Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Sage Advice from an old Cowboy

An Old Cowboy's Advice

Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
Keep skunks and bankers and lawyers at a distance.
Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
Words that soak into your ears are whispered...not yelled.
Meanness don't jes' happen overnight.
Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.
Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
It don't take a very big person to carry a grudge.
You cannot unsay a cruel word.
Every path has a few puddles. When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
The best sermons are lived, not preached.
Most of the stuff people worry about ain't never gonna happen anyway.
Don't judge folks by their relatives.
Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
Live a good, honorable life.
Then when you get older and think back, you'll enjoy it a second time.
Don't interfere with somethin' that ain't botherin' you none.
Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.
Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin'.
Always drink upstream from the herd.
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back in.
If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.
Live simply.
Love generously.
Care deeply.
Speak kindly.
Leave the rest to God.

Are YOU a True Leader? by Al Walsh

Are You a True Leader, or Just An Acronym-Tosser?
Getting with the Program. Don't Stick you head in the sand!

There are many good business tools in use today for growing and improving businesses:
ERP, Lean, TQM, WCM, Six-Sigma, JIT, ISO, etc.
Some have been around for a long time, and some are relatively new.
These tools all address goals that business people have been trying to achieve since time immemorial. The major difference now is that information technology has improved to the point where it’s possible to develop business intelligence and process control on a scale previously unthinkable.

These tools & practices are becoming commonplace in the business world.

If you think you’re immune, you’re probably in for a rude surprise; even if you’re a small company. Shrinkage of the “supply-chain” world is forcing companies at all levels to implement them. You might get by “under the radar” for awhile as a small business, but eventually your customers are probably going to force your compliance if you want to keep their business. Likewise, you will be forced to impose these conditions on your vendors. Anyway, why you wouldn’t want to use every tool at hand to improve your business is beyond my comprehension. Certainly you want to use them wisely, and improper use can actually be destructive, but such investments can garner huge benefits.

So, that brings us to the question of what type of leader you are:
We’ve all experienced them - the people who throw acronyms around freely to impress, without having any comprehension of what they mean. Are you one of them?
We’ve also encountered those who summarily reject all such resources because they’re “too expensive” or “too complex for our business”, or for some other blanket reason.
I suppose there are also a few sheltered people out there who have no idea what I’m talking about (Good luck to you!).
Do you comprehend the myriad of good tools available to improve your business, or is your head firmly implanted in the sand?
If you’re behind the curve, it’s time to “wake up and smell the coffee”. Not only do you want to avoid getting caught napping by your customers, but you’re probably missing out on real fundamental opportunities. I’m a firm believer in exercising constraint in these matters. If you don’t really need a “fancier system”, or if things are working well and “don’t need fixin” - then by all means you should exercise caution. But what about tomorrow - How are you going to get your business to “that next level”?
If you’re just throwing acronyms around, you obviously are conscious on some level that these things have value. Isn’t it time to learn what they’re really about? I’d bet your competition knows. Most likely someone within your own company does, and is going to figure out what a phony you are; if they already haven’t.
If you’ve summarily dismissed all of these tools on some “intuitive grounds”, it’s time to take wake up and take a fresh look.
I mentioned in a previous blog that effective leadership involves taking a forward-looking posture; planning, setting goals, anticipating changes, and always looking for opportunities to grow the business & shine. There are tools & processes out there that are just “itching’ to help. It’s time to take a hard look at them.
For the sake of your business - for the sake of your career - become informed. Those businesses facing possible hard times in the current economy should especially be paying attention to tools that can make your company leaner and meaner. Your competition will!

Al Walsh is a Los Angeles area "Unrepentant Capitalist".
CAREER ROLES:~ CEO - V.P. - CFO - COO - Entrepreneur~ Executive Committee & Board Member~ Partner and Advisor to CEO's, COO's & Boards~ Multi-Disciplined Consultant & Contractor

A Message to Small Business Owners & Employers from Al Walsh

A Good Word for “Little Consultants”
Options to consider when seeking focused talent.

Consulting has it’s place in the world - “Get in, get the job done, get out!”

The street is awash with large consulting firms. They have their place, but be careful. I was invited a while back to interview with one of these biggies. What an eye-opener! All they cared about was who I knew in the business-world, and how I might parlay those contacts into business for them. They didn’t give a hoot what my business capabilities were. Not a single question about my expertise arose. When I didn’t throw them any big names, their interest faded rapidly. Keep that in mind the next time you’re contemplating using a “biggie” consultant.

