Introducing the Entrepreneur Scan

back hand scan

When you have a business, it is only natural that you try to examine it. We all know that the more information you have about something, the more significant your chances of making correct decisions for the business.

Entrepreneurs scan their business often, even though many already know their ventures like “the back of their hands.” When you think about it, the cliché “knowing the back of your hand” is a bit false.

back hand scan

In fact, only a few of us know how the back of our hands really looks. We just think we do because we see it every day. However, we also take that view for granted, and very few of us can honestly say that we have memorized every detail of the back of our hands.

The Business Case

How does that connect with how entrepreneurs look at their businesses? Well, most entrepreneurs nowadays want to believe that they know every detail of their ventures. But the truth is, very few do. You see, there are disadvantages to being the boss.

You have to be the Chief Everything Officer. Yet, in reality, there are plenty of details that can slip by while you handle other, more pressing matters.

Heard It Thru the Grapevine, Or NOT

For one thing, the boss always seems to be out of the grapevine. The boss hardly ever gets wind of any trouble that goes on in the workplace. It also means that there may be some problems that the boss will not be able to know unless the entrepreneur scans his environment.

So how should entrepreneurs scan their environments? Well, a good idea is not to act like a drill sergeant and start shouting down your employees to get the answers you need.

For one thing, it shows that you mistrust your employees and this would only keep you out of the loop, as it were. Another thing is that you cannot expect to get the information you want this way. With intimidation, you only get the information you want to hear, not the information you need.

You should let your employees feel that they can trust you. Be one of the team. However, be sure that you do not cross the professional boundaries that exist in every workplace. [for more on building team trust click here]

You should show your employees that you are the kind of person whom they can come to for any problem. Remember that any small issue of your employees can affect the way you do your business.

Further, you need a systematic accountability process. You must inspect what you expect.

Now, you know the proper way entrepreneurs scan their businesses through the employees. But there are, of course, other factors to consider so that your business is the best it can be.

Look Inward

You also need to assess yourself. What kind of entrepreneur are you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? How well do you handle the business and everything else that the world throws at you?

Remember that sometimes, we are not the best judge of our character. We tell ourselves a story about who and what we are. That becomes our sense of identity. But what we do and how others perceive us becomes our reputation. It is the reputation you must change, not your identity.

Most entrepreneurs scan their characteristics by getting an outside opinion. This opinion, of course, should not be biased to be helpful to you (your spouse is not a good source). You need to have someone tell you to your face all of your faults and give you credit for your abilities.

Look Outward

Entrepreneurs should also scan their environment. What are the potential markets available for their business? What threats out there can affect their business? Entrepreneurs examine the situation around them because it is one factor that they cannot control.

All you can do when something in the environment, whether opportunity or threat, takes place is to adapt to it. The change means that you have to be able to prepare for any contingency. It is necessary to plan to succeed. But you know that, right?

Entrepreneurs scan the market for any signs of behavioral changes that could mean the collapse of their business. Why do you think that chips and sodas develop different flavors all the time? People change all the time. One example is a change of preference. If a market gets tired of your product, you would be in considerable trouble.

Be Sure to Adapt

You need to adapt your product to the trends of the present. Anticipate future changes and do your best to prepare. However, you also need to remember your past. Sometimes, people dislike changes that a company or product goes through and, as a result, takes their business elsewhere. Ensure the continuing legacy of a good product if you think you have one.

Important Characteristics Every Entrepreneur Must Have

entrepreneurship

Are you planning to start and run your own business? Do you know the right qualifications and characteristics an entrepreneur must have to succeed? Does your profile match that of a successful entrepreneur? In this article, we will explore and discuss the essential characteristics that every entrepreneur must have. There are several important traits and values that are common among successful entrepreneurs.

entrepreneurshipBefore you go and start your enterprise, it will be very helpful to think and reflect whether you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. If not, you can also start developing these character traits.

Successful Entrepreneurs are Self-Confident – to succeed in the highly competitive business world, confidence and trust in oneself is an indispensable trait. Self-confidence means trusting your own powers and capabilities. The world of entrepreneurship is not without failure and disappointment. To survive in such a cutthroat world, an entrepreneur must have the ability to look within himself and find the drive and persistence to pursue his dreams. An entrepreneur must have the gumption to face any adversity and tackle any problems that may be encountered in the world of business.

