Thursday, February 25, 2010

Celebrating Women

Celebrating Women

International Women's Festival in California on March 5 & 6 2010

See the article on whole life times and enter for a chance to win a ticket
for yourself and a friend! Men and women are invited for a wonderful day
of celebrating the accomplishments and the potential of women.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Armando Estrada and his son .... Appreciate Workers

A beautiful message by Father and Son,
Denny and Armando Estrada


The article below is from an email my Dad sent to me.
 I did not see the television program, but he always
told me to treat the people who we think have the
 lowest skills with respect. As an Army officer, there
is a saying that, “you should never make your soldiers
 do what you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself”.

I know my buddy Manny Gallegos and I were once Privates in the Army before we became officers. We knew first hand on what we liked and disliked about our officers when we were Privates and I feel that we became better officers and were respected by our enlisted members due to our experience and “compassion”. We had more respect from our subordinates than those that became officers straight from college. We got the respect from them because we demonstrated the interest for their welfare. We know that they had the power to either make us look good or bad and we never forgot this. I think that perhaps if the top managers could sit for a week and perform the work that they demand from us, they would get a new appreciation of what we do for them.

Denny Estrada

P.S. My Dad was brought up very poor and lived in the “skid row” area growing up.
 As a kid, my siblings and I would always make fun of him, behind his back of course,
 that he exaggerated his low income upbringing. Having worked and visited this cluster,
I am glad that he worked hard to prevent us from experiencing the hardships he had to
 endure. I now have a deeper appreciation for his hard work and sacrifice he made to
provide his family a better standard of living. My Dad had his faults, but working hard
and demonstrating to us his work ethic was not one of them.


02/22/2010   By Armando Estrada

Yesterday evening I watched a program on T.V. channel 2 titled “Undercover Boss”.
 The President and CEO of a Company actually goes undercover and spends one week working as a new entry level employee for the Company. He does this at various Company locations without anyone at those locations knowing who he is. What the CEO discovers is what every CEO and management person should know – Front line employees, (those directly involved in doing the work), are the heart and soul of a Company and are a Company’s most valuable asset. A repeated comment of Sam Walton, WalMart’s founder was, “The person that can best tell you how to improve your Company is the stock clerk, cashier or even janitor; those on the front line of your Company.”

It’s tragic how this vital truth is almost totally ignored by too many Company CEO’s, management and supervision.

In my youth as I was striving to learn a trade, the doors to apprenticeship in most high paying trades were closed to me because of my minority Mexican nationality and the color of my skin. A friend got me into a slaughter house in Vernon, California as the “Bone Barrel Boy” on the grave yard shift. The people working grave yard were treated like “forgotten, non-existent no-bodies.” We were screamed at, cussed at and shown no appreciation or respect for the work that we did, (work that most people would not or could not do). A book title “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair tells a harrowing but true story about the brutal treatment of workers at a slaughter house in 1906. I lived and went through “The Jungle.” This is why as a Human Resources Manager I treat workers with dignity, respect and an open mind, (especially production workers who work the grave yard shift).

There are many vital jobs that are carried out by committed workers who do their jobs from their heart more so than for the pay. We need to do everything possible to back, support and appreciate them. If we do this the positive results will be astounding.

In closing, workers who are confident because they are given ownership in their jobs, are properly trained, motivated, encouraged, supported, appreciated and work as a team will make even a poor system work like a fine tuned watch.

If you are in Los Angeles, please tune in to channel 2 Sunday at 9:00 P.M.
and watch “Undercover Boss.”

Friday, February 12, 2010

Go See Them In Person! Patty DeDominic on How to Nail the Job Offers

So You Want the Job Offer

People of all generations are talking about these horrid economic conditions and uncertain times.  It's not just hard for older Americans to get a new job, it scary as hell for new grads and those who did not go to college at all.   Your salary opportunities are smaller and your hourly rate of pay is likely to be 30% less than it might have been five years ago!

 All the employment fundamentals continue their aftershocks of the 2009 Global Recession. Some have called this time Economic QuickSand and I am sadly beginning to agree with them.

All is not lost however.  There are still some timeless techniques that can help you step out ahead of the competition even when there are hundreds of others emailing their resumes.   