Businesses, especially small ones, have a love/hate relationship with consultants. On the one hand, they would love to have focused assistance from time-to-time (assistance that they can utilize and then kick out when the job’s done). On the other hand, they cringe at the thought of paying the fees. The utilization of consultants basically comes down to a cost/benefit trade-off. It’s a circumstance- by- circumstance decision. Consultants are used when there’s a need to supplement internal talent. You small business people have the highest aversion, but you also have the greatest need. Small companies operate with lean teams, thus the knowledge-base is more limited. Small contributions by consultants can reap huge rewards. Your team can use a focused supplement from time to time. Wise use of consultants can be a huge boon.

Which brings me to the main theme of this blog. You have options! There are very capable people out there who are available at very reasonable and negotiable rates, and who provide high-quality work, but don’t get considered either because they aren’t in the “biggie” consulting firms or because they haven’t yet established street name-recognition; which is a laborious and slow process. They’re out there, they’re not hard to find in this electronic age, and very likely they’ve already approached you for work.
Most of these “little consultants” come out of the corporate world, where their prior focus was internal; taking care of business for their employers. They were doing what they were supposed to do; and now they can do the same for you.
If you want some focused help, and you’re having a panic-attack over the potential cost, you need to take the “little consultants” into consideration.
They’re hungry, and they’re highly-motivated to please. If you make a reasonable offer (don’t be too greedy), they’ll “jump through hoops of fire” for you. They’ll want to use you as a reference when they’re done - so they’ll do everything within their power to satisfy you. I’ve known a number of these people over the years. They’re quiet, competent, capable folks who are focused on providing quality service. Unless you’re hiring a sales consultant, do you really want one who’s main focus is on selling?
Most business people with any experience can sniff out a “BS-er” pretty quickly, so interview your consulting candidate and feel them out. You’ll be able to tell pretty quickly whether or not they know their stuff.
Your aversion to consultants will change once you tap the “hidden” talent that’s out there. Give the “little consultants” a chance.

Al Walsh is a Los Angeles area "Unrepentant Capitalist"
CAREER ROLES:~ CEO - V.P. - CFO - COO - Entrepreneur~ Executive Committee & Board Member~ Partner and Advisor to CEO's, COO's & Boards~ Multi-Disciplined Consultant & Contractor

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Al Walsh on Are YOU a True Leader?

Managing Hard Times

Thoughts for corporate executives on managing change.

If you’ve been properly managing your area of responsibility, whether it be Departmental or Corporate-wide, there shouldn’t be any major surprises for you, and you should be able to weather change effectively.

Regardless of your station in the corporate pecking-order, you should have been maintaining your own Strategic & Operational plans, and adjusting them to circumstances. People who exercise this discipline rigorously are seldom surprised, and usually have contingency plans developed for anticipated new developments. There are usually signs that change is in the wind, if you’re paying attention.

If you’re not doing this, or something fundamentally similar, I suggest that you START IMMEDIATELY; before it’s too late.

A key factor of quality management is a forward-looking posture; always anticipating what’s ahead and thinking about how you will adjust - just as you should be looking ahead regarding employee development - and to succession-planning in the event that you are promoted. People who exercise this discipline are better-prepared to deal with change; even on those rare occasions when it comes by surprise.

▪ Take stock of your talent and think about what you will do if a down-sizing occurs. Don’t wait for your boss to give you the bad news before you develop your plan. If you’ve got a marginal performer you’ve been tolerating, it’s time for them to go. Could you get by with fewer employees, or a leaner budget?

▪ If you see financial pressures building, think about what you can do NOW to cut expenses in your area of responsibility. Don’t wait for someone to pass an edict down.

▪ Go back to your last capital budget and review how you might implement less-costly alternatives, or temporarily shelve the parts that haven’t been implemented yet.

▪ If staff-cuts are possible, and cross-training needs to be done between targeted employees & those who would remain, start it NOW.

These are just a few of the ideas you can enact, but the operative words are THINK! and NOW!

When the down-sizing occurs, will you be perceived as a true leader or just another follower?

Your own job may hang in the balance. Get a leg up while you still can, and make it a permanent part of your leadership discipline. Operate lean, mean, and aware!

Good Luck!

Al Walsh is a Los Angeles area "Unrepentant Capitalist"
CAREER ROLES:~ CEO - V.P. - CFO - COO - Entrepreneur~ Executive Committee & Board Member~ Partner and Advisor to CEO's, COO's & Boards~ Multi-Disciplined Consultant & Contractor

Robyn Moreno on 5 Ways to ROCK Your Career

5 Ways to Rock Your Career

From getting a promotion to going for your dream job, tips for getting the most from your career.

