Be the Change

One of the interesting things about being human is that we are imperfect. We are constantly striving to be better. We keep changing and evolving.

What is the best way to encourage change in the people in your life? HBR recently posted the ten best tips for creating positive change momentum in the professional world.

Here are my top five:

  1. Embrace the power of one: “When you have 20 priorities, you have none. Research on multitasking reveals that we’re not good at it. Focus on one behavior to change at a time.”
  2. Make your goals specific and  SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely!
  3. Paint a vivid picture: imagine a detailed vision of a better future you can aspire to. It will serve as an emotional inspiration.
  4. Activate peer pressure: by nature, we are affected by what the people around us do. Our peers help guide our social behavior, so use that to build momentum.
  5. Hire and fire based on behaviors: people act based on the ramifications of their actions. Use it to motivate them.

What do would you add to this list? Please share!

Ritu Walia is an FG Analyst.

The Fabulous Five

Landing a job can be harder than the job itself.

To give you a leg up, here are the five top traits employers look for, according to a recent article by Forbes.

  1. Professionalism: Potential employers assess this from the moment you walk in the door. “From the clothes you wear to the way you stand to the grip of your first hand-shake, presenting yourself as a confident, energetic professional is about as basic as career advice gets. “
  2. High-energy: you want to be the person who raises the energy level, not the stick in the mud. Think about it, who would you rather be around at work?
  3. Confident: sell yourself. If you don’t believe you’re worth it, why should anyone else?
  4. Self-monitoring: no one has the time to babysit you. Make it clear that you’re focused and on task without any help.
  5. Intellectual curiosity: “An employee who will grudgingly adopt a new database is not as attractive as one who is truly passionate about learning new things.”

Do you concur that these are the top five, as an employer or as a coworker? What other traits matter more?

Ritu Walia is an FG Analyst.

You Are What You Think

“Improve your golf game by thinking powerful thoughts,” was the title of a recent Harvard Business Review “Stat of the Day.”

Think of the technique as a self-fulfilling prophecy. Forty-four percent more golf puts at 150 centimeters were sank by people who think of themselves as powerful than their not-as-positive counterparts.  In another study, people presented with authoritative words such as “influence” scored 29 percent higher in a game of darts than people who saw words such as “serve.”

The research suggests that thinking you possess power “induces better perception of information that is relevant to goals, leading to improved motor performance in pursuit of these goals.”

This idea can be extended to all areas of our lives. The next time you’re going into a big meeting, envision how you want the meeting to go. Think confident and your body will follow.

Do powerful thoughts give you power? Have you ever had an experience where it worked?

Ritu Walia is an FG Analyst.

Five Ways to Maximize Your Influence as the Most Junior Person on a Team

Last week I went on my first business trip. As could be expected, I was a little scared but mostly just excited. I was the most junior person on the team, and realized quickly that I could make a difference even with my limited experience. Here’s what I learned:

  1. Over prepare. If there’s even the smallest possibility that you might need that digital recorder, take it. You never know!
  2. Be prepared to be flexible. You’re probably not going to know where you’re needed in the next 15 minutes, let alone the next hour. Take cues from your environment and find a way to be useful even if things aren’t going exactly according to plan. Believe me, usually they don’t. Continue reading

Networking Takeaways from “Madmen”

“Madmen” fans: Have you ever found yourself at work asking, “What would Don Draper do?” (Hopefully you’re not asking yourself that when it comes to his personal life…)

My favorite professional takeaway from “Madmen” so far is actually a networking tip you can learn from Don or from Peggy: They both recognized early on that even though they were hyper-talented, they needed relationships to advance their careers, and did a great job developing them.

Don pushed his way into the world of advertising by stalking the well-connected Roger Sterling. This is interesting, since if anything their lasting relationship dynamic is as peers. They each know they bring something important to the table—Don, his talent, and Roger, his upper-crust network. Roger isn’t so much a mentor as a connector, although he does still sometimes school Don on the finer points of business relationship savvy. Continue reading

The Ups and Downs of Workplace Flexibility

Since 2005 the percentage of employers allowing (at least some) employees to work some of their regular paid hours at home on a regular basis has increased from 34 percent to 63 percent, according to the 2012 National Study of Employers.

