Have an Attitude? 0

I was talking with my dentist recently, which is hard to do when he has his fingers in your mouth. We were discussing his office staff and I was remarking how well the office flowed. He said that it wasn’t always that way.

When he first began his practice, he hired based mainly on qualifications, degrees achieved and schools attended. He hired a very qualified staff. But he realized later that he didn’t hire employees who understood his customer service philosophy. This created tension between himself, his patients and the staff. Once he realized he needed to find employees who shared his ideas on office etiquette, thinks began to click. Ten years later, he has virtually no turn over and business is better than ever. It seems odd to say but it’s almost a pleasure to go to the dentist

When  looking for a position, attitude is key. The right attitude can get you hired.  So let your positive attitude shine and land the job you’ve been searching for.

Is your resume a list of your responsibilities? Then it’s wrong 0

Think about that for a moment. Anyone can make a list of job titles they have held, committees they have been on, even positions on local boards or volunteer agencies. But the biggest question to a future employer is what did you actually accomplish?

If you can’t get that across, it doesn’t matter how important the positions were you held. In order to make a lasting impression on an interviewer, they need to understand that you get things done. That you get things done in an efficient manner. That you get things done on schedule or even ahead of schedule.

And after you say that, then you must give a specific example of a problem at your last job, what action you took and most importantly, how the outcome was far better than your Boss had ever expected. The interviewer will remember that specific example and remember you.

As an example, when asked about your customer service skills you could say, “I’m a people person”. Or you could say:

As the Store Manager for Best Products in Hopewell, Va., I received a call one Christmas Eve from a customer about a ride-on toy he had purchased for his 6 year old son for Christmas. It was 8 PM when he noticed that the specialized battery for the car was not in the box. So I told him I would meet him at the store and we would get him the battery. I called my Assistant Manager (just in case this was a set-up) and I headed down to the store. We found the battery in another box and I sent him home, relieved that Christmas wasn’t ruined for his little boy.

Now that is a true story and it sticks much better than “I’m a people person”.

So as you prepare or review your resume, think about what you have specifically accomplished and the results you have produced. Then write that and be sure to share that in the interview. The results will amaze you.

Is the Trend really your friend in Business? 0

Is the Trend really your friend in Business?

To succeed in business, you must offer what your customer’s want at a price they are willing to pay.  It’s one of those intersection things; you make the sale at the intersection of their need and your solution.  And to stay in business for more than three years, you must understand what your customers will want. One way to do this is to monitor trends.

The trick in any business is to know which tend to monitor. For instance, tonight is the Super Bowl, a contest between the Patriots and the New York Giants. Checking Twitter for today’s trends reveals the New York trends are #SuperBowl and Happy Super Bowl Sunday, while http://whatthetrend.com/top10  reports that in the past 17 hours and 55 minutes, #10thingsaboutmyself has been the Top Twitter Trend.

By knowing your market, you can focus on the trends that will impact your customers. Living just outside of New York City, my focus today is the same as millions of my fellow Gotham area neighbors. You can see it in their dress as they shop for the parties they are throwing. You can hear it in their voices as they walk through the mall and stand in the checkout lines. In fact, after 10 hours of listening to conversations of shoppers yesterday, I didn’t hear one person talking about themselves, except in the context of the Super Bowl.

So, if you’re a global concern, you focus will be different. If your market is New York, this week has been about one topic. The trend can be your friend if you follow the right one.

Humor in the Workplace – even when the work is football 0

Humor in the Workplace – even when the work is football

NFL football is a business in the end. Stadiums are built, apparel is licensed and tickets are scalped for the big games. And when a business like the NFL mounts a huge year-ending project, such as the Super Bowl, it is easy for management and staff to take the whole thing very seriously.

As any business undertakes a major product launch or restructuring or adds new locations there is a natural tendency to bear down, to stay focused until the job is done. The extra stress associated with the responsibility is a good thing; up to a point. Finding appropriate releases for that stress is crucial to the long term health of the individual and ultimately the success of the project, whether it is a new product launch or this year’s Super Bowl.

Even during the worst times of the civil war, President Lincoln understood he had to keep the mood light. When challenged about Ulysses S. Grant being a drunkard, Lincoln famously said, “Find out what whiskey he drinks and send all my generals a case, if it will get the same result”.

My advice then, while you’re painting your face and getting the nachos ready for tomorrow’s game, is to find ways to relieve stress at work. Or, maybe painting you face and dressing in licensed sports apparel is your way of relieving stress!

Enjoy the game and these cartoons.

8 Things Your Employees Need 0

8 Things Your Employees Need

In this article, Jeff Hayden says that the number one thing your employees need is freedom.  “Whenever possible, give your employees the freedom to work the way they work best.” Micro-managing comes at a cost. You hired people to work for you because your company was growing and you could not do everything yourself. You selected your employees because they had the skills you needed and their attitude towards the job, the company mission and your customers was very similar. Yet, after you give them their job assignments, you find yourself second guessing everything they are doing.

Help your employees help you. Teach them your expectations. Show them what you want, then step back and let them do it. If you have done your job correctly, they will be the “shadow of  the leader”.

Give your employees the freedom to innovate, create and be exceptional

Manager Knows Best 0

“To get a glimpse of what tomorrow’s young global managers might be like as leaders, take a look at how today’s young people think about communications”

That is how the article  http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/02/why_the_days_of_manager_knows.html  begins. It generated hundreds of comments as people shared their thoughts on how much daily access team members should have to social media sites. But the main premise of the article is that “the Days of Manager knows best… are ending”. I disagree.

True, the open forums of social media allow access to greater volumes of information. Leaders get instant feedback from their teams when they email or tweet. This “tool” provides validation of a plan or gives the leader better information so the plan can be modified based on the feedback. But in the end, someone is paid to make the decision.

The manager is the manager for a reason. He or she has the experience within the company to lead their employees towards the company goal. Projects get completed, buildings get built, companies make profits when someone makes a decision. With the Internet providing instant feedback, being able to act swiftly can be the difference between success and second best. Just because there is a team of socially aware employees doesn’t mean a decision will be made, a course of action decided on or a resolution to a problem opted for.

Regardless of how you measure success, the companies that are successful have leaders. They pay managers to make the tough decisions. I believe that structure has held the test of time. As early as the 6th century BC, Sun Tzu was laying out management  and leadership principles in The Art of War. Today, people are still reading Peter Drucker’s books and quoting Lee Iacocca; “management is getting things done through other people”.

The future is bright with promise for those companies that embrace new technology and keep one eye to the future. And I believe the future will continue to show that (the) “Manager knows best”!