Americans spend almost two thirds of their lives working, but according to a poll by, 40 percent of employees are dissatisfied with their jobs.

To help you get some fulfillment from the workplace, we reached out to several of today's top career experts for some on-the-job advice. Here, we share with you their top five tips for getting the most out of the daily grind.

Find out what's making you miserable
If you can figure out exactly why you're unhappy, it will be easier to make a change for the better, says life and career coach Meredith Haberfeld (

To get to the heart of the matter, write down specific examples of things you dislike about your current job, whether it's not earning enough money, working late hours or having an unappreciative boss. Once you pinpoint what's frustrating you, it'll be easier to take action to improve the situation, such as asking for a raise or negotiating to leave earlier to spend more time with your family. "Homing in on what you don't like about your job makes it easier to ask for what you want," says Haberfeld.

Speak up to get a promotion
"Women tend to minimize their work triumphs, which impacts their ability to move ahead," says Caitlin Friedman, coauthor of The Girl's Guide to Being a Boss (Without Being a Bitch). It's perfectly acceptable to toot your own horn once in a while, especially if your accomplishments are valuable to the company. To avoid seeming obnoxious about your endeavors, send your boss a note thanking her for placing confidence in your ability to handle your latest project, and let her know how happy you are that it yielded such success. Friedman also recommends making yourself invaluable to your boss in practical ways; for example, if your boss is unable to even go near a computer without asking for assistance, why not brush up on new technologies and implement new policies that streamline office procedures? "A good rule of thumb is that you're ready to be promoted when you've already mastered the job above you," says Friedman.
Ask for a raise
What's the secret to getting your next pay bump? Being proactive. According to the book Women Don't Ask by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, women who consistently negotiate their salaries earn at least $1 million more during their careers than women who don't. But before you march into your boss's office, first ask yourself if your company is in good enough financial shape to give you a raise, and consider whether it's been a reasonable amount of time since you received your last raise. If you answer yes to both of those questions, it's fine to proceed. Remember to be specific when making your case to your boss. Carmen Letscher, a public relations executive in Los Angeles, says employees who ask for exactly what they want in terms of title, position, salary and vacation time are greeted much more favorably than employees who only use the time to complain about their lousy position or salary.
Get the most out of your employee benefits
In addition to giving promotions and raises, many companies offer employees other perks to help make their jobs feel more worthwhile. Look over your employee benefits handbook to learn what's available to you. Some companies offer on-site gyms or child care centers, while others offer some sort of tuition reimbursement. In addition to bigger incentives like these, you might be able to enjoy some smaller benefits, such as discounted admission to museums and other forms of entertainment, like the ballet or opera. Finally, be sure to sign up for your company's 401(k) plan. Surveys show that one third of all workers do not participate in their employer's 401(k), while 20 percent don't contribute enough to get the full employer match. Not having your 401(k) contributions matched by an employer is essentially giving up free money-something you definitely want to avoid.
Go after your dream job
The first step in achieving your dream job is to visualize what your dream job is, says Haberfeld. From there, it will be much easier to realistically set the goals that will take you there. For instance, if you determine your dream is to open your own bakery, your next steps-from scouting a location to securing a loan-will become much clearer. Ladies Who Launch is one great resource for fledgling business owners. The group offers networking events and meetings around the country that connect you with women who have similar interests and will teach you about financing your particular dream. Sign up for their "Incubator" program, and you'll meet with other inspired women on a weekly basis and workshop one another's ideas, giving feedback on everything from a business name to marketing strategies. Visit for a workshop or chapter near you.

How to Keep Your Job In Hard Times by Carl Winfield

Work your tail off," keep a high profile, and find a mentor, veteran job coaches say

By Carl Winfield

These are uncertain times for the U.S. labor market. Companies such as Merrill Lynch, Sony ( and Alcatel-Lucent, which have either posted losses or greatly diminished profits, are cutting staff as financial pressures mount.

And while the U.S. unemployment rate has held steady at 5.5% for the last two months, there are no guarantees that workers—especially those between ages 50 and 60—will be able to avoid further cutbacks.

This does not mean older employees should start looking for positions at the local Wal-Mart or the neighborhood car wash. Many have experience and knowledge they can leverage to keep their jobs. But with staffing budgets increasingly under scrutiny, it may pay to be proactive. The first and most important move workers should make: Look for new experiences with their current employer.

