Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dr. Denis Waitley on 90 Days to a New Life

In my work with Olympic athletes, astronauts, top business executives and other winners, I’ve discovered that most of them have approached their success in 90-day seasons. In many areas of life, 90 days is regarded as an appropriate growing cycle. The business world operates on a quarterly basis.

The sports world, to a great extent, operates on a seasonal basis in which the majority of league games are played during a 90-day cycle, not including post-season playoffs.
The academic world, in many universities, is set up on a quarterly basis, with the fourth quarter usually being summer. Even academic institutions that operate on a semester schedule usually have nine-month terms, or three quarters of the year spent in class.
I’ve found a 90-day cycle of success to be a wonderful unit of time. It’s a time period that is long enough to plan for, begin, work hard at, and accomplish certain objectives. At the same time, it isn’t a year from now or forever. It is a short enough time to generate a sense of urgency. One of the problems with focusing on monthly goals is the gap in a month caused by events and holidays.
Tax time in April. Vacations in June, July or August. Christmas and other religious holidays, the World Series, the playoffs and the Super Bowl. These gaps present a problem in any given month. To sum up the concept of the 90-day season of success: It is a long enough period of time to accomplish something significant, yet it is a short enough time that there is urgency to act now.

Your 90-day season of success will build your motivation because, often, yearly or five-year goals are so distant that it’s easy to get discouraged and give up on them in frustration. When your goals are proximate and positively pressing, you’re more likely to muster the motivation necessary to achieve them. Before you begin your next 90-day success season, take an evening to go through the following exercises. To do this, I recommend you download the text from this newsletter, and block out some time for yourself when you’re alone and can think without being interrupted.

Exercise 1: Review your life-forming goals, and update your personal mission statement for your life or career.

Exercise 2: Take 15 minutes and write down your most important priorities personally and professionally for the next 90 days. Get your calendar and planner out, and start sequencing your action steps. Write down a list of to-dos, phone calls, e-mails and appointments you need to make.

Exercise 3: Now review your list from Exercise 2, and spend another 15 minutes adding things to that list that you want to do for your own personal entertainment or enlightenment.

Exercise 4: Take five minutes and record three things that tend to slip through the cracks in your professional life. Then do the same exercise for your personal life. These are things that you always mean to accomplish, but somehow never get around to doing.

Exercise 5: Create your “Seasonal Success Focus.” Review the specific goals and images of achievement you want to accomplish during the next 90 days in order to further your life’s mission. As you write these goals on paper or in your electronic diary, put a short statement as to the major benefit of accomplishing these goals.
Once you have done this review, determine what the present reality is—where are you right now in relation to the accomplishment of these goals.

This week, start thinking about your goals as “quarterly quotas.”

-- Denis Waitley
If you would like more of his wisdom, please visit
You can sign up for his wonderful free ezine. Patty DeDominic

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tips for Employers, Joy Chen on Reference Checking

Nine Tips to Make Reference Checks Count

Do not ask the most commonly asked reference question: “Tell me about Susan’s strengths and weaknesses.” It prompts bland generalizations, and leads nowhere.

Here’s how to make reference checks count:

1. Create a roadmap. The goal of referencing isn’t to dig dirt, or to get gossip, but to verify a candidate’s fit for the position. Identify the specific skills, competencies and personal characteristics required for the position, and reference against those.

2. Focus on references from the past five years. People grow. Studies show that the best predictor of future behavior is immediate past behavior.

3. Conduct 360’ references. Don’t just speak with former bosses. If the candidate you are considering has already had some career success, she’s already shown some skill in managing upwards. Often, the most revealing references are provided by direct reports and peers.

4. Always go off-list. Inform the candidate that it’s your policy to identify and call people not on her list, and ask if she has any concerns with that. If yes, those concerns can be revealing. When speaking with her referees, always ask if there are others who might have different perspectives on what it was like to work with her. Then call them.

5. Take control of each call. Avoid wasting anyone’s time. Start each call knowing exactly what you’re after on that call. Could be one thing, or four, based on your referencing roadmap, and when and in what capacity this referee knows your candidate. Perhaps you have a question around a candidate’s departure from a certain job, or how well he manages his peers. If the conversation veers off-topic, promptly steer it right back to your agenda.

6. Get specific examples, then drill down. Don’t ask present-tense questions: “How does she…” Rather, get specific examples from the past: “Can you remember a time when Susan actively mentored a member of her team?” When you hear generalizations, get examples. For each example given, drill down to find out the original Situation, what Actions she took, and the Result of each example. S-A-R.

7. Identify developmental areas. One of my favorite questions, at the end, is: “If you were his executive coach, what would you have him working on in the next three years?” More effective than asking for the candidate’s weaknesses, and opens the door to further probing.

8. Hit Pause. If the referee ever hesitates, wait. People do not like breaks in conversation. Often, if you just wait, you’ll get the most revealing insights.

9. Take notes. Research shows that memories of conversations always are faulty, and are colored by one’s own opinions of the candidate. I always tap along on my computer, taking near-verbatim notes. When I review and type them up, I always see things I forgot were said. Try to take down nearly everything that’s said on your call, so you can later assemble your notes from all the calls to get a more rounded view of your candidate.

Five or six reference checks like this, lasting 45-60 minutes each, and you’re done. Yes, that’s a serious investment of time, but it pales in comparison to the cost of a wrong hire. And, if all works out, you’ll gain excellent insights for on-boarding your newest hire.

Want more tips and insights on recruiting, engaging and mobilizing your team? Subscribe to the blog at:

Building Teams in Trying Times

Diane Crampton has an exciting concept which she calls TIGERS.

