A leadership development resource
from the Institute for Leadership Excellence & Development Inc.
On the Horizon This Month:
Banish Your Fear of the Pink Slip
This simple secret can radically change how you look at your job--and life.
Special Offers from the
Help for staying focused during job transition.
Interview with an Expert
Tip and lessons from Sharon Lawrence, a leading authority on job transition issues.
Links to articles to help your personal and leadership development.
This is one of the best tools I've purchased in the last 12 months. Every leaders has to do planning, brainstorming, and facilitating. This tool is a MUST in your software library. Click on the box above to get it now!
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Welcome to the April edition ofHorizon Time! Are you or someone you know either looking for a job or concerned that your job is at risk? Do you want to make sure you are better prepared if you walk into work someday to find out your position is the next job casualty? This month's Horizon Time is designed for you!
If you don't have time to take this all in now, print the newsletter out by clicking here to view the printer friendly version and enjoy it when you have more time.
Let me encourage you to forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues, particularly someone who is struggling through a job transition right now. They can join you and other subscribers on six continents who readHorizon Time each month! As always, my commitment is to help you and those you influence become excellent leaders, and I would love to include your friends and colleagues in the learning.
Have a great month!
Speaker, Author, Coach
President, Institute for Leadership Excellence & Development Inc.
Banish Your Fear of the Pink Slip
By Andy Kaufman
Paul works for an employer that has struggled through the last year. It's not like the place is going to shut down--it's just that money has never been tighter. Things he never had to worry about in the past, like subscriptions to trade journals or a training class out of state, are all being scrutinized much closer now. Comments on his recent performance review seemed more critical than before, which came as a surprise to Paul. There have been some layoffs in some areas of the organization, and at the water cooler, fellow associates wonder if the last of the cuts have been made. Though Paul tries to keep a good attitude, deep down he has concern that it's going to get worse before it gets better. "What if?", Paul wonders. "What if I walked in tomorrow and my boss calls me into her office and says my job has been eliminated. What would I do?" Paul tries to push those thoughts out of his mind, but as he forces himself to get back to work, he can't help looking over his shoulder, wondering if there's bad news looming somewhere.
Joanne had a wildly successful 1996-2000. She was the star of her sales organization, busting through quotas like nobody's business. She remembers going over her 2000 taxes before sending them in and remarking, "Truthfully, I never thought I would earn this much money a year. Life is good." Then came the summer of 2001. And autumn. And winter. The shine was off this sales superstar as the market dropped out from under her. Less than a year after tasting the pinnacle of success, Joanne was being told by her sales manager that she was being let go. That was two months ago. She's still trying to get her first real interview. "How did this happen? How can I make sure I'm better prepared next time?", Joanne wonders.
Don feels like he's on cruise control. Things have been tight at his workplace as well, but he's the person everyone comes to for answers. He's confident his company will never get rid of him. Yet Don feels a gnawing sense of "Is this all there is?" The truth is Don hasn't been challenged in his job for a while, and the years seem to be clicking off faster than ever. A friend of Don's recently went into business for herself and is having the time of her life. "Man, I wish I had the guts to do that. But what would 'that' be?", he asks in the quietness of his thoughts.
Organizations are filled with stories similar to those of Paul, Joanne, and Don. Prior to 2000, many people were able to float from one good job to another great opportunity without much strategy or planning. But then the market downturn cast its dark shadow across the economy and suddenly the smooth sailing days of the late-1990's turned into the stormy seas of the new millennium.
If your story is similar to that of Paul, Joanne, or Don, there's an important concept that can radically change how you look at your career. If Paul had it, he wouldn't be looking over his shoulder. If Joanne had it, her job search would be more focused. If Don had it, he would be working toward his dream, not wondering what it is. What is this critical ingredient that every employee of every organization needs to be at their best? It's called Exit Power.
In short, you have Exit Power if you have a confident outlook on where you are going, at least a rough plan for how to take the next step, and are actively taking action and reviewing progress on that plan. Let's briefly break those steps down to better understand them.
Step 1. Where
Don knows he is not anywhere close to living his dream job. He is enduring his job. He longingly looks at his friend thinking, "I want to live my dream as well", yet he doesn't know what that dream looks like. In the meantime, he is drifting.
Let's be clear: life is too short to waste on insignificance. If you do not have at least a high-level of clarity on where you want to see your career head, you need to start taking action. My situation is similar to many leaders I have met over the years. Our vision did not come to us in an instant--it was developed over time, shaped by the feedback of people whose insight we trust, and reinforced by success in the real world. I happen to believe that our job is not as much to create our mission as it is to uncover it. It's within us if we take the time to see it and hear it.