"People like to do what they're good at," says Melaine Kusin, vice-chairman at Heidrick & Struggles ( HSII ). "But it's just as important to volunteer for special projects and develop skills that can be applied to other parts of the business."
"Be Visible"
Employees can raise their profiles when they make the effort to join special committees or even help organize a companywide social engagement. "Conventional wisdom may say that you should keep your head down, especially during an economic downturn" says Meredith Haberfeld , an executive coach in New York whose clients include Credit Suisse ( CS ) and JPMorgan Chase ( JPM ). "But my suggestion is that you work your tail off to be visible about the results you're producing." Haberfeld also suggests executives toot their own horns.
But other consultants, such as New York-based Dale Kurow, advise executives to be careful about what they say in the workplace. "You want to be the 'squeaky wheel' in the sense that you're proactive," Kurow says. "But if you complain, you're probably going to be the first one out the door."
Becoming the life of the party may be a good way to call attention to yourself but, once all eyes are on you, workers have to put up or get shut out. The best way for executives to keep their jobs or move to the next level is to develop an understanding of the whole business, rather than the part that relates only to them.
"You need to take the lid off your thinking and take a look at how what you do relates to the rest of the business," says Kurow. "If you don't know how your part in the business is connected to the others, chances are you're not going very far."
Cultivate a Mentor
Workers who are more engaged with the day-to-day operations at their companies have a distinct advantage over those clock-punchers who focus solely on the tasks in their job descriptions. But staying in a job is also about building relationships. While it's advisable to work well with your peers, it never hurts to develop a close relationship with a mentor, particularly with someone higher up who can help keep you out of harm's way when the axman cometh.
"Partner with the CEO," says Ana Dutra , CEO of the Leadership Development Solutions group for Korn/Ferry International ( KFY ), "and with the corporate leadership."
The job market is getting tougher to negotiate for workers in all age groups. But according to coaches like Haberfeld , you can keep your job as long as you don't mind maintaining a high profile. Establishing yourself as a leader could make the difference between moving up or being moved out.
"The main element in your career plan has to change from doing what you have to do to impress your superiors to doing what you have to do to impress yourself," says Haberfeld

The New New World of Work: New Year's Resolutions Tips by Dr. Adele

The New New World of Work: New Year's Resolutions Tips by Dr. Adele

Dreams for 2009 by Keith A. Shaw

Be careful of what you dream in 2009
“Because it may come true”

My high-school football coach, Coach “Pic” would tell us this every day in his motivational speech as we prepared for the upcoming game. His goal was to get each of us to create a mental picture of what we wanted to do – individually and as a team.
So, here are three strategies that I have used successfully and that you can utilize to achieve your dreams as well…
Number 1 – Write your dreams down on paper.
There are numerous studies that prove the value of writing down and keeping track of your thoughts and goals. A study sponsored by the Ford Foundation found that:
- 23% of the population has no idea what they want from life, and as a result, they do not have much.
- 67% of the population has a general idea of what they want, but they do not have any plans for how to get it.
- Only 10% of the population has specific, well-defined goals, but even then, seven out of the ten of those people reach their goals only half the time.
- The top 3%, however, achieved their goals 89% of the time.
What accounted for the dramatic difference between the top 3% and the others? The top 3% wrote down their goals, their dreams, their THOUGHTS. Simply put, dreams are not goals until they are written on paper. They become a road map for you to follow.
Number 2 - “Pre-set” your mental state for the next day before you head off to bed.
Here’s my secret. Before my head hits the pillow, I spend about five to ten minutes in quiet reflection and thought as to what I want my next day to be like. I think about the things that I want to achieve, such as a financial goal, spiritual strength, courage or other goals, and let my subconscious “dream-mind” work on these while I sleep. I have learned from experience that this strategy not only works in the short term to solve an immediate problem, but also helps me to come up with solutions to achieve a longer-term goal.
Number 3 – Review your list of dreams and do not be discouraged when you are “off course”.
When you focus your mind on your dreams and goals, you centralize your attention, just like you focus a camera lens on the subject of your photograph. Be sure to monitor and check yourself from time to time. People who do not follow the practice of honest, self evaluation can never identify when they are getting off course.
For example, before an airplane takes off and flies from one city to another, the crew maps out a flight path. Along the way, they must account for headwinds, tailwinds, turbulence, weather issues and more that cause the plane to drift off course. Now, do the pilots panic? No! They read and analyze the plane’s telemetry and systematically make the adjustments needed to get the passengers to the destination. Systematic and ongoing self evaluation will allow you to do the same by reading your “telemetry” and keeping you on your “flight plan” so that you successfully reach your destination.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”.
Design the future of your dreams in 2009. And be careful, they may come true!

