practices. You had a great Mentor who taught you everything you know - follow the rules, follow process, document everything - what if your Mentor was wrong?

You will never get fired for following process or doing the safe thing. Nor will you ever reach your true potential.

Get Busy Living!
I don't care if you are 7 or 70 years old, at any point you can find the sensational in life. To challenge convention is unsafe, untrusting, manic and indefensible. It is also a lot of fun.

Try something new, stick up for yourself, oppose unethical direction, put down that report and talk to your employees. Understand that Love drives success not revenue reporting. Put your neck out there for something you believe in, dedicate yourself to it, succeed...and shove the results up the ass of the naysayers.

If you have achieved based on the rules that others established, you have not succeeded at all. If you do not put your personal passion into your work you are living a lie.

My Dear Readers,
I am not suggesting that you slap your boss, quit your job or get an FTW tattoo. What I am suggesting is that this life is fleeting. You will never remember the trophy you got for perfect attendance....you will remember the girl you kissed on the playground. You will not remember telling on someone...you will remember the first time you punched the bully in the face and he cried like a girl!

Every Day is an Opportunity to Change the World! Don't Let It Slip By!

Don't Forget to Remember!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Crest

On July 1st, we talked about putting a strategy together for the second half of the year. Now we are staring down the barrel the final quarter of the 2010.

It's Go Time!
* Are you @ your quota?
* Have you gotten closer to securing your dream job?
* Are you prepared for the season ahead?

It is in these moments that a person's character is defined:
Do you thrive under pressure or cower in indecision?

You are at the crest of a wave...you can either drop in and surf it or let it swallow you up. It is in the critical moments that decisions are made, hard work is rewarded and coulda/shouldas start to rear their head. The next four months can catapult you into success or drop you into the unemployment line...what are you gonna do?

Here are a few tips that will help you 'drop in':
1. Confidence matters most
2. The key to time management is knowing what not to do
3. Get rid of categories

Dry and Secure
How do you carry yourself? With chest out and quick steps or with eyes down?
People can smell indecision from a mile away. If you don't have answers to questions, opinions to differentiate a strategy and evidence to back it up; you are not ready to advise anyone.
* Study Every Day
* Know what your product means to a prospect's strategy
* Articulate it

Don't Do It
When I hear someone say, "I'm too busy". It means they are doing a lot of unnecessary work. We get entrenched by a task list and perform said tasks out of habit. We fail to ask what these mundane nuances of the work day mean to our organizational strategy. As such, we are cast in a supporting role forever.
* Have a Personal Strategy
* Let Business Critical Initiatives Drive Your Behavior
* Don't Be Afraid to Question the Business Relevance of your Task List

The Past is Past
Often our motivation is driven by our precept ion of what is possible. Our metrics for possibility being the actions of those who came before us. Don't let that which has been deemed impossible be a deterrent to your goals for extraordinary achievement. Do Better!

You are at the crest of a wave...when you feel doubt creeping in, punch it in the face...allow not your insecurity to surface. Remember your achievements and let them empower you. Understand where you have fallen short and learn from your mistakes. The past is past, no one can determine your results today. You can achieve ANYTHING! Listen to no one who tries to curtail your effort because they were afraid to 'drop in'. Listen to everyone who tells you, you are capable of anything!

We Can Do This!

Don't Forget to Remember!


Friday, August 13, 2010


Early in my career I was a disaster. I was full of energy, emotion, good intentions, and a competitive drive to succeed. My problem? I didn't know how to direct any of it. I was driven but not confident. I was motivated by all the wrong things and my drive to advance was merely a cry for help!

My lack of personal strategy caused me to consistently act without purpose.

As the Avett Brothers once said: "Decide What to be and go be it"!

That's the trick: To understand how to be brilliant and to let that be your guiding light. This while devoting as little energy as possible to the things that serve as needless distractions.

In the aforementioned directionless quest, I pushed and pushed, hoping my tireless effort would yield results. It did...hard work always pays off. But, I had become my own worst enemy and projected my insecurity on to those who surrounded me.

At some point, I discovered that I didn't have to leap into action when given a directive. It was more beneficial to put a plan in place before taking action. Ultimately, I found a way to put most of my energy into what I wanted to do and very little energy into that which I didn't want to do. I became more successful, more happy and more fun to be around.