That stands for

T. Trust
I. Interdependence
G. Genuineness
E. Empathy
R. Risk
S. Success

TIGERS Success Series has over 20 years experience with successful team building. Crampton says there are a number of common mistakes that leaders can and do make all of the time when it comes to team building success.

She says her readers can avoid costly and time consuming mistakes. Below she has given some tips and techniques to being wildly successful in your team building efforts.

TIGERS Team Building Success Now Tip #1:

Over the past eight weeks, I have been interviewing CEO's of Team Cultures for my upcoming book and have learned some great tips to share with you about how they are strategically benefiting from the downturn in the economy. Just like the TIGERS values (trust, interdependence, genuineness, empathy, risk and success), these tips offer common sense solutions that many individualistic cultures will find difficult to implement due to burdensome hierarchies and competitive infrastructure.

Fortunately, this is not the case for team cultures, which tend to be small to medium sized businesses with a loyal and entrepreneurial workforce that is cross trained and equipped to solve difficult problems at the lowest level of operation. Even in difficult economic times, their workforce is committed to winning as a team and is implementing energizing strategies without the grief, guilt and low morale associated with layoffs and career uncertainty.

The following are five ways forward-thinking leaders are using the recession to their benefit and are building and repositioning their teams for rapid recovery.

1. Surveying and contacting existing customers.

When business is bustling, it is often difficult to stop to sharpen the saw to determine what the company is doing correctly and to ask customers how service can be improved; how products can be improved; and, if customers had a wish list, what new products or services would benefit them.

Likewise, it is also difficult to take the time to initiate a phone call and add the personal touch to build loyal relationships. If through surveying and personal contact, a disappointment is discovered, there is no better time than now to correct perceptions and deliver over the top customer service, which can result in new orders.

2. Building new sales and customer service opportunities.

Once surveying and customer connecting is under way, building relationships gives team members the opportunity to discover from the customer's perspective what the customer's next growth strategies and service requirements will be. Team culture companies can then refine or research additional niches if it makes good strategic sense for collaborative growth benefit.

For example, one internet company is taking the time to train client employees on how to use social networks to build business during the recession. The goal is to build ongoing website and Internet marketing business growth.

3. Practicing employee skill building with client companies.

The same internet company that is teaching social networking to client companies is also training newer team members to train and mentor new employees. But since the company is not currently hiring and their training and development motto is "Use it or loose it", they are using new skills to help client companies grow during the recession.

For example, training and mentoring is a strategic on-boarding procedure the internet company uses when hiring new team members. However, the most horizontally trained team members will be needed to serve the next rapid business growth stage. Therefore, training junior team members on how to train and mentor future employees while practicing the skills they learn on existing clients helps the company reinforce systems, procedures and customer service for future rapid growth.

4. Investing in succession leadership training for key staff.

Often the first thing individualistic companies cut during a recession is training. The next thing is employees.

Leaders of team cultures know how difficult it is hire new employees who fit well with existing teams. Therefore, these leaders do everything they can to keep existing employees and to promote from within.

For example, one public relations company recently launched a vigorous 360 performance review to determine which senior team members are best suited for partnership status in preparation for the CEO's planned retirement.

5. Combining business planning with problem solving for rapid growth positioning.

Team culture leaders are focusing on basic team systems and processes that grew on their own without much guidance when business was good. By reviewing and refining those processes that drive the business and culling those that do not, companies are improving operations.

There are many more tips to come. For now though, recessions can serve business expansion when leaders take action on common sense strategies that build customer relationships, explore new niches, refine systems, improve procedures and develop team members.

For more strategies and to sign up for her free newsletter, please visit

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New Magazine Opening Soon in California's Central Coast

This week I am quite excited about several new enterprises
we are incubating or coaching here in Santa Barbara.

Soon we'll announce a social enterprise set up to help non profits in the environmental sector raise funds and operate and educate more effectively. Janeen Swing who some of you know from last year's Womens Festivals is one of the dynamos behind this one.

Santa Barbara Woman Magazine.... filling the void left behind from Coastal Woman Magazine
and aspiring to one day look at gorgeous as Santa Barbara Magazine is in the infancy stages. We are hiring staff, albiet part time right now for these start ups. We also need commissioned advertising sales pros!

Executive Assistant, Part time...

I ran the following in Craig's list and could not believe the wonderful response we got. There are some extraordinary people on the hunt right now and I am determined to find the best of the best and look forward to an ever expanding mutual admiration society! We've got experts, writers, editors and artists all lined up. These are some of the best talents on the West Coast and I am thrilled that they have been proven to me over the years via their work with the Chamber of Commerce, SCORE or the National Association of Women Business Owners.

We will be adding some new folks however:

My Craig's List Posting:
I am an investor who is active in a number of businesses and I have a coaching/consulting firm which assists entrepreneurial and professional clients. I am also the founder of a number of organizations including an annual conference celebrating International Women’s Day in March of each year.

The person I hire will have a combination of skills and will work part time. We can arrange flexible hours depending on your availability and capability to add value to my practice and investments.

We also utilize interns and you will be responsible for some supervision and direction of interns.
If you are interested in an Internship Opportunity please apply with a comment and your email address to me personally, at

Paid positions require Computer and Internet skills. Knowledge of Word and other office software programs to produce documents, spreadsheets and blog entries. The person hired will be an excellent communicator, highly organized and self confident. Able to follow instructions and to carry projects forward with minimal supervision. Asks for clarification and priorities when unsure and gives feedback on progress.

We prefer a friendly, outgoing and eager assistant who wishes to make a positive difference in the world and in business. You must have great phone and communication manners; be a Self Starter, resourceful and flexible. Person hired must be able to pass a background check with no criminal history. Able to keep confidential documents and information in a safe and secure manner.