You cannot have Exit Power without a sense of where you are going. If you need help knowing where to set your course, here are some suggested resources to help:
Greater clarity on your desired destination is a key step to begin gaining Exit Power.
Step 2. How
Step 1 is about understanding where you're heading. Step 2 is about the course to get there. No sailboat travels a straight line from current position to destination. Whether it be wind, current, tide, other boats, or some other surprise along the way, course changes will have to be made. Having an idea of your destination and a plan for how to get there will help you adjust more quickly when those surprises are inevitably encountered.
After years of working with people on leadership development, I have been surprised to find how many people actually stop dreaming. At some point people just begin to check out on their dreams and get too busy to dream new ones. Yet there is a whole other set of people that just spend time dreaming! A dream without a plan will never become an accomplishment.
Of course, there's no way we can absolutely control the future, so any plan will have to modified over time. In the words of my friend Bill Henry, "The plan is exactly how things will not happen!" There is wisdom in President Dwight D. Eisenhower's observation that "The plan is nothing. Planning is everything." Going through the exercise of planning will force you to ask some very helpful questions. In addition, planning will give you a sense of what kind of challenge this dream entails and the timelines that need to be considered to achieve it. Planning the next couple chapters of your life could help you understand if this is really something you are willing to pursue.
Not sure how to put the plan together? The same resources as Step 1 can prove helpful here. Want to get some real traction with the plan? Share it with a trusted friend, colleague, or coach and review progress over time. This level of accountability can make a significant difference in making real progress.
Step 3. Get started
The best time to get started is now! Some people just love to dream and plan, but fail to take action. Not you! Start taking action now. Getting started might mean reading up on the subject, taking classes if necessary, networking with people who are doing the desired work now, and actually doing the work part-time on non-work hours. Coming up with the Where and How can be challenging, but don't underestimate how hard it is to actually get started on living your dreams as well. This takes time and energy that seems beyond many people, thus resulting in the forgotten dreams. Don't let that be your story.
Step 4. Review
Changes happen and you need to adjust your sails and course. You may even decide the destination you thought looked so good some years back is no longer appropriate. That's great! You have learned more about yourself and your goals! Just keep adjusting and moving forward. By getting a clearer vision of where you are heading, along with real-world experience sailing in that direction, you are well on your way to living a life with increased Exit Power!
The Time is Now
If you are a Paul, watching over your shoulder, more worried about your job than the customer, you need Exit Power. If you are like Joanne, in transition and wondering when you'll land the next job, make it a point to start taking action to build Exit Power. You'll never be owned by an organization again. If you are like Don, use this time now to get clarity on your destination. No position is safe in the long term. Even if your position feels safe, is "safe" what you really want for the rest of your career? I challenge you to make Exit Power a personal goal for the remaining portion of 2002. Your career will never be the same.
Questions for Reflection
Typically this feature ends with an exercise that many subscribers use to facilitate discussions in staff meetings. This month I invite you to consider these questions on a personal basis. If you really want to benefit, discuss your answers with a mentor, coach, or trusted colleague.
Questions about Exit Power? Feedback? Click here to share your thoughts! Thanks!
Jim: "Hey, remember that speaker we had back in November? You know, the one who talked about thinking outside the box, being innovative?"
Laura: "Well, kind of.... I remember she was funny. I can't say I remember much about what she said, though...."
Did you know that most people only remember about 10% of what they hear in a "typical" training class or keynote speech? Think about that for a second.... Organizations pay many thousands of dollars to bring in speakers and only six minutes of each hour is actually remembered. Ouch!
Don't get me wrong....I love to get crowds excited about a topic as they get engaged into the energy of a large group presentation. But I learned a while ago that if I really want people to benefit for the long term, my approach has to be far better than "typical".
I offer clients a process I call The Five Phases of Real World Learning©:
In the Assessment phase, I use a variety of paper and electronic tools to assess where your organization is currently at. The Design phase then heavily customizes the program (or series of programs) specific to the individualized needs of your organization. The Delivery phase is where the customized content is provided in large or small group settings in a dynamic, engaging, interactive way. (It's important to note that I don't allow "attendees"! If you sit in one of my delivery sessions, you're a participant!) You then have the option of implementing a variety of Reinforcement and Accountability strategies to make sure the learning is actually retained and put into practice. The Reinforcement phase utilizes either audio tape/CD's, online content, or one-on-one mentoring/coaching to reinforce what was learned during the Delivery. The Accountability phase allows you to get customized reports that provide you hard numbers on who is following up, their progress, and the overall change in behavior in the organization.