First, get a grip on the reality.  It's a crowded job hunting market out there.  Even for local jobs at just above minimum wage,  there can be  dozens of competitors  applying for every opening. The better paying or jobs with highly coveted employers, when they do get advertised might get hundreds of responses and the employer has to sort through all the letters, resumes and autoresponses sent out by some of these career advisory services.   Most employers can spot the resumes that are sent out on auto pilot however and most, if not all get rejected as non personalized unless the skill set needed is highly specialized and key words are used.  So the advice I want to give you today is not for the rocket scientist...but for the everyday people who would like to work as part of a team, in an office or with a not for profit organization or government.  Get proactive...and get on your walking shoes too!

Tap into the Hidden Job Market!  Ask your friends for leads, referrals and introductions.  The Hidden Job Market is alive and well.  It's just that, hidden,  those job leads or openings are rarely  found on craig's list or in the newspapers or on other job boards.   In the Hidden Job Market most jobs never get advertised.....they get filled by friends and friends of friends.  That's where YOU'd like to get your warm job leads and introductions.....before the opening hits the internet!

Cultivate your "Pro-personal" Network   (professional contacts you are integrating into your personal network)  Having a large personal network of folks who have experience working with you is a real asset. That asset can be turned into one of your secret weapons in your job search tool kit.      Today it seems that almost all  business environments are looking more and more like the model of the  entertainment industry where people survive from gig to gig!

We can't really fight this trend.  And Hollywood has been surviving, some even thriving, in that type of "what have you done lately" environment for decades.        It's tough...and definitely survival of the fittest but it works... just ask any working actor or celebrity today!

  Your Good Will and last performance have a great deal to do with getting called back in the future.
 This is a such a tough job  market, that it will help you if you understand that the fruit will only go to the "survivors" of the smarter, swifter job hunters!

Job Banks, One Stops and recruiters will help all they can but you will have to take matters into your own hands....and into your own shoe leather!

   Go and meet the employers and ASK FOR THE JOB IN PERSON.  This time tested method has worked for hundreds of years.  It is working in local neighborhoods today and it used to be the ONLY way people got jobs in years past.

 YOUR part is to be relentless in following up on job leads and to meet as many people as YOU possibly can in person. They say “possession” is 9/10th of the law…and I have definitely seen people who show up getting the jobs. 

 It  got me to offer someone a job just a few weeks ago..and it got me job offers decades ago.... so it is still a proven way to get employment.

 So go meet with that person you called or emailed about the job you are dogging down.    That might be a real long shot, but you just never know. S/he  is probably buried in emails and people who want to get noticed, all who want a job.    YOU GO THERE if you can..... and you show them that you can make it easy for them to hire YOU.....    Perhaps s/he could use your skill set.....   and s/he will gladly stop the hunt and accept YOUR OFFER to help.     Try it.... it still works!

Patty DeDominic
Santa Barbara and Los Angeles based Coach for High Achieving professionals and organizations.    

ps... if you would like a copy of the  book shown above,   Harry Says, Boss Talk Without the Warm Fuzzies,  please write to me at   and put Harry says in the subject line.  We will be happy to mail a copy to you in the USA for free if you ask for it before March 30, 2010.  One book per person please as my supplies are limited.   THX!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Expert Patty DeDominic, Tips on Getting a Pay Raise in a Tough Economy

 I am a career and executive Coach who owned a staffing firm and an executive placement business for over 25 years.     You know my blog,     and my consulting firm is DeDominic & Associates, located in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara California.  We serve clients in the USA and around the world.  

DeDominic's Quick Tips on Getting the Raise in this Tough Economy

1. Prepare yourself and be ready to make your “business case” not your hardship case.
 Sadly, no one is going to be able to pay you more just because your needs are greater, the price of gas is still through the roof or your relatives need an operation. There are over ten million Americans in that latter boat now…unemployed or severely underemployed and those reasons while being valid are not sufficient to get YOUR PAY and Respect levels raised.

2. Make an Appointment with your boss to discuss “business opportunities”. Try not to be coy, but don’t tell that you want a pay raise just yet. Let your boss know that you would like to talk about “our best opportunities” for creating more revenue or cutting costs as well as get some input on his or her perception of your performance. After you get the lay of the land with regard to their perception of your contributions and your “report card” you will be in a better position to ask for a salary adjustment. Note, I said Adjustment, not a raise.

3. At the 2nd or third meeting with your boss on the subjects suggested above, bring up your perspective (without going on the offensive or being on the defensive) about your Contributions to the value of the business or department.

4. Remember that getting a raise in 2010 and beyond is going to be more about “making contributions” and sharing in some of those opportunities than it is a cost of living increase or straight pay raise. Many salaries have been frozen in place for several years now and thousands of businesses have been able to hire new employees as 65-79% of the former starting salaries – so getting paid “like yesterday” is a thing of the past – for now.

