Friday, December 3, 2010

I have been asked many times by clients and candidates what is the number one reason that will cause a person to make a job change. A few years ago I night have said geography, travel or possibly a long commute. What it all boils down to is quality of life. Today's economic climate have caused a great deal of stress on everyone and when I ask a person what would drive them to a new opportunity I am constantly hearing: I need to get a better work/life balance.
Lesson learned. Money is not the driving factor.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Accepting Responsibility

An excerpt from The Power of Disciplineby Brian Tracy
Your ability and willingness to discipline yourself to accept personal responsibility for your life is essential to happiness, health, success, achievement and personal leadership. Accepting responsibility is one of the hardest of all disciplines, but without it, success is impossible.
The failure to accept responsibility and the attempt to foist responsibility onto others has dire consequences. It completely distorts cause and effect, undermines our character, weakens our resolve, and diminishes our humanity.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

This guest post is by Alan and Harriet Lewis, owners of Grand Circle Corp.,

Risk-taking has fallen out of favor in the last two years, the victim of the economic downturn and global unrest. Indeed, the current business mood has become cautious to a fault. Sit tight. … Keep your head down. … Above all, minimize risk. This is what passes for sage advice in today’s business press. Here are a few guidelines for risk taking.

Risk-taking requires support.
Risk-taking doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and it can be hard for employees to embrace it. Managers can help by specifying what risk-taking looks like in their workplace. Employees should be expected to speak up, ask tough questions of leadership, move forward with decisions without always knowing the outcome, and accept new assignments gladly. At the same time, managers must identify and reward such behaviors. They must teach them. For us, this happens in the office, on team off-sites, and at our annual companywide training, which incorporates risk-taking exercises from Outward Bound and other experiential learning programs. In other companies, risk-taking might look different. For example, employees might be expected to speak in public, lead a cross-departmental team, or go after three new accounts a week. The behaviors may be different, but the support is the same: identify, teach, and reward.

Risk-taking must be embedded in a larger corporate culture. Of course, employees can’t just go off half-cocked, doing any risky thing they please. Risk-taking must be guided by the company’s vision and mission, and bounded by the company’s values. A company’s mission, vision, and values are its greatest assets, but they are worthless if you don’t cultivate them. Leadership must refer to them constantly, and employees must be held accountable to them in performance reviews. When the corporate culture is completely clear, risk-taking will always support the goals of the company.

Risk-taking means you will make mistakes. Every risk-taking organization will make mistakes once in a while. We’ve made lots of them. In the 1990s, we invested $11 million in a computer system that didn’t work for us. Around the same time, we divested financial operations on our overseas offices and got robbed – several times. Mistakes and losses are part of the risk landscape. To succeed as a risk-taking business, you must do two things at a minimum: You must create a safe environment for employees to make mistakes, and, when a risky decision is on the table, you must always be ready with a fast exit plan.
Risk-taking is one of our six core values and has helped build our business in good times and bad. What risk will you take today?