Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Self Discipline

If I had a dollar for every time someone has told me they don’t know how I work at home with “all those distractions”, Of course, we all know that working remotely with success takes  real discipline. The kind of discipline that keeps you at your desk when no one will know if you’re not. The kind of discipline that keeps the television off, and your brain switched on.
I’ve heard people say we’re born disciplined, or we’re not, but I don’t believe it. Anyone can learn to be disciplined in their work--even when working from home. If you’re looking to be more disciplined, here are some tactics that can help.

Note:  These are not original ideas and I do not have the source to give credit.

1. Plan your day.

If you don’t know what you need to do, or what’s coming up, it can be difficult to maintain your discipline, since there’s no pressure. A first step to being more disciplined is to set aside time in your calendar for every task you need to do. Some of the time slots and tasks may change, but this plan will at least set your expectations for what you need to achieve.

2. Plan your breaks.

Put your daily tasks into your daily schedule too, along with “legitimate” work breaks, like lunchtime. Build them into “break” time around your other tasks, or slot them in at lunch. If you plan those tasks, you’ll know you’ll get them done, too, which will get them off your mind and allow you to focus on your work.

3. Chunk tasks and set time goals.

Look at each work job you need to do today, and think about what’s involved.
By breaking those large tasks down into smaller chunks, and estimating a timeframe for the completion of each, you give yourself mini-goals that are easy to achieve, and give you a continuous sense of progress. You ‘ll probably also get a bit of a kick out of beating your estimate now and again.

4. Develop a reward strategy.

Your reward strategy is a way to pat yourself on the back for your achievements during the day.
It might involve a coffee break, an exercise break or five minutes to catch up on the news. Long-break rewards should be slotted into your schedule, so you can see them on the list and they can help motivate you to get through your tasks. But use your breaks strategically, so that you’re duly rewarded for your discipline at logical points through the day.

5. Make delivery promises, and stick to them.

To build that sense of external accountability, start making unprompted promises to deliver work to your colleagues. I’m not just talking about big-ticket deadlines; I’m talking about everyday tasks that contribute to your colleagues’ projects. Making a commitment to deliver to someone will almost certainly help you to be more disciplined about the way you work, and the way your prioritize what you have to do each day. Having someone else’s expectations to live up to is a great motivator.

6. Do something you enjoy.

I find that if I’m passionate about what I’m doing, I’m usually pretty disciplined about it.
Even if you’re having an off day, it’s much easier to be disciplined about your tasks if you believe in them. If you feel like the things you have to do are pointless, meaningless, or a waste of time, you’ll probably be more attracted to playing with the pooch or watching television than getting the job done.
What do you think supports a disciplined approach when you’re working from home?

Monday, May 21, 2018


 When prepping candidates for an interview I am asked what are 5 good questions that I can ask on 
an interview.  Well--Here they are.

 1. “How do you define success for this job?”

This question helps you get a clear understanding of what the job entails and the expectations the company will have for you in it, says John Crossman, president of real estate management firm Crossman & Company.

For example, if you’re applying for a sales position, an answer to this question might be that you acquire 10 new clients in the next 90 days. It may also be that you upsell current customers by 25 percent over 90 days. As a candidate, you’ll want to know whether you’ll be cold-calling prospects or focusing on existing customers before you make your decision.

2. Something specific about the organization

It’s always a great idea to ask a question that shows you did your research before the interview says Chris Delaney, author of “The 73 Rules of Influencing the Interview.” He recommends building rapport and showcasing your research skills with a technique he calls “share expertise, ask question.”

His example:  “I recently read that the organization is looking to break into Europe. What do you foresee as the main barrier with this project?”

3. “Can I have a quick tour?”

See also: “Can I meet some people I’d be working with?”

Both questions will get you out of the interview room and allow you to get a better look at the office. This will give you a chance to gauge co-worker interaction, workspace design (lighting, noise level, cleanliness) and the department as a whole, says Michelle Comer, practice area leader and vice president at the Messina Group, a staffing consulting firm.

Requesting a tour or a quick introduction to potential co-workers also “signals to the interviewer that a candidate is taking a vested interest in the position,” she says.

 4. “What is your favorite part about working here?”