Help keep our office well organized. Keep track of important short and long term projects. Filing, phones, messages, correspondence and email. You will help keep blogs and Facebook and some website projects up to date. We help move clients projects forward and facilitate introductions and your administrative assistance will play an important part in our practice.

Hours to be arranged for mutual advantage.

Please take a quick look at our website and write me a letter which outlines why we should meet and why you think you are probably the best person for me to hire for this job. I would like to hire soon and have the person start working approximately 10 hours per week in August. Yes, depending on your productivity there is the chance that this could work into full time eventually. A business consulting and executive coaching practice based in Santa Barbara serving clients in California and across the USA. March events held in Santa Barbara and other venues set up to celebrate the accomplishments and potential of women.

Thank you very much,..... if you are interested, please do put this in the subject line of your email..... "from the blog, Count me in for ________" then list your expertise! thanks!

Friday, July 17, 2009

DeDominic on How Smart Women Keep Their Job!

How Smart Women Keep their JOB
Top Tips of the Most Valuable Team Members

1. Stay alert to the “jungle drums” and on your feet!
2. Don’t wait for instructions, move forward towards company and department goals.
3. Remain flexible as changes are likely to come faster and more radically.
4. Ask for a meeting with your boss to get input on how you can add more value. Listen carefully.
5. Make recommendations for both cost savings and capturing strategic opportunities for your employer.
6. Try to look at the big picture while focusing on your own small part of the overall situation. Seeing both will enable you to come up with solution and avoid roadblocks more often.

Here is the detail

1. Stay Alert to the Jungle Drums!
Regarding staying alert, we found that people who kept their eyes and ears open but their mouths guarded fared better in chaotic work situations. CEO’s commented that they wanted people who were quick on the uptake but also able to make changes on a dime when necessary.

2. Don’ sit back and wait for instructions.
Supervisors usually appreciate and notice initiative. Make sure you know which direction your ship is headed and then set your sails for the company destination. Daily work towards the mission and directives, asking for feedback and giving feedback along the way.

3. Flexibility is key to being able to adapt to changes.
It is not “IF things change” but “WHEN” things change and how fast they change. Those who can swiftly adapt and assist management in persuading others to change rapidly are very valuable.

4. Get regular input!
Asking for the meeting shows you care and that you want to do more to help. People often get caught up in the doing and forget that planning will have payoffs IF you are clear on the priorities and have a process in place to communicate those priorities, urgent issues and special circumstances. Listen a lot……

5. Tough times call for innovative ideas both in the making money and in the savings areas. Think about ways you might make some positive changes if you owned the company and ask your boss about the feasibility of implementing some of those ideas. Careful not to criticize and try posing some more radical suggestions in the form of questions like “What do you think the result would be if we…….?”

6. Big picture thinking while still being able to deliver on your deadlines and important projects is critical. When you know what the desired end state is you can help with time savings processes and people.

For more advice on Jobs and career changes, please visit our free site

Coaches to High Achievers

Monday, July 13, 2009

Making the Most of Outplacement Services

Outplacement Services Now Offered to Most. Take advantage of the services!
New data from employers show that most are sensitive to the needs and fears of their former employees and want to do all they can to ease the transition to the next fruitful employment. Some are paying the fees for outplacement and career coaching services, others simply make referrals and provide resources for free help.
Many major corporations and larger institutions such as the US Federal government offer transition and supportive services and hire coaches, trainers and consultants to provide this training in house while people are still employed. Our fees are often reimbursed by employers who want to develop their regular employees and those slated for future promotion.
Most of the time when my clients get reimbursed it come out of the cafeteria plan of benefits and
falls into the category of professional development and not necessarily outplacement.
You can get free help from One Stops, your local employment services in the USA, at the centers operated in cooperation with the Dept. of Labor and your employment development department, usually called WorkForce Investment Boards or One Stops.
Find your local One-Stop Career Center. Get job search help, locate workforce services in your area, access career information and more. Training and Education Career Training You may qualify for employment and training services.
Make the Most of Outplacement Services:
Take Charge of your search and professional development process. Don't wait passively for direction for the outplacement counselor.
Set Goals for yourself..... each day! Such as refining your resume, expanding your network, plotting your acceptable and ideal career paths. Make them specific and put deadlines on them, after a few weeks, you will have great profiles in Linked In, Facebook, a wonderful highly customizable resume and lots of new connections.
Seek help for the coach or counselor in assessing your background, career interests, skills and finding your gifts. If you find future work utilizing your gifts, more towards your life's callings you will find that it is not "work" anymore.
Practice for Interviews. Your story should not be tried out in front of "the employer of your dreams"... by all means rehearse your interviews, your key points, your enthusiastic behavior on friends and family before the intense pressure is on. Capitalize on your strengths, previous accomplishments and low key any problems in your past employment.
Establish your appointments with your Coach or Outplacement Counselor. Check in regularly to share progress and make sure you stay on their radar! You never know when leads will come their way and you want to remain top of mind as a winner who stays in touch, who appreciates the support of great professionals and who is ready to go on that interview and get the offer!
Please remember that a Job Coach is not a therapist...... so use caution in leveraging the Outplacement people as the tools they are. Your personal financial problems and other family matters are real no doubt, but there is little your Job Coach can do on those items except to check in with you to make sure you are talking to other professionals to help with those specialized issues.
Finally, don't give up and do your best to remain Optimistic! You can and you will tough this out!
Plan that the search will take longer this time....... that is the nature of our current economy which is in such major transition that all the "smart people" of the past are also wondering when things will turn around. No one knows.....but what we do know, as the Reverend Robert Schuler says, Tough Times Never Last, but Tough People Do"
Best wishes to you,
Patty DeDominic
Chief Coach at DeDominic & Associates
Helping Achievers Soar
Special thanks and photo credit to Leroy Hamilton who took this at a recent NAWBO Conference in Chicago.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cassandra Lee's 3 Skills to Help you Survive an Employment Crisis

Efficient, Proficient, and Self-Sufficient -
3 Skills to Help You Survive an Employment Crisis

By Cassandra Lee

In this economic downturn, employees are worried about their ability to keep their jobs. The employment crisis has employees stressing over what they can do to avoid the unemployment lines. When employees focus on building the characteristics of efficient, proficient, and self-sufficient, they will find themselves successfully weathering the employment storms.