The Key: I took the emotion out of my work.

This is not to say I don't get fired up when I win or upset when I lose. I am also sympathetic to an employee who has fallen on hard times. I simply learned to stay level headed as it applies to the mundane detail of things. I concentrate on that which is relevant to the productive elements of my job and ignore that which detracts from it.

Each day you make a choice to love your job or to hate it. It all comes back to that which you choose to devote yourself to. If you get hung up on a small detail and allow it to ruin your day; you have lost an opportunity to grow and prosper. When you discover the ability to assess a situation before you react your energy flow will remain positive, your day will be great and you will be happy!

Take control with good intentions and paint the day in your favorite color.

Don't Forget to Remember!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Own It!

There are two things that upset Thought Leadership in Social Media:
* Bickering
* Compromise

I recently participated in a forum among which our moderator did an amazing job presenting an intriguing topic to the group. My respected colleagues presented their thoughts and experience regarding a touchy subject. As the conversation continued participants misinterpreted postings, called out the author and forced him/her to defend their thoughts. I would like to propose that social media forums are not for pro/con opinion blasting. You document a (well developed) thought pattern and evolve your view based on feedback.

When you reply to a detractor to defend your comments a few things happen:
* You cheapen your original Thought Leadership
* You turn a Philosophical Conversation into a bitch fest
* Those who originally respected your point of view...lose respect!

Please be advised: no one learns from a pointed discussion that ends in 'send me an email and we'll meet for coffee'.

Formatted discussions thrive on rival points:
- You don't have to sight a discrepancy in another's point for them to understand your opposing view point (and to benefit from it).
- You don't have to reply to someone who misinterpreted your advice.
- Those who respect you will understand your point of view.
- Those who misinterpret you will still respect you if you hold your ground.
- If you need validation to a point you are unsure of then why present it?

Proposed Social Media Forum Discussion Strategy:
Post Once

You can evolve a more fully formed thought process based on someone's feedback without an emotion driven public retort. Social Media forums are valuable because they involve real thoughts in real time. Don't cheapen the Thought Leadership Incubator with opinions based in self defensive.

Post, Provide Defensible Thought Leadership and Hold Your Ground!

Don't Forget to Remember!


Friday, August 6, 2010

Victory; A Definition

Growing up I had great success in two sports:
* Skateboarding
* Wrestling

I never was able to define synchronization between these two seemingly distant activities. But, it struck me while watching the X-Games last weekend. Both sports are extraordinarily competitive....in neither sport do you have teammates (essentially).

Skateboarding and Wrestling have one distinct thing in common: 100% Accountability!

When you get pinned on the Wrestling mat you cannot blame the guy in the next weight class. When you fall on your face after missing a board slide you cannot blame the hand rail. What an awesome connection, to Love that which is completely within your power. To choose to commit yourself to winning or to pull up and fail. To drive your laughter to tears. In each situation, the more you practice, the better you become. So that's where I discovered myself...with no one to pass a ball to, with no one to blame a loss on, with no one there to catch me when I fall.

Independent, Free and Accountable!

To pop your board into the air high above several stairs and to land all four wheels down is a thrill experienced by a committed few. It is next to heaven, even if no one else sees it. To experience a hard earned trick and to roll off into the sunset alone is the purest form of joy!

Likewise, when you win a wrestling match, your self-confidence shoots through the roof. There is no guess work as to who should be the match's MVP - you either win or lose. When you lose, a period of deep self reflection follows...how to avoid embarrassment at the hands of another for all to see next time I step on to the mat?

So it should make sense that the truest form of victory (and defeat) are those that rest squarely on our own shoulders. When we get to a point in life where we can be 100% accountable to our short comings we have found authenticity. When we can win without the validation of others we have discovered grace.

What motivates you professionally? Is it the act of achievement or the pat on the back. Does it mean more to you to please those who are watching or to formulate and take action on a business solution? Do you live for the business relationship or the bravado that goes along with creating it.

If someone landed a 360 kick flip, and no one else saw it, did it really happen?