“Companies, like job candidates, are putting their best foot forward during the interview process, often highlighting all of their corporate perks. By asking every person you interview with what they like best about working at the company you’ll get a better sense of the perks that people regularly experience versus the perks that live only on paper,” explains Sherry Dixon, a senior vice president at Adecco Staffing US.

“If the interviewer responds that they love how they can make their yoga class each night and log back onto work from home if needed, then you know the company takes work-life balance seriously,” she explains.

5. “Do you see any reason I might not be a good fit for this position?”

It may seem counterintuitive to inquire about your potential flaws during an interview, but it’s actually a great thing to bring up at the end of the interview says Morgan Nichols, managing partner at Chicago-based recruiting and staffing firm Torrey & Gray. “This gives you an opportunity to know that the interviewer is thinking about you and gives you a last chance to clarify any misconceptions they may have or elaborate further on something important.”

Thursday, May 17, 2018

What Not to Put on a Resume

The following 8 items are not my original ideas. Unfortunately, I do not have the source of the document to give proper credit to the author (s). I get anywhere from 25 to 50 resumes per week and 99% of them follow the format of what not to put on a resume. Resumes are loaded with duties and responsibilities without mention of accomplishments and/or results.
1. “Salary negotiable” Companies know that. If you’re wasting a precious line of your resume on this term, it looks as though you’ve run out of things to talk about. If your salary is not negotiable, that would be somewhat unusual. Don’t put that on your resume either.
2. “References available by request” See the preceding comment about unnecessary terms.
3. “Responsible for ______” Reading this term, the recruiter can almost picture an uninspired employee mechanically fulfilling his or her job requirements. Having been responsible for something isn’t something you did. It is something that happened to you. Use phrases like managed or led or other decisive action words.
4. “Experience working in ______” Experience is something that happens to you -- not something you achieve. Describe your background in terms of achievements, accomplishments or results. Those are the things that will sell your candidacy.
5. “Detail-oriented” Don’t you have something unique to tell the hiring manager? Plus, putting this on your resume will make that accidental typo in your cover letter or resume all the more comical.
6. “Hardworking” Anyone can call himself a hard worker. It’s a lot more convincing if you describe situations in concrete detail in which your hard work benefited an employer. This is a good place to describe results.
7. “Team player” There are very few jobs that don’t involve working with someone else. If you have relevant success stories about collaboration, put them on your resume. Talk about the kinds of teams you worked on, and how you succeeded. Another opportunity to describe results.
8. “Objective” A resume objective is usually better replaced by a career summary describing your background, achievements and what you have to offer an employer. An exception might be if you haven’t applied for a specific job and don’t have a lot of experience that speaks to the position you’d like to achieve.
Please feel free to visit www.rpssearchgroup.com and go to the candidate section where you can get a complimentary resume evaluation.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Taking action may seem risky, but doing nothing is a bigger risk
-John Miller

The above quote from the book QBQ written by John Miller goes back to my thoughts on mistakes.  Many managers do not like mistakes from subordinates as the mistakes might relfect negatively upon the manager.  As  a leader in the corporate world and in the non profit world I always felt that mistakes of commission were tools for leaning while mistakes of ommission meant that nothing had been done and therefore no leaning took place.

It is far better to make a mistake doing something than to make the mistake of doing nothing.

Monday, May 14, 2018

A winner is big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.  – John Maxwell

So many times I hear managers complain about a subordinate when he or she makes a mistake.  The manager immediately feels the mistake will reflect on himself and wants to berate the subordinate.

The quote above by John Maxwell tells us that  mistakes can be used as learning tools and it is possible to profit from those mistakes.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Zig Ziglar was one of my favorite motivational speakers.  In addition to his quote below he tells the story about being in Kansas City airport and his flight is delayed.  His response was fantastic,  There are only 3 reasons why a flight is delayed.  There is something wrong with the plane, the crew or the weather.  In any of those cases he wanted to be on the ground.  When I was doing a lot of traveling it helped keep things in perspective.

Have a great day!!

You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want. - Zig Ziglar

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

In order to be a good leader you must always have your people in front of you--

To lead the people, walk behind them.  - Lao Tzu

It has always amazed me that people who thought they were leaders were really managers posing as a leader.  Take a look at the comparisons and see where you fit in.