In this Glass Hammer article, Day-to-Day Flexibility Increases, While Career Flex Drops, the cost of such a change is questioned. Although there is an increased amount of flexibility in the daily lives of employees, in regards to time and location, it seems harder to incorporate more long-term changes.

A lot of the flexibility comes down to the technology advances that we have seen in last couple of decades. Due to the fact that most work can now be done virtually, productivity isn’t harmed in this process.”On the other hand, companies do not seem to be acknowledging the importance of retaining long-term, experienced employees who may need to decrease their work-schedule for a more extended amount of time due to personal pulls,” the author writes. Continue reading

7 Ways to Develop Employees into Digital Storytellers to Boost Their Skills AND Your Company’s Resources

Guest post by Halelly Azulay, TalentGrow

Developing motivated, competent employees is critical to the success of every organization. However, most managers today find themselves both time-bound and budget-strapped. You can’t really send employees to training or online classes for every development need. Did you know that organic development opportunities can be found all around your workplace?

One creative and immediately available way to develop your staff outside the training classroom and “outside the box” is to turn them into what I call “Digital Storytellers”: send them on roving reporter missions. Let them digitally capture (by audio or video recording) hot stories from the frontlines, from customers, or from star performers, about difficult challenges they’ve overcome, or about workarounds and new ideas, and share them with the rest of the organization.

Here are a few ideas for content to get you started:

  1. Peer Stories. Peers feature their peers’ stories of success, lessons learned, problems solved, questions and challenges they want input about, gratitude, quandaries, and other “teachable moments.” Continue reading

Take on Your Professional Goals

Prepare to break the ceiling on your professional goals using the mental and physical strategies and tactics of the U.S. Navy SEALs with the transcript and audio from Mark Divine’s Social Capitalist interview.

Mark Divine, CEO of SEALFIT, NavySEALs.com, and US CrossFit, is the leader in providing civilians with mental toughness training and Navy SEAL-level fitness. His insights into elite fitness, elite teams, leadership, mental toughness, and warrior spirit development were developed during his 20 years as a SEAL and business leader, 25 years as a martial artist, and 15 years as yoga practitioner. Mark is also a former adjunct professor of leadership at the University of San Diego, and a co-founder of the Coronado Brewing Co.

During the interview Mark discussed how to: Fine tune teamwork and accountability to drive excellence; forge the mental toughness that creates strong presence and leadership; maintain your “positive charge,” not just emotionally, but physically; and to develop your inner “corporate warrior” to excel in all areas of your life.

Click here for the audio and transcript.

We Have a Winner!

We are pleased to announce the winner of our second scholarship contest. John Shelton has received a free one-year unlimited membership to myGreenlight. The prize (worth $699) includes unlimited access to all of myGreenlight’s resources.

John’s membership package includes all three of myGreenlight’s courses, three bonus courses, access to myGreenlight’s thought leadership series’ archived and live events, and access to the program’s alumni directory.

John’s entry submission was selected by myGreenlight’s Community Director, Kibibi Springs and Program Director Sara Grace because of his well-defined goal for the program. As a nonprofit manager for the Brewery Arts Center in Northern Nevada and a consultant for more than 30 years, John intends to use the program to help maintain his local non-profits’ donor base. He will apply the training towards strengthening critical relationships to the organization’s continued existence in the community it serves. Fully understanding the recent economic landscape and the shift in priorities for many towards self-preservation over altruism, he sees relationship building as an essential component for driving and managing the non-profits patrons and members.

“As the leader of this institution, I have to look beyond simply providing cultural services to the community and must work to find improved ways to connect personally with our citizens, creating partnerships that approach community problems collectively, and that build up all of us towards living and working in our community together,” says John.

MyGreenlight is happy to award this resource to John to use with his staff and board to serve a catalytic role in rejuvenating the community through cultural awareness and deeper relationships. We look forward to hearing John’s progress locally and how their successes can provide a model for the national nonprofit community.