The headlines, newscasters, talk shows, friends, relatives, and even strangers are all talking about the problems with today's economy.
Whether it's the loss of a home or the slow dwindling of investment accounts, everyone is talking about the affects this economy is having on their lives.

In recent days, the hottest topic of discussion regarding our news breaking economy has been more about jobs - layoffs in particular.

The American unemployment rate has reached an all-time high of 8.1%, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. With so many people losing their jobs, it makes those who have one grateful that they can still pay their bills, keep food on their tables, and keep a roof over their heads.

The rapid increase of job layoffs and employment uncertainties has employees wondering what they can do to keep their jobs and avoid the unemployment lines; what they can do to make themselves stand out from the rest; and what they can do to make themselves indispensable.
Many experts have said that now is the time for employees to take stock of their skills, invest in improving their skills, and begin in earnest to fully use their skills in order to become indispensable.

With that in mind, to survive and thrive in this current employment environment, today's employees must focus on developing the three significant characteristics of efficient, proficient, and self-sufficient to make themselves a more valuable asset, not only to their companies, but for their families and themselves, as well.

Let's look at the first characteristic of efficiency. Efficient employees are those who are productive without waste. They are able to work smart by producing desired results without wasting their vital resources of time and energy.

When you operate as an efficient employee, you are able to put forth effort in your work day, whether you work 8, 9, or 12 hours, and get much done with few mistakes. Since you understand that mistakes can cost time and money plus hinder a positive working relationship with clients and customers, you, as an efficient employee, will focus on having a mastery of organizational and time management skills to boost your ability of consistently producing without waste.

The next characteristic today's employees must develop is that of proficiency. A proficient employee is an employee that has great knowledge and experience in a trade or profession.
In today's economic climate, not only are there more and more people losing their jobs, but there also seems to be more and more people doing a job that they don't know much about doing.
Have you experienced interacting with someone regarding an aspect of their job that you thought they would know but they did not know much about it at all? Perhaps they transferred you to someone else, or maybe they flat out told you they did not know anything about what you were asking, or possibly they gave you some information only for you to find out later that the information was totally incorrect and did not help you with what you needed help fixing or resolving.

Employees who do not know their jobs well cannot do their jobs well. That is why it is important for you to learn every aspect of your job and learn it properly. The more you know, the further you will go. The success of your job will depend on the knowledge and skills you possess. Therefore, take classes, enroll in certification programs, study material on your own, and work with a mentor to help position yourself as a proficient employee.
The final characteristic today's employees must develop is the characteristic of self-sufficiency. With all of the uncertainty that employees face regarding the stability of their jobs, the characteristic of self-sufficiency can serve them well.
Self-sufficient employees are able to maintain themselves without outside aid. Of course, in the workplace, teamwork, which requires you to receive assistance from others, is essential for establishing bonds amongst co-workers, successfully completing projects, and achieving company goals. However, operating as a self-sufficient employee will allow you to demonstrate an extreme confidence in your own ability and worth.
This means, you will operate as a self-starter who performs work that you are proud of. In addition, you will work with minimal instructions from the boss, doing what you know must be done, instead of waiting to be told what you must do. Furthermore, you will understand that you are not an island and you will know the resources that can help you to do a job well done and you will tap into them for assistance.

Valuing your efforts, utilizing your resources, remembering your goals, tapping into your talents, and using your skills will help you to operate as a self-sufficient employee in the workplace.
And, in the unfortunate event you should find yourself facing the unemployment line, your ability to provide for your own needs will help you to establish a career where you can rely on your own knack to produce a living and survive during this employment downturn.
With constant reminders that these are not easy economic times in which we live, focusing on positive aspects of employment may appear a discouraging task. Yet, if you work on strengthening the characteristics of efficient, proficient, and self-sufficient, you will position yourself to survive this - and any future - employment crisis.

Cassandra "D.I.V.A. of Dialog" Lee is a self-development expert that conducts seminars, moderates panels, facilitates workshops, presents speeches, and writes resources that provides instructions on personal growth and professional success. She is founder, president and chief executive officer of SSANEE Incorporated, an educational consulting firm in Chicago, IL, where she provides interactive, skill-building seminars and keynotes to associations, colleges, corporations, clubs, organizations, social service agencies, and universities nationwide. She is featured in Who's Who in Black Chicago, the Inaugural Edition and is the author of the audio CD D.I.V.A.BITS: 24 Enlightening Tips to Conquer Communication Skills and co-author of the books Emotional Wellness for Women, Volume II, Survival Skills for the African-American Woman, and The Young Woman's Guide for Personal Success.

To receive professional development strategies FREE each month, sign-up for her newsletter, Dialog Digest or book her for your upcoming event at
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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Kevin Kermes from Build the Career You Deserve

Finding the “Open Door” in the Job Market

In an article earlier this year, we talked about turning rejection into opportunity. Given the current economic climate - unemployment numbers at just over 9.4% and 13.7 million Americans looking for jobs – I thought discussing how the current job market looks opportunity-wise might be timely. My answer is likely going to surprise you. I see a lot of opportunity out there.