Keith A. Shaw is the author and creator of “The Power Of Thought”, and “The Power Of Concentration” Motivation and Success Systems, along with “The Power Of Serenity And Peace” Spirituality and Happiness System. Visit his website

The New New World of Work: 10 Ways to Foster Innovation

The New New World of Work: 10 Ways to Foster Innovation

Anand Subramaniam Suggests Creativity and Radical Product Innovation in 2009

When, where, why etc and finally how does a firm manage new product development, innovation, create blue ocean strategies and ensure success from the whole process.. well it depends !!.
At present, I am consulting for an organisation in Asia and here is the framework / roadmap I am using.

1. Organizing for product development (PD)

2. Knowledge Management in PD

3. Product development strategy and performance

4. Leadership and creativity in PD

5. Creativity and Design Management and Business Performance

6. . Product development in a global context

7. Networks and alliances in PD

8. Radical product innovation

9. Product development process

10. Product development in services and software

11. Marketing, users and product development

12. Entrepreneurship and PD

10 Ways to Foster Innovation

More Resources from Idea Village

The economy might be slowing, but now is not the time to stop innovating and let your competitors gain the upper hand. Here is how you can foster a culture of innovation in your business.

Times are dangerous. Many companies are thinking about cutting their costs, however this can also send a message that staff should maintain the status quo and that new ideas are not welcome.
The last recession taught smart companies a valuable lesson – while poorly-managed companies bunkered down in survival mode, innovative companies snuck up and took the hibernating companies’ market share.

Consumers, starved for new products and services that are cheaper, better and more exciting, supported these innovators. As the cycle turned, poorly-managed companies hit the mid 1990s with diminishing revenue and market share, and nothing in the product pipeline.

So as times get tough, it is imperative that companies foster a culture of innovation. But how? RMIT University recently studied 92 fast growing companies to look at how these entrepreneurs develop a sustainable culture of innovation.

Here are the top 10 ways they foster an innovative culture.

1. Vision and core business values sets the tone
2. Organizational culture is key
3. Take a team approach
4. Encourage open communication
5. Recruit and reward innovative people
6. Take a customer focus/orientation
7. Benchmark to encourage further innovation
8. Investing in and adopting state-of-the-art technology
9. Flat management structure
10. Involve others outside the business in their vision and innovation

Social Entrepreneurs Making a Big Difference, Look Into Idea Village.

Tim Williamson is president of Idea Village, an
independent nonprofit, which started in the last decade
with five entrepreneurs asking “how do we help
each other?”. It really moved into action after
Hurricane Katrina.

The group came up with a plan to do four things:

First, consult, offering strategic advice to help entrepreneurs
get through situations;
Second, identify resources, such as mentors and expertise;
Third, find capital, such as loans and venture capital; and
Fourth,provide therapy, helping entrepreneurs go through
the ups and downs of being in business.

Prior to Katrina, 1,000 entrepreneurs had come to the
group, and Idea Village had assessed more than 400.
Post-Katrina, Williamson said, it has been trench
warfare—there is no handbook, no guidance. If
you were able to come back as an entrepreneur, it
was the most incredible experience, and you did
what you did because you had to.

The Idea Village
decided they had to do four things: search and rescue,
triage funding, recovery, and rebuilding. They
began by searching for a database of entrepreneurs
because everyone was displaced.

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year's Resolutions Tips by Dr. Adele

Advice for New Year’s Resolutions for more career satisfaction.

Tips from Dr Adele:

1. Write out what you hope to get to in a few years
2. Work backwards: to get there, what do you need to do
and who do you need to connect with this year?
What: skills, degrees, certificates,licenses, preparation
Who: associates, experts, colleagues, mentors,
3. What do you need to do/know in January?
4. Find a buddy and agree to talk everyday (5 minutes each
way) to tell progress and cheer each other on


Friday, December 26, 2008

Internet Radio, Advice for Career Changers

Please copy this address below and paste into your internet browser
and listen to Patty's PodCast "Success Made Simple" for Career Changers
with Sharm Lane

Share YOUR 2009 Goals and Tips for others

It was Conrad Hilton the founder of the world famous Hilton chain of hotels who said, “Success is made to order.” He was right – for an achievement is a sum total of many things – talent, aptitude, knowledge and desire. If we analyze each of our achievements we will soon discover that it all started with the goal that we wanted to achieve. Well-defined goals, tackled with competence and confidence through a proper plan of action are the building blocks of achievements. They are our escalators to tomorrow, a vehicle that takes you to success.

