Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.
If you need someone to see an email you sent, forward it to them from your sent items.
Never use BCC for business emails– if people ever find out that you use it, they will likely never trust your email conversations again.
Since the reader of a BCC email can “reply to all” they can easily “reveal” that they are on the email. This is as much a practicality as a point of etiquette.
“Lean Companies Ready to Cut” headlines another Wall Street Journal article. Restructurings and lay-offs permeate the business news and corporate rumor mills again. In today’s environment, it’s imperative that executives ask themselves whether they are seen as “essential” in their organization. Here is a checklist to help you see where you stand:
1. Describe how your direct boss views you – in one word. If you said anything but invaluable, act to change that now. View your boss as your most important client. What does that mean? Deliver on crucial performance targets. Exceed expectations. Provide regular updates. Be receptive to feedback and implement changes.
2. Describe what unique value you provide to your organization in seven words or less. Want a hint? The wrong answer is “Manage team producing $X million in revenue”. The right answer is “Manage key relationships at XXX producing $X million in revenue”. Owning a high impact relationship with a key client makes it critical for you to be retained by your organization. Without this, you could become one of those “overpaid” generic high-level managers, vulnerable to cost-cutters.
3. Quick - name your key stakeholders. Get paper and pencil, draw a diagram of where you are in the organization and list important players. Now write what they think of you. Not sure? Recall recent interactions that you’ve had with these individuals. Did you just point out what’s not working or did you recommend solutions? If it’s the former, rethink your approach now.
4. Did your stakeholder list go up, down and sideways? If it just went up, it’s time to walk the halls and engage your reports. If the focus only went down, circle back to Point One. If you omitted peers, watch your flanks!
5. Do you manage the news cycle or do you let others manage it for you? In an era when revenues projections are missed, deals implode and operational incidents occur, move quickly and communicate regularly to all stakeholders. Get in front of the situation, explain clearly what occurred and recommend solutions.
6. Do you have a brand external to your organization? Social Media 101 - do you have a LinkedIn profile? Is it up-to-date? Does it include a current photo that is a real likeness of you? Have you published articles in an area of expertise? Do you speak at professional gatherings? If you are a senior leader, you should have answered “yes” to four out of five.
7. Do you actively engage in a vibrant professional network? Having more than 500 contacts in LinkedIn does not constitute an energetic business outreach. Do you introduce business friends who might mutually profit? Do you make time for associates’ college-age kids who are looking for career direction? What goes around, comes around. What’s more, at the end of the day, it is rewarding.
Next step? Find the three most important issues you need to work on immediately. Decide on first action items with target dates. Then execute. When you achieve it, take time to recognize that achievement before you move to the next step. And if you like, drop me a line at email@example.com and let me know about your success.
To make progress on honing strengths and forestalling flaws, the first thing you need is objective, external feedback. You aren’t completely objective about yourself— few people are— and it’s worthwhile to ask those who work closely with you to evaluate you. Their ideas might change the way you think, and positively impact your development.
Why not use a direct approach and ask your boss, direct reports and even colleagues the following questions. (Remember you want feedback from up, down, and sideways. For most on your list, email is probably best, since it will give them time to thoughtfully respond. For your boss, a sit-down meeting might be the most helpful.)
To your direct reports, it is useful to additionally ask: What leadership abilities of mine have the most significant impact on you, positively and negatively?
Ensure them (honestly!) that your are open to constructive criticism. It is vital that you create a safe forum in which your evaluators —at every level— can honestly and fully express their views. Emphasize that this process is solely for your own understanding and improvement.
Do not take the findings personally, but instead really listen. Your professional progress could be waiting in your inbox.
How do you motivate yourself daily to be 100% engaged with your life and ensure that you live mindfully? David Peterson, Director, Learning & Development at Google, accomplishes it by making reflection a daily routine. He has a series of important questions that he asks himself:
· What is my mission?
· What is my mission at Google?
· What am I doing to further that?
· What am I doing to add value to my clients, to Google and the world?
· What do I need to do to make today feel like a well-lived day?
The first and last questions are truly profound. Challenge yourself daily with these questions and create powerful changes in your life.
It seems relaxation is something Millennial women have never experienced.
These early career flameouts are reflected through the corporate ladder. Today, 53% of corporate entry-level jobs are held by women, a percentage that drops to 37% for mid-management roles and 26% for vice presidents and senior managers, according to McKinsey research. Men are twice as likely as women to advance at each career transition stage. One rationale is that men are more likely than women to do things that help their personal wellbeing at work, thus negating burnout, according to the Captivate Network. Men are 25% more likely to take breaks throughout the day for personal activities, 7% more likely to take a walk, 5% more likely to go out to lunch, and 35% more likely to take breaks “just to relax.”
This idea was popularized by Derek Sivers, a professional musician, in his presentation at TED. As he explains, psychology tests have proven that when you tell someone your goal, and they acknowledge it, you are less likely to do the work to realize that goal. This is because your brain mistakes the talking for the doing—that is, the gratification that the social acknowledgment brings tricks your brain into feeling that the goal has already been accomplished. The satisfaction you experience in the telling removes the motivation to do whatever it takes to actually make it happen.
Heed this information and keep your goals to yourself. It might just spur you to work harder to achieve an important goal.