It may take time for your idea to take root. You will encounter plenty of people who will discourage you. They may even challenge your character for even “thinking such a thing” (as your idea). Having self-confidence can protect you from much of the negative energy that may come your way.

Successful Entrepreneurs are Risk-takers – being an entrepreneur means having the ability to trust your hunches and acting on them. Great business ideas sometimes start as a hunch which enterprising individuals act upon. There is always the risk of loss in any endeavor, and entrepreneurs have just the right confidence to take calculated risks to achieve their objective. However, an entrepreneur’s risk-taking does not depend on luck, but on sheer effort and hard work.

Risk must be measured against reward. There is no need to be a dare-devil. But there is a good reason to accept some amount of risk in order to achieve your goals.

Successful Entrepreneurs know the value of money and are careful about their finances – to succeed in any business; an entrepreneur must understand the value of money and the cost of things. Typically, successful entrepreneurs learned how to earn and value money at a young age. Most of them started out by earning loose change as teenagers mowing lawns, doing groceries, babysitting for neighbors, etc.

Successful entrepreneurs have the so-called head for business – many entrepreneurs are gifted with intuition: they know what product or service is going to ‘click’ next. However, this ability does not involve clairvoyance or extrasensory powers of some sort, but rather, keen observation and understanding of what is going on around him. A good entrepreneur is always on the lookout for new ideas and new ways to make money.

Sometimes though, the entrepreneurial idea is not enough to win success. You need counsel for things you may not know about running a business. It is often said many start-up founders don’t know what they don’t know. Seeking out a reliable mentor is a good practice for helping to shorten the learning curve. Making early mistakes can be costly, if not fatal to your business. Surrounding yourself with trusted advisers can create a safety net.

Successful Entrepreneurs are competitive – the world of business is a very competitive environment. An entrepreneur must be aggressive enough to pursue his goal despite having many rivals and competitors. An entrepreneur must know how to stay ahead of his competitors, either by introducing new ideas and exploring new ventures, all in the spirit of expanding his business.

There is a big difference between being competitive and arrogant. A strong will to win is fine, but should not bleed over into an egotistical arrogance. Ego will block the ability to take feedback and input from those who want you to win. Be competitive, but be sensitive to the temptation to get carried away with the attitude.

Successful Entrepreneurs are honorable and have a good work ethic – although it is a fact that the business world is ruthless, the successful entrepreneur will strive to make every business deal honorable. The mark of a successful entrepreneur lies in a good personal work ethic that ultimately leads to good business practices, excellent reputation and good association with industry peers and business partners.

Becoming a business owner people can trust carries a great long-term value. The reputation you build is as important as the earnings you gather along the way. Your reputation will allow you to build other businesses at a later stage.

Successful Entrepreneurs know the importance of leisure time – hard work and determination are very important values every entrepreneur must have. However, a good entrepreneur knows when it’s time to take a step back from all the rigors of business and enjoy some downtime with their family. Besides, we all do need a little relaxation to refresh the body and mind before plunging back into the challenging (and stressful) world of business.

I like to call this time “re-calibration”. The stress and pressure of the daily grind demand periods of rest and recovery. Miss this and your endurance will suffer, if not your health.

SUMMARY

These are just seven of the most important characteristics of an entrepreneur. Of course, the characteristics every entrepreneur must have are not limited to the ones mentioned here. Having these characteristics is not a guarantee that an entrepreneur will be successful. Yet with these characteristics, an entrepreneur has just the right ingredients for success. All one needs to do is to find the right mix of these values, excellent timing, perhaps a bit of luck and, of course, faith in oneself.

So, do you have what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur? Go over these characteristics and values again. Ask yourself if you are ready to take the entrepreneurial plunge.

[reminder]Do you think you have what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur?[/reminder]

 

Finding the Edge – Episode #1

Dear Business Owner:

Most business owners start their business based on their passion for what it is they do. Unfortunately, it takes much more than passion to build a successful business. You must have a specific vision for what it is you want your business to accomplish and the direction you want to take to produce the results you expect your business to achieve.