What are some of the important points to remember when you go about setting goals and planning for them?

1. Your goals should be “SMART”.
It is very important that your goals be:
• Specific
• Measurable
• Attainable
• Realistic
• Timebound
2. What ever you do, put your whole mind to it.
In America, Swami Vivekananda saw some kids standing on a bridge, shooting eggshells floating in the lake. The children were always off the target. Swamiji took a gun, stood still for few minutes and then fired twelve shots. Each time it hit an eggshell, Swamiji turned around and told the awe-struck boys, “What ever you do put your whole mind into it. If you’re shooting, your mind should be on the target. If you’re learning, think only of the lesson.”

3. Be and act enthusiastic.

The worst bankrupt is the person who has lost enthusiasm. Let one lose everything but enthusiasm and that person will come through to success. Of course, there will be difficulties and obstacles. There are two possible attitudes to take at such a time. One is to let it discourage you, making you feel helpless and hopeless. That attitude is disastrous. The other way is to cultivate a positive attitude towards what you can do to solve the problem in the best manner possible.

4. Take effective decisions.
Most people have no idea how much stress they can create through indecision. If you are the kind of person who cannot decide between two courses of action, afraid that the course you choose might turn out to be a mistake, it is important to bear in mind that indecision is expensive and nearly always the worst mistake you can make.

Of course, some decisions require a great deal of thought and maybe some more information. But once all the facts are available, the successful individual will reach a decision and stop thinking about the various pros and cons, so that he can devote all his energy and effort to making the decision work.

5. Avoid Procrastination
Procrastination is the greatest disease that afflicts mankind. Although the disease is wide spread, it is important that we do not ignore it. Successful people do not procrastinate especially in matters they know are important to them. Someone has rightly said, “People don’t fail because they intend to fail. They fail because they fail to do what they intend to do.”

To sum up, setting “SMART” goals, putting your whole mind to the task at hand, being enthusiastic, taking effective decisions and avoiding procrastination are five keys to help you climb higher in life.

Nikhil Desai is an international trainer, motivator and speaker.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dr. Lois Phillips offers timely advice, Perfect your Presentation Skills!

Communications Consultant Lois Phillips PhD* suggests that anyone, but particularly career changers, spend some time in a course or with a coach improving their presentation skills. Public speaking both is and isn’t about interpersonal communication, which happens when we are speaking to someone privately but we can build on a few of the same skills. Any person delivering presentations – whether technical, motivational, or persuasive- needs to be attentive to the audience. Where are they coming from? What’s on their minds? Today’s busy people are wondering: “What’s in this (presentation) for me?” Delivering a presentation to a small or large group with poise and self-confidence is a critical skill If you are changing your career and want to move into a supervisory, managerial, or a political role.

Of course, any presenter needs to know the topic well enough to be seen as an expert who has ‘done their homework’ and to have a single overarching message, but I’ve seen dynamic speakers fail because they didn’t predict what was inevitably going to happen when they were finished speaking. Predict the tough questions, whether the questions are coming from skepticism, competitiveness, or resistance to the change you are proposing. People are impressed by speakers who are ready for the Q & A and who can bridge from even the most irrelevant question back to the main message.

Speakers tend to over-prepare, wasting their own time and the listeners. It’s not necessary to share every single idea or bit of research on a particular topic. It’s best to be selective and focus only on the information that will be useful to your listeners. Are these people on the staff of a company about to be acquired or merge? Do they need reassurance about the process of change? Are you pitching a new extraordinary product or service that will require risk and new capital? Are you wanting to build trust in your ability to lead the change effort? Whatever your purpose is, after all, you’ll want the listeners to leave saying “that presentation changed my life.”

*Lois Phillips is the co-author of “Women Seen and Heard: Lessons Learned from Successful Speakers,” Luz Publications, 2004.

Integrity, Honesty and Principled Leadership needed more than ever.

Obama’s Success Depends on Honesty, Integrity and Principled Leadership

Reeling from economic concerns, Americans want an end to
partisanship, and more focus on serious issues.

Forget political ideology and partisan one–upsmanship, the American public is looking for its next president to be – first and foremost – an honest man of integrity and intelligence who will lead the nation by example through the tumultuous times ahead, a new Capps Center/Zogby survey shows.