The reality is that there are a lot of examples of failure out there right now. The ability to shine when the economy is rolling – to be the king or queen of “low hanging fruit” – is rather easy. But challenging times require a different skill set - more leadership, more resourcefulness and more creativity – to shine. As I work with clients, these are some of the areas we focus on to develop opportunities:

· Leadership, Leadership, Leadership - Poor leadership is what got us into many of these messes and strong leadership is what is needed to correct the course. In the Infantry we used to say, “There are no bad soldiers, only bad leaders.”

· It's All About ROI - If you have a track record of success and can quantify and qualify those accomplishments (saving money, making money, creating efficiencies), wayward companies who realize they are in bad shape will invest in your expertise and ability to deliver results.

· Highlighting Efficiency - Along those same lines, experience with companies where you had to do more with less is key right now. Every company is aiming to be as efficient as possible. You can highlight your success here with a small company and leverage it into a larger one where they need creative thinking.

· Consulting as Another Prong to Your Approach. Many companies need change agents for the interim while they transition. This can be a very lucrative and rewarding avenue if you are unemployed and a senior executive. Keep your options open here.

No doubt, the economy has presented some unique challenges. But, in keeping with economics, the terms of supply and demand come to mind. And, for those with the skill sets outlined above, the demand is high but the supply (or your competition) is low. I am fond of the saying, “When one door closes, another one opens.” I think that is very fitting here.

* * * * * * * * * *

This past Wednesday, I spent a little over 30 minutes talking about these points plus a few more. Most important, I shared some free tips and remedies on how you can have a system that works for you. If you weren’t one of the 1000 participants on the webinar, you can listen here to the “5 Secrets to the Perfect Job Search.”

Kevin is the Founder of Build the Career You Deserve, a company devoted to empowering professionals with the vital tools and information necessary to find the job they want and build the successful career they deserve.

Sign up for his free e-zine – Build the Career You Deserve – for insider tips on how to do just that!
Would you like to become a Corporate Director?

Do you know a woman or man who would like to join a board?

The next On Board Bootcamp session will be on September 16, 2009
in New York City.

On Board Bootcamp is an insider’s guide to mastering the board selection process. Attendees will learn to position themselves so that they are in the right place at the right time, get their names on the short list, make a board match that's right for them, and become an effective director once they've been selected. Attendees will be introduced to experienced directors and search executives who will share “lessons learned” along the way.

If you are interested, or know of any great candidates, please have them contact
Nicole Hyland at or call 212.987.6070.

On Board Bootcamp
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The Union Club
68th Street and Park Avenue
New York, NY 10128

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dianne Gubin with Advice on Dealing with Hostile Interviewers

Tip of the Week
by Dianne Gubin

Advice on Dealing with Hostile Interviewers

Have you ever been on a job interview and felt the situation spin out of your control, maybe to the point where you even felt the interview turned hostile?

Hiring managers are more cautious now about hiring and ensuring a match for the team. In addition, they want to know that your skills, background, and interests will make THEIR projects successful.

With this mindset, hiring managers interview looking for reasons to disqualify candidates.

Hiring managers may not know what questions to ask you, as interviewing may be a skill that is used infrequently. Or large corporations, nervous regarding discrimination issues, may ask every candidate the same question and rank the answers for comparison between candidates.

Typical interview questions regarding your background, particularly transitions regarding reasons for leaving companies, are salary history, past projects, manageability, and more. It’s your responsibility to make sure that your interview highlights your strengths.

It’s easy to get frustrated during an interview. You are doing your best and the hiring manager is looking for reasons to disqualify you.

It’s your responsibility to make sure that your background is conveyed as succinctly as possible to everyone involved in the interview process. Look at an interview as a sales call. When the interviewer asks a question that makes you feel uncomfortable, answer the question to the best of your ability and then add information that brings the conversation back to your skills and background fitting the position.
For example, you quit a job where you didn’t get along with your boss. Instead of describing the situation at length, gloss over your history in one sentence or less. You can say, “I left because there really was no room for growth and this is very important to me at this time.”

When new people are brought into the room during your interview, don’t assume that they are familiar with your background or have even seen your résumé. Bring new arrivals into the conversation. You can say, “I know I said this before… I’m currently working at XYZ Company as a project manager working on enterprise wide systems. I’m PMP certified. My project is ending soon and I’m looking for a new opportunity in the healthcare industry.”

Take charge of the interview. Answer questions, ask questions, and, if appropriate, bring samples of your work.

An interview may seem hostile as not everyone knows how to be a gracious host to a guest in an office. Or the interview may follow a tangent for which you’re not prepared. Studying lists of common interview questions and have prepared answers are helpful.

Just know that even if you don’t get the job because the interview turned to what you perceive as hostile, this probably isn’t an environment in which you want to work.

Just chalk up the interview to one more sales call that brings you one step closer to your next position.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Amber Wallace on Web Marketing


Los Angeles, California

SATURDAY JULY 18, 2009 at 1PM – 3pm


"WEB MARKETING TO THE MAX!--with Web Guru Amber Wallace"

Los Angeles, CA – Amber Wallace will present a free workshop for small businesses,
entrepreneurs, and innovators on WEB MARKETING TO THE MAX!

Amber Wallace has a degree in Creative Studies and is the founder of Dowitcher Designs.

Amber works with clients on strategic web planning and development, focusing on the
implementation of brand web presences and marketing campaigns. Her expertise includes search engine optimization, web design, interface design, information architecture, and small business entrepreneurship.