Thought is the most powerful force in the universe. Our thoughts are the controlling factor in what we manifest and create in our lives. Use your thoughts to create a specific vision for your business and then apply the right strategies and tactics to grow and develop that business.

What you need to know…

Creating a millionaires mindset requires action on your part. You must create a mindset that’s focused on performing your highest impact and highest income-producing activities on a daily basis.

If you’re not happy with your business’s current results, then ask yourself a question and be brutally honest as you answer it. WHY are you getting such poor results? WHY are you failing to attract clients? WHY are you attracting the wrong clients? WHY are you failing to generate the revenue and profits you expect from your business?

One of the things that we have found over the years is that people who are broke, struggling or just getting by – don’t think the same way as people who are financially abundant. They don’t believe the same things as financially challenged people do, and therefore they don’t behave the same way. In short, they take different actions.

Why you need to know this…

Small business owners have been mentally conditioned to behave a certain way. They have specific beliefs… such as “in order to make more money, I have to work harder.” “Money is the root of all evil.” “No pain, no gain.” “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” “If I don’t do it myself, it will never get done.”

These beliefs lead to specific actions such as working more hours and putting forth more effort in a vain attempt to increase revenue and profits. That leads to specific results such as feelings of overwhelm, anxiety and frustration… and a deep-seated belief that more and more effort is required, even though results seldom if ever appear.

Do you know what your current beliefs may be costing your business today? For example…

Do you succumb to mental barriers that may be sabotaging your success?

Are you laser-focused on your highest income-producing activities?

Are you hiring, assigning, delegating or bartering all of your non income-producing and less productive tasks?

Do you know the specific steps you can take to immediately create a “millionaires mindset?”

Would you like to know how you can learn to develop these critical skills?

Our E-Learning Marketing System™ does all of this… and much, much more. But don’t take our word for it. Let me show you right now how a business owner can change the way they think about their business… and do so in such a way that it creates a dramatic increase in effectiveness and revenue visit Finding the EdgeTM  for a Test Drive.

To your success,

Doug Thorpe

P.S. Please remember that at any time you feel ready and qualified to move forward and acquire the professional help that can enable you to build the business of your dreams, just click here and check out our E-Learning Marketing System™. It’s helping small business owners just like you get the answers and the help they need to build the business they have always wanted.

We created the E-Learning Marketing System™ with the perfect combination of online resources, tools and support to get you out of any financial distress you’re presently experiencing… help you get laser-focused on your highest income-producing activities… and help you develop and then apply the fundamentals that build multi-million dollar businesses. click here to see for yourself.

Leaders: Are You Coachable?

groupthink

In my consulting and coaching business, I often ask the question “are you coachable?” It is amazing how many times the prospect says “well, yes I believe I am.” After a few sessions with input and feedback, it becomes apparent they really are not coachable. How do I know? It manifests itself in many ways.

Business owners and professionals at all levels sometimes struggle with being coached. Success and achievement creates a false sense of not having any need for change. If you are getting results, why interrupt the methods that got you there? That may be a good mindset in the short run, but long term success requires growth.

To find good examples of being coachable we can look directly at athletics where the concept of coach and student are most notable. When you explore the story of the truly great athletes (think Michael Jordan or Jerry Rice), you will find stories of tireless pursuit of perfection. Regardless of the season they just had, these guys worked relentlessly to improve their stamina, skills, and techniques.

Recently Jerry Rice, football great and now, NFL Hall of Famer, was being interviewed. He was on the driving range at a celebrity golf outing. Rather than merely slap some golf balls around, he was on the range with both his caddy and a coach. When shots were not going the right place he was asking for guidance and advice. Golf isn’t even his game, yet the discipline of looking to perfect a skill was at work. His desire to do well at whatever endeavor was before him drove his will to be better. That’s being coachable.

Here are the a few thoughts about deciding if you are truly coachable.

