Joys Of The Season to You And Yours

Joys Of The Season to You And Yours

As always, the winding down year came with ups and downs, but as it comes to a close, and we think back on all that happened, it is the good things we should choose to focus on. The kindnesses we received and and ones we gave. Beautiful moments that shone through like the sun catching rainbow sparkles on fresh fallen snow. And joys sprinkled throughout.

Most likely there were people who helped you during the year, who offered support or guidance or an introduction to someone you’d been trying to meet. Maybe your boss gave you an opportunity to expand your abilities, or a co-worker offered a ride share while your car was in the shop. You can probably think of hundreds of things that happened through the year that made your days brighter.

Focusing on the positives shines a glow of thanks over the whole year. By bidding the year farewell with a thankful heart and well wishes, we set the tone for the one to come.

Until we meet again in the upcoming year, the joys of the season to all from all of us to all of you.

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Are You A Wanter Or A Doer?

Are You A Wanter Or A Doer?

In every office you’ll find all kinds of people. The introverts, the extroverts, the technical minded ones, the artistic ones, the list goes on and on. All sorts of different people with different temperaments thrive and get ahead. However, besides the specifics of a person’s personality and skills people can generally be sorted into two distinct categories, the waters and the doers.

 

Wanters expect things to come to them

 

Wanters are the ones who always want to know when they can expect to get a promotion or a raise. They look out for what the company can do for them. When things aren’t working to their satisfaction, they want change, but they don’t necessarily do anything about it. In general wanters are their own number one priority. When five o’clock rolls around, they want to get out of the office and move on the next thing they want to do.

 

Doers create what they want

 

Doers on the other hand, are prepared to do what it takes to get a job done. They don’t ask when they will get a promotion they ask what they can do to get that promotion faster. They realize there is only one way to get ahead and that’s through merit. Not time, not the people they have drinks with not good intentions or talk.

 

If a job isn’t finished when it’s time to go home, a doer will stick around to make sure it gets done. If something isn’t working as well or as efficiently as it should, they don’t just complain about it or work around it, doers address the problem. They find better ways of doing things. If they have to improve themselves then they take the course or they ask us to put them in touch with a mentor.

 

Wanters might talk about how they want to make a six figure income one day. Doers spend every day going that extra mile to ensure they achieve their wants.

Five Traits Of Great Leaders

Five Traits Of Great Leaders

Every great leader has his or her own style of leadership. But just about every one of them share these five pillars as a base.

 

Collaboration

A strong leader has a vision for what needs to get done. However that doesn’t mean they believe they have to (or can) get it all done themselves. They have the ability to see the unique talents of each member of the team. Therefore they make a point of allowing each person to excel where they can. A strong leader creates an atmosphere of collaboration where different aspects of the project are led by the individual most capable of doing so. They create teams where everyone feels heard and valued.

 

Communication

If people on the team don’t have a clear perspective of what’s expected of them individually and as part of the whole group they cannot possibly do the best they can do. The very best leaders are expert communicators. They encourage questions, they are generous with praise and advice and they are not embarrassed or afraid to admit when they are wrong or when they’ve set a wrong path.

 

Humility

Everyone wants the project they’re working on to succeed. People who are strong leaders do everything they can to get that project to the finish line, but once it’s there they don’t feel the need to stand around collecting all the glory for themselves. They share the praise, and give recognition to everyone who contributed. They celebrate the accomplishment rather than seek recognition for their part in it, understanding that a shared success is much sweeter than a success devoured alone.

 

Encouraging

In the process of achieving a leadership position, the leader has learned a great deal about many aspects of the project they’re overseeing. When people come to them for help it might be easy to simply tell people under them everything they need to know and do in an easy to follow step-by-step process.  But strong leaders understand the value of letting people find the solution for themselves. The feeling of pride and accomplishment that comes from having the opportunity to create your own success. They provide support and encouragement in an environment that promotes learning and growth.

 

Conviction

The leader sets the tone

for the whole group. If a leader is passionate, he or she inspires passion. By having conviction in the success of the project and the people involved they will see that same conviction staring back at them on the faces of the people on their team.

Plan To Make Every Week A Productive Week

Plan To Make Every Week A Week Of Accoplishments

 

You look out at the week ahead, an expanse of unfilled time, and imagine all the things you are going to accomplish. Then the week ends and you look back on a pile of things that for one reason or another didn’t get to the finish line. Day after day, week after week you just can’t seem to match your intentions with your accomplishments.

 

The problem is, without taking concrete steps to implement them, plans in your head are too vague to consistently see the light of day. In order to be successful a plan in your head needs to be concretized, somewhere you can actually see it written down every day. That starts with a bit of pre-planning.

 

Plan monthly accomplishments

In the process of working towards weekly goals, it helps to step back and look at the bigger picture. What are your goals for the entire month ahead? Write them down. Now put them in a priority list. Some people like to use planners, some have a white board by their desk, some have stickies on their computer (virtual or actual). The point is they need to stare back at you every day to keep you accountable.

 

Break down each goal

Now that you have your prioritized list of what you are going to accomplish, create an action plan for each one. This is where you get specific. By taking the time to really think this through you are already setting your mind into accomplishment mode.

 

Create a weekly schedule  

Take your action plan for each goal and break it down into a weekly do-to list for the month. This is where plans meet action. It’s overwhelming to think about a large overall goal. It’s much easier when you look at it in digestible weekly bites.

 

Make a daily plan

Productivity is all about specificity. At the beginning of the week set daily timelines for each thing on that week’s plan. That makes it simple. It’s 10:00 time to do X.