If you would like to see more on this recent study by the CAPPs Center at UCSB, please visit

Friday, December 19, 2008


Please ASK the Experts by commenting on this blog...
it's easy and you can ask your under your own name or completely anonymously.

Just click where it says "Comments" and fill in the blanks.
We will give you a response within 24 hours!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Lee Iacocca has a new book: WHERE Have All the Leaders Gone?

If I've learned one thing, it's this: 'You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action. Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's the challenge I'm raising in this book. It's a "Call to Action" for people who, like me, believe in America'. It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let's shake off the crap and go to work. Let's tell 'em all we've had 'enough.'
Make your own contribution by sending this to everyone you know and care about. It's our country, folks, and it's our future. Our future is at stake!!

You can get a copy of Lee's new book at book stores everywhere now!

What is the New World of Work?

What is the New World of Work?

· Job Insecurity
· We live in a "Gig-Nation" It’s less about your job that will count in the future, but more importantly about your last few Gigs! Yes, you can still have a career path, but it might look like a pinball trajectory than your father’s ladder.
· Resiliency and Resourcefulness, combined with Integrity and Credibility are among the most valued traits in the New NEW World of Work and relationships!

It's important to build your professional network, to surround yourself with both mentors and proteges. You'll need colleagues who respect you for your integrity, capacity and the results they know they can count on when they text you or write on your wall for the next Gig.

excerpts from Patty's new book JOBS2.0 The NEW New World of Work
available in Spring 2009

advance order accepted.

The Great JOBS Crash of 2009

Picture the Future……. Your JOBS 2.0 future!

It’s a whole NEW New World of Work

FAST- forward to 2012…….. There is a recession that was supposed to arrive in the United States now…… unfortunately due to accelerated change and global forces, normal business decade- time sped up and the recession or as some called it, the Great Jobs Crash of 2009, actually arrived in 2008. Almost no one was spared from being shaken and those who kept their jobs and actually got raises in 2009 began to feel especially grateful at least, on the days they weren’t nervous about the next business or state bankruptcy.

This is an excerpt from Patty's new book. You can order your copy for spring 2009 delivery now, just send us an email to

Servant Leadership

The Servant Warrior Leader’s battle ground is an internal struggle for power. Each time we act in a way that moves us through a fear, habit or perception toward a desired result the internal rewards we receive are greater … courage, confidence, grace, respect, calm, clarity, wisdom, inspiration and connectedness. The external rewards are better results, in less time and more fun as we develop deeper ‘trusted advisor’ relationships with those we serve.

Thank you for your servant-warrior leadership.

In Leadership,

Phil Johnson,
Authentic Leadership™ Coach, Lecturer, Author & Speaker
Bus: 905-272-5690 Cell: 416-729-7445 Skype: MBLCoach

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

THINK GROWTH! an article by Kathy Ullrich

Think Growth, Not Self-Preservation
By Kathy Ullrich

“Self-preservation is the worst mistake a CEO can make,” shared StrongMail CEO Sam Cece at the most recent Getting to the Top program at Stanford Graduate School of Business. “The role of the CEO is growth of a business and if the CEO is worried about self-preservation, he cannot be effective at growing the company. Just like the fastest race car drivers on the track, the best CEOs need to go for it. If you make decisions based on keeping your job, you will get crushed.”

The same concept may apply to companies in uncertain economic times. Of course companies may have some belt tightening to shore up resources. Beyond that are the strategic moves that can put a company ahead of competitors as the recession dissipates.

A McKinsey Quarterly article, Preparing for the Next Downturn, shared learnings from the previous recession. The article stated that despite many companies toppling from the top quartile, “Fifteen percent of companies that had not been market leaders prior to the last recession vaulted into these positions during it.” These companies had several common characteristics entering the downturn: balance sheet flexibility through lower debt-to-equity, operating flexibility from reducing costs, and diversified product offerings, including geographic diversity. All these gave the companies strategic flexibility to take advantage of opportunities.

To set the strategy and execute on it, companies need the right talent. For employees of all levels, self-preservation can mean doom. Employees need to think through how their efforts drive revenue, reduce cost or create strategic flexibility for the company.

As Silicon Valley came out of the last tech recession, I was quoted in USA Today. Google had hired Vinton Cerf, a father of the Internet, and the reporter wanted comments on companies’ use of executive recruiters. That was a time of major companies in Silicon Valley – SAP, HP, Microsoft, Yahoo -- hiring numerous executives in building toward business growth strategies. During weaker economic times, many key executives remain in positions rather than face unemployment and are therefore open to a new job for the right opportunity.