  1. Do you routinely seek advice and counsel to improve some aspect of your professional or personal life? Or have you learned it all and know it all? Being open to the pursuit of growth as a professional is key. The best individuals in any aspect of life will be constantly trying to improve. Whether that includes technical knowledge, insight, or wisdom, the effort is there. Those who excel believe there is always more to learn or be.

  2. When you get advice do you act on it; following through with using the information to achieve more? Or do you discount the information and talk yourself out of action? Using what you learn is important. In leadership, it takes practice. Once you learn and understand a skill, you must apply it to your tool kit. By using your newly found understanding, you help to create confidence in its worth. Just as athletes work to build muscle memory for critical physical moves, leaders can build “influence memory” to work to their advantage.

  3. Do you seek follow-up from the coach to be sure you understood the coaching and that you are properly performing the actions that were recommended? Or do you move on without ever doubling back for refining advice? Even the best coaches require feedback from the client to know whether the teaching and training is working. Be proactive in giving that feedback to your coach. When you realize you are working on a new dimension of your training, open up the communication with the coach. Let them know what feels right or needs better explanation.

Make Your Decision

If your current professional or personal situation is not producing the results you expect, then perhaps some coaching is needed. But before you simply engage a coach, ask yourself whether you are truly coachable.

#Entrepreneurs: Finding the Edge

“Finding the Edge” is something we frequently think about but seldom do. I am beginning a series of business coaching messages centered on helping entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners identify and reach out to their “edge”. Entrepreneurs commit to starting their business based on a great idea. However, it takes much more to reach any level of success in the business. “Finding the Edge” has multiple meanings. It includes operating at optimal performance as well as getting the edge on the competition.

The following text is contributed by Heiner Karst**, a business and executive coach from Australia.

Here are some great thoughts about the “Finding the Edge”

Where are you with finding yours? You know, finding “that” edge that allows you to always be the best you can be?

Downhill Racing

What does living and working at “the edge” mean to you? How do you know where your edge is? How often have you “pushed the envelope*” and had to suffer a setback as you found where the edge was. Or are you “coasting” through life, well within your boundaries, taking no risks so that you can’t fail? Are you using all your talents to live an exciting and stimulating life, or does “that edge” just appear too dangerous? A matter of perspective, isn’t it?

A great example of finding the edge

I was talking to a motor cycle racing rider at a BBQ last weekend, fascinated by what drives grown men to such “daring drives bordering on insanity”. There appears to be such an incredibly fine line between being upright and skating across the tarmac on your behind, isn’t there? And all that at several hundred km/h.

We discussed how he knows where to find that edge between winning and crashing, and he agreed that to find that edge, you have to cross it to know where it is. And that meant in his sport to be found cart wheeling onto your behind from time to time, hopefully not too battered and bruised in the process. OK, that was just a bit too far…. next time I’ll know. And so that “over the edge” experience defines the benchmark – for now, because someone at some point will find a technique or a way to extend the boundary to that edge just that little bit further, won’t they?

I asked him about his age (he is close to 50!) and about his lap times. He surprised me by suggesting they are still consistently coming down as technology gets better, but also because he is that much more experienced than the “young guns”. But mainly because he is doing what he loves best and keeps working on being the best he that he can be. I was inspired.

The message

I was enthralled by a further context, namely how the enjoyment has shifted, in that as a “young gun” the rush was finding the “edge” whereas at a more mature age the enjoyment of the experience keeps bringing you back and the challenge shifts to staying at “your edge”, not necessarily the “groundbreaking edge”. For me that means we don’t always have to be the best there is, we just need to be the best we that we can be. To feel great about “our edge” and not detracted that we might not have hit “the edge”.

I realized such a powerful life message. As long as we keep “pushing our envelope” in that way and keep striving to improve ourselves, we will not only raise our game, we will keep feeling great about ourselves. Like the proverbial “dog in the hunt”, with that attitude there just won’t be much time (or need) to “search for fleas”. For those of you than have children, please never underestimate how much they are watching and learning from us, no matter how old we are. It’s hard to expect them to “push the envelope” when we are “sitting on the couch”.

Forgive me pasting the full famous quote of Theodore Roosevelt here, but he said it so long ago so much better than anyone could:

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.

So what?