Don't Forget to Remember!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Social Mediation

Friends -
I love "social media". I am a big fan of Twitter, LinkedIn and this Blog. I find the process of expressing one's thoughts, with your name attached to them for millions to see, to be an exercise in accountability.

Make no mistake about it, social media takes courage. It is an act of bravery to express ones opinion and field the backlash. You will learn to be accountable to the material you produce as soon as you submit a comment that is unpopular with any of your cohorts. You will learn from insults and compliments alike to be considerate in the line of your our truth. All good things!

The cowards are those who criticise social media platforms without participating in them. Those who submit criticisms and then cannot take the retort. Those who attack and become defensive when attacked. Those who mask their true intent in watered down, politically correct bravado. Those who (literally) pretend to be someone they are not.

Think before you respond, try to consider all the angles, express yourself at the expense of being unpopular with the crowd and own the results!

Here are 3 things to consider:
* I get as much out of reading tweets from skateboarders as I do from Business Advisers.
* LinkedIn Groups are a Trap!
* This Blog is as much for me as it is for you.

Express Yourself: I love twitter for the dissemination of information that I feel to be relevant and the group I have chosen to disseminate it. In one read through Twitter I can learn more in 5 minutes than I would in a 20 minute read through the newspaper.

I feel it is important to consider the following in the Twitter world:
* Don't tell me about your personal actions
- No one cares if you just dropped your kid off at school
* Have relevant information
- Attach a link to greater thought development
* If you tweet more than 20 times a day you are being excessive
* Show me your personality
- If you love bowling attach a link to a You Tube video of King Pin

Don't Get Sucked In: The world of social networking is full of people who are unemployed or bored at work. They will bait you into conversation just to discredit you. Opinion polls on LinkedIn groups are a way for salespeople to bait you into explaining your programs so they can offer you an alternative. Your competitors will invite your opinion to bait you to expose your strategy. Do not participate in LinkedIn discussions - final answer!

For Us (not them): I am always approached by people who have SEO platforms that will improve my blog viewership by 5000%. I don't care how many people read this blog. I write it for a select group of people who are genuinely engaged in progressive thought. It is also profoundly beneficial for me to get my thoughts on paper, re-read them and continue to grow.

Don't be afraid to express yourself but know that when you do you are subject to criticism. Don't take any backlash seriously but be willing to learn from it. As soon as you read feedback try first to laugh at it.

Don't Forget to Remember!


Monday, August 2, 2010

The Same Side

My Summer has been filled with seminars in two distinct fields:
* Human Resources
* Sales

A painful double existence at times. Fortunately, there are trends in each field that are gradually finding extinction.

* In Human Resources; Policy is being replaced by Thought Leadership
* In Sales; micro-management is being replaced by Empowerment

The Commonality: TRUST!

Buyers and Sellers have one thing in common: They are interested in spending their valued time working with people who have common goals. They appreciate reliable resources. They would rather spend all their time with on one great relationship than 100 commodity driven negotiations.

When you sponsor a program or initiative in your organization, you are risking your reputation. When you bring aboard a new customer, your fate rests in your new client's ability to sit nicely in your product sandbox.

Formality is breaking down, we are far more educated and we rely less on our organizations to educate us. Individuality has never been more prevalent in the workplace. Personality is part of our personal brand...and that is a good thing. Our abilities are showcased in open forum and the guess work of our organizational value has vanished.

So buyers and sellers have found a way to celebrate together:
* Put relationships first
* Don't try to be someone you are not
* Find the right audience
* Dedicate your time to the good stuff

Relate: If we like each other on a personal basis the nuances of products and services tend to be overlooked. Transactions are replaced by a mutually respected relationship. Negations end and we sit on the same side of the table.

Be True: If a prospect is over demanding during the selling process they will be a poor client. If a salesperson is indecisive during the selling process they will not be a trusted business advisor.

Find Your Home: If your solution is best scaled to small businesses don't prospect the fortune 500. If you are a small company, partnering with the mega-provider is a fast track to neglectville.

Get Busy Doing Good: Stress is a result of time wasted on futile tasks. If you dedicate yourself to productive relationships you will win every day!

* In the end, we are all a lot more alike than we think:
Trust, Engage and Empower - Together!

We Can Sit on the Same Side of the Table!

Don't Forget to Remember!