Taking a Daniel Tiger Perspective on The Current State of Work

Any parent with young kids knows Daniel Tiger is the ultimate authority on every lesson you need in life. The PBS successor to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood features a young tiger (unsurprisingly named Daniel) and his family. He confronts life’s difficult challenges with emotional maturity, self-awareness, and singing.

So
Much
Singing!

But, unlike most children’s TV, you won’t end up hating it. In fact, you’ll end up loving it because the songs are so catchy and soothing that you can draw on Daniel Tiger’s extensive catalog of compositions to guide your child through basically any daily struggle.

Topics: Leadership Networking Professional Development

Business Networking - How Do You Make Connections in a Virtual World?

A study on remote work from Xant summarizes its findings in saying,

“Sales teams are facing unique challenges – not only are they working from home, but their customers are too. They are adjusting to remote work, fighting distraction, and also facing an out of sight, out of mind mentality with their leads and potential customers.”

In fact, their research reveals that sales teams are reporting their top challenge right now as the “inability to communicate or connect with customers.”

But salespeople are not alone.

Remember, anyone meeting someone new right now is doing so virtually.

Everyone is in the same boat trying to navigate making virtual connections with new people both professionally and personally. And while some have felt natural, like messaging potential collaborators over social media, others have not, like going on a first date via video call.

Our current normal has changed how we connect with new people. For introverts, this shift has been a welcome change, whereas extroverts have typically found it harder to adapt. However, removing the in-person aspect of making a new connection does not change the reasoning behind connecting in the first place.

Ultimately, the methods to meet new people may have changed, but why we connect is still the same. New introductions require a genuine desire to offer something of value, listening, nurturing the connection, and following-up, whether the relationship is sales-related or not. The people that aim to engage, understand, and build trust will succeed whether they are connecting with other people online or offline.

Topics: Networking Hiring Customer Relationship Management Recruiting Referrals Business Development Professional Development Social Media Inbound Marketing Personal Development

Are You Guilty of Committing a Work from Home No-No?

Many of us are working from home these days. How is that going for you?

If you are like most people I have been talking to, you have likely settled in by now and have found your new normal working alongside partners, children, and/or pets. But that does not mean you are not guilty of committing a WFH (Work-From-Home) no-no. Maybe you made one of these mistakes already or maybe you are making one right now as you read this. But, hopefully, sharing my own experiences will help you to avoid making any more of them.

Topics: HR Professional Development

Life is Short, what to do next

The first month of 2020 has been full of all types of news - good, bad, and extraordinary. The recent news about the passing of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven others is sad beyond words. Regardless of whether you are a fan of basketball, you will find Kobe’s principals inspirational and hopefully will help you think more about “what’s next”.

The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great in whatever they want to do.” - Kobe Bryant

We can do something special today for those we appreciate, to inspire people to be great in whatever they want to do. We have the tools and means to do this, regardless of our location.

Topics: Leadership Business Culture Professional Development Social Media

How Experts Fill the Knowledge Gap (Including Bill Gates)

I'm not the smartest fellow in the world, but I can sure pick smart colleagues.” - Franklin D. Roosevelt

Some have referred to September as the “New January.” They consider it a time to make good on resolutions.  For that reason, I think this is good to use this season of change to focus on goals, and to realize this year’s potential before you again sing "Auld Lang Syne" for the new year.

It may seem more difficult for an expert, after decades of success, to ‘raise the bar,’ ‘achieve a personal best,’ ‘learn something new,’ or set new goals to excel. Especially for someone who has ‘seen it all.’ Investing time in education paid off in the early years, but 20 years later there are fewer resources or people who can be trusted to provide valuable new insights. As a result, it appears to me that a personal/professional skills plateau is reached, even as better results are demanded.

Carol Dweck: “Many people have told me that when they were promoted to a prestigious position, they suddenly felt, now I have to have all the answers. Now, my period of growth is over. I have to be a fully mature person who knows everything. So yes, at any point, you can fall into that trap. People who become CEOs suddenly feel they have to be gods goddesses, and not people who say, gee; I don’t know. Let’s talk about it. Let’s think about it. Let’s feel our way through this problem.”  - Source: Great article/interview on Harvard Business Review

When does personal development become a factor? I believe more than ever that an improvement in revenue and profits also relies on developing the skills and wisdom of the team and leaders.

Topics: Assessment Training Recruiting Planning Professional Development

SCORE Seattle Event: Starting & Growing a Consulting Business

On February 23rd, many attended a SCORE class: “Starting and Growing a Consulting Business” at Greater Seattle SCORE in Seattle, led by John Martinka. I was honored to be a panelist along with Dave Shapiro.

Topics: Events Professional Development

How to Get More Authority - While Keeping the End in Mind

Seth Godin said:

Extraordinary contribution changes not just the recipient, but the giver as well…

The hard part isn't working for free. The hard part is figuring out that this is your chance to do more than you're asked, to resist being unpaid labor for an organization too cheap to pay you properly. Instead, this is a rare moment to leap.”

What's missing in Seth’s great share

Those who are still trying to figure out how to show up and be consistent are in the early part of their journey. Without a foundation of skills and expertise, ‘leaping’ does require some good judgment.

When that time comes, they can look at their skills, talents and how they make an impact… and sometimes will have an epiphany: “it matters”.  That is when they go beyond marketing – and leap… which leads to bigger rewards for everyone.

Topics: Leadership Business Culture Brand Integrity Professional Development