So why don’t you just reflect on this past month and have a think of examples of where you “pushed your own envelope”. How did that feel? Whether it worked or you ended up “on your behind”, didn’t it feel great to “have had a go”?

Think of where you could have, but didn’t. How did that make you feel, and how do you feel about that now?

You know, I have learned that we can’t change a lot of things. We certainly can’t change other people, particularly those close to us. We can only change ourselves. And we can change ourselves so that we can be the best we can be.

You can you know? And if you feel you might be struggling with that, why not find yourself a coach and have them help you find the right options and perspectives that will work for you, and “get you off the couch”?

What if you could?

*By the way, in case you were wondering, as I was, where this term comes from I looked it up: The envelope here isn’t the container for letters, but the mathematical envelope, which is defined as ‘the locus of the ultimate intersections of consecutive curves’. In a two-dimensional example, the set of lines described by the various positions of a ladder sliding down a wall forms an envelope – in this case an arc, gently curving away from the intersection of the wall and floor. Inside that envelope you will be hit by the ladder; outside you won’t. So there we go – now you know. I really hope it got you math whizzes excited, because my head is still spinning….

**Contributed by Heiner Karst who’s purpose is helping already successful business people in making a difference in your life’s work. He has 30+ years of corporate executive leadership experience with Siemens and SAB Miller in Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia. As a CIO, he mainly focused on leading professionals in orchestrating measurable business change through M&A, technology and enhanced business processes.

[reminder]Do you know your business edge?[/reminder]

Leadership: Are You Inbound or Outbound?

In the fast paced world of Internet marketing, there are two distinctly different approaches. There is inbound and outbound. Management and leadership has these same two dimensions.

Outbound marketing is the traditional approach we all know where companies try to push their message, putting up posters, banners, signage, sending phone messages/dialers, and very forward efforts to get your attention. The end game is the hope you buy something.

Inbound marketing, on the other hand, is the more subtle and gentler approach. The provider offers valuable information about a good, service, or topic. This information is something the prospective buyer can consume for free. There may be a voluntary exchange of contact information to receive the information (think ebook or survey result). The buyer’s willingness to give up that contact info is more than offset by the value of the content they receive.

As I was dealing with my own marketing service providers, I was struck by the idea that management and leadership has this same inbound/outbound conundrum.

When you assume a leadership role, you have to choose. Will my approach be inbound or outbound? Here are a few indicators of each style.

Outbound Management Style

  • Giving directives
  • My way or the highway mindset
  • Closed door environment where employees are not welcome
  • The workplace has a feel of autocratic rule with no regard for what the employees think
  • “I’m the boss, they better pay attention”

Managing Up the Organization

Inbound Leadership Style

  • Nurturing trust relationships with the team
  • Employee environment of permission and protection – freedom to do the work and knowledge that the boss has my back
  • Open communication
  • Servant heart for leadership
  • Freely given recognition for a job well done

Clearly it is safe to say the outbound style is a tradition of management, Theory X approach, taught and followed for decades. Just like outbound marketing, outbound leadership is the approach used by far too many. The tide is shifting. Outbound leadership isn’t really leadership at all. It embodies the core of management, but not leadership. Outbound will get things done for some period of time, but at what cost?

Employee engagement will not be very good under outbound domination at the hand of the boss. Instead, the inbound style is far more likely to draw workers in, inspiring them to perform rather than beating them down to get something done.

The workplace has a long way to go to embrace the inbound leadership style. As I write this, I can almost hear the eyeballs rolling in people’s heads.

New, emerging business leaders must entertain the move to inbound leadership. The growing number of younger workers demand it. Inbound is the way they now live. Forcing them to live one way, then shift to the old outbound management style at work will not do much for your talent retention.

[reminder]What are the ways you operate as an inbound leader?[/reminder]

To dig deeper on your own leadership style, call me for a free consultation.

[button href=”https://dougthorpe.com//call” primary=”true” centered=”true” newwindow=”true”]Make the Call[/button]

 

Here’s a Proven 6 Step Way to Manage a Career Change

Making a successful career change can be as easy as following six critical steps. I call it STRIVE.