Amber is also a co-editor of Afro Geeks: Beyond the Digital Divide, managing
editor of the academic journal Screening Noir, teaches web design at the University of California,
Santa Barbara, and is a web development counselor for

The workshop will be held at 1:00 – 3:00 pm

July 18th in Meeting Room A of the Los Angeles Central Library

630 West Fifth Street, Downtown Los Angeles, California

The event will be co-sponsored by Science, Technology and Patents, Business and Economics Departments, the Inventors Workshop International (IWI), Green2Gold (G2G),


Q&A opportunities and information handouts provided at the workshop.

Immediately following the workshop is a meeting of the

Los Angeles Chapter of Inventor's Workshop International and Green2Gold from 3:15 – 5:30PM

Parking is available under the library and is handicap accessible.

For more information, please contact the Business and Economics
Department of the Los Angeles Public Library at (213) 228-7110.

Friday, July 3, 2009

How to Win Awards for More Professional Recognition and Credentials

8 Keys To Winning Awards

by Diane Valletta

Finding it increasingly difficult to distinguish yourself and your company in a crowded marketplace?

The pursuit of awards can be an effective strategy to strengthen your brand by building your own name recognition.

There are countless awards available within the business community. You can be honored for your business achievements. For overcoming adversity. For leadership in your industry. For advocacy and mentoring. For civic and charitable contributions.

At the same time, there are costs associated with the pursuit of awards. First, there’s investing time and effort in doing the things that will make you qualified. And then there’s the time and cost of preparing your application. You’ll want to tell your story in such a way that the judging committee will easily see how award-worthy you are.

Consider the pursuit of awards as a part of your marketing or PR strategy.

Even if you don’t win the award, the nomination process is valuable. Getting your story down on paper – who you are, what you do, what you have accomplished, and what drives you to do it all – can be a revelation. Plus, you’ll find you can adapt your initial nomination package for other awards, for board appointments, or for use in proposals, promotional materials, or feature articles.

So how do you do it?
In my years as an awards consultant and marketing communications professional, I’ve relied on a few simple tips for creating a winning award nomination package.

1. Go after the right award

Look for national, local, industry-specific or association-sponsored awards programs. The Small Business Administration, for example, offers numerous awards at the state, regional and national levels. So does the National Association of Women Business Owners.

2. Study the guidelines

“Read between the lines," allowing the guidelines to dictate how you'll present your qualifications and what angle you'll use as a "hook.”

3. Identify in detail why you are qualified for the award

Take an objective look at your successes and accomplishments. As you do, resist the temptation many women have to downplay their significance. Pinpoint what drives you to do what you do.

4. Don’t overlook your volunteer activity

No matter what the award, it’s important to consider and include what you give back to the community.

5. Present your nomination in a narrative form

Answer every question, and write in a dispassionate style using the vernacular of the award program.

6. Include supporting documentation

Third party items such as articles and testimonial letters help distinguish you from other nominees.

7. Meet the deadline

Don't let an oversight jeopardize your opportunity to win valuable recognition.

8. Adjust your "basic" story as needed

Recast your narratives to fit each award's specific criteria and organization.

The impact of awards can be significant.

One of my clients, Rachel’s Bus Company, is a good case in point. This school bus company in Chicago’s inner city was known for hiring the hard core unemployed and then training and motivating them to perform and develop. Rachel had already received several awards for business excellence and social responsibility. But one of them – the Business Enterprise Award, presented to businesses who “do well by doing good” – caused a ripple effect of visibility and honor.

· As a direct result of winning this award, Rachel was featured by ABC-TV news anchor Peter Jennings as his “Person of the Week.”

· She was cited by then-First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton in her book, It Takes a Village.

· She and Hillary appeared together on Oprah to discuss the book.

· She was featured in the book Aiming Higher, and her story was included in the book Stone Soup For The World.

· She was invited to serve on then-President Clinton’s Welfare To Work Task Force.

· She was named to the Board of Directors of the National Welfare to Work Partnership.

All in all, quite a set of reputation enhancements for someone who felt she was just running a business and doing nothing out of the ordinary.


About the Author, Diane Valletta

Diane Valletta owns Valletta Associates, a Chicagoland-based firm providing a full range of marketing communications, editorial and website content development services to entrepreneurial businesses. Valletta’s niche as an awards consultant began in the mid-1990s when Chicago Area NAWBO initiated an ambitious awards nomination program and advised its nominees to seek professional help in developing their submission packages. Since then, she has prepared some 200 winning local, state, regional, national and international award nomination packages for her clients. In addition, Valletta has herself won numerous awards for service to the small business community, most notably the U. S. Small Business Administration’s 2007 “Home Based Business Champion of the Year” Award for both the State of Illinois and the Midwest Region. Contact her at or

Dianne Gubin on Who Makes the Cut?

Tip of the Week
by Dianne Gubin

Who Makes the Cut?

You leave the job interview confident that you gave it your best. You answered all the questions and knew everything possible about the company.

Days pass and you learn that you didn’t get the job.

What happened?

Here are some of the “closed door reasons” hiring managers and team interviewers have regarding candidates and why things don’t work out:

Overqualified and won’t stay
Too much of a learning curve
Not strong enough in _____ and we don’t have time to train
Working with him/her would drive me crazy
I didn’t like the way he/she answered a question
We have stronger/more qualified people who work here already
Talked too much
Talked to me, but didn’t talk to everyone in the room
Not enough eye contact
Ugly outfit
Won’t pass a background check because…
Said too much about why last job didn’t work out.
I know “So and So” who worked with candidate at his last company. We don’t want him here.
He/She will be too distracted with family/child care/eldercare issues
I don’t think he/she will get along with…
He/She just won’t work out here. It doesn’t feel right.
Candidates don’t usually hear the true reason a position doesn’t go forward.

