Focus on your goals to put them within reach

Get rid of the negative thoughts and distractions and focus on what's important to you

Focus on your goals to put them within reachThe news is filled with folks complaining. From politics to economics and everything in between, people are focused on what we don’t have rather than what we do. It’s such a deeply-rooted problem that it makes me wonder if our focus is the primary culprit for all the unhappiness we perceive. When we imagine ourselves…

New program fast tracks students for jobs in renewable energy sector

Alberta program builds skills to take sustainable energy projects from concept to completion

New program fast tracks students for jobs in renewable energy sectorA new certificate the University of Alberta started offering this fall will help fast-track workers into the province’s rapidly growing renewable energy sector. The Renewable Energy Technologies (RET) Certificate is the first of its kind in Alberta to offer learners the flexibility of online, part-time classes, without admission barriers. It can be completed in as little as…

What to do about bad leaders

Four questions to ask to ensure your leaders know what they are doing

What to do about bad leadersThe world is full of bad leaders. Luckily for the rest of us, they are pretty easy to spot and tend to have limited impact because they generally do not have much influence or staying power. The real concern should be with leaders who are not bad – they just aren't very good. These are…

Ten strategies to improve your odds of a better hire

If you take your time, and trust your gut, you are more likely to find the best candidate

Ten strategies to improve your odds of a better hireHiring is rarely something managers look forward to. It often feels like an arduous process that ends in a crapshoot. But there are strategies that improve your odds of hiring well. Don’t stay inside the box. In my experience, employers do not cast a wide enough net when they recruit talent. Human resources professionals and…

How women can successfully project their leadership presence

Your leadership ability depends entirely on how others evaluate you

How women can successfully project their leadership presenceYou may have a leadership title or tremendous leadership potential, but that in itself doesn’t give you leadership presence. Here are typical comments I hear when asked to coach an up-and-coming female whose career has stalled: “It isn’t that she couldn’t do the next job. It’s that no one on the executive team sees her…

Sick of working for others? Launch a microbusiness

Helpful tips to doing it right

Sick of working for others? Launch a microbusinessHankering to go off on your own and start your own business? If you think you've got what it takes, consider launching a microbusiness. Dal LaMagna, a Poulsbo, Wash.-based entrepreneur, says anyone can do it – if they go about it the right way. He speaks from experience. LaMagna launched personal beauty-tool company Tweezerman in…

Eight step program to surviving a bad boss

Studies consistently show that one of the top reasons people quit a job is to escape a bad boss

Eight step program to surviving a bad bossCindy, a consistently high performer, has been with her firm for 10 years. She really likes the company, her job and the people she works with. But about six months ago, she found herself with a new boss. He’s an up-and-comer; young and ambitious, but lacking in leadership savvy. Determined to prove himself, he pushes…

Is your enthusiasm undermining your message?

Overexuberance can lead to lost opportunities

Is your enthusiasm undermining your message?It’s no secret that we all have different styles when it comes to communicating. Some people are articulate communicators and others aren’t. Some people get right to the point while others tell a story first. Mix communication styles and add emotion and it’s likely that important elements will be missed entirely. Take this example: Justin…

Five tips to recharging your motivational battery

Are you in a motivational rut? Do you loathe your job? Here's help

Five tips to recharging your motivational batteryIt isn’t a secret that many of us don’t love our jobs. At the moment, I am happily in that ‘I love my job!’ place. But I remember when, a couple of years ago, I was in the ‘I loathe my job’ place. You may be somewhere in the middle. In many respects, that is…

The necessary perils of entrepreneurship

Real value does not come from the idea alone. Great ideas without execution are empty roadside soda cans

The necessary perils of entrepreneurshipThere were nearly 900 people seated at round tables alternating small talk with bites of chicken. The ballroom was glamorous, the chicken was dry and few paid attention to the joke-telling emcee. "My wife says that if I don't give up golf, she's going to leave me. I'm really going to miss her! Har har!…

Assertive women perceived negatively in business

To groom women for top positions, offer them the coaching, mentoring, and career opportunities that develop leadership potential

Assertive women perceived negatively in businessAs a speaker at business conferences, I've addressed organizations around the world, and I've seen the genuine commitment that many companies have made to develop the leadership abilities of female employees and to create workplace environments with family-friendly policies and flexible work arrangements – all in hopes of attracting, retaining and grooming women for top…

How to use the ‘Rule of 3’ to make better hiring decisions

Striving for three final candidates allows hiring committees to keep an open mind, test for fit and plan for imperfection

How to use the ‘Rule of 3’ to make better hiring decisionsIn The Secrets of Great CEO Selection, Ram Charan advises hiring committees to keep an open mind, test for fit and plan for imperfection. One of the organizations I'm involved with just concluded a chief executive officer selection process so this topic is fresh in my mind. I learned how important it is to enter the…

When is it OK to tell lies at work?

When asked if it was ever okay to lie at work, most people said 'yes!', but only under certain circumstances

When is it OK to tell lies at work?We tell all sorts of lies at work. We flatter, exaggerate, omit, and mislead – primarily to avoid punishment, make ourselves look better, control information, or protect others. Some of our workplaces lies trigger feelings of anxiety, guilt, or remorse. But there are other lies that many of us feel justified in telling. As background…

How to ace a job interview in 7 seconds

Seven powerful ways to make a positive first impression

How to ace a job interview in 7 secondsThe interviewer looks up as you enter the room for a job interview. Now count slowly to seven. In that amount of time, you will have been evaluated – and decisions will have been made about your credibility, trustworthiness, confidence and competence. According to research at New York University, you've got just seven seconds to make…

Is self-employment really for you?