I encourage companies to think about not the incremental, but the big move that will propel the company, whether strategic or people changes. In softening markets, once the company has created strategic flexibility, it is the perfect time to take advantage of growth opportunities over other companies worrying about self-preservation.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Corporate Lifecycles

Every organization grows and develops according to a natural lifecycle, facing predictable problems at each stage along the way.

Knowing where your organization is at on the corporate lifecycle can be critical to its success. We have developed an online tool that will help you find out.

If you would like more information or a free Corporate Lifecycle Analysis,
please visit

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Executive Job Trends, TEXAS is Growing!


The December 2008 Executive Job Market Report was just published.

Here are some highlights:
• Texas had 61% of all the new jobs in the last 12 months, up from 54% last month and 45% the month before.
• Florida lost the most jobs.
• Healthcare and Government had the most new jobs nationwide.
• Construction and Manufacturing lost the most jobs.
• Our current situation is still better than it was in the recessions of 1990 and 2001.
In other developments:
• Retail trade this past weekend was 7% higher than last year, beating expectations. Let's hope it continues.
• Housing prices are still 29% higher than 5 years ago on the average, including the losses in the last year.
• The National Bureau of Employment Research announced last week that we've been in a recession since December of 2007.
Want to receive your own copy of the Executive Job Market Report? Sign up here:

Advice on Resumes from Mary Elizabeth Bradford

Prepare Your Resume for a Brand New Industry - Here's How

By Mary Elizabeth Bradford

Making the decision to move into a new industry is an exciting career step. However, your confidence can be shaken when it comes time to figure out how to re-design your resume in a way that garners interest from a new industry.

So, here are five easy tips to take the overwhelm out of changing up your resume for a new market:

Tip #1: Research your industry
First, you need to do a little industry preparation and here is how: using an online job aggregator like, find a couple jobs that match what you are looking for.

Print out the job descriptions you found, take a highlighter and note all the key words and phrases that match your skills and abilities. Be generous in highlighting each and every word and phrase that matches!

Now you have your basic key words you know match the position and industry you are interested in.

Tip #2: Showcase your keywords
A potential employer makes a critical first impression of you via your resume and from it, they will ultimately decide if they want to know more.

To ensure the best outcome, showcase your matching keywords - preferably at the beginning of the first page of your resume. This can include your qualifications summary and as stand alone keywords under a "core competencies" section.

Tip #3: Minimize non applicable information
A common resume mistake, whether changing industries or not, is including too much detailed information.

If a function or title does not compliment your new industry or position of choice, there are a few things you can do: omit it, condense it and/or blend it under a more applicable function.

Misrepresenting yourself is never an option. Remember that your resume is a marketing piece and not a legal document. If you are unsure about what you can or should omit in your resume, consider consulting a professional (certified) resume writer who can help you.

Tip #4: Choose the right layout
When changing industries, functional resumes generally work better than chronological resumes. The reason is that they enable you to highlight your transferable skills first, which also takes the emphasis off the fact that you have not been in the industry of your choice.

Tip #5: Carry your message throughout
As you detail your accomplishments under your professional history, you want to place the emphasis on those functions and responsibilities that most closely match your new industry.

Here is a tip to draw out accomplishments that you want your reader to focus on: let's say, for example, you wish to demonstrate your team-building skills. Take a blank piece of paper and begin to list all of the teambuilding activities you have led or participated in.

Now, brainstorm on 10 to 20 achievements derived as a result of your team-building efforts.

Be careful not to edit yourself during this important process! These free-form exercises are best done when you feel most creative. As an example, for me that time is in the morning before I have gotten into the activities of the day.

Successfully changing industries is something professionals do every day. Make sure your resume is giving you maximum market leverage so you don't find yourself mistakenly thinking that you can't change industries because you don't have exact-matching qualifications!

A qualified resume writer and/or job search coach can work wonders here, but if you choose to go solo, incorporating these 5 easy tips into your resume can quickly position you to land the job in the industry you really want!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thoughts on Leadership vs Management

Leadership is about doing the right things.
Management is about doing those things the right way.
Any organization can be revitalized with Authentic Leadership™, but never with great management.
Launching a leadership ‘revolution’ on the existing status quo must come first.

In Leadership,

Phil Johnson,
Authentic Leadership™ Coach, Author & Speaker