Some organizations decide to just engage me to do Delivery. That's fine. If you do that, you will get excellent content delivered in an engaging way. People will thank you for bringing me in. However, if you want learning that really sticks--that really penetrates your organization in the real world for the long term--The Five Phases of Real World Learning© are the best option for you.
Participants from previous sessions say things like:
Let's add your organization or association to the list of satisfied, learning organizations! Here is a list of powerful, practical learning that you can bring in-house to radically transform your organization:
Key Business and Leadership Skills
Productivity and Work/Life
Which of these look like they were made for your organization or association? Contact me today to find out more and to get this powerful learning into your organization, in a way they'll remember it long after the actual presentation! As with all my learning sessions, I personally guarantee your satisfaction. Contact me today to get started!
Earn Big Referral Commissions!
Chances are you know someone who is working in an organization or belongs to an association that is struggling to do more with less, deal with changes, or improve their ability to deliver on business objectives. I can help them! Just get their contact information over to me at (866) 884-5323 (or by e-mail to email@example.com). Referrals leading to speaking engagements earn a finder's fee based on a percentage of the speaking fee. Commissions normally start between $300-$600, depending on the level of your involvement. Contact me today for details!
Need a Speaker on a Different Topic?
If you have a need for a top quality speaker on a subject that I do not cover, I can still help! Contact me right away and I can connect you with some of the best communicators available today! A good way to save time finding a speaker for a particular topic is to work with my friends at the Speaker Resource Center. Click here to send an email to Nancy, Jenny, or Rob. These people do nothing but find the perfect speaker for your needs. Tell them Andy sent you!
Don't Forget April 24: Administrative Professionals Day!
If you have an administrative assistant that either works for you directly or covers for your area, don't let this day go by without letting them know how much you appreciate them! In fact, this year, do something more than just a lunch, card, and perhaps some flowers! Go out of your way in a big way to let them know that they are making a difference in your workplace. Be specific with the praises, and be lavish with the rewards! A great administrative professional is the glue that keeps a team or floor or department running. Let them know how much you care this year!
By Andy Kaufman
Going through job transition is one of life's greatest challenges. Too many of us define ourselves by what we do, our title, how many people we manage, or our salary and perks. Job transition kicks that false security right out from under us, and the fall can be traumatic. As discussed in my soon to be published book Navigating the Winds of Change: Staying on Course in Business & in Life, the key to effectively navigating changes is perspective: “the capacity to view things in their true relations or relative importance."
Are you between jobs right now? Perhaps you know a friend who is. This is a critical time for viewing things in their true relations and relative importance. I have worked with many people going through this process, and one of the biggest obstacles for them is to get past the anger of having been terminated by their previous employer. Regardless of whether or not the termination was due to performance, there's an underlying temptation to be angry about the situation, to focus on the lack of fairness of the situation, and to succumb to feeling victimized by the difficult situation the person is now in. Perhaps you can relate.
Though these feelings might be normal, they are not helpful to moving forward. I started using "The Gift" as a coaching tool to help people move beyond looking back to looking ahead. I ask the coaching client to take this script and modify it where needed to make it more personal. Then they are required to read the script out loud at least once every day, preferably early in the morning. "As a man thinks, so he is" is more than a nice sounding proverb from the Bible. It's a critical principle that can help or hinder your progress during this difficult transition.
To that end, I share "The Gift" with you and encourage you to follow the same prescription: Customize it to yourself and say it out loud each day. You can win the mind game of job transition. Here's my gift to you.
I wish you great success in your job search. If you know of a friend or colleague that is going through transition, I encourage you to forward this e-newsletter to them. Please let me know what questions or feedback you have about "The Gift" by clicking here! Go get 'em!
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Each month I include links to help in your personal and leadership development. Here are the links for this month!
"Recession? Advice and insights on coping with or anticipating a layoff in this volatile economy", CareerJournal.com. Follow this link to a rich set of articles provided by CareerJournal.com. If you are unemployed or fearing the worst, check these links out now!
"Look Before You Leap", by Christopher Hoenig, CIO Magazine, November 1, 2001. Though written for CIO's, this article has great advice for anyone starting a new position.
"JobHuntersBible.com", the online job search home of Dick Bolles, author of the What Color is Your Parachute books. A lot of great content to encourage you in your job search (and skills to be more ready if you find yourself looking for a job).
Carol Kleiman articles at chicagotribune.com. This nationally-syndicated business columnist has a great pulse on the issues facing leaders in the workplace. This link takes you to her most recent columns. If you're not already reading her work regularly, take this opportunity to start!
"The Tug of More", by Diane Rezendes Khiralah, April 8, 2002, informationweek.com. Intriguing article that looks at the reality of the challenge to squeeze more productivity out of a staff already stretched thin.
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