June 28, 2010

Who's Leading You?

Leading others is important, but who's leading you?
You can only lead others to the extent that you can lead yourself.
Whether you are a current leader or aspire to be one, focus on developing yourself before you try to change others. Great leaders challenge themselves. Personal growth is a never ending journey.
Self-leadership is the process of influencing oneself to establish the self-direction and self-motivation needed to perform.
On a scale of 1 - 10, how hard do you push yourself? What will it take to get to the next level?
Your ability to influence yourself determines how effectively you lead others.
Start leading yourself the way you want to lead others...
What are you doing to lead YOU today?

June 22, 2010

How Do I Actively Wait?

Doesn't this sound like an oxymoron? How can you possibly be active while you wait?
In Coaching, the focus is on the process before the results. Create the right process and the desired results will follow. We live in an instant gratification world. We want it and we want it now! We aren't trained to wait, even when circumstances force us to.
Last week, my beloved Lakers defended their NBA title and Sasha Vujacic (whom isn't my favorite) applied this principle. Up by two points with 13 seconds left, barely used Sasha gets fouled, steps to the free throw line and calmly sinks two free throws to go up by 4 points, eventually sealing the victory. After the celebration, a reporter stated that he saw Vujacic practicing free throws 3 hours before each game! He didn't get much playing time, but when his name was called, he was ready.
Let's apply this to your career. Unless you're Taylor Swift, these past couple of years haven't been as prosperous as you'd like. During the "down times", what are you doing to prepare yourself for the moment? Are you challenging yourself to learn something new? Actively building your network? Gaining experience in your field of choice on a volunteer basis?
There's much to do while you wait. The question is, "Are you ACTIVE while you wait?"

What are you doing to prepare for your moment of opportunity?

June 15, 2010

Relationships Make the World Go 'Round

It's not what you know, it's who you know.

In today's business world, who you are connected to is more important than anything else. Young professionals fresh out of college or grad school have to build and strengthen their network in order to succeed.

I've interviewed several serial entrepreneurs, such as Wing Lam (Wahoo's Fish Taco), Mark Verge (Westside Rentals) and Jason Nazar (DocStoc). The one thing they all have in common is their deep networks. By deep I mean quality (strength) and quantity (size). Sure, it may have taken them a long time to build their connection base, but in the long run, it will ensure their impact over time.

Imagine if your personal network was so grand, you'd always have a job...

Imagine having a "go-to" person in different industries...

Imagine your goal is to make others around you successful...

This doesn't have to be a dream. It can be a reality. Start today with the people you know, then ask them to connect you with resources they know. Have your friends introduce you to their friends. It's as simple as that.

In Keith Ferrazzi's book, Never Eat Alone, he talks about creating a 
"Relationship Action Plan." Here's a summary of his idea:

1) Develop Goals to Fulfill your Mission

Make sure there's a purpose to the goals you set. "A goal is a dream with a deadline."

2) Connect your Goals to People

Identify the people who can help you get there.

3) Strategize the Best Way to Reach People
Reach out to people who can make a difference in your life and the lives of others.

Building relationships should be more important to your goal, than the goal itself. Nowadays a business plan is useless because time moves too fast. Once you've established one, it becomes irrelevant. Make your goal to build relationships.
Why? Because your career depends on it.
Who has helped you advance in your career? How did they help you?

June 7, 2010

A Lesson in Recession

"No thanks", "We're not hiring" or "Sorry, but you're overqualified" Are you as tired of hearing that as I am?
Despite the hardships, what can I learn?
Be Humble
Success breeds complacency. Since most of us haven't experienced that lately, it keeps you humble. Learn to be thankful for what and who you have. Lean times force us to value what's important.
Be Resilient
Rejection happens. Deal with it. You're going to get knocked down, so learn to get back up. Continue doing the right things and results will follow. Fighters never quit.
Be Persistent
Stay the course. The easy thing is to jump ship, but the strong keep paddling. Down times test our resolve. It's those who stay in front of us consistently that we end up hiring or buying from (see commercials). People need to be reminded gently that you want it bad.
Whether you're a job seeker, entrepreneur or worker things will get better! After it's over, how will you say you weathered the storm?
What are some tactics that have helped you cope with the recession?