 

Adjust your plan accordingly

At the end of the week review your performance. If there’s anything that you didn’t manage to finish reschedule it into the to-do list for the following week. Planning out the week in advance and reviewing your progress is what will keep you on task and productive. In this way you’ll be able to make productivity a habit!

How To Write A Great Post-Interview Follow Up Letter

How To Write A Great Post-Interview Follow Up Letter

Your interview is done, you think it went well. Before you sit back and wait for a response there’s one more thing you need to do. A post interview follow up letter will remind the interviewer of all the positive things discussed during the interview. It will also  bring you back to the forefront of their mind. Plus it’s always important to thank someone for their time and attention.

 

Start off on a professional note

A professional letter doesn’t start with Hi Jack or Hey Jess, it starts with Dear Ms. Jeffries. Even if there was a casual vibe in the office, until you are ensconced in there as a regular staff member, keep all interactions professional.

 

Grab their attention

Think back over your interview. Did you laugh over anything during the discussion, did you feel particularly welcomed, did you find a common interest with the interviewer? Pick a noteworthy moment from the interview and highlight it at the start of your letter. It was amazing to discover that your daughter and I attended the same university.

 

Reiterate some important things discussed/learned

Touch on something specific you learned during the interview. Your discussion regarding the management structure of the company was informative and helped me visualize my progression through the company.

 

Remind them of a skill/experience of yours

In a quick sentence or two reiterate how you can help them in the role you applied for an as a member of the company.  As I mentioned, in my previous position I helped increase team performance by 30%. With the skills I acquired there I’m certain I can make a great impact with your organization.

 

Reiterate your thanks and ask for follow up

Close off the letter by thanking them again for their time and helpful conversation then ask when you can expect to hear back from them. Thank you again for the interview opportunity. You mentioned you will have a decision by the end of next week. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Characteristics of a Great Leader

Characteristics of a Great Leader

 

Whether you’re in charge of people or not, leadership is an essential characteristic for anyone looking to succeed in their work. No matter the industry or position, managers and bosses are always looking for people who have that special quality that allows them to lead. Your leaders are looking for great leaders to follow them.

But if you’re in an entry-level position, or there’s no one working under you, how can you become a leader? How can you demonstrate leadership to your manager or supervisor?

Character

Leadership doesn’t begin with your followers. It begins with you. Frank Sonnenberg says, “People want to make a difference, they want to do work that matters, and they want to work for people who they admire, and who inspire them and get them excited about their work.”

Can you inspire your co-workers? Can you be someone your co-workers admire? It can start as simply as being positive and encouraging to your fellow employees. It can grow to a place where your co-workers are asking you for help because they know you’ll assist them without judgment. To become a great leader, you have to be someone people want to follow.

Commitment

While some of your coworkers count down the clock until it strikes five, your commitment to your work keeps you focused on getting the task done. While some people take an extra smoke break, you’re diligently crossing Ts and dotting Is. A great leader is someone who stays until the job is done.

Openness

As an employee, receiving constructive criticism can put you on the defensive. A great leader however, takes criticism not as an attack, but an opportunity to learn.

Becoming a Great Leader

You don’t have to have a team to be a leader. In fact, you should start honing your leadership skills as soon as possible. Becoming a great leader has more to do with who you are, rather than how you treat others once you’re in a position of authority.

 

Make Mental Strength A Priority

Make Mental Strength A Priority

We all have great days and difficult days. Some people celebrate the great days with sheer and absolute enthusiasm, while others stay more subdued. Then there are the hard days. Some people come through the hard ones with their attitude intact, ready to move on to the next thing while others spend an inordinate amount of time trying to re-center. Some of that is a consequence of natural disposition, but a lot of it is a matter of mental strength.

 

In the article The Best Brain Possible by Debbie Hampton, they say, “To be mentally strong is to become aware of your thoughts and emotions and work with them to consciously choose your actions, which is what mindfulness is all about. It’s about responding rather than reacting. It’s not about saying, ‘I can’t help the way I feel’ or ‘This is just the way I am.’”

 

Create new mental habits

While some people may be born more mentally resilient than others, mental strength, like any other strength can be built on and expanded. By consistently choosing to bounce back and not dwell on the negatives you can create new mental habits. That doesn’t mean every once in a while, it means paying attention to every thought that runs through your head. Then deciding whether or not it is a thought or reaction you would consciously choose if your intention was to be a more centered, in charge type person.

 

Here are ten things you can do to build mental strength:

 

Reflect on your progress

People who are mentally weak, dwell on the negatives and don’t give themselves credit for what they’ve already accomplished. Mentally strong people do the opposite. They keep the positives front and center and choose to consider the negatives as learning experiences.

 

Think productively

Instead of thinking about all the reasons why something isn’t working or you are not getting ahead as fast as you might want to, think about concrete things you can do on a regular basis to keep things moving forward.

 

Pay attention to the underlying thoughts

As we said earlier, everyone has a baseline of satisfaction where they naturally land. However just because you are not generally an overly optimistic person by nature that doesn’t mean you have to be satisfied with being dissatisfied. Watch your emotions, notice when you are leaning toward pessimism and make a conscious decision to see and acknowledge the positives in your situation.

 

Learn to enjoy quiet time

Many people will do anything they can to avoid being alone and quiet. In order to become mentally strong, you need to learn to make friends with yourself in quiet times. It is during those times that you can really reflect on what brings you peace and joy.