Unfortunately it is no longer about how many hours you work…. Or how hard the work is, it is about your contributions to the margin….aka the profits or the reduction of expenses.

Employers in 2010 can only afford to pay for progress and contribution and no longer pay for loyalty or longevity.

5. After you have made a good case for the value of your contributions, ask for a PAY Adjustment to better reflect the contributions you are making and the results (you and your boss agree on) that have come due to your effectiveness and experience in your role. Chances are your boss has their “we are out of money” speech well practiced and they know how to put off an unprepared employee from asking for a raise….. but most supervisors, CEOs and executives know that it costs money to make money and INVESTMENTS is the people who really drive the revenue and the margins and costs for the business can pay off handsomely.

6. Don’t threaten to quit….but educate yourself and become aware of what the competition would be willing to pay for your talents and time. . If you know what the competition is and how you fit in to the bigger picture you automatically increase your value and your chances of getting the right kind of attention from your boss. You may not get your raise the first time you try this approach but you will eventually get better at it and you are likely to find yourself in the position of either getting more paid time off, increased responsibilities or opportunities and eventually a big pay increase If you cannot get the right pay raises where you are, it might pay off to do a little job shopping!

Following these tips will enable you to make a strong case for increased pay.

 You will also make progress in understanding your own employer and their perspectives
 and opinion of your contributions. Awareness and knowledge is valuable…… YOU can turn
Value into a bigger paycheck for yourself.

Patty DeDominic

DeDominic & Associates Coaches to High Achievers

Patty De is past president of the National Association of Women Business Owners and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and a veteran in the business of personnel placement.  Her firms were national award winning staffing partner to such corporate giants as AT&T, USC, Children’s Hospitals, The American Red Cross, entrepreneurial businesses and governments. She has been trained in negotiations at Harvard University and got her Institutional Shareholders (ISS) Certification from UC Berkeley in 2008.

In 2006, the Los Angeles Business journal named DeDominic CEO of the Year at it’s annual Women Making A Difference Awards Luncheon

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Leadership Tip from Robert Whipple, MBA CPLP

Little known Leadership Tip

Maybe this leadership tip is in a book somewhere, but I have not run into it yet. There is a mistake that I have seen most leaders make multiple times and not realize the damage they are doing to their credibility. It has to do with the delicate time when a leader is assigned a new position and moves into a new area interfacing with different people. The first few days are critical and set the stage for how smoothly (or not) the transition goes. All signals sent during the first days and weeks are important as both the leader and the new constituents learn how to work together.

For illustration, let’s say our leader has just been promoted from the Printing Department into the Assembly Department. The new job is in a new physical area and has a different set of people involved. The old leader has retired and left the scene, and our new leader has just brought in the first few boxes of possessions to set up his office. He is cordial to everyone and believes he is off to a great start. This is an important job for the new leader, and he wants to carry on the fine team enthusiasm he was able to accomplish in the Printing Department.

During the first couple days, he attends the normal production meetings. He frequently mentions how delighted he is to now be working in the Assembly Department. When a manager is discussing a safety issue, the new leader offers something like this, “We had the same problem over in the Printing Department, and what we did was set up a sub-team to come up with some excellent recommendations. That saved a lot of time because it could be done off line by a small group rather than have a bunch of meetings with everyone present.” People in the meeting listened intently and nodded appreciatively that there was a fresh idea.

The next day, the leader was discussing the financial closing information and seemed a little uncomfortable. He said, “In the Printing Department we always just showed the data in chart form so everyone could grasp the information easily.” Two hours later he was saying “In the Printing area we had special monitors to ensure the place was cleaned up well before we went home.” You get the idea.

All of the ideas and policies our new leader brought up during the first two weeks were logical and helpful. Nobody in the organization would dare question why they should do these things that the leader brought from the Printing Department. However, by the end of two weeks, this new leader was so far behind the eight ball emotionally with people that it would take nearly a year to get people to really respect and trust him. Why? He was just too forthright with his innocent suggestions for improvements based on his experience in the prior job.

There is an antidote to this common problem. When I would promote or move a manager, I would ask him or her to refer to the prior job only one time in public. Once that chit was played, I suggested the new leader refrain from other references for at least 2 months. This gave the new leader the opportunity to appreciate the good things that were being done in the new area before giving a lot of suggestions for them to be more like his old area. The people never knew the difference; they just seemed to like the new guy quite a lot.

Robert Whipple MBA, CPLP

CEO Leadergrow, Inc.

"The TRUST Ambassador"