If you want to thrive as your own boss, be prepared to sell yourself every day

Is self-employment really for you?Have you dreamed of being your own boss? Most of us probably have. We think about the flexibility and freedom it offers. We wonder how much more income we would retain if we simply contracted out our services. We imagine what it would be like to be our own boss. That picture of three-day weeks…

Why companies can’t be honest with their employees

Doublespeak protects a company's image

Why companies can’t be honest with their employeesYou're summoned to your boss's office and told that you've been "selected out." Strange words. What do they mean? "Selected" sounds positive. But "out"? That's clearly a negative and confusing word. Together, both words are perplexing. An optimist may interpret it as sort of a promotion. A skeptic is worried. The term "selected out" is…

Hoarding information a collaboration killer

Collaboration is also intrinsically inspiring because it has an emotional payoff. People like being part of a winning team

Hoarding information a collaboration killerSome years ago, when I was speaking to a group of executives about change leadership, the topic of collaboration came up. On a whim I asked, "How many of you are totally comfortable sharing information with others in your organization?" I was astonished when, out of an audience of about 200, only three hands went…

Painful lessons in effective leadership

The mad and the bad have no place in any organization

Painful lessons in effective leadershipI had just joined a factory in England’s industrial heartland and my new Managing Director – let’s call him Neil – was five foot two, 240 pounds of explosive malevolence. He was an ex-purchasing director whose winning formula was to squeeze his miserable suppliers into penury, and he was honing his approach with his new…

Changing behaviour starts with a look in the mirror

Radical change, or change to please someone else, rarely sticks

Changing behaviour starts with a look in the mirrorJerry started smoking when he was in Grade 5. Over the course of his life he has tried many times – once when his uncle died from lung cancer – to give it up. Then, one morning, at the age of 37, Jerry woke up feeling like an old man. He stubbed out his cigarette,…

Why you can’t fake your feelings

If you try to fake how you really feel, your audience won’t buy it

Why you can’t fake your feelingsI was once asked by a Senior Vice President of Human Resources to work with a leader whose micro-management was limiting her team’s effectiveness. When I met with the client (let’s call her Judith), she was effusive with her praise – going on and on about how much she had heard about me and how…

Perfectionism is a form of theft

Attempting to make everything perfect steals time from your clients, your employer, your family and yourself

Perfectionism is a form of theftFor her entire career, Phoebe has really struggled with how to manage her time. She has a great attitude and the quality of her work is first-rate, but it seems to take her twice as long as anyone else to bring a project to completion. Recently she moved into a new role, replacing someone who…

How unforgettable leaders inspire loyalty

Inspiring loyalty takes leaders with insight into the human heart and sensitivity toward the hopes and aspirations of others

How unforgettable leaders inspire loyaltyThink loyalty is dead? Think again. Loyalty may not look like it did 25 years ago – when companies offered career-long employment and workers unquestioningly followed orders – but loyalty is far from deceased. Loyalty is an intrinsic human characteristic based on emotional attachment that can be tapped, nurtured and developed. Inspiring loyalty takes leaders…

Emerging from the swamp of dysfunctional business relationships

Anyone who tells you that they have a magic bullet, silver or otherwise, for complex and systemic problems belongs in a travelling fair

Emerging from the swamp of dysfunctional business relationshipsAs I looked round the room at my executive team, the acid in my stomach got worse. Dave, our Operations VP, was convinced that Erica from Finance was out to get him: ‘you watch what happens at the end of the quarter, she squirrels the provisions away and makes me look bad, she wants to…

The world needs fewer leaders and more good managers

Management is responsible for turning a leader's vision into reality

The world needs fewer leaders and more good managersBusiness and management guru Henry Mintzberg argued a few years ago that businesses are asking for trouble because of their penchant for separating "leaders" from "managers" and placing leadership in a superior role over management. We are suffering, in other words, not from a lack of leadership but from the absence of good management. Mintzberg…

Visualize your success if you want to succeed

The biggest challenge we have to overcome is fear

Visualize your success if you want to succeedI didn’t get much work done during the Olympics. Once I decided to catch just a glimpse of what was happening, I got caught up watching the rowing, diving, volleyball … you get the idea. With so many fabulous demonstrations of grit and determination, I felt inspired to get out and work out (of course…

7 habits of highly unsuccessful people

Advice on retaining your sanity when confronted with a complete idiot

7 habits of highly unsuccessful peopleDo you: 1: Never miss an opportunity to educate those around you? Call attention to mistakes they have made and make sure everyone else knows about those mistakes?. Don't hesitate to point out when someone (a colleague, an employee, the clerk at the local hardware store, an airline pilot, the prime minister) is wrong and…

Five reasons you may be judged untrustworthy

And why you can't stop anyone from making these snap decisions

Five reasons you may be judged untrustworthyKnowing whom to trust is an important social and business skill. But it’s not that simple – although it’s fast. It took me just seven seconds to assess your confidence, competence, status, likability, warmth and, yes, your trustworthiness. You can’t stop me (or anyone, for that matter) from making these snap decisions. The human brain…

Beat interview hysteria by thinking like an athlete

Instead of wasting energy obsessing about what could go wrong, think like an athlete by psyching yourself for the win

Beat interview hysteria by thinking like an athleteIt's perfectly normal to be nervous about job interviews. For many job candidates, "hysterical" more accurately describe pre-interview jitters – especially if a great job rides on an outstanding interview performance. So it's no surprise that many job candidates suffer severe anxiety before job interviews. They don't eat or sleep. They obsess about the pending trauma…

Being a good leader means being a good listener

When you aren’t listening you’re missing an awful lot

Being a good leader means being a good listenerLast week, my friend was lamenting that she was away for her 16-year-old son’s first day of school and wouldn’t be there to pick him up. Obviously, her son doesn’t need his mom there. But driving him home lets her listen to him vent. It gives her insight into what he’s thinking, how he’s doing…
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