 

Over 4,500 of my professional clients have used this model for their own job search success. It has been presented in numerous workshops and forums. In the next few pages, you will be guided through these steps.

strive-2016Here we go….. Step #1…..

SURVEY

If you find yourself between jobs, the first thing most people do is sit down and bang out a resume. That’s a horrible place to start. (That is of course unless you change jobs every six months or so.)

No, in order to be successful at job search, you need a solid base; a firm footing from which you gather thoughts and ideas about your search. Therefore, STRIVE Step 1 is to SURVEY.

Survey your prior Success, your Passions, and your Talents. Everyone has achieved something noteworthy. Whether you are just starting out trying to build a career or have 30+ years of experience, there are successes along the way that need to be highlighted and amplified.

Copyright: dolgachov / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: dolgachov / 123RF Stock Photo

Build a list of key achievements and successes. Try to identify the “resulting in” effects of those achievements. Tie the final outcome to the task or event. The statement looks something like this:

“I was manager of a sales team that increased national sales 45% resulting in a net $10,000,000 earnings increase for the year”.

Let this list become an inventory of juicy nuggets of key accomplishments that will be the fruit from which you feed to power your search.

Survey also includes locking down on the focus of your attention. What do you really want to do next? You must be firmly rooted with an answer to that essential question. While you look at your accomplishment list, think about which items were exciting and rewarding versus those that got done, but you hope you never do again.

And yes, this is the time to rekindle passions for life accomplishments that may be unfulfilled. I realize financial necessity gets in the way, but if you’re between jobs, why not give yourself the momentary grace to get back in touch with some passion or fire that can fuel your next chapter of work?

TARGET

Take the survey information and the design you created in Step 1, and then create a TARGET.

Most job search planners tell you that you must focus your search. That is definitely true. Targeting means you are not going to market with a vague and slippery explanation like “I can do that too.” With targeting, you have a specific, identifiable landing zone you want to achieve.

Setting a targeted list gives your job search a framework and a way to be accountable for the effort.

Turn your successes, skills, and passions into a set of functions that you might want to perform on a daily basis. Then formulate a job description that includes all of those functions. Once you have your own job description of your dream job, you can begin to research the companies that need those types of jobs.

Targeting also gives you purpose. Being able to speak in specific targeted terms allows you to talk boldly with family, friends, and colleagues who may be able to help you with new opportunities; those around you can “get it”. They will have a better understanding of what you are trying to do. Empowered with that knowledge, others can do more to help in your job search.

RÉSUMÉ

Now and ONLY now can you begin to write the proper resume to tell your story.

Use a resume format that highlights the key accomplishments. Start your resume story with what you can do for the employer. You cannot assume anything in telling your story. YOU need to fill in all the blanks for the reader. List your prior employment history only after you have first gotten the reader’s attention with a “Here’s what I will do for you today” objective statement. Build a personal BRAND.

36762097 - job interview concept with business cv resumeHighlight a select list of 3 to 5 accomplishments right near the top of the resume will grab the reader’s attention. The obituary style (Chronology) of prior employment is super boring, but needed to simply prove you’ve had a run at doing the things you featured in the accomplishments.

Yes, you will need to flex your resume depending on the target company. A one size resume does not fit all. Use different accomplishments depending upon the target you are connecting to.

The resume must pop with your story, explaining what you can do for them. Remember, the target company has a need you can fill, but you have to lead the reader of the resume through the story. You can never assume any conclusion about what may come from your resume. Get others to read it before you submit it ‘Live’. Adjust the story based on how well it seems to be received by others.

INTERACT

To maximize your job search success, you need to think “INTERACTION”. This is where networking comes in.

Networking by itself is not the answer. Networking alone, just for the sake of going out and meeting people can become a big waste of time. You have to think Interaction. Begin building high trust relationships that last.

Ask yourself “am I really suited to be a long term part of this networking group?” Can I find value here and can I give value too? Get involved in industry groups and professional gatherings that are fits for your targets and your passions. Pay it forward!

When you attend an event, have some goals set to do things like “meet 5 CFOs” or “meet 3 new recruiters”.