Larger companies and educational institutions generally include all stake holders in a hiring process. This can mean that 10 or more people participate in the hiring process, each taking a minimum of an hour per interview from normal work, and ranking the candidates. All candidates are asked the same questions and graded on answers. This process is subjective at best and designed to weed out as many as possible.

If you’re not offered the position, chalk it up as a learning experience and continue the search process.

The right job is out there for you.

Patty DeDominic on Why You Need A Professional Coach

Coaching for Personal and Professional Development is one of the fastest growing
trends in careers. Get one today!

When is the best time to get a coach to help you become an even better, more focused professional? Five years ago! :-)

OK, then Today is the second best time to start looking for the right coach for your needs.

Think about it, ever see a true champion who doesn't have a coach? Not on your life.... Michael Phelps, Michael Jordan, even Beyonce and James Bond's Pierce Brosnan all have coaches, managers and agents.

What is a coach? By any number of names a good coach is a pro who spends time focusing on how to capitalize on their clients "gifts" and talents.

What is a great coach? A great coach is your partner in helping you grow and achieve your dreams and goals. The professional coach helps you remove obstacles, gives you feedback and suggestions for resources. The real coach does not "make your baskets for you" or give your speeches, but they might be there to cheer you on, critique or edit the speeches or presentations and serve as a mentor/friend/ guide to help you move farther, faster than you would otherwise do on your own.

A great coach helps you become more financially successful too, and should, in the first few sessions, assist you in identifying ways to generate more income, therefore the value added from the investment you make should have a high return.

Ever thought of becoming a coach? Do you have special memories of your finest hours, cheered on by your basketball or soccer coach? Aced a math or legal exam?

Chances are you have already benefited from the services of a specialized coach in sports or education. The Coaching profession, known by many handles over the milena, is evolving and has been a part of most of our lives.

Business and executive coaches are now numbering in the thousands and there are a number of professional organizations which are certifying coaches. There are certifications, too numerous to list here and that is a whole other article, and there are professional associations for coaches for business, sports, personal and life coaches too.

Here is info about two of the leading Coaches Professional Associations:

International Coach Federation And the World Association of Business Coaches (WABC)

The International Coach Federation (ICF) claims to be the largest worldwide resource for professional coaches, and the source for those who are seeking a coach.

"We are a nonprofit organization formed by individual members-professionals who practice coaching, including Executive Coaches, Leadership Coaches, Life Coaches and many more, from around the world.

Formed in 1995, today the ICF claims to be the leading global organization dedicated to advancing the coaching profession by setting high professional standards, providing independent certification, and building a network of credentialed coaches. "We exist to support and advance the coaching profession through programs and standards supported by our members and to be an authoritative source on coaching information and research for the public. "

The World Association of Business Coaches, the WABC says: "We're the first international professional association dedicated exclusively to the business coaching industry and the only association of its kind with advanced membership standards based on business experience, coaching experience and client references. Since 1997 we've been serving business coaches and their clients."

Both organizations offer training and resources and have standards for professional conduct, standards of behavior and confidentiality. Most also offer some certifications and for a fee they provide the benefits and some prestige of being associated with others who consider themselves earnest professionals in the field. WABC also has extensive methods to resolve complaints, disagreements determine best practices.

Membership in a professional association is no guarantee that you will find a coach who is qualified to help you with your particular business goals, however it will be a great place to start to seek out qualified referrals. Always ask for references and check to find happy clients, or former clients who have traveled the trail you wish to walk.......or sail over.

At DeDominic & Associates, we have a number of successful business coaches that we have aligned our self with and highly recommend:

Dr. Adele Scheele is one of our nations most respected career and life coaches, with a PhD in change management, the former director of the Career Center at Cal State University at Northridge.

George Isaac focuses on investment capital for high growth and/or financially distressed businesses. Mr. Isaac has over twenty-five years of experience in business management for privately and publicly held companies. During the 1990's, Mr. Isaac had direct line responsibility as a Chief Executive Officer for a group of companies in manufacturing, commodity product brokerage, and commercial real estate. During the 1980's, he was a Management Consulting Partner in the Chicago Office of Deloitte & Touche, LLP, an international financial services and general management consulting firm. George earned both a BS in Industrial and Operations Engineering (1975) and an MBA, with distinction (1977), from the University of Michigan.

We are also fortunate to have relationships with leading business coaches who also volunteer for, the national resource for small business. These coaches can be reached via DeDominic & Associates for special projects or through the national SCORE website for cyber counseling which is always provided for free. These relationships have been formed over decades of experience and connection with these professionals, they are truly tested by time and years of successful experiences and positive outcomes.

See, there is no excuse.......

if you are a professional, destined for more success - you are probably ready for a professional coaching relationship.

Your coach is not your conscience nor a nag, but your professional coach can become your partner in success. Today is a great day to reach out and make the connection to the person who will help you soar above the crowds and achieve the business, personal and professional goals which will give you a richer, more fulfilling life.

Enjoy! Patty DeDominic, professional business coach,

Helping Achievers Soar!

former chair of the board, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Please call us if you would like more information or for a free half hour consultation on finding the right business or life coach for yourself or your team!

805 565 9967 in the USA, PST

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Randi Smith-Todorowski, An Arizona Woman on a Martial Arts Mission!

Randi Smith-Todorowski
3rd Degree Black Belt In Life

This is from Randi's company, Atlas Martial Arts Newsletter:

The giant oak is an acorn that held its ground.