As you talk with people, ask engaging questions that allow them to talk. Studies show you become more memorable based on what people felt about the way you made them feel. Having them talk about themselves helps to build that bridge. It seems counter-intuitive; I mean you are there to get a job right? Rather than dominating the discussion talking about yourself, get to know others first.

VALUE PROPOSITION

Build value in the story you are telling. Companies today need people who can contribute a positive outcome to their performance.

In this step we begin to prepare for the job interview. The sooner you can explain and present a solid value statement to a potential employer, the faster you will be considered for hire.

Help the hiring manager understand the value you can bring to the table. Include this in all aspects of your job search. Focus your personal story on the specialized and incredibly valuable contribution you believe you can make.

Landing your next job does require some sales skills. If selling something has never been a talent for you, learn how to tell your story with a brand value in mind. Shift your thinking to look at yourself as a brand rather than a job candidate. Your experience and job history should give you the right ammunition to use for building a strong brand.

ENGAGE

This last step is perhaps the toughest. Here we assume you have landed the new job.

The question now becomes “how are you going to go about keeping the new job?” You must create a plan to carry through all of the great and wonderful things you have sold the employer. Build a specific plan of action to engage and embrace the new company, your co-workers, and managers with positive outcome.

Set your standard of performance early and stick to it. Prove to the new team that you are the best hiring decision they have made.

In the HR world, there is a saying:

“We hire on skills and fire on behavior.”

Your behavior at the new job is a big part of success in the job. Get engaged with the team around you and the environment within the company. Learn things, understand things, and then do the things that fit.

CONCLUSION

STRIVE is a clear and concise way to plan for your job search. It provides constant reminders for every aspect of the search. Use the handy checklist in the Appendix of the eBook I am offering here to grade yourself on the search.

And remember, with STRIVE you can Thrive!

 

Managers: Why You Should Re-Calibrate

In today’s business world, everyone is trying to be someone or something. Maybe it is because of our western culture. You heard it at an early age; “what do you want to be when you grow up?” (My answer is still, I’ll tell you when I grow up). New managers need to stay the course, following the purpose for which they entered leadership.

Being that particular someone or something drives us. There is, however, a bigger question to ask ourselves. Does the position you hold at work have anything to do with the person you meant to become?

Has your vocation gotten in the way of you becoming the person you think you were supposed to be? Have you lost sight of a bigger purpose or a calling?

During the years I ran the career transition non-profit organization called Jobs Ministry Southwest, I heard so many professionals tell stories about life getting in the way of the dream they once had. People who had studied one field in school never got a job there because they got married early, had children and accepted another path because it made sense at the time. Critical needs overruled dreams and passions. Sad perhaps, but very real circumstances.

Despite the twists and turns in life, I believe you will demonstrate a basic behavior that is true to your original purpose. How do I know this? Take this small challenge.

Ask some of your closest friends and colleagues to write just three words to describe you; nothing too deep, just their basic impression of their experience knowing you. Three words.

I will not do this exercise often, but when I do, I find that it provides the following feedback:

  1. Reinforces the values I intend to exhibit to the world.
  2. Provides correction if I have deviated from my true course.
  3. Restores clarity when or if I have lost focus.
  4. May provide a surprise response about a trait or character I was not aware I had.

Time to Re-Calibrate

Getting this feedback helps me re-calibrate. I love that word. Why? Because I believe all of our effort to grow and be more in this world is a function of many, many moving parts. Occasionally a cog gets out of alignment. When that happens, our mechanism will not function at full speed and efficiency. We need re-calibration to synchronize the moving parts.

37237381_s

From time to time, the best realignment we can get is to refocus our purpose for being here. Clear out the distractions and return to the greater calling we once believed.

My audience is mostly business managers. Nothing can get you off center more than the demands of leadership at work. Ironically, in order to be the best possible kind of leader, you need to stay centered. Therefore, seeking ways to refocus and re-calibrate become very vital to that effort.

Here’s my closing question.

[reminder]Has your role in management become the very thing that has taken you off course? [/reminder]

Have you felt as though your duties in management have made you change? If you are sensing any such tug, you definitely need to pause a moment, seek reflection, and re-calibrate.