Just as an acorn is able to reach its greatest potential by defying all odds and staying firm, we all have the ability to do the same. As Peter Walsh so boldly states, "Dream Big and Dream Often." Start with self awareness. You must have a clear vision. The only person who will get you where you want to be is you.

What does your giant oak tree look like? Do you wish to be a Broadway dancer, a professional athlete, philanthropist, teacher, stay at-home mom, successful entrepreneur or just a happier person? Begin with the end in mind.

I love the story of Tony Hsieh. He helped start, In 2008, Zappos booked $1 billion in gross sales. Today the idea of selling shoes online is thought unorigin al. However, in 1999, only 10 years ago, investors were quick to pass on this idea, denouncing there was no evidence it would work. I repeat, in 2008, Zappos booked $1 BILLION in gross sales. Clearly he had a vision and held his ground.

Each day we risk being thrown off course by negative thinking, distractions and other people's problems and opinions. Unless, of course, you have a Black Belt In Life Attitude; you are so clear and focused on your vision that nothing stands in your way.

Last year in an effort to make the world a better place, we launched Atlas Online and introduced the idea of distance learning Kung Fu. Just like Zappos, our idea was beat down by traditional thinkers. Although, we can transmit information at warp speeds and earn an MBA online, we were told our idea would never work. Today, we are proud to have global presence and help others feel better, look better and live better around the world. What began as tutorial streamed videos has blossomed into full online certifications.

Looking at an acorn for the first time, you would never imagine its potential. Do you know yours? Does the stuff you do today, help you create the life you want? You can read about vision boards, positive thinking, laws of attraction and manifesting what you want, or you can take action and make it happen!

Be the acorn that becomes the giant oak.

Today is the first day of the second half of 2009.
Don't wait for next year to try again, games are won and lost in the 2nd half.

Make 2009 the year that you power your dream!

All great things come from a seed, tangible or intangible.

As the Chinese proverb goes-The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago.
The second best time is now.

If an acorn can become a giant oak tree, an online shoe company can gross over $1 Billion a year and martial arts can be learned online, you can develop the tenacity to reach your dreams.

Job Losses at 26 year High - DeDominic's Life Lines for Resources & Wisdom

Each month the Headlines get more scary and urgent.
Some months ago I predicted 25% unemployment and daily I pray
that my forecast does not come true. In some cities it already has.

Many people have dropped out of the job hunt due to endless rejections
and frustration. Today's New York Times reports that Unemployment
is now at 9.5%; and that the USA lost 467,000 Jobs in June 2009.

The American economy shed 467,000 jobs last month,
and the unemployment rate rose to 9.5 percent, its highest
level in 26 years, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.

Please stay tuned to this blog for more ideas, suggestions and guidance about
hot to be one of the 75% who ARE employed.

We accept articles from professionals and experts who have wisdom
to share.

Patty DeDominic - Coach to High Achievers and those who will soon be!
Los Angeles, Washington D.C., New York

Bonita Brown's Tips for Facing Change

In the Baltimore Washington Metropolitan area, you would have to be under a rock not to hear about the effect that the economy has had on the life of Washingtonians. Economic discussions are everywhere and while you cannot escape it, what does that mean for you? Well, it often will mean that change is coming and how you handle that change will determine its impact on your quality of life.

Most people have a difficult time handling change and usually resist it especially in the workplace. Changes in the workplace can range from new or additional responsibilities to a new boss. Many are afraid that changes may mean hard times for the average worker. With the looming fear of losing your job, most employees are adhering to change begrudgingly. People are no longer comfortable with expressing their true feelings. Harboring your true feelings may lead to stress and resentment which can impact the quality of your work, your health and personal life.

How can you manage, handle or survive a change in the workplace during these economic times?

Here are four tips on handling change especially when your first inclination is to resist it.

1. Seek to understand the strategy behind the decision to change. If the change is a result of reorganization due to layoffs, then it is expected that those who remain will have to make adjustments to accommodate the work of your former co-workers. It may mean more work for those that are fortunate to avoid the layoff but it can be a situation that can be managed if communicated properly. If your manager has not provided an explanation of the re-distribution of work, then politely ask for clarification on the company's strategy to deal with the new workforce. The number one cause of conflict is the inability to communicate and when you are faced with the stress of change, it is a prime opportunity to establish a new relationship with the remaining staff.

2. Find ways to improve the flow of the work or the process. If you are suddenly asked to do more in the same amount of time, now is the time to find efficiencies in your work, work area or process. Not only will you work smarter rather than harder but you will gain respect and recognition (maybe even reward) with your manager or employer. Be creative and innovative, now is the time to make effective recommendations that will save the company time and money.
3. Build better relationships within the organization and with external customers. Become more of a team player so when you need assistance or have questions, you will have accessible resources available when necessary. Many times after a layoff, subject matter experts and experienced co-workers may no longer be available which may leave you with the responsibility to fill that void in an area with which you may not be familiar. After reorganization you may need to build additional, positive relationships to circumvent resistance from disgruntled workers that you need in order to perform your job. That’s why it’s important for you to establish a good relationship with co-workers and customers who are important components in achieving your goals.

4.Keep your work and personal life balanced. When you have more responsibility on the job, your personal life can and will be affected unless you take the necessary steps to maintain equilibrium. Working longer hours, being re-located or managing more staff are examples of new responsibilities that will affect your personal life. As with managing new work assignments, you may need to restructure your personal life, family obligations and schedule. Try to find ways to incorporate stability between your business and home life.

Bonita Brown, Executive/Business/Life Coach and president of E.B. Coaching and Consulting Services Inc., is a successful entrepreneur, coach and executive who brings to her coaching practice passion, caring and a desire to make a difference